Chronology 1789-1892


Aug. 25. 1789
Phebe Davenport born. (1st wife of Abraham Borden and mother of his children).
c. 1794
Sarah Sawyer born. (1st wife of Oliver Gray and mother of Priscilla and Abby).
July 8, 1798
Abraham Bowen Borden born. (father of Andrew and Lurana, etc.).
c. 1801
Oliver Gray born. (father of Priscilla, Abby, and Sarah).
July 5, 1801
BeBe Wilmarth born. (Abraham’s 2nd wife).
c. 1819
Oliver Gray and Sarah Sawyer married.
Priscilla Gray born. (full sister to Abby).
Sept. 13, 1822
Andrew Jackson Borden born at 12 Ferry St., Fall River. (1st born, and only son of Abraham, 24, and Phebe, 33, of 5 children).
Sept. 19, 1823
Sarah Anthony Morse born. (1st wife of Andrew J. Borden, and mother of Emma, Alice, and Lizzie).
Edwin Augustus Buck (Rev.) born. (Emma and Lizzie’s supporter throughout the ordeal).
Aug. 10, 1826
Lurana Borden born. (Andrew’s sister, marries Hiram Harrington).
Nov. 14, 1826
Jane Baker born. (14 months older than Abby; becomes 2nd wife of Oliver Gray and stepmother to Priscilla and Abby; mother to Sarah Bertha Gray).
Feb. 26, 1829
Hiram Harrington born. (marries Lurana Borden, Andrew’s only remaining sister).
Jan. 21, 1828
Abby Durfee Gray born, in Fall River. (2nd wife of Andrew Borden).
July 5, 1833
John Vinnicum Morse born, in Fall River, Mass. (Sarah Borden’s brother, and uncle to Emma and Lizzie).
July 20, 1840
Seabury Bowen (Dr.) born
July, 1843
Great Fire of Fall River
April 1, 1844
Abraham Borden invests money to start Andrew and William Almy in furniture business.
Borden & Almy open business on 5 Anawan St., Fall River.
Dec. 25, 1845
Andrew Borden marries Sarah Morse.
Dec., 1845
House on 92 Second St., Fall River, completed by Southard Miller.
Nov., 1849
Adelaide (Buffinton) Churchill born.
March 1, 1851
Emma Lenora Borden born.
Jan., 1852
Alice Russell born.
Oct. 13, 1853
Davenport Borden dies. (age 64, wife of Abraham).
Jan. 26, 1854
Lurana, age 27, marries Hiram Harrington. (3 1/2 months after mother dies).
Nov. 23, 1854
Abraham Borden marries BeBe Wilmarth.
John Morse moves west to Minn. to live with his brother William. (stays 1 year, then moves to ILL. in 1856 / stays 14 years / 1869 moves to Iowa. Throughout this time, he spends summers and winters in New England area, visiting).
May 3, 1856
Alice Esther Borden born.
Oliver Gray, Abby’s father, moves family to 45 Fourth St.
Sept. 14, 1857
George B. Harrington, only child of Hiram and Lurana born.
March 10, 1858
Alice Esther Borden dies. (“dropsy on brain”- hydrocephalus)
1860 census
Andrew Borden and family, at 12 Ferry St., had live-in domestic, Caroline Gray, age 19, born in R.I
July 19, 1860
Lizzie Andrew Borden born, 12 Ferry St., Fall River.
Dec. 22, 1860
Sarah Sawyer Gray, Priscilla and Abby’s mother, dies, age 66.
March 26, 1863
Sarah Anthony Morse Borden, Emma and Lizzie’s mother, dies, age 39. (“uterine congestion- 4 mos.- and disease of the spine”).
c. 1863
Oliver Gray, Priscilla and Abby’s father, marries Jane D. Baker. (he abt. 62, she abt. 37, Priscilla abt. 43, Abby abt. 35).
Sarah Bertha Gray born. (eventually marries Geo. Whitehead).
April 14, 1865
Lincoln assassinated
June 6, 1865
Andrew J. Borden marries Abby D. Gray (he 43+, she 37+, Emma 14+, Lizzie almost 5).
John V. Morse visits Bordens
c. 1865- 1869 (?)
Emma away at school 1 1/2 years.
Bridget Sullivan born, in Ireland.
March, 1867
George B. Harrington dies, age 9 1/2, of “brain disease”.
1866 – 1886
Per 1870 census, Hiram and Lurana Harrington live at 12 Ferry St. (2 family home, with attic apartment – from at least 1866 to 1871, 8 people lived there: Abraham and wife, Andrew and wife and 2 daughters, and Hiram and Lurana Harrington-possibly with a servant couple, would = 10).
April 26, 1872
Andrew Borden buys 92 Second St., Fall River, from original owner. (at that time #66 / 1875 changed to #92 / #230 in 1896).
June 19, 1874
Andrew Borden has running water installed. (2 faucetts – #66 Second St.).
Lizzie Borden goes to high school.
John Morse lives with Bordens one year.
Lizzie Borden leaves high school. (in junior year).
John Morse visits Bordens.
Rev. Buck’s wife dies, age 49.
Andrew J. Borden and Wm. M. Almy retire from Borden, Almy & Co. (continue to trade in real estate).
Anthony Morse, Sarah and John Morse’s father, dies in Ill.
Aug., 1878
Oliver Gray dies, age 77. (father of Priscilla Fish, Abby Borden, and Sarah Whitehead).
Alice Russell, and mother, move to 96 Second St., upon the death of Alice’s father. (the “Kelly” house).
1880 – census
Borden family at 92 Second St., has servant : Mary Greene, white, female, age 35, single, born in Ireland.
William Almy retires from all partnership with Andrew Borden.
Dec. 6, 1882
Abraham Bowen Borden dies, age 84.
July 2, 1883
BeBe Wilmarth Borden dies, age 82. (Emma and Lizzie’s step-grandmother, Abraham Borden’s 2nd wife).
Aug., 1883
Andrew Borden buys Lurana’s 1/2 of Ferry St. property.
c. 1883
Sarah Bertha Gray marries George W. Whitehead. (Priscilla and Abby’s 1/2 sister-Sarah abt. 19, Priscilla abt. 63, Abby abt. 55).
July 1884
Abby B. Whitehead born to Sarah and George Whitehead.
George Robinson elected Governor for 1st of 3 one year terms. (served 1884-1886, inclusive).
Lizzie Borden joins the Central Congregational Church. (prior to this she and her family had been members of the First Congregational Church).
John Morse visits Bordens.
June 11, 1885
William M. Almy dies. (Andrew Borden’s previous partner).
May 24, 1886
Bridget Sullivan arrives in the U.S. from Ireland.
March 1887
George O. Whitehead born to George and Sarah Whitehead.
May 2, 1887
Andrew Borden buys Jane Gray’s 1/2 share of house at 45 Fourth St., for $1,500, and gives to Abby. (Oliver Gray, Abby’s father, had died in 1878, leaving 1/2 share to his second wife Jane, and 1/2 share to his daughter with her, Sarah, Abby’s half-sister.) This “1/2 house” is included in Abby’s property to be distributed upon her death.
Oct. 1, 1887
Andrew Borden gives Emma and Lizzie the Ferry St. property for $1.
Hiram and Lurana move to Freetown, Mass.
Lizzie Borden stops calling Abby “Mother”.
Nov./Dec., 1889
Bridget Sullivan comes to work for the Bordens. (called “Maggie” by the daughters).
c. 1889 – 90
Maplecroft” built, owner Charles M.Allen.
Lizzie becomes secretary of the Fruit and Flower Mission. (her name is not included the following year.)
Hiram and Lurana move back to Fall River.
June 21 – Nov. 1, 1890
Lizzie takes a trip to Europe. (19 weeks).
“Andrew J. Borden” building finished.
Alice Russell moves to 33 Borden St.
June 24, 1891
Andrew and Abby have been at the farm in Swansea.
June 24, 1891
Daylight robbery at 92 Second St. (Emma, Lizzie, and Bridget at home).
June 24, 1891
Lizzie named Board Member of Good Samaritan Hospital.
June 24, 1891
Sometime after this date, all doors kept locked, at 92 Second St., inside and out.
July, 1891
Bridget receives key to side door.
Oct., 1891
Morse moves from R.I. to South Dartmouth to live with old friends Isaac Davis, and his son, William A. Davis. (butchers and slaughterhouse owners).
Lizzie becomes Treasurer of Young Womans Christian Temperance Union, Fall River.
1892, early spring
Lizzie tells cloakmaker Hannah Gifford that Abby “is a mean old thing”.
April, 1892
Borden barn broken into.
May 10, 1892
House painted. (drab brown, or drab olive green).
May /June, 1892
Andrew kills pigeons. (supposedly because they attracted intruders to the barn)
1892, end of June
Morse visits
July 10, 1892
Morse visits.
July 15, 1892
Andrew buys Ferry St. property back from Emma and Lizzie for $5,000.
July 21, 1892
Thurs.- Emma and Lizzie leave Fall River to go to New Bedford. Emma goes on to Fairhaven to visit Brownells. Lizzie stays with Pooles.
July 23, 1892
Sat. Lizzie goes shopping alone in downtown New Bedford for 1 1/2 hours.
July 25, 1892
Monday- Lizzie makes a side trip to Marion to visit the yacht of Charles W. Anthony.
July 26, 1892
Tuesday- Lizzie and her hosts go to Westport; returned by way of New Bedford- Lizzie returns to Fall River.
July 31, 1892
Sunday- Bridget serves mutton for first time
Aug. 2, 1892
Tuesday-fried swordfish served for dinner. Supper is warmed-over fish, toasted bakers bread, tea, cake, and cookies.
Aug. 2/ 3, 1892
Andrew and Abby are sick.
Aug. 3, 1892
Wednesday- breakfast is pork steak, johnny cakes and coffee.
9 a.m.
Abby visits Dr. Bowen across the street.
Dr. Bowen tries to visit Andrew a.m.
Lizzie tells Bridget she had been sick.
Eli Bence claims Lizzie came to D. R. Smith’s drug store to buy prussic acid.
Boiled mutton and mutton soup for dinner. (supper is same soup warmed over, bread, cake, cookies and tea).
1:30 p.m.
Morse arrives, has dinner.
1:30 – 3 p.m.
Morse and Andrew talk.
3 – 4 p.m.
Morse leaves for the Swansea farm.
7 – 9 p.m.
Lizzie visits Alice Russell and recounts “littany of doom”. (past mischief about the house, fear of poisoning, father has enemies, seen suspicious characters lurking on premises. “I’m afraid but that someone will do something”). Said she would go to Marion, after all, on Monday.
8:30 p.m.
Morse returns.
9 p.m.
Lizzie returns from Alice’s house.
9:15 p.m.
Abby goes to bed.
10:00 p.m.
Andrew and Morse retire.
10:05 p.m.
Bridget returns from evening out; retires.
Aug. 4, 1892
Breakfast is cold mutton, mutton soup, johnny cakes, coffee, and fruit if wanted.
9 – 11:15 a.m.
Murder of Abby and of Andrew Borden.

Sources [s] and Resources [r] for Verification:
Caplain, Neilson, “Lizbits: Lizzie Borden Murder Case Pt. 1” (revised), Lizzie Borden Quarterly, Vol. VIII, Number 1, (Jan.2001). [s]
Duniho, Terence, “Borden Case,” private chronology, (unpublished). [s]
Koorey, Kat, “Borden Case,” private chronology, (partial), (unpublished). [s]
Rebello, Leonard, Lizzie Borden Past and Present. Fall River, Mass.: Al-Zach Press, 1999. [r]
Hoffman, Paul Dennis, Yesterday In Old Fall River, A Lizzie Borden Companion. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000. [r]
Stenographer’s Minutes, Commonwealth vs. Lizzie Borden, Preliminary Hearing, Vol. 1, 1892: Fall River Historical Society. [r]
Menus by Bridget Sullivan. [r]

Dedicated to T.D. and BZK.
Chronology © 2001 Kat Koorey