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Abigail, wid. Sparrow Nickerson, m. 2 Daniel Swain
Posted by: Roger W. Smith Date: February 28, 2002 at 10:26:45
  of 1795

An Abigail "Nicholson" -- presumably a widow (and as noted below, the surnname may have been "Nickerson") -- m., as her 2nd husband (and his 2nd wife), Daniel Swain of Nantucket. This is according to the Nantucket Vital Records. The citations are as follows:

"Vital Records of Nantucket, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850," vol. IV, pg. 421, Daniel Swain & Abigail Nicholson, intentions, Apr 4, 1778

Ibid., vol. IV, pg. 421: Daniel, son of George & Love (Paddack) & Abigail Nicholson (second wife), widow of William, m. ____; source: private record from William C. Folger genealogical records in possession of the Nantucket Historical Association

The Daniel Swain referenced above was son of George and Love Paddock) Swain. He was born Nov 1, 1731 in Nantucket, MA and who died Oct 1797 in Nantucket. Daniel is supposed to have married three times as follows - he married (1) Rebecca Osborne 1759; married (2) Abigail ____ Apr 23, 1778 in Nantucket or, possibly, in Chatham, Mass.; married (3) Mary (Chadwick) (Chase) Pitts Oct 13, 1793 in Nantucket.

re Daniel's third wife, Mercy, details known to me are as follows - she was b. Mary (Mercy) Chadwick 1731 in Nantucket and died Sept 1, 1804 in Nantucket, the widow of Daniel Swain. She left a will. Mary/Mercy married (1) Isaac Chase Nov 23, 1752 in Nantucket She married (2) Benjamin Pitts Jul 2, 1769 in Nantucket. She married (3) Daniel Swain Oct 13, 1793 in Nantucket.

The mystery I am trying to clear up is the identity of Daniel's 2nd wife, Abigail, whom the citations above identify as being the widow William Nicholson. Supposedly Daniel and Abigail had only one child, Love Swain, b. in Nantucket circa 1779 ... Love m. William Handy of Sandwich, MA (1762-1752). She d. in Sandwich Feb 26, 1857.

Rather than Nicholson, another source says that Abigail's married name was Nickerson. In the book "The Descendants of William Nickerson, 1604-1689: First Settler of Chatham, Massachusetts" (3 vols.; Yarmouth Port, Mass., 1973-76), by The Nickerson Family Association, part II, pp. 332-333, it is stated that Abigail, the above-referenced 2nd wife of Daniel Swain, was born Abigail Burgess and that she married first Sparrow Nickerson of Chatham, a mariner. She may be the Abigail Burgess who was born before Dec 6, 1748 in Rochester (Harwich?), Mass. - daughter of Simian and Deborah (Edwards) Burgess. It is documented that an Abigail Burgess married Sparrow Nickerson Feb 11, 1762 in Harwich, Mass. and that Sparrow Nickerson died in November 1772.

I am trying to determine the details of Abigail's birth and her marriages, was she m. to a Nicholson or a Nickerson; and was his name Sparrow Nickerson or William Nicholson?


Other relevant source information:

Tomlinson, Anna Lowell, "Vital Records, Town of Chatham, Massachusetts" (2 vols.; Chatham, Mass.: The Chatham Historical Society, Inc., 1991-94), vol. I, pg. 78: Apr 23, 1778, Daniel Swain of Sherborn in Nantucket & Abigail Nickerson of Chatham were married by Solomon Freeman Justice of the Peace.

The Nickerson Family Association, "The Descendants of William Nickerson, 1604-1689: First Settler of Chatham, Massachusetts" (3 vols.; Yarmouth Port, Mass., 1973-76), part II, pp. 332-333: Abigail (Burgess) Nickerson, widow of Sparrow Nickerson, m. -- as her 2nd husband, at Nantucket Apr 23, 1778 -- Daniel Swain, son of George & Love (Paddock) Swain

Kelley, Louise H. and Dorothy Straw, "Vital Records, Town of Harwich, Massachusetts, 1694-1850"(Harwich, Mass., 1982), pg. 136, "Intention of Marriage between [sic] Sparrow Nickerson of Chatham & Abigail Birge of Harwich Jany 20th 1762."

Ibid, pg. 122: "Feby 11th 1762 Sparrow Nickerson & Abigail Birge were Maried [sic] in Hawich [sic] p Revd Mr Dunster"


Sparrow Nickerson was murdered at sea in Nov 1772, as referenced in "The Descendants of William Nickerson," part II, pp. 149, 332

Roger W. Smith

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