Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Pratt Migration III-Moses

Moses Pratt (my greatx4 grandfather, son of Henry, grandson of Aaron, great grandson of Phineas) was born in Needham, Massachusetts in June of 1729. He was the 12th of Henry Pratt and Sarah Learned's 13 children. He grew up in Needham, the son of a blacksmith, and in March of 1752 married Jemima Alden, daughter of John Alden and Thankful Parker. (Could John be descended from the Pilgrim John Alden of Longfellow's "Speak for yourself, John"..in "The Courtship of Miles Standish"?)
 
They had four children while living in Needham, the second being our progenitor Asa, born in March of 1757. Moses was listed in the town records as a "Public Servant", whatever that means. Some time after 1759 they moved to Natick, a few miles west, still in the Charles River watershed. There they had four more children.
 
Natick, now part of the Boston Metro area was founded in 1651 by the Puritain Pastor John Elliot as a well meaning but eventually failed attempt to Christianize the Indians and settle them in towns while prerserving their culture. They were known as the "Praying Indians" whose translators created the first bible in the Algonquin language. Eventually all the land was sold to White settlers.
 
I don't know how Moses and Jemima made their living in Natick, but. I would guess farming. They lived there about 11 years. Maybe he had a trade.
 
They moved to Dublin, New Hampshire sometome before their last child was born in 1771.
Moses is shown on the Dublin tax rolls in 1772. Jemima died in March of 1786 in Dublin. Moses remarried, maybe twice. His second wife was Mary Riggs and maybe Lucy White was number three. He lived until al least 1800 as he was listed in the 1800 Dublin Census. I have no record of when and were he died.
 
I don't know why the Pratts moved to Dublin. It is a small place about 18 miles north of the Massachusetts border between Keene and Peterborough. Fly to it with Google Earth and it appears now to be mostly wilderness. The first permanent setlers were Ulster Protestants (like the Cannon ancestors of the Woodruffs). They came sometime after 1760.
 
 Here is what the Town of Dublin Home Page says:
 
"One can barely imagine the hardships undergone by the early settlers in wresting a livelyhood from the thin, rock-strewn soil found within the township's boundaries. Nevertheless, they cleared the land, and from it derived all their necessities:not only food (bean porrige being the staple fare) but flax and wool for clothing. Despite these difficulties, Dublin prospered. By 1775 the Town had settled a minister, started work on a meeting house, and made provision for schools...The Town was chartered in 1771."
 
Since Moses and Jemima moved there between 1769 and 1771 I would consider them to be among the early settlers. Our ancestor Asa and probably six other children would still have been with their parents when they moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.
 
 NEXT: Asa Pratt, Sr.

Emailed Oct 11

1 comment:

Bobhenry said...

My great grandmother is Nellie E. Pratt. Moses Pratt being her greatx2 grandfather, great grandfather, Jabez Pratt, Daniel Pratt, grandfather
and father John Pratt, The later 3 being from Royalston, Mass. I had tried tracing Jemima Alden
and was able to get back to "Henry ALden" son of David, son of John "Mayflower" Alden. The society of Mayflower descendants claim however that there is no Henry Alden.
At any rate, you have some great information on the Pratt family. I am in the process of documenting my side of the Pratt family from Moses to Nellie. Not an easy task.
Regards,
Denise Hunt Cox
Raymond, Maine