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, July 28, 2013

James Hurst died Plymouth, Mass., 1657 and Gertrude Bennister

James Hurst was born England circa 1582 (from stated age at marriage). I have not discovered his parents. He is my 11th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

On 04 October 1608 James married Gertrude Bennister at Amsterdam, England. His name in Dutch was Jacob/Jacobus. "Jacobus Hurste from Rekford (Retford, Nottinghamshire), bombazine-weaver, 26 years, and Geertrud Bennister from Reckford (Retford), 23 years" (J deHoop Scheffer, History of the Free Churchmen). 

Retford Town Hall, May 2012.JPG
Retford Town Hall



They were part of the group of Separatists (the future Pilgirms) who moved to Holland from England to freely practice their religion. I don’t know Gertrudes parents, but she would have been born England circa 1585.

Jacob/James was a linen-weaver in Holland. Information discovered by Jeremy D. Bangs from the Municipal Archives in Leiden shows a a poll tax register of 1622 with him living next to the John Robinsons with his wife Geertgen  and two children Jan (=John) and Passchyntgen (Patience). I haven’t found any other information on son John.

Old Rhine, Leiden

James and Gertrude were in Plymouth sometime between 1627-31. Their daughter Patience was already married and had a child born there in 1632. It is likely that they were part of the last contingent of the Leiden congregation which came over in 1629 and 1630.

I descend from James and Gertrude’s daughter Patience who married Henry Cobb.

James was on the 1633 freeman list. He served as a Deacon in the Plymouth church. He seemed to have worked as a tanner in Plymouth as his inventory included “4 hides in the fatt [vat] & one tand [tanned].”

James frequently served on juries and committees. Deputy for Plymouth 1 June 1647 (PCR 2:117). Coroner's Jury 1 Aug 1648 (PCR 2:132). Grand  jury 5 June 1638, 2 June 1640 (PCR 1:87, 155). Petit jury 7 June 1636, 7 March 1636/7, 2 Oct 1637, 6 March 1637/8, 4 June 1639, 3 Sept 1639, 3 Dec 1639, 3 March 1639/40, 6 July 1641, 3 Aug 1641, 7 Dec 1641, 1 March 1641/2, 3 May 1642, 7 June 1642, 7 March 1642/3 6 June 1643, 3 March 1644/5, 28 Oct 1645, 28 Oct 1645, 7 July 1646, 2 March 1646/7, 6 March 1648/9, 6 June 1649, 7 June 1649, 29 Oct 1649, 6 March 1649/50, 2 Oct 1650, 4 March 1650/1, 2 March 1651/2, (PCR 1:42, 2:111, 140, 7:5, 7, 8, 12-16, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 40-42, 45-47, 52, 53, 58); highway commitee 23 July 1634 (PCR 1:31), Arbiter 5 Jan 1640/1 (PCR 2:6). Lot layer 27 Sept 1642 (PCR 2:48).

James was assessed 9 shillings on the Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 (PCR 1:11, 29). He was granted additional land near his house 1 January 1637/8 (PCR 1:72). On 2 November 1640 James Hurst received "the meadow that Goodman Cooke should have had" (PCR 1:167). James Hurst received a share in the Darmouth lands (MD 4:187).

James Hurst came into court on 7 March 1653/5 and along with three other men, sued Samuell Sturtivant and Edward Gray "in an action of trespass on the case, to the damage of ten pounds, for destroying a certain parcel of hay" belonging to the four plaintiffs; the court found for the plaintiffs (PCR 7:68).


James Hurst died Plymouth in December 1657.

His will was written (as James Hurst of Plymouth) on 10 Dec 1657 and names wife Garteud, and his grandchildren Job Cobb, Gershom Cobb, James Cobb, Eliezer Cobb, Mary Dunham, Hannah Cobb and Patience Cobb (MD 14:228). Gertrude received the Plymouth house with all lands belonging to it for her life. After her decease it would go to grandson John Cobb, who also received forty acres of land at Coaksett or Cusheneet (Westport and Dartmouth?). Grandson Gershom Cobb was to receive land at Punckatessett as well as land at Coaksett or Cushenett.  Grandsons James Cobb and Eliezer Cobb received twenty acres apiece of land at Coaksett or Cushenett. Granddaughters Mary Dunham, Hannah Cobb and Patience Cobb received 20 shillings apiece.

James named "my wife" sole executrix; with "my loving friends Mr. Cushman and Gyles Rickard Senior" supervisors. (PCPR 2:1:65)

The inventory was taken 24 December 1657 and totalled 97 pounds 6 shillings, including 36 pounds in real estate: 20 pounds land at Plymouth, one pound "land lying against Rhode Island belonging to Plymouth," and 15 pounds representing his "share of Purchase land lying at Coaksett." (PCPR 2:1:65)

Gertrude died at Plymouth  between December 1657 (her husband’s death) and May 1670 (inventory of her estate taken as Gartherew Hurst). Her grandson John Cobb presented the inventory, referring to her as “Grandmother Hurst.” Her estated totaled 13 pounds, 5 s 11d. (PCPR 3:1:18)

No relationship between James and William Hurst who was living in Sandwich is known.


Sources Not Listed Above:

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 1995.

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its People and History, 1986

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