Some marriages performed at Concord, Mass., by Rev. John Whiting and not found in the town records were published in The American Genealogist, 17:23. One was the marriage on 4 June 1724 of "David Taylor to [Ruth] Davis" ... however the fact seems to be that she was Hannah Davis, and Ruth was a later wife as will be shown.
David Taylor, son of Abraham and Mary (Whitaker) Taylor, was born in eastern Concord, Jan. 31, 1698. In 1727 he bought from the widow of Eleazer Davis (whose will he had witnessed) the first of several tracts of land that he was to acquire from members of the Davis family and others, all of which adjoined or were in the vicinity of the farm of the late Eleazer, probably the father of his wife Hannah. This land was in the part of Concord which about that time was taken into the new town of Bedford.
David was one of the founders of the first church of Bedford, and his name and that of his wife Hannah occur frequently in its records. They had eight children, beginning with Hannah, born May 28 1725, followed by David 1727, Jonathan 1730, Mary 1731, Eleazer 1734, Sarah 1736, Lydia 1738, and Elizabeth who was born shortly before the death of the mother, Sept. 5, 1744. All of these births were recorded in Bedford.
David married second, Feb. 5, 1745, Ruth Jones of Concord and went to that town to live, retaining his property in Bedford for several years, some of it until late in life, but no longer adding to his holdings in Bedford. Two children, Lucy, bapt 1747 and Hepsibah, bapt 1748, were born to them in Concord.
There is no question that David of Concord and Bedford was the same individual. On Aug. 30, 1756, David Taylor of Concord signed a deed, signed also by his wife Ruth, conveying land in Townsend to his sons David and Eleazer Taylor of Bedford [Middlesex Deeds, 55:8].
To complete the marriage record of David Taylor which never, I think has been published in an assembled form: Ruth died Apr. 6, 1761, and David married third, Oct. 25, 1761, Sarah (Stevens) Hemingway, the widow of the first minister of Townsend, Mass., Rev. Phineas Hemingway. She died July 29, 1766, according to her headstone in the Townsend cemetery, and the persistent David married for the fourth time, July 23, 1767, Sarah (Boynton), once the widow of Abiel Richardson, but then the widow of William Parker of Groton. Both were living in 1776.
It is evidence from the foregoing that the first wife of David Taylor was Hannah (not Ruth) Davis, probably the daughter of Eleazer and Eunice (Potter) Davis of Bedford, born Oct. 18, 1707. Propinquity points to her; no other Hannah Davis appears in Concord or Bedford records who is suitable in age; David Taylor showed a strong preference during Hannah's lifetime for land out of or adjcent to the estate of Eleazer Davis; and he named a son Eleazer.
C. E. Potter in his Old Families of Concord names Hannah Davis of Bedford as the wife of Benjamin Wheeler. No evidence for this appears, but Benjamin Wheeler, Junior, who removed to Pepperell, Mass., married Hannah Davis of Townsend who died Aug. 10, 1818 in her 77th year, clearly a different person. Benjamin Wheeler, Senior, was of our Hannah's generation, but he married, Apr 6, 1736, Rebecca Lee, who died Apr. 17, 1752; he then married a Lucy who appears as the mother of his children until she died Dec. 28, 1767. It is clear from his will that Benjamin was living with a third wife, whose name is not given, in 1777. However, there is no reason to suppose that this third wife was Hannah Davis, who in any event could not have married him until after the death of his second wife in 1767 when Hannah was over 60. The seems unlikely, and the reasons given for identifying her as the first wife of David Taylor are more cogent.
-- Merrill D. Wheeler, Cavendish, Vt.