Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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 Chadwick, alive in New England and their information has been confused. Here is what I know about John Chadwick of Malden. 

english origins
That John Chadwick was of English origin is almost certain. That John Chadwick came from the Lancashire Chadwick family is possible. That the father of John Chadwick is certain, is untrue. John's father is variously given as Richard Chadwick of Rochdale, Alexander Chadwick or George Chadwick, same locale.

The source for his birth year is said to be a 1680 court case in which a deposed John Chadwick claimed to be 79 years old, according to Savage. [1] The case is found in the Middlesex County Court record, Folio 90. It can be seen here.

Just for grins let's say John was born about 1601, in Rochdale. There are multiple John's born in 1601. How can we possibly know which if any is him? There is nothing about the Massachusetts immigrant that connects him to any ancestral home in England. 

John Chadwick is not included in the Great Migration Project. Many speculate that he was related to Charles Chadwick who was in Watertown in 1635. The project can find no proof of his origins or his kinsman, John and Thomas Chadwick. 

his wife
We know that on 11 July 1674, Joan, wife of John Chadwick of Malden died. [2] Whether they married in England or in Massachusetts is unknown. Her ancestry is also unknown. 

Unknown daughter, married in 1680
Elizabeth: 1 April 1648 recorded in the Malden records
John: died 17 March 1650, death recorded in the Malden records
Sarah: 1 June 1650 recorded in the Malden records 
John: born most likely in 1652
James: 15 April 1653 recorded in the Malden records
Samuel: birth not recorded
Hannah: supposed the youngest daughter

will and probate
"1st Day 10th month 1680, I John Chadwick senior of Malden ... my will is that my two sons John and James shall have two-thirds parts of all my land and that they shall have their shares on that side which is next to their own land. My son Samuel shall have the other third part to the Eastward with the house and orchard. James and Samuel shall each of them pay five pounds unto my son John. In case any one of the said sons should die leaving no issue, the land of his share shall be equally divided between the two sons that are surviving. I give unto my daughter Hannah all my cattle, bedding brass, iron and pewter, in a word all my moveables both within doors and without. After debts and funeral & sickness expenses are discharged out of the profits or income of my land orchard and house that the whole profit of all my land orchard and house shall be .. said daughter for the space of four years. But in case she should decease and have no issue surviving then my will ... all that remains of her portion shall be equally divided between my three sons John, James and Samuel. more over I bequeath unto my three daughters that are already married by way of legacy ten shillings apiece to be paid by my executor. I constitute my son John for my executor and I make ensign[n] Thomas Lynde and Thomas Skinner the overseers of this my will.

witnesses ??? Jenkins & Samuel ???"

john's life
John's life is a mystery. There is very little known about him. He makes rare appearances in the records of the day. He must have been in Malden by 1648 when his daughter Elizabeth was born and recorded in the town records. In 1651 Joan's name appeared on a petition written on behalf of the women of Malden concerning their Minister. [3] John was made a Freeman in 1656. And that's about it.

Wikitree profile of John Chadwick can be found here.

Wikitree page on various Chadwicks in New England can be found here.


[1] Savage, James, 1784-1873, O. P. (Orrando Perry) Dexter, and John Farmer. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, On the Basis of Farmer's Register ... Boston: Little, Brown and company, 1860-62. Volume 1 page 351.

[2] Corey, Deloraine P. (Deloraine Pendre), 1836-1910, and Malden (Mass.). Births, Marriages And Deaths In the Town of Malden, Massachusetts, 1649-1850. Cambridge: Printed at the University Press for the city of Malden, 1903. page 336. 

[3] History of Malden

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