Wednesday, February 22, 2012

William Osgood (1609-1700) of England and Salisbury, Massachusetts

St. Mary's Marlborough, Christopher was married here
William Osgood was yet another Salisbury ancestor, it seems we are related to most of the town. William was one of three Osgood's who immigrated from England and lived in Massachusetts at about the same time. It is possible if not probable that John, Christopher and William Osgood are related but no one has found any concrete proof of their exact relationship. 

other osgoods
Christopher Osgood was the first of the Osgood men to arrive, he sailed on the "Mary and John" in 1634 with his second wife Margery Fowler. He settled in Ipswich and died there in 1650. Margery remarried my ancestor Thomas Rowell. Christopher was originally from Newton Tony, Wiltshire, England, home to many Osgoods.[1]

John Osgood is believed by many to have been born in Wherwell, Hampshire, England in 1595.  He is also said to be the son or Robert Osgood of Cottingworth, who wrote his will in 1630. Robert named his childen but does not name a son John. So the relationship between John Osgood and the family at Cottingworth has not be proven. [2]

John left for New England prior to his wife and children. They crossed on the ship "The Confidence" arriving in 1638. John settled first in Newbury and then in Andover. He died in 1651. There was also a William Osgood listed as a passenger, but his age is given as a child under 11, so if this is our William why the age difference.[3] John Osgood Jr. married Mary Clement, she was accused of and admitted to witchcraft during the 1692 Salem trials. Her sister was an ancestor. [4]

So back to William. We don't know when or where he was born, or who his parents were.
In 1669 he was deposed in court and gave his age as sixty, hence is birth year is estimated as 1609. [5] It is also not known when William arrived but, he was in Massachusetts by 1640, when he built a barn for John Spencer in Newbury. William was a carpenter by trade. He had settled in the new town of Salisbury here he received land in 1641 on the condition that he build a sawmill on the Powow River. This he did along with partners Anthony Colby, William Barnes and Philip Challis, all Salisbury men. The sawmill was such a rarity that in 1651 John Pressy testified that traveled just to see the mill. [6]

salisbury and amesbury
William received multiple land grants in Salisbury. In addition to the 1641 grant, he received land in 1642 and 1654. He was taxed in Salisbury in 1650 and 1652 to pay the town minister. By 1660 he had moved across the Powow River and lived in the newly formed town of Amesbury. In 1677 he was back in Salisbury and in 1680 his name is recorded for both towns. [7]

All men in Puritan New England were required to perform their civic duties. William took the oath of fidelity in 1650, thereafter he began appearing on the Jury of Trials at the Quarterly Courts of Essex. He served on the Gran Jury, served as constable, as a Salisbury commissioner, served on committees, inventoried the estates of his neighbors when they died, took on guardians in need, and hired a school teacher for the town children. [8]

william and his naughty daughters in court
William was in court as defendant and plaintiff as well. In 1654 he paid bound for a John Ash who was charged with making "filthy lascivious carriages diverse times with a wench."
In the next breath he was in court with his daughter Elizabeth who was pregnant and unmarried, suing the young man, Barnabas Lambson, she named as the father. The court ordered her whipped thirty stripes. Barnabas apparently did a runner and his estate was confiscated to help pay for the child. Elizabeth was ordered to the Ipswich jail. In 1668 William had Thomas Sargent in court for abusing his daughter Sarah, who like her older sister was unwed and pregnant. [9]

William sued and was sued. Trespass was a common complaint, in time when boundaries were oak trees and rock piles, it was difficult to say where one mans land started and anothers ended. William was also in court for matters relating to the sawmill. 

marriage and family
William's marriage was not recorded. His wife's name was Elizabeth. In his old age he apparently sang a ditty that went "my wife was Betty Cleer, and I loved her before I ever see her." Based on this unsourced anecdotal evidence she had been given the surname Cleer, but I don't think that is good genealogy. [10]

William and Elizabeth must have married by 1640 though, because their eldest child had given birth in 1654. Say she got pregnant in 1653 and was 13 years old, ick, she had to have been born no later than 1640. Altogether they had seven children. Not all their births were recorded, the first being twins born in 1648. 

