Tenth Great-Grandparents: Stephen and Hannah (Bass) Paine

Continuing along the various maternal lines in my ancestry, we come to Sarah (Paine) Billings‘ parents, Stephen Paine and Hannah Bass.

Stephen Paine was the youngest child and second son of Moses Paine (sometimes spelled Payne) and Elizabeth Sheafe. He was born in England sometime between 1626 and 1628, and the family had immigrated to Braintree, Massachusetts by 1632. In 1649, he became part of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, as his older brother Moses had done.

Hannah Bass was the second daughter and fourth child of Samuel Bass and Ann (whose maiden name is commonly thought to be Saville). She was born circa 1633; since it is believed that her family immigrated from England to Roxbury, Massachusetts about 1632, she was probably born in Roxbury. The family then moved to Braintree in 1640.

I suspect that Stephen and Hannah must have met at church, or maybe they were neighbors. In any case, they were married on November 15, 1651. Two years later, Stephen became a freeman. And as couples do, Stephen and Hannah proceeded to have a family. All their children, listed below, were born in Braintree:

  • Stephen, born March 8, 1652; married Ellen Veasey on February 20, 1682; died May 24, 1690 of smallpox.
  • Samuel, born June 10, 1654; married Mary Penniman on April 4, 2678; died December 10, 1739.
  • Hannah, born October 28, 1656; married late January 1673 to Theophilus Curtis; died April 1742.
  • Sarah, born January or September 1, 1657; married Roger Billings, Jr. on January 22, 1697; died September 19, 1742 in Dorchester.
  • Moses, born March 26, 1660; married Mary _____, circa 1688; died 1746.
  • John, born August or September 21, 1666; married Deborah Neale on January 20, 1689; died 1706.
  • Lydia, born 1670; married Benjamin Neale (Deborah’s brother) on either January or June 20, 1689 (might it have been a double wedding?).

Like many others, Stephen served in King Philip’s War. I find him listed twice: once in 1675 under Captain Thomas Prentice and Lieutenant Edward Oakes, and again in August 1676 under Captain Jonathan Poole. I can’t ascertain the exact actions Stephen may have been involved with under Poole (though it seems that Poole was often assigned to Western Massachusetts). But it is clear that he was part of the Mount Hope campaign under Prentice and Oakes. According to King Philip’s War, by George W. Ellis and John E. Morris, the campaign was as follows:

On the evening of [June] 29th which was spent skirmishing with the Indians, came Major Thomas Savage, accompanied by Captain Paige and sixty horse and as many foot, to take over the command of the Massachusetts forces. The force assembled at Swansea now numbered over five hundred men, and, at noon on the following day, leaving a small guard in the garrison, the little army, with Major Cudworth in command, crossed over the bridge, and, throwing out horsemen on the flanks to prevent an ambuscade, pushed on toward Mount Hope.

Here and there, within the boundaries of the Indian country, they saw groups of empty wigwams and fields of corn, the smoking ruins of what had once been the homes of the settlers, and “Bibles torn in pieces in defiance of our holy religion,” while ghastly heads and hands stuck upon stakes bore witness to the fate of the occupants. But, while Philip’s wigwam was discovered and the trail of his warriors followed to the shore, not an Indian was to be seen.

Throughout the day the rain had fallen steadily, soaking the troops to the skin, and as evening drew on the Plymouth men, passing over the strait, found shelter on the island of Rhode Island, but Major Savage, with the Massachusetts division, bivouaced in the open fields amid the storm.

With the dawn came rumors that the Indians were in force near Swansea, and Savage, after laying waste the fields of growing corn, hastened back over the route of the day before, but though the force met many Indian dogs deserted by their masters, and saw at times burning dwellings, they came upon no Indians, and the infantry, tired and discouraged, made halt at Swansea. The cavalry, however, under Prentice, proceeded to scour the country towards Seekonk and Rehoboth, but discovering no trace of the enemy finally encamped for the night.

The next morning Prentice, having placed a portion of his command under Lieutenant Oakes with orders to march parallel with the main force along another road in order to cover a wider extent of territory, set out on his return to Swansea. They had advanced only a short distance when they came in sight of a party of Indians burning a house. Prentice was unable to reach them on account of several intervening fences, but Oakes, continuing along the road, charged upon and put them to flight, killing several, among them Phoebe, one of their leaders, and losing one of his own men, John Druce.

