Showing posts with label Portland Maine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portland Maine. Show all posts

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gerrish Line Part 2 with Joseph Merriner Gerrish

  • Cumberland-Androscoggin County ME Archives Biographies
  • History of Durham, Maine by Everett Stackpole
  • Old Boston Familes: The Gerrish Family 2 by Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton
  • History of Durham Maine
  • History of Portland Maine
  • Maine Historical Society Proceedings 
  • The Maine Register and United States' Almanac
  • American Freemason
  • History of Gorham Maine
  • Genealogy of the Cutts family in America
  • Landmarks in Ancient Dover, New Hampshire
  • The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine Volume 11 
  • N. E. Register Volume 6 and Volume 21

JOSEPH MARRINER GERRISH. The portrait above is J M Gerrish and famly.

Joseph was the son of Capt. Nathaniel and Sarah (Marriner) Gerrish and was born in Royalsborough March 24. 1783 and died in Portland April 30 1853. Nathaniel Gerrish, son of Charles Gerrish and Mary Frost, was born on April 7, 1751 and died November 28, 1799. He was a Revolutionary soldier, was for several years on the Board of Selectmen, and was Capt. of Militia at the time of his death 28 Nov. 1799. An iron rail surrounds his grave in the cemetery near that of the North Meeting-House.
He married Sarah Merriner on October 30, 1777. Sarah was born on Aughust 27, 1757, the daughter of  Joseph Marriner and Abigal Hanscom. She died July 27, 1831. Photo Durham Cemeteries

Background on Charles Gerrish according to History of Durham, Maine: Charles was born in Berwick, Me., in 1716, as a deposition shows. He was the son of Nathaniel Gerrish and Bridget Vaughn. Family origins in America: Capt. William Gerrish, born in Bristol, Eng., 20 Aug. 1617, came to New England as early as 1639 and settled in Newbury, Mass. He m. (1) 17 April 1645, Joanna, widow of John Oliver and daughter of Percival Lowle. She died 14 June 1677. He moved to Boston and m. (2) Ann, widow of John Manning. He died in Salem, Mass. 9 Aug. 1687. His oldest son John Gerrish, born 15 May 1646, married in 1665 Elizabeth Waldron daughter of Major Richard Waldron of Dover, N. H., where he settled and became a prominent citizen. He died in 1714. Of his ten children Nathaniel was born in 1672 and married Bridget, daughter of Hon. Wm. Vaughn of Portsmouth. They had children Nathaniel, William, George, Richard and Bridget and Charles.
Charles Gerrish married Mary Frost of Berwick. They came to Falmouth, now Portland in 1748. William born June 27 1744 married April 3, 1766 Esther Parker. Charles born October 18 1746 married August 7, 1770, Phoebe Blethen. Nathaniel born April 7 1751 married October 30, 1777 Sarah Marriner
George born June 16 1753 married Mary Mitchell December 20 1781. James born 1755 died in the Revolutionary Army, at age of 20 yrs. Mary born married Abner Harris, son of Lawrence Harris of Lewiston, Int. Rec. in N. Yarmouth March 2 1782.
For more Genealogy of early Gerrish see N. E. Register Vol. VI. p. 258 and Vol. LI. p. 67. In 1758 Charles moved to Saccarappa. Jan. 17, 1762 he sold his land in Saccarappa to Enoch Freeman, Esq. A document, reproduced in facsimile, sheds light on his proceedings. The remarkable thing for his day is, that the document is correctly spelled, which proves him to have been a man of some education. 

 His general ability is inferred from the fact that he was selected as an agent of the proprietors. He was by trade a blacksmith and maker of edge-tools. The two hundred acres first bought by him are shown on Noyes's plan of the town. This farm remained in the Gerrish family for nearly a century. It was occupied within the remembrance of many by A. True Osgood, and is now owned by Willard Sylvester. The first house long since passed away. It stood on the hillside east of the old, two-story, unpainted house that succeeded it. This is one of the oldest houses in Durham and remains in the style in which it was originally built over a century ago. The scfuare chimney in the center, with rooms built around it, is something enormous. Here may be seen one of the old fire-places that took in eight-foot sticks of wood. The partitions are of upright pine boards, some of them two feet wide. 

Lt. William Gerrish, son of Major Charles, married 3 April 1767 Esther Parker of N. Yarmouth b. 6 Feb. 1745. He settled on lots 73 and 74 Durham. He died there 6 June 1812 and is buried in the cemetery near by. His wife died 14 April 1839. Below is a picture of his son William born in Royalsborough May 20 1786; married (1) Nov. 25 1811, Mary Sydleman; (2) May 13 1821 Sophia Thomas who died June 1835; (3) 1849 Mrs. (Hoyt) Adams of Readfield. He built the brick house near Andrew Fitz home about 1832. The bricks were made on the bank of the river in front of the house where he lived for many years. He died, in 1862, in Durham.