1.  Elizabeth b. abt. 1640, m.  1657 Robert Quimby, d. before 1790
2. Joanna b. 1642-1646 m. 1658 Robert Jones
3. John b. Oct 8 1648 m. Mary Stevens, d. before 1685
4. William b. Oct 8 1648 m. Abigail Ambrose, d. 29 March 1729
5. Mary bp. 3 March 1649/50 m. Thomas Currier 
6. Joseph b. March 15, 1651 d. 1664
7. Sarah b. Feb 7 1652, married twice, second husband was John Colby. 

trouble with indians
The "Indian" troubles were a a reoccurring problem for the early colonist. King Philip's war was the first large scale battle with the American Natives, but there was a constant danger from small scale or even random attacks from local Indian tribes.  In 1677, during King Philip's war, Amesbury was the scene of an Indian attack.  The leader of the attack was an man named Symon, he supposedly lived with the Osgood family at some point. Symon and his cohorts attacked the home of Robert and Elizabeth Osgood Quimby. Elizabeth recognized and some of the other Indians.  Robert was killed and Elizabeth was clubbed over the head and "left for dead", at the hands of Symon. Elizabeth did not have good luck with men.[11]

Elizabeth Osgood's death went unrecorded, she was certainly dead when William wrote his will in 1700. He split his estate, not equally, between his surviving children and grandchildren. His son William Jr. seemed to have gotten the largest portion.


[1] Jane Fletcher Fiske, "New Light On The English Background Of The Osgoods of Essex County, Massachusetts," The American Genealogist, 83 (2008-2009) 51-58, digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed 30 January 2016).

[2] Jane Fletcher Fiske, "New Light", 150.

[3] Ira Osgood, A Genealogy of the Descendants of John, Christopher and William Osgood, (Salem: Salem Press, 1894), 313, digital image, Archive (https;// : accessed 31 January 2015).

[4] David Webster Hoyt, The Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts: With Some Related Families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich, and Hampton, and of York County, Maine.( Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1982), 269

[5] David Webster Hoyt, The Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, 269.

[6] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex, Vol. 1, (Salem: Essex Institute, 1911), 347, digital image, Archive ( : accessed 31 January 2016).

[7] David Webster Hoyt, The Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, 269.

[8] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex, Vol. 1-9, (Salem: Essex Institute, 1911), digital image, Archive ( : accessed 31 January 2016).

[9] George Francis Dow, Records and Files, Vol 1-9.

[10] Ira Osgood, Descendants, 311.

[11] Merrill, Joseph. History of Amesbury including the First Seventeen Years of Salisbury, to the Separation in 1654, and Merrimac, from Its Incorporation in 1876. Haverhill: F.P. Stiles, 1880. Print.

[12] Ira Osgood, Descendants.

Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Hoyt
History of Amesbury, Daniel Merrill
Great Migration, Robert Charles Anderson
Fifty Great Migration Colonists, Threlfall
Osgood Family Website

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ezekiel Worthen Jr. and Abigail Carter of Amesbury, Massachusetts

