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  • Found: The Later History and Early Progeny of Richard Hall (1676-1760/1) of Bradford and Harvard, Mass.

    Joy F. (Hartwell) Peach

    Published Date : October-November 1991

    Descendants of Richard2Hall born at Bradford, Mass. 6 February 1676, son of Richard1 and Martha Hall (Bradford VRs, 64) have had to content themselves with the cryptic “at his death about 1740 she [i.e. Mehetaball, his second wife] went to live in Harvard, Mass.” (Rev. David B. Hall, Halls of New England [1883], hereafter Hall, pp. 180-82).  Recent finds in the Worcester Co. [Mass.] Registry of Deeds show that not only did Mehetaball go to Harvard, but Richard himself was “alive and well” there as late as 1760.

    It is a fairly easy task to track Richard from his birth in Bradford, through his first marriage there on 24 April 1699 to Abigail Dalton (Bradford VRs, 216), the births of their six children, his second marriage to Mehetaball Barker sometime after their intentions were recorded at Andover 26 April 1715 (AndoverVRs, 2:163), and the births of five more children (Bradford VRs, 63-64).

    From there it is not much more difficult to trace the family to Tewksbury, Mass., where several of Richard’s children married and began raising families, and where the death by drowning of the next-youngest child, James, is recorded in 1741 (Tewksbury VRs, 213).  From Tewksbury, the family spread into Dracut, Pepperell, and places in southern New Hampshire, but when and where Richard and Mehetaball died has remained a mystery.

    It is known that Timothy Hall, the middle child of Richard and Mehetaball, married (int.) at Harvard 7 October 1744 Mary Colburn of Dracut (Harvard VRs, 163), and fathered two children there before his untimely death 13 September 1751, ae. 32:7:10 (ibid., 274). Administration of his estate was granted to the widow Mary, who before the estate was settled was “Mary Pratt, formerly Mary Hall,” and who, in addition to her widow’s thirds, was granted “13 pounds for lying in with a posthumous child” (Worcester Co., Mass. Probate File A-26596). The administration papers make no mention of Richard and Mehetaball, nor are there any probate records for them in Worcester County.

    The Worcester Co. Registry of Deeds proved more fruitful, however, yielding the following:

    Worcester Deeds, Book 31:49, deed dated 6 August 1743: Richard Boynton, of Tewksbury, for £220 to Richard Hall, yeoman, and Timothy Hall, cooper, of Harvard, 57 acres of land in Harvard on the east side of the Penicook [Nashua] River, bounded west by the river, east by land of Simon Farnsworth, north by Dole Johnson and southerly by Joseph Hutchins, Jr. (This deed was witnessed by Joseph Hutchins, Jr. and Joseph Wilder, Jr., and recorded 22 August 1751, shortly before Timothy’s death.)

    Worcester Deeds, Book 53:278, deed dated 24 October 1754: Richard Hall of Harvard, yeoman, for £20 to John Farwell, yeoman, piece of land in Harvard in the north-west of town, seven and one-half acres in common with seven and one-half acres this day deeded to John Farwell by Mary Hall, widow, administrator to the estate of Timothy Hall late of Harvard deceased and the whole 15 acres bounded as follows... (This deed was witnessed by John Pratt and Peter Atherton, and Richard Hall personally appeared and acknowledged it to be his free act.)

    Worcester Deeds, Book 43:291, deed dated 29 September 1760: “I, Richard Hall of Harvard, etc., yeoman, for £54 lawful money paid to my son Ephraim Hall of Dracut, County of Middlesex, etc., cordwainer. land in Harvard where I the said Richard now live, lying in common with land belonging to the heirs of my son Timothy Hall late of Harvard, dec’d, it being the same land that said Timothy and I ye said Richard bought in common from Richard Boynton excepting fifteen acres we sold of (sic) to John Farwell on ye north side of said whole being about 40 acres.” Excepted was the barn and designated premises belonging to Timothy’s heirs.  Mehetaball Hall, wife to said Richard, yielded her right of dower, and both Richard and Mehetaball appeared before Peter Atherton, Justice of the Peace, and acknowledged this deed to be their free act, etc.

    Worcester Deeds, Book 45:338, deed dated 18 June 1761: “John Pratt of Harvard, cordwainer and Ephraim Hall of Dracut, cordwainer for £83 [illegible] shillings eight pence to John Clough of Topsfield in the County of Essex, a certain piece of land scituate in Harvard being the land that Richard Hall lately lived on and there is about 42 acres...” Mary Pratt, wife of John Pratt, and Eunice Hall, wife of Ephraim Hall, gave up their dower rights and power of thirds, and all four signed the deed in the presence of Amos Stone and Peter Atherton, witnesses. This deed was filed 4 Nov. 1761.

    While these deeds don’t give an exact date for Richard’s death they do indicate that he probably died between 29 September 1760 and 18 June 1761, considerably later than Rev. Hall’s “about 1740.”

    These deeds also serve to identify the Richard Hall who signed a petition on 8 December 1747 (along with several residents each from Harvard, Groton, Lancaster and “Stow Leg,” including son Timothy and neighbor Simeon Farnsworth) requesting that the area in which they lived be incorporated into a separate district or township (Henry S. Nourse, History of Harvard, Mass. [1894], pp. 116-18).  Later Richard’s name appears on a “Report of the Committee to Seat the meeting house,” dated 21 May 1750, where he is accorded a seat in the “Second Seat Below.”  The committee had been instructed to “seat the two foremost seats below Respecting men for Age as well as Pay, and all the other seats and persons [140] to be seated on Dignity according to what they payed to the minister, real and personal estate the three last years passed” (ibid., p. 192).  Thus Richard Hall was an elder or one of the biggest contributors to the church at Harvard despite his desire, three years earlier, to form a separate town.

    Hereafter follows a short account of Richard Hall’s children and grandchildren.  Unless otherwise indicated, dates below are taken from published vital records volumes of the town where an event was recorded.

    Children of Richard Hall by first wife Abigail Dalton, all born at Bradford, Mass. (Bradford VRs, 63-64):

    i.    Sarah3Hall, bp. 15 Sept. 1700, no further record (henceforth n.f.r.).

    ii.   Richard Hall, Jr., b. 24 Feb. 1700/1, d. in Maine 17 Nov. 1745 (Tewksbury VRs, 213); m. Billerica 9 Feb. 1726/7 Sarah Pollard, b. Billerica 16 Feb. 1700/1, dau. of Thomas and Sarah (Farmer) Pollard. She m. (2) Tewksbury 26 Oct. 1749 Nathaniel Clemons. By her first husband she had issue (Billerica VRs, 93; Tewksbury VRs, 42):

    1.  John Hall, b. Billerica (rec. both there and Tewksbury) 5 Nov. 1727, d. Tewksbury 17 Nov. 1745.

    2.  Richard Hall (3rd), b. Tewksbury 20 Sept. 1729, d. there 6 July 1754. (of consumption; m. there 21 Feb. 1753 Mercy Worcester, as yet unidentified.

    3.  Oliver Hall, b. Tewksbury 4 Jan. 1732/3, d. there 16 Sept. 1758; m. there 5 Jan. 1758 Mary Trull, poss. the Mary Trull b. Billerica 27 Dec. 1733, dau. of John and Mary (Hunt) Trull. A Molly Trull, b. Tewksbury 25 July 1736, dau. of Samuel and Mary (Haseltine) Trull, d. there 23 Feb. 1759 of “camp fever” and thus should not be identified as Oliver’s wife.

    4.  Asa Hall, b. Tewksbury 14 Sept. 1741, n.f.r.

    NOTE: An early deed at Worcester Registry of Deeds (Book 70:327, dated 21 Dec. 1735, wherein Richard Hall, Junr of Tewksbury, Middlesex Co., etc., Blacksmith, for the sum of £50 current money paid by Thomas Rogers (of Billerica, husbandman, quit claimed “his a certain new town called Nitchawag (sic) [now Petersham] lately granted by the Great and General Court to a number of volunteers who served His Majesty under ye Command of Capt. John Level [Lovewell?] and Capt. John White, said town being granted to Jeremiah Perley and John Bennit and associates lying on ye northwest side of Rutland...” almost certainly refers to this Richard. His occupation, the fact that he is twice called “Junr” plus the fact that he is referred to as “Serg.” in the Tewksbury records, make it quite certain that this is not Richard2, who, since his father died in 1730, would not he called “Junr” in 1735.  No other Richard Hall old enough to execute deeds was known to be in Tewksbury at this time.

    iii.  Abigail Hall, b. 17 Oct. 1702, d. Tewksbury 14 June 1785, of “old age”; m. Billerica 20 Feb. 1727/8 Abraham Stickney, b. Bradford 16 Oct. 1703, d. Tewksbury 23 Aug. 1783, son of Samuel and Mary (Hazeltine) Stickney.  Abraham and Abigail (Hall) Stickney’s children were born at Billerica (Billerica VRs, 186-87), later at Tewksbury (Tewksbury VRs, 84):

    1.  Abigail Stickney, b. Billerica 12 July 1731, d. Tewksbury 12 Feb. 1767, of consumption. m. at Tewksbury as his first wife 10 March 1752 James Kittredge (IV), app. b. there (as James Kittredge “Tert[ius]”) 15 Feb. 1729/30, son of James and Elizabeth (___) Kittredge.

    2.  Abraham Stickney, Jr., b. Billerica 28 Nov. 1733, d. Tewksbury 19 March 1803, in 69th yr.; m. at Tewksbury 9 Nov. 1755 Sarah Kittredge, b. Tewksbury 18 April 1738, d. there 29 Sept. 1807, of consumption, dau. of James and Elizabeth (___) Kittredge.

    3.  Benjamin Stickney, b. Tewksbury 1 Dec. 1737, d. prob. Windsor, Maine in 1835, ae. 98 (M.A. Stickney, The Stickney Family: Descendants of William and Elizabeth Stickney, from 1637 to 1869 (1869) [hereafter Stickney], 112); said to have m. (1) a dau. of John Plummer of Rowley, Mass.; (2) Hannah Grover, who d. at Windsor ae. 88 (no date given in Stickney, 113).

    4.  James Stickney, b. Tewksbury 6 August 1742, d. prob. at Shawangunk, Orange Co., N.Y. in 1823; m. at Newburgh, N.Y. Mary Belknap, b. [Newburgh?] 9 Jan. 1740, dau. of Samuel and Lydia Belknap. The Stickney brothers all served in the Revolution: Abraham, Jr. as a lieutenant from Tewksbury (Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, hereafter MSS, 15[19071:3), and James apparently as a private from Bradford (MSS 15:6, 12); Benjamin, in New York State, “held a Lieutenant’s commission and was employed in preventing disaffected persons from running the British” (Stickney, 113).

    iv.        Hannah Hall, b. 11 Sept. 1704, n.f.r.

    v.         Samuel Hall, b. 11 Jan. 1707; m. (1) Billerica 25 Jan. 1727/8 Hannah Kittredge, b. Billerica poss. 19 March 1707/8, d. there 21 July 1750, perhaps dau. of Daniel and Elizabeth (Foster) Kittredge (although Daniel’s dau. has been identified as the Hannah Kittredge who m. Thomas Patton [b. Billerica 22 Oct. 1701, d. there 16 Sept. 1733, son of Thomas and Hannah (Foster) Patton of Billerica] [M.T. Kittredge, The Kittredge Family in America (1936), 9; T.W. Baldwin, Patten Genealogy (1908), 29, 38]. The Hannah Kittredge dau. of James and Sarah [Fowle] Kittredge, placed Samuel Hall’s wife as in H.A. Hazen, History of Billerica, Massachusetts [1883] [hereafter Hazen], 65, 85, was born in 1734, a generation too late; see E.C. Fowle, Fowle Genealogy [1990], 40); (2) Billerica 24 April 1751 Hannah Sanders of Tewksbury, b. Billerica 16 April 1718, dau. of John and Hannah ([Dutton) Sanders (Hazen, 128).  Children by Hannah Kittredge (Billerica VRs, 93,94):

    1.  Thomas Hall, b. ca. 1730, bp. 27 May 1750, ae. “about 20.” A Thomas Hall, who had m. Billerica 15 April 1761 Lydia Keyes, d. there 10 May 1772.

