GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2011-08 > 1313662433
From: "" <>
Subject: Re: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] confusion on marriage record from 1911
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:13:53 -0000
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Surnames: Dexter, Clark, Watrous
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I've told my grandmother's story many times for several years, so I'll just mention a few parts of it.
She was told she was born in Feb. 1889, and was told many other things which I believe were not true. She was taken in as a baby by an older couple who had moved to MA from CT. (They in late 50's.) In Mar. 1892, they adopted her. They stated her birth-name was Daisy WATROUS, and that is stated on the Adoption record.* They changed her name, at Age 3, to Mary Anna Clark DEXTER; this was the adoptive-mother's name.
Mrs. DEXTER died in Apr. 1899, and the little girl was taken to the Boston Female Orphans Asylum. If I found the right girl, she was listed in those records as Mary CLARK. Maybe at 13, she went a few blocks over to "The Temporary Home for Women and Children." That "home" still exists; I've written twice to ask for records and they never respond. So, I don't know which name she used there.
"No" birth certificates exist for her, and there should be two. I think Mr. DEXTER went to the courthouse and made them disappear.
Up to her marriage in 1911, she stated she was Mary Anna Clark DEXTER, but she listed her birth-father as William CLARK. To our knowledge, she never found out who her birth-parents were. And we have no idea who this William CLARK was. Mrs. DEXTER's father was a James CLARK who is one of my "concrete-block walls." So, I know nothing about him. He went out of his daughter's life when she was 10, and I cannot find out whether she knew her CLARK relatives. And, if she did, where did they live? **
I'm mentioning this because it shows that a child can have different names. And 1892 is mentioned. My grandmother had 2 nicknames, May and Mamie. Also, since no birth certificate exists anywhere; she might have been born in someone's home. And, since the DEXTER's told her a lot of lies, no one knows whether Daisy WATROUS was her true birth-name.
Betty (near Lowell, MA)
Because 100 yrs. had passed, I was able to have the Adoption file opened.
Some have suggested that she did know her CLARK relatives. One said perhaps a relative lived in CT, and she, from Westport, MA, might have gone there to Killingly, CT, and met her future husband there, John DEXTER.
FYI: My educated-guess is that the DEXTER's married daughter had a pregnancy outside of her marriage during the summer of 1888. And that "family secret" for Mrs. Clara YOUNG is still strong 123 yrs. later. By the way, old family photos show a very strong resemblance between my grandmother and Mrs. DEXTER's relatives.
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