Information in the meantime had reached Swansea that Philip had been discovered at Pocasset, but Savage, instead of marching directly toward this point with his whole force, divided his command, sending Henchman and Prentice to scour the woods and swamps along the mainland, while he himself with the commands of Captains Paige and Moseley, marched down to Mount Hope. No signs of Indians were discovered at Mount Hope, and leaving a party to build a fort, despite the earnest entreaty of Church that the whole force should go over to Pocasset and drive Philip from cover, Savage again returned to Swansea.

from "King Philip's War" by George William Ellis & John Emery Morris; Grafton Press, New York; 1906; Google Books, 2007.

from “King Philip’s War” by George William Ellis & John Emery Morris; Grafton Press, New York; 1906; Google Books, 2007.

Stephen went on to see all his children grow up and most get married. He finally died on July 29, 1691. Hannah re-married Shadrach Wilbur of Taunton in 1692. She predeceased him by two years in 1696.

Fifth Great-Grandfather David Scranton: Civilian Life

David Scranton was born on October 27, 1751 in Durham, New Haven County (currently Middlesex County), Connecticut, the second son and second child of Abraham Scranton and Beulah Seward. He was baptized on November 3, 1751 at Christ Church in Durham, a congregation that still exists as United Churches of Durham.

United Churches of Durham today, which houses the congregation of which David Scranton was a part.  Author's collection.

United Churches of Durham today, which houses the congregation of which David Scranton was a part. Author’s collection.

I will be skipping over his life during the Revolutionary War during this post, to be explored in my next post. So stay tuned!

On April 9, 1781, David took the oath of a freeman in Durham. My guess is that he married Phebe Curtis sometime in mid-1781, definitely before 1782. He and his wife were admitted as members of Christ Church in Durham in early 1782. As I stated in my previous post, their daughter Phebe was born on May 11, 1782 and his wife died on May 30, 1782. I suppose that her death was related to childbirth; perhaps an infection? In any case, she was laid to rest at what is now Old Durham Cemetery and her gravestone is still legible on Find-a-Grave.

David married a second time to Loraine Strong, daughter of Thomas Strong and Phebe Seward, most likely before late 1785, although it could have been sooner, since I am sure David needed help in raising little Phebe. David and Loraine’s first child Sarah was born in Durham on August 11, 1786.

In mid-1787 the family moved to Nova Scotia, as detailed in my post about his daughter Sarah. He was deeded 150 acres farmland and a lot in Boylston, Nova Scotia (which later became Manchester) on August 1, 1787. David’s occupations in Nova Scotia were primarily a mariner (as captain of his own ship) and secondarily a farmer. I suppose the farm helped sustain his family and his work on the ship brought in cash they may have needed.

The children of David and Loraine (all but Sarah born in Manchester):

  • Sarah, born August 11, 1786 in Durham, Connecticut; married John McMasters September 20, 1808; died March 23, 1865 in Manchester
  • Nancy, born February 26, 1788; married Allen Livingston April 28, 1812; died after 1855
  • Thomas Strong, born June 17, 1789; died January 1801 of smallpox
  • Beulah, born March 7, 1790; died March 18, 1804 of scarlet fever
  • Henry, born November 10, 1793; died January 1801 of smallpox
  • Lois Experience, born July 12, 1795; married George McMasters before 1814; died December 15, 1849 of dropsy
  • David, born October 10, 1797; married Lydia Ann Simpson April 23, 1824; died after 1865
  • twins Henry and Thomas, born February 26, 1802
    • Henry died November 1, 1802
    • Thomas, upon his baptism, took on the name Thomas Henry; married Sophia Ann Porper December 18, 1827; died January 8, 1873 of dropsy

David was an active member of the Congregational Church in Manchester since 1808, “having experienced religion (hopefully) in a great revival there”. I would be interested to know more about his role in this church.

David died of old age (I assume) on March 5, 1836 in Manchester as he was dressing himself in the morning. He was laid to rest in Manchester Cemetery, where his gravestone indicates “Captain David Scranton”. Loraine died two years later on November 8, 1838.

