From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 300, 301 and 302
Amelia Davie (Blanding) Bicknell was in direct descent from
William Blanding, who came to Boston, MA., before 1650, and
whose family settled in Rehoboth before 1675. On her mother's
side she was a lineal descendant of William Carpenter, who set-
tled in Rehoboth before 1650. She was educated in the com-
mon schools of Rehoboth, at Attleboro Academy, and Norton
Female Seminary, and became a successful teacher by service in
Norton and Rehoboth. She joined the Congregational Church
in Rehoboth about 1850, and became an active worker in the
church and Sunday school. After her marriage her home was in
Bristol, R. I., where Mr. Bicknell was Principal of the High
School for four years. Here she was active in social, church
and Sunday-school work. In 1864 Mr. Bicknell accepted the
Principalship of the Arnold Street Grammar School, Providence,
R. I., and the family removed to Providence, remaining there
until 1867, when the family removed to West Barrington. Here
Mrs. Bicknell exercised her talents as a social and church worker
and a teacher in the Sunday school, for nine years, until the
removal to Dorchester District, Boston, MA., in 1875. Here
Mrs. Bicknell took her usual place as a leader in religious and
social work, but enlarged her field to include active missionary
work. The home was the gathering place of material and the
packing and expressing of boxes of clothing, literature and medi-
cincs for missionaries in home and foreign fields, notably Africa,
Asia Minor and China. This service involved a large home
and foreign correspondence, which was a source of great satis-
faction to the worker. In order to cultivate the home fields,
Mrs. Bicknell organized classes of young ladies, who met fort-
nightly at her home for several years for the study of mission
fields, correspondence with missionaries in the field, and work on
articles for their use and distribution. She was elected Presi-
dent of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Second Church, Dorches-
ter, and was also an officer of and a constant attendant on the
meetings of the Woman's Board, A. B. C. F. M., at Boston.
Mrs. Bicknell was one of the foremost women in the build-
ing of the meeting house of the Harvard Congregational Church,
Dorchester, and subscribed liberally for its construction and sup-
port. Her work in the Sunday school was constant, peculiar in
interest and remarkably successful. The rose window in the
south end of the church was contributed by Mrs. Bicknell as a
memorial to her little daughter, Mattie, who died in Barrington
in 1867. As a memorial to her father and mother, Mrs. Bick-
nell gave $500 as the nucleus of a public library in the Goff
Memorial Building at Rehoboth, to be known as the Christopher
and Chloe Blanding Library. In her letter of gift, April 1, 1884,
"We shall be glad to have the library become so
valuable that all the people of the town may seek its benefits and
the inspiration which may come from it. We would have it
free as air and water to all. We hope that many a boy and girl,
possibly it may be with a few books or encouragement at home,
will find help, cheer and hope on the shelves of the library, and
that the character of the future men and women of Rehoboth
may be stronger, manlier and more truly Christian for its existence."
In 1180 Mrs. Bicknell, with her husband, crossed the
Atlantic to attend the Raikes Sunday School Centennial in
London. On this journey she visited cities in France, Belgium
and Holland, with interesting tours in England and. among the
hills and dales of Scotland. In 1883 she spent several months in
a trip to California, entering the State by the Southern Pacific,
visiting Los Angeles, Monterey, the Yosemite, Santa Cruz and
San Francisco, returning by the Central Pacific Railroad. In
1884 and in 1893 she enjoyed a trip to the Central West. From
1892 her summer home was at Boothbay, Maine, where she
enjoyed all that friends and a delightful cottage near the ocean
could furnish. Here she finished her life work, surrounded by
many loved ones, on the 13th of August, 1896.
Many testimonials as to her notable life of Christian service followed her death.
A single wording is chosen from many. Dr. James C. Greenougli,
Principal of the Rhode Island State Normal School, wrote:
"Mrs. Bicknell has been one of the most worthy women whom
it has been my good fortune to meet during my life. Her intelligence,
her broad interests, and her abounding good cheer were
always helpful to all who met her. She was a fine type of an
earnest Christian woman, a daily benediction and a constant
blessing in the family circle."
