Going through the three pages of names, I decided to research each family in the order they appear on the list, and try to determine just how they are related to each other and to me. This required searching a number of different genealogical sites and sources, as many of the families were unfamiliar to me.

As I get further into the list of names, I am finding more and more Grant and Lilley family members that are related to my Gardner family. Unfortunately it still hasn’t answered my question as to why my Grandparents LeRoy and Nancy would have the photograph displayed in such a prominent place in their sitting room. The search continues…

16. Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Grant & daughter

The next family on the Guest List is “Mr & Mrs. Arthur Grant & daughter of Smyrna, Aroostook County.” Arthur Walker Grant was the 13th child born to George Washington and Alice Maud (McGinley) Grant. He would be the second son named Arthur born to the couple, his older brother Arthur having only lived eight months. Like his siblings, Arthur is listed on Ancestry.com as the Uncle of the wife of my 2nd cousin 2x removed.

Arthur Walker Grant was born on 8th of February 1899 on the family farm in Oakfield, Aroostook County, Maine. He will first appear on the 1900 US Federal Census as a 1 year old. Like his siblings before him, he would remain in the Oakfield area for much of his life. With the death of his father in 1918, Arthur would move with his mother and siblings to the nearby town of Smyrna, where on the 23rd of January 1920, Arthur would marry his first wife, Edna Alice Fitzgerald. Edna was the daughter of James F. Fitzgerald and Cora S. Perkins. They would have one child, daughter Jeanice Arline Grant, who was born 28th of July 1921. The one-year-old would attend the Grant & Lilley Family Reunion with her parents.

17. Miss Geneve Grant

“Miss Geneve Grant, the 32-year-old, unmarried daughter of George Washington and Alice Maud (McGinley) Grant is the 17th name found on the guest list for the Grant / Lilley Family Reunion. Like her brother listed above, she is related to me as the Aunt of my 2nd cousin 2x removed.

Alice Geneve Grant was born in Oakfield, Aroostook County on the Grant family farm on 19th of December 1889. She is found with her family on both the 1900 and 1910 US Federal Censuses. On the 1900 US Census, she is listed as Alice G. and is listed as a student, who attended school for 5 months of the year. On the 1910 US Census, Geneve is listed as Geneve A. Most likely this is to distinguish her from her mother, Alice.

Unlike her siblings, she did not remain with the family on the farm. The1910 US Federal Census shows that the 31-year-old Alice was living with Harry and Beaumont Marley and their two children as a live-in servant. (Note: Harry and his family will appear on the Reunion list a bit later.)

I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Grant attended the reunion with her mother and siblings or with her employer and his family?

18. Mr. & Mrs. G. F. Lilley

The next family named on the Reunion list is “Mr & Mrs. G. F. Lilley of Island Falls.” This was another of the challenges I faced in my research, as there are a number of G. Lilleys living in the area. However. it turns out that G. F. Lilley is in fact George Frederick Lilley. He was the second husband of my 2nd Great-Grandaunt Nellie Orend Gardner. This is one of my strongest connections with the Lilley Family, as Nellie was the younger sister of my 2nd Great Grandfather, John Henry Gardner.

George Frederick Lilley was born on 11th of June 1848 in New Brunswick, Canada the 2nd son and third child of James E. Lilley and Elizabeth Jane Grant. The Grant family emigrated from Canada to Aroostook County, Maine sometime between 1848 and 1850. By the 1850 US Federal Census, they can be found living in Linneus, Aroostook County. George’s brother Samuel and his wife Hannah are living on the farm next door.

The 1860 US Federal Census shows that the family is still living in Linneus and the family having grown to seven children. By 1864 and the birth of the families eighth child, Lizzie V., the family had moved to Dyer Brook, Aroostook County. But the family didn’t remain in Dyer Brook for very long, because the 1970 US Federal Census shows that the family has moved to Township 5, which would shortly change it’s name to Merrill Plantation. Just before the Census was taken, the Lilley’s nineth and final child, Effie T., was born.

Meanwhile, in Township 6, Nellie Orend (Gardner) Keith, newly widowed, is living with her parents, brothers and sisters and 5 year-old son, George.

