On a crisp fall day in October, my husband and I drove to Gloucester, MA to experience a two night stay at the William Haskell House, a first period home that is available to rent (the whole house, just a bedroom or wing). It happened to be my birthday the first day of our visit , but was planned as an early birthday surprise for my husband Ben. Why would my husband, Benjamin "Haskell" Davis V, want to stay in one of the oldest homes in the area? Simple... William Haskell, who owned this home, along with many Haskell's to follow, was his 9th great grandfather and also where his middle name Haskell derived from. The plot thickened for both of us during our visit, but I will share more on that at the end of this post. For now - below are a few pictures of the home showing some of the rooms I took during our visit. To see more of the home, here is the link to The William Haskell House website WilliamHaskellHouse.com
Now keep in mind, as you look through the photos, this is not your typical bed & breakfast, nor is it a 5-star hotel, it is meant to feel like you are living in a bygone day. At night, lighting is dim and minimal, the home is furnished with antiques (no overstuffed cushy chairs or sofas here), and there is no room service, but this home does have all of the modern conveniences one could ask for and we had an amazing stay.
The William Haskell House originally owned by Richard Window.
I always wake early and one of my favorite experiences was sipping coffee while overlooking the marsh.
The next morning - The antique beds in the home offer comfortable mattresses and pillows covered in cozy linens.
The only thing missing this evening was a fire in the fireplace.
Books and old papers are available to look at and we dove right in. During our research, my husband found out his 9th great grandfather on the Davis side also purchased land, from Mr. Window, and lived close by. Can you imagine? Finding out that two of your 9th great grandfathers, on your fathers side, not only knew each other, but lived in the same area known as Walker Creek. My husband also found out that his 8th great-grandfather on the Davis side lived in the Walker Creek area too. along with many other relatives from both the Haskell and Davis line. We are currently trying to find out if any of their homes are still standing in Walker Creek.
Here's where it gets fun for me! See the name Samuel Dolliver, above the names James Davis, Jacob Davis (who married Richard Windows stepdaughter), William Haskell and Joseph Haskell (all of Ben's Family)? I was excited to find out that one of my 8th great-grandfathers was listed too! I knew I had the name Dolliver in my family line, but that was on my dad's side out of Nova Scotia. It couldn't be connect right? Well after a little digging and confirmation, Samuel Dolliver's grandson Samuel, who was born in Gloucester in 1715, moved to Nova Scotia with wife Mary Mayhew from Eastham, MA. That Samuel is the one I know as my 6th great grandfather. I almost fell off my chair when I connected the dots so easily with all of the information in front of me! So I now know of two lines of my father's family lines moved to Nova Scotia from Gloucester and some of my Nantucket ancestors. I will be writing about my Nantucket connection soon since I have more homes to share!
I am still trying to track my maiden name of Smith which gets murky after my 2nd great grandfather. Can you imagine how hard it is to trace the last name Smith, especially with incomplete records? I have yet to find the lineage after my 3rd great grandfather, William Smith. I was told by relatives that his family changed their name once they "jumped ship" and arrived in Nova Scotia, but I was also told there was no Irish in the family and there most certainly is, so I am thinking it is safe to say, my family just does not know the whole story and they did not have the power of the internet back then. There are several Smiths dotted throughout my fathers family line who entered Nova Scotia by way of New England, so I am determined to figure it out where William's family came from.
See something you like in the photos? Since they are antiques, it is hard to duplicate, but I did find a few items that have a similar feel or style.