Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Grandfathers - The Selectmen Who Rewrote the Book

On January 13, 1653, a meeting of Selectmen was held at the tavern of George Walton on Great Island in Portsmouth. In attendance were Brian Pendleton, Renald Fernald, John Pickering, Henry Sherburne, and James Johnson. As fate would have it, I am related to all except James Johnson. Frank W. Hackett, in his 1645-1656. Portsmouth Records, called them "men of force and character and all of them prominent in the records."

It seems that not everyone was happy with the extension of Puritan-controlled Massachusetts Bay authority over the Piscataqua region. Supporters of the Church of England and other religious non-conformists had attempted to break away from this control and been arrested. So the Selectmen decided to tighten the grip by looking at the old Town Book and crossing out the items that did not meet their approval. Then the approved items were copied into a new book. This eliminated evidence of conflicting land claims and allowed the Puritans to distribute the land as they saw chose. Obviously, they would favor those who agreed with their views and could use the land as rewards or to benefit their own interests.

Brian Pendleton continued to be active in extending Puritan control over the New Hampshire and Maine frontier. In England, Cromwell and the Puritans were in control and those who disagreed with their beliefs found little relief from the mother country.

On November 16, 1652, Pendleton and other commissioners met at the home of William Everet in Kittery. There the settlers agreed to submit to the authority of the Massachusetts Bay colony. On November 22, York also agreed to this arrangement. Brian Pendleton was made a justice of a County Court at Kittery. Other areas also fell into line; Wells, Saco, and Cape Porpoise in 1653. The towns gained representation in the General Court but they had other freedoms that those in Massachusetts did not. There was no religious test for voting rights and the local military groups were not required to join with others beyond their own town.

Lines to my dad's mother - Fern Lyndell Cotton
Brian Pendleton - 11th great-grandfather, Mary Pendleton, Pendleton Fletcher, Pendleton Fletcher, Jr., Sarah Fletcher, Gibbins Edgecomb, Thomas Edgecomb, Mary Edgecomb, Benjamin Perley Philbrick, Lizzie Philbrick, Ray Everett Cotton, Fern Lyndell Cotton

Renald Fernald - 10th great-grandfather, William Fernald, Margaret Fernald, Benjamin Cotton, William Cotton, William Cotton, William Cotton, Jr., John Henry Cotton, Francis Llewellyn Cotton, Ray Everett Cotton, Fern Lyndell Cotton

Henry Sherburne - 11th great-grandfather, Elizabeth Sherburne, Elizabeth Langdon, Margaret Fernald - see above

Lines to my mom's mother - Linona Alice Yates
George Walton - 11th great-grandfather, Abishag Walton, Grace Taprill, Dorothy Hoyt, Alice Babb, Lydia Waterhouse, Alice Garland, Richard Hayes, Sydney Hayes, George Hayes, Eva Delphinia Hayes, Linona Alice Yates

Renald Fernald - 11th great-grandfather, Mary Fernald, Mary Partridge, John Blaisdell, Stephen Blaisdell, Stephen Blaisdell, Jr. , Susannah Blaisdell, Stephen Blaisdell Rowe, Charles H. N. Rowe, Anna J. Rowe, Eva D. Hayes, Linona Alice Yates

Renald Fernald - 10th great-grandfather, Sarah Fernald, Timothy Waterhouse, John Waterhouse, Lydia Waterhouse - see above

John Pickering - 9th great-grandfather, Thomas Pickering, Mary Pickering, Elizabeth Fabyan, Temperance Downing, Molly Wildes, Jacob Emmons, Laura Emmons, Estes Gilbert Yates, Linona Alice Yates

Henry Sherburne - 10th great-grandfather, Ruth Sherburne, Ruth Moses, John Waterhouse, Lydia Waterhouse - see above

from Brian Pendleton and His Descendants, 1599-1910, With Some Account of the Pembleton Families of Orange County, N.Y., Ostego County N.Y., and Luzerne County, Pa., and Notices of Other Pendletons of Later Origin in the United States, Everett Hall Pendleton, compiler; accessed on

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