BENSON LEAVITT, was the eldest son of Thomas and Hannah (Melcher) Leavitt, born 21 Jun 1797 in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. As the U.S. flag and its holder suggests, he was a veteran of the War of 1812.
A member of the New Hampshire Militia, he was in the company of Capt. Samuel James, under Col. Case Waldron. He served as a private with a detachment of artillery from the Third Regiment, raised for the defence of Portsmouth Harbor in Sept. 1814. He would have only been 17 years of age at the time of his enlistment.
He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1826, establishing a wholesale grocery and fish store with his brother Joseph M. The 1831 City Dir. listed their business on Battery Wharf, but later references show their store on the Philadelphia Packet Pier. Following the death of his brother in 1849, the store of "B. & J.M. Leavitt" would change to "Benson Leavitt & Co." as he co-partnered with son Charles B. [Glouc. Telegraph, 4 Mar 1868]. The 1842 Dir. listed Benson as living at 11 Fleet, with Joseph at 10 1/2 (it was the same building). In 1831, they had been on Hanover.
He was a Justice of the Peace, as well as an alderman, in Boston for many years. In Nov. and Dec of 1845, as Chairman of the Board of Aldermen, he served as acting mayor in the city when the current official had passed away and elections needed to be held to secure a new leader. He was also among the list of bank directors, and was on the school committee in Ward 1, Boston. Party-wise, his name was often submitted on the ballots of several political parties in the years of running for an alderman position, but was noted as being either a Whig or American Republican (ie. Native American).
When his father died in 1852, both Benson and brother Joseph received the homestead farm in Hampton Falls (but remained in Boston), with their sister Hannah having the right to live there as a single woman [Rock. County Probate, file #16376]. From the 1856 map of Rockingham county, the location of the home is marked "C & B. Leavitt". This home still stands today. The cemetery where they are buried, not yet established when this map was drawn, is opposite the Old West View Cemetery, highlighted on the map.
Benson died from pneumonia on June 1st, 1869, in Watertown, MA, aged 72 [MA VR]. His body was a shipped back to Hampton Falls, where he was buried in the family plot at West View Cemetery. Newspaper accounts called him "the oldest fish dealer in Boston". One death notice read as follows:
His wife, Abigail Ward, had predeceased him in 1851, as did two of his children. He was survived by three daughters (Theresa, Susan, and Emily) and son Charles.
JOHN H LEAVITT was a farmer in Shapleigh, Maine, where he was born on 27 May 1821, the son of Jeremiah and Abigail (Hasty) Leavitt. Except for his time serving during the Civil War, he lived his entire life there, and died in town on 19 Jan 1911. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery, in the neighboring village of Springvale, Maine.
The 1856 map of York County shows "J. Leavitt" in Shapleigh, located on what is today Shapleigh Corner Road, on the east side of the road. On the 1872 Shapleigh, Maine map, his homestead is on the west side of the road "from Shapleigh to Sanford". There is an old building on this spot, but currently not clear if this is the home of John H. or one built later. [GPS: 43.538218, -70.851348]
Online access to York County Deeds aren't available at the time of this writing, but the 1880 Census Agriculture Schedule lists John H having 42 acres (28 improved, and 14 woodland/forest) valued at $1000. In the inventory of his probate, his real estate was still valued at this dollar amount.
His first wife, Eliza Bragdon, is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Acton, ME (see cemetery records). They didn't have any children. He secondly married, on 11 Oct 1862 in Shapleigh, to Pauline A Cooper. At that time, he was on leave from Camp Lincoln in Cape Elizabeth, having been mustered into Company K, 27th Maine Infantry, on the 30th of Sept., and would ship out for Virginia a week later.
He received a disability discharge on 7 Jan 1863 and returned home to Shapleigh.
John and Pauline had six children, their names all inscribed on the above family monument. Some of them are not buried in this plot, however; they are elsewhere with their husbands.
According to his obituary, published in the Springvale Advocate on Jan. 27th, 1911, John had gone blind some years prior. He was the oldest resident of Shapleigh when he passed away at his home, from Bright's Disease.
Obituary: Springvale Advocate, 27 Jan 1911, pg 2
Map: York County, Maine, 1857 (Shapleigh)
Map: Shapleigh, ME, 1872 (at Digital Maine)
Maine State Archives Collection: Civil War (Co K, 27th ME Enlistment Rolls)
York County, ME Probate (File #54949) - he left real estate to his wife, while remainder of estate equally divided between three daughters. Grandson Edward Ham received $500.
REUBEN TOWLE LEAVITT Jr, the son of Reuben T and Nancy M (Brown) Leavitt, was born in Pittsfield, NH on 11 Nov 1839 [NH vr]. He died on 30 Aug 1919 and was buried in Floral Park Cemetery, Pittsfield, NH [NH Death Rec].
He was married, on 4 Sept 1871 in South Berwick, Maine [ME Marr Rec], to EMMA A WATSON, the daughter of John and Betsey (Kenniston) Watson. She was born 26 Aug 1845 in Pittsfield, NH, and died there on 13 June 1932 [NH Death Rec].
