Lieut. John May

Born 23 Aug. 1758, Haddam, CT. to Rev. Eleazar May and Sybil Huntington May. Baptized by his father on 27 Aug, 1758. Married by his father to Dolly Arnold of Haddam on 8 November 1789; issued two daughters (Janet: 1790-1853. Dorothy: 1979-1874) and three sons (John Jr: 1792-1859.  Edwin: 1794-1839.  Alexander: 1800-1857).   John Jr’s life has been all too often confused with his father’s which is why John Sr. is sometimes credited with shipbuilding (no evidence of Sr. being involved in this trade, but Jr, yes) for as much as 20 years after his death.  John and Dolly lived in the northern part of Haddam known as Higganum.  There have been recent attempts to link this John and Dolly to other contemporaneous couple with the same or similar names in other parts of North America and in England.  Please be careful with your research and do not confuse “my” people with yours unless you have clear and well researched proof. I am certain of my work – be sure of yours.

Dolly died on 28 Jan. 1804. John Sr. remarried, 14 Nov. 1804, to Margaret  (DeWitt) Dwight (widow of Maurice William Dwight, M.D.) of Milford, CT. Only one child, daughter Catharine Pond May (b. 13 July 1806), issued from this marriage.  She married Richard Edwards of Pittsburgh, PA. on 3 Oct. 1828.  Widowed again, Margaret remarried a 3d time, on 23 Feb 1812, in Haddam, CT to Reuben Cone of New York and they removed to Pittsburgh, PA, where Margaret died on 11 July 1824, ae 59.

John Sr. had been a lieutenant in the early US Navy, serving as the second officer aboard the US sloop of war Connecticut under Capt. Moses Tryon.  Halfway during the one year cruise, John was promoted to first officer.  John resigned the Navy in 1801 and returned to a merchant captain service, sailing largely out of NY to the Caribbean. He died on 31 July 1811 of consumption while on a return voyage from Cuba to NY, and was buried at sea. The stone marker for him is in memory of John May but his remains are not beneath it.

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