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Ebenezer Hall and Matinicus Island

By Kathryn Hall | July 31, 2010

Dear Visitors: In honor of having recently connected through the miracle of DNA research with another cousin who is a descendant of the Halls of Maine I am dipping into my archives and posting this excerpt from Gems of the Ocean which relays an old version of the story of Ebenezer Hall of Matinicus Island. Note I said version. After reading this I encourage you to read notes from the non-profit organization Nedoba which documents the early history of the Abenaki People of Interior New England and their version of this story adds details omitted below. We might never know the actual details, but anyone searching the Halls of Maine invariably stumble upon Ebenezer Hall’s story in one form or another. If you have more (well researched) notes, please share below in comments section. Thank you! KH
Footnote: Here’s another link:

The following is an excerpt from Gems of the Ocean, Robert B. Fillmore (1914)

Very little has been written concerning the early history
of the island. The first records show that in 1728, William
Vaughn, one of the most prominent merchants of New England,
then residing at Damariscotta, came to Matinicus and established
a fishing station, employing several vessels. There are still
landmarks on the island, said to be the place where his build-
ings once stood, also the remains of an old wharf, the scene of
the early activities. These fishing stations were abandoned
and we can learn nothing more relating to the local history until
the year when Ebenezer Hall, the first settler, removed from
Portland to Matinicus. Following is the full account of his
massacre by the Indians, with genealogy of the family.

Early Mantinicus History

EBENEZER Hall lived at what is called the Back Cove, Port-
land, Me. There he raised three children, two daughters and
one son Ebenezer by name. The girls married. One wedded a
man by the name of Proctor, the other a man by the name of
Allen and moved back into the country in the town of Fal-

Shortly after this the mother died and Mr. Hall married a
widow by the name of Green. She had three children, one
son by the name of Daniel and two daughters. The boy was 14
years of age and the girls 9 and 7. Mr Hall then with his family
moved to the Island of Matinicus, it being at the close of the
French and English war, at which time the English took the
Canadas and Nova Scotia from the French. He then built a
stone house which he could use as a fort for protection from the
Indians. The French, who were allied with the Indians, of-
fered a bounty for the scalp of every white man they killed,
whereupon a band of six Indians went to the Island and camped
about thirty feet south of the house between two granite ledges,
on a plat of grass about eight feet wide.

Then they besieged the dwelling. Mr Hall barred the door
to keep them out and was obliged to stay there nearly a week,
surrounded by them. In their determination to capture him
and his family, they sent fire arrows into the roof and burned
it. As fast as it took fire Mr. Hall would take a pole and push
off the burning rafters so they would not fall within the walls of

the house and at the same time his son shooting with a gun
whenever an opportunity offered. At last the ammunition of
the Indians was nearly exhausted and in their desire to lengthen
out their supply, they cut their lead bullets in two and as a decoy
one of the Indians, who had in his gun the last half bullet, went
up back of the house and took a position overlooking it and
prepared to discharge his gun at Mr. Hall whenever he should
show his head above the wall of the house. The other Indians
made what noise they could, walking over the pebbly shore and
hauling their canoe after them. Mr. Hall hearing the noise
that they were making and thinking that they had given up
their hope and were leaving the island, climbed up and looked
over the side of the house facing the shore, when the Indian
back of the house brought his gun to his shoulder and shot him
through the head and he fell back into the room dead. When
his wife realized that he was killed and she left without a pro-
tector, she screamed for quarter and the Indians hearing her,
rushed up from the beach and said “Your Sannah (being in-
terpreted husband) will not give any quarter.” She said ”my
husband is dead.” They immediately broke in the door and
proceeded to bind the mother and the two girls, removing the
scalp of Mr. Hall. The boy Daniel had escaped by the back
window and hidden in the woods back of the house in the under-
brush. The Indians took the mother and the two girls in their
canoes and after sinking one of the fishing boats that lay in the
harbor proceeded to Canada. The boy after remaining hidden
several hours and feeling satisfied that the Indians had given
up the hunt for him and had gone emerged from his hiding place
and looking around upon the situation, espied a fishing vessel
lying at anchor off in the bay. Finding half a canoe he paddled
off from the shore and when he had proceeded a proper distance
from the shore, he took his paddle and placing his coat upon it,
signalled to the vessel. Seeing him they came to his aid and
ascertaining his wants, came on shore and helped him bury his

father. He then returned to the schooner and sailed to the
Fox Islands, where the schooner belonged.

The evening previous to the final attack the Indians built
a fire just below the house and proceeded to get their supper.
They took some corn and pounded it in a mortar and then
cooked it. They then emptied it out of the kettle into a large
dish and seated themselves around it and with their spoons all
ate from the dish. Mr. Hall seeing them all busy eating, wanted
to take Daniel and three good guns they had loaded and creed
out of the back window to where he could get in range of them.
There he thought he could kill them all, but his wife in terror
seized him and would not let him go. At the first opportunity
Mrs. Hall made her escape from the Indians and returned to
the Island and later married in Boston. Her two daughters
were still held by the Indians but years afterwards were seen
with them in one of their visits to the island and being recognized
by their brother, he sought an interview, but they had become
so accustomed to the wild life of the forest they declined to take
but little notice of him. The next day he went to have a second
talk with them, hoping to induce them to return to civilized
life but it was of no avail.

In subsequent years Daniel took up and settled on what
is now known as Green Island, lying south of Carver’s Harbor.
He married a Miss Young of Old York, a sister of Susannah
Young of the same place. At the time of this murder and the
committing of these outrages by the Indians, Mr. Hall’s son
Ebenezer, was away fishing in one of his father’s boats
in the vicinity of Halifax, N. S. When he returned he found
his father was dead and the island forsaken. He then proceeded
to Boston with his fare of fish and on the passage up he put
into Old York for a harbor. There he formed the acquaintance
of Susannah Young, whom he afterwards married. They came
to Pemaquid and lived in the block house instead of returning
to Matinicus on account of the French and Indian war and the

hostilities against the whites. While there Mrs. Hall and
another woman while driving cows from the pasture were fol-
lowed by the Indians and barely escaped death from the bullets.

After peace was declared Mr. Hall and wife returned to
Matinicus and lived there many years and raised fifteen children
their names being: Hannah, born September 11, 1759; Mary,
born August 25, 1761; Susannah, born May 10, 1763; Jane, born
March 4, 1765; Ebenezer, born February 15, 1767; Margret,
born March 9, 1769; Patience, born February 14, 1771; Sally,
born February 9, 1773; Charity, born December 1, 1775; James,
born January 26, 1777; John, born December 25, 1778; Abigail,
born March 6, 1781; George, born May 3, 1783; David, born
January 30, 1786; Betsey, born May 30, 1788. Ebenezer Hall,
3d, born March 19, 1735, died February 14, 1813, buried on
Matinicus; Susannah Young Hall, his wife, born March 9,
1724, died December 9, 1831. After the death of her husband
she came to live with her son John Hall and is buried in the old
cemetery at the ”Head of the Bay” South Thomaston.

Capt. Hiram Hall is the owner of an iron kettle that was
left on Matinicus in 1757 by his great great grandfather Ebene-
zer Hall, who was killed by the Indians.

Ebenezer Hall, 3d, died February 14, 1814, age 78 years,
11 months, 9 days. His father Ebenezer, 2d, was killed by the
Indians on Matinicus in 1757. His wife, Mrs. Hall, a lady of
remarkable beauty and many accomplishments, was captured
with her two daughters, after her husband had been killed. They
were carried to Canada, where they were separated. Mrs. Hall
was eventually ransomed. But this unhappy woman, notwith-
standing her life long endeavors, could never obtain the least
knowledge of her children or their fate. The father of the above
Ebenezer was probably one of three brothers that came from
England. He was a lieutenant in the English army and was
present in the battle of Mines at the siege of Louisburg and was
wounded and died at Annapolis, Nova Scotia.

