Who the heck was Amelia (Dickinson) Per(r)in? Or was she Emetia Dickerson?

+2 votes
This is as much an interesting and amusing puzzle as anything, but if anyone wants to try to find her..

"Amelia Dickinson-1676" married Lemuel Perin in Lenox Massachusetts, and after that she is well-documented..  But before... she's a mystery.

I found her while cleaning up my connection to Nathaniel Foote; she is stuck in with a messy assortment of duplicates in the family of Joseph Dickinson and Susannah Church, of Granby, Massachusetts, where she does not belong.

She was supposedly born in Rehoboth, MA, 13 May 1760, except the Rehoboth VR has no records for *any* Dickinsons at all. (Or Dickersons.)

She is often assigned as the daughter of my 5th gg-parents, Joseph Dickinson and Susannah Church, except:
1) that family is a Granby Massachusetts family, with no Rehoboth history;
2) Joseph and Susannah married in 1769; and
3) I've tracked down the original family record for Granby for the Joseph Dickinson family, and there is no Amelia in it.

(Azuba married Luther Ferry, stayed in Granby, and is my 4th gg-mother; she certainly did not change her name to Amelia.)

The first document I find for Amelia is her intention of marriage to Lemuel Perin, in Lenox, Massachusetts.
In the 1961 transcript of the Town Clerk's record, she is "Emelia Dickinson of Lenox," and he is Lemuel Perin of D~~~. (D~~~ is certainly Dalton MA.  He was building a mill there at the time.)  https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9JZ-VWCY?mode=g

However, FamilySearch also has the original, in which she is clearly Emetia Dicker?son. It's unmistakably Emetia -- and scanning other pages for "rs" combinations, I think also  Dickerson.  I don't think the crossed T is a stray mark, either; the page is remarkably clean of stray marks and blots.

You can kind of understand why she might have wanted to change that; it means just what you think it might mean.

However, I cannot find her under Emetia Dickerson, or Dickinson, either.

There's one Emetia Watson -- born in Norfolk in 1785 -- 25 miles from Rehoboth.

Maybe the families knew each other.  Maybe they both just went for unfortunate fancy names.

Interestingly, not only is Emetia Watson the only Watson on that page, she's the only one in the Norfolk VR.  And it's written very large with a big flourish -- was her birth an Event?  Were the Watsons traveling through? Was she born at the Inn? Or in a stable?

As for Emetia Dickerson, was *that* her birth name?  IME, 1760 is early for fanciful names -- Pamelia is about as wild as it gets --  and Emitia is an obvious, if failed, attempt at a fancy name. However 1790-ish is definitely the period when  names got hifalutin, so perhaps she herself decided that Emetia was an upgrade from some other name.  Unless the Lenox town clerk made an awful error (but in fact he strikes me as an unusually careful and educated town clerk), we know that the young woman in question was willing to upgrade her name at least once, from Emetia to Amelia.  So why not twice?

Also, she was 32, so could possibly have been a widow -- though if so, there ought to be a record of that.

Was she possibly from Vermont? Connecticut? New York? Anyone want to try their hand at finding Emetia Dicker?son, possibly born May 13, 1760?
WikiTree profile: Amelia Perrin
in Genealogy Help by Patricia Hawkins G2G6 Mach 3 (31.0k points)
edited by Patricia Hawkins
Oh -- here's the Familysearch record for the Joseph Dickinson / Susannah Church family, with my transcription.

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L979-49QT-L?mode=g&i=223&wc=Q4DH-L23%3A353350301%2C353405201%2C353405202&cc=2061550  (p.390;

390 A Record of the Children Born to Joseph Dickinson
and His Wife Susanna Dickinson. Viz first
Born to Joseph Dickinson and His Wife Susanna their
Daughter Mary Dickinson Born Jeanuary ye 10th Day : 1770
Their Daughter Sarah Dickinson Born June the 3 in the year 1772
 Their Daughter Azubah Dickinson Born August the 6th Day in the year 1774
  Their Son Joseph Dickinson born December 21 _ 1776
  Their Son Zenos  Dickinson  born October  7 - 1778
  Their Son  Levi  Dickinson  born  Feby   17 - 1780
  Their Son  Asa   Dickinson born   Octr    2 - 1788
#                  See below -
 A Record of the Family of Harry W Griothey(?) & Lucy his Wife
Their  son Ralph Wells  born  Feb 6th 1817 died Dec 27th 1817
Their daughter Caroline   ~  June 2d ~ 1819
Their  son Charles Wells  ~  June 8th 1822
Their daughter Laura White ~  Oct 2d  1827
#  A record of the Death of Mr Joseph Dickinson & his wife Susanna Dickinson
 Vis Mr Joseph Dickinson died Novr 2d 1817 aged 79 years and his wife
     Mrs Susanna Dickinson died February 85h 1837 _ aged 92 years

I realize this is old, but I did want to add that the familysearch.org marriage record (to Lemuel Perin) -- https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997M-RK2Y?mode=g&i=208&cc=2061550 -- is most likely NOT an "original" record-- i.e., a record made at the time the event occurred. This whole set looks like a copy-- made in one sitting. The handwriting is smooth and consistent across each and every page. Records kept at the time of the event would have shown at least some variation, even if written by the same person.

And if you look at this page:


it confirms that this set of records is a copy made in 1885, almost 100 years later. Would be great to find the originals from which this copy was made (hoping that they were NOT destroyed).

1 Answer

0 votes
I have been looking for this woman forever it seems. I've tried everything I can think of. I don't think she was from Rehoboth, MA and I don't think she was the daughter of Joseph and Susanna Dickinson. It's possible for Joseph but very doubtful on Susanna as she was so young and then if Amelia (?) was born May 13, 1760 the next child doesn't show up for around 10 years and then children are being born one right after the other...so No, I don't think she belongs to that family. I also think there is a high possibility that her last name was Dickerson, that 'r' being formed the old way of writing. The first name is another issue and there is the fact that Lemuel and she named their daughter Amelia. I had a great aunt who started our family history back in the 1930s when she lived in New York. The birthdate never seems to vary but I've also had the thought that her last name could have been a married name or she had so stay at home to care for those family members at home. That happened a lot. There are possibilities in the 1790 census but no way to be sure yet. I never plan on stopping to find her and if I ever do I will certainly contact you and I hope you will do the same for me. She is my 5th great grandmother. I so want to find that branch!

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