Born at the Wayside Inn: 52 Ancestors, #29 Elizabeth Howe Stone

Elizabeth Howe (1744-1829)

Wayside Inn

Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA, Photo by Noelle Gillies from Flickr

I grew up hearing from my mother that Elizabeth Howe Stone, my 4th great-grandmother, was born at the Wayside Inn. She was not just making up this family legend. We have DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) research papers that gave us the information.

Nevertheless, I may have to let go of this little family legend.  The historian at the Wayside Inn tells me she can’t verify that information. But I still believe it is possible.

The Howe Family Sudbury Taverns

Various members of the Howe Family operated an inn in Sudbury Massachusetts between 1716 and 1861.  It gained fame in 1862 when Longfellow published “Tales of the Wayside Inn.”  You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the Wayside Inn throughout the summer as I lead up to my trip to Sudbury in September. It is now a historic site run by the Ford Foundation, but still functions as an Inn–the oldest in the country.

When Elizabeth was born, in 1744, her uncle, Ezekiel Howe, had taken over the original Howe’s Tavern and renamed it The Red Horse Tavern.  The baby Elizabeth’s father was Israel Howe, Ezekiel’s brother.

Perhaps by coincidence, Elizabeth was to grow up and marry Jeduthan Stone, who probably was related to Ezekiel’s wife, Bathesheba Stone.  The town of Sudbury was knee-deep in families that are in my background — particularly Stones and Howes — so there are a lot of interwoven skeins of family lines.

According to the Massachusetts Town Records (1620-1850)–a summary rather than the original records–Elizabeth Howe was born in Rutland, Massachusetts.  Later records show that her family must have lived in a portion of Rutland that later split off to form the new town of Paxton.

Her father, Israel, grew up around the How/Howe family tavern on the Boston Road in the small town of Sudbury. She was named for her mother, Elizabeth Hubbard Howe (whom I will introduce next week) who came from Marlborough, a few miles west of Sudbury along the Boston Road.

Elizabeth Howe was the third child in the family. The first, Israel Jr., died when  Elizabeth was just one year old (he was only four). She also had an older sister Lucy. She also had younger sisters Ruth and Rebecca and a half sister.

When Elizabeth was only four years old,  Israel Howe died.  Soon after, her mother married Stephen Barrett and they had a daughter, Lydia.

In January 1773, at age 28, Elizabeth Howe married Jeduthan Stone, who was four years younger.  As we have seen in looking at Jeduthan and their oldest daughter Elizabeth Stone (Bassett) , she was pregnant when she married Jeduthan. Hot blooded at 28 and pursuing a younger man?

When her baby daughter was a year and a half old, Jeduthan marched off to participate in the American Revolution. It must have been worrisome days, but Elizabeth continued to give birth fairly regularly between battles and after Jeduthan returned to farm in Massachusetts.

  • Elizabeth, the first child, in 1773, married William Bassett in 1804 and moved to Ohio. (Elizabeth’s step-Aunt Lydia Barrett married a relative of Jeduthan Stone named Israel Stone who also was an Ohio pioneer. See what I mean about tangled skeins?)
  • Willard, born 1776. He married Polly Merriam in 1801, and after she died in 1829 married a woman named Nancy. He seems to have stayed in Rutland.
  • Augustus, born in 1777, would have been a particular concern because he was nearly blind from birth. He did not marry until he was 31, in 1809. He married Thankful Banks and lived out his life as a productive farmer in the Rutland area and father to ten children. He married a second time in 1843.
  • Patty, who never married was born in 1780. I speculate that she may have had health problems.
  • Calvin was born in 1781. Married Elizabeth Estabrook in 1810.
  • Lucy was born in 1783, and married Herman Foster in 1806 and remained in Rutland the rest of her life.
  • Sally was probably a surprise,  born in 1786,  when Elizabeth was forty-two years old. She married Taylor Estabrook (possibly the brother of Calvin’s wife) in 1809. They also stayed in Rutland.

