Friday, November 2, 2012

Three Marriages and Two Wives: Figuring It All Out

Samuel F. Brackett was born 1 August 1827 in Limington, Oxford County, Maine.  He is the son of Samuel Brackett and Susan Foss.  He grows up in Maine and marries Elizabeth Libby on 20 October 1848 in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine.  Elizabeth is born 26 June 1823 in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine.  She is the daughter of Cyrus Libby and Lois Libby (yes they have the same last name!!!).  Elizabeth and Samuel have a son George A born 6 June 1854 in Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  Their next child is Benjamin Franklin and he is born 31 January 1856 in Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin.  By 1860 the family is in Richmond, Shawano County Wisconsin.  The last child is Alice Abbie born May 1862 in Wisconsin.  By 9 August 1862 Samuel enlisted at Shawano County in the Civil War.  He was in Company I 32nd Infantry Regiment.  7 February 1863 finds him mustered out.

On 21 August 1866 Samuel married in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan to Lucy Maria Ficke.  Lucy Maria Ficke was born 8 June 1847 in Canada.  Here's where things get a bit dicey!!!  In 1870 Lucy and Samuel are living in St. Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota by themselves.  There are no children and I have not seen where Elizabeth passed away.  So maybe a divorce?  On 1 March 1873 Samuel and Lucy once again marry in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.  If they married in Michigan why on earth would they marry again in Nebraska????  On 4 August 1875 they have a daughter Esa Pearl who is born in Iowa.

Not being able to find any information about Elizabeth I sent away for the pension record of Samuel.  In his interview he gives the name of his wife Lucy M Fick and that they were married in 1866 in Port Huron. How interesting though that the license he submits for proof of the marriage is from Nebraska!! When asked if he was previously married he said yes to Elizabeth Libby in Scarboro (sic) Maine.  He states the names of his children but the years are all wrong for all of them.

In 1905 Samuel dies and Lucy applies for a Widow's Pension.  Her declaration also confirms the 1873 marriage date in Nebraska.  However she gives a bit more information on Elizabeth that she died July 1870. So now I have a date but it doesn't help me find her.  Elizabeth is still among the missing.  If Elizabeth and Samuel divorced I have not found that either.  Did she die in Wisconsin or in Maine??

In 1870 Elizabeth and Samuel's daughter Alice is living with Elizabeth's sister Lydia and Lydia's husband Phineas Foss.  She continues to live with them in 1880 and she is called their granddaughter.  Benjamin cannot be found in the 1870 census (YET!) but is living with his father and step-mother in 1880.  He eventually marries Martha A. Truesdell and they in turn have a daughter named Frances Hazel Brackett who is my great grandmother.  George is married in 1878 in Greene County, Iowa to Sarah Roberts.  Still no sign of Elizabeth.

So hopefully someone else will see this blog and maybe help find out where Elizabeth went after her and Samuel split up.  Until then keep digging and trying to bring her story to life!


  1. You just may find out that Samuel and Lucy were not legally married the first time (maybe he was still married to Elizabeth, shock, horror) and re-married to legalize it???!!!???

  2. That is exactly what I think Linda! I think that Elizabeth and Samuel were not divorced and then they did the 1873 marriage to make it all look nice and official with Elizabeth now deceased. Just need to find where Elizabeth is!