In 1777 the town of Durham asked for relief from taxes. The reasons being that they had so many of their young men had enlisted in The Continental Army and that the town was still settling the land. Charles and William Gerrish were both signers of this petition. It was sent to Boston were it was approved. The burial place of Major Charles Gerrish was near the first house. No trace of it can now be seen, since the grovind has been plowed over. He was last taxed in 1797 but is said to have died in 1805. He was a man of ability and served often as moderator of Town meetings and as an officer of the Town. The date of the above document marks authoritatively the first settlement in the Town, in 1763. Several historians have placed the date eleven years earlier. His house was six miles from the nearest neighbor and tradition says his wife saw no female except her daughter for a year and a half. The place referred to was the Great Meadow Pond, in the southern part of the town, whose outlet into the Androscoggin river was '" Joseph Noyes's River Brook," so called on the Town Records. Here was an ancient saw-mill, and a road ran therefrom across Snow's farm and just above the point where the road from Methodist Corner joins the Brunswick road and so on back of the old Gerrish house, where A. True Osgood recently lived, to connect with the County Road near the Freeport line. The road has probably not been used for a century, but it was the oldest road in Durham. It was the existence of this logging road that led Major Charles Gerrish to build his house where he did. "' The path that goes to Capt. Gerrish's " from the County Road is mentioned in 1775, in the Town Records. That path is still in existence as a private road.

All the following were of Royalsborough except Jonathan Bagley of Amesbury, Mass. The price paid for most of the lots was 13 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence. Nos. 4, 28, 32, and 72 cost 26 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence. Lots 58 and 83 were valued at 30 pounds.
Lot. Name. Date.
5 Stephen Chase, Nov. 12, 1770.
12 John Bliffin,
13 John Dean, Jr.,
15 Nathaniel Gerrish,
17 Stephen Hart,
18 Caleb Estes,
31 Charles Gerrish, Jr., Nov. 12, 1770. 53 Phineas Frost,
57 Charles Gerrish,
104 Nathan Lewis,"
6 Edward Estes, June 10, 1771.
14 Patrick Welch,
16 Samuel Clough,
58 Jonathan Bagley,
83" Dec. 7, 1771.
2 Thomas Coffin, Dec. 10, 1771. 4 Noah Jones,"
33 William Gerrish,
67 John Dean (or Dain)"
3 Joseph Estes, Dec. 10, 1776. 28 Cornelius Douglas,
19 Samuel Green,
32 Vincent Roberts, 38 Stephen Weston, 69 John Cushing,
72 Ichabod Frost,"
80, 24, 29, 41, 46, 49, and 59 were deeded, Dec. 10, 1776, to Joseph Noyes of Falmouth for services as Surveyor of the Township. The inhabitants of Royalsborough first met for public business Feb. 24, 1774, probably at the house of O. Israel Eagley, since it is certain that the second meeting was held there, March 14, 1774. The meeting was "in order to consult upon Some method for Entering into Some order in Said Town." Josiah Dunn was chosen moderator and Charles Hill, Esq., clerk. Charles Hill and Thomas Coffin were elected wardens and O. Israel Bagley, Wm. Gerrish and Stephen Chase a committee for selecting a lot for a Meeting House and burying yard, and also a lot for a school. This was the only business transacted. At the second town meeting Major Charles Gerrish was moderator, Mr. Dunn having refused to serve. Other moderators before the incorporation of Durham were Jonathan Bagley, Jonathan Armstrong, O. Israel Bagley, Ebenezer Newell and John Cushing, Esq. The meetings were held at the houses of O. Israel Bagley, John Dain, Nathaniel Gerrish and William McGray, until 1780, after which date they were held at the school house built on Benj. Vining's land.

O. Israel Bagley kept the first store in Royalsborough.  He kept an account book--the book is twelve inches long by four wide and contains 263 pages, bound in sheep-skin, well sewed. It was evidently used as an account-book by his father, Thomas Bagley, before it came into the possession of O. Israel Bagley.

Entries are found in it as early as April 17, 1745. The earliest account in Durham is with Charles Gerrish beginning March 19, 1770, and running to June 22, 1772. Some of the items are of interest; the accounts are in "old tener" or depreciated currency:

To one pear of shoes, 01105 :o
To half days works a hoing, 00:17:0
To 16 apeltrees, 09:17:0
To 6 pound of tobaca 01 :16:o
To 4 ax handles 01 :oo :o
to halfe a Bushel of flaxsead 00:11 :o
to one wige 09 :oo :o
to filing of snoo shoos I pear 00:10:0
"June the 22d then Settled all accounts with Mr. Charles Gerrish from the beginin of the world to this day and thair is due to said Bagley Seventen pounds ten shiling old tener money Seth, by us." Charles Gerrish and O. Israel Bagley.

