Name: Eliza Ann Raven (1853–1875)
Born: About 1853 in New Brunswick
Died: August 1875?
Buried: Willard Cemetery, Oxbow Plantation, Maine


Eliza Raven was born to William Neal and Hannah Jane (Hanson) Raven around 1853 in New Brunswick, Canada. I haven't seen her birth record, and she lived a long time ago in rural Aroostook County, so there aren't many records. Most people think her middle name was "Ann," but I think it was more likely "Anna" based on her older sister already having the middle name "Ann" and because it looks like there is an "a" at the end here on the 1861 census, especially when compared to the "Ann" above. However, that last "a" doesn't look much like the "a" in "Mary" or "Eliza". Could it be an "e"? I think it'd be odd to spell it differently for each daughter. 

1861 Canada Census - Mary Ann and Eliza Anna comparison
1861 Canada Census — Mary Ann and Eliza Anna comparison

The first record I have is the aforementioned 1861 Canada Census. Eliza, her parents, and her four siblings were living in Douglas, New Brunswick at that time. See them on lines 1160–1166 in the image below: 

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

The family moved to the United States in 1864 and was living in Mapleton, Maine in 1870. See lines 21 through 29 in the image below:

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

Around 1874, Eliza married Charles Albion Willard. Eliza was roughly 21 and Charles was 36 and recently widowed. His first wife, Almyra (Hayden) Willard had died on 10 July 1873.

There's definitely some confusing timing regarding Eliza's own death and the birth of her only son, Warren Elwin Willard that I can't make total sense of as I haven't found Eliza's death record nor Warren's birth record.

According to his obituary, Warren was born to Charles and Eliza in Ox Bow, Maine (they used to write it as two words). No surprise there.

Warren E. Willard Obituary Excerpt (BDN 30 Nov 1945)
Obituary Excerpt of Warren E. Willard in The Bangor Daily News, 30 November 1945

Warren's actual birth date, however, varies between 1875 and 1876. If he was 70 when he died, then that lines up with him being born in 1875. The 1900 census says he was born in September 1876. The Social Security Claims Index says he was born in September 1875. His World War I Registration Card says he was born September 1776 — yes, 1776, but age 42 so clearly that was supposed to be 1876. 

Personally, I'm pretty sure that he was born in 1875 being that his mother, Eliza, died in 1875. Mystery solved, you'd think, but by all accounts, Warren was born in September and by the very few accounts we have, Eliza died in August 1875. 

Eliza (Raven) Willard's Gravestone
Eliza (Raven) Willard's Gravestone

Clearly, we need to find those birth and death records. Based on the proximity of the two events, one wonders if she died during/because of the birth.

Anyway... after Eliza died, Charles married her sister, Amanda, and they had four more Willard children.

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