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.]
The family of Longfellow is of English origin, and its first representative in America, from whom those of the name are in most cases descended, appeared in Massachusetts the latter half of the seventeenth century. The early Longfellows lived in times of trouble, and were farmers and soldiers; later generations were industrious farmers; then came those who received collge educations and were prominent in teaching and the law; and then came one who was the best known and best loved poet of his age and time.
(I) Ensign William Longfellow, the first of the name who came to America, was born in Horsford, near Leeds, in Yorkshire, England, and was baptized at Guiseley, Oct. 20, 1650. He came in youth to Massachusetts and settled in Newbury. He was a man of ability and education, but rather improvicent in his manner of life, preferring fun and frolic to work and study. As appeaars from a clause in Henry Sewall's will, dated Aug. 17, 1678, William Longfellow was at that time living at Newbury's Falls. The clause in the will is as follows: "I give & bequeath to my Soune in Law William Longfellow & my daughter Anne his wie, during their natural life, a tract of land with the house on it comonly knowne by the name of the high field, with a parcell of meadow adjoining therunto containing about seven or eight acres, being on the east side of the ffalls river, bounded on the southwest side with a little brooke & the great river, & the northeast side with a small creeke & stony brooke running into it. Allso an equal part or moyty of my great meadow formerly possessed by Launcelott Granger; And after their decease to the heires of the said Anne of her body lawfully begotten or to be begotten, & for want of said issue to my soune Samuel Sewall, to enjoy to him and his heires for ever." This will was not proved until May 24, 1700, ten years after the death of William Longfellow. Meanwhile the house and land had been conveyed by deed from Henry Sewall to his daughter to Anne Longfellow.
Among the tithingmen appoointed May 7, 1687, was "Mr. Will. Longfellowfellow." The honorary appellation of Mr. shows his social standing. In a list of the names of person who took the oath of allegience in Newbury, in 1678, is that of William Longfellow, aged twenty-seven. In 1687 William Longfellow returned to England to receive what was due him apparently from the estate of his brother, at which time his father is stated to be "alive and well." After his return to Newbury, William enlisted in the expedition to Quebec, under Sir William Phipps, and was drowned at Anticosti Island, in October, 1690. At that time he was an ensign. In 1739 a township of land on the westerly side of the Merrimack river "and northerly and adjoining to Contoocook," was granted and laid out to the "soldiers in the expedition to Canada, anno 1690<" and the heirs of Ensign William Longfellow received a share of it.
He married, Nov. 10, 1676, in Newbury, Anne, sister of Judge Samuel Sewall, and daughter of Henry and Jane (Dummer) Sewall.
William Stephen (died young), Anne, Stephen, Elizabeth and Nathan.
Mrs. Longfellow married (second) May 11, 1692, Henry Short and had six children. She died Dec. 18, 1706.
(II) Lieutenant Stephen, third son of William and Anne (Sewall) Longfellow, was born in Newbury, Sept. 22, 1685, and died at Newbury Falls (Byfield Parish) Nov. 16, 1764, aged seventy-nine. He was a locksmith and blacksmith by trade. He owned and occupied the house and farm at Newbury Falls until his death; Jan. 3, 1711, he bought of his sister Elizabeth all her right and interest "in land given to said Anne, by her father, Henry Sewall, in particular the farm in Newbury known as 'ye high field'"; Dec. 17, 1712, he bought of his brother Nathan all his right and interest in the same property; Jan. 7, 1715, he bought of John Emery and wife Mehitable, daughter of Anne Longfellow, all her right and interest in the same property; and Jan. 6, 1726, he bought of his half-brother Samuel Short all his interest in the same property.
He had a lawsuit with Abraham and Anne (Short) Adams regarding title to the high field, and won the suit. Stephen Longfellow's account book has many interesting entries in it, and his spelling is even more picturesque and varied and less in conformity with the present day rules of orthography than that of his contemporaries. His account book now in existence, bears this inscription of ownership: "Stephen Longfellow, his book July, 1710." Another similar inscription reads: "Stephen Longfellow, his book coust Sex Shillings and Sexpence." One charge is: "to Day's work my Selfe and 6 oxen and boy 15 - " (15 shillings.) This entry shows he was a large farmer as well as blacksmith. Another entry is: "1741 William Adams 10 Shep 5 Eues and 5 Wethers Let out fore year for hafe woll and then to return to Stock." The fact that there was slavery in the land appears from entries in various ways on the pages of the account book; one is: "Thomas Gage 1714 Bouston one day to plant." Bouston (Boston) was his Indian slave, who some years later became a fellow member in the Byfield Parish church, according to this entry in Mr. Hale's baptismal record: "Boston, an Indian servant of Lt. Longfellow, Nov. 19, 1727."
