Category Archives: Haskell

Nathan Haskell & Judith Witham, Colonial MA & ME

If you remember my shock pruning of John Haskell & Hannah Parsons of New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine from my family tree last month, you’ll remember that I promised to piece together details of the lives of Judith’s correct parents, Nathan Haskell and Judith Witham.

Like Judith Haskell’s parents, the now deleted John and Hannah (Parsons) Haskell, Nathan and Judith also hailed from Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.

Nathan Haskell was born 21 September 1749, the son of Hubbard Haskell and Anne Millet. Judith Witham was born 28 June, [record missing -after 1750 and] probably in 1751, the daughter of Daniel Witham and Judith Sanders.

Nathan and Judith married, a bit younger than aged 25 & 21 that was typical for couples of the time, on 27 October 1771. Their wedding may have been precipitated because of the impending birth of their first child in early 1772.

Their births and marriage all took place in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts and are recorded in town records.

Nathan died on 4 December 1838; Judith died on 29 January 1846. Both deaths are recorded in New Gloucester town records, which are digitized, but not indexed on FamilySearch.

New Gloucester town records state that their first three children were born in Gloucester and that is substantiated in Gloucester records.

The young family of Nathan Haskell removed from Gloucester to New Gloucester sometime between the birth of their third child, who was baptized on 27 November 1774, and 30 November 1778, when Nathan sold some land in New Gloucester. No record has been found in Cumberland County, Maine or Essex County, Massachusetts to indicate how he came to own that piece of real estate.

The Gloucester, Massachusetts Archives includes a document compiled by John J. Somes, City Clerk, Cape Ann’s Contribution to Army and Navy in the Revolutionary War Under Washington American Independence.

Cape Ann was the early name given to the Gloucester and Rockport area of Massachusetts.

The list includes Nathan Haskell, the only man of the name in Gloucester who was of an age to serve, who enlisted 13 July 1775 in Pvt. Joseph Whipple’s Company and served 6 months.

This military service narrows the window of the family’s move to Maine to between January 1776 and sometime in 1777, when their first child born in New Gloucester joined the family.

They wouldn’t have been moving to Maine in the middle of a New England winter, so it is likely they moved in the summer of 1776 or possibly early in 1777. That time frame would also fit Nathan’s land sale in late 1778.


1. Nathan, born 1 February 1772, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died 24 December 1849, Minot, Androscoggin, Maine; married Phebe Hobbs, both of Poland, Androscoggin, Maine when they married in Minot, 31 May 1800. They were the parents of ten children.

2. Sally, baptized February 1773, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died after the 1850 census, when she lived with family in new Gloucester; married Gideon Dawes, 6 April 1793, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. Gideon may be a son of Gideon Dawes of Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts who died in war service in 1776. If so, he was born c1772; died between the 1840 census of New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine and the 1850 census, when Sally was apparently a widow. They were the parents of 11 children.

3. Samuel Hubbard, baptized 27 November 1774, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died 12 September 1864, Danville, Androscoggin, Maine; married Lydia Chase, 1 October 1801, Pejepscot (later Danville), Cumberland, Maine. They were the parents of about ten children.

4. William, born c1777, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; married Sally Bradbury, 11 February 1802, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. Both died after the 1830 census. They were the parents of seven children.

5. John, born c1779, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 2 March 1870, Garland, Penobscot, Maine; married Sarah (MNU). They were the parents of at least six children.

6. Judith, born c1781; died 6 July 1861; married William Tarbox, 25 November 1802, all in New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. They were the parents of 11 children.

7. Hannah, born c1783, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; no further record

8. Isaiah, born September 1784, per his gravestone, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 18 May 1870, Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine; married (1) Margaret Wyre Tarbox, 18 November 1811, Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts (2) Sarah Chandler, 9 April 1835, Danville, Cumberland, Maine. He had at least one son with Sarah, Joseph.

9. Anna, born c1786, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; no further record

10. David, born 29 July 1788, per his gravestone, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 12 September 1866; married Lucy (MNU) Crockett, 28 April 1839 or early May 1839, in Piscataquis or Penobscot Counties, Maine. They were the parents of two children.

11. Jemima, born 29 April 1790, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; reportedly died 8 July 1869, probably New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine where she lived in 1860; married Joel Nevens, 23 January 1808, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. They were the parents of about 13 children.

12. Eliza, born 29 February 1792, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 31 August 1862 of cholera, West Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts; unmarried

13. Jonathan, born c1799, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 28 February 1865, Oxford County, Maine; married Mary Haskell, about 14 October 1815, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. They were the parents of at least four children.

14. Mary, born 17 August 1797, per her gravestone, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine; died 24 March 1864, probably Penobscot County, Maine where the couple lived in 1860; married George Washington Waite, 24 March 1817, New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. NOTE: Their gravestones are modern. They were the parents of at least four children.

This ends the account of the family of Nathan Haskell and Judith Witham. If you are descended from this couple and can add more documented information, please leave a comment.



Judith Haskell (1781-1861): Unexpected Pruning of the Family Tree

My second attempt at my 12 for ’22 project in which I revisit ancestral lines that I’ve long ignored has produced a HUGE surprise!

I have to admit that looking at any of my Haskell lines – old colonial New England and back into Olde England – wasn’t anywhere on my list of possibilities.

However, a comment left by a reader last month has caused a major pruning of a branchlet of my family tree.

What happened?

Well, here’s the scenario. William Tarbox married Judith Haskell on 25 November 1802 in New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine. My work on this line is so old that it pre-dates the internet by a decade! That means old-fashioned letter writing, plenty of which I did back in the 1980s and long before I made my first visit to the Family History Library.

William and Judith are the parents of my 3X great grandfather, George Rogers Tarbox, who died in Calais, Washington, Maine in 1895. His death record recorded his birthplace as New Gloucester, which is how I came to correspond with the Town Clerk’s office.

After confirming George’s birth, which certificate also came with a photocopied typed list of the family of William and Judith Tarbox, I wrote once again asking for birth records for William and Judith.

Judith’s birth is duly recorded in the clerk’s records – 5 November 1780 and she was the 7th of 13 children born to John Haskell and Hannah Parsons.

All is good, right? The information was provided by the town clerk’s office.

From there, I built out the family tree and most of this branch originally settled in the Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts area.

There are thousands of descendants of this couple, they are in many online family trees, including the FamilySearch family tree and no issue has ever come up.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is BIG – it’s WRONG. Back to my reader’s comment. A link was provided to a Find a Grave memorial, which features a photo of a clearly original gravestone in Lower Corner Cemetery in New Gloucester.

The inscription says:

SACRED/to the memory of/MISS JUDITH, dau’r of/John & Hannah Haskell/who died May 12, 1803,/AEt. 22/In hopes of a blessed/immortality

Read that carefully – MISS Judith, daughter of JOHN & HANNAH, who died aged 22 on 12 May 1803.

John and Hannah’s daughter was clearly single when she died and, having been born on 5 November 1780, she would have been 22 1/2 years old when she died.

This Judith Haskell is NOT the Judith who married William Tarbox on 25 November 1802.

What next?

Exactly who did marry William Tarbox on 25 November 1802? She, too, was named Judith Haskell – there is no error in the marriage record.

There were several Haskell families living in New Gloucester before 1800, but they were all related, having migrated from Gloucester, Massachusetts.

John Haskell’s first cousin, Nathan Haskell, was another of the early Maine settlers. He first appears selling land (not buying, so he was there even earlier) in May 1779.

Not nearly as much information is found in one place online for Nathan and his family, although it can be pieced together, which I will do in another post.

New Gloucester town records record the family of Nathan and Judith Haskell, although most exact dates are missing. Their children were Nathan, born 1772, Sally, born 1772, Samuel H., born 1774, with their births noted as being in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The remaining 11 children are William, born 1777, John, born 1779, Judith, born 1781, Hannah, born 1783, Isaiah, born 1785, Anna, born 1786, David, born 1788, Jemima, born 29 April 1790, Elizabeth born 29 February 1792, Jonathan, born 1794 and Mary, born 1799, all in New Gloucester.

Thomas Johnson, Town Clerk, recorded this information on 6 March 1844 – a half century and more after the events took place.

However, family members were still living at the time and I trust the names of the children and approximate birth years. I will flesh out more details in another post.

Notice child #6 – Judith, born 1781

She is almost the same age as her cousin, Judith, daughter of John and Hannah.

There are no extant records proving that this Judith is the wife of William Tarbox, but clues all point in that direction. Plus, these are the only two Judiths the right age to be marrying William.

What clues are there?

1. Judith Haskell Tarbox is buried in Upper Cememtery, New Gloucester and her gravestone still stands. Only her birth year, not month and day, is given, but it is 1781, not 1780.

2. 1810 Census of New Gloucester, Maine includes Nathan Haskell (wife Judith’s maiden name is Witham), William Tarbox and John Witham. William Tarbox lives only two doors from Nathan Haskell and three doors in the other direction from John Witham.

3. Nathan Haskell sold off the last of his land in May 1832. One of the two witnesses was William Tarbox.

4. The middle name of William’s and Judith’s sixth child, John, is HUBBARD. Nathan Haskell is the son of Hubbard Haskell of Gloucester, Massachusetts. John Haskell has no direct line to Hubbard and of his thirteen children, only the youngest has a middle name – Parsons – the maiden name of wife Hannah.

There are no other records to link Judith, daughter of Nathan, and her husband William Tarbox to Nathan.

Cumberland County, Maine probate records burned around 1900. Even if they hadn’t, Nathan was 87 when he died and he sold off all his land by the time he was 82. He probably lived with the family of one of his children and didn’t leave any probate records anyway.

However, I am convinced by the clues that William Tarbox’s wife was Judith, daughter of Nathan Haskell and Judith Witham.

There is a lesson to be learned here. This is one of the first family lines I added to the tree (c1981) – ancient in terms of technology and online access – and I hadn’t taken another look at it in all this time.

No matter how certain your research results seem to be, it is wise to review documents and records to see what new information is out there.

And, that is totally aside from DNA surprises!

Hannah Parsons Haskell’s family branch has now been unlinked as my direct line. John Haskell has also been unlinked, although I am still distantly related to him. Instead of John Haskell’s line through his father Nathaniel and his grandparents, William Haskell and Jemima Hubbard, my tree has been corrected to reflect Nathan Haskell and his father, Hubbard Haskell.

Nathaniel and Hubbard were brothers and both are children of William and Jemima Haskell. Not too much to correct there, but I now have plenty of branches to fill out the Witham tree.





William & Phillippa Stevens of Gloucester, MA 1600s

It is definitely worthwhile to go back and review past research. In the case of my ancestors, William and Phillippa Stevens who lived first at Salem and then Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, it was most worthwhile. I don’t think I’ve looked at this family for years, no, make that decades, and long before the internet was around.

I was able to clean up this family, but it cost me a place of origin in England , William and Phillippa lost a few few children along the way and their probably birth years were pushed forward quite a bit.

I won’t repeat the information I deleted for fear that someone might see it, copy and paste and perpetuate unsubstantiated data.

Instead, here is the family of one of my immigrant ancestors, William Stevens.

William Stevens was likely born between 1600-1610 and married c1630 in England. Phillippa, his wife, was probably born in the same time frame, also in England. No trace of her maiden name has been found. they likely married c1630.

Phillippa passed away on 31 August 1681 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. William Stevens, shipwright, is last mentioned in a deed dated 31 December 1667 and filed on 25 January 1667/68 in Essex County when he and his wife sold land to Francis Willoughby. He left no will or probate record. (Essex County, MA Deed Book 3:32-33, Source: FamilySearch)

The only important information in the deed is the 1667 date, proving William was still alive at that time and this small section, as it names William and his wife “Phillip”:

Exactly when William and Phillippa arrived in New England is uncertain, but it is thought that two children, Mary and Isaac, both baptized 2 January 1639 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, are probably their son and daughter. Therefore, they would have settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony no later than 1638.

No further record has been found for Isaac, but Mary married both her husbands in Gloucester, which is where William and his wife were living at the time.


1. James, born c1631, probably in England; died 25 March 1697, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Susannah Eveleth, 31 December 1656, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.

2. Mary, born c1632, probably in England, but baptized 2 January 1639, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; died 7 November 1692, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married (1) John Coit, 21 September 1652, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts (2) John Fitch, 3 October 1667, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts

3. Isaac, baptized 2 January 1639, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; no further record.

4. Ruth, baptized 7 March 1641, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; died 16 August 1664, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; married Steven Glover, 7 October 1663, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. Ruth’s baby died a few days before her and she likely died from birth complications.