The Guardianship of William Anderson
1804 – 1811 WINDHAM NH
The close relationship of the Dinsmore and Davidson families can easily be seen in the genealogies contained in the back of Morison’s History of Windham. Many a Dinsmore married a Davidson and vice versa. A few months back I purchased some old papers related to Windham, not really realizing what they were about. Come to find out they are various receipts and releases of bonds for William Anderson.
Deacon Robert Dinsmoor, the Rustic Bard, married his beloved Mary Park when he was twenty-five. They had twelve children together, but tragically she died while delivering a child. This left Robert Dinsmore alone with 12 young children to raise. His second marriage, by all appearances was one of mutual convenience. He married the widowed Mary (Davidson) Anderson. They had no children together. Morrison says, “On Dec. 31, 1801, he married for his second wife, Mary, daughter of John Davidson and the widow of Samuel Anderson, of Londonderry. She occupied the trying place of step-mother to a large family with singular good judgement and won the affection of the children and grandchildren of her husband. To all the girls and boys of the neighborhood she was known by the endearing name of “aunt Molly.” She survived her husband and died January 19, 1838.
Mary Anderson’s first husband, Samuel, died in 1796, five years previous to her marriage to Robert Dinsmoor. She had six children with Samuel Anderson, including a son William, who as we will see, was placed under the guardianship of Mary’s brother, Deacon William Davidson. William had eight young children of his own at the time. In addition to William Anderson, there were two older sisters and a brother and two younger sisters. So the mystery is this. Robert Dinsmoor already had twelve young children and adding six more would have made 18 children under one roof. Was it decided that it would be better for some of Mary’s children to live with her brother? Apparently this was the case. Mary’s oldest three children were married by 1804 but that still left the upbringing of the youngest three. It appears in the receipts that Mary (Anderson) Dinsmoor still owned or had rights to her husband’s property and estate, because she received rent for in the form of crops from William Davidson.
Morrison says of Mary’s brother William that, “Deacon William Davidson was born in Windham, October 15, 1761 and married December 14, 1790, Jane, the daughter of John Barnet, of Londonderry…He owned the farm adjoining his brother James, and now owned by Benjamin Blanchard. The house stood back from the present one on a hill, a few rods from the main highway. In his personal appearance Mr. Davidson was pleasant and affable; kind and courteous in his bearing towards others. He was popular in town; became a deacon in the church previous to 1826; was Selectman in 1806, 10, 11,13,16,17. He died March 14, 1839.”
There are thirty odd receipts and releases in the group.
Windham, January 17th 1805: Received of William Davidson, Guardian for William Anderson Ten Bushels of Indian corn and Tens Bushels of Rye in full for said William Anderson part of the Rent of my Wife’s third in his Estate for said year per me Robert Dinsmoor.
Windham November 11th 1805. Then received of William Davidson Guardian to William Anderson Twenty Nine Dollars and Eighty four cents Being Due to my Wife of her late husband’s personal estate (viz.) for wearing apparel, notes of hand and other accounts per me Robert Dinsmoor.
Received of William Davidson My Guardian seven Dollars and forty cents being in full of all Notes bonds Due Debts and Demands of whatsoever name or nature respecting his Guardianship for me I say Paid per me. Windham March 9, day 1811. William Anderson. Tests James Davidson.