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A family of educators

Winslow Homer, The Country School (1871)

Ezra Abbot (1772-1847) and Rebekah Hale (1781-1860)

Generation Five Family 800

EZRA ABBOT (Dorcas Abbot Abbot4, Benjamin3, Benjamin2, George1), b. at Wilton, NH, 8 Feb 1772 son of Abiel and Dorcas (Abbot) Abbot; d. at Wilton, 3 Apr 1847; m. at Coventry, CT, 6 Oct 1799, REBEKAH HALE, b. at Coventry, 9 Jan 1781 daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Harris) Hale; Rebekah d. 5 May 1860.

Ezra Abbot married Rebekah Hale of Coventry, Connecticut. Rebekah was the niece of Nathan Hale. The marriage was performed by Ezra’s brother, Reverend Abiel Abbot. The family settled in Wilton. Ezra was primarily a farmer and took over the large homestead that was acquired by his father.

Ezra had a wide range of interests one of which was working with his brother Samuel in the manufacture of potato starch which was used as sizing in the textile industry. Samuel Abbot had invented machinery for processing the starch.

Ezra and Rebekah Abbot were parents who valued education including education of their daughters. Three of the daughters were school teachers. In his young adult life, Ezra did some teaching in the community.

In his will written 15 December 1846, Ezra Abbot bequeaths to beloved wife Rebekah H. Abbot the use of that part of the dwelling house she finds convenient. She also receives $2,000 to be paid over a period of three years with interest. Rebekah also receives the household furniture and the use of the library. There are also several other provisions for her maintenance. Granddaughter Emily Marie Knight is the receive $500 held by a guardian and to earn interest which is reinvested. The money is to be used for her education. If Emily dies before age twenty-one, the bequest will go to Emily’s mother, beloved daughter Rebecca A. Knight. Son Joseph Hale Abbot receives $420. Beloved son Ezra Abbot receives $400 which will make his full portion when added to what he has already received. Son Abiel receives $500, daughter Harriet $500, son Nelson $2,400, daughter Abby Ann Rockwood $500, daughter Sarah Jane Abbot $1,500, and son John Hale Abbot $2,250. Son Harris Abbot receives all the real estate and personal property not otherwise distributed. Harris will be responsible for paying any debts owed and to pay out all the legacies given in the will. Harris is named executor.

Ezra and Rebekah had thirteen children born at Wilton.

1. REBECCA ABBOT, b. 16 Jul 1800; d. at Wilton, 5 Apr 1882; m. 20 Jan 1841, as his second wife, Reverend ISAAC KNIGHT, b. at Waterford, ME, 29 Dec 1797 son of Abel and Mercy (Watson) Knight; Isaac d. at Boscawen, NH, 24 Jul 1850. Isaac was first married to Phebe Beaman who died in 1840. Sadly, Emily Marie Knight died in 1864 at age 19 and so was not able to use her legacy from her grandfather for her education. Rebecca was a teacher.

2. SON ABBOT, b. and d. 13 Sep 1801

3. JOSEPH HALE ABBOT, b. 25 Sep 1802; d. at Cambridge, MA, 7 Apr 1873; m. at Beverly, 13 May 1830, FANNY ELLINGWOOD LARCOM, b. at Beverly, 14 Jun 1807 daughter of Henry and Fanny (Ellingwood) Larcom; Fanny d. at Cambridge, 26 Jun 1883.

4. DORCAS ABBOT, b. 24 Jan 1804; d. at Wilton, 2 Nov 1833; m. 21 Sep 1825, EBENEZER BISHOP, b. at Lisbon, CT, 1798 son of Cyrus and Susannah (Bishop) Bishop; Ebenezer d. at Lisbon, 6 Jan 1827. Dorcas and Ebenezer had no children.

5. EZRA ABBOTT, b. 27 Nov 1805; d. at Owatonna, MN, 16 Aug 1876; m. 29 Apr 1846, SARAH HOOKER, b. at New York, NY, 7 Aug 1824 daughter of William and Eliza Carlton (Blunt) Hooker; Sarah d. 13 Feb 1905.

6. ABIEL ABBOT, b. 11 May 1808; d. at Wilton, 23 Aug 1896. Abiel did not marry. He was a teacher. He spent some time with his brother in Minnesota helping him establish his property.

7. EMILY ABBOT, b. 16 Aug 1810; d. at Wilton, 10 Jun 1835. Emily was a teacher. She did not marry.

8. HARRIS ABBOT, b. 19 Sep 1812; d. at Wilton, 20 Mar 1884; m. at Dracut, 8 Dec 1860, CAROLINE ANN GREELEY, b. at Pelham, NH, 20 Oct 1836 daughter of Jonathan Butler and Lucy Ann (Coburn) Greeley; Caroline d. at Wilton, 8 Nov 1911.

9. HARRIET ABBOT, b. 19 Jun 1814; d. at Wilton, 16 Jul 1886; m. 5 Jan 1837, her second cousin, HERMAN ABBOT (Jeremiah6, Jeremiah5, John4, John3, John2, George1), b. at Wilton, 20 Feb 1814 son of Jeremiah and Eunice (Blanchard) Abbot; Herman d. 17 Nov 1878.

10. NELSON ABBOT, b. 17 Nov 1816; d. at Wilton, 9 Jan 1890; m. 17 Aug 1848, his second cousin once removed, HANNAH HOLT PEAVEY (Peter Peavey6, Lucy Cummings Peavey5, Elizabeth Abbott Cummings4, Benjamin3, Benjamin2, George1), b. at Greenfield, 13 Aug 1821 daughter of Peter and Dorcas (Holt) Peavey; Hannah d. at Wilton, 21 Mar 1891.

11. ABBY ANN ABBOT, b. 13 Dec 1818; d. at Boston, 12 May 1912; m. 1 May 1845, LUBIN BURTON ROCKWOOD, b. at Wilton, 8 Aug 1816 son of Lubin and Lydia (Burton) Rockwood; Lubin d. at Boston, 7 May 1872.

12. SARAH JANE ABBOT, b. 15 May 1821; d. at Wilton, 18 Jun 1857. Sarah did not marry.

13. JOHN HALE ABBOT, b. 5 Sep 1825; d. at Wilton, 19 Jan 1905. John did not marry. He was a civil engineer and a surveyor. He went to Owatoona with his brother Ezra and lived there about 30 years but returned to Wilton in his later years.


Abbot, Charles Greeley. 1929. "Biographical Memoir of Henry Larcom Abbot 1831-1927." National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting.

Abbott, Stanley Hale. 1961. The Family Tree of Ezra Abbot. Hastings, NE: Stanley Hale Abbott.

New Hampshire Wills and Probate Records 1643-1982, Will of Ezra Abbot, Hillsborough, 15 Dec 1846.

Warren, Henry Pelt. 1879. The History of Waterford: Oxford County, Maine, Comprising Historical Address, by Henry P. Warren; Record of Families, by Rev. William Warren, D.D.; Centennial Proceedings, by Samuel Warren, Esq. Waterford, ME: Hoyt, Fogg & Donham.

Photo credit: Winslow Homer, The Country School (1871), St. Louis Art Museum


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