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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nicholas Nickerson 1628-1682 Yarmouth (now Dennis) Mass.

Nicholas Nickerson was baptized Norwich, Norfolkshire, England on 10 August 1628 at St. Peter's Permontergate, apparently named after his grandfather Busby. 
St. Peter's Permontergate, Norfolk

He was one of the ten children of William Nickerson and Anne Busby. His first name is spelled in a variety of ways in records, including Nicolas, as is his last name which can be seen as Nicarson and Nicholson. 

Nicholas was the only child of William and Anne's to stay in Yarmouth, even though his name was on his family’s 4 July 1663 petition to leave Yarmouth to settle at Monomoy. The Nickersons were the founding family of that town (now Chatham). Nicholas was not deeded any his father’s 4,000 acres at Monomoy.

Nicholas married first, about 1655, a woman whose name is unknown, but may have been a daughter of William Bassett. A Burgess genealogy states she was Esther Bassett. No sources provided for these claims.

He took the oath of fidelity at Yarmouth in 1657.

Nicholas married second, about 1663,  Mary Darby or Derby. She was born about 1644, daughter of John and Alice (maiden named unknown) Darby. 

Some people say Mary was his only wife, but she would have been too young to have all his children and likely was the mother of his last five children. 

Children by first wife, born Yarmouth:
1. Hester/Esther who married Jonathan White, son of Peregrine.
2. William who m. Mary Snow
3. Elizabeth who probably did not marry
By second wife Mary, born Yarmouth:
4. John who married Elizabeth Baker
5. A child who died in 1667 (a Coroner’s Jury showed child died because of a piece of pumpkin shell lodged in his or her windpipe)
6. Mary who married Simon Crosby
7. Sarah who married John Burgess
8. Patience who was single in May 1706

I descend from Nicholas and Mary’s son John as well as their daughter Sarah. 

His homestead was on the eastern shore of Bass River, in the present village of South Dennis. His land was to the south of the Ancient (Town Hall) Cemetery and southward to the Congregational Church and Grand Cove of Bass River. 
First Comers to Dennis   Source: CCGS Bulletin Spring 2001

Some think the Ancient Town Cemetery was first a small pox burying ground; others think it was an extension of an Indian burying ground as Indian remains are found immediately west of the cemetery. Many of the early settlers of South Dennis and West Dennis are probably buried here, as well as people without means or families. There are literally hundreds of unmarked graves and no map or record of interments exists in the town.

On 5 June 1667, he was complained of by the Yarmouth selectmen for not attending church. 

On 5 July 1667 was in court for speaking against Rev. Thornton. By this time Nicholas’s father and siblings had moved to Chatham where they could debate religious matters undisturbed. For reasons unknown, Nicholas chose to remain in Yarmouth. Nicholas said half of Rev. Thornton’s sermon was lies, which was on the second chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Nicholas said that Thornton declared that if a man did not have money to pay towards the minister's maintenance, he must borrow it of his neighbor. He agreed to apologize publicly, but something tells me his apology wasn't genuine!  

His death is recorded Yarmouth VR p 125 as "Nacklis Neckerson.” He died 26 March 1681/82, at about age 54. His inventory was taken 26 March 1681/82, and the estate was settled 31 October 1682. 

The value of the estate totaled over 129 pounds, from which 4 pounds was subtracted for debts owed by the estate. His inventory included housing and seven acres of meadow; farm animals; a musket, fowling piece and knives; a long list of  household items including pewter, earthenware and a silver spoon; three Bibles; corn and wheat; clothing; tools including a grindstone, tobacco tongs and blacksmith tools;  flax, cotton and wool.

Some time after the 7 Sept 1683 death of Abraham Blush, the Court ordered that the land on Monk's Hill in Plymouth should be divided between Widow Blush (formerly the wife of John Derby) and Widow Nicarson, who had received nothing of her father, John Darby, deceased.

Mary died 16 Mar 1705-6, Yarmouth. Her son John was named administrator of her estate on 16 April 1706. The division of her estate was settled 14 May 1706 and included all of her children, step-children and sons in law, although it does not specify whether they are her children or step-children. It was signed by William, John, Elizabeth, and Patience Nickerson, children, and Jonathan White of Yarmouth, Simon Crosby of Harwich and John Burg (Burgess) of Yarmouth, sons-in-law.  

Items named in the settlement of her estate included land that was Nicholas’s in Yarmouth, land in Plymouth called Monks Hill, her dwelling house and adjoining lands, and small amounts of money and clothing to be given to her family.

Sources Not Included Above:
Nickerson Family Association, The Nickerson Family: The Descendants of William Nickerson (1604-1689) First Settler of Chatham, Massachusetts covering seven generations beginning with William Nickerson and Anne Busby, various volumes

Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884

Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis Cape Cod: From Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1996

Burton Derick, Cemetery Inscriptions of Dennis, Massachusetts, 1993
Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, Dennis First Comers, Spring 2001
James W. Hawes, Cape Cod Library, Volume II, Nickerson. Children of William (1) Nickerson, CW Swift Publisher and Printer, 1912

Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts, 1900


  1. My 10th great grandfather was Nicholas and his daughter Sarah was my 9th I love reading your blog.

    1. Blogger hasn't been consistently notifying me of comments left here, so I'm playing catch up. Thanks for your nice comment!

  2. I'm a derby. My great great 8th Grandfather is john Darby born 1628 I think he married mary wattles 1-90. I have not a road blocks.. any one that can help? I'm tanya Nadine Derby


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