Sunday, June 26, 2016


A few final thoughts about the case of Peter Weare's "fraudilent deed":

-Apparently the Selectmen of Hampton, New Hampshire weren't very optimistic that
 the Governor would rule in their favor.  They presented their petition on Nov 13, 1709,
but had begun selling off  town land lots to help pay the 50 pounds judgement against the
town plus whatever other court costs.

-Peter Weare and his father Nathaniel visited John Marston in Andover on May 13 1708 and said
that Marston was "in his right senses" when they saw him. But John Marston's will was filed with
the Essex County, Ma. Court at Ipswich three days earlier on May 10 1708, presumably three days before John's death. I have a copy of his probate file.

-I'm somewhat bemused that the Governor and his Council so readily accepted Nathaniel Weare's
word about witnessing  the transaction. He was, after all, Peter Weare's father. I can understand the Hampton selectmen thinking the deck was stacked against them. We can't know for certain from
across three centuries what was going on, but it sure seems fishy to me.

- I have not as yet found any record of the transaction between John Marston and Francis Page,
  nor of the one between Marston and Peter Weare.

-Finally, as to how I am related to some of the people involved in all this:
     John Marston was my 8x great grandfather.
     Francis Page was also my 8x great grandfather

     Peter Weare was a distant cousin. His granduncle was my 11x great grandfather, also named
     Peter Weare.

Friday, June 24, 2016


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Thursday, June 23, 2016


After finding that document concerning a petition by the town of Hampton NH to Governor
Dudley over a land deal between my ancestor John Marston and Peter Weare, I went looking
for more information on Google. Let me be honest here. I am not the best at understanding the
intricacies of some colonial documents, so I was looking to find something that would help me
make sense of the details in the town's petition.  Luckily I found this explanation in Joseph Dow's
History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire :


About this time, a controversy, which excited considerable interest, arose between Peter Weare and the freeholders and commoners, whom he "arrested," for not performing a grant to John Marston, late of Andover. At a meeting held by them, February 23, 1709, to consider the case, they authorized the selectmen to appoint an agent, with power of attorney, to defend them; agreeing that all charges incurred should be paid by the commoners, in proportion to their rights in the commons, and raised by the selectmen for the time being. Nathaniel Weare and Abraham Cole dissented.

This case was tried the next summer and decided in favor of the plaintiff, costing the defendants more than £50. The following autumn, the selectmen, in behalf of the freeholders and commoners, petitioned Governor Dudley concerning the case. The facts, as sot forth in the petition, dated November 13, were these : The suit was brought in consequence of the town not laying out a tract of land at the New Plantation, which at the date of the petition was in the town of Kingston. The grant in question had been made to John Marston, who had sold all his rights in Hampton, more than forty years before, to Dea. Francis Page, who had been in possession till the summer of 1708, when Weare produced a paper, purporting to be a deed of conveyance to him from John Marston, written and signed at Andover, and the same day acknowledged in New Hampshire, before Nathaniel Weare, Esq., the father of the grantee.

The validity of this deed was doubted. It had not been produced till after Marston's death, and it was represented as questionable, whether he was alive on the day of its date. It was also stated, that for several years previous to his death, ho had not, by reason of age, been of a sound and disposing mind and memory; that he had not been able to attend public worship, and far less able to travel in so short a time to New Hampshire, a distance of nearly twenty-live miles, to acknowledge a deed; nor would it have been necessary, for there were several Justices nearer, and, indeed, directly on his way. The petitioners further allege, that some of Marston's near relatives heard him say that Peter Weare had been to him, for the purpose of buying this land at the New Plantation, but that he had refused to sell it. Under these circumstances, it would seem reasonable that the plaintiff should have been required to prove the authenticity of his deed; but he insisted that, in order for a successful defense, it devolved on the town to prove that he had never received from John Marston any such deed. This might not have been easy to prove. The selectmen, therefore, as the agents of the freeholders and commoners, asked that Nathaniel Weare, Esq., should be required to state positively, whether he had ever seen John Marston in this province, since the date of the deed, claimed to have been given to his son, Peter Weare. Being questioned on this point, he stated before the governor and council, that Marston acknowledged the deed to his son, before him, at Andover, the 13th of May, 1708; and he declared that Marston was "then in his right senses."

