According to the information that my cousin had found in Centennial History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania by Rhamanthus M. Stocker (originally printed in 1884), Della (Cordelia or Cordilla) Pickering was the daughter of Corbett Pickering of Gibson, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. According to the scant mention of her in the book that she was married to a "Frank Guam" and that she died in Michigan, this Pickering family had previously lived in New York State and was descended of Puritans in Salem, Massachusetts.

From the History of Susquehanna County:

"Jotham and Phineas Pickering, brothers, settled in New Milford [Pennsylvania] from Massachusetts, in 1793. Five years later, in 1798, they settled in Gibson, the latter at Gelatt Hollow. He had sons,-Augustus, Joseph and John B. The former, Jotham, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, resided on Gibson Hill and died at about fifty years of age. His children were...Corbet (1796-1876), father of John D....Corbet, fourth son of Jotham Pickering, married Tamar Denny,...Corbet resided for fifteen years after his marriage in North Gibson, and in 1833 settled on the Tunkhannock, a mile below South Gibson, where he erected a saw-mill in 1835 and a grist-mill about 1848. Here he spent the remainder of his life, running his mills and managing his farm. He served in the War of 1812, and went as far as Danville. Both himself and wife were members of the Baptist Church and attended at Gelatt Hollow. Their child are... Cordilla, was the wife of Frank Gaum, and died in Michigan..."

Corbet Pickering's daughter appears on the 1850 census for Gibson, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania as "Cordelia", age 10 and in the 1860 census she is listed as age 18.

My cousin writes:

It was Potter Pickering's son Byron who moved to Wisconsin. At least he was on the 1870 census living in Waushara Co WI. Potter was the brother of Cordelia's father. In 1860, Potter was living in Leonidas, St Joseph County Michigan. Potter could have also moved to Wisconsin for a while. His wife is buried in the Gibson Cemetery. The book says Potter died in Glennwood. It doesn't say what state. We did not find his grave. His son Byron and Cordelia grew up in the same area and as cousins it's safe to assume they might have been close. If you take a map and draw a line from Gibson, PA through Stark County, through St Joseph Co MI to Waushara Co Wisconsin, you have a fairly straight line of progression. I have attached a copy of the 1860 census of Leonidas with Potter on it, and a copy of the 1870 census with Byron. If Cordelia died in Michigan as the book states, then she probably was in Leonidas or on the way there, or while leaving from there! Anyway it's our next great mystery to solve. On Sept 1, 1856 Potter Pickering filed on 40 acres of land. The claim was filed at Stevens Point Wisconsin. The land description was: 1 SWSE  4th PM - 1831 Minnesota/Wisconsin No 20 N 8 E 7

As for Della's (or Cordelia's) daughter, Della Gaume, the U.S. Census of 1870 for Stark Co., Ohio shows Delah Gum, age 2, living with her grandmother, Eliza Gum. The U.S. Census of 1880 for Stark Co., Ohio shows Delly Gaum, age 12, living with grandmother, Elise Gaum.

If Della Pickering, mother of Della Gaume DeBacker, is indeed the daughter Corbett Pickering of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania then this would mean that I am a descendent of Puritans who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1630's.

Following the line back from the Pickering brothers, Jotham and Phineas, who were settled in Pennsylvania after the Revolutionary War, it was quite easy to trace the family back, through a variety of sources, to one John Pickering who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in the late 1630's.

John Pickering was born in 1615 near Newgate in Conventry, Warwick, England. He emigrated in 1634 from England landed first at Ipswich, Massachusetts. He lived from 1634 to 1637 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth ___ in 1636 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He lived from 1637 to 1657 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a carpenter (built houses and repaired bridges) in Salem. He bought land that was then called "Broad Field" and built a house in 1641 that was still standing, at least as late as 1874, at 18 Broad Street, Salem. He died on July 1, 1657 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.

John Pickering is not to be confused with John Pickering of Portsmouth and Piscataqua in New Hampshire who lived during the same time. Nor is he the same person as Sir John Pickering, son of Gilbert Pickering of Tichmarsh, Northhamption, England, whose son John was baronet of Nova Scotia.

John Pickering is possibly son of Edward Pickeringe of London. From will of Edward Pickeringe, 1 July 1623, proved 26 August 1623.

"To my loving and dear wife Mary Pickering eight hundred pounds. To my dear and tender father John Pickering one hundred and fifty pounds, to be kept in the hands of my executors &c. and disposed of for his benefit. I give unto my dear child John Pickering, my first born son, three hundred pounds. Similar bequests to daughters Sinseare and Mary Pickering. To Francis Stubb my brother in law fifty pounds. "Item. I give unto that hopefull worke begann in Newe England, to be employed and laved out for the benefitt and helpinge ouer those Englishe people whoe dwell in Laydon thether with the first fiftie poundes" To Randall Thickins, my loving friend, ten pounds. To certain friends here in London ten pounds (if the accounts prove overplus). The residue to be divided equally into five equal portions to be distributed between my wife, my father and my three children. I appoint my friends Mr. James Sherley and Mr. Richard Androwes for executors and my good friend and brother Mr. Thomas White and Mr. John Stubbe for overseers."

The above will of Edward Pickering, of course, is only suggestive. From it, it appears that in 1623 his son John Pickering was a child and probably was born not far from 1615, the date of birth of John Pickering of Salem in New England.

 John Pickering of Salem had a 19th century descendant named John Pickering whose daugheter wrote in 1874:

Among the early settlers in the town of Salem, Mass., formerly called Naumkeag by the Indians, was John Pickering, who emigrated from England, where he was born about the year 1615. A tradition has always been handed down in the family that he came from Yorkshire, although there is no written record to establish the fact. The name of Pickering has, however, been associated with that locality in England, and with the moors and forest of Pickering there, from the time of King Henry VIII., when the "noble domain of Byland Abbey was granted by him to Sir William Pickering," down to the present day, when the town of Pickering is met with by the traveller in Yorkshire, in the vicinity of the celebrated watering-places of Scarborough and Whitby. The earliest authentic information relating to our English ancestor is contained in the Salem Town Records, where the following entry is found: - "Seventh Of 12 Mo., 1636. " Jno. Pickering, Carpenter, granted to be [an] inhabitant." Two years afterwards, according to_the same Records, " on the fourth of 12th month, 1638," John Endicott, Roger Conant, and others contracted with him to build a meeting-house, specifying that it was to be " twenty- five feet long and the breadth of the old building, with six sufficient windows, and to be finished with daubings and glasse and underpining with stone or brick, with carridge and all things necessary, by the said Jno. Pickering." Few facts connected with his private history remain to us. In 1651 he built the Pickering mansion, which is now standing in Salem (No. 18 Broad Street), and which has been in the possession of his descendants to the present time. A deed from Emanuel Downing ( father of Sir George Downing, of London) to the same John Pickering, dated in 1642, conveys to him a part of the estate in Salem which descended in the Pickering family, and of which a large portion has been laid out in streets and sold in house-lots within the two centuries since elapsed. The original deed, signed by Emanuel Downing and Lucie his wife, is carefully preserved in the family. The name of the first John Pickering's wife was Elizabeth, as seen by a record; but of her surname and personal history nothing is now known. They were married about the year 1636, and he died about the year 1655. They had two sons. The eldest son, John, born in 1637, married Alice Flint* in 1657; and these were the great-grandparents of Colonel Timothy Pickering, the grandfather of the writer of these memoranda, - which are here recorded by me out of regard to the interest always felt by the family, and especially by my father, in the personal history and dwelling-place of our ancestors.

