GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2006-03 > 1143316174
Subject: History of Harvard, Mass. by Henry S. Nourse 1894 - p.45 to 46
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 14:49:34 EST
The History of Harvard, Massachusetts, 1643-1732, by Henry S. Nourse,
Clinton, Mass. 1894. - W. J. Coulter, Printer.
Of those bearing family names new to the soil, Samuel Rogers had bought
of John Goss, Nov. 25, 1717, one hundred and sixty-five acres of land
with a house and barn, on the west side of the "Lancaster and Groton road",
[The Groton to Lancaster Road - will post its history next]
extending to the Plumtree intervales. His house was probably near the
present (1894) home of Abel Willard. Goss removed to Lancaster and built
a mill in what is now Clinton.
Seth Walker had recently come from Billerica, having bought lands near
Rogers' from the Carters, along the Lancaster north line, in 1719.
He sold these to John Daby in 1732, removing to Groton and later to
Subject: Seth Walker, Billerica to Fort 4
Source: History of Charlestown, NH - Fort No. 4 by Rev.
Henry H. Saunderson 1876
p.582 - History of Fort 4.
Seth Walker, the earliest of that name at Charlestown,
was the son of Joseph Walker, at first of Billerica, MA.
Seth Walker was born abt 1692 and he m.
abt 1715 Eleanor Chandler b. abt 1695.
Seth Walker was one of the proprietors under the New
Hampshire charter. He was at No. 4 as early as 1750.
His name is on a committee of the town in 1754 for
strengthening and fitting up the great chamber. It is
also found on the roll of Capt. Phineas Stevens'company
enlisted in 1750. He d. July 7, 1772 at the age of 80
Eleanor his wife died Nov 6, 1769 aged 74. Both died in
Charlestown and have stones erected to their memory in
the village cemetery. Their children:
1. Abel Walker b. Apr 20, 1734 at Groton, MA m. abt
1764 Elizabeth (Parker) Graves, dau of Isaac Parker
Jr. and his wife Mary Parker of Fort 4.
Elizabeth was the widow of Phineas Graves.
She was b. at Groton Feb 3, 1744. (see p. 501
7th child of Isaac Parker Jr. and lst wife,
Their children p.591.
1. Eunice Walker b. 1767 d. 1773
2. Sarah Walker b. 1769 d. 1788
3. Phineas Walker b. 1771 d. 1772
4. Phyle Walker b. 1773 m. Aaron Dean 1790
5. Phineas Walker 2nd b 1774 d.1777
6. Abel Walker b. 1776 d. 1777
7. Elizabeth Walker b.1778 m. 1797 Thomas Melville
8. Phineas Walker 3rd b. 1780 drowned in CT. River
1792 (Fort 4 had a boat landing on the CT River)
9. Abel Walker 2nd b. 1783 m. 1813 Sally Doolittle
dau of John & Lucy Doolittle
10. Eleuthera Walker m. John Willard Jr.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
p.45 - Harvard - continued
John Nichols married Mary Priest, March 20, 1721 and lived near his
brother-in-law, east of Bare Hill, Harvard. Samuel Chamberlain came from
Chelmsford. He married Rebecca Whitcomb, Jan. 2, 1723,
and soon disappears from Harvard.
Jonathan Crouch was of a Charlestown, Mass. family, but probably came from
Stow to Harvard, and acquired land of John Priest as early as 1721 on
The Whitneys were recently from Stow, but all were descendants of John &
Ellinor Whitney who came from England to Watertown in 1635. Isaiah
Whitney, the smith, bought land of Caleb Sawyer east of Bare Hill in
1722. John Whitney bought a farm of John Priest and Elijah Whitney bought of
James Atherton; Richard and Jonas Whitney were of Stow Leg.
In 1720, John Wetherbee and his son, John, made their home near the
summit of Oak Hill, Harvard, and Robert Foskett built near them in 1725.
Their farms were near the Lancaster north line, and Thomas Wheeler of
Stow Leg was a near neighbor.
In 1711, Lancaster answered to a presentment for not having the regular
reading and writing school which the law enjoined upon towns of fifty
families, to support, stating that
John Houghton, then town-clerk - had been frequently employed as writing-
master and teacher, and was at the time engaged in the work. The Select-
"but under our present dangerous circumstances it is very hazardous send-
ing our children to schoole, living so scattered, yet we are willing to
do herein what possibly is to be done, not only to answer ye Law but for
our own benefit and therefore humbly pray there may be no further pro-
ceedings upon said presentment."
In yet earlier days, when the pioneers all dwelt within sight of the
meeting-house, or at least within hearing of the drum that summoned them
to Sabbath exercises, the minister served also as school-master, and the
bible and catechism long continued to be the chief, if not the only
school-books. The first proprietors were far from illiterate.
Scarce but one wrote his name legibly, and many of their signatures are
full of character and indicate considerable skill with the quill. In this
respect they must have been superior to the average of the people in the
English counties from which they came. Their wives may not have been
quite so well educated.
It is noteworthy that the mother of the college-bred Master Joseph
Rowlandson and the wife of John Prescott (Mary Platts) could
not write their names. Town and county records indicate that the
succeeding generations, bred upon the frontier during times rarely free
from the dangers and constant unrest caused by the fear of Indian forays,
as might be expected, possessed less culture than their fathers. Their
hand-writing, at least, was less legible, their spelling more erratic,
and their diction less concise and idiomatic.
It will be of interest to discover what educational opportunities were
offered the builders of the town of Harvard, and who were the school-
masters that taught them. We shall find their privileges were greater
than might be anticipated, both in the time given to instruction and the
character of the instructors.
As has been before stated, the town was sharply warned of its obligation
to maintain a regular grammar school - with requirements which corres-
pond to those of our high schools - as early as December, 1715. An
examination of court files shows that Mr. Pierpont of Roxbury - probably
Jonathan Pierpont, graduate of Harvard College, the preceding year - was
at that time engaged as a grammar-school master, although the town
fathers appeal to the court, as follows: -
To be continued - p. 47
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth