no image

John Mansell (abt. 1723 - aft. 1801)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
John Mansell
Born about in London, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died after in Brewer, Penobscot, Maine, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Oct 2011
This page has been accessed 1,010 times.



The most interesting work I have seen on John Mansell is by Donald E Mansell, MD, who created detailed notes in the early 1960s. The most tantalizing claim is a family recollection of a lawsuit ca 1900 involving the Maine Mansells and someone in London, something to do perhaps with ownership of Mansell Street, near the Tower in London. This in turn is connected to Baron Mansell of Margam. This is extremely interesting, but I don’t know the final verdict. The sources are on, search under Donald E Mansell.

— Dave Drabold


From Scotland to Scituate about 1740 according to Deane, Hist of

Scituate, New Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, United States


Husband: John Mansell
Wife: Leah Simmons
  1. Captain Joseph Mansell
  2. Leah Mansell
  3. Lucy Mansell
  4. John Mansell
Date: 29 NOV 1744
Place: Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts[1]
Bangor Hist Magazine:
(Some sources say he was born in Scotland; I note one in particular that says "London via Scotland"). The references to kilt recalled by his son suggest Scotland, but rather vaguely! Some source make him from London and attribute parents to him, I don't know how plausibly, see the end of this note.
The following facts were taken from the mouth of Capt. Joseph
Man sell, in writing, June 0, 1831, with additions and revisions care-
fully made, on this 5th of March, 1838.
Joseph Mansell was born at Scituate, Mass., Dec. 20, 1750, and
consequently was eighty-seven years of age last December. His
father, John Mansell, came from London, and married at Scituate.
He had four sons, and eight daughters. He lived in Scituate, until he
was eighteen years old. When a school-boy, he recollects his only
school-book was the Psalter. Each scholar read severally and alone in
succession, and spelled from the lesson. A punishment of wrong
doers was for one boy to hold another on his back, while the master
stripped up the outer boy r s jacket, and applied the rod in a very feeling
manner. As to dress, (he says) the men and boys, when he was young,
wore " Kilts ," \ viz : trousers very wide, which came down only to the
knees, to which the stockings extended ó buckled or gartered above the
calf. The knees were very apt to be cold. He says there was a whole
regiment of Scotch Highlanders at Biguyduce, with kilts not so low,
nor stockings so high as the knees ; the latter being bare.
Capt. Mansell says he came to Biguyduce in April, 1768,ß and went
up the river Penobscot in 1771, and found in what is now Bangor,
Jacob and Stephen Buzzeil, Simon Crosby, the Smarts and Jacob Den-
net. James Budge first resided at Eddington-bend, or rather at the
mouth of the Muntawassuck stream, below the bend, removing there
about 1774, and to Kenduskeag, some five or six years afterwards. He
thinks James Dunning came in 1772. He, Mansell, built for Solomon
and Silas Harthorn,* a saw-mill not many rods from the mouth of Pen-
jejewalk stream, and assisted in constructing the stone bridge and dam
over the river, which was afterwards the county road. About fifteen
years afterwards, he built a grist-mill at the same place ; the first in
the Plantation. In 1773, he married Elizabeth Harthorn, Silas Harthorn's
daughter: they never had but one child, who died when three months
old. After marriage, they removed over the river, and began to keep
house at a place nearly opposite to the mouth of Penjejewalk stream.
The events of 1775, such as the battle of Bunker Hill, the burning
of Falmouth, and the dismantling of Fort Pownall, awakened the people
on the Penobscot to a sense of their exposure, and to measures for
their defence. That year. Orono and other chiefs or captains of the
Penobscot Indians, with one Andrew Oilman, who had, years previously,
joined himself to the tribe, went to the Massachusetts Government,
and offered their services, professing to be staunch Whigs. After their
return home to Penobscot, a company was raised by order from
Government, which consisted of twenty white men and ten Indians,
organized thus: the aforesaid Gilmanf was commissioned lieutenant
commandant: Joseph Alansell was orderly sergeant, William Patten
was also a sergeant, and Ebenezer McKenney and Samuel Low were
the two corporals. These were all the officers of the company, which
was probably the first military band ever formed in the vicinity of
Kenduskeag. Their head-quarters, or place of lodgement, was in the
angle between the road to Orono and that on the margin of the river,
two hundred rods above Penjejewalk stream, below where William
Lowder now resides. Here was a kind of rugged fort or shelter. The
company continued together, acting as rangers, until the British took
possession of Bagaduce neck.
After this, most of the settlers took, as required, the oath of
allegiance to the Crown, and went down and worked on the Fort ; but
some refused to do either. Hence, all the obstinate were threatened,
and the houses of several were burnt to ashes. For instance, old Jos.
Page's house at Penjejewalk, and James Nichol's house at the Bend, in
Eddington, were committed to the flames. To the laborers, who went
down and worked, were delivered rations. The carpenters received a
dollar by the day, and others at first a pistareeu : afterwards, about
4s. 6d. Gen. McLaiu commanded at first: a cool deliberate man. He
was succeeded by Col. Campbell, a violent hot-headed fellow. One
Harcup, the chief engineer, commanded when Cornwallis was taken.
Mowett, who burnt Falmouth, commanded the naval force at Bagaduce.
He was of middle size, forty or forty-five years old ó good appearance ó
fresh countenance ó wore a blue coat, with lighter blue facings, and had
his hair powdered. The troops stationed at Bagaduce were English,
and Scotch Highlanders who talked pretty good English. The latter
were in kilts, their military costume. At one time, the settlers being
required by fresh command to work on the fort, and determining not to
go, sent a message to the American officer at Thomaston, to hinder and
keep them from that service. In return, a whale-boat, with twelve brave
Yankees, starting off up the river, was discovered and pursued by a
British schooner of ten guns, and a party of forty Highlanders and
twenty Tory rangers, commanded by 'ïBlack Jones," a Kennebec tory,
and came near being taken : being prevented by Mansell.
Capt. Mansell says, after the British took Penobscot, he went to
Machias. He had a Lieutenant's commission, and did duty there, six
months. Machias Fort was between the West Branch and Middle
River, where the west village now is. John Allan,* a Lieutenant
Colonel, commanded there. He was a hot-headed whig from Nova
Scotia, where he had been a Judge of the Common Pleas : a man of
good learning, of superior abilities, and of great activity. Displeased
with some act of the Provincial Legislature, he left that country, and
joined the American cause. He had studied the Indian character, and
had the faculty to render himself exceedingly agreeable to them. His
command over them was complete, especially at Passamaquoddy and
St. John river. By firing two nine-pounders, in quick succession, he
could raise an alarm that would reverberate, by means of the Indian
relays, and reach even to Halifax. Major George Stillman was second
in command. The whole force consisted of one Infantry company,
officered by Capt. Thomas Robbius, Lieut. Dyer, and Lieut. Joseph Man-
sell : a small artillery company commanded by Lieut. Albee, and an
Indian company commanded by Capt. John Preble, son of Brig. Gen.
Preble. His Lieutenant was Lewis Delesdernier.* Tue whole number
of Indians there and elsewhere under pay, was perhaps sixty in all.
After his return to Penobscot, and before the close of the war, there
was a militia company formed, embracing all the able bodied men on
each side of the river, from Sowadabscook stream upwards, ó the first
one established up the Penobscot: of which Capt. James Ginn, (of the
present Orrington) was the Commandant, and himself, Joseph Mansell,
was the Lieutenant. After the war closed, there was a new arrange-
ment of the militia. Capt. Edward Wilkinsf had command of the
company below Peujejewalk stream, ó and he, Mansell, had the command
of the one which embraced all the soldiers above on that side of the
river, and also all on the other, on the eastern side. J When Wilkins
resigned, he was succeeded by Capt. James Budge, ß who had been an
adjutant. Ultimately, the soldiers of Bangor and Orono were classed
together, and for many years formed one company. Of the upper
company, Capt. Mansell resigned about 1799, and was succeeded by
Capt. William Colburn, of Stillwater, who had been Mansell's lieutenant.
Emerson Orcutt was ensign. Some years, or a year before, Mansell
had removed over on the west side of Penobscot. The first settler at
Stillwater was Joshua Eayres, his house being on the flat, eastwardly
of the present village. Next, was Jeremiah Colburn. The plantation
was first called "Deadwater." But one Owen Madden, a schoolmaster,
a discharged soldier from Burgoyne's army, who had been stationed at
Stillwater, New York, changed the name from Dead to Still- water, as
a better sound. He was a schoolmaster in Bangor and Orono. He
would occasionally drink to excess, but possessed a good disposition,
and was well educated. Philip Lovejoy was the first settler on the
plains; his house being near where Ashhel Harthorn now lives. He
married Polly McPheters.
This from the Mansell discussion group (The claim about Rotherhithe is asserted, not proven):
Source: Donald E. Mansell, MD
John Mansell, born 1723 in Rotherhithe, London, England. He emigrated to Scituate, MA when he was 18 years old, in 1741, and married Leah Simmons.They had many children, including four sons (John II, Joseph, ?, and William, and eight daughters. He was a soldier in the French and Indian War andwas at the taking of Cape Breton. He served with the New England volunteers who captured Fort Louisburg, Nova Scotia, in 1758, under GeneralAmherst. He is said to have removed his wife to the province of Nova Scotia and returned to Scituate, afterward to Penobscot, ME, now Castine, in1768. He then moved to that part of Orrington, now Brewer, ME in 1771. Rev. War Vet in Maine - Bangor Cemetery.