This is a continuation of the Worthen Family which began with George Wathen in Bristol, England and his son Ezekiel Worthen, born in Salem, Massachusetts.  Ezekiel and his wife lived a good long life in Amesbury, Massachusetts.   This story is about their son, Ezekiel and his wife Abigail Carter. 
Just for catch-ups, Ezekiel is the son of Ezekiel and Hannah Martin Worthen. See the two previous blogs about the Worthen/Wathen family.  Abigail is the daughter of John and Martha Brown Carter, and the granddaughter of Thomas and Mary Carter of England and Salisbury, Massachusetts.  
I guess I'll start with Thomas Carter.  Thomas was born in England around 1610, his origins and parents are unknown.  In 1635 he was listed on the manifest for the ship "The Planter" bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He was 25 years old and a servant to man named George Giddings.  George was a yeoman from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, so it is possible that that is where Thomas was from. George probably paid Thomas' passage in return of a set amount of years labor.  George and Thomas settled first in Ipswich.  In 1638 Thomas was made a Freeman, which implied church membership, and a release from his indenture. He was granted land in Ipswich that year, but did not stay long.
There were three contemporary Thomas Carters, each with a wife named Mary, in Massachusetts and their histories are all mixed up on, so proceed with caution if you are looking for background on Thomas. This Thomas was not married to either Mary Dalton or Mary Parkhurst.
Thomas was married by the 1641 birth of his and his wife's first child.  They had nine children all told, all who lived to adulthood save one.  By 1641, Thomas was living in Salisbury, Massachusetts.  He was one of the first proprietors of that town. Thomas, unlike some of his neighbors, kept his name out of the courts, so little is known about him.In 1664 he made his mark on the agreement to create the new settlement of Amesbury.  He served on the Essex Grand Jury in 1666. His will was written on 30 Oct 1676 and it was proved by 14 November of that same year. He named his wife in his will, so she outlived him. He gave each of his five living daughters 5 pounds and split the rest of his estate between his two living sons John and Samuel and his wife Mary. 
John Carter was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts 18 May 1650. He took the oath of fidelity in 1677. He married by 1681 to Martha Brown of Salisbury, daughter of William Brown. William Brown is most known for his outrageous accusations and testimony against Susanna North Martin who lost her life as a result of his and others testimony during the Salem witch trials. The following is the testimony of William Brown, it describes the symptoms exhibited by his wife Elizabeth and why he blamed them on Susanna:
The Deposition of William Brown of Salisbury aged 70 years or thereabouts, who testifying saith, That about one or two and thirty years ago Elizabeth his wife being a very rational woman and Sober and one that feared God as was well known to all that knew her and as prudently careful in her family, which woman going upon a time from her own house towards the mill is Salisbury did there meet with Susanna Martin the then wife of George Martin of Amesbury. Just as they came together the said Susanna Martin vanished away out of her sight which put the said Elizabeth into a great fright. After which time the said Martin did many times afterward appear to her at her house and did much trouble her in any of her occasions and this continued till about feb, following, and then when she did come it was as birds pecking her legs or pricking her with the motion of their wings and then it would rise up into her stomach with pricking pain as nails and pins of which she did bitterly complain and cry out like a woman in travail and after that it would rise up to her throat in a bunch like a pullet’s egg and then she would turn back her head and say, witch you shan’t choke me.In the time of this extremity the church appointed a day of humitting [humility, ie., fasting] to seek God on her behalf and thereupon her trouble ceased and she saw Goodwife Martin no more for a considerable time for which the church instead of the day of humiliation gave thanks for her Deliverance and she came to meeting and went about her business as before. This continued till April following at which time summonses were sent to the said Elizabeth Brown, Goodwife Osgood by the Court to give their evidences concerning the said Martin and they did before the Grand Jury gave a full account.After which time the said Elizabeth told this deponent that as she was milking of her cow the said Susanna Martin came behind her and told her that she would make her the miserablest creature for defaming her name at the Court and wept grievously as she told it to this deponent.About 2 months after this deponent came home from Hampton and his said wife would not own him but said they were divorced and asked him whether he did not meet with one Mr. Bent of Abbey in England by whom he was divorced. And from that time to this very day have been under a strange kind of distemper frenzy incapable of any reasonable action though strong of body and healthy of body. He further testifieth that when she came into that condition this deponent procured Doctor Fuller and Crosby to come to her for her relief but they did both say that her distemper was supernatural and no sickness of body but that some evil person had bewitched her.Sworn the eleventh day of May Anno Dom 1692
What a scary world they inhabited,witches lurking around every corner, waiting to strike you down. Martha Brown was born 5 July 1654, the marital breakdown of her parents had yet to occur, I guess. Sounds to me like Mrs. Brown just didn't like her husband or maybe had a mental breakdown. Abigail was John and Martha's third child, she was born 7 March 1685/86.  Martha died on 10 March 1717/18.
Ezekiel Worthen Jr. and Abigail Carter were married in Amesbury on 26 December 1704. 
Ezekiel bought and sold land in Amesbury, he was given land from both his and Abigail's father. In 1711 he was described as a yeoman on a deed transaction.  In 1725 Abigail's father gave them land, and in 1726, at the age of 76 he gave them, along with her brother Ephraim Carter a lease on his house and land in Salisbury, in return they would care for him for the rest of his life. John Carter's date of death is unknown.
Ezekiel Jr. and his wife were members of the church in Amesbury, he was baptized on 11 July 1731 at the First Church of Amesbury, Abigail renewed her covenant on 22 Feb. 1635/36.  Together the couple had 11 children born between 1705 and 1728, all born in Amesbury. Our ancestor is yet another Ezekiel, born on 18 March 1709/10. Their children were:
1. Mary b. 1705 Amesbury
2. Jacob b. 21 Jan 1707/08 Stayed in Amesbury, m. Sarah Lancaster
3. Ezekiel b. 18 March 1709/10
4. Thomas b. 3 Feb 1711/12 d. Aug 1773 Chester,NH
5. Abigail b. 14 May 1714
6. Hannah b. 25 July 1716
7. Martha 1721/22
8. Mehetible b. 4 June 1722
9. Anne b. 24 Nov. 1724
10 Samuel b. 31 March 1727
11. Ephraim b. 28 Aug 1728 d. Concord, NH 1763 m. Johanna

