It was easy work to discover her parents. The 1850 U.S. Census of Biddeford, York Co., Maine shows the family of George Dearborn, a farmer, aged 27, real estate worth $300; with [wife] Rhoda, 26; and children Elbridge, Maria, Ellen and George, all born in Maine (household ##263-264). The 1860 Census shows the family still at Biddeford with several additional children. George was still a farmer, and all members of the family had aged fairly appropriately.
The family is of interest for two reasons: The marriage of George and Rhoda Dearborn combined the Saco and Biddeford, Maine branches of the Dearborn family (the two towns are adjacent); and determining Rhoda’s identity involved a remarkable bit of serendipity.
The Dearborns trace their lineage back to Godfrey Dearborn (1603-1686), a native of Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England, who settled at Exeter, N.H. by 1638 and removed to neighboring Hampton by 1648. A genealogy of his descendants which appeared in the Register (2:81-98, 297-305) was augmented considerably by a manuscript account of the family completed about 1876 and now in the Societys possession. While Edmund B. Dearborn, the author of both these accounts, did a remarkable job of tracing most lines down to the late nineteenth century, he failed utterly to trace the numerous descendants of Edward4 Dearborn (1702-1746) (Samuel3, Thomas2, Godrey1) of Greenland, New Hampshire, and of his first cousin Jacob4 Dearborn (ca. 1709-1773) (Thomas3-2, Godfrey1) of Pepperellborough [now Saco], Massachusetts [now Maine].
There are certain benefits in tracing every person of a selected surname, especially (as in the case of the Dearborns) when virtually everyone of that surname descends from a common ancestor. If one is thorough, one may discover in unlikely places records that will provide the solution to otherwise unsolvable problems. It is also helpful to let your friends know of your interest, as they may come across records relating to your family while doing their own research.
Several years ago my friend Robert C. Anderson sent me copies of documents from probate records filed in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, relating to the administration of the estate of Charles Henry Dearborn who had died there 7 February 1894, intestate (Providence Probate, #1657). Charles had been married and had had four children, but all had died before him, and thus his heirs-at-law were his immediate blood relatives. An administrator’s account in the probate file, dated 4 December 1894, lists payments to Charles’s four brothers Albert C., Leonard, Joshua M. and John Dearborn, along with fifteen nieces and nephews, all of whom are named.
From this list it was immediately clear that this Charles was identical to the Charles Henry8 Dearborn who was born at Saco. Maine 9 March 1835, son of Thomas7 (Jacob6-5-4, Thomas3-2, Godfrey1).
However, to my amazement, I saw that among this list of nieces and nephews were the children of George Gilbert and Rhoda Dearborn of Biddeford: Maria L. Milliken, James W. Smith [George G.’s son-in-law], and Jerry L., George and Elbridge M. Dearborn. Obviously, these people were too distantly related to the deceased on their father’s side to have had any interest in the estate. It could only mean that their mother, Rhoda, was herself a Dearborn. Charles Henry Dearborn was a son of Thomas and Abigail (Merrill) Dearborn of Saco, Maine. The Saco vital records give a full list of Thomas and Abigail's children, including a daughter Rhoda M. Dearborn, born 7 June 1824, for whom I had no further information.
The death records of several of George and Rhoda’s children, recorded in Maine Vital Records in Augusta (these begin in 1892), show the mother’s maiden surname to have been Dearborn, but until the discovery of Charles’s probate I could not be sure that this was not simply carelessness on the clerk’s part. It was thus almost anticlimatic when after all this work. I found George Dearborn and Rhoda Dearborn’s intention of marriage, filed in Biddeford 30 April 1842. Through the Dearborns they were fifth cousin.
The following is an ancestor table for Maria L. (Dearborn) Milliken. The source for much of the information in the earlier generations is Noyes, Libby and Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (1928-39, reprint 1972).
I---1. Maria L. (Dearborn) Milliken, ca. 1844-1914, Biddeford and Saco, Maine
II---2. George Gilbert Dearborn, 1823-1885, Biddeford, Maine3. Rhoda M. Dearborn, 1824-1893, Saco and Biddeford, Maine
III--4. Joseph Dearborn, 1785-1859, Biddeford, Maine5. Tamar Woodman, 1791-1875, Biddeford, Maine (for ancestors see Cyrus Woodman, The Woodmans of Buxton, Maine , p. 81)6. Thomas Dearborn, 1793-1858, Saco, Maine7. Abigail Merrill, ca. 1797-living 1870, Saco and Biddeford, Maine
IV---8. Abraham Dearborn, 1764-1847, Greenland, N.H. and Biddeford, Maine9. Olive Perkins, d. 1811, Biddeford,Maine10. Stephen Woodman, d. 1835, Buxton, Maine11. Ruth Bradbury, 1759-1830 (for ancestors see William B. Latham, Bradbury Memorial , p. 94)
12. Jacob Dearborn, ca. 1769/70-1818, Saco, Maine13. Olive Stone, d. 1821, Saco, Maine14-15.--
V--16. Abraham Dearborn, 1731-living 1801, Greenland and Rochester, NH.17. Abigail Marston, 1736-ca. 1814, Greenland and Milton, N.H. (for ancestors see Nathan W. Marston, Marston Genealogy , p. 113)18. poss. Edmund Perkins, Biddeford, Maine19. --20. Joshua Woodman, 1720-ca. 1800, Newbury, Mass. and Buxton, Maine21. Alice Stimson, d. ca. 180622. Moses Bradbury, b. 1731, Newbury, Mass. and Buxton, Maine23. Mary Page, b. 1735 (for ancestors see Lynn M. Case and Page Sanderson, The Family of John Page of Haverhill, Massachusetts , p. 30)24. Jacob Dearborn, ca. 1740-1826, Saco and Buxton, Maine25. Keziah Hanscom, ca. 1741-1773, Saco and Buxton, Maine26-31.
