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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 4

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larger_way.9.jpgKeziah Jaquith, Daniel Way’s future wife, was born on November 16, 1793. She was the second daughter of Jesse Jaquith and Keziah Hathorn. Jesse Jaquith’s ancestry can easily be traced back all the way to Richard Jaques, a French protestant, or ‘Huguenot’. Richard’s son, Abraham, born around 1610, settled in the Massachussets Bay Colony. What remains a contentious issue is whether Abraham arrived aboard an English ship around 1635…or aboard the French ship commandeered in Acadie by Charles de la Tour which sailed into Boston Harbour in 1643. Be that as it may, the story goes that once he settled in the New World, Abraham’s surname ‘Jaques’ kept getting misspelled when it was being recorded, notably when Abraham and his wife Anne were signed in at church every Sunday. So ‘Jaquith’ quickly became the accepted family name. The Jaquiths eventually made their home in Billerica, Ma.. A fine house was built in 1725 by Abraham’s great-grandson, Abraham IV (1701-1790). This colonial house once stood at 161 Concord St in Billerica and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Disassembled in 2000, it was stored in New Hampshire by a Jaquith descendant!

One of Abraham Jaquith IV’s sons, Ebenezer, was Keziah’s grandfather. Born in 1732 in Billerica, he fought in 1775 in the Battle of Lexington, the first military clash in the American Revolution. The town of Hollis, N.H. set up a monument on which can be read the names of the militia men who had responded to ‘the alarm of 19 April 1775’. Included in the list is Ebenezer Jaquith, who was then a resident of Hollis. In 1779, Ebenezer moved to Jaffrey, N.H. with his wife Esther. They are buried in Jaffrey’s Old Burying Ground. Their son, Jesse, third of ten children, was born in 1764. He married Keziah Hathorn. Their 5 children, including our Keziah, were born in Chester, Windsor County, Vermont. In 1803, the family moved to a farm in Gilsum, N.H.: “The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known, and not a face in all the place but partly seems my own” wrote Silvanus Hayward, the town chronicler. Jesse was a shoemaker by trade. So were his sons Jesse Junior and Collins H.. Unfortunately, in 1808, Jesse died at the age of 43. The Jaquith farm went to daughter Betsey and husband Aaron. Keziah, 14, sister Ziba 12, and their mother had to move in with older brother Jesse Jnr.

larger_way.10.jpgHow Keziah met Daniel Way is not known but Gilsum and Marlow are only 10 kms apart. It may well be that Daniel met Keziah while visiting his Mack relatives in Gilsum. They were married in February 1816. The death of Keziah’s sister Ziba at age 19 in September 1815 may have cast a shadow upon the wedding. And the first year of marriage was probably not easy for the young couple: 1816 became known as TheYear Without a Summer, or ‘Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death’. Severe climate anomalies were caused by a volcanic winter following the eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia. In May 1816 , frost killed off most of the crops and in June two large snowstorms in Eastern Canada and New England resulted in widespread famine and numerous deaths. Many New Englanders lost everything and thousands migrated towards the Midwest, the new frontier. Jesse Jaquith Jnr made his way to Illinois. Also on the move by the fall of 1816, Daniel and wife Keziah, then heavy with child, had left New Hampshire. When they reached Rochester, Vermont, their first son Lorenzo Sweedenburg Way was born on October 11, 1816. After Lorenzo’s birth, Daniel and Keziah did not head West like many others but eventually went North, into Canada! Maybe because someone close to Daniel was already well settled there and willing to welcome the young Way family with open arms.

To be continued...