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

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