Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes online

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Since the Lft Govern" of iSthinst anoth'iscometo our hand. The Indians
verie numerous. Not less than three hundred. Douic who signed the Peace
was there, a woman who was Douies servant made her escape, by reason of his
being drunck. Saith Douiedid tell her that they did e.xpect 600 Indians more,
that the Mangwaits were joined with them, and judge some Southern Indians
were there. There is two Fryars among the Indians who after victory said
Mass twice, the Indians did spred 6 or 7 miles and engaged all at once. Oyster
River in a manner Ruined, only about 20 houses left, the rest layd waste.
Unless we have a supply of men from yourself Oyster River must be de-
serted. If Oyster River be deserted, the Enimie will have an inlett to the
whole Country, for the Majcst» Service and Security of the Country desire
you would forthwith Supply us with one hundred men, with ammunition &
Provision to be posted for preservation of these Out places. We are dis-
patching some souldiers into our Outward garrisons, according to the ability
of this Province upon the alarms with all expedition. We dispatched from
the Severall Towns one third of the Militia in this Province for Releafe of



102 HISTORY OF DURHAM

Oyster River, but before they came here the Enimie was drawn of and
could not be met with; its judged Eighty persons killed & taken, abund-
ance of cattle killed. Last night three Indians seen, severall Guns fired.
Judge the Enimie is still bordering upon us, but we want assistance to pur-
sue them, the Enimie being so numerous. Desire that orders may be
given to Justices and all Constables for the Dispatch of Expresses. Not
doubting of yo' Rediness to assist us, we being ready to afforde our assist-
ance, according to our ability, to your parts in case the Enimie should invade
yours,

We crave your answer by this — ers.

By order of the Lt. Govern - & Councill
Wm. Redford: Dept. Secry.

[N. H. Province Papers, II, p. 129]

To sum up the results of this Indian raid, it may be positively
stated that the houses of the following persons were burned, three
of them being garrisons, viz., house owned by Nathaniel Hill and
occupied by John Dean (The houses of Nathaniel Hill and
Bartholomew Stevenson near by were not destroyed), houses
of Ensign John Davis, Ezekiel Pitman, Stephen Jenkins, Rev.
John Buss, Charles Adams, Thomas Edgerly, Joseph Meader,
Robert Watson, John Derry, William Leathers, John Drew,
William Jackson, and probably houses of the Chesley, Steven-
son, and Willey families. Thus we have the sixteen houses
and garrisons mentioned by the Rev. John Pike in his Journal.

Among the slain were John Dean, Robert Huckins, Robert
Watson and two or more children, the mother of Mrs. Judith
Emerson (who was Jane Peasley Davis), sister of Mrs. Emerson,
Ensign John Davis, wife and two children. Widow James Smith
and two sons, a Mr. (Abraham?) Clark, two men named Gellison,
Stephen Jenkins and child, Francis Drew and wife, Lydia, Ben-
jamin Drew, fifteen in the family of Charles Adams, two children
of Thomas Edgerly, Jr., grandmother of Stephen Jenkins,
Mrs. Edward Leathers, Mrs. Jackson, Zacheriah Edgerly, several
children of John Derry, and probably Thomas and Joseph
Stevenson and John Rand and wife, Remembrance. Thus
forty-nine or more are known.

Among those carried into captivity were certainly John Derry
and his wife and son, Joseph, Hannah Watson and her son,
Joseph, Sarah Davis and her sister, Mary, Ursula Adams, Mrs.
Ann Jenkins, Thomas Drew and wife, Tamsen, Abigail and Judy
and Elizabeth Willey, Elizabeth and Susanna and Joseph Edgerly,
Mrs. Judith Emerson, Peter Denbow and Remembrance Rand,



HISTORY OF DURHAM IO3

making twenty known capti\es. Thus sixty-nine or more out of
the ninet\-four reported by the Rev. John Pike are accounted for.
There were probably some captives, unknown by name, who
never returned.

Twenty sokliers were sent to defend garrisons at Oyster River,
and Capt. John Woodman reported, 6 January 1695/6, that they
were posted as follows: at his own garrison, 2; at Meader's, 3; at
Davis', 2; at Smith's, 3; at Burnham's, 2; at Bickford's, 4; at
Edgerly's [where John Rand had formerly lived], 3; at Durgin's,
2; at Jones', 2; at David Davis', 2.

