Zachariah Stearns: Filling in the blanks

In the fifth generation blog I mentioned that In 1750 a Zachariah Stearns is shown on the list of proprietors of North Monadnock Twp [Dublin] NH.  I decided to try and fill out some of his information by going to New Hampshire Search Roots website: Next it went to the Dublin, New Hampshire links:

The third paragraph into my reading provided the Zachariah Stearns confirmation and surprise as well. One of the other 39 proprietors of North Monadnock Twp was a Robert Fletcher, Jr.

1. History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire 
Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1886, 1073 pgs.
2. Gazetteer of Cheshire County, N.H., 1736-1885 by Hamilton Child,
Syracuse, N.Y.: H. Child, 1885, 882 pgs.
3. Early Dublin: a list of the Revolutionary soldiers of Dublin, N.H., 
by Samuel Carroll Derby; Columbus, Ohio:  Press of Spahr & Glenn, 1901 

“This town, originally known as Monadnock No. 3, was granted November 3,
1749 by the Masonian proprietors, to "Matthew Thornton, Sampson
Stoddard, William Spaulding, Joseph French, Zachariah Stearnes,
Peter Powers, Robert Fletcher, Jr, Eleazer Blanchard, Foster Wentworth,
Josiah Swan, Isaac Rindge, JOhn Rindge, Ezekiel Carpenter, Benjamin
Bellows, John Combs, Stephen Powers, Henry Wallis, Samuel Kenny,
Ebenezer Gillson, Jeremiah Norcross, Isaiah Lewis, Ezra Carpenter,
Enos Lawrence, William Cummings, Mark Hunkin, Joseph Jackson, Thomas
Wibird, Jeremiah Lawrence, John Usher, Nathanl Page, David Page,
Samuel Farley, Daniel Emerson, Joseph Blanchard Jr. Thomas Parker Jr.,
Anthony Wibird, Francis Worster, Jonathan Cummings, David WIlson and
Clement March Esqr.  The whole tract of land was to be divided into 
seventy-one equal shares, each share to contain three lots, equitably 
coupled together, and to be drawn for, at Dunstable, on or before the 
1st day of July 1750.”

The only mention of Zachariah Stearns was as a proprietor. He was not on any tax records, family biography or listed on the church records. No mention of any Stearns or Fletcher having lived in Monadnock No. 3 before it wasDublin,New Hampshire.

Now I need to search other records. I know he lived inMerrimack, andAmherst,New Hampshire, so my next stop would be those town records. The information posted for the previous blog came from both of these town histories. A visit to Merrimack Historical gave me the lots of land that he owned and what is there today. It also leads me to the church he attended. I haven’t been able to research the church records. Back to website forHillsborough County,New Hampshire




History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire 
Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1885, 878 pgs.
p. 219 Amherst, NH

I found a Simeon Fletcher on the Tax List for 1760, but no Stearns Surname was listed.

I found a notation of a Joseph Stearns and Samuel Stearns Jr., along with others, on an October 18, 1767 petition presented to the Governor and Council by selectman and inhabitations of the town ofMonson, asking that they be annexed to Hollis. That petition was dismissed.  Later other petitions were granted dividing the town into Amherst and Hollis. On June 3, 1763 the town ofMonson, after 24 years, no longer existed. There were two more charters that were approved again dividing the town ofAmherst; 1803 Mont Vernon was born and in 1794 Milford was incorporated. The petitions provided me with four other town histories to check for the Stearns name; Hollis, Amherst, MontVernon, and Milford. Here again in another example of cascading information. While you are doing your research, just follow where it leads.

A Samuel Stearns served at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Colonel Reed’s Regiment under Captain Crosby’s Company. After the battle a listing of items lost was made. It appears the Samuel lost a pair of shoes. Samuel served again in 1775 under the command of Colonel Timothy Bedel to march to Canada. A John Stearns was sent, in April 1776, toPortsmouth to guard the seacoast under Colonel Nahum Baldwin’s Regiment and Captain Timothy Clement command.

I mention the Regiment and Commanders names because those names are another source to look at for information. Like John Winthrop did, most kept a journal or dairy. Some of these documents may have been saved by the family and are available somewhere to view.

The Association Test was to be signed by all men proclaiming their support and defense of the colonies against the British. Each town listed the men who signed and didn’t sign it. Daniel Stephens and Samuel Stearnes both signed it. I mention Daniel Stephens because on one census I found had the spelling of Daniel Stearns as Stephens when typed but was actually Stearns on the handwritten copy. When transcribing the information someone made a mistake, which is easy when you are trying to read someone’s handwriting.

A record of men who served in the Continental Army in the years 1777, 1778, 1779 listed an Isaac Stearns serving in Cilley’s regiment under Waite’s company for three years. A Benjamin Stearns and Jotham Stearns were listed as having served in battle in Colonel Moses Nichols’s regiment, but no terms of service mentioned. Later records show Jotham having enlisted July 8, 1780 and was discharged on December 6, 1780. Benjamin was listed as serving three months at West Point in 1780. Benjamin Stearns, Isaac Stearns, John Stearns Jotham Stearns and Samuel Stearns were listed as serving in the Revolutionary War. Isaac Stearns served atCrown Point in July of 1776.

The three year men, as they were called, for Amherstwere: Albert Fletcher and William D. Stearns who served in the Fourth Regiment and Henry A Fletcher who served in the United States Navy.

Some men in Amherstsent substitutes in their place to serve; among them was a John Fletcher. It did not say who John sent in his stead. Many men did send a servant or slave. If a slave served in the war they were considered free men afterwards.

The Church records list:


The Baptist church list: Robert Fletcher, Otis Fletcher, and Rev. Simon Fletcher, of Goffstown (clerk council.) In 1791 Robert was appointed, along with others, to support and maintainAureanAcademy.

The Press:

A List of newspapers forAmherstprovides more sources for town life, political views, town happenings and death notices.

The Hillsborough Telegraph
The Amherst Hearald
New Hampshire Statesman
Concord Register 


A Robert Fletcher was listed as a member of the Amherst Social Library. The Society was established June 1797 and dissolved March 1832.

This provides you with one way of how I “fill in the blanks” for each family member. I just follow the clues provided to another document, town, state, society membership, etc. The process is only going. I keep a 5 x 8 index card for each name I find. I place the direct family line in one section and keep the other names just incase I find a connection at a later date. A good example of this is distant cousins marrying.  It also shows how, while looking for one family surname you find another; in this case, Fletcher.


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