James Russell – Aunt Bolles Connection

As a follow up to the post about Aunt Bolles and her Spoons, I wanted to determine the exact connection between James Russell and Dorcas (Russell) Bolles.  In his letter to Edward Henry9 Dickerman, James closed with the signature line

“Your affect. Cousin, James Russell”

The original letter can be seen here and the transcription here: Letter_of_James_Russell-June_19_1886-Transcription

So how were Dorcas and James actually related?  For many years I hoped that James was the brother of Dorcas, which may have lead me to her and my Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Mary Russell’s parents.   Russ Dickerman and I have made the case that Dorcas, Mary, Diantha, and Albert G. Russell were all children of William Russell, son of Jason and Elizabeth (Locke) Russell.  (See “Russell’n Through the Leaves”)

1900UnitedStatesFederalCensusForJamesRussell

1900 Census entry for James Russell

However, after reviewing the census records of the late nineteenth century for Mason, New Hampshire, I do not believe James Russell was the son of William, or even the nephew of William (making him a first cousin of Dorcas).  Instead, I now think it is more likely that this James Russell was born in 1838, the son of Jonathan and Sophia (Farwell) Russell.   In the 1880 Census for Mason, James Russell is listed as a Lumber Dealer, aged 42, living with his parents, two younger brothers, and a sister-in-law.   By the 1900 census, he was married to Lydia Farnsworth with son James Howard Russell listed at age seven.  The court documents provide no clues as to whether this is the “right” James Russell.

The original petition for custody of Dorcas Bolles was dated November 1882, when James H. Bolles died.  James Russell’s father Jonathan had died in January of the same year, but his mother Sophia Farwell lived until 1891. Were Sophia and Dorcas perhaps very close friends?   Sadly, Aunt Bolles passed away the next spring on April 29, 1883.  So we’re still wondering, where was the connection between James Russell and Dorcas (Russell) Bolles?

Well, tracing back the lineage of James Russell, we find that he and Dorcas are first cousins, once removed.  His father, Jonathan Russell, was the son of Josiah Russell.  Josiah was the third son of Jason Russell and Elizabeth Locke.  His youngest brother was William Russell, father of Dorcas.

NewHampshireDeathandDisintermentRecords1754-1947ForJamesRussell

Death Record of James Russell of Mason, N.H.

James Russell died in 1918, the result of being burned in a fire.  Lydia preceded him in death by fifteen years.  Their son, Lt. Col. James Howard Russell, is buried with his parents and wife in Milford near Mason.  Perhaps someday we will meet some of his descendants.

James and Lydia A. (Farnsworth) Russell

Headstone for James and Lydia A. Russell

As mentioned in the previous post, Aunt Dorcas was always highly regarded and well-loved by all the nieces and nephews.  Her three natural children died in childhood, but she adopted many children including Frank Bolles Dickerman, son of Samuel R. and Fannie (Bolles) Dickerman.  In fact, Fannie herself was adopted by the Bolles family and Frank thought so much of James and Dorcas that he changed his name to Frank Dickerman Bolles.  I can think of no better tribute to the extraordinary Aunt Bolles and her very generous husband, James Harrison Bolles.

Aunt Bolles and Her Spoons

Part of the draw of genealogy study is the desire to know your ancestors, to know where you came from.  For other researchers, it’s the desire to solve a mystery – to fill in some missing piece of a larger puzzle that motivates you to spend countless hours researching what was once known but now is lost.

Russell'n_cover

For this researcher, I must admit it’s both.   I enjoy learning more about my ancestors, but when a puzzle piece falls neatly into place, I get a real feeling of accomplishment.

So it was earlier this fall when I went back and re-read the “Russell’n Through the Leaves” short story.   This story outlines the re-discovery of cousins long forgotten and the efforts of my family to re-connect.  One of the enduring mysteries of this chapter was the relationship of Aunt Bolles and James Russell.

