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The Fitzgerald and Corser Families of Boscawen, NH

Updated January 4, 2003

Cheri Wilkinson
Los Angeles, CA A-United States

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Discovering that not one but two of my ancestors were among the original settlers of two adjoining New Hampshire towns I'd never heard of before beginning this research came as a complete surprise. According to local records, Edward FITZGERALD and John CORSER were among the first thirty-three arrivals in the wilderness that was to become the towns of Boscawen and Webster or Contoocook, as the settlement was then known. Neither man was among the ninety-one grantees of land at the plantation.

Edward FITZGERALD was unmarried when he reportedly arrived from Newbury settling on land first granted to Richard Hale (father of Nathan "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country!" Hale), Home Lot #37 and Intervale Lot #50. He built his home on what became "Queen Street" "on the Southern slope of the hill (Corser Hill), some three quarters of a mile below the Plain on the road leading to Concord." The apparently widowed, John CORSER came to the settlement from Newbury with his family except for his son, John CORSER, Jr. (who would follow years later). He built the first sawmill in the small community of which he became joint proprietor, or at least its manager with Deacon Isaac Pearson, the partnership continuing until it was ended by a life threatening accident in about 1745. An account of that accident as reported in Ebenezer Price's "History of Boscawen" follows:

"John Corser, tending a saw-mill alone at the head of K(ing) street, while using a crow-bar about a mill log, in an unaccountable manner, the end of the bar struck his head -- cut off his nose -- took out his right eye -- raised the fore half of the skull bone, and left the brain bare, but not injured. In this situation he was soon found by William Emery. Surgical aid was administered, and his wounds healed. He however shortly after lost the sight of his other eye; but lived and enjoyed good health for more than thirty years."

Edward FITZGERALD was a farmer who apparently from time to time would supplement his income by working for others. He is known to have helped surveyor, John Brown, extend Fish Street to the town of Franklin. He contributed his labor, when the town hosted the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Phineas Stevens and is identified as a "souldier" of Contoocook in a 1743 petition to the Governor of New Hampshire.

In 1740 Edward FITZGERALD married Mehitable URAN. Together they raised eleven children in the home he had built on Queen Street. Their children were: Jane, Mary, Sarah, James, Rebecca, Edward, Susannah, Dorcas, Rachel, John and Martha.

John CORSER and his wife, Tabitha Kinney had eight children. Their children were: Polly, Sarah, Tabitha, Elizabeth, John, Nathan, William, and Hannah. All of John CORSER'S children were born before his settling in Contoocook.

Although there were no marriages between the children of John CORSER and Edward FITZGERALD, there were five marriages between John CORSER, Jr.'s children and Edward FITZGERALD's children. Subsequent marriages among cousins were numerous.

This page presents some of the descendants of both these colonial pioneers. I welcome suggestions for making it better, corrections of any incorrect facts and most importantly more information about these families!

Other surnames being researched: Uran, Corser, Eastman, Hanley, Tunney, Fowler, Blackstock, Jett, Wilkinson and Martin.

