In 1903 the Amesbury Improvement Association erected a memorial to the first settlers of Amesbury in the Golgotha Burial Ground (next to 52 Macy Street). Eighteen men are credited with being the original settlers of the area that became Amesbury.
Salisbury (Essex County) was incorporated in 1640. In 1654 it was divided into Old Town and New Town, separated by the Pow-wow River. In 1666 New Town was proclaimed a township called New Salisbury, the name of which was changed to Amesbury the following year.
Nine of the eighteen first settlers are my ancestors, several of them through more than one child. They are Thomas Barnard, William Barnes, Henry Blaisdell, Philip Challis, Richard Currier, Jarrett Haddon, George Martin, Valentine Rowell, and William Sargent.
Thomas Barnard, a planter and husbandman, was a resident of Salisbury in 1640. He was killed by Indians on 7 July 1677. His wife and mother of his ten children was Eleanor (Morse) Little. His son, Thomas Barnard (Sarah Peasley), and daughter, Abigail Barnard (Samuel Fellows) are my ancestors.
Henry Blaisdell was born circa 1632. His first wife was Mary Haddon, with whom he had nine children; his second was Elizabeth. Henry, a planter and tailor, died between 1705 and 1707. His son, Lt. John Baisdell (Elizabeth Challis) is my ancestor.
Philip Challis, a planter, and his wife Mary Sargent had eleven children. He died in Amesbury in 1681. Daughter Elizabeth (John Hoyt) and son John (Sarah Frame) are my ancestors.
Richard Currier was born in England on 3 May 1616, and he was a resident of Salisbury in 1640. By trade he was a millwright and planter. His first wife was Anne, the mother of his two children. His second was Joanne Pindor, widow of Valentine Rowell and William Sargent. Richard died in Amesbury on 22 February 1787. His son, Deacon Thomas (Mary Osgood) is my ancestor.
Jarrett Haddon was born circa 1608. His wife was Margaret, with whom he had three children. He died before 20 March 1690, when his will was probated. Daughter Mary (Henry Blaisell) is my ancestor.
George Martin, a blacksmith, was first married to Hannah, by whom he had a daughter. Susanna North, hanged as a witch at Salem in 1692, was his second wife, with whom he had eight children. George died in 1686. Daughter Hester (John Jameson) is my ancestor, and daughter Jane (Samuel Hadley) is my son-in-law’s ancestor.
Valentine Rowell was born in England on 22 June 1622. A carpenter, he married Joanna Pindor in 1643, and the couple had nine children. Valentine died in Amesbury in May 1662. Three of his children are my ancestors. They are Thomas (Sarah Barnes), Philip (Sarah Morrill), and Mary (Thomas Frame).
William Sargent was born in Bath (Somerset) England in 1598 and immigrated to American in 1632. A seaman, he married first Elizabeth Perkins. The couple had nine children. He married second Joanne Pindor, widow of Valentine Rowell. William died in Amesbury in March 1675. Daughter Mary (Philip Challis) and son Lt. Thomas (Rachel Barnes) are my ancestors.
Photographs by Buffalogen, August 2014