The early light was purpling Eastern hills,
And the sweet gleam of morning tinged the sky;
The pilgrim now saw visions of delight;
The hills delectable stood full in view,
And Beulah land shone bright with purest gold;
Sweet fields, bright streams, the trees of Life appeared,
And companies of sweet-voiced ransomed souls.
"Am I in heaven?" and, "Has rest come so soon?"
Were answered by her Guide, "This is your heavenly rest.
We seemed to see the golden gates ajar,
And hear the welcomes of those loved in life.
Our tears were stayed-the Father's home was reached;
The Mansion now received the welcomed child.
-T. W. B.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 175
Joshua left home at the age of sixteen, as a clerk for Deacon
Walter Paine, of Providence, and was made a partner at twenty-
one. He soon formed a business connection with Darius Ses-
sions, under the firm name of Bicknell & Sessions. A portion
of the business was trade with the Spanish Main, and on one of
the trips in their trading vessel he was seized with yellow fever
and died at Balize.
The Providence, R. I., Gazette of April 4, 1821, had the fol-
lowing obituary of Joshua Bicknell, Jr.
"The deceased was the son of the Hon. Joshua Bicknell, of
Barrington, and a partner in the mercantile house of Bicknell &
Sessions. He was a gentleman highly esteemed for his amiable
disposition and honorable deportment; in the relations of a son,
a husband, a father and a brother he was deservedly dear, for
he was fair in his dealings with the world, and respected most by
those who knew him best. While engaged in his mercantile pur-
suits on the Spanish Main he was arrested in his promising career
by the yellow fever, which, after a few days. terminated his vir-
tuous life; and a bereaved wife and other near connections are
left to mourn his early and unexpected departure."
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 175
Elizabeth lived to the age of ninety.
Her paternal grandfather was the last Colonial Governor of Rhode
Island, and her maternal grandfather was Lion. Henry Marchant,
of Newport, R. I., an eminent lawyer and the first District Judge
of Rhode Island, appointed by President Washington.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 302 and 303
Edward, on the death of his father, in 1821, spent his boyhood
at Barrington, Rhode Island, in the home of his grandfather,
Judge Joshua Bicknell.
At 15 he entered the store of Seth Adams, in Providence, where
he obtained a good business education.
Later he was a clerk and general manager in the commission
of C.C. Skinner, until, in 1851, he formed a partnership with
Darius S Skinner, with the firm name of Bicknell & Skinner.
This firm did a successful Southern and Eastern trade until
reverses, caused by the memorable financial panic, swept
away in a few days the results of all their labours.
After that Mr. Bicknell devoted his time to real estate and
During his whole life he carried the highest love and veneration
for his grandfather, adopting the spelling of his name, Bicknall,
"because Grandfather Bicknall spelled it so."
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 176
James Bicknell spent the early part of his life on the sea
on trans-Atlantic merchantmen, and rose to the position of first
mate. After his marriage with Miss Short he settled on a farm
in East Providence, about a mile west of the Newman Congre-
gational meeting house. The village of Phillipsdale, on the east
bank of the Pawtucket River, occupies a part of his farm.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 177
Joseph spent most of his married life on the Bicknell
estate, in the house built by his father, Judge Joshua Bicknell,
in 1788, which became the headquaters of St. Andrew's
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 303
Mary was educated in the public schools and the Normal School
of Rhode Island, and was a successful teacher in Providence.
She held the position of Principle of the Arnold Street Primary,
and a critic teacher of the first grade.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 304
George was a gold-plater by trade, but later in life devoted
his labors to real estate and insurance. He enlisted as a private
in the Civil War and was commissioned as First Lieutenant in
the Twelfth R. I. Infantry, Oct. 13, 1862, and was promoted to a
Captaincy in the Third R. I. Cavalry; served in defense of
Baltimore, Md., during the battle of Gettysburg; recruiting ofli-
cer of Third R. I. Cavalry; served in camp at Conanicut Island,
R. I., and at New Orleans; was in Red River campaign in com-
mand of a detachment, which advanced General Franklin's lines
to the extreme point on the Texas road; engaged in guerilla hunt-
ing at Bayou La Forche to end of war; was on court-martial
duty at New Orleans and Provost Marshal in Louisiana until
his resignation from the army, June 29, 1865.
