1761 - 1797                        INDEX      PEDIGREE

    A replica of the shallop (left) from
the Mayflower, Plymouth, MA.
John Diamond Preston's last voyage
was in a shallop.


Marriage: 26 February 1795
Place: Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts

Birth Date: abt 1761 (age 37 in 1798)
Birth Place: Marblehead, Essex, Mass.
Death Date: left port November 10, 1797
      declared dead 20 September 1798
Burial: Lost at sea

Richard Preston
John Diamond Preston

OCCUPATION(S): Mariner, Ship Captain

Father: unknown
Mother: unknown






From Salem Marriages
Sarah Forbes 1 and John Diamond Preston of Boston, int[ention] recorded Feb. 21, 1795.

From Marriages of Boston 1752-1809
John D. Preston and Sarah Forbes [of Salem] married by Rev. Dr. Peter Thatcher, February 26, 1795.
[Intention reads John Dirmond Preston and Sary]

From The Diaries of William Bently
2, Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts.

June 20, 1798
 Mr. John Dimon Preston is missing. They left this port in a small fishing smack belonging to Capt. S[amuel] Ingersoll, bound to the W. Indies.3

Sunday, July 8, 1798  Sarah Preston, delivery, prayed for husband long absent and missing. 4

September 20, 1798  We now conclude that Diman Preston and his crew, who have been long missing, and who left this port for the Spanish Main 5 in a shallop 6, have foundered at sea. Their vessel was deep and small and they had a heavy gale upon leaving port.

March 24, 1799  Sarah Preston, death of her youngest child, husband absent, brothers at sea.

From The Parish List of Deaths recorded by William Bently, Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts.

Sept. 20 1798.  
John Diman Preston, captain, from Marblehead, missing, 37. 1st marriage ____ years, 2nd marriage ____ years, 3d marriage five years. Left a wife with two children, males. She was a widow Forbes with three children, one female; married abroad, supposed repeatedly.7 The shallop sailed from Salem 10 Nov., 1797, and has not been heard of since.

1 Sarah Whitford married John Forbes 10 September 1782 in Salem. He died in 1791.

2 Mr. Bently not only recorded the events of the lives of his parishoners, he often would write down those same events and post them at the church so members of the parish would know who was sick, who had lost a loved one, or who had been delivered of a child.
3 Although this was a small vessel there is evidence that these ships were used to travel even as far as the Carribean. (see Brendan Foley web-site)

July 8 1798 was the day that the infant son, John Diamond Preston was christened. He was born in June.

5 The Spanish Main is the area of the Carribean where the vessels from Spain sail to trade for spices and sugar. The fishermen of Salem began sailing to the Carribean with salted, dried fish to trade for goods from Europe in 1636.
6 "Shallop: An open, heavily constructed, double-ended workboat propelled by both oars and sails and employed for in-shore fishing and limited coastwise trading. Shallops had either (a) a single-masted fore-and-aft rig consisting of a spirit mainsail and a staysail or (b) a two-masted square rig having a large mainsail on a smast stepped nearly amidships and a small foresail on a mast stepped well forward." Colonial Vessels p.151. (See illustrations in Photo Album)

7 John Diamond Preston, 9 month-old son of John Diamond and Sarah Preston died 18 March 1799 of atrophy. (See Salem Vital Records vol IV, p.160)

8 John Diamond Preston was married abroad several times prior to his marriage to Sarah.

Footnotes 1-6: NHC, 9/2001


Vital Records of Salem, Mass
Vol. 4- Salem Marriages
[Salem, MA:Essex Institute,1916]
US/Can 974.45/S1 V2e v.4
Marriages of Boston
US/Can 974.461 V2b v.2

The Diary of William Bentley
[Salem, MA:Essex Institute,1906]
JSMB US/Can 921.73 B446b v.2

Reverend William
1759 - 1819

Parish List of Deaths
[Salem, MA:Essex Institute,1882]
US/Can 974.45/S1 K2b

Colonial Vessels
by William A. Baker
[Barre, MA:Barre Publishing Co,