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  • Phebe Kimmens and the “Hidden” Family of Ebenezer Dunton of Southborough, Massachusetts

    Joy F Peach

    Published Date : February-March 1993
     Sometimes in genealogy the search for one person leads to completely unexpected findings illuminating quite different families. So I found in the search for Phebe Kimmens. Esther Kimmens Whitcomb of Bolton, Mass., has been searching for her ancestress Phebe for years. The first record we have of Phebe is when, on 27 November 1774, she confessed to fornication, owned the covenant, and had her child John baptized at Hopkinton, Mass. (Hopkinton VRs, p. 122; microfilmed Hopkinton church records, Hopkinton Public Library. Henceforth sources for dates, if a town is given, are to its published VRs, or Mass. state records after 1850, or Conn., Vt., or N.H. VRs on microfilm at the Society, unless otherwise noted). There is no clue to the identity of this child’s father, whether Kimmens (or Cummings?) was Phebe’s maiden name, or whether she was using the name of John’s father.

    Phebe next appears in Templeton, Mass., where (as Phebe “Skimins”) she married (int.) 27 July 1779 William Coolidge (born at Bolton 25 Sept. 1758, son of Philip and Lydia [Foskett] Coolidge), a Revolutionary soldier (E.K. Whitcomb and D.O. Mayo, Bolton Soldiers and Sailors in the American Revolution [1985, henceforth BS&S], p. 19), apparently not treated in E.D. Coolidge, Descendants of John and Mary Coolidge of Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630 (1930). His Revolutionary pension, paid twice a year, was $47.75 (E.K Whitcomb, About Bolton [1988], p. 323). William and Phebe’s daughter Lydia was baptized at Templeton 15 April 1781; a son Daniel was born at Bolton, Mass. 18 Jan 1785. Phebe (Kimmens) Coolidge died at Bolton 10 June 1799, ae. 49, and William Coolidge promptly married (2) (int. Bolton) 7 October 1799 Anna Eames of Marlborough, Mass.; he died at Bolton 15 March 1826, ae. 72, and his widow died there 7 July 1847, ae. 74 (town rec.) or 6 July, ae. 77 (Bolton VRs, p. 199). Both wives of William Coolidge had borne illegitimate children: Anna’s daughter Eunice Eames was baptized at Marlborough 17 Sept. 1786 and married Beriah Oakes, Jr., there 13 June 1804.

    Child of Phebe Kimmens, father unknown:

    John Kimmens, b. prob. Hopkinton, Mass. (rec. Bolton) 26 Aug. 1774, bp. Hopkinton 27 Nov. 1774, d. Bolton 7 Nov. 1821; m. there 19 March 1794 Judith Houghton, b. there 6 Aug. 1774, d. there 18 October 1849, dau. of James and Keziah (Ross) Houghton. John Kimmens, a cooper, became a Quaker after moving to Bolton. For some generations this family was part of Bolton’s sizable Quaker community, as seen on several family tombstones. “John Kimmens, who lived in a plaster house on the point of land formed by the Old Marlborough Road and the road which passes the old burying ground, had a cooper shop. Upon his death in 1821 his widow Judith (Houghton) was left the use of the shop during her lifetime” (History of Bolton, 1738-1938 [1938], p. 209). Children of John and Judith (Houghton) Kimmens, rec. Bolton:

    Zilphah Kimmens, b. 21 Nov. 1797, d. Bolton 9 May 1822.

    John Kimmens, Jr., b. 4 Aug. 1799, d. Bolton “6 mo. 20th 1852” ae. 52:10:16 (E.K. Whitcomb, ed., Inscriptions from the Burial Grounds of the Nashaway Towns... [1989, hereafter Nashaway] , p. 110); m. by ca. 1824 Dinah H. Wheeler, b. Bolton 13 Nov. 1797, d. Berlin, Mass. 12 mo. 5th, 1871, a “tailoress,” dau. of Asa and Abigail (Southwick) Wheeler. Children, rec. Bolton: Jane Fearon Kimmens, b. 17Apr11 1825, d. Bolton 3 mo. 3, 1873, ae. 48:4:14 (Nashaway, p. 110); m. there (ae. 19), 3 (or 23) April 1845 her cousin Reuben Aldrich Wheeler, b. Bolton 21 April 1823, d. there 9 mo. 11th 1896, ae. 68:2:23 (Nashaway, p. 110), son of Amos and Lydia (Randall) Wheeler; Asa Wheeler Kimmens, b. 20 April 1834; and Abigail Wheeler Kimmens, b. 29 April 1840.

    Keziah Houghton Kimmens, b. 27 Oct. 1801, d. Bolton 18 March 1827.

    Phebe Kimmens, b. 26 April 1804, d. Berlin 15,8th mo. 1866, ae. 62 (Nashaway, p. 111); m. Bolton 2 May 1822 Jonathan Wheeler, b. there 13 April 1787, son of Jonathan, Jr. and Mary (Buffum) Wheeler. Children, rec. Bolton: Martha Ann Wheeler, b. 7 Nov. 1824, d. Berlin 25 Dec. 1890, m. Bolton 2 July 1843 David B. Wheeler, b. Berlin 11 June 1823, d. there 17 Oct. 1893, son of David and Anna (Baker) Wheeler; Laura Buffum Wheeler, b. 11 May 1828, d. Berlin 16 April 1897, m. (1) Berlin (int.) 11 May 1847 Solomon Jones, b. there 22 April 1824, d. there 5 Oct. 1864, son of Palatiah and Persis (Barnes) (Priest) Jones; (2) Berlin 1 Jan. 1867 James Richard Fay, b. there 8 Aug. 1823, son of Dexter and Zilphah (Maynard) Fay; Mary Angelina Wheeler, b. 14 Aug. 1832, m. Berlin 4 April 1860 Jonas Sawyer, b. there 10 Dec. 1811, d. there 21 July 1894, son of Jonas and Eusebia (Bailey) Sawyer.

