Samson Frary (1637-1704)
1. Samson1 Frary, son of John Frary and Prudence Townsend, was born say 1637. He would seem to have been born either right before the family left for New England, on the boat to New England or soon after arrival in New England. Samson died 29 February 1703/4 in Deerfield, Franklin Co, MA, at 66 years of age. His body was interred in Deerfield, Franklin Co, MA, Old Burying Ground. He was buried in the mass grave with other massacre victims. Iscription: THE DEAD OF 1704 -- THE GRAVE OF 48 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, VICTIMS OF THE FRENCH AND INDIAN RAID ON DEERFIELD, FEBRUARY 29, 1704.
He married Mary Daniel in Medfield, Norfolk Co, MA, 14 June 1660. Their marriage record read: Samson Frairy & Mary Daniell were mzrried before Cap Lusher, Commissioner, 14:4:60.
Mary was born in Cambridge, Middlesex Co, MA 2 September 1642. Her birth notice appeared in the Cambridge vital records as Mary the daught'r of Robt & Elisabeth Daniel was borne the 2 (7) 1642. Mary was the daughter of Robert Daniel and Elizabeth Morse.
Mary died March 1703/4 in March To Canada With Others Ca, at 61 years of age. Mary was the sixth and final child of Robert and Elizabeth (Morse) Daniel. She was bequeathed 50 pounds at age twenty-one or at marriage by her father's will in 1655. She married Samson Frary in 1660 and was the mother of his five children. She probably lived at Cambridge, Dedham, Medfield, Hadley and Deerfield. Her brother, Samuel Daniels, was also known to have lived at Deerfield. Mary was captured during the Deerfield Massacre of 29 February 1703/4. In the words of a redeemed captive "Lacking vigor to endure, she was killed by her Indian master on the journey to Canada, for their manner was if any loitered to kill them." Her body was presumably left on the trail. Her husband, two children and a granddaughter were also slain by the Indians.
Samson and Mary were the third great-grandparents of Levi Parsons Morton, 22nd Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. They were also the 5th great-grandparents of George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company. They were the 5th great grandparents of Frederick and Louis Upton, the founders of the Whirlpool Corporation. Mary is also cousin to many other famous people through her father and grandfather Morse: William Howard Taft, Johnny (Chapman) Appleseed, Mary Lyon, Wild Bill Hickok, Emily Dickinson, Calvin Coolidge, Lou (Henry) Hoover, Raquel Welch, Elisabeth Shue, Andrew Shue, George W. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Richard Gere, Jeb Bush, Richard Nixon and Harry Chapin.
Excerpts from previous Frary publications -- For her English ancestry, see 3 v88:383 (Daniel), v83:284 (Morse) name spelled Daniell in cortellilaw family tree. line updated per info from Vickie Hutchinson on FB in FFA group 6/18/2016.
Samson was the sixth child and fourth son of John and Prudence (Townsend) Frary. He was perhaps named for his uncle, Samson Townsend. Many times in records his name was spelled Sampson. He probably accompanied his parents to New England around 1637, being a small child. He presumably accompanied his parents in their journey through Watertown, Dedham and Medfield, MA. He was married to Mary Daniel in 1660. Soon after he built a home there near the corner of North and Harding streets. Around 1666, he moved his married family through the wilderness to Hatfield, Hampshire Co, MA which was then part of Hadley, on the Connecticut River. He was in the new town of Deerfield, Franklin Co, MA around 1667. In 1670, when lots were being laid out in Deerfield, the committee found two settlers already there, Samson Frary and Samuel Hinsdale. Samson drew lot number 11 at Deerfield in the allocation of land. He is generally recognized as being the second settler of Deerfield. He was to receive under his father's June 11, 1675 will: "I will and Bequeath unto my three sons all my wearing Cloaths, Both Linen and wollen, hatts, Boots and Shoos; all which Legacies and Bequeathalls Being dully and truly performed, my will is that all the remainder of my estate, Being equally proportioned, my son, Theophilus Frairy to and injoy the one halfe and the other halfe be equally divided Between my son Samson and Eliezer Frairy." King Philips War in 1675 forced Samson and the rest of Deerfield back to Hatfield. He remained there several years and became a freeman there taking the Oath of Allegiance on 8 February 1678/. Around 1683, Samson built a home on lot number 29, previously owned by Peter Woodward, in the center of Deerfield village. This was one of the larger lots in Deerfield being over seven acres. In 1687 he sold four acres on the north side of the lot to John Catlin. It was not until 1719 that Samson's son, Nathaniel, received a quitclaim deed to the lot. This was the location of the famous Frary house which is still standing today. In a list of 1688, Samson is shown with having 20 cow commons in the woods near Deerfield. He was chosen as a town officer on 14 December 1691. Samson and his family lived here for the next twenty years, always fearing the raids of the French and Indians. In 1691 Theophilus Frairy of Boston, Samson Frairy of Deerfield and Eleazar Frairy of Hatfield sold to Henry Adams the 6 1/2 meadow property originally of John Frairy by Stop River near Frairy's Bridge. He was bequeathed from the September 7, 1697 will of his brother Theophilus, proved October 31, 1700: "I give, Devise & bequeath unto my two Brothers Sampson Frary and Eleazer Frarey all my waste Lands and undivided Lands lying within the Township of Medfield which of right belonged to my deceased Father John Frarey to be equally divided betwixt them and their heirs forever. And I also give unto my two Brothers Sampson and Eleazer Five pounds apiece in money and all my wearing apparel both woollen and Linnen and one half of my printed Books tobe also equally divided betwixt them."
