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Archiver > PRICE > 1999-09 > 0937529879

From: "montrose" <>
Subject: Price of Deerfield MA; Glastonbury CT; Sussex NJ
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 20:57:59 -0400


I am new to the list (just subscribed this evening) and I have not had time
to check the Price mail list
archives. I am searching for the ancestry of Robert Price who first appears
in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1676. This family suffered losses
(personal and property) in the Deerfield Massacre and I am descended from
Samuel Price who was taken captive to Canada, but who later returned to New
England and then removed to Frankford, Sussex County, New Jersey where he
and his second wife Sarah Perrin died and are buried. Below is the
information I have on the family and I would enjoy corresponding with
anyone researching this family.

J. Kelsey Jones

The first member of the Price family of this text found in New England was
Robert Price. Of his early life nothing to date has been found. He first
appears in Northampton, Massachusetts in a list of soldiers under command
of Captain William Turner, 7 Apr 1676. A Hugh Price also appears on the
same list and is most likely related to Robert Price. On 7 Dec 1688 in
Middleboro, Massachusetts a son John was born to Hugh Price.

Robert Price of Northampton appears again on a list of soldiers in the
Falls fight under Captain William Turner, 19 May 1676. Robert married 16
Feb 1677 at Northampton, Sarah Webb Field, widow of Zachariah Field and
daughter of John Webb and Ann Bassett. She was the mother of three sons by
her first marriage, one of whom died young, the other two being raised in
the Price household.

Much more is known of Robert's wife, Sarah Webb. Sarah was born c. 1651 and
married 17 Dec 1668 Zachariah Field b. c. 1645 son of Zachariah and Mary
Field. Zachariah and Sarah Field removed from Northampton up the river to
the Pocumtuck Valley, at what is now Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1672,
which had seen the first white inhabitants in 1669. It is believed
Zachariah Field may have operated some type of trading post or store, which
was then the western frontier. Zachariah d. in 1674, believed to have
perhaps been killed by Indians. Sarah Field presented an inventory of
Zachariah's estate, 29 Sept 1674. She evidently returned down river to
Northampton to family and to seek refuge from the impending Indian
hostilities and there married Robert Price. Deerfield was abandoned in 1675
after the battle of Bloody Brook because of Indian hostilities. Two years
later a few settlers returned to Deerfield, but were captured by Indians
and taken to Canada. In 1683 settlement began again.

Robert Price was taxed at Northampton from 1677 to 1680. He took the oath
of allegiance in the town of Northampton, 8 Feb 1678. As previously
mentioned, settlement at Deerfield began again in 1683 and Robert and Sarah
removed some sixteen miles from Northampton to Deerfield. Robert Price was
among those who owned land in the Common Field at Deerfield, 5 Feb 1686/7
(Springfield, Massachusetts Registry of Deeds, Book G p. 130). In 1686 he
was residing on lot 17 in Deerfield, which was sold in 1693 to John Baker.
This site today is occupied by a house built in 1802 and the John Wilson
printing shop. On 20 Apr 1688, Robert Price received a woodlot in
Deerfield. The Price family continued to reside in the growing village of
Deerfield through the 1690's and into the
early years of the 1700's.

In the deep snow of winter, before dawn on 29 Feb 1704, a war party of some
three hundred French and Indians attacked the fortified Deerfield. There
were homes inside and outside the fortified town. Of the town's 291
inhabitants, 48 were killed and 112 were taken captive. Seventeen homes
were burned in the attack, both inside and outside the fort. Nine houses
remained within the fort and several outside the fort. The survivors of
Deerfield and the rescue band from towns below Deerfield who saw the sky
ablaze from the burning homes found an appalling carnage. The rescue band
made a heroic attempt in a nearby meadow to attack the attackers fleeing
from Deerfield and were quite successful in inflicting casualties, but the
battle turned and they retreated to Deerfield. Of the Price family, Sarah
and son, Samuel were captured as was also Robert and Sarah's married
daughter, Elizabeth Stevens. Elizabeth had married Andrew Stevens, an
Indian, and he was killed in the fighting. Robert and Sarah's other married
daughter, Mary Smead, suffocated with her two children and her husband's
mother in the cellar of their burning home. Several families had sought
refuge and hiding in the cellars of their homes, but these turned into
deadly traps when the attackers set the homes ablaze. Robert Price and
Samuel Smead survived the attack and may have been among a group of men who
tried to affect a defense at the beginning of the attack, which became
separated from many of the woman and children, and left their families in
jeopardy. Sarah's son, John Field, by her first marriage, and his family
were also residing in Deerfield. John's wife, Mary (age 28) and their
children, Mary (age 7) and John (age 4) were captured and ten month old
Sarah killed. The majority of children who were captured under the age of
two were killed in Deerfield, too young to make a march to Canada and the
Indians unwilling to carry them. Indians were in charge of the
Deerfield captives and the French took no part in holding captives.

One Colonel Partridge gathered information a few days after the attack and
among his report was a Table of Losses. He gave a list of every household
and listed each person as captive, slain, alive, and the amount of the
estate lost. In the return list of losses, Robert Price had one child taken
captive, one wife slain, left alive himself, and an estate of 40 pounds
lost. Of Andrew Stevens household, there was one captive, his wife and one
person slain, himself and an estate of 20 pounds lost. Of Samuel Smead's
household, four were killed, a wife, two children and his mother, left
alive himself, and an estate of 50 pounds lost, including the burning of
his home in which his family suffocated in the cellar.

Sarah Price was about 53 years of age when captured. Only a short distance
from Deerfield she was killed. What circumstances resulted in her death can
only be speculation. It is generally believed from the records that have
survived and by the stories of those captives who returned that a woman of
her age would serve no useful purpose and perhaps would be unlikely to
endure the forced march to Canada of some three hundred miles in winter
through an unchartered and uncolonized wilderness. There were two other
women over the age of forty five who were captured and they were also
killed a short distance from Deerfield. Their bodies were found by the men
who went in pursuit of the war party of French and Indians. Others were to
be killed along the march, including the wife of Rev. John Williams, who
was weakened from recent childbirth. Other captive woman who could not
endure the march were slain at intervals along the route. The route was
north up the Connecticut River Valley to the White River in Vermont and
then the Winooski River to the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. They
traveled on the eastern side of Lake Champlain and up the Richelieu River
to the St. Lawrence River and then to Montreal arriving on April 25, nearly
two months after the fateful morning at Deerfield.

A monument in the old burying ground at Deerfield reads "The Graves of 48
men, women, and children, victims of the French and Indian raid on
Deerfield February 29, 1704. Nine of these 48 were men involved in the
meadow fight outside of Deerfield when the French and Indians were fleeing
Deerfield with their captives and seven of the nine were in the rescue
party from towns below Deerfield.

In the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library are plaques on the
second floor dedicated to those families who suffered in the Deerfield
massacre. Those relating to the Price and Field families are here listed.

Sarah, 50, wife of Robert Price, Samuel, 18, their son, was captured and

Andrew Stevens, an Indian, his wife, 20, daughter of Robert Price,
captured. In 1706, she married in Canada, Jean Fourneau.

Sarah Field, 2, Mary, her mother, 28, wife of John, with children, Mary, 6,
and John, 3, were captured. Mary adopted by an Indian, was named Walahowey.
She married a savage, and became one.

Elizabeth Smead, about 64, "smothered in a cellar," with Mary (Price), 23,
Sarah, 4, William, 2, mother, wife and children of Samuel Smead.

Zechariah Field, 1645(c)1674 a settler at Pocumtuck before Philip's War.
His remains lie in an unknown grave in the old burying Ground. Many of his
descendants have attained international fame. In his honor this tablet is
placed in 1901 by Marshall Field of Chicago.

The majority of the 112 captives were children. Twenty of the 112 died
along the march and ten of these were adult woman, some affected by
pregnancy or recent births. Those unable to keep up or in weakened
conditions were killed. Many of the captives were ransomed after a year and
some several years later, returning to New England. Thirty or more captives
never returned to New England, but became citizens of New France (Canada)
or as young children were raised by Indians and continued the Indian mode
of life. Adoption and ransom was faced my most of the Indian captives. The
policy of the French government was to keep as many of the captives as
possible, to make good Catholics of them, and to wed them either to the
church or state. Of those captives who were not ransomed to the French in
the beginning, many of them lived at the Indian mission of Kahnawake, near
Montreal. The Kahnawake Indians were of mixed tribal background, but of
predominantly Mohawk migrants from New York state who had converted to the
Catholic faith. The Jesuit priests in Montreal and at Kahnawake endeavored
to recruit the captives into the Catholic faith from what they saw as the
heretic reformed religion of Protestantism in New England. Many captives
were adopted into Indian households, the idea of replacing the dead deeply
embedded in Iroquoin tradition.

Elizabeth Price Stevens and little Mary Field were among those who remained
in Canada, Elizabeth in a nunnery before her marriage and Mary Field at
Kahnawake. Of little Mary Field, it is related every effort was made to
secure her release, but her Indian captors would not relinquish her. Of the
several captive Deerfield children who arrived at Kahnawake as captives,
many would marry and bear children and become fully integrated into Indian
culture. Some stayed for varying durations. Mary Field remained at
Kahnawake for life as did Mary Carter (age 10 when taken), Abigail French
(6), Mary Harris (9), Joanna Kellogg (11), Eunice Williams (7), and perhaps
others. Baptismal and burial files of the Kahnawake mission are missing in
the early years, but in later years the lives of some of these children as
adults can be found in the records. Most of these woman visited their
relatives in Massachusetts and Connecticut later in life on several
occasions with their Indian husbands and children. Most were requested and
enticed to remain in New England, but always returned to Kahnawake, their
adopted home.

Robert Price remained in Deerfield. What news reached him from Canada of
his two captive children and other family members we are uninformed. Did he
even know if his children were alive? At some point with the various
negotiations that transpired, he must have received some word of them. How
involved he was in negotiating the release of his two children we do not
know. His only known family in Deerfield was one of his two step sons, John
Field who he had raised in his household from childhood and his widowed son
in law, Samuel Smead. John Field is related to have been active in
negotiating the release of his captive wife and children and probably also
his half sister Elizabeth and half brother Samuel. Robert Price was among
three persons who the town of Deerfield voted to repair his commonfence
upon the town
charge, 25 Apr 1708. He was thus living at that date, but seemingly in
limited circumstances. He had suffered heavy financial and family losses in
the attack on Deerfield four years earlier. Robert sold to Henry Dwight of
Hatfield, a houselot in Deerfield containing five acres at a place called
Wappin, 15 Feb 1715/16. He was of Deerfield at that date, but no further
record of him is known. He was deceased before 15 July 1735 when his son,
Samuel Price "only son and heir of Robert Price, formerly of Deerfield,
deceased, which Robert was one of the soldiers in the Falls fight." The
History of Deerfield relates that Robert Price is buried in Old Burying
Ground among "at least nine soldiers who followed Turner through the
turmoil and din of the battle which cost him (Turner) his life..."

Children of Zachariah and Sarah Webb Field:
1. Zachariah Field b. 12 Sept 1669 d. young.
2. Ebenezer Field b. 31 Oct 1671 Northampton, Massachusetts.
3. John Field b. 8 Dec 1673.

Children of Robert and Sarah Webb Field Price:
4. child stillborn 15 Aug 1677 Northampton, Massachusetts.
5. Sarah Price b. 12 Sept 1678 Northampton.
6. Mary Price b. 21 Mar 1681 Northampton.
7. Elizabeth Price b. 12 Aug 1683 Northampton.
8. John Price b. 14 May 1689 d. young.
9. Samuel Price b. c. 1692/3 Deerfield, Massachusetts.

On the parish register of Notre Dame, Montreal, is the following: "On 7
June, 1722, after the publication of two banns; the dispensation of the
third having been granted by Monseigneur the Bishop of Quebec, I
undersigned, vicar of the parish of Ville marie having received the mutual
consent by word of mouth of Jean Sere called l'Eveille (wide awake) soldier
of M. Portneuf's company, aged twenty four years, son of francois Sere and
Marguerite meteyer his father and mother of the parish of Berron, Diocese
of Bordeaux of the one part and of Marguerite filde, aged twenty one years
daughter of Thomas filde and Marie praisse, her father and mother of
Dierfielde in New England of the other part, and having married them in
presence of Jacques Roy, of Jean Roman, called Sans crainte, soldier of the
company of Mr. de Gannes, of Antoine le jeune, called sans remission,
soldier of the said company, of Jean Baptiste queneville. The husband and
wife and the said Jacques Roy, Jean Roman and Queneville declared that they
could not sign, inquiry having been made according to the law.
Antoine Le JeunePriat, vicaire."

The above Marguerite Field was born 1700/01 and would have been about three
years of age when captured at Deerfield. Her identity is unknown,
Marguerite certainly her Catholic baptismal name. Sheldon believed that
Marguerite's father was Thomas (b. 1680) Field son of Samuel Field of
Hatfield. Her mother, Marie Price, cannot be identified, unless this refers
to Elizabeth Price Stevens Fourneau who was baptised as Marie Elizabeth
Price. Praisse in the marriage record is the same spelling that was used in
the burial record of Elizabeth Price Stevens Fourneau, a corruption of the
name from English to French. Thomas Field was a cousin of Ebenezer and John
Field, sons of Sarah Webb Field Price. Jean Serre and Marguerite Field had
the following children:

Jean Baptiste Serre b. 12 Apr bpt 13 Apr 1723.
Marguerite Serre bpt 28 July 1725 m. 1750 at Quebec, Jean Lulatre and 1752
(2)Etienne Domine.
Jean Louis Serre bpt 22 Dec 1726 d. young.
Joseph Serre bpt 1728.
Pierre Theodore Serre bpt 1729.
Jean Louis Serre bpt 1730.
Ignace Serre bpt 1731.
Marie Catherine Serre bpt 1732.
Francois Serre bpt 1734.
Marie Joseph Amable Serre b. 1735 d. 1737.
Madeleine Serre bpt 1738.
Marie Joseph Serre b. and d. 1739.

Marguerite Frinche, Englishwoman wife of Serre The Butcher, died the
preceding day, aged about forty years and was buried in the cemetery of the
poor 3 Jan 1741. Here we have French as her name. In the baptismal record
of their eldest child she is Field and in the baptismal record of her other
children her name is Sergent. Tanguay hyphenated her name as Filde-Sergent.
There was the family of Digory Sergeant which was captured in the winter of
1703/4 at Worcester, Massachusetts, but any family connection cannot be

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