    Lydia Kimmens, b. 24 April 1806, d. Bolton 1 March 1826.

    Sarah H. Kimmens, b. 24 July 1809, almost certainly the ___ Reed, wife of William, who d. Pepperell, Mass. 23 March 1840, ae. 31, of fever; m. Bolton 16 Oct. 1836 William C. Read of Townsend, Mass.

    Mary Bennett Kimmens, b. 14 Jan. 1811, d. prob. Weare, N.H. 6 April 1884; m. Bolton 25 May 1836 John Paige [Jr.] of Weare, b. there 30 Nov. 1811, d. there 30 April 1891, an itinerant Quaker preacher, son of John and Hannah (Paige) Paige. Children, b. Weare: Abby Paige, b. 9 March 1837, d. Weare 15 Oct. 1884; J. Elwood Paige, b. 3 May 1840, d. prob. Lynn, Mass. after 1891 (William Little, History of Weare, New Hampshire [1888], p. 953).

    Daniel C[oolidge] Kimmens, b. 30 Sept. 1813, d. Bolton 25 April 1848, appar. unm., a shoemaker.

    Amos Peaslee Kimmens, b. 12 Sept. 1817, d. Bolton 16 Feb. 1898 (Nashaway, p. 112); m. (1) ca. 1840-41 Nancy A. Durfey, b. Glocester, R.I. ca. 20 April 1813 [calc.], d. Bolton 8 mo. 26th 1849, ae. 36:4:6, of consumption, appar. not treated in W.F. Reed, The Descendants of Thomas Durfee of Portsmouth, RI. [2 vols., 1902-05]), but [19] poss. rel. also to Waldo Earle of Leicester, Mass. and Smithfield, RI.; (2) Bolton 4 March 1854 Joannah Hotchkiss (Wheeler) Babcock, b. Bolton 26 Sept. 1826, d. there 11 Aug. 1907 (Nashaway, p. 112), dau. of Jesse and Mary (Aldrich) Wheeler and widow of Josiah Coale Babcock. Children by Nancy, b. Bolton: Francis Milford Kimmens, b. 6 April 1842; Catherine Earle Kimmens, b. ca. 1844; Waldo Earle Kimmens, b. 22 June 1846; and John Kimmens, b. 26 March 1848. Children by Joanna: Lucy Ella Kimmens, b. 15 Nov. 1854 (“female” in Mass. VRs 83:151); Nancy Durfee Kimmens, b. 20 Feb. 1856; Mary Letitia Kimmens, b. 23 Feb. 1859; Gilbert Amos Kimmens, b. 22 Sept. 1860, later of Stow, Mass.; Edgar Ambrose Kimmens, b. 2 Sept. 1862, later of Hudson, Mass.; Herman Jarvis Kimmens, b. 13 Jan. 1865; Charles Kimmens, b. 29 Sept. 1867, later of Bolton; and William Coolidge Kimmens, b. 5 Aug. 1869, later of Worcester, Mass.

    Rufus Kimmens, b. 15 April, d. Bolton 17 April 1822.

    Children of William and Phebe (Kimmens) Coolidge:

    2. Lydia Coolidge, bp. Templeton 15 April 1781; called “Lydia Dunton of Long Island” in her father’s 1826 will. BS&S, p. 19, gives her as of Westport, Essex Co., N.Y.; a Lydia Dunton there was one of the first members of the Westport Methodist church in 1816 (C.H. Royce, Bessboro: The History of Westport, Essex Co., New York [1902], p. 305), and is listed there in the 1830 census.

    3. Daniel Coolidge, b. Bolton, Mass. 18 Jan. 1785, d. N.Y.C. 1 Nov. 1847, in 63rd yr. (N.Y. Evening Post, 2 Nov.); m. Concord or Weare, N.H. 29 April 1812 Ruth Hutchins, b. Concord 29 Dec. 1789, d. N.Y.C. 6 Sept. 1863, dau. of Levi and Phebe (Hannaford) Hutchins (E.C. Byam and J.R. Hutchins, Descendants of John Hutchins of Newbury and Haverhill, Mass. [1975, hereafter Hutchins], p. 83). Daniel moved from Weare, N.H. in 1821 to New York City, where he was a bookseller and binder, at least part of this time at a site “[now] under Brooklyn Bridge,” according to Esther K. Whitcomb’s son, who attempted to locate information about Daniel for his mother. Daniel’s address in 1846 was 38 Rose Street. That Daniel Coolidge was a Quaker is evident from his letter of 7 June 1846 to Keziah Houghton. He may have owned or lost property on “Fair-Mount” in South Bolton, and his reference in the same letter to “Four Thousand Dollars when General Jackson took so much ‘Responsibility Upon himself” prob. refers to the bank failures of the 1830s. Children, b. Weare, N.H. (Hutchins, p. 83; W.W. Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, vol. 3 [1940], pp. 84, 228): Phebe Hutchins Cooledge, b. 17 Feb. 1814, d. prob. N.Y.C. 17 May 1881, m. Francis Metford; George Fox Cooledge, b. 6 Oct. 1815, d. prob. N.Y.C. 4 Aug. 1873; William Penn Cooledge, b. 25 Aug. 1817, m. prob. N.Y.C. 16 Dec. 1850 Susan Knapp (Hutchins, p. 83).

    In a letter now in the possession of Esther Kimmens Whitcomb, Phebe’s son Daniel Coolidge, writing from New York, informs his “dear friend” (a kinswoman?) Keziah Houghton that “Grandfather Phillips Mansion is pull’d down” (7 June 1846). Could this Grandfather Phillips be connected to Daniel’s mother, our unplaced Phebe? This Kimmens research led me to some interesting discoveries about a tangentially-related family.

