Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ebenezer Eldredge 1707-1797 and Deliverance Nickerson 1728-1808, Chatham and Harwich, Mass.

My seventh great-grandfather, Ebenezer Eldredge (often spelled Eldridge) was born in Chatham, Mass. in February 1706/07, the son of Jehosophat and Elizabeth (Covell) Eldredge.

Ebenezer is mentioned in his father's 9 Feb 1732 will, receiving land with his brother Barnabas. They were to receive his dwelling house after their mother's decease or second marriage.

Ebenezer Eldredge was a miller as well as a farmer and fisherman.
Postcard of an old mill at Chatham

In about 1742, Ebenezer married Deliverance Nickerson. She was born in Chatham on 11 June 1728, the daughter of William and Sarah (Covell) Nickerson.

The story goes that he fell in love with Deliverance when she was a girl and waited until she was 15 to marry her (kind of creepy!). He was 20 years her senior. Geneva A. Eldredge of Sagamore tells of this story in her note to Pauline Wixon Derick in 1933. She says he was born at Crows Pond and Deliverance at Great Point, both Chathamport.

From Delores Bird Carpenter's, Early Encounters Native Americans and Europeans in New England, From the Papers of W. Sears Nickerson, Michigan State Press, 1994: Ebenezer was a fine, strapping, blue-eyed boy with ruddy cheeks and yellow hair like his Saxon forbears. Time passed, and although many a Cape Cod lass set her cap for Ebenezer, it looked as if he could end his days a bachelor.

One fine morning, however, a little baby girl was born to his neighbor, William "Red Stockings" Nickerson and his wife Sarah. Her hair curled in ringlets over a little, round head, and her brown eyes were as deep as the pools in the native Italian lakes of her Lombard ancestors. They named her Deliverance for her grandmother Nickerson, and when the staid Ebenezer saw her, he made a vow then and there that he would wait for her to grow up and make her his wife. When Deliverance reached her 15th birthday, she became his wife, and in spite of the disparity of over 20 years in their ages, they lived happily ever after, having a family of 12 children.

Ebenezer and Deliverance had at least twelve children, their births recorded in Chatham (I am not certain of all the marriages):
John who married Mary Nickerson and Thankfull Nickerson
Stephen who married Hannah Smith
Elnathan who married Dorothy Freeman
Sarah who married Nathaniel Godfrey
Ebenezer who married Tamsen Doane; served in the Revolutionary War
Desire who married Elkanah Howes
Jonathan who married Zerviah Collins
Elisabeth who married Shubael Hinckley, John Loper, and Isaac Hallett
Heber who married Molly/Mary Smith; served in the Revolutionary War
Bethiah who married ____ McCoy and possibly Humphrey Russell
Mercy who married Enoch Chase and Nathan Chase, who were brothers and possibly James Chase.
Ensign who married Sarah Baker

I have also seen a daughter Polly whose birth is not recorded in Chatham. There is a Polly Eldredge who married Lot Pratt, Thomas Bee and Job Chase.

Some sources also list a twin to Mercy, Alery, who died as an infant, although I believe this is likely a transcription error for Mercy. 

I descend from Elnathan, who I wrote about here.

At least early in their marriage, Ebenezer and Deliverance lived in one-half of the old Covell house at Chathamport, with his mother and sister Elisabeth lived in the other half.

Ebenezer paid 5 pound tax for pew choice in 1742.

Ebenezer Eldredge’s 1755 tax assessment: 1 poll, 7 real, 12 personal.

On 27 July 1758 his sister conveyed to him a half interest in her part of her father's estate, reserving to herself half of the house.

On 24 August 1758 his brother, Barnabas, conveyed his share to Ebenezer, reserving half the house for his sister. On the back of this transfer is a receipt dated 12 May 1759, signed by Ebenezer, apparently for the reserved portion of his sister's half of the house, calling it "The Covell House."

Land deeds involving Ebenezer Eldredge:
Reuben Rider of Chatham .... yeoman" for £7, 6s. 8d. "Lawful Money, paid me by Ebenezer Eldredge of the same Town .... yeoman" sold him "all that my several parts parcels and shears of meadow sedge Ground or flatts that I have .... In the Township of Eastham .... that is to say all that which I Bought of Nathaniel Smith of sd Eastham and Do hold by one deed .... baring Date the 11th day of February A:D: 1748/9 .... and also all the meadow sedge Ground or flatts which I Bought of Willard Knowles of sd Eastham and Do hold by one Deed .... Baring Date the 11th day of February A:D: 1748/9
The deed was dated 23 July 1765, and acknowledged 9 November 1765, before Kenelm Winslow, Justice of the Peace. The witnesses were James Covel and Joseph Atkins. It was recorded 25 June 1766, in Book 30, folio 225, by Solomon Otis, Register.

