An Act for Erecting a District in the County of Middlesex, by the Name of Boxborough

Whereas a Number of Inhabitants, living in the extreme Parts of the Towns of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton, labor under many Inconveniences by Reason of their great Distance from any Place of Public Worship, and have requested this Court that they may be incorporated into a District, with all the Privileges of a Town, that of sending a Representative to the General Court excepted:

Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That a Part of Stow, a Part of Harvard, and a Part of Littleton, all which are included within the Boundaries following, viz. : Beginning at the Road Southerly of John Robbins’ Buildings, and running Southerly to Acton Corner Three Miles and Ninety-two Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence running Southerly in Acton Line, to a Place called Flag Hill, being two Miles, three Quarters and ten Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence Westerly in Stow two Miles and a Quarter, to a Stake and Pillar of Stones in the Harvard Line ; then running Northerly through Part of Harvard, to a white Oak Tree, by a Causeway from thence to the Place first set out from, be and hereby is incorporated into a District, by the Name of Boxborough. And all the Polls and Estates that are included within the said Boundaries, shall belong to the said District, except those of such of the Inhabitants of that Part set off from Littleton, as shall not within the Term of twelve Months from the passing this Act, return their Names into the Office of the Secre- tary of this Commonwealth, signifying their Desire to become inhabitants of the said District.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said District be, and hereby is, invested with all the Powers, Privileges and Immunities, that Towns in this Commonwealth do or may enjoy (except the Privilege of sending a Representative to the General Court) and the Inhabitants of the said District shall have Liberty from Time to Time to join with the Town of Stow, in choosing a Representative, and shall be notified of the Time and Place of Election, in like Manner with the Inhabitants of the said Town of Stow, by a Warrant from the Selectmen of the said Town, directed to a Constable or Constables of the said District, requiring him or them to warn the Inhabitants to attend the Meeting at the Time and Place appointed : Which Warrant shall be seasonably returned by the said Constable or Constables ; and the Representative may be chosen indifferently from the said Town or District: The Pay or Allowance to be borne by the Town and District, in Proportion as they shall from Time to Time pay to the State Tax.

And be it further enacted, That Jonathan Wood, Esq ; of Stow, be, and he hereby is empowered to issue his Warrant, directed to some principal Inhabitant within the said District, requiring him to warn the Inhabitants of the said District, qualified to vote in Town Affairs, to assemble at some suitable Time and Place in the said District, to choose such Officers as Towns and Districts by Law are required to choose in the Month of March annually : Provided nevertheless, That the Inhabitants of the said District shall pay their proportionable Part of all such Town, County and State Taxes, as are already assessed by the said respective Towns from which they are taken, and their proportionable Part of all public Debts due from the said Towns ; and also provide for the Support of all the Poor who were Inhabitants within the said District before the passing of this Act, and shall be brought back for Maintenance hereafter.

And whereas it is ft and necessary, that the Whole of the said District should belong to one and the same County :

Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That that Part of the said District which is set off from the Town of Harvard, in the County of Worcester, shall be, and hereby is annexed and set to the County of Middlesex. And the Line established by this Act as the Boundary betwixt the said Town of Harvard and the said District, shall hereafter be the Boundary Line betwixt the said County of Middlesex and the said County of Worcester.

Passed February 25, 1783; Signed by Samuel Adams, president of the Senate, and John Hancock, Governor.

Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Printed by Benjamin Edes and Sons, Printers to His Excellency the Governor, the Council and Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; M,DCC,LXXXII (1782).

John Franklin Spratlin Funeral Notice

John Franklin Spratlin funeral notice, 9 Mar 1928.

John Franklin Spratlin, husband of Lucy Frances O’Kelley, died on 9 Mar 1928 in Barnett Shoals, Oconee County, Georgia, at the age of 46. According to his death certificate, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage 10 days earlier on 28 Feb.

John was an electrical worker with the Georgia Power Company.

The relatives listed in the funeral notice are most of his siblings and children.


John Franklin Spratlin (1882-1928) is 2nd great-grandfather of MKS in the Spratlin branch.

Source: The Banner-Herald (Athens, Georgia), 9 Mar 1928, page 4 (newspaper funeral notice).

Early Settlers—Sudbury, MA

In The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1639-1889 [1] by Alfred Sereno Hudson, we find that our ancestors played a significant role in founding Sudbury. Among the approximately 130 early settlers, Hudson identifies eight of our ancestors heading families there. They came to America as part of the Great Migration of English Puritans to Massachusetts from 1620 to 1640.

According to Hudson [2], “From the town records we have compiled the following list of the early grantees or settlers, who went to Sudbury Plantation about 1638 or 1639 : —

Peter Noyse (Hampshire, England)
Walter Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Howe (Shropshire, England)
Edmond Rice (Suffolk, England)
John Stone (Suffolk, England)

“The following are names of persons who were at the settlement soon after it began : —

John Moore (Essex, England)
Thomas King (Dorset, England)
…”

Another 11 listed there are cousins or relatives by marriage. Here is a list.

Map of the First Roads & House Lots in Sudbury, Drawn by J.S. Draper. [3]

Below are excerpts from [1] regarding their roles in the affairs of Sudbury.

  • Walter Haynes represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1641, 1644, 1648, and 1651, and was a selectman ten years.
  • John Howe served as a selectman of Sudbury in 1643.
  • Peter Noyes was a selectman eighteen years, and represented the town at the General Court in 1640, 1641, and 1650.
  • Edmund Rice was one of the committee appointed by the General Court, 4 Sep 1639, to apportion the land in Sudbury to the settlers. He served as selectman from 1639 to 1644, and was deputy to the General Court several successive years.
  • John Stone was an elder in the church, and in 1655 was town clerk.

We also learn there [4] that John Howe of the Wetherbee branch and Edmund Rice of the Watne branch had house-lots next door to each other in Sudbury, 327 years before the Wetherbee-Watne grandparents of MKS married. The map above reflects that John Howe probably sold his lot on The Street (left side of map on Mill Road) to either Griffin or Rice, and took the lot on The Plain (right side of map).

Hudson’s book provides short biographies for each of these first settlers.


John Haynes (1622-1697) and Dorothy Noyes (1627-1715) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Walter Haynes (1583-1665) and Elizabeth Haynes (1586-1659) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Howe (1620-1680) and Mary Martha Jones (1618-1698) are 10th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Thomas King (1600-1676) and Anne Collins (1608-1642) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Moore (1602-1674) and Elizabeth Rice (1612-1690) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Peter Noyes (1590-1657) is 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch. His wife Elizabeth (1594-1636) died before the family emigrated from England.

Edmund Rice (1594-1663) and Thomasine Frost (1600-1654) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Stone (1618-1683) and Anne Stone (1613- ) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889, by Alfred Sereno Hudson, 1889.
[2] Reference [1], page 26-27.
[3] Reference [1], map after page 76.
[4] Reference [1], page 74.

Boxborough Minutemen Commemorative Musket Volley

Before marching to the 2019 Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight in Concord, the Boxborough Minutemen marched to the Old Burying Ground in Boxborough to read the names of the men from Boxborough District who marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775.

17 of the men read out are relatives. Thank you to the Boxborough Minutemen for honoring all that marched and keeping alive the story of that day.

Boxborough Minutemen, Patriots’ Day 2019.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Hymn: Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument, 19 Apr 1836, a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775—Abner Hosmer

Abner Hosmer was a Private in Captain Isaac Davis’ company of Acton Massachusetts Minutemen, and marched on the alarm of 19 April 1775. Abner was killed instantly in the first volley at the North Bridge in Concord.

Abner is memorialized through the Isaac Davis Monument on the Acton Town Common. The remains of Isaac Davis, Abner, and James Hayward (an Acton soldier killed in Lexington later that day) were moved and re-interred beneath the monument.

He was born in West Acton, the son of Deacon Jonathan Hosmer and Martha Conant Hosmer.

Memento mori
Here lies the
Body of Mr. Abner
Hosmer son of Deacon
Jonathan Hosmer &
Mrs. Martha his wife,
who was Killed in Concord fight
April 19th, 1775 In the
Defense of the just rights
and Liberties of his Country
being in the 21st
year of his age.

