Drucilla Smith born 22 December 1850

Drucilla (or Drusilla) was born 22 December 1850, in Ipswich MA, the fourth of five children to Joseph and Harriett (Newell) Smith.  But I didn’t know that at first.

I “inherited” a news clipping that told about the 60th wedding anniversary of Drucilla and Edward Perkins.  There was a notation that they were “relatives” of Josie Smith but it took a while to figure out how they fit into the family. I suspected that researching the Smiths in Ipswich, not far from Boston, might be complicated because of the common name. I had learned that Josie’s father was George Smith, and that she was raised by her uncle Albert Smith, so I searched the Ipswich census records and eventually found a family that included siblings Albert, George, and as luck would have it, Drucilla.  Finding that combination of three names convinced me that this was the right family to be Josie’s father and grandparents.  George and Albert were common names, but Drucilla was much less common. 

The news article reported the birthdates for Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, including their marriage date of 29 March, 1877.  I have not found their death dates, but know that they both reached the year 1937. 

In 1870, Drucilla was a teacher.  By 1880, her first child John was born, and two daughters, Caroline and Alice followed. I was eventually able to match them to spouses, and identify their children, using Internet and census searches and comparing my findings to the news clipping that listed the guests at the anniversary party.  I did notice that Josie Smith Hodges was not listed as a guest at her aunt’s party.

Drucilla Perkins lived at #2 Green, in Ipswich.  There is a sign that identifies the house as the Perkins House, although since it was built recently (1860s) it is not considered one of the more historic houses of Ipswich.  One year, Mr. and Mrs. Perkins had their photograph taken in front of their house, then used the photo as a Christmas card.  On my first visit to Ipswich, we found the house, right near the town green and the library.  We could match the doorway in the photo to the doorway on the house.  Harriet (my third great grandmother) lived with the Perkins family at this home after her husband died.


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