His record in the report of the Adjutant General of Rhode
Island is as follows: "
George F. Bicknell, Capt. Co. C, 3rd Reg.
R. I. C.; Sept. 29, 1863, commissioned; Sept. 30, 1863, mustered
in; originally served as 1st Lieut. Co. B; commissioned Capt.;
Dec. 28, 1863, discharged to accept promotion and mustered in
as Capt. Co. C; Oct., 1864, on special duty on G. C. M. at
Thibodeaux, La., and so borne until Jan. 24, 1865 March,1865,
Acting Provest Marshal; June 29, x865, discharged by order."
George was Junior and Senior Warden and Master of
Ezekiel Bates Lodge of F. and A. M., of Attleboro, MA.; was
a Director in the Co-operative Bank of Attleboro, and held vari-
ous town offices ; was a Democrat in politics; was a Vice President
of the Bicknell Family Association and deeply interested in all
that related to the family history.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 77 and 78
Winchester Bicknell served as a private in Capt. Viall Allen's
militia company of Barrington, and also in
Capt. Philip Traffern's company, Col. Topham's regiment, in
1778-79. In May, 1782, he sailed as a seaman on the
privateer Chance, from Providence.
This vessel was a new one, mounted twelve cannon, and
sailed with a complement of sixty-five men, commanded by Capt.
Daniel Aborn, of Pawtucket. A few days after sailing, on May
11th, the Chance was captured by the British ship-of-war, Beli-
sarius, Capt. Graves, of twenty-six guns. The officers and crew
were soon confined on the prison ship, Jersey, anchored in Walla-
bout Bay, Brooklyn. N. Y. A description of the Jersey, once a
seventy-four-gun ship of the British, and an account of the ter-
rible sufferings and privations of the prisoners, are given in
"Recollections of the Jersey Prison Ship," from the original man-
uscript of Capt. Thomas Dring, edited by Albert G. Greene.
Prov., H. H. Brown, 1829.
Capt. Dring speaks of young Bicknell as follows:
"The prisoners were put on board the Jersey May 19, and
were released after a close imprisonment of two months, during
which time seventeen had died and nearly all the others were
dangerously sick of disease contracted on that loathsome prison
ship. One of our number who was thus seized by the fever was
a young man named Bicknell, of Barrington, R. I. He was un-
well when we left the Jersey, and his symptoms indicated the
approaching fever, and when we entered Narragansett Bay he
was apparently dying. Being informed that we were in the bay,
he begged to be taken on deck, or at least to the hatchway, that
he might look once more upon his native land. He said that he
was sensible of his condition, but that he was consoled by the
thought that his remains would be decently interred and be
suffered to rest among those of his friends and kindred. I was
astonished at the degree of resignation and composure with which
he spoke. He pointed to his father's house as we approached
it, and said that it contained all that was dear to him on earth.
He requested to be put on shore. Our captain was intimately
acquainted with the family of the sufferer, and as the wind was
light, we dropped our anchor and complied with his request. He
was placed in the boat, where I took a seat by his side to support
him, and with two boys at the oars we left the sloop. In a few
minutes his strength began rapidly to fail. He laid his fainting
head upon my shoulder, and said he was going to the shore to
be buried with his ancestors; that this had long been his ardent
desire, and that God had heard his prayers. No sooner had we
touched the shore than one of the boys was sent to inform his
family of the event. They hastened to the boat to receive their
long-lost son and brother, but we could only give them his yet
warm but lifeless corpse."
Hezekiab Butterworth, in his poem, "An Hundred Golden
Years," read at the Barrington Centennial, June 17, 1870, thus
refers to the young patriot:
"I need not tell you that they fought
The Jersey's hills among;
I need not speak of him they brought,
When life was fresh and young,
From strife upon the periled seas
To die upon the bay
Hard by the shade of native trees,
Some fourscore years to-day."
