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The Truth About Maria/Meriam Meacham, b. 1794, Canaan, NH

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The Truth About Maria/Meriam Meacham, b. 1794, Canaan, NH

Posted: 1343496987000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Meacham, Kimball, Morgan, Whittaker, Whittier, Whitaker, Hutchins, Flanders, Rowe, Roe, Poole, Pool, Murray, Williams, Davis, Hill

After more than 40 years of research, I stumbled across an 1875 court document in the Superior Court of New Hampshire, that provided most of the gap filling that was needed in the family lines of my KIMBALL ancestors. For years, we had believed the several Kimball brothers were sons of "Samuel" Kimball and Maria "UNKNOWN", based on a death record of one of the sons, submitted by someone who likely did NOT know the truth (which you are about to be provided).

So, descendants of Wyman P. Kimball, Benjamin Franklin Kimball, Samual M. Kimball, Daniel H. (Hovey?) Kimball, and others had simply been unable to determine their connection to the Kimball Family of New England, which is very well-documented by the Kimball Family Association books, which continue the work of Morrison & Sharples.

So, without further ado, here is my novella on the TRUTH about Ms. Meacham and her Kimball husband - - -

The Truth About Asa Kimball

Over the course of time, there have been numerous Asa Kimballs listed as the husband of Meriam/Merriam/Maria Meacham. The couple was married in Canaan, Grafton Co, NH, on 07-Oct-1810. Of her ancestry, there is no doubt, as she was the daughter of Samuel Meacham and Phoebe Maine (her ancestry is clear).

As for Asa, there have been at least five different Asa Kimballs listed as her husband.

To start out, the CORRECT Asa is Asa Kimball, b. 03-Jul-1787, Canaan, NH, son of Daniel Kimball and Mary "Polly" Stevens. Though many records end there, because of all the interesting twists of this family, I'm going to provide as much as I can, to date, on my research on this family...

In the meantime, here are the alternates, often confused with the right Asa:

Alternate 1 - Asa Kimball b. 14-Dec-1787, Cheshire, NH, s/o William Kimball and Mehitable Hutchinson.

Alternate 2 - Asa Kimball b. 25-Aug-1780, Henniker, NH, s/o Joshua Kimball and Betsey Noyes. w/ Merrimack/Henniker ties

Alternate 3 - Asa (Capt.) Kimball b. Grafton, NH 12-Oct-1792 or 1794, s/o Asa Kimball and Phebe Foster is likely the one with the Bethel, ME ties. Appears to have been the one who married Abigail Bartlett, 25-Jun-1815, Rumford, ME.

Alternate 4 - Asa Kimball b. 13-Oct-1794, Hopkinton, NH, s/o John and Lydia Kimball, d. 04-Feb-1871, is buried in Contoocook NH cemetery, married a woman named Hannah B..... on 23-Jan-1814 in NH. (POSSIBLY Hannah Little?)

THIS Asa was known to have been in failing health around 1856-57, and had remarried on 09-Jul-1848, also at Grafton, to Rosamond/Rosa H. Davis (who had been previously married to a Mr. Collins.

There are court documents supporting a split between Asa and "Maria" Meacham, likely some time around 1837, but a full split or divorce, probably as much as ten years later. (Still researching/digging for a divorce record)

"Maria", who is so listed in the 1870s court document(s) lived into the 1870s, and apparently was moved around between her children starting in the 1840s and until her death. She died 05-Jan-1879, at Methuen, Essex Co, Massachusetts, probably in the home of one of her sons, Benjamin Franklin Kimball (ususally seen as Frank or Franklin).

In court documents, Maria indicates she had 12 children with Asa before they went their separate ways. I have been able to identify at least 9, with a couple of other possibilities. Others may have died young or at birth.

Among those KIMBALL children are surely the following:

1) Mary Jane, b. @1814, m. Hazen Kimball Hutchins, Jr., perhaps after a previous marriage to a Mr. Flanders.

2) Samuel M. Kimball (some show as Samuel Meacham Kimball, but I've yet to see the source that confirms my one time suspicions). b. Mar-1815, Canaan, NH, d. 13-Oct-1856, Grantham, NH, m. 1835 at Canaan to Nancy Whittaker/Whitaker (also seen as Whittier and later Fisher (John Fisher was 2nd husband, though)

3) Philena A. Kimball, b. 1821, Grafton Co, NH, m. Caleb H. Pool(e) abt. 1845, d. 1883, Haverhill, NH.

