Monday, October 3, 2011

The Nathaniel Page House- Featured on PBS’s This Old House!

The Bedford Flag is a famous flag carried by the Bedford Militia during several wars.  Generations of the Page family served as flag bearer, and carried this flag, which gave them the right of the title “Cornet”.  I’ve been to many colonial battle re-enactments, and in 2000 I saw the 225th anniversary re-enactments of the events of 19 April 1775. At the battle at the “Bloody Angle” about 200 Bedford and Lincoln men responded to the Lexington Alarm and fired on the British as they retreated back towards Boston.  The soldiers were carrying this flag.  It is the oldest existing flag in the United States.

The Nathaniel Page Homestead
before rennovations
I recently opened my member’s magazine from WGBH Boston, and saw that their production of “This Old House” was going to renovate the Nathaniel Page house in Bedford, Massachusetts.  I knew exactly where to look in my family tree for information about the family.  I’m not a Page descendent, but since I have some Middlesex County ancestors , I looked and saw that we are connected through several marriages.  I had four generations of Nathaniel Pages in my notes, including the two who were flag bearers and the one who built the Page house in Bedford.   Several Cornet Pages had wives who were both 1st and 2nd cousins many generations removed from me, related through the Larkin, Blanchard, Wheeler, Whipple, and Crosby lines. I have a Page lineage from Hampton, New Hampshire which is unrelated to the Bedford Pages.

The Page Genealogy:

Generation 1:  Nathaniel Page born about 1645 in England, died 12 April 1692 in Boston; married Joanna Unknown.
                1. Nathaniel Page (see below)
                2. Elizabeth; m. John Simpkins
                3. Sarah; m. Samuel Hill, Jr.
                4. Jane, died young
                5. Christopher, b. 1690

Generation 2: Cornet Nathaniel Page, born 1679 probably in England, died 2 March 1755 in Bedford; married first on 6 November 1701 in Bedford to Susanna Lane, daughter of John Lane and Susanna Whipple, born 24 January 1683 in Bedford, died 2 September 1746 in Bedford; married second to Mary Grimes.
                1.  Cornet Nathaniel Page; (see below)
                2. Cornet John;  (see below)
                3. Christopher, b. 16 July 1707;m. Susannah Webber
                4. Susannah, b. 29 April 1711; m. Samuel Bridge
                5. Joanna, b. 1714; m. Josiah Fassett

Generation 3. Cornet Nathaniel, born 4 September 1703 in Bedford, died 4 April 1779 in Bedford; married abt 1729 to Hannah Blanchard, daughter of John Blanchard and Mary Crosby, born 24 October 1704 in Billerica, died 7 September 1763.
                1. Nathaniel, b. 22 May 1729
                2. Thomas, b. 5 May 1733; m. Anna Merriam
                3. Hannah, b. 15 May 1732; m. Jonas French
                4. William, b. 19 Feb 1737/8; m. Pattie Hill
                5. David, b. 4 April 1740; m. Abigail Jones
                6. Susannah, b. 22 January 1742
                7. Abigail, b. 15 September 1744; married Nathaniel Brown

Generation 3.   Cornet John born 11 October 1704 in Billerica, died 18 February 1782 in Bedford; married first on 23 December 1731 in Concord to  Rebecca Wheeler, daughter of Ebenezer Wheeler and Mary Minot, born 2 September 1712 in Concord, died 12 July 1755 in Bedford.  Fourteen children born in Bedford; married 2nd 15 January 1756 in Lexington to Amity Cutler; married 3rd 3 June 1773 in Bedford to Rachel Blanchard.
                1. John, b. 2 September 1733
                2. James, b. 12 May 1735
                3. Ebenezer (Bedford militia), b. 3 June 1737
                4. Susanna,  b. 21 October 1739, died young
                5. Timothy (Bedford militia), b. 11 June 1741
                6. Minuteman Nathaniel, b. 20 June 1742; m. Sarah Brown (had nine children including another Nathaniel, born 25 October 1775).
                Eight more children

Generation 3. Christopher; m. Susannah Webster
                1. Sergant Christopher (Minuteman)
                2. Mary; m. Nathan Reed
                3. Susannah, died young
                4. Job, died young
                5. Susannah, died young
                6. Lucy, died young

You can read about the Bedford Flag at this link from the Bedford Public Library (page 53 has a vintage photo of the house that will star on the PBS series “This Old House”:

You can read all about the PBS project at this link:

You can read about the Bedford Flag and the Bedford Minutemen Company (re-enactors) at this link:   Check out their website, it’s very interesting and informative!

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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