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Robert Price

More Questions: Was Robert Price really a drunk?

I was probably a bit harsh with Robert’s character, but what little history we have is not particularly laudatory. There is no information on Robert’s parents or his origin so I assume he emigrated alone from somewhere on the British Isles. The only existing record about Robert pre-Deerfield is from 1734, thirty years after the raid. It is a list of men who fought in the Battle of Turner’s Falls and offers him or any surviving sons the opportunity to claim land in Deerfield which was again growing. This would have applied to Samuel, but neither he nor Robert ever made a claim.
The Battle of Turner’s Falls in 1676 was a one-day debacle when a group of New England militia and volunteers raided a group of Indians camping near the falls. Many were killed on each side and nothing more came of the raid. It is unknown if these natives were in anyway involved in any previous hostilities in Deerfield. It is from this document that some historians suggested Robert may have been a soldier, but he was more likely a temporary member of a militia.
Robert is next seen in history when he shows up in Northampton to marry the widowed Sarah Field in 1677. Their first child was stillborn followed by successful births of Mary, Elizabeth and Samuel. There is no record that Robert owned land in Northampton before he moved his family to the poorer town of Deerfield between 1692 and 1700. I suspect it was closer to the earlier date.
The records of Deerfield show Robert owning a small, low value farm and a woodlot. The church records record him as Episcopalian rather than Independent (Puritan). This would reflect badly on his position in the community. There is no record of Robert after the raid of 1704 other than he survived. He is never again found in the records of Deerfield or anywhere else in New England including burial ground records. The next census of Deerfield in 1715 does not include him. Most importantly, he is one of the only, if not the only, survivor of the raid who made no attempt to contact or redeem his lost family members.
His son, Samuel, chose to return to New England in 1714, but instead of Deerfield, went to Connecticut where his half-brothers, Ebenezer and John Field had settled. He apparently made no effort to contact his father or respond to the offer of land from the Battle of Turner’s Falls. Read More 
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