July 2021 Newsletter



A message from the DFA Board

Hello Cousins,

Our 150th Reunion will be held in Deerfield, MA on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021.  Saturday’s reunion will be held inside Historic Deerfield’s Community Center “White Church” an ADA accessible, air conditioned building located at the corner of Old Main St. and Memorial St.  We intend to have Friday’s dinner & social conveniently held at the Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main St.

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: https://www.historic-deerfield.org/ https://deerfield-ma.org/about/memorial-hall-museum/

We are planning to conduct guided walking tours on either Friday PM and/or Saturday AM (pending sufficient interest).  I encourage you to fill out the enclosed early response card as soon as possible, in effort to confirm tours, schedule, budget, etc.  We intend to have a well-spoken guest speaker.  Further details and schedule will follow in our Fall Newsletter.

Deerfield’s Involvement in Shays’ Rebellion:

Col. Thomas Wells Dickinson, who participated in several companies in the Revolutionary War, led a MA militia troop from Deerfield, MA to Springfield, MA on August 29, 1786.    His company assisted in successfully protecting the Court Session in Springfield prior to the battles ensued by Shays’ Rebellion which occurred later in 1786 and early 1787.  His brother, Major David Dickinson also served as a private in this company. 

Conversely on the civilian side, Capt. Reuben Dickinson of Amherst, who led several MA militia companies in 1775 and 1776, including very active duty at the Battle of Bunker Hill with Daniel Shays, served an important role in Shays’ Rebellion.  They led a large group of at least 400 farmers, many of whom had served in the Rev War, to the Springfield court house in rebellion of the taxes which were unfairly being charged.  They were struggling to survive in our new Republic and were losing their farms, as they previously had many years to repay their creditors prior to the Revolution.  Shays’ Rebellion ultimately caused Washington, Jefferson, John Dickinson and others to speed up their process of signing the Constitution in Philadelphia in effort to create a stronger republic on September 17, 1787.

Col. Thomas Wells Dickinson, as a younger man, was commissioned by Col. Benedict Arnold at the Barnard Tavern in 1775.  He was summoned to lead a troop from Deerfield to Ticonderoga during the Rev War in 1775.  He and his brother Consider Dickinson led cattle to Ticonderoga in effort to feed the troops.  Thomas continued to serve an important role as a deputy commissioner during the war.

Ken Dickinson,  President


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 October.  We know that plans may change between August and October, 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.  In a normal year we usually meet 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.


Newsletters are now sent only by email 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 email 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.


Lisa Butler, our Dickinson Genealogist, requests your input on Nathaniel Dickinson’s descendants.  You may send your births, marriages and death announcements to Lisa at dickinsonfamilyassociation@gmail.com.

Check out our NEW WEBSITE!

The new site is very interactive.  Viewers can do searches, send us messages and feedback, order books, donate and even join the association online. Newsletters that do not have inserts 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. Our typical newsletter schedule will temporarily change in 2021 to accommodate our reunion plans for October; however we will still send newsletters containing response cards or reservation cards, via US postal mail only to members who do not email addresses.

Here is a reminder to please return the Survey forms.

Website:  www.dickinsonfamilyassociation.org

Newsletter editor:  Dale Williams

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  1. Fred Balicki Jr

    Very nice revised website! I like the reunion photos and historical articles as well as taking care of business. Is there an early response/July survey card on line? I do not have a paper mailing, Chrystal and I want to attend all the Deerfield activities identified for the 2021 reunion. Thanks, Fred

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