Capt. Hugh Mason Genealogy

Comments and Research of Edna Warren Mason

[ Mason Register Report and Compiler's Notes ]

Adapted from the published volume and compiled by Stephen M. Lawson.
This file is limited to the Foreward and information concerning Capt. Hugh Mason.
Efforts have been made to retain the original content and presentation of the author.
Consult the original publication to resolve possible transcription errors.

The published volume is available in photocopy-reprint from Higginson Books.







(Mrs. Mason Pfizenmayer)





Adapted for the computer
Stephen M. Lawson
February 2, 2000

Edna Warren Mason (Mrs. Mason Pfizenmayer)  (Frontispiece)
Rev. Javan Knapp Mason, D.D.  190
Charles Francis Mason   330
Norman Wilder Mason  434
James Madison Mason  616
Wallace Lawrence Mason  655
Edward Joseph Mason   694


In the early part of the seventeenth century several families, bearing the name of Mason, came from England to New England. Among them were John Mason, who came in Winthrop's Fleet in 1630, settling first at Dorchester, Mass., later in Connecticut, and known as "Maj. John, the Pequot Fighter"; Hugh Mason and wife, Hester, came in the Francis, 1634, settling at Watertown; Ralph Mason and wife, Anne, and three children came in the Abbigall to Boston in 1635; Robert Mason, at Roxbury, in 1637 and known as "Robert of Roxbury"; Thomas Mason, at Watertown, 1637, Hartford, Conn., 1651, and Northampton, Mass., 1656; Edmund Mason, a Proprietor at Watertown, 1642; Sampson Mason in 1649, at Dorchester, 1651, Rehoboth, 1657, and Swansey, 1667; John Mason, at Portsmouth, R. I., in 1655, and whose many descendants are widely scattered over the United States.

But this is the History of the descendants of Capt. Hugh Mason who came in 1634. It has been said that he and Maj. John Mason were brothers, and although there are many incidents leading to this suggestion definite proof is lacking.

It is interesting to note the various points of the compass to which the call of the Wanderlust led the early generations of Capt. Mason's descendants. John, his eldest son, settled in Newton, the adjoining village, while the other son, Joseph, chose Boston, but soon returned to his native heath, and in the third generation the majority remained in Massachusetts.

In the fourth generation Jonas and Mary (Chandler) Mason made their trek to Maine by the shore road in 1731, settling at North Yarmouth, where their seven children were born. Later they followed the trek a few miles further into the wilderness where Jonas Mason started a clearing by cutting the first tree, and that little settlement was called New Gloucester.

Practically all the Masons in Falmouth, North Yarmouth, Buckfield, Turner, Hartford, South Paris, Bridgton, Brownfield, Naples, Sumner, Leeds, Wayne, Vienna, Livermore, Thomaston, Hampden and some in Portland are descendants of this branch. In 1752 Elias and Lydia (Brown) Mason made their trek to Woodstock, Conn., where their twelve children were born. Several of this branch migrated to Vermont and helped found the towns of Fairlee, Pomfret, Woodstock and others in that vicinity, and Jonathan Mason settled at Lyme, N. H. Benjamin and Martha (Fairbanks) Mason settled at Sherborn, Mass., where seven of their eight children were born, but in 1764 they sought a new home, this time in Dublin, N. H., and practically all of the Masons in Dublin, Sullivan, Walpole, East Westmoreland, Marlborough, Keene and Cabot, Vt., are their descendants. Moses and Lydia (Knapp) Mason settled at Newton, where four children were born, then to Sherborn, where four more were born, then to Dublin, where two more were born, and in 1795 his widow and children started on a northern trek and settled at Bethel, Maine. Practically all of the Masons in Bethel, Gilead, Albany, Norway, Harrison, and in Berlin, Lancaster, and Gorham, N. H., are their descendants.

In the fifth generation Daniel and Esther (Mason) Mason settled at Watertown, where their ten children were born, but early in the eighteenth century their trek led them to Westbrook, Maine, and many of the Masons in Deering, Westbrook, Stroudwater and Portland are their descendants. Hugh and Elizabeth (Clark) Mason also settled at Watertown where their first six children were born, but in 1793 made their trek to Marlborough, N. H., where seven more children were born. William Bond and Susanna (Coburn) Mason made their trek in 1788 to Marietta, Ohio, and there, also in Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and West Virginia are many of their descendants. Enoch and Elizabeth (Bisco) Mason settled at Spencer, Mass., but in 1806 their trek led them to Nelson and Fremont, N. Y., then called the far West, and many of their descendants are found in New York State, Iowa, North Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In the sixth generation Richard Clark and Margaret (Harlow) Mason in 1815 turned southward, going to Baltimore, Md. in 1817 Clark and Eunice (Adams) Mason went to Richland, Oswego Co., N. Y., also called the far West, it being their wedding trip and making it by ox-sled. A little later when four other brothers, Seth, Charles, Edward and Joseph started out in the world, they went northward to Portland, Maine, where they married, had families, were land owners and members of the First Church in Portland. Seth remained there, but between 1829 and 1840 Charles and Edward went to Baltimore to join their older brother, Richard Clark Mason, and through those three many Mason descendants are found in Baltimore and vicinity. Joseph also left Portland and was killed in a coal mine in Rhode Island.

In later generations many of the Maine Masons migrated to California, New Mexico, Washington, Texas, Arizona, and Massachusetts Masons to Porto Rico, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Idaho 'and Oregon.

In the first Portland, Maine, directory, issued in 1823, six persons by the name of Mason are listed, one a widow, a Mason only by marriage, and five males, four of whom, Abijah, Charles, John and Seth, are descendants of Capt. Hugh Mason, Abijah and Seth being Massachusetts born. In the next issue, 1827, there are eight of the name, three widows and five males, four of whom, Charles, Edward, Seth and Nathaniel are also his descendants; in 1831 also eight of the name of whom four, Charles, Seth, Ebenezer and Samuel are his descendants; in 1834 there are seven males, five of whom, Seth, Charles, Joseph, Edward and Ebenezer are his descendants, indicating that the Massachusetts Masons and their descendants not only from the early seventeen hundreds but even in the 1820's and 1830's outnumbered others of that name in Maine and Portland. In the Stroudwater, Pine Grove and Evergreen Cemeteries in Portland and vicinity there are stones hearing the Mason name with the inscription "Formerly of Watertown, Mass."

In later days there have been and are many of the name in Maine who have come there from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, a Mason family from Blue Hill, Maine, who settled at Rockland, and others from points south, east and west.

In gathering the data innumerable Genealogies, Town Records, Town and County Histories, Land and Census Records and Family Bibles were examined, and the manuscript entitled "The Descendants of Capt. Hugh Mason," compiled by Thaddeus William Harris, copied and enlarged by his son, Edward Doubleday Harris, who placed it in the library of The New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston, gave me unusually valuable aid.

A copy of "The Family of Hugh Mason, William Mason and Allied Families," by Mary Eliza Mason, sent me by Mr. Harley E. Frye of Marietta, Ohio, a descendant of the William Mason family, a copy of "Enoch and Elizabeth (Bisco) Mason, Their Ancestry and Descendants," by Sylvester Shemway Mason, sent me by Mrs. Charles W. Mason of Bear Lake, Mich., and Rev. John Boynton Hill of Watertown, Mass., sent me a copy of his book "The Little Minister of Mason, New Hampshire," which were much appreciated.

I am most grateful to the Masons and Mason descendants who so quickly and interestedly replied to my queries, and particularly to those who not only sent their own data but gave me much valuable information on other lines, and countless regrets for the many letters I sent and which were not accorded a reply. Also I have very pleasant recollections of Miss Ethel P. Hall and Miss Mae Gilman, Librarians at the Maine Historical Society, Portland, and deeply appreciate their kindly consideration at all times. May all who subscribe and read this book benefit and derive as much pleasure as I have had in gathering the contents, which I commenced the spring of 1926 and am closing April 1936.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Mason Pfizenmayer
Narragansett Pier
Rhode Island


Communicated by Charles Francis Mason, A.B., of Plymouth, Mass.

Reprinted, with additions, from The New England Historical and Genealogical
for July 1924.

Hugh Mason, tanner, aged 28, with his wife, Hester, aged 22, came to New England in the spring of 1634 from Ipswich, co. Suffolk, in the Francis and settled in Watertown, Mass. He was admitted freeman 4 Mar. 1634/5, held various town offices, including that of selectman, which he held for twenty-nine years in all, was a deputy to the General Court ten years, and was captain from 1652 until his death on 10 Oct. 1678. His widow died 21 May 1692. They were the ancestors of a large and well known New England family.

The late J. Henry Lea communicated to the Register, vol. 54, page 189, abstracts of records found in one of the Act Books of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which showed that on 16 May 1702 a commission was issued to Benjamin Franklin, [1] attorney for John and Joseph Mason, sons of Hugh Mason, late of Watertowne in New England, deceased, to administer during the absence and for the use of said sons, and that on the same date a commission was issued to the said Franklin, attorney for John and Joseph Mason, sons of Hester Mason, widow, late of Water Towne in New England, deceased, to administer during the absence and for the use of the said sons.

The clue given by these records published in the Register has been followed by the contributor of the present article, and has led recently to the discovery in the Public Record Office, London, among the records of proceedings in Chancery of documents that connect the Watertown settler and his wife with the borough of Maldon, co. Essex. Abstracts of these documents, giving, in present day spelling (except for proper names), whatever statements are of genealogical interest, follow:

[1] This Benjamin Franklin, who appears also in the records of the Chancery case given below as "Benjamine Franckling of London, dyer," was an uncle of Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman and philosopher, who in his autobiography calls him a "silk dyer of London." He was born at Ecton, co. Northampton, 23 Mar. 1650/1, a son of Thomas and Jane (White) Franklin, emigrated to Boston, Mass., in 1715, whither his younger brother, Josiah, father of the American patriot, had preceded him in 1684, and died in Boston 17 Mar. 1727/8. He left two quarto volumes of his own poems.--J. Gardner Bartlett.


19 June 1702. To the Right Honorable Sir Nathan Wright, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England.

Humbly complaining shew unto your Lordships your orators, John and Joseph Mason, sons of Hugh Mason, late of Water Towne in New England, in parts beyond the seas, yeoman, and of Hester his wife, both deceased, which Hester was one of the daughters and devisees of Thomas Wells the Elder, deceased, and one of the sisters and coheirs of Thomas Wells, son and heir of the aforesaid Thomas Wells, late of Maulden in the county of Essex, yeoman, likewise deceased, and Benjamine Franckling of London, dyer, administrator not only of all the goods, chattels, rights, and credits which were of and did belong to the said Hugh Mason at the time of his death but also of all the goods, chattels, rights and credits which were of and did belong to. her, the said Hester, who survived the said Hugh Mason, at the time of her death, that the said Thomas Wells, the father, in his lifetime, that is to say, on or about the seventeenth day of December, which was in the year of Our Lord 1624, being seised in fee or of some other estate of inheritance of and in all that piece or parcel of meadow or pasture land called or known by the name of Little Portland, containing by estimation four acres and a half, more or less, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Mauldon aforesaid, and which was then in the tenure or occupation of Michaell Coop(er) or his assigns, and also of and in all that messuage or tenement in which he then dwelt, lying and being in Fulbridge Street in Maulden aforesaid, and the houses, buildings, stable yards, gardens, and orchards thereunto belonging or therewith then used as part, parcel or member thereof, with the appurtenances, made his last will and testament in writing, duly executed, and hearing date on or about the said seventeenth day of December, in the year of Our Lord 1624, and thereby be devised in these or like words, that is to say, I devise and give unto my son Thomas Wells and to the heirs of his body lawfully to be begotten all that my close or parcel of meadow or pasture called Little Portland, containing by estimation four acres and a half, more or less, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Mauldon aforesaid, and which is now in the tenure and occupation of Michaell Cooper or his assigns; and, for default of such issue of his body, then I will the one half of the said parcel of meadow or pasture, with the appurtenances, to remain unto Hellene, my daughter, now wife of Moses Catmer, shoemaker, and to her heirs, and the other moiety of the same to remain unto Hester Wells, my youngest daughter, and to her heirs for ever. Item, I do devise and give the messuage in which I dwell and the houses, buildings, stable yards, gardens, and orchards thereunto belonging or therewith used as part or parcel thereof, with the appurtenances, in the manner following, that is to say, the one half of the said messuage, gardens, orchards, and premises thereunto belonging, with the appurtenances, unto the said Hellene, my daughter, and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, and the other moiety of the said messuage and premises, with the appurtenances, unto the said Hester Wells and to the heirs of her body lawfully to be begotten; and if both my said daughters happen to die without issue lawfully begotten, then I will the said messuage and premises, with the appurtenances, shall remain to the said Thomas, my son, and to his heirs and assigns for ever. And your orators further shew that the said Tho: Wells, the father, also in his said will devised the care and education of his said younger children, Hester and Thomas, unto his brother-in-law, Simon Raye, until they and either of them should be of competent age and years and of ability of body to be put forth and placed in service, as by the said will, had your orators the same to produce to this Honorable Court, more fully might and would appear. Soon after the making of which said will, that is to say, about the end of the month of December, in the year of Our Lord 1624 aforesaid, he, the said Tho: Wells, the father, departed this life, being then unmarried, and leaving issue, the said Hellene, Hester, and Tho: Wells, his only children, and after whose death, about the third day of February following, the said Simon Raye proved the said will, whereof he was therein made executor, in due form of law, and took on him the burthen and execution thereof, and afterwards, that is to say, about the month of December, in the year of Our Lord 1631, he, the said Tho: Wells, the son, departed this life, being then under the age of twenty-one years and unmarried and leaving no issue of his body and without making any disposition of his estate, the said Hellene and Hester surviving him, whereby the estate devised and that pertained to him as aforesaid, by the said will or by descent, came to them, the said Hellene and Hester, as devisees by the said will or as sisters and coheirs of him, the said Tho: Wells, the son. And the said Hellene and Hester or those who were intrusted to do the same on their behalf entered into and became seised of his said premises. And afterwards, that is to say about the month of January in the year of Our Lord 1632, she, the said Hester, intermarried with Hugh Mason, then of Maldon aforesaid, tanner, and since of Water Towne in New England, in parts beyond the seas. And your orators further shew that the said Hugh Mason and Hester, sometime after their marriage, that is to say, about the year of Our Lord 1633 or the year of Our Lord 1634, went out of this Kingdom of England into New England in America, in parts beyond the seas, aforesaid, and afterwards, that is to say, the 29 day of September, in the year of Our Lord 1654, being then in England, the said Hugh Mason, by his deed then dated, demised and granted unto one Giles Cole of Maldon, aforesaid all that his moiety of the said piece or parcel of land called Little Portland for the term of the natural life of him, the said Hugh Mason (in case she, the said Hester, should so long live), at the yearly rent of three pounds per annum, which rent the said Giles Cole in his deed then made and duly executed did for himself and his assigns covenant and agree with the said Hugh Mason well and faithfully to pay to the said Hugh Mason accordingly .... Afterwards, that is to say, in the year of Our Lord 1655, she, the said Hellene, wife of said Moses Catmer and one of the daughters of the said Thomas Wells, the father, departed this life without making any disposition of her share of the said premises or any part thereof and without issue of her body, the said Hester surviving her, whereby her share of the said premises did descend unto her, the said Hester, according to the said will or as next heir at law to her, the said Hellene, after whose death the said Hugh and Hester Mason entered and became seised of all the said premises in right of her, the said Hester, in fee, etc.

The answer of Benjamin Smith, one of the defendants to the bill of complaint of John Mason and Joseph Mason, etc. The said defendant saith that John Cole of Swilland in the county of Suffolk, yeoman, being seised and in peaceable possession of a moiety of a certain close of land called Portlands, containing by estimation four acres, more or less, in the parish of St. Peter's in Maldon, of an estate of inheritance in fee simple, being, as this defendant believes, part of the lands and tenements in the complainants' said bill of complaint mentioned.... in the tenure or occupation of John Paine, gard(e)ner, or his assigns, abutting on a parcel of land called Beau Meade towards the north, etc.

No record of the birth or marriage of Hugh Mason is to be found in the registers of the Maldon parishes, but the following entry in the register of the parish of St. Mary, in Maldon, may refer to, a kinsman of the Watertown settler:
1631 Joseph Mason and Mary Houatt married 1 November.

