Thursday, May 19, 2016


       The life of our ancestor began in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine on 19 May 1782.  He was third child of Richard Carter and Jane (Anne) McKenney.  John was in the fourth generation of our Carters to live in Scarborough though only his father Richard was actually born there.  The McKenneys had been in Scarborough for several generations.  

       The colonial Scarborough that John was born into was actually the second settlement there.  Scarborough was originally settled in the 1630’s first at Black Point, then later at Blue Point and later at Dunstan by 1651.  In 1658 these settlements were incorporated as the town of Scarborough – the name of a town in England where some of the settlers had lived.  By 1676 Scarborough, a town with three settlements of more than 100 houses and 1000 head of cattle, had been destroyed in Indian skirmishes.  The inhabitants tried repeatedly to rebuild the town but in the 1690’s it was abandoned.     

         The second settlement of Scarborough dates from 1702.  In 1720 town meetings were reestablished and by 1790, ten years after John was born, Scarborough had 2,235 inhabitants.  Dunstan became a prominent part of Scarborough because of the shipping and trading at the landing there.  This was just some 3 ½ miles down the Broadturn Road from the Carter residence.  This area was noted for supplying trees that were made into masts for the British ships in the days before the Revolutionary War which had recently ended.

Richard Cater home (at right) 280 Broadturn Road, Scarborough, ME
        The family home of Richard Carter exists today.  It is found at 280 Broadturn Road.  There is the original structure of one story and a taller, turreted addition that was added at a later date.  We don't know for sure that John was born in this home, but since most children were born at home in those days we can assume it was here that John was born. 

Richard Carter 1755 - 1828
        As a sidelight, this is where in a small knoll in the back yard John's father, Richard Carter, was buried.  We know this from the fact that the stone is still there (or was a few years ago.)  There were a couple of other stones that couldn't be read that could possibly be for his wife, Jane, and maybe two babies that they lost at or near their births. 

        The Carter family probably subsisted with a mixture of farming, livestock, and lumbering.  This was not an easy existence but with hard work a family could subsist comfortably.  A family could produce the greater part of their food supplies and their livestock supplied beef and milk for them as well.  The typical settler lived in a comfortable home and provided for the needs of his family.  This was land that Richard had inherited when his father, Benjamin Carter passed away.

       We know that John lived on the family farm until he was at least 17, as his presence at home can be inferred by a male child of his age being in the home of his father.

Up next:  John Carter the sea captain in Portland, Maine

No comments:

Post a Comment