A few months ago I decided to join The Essex Society of Genealogists. This society was formed in 1981 and is located in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. This morning I am reading a couple of their issues from last year that are available online for members. I enjoy reading genealogical periodicals even when I find no information about my family because I like to see the research methodology and learning history is always fun.
Anyway, I need to order a physical copy of Volume 36, Issue 3 published in August 2016. Emerson W. Baker presented a lecture on the Salem witch trials which is quite interesting. He presented some interesting ideas that are not always included in other books on the subject. He also has created the Salem Witch Trials app. However, as interesting as the lecture was it is not the main reason I NEED this issue. Chris Bailey (former genealogist for the Duston/Dustin Family Association) submitted two articles. The first is “The Documented Story of Hannah Duston”. In it, he focuses on contemporary sources of Hannah (Emerson) Duston’s experiences and not the accounts that were written several generations later. It was quite informative. I loved reading the transcriptions of old documents and letters. There was information regarding the family I had not seen before. (I have to say I am guilty of not researching the New England lines of my family like I should. I do have dates and names that I acquired through family records from close to 100 years ago. I definitely need to learn more about the history behind the names. As Hannah is a bit of a celebrity I do know a bit of her history, as well as her sister Elizabeth Emerson, but not so much other people in my tree.) The second article is “The Homes of Thomas and Hannah Duston and the True Duston Garrison House”. I learned a few new things from this article also. I did not know (or remember?) that Thomas Duston was a brickmaker. The major point in this article (for me) is that the Duston Garrison House in Haverhill did not actually belong to Thomas Duston but was built by Henry Kimball, Jr. It was purchased later in 1698 by Stephen Emerson who married Thomas and Hannah’s daughter Elizabeth. Hannah did live there a year or so at the end of her life under the care of her daughter and stepson. She may have actually died there. But, no, it is not the Duston Garrison House as we once thought.