Nellie Orend Gardner was born on 19th of October 1844 in Corunna, Penobscot County, Maine, the eldest daughter and 3rd child of George Washington and Tabitha (Roberts) Gardner. The Gardner family would move from Penobscot County to Waldo County by 1860 and would then relocate to Township 6, Aroostook County by 1870.

Unlike George, Nellie was married twice. Her first marriage, to Isaiah B. Keith, occurred on 28th of August 1865 in Smyrna Mills, Aroostook. Isaiah was the son of Samuel Stillman and Thankful N. (Ellis) Keith. They would remain in the Smyrna Mills area until Isaiah’s untimely death on the 27th of October, 1870. Their son, George was born 17 Nov 1865.

Although an exact date has not yet been found, George Frederick and Nellie Orend were married in 1871/1872. Their daughter Edith M. was born in November 1872. Four more children were born to George and Nellie; Ray O., Guy Raphael, Merle Ainsley, and an unnamed infant that did not survive.

The Lilley family remained in the Merrill, Aroostook area for the remainder of their lives, as seen on the 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 US Federal Censuses As all of the children were married and living separate lives by the time of the Family Reunion. They do not appear to have attended with their parents.

19. Mr. & Mrs. John Stephenson

The next family on the Grant / Lilley Reunion Guest list is “Mr. and Mrs. John Stephenson of Houlton.” Mrs. Stephenson is the connection to the Grant and Lilley families, as she is the daughter of Chelsey O. Grant and Frances Lilley. Ancestry.com states that she is the paternal first cousin of the husband of my 2nd Great-Grandaunt. In other words, she is the cousin of George F. Lilley, on her father’s side.

Lucy A. Grant was born on the 18th of January 1858. Based on the different vital records found for her, she could have been born either in New Brunswick or Maine. She was the 6th child and 4th daughter of Chelsey and Frances Grant.

When examining the Federal Census for Lucy and her family, you will find that they appeared to migrate across the US-Canadian boarder multiple times. According to the US Federal Census, a number of Lucy’s older siblings were born in Maine, while a few of the younger ones were born in New Brunswick, Canada.

Lucy’s father Chelsey Grant was a farmer all of his life, and his daughter Lucy would continue to live on a farm with both her parents, and then with her husband for a total of approximately 45 years. Lucy A. Grant married John Stephenson, son of John and Anne (Ervin) Stephenson on 26th of March 1879. John was an immigrant who arrived in Canada and then crossed the border into Maine at the age of 3 on 1856 from his native Ireland. The family relocated in Littleton, Aroostook, Maine where they would remain the rest of their lives. After their marriage, John and Lucy remained in the Littleton area. It wasn’t until the 1920 US Federal Census do you find that the Stephenson family relocated to Houlton, Aroostook, Maine, upon the retirement of John from active farming. John and Lucy did not have any children.

None of Lucy’s siblings appear on the Guest List, and it appear that the couple attended the Family Reunion alone.

20. Miss Ina Hand

When I read the name “Miss Ina Hand of Houlton,” who is next on the guest list, I was quite baffled. The last name of Hand had not come up in any of my previous research of my mom’s family. So when I found Ina on the 1920 US Federal Census and read that her occupation was “Assistant in Photo Studio”, I figured she was just there to help the photographer. It was quite obvious by the photo that hung on my grandparents wall, that a professional photographer was used for the full gathering shot.

Looking for a connection to Ina and the Grant and/or Lilley families took some time. At the time of the reunion, she was simply the assistant to Oscar B. Porter, a professional photographer, based in Houlton. He was also the husband of Emily Inez (Robinson) Porter, who was related to the Lilley family through her 2nd cousin Lewis Leavitt, who was the husband of Pauline (Soule) Leavitt, who was the sister-in-law of Ray O. Lilley, the son of Nellie O. (Gardner) Lilley, my 2nd Great-Grandaunt.

It was after the reunion, but on 31st of May 1926, Ina Ellen Hand married Oscar B. Porter, linking her to me as the 2nd wife of the husband of 2nd cousin of husband of sister-in-law of the 1st cousin 3x removed.