Saturday, April 30, 2016

My 64 ~ Researching My 4th Great Grandparents : Andrew Leighton and Mary Weymouth

My 4th great grandfather, Andrew Leighton, was born on June 7, 1762, in Falmouth, Maine, the oldest son of the 13 children born to Joseph Leighton and Mercy Hall. His father was a prosperous land owner in Falmouth and North Yarmouth, and was a Quaker.

The 1790 U.S. Census for North Yarmouth (present-day West Cumberland) lists Andrew, with 2 males under 16, 2 males under 16, and 2 females. Andrew had married Mary Weymouth probably sometime between 1780 and 1790. Mary was the daughter of James and Molly Weymouth of Gray, Maine.

According to "A Leighton Genealogy," Andrew, his father and a Richard Loring, divided up a 100-acre lot in "the Gore," present-day Freeport, in 1790. He was also elected Captain in the provincial militia in 1808, and was a Justice of the Peace in 1817.

As well as being a prosperous lumber trader, marketing timber for the ships' masts of the day, he also "laid out" the road from Falmouth to Portland. And, in 1800, he built and operated what was known as Leighton's Tavern*, at West Cumberland on the Gray Road, along the stage route to Lewiston, Maine.

Leighton's Tavern

Andrew and Mary had twelve children. All but one lived into adulthood. Notably, their two sons, Joseph and Andrew, were lost at sea presumably off the Georges Bank, aboard one of the earliest and most successful privateers and blockade runners during the War of 1812, the "Dash." According to one account, the best young sailors of the vicinity were anxious to serve on the "Dash," so that her crew was the pick of the region. A local poetess, Eliza Dennison King (1846-1928), would later write:
She was manned by a crew of gallant lads
As ever a vessel's deck had trod,
A score and a hundred of them all -
And their fate is known to none but God.

They all belonged to the towns around,
They were brothers and cousins and comrades, too,
Full armed and equipped they put to sea,
And the skies were never a softer blue

But weeks and months and years sped on,
And hearts grew hopeless and cheeks grew pale,
And eyes are dim that have watched so long
To catch a glimpse of her home bound sail.

 Joseph and Andrew were 25 and 24 years old respectively. Another son, Stephen, who had also gone to sea in his youth, was also lost at sea, a mere 15 years old.

Capt. Andrew and Mary Leighton are buried in the Methodist Cemetery in West Cumberland, Maine.

Capt. Andrew Leighton Grave, West Cumberland, Maine

Mary Weymouth Leighton Grave, West Cumberland, Maine

* In 1971, the tavern was moved to Schooner Rocks, Cumberland Foreside, and restored. -- Phyllis Sturdivant Sweetser, ed., Cumberland, Maine, in Four Centuries [the Town, 1976], 164-5).

Sources:, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2012),

Bennett, Thomas C., "Vital Records of Cumberland, Maine 1701-1892" (2014). Cumberland Books. Book 1.

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.)

"The Story of DASH : Freeport's Famous Privateer," Freeport (Me.) Historical Society (

No comments:

Post a Comment