We give only the items most interesting and that can be read.
Portions of two pages have been cut off.
Dec. 11 to making of nate garish. (Shoes for Nath. Gerrish.)
....went up to the mill "11 went to the 40 lot to
12 making of clabords.
13 and made one thousand "14 thate weeke.
19 wente to calope Estes (Caleb Estes)
Jan. 23 cornel wente to gloster (Col. Jonathan Bagley went to New Gloucester.)
"24 making of a Brace
26 wente to a falling of ash timber.
"27 wente to haling of wood w Cap ga oxen, (hauling of wood with Capt. Charles Gerrish's oxen.)
Some Landmarks for Gerrish Clan
Gerrish's Bridge. This is a well known bridge across Bellamy river in Madbury, below the Hook. A petition for a bridge across Bellamy Bank freshet, "a little above Capt. Paul Gerrish's saw-mill," was made Oct. 12, 1756. This bridge is spoken of in 1787 as standing by u Benjamin Gerrish's corn-mill." Being long and high and difficult to keep in repair,Gerrish's bridge is repeatedly mentioned in the town records of Madbury.

Gerrish's Mills. The first mills of this name were at the lowest falls in the Bellamy river. Capt. John Gerrish, through his wife, daughter of Major Richard Waldron, acquired one half of the water privilege here, Oct. 17,1683, and became sole owner at a later day. At his death this property fell to his sons Timothy and Paul, who had two mills on the lower part of the Bellamy in 1719, and seem to have acquired exclusive possession of all the mill privileges on the river, within the limits of ancient Dover. (See Demerit's Mill and Bellamy Falls.) Another Gerrish mill, frequently mentioned in the Dover and Madbury records, also stood on the Bellamy. It was in Madbury, below the Hook, directly southwest of Barbadoes Pond. A record of Jan. 7, 1758, speaks of it as " set up by Capt. Paul Gerrish and others." Among these was John Hanson, of Dover, who that same day, sold Daniel Hayes, of Madbury, one sixteenth part of this mill. "Log hill, adjacent to the mill," is spoken of in the deed of conveyance. Agrist-mill was also erected here. One of these mills was swept away by it flood in 1798, and the other, June 24, 1799; but they were both rebuilt soon after. Mrs. Sarah Meserve, of Dover, March 28, 1804, sold Daniel Hayes of Madbury, one twenty-fourth part of Gerrish's sawmill—" the same," she says in her deed, " that was set up by my father, Benjamin Gerrish." Benjamin was the son of Paul. This saw-mill became a day-mill in time, and was taken down about 1833.
"The grist-mill and falls, with the privilege belonging to the same," were, in the early part of this century, acquired by Eli Demerit,1 who sold them at auction in 1832. This mill is now gone. The dam was removed in 1865 by the Messrs. Sawyer of Dover, who had acquired control of all the mill privileges on the Bellamy.

Children of Nathaniel Gerrish and Sarah Marriner Gerrish:
George Gerrish, b. 24 Jan 1779
Hannah Gerrish, b. 18 Jan 1781, d. 10 May 1849 m. Peter Sanborn
Joseph Marriner Gerrish, b. 24 Mar 1783 (See records below)
Loruhamah Gerrish, b. 09 Oct 1785, d. 18 Sep 1864 m. Joseph Osgood
Sarah Gerrish, b. 27 Feb 1788, d. 30 Sep 1837 m. Samuel G Osgood
Abigail Gerrish, b. 16 Apr 1790 m. Stephen Sylvester
Thirza Gerrish, b. 26 Apr 1792 m. Christopher Lincoln
Moses Gerrish, b. 09 Aug 1784
Nathaniel Gerrish, b. 16 Dec 1797

Joseph M Gerrish drove ox-teams with masts to Freeport he sometimes halted at the school house on lower County Road, where Sarah, daughter of Parson Herrick, was teaching school. He took his place in the spelling class and "spelled down" all the pupils making him a famous speller. The journals of Portland at the time of his death speak in very high terms of the character and public services of Mr. Gerrish. Especially the Hon. William Willis, author of a History of Portland, pays a tribute to his memory.

