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 children but does not name a son John. So the relationship between John Osgood and the family at Cottingworth has not been 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 PowowRiver. 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 schoolteacher 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 another ended. William was also in court for matters relating to the sawmill. 

marriage and family
There is no record of William's marriage. Hs 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 has been given the surname Cleer, but I don't think that is good genealogy. [10]

William and Elizabeth  must have been married by 1640 though, because their eldest child had given birth in 1654. Say the girl got pregnant in 1653 and was 13 years old, ick, she had to have been born no later than 1640. Altogether William and Elizabeth had seven children, including a set of twins. 

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 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 a 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 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

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.  

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:
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

Roles of Men, Women and Children in 17th Century Puritan Massachusetts

In 17 th century pur itan Massachusetts , the roles of men , women and children were very clearly defined . Men were the ...