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Deacon John Cate 1733-1821
There are many worthy men whose names are not prominent in military exploits or great business enterprises who have by example and precept filled an important part in the everyday civil and religious life of Society. Such a man was Dea. John Cate, of Epsom.
As early as 1860 we find the names of John and James Cate, two brothers from England, enrolled among the taxpayers of Hampton. Their descendants are not numerous but some branches of the family emigrated to the frontier towns, some to Epsom, Northwood and Meredith. The Christian names John and James have been retained, in the different generations, with the usual Puritan custom.
John, the subject of this sketch, was born in Greenland, 1733 and in 1766 married Abigail Sherburne of Portsmouth, a familiar and prominent family name in Colonial times.
They moved to Londonderry and lived for a time in the Scotch Irish Settlement under Father McGregor. In some unknown reason they moved from there to Epsom about 1750 and settled on what was called New Orchard road where they passed the remainder of their long and useful lives.
Dea. John Cate was intimately connected with the town and church affairs for over fifty years, during its most prosperous and eventful history. His patriotism or integrity was never questioned and though age had crept on at the time of the war he took an active part in aiding soldiers and serving the town. The Records reads, John Cate Selectman for the town of Epsom the other being absent in the war. Until the day of his death he wore his three cornered hat as one of the sons of Liberty and daily prayed for his posterity and his country.
He was the first Deacon in Epsom and one of the leading men in church offices. The church records of Epsom belong to the Historical Society at Concord and a copy of them is in the possession of Samuel G. Drake, Esq., the historian of Boston, a grandson of Rev. John Tuck the first minister of Epsom and no name appears in these so frequently as Dea. John Cate. He clung with tenacity to his church creed and to old manners and customs. For many years with Dea. Locke he occupied the Deacon's seat and with a huge white wig and long staff by his side would read or deacon off the hymn and sing with a nasal twang according to the custom of "ye olden times."
He died of old age. Rev. Jonathan Curtis preached the funeral sermon from the text, "And he worshipped leaning upon his staff." He left three sons; Ebenezer, John and Samuel, who have all followed their father to his long home. His grandson John Sherburne Cate lives upon the old homestead settled one hundred and twenty years ago or more. Dea. John Cate was a man of great simplicity of character, pure motives, industrious, frugal and a devoted Christian. His long life, trusting faith and exemplary habits have a lasting influence. He felt great personal responsibility and discharged his duties with caution and conscientious fidelity. The Sabbath was a day of rest to him and was sanctified in his own house. In society he was a peacemaker and he ever aimed to keep a conscience void of offence towards God.
Suncook Valley Times
Thursday, August 4, 1870

Related info: Greg Wythe has a daybook from the son of John Cate, Ebenezer. In the book is a personal page of his family information, and a family page with vital records of the family. To view them, click the following: FAMILY PAGE - - - PERSONAL PAGE