Mr. Gerrish's first found employment in the office of Samuel Freeman who was then Clerk of Courts. In 1807 he was made Deputy Sheriff, in which office he continued many years. He was Treasurer of Portland 1823-5, and in 1831 was chosen Representative to the Legislature. Afterward he became proprietor of the Portland Advertiser. After his retirement from business his services were often sought as referee and in the administration of estates. He was Treasurer of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Portland from its organization until 1837. The Records of the Lodge show that the salary voted him was given yearly into the Charity Fund. He was Past Commander of Maine Encampment and a member of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 1818-19 he was Master of Ancient Land Mark Lodge, having served as Senior Warden in 1817.
In every relation of life Mr. Gerrish was a kind, faithful and true man, upright and conscientious in the discharge of duty, and benevolent and amiable in social intercourse. "The peculiar excellencies of his character were honesty of purpose, fidelity and generosity to friends, attachment to domestic enjoyments and relations, consistency and steadiness of action, a courteous deportment and polished manners, and the prompt and intelligent discharge of all his engagements, directed by a sincere desire to promote individual and public good." The Argus said, "He was a useful man, ever ready to serve his fellow-citizens. How numerous the pages that must be written to tell of all his half century of good service! He was a humane man. If he had an enemy we do not know it. He was benevolent. The cause that with beseeching eye or pathetic voice appealed to his heart never went unsatisfied away." The Eclectic said, "He was a man every way worthy of our high esteem. In every relation in life his character shone out in the most estimable light. There were no repelling points to it, but all was well rounded,- all conspired to draw us toward him, to attract our love and esteem."
Service in the War of 1812-1815: Sergeant Joseph M. Gerrish , First, in Captain A.W. Atherton's Company, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Nichols' Regiment. Massachusetts Militia; District of Maine. Service on April 16, 1814. Secondly, in Captain Abel Atherton's Company, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Nichols' Regiment. Massachusetts Militia; District of Maine. From Sept. 7 to Sept. 19, 1814. Five days subsequent for vidette duty (a mounted sentinel stationed in advance of pickets) . Portland Rifle Corps, organized June 12, 1812. Raised at Portland. Source: Records of the Massachusetts volunteer militia called out by the Governor of Massachusetts to suppress a threatened invasion during the war of 1812-14 (Boston, Mass.: Wright & Potter printing co., state printers, 1913). Service at Portland in the summer and fall of 1814, as British forces surged down the coast, occupying Machias, Blue Hill, Castine and Belfast, looting Hampden and Bangor, and setting fire to a Biddeford shipyard. Residents of Wiscasset expected the village "would be laid in ashes" at any moment, while thousands of militiamen rallied to defend Portland from the expected assault. Robert Hall
Joesph married Barbara Scott Mar 25 1807 at Durham, Androscoggin County, Maine Barbara was the daughter of  John Scott and Mary (Burnham) Scott. Capt. John Scott came to Durham in 1791 from Portland and married April 1 1782 Mary, dau. of John and Abigail (Stickney) Burnham. He was a sea-captain. Died in Durham 3 April 1803. His wife was born in Portland 29 Dec. 1762. Below is a descendant John Scott grandson and his family

Barbara Scott was born Nov. 17, 1787 in Durham Androscoggin County Maine. She died Oct. 12, 1841 in Portland Cumberland County Maine. He married (2) November 16 1842 Mrs. Mary Ann Hersey, who died 28 Mch. 1897. He died in Portland 30 April 1853. According to The Mayflower Descendant Volume 42 January 1992 Mary Anne Brown was married to Jeremiah Hersey.
Children of Joseph M Gerrish
Adeline Gerrish born December 23 1808; married November 2 1828 Wm. E. Edwards of Portland. Died 11 Jan. 1875. He died 16 Sept. 1877 
Frances Ann Gerrish Ordway (1810 - 1895) married 1st January 7 1830 at Portland Maine to William Bartol.  2nd m to Reuben Ordway 28 Jun 1842
Joseph Augustus Gerrish (1812 - 1813)
Martha Martin Gerrish born March 10.1814; married August 12 1833 Rufus Read of Portland. Died 26 Sept. 1847. He died 9 Sept. 1848.
Ellen Lucretia Gerrish (1816 - 1817) 
Joseph Merriner Gerrish JR (1817 - 1836)
Edward Payson Gerrish born November 8 1819; married May 9 1844 Julia W. Scott. Died November 26 1871.
Augustus Franklin Gerrish born July 30 1823; m. 27 December 27 1848 married Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Col. James March of Gorham.
Frederick Augustus Gerrish (1824 - 1873) married September 25 1849 Martha J. Ordway.
William Oliver Scott Gerrish (1827 - 1831) married 1854 Hannah Bailey. Died 29 June 1887. 
Mary Kidder Gerrish (1828 - 1831)

According to Gorham records: In 1808 Mr. Mosher built on his farm the house since owned and occupied by Freeman Richardson. This house was not completed until 1831, when Joseph M. Gerrish of Portland bought the place and finished the house, throughout. Mr. Gerrish lived in Gorham until 1837, when he returned to Portland.

Charter, March 17, 1821.
Willed under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.)
Rev. Sir Solomon Siab. Sir Joseph M. Gerrish.
Sir Thomas S. Bowles. Sir Samuel Fessenden.
Maine Encampment ceased to be under the jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Oct. 10, 1849, In 1864 it was removed from Portland to Gardiner, where it is now located. The late Joseph M Gerrish, Esq Date: Tuesday, May 24, 1853 Paper: Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, ME) Volume: LV Issue: 21

From [Joseph M. Gerrish; Respected; Succeeded]
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 1838
Paper: Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, ME)
Volume: XL Issue: 20 Page: 4

Grave photo by Bonnie Maskery Augustus F Gerrish A Fortunate Maine Man Date: Wednesday, December 11, 1872 Paper: Portland Daily Press (Portland, ME) Volume: 11 Page: 3

