In an earlier blog, I wrote about the family of Stephen and Mehitable (Eaton) Leavitt of Gilford. In their family record [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 98], it was determined (through Stephen's probate file) that the Samuel Leavitt who married Nancy Gilman was far too old to be the correct son of this couple, and had been erroneously placed in this family. It was found that Samuel T. Leavitt, of Gilford and Meredith (currently in the Desc. of Nehemiah book), would instead be the correct son of Stephen Leavitt.
Where, then, did this now unattached Samuel belong?
First of all, a correction must be made with the birth and death dates given him in the Samuel genealogy (1784-1866). It seems his death in 1860, at age 82, was misread in the Gilford, NH VR as 1866, and so entered into the Samuel book with a birth year calculated from the wrong death date. A new birth date of 21 Jan 1778 is now the more accurate one, based on the full age from his obit (see below).
So, who was the father of this Samuel?
The answer lies in a certain land conveyance, found in Strafford County Deeds: Vol. 136, pg 300. It read, in part:
I, Jonathan Leavitt of Gilford, County of Strafford, State of NH, Gent, for in consideration of the sum of $500. paid by my son Samuel Leavitt of same Gilford, Gent.
In this deed, dated 23 July 1814, Jonathan sold 20 acres of his homestead farm in Lot 18, 15th Range, in Gilford, and also part of his land in Lot 1, 16th Range. On this same day, he would also sell portions of his land holdings to sons Jonathan Jr and Miles Leavitt. Both of them would receive a portion of this lot in the 16th Range.
Previously, on 1 Sep 1813 [Strafford County Deed Vol. 81, pg 521], Jonathan had sold Samuel 1 1/2 acres in Gilford, where he now lived, but no lot number was listed, nor any relationship between the two given.
This Jonathan Leavitt was the son of Miles and Lydia Leavitt [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 89-90], and was a brother of Stephen Leavitt. Jonathan had purchased these lots back in 1808, the same day he (and wife Abigail) sold off his other land holdings in town, including property his mother had left him and his brother.
Samuel and his siblings
On January 1st, 1828, Jonathan (Jr) sold his shares of these lots to (brother) Samuel [Strafford Deeds, Vol. 134 pg 568]. In turn, Samuel would sell 50 acres of it to son Taylor [Belknap Deeds, Vol. 15, pg 14].
The 1840 census for Gilford (names listed in geographical, not alphabetical order) shows the neighborhood of these two lots, all four of the names belonging to the family of Jonathan: Martha, widow of Miles (Jonathan's son), Mary, his unmarried dau, living on her father's homestead with sister Hannah; Samuel, son of Jonathan, and Taylor, Samuel's son.
The census for Gilford, NH in 1850 again records the families together:
113/129 Samuel, 72, and Nancy, 72 value $1300
114/130 Martha Leavitt, 49, w/ family (no estate value)
115/131 (town farm)
116/132 Taylor Leavitt, 43, and his family val $100.
/133 Polly Leavitt, 70 and Hannah Welch, 66 (no value)
The death of Samuel
Samuel Leavitt, Esq. died on 7 March 1860, aged 82 yrs, 1 mo, 15 das, according to Concord's Independent Democrat published on the 15th. His obituary reads:
The U.S. Mortality Schedule for Gilford (pg 2) listed typhoid fever as cause of death, with 6 days duration. There was no burial place given, nor has a gravestone yet been found for him or Nancy (who died in 1870). They may be in McCoy Cemetery, in the plot with their son Jonathan.
Samuel had written a will on 5 Jan 1857 [Belknap County Probate, Vol. 8, pg 390], which was presented to the court on the 3rd Tues. in Mar. 1860. Son Gilman received $300, wife Nancy would get 1/4 of all crops raised on the farm, with privilege of house and barn, while Taylor, named the executor, received the real estate. On 10 Nov 1865, Taylor (and wife Lydia) would sell his rights [Belknap County deed, Vol. 42, pg 565] to both Lot 18, 15 R and Lot 1, 16 R in Gilford to his son John R.
On 19 Dec 1860, Jonathan (Jr) sold all of his right to Lot 18, 15 Range to Taylor Leavitt [Belknap County Deed, Vol. 35, pg 31]. Two days earlier, in deed Vol. 35, pg 19, Polly Leavitt and Hannah Welch also sold their share of the same lot to Taylor. The heirs of Miles and Martha Leavitt, on 16 Dec 1861 [Belknap Deed Vol. 36, pg 390], would also sell off their part in Lot 18 to Taylor.
