The following is from the NEHGS eNews:
It is with great sadness that we report that Ethel Farrington Smith, our longtime patron, friend, and former trustee, died August 20, 2005 at the age of 95.
Blanche Ethel Farrington was born March 26, 1910 at Arlington, Massachusetts, to physician Leander Morton and Blanche (Clough) Farrington. She graduated from Smith College in 1931 and received a master's degree at Columbia University in 1942. From 1937 to 1947 she was employed as a medical social worker at Columbia Presbyterian in New York City after which she served as a social worker in Idaho, Montana, and North Carolina, among other places. Harland Willard Hawes became Ethel’s first husband on March 27, 1951 in California. He died eight years later. On December 11, 1959 she took John Eldridge Smith as her second husband. That marriage lasted until his death in 1973.
Ethel was very active with the Girl Scouts of America, receiving a lifetime achievement award from that organization in 1990. She was a past board member of the Daughters of the Founders of Patriots of America (1976-1988), a longtime member and former president of the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society in Florida, and trustee of the New England Historic Genealogical Society from 1986 to 1989. She was a generous supporter of NEHGS during the troubled times of the 1980s, and she continued her assistance through the rest of her life. In recognition of her generosity, the Society dedicated the trustees room in her honor on October 25, 1993.
Ethel was a prolific writer, penning numerous articles for Ancestry (the magazine of the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society), The American Genealogist, The Mayflower Quarterly, and The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. For two decades she edited the Hawkes Talks newsletter for the Adam Hawkes Family Association, and in 1980 published Adam Hawkes of Saugus, Massachusetts with Gateway Press. In 2003 the Newbury Street Press published her impressive work Colonial American Doctresses. At the time of her death she was working on another title with Newbury Street Press, The History of Hull, Massachusetts, based on a series of articles previously published in the Register.
In a 2004 story about Colonial American Doctresses in the Quincy Patriot-Ledger, NEHGS executive director Ralph Crandall had this to say about his friend: “Ethel is extraordinary — an important scholar and a first-rate genealogist. She was independent-minded and modern way before the women’s movement. She chose what she wanted to do with her life and she pursued her dreams.”