Friday, July 31, 2020

Henry Ambrose of Kersey, Suffolk; Immigrant to New England





English Origins
According to a 1992 article in the New Hampshire Genealogical Record. Henry Ambrose, immigrant to New England hailed from Kersey, Suffolk. Kersey is a scant 10 or so miles from Groton, home of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Coincidence? I think not. Kersey is a sleepy little village, once famous for its Kersey woollen cloth. Today, its famous for the houses that Henry Ambrose saw on a daily basis. 

Henry was born in 1613, baptised in the ancient church of St Marys.


New England
It is not known when he sailed for America but he was recorded in Hampton, New Hampshire in 1640. A carpenter by trade, Henry went where there was business. At some point, either before or after sailing, he married a woman named Susanna. In 1647 Henry sold his house and house lot to the Reverend Wheelwright, but it is believed he purchased another home as he remained in Hampton until 1649.

In 1650 Henry is recorded as living in Salisbury. In 1654 he was in Boston. 1656 Charlestown and finally back to Boston, where he died in 1658. 

Henry served on the Gran Jury as well as the Jury of Trial at various Quarterly Courts.

Family
Henry and Susanna had a relatively small family with large gaps between some of the children. Were there miscarriages in between?  

Ebenezer b. about 1640 probably in Hampton
Samuel bapt. 25 July 1641 Hampton
Henry b. June 1649
Abigail bp. 28 Dec 1654

Henry died in Boston. His inventory reveals his home to be typical of the time. Two stories with two rooms on each floor, plus a cellar. In the Great Chamber was found a long table with six stools and three chairs, a chest and sideboard and a second small table. The Great Lower Room was filled with a bed, a trundle bed, a table, kettle, cupboard with books and pewter. The Kitchen  had yet another table and chairs plus all the accouterments you'd need to prepare food. The rooms upstairs appear to have been used for storage. All in all his estate was valued at 337£.

Susanna
Susanna remained a widow for several years after Henry's death. She married in Salisbury on 2 October 1663 to John Severence. His wife, Abigail, died in 1658, same year as Henry, giving birth to her eleventh child. John ran several ordinarys (taverns) and was likely in need of a wife and mother for his children. He died in 1682, leaving Susanna a widow for the second time. She was still alive in 1692.

My Ancestry
I am descended from his son Henry who also married a woman, a widow, named Susanna.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Henry Ambrose of Kersey, Suffolk, England



Henry Ambrose, immigrant to New England is the third of that name who can be found in the parish records of a small Suffolk village. His grandfather Henry, b. about 1555 married Johane Hills on 23 May 1580 at his parish church. The church was St. Mary's, the oldest parts date to the 12th century and it was once an important pilgrimage site. He would have walked past if not into The Bell Inn of Kersey, a 14th century Inn. Kersey cloth, a woolen cloth was made in and named for the village. Kersey is only about 11 miles from another Suffolk village, Groton. As you know, Groton was the home of John Winthrop.

Henry and Johane had at least four children:

Mary 1581-1582
Henry 1584-1631
William 1587-?
Edward 1590-1622

Not much is known about the family. Henry died before 4 Oct. 1618 and Johane died by 22 June 1622.




Henry Ambrose .b. 1584 married a woman known only as Mary. The couple had at least four children.

Johane b. 1611
Henry 'the immigrant' baptized in St. Mary's 15 June 1613
Katherine b. 1618
Elizabeth b, 1621


I wonder how many of these houses, Henry would recognize. 















Tuesday, April 28, 2020

John Smith and Deborah Parkhurst: Great Migration Immigrants to Watertown, Hampton and Martha's Vineyard


Apologies to all the John Smith's in the world, but dang, this is a hard name to research, it's just too common. The English origins of John Smith, who married Deborah Parkhurst are uncertain but noted Great Migration genealogist Robert Charles Anderson wrote an article in 1985 laying out his research and conclusion and difficult to trace without a serious clue. So, here is what I know about John Smith.

