American History and Genealogy Project


Swan Island Biographies

James Joyce

James Joyce took up the lot adjoining Moses Staples on the south, which contained one hundred acres of land. Mr. Joyce came to Deer Isle from Marshfield, Mass., and there took up a tract of land north of Capt. Peter Hardy's, which is owned by John Thompson. It is still known as the Joyce lot. The Joyces came to America from Gloucestershire, England, or nearby, where many of that name still reside. Among the members of the Joyce family there seemed to be a talent for drawing and painting. Some were quite noted artists. In the British museum there are several colored drawings of the Prophets by the Rev. James Joyce, of Fairfield church, Gloucestershire.

The earliest record of this family in America is at Marshfield, Mass., where most of their descendants still reside. There was a clockmaker there who had three sons, one of whom went to New Haven, Conn., one to Deer Isle, and one, whose name I could not learn, to some point near Lewiston or Brunswick.

When James Joyce came to Maine he settled first at a place called Majorbagwaduce near where the town of Brooksville is now located, where he took up a tract of land which, however, he sold when he went to Deer Isle. I find the following record in Hancock registry (3-97): James Joyce of a place called Majorbagwaduce, in consideration of the sum of £50, Halifax currency, sold to Kenicum Limburner, of the same place, one hundred and fifty acres of land located on the east side of Majorbagwaduce River. This was dated October 1, 1782.

Joyce came to Swan's Island in 1806, and moved his family into the house just vacated by Joseph Prince. From here they moved into the "Big House", which at that time furnished accommodations for thirteen families. Swan's agent offered Mr. Joyce the gift of two hundred acres of land on the eastern side of the island if he would move there and build a sawmill over the stream where a gristmill was afterwards erected. He also offered him a share of the lumber so manufactured. But Mr. Joyce did not accept the offer.

In a few years, however, he moved to the eastern side, and took up the land I have mentioned. He cut away the immense growth of pine trees, cleared the land for cultivation, and built a log house near where the Reed house now stands. He afterwards built a house to the eastward of where James Joyce, 3d, now lives, where he spent the remainder of his life, the latter years of which he lived with his son William.

Joyce's wife was Mary Staples, a sister of Moses Staples, sr., and at this time was the widow of Courtney Babbidge, sr. Mr. and Mrs. Joyce were the parents of eight children, three sons - James, Ebenezer and William, and five daughters, Elethea, wife of Jeremiah Weed; Mercy, wife of Courtney Babbidge; Olive, wife of Capt. Levi Torrey; Abigail, wife of Samuel Whitmore, and Ruth, wife of John Stockbridge. Of these daughters, Mrs. Weed and Mrs. Whitmore remained on Deer Isle, and Mrs. Babbidge died in Ellsworth.

Mr. Joyce's descendants form a large and influential family, most of whom remained here. They have always been prominent in educational matters, and they have been represented among the officers of this place almost every year since the plantation was organized. Mr. Joyce died in 1833, aged seventy-five years. His wife died in 1836, at the age of seventy-five years. The sons, all of whom settled here, will be further noticed.

Deacon James Joyce, the oldest son of James Joyce, sr., in 1816 took up a tract of one hundred acres adjoining his father on the south. He built a log house to the eastward of where Levi B. Joyce's house now stands. He afterwards built a house of hewn timber, and later built the house that Levi B. Joyce now owns. His property is in part owned by his two sons, Levi B. and Oliver L.

Mr. Joyce was the first deacon of the Baptist church after its organization here. He died in 1873, aged seventy-nine years. His wife died in 1872, aged seventy-two years. His wife was Jane, a daughter of John Stinson, of Deer Isle, by whom he had twelve children, seven daughters and five sons. The daughters were: Mary, wife of Levi Babbidge, who resided in Rockland; Isabel S., third wife of Jacob S. Reed; she died in 1888, at the age of sixty-eight years; Jane, wife of William A. Friend, of Sedgwick; she is now dead; Abigail, wife of Isaac H. Marks, of Sedgwick: they afterward moved to Rockland, where Mr. Marks died; his widow still resides there; Margaret, wife of William Pickering, of Deer Isle; Nancy, wife of Rodney Gott, who now resides in Somerville, Mass., and Sarah, wife of James H. Hutchingson, of Mansfield.

