Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Our Wentworth Family, from Boston to Woodstock

5th GGPs Josiah Nute and his wife Rebecca Wentworth were a mystery until I came across her name on the Nute obelisk in Woodstock, Maine, on one of my road trips. I knew they married and had our grandfather, 4th GGF Samuel Nute, in Rochester, New Hampshire, but then they seemed to drop off the face of the earth until Samuel resurfaced in records many years later in Woodstock. Had Josiah and Rebecca died in Rochester and Samuel moved on? Had the family left Rochester together and moved elsewhere? If so, where? The mystery was solved with land deeds.

Now we know Josiah and Rebecca moved the family to Falmouth, Maine, and from there at least Samuel and Rebecca moved to Poland and on to Woodstock where she died, the last of our Wentworth line. Here is our Wentworth family story.

Elder William Wentworth (1613-1696), 9th GGF

William hailed from Alford, Lincolnshire, England, the same area as his cousin, John Wheelwright, and second cousin, Anne Hutchinson. William was baptized in Alford on March 15, 1615, son of William and Susanna Carter Wentworth. His father was a first cousin to Anne. The Wentworth line is traced through his father to King John of Robin Hood and Magna Carta fame, as well as Henry II, King of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, Henry III, and William the Lion, king of Scotland from 1165 to 1214.

William and 9th GGF James Nute I were contemporaries in Dover, New Hampshire, but whereas James arrived in Portsmouth in 1631 and soon to Dover in 1633, William’s religious beliefs and connection with the Reverend John Wheelwright took him on a circuitous route from Boston in 1637 through Exeter and Wells, Maine, before arriving in Dover some 12 years later.

Although Boston has no records of William, it is believed he arrived in July 1637, age 22, along with a contingency of Wheelwright followers from Lincolnshire, including Anne Hutchison’s brother-in-law. Anne and the Reverend John Wheelwright were banned from Boston in late 1637 during the Antinomian controversy. Anne was permitted to stay in Boston through the winter before she went south to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, with a number of our other grandparent ancestors. Wheelwright, on the other hand, was given 14 days to get out of town in the dead of winter. Wheelwright headed for the nearest refuge on the Piscataqua River, now Exeter, New Hampshire, and young William Wentworth followed him “into the wilderness.” William’s signature on the Exeter Combination in 1639 is the first record of him in New England. In 1642, he followed Wheelwright to Wells, Maine, where he lived and owned a small marsh lot until 1649.

Wentworth migration to Dover. William’s final move was to the Cocheco area of Dover in late 1649. He received several land grants in Dover, one of which was on the north side of James Nute’s 12-acre lot granted in 1654. A planter, co-owner in a sawmill, and active in the community, William is best known for holding the position of Ruling Elder in the Dover church for nearly 40 years; hence the title Elder William Wentworth. Although not a clergyman, William was often preaching, not only in Dover, but also in Exeter.
The area of Dover in which William had his sawmill and lumber business was set off to Somersworth in 1729. The lower part where the Wentworths had their homes was set off from Somersworth to Rollinsford in 1849.
No record exists of William’s marriages, but indirect evidence and assumptions support that he married 9th GGM Elizabeth Kenney before 1641 when their first child, Samuel, was born. At some point, Elizabeth died and he married a younger woman, also named Elizabeth. While there is evidence Elder William had nine sons, only indirect evidence exists for at least two daughters.

Children of William Wentworth and the Elizabeths:
Samuel, born abt. 1640, ran a tavern in Portsmouth, m. Mary Benning, d. 1690 of smallpox; his son John was Lt. Gov. of New Hampshire.
John, b. before 1649, m. Martha, moved to York, but the settlement was nearly wiped out in 1692 by Indians and he moved to Dorchester, MA.
Gershom, born abt. 1650, m. Hannah French, d. 1731.
EZEKIEL, b. about 1651, m. Elizabeth Knight, d. 1711. He may have been named after 9th GGF Ezekiel Knight of Wells as William and he seemed to be good buds.
Paul, b. 1655, m. Catherine, lived in Rowley and Newbury, then New London, CT, d. 1750.
Sylvanus, m. Elizabeth Stewart of Rowley.
Timothy, b. before 1673, believed to be the last child of Elder William’s first wife Elizabeth Kenney, m. Sarah Cromwell, d. 1719 in Berwick, Maine.
Elizabeth, m. Richard Tozer of Berwick, d. after 1734.
Sarah, no information.
Ephraim, m. 1) Mary Miller of Kittery (sister of Martha who married Ephraim’s nephew John); 2) widow Elizabeth Beard.
Benjamin, m. Sarah Allen, d. 1728 when he and his horse fell into a river while crossing a bridge.

William’s daughter Elizabeth was captured and taken to Canada by Indians three times. Her husband was taken twice, but on seeing the Indians coming the third time, he abandoned her, ran out of the house and across a frozen river, saying he couldn’t bear making the trek again. 

The hero of Cocheco. William was sleeping in the Heard garrison about a mile from his house the night of the Cocheco massacre in 1689 while the Heard family was away. Two Indian women asking to sleep for the night were admitted early evening and opened the doors to attacking Indians after others had gone to sleep. Awakened by a barking dog to find Indians entering the compound, William, age 74, was able push the Indians out, shut the garrison doors, and hold the gates closed until others in the garrison came to help. The other four garrisons were not so lucky. All were burned, 23 people were killed, and 29 taken captive.

Elder William went to Exeter to live for a few years after the massacre, but returned to Dover by 1696 where he died a few days after he was “taken speechless with a sudden shivering,” age 81. His second wife, Elizabeth, was still living at the time of his death. His land had already been deeded to his sons. The rail track of the Boston and Maine Railroad was placed directly over the Wentworth burying-place in Dover.

In spite of having substantial land and being high on the tax list, I’m always amazed how simply these folks lived. Inventory at his death included, 1 ox, 1 horse, 4 cows, 1 swine, 2 iron pots, 1 frying pan and warming pan, 4 looking glass, some pewter, 1 candle stick, 2 stone jugs, 2 tablecloths and 10 napkins . . . well, that’s not the entire list but it gives the idea.

For those wondering about a warming pan, here is a photo of my 1800 antique warming pan. The pan would be filled with hot coals and used to warm the sheets before retiring for the night.

Antique warming pan
All American Wentworths are descended from Elder William Wentworth. A grandson, John, captain in the merchant marines, was Lt. Governor of New Hampshire. A great-grandson, Benning, was the first governor of the Province of New Hampshire and donated the land on which Dartmouth College stands. The town of Bennington, Vermont, was named in his honor.

Ezekiel Wentworth (c. 1651-1712), 8th GGF

The birth year of 8th GGF Ezekiel Wentworth is calculated as 1651, assuming he was 21 years-old when he first paid tax in Dover. He inherited  the old farm and farmhouse in the area which was incorporated as Somersworth in 1754; a section was incorporated as Salmon Falls Village in 1823 and rolled into Rollinsford when it incorporated in 1849.