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 78
Joseph lived a quiet, humble, beatiful life, and was
called "the Peacemaker" Cheerful, social, companionable, deeply
religious, fond of music, a good singer, he made his long life a
blessing to his townspeople, and to his latest years spent his
strength in making the little world in which he lived a little better
and a little happier place.
The only office of record that he held was
Vice-President of the United Congregational Society.
Through summer heat
Your willing feet
Were shod at Mercy's doors;
In winter's cold
Both young and old
Spread glad their frugal stores.
Your years well spent,
Your form well bent,
The sands of life run low;
The Master came,
He spoke your name:
"Come up, dear Uncle Joe."
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 37
Samuel Cobb was born in Wales, Great Britain, in the year
1716. T.W. Bicknell was unable to say when he came to the
USA and where he was educated.
On his tombstone he is described as having been a
gentleman of public education, but his Alma Mater is not mentioned.
He came to Tolland, Connecticut, probably about 1743,
and took a deed from Cobert Parker, of Willington, of a
hundred and fifty-five acres of land, in this town, dated
dec 19 1744, in which he is described as being of Tolland.
He married 1st, Mary Hinkley, Aug 25 1743, by whom he had two
children, Sarah, b. July 7 1744, and Samuel, Jr, b. Aug 2 1746.
Dr. Cobb was one of the most prominent citizens that ever
resided in Tolland. He is reported as having stood high in his
profession, and as having enjoyed the entire confidence of the
community. He was honored by the town and the public with
several important and responsible offices.
He was eight times elected a member of the General Assem-
bly, and likewise attended two extra sessions.
He was thirteen years a Justice of the Peace, when there
were but two Justices in town; and most of the time was the
In this sphere of duty he gave very general satisfaction, and
his ministrations were regarded as equitable, discreet, and pro-
motive of the public tranquillity.
His moral influence in society was very effective in restrain-
ing vice and dishonesty, and lie did much to encourage sobriety
While living he was greatly respected, and his memory will
long remain as the conscientious, upright citizen and honest
He left many descendants in Tolland and elsewhere.
Copied from "The Early History of Tolland, Connecticut"
From an address by Lorn P. Waldo, President of Tolland County
Historical Society, 1861.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 40 and 41
Calvin's will was dated at Mansfield, Connecticut, Feb 9 1796,
and was probated jan 9 1810, seventeen days after his death,
which occurred dec 23 1809.
His will mentions all his children by name and also a wife,
Ruth, a second marriage, of which there is no record.
Copy of inscriptions on gravestones in Storrs Cemetery, Mansfield, Conn.:
"In memory of Mr. Calvin Topliff, who died Dec. 23, 1809,
in the eighty-first year of his age, who had sixteen children by
one wife. Fifteen survive him, and eighty-six grandchildren and
thirteen great-grandchildren; total one hundred and fifteen.
"Walk around my children and see
What will become of thee.
As I am now so you must be;
Prepare for Death and follow me."
"Mrs. Jerusha Tophiff, consort to Mr. Calvin Topliff, died
May 19, 1791, in the forty-eighth year of her age.
"Walk home, my children, dry up your tears;
Here I must wait until Christ appears."
"Mrs. Dehorough -, daughter to Mr. Calvin and Mrs.
Jerusha Tophiff, in the sixteenth year of her age.
"Oh, my friends, it is a truth,
Death can find the blooming youth."
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 41
In Moses will, probated at Mansfield, Connecticut,
Jun 1 1808, he names his wife, huldah;
Children, James, Bennett, Calvin, Anne Dimmock,
Elizabeth Hopkins, Pamela Gurley, Huldah Bennett and
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 80
James was a farmer and lived at Westmoreland,
Oneida County, New York, about ten miles from Rome and Utica.
He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution.
From T.W. Bicknell's 1913 genealogy book page 81 and 82
Calvin left home at the age of twenty-two for New York City,
where he learned the trade of combmaker.
Was sent to Mexico and on his return the vessel was
wrecked, but he was saved.
Served as an aid-de-camp in the Mexican War;
was thrown from a horse ans severely injured.
After his recovery he went to California and engaged in
teamingand stage driving.
He was killed by driving off a bridge in the night in California