January 2, 1852




Jan 2d Friday  Seated myself quite early this morning to work

on Susans hood & finished item about ten Oclock

then ripped my old blue hood and washed the

lining & turned the outside have got it nearly done

We all went into the other part of the house to tea

Mr & Mrs Oliver & Helen there  Frank has a sore

ankle as [sic] does not go to the shop  Dr Swan called there

to see Helen & left Jane some medicine

The family gathered for tea today in “the other part of the house,” meaning that Evelina, Oakes, and their children, Oakes Angier, Frank and Susan went into the southern half of the shared house where Old Oliver and his widowed daughter, Sarah Witherell, lived with her two children, George and Emily. Joining them was the family next door: Oliver Ames, Jr, his wife Sarah and their daughter, Helen Angier Ames, who made an appearance despite being home from school with a cold. Other than missing Oliver (3) and Frederick Lothrop, the sons who were off at college, the group was a normal configuration for a gathering at the homestead.

Evelina’s grandson, Winthrop Ames, would one day describe such a family gathering from less than a decade later, by which time daughters-in-law and grandchildren had arrived:

“Supper, always called Tea, at seven, was the sociable occasion. It usually consisted of cold meats, hot biscuits, preserves and cakes – an easy menu to expand for unexpected guests.  Every week at least, and usually oftener, one household would invite the others and their visitors to tea; and the whole Ames family might assemble, even infant children being brought along and tucked into bed upstairs.  Fifteen or twenty was not at all an unusual gathering.”*

The family was as tightly-knit as any of Evelina’s knitted worsted hoods.

One other note about today’s entry: Dr. Swan left some medicine off for Jane McHanna, the servant, who had been ailing for much of the fall and winter. What did she suffer from?

* Winthrop Ames, The Ames Family of Easton, Massachusetts, privately printed, 1937, p.128


6 thoughts on “January 2, 1852

  1. We are lucky enough to have extended Brady bunch family nearby, so we still have a weekly dinner at our house or at one of our kid’s, where, when all (local) hands are on deck, there are eleven adults and twelve (grand) children. It is chaotic, for sure, but I try to focus on enjoying it while it lasts.

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