The Chadwick Family of Jones' Plantation in Maine.
Compiled by Lillian Rich (McLaughlin) Gilligan, 1931.
In 1774, when only Indians were inhabitants of all the lands east of the Kennebec, one John Jones, a surveyor, and withal a man of great daring and perseverance - familiarly known as "Black Jones" laid out a new township to the east of the Kennebec, embracing most of the land now known as China, and called it Jones' Plantation. In the summer of that year Jones had induced 4 brothers - Edmund, Jonathan, Ephriam and Andrew Clark to come from Nantucket and settle as pioneers on his plantation. They settled on the west side of the pond near the narrows. They were soon followed by other families, the Fishes, Burrells, Ward and others. These latter settled towards the head of the lake. When the Chadwicks settled in Jones' Plantation the 4 Clark families were the only inhabitants of the town. The part of the town to the south of the narrows was as yet unoccupied.
In 1782 several families moved from the towns in the southern part of Massachusetts, notably from the cape towns - Falmouth, Barnstable, Dartmouth and Scituate all furnished their quotas.
It was at this time in the spring of 1782 that James and Ruth Chadwick with their then unmarried children, Job, Ichabod, Elizabeth, and Judah moved to the new settlements on the extreme end of Jones' Plantation. But the married sons John and James with their families followed the year after their parents departed taking with them their youngest brother Lot, who, being too young to endure the hardships of pioneer life, had been left with his grandmother, Elizabeth, when the parents went to the new settlement.
About the time James and Ruth moved to Maine other families went from Falmouth to Jones' Plantation, either with them, or soon after; among them the Hatches, Weeks, Hamlins and others. These families were all closely related to the Chadwicks by marriage. James married a Hatch, two of his sons married Weeks and one a Hamlin.
How these settlers removed to their new fields we are not told; but they probably went by sailing vessels to and up the Kennebec as far as it was then navigable. It is said that when James, Jr. moved his family in 1783 he transported his earthly all in an emigrant's wagon drawn by oxen.
On tradition says the Chadwick family first settled in Vassalboro, at what was known as Gatchell's Corner; but it is more likely that only a temporary stop was made at this place, till the head of
the family could decide where to locate permanently. At any rate we find James and his family established in the spring of 1782, in Jones' Plantation, on the southerly side of the road, which subsequently was built from what came to be known as Chadwick's corner to Wentworth's corner - once quite familiar locations; but alas, today nothing remains of their famous glory but the corners.
"Two hundred acres of land were taken up, a rude log house built, an orchard planted, and pioneer life started in good earnest. The land originally planted with apple trees is today covered with a thick growth of young pines; so that if one wants to find the old apple trees he must search carefully for them among the young saplings; but if he is thorough enough in his search he will find the old trees, now one hundred and twenty years old, still standing among the lofty pines and producing yearly a few apples as if in silent protest against the encroachment of the saplings. But, we fancy we can almost hear the young pines claiming for themselves, or their ancestors, the prior right".
The cellar of the original log house can still be seen, by those who know where to look for it. In about two years a larger and more commodious house was built, a framed one, a little north of the first one, to better accommodate the growing tribe, whose sons were now taking wives to themselves. Here lived probably one of the sons, tho' one account makes the father to have lived there. The cellar of the second house is easily discernable today.
James was not long in making the discovery that he had settled on the wrong end of his farm; the westerly end being rocky, while the land to the east was comparatively free from rocks. He began the erection of a large two storied house, on the easterly end of his farm, at least half a mile from his house then in use. This house was situated on the westerly side of the road that afterward led from So. China to Windsor. It was while thus engaged upon his new house that word was brought to him that his house was on fire. In hurrying to the rescue of his family he was stricken with apoplexy and died immediately Sept. 6th, 1786. His body was buried on his farm just west of his house, the exact spot unknown with the lapse of time and remained so 'till 1880. His wife Ruth was buried in the same lot. It is a reproach to family that the graves of our ancestors and his worthy wife, the pioneer settlers of this part of the town, should be unmarked to this day, and even the exact spot where their bodies lie should be unknown for so long. My father once procured a tablet for the grave but a legal question prevented its ever being set up. The tablet I subsequently found, broken into a dozen pieces, at a spring where cattle were accustomed to drink. It is most devoutly to be hoped that this association will take measures to prevent the further perpetuation of this disgrace.
The house which James was engaged in building when he died was completed by his family and was very near to the house afterward built by his grandson Corydon Chadwick son of Judah, who succeeded to the estate of his father James. I well remember visiting my grandmother, the wife of Judah, who continued to live by herself in this house after her son Corydon had removed to his new house, the one occupied by Mr. Thompson, principal of the Erskine Academy. I can recall the looks of the old house, which to my youthful mind appeared of proportions like a Baron's castle, with its numerous windows, its 2 stacks of immense chimneys, its large brass knocker on the front door. It was destroyed by fire in the early forties, being at that time occupied as an office for the use of the Board of Selectmen, whose owner was chairman of the Board. With this house were destroyed many valuable papers belonging to James Chadwick which if in our possession today would throw much light upon the family history.
The hardships and privations endured by our ancestors as the pioneer settlers of this part of the town were such as to seem almost incredible to us in these days of plenty and conveniences of every kind.
Their log house was unprovided with doors or windows of glass and there was little to prevent bears and wolfs from encroaching upon their families except the ever ready rifle of the proprietor, which was always at hand for any emergency. At first their only meat was the flesh of moose and bears. Sheep and hogs couldn't be raised on account of the encroachment of wolfs and bears. Fish and game were of course abundant.
The nearest grist mill was at Cobb - Gardiner. It would consume the larger part of three days for Jones to take a grist of corn upon his back to Gardiner, have it ground and return, a distance of 36 miles for the round trip. The route was either to Brown's corner in Vassalboro, by spotted trees, there being no roads, and then down the Kennebec in a canoe, or an entirely overland route could be taken making the distance some two miles less.
On one occasion we are told, that a moose had been shot in the hot weather of summer; and that some portion of the meat might be salted for future use. James brought up form Gardiner on his back 3 pecks of rock salt, which would weigh not less than 65 lbs. The trip was accomplished in one day; but it took most of the 24 hours to do it. What would our college athletes think of such a trip to develop their muscles? Where would the fun be? But notwithstanding the hardships and privations of our pioneer ancestors, they were conscientiously devoted to all their religious duties, they were a God fearing, sabbath respecting, order loving people.
In 1796 Jones' Plantation obtained from the legislature of Massachusetts an act incorporating it into a town, under the name of Harlem. In the spring of that year the first town meeting was held, when 29 votes were cast. It appears from the record that James Chadwick, Jr. was elected the first constable and collectors of the town. In 1798, the vigorous young town of two years, began to exercise a little of that arbitrary power, against which the fathers had so earnestly and so successfully battle in the War of the Revolution, when the selectmen Ichabod Chadwick and Abraham Burrell, in the name of the state issued this order to the constable Edmund Clark. "You are in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts directed to warn and give notice to Borton Ricker and Prince Brown with their families and all under their care who came from Vassalboro, not having obtained the consent of the town, that they depart the limits thereof within 15 days". We can afford to pardon our sires for this bit of tyranny for they had been less than a dozen years out from under the yoke of King George.
Chadwicks as Leaders.
For a long time Job Chadwick was the only spiritual guide the people of the town had of their own number. Those living on the neck in the n. w. section of the town were ministered unto from Vassalboro, they being much nearer to Vassalboro than to Harlem's only place of meeting.
Job Chadwick was also the first teacher of the town and for a long time was the only one, teaching in the school house before alluded to. He was succeeded in office by a Mr. Hatch, familiarly known as "Old Master Hatch" and he in return by Job's son Paul. I remember to have seen in an old record of the town that Job Chadwick was paid the sum of $35.00 for teaching the town's school one year. The Chadwicks were prominently identified with the establishing of the first public library. Among its proprietors were Corydon, Joseph, and Sylvanus Chadwick and Joseph Stewart, whose wife was a Chadwick, daughter of James, Jr., showing that the woman's influence was early made and bore for good. In civil affairs the Chadwicks appear to have had a fair share of responsibility. James, Jr. was chosen moderator for the years 1797, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802. He was one of the selectmen in 1799 and 1800.
Ichabod was chosen moderator in 1798, 1805, 1807, 1808. He was one of the selectmen in 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1809.
In the political history of the town our familiy has not been without its representatives. Besides town and county officers, they have contributed representatives to the legislature, senators, governors, counsellors and so on.
A New Town.
In 1818 a new town, called China was incorporated by an act of the legislature, embracing the northerly part of Harlem with portoins of Winslow and Fairfax. Fairfax was latter annexed to Winslow. But the seperation was short for in 1822 Harlem and China consolidated under the latter name. We are told that the name was Bloomville in the original draft of the bill that consolidated the two towns, but that the member from Bloomfield fearing the confusion that might arise from simularity of the two names objected to Bloomville and so the dear old town has had to struggle along for nearly one hundred years handicapped in the race for distinction by its celestial name.
