Harriet Newell born 21 April 1816

Harriet Newell was born 21 April 1816 in Gardiner, Maine, the daughter of George W Newell and Abigail March.  Harriet’s father was probably born in Maine about 1776, but I have not been able to identify his parents.  Harriet’s mother was from Ipswich, Massachusetts. 

The early census shows George Newell living in Gardiner, but of course family members are not named.   Harriet’s mother died probably before 1830 as that census didn’t list a woman her age in George’s household.  In 1834, George remarried, to Lydia Edgecomb.

Harriet returned to Ipswich, and on 5 July 1939, she and Joseph Smith entered their intentions of marriage.  Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith and Hannah Lord, married Harriet on 17 December 1839 in Ipswich.   They were counted in the 1840 census living next to his parents.

Harriet’s first child was Abby Newell Smith – apparently named for Harriet’s parents – born 22 March 1841.  Albert Warren was born 1 September 1843.  At the time of his birth, his father Joseph was a cordwainer, which is a shoemaker who specializes in soft leather high quality shoes.  Harriet Augusta was born 10 December 1845. 

The 1850 census lists the family in Ipswich, living next door to Joseph’s father.  Joseph was a laborer.   Daughter Drucilla A (or Drusilla) was born 22 December 1850, and the last child, George William (perhaps named for his grandfather) was born 18 September 1853.  His birth record lists his father as a laborer.

The 1855 state census lists Joseph as a farmer.  The 1860 census lists him as a farm laborer, with real estate valued at only $150.   The 1865 state census shows Harriet’s family in Ipswich.  Joseph was a farmer.  Her newly married daughter Abby and son-in-law Amos Searles lived with them.  Amos was a shoemaker.  Abby died in 1867 of diphtheria.  Harriet’s son Albert moved to Lynn, MA, and married his first wife, Lucinda Stone, on Christmas in 1867. 

The 1870 census lists Harriet’s family in Ipswich.  Her husband was a farm laborer.  Her daughter Harriet, called by her middle name Augusta in this record, was listed as having no occupation, and was labeled as “idiotic”.  That label, and “insane” were both used for different people on that census page, but I don’t know how they were defined in that era.  Drusilla was a teacher, and George was a clerk in a grocery store.  It appears that Harriet was running a boarding house, as there were eight other people in the household who were not family members. 

Harriet’s daughter Harriet Augusta died 22 November 1874, of consumption.  On January 15, 1877, Harriet’s son George married Josephine Felton.  On 29 March, 1877, daughter Drusilla married Isaac Edward Burnham Perkins.

In 1880, Harriet and Joseph lived on Center Street, and Joseph worked as a laborer.  Their children were all out of the household, but niece Annie Tolman lived with them.  She had also been in the 1870 census with them. 

Harriet’s husband died 29 December 1894, cause of death listed as old age and heart disease.  The 1896 Ipswich city directory listed Harriet N Smith, widow of Joseph, living at IEB Perkins – with her daughter Drusilla.   The 1897 Ipswich Directory also lists Smith, Harriet N, widow of Joseph, on Green at the corner of Meeting House Green, b 21 Apr 1816.  The house at #2 Green Street is still known as “The Perkins House” and when visiting Ipswich, I used a photo of Drusilla and her husband on their front steps to confirm that this is still the correct address for Harriet’s last home.

The 1900 census for Ipswich lists Harriet with her daughter Drusilla, her son-in-law, and his mother.  The census taker recorded “0” for both of the elder women, for the questions how many children born and how many children still living even though he listed them as mother and mother in law of Mr. Perkins. 

Harriet died 1 Jul 1901, age 85, at her home, in Ipswich, of dysentery.   She, Joseph, daughters Harriet and Drusilla, and son George, with other family members, are all buried at Highland cemetery.   Highland is also known as Cawles, Cowles-Highland, Highland-Cowles, the Old Burying Hill, Old North Burying Ground, and Old North Cemetery.  She and her family are documented on Find-A-Grave.


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