Sat Sept 4th Made Sponge cake & gingerbread
and about ten Started to go to Mothers
Dined there and after dinner went to
Raynham after Mrs Stevens. Stopt at
her brothers awhile and called at the door
at Aunt John Gilmores & Aunt Othniels
found Widow Henry Gilmore there. Came
back to tea at Alsons. Stopt at Sam Wilbers
and got some cooking apples
After some early morning baking, Evelina traveled south to Raynham, stopping along the way to have midday dinner at the family farm with her mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore. It was “a fair day + little cooler,”* so a pleasant day to be out for a carriage ride. Evelina rode on to the home of her friend, Mrs. Stevens, whose company she had enjoyed previously over the course of this diary, and picked her up to return to Easton for a visit.
Before driving north, Evelina and her friend visited more relatives. They went to see Mrs. Steven’s brother, then stopped off to see a few Gilmore relatives, all widows. Aunt John Gilmore and Aunt Othniel (Sally Buffington Gilmore) were the elderly, long-time widows of Evelina’s father Joshua’s brothers, while young Mrs. Henry Gilmore (Adaline Bramen Gilmore) had lost her husband unexpectedly only a few months earlier. Members of this Gilmore clan were descendants of James and Thankful Gilmore who had settled in the area in the 1700’s.
The day not through, the ladies rode back to the farm and had tea with Alson and his family. A last stop was made for cooking apples. It was the start of apple harvest.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection
2 thoughts on “September 4, 1852”
“Aunt” JOHN Gilmore? Is this a type (which you NEVER make) or is this a fact? Was John was an actual female name at that time? If not a regular female name, do you supposed that might be one of the reasons “she” was a spinster?
Not a typo, but a truth about the patriarchal speech patterns of the 19th century. Aunt John Gilmore (whose given first name I haven’t been able to track down) was the widow of Evelina’s Uncle John. Just as she would have been referred to in public as Mrs. John Gilmore, so she was referred to as Aunt John Gilmore by her husband’s niece. In the same way, Aunt Othniel Gilmore was Mrs. Othniel Gilmore, whose given name was Sarah, better known as “Sally.” Same thing for the Widow Henry Gilmore.
This is how Evelina and other similarly educated women wrote, certainly, but not necessarily how they might have spoken to their relatives. Surely Evelina would have said, “Hello, Adaline,” to the young Widow Henry Gilmore.