SEWALL-L ArchivesArchiver > SEWALL > 2004-08 > 1092760777
Subject: Re: Sewall in Early NH Town Records
Date: 17 Aug 2004 10:39:37 -0600
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The central New Hampshire Sewalls did a very good job of hiding their tracks.
I have copies of letters written by Harriet (Ritterbush) Sewall, wife of Charles F. Sewall, a grandson of Mathias Sewall that says that Mathias's father was "Thomas Sewall, 1736, died 1803, married Sarah cannot make out name 11 children."
This would seem to refer to Thomas Sewall of Gilmanton, N.H.(Gilford was set off in 1812, so this is the right town), who married there 20 April 1779 Sarah Weeks and probably the Thomas Sewall who married at Amherst, N.H., 27 Dec. 1787 Sarah Lyon. Administration of Thomas Sewall's estate was granted at the Strafford Co. Probate Court to Sarah Sewall. The estate was insolvent so there is no list of heirs. On 13 June 1807, Thomas Sewall of Gilmanton was made guardian of Samuel Sewall of Meredith, a minor aged more than 14, son of the late Thomas Sewall of Gilmanton.
Sarah Weeks may be related to Mathias Weeks of Gilmanton, whose intestate probate file of Oct. 1777 names widow Sarah and children John, Mathias, and Samuel Weeks (Strafford Co.)
The estate file thus names two of Thomas's children, Thomas and, presumably the youngest, Samuel. I have speculatively built the following list of children, based mostly on census data, town histories, and a review of the early N.H. record microfilms at the state library in Concord.
1. John Sewall, m. Hannah Greeley. Res. Wilmot.
2. Benjamin Sewall, b. ca. 1779; m. 1814 Mary Brown. Res. Wilmot.
3. Sarah Sewall, b. ca, 1783, living with her nephew Moses in 1830.
4. Thomas Sewall, b. at Gilford 22 July 1784, m. 1809 Dorothy Bartlett. Res. Gilford.
5. William Sewall, b. ca. 1785; d. Gilford 1841; m. 1st Rebecca Whitney,; m. 2nd Sally ----. Res. Gilford but moved to Northfield.
6. Mathias Sewall, b. ca. 1791; m. 1st 1812 Jane Clark; m. 2nd Mary ----.
7. Samuel Sewall, b. ca. 1794; d. 15 Jan. 1871; m. 1818 Betsy Whitney. Res. Northfield
8. Elizabeth Sewall, b. ca. 1796, living in the Portsmouth poorhouse in 1850.
This is highly speculative but serves as a structure for further research. I have not seen land and probate records myself, and an 1875 deed was just brought to my attention that may tie Mathias's children Mary O. Guilford, Freeman C. Sewall and Charles W. Sewall (I thought Matthias son Charles was Charles F., and had died in 1845, but ...).
The only Stephen Sewall I have in N.H. is a son of Benjamin.
References to John Sewall could be for either a brother of Thomas Sewall (1736?-1803?) or a son.
One of the letters mentioned above, to Harriet, suggests that Thomas Sewall was the son of Benjamin Sewall, the son of Stephen Sewall of Salem (1657-1725). But Stephen's son Benjamin died in Boston in 1742 leaving only siblings as heirs.
The other letter, from Harriet (I think) suggests that Thomas was the son of William Sewall, the son of William Sewall, the son of Nicholas Sewall of York, Me. (1690-1736). Nicholas did have a son William, who also had a son William, but there are not enough years for this many generations. Nicholas's grandson William was b. in 1758.
If (and this is a very big "if") Thomas Sewall of Gilmanton is related to the Sewall's of Mass. and Maine, then the only possibility would be another of Nicholas's grandchildren and a son of William, Thomas Sewall, who was b. in 1749 and disappears from the record after his baptism. While 1749 is a long way off from the 1736 date in Harriet's letters, it is still early enough to have fathered the seven children (and four more) sketched above. Thomas Sewall (bp. 1749-?) also had a half-brother Stephen, b. 1760, who disappears from the record. However, I have no evidence that this identity is correct.
Thomas Sewall of Gilmanton could also be descended from Edward Sewall of Exeter, N.H. (ca. 1640-ca. 1684) This family made frequent use of the name Thomas. However, the data runs out a little after 1700 in most cases.
I hope this helps. I have corresponded with two other descendants of Mathias (the second just this weekend), so maybe someone will find something. If I had the time, I would spend a week up there trolling the county court houses.
With best wishes,
Eben W. Graves