MITCHELL Christopher[1]

Male - 1688

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  • Name MITCHELL Christopher 
    Gender Male 
    _UID E4E50D38EB9ED5118A064445535400003DA5 
    Died Apr 1688  [2
    • The first mention of Christopher1 Mitchell, of Kittery, Maine, appears in a Court Record as early as May 21, 1660. This record proves that he then was of age; consequently the date of his birth was not later than 1639.

      The Rev. Mr. Stackpole (who has written the History of Kittery, Maine) and others have tried to prove that Christopher was son to Paul Mitchell, one of John Winter's men, on Richmond's Island. In the account of Winter's "Plantation" on that island, in 1639, mention is made of "5s pd in to his [Paul Mitchell's] wife;" and in a list for which Paul Mitchell is "Debitor" appears œ6:6 "for Commodities in ye house:" œ14:6 "for wine:" œ9:8:6 "for so much pd him by Mr Trelawne wth aduenture:" œ0:0:11 "for sider & oyle;" œ0:9:9 "for aquauite [aqua vit'] at his first Coming ouer." These items indicate that Paul Mitchell had his wife with him, and probably was living in his own house. In a letter from Winter to Trelawny, dated "Richmon Iland, the 29th of July 1641," Winter appears to be troubled greatly by the "mens tymes" that "weare out" on May 10th, and later. Most of the men expected that immediate transportation home "should be ready against their tymes did expire after their 3 yeares servize." The men who promised to remain were "George Bunt, Booteson [Boatswain] & his son, Richard Fild, and Paul Mychell;" and they were "set about the rigging" of the new ship that was soon to be "lancht."

      On April 6, 1643, "Paul Michell of Sheviock in the Countie of Cornewall, Sayler," was again indentured to Trelawny and Winter. This lengthy contract shows that he first went on a "voyage to the Newfoundland." After his services with Winter and Trelawny were ended, he settled at Saco, on the mainland nearly opposite Richmond's Island, where he carried on fishing. He died in Boston; his death is thus recorded: "Paul Mitchell, a fisherman of Eng[land] d. in Boston intestate 18th 9mo, 1653." Administration was granted upon his estate, April 5, 1654, "by the County Court of Yorke." It was "ordered by this Court yt Robert Booth, Rich: Hitchcocke, Hen: Waddocke & Will: Scadlocke, are impowered as administrators to take ye goods of Jon Hollicu, Roger Hunnewell, Paul Michaell & Jon Rowland into yr hands & to receave all debts due unto Jon Sparke & Christopher Hobbs, wt they can make appere as justly due unto them, for there disburts upon yr fishing vioage & wt shall remaine in yor hands, you are to returne an account: yrof unto ye next County Court." This accounting refers solely to the particular fishing voyage in which the four men lost their lives, and the absence of references to Paul Mitchell's wife and family leaves the searcher as much in doubt as ever.

      The above meagre sketch is about all that can be learned of Paul Mitchell and his family; it proves nothing concerning Christopher Mitchell and others bearing the name in neighboring localities. There is a tradition in Freeport among several families of Mitchells, descendants of Christopher, that he came to this country as a lad bearing the name of Beckwith; that he was adopted by a family of Mitchells and given their name; and that valuable estates in England should be their inheritance through the Beckwith connection. The name Beckwith does not appear early, either in Maine or New Hampshire, but Beck or Becks is common.

      The repetition of the names of John and William, for generations, among the descendants of Christopher Mitchell, leads one to think that William Mitchell, of Newbury, Massachusetts, and Captain John Mitchell, of Smuttynose Island (Isles of Shoals) in 1660, were related to Christopher,--possibly were his brothers. They all may have been sons to Paul Mitchell.

      That Christopher Mitchell had a sister Katherine is proved by his appointment by the Court held "at Strawbury banke Novembr: 30: 1675:" as "brother-in-law to John Searle deceased, to take an Inventory of Searles Estate as the law directs & to make a true returne of his Actings yr/in unto the next Court of Associates houlden for ys County." At the next Court "houlden at Wells on the secund Tuesday of Septembr 1676: . . . Power of Administration" was granted "Christopher Michill of the Estate of his brother-in-Law Jon Searle, deceased." The Court accepted his "returne . . . Decembr: 4: 77: . . . & Michell [was] discharged from his bonds."

      The widow of John Searle had been twice married. Her first husband was "Thomas Warner, of Cape Porpus [Porpoise]," who was "sworn freeman, at Wells, July 5, 1653." In Boston, Thomas and Katherine Warner had a son Thomas, born December 24, 1658. The date of the death of Thomas Warner, Sr., is not on record, but "John Searle & Katherine Warner widow were married 26th November by John Endecott Governor -- 1661." Their three children were born in Boston, before 1667. In 1668, John Searle was a citizen of Dover, New Hampshire, where he was drowned in 1675; his wife again was a widow.

