Two conflicting suggestions have been received concerning John's place of birth. One suggestion is that he was born in Marlboro, New Hampshire; the other is that he was born in Acworth, New Hampshire.
John married Betsey Ayer on February 13, 1826 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
John was a carpenter.
Historical records indicate that John was born in Acworth, NH (1-5) and died in Marlborough, NH (6). All of John’s siblings who were born between 1797 and 1805 were also born in Acworth (2). Additionally, the 1800 Census record listed for John’s father, Thomas, has the family living in Acworth in the year John was born (7). John was born on Dec. 15th. Acworth Town Clerk records indicate Thomas paid annual Town Tax, Highway Tax and School Tax, respectively, from 1799 through 1801 (8). Although there is an inconsistency in John’s place of death in the Gates genealogy book (p. 119 & 202), the newspaper account of his death (6) resolves the problem.
I. Betsey Ayer on February 13, 1826 in St. Johnsbury, VT (9, 10).
II. Eliza (Fisher) White between 1844 and 1850 (11, 12).
III. Elizabeth A. (Williams) Currier on June 16, 1861 (2, 13).
This marriage record is also consistent with an 1869 letter from John’s brother, Jacob Gates, which acknowledges that two of John's wives had died years earlier (14).
Since it has been suggested that John was actually born in "Marlboro," NH, the possibility that he was born at the home of a close relative who had lived in Marlborough was also investigated. However, it is known from Census records that his paternal grandparents and other close Gates family members also lived in Acworth at the time. Given this circumstance, and that John was born at a time and place (mid-December in 1800 in rural NH) in which transportation from Acworth to Marlborough would probably have been difficult, the possibility that John was born at a close relative’s house in Marlborough seems unlikely, and no evidence that a close relative lived there was found. Four people with surname Gates (brothers Oldham and John, and brothers Levi and Elijah) were located in Marlborough at that time (15), but the first two were very distant relatives, and the other two had no known relationship. Specifically, John is six generations removed from the connection with Oldham and John (Gates Genealogy, p 39-41, & 97-90). There is no listing of the other two brothers in the Gates genealogy book, and their birth dates (Levi abt 1760 and Elijah 1765) are inconsistent with being John’s Uncles. John’s Aunt Mary, also on his paternal side, married Aaron Brown, and no one by that name lived in Marlborough according to Census records or the History of Marlborough. His other Aunt, Sally, was too young to have been married. On his maternal (Plumley) side, John’s grandparents did not live in Marlborough (16), and no one with the surname Plumley is listed in the Genealogical Register from the Town History or in the 1800 Census. John’s Aunt Sally on his maternal side is unaccounted for in 1800, but she was evidently living in Keene in 1790 and in 1810.
An 1986 compilation of early Church members lists “Marlboro,” Cheshire, NH as John’s birthplace (17). It references a Family Group Sheet from the Church Genealogical Department as its source. The discrepancy with all known early records and publications from NH that are described above, which uniformly indicate or support that Acworth was John’s place of birth, can be explained as being due to a transcription error, probably in the Family Group Sheet, in which the known place of death of Marlborough was incorrectly recorded as the place of birth. As the newspaper death notice also spells the place of death as “Marlboro” (6), this may have been the original source for the Church Genealogical Department. John was living in Marlborough, Cheshire County, in 1880 according to the Census
1. Lydia A. Gates, “New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records,” 1885 (back side of record available on Ancestry.com).
2. In: "Stephen Gates of Hingham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, and his Descendants..." by Charles Otis Gates, 1898, p. 119 & 202.
3. Harvey Strong Gates, “New Hampshire Death Records,” 1900.
4. Horace G. Gates, “New Hampshire, Death Records,” 1903.
5. In: “History of Acworth: With the Proceedings of the Centennial Anniversary, Genealogical Records, and Register of Farms” by J. L. Merrill, 1869, p. 217.
6. John Gates, “The Express & Standard Newspaper,” Orleans County, VT, Sept. 21, 1880, Deaths.
7. Thos Gates, “United States Census, 1800,” Acworth, NH.
8. Thomas Gates, Town Records 1766-1869, Acworth, New Hampshire, Town Clerk, FHL Film 15053, Taxes, 1799-1801, p. 55-132, (images 225-263).
9. Betsey Ayer, “Vermont Vital Records,” (marriage) 1826.
10. Betsey Ayer Gates, Find A Grave Memorial #35314410, Lyndon, VT.
11. In: “The Filgate Families in America" by Everette J. Filgate, 2008, p. 240 & 699.
12. Eliza Fisher Gates, Find A Grave Memorial #126308771, Lyndon, VT.
13. Elizabeth A. Williams Gates, Find A Grave Memorial #96323380, Keene, NH.
14. Jacob Gates, Letter to John Gates, April 20, 1869, FHL Film 15508, Item 4, Gates Family Records, (first 2 images).
15. In: “History of the Town of Marlborough, Cheshire County, New Hampshire” by Charles A. Bemis, 1881, p. 503-506.
16. John Plumley, “United States Census, 1800,” Keene, NH.
17. In: “Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume XVIII GAT-GRE,” (1830-1848) by Susan Ward Easton, 1986, p. 8 & 50-51.