Friday, June 20, 2014

Line 20.2, James AIKEN, Oh, my Aiken Heart

Oh, James, oh, James, you left too many records. Records of James AIKEN born 1 June 1731, married Molly McFARLAND  and died. 27 July 1817 and buried in Antrim, New Hampshire.  On page 6 of Vol I of the DAR Patriot Index, two James  Aikens both married to Molly McFarland. are named. James the second (or was he the first as well?) was born in  1736 and died July 1780. (Other genealogist put his death as 12 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, New Hampshire.) Both had patriotic service in NH. It has been suggested that Molly or Mary McFarland married first our James and then a cousin of his also named James. To add to this later genealogist add even more confusing information regarding our dear James. More on that later in this post.

James Aikin born 1 June 1731, son of Samuel AIKEN and his wife Miss YOUNG

James married Molly or Mary MacFarland

   Most genealogist agree that James and Molly Aiken were the parents of

1. Andrew AIKEN  born 1755 in Chester, Rockingham, NH, married Margaret ?, died 06 March 1835 in Bradford Center, Bradford, NH and buried there

2. William AIKEN born about 1757

3. Margaret AIKEN McArthur born 10 Feb 1759 in Chester, Rockingham, NH; She married John McArthur and died 31 Oct 1842 in Vershire, Orange, VT and buried at Vershire Center.

4. Samuel AIKEN born 9 Jan 1761 in Chester, Rockingham, NH. He married Martha Graham.

5. James AIKEN born 1762 in Chester Rockingham, NH and died 2 July1777

6. John AIKEN was born 1762 in Chester, Rockingham, NH and died 28 July 1777.

7. Mary "Molly" AIKEN  was born 1774(?) in Chester, Rockingham, NH and married Stephen Heath.Heath

8. a possible Mary AIKEN b. 1760 who married Ebenezer KIMBALL.

James died27 July 1817 in Antrim, New Hampshire. (maybe)


It is obvious that more research needs to be done on our James. His birth date and death dead could possible indicate that we are dealing with more then one James AIKEN who married a Molly What we do know about James is that he is listed in the 1776 Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire, census of men who were of the right age to service in the Revolutionary War. There is also a James Aiken listed in the 1790 US Census that reads:

   US CENSUS: 1790, New Hampshire, Hillsborough County, Antrim Town  James AIKEN, 3 free white males 16 years and upward (including head of  house), 5 free white females including heads of families This James may be a son or grandson of our James. Benjamin Chase who wrote a wonderful book about the populations of Chester, New Hampshire says our James was killed in the Revolutionary War along with his son James. However, Chase also notes that a James AIKEN died July 1780, hence the confusion. Maybe, Molly MacFarland just liked married men named James AIKEN or she just wanted to confuss future generations of genealogists.(1) James (all of them) AIKEN certainly needs to have more research done on him! It is believed that three of James sons fought in Revolutionary War, young James being killed at Ticonderoga and the other two wounded there. The DAR book (2) lists James the elder as being a soldier at both Bunker Hill and Benhington.

A map of Chester, New Hampshire puts “J. AIKEN” at lots #146 and #145, next to #57 owned by John Powel as well as #146 (unnamed) on the east side, John Boyd at #59 on the west.

Who knows when and where our James died and was buried. He is also listed by Lewis L. Gregory in “Descendants of Andrew McFarland” 2002 as having died 13 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, New Hampshire. (12). However the one thing people can agree on is that James was of the The Scot-Irish Presbyterians church and religious lending



1.  "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869
2.   Roxann McArthur
3.   "New Hampshire State History of Daughters of the American Revolution" complied and edited by Elizabeth Knowles Folsom
4.   Olive M. Connary
5. Microfiche of the Maltby Family Genealogy by Dorothy Maltby Verril and Prof. Fred A. Molby
6.   New Hampshire Census, 1776 (for or against the War) by Jay Mack Holbrook 1976, Holbrook Research Institute, Census NH, 1776-7
7.   A Map of the Original township of Chester, NH, drawn by Benjamin Chase for his history of Chester
8.  DAR Lineage book, Vol 104, pgs 284 & 285
9..  "Descendants of Andrew McFarland" by Lewis L. Gregory Jr., 2002


The Ancestral File, Ver. 4.02, Carson FHC, 1992---lists Jane AIKEN, b. 1769, Antrim Hillsbr., NH as a daughter of this James AIKEN. Needs checking. In fact this whole family needs checking out!

Per Ancestral File, ver 4.15: Family Group Sheet lists two (2) James (1) b. 1762 (2) b. 1772. Also gives the first James and John's wives names are Betsey McDUFFEE. This record also adds a daughter named Jane born in Antrim. I feel Jane is someone else's child, not from this family. Folsom [3] adds a second daughter named Mary who married Ebenezer KIMBALL

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Line 20.1 Samuel Aiken, Scots-Irish American

You’ve got to love the fierce bravery of the early settlers in the far North New England states. They were facing a frontier that was days, if not weeks from the ocean and an escape back to civilized Europe. On the other hand, they were facing an adventure that would lead to more religious freedom and thought. The Scot-Irish Presbyterians found a haven in Chester where they could build a church and create a community. And on the other hand (I know that makes three hands) there is also the sense of loss where the “native” population is concerned too. I’ve done a poor job of determining the effect of the building of a Scot-Irish community in the wilderness might have done to the Indians of the area. But I still have to admire a people group that would pick up and leave the familiarity of Ireland (even if they were transplant just a generation or two before) for a totally foreign place.

Samuel Aiken was born about 1708 in Ireland, probably the son of John AIKEN although William Aiken and Janet Wilson have also been suggested as Samuel’s parents

He married a woman whose surname may have been YOUNG.

The children of Samuel AIKEN and his wife were:
1.       William AIKEN born about 1730 in Ireland. He married Rebecca FOWLER. They drowned together at Passamoquaddy. His two sons, James and Robert died at the Battle of Bunker Hill

2.      James AIKEN born 1 June 1731 in Ireland or in Chester, NH and died 13 May 1787 in Londonderry, Rockingham, NH. He married Mary “Molly” McFARLAND

3.      Peter AIKEN born 1736 at sea and died 21 October 1806 in Canada. He married Rebecca Fowler the daughter of Thomas FOWLER (obviously a different Rebecca Fowler from the one who married Peter’s brother William.)

4.      Sarah AIKEN was born about 1740 in Chester, Rockingham, NH. She married Robert WITHERSPOON and had at least four sons

5.      Samuel AIKEN was born about 1749 probably in Chester, New Hampshire. He died there 4 January 1825. He married Isabella MCMCDOLE 17 April 1738 in Gofftown, Hillsborn, New Hampshire.

6.      Sarah AIKEN possibly born about 1736 and died young as a second daughter named Sarah was born about 1736.

Samuel AIKEN died in 1786 in Chester, New Hampshire and was buried there.

These early AIKENs in New Hampshire were a bear to research. Records were sparse and they, as was the English and Scottish tradition, name their numerous children names that were repeated by the many branches of their family tree. In one source (1) Samuel is listed as the son of John AIKEN; in another William and AIKEN and Janet Wilson (5) are named as his parents. I think Benjamin Chase just got the generations mixed up as Samuel is not mentioned in John AIKEN’s will and Chase in his book on Chester, New Hampshire mentions that he Samuel) was a young brother of John Aiken. Chase writes that He took the scenic route stopping at Portsmouth and Greenland where they might have lived for a short while before continuing on to the America colonies. The Scots-Irish who settled in Chester were early settlers although not the earliest European settlers. However, they soon became the largest group of settlers there. Samuel purchased one half of lot No. 32 in Chester on 22 June 1738. He later bought the other half for his sons, James and Peter. Samuel is mentioned in the town and church records but not as often as his older brother.
The Rev. John Wilson became the minister of the First Presbyterian Church in 1734. They worshiped in private homes until 1749 when the church was built. Samuel was one of the men in a committee to “examine the collector’s list” in 1743/4 and 1745 and again in 1749.

The Presbyterian Church seemed to be the center of this community, made up mostly of Scots-Irish immigrants. The government of the church was led by the Pastor but controlled by the elders. There must have been a very strong sense of democracy in this little town. Many of the Aikens and their cousin participated in the Revolutionary War. I imagine (and this is just my imagination) strong preachers who emulated the fierce image of John Knox of Scotland and the independence of pioneers in a new world.

Samuel AIKEN died about 1788. His wife survived him nine years and died in Chester in 1797. Only daughter, Sarah and son Samuel seemed to have remained in Chester until their deaths.


1. "History of Old Chester, From 1719 to 1869" by Benjamin Chase, 1869

2. "Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire" Vol. 4, 1750-1753 State Papers Series Vol 34, Edited by Otis G. Hammond, 1933, 974.2 Rec 21.2-4
3. "History of Chester, New Hampshire" a Supplement to the History of Old Chester," compiled and published by John Carroll Chase, 1926; 974.22  CHE 3.60

4. Internet

5. Roots Web surname searches "CNIDR I search -cgi 1.20.06" Akin Family by Marci
6. Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History