Letter of James Russell_envelope

Letter of James Russell – 1886

In a letter dated June 19, 1886, James Russell wrote to Edward Henry9 Dickerman, my Great-Great Grandfather, and addressed him as “Dear Cousin Ed”.  In the letter James describes a family dispute “among the heirs” of an estate worth some $40,000 – a sizable fortune in those days.  James was referring to the estate of Mr. James Harrison Bolles, a wealthy resident of Pepperill, Massachusetts.  James Bolles died November 5th, 1882 and his widow, Mrs. Dorcas R. Bolles, was deemed “insane” and under the guardianship of James Russell.  The full Probate Record from Hollis, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire can be read here:

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Guardianship_of_Dorcas_R_Bolles-File_No_8195

Edward9 was described as “next of kin and heir”.   My conclusion was that he was the nephew of Dorcas R. (Russell) Bolles, the sister of his mother Mary Russell Dickerman.  (Mary R. Dickerman later married Arnold Payne in Michigan.)   But how does James Russell fit into the picture?  Was he perhaps a brother of Dorcas and Mary?  After a decade of research, this author has not found any direct evidence to prove this to be true, though it seems very likely.

In my personal library, besides the 1886 letter, I have copies of several correspondences between James Russell, Edward Dickerman, and his Uncle Albert G. Russell.  Albert was a younger brother of Mary and Dorcas and a prominent citizen of Hubbardston, Michigan.  After the death of her husband, Samuel8 Dickerman in 1850, Mary R. moved to Michigan to live “in the wilderness” with her brother, A.G. Russell.  The family kept in contact with relatives back east through a series of letters and visits.  Much of our current research has been based upon the content of these letters.

Perhaps the most interesting part of James Russell’s 1886 letter is a paragraph near the end.   He states

“There are a lot of spoons at Bennett’s, which Bennett’s wife proposed to have divided among the nephews and nieces of Mrs. Bolles.  It seems to me if any interest attaches to them it would be better for one to have the set than divide them among a dozen or so”
“I think there are a dozen teaspoons and three or four table spoons.”

These were likely silver spoons which would have had an intrinsic value but certainly far more value today as a family heirloom.  It  seems they were, indeed, “divided up among the heirs.”   So this begs the question, whatever became of these spoons?  This remained a mystery until just recently.

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Who was this Aunt Bolles?  She was always spoken of fondly among the letters and was undoubtedly a favorite Aunt of all the Dickerman children.   There was a bit of tragedy in her life but also a remarkable spirit that was evidenced by her actions.

Dorcas Russell and James Harrison Bolles were married January 27th, 1835 in Charleston, Massachusetts.  They had three children, James Albert (b. 1838), Julie Lorena (b. 1844) and  Lucy Mary (b. 1848).  Sadly, each died within a month of birth.  However, Mr. and Mrs. Bolles went on to adopt many children including the minor children of John Dickerman and her aunt Sally Ann Dakin.  The original Probate Records of this adoption can be seen here:

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Guardianship_of_Samuel_Dickerman_et_als-File_No_2715

S.R. Dickerman

Portrait of Sgt. S.R. Dickerman

It turns out the Bolles would open their home to many children including an adoption of young, Dolly Ann Francena Butterfield.  Dolly was born Dec. 11, 1830, the daughter of David S. Butterfield and Catharine Hicklings.  Though I have yet to locate the original probate records of adoption, it seems that Dolly’s name was changed to Francena Ann Bolles and that she was known as “Fannie”.   A young veteran of the Mexican-American War, Samuel R.9 Dickerman, met Fannie and married her on March 12th, 1855.  Fannie gave birth to Frank Bolles10 Dickerman on June 26th of that year and tragically died July 20th, less than a month after giving birth.

Later, on December 16, 1861, S.R. Dickerman, would marry Sophia Blood and have a son George Henry Ainsworth10 Dickerman, in August 1863.  George H.A. Dickerman’s descendant is Russell12 Dickerman who still lives in the Nashua, New Hampshire area.  When visiting Russ we came across the gravestone of Fannie A. Bolles, wife of S.R. Dickerman in Pepperill, Massachusetts as described in the “Russell’n” story.  Incredibly, Russ said that a lock of red hair had been passed down with Fannie’s name attached.  Until we re-discovered her headstone at Pepperill, Russ had no idea who she was.

