Monday, May 7, 2018

Hopped on a Canoe

Hopped on A Canoe
My Third Great Grandparents
18 Feb 1817
Isaac Denison, Jr, and Levina Fish

The Day, 20 Aug 1999, page A1 and A5
"Keeping Mystic in its Natural State"

Would you ever think that your New England ancestors would get married in one home in one town and have a reception in another town and travel between the events in canoes in February? This seemed like an unlikely event to take place so I began to look for evidence that this actually took place. This 1999 newspaper article can be somewhat authenticated and even I am surprised. 

This wedding tale was found in the bride's newspaper funeral notice as located by Elsie Barstow and told again in a slide presentation, "The Fish families of early Mystic" by Warren Bourque, dated 17 May 1974.  Elsie lived in the house that belonged to Isaac and Levina at 6 Willow St. Mystic and was intrigued by Levina's long life.

It might be derivative evidence but it is all we've got since the bride (a long time widow) died in 1890. The wedding and reception are certainly not unlike ones today that are held in two locations and considered a "destination event."

For help with this "hopped on a canoe" tale this I enlisted the following people to help me: Dorothy Hanna, Mystic River Historical Society, 2 May 2018 and in the Mystic Press newspaper 24 and 29 July 1890 by Barbara Fallon and Nina Wright of the Westerly Public Library on 1 May 2018. No canoes were involved in the research.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I.W. Denison, Shopkeeper

The Mystic Press, 29 July 1890 page 3
from the archives at  The Westerly Public Library
1 May 2018 from Barbara Fallon and Nina Wright.
My ancestor, Dudley Wheeler Stewart (1822-1886) was a merchant shopkeeper in the town of North Stonington, Connecticut. He did not marry until he was 33 years old. 

His wife Eliza Fish Denison (1833-1909) was my 2nd great grandmother and in 1909 when she died, she was living in Pawcatuck, Connecticut with her only living son and his family. That family included my maternal grandfather, Evans Stewart, who listened to all the family stories. 

This man in the ad above, I.W. Denison (1817-1895) was Eliza's eldest brother. There are photos of this storefront in many books on Mystic that I own. This ad tells me that although his store was larger and served a bigger town, this store had the same type of goods to be sold as Dudley's store.

Ever since I learned of this store, I have wondered if I.W. and Dudley knew each other. There are not very miles between the location of both stores. I suspect that Dudley, the last child born in his family, was introduced to his future bride by this man, known as I.W. or Isaac Wheeler Denison.
Photo taken in the Dension Homestead in 2009 by Midge Frazel

Eliza was educated at Portersville Academy and at the age of 17, she was living in nearby Groton with her uncle Simeon Fish (1799-1863), attending school and probably helping out in the household. Simeon Fish and Eliza's mother Levina Fish, were close in age and for sometime, his occupation is listed as merchant.

That's three men who were merchants who knew each other. 

In this time period, women were expected to marry, become a school teacher, or to nurse aged family members. Eliza was wise to marry Dudley. They married in 1856 and lived near his store in North Stonington, Connecticut.