4) Daniel H. (Hovey?) Kimball, b. 1821 - 1826, Canaan, NH, m. Nancy L. Murray. He died some time between 1870 and 1880, most likely.

5) Benjamin Franklin Kimball, b. 24-Jan-1827, Canaan, NH, m. abt. 1850 to Luanna (Leona) Rowe, he d. 13-Mar-1890, Hardwick, VT.

6) Wyman P. Kimball, b. 17-Jan-1828, Enfield, NH, d. 27-May-1906, Springfield, NH. He m. Martha Ann Morgan on 06-Nov-1891, New London, NH.

7) Hannah C. Kimball, b. 19-Sep-1829, Grafton Co, NH, d, 13-Mar-1914, Haverhill, NH, never married.

8) Sarah Kimball, b. Abt. 1832, NH, m. Elisha (Henry) Williams.

9) James W. Kimball, b. 14-Dec-1833, Canaan, NH, m. 1856, Mary B. W. Davis, Hartford, VT, he d. 28-Aug-1906, Sharon, VT.

10) MALE Kimball, m. Lucy Ann Hill (Kimball?), she later married Dexter Richardson in 1854.

11 and 12) There is a YOUNGER Mary Kimball, who may be connected to this family, but that is hard to prove given the Mary b. @1814! Surely a Mary Kimball b. @1836 in Grafton County, is kin to this family, just not sure as a daughter of Asa and Maria. Perhaps adopted in, or, perhaps daughter of a relation?

Many of the errors surrounding this Meacham/Kimball marriage are confounded by the crazy life these two led, and the multiple marriages that seems to have made both "disappear". In fact, listed above was Asa's second marriage to the widow Collins, but we should also realize that Maria remarried twice after Asa left.

First, on 01-Jun-1846, at Lebanon, NH, she married Samuel Dalton. Samuel was born in 1789, but died after they'd been married not quite eight years, in Mar-1856, at Stockbridge, VT. She then married to Amasa Phillips or Phelps, on 04-Jul-1859, at Scockbridge, VT, but Amasa (as the story goes) went off to fight in the Civil War and never returned. I could find no record of him after the 1860 census, either. Amasa was b. @1810, VT. In that 1860 census, is the only time Maria was listed as "Polly" (a nickname for Mary in most cases, and may have been presumptive of the enumerator as I've never seen it elsewhere. Amasa enlisted in 1863, listed his age as 44, in the "mustering out" roll, dated 5-Jan-1864 of the same unit, Amasa's name appears, as "not accounted for". Whether he was killed and body never recovered, taken prisoner, and died in prison, or deserted and changed his name... hard to say, impossible (for now) to prove, either way.

The end result is Maria was left destitute. No home, no money, in 1864, and thus began her travels from one child's home to another's, often with very little worldly possessions of her own to carry. The result being the 12-Mar-1875 court proceedings in NH Superior Court, Sullivan v. Grafton (counties). In that document, Maria is listed as a pauper, and the reason the two counties are the litigants is that they are fighting over which of them will be the responsible county for her maintenance.

In the end, it would appear she went to live with her son B. F. Kimball in MA. And she died just four years later.

There was a comment in the Canaan, NH history about Maria, that, after reading all I could and researching further details, seems to be spot on in describing how bad a time she had... it reads, in the section on the MEACHAM family - "Miriam, who married Asa Kimball and was in want all her life;" I can think even that was likely an understatement.

If anyone wishes to view the PDF of the court proceedings, I've extracted the pages covering this litigation, or you can search Google Books for "Wyman P. Kimball" and you should find this much larger file on the court proceedings in 1875.

Sullivan v. Grafton begins on page 339, continuing until page 348

Note that on the record, she had 12 children, but only six were still living in 1875. Those six were Mary Jane Kimball Hutchins, Philena Kimball Pool(e), Benjamin Franklin Kimball, Wyman P. Kimball, Hannah C. Kimball, and James W. Kimball.

Anyone connecting to this group who wishes to exchange data or simply ask questions can contact me directly at


SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Jared Handspi... 1343496987000 
Jann Callagha... 1348183684000 
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