Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Here's an interesting story I ran across the other day that concerns some land my 8x great
grandfather John Marston owned in Hampton, New Hampshire, and what might have been
a bit of trickery pulled off by Peter Weare, who I believe is a distant cousin.

The particulars come from the New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, Vol. 9:

Petition of Abraham Drake and others about a tract of land in Kingstown.

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq. Capt. Generall and
Governour in Cheif in & over Her Majestys province of
the Massatusetts Bay & New Hampshir &c

The petition of ye selectmen of ye Town of Hampton in New Hampshire in behalf of ye freeholders & Comissioners of ye sdl town Humbly Sheweth

That your petitioners this last sumer had Judgment given in favour of Mr Peter Wear at two Courts the Charge where of cost them more than 50 pounds, for not laying out a Tract of land at a place formerly called New-plantation since called Kingstown which sd Grant was to John Marston who sold all his Rights in Hampton unto one Deacon Page more than 40 years since which sd Page hath ever since enjoyed his Rights & devisions of lands in Hampton above sd untill this last sumer ye said Peter Weare produced a pretended deed of conveyance from yc sd John Marston Writen & Signed at Andover & ye same day acknowledged by his Father Nathaniell Wear Esq. in New Hampshire by sd John Marston, which Deed is much to be suspected for a fraudilent Deed, for yt if ye said John Marston were living at ye time of ye Date of sd Deed which is much questioned, yett certainly he was dead before any such instruments appeared, and it is farther evident by testimonies of ye Reaverent Mr Barnard minister of ye town togeather with other principle men of Andover, yt ye sd John Marston by Reason of age had not been able for some years before his death to go to ye publick worship not of a disposeing mind & memory much less able to travill in so short a time to acknowledge a deed in New Hampshire when there were so many justices in his way thether, besides severall other tcstimoneys who are of ye sd John Marstons neer Relation who heard him say yt Mr Wear had been at him to sell him a piece of land at New plantation, but he would not do it. Wee therefore lay this our humble petition before your Excellency, together with ye Above mentioned Evidences and pray yt as ye said Nathaniell Weare Esq is in publickc place of trust, and whose signing an acknowledgment is of more value than two creadable Witnes & without which no Deed by Law can be executed nor Recorded, we pray yt ye said Esq. Weare may answer possitively whether he ever saw ye said John Marston of Andover in this province of New Hampshire since ye Date of ye said Deed made to his son Peter Wear by sd Marston, that so ye truth may appear, it being ye truth of all Testimony or Record yt makes them vallued, and ye said Esq. Wear hath been summoned to ye Court & paid his charge, yet will Say nothing but puts to prove possetively yt Marston did not grant to his son Peter or yt he was not .in ye province of New Hampshire to acknowledge it &c. The proceeding to ye finding out ye truth wee have no cause to dought but your Excellency will Justly do & your petitioners shall ever pray as in duty bound
Abraham Drake
John Moulton
Peter Johnson
Samuel Dow
Dated 13" of November 1708.

Certificate of Nathaniel Weare.
16 November 1708.
Nathl Weare Esq. being Exam'd before his Excellency the Governor and Council Whether he took the acknowledgment of one John Marston, formerly of Andover decd to a Deed of Conveyance from the said Marston to Peter Weare dated the thirteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and seven and now produced in court, and where the said Marston was when he acknowledged the said Deed and at What time.

Mr Weare Answered that he being at Andover the 13th day of May 1707 he went to the House of the said John Marston about noon and exhibited the above said Deed to the said John Marston since decd he being then in his Right senses and the said Marston did then & there of his own free & voluntary Will acknowledge the same to be his act and Deed.
Examd before publick Councill the i6,h Nov' 1708.

Provincial and State Papers, Volume 9 Town Papers  AMS Press New York, (no publication date.)

So, what did this all mean?

An explanation will be in my next post.

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