Fannie A. Bolles, wife of S.R. Dickerman

Fannie A. Bolles, wife of S.R. Dickerman

But what of this young lad, Frank Bolles Dickerman?  Without his mother to care for him, Sam left his son in the care of James and Dorcas Bolles.  Both Samuel and Frank were present in their home during the 1860 census.  With the outbreak of the Civil War, Samuel joined the New Hampshire Regiment and was captured late in the war.  Sadly, S.R. Dickerman died while a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.  However, his name is not on any of the death rosters and his 1864 diary was lost.  Samuel’s 1862 and 1863 diaries will be the subject of another post at some time in the future.

So now, we have Frank Bolles Dickerman, less than ten years old with both Mother and Father deceased.  The Bolles raised him as their own child and applied for his guardianship.  Eventually Frank took the name Frank Dickerman Bolles as described in the Last_Will_of_James_H_Bolles-File_No_8193.  Searching the internet this year I came across an Ancestry.com page called “The Frank Dickerman Bolles Story”, written by his grandson, Kenneth Bolles11.   The entire story is available in pdf format here:

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Frank Dickerman Bolles Story, by Kenneth Bolles – Ancestry

Following up on this story, I contacted Ken’s son Richard B. Bolles12 who posted the story to Ancestry.com and reprinted here with his permission.  Richard is a twelfth generation descendant of Thomas1 Dickerman.  Richard put me in contact with Wendelyn Bolles 13 who shared with me a photo of a spoon passed down to her through her father and grandfather.  At last, we find one of Aunt Bolles’ spoons.

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Aunt Bolles spoon – courtesy Wendelyn Bolles.

Even more importantly, we’ve found new cousins and descendants of Thomas1 Dickerman.  Many thanks to Richard and Wendy for their help with this effort.

Dickerman Ancestry, Additum for Thomas[1] Dickerman

Dickerman Ancestry, Additum for Thomas (___-1657)

 by David Allen Lower  (issue December 2013)

 

Abstract

 The “Dickerman Ancestry“, an excellent genealogical work published in 1897, chronicled many of the descendents of Thomas Dickerman (___-1657), emigrant to Dorchester, Massachusetts from England about 1635. Recently discovered archives add substantially to the birth, marriage and family record of Thomas.

This additum to the Dickerman Ancestry indicates two wives taken by Thomas in England prior to his known wife and emigrant companion Ellen (1601-1676) variously Elenor (Whittington). We find his first child,  daughter Hannah (1622-1665), born of his first wife Elizabeth Sims (abt 1597-bef1623). We confirm his first son, Thomas Jr. (1623-1685), was born of his second wife, Marie Eustaire (abt 1600-bef 1631). The last three sons, Abraham (abt 1634-1711), Isaac (1637-____) and John (1644-d.young), are then seen to be born of Elenor (1601-1711).  Hannah, not mentioned in the Dickerman Ancestry, is found first at New Haven, CT, married 1st to Captain William Ives and 2nd to Dr. William Bassett. These revelations begin to untangle a multitude of improper notations in the greater genealogical database with respect to Thomas Dickerman and his family.

Further evidence is put forward that while Thomas Dickerman was “of St. Georges Parish, Southwark, Surrey” (stated by Banks), he was married 1st (1613) at St. Georges, married 2nd (1622) and son Thomas christened (1623) at Saint Clement Danes, London (across London Bridge from St. Georges), and married 3rd at Little Missendon (1631), Buckinghamshire. He is likely the son of George Dickerman (____-abt 1615) “of Marston Morteyne, Bedfordshire”, and may have had a younger “brother” Abraham living in St. Georges, Southwark about 1620. Also, Thomas Dickerman may have been christened at the Mears Shelby School, Norwich, Norfolkshire, in 1605.

Insert- Little Missendon Marriages - pg 1 Insert- Little Missendon Marriages - pg 2

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The full text of this Additum is available in PDF format here:

 

http://dickerman.org/pdf/Dickerman_Ancestry_Additum-DAL_Dec_2013.pdf

 

Hole-in-One

Hole-in-One_002Among the several goals of this website is to scan and catalog the photo and document collections of other researchers involved with the descendants of Thomas1 Dickerman.  We are assembling these “Collections” in an internet repository as part of the goal to preserve as much detail as possible from our ancestors.

A current project involves my own Grandfather, Edward Henry11 Dickerman, son of Samuel James10 Dickerman.  Grandpa’s generation was the first in my line to take casual photos so we have quite a collection to prepare.  One of my fond memories of my Grandfather was when he gave me an old twin-lens reflex camera that he no longer used.  Later, he gave me a nice Japanese SLR camera he had retired and the last was a little red point –and-shoot that I still have today.  (Admittedly, it’s a bit more difficult to find film these days than when Grandpa gave it to me.)

Here’s a photo of Edward with sons Bill (Wilford Gene12 Dickerman) and Jim (James Samuel12 Dickerman).

Wilford G., Edward H., James S. Dickerman

Wilford Gene, Edward Henry, James Samuel Dickerman

Grandpa Dickerman’s line from Thomas  is:

Edward Henry11, Samuel James10, Edward Henry9, Samuel8 ,Samuel7, Samuel6, Samuel5, John4, John3, Thomas2, Thomas1 Dickerman
 

Hole-in-One_001

While Grandpa was never much on genealogy (see “Russell’n through the Leaves”), he did like taking pictures, so this project will take some time.  However, something of interest came along I thought I should share today.

Among his many interests, Ed liked to golf.  Now, his son Jim (James Samuel11 Dickerman) was always the athlete of the family as well as the family historian.  I imagine things could get a little competitive around the Dickerman household with Jim, a tennis champion, Bill (my Dad) an avid golfer and sportsman, and Grandpa Ed.  But on one particular day, Grandpa Ed got the upper hand with a Hole-in-One at the American Legion Golf Course in Owosso, Michigan.

The shot must have frazzled Jim a bit that day. Grandpa beat him and the local paper didn’t let him off easily.  Check out the ad from the Dry Cleaners that week.  Hole-in-One_004

Origins of Thomas[1] Dickerman – Part II

Following up on my last post, I came across the Ives Family History Blog and an article written by David Allen Lower dated August 8, 2007. Blog owner and administrator Bill Ives has spent countless hours and many years tracing the family history of Williams Ives and his descendants.  A classic internet “rumor” is that Hannah Dickerman, the eldest daughter of Thomas1 Dickerman, was the wife of William Ives.  Bill takes issue with this supposition in this post:

http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/controversy_over_william_ives_wife/index.html

Interestingly, Hannah was never listed in the Dickerman Genealogy by E.D. Dickerman.   It is likely that Edward was simply unaware of any records relating to Hannah, as she was older than Thomas2 and the younger brothers.  Several current researchers agree with Bill Ives that the wife of Williams Ives, referred to in the original source documents as “Goodwife Ives”, was not in fact the daughter of Thomas and Ellen Dickerman.  He leaves the possibility open, however, with a reference to the research and report of David Allen Lower.

After reading David’s two-part report with excellent source references, this author agrees that it seems Thomas1 Dickerman had actually married twice prior to his marriage to Elenor Whittington.  The full text can be reviewed here:

http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-ances.html

and Part 2 here:

http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-anc-1.html

To summarize, David states that Thomas Dickerman married Elizabeth Simms in the St. George the Martyr’s parish in Southwark,  England on 14 Jun 1613.   Later, in the Saint Clement Danes parish of London there was an entry of marriage on 2 Nov 1622 between Thomas Dickerman and Marie Eustaire or Eustice.  Finally the marriage to Elenor Whittington on 20 Oct 1631 in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England as originally reported by Col. Charles E. Banks is also mentioned.

David suggests that because the surname Dickerman was unique at the time and because of the proximity to London, these three marriages are all of the same Thomas Dickerman – the Thomas Dickerman born about 1597 and our original immigrant ancestor referred in the Dickerman Genealogy as Thomas1.

In the interest of adding some clarity to this mystery, I spoke to David Allen Lower today by telephone.  He revealed that he personally inspected the parchment at Aylesbury for the marriage of Thomas and Elenor and confirms, without question, its authenticity.  David has a photocopy of the original document in his personal library.

Working on the assumption that David is correct regarding the first two marriages, we find that the Dickerman descendants in America may have two or possibly even three maternal lines.  Descendants of Thomas2 , who was born about 1623, would likely be descended from Marie Eustaire while the living descendants of Abraham2 and Isaac2 , both born after 1631, would be descended from Hannah Whittington.  Abraham was born in 1634 in England and Isaac in 1636/1637 in Dorchester.  Another son, John2 Dickerman was born in 1644 in Dorchester but died young without having children.

What about Hannah2 Dickerman, purported to have been born in 1622?  As noted above, there is some controversy about Hannah possibly being the wife of William Ives and after his death, the wife of William Bassett.  If the 1622 date of birth is to be believed, she may have been the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Simms, prior to the marriage of Thomas and Marie Eustaire.  Certainly more research needs to be done.  This author offers no opinion as to the Dickerman and Ives/Bassett controversy, but will refer the reader to the sites referenced below.

 

The author is descended from the elder Thomas2 and his mother Marie (Eustaire) Dickerman, while David Allen Lower is descended from Abraham2 and his mother Hannah (Whittington) Dickerman.

David’s pedigree from Thomas1 is shown here:

David Allen Lower11, Mary Nell10 Dickerman (Javens), Emma9 Dickerman, Elford8 Dickerman, Edward7, Jonathan6, Johnathan5, Jonathan4, Isaac3, Abraham2, Thomas1.

And, due to the marriage of Edward7 Dickerman to Laura Hotchkiss7, daughter of Elias Hotchkiss and Esther6 Dickerman, also here:

David Allen Lower11, Mary Nell10 Dickerman (Javens), Emma9 Dickerman, Elford8 Dickerman, Laura Hotchkiss7, Esther6 (Dickerman) Hotchkiss, James5 Dickerman, Samuel4, Isaac3, Abraham2, Thomas1.

Many thanks to David for his efforts and exceptional documentation.  Thanks also to the tireless efforts of Bill Ives and his excellent weblog.  As additional source documentation is discovered and digitized, it will be made available on this site.

 

References:

  1. Dickerman, Edward Dwight, & Dickerman, George Sherwood, Families of Dickerman Ancestry: Descendents of Thomas Dickerman. (Tuttle, Morehouse, & Taylor Press, 1897, updated 1922), Chapter 1, p. 385, 440.
  2. Ives Family History Blog – http://billives.typepad.com
  3. Report of David Allen Lower – http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-ances.html and http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog/2007/08/dickerman-anc-1.html
  4. Ancestry.com website – http://boards.ancestrylibrary.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=40&p=surnames.dickerman
  5. Genealogy.com Forum – http://genforum.genealogy.com/dickerman/messages/17.html

Origins of Thomas[1] Dickerman

So who exactly was Thomas1 Dickerman and where did he come from?  Being the original immigrant ancestor for most living Dickerman’s in America, this is certainly a valid question.  There has been much speculation regarding the ancestry of both Thomas1 and his wife, Ellen, in writing and on the internet. DickermanBook

The Descendants of Thomas Dickerman, an Early Settler of Dorchester, Massachusetts (later renamed the Dickerman Genealogy) describes his life and migration to New England in as much detail as was known to author Edward Dwight7 Dickerman back in 1897 when he wrote the first edition.   Prior to E.D. Dickerman’s excellent work, Albert Dickerman provided a brief description in the History of the Guilford Branch of the Dickerman Family, dedicated on the last day of 1869.  Perhaps it was Donald L. Jacobus who first revealed the origins of Thomas1 and Ellen in The American Genealogist in July 1950.   However, even Jacobus admitted that the source of his information, the late Horace Dickerman, may have revealed his research as much as twenty years earlier.  Undoubtedly, the original records upon which all this research was based sat quietly in the court records and parish register in England for centuries.   It is likely, too, that there are writings of which this author has no knowledge whatsoever.

Albert8 Dickerman published a small pamphlet in 1869 entitled the History of the Guilford Branch of the Dickerman Family which was perhaps one of the earliest published genealogies of the Dickerman Family.  Born in 1840 and raised in Masonville, N.Y., Albert 8 attended school until he was 16 and moved with his family to Ohio a year later.  During the Civil War, Albert  served with the Ohio Infantry achieving the rank of First Lieutenant, twice declining promotions to Captain.  After the war, he moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he became a lawyer and judge.  It was during this time that  he published the Guilford pamphlet.  Later, he moved to Muskegon, Michigan and finally to Watsonville, California.  Whether he knew or corresponded with his cousin, Edward Henry9 Dickerman, who was born the same year and also lived in Michigan after the war, remains a mystery.   In the pamphlet is this brief paragraph,

“Thomas Dickerman – Came from England in 1635, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The time and place of his birth are not known.  He was married after his arrival at Dorchester, to a woman whose Christian name was Ellen, but whose maiden name in full is not known.  He died at Dorchester in 1657, leaving two children, and after his death his widow married John Ballard, of Medfield, Massachusetts.  This is all that is known of the man from whom all the people of that name, in this country, are probably descended.”

Albert undoubtedly corresponded with E.D. Dickerman.   Edward7 gives credit for Albert’s early work in the Dickerman Genealogy book.  However, by the time of publication in 1897, Edward had much more to say about the origins of Thomas 1.   The entire Chapter I – Colonial Beginnings was devoted to the early New England origins and is an excellent read.  Edward describes the origins of Dorchester and the company of Rev. Richard Mather arriving from Bristol aboard the ship “James” in 1635.  Less than a year later, the newly organized church with an “especially prepared covenant” dated 23 June 1636 appears.  Among the earliest subscribers of that covenant was Thomas Dickerman.

 ThomasDickerman_signature

  E.D. Dickerman concludes :

“It seems likely that he was of Mr. Mather’s company and came with him from England.  This is not proved, however; nor do we find any traces of his previous history.  The records of that period have been diligently searched, both in this country and in England, but without success.”

Edward Dwight Dickerman goes on to speculate as to the origins of the name itself, and suggests that it

“seems to indicate a German origin, being compounded of the two words bid or bider and mann, meaning stout man.  It belongs, also, to many German families at the present time; and several representatives of these families have been among the recent immigrants from that country to America.”

The 1922 edition of the Dickerman Genealogy, renamed and published by Edward Dwight’s brother George Sherwood7 Dickerman provides no additional information regarding the origins of Thomas 1 Dickerman.

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The mystery remained.  This author first learned the name of George Dickerman, suspected  father of Thomas1 as a teenager while reading a typewritten manuscript authored by H.R. Carson.  Dr. Carson prepared his manuscript in 1950 and sent copies to family members throughout the country.  Somehow a copy landed in my childhood home, and I was fascinated immediately.  Dr. Carson writes:

“George Dickerman, of England, is the first name we have.  We do not know the name of his wife, the size of his family, or the place of his abode.  All we know is that he had a son, Thomas, who married in England, and came to America with Ellen, his wife, and his sons, Thomas 1623-1690 and Abram, 1634-1711.  Two sons were born in America, Isaac, 1637-1726 and John, 1744-?, who died young.”

Dr. Carson discusses his many meetings with Dickermans throughout the country. The names and addresses he obtained during his time may be helpful for researchers looking for additional information regarding their own lines.  The full manuscript is available for download here.

With the advent of the internet and especially the World Wide Web in the early 1990’s, online sources such as Ancestry.com became the most commonly referenced source for new information.   One researcher might reference a second, who then references a third, who referenced the first researcher in a round–robin fashion making much the published information dubious at best.   Indeed, for genealogy purposes, the World Wide Web can become very tangled.

I have hesitated putting too much stock in undocumented claims from the internet. For example, the wife of Thomas1 was claimed to be Elinor Whitington in various spellings by many researchers.  Those researchers providing source information generally referred to “Jacobus” as the original source of Ellen’s maiden name.  About a month ago, I finally decided to locate the source material and, after a trip to the Muskegon, Michigan genealogy library, we now happily provide the full reference in PDF format for all to read and understand.

Donald L. Jacobus

According to Wikipedia, Donald Lines Jacobus was “widely regarding among genealogists as the dean of American genealogy during his lifetime.”   Jacobus established the New Haven Genealogical Magazine in 1922, which became The American Genealogist ten years later.   In the July 1950 edition he published a brief entitled, “Dickerman Origin in England”.   In the two page brief, Jacobus describes how the late Horace Dickerman left with him a file, “to be kept in a private file and not divulged during his lifetime.”  The file provided information “obtained from the late Col. Charles E. Banks some clues to the original of the Dickerman family in England.”  Evidently, by 1950, Jacobus felt enough time had passed that he could publish the information. In the brief, Jacobus outlines several English Court records dated 1619 and 1620, describing the

“Pleading of Alice Dickerman, widow of George Dickerman, of Marston Morteyne, co. Bedford, deceased, cook, and Thomas Dickerman, their ‘Natural son’ (eldest). [‘Natural’ here means by nature or blood.] Thomas was an apprentice in London.  Sent £40 up to London to his brother Abraham, then and yet inhabiting in London, in trust for Thomas.”

Further, Jacobus provides from the Parish Register, Little Missenden, Bucks., this entry:

“Thomas Dickerman and Elinor Whittington married Oct. 20, 1631.”

And from the Parish Register, Amersham, Bucks:

“John Whittington and Margaret Hill married Oct. 12, 1601.”

Jacobus concludes:

“Interested descendants should not find it too difficult or costly, by having these clues followed in other English records, to obtain confirmatory data and to trace the line further back.”

 

Never having traveled to England, I have not had the opportunity to search the original documents.  However, cousin Jeffrey Frank12 Dickerman currently lives in London.  A message from Jeff received just a couple of days ago indicates he’s living ” less than a mile from Southwark Cathedral where some milestone events took place for Thomas and his family.  Looks like things have come full circle now.”  

Descendants of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman

Samuel[8] Dickerman was an eighth generation descendant of Thomas[1] and Ellen Dickerman, the original immigrant ancestors of nearly all living Dickerman’s in the U.S.  Samuel’s father was also named Samuel and his mother was Mary Lewis.   The line goes back as follows:

Samuel[8], Samuel[7],  Samuel[6], Samuel[5], John[4], John[3], Thomas[2], Thomas[1]

Samuel[6] and Persis have an interesting story, but this entry is about Samuel[8] and Mary and their children.  This researcher has spent many hours over several decades tracing the lives and history of this Civil War era family.  On March 31st, 1849, Samuel[8] set sail for California aboard the Brig Taranto in search of gold in the fields of California.  He was about to participate in the Gold Rush of 1849 as one of the original “Forty-Niners”.   Sam’s name (S.Dickerman) appears in several lists, including this entry from the New York Herald of April 7th of that year.

Samuel joined The Shawmut Mining and Trading Association along with others from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Each of the sixty men in the company paid $300 in shares for the opportunity to sail to California in search of gold.  After a brief legal challenge (see Massachusetts District Court decision of March, 1849), the Taranto set sail from Boston commanded by Capt. Saunders.  The brig sailed around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America with stops in Brazil and other South American ports.  From there, the ship sailed north to San Francisco Bay where is was abandoned by the crew and passengers – all seeking fortune in the Gold Fields of California.  Eventually, the Brig Taranto was sold at auction.

Sadly, Sam died within a year leaving his wife, Mary (Russell) Dickerman and younger children, including Edward Henry[9] Dickerman, great-great grandfather of this author.  With older brother James and younger sister Diantha in tow, Mary moved into the Wilderness in west-central Michigan to live with her brother, Albert G. Russell.  Mary eventually met and married Arnold Payne, the first white settler of Gratiot County, Michigan whose biography can be found in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Gratiot County, Michigan.  Mary (Russell) Dickerman Payne is buried in the “Old Payne Cemetery”, now known as as the Fulton Township Cemetery.

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Owen Louis[12] and Lee (Olson) Dickerman in the Old Payne Cemetery with the headstone of Mary (Russell) Dickerman Arnold.

Samuel[8] Dickerman was reported to have died in California in 1850 though we have no record other than the writings of E.H. Dickerman.  Edward passed this information on to Edward Dwight Dickerman who wrote and published the Dickerman Genealogy.  Mary died August 30, 1865.

Russell'n_coverResponding to a challenge from my Uncle Jim (James Samuel[12] Dickerman) to locate the parents of Mary (Russell) Dickerman, with our cousin Russell E.[12] Dickerman we have been able to show that Mary was descended from Jason Russell of Menotomy, Massachusetts.  The entire story of our research efforts is described in the short story, “Russell’n Through the Leaves“, available on this server in PDF format.

Jason Russell was killed on his own doorstep defending his home during the retreat of the British from Lexington and Concord on the first day of the Revolutionary War.  Jason’s home is now a museum maintained by The Arlington Historical Society and worth a trip back east to visit.