Abner Hosmer headstone, Acton Town Common, Acton, Massachusetts.

To learn more, read these excellent books:


Abner Hosmer (1754-19 Apr 1775) is the great-uncle of Stephen Hosmer who married Mary Wetherbee, 4th cousin 5x removed of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

References:
[1] “The Minute Men, The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution,” John R. Galvin, Potomoc Books, Inc., 1989.
[2] Wikipedia.com.

Marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775—Isaac Davis

Captain Isaac Davis and his Acton Massachusetts company of Minutemen marched on the alarm of 19 Apr 1775. “When Davis, characteristically, volunteered to lead the march” down the hill at the North Bridge at Concord to face the British Regulars, Major “Buttrick placed him in the van where his marksmen with their solid line of bayonets could be more effective.”

“A gunsmith by trade, he had taken care that all his men were well armed; every man in the company had a good musket, a bayonet, cartridge box, canteen—this was one of the many provincial companies to be complete in accouterments. The men under Davis were good shots, too. Davis had built a firing range out behind his house, where twice a week from November to April he had led his men in firing and drill. Needless to say, the fighting spirit of Isaac Davis rubbed off on his men. His own weapon, a product of his shop, was perhaps the best musket on the field that day.

“Davis was no hothead, but a man of quiet conviction. His wife, many years later, recalled as a very old woman the man she had known in her youth, on the day of the battle: “My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate as to the course of his duty. As he led the company from the house, he turned himself round, and seemed to have something to communicate. He only said, ‘Take good care of the children,’ and was soon out of sight.”

Davis, age 30, was killed in the first volley, along with “one of his men, Abner Hosmer. Both were killed instantly; two or three others were wounded.” Davis was the first American officer killed in the Revolution.

The Minute Man, 1875, Statue by Daniel Chester French, Old North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts.

Davis is the inspiration behind The Minute Man, the statue by Daniel Chester French, unveiled on 19 Apr 1875 at the Old North Bridge. The statue was modeled after Davis using photographs of Davis’ descendants.

Davis is also memorialized through the Isaac Davis Monument on the Acton Town Common. The remains of Davis, Abner Hosmer, and James Hayward (an Acton soldier killed in Lexington later that day) were moved and re-interred beneath the monument.

He was born in West Acton, and married Hannah Brown on 24 Oct 1764. They had four children—two boys and two girls.

In Memory of Capt. Isaac Davis
who was Slain in battle at 
Concord April ye 19th 1775 in
the Defence of ye just rights
and Liberties of his Country
Civil & Religious. He was a loving
Husband a tender Father & a
Kind Neighbour an Ingenious
Craftsman & Serviceable to
Mankind died in ye prime of
life Aged 30 Years 1 m & 25 days.
Is there not an appointed time to man
upon ye earth? Are not his days also like
the days of an hireling?
As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth
away, so he that goeth down to the grave
shall come up no more.
He shall return no more to his house,
neither shall his place know him any
more. Job VII ver 1, 9, 10.

Captain Isaac Davis headstone, Acton Town Common, Acton, Massachusetts.

To learn more, read these excellent books:


Isaac Davis’ (1745-19 Apr 1775) sister married Silas Taylor, uncle of Levi Wetherbee II, 3rd cousin 7x removed of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

References:
[1] “The Minute Men, The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution,” John R. Galvin, Potomoc Books, Inc., 1989.
[2] Wikipedia.com.

Marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775—Luther Blanchard

Luther Blanchard was a Private and the fifer in Captain Isaac Davis’ company of Acton Massachusetts Minutemen, and marched on the alarm of 19 April 1775. Luther was the first hit by a British bullet at the North Bridge in Concord, wounded in the neck and side. Despite his wounds, Luther joined the pursuers as the British retreated to Charlestown.

Luther was born in Boxborough, in that portion which was formerly a part of Littleton, the son of Simon Blanchard and Sara Fales Blanchard. He had left home to learn the mason’s trade, and was living with Deacon Jonathan Hosmer in West Acton on 19 Apr 1775.

Five days later, 24 April 1775, Luther enlisted in the Army, is listed on the pay roll of Captain William Smith’s company on 7 July 1775, and is listed as a Corporal on the muster roll on 1 Aug 1775. Luther is reported deceased on the company return on 30 Sep 1775. His brother Calvin stated that Luther died of his wounds received at Concord.

Luther is believed buried in an unmarked grave in the Old Burying Ground, Littleton, Massachusetts.

Luther Blanchard
Born in Littleton, June 4, 1756.
Fifer of the Acton Minute Men and
the first man hit by a British
bullet at the North Bridge, Concord
April 19, 1775.
On the muster rolls of the
Continental Army reported dead
September 30, 1775.

Luther Blanchard cenotaph, Old Burying Ground, Littleton, Massachusetts.

He is also memorialized on the town seal of Boxborough, Massachusetts.

Town seal of Boxborough, Massachusetts.

To learn more, read these excellent books:


Luther Blanchard (1756-19 Apr 1775) is the great-uncle of Caroline Blanchard who married Simeon Wetherbee II, half 5th cousin 5x removed of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Source: findagrave.com user Denise (photograph).

Marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775

Minute Men Leaving the Home of Captain Isaac Davis, 19 April 1775, by Arthur Fuller Davis.

On this Patriots’ Day Weekend, we remember these family members that marched on the Alarm of 19 Apr 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Acton, Massachusetts
Luther Blanchard **
Ezekiel Davis II
Isaac Davis *
Abner Hosmer *

Ashburnham, Massachusetts
Ephraim Wetherbee
Phineas Wetherbee II

Bolton, Massachusetts
John Whitcomb

Concord, Massachusetts
Amos Hosmer

Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Paul Wetherbee II

Harvard, Massachusetts
Jonathan Crouch II
Timothy Crouch
Oliver Mead I
Joseph Wetherbee I
Oliver Wetherbee
Abel Whitcomb I

Lancaster, Massachusetts
Asa Whitcomb

Leominster, Massachusetts
Nathaniel Chapman
Littleton, Massachusetts
Joseph Lawrence
Samuel Lawrence II
Thomas Lawrence
Daniel Whitcomb
Isaac Whitcomb
Jonathan Whitcomb V
Silas Whitcomb

Lunenburg, Massachusetts
Thomas Wetherbee I

Rutland, Massachusetts
Samuel Ames

Stow, Massachusetts
Nehemiah Batcheldor
Ephraim Taylor
Oliver Taylor I
Phineas Taylor II
Solomon Taylor
Joseph Wetherbee
Judah Wetherbee
Silas Wetherbee
Thomas Wetherbee II
Reuben Wetherby
William Whitcomb

Westford, Massachusetts
Calvin Blanchard


* shot and killed in action at Battle of Concord.
** wounded in action at Battle of Concord; died of wounds later.

The service records for each, most found in [1], are summarized in this report.

To learn more, read these excellent books:


All are in the Wetherbee branch, except Samuel Ames in the Watne Branch.

Reference:
[1] Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, 1902. This 17 volume set is available on archive.org and openlibrary.org.

Source: Arthur Fuller Davis Gallery, Acton Memorial Library (painting).

Photo Friday—William Spratlin

William Martin Spratlin.

William was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, and lived there through his childhood. He attended the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1876.

He married Daisy Eugenia Hance on 26 Oct 1882 in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. They had 8 children, and lived in Atlanta, Georgia, after 1893.

William practiced medicine in Wilkes County, and in Atlanta, but later gave up his practice to devote his entire time to a hardware business he also operated.

William is interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.


William Martin Spratlin (1854-1928) is 2nd cousin 5x removed of MKS in the Spratlin branch.

Source: Ancestry.com user gototea (photograph).

Photo Friday—Tonnes Helgesen

Tonnes Helgesen.

Tonnes was born on Tjørn farm, Bjerkreim, Rogaland County, Norway, and lived there his entire life. He married Kari Ivarsdatter Vasboe in abt. 1869.

He was the third son named Tonnes—two brothers of the same name died before his birth—Tonnes (1837-1837) and Tonnes (1839-1839).


Tonnes Helgesen Tjorn (1841-1916) is 3rd great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

Source: Ancestry.com user BASturm (photograph).