2016 Reunion News


Wapping Community Church
South Windsor, CT
June 18

Our 146th Reunion was held in Connecticut. It was the first time in Connecticut since 2009. The Friday evening dinner was in Manchester, at the Adams Mill Restaurant, a converted old paper mill. We had a separate section of the dining room all to ourselves and about 30 people enjoyed an excellent meal with outstanding service. That general area in Manchester is very busy, especially on a Friday evening, so heavy traffic prevented several people from arriving at the beginning of the time allotted for the informal business meeting. Even though the meeting started late, we got a lot accomplished, mainly discussing plans for next year’s reunion and brainstorming ideas for future reunions.

The main event on Saturday was held at the Wapping Community Church (UCC) in South Windsor. South Windsor is a suburb of Hartford although it is across the Connecticut River, and just north of Manchester. Last year we were in a tent outside on the grounds of the Emily Dickinson Museum. By contrast, this year we were indoors in a large “community hall” behind the church proper. It went very well, with plenty of space for our dining as well as tables for exhibits, book and T-shirt sales, registration and food. And we did go outside, on that beautiful sunny day, for our group photo.

We had a good attendance of 74 cousins including several more from Connecticut than usual. It was great to see our former genealogist, Bucky Bock, who at age 96 took the prize for the oldest one present. The youngest was Madison Whitten, daughter of our scholarship chair, Jean Whitten, and great-granddaughter of our treasurer, Virginia Allis. Madison was 15 months. The prize for the greatest distance travelled was awarded to Pam Kissling, from Stuart, Florida.

Our traditional roll-call of descendants of the children of Nathaniel Dickinson went pretty much as expected. There were no attendees descended from Thomas, Hannah or Hezekiah. 5 were present descended from Samuel, 9 from John, 13 from Obadiah, 17 from Nathaniel, 20 from Joseph, and the largest group (no surprise) – 24 from Nehemiah.

The lunch centered around a delicious chicken francaise with salad and rolls. The succotash was quite unique in that it included onions and green peppers. Some people really liked it, others thought it wasn’t succotash because there was no corn in it. The dessert was strawberry shortcake, as usual, but many people agreed we’ve had better.

At the annual meeting acting vice president Ken Dickinson gave us some details about next year’s reunion. He’s put a lot of time and thought into planning it and it looks like it should be a really good one. It will be in Connecticut again, but on the other side of the river, in Litchfield. The following year our reunion will probably move back to Massachusetts, possibly at Mt. Holyoke College.

This year the scholarship committee for the first time awarded three scholarships. The three equally outstanding recipients were John Clay who will be attending the University of Rochester, Olivia Morris who is planning to attend American University and Jennifer Moss from Hadley, Massachusetts, who will be studying at the University of Massachusetts. Jennifer was present at the reunion and came to the podium to thank the association and tell us about herself and her plans.

Dale Williams, chair of nominations, presented the ballot of DFA officers for the coming year. Acting vice president Ken Dickinson was nominated for vice president and acting secretary Meg Kribble was nominated for secretary. The other nominees were the incumbents in the remaining positions. All were elected unanimously by the assembly, but there remains a vacancy at the top.

Dale Williams was also the one who discovered, invited and introduced our main speaker, Jason Newton. Jason’s talk on “The Old Connecticut Path” was very well researched and captivatingly presented accompanied by an excellent power point slideshow. Not only did he chronicle the journey of Rev. Thomas Hooker from Boston to Hartford, but he put this New England pioneer in the context of events of the 17th century. He pointed out that our reunion was taking place virtually on one branch of the old path and acknowledge that our patriarch, Nathaniel Dickinson, likely followed much the same path on his journey which led him to Wethersfield. Jason, a descendant of Rev. Hooker, illuminated for us the “big picture” of what the early immigrants did for the development of the country. We came away with an awesome sense of appreciation for what they and others since have achieved.

All in all it was a good reunion. Any slight disappointment with the meal was swept away by the wonderful presentation by our speaker, Jason Newton. It should be noted that the hall we used was not air-conditioned and despite open windows on opposite sides of the room it was quite warm by the end of the proceedings. Therefore we will be making a determined attempt to provide an air-conditioned space for future reunions.

Thanks to everyone who attended and all who worked to make the day a success. We hope to see you next year in the Litchfield, CT, area!


ALLIS, VirginiaWhately, MA1
BAILEY, DebbieManchester, CT1
BOCK, Margaret, Ellen & MickyWestbrook, CT3
BUTLER, Lisa, Bob, Claire, John, AshleyNoanck, CT5
BYRON, Norman & MaryAnnWest Wardsboro, VT2
COSTELLO, Nancy D, Claire GelisseinNorwalk, CT2
DICKINSON, Alan & BetsyWilbraham, MA2
DICKINSON, Jeffrey & RobinManchester, CT2
DICKINSON, Kenneth & MariaHudson, NH2
DICKINSON, Marie & Judy BeaulieuWindham, CT2
DICKINSON, Robert & SharonStoneham, MA2
DICKINSON, Stephen & PatriciaRichmond, VA2
EDGAR, Robert C & Judith AKing of Prussia, PA2
FOLWEILER, Helen & Dave ChipmanSouth Dartmouth, MA2
GODING, Joanne, Jennifer Moss, Jeff Moss, Tristan Rich-GodingHadley, MA4
GODING, Mary & SonRochester, VT2
GRAULTY, HenryNiantic, CT1
HARLOW, ErnestWestfield, MA1
HEADBERG, ElnaMarlboro, MA1
KISSLING, PamelaStuart, FL1
KRIBBLE, MargaretBrighton, MA1
LANDOLINA, Beth, Bob, ThomasTolland, CT3
LAUDATO, Linda, Dave & Sue Crespan, Florence Hendershot, Mike CrespanWestfield, MA5
MAGOVERN, RobertAgawam, MA1
MALLALIEU, Richard & MargaretEast Longmeadow, MA2
MEANEY, SandraGuilford, CT1
MURRAY, CarolinePortland, CT1
PATTERSON, BarbaraStamford, CT1
PAYNE, Nancy & RobertWellesley, MA2
RICKER, LoisHuntington, CT1
RIGGIO, Louise & TomOld Saybrook, CT2
RUGGIERO, Patricia & JosephDepew, NY2
SCHULTZ, Kathleen & DennisDeep River, CT2
WAGNER, Jim & AliciaSudbury, MA2
WALSH, Janet S., Bob BrownMillis, MA2
WARNER, Russell & ElaineWilliamsburg, MA2
WHITTEN, Jean & MadisonManchester, NH2
WILLIAMS, Dale & SuzanneNorthborough, MA2