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.]
This is one of the most distinguished names in the annals of New England, having been especially honored by that distinguished patriot and statesman, Daniel Webster. It has furnished many good citizens who, though not nationally known, like their compatriot and relative, have supported the cause of human liberty in all struggles, and performed well their part in the various walks of life. Not all the Websters in New England are of one stock, though all are of good stock. The present line, which descends from John, of Ipswich, has furnished many good men of local prominence in pioneer days and later times, several of them being college graduates. The line herein traced has no known connection with the Daniel Webster line.
(I) John Webster came from Ipswich, Suffolk county, England, to Ipswich, Mass., where he was made a freeman in 1635. He died about the year 1646, and his family afterward moved to Newbury. His wife was Mary Shatswell.
Mary, John (b. 1633), Hannah, Abigail, Stephen, Elizabeth, Israell and Nathan.
On Oct. 29, 1650, John Webster's widow married John Emery, of Newbury, and she died April 28, 1694.
(II) Nathan (1), youngest child of John and Mary (Shatswell) Webster, was born in Ipswich, Mass., 1646. He settled in Bradford, where he died in May, 1694.
He was married June 30, 1673, to Mary, born Dec. 9, 1648, daughter of John Hazeltine, of Haverhill. She was admitted to Bradford church from Haverhill in 1682.
John, Mary, Nathan, Joanna, Abigail, Israel and Samuel.
Joanna married Richard Bailey.
(III) Nathan (2), eldest of the three children of Nathan (1) and Mary (Hazeltine) Webster, was born March 7, 1679, and was one of the proprietors of Chester, New Hampshire. He removed to that place about 1729, and owned two home lots, Nos. 71 and 72, and resided on 72. That Nathan Webster was a man of ability and standing, and an active, efficient and highly respected member of the church, is evident from the fact that the records show him to have been chosen selectman in 1729-38-42-51-52-57-61-63-66-70-71. At a town meeting in August, 1739, "Voted that Capt. Sam Ingalls, mr Nathan Webster, and mr John Talford Shall be a Committee to take bonds of the Inhabitants of Rumford (now Concord) for the making and maintaining a good soficient Roads for Passing Massibeecik Pond toward their town, agreeable to their proposals made to us, and to Enter into bonds to them to make and maintain one on this side, and over the said pond, as good."
At the town meeting held Jan. 15, 1730, he was appointed on a committee "to treat with the Rev. Mr. Moses Hale, and to acquaint him with what ye town hath done, and to invite him into the work of ye Ministry among us in Chester." He was subsequently twice appointed on committees for similar purposes, and was a member of the committee appointed to build the meeting-house.
By his first wife, Martha, Nathan Webster had the following
Daniel, Nathan, Stephen, Abel and Mary.
He was married (second) Aug. 3, 1738, to Mary (Stevens) Godfrey, whose first husband was Thomas Sargent, and her second, Peter Godfrey. She was a daughter of Deacon Thomas and Martha (Bartlett) Stevens, of Amesbury, and survived her third husband several years, dying May 24, 1766.
(IV) Nathan (3), second child of Nathan (2) and Mary Webster, was born in Chester, July 1, 1715, died 1794. He was a farmer and lived on house lot No. 117. In the year 1764 he was one of the three chosen by the town as a committee to settle about highways in Raymond and make return. He signed the association test in 1776. Chase's "History of Chester" states that: "At the September term of the Superior Court, 1771, Andrew Jack, Nathan Webster and John Robie, the selectmen of Chester, were indicted because Chester, having more than 100 families, had no grammar school. At the March tern, 1772, Jack and Webster were tried and fined 10 pounds and cost taxed at 7 pounds, 12s. 4d." This does not imply that Nathan Webster, living in a community now so intelligent, was opposed to the outlay of money for the support of schools. On the contrary, the financial conditions were such that the men of that community did not feel able to bear the burden of schools, and had voted to secure the selectmen from fine for failing to act.
He married, Feb. 10, 1742, Martha Blaisdell.
Eleven children, all but two of them died young.
Those who grew up & had families were:
Nathan and Moses.
(V) Nathan (4), third child of Nathan (3) and Martha (Blaisdell) Webster, was born in Chester, Nov. 19, 1747, and resided on the old homestead. He married, May 8, 1771, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Healy) Clifford, of Candia, and granddaughter of William Healy. Isaac Clifford was the son of Samuel Clifford, of Kingston, and Martha Healy, his wife, was the daughter of William and Mary (Sanborn) Healy, formerly of Hampton Falls.
