This was James Bancroft’s second house. Timothy Bancroft of Barnstable, Massachusetts bought the Right of Benjamin French (400 acres) in the southeast quarter of Monadnock #6 early. His son, James, acquired this part of the French Right after his father’s death in 1780. In approximately 1786 he built the house here and sold D-3-11 to Samuel Warren.
James sold this place to his brother, Timothy, in 1791, and moved to Rockingham, Vermont. He and his wife died and are buried there. Timothy owned the house from 1791 to 1825 when he sold it to his youngest son, Joel. Joel and his wife, Julia, lived there until sometime after 1858. They are buried In the Island Cemetery in Harrisville. The house appears on the 1858 County Map but was described as “the late homestead of Joel Bancroft” in the Nelson Clarion in 1871.
In his Sketch of the Early History of the Town of Nelson, New Hampshire (published in the Nelson Clarion in 1871), Simon Goodale Griffin writes this abut James Bancroft: “… and James Bancroft, who settled in the south part of the town, on the hill north of the late homestead of Joel Bancroft.” Bancroft bought 100 acres of land on the hill where D-2-11 is from his father, Timothy, in 1770. After that man’s death in 1780, he bought the rest of the French Right including the piece where D-2-6 is located.
The One Hundredth and Fiftieth Anniversary of the First Settlement of Nelson, New Hampshire 1767-1917 places James Bancroft’s location as “Settled in the southeast part of town where Joel Bancroft subsequently lived.” Struthers refined that further: “Settled in the southeast part of town with his brother Timothy, in on old homestead one-quarter mile south of Dea. Noah Hardy.” Those escribe the location of D-2-6. Noah Hardy lived at D-2-11 from 1797 to 1828.
The evidence to support this sequence is as follows:
James Bancroft did not own the property at D-2-6 until well after the 1774 survey listing him with a board house.
Simon Goodale Griffin was a Nelson historian who was born in town in 1824 and lived here until the Civil War. His description of James Bancroft’s early location would have been based on what people understood in the 1850, some fifty years after James Bancroft left, but while his nephew, Joel, lived at D-2-6. Obviously, Griffin knew Joel Bancroft personally.
The cellar hole at D-2-6 is quite large and made largely of cut stone suggesting a later date than 1774.