Notes on the
Mendence/Mendance Families
of Martha's Vineyard

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Edgartown Steward

1. JOHN JOSEPH MENDENCE, b. March 11, 1821 in Flores or Fayal, the son of Antone Mendance and Frances _____ of Flores. According to his obituary, John came to Edgartown on the whaleship Champion (Capt. Lawrence), immigrating to the United State about 1836 -39. He sailed on a number of Vineyard whaling voyages (including the Pocahontas of Holmes Hole), worked as an Edgartown laborer during 1852-54, an Edgartown mariner in 1862, and was a steward on the steamer Monohansett for 23 years. John was listed as an Edgartown "mariner" or "sailor" in all of the censuses. John and his wife lived in a house on North Water Street, Edgartown in 1854, and they appear as boarders with different families in Edgartown in the 1850-1880 censuses (including the home of another early Flores immigrant, Thomas Gardner, in 1860.) He bought a store in Edgartown in 1879. They lived on North Water St. in 1896, and was listed as owning a house on Water St. Edgartown as well as a store on Main St. in 1906. The 1907 Edgartown Directory lists them on North Water Street in 1907. He was listed in Edgartown in 1896-98, 1906 and 1911. He was living with the family of George D. Donovan on North Water Street in Edgartown in 1910. He died January 31, 1911 in Edgartown of "senility."
He m. (1st) Anna J. Mitchell on Apr. 9, 1845 in Edgartown..
She was born about 1820-23 in Belfast, Ireland. Ann died of consumption on June 7, 1847 in Edgartown.
He m. (2nd) Catherine Mitchell on 11 Sep 1851 in Edgartown.
She was born in Killebig /Kelegbeg /Kennebeg/Killybegs (perhaps Kilbeggan?) Ireland on Dec. 20, 1820, the daughter of Michael Mitchell and Catharine Jarvis of Sligo and Castlena, Ireland (and the sister of Betsey (Mitchell) Corr, mother of Manuel Norton (130)'s wife.) She died in Edgartown on 22 Mar 1896 of "senile debility."
He had the following children:

(first marriage)
10. WILLIAM MITCHELL MENDENCE, b. 28 Dec 1846. He died of "effect of fits" in Edgartown on 31 Dec 1849.
(second marriage)
11. JOSEPH M. MENDENCE, b. June 12, 1852 in Edgartown.
He d. May 27, 1853.
*12. WILLIAM J. MENDENCE, b. 19 Apr 1854 in Edgartown
13. ANNIE ELIZABETH MENDENCE, b. June 25, 1862. She died July 31, 1862 in Edgartown of convulsions.


12. WILLIAM J. MENDENCE, (John1), b. Apr. 19, 1854 in Edgartown on North Water Street. He worked for a time on the mainland in his younger days, and was a conductor on street cars in Providence and Attleboro. He had a "fruit store" in Edgartown in 1880, was an Edgartown store keeper in 1885 and was an Edgartown confectioner in 1900. William lived on North Water Street in 1900 and was an Edgartown merchant. He was listed in Edgartown in 1896 and 1906. In 1907 he was living on North Water Street, and his store, "W. J. Mendence's" on Main St. Edgartown was reported as selling chocolate, candy, fruit, and cigars. He was listed as a confectioner in 1910, and was living on South Water Street. They were living on North Water Street in 1920, when William was working as a store manager. He was living on North Water Street, Edgartown in 1925. His obituary notes that he lived on North Water Street for many years, and that he had a tobacco store and sold ice cream and confectionery. He retired about 1930. He was living in Edgartown in 1944, and was called a retired Edgartown merchant in 1946. He died on March 3, 1946heart disease at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital.
He married (1st) Lydia A. Mott of Attleboro on Mar. 14, 1883,
, and divorced her before 1900. She was born about 1856-7 in Attleboro MA, the daughter of Bradford Mott and Mary J. _____.
He m(2) Mary J. Norton June 7, 1900 in Attleboro. She was born c. Oct. 7, 1858 in Edgartown, the daughter of Damon Y. Norton of Vineyard Haven and Maria W. Hancock (Allen). She was living in Vineyard Haven in 1900. She died May 8, 1925 in Edgartown of stomach cancer. She had a nephew, Harry D. Tyler of Edgartown, at the time of her death.
He had the following child:

(first marriage)
20. EDNA MAY MENDENCE, b. May 15, 1885.
She was living in Providence in 1900 and 1905. She m(1st) Harold Clark Look February 19, 1905 in Tisbury, the son of Charles C. Look and Annie Pease. He was born c. 1881-2, and was a Tisbury freight clerk in 1905. Edna was left out of her grandfather's 1906 will "for reasons that seem to me sufficient." She m(2nd) ________ Boules. She was living in Newport in 1944 and in Providence in 1946. (These last two references refer to her as "Miss Edna Mendence" suggesting that she may have been unmarried.)

(There were no children by the second marriage.)


Edgartown Gardener

40. MANUEL CONEY MENDENCE, b. July 15, 1818 in Graciosa, the son of George C. Mendence and Josephine C. ____ of Graciosa. He probably immigrated to the United States by 1872 (when his wife and daughter immigrated. ) His daughter's obituary states that he was a sergeant in the Portuguese army and a gardener for Judge Henry K. Braley in Edgartown. He bought land on Planting Field Way in Edgartown in January 1873, when he was called an Edgartown resident. In 1875 and 1881 he bought land in Edgartown on Pease's Point Way. He appears in the 1880 Edgartown census as an illiterate laborer. He died on August 15, 1894 in Edgartown of acute cystitis. He was called an Edgartown laborer at his death.
He m. Anna Louisa Joseph. She was b. August 30, 1826 in Terceira, the daughter of Victor Joseph of Terceira and Mary Anna Louisa of Fayal, and the sister of Louisa L. S. Joseph, wife of Manuel J. Silva (590). She was living in Edgartown in 1896, and died there on July 4, 1906 from bronchitis.
They had the following children, as well as three others who died before 1900:

*50. (EM)MANUEL COONIA MENDENCE JR. AKA Arthur C. Mendance, born c. 1850-1 in "Fayal City," Fayal.
51. MARIANNA L. MENDENCE, b. in April 1864 in Fayal. She was living in Edgartown in 1896, and was an Edgartown laundress in 1900. In 1907 she was living on Pease Point Way, Edgartown, near Cottage Street, and was living alone on Pease's Point Way, Edgartown in 1910 and 1920 where she worked as a laundress and "takes in wash." She was also listed as a resident of Edgartown in 1895, 1906, 1937, and 1954. She lived in her parents' homestead on Pease's Point Way at the time of her death. She died July 12, 1954. Her obituary notes that "Her companion for many years was her dog Buster, of whom she was very fond." Her cousin William P. Silva (630) of Edgartown took care of her for more than a dozen years before her death.
52. ANNA L. MENDENCE, b. in April 1867 in Fayal. She was living in Edgartown in 1895, 1896, and 1906. She m. John Foster on Jan. 11, 1892 in New Bedford. He was born in March 1867 in the Azores, and immigrated to the United States in 1885. He was an Edgartown fisherman and an Edgartown seaman in 1892. Anna was living on Cottage Street Edgartown near her sister in 1920, and worked as an Edgartown laundress in 1920. She had reverted to her maiden name by 1920. She d. Feb. 12, 1934 of arteriosclerosis in Edgartown. She was called a housekeeper at the time of her death. .
53. LOUISA C. MENDENCE, b. _____ in the Azores. She m. Fales Oliver. They left Edgartown roughly 1880-85,[GAZ] and by 1906 they were living in Moor Park, Ventura Co., CA. In 1908, the Gazette noted that they owned a large ranch in Moor Park. Fales Oliver died March 1936. Louis died in June, 1946. The following appears in The Moorpark Story, by Norma Gunter, published by the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce in 1969: "Fales & Louisa Oliver had both been born in the Azore Islands and were brought to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts when quite young. Their fathers were fisherman and for a number of years Fales Oliver enjoyed the life of a whaling fisherman. However, shortly after his marriage to Louisa, he accompanied an uncle on a freighter to the West Coast, and at Port Huenemen, he jumped ship and worked for a Mr. White, near Ventura, then sent for his bride. It took her twenty-one days to reach San Francisco, traveling by train and part way by stage." "There came the day when the doctor warned Fales that his health was poor and that he should go into the hills. Heeding the doctor's advice, he and Mrs. Oliver homesteaded a ranch in Long Canyon in 1889. As the years went by, they bought land from other farmers and they soon owned three large ranches. It was a splendid location for them all and they raised beans, grain, and apricots. Today, these ranches are owned by two sons, George and Johnny, and they raise cattle almost entirely. There are a few apricot trees where customers are allowed to pick their fruit, for ranches can no longer afford to dry apricots." They were the parents of the following children:

___. Bill Oliver. He probably died before 1954.
___. Julia C. Oliver, She m. Wesley Patterson from Simi.
She was living at 3455 Lemon Ave., Long Beach, CA in 1954.
___. George M. Oliver. He was living in Moorpark, Ventura Co., CA in 1954
and 1969. He m. Mabel _____.
___. Carrie R. Oliver. She m. _____ Silva and was living in Saticoy, Ventura Co., CA in 1954.
She d. before 1969.
___. Joe Oliver. He was living in Tracy CA, in 1954.
He died before 1969.
___. Annie V. Oliver. She m. _____ Lopes/Lopez and was living in San Jose CA in 1954.

___. Marianna (Mary) Oliver. She m. _____Silveria and was living in Oxnard CA in 1954
and 1969.
___. Frank Oliver. He was living in Moorpark, CA, in 1954.
He died before 1969.
___. Louisa Oliver. She m. _____ Neville and was living at 10138 Stilson St., Los Angeles CA in 1954
and in North Hollywood in 1969.
___. Fales Oliver Jr. He was living in Tranquility CA in 1954.
He died before 1969.
___. John Oliver, called "Johnny." He was living in Moorpark CA in 1954
and 1969. He remained single.

54. MARY J. MENDENCE, b. ____. She m. ___King. She died before 1895. They had a son Frank J. King who was living in Oakland CA in 1895 and in California in 1906.


50. (EM)MANUEL COONIA MENDENCE Jr. AKA Arthur C. Mendance, born c. 1850-1 in "Fayal City," Fayal. He was called an Edgartown mariner in 1879, 1880 and 1884, and an Edgartown boatman in 1885. He left Edgartown about 1888-1890, and was living in Hartford CT by 1895. In 1896 Manuel was working as a night watchman for the Hartford + New York Transportation Co. when he disappeared in April 1896. His body was found a few days later in the Connecticut River off the wharf he patrolled. A weight was attached to his feet, and rope wound around his body. The Vineyard Gazette reported, "Suicide suspected, but no motive yet advanced." He m. Mary Silva on Feb. 20, 1879 in Edgartown. She was born about 1862-3 in St. George, the daughter of Manuel Silva and Mary _____, and was a resident of Edgartown in 1879.
They had the following children:

80. LENA MENDENCE, b. May 5, 1880; d.y.
81. ARTHUR MENDENCE, b. Feb. 9, 1884 in Edgartown. He was living "in parts unknown" in 1906.
82. LENA MENDENCE, b. November 10, 1885. She was living "in parts unknown" in 1906.
83. WILLIAM MENDENCE, b. _____. He was living "in parts unknown" in 1906.


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