Moreover, on page 19 of the book of Apprentice Indentures at Ipswich, co. Suffolk, 1596-1651, it is recorded that on 2 March 1616 John Mason, son of William Mason, late of Mauldon, co. Essex, husbandman, deceased, was bound for a term of five years to the service of Thomas Hall of Ipswich, mariner, and Katherine, his wife. If it may be assumed that this five-year term completed the nonage of the youth, he was born about the year 1600, but here again the Maldon registers are silent.
For his success in this search the contributor of this article is greatly indebted to the advice of J. Gardner Bartlett of Cambridge, Mass., the well-known specialist in English research and a member of the Committee on Publications of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Vincent Burrough Redstone, F.S.A., of Woodbridge, co. Suffolk, England, a member of the Committee on English Research of this Society, and the latter's daughter, Miss Lillian J. Redstone of London.

The following article taken from The Deering News of Saturday, September 18, 1897, Deering, Maine, in the columns known as "Grandpa's Scrap Book":

[2] Preserved in the Public Record Office, London. These documents are in Chancery Proceedings before 1714, Mitford's Division, Bundle 469/3.


Near the center of the old cemetery at Stroudwater Village, adjoining the highway, stands a well preserved memorial stone inscribed as follows

In Memory of
Daniel Mason Esq.
Formerly of Watertown, Mass.
Died Oct. 9, 1817
age 60

To the casual observer the slate slab expresses but little, no more than any of its kind, and the passerby moved on to the next, but to the one sufficiently aged to live in the past the invisible prompter in zephyry voice whispers the word "halt" and I pause.

The Masons came to old Falmouth, the part that is now the city of Deering, from Watertown, Mass., as the memorial indicates, and those who desire to learn of the name in that town will find much that interests by consulting Bond's History of that Municipality, but I have only room to say that Nehemiah Mason, married March 28, 1755, Elizabeth Stone, and after her he had two other wives and nine children: Ist, Daniel, 2nd, Hugh, 5th, Moses.

I here present the names because descendants can be traced to this place, and in the case of Daniel, descendants are still with us.

Daniel Mason, eldest child of Nehemiah, whose name the slate slab commemorates, was born in Watertown, Mass., August 17, 1757. Of his boyhood and decline in life I have but little knowledge. By occupation he was a tanner and spent his last days in the house at the north westerly corner of Congress and Stevens Plains Avenue (Bradley's Corner District) which the late Edward Newman renovated and repaired some fifteen years since and left it as now seen and owned by the Widow Knight whose husband was of the tribe of the name descending from Nathaniel Knight of Stroudwater Falls (near Saccarappa).

To the original house he added another, or an ell, which after the purchase of the premises by Joshua Richardson was moved to Cotton Street, Portland, and there burned.

When Daniel located here I cannot say. He was interested as an owner in what is now the site of the John B. Curtis estate (the original house was removed to Spring Street) located about fifty rods distant on the opposite side of Stevens Plains Avenue, where his son, Daniel Mason Jr., first resided, while with Daniel senior, resided his son, Samuel and some of his other children.
In the year 1816 Daniel Mason Jr., was taxed for a house valued at $70.00; barn, $40.00; bark house and slaughter house, $200; store, $150 (store deducted) ; 412 acres of land; one cow, $14; two horses, $80; chaise, $80; and stock in trade, $1000. Back of the present Curtis house was a tan yard.

Samuel Mason, brother to Daniel Jr., was taxed at the same time as follows: One house, $500; one barn, $40; 1/2 bark house and yard, $100; 112 acre mowing and other land; house on wharf, $125; one cow; two horses; one swine; one chaise, $80; stock in trade, $1000. Back of the Bradley Corner house was the old Riggs tan yard where Daniel senior, and his son, Samuel, resided.

In the year 1819 Samuel Mason conveyed to his mother his interest in the Bradley Comer lot and in 1829 he administered on the estate of his mother, Esther Mason.

Before me is a well preserved ancient appearing scrap of paper found among the few papers that have been kept pertaining to the Mason name hereabouts, the record upon which I now preserve by placing it here, excepting the names of the day of the week and hour the ten children of Daniel and Esther Mason, originally of Watertown, Mass., were born as follows:

  1. Nehemiah, born August 31, 1780. A Portland Argus record reads as follows: May 26, 1826, Died Nehemiah Mason of Westbrook, aged 46 years. Death occasioned by drinking cold water, the weather being excessively warm.
  2. Daniel, born June 1, 1782. He last occupied and died in the old Storer residence described three weeks since in the News. (He and son, Daniel to be further noticed in another article.
  3. Samuel, born June 8, 1783. He died in the Means house at Stroudwater Village. He and family to be noticed later.
  4. Lewis., born February 27, 1785.
  5. Azor, born December 14, 1786.
  6. Joel, born March 3, 1788.
  7. Varlow, born March 3, 1790, died November 27, 1790, aged 18 mo., 26 days.
  8. A daughter, born September 15, and died five days later.
  9. Noble, born February 9, 1793, at Chelsea, Mass., died August 2, 1793.
  10. Nancy and last, born April 19, 1794. Nancy Mason died December 31, 1814. Bradley Journal.

A memorial stone stands by the side of that of her father, no others.

Of the career and time of death of the above named I have no knowledge excepting Nehemiah, Daniel, Samuel and those who died young, having made no effort to discover their " footprints in the sands of time." It is proposed to continue this Mason record in the next issue of the News to conclude with that of Col. James Means of Stroudwater the eight year Revolutionary soldier whose daughter Samuel Mason married.

Daniel Mason Jr., son of Daniel senior, was born as stated last week, June 1, 1782. Mr. Elbridge G. Riggs, born here January 14, 1813, hence is now 84 years of age and has lived here about all his life, a man of excellent memory, says, Daniel Jr., married before he came to this place a Miss Polly Monday and resided in the state of Rhode Island. The amount of his possessions for which he was taxed in 1816 1 gave in my last article, but I cannot place the dwelling for which he was taxed on a valuation of $70. His name does not appear on the list made in 1823 of those taxed to support preaching in the First Congregational meeting house, near which he lived, but the name of his wife Mary, appears on the church member list made in 1833. Samuel Mason, brother to Daniel Jr., was taxed to support preaching in 1826, the sum of $4.22. The names of Mary and Samuel are the only names of Masons appearing on the church or parish records.

The widow of the third, or last Daniel, has stored, she states, with her household goods, a family Bible in which are recorded some Mason names, but is unable to find it at present.

It was July 16, 1832, for a consideration of $700 that the old Joseph Storer mansion, described in the News of August 28th, was sold to the Masons. January 12, 1836, the lot upon which the Milliken family resides, between the old Storer lot and the meeting house lot was sold by the Masons to John Haskell and the Storer joiner shop was moved onto it and converted into the dwelling as now seen, which event has been noticed but exact date not given till now.

Daniel Mason and Mary Monday, his wife, had but one child whom they named Daniel. He resided with his parents and Phoebe Chenery of Falmouth became his wife. Her ancestors came from Watertown, Mass. They had no children. Rev. Caleb Bradley frequently alludes in his journal to calls upon the family and religious meetings being held in the house, and his stopping to take tea with them.

The last Daniel must have been rather a good looking young man. He possessed a pleasant countenance and was a constant attendant upon public worship. lie never wore whiskers and with his white vest and shiny tall hat, always appeared on public occasions otherways neatly attired. He kept a few cows and sold milk, then he engaged in trade in a small way in the small building as now seen upon the front of the lot. He took life carelessly, was pleasant to all, accommodating, and died without an enemy.

His wife died in 1840, his mother in 1866; and he married his housekeeper, the widow Murphy with one child, by whom he had one, they named Herbert D., both of whom are deceased, but the widow survives; and Charles F. Cowan occupies the premises on a five year lease. The grave memorials standing in Evergreen cemetery, northerly of the soldiers' monument, tells the rest of the story, as follows:

Daniel Mason died August 23, 1864, aged 82 years, 3 months.

Mary, wife of the late Daniel Mason, died May 20, 1866, age 84 years, 8 months.

Daniel Mason, died May 10, 1887, aged 77 years, 5 months. "Gone but not forgotten."