18 Broad Street, Salem, Mass., February 25, 1874. Mary Orne Pickering."

John Pickering and Elizabeth ___ had four children that we know of and one of whom was given the name of his father:

John Pickering (junior) was born on July 5, 1637 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Alice Flint, daughter of William Flint and Alice Williams, in 1657 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He began military service in 1675 in Massachusetts He was a lieutenant in Captain Samuel Appleton's company in 1675-6, and under Captain Moseley went to the rescue of Captain Lathrop's company at Bloody Brook (Deerfield), 1675. He was granted land in 1680 in Casco Bay. He left a will in Salem:

To his wife Alice: He left the eastern portion of his dwelling, til her death or remarriage, whichever came first - a large portion of land, 1/3 of the great barn and outhouses. Along with a negro girl, called Maria. He also bequeathed, to Alice, several pounds per year, to be paid to her, by her sons John, William and Benjamin, until her death or remarriage. To his son John: He left the house, he dwelt in, on Broad St. All his Broad St. fields; the orchard and farm lands; and half the land in Lynn, Massachusetts, on the Salem bounds. To Benjamin and William: He left the house that his son John now dwelt in; also, the land called South-fields; More Lot, Adams Lot; the Marsh at Forrest River and two-thirds of the land in Salem and Lynn Counties, to be divided equally between them. To Elizabeth & Hannah, his daughters; John left 40 pounds each, to be received when and if they married and 'only' 'if they married with the approval and consent of their mother.' If not The money was to remain with his son John, 'til a need required.' To his grandchildren, already born: 12 shillings a piece to buy a Silver Spoon, when they become of age or marry. John appointed his son John and his wife Alice executors of his estate with a strong warning to all his heirs, as follows. 'In case differences should occur between my executors or legatees relating to anything contained in my last will and testament, my order and divine will is; That ye justices of Peace, in ye town of Salem make final issue of ye same, according to the law, whom I earnestly request, to take the trouble upon themselves and In the case any that are named in this Will, refuse to set down satisfied, with what shall be determined; that they lose their legacy herein and be given 5 shillings only, of my estate.'.

He died on May 5, 1694 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, at age 56.

Alice Flint was born in 1640 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. She married Henry Bullock Jr. before 1657. She married John Pickering, son of John Pickering and Elizabeth ___, in 1657 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. She died on March 4, 1713 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.

John and Alice Pickering had nine children. Their son Benjamin William Pickering was a ggg-grandfather of Cordelia Pickering. John and Alice's eldest son, also named John Pickering, was the grandfather of Timothy Pickering (1745-1829), who was Secretary of State under John Adams. Cordelia Pickering and Timothy Pickering would then be 2nd cousins three times removed.

Benjamin William Pickering was born on January 15, 1665/66 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He fought in King Phillip's War in 1676 in Massachusetts. He married Jane Hobby, daughter of William Hobby and Ann ___, on April 27, 1693 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He was shipwright and mariner in Salem, Massachusetts. He died on January 12, 1718 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, at age 51.

Jane Hobby was born circa 1672 in Plymouth, England. She married Benjamin William Pickering, son of John Pickering and Alice Flint, on April 27, 1693 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. She died in 1750 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.

Benjamin and Jane Pickering had seven children. Their second son, Edward Pickering, was Cordelia Pickering's gg-grandfather.

Edward Pickering was born on November 18, 1701 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Hannah Bancroft, daughter of John Bancroft and Elizabeth Eaton, on March 12, 1724 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He was a husbandman (raised sheep). He moved to Mendon, Massachusetts circa 1734. He died before May, 1788 in Mendon, Massachusetts.

Hannah Bancroft, daughter of John Bancroft & Elizabeth Eaton and grand-daughter of Elizabeth Kendall, was born on March 5, 1702 in Lynnfield, Essex, Massachusetts. She died on October 19, 1764 in Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts, at age 62 and was buried in Pine Hill Cem, Mendon, Massachusetts. The pedigree of Hannah Bancroft's mother and grandmother is discussed in detail starting on page 192.

Edward and Hannah had eight children. Their son, Jonathan Pickering, was Cordelia Pickering's great-grandfather.

