Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Monday, October 11, 2021

William Freeborne ca 1594 to 1670, Essex, England to Portsmouth, Rhode Island


William Freeborne (also seen as Freeborn/Freebourne) was born, possibly Maldon, Essex, England, about 1594. He married Mary Willson there on 25 July 1625. They are my 9th great-grandparents on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Ellis Davis’ side of the family. I haven’t done research on their English ancestry, so any leads are welcome!

St. Mary's, Maldon, Essex

William (age 40) and Mary (age 33), with their daughters Mary, 7, Sarah, 2, and John Allbury age 14, came to Boston from Ipswich, England on the ship Francis in 1634. He first settled at Roxbury (admitted to church and made a freeman there in 1634), then Boston (1637) and finally Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island where he signed the Compact in 1638 as one of the founders of the town. The Compact outlined a non-sectarian civil government consented to by all the inhabitants and was to have a Christian focus. I always find my rebellious ancestors so fascinating!

source: Wikipedia

The 1640/41 list of freeman of Portsmouth and Newport includes William Freeborne.  He was on the 1655 list of Portsmouth freeman. He was granted 140 acres at Portsmouth in 1639/40. Portsmouth was founded by religious dissenters (including Anne Hutchinson) whose beliefs ran contrary to the Puritan Church teachers so were banished from Massachusetts.

William was a miller by trade. He served his community in a variety of other ways: as constable for Newport and Portsmouth in 1641/2 and for Portsmouth in 1653; Portsmouth’s Deputy to the RI General Court in 1657; Portsmouth Selectman 1639; Assessor in 1651/2; overseer and collector for the poor 1654; Town Council 1655; served on jury 1649. He was literate as he signed his deeds and as well as deeds he witnessed.

William's signature from the above Compact

William and Mary had three children:

Mary, baptized Maldon, Essex, 1627; m. Clement Weaver

Sarah, baptized 1631, Maldon, Essex; m. Nathaniel Browning 1650; died Portsmouth 1670 at age 38

Gideon, born about 1639; m. Sarah Brownell, 2nd Mary Boomer Lawton

I descend from Sarah who was deeded Portsmouth land from her father (as Sara Browninge wife of Nathanill) in 1652(?/3) and 1660. I wrote about Sarah and Nathaniel here.

On 20 November 1637 William Freeborn was among the Boston men disarmed for their support of Rev. John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson (part of Free Grace movement which was contrary to Puritan teachings). On 12 March 1637/8, the Massachusetts General Court gave 11 men, including William Freeborne, license to depart or if they remained they would have to answer at next Court. That same month, William Freeborne was one of the men who attended an organizational meeting for the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

William purchased a mill with land and housing from Samuell Wilbore Junior of Portsmouth in 1654, that had belonged to his father Wilbore and father Porter (also ancestors of mine). In 1655 he purchased a water will, with house and land, from James Sands of Portsmouth.

In 1654 William purchased an 80 acre great lot in Portsmouth from Thomas Lawton.

Plaque/Portsmouth Compact/Founders Brook

At some point William and Mary became Quakers, as their deaths are recorded in Society of Friends records. William died at Portsmouth 28 April 1670, age about 76 years (record says he was 80 but that is likely inflated). His wife Mary died five days later, on 3 May 1670, age 80 (more like 69, so also likely inflated). Burial location unknown.

On 30 April 1670, the court discussed the estate of late William Freeborn of Portsmouth saying he ordered the disposition of his visible estate but did not clearly express who would administer his estate. His son Gideon was named executor; he was to take into his hands all the lands of his late father. Gideon was expected to pay legacies (within 14 days) according to his father’s wishes: sister Mary Weaver 20 pounds in “Island pay” and 20 pounds to children of his deceased sister Sarah Browninge. Robert Denals and John Lapum named overseers.


Charles Edward Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1620-1640, 1930, Reprint 2006

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration 1634-35, vol II, 1995

Jane Fletcher Fiske, Portsmouth Loose Papers, Rhode Island Roots, March 1996, vol 22

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Samuel Eddy 1608-1688, Cranbrook, Kent, England and Plymouth, Massachusetts

Samuel Eddy was baptized at Cranbrook, Kent, England 15 May 1608, the son of William and Mary (Fosten) Eddy. His name is spelled in a variety of ways in records, including Edey and Eddye. He migrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1630, likely with his brother John on board the Handmaid. They arrived at Plymouth Harbor on 29 October 1630 after a very stormy 12 weeks at sea. He is my 11th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis side of the family.

St. Dunstan Church, Cranston, Kent

Samuel and John planned to initially settle in Boston and traveled there with Myles Standish. They were turned away because they didn’t have the correct letters of removal from Plimoth Colony. John later returned with the proper documentation, eventually settling in Watertown, but Samuel remained at Plymouth.

Samuel emigrated with means as on 9 May 1631 Experience Mitchell sold him his dwelling house, garden plot and fence for 20 pounds. In 1636 he was granted three acres next to the lands of John Dunham the elder. That he had at least one servant is also confirmed in records, as Thomas Brian ran away from service to him in January 1633, for which he was punished by a private whipping.

