Scituate, Rhode Island, USA, Registers.

+2 votes
Could I ask for a little help from someone with access to the Scituate Registers, Please.

Anna Atwood, born in Scituate, year not known, parents not known, wed to Jonathan Knight Fiske at Scituate on 11th Jan 1850.

I have no references of sources for these, or their respective parents, no dates, location, of their birth or death registrations, anything you can offer to shed light upon these would be very helpful.
in Genealogy Help by Tim Perry G2G6 Mach 2 (28.6k points)

3 Answers

+3 votes

That marriage on 11 January 1850 was not her first marriage. She is recorded as "Mrs. Anna Atwood."

There's also a record for a marriage in Scituate on 24 April 1839 of Abraham Atwood to Anne Fiske. I wonder if that was the same woman (but I've not seen any record for the birth of an Anne/Anna/Ann Fiske or death of an Abraham Atwood in the right time period).

Both of the marriage records are from Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1850 - Town and Church Records (V.1-V.12). (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014), Originally Published as: Vital record of Rhode Island 1636-1850: First Series: births, marriages and deaths: a family register for the people, by James N. Arnold. Providence, RI: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company.  Providence County - V3, PAGE 3-6.

Hmm... The husband's name is "Jonathan R. Fiske" on the Atwood page of the records that I linked to above, but it's "Jonathan K. Fiske" on the Fiske page at (V3, p. 3-15)

by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (949k points)
edited by Ellen Smith
Do you have any idea how old this person was? There's a cemetery listing at Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index (on for Glenford Cemetery in Scituate: FISKE JONATHAN K 1788c - 30 JAN 1857
+3 votes

This will require more research on your part.  Her gravestone has her age but it is obscured. Death in 1843 vs age 43y.

Jonathan Knight Fiske's grave has parent information, however, that would require confirmation: 

And the Fisk/Fiske Genealogy lists different parents for him: See:

For marriage of Abraham Atwood to Anna Fiske. and marriage of Mrs. Anna Atwood to Jonathan R. Fiske.   See: (p. 6)  Scituate marriages at:


by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (616k points)
edited by Chris Hoyt
Nice finds. Note that there are multiple people of the same name here. The woman who died in 1843 isn't the one that Jonathan married in 1850.
I'm not sure the info on findagrave is correct.  It looks like she could have died at 43y(?years  x d(ays), from what can be seen of the stone.  OR '43' being the year of her death.

The story I'm seeing (not fully supported by sources, but at least it is fully consistent with all the sources I've seen) is that:

  • Jonathan Fiske married a woman named Anna (last name unknown)
  • Abraham Atwood married Anne Fiske in 1839.
  • Mrs. Anna (Unknown) Fiske (wife of Jonathan) died in 1843.
  • Abraham Atwood died in 1845.
  • Mrs. Anne/Anna (Fiske) Atwood, the widow of Abraham Atwood, married Jonathan Fiske (widower) in 1850.
  • Jonathan Fiske died in 1857.
  • The fate of Mrs. Anne/Anna (Fiske) Atwood Fiske is not known.
+3 votes

Here's another one to confuse the mess:

Source: "Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Jonathan K Fiske, 30 Jan 1857; citing Scituate, Providence, Rhode Island, reference p5; FHL microfilm 941,154.


  Jonathan K Fiske
Gender Male
Death Date 30 Jan 1857
Death Place Scituate, Providence, Rhode Island
Age 68
Birth Date 1789
Father's Name John Fiske
Mother's Name Rebecca
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (616k points)
It certainly is confusing. So I have Jonathan Fiske, born 1789, died 1857, son of John & Rebecca, or the son of John, born 1738, and with  Barbara Brown as his mother.

If Anna was wed twice, would she not be shown as 'widow' on her second marriage ?

Looks like these have to remain un-sourced for the time, until positive proof can be found.

In the UK, Parish Registers are in the public domain, public property, so they are freely available. It is not lawful for anyone to make disclosure charges.
Sometimes widows are identified as "widow" in subsequent marriage records in New England, but this is by no means universal. Different clerks had different styles and customs, and the styles and customs changed over time.

I think the inclusion of the title "Mrs." on these records has meaning. Of the approximately 50 marriages on the page that includes the Atwood marriages, she is the only bride identified as "Mrs." There is also one bride described as "widow."
For future reference, the profiles you created include and
Thanks to everyone who has tried to help.

The records do seem to be in a terrible mess.

I think I will leave well alone, until someone can resolve it.

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