The surname Patterson, or Paterson, means simply the son of Patrick, and belongs to a large class of English surnames similarly formed. The family is particularly numerous in Scotland, in Stirlingshire, Aberdeenshire, Dumphriesshire, and the spelling Paterson is most generally used. The Scotch-Irish of this surname are very numerous in the counties of Down, Antrim, Armagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, spelling the name usually Patterson. The coat-of-arms of the Bishop of Ross, who belongs to the family of Paterson: Argent three pelicans feeding their young or in nests vert on a chief azure as many mullets of the field. The other Patterson arms are but slightly varied or just like this.
To the sturdy physical makeup and stern virtues of the Scotch-Irish people New England and the United States owe much of their moral development and progress in the arts and industries. Their energy, thrift and sound business sense are distinguishing characteristics, and have been bequeathed to their descendants who still constitute a considerable portion of the population of Maine, as well as many other states. In 1614 James and Robert Paterson (as the name was then spelled) removed from Argyleshire, Scotland, to Ulster, Ireland. They were natives of Glengarnock, and were among those who removed to northern Ireland to secure greater religious liberty, as well as to improve their financial opportunities. Robert Paterson took up a cottage right at Castle Cunningham, consisting of a house lot, six acres of land and commonage for his cows.
(I) Robert Paterson, the great-grandson of Robert above named, was born in 1671 at Castle Cunningham, Ireland, and came to America in 1718, with the large body of people who came in that year. He located first at Portland, Maine, and settled at Saco in 1729. Having found a location to suit him, and now being able, he sent in that year for his wife and three children who had remained in Ireland. The name of the wife has not been preserved, but the children were: John, Grizzle and Robert. Robert Paterson Sr. was one of the thirteen charter members of the first church at Saco, and died Aug. 27, 1769, aged ninety-eight years and six months.
(II) Robert (2), younger son of Robert (1) Paterson, was born in 1713, at Castle Cunningham, Ireland, and was sixteen years of age when he came to this country. In 1768 he took up lots numbers 4, 32 and 37 in Belfast, Maine, but never lived there. His son settled there, as related below. He died in Saco, June 27, 1797. He was married in 1741 to Jean Gilmore, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, who survived him more than twelve yers, dying in Saco, Aug. 19, 1809, aged eighty-eight years. Children: sons: Robert, James, Nathaniel, William, Andrew, Samuel, Abraham, Daniel, Benjamin, David and Joseph. daughters: Jean, Elizabeth and Mary.
(III) Nathaniel, third son of Robert (2) and Jean (Gilmore) Paterson, was bornin 1745 in Saco, and settled at Belfast in the fall of 1770. He was selectman of that town in 1797, and died there Nov. 12, 1825, at the age of eighty years. He was married Sept. 20, 1770, to Hannah, daughter of Martin and Grizzle (Paterson) Jameson, of Saco, who survived him more than seventeen years, passing away May 14, 1843, aged ninety-nine years. Children: Robert, Steritt, Martin, Sally, Hannah and Nathaniel.
(IV) Martin, third son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Jameson) Patterson, was born in 1777, in Belfast, Maine, and settled on a farm in Waldo Plantation, the adjoining town north. Here he continued to reside, but the date of his death is not recorded. He was married Dec. 7, 1800, by Robert Houston, justice of the peace, to Alice, daughter of Jonathan Wilson, of Belfast. She was born Dec., 1784, and died Feb. 3, 1875, aged ninety years, one month and twenty days. Children: Frederick, Rufus, Martin, Steritt, Nathaniel, George Washington, Martha, Emma, Sally and Hannah.
(V) George Washington, youngest child of Martin and Alice (Wilson) Patterson, was born April 4, 1826, in Waldo Plantation, and passed his childhood there. While still a mere boy he was apprenticed to Frank Brier, of Belfast, to learn the trade of blacksmith. After completing his term of apprenticeship he continued many years with Mr. Brier as journeyman, and ultimately succeeded him as proprietor of the shop. When the civil war broke out he was among the first to respong to the call to arms in defense of the intergrity of his native land. As a private in the ranks of the Twenty-sixth Maine Infantry, he went out in 1861 and participated in all the service of that organization until the close of its enlistment, two years. At the end of this period he was so broken in health as to be unfit for further service, and returned to his home in Maine. For a year or more he was a sufferer from malaria and other ills brought on by exposure and hardship. As soon as conditions permitted he again enlisted and was attached to the Fourteenth Maine, stationed at Gallup's Island, in Boston harbor. The speedy close of the struggle prevented further advance, and he returned permanently to the arts of peace. Again he joined Mr. Brier at Belfast, and succeeded him as proprietor of the business. In 1870 he engaged in business at City Point, in the town of Belfast, where he continued one year. For the next seven years he resided on Fox Islands, being first in charge of blacksmith work at the government station at Carver's harbor, late going to Hurricane harbor, under General Tillson. In 1878 he settled at Cape Elizabeth, where he operated a blacksmith shop until his retirement in 1887. He now (1908) resides with a daughter at Mechanic Falls, Maine. Mr. Patterson has always been a man of quiet tastes, averse to any public action, and has always been honored and respected as an honest and industrious citizen. After a long career of arduous toil, he is enjoying the repose induced by a consciousness of duty well done. He adhers to the faith of his fathers and sustains the Congregational church. Not a politician, he sustains the principles of every contest, acting with the Republicn party. He was married Feb. 9, 1852, to Martha Jane Mayhew, daughter of Vinal and Martha (Cates) Mayhew, of Belfast. Only three of their children survived the period of childhood. Children: Charles (died in infancy), Clarence, Addie Frances, Charles, Frank N. and Georgiana. The last named died at the age of thirty years, unmarried. The elder daughter is the wife of Josiah A. Merrill, of Mechanic Falls, Maine.
(VI) Frank Newhall, only surviving son of George W. and Martha J. (Mayhew) Patterson, was born Aug.1 2, 1860, in Belfast, Maine, and remained there until thirteen years of age, going to Fox Isles in Sept., 1873. He attended the public schools and graduated from the Castine Normal school in 1881. In the meantime he had taught two years in the grammar school at Westbrook, Maine, and after graduation he taught two terms in winter at Cape Elizabeth, while pursuing his medical studies. He began reading medicine with Dr. Thomas A. Foster, and continued with Dr. Samuel B. Thombs, of Portland. After one term in the medical department of Bowdoin College, he spent two years at the Univ. of the City of New York, medical department, and graduated in 1885. For a few months he engaged in practice at South Framingham, Mass., and since he has been very actively and successfully pursuing his profession in the city of New York. His first location was on East Thirty-third street, and he was then in debt two thousand dollars, incurred in completing his studies. By faithfulness in the care of his patients and continued study he was enabled to build up a profitable practice, and has been for some years located on West Fiftieth street, near Fifth avenue. While engaged in general practice, most of his time is now taken up in medical examinations for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Of genial nature and affable manners, assiduous and skillful in the performance of his duties, he merits and receives the respect and esteem of his colleagues and all those privileged to know him. Dr. Patterson is identified with most progressive societies, including the New York State Medical Society, Academy of Medicine, of New York City, and the New York County Medical Society. One of the leading spirits in the Maine Society of New York, he is its present vice-president. His family is connected with the Broadway Tabernacle Congregational church. While not an active politician, Dr. Patterson holds to well-established principles, and performs the duty of a good citizen in making known his preference at the polls, acting consistently with the Republican party. He was married Sept. 6, 1889, to Frances Desmond, born Nov. 11, 1865, in New York, daughter of Patrick and Ellen (Reagan) Desmond, both natives of Ireland, the former being allied to the famous Fitzgerald family of that country. Children: Lilliam Frances, Scuyler Blaine and Bayard Roosevelt. The elder son is preparing for college at Pennington Seminary, New Jersey, and the younger is a student of the city schools.
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