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Daniel Field and Mary Fernald of Kittery, York, ME
Posted by: Kirk Moulton (ID *****3820) Date: November 11, 2008 at 14:05:53
  of 300

A long standing mystery has been the idenity of the parents of Mary Fernald who married Daniel Field 04 Feb 1773 in Kittery, York, ME. This analysis shows that this Mary Fernald is the Mary Fernald born 20 June 1753 in Kittery to James Fernald (1728-1757) and Mary Fernald (1728-1761).

The family profile of Daniel Field and Mary Fernald is as follows:
                                          
Daniel Field, born 23 May in 1749 to Stephen Field and Jane Lary in Kittery York, ME, died between 1817-1820 in Searsport, Waldo, ME, married 04 Feb 1773 in Kittery, York, ME to Mary Fernald, [born 20 Jun 1753 in Kittery, York, ME to James Fernald and Mary Fernald], died between 1817-1820 in Searsport, Waldo, ME. Their children, all born in Kittery, York, ME are:

Jane Field, born 03 Mar 1773       
James Fernald Field, born 15 Jul 1775
Stephen Field, born 19 Jul 1777              
Mark Field, born 25 Jul 1781                     
Daniel Field, born Jun 1782
Susannah Field, born19 Oct 1786
Robert Field, born 11 Sep 1787

Two key observations are important to the analysis:

·       The first child of Daniel Field and Mary Fernald was born only one month after they got married. Must have been a quick marriage to protect the honor of the eight-month pregnant bride!
·       It seems unusually striking that that the first-born male was named JAMES FERNALD FIELD. He certainly must have been a namesake. Interestingly, there is NO person named James in the Daniel Field ancestry, thus the name ”James” must have come from the Fernald side.

The Fernald family in the Kittery area in the 1700s was quite extensive, making the problem of identifying the correct parents of Mary Fernald, wife of Daniel Field, a difficult undertaking. It is assumed that our Mary Fernald was born in, or is otherwise from, Kittery, York, ME. Over a dozen candidates for our Mary Fernald have been identified from the historical records (wills, deeds, taxes and online resources) and two very important published references 1) Old Kittery and Her Families, published 1903, author Everett S. Stackpole and 2) Old Eliot, published 1901-2, author J. L. M. Willis. Both are available online through Google Books at http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search.

As each candidate was examined for a fit, the biggest problem was to precisely prove that a given Mary Fernald with known birth record was the exact Mary Fernald who was identified by an exact marriage record, rather than another Mary Fernald of similar age. Thus this analysis has treated entries found in both Stackpole and Old Eliot by Willis as a strong “suggestions” which ideally should be backed up by a primary reference. This approach forces a re-examination of the conventionally accepted family associations. It will be shown, both Stackpole and Old Eliot by Willis did not always get it right.

One such case is the Mary Fernald born 20 June 1753 to James Fernald and Mary Fernald. Conventionally accepted wisdom state that she was the one married to John Rogers 19 Nov 1776 in Kittery. Unfortunately this linkage has been published in many online genealogies and is often taken as gospel truth. I have found no primary records supporting this conclusion. Apparently, the original source of this information is based on the Old Kittery and her Families by Stackpole. What has been missed by more recent researchers is that Stackpole contradicts himself in the same publication! Here are the two relevant entries:

·       Stackpole page 383: James Fernald married 7 April 1748, Mary, dau. of Tobias and Mary (Mendum) Fernald. He died 17 March 1757. He was a farmer. Children: James b. 16 Feb 1748-9, m. Mary Stacy 30 Nov. 1769; Mark b. 6 May 1751, m. Dorcas _____, (2) Mary Shapleigh; Mary b. 20 June 1753, m. John Rogers 19 Nov. 1776; Benjamin b. 17 Jan 1756, m. Lucy Cottle, (2) Mary Mellen.

·       Stackpole page 704: John Rogers married, 19 Nov 1776, Mary, dau of James Fernald. She died 2 Nov 1815, age 73. He died 18 Apr 1807, aged 72. One son is recorded: John b. 21 Aug 1777, m. (1) 1799 Sally Paul of York, (2) ______ Parker. He d. 29 Sept. 1846, aged 69 s.p. Was town clerk 28 years.

