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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks no. 46—Rhoda Hall (1784-1850)

My ancestor Rhoda Hall was born to a father, Gershom Hall, who was a Revolutionary War soldier and a mother, Lucy Snow, who died young. Rhoda was born on March 12, 1784, in Massachusetts.

Rhoda had a couple of older siblings and several who were younger. She was probably pressed into duty to help care for them after her mother died in 1795 when Rhoda was eleven years old.

On June 2, 1805, Rhoda married a local saltmaker, Benjamin E. Dunbar, in Chatham, Massachusetts. She was 21 years old and he was twenty-eight. Rhoda and Benjamin had twelve children, including my ancestor Olive Hall Dunbar. They lived at Chatham until shortly after 1830.

By then the saltmaking business on Cape Cod was no longer profitable. The family left Cape Cod and moved away to Stow, Ohio. Why they chose this location remains unknown.

Benjamin died shortly after their arrival, leaving 47-year-old Rhoda a widow with most of her children still at home. Benjamin had provided for her, and the family had some land in Stow. They lived at the north end of town. Rhoda sent her children to school and served as the executor of Benjamin’s estate.

She remained in Stow for most of the remainder of her life. In 1850, when the U.S. census was taken, she was enumerated in her daughter Olive’s household in Mendon, Michigan. Perhaps she was visiting there.

According to Rhoda’s cemetery marker, she passed away that same year at the age of sixty-six. She was buried next to her husband in the Stow, Ohio cemetery.

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