In his 20 August 1616 will, William Eddy bequeathed to his son Samuel 100 pounds of English money when he reach the age of 22, as well as one little silver salt when he reached age 21. 

Samuel married by 1637 Elizabeth, whose maiden is not known with certainty. It is possible she was the sister of Thomas Savory, based on references made in various deeds, but this isn’t conclusive. There is also a theory that she was a daughter of Thomas Rogers who was a Mayflower passenger. Elizabeth and Samuel likely married at Plymouth where their first child was born. They were members of the Plymouth Church. 

Elizabeth and Samuel had five known children:

John born 1637 at Plymouth

Zachariah born about 1639

Caleb born about 1643

Obadiah born about 1645

Hannah born 1647; no further record

I descend through Obadiah who married Bennet Ellis.

Samuel was a tailor. In 1678 the town of Plymouth paid “Goodman Edey viz: Samuell Edey” five shillings for making clothes for soldiers in time of war. Amazing that at age 70, Samuel was still making clothes.

He was admitted a freeman at Plymouth on 1 January 1633/34 and was on the 1643 list of Plymouth men able to bear arms.

Plaque honoring Samuel & John Eddy's 300th anniversary of their journey to America, Brewster Gardens, Plymouth

Samuel must have spent his inheritance on his passage, purchasing real estate, and supporting his family. Although he was early on referred to as a gentleman, it doesn’t appear he prospered in Plymouth, aside from his being a land holder. There wouldn’t have been much call for his tailoring skills and working the land was something he did with no training. Court documents show that Samuel and his wife Elizabeth had not the means to raise their many children, so John (at age 7), Caleb (at age 9) and Zachariah (at age 7) were put into service with other families until the age of 20 or 21.

By 1638 Samuel was rated among the “poore of the town,” receiving four shares in a black heifer as such. In 1644 he again received access to a cow that was part of the “poores stock” and again in 1648. From this point onward, there is no mention of his being on any lists of the poor, so things must have improved for him.

On 6 July 1638 Samuel Eddy sold to Richard Clough for 40 bushels of Indian corn “all that his house and garden in Plymouth wherein the said Samuel now dwelleth.” On the same day, Nicholas Snow sold to Samuel Eddy for the same amount “all that his house and garden adjoining with the fence in & about the same in Plymouth wherein the said Nicholas now dwelleth.”

In 1640 Samuel, with several of his neighbors, bought a large tract of land from the Indians and founded the town of Middleborough. His portion included several hundred acres in the northern section of town and a part of the town of Halifax. Although Samuel didn’t remove to Middleborough, his son Obadiah lived there, as did his descendants, in what became the village of Eddyville.

In 1641 Samuel Eddy was granted six acres of upland lying on the northwest side of Fresh Lake (aka Billington Sea), about the fishing place, 30 acres of upland at the Narragansett Hill (where battle between the Narrangansetts and Pochanockets occurred) and 4 acres of meadow.

On 7 March 1642(/43?) John Allen sold to Samuel Eddy, all his house, barns and buildings with the lands thereunto belonging at Willingsly and Woeberry Plain. On 3 March 1645(/46?) he sold to John Thompson his house and garden and adjoining three acres at Spring Hill, Plymouth. On 20 March 1647 (/48?) he sold one acre of marsh meadow to Experience Mitchell of Duxbury.

As early as March 1651, Samuel Eddy had interest and “proprieties” in land at Punckateesett Necke, Plymouth.

On 14 July 1667 Samuel Eddy was granted six acres of meadow at South Meadow Brook. On 5 August 1672, Samuel Eddy, along with four neighbors, was granted the swamp at Wellingsley near the brook.  Samuel “Eedy” was one of five men who on 7 June 1659 were “desiring some proportions of land to accommodate them for their posterities,” which was granted by the court. He was on the 3 June 1662 list of those permitted to seek some accommodation of land as being the first borne children of this government (perhaps this is through connection of his wife Elizabeth).

On 20 February 1662, Thomas Savory of Plymouth deed to Samuel Eddy of Plymouth, tailor, land at Punckateesett in Plymouth, lying against “Road Iland” in exchange for a parcel of upland and meadow at Four Mile Brook in Plymouth, as well as six acres near Fresh Lake, Plymouth.

On 24 March 1662/63, “Samuel Eedey senir” of Plymouth, tailor, granted to his two sons Zachariah and Obadiah Eedy, land granted to him in June 1662 at Namassakett, reserving six acres for his own use and then after his death they would receive that as well. Samuel would also be permitted to winter three cows on the sons’ share of land. Son Caleb would receive a quarter of the land if he desired it.

On 7 March 1671/2, Samuel Eddy of Plymouth, tailor, sold to Steven Bryant Senior of Plymouth, land at Major’s Purchase lying near Namassekeesett Pond. This was acknowledged by Samuel and Elizabeth his wife.