In his fourth return, 5 February 1695/6, he reports soldiers
posted as follows: at Meader's, 2; at Smith's, i; at Bunker's, 3;
at Jones', 2 ; at Burnham's, 2 ; at Edgerly's, 2 ; at David Davis', 2.

The account of Oyster River people for their maintenance of
soldiers from 24 May 1697, unto 4 October 1697, was rendered
by Capt. John Woodman as follows:

Joseph Smith for 2 soldiers, 18 wcck;s,07 104 :oo; James Buncker for i soldier,
1 8 weeks, 03:12:00; Ensign Jones for i soldier, 18 weeks, 03: 12:00; Mr. Thomas
Edgerly, i soldier, i8 weeks, 03:12:00; John Woodman, 2 soldiers, 18 weeks.
07:04:00. [See N. H. Province Papers, II, 253.]

The Indians seem to ha\e had a special spite against the
inhabitants of Oyster Ri\er, or their attacks there were so little
opposed that they returned often for easy spoils. We are
indebted to Pike's Journal for the following brief items of subse-
quent molestations:

August 27, 1696, " Da\id I)a\is killed b>- the Ind"^ at Lubber-
land."

November 15, 1697, "Tho: Chesley Sen: slain b>' y^ Indians
not far from Johnsons Creek. Will Jackson taken at the same
time & at same time made his escape."

April 25, 1704, "Nath. Meader was slain by y^ Indians at
Oyster River, not far from the place where Nicholas Follet form-
erly lived."

June I, 1704, "Samuel Tasker was slain by 8 or 9 Indians at
Oyster River."

August 19, 1704. "Joseph Pitman slain b\- the Indians, as he
was guarding some mowers, not far from Oyster River IVIeeting-
house."

November 4, 1705. "Sab. Xath Tibbetts of Oyster River was
carried away by the Indians about sun-set."



104 HISTORY OF DURHAM

April 27, 1706, "The Indians came in upon the south part of
Oyster River, by the Little Bay, & killed ten persons, the chief
whereof were bro: John Wheeler & his wife, John Drew, etc.
Tis thought this was done by Bommazeen." Belknap says that
two children of John Wheeler were slain and four sons escaped
by taking refuge in a cave by the bank of the Little Bay.

May 22, 1707, "Two young girls were carried away by the
Indians from Bunkers Garrison at Oyster River, viz. the daughter
of Thomas Drew (near 13 years old) & Daughter of Nath*
Laimos (Much younger). This was the first mischief done by
them in y^ year 1707." Marie Anne was baptized in Canada,
12 September 1709, as daughter of Thomas and Mary (Bunker)
Drew, and she was naturalized there 25 June 1713. Elizabeth
Lomax was baptized in Canada, ii September 1707, as daughter
of Nathaniel and Deliverance (Clark) Lomax. Thus the two
little lost girls are found, and we learn incidentally who their
mothers were.

July 8, 1707, "John Bunker & Ichabod Rawlins (both of Dover)
going with a cart from Zech: Fields Gar: to James Bunkers for a
Loom were assailed by many Indians & both slain. The enemy
(supposed 20 or 30 in num.) slaughtered many cattel for the
Jones's (at same time) to the number of 15 or more."

September 17, 1707, "Capt. Samuel Chesley, his bro: James
Chesley & 6 more stout young men were slain by the Indians as
they were cutting and hailing timber, not far from Capt. Chesleys
house. The Indian y* killed James Chesley was slain on y^ spot
by Rob: Thompson. Philip Chesley and 3 more escaped."
The Council voted, 22 October 1707, that five pounds be given to
Robert Thompson, and the Governor signed an act in these
words, "ordered that Robert Thompson^ be paid five pounds out
of the present tax for an Indian scalp lately taken by him at
Oyster River," 10 May 1708.

September 18, 1708, "David Kinked of Oyster River was
assaulted by 3 Indians at his house, some considerable distance
from Woodmans Gar: Three Guns were fired at him and his Lad,
but (through mercy) both escaped well."

June 30, 1709, "Bartholomew Stimpson Jun: of Oyster R. was
Slain by an Ambuscade of Indians near Capt. Woodmans Gar."

