Friday, August 12, 2016


                We have now come to the final portion of Hannah’s ancestry – the family of her maternal grandmother, Ann Seavey.  It was from part of her ancestry that Hannah got her middle name – Knight.


                Ann Seavey’s great grandfather, William Seavey, son of Henry and Helen (Baron) Seavey, was born in the parish of Stokeinteignhead, Devon, where he was baptized on October 25, 1601.  He came to New England in 1632. At Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 3, 1676, in the suit of Robert Tufton Mason against Massachusetts, he testified to the commissioners for the Board of Trade as follows;The Deposition of William Seavey aged seventy five years Saith that he came into New England upon a fishing account at the Isles of Sheles near the River of Piscataqa about a year before Capt. Neale went from this country to England...which was in the year 1632....N.H. Prov. Papers.  He settled for a time on the Appledore, then called Hog Island, the largest of the Isles of Shoals, which Captain Christopher Levett, in his voyage to New England, 1623-24, had described as a good fishing place for six ships, but more cannot well be there, for want of convenient stage room, as this year’s experiences hath proved.  William Seavey’s servant and Stephan Crawford were cast away in a shallop in 1642. With exemplary fidelity, William Seavy administered Crawford's estate for his widow, Margaret, and their two small children, Susan and Sarah. The older child, Susan A, William Seavy kept as his own, but evidently frail, she died after doctoring at Boston.  On April 17 1644 he was sworn freeman at Portsmouth, where he had a town lot before March 4, 1646, and obtained other grants in 1652,1653,1660 (161 acres), (101 acres), and 1669. He was elected one of the three Portsmouth selectmen in 1648, treasurer in 1652 selectman and a constable of the Iles of Shoals in 1655, and selectman again in 1657. As selectman he had charge of the erection of the old South Church at Portsmouth, where he was listed as contributing to the minister, the Reverend Joshua Moody, in 1659, 1666, 1671, and 1678. He was on the inquest into the drowning of Robert Marshall and Jeremiah Dolley.  Without mention of his wife, presumable dead, on October 29, 1679 William Seavey executed, and on July 6, 1680 acknowledged a deed of gift granting and confirming to his son William Amy now dwelling house together with all other out-houses an also my upland and marsh and Mill on this side of the creek that my Mill now stands on, four acres only excepted of marsh....An also all the Cattle which said William Seavey now enjoyeth as his proper care, upon the condition that he pay to his brothers John and Stephen and married sister Elizabeth Odiorne the sum of ten pounds each.  William Seavey Sr. Deposed in February 1682-3 that he first Thomas Walford over forty- five years before that date.  His name appeared for the last time on the tax list of Greenland and Sandy Beach (Rye), August 25 1684. His son was recorded as junior on July 20, 1686, but was not called Junior in 1687, when he served on a jury. (Parsons p History of  Rye, p.526)

                William’s son, William Seavey Jr., was an important figure in the general Portsmouth area. He owned land at Greenland, Sandy Beach, and New Castle. He was a surveyor, and also handled many estate inventories. (Rye Families, p. 5) He was born in 1640, in Portsmouth NH died in 1733. He married Hannah __, born 1633, died 1/31/1748. William Seavey was on the grand jury in 1682, and surveyor in 1683. At a proprietor's meeting in 1728 he desired to be excused by reason of ages and infirmity from any further service in laying out lands. His will was dated Mar 25, 1728-29 proved June 1733. His widow's will, dated Sept 10, 1741, proved Feb 28, 1748 bequeathed to sons Stephen, James & Ebenezer, and children on son Thomas. One of his possessions was a negro woman, a slave. (Boston & Eastern Mass, page 789)

                Ironically, very little is known of Ann’s father Thomas Seavey beyond he born 21 Apr 1695 in Rye, Rockingham, New Hampshire.  In 1717 he moved to Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine.  It was there that he married Hannah Knight on 14 May 1721.  In Scarborough they had 7 children with Anne Seavey being the 6th as she was born 5 May 1736.


                William Seavey Jr.’s wife was Hannah Jackson.  Her grandfather, John Jackson appears to be the first of her line in the New World. From the Genealogical Dictionary of Early Settlers of New England, Savage, Sect IV, Chap 3 Vol 2, page 530:  JOHN (JACKSON), of Portsmouth, died about 1654, leaving (a) widow Joanna, and son Richard, perhaps born   in Eng. 
From the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, Libby and Davis, 1979, GPC, Baltimore, page 370-371:  JOHN (JACKSON), of Portsmouth, a cooper, bought the Crowder farm from Ambrose Lane 2 June 1651; confirmed by the town 20 Mar 1656, house, land and island; in 1651 sued Henry Douglass for 18 weeks of a son's time. Seven times grand juror 1653-1666. Constable and clerk of the market 1654. Selectman 1656-7. O.F. July 1657. Trial jury 1666. In 1662, having lived peaceably in town so many years, he and John Hart were having trouble with a quarrelsome new neighbor Geo. Jones. He was living 7 November 1666, his estate was inventoried 6 Dec. 1666; and administrated 25 June 1667 to widow, Joan, and son Richard, divided after her death to three sons; Inventory Sept. 6, 1718 administration granted to son John, the estate not fully administered and Richard dead. She was living in 1675; tax rebated 15 Mar. 1679-80, probably then dead; line was fixed between John and Richard 24 Dec. 1681.             

                Hannah’s father was Thomas Jackson.  From the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, Libby and Davis, 1979, GPC, Baltimore, page 372:  THOMAS (JACKSON), was a cooper, aged +/- 50 in June 1690, and +/- 61 in Mar. 1700-1, when he was living on land on Jackson's Isle given him by his father 25 June 1660, although his wife Hannah Johnson inherited half the Johnson homestead on Great Island, in 1672 he administered Peter Adams's estate.  He served on the Grand jury in 1665, 1666, 1675, 1683, 1687, 1700; on Trial juries in 1683, 1696.  He died between 2 April 1711 - 4 Dec 1712; his wife was living in 1713. Known. children included Hannah, b. +/- 1663, m. William Seavey.


                Thomas Jackson’s wife was Hannah Johnson and her father was James Johnson.  From the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, Libby and Davis, 1979, GPC, Baltimore, pg 382:  JAMES (JOHNSON), of Great Isle., knew Kittery early; deposed 31 May 1652, aged +/- 50, about the site of Capt. Mason's mill in Berwick. Signed Bloody Point petition on 1642; in 1649 he had a license to keep ordinances at Dover and ran a ferry to Strawberry Bank and Hilton's; sold his house there in 1651. Sold at Sandy Beach 1660, and soon had 1 acre of ground on Great Isle and a new home from Alex Batchelder's and bought from his widow. He was a Selectman in 1652, 1655-7; on the Grand jury in 1657, 1659, 1661-2, 1664.  He was freed from training 1674. His estate was inventoried 8 June 1678, administered 25 June 1678 to widow Mary, who remembering over 40 yrs. back, was deposed. 15 Feb. 1682-3, +/- 70, when she and husband came over, olf Thomas Walford living on Great Isle on Little Harbor side. She was taxed July 1690; and d. before 16 Nov 1694, when an equal division of her land was made to children: Mary, who married John Odiorne. and Hannah, who married Thomas Jackson.  The Genealogical Dictionary of Early Settlers of New England, by Savage, Sect IV, Chap. 3, Vol 2, page 554 only states: JAMES (JOHNSON), of Portsmouth, sent over by Mason in 1630 or 1, is said to have died about 1678, aged 79.


