Monday, March 8, 2010

Introducing the Ancestors - Ferdinand Albert (1864-1929)

Ferdinand Albert was the father of August ("Gus") Albert. He was born in Caraquet, New Brunswick (more information on Caraquet) and made his way to Westbrook to work in the mills like so many of our ancestors. In 1900, he was thirty-five living on Winslow Lane, and listed as a silk weaver on the federal census record.  He worked at the Haskell Silk Mill, one of the foremost silk manufacturers in New England.
The Falls located next to the Haskell Silk Mill
"The business began in a wooden building on the west side of Bridge St., very near the falls as this photograph shows.  The Haskell Silk Mill was the only silk mill in Maine and one of the oldest in New England. This was one of the industries that carried the name of Westbrook throughout the entire country and attracted an industrious population to the town." Quoted text and photo courtesy of Westbrook Historical Society.
    Ferdinand emigrated from Canada in 1887 and married a Hebert in 1895. On the Albert gravestone, she is listed as "Georgienne H".
In a taped interview in 1990, Memere reported that Georgienne died of breast cancer at the age of 42 when Pepere was just 11 years old. Many years later, Mr. Albert suffered a stroke. Memere and Pepere became his caretakers. They were living on a second floor apartment on Cole Street in Westbrook at the time. It had four little rooms and was located across the street from St. Hyacinth Church. As the family got larger, Memere and Pepere decided they needed more living space so they bought a lot nearby to have a house built. In December 1927, they moved into the new house on Bridge Street, and had a bathroom installed on the bottom level to accommodate Mr. Albert.                                                                                                               
  Soon after the move to their new residence, Memere and Pepere made arrangements for Mr. Albert to live at  the Marcotte Home in Lewiston, Maine, because it got to be too much to take care of him with four young children - Pauline, their last child, was born in September 1928. Mr. Albert enjoyed going to chapel and chatting with the other residents. He died a few months later of a heart attack having resided at Marcotte for six months. I am hoping some other pictures of Mr. Albert will eventually surface. 
Pictured above: The Albert family headstone at St Hyacinth Cemetary in Westbrook, Maine.

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