FAMILY TIES

MDI settlers sign 1768 petition over hay, lumber rights

Posted Jan. 13, 2013, at 5:38 p.m.
Roxanne Moore Saucier
Roxanne Moore Saucier

Nearly 250 years ago, a small group of settlers on Mount Desert Island petitioned Governor Francis Bernard to protest the actions of people from the mainland, who had been taking hay and timber from the island. The document read in part:

“We the inhabitants of mount desart Humbly Craves Your Exelencys Protection against the Incrosins of the Naboring inhabents made upon us Consarning hay for we cannot git hay on ye island to Keep our Stoks as the People Cut the hay before it gits its Groth So that they Spoil the marsh & if we Cut hay and Stack it for Sleding it is Stole so that we cannot have ye Provilige of the marsh that we have Cleared Rodes too, therefor we bege that your Exelency will Consider us and Put a stop to this InCrossins, other ways we Shall Not be Abel to Keepe our Stocks and the marsh be totterly Spiled…”

Signing the 1768 petition, which also claimed that “vessel hands” were cutting lumber on the island, were Abraham Somes, Andrew Tarr, Stephen Gott, Benjm. Standwood, James Richardson, Stephen Richardson, Daniel Gott, Daniel Gott Jr., Thomas Richardson and Elijah Richardson.

This gem of a petition was printed in “Mount Desert: A History,” by George E. Street, edited by Samuel A. Eliot, published in 1905.

It is possible to look through 140 pages of this book and not realize that it contains a good bit of genealogy on pioneers such as Abraham Somes, the son of Abraham and Martha (Emerson) Somes, born March 17, 1732, in Gloucester, Mass. The Gotts also were from Gloucester.

Abraham Somes, the son, married Hannah Herrick, also of Gloucester. Their children are listed as Hannah, Patty, Lucy, Prudence, Abraham, Marcey, John, Daniel, Louis, James, Jacob, Betty and Isaac. Abraham settled on MDI in 1762.

James Richardson, who was Scots-Irish, and Andrew Tarr also came from Gloucester.

The matter of the hay and the timber were referred to various people, and eventually Col. Nathan Jones of Gouldsboro. Jones was from Weston, Mass., which I find of interest because some of the Gloucester families, such as the Nobles, were from Weston. Jones and wife Sarah (Severns) had 12 children.

It can be helpful to know of other areas that were settled by pioneers from the same town. For instance, Guilford was settled by Gloucester natives including Isaac, John and Nathaniel Bennett.

Different branches of the Haskell family from Salem and Gloucester were important to Deer Isle and Greenville. Herrick lines turned up in Blue Hill and Harmony.

Back to the book. John and Mary (Rodick) Hamor of Arundel, now Kennebunkport, were early settlers of another portion of MDI. Other settlers were John’s brothers-in-law, such as Daniel Rodick, who married Betty Hamor; and Elisha Cousins, who married Bathsheba Hamor.

Cape Cod was represented among the MDI settlers, too, including Levi Higgins, whose wife was Bathsheba (Young).

Still other settlers, some of whose families are included, are Ebenezer and Mehitable Salsbury, Simeon and Olive (Black) Hadley, John and Elizabeth (Peck) Thomas, Cornelius Thompson, Samuel Hull, Thomas Wasgatt, Joseph and Ruth (Snow) Mayo from Cape Cod, Joseph Hopkins, Amariah Leland, James Burrill, Willliam Lynam, Christopher Bartlett, John Robertson, Isaac Bunker and Samuel Stanley.

This lovely old book also has sections on island churches and biographical notes.

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A panel discussion on “Faith-based Records” will highlight the meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the Lecture Hall, third floor, Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.

This is sure to be a program where different people have a variety of resources to share — maybe the the resource you’ve been waiting to hear about.

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Would you like to know more about your old quilt? Bring it to the “Quilt Show and Tell” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Penobscot Marine Museum Gallery at 40 East Main St. in Searsport.

Presenters from the Maine State Quilt Study Group will provide analysis of the quilt, including the history of the patterns, fabrics and techniques used. Admission is free.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

 

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