About 30 years ago my grandmother gave me a piece of paper that had my lineage typed down in columns labeled: CASS; WOODWARD; BABCOCK; STRYKER. While my eyes scanned the somewhat uninteresting document they stopped short on the name Mehitable Fifield. My best friend was Lori Fifield. I asked Gram if there was any way Lori and I could be related. Seeing a moment full of teaching potential and the possibility of apprenticing a new family genealogist Gram proceeded to tell me how Lori and I could find out.
I think part of it was also that Gram had no interest in chasing down that bit of information in the pre-internet era of research. I don't blame her because women in the early years of our country seemed to get pregnant every time they had sex and they all used the same family names. You would think Mehitable would be a one-off sort of name but in the Fifield family it happened at least 3 times though the generations. Lori and I may have had a half-hearted discussion of how to proceed with this mission but the shock of Gram not actually offering to do it for me sort of made me lazy. Instead, Lori and I cut through the irritation of fact finding and simply took to joking that we were 16th cousins.
Well, today that has changed. I am proud to say, and I'm sure Mabel is proud to hear wherever she is, I have done the research and found that Lori and I are 8th cousins 2x removed. Apparently such a connection is possible if not practical but it works for me. Our common ancestor is Benjamin Fifield born in 1646 as first generation New Hampshire man. His parents came from Hampshire, England. Mehitable was just the name that led me to Benjamin but it turns out she is not in Lori's direct line. Of Benjamin's many children, two of his sons each head the lines that lead to me and Lori. We are friends and family after all.
|Mehitable in the middle where I first saw her name.|