    Phebe’s daughter-in-law, Judith Houghton, had a brother James who on 8 September 1789 had published intentions at Bolton to marry a Beckey Dunton whose birthdate and parentage were not known. Following these Dunton-Phillips connections led eventually to Ebenezer Dunton of Southborough, Mass. Although the findings below would seem to rule him out as the father of Phebe Kimmens, the stories of his heretofore-unknown children are an interesting study of what can be found by research in deeds and town poor records.

    Ebenezer Dunton was most likely the child of that name born at Dorchester, Mass. 3 April 1720 to Ebenezer and Sarah (Royall) Dunton (A Report of the Boston Record Commission, vol. 21, Dorchester Births, Marriages and Deaths to the End of 1825 [1891], p. 67). Details of his life are sketchy, but he must be the Ebenezer Dunton, “oncapabel of Labore fore almost fore weekes,” who petitioned the selectmen of Southborough 4 March 1761 as a poor person, “my Provisions allmost spent a Number of small children to maintain which depen on my labors for mantananc” (Southborough, Mass. Town Records: Welfare, LDS Roll #861098). Ebenezer apparently died at Southborough prior to 18 September 1771, when his widow Lydia requested that Nathaniel Dunton be named administrator of his estate (Worcester Co. Probate #A:18056). Ebenezer had married (1), at Southborough, 19 March 1744/5 Rebecka Lyscum, born at Marlborough, Mass. 7 March 1726, died at Southborough 13 August 1752, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Clark) Lyscum. Four sons of this couple were recorded at Southborough before Rebeckah’s death: Ebenezer, Nathaniel, Reuben and Samuel. Whether there were any other children is not known, but there may perhaps be room for one other between Reuben (birthdate unrecorded) and Samuel, born in 1752. Ebenezer married (2) at Southborough 6 August 1753 Lydia Bellows, born there 30 April 1729, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Maverick) Bellows. Although none of the children of Ebenezer’s second marriage are recorded, Worcester County deeds show that he and Lydia had at least six.

    Ebenezer’s probate file contains virtually no information about his family, and lacks a distribution. On 30 May 1773, “Nathaniel Dunton of Marlborough, yeoman, lately of Southboro, administrator on the estate of his honored Father Ebenezer Dunton deceased” sold to Nathan Fay of Southboro, for the sum of 13 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence, a tract of land in Southboro containing 13 acres and 70 rods (Worcester Co. Deeds 73:3).

    On 28 October 1773 Lydia (Bellows) Dunton married (2) at Southborough, as a second wife, Ebenezer Phillips, a neighbor in Southborough (for his ancestry, see G.B. Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents, prelim. ed. rev. [1989], pp. 97, 99, 133 [Ebenezer’s sister Joanna (Phillips) Fay was an ancestor of President George H.W. Bush] and NEXUS 8[1991]:32; for his family, see A.M. Phillips, Phillips Genealogies [1885], pp. 106-7). Again, no children of this Ebenezer and Lydia are recorded; Ebenezer Phillips, however, had children by first wife Hannah Lyscom, a sister of Ebenezer Dunton’s first wife, Rebecca Lyscom (Hannah, born at Marlborough 29 April 1722, is erroneously given in Phillips Genealogies above, p. 107, as daughter of Israel of Marlborough, but VRs show the Hannah born that date as daughter of Samuel and Mary). No death date for Ebenezer Phillips has yet been found, but he evidently [20] died ca. 1778-79; Lydia, called “of Templeton,” married (3) Winchendon, Mass. 14 October 1779, as his third wife, Robert Bradish, probably the Robert Bradish born at Marlborough 21 November 1712, who died at Athol, Mass. [__] June 1792, son of James and Damaris (Rice) Bradish. A death record for the much-married Lydia (Bellows) (Dunton) (Phillips) Bradish has yet to be found (although an unnamed “…Bradish, wid[ow]”, died at Leicester 13 March 1819, ae. 89).

    Three Worcester County deeds shed light on the “hidden family” of Ebenezer and Lydia (Bellows) Dunton:

    1. On 13 December 1784 Ebenezer Dunton and Samuel Dunton of Athol, Reuben Dunton of Shrewsbury, David Dunton and Samuel Bradish with Hannah his wife, and Nathan Stoddard with Lydia his wife of Winchendon, Levi Dunton of Leicester, all in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Nathaniel Dunton of Stafford, Connecticut and James Dunton of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, in consideration of the sum of £27 paid to them by Nathan Fay of Southborough, sold the said Nathan Fay “about seventeen acres of land lying in said Southborough ... being part of the lands which Ebenezer Dunton late of said Southborough deceased died seized and possessed of and which descended to us the aforenamed grantors as we are children to the said deceased and heirs to his estate with other children of said deceased” (Worcester Co. Deeds 106:312-3)

    2. On 28 September 1785 Lydia Bradish, widow of Ebenezer Dunton late of Southboro, deceased, now the wife of Robert Bradish of Winchendon, cordwainer, “being fully and absolutely authorized and empowered by the said Robert to...dispose of and dispossess herself of all and every part and the whole of her right of dower and power of freely and absolutely as if she had not been married to him the said Robert Bradish,” sold to Nathan Fay of Southboro, for the sum of £5, the property in Southboro which she acquired by virtue of having been the wife of Ebenezer Dunton (Worcester Co. Deeds 106: 319-20). [This deed makes no mention of Lydia’s second husband, Ebenezer Phillips.]