Ezekiel wrote his will in Chester New Hampshire in 1752, his will was proved and his estate inventoried in Oct of 1755. It is not known when Ezekiel and Abigail moved to Chester, I guess it would have to have been after 1736, when Abigail renewed her church covenant.  It is entirely possible that as the couple aged they did as many others and moved in with an adult child, either not wanting to live alone or unable to. The date of Abigail's death is unknown, but she is named in his 1752 will, so she was alive then. Here is copy of his will:

In ye name of God amen ye Second day of September In ye 26th year of his Majesties Reign: A: D: 1752 I Ezekiel Worthen of Chester In ye province of New Hampshire In New England yeoman 
Item: I Give and bequeath unto my son Jacob Worthen all that my lands cituate in Salsbury In ye County of Essex which was Conveyed to me by my honored father John Carter Late of Salisbury a fores deceaced by deed bareing date March ye 29th 1726: I Say all Except four acres which my said son Jacob have here to fore purchased of me by deed of seal ye said Jacob paying unto four of my Daughters his sisters namely Mary, Abigail, Martha and Mehetabel forty five pounds apeice to each of them equal to bills of credit of ye old tenner.
Item: I Give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Worthen ten shillings old tenner ye reason is I Give to him no more is because I have other ways Given him here to fore Considerable of my Estate. 
Item: I Give and bequeath unto my son Ezekiel Worthen twenty pounds Eaquel to bills of Credit of ye old tenner ye reason I Give no more to my said son Ezekiel is becaus I have Given him here to fore a Considerable part of My Estat with ye trade of a Joyner. Item: I Give unto my son Ephraim Worthen my best suite of apparrill from top to toe ye said Ephraim to pay unto my daughter Hannah his sister forty five pounds Eaquel to bills of ye old tenner and unto my son Ezekiel Worthen twenty pounds as afore mentioned Eaquel to bills of Credit of ye old tenner all to be payd by my said son Ephraim &c all ye before mentioned bequests to be pay with In three years next after my deceace In ye afores^ bills or in stock or other Good pay at ye Currant prise as it then Goes at. Item: I Give and bequeath unto my said son Ephraim Worthen whome I appoint My Executor to this my Last will and testament all that my homested Living where on I now dwell with all ye appurtenances there to belonging and also all ye remainding part of my whole real Estate in what place or places what so Ever with ye Addition of all my Emplements of Husbandry and all other out dore tools or matters what so Ever and also that bed where on y said Ephram Now Lodges on with the furneture,and also all my stock of Cratuers of all sorts reserving ye use and benefitt of ye one half of ye above mentioned premisses for and to ye use of my Loving wife Abigaill during ye term of her natural Life to be rendred to her yearly by my said son Ephraim and I do also Give and bequeath unto my s*^ son Ephraim all other my whole Incoms & proffitts of what kind name or nature so ever as bill bonds Credits &c Saveing all my Indoers Goods of all sorts I Give and bequeath unto my fore named Daughters to be Eaquelly divided in Eaquel proportion to and among them or their servivors that is to Say all that remains after my said wives deceace before bequeathed and I do hereby revoke and disallowe any other formor will by me here to fore mad rattifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and testament y^ day and year afore written 

Ezekiel worthen 

[Witnesses] Orlando Bagly, Theophilus Foott, Thomas Bagly. 
[Proved Oct. 29, 1755.] 

[Inventory, Dec. 19, 1755; amount, £3193. o. o; signed by 
Ephraim Hazeltine and Daniel Webster.] 

Ezekiel worthen 
[Witnesses] Orlando Bagly, Theophilus Foott, Thomas Bagly. [Proved Oct. 29, 1755.] 
[Inventory, Dec. 19, 1755; amount, £3193. o. o; signed by Ephraim Hazeltine and Daniel Webster.] 

My Worthen Line with links:My Worthen Line with links:
George Worthen and Margery Hayward
Ezekiel Worthen and Hannah Martin
Ezekiel Worthen and Abigail Carter
Ezekiel Worthen and Hannah Currier
Jacob Worthen and Mary Brown
Rachel Worthen and Enoch Rowell

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ezekiel Worthen of Amesbury, Massachusetts

This is a continuation of the George Wathen (Worthen) Story.....
So, Ezekiel, George's son, is now a grown man, his apprenticeship to  blacksmith Thomas Avery is finished and he's ready to strike out on his own.  According to Joyce Pendery in her article on the Worthen Family, Ezekiel was friends with Samuel Foote, who married Hannah the daughter of Richard Currier. Ezekiel also married a Hannah, she was the daughter of George Martin and his first wife Hannah Unknown. They were married on 4 December 1661 in Salisbury.  Hannah's mother died when she was 2-3 years old.  She was raised by her step-mother Susanna North Martin. George Martin was also a blacksmith, it is not known when he came to the colony, but he was living is Salisbury by 1643.

