Within a short time I have seen three letters, written many years ago
by Joseph Sawtell, 3rd of Groton (MA), to his brother-in-law, Ebenezer
Kemp, Jr. of Gorham, Maine; and from them I have gathered a few items of
interest which are given below. (author)
The first letter, dated May 15, 1809, at Groton, mentions the fact that
old Mr. Joseph Rockwood's wife died and was buried on the last day of March
(see Groton Epitaphs p. 134)
(Urn and Willow Tree)
In Memory of Sarah,
Wife of Joseph Rockwood
March 29, 1809 AEt 66
Dr. Green's note: Her maiden name was Richardson; she was married January 30, 1766. Old Burying Ground, Groton
First letter continued: ...that Deacon Lakin was dead; and that Stephen Kemp was buried on the last day of April. (Ibid).
The second letter dated January 26, 1814 at Groton, says that Alexander
Smith died on Noveber 25; and that Deacon
Isaac Farnsworth died on October 2 and his widow on Oct 20, 1813. The date of Deacon Farnsworth's death, as given on page 296 of this volume, is Oct. 1st, which is probably correct as the notice in the newspaper was inserted presumably by the family.
The third letter dated Dec. 26, (1814), mentions the death of Mrs. Daniel Shattuck in April, who is known to have died on April 8, 1814 and the burial of Mrs. Asa Wheeler, on Dec. 18th. It also mentions the death of the writer's wife, Mrs. Hannah Sawtell, on Dec. 21, 1814. Joseph Sawtell 3rd was married to Hannah, youngest daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (Bradstreet) Kemp, on Feb. 22, 1788; and Ebenezer Kemp, Jr., was her eldest brother.
David Smith of Shrewsbury, was married to the eldest sister, Abigail Kemp on April 23, 1781; and in a letter dated January 7, 1812 at Pepperell, written by him to Ebenezer, Jr., the writer refers to the death of his eldest son more than a year previously; and also to his brother-in-law, Oliver Kemp, who had gone to Lake Champlain in the previous year where he was drowned.
Ebenezer Kemp, Jr. the eldest child of his father's family, born on Jan ll, 1749, was married on August 31, 1773, to Relief Phillips of Groton; and they had seven children. In the year 1782 he and his wife removed to Otisfield, Maine with two children who had been born at Groton. A deed of land given July 10, 1784 by James Prescott of Groton, is still in existence, which conveyed to him at his new home a lot of a hundred acres "in consideration of five shill. & doing settleing Duty paid & Performed by Eben'r Kemp."
The acknowledgement of the deed was witnessed by Oliver Prescott and by George Peirce who went to Maine from Groton near the beginning of the Revolution. After living at Otisfield for a few years, Mr. Kemp removed to Gorham, but not to the farm where he spent his last days, which was bought in 1797 and still remains in the possession of the family. On this homestead his mother, Mary (Bradstreet) Kemp passed the declining years of her life, and was buried in the neighboring cemetery. Counting the small children of the family, six generation of Kemps have lived on the spot, covering a period of an even century.
Ebenezer Kemp was a member of Capt. Henry Farwell's company of minutemen that marched to Cambridge from Groton on the memorable nineteenth of April; and under a later enlistment he belonged to the same company and took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he was severely injured. The tradition of the family is that he had his hip dislocated, when he was taken prisoner by the British; but immediately afterward he managed to escape, hobbling off, it is said, by the aid of General Warren's gun, which being better than his own, he picked up after Warren fell. He was in the army in the year 1777, and his descendants have his powder horn bearing that date. This horn previously had been carried by William Lennon, who had cut upon it a plan of Brookline Fort, when stationed there during the siege of Boston. The canteen used by Mr. Kemp throughout the Revolution and bearing on one side the initials "E.K." can still be seen at the old homestead, which is now (1899) owned by Augustus F. Kemp, a great-grandson. He has been heard to say often that his family had bear steak for dinner every Sunday during his first year's residence at Otisfield (ME) which would seem to give him high rank among the hunters and trappers of that early period. His descendants are now scattered through the towns of Gorham, Otisfield and Windham and other places in Maine and a few have wandered to distant States.
