Daniel Goddard, 1697–1764


housewright; shipwright


Newport, Rhode Island, South Kingston, Rhode Island, Dartmouth, Massachusetts

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Daniel Goddard was born in 1697 in Jamestown, Rhode Island to Henry Goddard and Mary (Howland) Goddard. His parents were of Jamestown in 1693 when they married.(1) He still lived in Jamestown in 1717 when he married Mary Tripp (born 1700) of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, daughter of James and Lydia Tripp of that town.(2) The new couple evidently settled in Dartmouth, as Daniel was identified as a carpenter there in October, 1718, when with his brother Beriah he purchased land from Portsmouth weaver Philip Shereman.(3)

Daniel had moved to Newport by 1727 when he sold land in Dartmouth to his brother Beriah, also a carpenter.(4) Active among the Newport Society of Friends, or Quakers, Goddard was hired in April, 1743 to build a "gallery" in the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House at Newport alongside fellow carpenters John Casey, Christopher Townsend, and Samuel Easton.(5)

Mary (Tripp) Goddard had evidently died by December, 1746, when Daniel announced his intentions to marry Newport widow Ruth Bradford, pending inquiry by the Society of Friends.(6) Daniel was active as a shipwright or ship carpenter by the time of his second marriage, and would be identified as such throughout the next two decades when coming before the court for matters of common pleas.

In December, 1759, Boston newspapers reported that, "the House of Daniel Goddard, Esq: of that Place, with almost the whole Furniture, was consumed by Fire last Saturday 7-night."(7)

In April, 1764, Daniel was once again commissioned by the Newport Society of Friends to make improvements to the Great Meeting House. He was hired to construct a new stable in the yard with Jabez Carpenter.(8)

In late May of that same year, Daniel died. It was reported in Boston that,

Last Monday Daniel Goddard, Esq; of this Town, in the 68th Year of his Age, lost his Life, at South-Kingstown, by the most unhappy Accident. Just after Breakfast, he went up into a Chamber, in a House which he was reparing, in order to place some Clapboards round one of the Windows, and 'tis supposed, in reaching out for that Purpose, fell to the Ground, and instantly expires, as it was but a few Minutes after he left the Family, with whom he had break-fasted, before he was discovered motionless under the Window. He has left a Widow, with a numerous Offspring, to lament, by this Misfortune, the Loss of an affectionate Husband and tender Parent; and by which the Public are deprived of an honest and worthy Member of Society. His Remains were brought to Town last Tuesday and interr'd the next Day(9)

At the time of his death, Daniel had twelve living children, six sons and six daughters. His sons were Stephen, Henry, Thomas, Bradford, Samuel, and John. His daughters were Lydia, Margaret, Marcy, Elizabeth, Mary, Desire. He bequeathed to his son John (1723-1785), "a book Called ye Rise and Suffering of Friends wrote by Sewell."(10)This possibly refers to William Sewel's 1722 The History of the Rise, Increase and Progress of the Christian People Called Quakers.


1. Vital Records of Jamestown, Rhode Island, 1671-1800, http://www.NewEnglandAncestors.org.

2. Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, http://www.NewEnglandAncestors.org.

3.Philip Shereman to Beriah Goddard and Daniel Goddard, deed, October 13, 1718. Bristol County Deeds vol. 12, 301. Northern Bristol County Registry of Deeds, Taunton, Massachusetts.

4. Daniel Goddard to Beriah Goddard, deed, 1727. Bristol County Deeds vol. 18, 311-312. Northern Bristol County Registry of Deeds.

5. Monthly Meeting April 28, 1743, Society of Friends, Newport, RI, Monthly Meetings 1739-1773, 28. Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island.

6. Monthly Meeting December 24, 1746, Society of Friends, Newport, RI, Monthly Meetings 1739-1773, 57. Newport Historical Society.

7. Boston Post Boy, "We hear from Newport," December 10, 1759, http://infoweb.newsbank.com.

8. Monthly Meeting April 24, 1764, Society of Friends, Newport, RI, Monthly Meetings 1739-1773, 252. Newport Historical Society.

9. Boston Post Boy, "Last Monday Daniel Goddard [?]," June 4, 1764, http://infoweb.newsbank.com.

10. Daniel Goddard will, written September 12, 1761. Recorded June 4, 1764. Newport Town Council and Probate vol. 14, 39-40. Newport Historical Society.