Joseph Crediford of Kennebunk, Maine



m. by 1692, RACHEL BUSSY
d. before 20 June 1714

Joseph supposedly emigrated from England to Charleston, SC before coming to Wells where he had a 100 acre grant on the Kennebunk River in 1693.(1)

At the Court of Sessions at York, 4 July 1693: "Rachell Credefur prsented for fornication appeared not but her husband appeareing in her behalfe referd it to the Court and is fined twenty shillings or the woman to receive seven stripes on the bare skin at the post and Mr Wheelewright to see the Execution speedily Done".

He had his tax in Kittery abated in 1704: "A List of the Persons to whom we destributed ye 14 8s ordered by ye Generall Court out of our Late Tax AD 1704... Joseph Credifer 0-10-0."(2) Joseph had died by June 1714 when Rachel had six children baptized in Wells. She joined the church 18 Oct. 1719.


  • I. Elizabeth- b. Aug. 1692, m. before Aug. 1714 Benjamin Hatch (b. 29 Sept. 1688 Wells), d. after 1765
  • 2II. JOSEPH- b. 16 Feb. 1693/4, m. ESTHER LITTLEFIELD (d. 1793 Arundel)
  • III. Rachel- b. 6 Mar. 1694/5, d.s.p.
  • IV. Abigail- b. 23 Feb. 1699/00 Kittery
  • V. Benjamin- b. 6 Mar. 1701/2, int. 4 Dec. 1736 Berwick, Jane Gypson of Berwick, d. after 1755
  • VI. Josiah- b. 9 Feb. 1703/4 Kittery, int. 3 Apr. 1734 Wells, Mary Eaton (b. 4 July 1710 Wells)
  • VII. Mary- b. 13 July 1707, m.1. 31 Mar. 1726 Wells, Ichabod Dunham (b.c.1701 Plymouth, MA), 2. 21 Jan. 1745/6 Wells, Charles Annis (b. 10 Feb. 1693/4 Newbury, MA), d. after Nov. 1749
  • VIII. Rachel- b. 13 Apr. 1709, m. 15 Nov. 1733 Wells, James Bussy of Dover
  • IX. John- b. 13 Apr. 1709, m. 1 July 1736 Wells, Judith Hamblen. John served under Col. John Storer in the attack on Louisbourg in 1745.
  • X. Nathaniel- b. 20 Apr. 1713, m. 16 Jan. 1711/2 York, Elizabeth Beale


    (1) The History of Wells and Kennebunk- Edward E. Bourne, LL.D., Portland, 1875, p.226
    (2) MA Archives- Vol.3, p.417
    (3) York Deeds- Vol. V, part II, fol. 19

    Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire- p.171
    History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, p.235


    b. 16 Feb. 1693/4
    m. ESTHER LITTLEFIELD (bpt. 30 Apr. 1704 Wells, d. 1793)

    Joseph was listed as an inhabitant of Wells in 1726.(1) Joseph settled in Arundel in 1729.(2)

    "I have Survaid and Laid out a tract of Land for Joseph Credifor in the Township of Arundel adjoining to kenebunck River... which is by virtue of a grant to Simon Busse by the Town of Arundel baring date June the 23 day 1681. Dated in Arundel this 24 day of November 1729 by me Nicholas Cole Survair of Land."(3)

    Joseph signed a petition for Arundel to be set off as a separate precinct 5 Apr. 1749.(4)

    Joseph was involved in the legal suits concerning his wife's step mother and her husband Malachi Edwards (see Littlefield).(5)


  • I. Abigail- bpt. 24 Nov. 1723 Wells, m. Thomas Towne
  • II. Joseph- bpt. 21 Nov. 1725 Wells, d. 1744 Louisburg
  • III. Samuel- bpt. 20 Aug. 1727 Wells
  • IV. Rebecca- bpt. 5 July 1730 Arundel, m.c. 1750 Joseph Towne
  • V. Lydia- bpt. 9 Dec. 1733 Arundel, m. 1759 Dummer Mitchell
  • 3VI. ABNER- m. 30 June 1762 Wells, RUTH WATSON
  • VII. Tabitha- bpt. 26 Apr. 1741 Arundel, m. Nathan Winslow


    (1) The History of Wells and Kennebunk- Edward E. Bourne, LL.D., Portland, 1875, p.330
    (2) History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, p.235
    (3) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book I, p.86
    (4) MA Archives- Vol.12, pp.586,589
    (5) The History of Wells and Kennebunk- Edward E. Bourne, LL.D., Portland, 1875, pp.337-42; MA Archives- Vol. 42, pp.7-9,14-7

    Records of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Families- W. S. Thompson, Vol. 1, p.313; MS at MHS


    m. 30 June 1762 Wells (int. 12 Dec. 1761) RUTH WATSON
    will 17 Sept.- 24 Oct. 1793 Arundel
    bur. Crediford Cemetery- 600 River Rd., Arundel (map 43, lot 39)

    Abner was a sergeant in Capt. Jesse Dorman's Co., Col. James Scammon's 30th Regiment of Foot. having enlisted 12 May 1775. On 4 May Congress had passed a resolution granting an advance payment of 20/ to the non-com officers and privates who should enlist. On 8 May they established the following oat to be administered to the Massachusetts army:

    "I, (Abner Crediford) swear I will truly and faithfully serve in the Massachusetts army, to which I belong, for the defence and security of the estates, lives and liberties of the good people of this and the sister colonies of America, in opposition to the ministerial tyrany by which they are or may be oppressed, and to all other enemies and oppposers whatsoever; that I will adhere to the rules and regulations of said army, observe and obey the generals and other officers set over me; and disclose and make known to said officers all traitorous conspiracies, attempts and designs whatsoever which I shall know to be made against said army or any of the English American colonies, so help me God."(8)

    The Committee of Safety at Cambridge sent the following letter to the Colonel:

    "Cambridge May 10, 1775

    Sir: As we are meditating a blow against our restless enemies we therefore enjoin you as you would evidence your regard to your country forthwith jupon the receipt of this order to repair to the town of Cambridge, with the men enlisted under your command."(9)

    They were at least four days on the road and were in camp on the 23rd with all by three companies full to the limit with the regiment having 547 men.

    On 9 June the regiment had 396 men fit for duty and was quite a motley crowd of men:

    "Imagine such an army, without artillery or effective small arms, without magazines or discipline, and unable to execute the smallest tactical maneuver should their lines be forced at any point, laying siege to a town containing ten thousand troops, the first in the world. It was, moreover, without a flag, or a commander having absolute authority until Washington came. Picture to yourself a grimy figure behind a rank of gabious, his head wrapped in an old bandanna, a short pipe between his teeth, stripped of his upper garments, his lower limbs encased in leather breeches, yarn stockings, and hob-nailed shoes, industriously plying mattock or spade, and your provincial soldier of '75 stands before you. Multiply him by ten thousand and you have the provincial army."(10)

    Scammon had been ordered to march to the scene of the fighting at Bunker Hill, but he went to Lechmeres point were he was ordered to the hill, which he claimed he understood to mean Cobble Hill. From there he sent two sergeants (was one of them Abner?) to General Putnam to inquire whether his regiment was wanted, however, given the delays his regiment was prevented from reaching the action in time to be of any use and to lead Washington to accuse him of "Backwardness in the execution of his duty in the late Action upon Bunkers-hill". Scammon was tried by a General Court Martial of which Col. John Nixon was president. "The Court after duly examining the Evidence for and against the prisoner, together with what the prisoner had to say in his defence, are of opinion that Col. Scammons is Not guilty of the Crimes wherewith he was accused and therefore do acquit the prisoner Col. Scammons to be immediately released from his arrest." "Ensign Trafton accused by Col. Scammons of "abusive Language, to the said Colonel Scammons while under Arrest," tried by a General Court Martial of which Col. Nixon was president. The Court are unanimously of opinion that the prisoner is Not guilty and do therefore acquit him with honour." (7)