It would seem that no Fernald researcher from page 383 has ever gotten to page 704 in the same book! If Mary Fernald were age 73 when she died, then she would have been born between 2 Nov 1741 and 2 Nov 1742. Thus, this Mary Fernald could not possibly be the Mary born in 1753 to James Fernald and Mary Fernald. Rather, this analysis will later show that the marriage to John Rogers should more appropriately be linked to Mary Fernald born 29 Oct 1742 to Hercules Fernald and Mary Tucker. Also note, page 704 of Stackpole, minus the reference to Mary’s assumed parents, is collaborated by Willis in Old Eliot Vol. V January 1902 page 179 as follows:

·       Willis page 179: John Rogers married Mary Fernald, Nov 19, 1776; she died Nov 2, 1815 aged 73 years; he died April 18, 1807, aged 72 years. Their son – John, born August 21, 1777; m. (1) Sally Paul, of York, 1799; (2) _____ Parker. He died Sept. 30, 1846. No children.

Therefore, this leaves Mary Fernald b. 20 June 1753 as officially unattached. Could she be the Mary Fernald who married Daniel Field? Yes! As will be shown later in this analysis, ALL other candidate Mary Fernalds have been examined and eliminated in turn, except for one, the Mary Fernald born 20 June 1753 to James Fernald and Mary Fernald. Stated for emphasis, no other Mary Fernald can be the wife of Daniel Field!

Here is more on the James Fernald and Mary Fernald family:

James Fernald, son of Deacon James Fernald was born 24 May 1728 and was married 7 Apr 1748 to Mary Fernald, daughter of Tobias Fernald and Mary Mendum. As stated above, his children were James, Mark, Mary and Benjamin. Thus, JAMES FERNALD Field, 1st son of this Mary Fernald and Daniel Field, was indeed a namesake, having been named after his uncle, his grandfather, and great-grandfather.

According to the custom at the time, Mary would have been considered an adult at age 20 (see James Fernald will). However, at time of her marriage to Daniel Field, this Mary Fernald’s age would have been 19 years, 7 months, and 15 days. This young age is consistent with a quick marriage.

James Fernald died 17 March 1757 and his will is online at http://www.mainegenealogy.net/maine_wills.asp.

·       Dated 01 Feb 1754, Probated 25 April 1757. Inventory returned 8 June 1757, at £1006: 18: 9, by Zachariah Nock, Nathaniel Remick and Benja Fernald, appraisers.

·       Item I give & bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Mary Fernald fourteen pounds in lawful Money to be paid out of my Estate Seven pounds whereof to be paid by my Son James Fernald & the other Seven pounds to be paid by my Son Mark Fernald, Both payments to be made when She Shall arrive to ye Age of twenty Years.

·       Wife Mary is named as executor. Sons James, Mark and Benjamin are also named numerous times.

More research on this family should prove productive. Apparently, the widow Mary Fernald died 25 May 1761. Did she leave a will or is the resolution of the estate recorded in the land records? In 1761, the children James (b. 1749), Mark (b. 1751), Mary (b. 1753) and Benjamin (b. 1756) become orphans. I have briefly seen, but not yet examined the court papers discussing their guardianship. These are filed in the probate Court for York County in Alfred. What happened to the estate? How and when did Mary get her fourteen pounds? Did she get this money when she got married or a few months later when she turned 20. In any event, she would have been Mrs. Daniel Field, aka Mary Field at the time. Also, a detailed examination should be made of the tax records for Kittery, available at the Maine Historical Society.

Methodology:

When searching the historical record for candidate Mary Fernalds, the following criteria was established.

1)       Mary Fernald could be a near relative of a James Fernald, such as a father, grandfather or uncle. That is, her son James Fernald Field was most likely a namesake. Several possibilities were found and examined.

2)       Mary Fernald could be a widow Fernald. Several possibilities were found. All male Fernalds who married a Mary were examined.

3)       Mary Fernald could be the daughter of a Fernald. Following the example of a similar analysis posted on RootsWeb.com at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/FIELDS/1999-02/0919085464, all the Mary Fernald daughters of Kittery are examined for a possible connection to Daniel Field. An age criteria was established. Mary Fernald should be at least 16 at the time of her marriage (i.e born before Feb 1757) and no older than 30 (i.e born after Jan 1743). These criteria make Mary the approximate age of Daniel Field. There are 8 Mary Fernalds that meet (or nearly meet) this criteria, including Mary Fernald, daughter of Joseph, Thomas, Tobias, James, John, Nathaniel, Hercules and Abraham. Each is examined in more detail in later sections.

