102. Captain Ebenezer4 Ricker (Lucy3 Wallingford, Unconnected2 Families, Unconnected1 Wallingfords) was born probably in Dover, New Hampshire about 1741.(430) (Age 74 on gravestone) Ebenezer died 5 November 1815, in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire.(431) He is buried with his three wives in the Salmon Falls old town cemetery in Rollinsford, N.H.
He married three times. He married Elizabeth Wallingford, 22 September 1771, probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire.(432) Elizabeth was born 28 February 1753, probably in Dover, New Hampshire.(433) Elizabeth was the daughter of Capt. Thomas Wallingford and Abigail Hill. Elizabeth died 19 April 1781, in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire.(434) She was buried with her husband and two of his other three wives in the Salmon Falls old town cemetery in Rollinsford, N.H.(435) Elizabeth was the second of Ebenezer Ricker's four wives. He had one child (Ebenezer, who died in infancy) by his first wife and two (Abigail and Mary B.) by his third. Those listed are the children he had with Elizabeth Wallingford.
He married second, Mary Bodwell, 4 April 1782, in Berwick, York County, Maine.(436) Mary was born about 1751. (Gravestone)
Mary died 15 September 1796, probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire. She was buried with her husband and his other two wives in the Salmon Falls old town cemetery in Rollinsford, N.H.(437)
He married third, Margaret Roberts, before 1800.(438) Margaret was born about 1750. (Gravestone)
Margaret died 2 October 1826, probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire.(439) She was buried with her husband and his other two wives in the Salmon Falls old town cemetery in Rollinsford, N.H.(440) Captain Ebenezer Ricker was master of a ship for many years, and made many successful voyages to the East Indies, by which he acquired considerable wealth. He built and lived in the residence located on Silver Street, at the intersection of Foundry Street in Rollinsford, N.H. It was originally known as "The Ricker Inn" and the famous Concord Stagecoaches stopped there. After retiring from the sea he passed the remainder of his days in overseeing and managing his farm. According to the Ricker Genealogy, he married first Mrs. Sarah Wentworth in 1768 and had by her a son Ebenezer born in 1769 who died in infancy.(441) This, however, is a misreading of the source of that information, the diary of Somersworth schoolmaster Joseph Tate. Tate wrote "Mrs. Sarah Wentworth Daugtr of Ensn. Samuel Wentworth of Sommersworth -- One by Capt. Ebenr. Ricker Born Jan. 17th 1769 Boy Named Ebenez."(442) Master Tate used the term "Mrs." for single women and where he writes "One by..." he is saying that they had that child out of wedlock. It also doesn't state the surname for the child or that he died in infancy as the Ricker genealogy claims. We know that he didn't marry Sarah because her name was still Wentworth when she married Samuel Roberts III on 13 April 1775.(443) Sarah was the daughter of Ensign Samuel Wentworth and Patience Downs, born 17 June 1745.(444)
With Elizabeth Wallingford he had four children, who are all listed below. Also included below is Abigail, who according to the Ricker Genealogy was born 28 February 1779 but was a daughter of his second wife. Her birth date would suggest that she was a daughter of Elizabeth Wallingford, however. Also, Abigail was later included in a deed as one of the heirs of the Wallingford line. He also had a daughter Mary Bodwell Ricker born in 1787 by his second wife.(445)
He was the administrator of the estate of his first wife Elizabeth's brother Thomas Wallingford in October 1802.(446)
On 18 October 1813 Ebenezer Ricker of Somersworth, gentleman, Michael Little of Lewiston, Maine and Betsy his wife in her right, William Lambert of Somersworth, gentleman, and Abigail his wife in her right, and Elisha Hill, Jr. of Portsmouth, merchant, and Lucy his wife in her right, sold their rights in the farm and homestead of Col. Thomas Wallingford of Somersworth to Charles Cushing of Berwick for $62.50. The land had descended to them after the decease of Thomas Wallingford's widow Elizabeth.(447) Betsy Little, Abigail Lambert and Lucy Hill were his three daugters by Elizabeth Wallingford. A month earlier, in September, Ebenezer sold to Cushing another portion of this land that was originally the right of Hannah (Wallingford) Brown, daughter of Thomas Wallingford, it being land conveyed to him in a deed from Hannah at an earlier date.(448)
A magazine article published in 1929(449) gives many details of his life, as follows:
