John Frye (1672-1737)

John Frye, grandson of the original John Ffrie, was born September 16, 1672 in Andover. As a third generation child, he witnessed some radical changes in Andover during his life, including the horror of the Salem Witch Trials. At age 22, he married Tabitha Farnum on November 1, 1694. Tabitha was the daughter of Thomas Farnum and Elizabeth Seborns (or Simmons). She was born October 17, 1678, making her two weeks shy of her 16th birthday when she married.
If John thought he grew up in a crowded household with 9 other siblings, he certainly didn't mind. Tabitha bore him no less than 13 children:

John Frye, born February 18, 1697/98, died October 17, 1718

Isaac Frye, born March 11, 1698/99, died May 31, 1741

Joshua Frye, born April 10, 1701, died October 2, 1768

Abiel Frye, born July 5, 1703, died March 22, 1757 (my line)

Mehitable Frye, born February 18, 1704/05, died August 26, 1778

Anne Frye, born about 1708, died July 30, 1717

Phoebe Frye, born 1709, died February 8, 1796

Joseph Frye,born March 19, 1711/12, died July 25, 1794

Samuel Frye, born February 18, 1714/15, died March 6, 1727/28
(I have other information that shows Samuel born some time between 1710 and 1715)

Hannah Frye, born September 5, 1714, died December 15, 1794

Anne Frye, born June 29, 1718, death date unknown

John Frye, born July 28, 1720, died July 16, 1738

Tabitha Frye, born July 13, 1722, died July 12, 1738

Notable amongst these children is Joseph Frye, who would later in life have a distinguished military career in the Continental Army and would be given a land grant for an area along the Saco River in Maine. He would give this area his name - today known as Fryeburg, Maine.

Also note that as in previous generations, when the first John Frye died in 1718 at age 20, John and Tabitha gave their next male child, born in 1720, the same name. Regretably, he died young also, just shy of his 18th birthday.

John and Tabitha were one of the wealthiest families in Andover at the time. He had inherited the family homestead from his uncle, Deacon John Frye. John was a successful farmer and with 7 boys who all lived to be old enough to help out, there was probably less need to pay for hired help. John was a Sargeant in 1716 and a Lieutenant in 1723. He is listed as a Selectman from 1716-1733 in Andover and served as Town Clerk from 1719-1734. When John died on April 17th, 1737 at age 65, he left an estate of over 600 acres. He had already helped some of his children get set up in trades. Joshua, for example, became a hatter. Though he left no apparent will, he ended up giving all his surviving children the means to establish themselves. Most of his children ended up staying in Andover throughout their lives.


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