Jonathan Atherton

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Jonathan Atherton

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Cavendish, Windsor, Vermont
Death: Died in Windsor, Windsor County, Vermont
Immediate Family:

Husband of Nancy Atherton
Father of Solon Ives Atherton; Ellen Roxana Atherton; Henry Bridge Atherton; Everett Hall Atherton; Harriet Marion Atherton and 2 others
Brother of David Atherton

Managed by: Devlin Donald Foster
Last Updated:

About Jonathan Atherton

Harvard, Massachusetts, 30 Oct., 1825 To: Mr. Jonathan Atherton Sr., Cavendish, Vermont From: David Atherton

      My brother Jonathan.I received your letter dated October the 13th by the hand of my son Eben the next morning after your friend Puff arrived. Was much pleased to hear that health is within your habitation and prosperity was within your boarders. You tell me “old time has made a very sensible impression upon your limbs from your hips downwards. I am sorry but it reminded me of “Good Old King Solomon” in miniature. Who after all his enjoyment became old cries out: “vanity, vanity.” As to sending you a “Man of Business” to take your farm, I know of none that I think would suit you. You speak of a meadow on your farm that I do not recollect, but think you are sowing your fowl meadow seed too late. As for your hobby horses, brother, we should be much pleased if you and your wife would mount one or two of them and make us a visit at Harvard while we are all comfortably well. A little while longer and we have no power placed in our hands to visit each other. I lost the power to visit you 20 years ago this day. I have sent a copy of my friend Charles Humphrey Atherton’s Memoranda of the race of Atherton’s, which he sent to me last April. I was much pleased with it and think it may please you.
      It appeareth our great grandfather had six sons (viz: Stephen (lived with my wife’s father and died there with him) Joseph, Joshua, Benjamin, John, and Peter Atherton). With the help of what I send you with your assistance, you can keep a book of a record of the Atherton’s of Vermont and make return of your doings. Tell your wife Nancy, I want to get so close as to shake her close. —David Atherton
      —{Large hand-written document enclosed, written on very fragile brown paper that rips very easily if handled too roughly}: MEMORANDA OF 1820 BY THE HON. CHARLES A. ATHERTON:“Joshua Atherton, late of Amherst, Esq., deceased has now living (1820) seven children, viz: Frances West, Charles Humphrey, Rebecca Spaulding, Abigail Kent, Ann Holland, Catherine Means and Elizabeth W. French.Joshua Atherton was the son of Peter Atherton of Harvard who was the son of James Atherton of Milton, Mass. I can trace the family no further up. On 25 Aug., 1809, after the death of my father, I went with his brother Doctor Israel Atherton of Lancaster, to Harvard and collected from Mr. Oliver Atherton (then aged 89) the following tradition of our family. That three brothers: Humphrey, James and Joshua came from Lancashire in England. That Humphrey settled in Dorchester and James and Joshua at Lancaster. Joshua in that part called “Still River (now in Harvard) whose farm is now owned by Oliver Atherton (son) and David Atherton, the descendants of Joshua.But this tradition is not correct in all its parts and I think I have discovered in examining sundry records, the James Joshua Atherton that permanently settled in Lancaster were the sons of James Atherton of Milton. It is probably however that their father James Atherton of Milton was at Nashua in 1654. The Lancaster records mention that James Atherton with 25 others inhabitants of Nashua were incorporated in 1654 by the name of Lancaster. Humphrey Atherton, Gent, was on the committee appointed by the General Court to dispose of the lands in Lancaster; and there was some connection between him and James; but no trace of that connection can be found except the tradition above mentioned. James might have been, and probably was, a younger brother of Humphrey. That they came from Lancashire in the County of Lancashire in England is likely from the name by which Nashua* was incorporated, in which probable the Atherton’s had the influence, now for the proof.There is a deed recorded in Middlesex County dated 5 Nov., 1686 of James Atherton & Hannah his wife, to their eldest son, James Atherton in Lancaster, for settling on him of lands in Lancaster.Another deed of Joshua Atherton and Mary his wife dated 6 Feb., 1689 to John Priest, of lands in Lancaster, which his honored Father James Atherton purchased of Mary Kimball of Boston. James Atherton of Milton (a part of Dorchester) died in Sherburne in the County of Middlesex.He must have been a very old man and probably lived with some daughters-in-law. His Will was proved in 1707. He mentions his wife Hannah and his sons James and Joshua. The Indian War of King Philip came on in 1675 and I conjecture that Old James Atherton then, if not before, left Lancaster and returned to Milton and when the troubles were over, sent his sons James and Joshua to settle and improve those lands. By the Milton town records it appears that James Atherton was taxed in 1678 to the year 1703. Joshua Atherton was also taxed and sometime in company with his father James; the last tax against Joshua was in 1685. There is a deed in Suffolk County records of Joshua Atherton of Milton, tanner and Mary, his wife, dated 30 Nov., 1685 to his father, James Atherton of Milton, of land in Milton. The deed, as the deeds in those days often did, recites the relatives of the parties. James Atherton’s taxes were among the highest. By the Milton Town Records it appears that Joshua Atherton married Mary Gulliver. Also that Stephen, the son of Joshua, was born 6 Oct., 1680. In the Middlesex County Records there is a deed of James Atherton of Lancaster and Abigail his wife to Caleb Sawyer of Meadow Lot, Third Division of Land in Lancaster {as it was laid out to his Honored Father James Atherton of Milton}, dated 24 May, 1697. There was a James Atherton who married Abigail Houghton or Hutson, whose children: Simon and Amos, were baptized in Lancaster “on account of their mother” in 1700. John in 1709, James in 1714, Moses in 1718, Submit in 1724. This James, old Oliver Atherton told me, moved to Oblong in Connecticut and thence to Pepper Cotton. Where is Pepper Cotton? Was this James the son of “old James of Milton” or was he the grandson who moved to Oblong?Old Oliver Atherton also told me that Benjamin Atherton, who settled in Bolton was the son of James Atherton 1st of Lancaster. But is not this a mistake? Was Benjamin not the grandson by James, the son of James, the son of James of Milton?
      Joshua Atherton, my great grandfather, who married Mary Culliver[sic] of Milton; and is the son of James Atherton of Milton, had four children: Stephen who died unmarried (he became deranged by a fight).Joshua, who went to Norton, south of Boston; Joseph who settled in Harvard; Benjamin who married a daughter of Dr. Toothacre of Billerica (his two children Benjamin and Mary died childless), Mary a pauper; John, who settled near Harvard Meeting House and married Miss Wright of Andover; Peter, my grandfather, who married Experience Wright of Andover and lived on the homestead at Still River in Harvard. Joseph Atherton, son of Joshua, married a Rogers of Harvard. Their [six] children were Oliver (89 years old in 1809), Joseph Atherton who married a Hutchings; Mary who marred a Bennett of Groton; Elizabeth who married a Bancroft of Groton; Hannah, who married a Moore of Princetown; and Patience who married a Stone of Rutland. Oliver who married a Godfrey had four children: Joseph who settled at Chesterfield, New Hampshire; Oliver who studied physic and settled also in Chesterfield; Philemon who married in Harvard and living on the old farm; Samuel at Stuben, New York; Mary who married Elijah Willard; Rachel who marred a Hartwell of Littleton; Esther who married David Atherton, is helpless from an injury in the spine, and lives on the old homestead of Joshua Atherton, our great grandfather.
      John Atherton, son of Joshua, married a Wright of Andover and settled near Harvard Meeting House. His children were: John who lived in Waterford, Maine and left children; Samuel who died in his 20th year; Ezra who died at Petersham leaving children; Eliakim who died in Boston leaving children; William who died in Harvard; Thomas now living in Wendall, Massachusetts in 1809; Phoebe married a Willard in Harvard; Sarah to a Parkhurst in Harvard; Lydia to a Harris in Harvard (John Harris, Esq., of Hopkinton, NH is their son);
      Peter Atherton (son of Joshua and my grandfather) married Experience Wright of Andover. He was born April 12th 1705. He died at Concord 13 June, 1704 in the 60th year of his age during he General Court of which he was a member. He was a blacksmith by trade and a colonel of the militia and magistrate. Experience, his wife was born in August 5th 1711 and Died Nov. 14th 1775 aged 64 years. They were married June, 13th 1728. Their children were: Experience, born Feby. 13th 1728/9, married to a Robert Holland. Azubah, born Decm. 23, 1730, married an Ephraim Willard, lived in Starling* [sic] where their children remain. Peter Atherton, born, Decm. 29th 1734. He married Experience Atherton of Bolton and lived on the old farm of his own grandfather, Joshua Atherton in Harvard.Joshua (my father) born June 20th 1737. Israel born Nov. 20th 1741. [He] married the Widow of Dr. Printess [Prentice] of Lancaster. Had a liberal education and was eminent in his profession as a Physician. Lived to the year 1824 when he died (he and his wife about the same year). Mary born April 11th 1753. Married Doc. Munroe of Harvard.
      Children of Experience were John, Mercy, and Nancy Holland.John Holland lived with my father, who was a Royalist and refugee during the Revolution and died at St. Johns. Mancy I believe died at my father’s when a young woman. Mary Holland died inn the year 1824 and left children.
      The Children of Azubah Willard, I know nothing. The Family have turned out badly.

The Children of my Uncle Peter’s family were Benjamin, settled in Mass. District of Maine; Peter, Ticonderoga, New York; Eunice, she died; Betsey a widow in Vermont; Experience--, died; Sophya --, died. Anna --, died, Mercy, -- died.

      Dr. Israel Atherton’s children were Jeffrey Amherst, died a member of College; Abel Willard, a merchant in Prospect, Maine. Was married, deceased, left children: Charles, lived with his father in 1822; Rebecca, married to William Abbott Esq., Attorney at Law, Castine. Sarah who married a Kidder, son of the Rev. Mr. Kidder of Dunstable, lives in Prospect, Maine.
      Mercy Munroe’s children were Tilly Atherton, who died in the army in 1812 or 1813; Rebecca, who marred Dr. Bridge of Marblehead.
      Joseph Atherton son of Ensign Joseph and brother to Old Oliver, and who married Sarah Huchings, had for children: David (helpless from an injury in the spine and lives on the old homestead owned formerly by Joshua); Sarah, who married John Whitney of Harvard. He is dead. She married a second husband and both now living in Bolton (1825); Jonathan – Cavendish, Vermont; Joseph in Baltimore, Vermont; Abigail married Lemuel Willard of Harvard; Hannah married a John Whitney and both are dead; Patience, married Samuel Dudley and lives on the old homestead of her Father’s Farm in Still River.”[end of manuscript].
      —The letter writer continues—: It would appear from an old account found among my Grandfather Peter Atherton’s papers, the widow of his Father Joshua was alive in 1748. She must have lived a widow nearly 30 years, for Joshua Atherton died the same year that Oliver Atherton by son Joseph was born, which was in 1720. Joshua, my father married Abigail Goss of Bolton, daughter of Thomas Goss, Minister of that place. She died April 3d 1809 aged 71 years 17 days. His wife died Oct. 28th 1801 aged 53. His children were Fanny, born Oct. 21st, married William Gordon Esq., who died at Boston in 1802. And the married Benjamin West, Esq., of Charlestown, New Hampshire who died in 1814. Her only child was William Gordon, Esq., of Charlestown.Charles Humphrey born 14 Aug., 1773; Abigail, born 22 Oct., 1775, and wife of Amos Kent, Esq., lately deceased; Rebecca Wentworth, born August 1778, wife of Matthias Spaulding of Amherst.Anna Holland born March 17th 1782, unmarried; Catharine, born June 7th 1784, wife of Colonel David M. G. Means of Amherst; Elizabeth Willard, born May 4th 1786, the wife of Ralph Hill French of Marblehead.
      The Rev. Thomas Goss, my grandfather on my Mother’s sided died January 17th 1780. My grandmother Goss, who was a Wade from Medford, came to reside with my Mother, Jany. 20, 1791 and died July 15th 1791.
      —More from the manuscript—:
      There follows some MEMORANDA OF HUMPHREY ATHERTON AND FAMILY…. supposed him to have been a brother of James Atherton of Milton. He lived in Dorchester about three miles from Boston. His son Hope, Hopeing, or Hopefull as he is variously called in town records, and in Wills; and who in the catalogue of Cambridge College when he took his Degree Sperantius; kept a school in Dorchester and was settled in the Ministry of Hadley. He early became deranged and died.General Humphrey, his father was employed in an expedition against the Narraganset Indians as mentioned in the early History of our Country, came to his death at Military Review at Boston Common by riding over a cow. Administration of his estate was granted Sept. 27th 1662. Jonathan Atherton, his eldest son and to his sons-in-law: Timothy Mather, James Trobridge, and Obadiah Swift, from the Probate records and the Will of his Widow, I find that he had a child named Patient, son Watching, son Consider, son Hope, and son Increase.In 1810 I visited a Captain Consider Atherton, an old shoemaker of Norton, who was born in 1716. He was the son of Humphrey Atherton, son of Consider Atherton, son of General Humphrey Atherton.The following epitaph is taken from the Burying Ground in Dorchester

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Jonathan Atherton's Timeline

1787
October 14, 1787
Cavendish, Windsor, Vermont
1818
June 13, 1818
Age 30
Cavendish, Windsor, Vermont
1819
November 14, 1819
Age 32
Cavendish, Windsor, Vermont
1821
September 3, 1821
Age 33
Cavendish, Windsor, Vermont
1823
September 17, 1823
Age 35
1826
January 30, 1826
Age 38
1828
September 25, 1828
Age 40
1835
September 21, 1835
Age 47
1875
May 7, 1875
Age 87
Windsor, Windsor County, Vermont