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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(the grandfather of the late Hon. Henry Wilson)
June 16, 1751: Amy. July 9, 1758; and Benning,
born May 28, 1762. (Winthrop and descendants are
mentioned in this article).



James Colbath was a prosperous citizen of New-
ington, and with his brothers held various offices
of the town for many years. The deeds of convey-
ance to and from James Colbath, show that, in
addition to his Newington real estate, he was for
many years, an extensive landholder in the town of
Barnstead, New Hampshire. In the year 1748,
with the consent of and '"humbly" recommended by
all the selectmen of his town, James Colbath sent
the following:

"To the Honorable: The Court of Quarter
Sessions now setting at Portsmouth, in the Prov*
ince of New Hampshire, the Humble Petition of
James Colbath : Shewith that your Petitioner hav-
ing a Gristmill near my Dwelling house which oc-
casions my home to be much thronged with people,'
which come to the said mill, and there being no
Publick house near" putts me humbly requesting that
the Honorable Court will allow your Petitioner
the Liberty of Keeping a Public Tavern, and your
Petitioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray.

"Newington, March 7th, 1748-9."

This petition was granted unto James Colbath,
and for many years after the "Publick Tavern" was
a meeting place not alone for the grist mill folk, but
for political and public gatherings, proving an orna-
ment of public utility to the staid citizens of New-
ington. The Colbath home, located near the church,
has been preserved, and is pointed out as one of
the famous landmarks of the town. It is two-storied
and painted, and is yet in use as a dwelling house.
In the year 1784-85, James and Olive, with their son
Benning, removed to that part of Rochester, which
is now Farmington, and later to Middleton, where
James and Olive died before 1800. They rest in the
beautiful site of the family burial ground, upon a
hillside of the Colbath farm.

(III) Benning Colbath, born May 28, 1762, died
September 27, 1824, married Mary Rollins, born
May 26, 1761, died August 9, 1825, daughter of
Marr Huntress and Samuel Rollins, of Newington.
She was directly descended from James "Rawlins"
who emigrated to America in 1632, with the early
settlers of Ipswich, Massachusetts (Samuel(4), Sam-
uel (3), Joseph (2), James (i). So favorably is the
name Rollins known in New Hampshire history that
we need not dwell upon the sterling qualities of her
character. She was a person of high aspirations and
ideals. Her memory is sweetly sacred to her de-
scendants, . "even unto the third and fourth genera-
tion." The children of Benning and Mary Colbath,
were: Betsey, born May 10. 1785; Samuel, Feb-
ruary 10, 1788; Mary H., May 6, 1791 ; Benning,
November 17. 1795, died young; Benjamin R., June
6, 1799; Ephraim R., December 24, 1802. Benning
Colbath was a man of weight and worth. In 1793
we find him one of the officials of his adopted town ;
and he remained in her service for more than twenty
consecutive years as selectman and in the various
offices in her gift.

(IV) Samuel, son of Benning Colbath, born
February 10, 1788, in Rochester; died December 8,
1855, in Middleton, married, June 8, 1809, Elizabeth
Clark, born May 24, 1788, died December 24, 1867,
of Middleton. Elizabeth Clark was one of those,
of whom it may be justly said:

"None knew her but to 1 ove her,
None named her but to praise."

A gentle Christian woman, whose daily life was
one of prayer. She was the daughter of Samuel
and Abigail (Hanson) Clark. Her father served in the
war of 1812, and was an extensive land holder. In 1810

he sold to Hatevil Knight, of Rochester, one hun-
dred and thirty acres of land in New Durham, in
which conveyance he is styled "gentleman". Later
he sold his homestead farm and removed to St.
Johnsbury, Vermont, with his son, Nathaniel Clark.
It is proudly re-called by his descendants, that on
a visit to his son he made the journey from St.
Johnsbury to Middleton, New Hampshire, in a
sleigh, when above ninety years of age. The chil-
dren of Samuel and Elizabeth Colbath were:' Sa-
brina H,, and Jeremiah Smith.

