Friday, March 9, 2012

Said to be a Militia General – William French

B. 25 Jan 1713 in Billerica, Massachusetts
M. 22 Apr 1736 in (probably) Billerica, Massachusetts
Wife: Tabitha Pierce
D. 1793 in (probably) Bedford, New Hampshire

William French was born in Billerica, Massachusetts on January 25, 1713, the son of William French and Mehitable Patten. William was the oldest of eight children. When he came of age, he joined the militia, rising through the ranks to the level of Brigade General. On April 22, 1736, William married Tabitha Pierce of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Between 1737 and 1756, they had twelve children.

William was an administrator of his father's estate in 1745, retaining the Billerica homestead until October 8, 1766, when he sold it and moved to Monson, New Hampshire, which was later dissolved and the section where William lived became part of the town of Hollis. He was "first settler of a place since known as Cobbett's mill on Witch brook." William had two sisters who lived nearby. He built a saw mill, which he operated until about 1785, when he and a number of his sons moved to Bedford, New Hampshire.

William lived out his final years as a farmer. He died in 1793, aged 80 years. It isn't known when his wife Tabitha died.

Children:
1. Jonathan French – B. 10 Oct 1737, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Abigail Hosley (1739-?), 20 Jan 1763

2. William French – B. 16 Feb 1738, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Bedford, New Hampshire; M. Lucy Remick

3. Joseph French – B. 10 Dec 1740, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Hollis, New Hampshire; M. Mary Youngman

4. Tabitha French – B. 31 Dec 1742, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Mr. Carleton

5. Benjamin French – B. 18 Feb 1744, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Milford, New Hampshire

6. Nehemiah French – B. 29 Mar 1746, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Vermont; M. Submit Leeman

7. Mehitabel French – B. 5 Feb 1747, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. young

8. Stephen French – B. about 1749, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 16 Nov 1832, Bedford, New Hampshire; M. Dorothy Coburn (1752-1835), 7 Jan 1773, Dracut, Massachusetts

9. Ephraim French – B. 10 Nov 1751, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Hannah Melendy

10. David French – B. 15 Sep 1754, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 13 Jun 1790, Bedford, New Hampshire; M. Lydia Parker (~1758-?)

11. Mehitabel French – B. 18 Aug 1756, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Wilton, New Hampshire; M. Job Bailey

12. Betsey French – B. Billerica, Massachusetts; D. Hollis, New Hampshire; M. Daniel Bailey

Sources:
Lieutenant William French and his Descendants, John M. French, 1890
The History of Bedford (New Hampshire), 1903
An Account of Some of the Early Settlers of West Dunstable, Monson and Hollis, New Hampshire, Charles Spaulding, 1915
Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Book, Vol. 19, p. 196

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