Monday, August 15, 2016


               Hannah Knight Libby was born on Monday, 9 Oct 1786[1] in Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine to Zebulon Libby and Lydia Andrews.  Hannah descended from several generations of ancestors who had been among the earliest settlers of what would become the United States of America. 

               Capt. Zebulon Libby, as her father was known, was born in Scarborough, 1 Feb 1757[2] ; and married in Scarborough, 19 Oct. 1780[3], to Lydia Andrews, daughter of Deacon Amos and Anne (Seavey) Andrews of Scarborough. A year or two after his marriage, he settled on a portion of his father's large purchase which was then in Scarborough, but is now in Saco. There he always lived.  It appears that Zebulon and Lydia were buried on their farm property – in the Libby Plot Cemetery on Watson Mill Road in Saco.[4]  Watson Mill Road is the first road to the west of Broadturn Road in Scarborough were the Carter family resided.  In fact, John Carter just prior to his marriage to Hannah had purchased a piece of land that straddled the Saco/Scarborough boundary and probably was adjacent or quite near to the Libby homestead.

Location of Libby and Carter farms in rural Scarborough, Maine
               Zebulon was a patriot having served three years in the Revolution, and was afterward a captain in the militia. His Revolutionary war record is summarized as follows:  “Private, Capt. Abraham Tyler's Co., Col. Edmund Phinney's (31st) regt.; billeting allowed from date of enlistment, May 9, 1775, to date of marching to headquarters, July 6, 1775; credited with 57 days allowance; also, order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Cambridge, Oct. 26, 1775; also, Private, Capt. Abraham Tyler's co., Col. Edmund Phinney's regt.; muster roll dated Garrison at fort George, Dec. 8, 1776; also, Corporal, Capt. Benjamin Parker's Co;., Col. Nathan (Nathaniel) Wade's regt.; enlisted June 25 [1778]; company stationed at Rhode Island for 6 months.”[5]  He died 6 Dec. 1835 and his widow died 9 Dec. 1838.[6]

               Hannah was the fourth of eleven children born to Zebulon and Lydia Andrews Libby.  Ten of the eleven children lived to marry and have families of their own, so the descent of this family quite numerous.  Hannah had two older brothers (Amos born 29 Jan 1781 and John born 20 Dec 1784) and one sister (Mary Ingersol Libby born 11 Mar 1783).  The children continued to come after Hannah in a regular pattern of every two or three years:  Eunice, born 6 July 1788; Anna, born 24 Feb 1791; Thimothy, born 9 Oct 1793; Lydia, born 23 Sep 1795; David, born 15 Sep 1798; Josiah, born 10 May 1800; and finally Clarissa Milliken Libby, born 25 Feb 1802.  Josiah was the one child that didn’t live to adulthood, dying three days short of nine months on 7 Feb 1801.  Hannah was 14 years of age and must have been deeply touched by this event.  This large family was essential in running a large farming operation.  Without the heavy machinery we have today, the family was the main source of labor for the many farm duties.

               No real details of Hannah’s early life are known.  The best we can do is reconstruct what her life was probably like.  Scarborough was one of the earliest settlements along the northern New England coast.  “In about 1630, John Stratton opened a trading post on Stratton Island in Saco Bay off Scarborough's shore.  In 1631, the Plymouth Council for New England granted the "Black Point Patent" to Captain Thomas Cammock, nephew of the Earl of Warwick. Cammock built a house and began residence in 1635 on the 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) tract of land, which extended from the Spurwink River to Black Point - today this area is known as Prouts Neck.  However, he then sold his holdings and moved to the West Indies. Nevertheless, settlements developed at Black Point, Blue Point (i.e., Pine Point), Dunstan (i.e., West Scarborough) and Stratton Island.  By 1650, there were fifty homes.  The town offered excellent fishing and farming. On July 14, 1658, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated them all as Scarborough, named for Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.”[7]  It was north of the Dunstan (West Scarborough) settlement that the Libby and Carter families would buy land in later years and begin their farming endeavors.  But before that Scarborough was laid to waste by Indian attacks in the King Philip’s War of 1675-1676.  The true resettlement of this area didn’t occur until 1702 when a fort was built on Prout’s Neck and commanded by Captain John Libby (Hannah’s second great uncle).  Despite occasional subsequent harassment, the second settlement succeeded. By 1749, it was economically prosperous. Cattle and timber were important local products for export, with Scarborough's many water power sites operating a dozen sawmills.[8]

               The area known as Dunstan in Scarborough, Maine, has a rich history. Settled by Europeans in 1651, it was named for Dunster, the English hometown of early settlers Andrew and Arthur Alger. Early settlers quickly established farms, businesses and schools in this beautiful area, still famous today for its pristine beaches and protected salt marshes.

               Dunstan immediately became an important hub for goods and services. In Colonial times, Dunstan Landing became a key access point to the Atlantic Ocean for lucrative timber exports. In particular, tall Dunstan timber was highly sought after for masts for the King's navy. From the early 1700s to the mid-1800s, ship building was big business in coastal Maine, and many ships were built in Dunstan shipyards. While connected to far-away ports through industry, Dunstan retained its village charm.[9]  John Carter’s grandfather, Benjamin Carter, who first owned the land John was raised on, earned much money selling timber for masts to the King’s navy prior to the Revolutionary War.  So though Zebulon Libby was described as a farmer, his economic endeavors probably spread out to timber cutting.  One biographer of Zebulon stated that he was also a blacksmith and a manufacturer of hay rakes.[10]

               Hannah thus grew up in a prosperous community on a probably well to do farm.  Whether Hannah received any formal education is questionable.  By 1800, although 161 towns had been incorporated within the territorial limits of Maine, only seven had grammar schools.[11] From this it may be assumed that no more than seven had over one hundred families and that the population was relatively sparse.  Since the Libby family lived in a rural area of farms, Hannah most likely received what education she did receive at the feet of her mother.

               It was in this relative prosperous environment that Hannah spent her early, formative years.

[1] Black, Susan Easton, compiler. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848.50 vols. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1989. Private Donor.
[2] Scarborough (Maine). Town Clerk (Main Author) LDS Microfilm - FHL US/CAN Film [12221], Vol 1, Page 266.
[3] Second Church of Scarborough Marriages, 1744-1800 in the Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder [], vol. 4 (Portland, Me.: S.M. Watson, 1887) - "Oct. 19, [1780.] Zebulon Libby and Lidia Andrews."
[4] "Maine, Nathan Hale Cemetery Collection, ca. 1780-1980," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 October 2014), Zebulon Libby, 1835; citing Saco, York, Maine, United States, Libby Plot Cemetery, Maine State Library, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,316,077.
[5] Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, Vol 9, p. 784 (images online at
[6] Maine, Nathan Hale Cemetery Collection, op. cit.
[7] Wikipedia, Scarborough, Maine
[8] Ibid.
[10] Betty Andrews Storey "The Descendants of Lieut. John Andrews of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts,", 2009.

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