The Hardisons were of English stock ??? Of Stephen Hardison, the first of the family in New England, our knowledge is scanty. The Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Court Records, April term, 1685, had before it the case of “Stephen Hardyson of Hog Island in the Province of Maine vs. Magnis White for 9000 feet of pine timber which he received from Mr. James Goffe.”
Mr. Goffe was agent for the owners of the lumber mills at Salmon Falls, between Berwick and Dover. Hog Island is one of seven rocky barren islands known as the Isle of Shoals, nearly south of Kittery and about eight miles from the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor. For more than a century these islands supported from 800 to 600 inhabitants.
They had a court house on Hales Island and a meeting house, first on Hog Island and afterwards on Star Island. Our knowledge of Stephen is in the main gleaned from legal records.
He evidently married Mary, daughter of John and Martha Taylor of Berwick. Records show that on July 20, 1696, Stephen Hardison and his wife appeared in Court at Kittery “to answer for not frequenting public worship of God upon the Lord’s Day.”
One June 18, 1687, Stephen witnessed the will of one William Spencer; on June 1, 1691, he witnessed the will of Richard Stileman of Newcastle; and on May 7, 1687, he witnessed the will of John Taylor, in which a bequest is made to his wife-to-be : “It : 2dly I bequeath to my Daughter Mary Taylor thirtie acres of land to be taken out of my land at the rockie hills to run the whole length of it & to be to her and her heires for ever and also a cow And a calf & an Ewe & a lambe.”
In 1691 Stephen was sued by George Snell for £ 7 15 s; and December of that year the York Court of Sessions finds for Snell. Stephen’s death on January 1, in either 1696 or 1697, is recorded in the diary of the local schoolmaster Tate.
Stephen and Mary Taylor Hardison had two children: John (born January 22, 1691) ; and Stephen (born May 8, 1693; died December 25, 1769) who married at Berwick, on September 28, 1724, Alice Abbott, daughter of Joseph and Alice Nason.