Move to Amesbury
Memorial Plaque at the Amesbury Burial Grounds
The father-in-laws of the two young men had lived in Salisbury, Mass, but by that time the town had grown beyond its boundaries and a new town of Amesbury was underway.  In 1666  Amesbury was incorporated and all four men were listed as citizens of the new town. As with most men, Ezekiel became more active in the running of town as he grew older. By his forties he served on juries and took his turn as town constable. He took the Oath of Allegiance in 1677. Ezekiel bought and sold land for the remainder of his life. He also deeded land to his children. 

Members of the Amesbury Church
The Tithing Mans church stick
In 1667 Ezekiel was assigned his spot in the meeting house, next to his father in law, George Martin. During the church service the men sat on one side, the women on the other.  Everyone had an assigned spot based on social standing in the community. The Deacons of the church sat beneath the Minister and faced the congregation.  A "tithing man" walked around the building with a long stick, prodding people who appeared asleep.  Apparently George Martin objected to the seat assigned to his wife, Susanna, possibly he felt that she she was slighted and should have been assigned a better seat. This was the beginning of a long   series of skirmishes which would eventually end badly for Susanna Martin.

Susanna North
Susanna North Martin was born in Olney, Buckinghamhshire, England.  Her parents were Richard and Joan Bartram North.  Joan died when Susanna was young and her father remarried in England to Ursula Unknown.  The family immigrated by 1639 and lived in Salisbury, Massachusetts. Richard had the lot next to Abraham Morrill. Susanna married the widower George Martin on August 11, 1646.  ( George Martin is NOT the son of Christopher Martin, pilgrim on the Mayflower!)

memorial stone for Susanna Martin
Susanna was first accused of witchcraft in 1669 by William Sargent, Jr. and his brother Thomas Sargent (both ancestors). Her husband in turn sued them for slander. Both cases went to court.  Charges were dropped against Thomas Sargent, but William Jr. was found guilty and given a nominal penalty. Charges were also dropped against William Sargent Sr. but the court disagreed with this decision.  The proceedings and outcome of the case against Susanna is unknown, the court records are lost. 

In October of 1669 George was sued by Christopher Bartlett because Susanna had called him a liar and a thief.  Their son Richard Martin was also in court that year for assaulting and threatening his father, he was sentenced to be whipped. Obviously 1669 was not a good year for the Martins.  

Susanna's father Richard North died in 1668 and she and her sister Mary expected to have a large share in his estate. However his Widow Ursula produced what they considered a fake will which left almost all the estate to her. George, Susanna and Mary took Ursula to Court. Their lawsuit went back and forth several times but they finally lost in 1674, another blow for the family. Things seemed to settle down for a while. George, Susanna's husband, died in 1686, leaving his estate to her to manage. His death also left her to defend herself against any further charges, making her an easy target for unhappy neighbors.

Susanna and the Witch Trials
1692 is the year that the witch trials in New England reached their zenith.  The girls involved in the Salem Witch Trials spread their accusations to neighboring towns.  No one, irrespective of position, whether high or low, was safe from the accusers. Eventually the girls accused Susanna once again of being a witch, with her past history, it's not a surprise. Luckily for her daughters, none of them were accused unlike other families where the females were all under suspicion. 

On 30 April 1692 a warrant was issued for Susanna's arrest.  Her friend and neighbor Orlando Bagley, town constable, came to arrest her.  After a preliminary hearing she spent time in prison.  Her trial was held on June 26th, her neighbors came out in droves to spin wild stories of her guilt. Some of those neighbors are also ancestors.  She was a tough woman who stood her ground, she refused to plead guilty and possibly save her life as others had done. 
The Rev. Cotton Mather said about Susanna, "This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life." Mr. Merrill, in his History of Amesbury described Susanna differently---------- "The idea of snatching this hardworking, honest woman from her home to be tried for her life by those who never knew her , and witnesses who were prejudiced against almost too much for belief. ...Allowed no counsel, she was her own lawyer, and her answers are remarkable for independence and clearness. She showed herself to be a woman of more than ordinary talent and resolution."    Bonnie Johnson Family Website
Having been found guilty, Susanna Martin and four others were taken to Gallows Hill and hung on July 19, 1692. Only after the Salem accusers pointed their fingers at the very top of society, including the family of the above Cotton Mather, did the trials stop. In 1696 Rev. Mather issued a statement that the trials were a travesty and that innocent people lost their lives.  In 1711 the General Court issued an apology and compensation for many of the survivors. 