    2.  Hannah Hall, b. ca. 1732, hp. “after 27 May 1750, age about 18”; may have m. Tewksbury 17 March 1757 John Leviston.

    3.  (prob.) Isaac Hall, b. ca. 1738, “hp. 7 May 1758, in 20th yr.”


    4.  (prob.) Jacob Hall, b. ca. 1740, bp. 7 May 1758 “in 18th y.”

    5.  John Hall, b. 28 March 1747, d. Billerica 31 Oct. 1749.

    vi.        Mehitable Hall, b. 19 June 1712; m. Woburn, Mass. (rec. Tewksbury VRs, 133) 5 May 1737 Josiah Colburn, Jr. of Dracut, Mass., b. there 19 March 1711, d. Westford (rec. Chelmsford), Mass. 9 April 1790 (G.A. Gordon and S.R. Coburn, Genealogy of the Descendants of Edward Colburn-Coburn [1913], henceforth Colburn-Coburn, 38), son of Josiah and Sarah (Coburn) Colburn. They had issue, born at Dracut (Dracut VRs, 40-42):

    1.  Nathan Colburn, b. 23 Man2h 1737/8; poss. the Nathan Coburn, schoolmaster, who arrived in Mason, N.H. in 1769 but “r[emoved]” (J.B. Hill, History of the Town of Mason, N.H.... [1858], [hereafter Mason], 214).

    2.  Mehittebel Colburn, b. 14 Feb. 1739/40; m. prob. Dracut ca. 1759 her cousin Willard Coburn, b. there 28 Oct. 1734, d. there 11 June 1809, son of Edward and Elizabeth (Richardson) Coburn.

    3.  Abigail Colburn, b. 29 March 1743.

    Children of Richard Hall and his second wife, Mehetaball Barker, born at Bradford, Mass.:

    vii.       Nathan Hall, b. 25 Dec. 1715, d. Mason, N.H. 7 May 1807; m. Tewksbury 18 Feb. 1742 MaryChapman of Boxford, Mass., perhaps b. there 29 March 1723 [not in Boxford VRs], d. Mason, N.H. 27 Oct. 1810 (Mason, 285). The first two children were born at Tewksbury, while some later ones were rec. in Groton and Pepperell (Tewksbury VRs, 42; Groton VRs, 104; Pepperell VRs, 59-60). Nathan and Mary (Chapman) Hall removed ca. 1751-52 to Mason, N.H., where the last five children here were apparently born (Mason, 202).

    1.    James Hall, b. Tewksbury 25 July 1743; prob. the James of “No. One” who m. (rec. Pepperell, Mass.) 3 Feb. 1767 Sarah Roe.

    2.    Mary Hall, b. Tewksbury 9 March 1745.

    3.    Nathan Hall, Jr., b. Groton, Mass. 23 Aug. 1748, bp. Pepperell 28 Aug. 1748.

    4.    Mehetable Hall, b. Groton 3 Dec. 1750, bp. Pepperell 3 Dec. 1750.

    5.    David Hall, b. Mason, N.H. 24 Jan. 1754 (Mason, 202), d. Mason 25 Aug. 1824, ae. “71 yrs.” (ibid., 217).

    6.    Daniel Hall, b. 5 May 1756 (ibid., 202).

    7.    Henry Hall, b. 26 Oct. 1758 (ibid.).

    8.    Elizabeth Hall, b. 5 March 1765 (ibid.).

    9.    Richard Hall, b. 12 Sept. 1768 (ibid.), d. Mason 16 July 1822, ae. “54 y.” (ibid., 217).

    viii.      Ephraim Hall, b. 10 Feb. 1716/7, d. Dracut, Mass. 6 Feb. 1793; m. Tewksbury 8 May 1738 EuniceLevestone, b. Billerica 18 May 1719, d. Dracut 26 Jan. 1812, dau. of John, Jr. and Ruth (Shed) Levestone. Their children were born at Tewksbury and Dracut (Tewksbury VRs, 42; Dracut VRs, 59-60).

    1.    Lydia Hall, b. Tewksbury 26 Aug. 1739, d. prob. Dracut 6 June 1819; m. (int.) Dracut 24 Sept. 1757 Jacob Coburn, Jr., b. Dracut 10 Feb. 1729, d. there 2 Feb. 1809, son of Jacob and Johanna (Varnum) Coburn. Jacob, Jr. marched at the Lexington Alarm in April 1775, in the Dracut co. of his brother’s father-in-law. Capt. Stephen Russell (Colburn--Coburn, 20).

    2.    Ephraim Hall, Jr., b. Billerica 22 Aug. 1741, d. Dracut 25 Nov. 1821; m. (int. Dracut 9 March) Tewksbury 21 May 1765 Lydia Russell, b. Dracut 5 Aug. 1744, d. there 28 Apr. 1821, dau. of Stephen and Abigail (Gage) Russell. One son, Phineas Hall (b. Dracut 1 Jan. 1768, d. there 15 Oct. 1844, ae. 76), m. (int.) Dracut 9 Nov. 1798 his first cousin “Patte” (Martha) Cheever (b. Dracut 29 March 1770), dau. of Ezekiel and Martha (Hall) Cheever below.

    3.    Martha Hall, b. Dracut 25 Oct. 1743, d. there 20 Feb. 1834; m. there (int.) 26 May 1764 Ezekiel Cheever, bp. Salem, Mass. 24 June 1733, d. Dracut 25 Jan. 1806, son of Benjamin and Mercy (Wilkins) Cheever.

    4.    William Hall, b. Dracut 29 Jan. 1747/8, n.f.r.

    5.    Moses Hall, b. Dracut 7 April 1753; m. there 26 March 1789 Susannah Davis of Chelmsford, Mass., as yet unidentified.

    6.    Eunice Hall, b. Dracut 30 Jan. 1757, d. there 28 Jan. 1830; m. there 31 July 1779 Solomon Wood, b. prob. Dracut ca. 1756, d. there 5 June 1820, ae. 64, son of Stephen and Jane (Phillips) Wood (J.S. Wood, Wood Family Index [1966], 499).

    7.    Timothy Hall, b. Dracut 7 Feb. 1759; m. (int.) Dracut 27 Jan. 1787 Betsy Curtis, prob. b. there 27 July 1766, dau. of Ephraim and Abigail (Williams) Curtis.

    8.    Asa Hall, b. Dracut 24 March 1762, d. [not in Dracut VRs] 12 March 1833; m. Dracut 28 Dec. 1782 “Mrs.” Eleanor Wood, as yet unidentified.

    ix.        Timothy Hall, b. 3 Feb. 1718/9, d. Harvard, Mass. I Sept. 1751; m. (int.) Dracut 7 Oct. 1744 Mary Cob of Dracut (Dracut VRs, 188; Harvard VR has [int.] 10 Oct. 1744), b. Dracut 7 Oct. 1726, dau. of Jacob and Johanna (Varnum) Coburn; Mary m. (2) Harvard 2 Oct. 1757 John Pratt, b. Malden, Mass., 14 Aug. 1687, son of John and Martha (Pratt) Pratt, d. Harvard 14 Oct. 1763, “ae. 75,” by whom she had at least two more children; she prob. was the “Mrs. Mary Pratt’ who m. Harvard 19 May 1767 James Godfrey of Lancaster (Lancaster VRs, 100, Harvard VRs, 202); J.P. Lovelace, The Pratt Directory [1980], 333).

                Children of Timothy and Mary, b. Harvard (1-Jar yard VRs, 51):

    1.  John Hall, b. 22 May 1747, prob. the “John of Lunenburg” who m. Harvard 5 July 1774 Sarah Willard, b. Harvard 2 March 1748, dau. of William and Ellen (Davis) Willard (Joseph Willard and C.W. Walker (C.H. Pope, ed], Willard Genealogy: Sequel to Willard Memoir (1915) (henceforth Willard), 55.

