Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - J

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


In 1902 at the age of 62 my 2x great grandfather John Porter, wheelwright, farmer, 
carpenter, and coffin maker, sold his property in the province of Quebec and moved to Jefferson, New Hampshire with his wife Susanna and some of their children. 

In the book "History of the town of Jefferson, New Hampshire, 1773-1927" the author mentions that John Porter bought the land of David Longway.

I always wondered why John chose to go to Jefferson, NH when many of his siblings moved to Wisconsin. 

John kept working as a carpenter in Jefferson. Their daughter Cora was living with them in 1910, according to the census, and she was working as a dressmaker. Cora never married.  She would be hired by a family and go stay in their house for the winter months to make all the family's clothes and linens.  

On 2 January 1916 John and Susanna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Jefferson.

Susanna and John Porter 1916

Attending the celebrations were 8 of their 11 children, along with 18 of their 19 grandchildren:

Mary Jane (Porter) King, daughter from Montreal (my great grandmother)
Richard Porter, son from Montreal
William John Porter (and wife), son from Dixville Notch, NH
Ernest George Porter (and wife), son from Dixville Notch, NH
Salome (Porter) Hepworth (and family), daughter from Kirkdale, Quebec
Pearl (Porter) Lowe (and children), daughter from Gorham, NH
Lilas (Porter) Keyser (and husband), daughter from Newport, VT
Cora Porter, daughter from Holderness, NH

A guest of honour was Sarah (Johnston) Placey, sister and bridesmaid of the bride and the only other person who had been at the wedding in 1866. A couple of close friends also attended, including Mrs. Stevens of Whitefield NH, formerly of Kirkdale and old friend of Susanna's.

The couple made so many friends in their 14 years in the Meadows, they all sent their wishes and said if John (age 75) wasn't so feeble, they would have another party for them the next day!

Gifts from the family included a lovely china dinner set decorated with a gold band, a Morris chair¹, and a purse of gold.  They also received many gold pieces from friends at the Meadows and in Canada. 

Since January 2 was a Sunday the celebrations were subdued, unlike that of their wedding day 50 years ago.  

My Great Aunt Salome (their daughter) writes of what she heard tell about that day in 1866:
"After a beautiful afternoon ceremony at the Kirkdale Anglican Church, 20 carriages followed the wedding party to the home of the bride's parents, William and Mary Johnston. There a hearty dinner was served, followed by music and dancing until after 3 am!!"

It was a wonderful gathering of family and friends, and a chance for the siblings who lived far from each other to catch up on the news.

John died two years later, in February 1918 and his body was shipped back to their hometown in Quebec for burial at the Holy Trinity Church, Kirkdale.

Susanna went to live with her son in Berlin, NH and died there in 1923.


  1. Dancing until 3 AM?!?! Those party animals! How wonderful to read both the wedding story and 50th anniversary. They certainly received some BIG gifts - a chair! Love that ~

    1. A Morris chair is like a recliner. My brother had one that belonged to my grandfather on my Dad’s side. Had leather covered cushions. Quite comfy!

  2. An interesting story. I thought the life of Cora was unusual, spending each winter at a different house making clothes. One would hope she got on well with the families.

    1. Apparently it was quite common for a single woman who was a dressmaker. My grandmother told me that her Aunt Cora made fine, tiny, even stitches. She also made and embroidered table linens and bed linens. For the clothes I guess it was easier for fittings if she was right there.

  3. I have heard of dressmakers staying with a family while they made the necessary clothes.

    That sounds like some party! 20 carriages, big dinner, dancing. People seems to have known how to celebrate a marriage back then.
    And it lasted.

    1. That is so true Kristin. And I bet everyone brought food!

  4. 50 years of marriage is a great accomplishment
    The age of 62 seems quite old to make a new start in a new community and take on a property.
    Visiting from A to Z

    1. My mom's cousin was married just a couple of months shy of 70 years when her husband died. And they were farmers so they were never apart. Inspiring!


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