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Pabodie Family Papers

Pabodie Family Papers

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Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Pabodie family
Title:Pabodie Family Papers
Quantity:.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:The Pabodie Family Papers consist of four manuscript diaries, a workbook, and hundreds of pages of genealogical information and research notes about the Pabodie family collected by Benjamin Francis Pabodie.
Collection Number:MSS 355

Series List

Scope and Content Note

The Pabodie Family Papers consist of four manuscript diaries, a workbook, and hundreds of pages of genealogical information and research notes about the Pabodie family collected by Benjamin Francis Pabodie.

The diaries were written by two sisters, Jane Hale Pabodie and Ednah Hale Baker, originally from Newbury, Massachusetts. All four diaries are in good condition and are clearly legible. They contain a wealth of detailed local and family information. The first two diaries (Box 1, Folder 1) were written by Jane Hale Pabodie from 1815 to 1820. In these diaries (80 pages total) she describes her daily affairs, particularly visits to friends and family, church going, and shopping. She writes primarily during the long absences of her husband Albert, who traveled frequently to Savannah, Georgia, on business.

The other two diaries were written by Ednah Hale Baker, Jane's older sister, between 1818 and 1827 (Box 1, Folders 2 and 3). These diaries comprise 234 pages and are more detailed, with almost daily entries. Ednah lived in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband George Baker, a jeweler and watchmaker. Her entries are similar to her sister's and recall her daily excursions and visits; they also regularly note the weather. Both sisters traveled frequently to visit friends and relatives in Foxboro, Boston, Salem, Rowley, Ipswich, Newbury, and Newburyport, Massachusetts. The sisters led comfortable lives with household help, and they rarely mention any household chores except for quilting or soap making. Ednah and Jane both attended Sunday meeting regularly, but Ednah was the more devout of the two. She was active in the Tract Society (or Tract and School Society), Education Society (or Female Education Society), Domestic Missionary Society, Samaritan Society, and Female Charitable Society.

The workbook (Box 1, Folder 4) belonged to Ellen Maria Pabodie (1829-1918), the fifth child of Jane and Albert Pabodie. It contains 75 pages and spans the years 1845 to about 1856. The first part contains short essays written while Ellen was in high school. These deal with typical adolescent themes like death and suffering. The second half contains extracts of Sabbath discourses of a Mr. Leavitt, as well as a few poems, authors unknown, and a summary of her religious beliefs.

The remainder of the collection pertains to the history of the Pabodie family, primarily information collected by Benjamin Francis (Frank) Pabodie. The progenitor of the Rhode Island branch of the Peabody family, William Pabody (1619/20-1707), settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and later in Sakonnet or Little Compton, then in Massachusetts and now in Rhode Island. His wife was Elizabeth Alden, daughter of John and Priscilla Alden and said to be the first white girl born in New England. Many of his descendants retained the name Pabodie, while others used Pabody, Paybody, or Peabody like the Massachusetts branch of the same family. Data known to B. Frank Pabodie by 1867 were published in Genealogy of the Peabody Family, with a Partial Record of the Rhode Island Branch by B. Frank Pabodie. Box 1, Folder 5 contains a hard cover copy of this small book (61 pages), and twenty reprints of the chapter about William Pabody's descendants are in Box 1, Folder 6.

B. Frank Pabodie continued to collect genealogical information about the Pabodies for the rest of his life. Box 2, Folder 1 contains revisions to his 1867 chapter and source material. Box 2, Folder 2 contains correspondence from several branches of the family, including letters from Selim Peabody, compiler of the later work about the Peabodys. In Box 2, Folder 3 are a few letters from B. Frank Pabodie pertaining to the family. Additional notes and supporting materials are in Box 2, Folder 4. Box 2, Folder 5 contains printed materials pertaining to the family including Ellen Maria Pabodie's and other obituaries, the Brown Alumni Monthly (1905) honoring William H. Pabodie, Jane and Albert's youngest son, at his 50th reunion, and a long article (1985) about Little Compton, Rhode Island, that includes photographs of William and Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie's house and a tablet marking her grave. Box 2, Folder 6 contains a largely blank workbook.

Pabodie also made voluminous notes about the history of Little Compton. Box 2, Folder 7 includes notes about William Pabody and Little Compton copied largely from the Plymouth Colony or Bristol County Records, and Box 2, Folder 8 contains notes copied largely from the Massachusetts Historical Collections.

Thus this collection contains a wealth of original source material about the Pabodie family, some of which was published in 1867 or 1909, as well as four diaries describing daily activities and family affairs in New England in the early nineteenth century.

Biographical Sketches

Ednah Hale Baker was born on July 14, 1792, in Newbury, Massachusetts, the third daughter of Isaac and Ruth (Jewett) Hale. She married George Baker and they resided in Providence, Rhode Island. Ednah had no children of her own but was close to her seven sisters, two younger brothers, and their families.

Jane Hale Pabodie was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, on July 8, 1794, the fourth daughter of Isaac and Ruth (Jewett) Hale. On September 10, 1818, she married Albert Pabodie (1797-1880). They resided in Providence, Rhode Island, where for many years he was City Clerk. They had six children, Cornelia, Charles, Edward, Julia, Ellen Maria, and William Henry. Jane died on December 5, 1881.

Benjamin Francis Pabodie was the nephew of Jane Hale Pabodie. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Benjamin Gladding and Frances (Haywood Blackman) Pabodie, on December 5, 1837. He married Isabel Esther Ballou on November 27, 1860. They lived in Providence, Rhode Island, and later in Montclair, New Jersey, where he was in the real estate and insurance business. He collected the information on the descendants of William Pabody that was published in "A Genealogy of the Peabody Family with a Partial Record of the Rhode Island Branch by B. Frank Pabodie" in 1867 and contributed much about that branch of the family to the later work "Peabody (Paybody, Pabody, Pabodie) Genealogy" published in 1909.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Little Compton (R.I. : Town)
Providence (R.I.)


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Pabodie Family Papers, MSS 355, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was purchased on May 7, 1999 (acc #1999.019).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, July 2006.

Related Material

C. M. Endicott. A Genealogy of the Peabody Family with a Partial Record of the Rhode Island Branch by B. Frank Pabodie. Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1867.

Robert Safford Hale. Genealogy of Descendants of Thomas Hale. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1889.

Selim Hobart Peabody. Peabody (Paybody, Pabody, Pabodie) Genealogy. Boston: Charles H. Pope, 1909.

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