Ezekiel married 8th GGM Elizabeth Knight (abt. 1647-1726) of Wells, Maine, in 1670.
The first record of Elizabeth’s father, 9th GGF Ezekiel Knight, (abt. 1612-1689) is a 1645 purchase of a house and conveyance of a tract of marsh in Wells, Maine, from Elder Wentworth’s cousin, Rev. John Wheelwright, to Ezekiel.  
Ezekiel was in Salem as early as 1637 and in Braintree in 1641 where his first wife, Elizabeth, died. He migrated to Wells by 1643 and records clearly show that Ezekiel Knight, Elder William Wentworth and his son Ezekiel, and Rev. John Wheelwright were all living in the small settlement of Wells at the same time. One of the first settlers of Wells, he built near the mouth of the Mousam River, and moved to the area of the Webbhannet in 1645. 
Knight was commissioner of Wells in 1654, 1662, and 1663, on the grand jury in 1654, and a petitioner to Oliver Cromwell in 1656 that Wells remain under Massachusetts government. He stood in as a Puritan minister in 1661. Ezekiel had four wives. His second wife, Ann, was probably the mother of our 8th GGM Elizabeth Knight. Ezekiel’s 1687 will left one-third of his estate to  “daughter (Elizabeth) Wentworth.”
Like his dad, Ezekiel Wentworth was active in community government serving as selectman in 1698 and 1702, tax assessor in 1705, and died while serving a term as Representative in the New Hampshire Province legislature in 1711.

Children of Ezekiel and Elizabeth, in approximate order as no birth records are available:
Thomas, m. Love, d. before 1719; mariner.
COLONEL JOHN,  b. 1676, m. Martha Miller of Kittery, farmer and lumber dealer.
Colonel Paul, b. 1678, m. Abra Brown, d. 1747, no children, lived at Salmon Falls, “one of the wealthiest men of the time;” a philanthropist, merchant and lumber dealer with mills at Salmon Falls; his lumber was shipped down river to Portsmouth and out to the rest of the world. He was selectman of Dover for 14 years and member of Province Representatives. Among the many beneficiaries of his will was his nephew, our 6th GGF Richard Wentworth, as well as giving generously to his brother, 7th GGF John. His will clearly shows he had at least three slaves that he bequeathed to his brother Gershom, nephew John, and niece Mary.
Elizabeth, m. Nathaniel Brown; Nathaniel’s sister Abra married Elizabeth’s brother, Paul.
Tamsin, b. 1687, m. 1) James Chesley, d. 1707, killed by Indians; 2) John Hayes, d. 1753.
Gershom, m. Sarah, perhaps a Twombly, d. about 1759.
Captain Benjamin, b. abt. 1691, m. Elizabeth Leighton, d. abt. 1731. Benjamin was one of the Committee of Proprietors for Rochester in 1722 where our Wentworth and Nute ancestors would settle later in the century.

The various military titles for John, Paul, and Benjamin come from their participation in local militia organized for defense against the constant Indian threat. Numerous offspring of Ezekiel have served in the New Hampshire Provincial, Massachusetts, and Maine legislatures, and Continental Congress.

The historic circa 1701 Colonel Paul Wentworth’s house at 47 Water Street, Rollinsford, has been nicely restored. It is open for visits, and hosts living history events, hearth-cooked dinners, and special activities.
1701 Colonel Paul Wentworth House in Rollinsford, from the CPW Facebook page
John Wentworth (1679-1719), 7th GGF

John was early in the sibling order but, again, no birth records are available. He married 7th GGM Martha Miller (1684-1755), daughter of Richard and Grace Miller of Kittery, in 1703. John had land at Salmon Falls and lived in that part of Dover known as Sligo, today called Somersworth. He held several town positions, including surveyor of highways and constable. Little else is known of John other than he was a farmer and lumberman.
8th GGPs Richard Miller (abt 1649-1692) and Grace had at least three offspring - Samuel, Mary who married John’s uncle Ephraim, and Martha who married our John. The family resided in Kittery, Maine, but their origins are unknown. Grace had him “bound” for good behavior and proper maintenance in 1672, and the court warned her “to be more careful of appearances and attend to her family.” Both daughters Mary and Martha were under 12 when their father died in 1692 at age 44, and mother remarried Christopher Banfield.
Children of John Wentworth and Martha Miller
RICHARD, b. 1708, m. Rebecca Nock, d. 1796 in Rochester. Richard was named for his maternal grandfather.
Ezekiel, b. abt 1710, m. Martha Lord, d. after 1755  He lived and died on land in Berwick, Maine, inherited from his uncle, Paul Wentworth. Ezekiel’s son, Paul, was in the Continental Army at West Point at the time of capture of Major Andre.
Thomas, b. unknown, m. Mary Nock, sister to Richard’s Rebecca, lived in Somersworth, d. 1758.
Demaris, m. a Mr. Brock, birth and death unknown.
Mercy, m. Captain Moses Butler who commanded a company during the siege and capture of Fortress of Louisberg in 1744, d. after 1759. Their son, Moses Butler, Jr., was the first permanent settler of Franklin, Maine.

John was 40 years old when he died, leaving Martha, 33, with five young children. Martha likely raised the children on the family property with assistance from the extended Wentworth family. She didn’t remarry and died at age 71 in the area of the Wentworth farm.

Richard Wentworth (1708-1796), 6th GGF

Richard was 11 years old and the eldest of the five children when his dad died in 1719. Richard, Ezekiel, Thomas, and Demaris and mother, Martha, were baptized at the First Church in Dover the same year as John’s death.
The first meetinghouse of the First Parish Church was built of mud and logs at Dover Point soon after the first colonists settled in 1634. This first site is now covered by the Spauling Turnpike. The second meetinghouse, on the US National Register of Historic Places, was built on Nutter’s Hill further north and is one of the few colonial church sites known to be fortified against Indian attacks, with a log palisade and earthworks. A new meetinghouse was built in 1712 at Pine Hill located in present day Dover center by wealthy men from Cocheco who objected to traveling down to Nutter’s Hill. The Wentworths were likely in this group of men and the third meetinghouse likely where Martha and the children were baptized. The current Federal Style First Parish Church at 218 Central Avenue was built in 1825.
In 1729, twenty one year-old Richard and his future father-in-law 7th GGF Deacon Thomas Nock (1685-1754) both signed a petition to the Governor to separate from Dover and establish the parish of Somersworth.
The Nock family line was in Dover by 1657 when 9th GGF Thomas Nock (1617-1666) bought 20 acres “upland on the north side of the Cocheco River called by the name of the Gulf.” 7th GGF Deacon Thomas Nock, originally from Dover, moved to Newbury for a few years and returned to Dover around the time of his father’s death in 1716. He and the family lived in that part of Dover that was set off to Somersworth in 1729, the same area of Dover as the Wentworth land. Deacon Thomas gave land toward settling the Somersworth minister in 1729, and served as Deacon of the church from that year until his death. Hence, he was known as Deacon* Thomas Nock. Thomas was a carpenter by occupation. 6th GGM Rebecca Nock was born around 1712 in Newbury, Massachusetts. She was the second of eight children, six of them girls.
*In the early Colonial church, everyone had to be silent for the minister’s one-hour prayer and two to four-hour sermon. The church deacon enforced the rule by poking people who talked with a stick.

Rebecca’s father, the Deacon Thomas Nock, was an original proprietor for Rochester in 1722 along with several other Nock family members, but never moved onto the property he owned. The move may have been deterred after one of the Nock family was killed by Indians in the Rochester area - shot off his horse and scalped - while returning on horseback from setting beaver traps.

The Wentworth family migration to Rochester, New Hampshire. Rochester, north of Dover, was incorporated in 1722, but serious settlement was delayed until 1729 due to fear of Indian attacks. The Wentworths, including Ezekiel and Martha’s sons Capt. Benjamin, Capt. Paul, Ephraim, and Gershom, invested heavily buying whole shares as proprietors in 1722. Being along in years, none settled Rochester and left that task to their young and hardy descendants.
Present day Rochester sits on the border of New Hampshire and Maine, bordered on the northeast by Lebanon, Maine; on the northwest by Farmington, NH; on the southeast by Somersworth; and on the southwest by Barrington, NH. Milton lies due north and was set off from Rochester in 1802.
For those who need a visual
Richard, 27, moved to Rochester between 1732 and 1735 and three years later married Rebecca Nock of Dover. Rebecca’s sister, Mary, married Richard’s brother, Thomas. We don’t have a marriage record for Richard and Rebecca from Somersworth, but have to presume they were married by 1737 before the birth of their first child.

Richard and his brother Thomas were named as Rochester pioneers in a verse from a lengthy poem “A Tribute to the Memory of the Departed Heroes of Methodism, both Ministers and Laymen, of Rochester, New Hampshire,” written by Rev. Samuel Norris for the dedication of a new church in 1868.

We note the Wentworth Family, 
Thomas and Richard, Pioneers,
They loved salvation full and free,
And went to rest in ripened years.

We know Richard was in Rochester by 1735 as he signed a petition for the town to elect officers. Sixty families had settled in Rochester by that time. He was admitted to the church in Rochester in October 1737, and his first child, Daniel, was born a few months later. By age 30, in 1738, he was already becoming involved in the town’s administration when chosen commissioner to examine the Selectman accounts.

Richard held the offices of town assessor for the  years 1743, ’48, ’54, and ’57 and selectman in 1740, ’46,’51,’ and ’62. 

 In 1744, Ricard built a garrison on the main road, “made of thick planks dove-tailed together at the corners like a chest, without any frame except a few braces.” Although the Indian wars had receded and the Abenaki and Pennacook were close to extinction in New Hampshire, the new settlement of Rochester continued to live in fear. Hatchets were found embedded in garrison doors. In 1746, four men were murdered in sight of a garrison.

Richard had extensive land holdings in Rochester, some of which were along the Cocheco River. In the early years, Rochester was heavily engaged in the lumber business and Richard’s land on the Cocheco suggests he was probably in the lumber as well as agricultural business.

 In 1748, Richard received a nice gift of 20 pounds from his childless, but wealthy, Uncle Paul Wentworth (above).

Richard and other Rochester Wentworth’s, including sons Josiah, John and Isaac, signed the Rochester Association Test in 1776, affirming their loyalty and support to the Revolution. The only Wentworth who refused to sign the Oath was Stephen who owned the tavern in town.

Records show Richard purchased a pew on the floor level at the new Meetinghouse in December 1780.

Children of Richard Wentworth and Rebecca Nock, all born in Rochester
Thomas, bpt. 1745, drowned as a boy. 
Daniel, bpt. 1738, unmarried, died before father’s death from drinking cold water to excess.
Mercy, b. abt. 1740, m. Peter Horne of Rochester, d. in Rochester, date unknown.
Sarah, b. abt. 1742, m. Richard Walker of Milton, d. 1811 in Milton.
John, b. 1744, m. 1) Hannah Hodgdon, and 2) Ann Blazo, d. 1806 in Parsonsfield, ME
Josiah, b. 1745, m. Abiah Cook d. 1800 in Falmouth, Maine.
Isaac, b. 1752, m. Abigail Nutter, d. 1807, signed Rochester Association Test; Revolutionary war soldier as a private with New Hampshire Minute Men militia in 1775 and with the Continental Army, 2nd New Hampshire. Isaac inherited the homestead at Rochester.

At the time of Richard’s will, signed in June 1796, wife Rebecca and sons Josiah, Isaac, and John and daughters Mercy and Sarah were still living. Richard died at the old age of 88; Rebecca survived him, but there is no record of her death.

Josiah Wentworth (1745-after 1800), 5th GGF

Our 5th GGF Josiah Wentworth was one of six sons born to Richard and Rebecca in Rochester. Josiah married 5th GGM Abiah Cook, daughter of Abraham Cook and Jean Richards, before 1772 when their first child was born. No marriage record has been located.
Abiah’s 2nd GGF, Thomas Cook, was our immigrant through Boston, probably in the mid-1600’s with the wave of Quakers that was beginning to come to the colonies. The family was in Dover by about 1660 when her GGF, John Cooke, was born. He married 8th GGM Mary Downes, and their son, 7th GGF Peter Downs Cook (1694-1762), had a 1/3 proprietor share in Rochester. As with most proprietors who purchased the 1722 shares, Peter did not move to Rochester, but left this task/privilege to his son, Abraham, Abiah’s father. His son, Abiah’s brother Daniel, was a solider in the Revolution, serving in Captain John Drew’s company at Ticonderoga in 1776, and continuing to serve through 1779.
Josiah, along with this father, brother Isaac, and father-in-law Abraham Cook, signed the 1776 Rochester Loyalty Oath.

Josiah was a blacksmith with a shop in Rochester from 1780 to 1800 “where now is the Dodge’s building on Central Square. He lived in a small house opposite.” (History of Rochester, McDuffee). 

The current Central Square is where Wakefield, North Main and South Main Streets intersect. The Square was the center of stagecoach travel in the early 1800’s, with the Dodge Hotel serving travelers. The hotel burned in 1908 and the Dodge block left in ruins. Where the current Citizen’s Bank now stands may be close to the location of Josiah’s little house and blacksmith business.

Children of Josiah Wentworth and Abiah Cook
Rebecca, b. abt. 1772, m. Josiah Nute of Milton, NH, d. 1828 in Woodstock, ME.
Jane, b. abt. 1774, m. Daniel Hoyt of Rochester in 1796.
Abigail, b. abt. 1776, m. Stephen Nutter of Milton, NH in 1796.
Phebe, b. abt. 1778, unmarried, d. 1825 in Rochester.
Josiah Jr., b. 1780, m. Rosannah Horne of Rochester in 1802, d. 1855 in New Durham.
Stephen, b. 1782.

Richard’s 1796 will left Josiah with land “on the northeast side of Cocheco River near Norway Plain Mills and one of right of land in the third division of lots." This third division comprised of a narrow strip of land at the head of the present towns of Milton and Farmington, the same area Samuel and Jotham Nute settled in 1784, is likely how Josiah Nute and Rebecca Wentworth hooked up. 

The last record we have for Josiah and Abiah shows a household in Rochester in 1800 with two males between 16 and 25 (Josiah, Stephen), and one female between 10 and 15 (Phebe) in addition to Josiah and Abiah. Josiah is not in the 1810 census.

Rebecca Wentworth (abt. 1772-1828), 4th GGM

Rebecca was born in Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1772, the eldest of six children, the first four of whom were girls. Her parents may have lived in or moved to that part of Rochester that was set off to Milton in 1802 and bequeathed to Josiah by his father, Richard. Several Wentworths lived in Milton in those days. Today, a gated residential development “in a most desirable area,” has been built at Wentworth Farms in Milton.

Rebecca married our 4th GGF Josiah Nute in the fall of 1792 and they likely resided on Nute Ridge in what became Milton in 1802.Their first child, our 3rd GGF Samuel Nute was born in November 1792, two months after the marriage, and was their only child. The small family moved to Falmouth, Maine, in 1805, and Rebecca was widowed in 1820 at the age of 48.

