I've located a citation for Mary Blanding on the Montana Death
Index. The date provided is May 6, 1932. Age 63 and birth year 1869
do not quite match; she would have been a few weeks short of 63.
This information also does not match the 1934 date of the widow's
pension document. I'll try to order the actual death certificate to
see if it's our Mary.
A few corrections to the information provided by Donna:
1860 census: Watertown, WI, is not in Grant County. It straddles
the Jefferson-Dodge counties border, considerably east of Madison.
Grant County, whose seat is Lancaster, is in the southwest corner of
The census page appears to read "Waterstown" but, so far, I have not
located any such place in Grant County. A directory of obsolete post
offices would be helpful here, especially with the reference to
Bascobell, which also does not appear in any atlases I've checked.
On the 1850 and 1860 censuses, James is correctly listed as age 2 and
12, respectively. The 1900 census indicates a birth month of May and
year as 1884 (obviously incorrect!); I think this is a transposition
of 1848, which supports ages 2 and 12 as of August 1.
The 1880 census would make James age 32 as of June 1, not 35.
I initially read the 1900 census page as age 51 (not 56). This makes
sense -- the census date is January 1. James would have been age 51
in May 1899. He would have been about age 47 when he married Mary in
The 1900 census has the word "Carbonado" crossed out and "Billings"
substituted as the "incorporated city" of the district. Yes,
Billings is in the next county but there are no other major cities in
the immediate area.
The 1910 and 1920 censuses show ages 63 and 73, respectively. In
1910, the census "as of" date was April 15, making James 61. In
1920, the census date is January 1, on which James would be 71.
Mary's age on each census is accurate based on a birth date of June
Donna, I didn't see that "Ireland" on the 1900 census until you
pointed it out! Oh, well, we also know James was born in Wisconsin,
not PA, so what else is new? On the 1930 census, DB lists his
parents as being born in Massachusetts! Of course, both Hugh R. and
Ida were born in Wisconsin.