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Joseph Payson
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Joseph was born 13 Nov 1743 in Roxbury MA. Even though there is a date to his birth his parents are unknown (to me) at this time. He first married Mary Hill on 27 Jan 1774 in Sherborn or Roxbury MA. After her death in 1800 he published his intention to marry Betsey Leach on 07 Jun 1803 in Gardner. The marriage appears to have taken place as Joseph married for a third time after her death to the widow of Isaac Haild (1775-1817), Sally Hartwell, on 29 Jan 1824 in Gardner. Joseph died in Gardner MA on 13 Apr 1833.

The 1878 history for Gardner states that Joseph was a member of the Boston Tea Party. Curiously, though, the 1860 history omits this information. So, some time between 1860 and 1878 it was determined/decided that he had that distinction. There WAS a Joseph Payson in the Tea Party but there is not agreement as to who he was. Did somebody in Gardner know for a fact that their resident was the one or did someone just take a guess and publish it in the 1878 history? It seems that this tidbit would be too important to omit in the initial history. Still, I have read that some of the participants did not want to be known for the task. Who knows? The birth date for Joseph was taken from his find-a-grave memorial and I do not know the origin of it.

The memorial suggests that his 2nd wife was named Azubah Wilder and they had 5 children. It does not seem to fit. His first wife Mary died in 1800 and he married Betsey in 1803. That's a tight squeeze for 5 children unless Joseph and Mary had divorced but this does not appear to be the case. Also, another wife doesn't seem to fit elsewhere in the timeline of his life. Where I believe the name Azubah Wilder comes from is this: Joseph's daughter Eleanor married a man named Uriah Clapp and Uriah married an Azubah Wilder after Eleanor's death and had 5 children with her. So, I don't think Joseph had four wives but three.
Added by: Ed Poulin

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