On this date in our family history . . . the 18th day of November . . . in the year 1896 . . . probably somewhere in Maine . . . a baby girl is born . . .
She is raised as Helen F. Brackett, and is said to be the daughter of Peter Brackett (1838-1927) and his wife, Elizabeth J. "Lizzie" Merrill (1841-1911). At the time of Helen's birth, Peter is 58, and Lizzie is 55 years of age.
For many years, it was believed that Peter and Lizzie were the birth-parents of Helen's older "sister" -- Eva May Smith (1874-1936) -- until the family lore from Maine was passed on to the Texas descendants that Eva May was actually the daughter of Lizzie's younger sister, Phoebe (b. 1848, and believed to have died between 1926 and 1930). Eva May is a maternal great-grandma of the Keeper of this blog.
Even before receipt of this info -- due to the age of Peter and Lizzie at the time of Helen's birth, as well as the gap of almost 23 years between the birth of their two "daughters" (and only children) -- there were questions about Helen's true parentage.
She is enumerated on the 1900 census as 3-year-old Hellen Brackett. And there is a small grave-marker for this little one sitting beside the tombstone of Peter and Lizzie. Engraved on it are the following words :-
Peter & Lizzie J. Brackett
Nov. 18, 1896.
May 31, 1906.
Darling, we miss you.
That is all we know at this time. Little Helen needs to be researched further . . . her findagrave memorial page