"Ebenezer Ricker early showed great business ability, and turned his attention to seafaring. Many voyages he made to the West Indies, and long foreign trips brought him the title which distinguished him, and great financial success. The story of the ship "Ranger" and his liking for the craft has been handed down to this day. He was young and ambitious to make good, but since he was to sail as supercargo on the "Ranger" he was not allowed to carry any commodity on his own account in the hold of the ship, but his stateroom was for his own use, so he packed it full of salt fish, leaving scant room for his comfort. Arriving in port, he sold his fish at a great premium and came out ahead financially. In his early married life he lived in a large house close to the river on the Somersworth side of the bridge separating South Berwick and Somersworth. Here his children were born, grew to womanhood, and left the home next for good homes of their own. Captain Ricker, after his marriage with Mary Bodwell, began to make preparations to leave his Quamphegan house by the river. He was in possession of a farm on the road leading to the old "meeting house," and proposed to build a house there large enough to accommodate travelers--an old time inn. With his usual good judgment he dug a well first, to be sure of water; then he built a barn, possibly eighty feet long, low-posted with two floors running across the barn, and a wide bay between them; bays, or tie-ups in the ends. Double swinging doors on the front and small doors at the back; teams were driven in and backed out. There was no call to pitch hay very high, it was dropped into the wide bays, well boarded up, three feet or more, keeping the hay very clean. This barn stood for a century, and in the last years it was more beautiful than useful perhaps. Woodbine had been planted close to the sills and in time nearly covered it. The glossy green leaves were attractive in summer, but its chief beauty was in autumn when the foliage was wine color and the purple berries were in evidence. About the year 1790, Captain Ricker built the house still standing and cherished by his descendants. Very few changes have been made in the old mansion by the owners since his time; a few windows have been put in for more light and air, and a kitchen built on, leaving the inn kitchen for a dining room; here we have the wide fireplace, with the brick oven inside the fireplace, an [un]usual arrangement. The crane, loaded with pot hooks, still swings, and andirons, shovel and tongs keep company, as in the days gone by. The two front rooms are generous in size, finished in the heavy style of the time, with a fireplace for heating. The chambers are the same size as the lower rooms, fireplaces with quaint fire irons in each room. The brick used in the building of the immense chimney was burned in the pasture below the house. Captain Ricker was a famous host, and his inn has passed into history through the writings of no less a person than Timothy Dwight, a grandson of Jonathan Edwards and president of Yale College from 1796 until his death in 1817. During this long term of faithful service the president's health gave out from overtaxing his strength in his college work, and he decided to make trips through the New England states, keeping a written account of each town visited. In October, 1796, he records: "Lodged at an excellent house kept by a Captain Ricker. This gentleman (for he amply merits the title,) had just buried his wife and quitted the business of innkeeper. With some persuasion he consented, however, to lodge us; but with evident apprehensions that we should find less agreeable accommodations than we wished. The treatment which we received from him and all his was such as favorite friends might have expected from a very hospitable and well bred family. I never found an inn more agreeable. The tenderness and respect with which our host spoke of his deceased wife, would indeed, of themselves have rendered ordinary entertainment sufficiently pleasing to us." This visit was made less than a month after the death of his second wife. After a time Captain Ricker married his third wife, Margaret Wentworth. With the many cares of his inn and his great property, Captain Ricker was interested in other matters. He built a fine house on top of "Somersworth Hill," opposite the Nathan Lord house, for his daughters who married Michael Little and William Lambert. Here the young people of the families had the privilege of attending Berwick Academy; for this institution many people of that time in the nearby towns stood sponsors. The Rev. John Lord, historian, said in his historical address given at the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Berwick Academy in 1891; "Thomas R. Lambert was in my class at the Academy, and frequently wrote our compositions from the freedom of his pen. He was noted for extraordinary vivacity, which he has not yet lost at the age of eighty-one." To this grand house on the hill, came John P. Hale of Rochester, N.H., when he was wooing Lucy Lambert. Captain Ricker, then over sixty years, directed the building of the Turnpike from Somersworth line to the Dover limit, four and one-half miles. This was the sixth turnpike to be built in New Hampshire." The remaining 6 1/2 pages of this magazine article tell about the Doe family, into which Ebenezer Ricker's daughter Mary Bodwell Ricker married, and their accomplishments and years at the Ricker Inn in Somersworth.
