Aug 17

52 Ancestors, Week #30: Dr. Abel Prescott of Concord, Massachusetts

Dr. Abel Prescott was one of my fifth great grandfathers. The family resided in Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and greatly affected by the American Revolutionary War. At least two of Abel Prescott’s sons were directly involved in military actives of the Revolutionary War—Abel Prescott and Dr. Samuel Prescott.

At least two of Abel’s sons followed in his footsteps and became physicians—Dr. Samuel Prescott, and Dr. Benjamin Prescott.

Abel Prescott. Born 7 April 1718, son of Dr. Jonathan Prescott and Rebecca Bulkley; married, first, Abigail Brigham; married, second Mrs. Mary Beaton on 12 June 1775; and died 22 October 1805 of mortification of the foot.[1]

Abel Prescott and Abigail Brigham had eight known children.[2]

i.      John Prescott. See 52 Ancestors, Week #29, John Prescott

ii.      Benjamin (Dr.) Prescott. Born 4 April 1745;married Dorothy Wheeler in November 1768; [3] and died of paralysis 23 August 1830.[4] Wife, Dorothy who died 1 November 1829, preceded Dr. Prescott in death.[5] The couple had two known children: Benjamin and William.[6] He was a surgeon in Concord.

iii.      Abigail Prescott. Born 12 June 1747; married 25 September 1764, Ephraim Minot;[7] and died from lung fever, 27 February 1825.[8] The Minot’s had five known children: Abel, Abigail, George, Mary, and Laura.[9]

iv.      Abel Prescott. Born 12 April 1749; and died of dysentery, 3 September 1775. [10] Abel was wounded in the side by British fire on 19 April 1775. [11]

v.      Samuel (Dr.) Prescott. Born 19 August 1751. [12]

William Prescott relates the following story:[13]

“On his return from Lexington, in the night previous to the 19th of April, 1775, where he had spent the evening in paying his addresses to the daughter of a Mr. Mulliken, he soon overtook Paul Revere and Wm. Dawes on their way to Concord to alarm the people and apprise them of the intended expedition of the British soldiers upon Concord. When the three had arrived near Hartwell’s tavern in the lower bounds of Lincoln, they were attacked by four British officers of a scouting party sent out the preceding evening. Revere and Dawes were taken prisoners, Prescott was also attacked and had the reins of his horse’s bridle cut, but he succeeded in making his escape by jumping his horse over the wall; and, taking a circuitous route through Lincoln, he pushed on with the utmost speed to Concord, and gave the alarm of the approach of the British. He was subsequently taken prisoner on board of a privateer, and carried into Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he died in prison.”

     vi.      Dorothy Prescott. Born 27 July 1753;[14] and died 28 March 1754.[15]

vii.      Jonathan Prescott. Born 11 June 1755 and died, unmarried, 22 August 1810.[16]

viii.      Lucy Prescott. Born 24 April 1757;[17] married Jonathan Fay 6 December 1776; and died 10 October 1792 at the age of 34.[18] The Fays settled in Concord where they raised six children: Samuel, Lucy, Joanna, Sophia, Maria, and Abigail.[19]

Federal Census Records

The family of Dr. Abel Prescott was enumerated in Concord in 1790 with one male of sixteen years and upwards, one female, and one slave.[20]

In 1800, Abel was enumerated in Concord with a household of five—one male age ten through fifteen one male age sixteen through twenty-five; one male over forty-five [Abel]; one female age sixteen through twenty-five, and one female over forty-five [Abigail].[21]

© Linda Woodward Geiger


[1] Concord, Massachusetts, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 16351850, 1891 Reprint (Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Society, 1986), 327 (hereinafter cited as Concord Births, Marriages and Deaths); and Alfred Sereno Hudson, The History of Concord, Massachusetts, Volume I: Colonial Concord (Concord, Massachusetts: The Erudite Press, 1904), 179.

[2] William Prescott, The Prescott Memorial: Or a Genealogical Memoir of the Prescott Families in America (Boston: Henry W. Dutton & Son, 1870), 66–67 (hereinafter cited as The Prescott Memorial).

[3] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[4] Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 346.

[5] The Prescott Memorial, 66; and Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 346.

[6] The Prescott Memorial, 88.

[7] Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 215.

[8] Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 342; and The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[9] The Prescott Memorial:, 88.

[10] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[11] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[12] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[13] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[14]  Concord Births, Marriages and Deaths, xx; and The Prescott Memorial, 66

[15] Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 436.

[16] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[17] The Prescott Memorial, 66.

[18] Concord Births, Marriages and Deaths, 421.

[19] The Prescott Memorial, 66, and 88–89.

[20] 1790 U.S. Census, Free Population Schedule, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, page 158; National Archives microfilm M637, reel 4; viewed on Ancestry.com, 5 August 2005. This record is in rough alphabetical order according to the surname of the head of house, and should be considered a derivative record and not an original.

[21] 1800 U.S. Census, Free Population Schedule, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, page 1283 [stamped #4]; National Archives M32, reel 17; viewed at Ancestry.com, 5 August 2005.

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