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.
In the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt, pg 80, there are two children of Andrew and Sarah (Hastings) Leavitt listed as being "born before 1774", William and Nathaniel Leavitt. The History of Amherst, pg 669, places them further down the order of children's births, though that book did not give them any dates. William's was an easy one to solve, as he is seen in the censuses of 1850-1870 with an age coinciding with a 1795 birth year. He was also seen first in the Amherst tax lists in 1817 with a poll tax, showing he turned 21. Nathaniel, however, was not seen on any of the tax lists for that town (the online film on FamilySearch ends in 1819), and so more research was needed.
The following timeline is all of the data I have gathered on this Nathaniel (aka Nathaniel Kimball) Leavitt to determine a year of birth, and to find more about the "d. in Calif." statement given him in the Leavitt genealogy.
Nathaniel Leavitt is born, probably in Amherst, New Hampshire (father Andrew there in 1800 census); San Francisco Funeral Home Records listed age at death as 56 yrs, as did several local newspapers reporting his death in 1855.
27 Feb 1821
Marriage intents [Boston Marr Int, 1817-1823: Vol 9, pg 261]
1 May 1821
In Boston, Mr Nathaniel Kimball Leavitt (of Amherst, NH) married to Hannah Sewards (of Portsmouth, NH) [Boston Marr, 1800-1849; V.2 pg 36; Farmer's Cabinet (Amherst, NH), 5/19/1821]
1821: Boston Tax List
Lived on Green Street, Ward 6 (house of Jonathan Simonds)
12 Apr 1822
Born in Boston, Andrew Kimball Leavitt, son of Nath'l and Hannah [note: Andrew would change his middle name to Jackson at a later date]
Abt September 1825
Daughter Sarah E. Leavitt born (calculated from age at death) in MA [1860 San Fran census; funeral record] or NY [1850 census]. One paper [Daily Alta, 5/11/66], said she was a "native of Lowell, MA".
Nathaniel K. an "insolvent debtor", per court of common pleas in Albany [notice in Albany Argus, 4/10/1827]
Daughter Hannah Ann Leavitt born, probably in Albany [Excelsior, pg 56]; the four children of Nathaniel are mentioned in the journals of the Hutchinson Singers, their 1st cousins, when they were touring in the Albany, NY area in 1842
Daughter Anna Leavitt born, likely in Albany [Excelsior, pg 56-57]
1830 US Census, Albany Ward-3 (pg 285)
Nathaniel K. "Laivit" (Laint/Saint on indexes)
1 male, 5-10; 1 m, 30-40; 3 females, under 5; 1 f, 30-40
24 August 1835
Captain Nathaniel K. Leavitt elected Lieut Col. of the 246th Regiment [Albany Argus, 8/28/1835]
1840 US Census forAlbany, Ward-3
1 male, 15-19; 1 m, 40-49; 3 females, 10-14; 1 f, 40-49
25 July 1844
Mr Heman (or Herman) H. Squires married to Miss Sarah E., dau of Col N.K. Leavitt, all of this city [Albany (NY) Argus paper, 8/2/1844, pg 3]
1844, 1845 Albany, NY Street Directories
N.K., constable, h. 124 Broadway [son Andrew, barber, at 126 Broadway]; Nath'l not listed in following years, only Andrew
7 Apr 1847
The Albany Evening Journal, on this date, prints death notice and obituary for Andrew Leavitt of Amherst, NH, "the father of Nathaniel K Leavitt of this city". He had died back on 29 Aug 1846, w/ an obit printed in the 9/3 issue of the Farmers Cabinet and copied in this paper 7 months later.
13 Nov 1847
"N.K." listed as a member of grand jury in Albany [Albany Evening Jrnl, 11/15]
6 Feb 1849 issue of New York Herald (pg 1)
sailed Saturday in ship Panama for San Francisco, "N.R.(sic) Leavitt"
"Officers Mullen and Leavitt" mentioned in Daily Alta article, 2/7/50; Col. N K Leven(sic) was again appointed policeman in Nov 1852 [Daily Alta, 11/16/52]
Wife Mary joins Nath'l in San Francisco. "his second wife came to this state about three years ago" [Daily Alta, 11/21/1855]
1852, month not known [California State Census, pg 443]
N.K. Leavitt, 54, agent, b. New Hampshire; last res: New York
Mary C, 26, b. New York; last res: NY
26 Sept 1852
son Isaac M born (based on age at death, see 1/10/54)
20 Sept 1853
Sailed from New York for San Juan, in steamship "Star of the West": N.K. Leavitt, lady, infant and son [NY Daily Times, 9/21/53]; The New York Morning Courier (exact date not known) gives the listing as "N.K. Leavitt, wife, infant and boy, Miss E. Leavitt".
15 Oct 1853
"N.K. Leavitt and family" arrived on steamer Cortes at San Francisco on Saturday afternoon [17 Oct '53 Sacramento Daily Union paper, pg 2]
10 Jan 1854
Isaac M Leavitt, son of Col. N.K. and Mary C, died of whooping cough in San Francisco, aged 15 mos, 15 das. [Sacramento Daily Union,1/15/1854]
Circa Feb 1855
Nathaniel and Mary are divorced [Sacramento Daily Union, 11/23/55, pg 2]
18 March 1855
Col. N.K. Leavitt, of this city, and Miss Ann Paddock, of New York City, married "in this city" [California Farmer (San Francisco, CA) newspaper, 3/29/1855]
1 Nov 1855
Ann Leavitt separates from her husband
Tues, 20 Nov 1855
Nathaniel hangs himself in his stable, at his coal and wood yard on the corner of Pacific and Powell Streets. [Marysville Daily Herald, 11/23/1855; Sacramento Daily Union, 11/23/55; Daily Alta,11/21/1855, 11/22/55]
21 Nov 1855
Col N K Leavitt is buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery (Lot 23, Tier 7, Chain(?) Plot 1) [San Francisco Funeral Home Records: N. Gray & Co, Vol 1854-1861, pg 75]
Nathaniel's second wife, Mary C, married J. A. Moody, and had a son, Louis [1860 San Fran census, pg 148]. She died in San Francisco on 13 Apr 1864, aged 38 yrs, 6 mos [Daily Alta, 4/14/1864]. His third wife, Ann (Paddock), died in the city abt 30 May 1860, aged 65 [CA Cem Records], and was buried in Lone Mountain Cem.
Lone Mountain Cemetery was later renamed Laurel Hill Cemetery and, in the 1930's, was one of many burial places located within city limits that were closed down and entirely removed. Any bodies not claimed by family were buried in a mass grave in Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, CA, while their former grave stones were used around the city by the Dep't of Public Works for construction projects (see article: here). Nathaniel is probably the "Col R. R." Leavitt listed on the cemetery website. "A. P. Leavitt" (Anna) is also among those buried here.
Daughter Sarah E., the only (known) child of Nathaniel and Hannah to follow their father westward, died in San Francisco on 9 May 1866, aged 40 yrs, 8 mos [The Pacific, 5/17/66]. She was buried on the 11th in Lone Mountain Cem, and now lies in Cypress Lawn, where reinterred in a mass grave. With husband Heman/Herman Henry Squires, she had three children: Nathaniel Leavitt Squires, Edwin/Edward Squires and Margaret Squires. As if her father's suicide being printed in all the local papers wasn't bad enough, her marital problems and her attempt to divorce the neglecting husband also made the news [San Fran Bulletin, 3/8/1860, 3/9/60, 10/25/65], as did Herman's court cases.
With the addition of several children for Nathaniel and Hannah, much more research still needs to be done, to find out exactly what became of them. One genealogical "case" solved, several more now added!
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