Luke Perkins was born 17 September 1695 in Beverly, Massachusetts, the son of Luke and Martha (Conant) Perkins. Luke grew up in Kingston and then his family relocated. Some sources say they went to Bridgewater but others say Wrentham, where a Luke Perkins was a blacksmith. Luke and his father were both blacksmiths.
Luke married Ruth Cushman at Plympton on 28 Jan 1716/17. She was born Plymouth 25 March 1700, the daughter of Robert and Persis (Lewis) Cushman. Ruth was of Kingston at the time of their marriage.
Luke and Ruth had three children recorded in Plympton:
Ignatius, born 15 July 1720, lived in Wrentham and Freetown.
Hannah, born 2 May 1723, m. Capt. Nathaniel Shaw of Carver 10 May 1739. She d. 2 May 1802.
Mary, b. 28 June 1726.
I descend through their son Ignatious who married Keziah Davis.
There also is a Luke Perkins who came to Bridgewater from Ipswich and was the son of this Luke or his brother John.
Luke appears many times in Plymouth Court Records, often as the defendant. In 1720 through 1739 he was of Plympton. In 1739-1742 he was of Middleboro.
In 1720-21: Edmund Tilson (Plymouth Blacksmith) vs. Robert Cushman (Plymouth Husbandman) and Luke Perkins Jr. (Blacksmith). Debt on bond for 100 pounds. Cushman pleaded in abatement that his estate was not attached as the law requires. Abated. Taxed at 1 pound 3 shillings 8 pence.
In 1724/5: Luke Perkins Jr. (Plimton Blacksmith) by atty Elkanah (Leonard) v. Timothy Barden (Middleboro Joyner). Case on note payable 10 Feb 1724/25 for 5 pounds 10 shillings. Default by defendant. Judgment for 5 pounds 10 shillings and costs of 2 pounds 5 shillings.
In 1728: Luke Perkins (Plympton Blacksmith) vs. Thomas Slack or Stack late of Plympton now of Attleborough, bloomer, debt on bond dated 21 Jan 1726/27 for 72 pounds. Default by defendant. Bond chancered. Judgment for 40 pounds 9 shillings 2 pence and 3 pounds 6 shillings costs. Appealed by defendant.
1729: William Randall (Rochester Husbandman) vs. Luke Perkins Jr. (Plympton Blacksmith) case, on bill dated 17 Feb 1729. For 5 pounds 15 shillings. Default by defendant.
1737: Isaac Lothrope Jr. vs. John Shurtleff (Plympton yeoman). Case on book account for 35 pounds 15 shillings 6 pence. On demand for plaintiffs damage of 60 pounds. Default by dft. Judgment for full amount and 2 pounds 4 shillings 6 pence costs. Appealed by deft with Luke Perkins Jr. (Plympton Blacksmith) and Thomas Harlow as sureties.
1738: Robert Brown Esq (Plymouth) v. Luke Perkins (Plympton Blacksmith) by Attny Elkanah Leonard case on 3 week note dated 20 Dec 1737 for 36 pounds. To pltfs damage of 60 pounds. Default by deft. Judgment 36 pounds 18 shillings 8 pence plus costs. Appealed by deft.
1738/9: Samuel Thatcher (Middleboro Dealer) v. Luke Perkins Jr. (Plympton Blacksmith or Nailer). Case, on book account for 11 pounds 14 shillings. Withdrawn. Costs for deft taxed 23 shillings 9 pence.
1739: Peleg Barrow (Plympton Yeoman) v. Luke Perkins Jr. (Middleboro Blacksmith). Nonsuit. Costs for deft. 19 shillings 6 pence.
1739: Christopher Turner (Dartmouth Yeoman) v. Luke Perkins Jr. (Plympton Blacksmith). Case continued, pltf did not appear. Costs for deft. Taxed at 2 pounds 14 shillings 6 pence.
1739/40: Joseph Thomas Esq (Plympton) v. Luke Perkins (Middleboro or Plympton Blacksmith) by Atty James Otis Esq Debt on bond dated 19 Feb 1738. Jury for plntf 18 pounds. Appealed by deft.
1739/40: Lothrop vs. Luke Perkins Jr. (Middleborough Blacksmith) for 3 pounds 15 shillings 5 pence. Default by deft.
1740: Abiel Leach (Middleboro Yeoman) v. Luke Perkins (Middleboro Blacksmith) 2 pounds 17 shillings 6 pence. Default by deft.
1740: Samuel Bartlet Esq v. Luke Perkins Jr. (Middleboro Blacksmith) by Attny Otis Little for 18 pounds. Default by deft. Judgment for 10 pounds plus. Appeale by deft.
1741: John Bishop (Plympton Bloomer) v. Luke Perkins Jr. (Middleboro Blacksmith) for 2 pounds 6 shillings 3 pence. Default by deft. Judgment for full amount plus expenses.
1742: Joseph Leonard (Middleboro Husbandman) v. Luke Perkins (Middleboro Husbandman) on note dated 15 May 1740 for 13 pounds in “decknails.” Default by deft. Judgment for 3 pounds 5 shillings plus costs.
1742: Joseph Sutten (Charlestown Leather Dresser) v. Luke Perkins (Middleboro Blacksmith) for 33 pounds 9 shillings. Default by deft. Judgment 16 shillings 3 pence plus costs.
Luke Perkins, blacksmith, of Wrentham, mortgaged 30 may 1755 to Thomas Arnold of Smithfield, Rhode Island, real estate, blacksmith shop and tools in Wrentham, for 14 pounds, 11 shillings. (Suffolk Records) It seems like this is "my" Luke Perkins, as his family has a connection with this town and he was a blacksmith.
A colonial blacksmith was a respected tradesman in his community, as he was responsible for creating and maintaining the tools and other items utilized by almost all the other tradesmen, as well as for households and farms. He practiced his craft in his workshop to turn raw metal, such as iron and steel, into functional items like horseshoes, farming hoes, kettles, and barrel supports. This required years of training. From what I've read, it wasn't unusual for blacksmiths to move to where the best demand was for a blacksmith.
|Later reproduction of a blacksmith shop, Colonial Williamsburg|
He may be buried at the Old Burial Ground in Plympton with his parents. There is a broken stone propped up behind Luke and Martha Perkins' stones that is engraved "Luke Perkins" but no dates visible.
|Possibly Luke's gravestone, Plympton, Mass.|
I'd love to hear from anyone who knows more about Luke and Ruth!
Source not listed above:
"An Account of Part of the Family of Abraham Perkins of Hampton NH, who lived in Plymouth County, Mass.," by Joseph W. Porter, NEHGS, Vol. 50, page 34-40, 1896