Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


Sawtell, Sawtelle, Sawtwell, Sautel, Sartwell and Saretil are the various spellings of the family of which Richard Sawtell, of Watertown, 1636, and of Groton, before 1655, is the forebear. Two brothers, Richard and Thomas Sawtell, immigrant settlers of New England, came from England before 1636 and Thomas settled in the town of Boston and Richard in Watertown. Thomas died in Boston, 1651, and left no male heir.

(I) Richard Sawtell was made a freeman of Watertown, "The town upon Charles river," five years after its establishment by the general court of Mass. Bay, Sept. 7, 1630. At that time Watertown included a much larger area than is now represented by that name. It was a town which for many years ranked with Plymouth and Charlestown and Salem as one of the principal seats of influence of those mighty men of renown of the formative days of New England and its close neighborhood with Harvard College made it a centre whither the strong men of the period resorted and whence went forth influences which affected all the American colonies.
Richard Sawtell was a leader there as early as 1637, at the time that Cromwell, Vane and Hampden were engaged in those struggles which proved the birth pangs of English constitutional liberty. After Watertown had been firmly established, the call came for those who had been foundation layers and master builders of the new community to again lay new foundations on what was then the frontier of civilization, and among them was Richard Sawtell, who was a natural leader and moved to the front in whatever community he lived. The new settlement was named Groton, and it afforded the background and environment which was appropriate to such noteworthy schools as the old Lawrence Academy and the present St. Paul's school. Richard Sawtell became a proprietor of Groton, formed out of the Plantation of Patapawag, and removed his family to that town as soon as suitable homes had been provided. He served as its first town clerk. All through those terrible days of the Indian massacres which made the name Groton one to kindle terror even in those days of blood, Richard Sawtell remained at his place and counted the place of danger the place of honor. In extreme old age he returned to his old home in Watertown and died there Aug. 21, 1694. His life almost exactly spanned the period of the struggle for liberty, commencing just as the stuggle became acute and terminating just as victory was permanently assured.
His wife Elizabeth died Oct. 18, 1694. If, as seems probable, she was mother of Richard's children, she was probably daughter of Thomas Post, of Cambridge, who died in 1691, leaving a will in which he bequeathed to his "grandson John Sawtell," and others. Richard, by will, gave to his wife Elizabeth, for life, his lands in Groton and Watertown, his son Obadiah to improve the lands in Groton, and his son Enoch to do the same with lands in Watertown, and each to have the lands he improved on the death of their mother. These two sons were to pay something to the testator's daughters, Bethia Sawtell, Hannah Winn and Ruth Hues, and his son John Sawtell. The son Jonathan was provided for already.
1. Elizabeth, born May 1, 1638.
2. Jonathan, born Aug. 24, 1639, died Jan. 6, 1690-91; married July 3, 1665, Mary ____, who bore him six children.
3. Mary, born Nov. 19, 1640, married a Mr. Starling or Sterling.
4. Hannah, born Dec. 10, 1642, married Increase Winn.
5. Zachariah, born July 26, 1643-44, married (first) Elizabeth Parker, of Groton. children: Anna and Zachariah; married (second) Mary ____, children: Edward, Nathaniel and Mary.
6. Bethia, born 1646, married John Green.
7. Obadiah, born 1648, mentioned below.
8. Enoch, married Susanna Randall, who bore him five children; he was a weaver in Watertown.
9. John, mentioned in his father's will.
10. Ruth, married March 9, 1676-77, John Hewes, or Hues.

(II) Obadiah, son of Richard Sawtell, born in Watertown, 1648, resided and died in Groton, March 20, 1740. He was a soldier in the Indian wars carried on by King Philip, 1675-76, and he was driven from his home with the other families of the town. Among the names of soldiers from Groton in these Indian wars were found: Abel, David, David Jr., Ephraim, Hezekiah, Jonathan, Joseph, Josiah, Moses, Nathaniel, Obadiah, Richard, Samuel and Zachariah Sawtell, and according to the spelling of the name they were apparently of the same family as Richard the immigrant.
He married, in Groton, Hannah Lawrence, born March 24, 1661-62, daughter of George Lawrence, of Watertown. She was living Sept. 29, 1726.
1. Nathaniel, born about 1681.
2. Elnathan, born March 27, 1683.
3. Ephraim, born about 1685.
4. Josiah, born Aug. 14, 1687.
5. Hepsibah, married, probably at Concord, Aug. 24, 1706, Thomas Foster, of Billerica.
6. Zachariah.
7. Hannah, born June 8, 1695, married Stephen Holden.
8. Abigail, born March 13, 1697, married Joseph Parker.
9. Mary, born about 1699, married Benjamin Parker.
10. Obadiah, born March 18, 1701, mentioned below.
11. Hezekiah, born March 2, 1703.

