"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported.
We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.
But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us,
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
-- John Adams, 1765
A Trainband (or training band) was the basic tactical unit of the colonial militia. Men were required to join the local trainband. In wartime, military units were formed by selecting men from the trainband.
A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.
Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.
At a Meeting of the Alarm List and Training Band of the Foot company [infantry], in Topsfield, on the 5th of December, 1774 to choose officers for the said Company, (agreeable to the advice of the Provincial Congress), voted, Mr. Stephen Perkins, chairman; voted, Mr. Joseph Gould. Captain.
The Day being Spent, a Motion was made for said Meeting to be adjourned to the next Morning, 9 o'clock; the Question was put and passed in the Affirmative and accordingly said Meeting was adjourned to said Time.
December 6. Said Alarm List and Training Band met according to adjournment, a Motion was made said Company to be divided into two distinct Companies; the Question was put and accordingly they were divided into two Companies: the first Company voted Mr. Joseph Gould. Captain; Mr. Samuel Cummings, Lieutenant; Mr. Thomas Moore, Ensign; and all the other Officers by a great Majority. The second Company voted Mr. Stephen Perkins, Captain; Mr. Samuel Dodge, Lieutenant; Mr. David Perkins, Ensign; and all the other Officers by a great Majority." (Essex Gazette, Dec. 27, 1774.)
On April 19, 1775 the two companies of the Topsfield militia left their plows in midfurrow and galloped off to Lexington and Concord to help drive the Redcoats back to Boston. They did not see active service on that day, however, as they arrived after the battle was over.
February 13, 1777, the town voted to give eight pounds to those who volunteered to serve three years in the American army in addition to what Congress granted. A month later the amount was raised to eighteen pounds.
In May, 1778, a rate of one hundred and twenty pounds was assessed to defray the charges of clothing for the Topsfield soldiers in the continental army.
In 1780, the town voted to purchase eight thousand four hundred and forty pounds of beef for the army. In 1777, a committee was formed to look after the soldiers' families if need be.
South Ward Company
A muster Roll of Capt. Joseph Gould; Company of the Militia whereof John Baker Esq. is Coll. who marched on the 19th day of April last past in consequence of the Alarm made on that Day by the English Troops. Topsfield, December 26, 1775. The company marched 60 miles and saw a service of 3 to 5 days. Capt. Gould was paid £ l-6-5, while the privates received about 12s 19 ¾d. as an average."
Thomas Baker, jr. 1752
David Balch, Jr. 1753 -1812
Robert Balch 1755 - 1842 David Balch, 3d (1741) married Esther Estey
Roger Balch 1755-1842
Israel Balch 1756 - 1778
Samuel Balch 1744
David Balch 1714-1787
Daniel Bigsbe 1714-1775
Daniel Bigsbe, jr. 1751-1825
Dudley Bigsbe 1756
Henry Bradstreet 1742-1818
Samuel Cree 1753
Joseph Cree 1728-1801
Bartholomew Dwinnell 1728-1801 Grandson of Michael Dwinnell
John Dwinel 1745-1818 Daniel Eatsey (Estey) 1739-1830 Wm Eatsey (Estey) 1748
Nathaniel Fiske 1741-1815
Samuel Fiske 1747-1826
Simon Gould 1755-1831
Thomas Gould 1832-1778
John Gould, Jr. 1749-1820
John Gould 3d 1746-1819
Nathaniel Gould 1753-1842
John Gould 1746-1816
Eliezer Lake, Jr. 1751-1824
Eliezer Lake 1724-176
Moses Perkins, jr. 1755-1806
Thomas Perkins, 3d 1753 Moses Perkins 1732-1807 Daniel Porter 1743-1831
William Ray 1755-1779
John Ray, jr. 1751-1821
John Ray 1736-1797
Ephriam Towne, jr. 1753-1804
Joseph Towne, 1728-1789
Joseph Towne, Jr. 1749-1820
Arch. Towne 1752-1804
Stephen Towne, jr 1741
David Towne 1715-1778
Jeremiah Towne, jr 1743
William Towne 1751
Joshua Towne 1721-1788
The settlement of New Meadows was incorporated as the Town of Topsfield by authority of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663 with the Rev. Thomas Gilbert. The third Meeting House was built on the Common in 1703 with Rev. Joseph Capen as pastor.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (orli) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
The Family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield by Benjamin Apthorp Gould
Joseph Gould, b. 1726 Nov. 4;
d. 1803 June 9;
son of Joseph5;
m. 1751 Dec. 19 Elizabeth (b. 1730 Sept. 28; d. 1825 Mar. 5), eldest dau. of Rev. John and Elizabeth Emerson.
He was Capt. of the Topsfield company which marched to Lexington 1775 Apr. 19 (Col. John Baker's regiment);
deacon 1778, and later Major in the regiment. Member, from 1776 to 1780, of the Committees of "Correspondence " and "Public Safety." "A clever and noble-spirited man, and for many years deacon in the church." (Rev. Daniel Gould).
331. Elizabeth, b. 1752 Dec. 4; m. 1784 Stephen Perley; d. 1840.
332. Joseph, b. 1753 Dec. 6; d. 1767 Sept. 16.
333. Dorcas, d. 1767, in infancy.
334. Daniel, b. 1755-6 Jan. 18; m. 1778 Sarah Bradstreet; d. 1826.
335. Priscilla, b. 1757 Nov. 13; m. 1796 John Longfellow.
336. Sarah, b. 1759 Aug. 26; d. 1761 June 13.
337. Mary, b. 1761 Mar. 29; m. 1788 Elijah Averill; d. 1797.
338. Emerson, b. 1763 Jan. 23; m. 1790 Sarah Stevens.
339. John, b. 1765 Jan. 27; m. 1) 1788 Sarah Lamson; 2) 1795 Betsey Stephens; d. 1840.
340. Cornelius, b. 1767 Feb. 1; m. 1) 1791 Phebe Porter; 2) 1812 Lydia Jenkins.
341. Sarah, b. 1769 Feb. 5; m. 1794 Phineas Perley; d. 1845.
342. Abigail, b. 1771 Oct. 27; m. 1792 Peter Shaw.
343. Joseph, b. 1773 Aug. 29; m. 1) 1794 Ruth Porter; 2) 1825 Catherine B. Parker; d. 1834.