Was captured by Indians and made a prisoner in Canada during Queen Anns war in 1705. Helped build the first saw mill in Canada. He was so thankful and comfortable for his freedom from captivity that he named one of his kids Comfort and another one Freedom after his release.
He was amount the first of the men to settle in Marlborough which he did soon after his marriage and settled in that part of the town known as "The Farm."
Queen Anne's War
Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), as the North American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession was known in the British colonies, was the second in a series of French and Indian Wars fought between France and England, later Great Britain, in North America for control of the continent. The War of the Spanish Succession was primarily fought in Europe. In addition to the two main combatants, the war also involved numerous Native American tribes allied with each nation, and Spain, which was allied with France. It was also known as the Third Indian War or in French as the Second Intercontinental War.
French and Wabanaki Confederacy raiding activity continued in northern Massachusetts in 1705, against which the English colonists were unable to mount an effective defense. The raids happened too quickly for defensive forces to organize, and reprisal raids usually found tribal camps and settlements empty. There was a lull in the raiding while the French and English leaders negotiated—with only limited success—the exchange of prisoners. Raids by Indians, sometimes with French participation, persisted until the end of the war.
1705 Indian Attack
On 05 Oct 1705, John Bigelow and Thomas Sawyer and his son Elias Sawyer of Lancaster, wwere at work in that part of Lancaster now Boylston, and were surprised by the indians and made prisoners and taken captive to Canada.
Transcript of letter written in captivity to John by his wife:
Marlbury 22 Aug 1706;
Dear and loving Husband. In much grief and tender affection, gently lamenting your miserable condition, hoping in the mercy of God who has prospered you and kept you alive hitherto and will in His own due time work your deliverance, that these few lines may find you in health as I am at present and the children, blessed be God for it and for all his mercy bestowed on you and on myself.
This may acquaint you that I received your letter dated Juanuary the 6th and the 6th of August last, and for which I amd though in much sorrow and grief, thankful to you. And I do most humbly and importunately petition the governoroto have pity and compassion on yourself and me.
Lamentations 3:25. The Lord is good to them that wait for him to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord, for the Lord will not cast off forever, but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. Wherefore should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins. Let us search, and try our way, and turn again to the Lord.
I remain your loving wife, greatly sorrowing for you. Jerusha Bigelow.
I do further acquaint you that brother Samuel and Thomas is well and the rest of our relations.
There they were held prisoners by the French Governor, of whom they ob tained their release by negotiating to build what be come the first saw mill in Canada. They built it on the River Chamblay, the first mill built in Canada, and after some delays, Bigelow and the elder Sawyer were permitted to return, the younger Sawyer being kept there for several months to run the bill before being allowed to return.
That he was a good carpenter we may infer from the records, when the town voted to employ John Biglow and James Taylor to superintend the finishing of the new meeting-house in 1712. We find by the records that in 1711, for the better protection of the inhabitants of the town, the differnet families were assigned to garrisons located in different parts of the town, and the families of John, Samuel and Thomas Bigelow were assigned to the garrison of Joseph Morse.
Mr Bigelow was a highly respected citizen and died in Marlborough, 08 Sept 1769, at the ripe old age of 94 years and 4 months. His family were all born in Marlborough but became widely separated, only one of his five sons remaining in town.
Inscription: Here lies ye body of JOHN BIGELOW died September 8, 1769 in his 95th year Burial: Spring Hill Cemetery, Marlborough MA.
Marriage and Family
He was married in Watertown on 12 June 1696 to Jerusha Garfield, daughter of Joseph Garfield and Sarah Gale of Watertown.
Wedding Day Gifts
On their wedding day, a friend by the name of Dorr gave them a present of three old charis which he claimed had been in the Dorr Family for three generations and were made in England about 1620; These chairs have been handed down in the family to the present time (1890) and ientered into the possession of Mr W Williams of Chicago, a family descendant.
- Jerusha Bigelow (1697-1758) - md John Matthews and moved to Southborough MA.
- Thankful Bigelow (1699-1756) - md John Howe, their oldest son Cyprian Howe (1726-1790), was a famous officer in the Revolutionary War.
- Joseph Bigelow (1699-1783) md Martha Brigham, moved to Shrewsbury
- John Bigelow (1704-1783) - md Rebecca Howe, lived in Holden.
- Comfort Bigelow (1707-1750) - first child born after John's captivity in Canada. md Joseph Brigham. She died in 1750 and he married widow Ruth Ward in 1751.
- Freedom Bigelow (1710-1744) - md John Bowker, they lived in Westborough and Shrewsbury.
- Anna Bigelow (1712-1764) - md 2) Matthias Rice of Northbourgh and 2) Abraham Rice of Marlborough - died age 81, no issue.
- Gershom Bigelow (1714-1812) - md Mary Howe, lived in Marlborough
- Jotham Bigelow (1717-1786) - md Persis Temple
- Benjamin Bigelow (1720-1772) - md Levinah Thomas
- Sarah Bigelow (1721-) - md John Langdon
- Genealogy of the Bigelow Family of American, from the Marriage in 1642 of John Biglo and Mary Warren to the Year 1890" by Gilman Bigelow Howe.
- Queen Anne's War - Wikipedia