I had a different subject for “R” planned out but as many of you know things in genealogy just pop up and demand attention. So today I’m going to talk a little about Rachel Flanders.
While I was searching for the parents and origin of Louise Bergen who married Uriah Flanders I decided maybe it was time to look at the husband. In the 1850 Census Uriah is the head of house. He’s living with a Rachel Flanders, John Flanders and a family by the last name of Collins.
I assumed maybe that was his first wife. After more research I learned that Uriah had an older sister named Rachel. She was only about two years older than Uriah. The Rachel listed above is 4 years older. I still strongly believe that this Rachel (above) is his sister. The John Flanders listed is his younger brother I know for a fact.
In the following census records I found Rachel living with John. Uriah has moved on to live with his now wife Louise. Below is the 1870 Census of Rachel and John, living with his wife Julia.
So is it safe to assume that this Rachel listed in 1850 is his sister? Does the 2 year age difference matter? I haven’t been able to find another marriage record for Uriah other than the one to Louise. Nor have I been able to find the birth record for Rachel. The information I have on her comes from the book “Flanders from Europe to America.”
Whether Rachel was Uriah’s first wife or she was his sister, I think it’s safe to say that she has my attention now and I want to find out more about her.
There are a few ancestors on my family tree that I feel a special connection to. My 2nd great grandmother Aimee is one, but Mrs. Flanders even more so.
Mrs. Flanders was born Louisa Marie Bergen on 25 May 1837. Her birth place as listed in her death record is England. However on the three census records I have from her married years she’s listed as coming from Ireland and her parents are from England. On one of her children’s marriage record it also states she’s from England. She married Uriah Flanders and had her first child in 1853.
Where do I go from here? I’ve searched on both Ancestry and Family Search for any kind of immigration papers or birth record, marriage record, anything on her besides the death and census records I have. The problem is that I have no idea when she came to the US or from where. I am almost certain that her last name was not Bergen, but possibly another spelling sounding the same. There is a page from the book “The Flanders family from Europe to America” that says her last name is listed as Bergenbeth in the NH vital records. Since I don’t live in the Northeast I have no way of getting the truth of that statement.
What I do know is that if she did in fact come from the United Kingdom sometime in the mid 1800s that was around the time of the Great Potato famine. I am very interested in knowing her story and whether she got out before and if she traveled with her parents. For now the elusive Mrs. Flanders has gotten the best of me, but I will find out her story one day and I have a feeling it will be a great one!
Below are the Death Record and the excerpt from the book. If you have any tips on where I can go from here please let me know.