Sisley Jordan Farrar—Ancient Planter

A fragment of a gold finger ring (top) and the decorated end of a silver bodkin, both from Jordan’s Journey. [1]

Sisley (NN) Jordan Farrar is our family’s earliest known arrival in America—Aug 1611, Jamestowne, Colony of Virginia.

Below is Sisley’s biography from Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635: A Biographical Dictionary [2], interspersed with additional context and discussion of the original sources for her biography.

In the original sources, Sisley’s given name is spelled several ways including Cecily, Sisley, and Sysley. We use Sisley, the variant listed in two censuses taken during her adulthood, unless quoting a source.

The gold finger ring and silver bodkin above were recovered during excavation within the palisade fortification at Jordan’s Journey—archaeological site 44PG302—Sisley’s home. The ring was found within feature F-431 indicated on the artifacts map.


On January 21, 1625, Cisley Jordan (Jordain, Jorden, Jerden), an ancient planter, reported that she had arrived in Virginia in August 1610 on the Swan. As she was 24 years old in 1625, she would have been around 9 or 10 years old when she came to the colony.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

The Swan, a vessel in Sir Thomas Gates’ fleet, sailed from England in May 1611 via the West Indies, and actually arrived in Aug 1611, not Aug 1610. [3] More than 13 years later, Sisley is reporting her arrival in “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5” [4], which explains the mistake in the reported year.

“She may have been accompanied by her parents, for Gates’ ships brought some 300 men, women, and children to the colony.” [1] Her maiden name and parents are lost to us.

Gate’s fleet was the 6th group of colonists to arrive in Jamestowne. Sisley had the good fortune of not traveling in the first four groups. Of the 600–700 colonists in these four groups arriving between 1607–1609, only about 60 were still living after the Starving Time in the winter of 1609–1610. The group that included Sisley increased the population of colonists in America above 1,000 for the first time. [3]

Cisley may have wed ancient planter John Bayley and produced a daughter, Temperance, who was age 7 in January 1625 and living in her home. It is certain that Cisley married ancient planter Samuel Jordan sometime prior to December 21, 1620, when he received his first dividend of land, which also included her entitlement as an ancient planter.

The Jordans took up residence on the lower side of the James River at a plantation they called Jordan’s Journey. After the March 22, 1622, Indian attack, the Jordan plantation was strengthened and became a rallying point for the area’s survivors.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

Samuel and Cecily Jordan are listed as ancient planters in a 10 Dec 1620 land grant for 450 acres. [6]

Ancient planter is a term applied by the Virginia Company of London to colonists who arrived in Virginia prior to 1616, remained three years, and paid their own passage. After 1618, these colonists received a dividend of 100 acres of land each, the first land grants in Virginia. [7]

Sisley is listed in both “A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia; february the 16 1623[/4]” [5] and “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5” [4] at Jordan’s Journey with Mary Jordan, Margery/Margrett Jordan, and Temperance Baylife/Baley. Mary and Margaret are Samuel and Sisley’s daughters. From this, it is inferred that Sisley married a Baley (Bailey, Bayley), and was widowed, before marrying Samuel Jordan. Interestingly, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635, does not mention this marriage between John Bayley and Sisley in its biographies for John Bailey and Temperance Bayley.

Cisley Jordan was widowed sometime after April 1623, and on November 19, 1623, she was authorized to settle her late husband’s estate, with the help of William Farrar. Farrar, who at the time of the Indian attack had been occupying a plantation on the east side of the Appomattox River, somewhat inland from Bermuda Hundred, may have taken refuge at Jordan’s Journey and stayed on.

On January 21, 1625, when a muster was made of Jordans Journey’s inhabitants, Cisley Jordan and William Farrar were listed as jointly heading a Jordan’s Journey household that included her daughters Mary and Margaret Jordan, Temperance Bayley, and 10 male servants.

By May 1625 Cisley and William Farrar had wed. Probate records indicate that they produced at least three children: Cecily, William, and John.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

William Farrar died before 1637. Sisley is believed to have died after William, but the year is unknown.


Sisley is our Jamestowne Society Qualifying Ancestor (A9447). [8] The Jamestowne Society application lineage data is available in the membership only area.

What roles did Samuel Jordan and William Farrar play in the Colony of Virginia?

