Thursday, September 1, 2011

Original Nutfield Proprietors, April 11, 1719

These are original proprietors, or grantees of Nutfield, then Londonderry and Derry, New Hampshire.

James McKeen
John Mitchell
James Anderson
Allen Anderson
John Archibald
John Barnett
James Sterrett
Randel Alexander
John Morrison
Samuel Morrison
James Gregg
John Stuart
James Nesmith
Thomas Steele
James Clark
Robert Weir
Archibald Clendenin
Reverend James MacGregor

The list is taken from Rev. James McGregor’s petition dated 27 Feb. 1720 to Governor Samuel Shute of Massachusetts (Jeremy Belknap Papers, volume 6I.A.81, Massachusetts Historical Society).

"In 1718 five ships full of settlers and four Presbyterian ministers left Londonderry, Northern Ireland for Boston.  Some of the families went that first winter to Casco Bay, Maine and suffered without food and shelter.  In the spring of 1719 some of the families went to Haverhill, Massachusetts where they heard about land to the north that was promising.  This land was called Nutfield, due to the abundance of chestnut and walnut trees. Some of the men went there and built temporary shelters, determined to be granted the land from the Massachusetts governor Samuel Shute.  They returned to Haverhill for their families, and invited Reverend James MacGregor to come with them to Nutfield.  He did, and on April 11, 1719 he preached his first religious service on the east side of Beaver Lake under a nut tree. The following year the town was renamed from Nutfield to Londonderry."

The image above is from Willey's Semi-centennial Book of Manchester, 1846 - 1896, by George Franklyn Willey, 1896, page 52.  It depicts the first open air sermon preached by Rev. MacGregor on the shores of Beaver Lake, under the nut tree. 

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Very interesting, didn't know about this! So this Nutfield or Londonderry was really a Scotch-Irish settlement. Thanks, Heather!

  2. I'm descended from both Thomas Steele and John Morrison. Thanks for presenting this, Heather! What a neat thing to happen from both sides of the Atlantic! I hope that you'll follow-up with the speech and gala!

    1. Alas, I'm not going to Northern Ireland. I'll have to find out second hand how the celebration went without me!

  3. My ancestor was John Mitchell. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I descend from three of the original 16. James McKeen, James Gregg, and James Nesmith

  5. Thank you for your article. My husband is an eighth generation descendant of John Archibald.

  6. Thank you for your article. My husband is an 8th generation decsendant of John Archibald.