So, as I previously discussed I wrote an article: Jane, Wife of Reuben4 Heard of Rochester, New Hampshire: Was she a Walton? An Enigma, New Hampshire Genealogical Record 23 (2006): 97-103. I haven't thought too much about this article since. However, a Walton descendant and researcher recently contacted me and we've begun an email correspondence. So, I've now re-looked at the files. I was surprised to find that some of my hypotheses in that article can now be proved untrue.
Since that time I've made two major discoveries. The first in February of this year was that the History of Durham, N.H. has vital records at the end of volume 1 which I didn't know about. In those records were four baptisms for the family of Shadrach4 (George3 Shadrach2 George1) and Mary (---) Walton which I had not seen. Those baptisms were for: Shadrach and Mary on 3 Sept 1749, Sarah on 29 April 1750, and Jane on 10 May 1752. I discussed Shadrach, his wife and his daughter Sarah in detail in my article. I'm assuming that Shadrach and Mary left the Quaker church and were baptized into the Puritan church before the birth of their first child. However, this new information merely strengthened my hypothesis that my Jane Heard was the daughter of Shadrach's brother George. Jane was born ca. 1727 and had her first child in 1748. This would also be the third confirmed use of the name Jane in this family. Samuel4 had a daughter Jane (she married a Downs) and so did Elizabeth (Walton) Hoyt. Again, this strengthened the argument that the Jane Walton fit into George's family.
Slight backtrack. Jane is known in three ways. She is called Jane when she releases dower on a deed with her husband. Her great-granddaughter identifies her as a Walton in a DAR application dated 1903. Lastly, she is called the Widow Heard in her death record in 1819, aged 92. [The History of the Town of Rochester, New Hampshire 1722-1890 by Franklin McDuffee (2 vols., 1892, reprinted as one volume, Somersworth, NH, 1988), 2:584].
So, I didn't do anything about this new information, but stored it for later use. In between the writing of this particular article and 2010, I wrote another article on what would be Jane's ancestor: The English Origins of Elizabeth Dowse, wife of Governor Samuel Allen of New Hampshire, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register 162(2008):164-73. Unknowingly I stuck a deed in that file that I just read again this week. It is below the fold. The deed discusses the heirship of the Mason Grant via the Allen family, and I mostly looked at the first name in the deed: Betty Morgan of Frenchman Bay, Maine. However, the second name was crucial: Mary Walton of Somersworth. This does change things.
I had proposed that George4 Walton had six children based on two deeds where two of those children deeded him one-sixth share in the estate of their late uncle John4 Walton. The legalities of this always baffled me. John died intestate. So, his heirs should have been his living siblings: George, Shadrach and Elizabeth. There was no way to parse the numbers out to get six heirs. One of the deeds was from a Mary Walton of Somersworth which I thought was George's daughter. I now see, that based on the deed with Betty Morgan, she is the daughter of Samuel4. This confuses the matter tremendously. Why would she deed one-sixth of the estate? She had nine other siblings most of whom were still alive (or so I thought). And the the other deeder wasn't one of her siblings, but George's own son. Or was he? He called himself George Walton III. That would mean the youngest of three George Waltons in Portsmouth. Was he also a child of Samuel? If so, then it seems that Samuel got a full share of John's estate, despite the fact he was already dead. He must have had six surviving children at that time, three of whom were Mary, Betty Morgan, and George.
So, what of George4 Walton and his children? He certainly had a son named George and a daughter named Temperance who was baptized in 1735/36. I believe he also had a son named John based on John's naming two children George and Temperance, ostensibly after his parents. However, this man could also be a son of Samuel and one of the six heirs. Naturally the only Walton not to leave a will or have a probate is this George and his wife Temperance.
Therefore, Jane remains an enigma. There is strong circumstantial proof that her maiden name was Walton, based on the time overlap between generations of she, her daughter, her granddaughter, and her great-granddaughter who made that claim. The great-granddaughter calls Jane the daughter of Shadrach Walton. That can be disproved. You can also rule out all other Walton males as her father except George. So, if Jane were a Walton, she must be a daughter of George. However, perhaps she wasn't a Walton at all and her great-granddaughter was completely in error. In any case, I need to do more work on this. I need to identify the six heirs of Samuel Walton, which means killing off more than just his son Samuel (Jr.).
In my defense, I did rely upon Walter Goodwin Davis's superb work on the Walton family. He's considered one of the genealogical greats, but he omitted the daughter Mary from Samuel's family. She clearly appears in his will. Since I was interested in Janes and Samuel names a daughter Jane Downs, I didn't make the connection then. I think I've mined as much as I can. The Strafford County court cases are still being indexed so that provides a ray of hope for the resolution of this matter.