The Rev. Hugh Adams records that "on Friday the first day

iGreat, great, great-grandfather of Col. Lucien Thompson.



HISTORY OF DURHAM IO5

of May 1724, our worthy & Desireable Elder James Nock was most
surprisingly Shott (off from his horse) Dead and Scalped by
three Indian Enemies. O that Christ Emmanuel may speedily
avenge his blood upon them." This sounds like an imprecatory
Psalm and shows that in all ages good men feel the demands of
retributive justice. He adds, "June 17, 1722, On Wednesday,
it being our Preparation Lecture, — Turned into a Fast on account
of the Indian War, so severe on our Church by the sudden Death
of another of our Members, that was slain the last Wednesday,
Namely Moses Davis, Sen"" & his son Moses. And in the evening
by the Indians was killed by a Shott in his head Poor George
Chesley & Elizabeth Burnam was wounded." She died four days
later, as the following record, dated 27 May 1724, shows, " Eliza-
beth Burnam who was wounded by the Indians the 24th, the
day George Chesley was killed, the evening before she died I
baptized at her penitent request." Miss Mary P. Thompson, in
her Landmarks in Ancient Dover, rather discredits the tradition
that this George Chesley was engaged to be married to Elizabeth
Burnham and conjectures that he must have been forty-five years
of age, but the church records state that "George Chesley,
batchelor," was baptized 24 December 1721, about two years
and a half before this event, so that the tradition of their engage-
ment might be well founded. He must not be confused with an
earlier George Chesley, who was killed by Indians on his way to
mill, 8 June 1710, leaving widow. Deliverance.

The Rev. Hugh Adams says in a petition that "five persons in
Oyster River were cut down in the Indian war that begun in 1722.

Miss Thompson tells of another "young Chesle> " who was
returning from meeting with a Miss Randall of Lee, when they
were slain upon the Mast Road. The rock on which the maiden
fell is said to be stained with blood "unto this day," and some
poet has lamented her fate. ^ This seems to be a variant of the
tradition recorded in Historical Memoranda of Ancient Dover,
page 85. The Thomas Chesley there mentioned may well have
been the Thomas Chesley, junior, born 1688. See Genealogical
Notes under Cheslc\- and Randall, where it appears that there
was no Miss Randall of Lee at the time mentioned and that all
subsequent Miss Randalls of Lee are accounted for. The tradi-
tion is that Miss Randall was returning from the Falls with a
party of friends, when they were attacked by Indians. She tried



I06 HISTORY OF DURHAM

to escape into a barn and was shot just as she was entering it.
She fell across the stone at the door and there bled to death.
Mr. Chesley was greatly grieved at her death and declared that
he would spend his life in fighting the savages. He soon had an
opportunity to kill eleven out of a bunch of twelve, and the
tradition properly closes with the statement that he himself was
afterward killed by Indians. So many members of the Chesley
family met their fate in this way, that it is not surprising that
some conflicting reports have come down.

To this list of the slain may be added the name of Jeremiah
Crommett, who was killed and scalped by Indians, in 1712,
at the upper branch of Oyster River. See Genealogical Notes.



MILITARY HISTORY.

This chapter can contain but Httle more than the names of the
citizens of Oyster River, or Durham, that served in various wars
that afflicted the colonies, after the Indian depredations already
described. Every able-bodied man was enrolled in the militia,
and doubtless many served in active campaigns whose names
are unrecorded. The New Hampshire Province and State
Papers are the sources from which the following names have been
gleaned .

May 10, 1 710, the report, to the General Assembly, of the
committee on claims allowed five pounds to Robert Thompson
for killing an Indian and endorsed the accounts of George Chesley,
and Captains Abraham Ben nick, James Davis, and Nathaniel
Hill.

There is an interesting claim for "several persons under named
for their snow shoes and mogasans which were imprest for her
Maj*^'^ service by Capt. James Davis, by order of Col. Hilton."
These marched to the eastward, to "Picwacket and Mariwock,"
and none of the snowshoes were returned :

Serg. Jonathan Woodman Abraham Bennet

John Ambler James Durgin
Joseph Smith • Mr. Thomas Edgcrly

Left. John Smith Thomas Drew

Jeremiah Burnam Philip Chesle

En. Francis Mathes Capt. James Davis

En. Stephen Jones Samuel Waymouth

William Jacson John Cromet

Lt. Samuel Edgerly John Williams

Ensign Mathews' muster roll was allowed 19 November
1 71 2. The amount was £2 514 c?4.

The following appear on the roll of a scouting party, under
command of Capt. James Davis, in 17 12. Capt. Davis served
twenty-one weeks; the men here named, selected from the rolls
and arranged alphabetically, served ten days and their wages
were eight shillings and six pence apiece. The men from Oyster
River were "John Ambler, Jeremiah Burnham, Robert Burn-
ham, Eliezer Clark, Timothy Conner, John Chesley, Jonathan
Chesley, James Davis, Moses Davis, John Davis, Timothy

107



I08 HISTORY OF DURHAM

Davis, Sampson Doe, Thomas Drew, Jr., William Drew, Joseph
Dudey, Cornelius Drisco, Eli Demerrit, Ichabod ffollit, John
Footman, John Kent, Benjamin Mathews, Benjamin Pinner,
William Pitman, John Rand, Thomas Rynes, Thomas Stephen-
son, John Tasker, Jonathan Thompson, Robert Thompson,
Samuel Wille, and Samuel Williams."

Salathiel Denbow, called also Denmore, served in the French
and Indian War and had his thigh broken and skull fractured at
Spanish River, Cape Breton. In response to his petition he was
granted ten pounds, i8 January 1716/7, and a pension of ten
pounds was granted him, i December 1730.

The account of Sergt. James Nock's muster roll was allowed
in 1723. He was deacon in the church at Oyster River and soon
after was killed by Indians.

June 24, 1724, Robert Burnham was admitted into the Coun-
cil Chamber and presented an Indian scalp to the board and
made oath that it was bona fide the scalp of an Indian slain two
days before at Oyster River by a party of men under the com-
mand of Mr. Abraham Bennick, and that he believed the said
Indian was an Indian enemy, etc. Whereupon, it was ordered
that pursuant to act of General Assembly the slayer be paid one
hundred pounds out of the treasury and that the clerk further
prepare a warrant accordingly, the said sum being made payable
to Capt. Francis Mathews at the request and on the account of
the said slayers. N. H. Province Papers, IV, 140.

The manuscript of Rev. Hugh Adams says that 10 June 1724,
occurred "the smiting of four Indians and getting the Scalp of
a Chief Captain among them, who was by all circumstances of
his learning in his writings of Devotion and lists of names of
nine score Indians found in his minuta which I saw, and his
Scarlet-Died, Four-Laureate Coronet, with a Tassel of four
small bells, by the small tinkling whereof in the thickets of
bushes his Indian souldiers might follow him," etc. Adams
conjectures he must have been a son of Sebastian Rasle, an
unwarranted conclusion.

Abraham Clark's Scouting party, July 1724, contains the names
of John Bunker, James Davis, John Brown, Clement Drew,
William Clay, Nathaniel Denbo, Joseph Perkins, William
Raines and Samuel Williams.



HISTORY OF DURHAM IO9

This copy of Capt. Samuel Emerson's commission will serve
as a sample of those issued at that time :

Samuel Shute Esq.: Captaine General and Governour in chief, in and over
His Majesty's Province of New Hampshire in New England, and Vice
Admiral of the same.
To Captain Samuel Emerson — Greeting:

By Virtue of the Power and Authority in and by His Majesty's Royal
Commission to Me Granted, to be Captain General &c., over this His Majesty's
Province of New Hampshire aforesaid. I do (by these Presents,) Reposeing
especial trust and confidence, in your Loyalty, Courage and good Conduct,
Constitute and Appoint you the said Sam' Emerson to be a Capt. of a foot
Company of the north side of Oyster river in Dover in y« regment whereof
Richd Waldron Esq is Colonel. You are therefore carefully and diligently,
to discharge the Duty of a Captain in Leading and Ordering and Exercising,
said Company in Arms, both Inferior Officers and Soldiers, and to keep them
in good Order and Discipline, hereby commanding them to Obey you, as their
Captain and yourself to observe and follow such Orders and Instructions, as
you shall from time to time receive from Me, or the Commander in Chief for
the time being, or other your Superior Officers, for His Majesty's Service, ac-
cording to Military Rules and Discipline; Pursuant to the Trust reposed in you.

