January 1, 2015

Bear Tales - Abigail's Story

Last time, the bears revealed the story of Harriet H. Bispham (1829-1910), a resident of Haddonfield, New Jersey, whose name was inscribed on a quilt block used to make one of the bears.  We stated, at the end of Harriet's story, that she was "undoubtedly" acquainted with Abigail R. Clement (1826-1882) who also lived in Haddonfield and whose name was inscribed on another block used to make a second bear.

All photographs of the bears by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
The conclusion that Harriet knew Abigail is based on the facts that they both lived in the small town of Haddonfield at the time their names were inscribed, their names appear on blocks from the same "friendship quilt", and Abigail's father, John Clement, may be the John Clement of Haddonfield who, as a Justice of the Peace in Gloucester County, New Jersey, married Harriet's parents on January 25, 1812.
Without the benefit of extant correspondence between them, there is no way to know if Abigail and Harriet were close friends or merely acquaintances.  Abigail was three years older than Harriet.  By the time their names appear on the same quilt around 1844, Abigail would have been eighteen yers old and Harriet would have been fifteen.  Abigail married in October of 1845 at the age of nineteen and moved away from Haddon field.  Harriet didn't marry until five years later, at the age of twenty-one, and appears to have remained in Haddonfield her entire life.
A house in the historic district of Haddonfield.  Photograph courtesy of
Wikimedia Commons.
Abigail Rowand Clement was born on July 25, 1826 to John Clement and Hannah Chew Hand Clement, the last of their three children and their only daughter.  The family lived in Haddonfield and Abigail spent her childhood and teens in this small town where her father was a prominent citizen.  (One record on ancestry.com refers to him as a judge but it appears that more than one John Clement in Haddonfield served as a judge or Justice of the Peace over time.  Abigail's grandfather was a John Clement, her father was named John Clement, her brother was named John Clement, and one of her sons was named John Clement Doughten.)
We were unable to locate a picture of Abigail, but we did find images of her parents.
Abigail's father, John Clement (1769-1855).  Image courtesy of dkbakerjr, the
Doughten-Clement Family Tree, Public Member Trees, ancestry.com.
Abigail's mother, Hannah Chew Hand (1784-1834).  Image courtesy of
dkbakerjr, the Doughten-Clement Family Tree, Public Member Trees,
On October 1, 1845, Abigail married William Simpson Doughten (1811-1881).  William, the son of Isaac and Ann Harrison Sparks Doughten, was a resident of Gloucester City located approximately ten miles west of Haddonfield on the Delaware River across from Philadelphia.  Over the next thirteen years, Abigail and William had four children: John Clement born in 1846; Isaac born in 1851; Anna D. (formally known as Hannah) born in 1855; and, Abigail born in 1859.
Abigail and William first settled in Gloucester City but by the 1860 census had moved to Camden, New Jersey, where William and Henry B. Wilson, the father of Admiral Henry Braid Wilson (of World War I fame), established a large lumber mill and timber yard on the Delaware River.  To provide greater access to their waterfront business, they also incorporated The Stockton and Newton Turnpike Company.  Business must have been good because the 1860 census lists William as a lumberman with assets totaling $30,000.  (This figure is equivalent to $766,881.29 in 2013 dollars.)
Census data from 1870 show William's occupation as a sash and door manufacturer, an occupation also shared by his son, John Clement, who was then twenty-three years old.  The assets recorded for the two of them totaled $32,000 so the family business was still flourishing.  John's younger brother, Isaac, was working as a clerk in a store at the time, further adding to the family income.  Isaac would later have his own dry goods business.
Abigail was forty-three in 1870 and the census records show that her niece, Mary Hand, probably the daughter of her half-brother George Rufus Hand, one domestic servant, and a seamstress were living at her residence.  Mary Hand's occupation was also listed as seamstress.
By the time of the 1880 census, Abigail and William had moved across the river to Philadelphia.  William was sixty-nine years old and listed as a retired lumberman.  Abigail was fifty-three and their son, John Clement, listed as a lumberman, was still living with them at age thirty-two.  Daughters Anna and Abbie were in their twenties.  Isaac was no longer in the household which was still being assisted by one domestic servant.
William passed away the next year on May 8, 1881.  His body was transported from Philadelphia to Haddonfield where he was buried.  Abigail followed the next year at age fifty-seven, dying in Hammonton, Atlantic County, New Jersey, on August 9, 1882.  She, too, was taken to Haddonfield where she was buried in the Haddonfield Baptist Cemetery.
Abigail's grave marker in the Haddonfield Baptist Cemetery, Haddonfield, New
Jersey.  Image courtesy of Robin Rowand who posted it on the Find a Grave web site.
Ancestry.com census, message board, and Public Member Tree records, accessed December 2014.
Find a Grave web site at http://www.findagrave.com.
"Gloucester County Register of Deeds, Marriages, 1795-1907" (FHF#846905).
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2015.


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