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Cousin Jason H. T. Newell (1C5R) was born in 1816 to my Aunt Betsy Wheeler and her husband Joseph Carter of Hillsborough. Joseph died at sea while Jason was still a baby and was buried on the shores of South Carolina. Betsy’s sister, my Aunt Abigail Wheeler and her husband Simon Hartwell II then adopted Jason. Even before Jason reached his majority (at age 13), for reasons about which we can only speculate, he chose to be neither a Carter nor entirely a Hartwell but “Jason Hartwell Theodore Newell,” a combination which, as far as we can tell, he made up. An act 1 of the New Hampshire legislature made the change official on 3 July 1830.

That’s all the family history tells us about Jason. Nor does it suggest where Bets(e)y got the “T” on her tombstone.

It does have a bit more to say about Abigail: “…Simon’s wife Abigail was familiarly known as “Aunt Nabby” noted for her sharp tongue but her ready charity.... Simon and Abigail had no children of their own, but successively adopted Jason H. T. Newell, Eliza Carr and Isaac Wilkins.”2

The Biographical Review3 of 1897 picks up where the family (which Jason abandoned?) leaves off:

“Jason H. T. Newell, an extensive real estate owner of Hillsboro, N.H., was born in this town, August 11, 1816. He was educated in the schools of Hillsboro, and early took his place among the world’s workers. He first tried his hand at farming, but at the age of seventeen turned his attention to other pursuits, working for a while at the painter’s and carpenter’s trades, and then going to Fitzwilliam, N.H., where for fourteen months he was employed in the manufacture of woodenware. On his return to Hillsboro he worked in a saw-mill. (continued)…
1Roberts, Richard P., New Hampshire Name Changes, 1768-1923, pp. 36-37. Heritage Books, Inc. Consulted July, 2004, at the New Hampshire State Library in Concord.
2Munroe, Richard S. History and Genealogy of the Lexington, Massachusetts Munroes. Florence, Massachusetts:1966, p. 124.
3Biographical Review, Volume XXIII, Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Hillsboro and Cheshire Counties, New Hampshire. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company (1897), pp 91-92.

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