    There was still ill-feeling between Scammon and some of the officers and Col. Scammon wrote the following to the local paper, the New England Chronicle or Essex Gazette, for publication:

    "Mr. Hall,

    I have observed when you published Dr. Church's letter, that my name was mentioned to my disadvantage: therefore, in justice to my character, I am constrained to request that you would give the proceedings of a General Court Martial, held at Headquarters, in Cambridge, by order of his Excellency George Washington, Esq., General and Commander-in-chief of all the American forces, (with some remarks upon the deposition then taken), a place in your useful paper; that the public may judge how far I deserve the defamation given by the said Doctor. In granting this request, you will oblige many of your constant readers, and in particular
    Your humble servant
    James Scamman"(11)

    Dr. Benjamin Church was banished from the country a few months later due to his treachery to the patriot cause in the early days of the Revolution.

    Upon the organization of the army by Washington in July Col. Scamman's regiment was assigned to Gen. William Heath's brigade, which was assigned to Gen. Israel Putnam's division which formed the center of the army. The regiment was stationed at Cambridge and manned Fort No. 1 and the redoubt on the flank of Fort No. 2. Fort No. 1 was on the Charles River in Cambridge and was south of Fort No. 2 and Cambridge village.

    In the fall of 1775 the army attempted to make some uniformity in uniforms by issuing undyed cloth coats with pewter buttons and the number of the regiments on them. If a soldier had a suitable coat of his own he was not required to take a government one, but could draw 25/ from the treasury instead. Field officers would wear red or pink cockades on their hat, captains yellow or buff, subalterns green, sergeants red stripes on the right shoulder, corporals a green stripe on the right shoulder.

    The Committee of Safety in Cambridge voted 7 July 1775 "that it be and is hereby recommended to his Excellency General Washington that an order be issued to suppress retailers of spirituous liquors within or near the camps in such manner as to him seems meet" as a number of soldiers had been "observed to be much disguised with spirituous liquors" and efforts should be taken to put a stop to this as "not only the morals and health, but also the lives and liberties of this people will be endangered."(12)

    "The Roster of Col. James Scamman's 30th Regiment of Foot at Cambridge, 1775....

    Capt. Jesse Dorman's Company.
    Captain, Jesse Dorman, Arundel
    Lieutenant, Daniel Merrill, Arundel
    Ensign, Jacob Curtis, Arundel
    Total, 60 men"(13)

    "A Muster Roll of ye Company under ye Command of Capt. Jesse Dorman in Collonell James Scammons Regiment To the First of August 1775.... Abner Credeford, Sergt., Arundel, enlisted May 12..." 400 MA Vol. XIV, p. 75 Fifty-five of the men in the company had guns, 7 bayonets and 49 had cartridge boxes. Shoes were charged to the men at 6/8 and they had 2 advance wages.(14)

    Col. Scamman's regiment served until 31 Dec. 1775 and Scamman returned home at the expiration of his term of service, however, most of the commissioned officers re-enlisted in the Continental army. We next find Abner a 2nd Lieutenant in Capt. James Burnham's 7th Co., 3rd York Co. Regt having been commissioned 14 Dec. 1779.(6) The 3rd York County Regiment was part of the Massachusetts Militia, 3rd Massachusetts Brigade under General John Paterson part of the Northern Army under Major General James Clinton. To date I have been unable to locate a regimental history for the period after Dec. 1779 when Abner was commissioned.

    Abner returned to Arundel where he was a surveyor of highways in 1782, 1785, 1789 and 1790, fence viewer in 1783 and 1788, and surveyor of timber in 1785, 1786, 1789 and 1790.(1)

    "By the Request of mr. Abner Crediford I have Sirvaid A Piece of Land in Arundel... Between mr. Benj. Downing & mr James Burnham, late of Arundel, Decsd... Forty Acers of the above Land is Laid out By Vertue of Draft that Belongs to a Hundred acre grant that was given to Simon Busse June ye 23d day 1681 Twenty Acers of the Above Land By Vertue of a grant to William Elliot that was Laid out Infrining and Now Removed- Dated at arundel the 4th Day of June 1788... John Downing."(2)

    "In the name of God amen the seventeenth day of September in the year of our lord one thousand Seven hundred and ninety three & in ye seventeenth of ye Independance of america.

