Elisha Higgins (1727 - c.1801)

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Birthplace: Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in New York
Managed by: Elwin C Nickerson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Elisha Higgins

A Patriot of the American Revolution for MASSACHUSETTS with the rank of SERGEANT. DAR Ancestor # A055279

  • Crown Point-Fort Massachusetts-Added by E.C. Nickerson about my great Uncle as Follows: ELISHA^ HIGGINS {Elisha\ Elisha\ Jonathan\ Rich-

ard^), born Nov. 1, 1727, at Eastham, Mass.; died probably at Willsborough, Essex County, N. Y.,. after March 23, 1801;

Elisha Higgins doubtless went from Eastham to Hardwick with his father in 1742. In 1748 to 1760 he was soldier or frontier guard at Fort Massachusetts and settled in Williamstown, Mass. In 1784 he removed to Willsborough, N. Y. The main evidence for these statements will be given.

"An examination of the record index to the Muster Rolls, series 1710-1774, shows that an EHsha Higgins, no place of resi- dence given, served as a Centinel in the Colonel's company. Col. D wight's regiment, from August 11th to August 21st, 1748, on the Western Frontiers; also that an Elisha Higgins, no place of residence given, served as a Centinel in Capt. Elisha Chapin's com- pany continuously at Fort Massachusetts from June 2nd 1753 to June 16th, 1755 ; also that an Elisha Higgins, no place of residence given, served as a Centinel in Capt. John Burke's company on the expedition against Crown Point, from April 10th to December 11th, 1755; also that an Elisha Higgins, birthplace Eastham, residence Hoosack, age 27 years, enlisted into the Colonel's company, Col. Dwight's regiment, from the town of Pelham, according to a descriptive list, dated Camp at Fort Edward, July 26, 1756; also that an Elisha Higgins, residence Hatfield, served as a Centinel in Capt. Lieut. Burke's company, from April 22, to November 30th, 1756, on the expedition against Crown Point; also that an Elisha Higgins, no place of residence given, served as a private in Capt. Isaac Wyman's company from

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Nov. 13, 1758, to November 5th, 1759, at Fort Massachusetts and West Hoosack; also that an EUsha Higgins, no place of residence given, served as a Private in Capt. Seth Hudson's company from October 28th, 1759, to April 16th, 1760, at West Hoosack."— From a letter from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massa- chusetts to Paul H. Ludington.

These records of military service all relate, it is believed, to one man, who is the Elisha Higgins herein described. The deeds on record at Pittsfield, Mass., confirm the opinion. There are several of them. Only the earliest and latest will be quoted:

March 16th, 1754. Elisha Higgins of Fort Massachusetts, soldier, to Nathan Mead. Right and title to one whole right of 63rd part of West Hoosack. (Book 5, p 117.)

May 7th, 1762. Silas Pratt to Elisha Higgins "of the County of Berkshire," husbandman, land in West Hoosack. (Book 3, p. 250.)

October 23rd, 1775. Elisha Higgins of Williamstown, yeoman, to Lemuel Stewart. Land in Williamstown, (Book 17, p. 321.)

Elisha Higgins also served in the War of the Revolution. He was a sergeant in Capt. Lemuel Stewart's company with the army at Ticonderoga in June, 1775; discharged at Pawlet, Vt. Elisha Higgins also served in Capt. Samuel Clark's company in Septem- ber, 1777; also in Capt. William Douglas's company from Dec. 16, 1776, to March 22, 1777, at Ticonderoga. The rolls contain no clue to the residence of Elisha, but the officers mentioned all resided in Williamstown or Hancock, and there can be no doubt that Elisha Higgins of Williamstown is the man intended.

Fort Massachusetts, built 1745, destroyed in a French and Iidian raid 1746, rebuilt 1747, was the most westerly of a line of colonial forts extending from the Connecticut River, over the Hoosack Mountain, to the western line of the Province. It stood near the Hoosack River, about halfway between the present North Adams and Williamstown. Its garrison seems to have varied from 10 to 40, some of them becoming settlers on lands near by and only serving as soldiers in case of threatened danger. This was the case with Elisha Higgins, for in 1753 he owTied a house lot in West Hoosack (Williamstown) on which he built a house and lived for many years. This house stood on the south side of the present Mam Street in Williamstown. He appears in September, 1753, with others petitioning for a more complete town organization, and in 1756 is a subscriber for a Block House or fort at Williamstown, Fort Massachusetts having then gone to decay. He may have been a resident of Williamstown as late as 1781,

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but it is probable that about this time he emigrated to the western shores of Lake Champlain, in the state of New York. In the Registry of Deeds at Adams, Mass. (Book 1, p. 60), is found the deed whereby "EUsha Higgins of Willsborough, County of Wash- ington, and State of New York, weaver," sells to "William Hambleton of Williamstown, County of Berkshire, and State of Massachusetts, taylor," property described as "being in Williams- town, aforesaid, containing thirty-five acres, it being the east end of the first division fifty acre lot No. twenty -five, drawn in favor of House Lot No. Eleven." The date is 1784. Elisha Higgins was in this year a resident of Willsborough, then in Washington County, N. Y., but later in Clinton County, and now by county division in Essex County. In Clinton County records of deeds (Liber A, p. 109), is found the record of Ehsha's land at Wills- borough: "This indentm-e made the 23rd day of September in the year of our Lord 1784, between William GilHland of Willsborough in the county of Washington, and State of New York, on the one part, and Elisha Higgins of Willsborough aforesaid, yeoman, of the other part" . . . [conveys land]. "Beginning at the north- east corner of a lot of land formerly rented to Jotham Gardner, and now in the possession of Josiah Higgins" . . . "thence east to Lake Champlain, and thence southerly along the same to the place of beginning, containing one hundred and forty five acres of land."

The acknowledgment is in part as follows: "Be it remembered that on the 27th day of October in the year of our Lord 1789 personally appeared . . . Josiah Higgins, one of the subscribing witnesses to the within indenture."

It appears certain that Elisha Higgins and Josiah Higgins were in Willsborough as early as September, 1784. Other records show that they made their home there. The land in question can be exactly located. In Smith's History of Essex County, New York, is a map, attributed to Robert A. Heirn, supposed to have been drawn in 1786, which shows that this land was south of what is now known as Willsborough Point but in the present town of Essex. It would appear that before many years Elisha Higgins gave the western part of this tract of 145 acres to his son, Elisha Higgins, Jr., and it is certain that on April 16, 1799 (Essex County Records, Liber A, p. 29), "Ehsha Higgins of Willsborough, County of Essex, conveys to Isaac Higgins of the town, county and state aforesaid," land which runs "thence west to a certain fence now a division between Elisha Higgins and Ehsha Higgins, Junior."

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. . . "Supposed to contain sixty-two acres of land, be the same more or less, and the said party of the first part [EUsha Higgins] doth save and reserve to himself the use or profits arising from one equal half of said land during his life." On March 23, 1801, Isaac Higgins sold this land to Daniel Ross in a deed which makes no mention of this reservation, and on the same date Josiah Higgins deeds to Isaac Higgins land in Judd's Patent, — some five miles south of the land sold by Isaac Higgins to Ross, but still on the shore of Lake Champlain, — fifty acres of land and makes this reservation "one half of which is to be to the use and benefit of Ehsha Higgins during his natural life." Here at some time later than March 23, 1801, as a farmer with his sons Josiah and Isaac, Elisha Higgins closed his life. ECN

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Elisha Higgins's Timeline

1727
November 1, 1727
Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
1762
June 2, 1762
Age 34
1801
March 23, 1801
Age 73
New York
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