July 24, 2013

1930 James Lowery of Utica WIDOWED … or not ?

In researching the Watson family of Utica, NY I was tracing Alice Watson, the only child of  William L. Watson and Alice G. Parkinson, born in 1890. Alice married Utica native James Lincoln Lowery in 1911.

In the 1920 census Alice and James were living at 392 Genesee Street in Utica with 2 young children.  In the 1930 census I found James and the children living at 270 Genesee Street in the household of Lucy C. Watson (sister of Alice’s father William) and James is listed as WIDOWED.  So I searched for Alice’s death or burial record without success – Utica Newspapers, findagrave, familysearch, other trees – not found.

Later while focusing on her son Watson Lowery, I found his 1985 death notice in a Clinton, NY newspaper, and it listed his parents as James Lowery and Alice Watson DOOLITTLE !!  What ??      Maybe she didn’t die between 1920 and 1930.

Going further, I found that Alice had indeed remarried in 1922 to Ebenezer Doolittle also of Utica.  They raised two daughters, living in Boston and summering in Maine. Her first husband James remarried in 1931 and lived until 1954. Alice died in 1961; her husband Eben outlived her by 24 years.

This is not the first time I have encountered a census record listing marital status as widowed when in fact the other party had left and/or remarried.  So keep that in mind if you encounter it in your research.


  1. The grave of Alice Watson Doolittle is in Forest Hill Cemetery Utica, NY..Here is the Find A Grave Link http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=doolittle+&GSiman=1&GScid=64565&GRid=91914740&

  2. Ebenezer Doolittle (Alice Watson's husband) is buried next to her: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=doolittle+&GSiman=1&GScid=64565&GRid=91914740&