The Norcross Connection

On 1 December 1640 the General Court of Massachusetts handed down an order in a case involving one John Smith Jr. and 'his father' Jeremy Norcross. It is clear from their surnames that Norcross must be the step-father and not the biological father of John. Anderson believes that this John Smith is the man who received land in Watertown in 1636, 1637, and 1638. His grants were small indicating that he was single. 

On 14 September 1611 at St. Luke, Chelsea, Middlesex, Jeremy Norcross married Audrie Smithe, widow. They had children baptized at All Hallows, Bread Street, London. This couple and their children immigrated to Massachusetts and lived in Watertown. Anderson believes that she is the mother of immigrant John Smith. If so, he is birth is before the 1611 marriage and would fit with him being a young man in his twenties during the early Watertown grants. If true, then Smith was likely born in London, but his parental ancestry remains unknown as does his mother's maiden name.

Hampton

In 1642 Watertown audited all the grant lands to ascertain who remained in town and held their original land. John Smith Jr. is not on the list. He had removed to Hampton, New Hampshire. A list of first-comers, includes a Goodman Smith how arrived in the second summer (1639). He and his wife, Goodwife Smith, were assigned seats in the meetinghouse in 1650. Sadly, no first names were recorded. 

Goody Smith was Deborah Parkhurst, daughter of George and Phebe Leete Parkhurst of Watertown. Her mother died in Watertown in about 1644 and her father returned to England in 1655. 

Martha's Vineyard

In 1653 a John Smith is found in the records of Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard. He appears in the records for doing various civic duties such as Magistrate Assistant and for land grants. In 1659 he became one of the 10 associate proprietors of Nantucket. In 1662 he was part of the train band for Martha's Vineyard. This would indicate that he was not yet above 60 years old, when most men were relieved of duty. He is last recorded in Martha's Vineyard in 1664. 

Nantucket

In 1670, John Smith, of sound body and mind, wrote his will on the island of Nantucket. He says he was in perfect health. In his will he names his wife Deborah and children Phillip, John, Samuel, Deborah and Abigail. John and Samuel split the Nantucket property and Phillip got Martha's Vineyard.

It is not know when John died, but his son John sold the Nantucket land in 1674 and moved to Hampton, New Hampshire. So his father was dead prior to 1674. His mother may have died about 1686 when Phillip sold the family homestead to his brother Samuel. 

Quakers

Many of the early settlers of Nantucket were Quakers and quiet a few folk left Hampton when they were being persecuted. I wonder if John was a Quaker? 

Deborah Smith Batchelder

I descend from daughter Deborah. She was born about 1640, probably in Hampton. She married Nathaniel Batchelder, grandson of the Reverend Stephen Batchelder. She died quite young in 1676 in Hampton. 



Sources:

[1]The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .)

https://www.americanancestors.org/DB283/i/12790/23/0


[2]http://history.vineyard.net/jsmith.htm (Early settlers of Edgartown - online)

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Nathaniel Batchelder and Hester (Ester) Mercer of Southampton, England Parents of PGM Immigrant Nathaniel Jr.

Hooray! My first, very first, ancestor who is not Irish or English! I'm exited to find I have a tiny vein of French blood running through my 99% Anglo ancestry. So here it is.

The Batchelders

I am descended through two children of the Reverend Stephen Batchelder. Once through his daughter Ann, who married an Unknown Sanborn. Their son, immigrated to New England with his Grandfather. But, I am also descended through Stephen's son Nathaniel. Nathaniel Junior also immigrated with gramps, leaving behind his parents, Nathaniel and Hester Mercer. Hester is the French Connection. 

The Mercers

Jan Mercier was born about 1555 in Tournai/Tournay, Normandy, France. On the 18th of October, 1579 he married Jane LeClerc a native of Valciennes, in Southampton, England at St. Julien's also known as God's House. [1] Jan was a merchant and seems to have been quite successful. It is believed that he fled France during the persecution of the Hugenots in France. Southampton had a large French population, both from the continent and the Island of Guernsey. 

