George Hardy

George HARDY Jr (1661 – 1694) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line

George Hardy was born in 1661 in Hampton, Rockingham, NH.  Many genealogies say parents were George HARDY Sr. and Mary JACKSON, but don’t say how he got from Virginia to New Hampshire.  

There were other Hardys in New England.  Thomas Hardy, who was one of twelve men specially chosen by Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633 to settle a plantation at Agawam, now Ipswich, signed a protest against the departure of John Winthrop, Jr., to go to Connecticut soon after the settlement was completed, and became a most influential citizen. His brother John, of Salem, Massachusetts, was Town Clerk in 1674… (“Hardy and Hardie, Past and Present”, 1935, Authored by H. Claude Hardy, Ph.D. of White Plains, N.Y. and Rev. Edwin Noah Hardy, Ph.D., of Greenwitch, Connecticut, excerpts from pages 18-21)

George married Mary FOGG 24 Nov 1686 in Newbury, Mass. George died 6 Dec 1694 in Newbury, Mass.

Mary Fogg was born 1 May 1662 in Hampton, Rockingham, NH.  Her parents were Samuel FOGG and Ann SHAW.  After George died, she married Benjamin Poore on 13 Apr 1696 in Newbury, Mass and had two more children. Mary died 8 Aug 1707 in Newbury, Mass.

Benjamin Poore was born 22 Feb 1666 in Essex, Essex, Mass. His parents were Samuel Poore and Rebecca Church. After Mary died, Benjamin married (2)  Dorothy Pillsbury 24 Feb 1707/08 in Newbury, Essex, MA.  She was born 09 Apr 1675 in Newbury, Essex, MA, and died 25 Mar 1755 in Newbury, Essex, MA. Benjamin died 1 DEC 1737 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Children of Joseph and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary HARDY 2 Feb 1691/92
Newbury, Mass
6 Dec 1707
Newbury, Mass
4 Nov 1747
Salisbury, Mass

Children of Mary and Benjamin Poore:

Name Born Married Departed
2. Sarah Poore 6 Sep 1697 Newbury, Mass Philip Flood
1 Mar 1721/22
Newbury, Mass.
Richard Drain (Urain)
22 Nov 1742
Newbury, Mass.
3. Ann Poore 31 Oct 1700
Newbury, Mass.
Edmund Cheney
16 Sep 1748 Newbury, Mass.
15 Jul 1762 “of Consumption & Dropsy.”

Early New England Hardys

Thomas Hardy was born in England, in about 1605, and died in Bradford, Massachusetts, Jan  4, 1677.  Most of the writers of Hardy history agree that he came to America with Governor Winthrop in 1630.  Unfortuantly the passenger list of that fleet of eleven ships bringing about 1,000 persons was lost.  Later immigrants are accounted for and so we can safely assume that he was with that group.  In 1732/33 , Thomas Hardy and his wife were among the thirteen families who joined in the settlement of Afawam, under the leadership of John Winthrop, Jr.  The members of this party had been carefully selected by the Board of Assisants of the Bay State, before Jan. 17, 1732/33.  They were young men who were friends.

This new settlement of Agawam, later known as Ipswich, was important, for the French were pushing in and the Bay Colony knew it was necessary to occupy the area.  As there were no roads, the trip would have had to be made in small boats along the coast.  Presumably their wives did not accompany them at first.  Agawam had been cleared by the Indians and hence it was not the wilderness home that many early settlers knew.

The first house was erected by “Thomas Hardee”, probably in 1634.  He and his wife were members of the church which was organized in Ipswich.

In 1653, he moved to Rowley, later known as Groveland.  Ten years later he moved to Bradford, where he owned one thousand acres of exceptionally good land.  In 1676, Thomas and two sons, Thomas, Jr. and John, gave two acres of land for the village church in Bradford.  Lydia, his first wife (maiden name unknown), was buried in Haverhill, and he was buried in the Old burial ground in Bradford.  His second wife, Ann (maiden name unknown) survived him by eleven years.

Children of Thomas Hardy and Lydia Lyd possibilities for George’s real father, they would have been the right age:

i. Thomas Hardy (1635 – 1716) m. Mercy Tenney (1644 – 1730)

ii. Sarah Hardy (1637 – 1684)

iii. Corporal Joseph Hardy (1642 – 1727) Called “Corporal”, no record of his wife or children.  He willed his property in 1723 to the children of his brother, Jacob, especially mentioning his nephew Joseph, but reserved the use of it for himself until his death.  He probably was the “Joseph Hardy” admitted to the Bradford church on June 26 1720.

iv. Deacon William Hardy (1643 – 1728) m. 3 May 1678 in Bradford, Mass to Ruth Tenney (1653 – 1689)

v. Mary Hardy (1644 – 1678)

vi. John Hardy (1646 – 1715) m. 2 Apr 1667 in Bradford, Mass to Mary Jackman (1644 – 1689)

vii. Jacob Hardy (1649 – 1706) m. 1685 Haverhill, Mass to Lydia Eaton (1662 – 1737)

George took the “Oath of Allegiance” in 1678.


1. Mary HARDY (See Joseph LOWELL‘s page)

2. Sarah Poore

Sarah’s first husband Philip Flood was born 24 APR 1700 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Philip Flood and Mary Carteret.

Sarah’s second husband Richard Drain (Urain)

3. Ann Poore

Ann’s husband Edmund Cheney was born 29 Jun 1696 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were John Cheney and Mary Chute. His grandparents were James CHENEY and Mary WOOD. He first married before 1715 to Mary Plummer (b. 1694 in Rowley, Mass – d. 28 Jun 1748 Newbury) Edmund died 14 Mar 1761 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Edmund and Ann were members of the Byfield Parish church, and there their children were baptized. He was bred to the business of a miller and fuller. His father conveyed to him a house and land in the town of Newbury at the outset of his business career; but he had the spirit of adventure, and in 1723 sold this, and removed to the Squadron river in Weston [aftwerward Sudbury,” buying a place of Josiah Brewer Dec. 4, 1723. Here he ground the farmers’ grain, carded and fulled their cloth for some years, but returned about 1730 to his old home, where he finished his days. He d. “of a Consumptive Disorder” March 14, 1761, having lived an upright, enterprising, useful life.


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Posted in 11th Generation, Line - Miller | Tagged , | 4 Comments

John Goodale

John GOODALE (1563 -1625 )  was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miller line.

John Goodale born about 1563 in Downham Norfolk, England.  He was the son of Thomas GOODALE. He married Bridget Portler on 21 Sep 1588 at Downham, England.  Bridget  bore him seven children and was buried at Downham on 24 Nov 1607.  After Bridget died, but before 1610 he married a young widow, Elizabeth PARLETT.  John was a chandler of Stadsett, Great Yarmouth, England and died there  7 Jul 1625.

John Goodale – Coat of Arms

Bridget Portler was born 1567 in Stradsett, Norfolk, England. Bridget Portler’s  family were yeomen from Stradsett, a parish two or three miles east of Downham. A review of a number of Portler contemporary wills do not make a connected pedigree as Bridgett Portler is not mentioned in these wills. Bridget died 24 Nov 1607 in Downham, Norfolk, England

Elizabeth Parlett was born 1584 in Stradsett, Norfolk, England.  She was a widow when she married John Goodale, but the first name of her Taylor husband is not known and the two Taylor children, Peter and Susan, were not baptized in Downham.   Elizabeth came to  Newbury, Mass on the Mary Anne in 1637. With her came Ann, Susanna, Joanna and Elizabeth. John was a chandler [one who made or sold candles].  Elizabeth died 8 Apr 1647 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.  Administer of her estate granted March 27, 1648, and re-affirmed by General Court 31 May, 1652, to her sons-in-law Abraham Toppan and John Lowle.

The Parletts were also from Stradsett and in the process of raising from yeomanry to gentry. The Parletts were related to the Portlers as their wills show but examination of nine of these wills fails to identify Elizabeth Parlett Taylor Goodale. There was a relationship between the Parletts and the Goodales with Francis and William Parlett being witnesses of Richard Goodale’s will. As such the date of birth and ancestry of Elizabeth Parlett is uncertain.

Children of John and Bridget Portler are:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Frances Goodale 28 Jan 1590 William Marsten of Martham, Norfolk Aug 1652
Hemsby, Norfolk
2. Ellen Goodale 28 Apr 1591 prior to 1625
3. John Goodale 10 Mar 1593 31 May 1593
4. Richard Goodale 29 Jun 1594 Dorothy Whittrents  1666 Salisbury, Mass.
5. Thomas Goodale 25 Nov 1596 10 Dec 1596 at Downham
6. Rebecca Goodale  2 Jul 1598 Walter Moorefleete
21 Jun 1626 Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
7. Elizabeth Goodale  c. 1600 2 Jan 1603 Dowmham
8. Joanna Goodale  c. 1604 4 Jun 1677 Newbury, Mass
9. Ann Goodale 1608 Downham Edward French 9 Mar 1682/83 Salisbury, Mass.
10. Susanna Goodale 1607 Norwich Abraham Tappan 20 Mar 1688/89 Newbury, Mass.


Children of John and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
11. John Goodale 11 Nov 1610 Living in England in 1647 when his mother died
12. Christopher Goodale 17 Dec 1611 Living in 1625
13. Elizabeth GOODALE 5 Jun 1614, probably Yarmouth, England. John LOWELL
1640 in Newbury, Mas
23 Apr 1651 in Newbury, Mass.
14. Thomas Goodale 29 Mar 1616 Not mentioned in his father’s will
15. Hester Goodale 15 April 1618
Yarmouth, England.
Before 1625
Yarmouth, England.
16. Joseph Goodale 15 Apr 1618 Living in 1625
17. Mordechaus Goodale 11 Oct 1620 Living in 1625
18. Benjamin Goodale 11 October 1620 Before 1625

The family name Goodale  applied to the maker or seller of good ale, i.e., a bewer or tavern keeper.

Our lineage commences with Thomas Goodale, the Elder who was born in the 1530’s and died prior to 03 Oct 1588, Both at Downham, Norfolk which is located in the far western end of the county and a few miles south of Kings Lynn. We know few specifics of his life. However Thomas , the Elder, had a brother, Richard, who made a will on 12 July 1587 which was proved 03 October which does provide a fair amount of information.

Richard Goodale, a tallow chandler of Downham Market, first directed that he be buried in the churchyard of Downham and made misc bequeaths to the poor. He then made a bequest of forty shillings for each of four young men who were not yet twenty years of age, i.e., Robert Goodale, son of Thomas Goodale, the Elder, Richard Goodale, son of John Goodale, and Thomas and William Goodale, sons of Thomas Goodale, the Younger. To John Goodale, son of Thomas Goodale, the Elder, he left a messuage, bought from Richard Danbye, in Downham Market upon condition that he pay Richard Goodale the nine pounds bequeathed to him by John Goodale, his father. He named John Goodale, “my nephew”, his residuary legatee and executor. Witnesses: Fraunces Parlett, William Lyffen, William Parlett. From the above we find that Thomas Goodale, the Elder, had two brothers, i.e.. Richard and John; that Thomas Goodale, the Elder, had three sons, i.e., John, Robert, and Thomas, the Younger; finally, John Goodale, brother of Thomas, the Elder, had a son Richard and that Thomas, the Younger, had two sons, Thomas and William. The commonality of names does create some confusion.

John Goodale was a wealthy chandler (a maker and seller of goods including maybe ale?) Who resided, from about 1613 until his death in 1625, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, the famous port of herring fishery. His will, dated 25 June 1625, was proved 24 September 1625 by Elizabeth (Parlett Taylor) Goodale, executrix with power reserved to John Goodale, the son, executor.

John signed a will on 25 Jun 1625.

(John Goodale of Great Yarmouth, chandler, after the usual religious preamble, left to the poor of Yarmouth 30 shillings and the same sum to the poor of Downham. To his son Richard Goodall “if now living,” he gave £6 yearly for life, and £10 at age 35. He made bequests also to daughter Rebecca, “my now wife Elizabeth,” who received “all my houses and lands in Norfolk, Lincolnshire or elsewhere, free and copyhold, until the children I had by her attain the age of 21, she to keep the premises in good repair and educate and maintain the children.” He made bequests to his wife’s children Peter and Susan Taylor, and to his son John Goodall, “my eldest son by this wife,” at age 21 all his lands, houses and fish-houses in Yarmouth and lands in Ormesby, Scroutby, and Potter Heigham, he paying to his brother Richard and sister Rebecca their yearly portions. To his son Christopher he left lands and houses in Downham Market, Denver, Bexwell, and Wimbotsham, at age 21, and to son Joseph all lands and houses in Wybberton, Boston, and Frampton in Lincolnshire at 21, and also £20. To his youngest son Mordechaus, he left the houses and lands of Edward Atfen in Runham and Philbie, and £100 at age 21. His daughter Elizabeth was to have £100 at 21 years or her marriage “if to the liking of her mother and her brother John.” Youngest daughter Marie was to have £100 at age 21 or marriage, which was to be out at 6 per cent interest for her when she reached age 12 until she became 21.

