arrow arrow
MAYHEW, Matthew
(1540-Bef 1614)
MAYHEW, Thomas (Governor )
MAYHEW, Hannah


Family Links

1. DOGGETT, Thomas

2. SMITH, Samuel

MAYHEW, Hannah

  • Born: 15 Jun 1635, Medford, MA
  • Marriage (1): DOGGETT, Thomas on 23 Sep 1657 in Edgarton, Dukes Co., MA
  • Marriage (2): SMITH, Samuel after 1691
  • Died: 7 Feb 1723, Edgarton, Dukes Co., MA at age 87

bullet  General Notes:

Biography containing just about all that is known of her life (without the genealogical data) written by Dr. Banks in the Dukes County Intelligencer in 1962.

Referrred to by Banks as the Governor's 'favorite' daughter. She, along with her husband, Thomas Daggett, were leading citizens in the local society and government. (See Husband's notes)

Family Group Sheets in LUNDELL

Hannah was evidently quite a woman. When she turned 18 in 1653 she was the only woman on the list of lots of Martha's Vineyard divided up by the proprietors. As Dr. Charles Banks observed: "About four years later she surrendered her name to Thomas Daggett, but from subsequent views which we can obtain of her it was about the only thing she surrendered. It could be fairly stated that Thomas Daggett was merely the husband of Hannah Mayhew. She was the Governor's favorite daughter and she knew it."

She may have been a very early feminist. Over succeeding years 10 little Daggetts came along, but Hannah wasn't rocking the cradle all the time. Twenty real estate transactions are of record under her name and she did the business herself. This was unusual at the time and it appears to have caused some strain in a marriage where the woman refused to be known merely as the 'wife of Thomas Daggett.' Towards the end of the old Governor's life the son-in-law evidently attempted to exercise some control over his wife's business, forcing the Governor in 1679 to extract a "promise" from Thomas not to do so, referring to that promise in his will: "My son Daggett hath given a note under his hand not to meddle with aught (of Hannah's property)"

That she was the 'Deputy Governor" of Martha's Vineyard it seems that she was bound and determined to maintain the control that her father had placed and maintained on the little island. Following about 1660 the Governor had increased resistance to his little autocracy, and his daughter. She evidently carried on the good fight for him, for in 1675, in a letter to the Governor of New York explaining some of the problems the people were having with Governor Mayhew Simon Athearn wrote "Thomas Dagget's wife, Mr. Mayhew's daughter (which woman the people of Martins Vineyard very generally call the deputy governor...". This was towards the end of the governor's life, he was still well in hand of the government of the island, but as Banks writes, "All this while Thomas Daggett had been holding the office of assistant to the Governor, and theoretically 'rulling the land' but no one can have any illusions as to the real 'power behind the throne'".

When the governor finally died and his grandson Matthew took over the duties of governor, Hannah's contributions to the life of Martha's Vineyard drop out of the record books. It's possible that she prudently stepped aside for a nephew who didn't want her meddling, or she continued to 'rule' behind the scenes. We'll never know. She remained a widow for 10 years after her husband's death in 1691 whereupon, at the age of 70, she remarried to Samuel Smith of Edgertown and lived another 10 years. 1 2


Hannah married Thomas DOGGETT, son of John DOGGETT and Alice BROTHERTON, on 23 Sep 1657 in Edgarton, Dukes Co., MA. (Thomas DOGGETT was born about 1630 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA,3 died on 18 Aug 1692 in Edgarton, Dukes Co., MA 3 and was buried in Firstburial Grnd, Marshfield 3.)


Hannah next married Samuel SMITH after 1691.



1 Banks, Charles E., The Deputy Governor of Martha's Vineyard (The Dukes County Intelligencer, pub. by Dukes County Historical Society, Inc., Edgartown, MA, August 1962, Vol. IV, No. 1, pp 14-16).

2 Lundell, Kay, Triumphant Banners - Supplement One: The Ancestry of Nelson Higgins (Ogden, Utah: Kay Lundell, c1990, [88] pages, LDS FHL Microfilm #1597612). Supplement One traces the ancestry of Mary Daggett, the mother of Nelson Higgins (1806-1890). Nelson was the subject of Kay Lundell's earlier work, "Triumphant Banners".
The supplement's primary focus is on Mary's parents, Mayhew Daggett and Esther Atwater and includes their biographies as well as about 60 family group sheets tracing the Daggett and Atwater lines. The parentage of Mayhew Daggett runs counter to the 1894 genealogy of Samuel and George Daggett and hence to many of the genealogies submitted to the LDS and to online databases. See the notes on Mayhew Daggett (born 1730) for additional clarification. Ms. Lundell's sources on the family group sheet for Mayhew, his marriage and children are appended as detail in this database.

3 Banks, Charles Edward (1854-1931), The history of Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Massachusetts (Edgartown, MA, Dukes Co. Hist. Society, 1966) in 3 Volumes: Contents: v. 1. General history -- v. 2. Town annals -- v. 3. Family genealogies [1641 - ca. 1800].)

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 29 Apr 2007 with Legacy 6.0 from Millennia