Ensign John James DAVIS (1621 – 1686) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.
Ensign John James Davis was born 28 Jan 1621 in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England. His parents were James DAVIS and Cicely THAYER. He married Jane PEASLEE on 10 Dec 1646 in Haverhill, Mass. Many genealogies say James was killed n 18 Jul 1694, in Raid on Oyster River Massacre. John actual died a few years earlier in 1686. His will was dated 1 Apr 1685 and proved 25 May 1686.
The actual toll to his family is bad enough; daughter Sarah, son John Jr, daughter-in-law Elizabeth, grandson James and grandson Samuel all killed, two to four grandchildren carried off to Canada, one to live for fifty years as a French nun. Another son and grandson were killed by Indians in 1720 and 1724. For the full story of the raid from French, Indian, English and family persectives, see my post Oyster River Massacre – 1694.
Jane Peasley was born in 1627 in the western part of England, near the river Severn, adjoining Wales. Her parents were Joseph PEASLEE and Mary JOHNSON. Jane died 12 Jan 1684 in Dover, Norfolk, Mass.
Children of James and Jane:
|1.||Mary DAVIS||6 Nov 1647 Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass.||Josiah HEATH
19 Jul 1671 Haverhill, Mass
|9 Dec 1691|
|2.||Sarah Davis||7 Mar 1649 Haverhill, Essex, Mass||James Smith
|Killed by Indians
18 Jul 1694 Durham, Stratford, NH
|3.||John Davis||22 Aug 1651 Haverhill||Mary Cilly
18 Jul 1684 Oyster River, Strafford, NH
|Killed by Indians
18 Jul 1694 Haverhill
|4.||Hannah Davis||24 Dec 1653 Dover, Norfolk, Mass||John Keyzar
28 Sep 1677 Haverhill
|5.||Jane Davis||29 Dec 1655 Dover||23 Sep 1656 Dover|
|6.||Moses Davis||30 Dec 1657 Dover||Reuhamah (Ruhamah) Dow
(Daughter of Stephen DOW)
16 Jan 1681 Haverhill
|Killed by Indians
10 Jun 1724 Dover, NH
|7.||Joseph Davis||26 Jan 1660 Dover||Mary Stevens
|8.||Col. James Davis||23 May 1662 Dover||Elizabeth Chesley
1 Oct 1683 Amesbury, Mass
|18 Oct 1748 Dover, NH|
14 Dec 1687 Haverhill
Ancestry.com WorldTree shows James Davis, but books published in the 1800’s and 1900’s show John Davis.
In 1650 he was on a committee to lay out a boundary between Haverhill and Salisbury. About 1653 he went to Oyster River, which later became Durham, NH, where he built his garrison house near Davis Creek, on the north side of the river and near its mouth, on land bought of Valentine Hill, 14 Aug. 1654. Had numerous grants of land, was selectman seven times, constable, surveyor of lands. Called ensign as early as 1662.
The town is named after Durham, England, from whence one of its earliest settlers, William HILTON and Edward Hilton. They were two of four sons. Their father had lent Charles of England money and he knew he would never get it back, so he offered to forgive the debt if Charles granted two of his sons land in the New World.
During King William’s War, on July 18, 1694, the English settlement was attacked in the Raid on Oyster River by French career soldier Claude-Sébastien de Villieu with about 250 Abenaki Indians from Norridgewock under command of their sagamore, Bomazeen (or Bomoseen). In all, 45 inhabitants were killed and 49 taken captive, with half the dwellings, including 5 garrisons, burned to the ground.
The community would rebuild, however, and by 1716 Durham was a separate parish. Incorporated in 1732, Durham once included portions of the present-day towns of Madbury, Lee and Newmarket. Because of its arable land, the town would develop as a farming community
Dr. Belknap has the details.
The towns of Dover and Exeter being more exposed than Portsmouth or Hampton, suffered the greatest share in the common calamity.
The engagements made by the Indians in the treaty of Pemaquid, might have been performed if they had been left to their own choice. But the French missionaries had been for some years very assiduous in propagating their tenets among them, one of which was ‘’that to break faith with heretics was no sin.’ The Sieur de Villieu, who had distinguished himself in the defence of Quebec when Phips was before it, and had contracted a strong antipathy to the New-Englanders, being then in command at Penobscot, he with M. Thury, the missionary, diverted Madokawando and the other Sachems from complying with their engagements; so that pretences were found for detaining the English captives, who were more in number, and of more consequence than the hostages whom the Indians had given.
The settlement at Oyster river, within the town of Dover, was pitched upon as the most likely place; and it is said that the design of surprising it was publicly talked of at Quebec two months before it was put in execution.
Rumors of Indians lurking in the woods thereabout made some of the people apprehend danger; but no mischief being attempted, they imagined them to be hunting parties, and returned to their security. At length, the necessary preparations being made, Villieu, with a body of two hundred and fifty Indians, collected from the tribes of St. John, Penobscot and Norridgewog, attended by a French Priest, marched for the devoted place.
The enemy approached the place undiscovered, and halted near the falls on Tuesday evening, the seventeenth of July. Here they formed two divisions, one of which was to go on each side of the river and plant themselves in ambush, in small parties, near every house, so as to be ready for the attack at the rising of the sun; and the first gun was to be the signal.
John Dean, whose house stood by the saw-mill at the falls, intending to go from home very early, arose before the dawn of day, and was shot as he came out of his door. This firing, in part, disconcerted their plan; several parties who had some distance to go, had not then arrived at their stations; the people in general were immediately alarmed, some of them had time to make their escape, and others to prepare for their defence. The signal being given, the attack began in all parts where the enemy was ready.
Of the twelve garrisoned houses five were destroyed, viz. Adams’s, Drew’s, Edgerly’s Medar’s and Beard’s. They entered Adams’s without resistance, where they killed fourteen persons ; one of them, being a woman with child, they ripped open. The grave is still to be seen in which they were all buried. Drew surrendered his garrison on the promise of security, but was murdered when he fell into their hands. One of his children, a boy of nine years old, was made to run through a lane of Indians as a mark for them to throw their hatchets at, till they had dispatched him. Edgerly’s was evacuated. The people took to their boat, and one of them was mortally wounded before they got out of reach of the enemy’s shot. Beard’s and Medar’s were also evacuated and the people escaped.
The defenceless houses were nearly all set on fire, the inhabitants being either lulled or taken in them, or else in endeavoring to fly to the garrisons. Some escaped by hiding in the bushes and other secret places. Thomas Edgerly, by concealing himself in his cellar, preserved his house, though twice set on fire. The house of John Buss, the minister, was destroyed, with a valuable library. He was absent; his wife and family fled to the woods and escaped. The wife of John Dean, at whom the first gun was fired, was taken with her daughter, and carried about two miles up the river, where they were left under the care of an old Indian, while the others returned to their bloody work. The Indian complained of a pain in his head, and asked the woman what would be a proper remedy : she answered, occapee, which is the Indian word for rum, of which she knew he had taken a bottle from her house. The remedy being agreeable, he took a large dose and fell asleep ; and she took that opportunity to make her escape, with her child, into the woods, and kept herself concealed till they were gone.
The other seven garrisons, viz. Burnham’s, Bickford’s, Smith’s, Bunker’s, Davis’s, Jones’s and Woodman’s were resolutely and successfully defended. At Burnham’s, the gate was left open : The Indians, ten in number, who were appointed to surprise it, were asleep under the bank of the river, at the time that the alarm was given. A man within, who had been kept awake by the toothache, hearing the first gun, roused the people and secured the gate, just as the Indians, who were awakened by the same noise, were entering. Finding themselves disappointed, they ran to Pitman’s defenceless house, and forced the door at the moment, that he had burst a way through that end of the house which was next to the garrison, to which he with his family, taking advantage of the shade of some trees, it being moonlight, happily escaped.
Still defeated, they attacked the house of John Davis, which after some resistance, he surrendered on terms; but the terms were violated, and the whole family was either killed or made captives. Thomas Bickford preserved his house in a singular manner. It was situated near the river, and surrounded with a palisade. Being alarmed before the enemy had reached the house, he sent off his family in a boat, and then shutting his gate, betook himself alone to the defence of his fortress. Despising alike the promises and threats by which the Indians would have persuaded him to surrender, he kept up a constant fire at them, changing his dress as often as he could, shewing himself with a different cap, hat or coat, and sometimes without either, and giving directions aloud as if he had a number of men with him. Finding their attempt vain, the enemy withdrew, and left him sole master of the house, which he had defended with such admirable address.
Smith’s, Bunker’s and Davis’s garrisons, being seasonably apprised of the danger, were resolutely defended. One Indian was supposed to be killed and another wounded by a shot from Davis’s. Jones’s garrison was beset before day; Captain Jones hearing his dogs bark, and imagining wolves might be near, went out to secure some swine and returned unmolested. He then went up into the flankart and sat on the wall. Discerning the flash of a gun, he dropped backward; the ball entered the place from whence he had withdrawn his legs. The enemy from behind a rock kept firing on the house for some time, and then quitted it. During these transactions, the French priest took possession of the meeting-house, and employed himself in writing on the pulpit with chalk; but the house received no damage.
Those parties of the enemy who were on the south side of the river having completed their destructive work, collected in a field adjoining to Burnham’s garrison, where they insultingly showed their prisoners, and derided the people, thinking themselves out of reach of their shot. A young man from the sentry-box fired at one who was making some indecent signs of defiance, and wounded him in the heel: Him they placed on a horse and carried away. Both divisions then met at the falls, where they had parted the evening before, and proceeded together to Capt. Woodman’s garrison. The ground being uneven, they approached without danger, and from behind a hill kept up a long and severe fire at the hats and caps which the people within held up on sticks above the walls, without any other damage than galling the roof of the house.
At length, apprehending it was time for the people in the neighboring settlements to be collected in pursuit of them, they finally withdrew; having killed and captivated between ninety and an hundred persons, and burned about twenty houses, of which five were garrisons. The main body of them retreated over Winnipiseogee lake, where they divided their prisoners…
In 1654 John bought a tract of land on the upper shore of Oyster river, near the mouth, where he erected a garrison and established his family. It is a pleasant spot between two creeks, with Oyster river in front, deep enough in that place to float a man-of-war at high tide—as was proved in the war of 1812—and in full sight of the mouth, where the river pours into the broad Piscataqua. Ensign John Davis was admitted freeman in Boston not long after, and was from 1662 to 1667 one of the “selectmen” of Dover, to which Oyster River then belonged.
He died before May 25, 1686, leaving his homestead to his son James, his youngest son. To his oldest son he makes the following bequest in his will:
” I do give to my son John Davis six score acres of land which I had by a town grant, situate and lying and being at Turtle Pond in Oister river, * and my best feather bed, the ticking and feathers, after the decease of my wife.” He also gives said John his corslet and best cloak, and one-fourth part of his guns.
His will was dated 1 April 1685, proved 25 May 1686. He gave property to his child. John, Joseph, Moses, James, Mary (Heath), Sarah (Smith), Hannah (Kezan), Jane, Jemima, Judith; to grandchild John Heath, whom he had kept “from two years.” John Gerrish, Thomas Edgerly, Exeutors. His will states:
“In the name of God, Amen. The first day of April in ye year of our Lord God. One thousand Six hundred Eighty-five, I, John Davis of Oyster River, in the Province of New Hampshire, being of perfect memory (blessed be the Lord for it) and calling to mind the frailty of my nature and the certainty of death, & how soon it shall please God to call me hence, I know not, I do here make my last Will & Testament, revoking & annulling all & every Will or Wills, Testament or Testaments heretofore made, or done either by word or Writing, and this to be taken for my Last will and Testament. Imprimis, I commit my soul to God who gave it, and my body to ye earth from whence it was taken, & to be decently buried in some covenient place where my Executors hereafter named shall appoint. And as for my temporal Estate which it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I do order and dispose of it in manner as followeth. It my Will is, That all such Debts as I do in reason & conscience ow to any person or persons, be honestly and justly paid in some convenient time after my decease; Then my debts being paid & my funeral charged defraid, what shall remain I do dispose of to wit:
It. I do give to my son John Davis, the Six Score acres of Land which I had by a Town grant, Situate & lying & being at Turtle pond in Oister river; and my best ffeather bed, the Ticking and feathers after the decease of my wife.