In his will dated Oct. 13, 1760, and proved Nov. 26, 1764, he gave to his wife Abigail one-half of the homestead during her life, and to his sons Edward and Samuel, after the payment of certain bequests, all the rest and residue of his estate excepting land adjoining the new plantation in Contoocook, N. H. Stephen Longfellow, though a very bad speller, believed in education so practically as to send a son to college.
Stephen Longfellow married Abigail, a daughter of Rev. Edward Thompson, of Marshfield. She died Sept. 10, 1778, aged eighty-five.
William, Ann, Edward, Sarah, Stephen, Samuel, Abigial, Elizabeth and Nathan.
(III) Stephen (2), third son of Stephen (1) and Abigial (Thompson) Longfellow, was born in Byfield, Mass., Feb. 7, 1723, and died at Gorham, Maine, May 1, 1790. He was a bright boy, and was sent to Harvard College where he took his first degree in 1742, and his second in 1745. He taught school in York, and went from there to Falmouth (now Portland) Maine. The letter from the minister of the town inviting him ran as follows:
"Falmouth, November 5, 1744.
We need a school-master. Mr. Plaisted advises me of your being at liberty. If you will undertake the service in this place, you may depend upon our being generous and your being satisfied. I wish you'd come as soon as possible, and doubt not but you'll find things to your content.
Your hunbke ser't,
P.S. - I wrote in the name and with the power of the selectmen of the town. If you can't serve us, pray advise us per first opportunity."
The salary for the first year was two hundred pounds, in depreciated currency. Mr. Longfellow arrived in Falmouth, April 11, and opened a school six days afterward; it was probably a grammar school. He continued to be the principal instructor in the town until he was appointed clerk of the court on the division of the county in 1760. He held many important and honorable offices in Portland. He was town clerk twenty-two years; clerk of the first parish twenty-three years; clerk of the proprietors of common lands for many years, and was the first to hold the offices of clerk of the judicial courts, and register of probate for the county, which offices he held for sixteen years.
"His handwriting in beautiful character, symbolical of the purity and excellence of his own moral character, is impressed on all the records of the town and county through many successive years."
He lived at the beginning of the revolution, on that part of Fore street which fronted the beach, east of India street; his house was destroyed in the sack of the town by Mowatt, Oct. 18, 1775, when he moved to Gorham, where he died, universally beloved and respected. His favorite reading was history and poetry.
He married, Oct 19, 1749, Tabitha, daughter of Samuel Bragdon, of York, Maine, who died June 11, 1777.
Stephen, Tabitha, Samuel, William and Abigial.
(IV) Hon. Stephen (3), eldest son of Stephen (2) and Tabitha (Bragdon) Longfellow, was born Aug. 13, 1750, in Falmouth, and died in Gorham May 28, 1824, aged sevety-four years. He went to Gorham with his father in 1775. He was one of the leading citizens of Gorham; a man highly honored and esteemed. He held many town offices; was selectman several years; representative to the general court of Massachusetts eight years; also senator under Mass.; judge of the court of common pleas from 1798 to 1811.
He occupied the farm which at one time included the Stephenson farm. The rows of fine elms which border the farm, and are still known as the "Longfellow Elms," were planted over one hundred years ago, under Judge Longfellow's direction and at his expense, he paying his hired men nine pence (twelve and a half cents) above their wages for every tree which they would set out outside of their working hours.
Mr. Longfellow married Dec. 13, 1773, Patience Young, of York. She died Aug. 12, 1830, aged eighty-four years.
Tabitha, Stephen, Abigail, Anna, Catherine and Samuel.
(V) Hon. Stephen (4), eldest son of Stephen (3) and Patience (Young) Longfellow, was born in Gorham March 23, 1776, and died in Portland, Aug. 23, 1849, aged seventy-three years. He entered Harvard College at eighteen years of age, and graduated in the class of 1798. He was admitted to the bar in 1801, practiced law in Portland for many years, and attained great eminence in his profession. He was distinguished not only for his large acquirements, but for his probity and uprightness, and was often called upon to exercise important trusts.
He was a member of the Hartford Convention in 1814, and later was elected to congress and served one term. By overtasking his powers in the practice of his profession he was prostrated by disease. In 1828 he received the degree of LL.D. from Bowdoin College, of which he was a trustee nineteen years. In 1834 he was elected president of the Maine Historical Society. He died highly respected for his integrity, public spirit, hospitality and generosity.
He married Jan. 1, 1804, Zilpah Wadsworth, a daughter of General Peleg and Elizabeth (Bartlett) Wadsworth, of Portland. She was born at Duxbury, Mass. Jan. 6, 1778, and died in Portland March 12, 1851, aged seventy-three years. General WADSWORTH was a descendant of Christopher Wadsworth, the emigrant, of Duxbury, through John, John Jr., and Deacon Peleg, his father. He was a major-general in the revolution, and a member of congress fourteen years, being a much respected and honored citizen of his state. He died at Hiram, Maine, Nov. 12, 1829, aged eighty-one years.
Children of Stephen & Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow:
Stephen, Henry W., Elizabeth, Anne, Alexander W., Mary, Ellen and Samuel.
(VI) Henry Wadsworth, second son of Stephen (4) and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow, was born in Portland, Maine, Feb. 27, 1807, and died in Cambridge, Mass., March 24, 1882, aged seventy-five. His birthplace is at the north corner of Fore and Hancock streets. At the age of fourteen he gave decided indications of poetic taste, and anonymous pieces from his pen were at that time published in a Portland newspaper. In 1821 he entered Bowdoin College, though for the most part, during the first year of his college course he pursued his studies at home. The class he entered was noted for the intellectual brilliancy of its members. In it were sons of some of the choicest families of Northern New England; and among them were those who were to achieve a wide reputation in the field of letters - Nathaniel Hawthorne, George B. Cheever, John S. C. Abbott, and others at the bar and in political life, conspicuous among whom Jonathan Cilley and James Ware Bradbury. Mr. Longfellow graduated second in a class of thirty-seven. His them on commencement day was "Native Writers." During his college life he contributed to periodicals of the time, and his productions were received with favor as "early blossoms" of a spring of promise. Just at the time that he was going from Bowdoin the trustees determined to establish a professorshp of modern languages, and not having the means to obtain the services of anyone who was already eminent in this department, they determined to offer the post conditionally to the young graduate of their own college, who had already given proof of character and abilities that would enable im after proper preparation to fill the place satisfactorily. The proposal was accordingly made to him that he should go to Europe for the purpose of fitting himself for this chair, with the understanding that on his return he should receive the appointment of professor. It was a remarkable testimony to the impression that Longfellow had made and to the confidence that he had inspired. Nothing could have been more delightful to him than the prospect it opened. It settled the question of his career in accordance with the desire of his heart, and his father gladly approved. The study of law which he had entered upon was given up, and in May, 1826, he sailed for Europe.
He spent between three and four years in Spain, France, Italy and Germany. With unusual facility in acquiring language, he faithfully and successfully improved his opportunities, rate at that period, and returned to assume his duties in the college in 1829, accomplished in French, Italian and German, and subsequently added rare familiarity with more northern languages of Europe.