In July-August 1619 Samuel Jordan was one of two men who represented the corporation of Charles City in Virginia’s first legislative assembly.

In March 1626 William Farrar was named to the Council of State, and later in the year he was designated a commissioner of the monthly courts for the ‘Upper Parts,’ held at Jordan’s Journey and Shirley Hundred, to settle petty disputes in the communities west of Flowerdew Hundred.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

Sisley NN (1600–1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583–1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Martha W. McCartney, Jordan’s Point, Virginia, Archaeology in Perspective, Prehistoric to Modern Times (Richmond, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2011).
[2] Martha W. McCartney, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007), 433-434.
[3] Wikipedia, “Jamestown supply missions.”
[4] John Camden Hotten, “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5,” The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (London: John Camden Hotten, 1874), 209-210.
[5] John Camden Hotten, “A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia; february the 16 1623[/4],” The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (London: John Camden Hotten, 1874), 171.
[6] “Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants Index,” Patents No. 8, 1689-1695, 125-127.
[7] Wikipedia, “Ancient planter.”
[8] “Qualifying Ancestors, Sisley ( ) Jordan,” jamestowne.org.

Rev. Ezra Adams—Methodist Episcopal Circuit Rider

In the hard and cruel life of the border, with its grim struggle against the forbidding forces of wild nature and wilder men, there was much to pull the frontiersman down. If left to himself, without moral teaching and moral guidance, without any of the influences that tend toward the uplifting of man and the subduing of the brute within him, sad would have been his, and therefore our, fate. From this fate we have been largely rescued by the fact that together with the rest of the pioneers went the pioneer preachers; and all honor be given to the Methodists for the great proportion of these pioneer preachers whom they furnished.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26 Feb 1903, at the bi-centennial celebration of the birth of John Wesley

For over half a century, “the whole powers of (Rev. Ezra Adams’) mind were absorbed in the great work of saving souls” on the Canadian frontier. [1]

The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in the United States in 1784. As the country expanded west, the Church expanded with it. Conferences, many aligned with one or more states, and comprised of several districts, were organized to direct its activity over an area. Districts of the New York Conference initially covered Canada. In 1810, the districts covering northern-most New York and Canada were organized into the Genesee Conference. In 1824, the districts covering Canada were organized again into the Canada Conference.

Each Conference met in Annual Conference—usually in the late summer, presumably for ease of travel. As the members of the Annual Conference were the itinerant preachers, Ezra presumably traveled from Canada to some of these conferences in northern New York between 1814–1824.

At the Annual Conference, the Conference bishop assigned itinerant preachers to a circuit for the next year. From the minutes of these conferences, it appears the preachers left the Annual Conference, and immediately headed to their newly assigned circuit.

Beginning in 1824, the Canada Conference severed ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1833 joined with the British Wesleyans to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Ezra would have then no longer traveled to the United States, instead attending Annual Conferences with the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada.

Circuit riding was difficult and dangerous work. Large numbers of them retired or died early. Ezra was designated superannuated three times during his career, and again at the end of his career.

“Superannuated Preachers are ministers in the Methodist churches who, by reason of age, infirmity, or afflictions, are disabled from preaching, but remain members of the Annual Conferences.” [2]

Ezra’s assigned stations are listed below. [1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] The dates are from Annual Conference (late summer) to subsequent Annual Conference. Over his career, his circuits spanned 500 miles of southern Ontario, Canada, as far east as Ottawa, and as far west as Lake St. Clair (near Detroit). Here, we find the townships were his children were born, and where they met their future spouses. And we observe that he probably named his third child William Case Adams after Rev. William Case.

Methodist Episcopal Church (USA), Upper or Lower Canada District
1814–1815Traveled under direction of a Presiding Elder or Chairman, perhaps Presiding Elder Rev. William Case; Ancaster circuit
1815–1816Admitted on trial into the ministry; Bay of Quinte circuit
1816–discontinued for a year “for want of health”
1817–1818Hallowell circuit
1818–1820Ottawa circuit;
ordained as Deacon in 1819
1820–1822Thames circuit
1822–1824Niagara circuit
1824Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada formed
1824–superannuated in Esquesing, now Acton; “worn down by disease incurred in the swamps of the western country”
1827–mentions Rev. E. Adams’ school-house (Acton)
1830–1831“restored to a seat in the Conference”; Yonge Street circuit
1831–1833Presiding Elder of London District; also missionary to Munceytown Mission, Indian reserve on Thames River
1833–1835Muncey Mission, Indian reserve on Thames River
1834–1835Munceytown and Delaware Missions; as Presiding Elder’s Assistant, also “visited Gosfield and Thames circuits occasionally”
1835–1836Prescott and Augusta circuit
1836–1837Prescott and Augusta circuit, superannuated
1837–1840Nelson circuit, superannuated
1840–1841Toronto circuit
1841–1842Guelph circuit
1842–1845Newmarket circuit
1845–1847Markham circuit
1847–1848Bradford circuit
1848–1849Stratford and Peel circuit
1849–1864Peel circuit, superannuated
1864–1868Drayton circuit, superannuated
1868–1871records not found
1871–Peel circuit

Rev. Ezra Adams (1788–1871) is 5th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] John Carroll, Case and His Contempories: Or, The Canadian Itinerant’s Memorial: Constituting a Biographical History of Methodism in Canada, From Its Introduction Into the Province, Till the Death of the Rev. Wm. Case in 1855, 5 vols. [I, II, III, IV, V] (Toronto: Samuel Rose, at the Wesleyan Printing Establishment, 1867-1877).
[2] “Superannuated Preachers“, McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.
[3] George H. Cornish, Hand-Book of Canadian Methodism, Being An Alphabetical Arrangement … (Toronto: Wesleyan Printing, 1867).
[4] Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the Years 1773–1828 (New York: T. Mason and G.Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1840).
[5] The Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Wesleyan-Methodist Church in Canada, from 1824–1845, Inclusive … (Toronto: Anson Green, Conference Office, 1846).
[6] The Minutes of the Twelve Annual Conferences of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada, from 1846–1857 inclusive … (Toronto: Anson Green, Conference Office, 1863).
[7] George F. Playter, The History of Methodism in Canada: With an Account of the Rise and Progress of the Work of God Among the Canadian Indian Tribes, and Occasional Notices of the Civil Affairs of the Province (Toronto: Anson Green, at the Wesleyan Printing Establishment, 1862).

Early Settlers—Watertown, MA

A Map of the Original Allotments of Land and the Ancient Topography of Watertown Proper, compiled and drawn by Henry Bond, M.D. [1]

This map of Watertown, Massachusetts, was brought to our attention in an email newsletter from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. The map shows the original allotments of land for Watertown, first settled in 1630.

In two previous posts, we learned about two of our early settlers of Watertown—John Whitney I and William Shattuck I. But we have more!

On this map, we find the original allotments of land for several of our ancestor families:

  • Arnold
  • Kimball
  • Reynolds
  • Sawtel [Sawtell]
  • Shattuck
  • Tarball [Tarbell]
  • Whitney

To the lower left, we find Whitney’s Hill.

The family name How appears on several of the lots, perhaps related to our Howes of Sudbury and Marlborough, Massachusetts, although none of our Howes are known to have been in Watertown.


Richard Kimball (1596–1675) and Ursula Scott (1597–1661) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Jonathan Sawtell (1639–1690) and Mary Tarbell (1645–1676) are 9th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Richard Sawtell (1611–1694) and Elizabeth Pople (1611–1694) are 10th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

William Shattuck I (1661–1672) and Susanna NN (1620–1686) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Whitney I (1588–1673) and Eleanor Arnold (1599–1659) are 10th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch, and 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Whitney II (1621–1692) and Ruth Reynolds (1623–1662) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] Digital Commonwealth, Massachusetts Collections Online.

The Story of Virginia—Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture’s signature exhibition The Story of Virginia includes a display of artifacts recovered at Jordan’s Journey.

The Story of Virginia exhibition; Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640 display; Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 2019.

The display description reads:

Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640

Excavations at this site in the 1980s yielded information about the architecture of early settlements, lifestyles and standards of living, and the extent of trade in early Virginia.

Survivors of the 1622 Powhatan attacks relocated at eight Virginia settlements; one was Jordan’s Journey. Four complexes were built there to house fifty-five people in fifteen households. Six buildings provided housing; sixteen were agricultural. The largest complex—Samuel Jordan’s—was the size of a football field. Its principle residence was a “longhouse,” 55 x 16 feet, wooden and built on posts set into the ground.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Most of the artifacts on display can be found in Artifact Images from Jordan’s Journey [1].


Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Sisley NN (1600-1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583-1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Catherine Alston, Artifact Images from Jordan’s Journey, 2004.

Jordan’s Journey

Jordan’s Journey fortified settlement, Colonial Virginia, circa 1620-1635. [1, 2]

In early 1624/25, the Colony of Virginia made a record of its inhabitants and provisions, known as the 1624/25 Muster. There we find 30 miles upstream from Jamestown, on the south side of the James River, the plantation of Samuel Jordan—known as Jordan’s Journey. Samuel Jordan was a member of the first Virginia Assembly in 1619.

In the Muster, on 21 Jan 1624/25, we find [3, 4]:

  • William Farrar aged 31 [arrived] on the Neptune, Aug 1618
  • Sisley Jordan aged 24 on the Swan, Aug 1610
  • Mary Jordan age 3 years, borne heare [meaning Virginia]
  • Margarett Jordan 1 yeare, borne heare
  • Temperance Baly [Bailey] 7 yeares, borne heare
  • 10 servants, listed with name, age, and arrival
  • 41 others including several families, also listed with name, age, and arrival

The provisions include [4]:

  • 22 houses for 15 households
  • 3 boats
  • 37.5 pounds powder
  • 554 pounds lead
  • 130 pounds shot
  • 18 piece [arms]
  • 11 armor
  • 26 coat of mail
  • 1 coat of steel
  • 6 head piece
  • 1 petronel [“a portable firearm of the 15th century resembling a carbine of large caliber (Jester and Hiden 1987:18)]
  • 561 bushels corn
  • 1 bushel beans
  • 2 bushels peas and beans
  • 1,250 dry fish
  • 20 neat cattle
  • 24 swine
  • 227 poultry

Sisley is the widow of Samuel Jordan. Mary and Margaret are her daughters by Samuel. Temperance is believed to be her daughter from an earlier marriage.

On 12 Mar 1621/22, the Powhatan natives attacked the colony, killing 347 settlers, a quarter of the population. 10 settlers were killed at William Farrar’s home. None were killed at Jordan’s Journey. After the attack, William Farrar abandoned his home and lived with the Jordans at Jordan’s Journey. Samuel then died in 1623 of unknown causes. William Farrar was made administrator of Samuel’s estate on 19 Nov 1623.

Before 2 May 1625, William and Sisley married. There is an interesting story there—the first breach of promise suit filed in North America—but that is for another day.

The illustration above is the fortified settlement at Jordan’s Journey as it likely appeared on 21 Jan 1624/25 [1]. How do we know this?

From 1987 to 1993, an excavation was performed at Jordan’s Journey—archaeological site 44PG302. 60,000 artifacts of both Indian and English origin were recovered. Twenty-four graves were excavated during the 1992 field season. [1]

From the pattern of post molds (evidence of wooden posts in the ground), evidence of wall trenches, hearths, and chimneys, and other evidence, artist Twyla Kitts created the above illustration. From the 1624/25 Muster, we know that Jordan’s Journey consisted of 22 houses for 56 settlers. Five houses are listed for William Farrar and Sisley Jordan; likely the five largest structures in the illustration. The majority of the houses were therefore outside the palisade fortification (wooden fence). [1, 4]

Jordan’s Journey fortified settlement artifacts map. [7]

The palisade fortification is in the shape of an elongated pentagon measuring approximately 260 feet at its greatest length by 110 feet. The walls are estimated to have been 7 feet to 8 feet high. The evidence does not prove whether the houses were one or two stories high. [1]

The excavation reports [1, 5, 6, 7] provide incredible detail on the six archaeological sites at Jordan’s Point, including the protohistoric Indian settlement located there before, and are well worth a read.


Sisley NN (1600-1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583-1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Douglas C. McLearen, L. Daniel Mouer, Donna M. Boyd, Douglas W. Owsley, Bertita Compton. Jordan’s Journey: A Preliminary Report on the 1992 Excavations at Archaeological Sites 44PG302, 44PG303, and 44PG315. Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, 1993.
[2] Illustration by artist Twyla Kitts for exhibition Breaking New Ground, curated by Dr. Tom Davidson, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. The illustration is featured on the title page of [1].
[3] Alvahn Holmes. The Farrar’s Island Family and Its English Ancestry. Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1977.
[4] Jamestown 1624/5 Muster Records, Virtual Jamestown, The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.
[5] L. Daniel Mouer, Douglas C. McLearen, R. Taft Kiser, Christopher P. Egghart, Beverly Binns, Dane Magoon. Jordan’s Journey: A Preliminary Report on Archaeology at Site 44PG302, Prince George County, Virginia, 1990-1991. Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, 1992.
[6] Tim Morgan, Nicholas M. Luccketti, Beverly Straube, S. Fiona Bessey, Annette Loomis, Charles Hodges. Archaeological Excavations at Jordan’s Point: Sites 44PG151, 44PG300, 44PG302, 44PG303, 44PG315, 44PG333. Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 1995.
[7] Catherine Alston. Artifact Distribution Maps from Jordan’s Journey. 2004.

Knight, Georgia, and the Ray City History Blog

Knight, Georgia. Johnson’s Georgia and Alabama, 1862. [1]

“About 1827, Levi J. Knight and his new bride Ann Clements Herrin homesteaded on land on Beaverdam Creek, near the present day site of Ray City, Georgia. … The Knight homestead was situated in Lowndes County (present day Berrien County).” [2]

Look in the middle of the map [1], just below the city of Nashville, Berrien County, Georgia. Apparently the renown of Levi J. Knight as first settler of the area and as Major General of the 6th Division of the Georgia Militia earned his community a place on the map in 1862 as Knight, Georgia.

The small community is later known as Knight’s Mill (1867), Ray’s Mill (1879), and Ray City (1909).

Our Knight family plays a prominent role in the history of Ray City. Learn more at the excellent Ray City History Blog.


Levi J. Knight (1803-1870) and Ann Donald Clements (1802-1857) are 5th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Johnson’s Georgia and Alabama, by Alvin Jewett Johnson and Benjamin P. Ward, 1862.
[2] Levi J. Knight ~ Settling Lowndes County 1827-1836, Ray City History Blog, 6 Jun 2013.

An Act for Erecting a District in the County of Middlesex, by the Name of Boxborough

Whereas a Number of Inhabitants, living in the extreme Parts of the Towns of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton, labor under many Inconveniences by Reason of their great Distance from any Place of Public Worship, and have requested this Court that they may be incorporated into a District, with all the Privileges of a Town, that of sending a Representative to the General Court excepted:

Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That a Part of Stow, a Part of Harvard, and a Part of Littleton, all which are included within the Boundaries following, viz. : Beginning at the Road Southerly of John Robbins’ Buildings, and running Southerly to Acton Corner Three Miles and Ninety-two Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence running Southerly in Acton Line, to a Place called Flag Hill, being two Miles, three Quarters and ten Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence Westerly in Stow two Miles and a Quarter, to a Stake and Pillar of Stones in the Harvard Line ; then running Northerly through Part of Harvard, to a white Oak Tree, by a Causeway from thence to the Place first set out from, be and hereby is incorporated into a District, by the Name of Boxborough. And all the Polls and Estates that are included within the said Boundaries, shall belong to the said District, except those of such of the Inhabitants of that Part set off from Littleton, as shall not within the Term of twelve Months from the passing this Act, return their Names into the Office of the Secre- tary of this Commonwealth, signifying their Desire to become inhabitants of the said District.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said District be, and hereby is, invested with all the Powers, Privileges and Immunities, that Towns in this Commonwealth do or may enjoy (except the Privilege of sending a Representative to the General Court) and the Inhabitants of the said District shall have Liberty from Time to Time to join with the Town of Stow, in choosing a Representative, and shall be notified of the Time and Place of Election, in like Manner with the Inhabitants of the said Town of Stow, by a Warrant from the Selectmen of the said Town, directed to a Constable or Constables of the said District, requiring him or them to warn the Inhabitants to attend the Meeting at the Time and Place appointed : Which Warrant shall be seasonably returned by the said Constable or Constables ; and the Representative may be chosen indifferently from the said Town or District: The Pay or Allowance to be borne by the Town and District, in Proportion as they shall from Time to Time pay to the State Tax.

And be it further enacted, That Jonathan Wood, Esq ; of Stow, be, and he hereby is empowered to issue his Warrant, directed to some principal Inhabitant within the said District, requiring him to warn the Inhabitants of the said District, qualified to vote in Town Affairs, to assemble at some suitable Time and Place in the said District, to choose such Officers as Towns and Districts by Law are required to choose in the Month of March annually : Provided nevertheless, That the Inhabitants of the said District shall pay their proportionable Part of all such Town, County and State Taxes, as are already assessed by the said respective Towns from which they are taken, and their proportionable Part of all public Debts due from the said Towns ; and also provide for the Support of all the Poor who were Inhabitants within the said District before the passing of this Act, and shall be brought back for Maintenance hereafter.

And whereas it is ft and necessary, that the Whole of the said District should belong to one and the same County :

Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That that Part of the said District which is set off from the Town of Harvard, in the County of Worcester, shall be, and hereby is annexed and set to the County of Middlesex. And the Line established by this Act as the Boundary betwixt the said Town of Harvard and the said District, shall hereafter be the Boundary Line betwixt the said County of Middlesex and the said County of Worcester.

Passed February 25, 1783; Signed by Samuel Adams, president of the Senate, and John Hancock, Governor.

Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Printed by Benjamin Edes and Sons, Printers to His Excellency the Governor, the Council and Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; M,DCC,LXXXII (1782).

Early Settlers—Sudbury, MA

In The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1639-1889 [1] by Alfred Sereno Hudson, we find that our ancestors played a significant role in founding Sudbury. Among the approximately 130 early settlers, Hudson identifies eight of our ancestors heading families there. They came to America as part of the Great Migration of English Puritans to Massachusetts from 1620 to 1640.

According to Hudson [2], “From the town records we have compiled the following list of the early grantees or settlers, who went to Sudbury Plantation about 1638 or 1639 : —

Peter Noyse (Hampshire, England)
Walter Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Howe (Shropshire, England)
Edmond Rice (Suffolk, England)
John Stone (Suffolk, England)

“The following are names of persons who were at the settlement soon after it began : —

John Moore (Essex, England)
Thomas King (Dorset, England)
…”

Another 11 listed there are cousins or relatives by marriage. Here is a list.

Map of the First Roads & House Lots in Sudbury, Drawn by J.S. Draper. [3]

Below are excerpts from [1] regarding their roles in the affairs of Sudbury.

  • Walter Haynes represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1641, 1644, 1648, and 1651, and was a selectman ten years.
  • John Howe served as a selectman of Sudbury in 1643.
  • Peter Noyes was a selectman eighteen years, and represented the town at the General Court in 1640, 1641, and 1650.
  • Edmund Rice was one of the committee appointed by the General Court, 4 Sep 1639, to apportion the land in Sudbury to the settlers. He served as selectman from 1639 to 1644, and was deputy to the General Court several successive years.
  • John Stone was an elder in the church, and in 1655 was town clerk.

We also learn there [4] that John Howe of the Wetherbee branch and Edmund Rice of the Watne branch had house-lots next door to each other in Sudbury, 327 years before the Wetherbee-Watne grandparents of MKS married. The map above reflects that John Howe probably sold his lot on The Street (left side of map on Mill Road) to either Griffin or Rice, and took the lot on The Plain (right side of map).

Hudson’s book provides short biographies for each of these first settlers.


John Haynes (1622-1697) and Dorothy Noyes (1627-1715) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Walter Haynes (1583-1665) and Elizabeth Haynes (1586-1659) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Howe (1620-1680) and Mary Martha Jones (1618-1698) are 10th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Thomas King (1600-1676) and Anne Collins (1608-1642) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Moore (1602-1674) and Elizabeth Rice (1612-1690) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Peter Noyes (1590-1657) is 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch. His wife Elizabeth (1594-1636) died before the family emigrated from England.

Edmund Rice (1594-1663) and Thomasine Frost (1600-1654) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Stone (1618-1683) and Anne Stone (1613- ) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889, by Alfred Sereno Hudson, 1889.
[2] Reference [1], 26-27.
[3] Reference [1], map after 76.
[4] Reference [1], 74.

Early Settlers—Watertown, MA—William Shattuck

In our 26 Oct 2018 post, we met John Whitney, one of the founders of Watertown, Massachusetts. There is another family member among the founders—William Shattuck. [1]

Watertown was first settled in 1630, 10 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

William was born in England in 1621 or 1622. He likely arrived in America when he was a minor; when it is not known, but certainly no later than 1642 when he is listed as a proprietor in Watertown. [2, 3]

In 1642, he married Susanna, whose last name, birth date and place, and parents are not known. They are believed to have had 10 children. William was a weaver and farmer. [2, 3]

He purchased several parcels of land in the area including a one acre homestead; three acres of upland; a home, garden, and 30 acres situated on Common Hill; 25 acres upland; three acres of swamp; and 4 acres of meadowland. He also bought a farm at Stony Brook, near the present bounds of Weston, Massachusetts; four acres of meadow in Pond Meadow; and a house and farm. [2, 3]

William Shattuck’s son John and John Whitney’s granddaughter Ruth married on 20 Jun 1664, presumably in Watertown.

William’s will was written on 3 Aug 1672. He died 11 days later on 14 Aug in Watertown, at the age of 50. His will was proved on 29 Aug in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

William Shattuck is interred in the Old Burying Place Cemetery in Watertown. John Whitney is also interred there. [4]


William Shattuck I (1661-1672) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Whitney I (1588-1673) is 10th great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

John Whitney I (1588-1673) is also 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] Founder’s Monument—Watertown, Massachusetts, Life From The Roots blog. The two photos above are from this website.
[2] Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck …, by Lemuel Shattuck, Dutton and Wentworth, 1855.
[3] Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts …, by Henry Bond, N.E. Historic-Genealogical Society, 1860; Volume I, 427.
[4] FindAGrave, “Old Burying Place.”

Early Settlers—Watertown, MA—John Whitney

John Whitney is remembered on Founder’s Monument as a founder of Watertown, Massachusetts. [1]

Watertown was first settled in 1630, 10 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay.

“A party of the adventurous emigrants who came in Winthrop’s fleet, with Sir Richard Saltonstall and Rev. George Phillips at their head, selected a place on the banks of Charles river for their plantation. On the 7th of Sept., 1630, (O. S.) the court of assistants, at Charlestown, ‘ordered that Trimountain be called Boston, Mattapan, Dorchester, and the town on Charles river, Watertown.'” [2]

“In 1632 the residents of Watertown protested against being compelled to pay a tax for the erection of a stockade fort at Cambridge; this was the first protest in America against taxation without representation and led to the establishment of representative democracy in the colony.” [3]

John was born in London, England, on 20 Jul 1588. He married Eleanor Arnold before 1619. [4] [5]

John, Eleanor (listed as Ellen), and their five children arrived in Massachusetts Bay on 13 Apr 1635 on the ship Elizabeth & Ann, and settled in Watertown. [4]

John was admitted freeman 3 Mar 1636, and elected Selectman of the town in 1637. He held the office for many years, until 1655, when he was elected town clerk. He was appointed constable on 1 Jun 1641 by the General Court. [4]

In Watertown, John purchased his homestall, 16 acres, but also was a grantee of eight lots of 212 acres. It is likely he gifted much of the 212 acres to his sons as their homestalls. [4]

John died on 1 Jun 1673 in Watertown at the age of 84 [4], and is interred there at the Old Burying Place Cemetery. [6]


John Whitney I (1588-1673) is 10th great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

[Updated 21 Dec 2018]
John Whitney I (1588-1673) is also 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] Founder’s Monument—Watertown, Massachusetts, Life From The Roots blog. The two photos above are from this website.
[2] Historical collections: being a general collection of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c., relating to the history and antiquities of every town in Massachusetts, with geographical descriptions, by John Warner Barber, published by Warren Lazell, 1844.
[3] Wikipedia, “Watertown, Massachusetts.”
[4] Whitney. The Descendants of John Whitney, who came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce, W.B. Conkey Company, 1895.
[5] Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts …, by Henry Bond, N.E. Historic-Genealogical Society, 1860; Volume I, 427.
[6] FindAGrave, “Old Burying Place.”