Ebenzer Eldridge and Nathaniel Eldridge both of Chatham .... yeomen "for £3, sold to "John Smalle of Yarmouth .... Husbandman .... a certain piece of Salt meadow lying on the southerly side of the Red river neck in said Chatham Bounded as follows beginning at a stake and stone at the foot of the Bank in the rang of the thirty fourth Lot thence Easterly by the Bank thirty pole to a stone in the ground thence south on a strait line into the sea and is bounded on the west by the thirty fourth Lot aforesaid being about two acres"
The deed was dated 20 October, 1789, and was signed by Elnathan Eldredge as attorney to "Ebenr Eldridge", and by "Nathanel Eldredge iuner". It was acknowledged the same day, by "Elnathan Eldridge attorney to Ebenezer Eldridge" and by "Nathaniel Eldridge", before Elijah Knowles, Justice of the Peace. The witnesses were Elijah Knowles and John Emery.
The deed was recorded to December, 1789, in Barnstable County Deeds, Book 43, folio 9, by Ebenezer Bacon, Register.

Ebenezer Eldridge and Nathaniel Eldridge both of Chatham, yeomen, who sold to John Smalle of Yarmouth husbandman piece of salt meadow on south side of the Red river neck for 3 pounds. Deed dated 20 October 1789 and was signed by Elnathan Eldredge as attorney to Ebenr Eldridge and Nathanel Eldredge jr. Acknowledged same day by JP Elijah Knowles. Recorded Barnstable Court 20 October 1789 in Deed book 43, folio 9.

Ebenezer was one of the Anabaptist Church members in Harwich asking for Pastor Richard Chase's dismissal in 1777.

1790 Federal Census has Ebenezer Eldridge with 1 male over 16, one male under 16, 1 female.

Ebenezer died 26 February 1797. I have read he died at his son Elnathan’s home in East Harwich. He is buried at the Methodist Cemetery in East Harwich.

His stone reads:
Ebenezer Eldredge died 25 February 1797 aged 90

His stone is slate with weeping willow and urn engraving. Has surface damage.
Ebenezer's stone at the Methodist Cemetery (bad time of day!)

Estate information for Ebenezer Eldredge, Barnstable Co. Probate records, Vol 28, pg 350-51 (writing is difficult to read; misspellings are left as is):

Whereas we the subscribers being appointed by the Hono David Davis Esq Judge of Probate for the County of Barnstable to make partition and division in the estate of Ebenezer Eldridge late of Chatham, deceased, by setting off to Deliverance Eldridge relict widow of said deceased on either part thereof and being sworn as the Law directs have accordingly proceeded to set fit off said thirds this sixth day of June it D. 1798 and ___ beginning at ______ and stone out in the ground in Elisha Smith's range to the west end of the dwelling house thence easterly as the ridge of the house runs through the _____ & middle of the East door to a heap of stones ___ from said door thence northerly one rod & an half to a heap of stones thence easterly to a  ____ and stone on the northerly side of the swamp thence southeasterly two rods to Jonathan Eldridges range then ___ in said Jonathan's range about five rods to the corner of the ___ _____for the easterly in said Jonathan's range to the bank or edge of the ___ and thence westerly by the bank or edge of the wetlands to Elijah Smith's range then northerlly in said Smith's range to the corner of the fence thence westerly in said Smith's range to the corner thence northwesterly in said Smith's range to the first bound. Also the liberty of a way out and off the other land to a allowed way. Also a landing below said land and a way to it allowing to the heirs a way by gates and bars to ____pass through said thirds. Also set to said widow the southernmost great room in said Dwelling house and the chamber over it to the middle of the ridge and the entry way to the middle of the East Door and stairway also the west bedroom and ____ with the privilege of baking in the ___ in the back room. The allowing to the heirs the privelege to water in the well and the liberty to pass and repass on from said well and to pass through said entry out in at the fore door and up and down stairs. Also set to said widow the meadow at the beach in Orleans. Also set to said widow the westerly third of the woodlot lying in Harwich Phineas Nickerson's bounds begining at a heap of stones to Judah Eldridges range thence southerly in the range of said to the southwest corner of said lot to a heap of stones and to exdend Eastward from such bound in the range of said lot so as to take one third of said lot.

Isaac Freeman, Rueben Rider, Jonah Crowel, Dividers
2  Tuesday Feby 1798

Accepted and ordered ___ by the Honorable Judge N. Freeman Regn. Attest Nath. Freeeman Regn.

Barnstable Co. Probate, Volume 31, p 255:

Barnstable Co To Hon John Davis Esq Judge of the Probate of with & for the County of Barnstable.

The account of Elnathan Eldridge, Adm. to the Estate of Ebenezer Eldridge, late of Harwich, in fair county deceased.

(My apologies for the numbers not lining up in columns!) 

