Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Bundle of Letters: Such a Treasure!

Marion Evans Dakin
playing a game she loved,  Scrabble

When Nana, my grandmother Marion Evans Dakin, died on the 4th of July in 1974, her only son who had survived to adulthood, had already died two years before her.  As her oldest granddaughter, I found myself as her executrix ... a whole new world of responsibility added to the life of a mother juggling a couple of kids.  Commuting to Connecticut was more than I could do, so we put the crib on the top of our car and stayed in her house for eight weeks, first as she was dying from a stroke and then afterwards as we cleaned out her house and settled her estate.

My siblings joined me part of the time as we discovered we were on a treasure hunt.

An old Jacquard woven rug which was much older
than Nana that we found in her house.

I knew Nana had quilts made by her mother-in-law, Mother Dakin (Mary Alice Smith Dakin) but we had no idea how many quilts were there not just on the beds but hidden in trunks in the the attic.  We all went home with antique quilts and I documented them in my book Quilts in our Family.  When I had visited her a month before Nana died we had taken the quilts off the beds a couple of other quilts to the nursing home where she was staying so she could put on a quilt exhibit.  One of the quilts was a sampler quilt and she spent the last month of her life finding the names of each quilt square.  Ironically, the morning the quilt exhibit was to open, the nursing home called me to say she had had a stroke.  When I arrived in Connecticut, they were questioning whether to open her "show" of quilts.  I said "of course, show the quilts, that's what she wanted."  When I told her they had "opened" the show, she squeezed my hand.
Some of Mary Alice Smith's quilts
Not so dramatic in appearance, was a bundle of letters tied together with a string in the back of her desk.  I looked at them and saw that I couldn't possibly read them -- they were in Swedish.  I knew her grandfather Eric Helsten was from Sweden but I didn't know much else about him.  I assumed these must have been his.  I put them in my stuff to take home not knowing whether I would ever be able to read them.  Ten years later, I had a Swedish colleague who was willing to try to translate some of them for me -- she would read while I scribed. 
1858 letter from Eric's mother,
Lovisa Charlotta Robbert Hellsten 

 It took about 30 years before they were all translated, but what a treasure!  Eric was one of 13 children and everyone of his siblings and his mother took on personalities.  Eric's father had died unexpectedly, leaving his wife with young children including a baby.  Eric was the oldest son, a teenager, and he had older sisters.  He apprenticed as a tanner in Sweden and when there wasn't much work.  He came to the USA in 1845, settling first in Haviland Hollow NY and then moving to Gaylordsville CT when he bought his own tannery.
Eric Adolf Helsten

Back in the 1980s, we had enough letters translated that I was able to piece together a bit of Eric's family tree and when my wonderful colleague/translator traveled to Sweden for Christmas, while there she wrote the Uppsala parish vital records office and a few weeks later I had a letter from Alice, a "cousin."  Alice's grandfather and Nana's grandfather were brothers.  Years ago my grandmother visited Uppsala Sweden but didn't know about Alice, so they never met.  I had a chance to visit Alice back in 1984 before she died in 1990.  Such a treasure hidden in a bundle of letters.  It's too bad my grandmother never new the contents of what she had carefully saved.

I have taken the 86 Swedish letters and documents, had them translated and put them together in chronological order.   I researched Eric's family back in Sweden and his life in the USA.  I wrote a book for my family this year which is the story of Eric's family on both continents.  A Ring and a Bundle of Letters has been 30 years in the making with the help of three wonderful translators who not only read Swedish but also could decipher the old handwriting, structure and spelling.  

The book is available from

Such a treasure!

©2013, Erica Dakin Voolich

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Blind Agent's Divorce, The Rest of the Story

One of my readers of my last blog post about the blind insurance agent discovery, found the newspaper articles about the back story.  I was sure there had to be more details.  The first article was on page 15 of the 18 March 1916 of The Chicago Daily Tribune.  It not only described the altercation, but it told of Frederick losing his sight, refusing to marry his fiancée, being lured into the marriage, and a rather scary night with a stranger in the apartment.  

“Husband Blind;
Roomer in Home;
Divorce Sought

Romance of Broker and
Fiancee Who Stuck to 
Him Bared by Suit


  Frederick T. Richardson, whose sudden
blindness figured in a romatic marriage
in 1907, and who is a prosperous insur-
ance broker, brought suit for divorce yes-
   Richardson accuses his wife of being
too friendly with Henry F. Baker, 26
years old, a clerk, and a member of the
Richardson household.   Richardson is 47
years old and his wife 35.
   Richardson, who is junior member of
the insurance firm of William Richardson
& Son, was engaged to be maried in 1907.
His eyes were failing, but it was believed
that he would recover their use.  One 
evening as he sat with his father, mother,
and sister he spoke suddenly:
  “Who turned off the lights?”

     Stricken with Blindness.
   He was assured that the lights were still
burning.  For a time it was feared he had
lost his reason.  Then it dawned upon his
family that he had lost his sight.  At first
he was dejected, then determined to make
the most of it.  The girl to whom he was 
engaged came to him.
   “We cannot marry,” he told her.  But
she would not listen.
   “Your affliction shall not keep me from
your side.” she told him.  “We shall be
married and I will always be with you.”
   But Richarson persisted in refusing to 
handicap, as he thought, the future of
his financée.  On Sept. 4, 1907, Richardson
was encouraged to attend a party in St.
Joseph, Mich.  As the story goes, he was
taken on an automobile ride and the end
of the journey was in a justice’s office.
His brave fiancée was determined to show
that she was “with him through thick
and thin.”  They were married.