 Edward Payton Gerrish

Grand Patriarch of the Grand  Encampment of Masonic Maine Lodge  
Portland Loan & Savings Incorporated in 1854: 
Nathaniel F. Deering, President. Edward P. Gerrish, Vice President. Edward Shaw, Secretary. Harris C. Barnes, Surveyor. John H. Williams, Attorney. Nathaniel Ellsworth, John Purinton, James Crie, Charles Davis, Benj. Kingsbury, Jr., Thomas II. Talbot, Charles R. Coffin, Directors.
Title: Edward P. Gerrish Date: Monday, November 27, 1871
Paper: Portland Daily Press (Portland, ME)
Volume: 10  Page: 3

 Joseph M Gerrish JR

From Sons of the American Revolution by Nathan Gould
Augustus Franklin Gerrish, Portland Me.  Son of Joseph Marriner and Barbara (Scott) Gerrish, grandson of Nathaniel and Sarah (Marriner) Gerrish, great-grandson of Charles and Mary (Frost) Gerrish. Charles Gerrish was a Major in the Second Massachusetts Regt. of Militia, Col. Jonathan Mitchell, in 1776.
Son of Joseph Marriner and Barbara (Scott) Gerrish, grandson of John and Mary (Burnham) Scott. John Scott was a private in Capt. David Bradish's Co., Col. Edmund Phinney's Regt., in 1775, also a Matross in Capt. Abner Lowell's Co., stationed at Falmouth four months in 1776. His widow received a pension.
Son of Joseph Marriner and Barbara (Scott) Gerrish, grandson of Nathaniel and Sarah (Marriner) Gerrish.
Nathaniel Gerrish was a private in Capt. John Worthley's Co., Col. Edmund Phinney's Regt., enlisted May 8, 1775; served eight months at Cambridge.
Son of Joseph Marriner and Barbara (Scott) Gerrish, grandson of John and Mary (Burnham) Scott, great-grandson of John and Abigail (Stickney) Burnham. For the services of John Burnham.

John Jordan Gerrish, Portland, Me. Son of James and Mary (Sylvester) Gerrish, grandson of George and Mary (Mitchell) Gerrish, greatgrandson of Charles and Mary (Frost) Gerrish. For the services of Charles Gerrish
Augustus married Caroline Elizabeth March, Dec. 27, 1848

Gerrish Relative 2nd Lt. William L. Gerrish, 19th Maine Infantry.  See Part 1 Gerrish line as well. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Portland’s Earliest Medical Practitioners

Share by Jerry Genesio, the author of “PORTLAND NECK:  The Hanging of Thomas Bird.” from his blog Portland Maine History

Apothecary Medicines. Photo by Doug Coldwell. Wikimedia Commons.
There were no trained physicians living at Portland Neck during the early years of the town’s development.  For many years, Rev. Thomas Smith, Portland’s first ordained minister (1726) and one of the very few well educated men on The Neck, served in a dual capacity as physician to the townspeople’s bodies as well as their souls.  At the time, it was very common for ministers in outlying settlements to perform this double-duty.

Twelve years after Rev. Smith settled on The Neck, Dr. Nathaniel Coffin arrived (1738) from Newburyport, Massachusetts.  The following year (1739), Dr. Coffin married Patience Hale and soon thereafter the couple built or purchased a home and office on India Street where they raised six children: Sarah, Nathaniel Jr.,Jeremiah, Francis, Mary, and Dorcas.

Rev. Smith’s journal
notes on December 8, 1760, “The people upon this Neck are in a sad toss about Dr. Coffin’s having the small pox, which it is thought he took of a man at New Casco, of whom many there have taken it.  It is also at Stroudwater.”  Perhaps sensing that his days were numbered, and that the “people upon this Neck” would be left without a proper physician, Dr. Coffin sent his son, Nathaniel, Jr., off to England in 1763 to study medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London.
Dr. Nathaniel Coffin, Jr., returned to The Neck in 1765 where, historian William Willis tells
us, “he entered upon a very full and lucrative practice”.  Soon after opening his medical practice, he married Eleanor Foster of Charlestown, Massachusetts.  They had eleven children, including five sons who were all said to be “handsome in person”, and six daughters who were said to be “among the most attractive ladies of their day.”

Eleanor Foster Coffin (1744-1825). Oil by Gilbert Stuart.

In January of 1766, at the very beginning of the year following young Dr. Coffin’s return from England, his father, Dr. Nathaniel Coffin, Sr., died.  Fortunately, however, he would not be required to look after the health of Portland’s rapidly growing population alone.  In 1765, the same year that he returned from London, Drs. Edward Watts and John Lowther settled on The Neck.