During the Civil War, he enlisted on 16 Aug 1862 and was mustered in on 5 Sept, serving in Co. F of the 12th NH Infantry. He was wounded in the Battle of Chancellorsville on 3 May 1863, being shot through the left knee, and was taken prisoner. He was released 12 days later, having had no care given his wounds and, as a result, would be disabled for life. Sent to an army hospital, he would not consent to his leg being amputated, and was discharged on 21 Nov 1863. See the "History of Pittsfield, N.H. in the Great Rebellion" [pg 104-105, on archive.org]
He and his family removed to Concord, NH prior to the 1850 census, and had lived in Kittery for seven years (while father Reuben Sr was a lighthouse keeper), but was soon back in Pittsfield.
Reuben and Emma had three children:
i. Lila Maude Leavitt b. 26 Sept 1872, d. 2 July 1882
ii. Harry Edgar Leavitt b. 5 Apr 1879; d. 12 Oct 1969
iii. Inez Maude Leavitt b. 22 July 1883; d. 13 May 1902
According to the book LEAVITT Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, the Immigrant 1616-1696, and Isabella Bland (pg 143), his ancestry was: Reuben T Jr (Reuben T, Reuben T, Benjamin, Thomas, Aretas, Thomas)
This interesting grave stone is located in the High Street Cemetery in Hampton, New Hampshire, and belongs to ABRAHAM MARSTON LEAVITT. He was the son of Thomas and Mary (Marston) Leavitt, born in Hampton on 6 Mar 1827 [Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, pg 150/155].
He moved to Boston, Mass, where he worked as a police officer in the 1860's. In 1868, he became a truant officer for the city [Boston Traveller, 3/31/1868], a position he held until his death in Roxbury on 7 Oct 1898.
His wife was SARAH J SANBORN, the daughter of William and Hannah (Chase) Sanborn of Seabrook, NH [death rec]. She died in Stoughton, MA on 13 Jan 1910, and was buried in Hampton, NH [MA Death Rec].
They had two sons, William Sanborn Leavitt and Alfred Marston Leavitt, both of whom lived in Boston, and were also buried in the High St Cemetery.
- Hampton, NH Cemetery page
- Boston Evening Times, 8/28/1860 (pg 4): Abraham appointed officer on 27 Aug.
This gravestone is located in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Buxton, Maine, formerly called "Emery Cemetery". This "Wm. P." is WILLIAM P LEAVITT, born in Buxton, Maine on 30 Jan 1811, the son of Bradbury Leavitt [Buxton VR, Bk 4,pg 65]. He died on 7 Aug 1844, AE 33 yrs. 7 mos. [grave]. On the same stone is Charles P. Leavitt, son of Wm P. and Martha Leavitt, who died "May 16, 1844" AE 10 mos.
The Portland Weekly Advertiser newspaper, dated 6/11/1844, has Charles P. dying "in this city, 2d inst", which matches that of his record of burial in Eastern Cemetery, A Tomb 75 [note: this tomb has only 7 members of the Brooks family inscribed on its cover, so perhaps Charles was placed here temporarily] while the city vr (recorded in Jan 1846) lists his death as 4 June 1844. This same newspaper, on 8/13/1844, published "In Buxton, 5th inst, Mr William P. Leavitt, merchant tailor, of this city", so dates differ for both William and his son.
William P. Leavitt and Martha Brown were married in Portland, Maine on 31 May 1841 [ME vr]. This was his second marriage, having been divorced from Anna Berry in Nov 1839 [Cumb County SJC Vol 13 pg 239]. He and Anna had been married on 25 Dec 1831 in Buxton [Buxton VR Bk 3, pg 101]. The Buxton town records [Bk 4 pg 160] has the family of William and Anna:
The date this family information was recorded in the town book is unknown, but the full birth dates of his two children (by 1st wife) were not written down. The "Sept 1830" birth of dau Elizabeth, 15 months prior to her parents' marriage, may be wrong [she died on 16 Jan 1896 in Brockton, MA, aged 63 yrs 4 mos, calculating a birth date of Sept 1832, though too close to brother Wm H's birth]. Portland vital records [Vol 4, pg 292] list their birth dates as "Elizabeth b. Sept 1829, William H, b. Mar 1833, and Charles P, b. Aug 1843".
The will of William P. Leavitt of Buxton, gentleman, is recorded in York County Probate [file #11299], and was dated 16 July 1844, just a few weeks prior to his death. Mentioned in the papers are his wife Martha, daughter Elizabeth, son William Henry, as well as brother Daniel, who was appointed executor. These two children would live with their Uncle Daniel, William being listed as an "adopted son" in Daniel's family record [Buxton VR Bk 2 pg 21], with Elizabeth seen in his household in 1850 census [hh 393/414]. William stayed in Buxton, where he married Roxanna Harmon, while Elizabeth married Timothy Haseltine, and moved first to Abington, MA, then to Brockton.
William P Leavitt was a merchant tailor, and had a store on Middle Street in Portland, Maine, where he sold clothing, furnishings, and had a tailoring business. His home was on Federal, near Temple [1841 Portland City Dir, pg 56]
He is found in the Descendants of Thomas Leavitt book, pg 153, though wrongly listed as a son of Samuel of Buxton, who was born in 1797. Only wife Anna Berry is listed in the write-up, and the deceased infant son Charles is listed with a wife and dau, a totally different Portland couple [from an unknown Canadian Leavitt line]. Daughter Elizabeth, living with her Uncle Daniel Leavitt during the 1850 census, is erroneously listed as a dau of him [Thomas Leavitt gen, pg 108].
Below is an 1841 advert from the Portland, Maine City Directory:
gravestones and their stories
More than just names and dates engraved on a grave stone, a look into the Leavitt families found in our cemetery photographs.