        Taps His Way Out of Flat.
   A week ago Friday neighbors said there
was a commotion of some sort in the 
Richardson flat.  After it had quieted
down Richardson was heard tapping his 
way downstairs with his cane.  For the
last few months, since he has been en-
tirely without sight, he has been led
about by a boy.
   Last night Mrs. Richardson told of
her domestic affairs.
   “On the night in question,” said Mrs.
Richardon, “Mr. Richardson was in his
room and I was in mine.  Mr. Baker, who
is a boarder at our house, was in his

       Plot, She Charges.
   “I hear a noise and tried to awaken
Mr. Baker, but the boy slept soundly.
Before I could arouse Mr. Richardson
there was a man in the apartment and
another man and a policeman were at
the door.  Mr. Richardson tired to push
me into a room with Mr. Baker, but when
I saw they were private detective I re-
fused to be made a scapegoat.
   “The men then took the poor boy, Mr.
Baker, who was white with fright into a
rear room and forced him to sigh a con-
fession of guilt.”
   The elder Richardson is residing in San
Diego, Cal.  The  younger man could not
be found last night.”

The next article, gives both versions of the events of that Friday night 10 March 1916 and the threats in the months leading up to it.  It sounds like a divorce is a good idea for both of these people described in The Chicago Daily Tribune, on Tuesday 16 May 1916:

Says New Dollar Bills He Put
In Her Bed Were Not Wrin-
kled Next Morning.
   A blind husband and his wife -- the wife
alleging her nerves had been shattered
by treatment she received at his hands--
yesterday testified against each other in
Judge McKinley’s court.  Frederick T.
Richardson, junior member of the insur-
ance firm of William RIchardson & Son,
is the husband, and he is seek divorce
from his wife, Mrs. Frances E. Richard-
son, on charges of infidelity.
   Blindness, the affliction which cast a
halo of romance about their marriage
seven years ago, was capitalized in the
testimony by both the man and the
woman.  Mr. Richardson swore that his
wife took advantage of his condition to
flirt with Henry F. Baker, a one time
friend and roomer in the Richardson
home, at 4021 Lake Park avenue.  Mrs.
Richardson emphasized the assertion
that she married Mr. Richardson al-
though she knew he was doomed to blind-
ness and that she cared for him faith-
fully during the seven years of their mar-
ried life.

     Says He Threatened Murder.
   In addition to denying her husband’s
accusations Mrs. Richardson brought
countercharges against him.  His con-
duct, she said, was “inhuman.”  She
accused him of compelling her to submit
to indignities by threatening to end his
life unless she did as he demanded.  On
several occasions, she said, he had
threatened to kill both her and himself.
   There was also the name of “another
woman.”  Mrs. Richardson said on one
occasion three years ago she overheard
he husband talking over the telephone
with another woman.  She said she cried,
threatened to end his life, and finally
gave her the woman’s name.  Mrs. Rich-
ardson said the woman was “Mrs. La
Pointe, who lives at 2541 Indiana avenue.”

      Broke Into Apartment.
   Mr. Richardson rested his case on cer-
tain occurrences on the night of March
10.  Since that night, he said, he and
his wife have been living apart.  Pri-
vate detectives testified that they went
to the Richardson apartment that night
and found Mrs. Richardson in Mr. Bak-
er’s room, which adjoined her own.  Mr.
Richardson told the jurors that he called
the detectives after his own original 
methods had led him to believe his wife
   Handicapped by his blindness, according-
ing to Mr. Richardson, he put crisp dol-
lar bills between the sheets of his wife’s
bed in the evenings.  In the mornings,
he said, he would enter his wife’s room
after she was out of the way.  If he
found the bills still there unwrinkled,
then he believed that his wife had not
occcupied the bed.

     Story by Wife.
   Mrs. Richardson gave another version 
of what happened in the apartment that
night.  She said she had gone to be “at
the usual time, 10 or half-past.”
  “Between half-past 1 and 2,” the wife
said, “I heard voices outside the window.
Then I saw a hand raising the window.
I jumped out of bed and ran through to
Mr. Baker’s room screaming for help.  I 
locked the door behind me.  He didn’t pay
any attention and then I ran to my hus-
band’s room.  I told Mr. Richardson there
were burglars in the house.  He didn’t
seem to pay any attention.  He grabbed
me, and I had to break a-way.
   “Neither Mr. Richardson nor Mr.
Baker seemed to care about the burglars.
I couldn’t understand.  Neither one of 
them said anything.   Then Mr. Richard-
son opened the door and these men” --
she indicated the detectives in the court-
room--”came in.  I went to my room to
get on some clothes.”
  Mrs. Richardson then denied the
charges of infidelity made against her.”

Traps to show infidelity by one of the "happily married couple" and information on "the other woman" revealed by the other.  Stories of threatened violence and even putting new dollar bills under the other's bedsheets.  The next day is the verdict, 17 May 1916, The Chicago Daily Tribune, page, almost word-for-word reprinted in the Portland Oregon paper quoted in the last post.

Chicago Broker Gets Decree on Mis-
conduct Charge.

CHICAGO, May 22 -- Twelve men
with two eyes apiece marched from
an anteroom into Judge McKenley’s
courtroom, gazed impassively at a
pretty woman, and stood while the
clerk read their verdict finding the
pretty woman guilty of misconduct
and granting a divorce to her sightless
   The wife, severely costumed, turned
to look at the face of Frederick T.
Richardson, blind insurance under-
writer, who began tap-tapping to walk
from the room.  A little later, Mrs.
Richardson, accompanied by her attor-
ney, Robert E. Crowe, also departed.
     She had recited her defense.  Henry
F. Baker, said she had been a roomer
and a family friend in the Richardson
home at 4021 Lake Park Avenue.  Her
Husband had tried to thrust her into 
Mr. Baker’s room when private de-
tectives, prearranged by plan, had ap-
peared at the door.
  “I married Fred Richardson, al-
though I knew he was going blind.”
she said.  “Always I was faithful to
him.  They frightened that that poor boy,
Baker, into making a confession.”

