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Family Links

1. JOHNSON, Hannah

2. EMERSON, Catherine

(WARNING: Please use caution when digesting information on this family. Most accepted information on this line comes directly from Brown Thurston's Thurston Genealogies, yet this volume is filled with errors. 1) Moses Thurston did not marry Hannah Sewall, her name was Hannah Johnson. 2) Son Peter Thurston could not have been born on Dec. 10, 1761, as he was baptized over a year before that date. 3) Daughter Mary did not marry a Mr. Spofford, but died as an infant. 4) Daughter Lydia also died as an infant and did not marry a Mr. Johnson. 5) Daughter Hannah born in 1744 did not marry John Wheeler, but died in her youth (it was a younger daughter named Hannah who married John Wheeler). 6) Daughter Shuah did not marry Benjamin Crocker, his name was ANDREW Crocker. 7) When son Peter went back east to visit relatives at some point after moving to Ohio in 1813, he could NOT have visited his brother Moses in Massachusetts (who had been dead since 1809). It is wise to assume that there are other errors in the book that have not yet been discovered.)

Please see cousin Ryan Wadleigh's research into the Thurston line. The above warning comes from him. This line is rather messed up with everything that you might find on the internet, or books for that matter.


  • Born: 1721
  • Marriage (1): JOHNSON, Hannah on 29 May 1744 in Andover, Essex, MA 1
  • Marriage (2): EMERSON, Catherine on 18 Dec 1777 in Hollis, Hillsborough Co., NH
  • Died: 6 May 1800, Hollis, Hillsborough Co., NH at age 79
  • Buried: Congregational Church, Hollis

bullet  General Notes:

He was 53 in 1775 when the American Revoluton broke out. His son Peter had been at the Battle of Lexington, and two days after the Battle of Bunker Hill Moses enlisted to join the Seige of Boston, joining the throng of farmers and others fed up with the British and determined to drive them from Boston once and for all. Two years later, in the summer of 1777, as General Burgoyne advanced southward on Fort Ticonderoga, Moses again rushed to take up arms, this time 55 years old. He joined a company of men of Hollis, New Hampshire who started towards Fort Ticonderoga, only to return when they learned of it's fall to the British.

At the first edition of his genealogy of the Thurston family in 1880, Brown Thurston was not sure if Moses was a descendant of Daniel Thurston, the first of the Thurstons to emigrate in 1635. By the second edition of 1892 he had cleared up several mysteries and placed him in the line of Daniel Thurston.

Biography from The Thurston Genealogies, First Edition:
" Mr. Thurston was a hatter; deacon in the Congregational church.....There is a tradition in the family that Moses moved to Cohoes, N.Y.. and came back to stay with his son Moses before he died, but I think this is unfounded. I get from three reliable sources the manner of his death, all of whom agree, but one says he died in Hollis and another that he died in Westminster. I am satisfied from all I can gather from the descendants knowing most about it, that he lived and died in Hollis. It was also said by another that he was translated, as Elijah the prophet was, and that his mantle fell upon his son Moses, who was a very devoted Christian and deacon in the church at Westminster, Mass.

There is also a tradition that this Moses came from Canterbury in England, with two or three brothers, and that there were five generations back of him by the name of Moses, who were distinguished for their piety, and that some of them settled in Cohoes, N.Y. Miss Mary L. Chadwick of Jefferson, Vt., a great granddaughter of Moses, says she has often heard her grandmother tell of going on horseback, sometimes two on one horse, the one behind on a pillion, to Cohoes to see her relatives. They carried their food in saddle-bags, thrown across the back of the horses, and their clothing in a round valise strapped on to the back of the saddle. It may be these "relatives" were connected with her father, Chadwick, which under the circumstances seems to me more probable.

