April 7, 1852

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Five Dollar Gold Piece, 1850

1852

April 7th  Mother is 80 years old this day and notwithstanding

the snow banks have been down to see her and made

her a present of a five dollar gold piece.  She is

not very smart to day but is generaly very well and

capable for one of her years.  Orinthia Abby & Augusta

went with me and we have had a very pleasant visit

Augustus stoped the evening here  Helen came

home this afternoon with her father.

Evelina’s mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore, turned 80 years old. She was the grandmother of Oakes Angier, Oliver (3), Frank Morton and Susan Eveline Ames – among other grandchildren –  and first cousin-once-removed of Sarah Lothrop Ames. She was born in Bridgewater in 1772, the fifth child and only daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Howard) Lothrop.  Her mother died soon after she was born and her father remarried two times more and had six additional children.

In 1789, at age 17, Hannah married Joshua Gilmore of Easton. They had a large family, too, producing eight children, of whom Evelina was seventh. By this 80th birthday in 1852, Hannah was a widow with only three offspring still alive. As we have seen, she lived on a farm with a son, Alson Gilmore, but often visited her daughter, Evelina.

Beyond these genealogical facts, little is known of the life of Hannah Lothrop Gilmore. When she was barely twenty, however, and already a mother of her first baby, John, she walked on a trail one day with her husband in an area of Easton known at the Great Cedar Swamp. Town historian William Chaffin recorded the tale:

“There was then no road through Cedar Swamp. Trees were however felled, and on these by hard work pedestrians at certain seasons could pick their way through from Easton to Raynham, or return.

“In 1792 […] Raynham had petitioned the Court of General Sessions for Bristol County to require Easton to build a road through the swamp to connect the two towns. The advantages of such a road were obvious. But Easton stood aghast at the prospect of incurring the expense of building a causeway such a distance and in such depths of mire.  The difficulty is illustrated by the fact that as Joshua Gilmore was going on the footpath through the swamp one day with his wife, carrying a little child in his arms, Mrs. Gilmore was speaking of the difficulty of the passage, and her husband replied that some day the child would ride through the swamp in a carriage; and the idea struck her as so essentially preposterous that she had a hearty laugh over it. However, the Court of Sessions did not, it would seem, share her skepticism, for it ordered Easton to construct the road.”*

The road, known then as the Turnpike Road or Street, was built, and Hannah Gilmore lived to ride it in a carriage.

*William L. Chaffin, History of Easton, Massachusetts, 1886, pp. 454-455

August 23, 1851

Mayflower

The Mayflower

Sat 23d Aug  The two Mr Lothrops went to the shop after

breakfast and I baked Cake & ginger snaps in

Mrs Witherells oven  This afternoon I went with

them to Mothers to tea, called at Mr Seba Howard

and took Orinthia with us and brought her here

at night  The Miss Tolmans are still at the 

Howards  Evening Mrs Mitchell came in.  Pauline

passed the afternoon in the other part of the house

Even in the hot weather, baking had to be done.  After breakfast, Evelina saw cousins Warren and Jerry Lothrop head off with the men to the shovel shop.  Pauline Dean, another guest, didn’t accompany them, but neither did she hang around the kitchen with her hostess. She spent part of the day, at least, in the other part of the house. By herself, Evelina baked cake and ginger snaps.

In the afternoon, once again laden with company, Evelina went down to the Gilmore farm with the young Lothrop men to visit Evelina’s elderly mother. Hannah Lothrop Gilmore was probably pleased to get a visit from these two male relatives. How closely related Mrs. Gilmore was to Warren and Jerry is uncertain; the Lothrop clan was extensive, and had been settled in Plymouth and Bristol Counties (and on into Maine) for generations.

What is certain is that if “cousin” Jerry and Warren were related to Evelina through the Lothrop line, they were also probably related to Sarah Lothrop Ames, as the two women themselves were second cousins. Evelina’s grandmother, Hannah (Howard) Lothrop, and Sarah’s grandmother, Betty (Howard) Lothrop, were sisters.*  They were descended from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame.

On the way home, Evelina picked up her young friend, Orinthia Foss, who ended up spending the night.  Where did everyone fit? How did everyone sleep?

* Winthrop Ames, The Ames Family of Easton, 1937, pp. 230-231