Category Archives: Hay family

Family of American Revolution POW Joses Bucknam and Abigail Hay

Joses Bucknam and Abigail Hay are my 5X great grandparents and Joses is the ancestor under whose service I chose to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.

I’ve shared the story of his capture and imprisonment at the notorious Old Mill Prison in England, but realized I haven’t provided a family sketch for him.

As today is the 185th anniversary of his passing, it seems an appropriate day on which to share more about his life.

Joses Bucknam was born 6 Mary 1761 in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the son of James Bucknam and Mary Goddard.

Abigail Hay was the daughter of William Hay and Phebe Brown, although her birth was not recorded in Stoneham, where she grew up. She was born in November 1768, based on her age at death and died in Glenburn, Penobscot, Maine on 19 September 8154.

After Joses returned to Massachusetts in a prisoner exchange with the English, he married Abigail on 19 September 1786. They likely lived in Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, where several of their children were born. In the summer of 1793 or in 1794, the young family left Massachusetts and settled in Mason,  Hillsborough, New Hampshire.


  1. Abigail, born c1787, probably Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 4 May 1796, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
  2. Phebe Hay, born 24 September 1790, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married (1) Cyrus Davis, 15 July 1810, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire (2) Mr. Johnson, before 1 January 1833, when Joses wrote his will.
  3. Joses, born 16 February 1793, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died after 1840, probably Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia; married Elizabeth Low, 22 August 1816, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  4. Caleb, born 16 November 1795, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; died 3 August 1874, Cascade, Dubuque, Iowa; married (1) Deborah Barrett, 17 December 1818, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire (2) Louisa Brooks Snow, 26 December 1820, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
  5. Abigail, born 13 May 1798, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; died 1 January 1820, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; married Charles Scripture, 20 November 1817, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
  6. Mary Goddard, born 11 February 1801, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; died 21 August 1879, Glenburn, Penobscot, Maine; married Oliver Scripture, 1 December 1819, Washington, Sullivan, New Hampshire.
  7. James, born 12 July 1803, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, reportedly died in North Carolina. No further record.
  8. Eliza Simons, born 6 February 1806, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; married Caleb Brooks, before 1 January 1833, when Joses wrote his will.
  9. Lucretia, born c1809, probably Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; not in her father’s will in 1835.
  10. Nancy Hay, born 2 July 1811, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; married William Robbins, 1 December 1835, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
  11. William Hay, born 4 January 1815, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; died 1862, Cascade, Dubuque, Iowa; married Susan Henry, c1836, probably in New Jersey where Susan was born in in Virginia, where their first two children were born.

Joses Bucknam left a short will, probated in May 1835. (Hillsborough County, New Hampshire WB 41:56-57, Source: FamilySearch)

In the name of God, Amen. I Joses Buckman of Mason in the county of Hillsborough & State of New Hampshire considering the uncertainty of this mortal ife & being of sound & perfect memory, blesed be Almight God for the same, do make & publish this my last Will & testament in manner & form followin — First I give & bequeath unto my beloved wife Nabby Buckman the use of all my Real & personal Estate which shall remain after my just debts and funeral expenses are paid during her natural life & at her decease the property which shall then remain shall be equally divided between my children Joses Buckman Jr. Phebe Johnson Caleb Buckman Mary g. Scripture Eliza S. Brooks James Buckman Nancy buckman William H. Buckman —

Item – I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy Buckman ten dollars –

And I do hereby appoint Willis Johnson sole Executor of this my last Will & testament hereby revoking  all former Wills by me made —
Done this first day of January one thousand eight hundred & thirty three.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this first day of January A.D. 1833.

Joses Buckman (ss)

Signed sealed published & declared by the above named Joses Buckman as &/or his last will & testament in the presence of us who at his request & in his presence & in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto .

William Wright Calvin Elliott, Ferdinand L. Johnson

Mason Town Cemetery, Summer 1980
Grave of Joses bucknam, Center with American Flag

I was honored to visit the grave of my 5X great grandfather, Joses Bucknam, in 1980. Several of my ancestors and collateral relatives are buried here. Joses’s grave is in the middle of the photo and is the dark gray stone, rounded at the top. It is difficult to make out, but someone placed an American flag on his grave.

RIP, Joses Bucknam


Rev. War Soldier William Hay Discharged from War of 1812 Duty Because of Old Age

William Hay is my 6x great grandfather and is a patriot of the American Revolution, having served as a soldier. He was born 18 September 1744 in Stoneham, Middlesex, Massachusetts. However, William didn’t stay put after the war and ended up in Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont.

I know for sure that this is “my” William because William of Vermont executed a land deed selling property he inherited from his “honored grandfather,” Peter Hay of Stoneham in 1790. At that time, he lived in Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont.

By 1802, he had removed to Pittsford and was living there as late as 1814. I found the following mention of William as Pittsford learned of the attack on Plattsburgh, New York in September 1814. The print is very easy to read, so I won’t transcribe it, but in the second image, William is excused from service because of old age.


VT Historical Magazine 3:943-944

Since William was about 70 years old when he apparently tried to sign up, I take that as a sign that he still didn’t have warm and fuzzy feelings towards the British!

This is the last mention I find of William. He may have died before the 1830 census.



Where Did Rev. War Soldier William Hay of Stoneham, MA Go?

William Hay served as a soldier in Capt. Sprague’s company during the American Revolution. He was born 18 September 1744 in Stoneham, Middlesex, MA to Peter Hay and Lydia Lynde. He married Phebe Brown on 25 January 1765 in nearby Medford, MA. They were the parents of four known children:

1. Phebe, born 9 December 1765, Stoneham and who died on 5 November 1789 in Medford, MA; unmarried.
2. Abigail, born November 1768, Stoneham and who died on 19 September 1854 in Glenburn, Penobscot, ME. She married Joses Bucknam on 19 September 1786 in Wakefield, MA. Joses and Nabby removed to Mason, Hillsboro, NH, where he died in 1835. Nabby was living with her daughter’s family in Maine when she died in 1854.
3. Marmaduke, born 20 August 1771, Stoneham and who died on 11 March 1851 in Melrose, MA. He married Martha Barrett on 28 April 1793 in Stoneham, but they had no known children.
4. Charity, born 31 March 1775, Stoneham and who died on 4 August 1859 in Malden, MA. She married Israel Hemmenway on 4 December 1794 in Stoneham. They had at least three known children.

Phebe Brown Hay, William’s wife died in Stoneham on 17 February 1783, near the close of the war.

However, there is no burial record for William in Stoneham or any other nearby towns, in spite of the fact that he belonged to a prominent family.

There are clues suggesting he may have moved out of Stoneham by 1786. Young ladies typically married in the town where they lived. Abigail Hay married Joses Bucknam, who resided in Reading, in the town of Wakefield, MA in 1786. She was also young when she married – two months shy of her 18th birthday – so her father would have had to give consent and she was likely living at home at the time of her marriage. Perhaps William moved to Wakefield after wife Phebe’s death.

William was definitely still living at this time as proven by two documents dated 1790. The first was the 1768 will of his grandfather, Peter Hay, probated in April 1790. William, like Peter’s other grandchildren, were each given a legacy of £6.

To my beloved Grandson, William Hay

Peter’s only surviving son, David Hay (William’s uncle) was the executor. The will stipulated that William should receive his legacy within six months. Found in the deeds of Middlesex County, MA, recorded on 30 June 1790 is a document from William Hay of Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont to David Hay for consideration of £6 received by William, left to him by his honored grandfather, Peter Hay.

This is the last document found for William Hay with a proven tie to my soldier, William Hay of Stoneham. However, there are further records that may well pertain to him.

The 1790 census show no William Hay living anywhere in Vermont, but that same census of Bow, Rockingham County, New Hampshire shows one William Hay, alone in the household.

Bow, New Hampshire is right along a major highway (and likely a main travel road even back then) that heads from Stoneham up to Shoreham.

Next found is a marriage record for William Hay, of Bow, to Betsy Currier, of Bow, on 4 December 1791. At first, I thought this was my William Hay, but I no longer believe that. This William and Betsy moved to Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts by 1800, where they appear in the census. By following the family forward, I discovered that while this William died on 15 May 1815, widow Betsy survived until 1852, also dying in Charlestown. This William Hay was apparently born in Charlestown, MA and Betsy was born in Concord, New Hampshire. Lastly, this William Hay was in the 26-44 age range in 1800, while my William was 56 years old in 1800.

My current theory is that my William Hay was missed in the 1790 census. Remember, he was in Cambridge with his uncle David recording the receipt of his legacy on 30 June 1790. The census taker could easily have passed by his home in Vermont when he wasn’t there.

The 1800 census of Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont, which is about 25 miles southeast of Shoreham shows a William Hay.

This William Hay is over 45 and is living in Vermont, only about 25 miles from where William stated as his residence in the 1790 deed. There is also a female in the household over 45 and a male 10-16 years old.

I haven’t been able to discover anything about the adult female and young male in the household.

Two land deeds have been located in Rutland County for William Hay. The first is dated 6 September 1798 whereby William Baxter sells 110 acres of land to William Hay, both of Rutland County.

Perhaps William Hay didn’t fulfill payment or something because on 12 March 1800, he quit claimed the exact same piece of land back to William Baxter for the grand sum of $1.00. However, the deed wasn’t recorded until 13 March 1802, when it states that William Hay appeared before the clerk.

No William Hay has been found in the 1810 Vermont census and it would be reasonable to believe that he might have died. However, one more record has been found in the Vermont Historical Magazine, volume 3, pp. 943-944 regarding the War of 1812:



On 9 September 1814, a company of men assembled in Pittsford with the intent of marching to Plattsburgh, New York to help defend it. On 11 September 1814, one William Hay was released because of old age. My William would have been only one week away from his 70th birthday.

No further land or probate records have been found for William Hay in Vermont. There is no hint of where he was living at the time of the 1810 census, but if he was in Pittsford, it must have been with someone else not named Hay as head of household. No death or burial records have been found either, but I believe this is my William Hay.

I don’t know whether there is any type of record of his death to be found, but I will take another look at the Rutland County, Vermont records next month at the Family History Library.