    3. On 14 June 1787 Rebecca Dunton of Winchendon in the County of Worcester...spinster, for the sum of £:8s, sold to Nathan Fay of Southborough her right, title, etc. of about 17 acres of land in Southborough, “being part of the land which Ebenezer Dunton late of Southborough deceased died siezed [sic] and possessed of, it being all my right to the above which devolved to me as a child and heir of Ebenezer Dunton” (Worcester Co. Deeds 107:12)

    These deeds help piece together otherwise unconnected Dunton data found in various places, and make possible the reconstruction of Ebenezer Dunton’s family as follows:

    Children of Ebenezer Dunton and his first wife, Rebeckah Lyscom:

    i. Ebenezer Dunton, Jr., b. Southborough, Mass. 15 Sept. 1745, d. Phillipston, Mass. 16 Sept. 1820, ae. 75, of fever. He is the best documented child of his parents. Ebenezer Dunton, Jr. m. (1) Southborough 18 Feb. 1766 Abigail Allard, who d. Athol 5 Sept. 1776, probably related to a poor family of Allards from Hopkinton warned out of Southborough 10 May 1757 and 7 Nov. 1758 (F.E. Blake, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Warnings, 1737-1788 [1899, repr. 1992, hereafter Warnings], p. 63); and (2) Athol 24 Feb. 1778 Hannah Ba[i]ley, bp. Athol (appar. as an adult) 1 Nov. 1778, d. Phillipston, Mass. 3 Oct. 1820, ae. 57 (town rec.) or 59 (church rec.) (both in Phillipston VRs, p. 103). On 10 May 1768 Ebenezer Jr. from Southborough, wife Abigail, and infant daughter [Persis] were warned out from neighboring Westborough (Warnings, p. 81). On 21 Aug. 1777 Ebenezer, Jr. enlisted as a private in Capt. Josiah Wilder’s co., and later (8 July 1779) was engaged from the town of Royalston, but called a resident of Athol, ae. 33, and 5’3 tall with a dark complexion (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolution 5[1899]: 70). He was in Gerry [Phillipston], Mass. by 1790. In his will of 14 Sept. 1820, Ebenezer mentions beloved wife Hannah; sons John, Benjamin, Nehemiah and Ebenezer; daughters Pervis Dunton, Nabby Dunton, Hannah Goddard [Stoddard?] and Mary Nickerson (Worcester Co. Probate #AA8057). Children of Ebenezer, Jr. and Abigail (Allard) Dunton:

    1.      “Pirces” [Persis] Dunton, b. Southborough 8 Aug. 1766, d. Athol 31 Aug. 1776.

    2.      Ebenezer Dunton [3rd], b. Southborough 13 June 1768, living Littleton, Grafton Co., N.H. in 1825; m. (int.) Phillipston 15 Jan. 1796 Mehitable Pattingle [Pettingell]. Children: Luther Dunton, b. Hereford, P.Q. (rec. Littleton, N.H.) 11 Aug. 1803; m. Littleton 3 Jan. 1827 Isabel Phinney; Polly Dunton, b. Littleton 1 Oct. 1806; pub. there 14 July 1824 to Robert S. Harrington; Calvin Dunton, b. Littleton 5 Feb. 1809; poss. also Reuben Dunton of Littleton, who m. Granby, Vt. 29 March 1827 Sally Houston (J.R. Jackson, ed., History of Littleton, New Hampshire, vol. 3 [1905], p. 174).

    3.      Nehemiah Dunton, bp. Athol 9 June 1771, d. there 11 July 1776.

    4.      Naby [Abigail] Dunton, bp. Athol 18 Aug. 1771, unm. in 1820.

    5.      Rebecca Dunton, b. Athol [__] Nov. 1773, d. Phillipston 13 Jan. 1813, ae. “38” (sic in Phillipston VRs, p. 103).

    Children of Ebenezer, Jr. and Hannah (Bailey) Dunton:

    6.      Nehemiah Dunton, b. Athol 28 March 1779, d. Phillips-ton 30 Nov. 1856, a farmer; m. Phillipston 15 April 1807 Betsey Lamb, b. there ca. 31 May 1788 [calc.], d. there of “phthisis” [TB] 13 Dec. 1858, dau. of John Lamb. Children, rec. them Lansford Dunton, b. 24 Aug. 1807, d. 24 Jan 1808; Susan Dunton, b. 14 Jan 1809, d. 2 Aug. 1832 “ae. 15” (sic in VRs, p. 103); Haskel Freeman Dunton, b. 28 Jan. 1811; Elijah Haven Dunton, b. in April 1813, d. 19 02t 1831; Eleanor Dunton, b. 6 Aug. 1815, d. 8 Dec. 1830; Persis Elmira Dunton, b. 26 Aug. 1818; Elizabeth Dunton, b. 19 Feb. 1821, d. 27 July 1848, of consumption; Nehemiah Dunton (Jr.), b. 22 Aug. 1825, m. Brattleboro, Vt. 19 April 1845 Elmira Wellington; and Delia Ann Dunton, b. 22 March 1828, d. 22 April 1847, of consumption.

    7.      Hannah Dunton, bp. Athol 2 July 1781, d. after 14 Sept. 1820; m. appar. (1) Phillipston 29 May 1799 William Lamb; (2) by 14 Sept. 1820 - Goddard or Stoddard, according to her surname in father’s will.


    8.      John Cummings Dunton, bp. Athol 5 Oct. 1783, prob. the unnamed child who d. Phillipston 1 April 1790.

    9.      Mary Dunton, b. Phillipston 24 Feb. 1787, d. Marlboro, Vt. 10 Oct. 1867; m. there 13 April 1807 John Nickerson, b. Provincetown, Mass. 11 Dec. 1786, d. Marlboro, Vt. 6 Nov. 1851, son of Capt. Seth and Sarah (Nickerson) Nickerson (P.W. Derick, BE. Coward et al., The Nickerson Family, Part III [1976], p. 231). She is bur. as w. of John Nickerson, but may be the “Mrs. Mary” who m. Marlboro (as a 2nd w.), 9 Oct 1852 Pliny Higley, b. there 22 April 1786, d. there 13 Feb. 1857, son of Samuel and Ruth Higley. Children by [1], rec. Phillipston or VT VRs: “Pollina” (Paulina) Nickerson, b. 14 Aug. 1807, d. Marlboro, Vt. 10 March 1836; m. there 21 Oct. 1833 Martin Adams, b. there 13 June 1803, d. North Adams, Mass. 19 Sept. 1862, son of Zebina and Clarissa (Wheeler) Adams (A.N. Adams, Genealogical History of Henry Adams of Braintree, Mass. [1898], p. 690); John Leonard Nickerson, b. 6 March 1810, m. Marlboro, Vt. 7 March 1832 Mary Maynard; Pliny Nickerson, b. ca. Aug. 1814, d. 2 Sept 1816; (prob.) Mary Ann Nickerson, m. Marlboro, Vt. 25 Jan. 1832 Seth Maynard; poss. others.