Their worst fears came true on 29 February 1703/4, when Deerfield was attacked and burned. Samson was killed during the massacre defending his home, along with his granddaughter Mercy Root. The house was burned to the ground. The Indians tended to kill those that resisted them and those that would be too frail or young to travel. His wife was captured and died on the journey to Canada. In the evaluation of losses after the massacre, only two families lost more value than Samson's, his being valued at 250 pounds. He was shown as the third largest land owner in Deerfield with 20 propriety shares. He made a will on 2 February 1702/3 as Sampson Frary and left most everything to his wife. His plaque in Deerfield's Memorial Hall reads: "Samson Frary Son of John of Medfield He was at Hatfield in 1668 Was one of two planters at Deerfield in 1670 Driven off by the savages he back at the final settlement Line of descent. from Samson Frary Nathaniel Frary 1675 Nathan Frary 1719-1794 Electa Frary Parson 1759-1824 Lucretia Parsons Morton 1789-1862 Levi Parsons Morton by whom this stone is placed.
A transcription of the INVENTORY OF SAMPSON FRARY (d. 1704) Hampshire Probate Records, Volume III, p. 130 "An Inventory of Sampson Frary’s Estate Late of Deerfd Now Deceased One Homelot; four acres and halfe meadow Land; one Lot In the Little Meadow thriteen acres; one Lot upon the Plain by Eaglebrook twelve acres; Four acres Lying at the Rear of the Homelots; one wood lot Butting upon the meadow Land West and the Great River East; One Wood Lot Butting upon Hatfield Rhoad Running East to the End of the Town Bounds: M of c (?) Belt (?) twon Mares 2L 5sh; one yoak oxen 7L; one cow2L 5sh; Three Swine 3L 7sh; a plow Sheer And Colter 6sh; one Parcel of Old Iron 5sh; a Hatchell and trammel 5sh; one pr of Wheels and Boxes and Bands 16sh; one pair of Breetches 2sh; one Colt 6sh, Prized by Danl Belding, Wm Armes, Benoni Moore A Inventory of Sampson Frary’s Estate in Hatfield Prized by Samuel Dickinson Isaac Graves Eleazer Frary of Hatfield one whipplebrace chain 2 horse chaines an ax and hooks 12sh Mated Pewter 3sh; one iron Pot and PotHooks and Old Iron 6sh all 9sh One pr of hinges 2sh; 1 Iron Kettel 7sh; all 9sh 1 Trammel 4sh; 1 frying pan 1sh; all 5sh for hooks and hinges for doors 8sh for Bowles and Kettles 5sh Sieths and Old Iron 2sh one spade and 2 axes 7sh one clevi and Pins and 2 hoes 5sh one pr of Tongs 4sh; Beetle Ring 1sh 6d; all 5sh 6d 2 Iron Wedges 3sh; and Old Iron 3sh; all 6sh 1 grid Iron 4sh; one Gun Barrel 2sh; all 6sh 1 Whipplebrace chain and trace Chaines 12sh 3 Pewter Platters 15sh 1 Plow Chain & Rings for a yoak 10 sh And in money 1sh 6d Woodland at Medfield not Divided Between my Uncle Frary and I April 10, 1705."
Excerpts from previous Frary publications: S1 -- page 16-17. About 1666, Samson took his wife and two small daughters on the perilous journey through the wilderness from Medfield to Hatfield, which was then part of Hadley, on the Connecticut River, where they were to live for a while, near his brother, Eleazer. That year Dedham townsmen bought from the Indians an 8000 acre tract, 12 miles north of Hatfield, in the fertile Pocumtuck River valley, and Samson soon joined them as a proprietor of the new town of Deerfield. In 1670, when the Dedham committee and their "artiste" arrived to "laye out the lotts," they found fields being plowed by an impatient settler, Samuel Hinsdale, and a cellar built by Samson Frary, in the north end.
In 1673, the settlement, still known by its Indian name, Pocumtuck, and governed by Dedham townsmen, petitioned for a new status, and the reply from the General Court at Boston to "the inhabitants of Paucumptucke, Samuel Hinsdale, Samson Frary, & c." granted them "the liberty of a touneship". 15 v1:13 A short period of peace with the Indians ended when Philip, son of Massasoit, fomented unrest which grew into warfare in 1675-6, and the Deerfield people were forced to retreat to Hatfield and Hadley, leaving their homes to be sacked and burned. 18:137
Samson and his family remained at Hatfield several years but never lost hope of returning to their land for a new start. It was during this period that Samson became a freeman at Hatfield, Feb 8, 1677/8. 3 v4:26 By 1680, while resettlement plans were taking shape, the General Court urged a more compact form of settlement "for security against enemyes & more comfort for Christian communion ... and education of children in schools ..." 15 v1:59 It was probably for this reason that Samson rebuilt near the center of the village about 1683, rather than on his original land. He built on a lot belonging to Peter Woodward of Dedham, and it was not until 1719 that Samson's son, #S6 Nathaniel, received a quitclaim deed to the lot.