Rev. Joseph Fuller of Vershire, Vt., a grandson of Moses Thurston, seems to have more positive knowledge of the place where Moses Thurston came from to Hollis than any other of the descendants I have found. He says in a letter dated June 25, 1879, "When Mr. Crocker married one of his [Moses] daughters, my mother visited them and spent some time with them. She also spent some eighteen months with an uncle of hers in Newburyport, Mass. She said of them, 'they were grand folks.' Grandfather Moses Thurston used to visit us before my remembrance, but who his father was I never knew........This only I know, that my mother had kind, rich, and genteel kinsfolks by the name of Thurston in Newburyport.....She was in Newburyport when about eighteen.....Pepperell, Mass., joins Hollis, and I remember hearing mother say that the farm on which they lived was on the line between the two towns - partly in Pepperell and partly in Hollis. The house stood in Pepperell and the family record dates her birth in Pepperell; but they always attended church in Hollis and I presume their town relations were with Hollis." All this confirms me in the opinion that Moses was descended from Daniel Thurston of Newbury." pp434-435

2 3


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

• He was employed. Hatter

• He appeared on the New Hampshire census in 1775 in Hillsborough. 4

• Military: Revolution, 1775. 5 Moses Thurston of Hollis enlisted June 19th, 1775 (sic), two days after the battle of Bunker Hill in Captain Ruben Dow's company, Col. William Prescott's Regiment of eight months men with the army at the siege of Boston. He enlisted again in June 1777 in Capt. Daniel Emerson's Company raised for the defense of Ticonderoga. p 434

• Military: 6 Oct 1775. 3 Return roll of men of Capt. Dow's company, Col. Prescott's regiment from the seige of Boston.

• Military: 15 Jul 1777. 6 On the list of disbanded company of men of Hollis who had formed for the defense of Fort Ticondoga in the face of General Burgoyne.

• Church: 2Deacon in the Congregational Church.


Moses married Hannah JOHNSON, daughter of Zebadiah JOHNSON and Hannah ROBBINS, on 29 May 1744 in Andover, Essex, MA.1 (Hannah JOHNSON was born on 31 Mar 1724.)

bullet  Noted events in their marriage were:

• Marriage: "Historical Manual of the South Church in Andover, Mass., August, 1859" (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1859) [FHL fiche 6087365] on page 133. It shows the following information: Hannah (Johnson) Thurston (Moses) was received into the church on 11 May 1746 by profession of faith, and removed on 12 Apr 1752 by discharge to the church in Hollis, NH.

bullet  Marriage Notes:

Despite a great number of web sites and even published sources that say that Hannah was Hannah Sewall the sixth child of Samuel Sewall (1688-1769 of York, Maine) and Lydia Storer, the parentage of Moses' first wife Hannah was never discovered. Evidence from the will of Samuel Sewall that his daughter by Lydia Storer married first Henry Sayward and second Richard Trivett. Hannah Trivett is named in his will. (Pages 65 to 67, Book 12, Probate Records of York County, Maine, Alfred, ME excert by Eben Graves: The will of Samuel Sewall, of York, dated 14 August 1762 and proved at the York County Probate Court 10 July 1769, makes bequests to his three sons Samuel Sewall, John Sewall, and Joseph Sewall, to his son Moses Sewall, to his son David Sewall, to his two sons Dummer Sewall and Henry Sewall, to his daughters Lydia Mitchell and Mary Bragdon, to his daughters Mercy Frost and Hannah Trivett, and to his beloved wife Sarah. Witnesses were Joseph Holt, Jeremiah Bragdon, and William Dunning.)

Hannah (Sewall) Sayward had three children from 1740 to 1745 and with her second husband Richard Trevett had five more from 1750 to 1762. The births of her children overlap the children of Hannah (Sewall) Thurston. 7


Moses next married Catherine EMERSON, daughter of Peter EMERSON and Unknown, on 18 Dec 1777 in Hollis, Hillsborough Co., NH. (Catherine EMERSON was born on 20 Dec 1718 and died on 29 Aug 1809 in Hollis, Hillsborough Co., NH 8.)



1 Vital Records, Andover, MA Vital Records. Andover, MA Vital Records to 1850 [Marriages]
Published by: The Topsfield Historical Society Topsfield, MA 1912
Transcribed by Frances LaMarco

2 Thurston, Brown, comp., The Thurston Genealogies (Portland, ME, Hoyt, Fogg & Dunham, 1880).

3 Worcester, S.T, History of the Town of Hollis, NH (1879).

4 online database, New Hampshire Census 1790-1890.

5 Thurston, Brown, comp., The Thurston Genealogies (Portland, ME, Hoyt, Fogg & Dunham, 1880), p434.

6 Worcester, S.T, History of the Town of Hollis, NH (1879), p 173.

7 online database, Additional posts to the board by Eben Graves site Church Records that appear to be conclusive proof that Hannah was Hannah Johnson.

8 Worcester, S.T, History of the Town of Hollis, NH (1879), Online at

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