Home > 002048. James Mattocks > The English Origin of Samuel Bitfield of Boston, Massachusetts

The English Origin of Samuel Bitfield of Boston, Massachusetts

Source: John Plummer, “The English Origin of Samuel1 Bitfield of Boston, Massachusetts,” American Genealogist 67[1992].

[page 240]

3 SAMUEL1 BITFIELD (GilesA, WilliamB) was baptized at Wrington, Somersetshire, England, on 21 February 1601/2. He died at Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 September 1660 (Boston Rec. Comm. Rep., 9[1883]:75).

Samuel BITFIELD’s widow was ELIZABETH —, who died, according to the inventory of her estate, on 30 7m [September] 1669. Her will, however, was probated on 23 September 1669 (Suffolk Co. PR, 6:29), and the inventory itself was taken on 20 7m [September] 1669. Her death date may have been 30 August 1669.

The wills of both Elizabeth and Samuel BITFIELD imply that she was a later wife and not the mother of his children. Samuel thought it possible that she might decide to return to England, despite the fact that his children were in Massachusetts Bay. Her will emphasized her sisters and the children of a cousin who were probably in England. Even though she called Mary PLUMMER and Elizabeth TITCOMB her daughters, this usage was frequently used for stepdaughters; it is striking that she did not name Samuel BITFIELD’s sons-in-law her executors.

Samuel BITFIELD’s 1616 apprenticeship record in Bristol, Gloucestershire, is given above. On 27 March 1622 he was discharged from his apprenticeship because his master was in prison (“Bristol Apprentice Books,” 30).

On 24 February 1639/40, Samuel BITFIELD of Mount “Woollystone” [i.e., Wollaston] was, for five heads, allotted twenty acres of land, apparently in that section of Boston, Massachusetts (Bost. Rec. Comm. Rep., 2[3d ed., 1902]:Town Recs.:50). On 2 June 1641, he was made a freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed. Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay, 5 vols. [Boston 1853-54] 1:378).

[page 241]

A complaint was registered on 7 August 1646 by Sampson LANE against Mr. Nathaniel DUNCAN and four others, including Samuel BITFIELD, for taking away pipes of wine, a ring, and some money from his cellar; they replied that they had been carrying out an order of the General Court, Mr. DUNCAN being an officer thereof, and one of the men a Constable (Aspinwall Notarial Records, Bost. Rec. Comm. Rep., 32[1903]:26-27). Samuel BITFIELD served as a constable in Boston himself from 8 March 1651/2 (Bost. Rec. Comm. Rep., 2[3d ed., 1902]:Town Recs.:108).

Samuel “BIDFIELD” executed his will on 12 3m [May] 1659. It was probated on 20 September 1660; the inventory had been taken seven days earlier. He gave his wife [not named] his dwelling house, etc., “pr[o]vided shee stay in this cuntry and keepe the sayde house in repare.” At her death or “going out of the cuntrie into England,” the property was to go to testator’s grandchild Samuel PLUMER. To wife £40 and half the household goods; other half to be divided to his two daughters’ children, i.e., Samuell PLUMER, John PLUMER, Epharim [sic] PLUMER, Mary PLUMER, John STEVENS, and Samuell STEVENS. To John STEVENS and Samuell STEVENS (not yet twenty-one) £10 each, etc. To testator’s son Samuell PLUMER, all wearing cloths. To Mr. TOMPSON £5, to Mr. WILLSON 40s., to Mr. NORTON £3, to James PENN 40s., to John SEIRCH 20s., to William DINSDALE, jointer, axes, oders, etc. Wife was to be executrix; overseers: James PENN and Samuell PLUMER. Wits.: Nathaniell WILLIAMS, Madett ENGES. (Suffolk Co. PR, 1:345.)

The will of Elizabeth “BITFEILD,” widow, was executed on 13 11m [January] 1663 (probably 1663/4) and probated on 23 September 1669. The inventory of her goods and “what shee gave away by word of mouth on her death bed Since her will was made” was taken on 20 7m [September] 1669 (Suffolk Co. PR, 5:168). She left to her sister CROWNE £20 and to her sister Margaret PARKER £20. “And in case both my sisters die before mee, … £20 of it shall goe to Ann JEFFREYEs Children that bee not Quakers.” The other £20 to “my Cozen, Katherine DARKE, her children” if they send for it within seven years after learning of testator’s death. To Mr. THOMSON £5, to Mr. FLINT £5, to the Church of Boston £10, to John STEVENS and Samuell STEVENS £5 between them, to William TITCOME’s children £5 among them, to Samuell PLUMMER’s children £10 among them, to Deacon MARSHALL 50s., to William DINSDALL 50s. Executor: Elder James PENN of Boston. Overseers: John SUNDERLAND and Godfrey ARMITAGE. To her daughter Mary PLUMMER £10, to her daughter Elizabeth TITCOMB £10, to James MATTOCK £3, to Mr. WILSON £5, to Mr. ALLEN £5, to Sam: ARMITAGE 20s. Wits.: Thomas COX, Joseph PEASE. Suffolk Co. PR, 6:29.)

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