                Thomas Seavey married Hannah Knight (this was who Hannah Knight Libby was named for.)  George Knight was Hannah’s grandfather.  From the Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers, Savage, Sect. IV, Chap. 4, Vol 3, Page 34 states:  GEORGE (KNIGHT): He was of Scarborough, died in 1671, in his will of 5 Apr. of that year he gives to wife, Elinor, son Nathan, and a daughter Elizabeth.  His widow married Henry Brooking, as perhaps I may be justified for conjecture by the dark passage in Genealogical Register Vol. IX, page 220.  In the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, Libby and Davis, 1979, GPC, Baltimore, page 403 is found:  GEORGE (KNIGHT), of Black Point, had a wife Eleanor who was indicted for suspicion of adultery 7 Nov. 1665. He died soon after making his will 5 Apr. 1671, the inventory being filed 27 May. By 10 Oct. 1671 his widow had married 2d Henry Brookings who was appointed administrator of her estate on 2 Apr. 1672. Children: Nathan, born about 1667 and Elizabeth.

                Hannah’s father was Nathan Knight.  Nathan was born about 1665 possibly in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In November of 1676, about five years after the death of his father, Nathan Knight was apprenticed for 12 years, 5 months, to Samuel Whidden, a mason, by his mother Elenor, and step-father Henry Brookings. It is unclear whether he completed his apprenticeship. In 1693/94 Nathan married Mary Hannah Westbrook probably in the Portsmouth Meeting House. Mary Hannah was the daughter of John Westbrook and Martha Walford. She was the sister of Colonel Thomas Westbrook, a wealthy and influential man in New Hampshire and later the Province of Maine. Children born to Nathan and Mary Hannah were Elizabeth, Hannah, Margaret, Martha, Mary, Nathanial, Westbrook and Sarah. About 1697 Thomas Westbrook sold to Nathan Knight a farm of about 100 acres from the estate of his father, John Westbrook. About 1704 Nathan began a business partnership with his brother-in-law Thomas Westbrook. Together they kept the local Portsmouth fort provisioned with timber and firewood.  In 1707/8 Nathan sold to George Vaughn all of his father's lands and rights in Scarborough. In 1711 Nathan received shares of common land from the town of Portsmouth. Nathan and Mary Hannah lived in Portsmouth until about1720 when they moved to Scarborough, Maine. On Dec. 23, 1720 Nathan was granted a license by the York Court of Sessions, Province of Maine, granting him the right to operate the Black Point Ferry. According to the license Nathan was to “keep a boat conversant with the passage of man and horse." The amount of the fare was also determined by the court. A man could ride the Black Point ferry for 5 pence, and a man and a horse for 10 pence. No fare was given for a horse without a man. An actual copy of the document is available from the Maine State Archives for a small fee. Nathan Knight and Thomas Westbrook entered into another business venture in the 1720's. Westbrook had been appointed the King's Mast Agent. Responsible for finding suitable timber for use by the Royal Navy, Westbrook moved from Portsmouth to Falmouth (Portland, Maine), building a home and masting business at the head of the Fore River. Nathan and Thomas built a masting camp in the Dunstan area of Scarborough, Maine. The timber harvested was floated down the river to Stroudwater Falls area of Falmouth, where it was then shipped to England. Also involved in Westbrook's business ventures was Nathan's son Nathaniel. Nathaniel may have been involved in the construction of Westbrook's home, Harrow House. Nathaniel also was involved, not only in the masting business, but also ran a mill owned by Thomas Westbrook The mill was located near the Upper Falls area of Stroudwater Falls. While Nathaniel lived near his uncle, his father and mother continued to live in Scarborough. Also living near Thomas Westbrook was Nathan's younger son Westbrook Knight. The family of Westbrook Knight lived in a cabin near Harrow House. Westbrook Knight and Nathaniel Knight also bought property together near the Upper Falls, near the mill and Nathaniel Knight's home. 8 Nathan died in 1751 in Scarborough. He was survived by his two sons, Nathaniel and Westbrook, and six daughters, Mary Crockett, Sarah Brackett, Margaret Roberts, Elizabeth Seavey, Martha Elder and Hannah Seavey Cilley. (The above is from


               Nathan Knight’s father-in-law was John Westbrook.  From "This Was Stroudwater," 1985, p. 5: "John Westbrook, English born, bought land in Portsmouth… in 1671, and subsequently married the daughter Martha of Thomas Walford. ...His son Thomas was administrator of his estate in 1697... 100 acre farm and that year the farm was sold to Nathan Knight who wed Thomas's sister Mary Westbrook."  More is found in the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, Libby and Davis, 1979, GPC, Baltimore, page 740:  JOHN (WESTBROOK), of Portsmouth, married  Martha (Walford) Hinkson and had one child by 15 Nov. 1666; he married  2nd before 18 June 1679 widow Alice Cate. In 1671 he bought 13 acres from Anthony and Abigail Ellins which were sold by his heirs in 1697. He was sued in 1678 by John Sherburne, grandson of his step-daughter Mary Hinkson; in 1681 he sued Shurburne for withholding Walford land. He served on a Jury in 1685, 1692, 1694; surveyor of fences 1692; selectman 1697. With John Sherburne, he appraised estates of John and Thomas Edmunds 27 June 1696. Westbrooks, Sherburnes, Brewsters and Edmunds were neighbors, and indications are that young Mary Hinkson was the wife of Thomas Edmunds, the mother of his children and the Indian victim. Administration on his own estate 11 Aug 1697 to son Thomas, widow Alice renouncing. She was living in 1702, at times called Cate after his death. Ch. John, born before 15 Nov 1666; MARY, married Nathan Knight. THOMAS; and perhaps MARTHA.


               Thomas Walford was a blacksmith, and came to Charlestown, Mass. before 1628; was living in a thatched and palisaded house on the arrival of the Spragues and others from Salem in the Spring of 1628-9. In some unexplained way he incurred the displeasure of the authorities and was arrested, ordered to pay a fine of XL shillings and to leave the jurisdiction with his wife; the charge alleged is "contempt of authority and confronting officers"; this edict was given 3 May, 1631. He paid the fine by killing a wolf. He soon departed, as his goods were sequestered for debts Sept. 3, 1633. [Mass. Col. Rec.] He removed to Portsmouth.

Wm. Payne brought suit against him concerning lumber 26 (6) 1646. He and his wife Jane brought suit in Dover court 3 (8) 1648. He was a grand jury man in 1650. 50 acres of land were assigned to him in Portsmouth Jan. 13, 1652. He took oath of fidelity July 2, 1657. His wife was accused of witchcraft in 1656; son Jeremy gave bonds for her; she was discharged July 2, 1657.
He died in 1667. Will dated 15 Nov. 1666, probated 27 June, 1667; beq. wife Jane; to grandchildren Thomas and Jeremiah W., John Westbrook, Mary Hingson, Mary Homes, (wife of John H.), Sara and Samuel Jones, and Mary and Hester Savidg; to daughters Peverley and Westbrook; to John Peverley and John Westbrook; to John Homes; servant John Read to be at the disposing of son in law John Westbrook. Refers to land which son in law Thomas Hingson formerly possessed.
The widow Jane deposed 27 June, 1667, ae. 69 years, that he gave a piece of land to his daughter Elizabeth Savidg (Savage) 9 years before he died, and that it was commonly called Bess Savidge's marsh. His daughters Mary, wife of Will Brookings, ae. 32, and Martha Westbrook, ae. 22, with his son Jeremiah W. and grandson John Homes, ae. 26, confirmed her testimony. The widow's thirds were laid out by order of court 27 June, 1671. The daughters Jean Goss, Hanna Jones, Mary Brookin and Eliza Savage petitioned the court to give them the overplus of the estate Sept. 7, 1681.

(Please note that these histories have been gathered online for the most part.  If they had source references these were generally added to this record.  For the most part I left the language the way I found it.  I did add words to make sentences more complete and filled in abbreviations to make the stories clearer.  I realize this isn’t a quality writing product but it is provided, understanding it’s weaknesses, as a way to learn a little about Hannah Knight Libby’s ancestors.)

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