Richard Otis

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
Richard Otis, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born say 1625.1 He was murdered by Indians at Dover, Strafford Co., New Hampshire, 28 June 1689.2,3

Richard married (1) Rose Stoughton, daughter of Anthony Stoughton and Agnes Purse, at Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, about 1650;2,3,4 he married (2) Shuah Starbuck, daughter of Edward "the elder" Starbuck and Katherine Eunice Reynolds, in November 1676;2,3,4 he married (3) Grizzel Warren, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), about 1685.2,3,4

Richard Otis was admitted an inhabitant of Boston in May 1655, but later that year he had a grant of ten acres in Dover where he settled. Here he built a house and had a blacksmith shop. He is said to have been very expert and able to fashion anything in iron. He had another grant of 100 acres, and one of fifty acres. On this last he built a second house, and gave the first house to his son Stephen. The second house was made into a garrison, surrounded by a high stockade, within which was his blacksmith shop.

He was taxed in Dover in 1656, and thereafter until about 1680. He was a first a respected member of the Dover church or he would not have been appointed to civil office. He was a voter (freeman) of Dover before 1653, and a town officer in 1660. In 1660 he was one of the commissioners "handling all difficulties regarding Dover bounderies." In 1663 the grand jury presented Richard and wife and servantman for non-attendance at church for several months, indicating he was already a Quaker sympathizer, if not a Quaker. Later records show him on a 1680 voting list for electing deputies to the General Assembly. In 1683 he admitted the claims of John Mason to Dover ownership, and agreed to pay him ground rent. In 1684 he was among the many debtors of Thomas Ladbrook's estate.

Probate records show he administered the estate of William Lemon in 1662, and of James Heard (whose widow he married) on 5 Nov 1677.

28 Jun 1689, the Otis Garrison was attached by Indians, the admitted treachery of a trusted member of the garrison, and Richard Otis was murdered. His son Stephen and some others of the family were also killed, but his wife Grizel, his daughters, and at least three grandchildren, were taken captive. The eldest three daughters were recaptured at Conway within a few days, but Grizel and the little children, one an infant of three months, were carried to Canada. Grizel became a Catholic and was baptized Marie Madeleine. She married Philippe Robetaille of Montreal, had five children born in Canada, and never returned to New Hampshire. Margaret Otis, the baby was baptized Christine, brought up a Catholic, spoke only French, and married a Frenchman. After his death she returned to New Hampshire and married again.

Richard's estate was not settled until sixteen years after his death, administration being granted on 1 May 1705 to Susanna, widow of Richard, Jr., and distribution was made to the creditors.3

Family 1

  • Rose Otis3,2 b. say 1659, d. 1729

Family 2

Rose Stoughton b. 22 Nov 1629, d. bef. 3 Jul 1677
  • Richard Otis3,2 b. say 1650, d. abt. 1701
  • Stephen Otis3,2 b. say 1653, d. 28 Jun 1689
  • Martha Otis3,2 b. say 1655
  • Ann Otis+2,3 b. abt. 1657
  • Judith Otis3,2 b. say 1661
  • Solomon Otis3,2 b. 15 Oct 1663
  • Experience Otis3,2 b. 7 Nov 1666
  • Nicholas Otis3,2 b. bef. 1674, d. 1696

Family 3

Shuah Starbuck b. say 1647, d. bef. 1685

Family 4

Grizzel Warren d. 26 Oct 1750
  • Hannah Otis3,2 b. abt. 1687, d. 28 Jun 1689
  • Margaret Otis3,2 b. 15 Mar 1689
This person was last edited on13 Jul 2019


  1. [S1330] Estimated from approximate date of marriage.
  2. [S1947] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (Five vols., Salt Lake City, Utah: s.p., 2013), 5:51 (Stoughton 21), further cited as Richardson, Royal Ancestry.
  3. [S922] Sybil Noyes, Charles T. Libby and Walter G. Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. Portland, Maine: The Southworth Press, 1928-1939, 520-521. CD-ROM reprint, Compendium of New England Pioneers: A Collection of 14 Classic Genealogical Dictionaries of Early New England Settlers (Columbia, Maryland: Archive CD Books USA, 2006), further cited as Noyes, Libby, and Davis, Gen. Dict. of Maine & N. H.
  4. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1119, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).