The above was taken from Abbott’s History of Maine. [Editor’s note: The History of Maine by John Stevens Cabot Abbott]

When Ebenezer Hall lived on Matinicus, a great many
years ago, there lived in the family a girl by the name of Dorcas
Young, a sister to Hall’s wife. Joseph Greene was paying his
addresses to Dorcas at the time. One night Hall invited some
fishermen up to the house, so he said to Greene, “Joe, don’t you
and Dorcas want to get married?” “I don’t know,” says Joe.
He started for the cow yard where Dorcas was milking the cows,
and asked her if she thought they had better get married, that
night. “Why Joe,” says Dorcas, “I have not got any wed-
ding gown.” “Never mind the gown,” says Joe, so they went
into the house, Dorcas washed herself, put on a clean apron,
stood up, and they were married, there being a justice of the
peace among the crowd.

The descendants of Ebenezer Hall, who was killed by the
Indians, formed a reunion association in 1906 and have raised
money and purchased a bronze tablet, which will be set in the
rock at or near the spot where Mr. Hall was killed, near what
is now Henry Young and Company’s store. The stone which
formed the base of the chimney of Hall’s house is located in
front of the store and the ledge behind which the Indians were
concealed is but a few yards distant.

The tablet bears the following inscription:

”Ebenezer Hall. The first white settler on Matinicus Isle,
Maine, killed by the Indians, June 6, 1757.”

Topics: Book Corner | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Ebenezer Hall and Matinicus Island”

  1. Connie Drysdale Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Very nice and very informative website. I am a direct descendant of George and Mary Hall of Taunton:
    George Hall
    Samuel Hall
    Ebenezer Hall x 4
    Job Pitcher Hall
    Henry Walton Hall
    Fay Fall
    living Hall

    I live in Connecticut. Do you alert people via email to new postings, or do we have to check in periodically?


  2. admin Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Hi, Connie and welcome! We must be cousins! I do not advise folks of new postings, though this blog is listed on and that would advise you. At the moment I’m very busy with a new book, so posts are not so frequent right now. Thanks for your visit and comment. Hope it leads you to more direct cousins. KH

  3. Stacy Schaumburg (Hall) Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I am a direct descendant as well…
    Job Pitcher Hall–>
    William Wesley Hall–>
    Clifford Hall –>
    Living Hall–>
    Living…Me :o)

    We have been trying to locate records for George. It’s amazing to find so much information about the family.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. admin Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Thank you, Stacy. KH

  5. Susan Hall Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I am a direct descendant of Ebenezer through my grandfather, Henry L. Hall of Madison, ME; father, John A. Hall USAF of Madison ME. This story was told me somehow when I was a young girl, we probably went to the farm site.

  6. Susan Hall Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Just noticed Wikipedia presents Ebenezer was a squatter, which he was not under Colonial rulings…

  7. Konnie Trone Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I,too,found this sight very informative and helpful as I was trying to find stories on the Hall’s. I am descendent of Job Pitcher Hall and wife, Lydia Tryon.

    Thank you!

  8. admin Says:
    February 20th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    My pleasure. KH

  9. Vicki English Says:
    May 31st, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I am an Aussie who is also a direct descendent from the Ebenezer and Hannah who were my 6th great grandparents on my mothers side. I hope to get to Matinicus, possibly 2014 before continuing to Scotland where the Halls are descended from the Scottish Royal Family, including Robert the Bruce. I have established that we are originally from France dating back to 962 (31 generations to me… so 33 generations to my two grandchilden). We also have an ancestor who was the first translator of the Bible into English – he was burnt at the stake in Brussels!

    Hope to meet some of you!
    Cheers, Vicki English

  10. admin Says:
    June 1st, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hi, Vickie, Once you begin verifying your research through DNA you will find the results on this site helpful. You will be seeking a match to these results. Good luck and happy travels. KH

  11. Penny Dodd Says:
    March 24th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I am also a descendant of Ebenezer Hall. No mention has been made here of the paperback book compiled by Robert Leo Hall “George Hall and his descendants (1603-1669). Robert’s widow has put me in charge of selling these books, which contain 682 indexed pages, including every descendant of George Hall. Much more than just a glorified genealogy, there are family stories throughout the book.

  12. Joanne Chapin Says:
    September 12th, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Interesting information. I am a descendant of Ebenezer’s brother Cornelius through the Bracketts of Greenland, NH, Portland, ME and especially Peaks Island. I visited Louisburg to better understand where their father was wounded and have researched in Taunton and also Barnstable for the Bumpasse family.
    One of my other lines includes the Sterlings and the Trefethens from Monhegan Island. They also moved on to Peaks. I guess Island life was in their blood.