Dr. Lowther arrived from Tuxford, county of Nottingham, England and a few months later, in August of 1765, he married Rebecca Bradbury of York.  He immediately opened his medical practice in a building on the corner of Middle and India Streets, where he also ran an apothecary dispensing medicines, drugs, and other chemicals. Later, he  built a home on the corner of Middle and Lime Streets, where he and his wife raised seven children.  According to Willis, Dr. Lowther was “a skillful physician and surgeon”, but “liberal and careless of money, and often embarrassed in his affairs.”

 Dr. Edward Watts was a surgeon and physician stationed at Fort Pownal in 1759 under Brigadier Jedidiah Preble. 
On May 22, 1765, he married Mary Oxnard, the daughter of a Boston merchant whose two brothers, Thomas and Edward Oxnard, were merchants in Portland.  Dr. Watts also opened an apothecary shop to complement his medical practice, and later built a three-story, wooden house on Middle Street, which Willis tells us “was then the largest and most conspicuous in town”.  Here, he and his wife, Mary, raised eight children including five sons, two of whom would be lost at sea.

These three physicians looked after the ill and injured of Portland for nearly a quarter of a century before Dr. Shirley Erving arrived from Boston.  His father, John Erving of Boston, was an eminent merchant and a royalist who bestowed upon his son the best education money could provide, for as long as it lasted.  Shirley attended Boston Latin School, and entered Harvard College in 1773, but with the outbreak of the American Revolution, his father fled the country and his property was confiscated.  Shirley Erving left Harvard and studied medicine with Dr. Lloyd of Boston, and later completed his studies in Europe, then returned to Boston for a time before moving on to Portland.

Dr. Shirley Erving's bill for attending the birth of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1807. Courtesy Maine Historical Society.

Dr. Erving married Mary Coffin of Boston in 1786.  Three years later, in 1789, after their first child, Frances, was born, they moved to Portland where Dr. Erving continued his medical practice and added yet another apothecary to the commercial establishments on The Neck.  According to Willis, he also became Portland’s “inspector of pot and pearl ashes, a great article of commerce at that period.”
All four of these men were practicing medicine on and about Portland Neck in 1790 and might well have attended the trial and execution of Thomas Bird.  It is likely that one of these physicians pronounced Bird dead after the hanging.
Dr. John Lowther died at Portland in 1794.  Dr. Edward Watts died suddenly at Wells on June 9, 1799, en route to Portland from Boston.  Dr. and Mrs. Shirley Erving moved back to Boston in 1811 and he died two years later, in July of 1813.  And Dr. Nathaniel Coffin, Jr., died at Portland on October 21, 1826.

Added by Melissa Berry
From the "American Medical Biography: Or, Memoirs of Eminent Physicians who Have Flourished in America. To which is Prefixed a Succinct History of Medical Science in the United States, from the First Settlement of the Country, Volume 1" by James Thatcher

Dr. Nathaniel Coffin, M.M.S.S.(Written by son)  Dr. Nathaniel Coffin came to Portland in 1738 from Newburyport, his native place, where he studied physic with Dr. Tappan. In 1739 he was married to Patience Hale, by whom he had eight children. Dr. Coffin had an arduous task in pursuing his professional duties, having nearly the whole of the eastern country to attend, from Welles to the

Kennebeck. He was frequently called to perform operations on persons who had been tomahawked and scalped by the Indians. He was so much respected by these that they always furnished him with a safe conveyance through their settlements, and treated him with the greatest kindness and hospitality.
From his studies in Newburyport he could not have acquired the information he possessed, and which made him so extensively useful, particularly in surgery; but it may be easily accounted for, by the opportunity he had of intercourse with the young gentlemen who came out in the ships as surgeons. After having served their apprenticeship in London, they were admitted for one year or more into some of the hospitals there, to finish their education, and were then employed in the above capacity. Discovering their superior advantages, he always made them welcome at his house, and also provided them with the means of accompanying him to visit his patients. In this manner he obtained yearly information of every new discovery or improvement relative to the science of medicine or surgery. In May, 1763, he was attacked with a palsy, notwithstanding which he persevered in his intention of sending his son to London, to attend the hospitals of St. Thomas and Guy in the borough. In January, 1766, he had another attack of the palsy, of which he died, aged fifty years.

Nathaniel Coffin, M.D. M.M.S.S. son of the preceding, was at the time of his decease the oldest and one of the most eminent physicians in the State of Maine. The first ancestor of his family who came to this country was Tristam Coffin, who emigrated from England in 1642. (Some few years since Sir Isaac Coffin, Bart, had a medal struck in commemoration of his ancestor, Tristam Coffin; which with his accustomed liberality he presented to all the male descendants of the name. It bore on one side a full length figure of their ancestor in the Spanish costume, with this inscription, "Tristam Coffin, the first of the race that settled in America, 1642"; and on the reverse were four hands joined—" Do honor Jo his name"—" Be united.")

