Friday, December 29, 2017

English Ancestry of Moulton Immigrants to New England: Part III

The English ancestry of the Moulton brothers and their cousin who immigrated to New England was explored at great length in a Register article by William Haslett Jones in 1987. Since that article was published the further research has uncovered new information and new analysis of the old information has led to new conclusions. The genealogy of the 1987 article should not be used, rather the updated information in the 2009 article by Myrtle Stevens Hyde using the updated information is the most reliable.

See this article for Robert Multon and Margaret Watts
See this article for John Multon and his brother Thomas Multon

John was born about 1563. He was the only child of his father's second wife. He had three half-siblings Robert, Margaret and Grace. In older genealogies John was said to be the oldest child but his has been disproved. John inherited his father's house and land in Ormesby St. Margaret. His mother had remarried, but was widowed a second time in 1579.

John married at age 21 on 14 June 1584, at the parish church of Hemsby. His bride was Ann Taylor, daughter of Robert and Margaret Taylor. The religion of the day was now firmly protestant, Catholics were in hiding, Puritanism was stirring. The Lord of the Manor was Sir Edward Clere. He had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1580 and served as Sheriff of Norfolk. The 16th century had seen a raise in enclosure of common land by large land owners. Sir Edward was complained on by his tenants for taking 30 acres of common ground and locking the gate to the common called Barrow Lowes, preventing his tenants from using the common marshes as summer pasture. Many of the land holders were called on to testify. This would have impacted John as, like his forefathers, he was a farmer. 

John inherited land from his father and when his brother Robert died, he inherited his house and land as well. He was called a yeoman, and left a healthy estate in his will proved 5 Feb 1637/8. He and Ann had at least nine children. He eldest son, Robert, died leaving children, named in their grandfather's will. John, son of Robert, was to receive a 'tithing' called Millers at the east end of Ormesby, in exchange for land he would have inherited from his father. Joseph Moulton was to receive his father's messuage and 11 acres of land. He was also to receive a messuage called Cordiner's. Ann Taylor Moulton survived her husband. He ordered that she would have use of the parlor chamber within the house and all his household stuff. Joseph had to provide wheat, malt, coal, faggots of wood, half the fruit of the orchard, a milk cow, and two swine. Furthermore, Joseph was directed to provide her with summer meat and winter meat. Ann would receive all this in lieu of claiming her dower or her thirds, something she would do if she chose to remarry.

The only mention of his son Benjamin was a bequest to his daughter Hannah. Benjamin clearly was not alive, else he would have been named as a recipient of his father's will. His widow Mary remarried on 15 July 1623. Her second husband was William Eastow. By the time of his father's will in of Feb 1637/8 William and Mary Eastow and her son William Moulton had sailed for New England. This is a revision of William Moulton's ancestry as it had previously been believed that he was the son of Robert Moulton and Mary___Moulton Estow.

A review of powers of attorney in the Norfolk records office produced a power of attorney for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire who wished to sell land he had inherited from his father who he named as Benjamin.

Robert was the son of Thomas and Joan Green of Ormesby St. Margaret. He was most likely born in his parent's home in Ormesby. Thomas, his father, was not a land owner, and it is believed that he might have had a profession and/or some formal training. He leased land from his wife's nephew William Green. In his father's will, Robert was given draft horses, and farming implements. In a 1597 indenture, Robert Moulton, husbandman of Scratby, leased from Sir Edward Clere, lord of the manor of Ormesby, 22 parcels of land for 25 years. Most of the land was in Scratby; two parcels were in Caister. In a 1620 document, Rental of the Manor of Ormesby, then held by William Baispole, Robert Moulton held land in Scratby Bardolphes, some of it freehold.

Robert married Mary Smythe of Hemsby 1595. She was the daughter of Henry Smythe of Hemsby and possibly his wife Brydgett who was buried on 4 Jan 1611/12. In an earlier article Mary's father was misidentified as John Smith of Caister, but in his 1625 will, Henry Smythe calls Robert Moulton his son-in-law. He left Robert 24£, a half share of a marsh and the residual of his estate. Henry also named his great-grandson and namesake Henry, son of John Moulton. This confirms the relationship between Mary and her father. Henry, of note, had a estate valued at over 600£, the second largest in East Flegg from 1580-1680.

Robert and Mary had at least ten children. Three sons, John, James and Thomas immigrated to New England.

Robert died, probably at Scratby and was buried at Hemsby on 11 October 1633. Mary survived him and died in 1636, she was buried at Ormesby St. Margaret on 27 April 1636. In his will Robert called himself a yeoman. He left his wife Mary all his plate, four milk cows, four feather beds, ten milk bowls, four cheese vats, a table, four chairs and six stools. He had a house in Ormesby and his house and land on which he lived. He left money to his daughters, servants and grandchildren. He had definitely come a long way.


William Haslet-Jones, "The English Background of Some Early Settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire From Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk," (The Moulton Family) The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (October 1987) Vol. 141, 313-329, digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Joan Wade Moulton, "Some Doubts About the English Background of the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1990) Vol. 144, 245-263; digital images American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Barbara MacAllen, "More Thoughts on the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (April 1993) Vol. 147, 129-145; American Ancestors  
( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Myrtle Stevens Hyde, "Revised Ancestry for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire, Including Some Revisions of the Early Ancestry of His New England Cousins," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 2009) Vol. 163, 165-173 and 273-277; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Thursday, December 28, 2017

English Ancestry of the Moulton Family Part II: John and Thomas Moulton of Ormesby St. Margaret

Part II

John and Thomas Moulton of Ormesby have had multiple revisions in their ancestry. Once thought to be cousins, it has been proven that they are brothers; sons of Robert and Margaret Watts of Ormesby. Their family tree looks like this:

John was possibly the second son of Robert and Margaret Watts Moulton. It seems there was a son, Robert, who died prior to his father. In the subsidy roll of 1523/24 there were two Robert Moultons; one was taxed for land, the second taxed for wages. These are assumed to be father and son. With his brother's death, John found himself the heir.

Robert Moulton wrote his will in 1535, after making the usual bequeaths, he gave the bulk of his estate to his son John, but only after the death of his mother, Margaret. Both John and Margaret were on the subsidy roll of 1545/1546 and again on the roll for 46-47, both mother and son are taxed. The next subsidy roll is for the year 1552 and John is the only Moulton on the roll. His mother must have died in the years between the rolls and by 1552 he had inherited his fathers house and property.

John seems to have been married twice. His first wife was Jone (Joan) Grene (Green). Joan was the daughter of Richard Green and his unknown wife. She was the mother of three children; Robert, Margaret and Grace, all named in their father's 1573 will.

John's second wife was called Thomazine _____. It is believed that she was significantly younger than him. In earlier articles about John, (NEHGR 141:317) she was called Thomazine Greene, but this was corrected in a later article (NEHGR 163:169-170). Joan Moulton was named in her father's 1561 will.

Thomazine was born around 1530. She bore John a son, also John, in about 1563. He was only ten when his father died. His older siblings were all under the age of 20 as well. His half brother Robert died by 1600.

Thomazine remarried and had a one son with well to do John Hodgekyn of Ormebsy. In his will dated 8 September 1579, he left a significant amount of money to his 'little child.' He instructs that the boy be sent to school and when finished he tells his wife, 'bind him to son friends, so that he may make a living.' Thomas Moulton, her brother in law and Mr. William Greene, brother of John Moulton's first wife, were overseers of the will.

On 9 November 1580, Thomaszine married a third time to a William Taylor. The marriage took place at nearby Hemsby. He died in 1616 making her a widow for the third time. Thomazine died in 1619, a widow of Great Yarmouth. She names in her will her son John Moulton and leaves money to his children.

john's will
John wrote his will on 22 June 1573 and it was probated in October of that year. He was identified as a yeoman. He left his son John, the house and land where they then lived, it would be his when he reached age 21. Robert, his eldest son was given the house and land and the appurtenances (equipment) that had belonged to his parents. He also gave him some land in nearby Caister. He made an exception in the Ormesby property as he had sold four acres of it to his brother in law, William Green, who was not yet of age. His brother Thomas lived on that land.

His will is a window into the world of people on the edge of modern history. Such items as a bed standing in the solar eve, a bedstead, a feather bed, a bolster and sheets, a flock bed with a transom, a coverlet and a brass pot ignite the imagination. Most of these items are identifiable, others not so much. A flock bed, for instances, was one that laid directly on the floor. He also makes distribution of pewter plates, a table, livestock including, horses, milk cows, ewes and lambs, his market cart, and combs of wheat and barley. The will points to the most valuable possessions in the home were beds, linens and cooking and eating utensils.

John gives a detailed description of the land in Ormesby and the owners of land which bounded it. Two names jump out; Mr. William Paston, esq. and Edward Clere, esq. Sir William Paston was the grandson of John Paston, the younger, a member of The Paston Family of Norfolk, authors of the Paston Letters. He lived at Oxnead in Norfolk. If you've never read about the Paston Letters I recommend you do, it is a fascinating insight into the lives of medieval people. Sir Edward Clere was Lord of the Manor of Ormesby. The manor had been held by his family for several centuries.

Thomas was the younger son of Robert and Margaret Watts. He was born around 1513 and this is confirmed by a deposition in 1587 when he stated that he was 74 years old. His brother the heir got the house and land. Thomas was given money. Thomas was misidentified by William Haslett Jones as Thomas of the 'Scratby Line,' in his 1987 Register article (141:313-328). This has caused much confusion over who he was and where he lived. This has been corrected in subsequent articles.

Thomas does not appear to have ever owned land. It is believed that he leased the land  he lived on from William Green, his brother John's brother-in-law. It has been suggested that he had some other occupation, possibly some formal training, as well as being a part-time farmer. The fact that Thomas was appointed supervisor of the estate of William Ballard, Vicar of Ormesby, in 1579 indicating he held a position of importance in his community. His brother also chose him to supervise the estate of John Hodgekyn, his sister-in-laws second husband.

Like his brother John, Thomas married later that average. His wife was another Jone (Joan) Grene (Green). Joan was the sister of Richard Green of Ormesby, who daughter Joan married John Moulton. This makes the relationship between the two women, sisters-in-law as well as aunt and niece.

Richard, whose parents are unknown, as is his wife, was born about 1505 and died in 1561. Haslet-Jones says he was a blacksmith. Joan, his sister, was born about 1530. She was married to Thomas and had a daughter Mary, who was named in her brother's will. She and Thomas had at least five children. Robert, the heir, William, Edmund, Rebecca (who married Thomas Hodgekyn, s/o John and Thomazine Hodgekyn) and Mary.

Thomas wrote his will in 1578. He asked to be buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret's in Ormesby. He gave his eldest son Robert two horses, one black, one brown. He gave him farm implements, plows and traces and horse collars. William was to receive twenty pounds when he reached the age of 21. All else was to go to Joan.