He mentioned also cousin Richard Goodall’s son of Lynn; Mr. George Hardware senior of this town, my loving friend; cousin William Parlett senior of Downham, my cloth gown lined with lamb skins. To John Preste my godson and son to Robert Preste, late of Downham, 20s at age 21. To my maid Marie Underwood, 6s 8d. To John Searles senior of this town, for remembrance of our loves, 20s. To Frances Marston, my daughter, wife of William Marston, late of Martham, in lieu of £55, the residue of £65 which her husband gave me to employ for his wife and children, being part of the money I gave her in marriage, she being under age, and then did promise to insure her an interest in his lands, which he performed not, but sold them away and spent all but this money given to me) £5 a year while she lives and for a year after her death. To William her husband, £10. To John Marston, his son, at 21, if his mother be not living, £20; if she be living to be paid a year after her death, if he be 21. To Marye Marston, at 21 after her mother’s decease, £10. To Elizabeth Marston, another of her daughters, at 18, if her mother is not alive, £10….

To my friend Thomas Williams of Norwich, tailor, 40s and to his wife a gold ring worth 10s at least. To Clement Eade’s wife of Monslye, 10s. To Richard Goodall my son’s two children, 40s each at 21. To Edward Atfen of Runham, 20s. To John Moneby of Downham, my old servant, 40s. To John Parlett’s children of Stradgesett, my wife’s brother, 20s each at 21, that is Nicodemus Parlett and Elizabeth Parlett. To Richard Nuttings of Wilberton and his wife, 20s apiece. Residue to my wife Elizabeth and my son John, and they to be my executors. My well-regarded friend and loving kinsman William Parlett senior of Downham Market, draper, to be supervisor, and I give him my best gown and my best god ring or £5. Witnesses: John Searles, Edward Coxe, Samuel Bowles, Francis Parkins. He was buried on 7 Jul 1625 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. (Buried as “Mr. John Goodale”>) Will (proved) on 24 Sep 1625.

A definitive account of him was published by the late Walter Goodwin Davis, F.A.S.G., in “The American Genealogist”, in 1945. Mr. Davis suggests that John was probably the son of Thomas Goodale “the elder” and a nephew of Richard Goodale, a tallow chandler of Downham Market, who left a will dated 12 July 1587 and proved 3 October 1588, in which named his nephew John Goodale, son of Thomas Goodale the elder. To John he left a messuage (house) in Downham Market that he had bought from Richard Danbye, and he also named him residuary legatee and executor.

Estate of Elizabeth Goodale


1. Frances Goodale

Frances’ husband William Marsten was born 1590 in Ormesby, Norfolk, England. His parents were Henry Marston and [__?__]. William died 30 Jun 1672 in Hampton Mbc, Norfolk, England

4. Richard Goodale

Richard’s wife Dorothy Whittrents was born in England.

Richard Goodale, called a planter and a turner (lathe operator), soon after settling in Newbury, moved across the Merrimac river to the new town, first call Colchester, and later called Salisbury where he was an original grantee and as such received a grant of land. He was a recipient of further grants of land in 1639, 1643, and 1654. He was a member of the Norfolk County grand jury in 1652 and 1654. Tradition states that Richard was an outstanding great hunter.  He had an Irish servant by the name of Cornelius Conner.

Richard and Dorothy settled in Newbury, MA by about 1638. Richard’s widowed step-mother also lived there. They moved across the Merrimac River to Salisbury by the following year, where they were original settlers. They received more land grants in 1639, 1643, and 1654. Richard was a “turner”. He was a member of the Norfolk grand jury in 1652 and 1654.  Tradition says that he was a great hunter.

After Dorothy’s death, Richard lived with daughter Ann and her husband William Allen who were paid for “diet and attendance”, at 10s. a week from the 3rd of May to the 16th of September 1666.

In Richard’s will he left his goods, housings, lands, orchards, pastures, meadow, either marsh or upland, plow land and any other land and cattle he left to be equally divided between his son and his daughter Ann. He left to his granddaughter Hubberd a cow named Primrose.

6. Rebecca Goodale

Rebecca’s husband Walter Moorefleete was born in 1596.

9. Ann Goodale

Ann’s husband Edward French was born 1590 in England. His parents were Thomas French and Anne Olmstead. Edward died 28 Dec 1674 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass

10. Susanna Goodale

Susanna’s husband Abraham Tappan was born 10 Apr 1606 at Calbridge, Coverham, Yorkshire, England
His father was William Topham, of Calbridge, in the parish of Coverham, Yorkshire, England. Abraham died 5 Nov 1672 at Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Tophan/Topham, used by his grandfather’s generation, and earlier. Tappan, used by his descendants.

He was admitted as a Freeman of Yarmouth, England in 1627, having been apprenticed to Richard Elvyn. He lived for some time

Abraham Toppan, along with his wife Susannah, two children Peter and Elizabeth and maid Anne Goodin emigrated from Great Yarmouth, England to New England in May, 1637, on the ship Marey Anne.

The passenger register reads:

“May: the 10th 1637. The examination of ABRAHAM TOPPAN of Yarmouth, Cooper ageed 31 yeares and Susanna: his wife ageed 30 yeares with two Children Petter: and Elizabeth: and one Mayd Sarvant ANNE GOODIN: ageed 18 yeares and desirous to passe to New England to inhabit.” [Jewson, p. 29.]
Toppan’s mother-in-law also made the journey with them to New England.
Abraham Toppan was admitted to the township of Newbury, Massachusetts on 16 October, 1637. At different times the following year, several lots of land were granted to him, on one of which, he erected his home, near where the town’s meetinghouse was built in 1646.

He served several years as a selectman in Newbury.

During his life it is said he made, “sundry voyages to the Barbadoes, of which one or two were profitable.” In the county records of Salem, Massachusetts, a “sometime servant to Abraham Toppan” testified that “the produce being brought home in sugar, cotton, wool and molasses, which were then commodities rendering great profit, being at twelve pence for wool, sugar at six or eight pence per pound profit – of which he brought great quantities” (Registry of Deeds, Salem.)

He made his will on 30 June, 1670. In it, he speaks of “having done for his son Peter beyond what I have done or can do in proportion for ye rest of my children.” He died 5 November, 1672, in his 66th year, in his home on “Toppan’s Lane.” The home was built around 1670 for his son, Jacob. His widow died 20 March, 1689, aged 82 years. Her mother, Mrs. Goodale, died in Newbury 8 April, 1647.

13. Elizabeth GOODALE (See John LOWELL‘s page)


From Abel Hunt 1963 by Walter Goodwin Davis–Turner/BOOK-0001/0002-0022.html

Posted in 13th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Tavern Keeper, Twins | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Percival Lowell

Percival LOWELL (1571 – 1665)  determined at the age of 68 that the future was in the New World. and the Lowell clan settled on the North Shore at Newbury after they arrived in Boston 23 June 1639.(See wikipedia article)Percivial was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miller line.

The Lowells were exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration

Percival Lowell was born in 1571 in Kingston, Seymour, Somerset, England.  His parents were Richard LOWLE and Ann PERCEVAL.  He married Rebecca [__?__] about 1600 in Bristol, Somerset, England.

Percival Lowell – Memorial

With his wife and sons, John and Richard, and daughters, Joan and Anne, sailed in the “Jonathan” to Newbury, Mass. in 1639.  Joan’s husband, John Oliver, his partner William Gerrish, his clerk Anthony Somerby, Anthony’s brother Henry, and Richard Pole who was apprenticed to son John, all came over with the family.

Percival Lowell’s name is included on the Newbury Settlers Monument

Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop needed solid dependable people to settle the North Shore area as a buffer against the French from Canada and he urged that the Lowells relocate to Newburyport on the Merrimack River, at the border of the failing Province of Maine.  Percival died 8 Jan 1664/65 in Newbury, Mass aged 94.

Alternatively, he was born in Portbury, Somerset, England.

Rebecca [__?__] died 28 Dec 1645 in Newbury, Mass

Children of Percival and Rebecca:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John LOWELL 16 Feb 1605 in Kinston, Seymour, Somerset, England Mary Gooch

Elizabeth GOODALE

Newbury, Mass
10 Jul 1647 in Newbury, Mass.
2. Richard Lowell 1602, Kingston Seymour, England Margaret [__?__] 5 Aug 1682
Newbury, Mass
3. Benjamin Lowell ca. 1604
4. Joanna Lowell 1609
Bristol, Somerset,
John Oliver
Capt. William Gerrish
7 Apr 1645
Newbury, Mass
14 Jun 1677
Newbury, Mass
5. Anne Lowell 1612
Thomas Millard
Daniel Peirce
26 Dec 1654 Newbury, Mass.
27 Nov 1690
Newbury, Mass

In England Percival resided at Kingston-Seymour, Clevedon, Portbury, Weston-in-Gardano, all in Somersetshire, also Bristol of Gloucestershire.
Click to view Google Map of the five locations

Spelling for the Lowell family name was standardized after 1721 by the Rev. John Lowell.  Before that it could be spelled  Lowle, Lowel, Lowle, Lowell, Lowl, Louell, or Louel.

In 1591 the heralds visited Somerset and among those asked to prove their right to a coat of arms and enter their pedigree was John Lowle of the parish of Walton.  He made good on his claims and and his coat and pedigree were duly registered over his signature.  In the 1591 visitation pedigree,  Percival Lowell’s name appears as son and heir of Richard Lowle.  While his parents and grandparents are undoubtedly correct, the geneologist Walter Goodwin Davis has his doubts about the more ancient ancestors this pedigree claims.  According to Davis “The Elizabethan herald were, many of them, excessively obliging.”

They had their well authenticated coat of arms with other evidence of their high position.  See Edward I for the full lineage.   They had a large mercantile establishment in Bristol under the firm name of “Percival Lowle and Co.” This firm was composed of the father Percival, his son John, and perhaps his son Richard, and possibly William Gerrish.

Oct 1576 – In a general survey of Henry Lord Berkeley’s commissioners sitting in Berkeley in  the records of the manor of Portbury show that Crispiana (or Christiana) Lowle widow wife of Richard Lowle was admitted (with Andrew Lowle) tenant tenant of a messuge and land in Portbury for a fine of Ð20 at an annual rent of 32/4 on April 10, 1570. At the same commission Percival Lowle and Margaret Lowle are shown to have been admitted tenants of 8 acres of land in Portbury for a fine of Ð40 on April 14, 1573. (Margaret was dead in 1576)

1597 – Percival was assessor in Kingston-Seymour, England.

1621 –   The manor of Portbury was a Berkeley manor and is near Bristol. Among the rents collected  it is stated that Percival Lowle succeeds John Thring deceased as bailiff of the manor (Portbury) at an annual fee of 43s-4d.

1626  – His fee is reduced to 33s-4d paid from the issues of wood sales of 1 acre of woodland within the manor.

1642 – Newbury, MA was organized 1642 with 90 proprietors, of whom were Percival and John Lowle.

17 Mar 1742 –  Freeholder.

1648 – In a deed to Mrs. Gerrish he is called “Gent,” meaning a person of high station. Percival and sons had means when they arrived in America and purchased real estate quite extensively in old Newbury, MA and vicinity.

1649 – His signature appears with that of Thomas Parker and James Noyes on a petition to the General Court begging that Plum Island might be used as a common and exclusive pasturage for Newbury.

1653  – Percival Lowle was appraiser of the estate of Thomas Millard of Newbury, MA.

1688 – On the Town Rate of Newbury , “Mr. Per. Lowle” was placed for: “2 Heads, 1 horse, 5 plowlands, 10 meadows, 1 house, 4 oxen, 4 cows , 1 3 yr old, 1 2 yr old, 1 1 yr old, 10 sheep, 2 hogs.” On the same rate Mrs Lowle (probably widow of John, oldest son of Percival) and Thomas Lowle were also for a little less than Percival.

(D. R. Lowell.1899. The historic genealogy of the Lowells of Ameri ca from 1639-1899, p xlviii-xlix)

(D. R. Percival’s ancestors were recorded to live in County Somerset, England for more than four centuries prior to his birth . At the age of 26 Percival held the office of Assessor of Kingston-Seymour. The causes that led to the abandonment of his nativity, and to exile himself from the associations of a lifetime – the island home of a long line of distinguished ancestry – is a study of interest. He was then sixty-eight years of age. He had been successful even to opulence, and his age and circumstances would seem to have invited him to ease and retirement befitting his surroundings at Bristol. Surely the change had no mercenary incentive. The rude conditions of the new world would clothe him in new habits, new modes and methods in an arena alive with vicissit udes and dangers. The cause is not hard of solution that impelled him to thus forego the seductions of aclosing career in quietude, and to seek an asylum in old age amid the infant settlements in America. Percival was a contemporary of Charles I, then on the throne. This tyrannical monarch hedged around the cival (sic) and religious liberties of the people of England such odious limitations and oppressive exactions, constantly increasing in their repulsiveness , that in the year 1629 there was chartered what is known as the “Massachusets Bay Colony.” This corporation afforded an avenue of escape for the Puritans from these illegal impositions – especially in the matter of religious freedom and church procedure; and within twelve years after the charter, more than 20,000 English Puritans left the mother country for the New England wilderness.

