Friday, July 20, 2012

What If?

The first husband of my 8th great-grandmother, Tamsen Wentworth, was killed by Indians in Dover, New Hampshire. His name was James Chesley and he was the son of Philip Chesley.

The History of New Hampshire by Belknap says "A party of French Mohawks, painted red, attacked, with a hideous yell, a company who were in the woods, some hewing timber, and other driving a team, under the direction of Capt. Chesley, who was just returned the second time from Port Royal. At the first fire, they killed seven and mortally wounded another. Chesley with the few who were left fired on the enemy with great vigor, and for some time checked their ardor; but being overpowered he at length fell. He was much lamented being a brave officer. Three of the scalps taken at this time were soon recovered at Berwick, Me."

Recorded in the Journal of Rev. John Pike:
Sep 17, 1797. Capt. Samuel Chesley - his bro. James Chesley, & 6 more stout young men were slain by the Indians, as they were Cutting and halling timber, not far from Capt. Chesley's house. The Indian yt killd James Chesley was slain upon the spot by Robt.Thompson. Philip Chesley and 3 more escaped. 

After the death of James Chesley, Tamsen married John Hayes. What if James Chesley was not killed that day? My family tree would be very different. When John Hayes married Tamsen Wentworth, he was marrying into a very important and influential New Hampshire family.

Hand Hewing Timber
John Hayes & Tamsen Wentworth
Hezekiah Hayes & Margaret Cate
William Hayes & Olive
Isaac Hayes & Alice Garland
Richard Hayes & Rebecca
Sydney Hayes & Aphia Delphinia Cole
George H. Hayes & Anna J. Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

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