WEST, John William - Caribbean?

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WEST, John William - Caribbean?

Postby mwest7668 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:54 am

Hello everyone, I am new to the site and this is my first post.

I have had a brick wall in my family tree research for a number of years now. My (3x Great Grandfather) John William West may have possible roots in the West Indies/Caribbean. From there is where it gets confusing.

Unfortunately all I know is that John William West was born abt June 1828 (some records state he was born in various locations throughout Maine, USA, including Gouldsboro, Maine and Mount Desert, Maine) Wisconsin and the West Indies. He died on 14 Feb 1905 in Milbridge, Maine, USA and is buried in a home lot off Kansas Road in Milbridge, Maine, USA. I have no information on his parents names or if he had any siblings. I have additional information on John's wife and children. But nothing on who his parents are, any of their information or anything regarding possible siblings.

What lead me to look towards the West Indies/Caribbean is I found information in the 1880 US Census. Within that particular (1880) US Census, I found that it states John and his parents were all born in the West Indies, some records it is listed as "W.I." , Wisconsin and West Indies. Looking at the actual 1880 US Census Document, it says West Indies.

As far as John's birth information goes, I have physically gone to the Gouldsboro Maine Town hall and they have no record of John William West's birth. I have also written to numerous surrounding towns in the Washington County of Maine came up with nothing/no new information, only found information about his death. I have contacted Historical Societies, Libraries and others in the Washington County area of Maine that work on Genealogy.. John William West appears to be a total mystery man. So this all leads me back to the West Indies connection.

I am wondering how to start the process of looking for his parents or himself in the West Indies. Not having any parents names, or anything specific other than West Indies, I am at a total loss of where and how to start. Anyone have any suggestions? resources? Links any one might suggest?

If it helps, here is additional information I have regarding John William West:

John William West is listed as a laborer in Columbia, Columbia Falls and Milbridge, Maine. USA. He was listed as a seaman in the 1860 US Census of Columbia, Maine, USA and in the 1870 US Census he was a laborer in Columbia Falls, Maine, USA. And in the 1880 US Census he is once again listed as a laborer in Milbridge, Maine. He married Prudence L. Tenney, daughter of Alexander Tenney and Anne Sinclair(e) on 28 November 1857 in Columbia, Maine, USA. They had 6 children: Uriah E., Mary E., Ernest Daniel, Willie, Eunice and Blanche D. Uriah E. West is my 2x Great Grandfather.

John William West possibly was in the Civil War. I came across a U.S., Seamen's Protection Certificates, 1792-1869 that show a John W West, Declaration Date: 19 Sept 1853, Declaration Port: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Age: 27, Birth Year: abt 1826, Birthplace: Goldsboro, Maine, USA. Residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Witness Name: James S Pringle, Archive Publication: M1880, Archive Roll: 51. I also came across another record, a New York, US Army Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900 that list a John William West b. abt 1830 from Maine, USA who deserted, separation date of 23 Oct 1861. Not sure if it is the same John William West or not. I have not been able to verify if he indeed was a deserter. I have been trying to do so through NPS site and having difficulty.

I came across a photo postcard from abt 1876, very interesting find.. the photo postcard was sent from McDougall & Keefe in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA. One side featured a black & white photo of John William West. The other side had the following information hand written, J. W. West, Age: 48 years, 6 months and some days. Height: 6 feet, Weight: 180+ (hard to read the last number of his weight), Complexion: dark, and the more interesting part read... Reputation: Bad. I honestly found the information written on the back of the photo all quite interesting, did they often list someone's description on the back of photos? Or I have wondered if this could be linked to him being a Civil War deserter.

Not sure if it is helpful, but this is some information on the children of John William West and wife, Prudence "Dency" Tenney: Uriah E. West, b.1858-d.1938, he married, Aurilla Sinclair(e). Mary E. West, b.1861-d.1900, married, Warren H. McCaslin. Ernest Daniel West, b.1864-d.1946, married, Esther Martha Tabbutt. Blanche D. West, b.1879-d.1942, married, Sylvester Alley. I have no other information on what became of Willie, b. 1874-d.?, and Eunice West, b.1866-d.? Again my direct line is from John William West and his son, Uriah E. West.

I have not been successful in looking towards the West Indies direction, with no parents names, dates, or a more narrowed down location in the West Indies, I can not seem to get off the ground in the search process. I turn to you all today in hopes you could help lead me in the right direction, or any direction. Is West a common name in the West Indies? Maybe its not and you will be able to provide me with some leads, resources, etc.

I did look towards England for possible leads and I found 2 John William West's that were both baptized in London, England. one was baptized on 7 Sept 1828 to a John and Elizabeth West.. and the other was baptized on 4 Aug 1828 to a John and Mary West. Not sure if either of these are his parents or even the same John William West in my ancestral line. Its been an impossible task with no parent names, or known siblings to assist with the research. Hopefully I can one day find more information on my (3x Great Grandfather) John William West, especially anything about his parents, possible siblings and origins.

Any info, leads, ideas would be greatly appreciated. He has been a total mystery to myself and other family members working on our family genealogy.

Thank you so much for your time and help!!

~ Mike West
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:14 am

Re: WEST, John William - Caribbean?

Postby bimjim » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:48 pm

If you could find his will - and possibly his age from that - you might at least have a starting point by being able to determine if any of the John William West you have found is the right one. That's the way I sorted my one from the many. With so many John William West on your side it's impossoble to decide which trail to follow without more details.

Finding a will and determining the names of his descendants may also lead to at least a suggestion who his ancestors were (by re-use of the same names for his children or his grand-children).

Good luck!

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Re: WEST, John William - Caribbean?

Postby mwest7668 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:38 pm

I would have loved to find a will for John William West (or his children), or even an obituary printed in the local/area newspaper. All I have un-covered was his record of death, grave marker and his intent to marriage document. From these I have pieced together and verified the other information. Just no parents and siblings.

According to his Record of Death he was 77 years old (months or days was not filled out) when he died, his grave marker says he was born in 1828 and died in 1905. Via the Record of Death, John William West died on 14 Feb 1905 in Milbridge, Maine, USA. He is buried in a home lot off Kansas Road in Milbridge, Maine, USA. (I have been to his grave site and took photos) He married, Prudence L. Tenney, daughter of Alexander Tenney and Anne Sinclair(e) on 28 November 1857 in Columbia, Maine, USA. They had 6 children: Uriah E., Mary E., Ernest Daniel, Willie, Eunice and Blanche D. Uriah E. West is my direct ancestor, my 2x Great Grandfather.

I am confident that the majority of what I had posted originally and above is indeed my 3x Great Grandfather, John William West. Through working with other family members, finding his children's birth and death records, etc is how myself and other family members working on our genealogy have verified the other information. The only information unverified is the military information I came across (which I am still working on) and the two John William West's I found from England.

Someone else suggested to look into the re-use of names as well, in this direct line there are quite a few names that repeat, John, Ernest, George, Uriah, William, Daniel (for the males) and Eunice, Blanche and Mary come up a lot among the females.

Not sure if any of this will help, this is why I am at a roadblock finding John W. West's parents and siblings if there were any, or his origins.

Thanks again for your time and help!!

~ Mike West
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:14 am

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