Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Husbands in King Philip's War – Mary Littlefield

B. 14 Dec 1646 in Woburn, Massachusetts
M. (1) 2 Nov 1664 in Wells, Maine
Husband: John Kittredge
M. (2) 16 Jan 1678 in Billerica, Massachusetts
Husband: John French
D. 9 Oct 1719 in Billerica, Massachusetts

Mary Littlefield was of a family who had much violent contact with Indians in late 17th century New England, but she herself survived. She was born in Woburn, Massachusetts on December 14, 1646 to Francis Littlefield and Jane Hill, their only child. Mary's mother died when Mary was just six days old, presumably as a result of the complications of her delivery. Afterwards, Francis Littlefield moved to Wells, Maine and married a woman named Rebecca who gave Mary 11 half-siblings.

On November 2, 1664, Mary married John Kittredge and moved with him to Billerica, Massachusetts. Between 1666 and 1677, they had five sons. John practiced medicine, but also took an active role in defending the town against Indians, and he fought in the Battle of Quaboag in August 1675, part of King Philip's War. He died the following year while Mary was pregnant with their fifth child. His will stated that she was to have the use of his land while their sons grew up.

Mary married a second husband, John French, on January 16, 1678. He had been widowed three times and had three daughters. He had also fought in King Philip's War and was wounded in the Battle of Quaboag — he had one of his thumbs blown off and had taken a hit near his shoulder. Because of his service, he was exempted from paying taxes and allowed to sit amongst the important people of the community at church. The couple had six children born between 1679 and 1687.

During the 1690s, Mary learned of the deaths of a brother and sister, each killed by Indians in separate incidents. In a happier event, one of Mary's sons by John Kittredge married the daughter of her husband John French from his earlier marriages. John French died in October of 1712, and Mary died seven years later, on October 9, 1719 in Billerica. She was buried in the South Burying Grounds in Tewksbury.

Children by John Kittredge:
1. John Kittredge – B. 24 Jan 1666, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 24 Apr 1714, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Hannah French (1664-1755), 3 Apr 1685, Billerica, Massachusetts

2. James Kittredge – B. 21 Mar 1667, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 30 Apr 1739, Tewksbury, Massachusetts; M. (1) Sarah _______ (1680-~1707); (2) Mary Abbott, 19 Apr 1708

3. Daniel Kittredge – B. 22 Jul 1670, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 8 Mar 1741; M. Elizabeth Foster, 19 Dec 1694

4. Jonathan Kittredge – B. 16 Jul 1674, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 8 Mar 1696

5. Benoni Kittredge – B. 2 May 1677, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 24 Nov 1753

Children by John French:
1. John French – B. 15 May 1679, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Ruth Richardson (1685-?), 13 Feb 1707, Billerica, Massachusetts

2. Elizabeth French – B. 24 Jul 1681, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 30 Sep 1754, Andover, Massachusetts; M. Thomas Abbott, 25 Dec 1706, Billerica, Massachusetts

3. William French – B. 26 Nov 1683, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 1685, Billerica, Massachusetts

4. Sarah French – B. 15 Sep 1685, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Joseph Frost (1683-?)

5. Hannah French – B. 18 Feb 1693; D. 12 Dec 1769; M. (1) Jonathan Richardson (?-1720), 1713, Billerica, Massachusetts; (2) Benjamin Frost

6. William French – B. 8 Aug 1687, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 25 Feb 1746; M. Mehitable Patten (1687-1743), about 1712 

Sources:
The Kittredge Family in America, Mabel T. H. Kittredge, 1936
History of Billerica, Massachusetts: with a Genealogical Register, Henry Allen Hazen, 1883
New England marriages prior to 1700, Clarence Almon Torrey and Elizabeth Petty Bentley, 1985
New England families, genealogical and memorial, Vol. 3, William Richard Cutter, 1915

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