The faces of Sewall D. Batchelder and his first wife, Rebecca Page Kilborn gaze out from their photographs with serious faces. Oh yes, I know that in those days people rarely smiled for their formal portrait, however the intensity of these faces seem stronger than usual to me.
In Sewall’s case, perhaps he was a serious man because he had experienced the horrors of the Civil War. He enlisted at the tender age of 18, in Company G, New Hampshire 2nd Infantry Regiment on 21 April 1863. He was mustered out on 19 December 1865 at City Point, VA, still only 20 years old. For much of his life he worked at the serious job of “gate tender” for the railroad. People would die if he was not attentive to his duty. Hand cranked railroad gates started in the year 1874–it was mechanical with chains and cables underground. During his lifetime Sewall spelled his surname various ways, as Batchelder, Bachelder and Bachellor. He was also possibly a bigamist.
Rebecca Page Kilborn is a cousin, albeit distant, of mine. Her 4th great-grand parents (and my 8th great-parents) were George & Elizabeth (Barker) Kilborn. I am a double Kilborn descendant from that couple through sons Joseph and Isaac, while Rebecca descends from their sibling Samuel. It is difficult to say when her photograph was taken. She was born in 1848 to Danville NH to Jedediah & Rebekah (Page) Kilborn. She married legally in 1870 to Sewall Dickinson Batchelder, at the age of 21.
By 1880 she was living with her parents in Benton NH, using the surname Kilborn, while Sewall is living with his 2nd wife in Hartford, Vermont. But a few years later (apparently after his 2nd wife dies), she was back living with Sewall Batchelder, and in two years gives birth to 3 children, one a set of twins whose father was listed as Sewall on their legal records. Rebecca died at the young age of 35 in Brattleboro Vermont in 1884 and is buried in Highland Cemetery in Belmont, New Hampshire with her Kilborn kin. Her death certificate lists her as Rebecca Kilborn Batchelder.
This story gets much more muddy and complicated. It is very clear by primary evidence that this same Sewall Batchelder married four times, and possibly without getting divorced in between. In fact when he married his last wife, he stated on the document that he had only been married twice before instead of three times. His second wife’s obituary states emphatically that she was only married twice (and not to him), when a marriage document in fact does exist for that marriage ceremony. These are the sorts of research challenges that test a genealogist’s skill.
The 1880 census shows Sewall’s first wife, Rebecca (shown in photograph above) back living with her family in Benton, New Hampshire (calling herself Rebecca Kilborn), while Sewall is living with his 2nd wife in Hartford, Vermont. In 1884 Rebecca (Kilborn) Bachelder dies two days after her twins are born (and die) with Sewall being named the father. By 1885 Sewall’s 2nd wife Carrie, has moved on to another marriage to Marcellus Constantine. Sewall Batchelder goes on to marry two more times.
Of course there are lots of alternative scenarios. Perhaps Rebecca and Sewall did divorce, and she was still having a relationship with him, though he had remarried. Perhaps the children were not his at all, but she listed them as his on their birth records. The family possibly were members of the Mormon Church (formed in 1830) and accepting of multiple wives. Or not.
At any rate the genealogies of both Sewall Batchelder and Rebecca Kilborn are shown here. If anyone can shed more light on these relationships, I would be delighted to learn of it!
====GENEALOGY OF SEWALL D. BATCHELDER======
Joseph Batchelder (1604-1647) m. Elizabeth Dickenson. He immigrated to the American colonies in 1637 on the ship “Hercules.”
John Batchelder, son of Joseph & Elizabeth (Dickenson) Batchelder, b. 20 Jan 1638 in Salem, Essex MA; m. Sarah Goodale, daughter of Robert Goodale
Ebenezer Batchelder, son of John & Sarah (Goodale) Batchelder, b. 13 Jan 1670 in Wenham MA; m. Sarah Tarbox.
Ebenezer Batchelder, son of Ebenezer & Sarah (Tarbox) Batchelder, b. 24 Nov 1710; m. Jerusha Kimball and settled in Wenham MA
Ebenezer Batchelder, son of Ebenezer & Jerusha (Kimball) Batchelder, b. 5 Nov 1750 in Wenham MA who m. Elizabeth (Thompson) Sherwin.
Ebenezer Batchelder, son of Ebenezer & Elizabeth (Thompson) Batchelder, was b. 16 May 1783 in Amherst, Hillsborough Co. NH and died 26 February 1815 in Landgrove, Bennington County, VT. He is buried in Mont Vernon NH. He married 11 June 1811 in New Hampshire to Rachel Jones, daughter of Timothy & Elizabeth (Kendrick) Jones of Amherst NH. [History of Mont Vernon NH: Batchelder]
Children of Ebenezer & Rachel (Jones) Batchelder:
[The History of Mont Vernon NH states there were “several” children so probably there are more than the two listed]
1. +William B. Batchelder, b c1813 poss Mont Vernon NH
2. Elizabeth Frances “Fanny Batchelder, b 13 Sep 1815 in Mont Vernon NH, died 21 Dec 1890 in San Francisco, California. She married 15 Nov 1836 in Lowell MA to Alvah Blaisdell and had 3 daughters: (1) Helen F. Blaisdell, b. abt 1838 in Lowell MA and d. 17 March 1904 in Nashua NH. She had married — Chase; (2) Rachel A. Blaisdell, b abt 1840 MA; (3) Mary C. Blaisdell, b abt 1847 MA. In 1855 Alvah and his 3 daughters were living in New York City, where he was a dentist.
William B. Bacheldor/Batchelder, son of Ebenezer & Rachel (Jones) Batchelder was born between 1811-1813 in Bow or Mont Vernon NH, and died 19 February 1860 in Hillsboro NH, recorded and buried in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. He m. 18 Sep 1834 in Bow NH to Orrilla – Orvilla/Orilla/Aurilla Messer, daughter of William & Betsey (Walker) Messer, grand-daughter of Daniel & Elizabeth (Saunders) Messer. She b. 1 July 1811 in Bow NH and d. 20 Nov 1890 in Bowscawen NH. On one of his son’s marriage records, his occupation is listed as stone Mason.
[Editor’s Note: The Willam B. Batchelder who married 22 March 1836 in Canterbury NH to Mary Sargent, was the son of Richard & Mehitable Bacheller, and grandson of Nathan Esq. per the history of Loudon NH]
1850 US Census > NH > Merrimack Co. > Concord
William B. Bachelder M 39 NH Laborer 1000
Aurilla Bachelder F 39 NH
Mary J Bachelder F 10 NH
Martha J. Bachelder F 8 NH
Sewall B. Bachelder M 5 NH
William M Cartland M 42 NH Laborer
Ellen Barrett F 26 Ireland
Children of William D. & Orvilla (Messer) Batchelder:
1. John Blake Bacheldor, b. 23 June 1835 in Bow, NH; he died in 1836, buried Highland Cemetery, Belmont NH
2. Mary J. Bachelder, b June 1840 NH, d. 15 Nov 1929 in Concord NH [NH State Hospital]; m. Daniel H. Sanders. He died before 1929. Buried Alexander Cemetery in Bow NH. They had daughter, Hattie May Weston Sanders b Bow NH, d. 30 Aug 1891 in Worcester MA, who m. 29 Apr 1891 in Concord NH to Charles H. Fuller, son of Oliver E.J. & Lydia A.H. (Hildreth) Fuller.
3. Martha J. “Mattie” Bachelder b abt 1842 Concord NH; m1) 18 May 1874 in Lowell MA to Martin V.B. Hurley son of Edward & Bridget Hurley; m2) 18 Jan 1882 in Manchester NH to Moses E. Ordway, son of John & Orilla (?) Ordway. He b abt 1840 in Goffstown NH
4. +Sewell D. Batchelder b 2 Sep 1845 in Concord NH
Sewell D. Batchelder, son of William D. & Orvilla (Messer) Batchelder, born 2 Sep 1845 in Concord, Merrimack Co., NH and died 26 June 1915 in Concord NH. In 1904 he is a “Gate tender” on his marriage record. On the 1910 census he is shown as “gatetender for the Railroad.” He is buried in Hopkinson Cemetery, Epsom NH. He m1) 17 July 1870 in Belmont, Belknap Co. NH to Rebecca Page Kilborn, daughter of Jedediah & Rebecca (Page) Kilborn. She was born 19 August 1846, and died 14 August 1884 in Brattleboro VT; He m2d as HER third husband) 9 July 1877 in Concord, Merrimack Co. NH to Caroline E. “Carrie” Badger, daughter of Jonathan Rice & Charlotte (Barden) Badger. She was b. 3 September 1845 in North Hartland, Windsor Co VT and died 15 May 1926 in Newport, Orleans Co. VT. She had married 1st) 17 March 1866 in Lebanon NH to George Worth Hanson, with whom she had a daughter, Julia E. Hanson born abt 1868 in New York. Carrie married 2nd) 9 April 1871 in Plainfield, Sullivan Co. NH to Tilton Cutts, son of John R. & Martha (Parsley) Cutts as his 2nd wife. Tilton Cutts was b. 15 Apr 1832 in Goshen, Sullivan Co. NH and d. 18 Nov 1872 in NH. Carrie married 4th) by about 1885 to Marcellus Newton Constantine, son of Franklin & Jemima Constantine. He was b Dec 1845 in VT and d. 31 January 1913 in West Lebanon NH ; Sewell Batchelder married 3d) 11 Dec 1891 in Concord, NH to Elizabeth A. “Lizzie” Frost, daughter of Daniel C. & Sarah (Brawn/Brann) Frost, as her 2nd husband. She was born 1 March 1841 in Maine and d. 27 September 1903 in Concord NH. Lizzie had married 1st) Nov 1859 in Ellsworth, Hancock Co ME to Simon Garland, son of Eli and Mary (Baker) Garland. Simon Garland was born 15 April 1837 in Maine and d. 15 Feb 1921 in Ellsworth Maine. Lizzie was divorced from Simon Garland on 23 April 1891 with the cause of abandonment. Lizzie and Simon Garland had 4 children. Sewall Batchelder married 4th ) [he lists this as 3d marriage] 24 Sep 1904 in Concord NH to Sarah A. Drake-Bennett, dau of Oren & Nancy (Clark) Drake. She b. 11 July 1843 in Chichester NH and d. 6 Dec 1918 in Canterbury NH as her 2nd husband. She m1) 20 Aug 1864 in Loudon NH to William C. Bennett, son of Jeremiah & Betsey (Marden) Bennett. He was b. 23 June 1834 in Epsom NH and died 1 July 1884 in Epsom NH. The 1910 census states she had 1 child, 0 living, and this was her 2nd marriage. MILITARY HISTORY: SEWALL BATCHEDLER enlisted in Company G, New Hampshire 2nd Infantry Regiment on 21 April 1863. He was mustered out on 19 December 1865 at City Point, VA. Sewell D. Batchelder is buried in Hopkinson Cemetery in Bow, New Hampshire. The official roster reads: “BATCHELDER, SEWALL D. Co. G; b. Concord; age 18; res Concord; cred. Ossipee; enl April 14, 1863; must in April 21, 1863; must out Dec 19, 1865. P.O. ad Concord.” [NOTE: This article is about him and his first wife, see his photograph at the top of this page].
====GENEALOGY OF REBECCA PAGE KILBORN======
Thomas KILBURN, immigrant ancestor, was born in Wood Ditton, Cambridgeshire, England in 1578. In April 1635 he immigrated to the American colonies aboard the ship, “Increase.” He settled and died in Wethersfield, CT. His wife’s name was Frances.
George KILBURN, son of Thomas & Frances Kilburn. He was a member of the famous Rev. Mr. Elliot’s church in Roxbury MA as early as 1639; was admitted a freeman in Rowley in 1640 and in 1643 a home lot was assigned to him on Bradford Street. His wife’s name was Elizabeth.
Children of George & Elizabeth Kilburn:
1. Mary Kilborn, b 3 May 1649
2. Joseph Kilborn b 1 Feb 1652
3. Jacob Kilborn, b. 12 Jan 1655
4. +Samuel Kilborn b 11 Sep 1656
5. Isaac Kilborn b 26 Jan 1659
6. Elizabeth Kilborn b 1 Feb 1663
Samuel Kilborn, b. 11 Sep 1656 in MA, d. 22 Apr 1722. He m. 12 Nov 182 to Mary Foster, dau of William Foster. His will is on record in the probate office of Ipswich MA. [Some info from: “The family memorial: a history and genealogy of the Kilbourn family, by Payne Kenyon Kilbourne.”
