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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tamesin Hall

Tamesin is one of my favorite ancestors to daydream about. I really know very little about her life. I don’t even know for certain what her name was. Her headstone and christening record say Tamesin but all of the granddaughters named for her are Tamerson.

She was born in Feb 1779 in Conway, Franklin Co, MA to William and Ruhamah (Andrews) Hall., the 5th of 13 children. Her parents were both immigrants trying to make their way in this country. She was born at a time when western Massachusetts was relatively undeveloped country. I have no idea if the family was rich or poor; no idea how they lived but I imagine that it was a hard life.

She met and married David Glover in 1800. Family history says that they returned to David’s home town of Dedham, MA for two years where she gave birth to two daughters, Evaline in 1800 and Louisa in 1801. With two babies they packed up and moved to Upton, back in western Massachusetts were Orville was born in 1804. They moved again to Milford where Lewis was born in 1805 and Malvina was in 1807. By 1809 they had moved yet again, to Northhampton where William was born. I have always hated moving so I wonder how she felt about moving so many times. Did she see it as an adventure; a path to something new and better or was it really the burden that I imagine?

In 1810 or 1811 they packed up their belongings and six children to join her father in Phelps in Ontario County, New York. The trip would have been made in the late winter as travel by sleigh over frozen ground was much faster and easier than fording rivers and streams or bypassing boggy ground at other times of year. Can you imagine traveling with six children in the winter? I do not know if they had the means to stay at inns along the way. I imagine them building large fires and camping along the way as many settlers did.

They remained in Phelps for at least 13 years where she had five more children; Ruhamah - 1811, Reuben – 1815, Mentoria – 1818, Milton – 1820 and Hannah – 1823.

I have never learned what trade occupied David but I do know that when Tamesin’s brother, Joseph, died in 1822, they owed money to the estate that was listed as uncollectable. I cannot imagine raising 11 children (all were still living in 1820). I do not know if they had their own home or if they lived with her father; they are listed on the same page on the 1820 census. They would have had to tend a large home garden. Combine that with the cooking, laundry, cleaning , education and care of young children and I see Tamesin as exhausted all of the time, even though the older children would have been expected to help. I wonder what made her happy. Did she attend quilting bees? Did she have time to visit with other women? Did she own more than two dresses at a time? How important was the church to her?

Sometime between 1823 and 1830 the family packed up and moved further west to Gaines, Orleans County, NY, as did many other family members. They must have done a little better financially here as they were able to purchase a one acre home lot in 1838. She saw the marriages of most of her children and the births of many grandchildren. She also said goodbye to several of her children as they pressed on further westward to Michigan.

She passed away July 1, 1843 at the age of 64 and is buried in Gaines Cemetery. The headstone has been broken by vandals. David left soon after her death to join his children in Michigan. I’ve only been to the cemetery once but I think of her often.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about her headstone.
    I would never be able to trace family like that. All my relatives are dead or drunk. Either way, that don't talk to each other!
    You are blessed to have such a rich history!

  2. Your research is interesting, especially this story. It's hard to imagine bringing up 11 children in any day and age, but back then...whew! must've been totally exhausting just getting through all the work in a day.