John Danforth

John DANFORTH (1681 – 1778) was Alex’s 8th Great Grandfather, one of 512 in this generation in the Shaw line.

John Danforth was born 8 Dec 1681 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.  His parents were William DANFORTH and Sarah THURLOW. The name of his first wife is not known.  He married Dorcas WHITE on 24 Nov 1713 in Newbury Mass.  John died 26 Mar 1778 in Newbury, in his 93rd year.

Almost all of John Danforth’s children, except our ancestor Samuel removed to the Contoocook, New Hampshire area.  Here’s the Contoocook River rom the railroad covered bridge

Dorcas White was born about 1687 in Newbury, Mass.  Her father may have been Nathaniel WHITE.   Dorcas died 26 Mar 1778 in Newbury in her 91st year.

Children of John and Dorcas

Name Born Married Departed
1. Nathaniel Danforth ca. 1703  Newbury Priscilla Wycom (Wicom)
18 Oct 1724 Boxford, MA
Andover, NH
2. Thomas Danforth ca. 1705 [__?__] After 1762
Canterbury, New Hampshire
3. William Danforth c. 1708 Newbury Ann Flood
17 Jan 1733/34 Concord, NH
New Hampshire
4. Samuel DANFORTH 11 Dec 1715 Newbury Mehitable BROWN
13 Jan 1737 Newbury, Mass
26 Aug 1800 Newbury
5. John Danforth 7 Feb 1719/20 Newbury Abigail Fitts
20 Sep 1735 Newbury
26 Aug 1800 Canterbury, NH
6. Oliver Danforth bapt. 24 Dec 1720 when he, Samuel and John were baptized
Ann Stickney
14 Oct 1756
7. Moses Danforth c. 1728 Newbury Mary “Molly” Flood
c. 1751
New Hampshire
Sanbornton, NH
8. Sarah Danforth? James Head
13 Jan 1733 Rumford, (now Concord), Merrimack, New Hampshire,
9. Mary Danforth? James Gibson
10. Elizabeth Danforth?

John  spent most or all of his life in Newbury, near the Byfield meeting house.

John lived in that part of Newbury now called Byfield. He died in 1772 “in his 93d year, he had been very helpless for a year past”.


6 May 1753 – The following deed supplies information about the children.  It looks like almost everyone except for our ancestor Samuel moved to New Hampshire.

Nathaniel Danford of Contoocook NH, husbandman
John Danforth of Contoocook, housewright
William Danforth of Contoocook
Thomas  Danforth of Canterbury, NH
Mary, wife of James Gibson and
Elizabeth, singlewoman joined in a deed of land in Canterbury to their their brother Moses Danforth of Canterbury

William and Nathaniel Danforth are known to have been at Contoocook (Boscawen), as early as 1733. The native Pennacook tribe called the area Contoocook, meaning “place of the river near pines.” On June 6, 1733, Governor Jonathan Belcher granted it to John Coffin and 90 others, most from Newbury, Massachusetts. Settled in 1734, it soon had a meetinghouse, sawmill, gristmill and ferry across the Merrimack River.

During the year 1734 thirty-three settlers came to Contocook [sic] to begin, as it were, life anew in the wilderness. Rev. Mr. Price has handed down the names of twenty-seven only; but from a deposition made by Moses Burbank in 1792 the number is stated as being thirty-three as follows: David Barker, Sinkler Bean, John Bowen, Josiah Bishop, Andrew Bohonnon, Moses Burbank [future father-in-law of Nathaniel Danforth’s daughter Sarah]  Philip CALL, Thomas Cook, John Corser, William Dagodon, William DanforthNathaniel Danforth [Stephen Call’s future father-in-law] Joseph Eastman, Edward Emery, Edward Fitzgerald, Jacob Flanders, Richard Flood, [William Danforth’s brother-in-law], John Fowler, Stephen Gerrish, Ambrose Gould, Richard Jackman [Martha Call’s future father-in-law], George Jackman [Moses Call’s future father-in-law], Joel Manuel, Nathaniel Meloon, William Peters, Nathaniel Rix,  and Daniel Rolfe. It is not probable that many of the settlers’ families came in the spring, but most, if not all, were there before the close of the year.

8 Nov 1734 – A meeting of the proprietors was held at the house of Archelaus Adams, in Newbury. It was voted that a saw-mill should be built at the charge of the proprietors, and Daniel hale, Joseph Gerrish and Thomas Thoria were chosen a committee to attend to the matter. The same committee was empowered to rectify a mistake made in the laying out of lots, and John Brown, the surveyor, was engaged to go to Contoocook to show the proprietors the locations of the lots.

Five of the proprietors–Joseph Lunt, John Coffin, Thomas Thorla, Benjamin Lunt, Benjamin Coker, and Edward Emery–entered their dissent in regard to the power of the committee.

18 Dec 1734 – Another meeting was held. It was voted that the intervale should be fenced by the 15th of May the following year, at the expense of the owners of the lots, and any proprietor neglecting to build his proportion should make satisfaction. It was also voted that Joseph Tappan should obtain a grindstone for the common use of the proprietors. At this meeting further action was taken towards building a sawmill.

The year opened auspiciously to the settlers, for, on January 7th, a daughter was born to Nathaniel Danforth, the first birth in the plantation. The infant was named Abigail, grew to womanhood and married Thomas Foss, whose name frequently appears in the records of the town.

From the action taken in regard to the discharge of the bond given by the fifteen who obligated themselves to build the saw-mill, the evidence is conclusive that the mill had been created. “Voted that the bonds of the men, which have built the saw mill will be delivered & to lay out the bonds for building said mill according to vote as by record.”

It was a pioneer mill of this section of the Merrimack Valley. The saw-mills of that period were such as any carpenter might construct. This mill had no “nigger” wheel to move the “carriage” back after the saw had passed through the log; that labor was done by a man treading upon the cogs of the “ratchet-wheel,”–labor exceedingly fatiguing. For many years it was the only saw-mill in the town, and several of the houses now standing on King Street are covered with boards which were sawn in this first mill.

THE FIRST FORT–It was voted that a fort should be erected at the expense of the proprietors, the inclosure to be one hundred feet square, built of hewn logs, seven feet high and eight inches thick when hewn, “to be built three feet above the logs with such stuff as shall be agreed upon by the committee.”

From this record it may be inferred that there was an upper work,–a chevaux-de-frise of pointed, projecting timbers, designed to prevent the enemy from climbing over the wooden walls, which undoubtedly were loop-holed for the use of musketry.

It was voted to locate the fortification on the “school lot.” The probabilities are that it was erected a few feet south of that lot, near the spot upon which the first framed house was subsequently erected by Rev. Robie Morrill.

It being found that the inclosure was not large enough to accomodate the entire community, another fortification was erected during the winter. No record has been preserved in regard to the dimension of the garrison, but it probably was somewhat smaller, and designed as a retreat for the settlers on Queen Street in case of sudden surprise.

1. Nathaniel Danforth

Nathaniel’s wife Priscilla Wycom (Wicom) was born 9 Apr 1706 in Rowley, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Daniel Wicom (1665-1724) and Sarah Hazen (1673-1705). Her maternal grandparents were Edward HAZEN Sr. and Hannah GRANT. Priscilla died in Andover, New Hampshire.

Nathaniel moved to Contoocook, NH before 1741. On April 22, 1760, Contoocook Plantation was incorporated as a town by Governor Benning Wentworth, who named it for Edward Boscawen, the British admiral who distinguished himself at the 1758 Siege of Louisbourg. With a generally level surface, the town provided good farmland, and became noted for its apple, pear and cherry orchards. Bounded by the Merrimack and Contoocook rivers, it had abundant sources of water power for mills..

Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH

This area was first granted by the Massachusetts government in 1735 as New Hampshire Number 5, one in a line of settlements between the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers. The settlers, who were from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, renamed the town New Hopkinton. The town was incorporated as Hopkinton by the New Hampshire governor and council in 1765. Setting the pattern for future towns, settlers were required to build homes, fence in their acreage, plant it with English grass, and provide a home for a minister, all within seven years. Contoocook village, a substantial portion of the town, was named for a tribe of Penacook Indians who once lived there, as was the Contoocook River which flows through the town.

Nathaniel was baptized, “an adult person,” — in Rowley, Dec. 3, 1727, and his children Eunice and Nathaniel were baptized the same day. He removed, as we learn from land transfers, to Contoocook, N. H., before 1741.  He was a farmer. He was one of the Contoocook soldiers who petitioned for John Rollin to be commissioned as a captain Nov. 29, 1743. Also one of the petitioners for protection from Indians, March 20, 1755. Removed to Boscawen before 1766.

Children of Nathaniel and Priscilla:

i. Eunice Danforth (twin) bapt. 3 Dec 1727

ii. Nathaniel Danforth (twin) bapt. 3 Dec 1727 Rowley; d. 1821 Salisbury, New Hampshire at the age of 96; m. Mary Emery (b. 6 Aug 1727 Gloucester, Mass. –  d. 8 Jul 1809 – Andover, New Hampshire)  Mary’s parents were Edward Emery (1694 – 1743) and Sarah Sibley (1699 – ) Nathaniel and Mary had at least two children: Edward (b. 1760) and Nathaniel (b. 1768).

Nathaniel  settled with his father at Contoocook, N. H. Removed to “New Britton in the county of Hillsborough,” N. H. (since called Andover), before March 10, 1779, when he signed a petition of the inhabitants for incorporation. [N. H. State Papers, vol. XI.] He married Mary, daughter of Edward and Sarah Emery, of Contoocook, N. H., as we learn from a deed in which they joined with their brother William Emery Oct. 12, 1761.

iii. Stephen Danforth bapt. 5 Oct 1729 Rowley, Essex, Mass

Mary Hibbert married 9 Dec 1754 in Beverly, Essex Mass. to Stephen Danforth “of Ipswich” Mary’s parents were Joseph Hibbard (1692 – ) and Mary Stone (1689 – ) Mary first married 9 Dec 1749 in Beverly to Solomon Cole (b. 4 Aug 1732 in Beverly) The identity of this Stephen Danforth isn’t clear, but at least one genealogist thinks he was the son of Nathaniel and Priscilla.

iv. Abigail Danforth b. 7 Jan 1735 Boscowen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. 1756 to Thomas Foss (b. 1740 in Greenland, Rockingham, New Hampshire – ) Thomas’ parents were John Foss (1717 – 1745) and Sarah Folsom (1698 – 1761). Abigail and Thomas had eight children born between 1757 and 1774.

Abigail was the first white child born in the plantation became the town of Boscawen. The original grant of this town was made to John Coffin and eighty others by the government of Massachusetts Bay, June 6, 1733. It was named Contoocook, and bore that name until it was incorporated as a town, April 22, 1760.

Boscowen Town Officers 1763–John Fowler, moderator; Joseph Hoit, Ephraim Plummer, Thomas Foss, selectmen.

Item from the Boscowen Selectmen’s Account – 1766

“Paid Mr. Thomas Foss the Sum of Saving shilling for his Service toward Laying out highways & perambulating between Boscawen & hopkinton

v. Sarah Danforth b. 16 May 1738 Boscowen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 1800 New Hampshire; m. 1760 in Boscawan to Moses Burbank (b. 26 Jun 1741 in Boscawen – d. 1800 in Barnet, Merrimack, New Hampshire) Moses’ parents were Moses Burbank (1717 – 1804) and Sarah Emery (1720 – ), Sarah and Moses had eight children born between 1761 and 1781.