Although I have not yet traced the families of each of the children of Elizabeth How Stone, it is fair to assume they had large families, and since they all stayed in the area, Elizabeth probably enjoyed huge family gatherings with her grandchildren.

I imagine the women cooking over the open hearth, or perhaps in an attached kitchen building or outdoors as they celebrated holidays.  I imagine that Independence Day was a very special occasion for them, since Grandpa Jeduthan had been a fighter in the Revolution, and many other men of Sudbury had fought for Independence.

It makes sense to me that Elizabeth Howe’s mother and father were visiting Sudbury when her mother went into labor, and the trip back home would have been too lengthy. Thus, the baby was born at the family Inn in Sudbury, but the birth was registered in their home town of Rutland.

Throughout her life, Elizabeth no doubt also traveled frequently to Sudbury, where many of their relatives lived. She would have visited the Wayside Inn with her family and they heard tales of how their mother/grandmother Elizabeth Howe was born there. I like knowing that when I first heard the story, it had been floating down through my family for more than 200 years.

Elizabeth Howe Stone died at the age of 85 in the town that by then was called Paxton. Her son Calvin had died at 46 years old in 1827. Jeduthan had passed away in March of 1829, and her first daughter–Elizabeth Stone Bassett–had died in September 1829 in far off Keene Ohio. Elizabeth Howe Stone, who had survived the death of one son and her husband, only lived one month after her daughter Elizabeth. But the story of her birthplace in a family inn stays alive.

 How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan Stout, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Morgan, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone Basset, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe Stone.

Notes on Research

  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through Ancestry.com NOTE: There is a record at FindaGrave that says Elizabeth’s Howe’s father was Capt. Paul Howe, and that misinformation is found in some other family trees as well.  Capt. Paul Howe did have a daughter named Elizabeth based on a birth record, but it was NOT the Elizabeth that married Jeduthan Stone.
  • “Old Northwest” Genealogical Quarterly, Volumes 5-6, p. 99 ed. by Lucius Carwell Herrick, available at Google Books.
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, A Historama Booklet, (1975;2nd printing 1977) by Carole J. Maconi with Barbara Deveneau.
  • Family tales and Bible records

Grandma’s Dandelion Greens. Take Two. The Bitter Truth

Foraging for Dandelions

Dandelions, photo by Jayaprakash R

I remember the delightful taste of my Grandmother Vera’s sweet and sour dandelion greens. She would dig them from her lawn, chop off the root, wash them off and cook them in some bacon grease with sugar and vinegar. BACON! Wouldn’t Grandma love the fact that bacon has become the trendy food of the decade?

Since we don’t have dandelion-studded lawns in Tucson, I had been deprived of this treat for a very long time.  So when I found some dandelion greens on sale at the grocery store a year or so ago, I pounced.  I cooked them the way I thought Grandma cooked them. I even wrote about it and shared a recipe here.  But the truth is they were BITTER.

Why did I share the recipe? I was hoping that you might have fresher, younger leaves and it might work out better. I’ve learned that is not necessarily true. It is true, however, that good greens must be picked before they flower. As pretty as those dandelions are in the picture–you don’t want those flowers if you’re cultivating a green lawn OR if you are planning to cook the greens.

Dandelion Greens

A bunch of Dandelion Greens from the Farmer’s Market

I’m not giving up.  Last week at the farmer’s market, I found some more dandelion greens on offer. I knew they were organic–never touched by icky chemical sprays–and they looked fresh and green.  So I went in search of a way to cook them that would taste like grandma’s.

Billy Joe Tatum’s Wild Foods Cookbook & Field Guide, has a sensible recipe for parboiling the greens and then eating them with butter, pretty much the way you cook most greens.  But where’s the Bacon? Parboiling takes  away the bitterness, although it probably loses some of the great nutrients found in dandelion greens. You can get the lowdown on all the good things in dandelions here.

