Entry in Peter Edes diary documenting the death of Captain Benjamin Walker
Captain Benjamin Walker (1741-1775) and Abiel Abbott (1745-1795)
Generation Five Family 323
Benjamin Walker was married to fifth generation George Abbott descendant, Abiel Abbott. Benjamin Walker held the rank of Captain. He marched on 19 April 1775 in the regiment of Moses Parker. Later that year, serving under Lt. Colonel Parker in the regiment of Colonel Eleazer Bridge, Captain Walker was engaged at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Captain Walker was wounded and taken prisoner. His wounds resulted in the amputation of his leg. He lingered in prison for two months and succumbed 15 August 1775. (2, 3, 4) An apprentice printer, Peter Edes, was in the Boston jail with other prisoners taken at Bunker Hill and he kept a diary while in jail. His entry referencing the death of Captain Walker is shown above. Edes diary includes a list of 30 prisoners taken at Bunker Hill. The link to the diary is given at the bottom of this post.
ABIEL ABBOTT (f) (Ephraim4, Stephen3, John2, George1), b. at Andover, 14 Apr 1745 daughter of Ephraim and Hannah (Phelps) Abbott; d. May 1795; m. 1st, 4 Apr 1763, BENJAMIN WALKER, b. at Billerica 6 Aug 1741 son of Benjamin and Hannah (Frost) Walker. Benjamin was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill, taken prisoner, and died in prison at Boston 15 Aug 1775. (1) Abiel m. 2nd 23 Apr 1778, as his second wife, SAMUEL FITCH, b. 9 Nov 1736 son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (-) Fitch; Samuel Fitch d. 21 Jul 1809. Samuel Fitch was first married to Mary Blood.
Abiel Abbott and Benjamin Walker were parents of six children.
1. BENJAMIN WALKER, b. at Andover, 15 Nov 1763; d. likely in NH, about 1793; m. at Chelmsford, 25 Jan 1786, ESTHER PIERCE, b. at Chelmsford, 12 Jun 1761 daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Merrill) Pierce; Esther d. at Antrim, NH, 1 Nov 1826. After Benjamin’s death, Esther married Timothy Kendall on 26 Oct 1794.
2. HANNAH WALKER, b. at Andover, 20 Jul 1766; d. at Nelson, NH, 26 Apr 1844; m. at Tyngsborough, 2 Feb 1796, JOSEPH BLOOD, b. 27 Oct 1769 (5); Joseph d. at Nelson, 1 May 1839.
3. ABIEL WALKER, b. at Andover, 26 Mar 1768; d. at Westmoreland, NH, 25 Jul 1838; m. at Westmoreland, 27 Jun 1795, BETSEY VEASEY, b. at Westmoreland, 24 Feb 1775 daughter of John and Huldah (Hackett) Veasey; Betsey d. at Westmoreland, 15 Feb 1825.
4. ABBOTT WALKER, b. at Chelmsford, 24 Jul 1770; d. at Andover, 2 Aug 1831; m. at Andover, 21 Jul 1796, LYDIA AMES, b. at Groton, 29 Mar 1770 daughter of Nathan and Deborah (Bowers) Ames; Lydia d. at Salem, 24 Jun 1843.
5. EPHRAIM WALKER, b. at Andover, 22 Jul 1772; d. at Springfield, VT, 21 Jul 1864; m. at Chelmsford, 4 Jan 1801, MARTHA MANNING, b. at Chelmsford, 21 Oct 1776 daughter of Jonathan and Martha (Howard) Manning; Martha d. at Springfield, 13 May, 1835.
6. RHODA WALKER, b. at Chelmsford, 12 Apr 1774; d. at Tyngsborough, 2 Apr 1822; m. at Tyngsborough, 14 Feb 1800, ELIJAH FLETCHER, b. about 1774 son of Elijah and Mercy (Butterfield) Fletcher; Elijah d. at Tyngsborough, 23 Apr 1822.
Abiel Abbott and Samuel Fitch had two children born at Acton. Their son Irad did not marry. In his will written 28 July 1838, Irad bequeathed one dollar each to his sister Betsey Read, half-brother Ephraim Walker, and half-brother Noah Fitch. All the remainder of the estate to be divided into seven shares and go to the following heirs: heirs of half-sister Rhoda Fletcher deceased the wife of the late Elijah Fletcher; one share to half-sister Mary Read; one share to half-brother D. Samuel Fitch; one-share to half-brother Luke Fitch; one share to half-brother Abial Walker; one share to half-sister Hannah Blood wife of Jeremiah Blood; and one share to half-brother Lot Fitch. However, he notes that he does not know where Luke Fitch and Abial Walker are living, and if they do not call for their shares within two years of Irad's decease, then the shares are to be divided among of the other five heirs who receive shares. (6)
1. BETSEY FITCH, b. 1779; d. at Littleton, 26 Mar 1865; m. at Littleton, about 1854, SAMUEL REED, b. at Westford, 15 May 1774 son of Samuel and Hannah (Wright) Reed; Samuel d. at Littleton, 23 Jul 1860. Samuel Reed was first married to Betsey’s half-sister Mary Fitch. Mary Fitch was the daughter of Samuel Fitch and his first wife Mary Blood. Betsey Fitch is reported to have had a first marriage to another Mr. Reed, but specific information for that marriage has not been located. (7) There is evidence that she had this earlier marriage as her brother Irad refers to her as his sister Betsey Read in his 1838 will. In her 1856 will, Betsey leaves her estate to her husband Samuel Read and then fifth parts of her estate to her sons-in-law and daughter-in-law who are the children of Samuel Read and his first wife Mary Fitch.
2. IRAD FITCH, b. 12 Jul 1781; d. at Tyngsborough, 30 Jul 1838. Irad did not marry.
1) Benjamin, Capt, wounded at Charlestown, carried captive to Boston, died in prison of sickness, in ye latter end of August, 1775. C.R.1.
2) Colonial Soldiers and Officers in New England, 1620-1775. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2013).
3) Boston Public Library. American Revolutionary War Manuscripts Collection, Document certifying Capt. Benjamin Walker's capture at Bunker Hill, 1775 [manuscript], accessed through archive.org
4) Levin, Andy, 2013, Chelmsford Bravery at the Battle of Bunker Hill, http://www.wickedlocal.com/x369947957/Chelmsford-bravery-at-the-Battle-of-Bunker-Hill
5) Joseph’s birth date calculated from age at death of 69 years, 6 months, 4 days
6) Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. Case number 7693
7) There is a marriage record in Amherst, NH for 1821 for a Betsey Fitch and a Samuel Reed, but there is no good reason to think that is for this Betsey.
Peter Edes complete diary can be seen at the following site: https://www.masshist.org/database/1978