Captain Ebenezer Ricker and Elizabeth Wallingford had the following children:
174 i. Thomas5 Ricker was born probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire 26 June 1772.(450) Thomas was deceased by 19 January 1805. An obituary for his brother Ebenezer calls him the "only son" of their father Ebenezer, so Thomas must have been deceased by this point. He died single.
175 ii. Captain Ebenezer Ricker Jr. was born probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire 9 July 1774.(451) Ebenezer died before 19 January 1805, in Point-Petre, Guadeloupe.(452) According to the Ricker Genealogy he was a sea captain who died unmarried in Somersworth.(453) In a Dover newspaper dated 19 January 1805 is the following obituary: "At Point-Petre (G.) Capt. Ebenezer Ricker Jr., only son of Capt. Ebenezer Ricker of Somersworth." There can be little doubt that this is the same person. There is a Point-Petre in Guadeloupe, an island in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, and this seems likely to be the correct place. There is also a Point-Petre on Lake Ontario in Ontario, Canada, but the "(G.)" after the place name seems more likely to indicate Guadeloupe. Why the Ricker genealogy says he died in Somersworth is unknown.
176 iii. Elizabeth Ricker was born probably in Somersworth, New Hampshire 5 November 1776.(454) Betsey died 18 March 1864, in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire.(455) An obituary in the Exeter News-Letter for 21 March 1864 sounds like our Elizabeth: "In Dover, At Hon. J.P. Hale's house, Mrs. Elizabeth Little of Newbury, Mass., aged 87."(456) She apparently was living in Newbury, Mass. in her later years. She married Michael Little, after July 1801.(457) Michael's first wife died at that time.
Michael was born 14 March 1771 or 1772.(458) Michael was the son of Josiah Little and Sarah Toppan. Michael died 10 or 16 March 1830, in Minot, Androscoggin County, Maine.(459) He was from Lewiston, Maine.(460) They were living in Lewiston, Maine on 18 October 1813 according to the deed described under her father's record, above. They later lived in Woodstock, Maine and had no children.(461) Michael graduated Dartmouth College in 1792 and was a farmer in Minot, Maine. He had one child by his first wife.(462) Another source calls him an attorney-at-law.(463)
177 iv. Lucy Ricker was born in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire 31 January 1779.(464) Lucy died in 1850.(465) She married Elisha Hill, in 1803.(466) Elisha was born in 1776.(467) Elisha died in 1850.(468) They were living in Portsmouth, N.H. on 18 October 1813 according to the deed described under her father's record, above. They had four children.(469) In 1823 Elisha Hill of Portsmouth was taxed for land and buildings in Somersworth in the estate of Ebenezer Ricker.(470)
178 v. Abigail Ricker. Her birth was not recorded with the rest of the family in the "Diary" of Somersworth schoolmaster Joseph Tate, but there are very few entries made after 1779. Evidence for her inclusion in the family comes from a deed that she and her husband were part of mentioned in her father's record above. Abigail died in June 1869, in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.(471) She married William Thomas Lambert, 2 July 1809.(472) He was from Rowley, Mass. and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1798.(473) Rowley vital records record a William Lambert, son of Thomas and Aphia Lambert born on 22 July 1772.(474) They were living in Somersworth on 18 October 1813 according to the deed described under her father's record, above. They had two children. Their daughter Lucy married John Parker Hale who was a U.S. Senator for 16 years and later ambassador to Spain. One of that couple's daughters, Lucy Lambert Hale, married William E. Chandler, who was also a U.S. Senator in 1908.(475) Before marrying Chandler she had the ignominious distinction of having been engaged to marry John Wilkes Booth at the time he assassinated Lincoln.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids