Well, strictly speaking, not ancestors, at least not my ancestors, but it turns out Leonard wasn’t the only Smith to move from Killingly to Dublin. I was actually googling some different combinations of Smith, Shippee, Foster, looking for information on the Shippee-Smith cemetery, when up popped a genealogy page that had this phrase: “Daughter of John and wife, Ruth (Shippe) Smith”. Leonard Smith, my great great grandfather, was the son of John and Ruth (Shippee) Smith, so this caught my eye. The text actually referred to Leonard’s sister, Hannah Marcella Smith. I already had her in my database, along with her husband, George Smith Harrington. I also knew that George was originally from Woodstock, Connecticut. What surprised me was that the page went on to give the location of George’s death as “Doublin [sic] New Hampshire”. So had George and Hannah Marcella followed Leonard and Lydia up north?
Well, no- sadly, Hannah died in 1861, in Killingly, five days after giving birth to a daughter who also died. Within a year, though, George had married Hannah’s older sister, Margaret. And shortly after that, the couple moved to Dublin.
George, according to ‘The History of Dublin’, was a machinist, but also farmed a property not far from Leonard Smith’s place on the old Dublin to Jaffrey road, just east of Mount Monadnock. George and Margaret lived there for about thirty years- they had no children of their own, but George and Hannah’s son Leonard moved to Dublin with them, and continued to farm there after George’s death in 1895, and the death of his step-mother a year later. Leonard married Eugenie Burpee, a Dublin girl, and they raised five children together. (Oddly enough, George and Margaret are not included in the Dublin cemetery listings in the town’s history, so I’m not sure where they’re buried.)
What still puzzles me is the fact that the Smiths, Cogswells and Harringtons all moved to Dublin, and farmed there, at the same time that rural towns like Dublin were losing farmers in droves to the greener pastures of the West. Many farms were being abandoned, or turned into “summer places” for the wealthy- so why did our ancestors decide it was a good time to move in as farmers?