After the foregoing Legends had passed through the press, there was received from a reader of the History of Bedford the following question:

“Why was Bedford called Dony?”

The answer is from the authority credited with the Legends. [*1] The early settlers, weary from their long journey to attend the service of worship, resolved to secure the incorporation of a new town, which involved the erection of a meeting house and the organization of a new church.

They were opposed by the people to the northward, but were more successful in their appeals in other directions. [*2]

The people to the southward not only gave cheerful assent, but they made gifts of money towards defraying the expenses of organization. [*3]

The agitators of the new town had sent out a cry for help and been successful, as were the inhabitants of Macedonia when they sought aid from Paul the apostle. [*4]

The pious zeal of some led them to select the name Macedonia for the new town. [*5] In failing to carry their point they manifested their gratitude for assistance by introducing the name Dony, forming the word by adding the colloquial ending y to the root of the Latin word Dono, to give. [^1][*6]


  • A. E. Brown’s “Dony” [1892]
    in Glimpses of old New England life (p 199)


  1. colloquial ∨ coloquial


  1. “the authority”: Brown’s grandmother: Rachel (Fitch) Brown
  2. “the people to the northward”: the inhabitants of Billerica
  3. “the people to the southward”: the inhabitants of Concord
  4. cf. KJV’s Acts 16:9-12
  5. This appears to be the only account of townspeople having contemplated naming the town Macedonia, and — as such — it may be wholly fictional.
    With that said: it is noteworthy that the first seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony — which reads “Come Over and Help Us” — had a similar origin.
  6. Dono” (i.e., “dōnō“) is actually Latin for “I give”, notto give”.
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