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Male 1721 - 1785  (63 years)

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  • Name John CRESSEY 
    Born 31 Jul 1721  Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 1785  [1
    Person ID I556  Sturgis
    Last Modified 6 May 2005 

    Father Daniel CRESSEY,   b. 11 Jul 1698, Royal Side, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Apr 1747, Fort Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Mother Sarah INGERSOLL,   b. Bef 30 Aug 1702, Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1750, Hampton, Windham County, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 47 years) 
    Married 20 Oct 1720  Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Family ID F69  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Deborah WADLEIGH,   d. 1796 
    Married Abt 1745  [3
     1. John Wadleigh CRESSEY,   b. 22 Feb 1749, Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1842, Buxton, York County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
    Last Modified 14 Oct 2018 
    Family ID F67  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "John Cressey was b. in Beverly, Mass., July 31, 1721, m. about 1745 Deborah, dau. of Captain Amos Wadleigh of Boston. He and his wife moved to Narragansett No. 7, a grant to the soldiers who fought in King Philip's war in 1675. This grant is now the town of Gorham, Maine, incorporated in 1764. They settled west of ``Little River'' in 1747, cleared some of the forest land and built a log cabin for their home. Later he exchanged places for a 30-acre lot, No. 53, not far from ``Fort Hill,'' where he made a permanent home. This was in the time of the French and Indian war. It was not safe for anyone to remain outside the fort at night. They lived in constant fear of the war whoop, the tomahawk, and the scalping knife. His wife would often act as spy while her husband was at work in the clearing with gun at hand to protect him from the wily savage. The fort was built in 1745 on the most elevated land in Gorham. A tablet on a boulder now marks the spot on ``Fort Hill.'' The early settlers did not feel secure until General Wolfe and his army won the victory at Quebec in 1759. During the dangerous times public worship was held in the fort. He was a tanner and shoemaker for the early settlers. In 1772 he cut 20 tons of hay. The farm is still in the Cressey name. He and his wife were members of the early First Parish Congregational Church. He d. in 1785 at 64. She d. in 1796 at 75." [3]
    • "He moved to Connecticut with his father. He m. Deborah Wadley. They moved to Gorham, Maine about 1747." [4]
    • "John, the eldest son, who settled in Gorham, was born July 31, 1721, and was about twenty-five or twenty-six years old when, about 1747, he married Deborah, daughter of Capt. Amos Wadley of Boston. He came to Gorham when his son John was an infant, and settled first on the hundred acre lot, 69, or 70, west of Little river, near where David Warren lately lived. From thence having exchanged farms with Chas. McDonald he moved to the thirty acre lot, 53, where he lived a part of the time during the Indian war.
      Mr. Cressey built his first house on the above-named thirty acre lot, near where Charles Cressey's cider house now stands. At the time of his coming to Gorham, 1749, Or 1750, the Indians in consequence of their many defeats had become less troublesome, though they were often seen, singly or in small parties, but committed but little depredation, as the settlers had become better armed and more wary. Nevertheless, many of the settlers who were near enough made the fort their home during the night. Such was the case with Mr. Cressey. Although his name does not appear with those who made the fort their home during the Indian war, the fact is that he did so most of the time with his wife and children, always going to the fort to spend the nights. He had a road across lots direct to the fort, which was a short half mile from his clearing. The first land he cleared was in front of his log house, on the thirty acre lot, 53. Here he would work, while his wife and her son John would sit on a stump with the gun by her side in order to give the alarm, should the Indians appear. At one time, while husband and wife were thus situated, an Indian came upon them. Discovering Mr. Cressey at work, and not seeing his wife, he crept stealthily toward Mr. Cressey, with his tomahawk raised and knife ready, not being armed with a gun. Mrs. Cressey sat with her gun in her hand, with fear and trembling. When the enemy got quite near to her husband she could bear it no longer, his danger overcame her fear. She rose up and called out to him, at the same time pointing her gun toward the Indian, who thought it prudent to beat a hasty retreat, for the savages had had several lessons that had taught them that the "white squaws " were not bad shots. Here the couple lived and toiled. Mrs. Cressey, although reared in the city of Boston, and never having known what hard work was, took hold resolutely with her husband, taking care of the house and aiding in the field, helping him in the toilsome work of cutting and piling up the partially burned logs in order to clear the land for crops, often not knowing from whence the next meal of victuals was to come. Sometimes there was not a particle of food in their house, nor did they know where they could obtain any. Such was the case one day when they were at work on their land. The season was advancing; their crops must be in; if they were to raise anything they had no time to spare, they must work, and then hunt for food. While thus at work, nearly dead for want of food, Mrs. Cressey found a partridge nest, with thirteen eggs in it., This was good fortune, and when their day's work was done they had a good square supper of partridge eggs on which to go to rest. Bread was hard to be got. When they first came into town they could occasionally procure game when their work would allow them time for hunting and when they thought the Indians were not prowling around.

      Mr. Cressey died in 1785, and his wife Deborah, in 1796." [5]

  • Sources 
    1. [S46] NEHGS Register, v.31, p.197.

    2. [S141] Beverly Vital Records.

    3. [S77] Cressey Family Ancestry, Cressey, Ernest W., (Electronic, 1935).

    4. [S46] NEHGS Register, v.31, p.202.

    5. [S82] History of Gorham Maine, McLellan, Hugh D. and Lewis, Katherine B., (Picton Press, Camden, ME, 1903 (1992 Reprint)).