William Grimshaw’s New Hampshire
Life After the Revolutionary War
(Note: Webpage in preparation)
William Grimshaw fought in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the Colonials. The records of his service in Hazens Regiment are described on a companion webpage; the latest is dated 1783. After the war, William settled in New Hampshire, where he apparently had a family and remained for more than 20 years. During that time at least 20 direct (and 2 indirect) records of his presence were created, including land transactions, census tallies, road petitions, inventory and tax, and other records. The records discovered so far are presented on a companion webpage and cover William’s life in New Hampshire from about 1789 to around 1811.
Thanks go to Curtis Williams for visiting Bath on behalf of the author, taking several photos, and making a rubbing of William Grimshaw’s name on the plaque in the Bath Town square.
Many other (probable) descendants of William Grimshaw have also been involved in the research effort and have provided additional information. In particular, Barbara Bonner and Calvin Lamb deserve special mention for their work in “ferreting out” the family history of William and his descendants.
The last Revolutionary War record for William is that of his discharge from Hazens Regiment in June, 1783. The next known record for William is in January 1788, almost five years later, when he is recorded in land transaction and other records in Lyman Town, New Hampshire. Nearly all of the subsequent records of Williams life are from New Hampshire, where he apparently settled and lived from 1789 until at least 1811.
The fact that William served as a fifer in the War may indicate that he was quite young (say, age 16 to 18) when he served from January 1782 to June 1783. If so, he would have been born about 1765, and thus was about age 22 when his presence in New Hampshire was first recorded in 1789. If he left the state in 1813, he would have then been about 48 years old.
During his more than years in New Hampshire, William lived with his family in the Town of Bath and the surrounding Towns of Lyman (to the north), Coventry-Benton (southeast), and Haverhill (south). This area is in western New Hampshire, near the Connecticut River. As noted, the records demonstrating his presence there include land purchases and sales, censuses, and miscellaneous Town records, such as inventory and tax records.
No direct records of Williams life after 1811 have apparently yet been found, although it is believed that he may have left New Hampshire and gone to Vermont, New York and Quebec.
The community of Bath, in Grafton County, New Hampshire, erected a monument in 1929 to honor its citizens who had given military service in wars up to that time. William Grimshaws name is included on a plaque for those who served in the Revolutionary War (see Figures 4, 5 and 6 below). Deep appreciation is expressed to Bill OHalloran for providing these photos.
Figure 4 (below). Front view of monument in Bath, NH. Dates 1769 1929. The inscription on the main plaque reads, “In honor of the men who enlisted from Bath in the Wars of our country. Erected by the town.”
Figure 5 (below). Rear view of monument in Bath, NH. The plaque for Revolutionary War veterans is on the left side of the monument.
Figure 6 (below). Close-up of plaque showing William Grimshaws service in the Revolutionary War.
Curtis Williams visited Bath on behalf of the website author in late 2004 and made rubbings of William Grimshaw’s name on the monument, which are shown below. Curtis also took several photos of the monument and of Bath in the area around the monument. These photos are shown below the images of the rubbings.
Similarity of Elizabeth Lepninah’s surname (it was apparently a clerical error, as there are no other “Lepninah’s” to be found anywere) to Zephaniah’s first name (observation of Barbara Bonner). But it doesn’t appear to “work”:
Welsh Naming Patterns The Welsh used an ancient Patronymic naming system whereby the children of a marriage took their fathers forename as their surname. Women rarely took on their husband’s family names, rather retaining their maiden names. This makes family history complex, but there was a commonly used naming standard in place that combined the use of christian names with patronymic surnames.
full name of paternal grandfather
full name of paternal grandmother
full name of maternal grandfather
full name of maternal grandmother
full name of father
full name of mother
Using this model makes it relatively easy to deduce the name of grandchildren from grandparents and vice versa. An example of this in practise would be Catherine Hughes (daughter of Hugh Hughes and Susan Thomas) married Richard William (son of William Prichard and Sarah Evans) the name of their children in order would be William Prichard, Hugh Hughes, Richard William, Sarah Evans, Susan Thomas and Catherine Hughes
The number of records of William Grimshaw and his family in New Hampshire is remarkably extensive – consisting of between 20 and 25 distinct records of different types. They chronicle William’s initial settlement in Lyman Town and subsequent migrations to Bath, Coventry (later renamed Benton), and Haverhill Towns. Images of the records are posted on a companionwebpage; the records are summarized as follows along with the their dates and the location and associated period:
Lyman Town, 1789-1792
Land Purchase in Lyman Town , 1789
Road Petition in Lyman Town , 1789
Census Record in Lyman Town , 1790
Bounty Land Warrant, 1790
William Grimshaw Voted as “Tithing Man,” 1791
School District Established, Lyman Town , 1791
Sale in Lyman Town , 1792
William Grimshaw Voted as “Saxon” and Takes Oath of Office, 1792
Bath Town, 1792-1796
Inventory and Tax Records, Bath Town , 1794 to 1796
Coventry ( Benton ) Town, 1800
Census Record in Coventry ( Benton ) Town, 1800
Haverhill Town, 1800-1811
Published Marriage Intention of William Blair and Betsey Grimshaw, 1800
Inventory Record, Haverhill Town , 1801
Highway Tax Record, Haverhill Town , 1801
County, Minister, School and Town Tax, Haverhill Town , 1801
Highway Tax Record, Haverhill Town , 1802
Town, County, School and Minister Tax, Haverhill Town , 1802
Promissory Note, Samuel Chase to William Grimshaw, and Subsequent Judgment, August 1802
Land Purchase in Haverhill Town , 1803
Petition to be Excused from Support of Minister John Smith, 1805
Sale in Haverhill Town , 1806
Census Record in Haverhill, 1810
Zephaniah Grimshaw and Jerusha Hunter Marriage Record, Haverhill Town , 1811
These records provide the basis for a rather detailed reconstruction of William’s movements, and the growth of his family, during the more than 20 years that he lived in New Hampshire. Sometime after his discharge from Hazen’s Regiment in June 1783, he apparently moved to Lyman Town (location shown in Figure 3, above) and bought 50 acres of land from Asa Parker (for 20 pounds) in the “original right” of Samuel Wilmot in early 1789. Three road petition records, from January to June 1789, reference roads that “strike” William’s land; in two of these records, William is one of the petitioners.
