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.

Dissecting Ivory Goodwin’s Probate Record

I could have included Ivory Goodwin’s probate details in my post about him and Jerusha, but I thought it would be a good idea to go through the exercise of analyzing the probate file itself. The file is fourteen pages long, and a number of those pages are undated envelopes to hold the other documents in the file. The pages appear to be out of chronological order, so I will try to review them in order.

As we know, Ivory passed away on February 19, 1866 in Berwick, York County, Maine. His survivors included his wife Jerusha, and their children Ivory H., Lucy Colomy Foss, Ada Jane Goldsmith, Charles W., and John M. (and perhaps Mary F., if alive). All the children were adults except for John, who was about 13.

The first document, dated February 23, 1866, appears to be Jerusha’s petition to have Ivory H., who was living in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, be administrator of his father’s estate. The reason was “there being no son or daughter of age nearby in this state”. This tells me that all the children (except John, of course) have moved away. Perhaps Ivory H. lived closest to Jerusha; after all, Strafford and York counties are only separated by Salmon Falls River. Jerusha signed this document with an “X” (“her mark”). This appointment was approved on May 1 by Judge E.E. Bourne in Saco, Maine.

Also dated May 1 is a bond, signed by Ichabod G. Jordon and George Moore of Berwick, pledging themselves as sureties for Ivory H. to perform his duties as administrator. It seems that the first duty was to inventory the estate within three months. The document is signed by both men and by Ivory. The sureties were bound $1600 to the court. We also learn that the judge’s full name is “Edward E. Bourne”.

Ivory H. makes a statement dated October 2, 1866 that his father died intestate (without a will), and that Ivory’s personal property was not sufficient to pay the court fees, so a sale of real estate would be necessary. The judge signed off on this document.

On October 2, 1866 – Ivory H., who now lives in Wolfeborough, Carroll County, NH, signs a new bond with sureties Ichabod G. Jordon, and Alonzo B. Wentworth. bound to Judge Bourne for $1600. Connected with Ivory being licensed to sell the real estate.

October 3, 1866 Administrator’s Sale – to sell Ivory’s real estate at public auction at the store of Walker & Farmington in Berwick on November 10. Includes description of his land: two acres and buildings bound Easterly by Sullivan Lane, Southerly by Ivory M. Nute’s land, Westerly & Northerly by Samuel W. Fox. Also part of the sale: the family pew at Cranberry Meadow Meeting House. (through a little internet research, I found that Cranberry Meadow Meeting House was the early incarnation of Berwick’s current Methodist Church, so now I know the family was Methodist.) Ivory H. signed two statements, which were sworn before Ichabod G. Jordon, Justice of the Peace (remember, he was one of the sureties). One statement was regarding posting notifications for the sale, and the other was regarding the payment of $200 for the debts and charges of the sale. This page with its statements was returned to Judge Bourne, who signed on January 1, 1867. This page gives some very specific information about where Ivory and Jerusha lived in Berwick. Although Sullivan Lane no longer exists, there is a Sullivan Street. More on the land later.

There is a small, undated handwritten document that states “Alexander Junkins appointed guardian ad litem”, initialed “EEB”. After some research, I found out a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to look after the interests of any minor children (this case being John). Alex signed a brief statement stating “I have had notice of [this petition] and see no objection to the sale as negotiated. Alex Junkins”

November 6, 1866 – petition by Jerusha for an allowance from Ivory’s estate. She was granted ninety-seven dollars and seventy-eight cents.

January 1, 1867 – First account of Ivory’s estate. Basically, a balance sheet. Amount of personal estate plus sums received = $630.78 (outlined on Schedule A). Amount of sums paid on Schedule B, plus publication of notices = $694.41.

Schedule A: rent received from Real Estate from John S. Marsh & Abel Baxter; sale of church pew ($1), and sale of real estate to Henry Clements. Schedule B: various bills; some seem to be amounts owed to the sureties and others, some to family members: Jennie Goldsmith, Jerusha, Lucy A. Colomy AND Lucy A. Foss (did Lucy lend money to Ivory during her then two marriages?), taxes, and some money lent to Ivory by Ivory H. The name of the gentleman who bought the real estate was a big clue for me in locating whereabouts Ivory and Jerusha lived. On the website [Historic Map Works], I found an 1870 map of Berwick, and I followed Sullivan Lane. Then I found Henry Clements–this was where the Goodwins had lived! I compared that map to a modern map, and was able to ascertain approximately where the land is!  (It seems that this location is now on Knox Lane.)

Approximate location of Ivory Goodwin's land. Courtesy Google Earth.

Approximate location of Ivory Goodwin’s land. Courtesy Google Earth.

To conclude, the probate packet may not have answered all my questions about Ivory Goodwin, but it sure lent more information to color my picture of him.