Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Esther Chesley

Female 1682 - Aft 1736  (> 55 years)


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  • Name Esther Chesley  [1, 2
    Born 1682  Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Female 
    Died Aft 1736  Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I26829  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of LDN
    Last Modified 21 Feb 2020 

    Father Philip Chesley,   b. Between 1606 and 1608,   d. Aft 30 Apr 1685, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years) 
    Mother Joanna,   d. Aft 30 Apr 1685 
    Family ID F16030  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family John Hall,   b. 1679, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1738, Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Married 9 Aug 1705  Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4, 6
    Notes 
    • Torrey gives a date of 3 Jul 1699 for this marriage. So do Noyes, Libby, and Davis, but in their errata this is corrected to 9 Aug 1705, the date also given by The Wentworth Genealogy.
    Children 
    +1. Keziah Hall,   b. 1705, Greenland, Rockingham, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1808  (Age 103 years)
    Last Modified 20 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F16027  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Said to have escaped from the massacre at Oyster River, N. H., in 1694, by jumping from an upper window of her father's house with an infant in her arms.

      The idea that Esther Chesley was conceived when her father was at least 72 is not entirely farfetched, but it does make us wonder whether she might be misplaced in the Chesley line. But running through the other possibilities leaves us concluding that she is most likely placed correctly.

      There is a document dated 23 Dec 1713 in which "we Mary Hall [widow of Ralph Hall,] John Hall & Easther Hall" refer to themselves as "only daughters of Philip Chesley, sen., late of Dover."

      It is true that by 1713, Philip2 Chesley (who died in 1695, ten years after his father Philip1 Chesley) could have been referred to as "senior" in order to distinguish him from his son Philip3 Chesley who was still alive as late as 1756. Based on the fluidity of "senior" and "junior" identification at the time -- you could be born John Smith, Jr. and die John Smith, Sr., very different from the way the terms are used today -- Mary and Esther could have been referring to Philip2 when they wrote "Philip Chesley, sen., late of Dover".

      But it is also true that the purpose of this document was to convey certain land to their "couzen Philip Chesley," who, in 1713, can only have been Philip3, son of Philip2. Obviously this eliminates the possibility that Esther and Mary were daughters of Philip2, since if that were the case, they would have referred to Philip3 as their brother (or half-brother at most).

      This leaves the far-fetched possibility that they were in fact both daughters of Philip1 Chesley's other son Thomas2 Chesley, which would make them literally cousins to Philip3.

      But this establishes less than one might think, because prior to the mid-1700s, "cousin" was a word used for a broad set of close relationships outside of the immediate family. In the conventional scheme in which Mary and Esther were late-born daughters of Philip1, Philip3 would have been their half-nephew, a relationship well within the range of those called "cousin" at that time.

  • Sources 
    1. [S170] The Wentworth Genealogy, English and American by John Wentworth. Boston: Little, Brown, 1878.

    2. [S3672] History of the Town of Durham, New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation) by S. E. Schermerhorn, with genealogical notes by Everett S. Stackpole and Winthrop S. Meserve. Durham, New Hampshire, 1913.

    3. [S3670] Find a Grave page for Esther Chesley Hall.

    4. [S660] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis. Portland, Maine: Southworth Press, 1928-1939.

    5. [S3670] Find a Grave page for Esther Chesley Hall., place only.

    6. [S1953] The Halls of New England, Genealogical and Biographical by David Brainerd Hall. Albany, New York: J. Munsell's Sons, 1883.