Fourth Great-Grandmother Sarah (Scranton) McMasters: Born in the USA

Just three years after the end of the Revolutionary War, Sarah Scranton was born on August 11, 1786 in Durham, Middlesex County, Connecticut to David Scranton and his second wife Loraine Strong. Sarah was Loraine’s first child, but David’s second. His first was Phebe, who was born on May 11, 1782, to David’s first wife Phebe Curtis. The elder Phebe died less than three weeks after her daughter’s birth on May 30, 1782.

David was a mariner of his own sloop called Nancy that dealt in trading. His hometown of Durham was a landlocked rural town, at least twenty miles from the Connecticut shore and about ten miles west of the Connecticut River. Every time he was to make a trip on the Nancy, he would probably need extra days just to travel to and from wherever she was docked. (I have to admit that as I drove to Durham last summer, I was surprised just how far it was from the shore. “No wonder David didn’t stay here!” I said to myself.)

Durham, Middlesex County, CT. The southern border of Connecticut is its shoreline. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Durham, Middlesex County, CT. The southern border of Connecticut is its shoreline. Courtesy Wikipedia.

On one of David’s trips to Quebec, he had stopped in Chadebucto Bay in Nova Scotia, which runs along today’s Guysborough County’s southern shoreline. Apparently he was quite impressed with the area, for when the Hallowell Grant in Nova Scotia opened up for settlement, he took the opportunity to find a new home that was more convenient to his occupation. (A great description of the Hallowell Grant can be found here on the “From Maine to Kentucky” blog.)

In mid-1787, Sarah was only one year old when she made the voyage with her parents and fourteen-year-old cousin Henry Scranton (who was recovering from a “fever-sore in one limb”) to Nova Scotia; she likely never saw the country of her birth again. Other settlers came with them on the Nancy, some of whom had been Loyalists during the war. The Scranton family settled on a farm in the newly formed town of Boylston* on east side of Milford-Haven River, a tidal river that empties into the Chedabucto Bay. This seemed to be a perfect location for David, who could easily split his time between his travels and the family farm.

Left behind in Durham was Sarah’s five-year-old sister Phebe, who was being raised by Phebe’s maternal aunt (whose name I do not know). I have to wonder if this aunt may have stepped in to help raise the newborn Phebe after her mother’s untimely death. Perhaps the two formed a mother-daughter-like bond that David could not break up. In any case, I am sure Phebe and her father kept in touch; one of her children was named after him, after all.

Cousin Henry’s illness did not get any better with time. On December 21, 1787 (just a few months after his arrival), Henry passed away. I have to wonder if his was one of the first deaths in Boylston. So Sarah became the “oldest child” of the family, having nine younger siblings that were between one and a half and sixteen years younger than herself, all born in Manchester. (I will detail them in a later post.) As such, Sarah probably helped her mother run the household and take care of the children; perhaps she even helped out on the farm.

Meanwhile, in 1790, a Scotsman named John McMasters arrived in Manchester and was deeded 172 acres of land. The two books that mention him say that his parents were John McMasters and Ann Cummings. I assume that John must have been close to twenty years older than Sarah. John and Sarah were married on November 20, 1808 in Manchester. They had nine children, all born in Manchester:

  • George Henry, born October 10, 1810; died August 1812 of rheumatism
  • Lauraine, born November 16, 1811; died September 11, 1838
  • Ann Charlotte, born October 26, 1814; married Thomas McKeough December 19, 1848; died sometime after 1891
  • John, born December 9, 1816; married Catherine J. Cummings before 1855; died 1906
  • Catherine, born November 8, 1818; married A. Henry Partridge before 1843
  • David, born April 19, 1820; married Margery E. Fox 1855; died 1903
  • Samuel, born February 25, 1823; married Margaret Pyle October 2, 1873; died 1903
  • Christina, born May 26, 1826; married Robert Bruce Lipsett January 8, 1859; died June 15, 1891
  • Margaret, born June 23, 1829

John died somewhere between 1838 (where he appeared as a farmer on the census) and 1861 (where Sarah seemed to be living as a widow with her son David). Sarah died of old age on March 23, 1865 in Manchester. (Her son David was the informant of her death.) I assume both are buried in Manchester, but I don’t have any records of that yet.

* Harriet Cunningham Hart’s “History of the County of Guysborough” indicates that “Boylston did not thrive as a town” and became a part of Manchester township. Therefore, the Scrantons did not move, but their residence became known as Manchester. The town of Boylston was later re-established in 1874.