David Watts and Abigail Noyes

July 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Posted in BARBARA BOWKER, Bean, Moors, Noyes, Watts | 3 Comments
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Surnames mentioned:  Bean, Farnsworth, Hall, Kilton, Moors, Noyes, Patten, Schoppee, Thompson, Tupper, Wakefield, Watts, Weston, Whitney

Places mentioned: Cherryfield, Washington Co, ME; Concord, Middlesex Co, MA; Falmouth, Cumberland Co, ME; Haverhill, Essex Co, MA; Horton, Nova Scotia, Canada; Jonesboro, Washington Co, ME; Machias, Washington Co, ME; Minneapolis, Hennepin Co, MN; Newbury, Essex Co, MA; Newark, Essex Co, NJ; North Yarmouth, Cumberland Co, ME; Rowley, Essex Co, MA; Steuben, Washington Co, ME.  Please note once again that Plantation 22, Chandler’s River, Jonesboro, and later Roque Bluffs were all the same general location right on the rocky Maine coast.

David Watts was born 1761 in Falmouth, ME to Samuel Watts (1716-1787 ) and Alice “Elsie” Bean (1737-1802)  There are several trees from “reputable” online sites that have David’s birthplace as Falmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.  It’s a reasonable error, given that Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820.  I checked the online vital records for Barnstable County, MA and there are NO Watts family units in that area during the time in question.  Our Watts family migrated from Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts to Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine, which at that time was part of York County, Massachusetts.

In 1769 the Watts family moved to Plantation 22, outside of Machias, which back then was in Lincoln County, Massachusetts.  Samuel Watts, David’s father, had been a soldier during the French and Indian War, but in retirement became a lumberman and farmer, mostly at a subsistence level.

In April, 1775 hostilities between the British and Americans erupted at Lexington and Concord.  The settlements in coastal Maine were expected to provide trees for masts and lumber for British Naval ships and barracks, in exchange for food and supplies.  In early June, 1775 the townfolk in Machias refused to cooperate, and under threat of cannon fire, managed to capture the military sloop Margaretta along with two other vessels.  When the alarm for help was sent to the surrounding area, members of David’s family responded to the call.  His father, Samuel, was too old, but David’s brother Samuel went and is reported to have fired the shot that felled the British Captain Moore.  David’s sister, Hannah Watts Weston, who was only 17 and pregnant with her first child, carried a sack full of ammunition and other heavy items on foot 16 miles through the woods, accompanied only by her 15-year-old sister-in-law, Rebecca Weston.

As best as I can tell, David Watts participated only briefly in the Revolution, serving in Lieutenant Joel Whitney’s 10th Company of Colonel Benjamin Foster’s Sixth Lincoln Co. Regiment of Massachusetts Militia.  Lt. Whitney’s company was called out twice to defend Machias: 16 July 1777 to 7 October 1777, and 16 December 1777 to 7 January 1778.   During the remainder of the war, David Watts mostly farmed and took care of the family.

In 1779 David Watts, then 18, was one of many residents who signed a petition from area settlements that they were too poor to provide rations to Colonel Allen’s militia.  During the war years, there was a British blockade and hard weather conditions.  The coastal communities had to survive on local fish and game and whatever meager crops they could grow.

In the 1790 Federal Census of Plantation 22, ME the David Watts household consists of six people next door to Samuel Watts, his brother.

Abigail Noyes was born in 1766 to Josiah Noyes (1742-1817) and Eunice Moors (b. 1747) both of Newbury/Rowley, Essex Co, MA.  Some sources say Abigail was born in Jonesboro, but it is more likely she was born in Cumberland County,  probably North Yarmouth.  A different Josiah Noyes (a distant cousin) was living in Falmouth, so it is difficult to find records for our Josiah without tripping over the cousin.  Some time in the late 1760’s or early 1770’s, our Noyes’ moved to Chandler’s River settlement as part of a trend of folks, such as the Watts’, who migrated from Essex County, Massachusetts, through the Casco Bay area of Maine to the Down East coast.

Abigail Noyes married Oct 23,1786 to Joseph Tupper, who was born in 1763 in Horton, Nova Scotia to William Tupper and Margaret Gates.  The Tupper family moved to Machias, ME around 1769.

Abigail and Joseph Tupper had 4 children:
1. Elizabeth Tupper (1787-1870) m. John Thompson and had 12 children!  They lived, died and were buried at Roque Bluffs, ME
2. Polly Greenleaf Tupper (1789-1790)
3. Ansel Tupper (1791-1791) (5 days old)
4. Gideon O’Brien Tupper (1793-1866) m. Elizabeth Schoppee.  He was a farmer and a church deacon.

In the 1790 Census of Plantation 22, Joseph Tupper is head of household of 4 people next door to William Tupper, his father.

Joseph Tupper died at age 32 in 1795, leaving Abigail a widow with two young children.