Thinking about a timeline of events:
• 1907 F. T. Richardson marries Frances E. [last name to be determined], his 3rd wife.
• 1916 scandalous divorce makes front page with all the details, including "other woman" (Mrs. LaPointe who lives at 2541 Indiana Ave.)
• 1923 F.T. Richardson dies in Winamac, Indiana, one of his obituaries says he and his wife moved there about 6 years ago.  1923 - 6 = 1917.  The final wife in the court papers (I'm still waiting for from Chicago) is named Sadie Richardson, as is in the land records from Pulaski County, Indiana.    
I checked the 1910 census for Chicago for a "Sadie LaPointe" -- guess who shows up at 2541 Indiana Avenue, married to a Frank R LaPointe?  Sadie LaPointe.
Is this the Sadie who our Frederick marries and moves with to Winamac, Indiana about a year after his divorce?

Maybe the wife was telling the truth and the jury of 12 men didn't believe her!

© Erica Dakin Voolich 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Blind Insurance Agent is Discovered

I've been working on figuring out what happened to various children of William Richardson and Mary A C Bogart, my GG-grandparents.  They died in 1921 and 1910.  There are pieces of the puzzle still missing, but some DuPage County IL probate records led to Pulaski County Indiana for land records.  But that is another story, once I get the last piece of the puzzle from the Cook County Court archives.

Years ago I had finally found that William and Mary were buried in Hinsdale IL, there I learned she died in Downers Grove IL and he in Winamac IN.  Why Indiana?  He died with his son Fredrick, but why was a 50-something Chicago insurance agent in Winamac?  It's not exactly commuting distance from Chicago.

Last month, on my way to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, I stopped in Winamac to look for probate records for William and Fred Richardson.  There is a wonderful woman in the County Clerk's office who knows how to help genealogists, and welcomes them.  She looked, no probate, but asked if I had checked the library (they had one of the newspapers "indexed" for vital records and microfilm of the issues).  She called the library to say we were coming and where to direct us.  The index was helpful, we learned when Frederick died, just two years later [new information to me] and that the local paper did have obituaries, which I looked up and copied.

Frederick T. Richardson
     The death of Frederick T.Richard-
son occurred Friday evening, Dec-
ember 14 at ten o’clock at his home
just east of town.  Mr. Richardson
had been sick with menengitis but
was thought to be better and had
been up around the house that even-
ing. He retired about nine o’clock
and Mrs. Richardson was reading to 
him when death came.  The immed-
iate cause of his death was a stroke
of apoplexy.
     The deceased was 55 years of age
and leaves a wife and a foster daugh-
ter. Mrs. Janet Phillips.  Mr. and 
Mrs. Richardson came here from Chi-
cago several years ago.
     The funeral was held Monday af-
ternoon at one o’clock at the Presby-
terian church, conducted by Rev. C.
S. Valder with interment in the Win-
amac cemetery.”
The Winamac Republician, 20 December 1923, vol. 57, page 6.

At that time I didn't know about a lawsuit involving Frederick and his wife.  I learned about that a week later.  So, I contacted that wonderful woman in the Pulaski County office to ask her to look for some land records relating to it.  She did and found the records, I sent my fees and an envelop and then today arrived not only those land records [still to be sorted out] along with a surprise.
Today's was another obituary for our GG'uncle Fred:

  The death of Frederick T. Richard-
son occurred Friday evening at the 
home east of Winamac.  Hed had been
seriously ill for several days from an
attack of menigitis, presumed to
have been a result of severe treatment
that he had been taking in Chicago
in an effort to regain his sight, which
failed totally about fifteen years ago.
He was feeling much better Friday
and had been up and around the
house, but a cerebral hemorrhage
after he had retired for the night
brought death quickly.
   Mr. Richardson was fifty-five years
of age on Nov. 19.  He and Mrs. 
Richardson moved here from Chicago
about six years ago.  His father, Wil-
liam Richardson, died here two years
ago the day of the son’s funeral. which
was held Monday afternoon.  Services 
were conducted at the home by Rev.
C. S. Valder, and interment was given
in the Winamc cemetery."
Pulaski County Democrat, Thursday 20 December 1923

Wow!  He was blind and had been for 15 years!  That might explain why he wasn't still working in his father's insurance agency in the past few years.  It notes that he died two  years after his father, how many years they were in town, gives details about his going to Chicago for treatment for his blindness. Unfortunately, neither obituary gives his wife's name!

This led back to an article in my Richardson-wantabee file:

28 May 1916, Oregonian (Portland OR), Vol XXXV, issue 22, section 5, page 11:
Chicago Broker Gets Decree on Mis-
conduct Charge.

CHICAGO, May 22 -- Twelve men
with two eyes apiece marched from
an anteroom into Judge McKenley’s
courtroom, gazed impassively at a
pretty woman, and stood while the
clerk read their verdict finding the
pretty woman guilty of misconduct
and granting a divorce to her sightless
   The wife, severely costumed, turned
to look at the face of Frederick T.
Richardson, blind insurance under-
writer, who began tap-tapping to walk
from the room.  A little later, Mrs.
Richardson, accompanied by her attor-
ney, Robert E. Crowe, also departed.
     She had recited her defense.  Henry
F. Baker, said she had been a roomer
and a family friend in the Richardson
home at 4021 Lake Park Avenue.  Her
Husband had tried to thrust her into 
Mr. Baker’s room when private de-
tectives, prearranged by plan, had ap-
peared at the door.
  “I married Fred Richardson, al-
though I knew he was going blind.”
she said.  “Always I was faithful to
him.  They frightened that that poor boy,
Baker, into making a confession.”

This piece of news tells me not only was Fred Richardson blind but it tells me where he was living [that Richardson family moved frequently in the past couple of decades], was involved in some sort of scandal with his now former wife [un-named, unfortunately], that he took in roomers.  I'm sure there must have been an article about this that was in a Chicago paper [this was in a paper from Portland OR, a common thing to do with sensational stories].  And what does "severely dressed" mean?

Sounds like it is time to see if there are court records and maybe more newspaper coverage to be found!

©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2013
The link to this page is

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Family Story, a Bit of Investigation and the "The Rest of the Story"

My mother used to tell the story about her mother-in-law's Aunt Mary:

Mary lived to be 92.  In her old age, her family became concerned about  her living alone on the family farm.  They insisted that she move in with her daughter-in-law.  Each day, Mary would get up, hitch up the horse and  wagon, ride up to her home, spend the day and then return at night to sleep at her daughter-in-law's home.  When she died, Marion Dakin, her niece, helped to clean out the house.  Marion found all of the "new  fangled" gifts--a toaster, an iron, etc.-- she had given her over the  years still in their original boxes.


Mary Louise Helsten was the oldest child of Eric Adolf Helsten and his wife Mary Hearty.  Mary L was born in Patterson New York on 7 June 1850, and the next year her family moved to Gaylordsville Connecticut where she grew up. In 1878, shortly before turning twenty-eight, she married a widower, Charles Pomeroy, who had a teenage son Henry.   Henry was the child of Charles Pomeroy and Josephine Hallock Pomeroy

No one in the family told any stories (that I recall) of Aunt Mary Pomeroy as a step-mother, or wife -- just as an elderly woman who lived thirty-nine years after her husband died in 1903.  She was fifty-three years old when her husband died.  So what was she doing for thirty-nine years?  She never remarried.  How did she support herself?

A little bit of searching in the US Census:
• 1850 can't find Charles Pomeroy
• 1860 Charles Pomeroy (age 26) and Gertrude Pomeroy (16) are living with Ithamar (63) and Louisa (60) Ferris in New Milford, Conn.
• 1870 Charles Pomeroy (35) and his wife Josephine Pomeroy (24) are living in Litchfield, Conn on her parents' farm, Homer (60) and Caroline (55) Hallock.  Charles is working as a farm laborer.
• 1880 Charles Pomeroy (45) and Mary L (30) and son Henry (17) are farmers in Litchfield, Conn.
• 1900 Charles Pomeroy (65) and Mary L (49) are living in New Milford, Litchfield, Conn. and he is a farmer.
• 1910 Mary Pomeroy (59), widow is living in New Milford, has a hired hand (under relationship), who is listed as a "farmer," not "farm hand" (under occupation) ... THE REST OF THE STORY... 


I was looking at Miriam J Robbins site to search for city directories.  She had some links for New Milford, Connecticut and I was working my way through the directories checking out various family names.  I started noticing the ads.  This half-page ad was run in the directories for 1884-5, 1888-9, 1891, 1897:

Looks like Charles Pomeroy was not only farming.  If you take a look at his farm.  Sure looks like it is also a lumber yard on the right:

Not only does it look like both a farm and a lumberyard, but look between the buildings, set back, there is the house that Mary lived in with her husband Charles and, in her later years, would drive her horse and wagon to daily to spend her days in her latter  years.

Charles Pomeroy died in 1903, and by 1902, he no longer had his large ad.  He was listed, instead, in small listings under the individual items sold, such as "FERTILIZERS"

Now for the rest of the story.  What was Mary doing after her husband died?

Here is the listing for the various Pomeroy family members in 1914 in New Milford

"Pomeroy ...
--Mary wid Charles hardware and lumber Merwins-
     ville n Gaylordsville h do"

Written out without abbreviations:
 Pomerory Mary, widow of Charles, hardware and lumber [business] in Merwinsville near Gaylordsville, home ditto [she lived where she worked, a "home-based business" in today's lingo].

Looks like Mary was busy.  According to the small ads in that 1914  directory, she had listings under:
Hardware and Cutlery, Lumber, and Mason Materials.  Even if, in the address book section, she is "Mary, widow of Charles;" when listing 'Mary the businesswoman,' she was "Mrs. Charles Pomeroy" in the directory:

In 1914, she is sixty-four years old and clearly working at the family business that her husband started and ran in addition to the farm.

The next online directory I found for New Milford, was 1927.  Here she is listed as "Mary E wid Charles h Gaylordsville" and her grandson Charles, son of Henry is running the business.

In the 1930 census she and her daughter-in-law, Caroline Pomeroy (63), are living together in New Milford, they are each widows, she is the head of household at age 79. In 1940, she is still the head of household, now at age 89 she has her step-daughter-in-law Edna C Pomeroy (74) living with her in her own home, as she was in 1935.  She completed two years of high school according to the census.

In the 1930 census, the property listed right before Mary Pomeroy has Charles C Pomeroy, and it is listed as farm and lumber!  So, sometime before 1930, her grandson has taken over the family business.


One final thought.
I was looking at Charles Pomeroy's ad.  He is selling "Box Shooks."
"Shook" was a term that I wasn't familiar with.  So I looked it up in the Free Dictionary by  Farlex.
A shook:  "a disassembled barrel; the parts packed for storage or shipment"
Maybe you learned a new word today too!

The link to this post is

©Erica Dakin Voolich 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The FISH family in the "Boston Evening Transcript"

When I'm researching, I'll periodically come across a reference to a source not available online.   I'll print out a copy of the information and add it to my folder of materials to borrow through Inter Library Loan or to access at a particular library.  Frequently, the American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) will come up.   According to "Most of the works referenced in the AGBI are housed at the Godfrey Memorial Library in Connecticut. A photocopy service is available."

For a long time I didn't really understand how to read the reference.  For example, I am researching Lydia Fish, and the citation referred me to Vol. 54 and page 265.  Before I learned that the real meat of the reference was below that, I went to find the AGBI in a library only to be disappointed that there wasn't more information there.  This time when I had a reference to AGBI, I knew to read below the initial information and to search for that:
"Gen. Column of the "Boston Transcript:. 1906-
1941. (The greatest single source of material for
gen. Data for the N.E. area and for the period
1600-1800.  Completely indexed in the Index.):
13 Dec 1921, 9343; 23 Jan 1922, 9343; 15 oct
1934, 2684"
What I needed to find were copies of the Boston Evening Transcript, not a copy of AGBI.
The New England Historic Genealogy Society in Boston has the pages (each the size of today's Boston Globe's) with the newspaper's "Genealogy" columns all carefully saved in multiple boxes, filed by year then month.

