Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


This week’s blog was to focus on  an ancestor whose birthday is closest to mine. I have two ancestors in my Richards Tree whose birthdays are a day different from mine.  I decided to blog about George Fisher Richards as I did not know anything about him.

George Fisher Richards was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, on September 7, 1842, he was youngest child of Ebenezer and Catherine (Newell) Richards.  George is the brother of my great grandfather, Abiathar Richards (See Blog #29--Abiathar Richards--Do You Have a Glass Slipper?), which means he is my great, great uncle. In the 1860 census George is living with his parents and with his aunt, Catherine Richards.  No occupation is listed for him; I would guess that he was in school.  His Civil War Draft Registration from 1863 has George as single and his occupation as butcher.  In 1865 George married Elizabeth Jane McAlister, daughter of John and Jane McAlister. George and Elizabeth had four children:  George, born in 1866; Charles R., born in 1872; John W. born in 1874; and Jennie born in 1876.
I cannot find George and his family in the 1870 census, but the Directory of Marion, Massachusetts from 1873 lists him living there working as a butcher. In 1880 according to the census he, his wife and children are listed as living with his Aunt Catherine Richards in Dedham, Massachusetts and his occupation as a butcher.  His wife’s brother, Robert McAlister and his family,  are living next door.  In 1900 George and his wife are in Marion, Massachusetts.  Their daughter is now listed as Jane, but since the birth dates are the same, I assume Jane and Jennie are the same person.  The family remained in Marion according to the 1910 census.  Living in the house are George, his wife Elizabeth, his son Charles, and his brother-in-law, Robert McAlister.  Margaret Griffin was their servant.  George’s occupation is a teaming contractor and his son,
Charles’s, occupation is a teaming.  Robert McAlister was not working.  I had some idea that a teamer had something to do with driving, but I wanted to make sure.  The Dictionary of Old Occupations let me know that it was a person who drove a team of horses.  My best bet is that Charles was working for his father.

I also found a few other facts about George Fisher Richards.  In 1872 George joined the Constellation Masonic Lodge in Dedham.  The 1910 Marion City Directory indicates that George was one of the town constables.

George Fisher Richards died on November 20, 1914. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Marion, Massachusetts.  If I were able to talk to George, I would have a couple of questions for him.  I would like to know why he moved from Dedham to Marion.  Also when he did so, why did he become a teamster and not continue as a butcher.

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