Phebe, wife of Daniel Mason Jr., died April 13, 1840, aged 28 years.

Ellen F. (2d) wife of Daniel Mason.

Herbert D. Mason died October 20, 1888, aged 17 years, 8 months, 2 days. "Goodby Mother."

Samuel Mason, third child of Daniel and Esther Mason, was born (it is supposed) at Watertown, Mass., Saturday morning, June 8, 1783, and married November 14, 1815, in Falmouth, now Deering, Sophia Means, born at Stroudwater, January 12, 1797, sixth and youngest child of Capt. James Means and wife, Mary Cox, the last of Portland. He died February 4, 1837, aged 54 years; she died January 3, 1890, age 94 years.

The house in which she first saw the light of day stood between the westerly end of the bridge over Four River and the shop of Andrew Hawes, Esq., northerly side of the highway.

I know nothing of the youthful days of Samuel. Besides being a tanner, in 1820 he was engaged in beef packing. Before me are several receipts from Joshua Richardson of that year for money received on account of beef. They are in an easy hand and as clear and fresh as of yesterday. The date he removed from Bradley's Corner to the Means house at Stroudwater I cannot state.

In addition to tanning and beef packing he had a large truck garden where the High School building stands-so Mr. Elbridge G. Riggs says. He died February 4, 1837, Parson Bradley says, "at two o'clock Sunday morning." She died January 3, 1890, aged 93 years, and was straight and fair and smart to the last. The last time I saw her was a few months before her departure for the other world. Some work was being done in the old burying ground; the sun was nearing the western horizon and had divested itself of its intensity in brightness. In fact the halo partook strangely of a sable fall--a condition strictly in accord with the scene. On the cold piece of marble bearing the name of her son, who had died in the Union Army during the war of the Southern Rebellion, and other names of the departed, she sat, and when I had approached to close speaking distance she said: "There are occasions when one is justified in using harsh language. For a period of two years I have been waiting to see this stone reset-when it is done I am ready to die." I assured her that the neighborhood wanted to see her reach the hundredth mile post in life's journey, but the stone should be reset in the morning of the coming day, which was done. In her utterance I felt the will power and determination of her father, who passed the whole period of eight years in the Army of the War of the American Revolution.

Children of Samuel and Sophia (Means) Mason:

  1. James, born September 27, 1816, married January 13, 1840, Mary A. Bradbury of Buxton. He was a hatter and died in Portland. Children: 1, Julia T., married Henry A. Gray; 2, Martha I., married Henry J. Humphrey; 3, James M., married Nettie Brewer, who died this Spring. He, with his mother and a widowed sister reside at No. 45 Myrtle St., Portland.
  2. Samuel, born October 3, 1818, married August 10, 1851, Eunice N. Winship of Portland. He occupied the Means homestead. She died March 19, 1868, aged 51 years, [Memorial stones at Stroudwater cemetery.] he died June 2, 1871, aged 52 years. They Ed one child, Frank W., married and resides in the Means homestead.
  3. Charles born November 5, 1820, married September 19, 1847, Harriet Tolman of Tolman Place, Portland. Had one child named Charles who married and had one child named Charles. The widow of Charles senior, married (2) and resides in New York. He was a cooper.
  4. Mary Ann, born November 25, 1822, married June 17, 1846, Dea. Arthur Libby of Scarboro, now Gorham, a house carpenter, and resided on Atlantic St., Portland. She died July 22, 1854, leaving five children. He married (2) Elizabeth A. Dresser and-they had two children. He died December 16, 1884. (For further particulars see Libby Genealogy, page 515.)
  5. Sophaetta, born March 5, 1825, the day LaFayette was at Stroudwater and called at the Means house. She married November 15, 1846, Daniel A. Hinds, a painter and engineer and resided in Portland. She died June 14, 1853, (1) aged 28 years; he married (2) and went West.
  6. Caroline, born February 25, 1827, married December 11, 1848, John W. Gilbert of Waterville, born April 1827, died August 24, 1855, leaving a daughter named Carrie L., born September 9, 1854, who married September 27, 1882, Samuel Thompson, Esq., a lawyer residing in Boston, Mass., where he died April 12, 1893. The Widow Gilbert married (2) February 15, 1862, at Biddeford, William Perkins who died December 13, 1890, leaving one child, Charles P., born April 4, 1863. They all reside in Boston, the two widows at the Glenwood House, 49 Warren Street.
  7. George W., born March 6, 1829, married December 19, 1849, Eliza Ann Pierce, daughter of Alden Pierce of Cape Elizabeth. He was by occupation a brick-layer and resided on Bond Street, Stroudwater, in the Capt. George Morton house which he purchased, since destroyed by fire. Both are deceased.

                 Children of George W. and Eliza Ann (Pierce) Mason:
    1. Georgian, married; died leaving a child.
    2. Alden P., married; died leaving a child. (See Libby Genealogy, page 368.)
    3. William Frederick, born December 2, 1857, married Myra P. Morton of Standish, daughter of Nelson Morton. Two children, Edith M., and Wilma N. They reside in Westbrook.
    4. Albert H., married; died; his widow and son reside in Portland.
  8. Pauline Adams, born October 22, 1831; died young.
  9. Emily Cox, born November 27, 1832, married Benjamin F. Dudley, born at Lyman, son of Benjamin Dudley, Esq., who was reared by Capt. James Means at Stroudwater and died at Biddeford April 18, 1884, where she resides. He enlisted in the marine service during the War of the Rebellion and served on the U. S. Steamer Ossipee. Children: 1. Ellen S., born September 18, 1853, at Lyman, and resides unmarried with her mother. 2. Gilbert F., born March 19, 1855, at Lyman; married (1) Mary F. Fellows, 2d, Ida Chenery of South Berwick. 3. Clarabella, born at Biddeford, July 10, 1857, married October 24, 1881, Otto W. Loosen of Lockport, N. Y., where she died November 19, 1887; he died same year. 4. William P., born December 9, 1869, died same year. 5. George Edward, born February 19, 1872, resides with his mother, unmarried.
  10. Edward, born November 29, 1834. He enlisted in the War of the Rebellion and died in Mower Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., November 14, 1864, aged 29 years. [Memorial stones at Stroudwater cemetery.]
  11. Elizabeth, and last, born February 17, 1838; died at home, unmarried.



(Continued from last week)

My first article under the caption of "Mason" appeared in the issue of the News bearing date of September 18, 1897, which related to Daniel Mason, Esq., the first of the name who located here, and his immediate offspring.

This Daniel Mason, Esq., as stated, was the eldest child of Nehemiah Mason of Watertown, Mass. There were nine children in the family and Hugh was the name of the second child, born December 29, 1758, married June 20, 1782, Elizabeth Clark.

Where Hugh resided or the names of his children I do not know. One was named Seth, born November 24, 1790, published September 14, 1817, and married Hannah Bryant that year, and settled in Portland. They had 1st, Margaret; 2d, Seth, born December 4, 1820, married April 6, 1843, Rebecca, daughter of Abraham and Rebecca Perley of Gray; 3d, Joseph H., died; 4th, Joseph B.; 5th, Sumner R.; 6th, Hannah.

Into this family Dr. Rugg of Portland married. I am informed by an aged resident that Seth was by occupation a mason and removed to Massachusetts where he died.

The first child of Nehemiah, and brother to Daniel Mason, Esq., was born July 24, 1764, named Moses, and married October 9, 1786, Lucy Kingsbury; he a soldier of the 10th Massachusetts Reg., Continental Army of the War of the Revolution.

His eldest child was named Isaac, subject of this sketch, born September 5, 1787, married July 14, 1811, Sarah, daughter of James Riggs of Nason's Corner, born there March 23, 1788, and granddaughter of Stephen Riggs who resided a half mile westerly on what is now known as the Anson C. Trask farm.

In the issue of the News of September 14, 1895, is a short notice of the Riggs family, and April 25th, 1896, one of Isaac Mason giving the inscription of his grave memorial stone and that of his wife which may be seen in Evergreen at the southerly side of Pine Grove Cemetery.

Isaac was a tanner, like his uncles, Daniel and Samuel, but I know nothing of the first part of his married life. He engaged in beef speculation and July 27tb, 1830, entered into an agreement for the James Riggs farm where he resided for a while but surrendered it and moved to Bradley's Corner where he prosecuted the business of tanning and where he died at time indicated by inscription on grave memorial. He was known as "Major" Mason because he held a major's commission in the State Militia. His wife died in the Portland Home for Aged Women. They had no offspring.

He was elected as Selectman of Westbrook, in the year of 1832, also in '33, '34, '35, '36, '37, '38, '39 and again in '42. So he must have been a man of some ability and received respectful recognition from his party friends.

The family Bible of Isaac Mason is in the possession of Miss Caroline Riggs, a very estimable lady, residing with- her brother, Mr. Elbridge G. Riggs, in a dwelling very pleasantly located in the Nason's Corner district, upon a portion of the old Stephen Riggs farm and is the next house easterly of the Trask house which stands on the site of the Stephen Riggs house which was destroyed by fire some years since.

Our next article will contain some dates relative to the Stephen Riggs family.


April 25, 1896

Isaac Mason was son of Moses Mason, born July 24, 1764, at Watertown, Mass., and was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. Isaac was born there September 5, 1787, married July 14, 1811, Sarah, daughter of James Riggs of Nason's Corner, this city. He was a tanner and resided in the house opposite Bradley's, Bradley's Corner, since transformed. He was usually called "Major" Mason on account of his connection with the State Military. They had no children. She died in the Portland Home for Aged Women.

In the Evergreen cemetery next to the southerly side of Pine Grove cemetery stand two memorial stones inscribed as follows:

Uncle Aunt
Isaac Mason Sally Riggs
Sept. 5, 1787.   wife of
June 5, 1847 Isaac Mason
   March 23, 1788
  Feb. 11, 1881

The scrap books containing the foregoing articles are at The Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine.



From The Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, March 11, 1899.

The recent death in New York of Mrs. Lucy Ann (Mason) Denison, the last of her generation of Masons, calls attention anew to an interesting family which has held an honorable place in our community and in neighboring towns, from the earliest colonial times.

Hugh Mason, the progenitor of the family, born in England, in 1606, stands out as a most picturesque personality in the scanty records of the day, even among the strong and vigorous characters who were his associates in the colonies. Although nothing is known of his early life, it is inferred that his people were freeholders, as he bequeathed land in England to one of his sons. There are indications also that he was possessed of some property upon his arrival in New England. His education included the common branches taught in that day, and he was bred to the tanners' trade, a calling he took up again in the new country and followed throughout his life. There is ample evidence, too, that he was not wanting in the stem Puritan faith prevailing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, though he did not hold any office in the church.

Our first knowledge of him is the record that Hugh Mason, aged 28, and his wife, Hester, aged 22, took passage on the ship Francis, John Cutting, master, which sailed from Ipswich bound for New England, the last of April 1634. His name appears upon the list of freemen admitted March 4, of the following year.

About this time he appears to have decided to establish himself at Watertown, and from this time on his story becomes a portion of the town and colonial records because of the part he played in the dramatic events of his time.

These records have been searched carefully by a descendant of the worthy colonist, Charles F. Mason, Esq., Bursar of Harvard College, who read before the Watertown Historical Society, a few years ago, a paper on Hugh Mason, embodying the facts discovered. This valuable paper was printed in the local journal and afterwards reprinted in pamphlet form. We are indebted through the courtesy of the author, to the Harvard College Library, for an opportunity to consult this monograph and the facts here given about Hugh Mason are taken bodily from its pages.

From the proprietor's book it appears that Hugh Mason received a homestall of three acres by purchase which was situated in what is now Belmont, on the easterly side of Hill Street (now School Street) and extended through to the line now marked by Grove Street. The north and south boundaries are approximately indicated in a recent atlas as the properties of Hittinger Bros., and of the Livermore heirs. Beside the "Homestall" we find mention in the records of "three acres of plow land by estimation, in ye further plaine"; also "three acres of remote meadow," "two acres of meddow by estimation in Rock Meddow," "thirty acres of upland by estimation," etc., the whole making quite a landed property.

In the fall of 1638 Hugh Mason was chosen one of the freemen to govern the affairs of the town for the ensuing year. To this office he was twenty-nine times reelected, most of the time as first man upon the board. A part of this time he served as town clerk and in some years as treasurer of the town.

The supervision of education was intrusted to the selectmen in the early days also. The records state "at a meeting of the selectmen at Capt. Mason's 12-10-1665, the selectmen agreed that they would go two and two together to go through the towne to examine how the children are taught to reade and instructed in the grounds of religion and the capital law. Agreed Capt. Mason and John Livermore together, John Coolidge, Senior, and Joseph Tayntor together, Corporall Bond and John Sherman together."

Capt. Mason was chosen at different times to represent the interests of the town in Church affairs. It is recorded that "At a public towne meeting upon the 17th, of November 1656, it was agreed that Capt. Mason, Left. Beeres, Ensign Shearman, Michael Bearsto, with ye three deacons should have the ordering of the sitting of the persons in the meeting house. Ould Goodman Hamond and Goodman Stratton are joyned to the same business, and the rules are, 1, office; 2, age; 3, state; 4, gifts." This method of assigning sittings seems to have occasioned dissatisfaction and some took seats other than those assigned them. At the town meeting March 14, 1664, it was "Ordered, that the next Sabbath day every person shall take his or her seate apoynted to them; and not to goe into any other seates where others are placed; and if one of the inhabitance shall acte contrary, he or she shall for the first offence be reproved by the deacons and for the second offence to pay a fine of two shillings, and a like fine for every offence after." Another of the multifarious duties of the selectmen seems to have been the warning and reproof of those who through idleness were in danger of becoming town charges. Thus "Att a meeting of the selectmen upon the third of February 1656, it is ordered yt Captain Mason with Brother Bearsto doe goe to Sister Baall and there to acquaint her yt it is in the mind of the selectmen yt she sett herself to the carding of two skaines of cotton or sheeps wool, and her daughter to spin it, with other business of the family; and this to be her daily taske, the which if she refuse she must expect to be sent to the house of correction."

Hugh Mason was also, for many years, commissioner to end small cases (under 20 shillings) in Watertown, this being before the creation of justices of the peace, and in 1658 he was empowered to solemnize marriages. The colony records show that Capt. Mason was for ten years a deputy to the general court; and as though all these various offices and occupations public and private were not enough, "a traine-band captain eke was he," with a military record to be proud of in King Philip's War.

Capt. Mason's grave in the old cemetery at Watertown is marked by stones, which bear to this day the last record of this busy life. The inscription on the headstone is as follows:

Here Lieth ye Body of
Capt. Hugh Mason Who
Deceased October ye Xth
1678 Anno Aetatis 73
He that thus thought of Death
In Lifes Uncertentie
Hath Doubtless Now a Life
That Bringeth Eternity.

That on the footstone is:

Mr. Hugh Mason
Capt. of ye Train Band
In this Town Aged
73 Years Died October
The Xth 1678. He Or
Her Yt Looks Here On
Live for to Learne
That Die Thou Must,
And After Come
To judgement just.

A great deal of Capt. Hugh's thrift, his indomitable energy and capacity for practical affairs, both public and private, seems to have descended along the line even to the present day generations of Masons. Everywhere the record shows them to have been men and women of ability, honest, sensible and industrious in the affairs of everyday life, patriotic and public spirited in public matters, full of "fight" wherever there was anything to be fought for.

There is a manuscript genealogy of the family, compiled by Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq., of New York, a descendant of Hugh Mason, in the library of the Massachusetts Historical and Genealogical Society, at Boston; while the town records of Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, and neighboring communities, with the early colonial and state documents of Massachusetts make frequent mention of Masons who were a part of the events recorded. It is a fascinating task to pore over these old records, filling in, by imagination, or by one's knowledge of the times, the meagre outlines of men and their lives therein given. To one who has the temperament and the ability to do this, the reading of a genealogical table is like passing through a picture gallery filled with portraits of the men and women of other times, and of the places and circumstances in which they lived.

It would take columns to describe what is thus suggested by the records concerning the descendants of Capt. Hugh Mason, even though confining ourselves to those who were especially prominent in our own community. Here are a few random notes.
John Mason, the eldest son of Hugh, took up his father's trade, and on his marriage was established by him in Cambridge Village, "south of the river."

His name appears as one of the persistent petitioners who finally secured, in 1678, the setting off of this part of the town which became "New Town." The petitions and counter petitions in this controversy make what Horace Greeley used to call "Mighty interesting reading," and one of the most amusing of the various documents may be found given at length in Paige's History of Cambridge.

It may be mentioned in passing that the Robert Mason of Governor Andrews' Council, which heard and decided on this matter, was not of Capt. Hugh's family, as far as is known. An English squire of Staffordshire had three sons who came to America about 1630. Thomas Mason, 19 years old, came in the ship Primrose, in 1635. Robert Mason, of Roxbury, probably of John Winthrop's company, who settled in Roxbury in 1630 and died in 1667, may have been the father of the above named Robert, and the progenitor of the family of Robert Means Mason, commemorated in St. John's Memorial Church, on Brattle Street. Major John Mason, of Dorchester, may have been the third son of the Staffordshire squire. If Capt. Hugh Mason had been one of these brothers it is probable that his will or personal papers would have indicated the fact in some way. The son of John, named John also, settled in Lexington, where he was town clerk and justice of the peace. Thaddeus, son of the latter (great-grandson of Capt. Hugh), born in Lexington in 1706, bad a long and most interesting life, covering nearly a century of the most picturesque and thrilling period in our nation's history. Graduating from Harvard College in 1728, Mr. Mason was the earliest graduate who survived until the present century commenced. He outlived all his classmates about nine years and was the eldest living graduate for five years. He taught school at Woodstock, a short time after leaving college, but was soon appointed by Governor Belcher as his private secretary. He February, 1735-1736, which last office, by which he was best known, he held for the long period of fifty-four years. He was also registrar of deeds from 1781 to 1784. He resided principally in Charlestown until shortly before the Battle of Bunker Hill, when he removed to Lexington, leaving his home to be consumed by the flames which destroyed the town. He soon after came to Cambridge and purchased the Monis estate at the southeast corner of Brighton and Winthrop Streets, where he closed his long life. He had previously owned the estate at the northeast corner of Holmes Place (1738-1749) but it is not known whether he resided there. He was three times married and had thirteen children.

Although serving his country in a civil capacity there is ample evidence of Mr. Mason's patriotism and devotion to his country. The Boston Gazette of Monday, September 5, 1774, says, in an account of the uprising of the people against the "Mandamus Council" (so-called because its members were appointed by mandate of the king instead of being elected by the general court according to the charter), "Mr. Mason, clerk of Middlesex county, engaged to do no one thing in obedience to the new act of parliament."

It was Joseph, the second son of Capt. Hugh, also a tanner, who inherited the homestead at Watertown, and was succeeded by his son, Joseph (whose son, Ebenezer, was a captain in the Revolutionary War).

After him came Nehemiah, also a Watertown tanner, and his son, Daniel. This great-great-grandson of Capt. Hugh broke the line of succession by removing first to Cambridge, where he lived next to the Thayer estate, corner of Portland and Main Streets, and then to Westbrook.

Many of the numerous sons and daughters of the old homestead married and settled in Cambridge, forming a long line of worthy citizens, deacons in the church, justices of the peace, selectmen, and all thrifty workers in some useful occupation. Josiah Mason, housewright and surveyor, a grandson of Capt. Hugh's second son, Joseph, came to Cambridge to live immediately after his marriage to Anna Livermore, of Watertown, in 1757. He resided on the east side of the street which now bears his name, and here his ten children were born in the house recently removed to make room for the new Radcliffe gymnasium.

Thomas, the eldest son of the above-named, was also a housewright, and except for a few years in Acton and Gloucester, lived in Cambridge, at the junction of Front and State Streets. He was one of the selectmen for five years, and performed other public duties. He was one of the three referees to determine the price which should be paid for the erection, in 1812, of the market on the west side of Harvard Square "near the town pump in Cambridge." Paige's History of Cambridge gives a most interesting account of this building which afterwards became such a bone of contention in the community. A second son, Josiah, who devoted himself from an early age to mercantile pursuits, after a few years in Boston resided in Cambridge, first near West Boston bridge, and later at the northwest corner of Harvard and Moore Streets. He served the town as selectman, overseer of the poor, and representative in the legislature. Maj. John Mason, another son, was a housewright and lived in Gloucester, Samuel, a fourth son of Josiah, also a housewright, lived in the old brick block still standing on the right side of Main Street in Cambridgeport. In a portion of this block rented of Mr. Mason, Mr. F. A. Kennedy started his cracker manufactory. Mr. Mason built for him the big ovens, the foundations of which are still remaining, in which he did his first baking.

Of the succeeding generation, three sons of Josiah, the second son, Luke, Josiah and Walter Russell, were merchants, living in Cambridge, and serving the town as selectmen, aldermen and representatives. Another son, James Winthrop, a graduate of Harvard in 1816, was a physician, merchant and planter in Monroe, La. A nephew, William Frederick, son of Luke, after being a merchant for some years in Cambridge, went to Louisiana also, and died in Rome, Ga.

The Mrs. Denison mentioned at the outset of this article was the daughter of Samuel, and the great-great-great-granddaughter, therefore, of Capt. Hugh Mason. She had a number of brothers and sisters, making up an unusually clever family. The sisters, Mary and Eliza, were well known miniature painters, whose work won many prizes and is still valued; another sister, Nancy, who married the Rev. Calvin Topliff, still living in Cambridgeport, painted on ivory also, and all the daughters were very clever with their pens. A brother, George Frederick, was a skilled wood-turner, employed for many years at the Arsenal at Watertown.

The name of William A. Mason is familiar to all Cambridge people of today. Born in 1816, a graduate of Andover college, he became a surveyor and civil engineer, and was at one time city engineer of Cambridge. In early life he built many canals, either wholly or in part, notably the Erie Canal, and those at Nashua, Lowell, Lawrence, etc. He died in 1882, but his son, Mr. Charles A. Mason, keeps unchanged the old firm name of "W. A. Mason and Son."

This firm has had a large share in the later development of Cambridge, Mr. Charles Mason taking the greatest delight in making some desert of a neglected dumping ground "blossom like the rose" with new and comfortable houses for the multitude. Mr. Mason's unflagging energy, his thrift, and the patriotism, which is so marked a characteristic, show him to be a true descendant of Capt. Hugh, his great-great-great-greatgrandfather. Mr. Mason has two brothers, Francis Edgar Mason, a clergyman in Brooklyn; William Albert, a director of drawing in the public schools of Philadelphia, and three sisters, Mrs. W. A. Hodges, and the Misses Clara Elenor and Frances Evelyn Mason. The last named, who are twins, looking so much alike as to puzzle everybody most amazingly, live with Mr. C. A. Mason, the bachelor brother, at the old homestead on Raymond Street, Cambridge Heights.


CAPT. HUGH MASON, the progenitor of many bearing that name and who are widely scattered over the United States, was born at Maldon, Co. Essex, England, about 1605, and died at Watertown, Mass., October 10, 1678. He married at St. Peter's Parish, Maldon, January 13, 1632, Hester Wells, baptized there July 21, 1611, died Watertown, May 21, 1692, youngest daughter of Thomas "The Glover" and Helen (Siday) Wells.

Unfortunately the English ancestry of Hugh Mason has not been ascertained although much effort, time and money has been expended in the search, and without this knowledge it is impossible to say whether he .was entitled to bear Arms or not. There is no record of any registered in his name in the various books on Heraldry, and no mention in the New England town records of his having used any.

On an old shipping record is noted "Hugh Mason, tanner, aged 28, with his wife, Hester, aged 22, sailed from Ipswich, Co. Suffolk, England, April 1634, for America, in the ship Francis, Mr. John Cutting." Its destination was probably Boston, as it was then considered the port of entry for New England. He and his wife took the Oath of Allegiance which was required before embarkation. Upon his arrival he settled at Watertown and became a prominent and valuable member of that colony.

Hugh Mason was grantee of six lots and purchaser of two lots at Watertown, his homestall of twenty-one acres, of which three were granted and the rest purchased, was bounded by School Street. His original homestall of three acres increased to more than 150 acres by subsequent grants and purchases and he also owned land in Newton, an adjoining village. He was admitted freeman March 4, 1635, and held various offices including that of selectman in which he served for twenty-nine years in all, was also town clerk and treasurer. He was one of the eleven freemen chosen December 10, 1638, to "order the Civill affaires of ye towne for this yeare following," and one of the twelve freemen for 1640-1641-1642.

