Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors: #8 James Leighton (1797-1844)

James Leighton, my third great grand uncle, was born in Cumberland or North Yarmouth, Maine, on this date, in 1797, the 8th of 12 children born to Captain Andrew Leighton and Mary Weymouth, and their 6th son.

He married Prudence Blanchard when he was 21 years old. Prudence was one of 10 children born to Beza Blanchard and and Prudence Rideout. James and Prudence were married on February 14, 1819, in North Yarmouth. She was 19 years old.

James and Prudence welcomed their first two children, Charles, in 1820, and Christianna, in 1822, while they stayed in the Cumberland/North Yarmouth area. But sometime in 1823, James and Prudence moved to Pittsfield, Maine, in Somerset County, where James had purchased a farm of some 300 acres.

James and Prudence and their growing family lived and farmed in Pittsfield for about 12 years. During that time, they saw the arrival of 5 more children: Andrew in 1824, James Noyes in 1826, Enos in 1828, Joseph in 1831, and Loemma in 1833.

Sometime around 1834 and 1835 James moved his family to Upper Stillwater (present-day Orono), where he engaged in the lumbering trade and, being located along the Stillwater River, operated a sawmill. Their daughter Frances Jane was born in Orono in 1835.

After about five years, the James Leighton family moved back to Cumberland, where James purchased a grist mill. Their daughters Roxanna and Margaret were born in Cumberland, although the youngest lived only a little past a year.

James' son Andrew fought in the Civil War, enlisting in the 17th Maine in 1862. He was severely wounded at Cedar Creek and disabled at Chancellorsville.

His daughter-in-law, Diana Gilbert Leighton, Enos' wife, was lost on the Steamer Portland in 1898.

James survived his youngest child by just 9 days, dying in Cumberland at the age of 47, on April 12, 1844.

James Leighton is buried in the West Cumberland Methodist Cemetery, off the Blackstrap Road, along with his parents, a brother, his wife Prudence, 3 sons, 4 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 grandson, and 3 granddaughters.

James Leighton's Grave

Prudence Leighton's Grave

West Cumberland Methodist Cemetery

Sources: U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Entry for Andrew Leighton.

Leighton, Perley M. A Leighton genealogy: descendants of Thomas Leighton of Dover, New Hampshire. Compiled by Perley M. Leighton based in part on data collected by Julia Leighton Cornman. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical  Society, 1989.) p. 282.

James Leighton grave marker, Methodist Cemetery, West Cumberland (Cumberland County), Maine; photographed by Pamela Schaffner on 29 August 2011.

Prudence Leighton grave marker, Methodist Cemetery, West Cumberland (Cumberland County), Maine; photographed by Pamela Schaffner on 29 August 2011.


1 comment:

  1. Pam, I was delighted to see and read about your Leighton ancestor. This took me back to our shared ancestry.