Saturday, September 17, 2016

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY – Part 11 – NEWRY 1817 – 1833

               1817 – The Year Without a Summer was in 1816 but the effects didn’t just go away.  In many place in New England in 1817 municipalities were forced to find seed for their farmers to plant so there wouldn’t be widespread starvation as the individual farmers often had nothing to plant after their failed crops of the previous year.  We don’t directly know how the weather change effected the Carter family.  The tax records show he added two oxen and a 1 year old cattle but had no 3 year old cattle after having two the year before.  In 1817 they increased their mowing acreage to 2.5 acres which is what he would have the rest of the years in Newry.  Hannah was probably grateful to have survived this potentially disastrous event with her family intact.  Dominicus at 11 was probably a help to his father and Almira and Hannah at 9 and 8 would have been able to provide their mother some support.

                It should be noted that another member of the Libby family actually moved to Newry after John and Hannah.  Hannah’s next older brother, John Libby and his wife Anna moved to Newry around 1814.  John Libby is found on the tax rolls of Newry from that time until they left probably after Anna died in 1838.  John lived out his last years in Gorham, Maine, which is just outside Portland, back on the coast.  In any case, Hannah probably enjoyed having a family member living nearby.

                1818 – 1827 -  Little or no details about the family are known during this time.  The family farm seems to have done well.  For the most part John tilled 1.5 acres, though some years just a half acre.  He consistently mowed 2.5 acres to provide food for his livestock and finally had about one acre of pasture.  His livestock usually consisted of two oxen, a horse, between 2 and 4 cows, between 2 and 8 cattle, and between 2 and 5 swine.  Assuming that John was probably earning extra income from blacksmithing, the family was probably doing fine on Newry standards.

                During this time, they had the rest of their family on a fairly regular two-year cycle.  Eliza Ann was born on 28 Sep 1818, Richard Harrison on 8 Aug 1820, Mary Jane on 13 Mar 1823 and finally Rufus on 9 Oct 1825.   If our records are accurate Rufus died on his second birthday, 9 Oct 1827.  That left the family with 9 living children.  All nine would live to marry and leave posterity.   Considering the time that they lived the Carters were very blessed as many families lost more children than they did.

Dominicus Carter
William F. Carter
                1828 – 1833 – Families in those days were large so that there would be plenty of children to help in running the farm.  One downside is that eventually the children would grow up, marry and move off the farm leaving the farmer with less hands to do the work.  This is the dynamic that began to happen to the Carter family.  On 21 May 1828 Dominicus, just a month short of his 22nd birthday, became the first to leave when married Lydia Smith.  Dominicus would remain in Newry so even though he began to be taxed on his own, the and his father may have jointly run their farms.  The next year saw the marriages of the two eldest daughters.  On 15 Jan 1829, two weeks after her 21st birthday Almira wed Alvin Baron Tripp.  They would remain in Newry and raise a large family there before eventually moving to Illinois.  Hannah was the next to marry on 2 Dec 1829 to Aaron Mereon York.  They moved to nearby Reedsville and Bethel for several years before moving back to Newry about 1837.   Finally, on 1 Mar 1832 just short of his 21st birthday, William married Sarah York (Aaron M York’s sister).  William and Sarah stayed in Newry for the first several years of their married life.

                So as 1833 John and Hannah’s family had shrunk to 5 children at home.  At this point John was 51 and Hannah was 47.  Their life was comfortable.  The five children at home were a big help to their parents in the operation of the farm.  The family was growing though.  They had 4 married children and 10 grandchildren.  Life must have been good at this point.

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