In Watertown records the earliest mention of a burying place is July 5, 1642, when it was "ordered, that Hugh Mason, Thomas Hastings and John Sherman are appointed to set up a sufficient (fence) about the Burying-place with a five foot pale, and two rails well nailed, by the 15th, of 2d(7) month and the town to pay them for' it."

He was deputy from Watertown to the General Court of Massachusetts Bay 1643, 1645, 1660, 1661, 1664, 1671, 1674, 1675, 1676, 1677, represented Watertown at a Court election, May 1644, and Lieutenant of Watertown Company, 1645-1652. There was much dissatisfaction among the Watertown people with the early allotments of the Remote Meadows, the lands in lieu of township, and of the farm lands, which led to much contention and repeated surveys, and Mr. Bisco, Lt. Mason and Isaac Steams were appointed January 10, 1647-'48, a committee "to determine the borders in laying out the Remote Meadows." At the same time a committee of seven, Lieut. Mason one of them, to consider the disputes "about lands in lieu of township." Daniel Peirce brought suit in Salem against the town of Watertown in 1648 and Lieut. Mason was sent there to answer for the town. He was appointed commissioner, by the County Court, 1650, 1652, 1653, 1654, 1657, 1658, 1659, 1661, to determine small cases, this was before the appointment of justices of the peace. Captain of the Train Band, 1652, until his death, 1678, the training field being at the junction of Mt. Auburn and Arlington Streets.

The following is a copy of his commission as Captain and the original parchment commission is in possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society at Boston, having been given to them January 13, 1920, by Mr. Charles Francis Mason, A.B.

The Generall Court of the Mass. in Newe England
To Hugh Mason Captaine

Whereas you are chosen and allowed by the Authoritie of this Comon Wealth to be Captaine of a Foote Companie in Water Towne. These are therefore to will and require You forthwith to take 'Care and Charge of the said Companie as their Captaine and diligently to intend the Service thereof and to exercise your inferiour Officers and souldiers in peace and Warre according to Lawe Comanding them to obey you as their Captaine for the service of this Comon Wealth and you to observe and obey such Orders and Directions as from tyme to tyme you shall receive from yor major or other Superiour Officers or Autharitie of that Comon Wealth Dated at Boston the Fifth Day of Aprill Anno Dom 1653.

By the Courte Edward Ransom Secretary

Jo Endecott Govr.

He was appointed by the Court October 30, 1657, one of a committee to attend to the defects in several bridges in the county, and upon the request of the inhabitants of Watertown, he was "empowered to solemnize marriages at Watertown," May 1658. Capt. Mason and Thomas Hastings made the inventory of William Hammond's will December 16, 1662. He was commander in the expedition against the Dutch, 1664. The following records this:

The generall Court of the Massachusetts to our loving friends, Capt. Hugh Mason & Capt. Win. Hudson.

Whereas you & each of you are chos & appointed comanders in chief in reference to ye forces now to be raised, (of voluntary souldiers) not exceeding two hundred, to assist in his majesties service in the reducing the Monhatoes as by an order of ye General Court may appeare, these are in his majesties name to comissionate and empower you forthwith to endeavor the service aforesaid,, and to that end you may or shall, by beate of drume or drumes in each of the townes & plantations within this jurisdiction of the Massachusetts, proclaime and publish this your power & comission: and have tinder yor command & conduct all such persons as shall willingly list themselves for that service, and als to nominate, appoint & empower all inferior officers necessary for that service, and them to order, command and prepare, so that they, with yourselves, may be ready upon the march by the twentieth instant. (Reference, Col. Records, Vol. IV, page 446).

The Generall Court of the Massachusetts collony in New England to Hugh Mason, Captaine.

Wee doe hereby constitute and appointe you captaine of a foote company to be raised in this jurisdiction, as volunteers, by beate of drum for the assistance of the Honorable Colonel Rich Nichols, Sr. Robert Carr & his majesties commissioners, in reducing the Dutch at the Monhatoes unto obedience of his majestie. These are therefore to will & require you forthwith to attend that service, in raising of an hundred men for souldiers, & diligently to intend that service, and exercise your inferior officers and souldiers in armes, commanding them to obey you as their captaine for the service aforesaid, & you to obey such orders, directions and instructions as you shall receive from time to time from this Court & the honorable comissioners, according to the discipline of warr. Given under the hand of the Governor & Secretary, with the seal of the colony affixed, the 9th, of August 1664. Reference, Col. Records, Vol. IV, page 448.

Also in 1664 the Newtowne selectman, at a motion of Capt. Mason, consented that "Watertown pond heard might pass by the side of our bounds, not prejudicing our Cow Common and Ri: Eccles and Daniel Cleaves are nominated to view the place and make returne to ye Selectmen."

Capt. Mason and Ens. Sherman were nominated February 11, 1666, by the mutuall consent of Elder Wiswall and the neighbors to view the necessity of a highway through the Elder's land, to the lands beyond towards Dedham, and Edward Oakes and James Trowbridge are desired to accompany them.

When Capt. Mason's daughters, Mary and Sarah, were married May 20, 1668, theirs was the first double wedding in Watertown.

At the election in Boston, May 27, 1674, Capt. Samuel Torrey of Weymouth, Mass., preached the sermon, which the General Court ordered printed and Capt. Mason was appointed one of a committee to give the thanks of the Court to the author.

Capt. Mason and Simon Stone were appointed February 23, 1674-'75, to treat with Mr. William Goddard to keep school and he was employed at a salary of 30 pounds, to begin April 5, 1675.

Capt. Mason commanded a company in Sudbury Fight in King Philip's War, and he with two others, examined Sudbury's claims and allowed forty-four pounds, ten shillings as abatement in their last "Ten Country Rates by reason of their losses in Estates by the Common Enemy, as result of Sudbury Fight with the Indians." He was not a church officer, nevertheless, he was assigned important duties, including that of seating the church people, the rules of precedence being office, age, state and gifts, a method which was far from satisfactory.

Capt. Mason and his wife are buried in the Arlington Street cemetery in Watertown, and now (1934) the stones marking their graves are in perfect condition and The Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars has placed a marker at his grave. The following inscriptions are on his stones:


Here lies ye Body of
Capt. Hugh Mason Who
Deceased October ye Xth
1678 Anno Aetatis 73
He that has thought of Death
In Life's Uncertentie
Hath Doubtless Now a Life
That Bringeth Eternity


Mr. Hugh Mason
Capt. of ye Train Band
In This Town Aged
73 Years Died October
The Xth 1678. He Or
Her It Looks Here On
Live for to Learne
That Die Thou Must
And After Come
To judgement just

His will was probated in Middlesex County and is on record in Boston.



The last will and testament of Hugh Mason of Watertowne, who though weake of body, yet of sound understanding and memory, desire to dispose of myselfe and estate as followeth, first of all I comit my soule into the hands of the eternal Jehovah from whom I expect exceptance through the greate Mediator the Lord Jesus and my body being dead unto the grave from whence I desire to waite for a glorious resurrection in the greate day of account and for my temporall estate I doe hereby give and bequeathe unto my loveing wife for her comfortable support dureing the time of her life, a third part of all my housing and land, garden, orchard, etc, as allso out of my moveables as dooth amount to the sum of twenty pounds of what she shall make her choise of as also my executor shall duely pay or cause to be paid yearley the just sum of three pounds during the time of her widowhood.

As for my son, John Mason, I do give unto him all that land I bought of Daniell Hudson, with all the houses, barnes and privileges thereto belonging.

As for my three daughters, viz, Hannah, Mary and Sarah, I doe give twenty pounds to each of them to be paid within thirteen months after my decease. As for my sonn Daniell, in regard of the liberal education I have given him, as also a deed of som land in England, I doe judg it an equal portion, pvided that if he cannot gaine that land in England then it is my will he should have twenty pounds of it ten of it to be paid out of what I have given unto John Mason, and the other ten by my executor.

As for my son, Joseph Mason, I doe hearby make him sole executor and doe give him all my housing and lands after his mother's decease, with all the remaining goods and debts, having first discharged all my just debts provided alwaies that if my sonn Joseph doe die without any issue of his body, that then the housing and lands shall bee distributed among the brothers and sisters by proportion, that this is my owne act witness my hand.