Family Photos

  • Headstone: Mary E Fitzgerald/Photo by Alyce Norder (26 KB)
    Headstone of Mary E. Fitzgerald (Note: Not "J" as carved in her headstone), the youngest child and only daughter of Samuel Fitzgerald (Edward, Edward) and Hannah Eastman. Born in Oswego, NY 25 May 1838, Mary E. never married and out lived her five brothers by many years. She died 29 October 1929 at 91 years of age. She is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY beside her niece and namesake, Mary Ella Fitzgerald Davis. No published obituary or death notice has been located. Photographed by Alyce Norder, Fall 1999. Used with permission.
  • John Corser,Jr. House/Webster NH/By Martin Costine (1 KB)
    "Genealogy of the Corser Family In America" written by S. B. G. Corser, Pages 105-6: Removing to Boscawen with his family in in 1864 {note, this should be 1764} he purchased of Col. Henry Gerrish a large tract of land on the Hill, which has since borne his name, making there a permanent settlement. It appears also that he bought 30 acres of his brother William in 1765. The homestead, afterwards the property of his son David and since owned successively by James Kilburn, Frederic Coffin, David Macurdy, and Hiram Tilton, was situated on Pleasant street, a short distance south of the spot where the Cong. church now stands, in an enclosure through which a cross-road has since been cut, passing near the house. It was a beautiful location, with grand and picturesque natural surroundings, and at one time the center of a jovial social life, such as the presence of 100 untamed country cousins, whose homes were in sight, can be supposed to create. The first dwelling erected was a small building, which was afterwards -- under supervision of his son David, probably before 1780 -- replaced by a large, square two story house -- one of the old fashioned farm houses -- still standing, being, as is supposed, the oldest habitation in the town of Webster. Note 2nd story window above the door. It figures prominently in this anecdote about John's daughter, Abbynezzer who later married Edward Fitzgerald, Jr.: From "Genealogy of the Corser Family In American" by S. B. G. Corser, page 115: She married when quite young, and, it is said, did not at first favor the advances of her lover, emphasizing her dislike one day -- prompted not less perhaps by a girlish love of mischief, "it was so good a joke, you know" by pouring a bucket of water upon him from the chamber window; which however, had the effect only to draw from him the gallant exclamation, "Oh, the damsel!" Photographed by Martin Costine of Webster, NY during the Fall of 1999.
  • Headstone: Mary Ella Fitzgerald/Photo Alyce Norder (25 KB)
    Mary Ella Fitzgerald was the only daughter and second child of Albert G. Fitzgerald (Edward, Edward, Samuel): Obituary, Rochester Democrat Chronicle, October 30, 1928 “Mrs. Mary E. Davis, Prominent In Social Life, Passes Away” “Mrs. Mary E. Davis, prominent in Rochester social and church life, died yesterday at her home, 170 Dartmouth Street. Funeral services will be conducted tomorrow morning at 11 o’clock at Christ Episcopal Church by the Reverend Charles C. W. Carver, rector, assisted by Tr. Rev. David L. Ferris, bishop coadjutor of the Western New York Episcopal Diocese and the Rev. F. E. Bissell, curate. Mrs. Davis was the widow of Robert W. Davis. She was born in Oswego Mary Ella Fitzgerald and came to Rochester after her marriage about 30 years ago, first making her home in Fitzhugh Street and moving to the Dartmouth Street residence about 18 years ago. She was a member of the Century Club and took part in hospital work through the Garden Twig to which she belonged. She was active in the work of Christ Church and a member of Chapter 1 of the Parish Aid Society. Photographed by Alyce Norder, Fall 1999. She leaves only her aunt, Mrs. Mary E. Fitzgerald, who lived with her. Interment in Mount Hope Cemetery. Photograph by Alyce Norder,, Fall 1999. Used with permission.
  • David Corser Home/Webster NH/By Martin Costine (111 KB)
    From "Corser Family in America" by S. B. G. Corser, Page 27: "DAVID (John, John) b. in Kingston, N. H., Jan 27, 1754; m. March 17, 1776 Ruth Blasdell, of Salisbury, Mass. (sister of Rachel who married John), who was b. April 28, 1756 and d. May 27, 1844; settled on a farm on Corser Hill -- the homestead, so called, on Pleasant Street, where his father lived and died and his children were born -- which he sold in 1809 to James Kilburn, removing thence to a farm near the outlet of Long Pond where he died Aug 23, 1828; aged 74; served in Capt. Kimball's company, Stickney's regiment in the Bennington campaign. " Note: House had just gotten a new foundation and sills. Photographed by Martin Costine of Webster, NH during the Fall of 1999. Used with permission.
  • House: 43 E. Seneca,Oswego,NY/Photo C.L. Wilkinson (1 KB)