Wikipedia described the Genealogy column in the Boston Evening Transcript:
Because of the genealogy column The Transcript is of value to historians and others. Gary Boyd Roberts of the New England Historic Genealogical Society noted:
"The Boston Evening Transcript, like the New York Times today, was a newspaper of record. Its genealogical column, which usually ran twice or more a week for several decades in the early twentieth century, was often an exchange among the most devoted and scholarly genealogists of the day. Many materials not published elsewhere are published therein."[12]
[12] New England Historical Genealogical Society: Genealogical Thoughts by Gary Boyd Roberts

The frequently full page column devoted to Genealogy had its own rules:

There were three parts to the column each day:  QUESTIONS, ANSWERS and NOTES.
It turns out that my reference to Lydia Fish, had one Question, one Answer and one Note.  Unfortunately, they were not devoted to discussing my Lydia, however they did include a mention of Lydia Fish in each case and did include some extensive family history details.


The question as submitted 12 December 1921:

In case you find that hard to read, here is the transcription:

“(9343.) 1. DAVOL, DEUEL.  Proof wanted
of the identity of Benjamin Davol, (name
spelled in various ways, Davol, Devil,
Davoll, Divil, Deuel) of Dartmouth, Mass.,
born Jan. 26, 1709, son of Joseph and Mary
Soule of Dartmouth, married Aug. 22, 1731,
Sarah Mosher, daughter of John Mosher
and Experience (Kirby) Mosher of Dart-
mouth, with the Benjamin Davol taking the
name Deuel, not liking to be called Devil
any longer, who moved from Dartmouth to
New York State, settling in the Oblong
Tract, at what is still called Deuel’s Hollow,
about 1735.  Died at Pawling, Dutchess
County, N. Y., Jan. 19, 1792.  His will was
recorded at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1892.
2. TRIPP, DEUEL.  John Deuel, son of
Benjamin (Davol) Deuel, married Ann,
widow Tripp, who had a son named Wil-
liam.  Wanted, date of birth of John
Deuel, and date of his marriage to Ann
He died December, 1772.  I should like the
maiden name of Ann with dates of birth
and marriage to ____ Tripp, the name of
_____ Tripp, name of her father and mother,
and date of her death.
3. DEUEL, FISH.  Cornelius Deuel, son
of John Deuel, born in 1756, died in 1809,
and married Mary Fish.  Wanted, day and
month of birth and death of Cornelius, date
of marriage to Mary Fish, date of birth
and death of Mary Fish, name of her
father with dates of birth and death, name
of her mother with dates of birth and
death, and date of the marriage of father
and mother.
4. FISH. Thomas Fish, son of Preserved
Fish of Portsmouth, R.I., born Dec. 1,
1703, married Dec. 16, 1724, Mercy Cogges-
hall of Portsmouth, R.I., born Dec. 22,
1704, moved in later years to America,
N.Y., County Dutchess.   Children:  Lydia;
Thomas, born in Rhode Island; Joshua;
Mary, and others.  Mary Fish, wife of
Cornelius Deuel, was probably grand-
daughter of Thomas Fish.  I should be
grateful for help on any one of the above
records.                    H.G.G.M.”


The answers were provided by serious readers who had information and would write back to the newspaper with their information.  This response was relatively quick, 23 January 1922, and even contained information on where to find their sources [the town birth records of Darmouth, Mass., a deed in Dartmouth, Mass. and a request for military exemption in Oblong, Dutchess County, NY].  It didn't include formal citations, but it gave clues for a serious researcher to follow.

In case you find that hard to read, here is the transcription:

“9343. 1. DAVOL, DEUEL.  H.G.G.M.,
Dec. 12, 1921.  The information given in
this query appeared Jan. 2, 1907, Ben-
jamin Devel being third from George Soule.
His children are there given as:  George;
Joseph, born Jan. 9, 1735, who married
Rachel Smith; John; Benjamin, Jonathan;
Bathsheba; Sarah; Abigail; Hannah.
Wanted, the marriage of the other chil-
4. FISH. Thomas (4) Fish, of Dart-
mouth, Mass. and Dutchess County, N.Y.,
(Preserved 3, Thomas 2, Thomas 1) was
born Dec. 1, 1703.  Dec. 16, 1724, he was
married to Mercy Coggeshall, daughter of
John and Mary Coggeshall.  The children
of Thomas and Mercy Fish as given on
the town records of Dartmouth, are: Lydia,
born Nov. 10, 1725; Wait (a daughter),
born Nov. 9, 1727; Amy, born Nov. 29,
1729; Preserved, born Nov. 6, 1731; John,
born Feb. 16, 1734; Elizabeth, born June
4, 1736; Sarah, born Dec. 28, 1738; Caleb,
born Oct. 30, 1740. About 1740 Thomas
removed with his family to the Oblong, in
Dutchess County, N. Y.  Two more chil-
dren were born to him there:  Joshua and
Job.  I do not find that they had any son
John (3) Fish, Jr., of Dartmouth, (John
2, Thomas 1), born Jan. 14, 1707-8 was
married Jan. 29, 1729, to Remember Youin
in Dartmouth.   Thomas, born June
12, 1732; Seth, born March 15, 1734;
Eliphaz, born Nov. 9, 1735.   This John
Fish, Jr., also removed with his family to
the Oblong, Dutchess County, N.Y.  He
was of Oblong, March 15, 1745, when he
made a deed converting his land at Dart-
mouth to John Fisher weaver.  Under a
Colonial act passed on Feb. 19, 1755, for the
enrollment of Friends or Quakers who
claimed exemption from military duty, the
name of John Fish, farmer, in the Oblong,
appears.  There were doubtless other chil-
dren of whom I have not the record.”

Interestingly, the first part of the question was actually previously asked 15 years ago and so the answer referred the reader back to the column on 2 January 1907.  


On 15 October, 1934, there is a Note about the FISH family.  It doesn't give me information on my Lydia Fish, however, it does give a clue about the relationship between the various FISH families in the New England Colonies in the 1600s and it tells me about her ancestors.  It doesn't say that it is in response to a question, but it does ends with an interesting Fish family which had 3 sets of twins (amazing in the days before fertility drugs) and  a reference to someone named H.J.B.C. from a column on 23 August 1933.  I didn't see that until I got home, so that will be saved for a future trip to NEHGS to check out.