Conversion to the Quakers
According to Samuel Copp Worthen in his history of the Worthen family, Ezekiel left his Congregational Church after the witch trials and joined the Quaker Church. On at least two occasions he had possessions or animals confiscated to pay his rate for the Congregational Minister.  Eventually the Quakers were allowed to opt out of the tax.
Despite their trials Ezekiel and Hannah lived long prosperous lives.  They had ten children, who all lived to adulthood.  

Ezekiel and Hannah had the following children:
1. Hannah, born April 21, 1663, married, December 5, 1684, Samuel Fowler.
2. John, born February 12, 1664, married, December 30, 1689, Mary Hadlock 
3. Thomas, born October 31, 1667, married Hannah Annis.
4. George, born December 15. 1669, 
5. Ezekiel, born May 18, 1672, married, December 26, 1704, Abigail Carter.
6. Margerite, born September 24, 1674, married George Weed. 
7. Samuel, married, November 17, 1701, Deliverance Heath. 
8. Dorothy, married, October 5, 1702, Joseph Hoyt.
9. Judith, married, February 19, 1707-08, Abraham Page. 
10. Deborah, born December 9, 1686, married, November 15, 1714, Eliezer Well


RIP Ezekiel wrote his will in 1715 and died the following year. Hannah, stayed in the family home for some years afterwards but eventually moved in with her daughter Hannah Fowler.  She died in 1730.


The English Background of George and Margery (Hayward) Wathen of Salem, Massachusetts by Clifford L. Stott, F.A.S.G. 1996, The Register
Descendants of George and Margery Wathen of Salem, Massachusetts, by Joyce s. Pendery, c.g. 2000, The Register
The Devil in the Shape of a Women, Carol F. Karlsen
The History of Amesbury, Joseph Merrill
Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Hoyt

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

George (Worthen) Wathan of Bristol, England and Salem, Massachusetts

Early bios of George Wathen (Worthen) are brief and sometimes give his name as John. Luckily a great amount of research was done by Clifford L. Stott  and published in 1994 in the New England Historic and Genealogical Society magazine known as The Register. George and his family immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony possibly by 1638, but definitely by 1640. He was one of thousands of immigrants who did not survive long in New England despite being a relatively young man, only in his early 40's when he died.  Unfortunately his wife Margery died only two years after him, leaving very young children without family to care for them. Here's their story.

english origins
c.1500 map of Bristol 
George Wathen was born in Bristol, England around 1597. His father, also  George, was born c. 1563 in or around Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.  He married Joyce White on  9 August 1589 at St. Nicholas, Bristol. By 1600 he and his family were living in the parish of St. Stephen, Bristol. By then George and Joyce had three sons: William, George and Edmund, who were to follow in the footsteps of their father and become Joiners (Woodworkers) and a daughter Mary. William apprenticed himself to his father, George was apprenticed to John Browne on 12 Nov 1612 for a period of eight years.  He was in a nearby town called Trowbridge in 1624/1625. He and Margery Heywood were married in Trowbridge, her hometown on 15 April 1624.  On 16 July 1626 George and his brother Edmund were admitted as a Burgesses in the city of Bristol.

George and Margery's first child, a daughter Deborah, was baptized at Trowbridge on 11 March 1624/5. The rest of the children were born in Bristol.  Deborah was followed by John, b. 1627, Dorothy b. 1630, twins William and Elizabeth bapt. 21 Sept. 1632, both buried by Aug. 1634, and Ezekiel (ancestor) bapt. on 15 April 1636 at St. Nicholas, Bristol.

Bristol is an ancient port city in the West of England. Many ships left the Bristol harbour for the New World, presumably George, Margery and their children, Deborah and Ezekiel, sailed for New England from their home city. George's skill as a joiner was in great demand in the colony as towns and settlements sprung up and houses and municipal building needed to be built. 

George in Salem
town sign
There was a ---- Wathen recorded in Lynn, Mass in 1638, this is possibly our George, but he was definitely in the Colony by 1640 when he was given a house and a lot in Salem and on 4 April 1640 he was appointed surveyor of fences. On 23 May 1641 he was admitted to the Church of Salem. He was twice in Court once for a land dispute and again for trespassing.  The court date of 29 June 1641 is the last time George's name was recorded. He died shortly thereafter.  

Death of George
The death of a husband and father is a tragedy at anytime but for a young family, without the support of extended family, it had to be a nightmare.  But, the story gets worse, on 20 July 1644, the inventory of the estate of Margery Wathen, widow, was recorded.  The children were now orphans, Deborah was around 17 but Ezekiel, the youngest, was 8 years old. According to Joyce S. Pendery, who followed  Clifford Stott with an article in 2004 on the family of George Wathen in the Register, Margery had a very large wardrobe. She speculates that Margery and possibly Deborah were seamstresses, that would explain all the lace and ribbons and material that was inventoried.  Also in her inventory were a bible, a testament and 24 old books.  So someone in the family could read, although Joyce Pendery points out that Deborah and Ezekiel made their mark when they signed their names. 

Administration of Margery's estate was turned over to two members of the Salem Church and on 27 August 1644 Ezekiel was ordered by the Quarterly Court of Salem to be bound as an apprentice to Thomas Abree for 12 years. Thomas was a blacksmith who had come to the Colony on the "Mary and John" in March of 1633/4.  On 24 June 1656, Ezekiel was freed by the Quarterly Court, he was 21, a trained blacksmith and free to make a life for himself.

Cousin William
Prince Rupert
Here's an interesting side note, George Wathen's sister Mary, married Andrew Sargent, and they had a son William Sargent who immigrated. He was the William Sargent of Gloucester, Massachusetts who is and was sometimes confused with our ancestor William Sargent of Salisbury.  George's brother Edmund had a son Thomas Wathen who also emigrated for a while, but returned to England to fight in the Civil War. He died fighting with Prince Rupert, a cousin of Charles II, who was the commander of the Royal Calvary. I think it unusual that Thomas choose to fight for the King and not Cromwell, but maybe that was not uncommon.  Anyway, Deborah was in Court in Ipswich in September 1652 where she was deposed concerning her cousin Thomas' estate.  She said that William Sargent, their cousin was the closest male relative and should be appointed administrator of Thomas' estate. William must not have done anything because in the Salem Quarterly Court of September 1657 Ezekiel was appointed to replace William.

My Worthen Line with links:
George Worthen and Margery Hayward
Ezekiel Worthen and Hannah Martin
Ezekiel Worthen and Abigail Carter
Ezekiel Worthen and Hannah Currier
Jacob Worthen and Mary Brown
Rachel Worthen and Enoch Rowell

Saturday, February 4, 2012

William Sargent and Elizabeth Perkins of Salisbury, Massachusetts

When looking at the lives of my ancestors who were early immigrants to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the name of my blog, The Family Connection, begins to really ring true.  With limited numbers of marriageable men and women, the very real need to be married and the distance between some settlements it is easy to see how so many close family connections were made. Siblings from one family married siblings in another, step children, step parents, half siblings abounded.  One of my great grandmothers married three of my great grandfathers, not all at once of course, but with the death rate rather higher than it is now, many people had more than one spouse over the course of their lives.

William Sargent was one of the three husbands of Joanne Pinder. (see Henry Pinder)  She married first Valentine Rowell, second William and thirdly Richard Currier. She outlived them all.  William was  a widower when he married Joanna, his first wife was Elizabeth Perkins, but this is starting in the middle of the story, so back to the beginning. Here is what I know about William Sargent.

english origins
William Sargent was born in England around 1611, the exact date and place is unknown.[1] Many site have his place of birth as Bath, probably based on the book by Richard William Cutter. [2]
William Sargent, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, about 1600. The latest investigation points to the probability that he was theWilliam Sargent who was baptized in the Abbey Church, Bath, England, June 28, 1606, son of Richard and Katherine (Stevens) Sargent. There is a tradition that William was born in 1602. As the father-in-law of Sargent, Quartermaster John Perkins, came from Bath, it is probable that this record belongs to the immigrant, William Sargent, of Salisbury, Massachusetts. 
The problem with the above text from Cutter's book, is that John Perkins, his father in law, was not from Bath, he was from Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England.[3] In the end, there is no proof of William's English birthplace.

William is known in the records as a seaman, but he was not the average sailor.  He was able to sign his name and he was addressed as "Mister", which was a mark of respect in those days.He was made a Freeman on 22 May 1639, so he must have been a good Puritan as a man had to be a member in good standing with his local church in order to qualify for Freemenship.(is that a word?)[4]

rambling man
William arrived in the colony in 1632, and settled in Ipswich, then known as Aggawam, where in 1634 he was given 12 acres of land. Sometime afterwards he removed to Newbury, and in 1638 he along with a group of petitioners were given the right to begin a new plantation called Hampton. Just when you think he's going to settle in one place he ups and moves again, this time in 1640, to the new settlement of Salisbury. Although the distances between moves was not much, each time he moved, it was to a new settlement.  This meant starting completely over, building a house and clearing land for planting, i'm sure the wife was thrilled. 