All the sources for the genealogy of the Moultons comes from a series of articles in the New England  Historical and Genealogical Register.

William Haslet-Jones, "The English Background of Some Early Settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire From Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk," (The Moulton Family) The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (October 1987) Vol. 141, 313-329, digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Joan Wade Moulton, "Some Doubts About the English Background of the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1990) Vol. 144, 245-263; digital images American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Barbara MacAllen, "More Thoughts on the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (April 1993) Vol. 147, 129-145; American Ancestors  
( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Myrtle Stevens Hyde, "Revised Ancestry for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire, Including Some Revisions of the Early Ancestry of His New England Cousins," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 2009) Vol. 163, 165-173 and 273-277; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

English Ancestry of John, Thomas, James and William Moulton of Ormesby, Norfolk and New England

Part I
The English Ancestry of four Moulton men who immigrated to New England during the Great Migration has been traced back to the 15th century. John, James and Thomas were brothers, William was their cousin several times removed. Their common grandparents were Robert Multon and his wife Margaret Watts of Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk.

ormesby st. margaret
Ormbesby St. Margaret is a village on the Norfolk coast. The village boast a 14th century church, which would have been the parish church of the Moulton family. Sadly, parish records do not exist prior to 1601, dates of births and marriages are estimated and dates of death are based on wills.

Ormesby St. Margaret is only about 20 miles from the village of Paston, home to the 15th century Paston family. If you have never read the Paston Letters, I encourage you to do so. The letters reveal details of everyday life in those long ago days, and make ancestors like the Moultons seem more real. In fact the Moulton's held land that bordered on lands held by the Paston family.

The flat Norfolk countryside supported a flourishing agrarian society still centered on the manorial system. Each man held land, copy hold or free hold from the Lord of the Manor. Justice was delivered by the Manorial Court. Church wardens kept an eagle eye on parishioners.The farmers grew oats, barley and pease. Larger land holders raised sheep for wool and meat. Rents were usually paid in barley, and they would be paid at times, to the lord of the manor.

lord of the manor
The manor of Ormesby, at the time of the Moultons was held by the Clere family. This family can be traced back to Nicholas de Clere who married the daughter of Sir William de Ormesby in the 13th century. A Sir Robert Clere was sheriff of Norfolk in 1501 and attended King Henry VIII in 1520. His second wife was the daughter of William Bolyen of Blickling. His son William married the daughter of Sir John Paston, of the Paston letters.

moulton ancestry:

robert 1475-1535
The first Moulton to whom the immigrants can be traced is Robert Multon of Ormesby St. Margaret. He was born around about 1475. Edward IV was King of England, the House of York had won the War of the Roses. But, England would soon be wracked by war once again, when Edward's brother Richard III would put aside (kill) the rightful heir to the throne and set himself on a collision course with Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII. When Robert died in 1535, Henry VIII was married to Anne Bolyen, who incidentally, was born at Blickling Hall, not far from Ormesby. The effects from Henry's split with the Catholic Church, needed to obtain his divorce from Catherine of Aragon,  would have a rippling effect that would impact the lives of future Moultons.

What we know about Robert, which is very little, comes from his will and a few other documents on which his name is found, including manorial court rolls, and the lay subsidy rolls, a list of taxpayers and the amount they owed. In the roll for 1523/1524 two men named Robert Moulton were taxed; one for land and one for wages. It is believed that they represent father and son. The younger man died prior to the writing of his father's will in 1535. In one document he was identified as a yeoman, a step above a husbandman and one below a gentleman.

Robert's will has been transcribed at various times. Significantly in its newest transcription the value of his estate has been corrected downwards as it was been found that what was thought to be pounds was shillings, and shilling pence. Despite the lesser value of his estate, he did have enough to warrant a will, for which we are thankful.

Medieval wills follow a fairly standard formula. Robert's will, dated 4 June 1535, is no different. The dying are firstly concerned with their eternal soul and make bequeaths to their church, the poor and indicate where they would like to be buried. Robert left money to St. Margaret's in Ormesby, various religious guilds, and to a hospital or almshouse for 'sick men in Yarmouth.' The will was written by one who was still very Catholic in his religion. He bequeaths his soul to God, Mary and the saints.

His soul taken care of, Robert then makes his bequests to his survivors. He names two daughters, each get money. Margaret 20 shillings, Isobell 40 shillings. His son Thomas was to have 4 marks sterling. The English monetary systems was pounds (L), shillings (s), pence (d). There was twelve pence to a shilling and twenty shillings to a pound. A mark was two-thirds of a pound.

John, his heir and presumably the eldest son, was to get his father's house and land, after the death of his mother, Margaret. This statement is great because it let's us know that Robert's wife was the mother of his children, not always the case, as many men married multiple times. Roberts will was witnessed by Thomas Watts, Margaret's brother.

So, that is what we know about Robert. He was likely about sixty years old, had four surviving children, he was not rich, but not poor, he had land, either copy or freehold and that's about it.

Margaret and her brother Thomas were the children of John Watts of Ormesby St. Margaret. He was born about 1450, possibly in Worsted. His wrote his will on 4 April 1500. His wife's name was Beatrix, but it is unknown if she was the mother of Thomas and/or Margaret or any of the other children named in his will. Margaret was born about 1478. John Watts' will was proved the following March.

Worsted is about 14 miles from Ormesby and a review of will show a cluster of men of that name in Worsted.

