Name: Selena Irene Raven (1856–1942)
Born: 31 March 1856 (unsourced) in Haynesville, New Brunswick 
Child 10: Otto Leslie Merry (1897–1897)
Child 11: Ruby Geneva Merry (1898–1984)
Child 12: Bernice Eloise Merry (1900–1982)
Died: 2 April 1942 (unsourced)
Buried: Center Cemetery, Thorndike, Maine


Like all of the first five members of Generation 2, the earliest record I can find for Selena is the 1861 Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada Census. Selena appears with her family on line 1164:

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

The Ravens migrated south to the United States in 1864 and the 1870 US Census shows them living in Mapleton, Maine. Fourteen-year-old Selena is on line 24 in the image below:

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

Six years later, at the age of 20, Selena would marry George Albert Carson in Mapleton on 20 May 1876. Here's the announcement in the local newspaper:

Marriage Notice for George A. Carson and Serena [sic] Raven from the Aroostook Valley Sunrise, 21 June 1876
Marriage Notice for George A. Carson and Serena [sic] Raven from the Aroostook Valley Sunrise, 21 June 1876

Here's a photo of young Selena that was sent to me by her great-granddaughter, Carole. It's a print of a badly damaged photo, but I ran it through some filters at that really cleared up her face nicely.

Young Selena Irene Raven
Young Selena Irene Raven. Courtesy of Carole (Corson) Conrad

Their first child, Frank Alden Carson (1877-1968) was born on 6 March 1877 in Mapleton. Frank's birth record gives us Selena's birth place as "Haynesville, N.B.":

Excerpt from Frank Carson's Birth Record
Birth Record Excerpt — Frank Alden Carson

Their second and third children, Charles Albert Carson (1878-1936) and Vesta Ellen Carson (1879-1963), were also born in Mapleton.

The family of five can be seen on the following two images from the 1880 census in Mapleton. They also had George's mother, Eliza (Rand) Carson, and his younger brother, Willis Henry Carson, living with them. George and Selena are the last two lines in Part 1:

1880 US Census - Mapleton, ME Part 1
1880 US Census — Mapleton, Maine Part 1

Frank, Charles, and Vesta are on lines 1–3 in the image below, and Selena's mother-in-law and brother-in-law are on lines 4 and 5, respectively:

1880 US Census - Mapleton, ME - Part 2
1880 US Census — Mapleton, Maine Part 2

Selena gave birth to four (or five?) more Carson children: George Henry Carson (1882-1963), Hattie Eliza Carson (1886-1978), Harry Edward Carson (1888-1973), and Mildred Hope Carson (1891-1893). All of their children were born in Mapleton except for the last, Mildred, who was born a few towns north in Perham. 

Someone has also added an entry for a "Billy Carson" born February 1885 and died March 1885. I can find no sources or evidence of this child, but there is enough of a gap between George and Hattie that I can't say it's not possible. If anyone has more info about this child, please let me know.

I don't know the exact timing, but it appears that George left Selena and the children and on 3 May 1894, Selena was granted a divorce from him in Aroostook County Court. This divorce record also gives us their exact marriage date on the 8th line down:

1894 Maine Divorce Record
1894 Maine Divorce Records

Selena would not stay single for long: Just 10 days later, she married Herbert Leslie Merry (1871-1935) in Caribou. Here's their marriage record:

Herbert and Selena Merry 1894 marriage record (front)
Marriage Record (front) — Herbert L. Merry and Selene Raven
Herbert and Selena Merry 1894 marriage record (back)
Marriage Record (back) — Herbert L. Merry and Selene Raven

Herbert and Selena lived in Woodland, Maine, and that's where all four of their children were born: John Herbert Merry (1895-1993), Otto Leslie Merry (1897-1897), Ruby Geneva Merry (1898-1984), and Bernice Eloise Merry (1900-1982).

In March 1974, John Herbert Merry Sr., dictated the family history to his niece, Marie Mae (Gordon) Russell, while visiting at her home in Searsport. Marie wrote it all down and years later, her daughter, Carole, typed up Marie's notes, from which the following is excerpted:

Selena married George Carson and had eight children: Frank, Charles, Vesta, George, Hattie, Harry, Mildred (died at five years), William (died when small). George deserted Selena and in 1890 she divorced him. In 1894 she married Herbert Merry. In 1895 they were living in Starks, Maine and she gave birth to John H.. In 1896 Otto was born, but died at 7 months. In 1898 Ruby was born and in 1900 Berniece.