VI--32. Edward Dearborn, 1702-1746, Hampton and Greenland, N.H.33. Mary Foss, living 174634. Nathan Marston, 1714-1768, Hampton and Greenland, N.H.35. Eleanor Raines36-39. --40. Benjamin Woodman, 1683-1741, Andover and Newbury, Mass.41. Elizabeth Longfellow42-43. --44. Thomas Bradbury, 1699-ca. 1775, Salisbury, Mass. and Buxton, Maine45. Sarah Merrill, b. 1706 (for ancestors see Samuel Merrill, Merrill Memorial [1917-281, p. 197)46. Nehemiah Page, b. 1708, Salisbury, Mass.47. Mary True, 1708-1767, Salisbury, Mass.48. Jacob Dearborn, ca. 1709-1773, Hampton Falls, N.H. and Saco, Maine49. Rachel Carter, living 177850-63. --
VII---64. Samuel Dearborn, 1676-1735/6, Hampton, N.H.65. Sarah Gove, b. 167866. Thomas Foss, d. by 1710, Greenland, NH.67. Abigail Cole, 1673-living 1710, Greenland, N.H.68. Thomas Marston, 1678- 1753, Hampton and Greenland, NH.69. Lydia Moulton, b. 168170. Nathaniel Raines, d. 1747, York, Maine71. Elizabeth Cutts, 1689-living 174772-79.--80. Joshua Woodman, ca. 1636-1703, Newbury,Mass.81. Elizabeth Stevens82. William1 Longfellow, 1650-1690, Guiseley, Yorks. and Newbury, Mass.83. Anne Sewall, 1662-1706, Newbury, Mass.84-87.--88. Jacob Bradbury, 1677-1718, Salisbury, Mass.89. Elizabeth Stockman90. Moses Merrill, 1683-1756, Salisbury and Newbury, Mass.91. Mary___, d. 1760, Newbury, Mass.92. Onesiphorus Page, 1689-1746, Salisbury, Mass.93. Ruth Merrill, 1681-1711, Salisbury, Mass.94. Jabez True, b. 1686, Salisbury, Mass.95. Sarah Tappan96. Thomas Dearborn, ca. 1681-d. by 1749, Hampton Falls, NH. and Saco, Maine (see NEHGR 138:108-9, 113)97. Mary Garland, 1683-1749, Hampton, N.H. and Saco, Maine98. Richard Cater/Carter, Newington, N.H.99. Sarah Peavey100-127. --
VIII---128. Thomas2 Dearborn (Godfrey1), 1632-1710, Hampton, N.H.129. Hannah2 Colcord (Edward1), ca. 1643-1720, Hampton, N.H.130. Edward2 Gove (John1), ca. 1639/40-1691,Hampton, N. H131. Hannah2 Partridge (William1), d. by 1712132. John Foss, ca. 1636-ca. 1710, Rye, N.H.133. Mary2 Berry (William1), Rye, N.H.134. Abraham1 Cole, d. 1728, Hampton, N H135. Mary2 Wedgwood (John1), Hampton, N.H.136. Isaac Marston3 (Thomas2, William1), living 1700, Hampton, N.H.137. Elizabeth2 Brown (John1), Hampton, N.H.138. John2 Moulton (John1), 1638-1706/7, Hampton, N.H.139. Lydia2 Tailor (Anthony1), Hampton, N.H.140. Nathaniel2 Raines (Francis1), d. 1734, York, Maine141. Joanna ___, d. 1732142. Richard2 Cutts (Robert1), ca. 1660-living 1742, Kittery, Maine143. Joanna2 Wills (Thomas1), ca. 1669-1738144-159.--160. Edward1 Woodman, 1606-1670, Corsham, Wilts. and Newbury, Mass. (see NEHGR 97:281)161. Joan___, living 1653162. John Stevens, 1605-1662, Calversham, Oxon. and Andover, Mass. (see NEHGR 85:399)163. Elizabeth ---, ca. 1613-1694, Andover, Mass.164-165.--166. Henry2 Sewall (Henry1), 1614-1700, Newbury, Mass.167. Jane Dummer, 1628-1701, Newbury, Mass.168-175.---176. William2 Bradbury (Thomas1), 1649-1678, Salisbury, Mass.177. Rebecca Wheelwright (Rev. John ), d. 1679
178. John Stockman, Salisbury, Mass.179. Sarah3 Pike (Robert2 John1) (see NEHGR 121:164)180. Daniel2 Merrill (Nathaniel1), 1642-1717, Newbury and Salisbury, Mass.181. Sarah2 Clough (John1), Salisbury, Mass.182-183.--184. Onesiphorus2 Page (John1), 1642-1706, Hingham and Salisbury, Mass.185. Mary2 Hauxworth (Thomas1), 1641-1695, Salisbury, Mass.186-187. same as 180-181.188. Henry2 True (Henry1), 1645-living 1723, Salisbury, Mass.189. Jane2 Bradbury (Thomas1), Salisbury, Mass.190. John2 Tappan (Abraham1), 1651-1743, Salisbury, Mass.191. Martha2 Browne (James1), d. 1717192-193. same as 128-129194. Jacob2 Garland (James1), 1656-living 1731, Hampton, N.H.195. Rebecca2 Sears (Thomas1)196. Richard3 Cater (Richard2-1 ), d. by 1722, Newington, N.H.197. Elizabeth ___, living 1722198. Edward1 Peavey, ca. 1670-d. by 1720, Newington, N.H.199. Rachel ___, living 1720200-255. ---