Part II brothers John and Thomas Moulton
Part III John Moulton and his cousin Robert Moulton


William Haslet-Jones, "The English Background of Some Early Settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire From Ormesby St. Margaret, Norfolk," (The Moulton Family) The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (October 1987) Vol. 141, 313-329, digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Joan Wade Moulton, "Some Doubts About the English Background of the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1990) Vol. 144, 245-263; digital images American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Barbara MacAllen, "More Thoughts on the Moulton Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (April 1993) Vol. 147, 129-145; American Ancestors  
( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Myrtle Stevens Hyde, "Revised Ancestry for William Moulton of Hampton, New Hampshire, Including Some Revisions of the Early Ancestry of His New England Cousins," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 2009) Vol. 163, 165-173 and 273-277; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 28 December 2017).

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Reverend Stephen Bachiler of England and New England

Stephen Bachiler, variously spelt Bachelor, Bachelder, Bachelor, etc, was a colorful man who lived life the way he saw fit in a turbulent time. He was born about 1561, Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne for only three years. As he reached adulthood in the 1580s, Elizabeth's reign was at its epoch. He lived through the reign of her successor James I and his son Charles I, who was beheaded by a Parliament  led by Oliver Cromwell. Stephen died in London in 1656; England was firmly in the grip of the Protectorate. Cromwell died two years later and the monarchy restored in 1660. 

If Stephen Bachiler had stayed in England we might never had heard his name, but at the great age of seventy, he left England with his third wife and four grandsons, bound for New England. His non-conformist peers in Massachusetts found him a bit too non-conformist and booted him out. He and his followers establish the town Hampton in New Hampshire. He eventually left New England and returned to home, dying at the age of ninety five in London. But, I get ahead of myself.

Bachiler is a well researched ancestor, with many articles and books about him. I have nothing new to add to his story, but since his is family, I will write a synopsis of other peoples work. The very best website is that of the Lane Memorial Library (in Hampton, New Hampshire). It is a goldmine for researching ancestors who resided in the town. Their page on Stephen Bachiler gives links to all the current and past articles on him, I recommend you have a look at it. Link to it is here. But, hey finish reading my article first.

So here's what I know about Stephen Bachiler.

english origins
If you google the names Philip Bachiler and Ann Flanders you will find many websites that claim that they were the parents of Stephen. One site in particular, Miner Descent, builds a whole story about Philip and his family, Wallons apparently, who were kicked out of Flanders by King Philip II of Spain. This highly imaginative story has been disproved.  The origins of Stephen are unknown. Lane Memorial Library says the following about Stephen's origins:
All references that may be found in various places on the Internet to his "father" Philip Bachiler are incorrect and should be ignored or, preferably, corrected. Much research has been done to search for his parentage in England, but to date there has been no success.
St. John's College, Oxford
There, the experts have spoken. Nothing is known about Stephens early life. He must have come from a fairly decent family as he was entered St. John's College in Oxford on 15 November 1581 at the age of twenty. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts on 3 February 1585/6. A university degree in those days was either preparation for the law or the clergy. St. John's was a 'producer of Anglican Clergyman,' including the arch-nemesis of Puritans, Archbishop Laud.  Stephen was bound for the clergy.

On 15 July 1587 he got his first gig as a minister. He was presented to the living at Wherwell in Hampshire by Lord De La Warr, Lord of the Manor, who held the advowson, or right to nominate a parish priest.  Stephen would have had to pay a tax, known as 'first fruits', to the crown. Every new minister paid this tax when he took up a living. Thereafter he paid one tenth of his salary to the crown.

The Malt House, c. 1550
The church at Wherwell, where Stephen began his career was originally part of Wherwell Priory. The priory was destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries, during the time of Henry VIII. Stephen's church was replaced in 1857 but many of the tombs and other bits of the original church were retained including the effigy of a 13th century Benedictine prioress, Abbess Euphemia. No records from Stephen's time survive, despite his eighteen years as vicar.

marriage and children
A good minister needs a good wife to help him fulfill his parochial duties and attentions to his flock. It seems that Stephen married about 1590. His wife is a bit of a mystery. According to Robert Charles Anderson, in Bachiler's Great Migration profile, not only do we not know her surname, but even her first name is not known, despite the fact that thousands of ancestries claim that her name was Anne Bate. Anne is said to be the sister of Reverend John Bate, who replaced Stephen as vicar of Wherwell.

This connection between Ann, if indeed that was her name, and John Bate is drawn from a court case in 1614. A Rev. George Wighley sued Stephen, his son Stephen,  John Bate, a clerk of Wherwell, over  poems written by Stephen and his son. It seems that George was once a Puritan minister, but he had 'conformed,' and the poems were not flattering to his person. George alleged that John Bates said he would keep one of the poems, written by his 'cousen.' The use of the word cousin implies a familial relationship between the two families. In a second 1639 court case. Ann Bachiler Sanborn Atkinson and her husband sued Dorcas Bate, widow of Rev. John Bate for money owned the family. The case is convoluted but can be read in greater detail here, but it does not cement the relationship between the two families. It is just as likely that John Bate married the sister of Stephen Bachiler and not the other way round.So for me, the first wife  of Stephen is ?Anne? Unknown.


1. Nathaniel b. abt. 1590, Wherwell, m. (1) Hester Mercer, (2) Margery____. His son Nathaniel Jr. traveled with his grandfather to New England. He was dead by 1645 when his widow was given administration of his estate.

2. Deborah b. abt. 1592, m. by 1611 to John Wing, she and her children immigrated to NE by 1639 and lived in Sandwich.

3. Stephen, b. abt. 1594, matriculated Oxford, Magellan College, age 16, in 1610. He was described as a 'ministers son.' He was ordained a deacon in 1613 and involved in the 1614 court case. No further record of him.

4. Samuel, b. abt. 1567, was also a minister. He lived in Gorcum in Holland with his family.

5. Ann, b. abt. 1601 in Wherwell, m. (1) ___Sanborn, father of her children, (2) Henry Atkinson, Gent. of London, last known alive in 1639, courtcase, d. unknown.

6. Theodate, b. by 1610, m. 1635 Christopher Hussey in New England, d. 20 Oct. 1649.

back to wherwell
In 1593 Stephen was arrested and committed by his boss, the Bishop of Winchester. His crime was delivering a 'seditious' sermon at Newbury, a town about 20 miles from his home in Wherwell. He was ordered brought before the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Privy Council in the Star Chamber. See google books: Acts of the Privy Council of England, Vol. 24. What his punishment, if any was is unknown. But, one biographer writes that John Winthrop spoke that Bachiler suffered at the hands of the Bishops. He was lucky he wasn't executed like fellow dissenters Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood who were put to death in April of that year.

Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 and was followed by her nephew James I. James, raised in Scotland, was a Presbyterian and held different religious views than most of his subjects in England. He certainly did not care for Puritans whom he purged from the pulpit. Stephen was replaced by the Rev. John Bate in 1605. He never held a permanent position in England again.

newton stacey
In 1615 Stephen appears to have been of Newton Stacey, a village about 3 miles to the east of Wherwell. He was a 'free suitor at the view of frankpledge at the manorial court of Barton Stacey. Frankpledge was a system of policing and maintaining order which was administered at the manorial courts. He was recorded in the Hampshire feet of fines as purchasing land in Newton Stacey in 1622 and again in 1629.

Stephen seems to have worked as an itinerant preacher and was known to other influential Puritans. Adam Winthrop recorded in his diary in 1621, that he had Mr. Bachiler, the preacher, to dinner at his home in Groton.

All Saints, Barton Stacey 
No one knows when the first Mrs. Bachiler died, but Stephen remarried on 2 March 1623/4 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire to the widow Christian Weare. It was a short lived marriage and he again remarried on 26 March 1627 to another widow Helena Mason, her husband had been the Rev. Thomas Mason, another puritan.

Bachiler must have continues his fiery seditious preaching as he incited the parishioners of Barton Stacey to wreak havoc on a chapel. Sir Robert Paine, sheriff of Hampton recorded that they had demolished a consecrated chapel at Newton Stacy, neglected the repair of the parish church, maliciously opposed petitioners' intent(that he, Paine, should repair the church at his own expense), and executed many things in contempt of the canons and the Bishop.

coming to new england
Following in the wake of the Pilgrims who left England in 1620, many companies formed and laid plans to immigrate. One such group was the Plough Company, a consortium of London merchants who had a land grant in Saco. John Winthrop and his group has sailed in 1630, the first wave of what is known as The Great Migration. The Plough Company sent a ship in 1631. Stephen Bachiler sold his land in Newton Stacey and in June of 1631 traveled with his wife and daughter Ann Sanborn to Flushing in the Netherlands to visit his son who was living there. Perhaps he went to say farewell to his son.

On 9 March 1631/2 the ship The William & Francis set sail for Boston, docking on 5 June. The Plough Company had folded and its immigrants were unable to occupy their land grant in Saco. The Bachiler clan headed for Saugus, now known as Lynn. At the age of seventy, the Reverend was starting over.

On his arrival at Lynn, Bachiler formed his church. There is a story on the internet that Stephen refused to baptize a child until he had baptized his own. Robert Charles Anderson says this is false, there is no record of any think like that happening. He calls it a 'typical nineteenth-century creation.'
Another creation was a fabricated journal, purported to belong to Obadiah Redpath, described in great detail the physical appearance of the Reverend. The diary was a fake, written by a man named Thomas Newhall. So, no, we do not know what Stephen looked like, short and fat or tall and spare, it's all left to our imagination.

Within months of arrival Stephen was had crossed swords with Winthrop and the General Court. It was ordered that he was only allowed to preach to his family and those who came with him because of his contempt of authority. It also seems he refused to take the freeman's oath, a requirement for full church membership. For the next few years, his differences with the standard theology of the colony grated the court. In January of 1636 things came to a head and Bachiler resigned as minister at Saugus, and removed to Newbury.

Accompanying Bachiler to Newbury was his family and members of his church, possibly fellow immigrants from the Plough Company. In Newbury he received a land grant and resided there for a year or so, preaching to his faithful flock. He managed to stay out of the Antimonian Controversy, a religious feud that wracked the colony in 1638. Bachilers stay in Newbury was short lived. He applied to the General Court to start a new plantation at Winnicunnet in New Hampshire which they readily granted. According to biographer V. C. Sanborn, quoting a letter from Bachiler to John Winthrop Jr.,  on October 14, 1638, Bachiler, his family, and other followers, boarded a scallop and sailed up to New Hampshire and their new home, which they renamed Hampton. Stephen was seventy-seven years old.

According to Robert Charles Anderson, the plantation of Hampton was begun in the summer of 1639. Perhaps the fall trip was just to view the place, starting a new plantation just before the onset of winter would have been a foolhardy beginning.

Stephen Bachiler was not the only minister in Hampton. Timothy Dalton, was not only a strict adherent to the established theology of the colony, but also a relative of Governor John Winthrop. What could go wrong? With Dalton came families from Norfolk and Suffolk who undoubtedly were unhappy with Bachiler and his ideas. Apparently Dalton tattled to Winthrop, sharing any perceived transgressions with the Massachusetts government.

