52 Ancestors #6: Surprise: A New Record for Amy Beulah Perkins

I’m a little behind in the 52 Ancestors challenge, but am working to catch up. The topic for Week #6 is Surprise, and originally I had planned on writing about my father’s biological father, but that post will have to wait as we received a brand new piece of information about my paternal great-grandmother, Amy Beulah Perkins.

I’ve previously written that we have not been able to locate her in any record after her daughter’s birth, allegedly on January 8, 1911 (see Week #2). No death record, no marriage records, she’s not listed on any census records, and I couldn’t find her listed in any city directories after 1910, until this week.

My father and I are working to complete our Mayflower Society Descendant Application, and they require birth, death and marriage certificates for ancestors. A few weeks ago, we sent away to the Rhode Island State Archives for death records for Amy Beulah Perkins and her father, Charles L. Perkins. We knew when and where Charles died, but we have never been able to find a death record for Amy.

Earlier this week, we received a response from the state of Rhode Island which stated they found and sent along the death certificate for Charles L. Perkins, but they were unable to locate a death record for Amy which is what we expected. However, they did find another record for Amy Beulah Perkins which made our jaws drop–a marriage certificate for Amy Beulah Perkins to a man named Charles Edward Westgate, that occurred on April 7, 1911, in Bristol, Rhode Island. This was a complete surprise to us as it’s the first time we’ve been able to confirm in a vital record that Amy was still living after the birth of her daughter Thelma in January of 1911.

Amy Perkins_Charles Westgate

Since receiving this incredible wonderful surprise record about Amy Perkins, my father and I have been frantically searching for any records for Amy Westgate (nee Perkins). It’s still early in our search, but we’ve come up empty so far.

I was able to locate Charles E. Westgate listed in the 1912 city directory of Fall River, MA, and he was listed as ‘removed to New York City.’ I was also able to locate another marriage record for Charles Westgate in 1932 to another woman, and his marital status was listed as ‘divorced’ at the time of his second marriage. It’s as if Amy drops off the face of the earth after 1911 and once again, we are left with the same question, what happened to Amy Beulah Perkins?

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