  13. Kathryn Hall Says:
    December 14th, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Joanne, thank you for your comment. KH

  14. Ellen Keyes Says:
    March 28th, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Very helpful site. I am a direct descendant of Ebenezer Hall through my grandfather Lewis A. Hall.

  15. Kathryn Hall Says:
    March 28th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Welcome, Ellen and thank you! Have you and your family done DNA testing? Kathryn

  16. Jonathan Small Says:
    June 3rd, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I’m a descendant of Ebenezer Hall through his daughter Hannah, by his first wife, born 1744/1745 (same year her mother died). She is the one noted in the above account as marring a man named [Peltiah] Allen. I’m curious where she was at the time her father was killed, being 12 or 13 years old at that time, and not marrying until 1766. I wonder if she was being cared for on the mainland by relatives.

  17. Jonathan Small Says:
    June 4th, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I left a comment yesterday wondering about where Ebenezer’s daughter Hannah was at the time of the attack on Matinicus. I found a reference in “Winslow Memorial: Family Records of the Winslows and Their Descendants” by David-Parsons Holton, that Hannah and her sister Susannah were away at school in Portland and therefore escaped the fate of the rest of their family.

  18. Gregory G. Hall Says:
    June 6th, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I am descendant of Ebenezer Hall through my 2 great grand father Lewis S. Hall of Maine. He went west to Roseville Ill. about 1850 with his 7 children. One of his sons was James I. Hall my great grand father who had a brother Lewis A. Hall. They fought in the civil war out of IL. after the war Lewis A. Hall Moved to Colorado Springs Co. His wife was Celia M. Hall they had five children. So Ellen Keyes we may be related through Lewis S. Hall and his son Lewis A. Hall my great uncle. The strange part of this story is that I lived in C.O.S. Co. for four years in the 1990’s and had no idea there were relatives in town.

  19. Kathryn Hall Says:
    June 15th, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Jonathan, thank you for this information.

    Gregory, I have numerous experiences of living near where I had relatives, and only learned later. It’s a fascinating piece of synchronicity that happens that no one I know talks about. Thank you for sharing what you learned. KH

  20. tracy phillips Says:
    November 14th, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I am applying to the Mayflower Society as an ancestor of Ebenezer Hall and Eleanor Burgess.
    I’m looking for more proof of birth, death, and marriage for:

    Capt. John Burgess m. Hannah Moore
    Ebenezer Hall m. Eleanor Burgess
    Job Pitcher Hall m. Mary Elizabeth Jones

    I have some proof, but the society wants actual marriage certs, birth certs, and death certs. if possible.

    Does anyone have these?

    Thanks so much

    Tracy Phillips

  21. Kathryn Hall Says:
    November 26th, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Good luck, Tracy!

  22. Judith Cosenza Says:
    November 27th, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I am a descendant of George Hall through his son Samuel Hall and Elisabeth White who had a son Ebenezer born in 1677. Ebenezer and his first wife (does anyone have her name?) had a son Ebenezer the Younger who married Susannah Young (Old York) after his father was killed by Indians on Matinicus Island, Maine. They had a daughter, Mary Hall who married John Crie who arrived on Matinicus Island after leaving Glascow, Scotland around 1783. Their daughter ( or grand daughter?) Almira Crie married Tolman Young (offspring of Phoebe and Abraham Young?). They produced a daughter, Susan Young who married Philip Parsons. They moved off island and had a daughter Susan Myra Parson, my great grandmother. She married Walter Harding who became a prominent physician in Everett, MA. They had a daughter, Esther who married William R. Smith of Machiasport. They had a daughter, Shirley Ann Smith, born in Waltham, MA in 1928. She is my mother.
    Can anyone fill in the gaps in my lineage? Or provide any information at all?
    Thank you.

  23. Kathryn Hall Says:
    November 29th, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Hi, Judith, Sounds like you’ve done a lot of work! Good for you. There always seems to be interest in this line of the family. I hope you get some answers as a result of this post. Kathryn

  24. Tonia Hall Says:
    January 4th, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I’m also related through George, Samuel, Ebenezer (x4), Job, William, Anthon, Charles. Thanks for posting this.

  25. Kathryn Hall Says:
    January 8th, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Hi, Tonia, Thanks for letting us know. This seems to be a fairly well researched line. I do hope you reach out to each other and find your distant cousins. They are to be treasured. Kathryn

  26. Dewayne Hellums Says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 3:09 pm


    I’m descended from Paul H. Hall born Jan 11th 1810 in Maine. I was curious if you had run across any information about this Hall family.

  27. Kathryn Hall Says:
    May 29th, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hi, Dewayne, Not I. Perhaps someone visiting will have. KH

  28. Bill Whitten Says:
    May 29th, 2017 at 11:03 am

    My connection to Ebenezer is as follows:
    1. Ebenezer Hall 3rd;
    2. Patience Hall (his daughter); married to
    Charles Nathaniel Fernald;
    3. Nathaniel Joseph Fernald, married to
    Nancy Pottle.
    4. Mary Ann Fernald, married to Daniel Jones.
    5. Zelotes Jones , married to Laura Eldridge.
    6. Sadie Ethel Jones, my great grandmother,
    Married to Isaac Watts Whitten. She died in 1957
    In Lincoln, Maine.

  29. Ellen Keyes Says:
    July 2nd, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Gregory G. Hall,
    We are indeed related through Lewis S. Hall and his son Lewis A. Hall. Lewis S. Hall would be my 2nd great uncle. My grandfather Lewis A. Hall was born and raised in Colorado Springs but moved to Indiana as a young man.

  30. Ben Holmes Says:
    July 19th, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I know that I am writing seven years after the fact of this posting, but I am likely a descendant of the Halls as well! Ebenezer Sr. and Jr.

    A daughter, Hannah Hall, married into the “ancient” Carver family.

    It’s nice to connect with family, no matter how distant!

  31. Kathryn Hall Says:
    August 28th, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks, all, for your most recent postings! Kathryn

  32. Joshua Dittebrand Says:
    March 29th, 2018 at 12:06 am

    This was a very interesting and extremely informative read. My great grandmother on my maternal grandfather’s side was Lillian Hall, daughter of Rheamer and Ella (Goad) Hall, son of Lewis A and Celia (Sperry)Hall, Son of Lewis and Mary (Simmons) Hall, Son of James and Mary (Smith) Hall, Son of Ebenezer and Susannah (Young) Hall, Son of Ebenezer and Hannah (Arnold) Hall. At least as far as I have been able to research and find back.

  33. Kathryn Hall Says:
    June 18th, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Joshua, thank you. Best of luck in your research. KH

  34. Kimberly Gossy Says:
    August 4th, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Ebenezer Hall was my 6th Great Grandfather on my paternal side. It’s amazing what you can find through DNA and research. I hope to make a trip to the island one day.

  35. Kathryn Hall Says:
    September 22nd, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Kimberly, thank you. I hope you make it to the island. I think Robert Leo Hall made a trip to that island, though I cannot recall any more of that story… KH

  36. Elizabeth Hall Says:
    November 5th, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Direct descendant on my father’s side. I was born and live in Midcoast Maine (Thomaston) and have been out to Matinicus a few times. Interesting to see more details to the family history.

  37. Kathryn Hall Says:
    December 13th, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth, and for sharing your connection. I’d love to hear more about your experiences on Matinicus Island.

  38. David Whittredge Says:
    June 18th, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Kathryn, I am an eighth generation descendent of Ebenezer Hall, Sr. I have retired to Ireland and therefore can no longer research primary documents. Do you know if anyone has found, with certainty, the ancestry of Ebenezer, Sr. of Matinicus? I see a lot of contradictory claims in the Internet.

  39. Kathryn Hall Says:
    June 25th, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Hi, David, All I can say is there certainly are a lot of folks who claim to be a descendant of Ebenezer–more than any other Hall, I believe (except for George, maybe). I don’t know who the definitive researcher is, but this thread might be a starting point. Good luck! KH