Archive for the ‘027960. John Gilbert’ Category

Ancient Iron Works in Taunton

10 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: J.W.D. Hall, “Ancient Iron Works in Taunton,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 38[1884].

[page 265]

A history of the early iron enterprises in Massachusetts is not our purpose, as the subject has been exhausted in elaborate data and dissenting opinions, but rather to present a few interesting facts and incidents relative to the origin, progress and successful managemnt of the ancient Iron Works of Taunton, derived from antiquarian researches and reliable records.  Traditions, which do not bear the test of investigation, have crept into histories and census reports relative to the origin and management of these works; but let them pass.

It has been generally admitted that the first iron works enterprise in this state for the manufacture of bar iron from native ore was commenced on the banks of the Saugus River in Lynn, in 1643, by a company under the auspices and influence of John WINTHROP, Jr., son of Gov. WINTHROP, with an English capital form London of £1000, and skiled workmen imported for the purpose; that another iron enterprise was soon after started in “Brantry” by the same company, and that Boston donated 3000 acres of common land as an encouragement “to set up iron works on the Monanticut River” in that town, where ore had been discovered.  It is also alleged that an unexpected scarcity of ore and incompetent management in their infancy was followed by disaster to these enterprises, and that after spending a large amount, about £10,000, the company partially suspended operations in Lynn and Braintree, in the latter place in 1653 and in the former a few years later.

Iron ore had been discovered quite abundant in the flats bordering on Two Mile River and other localities in Taunton, and the enterprising Pilgrim settlers considered the field open for the establishment of a “bloomerie” on that river.  It was also learned that Henry and James LEONARD, skilled iron workers from Wales, who had been employed for several years at the works in Lynn and at Braintree by the Winthrop company, might be induced to come to Taunton and aid in the practical working of iron.  Accordingly in October, 1652, preliminary steps were taken to establish the first iron works in the Old Colony, in Taunton, and the following was the record, Oct. 21, 1652:

“It was at a town meeting conferred and agreed upon between the inhabitants of Taunton and Henry LEONARD of Braintree:

Imprimis  It was agreed and granted by the town to Henry and James LEONARD, his brother, and Ralph RUSSELL, free consent to come hither and join with certain of our inhabitants to set up a Bloomery Work on the Two Mile River.

“It was also agreed and granted by a free vote of the town, that such particular inhabitants as shall concur together with the said persons in this design, shall have free liberty from the town so to do, to build and set up this work, and that they shall have the woods on either side of the Two Mile River, wheresoever it is common on that side of the river, to cut for their cord wood to make coals, and also to dig and take moine or ore at Two Mile Meadow, or in any of the commons appertaining to the town, where it is not now in propriety.”*

In accordance with the above preliminary action, the leading citizens of Taunton interested in the enterprise, formed a stock company, inviting

* Baylie’s Historical Memoir of the Colony of New Plymouth, Part ii. p. 268.

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capitalists in other places to join them in carrying the project into effect without the aid of English capital – and they succeeded.  To obtain the shareholders required some length of time; but the precise date when they were obtained has not been fully ascertained, nor is it known when the brothers LEONARD and Mr. RUSSELL came from Braintree.  Probably it was soon after the suspension of the iron works there in 1653.  Nor is there any record that Henry LEONARD or Ralph RUSSELL were employed in these works.  They had land “set off to them” by the proprietors “as encouragement,” but they did not remain to occupy it.  RUSSELL went to Dartmouth and soon after was engaged in starting iron works at “RUSSELL’s Mills.”  Henry LEONARD was at Lynn in 1655, says Newhall the historian, and some years later was engaged with his sons by a wealthy company of Salem in an iron works at Rowley Village.  He afterwards went to New Jersey, and, it is said, successfully engaged with a company in the manufacture of bar iron.  He has left in that state numerous descendants, among whom are men of ability and of prominent standing in business and the professions.

A documentary relic of the early date above referred to, recently found among the ancient papers in the handwriting of Oliver PURCHIS, who was town clerk at the time, makes the following record preparatory to the organization of the Iron Works Company in 1653-4:

“The names of those who hath put in themselves to be proprietors in the Bloomerie, viz: – Hezekiah HOARE, Thomas GILBERT, Richard WILLIAMS, Walter DEAN, George HALL, Oliver PURCHIS, James WALKER, John TISDALL, Wm. PARKER, Mr. GILBERT senr: Peter PITTS, Richard STACEY, John COBB, William HODGES, Nath’l WOODWARD, Timothy HOLLOWAY, James BURT, Edward BOBETT, Jonah AUSTIN, sen’r, John PARKER, Samuel WILBORE, Miss E. POLE, Jane POLE.”

Additional records show the names of William POLE, Timothy LINDALL of Salem, his son-in-law, Nicholas WHITE, senr., Richard STEPHENS, John TURNER, Thomas LINCOLN, senr., Anthony SLOCUM, James LEONARD, Thos. ARMSBERY, Joseph WILBORE, Henry ANDREWS, John HALL, James PHILLIPS, Francis SMITH, Geo. WATSON, Gov. LEVERETT and Major Edward TYNG of Boston, Nath’l PAINE, senr., and Stephen PAINE, Jr., of Bristol, Benedict ARNOLD of Newport, Richard THAYER of Braintree – contributing from £20 to £5 each, for whole, half and quarter shares.

The building of a suitable dam across “Two Mile River,” where was previously a bridge; preparing the timber for the necessary buildings; obtaining from abroad the hammers and heavy iron machinery and tools required for operating the “bloomerie” for the manufacture of bar iron, occupied a long time before the practical working of the same.

The following confirmatory record in a ledger* of Capt. Thomas2 LEONARD, son of James,1 who was with his father a “bloomer,” and became the “clearke” and manager in 1683, indicates the time the works commenced, as follows:

* [Footnote] This ledger was found in the old mansion built in 1750 by Dea. Elijah3 LEONARD, grandson [sic] of Capt. Thomas,2 who had carefully stored the books transmitted to him by his father and grandfather, when he built the house.  It was the birthplace of Capt. Edward LEONARD, who resided there seventy years, and of Rev. Elijah LEONARD, of Marshfield, who died in February, 1834, after a forty-five years’ pastorate, and the father of Rev. Geo. LEONARD, who died in July, 1881, after a pastorate of thirty years in the same Marshfield church, and who inherited the old place in Raynham from his uncle Capt. Edward.  It was sold a few years ago to Mr. John SPINNEY, who in preparing to remodel the old mansion discovered the books deposited there one hundred and thirty years before.  It was destroyed by fire shortly afterwards.

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“An accompt of who hath been clarke of Taunton Iron Works ever sence George HALL was first Clearke, and some others joyned with him for a time, which begun Anno 1656.  Also, what product the works hath made from year to year.”

By this record, which has descended through two hundred years, and whose authority is undoubted, it is shown that the manufacture of iron was commenced “Anno 1656.”  On a page of this ledger are two columns of figures, indicating the years and the product of the works fifty-eight years, from that date, to the death of Capt. Thomas in 1713.  The first line reads thus: “1656 – George HALL clearke, John TURNER working ye forge.”  Three years no iron was shared.  “1659, 400 shared.”  “1660, a ton of iron sould to buy goods, whi: were devided.”

At this time an arrangement was made by the shareholders by which the works were leased to George HALL and his associates, Hezekiah HOAR and Francis SMITH.  The lease of this transaction, recently discovered among the papers of Capt. Thomas LEONARD, thus sets forth in substance the agreement:

“This present writing, dated April the first, anno domini, one thousand six hundred and sixtie, witnesseth:  that whereas the Companie in partnership in the Iron works or bloomerie, erected and maintained in working use within the plantation of Taunton, in the Colony of New Plymouth, did by themselves and their attornies, generally consent and agree, that ye said works should be let for a term of five years; to begin after ye stock of coles is now being wrought out – yielding and paying to ye whole companie aforesaid, (not one partner at all excluded) yearly during said term the full summe of four tunne of iron:” – “that said George HALL, Hezekiah HOAR and Francis SMITH having embraced, accepted, and received said tender, and rent of ye works, according to ye said propositions named,* themselves being partners” – and “to whom full libertie was then and there given, that they might take into this contract with themselves whom they liked of.”  They accordingly took into partnership:  William POLE, Walter DEANE, Joseph WILBORE, John DEANE, Anthony SLOCUM, Thos. LINKON, senr, Wm. PARKER, James LEONARD, Jonah AUSTIN sen’r, John PARKER, Peter PITTS, James PHILLIPS, Henry WITHINGTON, of Dorchester.  “The rest of said company in partnership, do by these presents ratify, confirm, establish, promise and make good and effectual to the s’d George HALL, Hezekiah HOAR, and Francis SMITH, the said contract, and do hereby give them full power and right to act, or cause to be acted or done in and about said iron works in every particular case during ye said term without interruption, molestation or hindrance of ye partners, provided that they truly and faithfully perform their engagements in the premises…. And the said partners, Wm. POLE, Walter DEANE and others, doe likewise covenant, promise and engage themselves, unto said George HALL, Hezekiah HOARE and Francis SMITH, to carrie out said contract as one man, with faithfulness, according to their wisdom and abilities; that they will endeavor to prevent all damages and support each other in all cases, whether in charges of payments or troubles of lawsuits and walk together in love and peace in the light of God, without superioritie one over another.”

“In witness whereof they herewith to one seal set their several hands the day and year above written:

GEORGE HALL,         HEZEKIAH HOARE,            FRANCIS SMITH,                    [Seal.]

Wm. POLE, Henry WITHINGTON, Jno. DEANE, Wm. PARKER, Walter DEANE, Peter PITTS, Joseph WILBORE, James PHILLIPS, John PARKER, Anthony SLOCUM, Thos. LINKON sen., Jonah AUSTIN.”

“In presence of


Resuming the old ledger records.  George HALL held the position of manager and clarke thirteen years (excepting James WALKER held the office a year) until his death in October, 1669, and “John HALL to ye end of ye year.”

*Drawn by James WALKER, Richard WILLIAMS and John TISDALL, of said company.

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“1670, Henry ANDREWS clearke.”  “1671, John HALL, thence to 1675 when (says the record) the Indian [King Philip’s] War began and many coals burned in the woods.”  “1676 – the works garrisoned – great rates – many coals burned.”  (No iron shared three years.)  “1677, Israel DEAN clearke, ye beginning, John HALL ye end of ye year.”  HALL continued until 1683, and was succeeded by Capt. Thomas LEONARD, during whose thirty years’ management occured most of the transactions and “orders” recorded below in connection with this brief history of the most important enterprise in the early days of the Old Colony.  He was an able, self-educated man; he held military commissions from Ensign to Major in the Bristol County regiment; was the leading magistrate; presiding justice of the County Court, 1685 to 1693; clerk of the Taunton North Purchase proprietors, over twenty years; filled various town offices; also performed the duties of physician.  He died in 1713, at the age of 70, leaving, besides a large estate, the Middleboro’ and Chartley Iron Works, a large quantity of official papers and miscellaneous relics, preserved with remarkable care during his eventful life.*

Dea. Samuel3 LEONARD, in Oct. 1713, succeeded his father Capt. Thomas after many years of successful management.  Another ancient ledger contains an instructive record of the transactions in the business during his charge; many pages are filled with items of the bar iron “circulating medium” and barter trades, similar to those appended.  On the division of Taunton in 1731, the iron works locality fell to the new town of Raynham, and that town owned half a share.  Dea. LEONARD died in 1745, after thirty-two years’ service, owning several shares.

Dea. Samuel LEONARD, Jr., was the successor of his father in the management of the iron works.  He had, during his four years’ management, purchased a large number of whole and fractional shares, securing nearly a majority of the stock.  He died in 1749, leaving a large incumbrance on the works and a declining stock.  He left 12 shares, valued in his inventory at £660 of the common currency.†

Dea. Elijah LEONARD, who had been at the “Chatley Works” in Norton, succeeded his brother in 1749, as clerk and manager.  He soon afterwards built, a short distance east of the forge, the mansion referred to.  He remained in charge of the business until 1777.  During the last twenty years the shares had been depreciating in value, owing to the increasing price of coal, and the declining production of good ore, in competition with the New Jersey ore which contained a much larger percentage of pure iron, and was worked by competing establishments.  With a depreciating currency and other obstacles, the iron business waned, the works hardly met expenses, the shareholders received trifling or no dividends, and the shares were relinquished at great sacrifice.  the incumbrence on the works finally resulted in the sale of a large portion of the shares to Dea. George LEONARD, brother of Dea. Elijah, who in 1770 disposed of them (7½ sixteenths) to

* The salary of Capt. Thomas was £8 the first year, and from 1684 to 1713 it was £11.  His successor received the same amount.  From 1742 to 1745, and thereafter, “ten hundred of iron was voted for salary.”  They also received a percentage on the iron manufactured.  The works made from 20 to 30 tons annually, which brought from £400 to £675, averaging about $100 a ton of our currency.

† In 1749 £1 sterling, or “old tenor,” was worth £11 of Massachusetts currency.  An oz. of silver, 6 shillings par value, stood at 66 shillings of that currency.  Thus rapidly approaching “flat money,” which was consummated by the United States national currency in paying off the soldiers of the revolution thirty years later, which became reduced to £1000 for £1 sterling, or about $1 per bushel.

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Josiah DEAN for £90 – which shows a great reduction from the inventory value in 1749.  At subsequent sales in 1777, at low figures, of other shares, with a portion of the real estate, Mr. DEAN became the purchaser.  From the original shareholders the changes were numerous from year to year, and to attempt a record would require much time and space.  Many of the sons, and descendants of the third generation from the original owners, held shares during the hundred years and more of the progress of the old iron works, until they passed into the hands of the new owner.  The price of them varied from £22 to £20 the par value; thence to £10, and finally, before the close, to £5 per share, or any price takers would give.  Thus terminated the LEONARD management, which had been conducted from 1683 by Capt. Thomas and by his son and grandsons nearly one hundred years, a large portion of the time upon the agency system, inaugurated in 1656, as above described.

Having purchased a controlling interest in the “old iron works,” Hon. Josiah DEAN took possession in 1777; he converted the bar iron forge, or “bloomerie,” into a rolling mill and nail works, where also copper bolts were rolled and made for ship-building, &c.  It was the first copper bolt manufactory in this region.  After conducting the business about forty years he died in 1818.*  He was succeeded by his son Major Eliab B. DEAN, who in 1825 changed the nail works into an anchor forge, which was continued in that heavy line of iron manufacture by him and his son and successor, Theodore DEAN, about forty years, when the works were suspended.  About a year ago the old buildings were demolished, and the privilege, dam and foundation walls alone remain of the ancient Taunton Iron Works of two hundred and twenty-four years–the oldest successful iron manufactory in New England.

The pioneer settlers during a long period of the last and preceding century after the iron works were started, were seriously embarrassed in their increasing business transactions by the scarcity of money.  They had but a small amount of specie, chiefly brought by emigrants who came across the ocean here to make their homes.†  No banks had been established – no “Land bank” capital had evoked even “new tenor bills;”‡ no Bank of England or “old tenor” notes were in circulation, although the pioneers owed allegiance to “His Majesty James” the despot, and the edicts of his tyrannical subservient Sir Edmund ANDROS were borne until patience ceased to be a virtue.  Therefore a dernier resort to bar iron, manufactured at the Taunton Works, as a “circulating medium of exchange,” to supply the great deficiency.  Iron made from the native bog ore of the creeks and swails of Two Mile River, and “Scaddings moire” became more valuable than gold – an important factor in daily traffic.  It entered largely into the transactions of business, as is shown by the subjoined brief letters, orders and replies, couched in expressions of genuine old-time courtesy, from managers, shareholders and patrons of the ancient iron works.  These amusing and interesting scraps were found between the leaves of Capt. Thomas LEONARD’s ledger of two hundred years ago, the pages of which are filled with the records of which these scraps were vouchers:

* Hon. Josiah DEAN was a member of Congress in 1807-9, and town officer and magistrate for many years.

† During the year 1652 a mint for coining silver money was established in Boston by the colony, and the first pine-tree shillings made from silver imported from the West Indies.  This made but a small supply of specie.

‡ Paper money was first issued in Massachusetts in 1690, but in very small quantity for the demand.  The bank of England was established 1694.

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The veterans Deacons Richard WILLIAMS and Walter DEAN, Hezekiah HOAR, Shadrach WILBORE the second town clerk, Increase ROBINSON, Joseph WILBORE, James WALKER, John RICHMOND, Peter PITTS, James PHILLIPS, Richard STEPHENS, John HALL, Peter WALKER, and the sons of many successors of ownership of shares in the iron works, appear in the collection, also Rev. George SHOVE and Rev. Samuel DANFORTH, third and fourth ministers of Taunton; John POLE, merchant of Boston, son of Capt. William and nephew of Elizabeth; Benedict ARNOLD, son of Gov. ARNOLD of Newport, R.I. (who married a Taunton woman, daughter of John TURNER); Nathaniel PAINE and John SAFFIN of Bristol, Judges of Probate; and John CARY, Register; Dea. Samuel TOPLIFF, Philip WITHINGTON and John BIRD, selectmen of Dorchester nearly two hundred years ago; the polite John BAKER, son of Richard; Richard THAYER, son of the first settler and Mistress Dorothy of “Brantry;” Peter NOYES of Sudbury, Capt. Thomas LEONARD and his son Major George of Chartley Works, not to be outdone in “loving phrase” by his father; and others.  Schools were scarce in those primitive days, and many wealthy business men made their “mark;” therefore errors in orthography, unique expressions and ancient idioms may be excused.  The first order is from one of the founders of Taunton and promoters of the iron works, who draws an order to pay a grocer’s bill:

Ensigne Tho. LEONARD, please to pay to Bar: TIPPING nine shillings & three pence in iron, as money:

from yr friend,


Taunton 16: 1st 1685-86.”

Deacon Walter DEAN’s order.

“Ensign Thomas LEONARD, Please to pay ye bearer hearof one hundred of Iron yt is due on Mr SHOVEs act. to my wife your friend.

Taunton ye 16 of ye 1st mo. 1685-6.         Your friend,


Thomas LEONARD, clarke of the Iron Works of Taunton:

Sr pray pay to Joseph CROSSMAN, on hundred of iron as money, & this shall be your discharg: this ye 13th Janurae, 1683.


Tanton– 84.”

A letter from some friendly parishioner in 1683, addressed to the third minister of Taunton, and accompanying order, reads thus:

“For the Rev. Mr. George SHOVE, pastor of the church of Christ in Taunton: These:”

Ensign LEONARD, pray deliver to John HODGES or his order one hundred and half of iron on account of yr friend


March 14, 83-4.”

