Samuel and Mary, in connection with admittance to the Dorchester church, were called to publicly own the covenant of the church on 29 May 1677.(1) Mary had been received in "full communion" on 7 May. A seating plan of the Dorchester church places Samuel in the East Gallery, south part, fifth seat, in January of 1693 (1693/1694?). Samuel's wife, not named, also had a seat (the seventh in the "new seating" of that year). Mary died about this time, but she was a documented member of the church, so she is likely the woman referred to. Samuel married Christian Potter and moved to Bristol, Massachusetts (now Rhode Island) by early 1695, when their daughter Margaret was baptized and Samuel appears on a tax list in that town.
Christian Potter was a pauper in Dorchester. The deacons and selectmen of that town gave her provisions on 8 October 1689, including a bushel of corn, 2 pecks of rye and 4 shillings in cash.(2) Her family origins have not been found. It is likely that she was a widow. She may have been born about 1655 and had her last known daughter Margaret when she was about 40, which would explain why there are no other apparent children born to the couple. Christian is recorded as joining the Bristol church as the widow of Samuel in April of 1704.(2) She very likely remarried to John Hathaway of Freetown, Massachusetts.
children of Samuel and Mary Maxfield (including rough notes):
(first four bap. 11 September 1677, Dorchester)
John b. 13 June 1671, remained in Dorchester
Mary b. 27 September 1673
Ebenezer (m. Ann)
Sarah bap. 4 July 1680, Dorchester
Samuel bap. 9 May 1682, "
Judith bap. 9 January 1683/1684, "
Ichabod bap. 30 May 1686, " (m. Mary Godfrey, 8/12/1713 Freetown)
Joseph b. ca1689-90 (m. Mary, d. 1768, age 78, lived in Bristol. Joseph was in Dighton by 1712, when the
first town records list him as a town flax-culler. Mary joined the Bristol church in 1697, and they both
died in Bristol.)
child of Samuel and Christian Maxfield:
Richard bap. 25 July 1692 (Dorch.) (in Dighton by 1724, Richard wit. to will in Dighton 9/2/1724)
(may have had Christian of Dighton, who marr. John Butter of Freetown, int. 11/23/1739, and Judith,
who marr. John Omee, int. 10/11/1746, all Freetown VRs)
1. Charles Henry Pope, ed., Records of the First Church of Dorchester in New England, 1636-1734 (Boston, 1891).
3. Manual of the First Church in Bristol, Rhode Island, 1687-1872
all text and photographs © 1998-2008 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted