Saturday, March 24, 2012

Danger on the New Hampshire frontier

This has been a busy week and not much writing got done. However, I have continued to do some research and gather ideas for the blog. Here is the first of those stories. 

When we think of the frontier and confrontations and conflict between settlers and Indians, most of us who were raised in New England think of the Great Plains. However, long before the wars on the Great Plains, the same conflict was happening much closer to home. 

Philip Huntoon (Hunton), my 9th great-grandfather, first appears in New Hampshire records in 1689. His origins seem a bit muddled with one story involving his family fleeing France after the Edict of Nantes was revoked and another story that he was the younger son of an English gentleman and he came to seek his fortune in America. I find the Edict of Nantes story intriguing and will have to do more research on that. 

File:Louis XIV of France.jpg King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685

Philip received land in Exeter in 1697 and 1699. He then proceeded to move to Kingston in 1703 but had to flee in 1707 with others from the town because of danger from the Indians nearby. A year later, Philip is back in Kingston but apparently things were still not going well with the Indians. On the morning of July 22, 1710, Philip (age 46) and his oldest son, Samuel (age 21), were working in the field near his house when they were surrounded by a band of Indians. Samuel was shot and then scalped but reports say he lived another 24 hours in "great agony" (Belknap). Fortunately Philip's two younger sons, my 8th great-grandfather Philip Jr.(age 16) and John (age 14) were not in the field with their father and brother. Belknap says this is because their mother, Betsy, wouldn't let them go until they completed their morning prayer with her. Philip and his neighbor, Jacob Gilman, were taken prisoner and made to "run the gauntlet" (Huntoon, 20). They were marched to Canada and arrived in bad shape, having been little food during the trip and their feet bruised and bloodied. The Indians sold their captives to the French. This was part of Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), a precursor to the more well-known French & Indian or Seven Years War. You may be more familiar with the story of the raid on Deerfield, MA which was also part of Queen Anne's War. 

 Illustration of the raid on Deerfield, MA in 1704.

Philip and Jacob were ordered to build a saw mill and teach the French how to saw lumber the way the English did. They reportedly did this and were granted their freedom after two years. I can only imagine how surprised their families were when they returned. Philip went on to have one or two more children - the birth dates of two daughters are unknown to me as is the date of his wife, Betsy's death. It would seem that after Betsy died, Philip married a woman named Hannah and had a daughter, Sarah and it's possible that his daughter Elizabeth was also born after his captivity. I'm not sure of her birth date or which wife was her mother. 

Ernest Ballard Water Wheel Sawmill A waterwheel powered a vertical saw for colonial saw mills

Questions I'd like to research further - 
Where did Philip come from? 
Was Philip a Huguenot fleeing France after the Edict of Nantes was revoked? 
When did Betsy die? Specifically, did she die during Philip's captivity?  
Who is Jacob Gilman? I have Gilmans in my family tree and he is possibly another relative. 

Philip & Betsey (Hall) Huntoon
Philip & Anna (Eastman) Huntoon
Josiah & Hannah (Huntoon) Judkins
Philip & Miriam (Hunt) Judkins
Moses & Aphia (Perry) Judkins
Calvin & Betsy (Judkins) Cole
Sydney & Aphia (Cole) Hayes
George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates

Belknap, Jeremy, and John Farmer. The History of New Hampshire. Dover: S. C. Stevens and ELA & Wadleigh, 1831. PDF. 

Huntoon, Daniel T. V. Philip Huntoon and His Descendants. BiblioBazaar, 2009. PDF. 


  1. A great story! I live not far from Kingston. I have many ancestors who were captured during this time period and taken to Canada, from Dover and all around Rockingham County. Lucky Philip that he made it back to New Hampshire...

    1. Since I am descended from his son, Philip, it is even luckier that he wasn't killed that day because his mother kept him home to say his prayers! I found even more information on this and other incidents that are connected to my ancestors. I love the intersection of history and genealogy.

  2. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  3. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I'm sure you'll find quite a number of blogs on Geneabloggers which are very interesting.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets