The Meserve/y Family of Maine, 1600s

Today begins the first of several family sketches on Clement Meserve of the Isle of Jersey and New Hampshire in the 1600s. His is one of those families where all of the surname in the U.S. are descended from him, as far as I can tell.

My first genealogy mentor was my grandfather’s cousin, Charles Chadwick, who knew so much – accurate memories, it turned out –  about my mother’s paternal side of the family.

Charles Chadwick
U.S. Navy, World War II

Charles’s mother was Vera Pearl Adams, sister to my grandfather’s father, Charles Edwin Adams. Aunt Pearl, as she was known, married Perce E. Chadwick on 21 June 1916 in Calais, Washington, Maine.

Charles passed away in 2006, leaving no descendants, but I know he had many cousins on the Chadwick side of his family. Charles particularly enjoyed when I found information on his dad’s side of the family, which I researched in gratitude for all of his help.

I decided to take another look at the Chadwick family tree, as it has been many years – like pre-internet days – since I worked on it. To my amazement, it doesn’t appear like anyone has pieced together any more than I had done decades ago, so it is time I tackle this family once again. This time, perhaps my work will help some of those Chadwick cousins with their colonial lines.

Here is what I was able to document on the Chadwick family:

Elbridge Gerry Chadwick was born in May, between 1833-1835 (documents vary) in Tenants Harbor, Knox, Maine. He died 2 January 1920 in Calais, Washington, Maine. He was the son of William Chadwick and Lavinia Meserve/y.

Elbridge married Margaret Jane Grover on 26 February 1866 in St. George, Knox, Maine.  She was the daughter of John Grover and Eunice Barter.

Margaret was born in November 1845 in Maine, probably St. George, as her family was living there in 1850. She died on 15 August 1909 in Calais.

Elbridge and Margaret were the parents of five children:

1. Charles W., born 2 March 1870, St. George, Knox, Maine; died 5 January 1953, Camden, Knox, Maine. He married Phoebe J. Gullison (March 1870-1834), 29 September 1891, Calais, Washington, Maine. They were the parents of Fannie, Grace and Edith.
2. Ada, born January 1874, Maine; died after the 1930 census when she was living with her daughter and son-in-law’s family in Massachusetts. Ada married Clarence Edgar Phinney (1874-1957), c1892, but they went their separate ways before 1910, when Ada was living with her children and her widowed father in Calais. Clarence died in Orange County, New York. Clarence and Ada were the parents of two children, Margaret Phinney and Robert Frederick Phinney.
3. Elbridge Gerry, born 27 April 1876, Calais, Washington, Maine and died on 17 May sometime between the 1920 and 1930 censuses, probably in Calais, Washington, Maine. He married Lillian Waters (1879- 23 September 1960) on 22 February 1898, Charlotte Count, New Brunswick, Canada. They had five children – Lois, E.S. Shirley, Paul, Eleanor J. and Phillip.
4. Stephen Vickery,
born March 1881 and died in 1938, both in Calais, Washington, Maine. He married Grace Nordstrom, 1 January 1907 in Calais. They were the parents of Donald, Dexter, Anna E., and Phyllis Eileen.
5. Perce E.,
born 5 July 1884, Calais and died 22 January 1933, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He married Vera Pearl Adams (1887-1973) on 21 June 1916 in Calais. They were the parents of Charles Adams Chadwick.

In spite of all the Chadwick family information (included for the benefit of descendants who might be researching online), this post is actually about the Meserve, aka Meservey, family. Lavinia Meserve/y was the mother of the first Elbridge Gerry Chadwick discussed above.

There are definitely a few holes in this line, although Lavinia was the daughter of Joseph Meserve/y, born c1773 in Maine and died after the 1850 census, probably in St. George, Knox, Maine, where he lived with his daughter Lavinia and son-in-law’s family in 1850. He left no probate. More on Joseph later.

Let’s start at the beginning, with Clement Meserve, said to be from the Isle of Jersey, England. He lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire by 1675 when he took the Oath of Allegiance. His wife’s name was Elizabeth (MNU) and she was reportedly from Kittery, York, Maine, which is just across the water from Portsmouth..

Around 1693, Clement removed to Newington, which is just to the northwest of Portsmouth and is the neighboring town.

Clement’s health might have been failing in 1705 because on 23 February of that year, he deeded his house to his wife, Elizabeth, and which would then pass to his son, John, after her decease. However, on 6 August 1710, Clement signed an agreement with his son Clement, which gave the home to him in return for care. John had either died or was out of the area by that time.

Clement was the father of seven known children. Elizabeth may have been the mother of all of them, but there are no records to confirm that. Their birth order is unknown, so I have listed them by date of marriage.

  1. Elizabeth, married Michael Whidden, 6 June 1694, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire
  2. Aaron, married Susanna Sawyer, 20 November 1695, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. Aaron died by 1706 and Susannah married (2) John Batten.
  3. Clement, died in 1746, probably in Scarborough, Maine; married (1) Elizabeth Jones, 24 September 1702, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire. He reportedly married (2) Mrs. Sarah Stone, Scarborough, Maine, 14 August 1738, but I have not found that record. His will did name his wife Sarah.
  4. Tamson, reportedly married Joseph Ham, 1704, but I have not found that record.
  5. Daniel, married Deborah Otis, c1701 (listed in Torrey)
  6. John, who died or left the area between 23 February 1705 and 6 August 1710; no marriage record found.

This ends the family sketch of immigrant Clement Meserve. Tomorrow, this series will continue with Clement Jr., who married Elizabeth Jones, as this is the line that eventually ties into the Chadwick family.


3 thoughts on “The Meserve/y Family of Maine, 1600s”

  1. Im descended from Helen (grandmother) and Cliff (great uncle) Meserve Portland Maine.
    I want to more about Clements line in Scarborough because we have an antique genealogy book showing the entirety of Black Point Scarborough Maine as owned by Meserve’ family.

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