31 Jan 1670/71 –  in the Town of Newbury Records, when, with others, he was accorded permission to build, at his own charge, a pew in the southeast corner of the Meetinghouse for the use of his wife and daughters . The House herereferred to was the First Church of Newbury, which was succeeded in 1699 by what is described “as a large and commodious edifice.”

Lowell Family Tree Ancestors from 1591 pedigree

William Lowle
b.bef.1288 Yardley, Worcestershire, England; parents ukn

d.Yardley, Worcestershire, England
m.dau. of the family Lyttleton

CHILDREN included:

  1. James
  2. Andrew
  3. Samuel

…Within a few miles of Yardley, lived a noble Norman family, the Lyttletons. With the family, William became connected by marriage. The Lyttletons held large domains spreading out around Frankley and extending toward Yardley, whereon today’s Hagley Hall, seat of its present head, Earl Cobham, Lord of Lyttleton.

James Lowle
b.s/o William Lowle and d/o Lyttleton family

m.dau. of the family Baskerville

CHILDREN included:

  1. Raffe
  2. George
  3. Edmund
  4. Andrew

Raffe Lowle
b.s/o James Lowle and d/o Baskerville family

m.dau. of the family Haselrigg

CHILDREN included:

  1. Walter b.abt.1430
  2. Thomas
  3. Anthony
  4. Sabity

Walter Lowle
b.abt.1430 s/o Raffe Lowle and dau. of Haselrigg

m.Joane Russel

CHILDREN included:

  1. Richard Lowle b.abt.1460

Richard Lowle
b.abt.1460 Yardley, Worcestershire, England; s/o Walter Lowle and Joane Russel

d.Yardley, Worcestershire, England
m.dau. of the family Turner

CHILDREN included:

  1. Thomas
  2. Richard d.slain at Birmingham, County Warwick

Thomas Lowle
b.s/o Richard Lowle and d/o Turner family – The furthest back Lowell that Walter Goodwin Davis could verify.

m.dau. of the family Layhouse

CHILDREN included:

  1. John
  2. William Lowle
  3. Thomas Lowle
  4. Roger Lowle

John Lowle Northampton, England; s/o Thomas Lowle and dau. of Layhouse.  He left the Midlands and settled in Somerset. The visitation pedigree states that he married a daughter of the Wake family and this is highly probable as that Northampton family acquired the manor in Clevedon in 1432. The name derives from the Old English, ‘Cleve’ meaning cleave or cleft and ‘don’ meaning hill,

d.March 8, 1552/53 Clevedon [Clyudon], Somerset, England
m.dau. of family Wake
b.1507 Clevedon, Somerset, England

CHILDREN included:

  1. John Lowle b.about 1510
  2. Roger b. about 1515
  3. Mary m. [__?__] Collins; she left a legacy as “my sister” in the will of John Lowle in 1552/53.  She may of course been a half-sister or a sister-in-law.
  4. A Daughter ,. [__?__ Beny] and mentioned as a sister in the will of Roger Lowle.

John Lowle Walton, Somersetshire, England, son of John Lowle and d/o Wake family

d.March 8, 1552/3 (will proved) Portbury, Somersetshire, England
m. Apolyn Leversedge; d/o Richard Leversedge
b.1529 in Walton, Somersetshire, England

CHILDREN included:

  1. Richard Lowle d.aft.1591 Clyvadons, Somersetshire, England
  2. Edmond Lowle b.abt.1543 Poniberge, England Not named in his father’s will in 1552/53
  3. John Lowle b.abt.1546 Poniberge, England. Not named in his father’s will.

Richard Lowle

b.abt.1535/1547 Somersetshire, England; s/o John and Apolyn (Leversedge) Lowle
d.aft.1591 Clyvadons, Somersetshire, England
m.bef.1573 Bristol, Somersetshire, England; Anne Percival.  The Lowell “Historic Genealogy” leaps to the happy conclusion that this ‘daughter of Perceval’ was one of the daughters of the contemporary head of that Somersetshire household Edmund Percival of Weston-in-Gordano who died in 1551. Weston-in-Gordano is very close to Portbury and Clevedon and a match is possible, but there is no direct evidence.
b.abt.1549 d/o Edmund Perceval and Elizabeth Panthuit of Weston-in-Gardanc.

CHILDREN included:

  1. Percival b.1570/71 Kingston, Seymour, Somersetshire, England d.Jan. 8, 1664 Newbury, MA


1. John LOWELL (See his page)

2. Richard Lowell

Richard’s wife Margaret [__?__]

4. Joanna Lowell

Joanna’s first husband John Oliver was born 1613 in Bristol, Somerset, England. His parents were James Oliver and Frances Cary. John died 1642 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Joanna’s second husband Capt. William Gerrish was born 20 Aug 1617 in Bristol, Somerset, England. His parents were William Gerrish and Anne [__?__]. William died 9 Aug 1687 in Salem, Essex, Mass.

William Gerrish came with the Lowell family on the “Jonathan”  from England to Massachusetts in 1639.  William was instructed in the mercantile business by Mr. Lowle while both still lived in England.  Not long after the group arrived in the colony, William married widow Joanna Lowle Oliver.  Together they had ten children, at least eight of whom survived to adulthood.

Residing with his family in Newbury, William became a freeholder in 1649.  As he grew in the esteem of his townsmen he was appointed to such positions as Commissioner of Common Causes, Lieutenant and then Captain of their local militia (known as band), and ultimately deputy to the General Court (the lower house of representatives in Massachusetts).  He was the equivalent of a road and public works commissioner seeing to road and bridge repair and the town’s water millconstruction.

As he became more involved in his community the townspeople asked that he not be in charge of both the Horse and the Foote troops at the same time, possibly implying he was gaining too much power.  As a deputy to the General Court (ultimately the lower house of representatives in Massachusetts) he and six others listed a number of actions which had displeased the king.  They in turn were asked to defend their statement.  Apparently this was done to the satisfaction of his peers, for in 1686, after he had moved to Boston and remarried, he was asked to give the opening and closing prayers at the semi-centennial celebration of the city of Boston.

In his final years William Gerrish was the owner of Number Three Long Wharf.  He died on August 9, 1687 at the house of his son Benjamin in Salem, where he wrote and signed a detailed will, regrettably more generous to his sons than to his daughters.

He married, 2d, Ann Sandy, widow of John Sandy, and daughter of Richard Parker of Boston, and moved to Boston in 1678. He was taken sick in the Summer of 1687, and
on the 3d of August he was carried from his home in Cornhill in a sedan chair to a boat and taken to Salem, where he died Aug. 9. His friends thought that taking him to Salem
by water might help him. He was buried In Capt. Prince’s [Price's] tomb.

5. Anne Lowell

Anne’s first husband Thomas Millard was born 1600 in Eaton, Derbyshire, England. His parents were Thomas Milward and [__?__] Alsop. Thomas died 29 Sep 1653 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Anne’s second husband Daniel Peirce was born 1611 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Daniel died 27 Nov 1677 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Estate of Daniel Peirce Sr. of Newbury

Bee it knowne unto all [men by these copy] prsent that I Daniel Peirce Senr. of newbury beeing sencible of my weekenes and mortality beeing of perfect memory doe hereby male my last will and testament Comending my Soule into the hands of my blessed Redemer the Lord Jesus Christ and my body to the dust inan assurred hope of a blessed Resurection.

And for my worldly goods which god of his mercy hathlent vnto meI dispose of as followeth Nouember 12st 1677 Imprs. I giue and bequeth my housesing lands goods & Chattells vnto my Son Daniell Peirce that is to say all my housing & lands that are vndisposed of & appoint him my true & lawfull heire of all & also my sole Executor of this my last will & testament Desireing him to Doe for his brother Joshua Peirces children as he shall see in his discretion meet to be done for them. And wheas vpon my marriag agreement with Anne my wife she was to haue twenty pounds a yeare dureing her naturall life I appoint my said executor that in all conditions shee shalbe in, that he prouide all such necessaryes for her that shee shall stand in need of and that she shall inioy her former libertyes in the house dureing her life And for my wiues son in Law Thomas Thorpe prouided he wil bee content & neuer trouble nor molest my son after my decease I giue him a farme at New Jarsy scituate vpon Row Riuer Joyning to John Bishops lande but if he shall forfeit the said gift And wheras I haue giuen my houseing & lands as abousaid vnto my said Son that is the farme I now Dwell vpon I giue it vnto my heire & his heirs so that it shall neuer be sold nor any part duided from the lawfull heire male of the same name & kindred but if it should fall out hereafter that my son Daniels Male posterity faile that it should come to Joshuas posterity then the said heire male of his posterity shall pay eight hundred pounds to the daughters of my son Daniels posterity. My funeral being discharged.
Daniel Perce Sener

Witnes: Anthony Sombery, Jno. Dole
Proved in Ipswich court Mar. 26, 1678 by the witnesses.

Inventory of the estate of Daniell Peirce, Senr. of Newbury, deceased Nov.27, 1677 taken by Anthony Somerby and Robert Long :

  • a Farme of about two hundred & thirty acres of upland & meadow with the houseing , Barnes & orchard 1200li. ;
  • A Mault house with about twenty acres of upland and three & thirty acres of meadow & furniture to ye malthouse, 255li. ;
  • his wearing Apparrell, books Armes, 40li.;
  • horse & mare & yearling colt, 7li.;
  • about forty head of neat cattle, oxen, cowes & young Cattle, 94li.;
  • about a hundred & sixty sheep yong & old 40li.;
  • eighteen small swyne, 5li. 16s.;
  • foure feather beds with other bedings, Rugs, sheets blankets, pillows, bedsteads & 2 paire of curtaines, 30li.;
  • Anvil, vice, shop tooles with iron potts, kettles, Brass, pewter, 2 old furnaces, 2 pr. of cottrils, spits, fire shovel & tonges, 20li;
  • 2 trunks, chests, 2 tables, carpet, table linnen, chayres, cushions &c., 8li. ;
  • Barrels, tubs, keylers, bowles, & trayes with other lumber , 2li. 10s.;
  • Carts, wheels, dunpot, ploughs, chaynes and all other utensils for husbandry, 5li. corne & grayne of all sorts in the house and in the Barne, 60li;
  • Negros, 60li.;
  • Debts about 10li ;
  • total, 1837li. 10s. more a farme & stock at new Jarsye, 60li.

Attested in ispwich court Mar 26 1678 by Daniell Pearce to be a true inventory of the estate of his father Daniel Peirce.


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John Lowell

John LOWELL (1595 – 1647)  and his father were original proprietors of Newbury, Mass when it was formally organized in March 1642.  He was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Percival Lowell - Coat of Arms

The Lowells were exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration

John Lowell was born in 16 Feb 1605 in Kinston, Seymour, Somerset, England.  His parents were Percival LOWELL and Rebecca [__?__].   On 17 Feb 1619, after being given a good education, he was apprenticed to Richard Baugh, glover of Bristol, England, and his wife Ann. If, as is usually the case, he was fourteen when he entered his service, he was born in 1605.  The apprentice papers read: “John, son of Percival Lowle, genersus.” Later he joined his father’s firm, which was a large import-export mercantile business.  He married Mary Gooch about 1628. In 1629, John became a burgress of Bristol. On 7 Sep 1637, he took as as an apprentice of his own, Richard Dole, for a period of seven years.

John was a Glover.  Pair of English Gloves c.1600

When Percival Lowell decided to come to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1639, his entire family accompanied him: his wife, Rebecca; their three children, John, Richard, and Joanna; spouses of their children; their grandchildren; and several others associated with the Lowell business. Among those coming was Richard Dole, as he had five more years of his apprenticeship to serve with John.  After Mary died, he married Elizabeth GOODALE in 1640 in Newbury, Mass.   John died 10 Jul 1647 in Newbury, Mass.

Alternatively, John was born in 1595 in Bristol, Somerset or in Portbury, Somerset

Mary Gooch was born 1615 in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England. Mary died 21 Nov 1639 in Newbury, Mass soon after the birth of their fifth child in Newbury, Mass.

Elizabeth Goodale was baptized 05 June 1614, probably in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, England.  Her parents were John GOODALE and Elizabeth PARLETT. She, along with her widowed mother, siblings and step-siblings  came to Newbury about 1637. After John Lowell’s death,  Elizabeth, made her home with her half-sister, Susan (Goodale) Toppan in Newbury, where she died 23 April 1651. Her will is dated 17 March 1650 and was proved 30 September 1651. She remembered her half-sister, Susan, and her stepsons John, James, and Joseph; but the bulk of her estate went to her daughter Elizabeth, then five, and her son Benjamin, then nine. Her third child, Thomas, was not mentioned, no doubt he was already deceased.

