Goodwins and Spencers Arrive in Colonial Maine

We’ve now come to the end of my Goodwin line – at least in America. I’m going to start with the Spencers, since they seem to have arrived first.

Thomas Spencer (who seemed to be from Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England) had married Patience Chadbourne (of Tamworth, Staffordshire, England) around 1630 in England. I’m not sure when exactly they immigrated, but I do know that Patience’s father William came over in 1634 and proceeded in building a mill on the Piscataqua River. Perhaps Thomas and Patience arrived about the same time.

The Spencers settle in Kittery, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in the area now known as South Berwick, York County, Maine. William Chadbourne had given Thomas and Patience a house at the corner of Brattle and Vine Streets, the foundations of which supposedly are still there. Shortly after arriving the New World, Thoams and Patience had their daughter Margaret, who is one of about seven children.

Site of Thomas and Patience Spencer's land.  Perhaps the foundation is under this house?  Courtesy Google Earth.

Site of Thomas and Patience Spencer’s land. Perhaps the foundation is under this house? Courtesy Google Earth.

Meanwhile in Oxford, Staffordshire, England, Daniel Goodwin and Dorothy Barker had a son named Daniel, who would be the first of the Goodwins to immigrate to Kittery. Daniel was granted land by the town on December 16, 1652 and went on to become a planter and supposedly a surveyor and innkeeper. Over time he had acquired much land in the area, particularly at “Slutts Corner”, which is now in South Berwick along the southwestern portion of Witchtrot Road.

Site of Daniel Goodwin's land.  Courtesy Google Earth.

Site of Daniel Goodwin’s land. Courtesy Google Earth.

In 1654 (findagrave.com says as early as 1646), Daniel married Margaret Spencer and they went on to have the following children (not necessarily listed in order):

  • Daniel, born 1656 in Kittery; married Ann Thompson (daughter of Miles Thompson) on October 17, 1682; married Amy _____ before 1693; died April 1726 in Berwick; buried in Old Fields Cemetery in South Berwick.
  • James, married Sarah Thompson (daughter of Miles Thompson and sister of Ann) on December 9, 1686 in Kittery; died July 31, 1697 in Kittery.
  • Thomas, married Mehitable Plaisted circa 1685 (see more information on them here)
  • William, born in Kittery; married Deliverance Taylor (daughter of John and Martha Taylor); died March 26, 1714; buried in Old Fields Cemetery in South Berwick.
  • Moses, married Abigail Taylor ((daughter of John and Martha Taylor and sister of Deliverance) on September 7, 1694 in Kittery; died 1726.
  • Elizabeth, married Zachary Emery on December 19, 1686; married Phillip Hubbard on December 22, 1692; died December 16, 1736; buried in Old Fields Cemetery in South Berwick.
  • Sarah, married Isaac Barnes on December 6, 1694.
  • Patience, married Daniel Stone on September 19, 1670; died 1715.
  • David
  • Adam

Margaret died in March 1670 and was buried in Old Fields Cemetery. Some time later, Daniel married Sarah (Sanders) Turbet, widow of Peter Turbet.

On June 4, 1702, Daniel was one of the founding members of the First Parish Congregational Church in the Berwick area of Kittery (which is now South Berwick).

Daniel is thought to have died on March 16, 1713 in Berwick and is buried at Old Fields Cemetery.

Fifth Great-Grandfather David Scranton: Patriot or Loyalist?

I’ve seen a few old inquiries on the internet, asking if David Scranton was a Loyalist during the American Revolution. It’s a fair enough question, since he moved to Nova Scotia shortly after the war and transported a number of Loyalists with him. Also, he is not listed on the Daughters of the American Revolution Ancestor Search database. Because he moved to the British territory of Nova Scotia, David probably never could have applied for a Revolutionary War pension, so I would not find him in those types of records. However, all this is not enough to draw a conclusion. The following is what I’ve found.

In the book “Record of service of Connecticut men in the War of the Revolution” (page 614), David Scranton of Durham is listed as one of the ensigns in Colonel Ely’s State Regiment during June 1777. Other officers included Lieutenant Colonel James Arnold and Major Elias Buell. I found further evidence in Asa Burdick’s Revolutionary War pension application affidavit. Asa was part of a company in New London, Connecticut, commanded in June 1777 by “Captain Collins, Lieutenant Taylor and Ensign David Scranton, in a regiment commanded by Col. Ely and Lieutenant Col. Arnold.” The company was involved in building the original Fort Trumbull at New London.

In another Revolutionary War pension application affidavit by Abiel Baldwin, Abiel was part of team in 1781 that transported beef from Durham to Fishkill for the troops there, under David Scranton’s direction.

In William Chauncey Fowler’s book “History of Durham Connecticut,” David was among those chosen on February 27, 1782 from Durham as part of a committee to put together a regiment to defend Horse Neck & the western frontier. (Today, Horse Neck is now known as Field Point in a very exclusive area of Greenwich, Connecticut along the coast.) Now although the British formally surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781, there were still British troops in New York City (a relatively short distance from Greenwich) until November 25, 1783, so I presume the local militia stayed on alert until that time.

To answer the question “was David Scranton a Patriot or Loyalist?”, my verdict is that he was definitely a Patriot! (As a side note, his brother Abraham’s service in the American Revolution has been well-documented.)

So how did David and his family fare during the War of 1812, where there was a lot of hostility along the US/Canada border and at sea? I couldn’t find any mention of him in any kind of service in the war. Even though he was over sixty, he would at least have opportunity to donate supplies or support the cause of the British if he had chosen to do so. Much of New England, including David’s home state of Connecticut, did not support the US government’s decision to go to war with Great Britain. In spite of this, the British did attack Essex, Connecticut (only a few towns away from Durham) in 1814. On a more personal note, David’s nephew Hamlet Scranton who in Rochester, NY had to get his family to safety after a British raid at nearby Fort Niagara in late 1813. Certainly the strained trade relations hit the shipping industry hard, so it was a good thing that David had the farm to fall back on. In any case, David and his family remained in Nova Scotia regardless of where his sympathies may have laid.