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Bethiah was raised in a part of Dartmouth that became Fairhaven, Massachusetts. She must have converted and joined the Friends (Quakers). She married Humphry Russell, who was a member of the New Bedford Monthly Meeting, and his membership wasn't recinded when he married her. She was active in the affairs of the New Bedford Women's Monthly Meeting, serving as an Overseer of the Poor and perhaps other activities that might be found with more research. She lived at 13 South Sixth Street, New Bedford, for about 46 years and died there of old age, according to a death registry. She was nearly 91. She is buried next to Humphry in the Friends section of Rural Cemetery, New Bedford.

The will of Bethiah (Eldredge) Russell:

Be it remembered that I Bethiah Russell of New Bedford...widow do on this twenty ninth day of twelfth month in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and forty five, make public and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following, to wit:

I give the Preparative Meeting of Friends in New Bedford aforesaid the sum of ten dollars

I give the Preparative Meeting of Friends in Dartmouth...the sum of ten dollars

I give to Walter S. Thornton, son of my grandson John R. Thornton, to Gilbert E. Thornton, son of my grandson Gilbert R. Thornton, to Edward B. Thornton, son of my grandson Elisha Thornton, Jr., to Thornton Briggs, son of my granddaughter Mary T. Briggs, to Elisha T. Gerrish, son of my granddaughter Virginia R. Gerrish and to Joseph Ricketson, Jr., son of my granddaughter Frances M. Ricketson the sum of ten dollars each.

I give to Arthur and Anna Ricketson, children of Daniel Ricketson, the sum of ten dollars earch to be paid to Daniel Ricketson and held and managed by him until they attain the age of twenty one years.

I give to Sarah Ann Thornton my granddaughter the mahogany bureau now standing my north chamber

I give to Jerusha H. Macomber, the wife of John Macomber of said New Bedford a pair of brass andirons, tongs and shovel and the bedstead now standing in my north chamber and bedding sufficient for one bed, also a black walnut bureau.

I give to Sally Wood of said New Bedford the bureau now standing in my south bedroom

I give to my grandson Elisha Thornton, Jr., my desk and bookcase

I give to my grandson John R. Thornton my concordance also my silver porringer marked "J. W. to B. R."

I give to my grandson Gilbert R. Thornton a sufficient sum of money to purchase a silver porringer equal to the one I have John R. Thornton

I give to my daughter Rebecca Thornton an suite of calico curtains

I give to my daughter Sarah E. Ricketson the sum of one hundred dollars to make of the deficiency in her outfits

I give to Mrs. Gilbert E. Russell of Mobile the sum of fifty dollars

I give to my grandson Wm. T. Russell, son of my deceased son John W. Russell my Dutch family Bible

I give to Mary Russell the bureau she now occupies, a narrow bedstead, bed and beddings and it is my request that my daughter Rebecca Thornton will take her into her house and give her a home as long as she Rebecca Thornton lives [Mary may have been an adopted daughter. She was born abt 1825 and lived first with the Thorntons and then with the Gerrishes, and moved with the latter family when they went to Brooklyn, NY. She likely died there on 15 Sep 1872)

I give all my wearing apparel to my two daughters Rebecca Thornton and Sarah E. Ricketson and it is my request that all such articles as may be of no value to them that they will give them to Mary Russell.

I request that all such articles of bed, bedding and furniture as may be of no use to my daughters that they will keep them for the use and comfort of the poor and distressed.

All the residue of my property I give and demise as follows, to wit: one fourth part to Sarah E. Ricketson, one fourth part to Rebecca Thornton, one fourth part to William T. Russell and one fourth part to Phebe Ann Russell, children of my deceased son John W. Russell.

I appoint John R. Thornton and Gilbert R. Thornton exectuors of this will and testament.

In testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written

Bethiah Russell


Alanson Gooding, Joseph Ricketson, John Bailey

children of Bethiah Eldredge and Humphry Russell:

1. John Wady, b. 22 July 1781
2. Sarah E., b. 28 February 1785
3. Rebecca, b. 22 May 1787
4. Gilbert E., b. 14 February 1789

vital records sources: Bethiah's birth and death are recorded in the Dartmouth, MA, published vital records. Her marriage is in the New Bedford, MA, published vital records. Her death date is from her gravestone and is in the Massachusetts State Health Dept. death records.


all text and photographs © 1998-2018 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted