Stephen Dow

Stephen DOW – bc – (1642 – 1717) was Alex’s 8th Great Grandfather; one of 512 in this generation of the Miller line.

The Book of Dow, Genealogical Memoirs of the Descendants of Henry Dow 1637, Thomas Dow 1639 and Others of the Name, Immigrants to America During Colonial the Bible of Dow researchers and Charles Percy Dow’s alpha system for recording Dows is important to know

Stephen Dow was born 29 Mar 1642 in Newbury  Mass.  His parents were Thomas DOW and Phebe LATLY.  He married Ann STORY 16 Sep 1663.  Although this marriag is recorded at the Haverhill First Church, it is improbable that it took place there.  He married his second wife Joanna Corliss 7 Feb 1715/16 when he was 73 years old.   Stephen died 3 Jul 1717 in Haverhill, Mass.

Ann Story was born ca. 1646 Ipswich. Ann’s father was  William STORY and many genealogies say that her mother was  Sarah STARBUCK.  However, William and Sarah married late in life and her mother was probably Sarah FOSTER.  Ann died 3 Feb 1714/15 in Haverhill Mass.

Joanna Corliss was born 28 Apr 1650 in Haverhill, Mass.  Her parents were George CORLISS and Joanna DAVIS.  She married first on  29 Dec 1669 in Haverhill, Mass. to [our ancestor]  Joseph HUTCHINS.   Many years after Joseph died 19 Apr 1689 in Haverhill, Joanna married Stephen.  Joanna was Stephen Jr’s mother-in-law and then she became his step mother.  Joanna died 29 Oct 1734 in Haverhill. Mass

Name Born Married Departed
Ruhamah Dow 24 Jan 1663/64 Haverhill, Mass Moses Davis
(son of John DAVIS)
16 Jan 1680/81 Haverhill, Mass.
Aft. 1717
Samuel Dow 22 Jan 1665/66
Haverhill, Mass
Ruth Johnson
5 May 1691 Haverhill, Mass.
Hannah Dow 1 Jul 1668
Haverhill, Mass
Daniel Bradley
(son of Daniel BRADLEY)
5 Jan 1686/87
15 Mar 1696/97 Haverhill, Mass
Killed in Dustin Massacre
Stephen DOW 10 Sep 1670 in Haverhill, Essex Co, Mass Mary HUTCHINS
14 Dec 1697 in Haverhill, Essex Co., Mass
17 Jun 1743. in Haverhill, Essex Co. Mass.
Martha Dow 1 Apr 1673 Haverhill, Mass. Josiah Gage
17 May 1696 Haverhill, Mass
15 Mar 1697
Haverhill, Mass
Killed by Indians in the Dustin massacre.
John Dow 13 Jul 1675
Haverhill, Mass
Sarah Brown
23 May 1696 Haverhill, Mass.

1651 – His parents being very poor, Stephen was apprenticed at age 9.  He was later bound out to [our ancestor] Thomas DAVIS and wife Christian COFFIN , who agreed to teach him the stone mason’s trade, to read and write.

1657 – When he was 15,  An interesting lawsuit throws more light than all other records on the status of this family.  The testimony of his mother showed that this was a verbal agreement and that finding a home for Stephen was a great relief to herself and her husband. A neighbor, she testified had previously promised to take the boy, but was dissuaded by his wife who pointed out that the boy was weak, undersized and sickly, sure to become a burden. Kemp, the defendant to the suite, was charged with taking the boy away from Davis and attempting to justify his action by alleging that the boy was not properly treated.  The neighbors all agreed that the boy was unpromising, was unable to take off or put on his own clothes, and gave little promise of growing to manhood.  THe boy’s own testimony is ingenuous and illuminative.   Stephen testified he had run away a number of times but for no definite reason, except possibly once to see his mother, and always intended to come back. He admitted that his master and mistress were good and kind, but he did ‘acknowledge that it was a good while before he could eat his master’s food viz. Meate and milk or drink beer, saying he did not know it was good, because he was not used to eat such victuall, but to eate bread and water porridge and to drink water.’

