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Wadsworth, Francis Grey Ford, 1843-1924



  • Existence: 1843 - 1925


Francis Grey Ford Wadsworth was born to Captain Alexander Wadsworth (1808-1900), a ship master, and Bulah Holmes (also spelled Beulah, 1813-1853) in Duxbury, MA on December 30, 1843. According to family lore, he accompanied his parents on a sea voyage on the Seth Sprague in 1853. During this voyage his mother gave birth to Alexander Seaborn Wadsworth and died shortly after.

Francis Grey Ford Wadsworth is believed to have married Lydia Frances Harlow (1844-1911) on December 30, 1863. They had approximately six children including Beulah Holmes (who later married Henry Thomas Burrill), Louise Gray, and Frances Harlow.

He worked in the United States Revenue Cutter Service (later merged to become the Coast Guard) and was a Lieutenant on the USRC Bear, in the late 1800s. His name is recorded in the ship’s log in 1894 and 1895, during which time the ship was captained by Michael A. Healy.

Wadsworth is believed to have traveled with the ship from San Francisco, CA to the Arctic Circle and is also believed to have collected the scrimshaw during this time. According to an interview with descendant Kendall Burrill, during a war in Cuba, Wadsworth once took men to the harbor in Havana to destroy the logs used as a blockade. Wadsworth died in Bridgewater, MA on January 24, 1925.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Francis Grey Ford Wadsworth ivory and scrimshaw

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-013

This collection includes 57 pieces of ivory and scrimshaw (human and animal figurines, bow drills, a fan, etc.) believed to have been collected by Francis Grey Ford Wadsworth in Alaska in the late 1800s.

Dates: Undated