Descendants of Thomas Kench
Thomas Kench was probably the first white settler within the territorial limits of Swan's Island. He was a reserved and eccentric former Revolutionary soldier who lived alone on Harbor Island coming to Swan's Island around 1777. He was an Englishman by birth. He built a log house and cleared a small farm, soon bought a cow and a few sheep. He lived here alone much like Robinson Crusoe, many years, no habitation visible; the nearest settlement was at Mt. Desert. The fishing boats passing this island, and seeing the smoke curling up above the trees from the chimney of this isolated abode, would land to see who this lonely dweller could be. Kench planted an oyster bed at Old Harbor, but it is not known if it was profitable or not. Oyster shells have been found in abundance in the soil around Mr. Kench's old cellar, which can still be seen near the shore of Old Harbor.
Kench was a Revolutionary soldier in the service of the American colonies, and was one of those who accompanied Benedict Arnold up the Kennebec River and across the wilderness to Quebec in 1775 and was one of the few survivors of this most dreadful campaign of the Revolution. Soon afterwards Kench deserted from the army, and came here, where he could be free from molestation, preferring the solitude of his island home to the horrors of warfare. No other person came to share his solitude, and he held undisputed possession of this island until after Swan's purchase, when, in 1791, David Smith brought his family to Harbor Island. He moved to Brooksville in 1796 where he bought of Edward Howard 100 acres of land fronting on Buck's Harbor, for which he paid $100. He spent the remainder of his life as a farmer. He died there, over ninety years of age. His wife was Miss Jane Maker, of Cutler, whom he married soon after going to Brooksville, and by whom he had 6 children.
Created 1 August 2012 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software