Eleazer Gilson & Sybil Lakin of Pepperell, MA

Sybil Lakin, born 2 January 1736/37 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, is the youngest child of James Lakin and Elizabeth Williams.

I expected this to be a very quick project, in spite of the fact that they had eight children. Instead, I’ve spent hours trying to sort out several people.

Sybil Lakin married Eleazer (not Ebenezer) Gilson on 30 October 1758 in Pepperell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. At that time, Pepperell was just coming out of an ague/fever pandemic which killed a number of residents, mostly young adults.

Eleazer had married (1) Mary Hall, 2 July 1748 in Pepperell, although both were identified as residents of Groton at the time. Mary died on 27 May 1757 of “nervous fever,” which often is used to describe typhoid. However, Pepperell had an odd epidemic in the summers of 1757 and 1758 that was later described as “ague.” It is likely Mary actually succumbed to that fever.

Eleazer and Mary were the parents of four children: Mary, baptized 29 October 1749; Catherine, born November 1751; Lydia, baptized 30 December 1753 and Eleazer, baptized 14 March 1756, all in Pepperell.

When Sybil married Eleazer, although she was 21 years old, she accepted the responsibility as stepmother to his first set of children.

Eleazer and Sybil went on to have their own large family.

Children (All events in Pepperell unless otherwise noted.):

  1. Nathaniel, born 17 September 1759; died 17 November 1839, Stoddard, Cheshire, New Hampshire; married Lucy Tarbell, 24 February 1784. Lucy was born 1761; died 22 June 1838, Stoddard, Cheshire, New Hampshire. Nathaniel’s probate file named his children as Nathaniel Gilson, Allison Gilson, Sarah Green, Lucy Henry, Susan Matson, Lucinda Knight and Candace Knight.
  2. Elizabeth, born 9 February 1762. I spent a LOT of time trying to untangle records for Eliza/Elizabeth Gilson. Many have her married to Jaazaniah (yes, a real name!) Crosby Jr. in 1777. However, she would have been only 15 years old and the gravestone for Elizabeth (Gilson) Crosby gives her birth year as 1754. I believe Jaazaniah’s wife was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Shedd) Gilson, who was born in 1754. As for this Elizabeth, I haven’t found any marriage or death record that I feel confident in connecting to her. Therefore, the most I can say is that she was living as of 10 June 1777, the date her father wrote his will and named her as an heir. If you have documents proving this Elizabeth Gilson married and had a family, I would love to know what they are.
  3. Peter, born 28 February 1764; died 3 May 1849, Hartland, Windsor, Vermont; married Esther Spalding, 23 April 1785. She was born 9 March 1767, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; died 27 October 1845, Hartland, Windsor, Vermont. This couple immediately settled in Hartland, where their children were born – Peter, Lemuel, Amelia, Sally, Polly, Sukey, Leonard, Phebe, Alfred and Louisa.
  4. James, born 4 April 1766; died 2 August 1843, Hartland, Windsor, Vermont; married Sarah Ann Dodge, 23 August 1791, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Sarah was born May 1769, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts; died 25 December 1851, Hartland, Windsor, Vermont. This couple also settled in Hartland, but not until c1800. They had a large family – James, Samuel, Sarah Ann, Eleazer, Wilder, Alfred, Hiram and Nathaniel.
  5. Sybil, born 31 August 1768; died after 17 October 1797; married David Chamberlain, 28 March 1787. David was born 11 October 1759; died 13 October 1794, of consumption, both in Pepperell. They were the parents of Betsey, born 2 January 1789 and Sybil, born 7 March 1791, both in Pepperell. Sybil is last found mentioned in David’s probate papers on 17 October 1791. No further marriages or death records have been found for her or their daughters.
  6. Hannah, born 8 January 1770; died 15 May 1869, Northfield, Washington, Vermont. I thought this might be the wrong person who died in 1869, but Hannah’s birth and death are both recorded in Pepperell town records. The death record gives her age as 99 years and four months! She married Joel Parker, 17 November 1800. Joel was born 22 April 1781, Ashburnham, Worcester, Massachusetts and died exactly one week before his wife on 7 May 1869, also in Northfield. They were the parents of Joel, Charles, William and daughter Nancy born in 1810 and died 1812 in Stoddard, Cheshire, New Hampshire.
  7. Susannah, born 8 August 1772; no further record found unless she is the 26 year old Susanna Gilson who died in Pepperell on 26 April 1795.
  8. Anna, born 19 January 1776; no further record. Some have identified her father as Eleazer Jr. However, Pepperell vital records clearly name her as the child of Eleazer and Sybil.

This completes the series (over a long period of time!) on the family of Eleazer Gilson and Sarah Lakin. Unfortunately, none of my Lakin research has shed further light on the deaths of James and Elizabeth (Williams) Lakin, but I have learned a lot about their descendants and their moves into New Hampshire and Vermont.

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