January 2020 Newsletter

Dickinson Family Association

Volume XVII, Number 1
Thomas Dickinson House – Deerfield, Massachusetts
Now owned by Deerfield Academy

President’s Message

Hello Cousins,
Our 150th Reunion will be held in Deerfield, MA on Saturday, June 27th, 2020.  Saturday’s reunion will be held inside Historic Deerfield’s Community Center “White Church” located at the corner of Old Main St. and Memorial St.  Friday’s dinner & social will be conveniently held at the Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main St.  Both historic buildings were recently renovated, are ADA accessible and air-conditioned.  We are holding the reunion in Deerfield due to the quality of venues, museums, historic homes and content which is directly linked to our family’s history.  Historic Deerfield and PVMA’s Memorial Hall Museum are in possession of several buildings, original manuscripts, furniture, and other family items, i.e. clothing, dinnerware, weapons, books, pottery, and artwork.

For more information regarding these museums, please see the following website links:

We are planning to conduct guided walking tours on both Friday PM and Saturday AM (pending sufficient interest).  I encourage you to fill out the enclosed early response card, in effort to confirm tours, schedule, budget, etc.  Guest speakers (TBD) will be provided by Historic Deerfield.  Further details and schedule will follow in our Spring Newsletter.
Early Dickinson Settlers of Deerfield:
Per Sheldon’s “History of Deerfield” and as outlined in our Fall Newsletter, there were several Dickinson families who resided in Deerfield beginning around 1730 until the late 1800’s.  The majority of these families were descendants of Capt. Thomas Dickinson, who was son of Lt. Col. John Dickinson from Hatfield, and grandson of Nathaniel Dickinson, II.  Capt. Thomas’ mother was Hepzibah Wells of Deerfield, who was tomahawked as a child during a raid in 1693, but recovered to live a long life.  In 1752, Thomas built a house along Old Main St on a portion of the original Wells homestead lot.  It remains in excellent condition and is currently owned by Historic Deerfield.  Thomas was a commissary during the French and Indian War and a Captain during the Rev War.  Several of his sons also served in the Rev War in various capacities.  Thomas lived a long productive life to age 96, as he was able to see his grandchildren attend the Deerfield Academy!
Prior to Thomas, his 1st cousin Samuel Dickinson (2nd son of Nathaniel III) married Hannah Field of Deerfield in 1729.  They also owned a house on Old Main Street; sawmill and large farm in “The Bars” section of Deerfield.  Three of their children lived to adulthood; however they remained as Tories during the Rev War.  This fact and other issues created a conflict between Thomas’s family and Samuel’s family; an interesting study, as indicated in our Fall 2019 Newsletter.  The saga continues in our Spring Newsletter!

Ken Dickinson

Barnard Tavern – Deerfield, Massachusetts


 One of the most important functions of the Dickinson Family Association is the awarding of our annual scholarship.  Application forms are now available for the 2020 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, 2020.  Full information on requirements and an application form may be found on our website.  For additional information you may contact our scholarship chair, Lisa Butler, 12 Cove St, Noank, CT 06340, dickinsonfamilyassociation@gmail.com.
As always, we rely on contributions from DFA members to sustain and increase the scholarship fund.  If you are able, we would appreciate your help.  Indicate “scholarship fund” on the January Survey form if you wish to make a donation.
For the year 2019, we again had applications from several outstanding Dickinson cousins. The Scholarship Committee selected Olivia Blake and Kylie Dickinson to each receive a scholarship of $1,200.
Vintage photograph courtesy of
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s
Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA.


The card enclosed with this mailing serves several purposes.  Primarily it is to give us a rough idea of how many to expect at the reunion in June.  We know that plans may change between January and June, but if you are hoping at this point to attend, please send the card back to inform us.

The survey also gives you a chance to volunteer to help the DFA in a meaningful way.  For those of you who live within a reasonable distance of the area where we usually meet, we would like to invite you to come to a board meeting.  We usually meet in the Worcester, MA, area in October, January and April, starting with lunch and in January and April concluding with the assembly of a mailing.  If you come, you can get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how the DFA operates, have an opportunity to participate in our discussions, and maybe even find a niche for yourself on the board.  Please consider that possibility, and let us know if you’re interested.

Whether or not you can volunteer to work on the DFA board, all can help financially.  As you know, we do not have dues, but we depend on members who are able, to make a contribution for operating expenses and/or for the scholarship fund.  Any amount you can contribute is gratefully welcomed and will help the association.

January Survey


Newsletters are now sent only by e-mail to those members whose email addresses we have.  If you are receiving this newsletter by postal mail and you have an email address, we ask you to send your e-mail address to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina at membership@dickinsonfamilyassociation.org.  This will help save the association time and money. Be assured, we use these addresses only for sending the DFA newsletters and do not share them with anyone. 


If you’ve looked at our website (dickinsonfamilyassociation.org) very recently you will have noticed a whole new look.  Last spring the board hired a website developer to create a new website for us.  This was prompted partly due to our desire to digitize more of what we do and at the same time save the DFA some money in the area of mailings.  He worked on it for several months together with your webmaster, and in October we went live!

The new site contains all the content from the old site, but it is arranged and presented in what we think is a much more appealing and useful way.  It will allow viewers to order books online instead of the former “print out and mail in” order form method.  The survey forms we have sent out each January and the reunion reservation forms sent in April will now also be filled out and sent in electronically, greatly reducing the number of postal mail items needed.  With over 500 members now, the January and April mailings have become very time-consuming and expensive.  All purchases, reservation fees and donations can be made online using PayPal.  Another big advance is that scholarship applications will now be done online.

The new site is very interactive.  Viewers can do searches, send us messages and feedback and even join the association online.

Newsletters will be sent only by email to those members whose email addresses we have, so it’s more important than ever to keep us informed of any changes.  We will still send newsletters in January and April by postal mail to those members who do not have email, but we’re hoping that if any members have an email address we don’t know about that you will share it with us.  Be assured, we use these addresses only for sending the DFA newsletters.

So please go online and enjoy the new site!!

Here is a reminder to please return the January Survey form.

Donations are always appreciated. Consider donating to the Dickinson Family Association today.

Web site:  www.dickinsonfamilyassociation.orgNewsletter editor:   Dale Williams

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