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Rick F.

This question made us feel like proper detectives. The short answer is ... yes, there is a connection! But it's perhaps more removed than you were hoping for. From what we can piece together, our story begins in England, 1580, with James Babcock (1580-1672). Sometime prior to 1612, he settled in the Plymouth/Westerly area of Rhode Island. His first son was born in Rhode Island — James Babcock Jr. (1612-1679) — and in 1644, James Jr. and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their firstborn, John Babcock (1644-1685), who went on to marry Mary Lawton. Mary gave birth to (yes, another) James Babcock (1663-1736), who was married twice: first to Elizabeth Saunders Babbit in 1687 (she died in 1730), then to Content Mason in 1731. This James Babcock — whose great grandfather was the original James — can be traced to both the UW Babcock and the Kingston, NY, Babcock. Stephen Moulton Babcock (1843-1931) is the UW's Babcock: on campus, he invented the test to measure the fat content of milk, and he's the one for whom Babcock Hall and the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant are named. Stephen was born in Bridgewater, New York, and his fourth great grandparents are James Babcock and Elizabeth Saunders Babcock. Unfortunately, the UW's line of Babcocks ends here: Stephen married in 1896 but didn't have any children. He did have a brother, Linn Boyd Babcock, but he only had one child who died before the age of one. Linn lived and died in Bridgewater. Now to the Babcock's Dairy of Kingston, New York. It looks like this particular dairy was in operation as early as the 1920s. A vintage bottle lists "C.J. Babcock" on it, which would have been Clarence J. Babcock, who was born in 1891. He had a daughter, Phyllis Babcock (1918-2010), who took over the family farm alongside her husband, George Silkworth. After Clarence died (around 1962), George and Phyllis sold the original plant and purchased a new spot of land down the road at 197 Hurley Avenue, Kingston, NY. Babcock Dairy formally filed for corporation in 1968 but let it expire in 1982 — two years prior to George's death (Phyllis died in 2010). So, how are they connected to the Babcock line? Clarence J. Babcock and Stephen Moulton Babcock have the same fourth great grandfather: James Babcock (1663-1736). Only, Stephen is a descendent from James's first wife, Elizabeth, while Clarence descends from his second wife, Content. In other words, Babcock's Dairy of Kingston, NY, is related to Babcock Dairy of Madison, WI, by about six generations.

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