The Cemetary inscriptions, deeds, probate, chancery records, orphan accounts, etc. are all good places to start, especially since wills seem scrarce with this bunch. Any records from that area of Maine plus any reocrds from the Litchfield-Amherst area of NH might also turn up something.
Most families of that time period seemed to use the same names over and over, generation after generation, so they are difficult to distinguish between in the records. Sometimes the documents try to provide some explantion as to "which John" or whoever, but more often it seems they let us guess.
I agree that Gershom Harvell in Somerset is almost certainly a grandson of John Harvell and his wife Esther (being named after Esther's father, Gershom Proctor). As to whether he was the son of John or James or one of the other brothers (but I don't think the records show they had a son by that name... at least so far). I think the estate settlement papers of James Harwell of Plymouth,NH (John's brother) certainly deserve closer scutiny (if they still exist). I think the inference was (at least) that they mentioned (a) Gershom as his son and that he was in Somerset. But it would be pertinent to actually see if they actually named him as "son"; otherwise it's possible that some of his "nephews" were involved with the settlement of his estate. Sometimes when you view the actual document you find it's slighly different (in a very important way) than the person who reported it (often just an abstract). Just based on what has been reported to us, if it's correct (James's son and in Somerset) he would almost certainly have to be the guy on the 1810 census and the one who married Mercy in 1807. Perhaps some more info on James and his family can be found in the area of Plymouth, NH, since we have very little on his children (except possibly Gershom).
The case with Joseph (in Somerset) not being John's son, is much more clear since records clearly show Joseph, son of John, on John's farm (on Chestnut Hill) in Amherst and living his life there. I think we can say we have at least two differnt families in Someset (probably 1st cousins and maybe some uncle-nephew situations and they all likely connect back to John Harwell and Esther Proctor.
Thanks for the great info on "Capt." John Harvell and his religous leanings while he was up in Maine. Obviously he was an interesting character! Was that at the same time (1802) as when he got the petition together. Is it a sure thing that "Capt. John" was the John who married Rebekah Parham and not his son (or another John? His son would be old enough (38 if his given date of birth is correct) to have had some military service (but not likely in the Rev. War). If it was the father, as you stated, he probably came up in the "first wave" but for whatever reason returned to NH.
It may be his son John who shows up on the 1820 Somerset Census but it's a strange looking household - 2 males 26-45, 1 female 26-45, and one female 45+; could be 2 brothers, one wife (or sister) and a mother of somebody or simply a case of the male being almost 45 and his wife being slightly older. According to John's birth record, he would be 56 and that doesn't fit the criteria (25-46) but they may have entered his age in the wrong column. I don't think the John in 1830 (in Washington County, ME) is the same guy: he is over 60, and the oldest female is in her 40's, with 3 other males (under 10, 20's, 30's) and 4 other females (two under 10, teen, 20's)... that is if I read Michael's census notes correctly. John would be about 66 in 1830,so age-wise he fits. Definitely will take some work to sort that out!
It's neat that you live right up there where all that "Harvell history" occured. Do you descend from the Harvells? Does Tom have a connection to Mercy Martin?
Good luck with the search!
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