Bolton Harvard Lancaster first settlers 1681 1658 1643 incorporated 1738 1732 1653 first ancestor 1738- 1687 1643 last ancestor 1821 1786+ 1798 # of ancestors 15 8 26 # of immigrants 0 0 0 # born in town 5 2 7 # died in town 12 6 13
|-Silas Welch | |-Nathaniel Meriam |-Mary Meriam-| |-Ester MuzzyThe Meriam family lived in Lexington until some time after 1757 when their last child was born. They next appear in Harvard, where MARY MERIAM married SILAS WELCH of Bolton in 1766 (see the Welch family in this chapter). NATHANIEL died in Harvard in 1783. I do not know where or when ESTHER died.
|-John Prescott Jonathan Prescott-| |-Mary PlattsWe have a number of ancestors who are considered the founders of their respective towns, such as Rev PETER BULKELEY of Concord, PETER HOBART of Hingham, EDMUND RICE of Marlborough, and EDWARD JOHNSON of Woburn. These were all powerful leaders during the formative years of their towns, but all of them shared the founding tasks with others, and none of them carried the full weight of the pioneering effort on their shoulders, such as the Crawford family did in the founding of Steamboat Springs. The Crawfords spent five years in Steamboat as the only permanent pioneering family in the area, and had to conquer all of the survival tasks of obtaining food and building shelter and earning a livelihood entirely on their own. The one Massachusetts ancestor who came closest to matching the pioneering experience of James H. Crawford in Steamboat Springs was JOHN PRESCOTT in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
HERE WITH HIS CHILDREN ABOUT HIM LIES JOHN PRESCOTT FOUNDER OF LANCASTER AND FIRST SETTLER OF WORCESTER COUNTY BORN AT STANDISH, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND DIED AT LANCASTER, MASSACHUSETTS, DEC. 1681 INSPIRED BY THE LOVE OF LIBERTY AND THE FEAR OF GOD THIS STOUT-HEARTED PIONEER FORSAKING THE PLEASANT VALES OF ENGLAND TOOK UP HIS ABODE IN THE UNBROKEN FOREST AND ENCOUNTERED WILD BEAST AND SAVAGE TO SECURE FREEDOM FOR HIMSELF AND HIS POSTERITY HIS FAITH AND VIRTUES HAVE BEEN INHERITED BY MANY DESCENDANTS WHO IN EVERY GENERATION HAVE WELL SERVED THE STATE IN WAR, IN LITERATURE, AT THE BAR, IN THE PULPIT, IN PUBLIC LIFE AND IN CHRISTIAN HOMES
HERE LIES JOHN DOROTHY, THE PRESCOTT WIFE OF JONATH DECASED AN PRESCOT WHO DECEASED [footstone]
|-Stephen Gates Stephen Gates-| |-Ann HillThe Gates family had a very nomadic life in Massachusetts. They first settled in Hingham, moved to Cambridge in 1653, Lancaster in 1654, and back to Cambridge where the father died in 1662. The son soon married, lived some in both Boston and Charlestown, and finally moved to Stow. (See the chapters on Hingham, Cambridge, and Sudbury.) On April 3, 1654, STEPHEN GATES signed the covenant agreeing to live in Lancaster and follow the terms of its incorporation. His home of 20 acres was on the road leading northwest (Main St), north of the North branch of the river. He also owned 314 acres of land in the southeast part of the town in what is now Berlin. His land there included a large pond that is still called Gates' Pond. He was the third largest landowner in Lancaster after John White and JOHN PRESCOTT. He bacame a freeman on May 14, 1656 and chosen constable in 1657. However there was a controversy between the Gates family and his neighbors on his south, the Whitcomb families, that deprived STEPHEN of his constable's staff, and he moved back to Cambridge after only three years in Lancaster. When he died, his oldest son, STEPHEN Jr., received his house in Lancaster, but the son never lived there.
|-Benjamin Hastings |-John Hastings -| Lovice Hastings-| |-Abigail Sawtell |-Submit RussellThe Hastings family is a little bit of a mystery. A hand-written entry in the Bolton Vital Records clearly records THOMAS WELCH's marriage to LOVICE HASTINGS on Oct 20, 1791, and states that they are both "of this town". But there is no record of LOVICE's birth, either in Bolton or elsewhere, and none of the old genealogical books give any clue as to her parents. However when looking at the births and marriages of other Hastings in Bolton, there is really only one Hastings family (in multiple generations) in Bolton at this time. BENJAMIN HASTINGS married ABIGAIL SAWTELL in Waltham on May 12, 1743. They must have moved to Bolton shortly afterwards, since the birth of their son JOHN on Oct. 5, 1744 is recorded in the Bolton Vital Records, along with six other children. [Actually, we don't know where BENJAMIN was born, nor who his parents are. The Waltham marriage entry does not list him from another town, so presumably he was then living in Waltham, or perhaps Watertown which Waltham was carved out of in 1738. Thomas Hastings immigrated to Watertown in 1634, and had 6 sons, who likewise had many sons. So there were many Hastings families in Watertown in the early 1700s, and it seems that BENJAMIN's parents were obscured in a sea of Hastings.] JOHN's marriage to SUBMIT RUSSELL on Dec 31, 1767, is also recorded, as well as another son, Benjamin, who married in 1782. So the only possible parents of LOVICE are JOHN and SUBMIT. Unfortunately, none of the births of their children were recorded, just the baptisms of four of them, three of which were baptized on the same day in 1786. Purhaps LOVICE was too old then (12) to be baptised. According to the Bolton Vital Records, the tombstone of SUBMIT in the Old Cemetery [Old South Burying Ground], said she died Oct 31, 1816, aged 72, and "Left 9 ch."
|-John Houghton |-Jonas Houghton-| |-Jonas Houghton-| |-Beatrix Betty Houghton-| |-Mary Burbeen |-Mary BrighamTwo cousins, Ralph and JOHN HOUGHTON, ended up in Lancaster around the time of its incorporation. There is much confusion as to when they first came. A John Houghton age "4" came on the ship "Abigail" in 1635, but there is no record of any John Houghton in any town in the colony before Dedham in 1651 and Lancaster in 1652. Everyone thinks the age was a typo, and it should have been 24, 34, or 40. We can be sure, however, that JOHN and his wife BEATRIX were both born in England, and that most of their seven children, including JONAS, were born in Lancaster. JOHN signed the Lancaster covenant in 1653, and lived on the north side of Deans Brook [now named Goodridge Brook] on the west side of the mill path [probably Main St]. His cousin Ralph was for many years the town clerk, and is mentioned many times in the records of Lancaster. During King Philip's War, the Houghtons lived in Charlestown or Woburn. When they returned, JOHN and his sons built new homes on the east side of the river, to the south of Bridecake Plain (now called Old Common Rd) opposite what are now the grounds of the State Industrial School. JOHN died in 1684, and his gravestone is the oldest stone in the Old Settlers Cemetery.
In memory of JOHN HOUGHTON Born Dec. 24,1624, Died Apr. 29,1684 One of the founders of Lancaster JOHN HOUGHTON his son One of the three men who purchased the land per the deed on other side Of this memorial tablet Erected 1913 by L. T. HOUGHTON A lineal decendant of JOHN
Here Lies Buried ye Body of Capt. Jonas Houghton Who Departed this Life August ye 15th A.D. 1739 In ye 57th Year of His Age.
Here Lyes ye Body of Mr. Jonas Houghton Who died Sept 20 1723, Aged 60 Years & 5 mos.
Here Lyes the Body of Mrs. Mary Houghton, Wife to Mr. Jonas Houghton, Sen'r. Deceased December 31st 1720 in ye 60th Year of her Age.
|-Dole Johnson Hannah Johnson-| |-HannahDOLE JOHNSON was born in Woburn, but after his mother died, DOLE and his father WILLIAM JOHNSON moved to Mansfield, Connecticut. Sometime before 1739 DOLE married HANNAH and moved to Harvard. The births of their three children, including HANNAH in 1739 were recorded in the Harvard records, as was DOLE's death in 1745 at the age of 35. It is not all that surprising that he ended up in Harvard, because his ancestor EDWARD JOHNSON of Woburn had acted as a commissioner of Lancaster and had been granted a large tract of land in the southeastern part of Lancaster. Other descendents of EDWARD moved eventually to this land, so DOLE would have had cousins in the town. He lived on the east side of the Penicook (Nashua) River, bounded on the west by the river and on the south by land of Richard Hall. The inventory of DOLE's estate was £208.14.0 with his widow Hannah Johnson being the executrix. After paying off creditors, £74.8.4 1/2 was left for the children. HANNAH married John Davis in 1752 and had four more children. Her daughter HANNAH married BENJAMIN PRIEST in 1761.
