A newsletter for descendants of Charles A. Ray and Hazel McIntire Ray of Canton, Maine.

Volume 3 Issue 2 News from all over It has been a rainy spring and early summer here in the middle of the country but today the sun is out, school is finsihed, and baseball and softball season are underway. We hope everyone has a great summer. Here is a wrap-up of Ray Family news: A NEW RAY! Suzanne Ray wrote to tell us of the birth of her new baby, Jessica Taylor Ray, who was born October 15, 1995. Jessie has quite a smile as you can see (note how good a Ray face can look with a smile on!). Suzanne pointed out in her letter to me, Jessie comes from the Gaelic for “my present.” I had never heard that so I checked and she is correct! Jessie is pretty much how you would pronounce the Gaelic girl’s name Seasaidh which is a diminutive form (a “pet” form like Bobbie for Robert) of the Bible name Joanna which means “God is gracious” or “God’s gift.” Congratulations Suzanne, she certainly is a fine gift. Jessica Taylor Ray -- born October 15, 1995. CONGRATULATIONS! Robert Thoelen III (son of Bob and Judy Thoelen and grandson of Ron and Rachel Ray) graduated from Enfield Christian Academy in Enfield, CT in May. He will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ beginning in the fall 1 where he plans to major in Electrical Engineering. Congratulations Bob and good luck in college in the fall.

March 2, 2000

NEWSBOY TACKLES DOG! In case you missed it, Iowa was rated both the most “liveable” and “healthiest” state in the US recently. While we really like Iowa a lot it is obvious that some categories like, excitement and nonagricultural activities were not on the survey form. Just to show that some exciting things do sometimes happen in Iowa I have included the following article by our own Ethan Ray from the March 23rd Iowa City “Press Citizen” newspaper (it was a slow week because of spring break!). Thursday March 14, I came home from school ready to do my paper route and discovered that the paper was pretty heavy, so I decided that it would be easier to let my 5 year old brother pull the wagon with the papers in it than for me to carry them in my paper bag. I put in a baseball bat, ball, and glove because we wanted to play some ball after we did my route. Every thing went fine till the second to last house. I opened the door to put the paper in the door when two big dogs came bounding out from the house. I took off after them and yelled over my shoulder for my brother to stay where he was. I went on a five minute wild

goose chase. Finally I caught them and one of my neighbors picked them up and brought them home in his car. I walked over to my brother and said "Lets go hit some balls". The whole way to the park he kept trying to tell me something but I kept telling him to be quiet. When we got to the park he said "You forgot the last paper". I ran and did it and came back and we played baseball for about 20 minutes. by Ethan Ray Hoover School 5th Grade The Bracketts The Brackett family is an important branch of our McIntire line (Charlotte Brackett married Samuel Bailey and their daughter Betsy married Henry McIntire) The Immigrants It is not clear exactly where the Bracketts came from originally. The name is thought to a corruption of either Brocket or Bracken, both of which suggest Scottish or Welsh connections. There also appears to be some confussion about exactly when Anthony Brackett came to New England. The Brackett Geneology says that he came in 1630 when John Winthrop was sent to Massachusetts to be the governor. Winthrop brought with him some 900 people to help colonize his new domain, most of whom came from the city of Boston in Lincolnshire on the east cost of the English midlands (near Nottingham). According to this source, there four brothers named Brackett in this group: Richard, Peter, Anthony and William. Richard settled near Braintree, MA; Peter went to Connecticut and William and Anthony went to Portsmouth, NH.1 Another frequently-cited authority (Little) says that Anthony Brackett may have come to the Portsmouth, NH area with David Thompson around

1623. David Thompson established a fort and trading post at Odiorne’s Point at the mouth of the Piscataqua as a part of the Plymouth Colony.2 David Thompson and his group were the first settlers in what is now New Hampshire. Regardless of when he arrived, Anthony became a well-known member of the Strawberry Bank settlement at what is now Portsmouth, NH. Anthony married around 1635 although the name of his wife is not known. He had five children: Anthony (Jr.), Eleanor, Thomas, Jane and John. The move to Sandy Beach Around 1649 Anthony sold his lands near
Strawberry Bank

Piscataqua River

Odiorne Pt.

David Thompson’s Settlement

Anthony Brackett’s farm at Sandy Beach

Concord Pt.

Brackett landmarks near Portsmouth, NH. Strawberry Bank and moved his family “a mile or so south of the harbor, west of Sandy Beach on Saltwater Brook” in present-day Rye, NH (near Wallis Sands State Park). Anthony owned about 200 acres in the area and continued to live at Sandy Beach for the rest of his life.3 The boys move to Casco Around 1662 Thomas and his brother Anthony, called Captain Anthony to distinguish him from his father, went up to Casco in Maine. At this time Casco, the area around Portland, was the farthest English settlement to the north-east. The only other

2 1

A. L. Brackett, Descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1897, pg 2. 2

George T. Little, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, 1909, pg 40-43. Ibid, pg 41.


English outpost was an Indian trading post at Pejepscot (present-day Brunswick). Captain Anthony married Ann Mitton in 1662 and settled on the north side of the neck that forms present-day downtown Portland. The site of Anthony’s farm is marked by a boulder and plaque in the present-day Deering Oaks Park in the city of Portland. Thomas married Ann’s sister, Mary Mitton, in 1671. The Mitton sisters were daughters of Michael and Elizabeth Mitton and apparently Michael had died sometime before 1671. In marrying Mary, Thomas acquired the Mitton farm, a wife and a live-in mother-in-law. Thomas and Mary’s farm, the Mitton farm, was also on the neck but on the south side, opposite from Anthony’s farm. At this time the “base” of the neck was a marsh that at high tide made the settlement a island. Anthony and Thomas quickly became established in the Casco settlement. Thomas was a selectman during the early 1670's and Anthony acquired an additional 400 acres of land. King Philip’s War King Philip’s War broke out in southern New England in 1675.4 King Philip (his Indian name was Metacomet) was the son of the Indian chief Massasoit (from whom we get the name Massachusetts), chief of the Wampanoags. After several decades of relative peace between the English Puritan settlers and the native inhabitants, the English began to treat the natives tribes more and more harshly. After King Massasoit’s death, his eldest son (King Alexander) became the chief of the Wampanoags. The English unjustly accused Alexander of plotting against them and may actually have caused his death. The harassment of the Wampanoags continued when King Philip (Metacomet) became chief. The English captured King Philip and made him swear fealty to the King of England and made the Indians give up all their weapons. This was the last straw for Philip who raised most of the southern New England tribes against the English. King Philip’s War was bitter, long and violent in southern New England and those

of us who grew up in Massachusetts and Connecticut will recall many stories, town names and other relics of King Philip’s War (the Metacomet trail in Connecticut, King Philip’s stockade in Springfield, Turner’s Falls named for Captain Turner who died there). Unlike southern New England, the settlements north-east of the Piscataqua were quite peaceful during most of King Philip’s War. Constant Southworth, another of our ancestors (see newsletter volume 1 issue 1), was involved in King Philip’s War though he doesn’t seem to have been much of a warrior. Constant served primarily as a quartermaster and paymaster to the troops.5 Interestingly, Constant Southworth had bought land directly from King Philip prior to the war (probably around 1672). “He (King Philip) sold to Constant Southworth land a mile in width and four in length.”6 King Philip was finally hunted down and killed by Benjamin Church, the colony’s foremost Indian fighter, on August 12, 1676. This effectively ended the War in southern New England. Several of King Philip’s lieutenants were captured but escaped across the Piscataqua into what is now Maine. One of the escapees was a mixed-race Tarratine Indian named Simon (his Indian name was Megunnaway) who came back to Maine to raise the Abeneke, Tarratine, and Androsoggin tribes and re-invigorate the war in the northern part of the colony.7 As fate would have it, the opening salvo of this brief afterglow of King Philip’s War started in the front yard of Captain Anthony Brackett at the Casco settlement. August 11, 1676 “In the foreground of the initial scene was the cabin of Anthony Brackett. In the background was a salt creek and tide basin known as Back Cove, which made up

5 6

Sylvester, p. 248. Drake, Indian Chronicles, p. 87. Clayton, History of Cumberland Co., Maine, 1880, pg 35.


H. M. Sylvester, Indian Wars of New England, Vol 2, 1910. 3


toward Portland’s [present day] Deering Oaks Park. ... The leader of the savages was Simon the Tarratine, the same who had hardly six months before made his escape from Dover jail. He made some friendly advances to Brackett, and in a way got his confidence. On August 9 the Indians killed one of Brackett’s cows. Simon promised to bring the perpetrator to Brackett; and early in the morning of August 11 Simon came, accompanied by some other savages. He told Brackett these were the culprits. They went into the house, where they secured the guns and then told Brackett that he and his family were prisoners. Binding their hands, Brackett, his wife, their five children, and a Negro servant, after killing Nathaniel Mitton [ed,. the brother of both Anthony and Thomas Bracketts wives], who happened to be at Brackett’s, because he resisted, they got away around the north edge of the cove ... .”8 After capturing Anthony and his family, the Indians continued their attack on the Casco settlement (see map). The Indians “Then divided, a part passing around Back Cove, and a part upon the Neck. The first house in the course of the latter was that of Thomas Brackett, on the southerly side of the Neck. Between the houses of the two Bracketts was a virgin forest. ... The Indians went along the northerly side of the Neck until they had passed the farm of Thomas Brackett. In their course they met John ... Munjoy and ... Isaac Wakely, and shot them. Others who were with or near them fled down the Neck to give the alarm, and thereupon the Indians retreated in the direction of Thomas Brackett’s house. That morning three men were on their way to Anthony Brackett’s to harvest grain. They probably rowed over the river from Purpoosuck Point and had left their canoe near Thomas Brackett’s house.

From that place they crossed the Neck toward Anthony’s house, near enough to which they went to learn of the attach by the Indians on his family; the three hastened on to the Neck, perhaps over the course covered by the Indians, to give the alarm. On their way they heard guns fired whereby it seems two men were killed [ed,. presumably John Munjoy and Isaac Wakely]. Thereupon the three fled in the direction of Thomas Brackett’s house to reach their canoe. The Indians reached the farm nearly at the same time as did the men, who saw Thomas Brackett shot down while at work in his field. Two of the men succeeded in reaching their canoe; the third ... hid in the marsh and witnessed the capture of Thomas Brackett’s wife and children. ... In this attack the Indians killed, about Casco, eleven men and killed or captured twenty-three women and children. Thomas Brackett was about forty years old at the time of his death. His wife is said to have died during the first year of her captivity.”9 Thaddeus Clark was a brother-in-law to Thomas and Anthony Brackett (Thomas, Anthony and Thaddeus had all married Mitton sisters). Just after the attack, on August 14, 1676, Thaddeus wrote this mother in-law (the mother of the Mitton sisters)

Back Cove
Munjoy’s Garrison Cpt Anthony Brackett Thomas Brackett

Fore River


Brackett farms in the Casco settlement on August 11, 1676.


Sylvester, pg 346-348. 4


Little, pg 41.

who was living in Boston: “The Lord of late hath renewed his witness against us and hath dealt very bitterly with us in that we are deprived of the Societie of our nearest friends by the breaking in of the adversarie against us: On Friday last in the morning your own Son [ed, Nathaniel Mitton] with your two sons in law, Anthony and Thomas Brackett and their whole families were killed and taken by the Indians, we know not how, tis certainly known by us that Thomas is slain and his wife and children carried away captivaue, and of Anthony and his familie we have no tidings and therefore think that they might be captivated the night before because of the remoteness of their habitation from neighbourhood ....”10 Men were generally killed outright by the indians unless they thought they could get a good ransom. Anthony, being relatively wealthy and also being the son of another relatively wealthy man, was no doubt kept in anticipation of a good ransom price. Anthony and his entire family was taken captive along with an African slave (we usually do not think of slaves in colonial New England). The Indians, with their captives, began heading back toward their home country. The Indians met with some Kennebec Indians who told them that Fort Arrowsick had been taken. The Indians were anxious to get to the fort quickly so they could share in the plunder. Unfortunately, Anthony and his family were a hindrance especially since they had five young children with them (Elinor was then the oldest at 10 and little Kezia could not have been much more than 5). The Indians, who apparently had some regard for Captain Brackett or they would have simply killed them all, decided to go on ahead and let the Brackett family follow as best they could. This is not as odd an arrangement as it first sounds when you consider that the country was filled with marauding Indians and probably the best way to steer clear of other Indians and stay fed was to stick with the original band.

Anthony and his family followed on and reached Fort Arrowsic after the Indians had left it, a smouldering lifeless ruin. Although the Indians took anything of value, some things had been left behind. The Brackett family desperately searched the ruined settlement and found a leaky birch bark canoe and an old needle. Ann sewed patches on the birch bark canoe until it seemed like it would float. The canoe was small and didn’t have enough room for Anthony, Ann, the five children and the slave so Anthony said he would stay and make his way back as best he could.11 12 One can imagine how they all felt as Anthony pushed the leaky canoe into the wide expanse of Casco Bay. It was unlikely they would all ever see each other again, the leaky canoe might sink and everyone drown or Anthony might be recaptured by Indians and enjoy a worse fate for escaping. “In that old canoe they crossed a water [ed., Casco Bay] eight or nine miles broad, and when they came on the south side of the bay, they might have been in as much danger of other Indians that had lately been about Black Point and had taken it; but they were newly gone .... they came safely to Black Point, where also they met with a vessel bound for Piscataqua ... by which means they arrived safely in Piscataqua River soon after.”13 Anthony, who no doubt was a skilled woodsman, was able to evade the Indians and somehow make his way to Piscataqua where he and his family were able to live in relative peace with the elder Anthony Brackett while the Indian War subsided. Although Anthony and his family escaped, Thomas’s family was still being held by the Indians. Thomas’s wife Mary (Ann Mitton’s sister) is thought to have died in captivity but the elder Anthony was able to redeem three of the Thomas’s children -- Joshua,

11 12 10

Sylvester, pg. 354. H. I. Brackett, pg. 63. Sylvester, pg. 354 (note).

Coleman, pg. 210. 5


Sarah and Samuel. It is not clear if the forth child, Mary, was ever recovered from the Indians.14 The Indian Simon who took Anthony captive and was responsible for killing Thomas was captured by the English of February 28 and shot.15 The long-suffering and heroic Ann Mitton, Captain Anthony’s wife, died in 1677 apparently while the family was waiting out the Indian wars at Sandy Beach. Anthony had four children by his first wife, Ann Mitton: Elinor, Seth, Mary, Anthony (III), and Kezia. King Philip’s War was finally resolved by treaty in 1678. Captain Anthony entered into a different type of legal arrangement in the same year when he married Susannah Drake, a woman from nearby Hampton 16 years his junior. Shortly after their marriage, Anthony deeded half his lands at Casco Bay to his new wife to hold in common with him. Presumably the other half was intended for the children of Ann Mitton. Anthony and his family returned to Casco in 167916 and quickly added more children to the growing Brackett clan: Zipporah (1680), our ancestor Zachariah (1682),17 Jane (1684), Ann (1686), Sarah (1688) and Susannah (1689).18 St. Castin’s War St. Castin’s War was actually the North American theater of the war of succession that arose from James II of England being deposed in favor of William of Orange and his wife Mary. James was a Catholic and supported by France and William and Mary were Protestants supported by the English parliament. The French and English had both long laid claim to the area between the Piscataqua River and the St. Lawrence. Baron de St. Castin was a