Judy@RussellHouse

Judy (Dickerman[13]) Craig at the Jason Russell House – Arlington, Massachusetts

The research required for this work has lead us to long-lost cousins including Russ[12] and Geri Dickerman of Nashua, New Hampshire, Owen[12] and Lee Dickerman, formerly of Somerset, Massachusetts, Charlie[12] and Diane Dickerman of Vermont, and even Richard[12] and Wendy[13] Bolles, descendants of Frank Bolles Dickerman.  (The Bolles-Dickerman connection will be the subject of a  future entry and a fascinating story by itself.)

Other Descendants of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman are undoubtedly out but not yet known to this author.  A brief summary of the original Civil War era children are:

Children of Samuel[8] Dickerman and Mary Russell:

S.R. Dickerman

Sgt. S.R. Dickerman – photographed around 1861/62

 - Samuel R. Dickerman[9] – born in 1828 in Mason, New Hampshire.  Sam served in the Mexican War and in the New Hampshire regiment during the Civil War.  S.R. Dickerman died at Andersonville prison and left diaries.

- William R. Dickerman[9] born in 1830 and died young in 1841 at Nashua, New Hampshire.

 - Charles A. Dickerman[9] born in 1832 in Topsham, Vermont.  Lived in Cambridge, Mass and is the ancestor of Owen[12], James[13],  and Charles[12] Dickerman.  Charles named his eldest son for younger brother Edward Henry Dickerman[9] below.

- Albert L. Dickerman[9] born in 1834 in Vermont.  Albert married Thankful Robbins and lived in Riviere du Loop, Canada for many years.  After Thankful’s death, Albert remarried Eliza Kerrigan and moved to Kenton, Kentucky along with son, James Albert Dickerman[10].  Our research continues to search for possible descendants of James.

- James H. Dickerman[9] born in 1836 in New Hampshire.  James served during the Civil War and was mortally wounded, dying in 1863.  James had children including Dorr Dickerman[10] who lived and died in Michigan.  Still searching for any descendants.

- Nelson M. Dickerman[9] born in 1838 and died within a year.

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Edward Henry Dickerman at Discharge.   Original tintype taken around 1862. – Image courtesy JSD[12]

- Edward Henry Dickerman[9] born in Nashua in 1840.  E.H. Dickerman is the subject of much research including the original Dickerman.org website.  Edward served with the Michigan Third Infantry and left diaries available for download and viewing.  E.H. Dickerman[9] is the ancestor of this author.

- Mary Diantha Dickerman[9], born in 1843 and died in 1870 in Fulton Township, Michigan.

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Edward Henry Dickerman[9] with Army Insignia – Image courtesy JSD[12]

Civil War Diaries of Edward Henry Dickerman

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Susan (Dickerman[13]) Smith of El Cajon, California has transcribed the Civil War Diaries of Edward Henry Dickerman[9], her Great-Great Grandfather.   Edward  was one of the seven children of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman and the Great-Great Grandfather of Susan.

Full scans and the full text can be downloaded here:

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary No. 1 – 1861

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary No. 2 –  1861/1862

and the full transcriptions:

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary Transcription

 

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Edward enlisted with the Michigan Third Infantry and is listed in Steve Soper’s Old Michigan Third pages.

Welcome to the Dickerman Website

 

Hello and thanks for visiting.  We are updating the Dickerman Family Organization website to make it easier for future genealogists to track our current research efforts.

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These pages are dedicated to past, current, and future descendants of Thomas Dickerman, our original immigrant ancestor who arrived in America in 1635 with Rev. Richard Mather of Bristol, aboard the ship James.

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Our original websites will remain intact on this site.  A partial genealogy of the Dickerman Family of Michigan can be found by clicking the link below:

http://www.dickerman.org/michigan

formerly hosted at :  http://members.aol.com/jdickerman

 

The most recent version of the website is being incorporated into this new site, but can still be found here:

http://www.dickerman.org/2012/

Please feel free to browse or add your comments below.

You may also contact the website author directly by emailing: jeff@dickerman.org.

Thanks for visiting,

Jeffrey T. Dickerman
Lowell, Michigan.