St. Julien's or God's House


In 1587, Jan is mentioned in the Court Leet of Southampton. He was presented in court as a 'stranger' and 'great dealer'. His business, it appears, was so successful, that he was hindering the business of the local burgess. He was fined for his offense. [2] In 1593, Jan is again in trouble for trading. His entry is found in the book of Examinations and Depositions. Brought before the Mayor, he was asked to explain two bundles of cloth in his possession and if they had come to him via The Saint Malo League. The case also involved 5 casks of Olde Sacke. The outcome is unknown.[3]

Children

Jan and Jeanne had a lot of children. At least eleven that I counted. On 23 May 1591, Jeanne gave birth to a girl they named Ester. She must have died as on 1 August 1602 a second daughter named Ester was baptized.  They also had two sons, named Phillip.

Paul                                   wrote his will in 1661, named in Daniels's will
Jeanne bp.     3 June 1581 named Priaulx in Daniel's will
Marie bp.      2 Sept. 1582 named in brother Daniel's will Sister Priaulx
Elizabeth bp. 9 June 1586 named Elizabeth Blanchard in Paul's will, sister Blanchard
Judith bp.    30 May 1587 named Judith Johnson and Daniels will
Pierre bp.     29 Aug 1588 named Peter in Daniel's will
Phillip bp.    14 Dec 1589  died young
Ester bp.      23 May 1591 died young
Phillip bp.   3 March 1593
Ann bp.          2 July 1600  named sister Stroud in Daniel's will
Daniel bp.    24 June 1601 deceased in Paul's 1661 will dated 1650
Ester bp.     1 Aug 1602 deceased, children Anna, Nathaniel, Francis and Benjamin named/Nathaniel   name in Daniel's will

Francis    no record            named in Paul's will - my brother, named in Daniel's will
William   no record            named in Paul's will - my brother

Most of this information comes from the will of Paul and Francis Mercer. It would seem that Paul was quite wealthy at his death and left a significant bequest to most of his family members.

Death of Jan and Jane/Jeanne Le Clercq Mercer

Jane died on 17 January 1621
Jan died on 3 January 1626
Their death and burials are recorded in the records of the Huguenot church in Southampton where they married and baptized their children. I think it is safe to assume they died in Southampton.[6]


Nathaniel Batchelder

Nathaniel and Hestor's marriage record has not been found. They had four or five children before her death along with those named in their uncle's wills, there is a Stephen Batchelder who is presumed to be the son of Nathaniel. Nathaniel Jr. was born about 1630. Hester died some time before 1645. Nathaniel was remarried and his widow Marjorie was made excutrix of his estate. 

Nathaniel Batchelder Jr.

Nathaniel traveled to New Hampshire at some point to join his grandfather and Sanborn cousins, children of his father's sister Ann. He is first found in the records in a deed dated 1647. It is likely that he came after his father's 1645 death. 


Sources:

[1] David Carnagie Agnew, Protestant Exiles from France: Chiefly in the Reign of Charles XVI, (self-published, 1886)

[2] Hearnshaw, F. J. C. (Fossey John Cobb), et al.. Court Leet Records, V. 1, A. D. 1550-. Southampton: H. M. Gilbert & son, 1905.

[3] Southampton (England), Elinor Rachel Aubrey, and Gertrude H Hamilton. Books of Examinations And Depositions, 1570-1594. Southampton: Cox & Sharland, 1914.

[4]5Ester Mercer's Birth: "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J9SK-9G3 : 21 March 2020), Esther Mercier, 1602.

[5]The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2018.)
https://www.americanancestors.org/DB202/i/11607/514/0
[6] The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; General Register Office: Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths surrendered to the Non-parochial Registers Commissions of 1837 and 1857; Class Number: RG 4; Piece Number: 4600

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

John Pike and Dorothy Daye of Landford, Wiltshire, England: 1635 Immigrant to New England

Landford, Wiltshire, England creative commons license

english origins


John Pike, 1635 immigrant to New England was recorded on the passenger list for the James on 5 April 1635, as a laborer of Langford, Wiltshire, England. There's not much in Landford, the parish church was built in 1858, the Landford Manor house dates from the 17th century, after John had sailed away. Landford is about 10 miles south of the large town of Salisbury. John's ancestry is not known.

