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What's In A Name?

October 1, 2017

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What's In A Name?

October 1, 2017

Squabetty – what’s in a name. Most people who visit Squabetty want to know how the place got its name. Our mother documented the naming of Squabetty, in a poster for the 50th bash of Deanes owning this house. That was in 1981. The write-up hangs in the living room, a reminder of the story behind the name. It’s in our mother’s handwriting.  A piece of her remains here, years after she died.
 
Allegedly in 1636, or thereabouts, John and Walter Deane, brothers from Taunton, Somersetshire (England) acquired a tract of land from the Wesquabenanset Indians near Taunton, Massachusetts: the first Deane homestead in America.
 
Over the years the name of this land was contracted locally to Squabetty still so described on early 20th century maps of the area.
 
Three centuries later, more or less, Towner Deane, the youngest son in our Deane branch, having no sons, nephews, or male cousins, concluded that these Vermont acres would be the last Deane homestead in America.

​Hence he chose, or was it really Big Ginny (his wife, Virginia), to name this place Squabetty.
 
It’s a memorable story. With the advent of the internet, fact checking is possible. I can’t find any Native American tribe so named. I do find reference to a possible river by that name in the Taunton, Mass. area. They say hind sight is always 20/20. This is one case that I should have not tried to fact check. It damaged the family story and so I choose to honor the story my mother and her sister remembered – true or not. It’s a good story.

 

 

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