The Joshua Dodge Sargent Family, C 1899

Standing left to right:
Hannah, James and Jessie.
Seated left to right:
Mary Elizabeth, mother Mary,
father Joshua, and Robert.
Seated in the front
to the right is Jay.

The purpose of this site is to share Sargent family history through pictures, journals and letters starting with the family of Joshua and Mary Sargent of Alton, Maine and moving backward in time through prior generations.The descendants of Joshua and Mary Sargent are flung far and wide, and this is an easy way to share family history.

Mary Butman Sargent and Joshua Dodge Sargent

Family Stories

1860 Maine Census with Watson B. Sargent listed

In our family when someone leaves a family gathering without saying goodbye, we say,

"He pulled a Watson."

We speak his name as if he lived a short time ago, but Watson B. Sargent was born around 1840. If you click on the 1860 census record above, you will see Watson listed along with some of his siblings. Here we are more than 150+ years later, speaking his name to describe present day family behavior. Apparently Uncle Watson, the older brother of Joshua Dodge Sargent pictured at that top of this blog, had a habit of arriving to visit without sending word. Herbert E. Sargent remembered that his grandmother Mary would see Watson coming up the road, suitcase in hand and say, "Here comes Watson." Watson would come to stay for a visit, and then without saying goodbye to the family he was visiting would head off down the road, suitcase in hand. Grandmother Mary would say, "There goes Watson."

My father sent me an email today relating a story he had heard about Mary Butman Sargent's brother James P. Butman. I asked his permission to post it here, along with the obituary he mentions. Click the obituary to enlarge it.

Morning Dixie,
Yesterday I filed some things away in the "Archives", and came across James P. Butman's obituary of 1920. Therein it mentions his sailing days and voyages. He did not go to sea until 1868 at the age of 20, and went on a voyage of more than two years, which resulted in him attaining the rank of "first mate". He then went as mate on the bark Investigator for two years, this vessel being commanded by his uncle Capt. James Ford. In 1873 he took his own command as captain of The Homeward Bound, "and from then until 1880 he was in the North Atlantic trade". "After 1880 he voyaged mainly to the Far East,...".
Mary Foster Butman married Joshua in December of 1878. "Tradition" has told us that Mary "sailed around the world" with her brother, as stated in the Introduction to Mary (Butman) Sargent's Journal -1927-28. According to James' obituary he was only in the North Atlantic trade until 1880, so probably Mary only made it to European and Caribbean ports if she sailed with him.
William Butman, her father, gave up the sea in 1861, when Mary was only 16. I believe his schooner, William Butman, was only engaged in the Coastal trade down into Caribbean and to coastal U.S. ports.
On another matter, it is well known that sea captains often encountered very treacherous conditions as they sailed around the world, and often their natural stubbornness was all that allowed them to proceed through the storms. Herbert E. Sargent liked to tell of family stubbornness by a story passed down from his elders. It seems that Captain Butman came up to the Alton Farm to visit one weekend, driving his horse and carriage all the way from Searsport. After he said his goodbyes to leave, his carriage wheel got caught behind the gate post when he turned onto the old road. He did not stop long, or even try to back up, but he put the whip to the horse and the post was torn down. That story of his great uncle's stubbornness stayed with Herbert, and possibly allowed him to proceed at times where others wouldn't.
I am attaching a copy of James' obituary, and copying this to others who might be interested.

No comments:

Post a Comment

New information is always welcome that bears light on the Sargents in Alton, the Sargents in Monroe and prior generations. If you have letters, pictures or other information that you think may bear light on Joshua and Mary Sargent or prior generations of Sargents in Maine, please


click here to email me

Dixie Sargent Redmond