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, and it's interesting to note, than another ancestor, John Gage, is likely the boy baptized in Kersey in 1605.

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, baptized 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.

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