1st. Gear Chadwick
Gear Chadwick (his baptismal name was Gayer) was the first child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick, but the town records of Falmouth, Mass. do not give the date of his birth. The Church records make him to have been bapt. in June, 1751. He went to Philadelphia, Penn. about 1774 and was married there to Amelia ----- where they had one daughter named Ruth (for his mother). When she was 2 years old he moved to Beaufort.
He soon after removed to Beaufort, N. Carolina, where he lived died and was buried; here there were born to them two daughters and one son.
Gear was engaged in some form of shipping business.
Children of Gear and Amelia Chadwick --
1. Rebecca, who married a Mr. Stanton but had no children and afterwards married a Mr. Borden, and had 1 son Benjamin Franklin and he had several children.
2. Ruth, who married a Mr. Fuller and afterwards a Mr. Hall.
3. Jane, who married Capt. John Guthrie.
4. James, who died young, never having been married.
Gear probably died in 1803 as his will was probated in that year.
2nd. John Chadwick
John the second child of James and Ruth Chadwick was born in Falmouth, Mass. June 28, 1749 and according to the Church record was bapt. Dec. 16, 1750. He was "published" as intending to marry Rhoda Weeks, Aug. 15, 1751, if we may credit the record, when but two years old and two months. But he did not marry her at all, as his family record says he married Mary Jane Allen, May 13, 1775. When the rest of the family removed from Falmouth, Mass. to Maine, John who was married and living in Dartmouth (see his letter to Gear, 1782) did not go with them but followed them soon after. He did not remain in Maine, but removed with his family first to Coos Co., N. H. and thence shortly afterward to Bradford, Vt., where he died in 1821, and was buried. He had four children. Another account makes John to have gone directly from Dartmouth to Bradford, Vt.
Children of John and Mary Chadwick --
1. Jane, b. July 10, 1774, who married Ephraim Bartlett.
2. Rebecca, b. June 21, 1778, who married Paul Swett.
3. John, b. March 31, 1784, who married Mary Stevens.
4. Ruth, b. Sept. 11, 1786, who married Tarrant Putnam and afterwards Benjamin Brock.
John Chadwick (1749-1821) was Lieut., 1776-1777 in Capt. Nathan Peters Co., 3rd regiment of foot, under Col. Ebenezer Learned. He was wounded at White Plains and honorably discharged.
(see D. A. R. Lineage Book, vol. 45, p. 316, also vol. 59, p. 195.)
3rd. James Chadwick, Jr.
James the third child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick according to the Church records was bapt. Feb. 25, 1753. He married Rhoda Weeks according to his family record (and his pension papers) Sept. 30, 1779. They had two children a daughter and a son while living in Falmouth and eight others after the family removed to Maine.
James and his wife followed the rest of the family the year after they had gone. James settled in Jones' Plantation, near his father James, ½ mile south of So. China Village, on the farm later known as the "Esquire Stewart" place. Joseph Stewart married his daughter and settled on the same place. He was first Constable and Collector of the town (1796). He died in Harlem, now China, Maine, the 25th of Oct., 1826. Rhoda his wife died Jan. 30, 1831. (G. S. 75th., year)
Children of James and Rhoda (Weeks) Chadwick --
1. Sarah (Sally) b. May 17, 1780, d. in Corinth June 22, 1858, m. 1797 Charles McLaughlin b. Dec. 31, 1771, d. in Corinth Sept. 8, 1860.
2. Sylvanus who married Eunice Webber, d. in China Nov. 19, 1864, ae 76 yrs, 3 mo.
3. Henry b. July 29, 1783, m. Patience Kelly b. Oct 22.
4. Lydia who married Luther Pierce. They had son James Chadwick b. Dec. 6, 1819, m. Nov. 6, 1853 Eliza Paddock Cates b. April 30, 1830, dau. of Edmund and Ann (Bunker) Cates.
5. Ruth who married Jerry Blaisdell.
6. Susan who married Joseph Stewart, Esq.
7. Charlotte who married Frederic W. Hammon.
8. Rosannah who married Enoch Gray. They had Hiram, James, Charles, Mary Ann, and another daughter.
9. Nancy who married Veranus Pierce.
10. James who died young and unmarried.
James Chadwick enlisted late in Dec. 1775 and served one year as private and Artificer in Capt. Peters' and John Chadwick's Co's., Col. Learned's and Brewer's Mass. Regt., was in the battle of White Plains. He afterwards served about four months as Midshipman on the U. S. Ship of War, "Warren", commanded by John B. Hopkins. Pensioned in 1818. S. A. R. #16560.
4th. Job Chadwick
Job Chadwick was the fourth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick and was born in Falmouth, Mass. Dec. 4, 1756 and married Mercy Weeks, born also in Falmouth Dec. 5, 1757. They were married in Harlem (Now China) Sept. 13, 1784. Job Chadwick died Jan., 1832Mercy his wife, March, 1826. He settled near the present town house in China.
Children of Job and Mercy (Weeks) Chadwick --
1. Abigail b. Nov 30, 1785, who married Joseph Linn, 1816 and had a daughter Lois, who married Capt. Handy.
2. Paul b. May 30, 1787, who married Hanna Leeman, d. Sept. 10, 1809.
3. Abraham b. May 27, 1790, d. Oct. 1817, never married.
4. Lot, 2nd, b. Sept. 24, 1792, married Sally Linn (b. Sept. 29, 1798) Sept. 15, 1818.
5th. Elizabeth Chadwick Fairfield
Elizabeth Chadwick, only daughter and fifth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick, was born in Falmouth, Mass. but the date of her birth, marriage and death are not known. Sh removed to Maine with the other members of her family in 1782. Se was twice married - first to Daniel Fairfield of Vassalboro, and then to his brother Jeremiah Fairfield. Died 1828.
Children of Elizabeth Chadwick Fairfield -
1. Ruth Fairfield, dau. of Daniel Fairfield, the first husband.
2. Nancy [Fairfield, dau. of Daniel Fairfield, the first husband.]
3. Daniel [Fairfield] Jr. son [of Daniel Fairfield, the first husband.]
4. Jotham [Fairfield, son of] Jeremiah [Fairfield, the] second [husband.]
5. Alpheus [Fairfield, son of Jeremiah Fairfield, the second husband.]
d. Feb. 26, 1879, 84 yrs, 8 mos.
6. Paulina Fairfield dau. of Jeremiah Fairfield, the second husband. She m. Butt.
Alpheus (5) had six children - Daniel, Silas, Estes, Susan, Ann, Eliza.
6th. Ichabod Chadwick
Ichabod Chadwick was the sixth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick and was b. in Falmouth, Mass. in 1763 and d. in China, Maine March, 1844, aged 82 yrs. He married Priscilla Hamlin who was b. in Falmouth in 1770, and d. in China, 1855, aged 87 yrs. They had 12 children, 10 girls and 2 boys, an early sign of the coming of the "Female Kingdom". Ichabod settled in Harlem, near the Winslow line, first on the --- Percival place in old Percival ----.
Children of Ichabod and Priscilla (Hamlin) Chadwick --
1. Zeruah Chadwick b. June 27, 1790 (usually called Sophia) m. John Norton, moved to Ohio in 1817, had 15 children.
2. Esther b. April 14, 1794, m. Jan. 25, 1816 Ephraim Webber and lived in China, d. 1863.
3. Clement b. April 2, 1792, left home when young and never heard from.
*4. Chloe b. Aug. 6, 1796, m. 1816 Jame Patten (b. in Surry, 1793, d. Newport, Me. 1833), m. 2nd, Rev. Mr. Clark, d. 1855, 7 children.
5. Tryphena b. June 23, 1798, m. Jan. 25, 1816 Allen Carter of Stetson, lived in Etna, Me., d. 1875. Grandmother of "Holman Day".
6. Tryphosa b. May 3, 1800, m. David Spratt, March 3, 1822, lived in China and Carmel, Me., d. 1882. Had 13 children. Her son Alton died in Andersonville prision.
7. John b. Feb. 21, 1802, was a whaler, sailing from New Bedford, d. in Illinois 1875, was never married.
8. Eliza F. b. Oct. 23, 1804, d. in China, Me. 1875, never married.
9. Priscilla, b. Sept. 6, 1806, m. Dr. James Brainerd May 11, 1831 and lived in China until his death in 1857 when she removed to Fitchburg, Mass., d. July 1890 aged 85.
10. Lucy b. Nov. 3, 1808, m. Sullivan Abbott Jan. 6, 1831, lived in Winslow, Me.
11. Julia Ann b. July 30, 1810, m. Freeman Shaw, (now 1901) lives in Albion.
12. Mary A. b. April 4, 1813, m. Thomas Stevens Nov. 21, 1838, lived in China till 1889 when she went to live with her son John H. in Oakland, Cal.
*James and Chloe (Chadwick) Patten's children were, John F., James, Nancy, Albert, Priscilla A., Eliza A., Elmira.
Ellen Amanda Brainerd (dau. of Dr. James and Priscilla (Chadwick) Brainerd) was b. Jan. 14, 1835 at China, Me., d. Aug. 23, 1907 at Fitchburg, Mass., m. at China, Me. May 31, 1857 Dudley Waldo Howe, son of
Israel and Sally (Richardson) Howe, b. July 15, 1830 at Princeton, Mass., d. Aug. 2, 1888 at Fitchburg, Mass., child; Nellie Brainerd b. Nov. 26, 1859 in Princeton, m. June 9, 1880 George Malcom Sands of Princeton. They had 7 children.
7th. Judah Chadwick
Judah Chadwick, b. 1765 was the seventh child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick and went to Maine with the rest of the family. He married for his first wife ----- Ward of Vassalboro or China, Me., and by this marriage had one daughter Lucinda, Mrs. Samuel Tucker of Palermo, Me. A grandson of Mrs. Tucker's is Maj. Tucker, of the U. S. Army, who married the only dayghter of Gen. John A. Logan, of Illinois.
Judah Chadwick married for his second wife Sally Webber of Vassalboro by whom he had 8 children on the homestead. He d. 1816. She was b. 1766, d. 1854, they were m. 1795 or 6.
Children of Judah and **Sally (Webber) Chadwick --
1. David Chadwick b. 1796, d. June 17, 1829, m. Mary V. Chapman, b. 1792, d. Jan. 4, 1824 of Thomaston, Me., had 3 children.
2. *Jason b. 1799, d. 1865, m. Rebecca Hamlin of China, 1822, she was b. 1800 and d. 1883.
3. Melinda b. d. unmarried.
4. Abel b. Feb. 2, 1802, d. July 5, 1885, m. Elizabeth Starrett, b. July 6, 1807, d. April 20, 1900. Had 3 sons.
5. Saphronia b. d. . Married Nathan Freeman of China, Me.
6. Corydon b. d. m. Cyrene Hamlin of China, Me.
7. Caroline b. d. m. Abram Long of China, Me.
8. Joseph W. b. d. when a young man but betrothed to Susan Starrett sister of Elizabeth, wife of Abel.
*Jason Chadwick had a son Augustus W. b. 1837, m. Olive Taylor Furbish, 1859, first wife b. 1842, d. 1872, they had a daughter Olive b. in Boston, m. Helen Brooks MacFarland (see D. A. R. Lineage Book, vol. 80, p. 312.
**Sally Webber was daughter of Charles Webber b. 1741, d. 1819 was commissioned Lieut. serving in Capt. Dennis Getchell's 5th. Co. 2nd. Lincoln Co. Regt. He was b. in York, Mass. and d. in Vassalboro, Maine.
8th. Benjamin Chadwick
Benjamin Chadwick, eighth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick left the parental roof in Falmouth, when young, probably a mere child and no definite knowledge of him was ever obtained by his family in Falmouth. The only statement concerning him, made by his family, is obtained in a letter of John, his brother, written at Dartmouth, Mass., Aug. 10th, 1782, to his brother Gear in No. Carolina, in which he says among the family matters - "Brother Benjamin is at some of the West India Islands, I suppose, if he be living. Doubtless you have heard that he was left there at the first of this (Revolutionary) war. By being young and foolish, he engaged in the British service ----- (illegible). We hear he intends to come home when a chance presents".
There are various traditions about Benjamin. One that he went to sea, deserted the ship at Jamaica and became a wealthy planter, another that he enlisted in the British navy and became an officer of high rank. (It is known that the Chadwicks became distingusished Naval officers in England.) Still another, that he was so abused by the Captain of the ship with whom he sailed that he died at Jamaica and the story of his desertion at the port was an invention of the captain to cover up his crime.
This was the belief of his father James. An extensive correspondence with the U. S. Consul in the leading ports of the West Indies has failed to discover any such person.
The effort to find this lost pleiad will not be abandoned.
9th. Lot Chadwick
Lot the ninth, and youngest, child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick did not go to Maine with the rest of the family, but remained with the grandmother Elizabeth, at Falmouth. He probably went to the new settlement in Maine the next year, when James went there with his wife and two daughters.
Lot married Betsy Belden of Palermo and by her had nine children. Lot settled in Palermo, near the "Branch Mills".
Children of Lot and Betsy (Belden) Chadwick --
1. Lydia Chadwick m. Samuel Dennis and had 4 children.
2. Stephen m. 1st, Ruth Dennis, had 8 children; 2nd, Margaret Plummer and had 5 children.
3. Benjamin m. Susan Light and had 8 children.
4. Naomi m. 1st, Ephraim Sims and had 4 children; 2nd, Silas Fish but had no children.
5. Aaron died young and was never married.
6. Joseph m. Mrs. Mary Longfellow (born Worthing) and had 4 children.
7. Francis Cobb m. Hannah Staples and had 4 children.
9. Dousilla died unmarried.
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