This testimony, if not satisfactory, was direct and decisive, whatever may be thought of the validity of an acknowledgment made before a justice, when he was out of his jurisdiction.

On the 15th of September, the freeholders and commoners appointed Lieut. John Smith, Isaac Green and Ens. Samuel Marston, a committee, to join with the selectmen in selling some of the lots that had not been disposed of, in the north and west divisions, to satisfy the judgment that Peter Weare had obtained against the commoners, and to pay other charges incurred in the case. If the sales of these lots should fail to furnish a sufficient sum to pay all demands against them, then an assessment should be made ou all to whom shares of the commons had been granted

History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement in 1638, to the Autumn of 1892, Volume 1 Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, 1894 - Hampton (N.H.)

I'll have some thoughts & conclusion in the next post.

To be continued...

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.

Monday, June 20, 2016


The subject for week 23 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is 7x great grandfather and my
source is again Marion D. Cooper's DESCENDANTS OF JOHN DEAN OF DEDHAM, MASS. :

JEREMIAH DEAN2, husbandman, b Dedham Mar 24, 1684-5 ch Uov 3, 1745
He styles himself "husbandman" in signing a deed.
His will (SR 51-181) was written Mar 25, 1747 at Dedham and
and was probated Feb 20 I756 He m at Dedham Jan 26,
1710-11 MARY FISHER [31} (DR 36) dau Capt. Joshua and Esther
(Wiswall) Fisher [13] She was b July 24, 1687 (Fisher Gen)
made a will (SR 69-249 July 9, 1770 which was probated Sept
7, 1770 Jeremiah Dean is mentioned in several places in the
Dedham Town Records in connection with surveys and apprais-
als. The last such mention was in March, 1735,  at which
time he was 50 years of age.

Ms. Cooper lists these children for Jeremiah and Mary Dean's family:

Mary b Dec 10, I711 d before 1747, m Dedham Dec ??,
1731 Isaac Bullard who was b Apr 4, 1709

Jeremiah II, b May 13, 1713 m-1 Mary Fisher  May 13, 1741
m-2 Rebekah Scott Nov 23, 1750

Joseph b June 3, 1715  married
-1 Martha Starr Jan 5, 1736
-2 Mary (Wight) Baker Jan 2, I753

Joshua3, b Aug 30, 1718 married
-1 Mary Macnab Feb 13,1746
-2 Mrs. Rachel Clark June 25, 1760
-3 Mary Morse May 9, 1782

Sarah h July 5, 1720 m Jonathan Starr Feh 22, 1737-8

Abigail b July 21, 1721  m Jan 2 , 1737 Nathaniel Dana of Boston

David, twin b.July 28 1723  d Jan 19. 1747

Jonathan, twin b.July 28 1723  d Jan 9. 1725

Esther b June 20, 1725 bapt June 26, 1726
d Dec 21, 1793 unmarried aged 68, "insane for many years,
died of a fever."

I'm descended from Abigail Dean and her husband Nathaniel Gay.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


In honor of Father's Day I'm posting pictures of some of the fathers on my family tree. From the Wests:

My Dad, Floyd E West, Jr.


Great grandfather Philip J. West, Cousin Stanley & Grandfather Floyd E West, Sr.

2x great grandfather Jonathan P.West & wife Louisa Almata (Richardson)West
3x Great grandfather John Cutter West
Some of the maternal grandfather's from Dad's family:

2x great grandfather Asa F Ellingwood & wife Florilla (Dunham)Ellingwood.

2x Great grandfather Amos Hastings Barker & wife Betsy Jane (Moore) Barker.
3x Great grandfather Philip Richardson

And the only picture I have from Mom's side of the family:
Great grandfather John McFarland & wife Annie (Kelley)McFarland.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Friday, June 17, 2016


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Jen Baldwin

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Here's the transcription of my 8x great grandfather John Dean's will that was done by

In the name of God, Amen
Dedham Septemter the 30, 1727 I John Dean of the Town of
Dedham of the County of Suffolk within His Majesties Pro-
vince of the Massachusets Bay in New England Yoeman Having
been Some time thinking of Setling my Estate and heing now
Weak and infirm of Body But of a disposing mind am come to
a full determination to doe it as is hereafter expresed
therefore doe make & Ordain this my Last Will and Testament
That is to say Principally & First of all I Give my Soul in-
to the Hands of God that Gave it Hoping for Salvation
through the Merits of my Saviour Jesus Christ and my Body I
Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in Decent manner att the
descresshion of my Executors Beleving it Shall he Raised
again at the General Resurection by the Mighty Power of God —
And as Touching such wordly Estate wherewith it hath pleas-
ed God to Bless me in this Life I Give demise and dispose of
the same in following manner and form.

That is to say I Will and Ordaine that my Just Debts & Fun-
eral Charges be duly & Timely paied out of my Estate

Imprimus I Give and Bequeath to my Son John Dean toe what he
hath already had one Fifth part of all my stock and House-
hold Stuff (not otherwais particularly disposed of) to Him
and His Heirs for ever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to to my Son Ebenezer Dean toe what
he hath already had one Fifth part of all my Stock and
Household Stuff (not otherwais perticularly disposed of) to
Him and his Heirs forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Sary Harden one
fifth part of all my Stock and household Stuff (to what shee
hath already had) not otherwise perticularly disposed of to
her & her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Macknab
toe what She hath already had one fifth part of all my Stock
& Household Stuff (not otherwise perticularly disposed of)
to her & her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Abigail Fairbanks
toe what She hath already had one fifth part of all my Stock
& Household Stuff (not otherwies perticularly disposed of)
to her her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my Gran daughter Sary Dean Daughter
of Joseph Dean upon Condition that She Lives with me as long
as I live) my Iron Pot and Citle & a pare of Sheets My bed
in the Chamber & my Fryingpan.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my Son Jeremiah Dean (In Consid-
ering that he has lived with me & been helpfull toe me &
done for me for this Severall Years & what he may still doe
for me) to Him And his Heirs forever my House my hom Lots
on both Sides the way with all the Rights Profits Priviliges
and Apurtenances thereuntoe belonging. And further I Give
& Bequeath to him my Carpenter & Husbandry Tooles & Utensils
& my part in the Oxen & Medow att Purgitory

And I Doe Make Constitute And Ordain My Two Sons John and
Jeremiah to be the Executors of this my Last Will & Testa-
ment & 1 Doe hereby utterly disalow Revoke & Disanull all
and every other & all other Wills Testaments & Bequests
Legacies & Executors by me any otherwaies before named.
Ratifying & Confirming this and noe other to be my last will
& Testament,

And. now to all you My Children I Doe In the Name of God and
with the Compasshion & Authority of a father Exhort & Charge
you that you be contented & satisfied with this my disposall
& cary it one towards another with the affections & cores-
pondence of Christians & Brethren & Sisters & Live in Love
and Peace & the God of Love & Peace shall be with you.
I Recomend you to God & the word of his Grace which is able
to Build you up & give you an Inheritance amongst them that
are Sanctified Amen

John Dean

Signed, Sealed, & Pronounced,
Published, & Declared by the
said John Dean, as his Last Will
& Testament, in ye presence of
us. the Subscribers-

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe Jr
James Richards Jr
Desember 4, I727

The said John Dean Did in Addition to his will Declare be-
fore these witnesses that Whereas he had don considerably
for his son Joseph Deceased in assisting him in purchasing
and building and other ways that his will further was that
the Children of his said Son Joseph should have Six pounds
to be paid to them equally divided Amongst them by my son
Jeremiah out of what I have given him.

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe Jr
James Richards Jr

I was struck by that last paragraph. Was John Dean afraid that his children would
squabble over their inheritance? Or had there already been tension among them
before his death?