Source: Burton W. Spear, Search for the Passengers of the Mary and John 1630, Volume 13 (Toledo, Ohio: Burton W. Spear, 1990).
Unanswered Questions on the English Ancestries and Birthplaces of the “Mary and John” Families of 1630.
According to NER Jan. 1984, p. 4-16, he was the son of Nicholas ROSSITER (d. 1 Apr. 1608) & Eliza _____ (bu. 28 Apr. 1608), of Comb St. Nicholas, Somerset, but no wills have been found. His grandfather was Philip ROSSITER & (1) _____, of Combe St. Nicholas and his great-grandfather was Richard ROSSITER (1463-1529) & Elizabeth PERYE, dau. of William PERYE & _____, dau. of John FRYE. No wills found.
Parish records of Combe St. Nicholas before 1678 are lost & Edward Rossiter left no will.
There is a Dr. CAMPBELL, a genealogist in Combe St. Nicholas who is claimed to have a great deal of information on the ROSSITERs, FRYEs & TORREY family, all of that village. Ref: NER Jan. 1937, p. 145-151. (See Vol. 3, p. 43)
THREE GENERATIONS OF DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM BLAKE OF DORCHESTER, MASS.
William BLAKE – Bpt. 10 July 1594, Pitminster, Somerset. He died, 25 Oct. 1663, Dorchester, Mass. He married, Agnes BAND, 27 Sept. 1617, Pitminster, prob. widow of Richard BAND & dau. of Hugh THORN. He was granted land in Dorchester on 14 May 1636 and he became a freeman and a member of the church on 14 Mar. 1639. It is not known when he came to New England. (Vol. 12, p. 79)
Children of William BLAKE & Agnes (THORN) BAND (Vol. 12, p. 79)
1. John BLAKE – Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618, Pitminster. He died, 25 Jan. 1688/9, Boston. He married, Mary (SOUTHER) SHAW, 16 Aug. 1654. He was one of the executors of the will of Governor John WINTHROP in 1676. No issue.
2. Anne BLAKE- Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618 (twin?), Pitminster. She died, 12 July 1681, Boston. She married, (1) Jacob LEAGER of Boston, who died, 24 Feb. 1662/3 & (2) _____ HALLOWELL. Her tombstone is in the Boston Society.
Children of Anne BLAKE & Jacob LEAGER (Vol. 11, p. 79)
a. Bethia LEAGER- Bpt. 6 Oct. 1651, Dorchester, Mass. She m. Fearnot SHAW, blacksmith, s. of Joseph SHAW of Weymouth, Mass. She had two children: Jacob, b. 6 Nov. 1672. (2) John, b. 30 Mar. 1678, who m. Mercy SMITH.
b. Hannah LEAGER- B. 14 Nov. 1655, Boston. She d. 13 Oct. 1690. She m. (1) John WALKER, brick burner, a. 1676, s. of Thomas & Ann WALKER of Boston. The had one dau., Hannah WALKER, 25 Apr. 1677, who prob. never married. Hannah LEAGER m. (2) Thomas PHILIPS of Boston, perhaps s. of Nicholas PHILIPS, by whom she had one child, Hannah PHILIPS, 7 Sept. 1690.
3. William BLAKE Jr.- Bpt. 6 Sept. 1620, Pitminster. He died, 3 Sept. 1703, Milton, Mass. He married, (10 [sic] Anna _____, whose name does not appear until 1665 & (2) Hannah TOLMAN, 22 Nov. 1693, Milton, who d. 4 Aug. 1729, dau. of Thomas TOLMAN (M&J passenger) & widow Sarah LYON.
Children of William BLAKE Jr. & (1) Anna (Vol. 12 p. 8)
a. Samuel BLAKE- B. 14 May 1650, Dorchester. He d. 1719, Taunton. He m. Sarah MACEY, dau. of George and Susanna MACEY of Taunton. He had seven children: (1) Priscilla, who m. John SMITH, 1700, s. of Nathaniel SMITH. (2) Samual Jr., b.a. 1680, who may have m. Sarah PITTS. (3) Edward, b.a. 1689, m. Anna HANOVER. (4) Susanna. (5) Sarah, m. Joseph TOPLIFF. (6) Hannah. (7) Jerusha.
b. Anne BLAKE- Bpt. 7 Mar. 1651, Dorchester. d.y.
c. Anne BLAKE- B. 6 Mar. 1652/3, Dorchester. Died, 9 May 1722, Taunton. She m. Thomas GILBERT, 18 Dec. 1676, Boston, s. of John & Jane GILBERT of Taunton. Eight children: (1) Hannah, b. 28 Sept. 1677, m. William PHILLIPS. (2) Sarah, b. 11 Aug. 1679, m. John WILLIS. (3) Mary (twin), b. 11 Aug. 1679, m. Joseph WILLIAMS. (4) Thomas, b. 11 July 1681. d.y. (5) Nathaniel, b. 19 July 1683, m. Hannah BRADFORD. (6) Mehitable, b. 5 May 1686. (7) Susanna, b. 1687, m. William HODGES. (8) Experience, b. 1689, m. John TOWNSEND. (Ref: Gilberts of New England, pt. 1, p. 81)
d. Mary BLAKE- B. 20 Mar. 1654/5, Dorchester. She m. (1) Joseph LEONARD, 1679 & (2) _____ WILLIS. Seven children by first husband: (1) Mary, b. 2 Oct. 1680. (2) Experience, b. 18 Mar. 1682. (3) Joseph, b. 28 Jan. 1684. (4) Mehitable, b. 22 Aug. 1685. (5) Edward, b. 2 Nov. 1688. (6) William, b. 26 Mar. 1690. (7) Silence. (Ref: Savage 3:80)
e. William BLAKE- B. 22 Feb. 1656/7, Dorchester. Soldier in 1675 & 1690. Died before 1699.
f. Nathaniel BLAKE- B. 4 July 1659, Dorchester. Died, 5 Oct. 1720, Milton. He m. Martha MORY, dau. of Walter MORY. Seven children: (1) William, b. 21 July 1696, m. Hannah _____. (2) Nathaniel Jr., b. 26 Feb. 1697/7, m. Elizabeth EVANS. (3) Simon, b. 1 June 1700, m. Hannah BADCOCK. (4) James, b. 18 Sept. 1702, m. Abigail TUCKER. (5) Joseph, b. 27 July 1705. (6) David, b. 12 July 1707. (7) Jonathan, b. 12 July 1707.
g. Edward BLAKE- b. 13 Apr. 1662, Dorchester. He died, 1737. He m. Elizabeth MORY, 26 June 1696, sister of his brother’s (Nathaniel) wife. Six children: (1) Anna, b. 7 Apr. 1697, m. _____ STEARNS. (2) Edward Jr., b. 22 July 1697, m. Elizabeth FRENCH. (3) Aaron, b. 23 Feb. 1699/1700. (4) Mary, b. 13 Jan. 1701/2. (5) Elizabeth, b. 5 Apr. 1704, m. _____ BELCHER. (6) Moses, b. 6 Aug. 1706, m. Hannah HORTON.
h. Experience BLAKE- B. 17 June 1665, Dorchester. He <sic> m. Eleazer CARVER, s. of John & Millicent CARVER. Res: S. Bridgewater.
i. Agnes BLAKE- B. 29 Sept. 1667, Milton.
j. Susan BLAKE- B. 20 July 1670, Milton. D. 4 May 1676.
k. Mehitable BLAKE- B. 2 Apr. 1673, Milton. She m. William BRIGGS Jr., 16 June 1696, of Taunton.
4. James BLAKE- Bpt. 27 Apr. 1623, Pitminster. Died, 28 June 1700, Dorchester. He married (1) Elizabeth CLAPP, a. 1651, dau. of Dea. Edward CLAPP & Prudence CLAPP, who died, 16 Jan. 1693/4, age 61. He m. (2) Elizabeth SMITH, 17 Sept. 1695, dau. of Henry 7 <sic> Judith SMITH & widow of Peter HUNT.
He built a house in 1650 in Dorchester that still stands today […]
5. Edward BLAKE- His will: 31 Aug. 1692, inventory, 3 Nov. 1692. He m. Patience POPE, dau. of John & Jane POPE of Dorchester […]
BLAKE Family, A Genealogical History, William BLAKE of Dorchester, by Samuel BLAKE, 1857.
A Record Of The BLAKES Of Somerset, by Horatio G. SOMERBY.
Increase BLAKE Of Boston, His Ancestors & Descendants, With A Full Account of William BLAKE Of Dorchester, by Francis E. BLAKE, 1898.
THE ROSSITER, TORREY, FRY & COMBE FAMILIES OF COMBE ST. NICHOLAS, SOMERSET.
The village and parish of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset provided a number of families who came to New England between 1630 and 1640. Edward ROSSITER came first, with his family on the “Mary & John” in 1630. He was one of the Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Company and one of the most prominent passengers on that ship. He was followed in 1640 by the TORREYs and FRYs. A great deal of credit for this article, and particularly the photos and map, is due Miss Patricia PEARCE, of Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, who visited Combe St. Nicholas and searched the records in the Somerset Record Office, Taunton.
Edward ROSSITER may have come with his wife _____ COMBE, daughter of John COMBE and brother of Joesph [sic] COMBE, but she may have died in England because there is no record of her in New England.
Evidently, Rev. John WHITE of Dorchester, Dorset, loaned Edward ROSSITER considerable money to prepare for his journey to New England. The total debt was 106 pounds, 9 shillings & 9 pence and it was partly paid by Edward’s son, Nicholas, before their departure. But when Edward died on 23 Oct. 1630, there was still 15 pounds, 25 shillings due Rev. WHITE. Among the charges was 47 pounds, 13 shillings & 4 pence, for the passage of 13 passengers (3 pounds, 13 shillings & 4 pence each).
Following is an attempt to identify these people. The five unknown passengers may have included, Edward’s wife (if she was still living), grandchildren and servants.
1. Edward ROSSITER
2. Son, Nicholas ROSSITER, who later returned.
3. Wife of Nicholas ROSSITER, who later returned.
4. Edward ROSSITER, son of Nicholas, who later returned.
5. Son, Bray ROSSITER.
6. Wife of Bray ROSSITER.
7. Daughter, Jane ROSSITER.
8. Son, Hugh ROSSITER, who later returned.
Plus five unidentified passengers.
George FRY, came with his brother-in-law, William TORREY. He was possibly the son of the George FRY who witnessed the will of Joseph COMBE of Combe St. Nicholas, 21 Mar. 1619/20. The FRYs were also related to the ROSSITER & COMBE families.
Although no member of the COMBE family of Combe St. Nicholas has been found that came to New England, they married into the above families.
THE WADFORD FARM & MILL OF PHILIP ROSSITER
Edward ROSSITER’s great-grandfather, Richard ROSSITER, was the first proved land owner in Combe St. Nicholas. When he died in 1529 he owned 4 messuages & 543 acres here. At that time his son Philip (Edward’s grandfather) inherited 4 messuages, 31 acres of meadow, 312 acres of pasture & 200 acres of woodland. In the 1583 Survey of the parish (SAS/SE86), “Philipus ROSSITER, gent. (farmer or husbandman) owned a dwelling and a new tucking mill. He paid 17 pounds a year to the Lord of the Manor (Wells Deanery). The other freemen of Combe were William BONNER, gent.- 15 pounds, William JEANES- 12 pounds, John BUETT- 2 pounds, John WALROD- 4 pounds, John DEWNELL- 20 pounds and _____ MALLETT- 12 pounds.
Wadeford House (16th) of Philip ROSSITER
Philip ROSSITER’s house was called Wadeford and the fulling mill (woolen mill), which has been carefully restored, still stand today in a hamlet about 3/4 miles SE of Combe St. Nicholas. This is one of seven mills within a few miles of each other on the River Isle, the others all being grist mills for corn.
