Isabel Babson

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

Isabel Babson (1577-1661) was the first Babson in America, and she and her sons Richard and James are the progenitors of all with that name in the country.  The earliest known record of her in this country is dated 25 September 1637 and appears in the Salem town records: “Isabell Babson desires admittance to become an inhabitant.”  Isabel probably first settled at Salem as it was her port of disembarkation. In 1942 she moved to Gloucester where she was greatly respected as a nurse and midwife. After July 1642 Isabel purchased land at what is now 75-77 Front Street, Gloucester, and it continued in the family about a century and a half. Her dwelling on Main Street, a little to the west of Porter Street, was located at what is now 69 Main Street.  She died and was buried in Gloucester, although the exact location of her grave is unknown.  A simple stone has been placed in the ancient Bridge Street Burying Ground in memory of this honored and beloved citizen of Gloucester.  As a tribute to her memory, Roger W. Babson established the Isabel Babson Memorial Library at 69 Main Street, which specializes in books for expectant mothers.  She is also remembered through the Isabel Babson Maternity Wing at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester.  Roger Babson believed that conceiving and rearing children, as well as the health and well-being of women, were critical to a stable society.  All books in the library reflect this philosophy.  Every challenging aspect of family living from prenatal through grandparenting and the golden years is covered.  Books catering to men’s issues are also available.

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