Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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family settled in Hingham, Massachusetts. Other
children were born after their arrival, making tea
in all. Those who lived to maturity were : Ed-
ward, John, Moses, Mary, Sarah and Lydia.

(IV) Moses, third son of Edward and Mary
(Clark) Gilman, was baptized at Hingham, Eng-
land, March 11, 1630. He was in Exeter, New
Hampshire, with his father as early as May 10,
1652, and land was granted him in that part of
the town which was afterward incorporated as
New Market. He figured prominently in public
affairs, frequently serving as a selectman, and in
1697 was succeeded in that office by his son, Moses,
Jr. His death occurred prior to August 6, 1702,
on which date his will was probated, and his de-
scendants are known as the New Market branch
of the family, some of whom settled in Sanbornton.
He married, in Hingham, Massachusetts, Elizabeth
Hersie, daughter of William Hersie, Sr., of that
town, and his children were : Jeremiah, Elizabeth,,
James, John, David, Joshua, Caleb, Moses, Mary and
Judith. From the establishment of New Hampshire
as a royal province to the present day this family
has been identified with civic affairs. John Gil-
man was one of the original councillors in Presi-
dent Cutt's commission. Colonel Peter Gilman was
one of the royal councillors in 1772, while Nicholas
Gilman was a councillor in 1777, and again in 1788.
under the state government. Hon. John Taylor
Gilman was chosen chief magistrate of New Hamp-
shire eleven times in succession, and served as
governor in all fourteen years. The latter's brother
Nicholas served in both the national house of repre-
sentatives and the senate. Rev. Nicholas and Rev.
Tristram Gilman were graduated from Harvard in
1724 and 1757 respectively.

(V) Captain Jeremiah, eldest child of Moses
and Elizabeth (Hersie) Gilman, was born Au-
gust 31, 1660. He married Mary Wiggin, daughter
of Andrew, and granddaughter of Governor Thomas'
Wiggin. Her mother was Hannah, daughter of
Governor Simon Bradstreet, and great-granddaugh-
ter of Governor Thomas Dudley. Mrs. Gilman was
admitted a member of the church a.t Hampton,
April 4, 1697, as there was no minister at Exeter.
Their children were : Jeremiah, Andrew, Simon,.



Israel, Thomas, Benjamin, Ezekiel, Hannah and Jo-
seph. (.Benjamin and descendants are noticed in
this article.)

(VI) Andrew, second son and child of Captain
Jeremiah and INIary (Wiggin) Gilnian, was born in
1690, in that part of Exeter now called Newmarket.
When nineteen years old, j\Iay 8, 1709, Andrew Gil-
man, his elder brother Jeremiah, William Moody
and Samuel Stevens were captured by the Indians
at Pickpocket Mill in Exeter, and taken to the
shores of Lake Winnepiseogee. Moody, one of the
men, escaped, was recaptured, roasted to death, and
eaten by the cannibals. The brothers were separated.
Andrew was told that Jeremiah had been killed and
eaten, and as he never returned to Exeter the

'story was for a while believed. It is now asserted
that after a tedious captivity he escaped to the
Connecticut river, and settled near its mouth. An-
drew, after remaining some time in captivity, re-
turned to his friends and lived in Brentwood. After
his son Winthrop settled in Gilmanton he made
him a visit, and went to the lake to see the place
where the Indians had camped. Everything, even
these, looked familiar to the liberated captive. He
died some twenty years after the death of his
second wife. His property seemed to have been
considerable, being inventoried at six thousand nine
hundred and eighty-five pounds and sixteen shil-
lings. He married (first), January 27, 1715, Joanna
Thing, of Exeter, and (second) Bridget Hilton,
daughter of Colonel Winthrop Hilton of New
Market. She died November 10, 1736. The chil-
dren of the first wife were: Abigail, Jeremiah,
Joanna, Deborah and Mary. By the second wife:
Winthrop, Elizabeth, Anna and Andrew.

