0008. Elizabeth Meader (1684 1737)
Elizabeth Meader, daughter of John Meader, Jr. (1660-1736) [0002] and Sarah Follett (1654-1725), was born at Oyster River in 1684 and died, apparently in Dover, in 1737. On May 23, 1703, then 19 years of age, she married John Hanson of Knoxmarsh in Kecheady in the outskirts of Dover, NH. Her husband was born in 1681, the son of Thomas and Mary Hanson, and the grandson of Thomas Hanson, the original settler of Dover.

On June 27, 1724 Elizabeth Meader Hanson and four children (Sarah, Elizabeth, Daniel and a fourteen-day-old baby) and a maidservant were captured by the Indians. Two other of her children, Ebenezer and Caleb, were killed and scalped. John Hanson, the father, was absent at the time. Elizabeth, however, claimed that the attackers were thirteen naked Indians with guns and tomahawks.

The captives were hurried off to Canada, marching through the wilderness for 26 days, suffering every hardship from fatigue, lack of food and cruelty from their captors. The family was separated in their travels, but they were finally brought to a French settlement. The baby was baptized by a Roman Catholic priest and named "Marian Froissart." Elizabeth Meader Hanson and the baby were ransomed for 600 livres[sic], Daniel for an additional sum. The ransom was concluded by John Hanson at the end of 1724, after the captives had been five months with the Indians and one month with the French. All except Sarah returned to Dover on July 1, 1725, having been away 12 months and 5 days.

John Hanson started again for Canada on February 19, 1727, this time to get Sarah. He died, however, at Crown Point, New York, on his way from Albany to the province. Sarah, un-ransomed, finally married a Frenchman to escape marrying an Indian.

Samuel Brown, a Minister of the Society of Friends from England, traveled extensively in America in 1726-1728, and in the latter year he visited Elizabeth Meader Hanson after attending a meeting at Dover in "the new meeting house." He wrote:

"From thence I went to visit the Widow Hanson, who had been taken in captivity by the Indians, an account of which I took from her own mouth in substance as follows:

"'Eleven [sic] naked Indians came with violence upon the family and killed two of the children just as they entered the house. Two little boys more being at play behind the house, when they heard the noise came running in great surprise. When the younger of them could not be persuaded to moderate his grief, one of the Indians with a tomahawk struck him on the head and killed the poor child [the two killed were Ebenezer, 5, and Caleb, 3]. The Indians did this to rid themselves of the noise, to prevent their being discovered and to strike the greater terror upon those in the house.

"'Then they rifled the house of what they thought proper to carry away. They took the poor woman, Elizabeth Meader Hanson, along with them by force, with her little infant and two daughters, Sarah, 15, and Elizabeth, 13, one son, Daniel, 7, and a servant maid. It being the afternoon, the Indians were in a great hurry to force them as far as they could that night, for fear of their being pursued and the prisoners retaken.

"'Thus they traveled for twenty days, passing through many lakes and rivers. Notwithstanding this, they took no cold, but their health was preserved. The severe trials the poor captives went through during their captivity I cannot here describe in full. In all of them they were remarkably favored by Providence. They endured much hard labor, though they were driven to great straits for want of provisions, being obliged to eat bear and beaver skin matchcoats, first singeing the hair off.'"

The children of Elizabeth Meader and John Hanson were:
i. Hannah Hanson, born June 11, 1705. She married Samuel Hodgdon.
ii. Sarah Hanson, born November 13, 1708. She married a Frenchman in Canada.
iii. Elizabeth Hanson, born September 13, 1710. She married Ebenezer Varney.
iv. John Hanson, born January 17, 1712 and died January 9, 1784.
He married:

1)      Phebe Austin on December 27, 1734. She was born March 14, 1718. They had five children.

2)      Sarah Tuttle on April 21, 1750. She was born April 16, 1727 the daughter of Thomas Tuttle and Mary Brackett and died November 12, 1804.

v. Isaac Hanson, born December 25, 1714. On May 31, 1734 he married Sarah Horn, born June 1, 1714 and died in April, 1812.
vi. Daniel Hanson, born January 26, 1717.
vii. Ebenezer Hanson, born December 27, 1718. He was killed June 27, 1724.
viii. Caleb Hanson, born February 8, 1721. He was killed June 27, 1724.
ix. Marian Froissart Hanson, born June 13, 1724.