|-Philip Knight Elizabeth Knight-| | Jonathan Knight -| |-MargeryThe KNIGHT family first came to Charlestown in 1637, where they lived until 1654 (see the Charlestown chapter). At that time PHILIP KNIGHT bought 20 acres of land in Landcaster from Steven Day, where the KNIGHTs built a house and lived for about five years. The land was 20 rods north-to-south and 160 rods east-to-west, and adjacent to JOHN PRESCOTT's land. Besides the quirk of KNIGHT buying land from Day, his name resulted in some confusion over the name of the town common land. This common land was referred to as the "night pasture", as was the case in other towns, because the commons was the place cows were pastured during the night. However since it was near our ancestor's land, somebody erroneously called it the "Knight pasture", and that is how it was spelled for many years.
|-John Priest |-Joseph P.-| |-Joseph P.-| |-Rachel Garfield-| |-Benjamin P.-| |-Mary Miller |-Mary Benfield |-John P.-| |-Elizabeth Atkinson Rebecca P.-| |-Hannah Johnson |-Rebecca GibsonJOHN PRIEST was born around 1650, but we are not sure where or who his parents were. One speculation is that his father was John Priest who lived in Charlestown, married Sarah, and sold land on the Reading border in 1680. Another possibility is that his father was James Priest of Dorchester and Weymouth, who emigrated in 1637, married Elizabth, had at least seven children (but none named John!), and recorded his will in 1676. The first definite thing we know about JOHN is that he was impressed into military service from Woburn during King Philip's War, and probably participated in the Great Swamp Fight in December 1675. He married RACHEL GARFIELD of Watertown in 1678, had three children born in Woburn. In 1687 the proprietors of Lancaster offered him 30 acres of land if he would move to Lancaster. They also offered 30 acres to a friend, John Warner, and the two of them moved to a 60 acre parcel on the easterly side of Bare Hill, which is now in Harvard. Four more children were born in Lancaster, including JOSEPH in 1690. JOHN's house was one of the garrison houses used during the Indian attack in 1704 during Queen Anne's War. Ten neighbor men and their families were assigned to his house, including his son John Jr., John Warner, Caleb Sawyer, and James Atherton Sr. and Jr. When JOHN died at the end of 1704, RACHEL continued to live in the house for another 33 years. Her mother MARY (BENFIELD) GARFIELD also lived with her and died in Lancaster in 1709. RACHEL is buried in the Harvard Center Cemetery besides her grandson John Priest and his family.
Harvard Center | HERE LIES | MRS Cemetery | THE BODY OF | RACHIEL THE WIDOW | PRIEST RACHIEL PRIEST | (footstone) WHO DIED MAY 17 1737 IN THE 81 YEAR OF HER AGE
|-Paul Welch |-Silas Welch-| |-Thomas Welch-| |-Betty Houghton Horatio Nelson Welch-| |-Mary Meriam |-Lovice HastingsPAUL WELCH is the first Welch ancestor to live in the Lancaster area. He was born in Charlestown about 1713, and moved to Bolton by 1740 when he married BETTY HOUGHTON. They had six children born in Bolton, and perhaps lived near Welch Pond in the southern part of the town. We don't know when either of them died. Their oldest son was SILAS, born in 1744. SILAS married MARY MERIAM (the 2nd of our ancestors with that name; this MARY was born in Lexington. See the Meriam family in this chapter for more), and had three children. With our other ancestors ABRAHAM GIBSON and JOHN PRIEST, SILAS marched as a corporal to Cambridge on April 19, 1775 in Colonel John Whitcomb's regiment. He served eight days, and re-enlisted during the summer as a Sargeant for the Siege of Boston. He died on Sept 8, 1775, probably from disease, since there were no known skirmishes in Aug or Sept. He has a military gravestone in the Old South Burying Ground in Bolton. MARY, his wife, remarried twice: Jonathan Atherton in 1786, and Simon Whitney in 1792.
BENJAMIN | JOHN | SILAS HASTINGS | HASTINGS | WELCH CAPT | PVT | SERG CONTINENTAL | CONTINENTAL | CONTINENTAL LINE | LINE | LINE REV WAR | REV WAR | REV WAR 1720 | 1744 | NOV 24 1744 1808 | 1825 | SEP 8 1775