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Bio of RICHARD-1 TOZER (d 1675) MA>ME
Posted by: Rich Houghton Date: November 03, 2000 at 11:58:26
  of 263

This is the information I have collected on RIchard-1 Tozer of Maine, the immigrant ancestor, and four of his descendants. Each factual statement is footnoted with the source from which I acquired the material, but GenForum does not support footnotes so if you have a question about sources please e-mail me and I'll be happy to provide them to you. Of course, I also welcome corrections or additions to any of the information which I do have.

Richard Tozer, the immigrant ancestor, was born around 1620 in England, probably in Devonshire. It is presently unknown who his parents were.

Similarly, it is unknown when he came to New England. There is a somewhat persistant tradition that two Tozer brothers, William and John, came to America in the early 1600's, and later sent for their brother Richard. They

"       came to Maine; [where] they built a fort, called Fort Tozier, for the British at Kennebunkport near the mouth of the Kennebeck RIver, for which they were never paid. That is the kind of event that would be remembered and passed along from one generation to another."

This tradition is not inconsistent with other factual information. One source notes that at the time of his marriage Richard was "of Berwick," a town very near Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire (then Maine, which was all considered a part of Massachusetts), where he and his family settled around 1657. Dover is only about twenty-five miles from the Kennebeck River. Richard also clearly had an attachment to Maine, where he spent the rest of his life after his marriage.

That marriage took place in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, on 3 July 1656, to JUDITH-2 SMITH; Richard Bellingham, the Deputy Governor of the Colony, officiated. She was born around 1636, probably in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was the daughter of Thomas Smith and Margaret Clark. Judith and Richard had six children (the first born in Boston):

       i       Thomas              b. 5 May 1657              m.
       ii       Elizabeth              b. April, 1659              m. (1) Blanchant
                                                 m. (2) Richard Randall
       iii       Richard              b. 1660                     m. Elizabeth Wentworth
       iv       Simon              b.c. 1661                     m. Mary [Knapp?]
       v       Martha              b.c. 1663                     m. Nathan Lord
       vi       John              b. 1665                     m.

By 1658, Richard and his family had settled up the coast to the area of present-day Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire. They located on the west side of the village, near the mouth of the Piscataqua River separating present-day New Hampshire from Maine. He was taxed in Oyster River and Cocheco in 1659, both within the limits of Dover Township.

In 1660, he moved across the river into present-day Maine to the Salmon Falls area near Kittery. He had a sixty acre grant of land from the town at Newichawannock, above Salmon Falls, dated 16 October 1659. The land was

"       a Tract of upland Contayneing sixty Acres & adioyneing to William Pyles lott aboue the Salmon falls, & It runnes from ye River up into the woods upon a North East & by North Lyne in length, & the head bounds runs upon a North West & by West lyne, as may appear by severall Marked trees."

He had a boundary dispute with the neighbor mentioned in the deed, William Piles, in 1667, which was eventually settled on 23 April 1668.

Richard built a garrison house on his property, which was attacked by Indians in 1675 during King Phillip's War At the time of the attack, Richard was absent on a patrol in the command of Capt. John Wincoll; there were, however, fifteen women in the house:

"       The house of Richard Tozer at Salmon Falls, wherein were fifteen women and children, was attacked by two Indians, "Andrew" and "Hope-Hood," but was valiently defended by a young woman, who held fast the door till all the others escaped, and till it was hewn in pieces by the Indians, who then entering struck her down, leaving her for dead, while they followed the others to the next house, which being better fortified, the Indians did not attack. Two children were captured who were of this company, and could not keep up with the others; one of three years was killed, the other of seven was carried into captivity, but afterwards returned by them. The brave girl who defended the house revived after the Indians left her, and escaped to her friends and was restored to perfect health."

A few weeks later, on October 16, Richard, his son Thomas, and three other men were ambushed by Indians about a half-mile from the garrison house:

"       As the people gathered more and more into the garrisons, the Indians gathered into larger bodies, with the evident design to reduce these garrisons one by one, while they warily watched to cut off all stragglers who attemtped to pass from one to another. October 7th was oberved as a day of public humiliation, and on that day three men were killed near Newichewannock, and soon after a garrison was assaulted and an old man named Beard was killed just outside the house, and other houses were burnt. On October 16th a large body of Indians, said to be a hundred, gathered towards the settlement of Salmon Falls, and surprising Richard Tozer at his house half a mile from the garrison, killed him and captured his son. Lieut. Roger Plaisted, who was in command at the garrison, hearing the guns of this attack, immediately sent seven men to find out the cause, when they were ambushed, and two or three were killed, and the other barely escaped back to their garrison. "

Richard's death was reported in a letter by Lt. Plaisted to Major RIchard Welderne, who commanded the militias in the region:

"       Mr. Richard Waldern and Lieut. Coffin,

              These are to inform you, that just now the Indians are engaging us with at least one Hundred Men, and have slain four of our men already, Richard Tozer, James Barney, Isaack Bottes, and Tozer's Son and burnt Benoni Hodsen's House; Sir, if ever you have any love for us, and the Country, now shew yourself with Men to help us, or else we are all in great Danger to be slain, unless our God wonderfully appear for our Deliverence. They that cannot fight, let them pray; Nought else, but I rest, Yours to serve you."

Judith was appointed administrix of his estate on 16 July 1676. An inventory of that estate, conducted on 30 March 1683, listed the following items:

"       His wearing apparell, His house and 75 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow land, 2 cows and calves, 100 acres of land granted by the town, 2 sheep and 4 swine, 2 pillows rug 8 blankets 2 fether beds, 2 bolsters 1 sheet 1 pair curtains 2 iron pots, 1 frying pan 2 trammels trays dishes spoons, 1 payle 4 wedges 2 axes 1 adze 3 hoes."

The total value was 118. The real estate was apparently conveyed in sixths to his six children.

Judith made her will on 7 September 1664, and died sometime before 18 June 1683, when her son Richard Jr. was appointed administrator of her estate.


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