The 1900 census shows us that Selena, pregnant with Bernice, was living in Woodland with Herbert and her two surviving children, John and Ruby. See lines 12–15 in the image below:

1900 US Census - Woodland, ME
1900 US Census — Woodland, Maine

Meanwhile, in 1900, Selena's ex-husband, George Carson, was living in St. Albans, Maine with his brother, Willis. Her Carson children were living independently.  Frank, George, and Harry were living together in Mapleton. Charles was boarding in Ashland, Maine. Vesta was a live-in servant in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Hattie was a live-in servant in Perham, Maine.

Here's a photo of the young Merry family from probably early 1901, based on baby Bernice's size. Big brother John is to the left and big sister Ruby is on the right.  

Merry Family circa 1901. Courtesy of Carole (Corson) Conrad
Merry Family circa 1901. Courtesy of Carole (Corson) Conrad

Soon after the turn of the century, the Carson children started marrying: Hattie Carson married William Whipple in 1900 in Washburn, Maine. Charles Carson married Sylvia Burgess in Caribou, Maine, and Vesta Carson married Frederick James Fleming in Ashland, Maine, both in 1902. In 1907, Frank Carson married Laney McDermott in Mapleton.

In 1909, Herbert purchased a farm in Thorndike, Maine from Wilbert S. Dolloff, and that's where they appeared on the 1910 census. The Merry family is documented on lines 2–6 in the image below and Selena's son, George H. Carson, is living with them and is shown on line 7:

1910 US Census - Thorndike, ME
1910 US Census — Thorndike, Maine

Selena's son, George H. Carson, married Addie Lou Gordon shortly thereafter, in nearby Brooks, Maine, on 2 July 1910.

Here's a photo from the Unity Fair, which looks to have been taken around 1914 judging by the license plate:

Selena & Herbert Merry at Unity Fair
Selena & Herbert Merry at Unity Fair. Courtesy of Carole (Corson) Conrad

Selena's daughter, Ruby Merry, married Addie Lou's brother, George Clarence Gordon, on 4 November 1916 in Belfast, Maine. A year later, Bernice Merry would marry a third Gordon sibling! She and Walter Carl Gordon Sr. were married on 15 September 1917, also in Belfast, and just a few weeks later, John Merry would marry Sadie Dyer on 26 October 1917 in Belfast.

Selena and Herbert Merry
Selena and Herbert Merry. Courtesy of Carole (Corson) Conrad

And so, by the time the 1920 census was taken, Selena and Herbert were empty-nesters living in Thorndike. See lines 51 and 52 in the image below:

1920 US Census - Thorndike, ME
1920 US Census — Thorndike, Maine

This photo likely would have been taken in 1920, based on Kenneth's age:

1920 - Selena Merry and her son George's family
Selena Merry and her son George's family, circa 1920

In 1924, Selena's last unmarried child, Harry Edward Carson, wed Florence May Smith in Woodstock, New Brunswick.

Herbert and Selena were still living in Thorndike in 1930. Interesting tidbit here about her father being born in Portsmouth, England, which is more specific than any other source that I have seen. See lines 51 and 52:

1930 US Census - Thorndike, ME
1930 US Census — Thorndike, Maine

Herbert passed away on 29 May 1935 in Thorndike and was buried in Center Cemetery there. 

I have not been able to find Selena on the 1940 US Census. If anyone knows where she was living, let me know.

I've also not seen Selena's death record nor her obituary, so I am not sure where she passed. The date that most folks seem to have agreed upon is 2 April 1942, which is very feasible because The Republican Journal from 9 April 1942 reported that her funeral was held on the previous Saturday, which would have been 4 April 1942. 

Selena's son, John Herbert Merry Sr., chiseled her name on Herbert's stone:

Gravestone - Herbert L. and Selena Merry
Gravestone - Herbert L. and Selena Merry
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