The first U.S. Census, in 1790, found William living in Lyman Town with his wife and two children, a daughter and a son under the age of 16. On November 10, 1790 William received Bounty Land Warrant No. 13129 for 100 acres in return for his Revolutionary War service. Then on March 15, 1791 William was voted as “tithing man” during a Lyman Town meeting. On November 10, 1791 a school district was set up during another similar meeting that extended “as far as Wiam (sic) Grimshaw.” In January 1792 William sold the 50 acres in Lyman Town for 50 pounds, 2-1/2 times the amount he had paid for it two years earlier. The record of the land sale indicates that William was a cordwainer; i.e., a shoemaker. On March 13, 1792, William was voted as a “Saxon” during a Lyman Town meeting, and he took the oath of office on the same date.
Sometime later in 1792, or early 1793, William and his family apparently moved to Bath Town, just to the south of Lyman (see Figure 3), for a few years. Williams presence in Bath is indicated by property inventory and tax records for 1793, 1794, 1795 and 1796. His property included a poll (himself?), a cow, 1 or 2 horses and 50 acres of “wild land” (apparently different land than the 50 acres he sold in Lyman Town in 1792.) For this property he was assessed school, county, state, bridge, highway, and wheat taxes.
By 1800 William had moved to Coventry Town (renamed Benton Town in 1840) to the southeast of Bath Town (see Figure 3.) The second U.S. census of that year found him with his family, consisting of his wife, the son and daughter recorded in 1790 (now between 10 and 16 years of age,) and three additional sons, all under 10 years of age.
Sometime after the 1800 census, William and his family apparently moved to Haverhill Town, to the west of Coventry Town and the south of Bath Town (see Figure 3). In October 1800 Betsey Grimshaw and William Blair, both of Haverhill, were published for marriage according to Town records. Assuming that Betsey was William’s daughter (undoubtedly the oldest daughter, recorded in the 1790 and 1800 censuses), the family likely moved from Coventry to Haverhill Town sometime in 1800 after the census was taken. Betsey could not have been more than 16 years old at the time of her betrothal, as she was shown as less than 16 in the 1800 census.
An inventory record and four tax records document Williams presence in Haverhill Town in 1801 and 1802. Then in December 1803, William bought 15 acres of land in Haverhill Town, from George Twiner. This land purchase again showed William as a cordwainer (shoemaker.) On March 15, 1805 William and 15 others gave notice in the Haverhill Town meeting records that they should not be taxed for the salary of the Town minister, John Smith, because they were not of his denomination and did not attend his ministry or services. George Twiner, from whom William had bought land 15 months earlier, was one of the co-signers of the 1805 petition.In February 1806, William sold his 15-acre parcel in Haverhill to Caleb Morse for the same amount that he paid for it ($150) a little over two years earlier. Once again, William is shown in the land sale record as a cordwainer. Despite this land sale, William and his family are found in the third (1810) census still living in Haverhill. (Bill OHalloran has pointed out a land record, not yet obtained from the Lyman Town Clerks Office, but known to be dated September 1802, may indicate that William owned two parcels of land in Haverhill. This could explain why he was still living there after selling the 15 acres to Caleb Morse.)
According to the 1810 census, the family consisted of William (now over 45), his wife (still under 45,) one son between age 10 and 16, and four new daughters (since the 1800 census.) The total number of William’s children, according to the censuses of 1790, 1800 and 1810, would then have been nine 5 girls and 4 boys. The oldest daughter and 3 of the 4 sons (2 of them still teenagers) were not “picked up” in the 1810 census. As noted, Betsey was probably the oldest daughter and would probably have been married for 10 years, and Zephaniah, the presumed oldest son (second child) was soon to be married. In fact, the last known record of William and his family in New Hampshire consisted of the announcements, on consecutive days (February 14 and 15, 1811) of the betrothal and marriage of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Jerusha Hunter. The announcements appeared in the Haverhill Town records.
