This tin-type photograph of Dorcas (Wilson) Clement is old and well worn. Descendants surely kept it as a treasured item until recently. Like many family heirlooms these days, it ended up on eBay, where I purchased it and decided to write about her.
Both Pelham and Hudson, New Hampshire can claim her, as she was born in the first location, and married, then lived in the second. She married David Clement, a local farmer, and gave birth to nine children, including a set of twins. She was a nurturing and careful mother, for her children all grew to adulthood.
Her father was a blacksmith in Pelham NH, and postmaster of that town. Her grandfather was a soldier during the American Revolution, a Captain of his regiment, serving in Col. Moses Nichols’ company, in the famed General John Stark’s brigade. See her genealogy below for more details.
—–GENEALOGY OF DORCAS (WILSON) CLEMENT—–
William Wilson/Willson, the immigrant ancestor was born at Dunington, Lincolnshire, England, son of William and Alice Wilson. He learned the trade of joiner. He and his brothers, Edward and Thomas, came to this country when they were young men. William arrived as early as 1633 to Boston, where he was admitted a freeman 25 May 1636. He moved to Braintree MA (originally part of Boston MA). In 1645 he was a keeper of the prison at Boston, and held the office of deputy marshal. His main occupation was farming. He leased land at Dunnington, Lincolnshire, adjoining land of his brother Thomas, and father William, mentioning also his mother Alice in his documents. He died before 18 May 1853 when his widow Patience brought lawsuit against Thomas Faxon, about her son Joseph, his apprentice, and the court freed the boy, permitting him to apprentice him to another master. She died and her estate was divided among her children, 30 April 1663.
Children of William & Patience (?) Wilson:
1. Shoreborn Wilson, b. 9 Feb 1635-36; settled in Ipswich MA
2. Mary Wilson, b. 11 January 1637-38
3. John Wilson, baptized 9 February 1639-40
4. +Joseph Wilson, b 10 Nov 1643 Boston MA
5. Newgrade Wilson, b. and d. 1648
Joseph Wilson, son of William Willson, b. 10 Nov 1643 Boston MA, d. 2 April 1718 in Haverhill MA, aged 75 years. He was apprenticed to Thomas Faxon of Braintree, and afterward to another master. He moved from Braintree MA to Andover MA about 1670. He m1st) 4 July 1670 Mary Lovejoy, who d. 18 June 1677 at Andover MA. He m2d) 24 April 1678 Sarah Lord (daughter of John and Mary (Osgood) Lovejoy who d. 21 May 1727 in her 79th year. His 2nd wife was accused of witchcraft during the delusion and kept in prison for several months in 1692. She saved her life by a “confession.” He and others petitioned for the release of members of their families October 12, 1692. [NOTE: some writers have stated he was the so of Rev. John Wilson of Boston. Rev. John had no male descendants except through his son John. There is no known relationship between that family and this one.
Children of Joseph & Mary (Lovejoy) Wilson:
1. Mary Wilson, b. 29 September 1673
2. Mary Wilson 2d, b. 26 Feb 1674-75
3. +Joseph Wilson, b 6 June 1677 in Andover MA
Children of Joseph & Sarah (Lord) Wilson:
4. Sarah Wilson, b. 31 Dec 1678
5. John Wilson, b. 23 Feb 1682 Andover MA
6. Abigail Wilson, b. 13 Sep 1688
Joseph Wilson, son of Joseph & Mary (Lovejoy) Wilson, was b. 6 June 1677 in Andover MA. He m1) 25 Jan 1699-1700 in Andover MA to Mary/Marah Richardson, daughter of Edward Richardson, then settled in the nearby town of Bradford MA. He m2d) 18 Dec 1724 in Bradford MA to Rebecca Kimball.
