Sunday, June 19, 2011


One of my fave things about this family history research is finding photos of ancestors I never met. So for Father's Day, I am going to post a pictorial history of my father's surname line of Masterman.

The first of our Mastermans that came to America was Marmaduke, who arrived in Boston from Yorkshire, ENGLAND in 1755. He was a sea captain. By the next year, he was married to Sarah Capen Reed (widow of Samuel) at Trinity Church in Boston. The rector who married them was Rev. Wm. Hooper, father of William Hooper, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Trinity Church, 1828

Marmaduke and Sarah had 2 children, Marmaduke, Jr. born July, 1757, and James born 4 April 1759. There is a letter from a ship owner that mentions Marmaduke Masterman as master of the Snow "Caesar," written in 1759 that reveals the ship's use as a slave ship, including a listing of slaves given to him as his pay. (I'll delve into that in a later post.) A month after that cargo was sold in Barbados, Marmaduke died on board his ship. They must have been close to home, as there is a reference to him being buried in Boston.
Ship known as a "Snow"

His son James never met his father, as he was at sea the entire year of 1759. His son Marmaduke only lived to age 16. Their mother married a third time.

James joined the army at age 16 when the Revolutionary War broke out. He served several tours, including as a sailor. After the War, he continued as a sailor, travelling to Spain, the West Indies and other ports. Once, their ship was wrecked, leaving them castaway for over 2 weeks, with little food or water. When rescued, they were emaciated and feeble.

James married Hannah Dows in 1780, and their first born was my ancestor, James, born 2 Jan 1783. They had 8 children total and all lived into adulthood. In 1803-4, James pulled up stakes to moved to Maine, to an area now known as Weld, and lived out his days there as a farmer, dying in 1842, four years after Hannah.
James Masterman Jr. & Sarah graves

James Jr. married Sarah Newman, his first cousin (their mothers were sisters) and was a farmer in Weld. They had 6 children, the oldest of which was James, Jr. 2nd (don't ask's a mystery to me to use both suffixes!) who is my ancestor. James, Jr. died in Weld in 1865 at 82, 12 years after his wife.

Captain James Masterman Jr. 2nd

James Jr. 2nd also made his living as a farmer in Weld, where he married Mariah McLaughlin in 1836. He served as a Captain in the home guard and was thereafter referred to as Captain Masterman. They had 11 children, 5 of which died fairly young. Both James and Mariah died in 1888 in Weld.

Captain James Masterman Jr. 2nd & Mariah graves

Daniel Chesman Masterman

Their 7th child was Daniel Chesman Masterman, born in 1849 in Weld, where he worked on his father's farm with his older brother Stinson. He married Clara Ellen Buker in 1870 and became a miller. They had 3 sons in Weld, one of which died young, the second was my great-grandfather, Filmore (nicknamed Hunter for his fave past time). By 1887, the family had moved to Framingham,  Massachusetts, where their youngest and only daughter was born.

C. Masterman & Son Delivery Wagon

Chesman owned a market in Framingham, where Filmore also worked. Chesman died in 1924, followed 2 years later by his wife.

Filmore "Hunter" Masterman

Filmore married Jennie McMonagle in 1903 in Framingham and had 2 sons. My grandfather John Vernon was born in 1904 and was just 16 when his mother died of TB. He attended MIT and graduated with honors in 1926.  Filmore died in 1958, so I never met him.

John Vernon Masterman

My grandfather married Hazel Peterson in Feb,1933, and my dad, Frederick Vernon was born in NY in December. My grandfather was an engineer, working on refrigeration systems and the Manhattan Project during his career. He died in 1993, followed by Hazel in 1997. He was a kind, gentle man.

Frederick Vernon Masterman
My Dad

My parents married while in college, and had EIGHT children. It was a zoo.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! You rock!

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