All five of the sons settled in this town, and were as follows: Asa, who married Isabel Staples, of Deer Isle, at which place he resided for some years: he then came to this island and built the house now owned by Warren Sprague; after the death of Washington Staples, lie bought that farm, on which he has ever since resided; after the death of his first wife he married Mrs. Eliza Buker, of Ellsworth; James, 3d, who lived on the land taken up by his grandfather; he resided for several years in the house now owned by Napoleon B. Trask, and later built the house he lived in at the time of his death; his wife was Harriet Gott; his death occurred in 1898, at the age of seventy years; Henry D., who built his house on the lot formerly owned by Mark Staples; he is a ship carpenter, and occupies the yard formerly used by Moses Staples, sr.; his wife was Louisa Staples; Oliver L., who had a part of his father's lot of land and who built his house nearly opposite his father's; his wife was Amanda, daughter of Augustus R. Staples; Levi B., who occupies the homestead lot; his wife was Matilda Staples. These five brothers lived in the same school district in which they were born, over half a century. In the year 1896 three of the family died. Asa died in Ellsworth, where he moved the year before, aged seventy-four years. Oliver L. died, aged sixty-two years, and Mrs. Mary Babbidge died in Rockland, aged seventy-eight years. There was one other son, Wellington, who died when a child.

William Joyce was born in 1802; he was the second son of James Joyce, sr. He lived on his father's place till after the latter's death. In 1848 he went back to Deer Isle, where he died. His farm became the property of James Joyce, 3d. He was the father of ten children, as follows: John B., born in 1821; died in 1840; Seth, born in 1823; lived at Deer Isle; William A., born in 1826; settled at North Haven; Elizabeth, wife of William Wood, born in 1831; Moses S., born in 1834; now resides at Deer Isle; Hannah, wife of William Hatch, of Oceanville, born in 1837; John, a second child by that name, born in 1840; Mary E., born in 1844; Justin A., born in 1846. Most of this family died at Deer Isle.

Ebenezer Joyce, another son of James Joyce, sr., built a house near where Charles H. Joyce's house now stands. He afterwards bought the lot taken up by Rev. Bryant Lennan, for which he paid $300; transfer was made May 24, 1826. This property is now occupied in part by Reuben Joyce. His wife was Catherine Stinson, a sister of his brother James's wife, also a sister of the wife of Alexander Staples. They were the three daughters of John Stinson, of Deer Isle. Mr. Joyce represented this town in the State legislature in 1859; he died in 1875, at the age of seventy-seven years. His wife died in 1886, aged eighty-three years. They were the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters. The daughters were: Sophrona, widow of Simeon Staples; resides in Rockland; Lucy, wife of Seth Staples; Rosalinda, wife of Capt. Stephen Babbidge, of Rockland; she is now dead; Augusta, wife of Elias Harrington, of Rockland; Melita, wife of Cyrus Gahan, of Rockland.

The sons were: Isaiah B., who married Olive Torrey; his place is now owned by David H. Sprague; he died in 1882, aged sixty-one years; Mrs. Joyce died in 1861, aged thirty-nine years; Roderick M., who married Catherine Stinson in 1847; he bought the house and lot of land of Asa Staples on Middle Head; he was extensively engaged in the fishing business at one time; he moved to Castine in 1864; his place is now owned by Michael Stinson; Eben S., who built the house where William S. Joyce now lives; his wife was Sarah Y. Stinson, whom he married in 1854; He died in 1894: John, who died in 1893 at Bluehill; Reuben, who occupies the homestead lot; his wife was Mary A. Lunt, of Long Island; after her death he married Mrs. Abbie Young, of Bluehill; William S., who resides on the place bought by his brother Eben; his wife was Deborah Bridges.