    10.  (prob.) Patty Dunton, d. Phillipston 16 March 1790, ae. 1 day.

    11.  Persis Dunton, b. Phillipston 11 May 1793, d. there 16 Nov. 1842, of a tumor.

    12.  John Dunton, b. Phillipston 1 June 1796, d. there 24 April 1845, of consumption; m. there 21 Jan. 1818 Polly Cummings. Children, rec. Phillipston: Betsey Almedia Comings Dunton, b. 1 Aug. 1818; Ezra Harrison Lamb Dunton, b. 8 Nov. 1821, m. Holden, Mass 4 June 1848 Lucy Ann Seaver, b. there 21 May 1828, dau. of Moses N. and Roxana (Elmer) Seaver; Zenas Whittemore Dunton, b. 4 June 1824; Ruth R. Dunton, b., d. 15 June 1826; Francis Holt Dunton, b. 1 Dec. 1827; Eleanor Sophia Dunton, b. 25 Dec. 1830; Charles Bassett Dunton, b. 12 Aug. 1833; and Benjamin Austin Dunton, b. 23 Sept. 1838.

    13.  Benjamin Dunton, b. Phillipston 18 Jan. 1799, d. there 4 March 1830.

    ii. Nathaniel Dunton, b. Southborough, Mass. 9 Nov. 1747, living Berkshire Co., Mass. in 1800; m. (1) poss. Stafford, Conn. Phebe ___, who d. there 17 July 1783, and (2) by 5 July 1788 Molly ___. At the request of his stepmother Lydia, Nathaniel was named administrator of his father’s Southborough estate in 1771 and was “of Marlborough” in 1773, when he sold land to Nathan Fay to settle the estate. Of Marlborough, he bought land at Stafford from Abijah and Levi Willard and Samuel Ward, all of Lancaster, Mass., 15 March 1775 (Stafford Deeds 4:431) and served from there in the Lexington Alarm of April 1775 (Record of Service of Connecticut Men... [1889], pp. 21,47; DAR Patriot Index, vol.2 [1980], p. 63). Nathaniel was at Stafford as late as 1787, when the death of a child was rec. there. By 5 July 1788 (Stafford Deeds 7:47-48; rec. Stafford 12 Oct 1791) he was of Windsor, Berkshire Co., Mass., and married to Molly. He was poss. in an in-law’s household in 1790 and is listed in the 1800 census there, but disappears thereafter. Known children of Nathaniel and Phebe (__) Dunton, rec. Stafford:

    1.      Polly Dunton, b. 18 Oct. 1777.

    2.      Phebe Dunton, b. 6 Aug. 1779; a Phebe (Dunton) Fish, wife of Nathan (ca. 1776-10 Nov. 1851), d. Fort Ann, Washington Co., N.Y. 4 Feb. 1852, ae. 73, bur. Fish Hill Cem., Fort Ann (Tree Talks 6[1966]:141).

    3.      Nathaniel Dunton, b. 2 Feb., d. 3 July 1783.

    4.      1049 Durham Road, “dau. Nathaniel and Phebe,” birth not rec., d. Stafford 23 Feb. 1787, no age given.

    iii. Reuben Dunton, b. Southborough ca. 1749 (Southborough VRs give no date; Reuben Dunton, minor son of Ebenezer, was warned out of Westborough 16 Aug. 1763 [Warnings, p. 81]), d. Boylston, Mass. ca. 1815, when admin. on his estate was granted to eldest son Reuben Dunton, Jr. (Worcester Co. Probate #A:18079). He m. Hannah ___, b. ca. 1755, d. Boy]ston 21 Sept. 1840, ae. 85. Admin. papers show that Reuben left only widow Hannah, “eldest son Reuben, youngest son Calvin and dau. Betsey.” Children of Reuben and Hannah (__) Dunton:

    1.      Reuben Dunton, Jr., b. prob. ca. 1780, d. Boylston 19 March 1865, ae. 85:7, of palsy and old age; m. Framingham, Mass. 17 April 1807 Anna Morse, b. Marlborough 21 June 1779, d. Boylston 5 July 1860, ae. 81:0:12, dau. of James and Mary (Gleason) Morse (J.H. Morse and E.W. Leavitt, Morse Genealogy [1903.05], Joseph Morse sect., p. 55); Reuben was a “painter” in several deeds (and death rec.)

    2.      Calvin Dunton, almost certainly the Calvin Dunton, bp. Northborough, Mass. 9 June 1782, who m. Boylston 21 Aug. 1803 Arethusa Bigelow, b. there 21 Feb. 1786, d. prob. there 8 Feb. 1811, dau. of Andrew and Sarah (Fawcett/Fassett) Bigelow (G.B. Howe, Genealogy of the Bigelow Family of America [1890], p. 167).

