Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Lewis Ellingwood Noyes is buried next to his wife, Lucy Ann (Briggs) Noyes:

and next to him is a much smaller headstone:

The inscription reads:
Alcie L Noyes
Oct 10, 1869

The stone has sunk in the ground so the date of death is mostly obscured.
Before I posted the photograph to Find A Grave I wanted to find that date
so I searched the usual internet sites  for Alcie L Noyes. I couldn't find
amything on Ancestry, Rootsweb or FamilySeaarch for anyone with that
name.  Could this have been an error by the engraver of the headstone?
Then  I googled the name  and found that an Alcie R. Noyes  of Abington had
donated the Samuel Fuller  cradle to the collection at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth.

So I went back to and this time took a different tack. I  checked
the Census for Lewis Ellingwood Noyes and his family. On the 1880 Federal
Census I found Lewis, Lucy, a 24 year old daughter Anna and a 10 year old
Alcie who Ancestry had listed as Alice.  Things got much more complicated
on the earlier 1870 Census: Lewis and Lucy's family includes another daughter,
their eldest daughter Charlotte, Anna. and 10 month old twin daughters Alice E
and Alsie L Noyes.

I could find no other record of Alcie, but I found an Alice Noyes on the 1900 Census
with her mother Lucy living on Walnut St in Abington.(Lewis had died in 1896). Alice
was working as  "Ast Librarian". Lucy died in 1903. There is an Alice Noyes on the
1910 Census for Boston working as a governess at The Home for Little Wanderers
who might be the same Alice Noyes.

So, which was it, Alice or Alcie?

Tbere was one more small gravestone near Lewis E. Noyes grave at Mt Vernon
Cemetery but it was hard to read, so I converted the picture
to negative mode:

My transcription:
Alice Ellwood
Dau. of
Lewis E & Lucy A

Alice died in infancy, but apparently Alcie lived until at least 1910. Did she take the
name Alice as a tribute to her dead twin? Or was it simply a case of people always
mistaking the name "Alcie" as a mispelling of "Alice" so she decided to go by that

I don't know,and since it's been at least a century since she passed, there's no way I
can "go ask Alice"....or Alcie.


Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Hey, Bill. You may want to consider that Alcie might be a man's name. There was a Congressman Alcie or Alcee (we see it spelled both ways) Hsstings, of Florida, many years ago.

Just a thought, but the name is not unknown to me.

Debi Austen said...

I have a similar situation with my great grandmother. Everything I remember about her, as well as every record I have for her, shows her name as Mabel. But her tombstone reads Mable. I've wondered if it is just a typo on the headstone.

Bill West said...

Thanks Karen but in this case Alcie or Alsie was definitely female.

Bill West said...

Debi I've seen the name spelled both ways, Mabel and Mable. One of my grandmother's friends who we visited
when I was a kid spelled it Mable. But it does make it confusing for us, doesn't it? :)

Heather Rojo said...

Bill, if I were you I'd be on the phone with Stephen O'Neill at Pilgrim Hall, or even the library at the Mayflower Society in Plymouth, and they could give you the background on Alcie.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

I have several people named Alcy in my family line. Some of them use both names Alcy and Alice in different records. I have read that the name Alcy was used by the Scots-Irish instead of Alice, but I don't know if that is true or not.

Anonymous said...

Alice Elwood Noyes d. Aug 29, 1870 in Abington @ age 10mos 17dys of Cholera Infantum, Mass VR vol 230 pg300