The last two brothers are the only ones of this family who now reside in this town.

Levi Torrey

Levi Torrey took up a lot of one hundred acres adjoining the Joyce lot on the south. He came here from Deer Isle (where he was born in 1789) about 1814. He built a house on his lot which was situated to the south of where Winslow D. Stanley now lives. Mr. Torrey's father, Jonathan Torrey came to Deer Isle in 1763 from Falmouth, Maine, and took up a tract of land of two hundred acres, near the north part of Deer Isle. He married, in' 1767, a daughter of William Eaton, and after her death he married a Mrs. Robinson, who was a sister of Moses Staples, sr. He lost his life by the capsizing of a boat near Cape Rosier, while returning from Castine. His oldest son, David, was in the boat and being more vigorous, was able to keep himself upon the boat's bottom, and for a while kept his father upon it with him; but as the water was cold he soon became chilled, fell off and was drowned. David was rescued. It has been stated that a certain man belonging to that town passed them when they were both upon the boat, but made no effort to save them. This man afterwards admitted that he saw them.

By his first wife Jonathan Torrey had live sons, David, born in 1768: William, whose widow married Amos Gordon; he was the father of Hezekiah Torrey, who represented the town of Deer Isle in the State legislature in 1822; William, who died on a passage from California around Cape Horn, and a daughter, who was the first wife of John P. Johnson. Another son was Capt. Jonathan Torrey, born in 1774, who died of smallpox in 1847; the widow of his son David died in 1879, advanced age of ninety-seven years. There were also Francis H. and John, who lived and died at Newbury Neck, Surry.

By his second wife Jonathan Torrey had four sons, James, Levi, the subject of this sketch, Deacon Asa, who died in Ellsworth, and Capt. Ebenezer. Mr. Torrey also had three daughters by his first marriage who were the wives of Nathan Haskell, Jonathan Eaton and Nathaniel Webster, who lived at Cape Elizabeth. The real estate of Mr. Torrey at Deer Lie is still owned by his descendants; the larger part of it was owned by the late Capt. Daniel S. Torrey, and is still occupied by his widow.

After coming to Swan's Island, Levi Torrey married Olive, daughter of James Joyce, sr. They were the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters. Mr. Torrey died in 1863, aged seventy-four years; his wife died in 1883, at the advanced age of ninety-two years.

Their daughters were: Louisa, wife of John Perkins, of Bluehill; Olive, wife of Isaiah B. Joyce, who died in 1861; Emily died when a child; Martha, wife of Freeman Torrey, of Tremont; after his death she became the third wife of Seth Stockbridge, of Rowley, Mass., and Miranda, wife of George Colter, who resided in Ellsworth.

The sons were: Joseph R., who bought a part of the Babbidge lot, and built the house now owned by Stephen Dunham, jr.; his wife was Roxalana Richardson, whom he married in 1839; they were the parents of two daughters, Louise, wife of Hardy Lane, of Sedgwick, and Emily, wife of Allen Reed, of Saccarappa; Mr. Torrey died in 1880, aged sixty-five years; his wife died in 1893, aged seventy-eight years; Capt. Levi, jr., who bought a part of the Mark Staples lot, and built a house where his son, Jefferson Torrey, now lives; in 1840 he married Joanna Staples; she died in 1887, aged sixty-six years: Mr. Torrey died in 1857, aged forty-one years. They were the parents of Andrew J., who died in 1888, at the age of forty-six years, Jefferson, Samuel and George; Lucretia, Clarinda and Olive; Charles, who married Ann Baker, and lived in Rockland; Ezra, who was drowned from a boat near his home in the year 1865; his wife was Susan Reed, who still occupies his property; Albert, who married Mary E. Dolliver, and resides at Tremont; Amaziah, who married Mary A. Nealey in 1857, and lives near Irish point.