It. I do give to my sons Moses Davis & Joseph Davis that Tract of Land situate and lying at Mouth Spcket ffails in the Township of Haverhill, which was while willed to me by the Last Will & Testament of my ffather being by estimation Two hundred acres, be it more or less, to be equally divided between them.
It. I do give my son Moses Davis Policio meadow, which my father did will to me, lying in Haverhill Township.
It. I do give to my son Joseph Davis, the one half of the Marsh which I bought of Mr. Valentine Bill, situate and lying at Greenland.
It. I do give to my three elder Daughters, Mary Heath, Sarah Smith, and Hanra Kezar, each of them ffive shillings.
It. I do give to my three younger daughters Jane Davis & Jemima Davis, and Judith Davis, fifteen pounds each of them, and at or before the first day of April in the year of our Lord God one thousand Six Hundred Eighty Six; to be delivered to each of them one Cow and one Ewe Sheep in part of the said fifteen pounds at such a prcie as my overseers shall judge of; or as my Executors and they can agree; and the one half of what shall be due to them of the said fifteen pounds a peace, to be paid to each of them at or before that day Twelve months next following; and the remainder of the said fifteen pounds to be paid to each of them at or before that day Twelve month the next following after, and if it do happen that if either one of them, or two of them do dye before, & not being married, that then their said Porceons shall remain to ye Survivors, or Survivor of ye three. But if Providence of God should so fall out that they could — damage to ye Estate, then my Will is, to stay a year or two longer.
It. Whereas I John Heart my Grandchild, which I have kept and brought up ever since he was two years of age, now if ye said John Hearth do remain and dwell with my Executors until he shall accomplish ye age of One and twenty years, that then my Will is that my Executor do give the said John Hearth Twenty pounds.
It. I do give to my ffour Sons, my Clothes, & my Guns, & all my Tools, as I shall order them to be divided in a Codicil, or a peace of writing.
It. Also for my Household Goods which I shall not dispose of by a Codicil or a peace of writing, I do leave them to my wife to dispose of to my Daughters, as she shall see meet.
It. I do give my son James Davis my Estate of Houses & lands with all ye privileges thereunto belonging, wherein I now dwell, after the decease of my wife; and also ye one half of ye Marsh at Greenland; & do also make my beloved wife Jane Davis & my sd son James Davis to be joint Executors during my Wife’s life or widowhood; during which time I give my wife the Leanto & yet Leanto Garret to her use.
[etc] Witnesses, John Evans, John Davis, John Meader, Joseph Meader. [Note: in his codicils he distributed his guns, tools and clothing to his various sons]
1. Mary DAVIS (See Josiah HEATH‘s page)
2. Sarah Davis , 3. John Davis, and 10. Judith Davis
John’s daughter Sarah, John’s son John Jr., John Jr.’s wife and two other members of his family were killed by Indians in the Oyster River Massacre 18 Jul 1694 in Haverhill, Mass. Two of Sarah’s sons, Two of Sarah’s daughters and two of John Jr.’s daughters were carried as captives to Canada. Another sister, Judith Davis, wife of Captain Samuel Emerson, was also taken by the Indians and remained in captivity five years. One of John Jr’s girls, Mary Anne, became a nun at the Hotel Dieu, Quebec, in 1710, under the name of Sister St. Cecilia. She was taken to Canada by the Rev. Father Vincent Bigot, S.J., who had ransomed her from the Indians at St. Francis. She is mentioned as leading ” a holy life ” for more than fifty years in the religious state. She died in 1761, at the age of seventy-three.
David Davis, who had a garrison at Lubberland (a part of the Oyster River settlement), was killed August 27, 1696.
Strong log houses guarded against Indians whom the settlers mistrusted, but settlers also wanted protection from the French. As early as 1632, New Hampshire began fortifying a point on New Castle against French invasion by sea.
During King William’s War, on July 18, 1694 “Oyster River” was attacked in the Oyster River Massacre by French career soldier Sebastien de Villieu with about 250 Abenaki Indians under command of their sagamore, Bomazeen. In all, 45 inhabitants were killed and 49 taken captive, with half the dwellings, including 5 garrisons, burned to the ground. Crops were destroyed and livestock killed, causing famine and destitution for survivors. The community would rebuild, and by 1716 Durham was a separate parish, named after Durham, England.
2. Sarah Davis
Sarah’s husband James Smith was born 22 Aug 1651 in Haverhill, Mass. His parents were George Smith and Temperance [__?__]. Sarah and James were killed in King William’s War, James 6 Jul 1690 and Sarah in the Oyster River Massacre 18 Jul 1694 in Haverhill, Mass. (See above)
Two of Sarah’s sons and two of her daughters were carried as captives to Canada.
