The family of STEPHEN LEAVITT, printed in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt on pages 98-99, had been found to contain a few errors many years back. The major one involved his son Samuel, listed in the book as being born in 1784 and dying on 7 Mar 1866. According to Stephen's probate, his son Samuel was still a minor in 1814, so this eliminated the one listed in his place. "Sorting out the Samuels" will be a future entry, but the following research about Stephen and Mehitable Leavitt of Gilford, New Hampshire will be shared, with a reorganization of the family.
Stephen Leavitt was probably born circa 1754 (based on his age during enlistments in Rev. War), a few years off from the 1757 year that Daniel T. Leavitt wrote on 12/17/1877 (and Emily Noyes included in her book). He died on 2 Apr 1812 [D.T.L. letter, 12/17/77] in Gilford (actually still a part of Gilmanton at that time). He was the son of Miles Leavitt, who died at Crown Point on 10 July 1756 while serving during the French & Indian War. He was married to Mehitable Eaton around 1781 (based on birth date of first born child). She died on 15 Jan 1825 [Gilford VR].
In the will of his grandfather Ephraim Leavitt, Stephen was one of four grandchildren (all children of the deceased Miles Leavitt) to receive all the land Ephraim owned in Gilmanton, to be equally divided among them. This included part of the 40-acre lot #27 in the 1st Division, which was sold on 4 Jun 1776 to Paul Bickford [Strafford County Deed, Vol. 3, pg 320]. At this time, Stephen was in Epping, a yeoman. On 5 Feb 1780 [Vol. 3, pg 514], Martha Thurston (and husb Benjamin) sold all of her right to her grandfather's Gilmanton land to her brothers Jonathan and Stephen (another brother, Samuel, had died by 1771). Martha and Stephen were both living in Chichester, NH when this deed was signed. The next deed would be dated 22 Sep 1784 [Vol. 7, pg 119], when Stephen, now a husbandman of Gilmanton, was highest bidder on Lot #2, 5th Range, 2nd Div (original right of Ephraim), which had been put up for sale due to delinquent taxes. On 6 Dec 1784, he sold this [Vol. 7, pg 117] to Ebenezer Smith of Meredith (himself owning 15 acres in said lot). Brothers Jonathan and Stephen also owned Lot #15, 13th Range, in Gilmanton, and jointly purchased Lot #13, 14th Range [Vol. 8, pg 32]. They would partition these properties between themselves on a later date.
Revolutionary War service [War Rolls on Fold3.com]
Only one Stephen Leavitt was known to reside in Epping, NH, so the following service records likely belong to him. He did not file for a pension.
- Stephen of Epping, age 21, husbandman, enlisted 26 May 1775 in Capt. James Norris' Co., 9th NH (Poor's) Regiment; paid off on 1 Aug '75, having served 2 months, 11 days
- Stephen of Epping, age 22, 5 foot, 7 inches tall, black hair and eyes, enlisted 1 Jan 1776 in Norris' Co., Col. Poor's Reg't; listed as deserter on 28 Mar '76
- Stephen of Epping, private, Capt. Wiggin's Company, Col. Pierce Long's (1st NH) Regiment, served at Portsmouth, NH from 30 Sept to 7 Dec 1776, 2 months, 7 days in service. Mustered in again on 7 Jan 1777, being part of the company fit for marching to Ticonderoga (receiving advance pay), was at the fort on 27 Feb when muster roll called. Another card in his file lists 7 Aug 1776 to 11 Jun 1777 as his service time.
Strafford County Probate
Stephen died intestate, having left no will. Administration was granted to son Jacob on 20 Apr 1813 [Vol. 20, pg 184], with son Benjamin and Miles Leavitt Thurston as bondsmen. He would have just turned 21 years of age, and it is interesting that his two elder brothers hadn't been chosen for the task of caring for the estate.
