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.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Robert Wixon died Eastham 1686



Robert Wixon was born in England, his birth date and exact origins unknown. Robert is my 9th great grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. He came to Plymouth Colony in 1630 as an indentured servant to William Hedge. His services were transferred on 5 November 1638 to Gov. Thomas Prence for 12 pounds, which is how he came to be familiar with Eastham as Gov. Prence lived there as well as Plymouth. I would imagine this means he was good at whatever he was doing if the governor wanted him as a servant. I am also a direct descendant of Gov. Prence. I love that in early America whether you came as a wealthy, educated man or a servant, you had a chance to become successful, the beginning of the American Dream.

Robert married a woman named Alice before the birth of their first child in 1655, likely in Eastham. Some descendants believe Alice was a Native American and others that her maiden name was Titus, but I haven’t seen any proof of either claims. Alice and Robert had four children, first three recorded Eastham/Orleans Vital Records and all four named in will:

Jemima, born 30 Aug 1655, Eastham
Titus, born 02 Dec 1657, Eastham, died Yarmouth in 1718, no marriage or children found for him in records
Elizabeth born 29 May 1660, Eastham, married Nathaniel Mayo, had a large family, died Eastham Dec 1699
Barnabas born between 1660–1663, likely in Eastham, married Sarah Remick.

I descend from Barnabas. The name Wixon is spelled in a myriad of ways in records, including Wixam, Wickson, Vixon, Wixen, Waxam.

Robert Wixon was at Plymouth by1634 and from there lived in Eastham, where he is registered as one of the legal inhabitants in 1665 but was there earlier.

He is listed in an Eastham agreement dated 16 July 1662 concerning Lieutenant’s land with meadow to be used for public use and not disposed to any one person.

 He served his community in a variety of ways. He was constable at Plymouth in 1647. On 8 June 1655, he was named surveyor of highways at Eastham (Plym Col Vol III, p 79). On 5 June 1666 he was appointed constable of Eastham. He sat on a jury to hear a case against John Williams by his wife Elizabeth, who claimed abuse. They found against him and she was allowed to cease living with him (Vol IV, p. 123). On 2 July 1667 he sat on inquest jury of the death of a child of Daniel Doane's who drowned in a well (Vol IV, p 169). On 1 Jan 1667/8 Robert Wixam was on inquest jury concerning death of 5-6 year old child kept by John Smalley Jr., of Eastham; found that the child got lost in the woods and died of exposure (Vol IV, p 177). On 3 June 1674 he was again Surveyor of Highways (Vol V, p 146) and again on 1 June 1675 (Vol V, p 167). On 7 June 1676 again Surveyor of Highways (Vol V, p 197). On 1 Nov 1676 Robert Vixon appointed administrator of the estate of Nathaniel Brewster, a highly respected family (Vol V, p 212).

Robte Wickson on the August 1643 list of those able to bear arms in Plymouth, aged 16-60. On the Eastham list in 1665. On 3 March 1644/5 he posted bond for the good behavior of George Crispe.

At the June session of the Old Colony court at Plymouth, in 1651, he was made a freeman, so he had completed his term of service with Gov. Prence. On 29 May 1670 Robert was listed as a freeman of Eastham (Vol V, p 278).

Robert Wixon sat on a jury which convicted three Native Americans of the murder of John Sassamon, a Harvard educated Native American who lived among the whites. Tobias, Wampapaum and Mattushamama were found guilty of murdering him by laying violent hands on him and striking him or twisting his neck until he was dead and to cover up the murder they pushed his body through the ice of Assowamsett Pond on 29 Jan 1674. Natives and English served on the jury that found them guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging. On 8 June 1675 Tobias and Mattashamama were hanged, but Wampapaum was reprieved for one month from that date, but was then shot dead. This event angered other Native Americans who did not like being subjected to English trials and is considered one of the triggers of King Phillip's War.