So then I checked on line and found some recipes for wilted dandelion greens with bacon  that sounded a lot more like Grandma’s. They did not parboil the greens first, which worried me, because I didn’t want that bitterness that I experienced the first time I tried to cook them. So I decided to combine the two techniques.

Remember that a large bunch of greens is going to cook way down.  From this to this:

Dandelion Greens after cooking

Dandelion Greens after cooking

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a great explanation of the taste of bitterness, how we experience it, and how some people experience it differently.

I found several recipes on line, and combined ideas, but the closest to Grandma’s, I think, was at prevention.com. I adapted it and here’s the result.

Dandelion Greens, Take II

Serves 2
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Allergy Egg
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Dandelion Greens (Organic)
  • 3-5 pieces Bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 egg (hard boiled)

Directions

1. Wash greens in large bowl of water and pick out grass stems, buds, thick stems, other debris. Drain in strainer. Wash again. Drain. Wash again. Drain. Wash again. Drain
2. Fry bacon strips to crisp, drain on paper towel. Pour off all but about 3 T bacon grease in pan.
3. Put greens in large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil 3-5 minutes. Drain.
4. Bring fresh water to boil in same pot and drop in greens. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain thoroughly on towel or in salad spinner.
5. Put flour, sugar, mustard and pepper in small dish and mix.
6. Stir dry ingredients into hot bacon grease until smooth.
7. Add water and vinegar and continue to stir to keep smooth.
8. Put greens in serving dish and pour sauce over them.
9. Garnish with pieces of crisp bacon and chopped or sliced hard cooked egg.
10. Good cold the next day, too.

Note

Unfortunately, we can't generally just go out and pick dandelions along the road or even in our front lawn any more for fear of chemical sprays. Be sure you are getting organic dandelion greens.

I'm not kidding about repeated washings and picking over of the greens. After washing three times and boiling twice I STILL found grass blades and a dandelion bud. Don't rush the process.

Don't worry if you taste a leaf after boiling and it still tastes bitter. The sauce is going to cure that. PLUS I discovered that more of the bitterness dissipated after leaving the leftovers in the refrigerator for a day, so if you are very sensitive to bitter taste, you may want to refrigerate and eat this cold instead of hot.

The sauce in the picture is brown because I used Balsamic vinegar. If you use cider vinegar you'll get a lighter sauce.

 

52 Ancestors story #28: Questions for Elizabeth Stone Bassett

Elizabeth Stone Bassett 1773-1829

It is tempting to glamorize the life of Elizabeth Stone Bassett. After all, she had a father who fought in the American Revolution and she herself was a pioneer in Ohio territory. But was it a satisfying life–or a frustrating one? It certainly ended far too soon.

I wish that I knew more about Elizabeth Stone Bassett.

The little I can glean from the basic statistics – birth-marriage-children-migration-death – leaves me with more questions than answers.

Elizabeth Stone was the daughter of Jeduthan Stone, Minuteman and American Revolution Soldier of Rutland, Massachusetts. As I mentioned in the story about Jeduthan, my 3 x great-grandmother was born just seven months after her parents were married. The pre-Revolution times were already turbulent, and when she was two years old, her father marched off toward Bunker Hill for the first full-fledged battle of the Revolution.

A Late Marriage

My main question for Elizabeth is, “Why did you not get married until you were 30 years old?”  Elizabeth Stone married the younger William Bassett (b. 1776) in 1804. While that is a more common age for marriage now, in Colonial times, girls generally married around 20 if not before. Of course my mind toys with possibilities.