John of Landford married Dorothy Daye of Boscombe, Wiltshire on 17 January 1612/13 in a neighboring parish, Whiteparish, about 3 miles away. The baptisms for two of his children are recorded at Landford, whose parish records from this time no longer exist; Israel in 1623 and their second son John in 1628. The remainder of the children are presumed to have been baptised there as well. 

Dorothy Day, b. about 1592, was the daughter of Thomas and Joan (Morris) Day of Boscombe, Wiltshire. Boscombe is to the north of Salisbury, about 18 miles from Landford. Thomas and Joan were married in Whiteparish on 12 June 1589. It is suggested that there might be a Morris connection to that place.



I found a reference to a court case which involved Thomas Day of Boscombe in 1602, which seems to cement this as his place of residence. 

Thomas wrote his will in June of 1631. He names his daughter, Dorothy Pike and her husband John. Thomas leaves her and her children 2 shillings apiece. His unmarried daughters get a sum of money either £100 or £20, a lot of money in those days. He also mentions his living at Newton which is nearby. It would seem that Thomas was fairly well off. 

Dorothy's mother wrote her will on 28 March 1632. Joan made a bequeath to her son-in-law John Pike and his children with no mention of Dorothy. It is believed that she died between her father's will and her mothers. 



children

1. John, bp Whiteparish, 8 November 1613
2. Roberts, b. abt. 1617
3. Dorothy b. abt. 1619
4. Anne b. abt. 1621
5. Israel bp. 20 April 1623, Landford
6. John bp. 18 May 1628, Landford buried there on 18 August 1628.

coming to america

At the age of 48, John Pike made the momentous decision to leave England and take his five children to New England. The sailed aboard the James from the port at Southampton, only 14 miles from their home. They arrived in Boston on 3 June 1635. The fledging colony was only five years old. Israel, the youngest child, was twelve, her oldest brother John was 22. What must they have thought?

Ipswich and Newbury

The family made a brief stop in the town of Ipswich before settling in Newbury on the banks of the Parker River. John remained here until shortly before his death. 

Puritan men, of good social standing were expected to serve their town and colony in civic duties, such as serving on juries. John also acted as an attorney in a couple of court cases. Clearly, he not just a laborer. In a case dated 1647, John was fined 32 shillings for 'taking the coat of Thomas Blomefield, detaining it after it was cried three times and cutting it too pieces'. I'm sure there is a good story there. The last case in which I found his name was in 1654 when he represented the town of Newbury in court. He must have moved to Salisbury thereafter. Perhaps his health was failing and he needed the care of his family.

Although Charles Banks includes a Mrs. Pike in his list of Pike family members aboard the James, there is no record of a second marriage for John. It is possible, women were of little note in those days, unless they did something bad or left a will. So, for now, I will assume that his only marriage was to Dorothy. 

death

John Pike's will was written on 24 May 1654. He died on 26 May, two days later. He was 67. He made bequeaths to two grandsons named John Pike, one the son of John, the other of Robert. He named his daughters, Dorothy, Anne and Israel as well as his daughter-in-laws. His inventory included a house and land in Newbury and land in Salisbury, each valued at 60£. Every item he owned was inventoried down to his mittens. Cattle was very valuable, he sole cow was worth 39£.




sources:


*The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2018.)


https://www.americanancestors.org/DB202/i/11657/319/0

*THE WILTSHIRE Archeological and Natural History MAGAZINE
By SOCIETY FORMED IN THAT COUNTY · 1885 Volume 22 (Thomas Day of Boscombe)

*The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .)


https://www.americanancestors.org/DB283/i/13133/256/24764501






Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Humphrey Munning and Ellen Ungle of Semer, Suffolk








St. Peter's Freston, Suffolk

Humphrey Munning is said to have been born in Nedging, the son of Thomas Munning and Unknown Barker.  His mother died at some point and his father remarried a woman named Alice Risby, she was a widow. Thomas Munning called himself a Gentleman and judging by his will he was fairly well off, owning properties in several villages in Suffolk. Most of what we know about these families is from their wills. 

In 1557 when Thomas Munning died, Humphrey, his eldest son, was already out of the house, married and living on a farm called Hazelwood. This farm must have been near the village of Freston as most of his children were baptized there. His wife was a woman named Ellen Ungle. 

His children baptized in Freston were:

Ellen bp. 10 May 1551
Christoper bp. 16 Feb 1554
Robert bp. 16 Feb 1555
William bp. 16 April 1558
Phillip bp. 1 July 1560
Humphry bp. 11 Oct 1562

After Humphry his children were baptized in Semer, closer to where he was born. They were:

Henry bp. 13 March 1565 
Elizabeth bp. 26 March 1568 
Edmund bp. 4 Dec 1570



Parish Church of Semer -All Saints

Based on these dates, I think Ellen  Ungle was likely born about 1530 as she would have given birth to her last child by age 40, which is reasonable. Some websites list her birth as 1514 which would make her way to old to be the mother of all of Humphrey's children. As she is named in Alice Risby's will in 1587 we know that she was. 

In his father's will Humphrey was left a piece of silver that once belonged to his grandfather, Henry Munning, a gown lined with fox fur, 4 silver spoons, one great brass pot with feet, one horse, 5 seams of barley and 3 seams of wheat, 20£, a winged leaved table, a further 10£ all under the condition that he not vex or trouble his Executrix, his step-mother Alice. Was there bad blood between them? Did Thomas suspect that his eldest son would take advantage of her? 

In her will, Alice mentions Humphrey and Ellen. To Ellen she left her best hat. Humphrey got 20 shillings and each of their child 5 shillings. Clearly whatever might have happened was put behind them by then. Not mentioned in her will was her son George Munning who was named in his father's will. This might have something to do with Humphrey moving back to Semer. Maybe he inherited George's land? I'm just throwing that out as a theory. 

Humphrey's estate was administered in 1596.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Humphrey Munning (1562-1624) and Elizabeth Winthrop (1569-1631) of Brettenham, Suffolk, England





Humphrey Munning and Elizabeth Winthrop are exciting ancestors. Elizabeth was a cousin of Governor John Winthrop of the Great Migration fame and founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth's father was William Winthrop, son of Adam Winthrop. When Adam left London for the rural country life at Groton, William remained in London to carry on the business. Elizabeth was born in London in 1569. Her father died when she was young, in 1581. We don't know what became of her before her marriage, but it is not out of the question that she went to live at Edwardstone and Groton with her relatives. 

Humphrey grew up in Suffolk, England. His father, also Humphrey lived in Semer. His family had a multi-generational association with the village of Nedgings. He didn't move far, Semer is only 1.8 miles away. Humphrey received his M.A. from Magdalene College in 1585. He was ordained a deacon and priest in 1589 and was made the rector of Great Thornham, Suffolk in 1596-1597. I can't find this on the map, it is probably Thornham Magna. In 1597 he was transferred to the church at Brettenham where he remained until his death in 1624. 

The marriage record for Humphrey and Elizabeth Winthrop has not been found, but his name appears in Adam Winthrop's journal in 1592 and he calls him Cousin. There does not appear to be a family relationship between Humphrey and Adam other than his marriage to Elizabeth so I assume that in 1592 the two were already married.



























Groton Hall, the Wintrop's home

From this point forward Humphrey's name appears in the journal. Adam Winthrop loaded him books, money and the two visited each other's homes. Adam also made not of attending Humphrey's sermons at various local churches, calling one a Godly and learned sermon.

The pair had at least 10 children by 1624. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter married in 1616, so she was probably born about 1595.

Humphrey died in 1624, aged about 62. He was buried at the church in Brettenham on the 24th of June. Elizabeth wrote her will around the same time, many of her children were under age at that time. Elizabeth outlived him by seven years, dying in 1631. Elizabeth named her married daughter Elizabeth Salter wife of George, sons: Richard, Theophilis, William, then Anne, Ellen, Humphrey, Abigail, Katheryn and finally Leonard.

George and  Elizabeth Munning Salter were the parents of Abigail Salter Hammond.




Sources:

[1] Gov. John Winthrop Papers, Vol. 1-5, 1557-1649. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2016.) Originally published as: Winthrop Papers. Boston: Masssachuestts Historical Society, 1929 -.

https://www.americanancestors.org/DB1673/i/39834/56/1040737822

[2] Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. Philadelphia, PA: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1895–. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.)

https://www.americanancestors.org/DB412/i/12548/284/139204913

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

https://www.americanancestors.org/DB202/i/11728/115/143384403

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Robert Leete and Alice Grundy: Parents of Phebe Leete Parkhurst



This is a continuation of the ancestry of George Parkhurst, immigrant to New England who returned to England, to live out his days. Luckily for me, his daughter Deborah and her family remained. This is what we know about Deborah's mother, Phebe Leet Parkhurst, who may or may not have come to America. If she did, she died soon after as her husband remarried about a year after his arrival.  

Phebe's parents lived in and around Little Eversden, Cambridgeshire, England. Her father was Robert Leete, son of John. Robert was an educated man, he attended college, receiving both a bachelor and master's degree and became a Fellow of St. John's College in 1545. 

His name is found in several land deeds in which he assumed land left to him by his brother and father. In these deeds he is called a Gentleman. In one deed he and Mary Leete, possibly his widowed sister-in-law, quit-claimed land to St. John's College. 

It is not until 1573 that Robert married, or if he had married previously, there were no living children and no record of his wife or marriage. He was probably around 48 years old at the time he finally got around to settling down. His bride was the very pregnant Alice Grundy. She delivered their first child a mere two months following the wedding. 

Was Alice some strumpet who trapped the unsuspecting bachelor with her charms? I doubt it. Alice's parents are unknown, but she had a brother John Grundy who also attended St. John's College and became a fellow in 1561. He went on to become a rector at various parishes in Suffolk. So Alice's parent's were not poor, and she came from an educated family. So, who knows what their story was. 

Anyway, Alice and Robert went on to have seven children; Phebe being the youngest, baptized on 20 December 1585. Robert died without a will in late 1597 or early 1598 and Alice was granted administration of his estate in February 1598

Of Robert Leete's ancestry only his father is known. John Leete of Eversden, Cambridgeshire was born about 1500. Either he or his father were assessed a tax in 1522. In 1526 John married Helen Burgoyne. In a baptismal record Helen/Ellen Leete was called a Gentlewoman. 

John Leete was buried in Little Eversden on 25 December 1551. Helen died in 1564, her estate was administered by her son, Thomas. John and Helen had at least 5 children, all sons. 

Robert's brother Edmund died in about 1580, unmarried, perhaps this late marriage thing ran in the family. Anyway, his will is of note. He lived in Eversden, which was in the diocese of Ely. I've visited the Ely Cathedral many times, what a beautiful church. Anyway, in his will which he wrote in 1551 before his father's death, he bequeathed money to his father (12 royalls) to his mother Alice he left 4 oxen and 2 milk cows, to his brother William; 4 milk cows, 4 bullocks, 20 shillings and to his children 10s each, to his brother Thomas; 20 quarters of barley, 2 draught steers and £20 in money. Edmund left his land to his parents but made a special request that his brother Robert get his house that he lived in. He described it only by calling it a 'new house.' 

The family clearly had a strong connection to the nearby Colleges, as Edmund left all his malt to the poor scholars, of which their were many! There are also several land terms in this will, one of which is new to me. Edmund had land called Freehold, which means he owned it outright. He also had land that was copyhold, he held it from the Lord of the Manor. The third term which I did not know was land called a selion. This was a strip of land, a furlong long and one chain wide. It was generally used to grow crops. 















Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ancestors of George Parkhurst: Immigrant to America and Returnee to England


Guildford Guildhall built in 1550 the facade is from 1683


We can trace the ancestry of George Parkhurst of Ipswich to his great grandfather, George Parkhurst of Guildford, County Surrey. George's name appears in the records on 3 April 1514. He was granted a license to sell in the local market. Later that same year he was chosen to act as Hallwarden for the Guild Hall.  The Guild Hall may or may not have been the same as the town hall, depending on the wealth of the Guild. The Merchant Guilds controlled trade in England.  the Hallwarden's job was to collect money due to the Guild. Cloth making was the backbone of the Guildford economy. 

In 1515 George served as a bailiff for the town. This was another type of civil servant job. He held these jobs off and on for the remainder of his life. One year he and another man were chosen to be 'Flesh and Fish Tasters.' This was a more quality control job, ensuring the safety of the food supply. In 1522 George was elected Mayor of Guildford. The records show he served in this position twice more. 

Clearly, George was an important man in town, holding many important posts. He was also a tavern owner and was twice fined for some offence related to the enclosure of his tavern. 

Given his age at the time he is first mentioned in the records, George was likely born 1490ish. His oldest son John born about 1510.  George Parkhurst's wife's name is Unknown, although some genealogy websites list her as Phebe, I have no idea where this information comes from. His son is also supposedly married to a Phebe and his grandson George was known to have married a Phebe. I think there is some comingling of wifely names her. 

George died between 27 April 1545 and 2 May 1546. The first date is the last time his name is mentioned in the records and the second date is that of the tax list for Guildford, his name is not on it, meaning he had died. There is no will. 

John Parkhurst, eldest son, was sent to college. He attended Magdalen college in Oxford and then joined Merton College. He took Holy Orders in 1532. John was a supporter of Henry VIII and his break with Rome. He became Chaplain to Queen Katherine Parr, Henry's last wife. He was also Chaplain to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. He received many rich appointments, including one from Thomas, Lord Seymour, to a living in Gloucestershire. If you know your Tudor history, Seymour was the brother of Queen Jane Seymour and Uncle to the King Edward VI. He married Queen Katherine after the death of Henry VIII. It did not end well for him.  I think it's pretty cool that this guy knew the movers and shakers of his time and he knew good ole' King Henry and the last of his six wives!

The beautiful Magdalen College where John Parkhurst studied.





Things changed for all the supporters of the Reformation when Queen Mary reverted the country to Catholicism. John Parkhurst left England and took up residence in Zurich, Switzerland. He returned on the accession of Queen Elizabeth I and was appointed Bishop of Norwich. He died in 1574 and left a lengthy will in which he makes multiple bequeaths to his brothers and sisters, including Christoper Parkhurst. 

Christoper Parkhurst was born in Guildford about 1520-1524. He is first named in a town record in 1546, the same one from which his father's name is absent. He lived in the St. Marys' Parish. In 1550 he and his sister sold land to the husband of a second sister. 

In 1561 John Parkhust made his brother Christoper, Keeper of the Bishop's Palace in Ipswich, the home of the Bishop when he was in residence. This was a perk of having a star in the family.

Christoper and his two wives had nine children. There is a burial for a Christoper Parkhurst in the Ipswich records dated 10 August 1595. If so he would have been about 75 years old. It is also possible that this is his son Christoper Parkhurst who was born 1572. He would have been 22 years old if so. That it is possibly the younger man is in no way unrealistic given the times.

This brings us to the last of the Parkhursts, John Parkhurst son of Christoper and father of George the immigrant to New England. John was baptised on 29 October 1554 at St. Mary's Guildford. He married a woman named Sarah in 1582. He was a clothier by trade. What we know about John comes from his will. 



His first bequests are to his wife, Sara. She gets all his household stuff, bedding, brass, pewter, linen and woolen and is to be paid a rent of £8 half yearly for life. His first son, Robert, born in 1583, is not named in the will and presumed deceased. Son George is to get all his shopstuff, all implements of trade as a shearman, his goods and stock, moveables and unmoveables and all his books. Son John gets 100marks at age 21, daughter Thamar: annual rent of £5, daughter Hellen gets 50 at age 21 or marriage, daughter Sara gets 40 at age 21 or marriage, a fourth daughter, Mary, is not mentioned in the will.

John wrote his will on 29 March 1610 and it was probated on 7 June1611. His wife, Sarah, remarried in on 7 January 1611/12 to a man named Benjamin Cole. We know nothing further of Sarah. 

Henry Ambrose of Kersey, Suffolk; Immigrant to New England

English Origins According to a 1992 article in the New Hampshire Genealogical Record. Henry Ambrose, immigrant to New England hailed from Ke...