    2.  Mary Hall, b. 25 Aug. 1749, d. N.H. in 1824; prob. the Mary Hall who m. Harvard 25 Oct. 1770 Gibson Willard, b. there 13 Oct. 1750, d. prob. Chesterfield or Wilton, N.H. by 25 April 1817, son of Thomas and Sarah (Gibson) Willard (Willard, 53, 112-13).

    3.  Timothy Hall, Jr., b. (posthumous) 18 Feb. 1752, d. prob. in New Hampshire ca. 1800; m. prob. Wilton, N.H. by ca. 1775 Sarah Keyes, b. there 20 June 1751, dau. of John Jr.1 and Abigail (Livermore) Keyes (Asa Keyes, Genealogy [of] Robert Keyes of [142] Watertown, Mass. 1635. [and] Solomon Keyes of Newbury and Chelmsford, Mass. 1653... [1880], 12; this work marries her (2) to an unidentified Jewett.

    x.         James Hall, b. 25 Sept. 1720, drowned at Tewksbury 10 Dec. 1741.

    xi.        Martha Hall, b. 5 Nov. 1722, d. Harvard 7 May 1754, ae. 34 (sic), apparently in childbirth; m. Harvard 28 May 1744, as his first wife, Simeon Farnsworth (ibid., 163),b. Groton, Mass. 12 July 1718, son of Jonathan and Ruth Farnsworth; he is said to have m. (2) Lucy Atherton. Simeon’s and Martha’s children were born at Harvard (Harvard VRs, 39-42; M.F. Farnsworth, Farnsworth Memorial [1897], 334-35):

    1.  Mehitebel Farnsworth, b. 25 May 1745, d. prob. Washington, N.H. 20 March 1826; m. Harvard 31 Jan. 1765 John Safford, Jr. of Harvard, b. poss. there 14 July 1742, d. prob. Washington 4 April 1823.

    2.  Simeon Farnsworth, Jr., b. 10 Sept. 1746, d. Washington, N.H 27 Jan. 1791; said to have m. Ellen or Esther Ellingwood of Lyndeborough, N.H (Farnsworth Memorial, 334, believes he could have m. two Ellingwood sisters, but in a poss. confusion with Simeon Jr.’s father, gives the son a second wife Lucy); Simeon Jr.’s wife d. prob. Washington 27 Oct. 1811.

    3.  Samuel Farnsworth, bp. 9 March 1747/8, d. Harvard 17 April 1756, ae. 8 yrs.

    4.  Martha Farnsworth, b. 20 Aug. 1750, d. Harvard 10 March 1776; m. there 16 Nov. 1769 Nathaniel Whittemore, Jr., b. Concord, Mass. 4 July 1741, d. Lancaster, Mass. 3 Jan. 1822, ae. 80:6, son of Nathaniel and Abigail (Blood) Whittemore (NEHGR 108 [1954]:171). Martha likely died in childbirth; her fourth child Calvin Whittemore d. 20 March 1776, ae. 15 days.

    5.  Lucy Farnsworth, b. 3 May 1752, d. N.H. 26 Feb. 1825; m. (1) Harvard 20 Oct. 1772 Abner Sampson (“Abner Oliver Sampson” in Farnsworth Memorial, 335); (2) prob. N.H. 28 Nov. 1799, as his second wife, Samuel Hurd of Newport, N.H.

    6.  Joseph Farnsworth, bp. 8 May 1754, d. poss. Weathersfield, Vt., after 1785; may have m. (int.) Harvard 25 Jan. 1778 Mary Hearsay.

    Joy F. (Hartwell) Peach, genealogist for the Hartwell Family Association, is a sixth-great-granddaughter of Richard Hall.  Earlier NEXUS articles include “The Tale of Bathsheba Woods Moore and Bathsheba Moore Woods” (5(1988]:15-16), “Elisha Smith and Sarah (Hartwell) Melvin of Watertown and Worcester, Massachusetts” (5:54-55), and “Some Obadiah Walkers of Worcester County, Massachusetts” (7[1990]:148-50).  Interested readers may write her at 74 Beach Point Road, Lancaster, MA 01523.

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