Constant Southard of Fayette, Maine  

Constant Southworth
Duxbury, Massachusetts
Fayette, Readfield, Wayne and Corinna, Maine

The following information was contributed  by Peter Michael Smith:

    CONSTANT SOUTHWORTH, son of Thomas and Anna (Hatch) Southworth, was born August 20, 1764, Duxbury, Massachusetts. (Sources: (1) Duxbury, Massachusetts Vital Records prior to 1850, p. 314; (2) Southworth/Southard Genealogy, Samuel G. Webber, 1907; (3) History of Fayette, Maine, Joseph H. Underwood, 1956, p. 36).
    Constant first appears in records during the Revolutionary War. His name and service appears in Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1906, p. 663. He enlisted at Duxbury, Massachusetts as a private in Captain Benjamin Rider’s company, Colonel John Jacobs’s regiment on July 26, 1780 at age 15, and one month before his sixteenth birthday. He was discharged November 1, 1780, with service of 3 months, 9 days at Rhode Island. The regiment detached from militia to reinforce Continental Army for 3 months, Roll sworn to in Plymouth County. There is also a receipt dated April 9, 1781, for bounty paid to Southworth by Colonel B. Alden, Chairman of a class of the town of Duxbury, to serve in the Continental Army for the term of 3 years.
    Constant swore under oath in 1818 that he enlisted as a private in the Continental Army for 3 years in April 1781 in a company commanded by Capt. Drew or Capt. Judah Alden in a regiment commanded by Colonel Ebenezer Strout of Massachusetts. He served until December 1783 and was discharged at West Point for two years and 8 months.
    There is no proof that Constant had more than one wife. Some sources give that he married 1) HANNAH PETTINGIL. The History of Fayette, Maine, by Joseph H. Underwood, 1956, p., 36 states his first wife was Hannah Pettingil. The Southworth/ Southard Genealogy, Samuel G. Webber, 1907 gives that he had two wives, the first being listed as _____ Pettingil. There is no record of this marriage and it appears she died before 1785. Constant’s son, Constant Jr. is listed as being from this first marriage, but records show his birth appearing after 1785. This adds to the evidence that Constant had only one known wife.
    Constant Southworth married LUCY FOORD/FORD, October 27, 1785, Plympton, Massachusetts. (Source: (1) Plympton, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850). She was born October 17, 1762, Marshfield, Massachusetts, daughter of Isaac and Lucy (Josselyn) Ford.
    Constant is living in New Sandwich (Wayne), Maine on the 1790 census. His household contained 1 male over 20 and 1 male less than 16 years of age and two females. On the 1800 census, his household had 3 males and 4 females. The following is from the History of Fayette, Maine by Joseph H. Underwood, pp. 37-38:
    “When in 1809, the east side of the gore known as the Thirty Mile Strip, was annexed to Readfield, Constant became a citizen of that town. About this time various parts of his property were sold, John Bodge obtaining the western portion. Mr. Southard was a petitioner for incorporation of Fayette and also the annexation of the Thirty-Mile Strip to Readfield.
    The early part of the nineteenth century was a period of flux in town boundaries. Early town incorporation embraced lager areas than the settlers found convenient for the transactions of their public business. The tendency to make town lines straight created gores-unincorporated areas. The incorporation of Fayette and Readfield left such a gore between towns. In the period between 1795 and 1809, Constant Southard had been voting in Fayette, holding offices and paying taxes there.”
    Constant does not appear on the 1810 census index of Maine under the spelling of Southworth,Southard or any other variation of the name. He is said to have moved to Corinna, Maine between 1807 and 1806 where he was the first settler. He sold his land in Fayette in 1809 and may have been disposing his property there since he had established a farm in Corinna. The town of Corinna was not incorporated until 1816 and Constant may not have been counted on the 1810 census by living in an unorganized territory.
    Two accounts of Constant Southard settling in Corinna have been published. One is the History of Corinna, Maine by Lilia E. Wood, 1916 which contains a brief paragraph of the Southard family. The author confuses Constant Southard Jr. with his father, Constant Sr. as to which was the first settler. The other account by John H. Winchester, Historian of Corinna, was published in the Lewiston Evening Journal, August 23, 1916 for Corinna’s centennial celebration. Winchester gives an accurate account of Constant Southard Sr. of Corinna. The article begins with a list of 25 signatures of the inhabitants of Corinna petitioning for incorporation of the town in 1815.
    “The above shows 25 signatures and states that there were 25 or 26 families. The name of Constant Southard does not appear, but it has been established by good authority that he was the first settler. He came to Corinna from Fayette in 1807 or 1808. It would seem fitting this sketch contain a little account of the first settler.
    Being a Revolutionary War soldier below is given the record as copied by the writer from the Archives at Augusta. Constant was born Duxbury, Mass. in 1764 or 1765. In April 1781, he enlisted as a private in a company under Capt. Drew or Judah Allen and a regiment under Colonel Ebenezer Strout. In December 1783, he was honorably discharged at West Point, his discharge being signed by General Henry Knox. This statement made under oath in Augusta under the name of Southard. the name of Constant Southworth in the Archives in Washington, but records show that Constant Southard and Constant Southworth are the same person. He enlisted for a short term on the home guards before he enlisted for the long term and was there known by the name of Southard. Later, he settled in Fayette and later moved to Corinna. He served on the first board of Selectmen in 1817.
    The name being Southworth proves him to be a direct descendant of those Southworths whose mother came over in 1623 and married Gov. William Bradford. She had two sons by her first husband and they came over to the colony in 1628. Thomas the younger left only one daughter.
    Constant left three sons from which all Southworths or Southards are descended. As near as can be ascertained the following is the order. Constant-1, Nathaniel-2, Benjamin-3, Thomas-4, Constant-5, the latter being the one who settled in Corinna and the Exeter Southards are descended. Constant Southworth died November 19, 1826 and is buried in the pasture of the south side of the road which is now (1916) owned by Stanley French.
    The graves of himself and his wife have been located and a neat iron fence put around them and today a flag is flying above their resting place.”

