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Richard Otis

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Glastonbury, Somerset, England
Death: June 28, 1689 (73)
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire
Place of Burial: Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Stephen Otis and Elizabeth Otis
Husband of Rose (Stoughton) Otis; Anne-Shuah Otis and Grizel Robitaille
Father of Richard Otis, Jr.; Stephen Otis; Martha Rose Pinkham; Ann Austin; Rose Pinkham and 11 others
Brother of Frances Otis; Hannah Otis and Judith Otis

Occupation: Blacksmith, Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Richard Otis


RICHARD SR. OTIS (OTHEYS), a blacksmith, born 27 Feb, 1626 in Glastonbury, Somerset County, England, settled in Dover, N. H. in about 1655. Richard Sr. Otis originally came to "New England" to join his uncle, JOHN OTIS who was already established in Ingham, Massachusetts. In the early part of 1655, Richard Sr. was a citizen of Boston. In the fall of that year he was granted 10 acres of land in Dover, New Hampshire, and by 1656 he owned 50 acres of land. Richard Sr. Otis' land is located on the east side of the Concheco River, a few acres from Major Richard Waldron's property in Dover, N. H. ( In the 1600s, th e Dover area was known as CONCHECO). Richard Sr. was one of the four town elders.


Richard Sr. was married 3 times. He had at least 8 children with his first wife, ROSE STOUGHTON. (Married in about 1650) They were:

  7. MARTHA (ROSE#1)

OTIS had at least one child with his second wife, ANN E-SHUAH STARBUCK (Widow of James Heard) (Married in 1676):

  1. JOHN, later baptized as "JEAN-BAPTISTE" dit L' ANGLAIS OTIS.

RICHARD SR. OTIS had at least two children with his 3rd wife GRIZEL WARREN (Married in about 1686).

  1. MARGARET (later baptized CHRISTINE)
  2. HANNAH.


In about 1676, at Dover, New-Hampshire, located slightly northwest of Portsm outh, N. H. and very close to what is now the Maine border, (Maine did not become a State until March 1820 and in the 1600's, Maine was part of The Massachusetts Bay Colony) and also relatively close to what is now the Massachusetts border, a certain Major RICHARD WALDRON, Magistrate and Officer of the Militia was involved in dishonest dealings with the nearby Indians .There were several skirmishes and two military companies under the orders of WALDRON captured approximately 350 Abenaki indians. Many were imprisoned without reason, 10 were put to death by hanging, while many others were deported to Boston, or sold as slaves. The Abenaki Indians of what is now Maine, waited patiently for 13 years for their hour of revenge. Vengeance came after nigh tfall on the 27th & early morning hours of the 28th of June 1689, when four hundred Abenaki Indians attacked the peaceful village of Dover, N.H. Because of previous incidents with the indians, seven houses in the Village of Dover had become fortified garrisons enclosed by a wooden stockade fence.1. Major Richard Waldorn's 2. Richard Otis, 3 . Peter Coffin, 4. His son Tristram Coffin, 5. the Gerrish Garrison, 6 . The Heard Garrison, and 7. the Paine Garrison. The local residents felt safer sleeping at night in these fortified garrisons. Indian squaws pretending to be traders were granted access to some of the garrisons when they requested shelter for the night. As everyone slept, the squaws quietly opened the compound gates which allowed the 400 indians to begin what is known as the "Concheco Massacre" of 1689. (The Concheco river flows through Dover, N. H.) The OTIS family was not spared. RICHARD SR. was killed in his bed along with several of his children. His 2 year Old daughter, Hannah & his married son STEPHEN SR. were also killed . STEPHEN SR's sons, NATHANIEL and STEPHEN JR.were abducted by the indians and taken to Quebec and Stephen's daughter Rose (later baptized Francoise-Rose) was also abducted and taken to Quebec.

RICHARD SR.'s 3rd wife, GRIZEL WARREN, and their baby MARGARET (CHRISTINE) only a few months old were also taken prisoner. His daughters from his first marriage, ROSE#1(MARTHA), JUDITH, and EXPERIENCE (ESPERANCE), were also taken captive but were rescued within the next few days in Conway, N. H. as the indians were quickly fleeing the soldiers in their pursuit. JOHN (Jean-Baptiste), from Richard Sr's second marriage, was also taken captive.It is said that 23 inhabitants were killed and 29 were taken captive.

It was common practice for the Abenaquis to flee with their captors in different parties and in different directions. Rose#2, (Francoise-Rose) and John (Jean-Baptiste) yet with another party. ROSE (#2) & JOHN were taken to Quebec by way of the "Chaudiere" river. Rose #2 and John did not arrive in Quebec until the fall of that year and were horribly mistreated during that period. JOHN, who was only about 6 years old at the time of his abduction, was not so fortunate. He was brutally tortured by the indians. It is said that they cut off his ears and removed many of his fingernails. He was forced to live with the Indians for several years. Eventually John was purchased from an old indian squaw who had befriended him. On the 10th of April 1700, JOHN OTIS, now about 17 years old was baptized "JEAN-BAPTISTE" (dit) L' Anglais OTIS. (dit) Loosely translated means AKA (also known as) " L' Anglais" = "The Englishman" it occurs extensively in French surnames. STEPHEN SR. OTIS' son NATHANIEL was later baptized "Paul" and STEPHEN JR. was baptized "JOSEPH-MARIE". ROSE#2 (FRANCOISE-ROSE), JOHN (JEAN-BAPTISTE), NATHANIEL (PAUL), STEPHEN JR. (JOSEPH-MARIE) All four chose to re main in Quebec during the period of repatriation of 1714, as most of them had already married and started families by that time.