In 1641, Winthrop was apprised of a curious incident which had major repercussions for Stephen. It seems, at the age of eighty, Bachiler lusted after the wife of one of his parishioners. V. C. Sanborn concluded that the tale was merely slander concocted by Dalton to try to ruin his nemesis. True or not, it finished him in Hampton. A fellow rebel minister, and leader of the Antimonian group, left his church in Exeter, New Hampshire, when it fell under the control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and headed for Maine. The residents of Exeter invited Bachiler to fill the post. Once again, the aged Reverend tried to move on. Unfortunately the controversy would not die down and he was unable to take the job. 

strawberry bank
Stephen Bachiler sold his land in Hampton in 1644 and established a home in Strawberry Bank, now known as Portsmouth, New Hampshire. V. C. Sanborn states that he was accompanied by his grandson and namesake Stephen Sanborn. In his article on Bachiler, Sanborn paints a picture of the inhabitants of Strawberry Bank as rowdy lawless seaman who were not too picky about the theology of their minister. He seemed to have fit right in.

According to Anderson, Helena Mason Bachiler died by 3 May 1647, she was about sixty-four years old. Her widowed husband, now aged eighty-six, could not seem to do without a wife. He made a very unhappy marriage, by 14 Feb 1648 to Mary Beedle, the widow of Robert Beedle.  In April 1650 the Massachusetts Court ordered that Stephen and his wife should live together or they would be taken to Boston to procure a divorce. Mary Bachiler and a George Rogers were presented at a court in York for cohabiting. In October the following year, Mary and George were charged with adultery and ordered to be whipped. Mary was pregnant. The court decreed that her punishment should be delivered six weeks following the birth of the child, and that she be branded with the letter A, for her adultery. It has been posited that Mary Beedle Bachiler was the inspiration for Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter. 

return to england
The Tower of All Hallows Staining which burnt in the Great Fire
The date of Stephen's return to his homeland of England is not known, Anderson suggests that the event occurred in 1651. Perhaps the troublesome wife pushed him over the edge, he was done with New England. Details of Stephen's life in England are unknown. I imagine he lived with one of his family members. He was ninety years old, he had outlived three wives, and several of his children. He died in London and was buried on 31 October 1656, All Hallows Staining, age ninety-five.


1. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995).
2. "Rev. Stephen Bachiler"; web content, Lane Memorial (Hampton, New Hampshire) Library (accessed 2017).
3. George Freeman Sanborn, Jr., “Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information,” in ‘’New Hampshire Genealogical Record,’’ 8 (1991):14-17.
4. Charles H. Batchelder (1936) and Carl W. Brage (1985) Batchelder/Bachilder genealogy through Rev. Stephen Bachiler's son Stephen Bachilder : (A correction of the work on this family by Pierce), Carl W. Brage, ed., [manuscript] (1985), 1-5.
5. V.C. Sanborn, ‘’Genealogy of the family of Samborne or Sanborn in England and America. 1194-1898’’ (n.p. 1899).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

William Sanborn Jr. (1652-1744) of Hampton, New Hampshire

William Sanborn was born about 1652 the son of immigrant William Sanborn and his wife Mary Moulton. He was their third child, but first son. The town of Hampton had been founded by his contentious grandfather, The Reverend Stephen Bachiler who left New England about the time that William was born. The small town was a web on inter-related families. William was probably kin to most of them in some fashion or another. He was lucky to have two parents who lived to a great old age and brothers and sisters who survived the ravages of childhood disease and grew to adults.

Children grew up fast in the 1600s. They took on tasks as soon as they were able. Young boys helped their fathers out in the fields and with caring for livestock. William became a freeman of the colony on 25 April 1678. He would soon be expected to preform civic duties for the town.  William was about 27 when he married. His father had deeded him land on 22 June 1681. He received two and a half acres of upland with a house, three acres of upland in the 'east field,' forty acres in Hampton near a place called Brick Hill, two and a half acres of fresh meadow near the beach, and a half share in the cow common. In his will his father left him a second share in the cow common and one cow.

The threat from Indian attack was very real for the residents of New England and Hampton was no exception. All able-bodied men were required to drill with the militia and help defend their town in times of threat. The New Hampshire towns built garrison houses to retreat to in times of danger. Families would hunker down behind the thick walls of the fortified house defended by the militia. William performed garrison duty in Oyster River in 1694 and again in Exeter in 1695/6.

marriage and family
William married Mary Marston on 1 January 1680, their first child was born 11 months later. They had only three children, one of whom did not survive.

1. John  b: 8 NOV 1680 in Hampton, N.H.
2. Mary  b: 1683 in Hampton, N.H., died unmarried in 1770
3.Unknown baby b: 21 JUN 1686 in Hampton, N.H.

Tragically, Mary died on 11 Oct 1686, a few months after the birth of her unknown child. It is possible that the pregnancy contributed to her death. Unusually, William did not remarry despite living until 1744, dying at age 92. His only daughter never married. His son John was highly successful and became very wealthy.

William Sanborn Sr.(1622-1692) of England and Hampton, New Hampshire

William Sanborn was one of three brothers who immigrated to New England by around 1640 with their maternal grandfather, the Reverend Stephen Bachiler. And yes, this story about three brothers, John, William and Stephen is really true. Their story is, like all of my Puritan ancestors, one of fortitude and bravery. Here's what I know about William Sanborn.

english origins
The mother of the three Sanborn men was Ann Bachiler. Her name comes from of a book of Licenses to Pass Beyond Seas which includes the names of their grandparents and their mother, Ann Samborne, described as 30 years old and a widow. There were travelling to visit her brothers and sister in Flushing in Holland. Presumably the Rev. Bachiler desired to see his children prior to immigrating to New England. The license was dated July 1631. They were to return within two months. [1]

Ann was born about 1601 in Wherwell, Hampshire. Her father was, as indicated above the Reverend Stephen Bachiler and his first wife, Ann Unknown.

On 20 January 1631/2 Mrs. Ann Sanborn married Henry Atkinson.[2] Nothing more is known about Ann, the mother of William and his brothers. So, who was his father? This question has been asked since the late 19th century and no one has the answer yet. Likely candidates have been put forward, but there is no definitive proof for any of them. Some Internet genealogies seem to have chosen a father from the list, but this is a mistake on their part. The Sanborn family was researched extensively by Victor Channing Sanborn and his work published in 1899. He includes a description of men he believed might have been John's father, they include:

  • William of Brimpton, he was of Brimpton, Berkshire in 1616 when he oversaw the will of a Walter Bachiler.
  • Edward or James Samborne of Andover, uncles of the Rev. James Samborne of Upper Clatford, V.C. Sanborn says either could have been John's father.
  • John Sambourne of Cholsey, Berkshire, son of Richard of Wallingford, b. 1591 is also a contender. [3]
Of the proffered choices, V. C. Sanborn gave the most creedence to William of Brimpton. He, without proof, also attaches this William to Edward Samborne, brother of the Rev. James Samborne. He admits that this is only his theory, and to this day no one has been able to prove it. 

A more current researcher, George Freeman Sanborn, Jr. wrote in a 1991 article published in the New Hampshire Genealogical Record:
The Sanborn Family Association in its continuing search among English records for the father of the three Samborne brothers who settled in Hampton with their maternal grandfather, Rev. Stephen Bachiler....[4]
This article is hosted on the website of  Lane Memorial Library of Hampton, New Hampshire. They have an amazing database of genealogical information about early immigrants to New Hampshire. According to their database the father of the three Sanborn's is unknown. [5]

The latest writing on the ancestry of the Sanborn boys is included in the entry of Stephen Bachiler, specifically his daughter Ann was married to Unknown Sanborn. [6]

immigration to new england
Stephen Bachiler immigrated on 9 March 1632, sailing aboard the William and Francis. Records indicate that he was accompanied by 'his family.' It is assumed that with him were his third wife, Helena and his four grandsons, the three Sanborns and Nathaniel Bachiler. I can imagine how excited the young boys were at the great adventure ahead, and I wonder if they realized they would never see their mother again. The ship docked  in Boston on the third of June. On the eighth of the month Reverend Bachiler began his ministrations as the minister of Saugus, now known as Lynn. [7]

The Reverend  was a somewhat contentious fellow and he struggled to fit in with his Puritan brethren, moving every few years until finally settling in Hampton in the Colony of New Hampshire in 1638. His grandsons accompanied him on each of his moves and settled with him in Hampton.

William was born about 1622 so he was not yet a teenager when he first landed in New England. By the time his grandfather founded the town of Hampton, he was nearing his majority. His name first enters the Hampton records in 1639 when he was given  the job of bell ringing before the Sunday meeting and other important town meetings. In the days of no clocks or watches, the bell ringer kept everyone on time.

The following year, 1640, William was given a house lot and land. His plot was near his brother John's, on the road to the sea. It seems somewhat unusual for a teenager to be awarded land, but his grandfather did found the town, so William and his brothers were given lots. [8]

William's grandfather continued to run into trouble with the Puritans in Massachusetts who absorbed the colony of New Hampshire in 1641. Stephen Bachiler moved out of their reach, resettling in Strawberry Bank. This time his grandsons stayed put. Eventually Stephen left New England altogether, returning to England in 1651. [9]

Of the brothers, John would go on to become the most prominent, but William has his share of civic duties. He was chosen selectman multiple times beginning in 1651, the year he took the Freedman's Oath.  He served during King Philip's War, a conflict which nearly drove the English out of New England. Also in 1676 he acted as the town constable, a year long post.

A review of land deeds shows that William participated in the buying and selling of land that was so common in those days. There are two deeds in which he gives land to two of his sons, William and Josiah.

marriage and family
The date of William's marriage to Mary Moulton, daughter of John and Anne Green Moulton is not known. The birth of their sixth child was recorded in 1660, and as most women had a child about every two years, we can guesstimate that they were married around 1648. Their children were:

1. Mary m. Joseph Dow
2. Mehitabel  b: <1651> m. Daniel Tilton
3. William  b: ABT 1652 m. Mary Marston
4. Josiah  b: ABT 1654 in Hampton, N.H. m. Hannah Moulton
5. Dinah m. James Marston
6. Mercy b: 19 JUL 1660 in Hampton, N.H. m. Samuel Cass
7. Mephibosheth  b: 5 NOV 1663 in Hampton, N.H. m. Lydia Leavitt
8. Sarah  b: 10 Feb 1666/67 in Hampton, N.H.  m. Samuel Marston
9. Stephen b: 4 SEP 1671 in Hampton, N.H. Hannah Philbrick

Remarkably, it seems, all of their children lived to adulthood and married. In an age of high infant mortality this was a rare feat.

