Ships built 1700-1847 in South Berwick area

Partial list of sailing ships built 1700-1847 in today’s South Berwick, Maine and Rollinsford, New Hampshire
    c. 1703 - Sloop Eagle of Boston built at Berwick, Benjamin Jeffry, Master, found in register of vessels, May 20, 1703 (Source: Volume 7, p. 222 of the Massachusetts Archives Collection)

    1769 - Ship - David Moore, builder, Berwick. Joseph Field of Kittery, shipwright. Supply Clapp of Portsmouth, owner.

    1769 - Brig Laurel - Set sail for Barnstable.

    1770 - Brig Greyhound - James Garvin, Jr., master, Rollinsford. Set sail for the West Indies. Lost at sea.

    1771 - Fishing boat - Timothy Wattson, builder. Eliphalet Cromwel and Ephraim Plumer, owners. Fresh Creek (Rollinsford).

    1771 - Fishing boat -Timothy Wattson and David Lewis, builders. John Tebbets & partners, owners. Fresh Creek (Rollinsford).

    1771 - Ship - 220 tons - David Moore, builder, Berwick.

    1772 - Ship - David Moore, builder, Berwick. Supply Clapp, owner.

    1772 - Ship - David Moore, builder, Berwick.

    1771 - Schooner - Lieut. Moses Yeaton, Jno. Kenny and Mark Wallingford, St. Albans Cove, Rollinsford.

    1771-1790 - Records incomplete

    1790 - Cato - 275 tons; length, 91.2 feet; depth, 13.2 feet. Owner, Jonathan Hamilton, Berwick. Captured by a French privateer in 1800.

    1791 - Brig - Jonathan Hamilton

    1791 - Brigantine - John Lord

   1794 - George - 216 tons; length, 87.1 feet; beam, 24.4 feet. Owner, Jonathan Hamilton, Berwick. Sailed to St. Petersburg and Europe.

    1794 - Mary - 238 tons; length, 84.6 feet; beam, 25.6 feet. Owner, Jonathan Hamilton, Berwick. Sailed to Hamburg, Grenada, Liverpool, island of Nevis. Lost at sea 1802.

    1795 - Ophir - Berwick. Sailed to South Carolina

    1795 - Atlantic - 199 tons; length, 78.4 feet; beam, 24.3 feet; depth, 12.15 feet. Sailed to Liverpool.

    1796 - Hitty Jane - 199 tons - length 80 feet - Berwick - Capt. Peter Clark, owner. Captured by a French privateer.

    1796 - Mentor - Rollinsford - 213 tons; length, 80.5 feet; beam 24.9, depth 12.45. James Sheafe, owner - After a 1798 voyage to the Caribbean, brought a yellow fever epidemic to Portsmouth, killing 55.

    1799 - Eagle - 185 tons; length, 76.6 feet; beam, 23.8 feet; depth, 11.9 feet. John Rollins, owner, Rollinsford. Sailed to the West Indies and Hamburg.

    1800 - Two Sisters - 235 tons - length 85.7 feet - Berwick - Samuel Cottle, builder.

    1800 - Pallas - 147 tons

    1801 - Magnet - 207 tons; length, 79.9 feet; beam, 24.65 feet; depth, 12.3 feet. - Moses Paul, builder, Rollinsford. Traded in the West Indies, Cuba, and Russia until lost at sea 1817.

    1803 - Jane - 223 tons; length, 85.3 feet. Nathaniel Nason, builder, Berwick.

    1803 - Four Sisters - 204 tons; length, 81.2 feet; beam, 24.1feet; depth, 10.9 feet. Stephen Paul, builder, Rollinsford. Ebenezer Ricker, owner.

    1805 - Miranda - 296 tons; length, 94 feet. Nathaniel Nason, builder, Berwick. Jacob Sheafe, owner. Baltic trade. Lost 1811 en route to Sweden.

    1806 - Thomas - 1806 - Nathaniel Nason, builder, Berwick. 236 tons; length 86.9 feet

    1806 - Roberts - 230 tons; length, 85.3 feet; beam, 25.4 feet; depth, 12.7 feet. Stephen Tobey, builder, Rollinsford. Sailed from New Orleans with cotton, to Cuba, Ireland, West Indies.

    1808 - Cato - Joshua Haven, builder and owner. Berwick. Traded in the West Indies, Liverpool, Spain, Ireland. Survived a hurricane but later foundered.

    1809 - Grotius - Nathaniel Nason, builder - 245 tons; length, 87.4 feet. Berwick. Traded in the West Indies, Ireland, Canary Islands and New Orleans.

    1809 - Commerce - 292 tons; length, 95.7 feet; beam, 26 feet; depth, 13 feet. James Paul, builder, Rollinsford.

    1810 - Eudora - 293 tons; length, 95.2 feet; beam, 26.5 feet; depth, 12.2 feet. Berwick. Joshua Haven, builder. Robert and George F. Blunt and Joshua Haven, owners. Wrecked off Cornwall on maiden voyage.

    1811 - Fabius - 460 tons, 113 ft length, one of the largest ships built in the Piscataqua in this period. James Tobey, builder, Berwick. Joshua Haven, owner. Captured during the War of 1812.

    1811 - Recovery - 309 tons; length, 95.3 feet. Nathaniel Nason, builder, Berwick. Sailed toNew York, France, New Orleans, Liverpool, and Cuba.

    1812 - Hitty - 337 tons; length, 101.5 feet; beam, 27.45 feet; depth 13.7 feet. Nathan Nason, builder, Berwick. John Lord, Samuel Lord and William Haven, and later Ichabod Goodwin, owners. Sailed under Nathan Lord.Traded in the South and Europe.

