Tuesday, June 26, 2012

John Rand and Remembrance Ault of Oyster River, New Hampshire

John and Remembrance Ault Rand were first generation Americans of the original kind. Both of their sets of parents had been among the first English settlers in New Hampshire, and they among the first children born in the new colony.  John Ault and Francis Rand had been sent by Capt John Mason in 1631, John Ault and his wife Remembrance Tibbetts settled on the bank of Oyster River and Francis Rand and his wife Christian on Sandy Beach.[1] John Rand was born about 1645 and Remembrance Ault about 1650. [2] They married around 1668, based on the birth of their first child John. 

Civic duty
After their marriage, John and Remembrance lived along the banks of Oyster River. This area was a parish of Dover, but eventually would become the town of Durham in 1732. By 1655 Oyster River had its own meeting house and minister.     

Life was difficult at best. As Stackpole described in his book on Oyster River, "every settler was almost of necessity a boatman, fisherman, hunter, carpenter, mechanic and farmer. The women could spin, weave, make garments of every sort, cook marvelously and manage a dairy." [3]  No only did the men have to work hard for their family, they were also required to perform their civic duties to help their community.  John took the Freeman's Oath in 1672 and acted as Constable in 1673. He also served on the jury in 1675. In 1680 he was called to the Grand Jury but, he didn't show for jury duty and was fined.  In 1684 he again served on a jury. In 1673 he was in court as a witness, in his role as constable, against a woman who " used several aprobrious words against the church & church members, calling Puritans Rogues". So not everyone was a fan of the Puritan movement. [4]

Remembrance herself was in court, testifying in a case against Naomi (Hull) Daniel who was accused of slanderous speeches against  her sister and brother in law who she said were wizards and witches. Remembrance testified about a conversation she had with Naomi. The previous year Naomi had spoken to her about a comment made by her sister to Remembrance. She had said that Naomi had bewitched a child of hers (Remembrance). Naomi countered that it was really her sister and brother in law who had bewitched the child.[5] Which child this was I do not know. [5]

On 21 April 1674 John Ault deeded all his land, where he then lived on Plum Swamp Brook, to his son in law John Rand.  John Ault had previously given land to the husbands of his other two daughters, Rebecca and Elizabeth. In 1678, he (John Rand) bought more land from Benjamin Hull, son of the Reverend Joseph in 1678 but sold it the next year. [6]

Children of John and Remembrance [7]

1. John b. Unk. m. Elizabeth Unk. estate probated on 1 August 1698 by widow Elizabeth. He lived at Oyster River. He and his wife sold land to John Edgerly on 9 Feb 1697/8 but he was dead by late summer when his estate was inventoried. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth. 

2. Nathaniel m. Rachel Marden 

3. Samuel; believed to have been captured during the Indian attack of 1694, returned to New Hampshire in 1697. He lived in Portsmouth and married Jane Dowst. 

4. Remembrance; believed to have been taken captive, never returned.

5. Hannah; unmarried in 1718, named in a land deed when she Nathaniel and Francis sold the land that had been given to their father by John Ault, their grandfather. [8]

6. Francis; m. Grace Parker.

Indian Attacks 
In September 1691 John Rand's parents, Francis and Christian, and his brother Nathaniel were killed by Indians in the attack at Brackett's lane on Sandy Beach. This was during what is now known as the King William's War, the first of the French and Indian Wars. These people were really living life on the edge, never knowing when or if the next attack would take place.  John and Remembrance lived near his sister Rebecca Edgerly and her family. The Edgerly house was a garrison house, fortified for protection against attack.

In the early hours of July 18, 1694 a war party of Indian/French forces swept down the Oyster River wreaking death and destruction.  The Edgerly family were awakened by the noise of the attack. Thomas Edgerly Sr. was taken captive, but later escaped. His son, Thomas Jr., his wife and her sister were able to sneak down into the cellar. Unfortunately they left the children asleep in their beds. The children were all killed. The attackers did not venture down into the cellar so the adults survived. 

