William’s grandson Arthur Enoch Longmate, tells about how it all came about:
William, a widower, lived in the old house at the rear. One morning, as often, he hitched up his horse and buggy and went for a trip. Charles became somewhat worried when his father had not returned by dark. Then late at night when he saw a light at the old house, he went out to investigate. His father met him at the door and said: “Come in, I want you to meet my new wife”. Imagine his surprise, because there stood his own mother-in-law, Mrs. Fanny Oliver, now his stepmother. She was not only the mother of Charles; wife but also that of his brother William jr. It would appear that the Olivers were well-thought of by the Longmates.
This quote is from a narrative history, written by Arthur in 1953. It tells about William, his family, and his descendants. Their life in England, the emigration to America and also contains a genealogy. It was sent to me about a year ago by his great-great-great-granddaughter Beverly Bevis. (thanks Beverly!)
But where they really married in 1863? William’s first wife Anne 2 had died only two months before, on 21 Oct 1863, and Fanny’s first husband Daniel 1died at the beginning of that year. And although they all knew each other very well, it does seem a bit soon.
Another clue is that Arthur starts this part of the story with:
When William was nearly ninety…
so according to this they were actually married about ten years later.
To make matters worse, the only source I have for this marriage is this book: “A History of the Faxon family, containing a genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Faxon of Mass.” by George L. Faxon, published in 1880. The book is very well put together, and Fanny is a direct descendant of said Thomas, on page 151 we find the following:
She m. 2nd, Dec. 6, 1863, William Phillips Longmate, b. Dec. 21, 1785, son of Enoch and Frances (Phillips) Longmate. A farmer; residence, Millersport, N. Y.
He seemed to have gotten most of his facts right, and although this is not a primary source for this information, I have alway assumed it was the correct date. That is, untill I started writing this blogpost, re-reading that history by A.E. Longmate and putting the dates together…
Until I can find some other record about this marriage, it is not sure that they actually married on this day.
What do you think, is it 1863 or 1873, and what would you do to find that final piece of proof?
- 1. George L. Faxon, History of the Faxon Family (Springfield, MA, USA: Springfield Printing Co, 1880), page 151. ↩
- 2. Find a grave – Millions of cemetery records, Jim Tipton, founder [http://www.findagrave.com], 98575431 Glenwood Cemetery, Lockport, Niagara, New York, USA.