Friday, April 23, 2021

52 Ancestors - Week 379: #592 Obadiah Sawtell (1648-1740) of Watertown and Groton, Massachusetts

 Obadiah Sawtell (1648-1740)  is #592 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #593 Hannah Lawrence (1662-after 1726) in about 1680 in Watertown, Middlesex County,  Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their son #296 Hezekiah Sawtell (1703-1779) who married #297 Joanna Wilson (1702-1786) in 1723.
*  their son #148 Ephraim Sawtell (1735-1800) who married #149 Abigail Stone (1737-1800).
*  their son #74 Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847) who married #75 Hannah Smith (1768-1827) in 1789.
*  their daughter  #37 Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)  who married  #36 Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857) in 1810.
*  their son #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) who married #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) in 1852.
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married  #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) 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:                    Obadiah Sawtell[1–3]    
*  Alternate Name:    Obidiah Sawtell[4]  

*  Sex:                        Male    

*  Father:                    Richard Sawtell (1611-1694)    
*  Mother:                  Elizabeth --?--  (1615-1694)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                       14 September 1648, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,3]    
*  Distribution:            24 September 1694 (age 46), father's will proved; Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States[2]    

*  Death:                      20 March 1740/1 (age 92), Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[3–4]    
*  Burial:                     after 20 March 1740/1 (after age 92), Old Burying Ground, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,3]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:                 Hannah Lawrence (1661-1726)    
*  Marriage 1: about 1680 (about age 32), Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]    

*  Child 1:          Nathaniel Sawtell (1681-1741)    
*  Child 1:          Elnathan Sawtell (1683-1717)    
*  Child 1:          Ephraim Sawtell (1685-1768)    
*  Child 1:          Josiah Sawtell (1687-1690)    
*  Child 1:          Hephzabeth Sawtell (1689-1766)    
*  Child 1:          Esther Sawtell (1689-1722)    
*  Child 1:          Josiah Sawtell (1691-1752)    
*  Child 1:          Zachariah Sawtell (1693-1730)    
*  Child 1:          Hannah Sawtell (1695-1749)    
*  Child 1:          Abigail Sawtell (1697-1787)    
*  Child 1:          Mary Sawtell (1699-1766)    
*  Child 1:          Obadiah Sawtell (1701-1749)    
*  Child 1:          Hezekiah Sawtell (1703-1779)  
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The NEHGR article by Dale C. Kellogg and John C. Threlfall, titled "Richard Sawtell of Watertown, Mass.," contains a family sketch for Obadiah Sawtell[1].  He was the son of Richard Sawtell and Elizabeth --?-- of Watertown.

The birth date of Obadiah Sawtell is not in the Watertown records.  A date of 14 September 1648 was listed in the Lineage Book of the National Society of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America (page 66, published 1933) provided no source citation[1,3].

The Richard Sawtell family went to Groton, Massachusetts from Watertown in about 1662, including Obadiah, and Richard was the town clerk for several years[1]

Obadiah Sawtell was credited with service in February 1676/7 during King Philip's War for Watertown[1].

In about 1680, Obadiah Sawtell married Hannah Lawrence, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Crispe) Lawrence of Watertown[1].  They had 13 children, all but three born, and several recorded, in Groton:

*  Nathaniel Sawtell (1681-1742), married 1710 Sarah Higginson (1682-1750).
*  Elnathan Sawtell (1683-1717), married 1709 Martha Landon (1683-1748).
*  Ephraim Sawtell (1685-1768), married (1) 1713 Abigail Farnsworth (1687-1753); (2) 1755 Hannah Farwell (1701-1762).
*  Josiah Sawtell (1687-1690).
*  Hephzabeth Sawtell (1689-1766), married 1706 Thomas Foster (1681-????).
*  Esther Sawtell (1689-1722), married 1710 Samuel Bowers (1682-1751).
*  Josiah Sawtell (1691-1752), married (1) 1713 Lydia Phelps (1688-1717); (2) Lydia Nutting (1686-1756).
*  Zachariah Sawtell (1693-1730).
*  Hannah Sawtell (1695-1749), married 1719 Stephen Holden (1691-1759).
*  Abigail Sawtell (1697-1787), married 1716 Joseph Parker (1689-1753).
*  Mary Sawtell (1699-1766), married 1718 Benjamin Parker (1691-1769).
*  Obadiah Sawtell (1701-1749), married 1721 Rachel Parker (1698-1769).
*  Hezekiah Sawtell (1703-1779), married 1723 Joanna Willson (1702-1786).