One of the roads he helped to lay in 1668 was a road, referred to as an Indian Path, from Eastham through what is now Brewster. It was the same Indian path further widened and used in the 1800s as the main road in Brewster.

A 9 November 1666 deed refers to Robert Wixon as an early purchaser in Eastham.

Easthamlibrary.org has a transcription of his land transactions there, the first dated 1654. He owned considerable land at Eastham, including low meadow on Pochet Flats, meadow between the Bay and the Creek at the harbor mouth at Namskaket, 20 acres at Pochet Island, meadow at Billingsgate, marsh at Rock Harbor, meadow at Blackfish River, 40 acres at Little Namskaket, land at Little Billingsgate. The land owned by Robert Wixon described in these deeds amounts to about 110 acres. Pretty amazing for someone who came here as a servant.

Robert Wixon died Eastham in October 1686. He is most likely buried in an unmarked grave at Cove Burying Ground. 
Image result for robert and alice wixon
Cemetery where Robert and Alice Wixon are possibly buried

His will was written 1 October 1686, proved ten days later. His widow Alice Wixam appeared before the court 18 October 1686 and testified that the inventory of her husband's estate was correct, taking the oath before John Freeman, Assistant.

Will of Robert Wixam says he was very weak of body but sound and mind and "but dayly expecting his change" and includes references to God. It names his wife Alce (Alice) as executrix, with son-in-law Nathaniel Mayo to offer her assistance.

Daughter Jemimah to receive one browne cow with a star on its forehead, one hive of bees, room in the house and privileges in the orchard as long as she is unmarried.

Grandchild Nathaniel Mayo: one calf (this would be his late daughter Elizabeth’s child).

Rest of personal estate, after debts paid, to loving wife Alice for her support during her natural life, including part of house she lives in and orchard.

Son Titus Wixam: other part of dwelling house and out housing and all land on that side of highway house stands upon and all meadow adjoining it, half acre meadow in Rock Harbor, lying between the house and Thomas Williams' meadow. Other part of house after wife's decease, parcel of upland between mouth of Little Skaket and Rock Harbor and small upland above the highway of 2 acres he now improves with.

Son Barnabas Wixam: remaining 30 acres above the highway with meadow and marsh in Namescakitt by the beach and small parcel of meadow at Rock Harbor between Giles Hopkins and Daniel Cole.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thomas Tupper 1578-1676 Sandwich, Mass.



Thomas Tupper was born Bury, Sussex Co., England 28 (or 27) January 1578, the son of Henry Tupper. According to the Tupper Family Association, he grew up on a farm at Bignor (near Bury), West Sussex County in Southern England at the foothills of the South Downs and that Tupper descendants still live on this beautiful land. Thomas is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Thomas Tupper was one of the “Ten Men From Saugus” who founded the town of Sandwich. I have read that Thomas was the only exception of the “Ten” who do not come off well as participants in early town government. In the case of the marshlands’ allocation, they show themselves as distinctly indifferent to the interests of their fellow townsmen. The ten founders declared themselves owners of all the marsh along the shores near their farms, forcing others to go much further away for salt hay. Not very welcoming or neighborly!

Plaque at Sandwich Town Hall


Thomas received a bequest from wealthy man named Dennis Geere who contract smallpox aboard the Abigail in 1635. Tupper was probably on that ship as well.

Thomas was a shoemaker by trade. Apparently he was also on crews of several boats from England to US, where he eventually decided to stay.

He is listed as a long-term Sandwich settler of the original 62 that came 1637-1640 and was the oldest man among those first settlers.

He was married three times:
First to Katherine Gator in 29 April 1622, Parish of Chelmsford, Essex County, England. He had children Katherine and Robert (who died in infancy) with her. She died before January 1628 when Thomas remarried.

Second, he married Susan Turner, a widow, on 25 January 1628/29, in Topsfield, Mass. and had Thomas (who died in infancy) and Robert, who married Deborah Perry and returned to England. She died in Topsfield in 1634, but I don’t have a source for that.