Moses’ name appears on the pay roll of Capt. Joshua Abbott’s Co., in Col. John Stark‘s regiment to Aug 6, 1775. He enlisted May 6, 1775, served 3 months 3 days. His name appears in Capt. Benjamin Emery’s company, Colonel Loammi Baldwin‘s regiment which was raised to reinforce the Continental Army at New York Sep 20, 1776. Also on the payroll of Capt. John Hall’s company which marched from Hopkinton and towns adjacent Sept. 1777 to join the army at Saratoga, he enlisted Sep 28, 1777, served 28 days. He was on the pay roll of Capt. Ebenezer Webster’s company [Daniel Webster‘s father] in the expedition to Rhode Island Aug 1778 as a sergeant, served 25 days; was appointed a sergeant in Capt. William Tarlton’s company, Col. Timothy Bedel’s regiment Jan 21, 1778 for an expedition against Canada; also in the siege of Boston during the winter of 1775, and at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

ROLL OF HONOR AT BUNKER HILL–Those engaged in the battle of Bunker Hill from Boscawen were,–
Officers.–Lieut. Samuel Atkinson, Lieut. Moses Call, Corp. Samuel Corser, Corp. Nathan Davis.
Privates.–David Burbank, Nathaniel Burbank, Moses Burbank Jr., John Bowley, Edmund Chadwick, William Corser, Asa Corser, Isaac Davis, Joshua Danforth, John Eliot, John Flanders, David Flanders, Deacon Jesse Flanders.

Moses Burbank Revolutionary Service

Moses Burbank Revolutionary Service

vi.  John Danforth b. 14 Jan 1744 Boxford (Georgetown), Essex, Mass; bapt. 3 Feb 1744; d. 14 Feb 1744 Boxford,

vii. Hephzibah Danforth, bapt.  22  Feb 1746/47

2. Thomas Danforth

Thomas had a child, Thomas Jr, but the name of his wife is not known.

Thomas moved to Canterbury, NH. He was one of the “inhabitants of Rumford (Concord), Canterbury and Contoocook (Boscawn),” who petitioned for a guard against the Indians Jan. 2, 1747. [N. H. State Papers.]

The town of Canterbury was originally a fort or trading post where the Penacook Indians came to trade. Canterbury Shaker Village was first established in 1792, a self-contained community of the United Society of Believers, known as the Shaking Quakers or Shakers, because of their use of dance in worship. Today, the Canterbury Shaker Village is an outdoor museum and designated National Historic Landmark..

Canterbury, Merrimack, New Hampshire

With his brothers and sisters, he deeded land to his brother Moses on  6 May, 1753. He, of Canterbury, bought forty acres of land in Canterbury Nov. 16, 1756 ; sold land there Sept. 27, 1758 : and June 10, 1761, bought land in New Holderness, N. H., and sold land in Canterbury April 8, 1762, ” which Capt. Josiah Miles purchased of Capt. Jeremiah Clough.”

Child of Thomas and [__?__]

i. Thomas Danforth Jr.,  b. about 1757 probably Canterbury, Merrimack, New Hampshire;

A Thomas Danforth married Martha Colby on 23 Oct 1781 in Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire. Colby orientated genealogies say Thomas was born about 1760, but provide no further information. I’m not sure it was this Thomas, but we know he married and had a son. Evidence either way is appreciated.

There is Danforth Pond  on Ossipee Lake and near Conway.    See  Danforth Bay Camping and RV Resort.   I wonder if the names are related?

Sanbornton where Thomas enlisted is about 15 miles north of  Canterbury where he was born. Conway is 56 miles northeast of Sanbornton and was first settled in 1765 when Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth chartered sixty-five men to establish the town.   Conway is named for Henry Seymour Conway, Commander in Chief of the British Army.   To keep his land, a settler had to plant 5 acres for every fifty in his share, and to do it within five years. The first roads were built in 1766. Construction of the first meetinghouse began at Redstone. Never completed, it could only be used in summer, with services held whenever a minister visited. Eventually, the partly finished meetinghouse was moved to Center Conway. In 1775, the town raised small sums to build two schoolhouses, one in North Conway.

Martha Colby was born 9 Mar 1763 in Hopkinton, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Her parents were Abraham Colby (twin) (1714 – 1806) and Phebe Coleman (1721 – )

5 Mar 1776 – Thomas Danford, Jr. was a soldier in Col. Timothy Bedel’s regiment, He marched in Capt. Chase Taylor’s company of Col. Thomas Stickney’s regiment, from Sanbornton, Belknap NH

22 Jul 1777 Thomas enlisted in Col. Timothy Bedel’s regiment from Sanbornton, Belknap NH.

1793 – He was one of the selectmen of Eaton, NH.

1828 – Thomas Danford ” of Stafford co., N. H. aged 77,” was receiving a pension of $96 per annum

3. William Danforth

William’s wife Ann Flood was born about 1710 some say in Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire, but more likely in Newbury, Maas. Her parents may have been Phillip Flood (1657 Guernsey – 1717 Newbury, Mass) and Mary [__?__] (1672 – 1742) She was a sister of Richard Flood who was one of the thirty-three original settlers who came to Contocook (later Boscawen, NH) in 1734. William and Anne married 17 Jan 1733/34 Concord, NH right before the migration. Anna died in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

William was a settler at Boscawen, N. H., as early as 1733 ; aided in the erection of the first saw-mill. Owned at one time the mill at the head of King Street. He married a sister of Richard Flood, one of the first settlers of the town. [History of Boscawen.] He was one of the ” Contoocook ” soldiers who petitioned Governor Wentworth, Nov 29, 1743, to give John Rollins a captain’s commission. [N. H. Town Papers X.]

Children of William and Anna:

i. Mary Danforth b. 1745 Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. John Jackman (Jackson) (b. 24 Aug 1743 – d. Mar 1813 in Boscawen) John’s parents were Richard Jackman (1709 – 1761) and Martha Call (1718 – ). John’s maternal grandparents were our ancestors Philip CALL and Sarah TRESSEL. Mary and John had ten children born between 1764 and 1787.

ii. Susan Danforth b. Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. Nathan Corser (~1720 – ~1800) Nathan’s parents were John Corser (1678 – 1776) and Tabitha Keeney (Kinne) (1678 – ). Susan and Nathan had no children.

In 1736, Nathan’s father John tended a saw-mill situated on Mill-Brook near King Street in Boscawen. In 1745, John Corser, tending a saw-mill alone at the head of King street, while using a crow-bar about a mill log, in an unaccountable manner, the end of the bar struck his head, cut off his nose-took out his right eye-raised the fore half of the skull-bone, and left the brain bare, but not injured. In this situation he was soon found by William Emery. Surgical aid was administered, and his wounds healed. He however shortly after lost the sight of his other eye; but lived and enjoyed good health for more than thirty years.

iii. William Danforth b. 18 Aug 1748 Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 13 Oct 1838 aged 92; Burial: Riverdale Cemetery, Webster, Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. 8 Jan 1772 to Olive Elliot (b. 24 Aug 1750 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 11 Nov 1841 ae 92 Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire) Olive’s parents were John Elliot (1722 – 1775) and Ruth Flanders (1720 – 1756) William and Olive had seven children born between 1772 and 1791.

1 Dec 1776 – William was a corporal in Capt Samuel Atkins’ company at Coos in Haverhill, New Hampshire

Men were called for to go to Coos and six men sent as the town’s quota,–Captain Samuel Atkinson, Jeremiah Hidden, Moses Morse, William Danforth, William’s brother Jedidiah Danforth, George Jackman.

A full company consisted of sixty men. Captain Kimball marched from Boscawen with twenty-two, but four others joined him, making twenty-six from Boscawen. The Concord soldiers, under Lieutenant Richard Hebert, joined him on the march. The company was thus organized,– Captain Peter Kimball, Boscawen; Lieut Richard Hebert, Concord; Ensign Andrew Pettengill, Salisbury; Sergeant Jesse Abbot and Sergeant Abner Flanders, Concord; Sergeant William Danforth and Sergeant Nathan Davis, Boscawen; Corporal Richard Flood [William Danforth’s brother-in-law], Concord; Corporal Richard Burbank, Boscawen; Corporal John Abbot, Corporal Theodore Farnum and Fifer Elias Abbot, Concord; Drummer Asa Corser, Boscawen.

PRIVATES:–Stephen Abbot, Ezra Abbot, Benjamin Ambrose, Jonathan Ambrose and Peter Blanchard, Concord; Wells Burbank and Thomas Beedle, Boscawen; Philbrick Bradley, Concord; Jonathan Corser, David Corser, Daniel Carter, Nathan Carter and Abner Chase, Boscawen; Simeon Danforth, Concord; Elknah Danforth and Timothy Danforth, Boscawen; Reuben Diamond and Benjamin Elliot, Concord; James French and Jesse Flanders, Boscawen; Ephraim Fisk Jr., Israel Glines, Solomon Gage and David George, Concord; Charles Greenfield and John Hutchins, Boscawen; Samuel Hickson and Abial Hall, Concord; Jedidiah Hoit, Timothy Jackman, William Jackman and William’s brother-in-law John Jackman , Boscawen; Timothy Johnson, Concord; Benjamin Little, Friend Little, Samuel Morse, and Isaac Pearson, Boscawen; John Peters, Anthony Potter, Phineas Stevens, William Symonds and Simon Trumbull, Concord; Daniel Uran, Boscawen; Gilman West, Concord,–fifty-seven.

20 Jul 1777 – William was a sergeant in Capt. Peter Kimble’s company, Col. Thomas Stickney’s regiment in Gen. Stark’s brigade made out of the 13th Regiment New Hampshire Militia which joined the Continental Army at Bennington and Stillwater.

For his services, William received a pension and was reported on the 1834 Pension rolls “of Merrimac county, N. H.  aged 86 years old”

iv. Jedediah Danforth b. ~1750 Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire;d. ~ 1840 – Stanstead, Memphrémagog, Quebec, Canada;  m1. 5 Oct 1771 (int) in Boscawen to Sarah Rix (b.1750 – d. 1791 in Boscawen) Sarah’s parents were Nathaniel Rix (1714 – 1731) and Mary Peters (1721 – 1766). Jedediah and Sarah had eight children born between 1772 and 1791,

m2. 4 Apr 1792 in Boscawen to Lydia Chase (b. 26 Apr 1767 in Bradford, Essex, Mass – ) Jedediah and Lydia had two more children in 1794 and 1796.

3 Jun 1776 – Every citizen of Boscawen, including Jedediah Danforth, with one exception, signed what was known as the Association Test. From this document, we have the name of every male adult in town in the spring of 1776, not including those who were doing military service.

2 Jul 1777 –  Give a receipt at Boscawen for bounty and advance pay in Capt. James Sheppard’s company in the Continental Army.

1 Dec 1776 – Jedediah was a private in Capt Samuel Atkins’ company at Coos in Haverhill, New Hampshire

17 Dec 1793 – Sold land in Canterbury, New Hampshire

1834 – Reported in the census as of Grafton County, 76 years old and receiving a pension of $20 per annum.

Removed to Stanstead, Canada and died there.

4. Samuel DANFORTH (See his page)

5. John Danforth

John’s wife Abigail Fitts was born 26 Feb 1721 in Newberry, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Nathaniel Fitts (1699 – 1784) and Abigail Hayes (1702 – 1738). Abigail died 10 Sep 1781 in Byfield, Essex, Mass.

Moved to Canterbury, NH.

Marriage intention 20 Sept. 1735, with “Abigail Fitts, of Newbury”; marriage recorded 11 Nov. 1735, with “Elizabeth Fitts of Newbury.” This was a slip of the clerk’s pen, for the record shows that “Abigail Danforth, widow of John Danforth, who belonged to Canterbury, N. H.,” died in Byfield, Sept. 10, 1781, ” aged 58 years.”

Loudon, Merrimack, New Hampshire

Loudon, Merrimack, New Hampshire

John lived in Newbury at the signing of the family deed , in 1753; but afterward removed to Canterbury, N. H.   He was a signer with Samuel and others of Canterbury, of a petition for the incorporation of the north-east part of the town, afterward called Loudon.

Children of John and Abigail:

i. Bethya Danforth bapt. 17 Oct 1736 Byfield, Essex, Mass; m. 01 Jul 1756 Newbury(port), Essex, Mass. to Joseph Flood Jr.  Joseph’s parents were Joseph Flood and [__?__]

A Joseph Jr. was born to Joseph Flood and Abigail [__?__] on 5 Jun 1736 – Boston, Mass.

Joseph probably is a descendant of FLOOD, PHILIP came from Guernsey to New Jersey, thence to Newbury about 1680. He m. Mary . Ch.— Joseph b. 12 May 1084, Hester b. 15 May 1686, Mary, b. 18 Jul loss, Henry b. 14 Aug 1689,  John b. 11 Nov 1693, Richard b. 25 Feb 1696, Rachel b. 18 Mar 1698, Philip b. 24 Apr 1700, Benjamin b. 2 May 1705.

ii. Samuel Danforth bapt. 19 Mar 1737/38 Byfield, Essex, Mass; d. 11 Jun 1819 Tamworth, Carroll, New Hampshire; m1. 21 Mar 1767 (int.) in Boscawen, NH to Mercy Flanders (b. 27 May 1745 in Kingston, Rockingham County, New Hampshire – ) Mercy’s parents were Jacob Flanders (1715 – 1763) and Naomi Darling (1719 – 1761) ; m2. 29 Sep 1782 (int.) to Mary Blaisdell.

4 Apr 1767  – Bought land in Canterbury, New Hampshire

5 Jan 1773 – He was one of the inhabitants of the Northeast part of the town who petitioned for separate incorporation  and were set off as the parish of Loudon Jan. 23, 1773.

Samuel was a carpenter by trade and was a member of the First New Hampshire Regiment from 1775 – Dec 1783.

The 1st New Hampshire Regiment was authorized on 22 May 1775.  . John Stark was the regiment’s first commander. The unit fought at Chelsea Creek and Bunker Hill in 1775. On 1 Jan 1776, while engaged in the Siege of Boston, the unit was renamed the 5th Continental Regiment. In the spring it was sent to Canada where the New Hampshire soldiers fought at Trois-Rivières and later helped defend the area around Lake Champlain. Late in the year, the 5th Continental Regiment was transferred south to George Washington‘s main army where it fought at Trenton.

On Jan 1 1777 the unit was renamed the 1st New Hampshire Regiment and it saw action at Princeton before being sent back to the Northern Department. The regiment fought at Saratoga in the fall of 1777. That winter it was transferred to Washington’s army and fought at Monmouth in the summer of 1778. The troops participated in Sullivan’s Expedition in the summer of 1779. The unit stayed with the main army until August 1781 when it was left to defend the Hudson Highlands. The regiment rejoined the main army in late 1782 and was renamed the New Hampshire Regiment in early 1783. After first being reduced to a battalion, the unit was disbanded on 1 Jan 1784.

23  Apr 1776 – ” Samuel Danforth, carpenter, of Boscawen,” sold land in the parish of Loudon, town of Canterbury .  Elkanah Danforth being one of the witnesses.

18 Sep 1776 –  Samuel enlisted as a “”Continental soldier” , in Capt. Frye’s company.

1781 – He was fifer in Col. Joseph Cilley‘s regiment and enrolled for extra pay on account of the depreciation of the currency.

iii. Mary Danforth bapt. 26 Oct 1740 Byfield, Essex, Mass;

iv. Jane Danforth bapt. 17 Jan 1741/42 Byfield, Essex, Mass;

v. Mary Danforth bapt. 6. Jul 1746 “the last child in the old meeting house ” [Byfield Church Records],

v. Dorcas Danforth b. 26 Mar 1748 Newbury, Essex, Mass; bapt. 2 Mary 1749;  d. 23 Feb 1832 t Second Congregational Church, now Merrimac, by Rev. Paine Wingate, Canterbury, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Shaker Settlement; m. 1770 in Canterbury, New Hampshire to Jacob Tucker (bapt. 22 May 1746 Sandown, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 1816 in Starkesboro, Addison, Vermont) Jacob’s parents were Jacob Tucker (1717 – 1804) and Lydia Hoyt (1717 – 1795). Dorcas and Jacob had six children born between 1772 and 1780.

Family tradition says Jacob  was wounded by a bayonet in the hip and he returned to the Shaker settlement in Enfield, NH. He removed to Starkesboro, Vt. where he died in a flour mill accident in 1814. The mill was owned by John Ferguson, father of Cleo Ferguson who married his son Jacob . His wife Dorcas returned to the Shaker settlement at Canterbury, NH. where she died. No date given in the Shaker Manuscript when Dorcas joined their group.

Jacob was chosen collector on March 25, 1772 and in 1773 for the Church of Rev. William Kelly, who was ordained on Feb. 05, 1772 at New Amesbury New Hampshire. He lived on Tory Hill road, residence of the early Shakers.

He came from Amsbury, Massachusetts. to New Amsbury, New Hampshire later known as Warner, Merrimack Co. New Hampshire.

He enlisted April 15, 1776 in Col. David Gilman’s Regt.,in Capt. Timothy Clement’s Company and mustered out July 1776. From July 16, 1776 to Dec. 01, 1776 he and Benjamin Tucker were in Capt. William Stilson’s County and Col. Isaac Wyman’s Regt. of Hopkinton, New Hampshire. On July 5, 177 to July 12,177 he was at Ticonderoga and served in the defense of Rhode Island., in Col. Thomas Stickney’s Regt., Under Lt. Col. Henry Gerish and Maj. Nathan Batchelder, Capt. Ebenezer Webster’s Company of militia of Concord, New Hampshire, and towns adjacent. On Dec. 15, 1777 to Feb. 18,1778 he was in Col. Timothy Bedel Esq.’s Regt., Capt. William Tarlton’s Company of volunteers commissioned by congress against Canada. From March 16-31, 1778 he mustered out from Newbury, Vermont. On Aug.7, 1778 to Aug. 27, 1778 he was in Col. Moses Kelly’s Reg., Gen Whipple’s Brigade, Capt. Joshua Bayley’s Company of Volunteers in the expedition to Rhode Island.

Jacob sold 80 acres on Oct.1, 1785 in Warner, Merrimack County, New Hampshire to Joseph B. Hoyt of New Salisbury, New Hampshire. Witnesses were Jabez Hoit. J.P. in 1793  John Hoyt in 1785. Other land rec. between 1791-1808. Canterbury, New Hampshire Jacob was taxed there in 1798 with 2 poles, 2 cows, 2-4 yearlings, 2-3 yearlings and 3-2 yearlings for $4.44. In 1799 Jacob is listed as having 1 poll taxed at $1.34 and Jacob III is listed as having 1 poll taxed at $1.24. Jacob Jr. bought 100 acres from Asa Lewis on Jan. 2, 1801. He sold 100 acres, Oct. 25, 1805 to John Ferguson, for $600.00 being the 2nd division lot to the right of Samuel Safford, Witnesses were Jacob III and Tammy Ferguson. On Jan 19, 1818 Tammy Ferguson deposed that Jacob was the signer and now deceased.

Jacob Tucker Revolutionary Service

Jacob Tucker Revolutionary Service

The Town Clerk of Canterbury, NH has said that no vital records pertaining to the Shaker community were recorded by the town.

General View of Canterbury Shaker Village 1920

General View of Canterbury Shaker Village 1920

Canterbury Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 288 Shaker Road, in Canterbury, New Hampshire. It is one of the most intact and authentic surviving Shaker community sites, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.  The Village is open daily from May to October.  The outdoor museum features guided tours, craft demonstrations and restored organic gardens. Among the buildings open for tours are the Meeting House, Laundry, Ministry, Sisters’ Shop, School, Dwelling House, School House and North Shop.

Canterbury Map

Canterbury Map

During the early 1780s, New Hampshire was subject to the revivalist revolution that would sweep the Nation over the following decades, inspiring and invoking change in a number of American communities. Caught up in this religious whirlwind, Benjamin Whitcher, a Shaker convert himself, chose to harbor and protect local followers of the United Society of Believers from persecution. In 1792, he donated the large tract of land upon which the Canterbury Shaker Village now stands. Canterbury was formally called to order the summer of 1792 with the construction of the community’s Meeting House.* The Canterbury Shaker Village prospered over the following century due to solid endeavors in the fields of farming, livestock breeding, water-powered mills, and the production of seeds and herbal medicines. In addition, Elder Blinn established and headed a small print shop, effectively making Canterbury the publishing center for all the Shaker communities of the North.

Canterbury Garden

Canterbury Garden

The Canterbury site resembled most other contemporary Shaker villages. With its full complement of three Families, the village had all of the principle buildings required of a strictly utilitarian communal society: dwelling houses, shops, stables, a laundry, a school, and an infirmary. Also similar to most other societies, the Meeting House, designed by Moses Johnson,  played a primary role in the day-to-day functioning of the community. The simple elegance of the three-story Main Dwelling, built in 1793, dominates its surrounding area. Today, the Canterbury Shaker Village includes 25 exceptionally well-preserved buildings surrounded by approximately 700 breathtakingly beautiful acres of gardens, fields, ponds, and forest.

vi. Elkanah Danforth,  bapt. 5 May 1751 Byfield, Essex, Mass; d. 1830; m. 12 Jan 1777 to Mary “Molly” Flanders (b. 13 May 1755 in New Hampshire Molly’s parents were Jacob Flanders (1715 – 1761) and Naomi Darling (1719 – 1719)

Elkanah removed to New Hampshire, making his home in Tamworth, where he was living, a “husbandman ” in 1775. He there enlisted, in May, ” aged 25 years,” in Capt. Jeremiah Clough’s company of Col. Enoch Poor’s regiment. ; received three months’ pay Sept. 18, 1775.

He re-enlisted at that time in Capt. Henry Dearborn’s company of Col. Benedict Arnold’s regiment., and served 12 months.  Capt. Dearborn reported him among others Oct. 30, 1776, as “men who went to Quebec last fall under command of Col. Arnold, who have not Received their pay for the month of June, 1775.”.

He enlisted again in July, 1777, in Capt. Peter Kimball’s company, Col. Thomas Stickney’s regiment., and served 2 months and 6 days ” in the Northern Continental army at Bennington and Stillwater.”

Residing at Haverhill, Grafton co., N. H., March 30, 1818, he applied for a pension, giving his age as “66 years.”  The pension was granted—$95 a year. He died in the year 1830.

vii. Lydia Danforth bapt. 3 Dec 1752 Newbury, Essex, Mass;

6. Oliver Danforth

Oliver’s wife Ann Stickney was born about 1735. Her parents were Amos Stickney (1699 – ) and Hepzibah Wicom (1701 – ). Ann died in Nov 1800.

Children of Oliver and Ann:

i. Moses Danforth b. 6 Nov 1757 Newbury, Essex, Mass

ii. Enoch Danforth bapt. 17 May 1761 Byfield, Essex, Mass; m1. 3 Feb 1782 in Newburyport to Anna Newton (b. – d. 4 Jan 1798); m2. 15 Feb 1810 Newburyport to Mrs. Martha Morrill.

4 Oct 1802 – Enoch  sold land which had been ” left him by his father Oliver Danford, late of Newbury,” as stated in the deed.

iii. Paul Danforth bapt. 25 Nov 1764 Byfield, Essex, Mass; d. 22 Oct 1765 Byfield of “canker humour”

iv.  Paul Danforth bapt. 5 Oct 1766 Byfield, Essex, Mass

7. Moses Danforth

Moses’ wife Mary “Molly”  Flood was born 27 Jul 1736 in Newbury, Mass. Her parents were Daniel Flood (2 Jan 1710/11 Newbury, Mass. – 1810) and Sarah Laborie (1720 – 1820). Molly died Dec 1815 in Sanbornton, New Hampshire.

I’m not sure what this item from The History of Boscawen means: ITEMS FROM CONSTABLE THOMAS CARTER’S ACCOUNT. “Credit to warning moses Danford’s wife out of Town & returning ye warrant.”

Moses removed to New Hampshire as a child, with his parents. Made his home in Canterbury ; was one of “the inhabitants of Rumford, Canterbury and Contoocook ” who petitioned for a guard against the Indians Jan. 2, 1747.

He was enrolled as one of Capt. Daniel Ladd’s company of scouts  sent in the summer of 1746 to protect the inhabitants of the  frontier towns.

Moses Danforth French and Indian War 1

Moses Danforth French and Indian War 2

Extract from the 1746 diary of Abner Clough clerk of Daniel Ladd’s company of scouts. – Source: History of the town of Canterbury, New Hampshire, 1727-1912, Volume 1
By James Otis Lyford

He received in 1753 a deed of land from his brothers and sisters, which gives much information about the family ; (See John Danforth’s section above).

Moses sold land in Canterbury which had formerly belonged to William Bussell May 18, 1753. He sold other lands there in 1763 and 1770, his wife Mary signing the latter with him. Moses Danforth of Boscawen, husbandman, with Mary, his wife, sold land in B. July 28, 1763. The same persons, of” Sanbornton,” sold land in S., “laid out to the original right of Josiah Sanborn,” May 8, 1770.

Moses and Molly settled on Lot No. 80, 2d Div. (Site 1), on the Plains near the present Bay Road and the Danforth Brook in Sanbornton. Their log-house, among the original Danforth apple trees, is well remembered to have been standing as late as 1840.

Signed  a town petition in 1764. Either he or his son of the same name was a petitioner among Sanbornton people in 1786, for relief from burdensome taxation. At all events it is he who, “of Sanbornton,” bought land there Sept. 28, 1767.

Children of Moses and Molly:

i. Jane “Jenny” Danforth b. 26 Oct 1751; d. 17 Oct 1829 Warner, Merrimack, NH; m. 20 Jul 1776 in Hopkinton, Merrimack County, New Hampshire to Richard Straw (b. 8 Mar 1755, Rumford, Merrimack, New Hampshire – d. 19 Aug 1840 at age 85 Buried: Parade Ground Cemetery, Warner, New Hampshire) Richard’s parents were Capt Jonathan Straw and Mary Carr.

“Ancestors and Descendents of Robert Clements Volume I”:
Richard Straw, of Merrimack Co., NH “aged 83 on March 8th last (1838) lived with his father Jonathan Straw, in Hopkinton from the time he was 3 yrs old until the 2nd year of the Rev. War and enlisted for 8 months, in May 1775 in Hopkinton, NH and marched directly to Medford, MA near Boston and from there to Bunker Hill, under Capt Baldwin who was killed at Bunker Hill; Col Stark’s Regt. After his death John Hale, his Lt. was made Capt of the Co to which I belonged….we were , the first of the 8 months stationed at Medford, (MA) where we stayed until the day before the Battle of Bunker Hill. The day of the battle we marched into Charlestown, and were in the whole of the engagement that day.” From Bunker Hill went to Winter Hill…honorably dismissed, signed the Pay Roll but did not take a “written discharge.” Richard said he was born in Concord County, NH and moved by his father when very young to Hopkinton, NH – lived there about 20 yrs and since that time in Warner where he now resided.

Per Lord’s History of Hopkinton he married Jane Danforth July of 1776 and was a signer of the Association Test for Hopkinton.

Per Rev war pension files he was born Concord, NH 1755 and lived in Hopkinton 20 years and then moved to Warner, NH. per Vol 4 of Graves of Rev Patriots Col Richard Straw was burried Parade Cemetery, Warner, NH.

