Friday, October 3, 2014

52 Ancestors: #40, Nicholas Hodsdon, Admonished for Entertaining Quakers

Hingham, Mass., land grant to Nicholas Hodsdon, 1637
Nicholas Hodsdon, my 8X great-grandfather, was born around 1604-1614 in England. There is no record of exactly when he came to New England, but he was in Hingham, Massachusetts, by 9 March 1636/7, when he was made a freeman.1

On 5 March 1637 the town of Hingham granted Nicholas Hodsdon "half an acre" of meadow and "3 & half" of upland;2 later he was granted additional lands in Hingham.

He married Esther Wines on 10 December 1639 in Hingham.3 They had five children:4
  1. Esther, b. 1640, married Edward Weymouth
  2. Mehitable, b. 1641, married Peter Welcome
  3. Jeremiah, b. 1643, married Anne Thwaits
  4. Israel, b. 1646, married Ann Thompson
  5. Benoni b. 1647, married Abigail Curtis
Marriage of Nicholas Hodsdon (presumably to Esther Wines), 1639, Hingham, Mass.

Esther (Wines) Hodsdon died 29 November 1647, probably in childbirth; her last child, Benoni, was baptized six days later.5

Death of "Nicholas Hodsdon's wife" and baptism of Benoni Hodsdon, 1647

Map of Berwick showing Nicholas Hodsdon land6
Nicholas remarried ca 1649, to Elizabeth (Wincoll) Needham.7 About 1650, he removed to the Boston area, and purchased land in Cambridge Hill (later Newton), Massachusetts. In 1651 he was selling those lands and by about 1655 had removed to Kittery, Maine, where he received his first land grant on 15 October 1656. He received additional grants in Kittery in 1669 and 1673, and also purchased a farm in 1674 from John Wincoll in what is now South Berwick. That farm became the Hodsdon family homestead.8

While Nicholas must have been admitted to the church in Hingham (that being a prerequisite to freeman status at the time), after his move to Kittery he and his wife were more than once reprimanded and fined for "not frequenting of the public meeting on the Lord's Days". And he was ordered to appear at the May 1660 "General Court of Election" in Boston, where he was admonished "for entertayning & concealing ye Quakers...", despite his explanation that "coming from worke, he found them at his house, not knowing them to be such till in discourse with them, when he warned them to be gonne..."9 (This was at a time when Quakers had been banned from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and were subject to arrest and even execution if they returned.)

Nicholas and Elizabeth had six children (dates and order of births are questionable):10
  1. Sarah, b. ca 1650, married John Morrell
  2. Joseph, b. ca 1651-1656, married Tabitha Raynes
  3. Hannah, b. ca 1654, possibly married Nicholas Smith11
  4. John, b. ca 1654-1658, possibly married Rebecca ______
  5. Timothy, b. ca 1652-1661, married Hannah ______
  6. Lucy, b. ca 1660-1663, married George Vickers
In 1678, he deeded the homestead to his son Benoni, in exchange for his agreement to operate the farm and provide for Nicholas and Elizabeth for the remainder of their lives.12

Nicholas died sometime after 20 Feb 1679, in Kittery, Maine.13 It is supposed that he is probably buried in a family graveyard on the homestead.14

Nicholas Hodsdon homestead, Berwick, Maine, ca 1904
My descent from Nicholas Hodsdon:
  • Nicholas Hodsdon + Esther Wines
  • Benoni Hodsdon + Abigail Curtis
  • Samuel Hodsdon + Prudence Scammon
  • Samuel Hodsdon + ______ ______
  • Samuel Hodsdon + Betsy Hooper
  • Jacob Hodsdon + Sally Huston
  • Isaac Hodsdon + Abigail Greene
  • Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon + Kate Rand
  • Mary Milliken Hodsdon + Chester F. Kirk (my paternal grandparents)

(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)

  1. Lucius R. Paige, "List of Freemen," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 3 (Jan 1849):89-96, particularly p. 95, "Nicolas Hudson"; database and digital images, NEHGS, American Ancestors ( : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
  2. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," database and digital images, ( : accessed 26 Sep 2014), Hingham, Land Record Transcript and Town Record Transcript, p. 30, entry 18, Nicholas Hodsdon.
  3. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," Hingham, Church Records, sixth leaf (recto), "Nicholas Hodsdon married".
  4. Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (1928-1939; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991), p. 343. Also, "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," Hingham, Church Records, sixth leaf (verso), Esther Hodsden baptism; seventh leaf (recto), Mehitabell Hodsdon baptism; eighth leaf (recto), Jeremiah Hodsdon baptism; tenth leaf (recto), Israel Hodsdon baptism; eleventh leaf (recto), Benoni Hodsdon baptism.
  5. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," Hingham, Church Records, eleventh leaf (recto), "Nicholas Hodsdon's wife dyed" and Benoni Hodsdon baptism.
  6. Everett S. Stackpole, Old Kittery and Her Families (Lewiston, Maine: Press of Lewiston Journal Co., 1903), p. 133, map of Berwick, Maine.
  7. Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genalogical Publishing Co., 1985), p. 379.
  8. Andrew Jackson Hodgdon, Genealogy of the Descendants of Nicholas Hodsdon-Hodgdon of Hingham, Mass., and Kittery, Maine, 1635-1904, Almira Larkin White, editor (Haverhill, Mass.: Press of Nichols, “The Printer”, 1904), pp. 9-11; digital images, Open Library ( : accessed 4 Mar 2012).
  9. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, editor, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Vol. IV, part I, 1650-1660 (Boston: Press of William White, 1854), p. 427; digital images, Internet Archive ( : accessed 26 Sep 2014). 
  10. Hodgdon, pp. 19-21, for all but Hannah; Noyes et al., p. 343, for Hannah.
  11. Stackpole, p. 530, gives a marriage for Hannah.
  12. Hodgdon, p. 12.
  13. Noyes et al., p. 343.
  14. Hodgdon, p. 13; photo of homestead, plate between pp. 10-11.


VikingVolunteer said...

We share Nicholas Hodsdon as a direct ancestor (I use My line goes:
Nicholas>Benoni>Abigail Gowen (Hodsdon)>Abigail Thompson (Gowen)>Miriam Brackett (Thompson)>Miriam Hobbs (Brackett)>Charlotte McAllister (Hobbs)>Arthur McAllister>Ora Minden McAllister> Dwight McAllister> Harriett Petersen (McAllister)> Shirley Svendsen (Petersen)> Me, Barbara Svendsen

Zinniasoup said...

Thank you so much for posting images of these documents. Nicholas Hodsdon is also my 8th Great-Grandfather.