Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy St. Andrew's Day!

Celebrating my Scottish roots with a reposting of this story. 

On September 3, 1651, the Battle of Worcester became the final battle in the English Civil War. On that day the forces of Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalist forces of Charles II. Most of those fighting for Charles II were Scottish. About 3,000 men were killed during the battle and as many as ten thousand taken prisoner. The actual number of prisoners varies from one source to another. Many of these prisoners, at least those who survived long enough, were deported to New England, Bermuda, and the West Indies. Upon arrival, they were sold as indentured servants to repay the cost of their transport. Many who arrived in Massachusetts worked in the Saugus Iron Works. Heather Rojo wrote a post about the passengers on the John & Sara recently and I thought it was a very interesting story. She does a good job explaining the names got spelled phonetically and in the case of my ancestor, John MacBean/Bean became John Beme. With the help of the Piscataqua Pioneers book that I bought recently, I was able to confirm that this prisoner was my ancestor.

John Bean (Bane, Baine, MacBean) was sold to Nicholas Lissen and taken to New Hampshire to work at the saw mills co-owed by Lissen and some other New Hampshire businessmen. He married Hannah Lissen, his master's daughter and they had three children before she died in childbirth. Their oldest child, Mary was born June 18, 1655. She was only about four years old when her mother died in childbirth. John married a second time to a woman named Margaret (last name unknown). He had nine children with his second wife. 

In 2004, colonial historian, Diane Rapaport, wrote an article called Scots For Sale for New England Ancestors Magazine. She included the following description of how three daughters of Nicholas Lissen married Scotsmen. 

John Bean & Hannah Lissen
Mary Bean & Joel Judkins
Samuel Judkins & Abigail Harriman
Joel Judkins & Mehitable Elkins
Joseph Judkins & Rebecca Sanborn
Moses Judkins & Abigail (or Apphia) Perry
Betsy Judkins & Calvin Cole
Apphia Cole & Sydney Hayes
George Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Battle of Worcester - Wikipedia
Scottish Emigration to Colonial America, 1607-1785
Passenger List of the John and Sara


  1. Interesting--I still want to visit the Saugus Iron Works

  2. Pam, it's so interesting to think our ancestors were on the same ship together. As interesting as finding Mayflower cousins, or even more interesting since not much research has been done on these prisoners of war. Maybe we should start a new society?

  3. Hi, Pam! Have you joined the Scottish Prisoner of War Yahoo group? I will invite you to the group if you have not yet joined. We have also just recently started a Facebook page and blog all about the Scottish Prisoners of War: and Scottish Prisoners of War at Facebook. :)

    1. Thanks for the information! I'll check out those groups. I just found this connection so I haven't seen them yet.