It appears that Obadiah Sawtell left Groton for a few years and went to Watertown at the outbreak of King William's War in 1689, since he is not on the Groton garrison list of 1691-2, and his children born between 1689 and 1693 are not recorded at Groton[1].

Obadiah's father, Richard Sawtell, wrote his will on 16 May 1692, and it was proved on 24 September 1694 at the Middlesex County Probate Court in Charlestown[2].  In his will, he bequeathed to Obadiah:
"And unto my son Obadiah Sawtell I bequeath all the said Lands in Groton & ye appertenances thereof excepting only so much as perhaps is sould for his mothers support as is above said.  And my will is that he shall pay my Legacies as followeth, namely to my son John Sawtell & to my daughters Bethia Sawtell Hanna Win & Ruth Hues to each of them ten pounds in mony if he be able or in that what is equivalent to mony as for my son Jonathan deceased I did for him in his life time what I judged meet (and more too) But yert unto his children I bequeath the moity of one shilling apece.  And to my son Zacariahs children & to my daughter Starlings the moity of one shilling apeece if they desire it or to any other that can justly claim any of mine estate.  All these Legacies my will is yt they shall be payd by my son Obadiah above said within the compas of six years after ye decease of my Loving wife his mother or sooner if he can.  But if it shall please God that I shall survive my wife, then within the compas of six years after my decease this my will shall be performed & confirmed to every person conserned therein in every particular as is above in ye severall lines expressed excepting only my movables estate conserning wh my will is that it shall be devided among my children to every one a like share by valuation by such as may be called thereunto.

"And if my son Obadiah should by God's providence be totally & forever to be despossest & disinherited of ye said Lands in Groton by ye Enimy Indians or others, whereby he is disenabled to pay the said Legacies then what he hath not payd of them shall be null & voyd."
Obadiah and his brother Enoch were named as executors of their father's will.

Obadiah "Sawtle" was chosen by the town to be a Groton constable on 5 March 1694[1].

The Middlesex County Land Records have no entries for Obadiah buying land in Groton, but there are a number of deeds for Obadiah selling land between 1702 and 1738, and some have Hannah's name on them up until at least 1726.  Several of the deeds were for land given to his sons.

His wife, Hannah (Lawrence) Sawtell, died some time after 1726, but there is no death record or burial location.

Obadiah Sawtell died on 20 March 1740 in his 92nd year, according to his tombstone in the old cemetery at Groton[3-4].  The "Death's Head" slate headstone was in excellent condition in 1972[3].  It reads:

"Here Lies The Body 
of Mr. Obadiah 
Sawtell Who Departed 
This Life March The 20th 
A D 1740 in ye 92d 
Year of his Age."

Obadiah Sawtell did not leave a probate record in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

1. Dale C. Kellogg and John C. Threlfall, "Richard Sawtell of Watertown, Mass.," New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 126, Number 1 (January 1972) pages 3-17, page 7,#4, Obadiah Sawtell family sketch.

2. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Volume: Middlesex Cases 18001-19999, Estate File #19965 (4 images), Richard Sawtell of Watertown estate, 1694; "Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014, American Ancestors  ( accessed 16 August 2014);   Digitized mages provided by from original records at Probate Registry, Cambridge, Mass. 

3. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Old Burying Ground, Groton, Mass., Obadiah Sawtell memorial # 49381906.

4. Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1926-1927), Two volumes, Deaths, page 264, Obidiah Sawtell entry, 20 March 1740, in 92nd year.

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 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks. The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hello Cousin. My name is Everett "Pat" Bowers. I am descended from Obadiah and Hannah through their daughter, Esther and her husband Samuel (I), Samuel (II), Issac (III), Samuel (IV), Jonas (V), Clarence (VI), Dana (VII), Everett L. (VIII). Thank you for your wonderful and enlightening work. Please feel free to email me at Best Wishes. Pat