Speaking of the wife, William, married sometime prior to 1636, Elizabeth Perkins, daughter of John Perkins of Ipswich.  Her sister Mary Perkins married Thomas Bradbury. Elizabeth and her sister would be next door neighbors in Salisbury.(see the Salisbury plat map) Elizabeth did not live to see her sister tried for Witchcraft in 1692. 

children of william and elizabeth
William and Elizabeth's first child was born in 1636.  They lost two children, both daughters at a very young age. Of the five children that lived to adulthood, three are my ancestors. 

Mary b. 1636, married Phillip Watson-Challis
Elizabeth b. and d. in 1641
Thomas b. 11 June 1643, m. 2 Mar 1667/8 Rachael Barnes (found not guilty of fathering Sarah Osgoods' child 1668)
William b. 2 Jan 1645/5 m. 23 Sept. 1668 Mary Colby, dau of Anthony Colby (ordered to be whipped or fined for fornication, 12 April 1670)
Elizabeth b. 22 Nov. 1648 m. by 1668 Samuel Colby (brother of Mary) 
Lydia b. 1650 died between 1660-1662
Sarah b. 29 Feb 1651/2 m. Orlando Bagley 1681

civil duty
William, like many others at that time, bought and sold land for the rest of his life.  He made the move from Salisbury to Amesbury at some point as well. He probably served on the Grand Jury, the Petit Jury and was the Clerk for the Train Band for Salisbury (the militia). There was a second William Sargent who lived in Gloucester and he might have been the William who served on the juries or possible they both did. 

slanderous encounters
In 1669, either William or his son William was sued for slander by neighbor George Martin. The two families obviously did not get along.  George claimed that on 13 April William Sargent called his wife, Susanna, a witch.  George also sued William's son Thomas for saying that his son George was a bastard and that  Richard Martin was Goodwife Martin's "Imp".  It may sound silly to us today but, Susanna North Martin was hanged on 19 July 1692 for witchcraft. George Martin is my 9th great grandfather, Susanna his second wife, was stepmother to my 8th great grandmother Hannah. [5]

It is not known when Elizabeth Perkins Sargent died, William married Joanna Pinder Rowell on 18 September 1670. His children were grown, Joanna's youngest was 15. William helped Joanna settle the estate of her husband Valentine Rowell. They sued Christoper Osgood, son of Valentine's widow, Margery Fowler Osgood Rowell.  William lived another five years, dying in the Spring of 1675, leaving Joanna a widow for the second time. She married Richard Currier 26 Oct 1676. Joanna died in 1690. [6]

my Sargent ancestry through three of their children:

William Sargent and Elizabeth Perkins
Thomas Sargent-Rachel Barnes      William Sargent-Mary Colby      Elizabeth Sargent-Samuel Colby
Rachel Sargent-William Currier     Jacob Sargent-Judith Harvey     Elizabeth Colby-John Rowell
Hannah Currier-Ezekiel Worthen   Tabitha Sargent-John Foss        Enoch Rowell-Merriam Converse
Jacob Worthen-Mary Brown           David Foss-Ann Richardson       Enoch Rowell-Rachel Worthen
Rachel Worthen-Enoch Rowell        Ann Foss-Reuben Moore 
                                                     Mary Moore-Samuel Moore

Enoch Rowell - Rachel Worthen

William Rowell-Sally Leavitt                    Samuel D. Rowell-Mary Moore
                           Viola Rowell                                      Enoch C. Rowell
Jennie Clover Rowell-John Clark Thornton
my grandparents 
my parents
[1] Robert Charles Anderson, "The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol 1-3,  database with images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 26 Feb 2017) p. 1630-1633, entry for William Sargent.

[2] William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2, (Boston: Lewis Publishing Co., 1908) 863, digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 26 Feb 2017).

[3] Robert Charles Anderson, "The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol 1-3,  database with images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 26 Feb 2017) p. 1431, entry for John Perkins.

[4] Robert Charles Anderson, "The Great Migration Begins," 1630.

[5] George Francis Dow, Records and files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, vol. 4, 1667-1671 (Salem, Mass: Essex Institute, 1914)129, digital images, Archive ( : accessed 26 Feb 2017.

[6] David Webster Hoyt, The old families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton, (Providence: Snow and Farnham, 1897) 310-11, digital images, Archive (

John and Joan Chadwick of Watertown and Malden, Massachusetts (1600-1681)

I've been putting this bio off for a while as there is much confusion on the Internet about him. There are several men named John ...