McLaughlin Family


Written by Marilyn Henderson - Added 7 July 03

This is the story of the McLaughlin family who moved from Londonderry, Ireland, to Londonderry, NH. From there they moved to New Boston, NH and then to Francestown, NH. Finally, one man, Thomas with his wife and family, moved from Francestown to what would become known as St.David Ridge in Charlotte County NB in the late 1780s

There are many descendants from this family living in Charlotte County NB and Washington County ME but many have scattered over most of North America as well. I am one such descendant and I thought it might be interesting to find out as much information as I could, post it to this web site, and hope that we descendants would enjoy reading about our ancestors' story ends with a description of the McLaughlin family in the early years after they settled on St.David Ridge.

I would like to thank Emily Haley, NB, Ralph Hannan MA, Betty Morgan, GA, Shirley O'Neill, NB and Lisa Pazda, NH, for the help they have given me with this research. We have had quite a time trying to sort out seemingly conflicting data. The general consensus from a number of sources is that there were two John McLaughlins who arrived in NH at roughly the same time. One John moved to Bedford NH and our John to New Boston NH. At the end of this story, I have included a copy of a document in which Thomas McLaughlin sells some land to his father, John, in the year 1773.

The following was taken from the Acadiensis Publication, autumn 1997 edition, written by T.W. Acheson

"In 1718, a group of Ulster Presbyterian clergy organized a migration of people from their parishes in Londonderry, Ireland to the New World. Between 500 and 600 immigrants landed in Boston, Massachusetts in the summer of 1718. The immigrants encountered considerable prejudice from the people of Boston who feared the influx of a large number of poor, diseased, unemployed Irish. Those fears were heightened as succeeding waves of Irish Presbyterians arrived each summer. In an effort to disperse them from the Boston area, the government offered the newcomers land in the more remote areas of the province. One group moved to the middle of the Merrimack River area where they created the township of Londonderry in 1722.

As the Irish farmers moved into the lands of the early New Englanders many differences became apparent. The Irish built Presbyterian Churches and the earlier settlers built Congregational churches. Their farming was different too in that the Irish grew potatoes, flax and oats, made potato whiskey, fine linen cloth, oatmeal and oat bread, loved fast horses and maintained large herds of cattle and sheep. The Irish did not eat pork and had no experience with pigs, the animals most common and most easily raised in New England."

While it is not yet known what year our McLaughlins arrived from Northern Ireland, we do know that Thomas was born in Londonderry in 1740 and that his father, John, purchased 150 acres of land from Thomas Wilson in New Boston in 1758. New Boston was first settled in 1736 when NH affairs were administered by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Earlier this government had made land grants (The Society Grants) to prominent Boston families who did not take up the land, so when this land was re-granted, the new settlers were the Scotch - Irish from Ulster. Many of the immigrants first went to Londonderry but as it became more thickly settled, they decided to move along to out lying areas as our John McLaughlin did. New Boston proceeded to grow and was incorporated in 1763 and at that time it was second in size to Portsmouth, the largest town in NH.

The genealogy of John McLaughlin Sr. and his descendants follows:

John McLaughlin born in Ireland in 1720 died in 1787. He married first Rebecca Blair and 2nd Elizabeth White.
Children of John and Rebecca were
1. Thomas born 1740 in Londonderry NH. Thomas married Joanna Searles, born Feb. 1741 in Salem MA and married Aug 20, 1767 at the St.Peters Episcopal Church in Salem MA. The church was built in 1733, later demolished and a new church built in 1833.
2. John Jr.

Joanna's father was Joseph Searles
Joanna's mother was Ruth Chute, daughter of James Chute and Mary Thurston.
James Chute was son of James Chute and Mary Wood
Mary Thurston was daughter of Daniel Thurston and Mary Dresser

Thomas and Joanna had the following children:
1. Thomas Jr. b. April 12, 1770 in New Boston
2. Robert b. Oct 12, 1771 in New Boston
3. Joseph b. April 20 1773 in New Boston
4. Elizabeth b. May 16 1775 in Francestown
5. James b. Oct 5 1777 in Francestown
6. Laughlin b. Sept 19, 1779 in Francestown
7. Anna before 1783 unknown
8. Zachariah b. 1783 unknown

Note: In Joanna's obituary dated 1834, it states that she left behind 8 children, 56 grandchildren and 89 great grandchildren.

John Jr. m. first (?) second: Hannah Sommes

1. Harris b. Sept 24, 1771
2. Elizabeth b. April 27, 1776
3. John b. June 22, 1781
4. Polly b. May 20, 1783
5. Hiram b. Oct 6, 1788
6. Cyrus, b. Oct 16, 1796

The following is taken from the book "History of Francestown NH. 1758-1891" by Rev. W.R. Cochran, D.D. and George K. Wood, Esq. of Francestown, published 1895, pages 832-833.

" Thomas McLaughlin of Francestown seems to be the oldest child of John of New Boston. But little can be learned concerning him. He came here as early as 1774 and settled on the Spaulding farm, south of that village. He was chosen by the town as one of the "committee" to try those "suspected" of being Tories, June 10 1775 as a member of the "Committee of Safety", 1776; was on our board of selectmen, 1776 and chairman of the board in 1781. Soon after this date we lose sight of him. There was a Thomas McLaughlin that enlisted for Londonderry, September 1781, though not belonging to that town, and possibly it was our Thomas. He was in the army for this town for a time. There was also a John McLaughlin in the army from this town, probably a brother of Thomas."