Dr. Coffin was born in Portland, on the 3d of May, 1744, in which place he always lived, and where he closed his long and useful life. The country at the time of his birth, for many miles round Casco bay, including the site of Portland, was called Falmouth; afterward the part most thickly settled, lying on the harbor, was incorporated into a separate town by the name of Portland.
He completed his preparatory medical education under his father ; but the limited means of scientific improvement then existing in this thinly peopled section of the country, induced the son with the advice of his father to embark for England at the age of eighteen. He there prosecuted his studies at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals, under the distinguished Hunter, Akenside, McKenzie and others; and returned to commence the practice of his profession at the early age of twenty-one.

The time which he passed in a land, then as far excelling his own in the advancement of the arts and sciences, as the vigor of manhood excels the weakness of infancy, was faithfully improved. His industry and desire for knowledge were greatly promoted by the ready tact and practical good sense which were distinguishing features of his mind ; and at the death of his father, which occurred in 1766, he was qualified in no ordinary degree to succeed to an extensive and arduous practice. He married in the 26th year of his age the only daughter of Isaac Foster, Esq. of Charlestown, by whom he had eleven children.

In consequence of the rapid increase of population in this part of the country after the close of the war, his labors, though greatly multiplied, soon became confined principally to his native town. His father, who had resided on the same spot with himself, had within the memory of his son been compelled to travel with his healing art over an extent of country reaching forty miles west, and more than fifty on the east, the only messenger of health and consolation that could then be procured within these limits; while the son found in his native town and its vicinity, a constant demand for his time, his talents and his benevolence. At the commencement of his professional career, Dr. Coffin might often be found traveling through unfrequented and dangerous roads, to visit patients who possessed none of the comforts and scarcely the necessaries of civilized life, while the cannon of the enemy was sounding in his ears, and before his eyes lay all the desolation with which war ravages the land. Could this amiable and enterprising physician, while watching in the abodes of misery, have relieved the tedious hours with an anticipation of the peace and prosperity which were so soon to reward the constancy of his countrymen, how would his benevolent heart have been cheered at the prospect! He loved his country, and ardently desired her freedom andadvancement; but few persons at that period dreamed of independence. It was not long, however, before the prospect brightened, and America, though struggling with a power incalculably superior to her own, gave signs of a resolution not to be overcome.
The inhabitants of Falmouth caught the general spirit of patriotism which was daily gaining ground, and determined to relinquish their commerce with England. This resolution was first enforced on Mr. Coulson, an English resident there, who had married a sister of Dr. Coffin. In consequence of these offensive proceedings an order was obtained from the admiral on this station for the destruction of the town; and Captain Mowatt drew up his naval force in the port to execute the order.