On 7 October 1651, Elizabeth Eeddy was presented to court for laboring on the Lord’s Day, in time of public exercise. Her transgression was wringing and hanging out laundry. (PCR 2:173) She was fined 10 shillings, which was remitted. On 1 May 1660, Elizabeth Eedey was again summoned to court for traveling from Plymouth to Boston on the Lord’s day. Elizabeth told the court that “Mistris Saffin” was very weak and sent for her and she had an earnest desire to see her. Court admonished her and she was discharged from the Court (PCR 3:186).

Samuel Eddy died 12 November 1688 at Swansea, recorded Plymouth Church records. Elizabeth Eddy died 24 May 1689 “in her 82nd year at the end of it,” also recorded Plymouth Church records. It seems that Samuel and Eddy went to live in Swansea with their adult children in their later years, circa 1681. Their stones do not survive, but it is believed they are buried at the Eddy Family Burial Ground in Swansea. There is a plaque at son Zachariah’s burial plot which also honors his parents Samuel and Elizabeth Eddy, place there at a later date by the Eddy Family Association.


Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1995 (see this sketch for land deed references)

 Zacheriah Eddy, Capt. Joshua Eddy, NEHGR, volume 8, July 1854

David Jay Webber, The Mayflower Quarterly, "Was Samuel Eddy's Wife Elizabeth a Daughter of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower?: A Review and Reassessment of Some Observations of Eugene Aubrey Stratton," Summer 2021

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Constant Southworth ca 1615-1679 and Elizabeth Collier of Plymouth and Duxbury, Massachusetts

Constant Southworth was born about 1615, possibly at Leiden, Holland as that’s where his parents married, the son of Edward and Alice (Carpenter) Southworth. Constant’s father died and his mother came to Plymouth and married Gov. William Bradford in 1623. Constant came to Plymouth in 1628, probably on the White Angel. His brother Thomas came to Plymouth at a later time and it is assumed the boys lived with their mother and stepfather. Southworth is spelled in a variety of ways in records including Southward and Sowthworth.

Constant “Southword” and Elizabeth Collyer were married 2 November 1637 at Plymouth. Elizabeth was baptized St. Olave, Southwark, Surrey, 9 March 1618/19, the daughter of William and Jane (Clark) Collier. Her father was an important man in the colony. Constant and Elizabeth are my 12th great grandparents on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Elizabeth and Constant had nine children born Plymouth and Duxbury:

Mercy, m. Samuel Freeman

Priscilla m. 1st Samuel Talbot and 2nd John Irish

Edward, m. Mary Pabodie

Alice, m. Benjamin Church

Nathaniel, m. Desire Gray

Mary, m. David Alden

William, m. 2st Rebecca Pabodie, Martha Kirtland Blague

Elizabeth, m. Samuel Gallup

Not surprisingly the offspring of the “power marriage” of Constant and Elizabeth married into prominent families. I descend from Mercy.

Constant was an influential man in the Colony. He was made freeman in 1637/38, was on the 1643 list of men able to bear arms and in 1648 was licensed to sell wine. He also owned a grist mill at Stony Brook (later known as Mill Brook) in Duxbury. At various times he served as treasurer, Assistant to the Governor, Deputy to the court, constable, served on war councils, was ensign in the Duxbury Military Company, and Commissary General during King Philip’s War. He often served on committees that divided lands, settled bounds, organized repairing of bridges, allowing trade at “Kennebeck.” That he was a man of some learning is also shown as his inventory included books.


 Constant received various land grants:  Mr. William Bradford arranged for land occupied by George Soule to go to Constant and his brother in 1636, received 50 acres at North River with proportionable meadow in 1640 and in 1665 “a competency” of land at Namasskett with three other men. He and George Pollerd purchased a mill in Duxbury at Stoney River from William Hillier in 1646. In 1646/7, he sold all his Island Creek lands and meadows to William Bradford and in 1648 he and his brother sold 100 acres at North River to Francis Godfrey.


A map depicting Duxbury in 1637 shows the home of Constant and Elizabeth Southworth near what is now Tremont Street.  In 1645 he was an original proprietor of Bridgewater but did not move there.

Constant Southworth died at Duxbury between 11 March 1678/79.  In his 27 Feb 1678/79 will he names his wife Elizabeth; sons Edward, Nathaniel and William; daughters Mercy Freeman, Alice Church, Mary Alden, Elizabeth Southworth (who was to receive a bequest as long as she didn’t marry William Fobes), Priscilla Southworth; grandson Constant Freeman; cousin Elizabeth Howland; brother Thomas. In the 15 March 1678/79 inventory, his estate was valued at 360 pounds and disturbingly included an Indian boy worth 10 pounds. It also lists real estate, without valuation including about 25 acres in Duxbury where his house, barn and grist mill were located, parcel of land at North Field, several parcels of meadow, totaling about 12 acres, in Duxbury and Marshfield, one share of land called “Freeman’s Land” near Taunton, land and meadow at Paomett in Eastham.


Justin Winsor, “History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers,” 1849

Eugene Stratton, "Plymouth Colony It's History and People," 1986

Robert Charles Anderson, “The Great Migration Begins,” 1995