Elizabeth Dickens (1877–1963), 7th cousin 2x removed
Elizabeth Dickens (the “Bird Lady of Block Island”) (born 2 Dec 1877, died 17 Jun 1963) was an American ornithologist. Her biography is titled Elizabeth Dickens: The Bird Lady of Block Island by Herbert S. Whitman (Still Pond Press) 1982. She lived her entire life on Block Island, traveling only occasionally and then usually for reasons connected to her interest and renown in birds.
Through her work with Block Island school children, her vision for and stewardship of the Block Island Bird Collection, her more than fifty years of daily bird observations and her correspondence with well-known members of the natural history and birding community of her day, Elizabeth Dickens remains to this day a powerful resource and inspiration. From all accounts Miss Dickens commanded a great deal of respect from the Island’s children. What may have seemed a small act of caring about birds and the Island’s children, ultimately metamorphosed into a process of imbuing the Island children (and thus future adults) with a strong ethic of care for birds and a concern for stewardship of the Island’s landscape and natural niches. Elizabeth Dickens also contributed to the annals of ornithology through her half-century of daily bird sightings on Block Island. These journals, which she began in 1912, were bequeathed by Elizabeth Dickens to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and are housed at their offices in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The journals are not only a treasure of ornithological sightings, they also remind us of the pleasure derived from observing birds and their habits and antics. And, the journals also offer a glimpse of Elizabeth Dickens’s life and the things that she held important. Roland Clement, in a 1959 Yankee Magazine article about Elizabeth Dickens, coined the title “Bird Lady of Block Island”. The Lewis-Dickens Farm Nature Preserve on Block Island, named for Elizabeth Dickens, preserves history on 200 acres of meadows that also provide habitat for grassland birds.
I am related to Elizabeth Dickens as follows:
Elizabeth Dickens (1877 – 1963), 7th cousin 2x removed – Lovell H. Dickens (1854 – 1939) – Anderson B. Dickens (1824 – 1904) – Raymond Dickens (1802 – 1885) – Caleb Dickens (1777 – 1798) – Thomas Dickens (1742 – 1812) – Thomas Dickens (1703 – 1761) – Thomas Dickens (1668 – 1718) – Nathaniel Dickens (1614 – 1690) – Mary Dickens (1664 – 1717) – John Rathbun (1705 – 1781) – Patience Rathbun (1742 – 1840) – John Clarke (1780 – 1865) – Oratio Dyer Clarke (1811 – 1899) – Harriet Allen Clarke (1839 – 1898) – Clarence Clark Hamlin (1868 – 1940) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom
Through her father, Elizabeth Dickens is also my 7th cousin 2x removed through my 8th g-grandparents, John Rathbun (1629-1702) and Margaret Acres (1633-after 1716). It is likely that I am also related to Elizabeth Dickens through her mother, Nancy Mott (1859-1892), who is likely a descendant of my 8th g-grandparents, Nathaniel Mott (1631-1675) and Hannah Shooter (1637-1675). However, the connection between Nancy Mott and Nathaniel Mott has not been fully investigated.