William died at age 70 on 18 November 1692. His will is incomplete, but in it he makes provisions for his wife Mary. He made provisions for his four sons, William, Josiah, Mephiboseth and Stephen. Despite deeded land to to William and Josiah, he still has an estate valued at £409.

hampton stones
The meeting house green in Hampton is lined with stones imbedded with plaques bearing the names of the original settlers. It's pretty amazing to walk around and see all these families to which I am related. Below is the Sanborn stone.


[1] Charles Batchelder, "Rev. Stephen Bachiler," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 46 (Jan 1892) 62.

[2] V. C. Sanborn, Genealogy of the Samborne or Sanborn Family in England and America, Concord, NH : Rumford Press, 1899).

[3] Sanborn, Genealogy of the Samborne or Sanborn Family, 56-58.

[4] George Freeman Sanborn, "Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information," The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. 8 No. 1 (Jan 1991), digital image, Lane Memorial Library ( : accessed 20 December 2017).

[5]"Hampton, New Hampshire, Area Genealogy," database, Rootsweb ( : accessed 20 December 2017) entry for ID I5349, John Sanborn.

[6] Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, Vols. I, (Boston : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995) 63, digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 20 December 2017).

[7]   Sanborn, Genealogy of the Samborne or Sanborn Family, 62.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 61.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Colonel Samuel Clyde: Cherry Valley, New York

This is the first in a series of biographical sketches that I have planned. My goal is to map out my extended Thornton Family and their descendants and their roles during the American War of Independence. Here is what I know about Colonel Samuel Clyde.

Samuel was born in Windham, New Hampshire on 11 April 1732. His father, Daniel, was a Scots-Irish immigrant from the Londonderry area of Ireland. He immigrated about 1732 and settled near Londonderry, New Hampshire. His mother, Ester Rankin, was also Scots-Irish. Daniel died in Windham, NH in 1753, about the time that Samuel is believed to have left New Hampshire for New  York.

new hampshire
Samuel is reported as having been a member of the New Hampshire militia. He built docks and a type of boat known as a batteau in Halifax and participated in the attempt to take Ft. Ticonderoga and  the battle of Ft. Fontenac in 1758. It was there that he first met Matthew Thornton, the company doctor, and uncle of his future wife.

new york
Samuel settled in the Mohawk Valley of New York. The area had been first settled by Palatinate Germans in the 1600's. Many of these 'Dutch' people left New York for Pennsylvania and became part of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Their New York lands were taken up by many Scots-Irish families as well as English colonists. This area was also the home of the Six Nations; six Iroquois tribes.

Samuel is known to have been in New York in 1758 when he was appointed Captain in a company of Rangers. The Ranger groups were formed in the wake of the French and Indian Wars that ravaged the frontier.

Samuel put his carpentry skills to good work, building a chapel for the Mohawks, on land donated by Joseph Brandt in 1769.

In 1761 he married Catherine Wason, daughter of Agnes Thornton and John Wason. Agnes was the sister of Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire. He would later sign the declaration of Independence. Her family left Ireland in about 1720 and wandered around Maine and Massachusetts before settling in New Hampshire. Together with her brother William, his wife Dorcas Little, their children and the family of Dorcas' father Thomas Little, they made the trip to Schenectady, New York.

cherry valley
In 1762 Samuel and Dorcas moved west to Cherry Valley. Their family grew rapidly as they did in those days. Their children were Agnes, Ann, Jennie, Catherine, Matthew, George, Joseph, and Esther. In 1768 Samuel purchased a farm about one mile from the center of Cherry Valley.

patriot fever
On 27 August 1774 a Committee of Correspondence was formed in Tryon County. These committees were popping up all over the colonies as tension mounted between England and her unruly subjects. The Battle of Lexington and Corcord was fought on April 19, 1775. The following month, a Committee of Safety, of which Samuel was a member, meet at the Cherry Valley church and drew up Articles of Association. The articles were put to all men in the County, if you signed you were a patriot if you refused you were a loyalist, also known as a Tory. Samuel was a member of the Committee and clearly a Patriot.

The Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the British Government, Guy Johnson fled to Canada. With his was Thayendanegea, aka Joseph Brant and the Butler brothers, loyalist and Tories all. Tory properties were confiscated, eventually sold to raise funds.

In August 1777, the Tryon County Militia led by General Herkimer was ambushed near the Oneida Indian village of Oriska. Major Samuel Clyde was present and fought in what is known as the Battle of Oriskany. General Herkimer died as a result of wounds he received during the battle and Samuel Clyde assumed command of the militia.

On November 11, 1778 a combined force of Native Americans and Tories led by Joseph Brandt and the Butlers wreaked death and destruction on Cherry Valley. Samuel Clyde, now Colonel, was at Ft. Alden when the attack began. Catherine and the children, escaped into the nearby woods and sent the night huddled next to a log. The following morning Col. Clyde and a group of volunteers set out to search for his family. They were found and escorted under fire into the fort. There they found the bodies of many of their friends and neighbors, murdered and scalped by the enemy.

The Clydes left their Cherry Valley home for the duration of the war. They lived with their Thornton relatives near Schenectady in Curry's Bush, today's Princetown.

Samuel and his family returned to Cherry Valley after the war to rebuild their lives. Samuel was chosen  Sheriff of what became Montgomery County. Samuel died in 1790 but Catherine lived until 1824. They were buried in Cherry Valley.

If you're interested in reading a historically accurate account of the life of Samuel and Catherine Wasson Clyde, check out my book, BLOOD IN THE VALLEY. It is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. If you have Kindle Unlimited it's free!

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