Tenth Great-Grandparents Nicholas and Sarah (Travers) Wallington

Going so far back in time, there are a few theories out there as to when Nicholas Wallington was born and who his parents were, but I don’t have a very high confidence in them at this point. Also, I realize that there are some records and indications of Nicholas’ various dealings in his life that I have yet to research. The following is what I know so far.

It looks like as a boy, Nicholas arrived in Boston, Suffolk County, MA from Southampton, England on April 24, 1638 aboard the Confidence. He was likely a servant to Stephen Kent, who eventually settled in Newbury, Essex County, MA. Nicholas eventually was no longer a servant and married Sarah Travers, daughter of Henry and Bridget Travers, on August 30, 1654 in Newbury.

1663 finds Nicholas and family living in Rowley, Essex County, MA. In 1670, he became a freeman (not a “free man” from being a servant, but a citizen in good standing and able to vote). On November 26, 1675, he became co-administrator of his mother-in-law’s will. I suppose this demonstrates the level of trust that his extended family had in him.

From what I can gather, Nicholas and Sarah had a great number of children:

  • John, born September 16, 1655; died January 6, 1656
  • Nicholas, born January 2, 1657; married Elizabeth Palmer, December 4, 1678; died May 10, 1682
  • John, born April 7, 1659 in Newbury, Essex County, MA; married Mary Tuttle on December 6, 1687 in Dover, Rockingham County, NH; died 1709
  • Sarah, born May 20, 1661; married Caleb Hopkinson, November 25, 1679
  • Mary, born August 20, 1663
  • James, born October 6, 1665; married Deborah _____
  • Hannah, born November 1667
  • William, born February 7, 1670
  • Joseph, born April 20, 1672
  • Elizabeth, born June 23, 1674
  • Esther, born June 8, 1676
  • Benjamin, born June 27, 1678
  • Abigail, born June 24, 1680

The most interesting thing I find about Nicholas is his mysterious death. Every source tells me that he was taken captive and died at sea. I don’t know what prompted him to travel or how anyone found out he was taken captive. In any event, his probate was opened on March 28, 1682 and was not closed until 1703 I suppose that the circumstances of his death and his large number of children contributed to this long period.

Meanwhile, Nicholas’ wife Sarah moved on in her life. On May 18, 1691, she married Onesiphorus Marsh as his third wife. Onesiphorus, according to his gravestone, died on May 15, 1713 and is buried in Pentucket Cemetery in Haverhill, Essex County, MA. I don’t know where Sarah is buried.

We’ll take one more step back through Sarah’s line just to find another mystery!

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Ninth Great-Grandparents John and Mary (Tuttle) Wallingford

John Wallingford was the third child (and the second named John!) of Nicolas Wallington* and Sarah Travers.  He was born in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts on April 7, 1659.

John married Mary Tuttle (daughter of John Tuttle and Mary _______) on December 6, 1687 in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire.  Though married in New Hampshire, it appears that they remained in Essex County, Massachusetts.

Their children were:

  • John, born December 14, 1688; married Charity _______; died between October 16, 1761 and January 27, 1762
  • Nicholas, born October 28, 1691; married Rachel _______; died between 1715 and April 14, 1719
  • Sarah, born December 29, 1693; married Joshua Roberts
  • Ebenezer, born September 30, 1695; never married; died between August 19 and September 6, 1721
  • Thomas, born July 28, 1697 in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts; married Margaret Clements, 1717; died August 4, 1771 in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
  • Judith, born March 16, 1699
  • Abigail, born September 27, 1702

John spent some time in the Essex North Regiment in 1690, but I don’t know if he ever participated in battle.

Abraham Adams House, built circa 1705-1707, contemporary to when the Wallingfords lived in Newbury. Courtesy Wikipedia.

There is an empty probate packet in Essex County, Massachusetts dated April 4, 1709.  I don’t know if this is John’s death date or will date, but I’m sure he died sometime around then. 

*For some unknown reason, John began to use the surname Wallingford.

Eighth Great-Grandparents: Thomas and Margaret (Clements) Wallingford

Way back on June 19, 2016, I mentioned that my seventh great-grandfather James Goodwin had married Margaret Wallingford. Since that time, I’ve been exposed to some of the awesome work of the Great Migration study on AmericanAncestors.org, which has led me to more ancestors and more stories. Today, I’ll pick up the story with Margaret’s parents, Thomas Wallingford and Margaret Clements; and again, the information is to the best of my knowledge.