One additional criteria is that, to be eligible, the Mary Fernald’s family must have been living in Kittery Jan 1768 or later, i.e. within 5 years of when Daniel Field married Mary Fernald, otherwise, how could they have met and courted?

The following candidate Mary Fernalds as DAUGHTERS have been examined and eliminated. See Stackpole for more details on each of these families.

1. Mary, daughter of Hercules Fernald? No. Archaleus, Harkeas, etc. Hercules b. 1713, married Mary Tucker 18 March 1735-6. Daughter Mary born 29 Oct 1742. Stackpole page 381 has no marriage. Furthermore, in 04 Feb 1773, she was 30 years, 10 months, and 6 days, i.e. older than our 30 year old criteria. Eliminate her on that basis. As discussed above, this author believes that this Mary Fernald, who would be age 73 on 02 Nov 1815, is the one who married John Rogers Nov 19, 1776.

2. Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Fernald? No. Nathaniel b. 1707, married Mary Weeks 10 Oct 1734, he died after 1760, probably 1764. Daughter Mary born 22 August 1741. Stackpole page 384 has no marriage for this Mary. There is no evidence that this Mary Fernald married, or for that matter, survived to adulthood. Furthermore, in 04 Feb 1773, she would have been 31 years, 5 months and 13 days, too old to meet our 30 year old criteria. Eliminated on that basis. Note that Willis in Old Eliot says this Mary married Thomas Jackson 27 Jul 1780. This is INCORRECT. See posting of Bible records from Rootsweb at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/FERNALD/2000-07/0963690848. It describes a Tobias born 7 Nov 1736, to Nathaniel Fernald and Mary Weeks, who married 27 Nov 1760 to Mary Hammett. They had probably 3 children. Tobias died 1767 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY. Mary returned to Kittery and married a Mr. Jackson.

3. Mary, daughter of Thomas Fernald? No. Thomas Fernald was born 1716, he died about 1768. He married 1st Mary Scriggins 1738, 2nd, Sarah Fernald 1744, 3rd Grace Remick 1755, and 4th Eunice Lewis 1755. He died about 1768? Daughter Mary Fernald was born 1746. Stackpole page 383 says Mary was married 30 Aug 1770 to George Rogers and had two children. Stackpole, page 706, says they lived in Berwick, one child was Molly. No primary reference has been found linking this particular birth record to this particular marriage, however it will be assumed correct based on subsequent family records. The 1790 census has a George Rogers in Berwick. Ancestry.com has the 30 Aug 1770 marriage to George Rogers in Newington, Rockingham, NH.

4. Mary, daughter of John Fernald? No. John Fernald born 1718, m. Margaret Fernald 1739, he died 1790. Daughter Mary born 10 Apr 1754 and died 30 June 1845. Stackpole page 381 says Mary married 16 Nov 1783 to William Pierce of Newcastle. No primary reference has been found linking this particular birth record to this particular marriage, however it will be assumed correct based on subsequent family records. There is a 1790 Census for Wm Pierce in Berwick, York, ME, and an 1800 Census for William Pierce in Newcastle, Rockingham, NH.

5. Mary, daughter of Abraham Fernald? No. Abraham born 1719, married Mary Trickey at Newington, NH, lived in Eliot, died likely in New Hampshire. Daughter Mary baptized 21 May 1757. Stackpole page 384 says she married ____Spokesfield (likey John Spokesfield). I expect that a will for Abraham exists in New Hampshire which confirms this marriage. This Mary can be eliminated because 1) Abraham had moved to Nottingham, NH by 1767, thus breaking the proximity rule, 2) Mary breaks the age rule because she was only 15 years, 5 months 14 days at the time of Daniel Field’s marriage and 3) she is purported to have married John Spokesfield.

6. Mary, daughter of Joseph Fernald? No. Joseph Fernald b. 1719, married 1742 Anna Moore of York. Will dated 5 Apr 1792. Daughter Mary was born 16 May 1746, and died 22 May 1802. Stackpole page 385 says she married 09 Aug 1770 to Benjamin Gunnison. This marriage has been confirmed from the will (Volume 16, Page 202, York County) of Joseph, thus may she may be eliminated.

