John Heard, who was not my ancestor, was supposedly a sea captain and known as Captain John Heard. His wife' s name was Isabel (Warwick) and they lived in Kittery, Maine. They had two sons,Warwick and Ensign James Heard. James married either Shuah Starbuck or Shuah Conley. This family remained in Kittery, ME well into the 1700's.
The second John Heard was a master carpenter who lived for a while in York, Maine, a bit further up the coast from Kittery, but eventually settled in Dover, New Hampshire. The English origins of this John are unknown, neither his birthplace nor his parents have been identified. Multiple ancestry.com trees and websites list the parents of John as Luke Heard and Sarah Wyatt. This is not true. John was born around 1610 and married Elizabeth Hull in 1643. Sarah Wyatt was born in 1623 and married Luke Heard in 1642. Now it doesn't take to much analysis to see that it is impossible for Sarah and Luke to be John's parents, yet there they are in hundreds of trees. The old cut and paste genealogy at work! Luke and Sarah did have a son named John, he died in 1696, unmarried, in Andover, Massachusetts.
Luckily for us, Elizabeth Hull, John's wife had a famous, or infamous, if you please, father. He was a well known minister whose history is well charted. The Hull Family Association has done a lot of research on the Hull Family and have issued the following statement:
HFAm #6, Elizabeth Hull, who married John Heard, has some erroneous information on Elizabeth’s husband. There were two John Heards and Elizabeth did not marry the one designated as Captain John Heard, of Kittery, York County, Maine, who was a sea captain, and married Isabel [_?_]. Elizabeth married the John Heard who was a carpenter of Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire. Also the parents of Elizabeth’s husband, John, were not Luke and Sarah (Wyatt) Heard. Elizabeth Hull Heard’s husband’s parents are unknown.This statement seems to clear up the issue of John's parents, however, it adds to the confusion of which John did what. The John of Kittery and Sturgeon Creek, Maine called himself "yeoman" in his will and is also called a carpenter. In the book History of Dover, John of Dover is said to have been in the shipping business and therefore called Captain. I am not sure which of these statements is correct.
|North Leigh Church|
John Heard and Elizabeth Hull married about 1643 and their son Benjamin was born within a year. A John Heard signed the Dover Combination in 1640 and although I have read that it was the other John Heard who was the signer, it doesn't make much sense as it was our John who lived and died there.
Dover was first settled by by William and Edward Hilton, brothers, and fishmongers from London. It was established for purely economic reason, not religious. In 1631 there were only three houses in the settlement. The plantation of Cochecho was bought in 1633 by a group of English Puritans who wanted to establish a hereditary aristocracy in New England. This pursuit failed to be popular with the people and in 1641 the plantation was sold to Massachusetts.
According to "The History of Dover" John was not taxed in 48, 49, or 1650 and the tax records are missing until 1657 when he is taxed. He was assessed various rates through the years, especially for payment for the minister. In 1648 he was assigned a lot in the Cochecho Marsh. In 1665 John was chosen to be on the grand jury. He was also given a grant of land in the Cocheco settlement on which he built a garrison house, it was known for many years as "Heard's Garrison". A garrison house was a fortified house that was used to shelter from Indian attacks.
Children all born in Dover
Benjamin b. 20 Feb. 1644 m. 1. Elizabeth Roberts, 2. Ruth Eastman d. either 1703 or 1710
William b. ? , d. Nov. 1 1675, leaving widow but no children
Mary b. Jan 6 1650, m. John Hamm of Dover May 6 1688, d. 1706
Abigail b. Aug. 2 1651, m. Jenkin Jones
Elizabeth b. Sept. 15 1653, m. 1. James Nute, 2. James Furber, d. Nov. 9 1705
Hannah b. Nov 22 1655, m. John Nason
John b. Feb 24 1659, not mentioned in his father's will
Joseph b. Jan 4 1661, d. young, not in his father's will
Samuel b. Aug 4 1663, m. Experience Otis, she was scalped by Indians on July 26 1696, she survived for a while, later dying on Feb. 8 1700.
Tristram b. March 4 1667 m. Abigail, d. 1734
Nathaniel b. Sept. 20 1668 m. Sarah, d. April 3 1700, she married William Foss.
Dorcus b. 1670 m. Jabez Garland
John wrote his will on 2 April 1687 and he died 17 January 1688/89. His will was not probated until 1692 because of the Indian troubles. He named in his will his wife Elizabeth and his children: Benjamin, Tristram, Samuel, Dorcas, Nathaniel, Mary, Abigail and Elizabeth. In 1703 Tristram petitioned that there had been no will and that he was the only surviving son. His brother Nathaniel's widow, now Sarah Foss, testified that the will had indeed been probated and the estate divided. This has led to come confusion over the date of death of the eldest son Benjamin, who seems to have been alive at that time, he died in 1710.
After years of peaceful co-existence with the local Indians, trouble began brewing in the 1670's. In 1676 a large number of Massachusetts Indians arrived followed shortly by soldiers who, in what is called "the Sham War", separated them from the locals and returned them to Massachusetts where many were imprisoned or hung. This did not sit well with the local Indians. By 1684 the Governor of New Hampshire ordered that the meeting house be garrisoned and that each local neighborhood fortify a house to be used as a garrison. The home of John and Elizabeth Heard was chosen because of its position on a knoll. The garrisons were built to withstand bullets and attacks by fire. They were surrounded by a log palisade.
Elizabeth died 30 November 1706.
The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, Vol. 9
The Maine Historical Magazine, Vol. 6, p. 130-131
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Study
John Scales, History of Dover, N.H.
Hoyt, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury