Henry DONNELL of York, Maine



m. FRANCES (3) GOOCH (living in 1673)
d. between 1687 & 1693

The names Henry Donnell and George Jewell are in the church and borough records of Barnstable, Devon from 1631 until 1634 Henry being a litigant in the Court of Sessions(1)

In his deposition of 25 Aug. 1676 Henry Donnell suggests that he was in New England in 1631, apparently on a fishing voyage with George Jewell. His deposition of 21 Mar. 1683 shows that he was in York in 1635 or 1636.

Henry was at first a fisherman at one time in partnership with Sampson Angier,(2) later he was also an innkeeper. He lived on the road leading from York St. in the Harbor to Stage Neck which he possessed and used as a fishing stage for many years.(3) The road led to the ferry from the neck (then Stage Island) across the York River to Raynes Neck or Seabury Bank. It is probable that Henry had the ferry across the river. No record substantiates this but, it is an obvious inference as it cannot be admitted that such a convenience did not exist in the twenty years before the granting of the first recorded license. It was the natural location for ferriage being the narrowest part of the river and the establishment of a tavern at that point strengthens this opinion although the taverner may have maintained it for business reasons until the town took formal action.(4) Henry kept the tavern there. How early he combined his trade of fisherman with innkeeping is not known but, he was here as early as 1641 and probably catered to transient fishermen and travelers soon after. In 1649 his name is found in a list of those paying the excise tax for drawing liquor. He was charged with two pipes or butts of wine and 54 gallons of "licquers" an amount equal to Wardwell the taverner of Wells and greater than the tax for the widow Puddington's tavern in York.(5) Henry also had a fishery on Bragdon's Island.(6) He witnessed William Hooke's deed 18 Oct. 1644.

For some 18 years before King Phillip's War Henry lived and carried on a fishing enterprise at Jewell's Island in Casco Bay which he acquired a few years after Jewell's death in 1638 while his wife carried on the inn at York. On 6 Dec. 1664 he morgaged his houses, lands, fish houses, etc. as security for a contract to deliver a quantity of fish. The court records show that Frances and Henry were living apart prior to 1667 and she was authorized to retain for her own use what she had made by her own industry, she having a tavern license in 1669. This was about the time of Nicholas Davis' death and as they were next-door neighbors she may have assumed the management of his old inn.(7) In 1671 Frances furnished two barrels of beer for the county courts. On 2 Apr. 1660 Frances and her daughters Sarah and Margaret received a deed of land from the widow Ann Godfrey "for love and affection". In 1676 Henry was again an innkeeper in York.

On 29 Feb. 1671/2 being "stricken in years, and not capeable of manageing my fishing and my Island" Henry gave his Jewells Island land with his fishing plant to his son Joseph on the condition that he should have his maintenance there "So long as I please to continue with him there."(8)

Henry appears among the jurors in 1650 and in 1653, and on the grand jury in 1651 and 1660. He was a selectman in 1661, 1666, 1673, 1677-9, and in 1683.

Henry took the oath of allegience to Massachusetts 22 Nov. 1652.(9)

Submission to Massachusetts

Oath of Allegience- Page 1, Page 2

He, along with many others, was not satisfied with the division of Godfrey's land and they signed a petition to the general court in Boston stating their view. However, the awards were never changed.(10)
Petition to the General Court- Page 1, Page 2

Map of York- Lower Town- from Banks' History of York, Map of York- showing the homes of the people who signed the submission to Massachusetts in 1652, Map of York- Alcock's Neck and the beach- from Banks' History of York

Henry was evidently satisfied with the Massachusetts government as he did sign the petition to Cromwell which referred to the complaints presented to the Protector by "some gentlemen of worth" (i.e. Godfrey) for restitution of their right of jurisdiction and asked that they be not heeded, intimating that they are instigated by "professed Royalists whose breathings that way... have been so farre stifled."(11) His son Thomas did not sign this petition. However, both Henry and Thomas signed the "govern or get out" petition which was an indictment of incompetency with a notice that they would expect "due & seasonable performance" of Massachusetts' obligations to maintain law and order: "Your tollerating such an inconsiderate number of opposers frequently to violate & trample upon yr authority & laws, as cannot be altogether unknowne to you, to the obstruction of Justice, infringeing our Lybertys, deviding our peace and if not speedily prevented by your Worships, may as the case stands, snarl us in the bonds of Inextricable & prejudiciall Injuries, upon whom, under God, & our dread sovereigne wee looke att our selves Ingaged att present to depend for our security & releife."(12)

Henry gave a deposition concerning John Pullman's estate 24 Sept. 1680.(13)

Last mention of Henry in public records was made in 1687 but, the inventory of his estate was not made until 25 April 1693.(14)


  • 2I. THOMAS- b.c.1636, m. ELIZABETH (3) WEARE, d. 1699
  • II. John- killed by falling into an open pit at Kittery Point in 1664 (Col. Banks says it happened at Robert Wadleigh's house in Wells).
  • III. Mary- b.c.1644
  • IV. Samuel-b.c.1645/6, m. Alice Chadbourne, d. 9 Mar. 1718 In the fall of 1692 Samuel's son William, age 7, was "given as a captive and taken to Canada and never returned". Some years later a party of Indians along with William came to York and members of the Donnell family encouraged him to stay, however, he refused. William took the name Orono and became the enigmatic "blue-eyed chief" Sachem of the Penobscot Nation.(15)
  • V. Joseph- m. by 1680 Ruth Redding, d by 1698
  • VI. Benjamin- d.s.p. 1678
  • VII. Nathaniel- d.s.p. 1682
  • VIII. Sarah-
  • IX. Margaret- d. before 5 May 1685
  • X. Henry?


