From the late 1700s to the early decades of the 1800s, there was a mass exodus of families from Connecticut.
In 1812 my ancestors Asa and Esther Hinman Hickok, their six children (ages ten to twenty-four): Reuben, Sylvia, Louisa, David H. (his wife and son), Hannah, and Justus left Connecticut and settled in what was then Lumberland, New York. (In The Mill on Halfway Brook, I stated it was 1811. But later read that Asa said it was 1812.)
Earlier, around 1790, Asa’s brother Gideon Hickok Sr., his wife Hannah, and their two sons Francis and Gideon Jr. crossed the Hudson River, and settled in an area of the Catskill Mountains, later called Greenville, New York.
Asa’s niece Hannah Hickok, her husband Zephaniah Smith and three young daughters, Hancy Zephina, Cyrinthia Sacretia, and Laurilla Aleroyla Smith, stayed in Connecticut. In 1792 the family moved to Eastbury.
In 1795 The Smiths, with the addition of Julia Evelina resided in Kimberly Mansion, a two-story home on a large property in nearby Glastenbury (now Glastonbury), Connecticut. Two years later Abby Hadassah Smith was born.
The main focus of Abby, Laurilla, and Mary Ann is on Asa’s daughter Hannah Hickok Eldred, and granddaughter Mary Ann; and Asa’s niece Hannah Hickok Smith and her five daughters. Asa’s other children and Gideon’s two sons play a part as they are all first cousins of Hannah Hickok Smith.
In the summer of 1854 Abby Smith and her sister Laurilla Smith visited their mother Hannah Smith’s first cousins Reuben and Louisa Hickok in Pennsylvania; and Justus Hickok, his family, James and Hannah Hickok Eldred, and their daughter Mary Ann Eldred Austin, in the newly created Town of Highland (taken out of Lumberland).
Over the next 15 years, Abby Smith wrote eight letters to her second cousin Mary Ann Eldred Austin and her daughter Emma Austin.