  • The descendants of William and Elizabeth Tuttle, who came from old to New England in 1635, and settled in New Haven in 1639, with numerous biographical notes and sketches : also, some account of the descendants of John Tuttle, of Ipswich; and Henry Tuthill, of Hingham, Mass. (1883)
  • 33. John Tuttle, Ens. of Dover, Mil. Co.; killed by Indians, May 7, 1712, while attending to some business at his mill on the upper falls of the Cochecho. His son Thos., who was with him, escaped. He m. Judith, dau. of RICHARD and ROSE (Stoughton) OTIS. Rose was sis. to Sir Nicholas Stoughton, Bart., the only chil. of Anthony Soughton, Esq., of Stoughton, in Surrey, Eng. "Stoughton has continued in this branch as a Christian name. At the time of the great massacre in Dover (1689) the father, bro. and sis, of Judith Otis were slain, and her two young sisters and herself were carried away; but the Indians were overtaken by a party of soldiers at Conway, and the captives rescued and brought back to Dover."


Killed by Indians in 1689. Blacksmith, adm. inhab. of Boston May 1655. Settled in Dover with land grant. Did not sympathize with church and was often in court over absence. Adm. of William Lemon in 1662 and James Heard in 1677. Admitted the Masonian claims and agreed to pay ground rent for his lands in 1683. Gen Dict ME & NH. ("A Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Richard Otis")


2nd marriage 5 Nov 1677, Dover, NH, to Shuah (Starbuck) Heard, widow of James, who died in 1676. 3rd marriage 1685 to Grizel/Grizzel/Grizet Warren, dau. of James. She was taken to Canada when Richard was killed by Indians and m. 15 Oct 1693, Philip Robitaille of Montreal. She was b. 1662 & d. 26 Oct 1750


Richard's death in the Indian Massacre. My 8th Great Grandmother, Rose had passed away in 1671 so she was not around when this happened, thank God. I don't know about my 7th Great Grandmother, Martha, I do know she was already married to John Pinkham but I am not sure how close by they were during the massacre.

The Cochecho Massacre, Dover, NH, 1689

"In one bloody afternoon, a quarter of the colonists in what is now downtown Dover, NH were gone -- 23 killed, 29 captured in a revenge attack by native warriors. In one afternoon, 50 years of peaceful co-existence between the Penacook tribe and European colonists ended. The ìmassacreî of 1689 entered the history books along with similar accounts throughout the Seacoast. With three-quarters of the native population afflicted by white diseases, dead or driven out of their ancestral homeland, the next half century brought the final gasps of protest against the unending "white tide" of settlers. The final attacks were felt sharply in Lee, Durham, Nottingham, Exeter, Salmon Falls, Rochester, Newmarket, Kingston and nearby Maine villages of Eliot and York. By 1770 the attacks were over. the Indians were gone and their 10,000 year reign along the Piscataqua rivers had ended."

King Philip's War ended with Indian losses reported at 3,000. In New Hampshire, Wonalancet was succeeded by Chief Kangamagus, a man more inclined toward action than negotiation. Whites were demanding more land and their treatment of natives was sometimes harsh. In exchange for the loss of their hunting grounds, native families were each paid one peck of corn annually. Indians were required to lay down their guns in sight of any English person. No native could travel paths east of the Merrimack River without a certificate from Major Waldron. Racial tension increased. Farmers carried rifles into the work fields. Houses on strategic high points in town were fortified. Historians estimate that by 1684 there were 50 heavily protected or "garrisoned" houses within 15 miles of Dover. In Cochecho, with a population of 200 whites, workers secured the homes of Peter Coffin, his son Tristram Coffin, Richard Otis, the "Widow" Heard and, of course, Major Waldron. Rifles protruded through tiny holes in the thick walls behind sharp palisade fences. Women were trained to pour boiling water though loose boards on the second story onto an attacking enemy below.

Advance word of Penacooks massing for battle on Cochecho was known as far away as Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The vendetta against Waldron was described in a warning letter from Chelmsford that arrived by courier in Dover on June 28 -- just one day too late. Waldron, aware of the tensions, reported told his townsfolk that he could assemble 100 men simply by lifting his finger. "Go plant your pumpkins," were his legendary last words. On June 27 an Indian squaw appeared at four of the five Cochecho garrisons requesting shelter for the night. Because it was a common request, they were taken in.

The Attack

That night each undefended garrison was opened silently from the inside and the Penacook war parties rushed in. Waldron, then 74, is said to have wielded his sword in defense. He was tied to a chair and cut across the chest repeatedly as each warrior symbolically "crossed out" his trading account with the distrusted merchant. His ears and nose were cut off and shoved into his mouth. After he was forced to fall on his own sword, the attackers cut off his hand. The garrison was burned and his family killed or captured.

"The Otis family garrison fared no better. The blacksmith, two of his sons, Richard & Stephen and a daughter, Hannah, were killed while his wife Grizel, an infant Christine and two grandchildren were kidnapped to Canada."


Also see Descendants of (Thomas) Otis Killed during the Cochecho massacre. Remains most likely still at the site of his garrison, which was burned to the ground. Many of the items (bones, Blacksmith tools, glasses, shoe buckles, etc) found at the Otis garrison site are on display at the Woodman Institute Museum located at 182 Central Avenue in Dover, New Hampshire.

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Richard Otis's Timeline

February 27, 1616
Glastonbury, Somerset, England
January 1, 1650
Age 33
Dover, Strafford, NH, USA
Age 35
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire
Age 37
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States
Age 38
Glastonbury, Somerset, England
Age 39
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire
October 15, 1663
Age 47
Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire
Age 48
Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire
November 7, 1666
Age 50
Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire