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Mary Peare

Death 22 Nov 1857
Leeds, Androscoggin County, Maine, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 100095248 · View Source
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There are no records to indicate where Mary was buried, however there is ample evidence she was related to the Peares of buried at the West Leeds cemetery. At the time of her death, Mary was an "inmate" of the Leeds "town farm" (aka poor farm).

In 1855 Leeds discontinued the practice of paying area residents to care for the town paupers. It established a town farm, called Almshouse, which had been located in the center of Leeds near the current recycling center. On November 25, 1857 the town farm burned. On page 273, the Leeds town history says that "Mary A. Bridgham and Mary Pease lost their lives" in this fire. The following account was published in the Lowell [Mass.] Daily Citizen and News: "The poor-house in Leeds, Me., was burned on the night of the 25th, and two girls perished in the flames. The fire is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary." There are no additional records in Leeds on the nature of this fire.

Mary Ann Bridgham is easily identified, as she is the same Mary Ann Bridgham listed in the town history on page 366 as the daughter of Dr. Thomas Bridgham, who died on this date.

Mary "Pease's" identity has been harder to pin down due to errors and gaps in records. The original Leeds town records say that on November 25, 1857 Mary "Perie" was burned to death. No other information was offered. The record has the date 1859 written off to the side, as if it was added later. The 1859 date was submitted to the state, so Mary Perie's her online death record appears under that date. It is clear that the name "Pease" in the town history was a transcription error.

The name surname "Perie" was a common variation of the surname Peare. All of the Peares buried at the West Leeds Cemetery are descended from James Peare Jr. and Phebe Hatch, who settled in Greene in the early 1800s. For some reason the Peares who migrated to Leeds spelled their name with a number of variations. This is most easily demonstrated looking at the records of Moses B. Peare. On the 1858 land ownership map he is listed as "M. Peare," whereas on the 1873 map he is listed as "M. B. Perea. Vital and census records list him as having the surname Perie and Pearie. Land ownership maps also list a "C. Perry," who was likely Charles Peare. All of these variations suggest that originally the surname Peare was a two-syllable name. However, all of the gravestones for this family use the Peare spelling variation.

On the 1850 census, exactly one line above Moses B. Perea, was listed 18-year-old Mary Perea. She had been living in the household of Benjamin and Martha (Peare) Grant. Some records for Martha spelled her maiden name as Perie. That year Mary was not listed as having a profession (such as servant or keeping house), and she also had not attended school that year.

It is clear that Mary was in some way related to the West Leeds Peares, and she was likely a granddaughter of James Peare Jr. and Phebe Hatch. However, just where she fits on the family tree is unknown.


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  • Created by: amyinleeds
  • Added: 3 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100095248
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Peare (unknown–22 Nov 1857), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100095248, ; Maintained by amyinleeds (contributor 47399796) Unknown.