Children of John and Mary Gooch:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Lowell 1629 England Hannah Proctor
3 MAR 1652/53
Naomi Torrey
ABT 1665
7 JAN 1693/94 Boston
2. Mary Lowell 1633 England John Figg
Thomas Wyborne
3. Peter Lowell 1635
Mentioned in his step-mother’s will in 1651
4. James Lowell 1637
mentioned in his step-mother’s will in 1651
5. Joseph Lowell 28 NOV 1639 Newbury, Mass. Abigail Proctor
8 MAR 1657/58
19 Aug 1705

Children of John and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
6. Benjamin LOWELL 12 Sep 1642 Newbury Ruth WOODMAN
17 Oct 1666 in Newbury
22 Oct 1714 Cambridge, Mass
7. Thomas Lowell 4 Jun 1644 Ann Lovell 19 Aug 1705
Ipswich, Essex, Mass
8. Elizabeth Lowell 16 FEB 1645/46 Capt. Philip Nelson
1 NOV 1666 Rowley,
14 Dec 1731 Rowley, Mass.

From History of Ipswich: “Dame Elizabeth Lowle of Newbury had her riding suit and muff, silver bodkins & gold rings.”

John, as an active head of a family, was allotted four acres on the western side of High Street (#28).

1619 – While yet in England he apprenticed himself in  when24 years of age, to Richard Baugh of Bristol, England, who was a”Glover.”

1629 – He was admitted as a citizen of Bristol, England

7  Sep 1637 -He had Richard Dole apprenticed to him for seven years. Dole came with the Lowells to America and became a merchant of wealth and prominence in Newbury, where he settled.

2 Feb 1640 – John was made Freeman of Newbury

10 Dec 1641 – Constable of Newbury

17 Mar 1742 – With his father, was a freeholder.

1642 – One of John’s largest public responsibilities was as a member of the commission of eight appointed  to consider the desirability of moving the village to a new location. Four years later, these plans were carried out and the village was relocated about two miles north of the old site

7 Mar 1644 – Deputy in the General Court

14 May 1645 – One of three Commissioners of Newbury to settle small disputes involving less than 20 shillings and reappointed,  holding the position until his death; he held the office of town clerk at his death.

29 Jun 1647 – John Lowell made his will.  He died 10 July 1647. His will was proved 27 July 1647 in the General Court, Essex Co., MA. He left his widow, Elizabeth, one half of his estate, whether it be goods or land; and she was to choose property worth twenty pounds which came to her through her mother. The rest of his estate was to be divided equally among his living children. John’s brother, Richard Lowell, was named guardian of the minor children in May 1648, and later William Gerrish, husband of Joanna Lowell, served as guardian.

The inventory gives evidence of a great quantity of clothing and furnishings which the Lowells brought with them from England.  His house must have been small for with 4 acres of land, it was appraised at only £26, but it must have been filled to overflowing.  It would be interesting to see the black water grosgain suit, the five night caps and eleven day caps, the curtains with wrought valences, the wrought cushions, the fair cupboard cloth, the rugs and carpets, the quantities of table linen (including six drinking napkins), the flaring waistcoat, the coiffs and ruff, the two Somerset mantles.  According to Davis these are only a few of the curious items.


1. John Lowell

John’s first wife Hannah Proctor was born in 1630. Her parents were George Proctor and Edith Tuttle. Hannah died in 1658 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

John’s second wife Naomi Torrey was born 13 Dec 1640 in Weymouth, Norfolk, Mass. Her parents were William Torrey and Elizabeth Fry. Naomi died in 1666 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Mass

In addition to this John Lowle, cooper of Boston, there was another John Lovwell, a tanner, who married Elizabeth Sylvester 24 Jan 1658 in Scituate, Mass.  Naomi Torrey, daughter of William Torrey of Weymouth was our John’s second, not third wife.

2. Mary Lowell

Mary’s first husband John Figg was born

Mary’s second husband Thomas Wyborne was born

Aged 17, Mary petitioned the court 15 Oct 1653 that her uncle Richard Lowle, her guardian, be directed to pay her £10 of her legacy from her father as she was about to return to England to the friends with whom she had been brought up, presumably her mother’s family.  She married John Figg who in Suffolk County court of July 27, 1675 sued on her behalf the executors and overseers of her father’s estate for her portion, losing the case.

5. Joseph Lowell

Joseph’s wife Abigail Proctor was born

6. Benjamin LOWELL (See his page)

7. John Lowell

John’s wife Ann Lovell was born 1644 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass.

8. Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth’s husband Capt. Philip Nelson was born 1633 in England. His parents were Thomas Nelson and Dorothy Stapleton. He first married 24 Jun 1657 in Rowley, Essex, Mass to Sarah Jewett (b. 3 Jan 1635 in Rowley – d. 14 Feb 1665 in Rowley). Philip died 19 Aug 1691 in Rowley, Essex, Mass–Turner/GENE9-0001.html

(D. R. Lowell. 1899. The Historic Genealogy of the L owells of America from 1639-1899)

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Sgt. Benjamin Lowell

Sgt. Benjamin LOWELL (1642 – 1714) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

Benjamin Lowell was born 12 Sep 1642 in Newbury, Mass.  His parents were John LOWELL and Mary [__?__].  He married Ruth WOODMAN on 17 Oct 1666 in Newbury, Mass.  Benjamin died 22 Oct 1714 in Cambridge, Mass.

In a deed at Newbury, Mass. 1697, Benjamin Lowell was called blacksmith.

Ruth Woodman was born 28 Mar 1646 in Newbury, Mass.  Her parents were Edward WOODMANand Joanna SALWAY.   Ruth died sometime after 2 Feb 1724.

Children of Benjamin and Ruth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Ruth Lowell 4 SEP 1667 Newbury
2. Elizabeth Lowell 16 OCT 1669 Newbury Francis Willett
29 Jan 1696 Newbury
22 Oct 1714
3. Mary Lowell 18 Nov 1671 Newbury Died Young
4. Benjamin Lowell 5 FEB 1673/74 Newbury 1698
5. Sarah Lowell 15  Mar 1675/76 in Newbury Died Young
6. Sarah Lowell 6 MAY 1678 Newbury Ebenezer Knowlton
15 FEB 1697/98 Newbury
Newburyport, Mass
7. Mary Lowell 6 NOV 1679 Newbury Thomas Williams
5 JAN 1694/95 Newbury
31 DEC 1711
8. Joseph LOWELL 12 SEP 1680
6 Dec 1707 in Newbury
10 Oct 1736 Newbury
9. John Lowell 22 FEB 1682/83 Newbury Mary Davis
1707 Haverhill, Mass
Sarah L Bailey
23 Apr 1729 in Salem, New Hampshire
Methuen, Salem, NH

Benjamin’s father died when he was five and his mother when he was  nine.   As an adult, Benjamin filed many suits against his guardians, Uncle Richard Lowell and Uncle William Gerrish, in regard to their management of his inheritance. These litigations went on for years. The last in 1679, reversed the judgment Benjamin had previously won. The lawsuit is on the records of the clerk’s court, Mass. Rec., 3:125, Salem, Mass., also in Boston Court House, Case No. 1791, estate Vol. 1. (D. R. Lowell. 1899. The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639-1899

17 Oct 1666. – Intention of marriage published

1668 – On the “Town Rate of Newbury, Mass.  Benjamin Lowle was set for “1 Head, 1 horse, 2 cows, 8 sheep, 1 hogg.”

19 May 1669, Benjamin Lowle was made freeman.

29 May 1671 – Benjamin was fined one noble [six shillings and eight-pence] for his part in the Parker-Woodman War.

Parker- Woodman War

For many years the church in Newbury had been divided, almost equally, between the original pastor, Reverend Thomas Parker, and Mr. Edward WOODMAN, of whom the noted historian Joshua Coffin wrote: “He was a man of influence, decision and energy, and opposed with great zeal the attempt made by the Rev. Thomas Parker to change the mode of Church government from Congregationalism to something like Presbytarianism.” This divison of the town was not due to a great difference of theology, but of church governemt.

As early as 1645 the Rev. Parker and his party maintained the church should be governed by the pastor, his assistants, and a ruling elder. Mr. Woodman’s party believed it was the right of the members of the church, and government should be by the congretation. In a letter to the church council, Mr. Edward stated, “As for our controversy it is whether God hath placed the power in the elder, or in the whole church, to judge between truth and error, right and wrong, brother and brother, and all things of church concernment.” These ecclesiastical problems, which grew more violent and partisan each year, plagued the town for over 25 yearsand became known throughout New England as the “Parker-Woodmam War.”

By 1669 difference of opinion had grown to such proportions that an appeal was made to the civil authorities. the court proceedings began March 13th at Ipswich and continued on and off for over two years. The decision of the court, on May 29, 1671, found in favor of Rev. Parker’s part and levied fines against the members of Mr. Woodman’s party. Edward Woodman was fined 20 nobles. [ A noble is six shillings and eight-pence so Edward's fine was a little more than 13 pounds]

Mr. Richard Dummer , Richard THORLAY (THURLOW), Stephen Greenleaf [son of Edmund GREENLEAF], Richard Bartlet and William Titcomg, fined 4 nobles each. Francis Plummer, John Emery, Sr., John Emery, Jr., John Merrill and Thomas Browne, a Mark each. [A mark is thirteen shillings and fourpence. ]

All others Nicholas Batt, Anthony MORSE Sr, Abraham Toppan, William Sawyer, Edward Woodman junior, William Pilsbury, Caleb Moody, John Poor Sr, John Poor Jr, John Webster, John Bartlet Sr., John Bartlet Jr, Joseph Plumer, Edward Richardson, Thomas Hale Jr., Edmund Moores, Benjamin LOWLE (LOWELL), Job Pilsbury, John Wells, William Ilsley, James Ordway, Francis THORLA (THORLAY), Abraham Merrill, John Bailey, Benjamin Rolf, Steven Swett, and Samuel Plumer, a noble each.   However, the judgement of the court did not bring an end to the controversy, and the conflict continued for several years. Note: For a complete chronology, see pages 72-112 of Joshua Coffin’s History of Newbury..

1695 – He was called “Sergt,”

1697 – In a deed at Newbury, Mass. 1697, he was called “blacksmith.”


2. Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth’s husband Francis Willett was born 22 Feb 1671 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Thomas Willet and Martha Silver. Francis died in 1703

6. Sarah Lowell

Sarah’s husband Ebenezer Knowlton was born 1674 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. His parents were Thomas Knowlton and Hannah Green.

7. Mary Lowell

Mary’s husband Thomas Williams was born 16 Feb 1672 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island. His parents were Joseph Williams and Lydia Olney. Thomas died 27 Aug 1724 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island.

8. Joseph LOWELL (See his page)

9. John Lowell

John’s wife Mary Davis was born 23 Mar 1683 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. Her parents were John Davis and Sarah Carter. Her grandparents were Thomas CARTER and Mary [__?__]. Mary died in Apr 1729 in Haverhill, Mass


From Phoebe Tilton, 1947 by Walter Goodwin Davis

Posted in 11th Generation, Line - Miller, Veteran | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Joseph Lowell

Joseph LOWELL (1680 – 1736) was Alex’s 8th Great Grandfather; one of 512 in this generation of the Miller line

Joseph Lowell was born 12 Sep 1680 in Newbury, Mass. His parents were Benjamin LOWELL and Ruth WOODMAN.  He married Mary HARDY on 6 Dec 1707 in Newbury.  Joseph died  Oct. 10, 1736 in Newbury, MA

Mary Hardy was born 2 Feb 1691/92 in Newbury, Mass.  Her parents were George HARDY and Mary FOGG.  Mary died 4 Nov 1747 in Salisbury, Mass.

Children of Joseph and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary Lowell 1 Dec 1709
Newbury, Mass
Nathaniel Davis
28 Sep 1732 Newbury
2. George Lowell 28 Mar 1712
Elizabeth Morse
28 Jun 1732
3. Abigail Lowell 2 Jan 1714/15
Moses Cooper
24 Feb 1736/37 Newbury, Mass.
Jeremiah Goodrich
18 Jan 1739 Newbury
4. Mercy LOWELL 20 Dec 1718 Newbury Francis BROWN II
5 May 1741 in Newbury
5. Joseph Lowell 20 Feb 1720/21
Mary Jones
11 Feb 1744/45 South Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire
6. Priscilla Lowell 10 Aug 1729
Henry Merrill
5 May 1748 Newbury
May 1777
7. Benjamin Lowell 24 Feb 1731/32
Bef. 11 Nov 1754
8. Stephen Lowell 1 Jun 1735
Before 1756



1. Mary Lowell

Mary’s husband Nathaniel Davis was born 15 Mar 1705 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Ephraim Davis and Elizabeth Kingsberry. Nathaniel died 1761 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Children of Mary and Nathaniel:

i. Mary Davis b. 9 May 1733 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1819 Sandwich, Carroll, New Hampshire; m. 19 Mar 1752 in Plaistow, Rockingham, New Hampshire to Jasiel Harriman (b. 11 Mar 1727 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass – d. 17 Aug 1802 in Sandwich, New Hampshire) Nathaniel’s parents were Ephraim Davis (1655 -1721) and Elizabeth Kingsbury (1669 – 1713) Mary and Jasiel had nine children born between 1754 and 1771.