(VII) Captain Jeremiah (2), eldest child and
second son of Andrew and Joanna (Thing) Gil-
man, was born in Brentwood, June 3, . 1719, and
died May i, 1791. He was an officer in the colonial
wars prior to the Revolution, and during that war
captain of a militia company in Colonel Stickney's
regiment, of General Stark's brigade, and with his
company took part in the battle of Bennington. At
this time he was fifty-eight years old. After two
hours desperate fighting the British intrenchments
were carried, and Captain Gilman was said by his
soldiers- to have been one of the foremost over the
breastworks, where after a fierce hand to hand
conflict the struggle was terminated by the rout
of the enemy. As early perhaps as 1776 he re-
moved with his family to Wakefield, and built his
house just opposite "the Old Maids' Tavern," and
resided there until his death. He married Sarah
Kimball, daughter of Caleb and Sarah Kimball.
Their children were: Andrew, Mehitable, Joanna,
Bridget, Sarah, Jeremiah, Lydia, Anne and Abi-

(VIII) Bridget, daughter of Captam Jeremiah
and Sarah (Kimball) Gilman, was born Novem-
ber 4, 1748, and married, August 26, 1773, Samuel
Hall (see Hall, IV).

(VI) Benjamin, sixth son of Jeremiah and
Mary (Wiggin) Gilman, resided in Exeter, and
married Elizabeth Thing, daughter of Samuel and
Abigail (Gilman) Thing, and granddaughter of
Councillor John Gilman, an illustrious son of Ed-
ward (3).

(VII) Jonathan, son of Benjamin and Eliza-
beth (Thing) Gilman, was born December 25. 1720,
in that part of ancient Exeter which is now Brent-
wood. In 1767 he became the first settler, and was
the most prominent citizen of Wakefield, New Hamp-
shire, where he was a selectman and filled other
positions of responsibility. He is probably the

Jonathan ■ who died at Sandwich, jNIarch 28, 1801.
He married, December i, 1746, Mehitabel Kimball,
daughter of Caleb and Mehitabel (Porter) Kimball,
of Exeter. Their children were : John, Caleb,
Samuel, Jonathan, Benjamin, Mehitabel and Por-

(VIII) Porter, youngest child of Jonathan Gil-
man, was born June 6, 1762, in Brentwood, and
settled in Brookheld, New Hampshire. He mar-
ried, April 3, 1786, Hannah Hall, and their children,
born in Brookiield, were : Polly Pike, Avery Hall,
Abigail Hall, Asaf, Alvah, Sally, Caleb and Han-

(IX) Avery Hall, eldest son and second child
of Porter and Hannah (Hall) Gilman, was born
April 26, 1790, in Brookfield, and resided in that
town, which he represented in the legislature. He
was a farmer. He was married, May 7, 1816, in
Brookfield, by the Rev. Asa Piper, to Sally Savage,
of that town.

(X) Asaph, son of Avery Hall and Sally (Sav-
age) Gilman, was born in Wakefield, New Hamp-
shire, September 20, 1818. In 1864 he moved to
Dover, New Hampshire, and bought the farm where
his son now lives. He followed farming until his
Gilman, died December 25, 1898, aged sixty-nine,
daughter of Theophilus and Sarah L. Gilman, of
Wakefield. Of this marriage one child was born,
Joseph L., whose sketch follows.

(XI) Joseph L., only child of Asaph and Sarah
M. (Gilman) Gilman, was born in Wakefield, New
Hampshire, December 20, 1862. He was educated
in the common schools and at Franklin Academy.
He always remained on the farm with his father,
and gave his attention to agricultural pursuits; he
has also been engaged in driving cattle, and has
dealt quite extensively in horses. Mr. Gilman is
a Republican in politics. He married, June 20,
1889, Sarah M. Hussey, daughter of Moses and
Sarah (Hadford) Hussey, of Dover. She was born
February 20, 1856, and died January 9, 1906.

(VIII) Stephen Gilman, a descendant probably
in the fifth generation of Edward of Gaston, the
emigrant, through the latter's son Moses, was born
in Kingston, New Hampshire, but the date of his
birth has not yet come to light. He served as a
cavalry officer in the Revolutionary war, and after
leaving the service he engaged in farming at East
Unity, New Hampshire, where he died about the
year 1830. His first wife was before marriage
Annie Huntoon, and September 5, 1793, he was mar-
ried a second time to Dorothy Clough, who died
about 1S50. He was the father of twenty-one chil-
dren, nine of whom were of his first union, and
the others were of his second marriage. The ma-
jority of them settled in the Unities, East and West,
and a lake in that locality takes its name from the
family. (Benjamin and descendants receive men-
tion in this article.)

(IX) Emerson, born July 25, 1794, eldest son of
Stephen and Dorothy (Clough) Gilman, was a
native of East Unity, and resided there until 1837,
when he went to Lowell, Massachusetts. He was
a clothier and operated hand-looms prior to the
application of machinery to that industry. He sub-
sequently moved to Milford, New Hampshire,
whence he removed to Nashua in 1844, and in 1854
he went to reside in Groton Centre, Massachusetts,
where his death occurred in October of the latter
year. His wife was before marriage Delia Way,
born August 11, 1801, and he had a family of eight
children, namely: Mary A., born October 24, 1819;
Hannah F., December 18, 1823; Virgil C, May
5, 1827; Dorothy A., June 23, 183 1 ; Horace W.,



December 6, 1833 ; Emerson, Jr., February 6, 1837 ;
Abby F., May 19, 1842; Osman B., June, 1831. Only
five of these grew to years of maturity. (Mention
of Horace W. and descendants appears in this

(X) Virgil Chase, third child and eldest son
of Emerson and Delia (Way) Oilman, was born in
East Unity, May 5, 1827. He was educated in the
public schools including the high school, and ac-
quired his early business training in Nashua. In
1851 he engaged in the manufacture of paper as
a member of the firm of Gage, Murray & Company,
who made a specialty of printer's cards, also em-
bossed and marble papers, and from this concern,
which enjoyed a most successful career, both in-
dustrially and financially, developed the present Na-
tional Card and Olazed Paper Company. After
severing his connection with the paper-manufactur-
ing industry he engaged in agricultural pursuits
with a view of recovering his health, which had
become somewhat impaired owing to his close ap-
plication to business. Being an expert penman, as
well as one of the most accurate bookkeepers and
accountants in southern New Hampshire, he was
secured by the Nashua Savings Bank at its organ-
ization to open its first set of books, and for some
time he acted as cashier's substitute at the Pen-
nichuck's Bank. For nearly twenty years dating
from 1876 he was treasurer of the Savings Bank,
and he was long a director of the Indian Head
National Bank. His business interests were both
various and important, and in all probability covered
more ground than did those of any of his contem-
poraries, and he not only invested freely in home
and nearby enterprises but used his influence in
the building up of Nashua as an industrial center
and contributed many convincing articles on the
subject to the press, which served to give capital-
ists a most favorable impression of the outlook.
He was president of the Peterboro railroad, and
of the Nashua Saddlery Hardware Company, and
a director of the Underbill Edge Tool Company,
the Amoskeag Axe Company, the Nashua Iron and
Steel Company and other successful enterprises,
each of which profited in no small measure from his
business sagacity and sound judgment in financial
matters. His interest in farming was never per-
mitted to grow lukewarm, and his successful
achievements in almost every branch of agriculture
acted as an incentive in the neighboring tillers of
the soil. He was especially interested in the rais-
ing of poultry, being among the first to develop the
far-famed Plymouth Rock fowl, and was awarded
a bronze medal at the Centennial Exposition in 1876
for an unusual fine exhibit. For many years he was
a trustee of the New Hampshire Agricultural So-
ciety and frequently did yeoman duty at agricul-
tural and horticultural exhibits, local, state and