7.       Mary, daughter of Tobias Fernald? No. Tobias born 1723 died 4 Mar 1777. Parents Nathaniel Fernald and Margaret Tripp. Tobias is named in will of Nathaniel 12-164 (1768-1775). Married Lucy Lewis 19 May 1748. He was a farmer living near Spruce Creek. Their daughter Mary was born 03 May 1751. Stackpole page 386 has Mary married 26 Nov 1772 to John Fernald (born 20 Feb 1750 to John and Margaret). They had many children after 1774 and can thus be eliminated. No primary reference has been found linking this particular birth record to this particular marriage, however it will be assumed correct based on subsequent family records.

The following candidate Male Fernalds as possible NAMESAKES to James Fernald Field have been examined and eliminated. See Stackpole for more details on each of these families.

8. Deacon James Fernald (about 1675-1740) as a namesake? Yes. See Stackpole page 378. He and his wife Mary had 7 daughters, none named Mary, and only one son James. James (1729-1757) married Mary Fernald had a daughter Mary. As has been shown, this Mary is the Mary who married Daniel Field, thus Deacon James Fernald is a namesake great-grandfather to James Fernald Field.

9. James Fernald (1748/9-1823) as namesake? Yes. Born 16 Feb 1749, son of James Fernald and Mary Fernald, married Mary Stacy 30 Nov 1769, had many children, moved to Wolfboro, NH and died 1823. See Stackpole pages 383 and 390. Served in the Revolutionary War. Thought to be a namesake as an uncle to James Fernald Field.

10. James Fernald (1704- 1754/69) as a namesake? No. See Stackpole page 378. Son of Deacon John, brother to Deacon James, married Hannah Rogers 1730. He died between 1754 and May 1769. He had 2 daughters, none Mary. Had sons John, Samuel, James (see next entry), Joseph and Benjamin. None had a daughter Mary.

The following candidate Mary’s as possible FERNALD WIDOWS have been examined and eliminated. See Stackpole for more details on each of these families.

11. Widow of James Fernald (1744-1762/3)? No. Son of James Fernald and Hannah Rogers, born Sept 20, 1744 and died 1762/3. See Stackpole page 382. Married Abigail Wentworth 1762, no known children. She remarried (2) Charles Peoples and (3) Clement Jordan. She can therefore be eliminated as a Widow Fernald possibility

12. Mary Lewis, widow of Joseph Fernald (1738-1759)? No. See Stackpole page 382. Joseph Fernald born 25 May 1738 and married Mary Lewis 6 Oct 1759. Joseph died after 1763 in Elsworth, Hancock, ME. Fails the proximity test.

13. Mary Hammatt, widow of Tobias Fernald (1736-1767)? No. See Stackpole page 384. Tobias born 7 Nov 1736 to Nathaniel Fernald and Mary Weeks. Married 27 Nov 1760 to Mary Hammett. They had probably 3 children. Tobias died 1767 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY. Mary returned to Kittery and married a Mr. Jackson. See posting on Rootsweb at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/FERNALD/2000-07/0963690848

14. Mary Staples, as possible widow to William Fernald (1732-??)? No. See Stackpole pages 383 and 391. William Staples married 1st Abigail Tobey 19 Apr 1752 and second Mary Staples 10 Dec 1761. William and Mary had several children after 1773 and can thus be eliminated.

15.       Mary Gunnison, as possible widow of married to Nathaniel Fernald (1740- ??)? No. See Stackpole pages 392-3. Married 5 May 1763, lived in Berwick and Saco. They had many children after 1773 and can thus be eliminated.

To summarize, ALL candidate Mary Fernalds (daughters, widows, and namesakes, etc.) have been identified, examined and eliminated in turn, except for one, the Mary Fernald born 20 June 1753 to James Fernald and Mary Fernald. By elimination, only this Mary Fernald can be the Mary Fernald who married Daniel Field on 04 Feb 1773 in Kittery, York, ME. Information is posted here in the hope that readers may find something or someone that I have overlooked. I invite corrections, opinions and feedback to this analysis. Any additional details regarding the family of James Fernald and Mary Fernald, and their daughter Mary Fernald born 20 June 1753 would be most welcome.


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