It is the 1600s. You and your family plan to sail from England, across the Atlantic Ocean, to a new land (wilderness), sight unseen. What do you need to take that will last a year while you get settled?
At the top of the list are clothes and food: hogsheads of meal, barrels of pease, and oatmeal.
You need seeds to grow your own food. Tools to help build your house and keep up your property include: axes, augers, scythes, shovels and spades, iron and lead, grindstones, barrels of pitch and tar, cables, cordage, chains, and hooks. Add munitions, fishing equipment, farm implements, animals and fodder (and hope there is room on the ship).
“An indentured servant counted on the employer for clothes and food. In 1635 Thomas Moore, on his way to Virginia, took cheese, butter, cloth, staffs, shirts, stockings, and other goods for his indentured servants.”—Alison Games, Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World, pp. 64–5.
Abby, Laurilla, and Mary Ann, The Heritage and Legacy of the Daughters of Two Hannah Hickoks, 1635–1906, presents one branch of the Hickok family as it intertwines through three hundred years of Connecticut and United States history.
The narrative features two first cousins named Hannah Hickok and their daughters. The focus—mainly on Hannah Hickok Smith and her daughters: Abby, Laurilla, Zephina, Cyrinthia, and Julia Smith, in Glastenbury, Connecticut—includes short visits to Hannah Hickok Eldred and her daughter Mary Ann Eldred Austin, in Lumberland, New York.
Brimming with details from 1600 to 1900, Abby, Laurilla, and Mary Ann connects the influence of the Bible, events, documents, speeches, and people from both Old and New England, with the reoccurring cry against “taxation without representation,” the need for women’s education, the fight against slavery, and the struggle for women to gain the right to vote.
Hannah Hickok Smith and her daughters are highlighted as they interact with notable people in U.S. history, including Lafayette, early advocates for girls’ education, and abolitionist and woman’s rights advocates: William Lloyd Garrison, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Lucy Stone.
In 1874 Abby and Julia Smith (the last of the Smith sisters) were recognized nationally when they confronted their town’s unfair taxes. In articulate letters and speeches the elderly sisters questioned authorities why half the population (women) of the United States could not vote.
Abby and Julia (sometimes sarcastic, but never hateful) recalled principles from both history and the Bible, and used skills they honed during their fight against slavery (with their mother and sisters), to refute, challenge, and scold those in power, to do what was reasonable and right.
Over the next few weeks I plan to post some sidebars from:
“Chapter One: The First Four Hickok Ancestors, William, Joseph, Benjamin, Justus, 1635–1770,” starts with the departure of William Hitchcock from London, on the Plain Joan.
“Chapter Two: Shillings, Scholars, Linen, and Pecks, David Hickok’s Journals, 1769–1775,” includes David’s description of life in South Britain, CT, from his journals.
(Asa Hickok, my direct ancestor and grandfather of Mary Ann Eldred Austin, was David’s brother. Asa was mentioned in David’s journals. Asa arrived in the Town of Lumberland, NY, in 1812, according to Asa’s application for a Revolutionary War pension.)
It has been a long time since I posted, but we are doing ok here in Cave Creek.
Abby, Laurilla, and Mary Ann, the book about my Hickok ancestors (1600–1900), is hopefully in the last stages. The text and some 144 sidebars are completed, as is a 3-page timeline, 2 family trees, endnotes, and index. One map is left and several read throughs to catch the edits which manufactured themselves as the book was written.
I have become the organizer of almost all of my parents’ gazillion family photos and document collection (thanks to my mother saving them). I am currently organizing the Lone Scout letters girls from all over the U.S. wrote to my uncle McKinley (Mac) Austin in January and February 1918, before he left for France to fight in WWI.
This is a partial repost from 2016. I am hoping more people have been researching their relatives and might be interested that their relative wrote a letter, while attending high school. I would love to hear from you if one of these young ladies was your relative. You can leave a comment on this post or contact me at: HalfwayBrook at protonmail dot com
It’s been busy times here in Cave Creek. October and November were intense times of editing Gary’s book, Deans Garage, The Future is Back, which was finally published in January.
November and December were exciting months with visits from two different families and a total of six grandchildren (the oldest is five). Then an encounter with a milder, though still miserable flu in January.
I continue to work on my next book, Abby, Laurilla, and Mary Ann; The Heritage and Legacy of the Daughters of Two Hannah Hickoks, 1635–1906.
As I have time, I plan to put up some of my favorite images from my Halfway Brook books. Today’s color postcard from Great Aunt Aida Austin’s collection is Eldred, perhaps in the 1920s or 30s.
Arthur Wilson’s General Merchandise is the first building on the right. Next is Wait and Boyd’s Garage. Parker’s Hotel is second on the left.
October 14, 2009 I wrote that The Mill on Halfway Brook was in its final, final edit. But it would be February 2010 before the first of the Halfway Brook books would be published.
The Mill on Halfway Brook included mainly stories and photos that had been saved within (or new provided by) the Austin and Leavenworth families (as well as research).
After The Mill on Halfway Brook was published, I began to get contributions of stories and photos from many people related in someway to Halfway Brook Village (Eldred), and the villages of what became the Town of Highland, Sullivan County, New York. What grand memories and friendships.
The Postcards on the left are from the collection of my great-aunt Aida Austin. They can be enlarged by clicking on the photo.