John Diamond

John DIAMOND (1613 – 1667) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

John Diamond - Coat of Arms

John Diamond was born about 1610 or 1613 in Dartmouth, Devon, England.  He married Grace SAMMON 2 Jun 1635 in St. Petrox Church, Dartmouth, Devon, England.  John died on 9 Jul 1667 in Kittery, Maine.

John Diamond and Grace Sammon were married at St Petrox Church, next to Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the River Dart

It is likely that in 1192 it was maintained to provide a light at the harbor entrance. The whole coast was fringed with chapels in medieval times, some of which were used for a few years, whilst others were in service for centuries. The lonely site at the mouth of the Dart would seem to have been abandoned at some date before 1332; when Bishop Grandison licensed two priests to celebrate in the chapel of St. Petrox, built it was said of old, in the parish of the church of Stoke Fleming, the rights of the parish church being preserved. Seventeen years later William Smale (mayor in 1346) was contemplating ‘ the endowment of a chapel at St. Petrox.’ Dartmouth Castle is one of a pair of forts, the other being Kingswear Castle, that guard the mouth of the Dart Estuary in Devon,

Grace Sammon was born 1 Jan 1619 in Dartmouth, Devon, England. Her parents were Andrew  SAMMON and [__?__]. Grace died after 9 Jul 1661 in Kittery, Maine.

Children of John and Grace:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Diamond c. 1639
St Petrox, Dartmouth, Devon, England
Eleanor Raynes
abt 1661, Kittery, York, Maine
10 Jun 1692
Wells, Maine
Tortured by Indians
29 Aug 1693
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
2. Andrew Diamond 1640
St Petrox, Dartmouth, Devon, England
Mrs. Joan Grant
c. 1668
Elizabeth Elliot
24 Jul 1705
Marblehead, Essex, Mass
bef Apr 1707
Smuttinose Island, Maine
3. Capt. Thomas Diamond bapt.
30 Aug 1641
St. Petrox, Dartmouth, Devon, England
Mrs. Mary Weymouth
aft 25 Jun 1678, Star Island, New Hampshire
Jane Gaines
19 Apr 1707
Ipswich, Essex, Mass
c. 1708
Star Island
4. William Diamond c. 1642
Kittery, York, Maine
Joan [__?__]
abt 1666, Kittery, York, Maine
1 Apr 1679
Kittery, Main
5. Grace DIAMOND 1645 or 1646
Kittery, Maine
c. 1667
 After 1720

John was a ropemaker in Massachusetts, but built shallops in Kittery and with his sons carried on fishing at Isle of Shoals.  In 1660 Walter Winser from Hemick (Hennock), Devon, was apprenticed to him.  A shallop is either a large heavy boat, usually having two masts and carrying fore-and-aft or lugsail or a small open boat fitted with oars or sails, or both, and used primarily in shallow waters. The source doesn’t say which one John build, but I’d go with small and open.

Map of Lower Kittery Lots - John Diamond's land is underlined in yellow

John’s lot in Lower Kittery was a couple of hundred feet from Badger’s Island.  Prior to the Civil War, Badger’s Island was famous for shipbuilding. Eastern white pine formasts, together with lumber for hulls, arrived down the Piscataqua River from inland forests. Only two tenths of a mile from Portsmouth’s busy wharves, the island’s gradual slope into the deep channel between was ideal for launching vessels. First called Rising Castle Island, it changed to Langdon’s Island when John Langdon established his shipyard. The first U. S. Navy ships commissioned by the Continental Congress were built here by master shipbuilder James Hackett,  including USS Ranger in 1777

Ranger (initially called Hampshire) was launched 10 May 1777 Captain John Paul Jones in command.   After fitting out, she sailed for France on 1 Nov 1777, carrying dispatches telling of General Burgoyne‘s surrender to the commissioners in Paris. On the voyage over, two British prizes were captured. Ranger arrived at Nantes, France, 2 Dec, where Jones sold the prizes and delivered the news of the victory at Saratoga to Dr. Franklin. On 14 Feb 1778, Ranger received an official salute to the new American flag, the “Stars and Stripes,” given by the French fleet at Quiberon Bay.

1647 – Lived in Lynn Mass.