    The above article is historically correct, except for the line of descent, which gives Nathaniel Southworth as the second-generation ancestor. It should be Edward Southworth.

     Constant lived in the area of Corinna known as Morse’s Corner where many of the early pioneers of Corinna first settled. He first appears in the town records when he was chosen selectman at the first town meeting on March 1, 1817. Constant and his son, Constant Jr. both appear on the taxpayer list of the town in 1820. The 1820 census lists one male less than 10 years of age, 1 male between 10 and 16 and a male 45 or more, living with him. There was one female between 10 and 16 and another 45 or more, probably his wife. It is not known if these were some of his grandchildren or children he employed to help him and his wife around the farm.

    In 1818, Constant applied for a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. The original records are held at the Maine State Archives, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    I Constant Southard, a citizen of the United States aged fifty three years, born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, now resident in Corinna in the District of Maine upon oath testify and declare, that in April 1781 I enlisted as a Private Soldier in the service of the U. States, in the war of the Revolution, against the common enemy, upon the Continental establishment for the period of three years, in company commanded by Capt. Drew or Capt. Judah Alden and regiment commanded by Coil. Ebenezer Sprout of the Massachusetts line. I served until December 1783 when hostilities having ceased and peace taken place, I was finally and honorably discharged at West point December 1783, having served in the Army two years and eight months, My discharge was signed by Major Gen. Henry Knox. My discharge I kept a number of years, but it is not now to my knowledge in existence. I served principally on the Hudson between New York and Albany. >From my reduced circumstance, I am in need of assistance from my Country for support. And I do hereby relinquish all my claims to every pension heretofore allowed me by the laws of the United States, if any, but I am not to my knowledge borne on any pension list whatever. I request that I may be placed upon the pension list for the District of Maine.
Constant Southard
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kennebec ss,

    On the ninth day of April A. D. 1818, Constant Southard above named after having been carefully examined made oath to the truth of the foregoing declaration by him subscribed before me
Nathan Weston jr. Chief Justice C. Court C. Pleas second
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    I Josiah Gordon of Chesterville in the District of Maine, of lawful age, upon oath testify and declare, that I am well acquainted with Constant Southard above named. From his reduced circumstances, he is in need of assistance from his Country for support. He sustains the character of a man of truth.
Josiah Gordon
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kennebec ss.

On the ninth day of April A. D. 1818 Josiah Gordon above named after having been carefully examined made oath to the truth of the within deposition by here subscribed.

