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, March 2, 2014

John Washburn ca 1672-1750 and Lydia Billington ca 1677 to 1716, Plymouth, Marshfield and Kingston, Mass.

John Washburn was born about 1672 likely in Plymouth, Mass., the son of Phillip and Elizabeth (Irish) Washburn. John is my 7th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. Washburn is spelled in a variety of ways in records including Washburne, Washburn, Washband and Washbone.  

About 1698 John married Lydia Billington, probably at Plymouth. She was born about 1677, likely in Marshfield, the daughter of Isaac and Hannah (Glass) Billington. I wrote about that couple here.

John was dismissed from the Plymouth Church in 1703 and made a Deacon. Maybe this was when he first went to Kingston. He and Lydia are in the 1708 Plymouth Church records as being admitted on 31 October of that year so they did return. 

Lydia and John had 10 children, recorded Plymouth Vital Records:

1. John born 19 April 1699
2. Ichabod born 7 Feb 1700/01
3. Mercy born 21 April 1702
4. Elisha born 5 November 1703
5. Ephraim born 6 June 1705
6. Barnabas born 12 February 1706/07
7. Jabez born 10 April 1708
8. Ebenezer born 17 August 1709
9. Thankfull born 24 Feb 1714/15
10. Baby stillborn September 1716

The first seven children were baptized on 27 March 1709 at the Plymouth Church.

Sadly Lydia died giving birth to her 10th child on 22 September 1716. She was about 39 years old. The record calls her Desire Washburn, confusing her with her sister Desire. "Desre wife of John Woshbon died 23 September 1716 being delevered of a child, both deceased."  Records don’t show a Desire Washburn and the transcription of the Plymouth Church records has Lydia wife of John Warshband dying 22 September 1716.

I descend from their son John who married Abigail Phillips.

In 1708 John Washburn of Plymouth sold land that was his grandfather Irish's to Samuel Bradford.

John married, second, Wiborah/Wybra Bumpus circa 1717. She was the daughter of Joseph and Wybra (Glass) Bumpus.She died 6 February 1743/44 at Kingston and is buried at the Old Burying Ground there.

Wilborah <i>Bumpus</i> Washburn
Wiborah Bumpus Washburn's gravestone (Source: findagrave.com)

John Washburn Jr. served as a grand juror in 1719/20.

During the December 1721 court, John Washburn, Jacob Mitchell etc. of Plymouth petitioned for a way to be laid out "to the mills and Meeting at Jones River." Petitioners complained that the selectmen of Plymouth refused to lay out the way. Court ordered the selectmen to appear at next term to show cause why they did not lay out the way "unless in the mean time they do it." At a later session, the selectmen were advised to go to the place and consider where the way may be best laid out to accommodate the neighbors there in general and accordingly to do it. When the selectmen still did not lay out the way at Jones River, the court appointed a committee to lay out the way and to report at next term. The petitioners were to pay the charge of the committee.

From what I understand, Jones River Village became the town of Kingston. The town has a Jones River Village Historical Society that keeps its headquarters at the Major John Bradford Homestead.
Jones River Trading Company

John married, third, at Kingston 13 December 1744, Mehitable (Barrow) Wright, widow of Adam Wright and daughter of Robert and Ruth (Bonum) Barrow. There was no issue by the second or third wife. I also descend directly from Mehitable’s first husband Adam Wright by his first wife.

John lived at Plymouth, then at Kingston where he was a Deacon of the Church.

Because Lydia’s children inherited her part of the estate of her brother, Seth Billington, who died in 1718, there were guardianships on 22 September 1721 for the children of John Washburn. Ichabod, Elisha, Ephraim, and Barnabas Washburn, minors over the age of 14 years, chose Francis Adams, clothier of Plymouth, as guardian. Adams was also appointed the same day for Jabez, Ebenezer and Thankful Washburn, minors under the age of 14. Presumably, John Washburn Jr., aged 22, and Mercy Washburn, aged 19, were considered of age, having attained their majorities at ages 21 and 18, respectively.

On 20 March 1743/44, after the death of his second wife, in two separate deeds, John Washburn of Kingston conveyed all of his property “for love” to his sons Ephraim and Barnabas Washburn. This was followed on 4 April 1744 by a deed from Ephraim and Barnabas Washburn to John Washburn, leasing to their father his homestead and adjacent property for his natural life.  Since his estate was disposed of in his old age, there is no probate for John Washburn.

Deacon John Washburn died 17 June 1750 in his 79th year and is buried at the Old Burying Ground near the First Church, Kingston, Mass. I’ve also seen his death as 27 June.

John Washburn's gravestone (source: findagrave.com)
I haven’t found a death record for Mehitable Barrow Washburn, but there is a probate file for her in 1754. Her son Samuel Wright was administrator of her estate. She was of Kingston at the time of her death, so I would guess she is buried at the Old Burying Ground there.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Nahum Mitchell, History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, 1897

George Ernest Bowman, Washburn Notes,  Mayflower Descendant, volume 15 (1913) and 16 (1914)

Harriet W. Hodge, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Five, Edward Winslow and John Billington, published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1997

Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern, Mass, a compilation of records by Charles M. Thatcher in the late 1880s, 1995


  1. Thanks so much for your comment regarding Francis Adams as the guardian of the Washburn children. I am particularly interested in the Adams family of Kingston. My specific interest is about Richard Adams (1718-1795), one of the sons of Francis. I believe that my ancestor John Coltrain (1743-1806) was the indentured servant of Richard. A 1760 muster roll for the French-Indian War for John in Wareham, MA mentions “reported Richard Adams, master”. As Richard was selling his property in Wareham about this time, I believe that this was the relationship between John Coltrain and Richard Adams.
    Can you recommend any place that I might look for further information about Richard Adams beside the vital records of Plymouth/Kingston? I am interested in possible diaries or other records for the Adams family.
    Thanks, Dorothy Coltrin

    1. Dorothy, That is an interesting connection. Have you been to http://plymouthcolony.net/plymouthcounty/?

      Dale Cook who administers it is very helpful. You could also subscribe to the Rootsweb Plymouth County email list that has some very knowledgeable folks. Chris.