My Family Stories
16 Mar 2021 – John, Yours, and Auntie Beth’s request is serving a dual purpose. I often have said that I needed to write down stories and facts told to me over the years about my family. ‘Unfortunately, the vast majority of the family history told to me while growing up centered around my paternal grandmother’s family. Luckily, folks like you, Auntie Beth, and Ralph Gamache have undertaken the task of compiling family history before it is lost.
Perhaps I took it for granted, knowing a very detailed book existed for the Moulton side of my family (see page 3), and I didn’t put much thought into the other branches of my family. I would hope eventually, somewhere down the road, this exercise will motivate me to start looking into my paternal grandfathers’ family as not a lot is known to me other than Kashmer is not our real name. The name was shortened roughly around 1900 because people couldn’t pronounce or spell it [Kazmierchak]. At least, that is what when I was growing up, everyone told me.
I have chosen two stories to include, which probably stick out the most in my mind to share. One account is about a descendant who was a great Indian [I guess we need to be politically correct now? – indigenous] fighter. The second story gives some family history of the house in which I grew up. However, our young minds probably didn’t look at it from that perspective but more so that it was a cool story to repeat to our friends in the day and age of all those creepy Stephen King novels and such, which were quite popular when we grew up.
The Great Indian Fighter
This is the first of two stories. It is about a descendant who was a great Indian [I guess we need to be politically correct now? – indigenous] fighter. – Rebecca Kashmer Davis (Eliot, Maine)
Thomas Moulton was born in Ormsby, Norfolk, England, around 1614. He first settled in Newbury, MA (1637), then Hampton, NH (1639), and finally in York, ME (1654). Thomas had seven children, one of which was Jeremiah (b. 1656). Jeremiah and his wife had six children and lived in York, ME, at the Raid on York in 1692.
The Great Indian Fighter
This is where the story told to me starts. During winter, the Abenaki Indians came in and surprise attacked the village, killing numerous settlers while taking many others captive. The Indians killed Jeremiah and his wife while their young son Jeremiah (approximately four years old) watched. Young Jeremiah was taken captive and sold to another Indian. He was returned roughly seven years later to York by his captive. Determined to destroy the tribe responsible for his parent’s death, Jeremiah enlisted in the militia. In 1724 the English sent out a force of over 200 soldiers consisting of Captain Moulton and surprised the village. Captain Moulton gave the order not to fire until the Indians fired the first shot. His men obeyed. Even so, Moulton’s men killed about half of the warriors. The chief and their women fled to the river during the fight. Captain Moulton was given the honor of achieving the victory.
Captain Moulton was brother to Joseph and second-generation descendent of Thomas of York, ME. My dad traces to Joseph Moulton, who is the 11th generation.
Sylvestor Moulton’s House
The second story gives some family history of the house in which I grew up. However, our young minds probably didn’t look at it from that perspective. We simply thought it was a cool story to repeat to our friends. This in the day and age of all those creepy Stephen King novels and such. Those were quite popular when we grew up. – Rebecca Kashmer Davis (Eliot, Maine)
Sylvester Moulton was a 7th generation descendant of Thomas Moulton. He was born in 1819 and married Mercy Hammond. Sylvester and Mercy built an 8-room home in 1843-1844. Sylvester and Mercy had seven children while making a living farming the land. Mercy died in 1887, and then Sylvester died in 1899 of a heart attack. A public viewing of his coffin took place inside the home. This was a common way for the community to pay their respects.
Sylvester’s Home Became Mine
Sylvester’s home is the same house in which I grew up. It is located on Goodwin Road in Eliot (minus the addition circa ~ 1905). My dad seems to think that the room used for the public viewing might have been considered today’s version of a mudroom. In 1905, Sylvester left the house to his youngest son, Everett, and his wife Mary Forbes. They raised the house and added a bottom story. The room where Sylvester’s coffin was publicly displayed became the main bathroom on the second floor of the house.
Sylvester is buried in the Hammond Moulton Family Cemetery just up the road from the farm. In the early 1900s, a great iron fence surrounding the cemetery was erected. During the 2010s, metal, copper, and iron scrapping became very popular for people to make a quick (dishonest) buck. Dreadfully, the fence fell victim and vanished late into the night by folks who had no care for the heinous crime they were committing.
As I stated before, writing this for you was a great exercise. It has uncovered quite a few tidbits of information. There are things I would never have known about the family farm I grew up in. It makes me want to do some more reading and exploring. Here is the original book I have in my possession that is invaluable to researching family history. What was even more exciting was to find a deed on the inside cover dated back to 1733! After talking for a second time in length to my dad this past weekend, I also found out his great aunt (my great-grandmother’s sister) was an avid family historian. In 1980, she wrote a 102-page ‘book’ filling in more blanks about the family, including family folklore that was not part of the original book. It included trivia-type items such as the white rose bush that I have always known in the front yard of our driveway is a descendant of the original rose bush planted back in the 1840s that originated from Nova Scotia! I also learned random stuff like my great mother’s father and his father were short in stature with dark black hair and blue eyes! Isn’t it amazing how the black hair got ‘bred’ out of us???!!!