In 1651 he bought by an imperfect deed a house and undescribed land at Crooked Lane, Kittery; the land he claimed was cut down by Thomas Withers and by town grants  to Dennis Downing, Richard Abbott, William. Leighton.  There is no Crooked Lane in modern Kittery, but there is a Crooked Lane Cafe at 70 Wallingford Square, just across the bridge from Portmouth Naval Shipyard.  It got a good review on Trip Advisor.  Compare the modern Google Satellite View vs. the 1635-1700 Lower Kittery Map above.   Crooked Lane looks to be in about the same spot, but the shape of the islands has changed.

John  was on a Jury in 1651,  and a grand jury in 1663.

5 Dec 1651 – At Kittery,   “Grace Dimond & her husband Jo: Dymond depose they stand in fear of life from Mary Mendam — & so her husband Robert Mendam bound in £40 that she shall keep the peace.”  [The Mendam’s home was half a mile north of the Diamond’s]

5 Mar 1651/52 – The Dimonds recover against the Mendams 40 shillings and costs in an action of assault and battery. (Court Record)

5 Jul 1658 – John Dyamont appointed administrator of Nicholas Woddy, fisherman, deceased intestate. (Court Record)

Aug., 1659 – John Dyamont appointed constable at Kittery

Jul 1662 – John appointed Clerk of the writs in Kittery

1667 – John Dyament conveys land to his brother William Dyament; and it appears from Robert Flausell’s deposition, that they were son of John Diamond, deceased, who left also a son Andrew, and that John was the eldest son.

Possibly a synthetic date, administration on his estate is said to have been granted  to son John 9 July 1667; but his wife survived him.  In that court ‘John Dyamont’ was a juryman.

From Old Kittery and her families By Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole

John Diamond and wife Grace were living in Kittery in 1651. He was constable in 1659 and clerk of the writs in 1662. He lived on Crooked Lane and was a shipbuilder. John Diamond, Jr., was made administrator of his estate 9 July 1667.

From Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire 1623-1660 by POPE pate 55:


John , rope-maker, Kittery, bought house and land June 15, 1651. Took oath of allegiance to Mass. govt. 22 Nov. 1652. One of the appraisers in the Gunnison case in 1653. Selectman. Took Walter, son of John Winser, late of Hemmick, Co. Devon, Eng. apprentice for 5 years from 9 Oct. next, May 3, 1660. Sold house and land on one of the Isles of Shoals 2 Nov. 1668 to Henry Maine and Andrew Deament, and another house with land Nov. 18, 1667, to his brother William Deaman.  Administration of his estate was granted 9 July, 1667, to his son John.


1. John Diamond

John’s wife Eleanor Raynes was born about 1648 in Strawberry Bank, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Her parents were Capt. Francis Raynes (~1625-<1706) and Eleanor Moore (~1629->1706). Eleanor died before 1692, Kittery, York, Maine.

John Jr. sold land to brother William in 1667. Mentioned in 1685. Probably married a daughter of Francis Raynes of York.   His children include : Mary, m1. John Spinney, m2. Lieut. Jeremiah Burnham; John, Boston, m. 22 Aug. 1709 Mary Wilson; Thomas, Boston, mar. 2 Jan. 1706 Ann Webster.

A theory, that the 1667 juryman was the son and that he, deeming himself sole heir, undertook to distribute his father’s estate among his brothers. He had laid out to himself in 1674, 40 acres next S.E. of Thomas Withers, 51 rods [841.5 feet] on the river. This became the Woodman-Moore ferry place, conveyed as 40 acres, but with abuttors never named. William’s widow was obliged to repurchase their farm from the Downings. In 1685 John was shoreman of a fishing company on Pickering’s island. Grand jury, foreman 1688. Inv. 29 Aug. 1693, adm. 30 Aug. to Nathl. Raynes and John Woodman. His wife, a daughter of Capt. Francis Raynes, apparently d. first.

John Diamond, 2d, who was put to death with torture by Indians after the Raid on Wells in 1692. Alternatively, this John might have been his nephew, son of his brother William. Magnalia by Cotton Mather –

Magnalia Christi Americana (roughly, The Glorious Works of Christ in America) is a book published in 1702 by Cotton Mather (1663–1728). Its title is in Latin, but its subtitle is in English: The Ecclesiastical History of New England. It was generally written in English and printed in London   It consists of seven “books” collected into two volumes, and it details the religious development of New England from 1620 to 1698. Notable parts of the book are Mather’s descriptions of the Salem Witch Trials, in which he criticizes some of the methods of the court and attempts to distance himself from the event; his account of the escape of Hannah Dustan, [Mary Neff, daughter of our ancestor George CORLISS was Hannah’s nurse and accomplice] one of the best known to captivity narrative scholars; his complete “catalogus” of all the students that graduated from Harvard College, and story of the founding of Harvard College itself; and his assertions that Puritan slaveholders should do more to convert their slaves to Christianity.
From Magnalia Christi Americana …