    3.      Betsey Dunton, b. prob. ca. 1784, unm. at her father’s death. The Betsey Dunton who m. Boylston 14 Aug. 1827, as third wife, Benjamin Fassett, (b. Boylston 8 Oct. 1786, d. there 25 March 1843, son of Jonathan and Sarah Fassett) is said to have been a dau. of Calvin (CL. Wright, Boylston Hist. Series, vol. 6, 2nd ed. (1980), pp. 78-79).

    iv. Samuel Dunton, b. Southborough 6 June 1752, d. there 15 July 1829. A Samuel Dunton filed intentions at Athol 21 Oct. 1780 with Mary Martin of Templeton; they m. Templeton (he rec. there as “James”) 30 March 1781. The Southborough selectmen were notified 11 June 1789 by those of Gerry [Phillipston] that, having broken several bones three weeks before, he, his wife and two children were apt to become a constant charge; Jonathan Champney was paid £1 6s. tenpence, two farthings to return him to Southborough. The cost to the town of Gerry (£6 5s. 6d) of Samuel’s serious illness in the summer of 1794 was itemized in Southborough’s poor accounts; an inventory of Dunton’s personal effects was taken 24 June 1796; and Southborough contributed to coats, trousers, a gown, shirts, shoes, stockings, a hat, apron and handkerchief for Samuel, his wife or at least one son in 1799. Children of Samuel and Mary (Martin) Dunton, rec. Phillipston:

    1.      Polly Dunton, b. 11 April 1781.

    2.      David Dunton, b. 15 Aug. 1783, d. Phillipston 11 April 1814; church recs. (VRs, p. 103) note he d. of fever.

    3.      Nathaniel Dunton, b. 2 July 1790.

    4.      William Dunton, b. 2 Jan. 1794.

    Children of Ebenezer and Lydia (Bellows) Dunton [birth order uncertain] (see next page):


    v. Hannah Dunton, b. say 1754; “of Templeton” when she int., at Winchendon, 29 Nov. 1780 Samuel Bradish “of Winchendon,” b. Templeton 20 Sept. 1750 (DAR Application of Jennie Bradish Read, National #37739, 1 Nov. 1901), d. Cattaraugus Co., N.Y. 24 Dec. 1812, “reported son of Robert Bradish” (ibid.; a Samuel Bradish was among the children of Robert Bradish who with an earlier wife, Lydia Morton, was warned out of Winchendon 11 June 1771 (Warnings, p. 86). Samuel, a private on the Lexington Alarm roll of Capt. Abel Wilder’s co., Col. Ephraim Doolittle’s regt. was badly wounded at the battle at Bunker Hill, also losing an eye (for a detailed account see Rev. A.P. Marvin, History of the Town of Winchendon... [1868], pp. 87-89). Hannah and Samuel were “of Winchendon” in 1784 when they signed the deed to Nathan Fay; a Samuel Bradish, the only man of this name in the 1790 Mass. census, was then at tiny Windsor, Berkshire Co., with a household of one male over and four under 16, and one female. When Samuel and Hannah moved to New York is uncertain. Known children of Samuel and Hannah (Dunton) Bradish:

    1.      Samuel Bradish, b. Winchendon 2 Oct. 1783.

    2.      Walter Bradish, m. Polly Deets (DAR Appl. #37739).

    vi. Levi Dunton, b. prob. Southborough, Mass. ca. 1755/6, d. Boxborough, Mass. before 8 Aug. 1827, when Sally Dunton, widow, and Thomas Dunton, son, declined to administer the estate of Levi Dunton, laborer, deceased, and requested the judge of probate to name Reuben Smith of Stow administrator (Middlesex Co. Probate #6533). Levi was from Hopkinton in 1775, Southborough and Grafton 1777, and Barre 1780 (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolution 5 [1899]:73-74, including a “descriptive list of deserters from the Corps of Guards, Morristown, N.J.,” which describes Levi as age 25, 5’7”, dark complexion, engaged for the town of Marlborough, deserted 4 July 1779). Levi, then a resident of Harvard, Mass., ae. 62, with seven children, first applied for a pension 15 April 1818. He stated that he belonged to Capt. Daniel Barnes’s co. in the 15th Massachusetts Regt. commanded by Col. Timothy Bigelow “part of the time” and was afterward in Gen. Washington’s life guard and left the service at the end of his three-year enlistment. On 10 July 1820, ae. 65, a resident of Bolton, he stated that he enlisted in the forepart of the summer of 1777 in Col. Timothy Bigelow’s co., Capt Daniel Barnes’s regt., and was in the battle at which Col.. Burgoyne surrendered. Southborough poor records include £4 13s. 1d. lent to Levi in 1796 “during the town’s pleasure.” An inv. of Levi’s estate, dated Bolton 1 May 1820, shows furniture and tools worth $12.08, with no real estate. Levi stated that he had “formerly been assisted by the town of Southborough in said Worcester County, and unless my pension be continued I must have assistance from the charity of the town [of Bolton]” (Pension Appl. #34281). Levi was “of Southboro” when he m. (1) Leicester, Mass. 26 May 1784 Beulah Livermore, b. there 19 March 1753, dau. of Jonas and Elizabeth (Rice) Livermore (W.E. Thwing, The Livermore Family of America [1902], p. 26); he was “of Leicester” when he signed the deed to Nathan Fay that December, and m. there (2) (int.) 22 March 1786 Sally Ball of Boylston, Mass., poss. the “widow Sally” who d. Southborough 4 April 1838. He petitioned the Southborough selectmen as a poor person in March 1796 (TAG 67[1992]: 220). It is not known when Levi moved to Harvard, Bolton, or Boxborough. His signature appears just below that of John Kimmens in a Bolton general store ledger of ca. 1820. We have not been able to identify all of his seven children. Child of Levi and Beulah (Livermore) Dunton, b. prob. Leicester:

    1.      Levi Dunton [Jr.], b. ca. 1785, d. Leicester 17 Oct. 1813; m. there 31 May 1809 Lucretia C. Sargent, not identified in Aaron Sargent, Sargent Genealogy (1895). Levi, Jr. and Lucretia had at least one child, Levi Dunton, b. ca. 1812, d. Leicester 15 July 1828, ae. 16.

