Chilson – Orintha Weller

Orintha Weller Chilson is my maternal 3x Great Grandmother. She was born the child of Roland Weller and Orpha Chilson in 1839 in Westhampton, MA. Her mother was only 16 at the time of her birth. Both would go on to have families of their own, with Orintha having 9 half siblings.

3x Great Grandmother Orintha Chilson Mollison

She would marry James Robinson Mollison on October 21, 1861 in Northampton. Prior to her marriage, she was working in Northampton.


  • 1850: Westhampton MA living with maternal grandparents Lewis and Dorcas Damon Chilson. (Her mother had married in 1843).  Also resident are her uncle Rodney Chilson and cousin George Chilson.
  • 1860: Westhampton MA; living with Lewis and Dorcas Chilson, uncle Fordyce Chilson and his family.
  • 1865: Massachusetts Census: Goshen MA with husband James Robinson and 3 month old John Stewart Mollison, my Great Great Grandfather.
  • 1870: Goshen, MA with husband James, son John, and daughter Mary.
  • 1880: Goshen, MA with husband James, son John, daughter Mary, and daughter Anne
  • 1900: Goshen, MA with husband James.
  • 1910: Goshen, MA with husband James. On the same census page as son John Stewart and family.

She would pass on July 18, 1915, six years to the day before the birth of my grandfather – Harold Tompkins Mollison.

I would love to know more about her, but she passed before any one I know or knew was born. She did leave some diaries and I have heard that she wrote to her mom and they would visit. But I don’t know of any pictures with her family, nor do I know if there was any sustained relationship with that part of the family after her passing. There has been no mention of a relationship with her father or the Weller side of the family.

I imagine a conversation with her would’ve been focused on her family and town activities. The population in Goshen when she married James Mollison was 439 vs slightly over 1,000 in the 2010 Census.

It’s also strange to me to image that she could not vote in her lifetime (just a thought as I’m writing this on Super Tuesday 2016).

Mollison Family – Maternal Line

This branch of my tree goes back to Scotland. It is a source of a brick wall as I’ve not been able to identify a family connection for my immigrant ancestor.

My immigrant ancestor is James Robinson Mollison. He was born in 1835 and immigrated to the USA. He settled in Northampton, MA where he met and married Orintha Chilson Weller.

They settled in Goshen, MA and had 3 children.  Their original farm was located on what is now know as Mollison Hill Road, adjacent to the Goshen Cemetery.

This line retains a strong presence in Goshen, MA today, 7 generations later. The family has a strong history of civic involvement from Town Selectman, Treasurers, Fire Chief, and Historical Society to name a few.

Now this is my personal impression – a family known for being both stubborn but also willing to lend a hand. This is the family name that I most closely connect with personally due to the amount of time I have spent; and continue to spend; in Goshen.

I spent time each summer and at Thanksgiving in Goshen with my grandparents and had the pleasure to get to know many of Mollison relatives. I’ve been to town meetings, parades, church services, weddings, funerals, and celebrations in Goshen. To me it personifies the typical small New England town. But I also know it from a distance – I am not a resident, so I definitely have an incomplete picture of the town and its residents.

This town also triggered my genealogical research activity. My grandmother helped compile the Mollison genealogy for “A Bicentennial History, Goshen, Massachusetts, 1781-1981” by Anne Sabo Warner.  I then joined my grandmother in maintaining and expanding this research.
The deceased descendants of James Robinson and Orintha Weller Mollison can be found here:

James Robinson Mollison Descendants on Find A Grave

Please remember this is ongoing research. I welcome corrections and missing information.