He married third widow Anne Hodgson on 21 December 1634. With Anne he had a son Thomas who grew up to marry Martha Mayhew and have a large family in Sandwich.

I descend from Katherine who married Benjamin Nye of Sandwich.

At age 65, Thomas was likely the oldest man in Sandwich listed as able to bear arms in 1643. He was allowed to solemnize marriages in Sandwich as a reputable senior and did lay preaching in town. He served the town in many ways. He was town clerk and deputy to the court.  In 1644 the town meeting warned the selectmen to repair the meetinghouse and several people agreed to pay Thomas Tupper in corn "for as many bolts as would shingle the old meeting house." In 1645 Thomas Tupper was on committee appointed by court to investigate Kenelm Winslow's charge of injustice in his suit against John Maynard, but committee found charge untrue. In 1650 he was one of the men that improved the parsonage for Rev. Leverich. Part of committee of five men ordered at 21 November 1651 town meeting to make a levy of six pounds for the payment of the Clerk and the committees. Town Meeting 22 May 1652 committee of four men named, including Goodman Burgess Sr. and Goodman Tupper shall have power to call a town meeting. Served on committee of five men approved at the 13 May 1654 town meeting to buy Indian lands, the area of Manomet. The first selectmen found in Sandwich records were in 1667, and included Thomas Tupper Sr. In June 1676 a special committee of four was named, including Thomas Tupper, to take an account of the town's debts as a result of The Indian War.

The only black mark against him in records is when he was accused of “light and lascivious carriage” toward the adultress Anne Lynceford but was only admonished.

In October 1658 brought a new land regulation resulted in some of Thomas Tupper's land being taken for a dock and access road for the town (currently Harbor Street).

A map depicting 1667 settlers' home locations in Sandwich Village and Spring Hill shows Thomas lived on what became Dock Lane off Main Street on the right hand side near Tupper Road and Town Neck.  The Jarves Street to Ox Pasture Neck area. His neighbors were Richard Bourne, James Skiffe, William Bassett and Nathaniel Fish. All but Fish are my direct descendants, showing how cozy neighbors were!

The Tupper House on the Back Street (later Tupper Road) seems to have been first occupied by John and Katherine Briggs (they are also my direct descendants) and their two children. Could well date from 1637 and was then taken over by Thomas Jr., the only son of Thomas Senior.  It was tragically burned by an arsonist in 1921, just a year after the Tupper Family Association restored the house. A boulder marks the spot on Tupper Road, which is now a Memorial Park. The Tupper Family Association owned the house and after it was destroyed developed a Memorial Park where there is a stone marker in Thomas and Anne’s name.
Thomas Tupper's house in Sandwich  source: Tupper Family Association

The first reference to Mashpee lands occurs in Plymouth Colony Records in 1654: The freemen of Sandwich viz Mr. John Vincent, Thomas Burgess, Thomas Tupper, Richard Bourne and James Skiffe desired some several parcels of land at the places following: viz some land by Marshpee Pond and 10 acres of meadow; some land by Santuit Pond to the value of one hundred acres; a neck of land by Cotuit River to keep cattle; certain meadow lying upon and about a place called Mannamuch Bay.
Monument at site of Tupper's house in Sandwich

A Thomas Tupper was involved in mission work with Native Americans in the Herring Pond area. Although it seems likely this is his son of the same name, Thomas may have been involved earlier. Thomas Jr. was not ordained, but mastered the Indian language and was able to preach.

Thomas Tupper died Sandwich 28 March 1676, in his 98th year, a remarkably long life for that era. His death is recorded in Sandwich Vital Records: Thomas Tupper Senir: Deceased the 28th of March Anno Dom one Thousand six hundred seaventy and six; hee Died in the 98th yeer of his age, and 2cond month.

Anne Tupper’s death is recorded directly after her husband’s in Sandwich Vital Records: Anne Tupper, deceased the 4th of June 1676 in the 90th year of her age.

