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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ROBERT W. LYMAN, Register of Deeds at Northampton, Mass., the shire town of Hampshire County, is a liberally educated gentleman, a lawyer by profession, and a representative of an old Colonial family well known in these parts for several generations. He was born on March 27, 1850, and is a lineal descendant of Richard Lyman, who was born in High Ongar, England, and came to Massachusetts in 1631, bringing with him three sons: Richard, Robert, and John. The elder Richard became one of the original proprietors of Hartford, Conn., and died there in 1640. His son John, born in 1623, settled at Northampton, Mass., in 1654, and was the father of Benjamin and grandfather of Benjamin, Jr., who after marriage settled at Easthampton. Lemuel Lyman, born in 1735, son of the second Benjamin and grandson of the first of that name, was a soldier in the French and Indian War. He was in the expedition, under Sir William Johnson, sent in 1755 against Crown Point, and in the battle on September 8, known as Dieskau’s Defeat, was wounded, and would have been killed had not the shot-pouch which he wore received the bullet aimed at his heart, and thus saved his life. The bullet and pouch are cherished as valued relics in the Easthampton Museum. Ahira Lyman, son of Lemuel and grandfather of Robert W., of the present sketch, was born at Easthampton in 1770, and died in 1836. His wife, Sally Pomeroy, of Southampton, was the daughter of a soldier of the Revolution, one who took part in the battle of Bunker Hill, on the 17th of June, 1775. Grandfather Lyman was an extensive land-owner, and had a saw-mill and a grist-mill on his farm, besides which he carried on a good business as a carriage manufacturer. He was industrious and thrifty, and at the time of his decease was one of the wealthiest men in his vicinity. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational church. The grandmother died in middle life, leaving four sons: Roland, Pynchon, Ahira, Jr., and Quartus. The eldest son was a jeweller in Lowell, Mass.; and Pynchon was a manufacturer of flour and lumber at Easthampton. After his first wife’s death the grandfather married a Miss Baldwin, who bore him two sons, one of whom died at twenty-one; the other, Jabez B. Lyman, was for many years a practising physician at Rockford, Ill., but died in Salem, Mass. The second wife died comparatively young; and the grandfather then married Mrs. Hannah (Judd) Lyman, widow of Azariah Lyman.

Ahira Lyman, Jr., was born on the parental homestead in Easthampton in 1807, and died in 1888. He was a well-to-do farmer, and was also active in military circles, having been elected a Major in the State militia. In 1839 he was married to Theresa Lyman, a daughter of his stepmother by a former husband; and they became the parents of six children, one of whom, Arthur, died at the age of twenty-one years. The others are: Fannie B., wife of William P. Derby, living in Springfield; Albert A., of Northampton; Richard, also of this city; Robert W.; and William R., a commercial traveller, residing in Philadelphia, Pa. The father was previously married, his first wife having been Frances Burt, who bore him three sons, of whom but one is living; namely, Gains Burt Lyman, of Easthampton. Their first-born, Harry, who was a volunteer in the war of the Rebellion, died of disease contracted in the army at Newbern, N.C., and was buried at Easthampton. Mrs. Theresa Lyman is still living, and makes her home in Springfield.

Robert W. Lyman was brought up on the farm, and assisted in its labors when not in school until seventeen years old. He was subsequently a student in the Massachusetts Agricultural College four years, being graduated from there in 1871. He inherited the military tastes of his ancestors, and was in the military department of the school four years, and after graduation was three years in the State militia, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant. Mr. Lyman began his active career as a civil engineer and a teacher. Commencing the study of law with Bond Brothers & Bottom, he was admitted to the bar in 1878, and was graduated from the Boston University Law School the following year. He shortly began the practice of his profession at Belchertown, Mass., remaining there very successfully engaged until January 1, 1892, when he accepted his present responsible position as Register of Deeds. His work in this department has been performed with great faithfulness and precision, and is duly appreciated.

On June 8, 1892, Mr. Lyman was united in marriage with Mrs. Diantha A. Bridgeman, a daughter of Captain Roswell Allen and the widow of the late Lyman Bridgeman. By her former husband Mrs. Lyman has two sons: Malcolm L. Bridgeman, manager of the Metropolitan Bicycle Company in New York City; and Paul Bridgeman. After his election to the office of Register of Deeds, Mr. Lyman settled in his beautiful home at 11 Linden Street, where he enjoys all the comforts of a happy domestic life. Socially, he is a Knight Templar and a Past Master Mason. He is a Special Justice, being one of the three judges of the District Court of Hampshire. Politically, he is an adherent of the Republican party and an influential member of its ranks.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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