Children of Nathan & Elizabeth:
Josiah, Sarah, Mary, John Ordway, Nathan, Elizabeth, Martha, Huldy, Susanna and Hannah.
(VI) John Ordway (1), second son of Nathan (4) and Elizabeth (Clifford) Webster, was born in Chester, New Hampshire, Sept. 30, 1777. "Being one of a large family," says his daughter, Priscilla Sewall Webster Page, in her "Personal Reminiscences," "I suppose his early life was spent very much like that of other farmer's sons in that primitive age. I think he was always rather delicate in health, and was not at all fitted for the laborious New England life."
About the year 1800 he became a merchant in Vassalboro, Maine. For some years he had as a partner Philip Colby, who afterwards studied for the ministry, and was pastor of the First Congregational Church of Middleboro, Mass., for more than thirty years. The two partners married sisters.
Mr. Webster was selectman of Vassalboro in 1814, and in 1815 was appointed justice of the peace. The latter year, or early in the next, he removed with his family to Gardiner, Maine, and became engaged in the cotton trade with the south, where he spent several winters at different times. In Oct., 1823, he went south for a protracted stay, for which he was destined never to return. All that is known of this last period of his life is thus told by Mrs. Page, in the book already referred to. "In the autumn of this year, 1827, my brother Sereno returned from the South, bringing the welcome news that papa would follow in the spring . . . . A letter was finally received from papa saying he had disposed of his remaining cargoes of cotton, realizing a considerable sum of money, and taken passage in a steamer soon to sail from Mobile, down the river - the first stage of his journey home. Six anxious weeks passed by, and then a few lines were received, penned in an unknown hand, bearing the painful announcement of my father's death. He had been too ill to sail in the steamer, had remained at a boarding-house on shore, where, five days later, he had breathed his last. Nothing more did we hear of this sad event, not an article belonging to him nor one dollar of his money was ever sent to us. Several months after a stranger called on my mother, said that he had known my father, and had visited his grave before leaving Mobile." The date of his death was Feb. 3, 1828.
John Ordway Webster married, Nov. 25, 1802, Rebecca Guild Sewall, of Augusta, Maine. She was the daughter of Thomas and Priscilla (Cony) Sewall, and was descended from Henry Sewall, of Newbury, Mass., who emigrated in 1634, and was the progenitor of the famous Sewall family of New England. Two other of her immigrant ancestors were John Coney, Boston, 1649, and John Guild, of Dedham, Mass., 1636.
She was a person of splendid physique and of great energy of character. Her husband's death left her in straitened circumstances, but she proved equal to the task of rearing her large family. Brighter days, however, were in store for her. Her brother, Thomas Sewall, M. D., had become an eminent physician in Washington, D. C., and as the daughters reached a suitable age they were received into his family, where they were educated, and they all made advantageous marriages in Washington or its immediate vicinity.
In March, 1830, the family moved to Augusta, Maine. The latter part of Mrs. Webster's life was spent with her daughters in Washington, where she died March 31, 1870, in her ninetieth year.
two of whom died in infancy.
1. Mary Clifford, born Dec. 2, 1803, married Anthony Holmead.
2. Sereno Sewall, born Nov. 28, 1805.
3. Emeline Colby, born May 24, 1808, married Harvey Lindsly, M. D.
4. John Milton, born April 3, 1812.
5. Nathan, born April 7, 1816.
6. Harriet Colby, born May 10, 1818, married Rev. Peter Parker.
7. Priscilla Sewall, born Jan. 18, 1823, married Professor Charles Grafton Page.
(VII) John Milton, second son of John O. and Rebecca (Guild) Webster, was born in Vassalboro, Maine, April 3, 1812. As had already been stated, his parents moved to Gardiner in 1815, and in March, 1830, his widowed mother, with the younger children, removed to Augusta. Mrs. Page in her "Personal Reminiscences," thus mentions the latter removal: "During the following winter it was decided that we should move to Augusta. My grandparents were so advanced in years that it seemed most desirable for them to be with my mother, their only remaining daughter. My two brothers, lads of fourteen and nineteen years of age, wanted employment, and the town of Gardiner offered nothing suitable for them. Brother Milton was fond of study, and ought to have received a liberal education, but such was not easily obtained in those days; so after a few years at the district school, and a term or two at the Lyceum, a farm was decided on, Nathan being smart, active and energetic, but carring little for books. Accordinly, our small estate in Gardiner was disposed of, and a farm purchased at Auguata, one and one-half miles from the village. To this my grandparents removed, and arrangements were made for us to follow somewhat later." The farm referred to was on the east side of the Kennebec river. On it was a large, two-story house, which had the distinction of being the first framed house built in Augusta. It was known as the "Great House," and was erected by James Howard in 1770. It is no longer standing, having been destroyed by fire several years ago. The farm appears to have belonged to Dr. Thomas Sewall, of Washington, D. C., whose generosity to his sister's family has already been mentioned.
On his death, in 1845, it became the property of John M. Webster and his brother Nathan. The former sold his interest in 1846, and purchased another farm in Farmington, Maine, where he and his family resided until 1856, when he returned to Augusta and opened a store at a locality known as Pettingill's Corner. He continued in this business until age and infirmity compelled him to relinquish it. IN 1890 he took up his residence with his son Henry in Gardiner, Maine, where he died April 1, 1891.
Mr. Webster was appointed justice of the peace in 1837, the only public office which he ever held. He was of a retiring and reticent nature, and retained through life his fondness for reading and meditation. He naturally possessed a strong constitution, but suffered much from ill health.
From early manhood he was a member of the Congregational church. In politics he was a Whig, and afterwards a Republican. He was decided in his anti-lavery sentiments, and refused to follow his party in supporting General Taylor for the presidency on the ground that he was a slave-holder.
He married April 3, 1841, Sarah Hayes Hussey, of Dover, New Hampshire. She was the youngest of eleven children of Elijah and Jane (Bickford) Hussey, of Dover, and was born April 19, 1814. Her parents were Quakers, but she became a Congregationalist. She descended from Richard Hussey, who settled in Dover about 1690, and whose great-granddaughter, Abigail Hussey, was the mother of John Greenleaf Whittier.
Mrs. Webster was a woman of strong character and warm affections, and faithfully discharged the duties of a hard and laborious life. She died in Augusta, Maine, Nov. 15, 1874. She was the mother of three children, account for as follows:
(VIII) John Ordway (2) Webster, born in Augusta, Maine, Feb. 27, 1842, was a private in Eighth Maine Regiment, 1861, and 1865; graduated from Harvard Medical School, 1868; was surgeon in National Soldiers' Home, Maine, 1869-70; practiced his profession in Lynn, Mass., 1870-77, and afterwards in Augusta, Maine. He was United States examining surgeon, a member of the Maine State Board of Health, and an active and useful member of the school board of Augusta. It was on account of the public appreciation of his services in the last capacity that the J. O. Webster school in Augusta received its name.
In 1892 he removed to San Diego, California, where he died Sept. 6, 1896, and where his widow and his four children, John Milton, Margaret Bartlett, Erastus Bartlett and Mary Clifford (Kraemer) still reside.
(VIII) Harriet Parker Webster was born in Augusta, Maine, Sept. 14, 1843; was educated in academies at Farmington and Augusta, maine, and Dover, N. H., and in a private seminary at Norwich, Connecticut, of which her cousin, Cladius Buchanan Webster, afterward U. S. consul at Sheffield, England, was preceptor; taught in Dover, N. H., Janesville and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and Augusta Maine; removed from Augusta to Gardiner, Maine, in 1892 and died in Gardiner April 16, 1908.
(VIII) Henry Sewall Webster was born in Augusta, Maine, Sept. 26, 1845. The family moved to Farmington, maine, the following spring and remained there until 1856, when the family returned to Augusta. He was graduated from Augusta high school in 1863 and from Bowdoin College in 1867, and received the degree of A. M. from his alma mater in 1870 and was salutatorian for that year. He taught three years in Hallowell and Augusta, Maine, and in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar in 1870, and began practice in Gardiner, Maine. In 1871 he became cashier of the Cobbossee National Bank, of Gardiner, and in April, 1888, was elected treasurer of the Gardiner Savings Institution, which position he still (1908) holds. He has been president of the common council of Gardiner, city solicitor, chairman of the school board and director of the public library. From 1885 to 1893 he was judge of probate and insolvency for Kennebec county.
He is a member of four Masonic bodies in Gardiner, viz: Hermon Lodge, Lebanon Chapter, Adoniram Council and Maine Commandery, also of Gardienr Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and has held the highest office in each. In 1895 and 1896 he was grand high priest of the Grand Chapter of Maine. He is also a thirty-second degree Mason, and a member of Portland, Maine, Consistory.