Children of Sarah and James:
i. John Smith b. 1676 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. ~ 1729; m. Elizabeth Buss. John and Elizabeth had seven children born between 1706 and 1718.
ii. Sarah Smith b. 31 Oct 1679 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1729; m. 26 Jun 1702 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. to Joshua Harding (b. 15 Feb 1675 in Eastham – d. 1711 in Eastham) Joshua’s parents were Joseph Harding (1624 – 1682) and Bethia Cooke (1640 – 1673). Sarah and Joshua had three children born between 1705 and 1711.
iii. James Smith b. 1681 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 18 Jul 1694 Oyster River Massacre, Strafford, New Hampshire
iv. Samuel Smith b. 1683 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 18 Jul 1694 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire,
v. Mary Smith b. 24 May 1685 in Brewster, Barnstable, Mass She married 13 Nov 1707 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass to Thomas Freeman Jr. (b. 12 Oct 1676 Harwich, Barnstable, Mass – d. 22 Mar 1715/16 Orleans, Barnstable, Mass) His parents were our ancestors Thomas FREEMAN and Rebecca SPARROW. Thomas had married first Bathsheba Mayo, but she died four months after their marriage. After Thomas died, Mary married again aft. Mar 1717 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. to Hezekiah Doane (1672 – 1752) Mary died in 1732 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.
The proof that Mary Smith who married Thomas Freeman/Hezekiah Doane is the daughter of James and Sarah Smith exists in a quitclaim deed. On 27 May 1729 Hezekiah Doane and wife Mary of Provincetown, MA, sold to John Smith of Dover New Hampshire right in the estate of James and Sarah Smith of Dover, father and mother of said Mary Doane. The same day Joshua and Sarah Harding of Eastham, MA, quitclaimed to John Smith right in the estate of Sarah’s honored father and mother, James and Sarah Smith of Dover..
3. John Davis
John’s first wife Mary Cilly was born 1651 in Haverhill, Mass. Mary died 12 Jan 1684 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire.
John’s second wife Elizabeth Burnham was born 27 Aug 1651 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass. Her parents were Robert Burnham and Frances Hill. Elizabeth died 18 Jul 1694 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire.
At Burnham’s garrison, the gate was left open : The Indians, ten in number, who were appointed to surprise it, were asleep under the bank of the river, at the time that the alarm was given. A man within, who had been kept awake by the toothache, hearing the first gun, roused the people and secured the gate, just as the Indians, who were awakened by the same noise, were entering.
Those parties of the enemy who were on the south side of the river having completed their destructive work, collected in a field adjoining to Burnham’s garrison, where they insultingly showed their prisoners, and derided the people, thinking themselves out of reach of their shot. A young man from the sentry-box fired at one who was making some indecent signs of defiance, and wounded him in the heel: Him they placed on a horse and carried away.
Though John Davis was killed in 1694 no attempt was made to administer on his estate till after his daughter Mary Anne’s religious profession and decision to remain in Canada, Sep 25, 1701, when all hope of her return home was renounced. His daughter Sarah was redeemed from Canada, and was living at Oyster River Oct 16, 1702, on which day her maternal uncle, Jeremiah Burnham, was appointed her guardian and the administrator of her father’s estate.
Children of John and Elizabeth:
i. Mary Ann Davis b. 1687 in Haverhill, Mass.; d. 2 Mar 1749 Quebec, Canada
Mary Ann was the most interesting of the captives taken at Oyster River, July 18, 1694. According to a constant tradition in Durham, she became a nun in Canada and refused to return home at the redemption of captives in 1699. This was Sister St. Benedict, of the Ursuline convent, Quebec, the first native of New Hampshire, if not of New England, to embrace the conventional life.
Mary Anne Davis was seven years old when the Indians, on the above-mentioned day, burnt her father’s house and killed him and his wife and several children, as well as his widowed sister and two of her sons. They spared, however, his two young daughters Mary Ann and Sarah,- whom they carried into captivity, but who, unfortunately, were separated.
Though John Davis was killed in 1694 no attempt was made to administer on his estate till after his daughter Mary Anne’s religious profession, September 25, 1701, when all hope of her return home was renounced.
Mary Anne was carried away by the Abenaki Indians, but was rescued not long after by Father Rale, who instructed and baptized her and conveyed her to Canada. In 1698 she entered the boarding-school at the Ursuline convent, Quebec. At her entrance into this “Maison des Vierges” of which she had heard among the Abenakis, she was transported with joy. “This is the house of the Lord,” she cried; “it is here I will henceforth live; it is here I will die.” She entered the novitiate of that house on St. Joseph’s day, March 19, 1699; and received the religious habit and white veil, with the name of Sister St. Benedict, the fourteenth of September following—the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She took the black veil and made her vows September 25, 1701. Mademoiselle de Varennes, whose father was governor of Trois Rivieres for twenty-two years, took the white veil with her and made her vows at the same time. The latter was only fourteen years of age when she entered the novitiate.
Sister St. Benedict is said not to have known her own age, but was supposed to be a few years older. The trials she had undergone, however, must have given her an air of maturity beyond her years The Durham tradition does not mention her age, but speaks of her as “young” when taken captive. She died March 2, 1749. Her death is entered in the convent records as follows:
“The Lord has just taken from us our dear Mother Marie Anne Davis de St. Benoit after five months’ illness, during which she manifested great patience. She was of English origin and carried away by a band of savages, who killed her father before her very eyes. Fortunately she fell into the hands of the chief of a village who was a good Christian, and did not allow her to be treated as a slave, according to the usual practice of the savages towards their captives. She was about fifteen years old when redeemed by the French, and lived in several good families successively in order to acquire the habits of civilized life and the use of the French language. She everywhere manifested excellent traits of character, and appreciated so fully the gift of Faith that she would never listen to any proposal of returning to her own country, and constantly refused the solicitations of the English commissioners, who at different times came to treat for the exchange of prisoners. Her desire to enter our boarding-school in order to be more fully instructed in our holy religion was granted, and she soon formed the resolution to consecrate herself wholly to Him who had so mercifully led her out of the darkness of heresy. Several charitable persons aided in paying the expenses of her entrance, but the greater part of her dowry was given by the community [i.e., by the Ursulines themselves] in view of her decided vocation and the sacrifice she made of her country in order to preserve her faith.