Courtney Babbidge

Courtney Babbidge came here from Deer Isle some time prior to the war of 181 2, and took up the lot of land lying south of Mr. Torrey's. His wife was Mercy Joyce; a daughter of James Joyce, sr. Mr. Babbidge had lived here but a short time when he removed to Harrington, and later to West Trenton. He died in 1856, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Babbidge died in 1865, aged eighty years. When Mr. Babbidge moved from this island he divided his property between his two sons, Joseph and Alfred; the latter sold his property to Joseph Torrey, who built the house now owned by Stephen Dunham, jr. Mr. and Mrs. Babbidge were the parents of eleven children; six sons and five daughters.

The daughters were: Ruth, who was born at Deer Isle, wife of Eben Jordan, of Harrington, and settled there; Abbie, who was born at Swan's Island; she became the wife of John Smith, and settled first at Deer Isle; later they moved to West Trenton; Mercy, wife of Levi B. Crockett, of Deer Isle; Sarah, wife of Thomas Haynes, settled at West Trenton; Mary, born at Harrington, was the wife of Nathan McRay, of Orange, N. J., where they settled.

The sons were: Alfred, born at Deer Isle; he married Hannah Hamblen and settled at Swan's Island; he lived for some lime in a house over an old cellar still seen near the road south of David H. Sprague's, and after his father's removal from this place, Alfred occupied a part of his property. Their children were Alfred, Stephen, Martha, Augustus and Melinda. Mr. Babbidge afterwards moved to Rockland. While sailing from this port he died at sea. After the death of his wife he married Susan Perry.

Joseph S., born at Deer Isle in 1806; he married Mary C. Hamblen, and settled on the lot now owned by Augustus W. Staples; he died in 1883, aged seventy-six years; Mrs. Babbidge died in 1881, aged seventy-one years. Their children were Daniel H., who was lost in the schooner "Constitution" off Nausett light. Cape Cod, in i860, at the age of twenty-eight years; his widow, Emily (Reed), afterward became the wife of Capt. Winthrop Lane; she was drowned by the foundering of* the vessel "S. J. Collins" on their way home from Boston, together with all on board, among whom were Mrs. Lane, two children, Lillian Babbidge, aged eight years, and Grace Lane, one year; Joseph, who married Isabella Murphy; he died of smallpox at Mount Desert; Martin V., who has often served on the school board in this town; he represented this district in the legislature in 1876; Hannah A., wife of Capt. Benjamin J. Staples.

The other sons of Courtney Babbidge who did not reside here were John, who married Isabella Strout, and settled at Harrington; Courtney, jr., who was born at Swan's Island, married Lucy Leighton, and settled at Harrington, afterwards moving to Boston; William, who married Susan York, of Ellsworth, where he settled; he afterwards moved to Dakota; Samuel, who married Sarah ______, and settled in Norwich, Conn.

The grandfather of Courtney Babbidge, also Courtney, came to Deer Isle in 1773 from Windham, Maine. He was three times married; his last wife was a Miss Staples, who after her husband's death, became the wife James Joyce, sr. Mr. Babbidge's sons were Stephen, Courtney, James and William; his daughters were the two wives of Oliver Lane, and of Capt. Hezekiah Colby.

Of the sons, James removed to Vinalhaven, where he lived and died; William settled at Windham; Courtney was a Revolutionary soldier, and is said to have been present at the surrender of Cornwallis; he sold his farm at Deer Isle and removed to a small island at the entrance to Fox Island thoroughfare, still known as Babbidge's island; he died there in 1834.

The other son of Mr. Babbidge, sr., was Stephen, the father of the subject of this sketch. Stephen's wife was Hannah Staples, a sister of Moses Staples, sr. His children were: Courtney, who, as we have noticed, settled on Swan's Island; Stephen; Levi, a master mariner; John, who died suddenly in 1826; Aaron; William; James, who, in 1833, was drowned with his wife and child in passing through the flood gates into the mill pond at Southeast Harbor, Deer Isle. The daughters were the wives of William Barter, of Isle au Hant, and Nathaniel Robbins. Mr. Robbins is still living (1898) in his ninety-eighth year.

