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      CHACE LIKE IN QUAHOG  page 3      

Another brother Edward had twelve children. His son Edward married Pamela Durfee (a name familiar to all Chaces in Bristol County) and they had nine children. Another son, Phillip married Experience White who had nine children.

Two twin girls Mary and Abigail married two Hathaways, William, and Henry (establishing another long family relationship in Bristol County.) George, another son had eleven children.

James P. Chase had twelve children, whose children had thirty-four grand children. He left Freetown and died in News Brunswick and did not contribute to the "Chace" spelling and remained a Tory.

It is difficult to believe that a clerical error accounted for the "Chace" spelling, as opposed to the virility and passion of the "Chace" boys and to the fertility of their "Chase/Chace" wives!

As further proof of the name change, the Hathaway Cemetery in Freetown (across from the Catholic Church) is filled with "Chases" and "Chaces." Walk up the small hill in the middle of the cemetery and the first two graves are Greenfield Chace, next to wife, Sarah Briggs Chase who kept the spelling of her name. (This cemetery is in deplorable condition and would be an excellent project for the Chaces and Hathaways to restore. The setting is just beautiful but it has been neglected for years, even though a large number of men buried there are responsible for our freedom and liberty.)

Further down the street toward Fall River is another cemetery, wonderfully maintained and here is buried Greenfield's son James, with wife Phebe and most of his children are buried there.

Cemeteries in New England are fascinating and tell interesting stories. In the case of Bristol County, it becomes evident just how many families were named "Chace." Behind the Christ Church and the small cemetery behind the Town Hall are buried the "Chaces" since the earlyi 1800's. The Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River has hundreds of "Chaces" (including my family dating back to my great grandfather) and many of the graves are marked with an American flag and located in the veterans area, (but I have yet to see a "Chase.")

So if you took the time and enjoyed looking through the many cemeteries reflecting the early years of our country, and if you had been raised in the Bristol County area, you would walk pass many gravestones with the name "Chace" and think nothing odd about it. But if you were to relocate some of these tombstones to some other places, such as the Cape or in the western part of Massachusetts, or in other places in New England or the United States, the uninitiated, seeing the name "Chace" on a grave on would think that it was the work of an illiterate stone cutter.

I lived in Swansea during my formative years, attending grammar school and three years of high school. There were always classmates or schoolmates near me named "Chace." In high school there was Norma, Arnold, Walter, William, Herbert and Edith. We took up a whole row in our home room. The "Chace" name was in the majority. There were no "Chases" in the Swansea school system. The spelling of "Chace" with two "c's" was the norm and expected.

But outside of that small "Chace" enclave in southern Massachusetts, it just wasn't the same! In 1946, my senior year in high school, my father was elected Superintendent of Schools in Gardner, Massachusetts, a city about sixty miles from Swansea and on the border of New Hampshire. But, for all practical purposes, as far as my name was concerned, I could have moved to Yakima or Walla Walla. The first day of football practice, before the school year had started, I began an adventure in frustration that follows me to this day. On the roster of football players was my locker assignment, "#14, Frank Chase." I was expecting that I would have to prove myself in many ways, but I certainly expected to be greeted with the correct spelling of my name. There were other rosters, none spelled correctly, a name that for 17 years had never been a problem.

On the first day of school, I reported to my home room and was pleasesd to see that my name was not misspelled. Taking my seat, I waited for the role to be called. My name was not called, but a name sounding like "Charco" was repeated several times. As he concluded the roll, the teacher asked, "Is there anyone whose name I did not call?" "Yes" I replied, "you did not call Chace." For the rest of my senior year, that teacher who was meeting the Supertindent's son for the first time and, who turned out to be my History teacher, we got along just fine.