Thomas was born July 28, 1697 in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was the youngest son and fifth child of John Wallingford and Mary Tuttle.

On March 2, 1716, Thomas bought land from Daniel Gordon of Kingston, NH; I assume this land was in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, because the following year he married Margaret Clements (daughter of Job Clements and Abigail Heard) there. They subsequently went on to build their family. The following are Thomas’ children that are ascribed to Margaret:

  • Margaret, born in Dover; married James Goodwin, circa 1740; died February 1803 in Berwick, York County, Massachusetts (now Maine)
  • Hannah, born May 5, 1720; married _____ Brown
  • Judith, born March 25, 1722
  • Ebenezer, born July 21, 1724; married Mary Wentworth
  • Abigail, born September 30, 1726; married Edward Sanders

It was sometime after Abigail’s birth that Margaret died, for by February 18, 1728 Thomas had remarried a woman by the last name of Pray (some assume her name was Mary).

At this point, Thomas’ public life began to pick up, He was a selectman in Dover for various years between 1733 and 1748. He also served as a representative in the colonial assembly between 1739 and 1748. One interesting story I found was that during a session on February 13, 1744, “Cyprian Jeffrey, of Portsmouth, storekeeper, made an assault upon him and drawing his knife said ‘he would cut his (Wallingford’s) throat, if he got forty men to do it.’ ” Jeffrey was arrested but later, when Thomas complained of the attack to the House, admitted his wrongdoing. Thomas forgave him after Jeffries paid “costs”. What precipitated all this, I have no idea!

In 1748, Thomas took the most significant office of his life: judge of the Superior Court in Dover. The FamilySearch Wiki seems to indicate that there are no court records archives prior to 1773, so I don’t know if I’d ever be able to see what kind of cases he was involved with.

By 1755, Thomas was married yet again to Elizabeth (Swett) Prime. Supposedly Elizabeth was the inspiration for naming the land on which they lived: “Madam’s Cove”. This land was along the Newichawannock River (today, the Salmon Falls River), kind of across from the mouth of the Great Works River.

Thomas died on August 4, 1771 in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, NH at “Capt. Stoodley’s”. Though I couldn’t pin down exactly who Capt. Stoodley was, I strongly believe that it might have been James Stoodley who ran a tavern in Portsmouth (which still stands and has been moved to the Strawbery Banke Museum campus). After all, it makes sense that this would be a place that Thomas could stay in Portsmouth if he had business there.

Stoodley’s Tavern. Courtesy Library of Congress

Thomas was buried on August 6 in what is now the Old Town Cemetery in Rollinsford, Strafford County, New Hampshire. His wife Elizabeth was also buried there, having died on December 3, 1810.

I was surprised to read that Thomas died intestate, for he had a lot of land throughout New Hampshire and what is now Maine. It seems that my ancestor, Margaret (Wallingford) Goodwin, inherited quite a bit of land in New Hampshire and in Berwick, York County, Massachusetts. (I wonder how she ultimately disposed of all that land?) There is a good summary of his extensive estate was divided here, but it would be good to look at these records myself someday.

One significant point I want to make is that these records reveal that Thomas was a slaveholder. His estate reveals four names:

  • Richmond
  • Phillis
  • Dinah
  • Cato

I don’t think that these slaves were ever freed, although it’s believed that Cato actually fought in the Revolutionary War.

Goodwins and Plaisteds: Colonial Maine Skirmishes

James Goodwin was lucky to be alive. He was fortunate to be born around 1711 in Berwick, Massachusetts Colony (now Maine), among the younger of Thomas Goodwin and Mehitable Plaisted’s children. He was blessed to find a wife in Margaret Wallingford, who was born circa 1716 in Dover, New Hampshire, to Thomas Wallingford and Margaret Clements. James and Margaret both lived good, long lives: James dying on May 10, 1800 and Margaret on February 20, 1803. Both lived to see the birth of their new country for which their son Jedidiah helped fight. What made James so lucky? It all began with the story of his parents, particularly his mother, Mehitable Plaisted.

Mehitable was born April 30, 1670 (old calendar) to Roger Plaisted and Olive Coleman. She was among the last of their many children. Roger and Olive, along with their firstborn, Roger, travelled from England around 1649, and settled in the Kittery area of the region of Maine (which eventually became Berwick). They soon became part of the growing colonial community. Where relations between the colonists and the local Waramaug natives started off on a friendly foot, things quickly deteriorated with misunderstandings and violence on both sides. Soon, what was known as “King Philip’s War” was underway, starting about June 1675 on many fronts throughout New England.