Children of Joseph & Marah/Marah (Richardson) Wilson:
1. + James Wilson, b. abt 1703 Andover or Bradford MA
2. William Wilson, baptized 24 Aug 1712
3. John Wilson, 9 Nov 1714 Bradford MA
4. Joseph Wilson, b 24 April 1715 Bradford MA
5. Phebe Wilson, b. 24 Nov 1716 Bradford MA, prob d.y.
Children of Joseph & Rebecca (Kimball) Wilson:
6. Abigail Wilson, b. 25 Nov 1725; m. Dudley Carlton
7. Elizabeth Wilson, b 20 March 1726 Haverhill MA
8. David Wilson, b 12 April 1729 Bradford MA
9. Phebe Wilson, b. 12 March 1730-31
10. Rebecca Wilson, b. 26 Feb 1732-33.
James Wilson, son of Joseph & Mary/Marah (Richardson) Wilson, b. abt 1703 Andover or Bradford MA. He settled at Methuen MA. He m 17 Dec 1725 at Haverhill MA to Martha Sage.
Children of James & Martha (Sage) Wilson:
1. Mary Wilson, b. Bradford MA; baptized 5 Nov 1727
2. James Wilson, b. 30 July 1729 at Methuen MA, d. young
3. Jemima Wilson, b. 29 March 1731 Methuen MA; m. Joseph Sprague
4. James Wilson 2d, b. 5 Sep 1732 Methuen MA; m. Mary Perkins
5. Daniel Wilson, b. 14 Feb 1773-34 Methuen MA
6. John Wilson, b. 6 July 1735 Methuen MA
7. Joseph Wilson, b. 16 May 1737 Methuen MA
8. Benjamin Wilson, b. 27 May 1738 Methuen MA
9. +Jesse Wilson, b. 20 January 1739 Methuen MA
10. Martha Wilson, b. 17 Feb 1741 Methuen MA
Jesse Wilson, son of James & Martha (Sage) Wilson, b. 20 January 1739 at Methuen MA, d. 27 July 1810 in Pelham NH. He m. 28 May 1762 to Ruth Merrill, dau of Joseph & Ruth (Corliss) Merrill. She was b. 1743, and died after 1779. He m2) 3 July 1780 to Mary May Hull [according to DAR recs] She b. 1749, d. 7 May 1801 in Pelham NH. According to the “New England Families” source, “He [Jesse Wilson] settled in that part of the town incorporated at Pelham NH. He was a member of the revolution, a captain in Col. Moses Nichols’ company, General Stark’s brigade, July 18 to Sept 27, 1777, reinforcing the northern army (See NH Revolutionary Rolls, vol ii, p. 196).
Children of Jesse & Ruth (Merrill) Wilson:
1. Sarah Wilson, b. 14 December 1764 Pelham NH
2. Patty/Pattey Wilson, b. 26 April 1766 Pelham NH
3. Jesse Wilson, b. 20 Feb 1768 Pelham NH; m. Patty Russell Hall
4. Hannah/Hanah Wilson, b 9 June 1769 Pelham NH, d. 9 March 1859. She m. 15 May 1788 to Stephen Russell Hall. Had issue.
5. Benjamin Wilson, b. 11 March 1771 Pelham NH, d. 1849; m. 1 Jan 1795 to Anne/Anna Poor(e). She was b. 1768 and d. 11 Feb 1860.
6. +James Wilson, b. 23 July 1772 Pelham NH
7. Eliab Wilson, b. 21 May 1774 Pelham NH
8. David Wilson, b. 18 Sep 1775 Pelham NH
9. Nathaniel Wilson, b. betw 1776-1778; removed to Haverhill NH
10. Abigail “Nabby” Wilson, b. 12 April 1779 Pelham NH
Child of Jesse & Mary May (Hull) Wilson [per DAR]:
10. Elizabeth Wilson, b. 27 July 1784 at Pelham NH, d. 19 June 1826 Dracut MA. She m. 21 July 1812 to Asa Clement (as his 2nd wife). He was b. 28 Sep 1784 at Dracut MA and d. 11 July 1851 at Dracut MA.
James Wilson, son of Jesse & Ruth (Merrill) Wilson b. 23 July 1772 Pelham NH, d 1853 Hudson NH; He md) 29 Nov 1795 in Haverhill MA to Lucinda [Leusinda] Page, daughter of Abel & Dorcas (Fillmore) Page. She was b. 16 Oct 1775 [Haverhill MA [one ch states Atkinson NH] d 9 Feb 1836 NH. He m2d) 19 June 1836 in Dunstable, Hillsborough Co. NH to Sarah Chandler Spaulding, dau of Reuben & Susan (Pierce) Spaulding. She b. 31 June 1785 in Nottingham West (now Hudson NH), d. 6 Feb 1689 Hillsborough (town) NH. She m1st) 21 Oct 1808 to Reuben Coburn. He b. 26 Aug 1782 Tyngsboro and d. 25 March 1831 Tyngsboro MA. Sarah had no children with James Wilson but had 9 by Reuben Coburn. The New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol 2 by William R. Cutter states “He [James Wilson]was a blacksmith by trade. In 1812 he was appointed postmaster of the town of Pelham and his annual salary was only $12. He collected the mail on horseback. He owned the first wagon in Pelham. He once made a trip to Philadelphia Pennsylvania on horseback.
Children of James & Lucinda (Page) Wilson:
1. James Wilson Jr., b. 11 Feb 1797 Pelham NH, d. 25 January 1849, Lowell MA of consumption; buried Lowell; machinist; he m. 1 April 1820 to Eliza Stetson. She was b abt 1797 in Gloucester MA and d. 23 Oct 1849 in Lowell MA. 3 children: James W., Fanny W., James S.
2. +Dorcas Wilson, b. 7 Sep 1798 in Pelham NH; m. David Clement
3. Zadok Page Wilson, b. 17 June 1800 Pelham NH; d. 17 June 1879; farmer in Hudson and Antrim NH, m1) Anna Richardson; m2) Mrs. Abigail Smith Martin. Had several children.
4. Lucinda Wilson, b. 29 May 1802 Pelham NH
5. Darias/Darius Wilson, b. 26 June 1804 Pelham NH, d. 8 Dec 1884 in Hooksett NH; m. 1 Nov 1864 to Betsey Fowler-Dow, dau of Josiah & Abby (?) Fowler
6. David Wilson, b. abt 1805 Pelham NH; m. 23 March 1830 in Hillsborough (town) NH to Martha Morrison. She was b abt 1802 Windsor NH, d. 22 May 1869 Peterborough NH. Children, Harriet, Henry, Charles Mahala. [FamilySearch shows ?him m. 25 Jan 1865 in NH to Betsey Dow]
7. Franklin Wilson, b. 8 Aug 1806 Pelham NH; d. 5 April 1883 in Hudson NH; married 7 Feb 1833 in Hudson NH to Clarissa Gould, dau of Asa & Mary (Cummings) Gould. She was b. 5 Apr 1809 in Nottingham West (now Hudson) NH, and d. 21 Jan 1890 in Hudson NH. Children: Clarissa Adaline, James Franklin, Mary Lucinda, George Henry, Alice Gertrude.
8. Nathaniel Wilson, b. 10 Oct 1808 Pelham NH, d. 15 March 1864 in Lawrence MA of typhoid fever. He m. Ruth Jane Seward of Barnstead NH. Intentions 28 Feb 1833. recorded in NH and in Lowell MA] City Treasurer of Lawrence MA at time of his death. Children: Anna W., Isabella H., Laura F., and Grace W.
9. Elbridge Gerry Wilson, b. 3 Feb 1811 Pelham NH; d. 20 Dec 1883 in Lowell MA of enteritis; m. 6 May 1838 in Lowell MA to Dorcas Mary Webster, dau of George Washington & Dorcas (Wilson) Webster. She was b 3 July 1810 in Plymouth, Grafton Co. NH and d. 5 Sep 1875 in Lowell MA.
10. Daniel B. Wilson, b. c1814 Pelham NH, d. 10 Aug 1886 Dunstable MA; m. 30 Jan 1868 in Green Co. Wisconsin to Philomelia Gillingham, dau of Andrew & Mary Gillingham
11. Joseph Wilson, b. 6 Sep 1815 Pelham NH, d. 30 Dec 1887 in Manchester NH
12. Lorenzo Wilson, b. 6 February 1819 Hudson NH, d. 27 January 1901 in Hillsborough (town) NH, formerly residing Lowell MA; married; buried in Hillsboro NH. He m. Susan Petengill. She was b. April 1835 in MA. She had 4 ch including Jennie A.(Fanny), Anna W., and Emma A.
