Of the first settlement of the town, little is known. The first settler was William Thornton, who located on lot 1, range 6, probably in the year 1752. His daughter, Molly Thornton, it is said, was the first child born in the town. He lived here only a few years, however, leaving through fear of the Indians. He was a brother of Matthew Thornton, who was the first named, as he was by far the most distinguished of the proprietors, and much the largest landowner in the town, having at one time twenty-eight shares, or eighty-four lots. He was a physician, born in Ireland, and first settled in Londonderry, though he subsequently resided in Merrimack. He was a colonel of militia, a delegate to the Continental congress, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also a judge of the superior court of New Hampshire, and was, in short, one of the leading men of the state.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
The next settlers were Scotch-Irish, as they were called, being descendants of Scotch people, who had settled in the north of Ireland, whence they came to this country and established themselves at Londonderry, and elsewhere, and, at a later date, settled in Peterboro and numerous other towns. As early as 1760, or thereabouts, there were in the town, of this description of persons, John Alexander, William McNee, Alexander Scott, and his son William, James Taggart, and his son William. and perhaps others, mostly from Peterboro. Henry Strongman came at a later day, and with the exception of him, none of this class became permanent inhabitants of the town, none of them being here in 1771.
The first permanent English settler was Captain Thomas Morse, who located upon a farm on lot 16, range 5, in the autumn of 1762. Of the early settlers, he seems to have been the leading man, and was doubtless the oldest person in the settlement, being sixty-three or sixty-four years of age when he came to reside here. He was a man of stability and force of character, and, it is said, of remarkable shrewdness. He was ardently attached to the cause of liberty, and was captain of the earliest military company in the town, his commission bearing date June 2, 1774. William Greenwood, a carpenter, came on in 1762, locating upon a farm on lot 8, range 6. Samuel Twitchell was the third permanent settler. His first night in the town he slept beside a large rock, which is still pointed out to the curious from this circumstance. He was then a young man without a family. His father, Joseph Twitchell, of Sherborn, was an agent for the proprietors, or a part of them, for procuring settlers, and for the sale of lands. After the close of the French war there was a numerous emigration from Massachusetts into New Hampshire. The proprietors of the unsold lands in the southern townships, offered strong inducements to young men to purchase farms, and remove thither. As an agent, Captain Twitchell was faithful and efficient, and through his instrumentality, many settlers bought land in Dublin, and became permanent settlers. Most of his children, five sons and three daughters, became, at length, inhabitants of the town. He took frequent journeys to Portsmouth, and, when he visited his children, he came sometimes with an ox-cart, loaded with provisions, furniture, and such articles as new settlers could not procure at home.