The biblical Jasiel was one of the mighty warriors in David’s army. He was a native of Metsobajah in Palestine.   Jasiel was a veteran of the revolution: SAR membership: 84026.

Jaasiel Harriman, one of [Col. Joshua] Howard’s companions, came from Haverhill, Mass. He was commonly called “Jesse,” and was a grantee of Haverhill, Bath [NH] and Newbury [VT]. He remained in Haverhill [NH] only a few years and then removed to Bath. His was the first family that settled in that town.

According to the History of Newbury, New Hampshire Jasiel Harriman, sometimes called Joseph Harriman, from whom Harriman’s Pond and Harriman’s Brook are named,  was the first blacksmith in Newbury.  Traditiona says his first anvil was a particularly hard stone laid on a stump.  Harriman soon removed from town, but Joseph Chamberlain was a blacksmith and carried on the trade for many years.

Situated at the south end of Lake Sunapee, Newbury has gone through numerous name changes. It started in 1753 as “Dantzic”, after the Baltic seaport. The first provincial grant in 1754 named the town “Hereford”, in honor of Edward Devereaux,Viscount Hereford. Colonial Governor John Wentworth renewed the grant in 1772 under the name “Fishersfield”, for his brother-in-law, John Fisher. The town was finally incorporated as “Newbury” in 1837, as suggested by settlers originally from Newbury,Massachusetts.

Bath New Hampshire

Bath New Hampshire

The town was granted to the Rev. Andrew Gardner and 61 others on September 10, 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth, who named it for William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath. It was first settled in 1765 by John Herriman from Haverhill, Mass But the terms of the original grant were unfulfilled, so Bath was regranted on March 29, 1769 by Governor John Wentworth. The first census, taken in 1790, recorded 493 residents.

Situated at the head of navigation on the Connecticut River, and shielded from strong winds by the Green Mountains to the west and White Mountains to the east, Bath soon developed into “…one of the busiest and most prosperous villages in northern New Hampshire.”Intervales provided excellent alluvial soil for agriculture, and the Ammonoosuc and Wild Ammonoosuc rivers supplied water power for mills.

ii. Mercy Davis bapt. 28 Oct 1739 Newbury, Essex, Mass

iii. Mercy Davis b. 22 Jul 1742 Newbury, Essex, Mass

iv. Nathaniel Davis b. 7 Dec 1746 Newbury, Essex, Mass; m. 12 Jun 1766 Salisbury, Mass to Betty Flanders (b.  22 Jan 1744 Salisbury, Essex, Mass).  Her parents were Phineas Flanders (1720 – 1754) and Tabitha Clough (1707 – 172); Nathaniel and Betty had at least two children Moses (b. 1767) and Mercy (b. 1769)

2. George Lowell

George’s wife Elizabeth Morse was born 2 Apr 1714 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Morse (1688 – 1753) and Elizabeth March (1691 – 1723).

Children of George and Elizabeth

i. David Lowell b. 12 Jun 1734 Newbury, Essex, Mass

ii. George Lowell b. 12 Jun 1734 Newbury, Essex, Mass

iii. Baby Lowell b. Jan 1736 Newbury, Essex, Mass

iv. Samuel Lowell b. 17 Feb 1738 Newbury, Essex, Mass. d. 23 Feb 1784 Saco, York, Maine; m1. 1736 Greenland, Rockingham, New Hampshire to Susan Ellen Philbrook (b. 1745 in Greenland – d. 1769 in Greenland) Samuel and Susan had one child Susanna Ellen (b. 1768)

m2. 16 May 1771 in Saco, York, Maine to Charity Berry (b. 9 Jun 1745 in Biddeford, York, Maine – d. 14 Mar 1828 Saco, York, Maine) Her parents were Richard Berry (1707 – 1765) and Abigail Smith (1712 – 1776); Samuel and Charity had five children born between 1773 and 1784.

SAR Membership Number: 52938

Samuel Lowell Revolutionary Service

Samuel Lowell Revolutionary Service

v. Elizabeth Lowell b. 21 Jun 1741 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 19 Sep 1772  Newbury, Orange, Vermont; m. 12 Feb 1765 – Newburyport, Essex, Mass to Thomas Johnson (b. 21 Mar 1742 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass. – d. 4 Jan 1819 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont) His parents were John Johnson (1711 – 1762) and Sarah Haynes (1711 – 1750) Elizabeth and Thomas had five children born between 1766 and 1772.

Elizabeth Lowell Gravemarker

Elizabeth Lowell Gravemarker

After Elizabeth died, six weeks after the birth and four weeks after the death of their youngest son Lowell Johnson (7 Aug 1772 – 17 Aug 1772), Thomas married 26 Nov 1772 to Abigail Merrill (1750 – 1774) Thomas and Abigail had one child Abigail Johnson (1773 – 1796).

After Abigail died, Thomas married a third time 17 Feb 1775 to Abigail Carleton (1750 – 1833) Thomas and Abigail had eight more children born between 1776 and 1792.

Thomas Johnson SAR Membership: 17876

Thomas Johnson Revolutionary Service

Thomas Johnson Revolutionary Service

vi. Sarah Lowell b. 4 Apr 1744 Newbury, Essex, Mass

vii. John Lowell b. 1746 Newbury, Essex, Mass

viii. Ruth Lowell b. 1751 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont; d. Jun 1736; m. 20 Aug 1772 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont to Pelatiah Bliss (b. 3 Apr 1749 in Lebanon, New London, CT – d. 1798 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont; Burial: Oxbow Cemetery, Newbury, Orange, Vermont)  His parents were Pelatiah Bliss (1725 – 1808) and Hepzibah Goodwin (1727 – ) Ruth and Pelatiah had seven children born between 1779 and 1797.

SAR Membership: 19289

Pelatiah Bliss Jr Revolutionary Service

3. Abigail Lowell

Abigail’s first husband Moses Cooper was born 1720 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were John Cooper and Sarah Salmon. Moses died 10 Nov 1803 in Massachusetts.

Abigail’s second husband Jeremiah Goodrich was born 4 Sep 1667 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Jeremiah Goodridge (1638 -1708) and Mary Adams. Jeremiah died 16 Jan 1729 in Newbury, Essex, Mass (1642 – )

Child of Abigail and Jeremiah

i. Barnard Goodrich b. 30 Jun 1746 in Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 6 Dec 1769 in Newburym. 26 Sep 1768 Newbury to Sarah Carr (b. 1745)


4. Mercy LOWELL (See Francis BROWN II‘s page)

5. Joseph Lowell

Joseph’s wife Mary Jones was born 5 Feb 1726 in Amesbury, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Joseph Jones and Mary Prowse.

Children of Joseph and Mary:

i. Anna Lowell b. 14 Feb 1746 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1 May 1819 Brooksville, Maine; m. 1769 in Brooksville, Hancock, Maine to Joshua Grindle (b. 31 Mar 1746 in Berwick, York, Maine – d. 21 Feb 1819 in Brooksville) His parents were John “Old Tory” Grindle (1714 – 1794) and Mary Downs (1719 – 1748)  Anna and Joshua had nine children born between 1769 and 1790.

Joshua was a brickmaker in Brooksville. He was on the muster rolls of Ft. Pownall for two years.

Brooksville, Maine “A town in the Revolution, by Walter A. Snow reports: “The home of Joshua Gindle was at North Brooksville in the field by the present [1976] Francis Lymburner home on the western side of the Bagaduce River. A hop vine planted nearly 200 years ago still climbs bravely over the remains of the old cellar wall of the house built by this young pioneer. It was planted, no doubt, by the bride Anna (Lowell). These Lowells were of the Boston family.

ii. Eliphalet Lowell b. 2 Aug 1747 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d.. 28 Jul 1833 Penobscot, Maine; m. 1774 in Penobscot to Elizabeth Haney (b. 26 Jun 1758 in New Meadows, Maine – d. 28 Jul 1833 in Penobscot)  Her parents were Archibald Haney (1732 – 1821) and Margaret Howard (1735 – ).  Eliphalet and Elizabeth had two children.

iii. Mary Lowell b. 19 May 1754 Newbury, Essex, Mass; m. Joseph Webber (b. 19 Sep 1745 in York, York, Maine) His parents were Samuel Webber (1708 – 1782) and Sarah Bowden (1715 – ).  Mary and Joseph had six children born between 1772 and 1793.

iv.Hannah Lowell b. 23 Jan 1759 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1802 Penobscot, Hancock, Maine; m. 6 Oct 1777 in Penobscot, Hancock, Maine to Reuben Grindle (b. 20 Mar 1757 in Lebanon, Maine – d. 15 Jul 1835 in Penobscot, Hancock, Maine) Hannah and Reuben had eleven children born between 1779 and 1802.

After Hannah died, Reuben married 6 Oct 1803 in Blue Hill, Hancock, Maine to Mary Winslow (b. 13 Mar 1777 in Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 9 Jan 1854) and had seven more children born between 1804 and 1818.

Reuben Grindle was one of three sons of John Grindle and his second wife Elizabeth. children: William, Daniel and Reuben.

It is an appraisal of his estate made Apr. 18, 1794 by Giles Johnson, Seth Blodget and John Grindle (Vol. 1, p. 80).” Reuben administered the estate. “The Grindle Family of Hancock County, Maine” (1978), pp. 11-12: states “Probably it was after Oct. 13, 1762 that John Grindle and his family settled permanently at Bagaduce since a deed of that date reveals he was a husbandman residing in ‘New Township head ot Berwick called Lebanon and Dorothy his wife, for $L13 sells Nathan Downes and Tristam Fall, both of Berwick all our rights in real estate of Matthew Farnam, dec’d, former husband of Dorothy, in Lebanon (ME.).” [quoting "Abstracts from Unpublished Deeds of York Co., ME" {LDS, Salt Lake City} by Dr. B. Lake Noyes, Vol. 37, York County Deeds.] “The Grindle Family…” continues: “During the Revolution Mr. Grindle’s political leanings were with the Tories, but four of his sons, Ichabod, William, Daniel and Reuben chose the side of the Patriots as did his sons-in-law, Thomas Davis, and Major Pelatiah Leach who all served on the side of the Americans.

Reuben born 20 Mar 1757, Lebanon, Maine. Vital records list “Lebalon”. Lebanon is a town in York County, Maine. On April 20, 1733, the Massachusetts General Court granted Towwoh Plantation to 60 colonists, who first settled it in 1743. The township was incorporated on June 17, 1767, renamed Lebanon after the biblical land of Lebanon. Dover, Maine is approximately 15 miles south of Lebanon, Maine.

With Anna he had 13 children and with Mary he had nine children. He was the first settler in South Penobscot, 1772, and Mark E. Honey (“Castine Patriot,” 8 July 2004, p. 5) states that he served as a soldier during the War for American Independence. Reuben served in Col. Jonathan Buck’s Reg. Aug. 19, 1777 to Sept. 28, 1777, served at Machias [DAR, SAR line].

Joshua, John, Ichabod, Daniel and Reuben Grindle were early settlers of Brookville. Ichabod, Daniel and Reuben were Revolutionary soldiers. The family, or at least some of them came from Newburyport, Mass and they were English people. John delivered the mail from Sedgewick to Passamaquoddy 1790. It took two weeks to make the trip along the shore in a small boat. john took up land about half way between what is now Brooksville and North Brooksville Reuben, Ichabod and Daniel owned land at West Brookville. (Limeburner, Grace. Stories of Brookville. 1924 (35)

Reuben was a Private in the Revolutionary War, served in Col. Jonathan Buck’s Reg. Aug. 19, 1777 to Sept. 28, 1777, served at Machias.

6. Priscilla Lowell

Priscilla’s husband Henry Merrill was born 27 Jun 1719 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were John Merrill (1673 – 1756) and Deborah Haseltine (1685 – 1728). Henry died 4 Jan 1804 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

Children of Priscilla and Henry

i. Mary (Molly) Merrill b. 14 Jul 1749 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1784 Newbury; m. 29 May 1773 in Newbury to Cutting Moulton (b. 25 Jul 1748 in Newbury – d. 25 Jul 1809 in Parsonsfield, York, Maine; Find A Grave Memorial# 66347402)

ii. Henry Merrill b. 4 Oct 1751 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d, 3 Apr 1844 Newbury; m. 25 Nov 1773 in Newbury to Rebecca Moulton (b. 16 Dec 1750 in Newbury, Essex, Mass – d. 10 Dec 1823 in Newbury) Rebecca’s parents were Samuel Moulton (1718 – 1756) and Mary Ordway (1721 – 1760) Henry and Rebecca had nine children born between 1774 and 17943

After Rebecca died, Henry married 10 Jan 1824 in Newbury to Hannah Chase (b. 2 Jun 1763 in Newbury – d. 30 Dec 1836 in Newbury)

iii. Priscilla Merrill b, 22 Jan 1754 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 17 Sep 1814 Newbury; m. 25 Nov 1779 in Newbury to Samuel Chase (b. 26 Aug 1754 in Newbury – d. 22 Feb 1834 in Newbury) His parents were John Chase (1731 – 1804) and Hannah Plummer (1725 – 1807) Priscilla and Samuel had at least one child, Mary (b. 1788)

iv. Stephen Merrill b. 22 Jan 1757 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. Parsonsfield, York, Maine; m. 13 Jul 1777 in Newbury to Anna Bailey.  Her parents were David Bailey (1687 -1722) and Experience Putnam (1698 – 1782).  Stephen and Anna had at least one child, Sarah (b. 1794)

Parsonsfield was part of a large tract of land sold on November 28, 1668 by Newichewannock  Indian  Chief Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery. The price was two large Indian blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of gunpowder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of Indian beads. Small then sold half his interest to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of what is now Eliot. In 1771, heirs sold the township to Thomas Parsons and 39 associates, upon which it was surveyed into 100-acre lots. Called Parsonstown Plantation, it was first settled in 1772 by 12 families.