      Before 1665, Christopher Mitchell had built a house at "Brave Boat Harbor," in Kittery, as shown by the deed of "Francis Morgan Chiergeon [surgeon]" and his wife Sarah, the latter widow and "administratrix of the estate of Capt. John Michell late husband of the sayd Sarah Deceased." This deed conveyed, April 22, 1665, to John Cutt, of Portsmouth, "one Prcell of Marsh ground, scituate & being neare to Christopher Michells house at Bray boate Harbour . . . which land was formerly bought of one John Lander, by outcry." A difference arose about the line between Christopher Mitchell's land and that of John Mitchell's widow, which led to Philip Atwell, Christopher Mitchell, and John Billings being summoned into Court "at the Poynt [Kittery Point] to answere their tumultuous carages about the laying out & bounding a p/cell of Marsh -- given unto Fran: Morgan by execution." A month later, "10:7:72," Philip Atwell was fined "16s . . . for his contempt in Cutting of the lyne . . . & Christopher Michell and John Billine [Billings] 5s a peece and with an admonition are discharged."

      In August, 1674, the town of Kittery "laid out to Chris: Mitchell" thirty acres of land "adjoining to his house at Braueboat harbor, adjoining the Marsh Side . . . next to John Andrews land and bounded with it on the East." This probably was the land upon which he had already built, or beside it. Braveboat Harbor, so called as early as 1645, was formed by the widening of a circuitous and shallow stream forming the southern boundary between York and Kittery. One narrow channel connected it, at high tide, with Kittery harbor; at low tide or in a storm it was especially difficult of access -- requiring "a brave boat" to enter it. In the Massachusetts Archives it is described as follows: "Brayboat Harbour, which is at the first & loest discent of that fresh brooke which lyeth at the vpper end of the marshes, belonging to the sd harbour [Kittery harbor], being in distance about one mile & a halfe from the mouth of the harbour." At the head of this harbor the earliest settlers were John1 Andrews (Andreas, or Andros), Christopher1 Mitchell, and James Foye. The wife of Christopher Mitchell, whom he married before 1665, was Sarah2 Andrews, b. about 1641, daughter to John1 Andrews and his wife Joan.

      At a Court held at Wells, April 2, 1672, letters of administration were granted to Philip Atwell, upon the estate of John Andrews (whose widow, Joan, Atwell had married), "provided hee bring in suretys sufficient . . . to respond [to] all Legall Rights due to bee pd out of ye sd estate. Christopher Michell & Ephraim Crockett stand bound in a bond of [œ]300: to ye County Treasur that ye sd Phillip Attwell shall . . . make a true accopt yrof after one Twelve Moenth." On Ephraim Crockett's request to be relieved from his bond, John Billings was chosen "in his stead."

      Like most of his neighbors, Christopher Mitchell was a fisherman and a farmer, yet he occasionally appeared in actions at Court:

      "Att a Court of Assotiats houlden for the County of Yorke the 21th day of May 1660: at Wells before Major Nicho: shapleigh, Mr Edw: Rishworth & Mr Abra Preble, Assotiats

      "Christopher Michell acknowledged Judgt before Major Nic: Shapleigh & Edw: Rishworth Assotiates of a debt due to Mr Ric: Cutt of eighteene pounds 6s:1d & charges 9s."

      "Att a Court of Assotiates houlden at Sacoe the 27th of March, 1661, for the County of York, by Major Nicho: Shapleigh, Mr Hene. Joclein, Mr Robert Jordan & Edw: Rishworth

      "Christopher Michell plant: In an Action of the case for Certen moneys payd for him to ye valew of fourteene pounds, Contra Robert Skinner Defendt: the Court finds for ye plant [œ]4:14:2 1/2 & costs of Court [œ]2:4:6."

      "Christopher Michell" appeared on the "Grand Jury . . . Att a County Court houlden at Wells secund of July 1678. . . . The names of the Grand Juryman" were

      "John Davess Leeft Littlefeild
      Rowland Young Christo: Michell
      Jos. Cross Jere Mowlton
      Dan: Gooding Fran: Backus
      Job Allcocke Will Playstead
      Israell Harding Roger Dereing"
      Tho: Bragdon

      In 1672, Christopher Mitchell manifested his interest in the church by uniting with a number of the inhabitants of Kittery Point in a "Petition to the General Court," praying that "Isaac Wells should be settled for their minister at Kittery." As an appraiser of estates, and witness to legal documents, he showed that he had the confidence of the community. His early death, for he probably was not much above fifty, occurred in April, 1688. His six children were then nearly all under age. Letters of administration were granted to Sarah Mitchell on the estate of her "late husband, Christopher Mitchell deceased;" at the same time she produced in Court an inventory of his personal property. Captain Hooke was "bound in Eighty pounds Twelve shillings bond to our Soveraign Lord ye King his Heires and Successors that she the said Sarah Mitchell shall administer according to Law:"

      "A true and perfect Jnventary of all and Singular the goods Cattle
      and Chattles [etc.] of Christopher Mitchell late of the Towne of
      Kitery in the Provynce of Mayne who deceased Aprill ye Last
      A¤o Dm 1688 As followeth vizt

      li s d
      "Jnprs one Yoake of Oxen att 07 00 00
      Jt one Mare 2 02 00 00
      Jt Three Cows and Calves after ym 09 15 00
      Jt Two cows att 06 00 00
      Jt Two Heyfers 2 04 05 00
      Jt ffive Shoats or Swine 2 01 10 00
      Jt one Sow and Three Piggs 2 00 15 00
      Jt Nine Ewes and Nine Lambs 03 12 00
      Jt One Ram 2 00 06 00
      Jt one Chayne Spitt & one Auger 00 18 00
      Jt One Sheare & Coultiron 2 00 05 00
      Jt one Beetle and Two Wedges a parcell of hows & Old Jron 2 00 05 00
      Jt: 1 Muskett 2 01 00 00
      Jt: One Old Barrell of a Muskett 00 02 00
      Jt: One ffrying pan one old Pott -- One Kettle and one Skillett one pair of tongs 1 Tramel and a pair of Pot Hooks 00 17 00
      Jt Milk pans and other houshold stuffe 02 00 00

      Suma Total 40 06 0

      Humphrey Spencer
      p his Marke
      Ephraim Crockett
      p his Mark"

      [Sworn to by Sarah Mitchell, and recorded, March 13, 1688-89.]

      The suffering caused by the Indian wars of the twelve or more years preceding his death would account for the smallness of Christopher Mitchell's personal estate -- œ40:06:0. It is noticeable that no mention was made of real estate in the inventory. In 1712, the "Estate of Christr Mitchell Senr Decd" was taxed œ5, when "Wm Pepperrell Esqr," who was a man of wealth, was taxed œ30. This indicates that the land of Christopher Mitchell remained undivided, and probably had increased considerably in value.

      On January 20, 1723-24, Sarah Mitchell, of Kittery (then eighty-two years of age), "widdow . . . for and in Consideration of Love and Good will and affection towards my Loving son William Mitchell of Scarborough . . . Husbandman," conveyed to him the homestead in Kittery. Ten years later, the heirs of "William Mitchell, late of Scarborough . . . yeoman dec'd" sold fifteen acres of this estate to "Nathaniel Hix [Hicks]," of Kittery, son-in-law to John Foye, one of the earliest settlers at Braveboat Harbor. They also sold to Joseph Mitchell, Jr., for œ9, "one acre of Salt Marsh in Kittery," and four acres "lying near or within Brave Boate Harbor." They further conveyed to Nathaniel Hicks, January 13, 1745, fifteen acres more of their father's, in Kittery, adjoining Hicks's land and "Sir William Pepperrells Land." These sales disposed of all the real estate owned by Christopher Mitchell. It does not appear that any of these children of William2 Mitchell ever returned to Kittery.

      No records exist of the births of the children of Christopher and Sarah Mitchell, consequently their proper order can only be approximated.
    Person ID I36172  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 26 Nov 2005 

    Family ANDREWS Sarah,   b. Abt 1641/2,   d. Nov 1732  (Age ~ 90 years) 
    Married Bef 1673  [2
    • (Based on birth of son, Joseph.)
     1. MITCHELL William,   d. 18 Apr 1724, Scarborough, York, Massachusetts [Maine] Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. MITCHELL John,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. MITCHELL Christopher,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. MITCHELL Joanna,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. MITCHELL Sarah,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. MITCHELL Samuel,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. MITCHELL Robert,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. MITCHELL Richard,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. MITCHELL Joseph,   b. 1673,   d. Abt Aug 1746  (Age 73 years)
     10. MITCHELL Elizabeth,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F14157  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S2590] Book-Descendants of Edward Small, 3:1389-1398.

    2. [S938] Correspondence-Postal-Theodora Sawyer, 23 Mar 2000.