During a long period Mr. Oilman served upon
the board of education ; was for upward of twenty-
live years secretary and treasurer of the board of
trustees of the Public Library, the establishment of
which he zealously promoted ; was mayor of Nashua
in 1865 ; was a member of the lower house of the
state legislature in 1879, serving as chairman of
the committee on banks and strongly opposing the
taxation of church property ; was elected to the
state senate for the year 1881, being honored with
the chairmanship of the judiciary committee, which
at that time enjoyed the somewhat unique distinc-
tion of not having in its makeup a single member
of the legal profession, and in spite of this fact it
discharged its duties in a most able and judicious

manner. In marked contrast to the majority of pub-
lic officials his elections invariably were the direct
outcome of the office seeking the man. One of his
favorite pastimes was his active connection with
the Oovernor's Horse Ouards, and he was an
honorary member of the Foster Rifles. He was a
leading member of the First Congregational Church
and its society, participating actively in its work,
serving as a director, treasurer and president of
its Sunday school, and contributing liberally toward
the building fund of the present church edifice. In
1893 Dartmouth College conferred upon him the
honorary degree of Master of Arts in recognition
of his generosity in founding a scholarship fund
there for the use of indigent students. The record
of his life work was in every way an honorable one,
and on April 28, 1903, he was called hence, re-
spected and esteemed by the entire community, by
whom his passing away was sincerely regretted.
In 1850 Mr. Oilman married Miss Sarah Louisa
Newcomb, daughter of Oideon and Sarah (Abbott)
Newcomb, of Roxbury, New Hampshire. Of this
union there were two children: Harriette Louisa,
born October 21, 1853, married January 14, 1875,
Charles W. Hoitt, judge of the Nashua municipal
court (see Hoyt, VIII) ; and Alfred Emerson, born
February 16, 1857, died September 29, same year.

(X) Horace Way, son of Emerson and Delia
(Way) Oilman, was born in East Unity, December
6, 1833. In early boyhood he went to Lowell and
attended school there, and in early manhood moved
to Nashua, New Hampshire, and attended Crosley's
school. He began the activities of life as a school
teacher in Nashua, and later removed to Boston
and served in the capacity of clerk in a drug store.
He then returned to Nashua and become as-
sociated with the Oilman Brothers Manufacturing
Company, manufacturers of cardboard. The busi-
ness this firm conducted was one of the first of
its kind in the country. He sold out his interests
and went to Albany and organized the Albany
Card & Paper Company, of Albany, New York,
with Mr. John Dobler, and in the sixties sold out
to Mr. Dobler and then returned to Nashua. The
Albany Card and Paper Company is still in exist-
ence and very prosperous. When he returned to
Nashua he purchased an interest in the firm of
Cage, Murray & Company, cardboard manufacturers^
the Nashua Card & Olazed Paper Company. He
was its treasurer from its inception up to the time
of his retirement, a period of thirty years, during
which time the company was most successful, never
losing the semi-annual dividend, which at one time
reached as high as sixty per cent, per annum.

Mr. Oilman was not only a prominent figure in
the business circles of Nashua, but evinced an earn-
est interest in the moral and religious aspect of the
city as well, having for years devoted much time
to the welfare and advancement of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, of which he served as treasurer,
trustee and superintendent of the Sunday school ;
he also represented the laity in the conference and
attended the centennial celebration of that denomina-
tion at Baltimore, Maryland. His desire for the
propogation of church work was only equalled by
his interest in the general welfare of his fellowmen,
and his death, which occurred March 24, 1894, re-
moved from the business and religious circles of
Nashua an upright, conscientious man, a zealous
christian worker and one of its most successful
business men. In politics he took no active part,
except he was elected a member of the State Consti-
tutional Convention in the year . .He was

prominently identified with the Masonic Order, in



which he had advanced to the thirty-second de-

]\Ir. Gilman married, in 1854, Miss Adehne W.
Marsh, of Hudson, New Hampshire. She bore him
four children, two of whom are living, namely:
Colonel E. M., see forward ; and William^ V., who
manages the wholesale business in New York City
of the Reversible Collar Company of Boston.

