DUTY, William - I19561

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William DUTY

Duty Crest.gif

William DUTY married at Rowley, Massachusetts, 1 May 1684, Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew and Sarah (HOSETIN) HIDDEN. [1] She was born there 19 December 1665 [2] and died 7 February 1742.

I. William DUTY served as a soldier in King Philip's War, under Captain Poole. [3] This famous image painted by John Trumbull denotes our William Duty.


His name is found in the town tax list of 1691 [4], in which year he also took the oath of freeman. He died in Rowley, 11 April 1738, "above 80 year old" [5], which would bring his birth date about 1658.

CHILDREN, all born in Rowley:

  1. WILLIAM, born 31 July 1687; married REBECCA BENNETT.
  2. Sarah, born 17 March 1689.
  3. John, born 4 July 1691.
  4. Matthew, born 29 January 1693; married 4 January 1723 Deborah Goodrich, who was captured when seven years old, by Indians, but later redeemed. She died in Beverly, Massachusetts, in March 1774, aged 88 years. Her parents and two sisters were killed in the Indian raid. [6]
  5. Samuel, born 5 May 1696, died 20 May 1761 [7]; married 1 October 1718, Ruth Tenney.
  6. Andrew, born 16 September 1698 died 8 May 1772. [8]
  7. Moses, baptized 29 September 1700.
  8. Joseph, baptized 15 July 1705.
  9. Mary, baptized 2 October 1706.

William DUTY

II. William DUTY, born 31 July 1687, at Rowley, Massachusetts, married 15 April 1709 {Ibid.}, Rebecca, daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth (PALMER) (WALLINGFORD) BENNETT. [9] She was born 9 October 1685, at Rowley. He died 24 March 1753 [10], but we find no date of death of wife. They may have moved from Rowley for a time, and the births of their children be elsewhere recorded. There are, however, unprinted manuscript records of Rowley which may contain the items.

His child as listed below:

Moses DUTY

III. Moses DUTY, christened 29 Oct 1700, married 1 May 1741, at Rowley, Ann Mary [11], daughter of John and Mary (STICKNEY) PALMER. [12] She was born at Rowley, 1 June 1717 [13], where most, if not all, of her children were born.

They moved to Windham, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, where he is found on a tax list 28 November 1775 "the first Province Tax under the Authority of Congress." [14] He signed the [15] was a method used to discover the loyalty of civilians in the contest between the Colonists and Britain, and was usually signed by men too old to give military service. It ran thus:

We the subscribers do hereby solemnly engage and promise that we will to the 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. [16]

His three sons, Moses, Mark, and William, gave loyal service in the Revolutionary War, William being at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Moses enlisting in June following and, together with his brother Mark, giving many years of military service during the struggle, both on this side and the other of the Canadian border. [17]

The following extract from History of the Visitation of Groveland, Massachusetts, in the 1863, by Alfred Poore, M.D., is of interest:

John Merrill came here and says: "William Duty, who resided on our place, was a very courageous man, He was in the Bunker Hill fight, and stood close by Major McClary, of Chichester, when a four pound ball struck and killed him." William Duty had a sister Eunice who could take up a barrel of cider and drink out of the bung. He also had a sister who was the wife of William Rowell, of Salem,....

Mark Duty, son of Moses, was living at Nottingham, West Town, New Hampshire afterwards called Hudson, in 1790, as head of a family [18] ''"Mary Duty"'' with four females in family, is also listed there that year [19] from which it is inferred that Moses, the father, had died before that date, and his widow, Mary, continued to live near her son and his family. The exact date of her death is uncertain.


  1. Moses, born 11 April 1742, was a Revolutionary soldier. In 1800 he sold his right to land bounty.
  2. MARY. (christened also Elizabeth), born 16 October 1743; married ASAEL SMITH.
  3. Eunice, born 23 June 1745.
  4. Mark, born 18 October 1746; died 1783 or 84. [20] He married at Derryfield, New Hampshire, 1 March 1770, Abigail, daughter of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Woodberry.
  5. William,"the first child Baptized in the new Meeting house," 14 January 1748; married 1774, Mary Rowell, born 1750. He was in the Battle of Bunker Hill [21]; was corporal in Captain Woodbury's company, 1775; elected coroner of Salem, New Hampshire, 1784. Eight children were born to him between 1774 and 1789. In 1837 his widow was granted a pension, her husband having died 27 September 1812. She was living 1837 with a daughter, Abigail Emerson, in Newbury, Vermont. [22].
  6. Sarah, born 29 July 1752, married William Rowell of Salem.
  7. Hannah, born 11 June 1755.


IV. Mary DUTY, born at Rowley, Massachusetts, 11 October 1743, married 12 February 1767, Asael SMITH, the marriage being recorded both in Derryfield, New Hampshire, and Topsfield, Massachusetts, where she is mentioned as being "of Wyndham, New Hampshire." [23] She died in Kirtland, Lake, Ohio on 27 May 1836. She had come to know the Prophet Joseph Smith.

See the SMITH biographical sketch for continuation of this line.

  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)


  1. {Essex Institute Historical Collections 6:40.}
  2. {Ibid.}
  3. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 41:273.}
  4. {History of Rowley, Gage, 398}
  5. {Essex Institute Historical Collections 21:181}
  6. {History of Rowley, Gage, 200.}
  7. {Essex Historical Collection 7:149}
  8. {Ibid.}
  9. {Essex Antiquarian 7 8:187.}
  10. {Records First Church of Rowley, 29}
  11. {Essex Institute Historical Collections 6:122}
  12. {Ibid.}
  13. {Ibid.}
  14. {History of Windham, Morrison, 72.}
  15. "association test"
  16. History of Windham, Morrison, 75.
  17. {New Hampshire Revolutinary Rolls 1:158 607.}
  18. {First Census of New Hampshire, 53.}
  19. {Ibid.}
  20. {Daughters American Revolution records.}
  21. {History of Salem, New Hampshire, Gilbert, 234, 246}
  22. {New Hampshire Pension Records 16:856}
  23. {Topsfield Historical Society Collections 9:186.}