Fulling Mill At Wadeford, Once Owned By Philip ROSSITER
Court Roll – 27 July 1608 – To the court came Thomasin CLARKE, William ROSSITER (brother or cousin of Edward?) and John CLARKE and surrendered a tenement called a “ten acre tenement” in the tithing of XII sect. granted again to John and Jane MARDEN. (The three named above were witnesses. Ref: ADD/277.)
1641, Nicholas ROSSITER, gent., of Combe (son of Edward, after Nicholas returned to England), holds for 3 lives, his property on lease – Anne, Jane & Mary ROSSITER, all daughters of Nicholas. Ref: ADD/302.
THE LOWER CLAYHANGER FARM OF THE FRY FAMILY
The FRY family held a lease in 1574 (and possibly earlier) on the Lower Clayhanger Farm, less than a mile NE of Wadeford, where Philip ROSSITER lived.
Entrance To Farmyard Of Lower Clayhanger House Of FRY Family
The Lower Clayhanger house, which is still standing today, is in the “Listed Buildings”, p. 1-2, ADD/281, dated, 1608. In the 1583 Survey of Combe St. Nicholas, rents were paid in Clayhanger tithing by: Robertus WARRYE- 13 pounds, John COGAN- 14 pounds, Symond KNIGHT- 2 pounds, Matthew GILLETT– 13 pounds, Thomas KNIGHT- 12 pounds and John GILLETT- 3 pounds.
NOTE: Savage says there was a Matthew GILLET who came on the Mary & John in 1634, first settled in Dorchester and then in Windsor in 1636. Banks says he came on the Mary & John in 1634 but settled in Salem. Stiles’ History of Windsor does not list him.
Today the house is a private residence, with Hamstone mullioned windows, a kitchen with a bread oven and a mullioned window in the rear wall. The roof was renewed in the early 19th century. The walls are two feet thick. The original date of the house cannot be placed because of work in 1940 destroyed much of the dating evidence.
Court Roll, 9 Oct. 1593 – To this court came John FRY and Agnes, his wife, and Isabella, wife of Richard SCREVEN. John FRY holds by right of his wife, Agnes, one tenement called a “ten acre tenement”, with the apprutenances in the tithing of Betham, to remain now of the said Isabella, by the names of Agnes COMBE and Isabella COMBE (daughters of John COMBE, deceased), John FRY and Agnes and Richard and Isabella SCREVEN, surrendered each and all into the hands of the Lord and all estates and interest in the said premises, with the intent that John FRY might be able to receive them again. Whereupon at this same court, the said John FRY, came and took from the Lord at the Steward’s hands, the said apputtenances, to have and to hold, for the lives of John FRY, Joseph COMBE and William COMBE, sons of the late John COMBE. Ref: ADD/257.
27 Sept. 1597– George FRY came to Court of Combe and leased land called “Wagges”, for the lives of George and his brother, John FRY of Ewell and John FRY, son of Lawrence of Stolfird. Ref: ADD/265.
15 Oct. 1608– To this Court came Dorothea (RICHARDS) FRY, wife of John FRY, the younger, gent., of Chehanger (Clayhanger), and took the reversion of one cottage, with curtilage, one acre of same, under Old Auster (A Celtic site for the farm, developed by the Saxons and always treated with great respect because of its great age as a site.), all held by John FRY, the younger, for the term of his life. To have and to hold for the lives of Dorothea, William FRY, son of William of Plymouth, Devon, yeoman, John RICHARDS, son of John of Churchstation, Devon. Ref: ADD/281.
HAM FARM, HOME OF THE COMBE FAMILY
In 1599 Thomas COMBE at Ham Farm held 20 acres. This about one and one half miles N of Combe St. Nicholas. This was by “old Austet”, and ancient Celtic site. This farm is now occupied by Mr. HUTCHINGS.
Mr. HUTCHINGS at Ham Farm with Shep & Sam