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.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

William Eldred/Eldredge ca 1622-ca 1679 Yarmouth (now Dennis), Mass. and Ann Lumpkin

William Eldred was the first of the name to come to Yarmouth on Cape Cod from England. I have not found his birth or parents, but he was born about 1622. He is my 9th great grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. Later the name was spelled Eldredge and Eldridge.  I do not have a lot of vital records for William and Ann as many early Yarmouth records were destroyed by fire.

I do not know if it is where William hailed from, but in 17th century many Eldreds were living around Norfolk, England, a prosperous textile center where raw wool was sent to Holland to be finished. King James put an embargo on the sale of raw wool, resulting in an economic disaster for this area. I do not know William’s motivation for emigrating. From what I’ve read, there were many reasons to leave England beyond seeking religious freedom. Often people were motivated by a chance to earn a better living and also to live a healthier lifestyle as there was no sanitation, little medical care and a meager diet for the common classes in England. The poor were often drafted into military, often receiving no pay, food or uniforms.

William is recorded as a resident of Yarmouth in 1645. He was not on the 1643 Yarmouth list of men able to bear arms. Samuel, William and Robert Eldred all showed up about same time in Plymouth. It is not known whether they are related, but some researchers believe William and Robert were brothers. 

About 1647 William married Ann (sometimes Anne) Lumpkin, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Lumpkin. I have also seen William Lumpkin's wife as Tamesin, so another thing I need to sort out. William and Ann settled near her parents by a brook later known as Eldred Brook in what is now Dennis. His land adjoined that of Thomas Howes, who was once a servant to the Lumpkins. I descend from Thomas Howes as well.

Anne Lumpkin came on the Rose from England in 1637, along with her parents William Lumpkin of Norwich, 33, locksmith and Elizabeth, 34, and servant Thomas Howes. 

Ann and William’s children were likely all born Yarmouth, although because of the lack of vital records they are not all known with certainty. Ann and Sarah are recorded at Yarmouth, Elisha and Bethia's names were recorded in their grandfather Lumpkin's will. Jehosophat, Samuel and John are believed to be their sons.
Ann b. 16 Dec 1648 Yarmouth
Sarah b. 10 Oct 1650 Yarmouth, m. William Bentley
Elisha, b. 1653, lived at Wellfleet
Bethia, b. after 1648
Jehosophat, b. about 1658, m. Elizabeth Covell
Samuel, b. about 1655,  m. Keziah Taylor on 6 Feb 1679/80
John, m. Abigail Littlefield, settled in Maine

I descend from Jehosophat, whom I wrote about here.   I don't know with 100 percent certainty that Jehosophat is his son, but it seems very likely.

In 1657 William Eldred is listed as freeman. He was a constable in 1657, 1662, 1674, 1675 and 1677.  His duties included checking the community's readiness to repel Indian and Dutch attacks as well as enforcing the orders of the Court. In 1658 and 1659 he was elected surveyor of the highways.  He was literate as he signed an early Yarmouth church document complaining of minister's sermon. In 1676 he was taxed 3 pounds 12 shillings 3 pence for towards expenses of King Philip's War.

After almost 28 years of marriage, Ann Lumpkin Eldred died in late October 1676. "The wife of William Eldred was buried the first of November 1676." (Yarmouth VR p 125)

William died around 1679 in Yarmouth. 

I have not read it, but there is a book William Eldred of Yarmouth, Massachusetts and Some of his Descendants, by Nelson Beardsley Eldred and Walt Stessy, published in 1995. 

Sources Not Listed Above:

Orville Ward Eldredge, The Eldred Family: Particularly the Descendants of William Eldredge of Yarmouth and More, 1940

William Smith, Early Chatham Settlers, CW Swift Publisher, Yarmouthport, Mass., 1915

Amos Otis, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, No. 47, "The Yarmouth Families of Eldredge," 1914

Nancy Thacher.  Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Zoeth Eldredge, Eldredge Genealogy,  by Zoeth S. Eldredge, NEHGR 51:46-54, 1897


  1. Hi, We're related I descend from Elnathan.

  2. Hello, we are related and I have much more information for you (birth, parents, etc). I have been creating a family tree and have taken the Eldreds/Eldredges back to 1468. How can I contact you?

    1. I would love to see a family tree going back to 1468 ! You can contact me teldredge618@gmail.com

  3. I am related also....Mabel Edna. May I have ur family tree? Theshive1982@gmail. Thx

  4. I am a descendant of Sarah. Contact: anneed31@gmail.com if anyone has info to share. I'm new at this!

  5. I'm hoping that you do better on William Lumpkin (who seems to be Ludken on the PL of the "Rose"...or is it the "John and Dorothy"?) than I have. I too am completely stumped on why his wife is called Tamesin because she is clearly listed as Elizabeth on the PL. I am also stumped on Mary/Marah Eldredge (1749-1830, Chatham, who married Samuel Doane) whose parents might be Seth Eldredge and Patience Howes or Barnabas Eldredge and Mary Hurde. You and I have many, many family ancestors in common and I'm sooo glad that they aren't this hard to sort out! Best, N

    1. It's amazing how some families fall into place so easily, others take more work, and yet others are just impossible! Best of luck, Chris

  6. I am probably descended from John Eldridge and Abigail Littlefield, through the O'Killey/Kelley family of Dennis, MA. Re the name of William Lumpkin's wife's name. In his will that was ordered recorded in 1671 at a court in Plymouth, MA he mentions his "now" wife Tamasin. He also names a daughter, Tamasin, who was married to a John Sunderling. So he had probably been married to Tamasin for at least 20 years if the daughter was named for her.

    1. Thanks, Jannie, for sharing your thoughts. Chris

  7. HI,
    My name is Edgar Franklin Eldredge Jr. of Bourne Ma. I am very interested in obtaining information about my roots. I do know my great grandfathers name was William Barnabas Eldredge who married Ella Besse. I believe he was born in Brewster. If anyone can help i would much appreciate it.

    Edgar F. Eldredge Jr