Young Samuel bought land in Poland from his father, Josiah, and married a young woman, 3rd GGM Betsey Fickett, there in 1816. Newly widowed Rebecca was living with the family in Poland in 1820 and moved with them to Woodstock in 1821. She would have been a mainstay for the family when Betsey died in 1826, leaving Samuel with four young children.

Rebecca died in Woodstock in 1828, age 56, and is buried in the Nute Stevens cemetery, the last of our Wentworth family.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Remarkable Orsamus Edson Nute (1820-1907), 2nd GGF

This is the story of an extraordinary, selfless man who endured tragedy and hardship with resilience and courage that would make proud our Nute forebears. It’s as though he called on the strength of all the Nute generations beginning with 18 year-old James who crossed the Atlantic in 1631. At the relatively old age of 44, he took his family out of backwoods Maine and re-invented himself, a farmer who made a fortune in Boston that allowed him to comfortably care for his large family even into their adulthood. His regard for and love of learning led him to teach the children of Woodstock and send his own children to institutions of higher learning, including our great-grandfather who graduated from M.I.T. in 1885. This is the story of Orsamus Edson Nute.

Orsamus Nute (1820-1907)
2nd GGF Orsamus Nute was born in the spring of 1820 in Poland, Maine, the second child and oldest son of Samuel Nute and Betsey Fickett. Orsamus was just a toddler, if that, when his parents moved the family from the Poland farm to Woodstock, Maine, bringing Grandma Rebecca Wentworth along with them.

Before Woodstock. Orsamus’ father, 3rd GGF Samuel, bought the Poland property from his father, Josiah, for $400 but the1814 deed gives little clue to its location in Poland, “a certain piece of land bounded as follows, beginning at the southeasterly corner of lot No. 4 in the second division of lots in said Poland, thence running southeast to the southeast corner of said lot, thence from there two bounds on two lines each extending northwest until it shall contain fifty acres of land, including the roads that now run through said land.”

Six years later, Samuel bought land in Woodstock from his father-in-law, 3rd GGF Jonathan Fickett, perhaps as Jonathan was on hard times. Jonathan’s property in Poland where he had been for 20 years foreclosed in 1819 for failure to pay taxes. Jonathan and family possibly remained in a cabin on the farm after sale to Samuel. Having left the large extended family on Nute’s Ridge, his father dying in 1820, and being an only child, Samuel had no other extended family to help him with clearing and working the Woodstock farm. Samuel’s father, Josiah, may have been ill even when he sold the Poland land to young Samuel, leaving Samuel to do most of the work on that farm. Equally puzzling was why Josiah sold the land to Samuel, his only son, rather than bequeathing it to his only heir. 

One thought is that 22 year-old Samuel moved to Poland on his own and Josiah and Rebecca remained behind in Falmouth until Josiah died in 1820. A bit of support for this alternative is a later deed that identifies Josiah as still being of Falmouth. 

Who's related to who
Move to Woodstock. Samuel married 3rd GGM Betsey Fickett of Poland in 1816 and they had two children over the next four years. Orsamus was but an infant when the young family removed to the hilltop farm on Twitchell Road in Woodstock sometime in 1820.

Samuel and Betsey had two more children in Woodstock, spaced two years apart like the others. Two years later, in 1826, Betsey died leaving Samuel with four young children. Orsamus was but six years old. His grandma living in the home, 56 year-old Rebecca Wentworth, died two years later. 

A step-mother, 34 year-old Polly Davis, entered the family in 1827. Her dad was 5th GGF Aaron Davis and granddad 6th GGF Zebulon Davis, both Revolution veterans.

Like his father, Orsamus was hard-working and resourceful. Lapham’s 1882 History of Woodstock describes him,
Orsamus Nute, born in this town, received his education mostly in the common schools. He was naturally a good scholar, and early became an instructor of the school of his town. He was also a good farmer, and successfully cultivated the old homestead of his father for many years. He filled the office of Selectman and Superintending School Committee, but, being always a Democrat, he could not be elected to any office where party principles were involved.
Marriage to Emmy Ann Stevens. In 1843, Orsamus married 21 year-old Emmy Ann Stevens, daughter of Joseph, also a farmer, from nearby Norway.

Children of Orsamus and Emmy Ann
Samuel Ambrose, b. 1844, died unmarried in Woodstock in 1864, age 20
Mary Elizabeth, b. 1845, m. Willis Tappan Emery, a solicitor, in Boston in 1873, d. 1914 in Boston, uterine cancer, buried in Sanford, Maine
Ellen Maria, b. 1849, m. 1) George Leavitt in Boston, 2) Luther Covington, clergyman in Boston and moved to Seattle, Washington where she died in 1924
Ruth Anna, b. 1852, died unmarried in Boston in 1880, age 28, rheumatic valve heart disease
Emma Frances, b. 1856, died Dec 1857 in Woodstock, age 19 months

The 1850 census shows Orsamus and Emmy Ann living on the farm with Samuel, age 58, and Polly (Samuel’s second wife) as well as the first three children of Orsamus and Emmy. The farm appears to belong to Samuel.

In 1854, Orsamus served as administrator for the insolvency of his father-in law, Jonathan Fickett’s estate on behalf of the widow, 3rd GGM Betsey Bryant Fickett, and her 15 year-old daughter. Indeed, Jonathan remained in debt until his death, leaving Betsey having to ask the court for enough money on which she and her daughter could live.

Orsamus’ dad, Samuel, died in 1855, leaving him the Woodstock hilltop farm. The following year a daughter was born, and Orsamus was instrumental in erection of the a Woodstock church conjointly built by the Methodists and Free Baptists. Orsamus was Methodist.
Photo courtesy of Woodstock Historical Society
Life was good for the 36 year-old Orsamus in 1856. He was the owner of a nice hilltop farm. He taught school and was active in the community. He and Emmy Ann had four young children. Then tragedy begins to strike. Nineteen month-old Emma Frances died in December 1857 and wife Emma died in July 1860 at age 38.

Marriage to 3rd GGM Lovina Dunn Davis. Life seems to get back on track when the 41 year-old Orsamus marries 25 year-old Lovina Dunn Davis 10 months after wife Emma’s death. Lovina was a teacher in Woodstock, the granddaughter of 4th GGF Aaron Davis, Jr. and niece of Orsamus’ stepmother, Polly Davis, who raised Orsamus from age seven.

Orsamus and Lovina soon started their family with the birth of Henry Orsamus in 1862 and our GGF Joseph Edson in 1863. Tragedy struck again with the death of Orsamus’ oldest son, Samuel Ambrose, at age 20 in June 1864.

It seems enough was enough for Orsamus who suffered repeated losses on the hilltop farm, starting with the death of his mother at age six, followed by the deaths of his father in 1855, young daughter in 1857, wife in 1860, and eldest son in 1864.

Very possibly, 20 year-old Samuel Ambrose had been ill for a while and death expected as Orsamus picked up his family, sold the farm, and moved everyone, including step-mom Polly, to Boston within a few months. What a bold move for a 44 year-old who had known only farm life in a backwater Maine town in the mid-1800s! The same could be said for Lovina who had a household of the three offspring from Orsamus' first marriage, two very young children from Orsamus, and was pregnant with the third. Polly, who was also Lovina's aunt, died in Boston in 1873.

By moving the entire family, no more Nutes of the Josiah-Samuel-Orsamus line were left in Woodstock or, indeed, in Maine at all.

