Sunday, July 9, 2017

Nicholas and Sarah (Cox) Norris of Hampton and Exeter, New Hampshire

The English or otherwise origins of Nicholas Norris of Hampton and Exeter New Hampshire are unknown. One descendant claimed that there was a family tradition that he came from Ireland as a boy, but there is nothing to support this claim.[1] He was probably born around  1640 as he was married on 21 January 1664 to Sarah Cox of Hampton. His wife Sarah was born in Hampton, her parents were Moses and Alice Cox. The 1664 recording of the marriage is the first mention of Nicholas in the New Hampshire records. [2] Torrey says the marriage was in 1663. [3]

Nicholas as a tailor by trade. He most like did other work to make ends meet. His first house was between Abraham Perkins Sr. and Isaac Godfrey. It included 3 acres. He must have bought a second house in Hampton as he recorded the sale of it in 1671 after his removal to Exeter. This house was bought from Thomas Webster.

Prior to leaving Hampton, Sarah Cox Norris became a full member of the Hampton church on 5 April 1668. Although everyone went to church, no everyone was willing to go through the confessional process to become full members. Nicholas did not join his wife in the full membership of their church. [4]

 Nicholas was first recorded in Exeter on 30 August 1671. His property was mentioned in a town meeting in which they banned folks from stacking logs on the meeting house hill and then roll them down the hill to the river below. [5] His home must have  been nearby.

He received a land grant of 50 acres in 1681 and another 50 in 1682. In 1705 he was granted 20 more acres. His son Moses received 50. In 1725 Nicholas Norris Sr. received 30 acres. [6]

The New Hampshire towns were on the frontier. Trouble frequently flared between the town inhabitants and the Native Americans. In 1695 the town was tasked with manning its garrison. Each man had to spend approximately one month in defense of the town. Nicholas was no exception, his 'tour of duty' was from 31 August to 28 September 1696. [7] The last Indian raid occurred in 1723.

Sarah Norris, b. 20, 7, 1664, d. Feb 10, 1667
Sarah Norris, b. 10, 12, 1666, d. young
John Norris, b. 10, 5, 1667; no record; he probably d. when young
Moses Morris, b. Aug 14. 1670; m. Ruth Folsom; res. Exeter
Jonathan Norris, b. March 5, 1673; res. Stratham, N.H.
Abigail Norris, b. Nov 29, 1675; alive in 1714
Sarah Norris, b. April 10, 1678; m. Benjamin Hoag
James Norris, b. Nov 16, 1680, d. fate unknown, received a land grant in 1698 that was given to someone else in 1730, in a 1714 land deed, Moses was to give his brother James a share if "he returned." Was he taken by Indians?

Elizabeth Norris, b. Sept 4, 1683; no record

It is not known when Nicholas or Sarah died. We do know that Sarah died first as Nicholas remarried. His second wife was Mary Jones who outlived him. He seems to have outlived at least 5 of his children.

[1] Dow, Joseph, 1807-1889. History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement In 1638, to the Autumn of 1892 Vol 2. (Salem, Mass.: Printed by the Salem press publishing and printing co., 1893) 881.

[2] Noyes, Sybil. Genealogical Dictionary of Maine And New Hampshire. (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1972) 513.

[3] Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.

[4] Noyes, Libbey, Davis, GDMNH, 513.

[5] Bell, Charles Henry, 1823-1893. History of the Town of Exeter, New Hampshire. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1990.

[6] Bell, Charles Henry, 1823-1893. History of the Town of Exeter, New Hampshire. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1990.

[7] Bell, Charles Henry, 1823-1893. History of the Town of Exeter, New Hampshire. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1990.

[8] Nicholas Norris Hampton NH genealogy on RootsWeb

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