Friday, March 9, 2012

Indians Burned Down His House – Preserved Clapp

B. 23 Nov 1643 in Dorchester, Massachusetts
M. 4 Jun 1668 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Sarah Newberry
D. 20 Sep 1720 in Northampton, Massachusetts

Preserved Clapp was born on November 23, 1643 in Dorchester, Massachusetts to Roger Clap and Joanna Ford. They had 14 children, of which seven lived to adulthood. "Preserved" is an example of a naming trend amongst Puritans — some parents chose "virtue" words instead of traditional names. Preserved had siblings named Experience, Wait, Desire, Thanks, Unite, Supply and Hopestill.

When Preserved was about 20 years-old, he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. On June 4, 1668, he married Sarah Newberry. Between 1669 and 1688, they had eight children. The Clapp children were educated in Northampton's school, and unusual for the times, even the girls received lessons, although it was believed they were taught in a class separate from the boys.

Preserved was said to have been "a good instrument and a great blessing to the town of Northampton, where he lived." He was named a captain of the town, a representative to the General Court and ruling elder in the church, all positions denoting leadership. He was also a member of a lead mining company in Northampton.

Preserved once had a confrontation with an Indian who had previously lived with his family, possibly as a servant. The Indian was angry at Preserved for not letting him use his gun, and had left the household. He returned several years later armed and with a few companions from Canada. The Indian fired at Preserved, grazing his nose, but Preserved fired back, killing the Indian.

Preserved was also the victim of an Indian raid in Northampton. On October 28, 1673, his house and barn were burned to the ground by the Indians. Everything the family owned was destroyed by the fire, including their crops. Three other families also lost their homes. Another raid the following day killed three settlers. Soon after, the people of Northampton took steps to protect themselves from attacks. On January 1, 1676, Preserved asked for land in a more protected part of town to rebuild his home and he was granted this.

In 1676, Preserved did service in the Northampton militia, which defended the town during King Philip's War. He was one of the men involved in the Turner Falls Massacre, where a company of soldiers performed a surprise attack on an Indian camp, killing many of them, including women and children (see John Lyman's biography). Many soldiers were in turn killed by indians as they made their way home, but Preserved made it home without incident. He also served in King William's War during 1688-1698.

In about 1702, Preserved was involved with helping the nearby town of Deerfield, which was going through a series of attacks from Indians. Preserved, along with 20 men from his company, were ordered to assist them in tracking down the hostile Indians.

Preserved's wife Sarah died in Northampton on October 3, 1716, and Preserved himself died on September 20, 1720 at the age of 76. He was buried in Bridge Street Cemetery.

Famous descendants of Preserved Clapp include Mike Huckabee.

1. Sarah Clapp – B. 1669, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. young

2. Wait Clapp – B. 18 Nov 1670, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 29 Jan 1722, Norwalk, Connecticut; M. John Taylor (1667-1744)

3. Mary Clapp – B. Dec 1672, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 2 Nov 1691

4. Preserved Clapp – B. 29 Apr 1675, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 11 Oct 1757; M. Mehitable Warner (1683-1767), 21 Jan 1703, Hatfield, Massachusetts

5. Samuel Clapp – B. 1677, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 1761; M. (1) Sarah Bartlett (1679-1703), 1697; (2) Thankful King (?-1705), 15 Sep 1704; (3) Mary Sheldon (1687-?), 17 Mar 1708

6. Hannah Clapp – B. 5 May 1681, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 8 Nov 1758, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. (1) John Parsons; (2) Abraham Miller (1762-1727),

7. Roger Clapp – B. 24 May 1684, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 9 Jan 1762, Northampton, Massachusetts; Elisabeth Bartlett (1687-1767), 28 Nov 1706, Northampton, Massachusetts

8. Thomas Clapp – B. 16 Jun 1688, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 1745, Hartford, Connecticut; M. Mary King, 18 Apr 1711

The History of Easthampton: its settlement and growth, Payson W. Lyman, 1866
The Clapp Memorial: record of the Clapp family in America, Ebenezer Clapp, 1876
Early American Ancestors: Preserved Clapp [website]
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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