Research note: Donald Mansell has claimed a link between these Mansell and Mansell Square near the Tower. This would be hugely important if it could be elucidated. I have not seen any evidence for it and while I have high regard for Mansell’s work, frankly it seems implausible. I believe that John Mansell’s parents are entirely uncertain. There is even debate about whether he was from Scotland or London.



Thank you to David Drabold for creating profile Mansell-53 created through the import of up.ged on Oct 15, 2011.

Thank you to Blain Mercer for creating WikiTree profile Mansell-115 through the import of Blain Mercer Family Tree.ged on May 27, 2013.

Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by David and others.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.


On 12 Jul 2018 at 11:13 GMT David Drabold wrote:

There is, in fact, nothing known about his parents, not even whether he was from London or Scotland. All we know is the doubtful testimony of his son, which is known to have several flaws. The best work is by Donald Mansell, but it is ambiguous.

On 18 Nov 2017 at 00:56 GMT Sherry Duval wrote:

Mansell-644 and Mansell-53 appear to represent the same person because: duplicate

On 28 Aug 2016 at 15:39 GMT David Drabold wrote:

They are the same person, I agree, BUT I am aware of no proof of the supposed parents of john Mansell. I am concerned about this. If there is info I am missing I would be very happy to learn of it, Please see also:

Please comment then we can merge these.


On 28 Aug 2016 at 14:36 GMT D (Zimmerman) Z wrote:

Mansell-53 and Mansell-115 appear to represent the same person because: Because they are

Sponsored Search by

John is 12 degrees from Meriwether Lewis, 21 degrees from Alex Stronach and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

M  >  Mansell  >  John Mansell