Mehitable was only five years old when her father and older brothers, Roger and Joseph, joined other area colonists in the military defense of their towns. Her father, Roger, was a lieutenant of the defense in the Kittery area. Early in the war, on October 16, 1675, Lieut. Plaisted and George Broughton sent a desperate plea to the surrounding communities for assistance as they saw their men being killed off by the natives. The Plaisted men became part of the casualties that very day.

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.

King Philip’s War lasted about three years until a peace treaty was signed. However the colonists were far from living peacefully with the natives. I’m sure the early communities in Maine were constantly vigilant against future troubles. In spite of that, life did go on. Olive Plaisted re-married to John Wincoll, who served as a stepfather to Roger’s children. Mehitable herself got married around 1685 to Thomas Goodwin, son of Daniel Goodwin and Margaret Spencer. They started their family with a baby boy.

When the baby was about five months old in the early winter months of 1690, the natives descended on the town; not to kill this time, but to capture. The entire family was taken, but Thomas was with a separate band of natives than his wife and child. Somehow, he was either released or managed to escape shortly thereafter. Mehitable and the baby were not as lucky. Their story is told dramatically in Cotton Mather’s Magnolia Christi Americana:

[The baby] which, through hunger and hardship, (she being unable to nourish it,) often made most grievous [cries]. Her Indian master told her, that if the child were not quiet he would soon dispose of it; which caused her to use all possible means that his Netop-ship might not be offended; and sometimes carry it from the fire out of his hearing, where she sat up to the waste [sic.] in snow and frost for several hours until it was lull’d asleep. She thus for several days preserved the life of her babe, until he saw cause to travel with his own cubs farther afield; and then, lest he should be retarded in his travel, he violently snatch’d the babe out of its mother’s arms, and before her face knock’d out its brains, and stript it of the few rags it had hitherto enjoy’d, and order’d her the task to go wash the bloody cloaths. Returning from this melancholy task, she found the infant hanging by the neck in a forked bough of a tree. Sho desired leave to lay it in the earth; but he said, “it was better as it was, for now the wild beasts would not come at it, … and she might have the comfort of seeing it again if ever they came that way. The journey now before then) was like to be very long, even as far as Canada, where his purpose was to make merchandise of his captive, and glad was the captive of such happy tidings. But the desperate length of the way, and want of food, and grief of mind wherewith she now encounter’d, caused her within a few days to faint under her difficulties. When at length she sat down for some repose, with many prayers and tears unto God for the salvation of her soul, she found herself unable to rise, until she espied her furious executioner coming towards her with fire in his eyes, the devil in his heart, and his hatchet in his hand, ready to bestow a mercy-stroak of death upon her. But then this miserable creature got on her knees, and with weeping, and wailing, and all expressions of agony and entreaty, prevailed on him to spare her life a little, and she did not question but God would enable her to “walk a little faster.” The merciless tyrant was prevail’d withal to spare her this time…

Mehitable and the other captives changed hands among several bands of natives along the journey and were ultimately sold to the French Canadians by about March 1690. (The histories I’ve read don’t say this, but yes, basically selling them as slaves.) Mehitable was put into service to a Mademoiselle de Nauguiere in Montreal. I suppose that escape wasn’t really an option; after all, she would need to go back through the native-filled country that she traversed to get to Montreal.

It seems that Mehitable must have made the best of her circumstances. On May 11, 1693, she was baptized into the Catholic Church with the name “Marie Esther”. More time passed, and it wasn’t until October 1695 when a Matthew Cary came to redeem Mehitable and a number of other captives in order to return them to their families. (I would love to know more about this man and the story behind his redeeming the captives!)

What I find incredible and wish I knew more about is Mehitable’s eventual return to her family. Where many captives assimilated to their new culture and some even refused to leave, Mehitable returned to the waiting Thomas and seemed to continue where they left off. The Goodwins re-built their family (which included my ancestor James), and had about nineteen more years together until Thomas’ death sometime after June 3, 1714.

Mehitable lived on much longer, passing away on June 2, 1740. In fact, her gravestone still stands in Old Fields Cemetery in South Berwick. She must have had amazing strength and resilience to have endured all that she did and to still have a normal and long life later on.

Sixth Great-Grandparents Jedediah Goodwin and Hannah Emery

Jedediah Goodwin and Hannah Emery were married on October 7, 1771 (I assume in Berwick). Starting from here and going back in the Goodwin and Emery lines, I have much less reliable information regarding vital statistics and information on all children, so I will let you know as much as I can.

Jedediah

Jedediah was born in Berwick, Massachusetts Colony (now Maine) on May 18, 1746, to James Goodwin and Margaret Wallingford. The most significant part of his life has been serving in the Revolutionary War. So far, the information I’ve found is scattered in many places. I think he deserves a comprehensive post on his service; that should come in the future, perhaps during one of the military-themed months.

Jedediah died on July 1, 1818, but I don’t know where he is buried (I assume somewhere in Berwick).

Hannah

Hannah was born in Berwick circa 1756 to Reverend Joshua Emery (although he was not a minister at that time) and Adah Tidey. Some sources say that she died on September 14, 1814, but I have yet to corroborate that.

The Sewards, Back to Caleb

In my post about my Fifth Great-Grandfather Thomas Strong, I introduced his wife Phebe Seward (also my ancestor). I don’t have her line going much further back, but it is very interesting.

Phebe was born February 3, 1723 in Durham, New Haven County, CT, the second child and oldest daughter of Thomas Seward and Sarah Camp. Since we’ve already explored her life after her marriage, I will move on to her father.

Thomas Seward was born December 19, 1694 in Guilford, New Haven County, CT. He was the fourth child of the seven children of Caleb Seward and Lydia Bushnell. He married Sarah Camp on March 31, 1720 in Durham. Their children (all born in Durham) were:

  • Solomon, born January 19, 1721; married Alenor Baldwin
  • Phebe (just discussed)
  • Amos, born March 25, 1726; married Ruth Rogers on January 16, 1751 [in Durham]; died May 8, 1794; buried in Edgewood Cemetery in Wolcott, New Haven County, CT
  • Catherine, born December 28, 1727
  • Nathan, born 1730 (baptized June 14, 1730)

Sarah died on March 12, 1762. Thomas died before then (since she had remarried to a Daniel Benton), and is said to have died in Wallingford. I have not been able to find their burial places.

Thomas’s father Caleb is who I’ve been most interested in. Caleb was born March 14, 1662 in Guilford, New Haven Colony, to William Seward and Grace Norton, the fifth of nine children. He married Lydia Bushnell (daughter of William Bushnell) on July 14, 1686. They first made their home on East Creek in Guilford. Then on May 4, 1699, they and their four oldest living children moved to the area of Coginchaug, where Caleb was soon to be given a land grant. This ended up giving them the distinction of being the very first settlers of the town of Durham, which was incorporated in 1708.

Caleb had the honor of being the first town clerk in 1706-1707, and then was a representative to the General Assembly in Connecticut on and off between 1710 and 1723. This was in addition to his usual job of being a tanner.

His and Lydia’s children were as follows:

  • Daniel, born 16 October 1687; died April 28, 1688, both in Guilford
  • Lydia, born May 22, 1689 in Guilford; married John Howe on April 5, 1714
  • Caleb, born January 2, 1691 in Guilford; married Sarah Carr on January 21, 1713 at the Church of Christ in Durham; died July 4, 1769; buried in Old Durham Cemetery
Caleb Seward (the younger)'s grave.  Author's collection.

Caleb Seward (the younger)’s grave. Author’s collection.

Sarah (Carr) Seward's grave.  Author's collection.

Sarah (Carr) Seward’s grave. Author’s collection.

  • Thomas (discussed above)
  • Noadiah, born August 22, 1697 in Guilford; died 1744
  • Ephraim, born August 6, 1700, having the distinction of being the first white child born in Durham; married Abigail Wetmore on October 19, 1743 in Durham; died 1780
  • Ebenezer, born June 7, 1703 as the second white child born in Durham; married Dorothy Rose; died October 19, 1795 in Chester, Hampshire County, Massachusetts

Caleb died in Durham on August 2, 1728, and Lydia followed much later on August 24, 1753. Both are buried in Old Durham Cemetery, and I was able to see and photograph Caleb’s gravestone myself. To see the words “first inhabitant” on the stone, and think: “That’s MY ancestor!” was pretty exciting!

The grave of Caleb Seward, First Inhabitant of Durham!  Author's collection.

The grave of Caleb Seward, First Inhabitant of Durham! Author’s collection.

Next time, we’ll take one more step back in the Seward family tree.