Before me Nathan Weston Jr. Chief Justice, C. Court,
C. Pleas, second Eastern Circuit
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    To the Honorable the Secretary of the Department of War of the United States

    I the subscribed, being, Chief Justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the second Eastern Circuit of Massachusetts, embracing the Counties of Lincoln, Kennebec and Somerset, do hereby your Honor, that Constant Southard Citizen of the United States, now resident, in the District of Maine on the ninth day of April A.D. 1818 made application to me to receive his declaration under oath and such other evidence as was in his power to produce; And to Transmit the same and the proceedings had thereon to your Honor, that he might be placed on the Pension List of the United States, agreeably to the Provisions of an Act entitled “An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the Land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary war,” passed March 18, A.D. 1818, which declaration, and the other evidence produced by the said Applicant, is hereunto annexed. And I do further certify to your Honor, that after a full examination of the said applicant and a careful consideration of the evidence in the case it appears to me that the said applicant did serve as a private soldier in the war of the Revolution until the end thereof against the common enemy, upon the Continental establishment and for more than nice months, as stated in his declaration aforesaid, and that from his reduced circumstances, he needs the assistance of his country for support.
    In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Court in which I preside to be hereunto affixed this twenty third day of may in the year of our Lord, on thousand eight hundred and eighteen.
Nathan Weston Jun. C Jus. CCC Pleas 2nd E. Circuit
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kennebec ss

    The subscriber, clerk of all the Judicial County held within the said County of Kennebec hereby certifies that the Honorable Nathan Weston Junior Esquire before whom the annexed proceedings were held is Chief Justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas, for the Second eastern Circuit of Massachusetts, embracing the County of Lincoln, Kennebec and Somerset, and that by direction of the said Judge I have affixed unto his certified bearing his signature the Seal of the said court in which he presides.

In testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand Dated at Augusta in said County of Kennebec, tenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.
John Davis

Constant’s widow, Lucy later also applied for a pension in 1835 which is included in the records with his application as follows:

I do here certify that the foregoing pages number from one to four are truly copied from the originals on file in the Pension Office, War Department.
Henry S. Addison

    And I do further certify that it appears from a List of final Settlement Certificates issued by John Pierce Esquire pay Master General and Commissioner of the Army Accounts of the United States deposited in said Office that Constant Southworth received three certificates for $17. 23 due January 1st 1783. for $80 due January 1st 1783. And for $57.50 due January 1st 1783 the name of Constant Southard does not appear thereon.
Henry S. Addison

I certify that Henry S. Addison who is employed by the Land Agent of the State of Maine under a Resolution of the Legislature of that State passed on the 17th of March 1835 to obtain from the Pension Office certain documents & Records has made as full an examination in the case of Constant Southard as the Books and paper of said Office will afford according to the best of my knowledge and belief dated at the Pension Office, War Department the 20th day of May 1837.
J. L. Edwards, Commissioner of Pensions.

    Lucy B. Southard applied for land, on May 29, 1835 and her application was examined and rejected on July 17, 1835 stating her husband did not serve 3 years. Her Attorney was Robert C. Vose of Augusta. Lucy B. Southard, widow of Constant Southard, applied again for a land grant on March 24, 1836 with a new attorney, George W. Morton of Augusta. It does not appear she was successful with her second appeal. The last correspondence in the file is from her lawyer:

Augusta June 5, 1837

“Dear Sir,
    I have received a package from you containing Abigail Roust, Wm Hardy, Martha
True, Oliver Hartwell, Lydia Richardson, Mercy Holmes, Betsey Ewer, Lydia Pratt certificates under Resolve of Legislature of Maine of March 24, 1836. I believe in the application made by Lucy B. Southard for land under Resolve of March 17, 1835 which was rejected by reason of her husband’s service being less than three years, is a certificate of the Judge of Probate, was the cause of my not getting another rejected claim is presumed to be upon your files where the Judge’s certificates will be found. Should it not be found please inform me and I will furnish one immediately.
    The claim of land of Sarah Miller was filed by Edward Blake, Esq. and supposed to be good. Will you look at her claim and inform me what more is wanting in her care?”

Yours with respect,
Geo. W. Morton

    Lucy Southard begins to appear in the town records of Corinna in 1837 as a pauper to be bid off by the town for care. The first entry seems to confuse the wives of Constant Southard Sr. and Constant Jr. by calling her Widow Sarah Southard. The name of Lucy Southard is used in later records. Sarah (Hicks) Southard, wife of Constant Jr. was not a widow in 1837, but Lucy Southard had been a widow for almost 11 years by 1837

Corinna, Maine Town Records:

    March 5, 1837, town voted to pay Phillip Morse four shillings per weeks for keeping “Sarah” Southard for the past year. Voted to pay $25 to Phillip Morse to keep Widow Sarah Southard the ensuing year. The vote not accepted by Phillip Morse. Voted to give Phillip Morse four shillings per week to keep widow Sarah Southard the ensuing year and free from town expense.

    March 19, 1838, town voted that Eben Boyden have seventy-five cents per week for keeping Mrs. Constant Southard for the ensuing year and to help her free from any expense to the town and is to take her into his home.

    August 26, 1839, town voted to authorize the selectman to agree with the widow Morse to support Lucy Southard from now until the next March meeting at a price not exceeding what she might be supported for on the town farm.

    March 24, 1840, town voted to pay Phillip Morse’s widow twenty-five dollars to support widow Lucy Southard the ensuing years and the town to pay the said Lucy’s doctor’s bill.

    March 12, 1841, town voted to Mrs. Morse twenty-five dollars to support Mrs. Southard the ensuing year.

    This is the last available record at the State Archives, which end in 1843. Lucy was fortunate to be taken in by Phillip Morse, who probably was her son-in-law through his wife, Lovina Southard. Despite that Lovina had died in 1826 and he had remarried, he cared for his former mother-in-law. After Phillip’s death, his second wife, cared for Lucy Southard, whom she had no connection.

    Lucy Southard died September 15, 1848, Corinna, Maine. (Source: Corinna, Maine Vital Records, M. S. A. roll #141) Constant Southard died November 19, 1826, Corinna, Maine. (Sources: (1) Corinna, Maine Vital Records, M. S. A. roll #141; (2) C. Southworth Cemetery, Corinna, Maine) The cemetery where Constant is buried contains only one gravestone, which bears the name of C. Southworth, Mass. Mil. Rev. War. There are several assorted size rocks used as markers in the cemetery. One is said to be his mother, who came to Corinna with him and his widow, Lucy and possibly other unknown family members or neighbors to the Southworths.

The Eastern Gazette, vol. 132, No. 45, contained the following article for it’s Veteran’s Day issue 1987 about the Southworth Cemetery.
    “Never Forgotten, No Longer Neglected Corinna - As an appropriate project for Veterans day, the Commander and members of Corinna’s American Legion Post 73 have given $300 to the Town of Corinna to establish a trust fund for the perpetual care of the grave of C. Southworth, an early Corinna resident who had served as a member of the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War.
    The gift was needed because the grave is in a private cemetery near route #43 (the Exeter Road) on the east edge of Corinna, and has had no source of income for maintenance. A private burial plot, it has not been among the cemeteries routinely cared for by Corinna’s maintenance crew, thus, the grave sometimes has been “lost”, that is, obscured by brush and weeds. That will not happen again.
    Post 73 has been decorating the Southworth grave since just after World w\War I, planting a fresh flag there every Memorial Day. Thus, C. Southworth has not been forgotten, but sometimes has been neglected. Phillip Burrill, Corinna’s recently hired town manager, did not know the tiny cemetery existed until recently. When he learned of it, he sent out the maintenance crew under the direction of Joanne Seaney to clean up the site and prepare it for further improvements come spring.
    Patriot C. Southworth has never been Corinna’s Unknown Soldier. He will never be the town’s forgotten or neglected soldier either, thanks to the generous gifts from Post 73, the positive actions of the town manager, and the arduous efforts of Joanne Seaney and her maintenance crew.
Louise Lovejoy, Correspondent”

Children of Constant Southworth/Southard:

i. CONSTANT b. March 3, 1783 (1786), Marshfield, Massachusetts

ii. HANNAH b. 1787, Maine

iii. JOSLYN b. bef 1800, Maine

iv. LUCY b. July 29, 1792, Fayette, Maine

v. JOHN b. October 20, 1794, Fayette, Maine

vi. LOVINA b. bef 1800, Fayette, Maine

vii. Daughter b. before 1800. (Source: Southworth/Southard genealogy lists Hannah, who m. a Bragdon, but records show Hannah married someone else. There were 3 females under 10 on 1800 census which may mean there was another daughter who married a Bragdon)

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