(XI) Colonel E. M. Gilman, treasurer and
manager of the Reversible Collar Company of Bos-
ton, Massachusetts, was born in Nashua, New
Hampshire, September 26, 1862. He went to local
schools and graduated from the high school in
Nashua. Later he graduated from Bryant &
Stratton's Business College, Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1884 he went to Wichita, Kansas, and engaged
in the banking business. He served as bookkeeper
of the Citizens' Bank, and after nine months service
in that capacity returned east as general manager
of their loan department, and in about four years
he sent back nine million dollars to invest in farm
mortages in Kansas. He severed his connection
with this concern in 1891, and then returned to
Nashua, New Hampshire, and re-entered his
father's business. April i, 189—, he went to Spring-
field, Massachusetts, and took the vice-presidency
and general managership of the Springfield Glazed
Paper Manufacturing Company, which position he
held for about six years. He was then induced to
accept a position as general manager of the Reversi-
ble Collar Company of Boston, in 1897, which po-
sition he now holds. He was elected treasureer
January, 1905. This company was organized in
1862, incorporated 1866, capital three hundred and
fifty thousand dollars, and employs about two hun-
dred hands. He is a Republican in politics. In
18S9 he was elected to civic government in Nashua,
New Hampshire. He was appointed aide-de-camp
on the staff of Governor Goodall, with rank of
colonel. He was also elected to civic government
while in Springfield. He is a member of the Bos-
ton Yachting Club, is fond of automobilmg and
other sports. He resides in Brookline, Massachu-
setts. Colonel Gilman married Mary F. Wallis,
of Nashua, New Hampshire, daughter of James F.
Wallis. They have one son, Francis D., now (1907)
seventeen years of age, in sophomore class at Har-
vard University, having entered college at the age
of sixteen. Mrs. Gilman is a member of the Daugh-
ters of the Revolution and several other noted clubs
and societies.

(IX) Benjamin Gilman, probably a son of
Stephen and Dorothy (Clough) Gilman, is supposed
to have been born in Unity.

(X) Stephen, son of Benjamin Gilman, was
born in Unity, and foUovv^ed the calling of a
farmer. He married Diantha, daughter of David
Harding, and among their children was a son,
Stephen W., mentioned below.

(XI) Stephen W., son of Stephen and Diantha
(Harding) Gilman, was born in Croydon, August
19, 1858, and was brought up by his maternal grand-
parents. He was educated in the Croydon district
school with the exception of one term at the Kim-
ball Union Academy. He states that, in his youth,
he considered himself an expense to his ancestors,
and that he decided to remain on his uncle's_ farm
until the age of twenty-one, giving his laborin re-
turn for his board and clothing. Upon attaining his
majority he left the farm with a capital of twenty-
five dollars, and for a time worked in a pistol
factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, becoming an
efficient mechanic. For twelve years he was em-
ployed by the government in the Springfield armory.

and during the latter six years established himself
in business, conducting a variety store in that city
and becoming the owner of a comfortable home.
In 1899, on account of his uncle's failing health,
he disposed of all his interests in Springfield and
returned to the homestead. Shortly after his re-
turn his uncle died, and Mr. Gilman is now the
owner of the farm which consists of about two
hundred acres. On his return to Croydon he opened
the general store which he now owns, and which
had been closed about seventy-five years. The busi-
ness is now flourishing. In 1900-01 he represented
his town in the legislature, and since 1900 has
held the office of town clerk. He has also served as
librarian, justice of the peace and notary public.
He is a member of Hampden Lodge, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, Springfield, Massachusetts,
and serves as superintendent of the Sunday school
of the Congregational Church of Croydon. He
married, in 1880, in Springfield, J\lassachusetts, Car-
rie I. Allen Stearns, who died in 1888, leaving no
issue. Three of her brothers were professional
men, one a prominent attorney of Boston, Massachu-
setts. Mr. Gilman married, in 1901, Mary C,
daughter of William Pernett, of Ansley, Have
Ferry, Lunenburg, county, Nova Scotia.

The original spelling of this name in
PRAY England was Pre, which is indicative of

a French origin. A natural love for the
sea, which seems to have prevailed among the
American branch of the family, caused many of
them to become mariners, and some of them won
distinction in the Colonial service.

(I) Quintin Pray, founder of the family in
America, was born probably in South of Scotland
about the year 159S, and emigrated in 1640 (per-
haps previous to that date), first settling in Lynn,
Massachusetts. He was an iron-worker. From
Lynn he removed to Braintree, Massachusetts, and
his death occurred in the last-named town June 17.
1667. The christian name of his wife, who sur-
vived him, was Joan, and his children were: Rich-
ard, born in 1650, died in 1693. John, see succeed-
ing paragraph. Hannah, the date of whose birth
does not appear in the records (was living in 1691).
Dorothy, born in 1644, died December 11, 1705-

(II) John, elder son of Quintin and Joan Pray,
was born about the year 1635. He resided in
Braintree and died there in 1676. May 7, 1657, he
married Joanna Dowman. who was appointed ad-
ministratrix of his estate October 31, 1676, and she
subsequently married Daniel Livingstone, with
whom she went to live in York, Maine, taking her
three youngest children with her. Her second hus-
band was killed by the Indians August 20, 1694
Her second account as administratrix was rendered
July 7, 1699. and' signed Joanna Livingstone, late
Pray. As the wife of John Pray she became the
mother of nine children, namely: John, born July
II, 1659, died young. Ephraim. born about 1661.
married 'Elizabeth, daughter of John Haydcn, and
resided in Braintree. Hannah, born March 4. 1063,
died December 12, 1664. Hannah, born March 16,
1665, became the wife of James Bell, of Taunton
Massachusetts. Richard, born May 3, 1667, died
prior to 1699. Samuel, the date of whose birth
will be given presently. Joseph, born about 167 1,
married Mary Grant. John, born February 10,
1673, died prior to 1699. Dorothy, born about
1675, became the wife of Daniel Forbush.

(III) Samuel, fifth son and seventh child of
John and Joanna (Dowman) Pray, was born m
Braintree, May 16, 1669. He began to follow the



sea at an early age and became a master-mariner.
He was captain of the brigantine "William and
Andrew," owned by Colonel Pepperell and named
for his two sons. He resided on Gunnison's Neck,
Kittery. Maine, and land was conveyed to him in
1700 and 1703. He married Mary Fernald, daugh-
ter of Thomas and Temperance Fernald, of Kit-
tery, and died in 1708, as, according to the records,
his wife Mary was granted power to settle his
estate October 9 of that year. It is quite probable
that her death occurred in or prior to 1722, as on
May ID of that year her son Samuel was ordered
by the court to act as administrator of the estate
of his father. Their children were : Samuel, who
will be again referred to. Mary, who became the
wife of Samuel Stacy, November 2, 1721. Hannah,
who was married to Thomas Rand, of Newcastle,
May 24. 1722. John, who was married in Ports-
mouth, June 2, 1709, to Joanna Jose. A daughter
who became the wife of Robert Mendum.

(IV) Samuel (2), eldest son and child of Samuel
and Mary (Fernald) Pray, was born in Kittery
or the immediate vicinity, but the date of his birth
cannot be found. As a member of Captain Samuel
Newmarch's companj^ he participated in some of

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 25 of 149)