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March 13, 1986


Pix #1 - James Doe and wfie Lydia (Kent)

Pix #2 - Joseph Bodwell Doe

Pix #3 - Captain John Doe

Pix #4 - Joseph Bodwell Doe, Jr.

Pix #5 - Louisa Doe, daughter of Capt. John and Mary (Sanborn) Doe.

Pix #6 - Mahala doe, daughter of Capt. John and Mary (Sanborn) Doe.

Author's Note: Today's article is the third and last in the series about the Doe family. Some readers may question why today's article was used to stretch the series to three, since it only provides a glimpse of some of the Does who preceded the local descendents. My answer: The early Doe family, like others, experienced an era and enviroment, when life was more regimented, tougher, demanding, yet simple. But through moral and consecrated lives, hard work and courage, they became achievers. Hopefully adult readers will encourage young people to look at the object lessons in this series.


The genealogy about the Does came about only through the interest and effort of Elmer Ellsworth Doe, of the eighth generation of Nicholas Doe.

He was born July 31, 1862 at Veazie grammar schools, and at an early age went to work in the mills.

Leaving home at the age of 18, he followed the lumber business in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. At the age of 20 he went west into the lumber regions of Minnesota, passing four years in that locality, following various occupations, handling lumber from the stump to the planning mill.

He returned to Northampton, Mass., in 1887, where he was employed as foreman by the Connecticut Valley Lumber Company for 16 years. During that time he served several years in the city government.

In 1903 he accepted a position in Orleans, Vt., and took over the management of the E.L. Chandler Company Plant. In 1909 he was elected a director of the Parker Young Company of Lisbon, N.H., which controlled both the Parker Young Co. and the E.L. Chandler Co., the largest manufacturer of piano sounding boards in the United States at that time.

Elmer E. Doe had to be a very sincere and dedicated man to devote the time and energy to the huge task of collecting the information about the Doe history, family names, vocations of each, sorting, reading, etc. to publish that family's history.


He was born Aug. 30, 1785, to Deacon John and Abilgail (Giddings) Doe, at Parsonsfield, Maine. His father was the deacon of the Congregational Church at Parsonsfield, town clerk and selectman of the village. The colonel was the father of Chief Justice Charles Doe. Both of their photos were in last week's article.

Bartlett was a prominent Mason and a successful farmer. He became a colonel of the Maine Militia.

An item in the University of California Chronicle described him as..."a very personable sort of man; a man of high moral standing, a courteous gentlemen of the old school... The Colonel's well-tilled acres and bursting granaries proved the sane, careful husband man's thought in all his activities.

The Colonel was married twice and with his two wives he had 12 children, one being Charles Franklin, who donated the library to the University of California at Berkeley.

Another son, named Bartlett after his father went to California too. He was owner of the United States Hotel at San Francisco and became a millionaire.


He was born Nov. 15, 1762, at Deerfield N.H. He married Mary Sanborn Oct. 12, 1786.

Captain John Doe was in charge of the Third Company in the Fourteenth Regiment of Militia of New Hampshire. He was also collector of taxes at Rumney, N.H.

To he and his wife were born 11 children three boys and eight girls. Mahala and Louisa being two of them.

Here's an amusing story told about Mary Doe (Chase) another of their daughters.

One day hearing a commotion among her geese, she sallied forth in quest of the disturbance and quickly saw a full grown fox with his teeth firmly set in the neck of a large goose and making an effort to swing his catch over his shoulder. She immediately seized him by the ears, with either hand and carried him to a back room in the house and closed the door to keep him until her husband arrived.


In this room was an old-fashioned fireplace with a broad projection. She peeped through an aperture in the door and saw the fox sitting upon the shelf, as if preparing to escape through a glass in the door. She had no notion of losing him, so incasing her hands in some thick gloves, entered the room and seizing the fox, carried him to her bedroom when she turned a bushel measure upside down with Mr. Fox underneath. She then lifted one leg of her bedstead and placed it on the measure and secured him until her husband's return.


James Doe was born at Alton, N.H., 1790. Married Lydia Kent of Wolfboro, N.H., Nov. 12, 1812.

In 1825, with two children, one a lad of 13 and one infant, they emigrated to Canada, settling in Granby, Shefford County, Quebec. The trip was made on horse-back, carrying only such household goods as could be packed on backs of the horses.

The family settled three miles from Granby, in the forest, having taken 200 acres of wild timberland, and there built a log cabin. To do their trading they followed a blazed trail to St. Pie, where there was a store.

They manufactured pearlash and salts, carrying the product by ox team part way to Montreal, where French carters were hired to complete the trip and bring back a variety of goods.

In later years, Elmer Ellsworth Doe, the author of the Doe books was in Canada and visited Horace Lyman Doe, grandson of James and Lydia; also Mrs. Elvira Doe Smith, daughter of the couple. At that time Mrs. Smith was able to recall interesting items about the life and hardships in the early days in Canada, as well as her early life in Alton, even though she was 90 years old.

From that pioneer Doe family 30 families descended, some of them still occupying some part of the original 200 acres.

James and Lydia had six children: George, Piper, William, Lewis, Elvira, John and Lydia.


He was born April 4, 1818, at Rollinsford, N.H., to Joseph Jr. He went to Boston at age 14 to clerk in a store. When barely of age he went into business in the silk goods in line in New York City, in partnership with a Mr. Wilson.

A business failure during the panic of 1839-40 induced him to move West, and after a visit to Wisconsin, he moved his family to Janesville in 1842, opened a general store and was do successful that in 1853 he organized a bank which became the First National Bank of Janesville in 1861.

He became the cashier of the bank, holding that position until his death in 1890.


He was born to Joseph Bodwell Doe in 1855. Joseph graduated from Racine College in 1874, entering the law profession from 1886 to 1890. He was city attorney of Janesville, then adjutant of the state, resigning in 1893 to become assistant Secretary of War in the second administation of President Cleveland. Left Washington, D.C. in 1897 to engage in the practice of law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


When the call-to-arms was sounded, the Does answered.

Twelve served as volunters in the French and Indian Wars.

Nineteen served in the Revolutionary War

Twenty-two fought in the War of 1812.

Fifty-two fought to preserve the Union in the Civil War.

Four answered the call during the Spanish conflict. One served during the Mexican conflict in 1916.

The Doe book was published in 1918, so Does in other wars not available.

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