Our great-grandma Relief Howe was born on 10 October 1764, in Dover, New Hampshire. Apparently, her family called her Leafy. I must say that “Relief” is a very interesting first name. Why might parents name their daughter “Relief”? In this case, she was named after her own mother, but the question remains. Whatever the reasons, however, Relief was to name one of her own daughters Relief as well, so it can rightly be said that this first name, much like Polly, Sally, Molly and other more common names of that time, runs in the family.
Relief and her three siblings grew up in the very north of this country, in the area of New Hampshire and later Maine, just when Colonial America was turning into an independent state: The Declaration of Independence was signed when Relief was 11, going on 12 years old. How much of what was going on did she see or realize, one has to wonder, and was her father involved at all?
One day before her 20th birthday, on 9 October 1784, Relief married Thomas Everton Sr. in Maine. In the next 20 years, Thomas and Relief had ten children together (naming one of their daughters “Relief”, as mentioned), but they apparently left Maine around 1787 and lived in New York State for a while before settling in Rutland, Meigs Co., Ohio around the turn of the century. Her husband Thomas was known in the community there as “Deacon Everton”: They belonged to the Regular Baptist Church in town, according to the “Pioneer History of Meigs Co, OH” by Stillman Carter Larkin.
Relief Everton née Howe died this week 179 years ago, on 1 June 1841 at the age of 76. We assume that she lies buried in Rutland, but we have no record of her burial place, or that of her husband.
Rest well, Great-Grandma Relief, wherever they laid you to rest.