August 11, 2005

The Hickman Family Reunion!

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell
(click above to see relationships)

As mentioned in the April 28th entry - the Hickman Family reunion (download invitation) was something we were looking forward to with great anticipation.

Marlene Tingley Hickman and Judy Hickman Morison make a great team and they put a huge effort into making this a great and memorable event for all. A huge thank-you is in order!

It was perfect.

The reunion was held in Dorchester, New Brunswick, Canada at the "Joseph Hickman House" - 2x-4x Great Grandparent of the Howell's living today. The current occupants of the now two-unit house are descendants of Joseph Hickman - brother and sister Judy and Bob Hickman, and their spouses Cole Morison and Marlene Tingley. The house, located just minutes from one of the very northernmost tips of the Bay of Fundy, has remained in the Hickman family continuously - many of the beautiful furnishings are the original pieces from the 1830's - no doubt some imported from England on Hickman-built sailing barques.

Judy Hickman Morison and her brother Bob Hickman welcome the crowd
Our researcher - Marlene Tingley Hickman and local author & historian Helen M. Petchey who wrote The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday!

There was so much 'new' (to me) family history information made available from Marlene's resarch that it will take months to digest it all. Not only researched, but photocopied and placed in binders to take home! Marlene gave the group a bus tour of the area showing the locations of the various historical points which ended at the Dorchester graveyard where many of the Hickmans are buried, including our own Alma.

After dinner Judy provided a PowerPoint slide show of old photographs of the various Hickman owned businesses and properties in and around Dorchester. Brief introductory comments were made by several present. Joe Hickman noted for us all that a hallmark theme of the Hickman family has always been it's hospitality - clearly in full-force on this occasion.

Some of the many items on display at the Hickman House

Charlie Hickman is another very active Hickman researcher with whom I correspond, and it was great to meet him and his family in person. He and his father are both avid sailors. Charlie and Marlene have gathered much on the ships that were built, owned and operated by the Hickmans.

Alma Minora Hickman Davison - is Dad's 2x Great Grandmother, and is our first link with the Hickmans as we go back generation by generation.

Alma Minora Hickman Davison (1855-1884)

Among the many family artifacts and photos on display were this large framed drawing (above), and the photo (below) of Alma Hickman - very exciting to us Howells as these are the first images of Alma we have seen!

Apparently because Alma died at the age of 29 when her daughter Nellie Davison was 4 years old there is very little information about her. The discovery of who Alma was, is a relatively new thing to the Howell family - in fact I noted that we had located her gravestone in an entry here Nov 18, 2003. A few months prior to that I didn't even know her name and had never heard it mentioned in the family. We have come a long way with the discovery of these images.

"Alma Hickman"
From a photo album in the Keillor Museum on loan for the reunion.
(image approx. 3" x 5" - click here for larger version)

Now we have a starting point to look through the Davison family photos in Nova Scotia, and see if we can find a match!

Trinity Anglican Church, Dorchester, NB (est. 1836)
July 31, 2005

A final highlight of the reunion for us was attending the special service at the Trinity Anglican Church in Dorchester. Only a few steps from the Joseph Hickman House, the Hickman families have attendend and suppoted this small church since the early 1800's. Marriages, funerals, baptisms - you could almost hear the echoes.

And a most fitting end to our visit - as we went back to the very place where our family association with the Hickmans began 125 years ago when Alma Hickman and E. D. Davison, Jr. were married.

(Update: August 13, 2005 - Just learned that the Sackville Tribune-Post ran a nice article on the reunion. Complete with photo! Click here to view the archived copy.)

Posted by jhowell at August 11, 2005 12:25 PM