Her monastic obligations she perfectly fulfilled, and she acquitted herself with exactness of the employments assigned her by holy obedience. Her zeal for the decoration of the altar made her particularly partial to the office of sacristan. Her love of industry, her ability, her spirit of order and economy, rendered her still very useful to the community, though she was at least seventy years of age.
“She had great devotion to the Blessed Virgin and daily said the rosary. Her confidence in St. Joseph made her desire his special protection at the hour of death—a desire that was granted, for she died on the second of March of this year 1749, after receiving the sacraments with great fervor, in the fiftieth year of her religious life.”
There was another Mary Ann Davis who became a nun in Canada in early times. She was, likewise, a captive from New England. She became a nun at the Hotel Dieu, Quebec, in 1710, under the name of Sister St. Cecilia. She was taken to Canada by the Rev. Father Vincent Bigot, S.J., who had ransomed her from the Indians at St. Francis. She is mentioned as leading ” a holy life” for more than fifty years in the religious state. She died in 1761, at the age of seventy-three. There is no record of her birthplace or parentage. She may have been the daughter mentioned by the Rev. John Pike, of Dover, N. H., in his journal:
“August 9, 1704, The wife, son, and daughter of John Davis, of Jemaico, taken by ye Indians in yr house or in yr field.” [Jemaico was part of Scarborough, Maine.]
ii. Sarah Davis b. 1687 Oyster River, NH; d. Aft 1771; m ~1706 to Peter Mason ( – bef. 1747)
Sarah was captured at the Oyster River Massacre of 18 Jul 1694 and was afterwards redeemed, and was living at Oyster River Oct 16, 1702, on which day her maternal uncle, Jeremiah Burnham, was appointed her guardian and the administrator of her father’s estate. She afterwards married Peter Mason, but was left a widow before 1747. Sarah inherited her father’s land at Turtle Pond and also his homestead on the south side of the Oyster River. With true Davis tenacity to life she was still living in 1771, when she sold part of her homestead lands to John Sullivan (afterwards General in the Revolutionary army, delegate in the Continental Congress, Federal judge, and Governor of New Hampshire).. How much longer she lived does not appear. She left one daughter, at least, whose descendants can still be traced.
4. Hannah Davis
Hannah’s husband John Keyzar was born 1648 in Lynn, Essex, Mass. His parents were George Keyser and Elizabeth Holyoke. John died 15 Mar 1697 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.
Children of Hannah and John:
i. John Keyser b. 6 Jul 1678 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. 1761 Hampstead, Rockingham, New Hampshire; m1. 1710 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass to his second cousin Judith Davis (b. 23 Jul 1687 in Haverhill – d. 1 Sep 1775 in Hampstead) Judith’s parents were Stephen Davis (1663- 1719) and Mary Tucker (1666 – 1724), her grandparents were Ephraim Davis and Mary Johnson, and her great grandparents were James DAVIS and Cicely THAYER John and Judith Davis had three children born between 1710 and 1722.
m2. 23 Sep 1730 in Haverhill to his first cousin Judith Heath (b. 9 Dec 1691 in Haverhill – d. Oct 1756 Hampstead, Rockingham, New Hampshire) Judith’s parents were Josiah HEATH and Mary DAVIS
ii. Timothy Keysar b. 23 Nov 1683 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d.17 Feb 1726 Chester, New Hampshire; m. 10 Dec 1710 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass to Sarah Hodgkins (b. 1 Feb 1690 in Ipswich – d. Rowley, Mass.) Sarah’s parents were John Hodgkins (1662 -1690) and Elizabeth [__?__] Timothy and Sarah had six children born between 1711 and 1722.
iii. Sarah Keyser b. 5 Oct 1686 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire; m1. 26 Apr 1705 in Hampton to Nathan Moulton (b. 1677 in Hampton – d. 1712 in Hampton); Nathan’s parents were John Moulton (1638 – 1706) and Lydia Taylor ( 1646 -)
m2. 1712 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass to John Silver (b. 24 Feb 1688 in Haverhill) John’s parents were Thomas Silver (1658 – 1695) and Mary Williams (1663 – 1695) Sarah and John had five children born between 1712 and 1726.
iv. Mary Keyser b. 27 Apr 1689 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; m. Nicholas George
v. Eleazer Keyzar b. 9 Aug 1692 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. 1729 Essex, Mass; m. [__?__] Eleazer had two children
vi. Samuel Keyser b. 30 Dec 1694 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. 1719
vii. George Keyser b. 22 Apr 1697 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; m. Elizabeth Adams
6. Moses Davis
Moses’ wife Reuhamah (Ruhamah) Dow was born 24 Jan 1663/64 Haverhill, Mass. Her parents were Stephen DOW and Phebe LATLY. Ruhamah died Aft. 1717.
John’s son Moses was another Indian attack victim. He escaped the massacre of 1694 and accompanied his brother James in some of the expeditions to Maine and Port Royal. He lived in a clearing of the forest about a mile from Oyster river falls, where, 10 Jun 1724, he and his son Moses Jr. were killed by a party of Indians, who lay in ambush to attack the settlement. He was then sixty-seven years of age. A negro slave of his avenged their murder by pursuing the Indians and shooting one of the leaders.
Love Davis, daughter of Moses, in view of the fidelity of this slave, gave orders that at his death he should be buried at her feet. This was done, and their graves are still pointed out at a short distance from Durham village.
The Indian thus slain by the servant of Moses Davis is now generally supposed to have been a son of the Baron de St. Castin, who had married the daughter of an Indian sagamore of Maine. Dr. Belknap, whose account of the affair was derived from the Rev. Hugh Adams * —a man of extreme malevolence— His equipment, moreover, proves that he held the rank of a chief. Dr. Belknap thus describes him : ” The slain Indian was a person of distinction, and wore a kind of coronet of scarlet-dyed fur, with an appendage of four small bells, by the sound of which the others might follow him through the thickets. His hair was remarkably soft and fine, and he had about him a devotional book and a muster-roll of one hundred and eighty Indians.” The scalp of this young chief was presented to the New Hampshire General Assembly at Portsmouth June 12, 1724, by Robert Burnham, son of Jeremiah before-mentioned, and a bounty of one hundred pounds was ordered to be paid to the slayer.