“At the brave defence of Wells by Captain Converse…, one John Diamond was taken prisoner by the Indians, and dragged away by his hair into the thickets. After their humiliating defeat, in their ‘nefandous rage,’ the savages put their captive to the most dreadful tortures. “They stripped him,” writes Cotton Mather, ‘they scalped him alive; they slit him with knives between his fingers and toes; they made cruel gashes in the most fleshy parts of his body, and stuck the gashes with firebrands, which were after found sticking in the wounds.'”

The Raid on Wells  was part of King William’s War  (1689-1697), the first of what came to be known in America as the French and Indian wars. In fact, the French and Indian Wars were a series of colonial wars between Great Britain and France that lasted three-quarters of a century. Hostilities in King William’s War begain in 1690, when in the course of a few months Schenectady, N.Y., was burned by the French and Indians, and colonial English forces launched attacks on Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal), Nova Scotia, and on Quebec. Despite further raids by the French and Indians, the war ended in a stalemate

The Raid on Wells occurred when French and Native forces from New France attacked the English settlement at Wells, Maine, a frontier town on the coast below Acadia. The principal attack (1692) was led by La Brognerie, who was killed. Commander of the garrison, Captain James Converse, successfully repelled the raid despite being greatly outnumbered.

Wells was the resilient northeastern frontier of English settlement. Other early attempts to colonize Maine above Wells, including the Popham Colony in 1607, [our ancestor John PARKER Sr. was a mate on the 1607 voyage to found the Popham Colony], and Pejepscot (now Brunswick) in 1628, were abandoned except for a few forts and garrisons. Beginning with King Philip’s War in 1675, Native American attacks destroyed many incipient towns. New France resented encroachment by New England in territory it considered its own, and used the Abenaki inhabitants to impede English settlement.

A year earlier, also during King William’s War, , when Wells contained about 80 houses and log cabins strung along the Post Road, the town was attacked on June 9, 1691 by about 200 Native Americans commanded by the sachem Moxus. But Captain James Converse and his militia successfully defended Lieutenant Joseph Storer’s garrison, which was surrounded by a gated palisade. Another sachem, Madockawando, threatened to return the next year “and have the dog Converse out of his hole”

Madockwando b. ? d. 1698 Chief 1667(?) to 1698

During the time of King Philip’s War, Chief Madockawando sought peace between the Penobscot and the English and attended many peace meetings with Lt. Governor William Phips of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Phips drafted a treaty that called for the Penobscot to live under English rule and to cut all alliances with the French, but Madockawando and other Penobscot leaders could not agree to these terms. Chief Madockawando tried hard to stay out of King Philip’s War, but after the death of his sister due to English attacks on Fort Pentagoet, he and other Penobscots joined the conflict.

We have another family connection to Cheif Madockawando.  Benjamin CRISPE’s daughter Deliverance, son-in-law William Longley and five of their children were killed in an Abenaki Indian attack 27 Jul 1694 in Groton, Mass.  The Indians killed the father and the mother and five of the children and carried into captivity the other three.  Lydia was sold to the French and placed in the Congregation of Notre Dame, a convent in Montreal, where she converted to Catholicism, and died July 20, 1758. Betty died soon after her capture from hunger and exposure; and John remained with the Indians more than 4 years, when he was ransomed and brought away.  John Longley returned about the time when the grandmother died; and subsequently he filled many important offices both in the church and the town.  It is said he took kindly to life among the Indians, notwithstanding hardships, and, had it not been for determined efforts on the part of his relatives and the Massachusetts government, he would probably have become an Indian chief.  He was ransomed by the government and, with great difficulty, induced to return to civilization.  He remained with the Abenaqui for 4 years. According to his deposition given in 1736, he spent the last 2 ½ years of his captivity as a servant to Chief Madocawando of the Penobscot tribe.

