Friday, February 12, 2010


b 1776 in Ballyshannon, Ireland; she d 5 Oct 1870 aged 94 years
[This story is from the writings of Converse Ennis Nickerson, (son of Thomas, grandson of John & Dorothy Nickerson and a cousin of my Nana VanAmburg):]

Several legends are told about Dorothy James, or “Grandmother Dolly” as she was lovingly called. Her father was said to be a colonel in the English army and was last heard of in the East Indies. Grandmother Dolly came over here at the time of the Loyalists with a young couple who took up their residence in Shelburne. She was acting as a servant girl for them, and met with much ill treatment at their hands. It was their custom to often fasten her with a chain to a huge log in the yard.
One day, while they were away, she induced a blacksmith to remove the chain and she set out a-foot towards Barrington. On reaching a place called Line’s Beach, just opposite Johns Island, she met John Nickerson. They were soon married, settling at Woods Harbor, and later they moved to Newellton.
Born in Ballyshannon, Ireland, Grandmother Dolly was a typical woman of her race and her wit and cheer beamed as the sunshine upon all who knew her. She smoked a white clay pipe and my father (Thomas Nickerson) has often told me of filling and lighting it for her. She slept between two feather beds, and was baptized down at the Kenny wharf in a dory that was filled with water, just about 10 days before she died. So she died a good old fashioned Baptist, and coming from the Northern part of Ireland she was born a Protestant.
I have inscribed a bit of verse to the romance of her marrriage:
Fate the story surely planned
In Ballyshannon, emerald strand,---
For I’ve heard of her so bright
With her Irish cap so white,
Her smile, her wit, her pipe, and kindly hand.

Thus, Granny Dolly long ago
Came to Novie’s shores and so
Ireland’s maiden made her home,
Never from its shore to roam,
Her affections and her duties here to grow.

‘Twas a romance by the sea,
Sweet and handsome as could be, ---
For oh the courtin’ and the joy
And her love for Johnny Boy.---
Helped to grow the many branches on the Nickerson Tree!