Saturday, April 16, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ SLEEPER of Hampton, New Hampshire

The SLEEPER Memorial Stone at Founder's Park, Hampton, New Hampshire


Thomas Sleeper came to Hampton, New Hampshire around 1640 as a weaver.  He received a grant of land in 1646.  He built his home on Shaw’s Hill, in a part of town that was remote from the other residents. This part of Hampton was once known as Sleepertown or Sleepytown.    In November 1675 several Indians were seen trying to burn down his home in Hampton, but the plot was thwarted.  Later he bought land in Kingston where his descendants lived.  

His wife, Joanna, was a witness twice against Goodwife Eunice Cole “Goody Cole”, the only woman convicted of witchcraft in New Hampshire.  On 4 September 1656 she testified that she had seen a black cat torture a man in his sickbed on the same evening when Goodwife Cole had been there at noon.  And in October 1656 she testified with Thomas Moulton’s wife that they had been talking about Goodwife Cole when they heard mysterious scraping noises outside the window.  Eunice Cole was found guilty and sentenced to be flogged and imprisoned for the rest of her life in Boston.

Since the Cole family was impoverished they could not pay for Goody Cole’s jail boarding.  The town was ordered to pay instead.  Eventually she was released from jail because the town of Hampton figured that it was less expensive to pay her charity to live at home than to pay her jail fees. She died impoverished and in abject poverty.   A memorial stone was dedicated to Goody Eunice Cole at the Green Memorial Park in Hampton on 17 August 1963.

See this link for another blog post about a famous SLEEPER descendant, Henry Davis Sleeper (1878 – 1934), architect and designer of Beauport Mansion in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Henry Davis SLEEPER's Beauport Mansion, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Some SLEEPER resources:

Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 – 1660, by Charles Henry Pope,  1908, page 191.

The History of the Town of Hampton, by Joseph Dow,  1893, Volume 1, page 220

Witch Hunting in Seventeenth Century New England: A Documentary History, by David D. Hall, page 214.

Robert Sleeper, Sr Family History: Epping, New Hampshire to Warren Center, PA: with Accounts of the Sleeper Family Dating from Thomas Sleeper of Hampton, NH, by V. Sleeper- Terry, 1999.

My SLEEPER genealogy:

Generation 1:  Thomas Sleeper, born about 1607 probably in England, died 30 July 1696 in Hampton, New Hampshire; married in September 1649 in Hampton to Joanna UNKNOWN.  She was born about 1623 and died 5 February 1703 in Kingston, New Hampshire.  Eight children.

Generation 2:  Aaron Sleeper, born 20 February 1661 in Hampton, died 9 May 1732 in Kingston, New Hampshire; married first on 23 May 1682 in Hampton to Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of Joseph Shaw and Elizabeth Partridge.  She was born 23 August 1664 in Hampton Falls, died 17 October 1708 in Kingston. Ten children.  Aaron Sleeper was married second to her sister, Sarah Shaw, born 5 December 1676 in Hampton Falls, and died 9 May 1732 in Kingston.  Two children.

Generation 3:  Moses Sleeper, born 22 February 1685 in Hampton, died 13 January 1754 in Kingston; married on 9 January 1714 in Kingston to Margaret Sanborn, daughter of Jonathan Sanborn and Elizabeth Sherburne.  She was born 20 March 1698.  Fifteen children.

Generation 4:   Hepzibah Sleeper, born 24 March 1742 in Kingston; married about 1760 to Samuel Lane, son of Samuel Lane and Elizabeth Blake.  He was born in 1741 in Hampton Falls, and died 15 January 1822 in Hampton Falls.  Nine children.

Generation 5:  Sarah Lane m. Elisha Batchelder
Generation 6:  Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 7:  George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 8:  George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 9:  Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10:  Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ SLEEPER of Hampton, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 16, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

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