Diadamia Amelia Taylor Gould 1873 – ? after 1940

Diadamia Taylor was born 1 February 1873 in Ayesford, Nova Scotia, the 8th child and first daughter of George William Taylor and Diadamia Hodges.  She joined older brothers John Howard, George Wesley, Fletcher C, Archibald C, Robert Whitfield (who died as an infant), Robert Freeman, and Richard Washington.  Her sister Martha was born 2 ½ years later.  Diadamia’s father was a farmer, and Baptist, but according to the 1881 census, her mother and all the children were Methodists.  They lived in the South part of Aylesford Township.

Diadamia’s father George died 25 January, 1882, when she was only 9.  She was listed as an heir of his, with middle initial “A”.

On 28 January, 1890, in Northborough, Massachusetts, Amelia Taylor, age 17, domestic, of Millville Nova Scotia, married Leonard Gould, 28, laborer, also of Millville.  Both were residents of Westborough MA at the time of the marriage.  Amelia’s parents were George and Damia (Hodges) Taylor and I am sure that Amelia is Diadamia.   She was actually a few days short of her 17th birthday.  Leonard’s sister Anna Laura had married Amelia’s brother Robert four years earlier.

James Leonard Gould was born about 1862 in Millville, NS, son of David Gould and Catherine Murphy.  David was a farmer, and the family was Methodist, according to the 1871 census.  In 1881, James worked as a servant for the family of Jonathan C Hodges, Amelia’s uncle.

Leonard and Amelia had three children, all born in Westborough, MA.  Ida Ramond was born 13 June 1892.  James Leonard Jr, was born 28 August 1894 but died five months later of bronchitis.  Milledge Leonard was born 8 Aug, 1898.  Leonard (the father) was always listed as a laborer, but the birth records did not specify the type of work.

The 1900 census lists the family at 26 Florence Street in Marlborough, MA.  Leonard’s occupation is listed as shoemaker (bottomer), and he listed his birthday as June 1864, which is two years off the age from the 1871 census.

It appears that Leonard and Amelia divorced sometime in the next few years.  In 1910, Amelia was listed as divorced, living at 54 Mechanic Street in Marlborough.  She had a boarder, but no family members living with her.  She worked as a stitcher in a shoe factory.  Daughter Ida had married Freeman George Ferguson in Halifax, NS in 1907, when she was just 15.  Ida’s son George was born ten months later, but died at age 6 weeks.  The 1910 census shows Ida and Freeman in Marlborough, where he worked as a sausage maker in a sausage factory, and Ida was a folder in a shoe factory.  Amelia’s son Milledge was 11, and boarding with sisters Fannie and Hattie Jennings in Thompson, Connecticut.  I do not know of any connection between Amelia and the Jennings sisters, who were sewers in a woolen mill.  Leonard moved back to Nova Scotia, and in 1911, was boarding with Aaron Hodges, his wife’s cousin.

The 1915 New York State Census lists Amelia’s son Milledge, age 15, as a prisoner at the New York House of Refuge, a juvenile reformatory on Randall Island, near Manhattan.  The “permanent address” listed on the census is 54 Mechanic Street, Marlborough, MA.  His occupation was listed as “school”.  Looking through the other names on the sheet, it appears that those 16 and under were in school, while the 17- and 18-year-olds had jobs or training such as bakery, waiter, tailoring, plumbing, or office work.  Milledge was the only person on that page not from New York, except for one from New Jersey.  I wonder how he ended up incarcerated so far from home, at such a young age.  Early stories from the reformatory dating back to the 1860s tell of a boy being whipped to the point that he died a few days later.  I hope that this reformatory had itself reformed by 1915.  It was still in use in the early 1930s, but the Island has been turned over to the NY Parks and the institution closed.

In 1919, Amelia’s ex-husband Leonard, calling himself a widower, married Grace Porter (widow of Ingersol Lightfoot).  They had a daughter Delia, born in 1920, and a stillborn daughter Jennie, born in 1923.  Grace married again in 1933, identifying herself as a widow, so Leonard apparently died between 1923 and 1933.

In 1920, Amelia lived at 98 Mechanic Street in Marlborough, boarding with an older lady.  She listed herself as divorced, and was a stitcher at a shoe factory.  I have not yet located Amelia’s daughter Ida in the 1920 census, but I suspect that she was separated or divorced by then, as Freeman and their son John were living in Nova Scotia with Freeman’s father, according to the 1921 Canada census.  Amelia’s son Milledge was living at 67 Fairmount in Marlborough, with his wife Margaret.  Both were shoemakers.  I have not further identified Margaret.

According to city directories, some time between 1925 and 1929, Amelia moved to Newark New Jersey.  She lived at 428 Plane, and listed herself as widow of Leonard J.  In today’s terms, it would have been more correct to say ex-spouse, but it is also possible that he had really died by 1929.  Amelia did not have an occupation listed.  Her son, Milledge, shoemaker, and daughter Mrs. Ida Ferguson also lived at 428 Plane.

In 1930, Amelia was listed in the census living in Newark.  The household included son Milledge, daughter Ida and her son John, and four unrelated boarders.  Milledge was a waiter in a restaurant and was listed as married, although no wife was listed.  Ida listed herself as widowed, but was actually divorced.  She worked as an operator at a dress factory (probably operating machines, not phones) and her son John, age 18, was a mechanic at a dress factory.

It appears that Milledge and Margaret might have had a daughter, Pearl, born about 1924 in Marlborough.  The 1930 census lists a person matching this description living at the Protestant Foster Home in Newark.  She is listed as “half orphan”.  This building was erected in 1875 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  The 1893 Newark City Directory says it “receives orphans, half orphans, and friendless children.”   A blog which shares stories of former residents says that (as of 1940) the life was very structured but children were never mistreated.  They attended school, church, did chores, and had play time.  I hope that Pearl found the living conditions to be as benevolent.

In 1940, Amelia’s family was together again, still living at 428 Plane.  Amelia was a housekeeper at a rooming house.  Milledge was a government worker (laborer) on a wood-cutting project, and his daughter Pearl lived with them (no occupation).  Ida’s son John and his wife Laura were also in the household.  John was a government worker (laborer) on the state highway.  Ida Ferguson was a packer in a factory that made drugs and creams.

I have not yet found death records for Amelia, her daughter Ida, nor her son Millege.  Ida’s ex-husband Freeman Ferguson apparently stayed in the Marlborough MA area, and died there in June 1967.  Their son John died in 1996 in Florida, but I don’t know what happened to John’s wife Laura.  I don’t know what happened to Millege’s wife Margaret, or their daughter Pearl.

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