John CARY of Bristol, Register of Probate, responds to a polite request to credit a hundred of iron:

Loving ffriend, John CARY, these may inform you that if You please to Credit Richard BURT as much as comes to a hundred of Iron, I will be responsible to you, & Rest your Log ffriend,


Taunton Dec. 30, 1683-4.”

Insign LEONARD, be pleased to pay to this bearer, James TISDALL, the asseats of the above written bill, by which you will oblige Your friend,


January 2, 1684.”

An order from an early settler to pay the schoolmaster’s rate:

Ensine LEONARD, I pray you let Mr GREENE have four shillings more in iron, as money, and place it to my account.        June 20, 1684.


“Capt. LEONARD, pray pay to John WETHEREL iron 9s. and 6d. and set it to my account.


Ensigne LEONARD, pray deliver to Nathl CODDINGTON as much iron as comes to 4s 5d at ye rate of 18s. per O.


Taunton Sept. 4, 1685.”

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He was son of John DEANE, senior, and the first birth among the pioneer settlers of Taunton.

Increase ROBINSON, one of the early settlers on Dean Street, gives a credit order for iron to pay his minister, Rev. Mr. DANFORTH:

Captain LEONARD: SIR, I would intreate you to pay James TISDALE ye sum of 2-7-6 in iron at 22s. per hund. and make me Deptr for it on ye acount of ye Credit Mr DANFORD gave mie on your book.

Your ffr’d


Tanton ye 23d March 1688-9.”

Thomas2 WILLIAMS (son of Richard1) sold an ox to one Nathaniel SMITH, and the following orders ensued for payment:

Nathaniel SMITH, this is to desier you to pay to my Mother WILLIAMS three hundred & half a qur. of iron which is part of ye price of ye ox which you bought of mee.


Taunton yn ye 16th of Oct. 1693.”

On the opposite side of the above Mr. SMITH ordered the iron:

Capt. LEONARD, I pray be pleased to pay to old mother WILLIAMS 3 hundreth & half a quarter of Iron.


Dorchester, May 15, 1696.

“Worh’ysfull Sir:

After my service to your Honour, these are only to desire you to Send the income of my interest in the works by Lt ROBINSON and these shall be the recept for the same.  And if I could know when you come to Boston, I should be willing to discourse wth you in point of sale (it being at such a distance from me) if your self is inclined to buy.  I remain yr humble servant,


Deacon TOPLIFF orders iron for the half share due Dorchester:

Captin LINARD – pray please to deliver to this bearer, Philip WITHINGTON, 200 and half of Iron, the which, by your information, is due to Dorchester:  In so doing you will much oblige us your asured friends:  Dated in Dorchester 2 Aug. 1699.


Capt. LEONARD delivers 200 and half on the order for 1797-’98 [sic].

Taunton April 1, 1700.

Capt. LEONARD I desire you to give John KING credit upon works book for 20 shillings of iron as money.  Your friend to serve


An order from Rev. Samuel DANFORTH, the fourth minister of Taunton, to pay his “servant mayd.”:

To Captain Thomas LEONARD,

Sr I would pray you to pay Elizabeth GILBERT (my late servant mayd) the sum of thirty shillings in iron at 18 sh. pr Cent: to her or her order – & place it to my account *** pr yr friend and servant


Dated Tanton, March 11, 1703-4.

Here is one of his business orders: Rev. Mr. DANFORTH wants iron to buy nails.

To Capt. Thomas LEONARD in Tanton:

Sr I have got Thomas WILLIS to go to Bridgewater to fetch me some nails from Mr. MITCHELL’s this night: & pray to let him have 200 of iron to carry with him to pay for them: of which, 100 on acct of Edward RICHMOND; 5s. worth on acct. of Thomas LINKON, son of John LINKON, by virtue of his note herewith sent you: for the remainder I may by yr leave be yr debtor for a while till I have another note from some other to ballance against it: & remain yr obliged


26 8mo. 1702.

Capt. Thomas LEONARD:

Sr – Give credit to William BRIGGS (son of Wm BRIGGS grand-senior) & to Thomas BRIGGS his brother, for the sum of two shillings and four pence in iron at 18 pr Cent. & make me Debtor for the same in Yr book: This 2shis 4d is to pay theyr iron part of theyr Rate to the Ware bridge.


Dated July 15, 1703.

“to be pd to Increse ROBBINSON, Constable for the use aforesd.”

Order for iron “for the ministry of Dorchester.”

Capt. Thomas LEONARD of Taunton :–

Sir: These lines may inform you yt the Selectmen of Dorchester, would desier

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you to deliver unto Sargt. Philip WITHINGTON all that iron, wh is due from the Iron Works to the ministry of Dorchester, and in so doeing this shall be discharg.  Dorchester the 26 of March 1705.


for the name and with the consent of the rest of the Selectmen.”

Mr. WITHINGTON receipts for the product of the half share, 700 of iron for 1699, 1700, ’1, 2, and 3.

The genuine autographs of many of the early settlers are among these unique scraps of iron history, and are now in the possession of the writer.

To illustrate the annual divisions of iron to shareholders, the following cases are cited from the old ledger records, from 1683 to 1713, and later in Dea. Samuel’s records.

The oldest original shareholder was Richard WILLIAMS, who received in 1683 for his one share £3 6s.; for 1684-5, £4 8s. each year; for 1686 and 87, £3 6s. each; for 1688, £4 8s.; for 1689-90-91, £2 4s. each year, mostly in bar iron, or barter thereof at the stores of Bartholomew TIPPING of Taunton, John POLE of Boston, Benedict ARNOLD of Newport, and other sources, butchers, shoemakers, weavers, &c., discounted at the iron works.  Mr. WILLIAMS died in 1693, and his widow continued to receive the product share, through her son, who succeeded to his father’s business, tanning, from 1691 to 1700 each year 2 C. to 4 cwt.; in 1701 2 C.; 1702, £3 2s.; in 1703, £1 10s.; in 1704, £0 8s.; 1705, 13s 2d., about the same for five years; in all 500 wt. of bar iron at 20s. per hundred; discounting meeting house, town, school master and county rates, and store pay, by the clerk of the iron works, and occasionally a few shillings in money.  Dea. WILLIAMS was annually credited “£2 10s. for a hide for the bellows.”

The town of Taunton held half a share, and to illustrate the amount others received, owning half shares, – in 1683 £1 13s. was shared, or, “1 C. 2 qrs. in iron, on Deacon Walter DEAN’s order for the school master, Mr. GREEN;” for 1684, “£2 4s. in iron, delivered on Dea. DEAN’s order for same rate;” for 1685, £2 4s.; 1686, “£1 13s. paid by Dea. DEAN for ammunition;” for 1687, £1 13s.; 1688, £2 4s. in iron; 1689, £1 7s. 6d.; and 1690, £1 2s. to Dea. DEAN’s order to pay the meeting house rate of £2 15s.  From that during the ten years to 1700, the average was £1 2s.; partially in money ordered by Dea. DEAN for school and other rates, or in iron bartered.  The amount of iron and money shared differed from the above in some cases, but iron was as much in demand as money, and as available in Boston and Dorchester as in Taunton.

The following illustrations from the ledger pages show the manner of conveyance of iron to shareholders in Boston, Dorchester and elsewhere.  “June, 1685, delivered to Nicholas WHITE, sen’r, to carry (through the wilderness) to Major E. TYNG, 7 C. of iron, also to Madam LEVERETT* of Boston 7 C. of iron; for Peter NOYES of Sudbury 5 C. 2 qrs. in bars, for John BAKER of Dorchester 3 C. 2 qrs. and for Samuel CAPEN 3 C. 2 qrs. for Dorchester church, as their due for 1683-84.”  “In November 1686, delivered to same to carry to Mrs. TYNG and Madam LEVERETT of Boston 4 C. and 12 lbs. each, for Mr NOYES of Sudbury 3 C. 2 qrs.; for Mr BAKER 205 lbs. and for Mr CAPEN’s order 205 lbs. as their share for 1685.”

Thus, without long repetition of other cases, for twenty years or more, the annual transportation of iron (occasionally a little money) to shareholders, varied from year to year as the product of the iron works varied.  The record, however, shows a gradual decline during the succeeding years.

* Widow of John LEVERETT, governor of Massachusetts 1673-79.

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In 1700, delivered to Wm. THOMAS of Plymouth 5 C. of iron for Madam LEVERETT; same amount for Mrs. TYNG of Boston, as their shares for two years, “marked L, for John POOL of Boston.”  “To Philip WITHINGTON per order of Selectmen of Dorchester, just 7 C. of iron for the four years, 1699 to 1703.”  Also, “per order Dea. Sam’l TOPLIFF, for the Dorchester Church, 1 C. and half of iron for the years 1704, 5, 6 and 7, being £1 13s. each year.”  “in 1720 & ’21, £1 2s.; in 1722 & ’23, nothing; from 1724 to 1732, 11 shillings each year, for Dorchester.”  Other half shareholders same amount, or £1 2s. per share.  Here ends the old ledger accounts, transferred to later books, of which whole columns are filled with the details.


James LEONARD, senior, purchased of William HAYLSTON in 1666 about ten acres of land on Mill River, with a water privilege, where he afterwards erected a forge or “bloomerie,” “with one hearth,” for the manufacture of charcoal iron, called the “Whittington Forge,”* which was in operation in 1678.  His three sons, Joseph, Uriah and Benjamin, having served in the Taunton Iron Works at the “refining and bloomerie” trade, worked the forge.  They also had a grist-mill at the same place.  This was the location of James LEONARD’s iron works.

