John Bean ( MacBean - MacBayne )

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John MacBean

Also Known As: "Bean", "Beene", "MacBayne"
Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Strathdearn Inverness-Shire, Scotland
Death: circa February 1718 (80-88)
Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, present United States
Place of Burial: Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Donald Bean McBean and Margaret Jane MacBean
Husband of Margaret Lissen and Hannah Lisson Bean
Father of Margaret Taylor; James MacBean; Jeremiah Bean; Catherine (Mac)Bean; John Bean and 11 others
Brother of William Bean

Managed by: Private User
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About John Bean ( MacBean - MacBayne )

John MacBean (Bean or MacBayne), son of Donald MacBean and Margaret Jane MacGillis, was raised in Inverness, at the head of Moray Firth in northern Scotland. At the age of 18, he joined the Scottish forces of Charles Stuart, the 20-year-old claimant to the British throne (who sought to overthrow the new Puritan regime of Lord General Oliver Cromwell and avenge the beheading of his father, King Charles I). Unfortunately, Cromwell's army was superior in arms and discipline and smashed the Scottish forces in the 1651 Battle of Worcester. While the Pretender, with a bounty of £1,000 upon his head, hid for a day inside a hollow oak tree at Boscobel and escaped to France disguised as a servant, John MacBean was taken prisoner, and transported by the English Crown to New England in 1651/52 as a Scotch prisoner." From a sept of the Clan Chattan, he was about 18 years old at the time of his transport. With him were John Sinclair (Sinkler) and Henry Magoon.

In the early 1600s, settlement of the Exeter and Dover areas of New Hampshire was primarily by the English. By about 1650, however, many Scottish prisoners of war were transported to the New Hampshire and Massachusetts areas. Some of these prisoners of war, now exiled from Scotland and indentured in America, were as young as 12 and 14 years old. John MacBean (recorded as John Beene on the transport documents) arrived in this country on "the John and Sarah", which docked in Boston on 24 February 1652.

Historically, the first Scottish prisoners (about 250 of them) were sent to Hammersmith in Saugus, Massachusetts, to work in the iron mills there. From there, prisoners were sent up to Dover and Exeter and to Southern Maine, to the saw mills, two of which were owned by a Scottish expatriot, Nicholas Lissen, who had emigrated in 1637. John was among those indentured workers assigned to the sawmills of Dover, New Hampshire. Records indicate these indentured Scottish prisoners were allotted some days to work their own land and some days to work at Lissen's sawmill.

John later gained his freedom when he married the daughter of Nicholas Lissen, Hannah Lissen. They married in 1654, when he was 21 and she 19. John became a business partner with Nicholas Lissen in sawmills until 1660, when he received a land grant in Exeter, New Hampshire. He dealt in real estate development, farming, tanning; by 1708 he had acquired about 20 farms. He was town pound keeper at one time; he surveyed the boundaries between Dover and Exeter, New Hampshire to end a 25-year-old dispute.

After bearing three children, Hannah died in 1659 at the age of 24, probably in childbirth. After her death, John married a second time to Margaret Edwards, born 1640 in Scotland, who came over as a 9-year-old orphan in 1652. She was an indentured servant, free by 1660, who may have been a widow. They were married on 15 November 1660 in Exeter, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

John settled at Exeter in 1660 and took the Oath of Allegiance in 1677. Margaret bore nine children over the next 20 years. Margaret Edwards Bean died in 1714, when John was 81. John himself died in 1718 at the age of 85. He was buried 8 February 1718/19 in the Congregational Churchyard, Exeter, New Hampshire.

Marriages and Children

  1. Hannah Lissen (c.1635 - 1659), daughter of Nicholas Lissen, married in 1654.
    1. Mary Bean
    2. Henry Bean (1657 - 5 March 1662 Exeter, New Hampshire)
    3. Hannah Bean (born 1659), married Abraham Whitaker c.1680; had five children that were all massacred by Indians at their farm at Kingston, New Hampshire on 18 July 1692.
  2. Margaret Edwards (1640 - 1714)
    1. John Bean (15 August 1661 - 18 May 1666 Exeter, New Hampshire)
    2. Daniel Bean (born 23 March 1663) married c.1684 to Mary Fifield
    3. Samuel Bean (born 23 May 1665) married Mary Severance
    4. John Bean (13 October 1668) married c.1700 to Sarah Wadleigh
    5. Margaret Bean (17 October 1670) married William Taylor
    6. James Bean (born 17 December 1672 Exeter, New Hampshire)
      1. Anna Coleman (1675 - 1696) married 1692 Exeter, New Hampshire
      2. Sarah Bradley (1677 - 1738) of Haverhill, Massachusetts, married 3 December 1697 at Exeter, New Hampshire
      3. Mary Prescott James (1677 - 6 January 1753 Kingston, New Hampshire)
    7. Jeremiah Bean (born 20 April 1675) married Ruth Johnson
    8. Elizabeth Bean (born 24 September 1678) married John Sinclair
    9. Catherine Bean (born 24 September 1680) married Richard Dolloff

