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

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nathaniel Holmes ca 1643-1727 and Mercy Faunce of Plymouth, Mass.



Nathaniel Holmes was born about 1643 in Plymouth, Mass., probably the son of John and Sarah Holmes. Sarah’s maiden name is unknown. Nathaniel is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

On 29 December 1667 Nathaniel married Mercy Faunce at Plymouth. Her name is sometimes seen as Mersy, Mersey and Mercye. Mercy was just 16 years of age. She was born Plymouth on 10 April 1651, the daughter of John and Patience (Morton) Faunce. I wrote about her parents here. Her sister Patience married Nathaniel’s brother John. Her brother Thomas was Town Clerk and Elder of the Plymouth Church. He lived to almost 100 years of age and was the person responsible for the story of the landing at Plymouth Rock.

The births of Nathaniel and Mercy's seven children are recorded in Plymouth Vital Records:

Elisha born 19 April 1670
Mercy born 10 September 1673 (spelled Mersy)
Nathaniel born 10 November 1676
Sarah born 2 October 1680
John born 17 April 1682
Elizabeth born 25 April 1686
Eleazer born 16 October 1688 (spelled Eliazur). In a later hand it is added “deceased August 21 1754."

I descend from Mercy who married Ebenezer Cobb.

On 15 June 1671 Thomas Whitney of Plymouth sold to Nathaniell Holmes, seaman of Plymouth, 1.5 to 2 acres of land at Hobs Hole/Wellingsley, Plymouth, an area called Alcarmus field. (PCLR 4:148)

Hobs Hole/Wellingsley is also called Jabez Corner. It's about one mile south of Plymouth Center and the oldest separate neighborhood in town.
Hobbs Hole, Plymouth
Hobb's Hole etching by William H.W. Bicknell (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

On 15 October 1692, Hugh Cole of Swansea sold 50 acres of land at Plymouth to Nathaniel Holmes, Sr. of Plymouth. The land was in what is now the Manomet area. (PCLR 1:234)

Nathaniel and Mercy are listed as members of the First Church of Plymouth.

Nathaniel died at Plymouth on 25 July 1727 in his 84th year (NGSQ 74:87, citing gravestone). Nathaniel is buried at Burial Hill, Plymouth.

Here lyes ye Body of Mr. NATHANIEL HOLMES, who decd/July ye 25th 1727 in ye 84th year of his age.
Nathaniel Holmes' stone at Burial Hill

 Mercy died 11 February 1731 and is also buried at Burial Hill.
Here lyes ye body of MARCY HOLMES wife to Mr NATHll HOLMES who decd Febry ye 11th
1731-2 in ye 81st year of her age.

Mercy's stone at Burial Hill



 Source Not Listed Above:

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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Joseph Atkins 1669-1726 and Martha Pease of Eastham, Mass.

Joseph Atkins was born at Eastham, Mass., on 4 May 1669, the son of Henry Atkins and his second wife Bethia (Linnell).

Joseph is my seventh great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.
Map of Cape Cod

About 1709 Joseph married Martha Pease, the daughter of James Pease and Elizabeth Norton of Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. Some early genealogies don’t have Joseph’s wife identified, but she is shown to be Martha through her father’s 1711 will (Edgartown Prob. Recs. 85).

Joseph and Martha had eight children:

Joseph born 9 December 1710
Martha born 9 November 1711
Anna born 12 December 1713
Paul born 11 August 1716
James born 25 December 1718
John born 18 January 1720/21
Uriah born 7 September 1722
Hannah born 4 April 1726

I descend from their daughter Anna who married Paul Sears. I wrote about that couple here.
Doane homestead
Example of an early Eastham home (this belonged to Oliver Doane)

Joseph died at Eastham on 25 March 1726. Martha’s death date is unknown.

As you can see, I haven’t found a tremendous about of records concerning Joseph and Martha. If anyone knows of anything I missed or spots an error, please let me know.



Sources Not Listed Above:

Charles Banks, The History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol III, 1911

Josiah Paine, Early Settlers of Eastham, Book 2, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 32, 916

David Hamblin, First Settlers of Eastham, MA, NEHGR, January 1852

Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700

Saturday, July 6, 2013

John Cobb 1632-1715 and Martha Nelson of Plymouth, Mass.

John Cobb was born Plymouth, Mass., 7 June 1632, the son of Henry Cobb and Patience Hurst. I wrote about his parents here.   John is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side. The last name is sometimes seen as Cob.

John married Martha Nelson on 28 April 1658 in Plymouth. Martha was born about 1641, the daughter of William and Martha (Ford) Nelson.

John and Martha had five children, born at Plymouth (Plymouth VR):
1.      John, born 24 August 1662, married Rachel Soule, granddaughter of Mayflower passenger George Soule, moved to Middleborough
2.      Patience, born 10 August 1668, married John Bennett, moved to Middleborough
3.      Ebenezer, born 9 August 1671, married Mercy Holmes, moved to Kingston
4.      Elisha, born 3 April 1679, married Lydia Ryder
5.      James, born 20 July 1682, married Patience Holmes

Davis gives them three additional children: Samuel, Elizabeth and Israel. None of these are mentioned in John’s will, and Susan Roser does not include them in her recent work on the family.

I descend from John and Martha’s son Ebenezer.

Although John was the oldest son of Henry Cobb, it was another son, James, who received Henry's "great lot," with the rest of the land being divided among remaining sons, in his 4 April 1678 will. John was to receive five pounds from his brother James for the great lott in Barnstable that James was receiving. He was also one of the four brothers receiving land at Saconessett (Falmouth?). He lso received one shilling. A codicil dated 22 Feb 1678/9, says son Samuel should have only two acres of upland after wife's decease and that sons Samuel, Jonathan and Henry shall equally divide remaining land, with Henry having the house after wife's decease.

John is mentioned in his grandfather James Hurst's 10 December 1657 will, receiving the Plymouth house and lands after his grandmother's decease. He also received 40 acres of land at Coaksett or Cushenett, with three of his brothers received 20 acres there as well. From what I can find, Coaksett or Cushenett were part of Middleborough that became Dartmouth.

Otis wrote that John removed from Barnstable to Plymouth and then to Taunton, and returned to Plymouth about 1678. He also gives him a second wife, Jane Woodward of Taunton, whom he married on 13 June 1676. Susan Roser writes that the Taunton John Cobb is a different man of the same name.

It does not appear John was involved in town business or held any type of office.

Martha died sometime after 1703 when she is listed as a member of the Plymouth Church.

John died 21 February 1714/15 at Plymouth "being neare in ye 83rd yeare of his life."

John’s will was dated 4 Feb. 1711/2, mentioned wife Martha and children: John Cobb, Patience Bennet, Ebenezer Cobb, Elisha Cobb and James Cobb  (Plymouth Co. PR 3:345-6). “John Cobb Senr of...Plimouth... for and in consideration of ye naturall affection & Good will that I do bear unto my Naturall and well beloved son Ebenezer Cobb...with the free consent of my wife Martha Cobb...given...one half in Deal of my whole Interest of Lands that I have at a place Commonly called Marroanset...also four acres fo meadow at Kinnotuxet Also all my whole Interest of Land that was Given to me by John Howard late of Dartmouth Deceased A part of which lyeth adjoyning the unto my fathers lands And is bounded....by....Howards Swamp...Also I do give unto my said son Ebenezer Cobb All the rest of my Interest in said Howards land lyeth at ye fishing pond...”
10 May 1693 John Cobb
Thomas ffaunce
Ephraim Morton
Ack 10 July 1693, rec. 16 March 1697
John signed the will with his mark. 

If anyone has information on where John's homestead in Plymouth was located, I would very much appreciate hearing from you!

Sources Not Listed Above:

Susan E. Roser, Early Descendants of Henry Cobb of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Friends of the Pilgrims Series, Volume 1, 2008

William Thomas Davis, Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, 1899

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1995

Mayflower Descendant, Vol 53, No. 2, Summer 2004: Plymouth County MA Records of Deeds

Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, revised by CF Swift, Volume 1 and 2, 1888