The 1819 Shaw House on Lafayette Road
by Rev. Roland Sawyer
Views and Reviews of Old Rockingham
Hampton Union, June 25, 1959
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union].
Shaw Homestead, now Tidewater Campground, Lafayette Road. Photo was identified as "Mother, Father, Thelma and 'General the Horse'." [Courtesy Patricia Batchelder Keen. Photo courtesy of Hampton; A Century of Town & Beach, 1888-1988 by Peter E. Randall and not included with original newspaper article.]
This house is remarkable for two things: on its site have lived or are living 13 generations of Shaws, and we know the cost of all labor and material, other than the lumber, down to a single penny.
First to trace the Shaws who have lived on the site: Roger, the pioneer, born in England, came with his wife to Cambridge before 1636, and bought land of John Cross and built upon it, a few rods west of the present house. His two wives were Anne, and second, Susanna, widow of William Tilton. They had seven children, five boys and two girls. He died in 1661,
Benjamin, son of Roger, born in Cambridge, married Esther Richardson, died 1718; his wife lived to be 91 and died in 1736, after she had borne 12 children.
Edward, born 1695, married Mary Johnson first and Abigail Marshall second. Edward, Jr., born 1724, married Ruth Fellows, and died 1787. John, youngest son of Edward, Jr., bap. 1761, married Zipporah Towle. Simeon Brackett, born 1804, married Jane Perkins in 1829 and seven years later started building the house of the picture, and it was moved into during 1839.
The house was made for two families and the only children of Brackett were two sons, Simeon, born 1831 and John Brackett, born 1836, and the two sons married and lived and died each in his half of the house.
Simeon, son of Brackett, married Sarah Elizabeth Lamprey in 1865; and they lived reared six children and died in the house.
Simeon Albert, son of Simeon, born 1856, married Abbie Isabel Cole. Their three children were Elroy Garfield, born, 1881, Everett Simeon, born 1885, Ethel Brooks, born 1887.
Roy (Elroy) married in 1902 to Jessie Crosby of the South Road in Hampton Falls, a daughter of Charles and Abby Tarlton Crosby. Mr. Shaw died in Sept of last year (1958) lacking one month of being 78 and after he and Jessie had lived in the house 56 years.
Their son, Harold married into the ancient Batchelder family, his wife being Beatrice and they lived on the family site and in its house where have been born five children: Roger, now of New London, Conn., Wallace Albert, Elmer, Isabel (now Mrs. Frank Amazeen), Barbara, (now Mrs. Robert Belcher of East Kingston).
Wallace Albert married Miss Janet Weir of Newburyport, and they live in modern fashion, in a cozy trailer, a few rods from the old house and have two children, Wallace Albert, Jr., age 4 and Laurie Ann, age 2, who romp around the grass, being the 13th generation of Shaws born and living on this home-site.
Across the road is the family graveyard where are buried those who have lived and died there in older years. All except one, Benjamin, son of pioneer Roger, born here and dying here, the exact spot of burial not known. Benjamin died in debt in 1718 under the old English law that allowed a creditor to seize the body of a person in debt to him, whether such body being a living or dead person.
Benjamin's family buried their father the night of his death before any creditor could seize the body. Whether in the ancient graveyard or elsewhere on the farm is not known, but probably in the yard, anyhow they put up the gravestone which still stands over his reputed grave.
Family records show close affiliations and intermarriages with the Towle family; that is because the Towles were their nearest neighbor for they lived down on Taylor river, where the Towles collected for several generations the "tolls" over the causeway and bridge. One of these Towles moved up country where he died weighing 562 pounds, whether his mother or wife were Shaws, I have not run down.