75. John4 Wallingford (John3, John2, Nicholas1) was born probably in Newington, N.H. say 1716. John was baptized in Newington on 30 April 1724 along with his four eldest sisters.(777) His name was mentioned first in the list, so if he were the eldest of the five, counting backwards two years at a time from 1724 would place his birth about 1716. It is unlikely to have occured any earlier than that, because he had an older brother William, and when their father was poll taxed in Newington in 1732 there were only two taxable males 16 or over in the family.(778) One had to be William, meaning John could not yet be 16 at that time. John died before 1750. He must have been deceased for long before his widow was warned out of Dover on 13 March 1749/50, having "for some time past been in said town".(779)
He married Susannah. Susannah died 9 February 1772, probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire. The diary of Somersworth schoolmaster Joseph Tate has the following entry: "Mrs. Susannah Wallingford Wo. of Jno. Wallingford Decd. Dy'd on Sunday Feb. ye 9th. 1772."(780) All secondary accounts on this family say that the John who was born about 1716 in Newington to John and Charity is the same John who married Lydia Garland and moved to Lebanon, Maine to raise a large family. But when the evidence is examined, it appears more likely that these were two people, probably father and son.
The first element of doubt is that no son John is mentioned in the October 1761 will of John Wallingford of Rochester, formerly of Newington. And land records clearly show that John "Jr." was living in Rochester at this time. This can, of course, easily be explained by a rift in the family or by his father having previously granted him as much of the estate as he had wanted to. Why didn't John Sr. leave any bequests to his purported grandson? Four years earlier John and his wife Lydia (Garland) sold land that Lydia had acquired from the estate of her grandfather Thomas Downs. John Sr. may have felt that his grandson was already well-established with property that came through his wife's family.
A second element of doubt is John of Lebanon's age at death in 1805, which was reported by Lebanon's Rev. Isaac Hasey as 72. That would have him born about 1733, which is a far cry from 1716. He would actually have been 89 if born in 1716, and one would think the Rev. Hasey could have done better than 72 even if guessing.
John Wallingford married Lydia Garland in 1755. If he were born about 1716 it means he would have married a 20 year old woman at the age of 39. Not unheard of, but a bit unusual. If he were born in 1733 he would have been only two years older than her, which is much more reasonable.
Between 1757 and 1759 John Wallingford "Jr." had three land transactions in Rochester, then in 1763 the "Jr." is dropped, obviously because of the elder John dying in 1762. This "Jr." doesn't prove a father/son relationship, or course, as the phrase was often simply used to differentiate between two people of the same name, with the younger being called "Jr."
If John born in 1716 married in 1755 at the age of 39 and started purchasing land in 1757, what was he doing throughout his 20s and 30s? Why is there no record of him? If he were simply living with his parents you'd think that he would be mentioned in the will.
There there is the existence of Susannah Wallingford. On 13 March 1749/50 Susannah Wallinsford was warned out of the town of Dover. According to the order of the Selectmen she had "for some time past been in said town and we are apprehensive (if proper care be not taken) she may become a charge to the Town".(781) Twenty-two years later Somersworth's schoolmaster Joseph Tate in his diary on 9 February 1772 recorded that "Mrs. Susannah Wallingford Wo. of Jno. Wallingford Decd. Dy'd."(782) The only other possible John who could have been the husband of this Susannah is the John who married Mary Tuttle, but he was born in 1659 and doesn't appear in any known records after 1709, so is very unlikely to have married a woman who died in 1772.
John and Charity had a daughter Susannah baptized on 7 September 1735, but she can't be confused with this other Susannah. In fact, if, as seems likely, John and Charity's son John married this Susannah and had a son John born about 1733, it would explain why John and Charity named a daughter Susannah about that time. Also, John and Lydia (Garland) Wallingford had a daughter named Susannah.
So while there is no absolute proof that there are actually two Johns rather than one, it seems more likely than not. It does mean that John and Susannah had a son when he was only 17, which is a bit unusual, but it's not impossible. Also, both birth dates are only estimates, of course, so it's hard to say how old he was when he had his son. It's unlikely, however, that the elder John was born before 1716, as discussed above.
John Wallingford and Susannah had the following child:
+ 173 i. John5 Wallingford was born about 1733.