Family Ties

The man behind Eddington

Posted Feb. 20, 2011, at 3:15 p.m.

Happy Birthday, Eddington!

We wish you a year full of enjoyment in your bicentennial events, which begin with an evening of town history, music, displays, cake and beverages 6:45-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the Eddington-Clifton Civic Center, also known as Comins Hall.

The celebration will include a playlet by Susan McKinley marking the original incorporation ceremony 200 years ago. Participants will include Richard Bowden, president of the historical society; Russell Smith, town manager; David Johnson, state representative; and many townspeople representing their forebears.

Settlement of the town occurred about a quarter-century before incorporation, when a group led by Revolutionary War soldier Col. Jonathan Eddy was given a tract of land.

In the 1886 “A Gazetteer of the State of Maine,” George J. Varney wrote: “This township, at the recommendation of Congress, was granted to Jonathan Eddy and 19 others, in consideration of their services and sufferings in connection with the Revolution. They were residents of Nova Scotia, but fled thence in 1776, on account of the persecution of the British. This grant was made in 1785, and the place was immediately settled. The town was incorporated in 1811, taking its name from Col. Eddy, the principal settler.”

Eddy led a failed expedition to take Fort Cumberland in Nova Scotia in 1776, but the effort kept 2,000 British busy in Halifax, Nova Scotia, preventing them from joining their forces in the American colonies.

My main source for information on Col. Jonathan Eddy is “The Eddy family in America: a genealogy compiled by Ruth Story Devereux Eddy and published under the direction of the Eddy Family Association, Inc. in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the landing of John and Samuel Eddy at Plymouth, October 29, 1630.”

The book is available in the Bangor Room at Bangor Public Library and at Maine State Library in Augusta.

You may also be interested in the website for the Eddy Family Association at www.eddyfamilyassociation.com.

Both the book and the website include information on Jonathan Eddy’s grandfather John of Taunton, Mass.; as well as the larger section on descendants of William Eddye of Cranbrook, England.

William’s sons, John and Samuel, came to Plymouth, Mass., aboard the Handmaid in 1630.

My Cummings lines are from William Eddye through son John of Plymouth, and researchers believe there is a connection between the two groups of Eddys.

Col. Jonathan and Mary (Ware) Eddy were parents of four children born in Norton, Mass.: Jonathan, 1750; William, 1752; Ibrook, 1754; and Elias, 1757.

Even if you use the website, you’ll find the Eddy book well worth consulting. I purchased a reprint of the 1930 edition from the Eddy Family Association for $36 and find it a resource well worth having.

Join the Eddy Family Association for $15 a year, $25 couple, $30 family, or $200 individual lifetime, by sending a check to EFA, c/o Elaine Darrah, 3151 Erie Ave., Merced, CA 95340-1408. You also may join on the Web.

Several events are being planned in connection with Eddington’s bicentennial.

The biggest event, the weekend of July 22, is expected to include a parade, dance, historical displays, old-fashioned games, firefighters muster and town picnic or barbecue. Details will be announced closer to that date.

The Eddington School spring concert on May 3 will focus on the history of Eddington.

The Flag Day event on June 14 is being organized by a member of the Airline ATV club. The Eddington Salmon Club and Fire Department also are working on events.

“We hope to get people to participate as a community, and get information out on the history of Eddington,” said Margaret McKinney, chairwoman of the bicentennial committee.

A raffle running through April 19 includes prizes such as screened gravel, a CD radio, two ice-fishing traps, a $100 gas card, business cards, vehicle magnets and a gift card for cleanup services. Tickets are available at the town office or from committee members.

Those interested in helping out with the bicentennial should call the town office at 843-5233.

Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; or e-mail familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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