3 day 12 month, 1677.

(This was not signed)

The last will and testament of Hugh Mason of Watertowne who though weake of body yet of sound understanding and memory doe desire to dispose of myselfe and estate as followeth--first I comit my soule into the hands of the eternal Jehovah from whom I expect exceptance through the greate Mediator the Lord Jesus Christ and my body being dead unto the grave from whence I desire to waite for a glorious resurrection in the great day of account and for my temporall estate I doe hereby give and bequeathe unto my beloved wife for her comfortable support during her life a third part of all my housing, barns, lands, orchards gardens meadowes etc as also out of all my moveables as much as is worth thirty pounds in what shee shall make choyse of as also my executor shall duly pay unto her yearly dureing the time of her widowhood the full sum of four pounds in currant pay. As for my sonn John Mason I doe freely give unto him all that land that I bought of Daniell Hudson lying in Cambridge Village with all the housing barns and apurtenance thereto belonging to him and his heyres forever. As for my three daughters viz hannah brooks mary estebrook and sarah gardner I doe hereby give the full sum of twenty pounds to be duely paid by my executor within thirteen months after my decease. As for my sonn Daniell Mason in regard of the liberall education I have given unto him as also a deede of some land in England I doe judge it an equal portion provided that if hee cannot gaine that land in England then it is my will hee should have twenty pounds out of the estate heere to be paid by my executor within a yeare after my decease. As for my sonn Joseph Mason I doe hearby make him sole executor and doe give unto him the other halfe of housing and lands for present and after his mother's decease all my housing lands with the remayning goods and debts having first discharged all my just debts-provided always that if my sonn Joseph Mason doe die without any issue of his body that then the housing and lands given him shall be distributed amongst the brothers and sisters by proportion-that this is my owne act and deede I do confirm by setting to my hand and seale.


The testimony of Hester Mason the Relict of Capt. Hugh Mason. The deponant testifieth and saith that the will drawn by her late husband Capt. Hugh Mason and dated ye 8 of ye 12 mo 77 hur said husband the said day called this deponant and did read ye said will to hur and that it was his will: and that he made it by ye advise of his son Esterbrook, further after this this deponant saith that hur foresaid husband did tell the deponant that he would alter something in his will because he thought that he ought to doe more for this deponants comfort duering hur life and when her husband had made a 2nd draft he called this deponant and read it to hur further this deponant saith that she asked hur husband if his will was firme that there might be no trouble, his answer Wife dost thou think that any child that I have will rise up against what I have done

the mark of

Ester Mason

John Haymond aged about fifty yeares or thereaboute testifieth @ saith that Captayne hue Mason of Watertowne comeing into my house asking my good will in marage of my daughter Elizabeth to his oldest son John @ he told me he had bought a pasall of land on the other side of the River which cost him four score and ten pounds and he further said that his son John was very Dutyfull @ Dilligent unto him @ that he would build him a sufficient hous to the said John Hamans consent @ sett him downe twelve tanfatts @ fill them with hides if I would give him my consent for my daughter he wold give it all to him namly his John: @ if that did not amount to his duble portion he wold make it in att his death a further he saith not.

Gregory Cook aged fifty-six years or thereabouts testifieth @ saith that he having occasion to Discourse with Captayne Mason of Wattertowne about the settling of his son Joseph Mason who then being a Suttor to my daughter, I then asked him wether it would not be convenient to settell him at home with himself and his answer was that Religion and Reson taught him not to disinherite his eldest son John Mason, and further sayed not.

This is an inventory of the houses and lands and moveables of Capten Hugh Mason, lately deceast: taken and aprised this: 28: of octob: 1678 by us whose names are hereunto subscribed

 In primis weareing clooths linnin and woollin  ll   s   d
 hats boots and shoes  08 00 00
 and money in his purse  04 00 00
 Arms and amunetion  04 00 00

In the parler

A small parcell of books 00 08 00
A fether bed two fether bolsters two
fether pillows a coverled a rugg a paire of
sheets a bed filled with haire underneath
curtains and vallants and bedstead
as it stands
 08 00 00
A trundle bedstead a straw bed a haire
bolster with an old rugg
 00 15 00
A cubbard and cubbard clooth  00 18 00
A table and carpit a form 4 stools and a chaire  01 05 00
A paire of cobirons fire shovell and tongs  00 15 00
A parcill of shoes  05 10 06
A remnant of stuff about 5 yards  00 14 00

In the hall

A small table a form a table chaire 5 chaire
2 joyned stoolls 5 qushons
01 04 00
two brass kittles 2 brass skillits a bras pan
a bras morter with a pestell, a warming
pan a paire of bras scales and beame
 03 10 00
twelve pewter platters five porringers
3 pewter pots and a cup one salt suller and
a candle stick pewter bason
 03 10 00
two laten pans a bras skimer twelve earthin vessells:
3 dozen of trenchers 5 earthen pots
 00 06 03
a cubbard  01 00 00
a paire of cobirons a paire of tongs a peele
two tramills, a iron spit a smoothing iron
an iron fender
 01 04 00
three iron poridg pots 2 pot hooks  00 15 00

in ye lodging room

A fether bed two fether bolster 2 fether
pillows a rugg a paire of blankets a paire of
sheets curtains and vallants with the
bedstead as it stands
 06 00 00
a chaire and qushon  04 03 00

In the cellar

About ten bushells of appells 25 small
cheepes: 28 barrills of sider with ye barrills
 12 00 00

In the leantoo

A small parcell of beef with the tub
a churne a frieng pan a poudring tub:
a half bush shell with other lumber
 01 00 00

In the chamber

A flock bed 2 fether bolsters a Cotne rugg
a paire of blankets a paire of sheets with an
old bedstead as it stands
02 10 00
about five bushells of pease and a small
quantity of Indian corn ground malt
and ry with 2 or 3 old barrills
03 00 00
5 paire of sheets and an odd sheete 04 00 00
three table cloths a doson of napkins
five pillow beers
01 10 00

utensels for husbandry

An old horse cart with a paire of shod wheels 02 10 00
a barr of iron: 3 paire of fetters with an old axe
a pitch forke a dung forke and old spade
an old saddle: 2 old collers an old cart saddle
a paire of tugg a paire of old traice panell
01 10 00
two cows three horses hay in ye barne 15 00 00
eight swine young and old 05 00 00
A dwelling house and barne with aboute
twentie acres of land adjoining to them
lieing on both sides of the hieway
100 00 00
by ye name of divident land 12 10 00
three acres of remote meadow 03 00 00
the tanfats 011 00 00
the leather in the tanfats 120 01 08
a stock of with the mill 023 00 00
three hundred and a half of clabbord 000 14 00
three hundred and a half of dealbord 000 14 00
Apprised the day and yeare aforesaid by us:  
John Sherman
William Bond
Walter Hastings

The inventory of the Debts and all
that belonin to the estate of my honoured
ffather Mason Dated in March ye 29 in 1679
   ll   s   d
Debe Debts at Boston 39 00 00
Debts at the Estword 14 00 00
To receve Debts at Woborne 11 04 00
Debts more 01 00 00
Debts more 01 00 00
At John Holbrook in Roxbury 10 18 00
More and twothirds of Thirteen Hids
stock mounts to . . . with a Hous
74 00 00
2 Hids waid 74 pounds At 4 pence ye pound 01 04 08
2 Hids of lather 02 05 00
3 Hids John Mason took ffrom Boston and
Refuse to deliver waid 260 pounds at
2p ye pound
 By Mr. West Acount  
Debts to be
The debts that ffather owes
Is ffifty four pound in silver
54 00 00 
  Debts more 16 00 00 
  Debts in Bills 10 02 03 
  Debts more 06 00 00 
  Debts more 00 14 06 
  Debts more 00 11 03 
  Debts more 00 17 00 
  Debts more 02 12 11 
  Debts more 01 12 00 
Mor And on debt to receve which is 01 16 09 
Debts A Aventer look ffor But like to be had  
  Thought sett down last of all which is 54 15 09 
And nine pound entered in court at York
which my ffather could not git
   Joseph Mason  

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Modified: 6/20/02