Eddy Family

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Eddy Family, a family of spiritualists from Vermont

Writen and copyright 2007, by Will Johnson, wjhonson@aol.com, Professional Genealogist. All rights reserved.

Zephaniah Eddy, a farmer living at Weston, Vermont, married Julia Ann Macombs of Scotch descent, but born in the same town. About 1846, the family relocated to Chittenden. Mrs Eddy inherited the gift of clairvoyance from her mother (People, p23) and passed it on to three of her children.

A drawing of Mrs Z Eddy

Zephaniah Eddy by his wife Julia Macombs had eleven known children: John Westley 1832, Francis Lightfoot 1834/5, Maranda D 1836, William H 1838, Sophia Jane 1840, Horatio G 1842, Mary C 1844, James H 1846, Delia M 1850, Daniel Webster 1853, Alice Julia 1857

Side-by-side drawings of William H Eddy and Horatio G Eddy

According to Olcott, "...after the Rochester knockings of 1847 had ushered in the new dispensation of Spiritualism..." the father hired "three or four" of the children out to a showman who took them around various US cities and even to London. Some town names are mentioned "Lynn, Mass; South Danvers; West Cleveland, Ohio; Moravia, NY; Waltham, Mass; Dunville, Canada".

Later in the same book, Olcott states that the three hired out were William, Horatio and Mary. (People, p46)

On page 69, Olcott mentions, in such a way as to imply an exhaustive list, the siblings : "...William and Horatio and Mary and Delia and Webster...", but Sophia and Alice were also both living at the time, so I suppose they weren't touched, or perhaps they lived away from the homestead and Olcott has no interaction with them.

Here on page 159, the father Zephaniah is given a particular brutal mentality.

By 1874, the Eddy family had built a sort-of exhibition room that they called a "circle-room", in their house, where they gave their demonstrations of their powers. William Eddy was the main attraction. As Olcott reports, he would enter a small cabinet (like a modern-day closet) and then issuing out of the cabinet at various intervals would come all sorts of re-embodied people lately or long dead. Olcott reports these people were of both sexes, all heights from 6'3" to children as young as 1 year.

One spirit "Mrs Eaton" gives a prediction that on "... 19 Sep 1875, in the Eddy circle-room, spirits would materialize themselves in a brightly lighted room, and deliver orations as in life, with persons sitting all about them on the platform."


  • People from the Other World, by Henry Steel Olcott. American Publishing Company, Hartford, Connecticut. 1875. 492 pages. Most of this book (the first 400 pages) are dedicated to describing the events at the Eddy Homestead in Chittenden, Vermont, from Aug 1874 to Dec 1874.
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