Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. 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.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ezra Perry abt. 1625-1689 and Elizabeth (Burgess) Perry

My 10th great-grandfather Ezra Perry was born circa 1625 (from age at death), likely in England. I’ve read his father’s name was John but without a source.

Ezra first appears in records in 1644 as one of the men contributing to the repair of the Sandwich meeting house. He pledged 9 shillings.

Ezra married Elizabeth Burgess on 12 February 1651/52 in Sandwich, Mass. She was born about 1629, the daughter of Thomas and Dorothy (Waynes) Burgess.

They had seven children, born Sandwich: Ezra, Deborah, John, Sarah, Samuel, Benjamin, Remembrance.

I descend from Deborah Perry who married Seth Pope.

In 1657 Ezra was listed as a lieutenant in the militia. In 1671 he was on a committee to view damage done by Indians to horses and hogs belonging to the English. In 1674 and 1677 he served on Grand Inquest juries. In 1679 he was appointed Constable.

On 10 July 1663 Thomas Burgess deeded land at Mannomett (Manamet) to his son-in-law Esra Perrey, planter. Thomas had purchased the land from Myles Standish who had in turn purchased it from Josias, a Nauset Sachem. The land adjoined land where Ezra already had his house. This area was also called Herring River Village in North Sandwich.

In his April 1684 will, Thomas Burgess bequeathed two lots of land to son Ezra Perry as well as additional land if his son Joseph Burgess declines the conditions of land left to him. Ezra and Joseph were co-executors.

Ezra conveyed land to his sons as gifts, probably as they reached age of majority. Each was also given a marriage portion of livestock and furniture.

In 1680 the Perry family purchased lands along the south bank of the Manomet (later Monument) River, in an area that is now the village of Bourne. Some descendants in that town say the family settled there much earlier, but the town records don't prove this. 

In 1627, the early Plymouth settlers opened the Aptucxet Trading Post in what is now Bourne. Thomas Burgess purchased the land and then it went to his daughter Elizabeth who was married to Ezra Perry. The property remained in the Perry family for more than 200 years.
Aptucxet Trading Post (reproduction), source: Bourne Historical Society

The four sons of Ezra Perry--Samuel, Ezra Jr., John and Benjamin--built their cabin in this area and many of the people residing at Bourne have seen the vestiges of this home (this was ca 1890). Tradition says these four sons traded at Herring River and when they returned home at night they would shelter themselves behind a large rock near their house and fire three or four bullets through the door to drive out any lurking Indians. The rock can be seen on land owned by Ordello R. Swift, near the flagstaff in his yard (1890).

Ezra died 16 October 1689 at age 64 in Sandwich, Mass. His gravestone is among the oldest surviving stones at the Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich and is engraved with a small winged skull. The inscription reads:

Ezra Perry Gravestone source: Capecodgravestones.com

Elizabeth Burgess Perry died 26 September 1717 at age 88. She is buried next to her husband at the Old Town Cemetery.

26th 1717
Elizabeth Burgess Perry Gravestone

The Mayflower Descendant published a transcription of Ezra Perry’s will which was written in on 16 October 1689, the day of his death:
The will of "Ezra Perry Snr of of manument and Towne of Sandwich" made 16 October, 1689, after providing that his body be buried "at ye ordinary place of burring," disposes of his estate as follows: "All my outward moveables, with out doars and with in doars to my truly and well beloved wife, as my true undoubted and Lawful Executrix .... to dispose of at her pleasure Excepting what I Leave and bequeath to my well beloved Son Samuel Perry that is two stiers of two and one heifer of four years, one mare Coult one Bed and furniture be Longing thereto one gun one Sword and Bandaleers one Iron pot, to my well beloved Son Benjamin Perry two Cowes two steeres about three years old one bed- and its ffurniture one gun one Sword To my Daughter Remember too Cows one bed and its ffurniture, one meare and all her Increse, also to my Son Ezra one Shilling To John Perry my Son one Shilling to Deborah my Daughter wife to Seth Pope one Shilling To Sarah wife to Epharim Swift one Shilling"
The will was signed by a mark. It was witnessed by Jacob Burge (who made his mark) and James Steuart, and probated 18 April 1690.

The inventory, taken 24 October 1689, by Elisha Bourne and Nathaniel Wing, was sworn to by "Elizabeth Perry ye Relict of ye above sd Ezra Perry" on 18 April 1690. The will and inventory were recorded 22 April 1690 by Joseph Lothrop, recorder.

Ezra’s inventory included steers, cows, a bull, horses, swine, tobacco, a sword, pewter and brass and totaled 78 pounds, 8 shillings. It did not included real estate, so perhaps Ezra had already deeded his land to his children.

Sources Not Mentioned Above:
RA Lowell, Jr., Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, 1984

Lydia B. Phinney Brownson and Maclean W. McLean, Ezra Perry of Sandwich, Mass, NEHGR vol. 115, April 1961

Jeremiah Diggs, Cape Cod Pilot, 1937

Simeon Deyo, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890


  1. This is fascinating! I'm glad I found your blog. I believe I, too, am descended from Deborah Perry Pope.
    Thank you for doing all this work!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I wish you luck in your research! Chris

  2. Thanks for the great info. I am a descendent of Edward Perry, brother to Ezra. He was my 9th Gr Grandfather! Im trying to gather as mauch info and stories/pictures of my family. Very happy to read all your info! Hope to get to MA someday to do more research. Holly Perry

    1. Holly: it's nice to hear from a Perry. Until you get to MA, there's so many ways to research from a distance. Chris

    2. As a descendant of Edward Perry, you're a closer relative of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his brother, Commodore Matthew Perry.

  3. Here's a link to some photos of the headstones- I too am a Perry descendant.
    You don't get to appreciate the small size of the headstones until you're there- me with the two Perry headstones (now I'm not a little guy, but you get the idea-

  4. Ezra and Elizabeth are my 8th great grandparents. Thank you so much for this information.
    Kimberly Eldredge Costa

  5. My 9th Great Grandparents
    Edmund (Edward) Perry
    Birth 27 January 1587 in Bridford, Devonshire, England
    Death 1659 in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
    Birth 1592 in , , Devon, England
    Death 8 Jun 1659 in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA
    One of their son's was Ezra. I've been trying to establish when and how the Perry's first came to the colonies.
    I'm pretty addicted to genealogy also.

  6. That would be great if you uncovered when and how the Perry's came over. Chris

  7. It appears that Ezra is my 9th great grandfather. I'm descended from his son John, John's son Elijah, and Elijah's daughter Martha who married Denison Robinson.