Your accountant chargeth himself with the personal estate of fair deceased
 or apprized or per inventory                                                               92.47
By improvement of estate since his decease i.e. 2/3                           11.00
                                                                                                      Total 103.47

And prays an allowance for the following charges and payments viz
To what the judge allowed the widow                                               80.00
To apprizer's Bill                                                                                 5.50
To Today attendg probate court and supinas(?subpeonas)                   5.50
To attendg apprizers and ____                                                            3.00
To attendg court                                                                                 6.00
To supinas do and paid judge                                                    7.00
To a debt due to Ebenr Eldridge                                            49.82
            David Buck                                                                    7.05
            Ensign Nickerson                                                        15.83
            Saml Doane, tax                                                             3.90
            Fear Atkinson                                                                4.00
            Lumbard Nickerson                                                      23.07
            Stephen Eldridge                                                          81. 25
To a Debt due to John Eldridge, acct.                                         70.00
            Benj. Godgrey do                                                           9.00
            Jona Eldridge                                                              111.00
            Jno Hawes                                                                      1.00

To my own account, agnst Estate ye balance and schedule     412.30

                                                                                           Total  696.73
To judge and register, ____ acct. ___                                         6.40
To attending today                                                                     1.50
To future charges supposed to be                                             30.00
            ___ over credit                                                            103.47
                                    Balance                                               631.17.5

March 14th 1800
Errors Excepted Elnathan Eldridge

Barnstable Pr March 17 1800 The above account was presenedt sworn to, vouchd and allowed John Davis  Compared Nath. Freeman Regr

Also from Ebenezer's estate, Barnstable County Probate, Volume 35, P. 271:

Barnstable Co: To Honble John Davis Esqur Judge of Probate. The accnt of Elnathan Eldridge Adm. to the Estate of Ebenr Eldridge late of Chatham intestate deceased.

Your accountant charges himself with inventory as before                              52.47
By improvement of estate viz 2/3 to that time which was March 17 1800      11.00
By sale Real Estate                                                                                         798.47

And prays an allowance for the following charges viz:

To old acct                                                                              704.64
To cash paid tax                                                                            .60
To do---- do----                                                                           1.70
To Dr. Stone                                                                               2.62
To Paul Mayo                                                                              2.75
To Obadiah Smith                                                                       1.00
To Lydia Snow                                                                           2.35
To attendg court Myricks                                                           1.50
To twice going to Barnstable                                                      6.00
To my sons labour for bill                                                           7.00
To attending vendue & liq. (?)                                                    4.00
To attending today                                                                     1.50
To Regr 5.00 Judge 1.20                                                             6.20

            March 21 1804                                                            802.87

Errors excepted
Elnathan Eldredge

March 21st 1804 received sworn to and allowed John Davis J. Prob.
Copared by Nath. Freeman Register

Inventory, Barnstable Co. Probate Volume 30, p 56-7:

An inventory of the estate of Ebenr Eldridge late of Chatham deceased taken by the subscribers this sixth day of June AD 1798 being sworn as the Law directs.

To personal Estate viz

To one bed & furniture, bedstead & cord                  37.00
To one old bedstead & cord & one old vest                   .66
To pewter householdware  one _____ teapot             3.75
To iron householdware                                               9.24
To one gun                                                                 1.00
To earthen householdware                                          1.83
To _______- to one old chest                                        .33
To one cupboard                                                         2.00
To two tables  (amt cut off by copier)
To old caske washtub & sifting trough                       1.17
One pr looms                                                               4.00
To old chains one old axe & copse & pink one hammer(?)    2.66
To one looking glass ___ to one foot wheel one great wheel 2.08
To one cow to three sheep two thirds                         16.75
To fifteen pounds of sheeps wool                              5.00
To real Estate viz
To the homestead land & buildings                          802.00
To meadow                                                               400.00
To woodland lying in Harwich near ____ Nickerson 154.00
To one pew(?) standing in the meetinghouse               30.00

Isaac Freeman
Jonah Crowell             Apprs
Reuben Ridley(?)       

Above awarded 2.4.0 pounds. Compared N. Freeman Regr.

Letters of Administration, Barnst. Co. Probate, Vol 25, p 177:

Letter of Administration for Ebenr Eldridge late of Chatham, dated 10 April 1798, by order of Judge Daniel Davis. Letters of Admin. granted to Elnathan Eldridge of Harwich.

In November 1804 Deliverance Edlrexdge sold her estate rights to her brother Lumbert's share. In February 1805 she sold her mother Sarah's third part in the estate.

Deliverance died 25 April 1808 at Chatham and is buried next to Ebenzer at the Methodist Cemetery.
Her stone is a slate stone, with urn and weeping willow. Some surface damage. It reads:
"In memory of Mrs. Deliverance wife of Ebenr Eldredge who died 25 April 1808, aet 81"

Resources Not Listed Above:
Josiah Paine, A History of Harwich, 1937

Nickerson Family Association, The Nickerson Family, Part 1

John Carroll Chase, compiled for him by George Walter Chamberlain, Some of the Descendants of William Chase of Roxbury and Yarmouth, Mass., NEHGR, January 1933

William Smith, A History of Chatham, 1909


  1. Chris...nice work here. I'm descended from William Eldredge of Chatham. Is Ebenezer descended from him?
    Brian Cooper

  2. Thanks, Brian. Ebenezer is Williams grandson, through Jehosophat. Chris

  3. Hi Chris - Geneva Agnes Nickerson Eldredge was my great-grandmother! Meredith Mitchell Atkinson


I'm now moderating comments on this blog. My apologies for any ensuing delays, but the large number of "spam" comments have made this necessary. ~Chris