    Long time residence (at least 1884-1899) of Alpheus E. Fitzgerald (Edward, Edward, Samuel). The house stands on the corner of East Seneca and 4th Street in Oswego, New York. Photographed by Cheri Wilkinson, October 1996. Oswego Daily Palladium, 8 Jan 1907. “MET DEATH AT THE CROSSING. Alphus {sic] E. Fitzgerald Struck by D. L&W Train. Was For Many Years Connected With Commercial Interest and Had Many Friends all Over the Chain of Lakes -- Survived by Widow and Two Sons. "Alphus [sic] E. Fitzgerald, a flagman for the Lackawanna and Central railroad companies, was struck last night by the Lackawanna passenger train due here at 6:35 o’clock and died at the Hospital shortly before nine. The accident occurred at the corner of West Fourth and Utica streets. Nobody saw the train strike Mr. Fitzgerald, but shortly after it had passed a young son of John Ford the fireman, who was crossing the tracks, heard groans and notified Tracy Stone, in the drug store. The latter hurriedly investigated and finding Mr. Fitzgerald had him removed to the store. He called Doctors Eddy and O’Brien and notified Freight Agent John Taylor. Mr. Fitzgerald was fully conscious when they arrived to them he told his story. He said he was crossing the track to flag the westbound train from Rochester on the R.W. & O., due at about the same time, when he was struck in the side by the Lackawanna train, which on account of the heavy rain making it difficult to see he had not noticed. He was hurled some distance away and an examination of his injuries disclosed a bad cut on the top of Fitzgerald’s head and several broken ribs. He was also injured internally and the shock proved too much for a man of his age. Mr. Fitzgerald was the youngest of six brothers, who came here with their father from down near Ogdensburg when a small boy. The latter kept a grocery and had to do with the packetboats that plied the canal. he with other brothers followed th
  • Signature Samples of Edward Fitzgerald, Jr. (28 KB)
    Signed years apart, the above are two surviving samples of the signature of Edward Fitzgerald, Jr.
  • House: 110 E. 4th St. Oswego,NY (21 KB)
    Long time residence (ca 1862-1899) of Albert G. Fitzgerald (Edward, Edward, Samuel) and his wife, Bedelia Hanley. This was the childhood home of Charles Pratt Fitzgerald. The house stands on the corner of East Seneca and East 4th Streets in Oswego, New York. Entrances with street addresses can be found on both streets. This is the Seneca Street entrance. Death Notice from 17 May 1901 Oswego Daily Palladium, page 5, Column 1: “FITZGERALD - At rest, in this city, Thursday, May 16, 1901, Captain Albert G. Fitzgerald, aged 71 years. Funeral from his late residence, No. 116 East Fourth Street, Saturday, at 2:30 P. M. Friends are invited. Burial private.” Photographed by Cheri Wilkinson, October 1996.
  • House: 110 E. 4th Street, Oswego, NY/Main Entrance (16 KB)
    Main entrance to the Albert G. Fitzgerald residence. It was in this house that his mother, Hannah Eastman, lived with Alfred's family until her death at age 80. Death notice from Oswego Daily Palladium, 25 Feb 1881, Page 4 Cols. 6 and 7: "MRS. FITZGERALD. Mrs. H. E. Fitzgerald, widow of Samuel Fitzgerald, died this morning at the residence of her son, Capt. Alfred Fitzgerald, aged 80 years. She was born in Massachusetts in 1801 and came to Oswego with her husband 53 years ago. She was 50 years a member of Christ church, being its ninth oldest member." Obituary, 28 Feb 1881, Oswego Daily Palladium, Page 4, Col. 2: "Mrs. H. E. Fitzgerald. Mrs. H. E. Fitzgerald, whose funeral occurred today, was born in Boscawen, N.H., in 1801. She had lived there until she married and then went to Boston, Mass. where she remained until 1823, when she came to Fulton, NY and from there to the city of Oswego in 1825 and remained here since. Soon after removing here, she united with Christ church, of which Rev. Mr. McCarthy was then pastor. She buried her husband in 1845. She had a family of five sons and one daughter of whom three are still living. She enjoyed good health until two years ago, and was able to be about the house until the day she died." Photographed by Cheri Wilkinson, October 1996
  • Headstone: Hannah Eastman/Photo C. L. Wilkinson (1 KB)