In 1816, directly succeeding his father Benning,
we find Samuel Colbath one of the selectmen of
^liddleton, which office he held for many years.
Not alone for his public service was he honored,
but for the great moral worth oi his character, his
blameless life and his upright dealings with his fel-
low men.

^ toa-^i^^^7^

(V) Jeremiah Smith Colbath was born Feb-
ruary 2, 1812, in Middleton, at what is now known
as the "old Colbath Homestead." The house is
quaint and picturesque, and is delightfully situated,
overlooking, as it does, the valley of the Cocheco
river and the city of Rochester, with a fine view of
the distant hills. In the occupancy of the house,
four generations of Colbaths have preceded the
present owner, Elizabeth Colbath Davis, who is
of the sixth generation of Colbaths in America.

The subject of this biography early gave evi-
dence of intellectual ability and great love of study,
which were prominent traits through life even to
its close. After a course in common school he
studied under the instruction of Thomas Tash, the
scholar and linguist, until he became a teacher.
Being an only son, he did not long continue in this
occupation ; his duty call was to the farm, to com-
fort the declining years of his parents. July 18,
1841, he united in marriage with Lydia Millet Web-
ster, of New Durham. She was a beautiful and
brilliant woman, who possessed great firmness and
purity of mind. Like her husband, she had been a
teacher in the public schools. Lydia Millet Web-
ster (1806-1889) was the daughter of Reuben (1771-
1854) and Lydia (Smith) Webster (1771-1864) of
New Durham. Lydia (Smith) Webster was the
daughter of Lieutenant John Smith (1732-1819) of
Lubberland Durham ; whose wife was Lydia Millet,
(1735-1821) daughter of Hon. Thomas Millet of
Dover. Ebenezer Smith, who was for twenty years
president of the Strafford county bar, was of the
family. The children of Reuben and Lydia (Smith)
Webster were: John, born May 12. 1794; Stephen,
July 26, 1796; Abigail. February 4, 1798; Elizabeth,
December 30, i8or ; Valentine S., April 9, 1803 ;
Lydia M., November 21, 1806; and Drusilla B., Jan-
uary 5, 181 1.

Lydia Millet Webster was distinctly of English
blood, being directly descended from John Web-
ster, born in England, (died 1646) of Ipswich, Mas-
sachusetts, on the paternal side ; on the maternal,
from George Smith, who came from old Haugh, in
Chester County, England.

The military services of the family Webster
are noteworthy. Two nephews — Joseph F. Webster
and Henry S. (Webster) Willey of Farmington —
enlisted early and served honorably in the late re-
bellion. Her brother Stephen (3) Webster, (1796-
1872) served in the war of 1812. Her grandfather,
Stephen (2) Webster, (1739-1827) was a revolu-
tionary soldier from October 4, 1775, to his dis-



charge in 1781. He was honored bj' an invitation
to Concord, New Hampshire, at the time of the
visit of General Lafayette to that city ; and made
the journey from New Durham on horseback, when
above eighty-five years of age. His father. Stephen
(i) Webster, born 1712, of Salisbury, Massachusetts,
was an officer in the French and Indian war. In
the expedition against Crown Point (1755-1756)
he appears as "Captain in His Majesty's service."

Reuben Webster, father of Lydia Millet, was a
prosperous farmer who had by energy and thrift
won from the virgin forest the fertile farm upon
which he reared his ambitious sons and daughters.
The only child of Jeremiah Smith and Lydia Millet
Colbath, a daughter named Elizabeth Lydia was
born April 18, 1845, and married. May i, 1873,
Thomas M. Davis of Newfield, Maine.

At the age of twenty-six years Jeremiah S. Col-
bath was appointed by Governor Isaac Hill, justice
of the peace for Strafford county, which office, but
for a lapse of some three years, he retained through
life. July 2, 1861, he was appointed appraiser of
state prison property, and on the same date he was
appointed justice of the peace and quorum. His was
a busy life. Much time was given to literary re-
search, and to preparing articles for publication. At
his decease, he left in manuscript, and nearly ready
for the publisher a history of his native town of
Middleton. He engaged extensively in farming
and was also noted as a land stirveyor, to which
employment he was often called. For many years
he served his town as selectman ; and in eight of
those years was elected chairman of the board. He
was also supervisor of schools. In the year 1865 he
removed from his native Middleton to the town
of New Durham, where he had by purchase be-
come the owmer of a large farm. In 1866 we
find him in the service of his adopted town as one
of the appraisers of her real estate. May 5 of the
same year he was elected one of the investigating
committee to examine her accounts. Thence on,
we find him prominently in her service, as select-
man, treasurer, and supervisor of schools.
At the age of seventy years, while at Dover
New Hampshire, as foreman of the jury, on an
important case, he was seized with fatal illness,
and died in that city, October i, 1882. Thus passed
suddenly from life's active duties, while in full
mental vigor, one who had ever been the soul of
truth and honor. Kindly remembered, respected,
and beloved, he sleeps with his loved wife and hon-
ored dead, upon the hillside at his early home in
Middleton, New Hampshire.

"Warm summer sun,

Shine kindly liere.
Warm Southern wind,

Blow softly here.
Green sod above

Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,

Good night, good night.

(III) Winthrop Colbath, born in Newington.
INIarch 18, 1751, married Hannah Rollins, born in
Greenland, September 8, 1750.

(IV) George, son of Winthrop and Hannah
(Rollins) Colbath, born July 26, 1773, at Newington,
married Mary Knight, born December 31, 1776, at
Rochester. George died May 16, 1829, aged fifty-six,
and Mary (Knight) Colbath, died December 9,
1856, aged eighty. They were married in 1796.
Their children: John, September 16, 1796; William,
February 25, 1798; George, May 2, 1799; Winthrop,
February 14, 1801 ; Rosamond, May 15, 1804; Lewis,
October 13, 1805; Hiram, April 27, 1807; Mary,
October 4, 1808; James, April 3, 1810; John (2),
February 29, 1812; George (2), June 10. 1813;

Charles G., May r, 1815; Cynthia, March 5, 1817.

(V) William, son of George and Mary (Knight)
Colbath, born in Middleton, New Hampshire, Feb-
ruary 25, 1798, on the home farm, and followed
agriculture all his life on the old homestead. He
married, January 27, 1813, Sarah Pinkham Randall,
of Alton, and their children were : George W., Wil-
liam, Levi, Caroline (Mrs. Ham), Sarah (Mrs. John
Griffin) and Jane (Mrs. Holmes).

(VI) William (2), second child of William (l)
and Sarah R. (Pinkham) Colbath, was born in New
Durham, May 23, 1824. When a young man he
learned the shoemaker's trade, which he -followed for
some time, but relinquished that calling to enter
the employ of the Beach Soap Company, Dover, and
was in charge of its plant for a period of twenty-
five years. His first wife, Harriet, died in Rochester,
March 22, 1854, aged twenty-seven years. He mar-
ried J\Iary Jane Churchill, daughter of Eben and
Ann (Gove) Churchill, of Brookfield, New Hamp-
shire, and had a family of seven children, the first
born of whom died in infancy. Those who lived
to maturity are : Charles W., a merchant in Dover ;
Edwin C, see succeeding paragraph ; Annie L.,
George W., also of Dover ; Albert P., resident of
Haverhill ; and Irving, who is local manager of the
Postal Telegraph Company in the last named place.

(VII) Edwin C, third child of William (2)
and Mary Jane (Churchill) Colbath, was born in
Dover, October 8, 1862. His early education was
acquired in the public schools and he concluded his
studies with a commercial course at the Franklin
Academy. Some years prior to his majority he
entered the employ of Bartholomew Rich, a pro-
vision dealer of Dover, whom he subsequently suc-
ceeded, as a clerk in that establishment for a num-
ber of years ; he became thoroughly acquainted with
the business. In company with his brother, Charles
W., he acquired possession of the business, which is
now being conducted under the firm name of Col-
bath Brothers, and this concern is at the present time
carrying on a thriving trade in groceries, provisions,
etc. Politically Mr. Colbath acts with the Republi-
can party, and in 1904 was elected county commis-
sioner for two years. He is far advanced in Free
Masonry, having taken thirty-two degrees; member
of Moses Paul Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons,
Belknap Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Orphan
Council, Royal and Select Masters; St. Paul Com-
mandery. Knights Templar; Bektash Temple, An-
cient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine;
New Hampshire Consistory, Ancient Order Scottish
Rite; Prescott Encampment, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, of which he is a past officer, and a
member of the Royal Arcanum. On April 10, 1894,
he was joined in marriage with Edith B. Smart,
daughter of Charles and Susan (Harvey) Smart.
The children of this union are : Gladys H., born
April 15, 1895; and William E., SeptemjDer 17, 1896.

The large family of this name whose
CARTER branches stretch from the shores of

the Atlantic to the Pacific coast could
in a majority of cases perhaps trace their ancestry
back to the educated English inunigrant who, like
many others, put freedom to the worship of God
according to the dictates of his own conscience above
everything else. The early Carters, like most men
similarly situated, pioneer builders of a common-
wealth, 'were . farmers. Naturally they were sturdy
and industrious. They were kind-hearted and pub-
lic-spirited, because they were often compelled to
ask favors, and they realized that there was strength
in union. They were sensible and God-fearing,
withal, as these were inherited characteristics. It i.s



noticeable that many of the virtues of the early stock
are prominent in the later progeny, who with
greater opportunities, have accomplished more than
was possible for the pioneers and their immediate
descendants. "The early records show the Carters
of those days to have been prominent in all matters
of public interest; the division of land, and laying
out of roads, the building of a meeting house, the
founding of churches, and the establishment of
schools were entrusted to them. Many also were ac-
tive in the military organizations and duties of their
day, so that much of the religious, moral and in-
tellectual culture and prosperity of the communities
where they settled is due to the labors of these an-

(I) Rev. Thomas Carter was born in i6to, and
graduated at St. John's College, Cambridge, Eng-
land, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in 1629,
and Master of Arts, 1633. He came from St. Al-
bans, Hertfordshire, England, in the "Planter," em-
barking April 2, 1635. t^Ie came ostensibly as a ser-
vant of George Giddings, because of the difficulty in
obtaining leave to emigrate. On his. arrival in this
countr}' he was admitted an inhabitant of Dedham,
Massachusetts,, in September, 1636. He was then a
student in divinity. Subsequently he removed to
Watertown, Massachusetts, an4 was ordained the
first minister of the church in Woburn, Massachu-
setts, November 22, 1642. His death occurred Sep-
tember 5, 1684. He preached his first sermon there
December 4, 1641, and upon his ordination was pre-
sented with a house built for his use. His salary was
fixed at eighty pounds annually, one-fourth in silver,
and the remainder in the necessaries of life at the
current price. In 1674 twenty cords of wood were
given him annually in addition. He performed all
the duties of his office as pastor for thirty-six years
unaided. Afterwards Rev. Jabez Fox became his
assistant till the end of life. He was characterized
by one who knew him well as a "reverend, godly
man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of
Christ," and "much encreased with the encreasings of
Christ Jesus." Prior to 1640 he married Mary Dal-
ton, who died March 28, 1687. His children were :
Samuel, Judith, Theophilus, Abigail, Deborah, Tim-
othy and Thomas. (Thomas and descendants re-
ceive notice in this article).

(H) Rev. Samuel, eldest child of Rev. Thomas
and Mary (Dalton) Carter, was born August 8, 1640,
graduated at Harvard College., 1660, married, 1672,
Eunice Brooks, dawghter of John and Eunice (Mon-
sall) Brooks, born in Woburn, October 10, 1655, and
died minister of the church in Groton, Massachusetts,
in the autumn of 1693. Mr. Carter was admitted an
iuhabitant and proprietor of the common lands by a
vote of the town of Woburn, January 4, 1665-66, and
sustained at different times several responsible offices
in the town — selectman, 1679-81-82-83; commissioner
of rates, 1680; town clerk, 1690; and was engaged as
teacher of the grammar schools in 1685-86. He
owned land on George Hill (Lancaster) given to him
by the town, and this land was occupied by his de-
scendants for several generations. He sometimes
preached in Lancaster between the years 1681 and
1688. and perhaps resided there a short time. His
widow married for her second husband Captain
James Parker. After his death she became the wife
of John Kendall. Of the time and place of her death
we have no information. Children of Samuel and
Eunice (Brooks) Carter were: Mary, Samuel (died
young). Samuel, John, Thomas, Nathaniel, Eunice,
Abigail (died young), and Abigail.

(HI) Samuel (2), third child of Rev.
Samuel (i) and Eunice (Brooks) Carter, was born

in Woburn, January 7. 1677-78, and died in Lancas-
ter, August 30, 1738. He married, March, 1701,
Dorothy Wilder, born 1686, daughter of Nathaniel
and Mary (Sawyer) Wilder. He lived on the north
side of the road that goes up George Hill, a little to
the north of the school-house, on the site of a house
formerly known as the Captain Ephraim Carter
house, iiis father. Rev. Samuel Carter, having pur-
chased two lots of Captain Henry Kerley in 1688.
He was assigned to a garrison on George Hill with
his brothers-in-law. Lieutenant Nathaniel and
Ephraim Wilder, Thomas Ross, and his brother,
John Carter, and lost by an attack of the Indians,
Ji-ily 31. 1704, one cow, one horse, two calves, two
swine, and one dwelling house. He was selectman
in 1723, and served on various committees for the
location of highways and so forth. Samuel and
Dorothy (Wilder) Carter were the parents of twelve
children : Samuel, Eunice, Nathaniel, Dorothy, Anna,
Jonathan, Ephraim, Oliver, Mary. Elizabeth, Pru-
dence and Josiah.

Dorothy, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Saw-
yer) Wilder, became the wife of Samuel (2) Carter,
as above noted.

(IV) Nathaniel, second son and third child of
Samuel (2) and Dorothy (Wilder) Carter, was born
1706, in Lancaster, and died July 20, 1787, in Leomin-
ster. He resided on Bee Hill in that town, on the
farm given him by' his father. At the first town
meeting, July 9, 1740, he was chosen selectman and
on December 15 of the same year was made one of a
committee to build a meeting house. He was one of
the first sixteen to sign the church covenant, when
that body was incorporated, September 25, 1743. His
son, Eli.s'ha, was the first person baptized by the first
minister of that church. He was married (first),
February 9, 1731. to Thankful Sawyer, daughter of
Elisha and Beatrix Sawyer. She was born 1715, and
died December 5, 1755. He married (second), July
21, 1758, Dorcas Spofford, of Lunenburg, and died
August 6, 1784. His children were : Elizabeth,
Nathaniel, Elias, Susanna, Abigail, Prudence, Elisha
(died young), Samuel, Elisha, Asa and Thankful.

(V) Susanna, second daughter and fourth child
of Nathaniel and Thankful (Sawyer) Carter, was
married (intention published December 5, 1757,) to
John (2) Joslin (see Prouty, VI).

(IV) Josiah, youngest child of Samuel and
Dorothy (Wilder) Carter, was born January 26, 1726,
and died in Leominster, February 14. 1812. He mar-
ried (published May 24), 1745, Tabitha Hough, born
1729. died June 29. t8io. He was but eighteen and
his wife sixteen at the time of their marriage. He
settled at Leominster. Massachusetts, where he
cleared the homestead upon which three succeeding
generations were born and reared. He .served in
the Revolutionary war, attaining the rank of colonel.
He was with the army under General Washin.gton in
the disastrous campaign in New Jersey previous to
the retreat across the Delaware. He died at the age
of eighty-four years on the farm his own hands had
cleared and in the house his own hands had reared.
At the time of his death he had living more grand-
children than he was years old, several of the fourth
generation and one or two of the fifth. Inscriptions
on gravestones in the old burying ground, Leomin-
ster: "In Memory of Col. Josiah Carter, who d. Feb.
13, 1812. AE. 85." "In Memory of Mrs. Tabitha Car-
ter, wife of Col. Josiah Carter, who died June 29,
1810, Aet. 8t." They had fourteen children: Tabitha,
Tabitha (2), Josiah, Jude, Sarah. Zerviah. Relief,
Mary, Aliigail, Jacob, Relief (2), James, Relief (3)
and Jonah.

(V) James, twelfth child of Josiah and Tabitha


(X^. <r)OjiAj_



(Hough) Carter, born December 12, 1768, died at
Leominster, May 28. 1853, lie married, January i,
1795, Betsey Hale, born December 21, 1771, died April
20, 1844. He was a farmer, and lived and died on
the Carter Hill farm in Leominster. The children
of James and Betsey (Hale) Carter were: James
G., Betsey, Sarah, Solon, Caroline, Henry. Sophronia.
Catherine Hale, Josiah Howe, Artemas, and Julia
Maria — in all eleven. James G., the eldest son,
graduated from Harvard College in 1820. and was
engaged in educational enterprises, being contem-
porary with Horace Mann, and a co-worker with him
in educational matters, notably the establishment of
the system of normal schools in Massachusetts.

(VI) Solon, fourth child of James and Betsey
(Hale) Carter, was born September 4, 1801, died
June 3, T879. He married, December 4, 1834, Lu-
cretia Joslin, born June 27, 181 1. He succeeded to
the homestead farm which he cultivated successfully.
He was an active participant in the social, religious
and civil affairs of his town, being called upon at
different times to fill various town offices within the
gift of his fellow, citizens. The children of Solon
and Lucretia (Joslin) Carter were: Solon Augustus,
Frances Lucretia. William Withington. Helen
Martha and Grace Darling. The second son is a
resident of Chicago, Illinois. The elder daughter is
the widow of Henry T. Thurston, residing in Bos-
ton. The second daughter married John Morse
Locke, of Leominster, Massachusetts, where they
now live.

(VII) Solon Augustus Carter, eldest child of
Solon and Lucretia (Joslin) Carter, was born June
22, 1837, upon the farm cleared by his grandfather.
He was educated in the public schools of his native
town, and completed his education in the high school
at the age of seventeen years. During term-times as
well as between terms, he worked on the farm. The
winter succeeding his seventeenth birthday he taught a
district school in Leominster, and was complimented
on his success in the report of the superintending
committee. The following winter he taught in Lancas-
ter, and the summer of 1857 he spent in Chicago in
the employ of his uncle. Artemas Carter, engaged in
the lumber trade, but the panic of that year de-
pressed business to such an extent that he preferred
to return home rather than to continue there. The
following winter he lived at the old homestead and
devoted his attention to teaching school. He be-
came superintendent of the Keene Gas Light Com-
pany, in December, 1859, and moved to Keene, where
he maintained his residence until 1884, when he re-
moved to Concord, New Hampshire.

In the month of .August, 1862, he enlisted in the
Fourteenth Regiment. New Hampshire Volunteer
Infantry, and was commissioned captain of Company
G. He served with his command until July, 1863,
when he was ordered upon recruiting service at Con-
cord, where he was assigned to duty as acting as-
sistant adjutant-general upon the staff of Brigadier-
General Edward W. Hinks. The following' spring
General Hinks was assigned to the command of a
division of colored troops near Fortress Monroe, and
Captain Carter was, at General Hinks' request, by a

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 62 of 149)