The Internet Connection
People we have heard from through our home page connection this
past winter include:
Liz Biagiotti Ward whose family lived on the Nickerson Hill Road from 1963 to 1974. She now lives in Bethlehem, NH.
One of the Laubenstein brothers. This family lived in the old Readfield town house on route 17. They actually converted the town house into a residence in the 1960’s.
June Piper whose family lived in the Gordon Poole house on Church Road. June’s father, Fred, built that house c1950. June will be visiting Readfield in early June.
Another Internet Success Story
In early April our web master, Dale Clark, received
an email message from Marsha Masone asking for directions to Readfield.
It seems Marsha was planning a trip here during school vacation to search
for her ancestors, the Richardsons. Little did we know she was making the
trip alone, and driving from Virginia.
Marsha spent time at RHS with curator, Evelyn Potter, as well as visiting local cemeteries. The bonus Marsha did not expect to find was her long lost cousin, Jessie Duerr, from Olympia, Washington. It seems Jessie had visited here several times over the past few years while researching the same family. Evelyn put Marsha and Jessie in touch. When the two women corresponded they discovered their fathers were close cousins, and the families had lost touch many years ago.
Please join us for the first meeting of 2000 on May
20th at 2:00pm at the Readfield Historical Society building on route 17.
Call president David Giroux at 685-9877 with questions or suggestions.
RHS Member Highlights
Some of you may have seen Ginger Adell on WGME channel
13 news recently. Ginger, who has a collection of over 1,200 pairs of salt
and pepper shakers – said to be perhaps the largest in Maine – was interviewed
by Amy Sinclair.
Congratulations to Dale Clark who recently was awarded the Humanitarian Award for her work with Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area as bereavment coordinator.
Readfield Grange News
Readfield Grange will have public suppers the first Friday of each month June ~ October at the Grange Hall on Church Road. The home cooked meals will be served from 5:00 to 6:30pm. Prices are $6.00 for adults and $2.50 for children under 12 years. Takeouts will be available. Watch your local paper for menus. Call Audrey Luce at 685-3202 for further information or to donate food. Proceeds will contribute towards repairs of the Grange Hall which was built in 1898.
Local Ladies, the Note-Ables, Recognized
The Readfield Grange Good Citizen award was
presented to the Note-Ables in April. The singing group, comprised of fifteen
Central Maine women, lend their singing talents to entertain in local nursing
homes, Gardiner Alzheimers Center, and at non-profit fundraisers.
On Friday, June 2nd at 7:00, the group will perform their second annual fund raiser at the Readfield Union Meeting House. Proceeds from this evening with Irving Berlin will benefit the Union Meeting House. Tickets are $5.00 at the door or can be purchased at the Readfield Town Office.
Summer 2000 Schedule
Sunday, May 28th 10:00~2:00pm Opening Day
Tuesdays 10:00 ~ 2:00pm Month of June
Thursdays 10:00 ~ 2:00pm Month of July
Tuesday 10:00 ~ 2:00pm Month of August
Readfield Heritage Days will take place this year on
August 11 ~ 13, 2000. RHS open during this year’s celebration:
August 11 10:00 ~ 1:00pm
August 12 11:00 ~ 1:00pm
August 13 11:00 ~ 1:00pm
Open other times by appointment – call Evelyn Potter at 685-3812.
Those who are willing to volunteer a day at the society at any of the above times please call Evelyn Potter at 685-3812 to make arrangements.
Favorite RHS visitor to return August 12th
Willi Irish of Norlands fame, will return for another
visit and book signing during Heritage Days weekend.
Willi’s new book, One Day Last Week, is the story of an 8 year old girl in central Maine in 1782. The story is based on real events, places, dates and people.
Copies of her book Diary of a Maine Farm Boy will also be available. Copies of both books are on sale at RHS for $6.50 and $10.00 respectively.
Call Evelyn Potter at 685-3812 for further information.
Four Drawer file cabinet
Dried split firewood (2 or 3 armloads)
Donations for research and office supplies
Volunteers for building repairs & ground maintenance
Materials or donations towards building repairs
Early Settlers Series
By Dale Potter Clark
The Fifield Family
Fifields arrive in America
Fifields of Hampton, N.H.
Fifields remove to Kingston
Pictures at left is the North Manchester Meeting House formerly known as the Baptist Meeting House. This building was the place of worship for early Fifields in Readfield.
Fifields settle in Readfield, Maine
Pictured above is Case Cemetery founded in 1789. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Eben Fifield, one of the earliest to settle here, is buried in
This burial ground is the resting place for ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Case Cemetery on route 17 in East Readfield. In the
many of the early Readfield Fifields. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ foreground is the marker indicating his Revolutionary War ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~```service.
Fifield name “dies out”
Wyer Fifield’s gravestone in Case cemetery reads:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wyer Fifield died Nov. 16, 1854 aet. 74 yrs 9 mos.
"Dear husband thou from earth art gone.
Thy sufferings all are wen over.
Thy weary spirit sweetly rests on Canaan’s peaceful shore. “
Wyer’s son Calvin and daughter Mary S. lived on their
grandfather, Ebenezer’s, homestead. Neither ever married, and after Calvin’s
death in 1899, Mary appears on the 1900 census in Oakland, California.
Benjamin H. married twice into the Hill and Hall families. He and his first
wife, Levina Hall, had one daughter who died at 7 years of age. There were
no children with the second marriage. Thus, the end of the family name
in Weaver’s Readfield branch of the Fifield family.
Ebenezer, Jr., was the second son, and third child of Ebenezer and Mary (Sanborn) Fifield. He married Isabella Cross Thompson October 1806 in East Kingston, NH. They parented three daughters and two sons. The eldest, Lorinda Sanborn Fifield, married Rev. Thomas Jefferson Dudley, whose daughter, Mary Elizabeth wed Cornelius Adle (Adell). Members of this Fifield/Adell family line still reside in Readfield.
Ebenezer and Mary’s sons both lived to adulthood, and had families. Elder son, John Thompson Fifield, married to Louisa Hoyt, and they resided in Belgrade. They bore three daughters, no sons. Ebenezer and Mary’s fifth child, Noah, married Martha Richardson in Waterville where they lived out their lifetimes. Their story is a sad one. Of six children, three daughters and three sons, one son died at age 18 in the Civil War, and the other two died at age 14 years. One daughter died at age 12 years, a second married but was an invalid and had only one child. Their daughter, Lucy Ann, married to William Dunlap, resided in Belgrade and they had eight children. Thus the end of the Fifield name in this branch of the family, also.
Another branch of the family tree
Ebenezer’s nephews were the first of this family
to settle in Readfield c1798. Brothers, Joseph and John Fifield, also settled
in parts of town that were set off to create Manchester in 1850. In the
year 2000 we still find evidence of their presence here when we pass the
sign that identifies Fifield Road. At the end of that road, in a remote
location only known now by a few local people, is the Fifield
Cemetery where John and his wife Sarah Gilman are buried with several
of their children. John Fifield’s homestead, built c1806, stands nearby
and is still occupied today. John was an orchardist and operated a cider
mill. His home remained in this family until grandson John’s death in 1928.
John Fifield house, Manchester, built c1806
John’s brother, Joseph, who married Levina Lyon,
and fathered four children, built their home on route 135 near Uncle Ebenezer’s
family. Joseph and Levina chose Hill Cemetery in North Manchester as their
resting place. Joseph died in 1867 at age 91 yrs. Pictured below left is
Hill Cemetery located at west end of Prescott Road, Manchester. Joseph
Fifield's marker is located near the very center of this picture.
Joseph’s sons Sanborn and Hiram carried on the two Fifield farms on Route 135. Sanborn obtained ownership of his father Joseph’s homestead, and known in these times as the Clark place. Sanborn had a son, John, whose son Joseph purchased the large (Colomy) farm on Puddledock Road in Manchester in 1868. The farm, which consisted of 300 acres was the largest in Manchester at that time. Another of John’s children, Eliza, married Albion Nutting. Their son, Wallace Nutting became a famous artist and furniture maker.
~~~~Joseph Fifield c1892~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Joseph Fifield home on Puddledock Road, Manchester c1892
Hiram took over his cousin Benjamin H. Fifield’s
farm – built by Benjamin’s father Weaver (Wyer) Fifield – and presently
occupied by the Peaslee family. By now this branch of the family was the
only one remaining to carry on the Fifield name in Readfield and Manchester.
Hiram’s son, Marcellus, remained on his family farm and raised his children there. Descendants who have lived in this area for generations can tell stories about members of this family who were psychic, and of phenomenon that went on there many years ago. Marcellus son, Charlie, married Emma Hunt and they parented sons Russell and Shirley. Many of us who grew up in Readfield remember Mrs. Fifield as our second and third grade teacher in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Fayette and Wayne too you say?
You may remember mention that Ebenezer’s brother,
Samuel also sent shoots to Kennebec County, Maine. Samuel’s son Peter had
a son referred to as “Captain John.” This grandson – Ebenezer’s
grand nephew – came to Fayette some time between 1830 – 1835. Fayette historian
Underwood tells us David Fifield was the earliest settler on “the Ridge.”
We also find Peter and David Fifield listed as operators of a sawmill and
builders of the town farm in the mid nineteenth century Wayne…but that
is another story for another time.
The Fifield name no longer exists in Readfield and Manchester, but many descendants of this family line can still be found here. It is up to those of us who remember to help keep the memories and the name alive!
The Fifield story was compiled from:
Fifield Family History, Histories of Hampton, NH, Kennebec County, Fayette, ME, Manchester, ME;
Readfield, ME VR’s; Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire.
Potter Clark All Rights Reserved