Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"The Hardy Family" by Barbara F. Dyer; Village Soup; Camden, Maine

February 18, 2012

We are all familiar with history telling us about James Richards, "Camden's first settler", who sailed into Camden harbor on May 8, 1769 with his wife Betsy (Elizabeth Hasson) and an African American cook.  Also familiar are his brothers, Dodipher, and Joseph, who previously came here to cut wood and returned to Bristol to tell James what a beautiful place this was to settle.  They had a sister, Sarah, the oldest child of James Richards and Sarah Foss.  Not much is mentioned about her, probably because women were not important in those days.  However, I am going to talk about her for a bit.

She was born about 1748 at Dover or Rochester, NH, and married Joseph Hardy on July 5, 1775 in Camden.  He was born February 8, 1748 in Westerly, Rhode Island.  They had the following children:

-Joseph Hardy II was born 25 September 1775, who married Elizabeth Thorndike, daughter of Robert Thorndike.  He died in 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois, as did his wife.  They had nine children.

-Sarah Hardy, born 1777 and married Joseph Bailey on 17 May 1800 in Camden, Maine.  Sarah died 31 December 1862 at the "poor farm" in Camden, Maine.

-Lydia Hardy was born in 1779 and married William Hassan, Jr.  They had seven children.

-Zachariah Hardy was born 12 March 1781

There may have been more or fewer, but researching back to the 1700s becomes conflicting and confusing.

So I do not have much to write about Sarah Richards Hardy, but the Hardy family is prolific.  Starting with her husband, Joseph Hardy, the following is a bit of their history.  It appears that Joseph Hardy came from Westerly, Rhode Island where he had been apprenticed at age five because his parents, James and Sarah (Palmenter) Hardy were town paupers.

In 1769, Joseph had a sister-in-law, Mary Pendleton Hardy, in Stonington, Connecticut.  Joseph, prior to the American Revolution came to Islesborough, Maine, probably with the Pendletons.

In 1771, he was permitted to settle in Camden, Maine by the Twenty Associates.  Approximately 13 years later, Joseph Hardy sold 100 acres of land in Camden bounding on the town line, and the mill privilege, being 100 rods wide and half -mile in length.  In 1787, Joseph was on Seven Hundred Acre Island and sold land there.  The following year he sold more land on Seven Hundred Acre Island and bought 100 acres of land in Camden, beginning at the southwest corner of the James Richards, Jr. lot.  The next year, the Camden Town Records read:  "1782 Dec. 24 Camden selectmen gave notice to Joseph Hardy, Joseph Hardy, Jr., Zachariah Hardy, Lydia Hardy and Sarah Hardy to leave limits of town of Camden within 15 days with their children and those under their care."  In 1798, he was listed in Islesborough with a house valued at $40 and 100 acres of land valued at $110.

In 1790 US census Joseph Hardy is listed as head of a household at Isleborough.  Males older than 16- 1, males under age 16- 2, females- 3.  In 1800 Us Census  Joseph Hardy is listed as head of household with males under 10- 1, males 25- 45- 1, females 25- 45-1.  When asked "Where did you come from?"  the answer was "Connecticut".

Joseph and Sarah (Richards) Hardy lived in Islesborough, and according to town Record Books:  "23 April 1815 Joseph Hardy and his wife to Joshua Dodge (the low bidder) for $4.75 per month at "Publick (auction) vendue" (meaning the town paid someone to care for them).  Then in 1816; "Voted Mrs. Hardy should remain as she was last year.  (There was a town expense in Camden that year for Mrs. Hardy.)  It was rumored that she had separated from her husband and had been brought to Camden to live with her daughter, Lydia Hassan.  She died in Camden January 25, 1828.

The town of Isleborough continued to pay for Joseph Hardy even after he moved to Searsmont to live with his son, Joseph Hardy, Jr., whom the town of Islesborough paid to care for the father.  The last entry regarding him in the Islesborough records is dated February 9, 1841, when the "town meeting voted to support Joseph Hardy in the town where he is."  He apparently died shortly after.

For of Joseph Hardy II and Elizabeth's children were born 1805 to 1812 at Passamaquoddy, New Brunswick, Canada, where he was one of the petitioners for  land on Deer Island in Passamaquoddy Bay.  He returned to Searsmont, where the story goes that Joseph II first heard the Gospel preached by Elder William Hyde in Searsmont.  He was so impressed that he was soon converted and baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1840.  On September 5, 1842 he and members of his family left Maine to join the Latter Day Saints.

They left their homes and all they possessed, taking only what they could carry on a wagon.  The family members were Joseph II and wife Betsy; Zacarhiah (eldest son), his wife Eliza Philbrook, and children; Lewis (second son) and wife; Elisa (daugher) and her husband Abiah Wadsworth and their family; and Joseph (third son) with his wife and their three married children.  It was a long rough journey and the father, Joseph II, died in 1842 in Illinois, and wife, Betsy, died in 1843.  Zachariah was chosen body guard for Prophet Joseph Smith until the Prophet's death and Brigham Young became their leader.

Zachariah died in 13 February 1846 at Montrose, Illinois of pneumonia.

Joseph Hardy, Jr.. and Elizabeth Thorndike's youngest son had a son, Robert Hardy who was born 3 April 1815 in Camden, and who married Mehitable Thorndike in 1839.  Both were born and died in Camden, and were first cousins.  They were both grandchildren of Robert and Deborah (Wallis) Thorndike, the first settler of Rockport, Maine.

Mehitable was a granddaughter of James Jr. and Elizabeth (Hassan) Richards, the first settlers of Camden, Maine.  Robert Hardy was a grand nephew of the same.

Robert Hardy lived in Searsomont, Burnham, Rockport, Lincolnville and Camden.  He was a farmer, ship's carpenter and peddler of dry goods.  They had four sons.  One of them, Robert Willard Hardy, married Carrie Etta Young and they lived in Lincolnville and Camden.  One of their daughters, Jennie, married James Russell Carver.  One of Jennie and Russ's four daughters, Doris (Carver) Delano, has a son, Sandy Delano, who has kindly shared some of his Hardy family research here.

May descendants of the Youngs, Hardys, Richards, etc., are in Lincolnville today.  The Youngstown Cemetery in Lincolnville is full of the related people, but Mountain View has many of the Richards family, also Robert and Mehitable (Thorndike) Hardy.

So much for the Hardy family.  What secrets from the grave will be next?

(Published February 18, 2012;  The Courier Gazette and The Camden Herald -publication called Village Soup)

Barbara F. Dyer, the author, has lived all her life, so far, in Camden and is the official town historian. (She is related to Dodipher Richards as am I.)


  1. Good stuff. Thanks. I am a direct descendant of this line through Zachariah.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hey do you have any sources to back this up? I would love to see them