    Headstone of Hannah Eastman Fitzgerald located in Riverside Cemetery, Section 61-T, Oswego, NY. Riverside Cemetery, listed on the National Register, is an excellent example of the "rural cemetery movement" of the mid 19th century." It was designed as part of a movement aimed at making final resting places more pastoral. The cemetery is of special interest to Fitzgeralds not because it is on the National Register but because it contains a Fitzgerald family plot. Even with a map it is difficult to locate the Fitzgerald family's graves. Except the grave of Hannah Eastman Fitzgerald, none of the Fitzgerald graves in Riverside Cemetery are marked. It is unknown whether the graves were originally marked, but today all that remains is a substantial granite stone marking the grave of "Hannah." Prior to the July 1855 opening of Riverside Fitzgerald family members were buried in what was known as the "4th Ward Cemetery” located within Oswego’s city limits. When the City decided in the late 1880's that the 4th Ward Cemetery land could be put to better use by erecting a school on it, all of the existing graves were removed to Riverside Cemetery. Because the Fitzgerald family members had been buried for many years (and were in a state of advanced decomposition) all of their remains were placed in a single casket for communal reburial. Those who were re-buried in Section 61-T at Riverside Cemetery on March 30, 1889 are: Chellis E. C. Fitzgerald (d: 28 June 1846), George Fitzgerald (d: 06 January 1850), Samuel Fitzgerald (Hannah's husband) (d: 09 February 1845)and son, Samuel Fitzgerald (d: after 1860) In addition to the above family members, Hannah is surrounded by her two remaining sons - Albert (d: 16 May 1901) and Alpheus (07 January 1907); Albert's wife, Bedelia (d: 12 July 1906); and great grandson, Edward (grandson of Alpheus, son of Edward). Photographed by Cheri Wilkinson, October 1996
  • Charles Pratt Fitzgerald and Rose Ann Tunney (13 KB)
    Undated (but probably ca 1917) photo post card. The stampless unmailed message on the reverse reads: "Baby Darling, Do your mother & Father look natural. I think they look unnatural. Mama" The card was probably meant for daughter, Marel Fitzgerald who was known to family members as "Babe." Charles Pratt Fitzgerald (23 February 1872 Oswego NY -5 January 1955 Altatdena, CA) {Edward, Edward, Samuel, Albert} was born in Oswego, NY. He was the youngest child of Albert G. Fitzgerald and Bedelia Hanley. Charles married Rose Ann Tunney on 5 May 1895 in New York State. His marriage to Rose caused a rift with his family that was never healed. He left Oswego for Buffalo. The family lived in several New York cities leaving New York for Pennsylvania just prior to World War I. In the early 1920's Rose and Charles followed their children to Pasadena, California where they lived for the remainder of their lives. The marriage which caused such a rift in the Fitzgerald family lasted more than 50 years: Clipping dated May 29, 1945 from “The Wingfoot Clan” (Goodyear's in house newspaper): “Celebrate Golden Anniversary by ‘Staying On The Job’ "We didn’t feel justified in celebrating with so much suffering going on in the world at the present time. These were the words of Rose and Charles Fitzgerald, who completed fifty years of married life on May 5. With a son and a grandson in the service, they felt that it was their duty to stay on the job and do their part in helping bring this war to a close.”
  • Siblings: Burton T. Fitzgerald & Marel Fitzgerald (19 KB)
    Undated photograph of the children of Charles Pratt Fitzgerald and Rose Ann Tunney, Burton Tunney Fitgerald (23 April 1896 Geneva, NY - 21 March 1961 Los Angeles, CA) {Edward, Edward, Samuel, Albert, Charles} and Marel Fitzgerald (3 July 1897 Buffalo, NY - 12 April 1930 Los Angeles, CA) {Edward, Edward, Samuel, Albert, Charles}. Marel was called "Babe" by family members. She died at 33 of advanced tuberculosis. In spite of the rift with his family caused by his marriage to Catholic, Rose Ann Tunney, Charles Fitzgerald named his children for his own siblings: his late brother, Burton C. Fitzgerald (September 1858 Oswego, NY - 6 April 1879 Oswego, NY) and his sister, Mary Ella Fitzgerald (28 November 1860 Oswego, NY - 29 October 1928 Rochester, NY).
  • Private Burton T. Fitzgerald in uniform 1917 (1 KB)
    In World War I Burton Tunney Fitzgerald served his country in the United State Army. He was Honorably Discharged at Camp Dix NJ March 16, 1919 Rank: Private Enlisted: June 16, 1916 at Pittsburgh, PA Wounds: Gassed November 10, 1918 Battles: Chateau Thierry: July 14 - September 10, 1918 Argonne: September 26 - October 12, 1918 St. Michiel: October 15 - November 1, 1918 With: 65th Co., 17th Bn. 153rd Depot Brig. With the advent of World War II he enlisted as a Sea Bee. He served as a Chief Carpenter's Mate first at Reykjavik, Iceland and then Kennian in the South Pacific. He was Honorably Discharged U. S. Naval Hospital at Long Beach, California and from the Naval Service of the United States on the 18th of December 1945.

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  • Another Relative? Dangling Research Materials (9 KB)
    This file contains a number of source materials I've come across but have either not as yet researched or have found do not connect to this line of Fitzgeralds. Perhaps they will be of help to someone else.

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