John Rand and his wife Remembrance were killed.  Two of his children, Remembrance and Samuel, were taken prisoner and marched to Canada. Samuel was ransomed and returned by 1697 but Remembrance was never seen again.

John apparently did not leave a will so administration of his and Remembrance's estate was awarded to their son John on March 5th following their deaths. 

Shortly after the raid John's brother in law, Thomas Edgerly, wrote a letter to the provincial government asking that John Rand's house be made into a garrison house.  His own house had been a garrison, but was burnt to the ground in the attack.  He also lost a son, killed while fleeing the Indians, and other Edgerly family members were taken captive.  How the two sons of John Rand, Nathaniel and John, survived the attack is not know, but I would guess that they did not live in the family home and were far enough removed from the area under attack that they were safe. 

I found this statement on an family history site on the internet.  It sound like it is legit. but I cannot find the source of the info.  It is about John Rand and his mother in law Remembrance Ault. 
 In 1682 he entered a petition against his mother-in-law, stating that she, instigated by her son-in-law William Perkins who lived with her, was demanding his lands on which he'd lived for 15 yrs. 

Update: The above statement came from the book The Genealogical History of Maine and New Hampshire.

Remembrance Rand and her sister Rebecca Edgerly make a surprise appearance in my book, The Heron. I love sneaking my ancestors into my novels. The Heron is a historical fiction/time slip, paranormal suspense. The historical period is set in the 1690s during King William's War. Publishing date is 15 April 2021! Click on the book cover below for a link to see more about The Heron.


[1] William Richard Cutter, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 4, (New England : Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913).

[2] Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole, History of the Town of Durham, New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation) with Genealogical Notes, Vol. 2 (Durham, NH, 1913) 310.

[3] Stackpole, History of Durham.

[4] Nathaniel Bouton, Isaac Weare Hammond, Albert Stillman Batchellor, Henry Harrison Metcalf, Otis Grant Hammond, New Hampshire Court Records 1640-1692, Court Papers 1652-1668, State Series Volume 40, (Concord: State of New Hampshire, 1867), digital images, Archive (https://www.archive.org : accessed 3 January 2016).

[5] Stackpole, History of Durham, Vol 1, 90.

[6] land records

[7] Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (Portland, ME, USA: The Southward Press,1928) 574.

[8] Everette Schemerhorn Stackpole, 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Francis (1616-1691) and Christian Rand of Sandy Beach (Rye), New Hampshire

map of New Hampshire

Francis Rand was one of the brave souls who left England to help Captain John Mason establish a plantation in the wilds of New Hampshire in 1631. Francis settled in what was then called Sandy Beach, eventually to be known as the town of Rye, New Hampshire. He married Christian Unknown by 1645 and together they had at least six children. It is not known from where in England Francis originated or anything about his wife other than her given name. 

Francis' name appears in the earliest town records for Portsmouth, of which Sandy Beach (Rye) was then a part. His name is first found on 5 April 1652. He was one of 21 listed as Townsmen. At that meeting in April 1652 it was laid down that he would lay the land for the men at Sandy Beach. Those men were William Berry, Anthony Brackett, Thomas Seavy, Francis Rand and James Johnson. The Portsmouth records only cover about 10 years and hey mostly have to do with the distribution of land, Francis' name and his land are found in those records.

Francis and Christian also appear in the Court Papers for New Hampshire. In 1640 he was involved in a court case along with others charged with trespass. In 1648, Francis and Christian were in Court in Dover to testify in the adultery case of Anne Crowther and Henry Taylor. In 1649 Henry was sworn in for one years' term as constable of Upper Strawberry Bank.  In 1650 in he was a witness in a case in which a man was drunk and swearing at him while he was acting as Constable. Christian was brought to court and accused of slander by Walter Abbott in 1655, the court ruled in favor of Walter and she was fined. Francis was on the Grand Jury in 1656, 1667 and in 1677 he was called to the Grand Jury but failed to show for which he was fined.

At the court held June 1668 Francis Sr. made an unusual request that the court "please to free his son Francis Rand Jr. from common training by reason of a grief that is upon him". The court granted this request for a time period of three years, "supposing that in that time he would grow out of his distemper".  This same court had Francis before them for drinking to excess the year before, for which he was fined. In June 1674 Francis was presented for again drinking to excess but also for beating his wife. In reading the court records this seems to have been a fairly common offense committed by the men of New Hampshire. In June 1679 he was presented for being drunk on the Sabbath and once again fined.

In 1689 Francis wrote his will.  He included his children: Thomas, Samuel, John, Sarah (Herrick), (Mary Barnes) and Nathaniel. Most of the land was divided between Thomas and Samuel. John was to be given money paid by Thomas and Samuel.  Mary and Sarah were also given land which they later sold to their brother Thomas.  The brothers were to care for their mother Christian.  Nathaniel was given 5 shillings. Francis Jr. was not named and was presumably dead.  John Rand was living at Oyster River by this time on land given to him by his father-in-law John Ault.  Nathaniel was certainly slighted in the will, the reason for which we will never know.

On the last Tuesday of September in the year 1691 about 40 or so Indians landed their canoes on Sandy Beach.  Avoiding the Garrison they attacked the settlers. Killed were Francis and Christian Rand as well as their son Nathaniel.  Their neighbor, Anthony Brackett, was also killed along with many others.  Some children were taken captive and sent to Canada. I knew this attack as the Brackett Lane Massacre.  Francis' will was proved on February 19, 1691/2.

Like many of my ancestors, I don't think I would have liked Francis and possibly even Christian, and I doubt they would like me very much either.  It's disappointing to find that your ancestors is a drunk and a wife beater, but it was a vastly different time, life was incredibly hard and living under the constant threat of death from Indians would probably drive a lot of people to drink.


The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 to 1660,  By Charles Henry Pope

New Hampshire State Papers, Vol 40

History of Rye, New Hampshire, Landon Brown Parsons, 1906

Capt. John Mason, The Founder of New Hampshire, John Ward Dean, Boston 1887

History of the Town of Durham Vol 1, Everett Stackpole.

Monday, June 18, 2012

John Ault and Remembrance Tibbitts of Oyster River, New Hampshire

Founding of New Hampshire
Unlike the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was for religious purposes, the founding of New Hampshire was one of economics. The Council for New England, a group of nobles, knighs, and wealthy men, was seeking to exploit America for its own purpose. Captain John Mason, a member of the council was given multiple charters for large tracts of land which he intended to settle, and eventually profit from. This land was to become New Hampshire.

Some of the first settlers sent by Captain Mason arrived in 1622, lead by a Scotsman named David Thomson, this settlement was called Pannaway or Little Harbor. Another group of settlers, headed by the Hilton brothers were in Dover, they were there possibly as early as 1621. 

From England to New Hampshire
Between 1624 and 1629 England, and Captain Mason, were engaged in the business of war.  Mason was a high ranking Naval Officer and was unable to focus on his settlements until the end of hostilities. Mason was given a new patent of land which he named "New Hampshire". In a list entitled "The names of stewards and servants sent by John Mason, Esq. into this province of New Hampshire"  was the name John Ault.  This list would have to have been complied prior to the death of John Mason in 1635. In 1652 John Ault in a deposition, testified to events in 1635, placing him in New Hampshire at that time.

Remembrance and Capt. Wiggins
Captain Mason had several men who represented his interests in New Hampshire.  One of these men, Captain Thomas Wiggins, after several years in America, returned to England to recruit more settlers. Henry Tibbetts, along with his wife, two children and his sister Remembrance were among the new settlers sent by Wiggins.  They sailed on "The James", leaving London in June and enduring a 12 week crossing.  By 1640, based on the birth of their first child, John Ault and Remembrance Tibbetts were married.  Remembrance and John would eventually sue Wiggins for back wages, Henry, her brother, testified as well.

The plantations of New Hampshire: Dover, Exeter, Hampton, and Portsmouth were independent units of government.  They formed a coalition between themselves and tried out various forms of government, until finally, voluntarily,  coming under control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1640 the men of Dover signed the Dover Combination, but Oyster Rivermen were not included, or refused to sign. Records seem to be scarce until after the joining up with Massachusetts.  Most records were lost prior to those dated 1648. 

A good way to trace the life of men and women of this era is through land records and deeds and the town business records.In 1647 Dover appointed a town recorder and in 1648 he recorded the town rate and how much each was assessed. John Ault of Oyster River was on that list. This rate was not paid in cash or coin but in commodities such as corn and pipe staves. JOhn was still on the rate list in 1675, but no after.

John Ault
John Ault was given 10 acres of land before 1642 by Thomas Larkham. He sold land on 10 April 1645. He also received 80 acres of "ye great cove above needums poynt, 40 rods in length above ye cove". This was on 10 August 1653. He did not live on this land and eventually sold it in 1670. John, like most men at the time, seems to have acquired and sold land fairly regularly.  He eventually split his land between two of his daughters Remembrance and Rebecca. 

John Allt, for the  "father" affection I bear tomy son Thomas and  daughter Rebecca Edgerly", conveys land bought of Tho Seabrooke "lying in the little bay in ye south west side of ye brooke wch runneth between ye lott of Rich Bray and Tho Humphreys with 10 acres adjoyning". John and Remembrance made their marks 17 June 1667. Witnesses Hateevil Nutter John Reyner
John Alt of ye little bay in ye township of Dover yeoman and Remembrance sell to Wm Perksinson of ye same place yeoman land on Gopards Creek in Dover between land of Charles Adams and Nicolas Dowe, 8 June 1669

On April 3rd, 1674 John sold to his son-in-law Thomas Edgerly one fourth of an acre of land at the west end of a field called Hilliards.
21 April 1674 John Ault conveyed to John Rand " all ye place or plantation whereon  I now live".
John was required to do his civic duty and was chosen to the Grand Jury in 1664, 1667 and in 1670. He was the constable in 1657. Elizabeth Gils was presented to court for calling John 'Contage Rogie'. I guess that was not a nice name to call him!

John and Remembrance had the following children:
1. Rebecca b. 1641 m. Henry Hallowell in 1660, m. 2nd Thomas Edgerly in 1665 (Rebecca was still alive in 1711).
2. Elizabeth b. 1643? m. William Perkins/Parkinson/Perkinson
3. Remembrance b. 1645? m. John Rand both died in 1694 Durham massacre.

The dates of death for John Ault and Remembrance Tibbetts Ault are unknown. I cannot find any record of a will being probated, possibly because John had already given his land to his daughters. In 1675 he was around 75 years old, a pretty good age at that time. It seems likely that he lived with one of his daughters until his death. 

The map below is of the Oyster River Plantation area.  The red arrow points to the Rand and Edgerly Garrison Houses.  This land was all owned by John Ault. His property was bordered by the Plum Swamp Creek to the North, the Little Bay on Oyster River and to the south Long Creek. He divided his land between his daughters.

Related Stories:
John Rand and Remeberance Ault

Remembrance Ault Rand and her sister Rebecca Ault Edgerly make a surprise appearance in my new book, The Heron, coming 15 April 2021. Check it out by clicking on the book cover. 

Captain John Mason: The Founder of New Hampshire, Charles Wesley Tuttle
New England Genealogical and Historical Register, Vol. 2, p. 39
Provincial and State Papers Vol. 1  
History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes,by Everett S. Stackpole and Lucien Thompson.

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