January 2010 Newsletter


A message from the President

Greetings to you all as we begin a new year and a new decade.  Last month I had an opportunity to do some looking back in time when I paid a visit to our vice president, Andrew Dickinson, and we perused some of the contents of the Dickinson Family Association files.  My main purpose was research on past Dickinson reunions which I’m compiling for a future monograph.  But it was easy to get side-tracked by the extensive handwritten notes taken at some of the reunions from the early 20th century or the many fascinating newspaper clippings in some large scrapbooks.  One can follow the appearance and disappearance of certain Dickinsons and those with other surnames whose families were very active in the organization for a period of years.  Also the gradual coming together of different Dickinson lines as the association we know today evolved over time.  Traditions came and went – basket lunches, travelogues, musical performances all were prevalent for several years each. 

A personal surprise for me was finding the signature of my grandfather on the sign-in list of several reunions in the 1930’s.

My “day in the files” brought to mind the mission of our Research and Publications Committee since these files are a great resource for anyone interested in following some thread or theme throughout our history.  We are hoping some of you will be inspired to do some research that will help bring to life people and events from the past.  Or perhaps you might get started on a long-postponed project recording what you know or can find out about your own recent ancestors.  The New Year is a great time to resolve todo something which will document and preserve your family history.  Let us hear from you!

Happy New Year,

Alan C. Dickinson, president

 REUNION 2010 UPDATE      The 140th reunion of the Dickinson Family Association will take place at the Willitts-Hallowell Center at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.  The date of the reunion is Saturday, June 26, 2010 and there will be a dinner on Friday, June 25, at the Yarde House restaurant, also in South Hadley.     We are very pleased that our main speaker for this year’s reunion will be Martha A. Ackmann, a professor at Mount Holyoke and also an expert on Emily Dickinson.  Dr. Ackmann is an internationally known speaker, columnist and author, mainly on issues relating to women.  Her latest book, The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight, has won awards and great acclaim.  She will speak to us on Emily Dickinson and her year at Mount Holyoke.  Professor Ackmann is a knowledgeable and engaging speaker whom you are sure to enjoy.     In addition, we hope to have Melissa Josefiak with us for her presentation on early Wethersfield which was cancelled last June due to the tornado.  Bob Magovern will also give us his postponed historical report on Nathaniel Dickinson and the Wethersfield exodus of 1659.     As always, if you plan to attend and need accommodations, it is wise to make arrangements early.  The Willits-Hallowell Center has 20 guest rooms and some of you may want to consider staying there.  More information at 413-538-2217or www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/willits.
ANNUAL JANUARY SURVEY      Enclosed with this newsletter is a response card on which you can indicate your tentative intention to attend this year’s reunion.  It also gives you an opportunity to offer your help to the association.  Some of the volunteer work requires that you be able to attend board meetings (usually 3 per year) which currently are held in W. Springfield and Sturbridge, MA.  Distance exempts many of you from this, but we do have a large number of members who live close enough.  We really hope you will give favorable consideration to helping us out.  The association can’t exist without these volunteers.     Also this is the time we ask you to consider a monetary gift to the association.  As you know, we rely on contributions from members for our operating expenses and also to support and build up our scholarship fund.  Please return the response card in the envelope provided, together with your check, if you are able, made out to The Dickinson Family Association.
A DEAR FRIEND PASSES AWAY      On November 9, 2009, John Kennison Stene passed away.  John was a resident of South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  He was very active with the DFA having served on the scholarship committee as a founding member and chair.  John’s wife, Flora Manwell Stene, who died in 2003, was a secretary of the association.  A memorial service was held at the First Church of Deerfield on November 21st.  Our thoughts and condolences go to John’s family.  He will be greatly missed.
2010 SCHOLARSHIP FORMS AVAILABLE      Application forms are now available for the 2010 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, 2010.  Full information on requirements and an application form may be found on our website.  For additional information you may contact our scholarship chair, Jean Blackmer, 61 Sever St., Worcester MA 01609, Jean.Blackmer@becker.edu.
DICKINSON FAMILY COOKBOOK      Our cookbook, Family Fare, is still available.  You may now order it from Andrew Dickinson using our online book order form, or as before from our cookbook editor, Sara Pinkham Jones.  Sara’s address is  278 Reitman Court, Rochester Hills, MI 48307.  The cost is $14 which includes postage, and the check should be made out to The Dickinson Family Association.
NEW MEMBERS      From November 2008 to November 2009 twenty four new listings were added to our membership roster. We welcome the following people: Eddie Bishop, Lacey, WA; Norman and Mary Ann Byron, West Wardsboro, VT; Gregory Wayne Cockefair, Pompton Lakes, NJ; Antony Roy Dickinson; Brad Dickinson; Donald F. Dickinson, Plainville, CT; Leslie A. Dickinson, South Hadley, MA; Patrick A. Dickinson, Chatsworth, CA; Peter Romney Dickinson, LaVergne, TN; Vernon Dickinson, Mcloud, OK; Georgia Evans, The Villages, FL; Mary Goding, Rochester, VT; Philip Goding, Rochester, VT; Robert and Harriet Harrison, Southbury, CT; Mary Knox Humphrey, Skaneateles, NY; Katrinka Kip, Reno, NV; Nicholas H. Kip, Gahanna, OH; Stephanie Kip, Montclair, NJ; Kathy Latini, Bloomingdale, NJ; Mary-Elisabeth Monroe, Sarasota, FL; Rebecca L. Passa, Easthampton, MA; Patricia Ruggiero, Depew, NY; L. Steventon, Sunderland, MA; Margaret Zellinger, Bowdoinham, ME.     We are delighted to have these new “cousins” on our membership list and hope to see some of you at upcoming reunions so we can get to know you better.
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