An 1890 census substitute

William Boucher
William Boucher Jr. (1822-1899)

As we are missing (most of) the 1890 Federal Census, the value of city directories for the years around 1890 is all the greater. Looking at the Boucher family of Baltimore, the 1880s proved somewhat chaotic, with the family shop and household changing location (or perhaps just street address) more than once. As the Boucher sons grew up, they joined the family business, William Maria Boucher (1867–1921) in 1885 and Louis Albert Boucher (1871–1914?) three years later. As in 1888, Wm. Boucher Jr.,[1] “mus[ical] inst[rument]s,” appeared in the Baltimore city directory with a shop at 414 East Baltimore Street and a residence at 716 West Lanvale Street in 1889, 1890, and 1891.[2]

In 1892, the William Boucher Jr. family has moved again, to 1718 Linden Avenue. The musical instruments shop is gone, William M. and Louis A. Boucher have disappeared from the city directory, and Boucher’s son-in-law Henry P. S. Stone,[3] clerk, lives at 1528 Druid Hill Avenue. The unrelated Wm. Boucher family of cigar-makers now lists two shop locations and a home address at 1534 North Caroline Street.[4]

At this point, the long run of electronic copies of the Baltimore city directories ends; with no Boucher shop, the few accessible versions of business directories are no help. What I can report is that Louis Albert Boucher married Blanche Viers Cumming in 1895; Marie Boucher (1874–1938) married Charles W. Hogan in 1897; and William Boucher Jr., the family patriarch, died in March 1899. A few months later, in November, Pauline Boucher (1875–1964) married Edward Hughes Glidden. (Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent newspaper noticed their marriage license, as Edward H. Glidden and Pearline J. Boucher, in the 28 November 1899 edition.)

The information in the 1900 Federal Census is particularly welcome, if not especially accurate for Frances Boucher’s household. She is 56, born in March 1844 [sic] (mother of fifteen children, eleven of them living), residing at 1718 Linden Avenue with her children Gertrude M.,[5] 30, born in January 1870; Frances M., 27, born in May 1873; Carlos H., 21, a dry goods clerk, born in June 1879 [sic]; Florence E., 20, born in June 1880 [sic]; Emile G., 18, born in July 1882 [sic]; and Constance, 11, born in August 1888 [sic].[6]

Mrs. Boucher’s stepson Frank X. Boucher, 45, working in a music store and born in July 1854, is living at 1718 Thirteenth Street in the District of Columbia with his wife Margaret H., 43, born in February 1857, and their children Mary I., 23, born in January 1877; Adele C., 15, born in February 1885; Milton J., 12, born in August 1887; Edward, 11, born in April 1889; and Ethel D., 2, born in February 1898, along with an aunt of Maggie Boucher’s, Maria H. Harbaugh, 65.[7]

Harry P. S. Stone, 36, cigar salesman, born in Maryland in January 1864, lives at 2033 Guilford Avenue in Baltimore with his wife (of 11 years) Josephine [Boucher], 31, born in July 1868, and their children Josephine, 10, born in August 1889; Marie, 8, born in October 1891; and Harry, 7, born in October 1892, as well as Josephine’s brother-in-law Charles Hogan, 31, and his family.[8] Finally, my great-grandparents are living on Sheldon Avenue in the Roland Park section of Baltimore: Edward H. Glidden, 27, an architect, with his wife Pauline [Boucher], 22, born in January 1877 [sic].[9]

Louis and Blanche Boucher were divorced in 1900,[10] and they appear in their respective mothers’ households in the 1901 city directory: Mrs. Frances Boucher remains at 1718 Linden Avenue with sons Louis A. and Carlos H. Boucher, clerks, and Blanche V. Boucher is at 2008 McCulloch Street.[11]

In 1903, Frances Marie Boucher (1873–1954) married her neighbor, Thomas J. Wentworth, publisher of The Saturday Review; he lived at 1731 Linden Avenue, where he appears in the 1900 Federal Census as having been born in New York in November 1848. His children are T. Stanley, 15, born in October 1884; Adele, 14, born in November 1885; and Percy Wentworth, 12, born in May 1888.[12]

Continued here.


[1] William Boucher Jr. (1822–1899) was married to Mary Agnes O’Brien 1846–64 and to Mary Frances Giles in 1865.

[2] B. R. Sheriff, comp., R. L. Polk & Co.’s Baltimore City Directory for 1889, p. 152; 1890 edition, p. 161; 1891 edition, p. 165, where Louis A. Boucher no longer appears at 716 West Lanvale.

[3] Josephine Mary Boucher (1868–1961) married Henry Prescott Stoddard Stone in 1888.

[4] B. R. Sheriff, comp., R. L. Polk & Co.’s Baltimore City Directory for 1892, pp. 159, 1179.

[5] Gertrude Mary Boucher (1870–1961) married David Patrick Donovan later in 1900.

[6] 1900 Federal Census, T623_614, pp. 11B-12A.

[7] 1900 Federal Census, T623_160, p. 45A; Frank X. Boucher is indexed as Baucher.

[8] 1900 Federal Census, T623_613, p. 117A: Charles Hogan, 31, druggist, born in February 1869, is living in the Stone household with his wife (of 3 years) Marie J. [Boucher], 25, born in October 1874, and their son Charles, 2, born in October 1897.

[9] 1900 Federal Census, T623_607, p. 164B. My great-grandmother, an inveterate fibber on official forms, got an early start.

[10] Blanche V. Boucher, 31, and her son William V. C. Boucher, 3, appear in the 1900 Federal Census in the household of Catherine Cumming at 2008 McCulloch Street (1900 Federal Census, T623_614, p. 5B).

[11] B. R. Sheriff, comp., R. L. Polk & Co.’s Baltimore City Directory for 1901, p. 203. Frances Boucher’s household appears unchanged in 1903 (1903 edition, p. 340).

[12] 1900 Federal Census, T623_614, p. 20A.

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward was the founding editor at Vita Brevis; he served as NEHGS Editor-in-Chief 2013-2022. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

6 thoughts on “An 1890 census substitute

    1. Carol, I’m not sure. My great-great-grandfather’s half-siblings lived in Kentucky, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, and the District of Columbia. The men’s names were Ferdinand and Edward Boucher, and they were born about 1840.

  1. Very useful help in this article, I have Indiana relatives on my paternal side and know many of my cousins there.

  2. Great article on substitute for 1890 Census. I have used the CA
    Great Voters Registration for the same purpose. Almost every man registered to vote. It gives their exact address at the time, and where they were born and age. It is a great way to see all of the surnames at the same address indicating family relationships. I have also found middle names here that I have not found elsewhere. My VT folks left en masse to CA in the 1850’s and 1860’s. I found some of the “boys” there that I thought were still in VT!

  3. My father’s mother was Constance Boucher … Born 1888.. learned that William Boucher was my great grand father at a family reunion this past weekend… Very cool

    1. Louis, that’s great. I helped organize a Boucher reunion a few years ago, and there is still a Boucher Family Reunion 2014 page on Facebook. I’ve written about the family a number of times here at Vita Brevis (and those posts can also be found on the Facebook page). Years ago I visited Baltimore and met your aunts Constance Plummer and Phyllis Barry, my grandmother’s first cousins — a great treat!

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