Children of Orsamus and Lovina Dunn Davis
Henry Orsamus Nute, b. 1862 in Woodstock, m. Ella J. Ford, died 1924 in Manhattan; attended Boston University School of Law and became a drug merchant with an apothecary in Boston.
JOSEPH Edson Nute, b. 1863 in Woodstock, m. Harriet Gove Wilkins in Boston, d. 1949 in South Dartmouth, MA, graduated M.I.T. in mechanical engineering, head of Fall River Gas Works Company for most of his career.
Edith Rivers Nute, b. 1865 in Boston, m. Clement Milton Hammond, journalist and associate editor of Boston Globe, whom she divorced. She lived with her half-sister Ellen Maria in Seattle and worked as a stenographer until her later life when she went to Ramapo, New York, to live with a sister, Mabel Lavina. They were both chicken farmers; d. 1934 in Monsey, NY.
Ernest Nute, b. 1867, d. 1868 in Boston, inflammation of brain, age eight months
Frank Earnest Nute, b. 1869, d. 1870  in Boston, age 11 months, buried in Nute-Stevens cemetery
Mabel Lavina Nute, b. 1871 in Boston, graduated with a B.A. from Smith College in Monsey, NY, and was to be at Boston University Medical School in 1898-1899. In the 1900 census, Mabel is living in Boston with her father, unmarried. In the 1910 census, she owns a farm in Ramapo, NY, still single with a servant and three hired men. This is evidently the chicken farm above, and where Orsamus spent the last couple years of his life.

A second successful career for Orsamus. What possessed Orsamus the farmer to bring his family to Boston is anyone’s guess. In the 1865 Massachusetts census a year after he arrived in Boston, his occupation is listed as a street sprinkler. Orsamus started with a street watering cart whose important task was to water the graveled streets of Boston, to wet down the mess of horse shit which would otherwise dry, turn to dust, and aerosolize - not to mention what it would do to the gown hems of the Victorian ladies.

From this humble business beginning, Orsamus built a lucrative and prosperous water sprinkler contracting business that would go the way of dinosaurs with the advent of cars. In the 1870 census, 50 year-old Orsamus lists his occupation as street contractor with a business called Nute and Billings and an office at E. Dedham and W. Albany Streets.

The great fire of 1872 in Boston must have caused a fright as it burned within blocks of his business building. The fire is still ranked as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history, consuming 65 acres of downtown Boston and 800 businesses and warehouses. 

By 1872, Orsamus was living at the prestigious address of 335 Columbus Avenue in Boston.
335 Columbus Street, Boston, the corner five-story townhouse that belonged to Orsamus
An 1873 Boston Business Directory lists Orsamus’ middle initial as E, perhaps a clue to the origin of Edson as a middle name in the family. The Edson middle name was passed down another four generations to Joseph Edson Nute, Raymond Edson Nute Sr., Jr., and III.

Orsamus owned most of a block on Dorr Street in 1873. In 1889, his son Henry and son-in-law, Willis Emery, joined him in a project to “drive 12 piles on the northerly side of the sea wall in Charles River, at the foot of Hereford Street in the city of Boston…for the support of a water tank.”

Tragedy revisited Orsamus and Lovina in 1868 with the death of an eight month-old son and 1870 with the death of an 11 month-old son. A little over ten years later in December 1880 he lost his 28 year-old daughter Ruth Anna from rheumatic heart disease and wife Lovina, 40, from pericarditis within two weeks of each other.

Home invasion robbery. The Boston Globe reported two "notorious and successful burglars" were arraigned and pleaded guilty to breaking and entering the 335 Columbus Avenue address at nighttime and stealing silverware and clothing. One was sentenced to 3 years prison and the other to 6 years.

Business reversals. All was not smooth sailing for Orsamus in Boston. He declared insolvency in 1875 and bankruptcy in 1894. A tenant renting the 335 Columbus Avenue building had fitted the ground floor as a drug store, but was probated as insane in 1899, and the family filed to restrain the Nutes (Orsamus and Henry O.) from foreclosing and evicting him. The Nutes were apparently successful as Henry O. is listed in the 1902 Boston directory as running a drug merchant business out of the 335 Columbus Avenue address himself.

Another marriage. Censuses show Orsamus usually had one to two servants living in the 335 Columbus Avenue home with whatever kids needed a home. He married again in 1890 at age 69 to widow Lydia Beal Collamore Smith, age 45, but 72 year old Orsamus was no longer at the 335 Columbus Avenue address. The 1900 census shows Lydia living in a boarding house and no longer with Orsamus. 

The last years. The marriage relationship with Lydia seems to have been brief. Boston directories show 72 year-old Orsamus living with daughter Mary Elizabeth as early as 1892, and the 1900 census shows 80 year-old Orsamus living at 32 Yarmouth in Boston with Mary Elizabeth; her husband, Willis Emery, Orsamus' former business partner; Orsamus' divorced daughter, Edith; and unmarried daughter, Mabel. Mabel was supposed to have entered Boston University Medical School in 1898, but the census does not show she is either a student or working.

Sometime between 1900 and 1905, daughters Edith and Mabel moved to Ramapo, New York, where Mabel bought a chicken farm. It is noteworthy that Mabel was living at her chicken farm in Ramapo within seven years of graduating from Smith College seven miles away.

 A 1901 Boston directory lists Orsamus as “removed to Woodstock.” His son, Henry Orsamus, is using the 335 Columbus building, probably the ground floor, for his pharmacy. An August 1902 Fall River Daily Evening News article reported "the family of Joseph E. Nute recreating at South Paris, Maine." A reasonable assumption could be they went to visit 80 year-old Orsamus who returned to his hometown to live with family, probably his sister Mary Jane Billings and her daughter, Ladusca Wing. The relationship must have been close as Mary Jane had named one of her sons after Orsamus.

Mary Jane died in 1904, and by 1905 Orsamus is living with daughters Edith and Mabel in the hamlet of Viola, part of Ramapo, New York, where he died in 1907, age 87, with interstitial nephritis. The year after Orsamus died, Edith and Mabel went on holiday by steamship to Panama. Edith died in 1934, age 69, and Mabel, the baby of the family, in 1956 at age 84.

Not surprisingly, Orsamus maintained ties with Woodstock after leaving for Boston. He had a lifetime of friends in Woodstock, and was a local boy made good. His photo was featured in the 1882 History of Woodstock by Latham.

Burial in Woodstock. Orsamus’ and Lovina’s strong ties to Woodstock are manifest in their decisions to be buried in the family cemetery on the farm rather than in Boston, and to bring their three deceased children back to Woodstock for burial.
Nute Obelisk and 12 foot stones at Nute-Stevens cemetery in Woodstock
Family member names inscribed on obelisk, many poorly legible
Sometime before his death, Orsamus arranged for an obelisk to be erected in the Woodstock Nute-Stevens cemetery. One side of the monument lists his name and those of his two wives, Emma and Lovina, with birth and death dates. Another side lists names that are mostly illegible, but one is the name of his grandmother, Rebecca Wentworth. From either side of the monument is a line of 12 small foot stones with initials of family members buried here: Samuel, Betsey, Polly, Rebecca, Orsamus, Emma, Lovina, Emma F, Samuel A, Ernest, Frankie E, and Ruth A. The latter three died in Boston and must have been brought back to Woodstock for internment with their father and mother. 
Current house on Nute farm at end of Twitchell Road
We are fortunate to have the original form completed by Orsamus in his own handwriting at the request of GGF Joseph Nute when he was working on the Nute Genealogy. A copy of the Nute Genealogy is at the New Hampshire Historical Society and I have a copy. Joseph's papers from his work on the Genealogy with Percy Nute and Orsamus' granddaughter, Amy Emery, were donated to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Samuel Nute (1792-1855), 3rd GGF, Another Mystery

Samuel was born on Nute’s Ridge, the only child of Josiah Nute and Rebecca Wentworth. The 1850 census indicated he could read and write, so he had some education along the way. His occupation is listed as farmer whenever there is a written record, as was that of his father, Josiah, and his son, Orsamus.

At age 13, Samuel’s family left Nute Ridge and moved to Falmouth, Maine, where his father continued farming as an occupation. Doubtlessly, Samuel helped out on the farm until the 22 year-old purchased land from his father in 1814 about 30 miles north in Poland, Maine.

Poland was originally part of the Bakerstown Plantation with settlement beginning in 1767. The original town incorporated in 1795 included not only Poland and Poland Springs, but also Minot and Mechanic Falls. 

Samuel settled early in the Poland’s development and a couple years later married a young lady, 22 year-old 3rd GGM Betsey Fickett (1794-1826), whose father, 4th GGF Jonathan Fickett, came to Poland from Cape Elizabeth with a new bride, 4th GGM Judith Cox, in 1788. Betsey’s mother died when she was nine, and her father married another one of our GGM’s, Betsey Bryant (1769-1854), widow of 5th GGF Dr. Peter Brooks.

In the 1820 census when Samuel was 28, the household consisted of Samuel, Betsey, two children under 10, and Samuel’s mother, Josiah’s widow Rebecca Wentworth. One of the two children was 2nd GGF Orsamus Nute. The following year, Betsey’s father sold Samuel a tract of land in Woodstock, yet another 30 miles north, and the family moved there by 1822.

Woodstock is a wooded, hilly-valleyed area with the beautiful Bryant Pond, brooks and mountain streams. Some settlers began to arrive in surrounding areas after the close of the French War in 1760, more looking for land in the wilderness after the close of the Revolution as they had been paid in worthless money. A road to Woodstock was cut from Paris to Woodstock in 1795 even before her settlement, and families began to arrive. The first were the Bryant boys, including our 6th GGF Solomon Bryant, followed by numerous other grandparent ancestor families - including those of the Davis, Stephens, Swan and Brooks, and their wives from the Robbins, Curtis, Brooks, Strout, and Fickett families.

The town incorporated in 1815 and the following years were tough for the hardy inhabitants. Winters were cold, crops failed, and fires swept through the hills. Amid this, 6th GGF Jonathan Fickett, Betsey's father bought the land in 1818 that was later to become the hilltop Nute farm, and sold the lot to Samuel in 1821.

A February 1821 letter from the town clerk to the Woodstock proprietors looking for taxes and payment on notes held on the inhabitants illustrates the dire straits of the town,

Dear Sir: - We are very sorry that we are not able to forward to you any money in this letter, and extremely sorry to state the little prospect we have of any large payments this season. Money with us is the most scarce it has ever been since the town has settled…. Mr. Jonathan Fickett has sold his lot to a son-in-law by the name of Samuel Nute, who says he can pay the money down, but wishes to have the deed when he pays the money. Mr. Fickett’s lot is number 44….
The Ficketts lived in Poland before moving to Woodstock in 1818. Betsey's dad, Jonathan, already had his land in Poland foreclosed in 1819 for failure to pay taxes. He was, likewise, probably having trouble with payment on his Woodstock land when he sold that beautiful hilltop farm to Samuel. What a chore it must have been for Jonathan to clear the property for planting and grazing!

Samuel and Betsey had four children, all spaced 2 years apart. In 1826, two years after the last child, Betsey died at age 32, leaving 34 year-old Samuel with four children under the age of ten.

Children of Samuel and Betsey:
Harriet Nute, b. 1818 in Poland, m. Charles Brooks Davis (son of our 4th GGPs Aaron Davis and and Lucinda Oraing Brooks as well as brother to our 3rd GGF Joseph Davis), d. age 80 in Lancaster, Massachusetts
ORSAMUS Nute, b. 1820 in Poland, m. 1) Emmy Amy Stevens and 2) Lovina Dunn Davis, granddaughter of our 4th GGF Aaron Davis, Jr. and 5th GGF Dr. Peter Brooks. Lovina is a Mayflower descendant of passenger Richard Warren.
Phebe Wentworth Nute b. 1822 in Woodstock, m. Asa Smith, d. 1875 in Malden, Massachusetts
Mary Jane Nute b. 1824 in Woodstock, m. Eleazer Cole Billings, died in Woodstock in 1904, breast cancer

The year after Betsey’s death, Samuel married Polly Davis, daughter of Revolution soldier 5th GGF Aaron Davis and granddaughter of Revolution privateer, 6th GGF Zebulon Davis. They had no children together. She became a widow in 1855 with the death of Samuel, but continued to live with Orsamus and his family, even moving to Boston when the family migrated out of Woodstock.

Samuel died in 1855, age 62, in Woodstock. His 1846 will left Polly the new part of his house, one third of the income from his real estate, and use of the principal of the estate if needed “to make her comfortable.” He left Harriet $5.00 and “if she becomes of sound mind and capable of taking care of the same for her comfort and support $60 more, and if she does not, then said sixty dollars is to be divided equally among said Harriet’s children." To daughters Phebe and Mary Jane, Samuel left $65.00. Orsamus inherited the residence and farm.

The will indicates the eldest child, Harriet, may have had some mental difficulties. She was mid-twenties, married with children. The problems may have been transient as she raised six children, two of whom went on to become dentists.

The beautiful hilltop location must have reminded Samuel of his childhood home on Nute’s Ridge. The original farmstead is no longer standing, but a local historian believes it to be a short distance behind a stately home built on the hilltop. 
Samuel Nute's hilltop farm with mountains in the distance
The Nute kids visited the Nute farm in 2018. 
Nute Kids at the Nute farmstead, June 2018
Samuel, Betsey, Polly, and Samuel’s mother Rebecca, are buried just down the hill in the Nute-Stevens cemetery, an idyllic setting
Nute/Stevens cemetery
The Nute plot has the obelisk erected by Orsamus, and has a row of small headstones for each Nute known to be buried there. When I visited in 2016, Samuel’s small headstone had flowers, a flag, and a War of 1812 star marker.
Samuel Nute's headstone with War of 1812 marker
We have no family records that indicate Samuel fought in the War of 1812, and none can be located online. On the other hand, he would have been about the right age in 1812, he was on coastal Maine in those years, and the 160 acres mentioned in Joseph Nute’s notes as being granted to Josiah may have been for Samuel’s service. Another mystery waiting to be tracked down.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Mystery of 4th GGF Josiah Nute (1775-1820)

Josiah has been a mystery in the family lineage. He would have been in late childhood when 5th GGF Samuel Nute moved the family from Dover to Nute Ridge in what was then Rochester, New Hampshire. We know he was Samuel’s son as he was listed in the 1820 will, but he seemed to drop off the face of the earth after his marriage to Rebecca Wentworth in Rochester in 1792. His son Samuel - yes, another Samuel - ended up in Poland where he married Betsey Fickett in 1816. Other Nute researchers, including our GGF Joseph Nute, weren’t able to locate him. Well, mystery solved, thanks to digital records, when I located land deeds in Falmouth, Maine, signed by both he and Rebecca.
Josiah was born in Dover in approximately 1775, one of 5th GGPs Samuel Nute and Phebe Pinkham’s sons. His birth order is unknown. Few of Samuel and Phebe’s children have birth dates except by extrapolation. By the time Samuel cleared the land and had a dwelling adequate for the family on Nute Ridge, Josiah was probably about 11 years old.