    I Abner Crediford of Arundell... Doe make and ordain this my last Will and testament...

    Imprimis I give and bequeath to Ruth my dearly beloved Wife Whoom I also appoint my Sole Executrix all my personall Estate & houshold goods for her support & the support of the children under age at her discretion for ever

    I also give to the sd ruth the Improvement and Income of all my land house and barn for her Support & The Support of the children under age at her discretion Dureing her remaining ( ) I give to my Sons Joseph: Daniel Samuel David & daughter Ruth in Equall Shares to them & their heirs forever.

    In presence of us................... Abner Crediford
    Daniel Merrill........................ Ruth Crediford
    Asa Durrell
    Eastman Hutchings
    Daniel Merrill Jr."

    The inventory was submitted 24 Oct. 1793 by Capt. Daniel Merrill, Benjamin Titcomb & Seth Burnham and amounted to 250/14/0. The administration was granted to Ruth and signed by Daniel Crediford, Lucy Crediford, Ruth Crediford, Daniel Merrill, and Seth Burnham.(3)

    On 1 Apr. 1799 the town voted that: "the Reverend Silas Moody to Preach Every third Sabath in the New Meeting House in the upper part of the Town... North westerly of a line to run from the Widdow Ruth Credifords house North East to Biddeford..."(4)

    On 19 Dec. 1801 Daniel Crediford, shipwright, Samuel Crediford, marriner, Ruth Crediford, widow and Executrix to the last will of Abner Crediford deceased, & Ruth Crediford Jr., singlewoman and daughter of the said Abner Crediford deceased, the said Daniel of Pepperrelboro and the others of Arundel... sold for $216.00 to Thomas Durrell of Arundel and Benjamin Day Jr. of Wells 60 acres of land in Arundel bounded by Benjamin Downing, deceased, James Burnham, late of Arundel, deceased and Duck Brook.(5)


  • I. Joseph- bpt. 1 Sept. 1771 Arundel, m. 1 June 1789 Arundel, Lucy Smith (b. 1776, m.2. 1801 Nathaniel Ward, d. 18 Oct. 1855)
  • II. Daniel- bpt. 1 Sept. 1771 Arundel, int. 15 Nov. 1794 Wells, Ruth Cousins
  • III. Samuel- bpt. 24 Apr. 1774 Arundel, d. at sea
  • 4IV. RUTH- b.c.1778, m. 19 Sept. 1807 Kennebunkport, STEPHEN COOPER (d. before 1820), d. 7 Aug. 1867 Kennebunkport
  • V. David- m. 7 Aug. 1808 Kennebunkport, Mary Downing


    (1) Kennbunkport Town Records- Book II, pp.219,224,234, 241,257,258,262
    (2) Ibid- p.255
    (3) York Co. Probate- #3691
    (4) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book II, p.311
    (5) York Co. Deeds- Vol.67, p.246
    (6) Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution- Vol. IV, p. 101
    (7) The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources- John C. Firtzpatrick, Ed., US GPO, Washington, 1931- Vol. III, p. 336, 345-6, 356, 358
    (8) Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society- second series, Thurston Print, Portland, 1899- Vol. X, pp. 344-5
    (9) Ibid- p. 345
    (10) Ibid- p. 348
    (11) Ibid- p. 351
    (12) Ibid- pp. 361-2
    (13) Ibid- p. 364
    (14) Ibid- p. 402

    History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, pp.235, 290
    Soldiers, Sailors and Patriots of the Revolutionary War- Maine- S.A.R., p.168
    Wells & Kennebunkport V.R.
    Records of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Families- W. S. Thompson, Vol. 1, p.314; MS at MHS

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