Dorcas Wilson [this story is about her see photograph above], dau of James & Lucinda (Page) Wilson, b. 7 Sep 1798 in Pelham, Hillsborough Co., NH, d. 19 Sep 1865 in Hudson NH. She m. 29 Nov 1821 in Nottingham West [now Hudson] NH to David Clement, twin son of Moses & Rachel (Parham/Perham) Clement. He was b. 1797 Dracut MA and d. 20 Oct 1887 in Hudson NH. They had a large family. He m2d) 28 Sep 1867 in West Roxbury MA to Mary A. Jeffers-Holton, dau of James & Deborah Jeffers. He m3d) 23 Feb 1870 in Hudson NH to Mary Elizabeth “Betsey” Butterfield-Piper, dau of Timothy & Elizabeth (Whittle) Butterfield.
ADDENDUM: In April of 2020 I happened upon a story in the Boston Globe of 1887, about Dorcas (Wilson) Clement’s husband and family, and am including it here (see below)
1850 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Hudson
David Clement 54 MA
Dorcus Clement 51 NH
Dorcus A. Clement 24 MA
Lucy Flanders 21 NH
Daniel W. Clement 18 NH
Lauranna Clement 17 NH
Lucinda Clement 17 NH
Rachael R. Clement 18 NH
Martha J. Clement 13 NH
Arumenta Clement 9 NH
1860 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Hudson
David Clement 64 MA Farmer 7600
Dorcas Clement 62 NH wife
Dorcas Clement 35 MA housework
Lucy Clement 30 NH
Lucinda Clement 27 NH
Lucius M. Burke 18 Farm Laborer
William Kelley 40 Farm Laborer
Children of David & Dorcas (Wilson) Clement:
1. Charles Wesley Clement, b. 23 Feb 1824 in Dracut, Middlesex Co., MA, d. 1 May 1900 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles Co., CA; He m. 31 Oct 1863 in Goffstown NH to Martha W. Warren.
2. Dorcas Ann Clement, b. 10 Nov 1825 in Pelham NH, d. 6 Jan 1895 Hollis NH; m. 29 Dec 1860 in Hudson NH to William Kelley. Had children.
3. David Clement, b. 6 Dec 1827 Pelham NH, d. 14 Feb 1911 Hudson NH; m. 1 April 1850 in Manchester NH to Hannah Maria Hall, dau of Joseph & Sarah (Lund) Hall. She was b 26 Sep 1830 in Hudson NH and d. 6 Jan 1911 in Hudson NH. Children: Lewis Hunter, Frances Mary and Elmer David.
4. Lucy E. Clement, b. 16 July 1829 Hudson NH, d. 6 May 1893 Hudson NH [also recorded in Nashua NH]; She m1st) 21 March 1865 in Hudson NH to John O’Conner/Conner; He was b. 1810. They had 2 ch: Daniel and Edward W. She m2d) 9 Sep 1869 in NH to Ephraim Snell, son of Calvin & Abigail (Bryant) Snell; buried Hudson NH.
5. Daniel W. Clement, b 15 Sep 1831 Hudson NH; d. 21 Feb 1909 Lowell MA; buried Edson Cemetery, Lowell MA. In 1891 living in Lowell MA at 35 School Street, a trader. He m. 5 Feb 1860 in Chelmsford MA to Sarah R. Sargeant, dau of David M. & Nancy (?) Sargeant.
5. Lauranna Clement b 23 Feb 1833 Hudson, NH, twin; in 1850 living in Hudson NH with her parents.
6. Lucinda Clement, b. 23 Feb 1833 Hudson NH d. 3 Feb 1920 Pelham NH, twin; m. 8 July 1866 in Nashua NH to Albert A. Campbell, son of Abner & Mary E. Campbell. He was b. abt 1847 in Bedford NH, and d. 1 Oct 1868 in Nashua NH. They had one child: Forrest A. Campbell.
7. Rachael R. Clement, b. 24 July 1835 Hudson, NH, d. 28 Feb 1900 Pelham NH; m. 4 Sep 1856 in Hudson NH to David M. Gould, son of Mark & Susan (Marshall) Gould. He was b. 28 May 1825 in Pelham NH and d. 24 Dec 1910 in Pelham NH. Children: Marshall Cummings, Alice, Emma and Grace I.
8. Martha Jane Clement b 23 April 1837 Hudson NH, d. 16 June 1874 in Bristol, Grafton Co. NH. She m. 15 October 1860 in Nashua NH to Don Pedro Alexander. Buried Homeland Cemetery, Bristol NH. He was b. 5 Sep 1834 in Grafton, Windham Co. VT, and d. 25 Dec 1905 in Nashua NH. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashua NH.
9. Arumenta/Araminta Grovner Clement, b 16 Feb 1841 Hudson NH, d. 25 Dec 1918 Antrim, NH. She m. 7 March 1858 in Hudson NH to George G. Sargent. She is buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Goffstown NH.
The Boston Globe, Boston MA 21 Oct 1887, page 8
Death of David Clement, the Eldest, Aged 92
Interesting Reminiscences Told by an Old New Hampshire Man
Wearing Shoes to Church the Height of Extravanace.
Nashua, N.H. Oct 21.–David Clement of Hudson, aged 92, the eldest of eight twins in one family, died yesterday. Eight twins in one family, following upon each other in rapid succession! It was a rare and remarkable occurrence for an American family, even in those ays of large families a century ago.
“Fourteen children, eight of whom were twins,” is the record in the old yellow-leave Bible of Moses Clement and his spouse Rachel, who were married in Dracut, Mass., way back in 1781. The book was in the possession of his son David up to the time of his death, a man who could claim the title of being the oldest twin in New Hampshire.
Many of the names were written over a century ago. The hand that penned those names with the blotting ink of those days in that book fo the beginnings and the ends, the births and the deaths, of pain and contentment, was one of the grand heroes of our country’s history. Their birth and the country’s birth to liberty was alike being chronicled.
They had large families in those days. Large limbed, healthy men they were, who could wield the axe of civilization in the Indian infested forests, with their guns strapped handily across their backs, ready at an instant’s warning to fight for life, or who, when their fellow-citizens called, could fight as fearlessly and deal as heavy blows in the halls of legislation. Women, too, who were brought up to make mothers, whose families were trained at home, who could stand the hardships of a hasty flight through the tangled forest to the nearest neighbor, miles away, who attende3d to the laborious farm duties, taught children the worship of God or the mysteries of the three R’s.
Daniel Clement came of such a family. They were poor, but workers, adn at the age of 92 he sat in his ol armchair in the sunny window of his little farmhouse in Hudson and looked out over the well-filled orchards with as cheery a laugh and contented a face as though nearly a century of the world’s struggles had not whitened his hair and palsied his limbs.
Sunning himself thus, THE GLOBE correspondent found him a few days since, and he held out a strong hand of welcome.
“You want to hear o’ me, hey?”
Yes we wanted to hear a good deal of his life and the sights he had seen.
“Lord bless you, I hain’t seen much. If I had my toes would ha’ been turned up years ago.” I stayed home, worked.”
“Your father’s family was a large one?”
“Yes, we’re a big un. Fourteen on us; eight twins. I was the oldest twin, and only one living now. My father was Moses Clement of Dracut, Mass; mother Rachel Perham of Tyngsboro Mass. They were married in the little Congregational church in Dracut. They paid in goods to get hitched in those days, for cash was mighty hard to get on farms, and you dickered for most all you got. John was the oldest of the family. He was born in 1783. Then came Asa, Hannah, Lucy and Rachel. Then came the twins. Before the stop came there were eight twins of us. First there was me and Daniel. We were born Jan. 19, 1796. Then Charles and Clara, 1797. Richard and Betsey, 1799; and Fred and Fanny, 1800. Fanny, aint’ it, there should be a boy and girl in every lot except mine? I believe that gave me luck, for they’re all dead now except me. I’m good for many years yet. They all lived to grow up, but I’m left alone now. We all live all the time in Yankee State, excepting my twin Daniel. He went to York State and died.”