He has published two supplementary histories of Hermon Lodge, a history of Maine Commandery, and a brief Sewall Genealogy, and has contributed in prose and verse to various periodicals. He is a member of the Maine Historical Society and an honorary member of the New Hampshire Genealogical Society. Of late years his leisure time has been devoted to genealogical research, especially in connection with the Sewall and Hussey families, and to the collection of vital statistics.
In politics he has always been a Republican. He is a believer in the Christian religion, with liberal views, and has no preference for any particular denomination.
Among his colonial ancestors, in addition to those already named, were Rev. John Wheelwright, whose connection with the Ann Hutchinson controversy earned him the disfavor of the Puritan authorities, and Edmund Rishworth, who occupied a prominent place in the early history of Maine.
He married, at Augusta, Maine, Aug. 12, 1876, Mary Chase Johnson, of Augusta, a graduate of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, now Mount Holyoke College. She was the daughter of William Treby and Martha Tappan (Chase) Johnson, of Augusta. Her father was connected with several Maine newspapers in an editorial capacity, and was cashier of the Granite National Bank. He was mayor of Augusta, and represented his city several times in the Maine legislature, and in 1859 was speaker of the house of representatives. On her mother's side she is descended from Aquila Chase. Rev. Stephen Chase, Harvard Collge, 1728, who was "distinguished for great scholastic attainments and regarded as a profound theologan," was her great-great-grandfather, and his wife, Jane (Wingate) Chase, was the daughter of Colonel Joshua Wingate, of Hampton, N. H., who occupied a conspicuous part in the seige of Louisburg.
Children of Henry Sewall & Mary Chase (Johnson) Webster are:
1. Abby Chase Webster, born Oct. 2, 1877, died Sept. 13, 1879.
2. Martha Tappan Webster, born Sept. 26, 1882, graduated from Mount Holyoke College, 1903.
Thomas Webster, the first known ancestor of the New Hampshire family of the name, resided, with his wife Margaret, in Ormsby, Norfolk county, England, where he died in April, 1634. His widow subsequently married William Godfrey, with whom she came to America, bringing her son Thomas.
(II) Thomas (2), son of Thomas (1) and Margaret Webster, was born in Nov., 1631, in Ormsby, England, and came to Watertown, Mass. in company with his foster father and other early settlers of that town. He removed with the pioneers to Hampton, New Hampshire, where he died Jan. 5, 1715.
He was married, Nov. 2, 1656, to Sarah, daughter of Thomas Brewer, of Roxbury, Mass.
Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Thomas, Ebenezer, Isaac, John, Joshua and Abigial.
(III) John, fourth son and seventh child of Thomas (2) and Sarah (Brewer) Webster, was born Feb. 16, 1674, in Hampton and settled in Rye, where he passed his life as a farmer. He was married Sept. 21, 1703, to Abiah Shaw.
Jeremiah, Charity and Josiah (twins, the first of whom died young), John, Thomas, Caleb, Abiah, Elizabeth and Charity.
(IV) Josiah, second son of John and Abiah (Shaw) Webster, was born April 2, 1706. His twin sister died soon after they were born. He resided in Rye, New Hampshire, where he died March 11, 1764, in his fifty-eighth year.
He was married Sept. 21, 1738, to Patty Goss, given in the vital records of New Hampshire as Martha Goss. She was born Sept. 9, 1714, daughter of Richard and Martha Goss, one of the first settlers of Greenland, N. H. She died Nov. 18, 1798, having survived her husband nearly thirty years.
John (died young), Elizabeth, Abiah, Sarah, Josiah (died young), John, Richard, Martha and Josiah.
(V) Richard (1), fourth son and seventh child of Josiah and Martha, or Patty (Goss) Webster, was born Jan. 1, 1754, in Rye, and died in that town Jan. 16, 1836. He was a soldier of the revolutionary war, and served under Capt. Parker at Fort Sullivan, and Capt. Parsons in Rhode Island. He was also engaged in several privateering cruises.
He was married Oct. 29, 1778, to Elizabeth Randall, who died March 14, 1826, at the age of seventy-one years.
Betsy, Abigail, Martha, Sarah, Hannah, Olive, Richard and Mark Randall.
(VI) Richard (2), elder son and seventh child of Richard (1) and Elizabeth (Randall) Webster, was born Oct. 6, 1788, in Rye, and resided in Epsom and Rye. He was a shoemaker by occupation, and after working at his trade some time in Epsom, returned to Rye, but had taught school in Rye previous to his going to Epsom. He also engaged in farming in Rye, in which he was successful, and continued until shortly before his death, which occurred Nov. 1, 1856, in Portsmouth.
He was married in 1813 to Mary Philbrick, born Feb. 5, 1792, in Rye, daughter of Joses and Sarah (Smith) Philbrick, of that town.
Daniel, Roswell, Mary, Sarah Ann, Ursula, Benjamin F., David S., Richard, Emily J. and John P.
(VII) Benjamin Franklin, third son and sixth child of Richard (2) and Mary, or Polly (Philbrick) Webster, was born Sept. 7, 1824, in Epsom, New Hampshire, and received his primary education in the public schools of that town. He was also a student at Pembroke and Rye. At the age of seventeen years he went to Portsmouth and was employed by Benjamin Norton as an apprentice to the carpenter's trade. He was a ship-joiner for several years and since then has been engaged in building operations in Portsmouth. Through his perseverance and great industry, coupled with upright business methods, he has been prosperous down to the present (1908) time. His operations have included the erection of the following notable buildings: The Kearsarge house, the Cabot street schoolhouse, remodeled three churches, also built many residences.
Mr. Webster partakes of the characteristics for which his long line of ancestry has been noted, and is a progressive and useful citizen of his home town. He is frequently called upon to fill official positions, and has served as ward clerk and assessor. In politics he is an ardent and enthusiastic Republican. He is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree.
He was married Jan. 2, 1849, to Sarah A. Senter, daughter of William and Dorothy (Gerrish) Senter (both Maine families).
Merit V. and Stella C. Webster.
(VIII) Merit Victor, only son of Benjamin and Sarah A. (Senter) Webster, was born in Portsmouth, June 20, 1851. and educated in the public schools of that city. At the age of about twenty years he engaged in newspaper work, which has ever since been his vocation. He remained in Portsmouth until 1872. For thirty-five years has been associated with The Boston Transcript. Since 1879 he has been in Charlestown, Mass., where he is now living.
He married Nov., 1873, Ella M. Shapleigh, of Eliot, Maine.
Benjamin F., Merit (died an infant), Fred Paterson, Ethel B. and Arthur G.
(IX) Dr. Fred Paterson, third son of Merit V. and Ella M. (Shapleigh) Webster, was born in Somerville, Mass., April 18, 1878, and received his primary education in the public schools of Boston, graduating from the English high school in the latter place in 1897. Soon afterward he became a student at Harvard Medical School, from which he graduated M. D. in 1901. He spent two years, 1901-03, in the Massachusetts General Hospital as house physician, and then went to the Boston Children's Hospital, where he filled a similar position until the spring of 1904, when he removed to Portland, Maine, where he has since practiced.
Dr. Webster, Dr. Thomas J. Burrage and Dr. Philip W. Davis founded in 1904 the Portland Charitable Dispensary, to which Dr. Webster is a visiting physician. He is also assistant visiting physician to the Maine General Hospital. He has been instructor in Diseases of Children, Medical School of Maine, since 1905. He is visiting physician to the Portland Children's Hospital.
He is a member of the Portland Medical Club, the Cumberland County Medical Assoc., the Maine Medical Assoc., and the American Medican Assoc. Also of the Practitioner's Club, the Portland Club, and the Yacht Club. In religious sentiments he is a Congregationalist.
Dr. Webster married, June 29, 1904, at Portsmouth, N. H., Mae, born in Concord, N. H. May 30, 1881, only daughter of James Cushing and Harriet Jane (Remick) Lydston, of Portsmouth, N. H.
Children [as of 1908]:
Eleanor, born April 19, 1905.
Eliot, born May 18, 1908.
(IX) Dr. Arthur G., fourth son of Merit V. and Ella M. (Shapleigh) Webster, was born in Charlestown, Mass., Dec. 8, 1880. Educated in schools of Charlestown and Charlestown high school. Then went into business. In 1903 entered the Harvard Dental School and graduated in 1906. In June, 1906, became associated with Dr. Henry A. Kelley, of Portland, Maine. Is a member of the Maine Dental Assoc. and the Northeastern Dental Assoc. Is a member of the Portland Club. He is not married.