Here is the transcription chocked full of FISH family details thanks to F.E.W.K.:

Note 2684.  FISH.  In the early settle-
ment of the English colonies in America
there were at least nine individual emi-
grants bearing the name of Fish:  Jona-
than, John and Nathaniel, in 1637, to 
Sandwich, on Cape Cod; Thomas, who
received a grant of land in Portsmouth,
R.I., in 1643; William, of Windsor, Conn.;
John of Connecticut; Joseph of Stamford;
Edward of Maryland; and Gabriel of
Exeter and Boston.
Jonathan, John and Nathaniel were
brothers, sons of Thomas Fish of Wedg-
nock Park, in Warwickshire, and grand-
sons of John and Margaret Fish of Great 
Bowden, in Leicestershire.  William of
Windsor was a cousin of these three
being a grandson of John and Margaret,
through their eldest son, Augustine.
Thomas Fish of Portsmouth, and John
of Mystic (Stonington) Conn., also were
grandsons of John and Margaret, through
their daughter, Alice, who married Rob-
ert Fish of Market Harborough, probably
of a nearly related family.  These six
cousins were a family which, for sev-
eral generations had lived in the parish
of Great Bowden, in Leicestershire, and
in that county and in Northamptonshire.
The name of Fysshe, Fisch, Fishe, etc.,
appears in English history at different 
periods, as far back as 1200, when the
name of Yvo Fisch appears.
The definite ancestral line of the 
American Fish emigrants begins with 
John Fyshe, of Great Bowden, who was 
born probably about 1555.  He was of
the yeoman class and married Margaret,
whose maiden name may have been
Cradock.  They had children, baptized in
Great Bowden; 1578, Augustine; 1580-1, 
William; 1582, Katherine; 1584, Thomas;
1586, Sara; 1588, Ambrose; 1589, Mary;
1591, Elizabeth; 1593, Francis; 1596, Anne;
1597, Alice; 1599, Mary; 1601-2, John.
Thomas the third son, was the father of
Jonathan, John and Nathaniel, of Cape
In the more populous section of the
parish of Great Bowden, and contempo-
raneous with the first named John Fyshe,
there lived a Thomas Fishe, of Market
Harborough. He was probably a de-
scendant of Edward Fysh, of Harborough.
He may have been a brother of John of
Great Bowden, or perhaps a cousin.
These relationships are suggested by the
fact that the name Austin was given to 
one of the sons of Thomas, a name so
often used in the family in its other
form, Augustine.  The record of the bap-
tisms of children at Market Harborough
begins with “1585-6, Thomas, son of
Thomas Fishe, 10 March.”  Then follow:
1590, Austin, April 22; 1593, Robert, Aug.
12; 1595, William, Nov. 16; 1597, William,
March 27; 1599, Jeffrey, Oct. 28.
The above named Robert, son of
Thomas, baptized in 1593, was married,
at Market Harborough, Feb. 24, 1617-18,
to Alice Fish, daughter of John and
Margaret of Great Bowden. Their chil-
dren were baptized, some at Great Bow-
den and some at Market Harborough:
1618-19, Thomas, Jan. 1, at G. B.; 1620-
21, John, Jan. 21, M.H.; 1622, Ruth,
Sept. ?1, M. H.; 1623-24, Mary, Jan 24,
G ?  1625, Mary, at M. H.; 1626, Joseph,
? 17, M. H.; 1629-30, Nathan, March
? H.; 1630, Tabitha, May 8, M. H.;
10? Hannah, Nov. 24, M.H.; 1637,
Christian, Dec. 10, G. B.; 1639, Benjamin,
Aug. 1.  [a part of the print was missing]
Robert Fish, the father of this family
of eleven children, died Dec. 20, 1639, at
Market Harborough, at the age of 46.
His family was broken up and seems to 
have disappeared from the records of 
that neighborhood.  The elder sons,
Thomas and John, are accounted for in
Thomas of Portsmouth and John of Mystic
(where he died in 1689). Thomas of Ports-
mouth gave two of his children the
names of Robert and Alice.  John, of
Mystic, gave  the name of Alice of one of
his daughters.
Thomas (1) Fish, son of Robert, born
Jan. 1, 1618-19, died 1687, married Mary
_____, who died in 1699.  He had land
granted to him in Portsmouth, R.I., in
1643.  Thomas and Mary had children:
1. Thomas, died 1684, married Dec. 10,
1668, Grizzel Strange, daughter of John
and Alice Strange.  Children:  Alice, born
Sept. 15, 1671; Grizzel, April 12, 1673; Hope,
March 5, 1676; Preserved, Aug. 12, 1679;
Mehitable, July 7, 1684.
2. Mehitable, married Aug. 6, 1667, Jo-
seph Tripp, son of John and Mary
(Paine) Tripp.  Children: John, born July
6, 1668; Thomas, March 28, 1670; Jona-
than Oct. 5, 1671; Peleg, Nov. 11, 1673;
Ebenezer, Dec. 12, 1675; James, Jan. 12,
1677; Alice, Feb. 1, 1679;  Abiel, Jan. 8,
1681; Mehitable, Oct. 9, 1683; Joseph, Aug.
24, 1685; Jabez, Nov. 3, 1687; Mary, Aug.
22, 1689; Daniel, Nov. 3, 1691.
3. Mary, died April 4 1747, married
March 18, 1671, Francis Brayton, son of
Francis and Mary Brayton.   Children:
Mary, born Jan. 1 1676; Thomas, June
14, 1681; Francis, March 17, 1684; David,
Oct. 23, 1686; Mehitable, Jan. 12, 1693;
Benjamin, Sept. 8, 1695.
4. Alice, died 1734, married William
Knowles, son of Henry.  Children: Henry,
