About Walter Barefoote
Walter Barefoote (also Barefoot, fl. 1655 – d. 1688) was colonist and deputy governor of the Province of New Hampshire. From 1685 to 1686 he served as acting governor of the province.
Little is known of his origin, although genealogists believe he may be descended from Ezekiel Culverwell, a prominent English Puritan of the late 16th century. He came to the New World in the 1650s, purchasing a house in Kittery, Maine in 1658. He did not stay long in Kittery, selling the house there in 1661 and establishing a medical practice in nearby Dover, New Hampshire in 1661. Despite his claimed Puritan family connections he was a confirmed Anglican, opposing the Puritan rule of the New Hampshire settlements by Massachusetts Bay Colony, and lending assistance to Quakers Puritans were trying to drive out of the province in 1662.
When the Province of New Hampshire was chartered in 1680, Barefoote served as a deputy collector of customs during John Cutt's administration. He was appointed a councilor of the province when Edward Cranfield was appointed governor in 1682, He was appointed deputy governor in January 1683, and became acting governor when Cranfield left the province in 1685. He served as acting governor until the province was absorbed into the Dominion of New England, on whose council he also sat.
His will was written in early October 1688, and was formally proven in February 1688/9. His exact date of death is presumed to fall between these dates. Family details are unknown; his will mentions neither a wife nor children.
John Farmer, Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England (no publication information):
(p.25) BAREFOOTE, Walter, New Hampshire 1660, was a counsellor in 1682, deputy governour 1685.
(p.336) BAREFOOTE, +Walter, was of Great Island, now New Castle, NH, and d. about 1688.
Name: Walter* BAREFOOTE , Dr. Sex: M Birth: in England Death: 3 OCT 1688 in New Hampshire Note:
"Barefoote Family--A disguised surname from Barford... This blood was carried into New Jersey from New Hampshire, as there are slight evidences of the surname in the former Colony, tho'the name is preserved in New Jersey in the family of Barefoote Brynson(or Brinson...) whose grand-mother, seemingly, the first wife of Dr. Henry Greenland, was Mary Barefoote, or else, close association perpetuated the name, without kinship. She then, was a daughter of Captain Walter Barefoote of N.H."
Mr. Streeter goes onto describe him as follows:
"Dr. Walter Barefoot (or Barford, as the name is given in England) who came to Kittery, Maine, in 1656 or 1657, and for thirty years until his death, 1688, was said to be the most litigating and scandal-raising personage connected with the Piscataqua region, whether as doctor, captain, prisoner, prison-keeper, Deputy Governor, land speculator or Chief Justice. He was well-educated and wrote a good hand. He was a chirchman, but a sturdy and quarrelsome supporter of the Stuart policy, while most of his neighbors were Puritans, so that the hard things...said of both Barefoote and Greenland need to be wieghed in the light of these facts. (See "N.E. Gen. Register," Vol.26, for will of Walter Barefoote, by which he leaves 1,000 acres in Maine to Dr. H. Greenland). (William H. Benedict, "The Brunson (Brynson--Brinson) Family," Somerset County Historical quarterly, [Vol. III] )." "
Perry cites another source, (Pioneers, N.H., p13):
"Barefoote, Walter, Captain, gent. Kittery, bought land and house of Capt. Champernowne, 1658; later home, Newcastle. A partisan of Charles II and of the Masons; and official in the Provincial govt., involved in many conflict, 1679-1688. Will, 3Oct prob. 8 Oct 1688; sister Sarah, wife of Thomas Wiggin, Jr.; Cousin, John Lee and others."