You can learn more about the Tupper Family Association at www.tupperfamily.org.



Sources:
Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its History and People 1620-1691, 1986

Barbara Gill, CCGS Bulletin, Spring 2005, article on The Ten Men From Saugus

Simeon L. Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts," 1890

RA Lovell, Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, by RA Lovell, Jr., 1996

Thomas 1 Tupper and His Descendants, As Communicated by the Tupper Family Association, NEHGR, vol, 99, 1945

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Edmund Freeman born 1590, died 1682, Sandwich, Mass.





Edmund Freeman was born about 1590, Pulborough, Sussex, England, the son of Edmund and Alice (Coles) Freeman.  He was baptized there 25 July 1596 at St. Mary's Church.  He is my 11th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

 
St. Mary's, Pulburough (source pulburough.org)
Edmund came to America aboard the Abigail in 1635, which was at sea for 10 weeks and experienced a smallpox outbreak. He settled first Saugus (now Lynn), later moving to Sandwich as the leader of the “Ten Men From Saugus,” who founded Sandwich according to a 3 April 1637 grant by the King. He was also in Duxbury and Plymouth at one time (made a freeman at Plymouth on 2 Jan 1637).
 
Plaque at Sandwich Town Hall
Edmund witnessed the will of wealthy man named Dennis Geere who developed smallpox on the Abigail and who left bequests to several men, including Thomas Tupper and Benjamin Nye, who were probably fellow passengers. They all became part of the group that moved with Freeman, or soon after, to Sandwich.

He married, first, Bennett Hodsoll in Cowfold, Sussex, 16 June 1617.  She was baptized Pulborough on 25 July 1596, the daughter of daughter of John and Anne (Maundy) Hodsoll. She died at Pulborough in April 1630.  His second wife was Elizabeth (possibly Raymer but haven’t found proof of her maiden name), whom he married 10 August 1632 in Shapley, Sussex.

Edmund had at least six children. 

By Bennett:
Alice, b. 1618, m. William Paddy
Edmund, b. 1620, m. Rebecca Prence and Margaret Perry
Bennett, b. 1622, died young
Elizabeth, b. 1624, m. John Ellis
John, 1627,  m. Mercy Prence
Nathaniel, b. 1629, died as a newborn

His second wife, Elizabeth, had a daughter, Mary, who may have been by her first husband. Also may have had a daughter Margaret by her first husband.

Mary and Margaret are often given as children of Edmund and they were certainly members of his household in Sandwich. They were likely children of his second wife by her first husband. Mary married in 1653 Edward Perry and Margaret married Edmund Freeman, 3rd, as his second wife after the death of Rebecca Prence who died soon after their marriage. 

Edmund's 1st and 6th children were baptized at Pulborough and the middle four at Billingshurst.  Even though the towns are about 6 miles apart, the parishes are contiguous. Edmond apparently owned land in both parishes. 

I descend from John as well as Elizabeth.

Seems to have had some education, as he wrote a letter preserved in facsimile (in Bradford's history of Plymouth Plantation) shows care and perhaps business training. It is probable that by his marriage he rose in social scale and bettered his prospects. About two years after his marriage, he appears to have removed from Pulborough to Billingshurst, a parish about six miles northeast, as his younger children were baptized there.
 
St. Mary's, Billingshurst (source: stmarysbillingshurst.org)
When Edmund came to Massachusetts with his wife Elizabeth in 1635, he was called Edward age 34, husbandman. Elizabeth was 35. The children that came with them were: Alice age 17, Edmund age 15, Elizabeth age 12, and John age 8. It doesn’t appear he came for religious reasons, but rather for opportunity. He was involved in a lawsuit against his late wife Bennet’s family on behalf of his children and others.

Edmund presented to the colony 20 “corsletts” which were pieces of plate armor. He was frequently referred to as “Mr.,” which was little used then, generally for men of substance. He was a person of prestige as a brother-in-law of John Beauchamp of London, an investor in Colonial ventures with a stake in Plymouth Colony.

Edmund was active in civic affairs and clearly an important and well regarded member of the community. He was assistant Governor to Gov. William Bradford for seven consecutive terms beginning in 1640. He was on the Council of War in 1642; Deputy to the General Court in 1646.

Edmund Freeman Sen with sons Edmund and John were on the 1643 Sandwich able to bear arms list.

In 1645 Captain William Vassal of Scituate petitioned the Plymouth Court to legalize the toleration of all religious beliefs. The court of seven plus the governor was evidently divided; Edmund was probably in favor of toleration. The older Pilgrims had become more conservative. First the matter was delayed, then never raised again. This was a turning point for the Colony, which then started requiring Church attendance and penalizing criticism of the ministers or government.

His two sons that survived to manhood both married daughters of Gov. Thomas Prence.

Edmund Freeman was sworn in as Assistant Governor 2 June 1640 and continued to be elected annually through the year beginning June 1645. Some of his assignments included: hearing causes in the Cape towns, hearing a case at Yarmouth on land boundaries, see a maid whipped for stealing at Barnstable, see Anne Lynceford whipped for adultery at Yarmouth as well as her consort Thomas Bray, other offenders to be whipped at Barnstable. In March 1641/42 he himself was presented for lending a gun to an Indian. Something about him that I find admirable.

During Quaker troubles he always spoke of moderation, something that may have cost him re-election as Assistant Governor in 1646. Edward Winslow wrote that Edmund was “left out” because of his professed Anabaptistry and separation from the Church. Edmund’s tolerance during a very intolerant time makes him one of my favorite ancestors. He clearly had liberal leanings and men like him made Plymouth Colony a more tolerant place than Massachusetts Bay was at the time.

His first residence in Sandwich was in the eastern part of town, sold by deed "first mo, 5th 1671" to William Allen. Part of old house was still standing in 1875. Quakers say it was first place in Sandwich where Friends meetings were held.

He was often involved in financial matters with the Plymouth Colony investors, including his brother-in-law Beauchamp. He went back to England at least once, possibly necessitated by family interests in Sussex. Only known result is that he brought back a consignment of hats to sell valued at 52 pounds.

Again his Quaker sympathies were evident when in 1659 he was fined 10 shillings for refusal to aid the Town Marshal in his proceedings against his Quaker neighbors. His stepdaughter’s husband Edward Perry was also present, and was fined 20 shillings for abusive speech to the Marshal. In 1645 he received John Beauchamp's power of attorney to collect 400 pounds due to Beauchamp. He raised the sum through receiving pledges based on real estate and houses owned by the eight original Undertakers. This couldn’t have made him popular with his fellow New Englanders and may have also contributed to his not being re-elected to the Court in 1646. After this he seemed to have withdrawn almost totally from public life, until the end of his life 36 years later. Some historians say he had the gifts of a peacemaker.

A number of men were fined for refusing to assist George Barlow, special marshal for Sandwich, to enforce laws against Quakers. Sandwich's eminent citizen Mr. Edmond Freeman was fined 10 shillings on 6 Oct 1659.

The founders of Sandwich received criticism for allotting themselves a large portion of meadows at Sandwich, resulting in a warning from Plymouth Colony’s court.

In 1646 he was elected deputy from Sandwich. He was significantly fined for non-appearance at the main election and law making session. After this he seemed to have withdrawn almost totally from public life for the last 36 years of his life. Edmund Freeman Sr. was elected Constable in 1650, a minor office for one of his background, but this may be a transcription mistake of Sr. for Jr.

In 1651 Freeman received land in division. There are no records of the original grants to the 60 families. Edmund's lands were very extensive and included the whole of Plymouth Neck, also called Freeman's Knob, now Sagamore Hill. He lived near Scusset Marsh. Much of his land passed to his sons John and Edmund who lived in the Ploughed Neck area. When John moved to Eastham, Edmund made sure the land stayed in the family until the time of the American Revolution when it was broken up and sold off.

When his daughter (or step daughter) Mary married Edward Perry, they refused to be married by the person authorized to conduct marriages in Sandwich or by the magistrate. The Court must have been angry that Edmund allowed this to happen in his family.

At the 11 May 1664 town meeting, Edmund named to a committee of three men to make a new agreement with Thomas Dexter about grinding the town's corn.

Appointed selectman in 1668 and served 11 years.

In 1672 Mr. Edm Freeman Sr and four others were requested to settle and confirm the township with the sachem of Manomet (now Monument).

On the 1675 list of Sandwich men allowed to vote at Town Meeting.

In 1676, Edmund was charged with recruiting freely Indians as allies in the war against King Philip.

A letter written by Edmond Freeman:
Sr thse may please your worship to understand that I have appointed my son William Paddy to receve of you for the Corne which I was to have of the last yeare. I desire you would satisfy to him for so much as I paid for yt long sins, which is I think 11 li 13s 4d. ther was A cow appointed by Mr. Andrews for Mr Williams of providens. I desire you woulde be pleased to send me word whether you have any or noe or mony to buy for him; I have directiones from him to that effect that Mr Williams may have a Cow to keepe her for haufe the calfes I the rather make bold to entreat your answer because Mr. Williams hath sent ot me often tymes abought yt. With my salutations ot you in the lord & to all those that seeke the Lord with you, I take Leave your worshipes to use Edmond Ffreeman & pr.
Last moneth 25 days 1645 (Feb 25, 1645/46?)

Elizabeth Freeman died in February 14, 1675/76 in Sandwich.

Edmund Freeman died in Sandwich in 1682. He was age 92 at the time of his death, the last of the Ten Men From Saugus. He is buried on what was his land in Sandwich, next to his wife Elizabeth. It is the oldest known burying place in Sandwich and their graves marked by large rocks, referred to as the Saddle and Pillion. The site is 1.25 miles west of Town Hall.


Edmund and Elizabeth's burial location, now on private property in Sandwich



Will dated 21 Jun 1682, proved 2 Nov 1682. Names sons Edmond, John, Edward Perry (likely his stepdaughter’s husband), daughter Elizabeth Ellis, grandsons Mattias Freeman and Thomas Paddy. Children had already been sharing his estate through grants before his death.  

Inventory of his estate, 4 October 1682, included linens, pewter, belmettle mortar and pestle, silver, feather beds, brass kettle, iron pots, one desk, chests, trunks, earthen pot, lumber, clothes, 2 halt-brushes, one dictionary and great Bible. Totaled 28 pounds 8 shillings 10 pence. Added on 22 October: one gun, one 3 year old steer, one flaggan and iron crow, more lumber, one double silver salt cellar. Land at Sandwich worth 150 pounds, land at Weequansitt 5 shillings, totaled 161 pounds in addition to 29 8 10 of personal property.

Sources:

Frederick Freeman, Freeman Genealogy in three parts, viz: I. Memorial of Edmund Freeman of Sandwich and his desc., II Memorial of Samuel Freeman of Watertown and his Desc., III Notes, Historical and Genealogical of Families of the Name of Freeman, distinct from Parts I and II, or whose connection is not clearly ascertained,1875.

Torrey's New England Marriages

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691

Henry Kittredge, Cape Cod Its People and Their History, 1930

RA Lovell, Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, 1996

Richard L. Bush, English Ancestry of Bennett Hodsoll, First Wife of Edmond1 Freeman of Sandwich, Massachusetts, NEHGR April 2010

Mary Walton Ferris, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines..., vol II, 1931

Robert Charles Anderson,  The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, vol. II, C-F, 2001

Simeon L. Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890

Richard L. Bush, English Ancestry of Bennett Hodsoll, First Wife of Edmond1 Freeman of Sandwich, Massachusetts, NEHGR April 2010