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2010-11-06 12:38 pm

Surname Saturday: Chapin

One of the surnames on my mother's side of the family is Chapin. One of my cousins was curious about whether I'd be able to connect us to Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of Springfield, MA.


The photo above is of "The Puritan,"
and the model purportedly was Deacon Samuel Chapin.

The answer is yes. Chapin family history is very well documented, particularly for the family members and descendants who stayed in and around Springfield, Roxbury and other Massachusetts cities and towns.

Samuel Chapin was widely respected in early Massachusetts, as were his sons, daughters and their children afterward. The Chapins had their own version of a family empire in Springfield.

Here is how I descend from Samuel Chapin:
Samuel (1598-1675)
Japhat (1642-1712)
Samuel (1665-1729)
Caleb (1701-1755)
Joel (1732-1805)
Joel (1763-1803)
Joel (1800-?)
Nathaniel F (1827-1898)
Frederick (1858-1938)
Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding (1887-1976)
Doris Geneva (Balding) Williams (1907-1998)
Judith Ann Williams (1937-2004)

As luck would have it, my direct Chapin ancestors had the same pioneering spirit as Samuel, and were not content to stay in Massachusetts.

Nathaniel Foster, son of Joel, was really hard to chase down. He was born in Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Harris about 1853. They had 10 children that I have been able to document, including my g-g-granddad, Frederick.


Frederick and Eada Belle (Parrish) Chapin

Nathaniel and his sons were woodworkers - carpenters and furniture makers. The family lived in Olean, Cattaraugus, New York through the 1880 census, but by the 1 Mar 1885 Kansas census, they were living in Bourbon Co., KS.

Then Fred hopped on over to Vernon Co., MO to marry Eada Belle Parrish on Christmas Eve, 1885. Fred and Eada only had two children of which I am aware, Hattie Belle (my great-grandmother) and her older sister Ruth, who died before 1900.

Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding,
probably around the time of her marriage

Hattie Belle Chapin married Victor Claude Balding on 25 Sep 1901 in Pulaski Co., AR. They raised seven children in Little Rock. Hattie's parents moved there, too and are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.
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2010-11-06 12:43 pm
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Sometimes I don't know how they did it...

The ancestors, that is.

No air conditioning or indoor plumbing.

Chamber pots under the bed at night.

Dinner was running around out in the backyard until you took a hatchet to it. Or went out in the woods with a shotgun. If you weren't faster than your prey, there probably was greens and cornbread. Again.

And you were thankful for it.

Wardrobe choices were easier, I guess.

And all those kids. Sometimes as I am adding them one after another to the database, I have to smile...there were only three of us and my parents would get confused.

Dee - I mean Vicki - I mean Lorraine...I mean, whoever it is, CUT THAT OUT!

And then, there are somber moments that accompany all those names and dates. Moments when I feel, even for just a split second when the horrible details come together, like I've been sucker punched.

Click here to meet Charles Hardin Patterson... )

Sometimes it's hard to see the path through the tears.

But the journey is good.

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2010-11-06 04:09 pm

Tell me my family didn't know how to celebrate a holiday...

Jo Desha and Maxie Leah Williams family, Christmas Day 1900
photo by McLeod, the Wild West photographer

Every time I see this one, I just dissolve into gales of laughter.

Can't you just imagine the dinner table discussion a couple of weeks before the holiday?

"Honey, what shall we do this year for Christmas? After all, it's the first Christmas of the new century."

Oh, I don't know. . .hey, why don't we get that McLeod guy to take a picture? We could dress up and go sit outside on some rocks."

"Marvelous idea, darling! And we could put Paul and Cedric on a couple of asses. They've been acting like asses for a few days now. It would serve them right. . ."

The back of the photo has an extensive ad for "McLeod, the Wild West Photographer. . . the man who made Happy Hollow famous the world over."