JOSEPH AMAZEEN was my 6th Great-Grandfather, and he perished during a winter storm, lost close to his home in New Castle, New Hampshire one evening. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register [Vol 9, pg 221 July 1855], in a follow-up to an earlier article on the Brown family (Joseph married Hannah Brown), printed the following about the incident:
He was frozen to death one stormy night losing his way, within a few rods of his own door, having worn a path in a circle round a tree in the snow trying to keep warm, date unknown.
While the above note lists his date of death as unknown, the town records of New Castle, New Hampshire do narrow it down. The annual town meetings, when officers were voted into service, took place the first week of March. In 1754, Joseph Amazeen was elected constable and he was later presented with the tax lists, dated the 20th of August, 1754, from which he needed to collect the province and parish taxes from the inhabitants. In November (on the 4th and 7th, respectively), both he and son Joseph Jr were listed in the 1754 abatements [NCTR, Vol 7, pg 40], though no monetary amount or reason was listed. He may have been deceased by then; if not, he was so prior to 1 February, 1755, when the final tax collection was due [the back side of this sheet of paper also listed him as deceased - NCTR Vol 6, pg 50]. When the new constable/tax collector was voted in for the year, he also received a list of the rates "remaining uncollected from Constable Joseph Amazeen" [NCTR Vol 6, pg 41,43]. His wife, Hannah, would be listed as a widow on the 1755 tax list [NCTR, Vol 7, pg 56].
Joseph probably didn't own any land in New Castle, as no deed has been found in his name. In his father's will [link in notes below], Christopher wrote that his son "shall dwell & enjoy the apartments of house he now dwells in", keeping the place until sons John and Ephraim came of age [Joseph was also supposed to be executor of this will, which was dated 2 years prior to his death]. The widow Hannah Amazeen, in tax lists for several years following, was listed with a son and "a place", though the latter was stricken off the original lists, and she was abated for her taxes. She would later be seen, in a 1777 inventory listing, with just a cow. There is no probate for Joseph, though a newspaper ad printed in January of 1765 by Abraham Trefethen and Mescheck Bell of New Castle, asked those with claims against "Joseph Ammazeon" (and Jonathan Martin) to come forward. Perhaps there was a court case involved for the collection of his bills, though I have yet to check those records [not available online as of this writing].
Four known children, all listed in will papers of their grandfather Christopher [note 2]:
i. JOHN AMAZEEN, baptized 30 Sept 1732 [NCTR Vol.7, pg 17]; died in 1818, aged 85 [NCTR: Vol 3, pg 272]. Married MEHITABLE (surname unknown), b. 1736; d. 1792, aged 56 yrs [NCTR: Vol 3, pg 272].
ii. EPHRAIM AMAZEEN, b. abt 1734 [based on 1750 Tax List, when Joseph was taxed for himself and two sons]; d. bet 13 Oct 1804 (date of will) and 20 Feb 1805 (will proved) [Rock County Probate, Vol. 36 pg 78]. Married 24 Nov 1756 to ABIGAIL JONES [NCTR: Vol 3, pg 250].
iii. JOSEPH AMAZEEN, b. abt 1737; buried 16 June 1824, aged 87 years [NEHGR: Vol 83, pg 30]. Marr 1st to DORCAS (surname unknown); Marr 2nd to Mrs SUSANNAH SHANNON, 24 Nov 1799 [NCTR V.3 pg 274]; 3rd to LYDIA THOMPSON, 21 Dec 1821 [NH VR]
iv. CHRISTOPHER AMAZEEN, bapt'd 24 Apr 1737 [NCTR: Vol 7, pg 17]; died abt 15 Mar 1823 [Portsmouth Journal, 3/15/1823 "In New Castle, Mr Christopher Amazeen, aged 82"]. Married MARY TREDICK, probably prior to 1762.
1. In March 1717-18, Christopher Amazeen and James March were in court "for living with and entertaining those women by whom they have had bastard children" [Gen Dict ME & NH, pg 457]. Martha Moore/More was summoned into court, and was living with Christopher in 1720 [GDMNH, pg 488]. I haven't looked into court case yet, but she is said to have been the mother of Joseph Amazeen.
2. If there were any daughters born to Joseph and Hannah, they are currently unknown. The will of Christopher Amazeen [NH State Papers, Vol 34, pg 212] list none. Unfortunately, there is a 10-year gap in the New Castle records for marriage notices (ca 1759-1769) so, had there been female children, they likely would have married around this time (as Joseph, with wife Dorcas, probably did, and her maiden name remains unknown).
[NCTR] New Castle, NH Town Records [I listed the volumes in this earlier blog post w/ links to Family Search pages]
New England Historical & Genealogical Register [Vol 9 on Google Books]
New Hampshire State Papers (40 volumes) - numerous copies hosted on archive.org [UNH scans here]