There they lived for 20 years, always fearing the sporadic raids by Indians who, at times, were encouraged by the French. Finally, on Feb 29, 1703/4, before daybreak, combined French and Indian forces made a savage attack on the sleeping Deerfield settlers. They killed or captured those they could and burned many homes and barns. 3 v9:161 Samson and his young granddaughter, Mercy Root, were killed and his wife, Mary, was captured. "Lacking vigor to endure," she was killed by her Indian master on the journey to Canada "for their manner was if any loitered to kill them," according to a redeemed captive a few years later. A contemporary "table of losses" for the Deerfield Massacre states for Frary: "Captured: wife: Slain: himself, 2 children; Alive: 3 children. Estate Lost: 250 house, Barn burnt, Estate in it." the number of children is probably an error and should be 1. The estate loss of 250 Masssachusetts pounds (compare to John's(1) estate of 326 pounds) was equal to that of two other families. Two othersexceeded his loss at 300 pounds, and all other losses were far less. Son Nathaniel(3) is not accounted for among either casualties or defenders. Possibly he had escaped to Hatfield to get help or was away from Deerfield on an errand. p16. See 4 v5, 12:75-58, 15 v1:10,12,13,19,87, 22, 35:110-112. Also, Old Deerfield and its history, including the massacre, are the subjects of an illustrated article in the June, 1969, issue of "The National Geographic Magazine".
Many have believed sincerely that the Frary loss was mainly the barn and estate, that the damaged house was repaired and that it still stands more than two centuries later. However, recent research by its present owner, Historic Deerfield, Inc, has convinced them that the house was "not constructed before 1719, when Nathaniel Frary acquired the property". 33 For further discussion of this research, see #S6 Nathaniel(3) below.
The will of Samson Frary, written Feb 3, 1702/3, left to his wife, Mary, "the benefit of my whole estate during the term of her natural life for her comfortable subsistence in the world"; to son, Nathaniel, "(whom I make my sole heir and executor) the whole of my estate after mine and my wife Mary's decease." Nathaniel was to pay legacies to daughter, Mary Root, and to the five children of Samson's deceased daughter, Mehitable Root. Witnesses were Eleazer Frary and Thomas French. 25 v3:128 See following for children of Samson and Mary: 22 v1:see index, v2:165-7, 10:545 &41 Appendix:54 p.503 of "The Frary Family in America: A Continuation" pub. 1985 John's other two survivng sons, Samson and Eleazer, moved west to the Connecticut River Valley, in Massachusetts, no doubt lured by lucrative land grant. Samson participated in the establishment of Deerfield, and had a cellar there in 1670. He had four children but only one son, Nathaniel, who carried on the family name. There is no evidence that Nathaniel was in Deerfield on February 29, 1703/4 when French and Indian forces attacked the town, killing many inhabitants and taking others captive to Canada. Samson and his granddaughter, Mercy Root, were killed, and Samson's wife, Mary, was killed on the way to Canada, probably because, at the age of 62, she could not keep up the pace of the march. (Mercy is daughter of Mehitable Frary) p.539 of "The Frary Family in America: A Continuation" pub. 1985 After leaving Medfield , MA, he probably followed the Bay Path to Brookfield and then went westward to Hatfield. The Hampshire county, MA deed index lists his sale of Deerfield land in 1687. See chart of seven generations [352 v3 #1] p. 788 of vol. 8, number 1, June 1987, First Supplement to Frary Genealogy. When his will was probated, Deerfield, MA, was in Hampshire county, and the county seat at Northampton.
Samson and Mary were the third great-grandparents of Levi Parsons Morton, 22nd Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. They were also the 5th great-grandparents of George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company. They were the 5th great grandparents of Frederick and Louis Upton, the founders of the Whirlpool Corporation.
Samson Frary and Mary Daniel had the following children:
+ 2 i. Mary2 Frary was born 24 July 1662.
+ 3 ii. Mehitable Frary was born 29 January 1664/5.
4 iii. Susanna Frary was born in Hadley, Hampshire Co, MA 14 March 1667/8. Susanna died 28 March 1668 in Hadley, Hampshire Co, MA, at less than one year of age.
Excerpts from previous Frary publications: S4 -- 29 Hadley section p.539 of "The Frary Family in America: A Continuation" pub. 1985 date of birth changed from 4th to 14, per VR.
5 iv. John Frary was born in Hadley, Hampshire Co, MA 17 September 1669.
John is presumed to have died young.
+ 6 v. Nathaniel Frary was born 29 November 1675.