Mary Dow was my great-grandmother.I have long struggled to find her parents.Mary was born, almost certainly in NW Penna. (altho conceivably in SW NY State) in 1863 (headstone) or a little later (1900 Census lists her age as 35).
Mary appears in 1900 Census in Tidioute, in sparsely-populated Warren Co., PA with husband William Donald Waid 1865-1928 and five children.The eldest, Ralph Dow Waid 1888-d. Butler, PA 1933, was my maternal grandfather.His birthdate suggests that William and Maary likely married roughly between 1884 and 1887.His sisters Hazel and Harriet did not marry; both have been dead more than 20 years now but I met them once, in Oil City, Venango Co., PA in 1969.Brother Kenneth died in oilfield accident in Venango Co. 1914, leaving widow and son, age 1, also named Kenneth.Sister Georgianna married William Wells, was living in Erie Co. also in NW Penna., as of 1928 acc. to her father's obituary.I believe she died in the 1950s.A sixth child, Douglas Waid, was born shortly after 1900.
Mary and William moved the family to Oil City, Venango Co., abt. 1909.My grandfather listed Oil City as his residence on Army discharge papers following WW1.
I have the following possible lead re Mary Dow Waid's parents.A poster to the DOW board on the Rootsweb site lists a Capt. Edward Dow, a sea captain, born 1804 in Portsmouth, NH.His second wife, Harriet Wyatt (note given name matches one of my Mary's daughters) was born in England in 1829.This couple are said to have married in 1856, to have lived in Corra, in Erie Co., NW Penna., and to have had -- hah! -- dtrs DORA and MARY.
Poss. avenues to confirm that Mary Dow d/o Capt. Edward is Mary Dow w/o William Waid might be census lookups in Erie Co., 1870, or marriage records c. 1885/7.There could have been newspaper or other contemporary accounts of the marriage, identifying the bride's parents.