David Watts married Mar 3, 1796 to Abigail Noyes, widow of Joseph Tupper.  Abigail’s sister, Mary “Polly” Noyes, was married to David’s brother Samuel Watts.  Another sister, Susannah Noyes, was married to David’s brother, Thomas D Watts.

Together David and Abigail Watts had 7 children:
1. Samuel Watts (1797-1880) married Esther Whitney (1801-1886) and lived at Roque Bluffs on the original family farm property.
2. Joseph Tupper Watts (1799-1898) married Hannah Wakefield (1801-1881).  They lived in Steuben, ME.
3. Ruth Moors Watts (1802-1890) married Tobias Allen Hall. Married in Cherryfield 1824, died in Concord MA, buried in Newark NJ.  Ruth must have been a special person, as more than one sibling named a child after her.
4. Abigail Watts (1804-1855)  I long suspected she was the Abigail Watts from Jonesboro who married Lewis Wakefield (1806-1887) who was a brother to Hannah Wakefield above.  These Wakefields had a son named Joseph Watts Wakefield and a daughter named Ruth Hall Wakefield.  I cannot think of a different Abigail Watts from Jonesboro who would have reason to give these names to her children.  I was recently contacted by one of her descendants, Karin Wakefield, who confirmed my theory and very kindly shared other information, including that the Wakefields moved to Minnesota in the 1850’s and are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis.
5. Mary Thompson Watts (1807-1899) married Cyrus Farnsworth (1795-1874) and lived in Jonesboro.
6. Joanna Watts (1810 -1892) married Isaac Patten (1799-1880) from Cherryfield, ME.  Joanna died in Boston, MA, but she, Isaac and their daughter Sarah Jane are buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Cherryfield.
7. Thomas Dustin Watts (1816-1890) shoemaker m 1st Rebecca M Hall and 2nd Juliette A Kilton.  They lived in Jonesboro, and are buried in Village Cemetery.  Another distant cousin, Stephen Watts, is a descendant of this Thomas Watts.  Thanks to him, I found out about Juliette Kilton Watts and her children with Thomas.

Census 1800 Plantation 22: David Watts is head of household:
3 males under 10; 1 males age 26 to 45; 2 females age 16 to 26; 1 female over 45.

Census 1810 Jonesboro:  David Watts is head of household:  2 males age 10 to 15; 1 male age 16 to 25; 1 male age over 44; 3 females under 10; 1 female age 26 to 44.

Census 1820 Jonesboro:  David Watts is head of household:  1 male under 10; 1 male over 45; 2 females age 10 to 16; 2 females age 16 to 26; 1 female over 45; 1 person engaged in agriculture.

David Watts died Nov 28, 1828 Jonesboro age 66 years 7 months, and is buried at Roque Bluffs Cemetery .

Abigail Noyes Tupper Watts died in 1831 and is buried in Old Cherryfield Cemetery.

1830 Census, I looked at the households of Abigail’s children, thinking that she was likely living near Cherryfield.  She would be over 60 years old.  The best match I found was in the household of son, Gideon O Tupper in Jonesboro.  Unfortunately, the only name recorded is that of the head of household, so there is no way to know for sure.

Aside from a brief stint as a teen-age soldier during the Revolution, I have not found where David Watts was anything more than a hard working farmer and family man.  He seems to have done nothing particularly remarkable, except to be one of my many direct ancestors!

Happy Independence Day!

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  1. […] 3. David Watts (1761-1828) born in Falmouth, ME. He was a farmer who served briefly in the Revolution when still a teenager. In 1796 he married Abigail Noyes (1766-1831), who was the widow of Jospeh Tupper and sister to Polly Noyes Watts. In addition to raising 2 Tupper children, David and Abigail had 7 children together. He is buried at Roque Bluffs, and she is buried in Cherryfield. These are my 4 x great grandparents. Please see my profile of them [here]. […]

  2. It is a small world. I have a Noyes family from the same area. William Noyes and Anne Parker had a son named Nicolas born 1615. Nicolas married a Mary Cutting and had a daughter named Hannah Anne Noyes born 1643. She married a Peter Cheney. These people are my 10th 9th and 8th grandparents. So I bet I could say hello cousin and not be wrong. 🙂

    • Hi, Charles. Yes, Abigail’s line goes back to Nicholas Noyes from his son, Deacon Cutting Noyes b. 1649 who married Elizabeth Knight. Their son, John Noyes b. 1674 married his cousin Mary Noyes. Their son, Nehemiah Noyes b. about 1709 married Anne Whitney (who is related to some of my other ancestors). Their son, Josiah Noyes married Eunice Moors and are the parents of Abigail Noyes Tupper Watts. Whew!
      So YES, we are 8th cousins, I think, if I did the “math” right. Hi, Cuz! 🙂


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