Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Among the many things which win the admiration of students of the Dumming family is that rare quality of preserving its faith, zeal, honesty and sterling worth, alike in places mossy with age, and in conditions of the newest and most testing character. In old towns and cities of England and Scotland one finds Dunnings with long historic stories behind them working and hoping with the energy and cheer of their first ancestors in those lands. Wherever in America we find a branch of this stock transplanted we find the same story of earnest life and faith. This is true in the study of the Dunning lines represented in America.
George Dunning was a settler at New Haven, Connecticut, as early as 1644, and all glimpses of the life of himself and children show a faith and zeal undimmed by his change from Old World scenes to those which had so many trying days and nights. The pioneer spirit in this family has made many of the Dunnings prominent residents of the state of New York, and the builders in many new towns in many western states. But the story of untarinsihed worth, patriotism and activity is the same among these as among those who have lived near the old Connecticut homestead. Dr. A. E. Dunning, so long editor of the Congregationalist of Boston, Mass., is one of the scholarly and energetic types of this family.
The Dunnings of Maine, and of many New England and Western states, find their ancestor in Andrew Dunning, who emigrated to Brunswick, Maine, early in 1700. He dwelt in a community of colonists of the hardiest and worthiest type. The story of his family indicates a transplanting from an old English town to one of different type in Scotland; then a removal to the north of Ireland; and from thence emigration to America. But Andrew Dunning, the sturdy Presbyterian, had a faith as clear and unwavering as that of any warwhoops of the savages with the same zeal which his ancestors had met their formen on battle-fields. A tabulated list of the achievements of his descendants has been made, and is of the most convincing character in regard to the wonderful vitality of the Dunning family.
Here is a list of patriotsx in all our country's struggles embracing scores of names; a line of legislators; men who have been town clerks for forty years; workers by the hundred who have been true pillars in many churches; ministers of renown; deacons of fifty years faithful service; writers of marked ability along many lines; lawyers and physicians in twenty states; shipbuilders of great skill, from Robert Dunning, the pioneer shipbuilder of Brunswick, Maine, down to later history in many towns; a list of sea captains of long service showing thirty names; a list of postmasters beginning with Deacon Andrew Dunning, who was the first postmaster at Brunswick, Maine; a painter of wide renown in Joseph Dunning, late of Fall River, Mass.; and able workers along all lines of life.
(I) Andrew Dunning was born in 1664 and died at Maquoit, Brunswick, Maine, Jan. 18, 1736, in the seventy-second year of his age. His gravestone may still be seen in the old cemetery below Brunswick Village, and near the site of the first church built in the town. It is the oldest stone there and is said to have been engraved by his son, Lieut. James Dunning. The words are arranged in very picturesque fashion, and contain the following statements: "Here Lyeth the Body of Mr. Andrew Dunning Who departed this life, January the 18th, 1736, aged 72 years. 1664. 1666 London was burnt. 1660 Chas. 2nd. 1685 James 2nd. 1689 William and Mary. 1702 Queen Anne. 1714 George 1st. 1727 George 2nd."
The country from which Andrew Dunning came is clearly given in the deposition of himself and sons, Andrew and David, when these three enlisted in Capt. John Giles' company at Brunswick in the time of the Indian wars, 1722-73. Each deposed that he was of Ireland. Another deposition of the son David is still preserved in the old Pejepscot papers, in which he states that "about the yar 1718 he came to Boston with his father, on the ship with Andrew McFadden, that from thence they came to Georgetown (in Maine), and thence to Brunswick, where they had resided ever since." This clearly marks their coming to America with one of the Scotch-Irish colonies which brought to the shores of Maine some of its sturdiest settlers. In view of these and other historical facts it seems very strange that several writers claim that Andrew Dunning came from Devonshire, England, and that he left behind him a son John, whose son John became a celebrated lawyer and was made Lord Ashburton. Some years ago a cunning "grafter" persuaded some mebers of the Dunning family in Maine that they were heirs to the estate of this Lord Ashburton, which was then valued at the fabulous sum of fifty millions of dollars. He got a large sum for securing this estate, and departed for England, from which he reported that "the claim of heirship is plain as daylight, but it takes many years to secure the property." Meanwhile, two scholarly descendants of the Dunning ancestors in Maine examined the will of Lord Ashburton, and found it stating that the heir must be found in a short period, and also that the heir was found in London within six months of Lord Ashburton's death. Thus all these stories of the famous English origin of the Dunning family were proved to be without the least foundation. The members of the family turned to the depositon of Andrew Dunning and his sons i n 1722-23 and said, "He must have known from whence he came."
"These Scotch Irish," says Professor Berry, of Williams College, "were all in general one sort of people. They belonged to one grade and sphere of life. They were for the most part very poor in this world's goods. The vast majority of all the adults, however, could read and write. If they had but one book to the family, that book was surely the Bible, and if there were two volumes to a family, the second place in most cases was disputed between Fox's 'Book of Martyrs,' and Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress.' Their personal habits, their mental characteristics, their religious beliefs and experiences, and their very superstitions, were held largely in common. So far as their physical natures went, they had received in the old country a splendid outfit for the race of life, in large bones and strong teeth and a digestive apparatus the envy of mountain bears. Men and women were both trained to almost tireless physical industry. The struggle for physical subsistence had been with them no mere figure of speech. Each company of Scotch-Irish brought with them as a part of their indispensable outfit the much prized potato, to which the pine lands of New England were so well adapted. Each company also brought the agricultural implements needful for the culture of the flax plant, and the small wheels for spinning the flax fiber, and the looms for weaving the linen textures."
Andrew Dunning bought quite a large tract of land near the first church in Brunswick, in whose organization he was so largely helpful, as he was a very devout Presbyterian, and very close to the home of the faithful minister, Rev. Mr. Woodside. He cultivated this farm, and also did much work as blacksmith for the early settlers. By all who knew him he was respected for his great honesty and integrity of character.
The wife of Andrew Dunning was Susan Bond, who is said to have lost her life in the burning of the home in 1737-38. Their five sons were born before the coming to America.
1. Lieut. James, born 1691, mentioned below.
2. Andrew, born 1702, a brave soldier in the Indian wars, and who was shot by the savages while crossing the river near Brunswick, March 22, 1724 or 1726.
3. Robert, who was shot with his brother Andrew by the Indians.
4. William, who removed to York, Maine, where he died June 13, 1783, having married Deborah Donnell and become the father of a large family. Two of his sons moved to Harpswell, Maine, at an early date, becoming the ancestors of a long line of sea captains and noble men and women.
5. Captain David, born 1705, died in Brunswick Aug. 16, 1793, aged eighty-eight years. He was a solider in the revolutionary war, selectman of Brunswick, deacon of the Congregational church, and built a block house on the site of the present (1908) postoffice. He became the owner of nearly all the land on which Brunswick Village now stands, and had great influence in the town; he had a large family, and a long line of worthy descendants.
(II) Lieutenant James, son of Andrew and Susan (Bond) Dunning, born 1691, died Brunswick, Maine, June 8, 1752. He lived on his father's homestead, to which he added much. He was known far and wide as "the famous Indian fighter," and saved many lives and towns from the savages. In 1727 he served in Capt. William Woodside's company, and in 1757 in Capt. John Getchell's famous company. He was on a committee to the general court of Massachusetts, selectman of Brunswick, had much to do in the incorporation of the town, and made his strong and patriotic influnece felt in various ways.
Lieut. James Dunning married Martha Lithgow, daughter of Robert Lithgow, who came from Ireland to Topsham, Maine, about 1721. Lieut. James Dunning had a large family of sons and daughers, who, with their descendants have done much to help and cheer the world. Among these have been brilliant scholars, fine business men, clergymen of earnest faith, and worthy citizens of many towns, cities and states.
