Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

The children of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Brown) Fletcher of Cambridge Massachusetts were Mary Ann, Benjamin, William Alfred, and James or Joseph Fletcher. Last week I told you the saga of Benjamin Jr. in trying to determine the reason that Benjamin F. Fletcher, a 70 year old man and his wife Mary Ann would move clear across the country in 1871. (Click on underlined items to view record)

William Alfred Fletcher was born 10 April 1845 in Cambridge Massachusetts.

  • 1850 US Census for Cambridge listed an Alfred Fletcher 5 years old in Benjamin F. Fletcher’s household.
  • 1855 Mass State census list  William A. 12 years old with the Benjamin F. Fletcher family
  • 1860 US Census for Cambridge we find a A.W. Fletcher 18 years of age and a clerk living at home with the family.
  • 1864 William A. Fletcher marries Julia M. Small in Quincy Massachusetts.
  • 1865 Mass State census shows William and Julia living with his parents in Cambridge. William is listed as a clerk.
  • 1865 Cambridge City Directory list William A. Fletcher, baker,  bds at 99 Norfolk (with his parents).
  • 1870 US census finds William and Julia living with his parents in Lexington Massachusetts. William is listed as a farmer. William and Julia have 3 children shown, Marrietta 5, William F. 3, and Freddie B. 7/12.
  • 1880 US census finds William and Julia living within Lexington Massachusetts. William is listed as a R.R. Clerk. They have  4 children in their household. Mary E. 15, William F. 12, Freddie B. 10, and Alice M. 2.
  • 1900 US census finds William A. and Julia still in Lexington. At home with them are William F. 33, Alice M. 23, and Abby L 12. Williams occupation is listed as a Delivery Clerk B & M.
  • 23 April 1906 William A. Fletcher dies at the age of 64 years and 13 days, cause of death Heart disease, occupation is listed as a Delivery Clerk B & M R.R., parents listed as Benjamin F. Fletcher and Mary A. Brown.

James or Joseph Fletcher is born 14 Feb. 1848 in Cambridge. That would have been the same year that Mary Ann and Joseph Putnam’s daughter Mary Ellen Putnam was born.

  • 1850 US census lists James 3 years old.
  • There is no record of a Joseph or James after 1850
  • No death record has been found either.

Benjamin F. Fletcher (carpenter) and Mary A. had 3 grandchildren in Lexington in 1870 and 8 grandchildren in California.  Since Mary Ann and Benjamin’s only have two children living one in Lexington and the other in California. Did they decide that they would move out west to be there for their daughter who had a house full of children, rather then to stay in Cambridge where they had suffered with the loss of two of their children?

Most parents today do not seem to hesitate to move across country to be closer to their grandchildren but  in 1871 that would not have been an easy move. The only convenience was that the United States Transcontinental Railroad was completed May 10th 1869, making travel less arduous. Did William and his family travel west on the railroad to visit while his folks were still alive? Maybe he got a special rate working for the railroad.

That will close the book for now on the Fletchers as I change gears and start on the Francis Family.

 

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