Portrait in Time: Daniel & Betsey (Jeffrey) Otis of Great Falls, New Hampshire

Painting by Joseph H. Davis found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Circa 1833 painting by Joseph H. Davis of Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Otis,  and daughter Polly of New Hampshire, found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “an elaborately penned inscription reveals that the man [in the portrait] at left is Daniel Otis, aged forty-six; the woman is Betsy Otis, aged forty; and the child is Polly Otis, aged seven months. The most obvious individualizing touch in the portrait is Daniel Otis’s newspaper, the Great-Falls Journal, which was issued between 1832 and 1836 in Great Falls, a mill town in southeastern New Hampshire, about twenty miles northeast of Portsmouth.” [Note: Great Falls is now the town known as Somersworth].

Daniel Otis in the photograph above, was the son of Lieut. Stephen & Hannah (Emerson) Otis, born 29 April 1787, and died after 1860. He married 15 Nov 1810 to Betsey Jeffrey (who is also pictured). They resided at Great Falls, New Hampshire. He married 2nd) 8 May 1858 in Rochester NH to Eliza A. Wedgewood. She b. abt 1812 in Berwick ME. Daniel Otis and Betsey Jeffrey had ten children, the ninth–Mary “Polly” Otis, born 16 Dec 1833 being pictured.


Richard-1 Otis Sr. & Rose Stoughton [They settled in Dover in 1655. He was killed by Indians in 1689 in Dover NH]

Richard Otis Jr.-2 & Susannah Hussey

Stephen-3 Otis, b. 1698-6-22 in Dover, Strafford Co. NH, and d. 29 Aug 1759 in Madbury, Strafford Co. NH; he m1st) 30 Jan 1719-20 Mary Young. He m2d) 30 July 1736 to Catherine Austin, dau of Nathaniel & Catharine (Neale) Ausin. She was b. 121 Jan 1715. He m3rd) Elizabeth (?Weaver). The genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire states that Stephen was a Madbury weaver. He received in 1721 at Dover NH, land grandted to his father in 1694, and in 1722 all his brother Richard’s right and title in the old estate. In 1733 measures were commenced by himself and his brother to recover some portion of the old estate, which they claimed by right of inheritance and which from some cause (if they had ever been in possession) had poassed out of their hands:–“Stephen Otis, of Dover, and Nicholas Otis, of Newport R.I., tailor, for the recovery of lands belonging to our father, Richard Otis, and our grandfather, Richard Otis,” they agreed to share in the expenses. He lived in that part of Dover which was incorporated under the name of Madbury, as a separate town, 31 May 1751, having for some time previously had that name as a parish; at which place his will was made 2 May 1759, and proved 29 August following. He is called a weaver, and gives something to each of his sons, and to his “present wife Elizabeth,” the rest of his property for life, and at her death to go to his children “born of her body,” viz:–Susannah and “the one of which she is now pregnant.”
Children of Stephen & Mary (Young) Otis:
1. +Joshua Otis Sr., b abt 1720
2. Stephen Otis Jr., b. 1731; m. Molly Elwell of Barrington NH
3. John Otis, unmarried, enlisted in the Revolutionary War and never returned.
Children of Stephen & Elizabeth (?Weaver) Otis:
4. Susannah Otis, m. 7 Nov 1776 to Aaron Davis of Madbury NH
5. a child, posthumous

Joshua-4 Otis, b. abt 1720, d. 1810 Barrington NH; m. Jane Hussey of Dover NH, daughter of Joseph Hussey about 1745. She d. 1790 in Barrington NH In 1752 removed to that part of Barrington NH now called Strafford, where he purchased land, 1 May 1752, of William Kingman “adjoining Rochester, and land that James Shute settled and lives on.” He signed the pledge to support the Revolution, 1776 [the Association Test] as did most of his brothers and sons, many of them serving the cause in active service.
Children of Joshua & Jane (Hussey) Otis:
1. Nicholas Otis, b. 29 March 1746; m. Esther Berry of Barrington, dau of Nathaniel Berry.
2. Micajah Otis, b. 21 May 1747; m. Sarah Foss, dau of Joshua Foss of Barrington (formerly of Rye) in 1769.
3. Elijah Otis, b. 10 June 1749; m. 19 July 1771 to Dorothy Locke, dau of Jethro Locke of Rochester NH
4. Mary Otis, m. Elder Winthrop Young and removed to Canterbury NH. He d. 8 Jan 1833 and she d. 11 April 1849, ae 98. They are buried in Hackleborough cemetery Children (Young): Benjamin, Otis, Jonathan, Winthrop, Deborah, Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Mercy.
5. Sarah Otis, b. 18 May 1751; m. John B. Parshley. They settled in Barnstead NH and head a large family. He d. 3 April 1829 ae 82; she d. 6 July 1825.
6. +Stephen Otis, b. 24 June 1761; m. 30 Nov 1786 at Barrington NH to Hannah Emerson, dau of Solomon Emerson of Madbury NH.
7. Paul Otis, b 4 March 1755; m. Elizabeth Parshley. He served during the American Revolution.
8. Joshua Otis, b. 30 March 1764; m. 15 March 1787 to Lydia Meader and settled in Peacham VT. She later lived in Parishville NY
9. Jane Otis who m. 9 July 1777 to Moses Meader of Durham NH; they removed to Alton NH.
10. Rebecca/Rebekah Otis, b abt 1768, died 26 July 1811; m. (?James) Wilkinson of Alton NH where they both died.

Lieut. Stephen-5 Otis,  born 24 June 1761 in Strafford Co. NH, d. 4 Dec 1835; m. 30 Nov 1786 at Barrington NH to Hannah Emerson, dau of Solomon Emerson of Madbury. She d. 24 Aug 1848 ae 82 in Maine. They lived in Barrington NH on the farm of his father.
Children of Lieut. Stephen & Hannah (Emerson) Otis:
1. +Daniel Otis, b. 29 April 1787
2. Joseph Otis, b. 3 Aug 1788; m. 25 Oct 1812 to Lucy Place; resided in Rochester NH. Children: Maria G. Otis m. Brewster Hayes; Clarissa D. Otis m. George Wilkinson; Rosa Otis.
3. Solomon Otis, b. 25 Dec 1792; m. 4 May 1817 at Trenton NJ to Sarah Boorham. Children: Jane Otis, b. 30 Aug 1819; Charles R. Otis, b. 11 July 1821; Mary Otis, b 30 July 1812; Ann Elizabeth Otis b. 24 Aug 1825; John Henry Otis, b 4 Oct 1830; Emeline Otis, b. 1 April 1828; Garret S. Otis, b 1833; Jacob Otis, b 1835; Catherine Otis, b 1838; Maria Otis.
4. Susan Otis, b. 3 Jan 1793; m. 9 Nov 1815 to Elder John Winkley of Strafford NH. Had son, Jeremiah Winkley who m. Betsey Hill.
5. Moses Otis, b 6 March 1798, died 24 Oct 1828 in Washington NJ; m. 1824 to Lucy Eton. One son, George Otis, b. 1826
6. Polly Otis, b. 12 Dec 1800; m. 26 Sep 1821 to Thomas Chesley of Dover. He d. 1845. She lived in Dover NH. Child: Horatio Chesley b 1821, m. 1844 to Mary A. Seward.
7. Hannah Otis, b. 16 May 1802; m. 1824 to Amos F. Stearns of Cambridge MA; 11 children.
8. Martha Otis, b. 8 Aug 1804; m. 25 March 1824 to Jonathan Hodgdon of Barrington NH; at Dover NH had 4 children.
9. Sally Otis, b. 3 Jan 1805; m. Isaac Foss of Barrington NH. He d. 5 Dec 1843. She lived in Rochester NH; 5 children.
10. Sophia Otis, b. 7 May 1808; m. 1830 to Hiram Hodges, removed to Indiana. 7 children.
11. Stephen Otis, b. 30 Aug 1810; m. 1832 Abigail Ham, and removed to Sanford, Maine. Children: David M., Francis E., John F., Charles H.C., Mary Jane, Clara, Abbey F., Ervin C.

Daniel-6 Otis, b. 29 April 1787, and died after 1860. He married 15 Nov 1810 in Kittery, York Co., Maine to Betsey Jeffrey. They resided at Great Falls, New Hampshire. He m2nd) 8 May 1858 in Rochester NH to Eliza A. Wedgewood. She b. abt 1812 in Berwick ME.
1860 US Census > NH > Strafford > Rochester
Daniel Otis M 73 New Hampshire
Eliza A. Otis F 48 New Hampshire
Ezra Otis M 9 New Hampshire [b abt 1851]
Children of Daniel & Betsey (Jeffrey/Jeffreys) Otis:
1. Lovering Otis, b. 10 June 1813, d. 15/18 Oct 1844 in Leeds Maine; buried Lothrop Cemetery
2. John C. Otis, b. 20 April 1815; m. 1840 to Abbey/Abbie Rynes/Rines; lived in Somersworth NH; had 2 children including John H. Otis, b. 1843 in Boston MA, d. 22 Jan 1896 in Dover NH.
3. William S. Otis, b. 18 April 1821, d. 17 Oct 1844; m. 22 Oct 1843 in Rochester NH to Betsey Berry. She died leaving no children.
4. +Walter Otis, b. 12 Nov 1823; m. Sarah Rand of Rochester NH. Resided in Manchester, NH. Two children.
5. Hannah Otis [Otes], b. 16 Dec 1810; m. 8 Dec 1839 in Strafford, Strafford Co. NH to Trueworthy Tuttle; no children
6. Adaline W. Otis, b. 8 Feb 1819 in Strafford NH, d. 31 January 1851 in Lowell MA, age 32 of consumption; m. 11 Oct 1840/1841 in Lowell MA to George W. Cheney; settled in Lowell MA
7. Sarah Ann W. Otis, b. 18 Sep 1828 Somersworth NH, d. 7 Jan 1902 in Portland ME, age 70; m. 16 Sep 1845 in Somersworth NH to Andrew W. Tompson. Children include Grace Millett Tompson, b. 1865 and d. 19 July 1901 in Portland ME; Frank A. Thompson b 1868, d. 12 Nov 1905 in Durham, Maine;
8. Betsey Otis, b. 29 Oct 1831
9. Mary “Polly” Otis, b. 16 Dec 1833
Child of Daniel & Eliza A. (Wedgewood) Otis:
10. Ezra Otis, b. 1851 NH

Walter B.K. Otis, b. 12 Nov 1823 NH, died 1 Aug 1851 in Manchester NH, age 28; m. 3 April 1842 in Strafford, Strafford Co. NH to Sarah Rand.
1850 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
W B K Otis 27 Mechanic NH
Sarah P. Otis 29 NH
Daniel A. Otis 8 M NH
Walton B. Otis 4 M NH
Joseph Dearborn 40 M Shoemaker NH
Thomas Powell 22 M Spinner VT
Lewis Miller 16 M Mechanic NH
Children of Walter B.K. & Sarah (Rand) Otis:
1. Daniel A. Otis, b. abt 1841 Rochester, Strafford Co. NH; he m. 4 Sep 1875 in Great Falls NH to Addie Andrews, daughter of Oliver Andrews. Children include: Nathaniel Otis, b. 25 June 1878 in Walpole, Cheshire Co. NH; Hattie M. Otis, b abt 1883 in NH; m. 19 Apr 1913 in Epping NH to James M. Hanson, son of George A. & Hattie M. (Otis) Harrison.
2. Walton/Walter B. Otis, b. abt 1846 NH

Some Sources (other than specified above):
–A genealogical memoir of the family of Richard Otis, by Horatio Nelson Otis; Boston :: N.E. Historical & Genealogical Register Office,, 1851, 50 pgs.
–Individual Family Records and Census Records at FamilySearch: accessed 30 Sep 2014)

P.S.: Apparently this theme was one that the artist, Joseph H. Davis, liked for he used a similar one in his painting of the Caverly family, previously written about by my friend Heather Wilkinson Rojo at her blog, Nutfield Genealogy.

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