(III) James (2), son of Lieut. James (1) and Martha (Lithgow) Dunning, born Brunswick, Maine, July 31, 1738, died at Brunswick Aug. 1, 1781. He was a patriot of the truest type. He became on of the pioneer settlers at Bangor, Maine. His lot was at the mouth of the Kenduskeag stream, on the southwest side, and was lot number 10, in Holland's survey, and is said to ahve contained one hundred acres. He also owned a quarter part in a sawmill. His estate was appraised at $440.
James Dunning married, at Brunswick, Dec. 25, 1763, Jane Woodside, born Brunswick May 14, 1742, died Bangor, Maine, March 28, 1792, daughter of Capt. William and Ann (Vincent) Woodside, and granddaughter of Rev. James Woodside and of Capt. William Vincent, thus being a woman of "royal religious and patriotic heritages." The family was one of whom the parents were justly proud because of the children's sturdy zeal, honesty and helpfulness wherever they lived. Among the descendants is James E. Dunning, so long an editor at Bangor and Portland, the author of many articles and books, and now U. S. consul at Milan, Italy.
(IV) James (3), son of James (2) and Jane (Woodside) Dunning, was an influential citizen at Bangor, Levant and Charleston, Maine, and married, March 8, 1786, Anna Thomas, who died at Charleston, March 30, 1825, aged fifty-eight years.
Dorothy, Jane, Rachel, William, Solomon, Reuben, Olive, Eliza, Mary, Caroline Holbrook and Isaac Cary. All but two of these children married and reared families.
(V) Solomon, son of James (3) and Anna (Thomas) Dunning, born Brunswick, May 7, 1800, died Charleston, Oct. 4, 1871. He moved to Charleston when young, and received a good education in the schools there. Like his ancestors in the Duning and other family lines, he was very active and industrious. He had a large farm, conducted a country store very successfully, and was one of the most shrewd and careful buyers and sellers in the state. He thus accumulated a large fortune for his times. He was very helpful in all enterprises which tended to make the town one of strength and honor. He was selectman, tax collector and treasurer for the town for many years, representative to the Maine legislature in 1850-56, and county commissioner of Penobscot county. He was one of the staunch supporters of the Baptist church, and a man of earnest faith. His good influence was widely felt in the state.
Mr. Dunning married Jan. 20, 1829, Susan Kingsbury, born Brewer, Maine, Sept. 28, 1805, died Charleston, 1892.
Hannah Jane, Henry, (for many years connected with the Youth's Companion office in Boston, Mass.), William Emmons, Harrison, Horatio, Eudora, Freeland, Emily and Rachel (who died in infancy). (VI) William Emmons, son of Solomon and Susan (Kingsbury) Dunning, born Charleston, March 31, 1835, is one of the highly esteemed residents of that town. Until 1853 he helped conduct his father's farm, and then went to California, where he remained until 1864, being engaged in mining and lumbering. Returning to Charleston he purchased his father's farm, which he carried on until 1906, when he retired from business and moved to a home in the village. Like his father, he has always been a sturdy Republican and was representative to the Maine legislature in 1876.
He is a member of Olive Branch Lodge, of Charleston, A. F. and A. M. Like so many of his Dunning ancestors who have seen many years, he is active and wide-awake with a keen and cheery outlook on life.
Mr. Dunning married, in 1864, Susan Wylie, who died in 1902, the daughter of William Wylie, of Frankfort, Maine, a true helpmeet and beloved neighbor.
(VII) Richard T., son of William E. and Susan (Wylie) Dunning was born at Charleston, Sept. 10, 1865, and resides with his father.
Andrew Dunning, immigrant ancestor of the family, came from Ashburton, Devonshire, England in 1717. He landed in Boston, and from thence went to Brunswick, Maine, in the same year. He was a soldier in the Indian sars in 1723-24 for thirty-seven weeks, in the company of Capt. John Giles. He was a Presbyterian, like many of his Scotch-Irish neighbors, and a man of high character. He was a blacksmith by trade, and, after the custom of the times, owned slaves who continued in the family after his death. His house lot was owned recently by Patrick McManus, formerly by a descendant, Samuel Dunning.
He brought his wife, Susan (Bond) Dunning, and five sons with him from England, where all were born. His gravestone in the old burial-ground, wrought by his son James, is the oldest in existence there. One account states that his house was burned a few years before his death, while another account fixes the date of the fire as 1737. His wife, in trying to save some money she had laid away, fell through the floor into the cellar and was burned to death. A negro slave, asleep in the archway of the cellar, was dragged out with difficulty through the cellar window.
Children, all b. in old country:
1. William, settled in York, cordwainer; children: i. Andrew, soldier in French war, deacon, town clerk; ii. Benjamin, born 1737, of Harpswell, lieutenant, member of committee of safety and correspondence, town clerk, representative, overseer of Bowdoin College; iii. Mary, born April 15, 1739, married Hon Dummer Sewall.
2. Andrew, born 1702, soldier in Capt. John Giles' company in 1723-24; was from Ireland; in 1742 he and his brother Robert were crossing the river between Brunswick and Topham, when they were shot by Indians, one falling into the river to his death and the other living until the next morning; both were buried in the old Fort George graveyard in Brunswick.
3. James, mentioned below.
4. David, born 1705, lived in Brunswick; in 1722, when the fourth Indian war began, he was one the plains with another soldier who was shot and killed; he was first representative to the general court from Brunswick; often selectman; deacon of the church; he left an affidavit which shows that he came probably with the Scotch-Irish emigrants of 1718, first to Boston and later in the same ship to Maine; married (first) Mary, daughter of John Farren; she died Aug., 1784; married (second) the widow of Adam Hunter; has many descendants.
5. Robert, of Brunswick, was killed by Indians.
(II) James, son of Andrew Dunning, settled in Brunswick on the same lot with his father. He was soldier in Capt. Woodside's company in 1727, and was one of the remonstrants against dismantling Fort George at Brunswick, April 25, 1737. He was a landower at Brunswick in 1739, and was selectman in 1739-43-44. He died June 8, 1752.
He married Martha _____.
Children, b. at Brunswick:
1. Robert, born June 8, 1731, married Sarah Spear.
2. Mary, born April, 1733, married (first) William Reed Jr.; (second) William Owen.
3. Susan, born March 17, 1736, married Matthew Patten, 1754.
4. James, born July 31, 1738, married, 1764, Jane Woodside; died 1792.
5. Margaret, born Nov. 15, 1740, married, 1759, Thomas Campbell; died Sept., 1814.
6. William, mentioned below.
7. Andrew, born April 18, 1745.
8. David, born Dec. 16, 1749, died April 10, 1823; married Elizabeth _____, who died June 23, 1846.
9. John, born March 18, 1753.
(III) William, son of James Dunning, was born March 14, 1743, died June 15, 1827; he must have followed the sea, afterwards owning a shipyard and sawmill at Maquot shore; later was a farmer; owned in 1773 the sloop "Abigail," and later was part owner of the schooner "Comlumbia."
Married, 1774, Jennette Stanwood.
Thomas, David, John, Jane, Mary.
(IV) John, son of William Dunning, was born in Brunswick, Sept. 5, 1795. He married, March 2, 1820, Mary, born June 8, 1792, daughter of William and Katherine (Hayden) Woodside.
1. Lithgow, born Sept. 15, 1821.
2. William, born June 29, 1823.
3. Annis, born Sept. 30, 1824.
4. Hannah S., born Oct. 4, 1826, married Dr. Simeon Mudgett.
5. John, born May 8, 1828.
6. Emma, born Jan. 1, 1832.