Family in Deerfield Massacre

Rev John Williams is a 2nd paternal cousin 9x removed

On Leap Day in 1704, the Abenaki Indians attacked the settlement of Deerfield on the Massachusetts frontier, killing over 50 colonists, taking captive over a hundred others.

King Philip’s War of the previous century had lately evolved into a more peaceful state for the English settlers of New England. But the Abenaki made an impressive encore by their assault on the Connecticut River valley towns.

On the evening of February 28th, a group of about 40 Abenaki men, slipped into Deerfield and routed the villagers, smashing doors and windows, setting fire to homes, killing livestock. The call to alarm brought the sleeping colonists awake, and some managed to leap from windows and run into the fields and woods for cover, even escaping to other settlements. It was reported that Goodman Allison and his wife ran all the way to Hatfield.

Some hid in cellars. Others were killed, including two small children of minister John Williams, and a woman named Parthena, who was the family slave of Williams.

Williams, his wife, and surviving children were taken captive. His wife and others were killed on the forced march to Canada. Between the Indians and the French, and the English who negotiated for release, many captives were released over the next few years. John Williams and two of his children were released and returned by ship to Boston in November 1706. He eventually returned to Deerfield, and wrote an account of his captivity. His daughter Eunice, taken at 7 years old, settled with the Mohawk community at Kahnawake,

married, and would not return to New England except for visits in the later years of her life.

One thought on “Family in Deerfield Massacre

  1. I also have family from the Deerfield Massacre of 1704. My family was the Carter family. John, Samuel, Mercy and Ebenezer (siblings) were taken captive and only Ebenezer came back to the US. Mercy married an Indian from Kanawake also and had two sons. I have several books on the Deerfield Massacre. There is one book called “The Ransom of Mercy Carter” I cannot remember the authors name off hand. I have visited Deerfield. The whole story is very interesting. Mercy was my 6th great grand aunt. If Ebenezer never had come back to the US, I would not be here! If you would like more info on the Deerfield Massacre, I may be able to help. I have been doing my family history for about nine years. Your site is very interesting!
    Sally (Wheeler) Kimball

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