    1815 - Hamilton - 332 tons; length, 99.3 feet. Joshua Haven, builder, Berwick. Named after Jonathan Hamilton. Sailed for over 30 years.

    1824 - Marion - 330 tons; length, 99.4 feet; beam, 27.5 feet; depth, 13.75 feet. William Hanscom, builder, Berwick. Ichabod Goodwin, Samuel Coues, Timothy Ferguson and Theodore Jewett, owners. Triangular trade, Europe, West Indies and the South. Wrecked off Key West in 1843.

    1825 - Olive & Eliza - 386 tons; length, 111.7 feet; beam, 27.7; depth, 13.9 feet. William Hanscom, builder, Berwick. Ferguson & Jewett and I. D. Parsons, owners. Theodore F. Jewett was master on first voyage, the triangle and Liverpool. Later sailed throughout the Atlantic and to the Far East. Grounded 1846 in Dry Tortugas, with 118,431 barrel staves. Read a letter written by Capt. Jewett trading cotton aboard the Olive & Eliza on an 1825 voyage to New Orleans and Liverpool. 

    1832 - Berwick - William Hanscom, builder, Berwick. Lost 1846 in a collision off Cape of Good Hope under the command of Samuel W. Jewett.

    1833 - Pactolus - William Hanscom, builder.

    1846 - Picard - Brig - Eben Goodwin of New York and his brother, Mark F. Goodwin, builders, at Jewett shipyard. Sold to a Captain Bush of New york in 1847.

    c. 1846-7 - Elizabeth - Eben Goodwin of New York and his brother, Mark F. Goodwin, builders, at Jewett shipyard. Commanded by Captain Young of York, and said to have been named for two young ladies the captain favored, one in South Berwick and the other in Rollinsford.


   Old Eliot, Vol. II, No. 2 (February 1898), pp. 40-41
    “Vessels Built by Eliot Master Shipwrights – 1800-1839”
    William Linwood Fernald

    Capt. Josiah Remick, who lived at the head of Quamphegan Creek, upon the estate of the late Abner Staples, built vessels “between the house and the barn,” we are told, and launched them in the Creek. His pet daughter, Mary Jane, born in 1797, was honored in having the entire fleet named for her.

    He first built the schooner MARY. This was followed by the schooner JANE. He finally built a brig which he named the MARY JANE.

    This daughter became the wife of James Tobey and the mother of Martin Parry Tobey.

    It is said that in building these vessels, twelve men went into the wood where they cut and hewed the timber for one; and after hauling it to the shipyard, constructed a vessel, the entire work being completed within a twelve-month.

    From the Portsmouth, N.H. Directory of 1840, I copy the following list of vessels built on the Piscataqua by master William Hanscom, in addition to those previously mentioned in Old Eliot :

    Schooner Cossack, 48 tons, built at Portsmouth 1815
    Schooner McDonnough, 98 tons, Portsmouth 1815
    Brig Diomede, 217 tons, Shapley Island, now Pierce 1816
    Schooner Brilliant, 106 tons, Portsmouth 1817
    Brig Alabama, 84 tons, Portsmouth 1818
    Brig Sultana, 225 tons, Shapley Island 1820
    Schooner Covinton Packet, 32 tons, Shapley Island 1823
    Ship Marion, 330 tons, South Berwick 1824
    Ship Olive Eliza, 386 tons, South Berwick 1825
    Ship John Hale, 368 tons, Durham 1827
    Ship Ann, 334 tons, Portsmouth 1828
    Schooner Susan Mary, 137 tons, Durham 1830
    Brig Corsica, 183 tons, South Berwick 1830

    Ships Pactolus and Berwick previous mentioned [Old Eliot, January, 1898], were each nearly 500 tons, and built in 1831 and 1832 respectively.

    From the same source I take a list of vessels built by Master James Paul during the years between 1831 and 1832:

    Brig William and Mary, 182 tons, at Dover.
    Ship Howard, 192 tons, at Kittery.
    Schooner Harriet, 63 tons, at Portsmouth.
    Schooner Enterprise, 79 tons, at Kittery.
    Schooner Robin, 47 tons, at Kittery.
    Ship Commerce, 292 tons, at South Berwick
    Ship Alfred, 314 tons, at Kittery.
    Ship Alexander, 318 tons, at Durham.
    Schooner Eager, 94 tons, at Eliot.

    It is supposed that the vessels credited to Kittery, were built near the Paul wharf location, in Eliot.

    The brig Columbus, -- built at Eliot, in 1825 – was not mentioned in the Directory list.

    Timothy Spinney is mentioned as having built the schooner Washington, ninety-seven tons, at Kittery, -- supposed to be at the Neck.

    "The Thursday Sketcher" Great Falls NH Thursday Evening 12/02/1847
    Vol.1 #4

    Commerce of South Berwick. Vessels of different sizes have occasionally been built at South Berwick, and then rigged and loaded at this port. Two enterprising young men, Messrs Eben Goodwin of New York, and Mark F. Goodwin of South Berwick, have just built, rigged, and are now loading at Hamilton Wharf, South Berwick, a beautiful bark, build of the best materials. She is a little short of three hundred tons, and is not inferior to any vessel of her size. -Portsmouth Journal.

(Summary by Wendy Pirsig from the archives of the Counting House Museum. Sources: Everett Stackpole, Sligo and Vicinity; Ray Brighton, Port of Portsmouth Ships; William G. Saltonstall, Ports of Piscataqua; and the Old Berwick Historical Society archives; website "Virtual Norumbega" by Dr. Emerson Baker, and the Massachusetts Archives, at Columbia Point in Dorchester. The South Berwick Register, 1904, compiled by Mitchell & Campbell.  Diary of Benjamin Gerrish, Maine Historical Society. Updated December 2020)