Name: Amanda J. Raven
Born: About 1858 in New Brunswick
Child 1: Lyman Lester Willard (1878–1963)
Child 2: Eva Martha Willard (1881–1957)
Child 3: Martha A. Willard (1884–1907)
Child 4: Samuel Harris Willard (1888–1952)
Died: 1888?
Buried: ?
FindAGrave: None yet


Like many members of the first two generations of Ravens, I've got some major questions about Amanda that remain to be answered. When was she born? Did the "J" stand for "Jane"? When and where did she die?

I do know that she married Charles Albion Willard, the widower of her older sister, Eliza, but I have not seen Amanda's death record. With her last child having been born in 1888, she could have died as early as then. I don't even know where her gravestone is, and I've been to the Oxbow cemeteries multiple times.

The first record I have for Amanda is the 1861 Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada census. She was 3 years old and living with her parents, three older sisters, and younger brother. See line 1165:

1861 Canada Census - Douglas, NB
1861 Canada Census — Douglas, New Brunswick

In 1870, she and the rest of her family were living in Mapleton, Maine. Eleven-year-old Amanda can be seen on line 25:

1870 US Census - Mapleton, ME
1870 US Census — Mapleton, Maine

Roughly four years later, Charles Albion Willard married Amanda's older sister, Eliza, but Eliza would die soon after giving birth to Warren Elwin Willard. Amanda then married Charles, presumably around 1877. shows that Amanda and Charles had five children together, but I have not seen any actual evidence of Percy Willard, who supposedly was born in 1878 and passed in 1881.

Unfortunately, Lyman Lester Willard's 1878 birth record doesn't indicate if he was the first child or not:

Lyman Lester Willard's 1878 Birth Record
Lyman Lester Willard's 1878 Birth Record 

The 1880 US census for Maysville, Maine, shows the blended Willard family: 40-year-old Charles, his 22-year-old wife, Amanda, his 21-year-old son, Ira Willard from his first marriage to Almyra Hayden, his son Warren from his second wife, Eliza Raven, and his son Lyman from his third and current wife, Amanda Raven. Maysville ceased to exist just three years later when it was annexed by Presque Isle, Maine in 1883. The family would move to nearby Oxbow, Maine soon after. See lines 14–18 in the image below:

1880 US Census - Maysville, ME
1880 US Census — Maysville, Maine

I haven't found a birth record for Eva Martha Willard, but by all indications (her obituary and the 1900 census), Amanda's first daughter was born on 24 September 1881 in Oxbow. 

I also haven't found a birth record for Amanda's next child, Martha (aka Mattie) Willard, born 8 September 1884 in Oxbow.

Amanda's fourth and final child, Samuel Harris Willard, was born 5 January 1888, but there are some discrepancies as to where. Some records say he was born in Maine and some say he was born in Canada. The most specific location that I can find, though, is his World War I Registration Card, which says he was born in Four Falls, New Brunswick, which is about 60 miles east of Oxbow. 

That is the last known date/place for Amanda (Raven) Willard of which I'm aware. The earliest evidence of her passing is her daughter, Eva's, marriage record to Frank Howes from 17 April 1898, which lists Amanda as "not living":

1898 Marriage Record for Eva Willard and Frank Howes
1898 Marriage Record for Eva Willard and Frank Howes
Amanda (Raven) Willard
Amanda (Raven) Willard
There is one more record I can find that suggests that Amanda may have passed soon after Samuel was born in 1888. It looks like Charles may have married a fourth time, to Janette Wright. However, I can't find much about her other than her death record, which indicates that Jannette Willard died on 22 April 1897 at age 30. There's also this birth record for a stillborn child born to "Jenett Write" and Charles A. Willard of Oxbow in 1893:
1893 Birth Record for stillborn Willard
Birth Record — Baby Willard
Notably, it says that it is their third child. I can find no evidence of any other births for the couple, nor are they living with Charles in 1900. It's also possible that the "three" refers to two other children from another marriage. I really need to find a source for Oxbow's vital records from the 1800s.
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