On Wednesday, we went up the coast to Maine. Our destination: the seaside town of Bath, where my great great great grandfather, Lewis Kingsbury, lived. According to Bath Families in the 19th Century by Alfred T. Holt and Lewis's obituary in the Bath Daily Times, Lewis was born in 1821 in Quebec. He moved to Bath as a young man, and worked at Bath Iron Works as a seaman and laborer. Lewis died on September 30, 1897, and is buried in the sprawling Oak Grove Cemetery in Bath. The grave marker names only Lewis and his wife, Mary L. Ambrose (1825 – December 2, 1901), but other family members are also buried in the family plot: their son Alexander (July 8, 1863 – May 13, 1942) and several grandchildren.
Lewis Kingsbury is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Bath, Maine, alongside his wife, one child and several grandchildren. Not too far away is another Kingsbury family plot, where Lewis's son Frederick is buried with his wife and two children.
I have been unable to determine the heritage of Lewis Kingsbury. Family legend says that he was not born with the surname Kingsbury. One version claims that he believed he was responsible for the death of a man at sea, and so jumped ship and changed his name. Another version says that he was descended from a Frenchman whose name was anglicized to “Kings” and eventually “Kingsbury.”
My great great grandfather, Frederick Kingsbury, who also spent his life in Bath and was employed at the Iron Works as a riveter, is buried in a separate family plot in Oak Grove, alongside his wife May Florence Wainwright (August 17, 1864 – August 21, 1937), daughter of Joseph Henry Wainwright (November 18, 1832 – August 18, 1899) of Hamilton Parish, Bermuda. Frederick and May were married on December 21, 1891, in Belgrade, and had three children: my great grandfather Earl Wainwright (June 23, 1897 – October 24, 1970), Beatrice M. (stillborn on February 7, 1902), and “Charlie” (July 1899 – April 26, 1904). Also buried in the plot, according to cemetery records, is Annie E. Vincent (who died on November 19, 1931 at age 70) – I’m not sure what her connection to the family is.
Fred & May Kingsbury at home in Bath, Maine.