Searching for Hannah Smith (cont.)

Below: where Hannah Smith and many of my other ancestors lived in the nineteenth century.

Stark New Hampshire. Wikipedia

Stark New Hampshire. Wikipedia

As I continue to pour old through records, looking for information about Hannah Smith, I have discovered several facts about her family.  Although she died at 31, perhaps in childbirth, Hannah had a younger sister Parmelia who died around the same age in a sanitorium in New York.  In 1850, Parmelia Smith and her younger sister Vesta were living with Hannah Smith’s daughter Ellen Nichols, my second great-grandmother (Hannah was my third great-grandmother) and her family.

Vesta married Thomas Nichols, an older brother of Ellen’s husband Jonas. The brothers and their wives all lived in Coos County New Hampshire, up and down the road from each other, and they all farmed according to Civil War draft registration and pension records. These men all fought for the Union and survived to die young from other causes, like accidents and infectious diseases.

The marker below is in the cemetery in Stark New Hampshire.  I took a photo of it in 1978, but my then husband kept all these photos.  He was totally annoyed with me because for six days, I asked him to drive all over New England so I could visit graveyards, looking for ancestors (we were on our ‘honeymoon’).   Afterward, when people asked how was the honeymoon, he held up his arms and mimicked driving.  This marriage lasted 2 years and a couple of months (long story).

Louisa Jackson Nichols grave marker

Louisa Jackson Nichols grave marker

Thomas Nichols, Oakwood Cemetery, Janesville WI

Thomas Nichols, Oakwood Cemetery, Janesville WI

The marker above right indicates the grave of Lois Jackson Nichols, ‘wife of Thomas Nichols (marker right).’  I posted Thomas’ grave photo a couple of days ago, but show it again here.  He died in Janesville WI after the Civil War and was working for the railroad when he died.   Lois lived many years longer than Thomas, but returned to Stark to live with her brother.  I wondered when I found her grave why she was not buried with her husband and figured it out today.

As for Hannah Smith, my third great-grandmother, I have discovered her parents, Warren and Rachel married in Quebec Canada in the Anglican Church, and Hannah, their oldest girl was born in East Canada, perhaps Nova Scotia (they were not French Canadian).

Hannah’s mother, Rachel Walton (no kin to ‘John-boy’ but descended from a Peabody), may have been something of a wild child as she came from New England, where she married her first husband, had a son George four months later, and the boy had a different last name from the first husband.

Rachel then married her second husband in Quebec  (she was not a widow). I found two marriage certificates for Rachel, and discovered she used her ‘married’ name (husband #1…not the father of the boy) when she married my fourth great-grandfather, Warren. Starchy New Englanders indeed!

Rachel came of age around the time of the War of 1812 when a great deal of turmoil was occurring around the U.S. /Canada border.  Telling Rachel’s story almost requires another post, but I am still filling in the details for Hannah and her sisters.


Meanwhile, back here, David is very upset.  Today, he visited his bone guy who Xrayed him, and told him arthritis has completely taken over his body.  There are no more joint replacements in David’s future. The doc told him to walk-walk-walk until he can’t anymore. “I’m here for you,” he told David.

16 thoughts on “Searching for Hannah Smith (cont.)

  1. I am enjoying the family history… I don’t think we were blog friends when I was transcribing my great grandmother’s journal. I made that blog private…I have to go look at it… I am very sorry about David’s news… It is not easy to know that you will have more challenges in the future…. Michelle


    • Walk-walk-walk is very painful. To find my female relatives, I must first find the males, although Ancestry has done a pretty good job of linking. Home births and death also present problems. And New Engand is so small, some people have records in multiple states. And as if that were not enough, the geography changes from year to year in some instances. Intuition and hunches are my best friends in this search.


  2. I’m sorry to hear David’s news. I’ve been to told to walk too, do stretches in bed before I get up and so on. I just discovered how sneaky a disease it is. Sending you good thoughts and some good luck wouldn’t hurt either.


  3. I have to give you Kudos for delving into your past. It takes a lot of patience and I tried it but found I was not good at it. Isn’t it sad how young the people were when they died back then?
    I know how David feels. I have very bad scoliosis and my Doctor (who I’ve had for 30 years) has told me ….”I’m here for you, even when you become a crooked little old lady” …I guess he feels that will help !


    • It’s tough to take. The end is near, but we want to keep it away as long as possible.

      I develeloped my research skills at work and honed them in grad school. That degree in history is helping. And genealogy is a life long obsession.


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