Archive for the ‘006982. Richard Baker’ Category

Some Savin Hill (Dorchester) Families

15 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: David T. Robertson, “Some Savin Hill (Dorchester) Families,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 149[1995].

[page 28]

Savin Hill is part of the northern peninsula of Dorchester, Massachusetts, which encloses Dorchester Bay. Dorchester, established 7 December 1630 and long an independent town, is today a neighborhood of Boston, having been annexed by the city in 1869. Originally called “Rocky Hill” or “Old Hill,” the area was not known as Savin Hill until 1822. It was the site of the first landing in 1630, and the first fort was built atop its 110-foot elevation above sea level in 1633. The peninsula was originally connected to the mainland byone road, Leeds Lane, which became Savin Hill Avenue. Its easternmost tip, Fox Point, is today the site of the Savin Hill Yacht Club.

To the north of Fox Point lies a small peninsula known as the Calf Pasture. On this peninsula today rest the Campus of the University of Massachuseets, the Massachusetts State Archives, and the John F. Kennedy Library. William T. Morrissey Boulevard now runs from north to south along this coastline, passing by the Boston Globe newspaper plant, along Savin Hill Beach and across a drawbridge toward Commercial Point and its well-known “Gas Tank,” and on toward Port Norfolk.

It is the land immediately north of the aforementioned drawbridge that is under discussion. This is the only point along the original Dorchester coastline with water on both the east and the south. While some shoreline filling has taken place here and the Calf Pasture has been greatly expanded, the area retains most of its earlier geographical characteristics.[1] This article will attempt to show the relationships between three families – GURNELL, MASON and MERO – who owned and lived on a particular plot on Savin Hill that is readily identifiable. Extensive research in Suffolk County Deeds, combined with other available records, makes it possible to document the lives of these interesting, but previously overlooked, families.


1. The author is indebted to Carol Zurawski, Lynn Whitney, and David R. Starbuck, authors of Seventeenth Century Survey of Dorchester (Boston University, 1979). Their book, though not cited as an authoritative source for this article, helped explain the transfer of property in Savin Hill during this period. The map on the opposite page is adapted from Figure 6 (page 60) of their work.

[page 29]



Many of the most prominent Dorchester families selected Savin Hill as the location for their residences. One of these was Governor ENDICOTT’s brother-in-law, Roger LUDLOW, whose Dorchester land was on the south side of the hill on Savin Hill Avenue, between the present Denny Street and Bath Avenue, extending to the beach. His house, on the corner of Bath Avenue, one of the most substantial in the town, was still standing in 1730. When LUDLOW left Dorchester, as part of the large migration from that place to Connecticut, he sold his estate to Captain Thomas HAWKINS, a ship-builder and navigator who amassed a large estate in Dorchester. After her husband’s death in 1648, Mrs. HAWKINS sold the property to John GURNELL.[2]


2. William Deane Orcutt, Good Old Dorchester – A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 1908), pp. 52, 55, 56.

[page 30]

On 24 February 1658, John GLOVER, late of Dorchester, sold land there to John GURNELL of Dorchester, and on 5 November 1659 his widow and executrix, Anne GLOVER, confirmed the sale. Included were all commons and common right that had formerly belonged to Mr. WATTERHOUSE containing four acres in every division and two acres of fresh marsh near Pine Swamp. This land is near Massachusetts Avenue in northwestern Dorchester.[3]

Richard BAKER and John GURNELL purchased jointly the land of John HILL, formerly of Dorchester, who had removed to Medfield. This land was described in 1682 as eight acres of upland meadow and five of pasture, part of a tract commonly known as Bullocks Lot, being land formerly owned by Edward BULLOCK. BAKER and GURNELL held this land jointly until 1682.[4] By the date of his death John GURNELL owned or controlled all of the land on the south side of Savin Hill …


3. Suffolk Deeds (14 vols., Boston, 1880-1906): 3:318; 12:248-249.

4. Ibid., 12:309-310.

[page 31]

… John GURNELL also shared the strong religious convictions of the settlers of Dorchester. He was a candidate in the election of deacon of the Church in Dorchester in May 1672. James BLAKE and John GURNELL received the most votes in a primary election, but in the final election BLAKE received thirty-four votes and GURNELL only nineteen[11]


11. Dorchester CRs, p. 66.

Categories: 006982. Richard Baker

Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Mass.

10 May 2008 1 comment

Source: Geo. Walter Chamberlain, Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Mass., 2 volumes in 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1984), pages 500-08.

1. MATTHEW1 PRATT, whose Christian name appears as Macute, Macuth, Macaeth, Micareth, was “an old resident” of Weymouth. He had twenty acres granted to him “in the mill field” (now East Weymouth) and eighteen acres on the west side of “mill River.” He was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 13 May, 1640. In Feb. 1648, he was chosen a “townsman” (selectman). He died at Weymouth, 29 Aug. 1672. He made his will 25 Mar. 1672, and it was proved 30 Apr. 1673. To his wife Elizabeth Pratt the use of his estate for her natural life. To son Thomas Pratt lands after his wife’s decease, and land at “Hollie” upon condition that he pay “my daughter Chard” £4. To son Matthew Pratt lands on like condition. To son John Pratt “an ewe and lamb.” To son Samuel Pratt land near his house. To son Joseph Pratt a lot at the pond. To his daughter Chard £7, and to her daughter Johannah Chard his best bed. To his daughter White a parcel of land. To his son Thomas Pratt’s daughter Sarah £5. To Thomas Pratt’s son William Pratt half of a mare. Wife to be executrix. “His Pastor Mr. Samuel Torrey and his Kinsman Elder Edward Bates, and his son Thomas Pratt” to be overseers. Witnesses: Edward Bates and Thomas Dyer. The inventory of Mathew Pratt who deceased Aug. 29, 1672, was taken 12 Dec. 1672. (Pratt Genealogy, 1889, pp. 19-21.)


2. Thomas,2 b. before 1628.

3. Matthew, b. in 1628.

4. John, marriagable 22 Nov. 1656.

5. Samuel, marriagable 19 Sept. 1660.

6. Joseph, b. at Weymouth, 10 Aug. 1637.

Elizabeth, m. 22 Nov. 1656, William Chard of Weymouth; d. 26 Feb. 1726.

Mary, m. Thomas White of Braintree.

2. SERGT. THOMAS2 PRATT (Matthew1) was born before 1628; slain by the Indians between Sudbury and Marlborough, 19 Apr. 1676. He married (1) Mary ────, the mother of his children. He married (2) Lydia ────, who survived him and married at Braintree 26 Sept. 1676, Josiah Chapin of Braintree. “Inventory of the estate of Sergt. Thomas Pratt of Weymouth who was slain by the Indians, the 19th day of April, 1676” was valued at £278 11s 1d, and Lydia Pratt appeared in Probate Court, 27 July 1676, and agreed to accept £20 and the estate she brought with her. (Suffolk Probate, 12: 49, 50.)

“Petition of William Pratt and of John Pratt as guardians to Thomas Pratt, of Thomas White, as guardian to Abigail Pratt, and Ephraim Frost, husband to Hephzibah, daughter to Thomas Pratt, deceased, children of Tho: Pratt, late of Weymouth, set forth that Thomas Pratt (dying by the late warr) left five children, — two sons and three daughters; that the eldest, then about 23 years, a daughter, from infancy was impotent both of body and mind, and John Pratt, administrator of his brother’s estate, hath obtained power to leave the estate undivided until William, the eldest son, attains 21 years, for the maintenance of their helpless sister Sarah, and the administrator hath paid Lydia, relict of Tho: Pratt, deceased £30 in full, and her present husband Josiah Chapin, and hath paid Hephzibah, the second daughter of Thomas Pratt, deceased, upon her marriage with Ephraim Frost £30, and William the eldest son will be of full age 6 Mar. next (1679-80), made an agreement that William, the eldest son, should have the house, barn, orchard and lands and to pay his sister Abigail £18; that Thomas, second son, is to receive land neere to Hingham brooke; that Sarah, the impotent daughter, shall have £80; and William and Thomas are to provide for their poore sister,” 30 Jan. 1679-80. (Suffolk Probate, 6: 321.)

Children, born at Weymouth:

Sarah,3 b. near 1653; “an impotent helpless child,” alive 30 Jan. 1679-80.

Hephzibah, b. near 1655; m. before 30 Jan. 1679-80, Ephraim Frost of Cambridge; d. 23 Sept. 1719, ae. 64 yrs.

7. William, b. 6 Mar. 1658-59.

Abigail, b. 15 May, 1662; m. William Tirrell of Weymouth.

8. Thomas, b. near 1665.

3. MATTHEW2 PRATT (Matthew1) was born near 1628; died at Weymouth, 12 Jan. 1712-13, aged 85 years. He married at Weymouth, 1 Aug. 1661, Sarah Hunt, daughter of Enoch and Dorothy (────) Hunt, born at Weymouth, 4 July, 1640; died there 3 Aug. 1729. Through sickness he and his wife were deaf and dumb. (Mather’s Magnalia 1:495.) Matthew Pratt, Sr., of Weymouth made his will 30 July, 1711, probated 4 June, 1713. To his wife Sarah he gave his house and barn, and land adjoining for life, to son Matthew Pratt housing and lands bought of “my cousin William Pratt;” to daughter Susannah Porter £10; to son William Pratt 20 acres “in the Ferry field;” to daughter Mary Allin £15; to daughter Dorothy Whitman £10; son Samuel Pratt “his dwelling, barn , & land adjoining lying on the southerly side of the way that goeth to Brother John Pratt’s house” after his wife’s decease. To daughter Sarah Ford £10; to daughter Whitman £5; to daughter Anne White, £13; to daughter Hannah Whitmarsh land “lying near the late dwelling house of Samuel Whitmarsh in Weymouth in the Second Division.” Son Matthew, William and Samuel Pratt, executors; friends Stephen French, Sr., and Capt. John Hunt, overseers. (Suffolk Probate, 18: 109.) Inventory, £1,326 16s.

Children, born at Weymouth:

9. Matthew,3 b. 18 Sept. 1665.

Mary, b. 1667; m. ──── Allen.

Hannah, b. 4 Nov. 1670; m. Samuel Whitmarsh.

Dorothy, m. 13 Aug. 1700, John Whitman of Weymouth.

10. William, b. 5 May, 1673.

11. Samuel, bp. at Third Church of Boston, 2 Apr. 1676.

Sarah, m. Isaac Ford.

Anne, b. 14 Sept. 1682; m. Samuel White.

Susannah, b. Sept. 1684; m. Thomas Porter of Weymouth.

4. LIEUT. JOHN2 PRATT (Matthew1) was born near 1636; died at Weymouth, 3 Oct. 1716. He married at Weymouth, 22 Nov. 1656, Mary Whitman, daughter of Ensign John and Ruth (────) Whitman of Weymouth. She was born probably in England near 1634, and died at Weymouth, 10 July, 1716, aged 82 years.

John Pratt of Weymouth, “husbandman, being aged and weake in body,” made his will 12 July, 1714, and it was proved at Boston 19 Nov. 1716. To his wife Mary use of his estate for her natural life. He set at liberty his servants Ruth Pratt and Silence Critchfield at his wife’s decease, they to have liberty to dwell in his house until they see cause to dispose of themselves otherwise. To the aforesaid Ruth Pratt £40. To Silence Critchfield £20 at 18 years. To his Kinsman John Gurney £25 at 21 “if he live with me so long as I live.” To his nephew Lieut. John Pratt of Weymouth £10, provided he cancels a bond which I gave for him 11 Dec. 1708, unto Philip Torrey of Weymouth. To his nephew Dea. Thomas Pratt of the North Purchase £10. To his nephew Ebenezer Pratt of Weymouth £40, “if he bring up a son of his at the Colledge,” and “when he dose put his son to the Grammer School” to have £5. If any die their children shall have their part. “As my kinswoman Mary Dyer has for ten years before she was married lived with me and my wife and approved herself kind and faithful, now near two years since she was married with her husband William Dyer has lived in my house and family, I give the said Mary Dyer all the remainder of my estate after my wife’s decease.” William Dyer and Mary Dyer to be executors. Witnesses: Margaret Humphrey, Silence Humphrey and James Humphrey. (Suffolk Probate, 19: 216.) No children.

5. SAMUEL2 PRATT (Matthew1) was born near 1640; died at Weymouth, shortly before 5 Sept. 1679. He married at Weymouth, 19 Sept. 1660, Hannah Rogers, daughter of Dea. John Rogers. Her father called her “Hannah Pratt wife of Samuel Pratt” in his will 8 Feb. 1660-61. She died at Weymouth, 16 Oct. 1715. Samuel Pratt of Weymouth “being sick & weake & minding his mortallity” made his will 12 Apr. 1679, and it was proved 16 Oct. 1679. He appointed his loving wife and his brother John Rogers to be executors. His wife to have his whole estate until his children are of age. If his wife Hannah Pratt marry again she shall have £20. To his son John Pratt certain lands. To son Samuel Pratt half of his lot “at pen plaine.” Son Ebenezer Pratt one-half of his housing and land adjoining. All the rest of his children £7 apiece. His son John Pratt to have half of a certain lot and a part of his 40 acre lot “neere Pen plaine.” Son Samuel Pratt remainder of lot “at pen plaine.” His brother Joseph Pratt, John Richards and Samuel White to be overseers. Witnesses: John Rogers, Jonas Humphrey and Joseph Dyer. (Suffolk Probate, 6: 307.) Inventory taken 5 Sept. 1679. Item: “12 acres neere Hezekiah Kings house £24.” Total, £275 12s. (Ibid. 12: 325.)

Children, born at Weymouth:

Judith,3 b. 25 June or 1 July, 1661.

12. John, b. 17 Aug. 1663.

Hannah, b. 21 Dec. 1665.

Mary, b. 3 Mar. 1668; m. William Dyer and took care of her uncle John PRATT and his wife in their old age.

13. Samuel, b. 15 Nov. 1670.

Experience, b. 8 Jan. 1672.

14. Ebenezer, b. near 1674; called “nephew” by Lieut. John Pratt, 12 July, 1714.

6. JOSEPH2 PRATT (Matthew1) was born at Weymouth, 10 Aug. 1637; died there 24 Dec. 1720. He married at Weymouth, 7 May, 1662, Sarah Judkins, probably daughter of Job and Sarah Judkins of Boston, born in Boston, 7 Dec. 1645. She died at Weymouth, a widow, 14 Jan. 1726. Joseph Pratt of Weymouth made his will 5 Mar. 1718-19, and it was proved 10 Feb. 1720-21. He styled himself, “husbandman, being through the decay and desease of old age weak in body.” To his wife Sarah he gave a good maintenance. To his son Joseph Pratt 10s. besides what was formerly given him. To son John Pratt 10s. “if he should ever come hither again.” Son William Pratt, 5s. besides what he hath had already. Son Ephraim Pratt likewise same. To his son-in-law Aaron Pratt and to the children born of his late daughter Sarah Pratt, deceased, his late wife, 10s. To his daughter Experience Battle £8 besides what she already hath had. To his daughter Hannah Hines £5 besides what she hath had in bringing up one of her daughters. Son Samuel Pratt, executor. Witnesses: Edward Bates, John Reed and Joshua Torrey. (Suffolk Probate, 22: 81.)

Children, born at Weymouth:

Sarah,3 b. 31 May, 1664; m. Aaron Pratt, son of Phinehas Pratt; d. 22 June, 1706.

15. Joseph, b. 2 Feb. 1665.

16. John, b. 17 May, 1668.

17. William, alive 5 Mar. 1718-19.

18. Ephraim, alive 5 Mar. 1718-19.

Experience, m. David Battle of Hingham, 13 Mar. 1706-07.

Hannah, m. ──── Hines.

19. Samuel, inherited the homestead in Weymouth.

7. WILLIAM3 PRATT (Sergt. Thomas,2 Matthew1) was born at Weymouth, 6 Mar. 1659; died at Easton, 13 Jan. 1713. He married at Dorchester, 26 Oct. 1680, Elizabeth Baker of Dorchester, daughter of Richard and Faith (Withington) Baker, born in 1655 and died 20 Aug. 1728. He removed to Dorchester in 1690, and was ordained Ruling Elder of a Massachusetts colony that settled at Dorchester on the Ashley River in South Carolina in 1695. He soon returned to Weymouth as the climate did not agree with him. He removed from Weymouth to Bridgewater, 19 Dec. 1705. His diary is in possession of Joshua E. Crane, 1920, of Bridgewater and Taunton. (Pratt Genealogy, 1889, pp. 26-31.)

Child, born at Weymouth:

Thankful,4 4 Oct. 1683; m. 12 May 1702, Daniel Axtel of Berkley. Nine children.

8. DEA. THOMAS3 PRATT (Sergt. Thomas,2 Matthew1) was born at Weymouth, near 1661; died at Easton, 1 Dec. 1744. He married (1), near 1688, Deborah ────, who died at Easton, 12 Jan. 1727. He married (2), 5 Mar. 1729-30, Desire Bonney. He removed from Weymouth to Middleborough, near 1695, and to Easton in 1710.

Children, first two born at Weymouth others at Middleborough:

Thomas, b. near 1690.

Mary, b. near 1692.

Jane, m. 19 Oct. 1726, Nathaniel Alger.

James, b. near 1699.

Abigail, b. 23 June, 1701.

Hepzibah, b. 23 Apr. 1705.

9. MATTHEW3 PRATT (Matthew2) was born at Weymouth, 18 Sept. 1665; died at Abington, 1 July, 1746. He married Susannah Porter, daughter of John and Deliverance (Byram) Porter, born at Weymouth 2 June 1665. John Porter called her “my daughter Susannah Pratt” in his will, 8 Feb. 1715-16. Tradition says that she died at Abington in 1761 aged 96 years. He apparently removed from Weymouth to Abington about 1713.

Children, presumably born at Weymouth:

John,4 b. 4 Oct. 1691; removed to Bridgewater, 1705. A John Pratt from Weymouth purchased a farm in Bridgewater in 1705.

Micah, b. 1692; removed to Taunton.

20. Samuel, b. near 1695.

Mary, b. 22 Nov. 1699; m. 11 Feb. 1718-19, Rev. Samuel Brown of Abington. Her birth and marriage are both on Weymouth records.

10. WILLIAM3 PRATT (Matthew2) was born at Weymouth, 5 May, 1673; died there 18 Sept. 1714. He married, near 1700, Hannah ────, who married (2), at Weymouth, 23 Dec. 1719, Thomas Randall of the “East Precinct annexed to Norton” (Easton). Hannah Pratt of Weymouth, widow granted administration on the estate of her late husband William Pratt, late of Weymouth, boatman, 3 Oct. 1715. (Suffolk Probate, 18: 501.) She died 14 Feb. 1757. Matthew Pratt, aged about 18, Mary Pratt, about 20, Betty Pratt about 18, Ann Pratt about 16, children of William Pratt, late of Weymouth, boatman, deceased, made choice of their father- in-law Thomas Randall of Easton, husbandman, to be their guardian, 16 May, 1727. (Suffolk Probate, 25: 332-335.) William Pratt, eldest son, had the homestead (saving unto his mother Hannah Randall her dower), he to pay his brothers and sisters, viz., Joshua Pratt, Matthew and James Pratt, Hannah Ford, Sarah Spooner, Mary Pratt, Betty and Ann Pratt, £35 apiece, 21 Jan. 1728. (Ibid. 27: 32, 33.)

Children, born at Weymouth:

Sarah,4 b. 25 Feb. 1702; m. ──── Spooner.

21. William, b. 18 Oct. 1703; inherited the homestead, 21 Jan. 1728.

Joshua, b. 23 Mar. 1704-05; removed to Bridgewater.

Mary, b. near 1707.

Matthew, b. near 1709; resided in Braintree.

Betty, b. near 1709; m. 19 Dec. 1734, Joshua Lovell of Weymouth.

Ann, b. near 1711; m. Robert Randall of Easton.

James, b. 29 Mar. 1713; d. 31 May, 1713.

Hannah, m. int. 7 Mar. 1718-19, Nathaniel Ford of Weymouth.

James, b. 11 May, 1714; alive 21 Jan. 1728; d. at Taunton, unm., 21 July 1754.

11. SAMUEL3 PRATT (Matthew2) was baptized at the Third or Old South Church of Boston, 2 Apr. 1676. He married (1) near 1704, Hannah ────, who died at Weymouth, 16 Oct. 1715.

Children, born at Weymouth:

22. Samuel,4 b. 2 July, 1705.

23. Daniel, b. 11 Feb. 1707-08.

Hannah, b. 29 Sept. 1710; m. 30 Nov. 1732, Benjamin Vining of Weymouth.

John, b. 13 July, 1713.

12. LIEUT. JOHN3 PRATT (Samuel2) was born at Weymouth, 17 Aug. 1663; died there 8 Feb. 1743-44, “in his 81st year.” He married (1), near 1681, Mary ────. He married (2) Elizabeth Swift, daughter of Thomas Swift of Milton. She was born at Milton, 21 Aug. 1662; died at Weymouth, 25 Dec. 1736. He married (3) (intention at Weymouth, 18 Sept. 1737) Mrs. Sarah (Dunbar) Gardner, probably widow of Benjamin Gardner of Hingham, and daughter of Robert and Rose (────) Dunbar also of Hingham.

Child by first wife, born at Weymouth:

24. Samuel,4 b. 15 Oct. 1686.

Children by second wife, born at Weymouth:

25. Nathaniel, b. 26 Oct. 1702.

26. Thomas, b. 3 Jan. 1704-05.

13. SAMUEL3 PRATT (Samuel2) was born at Weymouth, 15 Nov. 1670; died 11 Aug. 1728. He married (1) Patience Chard, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Pratt) Chard, born at Weymouth, 20 Apr. 1671. She was his wife 10 Mar. 1710. Samuel Pratt, Sr., of Weymouth, weaver, for £260, sells Edward Derby of Taunton, husbandman, 40 acres in Weymouth with the dwelling house thereon. Signed Thomas Pratt and Patience Pratt, his wife, 30 Mar. 1710. (Suffolk Deeds, 30: 23.) He removed from Weymouth to Taunton about 1710.

Children, born at Weymouth:

Judith,4 b. 23 Nov. 1695.

Samuel, b. ──── (date not preserved on town records).

Perhaps other children were born at Weymouth.

14. EBENEZER3 PRATT (Samuel2) was born near 1674; died before 11 Feb. 1752. He married (1), near 1700, Martha ────, who died at Weymouth, 18 May, 1720. He married (2) at Bridgewater, 15 Dec. 1720, Waitstill Washburn. He married (3) Hannah ────, who survived him.

Ebenezer Pratt of Weymouth made his will 5 Dec. 1744; proved 11 Feb. 1752. To wife Hannah use of a part of his dwelling, and £12 yearly. To son Ebenezer certain lands; to son Samuel part of dwelling house he now lives in; to daughter Ann Allen £30 to be paid in consideration of her part of her mother’s land, which bond is now lost, my will is that my executors pay said £30 unto the children of my said daughter Ann as they come of age. To daughter Mary Pool £15. To daughter Sarah Pratt £5 yearly for life. Sons Ebenezer and Samuel, executors. “If my wife considers our marriage contract of force after my decease, in that case what I have given her I give to my daughters Ann & Mary.” (Suffolk Probate, 46: 24.) The widow did not accept the bequest of the testator.

Children by first wife, born at Weymouth:

27. Ebenezer,4 b. 6 Aug. 1702.

Ann, b. 24 Apr. 1704; m. ──── Allen.

Mary, b. 23 Aug. 1706; m. 4 Jan. 1732-33, John Pool of Weymouth.

Sarah, b. 3 Oct. 1708.

28. Samuel, b. 19 Dec. 1712.

15. JOSEPH3 PRATT (Joseph2) was born at Weymouth, 2 Feb. 1665; died at Bridgewater, 13 or 14 Jan. 1765, aged 99 years 11 months. The Boston News-Letter of 31 Jan. 1765, contains the following: “On the fourteenth of this month died at Bridgewater Joseph Pratt, aged 100 years. A man of good character and religious profession. He had twenty children by his first wife, but none by his second, who still survives him, about 90 years of age.” He married (1) Sarah Benson of Hull, the mother of his children. He married (2) at Weymouth, 14 Dec. 1721, Anna Richards, who died at Bridgewater, 20 or 21 Mar. 1766, in her 92d year. He removed from Weymouth to Bridgewater about 1705. Of the twenty children, only two are recorded on Weymouth records. In his will he names seven, 13 Mar. 1755.

Children, probably born at Weymouth:

Joseph,4 resided in Bridgewater.

Benjamin, b. near 1693; removed from town.

Jonathan, b. 3 May, 1700, at Weymouth; not mentioned in his father’s will.

Nathaniel, b. 23 Mar. 1700-01, at Weymouth.

Solomon; resided in Bridgewater.

David, b. near 1708; resided in East Bridgewater.

Samuel, settled in East Bridgewater.

Sarah, m. Ebenezer Snow.

16. JOHN3 PRATT (Joseph2) was born at Weymouth, 17 May, 1668. He married Mercy Newcomb, daughter of John and Ruth Newcomb, born at Braintree, 1665; died before 13 May, 1721. Her father made his will on the last-named date, and mentioned “my grandchildren, the children of my daughter Mercy Pratt deceased which I give and bequeath to them as that which in right belonged to their mother.” (Suffolk Probate, 22: 560.)

Children, born at Weymouth:

Ruth,4 b. 1 Nov. 1690 (see Vital Records of Weymouth, 1: 238); living in the home of Lieut. John Pratt, 12 July, 1714; m. perhaps 11 Feb. 1720-21, William Freeman of Boston.

29. Micah, b. 4 Oct. 1691.

John, b. 8 Mar. 1692; d. young.

30. John, 2d, b. 26 May, 1696.

17. WILLIAM3 PRATT (Joseph2) was born at Weymouth near 1670; mentioned in his father’s will, 5 Mar. 1718-19, as a son. He married, near 1690, Experience King, daughter of Samuel and Experience (Phillips) King, born at Weymouth, 6 Oct. 1664.

Children, born at Weymouth:

Joanna,4 b. 23 Sept. 1692.

William, b. 3 Oct. 1695; removed to Easton.

Isaac, b. 20 Feb. 1700; surveyor, 1729.

Experience, b. 3 Apr. 1703.

Ann, b. 30 Mar. 1704-05.

18. EPHRAIM3 PRATT (Joseph2) was born at Weymouth near 1675; died before 6 Jan. 1748. He married, near 1695, Phebe ────, who died at Weymouth, 2 Dec. 1736. “Being advanced in years” he made his will 9 Feb. 1740, and it was proved 7 Feb. 1748. To his son Ephraim Pratt he gave 20s. To son Joseph Pratt his homestead and all the buildings and 10 acres at “Hanny Hill” (Honey Hill). To his grandchildren, the children of his daughter Phebe Shaw, 20s apiece. Unto his daughter Mary Pratt, the wife of Daniel Pratt, warming pan, brass pan, and pewter. To granddaughter Phebe Pratt, daughter of Joseph Pratt, a bed. Son Joseph Pratt, executor. Witnesses: Adam Cushing, Jacob Turner and Caleb Beal. (Suffolk Probate, 42: 165.) The inventory of his estate was taken 6 Jan. 1748.

Children, born at Weymouth:

31. Ephraim,4 b. 15 June, 1698.

Phebe, b. 20 Mar. 1699-1700; m. 18 Jan. 1718-19, Zachariah Shaw of Weymouth.

32. Joseph, b. Sept. 1703.

33. John, b. 1 Mar. 1704-05; not mentioned in his father’s will, 9 Feb. 1740.

Mary, b. 28 June, 1711; m. 1 Nov. 1739, Daniel Pratt of Weymouth.

19. SAMUEL3 PRATT (Joseph2) inherited his father’s homestead, 10 Feb. 1720-21. Samuel Pratt, son of Joseph Pratt, had land granted to him in Weymouth in 1710 …

Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass.

9 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Frederic Scherer Withington, “Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass., and Some of His Descendants,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 75[1921].

[Note: Please see also “Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass.: Additions and Corrections.”]

[page 142]


1. HENRY1 WITHINGTON, of Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, and Dorchester, Mass., the ancestor of most of those of the name in the United States, was baptized in the parish of Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, 22 Feb. 1589/90, the son of George and Margaret Withington, and died at Dorchester, Mass., 2 Feb. 1666/7. He married first, at Leigh, in Sept. 1615, ANNE LEECH, who was buried at Leigh 26 Sept. 1621, daughter of Richard and Anne (Yate); secondly, at Leigh, 30 Sept. 1622, ELIZABETH SMITH, who died at Dorchester, Mass., 16 Feb. 1660, sister of Thomas Smith, a well-known merchant of London; and thirdly, at Dorchester, in June 1662, MARGERY (TURNER) PAUL, who died at Dorchester 20 May 1676, widow of Richard Paul of Taunton.** A deed of settlement from Henry1 Withington to her is dated 25 June 1662.

*The author will be pleased to receive any further information or, if possible, to answer any inquiry relating to the Withingtons or allied families. He may be addressed at 401 Kraft Building, Des Moines, Iowa.

**All places mentioned in this article are situated within the present limits of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, unless another State or region is indicated in the text or may be easily inferred from the context. The present name of a town or of that part of a town in which an event mentioned in the text occurred is usually given in parentheses after the earlier name.

[page 143]

With his second wife, Elizabeth (Smith), and his four children, he came to Dorchester, probably in the same ship (the James) with Rev. Richard Mather and his company, arriving 16 Aug. 1635.

He was one of the signers of the covenant by which the Dorchester church was founded, and was the first ruling elder of the church, continuing in that office for twenty-nine years until his death. He was one of the selectmen of Dorchester in 1636, and was otherwise prominent in the affairs of the town and church, though there appears to be no record of his having been made a freeman. He shared in the division of lands in Dorchester, was a blacksmith by trade, and was one of the founders and original shareholders in the first ironworks in the American Colonies, on Mill River in Taunton, evidently intended by their original founder and operator, James Leonard, Sr., to be named for Henry Withington, notwithstanding the corruption of the name to “Whittington” and “Whittenton.” He purchased, 23 Apr. 1638, and occupied the house built on the lot in Dorchester formerly owned by Matthias Sension (or St. John), who went from Dorchester to Windsor, Conn., and was one of the founders of the church there.

Many records attest the fact that he was universally beloved, respected, and trusted. Rev. Richard Mather called him “Beloved Friend,” and made him overseer of his will in 1664. Rev. Samuel Danforth said of him: “A man that excelled in wisdom, meekness and goodness.”

In his will, dated 8, 11 mo., 1664, he says that he is “about the Age of 76 yeares or vpon 77.” The inventory of his estate amounted to £850. 17s. 3d. (REGISTER, vol. 16, pages 52-54.)

Children by first wife, baptized at Leigh, co. Lancaster, England:

i. FAITH,2 bapt. 13 Oct. 1616; came with her father and stepmother to New England; d. at. Dorchester 3 Feb. 1688/9; m. about 1639 RICHARD1 BAKER, said to have been born in co. Kent, Eng., about 1614, d. at Dorchester 25 Oct. 1689. He came first to Boston as first mate of the ship Bachelor, leaving England 18 Aug. 1635, and lived in Dorchester after his marriage. He was a brother of Thomas1 Baker of Roxbury and an uncle of John Baker of Boston. He was admitted freeman in 1642, was a selectman in 1653, a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1658, and in 1668 was elected ruling elder of the church in Dorchester but declined to serve. He was an ancestor of Walter7 Baker, the chocolate manufacturer of Dorchester, whose grandfather, James5 Baker, bought the original chocolate mill of Henry5 Stone (6, ii, 4). (REGISTER, vol. 43, pp. 279 et seq.) Children: 1. Mary, bapt. 14 Feb. 1641; d. 27 Aug. 1714; m. in 1664 Samuel2 Robinson, bapt. 14 June 1640, d. 16 Sept. 1718, s. of William.1 2. John, bapt. 30 apr. 1643; d. 26 Aug. 1690; m. 11 July 1667 Preserved Trott. 3. Sarah, bapt. 22 June 1645; d. 13 Oct. 1688; m. 22 Feb. 1664/5 James2 White, s. of Edward1 (vide infra, 3). 4. Thankful, bapt. 19 Mar. 1646/7; m. William Griggs. 5. Elizabeth, bapt. 27 Oct. 1650; d. young. 6. James, bapt. 30 Apr. 1654; d. unm. 30 Mar. 1721. 7. Elizabeth, bapt. 20 July 1656; m. William Pratt of Weymouth; they set out for South Carolina 22 Oct. 1695. 8. Hannah, b. 9 Jan. 1662; d. 18 Sept. 1690; m. 5 May 1685 John2 Wiswell (Enoch1).

2. ii. RICHARD, bapt. 3 May 1618.

[page 144]

Children by second wife, probably born in London, England:

iii. MARY, b. about 1623; came with her parents to New England; d. at Cambridge 26 Mar. 1697; m. 23 Feb. 1643/4 THOMAS2 DANFORTH, b. 20 Nov. 1623 at Framlingham, co. Suffolk, Eng., d. at Cambridge 5 Nov. 1699, s. of Nicholas1 and Elizabeth. He was representative from Cambridge in the General Court, 1657-8, assistant, 1659-1679, deputy governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 28 May 1679 to May 1686, president of the Province of Maine during the same period, and associate justice of the Superior Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from 1692 until his death. He strongly opposed the infamous proceedings against alleged witches. He was also president of the Board of Commissioners for the United Colonies, and from 1650 to 1669 was treasurer of Harvard College, to which he made bequests. Children: 1. Sarah, b. 16 Apr. 1645; d. 29 Oct. 1645. 2. Sarah, b. 11 Nov. 1646; d. in 1723; m. Rev. Joseph Whiting. 3. Mary, b. and d. 2 Apr. 1649. 4. Mary, b. 28 July 1650; d. after 1725; m. (1) Solomon Phipps; m. (2), as his second wife, Thomas Brown of Sudbury. 5. Samuel, b. 5 Oct. 1652; d. unm. in London, Eng., of smallpox, 22 Dec. 1676. 6. Thomas, b. 16 Dec. 1654; d. unm. 19 Dec. 1675. 7. Jonathan, b. 27 Feb. 1656/7; d. in Apr. 1657. 8. Jonathan, b. 10 Feb. 1658/9; d. unm. 13 Nov. 1682. 9. Joseph, b. 18 Sept. 1661; d. 2 Oct. 1663. 10. Benjamin, b. 20 May 1663; d. 23 Aug. 1663. 11. Elizabeth, b. 17 Feb. 1665; d. 4 July 1721; m. 3 Oct. 1682, Francis Foxcroft. 12. Bethia, bapt. 16 June 1667; d. 21 Sept. 1668.

iv. ANNE, b. about 1625; came with her parents to New England; d. at Huntington, Long Island, in 1700; m. about 1647 JAMES2 BATES (or BATE), bapt. at Lydd, co. Kent, Eng., 19 Dec. 1624, d., probably at Huntington, Long Island, in 1692, s. of James1 and Alice (Glover). They moved to Haddam, Conn., and, apparently, to Huntington, Long Island. Children: 1. Samuel, bapt. 19 Jan. 1648; d. 28 Dec. 1699; m. 2 May 1676 Mary Chapman. 2. John, b. about 1650. 3. Hannah, b. about 1652; bapt. at Haddam 7 Mar. 1669. 4. Elizabeth, b. about 1654; m. about 1673 Thomas Spencer. 5. Alice, b. about 1657; d. young. 6. Mary, b. about 1659; d. young. 7. James, b. 15 Apr. 1662; m. Mary —–. 8. Margaret, b. 17 July 1664; m. William Spencer. 9. Mary, bapt. 11 Mar. 1666; m. 18 Aug. 1685 Samuel Hough.

2. RICHARD2 WITHINGTON (Henry1), of Dorchester, baptized at Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, 3 May 1618, died at Dorchester 22 Dec. 1701, “Aged about 84.” He married, about 1648, ELIZABETH2 ELIOT, baptized at Nazeing, co. Essex, England, 8 Apr. 1627, died at Dorchester 18 Apr. 1714, daughter of Philip1 and Elizabeth (Sybthorpe) and niece of Rev. John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians.

Richard Withington came with his father and stepmother to New England, was admitted a freeman 13 May 1640, was elected a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1646, was deacon of the church in Dorchester in 1668, and was elected several times as a selectman. He was always active and prominent in public affairs.

Children, born at Dorchester:

3. i. JOHN,3 b. 1 July 1649.

4. ii. EBENEZER, b. 7 Sept. 1651.

5. iii. HENRY, b. 2 Oct. 1653.

iv. ANN,* b. 24 Aug. 1656; d. at Dorchester 21 Sept. 1723; m. at Dorchester, 13 Nov. 1679, as his
second wife, JAMES2 BIRD, b. in

*In the records of the First Church of Dorchester her name is entered incorrectly as Elizabeth.

[page 145]

Feb. 1644, d. at Dorchester 1 Sept. 1725, s. of Thomas1 and Anne…

6. v. PHILIP, b. 26 Mar. 1659.

vi. CONSTANT (or CONSTANCE), b. 16 Nov. 1661; d. s.p., probably at Falmouth (Portland), Me., about 1720; m. RICHARD BROADRIDGE Falmouth, Me. …

vii. ELIZABETH, b. 16 Apr. 1666; d. at Dorchester 12 Aug. 1700; m. at Dorchester, in 1691, JONATHAN2 HALL, b. at Dorchester 8 Apr. 1659, d. there 29 Dec. 1718, s. of Lieut. Richard1 and Elizabeth (Collier)…

7. viii. JOSEPH, b. 15 June 1668.

3. JOHN3 WITHINGTON (Richard,2 Henry1) of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 1 July 1649, died in 1690, being drowned, with forty-six others of the Dorchester military company, of which he was captain, in the expedition of Sir William Phips against Quebec. He married, about 1672, ELIZABETH3 PRESTON, born about 1653, died at Dorchester 19 Nov. 1722, daughter of Daniel2 and Mary. She married secondly, 13 Feb. 1695/6, as his second wife, James2 WHITE, who died 11 Nov. 1713, son of Edward.1 James White’s first wife was Sarah2 Baker (1,i,3), daughter of Richard1 and Faith (Withington).

John Withington was made a freeman 7 May 1673, and was a selectman of Dorchester for three years.

Children, born at Dorchester:

i. MARY4, b. 2 Dec. 1673; d. 15 Sept. 1676.

ii. ELIZABETH, b. 5 Aug. 1676; d. at Dorchester 24 Dec. 1765; m. about 1700 HUMPHREY ATHERTON, b. at Dorchester 26 Jan. 1672/3, d. at Stoughton (Canton) 2 Feb. 1748, s. of Consider and Anna (Annable.) Children: 1. Elizabeth, b. 14 Apr. 1701; d. probably 27 Mar. 1747; m. 29 May 1718 Ebenezer Maudesley, b. 19 May 1695, d. 22 Mar. 1773, s. of Ebenezer and Elizabeth. 2. Humphrey, b. 5 June 1707; d. 17 Nov. 1786; m. (1) 1 Oct. 1730 Anna Field, who d. 6 May 1748; m. (2) 21 Dec. 1749 Mary Graham. 3. Anna, b. 3 May 1710; d. about 1761; m. Edward Belcher. 4. John, b. 3 May 1714; d. 4 Oct. 1785; m. in 1741 Rachel Wentworth. 5. Consider, b. 9 Feb. 1716/17; m. 2 July 1744 Mary Bailey.

[page 146]

iii. MARY, b. 10 Mar. 1678/9; d. 1 Oct. 1679.

8. iv. RICHARD, b. 1 Aug. 1680.

v. SILENCE (twin), b. 15 Jan. 1682; d. 29 Jan. 1682/3.

vi. SUBMIT (twin), b. 15 Jan. 1682; d. 3 Feb. 1682/3.

9. vii. SAMUEL, b. 4 May 1684.

viii. HANNAH, b. 19 Dec. 1686; d. at Dorchester 30 Apr. 1768; m. 16 May 1708 JOHN3 BAKER, b. 25 Nov. 1671, d. 9 Oct. 1746, s. of John2 (1,i,2) and Preserved (Trott). Children: 1. Hannah, 9 June 1709; m. 29 Dec. 1730 Benjamin Clapp. 2. John, b. in 1711; d. young. 3. James, b. 24 May 1713; d. 18 Nov. 1776; m. 14 Dec. 1738 Priscilla Paul. 4. John, b. 28 June 1715; d. in Nov. 1798; m. (1) 7 Feb. 1738 Sarah Wiswell; m. (2) 2 Feb. 1790 Jane Wheeler. 5. Thomas, b. 3 May 1717; d. 28 Dec. 1745; m. 26 July 1739 Ann Mattock (vide infra, 8, ii). 6. Elijah, b. 14 May 1720; m. Hannah Puffer. 7. George, b. 13 Aug. 1724; d. 4 Mar. 1810; m. (1) 23 Feb. 1747 Ruth Williams; m. (2) 11 Apr. 1753 Mary (Wiswell) Jones (vide infra, 5, i, 3); m. (3) 2 Oct. 1777 Susan Viles.

ix. SUSANNAH, b. 18 Feb. 1689/90; d. 14 Oct. 1762; m. at Dorchester, 11 Aug. 1708, PRESERVED CAPEN, JR., b. 10 Apr. 1686, d. 18 Oct. 1757, s. of Preserved and Mary (Payson). Children: 1. Preserved, b. 12 May 1710; d. 29 May 1710. 2. Preserved, b. 2 Nov. 1711; d. 18 Apr. 1721. 3. Mary, b. 7 July 1714; d. 16 Oct. 1714. 4. Ebenezer, b. 15 Apr. 1716; m. 9 Nov. 1736 Elizabeth Leeds. 5. Susannah, b. 20 Jan. 1717/18; m. (1) 16 Jan. 1745 Charles Harvey, who d. 15 Nov. 1762; m. (2) 16 Dec. 1777, as his third wife, Nathaniel Langley, who d. 22 Oct. 1779. 6. David, b. 3 Apr. 1720; m. 18 Sept. 1746 Relief Evans (5,iii,4). 7. Elijah, b. 23 Mar. 1721/2; d. 1 Aug. 1722. 8. James, b. 2 June 1723; d. 22 June 1723. 9. Elijah, b. 6 June 1724. 10. Mary, b. 16 July 1729; d. unm. 19 May 1746.

[page 149]

8. RICHARD4 WITHINGTON (John,3 Richard,2 Henry1), of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 1 Aug. 1680, died there 18 Mar. 1748. He married in Boston, 15 May 1707, SARAH ATHERTON, born at Dorchester 8 May 1683, died there 14 Mar. 1762, daughter of Consider and Anna (Annable) and sister of Humphrey Atherton, who married her husband’s sister, Elizabeth Withington (3, ii).

Children, born at Dorchester:

15. i. HOPESTILL,5 b. 2 Sept. 1707.

ii. JOHN, b. 10 Apr. 1710; d. s.p. at Dorchester 22 Apr. 1785; m. (1) at Dorchester, 22 June 1737, SARAH CHILDS, who d. at Dorchester 10 Mar. 1778; m. (2) at Dorchester, 12 Nov. 1778, ANN (MATTOCK) BAKER, widow of his first cousin, Thomas4 Baker (3, viii, 5). John Withington was a soldier in the Revolution, serving as a private in the same regiment and company as his brother Hopestill.

16. iii. SAMUEL, b. 16 May 1714.

17. iv. EBENEZER, b. 2 Mar. 1718/19.

18. v. JOSEPH, b. 22 Jan. 1723/4.

9. SAMUEL4 WITHINGTON (John,3 Richard,2 Henry1), of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 4 May 1684, died 15 Dec. 1726. He married at Dorchester, 11 July 1715, ABIGAIL PIERCE, born at Dorchester 20 Aug. 1694, died there 23 May 1761, daughter of John and Abigail (Thompson). She married secondly, 21 Oct. 1729, Joseph4 Weeks, born 19 Oct. 1701, died 22 May 1751, son of Joseph3 and Sarah (Sumner).

Genealogy of Richard Baker

7 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: “Genealogy of Richard Baker,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 43[1889].

[page 279]

RICHARD1 BAKER, the first American ancestor of those known distinctively as the Dorchester family of Baker, arrived in this country from England in 1635. The date may be fixed with precision as November 28 of that year. In his journal of current events, Gov. Winthrop notes the arrival at Boston on that day of a vessel which he describes as “a small Norsey bark of twenty-five tons;” and he adds, “her passengers and goods all safe.” This phrase, “Norsey Bark,” was for some time after the original publication of the “Journal,” a mystery to the historians; but the later issue of Winthrop papers*, including the letters written by Edward

*Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th Series, vol. vi. p. 325 et seq.

[page 280]

Hopkins in London to John Winthrop, Jr., solved the mystery, for Hopkins, in referring to the same vessel, calls it a “North-sea boat.” He also used the word “barque” in designating the vessel. It is from these letters of Hopkins that the first information as to Richard Baker is derived, and they explain very clearly the circumstances of his coming to these shores. Edward Hopkins was the agent in London of a colonizing company or association, the chief members of which were Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook, Lord Rich, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others of influence politically and socially. They had obtained a grant of territory which included what is now the State of Connecticut, and were anxious to get military control of the region by establishing a fort at the mouth of the Connecticut River in anticipation of a like movement on the part of the Dutch of New Amsterdam, who also claimed possession or rights of trade there.

To this end the projectors needed a stanch vessel of light draft to ply between Boston and the mouth of the Connecticut during the building of a fort. This North Sea boat, which was named the “Bachelor,” was obtained, and a master and crew of eight in all were engaged to sail the vessel across the sea and on coastwise voyages here during the construction of the fort. The vessel was laden with material, iron work, etc., suitable for such construction, as the invoice contained in Hopkins’s letter shows. Four passengers were taken, Sergeant Lyon Gardiner, a military engineer; his assistant, and the Sergeant’s wife and maid. The letter of Hopkins containing the first mention of Richard Baker is dated London, Aug. 18, 1635, and states in the postscript that the Bachelor was cleared from Gravesend below London on that day. It gives the names of the master and crew, Richard Baker being second in command, or “master’s mate.” The wages to be paid each and the terms of their employment are also stated. The letter was addressed to John Winthrop, Jr., the agent of the company in this country, and, as it was foreseen that he might be in Connecticut on arrival of the vessel in Boston, the alternative was added, “or, in his absence, to the worshipful Jno. Winthrop the elder, at Boston aforesaid.” Hopkins speaks somewhat in derogation of a part of the crew, for which, as appears, he had good reason, and remarks in an explanatory way that “it was not easy here to get any at this time to go in so small a vessel.” He remarks incidentally that “the master hath a desire, as he tells me, to continue in the country.” He does not say that of the master’s mate, with whom (Richard Baker being then a young man of not much more than one and twenty) he probably held no conversation. But the reasons effective with the master in the matter would likely to be so with the mate, and, if they related only to pursuit of the mariner’s calling, there were with the latter other not less potent reasons.

At the last moment, when the barque was at Gravesend, four of the crew, whom Hopkins names, renounced their contract so far as it provided for service on the vessel in New England. “Whereupon,” he says, “being put to some straits I was in a manner constrained to yield to their desires.” Of the other four, one of whom was the master’s mate, he says that they, “sticking to the former agreement, will be able, I conceive, with small help more, to sail the barque in the country.” On the back of the next letter from Hopkins, dated London, 21 Sept., 1635, is a memorandum in the handwriting of John Winthrop, Jr., of four items, one of which reads: “3 bills of exchange of 30 li to be paid to Rich: Baker.” These bills, forwarded by a vessel sailing a month later than did the Bachelor, indicate sufficiently on the part of the person in whose favor they run, not merely a desire but a purpose to continue in the country.

[page 281]

This recital of remote, and, in part, unimportant facts of record is pertinent here as evincing to those who will chiefly be interested in this genealogy that their common ancestor came to America under circumstances highly creditable to himself. They give proof that he was a man of great courage and of skill and resources in the mariner’s art; that in an exigency which men of small soul took advantage of he was on of those who did equity by “sticking to the former agreement”; and that he was of a frugal habit, preferring to take passage where he would have nothing to pay out, but a considerable sum in pocket at the end of his ocean and coastwise voyages. The bills of exchange may also be taken as evidence of a like habit in money matters while he was yet in his native land.

The next date of record of Richard Baker is November 4, 1639, when he became a member of the church in Dorchester. It is probable that he was married about that time. His wife, Faith Withington, is recorded under her maiden name as a member of the same church of earlier date. She was a daughter of Henry Withington, the ruling elder of the Church. The office was one of much honor, and various facts show that the family of Withington was one of social distinction. Mary, a sister of Faith, married Thomas Danforth, who became deputy governor of the colony. Near relatives of Richard Baker were Thomas Baker, his brother, a resident of Roxbury and owner of the historical tide-mill there; and John Baker of Boston, a nephew of both Richard and Thomas, who in different documents describes himself as “smith” and “mariner.” These descriptive appelations do not indicate that he was merely an employé in either business. He was a prominent and enterprising citizen of the metropolis, and carried on business extensively. He died a comparatively young man, about twenty years before either of his uncles, and his inventory shows that he had acquired property in shipping and real estate amounting to £799, a considerable estate for that period.

It does not appear of record that Richard Baker assisted in sailing the Bachelor coastwise, but his contract required him to do so if the owners desired. It is certain, as appears in others of the Winthrop letters, that the vessel was thus employed. If he was in that service, a part, at least, of the interval between 1635 and 1639 is accounted for. In the records of Dorchester, very soon after the latter date, he is put down as a considerable owner of real estate in that town. His homestead was a tract of land fronting southerly upon the road now called Savin Hill Avenue. The site of his dwelling-house was undoubtedly that of the building known to the contemporary generation as the “Tuttle Mansion.” He added from time to time to the original area by purchase of adjoining lands.

One of these additions appears to have been a tract on the northwesterly slope of Savin Hill, where, up to a recent date, stood two dwellings known from time immemorial as the Baker houses. One yet remains. That which has been demolished was in all probability the house which Richard Baker, as he states in his will, built for his son John. The statement is made in connection with a bequest to his son of adjacent lands. Richard Baker bequeathed his homestead estate to his son James, who lived a bachelor. He in turn bequeathed it to his nephew John Wiswall, and the property remained in possession of the Wiswall heirs until 1826, when it was sold to Mr. Tuttle. The premises referred to as bequeathed to John Baker continued uninterruptedly in possession of some of his descendants till the year 1872.

Richard Baker was made a freeman of the colony May 18, 1642. He

[page 282]

became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1658. In nearly every year from 1642 to 1685 his name is of record as exercising some office in the town administration of Dorchester. He appears not to have aspired to the highest station, and during only one year, 1653, is he recorded as a selectman. In 1668 he was elected a ruling elder of the church, but declined the office. Both in the town and the church records his name appears from time to time with those of others who were among the principal citizens in the making up of important committees. He was a proprietor in all the “Divisions” of town lands subsequent to the date of the “Great Lots.” The “Divisions” covered much the larger area. The inventory of his estate amounted to £1,315 15s. He died Oct. 25, 1689; his wife died Feb. 3, preceding. Children:

  • i. MARY,2 chr. Feb. 14, 1641; m. Samuel Robinson; she d. Aug. 27, 1714.
  • 2. ii. JOHN, chr. April 30, 1643; m. Preserved Trott.
  • iii. SARAH, chr. June 22, 1645; m. James White, Feb. 22, 1664; she d. Oct. 13, 1688.
  • iv. THANKFUL, chr. March 19, 1646; m. William Griggs.
  • v. ELIZABETH, chr. Oct. 27, 1650; d. young.
  • vi. JAMES, chr. April 30, 1654. As stated, to him was bequeathed the homestead estate of his father; this comprised considerable tracts of land adjoining and near to the dwelling house; he appears to have been a prosperous farmer; only once did he take a public office, that of viewer of fences of common corn fields; he died, single, March 30, 1721.
  • vii. ELIZABETH, chr. July 20, 1656; m. William Pratt of Weymouth, Mass.; they resided in Dorchester for a while, and went thence with the church organized in that town, Oct. 22, 1695, for missionary purposes in South Carolina; they had a daughter Thankful, born in Weymouth Oct. 14, 1683.
  • viii. HANNAH, b. Jan. 9, 1662; m. John Wiswall, May 5, 1685.

2. JOHN2 BAKER (Richard1), son of Richard and Faith, was born in Dorchester and was christened, as appears by the church records, April 30, 1643. He married Preserved Trott, July 11, 1667. He lived at Savin Hill, in the dwelling house already referred to. The site is about two rods south-easterly of the present boundary of the street, and, in an air line, about 260 feet due north-east from the centre of the highway bridge over the Old Colony railroad. The house was occupied as a barrack for American troops during the siege of Boston. John Baker owned a large area of farming land, though his homestead tract was comparatively small. He appears to have been an efficient townsman, and served during a succession of years in different town offices. He died Aug. 26, 1690; his wife died Nov. 25, 1711. Children:

  • i. SARAH,3 b. Aug. 12, 1668; m. Oliver Wiswall, Jan. 1, 1690.
  • ii. MARY, b. Nov. 10, 1670; d. Jan. 26, 1670.
  • 3. iii. JOHN, b. Nov. 25, 1671; m. Hannah Withington.
  • 4. iv. JAMES, b. Aug. 4, 1674; m. Judith Maxfield.
  • v. MARY, b. Aug. 24, 1676; m. John Minot, May 23, 1696; she d. Feb. 15, 1716.
  • vi. THANKFUL, b. April 13, 1679; m. Hopestill Capen, Aug. 4, 1702; she d. Dec. 6, 1761.
  • vii. HANNAH, b. July 22, 1682; d. Aug. 9, 1683.
  • viii. ELIZABETH, b. July 18, 1684; also called “Betsey”; d. single.
  • ix. HANNAH, b. July 11, 1687; d. Nov. 12, 1690.
  • 5. x. ABIJAH, b. Feb. 25, 1690; m. Hannah Lyon of Milton, Mass.

[page 283]

3. JOHN3 BAKER (John,2 Richard1), son of John (2) and Preserved, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 25, 1671. He married Hannah Withington, May 16, 1708. His dwelling house was situated on “the great country road,” so called, now Washington Street, in Dorchester. The site is three or four rods east of that street, and probably projects slightly upon the southerly sidewalk of the present Melville Avenue. The premises were bought by John Baker of William Stoughton, as appears by deed of March 30, 1698. The house was occupied by the descendants of John Baker down to a date within the recollection of the oldest persons now living. It faced south, with the west end towards the road, and was of two stories in front, the long slope of the northerly roof making it to be one story in the rear. He owned extensive farming tracts adjoining and in the vicinity. He died Oct. 9, 1746; his wife died April 30, 1768, aged 82 years. Children:

  • i. HANNAH,4 b. June 9, 1709; m. Benjamin Clapp, a great-grandson of Capt. Roger Clapp, Dec. 29, 1730; they lived in Stoughton, Mass., after 1740; she d. there.
  • 6. ii. JAMES, b. May 24, 1713; m. Priscilla Paul.
  • iii. JOHN, b. in 1711; d. in infancy.
  • 7. iv. JOHN, b. June 28, 1715; m. 1st, Sarah Wiswall; m. 2d, Jane Wheeler.
  • 8. v. THOMAS, b. May 3, 1717; m. Ann Mattox.
  • 9. vi. ELIJAH, b. May 14, 1720; m. Hannah Puffer.
  • 10. vii. GEORGE, b. Aug. 13, 1724; m. 1st, Ruth Williams; m. 2d, Mary Jones; m. 3d, Susan Viles.

[page 284]

8. THOMAS4 BAKER (John,3 John,2 Richard1), son of John (3) and Hannah, was born May 3, 1717. He married Ann Mattox. As appears by deed bearing date, June 1, 1738, he bought of Ebenezer Mawdsley a dwelling house and ten acres of land bounded westerly by the highway leading to Boston, southerly by land of John Baker, easterly by Capen, and northerly by Robert Searle, Jr. The description is sufficient to fix it as contiguous to the land which John Baker bought of William Stoughton, and fronting on “the great country road.” Thomas Baker died Dec. 29, 1745; his wife died Oct. 5, 1758. Children:

  • i. SARAH,5 b. Nov. 24, 1739; m. Abram Wheeler, Nov. 15, 1759; she d. Feb. 11, 1776.
  • ii. HANNAH, b. Aug. 3, 1741; m. John Clapp, Nov. 29, 1764; the same described in the Clapp genealogy (p. 228) as “John Old Times”; she d. Aug. 10, 1779.
  • iii. ANN, b. Oct. 5, 1744; d. Oct. 6, 1757.

Henry Withington’s Will

5 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: William D. Trask, “Abstracts of Early Wills: Abstracts from the Earliest Wills on Record in the
County of Suffolk, Mass.,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 16[1862]:52-54.

HENRY WITHINGTON. — 8: 11: 1664. I, Henry Withington, of Dorchester, in New England, being about the Age of 76 yeares or vpon 77: being in perfect memory doe make my last will. * * * My will is, That my sonn, Richard Withington, one of my executors, shall well & truly performe vnto my wife, Margerie, all such Agreements as are Expressed in a writting made & sealed before our marriage, bearing date, 25: 4: 1662: witnessed by Mr John Eliott & Mr Samuell Danforth, And then soe doing I giue vnto him all the rest of my Houses & Orchard & Lands that I haue in Dorchester, Except Tenn Acres in the Twenty Acres Lotts, which Tenn Acres I Giue to my dau. Batte, & I Except also my devision of Land which is about 30 Acres, lying neere Dedam mill, which if it bee not sold before my death, my will is, that it shall bee sould & come in as part of my Estate, And also I Except all my Land that is mine, about Sensions House, which Land I Giue to my dau. Batte, to bee hers foreuer, And her Husband shall haue noe power to dispose of it without her free Consent. But all my Land Except these parcells Excepted I Giue to my sonn Richard to bee his foreuer. And for my goods, my debts & buriall being discharged out of the whole, I Giue as followeth, namly, to my Beloued wife, Margerie, £10, ouer & besides that £10, I promised her before our marriage which is sett downe in a writting, aforesayd, And to my sonn, Richard, £10, & to his fowre sonns, John, Ebenezer, Henry & Phillip, each, £5; to Mr Mather, £5; Mr Tompson, £5; And towards the maintenance of an able ministrie in Dorchester, which they haue or may chuse, I Giue £20 to bee improved by the Deacons then in being, And the bennifitt thereof shall bee brought in yearely to the Select men, then in being, to bee giuen to the vse aforesaid. And £10 more I Giue unto the poorest inhabitants in Dorchester, And the said £10 shall bee disposed at & by the discresion of the Deacons, then in being. I Giue vnto John Baker, £5, Samuell Batte, £5, Samuell Paull, £5, Samuell Danforth, £5. To all the Children I am Grandfather vnto, Except Mary Robinson, & such Children as I haue herein giuen legacies vnto, I giue unto each of them, 40s. For the rest of my goods, legacies being discharged, shall bee Equally diuided among my 3 daus namly, Faith Baker, Mary Danforth, and Anna Batte And for that Fiue Acres of Land that I latly bought of James Batte at the south End of his Lott, next the High way, which Cost mee, £16, it is my will that she, I meane my dau. Batte, shall haue that Fiue Acres, & she shall dispose of it for her good & for her Children, but her Husband shall haue no power to sell it away, without her Consent, nor any Land that I haue giuen her Else where. And further it is my meaninge, that this £16, which the Land Cost mee, though the Land Returne her as aforesayd, yet it shall bee reconed as part of that Portion which I leaue with hir other Sisters. For my Executors, I Appoint my sonn, Richard Withington, & my sonn, Richard Baker; for my Ouerseers, my sonn, Mr Thomas Danforth, & my sonn, James Batte. The legacies [to be paid] one halfe within a yeare after my death & the other halfe the next yeare after, if it may bee well had & done.


Wittnes hereof

Enoch Wiswall, Samuell Paull.

[In a codicil, Mr. Withington states, that he has given to his son, Richard, the £10 expressed in his will, also delivered to him the £5 for John Withington, his Eldest son. “For the Tenn Acres of Land I gaue to my daughter Batte, lying in the Twenty Acre Lott I haue sold that, since, to Samuell Clap & haue deliuered & giuen to her & her Husband all my land at Sensions house.” All which is acknowledged by Richard Withington. Samuel Paul, acknowledges “that I haue receiued from my Father Withington, that Fiue pounds which is Expressed in his will, to bee Giuen me. 23: 9: 1666.”]

15 Feb. 1666. Enoch Wiswell & Samuel Paule, deposed.

An Inventory of the Estate of Elder Henry Withington, of Dorchester, who deceased this life Feb. 2, 1666, taken & apprised by John Capen Senr & William Sumner, March 6, 1666-7. Amt. £850.17.3. Due from the Estate, £14.4.6. Mentions, 1/16 pt. of three Ketches; 1/2 of a warehouse at Boston; two shares in the iron works at Tanton.

Richard Baker & Richard Withington, deposed to this inventory, May 2, 1667.