Jonathan Pickering was born on April 3, 1736 in Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Hunt on February 28, 1760 in Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts. He died circa April, 1832 in Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Children of Jonathan Pickering and Elizabeth Hunt were:

  • 1. Jotham Pickering b. c 1761, d. c 1809
  • 2. Phebe Pickering b. 6 Aug 1763, d. 1 Jan 1829
  • 3. David Pickering b. c 1768, d. 24 Nov 1848
  • 4. Preserved Pickering b. c 1770, d. b 22 May 1832
  • 5. Phineas Pickering b. 1771, d. 1849

Their son, Jotham Pickering, was Cordelia's grandfather.

Jotham Pickering was born circa 1761 in Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts. A Jotham Pickering of Mendon appears in list of men mustered by Thomas Newhall, Muster master of Worcester Co. to serve in the Continental Army for the term of 9 months...

...said Pickering appears among men belonging to Capt Nelson's co. and other companies in Col. Wood's regt.; engaged for town of Mendon; also, [there is a] descriptive list of men raised in Worcester Co to serve in the Continental Army for the term of nine months from the time of their arrival in Fishkill, agreeable to resolve of April 20, 1778, returned as received by Andrew Haskell, at Leicester, June 2, 1778; Capt Peter Penniman's co, Col EzraWood's regt; age 17 years statue, 6 ft; complexion dark; hair, dark brown; eyes, dark; residence Mendon; engaged for the town of Mendon; arrived at Fishkill June 7, 1778; also, [a] list of men returned as recieved of Jonathan Warner, Commissioner, by Col R Putnam, July 20, 1778; also, a list of men returned as mustered by Henry Rutgers, Deputy Muster Master, dated Fishkill, Aug 1, 1778. Also the Centennial History of Susquehanna County - Stocker 1887 p 219 Listing of those going to (participating in) the American Revolution includes one Jotham Pickering.

He also appears in a list of men from Mendon, Massachusetts in Rhode Island service, under Capt. Samuel Hamant.

He married Alice Pickering, daughter of Edward Pickering and Abigail Chase, on November 12, 1781 in Mendon, Essex, Massachusetts. Notes found in a GEDCOM file state that Jotham and his wife, Alice, were first cousins. Indeed Alice was the daughter of Edward who was son of Edward Pickering and brother of Jonathan Pickering.

From History of Susquehanna County:

"Jotham Pickering and his brother Phineas, from Massachusetts originally, came to what is now Gibson, in 1798 from a farm now owned by Mr. Wellman in New Milford, to which they had come in 1793. Corbet, son of Jotham, stated in an article published in the 'Montrose Republican' that his father was 'the second inhabitant of Gibson', but as he also stated positively, that he was five years on the place where he began in 1793, his memory failed him in regard to the settlement of Gibson, as proved by the diary of Deacon Chamberlin. The farm of JP was less than half a mile east of Kennedy Hill, to which he came with the purpose of uniting his family of children with those of Capt Potter, to establish a school. The advantages they were able to command must have been limited as it is asserted the first teacher in Gibson did not know how to write. Mr. C Pickering says - At that time Gibson was indeed a wilderness, and without a figure might have been styled a howling wilderness, because upon every hand, at all times of day or night, could be heard the melancholy howl of the wolf and very often the piercing screech of the panther. Truly those were the times that tried men's nerves, if not their souls. At this time, moreover, there were no mills nearer than Wilkes-Barre and it was some years before we had the advantage of any other process of grinding than that of a hard wood stump, dug out in the form of a mortar, while the pestle, with which we pounded our corn, somewhat resembled a modern handspike. But we could not afford so tedious a process in manufacturing our rye; so we put on the big kettle, and boiled a quantity of what is, in these days of improvement, called whiskey seeds; and really we found rye and milk much more palatable than rye and kerosene. The first mill that I can remember was ten miles distant, nearly every step of the way in woods; and the boy that had sufficient nerve and muscle, had the exalted privilege of mounting a bag of corn, which had first been mounted on horseback, and taking up his tedious pilgrimage to the gristmill."

"[Regarding the Pickering Family]... Few if any families in Susquehanna County are more truly representative of the early pioneer years than the Pickering's. In 1795, two brothers, Jotham and Phineas Pickering, left their homes in Mendon, Mass., and settled in the wilderness in what is now New Milford township. In 1796 they removed to what is now Gibson Township.   Jotham Pickering and his wife, Elsie, and family, located in the wilderness on a 100-acre tract now known as the Ira Washburn farm, between Smiley and Kennedy Hill, and Phineas settled in Gelatt Hollow. Jotham changed his location to be near the family of Captain Potter, the only other settler in the locality at the time, who had located near Kennedy Hill - the first portion of the township to be occupied, in order that by uniting the two families, school advantages for the children might be obtained. There were no mills nearer than Wilkes-Barre. Wolves at night filled the surrounding forests with echoing howls, and the piercing shrieks of the prowling panther were often heard. Jotham had served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. By trade he was a carpenter. After his migration to Gibson township, he remained there until his death, which occurred in 1809, when he was about fifty years of age, and he was buried in a private cemetery in Gibson township. He had five sons and four daughters, as follows: Henry , who migrated to New Hope, Brown Co OH; John, a farmer and sawmill owner of Nicholson township; Preserved, who is mentioned below; Corbett, born in 1797, who married Tamar Denny, and died in Gibson township, in 1876; Leah, wife of William Tripp, of Gibson; Mrs. Aden Cramer of Clifford township; Nabby Ann, wife of Henry Miller of Gibson; and Polly, wife of James Waterman of Mt Pleasant, Wayne Co. "

Jotham Pickering died circa 1809 in Gibson Hill, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

There is no Jotham Pickering listed as residing in Mendon in the 1790 to 1850 Census. However; Jotham is mentioned in the Annals of Mendon and he and Jonathan are living on the same land. There was a Jonathan, who lived in the 6th district near the School House that was located at the foot of the now Pickering Rd. Hill, called South Mendon, at that time. Jotham & Phineas Pickering, brothers, settled in New Milford from Massachusetts in 1793. Five years later, in 1798, they settled in Gibson, the latter at Gelatt Hollow. He had sons - Augustus, Joseph and John B. The former, Jotham, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, resided on Gibson Hill and died at about fifty years of age. His children were Henry, went to Ohio; John, resided in Gibson for many years, removed to Nicholson, where he built a saw mill, and resided until his death; Preserved, resided adjoining the homestead in Gibson, had a son William, whose son Alden S. is the present proprietor of the hotel at South Gibson; Corbet (1796-1876) father of John D.; Potter, resided in Gibson and died in Glennwood; Leah, wife of WilliamTripp, of Gibson; Mrs Aden Cramer, of Clifford; Nabby Ann, A Mrs. Miller of Gibson; and Polly, wife of James Waterman, of Mt. Pleasant, Wayne county.

The children of Jotham Pickering and Alice Pickering were:

  • 1. Leah Pickering b. 1782
  • 2. Henry Pickering b. c 1783
  • 3. ? Pickering b. 1784
  • 4. Nabby Ann Pickering b. 4 May 1786, d. 22 Mar 1867
  • 5. John Pickering b. 20 Oct 1790, d. 22 Jan 1857
  • 6. Preserved Pickering b. 29 Aug 1795, d. 24 Mar 1866
  • 7. Corbett Pickering b. c 1798, d. 8 Jan 1878
  • 8. Potter Pickering b. c 1800, d. c 1866
  • 9. Polly Pickering b. 1804, d. Nov 1883

Corbett Pickering was born circa 1798 in New Milford, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He was a veteran of the War of 1812 and served as a private in Montgomery's (134th) Regiment of the Pennsylvania militia. He married Tamar Denny, daughter of Dr. John Denny, on September 17, 1818 in Gelatt Hollow, Gibson Co., Pennsylvania. He lived in 1850 in Gibson, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He lived in 1860 in Gibson, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He lived in 1870 in Gibson, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He died on January 8, 1878 in Glenwood, Pennsylvania.

From History of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania:

"...Long prior to this the sons of the pioneers began to figure on the tax lists. Corbet Pickering, now of South Gibson, came of age in 1818, and lived at Gelatt Hollow, where he then married a daughter of Dr. Denny. This now aged couple recently celebrated their golden wedding and from Mr. P's published account of it is copied a part of his statements respecting his family: 'We have raised up a large family of children, 11 of whom are now living and 4 have gone to the better land. Our grandchildren now number 52, our great-grandchildren 9, and peace seems to reign on every hand. Ours was no ordinary pleasure on the 17th of Sept 1868, when, sitting at the table spread with the good things of life, in company with most of our children, and many of our neighbors, numbering in all over 100.'."

Tamar Denny was born in 1802 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. She married Corbett Pickering, son of Jotham Pickering and Alice Pickering, on September 17, 1818 in Gelatt Hollow, Gibson Co., Pennsylvania. She died on February 16, 1890 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

Dr. John Denny, father of Tamar, was born circa 1775 probably in Hudson River Valley of lower New York.  He married Esther Corbet before 1813.  He died on February 18, 1835 in Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania.

Richard Denney, father of John Denny, married Aseneth Booth.  He was born circa 1745.  He appeared on the census of 1790 in Phillipstown, Duchess Co., New York.  He appeared on the census of 1820 in Phillipstown, Duchess Co., New York.  He died on July 28, 1825 in Philipstown, Putnam Co., New York. Aseneth Booth was born in 1742 in Putnam Valley, New York.  She died in 1828 in Putnam Valley, New York.

It was Corbett Pickering who was the father of Cordelia Pickering and it was his brother, Potter who settled briefly in Michigan. Both of Potter's sons, Ephraim and Byron settled in Wisconsin either during or shortly after the Civil War.

Not only is there a connection between Cordelia Pickering and Frank Gaume, but as I discovered later there was also a connection between Byron Pickering and Frank Gaume - both were present at the Battle of Stone's River in late 1862/early 1863.

Byron Pickering was born in 1841 in South Gibson, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He lived in 1850 in Gibson, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He lived in 1860 in Leonidas, St Joseph, Michigan. Between August 24, 1861 and August 22, 1864 Byron Pickering was a private in Co. A, 11th Infantry Regiment of Michigan. He enlisted at Centerville, Michigan and his residence at that time was St. Joseph, Michigan. He was wounded in action Nov., 1863. He was discharged for wounds on 22 August 1864 at Detroit, Michigan. The 11th Infantry Regiment of Michigan was part of the order of battle at the Battle of Stones River (Tenn.) from 30 Dec 1862 to 3 Jan 1863. From September 28, 1864 to July 3, 1865 Byron Pickering was a private in 4th Battery, (1st Wisconsin) Light Artillary. He lived in 1870 in Plainfield, Waushara, Wisconsin. He lived in 1900 in Sherwood, Clark, Wisconsin. He died on January 11, 1920 in Crane, Montana.

From a description of the 11th Infantry Regiment Michigan:

The Eleventh participated in the advance upon Murfreesboro and was in the fiercest fighting at Stone River. Negley's Division, the Second, was in the center of the Union line and was stoutly assailed by the enemy in such overwhelming numbers as to force it back toward the Murfreesboro pike. The Eleventh fought gallantly and the many casualties of the regiment attested the severity of the contest. The Eleventh was one of the first regiments to cross Stone River, and was among the troops that captured a Confederate battery which had been abandoned when the Confederates were driven from the field. During January, 1863, the Eleventh was detached from its Division and placed upon provost duty at Murfreesboro, and remained there until the following June, when the advance was made upon Tullahoma.

Bryon's elder brother, Ephraim was also present at Stones River in 1863 - "Long prior to the war, Mr. Pickering advocated the abolition of slavery and in 1863, he enlisted in the 8th Wisconsin Light Artillery. He participated in the siege of Murfresboro and the battle of Stone River, but was mostly engaged in garrison duty during his service of eighteen months."

The incident of union troops crossing Stones River and capturing Confederate artilliary is the same incident that Frank Gaume's unit participated in on the afternoon of January 2, 1863 (see American Civil War - The Blue). So, it may very well be likely that Frank Gaume and Byron Pickering met during Civil War and it is through her cousin that Della Pickering came to meet Frank Gaume.

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