A Story of Ruth

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to fetch

her poor dog a bone

but when she got there

the cupboard was bare

so her poor dog had none.

Ruth Hubbard was born today, January 11th in 1640.  She reportedly died in 1691 having lived a life spanning 50 years.  Born to Samuel and Tacy (Cooper) Hubbard, she is recorded to be the first child of European descent born in Springfield, MA.

Ruth married Robert Burdick.  Among their 10 children, a daughter Deborah Burdick was born fourth in 1659/60 on Ruth’s birthday, in Westerly, RI where Deborah died 12 December 1737.  In my mother’s Mendenhall line, Ruth is my 9th g-grandmother.  My mother was adopted and never knew her mother who was, coincidentally, named Ruth Mendenhall.

Deborah, who married Rev. Joseph Crandall the 5th son of Elder John Crandall, is my 8th g-grandmother.  When my cousin Mary Elizabeth and I succeed in breaking through our shared genealogical brick wall regarding our fathers’ line (we think we descend from Peter Crandall, Elder John’s second son), I will be able to count Ruth Hubbard as a cousin as well as a g-grandmother.

http://trees.wmgs.org/getperson.php?personID=I41550&tree=Schirado Accessed 11 Jan 2016 at 5 PM

As for the origin of the nursery rhyme and the poor dog, I have my research cut out for me there, too!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Mother_Hubbard Accessed 11 Jan 2016 at 5:41 PM

Although Wikipedia raises more questions than it answers. Whether or not the poem is based on King Henry VIII and Cardinal Thomas Wosley’s facilitation of his divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon– this remains an assumption.

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/old_mother_hubbard.htm Accessed 11 Jan 2016 at 5:38 PM

I agree with the Wikipedia author who notes the meter and archaic English is different in the first stanza from what follows in subsequent verses although I don’t remember even hearing any of those as a child anyway.  In my mind, the initial stanza “stands alone,” along with the cheese in the Farmer and the Dell but I’m now mixing metaphors or at the very least, nursery rhymes with songs and games.


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