The other night while cleaning out a hallway desk I came across a box of items I inherited from my paternal grandfather, Raymond Everett Bence (1892-1973). I remember seeing the box on his dresser as a child and was allowed to look but not touch. It contained old watches, some Masonic items, and a Liberty Head $1 coin. I’ve looked at the items several time in the last 40+ years, but never thought much about them. This is the only coin among his belongings. (He collected stamps, not coins.)
Looking at it last night, something new came to mind. The date on the coin is 1853, the birth year of Raymond’s mother, Emma Rowena Macomber (1853-1909). Given its condition, I wonder if it was a baby gift for Emma. Raymond was the only child of her second marriage to Peter Gaskel Bence in 1892. I wonder if the coin was given to Raymond after her death in 1909.
Bence, Hannah – Bridgewater Alms House 1868
Died: 24 Aug 1868
From: F. River
Disease or Condition: Feeble and Insane
Admitted: 18 Jul 1868
Came in State, How and When: 1854, Via N. York
 Plymouth County, Massachusetts, “State Almshouse Register, Vol. 2”, p. 110-111, entry 6990, Hannah Bence, admitted 18 July 1868; accession no. 312/II/62/4, call no. HS9.10/2545X, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts.
My father always said that he never forgot our birthdays because one of us would always remind him.
Mary Margaret (Shepardson) Bence (1926 – 2011)
Catherine Lee Bence (April 12 –)
Raymond Everett Bence, Jr. (1925 – 1994)
Catherine (McKenzie) Shepardson (1898-1980)
Mary Margaret Shepardson (April 12 1926 – 2011)
Winthrop Earl Shepardson (1904 – 1976)
Cleaning out a bookcase today, I came across the following small photo. There is a handwritten note on the back.
Evelyn Morse Flossie Drummy Marge Morse
Ray + Harem
Ray is my father, Raymond Everett Bence Jr. (1925-1994). Evelyn P. Morse (1924-2006) and Marjorie L. Morse (1921-1991) were his 1st cousins. Their mothers were the sisters Bertha Alice Ratcliffe and Charlotte L. Ratcliffe.
The label is in my mother’s handwriting. I know that my mother (Ray’s wife) sat down with Bertha at one time and helped her label some family photos. The harem reference is definitely my mother’s sense of humor.