Object of the Month: November 2013 – Gad Hitchcock Cradle

This summer, the Hanson Historical Society received a wonderful donation from the Hanover Historical Society: the Gad Hitchcock Jr. cradle, possibly built ca. 1749, made of cherry wood. The cradle belonged to the Pembroke Congregational minister Rev. Gad Hitchcock and his wife, Dorothy Angier.  The cradle was used by their only child, Dr. Gad Hitchcock, who was born at Pembroke (now Hanson), in November 1749. His birth record reads in the original Pembroke town clerk’s records:

“Gad Hitchcock[,] the son of the Revd Mr Hitchcock & Dory Dorothy his wife was [born] November the second anno Domini 1749 old stile” [Julian calendar]. In the “new style” Gregorian calendar, his birthdate was November 13, 1749.

Gad was probably born in the Pembroke West Parish parsonage which Rev. Gad and Dorothy Hitchcock had moved into in the autumn of the previous year when Rev. Hitchcock was called to serve the Hanson community as their minister. The parsonage still stands today, at 909 High St. in Hanson, and is currently occupied by the Hanson Insurance Agency. The cradle remained in the house for several generations of Hitchcock descendants.

Dr. Gad Hitchcock Jr. Cradle, built ca. 1749. From the artifact collection of the Hanson Historical Society. Photograph courtesy of Patty Norton.

Dr. Gad Hitchcock Jr. Cradle, built ca. 1749, material: cherry wood. From the artifact collection of the Hanson Historical Society. Photograph courtesy of Patty Norton.

Gad Hitchcock Jr. birth record, 2 November 1749, “Old Style”. Pembroke [now Hanson], Mass. Scanned image of original Pembroke Town Clerk’s records, available courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Postcard of the Rev. Gad Hitchcock House, High St. Courtesy of the Hanson Historical Society Collection.

Gad Hitchcock Jr. grew up in the parsonage. He attended Harvard University, and after his graduation in 1765 became a doctor. He served as a surgeon’s mate in the Revolutionary War, and provided many years of service to the Hanson community as the town’s physician.

Portrait of Dr. Gad Hitchcock (1749-1835). Image courtesy of Dwight Whitney Marsh, The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family, p. 432.

Portrait of Dr. Gad Hitchcock (1749-1835). Image courtesy of Dwight Whitney Marsh, The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family, p. 432.

The Hitchcock cradle was originally donated to the Hanover Historical Society by Catharine Tilden Phillips. For additional details, see the Hanson Express article from 20 June 2013 about the society receiving the donation.

[Posted by Mary Blauss Edwards, Hanson Historical Society Curator]

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