Chief Madockawando

Back to John Diamond, a year passed when cattle, frightened and some wounded, suddenly ran into the town from their pastures. It was a recognized sign that a Native American attack was imminent, so residents sought refuge. On June 10, 1692, a force of 400 Native Americans and some French troops commanded by La Brognerie marched into Wells, knowing that Converse would be in Storer’s garrison. But with a 15 soldier militia and an approximate number of townsfolk, Converse resisted assaults during a 2–3 day siege. The attackers alternated between attacks on the village and the narrow harbor,  where Captain Samuel Storer, James Gooch and 14 soldiers, sent as reinforcements, were aboard two sloops and a shallop. Native Americans shot flaming arrows onto the boats, but the crews extinguished the fires. The attackers fastened a wall of vertical planks to the back of a cart, then pushed it toward the vessels at low tide. La Brognerie and 26 French and Native Americans huddled behind the shield, but the cart got stuck in mudflats within 50 feet of the nearest boat.  (Wells Harbor has mudflats today too See Google Satellite View ) When La Brognerie struggled to lift the wheel, he was shot through the head. The remainder ran, some dropping in the hail of bullets. Next they towed downstream a raft of about 18–20 feet square and covered with combustible material, expecting the ebbing tide to carry it ablaze to the boats. But the wind shifted and the raft drifted to the opposite shore.

Running out of ammunition, the attackers retreated, although not before burning the church and a few empty houses, shooting all the cattle they could find, and torturing to death John Diamond, who had been captured at the outset trying to escape the boats for the fort. They left behind some of their dead, including La Brognerie. The victory of so few against so many brought Converse fame and advancement. A granite monument in Storer Park now marks the site of Lieutenant Storer’s garrison.

Storer Tablet, Wells, ME.jpg

Storer Tablet, which marks the Storer garrison site, Wells, Maine

2. Andrew Diamond

Andrew’s first wife Mrs. Joan Grant was born in 1629.

Andrew’s second wife Elizabeth Elliot was born in 1665. After Andrew died, she married Theophilus Cotton 19 Feb 1708 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Elizabeth died 13 Oct 1710.

Andrew for many years a tavener and magistrate on the Isles of Shoals.  Today, there are neither taverns nor magistrates on the isles.  No one lives year-round at the Shoals any more — there’s White Island Light, the Oceanic Hotel where the Unitarian conferences are held, a few summer houses, and the Shoals Marine Research Laboratory.  Andrew lived in Ipswich, Mass., where he m. 1705, Mrs. Elizabeth Eliott; d. s. p. 1707. Widow m. Theophilus Parsons, 5 April 1707-8.

14 Jul 1659 – “Andrew Dyamont of Kittery presented for saying he would kill or be killed in some case of difference about a piece of land. John Dyamont the father of said Andrew affirmeth that said Andrew acknowledgeth his offence & submits himself & is fined 20s & fees 5s & is discharged.”

13 Jun 1673 – William Doe, £40 conveys to Andrew Dymond & Henry Maine, all of Isles of Shoals, his house and land in Ipswich.

30 Oct 1674 – Abadiah wood conveys to Andrew Dymond, both of Ipswich, land in that town.

1 May 1679 – James King conveys to Andrew Dymond, of Isles of Shoals, land in Ipswich

17 Mar 1679/80 – Roger Kelly & Andrew Dyamont are empowered with any one of the Magistrates fo this Province to hold Court of Isles of Shoals.

“Testimony of Andrew Dyamont aged about 39 years in behalf of Walter Matthews of Isles of Shoals — Sworn to 9 June 1680.”

31 Mar 1691 -Administration granted to Mary, widow of Andrew Sargent, Andrew Diamond of Ipswich and William Sargent of Gloucester, bondsmen.

10 May, 1697. Andrew Dimond gives bond as Administrator of Estate of late Andrew Sargent, both of Ipswich

1700 – Subscribed liberally toward the bell and pulpit cushion; was appointed seat among the most considerable of the inhabitants in the new meeting house; given title of “Mr.”  “Diamond Stage” warf and landing named after Andrew with Edward Bragg, prob donated a silver cup to the communion service of the Church of Christ in Ipswich

3. Capt. Thomas Diamond

Thomas’ wife Mrs. Mary Weymouth was the widow of James Weymouth.

Thomas’ second wife Jane Gaines was born 1680 in Ipswich, Essex, England. Her parents were John Gaines and Mary Treadwell. Jane died 2 Mar 1752 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass

Thomas was an ensign and then a captain. Rep. 1693.

He settled on Star Island, on the NH side of the Shoals, where he married the innholder’s widow, Mary, widow of James Weymouth, Senior, and continued the business.  Licensed 1685-98. Apr. 1708, shows no ch. M. 1st Mary, widow of James Weymouth.