A few weeks later Father Rale himself, the deliverer of Mary Anne Davis from the Indians, was slain at the foot of his mission-cross in the attack on Norridgewock by the Massachusetts forces, August 12, 1724, and his chapel pillaged and burnt to the ground.
Love Davis may be considered an important link in the chain of Davis traditions, for she did not die till 1805, when she was about one hundred years ot age. Her nephew, Jabez Davis, furnished Dr. Belknap, the New Hampshire historian, with considerable information concerning his native town.
Children of Moses and Ruhamah
i. John Davis b. 4 Jan 1682 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; d. Nov 1749 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1703 in Haverhill, Mass to Abigail Meader (b. 1681 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 1736 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire) Abigail’s parents were John Meader (1660 – 1736) and Sarah Follett ( – 1725) John and Abigail had four children born between 1697 and 1716.
ii. Moses Davis b. 2 Nov 1684 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; d. 10 Jun 1724 Haverhill; m. 1710 in Strafford, New Hampshire to Deliverance Rice (b. 1676 in Kittery, York, Maine – d. 1765 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire) Deliverance first married 1699 in Oyster River, Strafford, Maine to George Chesley (b 1671 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 8 Jun 1710 in Indians in Oyster River) and had two children.
iii. James Davis b. 1687 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; d. 1728 Haverhill; m1. 19 May 1719 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire to Mary Stevenson (b. 21 Sep 1681 in Haverhill – d. Jan 1723 in Oyster River); m2. 4 Oct 1728 in Dover to Elizabeth Dunn (b. 1689 in Oyster River)
iv. Joshua Davis b. 1693 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 29 Nov 1752 Rochester, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 29 Jul 1717 in Dover to Esther Bunker (b. Apr 1693 in Dover – d. 8 Nov 1749 Rochester) Esther’s parents were John Bunker (1667 – 1707) and Mary [__?__] (1664 – 1738)
v. Solomon Davis b. 1695 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 7 May 1755 Durham, Androscoggin, Maine; m. 4 Feb 1724 in Oyster River to his niece Elizabeth Davis (b. 1706 in Oyster River – ) Elizabeth’s parents were John Davis and Abigail Meader. Uncles don’t marry nieces, either John or Solomon was not the son of Moses. Solomon and Elizabeth had two children in 1726 and 1728.
vi. Joseph Davis b. 8 Mar 1696 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; m. 4 Oct 1728 in Oyster River to Elizabeth Dunn? or was she James’ second wife?
vii. Jabez Davis b. 1701 Dover, Norfolk, Mass; d. 1736 Haverhill, Essex, Mass; A Jabez Davis was born 24 Feb 1701 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass to Stephen Davis(1663 – 1719) and Mary Tucker (1666 – 1724) That Jabez married in 1723 – Dunstable, Middlesex, Mass. to Ruth Blanchard and died about 1746.
viii. Ebenezer Davis b. 10 Jun 1702 in Dover, Norfolk, Mass.; d, 7 May 1755 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. Susanna [__?__]
ix. Abigail Davis b. 1703 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire
x. Samuel Davis b. 1705 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; d. 1752 Strafford, New Hampshire
xi. Jeremiah Davis b. 1708 in Dover, Norfolk, Mass; d. 1767 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1734 to Sarah Jenkins (b. 1700 in Reading, Middlesex, Mass. – d. 1744 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire)
7. Joseph Davis
Joseph’s wife Mary Stevens was born in 1660 in Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Mary died 10 Feb 1716 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire.
Joseph was Lieutenant in 1712 and was a constable in 1714.
Children of Joseph and Mary:
i. Mary Davis b. ~1695 Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. 1757 Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire; m. 1712 in Hampton to James Basford (b. 1685 in Hampton – d. 16 Dec 1745 in Chester) James’ parents were Jacob Basford (1655 – 1735) and Elizabeth Clifford ( – 1708) Mary and James had five children born between 1715 and 1721.
ii David Davis b. ~1695 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 28 Jun 1717 Oyster River to Elizabeth Thomas
iii. Joseph Davis b. ~1697 Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. 3 Feb 1753; m. 1718 to Elizabeth Chesley (b. 1699)
iv. Judith Davis b. ~1699 Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. 1775 Madbury, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 3 Apr 1718 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire to John Tasker (b. 1688 in Dover, New Hampshire – d. 1761 in Madbury) Judith and John had nine children born between 1721 and 1736.
The name “Modbury” was later corrupted to “Madberry” and “Madburry,” finally becoming “Madbury.” Madbury became an entity in 1735, when John and Judah Tasker gave an acre of land to the inhabitants on which to build a meeting house.
Madbury was once the farm of Sir Francis Champernowne of Greenland, and named after his ancient family’s mansion at Modbury in Devon, England. The name Madbury Parish was first recorded in a 1755 grant made by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, with full town privileges granted in 1768 by his successor, Governor John Wentworth. A lumbering and farming community, Madbury was incorporated in 1775.
v. Jane Davis b. ~1700 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1742 Harwich, Barnstable, Mass; m. 31 Mar 1720 in Durham to Lt. Zachariah Small (b. 1698 in Chatham, Barnstable, Mass. – d. 24 Apr 1778 in Harwich, Barnstable, Mass.) Zachariah’s parents were Edward Small (1652 – ) and Mary Woodman (1660 – 1742) Jane and Zachariah had six children born between 1726 and 1741. After Jane died, Zachariah married 22 May 1742 in Harwich to Hannah Hopkins (b. 25 Mar 1700 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. – 24 Oct 1793 in Harwich) and had one more child.
vi. Benjamin Davis b. 1704 Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshirel m. 5 Jan 1727 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire to Miriam Roberts (b. 4 Jan 1709 in Dover Neck, Strafford, New Hampshire,) Miriam’s parents were Nathaniel Roberts (1668 -1753) and Elizabeth Mason (1677 -1746)
vii. Elizabeth Davis b. Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire
8. Colonel James Davis
James wife Elizabeth Chesley was born 1675 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire. Elizabeth died in 1748 in Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire.
James was at once a soldier, judge, and deacon. He received a lieutenant’s commission from the Massachusetts government in 1790, at which time New Hampshire was again united with that province. At an early age he organized scouting parties against the Indians, and was the companion-in-arms of Colonel Hilton, as related in Belknap’s history, and took part in various expeditions to Maine and Port Royal (Annapolis, N. S.) Belknap calls him ” captain ” in 1703. He was appointed member of the council of war by the New Hampshire provincial government 18 Oct 1707, and was finally made colonel. He was likewise a member of the New Hampshire General Assembly for more than twenty years, and in 1717 was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which office he held the remainder of his life.
It was Colonel James Davis who inherited his father’s garrison, which he successfully defended at the Indian attack of 18 Jul 1694, after taking the precaution to send his family off by water, to insure their safety. To his civil and military functions he added the office of deacon in the Oyster River church, and it is still related how the veteran officer and able magistrate used at times to lay aside his weapons and convene religious meetings in his garrison, in which he took a prominent part in prayer and exhortation, showing himself, as Butler says in Hudibras :
” Most fit t’ hold forth the Word,
And wield the one and t’ other sword.
James accompanied Colonel Hilton to Norridgewock in the winter of 1704-5, when the snow was four feet deep, and the party of two hundred and seventy men were obliged to march through the wilderness on snow-shoes. There being no prohibition laws in Maine in those Puritan times, they were cheered and fortified for their work by a fresh supply of rum from the commissary at Casco Bay, to the amount of £4 7s. 6d* Arriving at Norridgewock they found the place deserted, the Indians having received notice of their approach, and they had to content themselves with burning the chapel and wigwams. The Indians afterwards took vengeance on most of the leaders for these and other provocations. Lieutenant Chesley, one of the party, with his brother and others was slain by them at Oyster River in 1707. Colonel Hilton, who was specially obnoxious to them, continued his raids some years longer, but at last, 23 Jun 1710, while cutting down trees in the forest with his brother, a band of Indians fell suddenly upon them, clove asunder his brains with a tomahawk, and stabbed him to the heart with a lance, which they left therein. His brother was carried away and never heard of again.
Col. James died in 1749, leaving nine children, whose ages at their death averaged eighty-seven years—the Davis family being remarkable for longevity. The cellar of his garrison can still be traced, and not far off is his grave, with its headstone of unhewn granite, gray and shaggy with moss.
Children of James and Elizabeth:
i. James Davis b. 10 Jul 1689 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 28 Apr 1782 Madbury, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 14 Apr 1743 in Dover to Elizabeth Payne (b. 1720 in York, York, Maine – d. 1754) James and Elizabeth had five children born between 1744 and 1754.
ii. Thomas Davis b. 20 Oct 1690 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1778
iii. Samuel Davis b. 26 Sep 1692 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 26 Feb 1789 Madbury, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1713 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire to Martha Chesley (b. 1695 in Oyster River – d. 1791 in Madbury) Martha’s parents were Thomas Chesley (4 Jun 1664 – 1700) and Ann Huntress (1676 – 1704). Samuel and Martha had six children born between 1720 and 1732.
iv. Daniel Davis b. 29 Jan 1695 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. Jan 1759 Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. ~1740 to Elizabeth Cotton (b. Jun 1720 in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. Sep 1764 in Portsmouth) Elizabeth’s parents were John Cotton (1690 – 1723) and Elizabeth Davis no close relation (1696 – 1761). Daniel and Elizabeth had nine children born between 1640 and 1658. (pretty darn busy for such a late start)
v. Sarah Davis b. 3 Mar 1697 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 20 Jan 1788 Hix Hill, Madbury, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1720 in Oyster River to Joseph Hicks (b., 1693 in New Hampshire – d. 1770 in Hix Hill) Joseph’s brother John married Sarah’s sister Elizabeeth. Their parents were Dennis Hicks (1650 – 1725) and Sarah Deering (1657 – 1750). Sarah and Joseph had six children born between 1721 and 1731.
vi. Hannah Davis b. 28 Mar 1699 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. Mar 1775 New Hampshire; m. 23 Mar 1727 in Durham to Clement Deering (b. 7 Feb 1703 in Kittery, York, Maine – d. 1775 in Rochester, Strafford, New Hampshire) Clement’s parents were Clement Deering (1680 – 1742) and Elizabeth Fernald (1674 – 1745)
vii. Elizabeth Davis b. 13 Jul 1701 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1780 Barrington, New Hampshire; m. 13 Nov 1723 in Kittery, York, Maine to John Hicks (b. 1690 in Kittery Point, Maine – d. : 1753 in Braveboat Harbor, York, Maine) John’s brother Joseph married Elizabeth’s sister Sarah. Their parents were parents were Dennis Hicks (1650 – 1725) and Sarah Deering (1657 – 1750).
viii. Ephraim Davis b. 30 Apr 1704 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. Apr 1791 Durham, Rockingham, New Hampshire; m. 7 Dec 1731 in Dover, Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Ruth [__?__] (b. 1710)
ix. Phebe Davis b. 19 Apr 1706 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1791; m. 1725 to Abraham Mathews (b. 1702 in Oyster River – d. ~ 1762 in est Durham) Abraham’s parents were Francis Matthews (1670 – 1755) and Ruth Bennett (1670 – 1749)
x. Eleazer Davis b. 5 Oct 1709 Oyster River, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1748
9 Jemima Davis
Jemima’s first husband John Barber was born 1664 in Dover, Norfolk, Mass.
Jemima’s second husband James Small was born 1718 in Dover, Norfolk, Massachusetts,
10. Judith Davis
Judith’s husband Samuel Emerson was born 2 Feb 1663 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass. His parents were Michael Emerson and Hannah Webster. Samuel died 13 Mar 1739 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.
Samuel was apprenticed to a John Simmons. Simmons was brought to court by another of his servants, Thomas Bettis, in March of 1681. Bettis claimed in his deposition that his “master haith this mani yeares beaten me upon small and frivelouse ocasion.” Bettis claimed that Simmons had “brocke my hed twice, strucke me on the hed with a great stick…tied me to a beds foott [and] a table foott” and a long list of other injuries and insults suffered at his master’s hand. He begged the court to be allowed to leave his master. A number of community members deposed that Bettis had, indeed, been beaten excessively and had not been clothed properly. But Samuel Emerson took his masters side in the suit saying, “that he had lived with his master Simmons about four years and Bettis was very rude in the family whenever the master was away, etc.”
Perhaps Samuel’s deposition was a form of self defense. After all, he still had to live with Simmons after the suit was over. But maybe Samuel really did think that Bettis deserved the beatings and that they were not excessive given the situation. If the latter is true, it could indicate that this type of violence was by no means foreign to Samuel Emerson’s upbringing. In any event, Bettis was told to return to his master’s house, and there the record ends.
Samuel had two famous siblings.
Hannah Emerson Duston (1657 – 1736) was a colonial Massachusetts Puritan woman who escaped Native American captivity by leading her fellow captives in scalping their captors at night. Duston is the first woman honored in the United States with a statue. (See my post Hannah Dustin – Heroine or Cold Blooded Killer)
Elizabeth Emerson (1665 – 1693) was hanged in the Boston Commons after having been convicted of killing her twins born out of wedlock. Although convicted in Sep 1691 Elizabeth was not hanged until June 8, 1693. In the interim she came under the care and guidance of the Reverend Cotton Mather. How he found time to minister to Elizabeth while at the same time actively pursuing the Salem Witch Trials is unknown.
Although convicted in Sep 1691 Elizabeth was not hanged until June 8, 1693. In the interim she came under the care and guidance of the Reverend Cotton Mather. How he found time to minister to Elizabeth while at the same time actively pursuing the Salem Witch Trials is unknown.
Elizabeth’s execution, Cotton Mather delivered a sermon before a large crowd in Boston. Mather exhorted the crowd, delivering what he unabashedly referred to as one of his greatest sermons ever. Whether Elizabeth sat penintently looking downwards or definantly staring into Mather’s eyes we can only imagine. That the sermon was delivered for her benefit is undoubted. The lecture was based upon Job 36:14, “They die in youth and their life is among the unclean.”
(See my posts 17th Century Premarital Sex and George CORLISS’ page for the story in depth)
Judith was also taken by the Indians in 1694 and remained in captivity five years. Note the ten year gap between Hannah (b. 1691) and Micah (b. 1701)
Children of Samuel and Judith:
i. Samuel Emerson b. 21 Aug 1688 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; d. at sea; m. Rebecca? [__?__] (b. Bradford, Essex, Mass. – d. 6 Jul 1776 in Pownalborough, Kennebec, Maine)
ii. Hannah Emerson b. 22 Dec 1691 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.; d. 1736 Haverhill; m. 24 Nov 1715 in Newberry, Essex, Mass to Hugh Pike (b. 28 May 1686 in Newberry – d. 1747 in Haverhill) Hugh’s parents were Hugh Pike Sr. (1657 – ) and Sarah Brown (1663 – 1691). Hugh first married 30 Jun 1714 in Newbury, to Hannah Kelley (b. 17 Nov 1686 in Newbury – d. 31 Mar 1715 in Newbury). Hannah and Hugh had ten children born between 1715 and 1734.
iii. Micah Emerson b. 4 Jan 1701 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1734 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 5 Feb 1725 in Dover to Sarah Huckins (b. 5 Feb 1707 in Dover – d. 13 Feb 1777 in Rochester, Strafford, New Hampshire) Sarah’s parents were Robert Huckins (1672 – 1720) and Welthen Thomas ( – 1729), Micah and Sarah had three children born between 1726 and 1731. After Micah died, Sarah married 1735 in Neck, Strafford, New Hampshire to Joseph Tibbetts (b. 14 Oct 1702 in Dover Neck, Strafford, New Hampshire – d. 20 Jan 1776 in Rochester) Sarah and Joseph had five more children between 1736 and 1752.
iv. Abigail Emerson b. 27 Sep 1704 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1757 Durham, New Hampshire; m. 1723 in Durham to Robert Thompson (b. 1700 in Oyster River – d. 1752 in Durham) Robert’s parents were John Thompson (1659 – ) and Sarah Woodman (1663 – 1734). Abigail and Robert had five children born between 1724 and 1747.
v. Timothy Emerson b. 1706 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. 1754 Durham; m. 1732 in Dover, Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Mary Smith (b. Aug 1714 in Durham – d. 1745) Mary’s sister Elizabeth married Timothy’s brother Solomon. Their parents were Samuel Smith (1686 – 1760) and Hannah Burnham (1690 – 1750) Timothy and Mary had seven children born between 1733 to 1747
vi. Solomon Emerson b. 1709 Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire; d. Oct 1800 Madbury, Strafford, New Hampshire; m. 1735 in Dover to Elizabeth Smith (b. 29 Apr 1712 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire) Elizabeth’s sister Mary married Solomon’s brother Timothy. Their parents were Samuel Smith(1686 – 1760) and Hannah Burnham (1690 – 1750). Solomon and Elizabeth had nine children born between 1737 and 1754.
Catholic world, Volume 52 By Paulist Fathers 1891
Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938) By Holman, Mary Lovering, 1868-1947; Pillsbury, Helen Pendleton Winston, 1878-1957