Stephen Babbidge, sr., died in 1841, aged eighty-two years. He was for many years an invalid; he was much respected, and in his day had considerable influence at Deer Isle, and acquired much property. After the death of his wife he married her sister, Mrs. Saunders, and afterwards, in 1835, married the widow of Stephen Dow.

John Cook

John Cook came here near the year 1799. He was a Welshman and together with one of his countrymen, Charles Chatto, and two Irishmen, Michael Ready and John Finney, were in the military service of Great Britain from which they deserted and came to Deer Isle. They were stationed near the St. Croix River, and either b swimming, or in a boat, they came alongside of a vessel belonging to Deer Isle, the master of which was Capt. Ephraim Marshall, who, on hearing of the hardships they were forced to endure, kindly consented to let them remain aboard and brought them to Deer Isle. Mr. Chatto, who married a Miss Staples, and Mr. Ready, who married Lydia Pressey, remained at Deer Isle until their 'death. Mr. Cook and Mr. Finney, whom we shall notice later, settled on this island.

Mr. Cook married, at Deer Isle, Zeruah, widow of Joshua Staples, and a daughter of John Raynes, sr., who came to Deer Isle in 1772, from York, Maine. By her first marriage she had one daughter, Jane, who became the wife of Elias Morey, jr. They subsequently came here to live. Mr. Cook took up a tract of land lying to the west of the Joyce and Torrey lots. It contained eighty-seven acres. He built a log house which he occupied until 1835. Mrs. Cook had no children by her second marriage. In his later years, being able no longer to perform manual labor, he had Elias Morey, jr,, whose wife was Mrs. Cook's daughter by her first marriage, come and live with them. Mr. Cook died in 1846. His wife died a few years before; both attained a great age.

Elias Morey, Jr.

Elias Morey, jr., came here from Deer Isle in 1832 and moved upon the lot with Mr. Cook, which place he afterwards came into possession of. Mr. Morey's wife, as has been stated, was Jane Staples. Before coming here Morey lived on what is known as the Ring farm at Monntainville, Deer Isle; the farm then, in 1822, belonged to Spofford and Towne. Morey's grandfather, Ezekiel Morey, came to Deer Isle from Meadow's River, near Brunswick, in 1787, and built the first frame house on Deer Isle; He was twice married and was the father of thirteen children. The sons who survived him were Elias, Ezekiel, Isaac, Joseph and James. The first named son was the father of the subject of this sketch.

When Mr. Morey came here the lands he occupied were covered with a heavy timber growth, which he cut off and sold for kiln-wood. Mrs. Morey died in 1854, T the age of sixty-three years. After her death Mr. Morey married Sarah L. Friend, of Sedgwick, an estimable lady, who died in 1889, in her ninety-first year. His death occurred in 1867, aged seventy-six years. By his first marriage Mr. Morey had five children, three daughters and two sons.

The daughters were: Martha, wife of Asa C. Staples; she died in 1866, aged fifty years; Jane, wife of Calvin P. Abbott; they lived in Hancock; Mr. Abbott went on foreign voyages, and died while at the West Indies, where he was buried: after this Mrs. Abbott came here and lived with her father until her death, which occurred in 185 1, at the age of thirty-three years; Lois, wife of James Sprague; she died in 1885, aged sixty-four years.

The sons were: Otis, who resided at Mt. Desert; his wife was Elizabeth Reed; after her death he married Matilda Closson; lie died in 1886; Hezekiah, who in 1867 came into possession of his father's property; he built a house to the west of his father's; his wife was Nancy A. Conary, daughter of Israel Conary, whom he married in 1845.

Mr. Morey, by great industry and economy, acquired considerable property. He died in 1885, at the age of sixty-one years. His real estate is owned by John Stanley. Mrs. Morey moved to Winterport in 1897.

Rev. Bryant Lennan

Rev. Bryant Lennan, a minister of the Baptist denomination, came in 1814 from Hampden, and took up the lot south of the Morey lot, which extended to the shore on the northwest; it is the Slockbridge lot, and included the land now owned by Reuben Joyce and David H. Sprague. He built a house on what is now known as Stockbridge hill, and later built one near where Reuben Joyce now lives. He was the first settled minister on this island. He organized the Baptist society here. According to the record of Eastern Maine Baptist association holden in Sedgwick, October 11, 1820, the Swan's Island Baptist church was taken into the association at that time with a membership of twenty-three. Among the representatives from this place, as delegates at this and subsequent meetings, as appears in those old records, were the names of Joshua Staples, Courtney Babbidge, Deacon James Joyce and Ebenezer Joyce. The first two years Mr. Lennan preached here he was only a licensed preacher, but on October 2, 1822 he was ordained. He was married when he came here, and had a family but none of them settled in this town.

Mr. Lennan was a well educated man, very earnest and faithful in the performance of his ministerial duties, and was much respected by the people. He remained here several years. He then went back to Hampden, and his land was purchased by Ebenezer Joyce and John Stockbridge. Some fifteen years after leaving here, after the death of his wife, he came back and preached several years, after which time we have no further record of him.

John Stockbridge

John Stockbridge came here from Deer Isle in 1816. He lived for several years on a place formerly owned by Alfred Babbidge, south of where David H. Sprague now lives. When Elder Lennan moved away he bought the eastern half of his land, and lived many years in a log house that Mr. Lennan built. He afterward built a frame house on this lot where he lived the remainder of his life.

Mr. Stockbridge's father, Capt. Benjamin Stockbridge, came to Deer Isle from Gloucester, Mass. He was a shipmaster in good circumstances. It is said he was in the ship that first carried the American flag up the Dardanelles; it was in the year 1800 that the frigate "George Washington" displayed the star spangled banner before the crescent beneath the walls of Constantinople. It was the occasion of the bearing of tribute from the Dey of Algiers to the Sultan. When the stars and stripes appeared at the Bosphorus, the people did not know what the flag represented, or, in fact, anything about it, and in order to pass the forts and castles the captain resorted to an admirable stratagem. When the "George Washington" neared the forts her commander shortened sail, and made ready to anchor; as he did so he ordered a salute fired, which was quickly responded to by the batteries of the fort. The scene was soon shrouded in dense smoke, and when it cleared away the astonished Turks saw that the frigate had taken advantage of the smoky veil to glide through the narrow strait, and was already far on her wayto Constantinople.

After coming to Deer Isle he continued to follow the sea. He was a member of the Baptist church there, and it is said that when some difficulty occurred between him and some of his neighbors, members of the same church, an examination was made before the church. Capt. Stockbridge read to them the thirtieth chapter of Job, beginning: "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose father I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock."

Mr. Stockbridge when young was a man of energy and capacity, but in his latter years became somewhat reduced in circumstances. He had a family of eight children, six of whom were daughters. One was the wife of James Duncan; another the wife of John Greenlaw, who died in 1870, at the age of eighty-seven years, having lived in wedlock sixty-six years; the other daughters were the wives of Benjamin Lane, James Greenlaw, Capt. William Grover, of Isle an Haut, who later moved to Islesboro, and the wife of George Grover. There were two sons, Benjamin, who was lost at sea when a young man, and John, the subject of this sketch. He came here when a young man, and married Ruth, daughter of James Joyce, sr. Mr. Stockbridge was an intelligent man, and much respected. Most of the early records of the plantation were made by him, he having been chosen the first clerk in 1834; he held the office for many years. He died in 1859, aged sixty-three years. Ruth, his wife, died the year before, at the age of sixty-nine years. They were the parents of nine children, two daughters, Sarah, wife of Albert Smith, of Ellsworth, and Mercy, wife of Gilman Staples, and seven sons, as follows:

Benjamin, born in 1817. He built the house where Benjamin, jr., now lives. He married, in 1842, Sarah Norwood, by whom he had four children, Isaiah, Mary E., wife of Charles H. Joyce, James E. and Benjamin W., all of whom reside here. Mr. Stockbridge is dead; his widow still resides here.