Given under my Hand and Seal at Portsmouth the Twelfth day of May in
the fourth Year of His Majesty King George His Reign.
Annotjue Domini 1718
By His E.\ccllency's Command

Sam^ Shute.
RiCH° Waldron, Clercon.

The following list of trained soldiers on the south side of Oyster
River, dated 5 May 1732, only ten days before Durham was
incorporated as a town, was furnished by the late Ballard Smith
about sixty years ago, for publication in the Dover Inquirer.
The original paper was then in his possession. It was the third
company in Col. Gilman's regiment and was under the command
of Capt. John Smith, Jr. The names are here arranged alpha-
betically for convenience.

Abraham Bcnnet " Solomon Daveis

Eleazer Bennet Joseph Daveis Jr.

Eli Clark Benjamin Daveis

Joshua Crumit Samuel Daveis

Joseph Chesly Joshua Daveis

Thomas Chesly Salathiel Denmore Jr.

Jabues Daveis Richard Denmore

Jeremiah Daveis Francis Drew

John Daveis, Jr. John Drew

Ebenezer Daveis Thomas Drew, ye third •



no



HISTORY OF DURHAM



Thomas Drew Jr.
Eliphalet Daniel
Benjamin Doo
John Doo
Joseph Doo
Daniel Doo
Benjamin Durgin
John Durgin
James Durgin
Joseph Durgin
Jonathan Durgin
Francis Footman
John Genkins,
John Jenkens Jr.
Stephen Genkins Jr.
George Gray
John Gra
Robert Kent
John Langley
John Laski
Thomas Langley



Hezekias Marsh
Peter Mason
Nathaniel Meader
John Moor
Jeremiah Pender
John Pitman
William Randal
John Randal
John Runls
Benjamin Smith
James Smith
John Smith ye third
Samuel Smith
William Sheperd
Joseph Thomas
Stephen Wille
Theoder Willey
Joseph Woodman
Jacob Wormwood
Joseph Wormwood,



The above list may be compared with the following made a
few years later. "A list of all the Soldiery that be under my
Command from sixteen years old and upward as the law directs."
This, too, includes only those living on the south side of Oyster
River.

"John Smith Jun^ Cap/."



Sargt Thomas Stevenson
Sarg Samuel Willey
Sarg John Grummet
Sarg John Edgerly
Cor. Joseph Wormwood
Cor. Joseph Davis
Cor. Joseph Edgerly
Cor. John Durgain
John Footman
Joseph Footman
Samuel Smith
Benja Smith
Joseph Chesly
Ebenezer Smith
Benj» Pender
Francis Durgain
Eliphalet Daniel
Reuben Daniel
John Kent



John Kent Jun.
Abrahan Mathews
John Drew
Elijah Drew
Tho Bickford
Robert Kent
Tho Langley
William Lord
Stephen Willey
Benj" Mathews
Volintin Mathews
Abraham Mathews Jun.
Joseph Stevenson
Abraham Stevenson
Caleb Wakham
Francis Footman
Daniel Davis
Tho Footman Jun.
John Genikins



HISTORY OF DURHAM



III



Benja Gcnikins
Joseph Smith
Tho Yorke
Samue' Watson
Joseph Gledcn
Robert Burnham Jun.
John Burnham Jun.
Richard Dunmore
Benja Davis
Jabez Davis
Jeremiah Davis
John Davis
Solomon Davis
Ebenezer Davis
Samuel Mceder
James Burnham
Ichabod Denmore
Joseph Bickford
John Langley
Jobe Langley
Hezekiah Marsh
Will- Willey
John Mason
Daniel Doo
John Doo



Joseph Doo
Benj« Doo

Will™ Wormwood Jun.
Will"> Jncks
Joshua Crumet
Abraham Bennet Jun.
James Durgain Jun.
Will™ Durgain
Phillip Crommet
Benja Bennet
Isac Mason
David Davis,
Samuel Joy
Joshua Davis
Joseph Dudy
Joseph Dudy Jun.
Benmore Dudy
Tho Willey
Theodor Willey
James Smith
Joshua Woodman
John Cretchet
John Willey
James Burnham Jun



A true copy of the List Roll taken ye Last Training Day and
coppycd out July ye 29th 1740. Total 86.

