Saturday, December 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #48 Mark Samuel Leighton (1885-1970)

Mark Samuel Leighton, my great grandfather, was born on this date in 1885 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the second child of Enoch Oscar Morse Leighton and Lillian Brackley, and their only son.

By the time Mark was 14 years old, in the 1900 Census, he was living on Sherwood Street, in Portland, Maine, with his mother, his older sister Maud, his grandmother, Mattie Crilley, and a 16-year old cousin, Alice Lovell (transcribed as Lover), the daughter of his aunt Louisa.

Five years later, the two first cousins, Mark and Alice found it necessary to marry, as Alice was expecting a child. They traveled to Berlin, New Hampshire, to do so.

The marriage appears to have been simply a formality, to legitimize my grandmother's birth. Mark did not stay with Alice, but instead seems to have had a desire to abandon his daughter Mattie Louise, who was born January 5, 1906. He was listed in the 1910 Portland (Me.) City Directory, a carpenter on the Grand Trunk Railroad, as having moved to Winnipeg, Canada.

Once in Canada, Mark became a Canadian citizen, and went to work for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. After a few years, he appears to have reconsidered, and filed a Declaration of Intent to become a U.S. Citizen, but he never followed through with it.

He did, however, return to the States in time to serve in the United States Navy during World War I. He remained stateside, serving on ships in Boston and Hingham, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. 

After the war, he married Corrinnabelle Hicks, another Navy veteran, in Durham, Maine, on May 21, 1921. Together, Mark and Corrinna had four daughters and a son:

Merlyn, b. 1923
Arlene, b. 1927
Jeannette, b. 1928
Bertha "Betty", b. 1933
Donald, b. 1940

Mark, Corrinna, and their family settled in the Durham, Maine, area, with Mark working at various carpentry jobs. During the Depression, he worked for the WPA. According to his obituary, he was also a shipfitter at the Bath Iron Works.

Sometime in the 1960's, Corrinna extended an invitation to my grandmother and my father's young family. I have a memory of attending a large summer gathering as a child, of meeting Corrinna, but not my great grandfather. Perhaps this was some kind of reconciliation, since, up to that time, my grandmother had not been acknowledged as a half-sister. Being almost 20 years older, she was often referred to as "Aunt Mattie."

Mark passed away on July 7, 1970, at the VA Hospital (Togus), in Augusta, Maine, and is buried next to his wife Corrinna, in the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Augusta.


1900 US Census; Census Place: Portland, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: 591; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1240591.

1920 US Census; Census Place: Portland Ward 9, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: T625_640; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 62; Image: 1020.

1930 US Census; Census Place: Falmouth, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: 830; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 355.0; FHL microfilm: 2340565.

1940 US Census; Census Place: Durham, Androscoggin, Maine; Roll: T627_1469; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1-21., Maine Military Men, 1917-1918 (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2000),, Database online.. Record for Mark S. Leighton. New Hampshire, Marriage Records Index, 1637-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Maine Department of Health and Welfare, certificate of death 70-05916 (1970), Mark Samuel Leighton;  Office of Vital Records, Augusta.

“Maine, Marriage Records, 1705-1922,” : accessed 20 Jan 2013), marriage record image, Mark Samuel Leighton and Corrinnabelle Hicks, 21 May  1921.

"Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 December 2014), Mark Samuel Leighton, 11 Jun 1917; citing Military Service, United States, State Archives, Augusta.

Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll #: 33.

Mark S Leighton tombstone,  Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta (Kennebec County), Maine; photographed by Pamela Schaffner on 22 August 2011.

“Mark S. Leighton,” obituary, Portland (Maine) Press Herald, 9 July 1970.

Mark Samuel Leighton declaration of intention (1916), naturalization file no. 1470, District of Maine.

Marriage certificate, prepared by Isabella S. Macduff, Clergyman. September 24, 1905. Berlin, New Hampshire.

National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2006),, Database online.. Record for Mark Samuel Leighton.

"New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Oct 2013), Mark Leighton and Alice N. Lovell and , 1905.


This is the 48th in a series, “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks,” coordinated by Amy Johnson Crow at

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