Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nicholas Norris of Hampton, New Hampshire


Sarah Norris, the mother of Katherine Baker Thornton was descended from Nicolas Norris of Hampton and Exeter, New Hampshire.  Nicholas does not appear in any records until his marriage in 1663/4 to Sarah Coxe, daughter of Moses Coxe and his wife Alice.  Nothing is known about his (Nicolas) parents, DOB or place of birth. There is some speculation on and other sources, both web and old reference books, that he was from Ireland but of English descent, but the push of Irish immigration didn't really get going until after the restoration of the monarchy in England. He was probably born around 1640. He is also said to be a tailor and a planter.  It is not known when he arrived in Hampton, some sources suggest he was there by 1654. 

Moses Coxe

Moses Coxe was one of the first settlers in Hampton, he received land there in 1640. He was also the first Herdsman in Hampton, responsible for the care of all the cattle in the town. In 1668 he conveyed land to another settler, the land was bounded by land owned by Nicolas Norris. Not much is known about Moses Coxe, he died in 1687, he left Sarah and her sister 5 shillings.

Nicolas and Sarah 

Nicholas married Sarah in 1663/4 in Hampton, New Hampshire. His property in Hampton was modest: a house on about three acres and a planting field of about six acres. Two years later sold his land in Hampton and made the move to Exeter. Exeter was founded in 1638, so by the time he moved his family, it was fairly well established.   In 1667 he took the oath of allegiance, required of all males in the Colony. He began to acquire more land, he was given 100 acres in 1681, 3 acres in 1698, 20 acres in 1705 and in 1720/1 a further 10 acres and finally in 1725 the last recording of his name he was granted 30 acres. His house was near the meeting house in Exeter Village.

for the record

Nicholas is first mentioned in the Exeter records when it was ordered than no logs could be laid down on meeting house hill near his house, as they impeded the highway.
Nicholas was also required to serve in the militia, he was a soldier in King Phillips War in 1670. In 1689 he signed the New Hampshire Petition.  This was a request from the residents of New Hampshire to the Government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the settlers were unable to adequately protect themselves from Indian attacks and asked to be Governed by Massachusetts.  

Nicholas and Sarah had nine children:
Sarah b. Sept. 20, 1664 Hampton d. Feb 10, 1667
Sarah b. Feb 10, 1666 died young
John b. July 10, 1667, died young
Moses 14 Aug 1670, Exeter d. 
Jonathan  Mar 5,1673, Exeter
Abigail  Nov. 29, 1675, Exeter
Sarah b. April 10,1678, Exeter
James  b. Nov 16, 1680, Exeter d. prior to 1698
Elizabeth b. Sept. 4,1683, Exeter

If Nicholas was born in 1640 and died sometime after 1725, he was at least 85 when he died, a great age at that time.

Moses Norris

Moses Norris was born on  14 August 1670, he spent his entire life in Exeter. He married 4 March 1692 Ruth Folsom, daughter of Samuel and Mary Roby Folsom of Exeter. Moses, like his father,  served as a soldier, he was on active duty 31 August until 28 September 1696. This was during King William's War, the first of the four French and Indian Wars. 
Moses was given land from his father, father in law, and was granted land in Exeter.  On Feb. 3, 1698 he was given 30 acres. His father first gave his 16 acres of land on the road to Hampton Farms and on the same day Samuel Roby deeded him land. He was again granted land in Exeter in 1706, this time a grant of 50 acres. The last recording of his name was in 1725 when he was given an additional 50 acres. 

Ruth and Moses had the following children:
Jonathan b. 1699/1700 Exeter

An interesting note about Joseph and James.  Charges were brought against their wives for being Quakers, this happened in 1753. they were both found guilty and paid a fine of 5 shillings.

Jonathan Norris

Jonathan Norris was born in Exeter about 1699.  He married Sarah, the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Partridge Cram of Exeter.  In 1720/21 Moses deeded several acres of land to Jonathan and a share in a saw mill Petuckaway (Epping, N.H).  He sold his share in the mill to his brother James in June of 1741.  
Like his father and grandfather Jonathan served in the militia, in 1745 he served as a soldier in the siege of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island and in 1755 as a Sergeant in the expedition against Crown Point. 
Jonathan was not only a land owner but also ran both a sawmill and a gristmill.  
Jonathan wrote his will March 19, 1768 and it was proved Dec 27, 1769.  Jonathan and Sarah had the following children:
Rachel b. 1744
Joseph Partridge b. 1746
Jonathan b. 1749
Sarah b. 1751 m. Benjamin Baker 
Benjamin b. 1753
James b. 1755
Samuel b. 1759

Ancestry and Descendants of Lt. Jonathan and Tamsin Barker Norris, by Henry McCoy Norris
Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, p. 1073
History of the Town of Hampton, Joseph Dow
Probate Record of the Province of New Hampshire, vol. 31
History of the Town of Exeter, Charles Henry Bell

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