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Biography of Moody Gillingham

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Moody Gillingham, for many years an active farmer and prominent citizen of Newbury, Merrimack County, N.H., was born on the old Gillingham homestead, January 2, 1811, and died here, October 16, 1882. He was of English ancestry, being a lineal descendant of the emigrant, James Gillingham, who crossed the Atlantic to seek a new home in the western world over two hundred years ago, and settling in Salem, Mass., there married in May, 1692, Rebecca Bly, daughter of John Bly. [See Savage’s “Genealogical Dictionary.”

Their son James, second, born in 1696, came to Newbury, N.H., locating on the north side of Todd Pond, where he bought two hundred and fifty acres of heavily timbered land, which formed a portion of the Pierce grant. His son James, the third of that name in direct line, succeeded to the ownership of the original homestead, on which he made material improvements, replacing the first rude dwelling-house by the present residence, which he 1813. He was twice married. His first wife, Polly Little, a native of Sutton, bore him three children-James, Daniel, and Ruth. His second wife, Betsey Lane, of Newbury, became the mother of fourteen children, one of whom was Moody, the special subject of this sketch.

Moody Gillingham remained beneath the parental roof-tree until his marriage, when he went to Warrensburg, N.Y., there engaging in agricultural pursuits until the death of his father, two years later, recalled him to Newbury. At once taking possession of the homestead, he resided here until his demise, as above noted. He was very successful in farming, and in business of all kinds, possessing keen perceptions, good judgment, and an excellent command of language. He was a clear, ready speaker, rarely worsted in argument, and exerted an influence for good in the community. He served as Selectman for three years in Newbury. In his religious views he was broad and liberal, inclining to the Universalist faith. He married Julia Twiss, daughter of Jeremiah and Marion (Peaslee) Twiss. She was born in Bradford, October 4, 1815, and died June 11, 1869. They had four children; namely, Charles H., Albert L., Freeman H., and Clara I. Charles H. Gillingham married Elinda, daughter of John and Mary (Marriott) Maud, natives of England. They have six children-Maud C., Annie E., Mary A., Moody, Ralph B., and Julia. Albert L. died in Salina, Kan., October 16, 1892. His wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Robertson, bore him four children: Lena M.; Irvill; Pearl; and Clara I., who is the wife of Jesse P. Colby, of Danvers, Mass.

Freeman H. Gillingham was born on the Gillingham homestead, and there grew to years of maturity, acquiring a thorough knowledge of practical agriculture. On October 29, 1877, he married Annie, daughter of Cummings and Caroline (Dowlin) Pierce, and immediately removed to the Pierce farm in Bradford. Two years later Mr. Pierce retired from active labor; and Mr. Gillingham took a lease of the farm, which he has since managed with eminent success, carrying on general farming with most satisfactory results. He has been prominent in local affairs, having served on the School Committee, and as one of the Selectmen of the town in 1881 and again in 1895, when he was Chairman of the Board. In 1896 he was elected to the State legislature from Bradford. He is a Republican in politics, but is popular in both parties.

Mr. Gillingham’s first wife died February 17, 1893, leaving no children. On May 25, 1895, he married Miss Ida M. Ewins, a daughter of John H. Ewins, who was born and still lives in Warner. Mr. Ewins married Lucetta Pierce, who was born on the Pierce farm, a daughter of Captain Cummings Pierce, and sister of Mr. Gillingham’s first wife. She died January 27, 1891, leaving two children, namely: Marietta, wife of Alpheus B. Huntoon, of Salisbury, N.H.; and Ida M., now Mrs. Gillingham.

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