The families of this name who live in Gilmanton, are descended from John Folsom, whose sons Peter and John, were b. in Exeter, about 1680. Peter m. Catharine, daughter of Hon. John Gilman , and had John, Peter, James,Catharine, Susanna and Elizabeth.
John Folsom was son of Peter Folsom and Catharine Gilman, and was born March 14, 1709. He was a house carpenter, and is said to have been the master workman in erecting the meeting house frame of the first Parish in Exeter, previous to the one now occupied. Being destitute of education, and unable to write, he kept his accounts by notches made with his broad-axe on a certain timber. It is said that one of the workmen, disposed to take advantage, disputed the accuracy of his account; but he insisted that he was correct, and said if a settlement could not be had according to his notches, he would go to Salem and get a lawyer, and see if justice could not be done. He had no farther trouble in the case. Some of the descendants of John Folsom were amoung the settlers of Gilmanton.
Peter, son of Peter and Catharine Gilman, b. July 27th, 1710, m. Mary Folsom, a daughter of Jonathan of Exeter, and had Mary, Catharine, Nancy, Peter, Elizabeth, Jonathan, James, Nicholas, Samuel and Nathaniel. Eight of these ten children lived in Gilmanton. Peter Folsom d. July 27, 1792. Mary, his wife, who was b. Feb. 1722, d. Oct. 1st, 1791. Her brothers in Exeter were John, Jonathan, Gen. Nathaniel, b. 1726, Col. Samuel, Trueworthy and Josiah.
Peter Folsom, son of the above, b. June 24, 1750, m. Jemima Folsom, Daughter of Josiah Folsom of Exeter, b. March 7th, 1755, lived in Gilmanton, and had Jemima, Lydia, Peter, Josiah, Nathaniel, Polly, Samuel and Martha. Mr. Folsom died Aug. 7th, 1832. His wife d. Jan. 2d, 1832.
Nicholas Folsom, brother of the preceding, b. April 29, 1752, Dorothy Leavitt, Daughter of Joseph, lived in Gilmanton, and had Nicholas, Peter, Joseph, Dudley, Jonathan, Thomas, Polly, Dolly, Love Leavitt, James and Lydia.
Mary, sister of preceding, m. Samuel Clark, Catharine m. --------Wadleigh, Nancy m. Joseph Young, Esq., Elizabeth m. Lieut. Jonathan Perkins, and all lived in Gilmanton.
John Folsom of Exeter, b. 1685, m. Sarah Dudley, and had Peter, Josiah, Abraham and others, and d. in 1755, aged 70.
Peter b, 1718, m. Hannah Morrison, lived in Newmarket, and had Peter, Benjamin, John, and others, late in life moved to Gilmanton, where he died Aug. 5th, 1815, aged 97. Lieut. Peter Folsom, his son, m. Betsey Calef, moved to Gilmanton, and had Ruth, James, Peter L., A. M., Benjam, Jonathan, John, and Hannah, who m. William Peaslee, having Jeremiah, Betsey, Smith. By a second wife, Elizabeth Bean, he had James and Lawrence.
Peter L. Folsom, Esq., son of Lieut. Peter Folsom, was born March 7, 1772, fitted for College at Exeter Academy, and grad. at D.C. 1796. He taught the Academy in Fishkill, N.Y., one year, and was the first ceptor of Gilmanton Academy, which office he held from 1797, till 1804. He married widow Mary Lawrence of Fishkill, Nov., 1797, who died in Gilmanton, Aug. 28, 1839, aged 76. Mr. Folsom was a merchant, a magistrate and a Trustee of the Academy from 1812, to 1836. He died Oct. 1, 1842, aged 70 years.
Josiah Folsom, son of John, b. Sept. 25th, 1725, m. widow Martha Gould, who was a daughter of Jeremiah Eastman, May 17th, 1754, and had Jemima, Martha, Lydia, Mary, Josiah, Dudley, John and Deborah.
Abraham Folsom lived in Epping, and had two sons Abraham and John Folsom, who lived in Gilmanton. Edward Folsom son of William of Newmarket, whose sister Abraham married, was their cousin.
Hon. Nathaniel Folsom, son of Jonathan Folsom of Exeter, was born 1726. He commanded a company at Fort Edward, 1755, where he distinguished himself by a destructive fire upon the enemy; was a Representative to the first Congress in 1774, was Counsellor in 1778, was a General of the Militia, and President pro tem. of the Convention which framed the Constitution of New Hampshire in 1783, and died May 26, 1790, aged 64.