John4 CROMWELL was born ca. 1700 at Dover, the son of Joshua3 (Philip2 Giles1) and Lydia (---) Cromwell. John married at Dover on 26 December 1720, Mary RIDLEY, of unknown parentage. [Vital Records of Dover, NH 1686-1850 by the Dover Historical Society (Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1990), p. 11] There is no Ridley family in Dover, or for that matter, in early New Hampshire. There is one Ridley family in all of New England, which starts on Cape Cod and eventually moves to Maine. If Mary was a part of this family, her place in it has not yet been found. There is also some doubt as to the validity of the transcription of the marriage record. Outside of this record Mary never appears. By 23 May 1735 his wife's name is Lydia [NHPD 25:140]. Whether Mary died between 1720 and 1735 is not known.
John was a tinker. On 3 April 1752 in two deeds, John quitclaims his "father Joshua Cromwell's land." [NHPD 45:248 and 70:326]. John was not a religious man. John and Lydia may have died the same day at Dover on 11 May 1776 [Dover VRs, p. 189, which notes John Cromwell and his wife.] However, in his diary, Master Tate notes "Mr. John Cromwell of Dover Dyed on Saturday May ye 11th 1776 & Lydia his wife dy'd on Monday, May 13, 1776. Both Buried in One Grave. [NEHGR 74(1920):191]
It appears that he had only three children who lived to adulthood. On 26 March 1794, Abner and Keziah Coffin deeded to the Widow Sarah Chaddock (i.e. Chadwick), land in Dover that belonged to John Cromwell, deceased. [Strafford Co. Deeds 17:326]. One of the witnesses to the deed was Philip Cromwell.
Children of John4 and Lydia (---) Cromwell, all born at Dover, N.H.:
i. Keziah5, born about 1740. She married ca. 1760, Abner5 COFFIN, son of Abner4 (Stephen3 Tristram2-1) and Mary (Rawlings) Coffin. Keziah died after 26 March 1794 when she deeds land and likely before 1800 when Abner is enumerated alone in the 1800 census at Freeport, Maine. Abner was born 25 April 1738 at Exeter, N.H. and died 21 February 1811 at Freeport. [Freeport, Maine Town Records: Births, Deaths, and Marriages 1795-1835 p. 331, on microfilm at NEHGS Library in Boston, Mass.] He was a blacksmith. Four known children, of which I descend from two eldest: Rebecca, Anna, Stephen, and Mary.
ii. Sarah5, born about 1745, died at Dover after 26 March 1794. She married there on 14 May 1778, Jacob CHADWICK. [Dover VRs, p. 79]. Very likely the parents of William Chadwick of Somersworth, with whom Sarah seems to be living in both the 1790 and 1800 censuses.
iii. Benjamin5, born about 1747, died at Dover before 10 February 1772 when administration on his estate was granted to his father John Cromwell, of Dover, yeoman. [Rockingham Co. Probate #3908] Sureties on the estate were Philip Cromwell and William Young, both of Dover. Benjamin was a mariner.