    Known children of Levi and Sally (Ball) Dunton (order uncertain):

    1.      Unnamed infant, d. Southborough 6 June 1796.

    2.      Unnamed son, over 21 in 1827, not res. Mass. (Middlesex Co. Probate #6533).

    3.      Thomas Dunton, declined to admin. father’s estate.

    4.      Sally Dunton, b. say 1798; of Bolton, m. (int) there 19 Nov. 1819 Reuben Smith, b. Stow, Mass. 9 Aug. 1293, son of Nahum and Mary (Stone) Smith. Children, rec. Stow: Algermon” Sidney Smith, b. 28 Nov. 1822; Abigail Ann Smith, b. 18 Feb. 1827; Orlando Vier Smith, b. 14 June 1830; Angerline” Smith, b. 24 Dec. 1832.

    vii. David Dunton, b. say 1756/7, d. poss. Howard, Steuben Co., N.Y. ca. 1829 (LDS Anc. File); “of Winchendon” in 1784, m. there 1 Sept 1785 Polly Stoddard. A David Dunton appears in the 1790 census at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Mass., with a family of two males over 16, one male under 16, and three females. The LDS Ancestral File lists children of David and Polly (Stoddard) Dunton, last five b. Saratoga Co., N.Y., as:

    1.      Joshua Dunton, b. Mass. ca. 1787, d. (no place given) 8 April 1865 [res. 1840 Howard, N.Y. 1840]; m. Phebe ___.

    2.      James Harvey Dunton, b. Vt. ca. 1800, d. Hancock Co., Ill. 28 Sept. 1845; m. Steuben Co., N.Y. or Ill. Mary Comfort Knowles, b. ca. 1801, d. Hancock Co. 20 July 1845, dau. of Daniel and Mary (___) Knowles.

    3.      Artemus Dunton, b. ca. 1802, at Howard 1840; m. Elizabeth Robords.

    5.      Betsey Dunton, b. ca. 1803, d. Avoca, N.Y. 4 Oct. 1866, ae. 63; m. Steuben Co. ca. 1322 David L Robords, b. Amsterdam, Montgomery Co., N.Y. 24 Oct. 1799, living Avoca 1879, son of Charles and Mary (___) Robords (W.W. Clayton, History of Steuben Co., N.Y. [1879], p. betw. 156-57).

    6.      William Dunton, b. ca. 1807, at Howard 1860; m. Phebe Robords.

    7.      Charlotte Dunton, b. ca. 1808; n. f. r.

    8.      Sabrina Dunton, b. ca. 1811; m. George Robords.

    viii. Lydia Dunton, b. say ca. 1758, “of Winchendon” 1 July 1784 when she m. there Nathan Stoddard, prob. rel. to Polly above. A Nathan Stoddard, with one male over and one under 16, and three females, was at Windsor, Mass., in 1790. That Nathan Stoddard, Samuel Bradish, and Nathaniel Dunton were then at Windsor, with David Dunton at nearby Lanesborough, is very suggestive, but whether the first two men were the Dunton sisters’ husbands awaits proof, probably in later Worcester County deeds or sources in Berkshire County.


    ix. James Dunton, b. say 1760, prob. the James Dunton, Revolutionary pensioner, who died at the Southborough almshouse 17 Feb. 1852 (ae. 91, a laborer), leaving widow Sally Dunton (Worcester Co. Probate #A:18062). James was engaged for the town of Lancaster, Mass. 12 June 1781 arid served in Capt. Thurston’s co., Col. Whitney’s regiment. He is described as ae. 21, 5’4” with light complexion, occupation tanner (Mass. Soldiers and Sailors 5 [1899]:70). Hem. Fitzwilliam, N.H. 24 Aug. 1784 “Siball” (Sibyl) Angier, b. Framingham, Mass. 15 May 1764, d. Fitzwilliam, N.H. 22 Jan. 1797 (two days after the death of her last child), dau. of Silas and Elizabeth (Drury) Angier (Joel Whittemore, The History of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire... [1888], henceforth FW), pp. 543-44). He m. (2) Bolton 29 Nov. 1798 Sally Priest (Chan Edmondson, Revolutionary War Bible, Family & Marriage Records Gleaned from Pension Applications, vol. 10 [1990], p. 72, quoting Pension #W-3528 MA/MA), who outlived him. Bolton VRs, p. 163, gives James and Sally’s residence as “citizens of the world.” Children of James and Sibyl (Angier) Dunton, b. Fitzwilliam, N.H. (FW, pp. 543-44, 794, etc.):

    1.      Betsy Dunton, b. 15 Feb. 1785, d. Fitzwilliam 1 April 1866; m. there (1) 12 March 1803 Silas Woods, b. 5 June 1782, d. there 9 April 1827; (2) Jacob Hale of Royalston, Mass. Children by [1]: Polly Woods, a twin, b. Fitzwilliam 30 Aug. 1803; m. (1) John W. Fawcett; (2) David Moore; (3) Isaac Lamb; (4) Ebenezer Potter; Betsey Woods, a twin, b. 30 Aug. 1803, said to have d. Royalston. in 1887 (FW, p. 794; not in Mass. VRs under this name), m. Fitzwilliam 20 Nov. 1823 Samuel Griffiths; Asael Woods; Willard Woods, b. ca. 1807, d. Fitzwilliam 21 July 1825, ae. 18; Harriet Woods; George Woods; Joel Woods; and Harvey Woods.