Josiah married 4th GGM Rebecca Wentworth (1765-1828) from the illustrious Wentworth family in 1792. Rebecca was descended from immigrant William Wentworth who arrived in Boston in the Great Migration in 1636 and located in Dover. Several of elder William’s descendants were governors of colonial New Hampshire. Rebecca’s grandfather, 6th GGF Richard Wentworth, and his son, 5th GGF Josiah, were early proprietors and settlers in Rochester. Rebecca’s mother, Abiah Cook, was the daughter of 6th GGF Abraham Cook, also an early settler of Rochester.

Josiah and Rebecca had only one child, 3rd GGF Samuel, born in Rochester in November 1792, two months after their marriage. Why they had no further children given their young age and the culture of having large families is puzzling and cause for speculation.

Milton was yet to be set off from Rochester in 1802.  Josiah and Rebecca likely lived on family land on Nute Ridge until their migration to Maine.

The 1800 census shows Samuel, Rebecca, and young Samuel living in Rochester. The 1810 census shows the family living in Falmouth, Maine.

Land deeds have solved the mystery of what happened to Josiah as he next shows up in 1805 in Maine where he bought a tract of land in Falmouth. Maine, though, was not a state in 1805, but still Maine, District of Massachusetts, until 1820. 

Josiah would have been in Falmouth during the War of 1812, an unpopular war with coastal Mainers whose shipping commerce was affected. The British occupation of eastern Maine prompted a split from Massachusetts due to the latter’s lack of military support. Indeed, some parts of Maine continued under British control for four years after the war ended.

What prompted Josiah and Rebecca to leave the Ridge and a fairly large family network of Nutes and Wentworths is puzzling. Granted, the Nute land was quickly being snatched up by the numerous male offspring of Samuel and Jotham Jr., and there may have been little opportunity left for Josiah. 5th GGF Samuel had eight sons and his brother, Jotham Jr., had nine sons - 17 sons on Nute Ridge among whom to distribute property. Ordinarily the land would have gone to the oldest son, but family wills seemed to show land was being distributed among all sons. Samuel’s 1820 will left Josiah $1.00 “and what I have already given him.” Was there some kind of family estrangement?

Falmouth was largely engaged in farming, fishing, and harvesting timber for ship masts at the time Josiah relocated. A land deed in 1814 identifies Josiah as a “yeoman,” i.e., a farmer, in contrast to a husbandman who raises cattle and sheep.

Josiah bought another 50 acres of land in Poland, Maine in 1810, approximately 30 miles north of Falmouth. The land may have been just an investment although Josiah may have moved to Poland briefly with his son, Samuel. Family records show Josiah received a grant of 160 acres in the West around 1812-14 which could have been for military service. Service records have not been located, nor is War of 1812 service mentioned in family records.

At age 39 in 1814, Josiah sold his tract of land in Poland to his 22 year-old son, Samuel, for $400. The deed identifies both Josiah and Samuel as yeomen of Poland, so Josiah may have moved temporarily to Poland with Samuel, or Josiah, Rebecca, and Samuel may have moved as a family unit and the parents conducted further land transactions at a distance. Josiah would have been only 39-40 when these land sales were going on. Had he determined to leave Falmouth for the burgeoning area of Poland, or perhaps developed some disability that he needed to live with his son? He did die only five years later.

At age 40 in 1815, Josiah sold one acre in Falmouth. The deed was also signed by Rebecca and identifies Josiah as living in Falmouth at the time of the deed.

Josiah’s death year can be extrapolated to after January 28, 1820, when he is named an heir in his father’s will and the census enumeration date of August 7, 1820, when only Rebecca is counted in Samuel’s household in Poland. He was 45 years-old at the time of death. No record of a will or probate has been located.

The mystery of what happened to the 48 year-old widow Rebecca was solved when I visited the Nute-Stevens cemetery in 2015 and found her name on the obelisk erected by her grandson, 2nd GGF Orsamus Nute. The birth date was very difficult to discern, and likely the 1765 date listed in the Woodstock Historical Society cemetery book is incorrect. This date would have made her 10 years older than Josiah, her mother 14 years old when Rebecca was born, and placed several years between her birth and that of the next sibling.

Soon after the 1820 census in Poland, Rebecca’s son Samuel and his young family moved to Woodstock, taking Rebecca with them. She died in Woodstock having followed her men from Rochester, New Hampshire, to Falmouth, Poland, and finally Woodstock, Maine, where she died at the age of 56.
Rebecca's small headstone marked R. N. in the Nute-Stevens cemetery

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Samuel Nute Moves to Nute's Ridge

Samuel’s childhood was marked by the death of his mother when he was ten and entry of a stepmother into the family a year later. He grew up in Dover on the family farm, and married at age 20. Altogether, he and Phebe Pinkham had ten children born in Dover and Rochester. He and half-brother, Jotham, must have been best buds as they cleared the land and settled together on Nute’s Ridge, Rochester, now Milton, NH, in 1784 after Jotham returned from the Revolution. Samuel already had several children and Jotham married soon after and started a family. Between them, they had 21 children. Two brothers, three of Jotham’s sons, and one of Samuel’s sons served in the War of 1812. One of Jotham’s sons attended West Point and was killed in the Mexican-American War. Both brothers signed the petition for incorporation of Milton in 1803.
Samuel was born in Dover March 2, 1749, the first child of Jotham and Mary Hayes. Mary died when Samuel was 10 years old and his father remarried to widow Mary Canney within the year.

Samuel married Phoebe Pinkham in Dover at age 20 in August 1769. The first of their 10 children was born five months later in January 1770.

Family records indicate Samuel did not move to Rochester until 1784 when his half brother, Jotham Nute, Jr. returned from the Revolution. 
“Returning to Dover at the close of his army service, Jotham with his half-brother Samuel moved in 1784 to tracts of land in the Northeast parish of Rochester which became Nute’s Ridge in Milton and here they cleared space for their future homes from land provided by their father.”
The story of Jotham Nute, Jr. Jotham Sr’s’s first child with his second wife, not yet 16-year old Jotham, Jr. (1760-1836) enlisted in the Revolution at Dover on April 1, 1776 for eight months, stationed first at Newcastle and at Portsmouth. He re-enlisted in the Continental Army on January 27, 1777 for the duration of the war and was assigned to the 2nd New Hampshire. 

Jotham was at Ticonderoga in the summer of 1777 and was captured at the Battle of Hubbarton on July 7, 1777 when the British and Indians fell on the troops retreating from Ticonderoga in a surprise dawn attack as they were eating breakfast. Jotham was taken prisoner, but escaped a few days later and returned to his regiment. Family records describe his escape happening when he heard the sunset gun in the American camp, noted the direction and ran for it, securing a horse in his flight. He swam a body of water under fire and arrived at the American camp naked and wounded. A petition to the State of New Hampshire in 1833 describes he lost “my gun and a cartridge box, 1 pair deer skin breeches, 1 fur hat, 3 shirts, 1 blanket, shoes, buckles, silk handkerchief knapsack, 3 pairs stockings, 2 pairs thin trousers, waist coat pocket handkerchief.”