(III) Obadiah (2), son of Obadiah (1) Sawtell, was born March 18, 1701. He was a worthy descendant of his pioneer ancestor, for in 1740 he went to the new township, Charlestown, on the Connecticut river, just the kind of situation most exposed to sudden appearances of Canadian Indians, and the part of the town which was associated with the Sawtells and which still bears their name was an island in the river. He was captured by the Indians in 1746, was later released, probably through a ransom, but after his release returned to the same place and was shot by the savages while at work in the field in 1749.
He married, Nov. 16, 1721, Rachel Parker, daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Lakin) Parker.
1. Simon, born Nov. 14, 1722, mentioned below.
2. Lois, born July 4, 1724, married Micah Fuller, and settled in Charlestown.
3. Esther, born March 9, 1725-26, married John Johnson.
4. Nathaniel, born Feb. 12, 1729, probably married Hannah Gunn.
5. Rachel, born June 9, 1731, married Adonijah Taylor.
6. Solomon, born Oct. 10, 1737.

(IV) Simon, son of Obadiah (2) Sawtell, was born in Groton, Mass., Nov. 14, 1722. He removed to Charlestown, New Hampshire, in 1746, where he was constable for 1762-63, selectman 1767-68, a prominent citizen, a good neighbor and influential man.
He married Hannah ____.
Children, b. in Charlestown, N.H.:
1. Obadiah, born Nov. 8, 1746, married Elizabeth ____, who bore him seven children.
2. Simon Jr., born June 25, 1749, was lieutenant of the First New Hampshire Regiment, commanded by Col. Joseph Cilley, of Nottingham, and later was promoted to the rank of captain, serving in that capacity at West Point, New York, in 1780; was selectman of Charlestown in 1786-87; died there May 30, 1791; married Dolly ____; children: Asa, b. Dec. 13, 1781; Cynthia, b. Oct. 27, 1784; Fanny, b. Dec. 11, 1786; Clarissa, b. Feb. 3, 1788; Lucy, b. March 30, 1790.
3. Electa, born Jan. 2, 1752.
4. John, born May 2, 1754, mentioned below.
5. Hannah, born Aug. 26, 1756, died young.
6. Hannah, born Aug. 2, 1757, died young.
7. Hannah, born Dec. 21, 1760.
8. Rhoda, born May 2, 1764.
9. Esther, born Sept. 29, 1767.

(V) John Sartwell, son of Simon Sawtell, was born in Charlestown, N. H., May 2, 1754. He resided in Charlestown and Langdon, N. H. He serve in the revolutionary war, being a private in the regiment commanded by Col. Benjamin Bellows Jr., of Claremont, and was present in the engagement at Ticonderoga.
He married Elizabeth Gleason.
Children, b. in Charlestown:
1. Polly, born Jan. 20, 1777.
2. Betsey, born March 16, 1779.
3. Esther, born April 12, 1781.
4. John, born April 29, 1783, mentioned below.
Born in Langdon:
5. Eliab, born April 18, 1785.
6. Warren, born April 19, 1787.
7. Royal, born July 14, 1789.
8. Simon, born March 14, 1791.
9. Almony, born May 10, 1793.
10. Hannah, born July 9, 1795.
11. Harriet, born Nov. 1, 1797.
12. Electa, born March 29, 1800.

(VI) John (2), son of John (1) Sartwell, was born in Charlestown, N. H., April 29, 1783. In later life he moved to Glover and Barton, Vermont, where in a short time his name was changed from Sartwell to Sortwell.
He married (first) March 27, 1808, Emma Crosby, who died May 31, 1818.
Children of 1st wife:
1. Maria, born Nov. 10, 1810, died May 30, 1814.
2. John Jr., born Nov. 9, 1814, died March 25, 1824.
He married (second) Oct. 10, 1819, Percy (Robinson) Merriam, b. March 31, 1790, died June 22, 1879, daughter of Jonathan Robinson, who was a private soldier in the company commanded by Capt. White in the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment, Col. Rufus Putnam, army of General Gates, in the campaign which culminated in the surrender of Burgoyne and his whole army at Saratoga, Oct. 17, 1777, and under Col Vose of the First Mass. Regiment, Nov. 3, 1783, when the continental army disbanded.
Children of 2d wife:
3. Daniel Robinson, born July 10, 1820, mentioned below.
4. Fanny Maria, born April 1, 1822, died Oct. 9, 1894.
5. Paschal, born Nov. 8, 1824, died March 7, 1908.
6. Emma, born Jan. 1, 1827, died Jan. 10, 1836.
7. John Owen, born Feb. 27, 1829, died March 20, 1901.
8. Lubin, born March 20, 1832, died Feb. 15, 1834.
9. Charles, born Aug. 16, 1834, died Aug. 20, 1889.

(VII) Daniel Robinson, son of John (2) Sortwell, was born in Barton, Vermont, July 10, 1820, died in Montpelier, Vermont, Oct. 4, 1894. When he was eighteen years of age he removed from his native town to Boston, where he found his first employment in that city in Faneuil Hall market, and subsequently became the senior partner of the firm of Sortwell & Company, distillers. He became a prominent business man and was made president of the Montpelier & Wells River railroad; was a member for five years of the board of aldermen of the city of Cambridge; president of the Cambride National Bank; vice-president of the East Cambridge Savings Bank; a member of the Universalist church; a Democrat in national politics.
He married, May 19, 1850, in Boston, Sophia Augusta Foye, born July 14, 1820, in Wiscasset, Maine, died in Cambridge, Mass., Sept 26, 1890, daughter of Moses and Sophia Augusta (Jones) Foye. Moses FOYE was born July 31, 1768, died May 30, 1850. He was a son of Robert Foye jr., who was a son of Robert Foye, born in Kittery, Maine, Aug. 26, 1691, who in turn was a son of James Foye, who came from Charlestown, Mass. Bay Colony, to Kittery and Scarboro, District of Maine, before 1690.
Children of Mr. & Mrs. Sortwell:
1. Frances Augusta, born in Boston, 1851, died 1857.
2. Alvin Foye, mentioned below.

(VIII) Alvin Foye, only son of Daniel Robinson Sortwell, was born in Boston, Mass., July 21, 1854. He was prepared for business life at the Chauncey Hall school, Boston, graduating there in 1869, and at Phillips Academy, Andover, where he was graduated with the class of 1871. Two years later he became a member of the firm of Sortwell & Company, of which his father was senior partner, and he held the position at the time of its dissolution in 1890.
He is a Republican and served as a member of the Cambridge common council, 1879-85-89, being the member of the board of aldermen of the city, 1889-90, and was president of the board in 1890. He was mayor of Cambridge, 1897-98, and gave to the city an excellent administration of its laws. He succeeded his father as president of the Montpelier & Wells River Railroad Company, as president of the Cambridge National Bank, and as trustee of the East Cambridge Saving Bank in 1894, and became president of the Colonial Mining Company in 1892.
His fraternal affiliation is with the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, Blue Lodge, chapter and commandery. His club affiliations include the Alonquin, Boston, the Country of Brookline, the Oakley Country of Watertown, Eastern Yacht, Marblehead Yacht, Camden Main Yacht, Apollo, of Montpelier, Vermont, and the Colonial, of Camebridge, Mass.
His religious affiliation is with the Unitarian denomination.
He married, Dec. 31, 1879, at Cambridge, Mass., Gertrude Winship, born in Cambridge, Mass., April 8, 1856, daughter of William and Mary Elizabeth (Winship) Dailey. Her father was a member of Cambridge common council and a member of the National Lancers, of Boston.
Children of William and Mary E. (Winship) Dailey are: Charles W., Clara Anna, Gertrude Winship and Frank F.
Children of Alvin Foye and Gertrude W. (Dailey) Sortwell, born in Cambridge, Mass.:
1. Clara, born Nov. 28, 1882, married Dec. 31, 1906, Parker Endicott Marean.
2. Frances Augusta, born Feb. 29, 1884, educated at McDuffie school, of Springfield, Mass.
3. Daniel Richard, born Sept. 17, 1885, prepared for college at St. Paul's school, Concord, H. H., and graduated at Harvard, class of 1907.
4. Marion, born June 21, 1887, educated at Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
5. Edward Carter, born March 25, 1889, prepared for college at St. Paul's school, Concord, and matriculated at Harvard, class of 1911.
6. Alvin Foye Jr., born May 6, 1891, preparing for college at St. Paul's school, Concord.

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