    2.      Luke Dunton, b. 26 Oct. 1787, d. Fitzwilliam 13 Aug. 1788.

    3.      Nancy Dunton, b. 16 June 1789, d. Fitzwilliam 24 Jan. 1808.

    4.      Joel Dunton, b. 29 June 1790, d. Fitzwilliam 21 Sept. 1805.

    5.      Abel Dunton, b. 19 Aug. 1792, d. Fitzwilliam 20 April 1882; m. there 3 Nov. 1816 Ruth Phillips, b. there 20 Aug. 1798, d. there 10 June 1893, dau. of Nathaniel and Mary (Bailey) Phillips (and a great-niece of Ebenezer Phillips of Southborough). Children, b. Fitzwilliam: Joel Dunton, b. 4 June 1817, d. Fitzwilliam in 1838; Jonas Dunton, b. 5 Oct. 1818, d. Fitzwilliam 6 Feb. 1819; Abel Dunton [Jr.], b. 30 March 1820; m. Fitzwilliam 9 April 1843 Semantha Ann Fowler; Lucy Dunton, b. 10 Jan. 1822; m. (1) Fitzwilliam 28 May 1842 Levi G. Collester, b. 4 Nov. 1820, son of Charles and Lucy (White) Collester of Marlboro, N.H.; (2) 2 Aug. 1852 Calvin Hewitt; (3)28 Feb. 1855 Arad Derby; William Dunton, b. 19 May 1824, a soldier in the Civil War (FW, p. 306); Asahel Dunton, b. 24 Oct. 1826; en. Fitzwilliam Sept. 1851 Mary Jane Sweetser, b. there 10 Sept. 1832, dau. of Thomas and Sarah (Howe) Sweetser; George Olmstead Dunton, b. Fitzwilliam 18 June 1832; m. there 14 Sept. 1854 Emily Ann Stone, b. there 22 May 1836, dau. of Artemas and Ann L (Simonds) Stone (for ch., see J.G. Bartlett, Gregory Stone Genealogy [1918], p. 456); Sylvester Dunton (male), b. 4 July 1834, d. Fitzwilliam 7 March 1859, of consumption; Mary Dunton, b. 19 Oct. 1837; m. Fitzwilliam 18 Oct. 1860 Bethuel Bishop Boyce of Fitzwilliam,b. Richmond, N.H. 1 Jan. 1831, son of Caleb and Louisa (Bowen) Boyce, and res. Winchendon

    6.      Lovina Dunton, b. 29 Nov. 1794.

    7.      James Dunton, b. 10 Nov. 1796, d. Fitzwilliam 20 Jan. 1797.

    x. Rebecca Dunton, b. say 1 766-69 (prob. not of age 13 Dec. 1784), is surely the “Beckey Dunton” who m. (int.) Bolton 8 Sept. 1789 James Houghton, b. there 25 Aug. 1764, d. there ca. 1810/11, son of James and Keziah (Ross) Houghton. James and Becky named one child Rebecca Liscom Houghton for Becky’s father’s first wife (for whom she herself was prob. named). The Houghtons lived at what is now 374 Harvard Rd., Bolton. When James died the house and land were sold and the older children put into homes to earn their keep; William Coolidge bought the house in 1812 (About Bolton, p. 348). “Widow” Houghtons died at Bolton in 1819,1820, and 1834 (no exact dates or ages in VRs); one of these may be Rebecca. Children of James and Rebecca (Dunton) Houghton, b. Bolton:

    1.      Asenath Houghton, b. 24 March 1790, d. Bolton 18 July 1790.

    2.      John Houghton, b. 12 Dec. 1791.

    3.      Ziba Houghton, b. 9 Dec. 1793, d. Bolton 8 Feb. 1794.

    4.      Rebecca Liscom Houghton, b. 29 May 1795, d. Chester, Windsor Co., Vt. 23 Oct. 1833; m. as 1st w. Bolton 13 June 1817 Amasa Snell of Chester. Children, b. Chester, Vt.: Alzina R. Snell, b. 16 Feb. 1818, m. Cavendish, Vt. 25 Dec. 1842 John Davy, Jr.; Marinda M. Snell, b. 3 Nov. 1819; Nelson A. Snell, b. 18 Jan. 1822, m. by 1865 Jane Sarepta D. Snell, b. 20 Feb. 1826; Alexander Snell, b. 5 April, d. Chester 26 April 1830; and Amanda L. Snell, b. 3 Dec. 1832.

    5.      Europe Houghton (male), b. 26 March 1797.

    6.      Melinda Houghton, b. 29 May 1799, d. Bolton 12 March 1816.

    7.      Thomas Jefferson Houghton, b. 1 Aug. 1801, doubtless the man of this name who d. Brighton, Mass. 21 May 1833 ae. 32 (Columbian Centinel, 22 May).

    8.      Norman Houghton, b. 17 March 1804, d. Chester, Vt. 14 Aug. 1864; m. Windsor, Vt. 15 April 1824 Roxana Clark.

    9.      Zenas Houghton, b. 5 May 1806, d. Bolton 1840.

    10.  Jonathan Houghton, b. 26 Aug. 1808, prob. d.y.

    11.  James Houghton; d. Bolton 24 July 1810 (James the father prob. d. about this time, but in Bolton VRs [p. 207] the James Houghton who d. this date was “son of James and Rebecca”).

    The author wishes to acknowledge Joann H. Nichols of Brattleboro, Vermont, and Esther Kimmens Whitcomb of Bolton, Mass., without whose impetus and valuable contributions this research could not have been undertaken. Julie Helen Otto searched Southborough poor records and Stafford, Connecticut deeds.

    Joy F. (Hartwell) Peach is the genealogist for the Hartwell Family Association. Among her earlier NEXUS articles are “Found: The Later History and Early Progeny of Richard2 Hall (1676-1760/1) of Bradford and Harvard, Mass.” (8[1991]:13942); “Some Obadiah Walkers of Worcester County, Massachusetts” (7[1990]:148-50); “The Tale of Bathsheba Woods Moore and Bathsheba Moore Woods” (5[1988]:15-16) and “Elisha Smith and Sarah (Hartwell) Melvin of Watertown and Worcester, Massachusetts” (5:54-55). Interested readers may write her at 74 Beach Point Road, Lancaster, MA 01523.

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