Jean Laugee, captured by American Indians, a Jerseyman, or was he?

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Jean Laugee

Captured by Indians


Jean Laugee, who is said to have emigrated as a teenager from Jersey to New Hampshire in the United States, was captured by Indians in the USA's Indian Wars. Given the importance of the event in American history, there are unsurprisingly many reports of his capture and later life.

We have to say that we can find no record of Jean Laugee’s birth or life in Jersey, nor any trace of his supposed father, Louis Laugee. If Jean was a Huguenot refugee he would not have arrived in Jersey until after 1685, when the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes led to the second exodus of Huguenots from France, so he may have been born there and arrived with his family as a young child, before deciding later to move on to the USA. However, there are no Laugees in the list of those Huguenot refugees who went through the formalities of abjuration after their arrival in Jersey.

Given the uncertainty about his background, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is considerable variation between various histories of his life. His birth date, his age at his death, his trade, the name of his wife, the number of children they had, all differ, and have been left as given in the various reports included on this page.

Jean Laugee was aged about 19 when he emigrated from Jersey to the USA, settling in Exeter, New Hampshire. He soon joined a scouting party led by Captain Moses Gilman, in 1710, and was captured by Indians and taken to Canada.

The story goes that it was five or six years before he managed to escape and make his way back to Exeter, where he became known as John Lougee and in 1718 married Anne Gilman, daughter of Moses, who had been promoted by then to Colonel. Anne was born in Exeter, Rockingham in 1695 and died there in 1769.

History of Exeter

John Lougee, a native of the Isle of Jersey, by trade a knitter, who came to New England during Queen Anne’s War, being about eighteen years old. He settled at Exeter, New Hampshire. In 1710 he was captured by Indians and taken to Canada and thence, as stated in the ‘’History of Exeter’’, to England. Five or six years later he returned to Exeter.
At a town meeting held 12 April 1725, it was voted that John Lougee be granted 30 acres of land, but to wait 10 years.
He died in Exeter at the age of 77 years. He married, about 1720, Mary, daughter of Colonel Moses Gilman, of New Market, New Hampshire. Their children were: John, Joseph, Moses, Edmund, Gilman, Shuah, Anna, and Joanna.
The earliest in this family in this country was born on the Isle of Jersey, by trade a knitter; came to this country at the age of 18 during Queen Anne’s War, 1703-13. Married Anne (Mary), daughter of Moses Gilman, New Market; was taken by the Indians, but escaped; lived and died at Exeter, age 77.
He had eight children of whom: John was the eldest and removed with his brother, Gilman to Gilmanton. He married first Molly Leavitt; second Susan Hull; third Judith Beal, and died at the advanced age of 94. The fourth child (the first wife being the mother) was: Joseph Leavitt Lougee, born 28 June 1751; was a farmer and a carpenter in Gilmanton; moved a barn at age of 90. Married first, Alpphia Swazey; second, Miriam (Marion) Fogg, 4 November 1780, who was born 28 March 1757. He died in Gilmanton on 16 February 1845, age 95, leaving at death ten children, 45 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren


Anne Gilman was born about 1697 in Newmarket (Exeter), Rockingham, New Hampsire. She married John Lougee in about 1718 in Exeter. He was born between 1682 and 1685 in the Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands and died before 1769 in Exeter. Children of Anne and John, all born in Newmarket, Exeter, New Hampshire, were:

  • John Lougee (1719-1794) d Gilmanton
  • Joseph Lougee (1723-1794) d Gilmanton
  • Anne/Anna Lougee (1725- ) married (1753, Kingston) Jeremiah Folsom
  • Moses Lougee (1727-1785)
  • Gilman Lougee (1729-1811) d Gilmanton
  • Edmund Lougee (1731-1807) d Louden m (1754, Exeter) Hannah Lord (1736-1790)
  • Shuah Lougee (1734- )
  • Elizabeth Lougee, b. Abt. 1 (1737- )
  • Joanna Lougee (1745-1820)

Descendant’s history

John Lougee was my sixth great-grandfather and the first of his name to live in the colonies. His descendants founded many towns in New England, including Sanborton, New Hampshire. In A History of the First Century of the Town of Parsonsfield, Maine the following:

'John Lougee, from the Isle of Jersey; born about 1700; settled at Exeter, NH. His grandsons, Gilman, Samuel and John, settled in Parsonsfield early as 1779. They were sons of John and Mary Lougee, born in Gilmanton.'
It is family legend that John was a Huguenot who escaped the Channel Islands with a pension grant from Queen Anne.
John Lougee’s father was Louis Fremont Lougee from the Channel Islands.