French nobleman who was granted these lands by the French. St. Castin’s headquarters were at Pemequid near the mouth of the Penobscot. St. Castin gathered together the Abeneke, Tarrantine, and Androsgoin Indians to help him drive out the English. In King Philip’s War most of the fighting consisted of raids on farms and settlements by usually less than 20 or 30 Indians. St. Castin’s War was a more military venture with hundreds of Indians fighting organized militias in pitched battles. Attack on the Casco Settlement (Portland, ME) One morning in 1689, Anthony Brackett looked out toward his orchard and saw three or four hundred Indians preparing to attack the fort at Casco. Benjamin Church’s militia was in Falmouth at that time looking for the Indians. Anthony Brackett set two of his sons down the Neck to spread the alarm to the settlement. Anthony was apparently captured and killed. Church quickly brought up his forces even though they did not have the correct ammunition for their guns. Church’s militia was able to drive the Indians off but Captain Anthony was dead. The 1690 Attack on Casco Three large war parties of French and Indians were assembled at Montreal, Three Rivers and Quebec to strike English settlements in Massachusetts, New York and Maine. The Montreal party (the “first” party) went to Schenectady, the Three Rivers party (the “second” part) went to Salmon Falls on the upper Piscataqua and the Quebec party (the “third” party went to Maine. The second war party left Canada on January 28, 1689 and first attacked Salmon Falls on March 18, 1989. The second party then split, half returning to Canada with booty and captives and the other half joining the third party just outside of the Casco settlement. St. Castin himself came down from Pemequid with this Pennobscots so the assembled group of French and Indians was between four and five hundred.19

14 15

Little, pg. 40. Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip’s War, 1906, pg. 314. A. L. Brackett, pg. 3. H. I . Brackett, pg. 70. Ibid, pg. 71. 6

16 17 18


Coleman, New England Captives Carried to Canada, 1925, pg. 180-200.

The combined French and Indian forces once again attacked the fort at Casco and this time took the fort and all its occupants. Captain Anthony’s oldest son Seth was killed in the attack and his younger brother Anthony (the third Anthony Brackett) was taken captive at this battle and held by the French and Indians somewhere in the Maine woods. He was able to escape in September and eventually settled in Boston, far from the uncertain life in the Casco settlement.20 The rest of family fled again to the Portsmouth area, this time staying with Susannah’s people in Hampton. Anthony’s children by Ann Mitton eventually moved to Boston and never again returned to Casco. Attack on Sandy Beach (Rye, NH) "So thorough was the devastation wrought by the Indians and so complete was their triumph, that bands of Indians roamed at will on the east side of the [Piscataqua] river ... until about 1693. In the year 1691, war's desolation first swept over the settlement at Sandy beach." "An ancient chronicler" narrates the events of September 28, 1691 as follows [ed. this was the same month that the witch frenzy peaked in Salem Village, see Newsletter vol. 3 issue 1]: “The sons of Francis Rand went a fishing; the sons of ould Goodman Bracket [ed. Goodman is a form of address for a free yeoman. "Mister" at that time was reserved for "gentlemen"] were in the salt marsh and with no suspicion of danger. ... Early in the afternoon a party of Indians came from the eastward in canoes, landed at Sandy Beach, left the garrison there unmolested, and attached the homes of the defenseless ones, killing and capturing twenty-one settlers. When his sons came in from fishing they followed the Indians over to [the] Bracketts, fired upon them and frightened them away. The sons of Anthony Brackett who had the

guns with them ran to the garrison at Odiorne's Point.”21 John Brackett, the one surviving son of the first Anthony, survived the attack but lost his two daughters, Keziah and Abigail Brackett who were taken by the Indians. A poigent description of the survivors leaving the garrison the morning after the attack says that “their [ed., the Indians] tracks were distinctly traced in the sand as were also the tracks of two women and one child.”22 Keziah was redeemed by her maternal grandparents in 1695. Abigail was carried off to Canada where she married a Frenchman, Pierre Roi. She baptized as a Catholic in 1698 and naturalized as a citizen of New France in 1710. In 1727, after her father John died, she briefly came back to New Hampshire to claim her share of her inheritance but she returned to Montreal and lived out the rest of her life as Mademoiselle Gabrielle-Louise Roi.23 At least 15 settlers were killed including our ancestor Anthony Brackett and his wife. Two of his grandchildren were made captives. The 15 victims of the attack were buried together on a little hill on the beach in what is now Rye, Maine. The little burial hill over looking the Sandy Beach where Saltwater Brook runs to the sea was still clearly visible at the turn of the century when a Brackett descendant (Mrs. Grace Brackett Scott) wrote: “Next we drove to Rye and found Saltwater brook; close by it, between Brackett road ... and the sea, in the salt marsh, is little piece of higher ground covered with bushes; on parting the bushes we found the rough stones which mark the graves of our ancestor, Anthony Brackett, and fourteen other victims of the same massacre. The fifteen graves entirely cover the little knoll which is entirely surrounded by the salt marsh.”24
21 22 23

H. I. Brackett, pg. 57. Colman, pg. 213. Colman, pg. 212. Ibid., pg 58.


Coleman,pg. 200. 7


And so the senior Anthony Brackett’s life came to a close. He had started as a young adventurer from England, settled on the frontier, raise a hardy family, fought Indians, lost children, a wife, and grandchildren to the wars that also claimed his own life though he must have been over 90 years old at his death -- nearly twice the age of his sons Thomas and Anthony when they died. Things settle down In due time Zachariah decided to take up the family lands at Back Cove in Casco. Apparently there was a dispute between Zachariah and his step sister regarding the sale and use of the Back Cove farm. Zachariah first married Hannah Drake (a cousin on his mother’s side?) And had 10 or so children including our ancestor Thomas (1718). Zachariah married a second time to Mary Ross in 1741. In a good case of “what goes around comes around,” Mary Ross had to leave Casco after Zachariah died because of a dispute with Zachariah’s children by his first marriage about the ownership of the Back Cove farm. Thomas Brackett, Zachariah’s son, married Mary Snow in 1744 (just three years after his father’s second marriage) and their second son, William was born in 1752 in what is now Westbrook, ME (still basically in the Portland area, though). Epilogue The “nucleus” of the town of Peru was a grant made to four men from the town of Falmouth (the Portland area), one of whom was William Brackett.25 William Brackett moved to Peru in 1815 and located on the River Road just above Peru center. Peru was incorporated as a town in 1821 and named in honor of the Country of Peru which

had just gained its independence form Spain. William married Betsy Walker while still living the Portland area and with her raised five children. Betsy died in 1823, presumably in Peru. William was a soldier in the Revolutionary War who enlisted for eight months in 1775, for nine months in 1777, and for four more months in 1779. After the end of the war he held the rank of Major in the State cavalry militia.26 In 1824 (as you can see Brackett men did not grieve long) when he was 70 years old, William married Julia Smith. Theirs was a prolific union producing six more children, the third of which was our ancestress Charlotte Brackett (1829).27 One of earliest settlers in the Peru area was Braidy Bailey, also from a Portland family, who settled in the area around 1802. His son Samuel married Charlotte Brackett and their daughter, Betsy Bailey, married Henry McIntire (recall the story of Henry meeting Betsy while they both lodged in the home of Betsy’s kinsman Thomas Brackett -- see volume 2 issue 1).

A. H. Chadbourne, Maine Place Names and the Peopling of its Towns, pg. 143.

26 27

H. I. Brackett, pg. 187. Ibid., pg. 187.

The Ray Family Newsletter is distributed quarterly or whenever the lazy editor gets around to it. Our address is: Malcolm H. Ray, 2607 Friendship Street, Iowa City, IA 52245 (319-341-9653). We are also “on-line” at either Elizray@aol.com or mhray@icaen.uiowa.edu or look at the latest issues on the world wide web at http://www.icaen.uiowa.edu/~mhray . 8

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