While the food of the Haverhill pioneers was simple in the extreme, even bean porridge not to be freely used, an exclusive diet of bread and water was not the usual fare.  It is not unlikely that the death of Stephen’s father Thomas DOW at 39 was due to this undernourishment, coupled with hard work and other privation.  The symptoms of little Stephen, unable to put on his own clothes, indicate conclusively an undernourished, rickety condition, and surely the future Indian fighter owed his life to the victualla, viz: Meate, milk and beer furnished by master and goodwife DAVIS, who seem to be worthy people.

The jury took this view and there was no further complaint of Kemp’s intervention or Stephen’s runaways.  Shortly afterwards, Stephen’s  mother Phoebe DOW married John Eaton and moved to Salisbury.  Stephen’s apprenticeship was to last until he was 18, and it probably did. Nothing more appears about him until he was 22, a healthy, vigorous man. Stephen’s daughter Ruhamah would later marry Thomas Davis’ nephew Moses, so it looks like strong life long bonds were formed.

Admitted freeman in 1668, in Haverhill, Mass.  where he lived and died.  Selectman 1682, 1685, 1690 and 1697  Grand Juror 1692

Stephen soon came to own a goodly piece of land, his neighbor to the southeast being Capt. John White.  Its exact site has not been determined, but it was over the border into what is now Plaistow.  It faced the commons, and when that land was fenced in, he was ordered by the selectmen to erect a gate thereto by the side of his house.

The Dow family lived in the North Parish area of Haverhill, now called Plaistow. they may have been buried in the North Parish cemetery that lies partly in Haverhill and partly in Plaistow…sometimes called State Line Cemetery.

From 1690 to 1697, Stephen was a minor officer in the 6th garrison on what is now Mill Street, its captain being John White.  The blockhouse still stands. Stephen and his son were in the Sixth garrison in 1697 when his daughters Martha and Hannah were killed by Indians in Haverhill 15 Mar 1696/97. Eight of our ancestors closest relatives were killed in this attack and at least two were carried off

Twenty-seven persons were slaughtered, (fifteen of them children) and thirteen captured. The following is a list of the killed:- John Keezar, his father, and son, George; John Kimball and his mother, Hannah ; Sarah Eastman; Thomas Eaton ; Thomas Emerson, his wife, Elizabeth, and two children, Timothy and Sarah ; Daniel BRADLEY’s son Daniel Bradley, his wife, Hannah (she was also Stephen DOW’s daughter), and two children, Mary and Hannah ; Martha Dow, daughter of Stephen DOW; Joseph, Martha, and Sarah Bradley, children of Joseph Bradley, another son of Daniel BRADLEY ; Thomas and Mehitable Kingsbury ; Thomas Wood and his daughter, Susannah ; John Woodman and his daughter, Susannah; Zechariah White ; and Martha, the infant daughter of Mr. Duston.”

Hannah Dustin’s nurse Mary Neff, daughter of our ancestor GEORGE CORLISS, was carried away and helped in the escape by hatcheting her captors.   Another captive who later wrote about the adventure and was kidnapped a second time ten years later was Hannah Heath Bradley, wife of Daniel BRADLEY’s son Joseph, daughter of John Heath and Sarah Partridge, and grand daughter of our ancestor Bartholomew HEATH.

The ordeal of Hannah Dustin (also Duston) is among the most horrific in New England colonial history. According to an early account by Cotton Mather, Dustin was captured on 15 Mar 1697 by a group of about 20 Indians and pulled from her bed one week after giving birth to her eighth child. Her husband managed to get the others to safety. The infant was killed when a member of the raiding party smashed it against a tree. Dustin and small group of hostages were marched about 60 miles from her home in Haverhill, MA to an island in the Merrimack River near Concord. Enlisting the help of others, including her nurse and an English boy previously captured, the group managed, amazingly, to kill 10 of their captors. Dustin sold the scalps to the local province for 50 pounds in reparation.

Hannah Duston by Stearns

A monument to Dustin can be seen in Haverhill and the site of her escape with companions Mary Corliss Neff and Samuel Lennardeen can be seen in Boscowen, NH. The Hannah Dustin Trail in Pennacook leads to another monument on the island on the Contoocook River. John Greenleaf Whittier popularized the incident in poetry. A symbol or heroism and independence in the 19th century, the Hannah Dustin story has suffered a case of political incorrectness of late. Her name has been used to sell every conceivable product including liquor and horse racing and still remains extremely attractive to people seeking to prove a genealogical connection. Her ordeal during the Indian raids (incited by the French and English) of King Williams war also included the Coccecho Massacre in Dover, the Oyster River Raid in Durham and the Bracket Lane attack in Rye, NH.

Hannah Dustin one of the first woman in the United States to have a statue erected in her honor


1. Ruhamah Dow – bca –

Ruhamah’s husband Moses Davis was born 30 Dec 1657,  Dover, Strafford, NH.  His parents were our ancestors Capt.  John DAVIS and Jane PEASLEE  Moses died  10 Jun 1724, Dover,  NH.

Ruhamah as still living in 1717 in Haverhill, not listed as killed in Dustin massacre as is often repeated; married  16 Jan 1680/81 in Haverhill to  Moses Davis     They moved about 1686 to Dover where his father had been a pioneer about 1652.  Moses died 10 Jun 1724 in an Indian massacre along with his son Moses Jr. in Dover New Hampshire. Ruhamah is spelled in 7 different ways in as many records.

Children of Ruhamah and Moses 1682-1702: John, Moses, James, Joseph, Joshua, Solomon, Jabez, Ebenezer, Abigail, Samuel, Timothy, Jeremiah.

i. John Davis – bcaa –  b 4 Jan 1682 Haverhill; d. Nov 1749 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1703 Haverhill, Essex, Mass to Abigail Mender (b. 1681 in Strafford, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 1736 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire) Abigail’s parents were John Meader (1660 – 1736) and Sarah Follett (1654 – 1725) John and Abigail had seven children born between 1697 and 1725.

ii. Moses Davis Jr. – bcab – b. 2 Nov 1684; killed with his father 10 Jun 1724 Dover, NH

iii. Joseph Davis – bcac – bapt,. 8 Mar 1685/83 “grandson of Stephen Dow sen.” probably died young

iv. James Davis – bcad -b. ~1687; bapt. 27 Jan 1722/23′ d. 1728 – Haverhill, Essex, Mass; m. 19 May 1719 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire to Mary Stevenson (b. 21 Sep 1681 in Essex, Essex, Mass. – d. 4 Oct 1728 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire) Mary’s parents were Bartholomew Stevenson (1660 – 1718) and Mary Clark (1660 – 1724); m2. 4 Oct 1728 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire to Elizabeth Dunn (1683 – 1718).

He may be the fighting militia captain of 1712.

v. Joshua David – not in Book of Dow – (bap 8 Mar 1695/96, Haverhill – bef 29 Nov 1752, Rochester, Strafford, NH); m1, m. bef. 1717 Esther Bunker, both liv. 1735; m2. bef 7 Mar 1742, Rochester, Strafford, NH to Jane Hussey (27 Jun 1708, Dover, Strafford, NH – bef 1750) Her parents were Richard Hussey (~1670-<1729) and Jane Canney (1671-<1733)

In 1737 he sued Ichabod Chesley for 9 mos. work ‘done by my son Joseph.’ In 1744 he bought in Rochester and by 1746 had moved there and m. Jane (Hussey) who as Jane Lane 7 Mar. 1742 had her 3 ch. by former husband bap. at Dover. Adm. on his estate was granted to her 29 Nov. 1752, mentioned a son. 4 yrs. old.

v. Jabez Davis – bcae – living 1726; built and commanded a small garrison in Durham.

vi. Solomon Davis – bcaf – b. 1690 – 1695;  bapt. 26 Apr 1722 m. 4 Feb 1724 Oyster River, Essex Co., Mass. to Elizabeth Davis

vii. Ebenezer Davis – bcag – bapt. 26 Nov 1727 b. 10 Jun 1702; presumably the Ebenezer who died 7 May 1755 in Durham.

viii. Abigail Davis – bcah – bapt. 26 Nov 1727

ix. Samuel Davis – bcai – bapt. 29 Jun 1729; grew up and married

 2. Samuel – bcb – 

Samuel was a lifelong resident of east parish, Haverhill, presumably  inheriting the homestead

Samuel’s wife Ruth Johnson was born 13 Jul 1666, Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire and  Her parents were Peter Johnson and Ruth Moulton.  Alternatively, her parents were John Johnson and Eliza Maverick.  Ruth first married Timothy Ayer and had three children by her first husban, two of whom lived with their stepfather.  Ruth died 25 Jul 1751, Haverhill, Essex, Mass.

Samuel was a substantial citizen, but does not appear in public life.

Samuel was a member of a large company of soldiers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Saltonstall, were also kept constantly armed and equipped, and exercised in the town; and, that these soldiers might be the better prepared for every emergency, the General Court (June 19. 1710,) ordered them to be supplied with snow shoes. Snow shoes were also supplied to the whole of the North Regiment of Essex. Anthony COLBY II and Josiah HEATH were also company members.

Children of Samuel and Ruth

i. Ruth Dow – bcba – b. 21 Apr 1692 Haverhill; m. 10 Nov 1715 to Jonathan Haseltine (b. 12 Apr 1694 in Bradford, Mass. – )  His parents were Abraham Haseltine (1648 – 1711) and Elizabeth Longhorn (1649 – 1704).  She must be the widow Ruth Haseltine who married 27 Nov 1759 in Haverhill to Cornelius Page (20 May 1696, Haverhill – 14 Apr 1764, Haverhill). Cornelius’ first wife was Mary Cooper.  Seven children all born in Haverhill.

ii. Abigail Dow – bcbb – b. 1 Mar 1694/95 Both Ruth and Abigail were among the 11 petitioners for a woman’s pew to be built in the meeting house.  m. 24 Dec 1719 – Haverhill, Essex, Mass. to John Hobbs (b. 12 Dec 1688 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass. – d. 17 Mar 1783 in Northampton, Mass)  His parents were Morris Hobbs (1652 – 1740) and Sarah Swett (1650 – 1717). They lived in North Hill.  This family intermarried with the (ab) and (ae) Dows.

iii. Samuel Dow – bcbc – b. 19 Apr 1696 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. 28 May 1722 Haverhill; m. Mary Page (b. 13 Dec 1695 Pelham, Hillsborough, New Hampshire – d. 10 Mar 1760 Pelham); Mary’s parents were Christopher Page (1670 – 1750) and Abigail Tilton (1670 – 1769)

The Book of Dow hypothesizes that Samuel and his wife moved to Pelham, leaving the homestead to be inherited by his brother Timothy.  Two children,

iv. Hannah Dow – bcbd – b. 20 Oct 1698 in Haverhill; d. 29 Aug 1721 Haverhill, Essex, Mass

v. Timothy Dow – bcbe – b. 10 May 1700 Haverhill;  d. 22 Jul 1777; m. 13 Jun 1723 to  Judith Worthen (7 Feb 1703/04 – )  Her parents were Samuel Worthen (1676 – 1760) and Deliverance Heath (1680 – 1714). Timothy and Judith had eight children born between 1724 and 1749.

 Had a farm on Sweet hill a pleasant spot with a wide outlook of the east parish, Haverhill.  Transferred to Plaistow by the relocation of the state boundary

vi. Hepezibah Dow – bcbf – b. 16 Oct 1701

vii. Ann Dow – bcbg – b. 21 Mar 1705/06 d. 19 May 1706

viii. Peter Dow – bcbh – b. 27 Jan 1708/09 Haverhill; d. 1790 – Jefferson, Lincoln, Maine; m.  12 Nov 1730 in Haverhill to Susannah Page (b. 10 Jan 1709/10  Haverhill – d. 1790 – Haverhill, Essex, Mass).  Her parents were Benjamin Page (1681 – 1724) and Elizabeth Lewis (1684 – 1747).  Peter and Susannah had thirteen children born between 1729 and 1754.

Peter was a farmer in Plaistow.

3. Hannah Dow –  bcc –

Hannah’s husband Daniel Bradley Jr was born 14 Feb 1663 Haverhill, Essex, Mass. His parents were our ancestors Daniel BRADLEY and Mary WILLIAMS. In the Dustin massacre 15 Mar 1697, Daniel’s house was burned, he, his wife Hannah and two children, Mary and Hannah, were killed and two children taken captive.

Children of Daniel Jr and Hannah:

i. Ruth Bradley – bcca – b. 15 May 1688 in Haverhill, Mass; d. 29 Aug 1708 in Haverhill, Mass. killed by Indians. She was buried in Pentucket Cemetery, Haverhill; m. 13 Nov 1706 in Haverhill to Thomas Johnson (b. 4 Dec 1685 in Haverhill – d. 22 Jul 1754 in Haverhill killed by Indians). Thomas’ parents were Lt. John Johnson Jr. and Mary Mousall.  

Ruth’s daughter Lydia born 23 Aug 1707 is the great granddaughter cared for by Stephen DOW (bc) and his mentioned in his will.  Lydia married Ebenezer Gile on 6 Jan 1731

ii. Daniel Bradley – bccb – b. 28 Oct 1690 in Haverhill.  Captive in the 15 Mar 1696/97  attack, never returned.

iii. Mary Bradley – bccc – b. 6 May 1693 in Haverhill; d. 15 Mar 1696/97 in Haverhill, killed by Indians.

iv. Martha Bradley – bccx – b. 3 Sep 1695 in Haverhill, (Not included in the Book of Dow)

v. Hannah Bradley – bccd – b. 6 Jun 1696 in Haverhill; d. 15 Mar 1696/97 in Haverhill killed by Indians

4. Stephen DOW – bcd – (See his page)

5. Martha Dow – bce –

Martha’s husband Josiah Gage was born about 1648 in Ipswich, Mass.  His parents were John Gage and Amy Wilford.  He first married  Lydia Ladd, daughter of Daniel Ladd and Lydia Singletary.  Lydia died childless 14 Aug 1796.  He married Martha  17 May 1697.  Josiah died 05 Jul 1717.

First edition History of Haverhill says Martha was killed in Dustin massacre; this is an error, she died a natural death in Haverhill 10 Feb 1716/17.  Josiah died 1717, mentioned in will that his wife was dead and he childless.

6. John Dow – bcf – 

John’s wife Sarah Brown (almost always spelled Browne) was born 25 Nov* 1676 Salisbury Essex (*11th month = Jan?) Her parents were Abraham Browne (1649 – 1733) and Elizabeth Shepard ( – 1710).

John was with his father in garrison 6  at the time of the Dustin massacre and subsequently served with distinction in Indian fights.  He was one time selectman and for many years a magistrate of Haverhill.

Children of John and Sarah

i. [__?__] – bcfa – b and d 29 Dec 1696

ii. John Dow – bcfb – b. 21 Apr 1697; d. 9 Jun 1698

iii. Joseph Dow – bcfc – b. 21 Apr 1699  d. 10 Aug 1699

iv. Mehitable Dow – bcfd – b. 2 Jun 1700

v. Judith Dow – bcfe – b. 11 Aug 1701; d. 26 Jul 1799 in Haverhill; m. 20 Aug 1723 to John Whiting of Haverhill

vi. Abraham Dow – bcff – b. 18 Mar 1703/04; d. 11 Apr 1718

vii. Sarah Browne Dow – bcfg – b. 31 Mar 1705/06; d. “old age” Jan 1793

viii. Elizabeth Dow – bcfh -b. 31 Mar 1706/07

ix. John Dow – bcfi – b. 19 Aug 1709; d. 20 Jan 1780 in Haverhill;  m. 3 Jun 1728 to Mehitable Haines (b. 25 Jan 1700 – d. 23 Oct 1783 Atkinson) Her parents were Thomas Haines (1679 – 1771) and Hannah Harriman (1677 – 1761).  

John was many years magistrate of Haverhill, was an original grantee of Goffstown, NH, but does not appear to have ever lived there himself, the property going to his son Job. He had four sons and five daughters all of whom married men named John (Johnson, Morrill, Webster, Dow and Gage)

x. Abiah Dow – bcfj – b. 17 Sep 1710; m. 27 Dec 1730 to John Cooper of Hampton

xi. Ann Dow – bcfk – b. 7 May 1715; m. 27 Feb 1733/34 to John Maxfield (b. 27 Dec 1709 in Salisbury, Mass. – d. 1738) John’s parents were John Maxfield (1680 – 1752) and Sarah Ordaway (1681 – 1730)


The Book of Dow, Genealogical Memoirs of the Descendants of Henry Dow 1637, Thomas Dow 1639 and Others of the Name, Immigrants to America During Colonial Times. by Robert Percy Dow 1929

Dedicated to all Dows Everywhere

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