    (1) History of York, Maine- Banks, Vol.1, p.143
    (2) York Deeds- Vol.2, p.160
    (3) History of York, Maine- Banks, Vol.1, p.140
    (4) Ibid- Vol.2, p.288
    (5) Ibid- p.321
    (6) Ibid- Vol.1, p.143
    (7) Ibid- Vol.2, p.322
    (8) York Deeds- Vol.7, p.86
    (9) Mass. Archives- Vol.3, p.199
    (10) Ibid-p.237
    (11) Ibid- p.242
    (12) Ibid- p.269
    (13) York Deeds- Vol.5, p.4
    (14) York town records- Vol.I, p.19
    (15) Orono: The Great Sachem- James Vickery, Maine Historical Society Quarterly, Vol.32, No. 2, Fall 1992, pp.134ff

    Donnell Genealogy- George Ernst, York Library
    Pioneers on Maine Rivers- Wilbur D. Spencer, p.138
    History of Portland- p.293
    Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire- p.199
    Pioneers of Maine & New Hampshire- Pope, p.138

    2I. THOMAS (HENRY 1)

    b.c. 1630
    m. ELIZABETH (3) WEARE (living in 1702)
    d.c. 1699, division of estate 28 June 1707(1)

    On 3 July 1660: "For Yorke Francis Raynes confirmed captaine, John Davesse Leeft. and Thos. Donnell allowed at present to carry the colours."(2) The ensign was a commissioned officer but, York was to get on with an acting ensign.

    Thomas was granted land with Arthur Bragdon from Roger's Cove to Old Mill Creek to the Kittery line in 1668. He also bought Mr. Edward Johnson's former homestead.

    Map of York- South Side and Raynes' Neck- from Banks' History of York

    Thomas was a fisherman until at least 1672, later he was a turner evidently having a foot powered lathe for fashioning wood into forms for furniture and staircases.(3) In 1672 he was hiring a fishing plant at the shoals.

    Thomas was on the grand jury in 1670, 1671, 1675, 1688, 1693, 1696 and 1697. He was a selectman in 1693.(4) He signed the Oath of Allegience to Massachusetts 22 Nov. 1652 in York.(5)

    Oath of Allegience- Page 1, Page 2

    "York June the 28th 1707 Pursuant to an ordr to the subscribers directed by the Honble Joseph Hammond Esqr Judg of Probate &c bareing date April the 2nd 1707 for to make a divisn of the Estate of thomas doniel Late of York in the county of York deseased according to Law which we have don according to our judment and by the best information before us and that also by the Relation to sd Estate the which we fine to be apprisd 213=05=08: In the first place have taken out of the movables the charges due fro sd estate

    Imp an accoumpt sworn to before the abovesd Judg: 08=12=02
    3- for our charges in dividing sd Estate 00=10=10
    4ly The Widdow third part of the movables Remain 12=11=02
    we have allowed for ould farrows and carte 01=14=01
    wheels Rotten and now of no use
    have granted that the widdow shall have ye soule
    use and Priveledg of the one halfe of ye home
    Lott of Land both for ( )
    and all the ould hosen theiron att 41 55=00=01
    and the use of the one halfe of three acres of
    marsh lining the north west branch of York
    River att 6 during her Life
    with sixteen acres of Land on the South
    West side of york River prisd att 8
    The Eldest Son John doniels dubble share is: 45=00=00
    he hath alreddy Receaved 09-09-00
    also allotted him to have the one halfe of
    the home place with his mother of Land
    for quantety and quallety att 39 pounds
    which is three pounds nine shillings more
    then his share: ordered to pay it to his sister Sarah
    2nd son Benjemen Doniel a single share is 22=10=00
    he hath alredy Reseaved of sd Estate 1=9
    he is appointed to have forty acres of Land on
    the south west side of the River of york
    on the south est side of thatt Lott of Land
    and is to have halfe the bredth there off att 40
    and two acres of marsh upon the south west
    branch of york River joyning to Ensign
    bankes marsh att 8 which is: 6=19s= more ten share
    to be paid to his sister hannah doniel
    3rd son nathall Doniel a singl share
    a Lotted to have a hundred acres of land upon
    the south east of the south west branch of
    york River joyning to the cove of marsh
    known by the name of doniels Cove as also
    the cove of marsh with it prised att 25
    which is two pounds 10s more then his share which
    being orddered to pay to his sister sarah doniels
    4ly dafter Sarah doneil singell shares 22=10=00
    to be paid by the adminestratx 10: 11s=00
    to be paid by John doniel 03=09=00
    to be paid by Nathll doniel 02=10=00
    1 1/2 acres of marsh upon ye
    south west branch of york R 06=00=00
    with her mother 6 22=10=00
    Hannah doniell singll share 22=10=00
    alotted to have 24 acres of Land on the southwest
    side of york River joyning to her brother Benjemen
    on the northwest side prisd: 12-00=00
    benjm doniel to pay her 06=19=00
    the Administratx to pay her 03-11=00

    To the Honrble Joseph Hammond Esq
    York July the pr us Abram Preble
    first: 1707 Abram Preble: Jnr
    daniel Black
    Lewis Bane
    Joseph Banks"(6)

    Inventory of Thomas Donnell's Estate, Page 2


  • 3I. JOHN- b.c.1660, m.1. HANNAH (3) MILBURY 2. after 1712 Sarah Young Brooking Linscott, d. 1744
  • II. Sarah- b.c. 1663, d.s.p. Boston, MA, 3 Sept. 1734
  • III. Hannah- d.s.p. Boston
  • IV. Nathaniel- int. 14 May 1711 Elizabeth Todd of Rowley, MA, d.c.1761
  • V. Benjamin- m. Mary Harmon (m. 28 Dec. 1709 Joseph Holt) killed by Indians at Winter Harbor (Biddeford Pool) 21 Sept. 1707


    (1) York Registry of Probate- Inv. 28 June 1707
    (2) Maine Province & Court Records- Vol.II, p.96
    (3) History of York, Maine- Banks, Vol.2, p.207
    (4) Mass. Archives- Vol.III, p.390
    (5) Ibid-Vol. 1, p.199
    (6) York County Probate Court- no2, fol.8

    Donnell Genealogy- George Ernst
    New England Miniature- A History of York, Maine- George Ernst
    Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire- pp.199-200
    Mass. Archives- Vol.III, p.193, 269

    3I. JOHN (HENRY 1, THOMAS 2)

    m.1. HANNAH (3) MILBURY
        2. after 1712 Sarah Young (m.1. Henry Brooking, 2. John Linscott)
    d.c. 1744

    John inherited the homestead of his father which had been the property of Edward Johnson including Hancock wharf and part of the golf course to Lindsay Rd. He apparently lived on Organug Rd. at Sewall's Bridge. Like his father John was a turner.

    "I John Donnell of York in the County of York in New England... bequeath to my well beloved Wife Sarah Donnell one third Part of all my Personal Estate for ever the use of my Dwelling House & a gardon too Rods Square Fencd with a bord fence whare She Shall chuse it the ceaping of one Cow & Six Sheep Winter & Summer for Life & eight Bushels of indion Corn & too Bushels of Rie one Hundred weight of Pork & one Hondred weight of Beaf and eight Cords of Wood Corded up at her Door Annualy for life to be payd by Son Thomas itum I bequeath to each of my Daughter viz Abigail Elisabeth Rebeckah Mary and Jemimah five Pounds a Piece in Province Bils of the new tenner or lawful Silver Munny to be Paid by my Son thomas and too thirds of my Personal Estate to be Equely devided among them I order my Son Thomas to pay all my Debts & bury me decently itum I bequeath to my only Son Thomas Donnell and his Heires and Assigns for ever all my Real Estate he Paying and alowing all the Leageses above Mentioned and I appoint my said Son to be the Sole Executer to this my Will and do by these Preasents Revoke and make void all former Wills Signed Sealed And Declared by the sd John Donnell to be His last Will and Testament March 29 1738

    In the Preasence of us John donnell
    Joseph Holt
    Saml Sewall
    William duning
    Henry Ingraham"

    "An Inventory of all and Singular the Goods Chattels Rights an Credits of Mr John Donnell late of York... this Seventh Day of April 1746...

    Im his wearing apparrell........................2=17=6
    Im one hat 10/ to two Canes 12/............1=2=0
    Im old iron ware..........................................1=3=0
    Im one Bead and Beden........................4=0=0
    Im a old fier Shovell & toungs...............0=5=0
    Im one Cow.................................................4=0=0
    Im an old fearry boat..............................1=10=0
    Im forty five acres of Land at Seven
    pound ten Shill pr Acre...................337=10=0
    Im three acres of Salt marsh at ten
    pound pr acre.........................................30=0=0
    John Woodbridge                                  382:7:6
    Benja Holt            Aprisers
    Norton Woodbridge"(1)

    John Donnell's Will, Inventory of his Estate


  • I. Thomas- m.1. 1730 Elizabeth Harns 2. 1739 Miriam Preble
  • III. Elizabeth-
  • IV. Rebecca-
  • V. Mary- m. 1. 1727 Anthony Baker, 2. 1733 Wymond Bradbury Jr.
  • VI. Jemima- d. 27 April 1786


    (1) York Co. Registry of Probate- No.449 (1746)

    Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire- p.199

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