That’s A Bad Thing, Right?

And the Battle of Bennington, New Hampshire

On December 17, 2019 I fell down 6 steps accidentally and broke my clavicle. That’s a bad thing right? No it was a good thing. In the process of spending 9 days in the hospital over Christmas the doctors discovered a rare atypical canceroid tumor in my left lung that was only discovered in the X-rays from the break. The cancer, that’s a bad thing, right? No it was a good thing, With my arm in a sling for 5 weeks, I needed to rest and checked into Meadowlands Respite. That’s a bad thing, right? No it was actually a blessing to me to have the rest as my MS had flared and the care there was phenomenal as were the new friends I made as I watched them cope with grace in their elderly years. They brightened my days and cheered me in my recovery. I stubbed my toe and broke my little pinkie on my foot. That’s a bad thing right? Yes, it hurt however, after a trip to ER and an X-ray just as Coronovirus-19 was hitting Medicine Hat I self-isolated from a cold influenza and that’s a good thing if I don’t catch anything in my lungs before surgery. Covid-19 that’s a very bad thing, right? Yes it is as my surgery may be postponed but in the grand scheme of things it is a good thing as I’m learning to put more trust in my Lord and God and in all things give thanks! 1 Peter 1:7

And the good news is that after a PET Scan, a brain CT and a biopsy the cancer has not spread and I have no symptoms.

To my 5th great grandmother Keziah: sorry my blogging got interrupted.

Inscription

To the memory of Mr. Elisha Higgins and Mrs. Hannah Higgins his wife, who finished lives of exemplary pioty on the 22nd of Jan 1977 in the 77 year of his age. And on the 22nd of Sep. 1776 in the 74 year of her age.

Why were Elisha and Hannah Doane Atwood Higgins, the parent of Keziah Atwood at Bennington, Vermont. About 1742 Hannah and her second husband Elisha moved from Eastham to Hardwick, Massachusetts. Here they were members of the church and remained until 1764. “Elisha Higgins was seated in the 2nd seat in y meeting house and his wife on y opposite side”. (From records of the First Parish Church in Palmer.) On February 20, 1764 he bought of Elisha Hedge of Hardwick 170 acres of land in Palmer on which they lived. They remained here until June 6, 1769, when they sold to Elisha Swan on the road from Hardwick to Springfield, 170 acres of buildings and land. One of their sons, a brother to Keziah, Samuel Atwood had returned home from the French and Indian War and had marched through Bennington and was impressed with the country there. He came back to see his parents who by this time were elderly and convinced them to move with him. They removed to Fort Ann, New York near Skenesborough, then claimed by Vermont. (The land was just being surveyed and the lines were fought over.) The region was most disturbed before War broke out and Elisha and Hannah took refuge in Bennington, Vermont, where he and Hannah both died. Samuel, my 6th Grandmother Hannah’s oldest son married Peace Stewart on August 30, 1752 in Hardwick, Massachusetts. They settled in Bennington, Vermont in 1761 and had the following children: Jerusha, Samuel, David, Jonathan, Hannah, Paul , Prudence, and Moses. Samuel Atwood’s name is found on a list of a military company that was formed in the town of Bennington by October, 1764. The list embraced all the able-bodied men then in town between the ages of eighteen and sixty that were on the muster roll of the first Company of Militia. He served in the Revolution in Capt. Joseph Safford’s company of militia in Col. Ebenezer Walbridge’s regiment Aug 2 to Aug 8, 1781 and in Capt. Ebenezer Woods’ company, commencing Oct 13, 1781. Just after his step father Elisha and mother Hannah died,the Battle of Bennington, the American Revolutionary War battle was fought there. The war was brutal. On July 23, 1777 Colonel Stark was in command and the Committee of Safety State of New Hampshire wrote: Orders given to march from New Hampshire immediately to the assistance of our Friends in the new State of Vermont, to put a speedy stop to the further ravages of our merciless enemies. They then wrote that they were fearful that the troops will suffer for want of kettles. They sent 44 bushels of salt and 1000 lbs of balls. Colonel John Stark wrote: I expect to march tomorrow, we are detained for want of bullet molds as there is but one pair in town. I am afraid we shall meet with difficulty in procuring kettles to cook our vituals as the troops has not brought any. I am informed by a man from Otter Creek that the enemy has left with an intent to march to Bennington.

The Vermont Gazette, Bennington, VT Thursday, December 29, 1796 page 2 wrote this about Samuel Atwood: DIED. On Friday last, after a distressing illness of ten days, Mr. Samuel Atwood, aged 72. He was one of the early settlers in Bennington, an industrious farmer, a peaceable neighbor, and kind parent. His date of death was December 23, 1796 and was buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery. (This Samuel was the 12 year old son of Samuel Atwood Sr. that in my fictional story ran to fetch the men to write his father’s will). He was the oldest brother to my Keziah Atwood Gibbs and Jerusha.

I enjoy following the trails of this family and this brother Samuel that had a daughter named Jerusha had a daughter named Polly Smith who married John Seward. Their son Orange Seward served in Co C., 5th Vermont Infantry, Civil War. He was captured wounded in the battle of Wilderness, taken prisoner and carried to Richmond and he died with typhoid fever at Andersonville.

Other children that Hannah had after she married Elisha Higgins: Joseph b 1734 married Anna Hooker; Abigail b 1737 married Simon Griffin of Hardwick; Abial b 1740 married Ebeenezer Safford; and Uriah b 1743 married Esther Cooley. These would be the 1/2 siblings of my Keziah Gibbs.

Azubah Gibbs (Abraham’s sister)born in 1753 married Samuel Wright. They had 5 children: Anthony, Wise, Sylvia , Horace and Orra. Sylvia married Elias Sweet and one of her daughters was named Angelia Azuba Sweet. Its interesting how the names carry through the generations.

The Revolutionary War finally ended in 1783 had lasted seven years. Abraham’s brother was called Lieutenant Jacob Gibbs 1727-1777. He was the one who married Bethiah Bacon who was Keziah’s cousin. (Little Bethiah who came to stay with Keziah when her father died in my story.) He was living in Greenwich, Massachusetts, in 1777 during the American Revolution. Jacob Gibbs had a son named Zenas that applied for his pension from the war but was refused as he did not serve six months as required. The troops won few battles in the first year of the war but successfully expelled the British from Massachusetts, who fled to Canada in March 1776. Thousands from the state bravely took up arms against the British I can find no record of the death of Abraham Gibbs my 5th great grandfather, but as previously stated Keziah died November 3, 1794 at the home of her daughter Keziah Atwood Gibbs.

Abraham and Keziah had 7 children. Thomas 1746-1828, Sarah 1748 died, Keziah Atwood 1749-1834, Abraham 1753-1807, Azuba 1753-1824, Isaac 1756-1832, and Joshua 1759-1840. Thru-Lines from Ancestry confirms my connection with matches to these grandparents through their children: Azubah, Issac and Joshua. After the War genealogy records were very spotty. Joshua Gibbs married Anna Clark (not Anna Crowell info supplied by David Gibbs). Copied from an old Bible dated 1816 Joshua and Anna Clark Gibbs had children: Orimall, Horris, Dorothy, Susannah, Jemima, Hiram, Miron, Milton, Joshiea, Maryon, David and Solomon who claimed he was born in Canada – possibly the Panet’s Seignory of D’Ailleboust, An old letter that appears to be written by him in a booklet by Blanche Gibbs Alibee reads as follows:

“I went in to Canada in year 1806 to Pennets Seignony. My family went to Pennets Seignony March 1807. In the year, 1813, in the month of January we made calculations to leave the province of Canada and the boys set out and was defeated being taken for soldiers in Montreal by the British and Horris Gibbs and Hirum Gibbs left the British army in the year of 1814. Before reaping of wheat and about the same place I left my place of abode in Canada in order to come to the States on the account of the war and I brought of Myron Gibbs and then brought the rest of the family in the year of 1814. My family come to Montpeliar State of Vermont in the year 1815 on the first of January from thence went to Williston State of Vermont in the last of March of the first of April 1816 from thence we sent out for westward on the 26th of December 1816 and come to Groveland state of New York in February 1817 from thence we come to be township on the first day of October 1819. (Paper has Johua Gibbs written on it six times and Milton Gibbs once.) The war referenced would be the War of 1812. I have no proof but I calculate that the two brothers my 4th great grandfather Isaac and his brother Joshua had both gone to Canada to Quebec and were farming there.

I found Issac, born March 14, 1756 at Greenwich, Massachusetss, my 4th great grandfather in Canada after the war. Why? There is a Isaac Gibbs born about 1767 on a US and Canada Passenger and Immigration List arrival year 1792 to Quebec, Canada age 35. Many individuals traveled to their destination on uncomfortable, rat infested cargo ships which let 5, 10 maybe 30 passengers on board to suffer through the trip together. Isaac must have found his way to Farnham Township established before 1800 and was settled by mostly Loyalists from the United States. He married Lydia (last name as yet unknown).

Farnham is a city in Brome-Missisquoi County, built on the shores of the Yamaska River, at the border of the Saint-Lawrence lowlands. Stanbridge is also a city in Brome-Missiisquoi County and was first surveyed in 1792, the same year that Issac arrived in Quebec. From this information I deduce that Isaac was one of the first settlers in the frontier along the Canadian-US border. The Pennets Seignory was a long narrow strip of land along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, which was sub-granted to peasant farmers, the habitants by the French landlords. This is referenced above in the notes by Joshua Gibbs.

While Abraham’s brother Joshua left Canada, his nephew, Issac my 4th great grandfather stayed and with his wife Lydia had children Abraham born 1806 in Missiisquoi Co, Quebec and Hiram born February 12, 1812 at Farnham, Brome-Missisquoi, Quebec. In Quebec Vital and Church Records, I found two records: Abraham Gibbs yeoman, son of Isaac Gibbs in Township of Farmham County of Stafford District, Province of Lower Canada (Quebec) and of Lydia his wife and Sax daughter of George Sax Esquire and of Rachel (LeRoy) his wife, same place, were married by banns this 25 of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight thirty three by Signature ? Marriage place: Stanbridge, Quebec Anglican Church. Witnesses Peter Sax, George Sax and Mathew Sax (signatures).

Abraham’s brother married on the same as on the next page I found another marriage recorded for Hiram Gibbs, parents Isaac Gibbs and wife Lydia married Jane daughter of John Scott, farmer and wife Mary dated November 25, 1833 in the presence of John Scott, Silvester Scott and Richard Scott.

The boys, Abraham and Hiram, named above would have been Abraham and Keziah Gibb’s grandsons. They married into Loyalist families that had been “relocated” to Canada after the Revolutionary War and that is a story for another day of the LeRoy’s and Sax’s.

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