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Mother & Daughter: Abigail & Hannah Richards

Abigail Stowell Richards (1767-1856)

Hannah Richards (1802-1838)

Abigail Stowell (1767-1856), who was the daughter of Isaac and Mary Oliver Stowell, married Joseph Richards, a farmer, on April 2, 1796 in Dedham. The couple had five children: Eliakim, Joseph, Elizabeth, Hannah and Mary. Joseph Richards died on March 26, 1813 in Dedham, leaving his widow with five children between the ages of 9 and 16.

In the 1850 Census, Abigail Richards was living with her eldest son, Eliakim Richards, also a farmer, and his family in Sharon. Abigail Stowell Richards died on March 11, 1856. The cause was attributed to old age. Abigail’s gravestone has one of the most distinctive epitaphs in Old Parish Cemetery. Along with her name, date of death and age, the stone reads:


Stop here my friends as you pass by,

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now, so you must be,

Prepare for Death and follow me



Hannah Richards, the daughter of Abigail and Joseph Richards, born in 1802, predeceased her mother. She died on March 24, 1838 at the age of 36. The record of her death notes only that she had been sick for 17 years. Her gravestone, which stands beside her mother’s, is inscribed with the following lines:


Friends nor physicians could not save

My mortal body from the grave.



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