Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teague Jones, born ca 1624; died before 1702, Yarmouth, Mass.

Teague Jones sticks out in my mind for his first name and raucous behavior—both unusual for 17th century Massachusetts.

He may have been born in Ireland, given his first name, but that is not known with any certainty. Some have written that Teague’s wife was Native American, but no proof is found, although it would be a difficult thing to prove. 

The name of Teague’s wife is unknown. Their children’s births are not recorded but other records show they included:  Jeremiah, Josiah, Elizabeth, Samuel, and Ruhamah.

Ruhamah was an unusual character in that she was frequently getting into mischief. She was a great beauty with a disagreeable nature. She liked bothering others--she would ruin neighbors' wash, plants and fruits. She was brought to court for suspicion of burning Edward Bangs' barn, but was too ill to go to court. Her husband Joseph Nickerson successfully petitioned for abatement. She lived to a “great age” and had remained sitting for so many years that, at her death, it was thought best to bury her in " the same crooked position” on Burial Hill in Chatham. I'd imagine the information on her burial is exaggerated.

Teague’s name did not appear on the 1643 list of Yarmouth men. He was probably newly arrived in Yarmouth in 1645 as a single man.

In 1645 Teague was one of the "soldiers sent out against the Naragansetts, in the late expedition.” Each soldier received one pound powder, three pounds bullets and one pound tobacco. They advanced to Rehoboth, but returned home after two weeks without seeing any action.

Nancy Thatcher Reid writes that Teague was called to court from time to time for misdemeanors, most of which involved nothing more than a certain air of "joie de vivre," which the sober orthodox residents of the town deplored or maybe envied.

Teague Jones and Richard Berry ordered to part their uncivil living together in 1653 (PCR III,37).  Teague and Richard were also found playing cards on the Sabbath. In 1655 he had dispute with Indian Mashantampaine about a gun, which the court ordered returned to the Indian (PCR III, 80,90). 
Marker at the Nobscusset Indian Burial Ground

In 1667 there was a complaint against him for not coming to meeting (IV, 153). Richard Berry accused Teague Jones of committing sodomy and other unclean practices with Sarah, wife of Hugh Norman. However on 6 March 1649/50 Berry acknowledged before the General Court that he had given false witness under oath and he was sentenced to be whipped at the post. I also descend from Richard Berry, whom I wrote about here.

In 1662 Teague "overtaken with drink, having formerly been a transgressor in that kind, was fined fifty shillings." An inventory of spirits in Yarmouth in June and July 1662 showed six people brought 113 gallons. Teague shown as one of many buying 10 gallons of alcohol, "one case forfeit to the country."

In 1667 Teague was living in the South part of Yarmouth, on west side of Bass River, near Stage Island. In 1674, he purchased land at Monomoit (Chatham) from William Nickerson, bounded north by White Pond and land of John Nickerson, and east by “the highway that leads into the Inlands.” 
White Pond, Chatham  Source: weitzenkorn.com

The next year Teague purchased five additional acres. He sold the Chatham land before 1686 to Elisha Hedge and returned to Yarmouth, where he lived as late as 1691. By deed dated 29 May 1691, he conveyed farm on west side of Bass River to son Jeremiah, who was living there. Josiah Jones, doubtless his son, and Joseph Eldredge, son of Robert, then lived on adjoining farms.

He was taxed toward King Philips War in 1676 2:06:09. This was the first time he appeared on Yarmouth tax rolls.
In 1667 he was reported to the General Court at Plymouth for not attending meeting but it is not specified whether this refers to the civil Town Meeting or to the meetings for worship. Teague died in 1676. The name of his wife has not been found. The marriages of several of his children are recorded and some of them married members of known Quaker families.

The early Jones' of Yarmouth were mostly Quakers. Earliest records find show the Yarmouth Friends' monthly meetings were held alternating at the homes of John Dillingham and Teague Jones beginning in 1681.

Teague died between 1691 and 1702. No burial location, death record or settlement of his estate is found.

I descend through Teague’s son Jeremiah and his first wife Sarah Dillingham. 

Sources Not Noted Above:
Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884

William C. Smith, A History of Chatham, Mass. Formerly the Constablewick or village of Monomoit, FB and FP Goss, publishers, Hyannis, MA, 1909

Reid, Nancy Thacher, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996
Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, It's History and People, 1986

The Nickerson Family Association, Nickerson Family Genealogy, Part I, 1973


  1. Great post! I descend through Teague’s son Joshiah and his first wife Elizabeth Berry...then to Silas JONES of Greenwich RI and Susannah SWEET Silas...then Silas JONES JR b 1760 m Mercy SCRIVEN.

    What a story about 'the old man' Teague!

  2. Thanks for your comment. I love learning about the more colorful ancestors. It also amazes me how interconnected the Jones and Berry families were.

  3. i am also descended through teagues son josiah, the same
    as jacqueline white. it would be great to find out more about
    teague and where he came from.
    brian jones may 5 2014

  4. I am so glad I remembered reading this post for when I got to Teague Jones and the Berry family, I said, OMG I thought this family was Quaker.
    I am descended from Josiah's daughter Dorcas.

  5. https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1017981?availability=Family%20History%20Library

    More info re Teague Jones, from whom I also descend!

  6. Terri Morris BalchenJune 20, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    I descend from Teague Jones through his daughter Ruhama Jones Nickerson.

  7. I am also a descendent of Teague Jones! Every place I look it confirms that he had a wife who was named Ruhamah Samoset, they must have named their daughter after her. I am related through Josiah and the Berry family. In fact my great grandmother was a Jones, directly linked! That makes Ruhamah my great x 11 grandmother. Such cool information

    1. Have any of the folks giving her name as Ruhamah Samoset given a source for that? I'd be interested to know. Thanks, Chris

  8. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=:275707&id=I9160&style=TABLE

  9. Teague Jones is my 9X Great grandfather thru his daughter Ruhamah Jones Nickerson.
    Very interesting story about Teague Jones.

  10. Ruhamah is a Biblical name. I see so many genealogical posts assuming that an unfamiliar name must be Native American in origin. Very seldom is that the case. Etymology is key.

  11. Rebecca is also a biblical name, and that is the name Mataoka's (pocahontas, not her real name and not even a name in Powhatan language that's why I didn't capitalize it) gave her since she represented two nations.

  12. Besides that, many people among various Native American tribes were and still are very spiritual people. They relied and sought after God earnestly and yes they did reject the way so many Europeans misrepresented Jesus Christ to them.

  13. Teague's wife was NOT Indian. I'm descended through his daughter Ruhamah. I've had my DNA checked and I have 0% Native American Ancestry.

    1. Do you have any traces of Asian? I had 0% of one DNA test but it showed up as 1% Asian. Then uploaded to another site and it showed 1% Native American. I am a direct descendant of Teague/Josiah and only have European/Scandinavian ancestors. I'm very curious to see if other descendants are seeing the same results.

    2. My DNA shows just 0.1 percent south Asian. No Native American. Chris

  14. Thanks everyone for your interesting comments. Chris

  15. Unknown from April 14th-Teague and his wife were from about 400 years ago. If his wife is the only Native American in your genealogy then by this time, so many generations later, there would no longer be any Native American blood/DNA in your family line or anyone else's unless there is another Native American who was born at least in the 1800 or 1900's much less the 1600's.

    1. Thanks, Clark, for your post. It's a great reminder to people to still consider the stories of 17th century ancestors being Native American, even though it isn't backed up with DNA evidence. Chris

  16. My mitrochondrial dna..J1b1A2..shows indian..Mayan.Apache..Iroquois..i was given the information from 23 and me..it matches longhorias..it is rare according to 23 and me..

  17. Thanks Chris for your post...I descend from Ruhamah Jones and Capt.Joseph Nickerson. It is always nice to read about our ancestors..Thanks again...

    1. Earl, Thanks for your nice comment! Chris

  18. I was wondering if there was anyway to see how a family ties into this because I have be researching and from what some of 3th or 4th cousins said that we were descends of Christopher Jones but I dont have all the information to find out...the farthest I have been able to get is my 5th great gpa I don't know his father's name but he was born in New Jersey about 1720. Were any of the kids in NJ at this point?

    1. Jessica, I don't know of any of Teague's sons going to NJ but I'm not well versed in his sons other than Jeremiah. Chris