Monday, March 10, 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 Benjamin Bishop Bustin (1879-1975)

Benjamin Bishop Bustin, my great grand uncle, was born on this date in 1879 in Mechanic Settlement, New Brunswick, Canada, the sixth of nine children born to Samuel James Bustin and Mary Ross and their fourth son.

In the 1901 Census of Canada, he was listed as the head of the family, which, at that time, consisted of himself and his five brothers (Alexander, Stephen, Thomas, Walter, and Fred and a sister Harriet). Their father had died in 1897, but their mother lived until 1904, according to her headstone. It is unclear where their mother lived in 1901.

Following his older married sister, Annie, and his younger brother, Tom, he came to the States in 1902, at the age of 31, and moved into 430 Stevens Avenue in Portland, Maine.

By the 1910 U.S. Census, Annie had been widowed, having lost her husband three years before.

Two months after the census was taken in April, Ben married Agnes Rachel Hamilton, a 20 year old house servant for the Hayden family at 360 Woodfords Street in Portland. Nessie, as she was known, happened to be the sister of Ben's brother Fred's wife (Fred and Melvina had married in Portland in 1907). The sisters were born in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ben and Nessie had two children, Harry, born in 1910, and Caroline (known as Carrie), born in 1913.

Ben Bustin and Family

In the 1920 Census, Uncle Ben was listed as an Engine-wiper for the Steam Railroad, and in the 1930 Census, he was listed as a Watchman in the Roundhouse. He undoubtedly worked for the Maine Central Railroad, probably at the Rigby Yard.

In the 1940 Census, he was living with his married daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Carrie Horton, having lost Nessie the year before.

I remember being taken to visit Uncle Ben in a sparse apartment in the Six Links Building on Bishop Street in Morrill's Corner in Portland, Maine.

He resided in a nursing home on Rt. 302 in Windham, Maine, in his final years. He passed away there on February 24, 1975, at the age of 95. He is buried beside Nessie in Pine Grove Cemetery, in Falmouth, Maine.


The Bustin-Hamilton ties were further bound, when brother Tom married Catherine "Cassie" Margaret Hamilton in 1918, being the third Bustin brother to marry a third Hamilton sister. The romantic tale was poetically, if not accurately, retold by the Portland Evening Express newspaper on July 2, 1910, a transcript of which can be found at the above tab.


1901 Census of New Brunswick, Elgin, Albert County, Benj. Bustin, transcribed digital image, Automated Genealogy ( : accessed 9 March 2014).

1910 U.S. Census; Census Place: Portland Ward 9, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: T624_539; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 1374552, Benjamin B Bustin.

1910 U.S. Census; Census Place: Portland Ward 6, Cumberland,Maine; Roll: T624_539; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0094; FHL microfilm: 1374552, Agnes Hamilton.

1920 U.S. Census; Census Place: Portland Ward 9, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: T625_640; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 59; Image: 907, Benjamin B Bustin.

1930 U.S. Census; Census Place: Portland, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: 831; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0080; Image: 878.0; FHL microfilm: 2340566, Benjamin Bustin.

1940 U.S. Census; Census Place: Portland, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: T627_1476; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 3-112, Benjamin B Burton.

"New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 May 2012), Benjamin B. Bustin and Agnes R. Hamilton, 1910.

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