Volume II Issue 3

March 1997

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Early Ancestors of Reading, Massachusetts

Reading, MA -- Genealogical History of the Town of Reading, Mass.

The following notes are from Page 63 of the book entitled, "Genealogical History of the Town of Reading, Mass. - Including the Present Towns of Wakefield, Reading and North Reading - with Chronological and Historical Sketches, From 1639 to 1874", by Hon. Lilley Eaton, Boston, Alfred Mudge & Son, Printers, 1874.

DUNTON, Robert, was selectman of Reading, 1647 to 1649.
DUNTON, Samuel, probably son or brother of the foregoing, came from Lynn, and had chil.: Samuel, b. 1647; Hannah, b. 1649; Nathaniel, b. 1655; Elizabeth, b. 1658; Sarah, b. 1660; Mary, b.1662; Ruth, b. 1664; and perhaps John and Thomas. He d. 1683, and his wid., whose name was Anna (probably) [Mike Dunton notes, other sources have her named Hannah Felch, daughter of Henry Felch], d. 1689.
DUNTON, Samuel, Jr., son of the foregoing, b. 1647; by wife Sarah, had chil.: Samuel, b. 1674; Sarah, b. 1677; Rebecca, b. 1679, and d. soon; Ebenezer, b 1681.

DUNTON, John, probably brother of the last above-named; by wife Ruth had chil.: b. 1690, and m. 1713, Samuel Gould; Elizabeth, b. 1692; Thomas, b.1695; Joseph and Mary, twins, b. 1697, of whom, Joseph died soon; Sarah, b. 1700; Hepzibeth, b. 1702.
DUTTON, Thomas, b. about 1626; 1st wife's name was Susan, she d. 1684, and he m., 2d, 1684, Ruth, dau. of Wm. Hooper. Chil.: Thomas, b. 1648, Mary, b. 1651; Susanna, b. 1653, John, b. 1656; Elizabeth, b. 1659; Joseph, b. 1661, and m. 1685, Rebecca Fitch; Sarah, b. 1662; James, b. 1665; Benj., b. 1669. He removed first to Woburn, and after to Billerica, where he was in 1675. Hi sson Thomas was in the Indian war at the East, and had a remarkable escape in 1677, when many were killed.
DUSTIN, Josiah, lived near the southeast corner of the "Great Pond," and d. 1671. Chil.: Josiah; Lydia; Hannah, who m. 1662, Thomas Tower; Mary, b. 1648, and d. 1649; Mary, b. 1650, and m. 1668, Adam Colson; Sarah, b. 1653.

"Earliest History of Jeremysquam"

In the early 1700s, as the population of Massachussetts increased, people began a slow migration to Maine. Timothy Dunton was one of the early settlers of Jeremysquam, (now know as Westport Island) Maine.

The following article is from the Westport Island genealogist and historian, Bea Harriman. It was published on page 9 of the book, "Westport Island, Maine - Once Jeremysquam", Compiled by John and Louise Swanton, Published by Westport Community Association, 1993.

"This section of Maine was visited at a very early date by fishing vessels from Europe, but no real settlements began before the 1600's. It is recorded that John Richards bought the island of Jeremysquam in the Kennebec River in 1649 and attended a meeting of landowners to form some sort of government at Merrymeeting Bay in the following year; but no further mention of this is ever made and no early claim was based in this purchase.

In 1734 George Davie purchased Wiscasset including the island of Jeremysquam from three Indians of the Abnaki tribe, which was later agreed to by the chief, Robinhood, after whom a cove in Georgetown has been named. Indian Wars soon wiped out all the settlements in this region. It was not until after 1750 that the permanent settlers began to come in.

The Wiscasset Proprietors, a group of mainly Boston men formed to make money on their investments, had purchased from the granddaughter of Davie their rights to Wiscasset and Jeremysquam, but meanwhile the Kennebec Proprietors claimed the same territory. This included an area 15 miles each side of the Kennebec River granted originally to the Plymouth Colony for trading rights for beaver and other commodities with the Indians and by which the Plymouth Colony was able to pay its debts, even for the passage to America in the Mayflower.

After much litigation the Kennebec Proprietors kept their claims to Wiscasset and adjoining lands and Wiscasset Proprietors were able to control Jeremysquam, the original name of the island. This was divided into thirty-four 100 acre lots which sold to the settlers. At the same time squatters and others had occupied the same lands and we find such deeds to early settlers in the records at the Wiscasset Courthouse. Finally in 1815 the State of Massachusetts to which we still belonged ordered each land owner to pay about 7 1/2 cents per acre for his property and he received a deed to that effect. These lots were surveyed by Stephen Parsons, whose map giving lot number, name of owner and acreage still exists."

Bea Harriman


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Last Updated March 3, 1997