Wednesday, June 25, 2014

52 Ancestors #26 - The Original Bachelor?

I have two lines of descent from Nathaniel Batchelder. The Bachiler/Batchellor/Batchelder contains some interesting characters. The immigrant ancestor is Rev. Stephen Bachiler and this Nathaniel is his grandson.

Nathaniel Batchelder is my 9th great-grandfather and my 10th great-grandfather. Confused yet? He married three times and had seventeen children with his first two wives! I have connections to both sets of children.

His first wife was Deborah Smith, daughter of John & Deborah (Parkhurst) Smith. Their children were Deborah, Nathaniel, Ruth, Esther, Abigail, Jane, Stephen, Benjamin, and Stephen(2). Deborah (Smith) Batchelder died on March 8, 1676. His second wife was the widow Mary (Carter) Wyman, daughter of Rev. Thomas & Mary (Parkhurst) Carter, and widow of John Wyman, Jr.  Mary did not have any children with her first husband but she would have eight children to add to the nine stepchildren she instantly acquired. Nathaniel & Mary's children were Mercy, Mary, Samuel, Jonathan, Theodate, Thomas, Joseph, and Mary(2). Mary died in 1688 and Nathaniel married for the third time on October 23, 1689. His third wife was Elizabeth Knill and they did not have any additional children.

According to Joseph Dow, author of the History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire, Nathaniel used a rather unorthodox method to find a new wife.

"When, after the death of his first wife, he had determined to marry again, he resolved to be governed in his choice by the direction in which his staff, held perpendicularly over the floor, should fall, when dropped from his hand. The experiment being tried, the staff fell towards the southwest, and in that direction he bent his steps. Having travelled as far as Woburn, he called on the widow Wyman, and offered her his hand, stating that he was going to Boston, and would call for her answer, on his return."

Since they got married on October 31, 1676, it must be presumed that she accepted his not so romantic offer. Can you even imagine someone showing up at your door and proposing? "My staff fell in your direction" sounds kind of naughty. What exactly did he say to her to convince her to accept? I wonder if he gave her a rose...

10th great-grandfather
Nathaniel & Deborah (Smith) Batchelder
Abigail Batchelder
Elizabeth Dearborn
John Garland
Richard Garland
Alice Garland
Richard Hayes
Sydney Hayes
George Hayes
Eva D. Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

9th great-grandfather
Nathaniel & Mary (Carter) (Wyman) Batchelder
Mercy Batchelder
Mary Dearborn
Benjamin Blake
David Blake
Micajah Blake
Galen Blake
Charles G. Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton L. Blake - my grandfather

History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire


  1. I have a line through the same Nathaniel Batchelder. My lineage is Rev. Stephen>Nathaniel>Nathaniel>Nathaniel>Josiah>David>Elisha>Jonathan>George E.>George E.>Carrie Maude Batchelder (my great grandmother) (on page 329 of "Batchelder-Bacheller" by F. C. Pierce

  2. His way of finding a wife his absolutely hilarious and so is your last paragraph!