Mr. Kemp died in 1833 aged 83 years and his wife died before 1800.
The children of Ebenezer Kemp Jr. and Relief (Phillips) Kemp:
Elijah Kemp born at Groton (MA) probably in October or November 1777 and died at Gorham, ME on October 7, 1846 aged 88 years and 11 months.
Submit Kemp born at Groton; publishment of marriage to Josiah Clark of Gorham, ME on Sept. 30, 1797.
Relief Kemp born prob. at Otisfield, ME married to John Brown of Gray, ME on May 3, 1807.
Mary Kemp born prob at Otisfield, ME married to Levi Knight of Windham, ME.
Ebenezer Kemp, Jr. born prob. at Gorham, ME married to Eunice Allen
of Windham, and is supposed to have been
lost in a storm on the Great Lakes.
David Kemp born prob. at Gorham, ME in 1793 married to Anna Humphrey of Gray, ME, on Oct. 21, 1819 and died on July 5, 1853.
Jonathan Kemp born at Gorham, ME; publishment of marriage on May 1,
1825 to Martha Humphrey of Gray, ME who
was a sister of his brother David's wife.
Children of David and Anna (Humphrey) Kemp:
Julia Ann Kemp b. Mar 3, 1820 m. Ephriam Holt of Portland on Dec. 27, 1835 and died on Mar 9, 1852; one child
living (1899) in Kansas.
Willis Bradstreet Kemp b. Jan 23, 1822 m. Elizabeth Prince Fellows of Augusta on April 15, 1849 and died on April 14, 1892.
Israel Humphrey Kemp b. Jan 20, 1824, m. Amanda Trask of Gray, ME on
Nov. 10, 1853; one child living (1899)
at Gorham, ME.
Sarah Maria Kemp b. Jan 11, 1826, m. Robert Dodge of Londonderry, NH
on Nov 29, 1846 and died in Wisconsin
leaving five children, all married and with families.
George Clinton Kemp born June 11, 1828; d. Oct 19, 1846.
Lucius Sidney Kemp born July 13, 1831 m. Susan Kleinfelter of Wisconsin,
now (1899) living in the west; they have
eleven children, nine of whom are living (1899)
All the children of this generation were born at Gorham, Maine.
Children of Willis Bradstreet Kemp and Elizabeth Prince (Fellows) Kemp:
George Clinton Kemp b. Dec 27, 1849 m. Ellen Peck of Manchester, NH
on Dec 23, 1872; and had three children:
Bertha Kemp b. Dec 24, 1873; Frederick Kemp b.April 15, 1878; and Phineas Kemp b. Mar. 15, 1884.
Also children of Willis Bradstreet Kemp & Elizabeth:
Sarah Colburn Kemp b. Aug 19, 1852 unm
Willis Bradstreet Kemp b. April 27, 1853 unm
Anna Humphrey Kemp b. Aug 16, 1855 m. William G. Clark of Cumberland Mills, Maine, Nov 13, 1883, no children.
Augustus Fellows Kemp b. Jan 13, 1857 unm
Lucy Elizabeth Kemp b. Apr 6, 1859 m. Benjamin Franklin Irish of Gorham on Feb 12, 1881; and they had three children:
Clyde Harold Irish b. Mar 2, 1883; Percy Clifford Irish b. Sept. 7, 1886 and Ralph Willis Irish b. June 22, 1891
Also children of Willis Bradstreet Kemp and wife Elizabeth:
Jessie Benton Kemp b. Sept 11, 1862 unm
Eda Marian Kemp b. July 8, 1865 unm
All the children of this generation were born at Gorham, ME
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
Return to Otisfield Families
Page Mounted May 10, 2000