James died in 1691, and the Probate record (Book I.) describes the division of his property by agreement of all the heirs.  Joseph2 “to have one fourth of his father’s iron works,” with some adjacent land, and “to pay 20 shillings in money, and 400 of iron annually to his mother-in-law;” Uriah “to have the rest of the Whittington Iron Works, dwelling house and land,” and “pay 600 of iron per annum to his mother-in-law Margaret as long as she continued his father’s widow;” James2 to have some tracts of land, “the old home lot,” and “his father’s half share in the Taunton Iron Works,” also £4 9s. more from the estate; Benjamin2 to have certain parcels of land named, the shop tools, old iron, his father’s clothing and as much more from the estate as to make £26 9s.  Abigail2 and John KINGSBURY, Rebecca2 and Isaac CHAPMAN, and Hannah2 and [photocopy illegible] DEAN (daughters and husbands) to have certain tracts of land and proceeds of sales from the estate, to make for each £26 9s.  Thomas to have the dwelling house near the iron works on Two Mile River, after the death of his mother-in-law, and to administer the estate, to pay all bequests to the heirs, and have the remainder.  One third of all the movables were assigned to Widow Margaret, she “to reside in the house where she lives as long as she remains a widow.”  To all of which she agreed.  She died in 1701.

Joseph2 died in 1692, leaving widow Mary, executrix, and four children – his “brother Thomas and Deacon Henry HODGES to be overseers,” to assist in settling the estate.  A few years later James,3 son of Capt. James, succeeded as a partner and to the management of the Whittington Iron Works; and they were “to pay the widow Mary 600 of iron annually during her life, while the works stand.”  […]

* “Whittington,” the original name, changed to Whittenton and legalized.  A record in 1669 says, “Whereas, James LEONARD, forgeman, hath an intent to set up a small Iron Works to go by water on Mill River, above the Saw Mill, and whereas the land on the opposite side belongeth to Lieut. George MACY, and may be overflowed by a dam;” said MACY “hereby grants to James LEONARD the right to build a dam and make use of the water to overflow any part of his land by paying so much annually as any indifferent rational man shall judge.”


New England Marriages Prior to 1700

10 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing
Company, 1987). [WorldCat]

[pages xiv-xv]

For each of the 37,000 couples herein covered, the husband’s full name (roughly alphabetical, with variant spellings grouped under the most common) is followed sometimes by a superscript to indicate generation (usually first or second), then by birth and death years, if known, in parenthese. “(1654-)” indicates a birth in 1654 and an unknown death year; “(-1700)” indicates an unknown birth year and a death in 1700. “Ca” for “circa” means “about” and “ae 35 in 1674” indicates aged 35 in 1674, a fact recorded probably in a court deposition. After an ampersand, “&”, the wife’s full name is given, with any known birth or death years likewise in parenthesis. “1/wf” or “2/wf” indicates first or second wife, any surname in parenthesis is a maiden name (in general, if there are two surnames, one or both in parenthesis, the first is a maiden surname, the second that of a first husband; if there are three surnames, however the parentheses are placed, the last two are those of previous husbands in chronological order), a blank line (within or outside parenthesis) indicates that the wife’s maiden name is unknown, a surname in brackets is one not derived from a marriage record, “w Daniel” indicates “widow of Daniel,” whose last name is given earlier, and “m/2” or “m/3”, followed by a man’s full name and often a year, indicates a second or third marriage. After the data on husband and wife is a semi-colon, then a date. If the date is exact — 25 Nov. 1674 — it is a marriage (or marriage intention) date; if it is a year only, preceded “b”, it is the birth date of a first child, not the birthdate of either partner, and the marriage can be assumed to have taken place a year or more earlier. Often these “first child” birthdates are approximate. Following this date is a list of residences, from marriage through usually the death of the husband, in chronological order. Question marks alongside any data indicate doubt, of course; “+” after a date means “following”, “-” means “Before”, and stray kinships that might provide clues to origins are sometimes noted as well. Since marriages of men with the same name are also roughly chronological, and each marriage is listed separately, data on a man’s second marriage (including residence only after it) often does not immediately follow the listing for his first.

[page 14]

ALLERTON, Isaac2 [(1630-1702 Virginia)] & 2/wf Elizabeth [WILLOUGHBY]/COLCLOUGH; 1663

[page 15]

AMBROSS, William & Elizabeth MATTOCK; 6 Jan 1697; Boston

[page 39]

BANKS, John & Mehitable MATTOX m/2 Thomas WEBBER; 29 Aug 1694; Boston

[pages 72-73]

BISHOP, Nathaniel (-1687) & Alice ? (not Alice MATTOCKS)(-1674+) b 1634; Boston

BISHOP, Nathaniel & Alice [MATTOCKS?], m/2 John LEWIS 1659, m/3 Abraham HOWE by 1680, m/4 John HARRIS aft 1683; b 1634 (no)

[page 76]

BLAKE, William (1594-1663) & Agnes (?THORNE) BAND/BOND? (-1678), wid; Pitminster, Eng, 27 Sep, 23 Sep 1617; Dorchester

[page 108]

BROWN, Samuel & Mary MATTOCKE, m/2 Thomas BISHOP?; 9 Jul 1661; Boston

[pages 132-33]

CANFIELD, Samuel (1645-1690) & Sarah [WILLOUGHBY] (living 1677), left widow Elizabeth; ca 1668; Norwalk, CT

CANFIELD, Samuel & Elizabeth [MERWIN?/WILLOUGHBY?] (see above); ? ; Norwalk, CT

[page 257]

FAIRBANKS, Richard & Elizabeth (DAULTON); Boston, Eng, b 1636, b 1633, 17 Sep 1618; Boston, ?dau Lydia m/1 Edward BATES, m/2 William FLETCHER

[page 302]

GILBERT, John (-1657) & 3/wf 2/wf Winifred (ROSSITER) COMBE (-1663+); in Eng b 1619; Dorchester/Taunton

GILBERT, Thomas (-1676, 1677) & Jane (COMBE) ROSSITER (-1691), Taunton, ?w Hugh?; 23 Mar 1639, 1639/40 (no); Taunton

GILBERT, Thomas2 (?1620-1662) & Catherine (CHAPIN) BLISS (1626-1712), w Nathaniel, m/3 Samuel MARSHFIELD 1664; 31 Jun 1655, 30 Jun 1655, ?31 Jul; Springfield

GILBERT, Thomas (1643-1725, ae 82y), ?Boston & Anna BLAKEY/BLACKE of Milton (1653-1722); 18 Dec 1676; Taunton

[page 339]

HAMMOND, Lawrence (-1699) & 3/wf Margaret WILLOUGHBY (-1683), w Francis; 8 Feb 1674/5; Charlestown

[page 348]

HART, Nicholas (-1645±) & Jane/Joan [ROSSITER] (1616, ?1615-1685±, 1691); b 1635?; Taunton/Warwick, RI/Portsmouth, RI/ Plymouth

[page 461]

LEONARD, Isaac (ca 1650-ca 1717) & Deliverance ? ; b 1680; Bridgewater

[page 462]

LEONARD, Solomon (?1610-1686) & Mary (CHANDLER) (-bef 1 May 1671); b 1640, b 1643?; Duxbury/Bridgewater

LEONARD, Solomon2 & Mary ? ; b 1680; Bridgewater

[page 463]

LEWIS, John & Alice [MATTOCKS? no?] BISHOP, m/2 Abraham HOWE bef 1680, m/3 John HARRIS (1683+); 22 Nov 1659; Boston

[page 480]

LYNDE, Nathaniel (1659-1729) & 1/wf Susanna WILLOUGHBY (1664-1710); b 1683; Charlestown/ Saybrook, CT

[page 488]

MARCH, George & Mary FOULSOM/FOLSOM, m/2 Joseph HERRICK; 12 Jun 1672; Newbury

MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 1/wf Judith ? (-1675); b 1646; Newbury

MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 2/wf Dorcas (BOWMAN) BLACKLEACH (-1683), w Benjamin; 29 May 1676; Newbury/Watertown

MARCH, Hugh (1656-) & Sarah MOODY (1663-); 29 Mar 1683; Newbury

MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 3/wf Sarah (CUTTING)(BROWN) HEALY (-1699), w James, w William; 3 Dec 1685; Newbury

MARCH, Hugh (1673-1695) & Sarah [COKER], m/2 Archaleus ADAMS 1698; b 1694; Newbury

MARCH, James (-1721) & Mary [WALKER] (1699-), dau Shubael, m/2 John EMERY; b 1690; Newbury

MARCH, John1 (-1666) & 1/wf Rebecca ? ; b 1638; Charlestown

MARCH, John (-1666) & Anna [?BICKNER]; b 1666; Charlestown

MARCH, John & Jemima TRUE; 1 Oct 1679; Newbury

MARCH, John & Mary ANGIER; 11 Dec 1700; Newbury/Reading

MARCH, Nicholas & Martha ? , m/2 William DADEY? 1670; b 1657; Charlestown

MARCH, Stephen & Anna WILBORN; 26 Jan 1691/2; Taunton

MARCH/MARSH, Theophilus (-1694) & Elizabeth HUNT; 10 Jan 1664/5, 3 Feb 1664/5, 3 Feb 1664; Cambridge/Charlestown

MARCH, ? & ? FIELD; b 1701?; Flushing, LI

[page 497]

MATTOCK, David (-1654) & Sarah ? , m/2 Thomas RAWLINS 1656; Braintree/Roxbury

MADOCKS, Edmund & Rebecca MUNINGS/MUNNINGS; 14 Jan 1651/2; Boston

MADDOCK, Henry & Mary WELLINGTON (1640-), m/2 John COOLIDGE 1679; 21 May 1662; Watertown

MATTOCK/MADDOCK, Henry & Rachel ? ; b. 1673; Saco, ME/Boston

MATTOX, Henry & Diana SOUTHER; 3 Mar 1698; Boston

MATTOCKS, James (-1667) & Mary [SPOORE?]; b 1637; Boston

MADDOCKS, John (-1703) & Ruth CHURCH, m/2 Joseph CHILD, m/3 Thomas INGERSOLL 1720; 23 Jun 1689; Watertown

MATTOCK, John (1669-) & Elizabeth ? ; b. 1701?; Boston

MATTOCKE, Richard & Grace TOD (1650-); 2 Mar 1668/9; New Haven

MATTOCKE, Samuel & Constance FAIRBANKS; 30 Mar 1653; Boston

MATTOCKS, Samuel (1659-) & Anna/Ann?/Anne MARCH; 12 Apr 1688; Charlestown/Boston

[page 503]

MERIAM, George1 (ca 1603-1675) & Susan/Susanna RAVEN (-1675+); Tunbridge, Eng, 16 Oct 1627; Concord

[page 579]

PHILLIPS, William (-1705, ae 35?) & Hannah (GILBERT) (1677-1705); b 1699, b 1697?; Taunton

[pages 599-600]

PRATT, Ebenezer & Martha ? ; ca 1700; Weymouth

PRATT, Ephriam (1675±1748) & Phebe ? (-1736); b 1698, (ca 1695?); Weymouth

PRATT, Joseph (1639-1720) & Sarah JUDKINS (1645-1726); 7 May 1662; Weymouth

PRATT, Joseph (1665-1765) & Sarah (BENSON) (-bef 1721); b 1693, ca 1690?; Weymouth

PRATT, John (-1647?) & Mary? (WHITMAN?) dau John, m/2 William TURNER bef 1671; b 1630; Dorchester

PRATT, John (ca 1622-1716) & Elizabeth WHITMAN (-1716, ae 82); 22 Nov 1656, 9? Oct, 27 Nov, no ch; Weymouth

PRATT, John (1668-) & Mercy (NEWCOMB) (1665-1721); b 1690; Weymouth

PRATT, John (1663-1744) & 1/wf Mary (NEWCOMB?); b 1686; Weymouth

PRATT, Matthew (1628-) & Sarah HUNT (1640-1729); 1 Aug 1661; Weymouth

PRATT, Matthew & Susanna PORTER/Mary ? (1665-1761); b 1691; Weymouth/Abington

PRATT, Matthew (-1673?) & Elizabeth [BATES?] in Eng b 1628, b 1622, 1619?; Weymouth/Rehoboth

PRATT, Phineas/Phinehas? (1590/93-1680, ae 90?, ae 81 in 1674) & Mary (PRIEST) GOBERTSON/CUTHBERTSON (-1682+, 1689?); ca 1627/33; Plymouth/Charlestown

PRATT, Samuel (1670-1728) & Patience (CHARLES) (1675-1735); b 1695; Weymouth/Taunton

PRATT, Samuel (-1679) & Hannah RODGERS/ROGERS (-1721, ae 77), m/2 Thomas BAILEY b 1687; 19 Sep 1660, 19 Jul; Weymouth

PRATT, Samuel (1670-1745±) & (Hannah?)(MILLER); b 1697; Middleborough

PRATT, Thomas (ca 1626-1676) & 1/wf Mary ? ; b 1653, b 1659; Weymouth

PRATT, Thomas & Deborah LOVELL (1664/5-1727); ca 1690; Weymouth

PRATT, Thomas & Lydia (?BROWN), m/2 Josiah CHAPIN 1676; ca 1665, b 1676; Weymouth

PRATT, Thomas (-1676) & Lydia (BROWN?) (1658?-) of Ipswich, m/2 Josiah CHAPIN 1676; ca 1665; Weymouth

PRATT, Thomas (1646-) & ? (had Mary 19 Apr 1680, Thomas 9 Dec 1682, Hannah 19 Jul 1685); b 1680; Concord (see Thomas & Alice)

PRATT, Thomas (1646-1720) & Alice ? ; b 1669; Charlestown/Chelsea

PRATT, William & Hannah ? ; ca 1700; Weymouth

PRATT, William (1674-) & Hannah HOUGH; 8? Oct 1700; Saybrook, CT

PRATT, William (1659-1713) & Elizabeth (BAKER)/(SWIFT?) (1656-); 26 Oct 1680; Dorchester

PRATT, William (ca 1620-) & Experience (KING); b 1692; Weymouth/Dorchester

[page 612]

RAWLINS, Thomas1 (-1660) & 3/wf Sarah MADOCKS/MATTOCKS (-1660+) w David; 2 May 1656; Boston

[page 638]

ROSSITER, Hugh & (?Jane) ? (1614-1691), m/2 Thomas GILBERT 1639; Dorchester

ROSSITER, Edward (?1585-1630) & ? ; b 1615; Dorchester

[page 824]

WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 1/wf Mary ? (-1640); in Eng, b 1639, b 1635; Charlestown

WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 2/wf Sarah [TAYLOR] (-1654); 1640?, in Eng; Charlestown

WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 3/wf Margaret (LOCKE) TAYLOR, w Daniel, m Lawrence HAMMOND 1675; ca 1658-9, in Eng; Charlestown

WILLOUGHBY, Jonathan (ca 1635-) & Griszel GOLDESBOROUGH; in Eng, – Dec 1661, lic 3 Dec 1661; Charlestown/Wethersfield, CT

WILLOUGHBY, Nehemiah (1644-1702) & Abigail BARTHOLOMEW (1650-1702); 2 Jan 1671/2, 2 Jan 1671; Charlestown/Salem

WILLOUGHBY, William (1588-1651, in Eng) & Elizabeth ? (-1662, Charlestown); in Eng, b 1613; Charlestown

WILLOUGHBY, William & Abigail ? ; Greenland, NH

The Pioneers of Massachusetts

10 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts: A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns and Churches, and Other Contemporaneous Documents (Boston: Charles H. Pope, 1900).

[page 51]



Nathaniel, currier, Ipswich, propr. 1636-1639; rem. to Boston. Sold Ips. land 25 May, 1643; adm. chh. 24 (12) 1643; frm. May, 1645. He deposed to the will of Mary Drury 28 Nov. 1682, ae. 75 years. Wife Alice: Ch. Sarah b. (rec. at Boston) 20 (1) 1634, (m. 18 (7) 1654 Samuel Bucknell,) Ruth b. 14 (2) 1639, (m. 15 (2) 1656, John Peirce,) Joseph b. 14 (5) 1642, Benjamin b. 31 (3) 1644, (bapt. at Bo.,) John b. 31 (11) 1646, Samuel d. 7 (1) 1646, Hannah b. 11 (12) 1648, John bapt. 26 (11) 1650, Rebecca b. 8 (2) 1652. The widow Alice m. 22 Nov. 1659, John Lewis.

He made will 10 June, 1681, prob. 4 June, 1687, before Andros. Dau. Ruth, (wife of William Fuller, of Boston, victualler,) and her children, Ruth, wife of Philip Catland, Hannah, wife of William Smith, and Rebecca Pierce; dau. Rebecca, wife of Adam Holland.

[page 73]



John, mariner, Salem, propr. and member. chh. 1637; frm. May 2, 1638. Chosen ruling elder 1660. Wrecked on return from Virginia; lost vessel and goods, but arrived at Sal. in 1661. Had new ship built by William Stephens. Ales (Alice) presumed to be his wife, memb. chh. in 1637. Ch. Jonathan, (d. 1667; est. adm. by his father;) John bapt. 16 (7) 1638, Jacob and Samuel bapt. 13 (1) 1641, John bapt. 1 (3) 1642, James bapt. 17 (5) 1642, Joanna bapt. 9 (2) 1643, Eliza bapt. 23 (10) 1643, Eliza bapt. 14 (2) 1644, Nathaniel bapt. 28 (5) 1644.

His will dated 2 Jan. 1683, prob. 24 Nov. 1684, beq. to gr. ch. John and Abiel B.; to 4 ch. of his dec. son
James B.; to son-in-law Samuel Gardner, Jr. and his wife.

[page 110]


Rice, or Ryse, Charlestown, memb. Boston chh. 1630; frm.. April 1, 1633, propr. Char. 1634. Wife Arrold; ch. Robert, (d. about 1660,) John, James, Mary, (m. Richard LOWDEN,) Elizabeth (m. Thomas PIERCE).

He d. 15 (3) 1646.  Will dated (3) 1646, prob. April 1, 1662.  To wife, sons Robert, John and James, and 2 daus.  Richard LOWDEN and Thomas PIERCE of Woburn, who m. the daus. asked for a division of the estate, the eldest and youngest sons having d. without heirs, leaving only one son.  The widow, Arrold, wrote from Charlestown Aug. 28, 1655, to her son and dau. JENKS and dau. Ruth COLES, giving love of “your bro. John COLE and bros. and sisters PEIRCE and LOWDEN.”  She wrote 16 (10) 1661 to dau. Ruth MOOD, referring to Ruth̓s former husband.  Henry MUDD of Stepney, Eng., mariner, and Ruth his wife, gave power of attorney to John SMITH of Charlestown 16 (–) 1661.  [Mdx. Files.]  Her will dated 20 (10) prob. 26 (10) 1662, beq. to son John C., sons LOWDEN and PERCE and their ch.; bro. Solomon PHIPPS.

[page 128]


William, butcher, Charlestown, 1630, adm. Boston chh. 1631-2, frm. April 1, 1633. Was one of the attorneys of Mrs. Palsgrave before March 17, 1656. Wife Dorothy, adm. chh. 31 (6) 1633; she d. March 8 1670-1. Ch. William, Benjamin bapt. 24 (1) 1635, Nathaniel bapt. 22 (11) 1636, Zachariah b. 16 (3) 1644, Abigail.

He d. April 10, 1682, ae. 77. [Gr. St.] Will dated 3 Feb. 1681, prob. June 20, 1682, beq. to wife Martha and to her ch. by former husband; to son William and dau. Abigail.

[page 160]


Jonathan, Dedham, propr. 23 (1) 1636-7, adm. chh. 14 (6) 1646. Town officer. Wife Grace; ch. John, George, Jonas, Jonathan; Mary adm. chh. 11 (10) 1640, (m. 1, Michael Metcalf, 2, Christopher Smith,) Susan, (m. 12 (8) 1647, Ralph Day).

He d. 5 Dec. 1668; his will prob. Jan. 26, folg., mentions all the above-named and some of their children. The widow d. 28 (10) 1673. [Reg. XIX, 32.] See will of George Fairbanke of Sowerby in Halifax, Eng., dated May 28, 1650. [Reg. VII, 303.] Genealogy.

Richard, Boston, adm chh. (8) 1633, frm. May 14, 1634. He had leave to sell his shop to Saunders, a bookbinder, 7 (6) 1637. He was appointed by Gen. Court 5 (9) 1639, to have charge of all letters to and from Eng., voluntarily brought to his house. He made exchange of land 1 (2) 1652. Wife Elizabeth adm. chh. with him; ch. Constance bapt. 10 (11) 1635, (m. 30 (1) 1653, Samuel Mattocke,) Zaccheus bapt. 8 (10) 1639, d. 10 (9) 1653.

[page 186]


John, Dorchester, a grave, honest gentleman; his son was arrested for drunkenness in 1636. [W.] He rem. to Taunton; frm. Plym. Col. 4 Dec. 1638. Propr., town officer.

Will dated May 31, 1654, prob. June 3, 1657; to wife Winifred, ch: Gyles, Joseph, Thomas, John, Mary Norcrosse, and her dau. Mary; to wife’s gr. ch. Elizabeth Peslee. [Reg. V, 338.]

[page 215]

HART, HEART, compare with HARDY,


Nicholas, Taunton, atba. 1643. [see ROSSITER.]

[page 285]


John, of Tenterden, Eng., with wife Sarah, came in the Hercules in March, 1634. Settled at Scituate. Frm. Plym. Col. 7 Feb. 1636-7. Butcher, rem. to Boston, 1652; ch. Sarah bapt. at Bo. 5 (11) 1650. Wife Sarah d. 12 (5) 1657; he m. 22 Nov. 1659 Alice, widow of Nathaniel Bishop, who joined him in a deed of land 24 Aug. 1659. Ch. Samuel b. Jan. 18, 1661, Joseph b. Feb. 4, 1662, Benoni b. 25 (11) 1664.

[page 297]


John, sawyer, cert. from Stepney parish, Eng., came in the Planter March 22, 1634. Settled at Salem.

He d. April 22, 1643. Will prob. 6 (5) 1644, referred to in Court files.

[page ?]



John, Charlestown, adm. chh. 15 (3) 1642; frm. May 18, 1642. Town officer. [Wife?] Rebeckah adm. chh. 29 (3) 1642. His son Edward d. 4 (8) 1636; son John d. 2 (3) 1641. Will prob. 17 (11) 1665, beq. to wife Ann the est. she brought at marriage; dau. Frances Bucke and her ch.; son Theophilus M. and his son John; wife’s gr. ch. Sarah Bickner.

[pages 306-07]


David, Roxbury, frm. May 22, 1650.

He d. about (3) 1654. The magistrates gave the est. to his widow Sarah, a son and a decrepit dau. May 25, 1654 [Reg. VIII, 276.] The widow m. 2, Thomas Rawlin, Sen. His dau. Elizabeth b. and d. 1655.

James, cooper, Boston, had liberty to live with his bro. John Spoore or elsewhere 18 (4) 1638; adm. chh. 24 (12) 1638, frm. March 13, 1638-9. Dism. to chh. at Mt. Wollaston for ye winter season 24 (9) 1639. Bought a house lot of Anthony Stoddard 28 (10) 1644, and sold it to John Synderland Dec. 30, 1644. Bought house and land April 25, 1653, and gave it to his son Samuel who was about to marry Constance, dau. of Richard Fairbanks. Dau. Mary m. 9 July, 1661 Samuel Browne.

Will, dated Jan. 21, 1666, prob. Aug. 1, 1667. Wife Mary, son Samuel Mattock, daus. Alice, wife of John Lewes, and Mary, wife of Samuel Browne. [Reg. XV, 325.] The widow Mary, aged, made will 8 Jan. 1680, prob. 11 April, 1682; beq. to son Samuel, and his ch. James and Samuel; dau. Alice How; gr. ch. Samuel and Joseph Lewis; dau. Mary Bishop; gr. ch. James, Mary and Samuel Browne and Hannah Byshop.

John, Salem, worked with Robert Lewis on the ship Sara for Richard Hollingsworth, shipbuilder, who gave them an order for the money 19 Aug. 1641.

He d. April 22, 1643; inv. 6 (5) 1644.

Stephen, sent over by Mr. Peter and Mr. Weld in 1643, a servant, assigned to Elder How of Watertown, lived with Nathaniel Treadway of Wat. 5 (2) 1653. [Mdx. Files.]

[page 341]


Mr. Richard, physician, Charlestown, propr. 1630; with wife Anne adm. chh. 1631, frm. May 18, 1631. Ch. John, (who quit-claimed land in 1657,) Mary, (m. Roger Willington,) Sarah, (m. Dr. John Alcock; d. 29 (9) 1665, ae 44 years,) Rebecca b. 25 (5) 1631, John b. 6 (1) 1634, Lydia b. 15 (11) 1635, Bethiah b. and d. 1638, Elizabeth.

He d. about 1655. His widow, dwelling at Stepney, Eng., made a letter of attorney March 17, 1656. [Midx. De. II, 32.] She ret. to N. E. and d. at Roxbury 17 (11) 1669, ae. 75. Will prob. May 13, 1669. Beq. to eldest dau., Mary, wife of Roger Willington; to Anna and other children of her son and dau. Alcock; to John Heylet, eldest son of her dau. Lydia, he to be educated in physick; to Mary, wife of John Maddox; to grandchildren. A debt due to John Pattison in old England.

[page 361]

PIERCE, etc.,

Thomas, Charlestown; wife Elizabeth adm. chh. 10 (11) and he adm. chh. 21 (12) 1634.  Frm. May 6, 1635.  He rem. to Woburn; propr. 1643; town officer.  Signed a petition in 1663, ae. about 46 years old, [Mass. Arch. vol. 106.]  Wife Elizabeth was ae. 71 in 1667.  Ch. Abigail bapt. 17 (4) 1639, a son John b. at Wob. 7 (1) 1643, Thomas b. Jan. 21, 1644, Elizabeth b. Dec. 25, 1646, Joseph b. Aug. 14, 1649, Stephen b. July 16, 1651, Samuel b. 1654, d. 1655, Samuel b. April 7, 1656, William b. March 7, 1656-7, James b. May 7, 1659, Abigail b. Nov. 20, 1660.

He d. Oct. 7, 1666.  Will dated Nov. 7, 1665, ae. about 82 years; beq. to wife Elizabeth; gr. ch. Mary BRIDGE and Elizabeth JEFFS, now dwelling with me; to all gr. ch.; to Harvard College.  The widow deposed to the inv. March 22, 1666-7, ae. 71 years.

[page 392]


Bray, [Brian?] gent., physician. Dorchester, came in the Mary and John in 1629-30. Propr. Sold land to Wm. Hutchinson. [L.] Rem. to Windsor, Conn., where he witnessed a deed Sept. 12, 1647. [Suff. De. I, 98.] Rem. to Guilford, Conn. [Mass. Hist. Coll. 3-10.]

Mr. Edward, one of the Assistants, came to N. E. in 1630.

He d. before Nov. 29, 1630. [W.] His dau., widow Jane Hart, petitioned Gen. Court for aid in 1685, being 70 years old. [Reg. XXXIII, 242.]

Jane, Taunton, m. 23 March 1639-40, Thomas Gilbert.

[page 429]


John, husbandman, late of Clapton in Somersetshire, with his bro. John Mattocke, cooper, had grant of land in Boston, 1638. Frm. May 22, 1638-9. Wife Elizabeth adm. chh. with him 14 (2) 1639; ch. Mary b. 20 (1) 1637, Mary bapt. 21 (2) 1639, Ebenezer b. 3 (3) 1642, Elizabeth bapt. 30 (1) 1645, ae. about 6 days, Martha b. and d.1648, John b. 16 (4) 1650.

[page 486]


Roger, planter, Watertown, 1636. Suit in court in 1651. He deposed Dec. 1673, ae. about 64 years. [Mdx. Files.] He m. Mary, dau. of Dr. Richard Palsgrave; ch. John b. 25 (5) 1638, Mary b. 10 (12) 1640, Joseph b. 9 (8) 1643, Benjamin, Oliver b. Nov. 23, 1648, Palsgrave.

He d. March 11, 1697-8. Will dated 17 Dec. 1697, prob. April 11, 1698; “feeble by reason of age;” beq. to sons John, Joseph, Benjamin, Oliver and Palsgrave; gr. ch. John Mattocks, Roger W., and Mary Livermore.

[page 503]


Mr. Francis, merchant, Charlestown, adm. propr. 1638; adm. chh. with wife Mary 3(10)1639, frm. May 13, 1640. Gave bond in trade concerning tobacco in 1640. [L.] Deputy in 1642 and afterward. Town officer, 1646. Magistrate.

He rendered important service to the colonies as a member of Parliament from Portsmouth, Eng. in 1647, and again in 1657-8. He ret. to Charlestown from his second absence about 1662. The Court gave him 1000 acres of land in token of his services 15 Oct. 1669.

His wife Mary died, and he m. 2, in Eng. Mrs. Margaret Taylor, dau of William Locke and widow of Mr. Daniel Taylor; she was adm. chh. Char. 13(8)1667; ch. Sarah bapt. 13(4)1641, Hannah b. and d. 1643, Nehemiah b. 18(4)1644, Jeremiah b. 29(5)1647, Francis bapt. at St. Olaves in London 29 Feb. 1659-60, Susanna, dau. of the Worshipful Francis Willoughby bapt. at Char. 21(6)1664. The two last ch. had bequests from their mother’s sister Jane Locke, in 1669. [L., A., Reg. XXX, XXXV, and XL.]

His will dated 4 June, 1670, prob. April 10, 1671; refers to his mother’s payment of legacies from his father to his children; beq. to eldest son Jonathan and each of his children; to his wife the estate to which she shall testify to having brought at her marriage and a share of his other property; to sons Nehemiah, William and Francis, and dau. Susannah; to dau. Campfield, who had previously recd. her portion; to aunt Hammond if alive, and to cousin Laur. H.; to his pastor and teacher; to cousin March during her widowhood free use of the house where she dwells; to the school in Charleston 300 acres of land given him by the town but never laid out, lying beyond Woburn; to Laur. Dowse and Edward Wilson, and to his man, Richard Waldron.

The Wives of John Gilbert of Dorchester, Mass.

7 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Geoffrey Gilbert, “The Wives of John Gilbert of Dorchester, Mass.,” New England Historical and
Genealogical Register

[page 234]

John Gilbert of Bridgwater, Somerset, one of the original purchasers of Taunton, Mass., brought with him to Dorchester, in or about 1635, a wife Winifred, four sons, and a daughter. He was born in 1580, and in January 1602-3 he married Mary Street, both in Bridgwater. Mary has been considered the mother of the two older sons, Thomas and John, Jr., who were “well grown youths” in 1636. The two younger sons, Giles and Joseph, and probably the daughter Mary, have been assigned more or less doubtfully to Winifred. As to the identity of Winifred, the only clue has been a clause in John’s will referring to his wife’s grandchild Elizabeth —-; the surname has been variously deciphered as Peaslee, Peslee, Peter, and Pester. This clause has been the basis for a guess that Peaslee or a variant was the name of Winifred’s first husband, and she has appeared in some genealogies as “widow Peaslee”, though obviously this would only be true if Elizabeth were the child of a son of Winifred, not of a daughter.

Somewhat later, restudies of the Bridgwater records suggested that there might be still another wife. A daughter Joan was born in 1614 to John and Alice Gilbert and Alice, wife of John Gilbert, died in 1618. It was not considered certain that these records related to John, the immigrant, but on the other hand evidence was uncovered that a John Gilbert, who later became mayor of Bridgwater, was born about 1614, and there is reason to suppose that the Joan of the 1614 baptism is really this John. If so, he is in all likelihood the second son of John, the immigrant, who is known to have returned permanently to England in 1645, after about ten years in America.

In the late 1920’s, my father, Philip H. Gilbert, engaged an English genealogist, Mr. H. Tapley-Soper, of Exeter, to try to uncover further

[page 235]

details about John Gilbert, Sr., and his antecedents. The Chancery Reports, neglected by earlier workers, yielded several pieces of information about John and his father Giles. One in particular, a suit brought against John in 1610 by one Valentine Babb, clears up the question of the second wife. It shows that John married Alice Hopkins, daughter of Thomas Hopkins of Bristol, in September 1606; a reference to Nicholas Street as John’s father-in-law removes all doubt as to his identity. In all probability a Mary Gilbert who was buried in Bridgwater in October 1605 was John’s first wife, and beyond any doubt the Alice who died in 1618 was the second. Alice must certainly have been the mother of the sons Thomas and John, Jr.

The Babb document reads in part as follows:

Chancery Proceedings C.2 James I, B.26-7.

26 April 1610. Complaint of Valentine Babb of Trull, co. Somerset, yeoman, that whereas one John Gilbert of Trull, gent., by virtue of the last will of Giles Gilbert his father deceased ….. was possessed of a lease ….. called Peasehay containing 80ac in Baudripp, co. Somerset ….. said John Gilbert about 29 Nov. last in consideration of £600 ….. did sell to orator said premises ….. Since then there hath been a paper book made embodying the contract, which paper book was made by one Nicholas Street, gent., fatherinlaw to Gilbert ….. Gilbert refused to ….. perform the covenants of the agreement.

15 June 1610. Answer to John Gilbert, gent. He ….. made an agreement with the complainant ….. but 3 years before the time of the agreement he, in consideration of a marriage then shortly after to be had between him & Alice his now wife, which was then very shortly after solemnized, by his writing indented between him & Thomas Hoptkins & William Hoptkins of city of Bristol, merchants, & Richard Winter, gent. of same city dated 1 Sept. 4 Jas.I.1606 conveyed his interest in the premises to them for the jointure of Alice now his wife being daughter of said Thomas Hoptkins, & at the time of the agreement he thought he would procure and get the good liking of Alice & her trustee to relinquish the same assurance ….. but cannot succeed ….. and as this was the case Gilbert was unable to sign the agreement.

Mr. Tapley-Soper also found two other documents which, taken together, definitely establish the identity of the third wife, Winifred. The first is the will of Joseph Combe of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset, proved in April 1620. It mentions among others wife Winifred, daughter Joan, and “brother” Edward Rossiter. It has been printed in two collections of Somerset wills, and reprinted in an important article by Colket.*

The other document is as follows:

Feet of Fines, Somerset, Easter, 11 Charles I. 1635.

“Nicholas Rossiter gent. querent & John Gilbert gent. & Winifred his wife deforciant of a moiety of 15 ac of land & 8 ac of meadow in Combe St. Nicholas which John & Winifred granted to Nicholas to hold for life of Winifred & of Joan Combe daughter of Winifred & for the life of the longer liver of them”.

This suit establishes the identity of Winifred Gilbert with widow


*Colket, Meredith B., Jr.; “Edward Rossiter, his Family, and Notes on his English Connections”, American Genealogist, vol. 13, 1937, pp. 145-51.

[page 236]

Winifred Combe, but it does considerably more. It is no doubt a fictitious suit, and merely indicates that John and Winifred were selling their land to Nicholas Rossiter. Nicholas, in the Colket list, was a son of Edward, probably the oldest. He is thought to have been in America from about 1630 to 1635.* The transaction goes far to reinforce the conclusion that when Joseph Combe referred to Edward Rossiter as “brother” he meant brother-in-law, and that Edward was a brother of Winifred. It also gives an approximate date for the Gilbert departure for America; in spite of various traditions that include them in the passenger list of the Mary and John, I know of no evidence of their presence earlier than January 1635-6.** It gives us still another piece of information, to which I shall revert below; it shows that in 1635 Joan Combe was a still unmarried member of the Gilbert family.

Incorporating the above facts, we get the following outline for John Gilbert of Dorchester:

JOHN GILBERT, son of Giles and Joan (Pearce) Gilbert, was baptized 30 Aug. 1580 in Bridgwater, Somerset; died 1657 in Taunton, Mass. (will signed 6 April 1656, proved 3 June 1657). He married (1), 17 Jan. 1602-3, in Bridgwater, MARY STREET, bapt. 22 March 1578-9 in Taunton, Somerset; probably she who was buried 25 Oct. 1605, in Bridgwater; daughter of Nicholas Street. He married (2), in September 1606, perhaps in Bristol, ALICE HOPKINS, buried 25 April 1618 in Bridgwater; daughter of Thomas Hopkins of Bristol. He married (3), in or after 1620, WINIFRED (ROSSITER) COMBE, widow of Joseph Combe of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset, and sister of Edward Rossiter of that place.

Children by first wife:

  • ?. Twins MARY and JOAN, bapt. 4 Aug. 1603, Bridgwater; buried there 5 and 9 Aug. Parentage not stated, but they may have been daughters of John and Mary, born prematurely.
  • ?. MARY, bapt. 19 Aug. 1604, Bridgwater. Parentage not stated; if a daughter of John, she probably died young, as she could hardly have been the Mary listed below.

Children by second wife:

  • ?. ELIZABETH. The will of Emma Escott of Bridgwater, widow, dated 10 Nov. 1632, mentions “Elizabeth daughter of Mr. John Gilbert” (Somerset Wills, 2nd series, p. 96). Nothing further is known of her.
  • i. THOMAS, b. probably about 1612, perhaps in Trull, Somerset; d. about 1676, England.
  • ii. JOHN, b. about 1614, and probably the “Joan” bapt. 19 Aug. 1614, Bridgwater; prob. also the John who d. there 10 Feb. 1691.

Children by third wife:

  • iii. MARY. Mentioned in John’s will as Mary Norcross. Her husband was probably Rev. Nathaniel Norcross, bapt. in 1619 in London; in America 1638 to about 1649-50; d. 10 Aug. 1662, London. If this identification is


*Colket, idem.

**Boston Record Commissioners, Fourth Report, pp. 14-15.

[page 237]

correct, Mary was probably born in the early 1620’s and married in the early 1640’s.

  • iv. GILES, b. perhaps about 1627 (apparently under military age of 16 in 1643); d. 8 Jan. 1717-18, Rehoboth, Mass.
  • v. JOSEPH, b. perhaps about 1629; migrated from Taunton to North Carolina.

This paper is intended to be primarily factual, but I should like to end it on a note of conjecture regarding two Gilbert questions that still await an answer. One of these has already been implied. Now that we know who Winifred was, what are we to do about her granddaughter, Elizabeth Peaslee?

The other relates to Jane Rossiter, who married John’s oldest son Thomas in Taunton on 23 March 1639-40. The ancient statement that she was a daughter of Hugh Rossiter has been shown by Colket to be baseless. The most probable alternative is that she was Hugh’s widow.* If so, whose daughter was she?

I think that both birds can be killed with one stone. My evidence so far is circumstantial, but it is still coming in, and it makes at least a very plausible story. I hope to present it eventually, either in another paper in this journal or in the “John Gilbert Genealogy”, of which I am at present a co-compiler. Meanwhile I should like to stake my claim to the “discovery”, and invite rebuttal.

I believe that Jane Rossiter was the widow of Hugh, and that Hugh died in 1638 or 1639, leaving her with an infant daughter Elizabeth. She was also Hugh’s first cousin. She was the daughter of Winifred Gilbert, and the stepdaughter of John Gilbert. She was stepsister of her second husband, Thomas Gilbert. Her maiden name was Joan Combe.

As for Elizabeth of the illegible surname, it should be pointed out that the illegibility must be blamed on the clerk who at an uncertain date transcribed the will into the Plymouth records. The will itself has perished. Instead of burdening Winifred with an unaccountable Pester relative (Pester is fully as logical a reading as Peaslee**) can we not assume that the clerk slipped, and that the word written by John was something like Roseter or Rocester? If so, the conjecture is just about set up. Winifred was a Rossiter herself, but the only way she could have had a Rossiter grandchild would be by marrying a daughter to a Rossiter. We have an available daughter in Joan (Jane is a mere variant), and an available Rossiter in Hugh. What more do we need?

What became of young Elizabeth? I think I know that, too. She makes one more brief appearance, in the Thomas Gilbert inventory.*** She is referred to as “the daughter of Mr. Thomas Gilbert”,


*Colket, idem.

**Plym. Col. Records, Wills, vol. 2, pp. 46-7. See also the printed version in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 14, 1912, p. 114, which gives it as Pester.

***Plym. Col. Records, Wills, vol. 3, pp. 78-9.

[page 238]

and perhaps she was, by adoption. Anyway, she did not share in the estate. She had married Thomas Starr, Jr. and died before 1677.

John Gilbert and the Maternal Ancestry of Rev. Nicholas Street

4 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Donald Lines Jacobus, “John Gilbert of Taunton, Mass., and the Maternal Ancestry of Rev. Nicholas
Street of Taunton, Mass., and New Haven, Conn.,” American Genealogist 27[1951]:9-11.

The purpose of the present note is to call attention to a valuable manuscript on certain Gilbert families at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Conn. Between 1912 and 1916 the late Mr. Frank Newton Gilbert of Portland, Oregon, carried on an extensive English search, with the aid of Mr. J. Henry Hutchinson, English genealogist, to ascertain the origin of the colonial Gilbert settlers. Plans were made for the publication of a volume to contain English records; the American genealogy of the family of Thomas Gilbert of Hartford for seven generations; and the families of other early New England Gilbert families for six generations. By 1932 the publication plans were abandoned, and one copy of the manuscript was given to the Connecticut Historical Society, to assure its preservation, the other copy being retained by the Gilbert family.

The manuscript is based on the joint interest and labor of Mr. Harold Simeon Gilbert, the late Mr. Homer Worthington Brainard, and Mr. Clarence Almon Torrey. At the present time, through the interest of the Gilbert family, and with the cooperation of the Connecticut Historical Society, tentative plans have been made to publish a Gilbert genealogy, but because of the very large size of the manuscript and the high printing costs, this volume, which the present writer has been engaged to edit, will be limited to the family of Thomas Gilbert of Hartford.

The only one of the early Gilbert settlers whose origin in England was definitely learned was John Gilbert of Taunton, Mass. The “Foreword” written for the manuscript in 1932 states that the chapter on the Taunton family was contributed by Mr. Torrey.

The account starts with Giles Gilbert of Bridgwater, co. Somerset, who married there 10 Aug. 1571 Joan Pearre. Giles was buried 17 June 1595, and his widow, 18 Apr. 1597; his will, and the administration on her estate, are included. The baptisms of their seven children are also given. These include John on 17 Sept. 1577 and Susannah on 9 Dec. 1584. John Gilbert came to New England in 1633 and settled in Taunton; his will, dated 10 May 1654 was proved 3 June 1657. The first of his three wives, and apparently the ancestress of the later Taunton Gilberts, was Mary Street, whom he married in Bridgwater 17 Jan. 1602.

The Street Genealogy (1895), by Mrs. Mary A. Street (see pp. 1, 2, 467-9, 482, 483), shows that the grandfather of the Rev. Nicholas Street was Nicholas Street “the elder” of Bridgwater, co. Somerset, gent, whose will dated 5 Nov. 1606 was proved 3 May 1610. His wife was named Mary, and the will names two sons, Nicholas and Thomas. The Mary who married John Gilbert was undoubtedly his daughter, and The Street Genealogy supposes, rightly we think, that she was the Marie Street baptized 22 Mar. 1578 at St. Mary Magdalen, Taunton. She and her brother, the second Nicholas Street, almost had a double wedding, as Nicholas married Susannah Gilbert at Bridgwater, 16 Jan. 1602, while Mary Street married John Gilbert there the next day. It was obviously an instance of a brother and sister of one family marrying a sister and brother of the other family.

Susannah (Gilbert) Street was buried at Bridgwater 22 Feb. 1603, her only child, the third Nicholas, having been baptized 29 Jan. 1603. Her husband, the second Nicholas, was born not far from 1577, for he was without question the “Stre(e)te, Nicholas, of Somerset, gent., Lincoln Coll., matric. 10 Oct. 1594, aged 17; student of Middle Temple 1596, as son and heir of Nicholas of Taunton, Somerset, gent.” [Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714, p. 1435]. After the death of Susannah, he had a second wife, Mary, by whom he had several more children. He calls himself “of Bridgwater … gentleman” in his will, dated 5 Nov. 1616, proved 13 Feb. 1617.

The third Nicholas, baptized 29 Jan. 1603, received his B.A. from Pembroke College, Oxford, 21 Feb. 1624/5, having matriculated 2 Nov. 1621, aged 18; and his M.A. from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 1636 [ibid., p. 1435; Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part I, vol. IV, p. 174]. He was the first minister of Taunton, Mass., and became colleague of John Davenport at New Haven in 1659, succeeding the latter as sole pastor in 1667. He died at New Haven, 22 April 1674.

The maternal grandparents of Rev. Nicholas Street are revealed in the manuscript Gilbert Genealogy, also the theory is there confirmed that he was a nephew of John Gilbert of Taunton. One of the present writer’s earliest genealogical recollections is being told that his grandfather’s grandfather was named Street Hall Morse. Later he discovered that the gentleman who bore this singular combination of names (he was actually a Moss, not a Morse in ancestry) was named after his maternal grandfather, Lt.-Col. Street Hall. The latter’s mother was Mary Street, of the ministerial family.

The first wife of Rev. Nicholas Street, the mother of his children, has always been destitute of a name, even a given name, thanks to the destruction of the Taunton records. No suggestion as to her identity has yet been seen which possesses any merit.

Thomas Gilbert of Taunton, Massachusetts

4 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: “Thomas Gilbert of Taunton, Massachusetts,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 69[March
1981], from the notes of Carol Lee Mattocks.

In July 1656 William Crispen went as master of the “Boston Merchant” from London, intending to sail via Lisbon to the Potomack. The ship became leaky after leaving Lisbon and set course for Ireland, but was wrecked in a storm near Bantry, Ireland. William Crispen sued George Ayret, who was the chief adventurer in the voyage, in the chancery court for recovery of his costs. On 15 Feb. 1659/60 a deposition was taken in London (PRO: C24/846/25) from THOMAS GILBERT* of Taunton, New England, late of London, and now lodging in Fenchurch St., London, barber, aged 46. The “Boston Merchant” took as freight from London a consignment of old-fashioned garments for which the plaintiff was required to pay an extraordinary price. The deponent was a passenger in the ship (other depositions in the case appear as (C24/846/5).

*John Gilbert of Taunton Mass. had three wives and four sons and it has been shown that the two elder sons John and Thomas, were probably children of John’s second wife, Alice Hopkins, to whom he was married from about 1606 to 1618. The placement of John and Thomas was on the grounds of rough chronological reasoning, such as assumed age at marriage, but until now the possibility has remained that one or both sons were actually by his first wife. The age in the deposition above indicates that Thomas was born about 1613, thus proving that he was the son of Alice Hopkins (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 111:234-8, Gilberts of New England (1959) pp. 22-3, 55-61).