Joseph Drew, Clerk
[N. H. Town Papers, IX, 240, 241.]

A scouting party under Samuel Miller, from 29 June to 13
July 1744, contains the following men from Durham, Abraham
Runals, Joseph Durgin, James Lomas, and Thomas Tash. A
muster roll of troopers, under command of Capt. Joseph Hanson,
dated 5 August 1745, contains the names of men from Durham,
who scouted in the woods and found themselves horses, provisions
and ammunition, viz., Samuel Tasker, Valentine Mathes, Samuel
Demeritt, Thomas Willey, Thomas Leathers, Henry Hill, and
James Chesley.

The principal event in King George's War was the capture of
Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, 17 June 1745. This was,
next to Quebec, the strongest and most important French fortress
in America. The land forces in this expedition were commanded
by Col. William Pepperrell of Kitter\', who was knighted for the



112 HISTORY OF DURHAM

exploit. Many of his troops were collected from Maine and
New Hampshire. Col. Samuel Smith of Durham was a member
of the provincial council of New Hampshire at that time and of
the joint committee "on the subject of Gov"" Shirleys letter and
some other papers laid before the Assembly by his Excellency."
This committee reported in favor of the Louisburg expedition
and recommended the raising of money to defray charges and
liberal pay to volunteers, as well as the furnishing of provisions
and transports. Col. Smith was at the same time chairman of
the board of selectmen of Durham, town clerk, part of the time
moderator and also the chief military officer in the vicinity. As
councillor he had a prominent part in the emission of money to
pay the expenses of the expedition, being on the committee to
print the money and have custody of the plates and keys. The
provincial records show that he was clerk and commissary of the
various scouting parties in his vicinity and had charge of the
snowshoes and moccasins, of which the House voted that one
hundred pairs of each should be kept in Durham, ready for any
emergency.

The rolls of the New Hampshire regiments in this expedition
have not been found. Hon. George A. Gilmore, as special com-
missioner under legislative authority, has published a "Roll
of New Hampshire Men at Louisburg, Cape Breton, 1745,"
and he gave the residences of the men as nearly as he could ascer-
tain the same. Durham is given as the residence of the following
men, Benjamin Bunker, Eleazer Bickford, Eliphalet Daniel, and
Moses Meader.

Benjamin Bunker was clerk of Capt. Samuel Hale's company,
enlisting as a private 13 February 1745, and was promoted to be
Ensign, 10 August.

Eleazer Bickford petitioned the General Assembly for some
allowance on account of sickness, losses, etc., and was allowed two
pounds. Daniel Doe at the same time was allowed two pounds,
ten shillings, because of medical treatment by Dr. Samuel Adams
after his return. The first was a private and the second a mari-
ner, both enlisting 13 February 1745. Daniel Doe was son of
John Doe and lived near the Moat.

Moses Meader petitioned for relief because of sickness at
Louisburg, which caused his return to New Castle in August,
where he was confined by sickness for three weeks, and in conse-



HISTORY OF DURHAM II3

quence he states that he has been able to do but Uttle for the sup-
port of himself and family. He was allowed five pounds, though
his expenses at New Castle alone had been over ten pounds.

Col. Gilmore does not give the residencesof many of the soldiers,
but one familiar with the records of Durham can easily pick out
the following names of Durham men, Abraham Bennet, Moses
Davis, Benjamin Daniel, John Edgerly, John Ealet [Eliot],
Thomas Jones, Thomas Johnson, William Lapish, David Kinkett
[Kincaid], John Perry, William Randall,James Smith, John Smith,
Corp. Samuel Thompson, James Thompson, and John Welch.

The tow^n voted to exempt from taxes for that year those who
went on the Louisburg expedition.

Scouting parties were sent out during the winters of 1744 and
1745. Capt. Benjamin Mathes had command of one, n Jan-
uary 1745. The men were Joseph W^ormwood, Gershom Mathes,
William Emerson, Abraham Mathes, James Thompson, Joseph
Coleman, John Leigh ton, Reuben Heard and Samuel Bickford.
They served twenty-one days for eighteen shillings and nine



Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 10 of 34)