On Aug 29, 1785, the town was incorporated as Parsonsfield after Thomas Parsons, one of the largest proprietors. The Blazo-Leavitt House, a fine example of the Federal style, was built in 1812.

v. Sarah (Sally) Merrill b. 11 Mar 1764 or 1765 Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 13 Jul 1822 Rumney, Grafton, New Hampshire; m. 15 Dec 1785 in Newbury to Nathan Merrill (b. 6 Jan 1761 in Newbury – d. 29 Aug 1836 in Rumney, NH) His parents were Richard Merrill (1732 – 1791) and Mary Pillsbury (1737 – 1791) Sally and Nathan had ten children born between 1786 and 1806.

Nathan Merrill SAR Membership: 51157  He was said to be at Bunker Hill.



Posted in 10th Generation, Line - Miller | Tagged | 5 Comments

Francis Brown II

Francis BROWN II (1716 – ) was Alex’s 7th Great Grandfather; one of 256 in this generation of the Miller line.

Lt. Francis Brown was born 14 Nov 1710.  His parents were Thomas BROWN and Ann CHUTE.   He married Mercy LOWELL on 5 May 1741 in Newbury, Mass.

Alternatively, Francis was born in 1716.

Mercy Lowell was born 20 Dec 1718 in Newbury, Mass.  Her parents were Joseph LOWELL and Mary HARDY.

Children of Francis and Mercy:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Anne Brown c. 1741
2. Mary (Molly) BROWN 14 Feb 1743 in Newbury, Mass. Zebulon ESTEY
8 Aug 1765 Newburyport, MA
9 Aug 1835 in Upper Gagetown, NB aged 93
3. Capt. Thomas Brown 10 Mar 1745 Turkey Hill, Newbury, Mass Hannah Merrill
8 Jun 1769 Newbury, Essex, Mass.
26 Jun 1803 Essex, Massachusetts
4. Ruth Brown 17 Jun 1745 Newbury Joseph Coffin
14 Apr 1767 Newbury
1 Apr 1831 Newburyport, Mass
5. Mercy Brown 24 Mar 1750 Newbury Jacob Hale
16 Nov 1769 Newbury, Mass
23 Aug 1840 Newburyport
6. Benjamin Brown 14 Oct 1754 Newbury Prudence Kelly
2 Feb 1776 Newbury
Mary Lunt
Aft 1798
13 Apr 1818 Chester, NH
7. Francis Brown 1758

Francis lived on Turkey Hill, just west of Newburyport. Today, Turkey Hill Road is a couple blocks west of Interstate 95,


2. Mary (Molly) BROWN (See Zebulon ESTEY‘s page)

3. Capt. Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown was a prosperous sea captain.

Thomas’ wife Hannah Merrill was born 16 Nov 1745 in Essex, Mass. Her parents were Deacon John Merrill and Ruth Hale. Hannah died 29 Apr 1825 – Newburyport, Essex, Mass.

Thomas was an officer in the revolution. Thomas was first a private in Capt. Moses Little’s company of minute-men who marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge – Service 5 days. [ Moses Little was later  colonel of the newly formed 12th Continental Regiment and and led that regiment at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the New York Campaign and the battles of Trenton and Princeton.]

Next Thomas was an ensign in Capt. Jacob Gerrish’s Company, Col. Moses Little’s Essex County Regiment. This regiment reach Cambridge the morning of battle of Bunker Hill 17 Jun 1775 and although not yet mustered into service, it volunteered to go into action.  Most of the Regiment including Gerrish’s Company crossed the Charlestown Neck under the fire of British ships and marched into the entrenchments on Bunker Hill.  Gerrish’s Company was with their townsman Little in the redoubt.

Thomas was an ensign (today’s 2nd Lt) when his company crossed the Charlestown Neck under the fire of British ships and marched into the entrenchments on Bunker Hill.

Mrs. Brown with her slave Titus followed the regiment to Cambridge.  The night after the battle, she filled a pillow case with provisions (mostly doughnuts she made herself) and placed it on Titus’ back and went with him to Winter Hill to which point most of the continental troops had retreated.  After his freedom had been given him, Titus remained a faithful servant of the family until his death.

Thomas later became First Lieutenant  under Capt. Barnard of the same regiment and then Captain of the Newbury Company under Col Aaron Willard’s Regimennt.  As Captain, he marched to Fort Ticonderoga and thence to Fort Edwards to join forces against Burgoyne

Thomas Brown Sons of The American Revolution Membership Application of his great grandson Frederick William Todd (b. 1842 )

Thomas Brown Sons of The American Revolution Membership Application 2

Children of Thomas and Hannah

i. Sarah Brown (b. ~1775)  m1. [__?__] Webster; m2. 19 Jul 1806 Newburyport, Mass to Josiah Hooke. (b. 21 Oct 1774 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.  – d. 18 Mar 1827 Castine Cemetery, Castine, Maine) Josiah’s parents were Josiah Stacey Hook (b: 29 May 1744 in Salisbury – d.  20 Sep 1829 Castine, aged 85.) and Sarah Pike (1747  – died Oct. 19, 1811, aged 64.).  Sarah and Josiah had eight children born between 1801 and 1817 in Castine, Maine.

Newburyport Vital Records for Webster: Sarah [Mrs. int.], and Josiah Hook, Esq. of Castine, July 19, 1806.

Josiah served for 35 years as collector of the port of Castine, Maine on the mouth of the Penobscot Riber and was in charge of procurements for the fort there. In those days, the position was appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

Castine Maine

During the War of 1812, from his base in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in August and September 1814, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke sent a naval force and 500 British troops in another “Penobscot Expedition”. In 26 days, they succeeded in taking possession of HampdenBangor, and Machias, destroying or capturing 17 American ships. They won the Battle of Hampden (losing two killed while the Americans lost one killed) and occupied the village of Castine for the rest of the war. The Treaty of Ghent returned this territory to the United States. The British left in April 1815, at which time they took 10,750 pounds obtained from tariff duties at Castine. This money, called the “Castine Fund”, was used  to create a military library in Halifax and  establish  Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dalhousie is a coeducational university, with more than 18,000 students. Their varsity teams, known as the Tigers, compete in the Atlantic University Sport conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

With the growth of the postwar economy, the town became a prosperous place: the seat of Hancock County and a center for shipbuilding and coastal trading. By the 1820s, it had become a major entrepot for American fishing fleets on their way to the Grand Banks. It also prospered from the lumber industry, in which eastern Maine dominated the rest of the country before the Civil War. During this period of growth and prosperity, many of the handsome Federal and Greek Revival style mansions that still grace the village’s streets were constructed.

Castine from Fort George, 1856, by Fitz Henry Lane

But Castine declined after the Civil War. Its fleet, which once sailed the globe, now carried coal, firewood, and lime to coastal ports, competing with railroads and steamships. Ambitious young people sought their fortunes elsewhere. The Hancock County seat moved to Ellsworth in 1838

For more on this fun story, see my post Battle of Hampden and the Castine Fund

Josiah Hooke Customs Officer – Source: Annals of the United States 1824 Vol. 5

Josiah Hook Customs Collector, Catine, Maine. Josiah’s brother Benjamin Hook (1783 – 1862 ) was Deputy Collector and Clerk.  The figures were dollars and cents.

ii. Hannah Brown b. 9 Feb 1772 in Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1 Aug 1828; m. 10 Jan 1799 Newbury to Edward Little (wiki) (b. 12 Mar 1773 in Newbury – d. 21 Sep 1849 in Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine) His parents were Col. Josiah Little (1746 – 1830) and Sarah Toppan (1748 – 1823). Hannah and Edward had eleven children born between 1799 and 1813.

iiu. Abigail Brown b. 31 Jul 1782 in Rowley, Mass.;d. Aft. 1860 census Newburyport m. Francis Todd (b. 6 Feb 1779 Newburyport, Essex. Mass. – d. Aft 1860 Census Newburyport) Francis’ parents were Jeremy Todd and Mary [__?__]

Francis was a merchant and ship owner in Newburyport.

In the 1860 census, Francis and Abigail were retired in Newburyport Ward 3.

Edward Little (1773-1849) was an attorney, founder of Lewiston Mills in Lewiston Maine and philanthropist who founded Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.

Little’s father, Josiah, was a descendant of one of the first settlers of what is now Auburn, Maine.  His grandfather, Col. Moses Little,  was his father-in-law Thomas Brown’s first commanding officer in the company of minute-men who marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775 to Cambridge.

Col Josiah Little (1746-1830)

Edward  attended Phillips Exeter before graduating from Dartmouth College in 1798. Little eventually became a successful attorney and entrepreneur in the city of Newburyport, but after a devastating fire in 1811 he moved to Portland, Maine several years later, and then in 1826 he moved to what is now Auburn. After his father’s death in 1830, Little inherited land in the Auburn area. Little was known as “a quiet, scholarly person who was known for his devotion to the community.”  Little made many prominent donations, including the donation of a Congregational church building to Bowdoin College, and in 1834 he founded the Lewiston Falls Academy, donating 9 acres   and considerable funds to the academy, which was later named the Little Institute and then Edward Little High School.  Edward Little died in 1849.

Squire Edward Little (1773 – 1849)

The school was first commissioned by the Maine State Legislature as Lewiston Falls Academy. Little contributed numerous resources to the school, including land and money. It was renamed to the Edward Little Institute in September 1849.  When the City of Auburn was given control over the school in April 1874, it came with the condition that the school always be named in honor of Edward Little. At the beginning of the 1930s, a second building was erected. The school suffered a fire that destroyed the entire third floor in 1943.

In 1961, the building currently used as Edward Little High School was completed. It cost US$1.9 million to build.  In June 2009, the school was placed on probation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Reasons cited for this probation included “the poor and inadequate condition of the school’s kitchen facility…the insufficient heating system,” and low funding for educational resources and technology.

Edward Little’s Hussein Mohamed makes the final turn ahead of the field in the 4 by 800 meter relay

The school’s sports teams are known as the Red Eddies, with the ghost of Edward Little as their mascot. The school is a member of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.  The high school newspaper is “Eddie’s Echo”  The school’s most successful teams in recent years include basketball and track and field.

Edward Little High School, Auburn, Maine 1906 Postcard with Edward’s statue in the foreground

When the City of Auburn was given control over the school in April 1874, it came with the condition that the school always be named in honor of Edward Little.  This dedication was probably written at that time.

It now seems probably that the first public statue erected in this State in honor of one of its citizens will be the one which the city of Auburn has voted to place in the park of Edward Little Institute, hereafter to be known as the Edward Little High School. It is creditable to the city of Auburn and to the State that this distinction should be first conferred upon one whose sole claim to it rests upon philanthropic grounds. It will be a statue not to a warrior or a statesman, but to an ardent and steady friend of the cause of education and of temperance. To a public spirited man, whose wise planning and unselfish enterprise, laid broad and deep the foundations of education, morality and religion in the two cities of Auburn and Lewiston, where he spent the last and most active years of his useful life.Edward Little was born in Newburyport, in 1773, and was the second son of Col. Josiah Little, of that city. He graduated at Dartmouth in 1797, and prepared himself for the bar. His early and middle life were spent in Newburyport and Portland. At one time he was a bookseller and publisher in this city, his stand being in Muzzy’s Row, Middle Street. We occassionally find old volumes containing his imprint.

At the death of his father, who had large landed estates in Maine, he removed to Danville, now Auburn, and built a mansion in a sightly position, overlooking the grand waterpower, the value and use of which he appreciated. While laboring to develope the industries of the villages clustered on either side of Lewiston Falls, forseeing as he did from the first the grand possibilities of the situation, he did not forget to plant and to foster the church and the school. One of his first acts, after the building of a church, was to give a large and valuable tract of land to the Lewiston Falls Academy, which he also endowed with gifts of money. It is characteristic of the man that he selected the fairest spot in all his broad domain for the school, and had it planted in an ample park near the confluence of the Little Androscoggin and the Androscoggin rivers. He was an early laborer in the temperance cause, and the writer of this article well remembers the series of temperance meetings held nearly forty years ago in his drawing room; for there was no hall or vestry then on the territory now occupied by two thriving cities.

