Friday, February 10, 2012

An Interesting Letter in the Susanna C. Collection

We just received another batch of letters from Susanna C., which includes an interesting letter I thought I would share with our Pomeroy and Southampton, MA researchers. This letter was written by a Phebe Pomeroy of Southampton to Miss Mary Pomeroy of Buckland, and is dated “22th, 1821”. Here’s a transcription of the letter:

“Southampton 22th. 1821
Miss M. Pomeroy. I have taken my pen with, an intention of writing to you a few lines which must be in a hurry. Father is almost ready to start to go to your house, as for news none excepting that Argulas has got A fine son which weighed ten pounds also Moses P has got A son to and Theodore Strong Theodore Bascome has got A daughter. I must tell you a little more, There has been A Gentleman, he enquireing about you and how far it is where you live. he is verry anxious for A wife, he cant live without one. he is verry respectable man, and clever as the days are long, if you had been here this winter I make no doubt but that you both would struck up A match. And now he is visiting Miss Polly Stearns which we think will be a match, but there is enough more that stands with their mouth wide open to receive you, dont be discouredg yet There is time enogh yet. I have no time to write any more, you must write to me and send it by Father probable he will stay all knight Irene & Loes also Mother sends their love to you I shall tell you more when I see you which I hope will not be long.
my pen is poor if you cant read it
my ink is black send it back
I had almost forgoten Mary ann give my [love? – hole in paper] to her and to Lydia but I do not know that she lives with you. We should be glad to receive a visit from y If I had time I would fill this page so good by.

Phebe Pomeroy”

From the names mentioned in the letter, I believe that Phebe was the daughter of Gideon Pomeroy and Irene Brown, born 14 Jun 1797 in Southampton, who would later marry John Hull on 5 Oct 1829 in Westfield, MA. Phebe had sisters Irene and Lois (whom she mentions in the letter). Argalus Pomeroy was the son of Isaac Pomeroy and Deborah Torrey. He was born 13 Jan 1796 in Southampton, and was married to Sarah Thorp at the time this letter was written. They had a son, Isaac E. Pomeroy who was born in 1821 in Southampton. The couple later had a son Jeremas Judson Pomeroy, born 22 Sep 1826 in Southampton. When my husband and I visited the Center Cemetery last fall (as part of our trip to Southampton regarding the Anvil Monument we will be placing this summer), we saw the gravestone of Jeremas and his wife Mary Jane (Avery) Pomeroy. I believe that the Moses P. with a son, (who was also mentioned in the letter) was Moses Pomeroy, brother of Argalus, born 22 Oct 1791 in Southampton, who would have been married to Sophia Harrison at the time that the letter was written. There is a listing of a child born to Moses who died 7 Apr 1821 in Southampton. Could this be the son of which Phebe wrote?

In the letter, Phebe sends her love to Mary Ann, so it is likely that she was writing the letter to Mrs. Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy, who in 1821 was the widow of Isaac Pomeroy, but it seems interesting that the letter is addressed to “Miss Mary Pomeroy” of Buckland. Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy was of Buckland when she married, but she moved to Southampton with her husband, where he died on 30 Jun 1815. Most of the letters written to her by her sisters, etc., are addressed to her in Southampton. Perhaps she was visiting her parents?

This is the first we have seen any reference to the possibility of Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy considering remarriage. Perhaps she was, or perhaps this was more of Phebe’s idea. It would be interesting to know who this mysterious clever gentleman was. Did he marry Polly Stearns? It also brings up the question of how Phebe Pomeroy and Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy became friends. Did they know each other before Mary’s marriage to Isaac, or did they know each other through Phebe’s family’s close relationship with Mary’s husband Isaac’s family? Mary, born 17 Apr 1785 to parents Josiah and Mary (Williams) Spaulding, was twelve years Phebe’s senior, so it may be more likely that their relationship started as a familial one.

Another interesting turn of events relating all of these people is the fact that Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy’s daughter, Mary Ann Pomeroy, would marry Phebe Pomeroy’s brother David on 19 May 1831 in Southampton. David was 9 years Mary Ann’s senior. It appears now that David and Mary Ann knew each other because of his sister Phebe’s friendship with Mary Ann’s mother.

To put some perspective into the relationships between all of these Pomeroys, I’m submitting some relationship calculations for your consideration:

Phebe Pomeroy (Gideon, Joseph, Samuel, Caleb, Eltweed) was the third cousin of Isaac Pomeroy (Isaac, Elisha, Eldad, Caleb, Eltweed), Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy’s husband

Phebe Pomeroy was the third cousin of Argalus Pomeroy (Isaac, Elisha, Eldad, Caleb, Eltweed)

Phebe Pomeroy was the third cousin of Moses Pomeroy (Isaac, Elisha, Eldad, Caleb, Eltweed)

Moses, Argalus and Isaac were all brothers! Their sister Deborah married Rufus Trowbridge, and was a close friend (and sister-in-law) to Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy. Their brother Rufus Pomeroy was a Congregational Minister, and kept up a correspondence with his sister –in-law Mary (Spaulding) Pomeroy. Another brother, Luther, married Abigail Glazier and lived in what is now known as Easthampton. We haven’t seen any correspondence that we have been able to associate with Luther and his family, yet, but you never know!

This really makes me think that familial relationships were much stronger back in the 1800s than they are today. I would have to consult my genealogy database to even identify my third cousins!

Stay tuned for more insightful articles about this family and the wonderful collection of letters, from our researcher Kate Corbett Pollack.

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