The other Samuel Leavitt
With sorting these Samuels into the correct families, the move of Samuel Leavitt, Esq., to a different set of parents within the same genealogy book was a minor change. With Samuel T. Leavitt, however, it involves moving a whole family (with over 50 descendants currently in our Nehemiah database) into an entirely different book. With that, we now turn to Nehemiah and Sally (Philbrick), who we formerly had listed as his parents. Did they have a son named Samuel? Yes, they did. He didn't make it into any of the original NALF books, though, but was mentioned in the JPL writings that Emily had used to form this family in the Nehemiah genealogy. In "Notebook 6", pg 39, info was transcribed from a letter written by George A. Leavitt of Suncook, NH to JPL on 10 May 1878. It stated that (George's uncle) "Samuel lived in Cabot, VT". Back in 2018, NALF Secretary Anne Wilson, while travelling in Vermont, came across the Cabot Plains Cemetery. In it, was this stone:
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
ALBERT LEAVITT was born in Alfred, Maine on 24 Dec 1829, the son of James and Nancy (Stevens) Leavitt [Desc. of Nehemiah Leavitt, pg 34/48]. He moved with his parents to Waterboro Center by 1840, where his father was a merchant and a successful businessman. Albert and his brothers followed in their father's footsteps, also becoming traders and merchants. While sons Benjamin Leavitt and Alonzo remained in Maine, Charles left for Chicago (later settling in Iowa) and Albert, the focus of this writing, followed the "gold rush" to California.
The (Nov.) 1852 state census for California shows "A. Leavitt", age 22, a miner in Tuolumne County. In June, 1854 [Columbia Gazette, 6/17/1854, pg 2], "Mr. Leavett" purchased half of the Columbo Saloon building on the corner of Main and State St. This building, along with most of the other structures in town, went up in flames on the 10th of July, 1854. All were quickly rebuilt, many now constructed with "fire-proof" brick and mortar. By 1855, Albert joined into a partnership with Robert H. Towle, as "Towle & Leavitt", who had occupied the building on the northwest corner of Main and State Streets (formerly the business of bookseller Charles J. Brown).
The above image was clipped from a lithograph of the town, published by the said "Towle & Leavitt" in 1855, showing the building they operated their business from [note: this place still stands today - see links at end of this writing].
See: Miners and business men's directory for the year commencing January 1st, 1856 - with a full page by Towle & Leavitt on pg 24 [Internet Archive].
He badly burned both of his hands while saving his watch and jewelry display. His losses were valued at $10,000 [Sacramento Daily Union, 08/29/1857, pg 3], but he rebuilt, though eventually moving on shortly after.
In 1859, he sold all of his stock to D. C. Travis [Columbia Wkly News, 03/24/1859, pg 4]. "A. Leavitt" boarded the overland stage in Sacramento on 18 May 1860, and headed east towards St. Louis. On the 30th of June of same year, he was married in Waltham, MA to Miss Ellen Bagley. In the newspaper notice [Waltham Sentinel, Fri., 6 July, 1860, pg 3], he was listed as "of Columbia, Cal." Note: A few years earlier, an 1857 report [parks.ca.gov] stated the overland express would take 25 days to make a run from Cali. to St. Louis. He then likely took a train east from there, a roughly 2 1/2 day run (in 1848 time - ARJ, vol. 21, pg 357). Less than 2 weeks later, he was married!
The couple had three children during their residence in Saco:
i. Harry Burton Leavitt, b. 10 Jun. 1861;
ii. George Albert Leavitt, b. 6 Feb. 1863
iii. Mary Ella Leavitt, b. 12 Feb. 1866
In March of 1866 [Maine Democrat, 3/20/1866, pg 3], Albert closed out his business in Saco and removed to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Street directories show him with several different occupations, including general book agent (with W.H. Graves, as "Graves & Leavitt"), advertising agent, and a travelling agent. The family moved to West Medford, Massachusetts in the 1870's, where he sold steamless cookers [1895 W. Medford Dir.] and, a few years prior to that, worked with son George (as Geo. A Leavitt & Co.), selling "hollow ware".
Wife Ellen died in Medford in 1905, and Albert died there in 1908, both being buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in town. Their children are also buried there.
While John Leavitt was the first of that surname to own land in Meredith [see: The Proprietors of Meredith], it wasn't until much later when a Leavitt family actually moved into town to settle.