  • She might have been married before she met William Bassett and been widowed. If so, I have found no record of that marriage. With the voluminous documenting of the Bassetts, this does not seem to be a likely scenario.
  • Since Elizabeth was the oldest child, she might have been needed at home. After all, her 4-year-younger brother, Augustus (b. 1777), was blind, and he did not marry until he was 31 (in 1809). And her younger sister Patty (b. 1780) never did marry, which generally indicates a health or mental problem that would need extra care. Of her other four siblings, only Willard (b. 1776), born three years after Elizabeth, was married by 1804 when William Bassett and Elizabeth married.
  • Getting married late ran in the family.  Elizabeth’s mother was 29 when she married Jeduthan.  Her brothers married at 24, 31 and 29. However, her two sisters who married were 23.
  • She could have had some flaw–unattractive, terribly shy, misbehavior.  Given the appearance of her grand daughter Harriette Morgan Stout,  and the very religious nature of the Bassetts and Stones, unattractive and misbehaving seem unlikely.  If she was shy, she must have had great character to overcome her reticence and leave familiar territory to move from Rutland Massachusetts to Keene, New Hampshire and then to far away Keene, Ohio.

A Houseful of Daughters

Was it disappointing to have no sons?

When Elizabeth and William married in 1804, records identify his residence as Packersfield, New Hampshire or Keene Township.  That town, now Nelson, was experiencing a small boom in population and the residents actively resisted high tariffs against European trade. The newlyweds moved back to  Packersfield. There, they had (possibly) six daughters, only five of which I have been able to document.

1805: Elizabeth (Eliza) Bassett (Emerson)

1807: Martha Belding Bassett (Smith)

1810: Mary Bassett (Platt, Morgan), my 2x great grandmother

1812: Sarah (Sally) Bassett

1814: Laura/Lura Bassett

Mary Bassett's chest

Mary Bassett’s chest traveled from New Hamshire to Keene Ohio on a wagon, and 140 years later from Ohio to Arizona on a moving van.

When they made the move after twenty-three years of marriage, with everything they owned packed away in chests and boxes, the girls ranged from 13 to 22 years old. The two older sisters wasted no time when they got to Ohio–Martha marrying Sidney Smith in November 1828. According to the family account (not my family) mentioned below, Eliza married Enos Emerson on the same day. Mary Bassett married her first husband, Ashiell Platt in 1829.

However, it appears that Sarah never married, since she is shown in subsequent census reports living with Benjamin and Laura Stone (whom I believe is Laura Bassett and husband.)

An Adventurous Move

The other big question in my mind is how did you, Elizabeth Stone Bassett, feel about moving away from your family–particularly to the “wild west” of a canal town in Coshocton County, Ohio?

Various accounts date the move to Ohio at between 1826 and 1828. One family  story (not my family) which you can see here, says that William went first in 1827, and Elizabeth followed with the girls the following year. They traveled “by wagon to Troy, New York; by barge to Buffalo; by boat on Lake Erie to Cleveland and by wagon to Keene, Ohio.” That adventure would have required a lot of moxie from Elizabeth. The account is convincing since it appears to be a story handed down in the family from one of Elizabeth’s sisters.

My family records indicate that Elizabeth’s daughter Mary was 16 when they moved, which would date the move 1826 or 27.

Was it Worth It?

Did you think the move was worth it, to see your daughters–or at least most of them–settled in good marriages? Were you tired and ill after the rigorous trip from New Hampshire to Ohio?

Neither Elizabeth Stone Bassett nor William Bassett lived long after the move to Ohio–Elizabeth died in September 1829, at the age of 56 and just one month before her mother died back in Massachusetts. William died in 1833 at 54.

They are buried in the Old Keene Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Ohio.

 

Elizabeth Stone Bassett

Elizabeth Stone Bassett Old Presbyterian Church, Keene, Ohio gravestone

This has been my weekly ancestor story as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  To see other people’s fascinating stories, go to No Story Too Small.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan Stout, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Morgan, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone Basset and William Bassett.

Notes on Research

  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through Ancestry.com
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Some information is from “The Family Forest Descendents of Lady Joan Beaufort” by Bruce Harrison, found in a Google Search for Stone and Bassett names.
  • History of Coshocton County: Its Past and Present 1740-1841 Compiled by N. N. Hill, Jr. (Available on line from Google Books.)
  • The gravestone picture is borrowed from Find a Grave and the photographer is Todd James Dean.
  • Family tales and Bible records sketched the story of the move from Keene (township) New Hampshire to Keene (township) Ohio.