Elizabeth Merrill Phillips, a mother of 14
Died 1833 at age 38
Happy October, folks. It’s time for lovely leaves, pumpkin beer — if you’re into that kind of abomination — and stories that open the door between this world and the next. All this month, I’m resurrecting the memory of Portlanders who’ve crossed over to the other side. I’m posting a video each day, telling the tale of one, interesting “permanent Portlander.”
Nobody knows much about Elizabeth Merrill Phillips. But researchers have discovered a marriage intention filed for her in Saco, Maine in 1818. Elizabeth was 23-years-old and her fiancé William Phillips was 28-years-old.
Sadly, according to her stone in the Eastern Cemetery, she died only 15 years later.
According to what’s written there, she gave birth to at least 14 children. Assuming she’d not had any children before marrying William, that’s almost one child a year.
Even more sadly, according to the headstone, they all died as infants.
Did she die of childbirth complications or grief? Ether one seems plausible.
Disclaimer: I’m not a historian. I owe everything I know to the dedicated research of those who have come before me. These character sketches are assembled from multiple (often antique) sources and sprinkled with my own conjecture.