Evidence from Barbara Bonner, November 9, 2008…
William Grimshaw appeared in the records of the Town of Bath4 for 1786, in which the request is made that the Town “receive a Twenty pounds bounty for procuring” William as a Continental Soldier in Hazen’s Regiment. An image of the record is shown below along with the cover page of the volume in which it appears.
William settled in Grafton County, New Hampshire near the border with Vermont. The general location of Grafton County is shown below. Figure 2 is an outline map2, showing Grafton County in the northwestern part of the state. The county seat is in North Haverhill (green dot in Figure 2).
Figure 2. Map of New Hampshire2, showing county outlines, including Grafton County. The county seat (green dot) is in North Haverhill.
The red star is on Bath. Note also Benton to the southeast of Bath and Center Haverhill to the south.
The figure below was prepared from U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps3. The maps show a closer view of the area, including Lyman, Bath, Haverhill and Benton (formerly Coventry) Towns.
Topographic map of western border of Grafton County, New Hampshire, showing the Connecticut River and the Towns of Lyman, Bath, Haverhill and Benton. Wells River, mentioned above in Figure 1, can also be seen. Prepared from two U.S. Geological 30 x 60 minute quadrangle maps3 spliced together. Click on the left thumbnail to see the upper (northern) part of the map, and on the right thumbnail to see the lower (southern) part of the map. The maps overlap around Bath Town and Wells River.
Calvin Lamb’s research indicates that William was probably with his son, Zephaniah, and family in Hinchinbrooke Township, Huntingdon County, Quebec in 1825:
The record appears as shown below; this apparently is the last record in existence for William Grimshaw, so it seems likely that he died in Quebec, perhaps not far from where he was living in when he was recruited into Hazen’s Regiment some 50 years earlier.
1825 CENSUS, CANADIAN (20JE – 20SE1825)
Zephaniah’s Family Description – 1825
SPECULATED PERSONS’ IDENTITY
Total inmates in his family
Family members absent from the Province
Jerusha Hunter, Asenath Noakes’ mother
Family members aged less than 6 years
Family members aged 6 & less than 14
Roxanna Hunter, Harriet Grimshaw
Family members aged 14 & less than 18
Married Males aged 40 but not 60
Married Males aged 60 & over
William Grimshaw, Zeph’s father
Females less than 14
Roxanna Hunter, Samatha Lucretia Grimshaw, Harriet
Single Females aged 14 but not 45
Single Females aged 45 & over
Asenath Noakes’ mother
Married Females aged 14 but not 45
Married Females aged 45 & over
Elizabeth Lepninah, Zeph’s mother
Source: Canadian Archives, Hinchinbrooke Township, Huntingdon County, Quebec, 1825 Census, Reel C-718, Page 1075, Lines 53 to 65. Researcher: C. G. Lamb, 13 MR 2000.
Also on Calvin’s webpage is the following notation on the arrival of Zephaniah Grimshaw (presumably including his father, William) in Canada in 1822;
Farmer. The 1842 census indicates that Zephaniah had been in Canada for 20 years. That would make his arrival in Canada 1822.
The area around Haverhill and Bath was frequented by Hazens Regiment during the Revolutionary War. For example, Hazens Road was built in 1779 by the Regiment from Wells River, Vermont, just across the Connecticut River from Bath Town, to Hazens Notch in the Green Mountains. (Williams service began about 2-1/2 years later, in January 1782.) The route of Hazens Road1 is shown in Figure 1. Several prominent members of the Regiment settled in the Bath and Haverhill area after the war. It therefore seems likely that Williams decision to settle in New Hampshire was in some way connected to his service in Hazens Regiment.
Figure 1. Map of northern Vermont showing the route of Hazens Road (Everest1, p. 72), built by Hazens Regiment in preparation for a second invasion of Canada, which never occurred. Evidence indicates that General George Washington used the maneuver as a feint for the British and never intended to follow through with the second invasion. Note the location of Wells River and Haverhill, which are described below on this webpage.
The following photos at the starting point of the Bayley-Hazen Road were taken visit to the area in July 2006.
1Everest, Allen, 1976, Moses Hazen and the Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution: Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press, 217 p.
2NH Map Reference
3U.S. Geological Survey, 1988, Mount Washington (east) and Montepelier (west) sheets: Reston, VA, USGS 30 x 60 Minute Quadrangles, 1:1,000,000 Scale Metric Topographic Maps
4Hammond, Isaac W., 1778, Town Papers. Documents Relating to Towns in New Hampshire. Concord, NH , P.B. Cogswell, State Printer. Reprinted 1882 with publisher again shown as P.B. Cogswell.
Webpage posted February 2001, updated March 2001, May 2002. Updated April 2005 with creation of a separate companion webpage for the New Hampshire Records. Updated December 2006 with photos of start of Bayley-Hazen Road. Updated November 2008 with addition of Bath Town Hall record for William Grimshaw’s Continental Army service. Update March 2012 with change of banner.