He married Anne Gillman in 1718 in Exeter, New Hampshire and she gave him nine children: John (1719-1794), Joseph (1723-1794), Anne (1725), Moses (1727-1785), my fifth great-grandfather Gilman (1729-1811), Edmund (1731-1807), Shuah (1734), Joanne (1735-1810) and Elizabeth (1737) It is said that John arrived sometime around 1702 or 1710, and that he was born 1682 on the Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands, England. [Anne did not become Queen until March 1702, and it is difficult to believe that Jean Laugee would have qualified for a pension as a teenager – Ed]

History of Northfield, New Hampshire, 1780-1905

'The Lougees are of an old New Hampshire family of colonial origin. John Lougee, the emigrant, was from the Isle of Jersey. In the reign of Queen Anne they came to this country and settled in New Hampshire. In the early wars he saw service and was once captured and carried away by the Indians. He escaped and finally settled at Exeter, where he spent his remaining life. His wife was Mary Gilman. Two of their descendants settled in Northfield.'

History of the town of Exeter, New Hampshire – The Death of Colonel Hilton

'Scarcely two weeks after the return of this scout, the enemy, who had long been on the watch for an opportunity to take their daring and dreaded enemy, Colonel Winthrop Hilton, at a disadvantage, succeeded in their purpose. He went out on 22 July with a party of 17 men, to peel some large hemlock logs which he had cut for masts the previous season, and which were liable to be injured by worms unless stripped of their bark. They were lying at the distance of about 14 miles to the westward of his house.
'The day had been stormy. While the party were employed in doing the work, a body of Indians fired upon them from an ambush and killed three, Colonel Hilton and two others. The remainder of the whites, intimidated by their loss, and finding their guns unserviceable by the wet, fled, except two who were taken captive. These were Dudley Hilton, a brother of the colonel, and John Lougee, both of Exeter. The next day 100 men marched in pursuit of the Indians, but discovered only the bodies of the fallen. The enemy in their triumph had struck their hatchets into the brain of Colonel Hilton, and left a lance sticking in his heart. His body was brought to his home, and buried with every mark of respect and honor.
'Dudley Hilton was never more heard from, and probably perished in captivity. Lougee was taken to Canada and thens to England. He returned to Exeter as early as 1716, and was married and left descendants there.'

He died 1 February 1771 at age 89 in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Further reports

Lowgie or Lougee

John came at the age of 16, in the Confidence of London, from Southampton, with Grace, perhaps his sister, as servant of John Stephens, of Caversham, Oxfordshire. This name is still found in New Hampshire, but the tradition of the family derives it from John, who came from the Isle of Jersey, about 1700.


Little is known of the early history and character of this family. The emigrant coming to this country about 1685 was an inhabitant of the Isle of Jersey, England. [The dates in this report are not possible, but we have left them unaltered as an example of the misleading family history information often placed on line by descendants of prominent USA immigrants – Editor]. The family, however, seems to have possessed a sterling military spirit and a noble patriotism which led certain of its members in the country's emergency to spring to arms and battle valiantly for its protection. Some of them certainly have been eminent for their high christian character and salutary influence. The name is probably of French origin, and is not widely spread in this country, though numerous in certain localities. More than the usual proportion of the desendants had families of uncommon size.

John Lougee was born 1700 in the Isle of Jersey and came to this country at the age of eighteen. In 1710 he served in a scouting party in pursuit of savages under Captain Gilman. He was captured by Indians, but made his escape. He was by trade a knitter, and he settled in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he died at the age of 77 years. He married Mary Gilman, daughter of Moses Gilman of Newmarket. They had eight children: John, Joseph, Moses, Edmund, Gilman (mention of Gilman and desendants forms part of this article), Shuah, Anna and Joanna.

John (2), eldest child of John and Mary Lougee, nee Gilman, was born in Exeter. He married (first) Molly Leavitt, by whom he had Sarah, John, Nehemiah, Jesse, Molly, Jonathan, Elsey and William; second, Susan Hull, by whom he had Henry, Shuah, Benjamin, Susan, Emerson and Sarah; third, Mrs Judith Beal.

Winthrop Hilton

The Indians succeeded on 23 July 1710 in their plan to kill their hated enemy, Colonel Winthrop Hilton. This was the most surprising and afflictive stroke of the Indian Wars. Hilton was largely engaged in the masting business. Having several valuable trees felled the previous winter beyond the Piscassic, he went out with 17 men to peel off the bark. While at work they were ambushed by the Indians. At first fire Colonel Hilton and two others fell. Dudley Hilton, brother of the Colonel, and John Lougee were captured. Lougee was carried to Canada, then to England; he later returned to Exeter.

Flushed with this success the Indians then appeared in the open road and took three daughters of Richard Dolloff. They also captured John Wedgewood and killed John Magoon, near his brother’s barn. The next day, a company of 100 men marched in pursuit of the Indians, but found only the mangled remains of their neighbors. The Indians scalped Colonel Hilton, struck hatchets into his head, and left a lance in his breast. One of the slain was buried on the spot. The other two were brought home.

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