No Leavitt was found as a Revolutionary War soldier serving from Meredith. Prior to this, a check of the 1776 Association Test for Meredith lists the names of 48 men [NHSP, Vol. 30, pg 93], though none had the Leavitt surname. Joseph "Roberds" (Roberts) was on this list, having moved there with his wife Eunice (Leavitt) [Desc. of Nehemiah v.6, pg 15/21] some time after 1771 [Joseph purchased, from his widowed mother Abigail Roberts, the original rights in Meredith of Oliver Smith on 18 Mar 1766. He was still in Brentwood at this time - Strafford County Deeds, Bk. 2, pg 415].
By the time of the 1790 census for "Merideth", (then in) Strafford County, the following six Leavitt names are now found in town: Amos , Levi , Nehemiah, Samuel, Stephen, and Weare Leavitt. This blog entry will focus on these early settlers.
AMOS LEAVITT (1759 - 1843)
On 18 April 1787, Amos Leavitt "late of Raymond but now of Meredith" purchased 50 acres from east end of lot #47 in the 2nd Division, from Jonathan Dow [Strafford County Deeds, Bk. 20, pg. 25]. He purchased another 20 acres that bordered him, in 1793, and a 15 acre piece out of Lot 48, 2nd Div., from Stephen Leavitt [Strafford Deeds, Bk. 20, pg. 26 and Bk. 50, pg. 128]. He sold all of this to James Glines in August 1805, himself buying the said Glines property in New Hampton [Bk. 50, pg. 129]. Amos would later return to Meredith, where he died in 1843. He was a Revolutionary War veteran. - Descendants of Nehemiah Leavitt, v.6, pg 18/19
LEVI LEAVITT (1761 - 1840)
A 1797 delinquent tax list for Meredith shows a Levi Leavitt living on the "S. Lane" farm, which was located in the 2nd Division, Lot 8 (115 acres). He and wife Sarah (Pearson) of Meredith, sold property (in her right) of Joseph Parsons (or Pearson) of Meredith in 1799 [Strafford Cty Deed, Bk. 30, pg. 283]. The census numbers (2 males under 16, 1 male 16+, and 2 females) match that of the Levi found in the Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 94-95. He later moved to Vermont.
NEHEMIAH LEAVITT (ca 1752 - 1829)
With 3 males under 16 yrs of age in the 1790 census, this would likely be the Nehemiah from the Desc. of Nehemiah Leavitt book, pg 25-27. He married Sarah Philbrick in Chichester, NH, 1777, and moved then to Gilmanton, serving several times during the Rev. War. A 1781 deed [Straff. Cty, Bk. 4, pg 29] shows him selling property in Gilmanton, so perhaps moved to Meredith following this. No deed found with him purchasing land in Meredith prior to this census.
SAMUEL LEAVITT (1770 - 1852)
Descendants of Nehemiah Leavitt, v.6, pg 27/43. In Meredith by 1789, when he married Mary Smith, and purchased land on 24 Sept 1790 [Strafford Cty Deed, Bk. 19, pg. 282]. The 20-acre tract was part of Lot #47 in 2nd Division, and bordered that of Amos Leavitt (see above), his uncle. He sold part of his homestead farm in 1793, the bounds mentioned being on "southwest side of highway from Amos Leavitt's home to Sanbornton line".
STEPHEN LEAVITT (abt 1745 - after 1800)
"Moved from Poplin (Fremont) to Meredith when son Samuel [see above] was a boy" - written in a letter from W. B. Leavitt to JPL , 28 Dec 1877 [quoted in Desc. of Nehemiah Leavitt book, pg. 27/45-46]. Land deeds prior to 1800 not seen. Relatives say he went to the British Dominion, or went east, while family remained in Meredith. Wife Mary (Roberts) lived to age 102.
WEARE LEAVITT (1742 - 1829)
Descendants of Moses Leavitt, pg 63. Living at Meredith Neck by June 1788, when he signed a petition to incorporate a new town from the eastern portion of Meredith, and north through New Hampton (to be called Watertown) - it was rejected [NH State Papers, Vol. XI, pg. 277]. No deed was found (so either a town grant or through a relative's probate), but he had at least 50 acres in Lot #42, in 3rd Division on the Neck, as he sold off tracts from it in 1805-06.
Below is a part of the 1770 map of Meredith, New Hampshire, with the lots in the Second Division marked out with the Leavitt owners. They didn't own the complete 120-acre lots, and the land deed descriptions are vague at times, making it difficult to properly determine their exact bounds. Note: some of these deeds took place after the 1790 census, so are not mentioned above. Randlett Pond (GPS: 43.579067, -71.568975) can be seen drawn on the border between Lots 41 and 42.
Updates about our Leavitt genealogy research, our DNA projects, and other notes to keep our membership informed.