Marion May Day

St. Paul Episcopal Church
Burlington, VT

John Henry Bowers


Marion May Day, my grandmother, married John Henry Bowers, at St. Paul Episcopal Church, Burlington, Vermont on December 2, 1903.  Why Vermont and how did this southern boy get there?

We can trace my grandmother's family back to the census of 1860, in Rouses Point, Clinton County, New York, which is right in the northeast corner of the state, bordered by Canada to the north and Vermont to the east. Several years ago Kevin and I took a genealogy vacation, and traveled to Rouses Point, St Albans, and then Burlington, Vermont.

The most distant ancestor we found was Amos W. Newport and his wife Rebecca H. Newport in the1860 census for Rouses Point, Clinton County, New York.  Amos was 31, born in Virginia, Rebecca 21, born in Pennsylvania.  They had 1 daughter, Evangelin, age 1. Amos was a day laborer.  There is also the Franklin & Clinton County Directory for 1862-63, and Amos Newport is listed twice, once as "hairdresser', and a second as "painter" - unusual combination unless Rebecca was the hairdresser!

We learned that Rouses Point was the last "station" on the underground railroad. My aunt Ida believed that Rebecca had lived or been raised by Quakers, and perhaps they met on Amos' way north through Pennsylvania.  The census doesn't give the wife's maiden name, and there is no other record of it, which makes researching her line almost impossible.  There is a Rebecca Hay, age 9, mulatto, listed as living with her family in the 1850 census for Springfield Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.  Could the Rebecca "H." stand for Hay? We need more proof to determine whether this is "our" Rebecca.

Next they appear in the 1870 census for Rouses Point. Rebecca H. Newport, age 26, seamstress, laundress, keeping house, born Pennsylvania.  Rebecca must have been very light skinned, as it is obvious that the census take first entered "W" under color, and then wrote "B" over it. Mulatto, like Rebecca Hay?

The following children are listed:
          Eva M., age 11, black
          Ida E., age 9, black
          Charles J., age 3 black
          George D., age 1, black

We do not have a 1870 census record for Amos.  We think that he had already moved across Lake Champlain to St. Albans, Vermont for work.

The records of the St. Paul's Methodist Church record that Amos Newport was a member, and that Rev. A. C. Stevens married Ida Newport to Charles Day, at the home of her father, Amos Newport, on Water Street, in St. Albans on October 15, 1878.

The 1880 census for St. Albans, Vermont has A. W. Newport, age 49, black, painter, with his wife Rebecca H., age 36, black, keeping house, and their children:

        Charles, age 13, black
        Nellie, age 8, black
        Henery, age 4, black.

The 1880 census for St. Albans reads:

Day, Charles, Black, Male, 22 years old, unemployed 7 months this year, born in Vermont, father born Vermont, mother born Canada. Wife Ida, Black, Female,18 years old, born in New York, father born in Virginia, mother born in Pennsylvania. Daughter Mabel, Black, Female, 1 year old, born Vermont, father born Vermont, mother born New York

1886 St. Albans City Directory lists A.W. Newport, a laborer, living on Lassel Street, near Water Street.

1886 St. Albans City Directory lists Mrs. Ida Day, living on Lassel Street near Water Street.

The 1900 census for St Albans, living at 10 Newton Street:

Day, Charles, Black, Male, age 40, born Jun 1859, married 22 years, and that his mother was born in Vermont and his father was born in England , occupation as teamster. Wife Ida, Black Female, age 38, born May 1862, married 22 years, total children born as of now 3, children living 2. Daughter Marion, Black Female, age 16, born May 1849 in Vermont, father born Vermont, mother born New York.