Ambrose Lakin & Dorothy Gilson of Groton, MA & NH

Ambrose Lakin is not my direct line, but given that I have a quadruple descent from the Lakin family, I have spent a fair amount of time digging into the details of this large family in Middlesex County, Massachusetts by the early 1600s.

Ambrose Lakin piqued my interest several years ago for a reason totally separate and apart from trying to determine where and when his parents, James and Elizabeth (Williams) Lakin died.

James Scripture and Sibbel Shepley are two of my 5X great grandparents. Like the Lakin family, the Scriptures and Shepleys have ties to Groton, Massachusetts.

Sibbel Shepley was the only child of Oliver Shepley and Mary whose maiden name was unknown. Sibbel was born on 19 September 1775 in Groton, but her parents soon moved to nearby Pepperell.

Pepperell had an epidemic of ague or fever in the summers of 1757 and 1758 and Oliver and Mary both died in August 1757, most likely of the fever. It is the same fever that claimed the life of Ambrose Lakin’s brother-in-law, Josiah Lawrence.

I had wondered who raised Sibbel, who wasn’t quite 3 years old when her parents died. Original records are everyone’s genealogical friend and I dug into estate and land records.

Come to find out that Ambrose Lakin administered Oliver Shepley’s estate for over 20 years. Probably not coincidentally, Ambrose had a sister named Mary, born 26 April 1734 and whose age just happened to match that of Mary (MNU) Shepley – 23 years old.

For a young man to take on a 20 year job, there had to have been a close family connection and it appears that Mary (MNU) Shepley was Mary Lakin. This connection will add a piece to the puzzle of where James and Elizabeth Lakin likely died, as we will see in a bit.

Back to the story of Ambrose Lakin –

Ambrose Lakin was born 30 April 1722 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the third child and third son of James and Elizabeth (Williams) Lakin.

The bits and pieces I find online have confused and mixed up Ambrose with his son, Ambrose Jr.

Ambrose Sr. married Dorothy (Dolly) Gilson on 16 January 1751/52 in Groton, Massachusetts. Dolly was born 17 September 1733, also in Groton, the daughter of Isaac and Dorothy Gilson. Her exact date of death is unknown, but Dolly was living on 13 May 1797 when she and Ambrose sold land in Groton to Jonathan Keep. At that time, Ambrose and Dolly were residents of Wilton, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

Ambrose Lakin’s obituary was published in the Columbian Centinel, a Massachusetts newspaper, on 11 March 1809, aged 87 years. He was a resident of Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

Ambrose and Dorothy were the parents of six known children, all born in Groton:

  1. Susannah, born 8 October 1753; married Samuel Stiles of Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, 15 July 1772 in Groton.
  2. Ambrose, born 22 September 1756; died before 21 February 1787, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, when probate began on his estate; married Mary Cram, September 1784 in Groton. She was a resident of Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. On 1 February 1790, his estate was declared insufficient to pay debts and an order to sell was given by the Hillsborough County, New Hampshire court. On the same day, Rebecca, a minor under 14 was placed under the guardianship of David Cram.
  3. Abel, born 15 October 1759; died after 17 March 1821 when he sold land in Lyndeborough to Henry Cram; married Rebecca Farnam, 11 August 1791, Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Abel is enumerated in the 1820 census of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.
  4. Molly, born 22 February 1767; no further record.
  5. Thomas, born 3 September 1770; died 10 August 1856, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, aged 84 years and 11 months; married Lucy Burton, 2 April 1799, New Hampshire. In 1850, the couple lived in Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
  6. Ede, baptized 3 April 1774; no further record

Have you noticed that Ambrose’s children all lived in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire?

As for Ambrose himself, we have a gap of 8 years in between the births of his children, from 1759 to 1767, when he could have been living in New Hampshire. Also, I believe that he was the guardian of Sibbel Shepley, his niece, who married James Scripture on 15 June 1775 in Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. James Scripture was actually one of the appraisers of the estate of Ambrose Jr. in 1787.

He sold land in Mason to his son, Ambrose Jr., in early 1787, but was living in Groton at the time of the 1790 census. By 13 May 1797, he was a resident of Wilton, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

All of these dates and places point to the possibility that his parents, James and Elizabeth Lakin, died somewhere in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and not in Massachusetts.

If you are descended from Ambrose and Dolly Lakin, please contact me. I would love to share info with you.





One thought on “Ambrose Lakin & Dorothy Gilson of Groton, MA & NH”

  1. Li. You may want to check the digital newspapers at Peterborough NH library. They cover a lot of Hillsborough County. I have Ancestors in Groton and Mason. These towns are defin link. Also have an old History of Mason. Please email me if I can help

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