“There was much religion in those days.”
“You got religion or you got a basting. You didn’t choose bastings twice, for you couldn’t sit down for a week after being called out in the shed in those days. Every one of the children belonged to the same denomination your father did. Woe betide you if you dated express a preferment for other churches or preachers. A strap interview took it out of you. The Congregational church in Dracut was six miles from our farm. Mother and father went on horseback with the youngest children in the saddle in front of them. The rest of us walked. We all had to take off our boots and stockings and walk barefoot to church. Right in front of the church was a big flat stone. All the church folks used to set on that stone and put on their shoes so as to go in church with them on. It was the height of extravagance to wear your shoes all the way to church. After church all piled on this same stone, and took them off again. Our Sunday shoes, oiled carefully with tallow every Saturday afternoon, would last a long time.”
“Didn’t the farmers drink more in those days than now?”
“Yes, every farmer drank cider, and on extra occasions celebrated with New England or Medford rum. A man wasn’t neighborly unless he got drunk at a barn raising. Everyone drank in moderation. Even the ministers preached that it was a help. The farmers who paid him to preach to them according to their ideas of religion would have kicked him out if he hadan’t. I never was drunk but once. That was when my brother Asa was 21. We celebrated. I was a young cuss, and I drank too much of the punch, and got licked the next day. I’ve never been drunk sicne. The lickings in those days we used to remember.”
The old man gazed out of the window. His eyes were fixed long on the meadows, where the sun poured on loaded orchards and stacked up cornstalks. He was thinking of his boyhood days.
“Times have changed,” he began again slwoly, “since the days when I was 21, and my father gave me my time, and the right to keep my own earnings. With a shilling in my pocket I walked to Townsend, Mass., to get work at my trade as a carpenter. There was no work, and my money was gone, so I walked back. I worked in Nashua, Lowell, Fall River, Dracut, Dunstable, Hudson and Chelmsford. I’ve always been a goo old Jackson Democrat, voted for him and walked to Lowell to shake hands with him.”
His granddaughter told the writer in an aside he voted for Lincoln, but he has forgotten it.
“I was the first selectman in Hudson, and they say I was the best one they ever had,” and the old man smiled as he turned his chair more in the sun.
“We all had big families. Rachel beat us all an her mother. She had 16. Most of them are now living in Vermont. Rachel lived to a very old age.
“I was married to Dorcas Wilson of Hudson in 1821, an we have had nine children, including one pair of twins. Mrs. L.C. White of Nashua and Mrs. L.P. Davidson of Windham. They are Charles W., born Feb 20 1824, now living in California; Dorcas Ann, Nov 19, 1825; David, Dec 6 1827; Lucy July 16, 1829; Daniel M. Sept 15, 1831; Laurane and Lucinda, the twins Jan 23, 1833; Rachel P., July 24, 1835 and Martha L., April 23, 1837. They are all alive now but Martha and the combined ages of my eight living children are 460 years. Thats a good record of long lives, ain’t it?
“I remember when the first four-wheel team was built in Hudson. John Burnham, whose son, Amory Burnham, 72 years old, lives next farm, brought it out. Folks laughed at him. They called him a fool. They said he couldn’t turn around in it. All our teams were made with two wheels in those days. But after a few trials the four-wheel team was a success, and John Burnham was the pride of the town. That must be 75 years ago. All the first four-wheel teams came from Boston, Mass. They were made with large wooden axles, with large, square wooden boxes on each sie of the enormous hub. The front wheels were smaller, as now.”
“Mr. Clement, why do you think you have lived so long?”
“I tell you why I have lived longer than other people–I have always been temperate. Three square meals a day, always milk for supper, baked sweet apples and crackers until within a few weeks for 60 years. Now I eat a good square meal.”
As we left him the sun shone on his happy, smiling face, rich with time’s memories; venerable with his white hairs; strong with nearly a century of health, and proud of his “460 years of children,” looking for all the world as thought he unconsciously had discovered “Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth.” Now the old man has gone home.