From Stackpole's History of New Hampshire

"An item of some importance in the early history of New Hampshire has been overlooked by historians. This was the bringing in, as servants, of some Scotchmen, who had been taken prisoners by Oliver Cromwell in the Battle of Dunbar, September 3, 1650, and the Battle of Worcester, just one year later. One hundred and fifty from Dunbar were sent to Boston in the ship Unity and there sold to pay their passage money of twenty pounds apiece. They were forced to work as apprentices from six to eight years, after which they had their liberty and received grants of land in towns where they chose to settle. Two hundred and seventy-two more prisoners came over from the Battle of Worcester in the ship John and Sara. A score or more of these Scots were employed in the sawmills at Oyster River and Exeter, that then included Newmarket, and some became permanent settlers in those places. Among them were Walter Jackson and William Thompson's son John at Oyster River, John Hudson of Bloody Point, and John Sinclair, John Bean, Alexander Gordon and John Barber of Exeter. The descendants of these include some of the leading men in the state." (p. 76)

Stackpole's statement is corroborated by information contained in an article published in the October 1927 issue of The Journal of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The article states: "The tax lists and other sources of information show that Exeter also profited by this chattel slavery, as Nicholas Lissen of the latter place is credited with being master of some of the Worcester prisoners." (p. 28)

Bean states that an expatriate Scotsman by the name of Nicholas Lissen "was operating two lumber mills near Exeter, N.H." in 1651 (Bean 1977:5). Following Stackpole, he states that "the seven men who were indentured to Nicholas Lissen were: John Bean, John Barber, Alexander Gordon, John Sinclair (AKA Sinkler), John Hudson, John Thompson, and Walter Jackson. All were to be lifetime friends of John Bean." (Bean 1977:6)


  • John might have been born in 1634 rather than 1633; he was about 85 years old when he died.
  • A family tradition that John Bean originally came to America with a bride of a only few months, who died during the journey and was buried at sea, has been discredited by the research of Dr. Ames, reported in the "Essex Antiquarian" in 1906. John MacBean came to this country aboard the "John and Sara" which carried only prisoners of war (no wives or women).

Sources and Further Information

  • "John MacBean, 1633-1718." The Milkcan Papers., 27 Mar. 2009. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
  • MacBean, Bernie. The Life and Family of John Bean of Exeter and His Cousins. Seattle: John Bean of Exeter Family Association, 1970. Print.
  • "Old Norfolk County Oaths of Allegiance." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 6 (1852): 202. Print.
  • Stackpole, Everett S. History of New Hampshire. New York: American Historical Soc., 1916. Open Library. Internet Archive, 1 Apr. 2008. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.
  • Scottish Prisoners of War: The John and Sarah

Children: Mary Bean, Henry Bean, Hannah Whittacre (born Bean), John Bean, Daniel Bean, Samuel Bean, John Bean, Margaret Taylor (born Bean), James Bean, Jeremiah Bean, Elizabeth Sinkler (born Bean), Catherine Dolloff (born Bean)

of the Chattan Clan and MacBean Clan Scotland.

John Bean fought at Worchester and captured. As prisoner of war was sent at age 18 to the America's as an indentured servant. As the civil war in England drew to a close, Scotland proclaimed Prince Charles as their King and Cromwell travelled north to crush this new threat to his power. The scottish regiments were comprised of clansmen of the Highland chieftains and they formed an army that was valient, but undisciplined and were Covenanters (Scottish Presbyterians) who could not be returned to their homeland, where they would undoubtedly cause more trouble

Nicolas Lissen had 2 saw mills in he Americas. He was of Scottish Irish decent and had earlier left Scotland because of the persecution as a Scottish Presbyterian. He first went to Ireland and then to the Americas. When the boat the "John and Sara" arrived with Scottish Presbyterians prisoners of war arrive in 1651 he bid on 7 Scottish prisoners and a 12 year old orphan girl named Margaret. 272 Prisoners were on that ship. Nicolas purchased that day John Bean (Macbyne-his name was changed when he arrived.), John Barber, Alexander Gordon, John Sinclair (his son John b 1668 married John Bean's daughter Elizabeth, then their daughter Sara married her first cousin John Bean the III son of James, Elizabeth's brother). John Hudson, John Thompson and Walter Jackson. All from Scottish Highland Chieftain Clans. .

