Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Amory Maynard Descendants

Visitors gathered at the Maynard family crypt. From left to right:
Peter Morgan, Jr., Kim (Anderson) Donovan, Burrell and Pamela (Morgan) Jull,
Eric Fine, Barbara Fine, Dave Castle, Merry (Morgan) Hill and Anne Morgan.
Last week, seven people visited Maynard because they had Maynard in their blood. Literally. These were great-great-grandchildren and great-great-great-grandchildren of Amory and Mary Maynard, participating in a family reunion, and for some of them, an opportunity to meet each other and visit the Town of Maynard for the first time ever.

Because no descendants live in Maynard, there has been a bit of misconception that there were none. Not true. What did happen was a combination of dispora and untimely deaths that scattered and ended, respectively, early descendant branches. Lorenzo, the oldest son, had had five children, but none of them had children in turn. He had moved to Winchester in 1902, and all of his lineage are buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. The last to die was William H.K. Maynard, 1925. Harlan, the youngest son, had died of typhus while in his teens.

Photo portrait of Lessie Louise
and Harlan James Maynard
Tomb key. M.S. Peters was Amory
and Mary's grandchild, married
to Warren Peters. Her daughter, Mary
Sanderson (1874-1947), was last 
Maynard to live in Maynard.
The visitors were descendants of Amory and Mary through William, their second son. William married Mary Adams in 1853, when he was 20 years old. They were together 53 years, she surviving him by an additional 14 years. They had seven children.

Barbara (Maynard) Fine, the one great-great-granddaughter amongst our visitors, traces her lineage from William Maynard to his son Harlan James Maynard, to Harlan’s son John Maynard, who married Frances Edna de Haro and had three children: Joan, Diane and Barbara. Apparently, Barbara was the only descendant who had visited Maynard before, for the interment of cremation remains of her father, her mother, and her sister Diane. Barbara tells a story that her father (Amory’s great-grandson) had visited Maynard during the centennial anniversary year of 1971 and was given a tour of the mill complex by no other than Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation. For last week’s visit, Barbara was accompanied by her son, Eric Fine, a great-great-great-grandchild of Amory and Mary.   
Skylight at the crypt, looking up.

The five other great-great-great-grandchildren were Merrill “Merry” (Morgan) Hill, Peter Morgan, Jr., Anne Morgan, Kim (Anderson) Donovan and Pamela (Morgan) Jull. Their lineage traces from William to his daughter Lessie Louise Maynard, who married Paul Beagary Morgan, of the Worcester Morgans. Lessie and Paul had five children, who in turn had children, so there is a whole passel of Morgans out there.

Ironwork on top of the crypt,
protecting the skylight. Click on
any photograph to enlarge it.
The first stop in the tour of the town was the Maynard family crypt, in Glenwood Cemetery. The Department of Public Works, responsible for cemetery operations, had cleaned up around and in the crypt, and unlocked the door. Family members were able to step inside and read the inscriptions of the 23 family members who are interred there.

The tour went on to several town sites connected to the family history here: Ben Smith Dam and the Asa Smith house on Summer Hill Road, where the Maynard family first lived after they moved from Marlborough in 1846; the pair of houses that Amory and Lorenzo built on Main Street, just west of the Post Office, and then Lorenzo’s mansion on Dartmouth Street – Beechmont back then - overlooking the mill from the south side. Amory Maynard had also constructed a mansion on the hill, but it burned in the 1960s during a planned conversion to apartments. From there, the tour stopped in the parking lot by Battle Road, for a view of the mill from across the pond, and then a drive through the center of the mill, with a stop at the watergate that had controlled flow into the powerplant. [Originally a waterwheel to provide mechanical power, later replaced by a turbine to provide electric power.]

Window added to the Congregational Church rectory by
Lorenzo Maynard, circa 1890.
The tour finished at The Sanctuary, until recently the Congregational Church. William Doyle, now owner of the building, provided some history of how Amory and Mary had been instrumental in getting the original building built, and then how in 1890 Lorenzo had sponsored the stained glass windows in memory of his parents and daughters.

After the tour, the family retreated to continue their story sharing over a dinner of pizza from Roasted Peppers and ice cream from Erikson’s Ice Cream. 

3 comments:

  1. David - Thank you so much for the opportunity to get an in depth view of Maynard and to meet family members on a beautiful Spring day. Most enjoyable ! - Peter

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  2. It was a wonderful day, and David was such a great organizer, host, and guide. I learned so much, and met new cousins. Thanks also to Jean for her wonderful hospitality. - Merry

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  3. Thank you to David and Jean for hosting such a wonderful event/reunion for Amory and William Maynard's descendants.
    I'll always remember this event that brought my ancestors to life and gave me a greater appreciation for the town of Maynard with its wealth of history. If my father, John Maynard, were still here, he would have been amazed by this whole experience.-Barbara

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