As his wound was not serious, he continued to fight at Stillwater, Saratoga, and was with his regiment at the surrender of Burgoyne in October 1777. Jotham was at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 and at the battle of Monmouth in June 1778. At the Battle of Kings Bridge near Tarrytown on July 3, 1781, Jotham was wounded by a musket ball to his right hip that caused a limp the rest of his life. Nevertheless, he remained in service until 1783.

Jotham entered the Revolution as a not yet 16 year-old private and left in 1783 with the rank of Sergeant. Family records relate Jotham would have rapidly advanced in rank were it not that as a minor his father would not allow him to draw his own pay. “So when he becomes 21, he was advanced very rapidly. He never became reconciled to his father.”

Samuel and Jotham on Nute Ridge. According to family tradition in records, the brothers lived the first season on Nute's Ridge in a crude cabin which stood on the west side of the road about where a stone wall later divided the Jotham and Samuel’s grandson, Lewis Nute’s, farms. They constructed permanent structures the following year, and Jotham Jr. married his bride, Sarah Twombly of Dover.

Jotham and Samuel's two brothers and Jotham's three sons served in the War of 1812. One son, a Lieutenant in the War of 1812, changed his name to Jeremy Washington Orange in 1820 and all his descendants go by the surname Orange. Another of Jotham's sons, Captain Levi Nute, was a West Point graduate, served in the West, and died at Point Isabel, Texas, in 1846 during the Mexican-American War.

The Rochester 1790 census shows Samuel had 12 people living in his household! These likely were Samuel, Phebe, nine of their children, and Samuel’s father, Jotham Sr.

1800 census shows the Samuel Nute family in Rochester with 9 household members. The two older boys, including 4th GGF Josiah, were married with their own households in Rochester, and Samuel’s father, Jotham Sr. is no longer living with the family, but had returned to Dover where he died the following year.

The first public road from Rochester to what was to become Milton was laid out in 1787. Jotham and Samuel both signed the petition for the Incorporation of Milton in 1803, setting off Milton from Rochester.

Children of Samuel Nute and Phoebe Pinkham

Francis Nute (1770-1812) m. Mary Clements
JOSIAH  (1775-1820) m. Rebecca Wentworth
Jotham (1778-1817) m. Olive Tuttle
Stephen (1779-1843) m. Anna Furbush
Mary ( 1784-1851) born in Milton, m. Thomas Young
Nicholas (1781-1862) m. Elizabeth Bickford Hayes
Hayes (1789-1875) m. Mehitable Goodwin
Ezekiel (1794-1859) m. Dorcas Worcester and lived in a house on the Nute farm in Milton; private in War of 1812 under Waldron’s Command; father of Lewis Worcester Nute
Samuel ( - 1836), no birth, death or marriage records available, but he is identified as a son in Samuel Sr’s will.
Susan, birth date unknown, never married; Samuel’s will provides she can live in the back of the house after his demise.

Samuel’s will written in January 1820 gave Phebe one third of his real estate; to son Hayes 40 acres, part of which was originally Samuel Hayes and the other part adjoining the farm on which Ezekiel Hayes was living. To daughter Susan Nute use of one back room in the house and $50 when she marries; to son Samuel, $1 as he had already been given his share of estate; to daughter Mary Young $1; to son Josiah $1 with what he had been given before, to Stephen $1, to Nicholas $1; he gives $1 to various grandchildren; to son Ezekial all the residue and remainder of his estate. His will is signed with his mark; likely he could not read or write. He identifies himself as a husbandman, i.e., raising livestock. The will indicates sons Francis and Jotham are deceased. Probate was March 2, 1826.

Phebe was still living when Samuel's will was written in 1820, but her death date is unknown.

The other Samuel Nute in Rochester. 7th GGF Samuel (1689-1765) had two sons, John and our 6th GGF Jotham (1724-1801) and left land in Rochester to both. John opted to move to Rochester at least by 1749 when his son Samuel was born. Jotham, on the other hand, inherited the family homestead and land in Dover and elected to stay in Dover. Jotham passed his land onto his sons, Jotham Jr. and 5th GGF Samuel (born March 2, 1749) and moved to Rochester in 1784. These guys - Captain Samuel and our Samuel - were first cousins born within months of each other. 

Captain Samuel Nute, born in Rochester to John Nute on August 18, 1749, was a soldier in the Revolution from his enlistment in May 1775 after the alarm at Lexington, and served two years in the 2nd New Hampshire. He was deployed to Morristown in the winter of 1776 and engaged in the battles of Trenton in December 1776 and Princeton in January 1777.  Captain Samuel sold his Rochester farm in 1800 and moved to Dover. As such, between the years 1784 and 1800 two Samuel Nutes, cousins the same age, were living in Rochester. As an aside, Captain Samuel’s son, Isaac, was killed at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

Which Samuel signed the Rochester Association Test? On April 12, 1776 New Hampshire required all men to sign or refuse an Association Test, promising they would to the utmost of their power, “at the risk of their lives, their fortunes, and with arms” oppose the British fleets and armies. The signatures for Rochester were completed and signed off by Ebenezer Tebbets on October 15, 1776. Grandfather signers included our GGF’s Abraham Cook, Richard and Josiah Wentworth, John Nute (father of Captain Samuel) and a Samuel Nute.

Family records and DAR accept our 5th GGF Samuel as the signer of the Rochester Association Test. Evidence indicates the signer of the Rochester Association Test was Captain Samuel Nute and not our 5th GGF:
  • 5th GGF Samuel Nute was living in Dover and did not move to Rochester until 1784. He may have signed the Dover Association Test, but those records have been lost.
  • Captain Samuel Nute was born in Rochester and did not move to Dover until 1800.
  • Captain Samuel enlisted as a volunteer in the 2nd NH Regiment, but was not deployed out of Rochester until winter 1776.
Nute Ridge. The New Hampshire Historical Society recently acquired two 1880 Frank Shapleigh paintings of the Nute farm in Milton, NH,  and I had the privilege to be allowed into the curator’s “vault” to see the painting of the farmhouse of Lewis Worster Nute built in the 1850’s after he made his fortune in Boston. 
Nute Ridge. The site of Samuel's farm is to the right of the road, and Jotham's to the left.
The original Samuel Nute (1745-1829) house is no longer there, but likely close to same site as this house when he settled here in 1784. In 2018, I visited the property and its current owner, George Bube, who has nicely restored the home. He told me the old barn where our father collected some wood has been torn down.
Home built in 1850 on the site of Samuel's farm
Samuel's grandson via Ezekial, Lewis Worster Nute who made his fortune in Boston, retired to the family homestead and built the current house endowed a high school and library as well as the Nute Chapel on the Ridge. The Nute Cemetery where Jotham and likely Samuel and family are buried lies alongside the Chapel.

Nute Ridge runs the length of Nute's Road from Hayes to Dodge Cross Road

Nute Bible Chapel

Nute Bible Chapel, built 1890
Nute Cemetery alongside Nute Bible Chapel
Jotham's headstone placed by Judge Eugene Nute, Samuel and Jotham's original stones not present but undoubtably they are buried here.
Our line left Nute Ridge about 1805 when Samuel’s son, 4th GGF Josiah, moved to Falmouth, Maine, but Samuel's legacy remains in Milton, descendants of his ten children.