Tag Archives: Mary Wightman

Samuel Boone & Mary Wightman, RI and Canada

This is the last of my Rhode Island family posts, as Samuel Boone was a Loyalist who appears on the Spring 1783 Fleet list of Loyalists removing to New Brunswick from Huntington Bay, New York. The Boones sailed on the Union, departing on 16 April 1783, with a stop in New York City on 24 April 1783,  before heading to St. John. They landed on 11 May 1783, but passengers didn’t disembark until 3 June 1783.

Samuel Boone was listed as the sole member of his family. His son, William, was head of a household with an adult female, four children over 10 and 2 children under the age of 10, according to the ship’s manifest.

Samuel Boone was born on 9 April 1717 in North Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, the son of Samuel Boone and Mary Sweet. He married Mary Wightman. Mary was the daughter of John Wightman and Jane Bentley. There is no record of her birth and in spite of the 1736 marriage date found online for this couple (with no sources), I believe they married a bit later than that. Mary, however, did not make the trek to Canada, as she reportedly passed away in 1782, just before the end of the American Revolution.

It was quite unusual in this time period for a male to marry much before the age of 25, with wives usually about 21 at the time of a first marriage. That would present a marriage date c1742 and a birth year for Mary c1721.

There is a double whammy on uncovering the family of Samuel and Mary. North Kingstown records are both incomplete and of records that survive, those contain partially burned volumes. On top of that, Samuel settled in New Brunswick right after the war, when written records are scarce in terms of vital records.

There is a 1774 census for Rhode Island, which names heads of households and identifies the number of men and women over and under the age of 16.

There are five Boones listed in Rhode Island. Samuel is one of them; his household has one male over 16 (which would be himself), one male under 16, three females over 16 (which would include wife Mary) and two females under 16.

William Boone is already married and appears in the Exeter enumeration in 1774. In his household are three males over 16, two males under 16, two females over 16 and three females under 16.

It is very possible that the Samuel Boone Jr., also living in North Kingstown, is the son of Samuel and Mary Wightman Boone. That household has one male over 16, two under 16, one female over 16 and two under 16.

Richard Boone, also in North Kingstown, has two males over 16, two males under 16, one female over 16 and three females under 16.

The final Boone household is headed by Mary Boone, who has one male over 16, two males under 16, three females over 16 and three females under 16 in the home. Mary is likewise in North Kingstown. she may be Mary Sweet, widow of Samuel Boone who died in 1766.

From the few items I find online, no proven parents are attributed to Richard or Samuel Jr. Whether they belong to Samuel Sr. is a question mark at this point. However, if they are sons, they did not accompany Samuel and William to New Brunswick.

The 1774 census gives a picture of four possible children, in addition to William, who was already married.


  1. William, born c1742-1749; married Ruth Hill
  2. Daughter, born say 1754 – this might be the Mary Boone who married William Gardiner, 26 January 1775, North Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island. They lived in Richmond, Washington County, Rhode Island in 1790.
  3. Daughter, born say 1756
  4. Son, born say 1758

An online search engine for the Rhode Island 1782 state census produced no hits for Boon or Boone. The family might already have been living in New York.

The 1790 U.S. census lists only six Boones in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

James – in Newport
Mary – in North Kingstown
Peggy – also in North Kingstown (This might be the widow of Samuel Jr.
Richard – in Exeter
Susannah – in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts

More work needs to be done on this family, but there might not be surviving records to make any progress.

My line of descent is through Samuel’s son, William, who married Ruth Hill. This is my Mayflower line that goes back to George Soule through the Hill family. I’ve already written about them.