January 2007 Newsletter


A message from the President

Happy New Year to all!  I hope 2007 will be a good one for you. At this time of beginnings and new beginnings I’ve been thinking about the origins of the Dickinson Family Association.  It evidently had its beginning with a gathering of one Dickinson Family in Glastonbury, CT, in 1859.  From that time on, the reunion gathering has always been a focal point  for the association’s endeavors.

As it became desirable to document the many members of the different family groups and their ancestors, our emphasis on genealogy evolved.  Nowadays, a fascination with family history is probably the primary thing that draws people to our organization.  With our members spread across the United States and several other countries, it is impossible for all to attend the annual meeting.  However, many have attended at least once, and some frequently travel a good distance to be with us.

 Admittedly, not everyone is interested in family history.  I myself was only casually interested until I was in my fifties. It was one of my students who first informed me of this organization and loaned me a copy of the genealogy.  From that moment, I was hooked, and set about researching my “roots.”   It was a few years before I actually became a member of the DFA, but that was before there was a website or a newsletter.

Those of you who are reading this undoubtedly know how intriguing family history is.  I hope you will pass this on to your children, grandchildren, etc.  We have been seeing more of the younger generations recently at our reunions, and it we need to expand this in the future.  To do that we need your help.  Perhaps it would make a good New Year’s resolution!

Alan C. Dickinson, President

                                                                                    2007 REUNION

Our annual reunion in June will be in Westfield, Massachusetts this year.  The Saturday events will take place in Scanlon Hall on the campus of Westfield State College.  The main speaker will be Dr. Bob Brown, a former member of the faculty and currently historian for Westfield.  He will speak on the history of the college and of a former president, John W. Dickinson, whose achievements in education were felt on the local, state and national level.  The Friday evening dinner will be at the School Street Bistro in Westfield.  More details may be found on the web site.  

f you are staying overnight, the best suggestion for accommodation are those in West Springfield on Rte. 5 (Riverdale St.) which you can find on last year’s list.  You can also consult the college’s web site.  A new list will accompany the April Newsletter.

                                                          JANUARY SURVEY

Enclosed with this newsletter is our annual January Survey card.  Please take a moment to look it over, fill it out and return it in the envelope provided.

We do this each year for several reasons.  One is to obtain up-to-date e-mail addresses from those of you who have them.  One or two newsletters each year are sent by e-mail which saves us time and money.  If you prefer not to receive newsletters by e-mail make a note to that effect.  Another is to get a feel for the interest in this year’s reunion. We know not everyone who says they plan to come will be able to, but if your intention at this time is to attend, please  mark it so. 

We also need to find people who are interested and willing to actively help in the running of the organization. If you live within reasonable driving distance of Holyoke, W. Springfield or Sturbridge MA, where our board meetings are held please strongly consider volunteering to help us in one of the categories listed.  We especially need someone to assume duties of secretary at this time.

And last, but not least, if you are able to make a contribution to the operating expenses of the DFA or to its scholarship fund (or both!) we encourage you to do so.  Since we have no dues we depend on and are grateful for the generosity of our members in helping with expenses, primarily for mailings and the web site.


We were saddened to learn that Robert W. Bock passed away on December 17, 2006.  Bob, the husband of our genealogist, Margaret “Bucky” Bock, was for many years the publications treasurer for the DFA.  He resigned from that post a year ago but remained on the board as a member at large. We are grateful for the dedication he showed to the DFA over the years, and we express our deepest sympathy to Bucky and family.  He will surely be missed.

                                      SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS SOUGHT

Once again we are accepting applications for our scholarship.  Two changes have been made to our scholarship form and policy.  One is that we will notify the winner(s) early in June so that hopefully they can attend the reunion and be recognized.  The second affects the way the committee makes the awards.  The DFA scholarship was established for financial assistance to students attending accredited four-year colleges.  Until now we have given preference to entering freshmen among equally qualified candidates.  Since many students attend a junior college for one or two years and then transfer to a four-year school we have slightly modified this policy.  We will give preference now to first-time applicants among equally qualified candidates.  Thus a sophomore, junior or even senior will be considered on a par with entering freshmen provided they have never before applied.

This does not preclude prior applicants from re-applying.  Should their qualifications exceed those of first-time applicants, they may receive the scholarship.   We are looking forward to the year when our funds are such that we can award scholarships to all well-qualified applicants, regardless of year.  So far we are not at that point.  As always, we encourage our members to strongly consider making contributions, bequests, etc., to our scholarship fund so that we might soon reach that goal.

For more information or application forms visit our website or write the committee chair, Alan Dickinson, 6 Garden Lane, Wilbraham, MA 01095.

                                            EMILY DICKINSONS LINEAGE

The poet, Emily Dickinson, was in the eighth generation of Dickinsons in America.  Since last June’s reunion, which included a tour of her home, it has been requested that we print her lineage in a newsletter, so here is an abbreviated version taken from our new genealogy:   Nathaniel1bp. 3 May 1600 Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England, d. 16 Jun 1676 Hadley MA;   Samuel2, b. 15 Jul 1638 Wethersfield CT, d. 30 Nov 1711 Hatfield MA;  Ebenezer3, b. 2 Feb 1681 Hatfield MA, d. there 16 Mar 1730;  Nathan4, b. 30 May 1712 Hatfield MA, d. 7 Aug 1796 Amherst MA Nathan5, b. 19 Oct 1735 Amherst MA, d. 3 Aug 1825 Amherst MA;  Samuel Fowler6, b. 9 Oct 1775 Amherst MA, d. 22 Apr 1838 Hudson OH;  Edward7, b. 1 Jan 1803 Amherst MA, d. 16 Jun 1874 Boston MA;  Emily Elizabeth8, b. 10 Dec 1830 Amherst MA, d. 15 May 1886 Amherst

                                                   NEW MEMBERS

Several new listings have been added to our membership roster over the past year (Nov. 2005-Nov. 2006). Some were from the 2006 reunion, some found us online, and some are related to members and we’ve just now put them on the mailing list.  They are listed here in alphabetical order with their state of residence:  Robert Allen, IL; Marian Anderson, MA; Anne Boggiano, NJ; Doleta Dickinson Chapru, WI; Lynne Cunningham, CA; Andrew & Kristin Dickinson, CO; Cynthia L. Dickinson, MA; Ellen Dickinson, MA; Gordon & Jean Dickinson, CO; Jane Dickinson, CO; Ken Dickinson, NH; Matthew & Elizabeth Dickinson, CO; Stan Dickinson, NY; Steven Dickinson, MA; Barbara Giguere, MA; Stacey & Trevor Holmes, IL; Heather Houghton-Smith, MA; Sharon Kaples, NY; Barbara Dickinson Lyons, MA; Stephen R. Martin, NC; Danny McPeek, CA; Kathleen Ann Morgan, AZ; Ginny Olson, CA; Stephen Rantz, NC; Carrie Salzer, MA; Carolyn Wacker, OR; Frank R. Welcome, CT.

We’re delighted to welcome these cousins to our membership list and hope this kind of growth continues in the future.  If you know of someone who is not on our mailing list and you think would like to receive our newsletters, encourage them to contact our membership clerk, Beth Landolina: bethl0719@sbcglobal.net

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