Mr. Little died in 1849. His sons, Thomas, Josiah, and Edward survived him, but have now passed away, leaving many descendants. To of his daughters are now living, Mrs. Samuel Pickard, of Auburn, and Mrs. Charles Clark, of Lewiston. His younger brother, Josiah, of Newburyport, founded the free public library of that city, and many educational and benevolent associations were benefitted by his munificence. He endowed a prfessorship at Bowdoin, which has taken his name, and now another professorship in the same college is to be endowed with funds transferred for the purpose by the trustees of the Institute founded by Edward Little.

Edward Little Statue from High School Web Site

The sculptor who is to model the proposed statue has a noble form and a benignant countenance to represent in bronze. Fortunately many excellent likenesses of the good man are in existence. Doubtless a Maine sculptor will recieve the commission, and it is to be hoped that our first portrait statue may be in every sense a credit to the State.

Edward Little House

The Edward Little House is an historic house at 217 Main Street in Auburn, Maine within the Main Street Historic District. The house was built in 1827 and was home to Edward Little. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

4. Ruth Brown

Ruth’s husband Joseph Coffin was born 26 Aug 1743 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Richard Coffin and Abigail Hale. Joseph died 9 Mar 1769 in Newbury, Essex, Mass, just a couple of years after he and Ruth married  14 Apr 1767 Newbury.

Joseph had a twin Mary Coffin (1743 – 1829) In 1786 she married in Newbury to Edmund Knight (1744 – 1813)

Child of Ruth and Joseph

i. Moses Coffin b. 09 Sep 1768 in Newbury, Essex, Mass; d. 03 Feb 1843 in Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; m1.20 Dec 1792 Boscawen to Hannah Little (b. 10 Apr 1775 in Boscawen, Merrimack, NH – d. 04 Nov 1811 in Boscawen) Hannah’s parents were Enoch Little (1728 – 1816) and
Hannah Hovey (1733 – 1801). Moses and Hannah had three children between 1794 and 1811.

m2. Ann Webster (b. 1770 in Salisbury, Merrimack, New Hampshire) Moses and Ann had three more children between 1815 and 1818.

5. Mercy Brown

Mercy’s husband Jacob Hale was born 13 Sep 1746 – Essex, Mass. His parents were Jacob Hale and Mary March. Jacob died 16 Oct 1805 – Newburyport, Essex, Mass.

Children of Mercy and Jacob:

i. Jacob Hale b. 3 Aug 1772 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass.; d. 18 Mar 1836 in Newburyport m.28 Aug 1794 Newburyport to Mary “Polly” Hoyt (b. 776 in of Newburyport = d. 12 Oct 1836 Newburyport) Jacob and Mary had seven children born between 1795 and 1815

ii. Joseph Hale b. 19 May 1775 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass; d. 1788

iii. Benjamin Hale b. 7 Jul 1778 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass; d. 1858; m1. 12 Dec 1802 to Abigail Peverly Greenleaf (b. 18 Feb 1782 – d. 18 Feb 1804); m2. 12 Sep 1805 Essex, Mass to Anna Tilton Goodhue (b. ~1782 in Bradford, Essex, Mass.) Benjamin and Anna had five children born between 1806 and 1818.

Benjamin’s great grandson was the famous astronomer George Emery Hale

Son – Benjamin Ellery Hale (b. 06 Dec 1809 Bradford, MA- d. 4 Dec 1877 in CT)
Grandson – William Ellery Hale (b. 08 Apr 1836 Bradford – d. Nov 1898 in Chicago)
Great Grandson – George Ellery Hale (b. 29 Jun 1868 in Chicago – d. 21 Feb 1938 in Pasadena)

George Ellery Hale 1905

Hale discovered that sunspots were magnetic and demonstrated a strong tendency for east-west alignment of magnetic polarities in sunspots, with mirror symmetry across the solar equator; and that the polarity in each hemisphere switched orientation from one sunspot cycle to the next. This systematic property of sunspot magnetic fields is now commonly referred to as “Hale’s law.”

Palomar Observatory and Hale Telescope Dome

Hale  founded a number of significant astronomical observatories, including Yerkes ObservatoryMount Wilson ObservatoryPalomar Observatory, and the Hale Solar Laboratory.

iv. Polly Hale b. 1 Sep 1780 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass.

6. Benjamin Brown

Benjamin’s first wife Prudence Kelly was born 17 Apr 1753 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Her parents were John Kelly and Hannah Hale. Prudence died in 9 Sep 1798 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

Benjamin’s second wife to be Mary Lunt was born 27 Jul 1753. Mary died 13 Mar 1838. I found a marriage record between a Benjamin Brown and a Mary Lunt dated 27 Jan 1790 which conflicts with Prudence’s commonly reported date of death.

Mr. Brown was a merchant of high standing in Chester, NH.

Children of Benjamin and Prudence

i. Nancy Brown b. 20 Oct 1776; d. 27 Apr 1799; m. Henry Sweetser (b. 4 Aug 1768 in Charlestown, Mass – d. 28 Jan 1847 in Concord, NH) After Nancy died, Henry married 3 Aug 1809 in Concord, NH to Susannah West (b. 22 Mar 1786 in Concord, NH – d. 2 Aug 1861 in Concord, NH) and had seven children born between 1810 and 1828 including Nancy Brown Sweetser b: 1 Jan 1813 in Chester, NH.

ii. Mercy Brown b. 18 Apr 1778 Newbury, Essex, Mass.; d. 8 Mar 1802; m. Daniel Whittier French (b. 22 Feb 1769 in Epping, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 15 Oct 1840 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire) Daniel’s parents were Gould French (1741 – 1823) and Dorothy Whittier (1745 – 1804). After Mercy died, Daniel married 30 Jun 1805 to Betsey Van Mater Flagg (12 Feb 1778 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 23 Apr 1812 ) and had four children between 1806 and 1811. Finally, on 6 Nov 1812 Daniel married Sarah Wingate Flagg (b. 31 May 1782 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 18 Dec 1878) and had five more children between 1813 and 1821.

Mercy and Daniel had one child Benjamin Brown French, b. Sept. 4, 1800, a man of considerable prominence and influence in Washington, D. C . for many years, till his death, 1870;

Commissioner of Public Buildings, Benjamin Brown French, succeeded William S. Wood in the fall of 1861. After his appointment French wrote in his diary on September 8: “I was at the President’s and saw Mrs. Lincoln and the President. Mrs. L. expressed her satisfaction at my appointment, and I hope and trust she and I shall get along quietly. I certainly shall do all in my power to oblige her and make her comfortable. She is evidently a smart, intelligent woman, and likes to have her own way pretty much. I was delighted with her independence and her lady-like reception of me. Afterwards I saw the President and he received me very cordially.”

Benjamin Brown French (1800-1870) Photographed by Matthew B. Brady

It was a challenge for Mary Todd Lincoln, a “westerner”, to serve as her husband’s First Lady in Washington, D.C., a political center dominated by eastern and southern culture. Lincoln was regarded as the first “western” president, and Mary’s manners were often criticized as coarse and pretentious.   It was difficult for her to negotiate White House social responsibilities and rivalries, spoils-seeking solicitors, and baiting newspapers  in a climate of high national intrigue in Civil War Washington.

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882).  Benjamin Brown French helped with her unpopular White House decorations

Mary Lincoln suffered from severe headaches, described as migraines, throughout her adult life as well as protracted depression  During her White House years, she also suffered a head injury in a carriage accident, after which her headaches seemed to become more frequent.  A history of mood swings, fierce temper, public outbursts throughout Lincoln’s presidency, as well as excessive spending, has led some historians and psychologists to speculate that Mary suffered from bipolar disorder.

Responsible for hosting many social functions, she has often been blamed by historians for spending too much on the White House. She reportedly felt that it was important to the maintenance of prestige of the Presidency and the Union during the Civil War.

Once a Democrat, Benjamin Brown French was clerk of the House when Congressman Lincoln arrived in Washington in 1847; Lincoln’s vote helped defeat him for reelection.

Benjamin B. French, Grand Master of the Masons, laying cornerstone of Washington Monument, July 4, 1848 Color Lithograph c1893

A prominent Washington Republican, he served as marshal of the first Lincoln Inaugural and as general factotum to the President’s aides in the early days of the Lincoln Administration. He worked hard to ingratiate himself with the Lincoln in order to get the public buildings post – even writing a long poem for Mrs. Lincoln. He was the deputy to Marshal Ward Hill Lamon at the dedication of the Gettysburg Battlefield for which he composed a funeral dirge that was sung at the ceremony. He also served the factotum who introduced Mrs. Lincoln at receptions in the Blue Room. “Every Saturday from 1 to 3 M. & every Tuesday from 1/2 past 8 to 1/2 past 10, I am required, as an official duty, to be at the President’s to introduce visitors to Mrs. Lincoln. It is a terrible bore, but, as a duty I must do it…”2 In 1865, he oversaw the White House preparations for President Lincoln’s funeral—including the design of the catafalque.

Perhaps French’s most important function was to oversee the expenditures for the White House redecorating. He had to find a way to pay the excess bills that had been accumulated under his predecessor, William S. Wood. On December 16, 1861, French recorded in his diary the events of the previous weekend: “Mrs. Lincoln sent down for me to go up and see her on urgent business. I could not go, of course, but sent word I would be up by 9 A.M. Saturday. Although suffering with a severe headache I went & had an interview with her, and with the President, in relation to the overrunning of the appropriation for furnishing the house, which was done, by the law, ‘under the President.’ The money was actually expended by Mrs. Lincoln, & she was in much tribulation, the President declaring he would not approve the bills overrunning the $20,000 appropriated. Mrs. L. wanted me to see him & endeavor to persuade him to give his approval to the bills, but not to let him know that I had seen her!”

Although the President was infuriated by the overspending, French arranged a deficiency appropriation from Congress of $4500 and to shift funds from other Washington projects to cover Mrs. Lincoln’s spending spree.

French’s whole family was involved in preparing for Lincoln’s funeral. Anthony Pitch wrote: “Benjamin Brown French’s son, Ben, an engineer, had personally built the pine catafalque to hold the coffin. French’s wife, Mary, had sewn and trimmed the black cloth cover.

iii. Hannah Brown b. 5 Feb 1780; d. 13 May 1863 Springfield, Illinois; m. as his second wife Deacon Jacob Mitchell (b. 3 Dec 1763 – d. 14 Feb 1848 in North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Maine). Jacob’s parents were David Mitchell (1728 – 1796) and Lucretia Loring (1742 – 1809). Jacob was a farmer of Yarmouth, Maine. Jacob first married 23 Sep 1786 in North Yarmouth to Phebe Buxton (b. 22 Aug 1764 – d. 9 Apr 1812 in North Yarmouth) Jacob and Phebe had seven children born between 1787 and 1802.

Hannah and Jacob had the following children: Phebe Buxton (Mitchell), d. young; Benjamin Francis (Mitchell), d. in Memphis, Tenn., during the war; his wife and children are living in Missouri; two of the sons are preachers; Samuel Woodbury (Mitchell), ni., but has no children; has been pastor, 1890, of a Congregational church in Columbia, Tenn., for 24 years. He first learned the printer’s art in the Christian Mirror office in Portland, Me., obtained a liberal education, and became prof, of languages in Jackson college, Columbia, Tenn., which office he tilled some twelve years before he entered the ministry; Asa Cuminings (Mitchell), was civil engineer on the Portland & Ogdensbnrg railroad, after which he kept a drugstore in Bellows Falls. VT, where he died 1885. His eldest son Frank continued the business; Mary Elizabeth (Mitchell), d. in Columbia, Tenn., about 1863.

iv. Lydia Brown b. 6 Feb 1782 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. 23 Feb 1811 in Gorham, Cumberland, Maine; m. Hon., Toppan Robie (b. 27 Jan 1782 in Candia, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 14 Jan 1871 in Gorham, Maine) Toppan’s parents were Edward Robie (1746 – 1837) and Sarah Smith (1754 – 1843) Lydia and Toppan had two children, Harriet (b. 1805) and Francis (b. 1809)

After Lydia died, Toppan married 17 Sep 1811 to Sarah Thaxter Lincoln (b. 12 May 1793 in Hingham, Mass – d. 23 Apr 1828 in Gorham, Cumberland, Maine) and had three more children between 1812 and 1822. Finally, Toppan married 25 Oct 1828 to Eliza Stevens (b. ~ 1783 in Maine – d. 2 Nov 1865) Eliza had first married Capt. William Cross.

Toppan was a gentleman of property and standing in Gorham, Maine. In the 1850 census, his real estate was valued at $10,000, but he had already given most of his fortune away.

Toppan’s son Frederick Robie (wiki) (1822 – 1912) served 1882 -1885 as the 39th Governor of Maine. During the American Civil War, Robie accepted an appointment from President Lincoln as Paymaster of United States Volunteers. He served with the Potomac army from 1861 to 1863. He then was transferred to Boston as Chief Paymaster of the Department of New England. He later served in Maine administering the final payments of discharged soldiers.

Here is the full text of “Memorial of Hon. Toppan Robie” from

Some extended excerpts: Toppan’s grandfather was Samuel, son of Ichabod, son of John Robie, who came to this country from England and settled in the town of Atkinson, NH about 1660. Mr. Robie’s mother was the daughter of John Smith and Sarah Toppan, of Hampton, NH. Hence, through his maternal grandmother came his somewhat peculiar christian name.

