Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry writes about another relic from America’s past, a silver tankard gifted to Rev. Samuel Deane in 1775. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.
A silver tankard was gifted to Rev. Samuel Deane, D.D. (1733-1814), of the First Parish Church and Society in Falmouth, Maine, in 1775 by 21 men of the parish.
The men who presented the silver tankard had their initials engraved on the base along with the maker’s mark: J.COBURN [John Coburn of Boston].
Also engraved on the front: EX DONO JUVENUM ALIQUORUM REV. SAMUEL DEANE PASTORI FIDELISSI MO. 1775. (Translation: FROM THE GIFT OF SOME YOUNG PEOPLE TO THE REVEREND SAMUEL DEANE THE FAITHFUL PASTOR, MARCH 1775.)
According to an article published in the Portland Daily Press, the silver relic ended up for sale in a jeweler’s shop in town sometime in the 1850s and was purchased by Hezekiah Winslow, Esq., a member of the church and society who recognized its value.
According to this article, Mrs. John Winchester Dana, a purported heir to the Winslow estate, requested the piece be brought back to the church and asked Dr. Gilman to do the honors. The presentation of the silver tankard was held on 17 April 1876.
Gilman noted in his presentation that only some of the donors’ names of the “Centennial relic” were known. Since that time more research has identified the fellows. Here are some of the names (in bold) who descended from old Yankee stock. More to come in the next part of this story.
Two brothers Ephraim Jones Jr. and Pearson Jones, sons of Ephraim Jones Sr. and Mary Pearson (daughter of Sarah Titcomb and Captain Moses Pearson, and a descendant of Newbury settler John Pearson, who operated the first fulling mill in the colonies). The Pearson family also operated the first commercial bakery in America, known today as Nabisco. See: “Nabisco: An American Story.”
Ephraim Sr. was a master mariner and owned the sloop Mary, in which he made a famous voyage from Falmouth to the Bermuda and Turks Islands in 1765. Read more: Americana-Archives.
Pearson Jones was Commander of Inspection during the War of the Revolution. He along with Ebenezer Parsons fitted out the sloop Putnam in 1776, a privateer commanded by Captain Joseph Bailey. He married Elizabeth Illsley, daughter of Enoch Ilsley and Mary Parker, leaving descendants.
Ephraim Jones Jr. married Judith Philbrick, daughter of Jonathan Philbrick and Sarah Pike, leaving many descendants.
Another daughter of Captain Moses Pearson and Sarah Titcomb, Eunice Pearson (1727-1812), married Rev. Samuel Deane, the receiver of the silver tankard.
A third daughter, Anne Pearson (1729-1800), married Benjamin Titcomb (1726-1798) (son of Captain Joseph Titcomb and Anna Smith, and the grandson of Newbury settler William Titcomb and his wife Ann Cottle, considered “one of the beauties of the town” and a daughter of William Cottle and Sarah Ring). See: “Relics of Our Ancestors (part 1)”
Andrew Philip Titcomb and Rev. Benjamin Titcomb Jr. were two sons born to Benjamin and Anne.
Andrew married Mary Dole and 2nd Rebecca Bailey, leaving many descendants including Anne Titcomb (who married her cousin, Moses Quinby, son of Captain John Quinby and Eunice Freeman, daughter of Joshua Freeman and Lois Pearson – yet another daughter of Moses Pearson and Sarah Titcomb).
Benjamin Jr. published the first paper in Maine, called the Cumberland Gazette, and was minister to a few Baptist churches. He married Mary Fairfield and lived in Brunswick, Maine. They leased out rooms to Bowdoin College students.
A 1901 newspaper article noted that two of their boarders included poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his brother.
The article also mentions boarders Bowdoin Professor Calvin Ellis Stowe and his wife, Harriet Beecher Stowe, where she wrote her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
To be continued…
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Note on the header image: front view of the silver tankard gifted to Rev. Samuel Deane, 1775, showing the Latin inscription. Credit: First Parish Church, Portland, Maine.