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My family background

Lucy Higgins Wight

"Let me park this warn out body
While I take a trip with you"
- Lucy Higgins Wight, 1890 - 1971

Lucy Higgins Wight

October 19, 2003

Sometimes as I was growing up, I believed that I had a normal family. Our family has been very close knit, and this extends to parents, grandparents and great grandparents. I had the privilege of meeting two of my great grandmothers, one died when I was a young child, but not too young to remember, and the other died when I was in my 20's. I have special memories of my dad's mother, and my mom's mother is still around and a very loving and hospitable grandmother. I have explored my mom's genealogy some, but for some reason, my genealogy research for now has focused more on my dad's mother's side of the family.

Wight Family

My Grandmother, Lucy Wight, was born in to the Higgins family. She was the oldest of 12 children. She was born in 1890 in Denver, Colorado. She was well read and wrote a lot of poetry. Her careers included being an elementary school teacher and supporting her husband, my grandfather, in his farming aspirations.

My great grandfather, Alfred Harris Higgins, was born in Rutledge, Vermont, in 1851. The story about my great grandfather is that he was born in to a well to do family. After completing his schooling, his family put him in charge of a rock quarry, which went under to due a depression that came along. They say that my great grandfather was blamed for this. He left the area and settled in Denver where he met my great grandmother. He was 38 and she was 16 when they married in 1889.

At some point, my great great grandfather, Oliver Harris Higgins, established his home in the area of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, not too far from Vermont, which is partly what brings me to this part of the country, as New Hampshire borders Massachusetts.

Higgins Family


Taking notes

"He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning." -- Old English proverb

Research

A few years ago, I was researching my genealogy online and encountered in a message forum a somewhat distant cousin, Jennifer, whose great great grandfather was also Oliver Harris Higgins. Her great grandmother was my great grandfather's sister. Jennifer and I compared notes, as the information she had on my branch of the family was somewhat sketchy. And then the story changed a bit.

Jennifer's notes indicated that Alfred Harris Higgins was married twice. Apparently, he married and bore 3 children before he married my great grandmother. Although my grandmother was quite a story teller, aunts and uncles and second cousins were not aware that my great grandfather was married before he married my great grandmother. I called my dad's cousin, another genealogist in my branch of the family, and he was not aware of it either. So he made some phone calls and found this apparently to be true, but those that knew did not want to talk about it. Perhaps they were afraid that we might be after the inheritance of the well to do Higgins family from Hinsdale or perhaps it was just because divorce was scandalous topic in the 1800's. We were left guessing on that. So it turns out that if you count half brothers and sisters, my grandmother was the fourth child of 15.

The second child of Alfred Harris Higgins, Loris Higgins, had a scandalous past of his own. It seems he was lynched in 1907 for murdering his employer in a drunken brawl.

I have also been able to trace both my Wight and Higgins lineages to the 1600's in Massachusetts. A Higgins ancestor married a lady that came over on the Mayflower. Thomas Wight came from England in 1637 to settle first in Dedham, Massachusetts. And this is why my first stop today is in Dedham.

Dedham District Courthouse


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