His parents removed from Chester, NH, to Candia in 1780, and when he was about four years old they returned to Chester, where they lived the remainder of their days. His father died at the age of 92, his mother at 89.

His early opportunities for acquiring even a common school education were limited. When eight or nine years old he went to live with his grandmother Smith — then Webster, by her second marriage ; being a great favorite with her, partly no doubt on account of his christian name. He remained the greater part of the time until he was fourteen with her and her son Edmund Webster, who was perhaps the most active and influential merchant in the town. He attended the town school when there was one, and was occasionally sent by his uncle to a private school, where he was taught only reading, writing and arithmetic.

But it was during these years that his future course was shaped. Being a favorite in the family and familiar with his uncle he spent a great deal of time in his store, where his natural inclination to mercantile pursuits was developed and fostered. At the age of fourteen he went to Haverhill, Mass., and was there employed in a store by Capt. Cotton B. Brooks, afterwards a successful merchant of Portland, where he died in 1834.

In March, 1799, when 17 years of age he came to Gorham, a friend in Haverhill having procured a situation for him as clerk in the store of the late John Horton. He remained with Mr. Horton but a few months, and then went into the employ of the late Dan’l Cressey, who was at that time the principal trader in Gorham, and with whom he continued until September, 1802, when, before he was twenty-one years of age, in company with the late Sewall Lancaster, he commenced business for himself. During these years of clerkship his compensation was from $50 to $216 per year and board. Yet from this, by strict economy and careful husbanding of his earnings, he had laid by a very respectable amount, which he had as his own to use in commencing business.

[Gorham is named for our ancestor Capt. John GORHAM (1620 – 1676) Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather three times over, through his daughters Desire and Temperance and his son James.  John died  5 Feb 1675/76 after being wounded 15 Nov 1675 in the Great Swamp Fight (see my post) in King Phillip’s War.  He was wounded by having his powder horn shot which split against his side, and he was severely weakened further from exposure. He died of the resulting fever.

Gorham, 11 miles west of Portland, was first called Narragansett Number 7, it was one of seven townships granted by the Massachusetts General Court to soldiers (or their heirs) who had fought in the Narragansett War of 1675.  The population was 14,141 at the 2000 census. Gorham is home to the University of Southern Maine, with roots to Toppan Robie as you'll see later.]

Mr. Cressey had confidence in him, trusted his business with him,, and often sent him, young as he was, to Boston to make his stated purchases for him. This, at a time when the purchase money of thousands of dollars was carried on the person, and the journey was made on horseback, the goods to be purchased a general assortment, for a variety of customers, requiring no ordinary skill and judgment in selection, and shrewdness in buying, was a delicate and responsible commission ; yet it was executed by young Robie in a manner which not only gave satisfaction to his employer, but established an acquaintance and standing among merchants in Boston, Avhich were of great advantage to him when he commenced business in his own name.

In 1804 Toppan took his brother, Thomas S. Robie, then a lad of thirteen, into his store, where he was employed in various capacities, from that of shop boy to the position of chief clerk until 1815, when the two brothers went into partnership as retail merchants, and for more than twenty years carried on business under the name of T. & T. S. Robie, in the store occupied at Toppan’s death by their successors, Messrs. Ridlon & Card. Never were two persons better fitted to conduct business together than these two brothers. Capt. Robie frequently declared, ” never did two brothers get along more cordially and pleasantly than we did from beginning to end.”

He competed largely and successfully with the merchants of Portland for the extension trade, not only of neighboring towns in this State, but also for that of all Northern NH and North Eastern VT., a region then known as the “Coos Country,” [today Coos County NH (two syllables) covers the the state's northern panhandle] whose natural market before the building of rail roads, was Portland. For those distant and desirable customers, his business became largely wholesale business, both in the purchase of their produce, and in the sale of goods with which they reloaded their teams. Coming as they often did, especially in Winter, in companies of from twenty to sLxty or more teams, the traffic with them became most important, lucrative and demanding.

During the war of 1812 he was Captain of a company of militia, and when, in 1814, it was supposed that Portland was in danger of invasion, and among other troops Gen. Irish’s brigade was ordered there, Capt. Robie marched “to the front,” at the head of his company.

After the death of his brother in 1838, Mr. Robie continued in trade a few years, and then withdrew from active participation in his mercantile business to focus on his property and philanthropic pursuits.

He was six years a representative of the town at the General Court of Massachusetts. In 1820-21 he was representative in the Legislature of Maine, and in 1837 a member of Gov. Kent’s Executive Council. In politics, commencing as a Federalist, lie was afterwards an ardent Whig, and in latter years an equally earnest Republican. For many years he was treasurer both of the parish and of their ministerial fund. He was also one of the Trustees of Gorham Academy for more than fifty years — for many
years their treasurer — and contributed often to aid the institution. Today, it is the University of Southern Maine.

Toppan was trustee of the Gorham Academy for 50 years

Though not by nature a generous man, certainly not impulsively so, he dispensed very liberal sums in public and private benefactions, as in the instance already alluded to of his contribution to the Ministerial Fund and in aid of the Academy, in his gifts to the town of the soldier’s monument and a town clock, and a donation made by him on his 80th birth-day of $85,000 to the Congregational Church and Parish of Chester.

Since he was eighty years old he has cleared and prepared for tillage some ten acres of wood and pasture land. In the summer months when the early — six o’clock — morning train from Gorham to Portland passed his newly purchased land we have often seen the venerable old man at work there, hatchet in hand, endeavoring, by cutting and burning, to exterminate the juniper bushes growing there, intruders to which he seemed to have special dislike, as symbolical of uselessness, waste and neglect.

v. Francis Brown b. 11 Jan 1784 Chester, NH – 27 Jul 1820); m. 11 Feb 1811 to Elizabeth Gilman daughter of Rev. Tristram Gilman of Yarmouth, Me., a lady of fine intellectual powers and devoted Christian character.

(wiki) served as the president of Dartmouth College from September, 1815 to July, 1820.

vi. Prudence Brown b. 3 Apr 1786 Chester, NH.; d. 28 May 1871 West Springfield, Hampden, Mass.; m. 31 Oct 1811 Chester, NH. to David Thurston (b. 6 Feb 1779 Rowley, Essex, Mass. – d. 7 May 1865 Litchfield, Lincoln, Maine) David’s parents were David Thurston and Mary Bacon.

Francis Brown (1784 – 1820)

Francis graduated from the College in 1805 and from 1806–1809 held a tutorship there. He also served a pastor in a Congregational church in North Yarmouth, Maine.. Brown was removed from his presidency at the College as part of the actions that resulted in the Dartmouth College case, but was reinstated following the 1819 decision in favor of the College.

A pastor from North Yarmouth, Maine, he presided over Dartmouth College during the famous Supreme Court hearing of Trustees of Dartmouth College v. William H. Woodward or, as it is more commonly called, the Dartmouth College Case.

Dartmouth College Shield

Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 518 (1819), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations. The case arose when the president of Dartmouth College was deposed by its trustees, leading to the New Hampshire legislature attempting to force the college to become a public institution and thereby place the ability to appoint trustees in the hands of the governor. The Supreme Court upheld the sanctity of the original charter of the college, which pre-dated the creation of the State. The decision settled the nature of public versus private charters and resulted in the rise of the American business corporation.

The contest was a pivotal one for Dartmouth and for the newly independent nation. It tested the contract clause of the Constitution and arose from an 1816 controversy involving the legislature of the state of New Hampshire, which amended the 1769 charter granted to Eleazar Wheelock, making Dartmouth a public institution and changing its name to Dartmouth University. Under the leadership of President Brown, the Trustees resisted the effort and the case for Dartmouth was argued by Dartmouth alumnus  Daniel Webster, before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818.

Daniel Webster Pleads Dartmouth Case –  Displayed in Thayer Dining Hall   Robert Burns painted it in 1962 in acccordance with the will of Col. Henry Nelson Teague 1900

Webster argued the college’s case against William H. Woodward, the state-approved secretary of the new board of trustees. Webster’s speech in support of Dartmouth was so moving that it apparently helped convince Chief Justice John Marshall, also reportedly bringing tears to Webster’s eyes.

Dartmouth College Case Stamp Issued 1969

Webster’s legendary claim, “This, sir, is my case! It is the case not merely of that humble institution; it is the case of every college in our land! … [I]t is, sir, as I have said, a small college, and yet there are those who love it,” earned him a national reputation and Dartmouth a clear victory.

The Dartmouth case helped establish Daniel Webster’s reputation for eloquence and persuasiveness.   A scene from the classic movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), based upon the short story by Stephen Vincent Benet, in which Daniel Webster bests Satan in a jury trial to save the soul of New Hampshireman Jabez Stone.   In this scene Daniel Webster addresses a jury of the damned, all villains of American history.  Tellingly, Jabez was also accused of breach of contract, though of the Faustian kind.  I have always thought this speech one of the most eloquent statements of what it means to be an American.  Go here to read the passage in the Stephen Vincet Benet’s short story.

The jury of the damned in the film is slightly altered from the original, as revealed in the following dialogue:

Scratch: Captain Kidd, he killed men for gold. Simon Girty, the renegade; he burned men for gold. Governor Dale, he broke men on the wheel. Asa, the Black Monk, he choked them to death. Floyd Ireson and Stede Bonnet, the fiendish butchers. Walter Butler, the king of the massacre. Big and Little Harp, robbers and murderers. Teach, the cutthroat. Morton, the vicious lawyer. And General Benedict Arnold, you remember him, no doubt.
Webster: A jury of the damned.
Scratch: Dastards, liars, traitors, knaves.
Webster: This is monstrous.
Scratch: You asked for a jury trial, Mr Webster. Your suggestion – the quick or the dead.
Webster: I asked for a fair trial.
Scratch: Americans all.

In the original story, Webster regrets Benedict Arnold’s absence, but in the film, he is present and Webster objects, citing him as a traitor and therefore not a true American. His objection is dismissed by the judge.

Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the historic decision in favor of Dartmouth College, thereby paving the way for all American private institutions to conduct their affairs in accordance with their charters and without interference from the state. In a letter following the proceedings, Justice Joseph Story explained “the vital importance to the well-being of society and the security of private rights of the principles on which the decision rested. Unless I am very much mistaken, these principles will be found to apply with an extensive reach to all the great concerns of the people and will check any undue encroachments on civil rights which the passions or the popular doctrines of the day may stimulate our State Legislatures to adopt.”

It was not a popular decision at the time, and a public outcry ensued. Thomas Jefferson’s earlier commiseration with New Hampshire Governor William Plumer stated essentially that the earth belongs to the living. Popular opinion influenced some state courts and legislatures to declare that state governments had an absolute right to amend or repeal a corporate charter. The courts, however, have imposed limitations to this.

After the Dartmouth decision, many states wanted more control so they passed laws or constitutional amendments giving themselves the general right to alter or revoke at will, which the courts found to be a valid reservation. The courts have established, however, that the alteration or revocation of private charters or laws authorizing private charters must be reasonable and cannot cause harm to the members (founders, stockholders, and the like).

The traditional view holds that this case is one of the most important Supreme Court rulings, strengthening the Contract Clause  and limiting the power of the States to interfere with private charters, including those of commercial enterprises.

While the outcome was a tremendous victory for Dartmouth, the turmoil of the four-year legal battle left the College in perilous financial condition and took its toll on the health of President Brown. His condition steadily deteriorating, the Trustees made provisions, in 1819, for “the senior professors…to perform all the public duties pertaining to the Office of President of the College” in the event of his disability. Francis Brown died in July 1820 at the age of 36.

Francis Brown Monument – Burial: Dartmouth College Cemetery, Hanover, New Hampshire,

Francis’ Curriculum Vitae

Installed as pastor of the Congregational Church, North Yarmouth, ME, Jan 11, 1810; elected Professor of Languages in Dartmouth College the same year, but declined; married Feb 4, 1811; elected President of Dartmouth College in August, 1815, and inaugurated Sep 27, 1815; he died at Hanover, NH, Jul 27, 1820. The Presidency of Hamilton College was offered him under date of Mar 17, 1817, but declined, May 28th. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from both Hamilton and Williams Colleges in 1819. For contributions to the literature of his profession he had little time or strength. Several of his addresses and sermons were published, viz.: Address on Music, delivered before the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, 1809; The Faithful Steward; Sermon at the Ordination of Allen Greeley, 1810; Sermon on the Occasion of the State Fast, 1812; Sermon before the Maine Missionary Society, 1814; Sermon at the Ordination of Jonathan Greenleaf, at Wells, Me., 1815; Calvin and Calvinism, 1815; Reply to the Rev. Martin Ruter’s Letter Relating to Calvin and Calvinism, 1815; Sermon before the Convention of Congregational and Presbyterian Ministers of New Hampshire, Concord, N. H., 1818.


The New York genealogical and biographical record, Volume 49

Thurston genealogies pg 425 By Brown Thurston

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