Category Archives: Lakin

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.

James Lakin & Elizabeth Williams of Groton, MA 1700s: Other Children with Descendants: Robinson Lakin

Because my recent research goal has been to answer the question “Where and when did James and wife Elizabeth (Williams) Lakin die,” I find that I’m not able to step away yet from the Lakin family.

There are several reasons for this.

1. I need to know how many James Lakins were living in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the 18th century. That will enable me to determine whether records I find for James Lakin pertain to my guy or perhaps to another man of the same name.

2. Sometimes, although one child agreed to care for aged parents, he was unable to do so for whatever reason. Researching records pertaining to other children might uncover new information about James and Elizabeth.

3. In the digging that I’ve already done, I have noticed that many online websites have dates and records attached to the incorrect person. By expanding my Lakin fishing net, I can do my own documenting with correct information attached to the right person.

To review the family structure of James and Elizabeth Lakin, they were the parents of nine known children – James, Robinson (aka Robertson), Ambrose, Elizabeth, Hannah, Nathaniel, Susanna, Mary and Sibbel.

There are two children for whom I have found no further information past their births. The first is James, born 21 August 1718. While some have him married to Elizabeth, I believe to be an instance of attaching a wife to the wrong man. For this James, I find no marriage date, nor any deeds or probate records. The James who married an Elizabeth was the grandson of our James and Elizabeth and was the son of Robinson and Hannah (Dodge) Lakin. That James married Elizabeth Shattuck on 5 November 1772 in Pepperell, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

The second child is daughter Susannah, born 24 September 1731. There is a marriage for one Susannah Lakin to Samuel Styles of Lyndeborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, but that record pertains to another grandchild of my James and Elizabeth, who was the daughter of Ambrose and Mary (Cram) Lakin.

There is a third child who has no descendants. That is Hannah, born 15 September 1726, who never married. She died in Pepperell, next door to Groton, on 24 December 1807. Her age at death matches this Hannah.

A fourth child who married not once, but twice, is Elizabeth. She married (1) Josiah Lawrence, 3 December 1746 and then (2) Whitcomb Powers, 18 October 1758 in Pepperell after Josiah died. However, I find no children born to Josiah and Elizabeth. Whitcomb and Elizabeth reportedly had a daughter, Elizabeth who was a teacher in Dunstable, Middlesex, Massachusetts. However, I have found no records pertaining to her, nor have I found death records for Whitcomb and Elizabeth. It is not known if their daughter married and/or has any descendants.

Nathaniel Lakin, the sixth born child in the family, married Sybil Parker on 23 January 1755 in Pepperell. However, Nathaniel died in 1780 and no records of children born to this couple have been found.

I’ve recently covered the family of Ambrose Lakin and, in the past, I’ve written about Mary Lakin, who married Oliver Shepley.

The remaining children of James and Elizabeth who married are Robinson and Sybil.

Today, we will look at the life of Robinson, who was likely named Robertson (and sometimes found that way) in honor of his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth (Robertson) Lakin.

Robinson is another family member who has been mixed up with someone else. His son, Robinson Jr., served in the American Revolution and received a pension. However, some of his service has been incorrectly attributed to his father, who would have been 56 years old at the start of the war. Certainly not impossible, but the military records all pertain to Robinson Jr.

Robinson Lakin was the second son and second child of James and Elizabeth Lakin, born 17 February 1719/20 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died 16 August 1796, Pepperell, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Robinson married Hannah Dodge on 15 April 1746 in Groton and they were the parents of nine children:

1. Anna, born 16 January 1747, Pepperell; married Fifield Holt, 5 November 1772, Wilton, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Her birth is also recorded in Groton, but on 16 January 1746.
2. James, born 2 June 1749, Pepperell; died 10 June 1821, Pepperell; married Elizabeth Shattuck, 5 November 1772, Pepperell. James served as a drummer during the Revolutionary War.
3. Elizabeth, born 2 June 1751; died 25 November 1753, both in Pepperell. Note Mary’s death date below – some kind of epidemic?
4. Mary, born 4 September 1753; died 8 November 1753, both in Pepperell.
5. Robinson/Robertson, born 10 September 1755; died 4 January 1838, both in Pepperell; married Hepzibeth Lakin, (intentions) 31 October 1780, Pepperell.
6. Elizabeth, born 14 December 1757; died 3 November 1774 of dysentery.
7. Winslow, born 27 August 1759; died 23 September 1840, Francestown, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; married Elizabeth Sawtell, 6 July 1781. Winslow also served in the American Revolution.
8. Nathaniel, born 10 June 1762; died 2 October 1816, Pepperell; married Mary Dodge, 18 January 1785, Groton.
9. Mary, born 29 December 1766; She may be the Mary Lakin who married Jonathan Nutting, 20 or 28 October 1800, Pepperell. He served in the American Revolution and died in Groton on 29 August 1843, aged 88 years. If she is the same person, it appears they had no children together and no death date has been found for Mary.

Therefore, five of Robinson’s and Hannah’s nine children may have descendants today.

No new clues have surfaced regarding Robinson’s parents. (:

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.