25 Jul 1690 – Francis Wainwright, of Ipswich, conveys to Thomas Dymond and Mary, his wife land on Star Island, Isles of Shoals.

Thomas  second married Jane Gains of Ipswich, Mass. Pub. 19 April 1707. His will, recorded in New Hampshire, is dated 14 Jul 1707.  It names wife Jane, brother John deceased, who had sons Thomas and John, sister Grace Lewis, cousin Mary Spinney, daughter of my brother John Diamond, cousin Margaret Tripe daughter of my brother William Diamond, Diamond and Weymouth Currier, sons of my son-in-law Richard Currier. (Richard Currier m. Elizabeth Weymouth, dau. of Thomas Diamond, first wife. Diamond Currier d. int. about 1731.)

4. William Diamond

After William died, his widow Joan first married Edward Carter, and second married James Blagdon. Joan Carter in a deed dated 1691 names children John, Grace, and Margaret Diamond.  John may have been put to death with torture by Indians in Wells in 1692, or it may have been his uncle John. Grace m. Richard Tucker. Margaret m. Sylvanus Tripe.

The widow of William Diamond married Edward Carter and afterward James Blagdon. In 1691 Joan Carter sold to her son, John Diamond, twenty-eight acres on Crooked Land, ten of which she had bought of Dennis Downing, it having been granted to him by the town. Probably John Diamond soon died, for the land was again in the possession of his mother in 1702. She was then Joan Blagdon, and she and her son-in-law, Richard Tucker, and wife, Grace, sold the aforesaid ten acres to Sylvanus Tripe, who had married her daughter, Margaret. Here, then, on Tripe’s or Traip’s Point, William Diamond was the first settler.

5. Grace DIAMOND (See Peter LEWIS‘ page)


Old Kittery and her families By Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole

This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Public Office, Sea Captain, Storied, Violent Death and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to John Diamond

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  4. William Diamond says:

    This is awesome great job I’m a descendent from Plaster Rock Nb in my mid 40s

    • I am the administrator of the Diamond_Newfoundland, New England/New York, and Devon DNA project at FTDNA. We are currently Y-DNA testing a descendant from this line: John Diamond (Kittery) > John Diamond > Thomas Diamond (Boston) > John Webster Diamond > Joseph Bradford Diamond (New Brunswick) > John Webster Diamond, etc. Do you know which line you’re from?

    • I am the administrator of the Dimond_Newfoundland, New England/New York, and Devon Y-DNA project at FTDNA. We are currently testing a descendant of this line: John Diamond (Kittery) > John Diamond > Thomas Diamond (Boston) > John Webster Diamond > Joseph Bradford Diamond (New Brunswick) > John Webster Diamond (Allagash, Maine / New Brunswick), etc. Is this your line?

      • markeminer says:

        Hi Marilyn,

        William’s daughter Grace married Peter Lewis so I have not been a Diamond for a long time. The Diamonds Lewsi’s and Hutchin’s all lived close together in lower Kittery. Then they married into my Webbers and moved to Vassalboro which heard from Mainers is the punchline to a “you can’t get here from there” story.

        I have not been DNA tested yet. I have been told it is a fun thing to do.

        Cheers cousin,


  5. Isaac Ross says:

    I am a resident of Ipswich MA and have been doing some research into a local legend which touches upon Andrew Diamond. Andrew bought a house at 32 Water Street in Ipswich with his fishing partner Henery Maine. Henery became the subject of a local legend which claims he was a “mooncusser” and a pirate and that he was chained to the Ipswich bar for his crimes. Now I don’t know that I believe the legend, but I am curious how it got attached to a real man. I was wondering if anyone knew anything more about Andrew Diamond, or especially about the nature of his relationship with Henery Maine.

    –Isaac Ross

  6. Nicolas Matsuo says:

    I am a descendent in Winnipeg who is tracing back as far as possible this was awesome my family is from plaster rock as we’ll

    • Darrell McBreairty says:

      I would be a cousin to you. I wrote the book Conversations with A’nt Ev’: an Oral History of the Allagash. I copied the large picture that Beecher Diamond owned and included it in my book.

  7. Darrell McBreairty says:

    My name is Darrell McBreairty of Allagash, Maine. I am descendant of the Diamonds from Campbellton, NB. I am partway through the research for a book on the Diamonds, etc. Having transcribed a large section of the Diamond deeds in Maine and Massachusetts, I think I can see the finish line. Marilyn Collins Pilkington: hang in there. I will send you more material in a bit. This is a great site.

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