2 years after John arrive and now 20 he married his employers daughter Hanna Lissen daughter of Nicolas Lissen. It has been reported that Hanna was probably born at sea when her parents first came in 1634. Once married John was relased as a indentured servant. They had 3 children...Mary 1655, Hannah, and Henry 1657. Then Hanna Lisson died in child birth in 1659. 1660 John married his second wife Margaret Edwards who was the 12 year old girl Nicholas Lisson had purchased at the same time as John Bean was. However, Margaret was now 18. Along with Hanna's children John and Margaret had 11 more children. Their first child John died at age 4 and their last 2 children in 1682 and 1684 died at birth.


............................... Notes from his grave...John was born 1634 in Strathdearn, Inverness-shire, Scotland. He was a prisoner brought to New England in 1651. He lived in Exeter, NH where he died between January 24 and February 8, 1718. His wife Hannah (Lissen) died in child birth. John signed a petition as an Exeter resident, dated August 10, 1692 asking equal privileges with Massachusetts "Whereas your Majesties have been graciously pleased to settle the government of the Province of Massachusetts wherein XXX we always hoped to have been included, but not finding it otherwise XXX we are but four poor towns daily exposed from French and Indian enemies." He was a pound keeper in Exeter where he was granted land in 1660. John's stone in Exeter in the front of the Congregational Church.

He settled in Exeter, New Hampshire as early as 1600, for on January twenty-first of 1661 a grant of land was made to him by the town. He received other grants October 10, 1664, April 1, 1671 and February 21, 1698. He also received land from other sources.

In 1671, he was one of a committee chosen to run the lines between Exeter and the adjoining towns. On November 30, 1677 he took the oath of allegiance to become a freeman; he was assessed in the "Province Rate" for Exeter made April 20, 1680, eight shillings and a penny; and was pound keeper the same year. John signed the New Hampshire Petition of 1689/90.

Bean, Beane, or Beanes, John, Exeter, had John, b. 15 Aug 1661, d. under 5 yrs; Daniel; Samuel; John, again, 13 Oct. 1668; Margaret; James; Jeremy, 20 Apr. 1675; and Elizabeth. >Savage, v1, p148.

Family links:

 Hannah Bean/MacBean (1635 - 1659)
 Margaret Edwards Bean/MacBean (1640 - 1714)

Children: Hanna Lissen
 Mary Bean Judkins (1655 - ____)*
 Henry Bean (1657 - 1662)*
 Hannah Bean Whittaker (1659 - 1692)*

Children: Margaret

 John Bean (1661 - 1666)*
 Daniel Bean (1662 - 1718)*
 Samuel Bean (1665 - ____)*
 John Bean (1668 - 1719)*
 Margaret Bean Taylor (1670 - 1766)*
 James Bean (1672 - 1753)*
 Jeremiah Bean (1675 - 1727)*
 Elizabeth Bean Sinclair (1678 - ____)*
 Catherine Bean Dolloff (1680 - ____)*
  • Calculated relationship

Inscription: John Bean | 1634 – 1718 | Wife | Hannah | 1635 – 1659 | Wife | Margaret | 1640 – 1714

Our Pioneer Ancestors From the Highlands of Scotland The John Bean of Exeter Family Association 1972

Note: This memorial stone is on the right side of the church.


Burial: Congregational Church Burial Ground Exeter Rockingham County New Hampshire, USA

Created by: BL Hughes Record added: Jun 05, 2007 Find A Grave Memorial# 19729160

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John Bean ( MacBean - MacBayne )'s Timeline

Strathdearn Inverness-Shire, Scotland
June 8, 1655
Age 21
Exeter, Rockingham, NH, United States
May 1657
Age 23
Exeter, NH, United States
Age 25
August 15, 1661
Age 27
Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, present United States
August 15, 1661
Age 27
March 26, 1662
Age 28
March 23, 1663
Age 29
Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, [present United States]