Compiled and edited by Joann H. Nichols, President & Past Secretary, Genealogical Society of Vermont. Published by Genealogical Society of Vermont. Printed by Excelsior Printing Company, North Adams, Massachusetts.


Mrs. E. A. Erikson, Member #812, 1832 Sycamore Road, Homewood, Illinois 60430 has sent us the following on her Vermont ancestors.

The following is from a Massena, New York paper - page 2 - unfortunately there is no date.


Written to John B. Andrews of Massena

A mother's letter to her son, in which she expressed worry because she had not heard from him in about a month, is in possession of Mrs. Fhilo Andrews, widow of Ralph Andrews. The mother was Mrs. Phebe Andrews and the son was John B. Andrews, grandfather of Ralph Andrews and also of J. C. Andrews. The letter follows:

Waterbury, Vt.
February 24th, 1805

Dear Son,
Not hearing from you in such a length of time as from the 20th of January last I am concerned lest sickness or some other accident hath happened to you. My uneasiness occasioned my giving you this trouble and I wish that I may find things with you better than my fears suggest. However, be pleased to let me know the certainty with all convenient speed and thereby you will very much oblige me.
We are all well at present. The children all wish to be remembered to you. Send a letter back by Daniel Atkins.
If you can make it convenient to get me a half a pound of indigo I shall be very glad.
You may go to the apothecary and get me a bottle of bergamot if you are a mind to.

Your loving mother


John B. Andrews was born in Claremont, N.H. 23 July 1788. At the time the above letter was written he was 17 years of age and had been in Massena only a short time. Then his parents were living in Waterbury, Vermont. He became one of Massena's most prominent merchants.

In those days people had to make many of the articles that are bought today. Mrs. Andrews probably wanted the indigo to make dye. Bergamot is a tree of the orange family, having a roundish or pearshaped fruit, from the rind of which an essential oil of delicious odor is extracted much prized as a perfume. Bergamot was also used for perfuming snuff. It is probable that Mrs. Andrews desired the bergamot for perfume purposes.

The next two letters are from John B. Andrews to his parents, Martin and Phoebe Belfield Andrews in Waterbury, Vermont. (They moved to Genesee County, New York when Phoebe was 52.)

Massena, New York
March 1, 1812

Honored and Dear Parents

agreeable to your request, I will inform you of my arrival in Massena on the 15th inst. after a cold journey of seven days and finding myself among entire strangers and in a strange place and the distance from home and the length of time it would probable lapse before my return caused me to express the sad disagreeable feeling of homesick. But in time and resolution will soon wear it off. It is very sickly here and many die, but I am well at present and hope to remain so.
with all the wishes of health and prosperity to you and your family, I remain,

Your child and dutiful son

John B. Andrews

I hear that you think of moving from Waterbury to Western New York, but I think it would be a great undertaking in your old age and infirmities and to much for you to indure so I think it best for you to stay where you bee. I am in great haste.


John B. Andrews

Massena, N.Y.
Sept. 27, 1812

Honored parents:

I received your letter with pleasure but am sorry to know that you are so frightened on my account. We have nothing to fear here for the present. I shall likely remain here till winter to settle my business. I am at present confined as the Militia called to defend our frontiers and I am amongst them. I am anxious to take an active part in the present war. Nothing prevents me but my unsettled affairs and the trouble it would be to you. But do not mourn for me if my fate is sealed as I have neither wife nor children to provide for. Be not troubled or mourn for one child as you have many more to think of. The only satisfaction is that if trouble awaits us we shall receive it calmly without fear of death. The articles you requested I have neither of them as the times have not admitted of getting goods, but if they are to be got if I ever return, I will bring them to you. I am well for the present and in great haste.

Your constant and affectionate son

John B. Andrews

The parents of John B. Andrews were: Martin Andrews, b. Wethersfield, Connecticut 30 May 1761, died Ridgeway, Genesee Co., New York 29 August 1821, married at Claremont, New Hampshire 29 December 1784 to Phoebe Belfield, born Newburg, New York 13 March 1768 and died Ridgeway, Genesee Co., New York after her 86th birthday on 1 September 1854. They had ten children (surname Andrews): (The first seven were all born in Claremont, New Hampshire.)

In 1819 Martin and Phoebe moved from Waterbury to Gaines, then to Genesee County, now Orleans County, New York, accompanied by their younger children. The journey through the wilderness from Waterbury, Vermont to Gaines, New York took thirty days. Phoebe, then over fifty years of age and mother of ten children, made the entire journey on horseback.

John Belfield Andrews married Susan Boynton in Massena, New York 1 January 1815. Susan was born in Weathersfield, Windsor County, Vermont on 14 August 1794. She was the daughter of Stewart Boynton and Lydia (Allen).(?)