John married Hannah M. Murphy, and after her death, which occurred in 1864, at the age of thirty-six years, he married Susan Morey, of Deer Isle. Mr. Stockbridge represented this town in the State legislature in 1867. He died in 1881, aged sixty-two years. Mrs. Stockbridge afterwards became the wife of Thomas Pinkham, of Boothbay.

James, born in 1818. He was taken ill while aboard a ship, and was taken to New York, where he died in Bellevue hospital in 1843, at the age of twenty-five years. He was unmarried.

Samuel W. married, in 1852, Martha Finney, and they were the parents of six children. He died in 1883, aged sixty-two years.

Deacon Seth W. went to Gloucester when a young man, and for a time went in fishing vessels from that port. He was next promoted to captain of a freighting schooner employed in carrying fresh halibut from Gloucester to Boston. Later he engaged in buying and shipping fresh halibut, in company with William T. Smith and William Rackcliffe, at what is now Walen's wharf, and on the decease of his partners admitted David L. Robinson into the firm. On the formation of the Atlantic Halibut Co. he was an original stockholder. While here engaged he did a large business, and owned extensively in shipping. After having been engaged in active business for nearly half a century, he bought a fine farm in Rowley, Mass., where he spent the greater part of the later years of his life. He was three times married; his first wife was Eliza I. Kiff, of East Gloucester, to whom he was married in 1851. After her death he married, in 1865, his first wife's sister, Mrs. Nancy El well. She died in 1884 at Rowley, after which he married Mrs. Martha Torrey, who survives him. He owned a cottage at Swan's Island, where he usually spent a part of the year. He died in 1896 at Rowley, at the age of seventy years.

Eben lives in Gloucester. His wife was Clarissa Kiff, a sister of the two first wives of his brother Seth W.

William was the youngest son. He married Fannie Thurston, of Tremont. He was an architect, and worked at his trade in Boston and Beverly; at the latter place he died.

John Finney

John Finney bought the lot adjoining Moses Staples, sr., on the south, being the land just vacated by William Davis. He was a native of Ireland, and was in the military service of Great Britain. While stationed near the St. Croix River he deserted and came aboard of a vessel belonging to Deer Isle. This vessel was commanded by Capt. Ephraim Marshall, who, together with John Cook and others of the same company came to Deer Isle in 1799. There he married the eldest daughter of Moses Staples, sr. He came to Swan's Island in 1803, and bought the tract of land already described. He built three houses in different locations. The first house stood near the shore, where Jefferson Torrey now resides; the second was near the back shore, and the third to the south of Moses Staples. Mr. Finney was small of stature and of a rather excitable disposition, but he was ever ready to defend a cause he considered just. After the death of his wife Mr. Finney lived with his son until' the death of the latter's wife, when he moved to Somesville, where he died in 1844. When Mr. Finney left he sold his property here to Moses Staples, 3d, and it is now owned by Oilman Staples. Mr. and Mrs. Finney were the parents of nine, children.

The daughters were: Nancy, wife of Choate Barton; Mary A., wife of Reuben Remick, of Ellsworth; Sally, wife of Edward Courts, of Boston; Eliza died unmarried; Dorcas, wife of Oliver Eaton, of Sedgwick.

The sons were: Moses S., who married Eliza Stinson: he lived here with his father for several years; after the death of his wife, in 1838, he went to Deer Isle and married Margaret, widow of John Buckminster; he died Dec. II, i860, aged fifty-eight years; he was the first person buried in the cemetery at Oceanville: Thomas, who married Lydia Gott, of Mount Desert, where he resided; John, who married in Boston.  

Source: A History of Swan's Island, Maine, by H.W. Small, MD, Ellsworth Me, Hancock County Publishing Company, Printers, 1808



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