In any investigation into the lives of these early McLaughlins, some confusion seems to result. A John McLaughlin, who was somewhat older than our John (who is thought to have been born in 1720), moved to Bedford NH, whereas our John settled in New Boston. Some researchers tell us that the McLaughlins in Bedford favored the American Revolutionary War, while many of the settlers of New Boston did not. As the battles of this war did not take place in NH, it seems possible that feelings were not quite as explosive as they were in other parts of New England. The following is a document that was presented to all the males of NH for their signature. The record for New Boston shows that John and John Jr. refused to sign. John's other son, Thomas, is not recorded because he was living in Francestown at that time serving on that town's Committee of Safety. A copy of the document follows:

Association Test: Colony of New Hampshire In Committee of Safety April 12, 1776

In consequence of the above Resolution of the Honorable Continental Congress and to show our Determination in joining our American Brethern in defending the Lives, Liberties and Properties of the Inhabitants of the United Colonies.

We, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage and promise that we will do our utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceeding of the British Fleets and Armies against the United American Colonies.

The McLaughlins did not leave NH during the Revolutionary War so they are not officially included on the list of United Empire Loyalists of New Brunswick. It has been suggested that they left their home in NH to take advantage of the free land grants. The economy after the war was not good and we really can't seem to find out if Thomas changed his loyalties during the war or not and felt more comfortable leaving his home and starting afresh in Canada. So the answer to the question, "were they Loyalists" is one that I am unable to give.

The following is the write up of the McLaughlins after they moved to St.David Ridge. This book has other stories about the families that moved from NH around the same time. For more information go to:

From the book "Memorial of the Loyalist Families" compiled by John Elliot Moore, Page 97

"There was still another family of prominence, in fact any notice of the neighborhood, or of the loyal families described would be incomplete without mention the McLaughlins. There was only one family but the name appears prominently in the history of New Boston, New Hampshire from whence this one came: Their names were Joseph, James, Zachariah, Robert, Laughlin, Thomas 2, Betsy (Mrs. William P. Scott), and Anna (Mrs. Rodney (Barney) McCann). With a native shrewdness and humor, and lithe and muscular, they were always first and best in all games of amusement, especially if punctured, as was usual the case, by a modicum of old Jamaica as in the early days, and of New England or Bedford when in season came: and a dance, a piling frolic, or a barn raising was the occasion of their lives. Skilled in all the work of the farm and forest they were always in request for building barns and outhouses, ox-yokes and sleds; camps for the men and hovels for the oxen in the lumber woods. But though competent as indicated, I do not recall among them one skilled Joiner, blacksmith, or of other trades. Zach McLaughlin, the younger of the ilk, at the age of ten or a dozen years, called upon Aunt Ruthy one morning in the Fall of the year when the frost did not accord with his thin raiment and bare feet. "Why Zach, haint ye most froze?" said Aunt Ruthy. "It is a bit cold", Zach replied, as he stooped over the glowing coals of backlog and forestick. "yes Zach, it is a pretty cold morning and now which will you have, a piece of bread and butter or a cup of rum?" I thank ye, Aunt Ruthy, I'll take both".

To learn more about the area where the McLaughlins settled in NB go to St. David Parish GenWeb Site .Here you will find information about the Cape Ann Land Grant, pictures of the area, and data on the McLaughins and various other families.

RIGHT CLICK on the photo for a full size view

Know all Men by these Presents, That I Thomas McLaughlin of New Boston in the County of Hillsborough , Province of New Hampshire in New England Yeoman. For and in Consideration of the Sum of one hundred and fifty pounds lawful Money To me in Hand before the Delivery hereof well and truly paid by John McLaughlin yn of The Town County & Province aforesaid Husbandman.

The Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge Have given, granted, bargained and sold, and by these Presents DO give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, enseoff, convey and confirm unto the said John McLaughlin yn his heirs and ofsigns forever a Certain Tract or Parcel of Land lying in New Boston aforesaid Containing Sixty Acres. It is the north end of the lot my Father John McLauglin now lives on it being number Sixty Six in the Second Division of lots in said Town & lying in the following manner begining at the north East corner of said lot then running two Degrees East along the East line of said lot so far that a Paralel line with the north line will make up the Compliment of Sixty Acres Exclusive of the orchard if it should fall into the above mentioned Sixty Acres as it is already described, & then to run so much further south or still to make up sixty acres To have and to hold the said granted Premises, with all the Privileges and Appertenances to the same appertaining to him the said John McLaughlin yn) his Heirs and Assigns, to his & their only proper Use and Benefit forever. And I the said Thomas McLaughlin for myself my Heirs Executors and Administrators do hereby covenant, grant and agree to and the said John McLaughlin yn his Heirs and Assigns, that until the Delivery hereof I am

(A line is missing)
Heirs and Assigns, against the lawful Claims and Demands of any Person or Persons whomsoever, & I Joanna wife of the aforesaid Thomas McLaughlin do by virtue of these presents yield up & surrender all my Right of Dower & Power of Thirto (?) in & to the aforesaid Premises belonging --- In Witness whereof we have hereunto set out honor and seals this Twenty fourth day of May in the Thirteenth year of his Majesty's Reign Anno Dom 1773

Signed Sealed & delivered in presence ( Thomas McLaughlin seal of us. Jonathan Gore John Cochran yn ( Joanna X [Her mark] McLaughlin seal

Province of New Hampshire County of Hillsborough 11 October 1773. Then Thomas McLaughlin & Joanna his wife personally appeared and acknowledged the within Instrument to be their free act & Deed before me Lawyer Cutler J Peace

Received & Recorded November 30th 1773 & Exam by Tom Hobart Recorder