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  • Patricia Fanning

Hannah Balch Chickering 1755-1839

Hannah Balch was the youngest daughter of Rev. Thomas Balch, first pastor of the Second or South Parish of Dedham, and his wife, Mary Sumner Balch. In 1777, three years after the death of her father, Hannah Balch married Rev. Jabez Chickering (1753-1812). Chickering had succeeded her father to become the second pastor of the South Dedham parish in 1776. At the time of her marriage, Hannah was 23 years old.

During Rev. Jabez Chickering’s ministry of 36 years, 78 parishioners were added to the church, 203 couples were married, and 351 were baptized. The church building itself was the second meetinghouse, located on Lenox Street, where it, along with the Noon House, had been built in 1769. Their parsonage was located at 17 Walpole Street in the same residence as Rev. Balch; it was the home that Hannah grew up in.

Hannah and Jabez Chickering had six children, all raised in South Dedham: Lucy, Joseph, Jabez, Elizabeth, Thomas, and Hannah.

Their eldest son, Joseph (1780-1844) followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and became a minister. He was the pastor of the Congregational Church in Woburn for 17 years and the pastor of the church in Phillipston for 13 years. 

Their youngest son, Thomas Balch Chickering, born in 1788, chose a military career. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant and fought in the War of 1812. He died at the age of 28 in 1816 while still in the service at Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hannah’s youngest child and namesake, Hannah, was born in 1802 when Hannah Balch Chickering was 47 years old. 

Rev. Jabez Chickering died in 1812 at the age of 58. (Interestingly he had served the South Parish from 1776 until 1812, between two wars.) 

Hannah Balch Chickering died on April 17, 1839 at the age of 84.


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