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Attention genealogists,
this one's for you!

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By Charles W. Brewster

Editors Note: C.W. Brewster was a Portsmouth columnist in the mid-1800's. This article includes his opinions and may not reflect current research or current values.

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Tythingmen of Portsmouth--Names of Inhabitants in 1678 -- Designation of Neighborhoods.

A VIEW of the municipal police, of the names of the inhabitants, and the neighborhoods in which they were located in 1678, cannot be better presented than in the appointment of Tythingmen, in that year, whose duty it was to look after the good morals of their neighbors. It appears that special Tythingmen had the charge of every individual or family, excepting that of the minister--who probably was a sort of supervisor of the Tythingmen.

At a town meeting held on the 22d of March, 1678, it was voted "that the selectmen at the next meeting appoint some honest men to inspect their neighbors, as the law directs, for preventing drunkenness and disorder."

On the third of June, 1678, it was voted by the selectmen--"In pursuance of an additional law of the General Court, made on the 23d of May, 1677, touching the prevention of the profanation of the Lord's day, enjoyning the selectmen to appoint Tythingmen to inspect ten or twelve of their neighbors' families, the selectmen do nominate and appoynt the persons here undernamed to perform that service:

Names of Inhabitants

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Mr. Wallis, for famylies of
Mr. Hen. Sherburne, James Rendle, Jno. Odiorne, Tho. Seavey, Mr. Tucker, Wm. Seavey, Robert Purrington, Sergt. Moses, Fardi Hoof, Tho. Creler, Joseph Walker, Hugh Leare, Robt. Lange, Goodm. Lucomb, Edw. Bickford, And. Sampson, John Bowman, Sa. Harris, Ric. Shortridge, Mark Hunking, Goodm. Goss
Jno. Light, for
Wm. Cotten, Leo. Drowne, Wm. Richards, Mr. Comins, Ano. Ellens, Sam'l Whidden, Neh. Partridge, Jno. Preston, Sam. Rawlins, Hen. Herke, Peter Glanfield
James Leech, for
Wido. Johnson, Jno. Lock, Geo. Walton, Sen'r, Jno. Menseene, Sam. Robey, Wid. Joanes, Jno. Clarke, Math. Estes, Geo. Harris, Arth. Head, Mr. Jordan, Wm. Haskins
Sergt. Brewster, for
Tob. Leare, Sergt. Sloper, Xtoph'r Noble, Jno. Peverly, Jno. Westbrooke, Jno. Hoomes, Jno. Sherburne, Hen. Savage, Wm. Brooking
Jno. Dennett, for
Wm. Earle, Jno. Cotten, Wm. Rackley, Sam. Clarke, Math. Nelson, Geo. Hunt, Jno. Place, Jno. Dennett, Rich. Jackson, Wm. Ham
John Lewis, for
James Paine, Jos. Messeet, Aron Ferris, Steven Webster, Tho. Joanes, Tho. Westcote, Sen'r Mrs. Taprell, Wid. West, Geo. Walton, Jun'r, Jno. Abbott, Rich'd Palmer, Wm. Row, Ed. Rendle.
Docter Fletcher, for
Mr. Jno. Cutt, Sen'r, Mrs. El. Cutt, Lt. Vaughan, Mrs. Cowell, Mr. Tho. Harvey, Jno. Cutt, Jun'r, Jno. Tucker, Mr. Martin, Mr. Shipway, Clem't Merserve
Tho. Jackson, for
John Jackson, Peter Ball, Rich. Dore, Nath'l White, Rich. Manson, Dan Duggin, Wm. Walker, Jam. Jones, Jno. Whidden, Jno. Banfield, Tho. Stevens, Jno. Picker, Ant. Row, Wid. Cate
Robert Eliot,for
Rich. Rogers, John Kettle, James Robeason, Henry Russell, Edw. Beale, Fran. Tucker, Wm. Lux, Edw. Cranch, Silo. Herbert, Hump Spencer, Mr. Nath. Fryer
Phineas Ryder, for
Waymon Bickton, Tho. Parker, Dorm. Oshaw, Jno Turbet
George Bramhall, for
Mr. Ladbrooke, John Pickerin, Rich. Webber, John Partridge, Rich. Waterhouse and rest of famylies on the island.
Sam'l Kaise, for
Mr. Monday, Capt. Daniel, Jno. Seaward, Mr. Mercer and rest yr., Ben. Hull, Caleb Beck, Jno. Hunking, Mrs. Joce.
Phineas Ryder, for
Geo. Jaffrey, Mr. Rich. Stileman, Rich. Abbett, Steven of Graffum, Tho. Paine, Wm. Lucas, Capt. Elias Stileman

Lt. Neale, for all the famylies at Greenland.
Ens. Drake, for all the famylies at Sandy Beach.

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Greenland & Sandy Beach

In the Constables' rates made in Dec. 1688, we find the following names given as the residents of Sandy-Beach and Greenland. Some of these are known to have been residents at and in the vicinity of Portsmouth Plains; it is therefore evident that Greenland, in that document, includes the western part of Portsmouth, Greenland and Newington. Sandy Beach was then the name of Rye.

Phillip Lewes
Mr. Packer
James Gerrish
Edward Fox
Nathaniel Drack
Thomas Beck
Christopher Kempstone
William Berry
Georg Walker
William Davis
John Berry
Tobias Langdon
Abraham Lewes
John Mardin
Richard Sloper
Charles Alling
John Foss, Sen'r
John Peverly
Richard Andrews
John Foss, Jun'r
Thomas Edmonds
Thomas Avery
Thomas Pickrin
John Brewster, Sen'r
Robert Bryan
William Keat
John Brewster, Jun'r
John Johnson, Jun'r
John Hill, Jun'r
John Sherburn, Sen'r
Robert Hinkson
John Odihorne
John Sherburn, Jun'r
Joseph Berry
Anthony Bracket
John Westbrook, Sen'r
Jothan Lewes
John Bracket
John Westbrook, Jun'r
Samuel Nele
Frances Ran
John Vrine
Leonard Weeks
Thomas Ran
Robert Pudington
Walter Nele
Thomas Bearnce
Thomas Pudington
John Johnson
Sen'r William Wallis
James Berry
Samuel Haines
James Allard
Samuel Ran
Mathias Haines
James Randel
John Seavie
Samuel Whiden
William Seavie
Anthony Libbe
Sadwick Fowler
Thomas Seavie
Henry Sherburne
Clem Misharvie
John Sherburn, seaman
John Sloper, Jun'r
Justinion Richards
Peter Harvie
Nicholas Hodg.

Any one acquainted with the family owners of the farms on the road from Rye Beach to Great Bay, may see for a considerable distance, almost in the order of their names, the places where the sons are now occupying the lands held by their fathers more than one hundred and seventy years ago.

Text scanned courtesy of The Brewster Family Network
Copy of Rambles courtesy Peter E. Randall
History Hypertext project by
Design © 1999

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