Capt Henry Mowatt

On this occasion Dr. Coffin, with two others, was employed by his townsmen to repair on board the Canceau, to expostulate with the commander upon the severity of his commission, and to endeavor to avert or mitigate its evils. In this attempt he was unsuccessful. Captain Mowatt was determined to burn the town, and a short interval only was obtained for the inhabitants to remove some of their effects, and to escape with their families into the adjacent country. This excellent man continued to share the lot of his suffering townsmen during that trying season, and his faithfulness deserves to be recorded with that of the respectable and worthy pastors of the flock, who abode by their charge in their dispersion. After the alarm had a little subsided, the inhabitants ventured to return to their ruined homes, and began gradually to rebuild their houses. Dr. Coffin was the first to enter the town, and to animate by his courage and cheerfulness the hearts of the people, sunk into despondency by the melancholy spectacle which on all sides met their view. His services as a physician were at this time particularly acceptable to his fellow-citizens, harassed as they were by a foreign enemy, and liable to all those diseases and misfortunes incident to perilous times. In seasons of public calamity an intelligent and benevolent physician is indeed an angel of mercy wherever he appears. Sickness is one of the severest aggravations of poverty and misfortune; it unnerves the strong arm and the stout heart, which in the vigor of health find new resources and! new enterprise from peril and difficulty.
During the period of the revolution sick and disabled seamen and soldiers were frequently brought by our ships into Portland. Dr. Coffin was thus offered repeated opportunities for a display of those principles of practice which he had previously acquired in foreign hospitals, and which a rare skill and discriminating judgment enabled him at all times to apply with the most successful results. As a surgeon, Dr. Coffin was in his native town ranked at the head of the profession; always prompt and ready, with a resolution that never wavered in the boldest operations, with an eye steadily fixed on its object, and a hand that never trembled, and all the practical knowledge of anatomy essential to the successful treatment of surgical diseases, he was prepared to accomplish what no other practitioner around him presumed to undertake. If he possessed a peculiar facility in any one branch of his profession, it was certainly operative surgery. Some of his operations were performed at the advanced age of 80, with all the promptness and decision of a youthful professor. His reputation was also high as a medical practitioner; and what is said of the learned and distinguished Dr. Baillie may with truth be applied to him: "He had a most natural, unassuming but decided manner, which in the exercise of his professional duties was the same to all persons and on all occasions. His mind was always quietly, but eagerly directed to the investigation of the symptoms of the disease, and he had so distinct and systematic a mode of putting questions, that the answer often presented a corrected view of the whole, and could not fail to impress the patient with his clear and comprehensive knowledge."
Another great source on Coffin
He was honored with all those professional distinctions which his merits and attainments so truly deserved. The honorary degree of Doctor in Medicine was conferred on him by the College of Brunswick ; he was the first President of the Medical Society of Maine, and for many years discharged the duties of Hospital Surgeon for marine patients in the district of Maine.
Possessing a constitution naturally healthy and vigorous, and a mind resolute and intelligent, there was no peril which he was not prepared to encounter, and no adversitywhich he could not endure, and he has well deserved the distinction awarded him by the public for his constant and unremitted exertions during a period of more than sixty years.
Dr. Coffin was surrounded in the early part of his career by suffering friends and patients, but his life was closed amid the blessings of freedom and independence. In the peaceful evening of his days, all the enjoyments of prosperity and affection clustered round his dwelling; but it should not be forgotten that the respectability and happiness he then experienced, were the well earned reward of the virtues, the talents and the faithfulness of early years.
It appears that Dr. Coffin had no ambition to figure as an author, though he read the best medical publications, and reflected attentively upon what he read. We are not aware that he has left behind him any papers for the public eye. This is to be regretted, for no one had a better opportunity of noticing the diseases of our climate for the last half century, and of recording the various changes which they have assumed and the consequent change of practice which must have necessarily followed in their treatment and cure.
His private character, though known only to a small circle of fellow citizens and friends, will never be effaced from their memory. The keenness and ready tact of his intellect, increased by the peculiar and difficult circumstances in which he commenced practice, his sound judgment, founded on long experience and rational deduction, the perfect simplicity and singleness of his heart, his benevolence and readiness to answer the call of duty or humanity at the risk of any personal sacrifice, his fondness for»the young and his affectionate solicitude to promote their happiness, and his equanimity and courage in cases of misfortune and difficulty, are qualities, which, although they do not make much figure in a narrative, insure to their possessor respect and happiness, and shed a pure and sacred light around the memory of departed worth.
In his manners he was a polished specimen of the state of American society existing before the revolution ; he was one of the most graceful gentlemen of the old school, and his deportment was marked by a uniform and captivating urbanity.
His long experience, added to his varied knowledge, rendered his services valuable to the last, and the faculties ofhis mind retained a singular freshness even in the ordinary decays of nature.
He made an early profession of his religious principles and was one of the first who united in the Unitarian faith with the Rev. Dr. Freeman of Boston, more than 40 years ago; and for a number of years since, he was associated with the church of the first parish in his native place.
Rev James Freeman

The manner of his decease is briefly told. In 1823 he had a slight attack of asthma, which disappeared in a few days; but it returned in April, 1824, and brought on extreme debility which threatened his life, and ended by a general breaking up of his robust and healthy constitution. From this period he began to decline, while a gouty affection appearing, produced, according to its ordinary effects on a debilitated system, hydrothorax, which at last proved fatal ; and notwithstanding the unremitted and affectionate attentions of an anxious family, and the constant services of his medical friends, with as little bodily suffering as could be expected, and a mind but slightly impaired, he expired on the 18th October, 1826. It may be noticed that he died on the anniversary of the destruction of Portland, which he survived 51 years.

By Surg. E. Banks, M. H. S.
The Marine-Hospital Service was established by act of Congress in 1798, but how soon it extended its operations to Portland is not known. The probability is that it did not attain any importance for several years, as the first record of the treatment of sick seamen appears in a small volume in the hospital archives and begins in 1805. The heading of the record is "A list of sick and disabled seamen receiving assistance from the agent of the marine hospital at the port of Portland." This " agent" was the collector of the port for the time being, but there was no marine hospital building, properly speaking. The agent of the fund selected a local physician to attend the patients, and rendered accounts of his transactions direct to the Secretary of tbe Treasury. The first marine-hospital physician was Dr. Nathaniel Coffin.
Dr. Coffin was the son of Dr. Nathaniel and Patience (Hale) Coffin, of Newburyport, Mass., where he was born April 20,1744. He was brought to Falmouth as a young child by his parents, and his father died here January 11,176G. Nathaniel, jr., was sent to England by his father in 1763 to study medicine at Guy's and S. Thomas hospitals, London, and when he returned to Falmouth in 1765 he entered upon a lucrative practice, which he enjoyed for over half a century. He was the leader of his profession in this section of the country, a position which he did not forfeit during the troublous Revolutionary times on account of his sympathies with the loyalists. He married Eleanor Foster, of Charlestown, Mass., by whom he had a large family. The doctor and his wife are described as a markedly handsome couple, characterized by graceful and dignified manners, gifts of person which all their children inherited. He died October 21,1826, at the advanced age of 84 years. His portrait hangs in the office at the hospital.
It is not known whether Dr. Coffin retained the position of attending physician to the day of his death, but if so, there is an interregnum which I am not able to fill.