Richard Bessom - Sarah Gale Family Group

Parents   Parents
Jean LeGros Bisson Jeanne LeCras   John Gale Susannah Dennis
  b. 13 Mar 1695 in Trinity Parish, Jersey Isle, Channel Islands, Great Britain b. abt. 1703 in St. Queen's, Jersey Isle, Channel Islands, Great Britain   b. 15 Mar 1704 in Marblehead b.22 Apr 1710 in Marblehead
  d. 24 Feb1772 in Jersey, Great Britain d. St. Mary, Jersey Island, Channel Islands, England   d. ? d. ?
Richard Bessom Sarah Gale
b. bp. 24 Oct 1731 in Jersey Islands, Great Britain b. 1732 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
d. 3 Feb 1812 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. 22 Jul 1802 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage 31 Jul 1753 Richard Bessom in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Marriage 5 Dec 1802 Sarah Calley in Marblehead ?
Sarah Bessom bp. 7 May 1754 in Marblehead; m. 26 Nov 1774 in Marblehead William Caswell (bp. Dec 1740 in Marblehead); ten children: Sarah, Remember, Mary, Jenney, William, Richard Besome, Susanna, Hannah, Betsey, and Thomas Proctor Caswell
Jane Bessom bp. 6 May 1756 in Marblehead, m. 2 Jun 1778 in Marblehead Thomas Lemaster (b. 1754 in Jersey Isle, Great Britain, probate 28 Mar 1803 in Marblehead; eight children: Thomas, Thomas, Jane "Jenny", Mary, Polly, Sarah, George, and Tabitha Lemaster; d. 10 Feb 1828 in Marblehead
Mary Bessom bp. 8 Jan 1758 and d. young in Marblehead
Richard Bessom bp. 23 Dec 1759 and d. young in Marblehead
John Bessom bp. 1 Nov 1761 and d. young in Marblehead
Mary Bessom bp. 5 Jun 1763 in Marblehead, m. 28 Jan 1787 in Marblehead Joseph Pederick; no further records. Not mentioned in her father's probate.
John Bessom bp. 25 Aug 1768 and d. young in Marblehead
Susannah Bessom bp. 28 Aug 1768 and d. young in Marblehead
John Bessom bp. 9 Sep 1770 in Marblehead, m. 29 Dec 1793 Hannah Laskey (bp. 20 Jun 1773 in Marblehead); 13 children: Hannah, Margaret, John, Sarah Gale, Richard, James Laskey, Jonas, Nicholas, Infant, Elizabeth, Mary, Philip, and Harriot Bessom
  Susannah Bessom bp, 13 Sep; 1772 in Marblehead; m. 3 Jun 1792 in Marblehead Philip Ramsdell (b. 29 Nov 1768 in Marblehead); 13 children: Susannah, Mary Bessom, Philip, John, Richard Bessom, Jonas Bessom, Sarah Gale, Remember Caswell, Jane Caswell, Elias Hendley, Jane Caswell, Elias Hendley, and Hannah Ramsdell; d. 12 Oct 1829 in Marblehead
Richard Bessom b. 5 Feb 1775 in Marblehead; m. 1) 15 May 1796 in Marblehead, Hannah Bowden (b. 18 Feb 1776 and d, 13 Dec 1810 in Marblehead: four children: Hanna, Richard, Michael, and Sarah Bessom; m. 2) 18 Dec 1814 in Marblehead widow Hannah LeCraw Mailey (b. abt. 1783 in Marblehead, d. and 26 Feb 1853 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts; four children: Hannah, John C., William, and Franklin Bessom; d. 26 Feb 1853 in Lynn
  Jonas Bessom bp. 15 Sep 1776 in Marblehead; no further records, not mentioned in his father's will.

What We Know About This Family

Richard Bessom was born on the Isle of Jersey to farmer Jean LeGros Bisson and Jeanne LeCras, who had several children. Their sons Philippe, Richard and Josué emigrated together in 1749. They were aged 20, 18 and 15 then, and were the second, third and fourth sons. Eldest son Jean probably had to stay at home to work the farm with his father. In any case Jean married in 1751 and had eight children, including Nicolas, with wife Jeanne Le Seelleur between 1752 and 1772.

