Monday, August 12, 2019

Robert Fitts of Ipswich and Salisbury, Massachusetts (1600-1665)

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

english origins
Robert Fitts immigrated to New England in the late 1630s, the exact year and ship are unknown. We think he came with his brother Richard. According the genealogist James Hill Fitts, the brothers hailed from Fitz Ford, Tavistock, Devon in England, based he said on family tradition. Cutter offers an unsourced pedigree, but I can find no proof of it. [1] I don't think there is any genealogical proof to make a claim of descending from the Fitts/Fitz family of Tavistock in Devon, England. 

Robert was married in England to Grace Lord, the sister of Robert Lord. There is speculation that he was the Robert Fitts on the manifest for the William and John which sailed in 1635 to Barbados but there is nothing that would make us believe that this is the same man. There was also a Robert Fitt who immigrated to Virginia by 1650, again not the same man. [2] In any case Robert and Richard were in New England by 1639. [3] Richard settled in Newbury. 

new england
Robert received land in Salisbury in the first division and again in 1640. He was taxed in 1650 and 1652. He signed the agreement in 1654 which set Amesbury off as a separate town and left Salisbury for Ipswich in 1658. He also owned a share in Plum Island. 

He died in Ipswich on 9 May 1665. Robert left Grace his widow and one child, a son named Abraham. [4] 

Richard Fitt of Newbury died childless and left his entire estate to Abraham, son of Robert. 

According to Cutter, Robert was first married to a woman named Anne Barnes. In his will Roberts describes his land as that 'he purchased of his brother William Barnes.'

See this post on his son: Abraham Fitts


This is an interesting story about a member of the Fitz Family of Fitz Ford, Tavistock, Devon. Sir John Fitz


[2]The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2018.)

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