(born Sept. 9, 1675), William, Daniel. Rob-
ert, John.
5. Daniel, married, 1682, Abigail Mum-
ford daughter of Thomas and Sarah
(Sherman) Mumford.  Children:  Comfort,
1683; Thomas, 1685; Ruth, 1687; Daniel,
1690, Sarah, 1694, Jeremiah, 1698.
6. Robert, married 1686 Mary Hall,
daughter of Zuriel and Elizabeth Hall.  
Children:  Robert, 1690; Mary, 1693; Wil-
liam, 1695; Zuriel. 1697; Isaac; Alice, 1792;
Jonathan, 1704; Daniel, 1707; David, 1710.
7. John.
Preserved (3) (Thomas 2, Thomas 1)
Fish, married May 30, 1699, Ruth Cook,
daughter of John and Ruth (Shaw) Cook,
and died July 15, 1745.  Children:  Grizzel,
born 1699; Ruth, 1701; Thomas, Dec. 1,
1703, married, 1724, Mercy, daughter of
John and Mary (Stanton) Coggeshall;
Amy, 1705; Sarah, 1707; John, Feb. 23,
1709; Preserved, 1713; Benjamin, 1716, 
married Priscilla Arthurs.
Thomas and Mercy (Coggeshall) Fish
had children; Lydia, born 1725; Thomas,
married, 1750, Hannah Cornell; Mary,
married Cornelius Deuel; Joshua, born
1743; Hannah; John, born Feb. 16, 1734,
and two more.
Benjamin and Priscilla (Arthurs) Fish
had children: Sarah, born 1740; Pre-
served, 1741; Rhoda, 1743; Stephen, 1745;
Peace, 1747; John, 1749; Gilbert, 1751;
Artemas, 1754; Elisha (1), 1756; Elija,
1759; Elisha (2) 1762; Elihu, 1759, Gard-
ner, 1763.
Ruth (3) Fish (Daniel 2, Thomas 1),
married Joseph Thomas, and had a son,
Joseph, born 1718, who married Sarah
Estes, and had a large family, including
David Thomas, born 1761, who married
Elizabeth Fish, daughter of Robert and
Bathsheba (Barber) Fish.  Robert was a
grandson of Robert and Mary (Hall) Fish.
Daniel (3) Fish (Robert 2, Thomas 1)
had a son Preserved who had a son Job,
born 1774, married 1797 Mary Wilcox.
Mary (5) Fish Duel (Thomas 4, Pre-
served 3, Thomas 2, Thomas 1) had chil-
dren Isaac Preserved, Ruth, Mary, Ed-
mund, Audrey, Mercy, Thomas.
Joshua (5) Fish (Thomas 4, Preserved
3, Thomas 2, Thomas 1), born Jan. 13,
1743, married Phoebe Wright, daughter
of Job and Mary (or Phoebe) Wright,
1. Hannah, born 1765, married 1784
Jonathan Howland, and had children,
Isaac, Samuel, Daniel. Mercy, Hannah,
Esther and Phoebe.
2. Job, born 1766, married 1787 Rachel
Lounsbury.  Children:  Elizabeth, born
1789, married William Jones; Elias Hicks,
1792, Married 1813, Betsy Van Wagner;
Phoebe, 1795, married Daniel Norton;
Hannah, 1797, married 1821, Nahum
Warner; Ezra; Job, born 1803, married 
first, 1826, Maria Brown, second 1837,
Abigail Sinclear, third 1839, Pluma Geer;
John Nelson, 1805, married 1828 Susan
3. Peter, married Elsie Howland.
4. Preserved, married Lydia Strong,
and had children:  Joshua, born 1799, mar-
ried 1831 Juliana Moore; Hannah, married
Ashbel Curtis; John; Mary, married wil-
liam Elliot; Phoebe, married Hall Curtis;
Sally, married Rus Curtis.
5. John, married Polly Howe, and had
Platt Fish.
6. Thomas, married, March 4, 1795,
Lydia Briggs. Children:  Hannah, born
1796, died young; Daniel, 1798, married
1819, Anna Sprague; Polly, 1800, married
1816, Luther Sowle; Ann, 1801, married
1822, Thomas B Sowle; 1846, Jonathan
Hoyt; Anson T., 1806, married Sally _____;
Lucinda, 1810; Hannah, 1815, married
1832, J.L. Staples.
Artemas (5) Fish (Benjamin 4, Pre-
served 3, Thomas 2, Thomas 1), born 1754,
married Ann Shreve.  Children:  Job,
born 1777, married Mary Sisson; Ruth,
1779, married Abraham Barker, 1802;
Peleg, 1780, married Alice Sisson; Isaac,
married Sarah Bunnel; David, 1786; Mary,
1788; Anne, 1790, married ______ Potter;
Artemas, 1799; Eliza, 1799.
Elias Hicks Fish (the name indicates
that his parents were Quakers), son of
Job (6) (Joshua 5, Thomas 4, Preserved 3,
Thomas 2, Thomas 1) born 1792, died 
1867, Burr Oak, Mich., married Betsy
Van Wagner, daughter of Nicholas and
Katherine (Grant) Van Wagner, whose
genealogy has been traced back to Aert
Jacobson and Evert Pels, early settlers
in Albany, N. Y.  Children:  Rachel
Lounsbury, born 1814, died 1905, unmar-
ried; Nicholas Van Wagner, 1816, died
1895, married Matilda Perkins; Charles
Lounsbury, 1818,died 1903, married
Susan M. Stewart; Alexander, 1820, died
1823; Elias (M.D.), 1824, died 1902, married
Mary Gurney; Job, 1828, died 1923, mar-
ried Ann E. Peabody; Mary Ann, 1831,
died 1923, married Albert W. Judson;
John (M.D.), 1833, died 1888, married
Mary Peabody; Emily, 1836, died 1913,
married, first, Henry Canfield, second,
Dr. O. H. Wood; Elizabeth Jones, 1838,
died 1902, married Charles Powers.
Job Fish, above, had children: Flor-
ence, Williston and Josephine, twins,
Nicholas and Matilda, twins (died in-
fants), Mary, Job, John, Albert and An-
nie, twins.  Of the eight children, all
were school teachers, and all but one 
were college graduates.  The father was
a teacher for more than fifty years.  (The
last statement is for the benefit of 
H. J. B. C. 5741, Aug. 23, 1933.)
F. E. W. K.”


