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Thu Mar 30, 2023, 01:55 PM

Colonial Deerfield, Massachusetts - 1704 Deerfield Raid

Just wondering how many DUers have any ancestors who trace back to that colonial village. Since colonial Puritans had such large families, they have huge numbers of descendants living today although not everyone is aware of their family history. Still, I was surprised when researching my own family's connection to Deerfield that many descendants of the people who experienced the 1704 raid are well aware of it and have family stories to tell about it.

So I am wondering if any DUers have stories to share about the 1704 French and Indian raid on Deerfield.

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Reply Colonial Deerfield, Massachusetts - 1704 Deerfield Raid (Original post)
wnylib Mar 2023 OP
appalachiablue Mar 2023 #1
wnylib Mar 2023 #2
csziggy Aug 27 #3
wnylib Aug 27 #4
csziggy Aug 28 #5
wnylib Aug 28 #6

Response to wnylib (Original post)

Thu Mar 30, 2023, 09:31 PM

1. How fascinating that you have family links and stories. We saw Deerfield briefly

and I well remember the house (Sheldon?) with the hatchet marks from the 1704 raid. That made a real impression. I wish we'd had more time but I'm glad I saw some of the village. One branch of the family is thought to have settled in New England but I haven't pursued any research yet.


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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 30, 2023, 10:42 PM

2. My family traces back to John Sheldon and

his wife, Hannah. Yes, the hatchet hole is in the door of the Sheldon house. The door was saved when the House was torn down.

The stories that I have about them come from genealogy message boards and from books about the raid rather than from family stories.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Aug 27, 2023, 10:19 AM

3. My husband traces back to Thomas Wells Jr and his wife Hebzibah (nee Buell)

Thomas had died and Hebzibah had remarried Danial Beldon, who survived. There are no family stories, but Hebzibah died on the day of the raid, 29 Feb 1704.

According to the site posted about the raid, Hebzibah was killed as the captives were taken to Canada.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 27, 2023, 12:20 PM

4. Not sure without checking my sources, but

I think that Thomas Wells was the brother of the village's militia captain, John Wells. Or maybe Thomas was his father. I do remember that Captain John Wells' mother was killed on the march. He did not know that until he accompanied my ancestor, John Sheldon, to Montreal to try to ransom the captives.

Deerfield and other colonial descendants can be found anywhere in the country today, but as they spread out from western Massachusetts several decades after 1704, clusters of them settled in NY and PA. The surname of one of my close friends in high school (in northwestern PA) was Buell. I currently live in a small city in western NY with a few street names that are surnames of Deerfield descendants, and were named for early settlers of the area.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 28, 2023, 06:33 PM

5. There were probably three Thomas Wells

Judge Thomas Wells (probably married to Mary Beardsley), father of Thomas Wells (who was married to Hezibah Buell Wells who died on the march to Canada), and a son, Thomas Wells (who was married to Sarah Barnard).

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Response to csziggy (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 28, 2023, 08:08 PM

6. Sarah Barnard? My ancestor, Ebenezer Sheldon,

married a woman named Thankful Barnard.

Ebenezer was 12 years old when he was taken captive in the Deerfield raid, along with his sister, Mary, his brother, Remembrance, and his sister-in-law, Hannah. Ebenezer's father, John Sheldon, ransomed them all back, along with several other captives.

I checked one of my sources, Captors and Captives, by MA historians Haefeli and Sweeney. I had Captain Wells' first name wrong. It was Jonathan, not John. He had a brother, Thomas, who had been a militia lieutenant until he died in 1691. Jonathan's mother died on the march.

One of Ebenezer Sheldon's sons married a Belding descendant.

When you are related to one of those families, you end up related to several of the others, directly or indirectly.

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