It would be another year before guardianship of the youngest children of Stephen was granted. Vol. 19, pgs 197-199 lists the five appointments, which took place 15-18 April 1814: Samuel Leavitt of Gilford, husb., guardian of Stephen, "a minor above the age of 14 years" (so born ca 1793-1800); John Smith of Gilford, guardian of Samuel, minor above 14 years; Miles L. Thurston, grdn of Sally Leavitt, minor above 14 yrs; Ebenezer Smith of Gilford, Esq., grdn of Jonathan, minor under 14 years of age; and the widow Mehitable, granted guardianship over dau. Mehitable, minor under 14 years.
The inventory of the estate of Stephen Leavitt was taken on 28 Apr 1813 [Vol. 16, pg 340-344], which included part of Lot 5, 5th Range, in Gilford (32 acres on west side of road), value $160, and his homestead farm (about 100 acres) in Gilford, valued at $1650. A portion of his land needed to be sold to pay off the debts and, when his widow Mehitable had her dower set off on 19 June 1813 (approved 13 July), she received 12 plus acres of homestead farm, with rooms in the mansion house and part of barn, 108 square rods of orchard, and 1/3 of 70 acres in Lot 3, 14th Range, in Gilford [Vol. 15, pg 325].
The children of Stephen and Mehitable (Eaton) Leavitt:
As listed in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt, on pages 98-99, they were probably all born in the part of Gilmanton, NH which would become Gilford in 1812. Errors have been marked, and their proper order of births numbered, with family record following. There were ten in number, as written by Daniel T. Leavitt, in letter to JPL.
i. LYDIA LEAVITT, b. 23 Dec 1781, d. 26 Mar 1855; married ca 1806, DANIEL MOULTON THURSTON of Gilford, b. 27 Apr 1784, d. 26 Feb 1842, Adrian, MI. Moved to Michigan in 1829; had three children, b. 1807-09 [Thurston Genealogies, pg 347]. Their dau, Mrs. Eliza Gouldsborough of Grand Rapids, MI, wrote to JPL in 1878, providing mother's birth date.
ii. BENJAMIN LEAVITT, b. 8 Nov 1783 [grave], d. 7 Oct 1873 [grave]; marr. JEMIMA AMES, d. 28 Nov 1856, AE 71 yrs. Six children listed in Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 104
iii. MILES LEAVITT, b. 8 Feb 1788, d. 27 Jan 1870; Marr. 3 Sep 1815, SARAH BROWN, b. 19 Jun 1797, d. 7 Sep 1871 [Gilford Town Rec]. They had twelve children [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 122]. JPL corresponded with son Edward S. Leavitt, as well as Ida and John Hatch, ch of dau Eleanor (Leavitt) Hatch. He also wrote to son John P.
iv. ESTHER LEAVITT, b. 15 Feb 1790 [Ida Hatch letter, 2/9/1879], d. 1 Mar 1886, Gilford, aged 96 yrs, 10 das [NH VR]; married 26 Oct 1815, DANIEL FROHOCK, b. ca 1797, d. 25 Oct 1873. She was erroneously listed as having died young, and listed as a child of Stephen's brother Jonathan [Desc of Samuel, pg 90]. Both buried in Lamphrey Cem, Gilford, listed on monument with several of their children [Find a Grave]. In 1878, she was living with son Richard Frohock, Esq., in Gilford Village (JPL wrote to him in 1878).
v. JACOB E. LEAVITT, b. 1792, d. 10 Jan 1862 in Moultonborough, aged 70 [NH VR; grave, McCoy Cem]; marr. SALLY FLANDERS, b. , d. Campton, NH, 25 Jun 1881, AE 84 [grave, McCoy Cem]. Numbers listed for Jacob's household in the 1820-40 Gilford, NH censuses would suggest only three children. Moved to Moultonborough, NH prior to 1850 census.
1. Hannah D. Leavitt, b. ca 1816, d. Campton, NH, 29 Jul 1891, aged 74 yrs, 7 mos; marr Benjamin Adams. Several ch, listed on Find a Grave (Blair Cem, Campton).
2. Jacob E. Leavitt, b. 25 Sep 1820, d. 15 Jan 1863; marr. 1 Jan 1846, Sarah A. Conner, b. 14 Aug 1824, d. 20 Apr 1898. Five children (and wife) were listed under his father in Desc of Samuel, pg 98 (Caroline B is error; only four ch in probate - a 5th, Ai Hanson Leavitt, d. young).
3. Elizabeth F. Leavitt, b. ca 1824, d. 3 Sep 1864, AE 40. Marr. Enoch Flanders Jr, 5 Jan 1848.
vi. SAMUEL T. LEAVITT, (Samuel Jr until 1817) b. ca 1793-4 (age 56 in Aug. 1850 census), d. 5 Nov 1852, aged 60 [NH VR]; marr 1st, 17 Nov 1814, to HANNAH SANBORN; 2ndly marr, 24 Dec 1817, DOROTHY J. STEVENS, b. ca 1797, d. 1875 [grave]. Buried in Laconia's Union Cemetery. Attempts were made by JPL, in 1878, to make contact with his son Alvah E. Leavitt in Detroit, MI for family history. He was erroneously placed in the Desc. of Nehemiah book, pg 27/44.
vii. STEPHEN LEAVITT, b. 10 Mar 1796 [per Dan'l T letter, 12/17/77], d. 24 Feb 1870; Marr. 20 Nov 1822, CHARLOTTE SARGENT, b. 4 Dec 1799, d. 7 Jun 1857. They had three children [Desc. of Samuel, pg 129], including Daniel T. Leavitt, who corresponded with JPL.
viii. SALLY/SARAH LEAVITT, b. 1798, d. aft 1870 census; marr. (as his 2nd wife), HENRY MALLARD, b. 1787, d. 16 Jun 1844, AE 56 yrs.
1. Clarissa "Clara" A. Mallard, b. 3 Aug 1838, Gilford; marr John A. Davis. Her name given to JPL by Daniel T. Leavitt in 1878, as contact for further info from this family.
2. William H. Mallard, b. ca 1842, Gilford, NH
ix. JONATHAN LEAVITT, b. 1800, d. 18 Sep 1883, Laconia, NH, aged 83; Marr. 6 May 1822 [New Hampton, NH VR, v.1 pg338] SUSANNA SLEEPER, b. 1795-97. Lived in Alton, NH, 1840-50 censuses; Gilmanton, NH, 1860; Pittsfield, 1870. Two known ch, listed on pg 99 of Samuel gen.
1. Susan T. Leavitt, b. ca 1821-25 (aged 15-19 in 1840)
2. Joseph A. Leavitt, b. ca 1833-4, d. 1 Aug 1885
x. MEHITABLE LEAVITT, b. 23 Sep 1804, d. 31 Aug 1851, Gilford; Marr. 15 Feb 1827 [NH VR - rep from Gilford], JOHN F. COLEMAN, b. 1 Aug 1805, Dover, NH; d. 23 Nov 1864. Information on family came from dau Laura in 1878 (JPL).
1. Laura Ann Coleman, b. 5 Aug 1831, d. ; marr. David H. Rice, 9 Apr 1851, Lowell, MA. Living in Bristol, NH in 1878 when she replied to JPL's letter for family info.
2. Henrietta Addams(sic?) Coleman, b. 31 Oct 1837, d. 15 Feb 1848
3. John Woodman Coleman, b. 30 Dec 1833, d. 7 Dec 1854
1. William S. Leavitt - no descendants of Stephen Leavitt made any mention of there being a son with this name, nor has he been found in any records to support his placement here. Also, the marriage to Anna Leavitt in 1806 belongs to a Tuftonboro and Moultonborough NH line. Based on his placement in the above list of children, directly below Samuel's name, I believe one of the letters to JPL (this one not yet found) made mention of Samuel T.'s son William S. Leavitt as a contact, which was misinterpreted as a son of Stephen. This William S. Leavitt (1820-1903) lived in East Milton, MASS in 1878.
2. Eliza b. 1809 - she was not a child of Stephen Leavitt, but a daughter of Lydia (Leavitt) Thurston. In the 8 Jan 1878 Daniel T. Leavitt letter to JPL, he listed all of Stephen's offspring, and the contact info for each of them. It looks like Emily may have misread this letter, and thought Eliza was listed as one of the children.
CHARLES WELLFORD LEAVITT was an ore and metal importer, his firm "C.W. Leavitt & Co." operating in New York City throughout the 1880's. In 1890, with John R. Fell of Philadelphia, they organized the (New York) Suburban Land Company, and purchased the 1,000 acre former estate of Gen. William Gould in Caldwell, New Jersey. With Leavitt as the company's president, they advertised this new development as "One of the three healthiest places in the United States", with its mountainous location, a fine water supply, and a modern sewage system.
Charles moved to Essex Fells with his family in 1892, and lived here until his death in 1904. Having returned from a day-trip to Philadelphia, he walked into this home, and began conversing with his wife, when heart failure struck him down. Medical help did not arrive in time to offer any assistance [Caldwell News, 20 Feb 1904].
Charles W. Leavitt was the son of John Wheeler Leavitt, who is found in the Descendants of Josiah Leavitt, pg 42. Charles himself, in a printing error, is found at the end of the Samuel book, on pg 183-4.
Above is a clipping of the town of Meredith, from a Belknap County, N.H. map, drawn by E.M. Woodford, and published by Smith & Peavey in 1859 and 1860 (the full map can be found on the Library of Congress website). There were seven Leavitt households found on it - these families can be identified by comparing their names with the census of 1860. PART II will focus on the eastern side of town [Part I here]:
5. "S. Leavitt" - Samuel Leavitt (1800-1869) lived in Meredith Village, on High street. While both the 1850 and 1860 censuses show him as a carpenter, the Desc. of Nehemiah book (pg 78) called him a Free Will Baptist minister.
Not marked on the map, but seen as owning land in the 1860 census, is George A. Leavitt. He was the son of Emerson Leavitt [Desc. of Nehemiah, pg 32/33], and lived on Water Street. On the above map, the home of "Mrs. S. Fogg" is highlighted. She is Susannah G. Fogg, who George and his family were living with at the time.
6. "I. & A. E. Leavitt" - Isaac Leavitt (1798-1881), son of the well-known Dudley Leavitt, and his son Arthur E. (1831-1911), lived on Lot 45 in the 3rd Division, land purchased by Dudley after moving to Meredith from Gilmanton [Strafford County Deeds, 66-222; 97-162]. They are from the "Moses line", found in the Desc. of Moses Leavitt genealogy, on pg 97/120.
7. "J. D. Leavitt" - John D. Leavitt (1827-1866) was the son of Nehemiah [Desc. of Nehemiah Leavitt, pg 41. The 1860 census shows him being in the household of Ebenezer Sturtevant, though John was the owner of the land.
Having been severely injured in the town hall collapse back in 1855, John led a pain filled life, until his death in 1866. His land, formerly that of his father, was sold by his heirs [Belknap Deeds, 44-155] to their (distant) cousin next door, Arthur E Leavitt (see #6). The 150 acres included Lot 47, which bordered on Lake Winnipesaukee, and would later become "Leavitt Park & Beach".
Below shows the 1770 map of Meredith, showing where lots 45 and 46 were in the Third Division, northeast of "Little Pond". A map from the 1980's has the Dudley Leavitt cemetery marked out, just north of the pond.
Another person not found on the 1860 map is Dorothy J. Leavitt, widow of Samuel T. Leavitt [Desc. of Nehemiah, pg 44]. At the time of the enumeration, she was living in the household of Daniel Hilton and his family. He lived on Main Street, opposite Cross St., on the 1860 Village map [see Library of Congress map].
Above is a clipping of the town of Meredith, from a Belknap County, N.H. map, drawn by E.M. Woodford, and published by Smith & Peavey in 1859 and 1860 (the full map can be found on the Library of Congress website). There were seven Leavitt households found on it - these families can be identified by comparing their names with the census of 1860. PART I will focus on the western side of town:
1. "B. Leavitt" - This is Bradstreet Leavitt, son of Samuel [Desc. of Nehemiah, pg 52].
Also written as "Broadstreet" in early papers, he purchased half of his father's holdings in Lot 16, 2nd Div., in 1837, including land in Lot 16, 4th Div., which bordered it [Strafford Deeds, v. 180, pg 459]. He purchased another 39 acres from adjoining lot 60 in 1839, from David G. Smith [Straff Deeds, v. 180, pg 435]. He died in 1883, and was buried in the family cemetery on the property, along with his wife, parents, et al [See LEAVITT Cem on Find a Grave].
2. "T. Leavitt" - Thomas Leavitt (1794-1880)
A descendant of Nehemiah [Vol. VI, pg 83], he lived on the north side of "Saddle Hill", which would be renamed Leavitt Mountain. He owned land in Lot 63, 2nd Division. He first purchased 1/2 of the 120 acre lot from his father John in 1817 [Straff. Deeds v.116, pg 435], and another 30 in 1828 [v.151, pg 462]. His brother Ebenezer had property in Lots 60 and 61, which their father had sold him in 1832.
He is buried, along with his wife Jane (Randlett) and their three unmarried children, on the old homestead. Daughter Nancy J. was the last to live on the property, her will, dated 1888 (proved in 1902), left 100 acres (in two lots) to Warren L. Glidden, provided he live on the farm and "take care of the farm in a husband like manner" and care for her "in sickness and health" [Belknap County Probate, Vol. 26, pg 512]. His parents, John and Sally (Ward) Leavitt, are buried nearby in the Sanborn Cem. (Asahel Sanborn purchased the westerly end of the "burying yard" from Ebenezer K. Leavitt in 1851).
3. "T.L. Leavitt" - on the south side of "Saddle Hill" was Thomas L. Leavitt (1828-1902) another member of the Nehemiah line [Vol. VI, pg 65], the son of John and Sarah (Edgerly). His father had purchased Lot 42, 2nd Div., in 1818 [Straff. Deeds, v. 6, pg 228], later selling it to Thomas' eldest brother Levi in 1844. Levi would, in turn, "sell" it back to his parents in 1852, for use during their natural lives. Following their father's death in 1855, Levi sold the lot to Thomas [Belknap Deeds, v. 27 pg 525].
Thomas and his sister, Mary J., didn't marry, and shared the household. Sarah, his widowed mother, was with them in the 1860 census. The siblings are both buried in Laconia's Union Cemetery [see our cemetery page for Laconia], sharing a plot with their Uncle Ebenezer K. Leavitt.
4. "J. Leavitt" - Likely the home of Joseph Leavitt (1807-1858)
Though deceased at the time of the 1860 census, his widow Julia was still living there with two children. Her father, Levi Smith, had sold the property to her husband in 1841 [Belknap Deeds v.2, pg 41], which was all he then owned in town. The deed included the stipulation that Joseph and Julia cared for her parents and let them stay in the household, along with their other children.
Julia's brother, Noah W. Smith, seen on the opposite of the road on the map, had earlier purchased 1/2 of his father's estate. Both Joseph and Julia (who died in 1864) and their dau. Addie C. were buried in the Smith Cem, but their son George S. Leavitt (in his 1905 will) asked that they be re-interred in his New Hampton Village Cem. lot. This may not have happened, as his stone [Find a Grave] has all of their names inscribed, with "buried in Smith Cemetery, Meredith" at bottom. The entry for the Smith Cemetery on Find a Grave doesn't list any Leavitts, and no disinterment forms were filed in NH VR.
Joseph Leavitt, son of Samuel, is found in the Desc. of Nehemiah VI, pg 68-69.
Found in the 1860 census living in Meredith, but NOT marked on the 1859/60 map of Meredith, was the family of Jeremiah W. Leavitt. He spent most of his life in New Hampton, but had apparently briefly crossed over the border just in time for the census. Looking at his household, there is a "Ruth Ranlet", aged 55, listed with him.
On the 1859/60 map, marked just north of the J. Leavitt homestead (see #4 above), is a "Mrs. R. Randlett". The order of enumeration would place him in this vicinity. The home probably belonged to Ruth, as other censuses find her around this location, so the estate value should have been listed beside her and not Jeremiah.
Jeremiah Leavitt is found in the Desc. of Nehemiah VI book, on pg 35/63.
MEREDITH, NEW HAMPSHIRE in 1860 - continued in PART II
Holman F. Day was a Maine native and a well known author of numerous novels and poems about Maine and its people. His writings were based on both fictional and real life Downeast characters. The following poem, published in the Lewiston Journal, was reprinted by the Boston Globe on Sunday, 31 May 1896. It reads...
When Israel Leavitt Kneeled to Pray.
He wore a sun-tanned, old, brown coat,
His corded hands were stiff and gnurled,
And every seam upon his face
Spoke eloquently, where the world
Had writ the toiler on his brow.
- The years had held no beds of ease
For this old Christian, who had fought
So long and nobly on his knees.
And yet, upon that gnarled old face
Such gentle kindness ever glowed;
Through all the wrinkles and the tan
- So good the man within him showed.
So patient was he with his lot
Of steady toil and little gain,
So quick to share his meagre store,
So slow to censure or complain,
That when his townsmen sought a word
For perfect good a synonym,
With one consent they earnestly
And soulfully referred to him.
- A faded, toiling, simple man,
Unlettered and uncouth in speech,
And yet those homely talks of his
Were mightier in their humble reach
Than smooth appeal and rounded phrase
That rolled so unctiously down
From that young college-bred divine
Who held the pulpit in our town.
And this I know, we impish lads,
Who buzzed and nudged and acted so
Each Sunday evening meeting time,
Far back on dusky "Devil's row,"
Were prompt to stifle every laugh
And cease our silly, boyish play,
To bow our heads in reverence
When Israel Leavitt kneeled to pray.
We liked that man; he always had
A sympathy for boyish woe;
When youthful tribulation nagged,
To Uncle Leavitt we would go;
He understood a boy, you see,
Although he had none of his own.
And always smoothed our little griefs
With kindly smile and hearty tone.
Our earthly parents oft forgave
Through Uncle Leavitt's kindly care,
And when he knelt we dimly felt
That God must likewise hear his prayer.
He didn't pray as some folks pray,
- He didn't proffer sage advice
On managing the universe,
Nor with mock meekness first entice
The Gracious Father to bend down
And give to him a listening ear,
To then indulge in homilies
On how He'd best run matters here.
Ah, no! He had one simple prayer;
He humbly asked that God might sift
The thistles from the soul's good wheat,
And give us poor, weak chaps a lift.
"Jest as I, Lord, will give a lift
To any neighbor when I can;
I only want to get from Thee
Jest what I give my fellow-man."
And do you wonder when we saw
That frayed, old, sun-tanned coat sink down
Between the pews each Sunday night!
- No graceless youngster in the town,
But what would bow his tousled head,
Smooth all his saucy smiles away
And hide his eyes in reverence
When Israel Leavitt kneeled to pray.
Who was ISRAEL LEAVITT? Was he a work of fiction, or, as the poem suggests, a person from Holman's early childhood? Holman, who was born in Vassalboro, Maine in 1865, had moved with his family to Richmond, ME prior to the 1880 census. Living in town at the time of that enumeration was one Israel Leavitt, an 80-year old widower, residing in the household of his daughter Jane and her second husband, John Banks. By this time he had gone blind - the prior census did not mention that fact. The poem states that he had no sons of his own - that is true of this Israel, as he only had one daughter, Jane Thomas Leavitt.
Israel Leavitt, who was the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Wallace) Leavitt, died on 7 March 1887, and was buried in Newell Cemetery, in the north part of town. His wife Lydia is there as well, having died decades earlier. He is found in Descendants of Israel Leavitt v2, pg 30. A grave photo can be found here: Find a Grave
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