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Entries: 37996    Updated: 2016-03-15 18:46:02 UTC (Tue)    Owner: Alfred Rose

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  • ID: I13169
  • Name: Edmund LITTLEFIELD
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BEF 27 JUN 1592 in Titchfield, Hampshire, England
  • Occupation: Clothier
  • Reference Number: 13758
  • Death: DEC 1661 in Wells, York, ME
  • Note:
    Edmund Littlefield, the first of the line in this county, was born in Titchfield, near Southampton, England, in 1590. He did business there as a clothier, that is, he gave out the material for weaving cloth to the owners of hand looms to be woven into cloth which he sold to the trade. He married, in 1617, Annis (sometimes written Annice and Annas) who bore to him eight children: Francis, born in 1619, Anthony,
    Elizabeth, John, Thomas, Mary, Hannah and Francis, Jr. Francis, the eldest son, disappeared from his home when eleven years of age, and made his way to America. He was mourned as dead by his parents, and when sometimes afterwards another son was born to them, they named him also Francis.

    Edmund, accompanied by one son, presumably Anthony, sailed from Southampton for New England in 1637. He was in Boston in 1638, where he probably became acquainted with Rev. John Wheelwright, the first pastor of the First Church of Braintree, a tablet to whose memory may be seen on the walls of the First Church of Quincy, formerly Braintree.

    Annis Littlefield, with the other six children and two servants, sailed from Southampton in 1638 on the ship 'Bevis', and joined her husband. The family appears to have been in Woburn for a short time.

    In 1639, the family, including Francis, Sr., who had been found, removed to Exeter, New Hampshire, where Edmund and Francis, Sr., became members of the combination, as it was called, and received allotments of land in that town - Edmund twenty-one acres and Francis, Sr., four acres. Rev. John
    Wheelwright, who had left Braintree because of disagreements with the authorities in religious matters (the Antinomian controversy was then raging) had became pastor of the church at Exeter. Edmund Littlefield was an active member of that church.

    He became dissatisfied with conditions prevailing at Exeter, and in 1641removed with his family into the wilderness beyond the sounds of ecclesiastical strife and settled on the banks of the Webhannet river in the province of Maine, where he erected a saw mill and engaged in the lumber business. It is said that his mill was the first in that part of the country. Later, when other settlers arrived, he built a grist mill. The town which sprang up about his mills was early given the name of Wells. In 1643 he secured from Thomas Gorges a grant of land on which he had settled, and for a time he acted as agent of Gorges for the sale of land in that region claimed by Gorges under his grant. Rev. John Wheelwright came from
    Exeter with a part of his flock and settled at the same place. About the year 1643 a church was established there which is to-day the First Congregational Church of Wells, of which Mr. Littlefield was an active member during the rest of his life.

    He was commissioner in Wells with Ezekiel Knight and Thomas Wheelwright in 1654-55. He was also one of a commission to fix the boundary between the towns of Wells and Porpoise. He died at Wells, December 11, 1661, at the age of seventy-one years.

    His will and the inventory of his estate, which may be seen in the York county, Maine, records, shows that he had prospered in business and was a wealthy man for those times. In his will he very carefully provides for the care and support of his wife. Bourne, the historican of Wells and Kennebec, says of him that 'he was a man upon whose charater no spot or blemish could be found.'

    -(From LFNL; v.1,#1): In Hampshire, Edmund was a clothier by trade as was his father before him. The decline of the wool trade probably played a major part in his decision to migrate to America. It is not known when he arrived in the new world but it was probably only very shortly before his wife Annis and the six youngest children sailed on the "Bevis" in May of 1638. Edmund was in Wells by 1643. He and his sons established and ran many productive mill sites on the various rivers in the area. By his death in December of 1661 his estate was worth 588 pounds (UK), a substantial amount for that era.
    -(From Noyes, Libby & Davis; Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire; p.437): came 1st to Boston, likely with two oldest sons. Wife Annis (Austin) aged 38 , six children, and servants John Knight and Hugh Durdal followed in the Bevis in May 1638 from Tichfield, co. Hants.
    -(From NEHG Register, Vol. 67, October 1913, p. 347): He appears first at Exeter (NH), where he signed the Combination 5 June 1639. He removed to Wells, Me., where he received a grant of land from Thomas Gorges 14 July 1653. As he was his father's eldest son and heir, a settlement was probably made on him at the time of his marriage in 1614.
    -Transcription of will in files of Greg Littlefield (

    Father: Francis LITTLEFIELD b: 1565 in Exeter, Devon, ENG
    Mother: Mary UNKNOWN

    Marriage 1 Annis AUSTIN b: ABT 1596 in England
    • Married: 16 OCT 1614 in Barbado, Hants, England 1
    1. Has Children Francis LITTLEFIELD b: 17 JUN 1619 in baptized in Titchfield, England

    1. Author: Clarence Almon Torrey
      Title: Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700
      Publication: Name: New England Marriages Prior to 1700 published on CD-ROM by NEHGS in 2002; Location: personal files of Alfred Rose;
      Source Medium: Other

      an excellent index with original source annotations

      Text: LITTLEFIELD, Edmund1 (1592-1661) & 1/wf? 2/wf [Annis/Agnes AUSTIN] (-1677, 1678); Tichfield, Hunts, 16 Oct 1614; Exeter, NH/Wells, ME {McIntire Anc. 212; Spear Anc. 78; Pillsbury Anc. 1007; Reg. 67:347, 70:291, 84:222; Lord 199; Wells (#5) 109; Wentworth 1:76; Cole Anc. (1935) 58; Cram 34; GDMNH 437}
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