Friday, June 5, 2020

52 Ancestors - Week 333: #560 Peter Dill (1645-1692) of Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Peter Dill (1645-1692) is number 560 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #561 Thanks Shepard (1651-1733) in 1669 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their son #280 Thomas Dill (1682-1718) who married #281 Mary Pierce (1682-1713)  in 1706.
*  their son #140 Thomas Dill (1708-1761) who married  #141 Mehitable Brown (1714-1758)  in 1733.
*  their son #70 Thomas Dill (1755-1839) who married #71 Hannah Horton (1761-1797)  in 1782.
*  their daughter, #35 Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869) who married  #34 Alpheus Smith (1802-1840)  in 1826.
*  their daughter, #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) who married #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                      Peter Dill[1–9]    
*  Alternate Name:      Petter Dell[10]

*  Sex:                         Male  
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                      abt 1645, probably Massachusetts, United States    

*  Property:                1 March 1670 (about age 25), granted land by town; Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[10]   

*  Military:                 16 March 1691/2 (about age 47), Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]    

*  Death:                     13 August 1692 (about age 47), Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6–8]    
*  Burial:                     after 13 August 1692 (after about age 47), Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[8]    

*  Probate:                  3 May 1693 (about age 48), administration filed; Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[9]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:               Thanks Shepard (1650-1733)    
*  Marriage 1:            13 December 1669 (about age 24), Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–4]    

*  Child 1:                  Peter Dill (1670-1695)    
*  Child 2:                  Anna Dill (1673-    )    
*  Child 3:                  Thanks Dill (1676-1722)    
*  Child 4:                  Samuel Dill (1678-    )    
*  Child 5:                  David Dill (1680-    )    
*  Child 6:                  Mary Dill (1681-1720)    
*  Child 7:                  Thomas Dill (1681-1717)  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

Peter Dill's origin and parentage is a mystery.  Peter Dill was probably born in the 1640 to 1650 time frame, probably in Massachusetts.  Some sources indicate he might have been a son of George and Abigail (Hand) Dell who were in Bsoton and Salem, Massachusetts before 1650.

The first record mentioning Peter Dill is his 13 October 1669 marriage in Chelmsford, Massachusetts to Thanks Shepard, the daughter of Ralph and Thankslord (Perkins) Shepard of Concord[1-4].  The marriage record says:
"Peter Dill and Thankes the Daughter of Ralph and Thankes
Shepard of Concord were Married the 13'th of the 10'th month
1669.  by Samuel Adams."
Peter and Thanks (Shepard) Dill had seven children:

*  Peter Dill (1670-????), recorded in Concord.
*  Anna Dill (1673-????), recorded in Littleton.
*  Thanks Dill (1676-after 1722), recorded in Concord, married 1698 to Philip Reade (1671-1720).
*  Samuel Dill (1678-????).
*  David Dill (1680-????).
*  Mary Dill (a twin, 1682-1720), recorded in Concord, married 1697 Robert Robbins (1675-1749).
*  Thomas Dill (a twin, 1682-1718), recorded in Concord, married 1706 Mary Pierce (1682-1713).

The Chelmsford history book indicates that[10]:  
"1 March 1670: Petter Dell is granted a house lott answerable to what other young men have had up on condition that hee Buld a dwelling house up on the same and there to live and to pay all publick dewes to Chelmsford."
The sketch of Ralph Shepard of Concord by Threlfall mentions his daughter's marriage to Peter Dill, and also notes that in a deed dated 4 July 1681, that Peter Dill's land was east of Ralph Shepard's in Littleton[1].

Peter Dill was listed as one of the seven men in the Nashoba garrison in Chelmsford on 16 March 1691/2[5].

Peter Dill died on 13 August 1692 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts[6-8].  The death record in the Chelmsford town record book says:
"Dill    Peter Dill Dyed August the :13: 1692"
There is a Find A Grave memorial for Peter Dill, without a grave marker photograph or inscription, for Power Burying Ground in Littleton, Massachusetts[8].

Peter Dill died intestate.  His estate papers are in Middlesex County Probate Court Packet 6,280[9].  Administration on the estate was granted to the relict widow, Thanks Dill, and the eldest son, Peter Dill,  on 3 May 1693.  The bond of Thanks Dill, widow of Peter Dill of Nashoba, his eldest son Peter Dill, and Walter Power of Nashoba, and Thomasd Shepard, Sr of Charlestown for 138 pounds was dated 3 May 1693.  An inventory of the estate was taken by Moses Barron and Joseph Hildrith and totaled 69 pounds and 8 shillings.  The house lot with orchard, 30 acres of upland and swamp, was valued at 20 pounds and a 20 acre piece of upland in Chemsford was valued at 6 pounds.  Thanks Dill's account was filed on 10 October 1698, and claimed 14 pounds in expenses, leaving 54 pounds, 14 shillings; her widow's third of the moveables was 9 pounds, 11 shillings, and the balance of 19 pounds 3 shillings was distributed to the living children, Peter, Thomas, Thanks, Mary and David, with Peter receiving a double share.  

1. John Broks Threlfall, Twenty-six Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins (Madison, Wisconsin : J.B. Threlfall, 1993), pages 275-280, Ralph Shepard sketch.

2. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, (, Chelmsford > "Town and Land Records, with Births, Marriages, and Deaths," page 23 (image 33 of 230), Peter Dill and Thankes Shepard marriage entry, 13 December 1669.

3. Joseph Alfred Harwood and Samuel Smith, Records of Littleton, Massachusetts marriages, births and deaths, from the earliest records in the town books begun in 1715 ( Littleton, Mass. : n.p., 1900), page 414, Peter Dill and Thanks Shepard marriage entry, 1669.

4. Robert Charles Anderson, George E. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society,2000-2011), Volume VI, R-S, page 266, Ralph Shepard sketch.

5. Wilson Waters, History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts (Salem, Mass. : Higginson Books, 1917), page 135, list of garrison families, Peter Dill, 16 March 1691/2.

6. "Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988," digital images,, Chelmsford Town and Land Records, with Births, Marriages and Deaths, Peter Dill death entry, image 190 of 230.

7. Joseph Alfred Harwood and Samuel Smith, Records of Littleton, Massachusetts marriages, births and deaths, from the earliest records in the town books begun in 1715, page 525, Peter Dill death entry, 13 August 1692.

8. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Mass., Peter Dill memorial #106734341.

9. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed 3 June 2020), Probate Packet 6,280 (8 images), Peter Dill intestate estate, 1693.

10. Wilson Waters, History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts (Salem, Mass. : Higginson Books, 1917), page 578, Petter Dell land grant, 1 March 1670.


NOTE:  This sketch is out of ahnentafel order - I will get back on ahnentafel order next week.  A compiler's error - he has been sternly admonished to stay on the ahnentafel track.

NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2020 for a seventh year to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.  The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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