April 2017 Newsletter

Volume XIV No. 2

A message from the DFA Board

Hello Cousins,
Plans for the 2017 reunion have been progressing well.  The Friday evening events will take place at Black Rock Tavern in Thomaston, CT.  Entre choices are: Sliced Sirloin, Fresh Salmon Filet, Pork Normandy, and Pasta Primavera. Salad, vegetables, rolls, coffee or tea, and dessert are included. The Saturday events will be at the St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Goshen, CT.  We are excited to welcome our speaker, Alexander Dubois (Litchfield Historical Society’s Curator of Collections), who will tell us about the journey of Anson Dickinson, a leading 19th century Minaturist Painter from Litchfield whose work includes over 1500 portraits from South Carolina to Montreal.  We will also review several Dickinson Families who had significant contributions to the development of Litchfield and its surrounding communities. The schedule for the reunion events appears below (Saturday details are subject to change).  Enclosed with this newsletter is a reservation card and return envelope.  Please observe the deadline of June 14 for returning this card.  Directions for getting to the venues will appear in the June newsletter as will the final schedule.  We invite anyone who has something to add to our exhibit table to bring it on Saturday at 9:00am.   We’re happy to report that the January newsletter has elicited interest from some possible new board members.  We continue to invite any interested DFA members to contact one of the current board members and come join us at a board meeting.  The next one will be on Friday, June 23 at the Black Rock Tavern at 5:30pm, before our annual dinner.  That board meeting is a less formal one, and is always open to any DFA member who wishes to attend.


Friday, June 23
11am-5pm   Display Table @ Litchfield Historical Society and various tours (TBD)
5:30pm   Open Informal Board Meeting
6:30pm   Social Hour
7:30pm   Annual Reunion Dinner
Saturday, June 24
9:00am    Gathering of cousins: registration, exhibits, sales & refreshments
11:00am   Dickinson Families of Litchfield and Goshen Discussion 11:30pm   Lunch
12:30pm  Counting of the cousins, prizes, group photo
1:00pm      Annual meeting
1:30pm     Main Speaker, Topic:  19th century Minaturist Painter “Anson Dickinson”
2:30pm     Q&A Session and Concluding Cermony ending by
3:30 pm

Ken Dickinson,  Vice President

Please return your reservation card as soon as possible.    

Anson’s father was Rev. Oliver Jr. (1757-1847), a Revolutionary War Veteran, who was the master builder/architect for Milton’s Episcopal Church.  Anson’s grandfather, Oliver Sr. (1724-1783), was a builder, joiner, and grist mill owner.  Anson’s great-uncle, Reuben (1716-1818), a nail factory owner, was most likely the first Dickinson to settle in Milton Village, with his wife Sarah Gibbs (1727-1816). Sarah’s father Benjamin Gibbs (1675-1767), was one of the first surveyors and selectmen of Litchfield.  Anson’s great-grandfather, Ebenezer (1690-1774), was a successful cordwainer (shoe & boot maker). Circa 1750, Ebenezer sold his lands in Hatfield, MA and purchased several lots in Litchfield, Goshen, and Cornwall.  Ebenezer’s father, Nathaniel III (1663-1751), and grandfather, Nathaniel II (1643-1710), were both selectman in Hatfield.  However, they kept strong ties with those in the Hartford region, as his wife, Sarah Denslow (1694-1775), and his grandmother, Hepzibah Gibbs (1665-1713), were from Windsor.  Benjamin Gibbs (1675-1767) was Hepzibah’s brother and Sarah Denslow’s uncle.  With assistance and encouragement from the Gibbs Family, Ebenezer’s family moved away from Hatfield. The French and Indian War had a severe impact on Ebenezer’s immediate family and friends.  For example,  Ebenezer’s brother, Nathaniel IV (1698-1747), was viciously scalped and murdered in Northfield.  Litchfield provided a new opportunity for his family to thrive.  The Dickinson Family became well-established and well-respected in Litchfield County for several generations to follow.    

Application forms are now available for the 2017 DFA scholarship.  Applicants must be descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson and must be accepted to a four-year college or university.  The deadline for submission is April 30, 2017.  Full information on requirements and an application form may be found on our website.  For additional information you may contact our scholarship chair, Jean Whitten, 9 Shepherd Rd, Manchester, NH 03104, jwhitten128@gmail.com.  

Please send your births, marriages and death announcements to Dickinson Genealogist Rebecca Passa at rlpassa99@gmail.com or 17 Pine St, Easthampton, MA 01207.    

Please send your address and e-mail address changes to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, at BethL0719@sbcglobal.net.    

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