The ancestors of the Ayer families in the state, were early settled at Haverhill, Mass., and from that town came the Ayers of Biddeford and Buxton. John was at Salisbury, 1640; at Ipswich, 1648; died at Haverhill, 1657, leaving numerous descendants. Peter Ayer was admitted freeman at Haverhill, 1666; chosen representative, 1683-85-89-90. Robert and Thomas were admitted freemen at Haverhill, 1668. Maj. Ebenezer Ayer was with Arnold in the Canada expedition through the wilderness of Maine, and displayed consummate courage and great determination. He is said to have sawed off the pickets upon the enemy’s breastworks to enable the soldiers to scale the walls. He afterwards served in the engineer department with rank of major. I suppose he settled in Buxton. Peter Ayer was in Capt. John Lane’s company, in 1756; also Philip Ayer, who served as corporal; both were designated “of Haverhill.”
Moses Ayer, b. Mar. 17, 1757; m. Mary, b. Aug. 10, 1759, and had children, named as follows, born in Saco:
- Elizabeth Ayer, b. May 27, 1782.
- John Ayer, b. Sept. 27, 1783.
- Sarah Ayer, b. Oct. 23, 1786.
- Hannah Ayer, b. Oct. 13, 1791.
- Abigail Ayer, b. June 13, 1793.
- Andrew Ayer, b. Mar. 18, 1795.
- Moses Ayer, b. Feb. 9, 1797.
- Tristram Ayer, b. Feb. 19, 1799. I suppose it was this man who married Frances, and had children, born in Buxton, named as follows:
- Mary A. Ayer, b. Sept. 19, 1821.
- William Ayer, b. Mar. 4, 1824.
- Sarah E. Ayer, b. Sept. 11, 1826.
- John L. Ayer, b. June 17, 1829.
- Maria G. Ayer, b. Feb. 2, 1833.
- Lyman G. Ayer, b. Dec. 3, 1835.
- Frances J. Ayer, b. Oct. 26, 1838.
- Charles H. Ayer, b. July 12, 1841.
Ebenezer Ayer, 1 m. Elizabeth Moore, Jan. 22, 1789, and had names and births of children recorded in Buxton. He, or another of the name, was on a committee to repair the meeting-house in Narragansett, No. I, Nov. 15, 1758. In 1798 the house of Ebenezer Ayer, of Buxton, was on lot 5, in the 3d division; was of one story, covered 448 square feet, had 5 windows, and was said to be “unfinished.” Issue:
- Eli Ayer, b. Oct. 26, 1789.
- Rebecca Ayer, b. May 8, 1791.
- Margaret Ayer, b. Dec. 24, 1792.
- Elizabeth Ayer, b. April 17, 1795.
- Sarah Ayer, b. Mar. 25, 1797.
- Jane Ayer, b. Apr. 17, 1799.
- Lucy Ayer, b. Apr. 2, 1801.
- Mary Ayer, b. Apr. 27, 1803; d. May 9, 1805.
- Mary Ayer, b. May 23, 1805.
- Peter Ayer, b. Sept. 30, 1807; d. Oct. 12, 1809.
- Ebenezer H. Ayer, b. Aug. 6, 1809; d. Feb. 18, 1812.
Daniel Ayer and Mary his wife of Buxton had:
- Nancy Ayer, b. Nov. 25, 1798.
- Isaac Ayer, b. Feb. 26, 1800; m. Ellen, and had children, born in Buxton. He d. Mar. 24, 1836; Ellen d. Jan. 31, 1829. He had second wife, named Achsah, d. Sept. 27, 1843.
- Daniel Ayer, b. May 21, 1827; d. June 13, 1829.
- Daniel Ayer, b. Sept. 12, 1830; d. Aug. 9, 1832.
- Ellen Ayer, b. Apr. 12, 1832.
- Isaac Ayer, b. Mar. 28, 1834.
- Benjamin F. Ayer, b. Jan. 19, 1835.
Timothy Ayer, m. April 9, 1807, Hannah Merrill, and had three children, born in Buxton. He is said to have removed to Otisfield.
- Betsey Ayer, b. May 1, 1808.
- Humphrey M. Ayer, b. Mar. 17, 1800.
- Aaron Ayer, b. April 3, 181 2. He was a preacher of the gospel with the Free Baptists, and for many years an able and useful man. He became somewhat demented and the latter years were under a cloud. He was, however, as keen witted as ever and delighted in discussing “knotty questions.” At one time a young minister, who was then engaged in religious revival meetings, called on “Uncle Aaron,” who was very well posted respecting the denominational prejudices existing in the community. Before leaving, the young man, received this piece of good advice: ” My brother, look out for the Methodists up there, for they are just like cattle in the woods; they always stand with horns out.'” He did not favor denominational boasting, and hailing one of the prominent Methodist members as he was passing inquired: ” Say, brother, which would you rather be, a Methodist or a Christian?” Some of the Adventists claimed to believe that man had no pre-eminence over the beast; in fact, that he has no soul. As one of the sisters of this sect was passing his field. Uncle Aaron put his foot on the wall and waving his hand for her to stop asked if her horse was going to heaven. When she replied that she did not know what he meant, he remarked that if man was not superior to a beast, “a good horse ought to go to heaven.” He had a devoted, patient wife, who lived a life of sorrow for many years, for there were times when he became desperate and menacing; when for days and nights his neighbors had to take turns in watching him. There were two sons, Daniel and Aaron, the latter a fine scholar, who successfully taught school.
Dr. Aaron Ayer, son of the elder Timothy, m. Ruth Merrill, of Buxton, and had the names of the following children recorded in town:
1. Alvan B. Ayer, b. Dec. 18, 1809.
2. Abel M. Ayer, b. July 7, 1802.
3. Nancy Ayer, b. June 15, 1817.
Elisha Ayer and Mary his wife had children baptized in Saco names as follows:
- Elisha Ayer, 1777.
- James Ayer, 1777.
- Patty Ayer, May 13, 1781.
- Jenny Ayer, July 13, 1782.
- Sally Ayer, May 5, 1781.
- Martha M. Ayer, May 21, 1790.
John Ayer m. Patience Jellison, in Saco, Dec. 7, 1780; these “owned ye covenant,” Feb. 24, 1782; their dau. Nancy bapt. there Feb. 24, 1782; Widow Patience was m. to Solomon Burnham, of Scarboro, June 17, 1787. Susanna was m. to Robert Cleaves, Sept. 3, 1777. Sally to David Warren, Dec. 3, 1785. Peter Ayer, of Buxton, m. Widow Sarah Junkins, Jan. 19, 1796.
- There was an Ebenezer Ayer in Saco, whose children, baptized there, were: Susanna, bapt, Dec.25, 1764; Sam, bapt. July 12, 1707; William, bapt. April 2, 1769. This was probably the father of Ebenezer of Buxton.