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Volume 11 Issue 3                                                                             March 2006




BENJAMIN WISER SENIOR TIMELINE (Updated from October 2003 Newsletter)

Lived: Massachusetts (The town listed first is where I believe Benjamin lived at the time)

Natick-1743-Natick, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, today is a suburb of Boston, “located on the upper basin of the Charles and Concord rivers.  In Colonial days, Natick was an agricultural community with some orchards and lumbering.  John Eliot, the great missionary, secured a charter of 6,000 acres for the Indians and converted them to Christianity.”

This is the town where we believe our Benjamin Wiser was born in 1743.  His father may have been James Wiser, his mother was Ruth Bowman Wiser (she probably was married to James, but if not him, she was married to one of his three brothers).  His exact age is known because he is listed as six years old in 1749 when his grandfather, Samuel Bowman passed away.

Natick-1744-His father James Wiser probably died.  He was never heard of again after leaving on the expedition to Carthagena.  Carthagena is in Columbia, South America.  The British were in a war with Spain, and a number of Massachusetts men, including Native Americans, were enlisted and taken to fight in this conflict in the Caribbean and South America.

Natick-1745-Benjamin’s grandfather, James Wiser’s will was probated.  He died in 1741 leaving four sons, James, Joseph, Benjamin and John.  Our Benjamin, if not the son of James, was without doubt a son of one of these brothers, though the children of Benjamin have all been accounted for and John died in 1746 leaving no heirs.  Therefore, the only other brother who could have been his father was Joseph.

Natick-1746-Benjamin’s uncle, John Wiser, died in Louisburgh, Nova Scotia.  The British and French were in conflict over the control of Louisburg. During the conflict, a number of men from Massachusetts died including John.

Sturbridge-1746-Sturbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts, is about 40 miles west of Natick.  A Nipmuck village, Metewemesick, was located near Sturbridge.  Today, the “Old Sturbridge Village” is a tourist attraction, with historic households and shops, mills and working farms; it explores the everyday tasks and seasonal celebrations of early 19th-century New England.

About this time, his mother Ruth Bowman Wiser probably died.  Benjamin was then given to his uncle (Zachariah Equi) and aunt (Betty Bowman Equi) to be raised.  According to Samuel Bowman (Benjamin’s grandfather), Betty and her family lived in Sturbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Sturbridge-1747-Benjamin’s grandfather, Samuel Bowman passed away in Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Sturbridge-1749-Samuel Bowman’s administration papers record, “I have executed this amount and do allow and approve the same and Betty Equi daughter of deceased having hither to taken care of Benjamin Wiser, the only child of Ruth Bowman, deceased a daughter of said deceased and she engaging to take care of him for and future order said child part to be paid her, 7 Feb 1749.” He was six at the time.

Sturbridge-1749 to 1767-No further information available at this time of where Benjamin and his family lived.  He was probably living in Sturbridge. 

Sturbridge-1767-Benjamin Wiser, age 24 married Abigail Thomas, 25 Jun 1767 at the Sturbridge Congregational Church.  She was related to the Thomas family of Natick who were also part of the Nipmuck Indian Tribe of Natick.  This is one of the few documented records of Benjamin that exist.

Westborough-1767 to 1769-Westborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts, is about 12 miles east of Worcester and 29 miles west of Boston; it is bordered by Shrewsbury, Grafton on the West, Southborough and Hopkinton on the East, Upton on the South and Northborough on the North.  The village of Hassanamesitt (located in Grafton) was founded as on of John Elliot’s Praying Indian villages in 1654.  There were a large number of the descendants of the Nipmucks who lived in this area about this time.

Benjamin and his wife probably moved to Westborough about this time. There was a strong relationship with the Joseph and Jemima (Wheat) Morse family who also lived in Westborough.  The Morses had also lived in Natick, Massachusetts.  Benjamin’s daughter, Alithea would eventually marry Joseph Morse’s son, Luther.  Luther Morse was born 5 May 1767 in Westborough.   On 20 Aug 1765, Joseph Morse, his wife, Jemima and 3 children were ordered out of Westborough.  They didn’t leave though as the next three children were born there.

Westborough-1769-A daughter, Alithea Wiser was born 27 Sep 1768/1769 in Westborough.   She may have been named after Joseph and Jemima’s daughter, Alithea who was born 10 Feb 1762 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  James Morse, son of Joseph and Jemima (Wheat) Morse was born 14 May 1769 in Barre, MA.

Barre-1770-A daughter, Allice (Alice) Wiser was probably born.  Denison Morse, son of Joseph was born 20 May 1772 in Barre.

Barre-1771 to 1772-I believe that Abigail Thomas passed away sometime before 1781.  Benjamin married Kezia, maiden name unknown.  Eunice and Denison Morse, twin children of Joseph were born 20 May 1772 in Barre.

Barre-1774-A son, Benjamin Wiser Jr. is born in Massachusetts.  Ann Ripley Morse, daughter of Joseph Morse was born 8 Apr 1774 in Barre.

Barre-1776-A son, Josiah Wiser was probably born in Massachusetts.  Jemima Morse, daughter of Joseph Morse was born 28 Mar 1776.

Athol-1777-Joseph Morse was killed 19 Sep 1777 at the Battle of Stillwater, Saratoga, New York during the Revolutionary War, but his death was recorded in the town of Athol, MA. By 1778, they had moved to New Hampshire.  On 6 Apr 1778, Benjamin Wiser commenced pay serving in the Revolutionary War defending the borders of the Connecticut River for a period of eleven months.  He would have been 35 at the time.

Lived: New Hampshire

Haverhill-1781-Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire, was originally known as Lower Coos, located on the northern Connecticut River.  It was the end point of the “Old Province Road”, which connected the northern and western settlements with the seacoast.  In 1790, at the time Benjamin was living there, there were 552 residents in Haverhill.

At this time, a daughter, Kezia Wiser was probably born in Haverhill named after her mother.

Haverhill-1783-A daughter, Abigail Wiser was probably born in Haverhill.  She was probably named after Abigail Thomas Wiser.

Haverhill-1783-A son, Samuel Wiser was born in Haverhill.  Benjamin Wiser Sr., his wife, Kezia and his children, Allice, Alithea, Benjamin, Josiah, Samuel, Kezia and Abigail were ordered out of town 8 Feb 1784.  They didn’t leave, this practice was often used to persuade the poor or the “undesirable” (Indians, etc.) to move to another town. 

Haverhill-1785-A son, James Wiser was born in Haverhill.

Haverhill-1786-Benjamin taxes were abated in Haverhill.

Haverhill-1787-A son, Theodore was probably born in Haverhill.

Haverhill-1788-Benjamin’s daughter Alithea married Luther Morse 2 Sep 1788 in Haverhill.  Luther’s mother the widow Jemima Morse lived in New Concord, Essex, Vermont.  According to the Wheat Genealogy (by Silas Carmi Wheat, 1960) p. 48, Jemima married second Benjamin Streeter Senior in 1794; and by 1800 they lived in Phelps, Ontario County, New York.  Her daughter, Alithea married Benjamin Streeter Junior.  There is also a John Streeter, who married 12 Feb 1766, Kezia Morse; they resided in Sturbridge, MA.

Haverhill-1789-Another daughter, name unknown, possibly Maisilva (Marsilla) was born in Haverhill.

Haverhill-1790-Listed in the 1790 Census of Haverhill, New Hampshire, 2 males over 16 and 6 females.

Haverhill-1793-Benjamin owed 2-5-6 pounds to the estate of Robert Haseltine, late of Haverhill.

Lived: New York

New Woodstock-1798-New Woodstock, Madison Township, New York is located in the southern part of Cazenovia Township, and is nearly midway between present-day Cazenovia and DeRuyter.  The first settlers came to this area in 1792.  Today, New Woodstock, a small village, has a population of about 1,200.

Benjamin and his family had moved to New Woodstock by 1798.

New Woodstock-1800-Listed in the 1800 Census of Cazenovia Township (lived in New Woodstock, New York, part of Cazenovia Township), 3 males age 10 to 16, 1, 16 to 26, and 1, 45 and over and 2 females under 10, and 1, 45 and over.

New Woodstock-1801-Sold a barrel of potash to Samuel S. Forman for $19.34.  He was also farming raising hay, oats, potatoes and pumpkins.

New Woodstock-1804-Benjamin listed on tax assessment roll of Cazenovia Township.  He owned 9 acres and was taxed 27 cents.

New Woodstock-1805-Benjamin purchased 75 acres of Lot 66 (Road Township) for $375.00 in Cazenovia Township (New Woodstock). This land is located about 2 miles east of New Woodstock.  For this transaction Josiah Wiser acted as Benjamin’s attorney.  (In 1805, Benjamin would have been 62 years old).  This land has been in the possession of the Damon family for about 200 years.  Their ancestor, Oran Putnam Damon born 21 Oct 1815, was the son of Daniel and Kezia (Litchfield) Damon.  According to family records, Kezia Litchfield Damon (her parents are unknown) was born 1788 and died 14 Feb 1832 in New Woodstock (though her husband, Daniel was born 18 Mar 1779).  If Kezia was born earlier, say about 1780 (closer to the age of her husand), I could possibly see where she might be Kezia, sister of our Samuel Wiser.  We should explore if Kezia, the second wife of Benjamin was possibly married earlier to a Litchfield, and had a daughter, Kezia. This could be a probable explanation of how the land of Benjamin passed on to the Damon family after the death of Benjamin. 

New Woodstock-1805-Listed on tax assessment roll of Cazenovia Township.

New Woodstock-1809 to 1810-Various notices in Cazenovia paper regarding letters left at post office for members of the Wiser family.

New Woodstock-1810-Listed in the 1810 Census of Cazenovia, Madison, New York.

New Woodstock-1812-Listed on tax assessment roll of Cazenovia Township.  There are various references to Benjamin in the land records of the Cazenovia Town Road Book-Description of Road Districts and in the Lincklaen’s store accounts.

New Woodstock-1818-We believe this is the year Benjamin Wiser Senior passed away probably in New Woodstock.  He would have been 75 years old.  Benjamin Wiser is not mentioned in any further records.





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