Children of Samuel & Mary (Foster) Kilborn:
1. Hannah Kilborn, b. 2 Oct 1683; m. 5 Apr 1701 Judah Clark
2. Samuel Kilborn, b. 20 July 1687; d. 14 Aug 1761
3. David Kilborn, b. 12 March 1689
4. Maria Kilborn, b. 21 July 1696; d. 4 Feb 1759
5. +Jedediah Kilborn b 20 Apr 1699 Rowley MA
6. Eliphalet Kilborn b 1706; d. 4 June 1752
Jedediah Kilborn, b 20 Apr 1699 Rowley MA; d 4 February 1759, age 60. He m. 22 March 1724 to Susannah Fiske of Ipswich MA, daughter of Joseph & Susannah (Warner) Fiske. She died 27 September 1764. He was known as “Cornet Kilbourne,” because of his rank in the militia. “Cornet Jedediah Kilbourne died February 4, 1759, aged sixty.”
Children of Jedediah & Susannah (Fiske) Kilborn:
1. Samson Kilborn
2. Elizabeth Kilborn, b 1732 Rowley MA, d. 1763 Rowley MA; m. 1755 in Ipswich NH to John Adams. Her children were [ADAMS]: Elizabeth, Jane, Solomon, Jedediah and Mary.
3. +Jedediah Kilborn, b. 15 Aug 1725 Rowley MA
4. Abigail Kilborn; m. Jonathan Smith Esq. of Danvers MA. Their son Jedediah Kilbourne Smith was a senaor and councillor in the NH legislature, serving from 1807-1809 as a rep from NH in the US Congress.
5.Hannah Kilborn, b. 1734, d. 1739
Jedediah Kilborn, b. 15 Aug 1725 in Rowley, Essex Co. MA; d. 30 March 1803 in Henniker, Merrimack Co. NH; m. 7 Nov 1749 in Rowley MA to Hannah Platts, daughter of James & Mercy (Wheeler) Platts. He removed to Boscawen NH, then to Henniker.
Children of Jedediah & Hannah (Platts) Kilborn:
1. +Jedediah Kilborn, b. 22 June 1766 Rowley MA
2. Nathan Kilborn; b 1750; m. Sarah Plummer and settled in Boscawen NH; d 1794, had four children, one of which James lived in New Andover.
3. Eliphalet Kilborn, b. 1752 in New Rowley; in 1777 enlisted in Col. Little’s Regiment for 8 months and after under Col. Johnson and Wade 5 months each, was at the battles of Bunker Hill, Bemus Heights. He moved to Boscawen NH and married Mary Thurlow and had 12 children. Sons were George b 1784, Enoch, Eliphalet, and Moody all Boscawen. He had 63 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
4. Lucy Kilborn
5. Mercy Kilborn
6. Hannah Kilborn
7. Nathaniel Kilborn, b 1764, d 1839; married and removed to THeford VT; had 10 children. His oldest son Benjamin Kilborn married and removed to Ohio
8. Susan Kilborn
Jedediah Kilborn, son of Jedediah & Hannah (Platts) Kilborn, b 22 June 1766  in Rowley MA; d. 1839 in Newbury MA; m. 1) 12 Dec 1793 to Elizabeth Glazier; m2d) (int) 17 Nov 1804 in Newbury MA to Sarah “Salley” Coffin Downs of Newburyport MA. She was b c1773 and d. 23 Sep 1812 in Newbury MA; m3d) 12 Dec 1814 to Mary Knight Pettingell. He settled in Newburyport MA and engaged in the fisheries. His sons Nathan, John and William followed the seas.
Children of Jedediah & Elizabeth (Glazier) Kilborn:
1. Nathan Kilborn
2. Elizabeth Kilborn
Children of Jedediah & Salley (Coffin Downs) Kilborn:
3. John Coombs Kilborn 1806-1860
4. Jedediah Kilborn 1807-1809
5. William Knapp Kilborn 1809-1862
6. +Jededith Kilborn b 2 Aug 1811 Newbury MA
7. Sarah Jane Kilborn, b. 1812
Children of Jedediah & Mary (Knight Pettingtill) Kilborn:
8. Mary Pettingell Kilborn, b. 1817
9. Joseph Young Kilborn, b. 1820
10. Hannah Platts Kilborn, 1821-1822
11. Benjamin Colby Kilborn, b 1823
Jedediah Kilborn, son of Jedediah & Elizabeth (Glazier) Kilborn, b. 2 Aug 1811 Newbury MA, d. 28 June 1899 in Belmont NH; m. Rebecca Page. In 1850 living in Salem MA; In 1880 living in Belmont NH.
1860 US Census > NH > Grafton Co. > Orange
Jedediah Kilburn 52 Farmer 1400/750 MA
Rebecca Kilburn 53 NH
Sarah Kilburn 23 Teacher
Lathen [Luther] Kilburn 21 Farm Laborer
William Kilburn 19 Farm Laborer
Mary A. Kilburn 17
Rebecca Kilburn 12
Fred P. Kilburn 7
1880 US Census > NH > Belknap Co. > Belmont
Jedediah Kilborn self M 69 MA Farmer
Rebbeca Kilborn wife F 71 NH Keeping House Rheumatism
Rebbeca P. Kilborn dau F 31 NH works in cotton mill
Fred S. Kilborn son M 27 NH Farmer
Eva A. Emerson other F 23 NH Servant works in family
Ella M. Emerson other F 3 NH Boarder
Children of Jedediah & Rebecca (Page) Kilborn:
1. Sarah Emeline Kilborn, b. 17 Oct 1836 in Hawke (Danville), Rockingham Co. NH, d. 21 Jan 1920 in Belmont, Belknap Co. NH; She m. abt 1866 to Isaiah Piper. They resided in Belmont NH and had 3 sons: [Piper] Elmer I., Ernest Kilborn and Fred H.
2. Luther Demmi Kilborn, b. Aug 1840 in Danville NH, died 20 March 1913. He m1) 10 Dec 1865 in Peabody MA to Laura J.Peirce, daughter of Augustus & Alimra Peirce, and had 4 children including daughter Bertha P. b 21 Aug 1875 in Peabody MA who m. 28 Sep 1893 in Peabody MA to Arthur H. Manning, son of John H. & Eliza B. (Shillaber) Manning; Luther Kilborn m2) 17 May 1897 in Worcester MA to Elizabeth F. Maud McIntire, dau of John & Hannah (Ross) McIntire. He was a Civil War veteran, a private in Co. I, 6th MA Regiment
3. William H. Kilborn, b abt 1841 NH; possibly the William H. Kilborn living in Pasadena California in 1910 married to Jennie –.
4. Mary Ann Kilborn, b May 1843 Danville NH; She m. 26 March 1874 in Belmont NH to Charles S. Sawyer. He was b. 4 Sep 1841 and d. 21 Oct 1927. They are buried in Belmont NH
5. +Rebbeca Page Kilborn b 19 August 1848 in Danville, Rockingham Co. NH
6. Fred Simon Kilborn born Dec 1852 in Danville NH and d. 6 Feb 1922 in Belmont NH. He married Eva Adelia Cutting and had 4 children: Ethel Alice, William Henry, Charles Cutting and Sadie M. They resided in Belmont, NH.
Rebecca Page Kilburn, daughter of Jedediah & Rebecca b 19 August 1846, d. 14 August 1884 VT; m. 17 July 1870 in Belmont, Belknap Co. NH to Sewell D. Batchelder, son of William D. & Orvilla/Aurilla (Messer) Batchelder. [SEE HIS TREE ABOVE]. She is buried in Highland Cemetery, Belmont, Belknap Co. NH with her Kilborn kin. SEE HER PHOTOGRAPH AT TOP OF PAGE.
Children of Sewell D. & Rebecca P. (Kilburn) Batchelder:
1. FEMALE, b. 6 June 1883 Belmont, Belknap Co. NH
2. MALE TWINS, b. 12 Aug 1884 Brattleboro VT