In 1835 he accepted the professorship of French and Spanish languages and literature and belles lettres at Harvard. Subsequently he again went abroad and spent two years in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, the Tyrol, and Switzerland. His third visit to Europe was made in 1842. Mr. Longfellow was highly esteemed and much respected as an instructor during the twenty-two years he served in that capacity. In all his years of teaching, he wrote much, his articles in the North American Review giving him a very extended reputation. He made translations of various foreign works into English while in Harvard, of which even the names cannot be mentioned in this brief article; and while at Harvard most of his many noted poems appeared. "In 1854 Mr. Longfellow resigned his professorship at Harvard" (says the "History of Bowdoin College," from which a large part of this article is extracted), but still continued his residence in Cambridge. In 1837, the historic mansion, the Craigie House, became his home, noted as the headquarters of Washington, and in later years the temporary residence of Presidents Everett and Sparks. Though retired from official duties, it was not to gratify a spirit of self-indulgence. In 1855 appeared what, from its immense circulation, has seemed his most popular as it has been pronounced his most original work, "Hiawatha." It was soon translated into German. Following this came the "Courtship of Miles Standish," 1858; "Tales of a Wayside Inn," 1863; "Flower de Luce," 1867; "The New England Tragedies," 1868; "Dante's Divine Comedy," a translation, 1867; "The Divine Tragedy," 1871; "Christus; a Mystery," 1872; "Three Books of Song," 1872; "Aftermath," 1874; "The Masque of Pandora," 1875. This last contained "Morituri Salutamus," a poem which Mr. Longfellow read at the reunion of his class on the fiftieth anniversay of graduation. This was received with great interest at home, and was regarded in England as not inferior in conception and execution to his best. "Pems of Places," thirty-one volumes appeared between 1876 and 1879; "Keramos, and Other Poems," 1878; "Ultima Thule," 1880; "In the Harbor," 1882, published after the author's death; "Michael Angelo," 1883, printed after the author's death, in the Atlantic Monthley, and afterward in an illustrated volume.
"A Complete Edition of Mr. Longfellow's Poetical and Prose Works," i n eleven volumes, was published in 1866. Longfellow's works have been translated into many languages and passed through numerous editions at home and abroad. "Their popularity may be judged by the fact stated by Allibone that in 1857 the sales of them in this country alone had amounted to 325,550. Besides those collected in his volumes, many have appeared in periodicals, which have not been thus collected. His wide culture and unwearied industry are manifest from their number and variety, the rich thought which they contain, their cosmopolitan character, and the exquisite finish and the melody of versification which mark all the productions of his pen. His translations show unsurpassed facility in transfusing the ideas and spirit of the original, and extraordinary mastery over the rythmatical resources of the language. In his own and other lands, and from highest sources, his productions have received most cordial and discriminating commendation."
"In 1868 and 1869," says Appleton's "Cyclopedia of American Biography," "accompanied by his daughters, he visited Europe for the last time, and enjoyed a delightful stay in England, in Paris, and especially in Italy. Fame and affection that his poems had awakened for him, though personally unknown, in the hearts of many in the Old World not less than in the New, made his visit to Europe a series of honors and pleasures. But he returned home glad to enjoy once more its comparative tranquility, and to renew the accustomed course of the day. His last years were the fitting close of such a life."
No poet was ever more beloved than he; none was ever more worthy of love. The expressions of the feeling toward him after death were deep, affecting and innumerable. One of the most striking was the placing of his bust in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abby, in March, 1884. It was the first instance of such an honor being paid to an American poet. His bust stands near the tomb of Chaucer, between the memorials to Cowley and Dryden.
Henry W. Longfellow married (first) Sept. 14, 1831, Mary Storer Potter, daughter of Judge Barrett Potter of Portland. She was born May 12, 1812, and died at Rotterdam, Holland, Nov. 29, 1835, aged twenty-three. He married (second) July 13, 1843, Frances Elizabeth Appleton, of Boston, born Oct. 6, 1817, and died a tragic death by burning, July 9, 1861, aged forty-three years. She was the daughter of Nathan Appleton of Boston.
Charles Appleton, Ernest Wadsworth, Frances (died young), Alice Mary, Edith and Anne Allegra.
(VI) Alexander Wadsworth, third son of Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow, was born in Portland, May 20, 1814, and died Feb. 14, 1901, aged eighty-six years. He was a civil engineer, and employed for years in the U.S. coast survey.
He married, Aug. 6, 1851, Elizabeth Clapp Porter of Portland, daughter of Richard King and Mary (Clapp) Porter, and granddaughter of Dr. Aaron Porter, whose wife Paulina was a daughter of Richard King, of Scarboro, sister of Rufus King, and half sister of Governor William King.
Mary King, Alexander W., Elizabeth Porter, Richard K. and Lucia Wadsworth.
Lucia W. married Franklin Ripley Barrett, of Portland. She is descended through the Wadsworths from nine Mayflower Pilgrims; Elder William Brewster and his wife Mary, their son Love Brewster, William Mullins and wife and their daughter Priscilla, John Alden, Richard Warren and Henry Samson.