Colonel Richard Straw, who lived in that section of the town called Schoodach, was for many years one of the most prominent citizens of Warner, one of the largest landholders, selectman for several years, colonel in the State militia, prosperous yeoman and farmer, also kept a hotel, and was a “licensed taverner.” His large mansion-house and inn still stands and is owned and occupied by John Jones. (edited from the original text written in 1885 by Fred Myron Colby; Also segments were edited and updated from the “Warner, N.H. History 1880-1974.”)

History of NH by Chandler E. Potter; Volume I gives his rank as Lt Col Commandant and says he served out of Warner, NH. He was on the Pensioners List for Rev War at age 85y.

ii. Moses Danforth b. 1754 in Canterbury or Sanbornton, NH; d. Northfield, NH; m. Mehitable Stevens, of Northfield, N. H.  Moses and Mehitable had five children.

Moses served in the Revolutionary war, and lived and died in Northfield. He was a noted driver of oxen, ” always appearing with a goad stick” ; and the “stealing of his remains,” by certain vicious young medical students, immediately after his burial, occasioned great excitement through all
this community.

1775 – “Moses Danford, aged 21, of Sanbornton, Stafford co., N. H., husbandman,” was enrolled in Capt. Gordon Hutchins’s company, Col. John Stark’s regiment, in 1775; and in “the detachment of Col. Thomas  Stickney’s regt. that marched to the relief of Ticonderoga July 8, 1777 ”

Given as of Sanbornton in Capt. Jeremiah Clough’s company  17 Jun 1780 – Enlisted   from Loudon, NH for 3 months service in the Continental army,”

1819 – “Moses Danforth, of Rockingham county, N. H.,” received a pension of $96 per annum.

He spent his last days in Northfield, NH.

iii. Phinehas Danforth Resided in Warner, Merrimack, NH

iv. Jeremiah Danforth b. 1765 in Canterbury, New Hampshire; d. 1820 Derby, Vermont; m. 30 Jan 1797 in Boscawan to Priscilla Burbank (1773 – 1825) Priscilla’s parents were Jeremiah’s first cousins Sarah Danforth (1738  – 1800) and Moses Burbank (1741 – 1800) (see above.) Jeremiah and Priscilla had three children born between 1796 and 1812.

1777 – Jeremiah was a soldier in the train band of Canterbury, New Hampshire

Jeremiah owned a farm in Orange, Grafton, New Hampshire

v. Ezekiel Danforth

2 Jul 1776 – Ezekiel Danforth was receipted at Boscawen NH for bounty and advanced pay in  Capt. James Shepherd’s company in the Continental army;

23 Jul 1776 – Ezekiel was “reported by Col. Joseph Badger of Gilmantown  to go to Crown Point.”

He was killed in the Canadian campaign, probably at Bemis’ Heights during the Second Battle of Saratoga Oct 7, 1777; his widow was a pensioner in 1845, aged 97 years

She died three years later at West Plymouth, Mass., where she had been living with her only son.” [Hist. Sanbornton.]

vi. Henry Danforth b. ~ 1763 Sanbornton, NH; d. 27 Feb 1830 “aged 67” Franklin Falls, NH; m. Betsey Hancock of Northfield NH (b. – d. 24 Oct 1854);  Henry and Betsey had eight children born betwen 1784 and 1804.

Henry enlisted April 19, 1781, being reported as “17 years old ; 5 feet 5 inches high ; of light complexion ” ; was mustered for three years or the war. Even before this he had seen desperate service with Whitcomb’s Rangers. He received a ball in his breast, which first struck the guard of his gun, then glanced and embedded itself in his breast-bone. 24 years after his death, at the death of his wife, his remains were disinterred for reburial, in the Hodgdon cemetery, the ball of which he used to complain was found embedded in his collar-bone. It first “hit the guard of his gun ” (as he always claimed), while fighting in a Revolutionary battle, and hence was found “grazed, flattened, and nearly half worn off.”

Henry received a pension of $96.00 (originally $30.00). He resided at Sanbornton and Northfield, NH., some time; removed to Franklin Falls, NH, now probably under the Franklin Falls Reservoir

vii. Lois Danforth m. [__?__] Rand of Warner

viii. Eunice Danforth m. Walker (?), of Warner (though which of the two
latter was the wife of either, is uncertain).

ix. Susan Danforth m. William Ash, of Andover, settling near the head of Chance Pond, in what is now Franklin. I’m guessing Chance Pond was later renamed Webster Lake in honor of Franklin’s famous son Daniel Webster.

8. Sarah Danforth

Sarah’s husband James Head was born in Oyster River.  He first married Sarah White.

Child of Sarah and James

i. Moses Head b. 1738 – Canterbury, Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 1778 Canterbury; m. 1760 – Canterbury to [__?__] Moses and [__?__] had five children.

9. Mary Danforth

Mary’s husband James Gibson

On 6 May 1753 “Nathaniel Danford of Contoocook, husbandman, John Danford Jr. of Newbury, housewright, William Danford of Contoocook, Thomas Danford of Canterbury, Sarah, wife of James Head, Mary, wife of James Gibson, and Elizabeth Danford, singlewoman” joined in a deed to land in Canterbury to their brother Moses Danford of Canterbury.

10. Elizabeeth Danforth



History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire, Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1885. [History of Boscawen]

Danforth Genealogy – Nicholas Danforth of Framington England (1539 – 1648) and Cambrige NE  and William Danforth of Newbury Mass (1640 – 1721_ and their descendents –1902

RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project – 22 Databases with John Danforth/Dorcas White

History of Sanbornton, New Hampshire (1882) By: Runnels, M. T. (Moses Thurston), 1830-1902
Volume: 2

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8 Responses to John Danforth

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  8. Pat LeConte says:

    Thanks so much for such a detailed and well researched history. I have just begun working on my Tucker/Danforth connection and appreciate all your work.

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