From Salem Marriages
Forbes, John and Sarah Whitford,
Sept 10, 1782
Forbes, Sarah and John Diamond Preston of Boston, int[ention] recorded
Feb. 21, 1795.
Preston, Sally [Hannah Presson on intention], and James Whittemore,
Aug. 27, 1803.
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 Diamond Preston and Sary]
From The Diaries of William Bently , Pastor of the
East Church, Salem, Massachusetts.
June 1785 An account of the Number of Inhabitants in
the Town of Salem.... John Forbes, Mariner. Ives' lane.
[see map of Salem]
December 23, 1790 List of Families from Census taken
by the Federal Government..... John Forbes, Mariner.
November 29, 1790 GENERAL THANKSGIVING in this State.
A note was sent to me inclosing twenty five Dollars, Bill of
the Essex Bank, supposed by the hand writing to come from E.H.
Derby Esq, including this our Contribution amounted to [twenty-two
pounds Sterling] The following persons were assisted from this
Contribution: ..........Widow Forbes.
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.
Sunday, July 8, 1798 Sarah Preston, delivery, prayers
for husband long absent and missing. 1
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 in a shallop, 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. 2
August 17, 1817 Charles Forbes, returned from Sea, having been among
the islands of the Great Ocean. He was patronized by Mrs. Rogers
and myself and was the son of John Forbes who was drowned in
Virginia .... The wife has since married James Whittemore.
From The Parish List of Deaths recorded
by William Bently, Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts.
Aug. 19, 1791. News of John
Forbes, drowned in Virginia, a[ged] 28. He has left a wife and
four children.3 Died in February.
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.4 The shallop sailed from Salem 10 Nov., 1797, and
has not been heard of since.
December 5, 1816 John Forbes, a seaman. [died of]
Fever, 32 years...The mother a Dawson5 and thrice married. First
a Forbes, and by him had three children; second, a Preston, by
whom one child; third, a Whittemore, and by him one child.
From the 1790 United States Census, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
John Forbes: 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16, 2
From the 1800 United States Census, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Sarah Preston (says Presson) : 2 males under 10 (Richard Preston,
age 5 & Charles Forbes, age 9), 1 male 10-15 (John Forbes,
age 15), 1 female under 10 (? possibly a daughter from John Diamond
Preston's marriage previous to Sarah), 1 female 10-15 (Sarah
Forbes, age 12), and 1 female 26-44 (Sarah Preston age 39). Note:
Sarah is living next door to James Whittemore who became her
third husband in 1803.
1 July 8 1798 was the day that the infant son, John
Diamond Preston was christened. He was born in June.
Diamond Preston, 9 month-old son of John Diamond and Sarah Preston
died 18 March 1799.
of John and Sarah Forbes: John Forbes b. 1784, (boy) Forbes,
[see 1790 Census], Sarah Forbes b. 1788, Charles Forbes b. 1791
Diamond Preston was married abroad several times prior to his
marriage to Sarah.
Whitford was raised by her stepfather, John Dawson, from the
age of three.
"Our society being composed of seafaring
people, there were frequent occasions for offering notes, for
returning of thanks for mercies received, as well as imploring
blessings, the reading of them formed no inconsiderable part
of the morning service. Coupled with this practice was a peculiar
custom observed by him for many years of his early ministry,
of making out a bulletin of the sick, stating their disease,
and the stage of it reached by the patient. This was hung up
in some conspicuous place in the house, for the purpose undoubtedly
of informing the society where their sympathy was called for
and their benefactions could be applied." Bentley Diaries,Vol
I p. xiii Biography of Bently by Judge Joseph G.
"A century ago it was customary, in time
of sickness or death, for the minister to receive and to read
from the pulpit on Sunday, notes requesting the prayers of the
"It should be kept in mind that connection
by marriage is frequently referred to as though it were by blood.
'Mother-in-law' means step-mother, in present day usage, and
"brother at sea" may mean brother-in-law at sea."
Bentley Diaries Introduction
Footnotes 1-5 : NHC,
Vital Records of Salem, Mass
Vol. 3,4- Salem Marriages
Essex Institute [Salem, Ma] 1916
US/Can 974.45/S1 V2e v.4
Marriages of Boston
US/Can 974.461 V2b v.2
The Diary of William Bentley
Essex Institute [Salem, Ma] 1906
JSMB US/Can 921.73 B446b volumes 1,2
Parish List of Deaths
Essex Institute [Salem, Ma] 1882
US/Can 974.45/S1 K2b
1790 United States Census
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts p.10
1800 United States Census
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts p.243