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    Volume 2 Issue 4 June 1997   

New Findings

A couple of new things found this last month will be of interest to descendants of Benjamin Wiser Sr.

From the 1909 book, Haverhill Town Affairs, One Hundred Years Ago, by William Whitcher, p.19; it states, " of the larger number of these 55 poll tax payers there is little knowledge. So far as known, none of them have descendants bearing the name in Haverhill to-day. Benjamin Wiser was the father of a large family of children, and one of his sons, Benjamin, Jr., was one of the characters of the town in the fortys and fiftys. In fact, Ben. Wiser had nearly as much of a local reputation as was enjoyed by John Page, Jr., whose name appears in the above list and who, as trusted county and state official, as governor and United States senator, was for many years the first citizen not only of the town, but of Norther New Hampshire. Now, of course, I would like to know what this "reputation" meant. Anyone with any ideas, please let me know.

From "Historical Sketches of the Discovery, Settlement, and Progress of Events in the Coos Country and Vicinity, principally included between the years 1754 and 1785", there may possibly be an explanation of how Benjamin Wiser ended up in Haverhill. In 1763, says Col. Joshua Bailey, John Foreman and several others of Pennsylvania, having enlisted into the British army near the commencement of the old French war, and having been retained in Canada after peace was restored, deserted and made through the woods until they came upon the head waters of the Connecticut, and following down the stream, they came into the north part of Haverhill. But here they found themselves famishing through lack of sustenance, and as they knew not that ther was an English settlement within a hundred miles of them, they were prepared to seize upon any thing which could satisfy the demands of hunger. They unexpectedly came in sight of a horse upon the plain north of the north parish meeting-house, and supposing it to be wild, or one that had gone far astray, they shot it, and fed themselves upon its flesh...Col. Bailey says, this fact of their killing the horse on that plain gave the name "Horse Meadow" to that section of the town, and not the traditionary story of horses finding a rush grass there sooner in the spring than elsewhere."

This could be one explanation of how a Palatine from Pennsylvannia with the name of "Weiser" could end up in New Hampshire. Anyway, it is a thought for further research.

There is a new book published, "Weiser Families in America", by the John Conrad Weiser Family Association. The book can be purchased for $145.00 from Picton Press, P.O. Box 250, Rockport, ME, 04856-0250. There are two volumes with over 2,000 pages and 83,000 entries, and there should be a section on our Wiser family. I haven't yet received my copy.

Hopefully, these two new finds will help us locate some additional records which can help us in our search for the parents of Benjamin Wiser Sr.

Once again, any updated information which you can give me regarding your family would be most appreciated. I have the capability of reading data through various genealogy programs including PAF, Family Tree Maker, etc. My address is: 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM 88201-Ron Wiser