What an incredibly caring and sharing community of genealogists who kept that column of the newspaper going over many years.  Very similar to the community of support I have found today between  genealogists, town employees, genealogy & history societies, blogs, G+, and FB.

I have no idea how many questions that were submitted went unanswered.  I'm sure they had their own "brick walls" of the day that they too struggled with solving, just like we are today.  I could list a few I'd love to have submitted.
The Oblong Friends Meeting House in Dutchess County,
New York.  Thomas Fish and his wife Mercy Coggeshall
moved to Oblong with their family, including their
daughter Lydia who married Timothy Dakin, shortly
before the OblongFriends Meeting was set off from
the Purchase Monthly Meeting in 1744.  This building
dates from the 1760's.
Lydia Fish Dakin was my GGGG'great grandmother
she would have attended meetings for worship and
meetings for business on the women's side.  The building
is split down the middle inside and has matching men's
and women's halves.  Women had their own business
meetings in those days.

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich
The URL for this page is:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

They Might Have Arrived on an Alien Space Ship, But They Owned Land in 1656 -- However, What Was the Date?

When I discovered that had the Massachusetts Land Office Records found in  County Courthouses throughout Massachusetts, 1620-1986 available online, I wanted to look for my Thomas Dakin/Dakeynes/Dacon who was one of the persons who got "first division lands" in Concord [now part of Sudbury], after he was dropped off by an alien space ship [for some reason he hasn't been found on any of the ship manifests before the 1650s when he was in Concord getting first and second division lands.]

Deed Grantee Index for Middlesex County, 1639-1799, A-G

The actual records aren't searchable, however, the above entry in the Grantee Index clearly shows where to look for the actual record for Thomas Dakeynes: volume 2, page 105.  The Grantor Index gives the same information, ironically Thomas Dakeynes is both the grantor and grantee in these indexes. very nicely not only uploaded the index but they uploaded the books too.  So going to volume 2, page 105 produced the deed referenced here.

Middlesex County, Massachusetts Deeds, volume 2, pages 104, 105

The Dakin deed is the one on the lower right corner of the above pages, shown below:

Thomas Dakeynes/Dakin/Dacon, husbandman, and his wife Sarah sold land, that they previously bought from widow Elizabeth Barrow, to John Hayward who signed an indenture (agreement) dated 9th day 11th month 1656.  The index gives a date almost three years later in 1659.  Looking closely at the deed, it clearly shows both in the text of the deed that it was the "9th day, 11th month 1656" and in the notation in the margin: "9.11.1656"
I have not transcribed the deed [very hard to read, will work on that later] but it looks like there is another sale of this land to Samuel and Josiah Dillard on 14th of 2nd month 1658.

So where did the date of 12 August 1659 come from?  It appears that was the date that they recorded the deed in the county of Middlesex.  If you look at both this deed and the one above it, the person who  recorded the deed was Thos Danforth.  The deed on top was agreed to 22 April 1657, but entered and recorded in 1659, by Thomas Danforth.

Since they lived in Concord which is part of Middlesex County, the county seat of Middlesex (now and then) is Cambridge -- probably about 16 miles away.  Historically, looking at Newberry Library's historic county maps, Concord was in Middlesex County which was established in 1643 as one of the original Massachusetts counties.  People did not live near the county office, in this case it is about 16 miles away on modern roads (then, not by modern highways with easily driven cars) -- long walk or horseback ride.  Maybe they didn't see a need to record it until it there was yet another sale of the land.  Maybe everyone involved went to Cambridge and recorded it 12 August 1659.

Another question would be: when was the index created?
This index goes from 1639 to 1799.  Was it created in 1800 or in some year long after that?  My reason for asking this question has to do with the change from the Julian to Gregorian Calendar in many Protestant countries (including England and its colonies) in 1752.  In the Julian Calendar New Year's Day was not the first of January.  Instead New Years Day was the 25th of March:  Annunciation Day (nine months prior to Christmas in the Christian churches, the day that Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary about her new upcoming role as the mother of Jesus).  With the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, the 1st of January became New Years Day.

Thinking about the question of when was this index created, I wondered: how was the index creator reading "9th day, 11th month"?  In 1800, the 11th month was November, but in 1656, the 11th month was January.

Looking closely at the recording date by Thos Danforth:

I transcribed this last sentence:
"Entered and Recorded  12th (8 mo  59    By Thos Danforth Record."

In the Julian Calendar, 8th month would be October, and if I read this correctly, then the date should be 12 October 1659.

If the person creating the grantor and grantee index which goes through 1799, was thinking of the difference between the calendars of 1659 and their current year, would the date have been recorded as 12 October instead of 12 August 1659?

I can't get into the mind of the person with the wonderful handwriting who created the index.  But it would be nice to be able to ask that question!  [Personally I wish that Danforth who entered and recorded the deed had equally as good handwriting!]


If you want more information on the change between the Julian and Gregorian calendars --- the why, how and when--- check out The 1752 Calendar Change on the Connecticut State Library website.   Since the Protestant countries switched many years after the Catholic Countries, there was an adjustment needed which involved eliminating 11 days in 1752.  The Connecticut Library site points out as examples of what happened with the change:

The changeover involved a series of steps:
• December 31, 1750 was followed by January 1, 1750 (under the "Old Style" calendar, December was the 10th month and January the 11th)
• March 24, 1750 was followed by March 25, 1751 (March 25 was the first day of the "Old Style" year)
• December 31, 1751 was followed by January 1, 1752 (the switch from March 25 to January 1 as the first day of the year)
• September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, 1752 (drop of 11 days to conform to the Gregorian calendar)

The link to this post is

©Erica Dakin Voolich 2013