Stephen Batson1

d. 30 June 1676

7th great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
9th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     Stephen Batson married Elizabeth before 1637, probably in England. He died on 30 June 1676 in Wells, York County, Maine.1
     The surname Batson is said to have originated in Yorkshire, but where Stephen came from or when he arrived in New England is not known. He was probably born about 1600, or soon after, and some or all of his children were likely born in England. The first mention of him so far found is in court at Saco, York County, Maine, on 4 April 1637 when Stephen and Elizabeth Batson apprenticed their daughter Margery Batson to Captain Richard Bonython and Lucretia, his wife, till she should be 21 years of age.2,1 He was one of the founders of Wells, Maine, where he was living by 1639 or 1641.1,3

     Bourne wrote in his History of Wells and Kennebunk:
     Batson was the first occupant of Drake's Island [off Wells, Maine]. Here he built his house, the cellar of which is still to be seen [1875], the house having been gone many years. In the middle of the cellar, a few years ago, stood the remains of an old oak tree, which had sprung up after the house had been taken away, grown to a good old age, and then was reft of its branches, nothing remaining but its lifeless trunk. Batson might have been a man of some usefulness, but he had the misfortune to be united to a woman who had a very imperfect appreciation of her obligations as a wife and mother. She grossly abused her husband and treated a part of her children very unkindly. He was compelled to resort to legal proceedings to curb her tongue and soften her unhallowed temper. The court in those days had but very little sympany for the sex. As before suggested, some of their legislative acts, as well as their judicial adjudications, show very clearly the low estimate they had of female sensibilities and of the true amenities of life. In this case the court awarded that Mrs. Batson should make acknowledgment of her offences before the court, before the town meeting at Wells, and before the town meeting in Cape Porpoise, and in case of refusal or neglect to do so she was to receive twenty stripes on her naked back.4
Bourne fails to mention any specifics of the offences, probably so as not to inflame the sensibilities of a nineteenth century audience. Apparently Elizabeth Batson had accused her husband and daughter Mary Clay of having an incestuous relationship. Her answer to the court was, “Whereas I Elizabeth Batson before the last court was legally convicted for very scandalous and unnatural accusations in defaming my husband Stephen Batson and my daughter Mary Clay of charging Mary Clay to be my husbands hoore.”5 Daughter Mary was frequently in trouble, and as Sharon Cummins wrote in her article, "Sects and the Settlement," originally published in The Log, "Mary's rap sheet in Saco reads like a trashy novel."

     Stephen Batson soon moved to Cape Porpus where he had a grant of land on 21 October 1645. A small river there still bears his name.2 On 18 October 1649 Stephen Batson witnessed John Wadleigh's Indian deed by which the land in Wells was originally obtained from Sagimore Thomas Chabinocke.1,6 Stephen Batson, an inhabitant of Cape Porpus, took the Freeman's Oath at Wells, York County, Maine, on 5 July 1653.7 In March 1661, Goodwife Batson the Elder refuses to relinquish the two pigs that used to belong to James Harmon but were awarded to his wife and child when he threatened to flee the country. The following July Plaintiff Morgan Howell charges Stephen Batson for refusing to turn over the estate of James Harmon as the court ordered the previous year.5 He sold to Peter Oliver, merchant of Boston, on 20 September 1662, a log house, 300 acres of land on the main land, stage, cattle and other property on Stage Island; Arthur Batten and Margery Kindall, witnesses.2,1 Stephen Batson moved back to Wells before 8 February 1672/73 when he sold land in Cape Porpus to his son John.2

     Stephen Batson of Wells, York County, Maine, made his will on 8 March 1673/74 in which he mentions his grandchildren John Trott, Sarah Ashley and Mary Trott, and children Margery Young, Mary Brookehouse, John Batson and Elizabeth Ashley.8 Click to view image

     Regarding the two daughters named Elizabeth, the older daughter's name may be a mistake. By whatever name, however, there was a daughter, the mother of the Trott grandchildren, who had apparently died before Stephen Batson made his will. In the aforementioned Cummins article, she is called Elizabeth, wife of Simon Trott. The younger Elizabeth's husband, William Ashley, was apparently the father by a previous marriage of William who married Elizabeth's niece Sarah Trott who is called Sarah Ashley in her grandfather's will.

Children of Stephen Batson and Elizabeth (—?—) (Batson)


  1. [S869] Charles Thornton Libby, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (Portland, Maine: The Southward Press, 1928), 82.
  2. [S876] Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire 1623-1660, A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns, Churches, Courts and other Contemporary Sources (Boston:, 1908; reprint Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997), 14.
  3. [S873] Edward E. Bourne, The History of Wells and Kennebunk: from the earliest settlement to the year 1820, at which time Kennebunk was set off, and incorporated: with biographical sketches (Portland, Maine: B. Thurston & Co., 1875), 25.
  4. [S873] Edward E. Bourne, History of Wells and Kennebunk, 25, 26.
  5. [S874] Sharon Cummins, "Sects and the Settlement", The Log.
  6. [S873] Edward E. Bourne, History of Wells and Kennebunk, 21-22.
  7. [S761] The New England Historical and Genealogical Register; (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001), (Orig. Pub. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 148 vols., 1847-1994) 3: 193.
  8. [S875] William M. Sargent, comp. and ed., Maine Wills. 1640-1760 (Portland, Maine: Maine Historical Society, 1887; reprint Baltimore: Inc. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996), 34-35, citing Court Records G, 46.