At Marblehead. Richard's brother, Philippe Bisson, who became Philip Bessom, married Sarah Boubier, also from Jersey, on 18 Nov 1751. They had fifteen children. He acquired land next to Marblehead Harbour and also a substantial lot in the town of Lyndsborough, New Hampshire. He appears to have followed his father in farming both at Marblehead and Lyndsborough, but he was also a renowned mariner, and left the schooner Peacock when he died. His son, also Philip, was a seaman, too, and both were known as Captain Philip Besom. The younger of the two first went to sea at the age of eleven, and joined the crew of a privateer when 17. His wife survived him, and he named these children in his will: WIlliam, John, Ruth Blaney, Sarah Barker, Margaret Grant, Philip, Grace Nance, Joseph Bessom (deceased), Jane Freeto, Mary Chinn, Susanna Strong, and Hanna Anderton,

Josue did not settle down in Marblehead and went back to Jersey, but he returned in 1766 with his brother Jean’s 11-year-old son, Nicolas, and there are suggestions that Jean accompanied them. Josue later returned to Jersey again, as must have Jean, if he did indeed reach America with his son, because his last two children were born in 1768 and 1772.

Nicolas remained in Marblehead and married Elizabeth Laskey in 1784. They had nine children and she died at the age of 65 in 1827. Nicolas then married his sister-in-law Hannah Bessom, nee Lasky, the widow of his cousin John. Nicolas died on 17 Jun 1838 at the age of 82.

The settlers, in common with many other emigrants to America with French surnames, changed their name to Besom. There is some suggestion that the name metamorphosed via Bissom and Bessom, but this may be because of the trouble American officials had in writing down the names of immigrants, many of whom probably could not even write their own name. Some members of the family adopted the spellings Bessom and Beasom in later years.

Our ancestor, Richard, was a Revolutionary War patriot having served in the companies of Captain Fettyplace and Captain Felton. His wife, Sarah Gale, was the daughter of John Gale, one-time master of the schooner Hannah, named for his daughter. Hannah Gale married John Glover who served directly under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Washington promoted Glover to the rank of Brigadier General. Hannah Gale Glover died in 1777. The Hannah was a fishing vessel armed for war and is considered the first vessel in the U.S. naval services.

Sarah Gale Bessom died in September of 1802, and is buried next to her sister Hannah at Marblehead's Old Burial Hill. Richard Bessom died in 1812, and his probate lists a widow Sarah. The Bessoms had many descendants, but I could find no family trees that acknowledged a second wife named "Sarah." There is a marriage record for Sarah Calley who married a Richard Bessom in the December after Sarah Gale Bessom died. A death record exists for Sarah, widow of Richard, many years after his death. Her stated age calculates to about the age of a Sarah Calley who had a birth record in Marblehead. I conclude at least the possibility that Sarah Calley married Richard Bessom shortly after his first wife's death. She would have been about 45 years of age at the time of their marriage, and there is no evidence of children.

About the Children

  • Jane was our direct ancestor. She first married Peter Sawins, who died soon after. She then married her second husband and our direct ancestor, Thomas LeMaster in 1781, and together, they had eight children. Thomas, like her father, was an emigre from Jersey, where his surname had been "Lemaistre," and he too was a Revolutionary War patriot. Having survived the illnesses which probably took so many of her siblings and the three children she outlived, Jane tragically fell down the steps at 72 and broke her neck. Thomas and Jane Bessom Lemaster have their own family group page.

  • John was a coaster and "truckman." He married Hannah Laskey, and together they raised several children,. After his death, Hannah married his brother, Nicholas, son of the oldest brother who remained on the Isle of Jersey. Nicholas had been brought over to America at age 11 by one of his uncles and settled in Marblehead. Nicholas was also the widower of Hannah's sister, Elizabeth Laskey, by whom he sired at least ten children.

  • Richard, Jr. married twice, the first time to Hannah Bowden and the second to Hannah Lecraw Mailey, the widow of Nicholas and mother of his one child, Nicholas, Jr. In her will in 1853, Hannah named her four children, Nicholas Mailey, Franklin, John C., William, and Hannah, mother of Hannah Maria and Christina Clarage. The names of her husband's children by his first wife were not mentioned in her will. Daughter Hannah is the only one of the children who did not have a baptismal or birth record. I learned of her existence in her mother's will. She was married as Hannah "Bessom, and since her mother did not name any of Richard's children in her will, I conclude that Hannah was her child by Richard. Based on the younger Hannah's estimated age if she was the usual 18-20 at the time of her marriage, i conclude she was probably the oldest of the four children of Richard and Hannah LeCraw Bessom.

Proof of Relationship

The genealogical and vital records are our best proof of relationship.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is basically complete. A later re-check might reveal some of the missing dates and verify the existence of a second wife to Richard Bessom.


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