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, November 4, 2012

John Ryder/Rider (ca 1663-1719) and Esther Hall (1672-before 1719) of Yarmouth, Mass.

John Ryder (also spelled Rider) was born in Yarmouth, Mass. about 1663 (based on age given in a court deposition), the son of John Ryder whose wife’s name is not known (Fremont Ryder has her as Ann ____ with no source). 

Note that CW Swift has John as the son of Zachary Ryder and married to Patience Eldredge, but I believe this is an error. There is a lot of confusion between the two John Ryder's, but descendant Richard Eldridge helped me sort it out a few years back. If anyone has further information or newer references, I’d love to hear from you.

John married Esther (or Hester) Hall about 1691, probably in Yarmouth. She was born 12 April 1672 in Yarmouth, the daughter of John Hall and Priscilla Bearse.

The births of John and Esther’s children are recorded in Yarmouth Vital Records:

yarmouth A regester of the names and Beirths of [worn] John and Heester Rider as ffolloweth
John Rider the son of John and Heester Rider was Boorn upon the : 28th : day of may : 1692 :
Samuell Rider the son of the above said John and Heester Rider was Boorn in feburary 169[worn]
Beathiah Rider the daughtur of said John and Heester Rider was boorn in may: 1697
Hester Rider was borne in aprell 1699:
Marcy Rider was borne in Jun 1701
Zurviah Rider was borne in aprell 1703:
Nathanall Rider was borne in Jun 1705
thankfull Rider : the daughter of the abovesaid John and Ester Rider she was borne the first day of aprill in the yeare : 1709 :
John: & Hester Rider had a daughtur bourn in Aprell : 1694 : Bo[worn] and the said child did dey sudingly after it was borne recorded by me John miller Clarke

I descend through Nathaniel and his wife Desire Godfrey who lived in Chatham.

John was named in Plymouth Court records, which gives his age:
The testemony of James Clarke aged 51 or there abouts testefieth and saith that when the Cunstabel Came to attach the whalle I was att my son thomas Clarks when he Came in & he warned me to goe with him to the bluber & we found two pec: a lettle distanc one from another and then we followed the Rutt of the wheles northre quarte of a mil where we found a other percell then said was two load and Robert bartlet Carried a load to his fathers house
"James Clarke made oath i Court to what is above written March 20th 1689/90: Attest Saml Sprague Clerk"

"The Testemony of John Rider aged 26 yeares or there abouts Testefieth and saith that ye Whale in Contreversy Came on shoare agains a pastur fence belonging to James and Tho: Clarke and farther saith not
"John rider abovesd made Oath in Court march 20th 1689/90 to what is above written Attest Saml Sprague Clerk"

John was named in his father’s 6 March 1702/03 will, with a bequest of 10 shillings. His older brother Ebenezer was to receive his father’s land, but the land is mentioned as abutting John Jr.’s land, so perhaps his father had deeded him land earlier.

John died intestate in Yarmouth but Barnstable County Probate has information on the administration of his estate, dated 11 February 1718/19, naming Samuel Rider (his son) and Ebenezer Rider (his brother) as administrators.

The division of John’s estate was made 7 July 1721, estimated at a value of over 416 pounds. It names his second eldest son, Samuel Ryder, as the administrator. Eldest son John Ryder was to get a double share, believed to be given to him in land during his father's lifetime.  Son Samuel was to receive land named in his inventory (dwelling house, barn, swamp and meadow land), except for the quarter part of the windmill. Remaining personal estate and the share of the windmill were divided between children: Bethyah Eldredge, Esther Smith, Mercy Ryder, Zerviah Ryder, Nathanll Ryder, Hannah Ryder, Thankfull Ryder and Martha Ryder. Each was also to receive 39 Pounds 3 shillings 4 pence.
File:Judah-Baker-windmill back South-Yarmouth-MA-US.JPG
Example of a Cape Cod Windmill: the Judah Baker mill in South Yarmouth

I have not found Esther’s death date, but she died before John as she is not mentioned in the settling of his estate but after the birth of her youngest child in 1709.

Sources Not Listed Above:

CW Swift, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 66 "The Rider Family of Yarmouth," 1913

James W. Hawes, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 98, "Ryder Genealogy" 1912

Fremont Rider, Genealogy of Rider (Ryder) Families, 1959


  1. Thank you for your post, I am a descendant of Thankful Rider. Dau. of John Rider and Hester Hall. What is the connection they have to the original Mayflower Pilgrims? Thank You...Susan

    1. Susan, Unfortunately I don't know of a connection to the Pilgrims. Chris

  2. Any chance John's wife was Hannah Anna Barnes b 1645 D 1691? Ancestry has that name with sources.John would be my son's 9th great grandfather. Most of what I have seen so far has Patience Eldridge as his wife and have the same death date as this Hannah.My Family Histories Genealogies of Dana Ryder has a Web site that shows my son's family line from Charles Hadden Ryder

    1. Hi Constance: There's a lot of conflicting information on various John Ryder's and their wives, so I'm cautious about what I believe. What sources did that ancestry information have? From what I've found Patience Eldridge was the wife of John Ryder/Rider born about 1677. Chris

    2. Dana Ryder who has done most of research on my husbands Ryder line has Samuel Rider Ryder 1601 m Ann Gamlett. 2 John 1636 m Patience Eldridge. 3 John 1663 m Heater Hall. 4 John 1692 m Metitable Crowell. 5 John 1714 m Mary Paine. 6 Ebenezer 1746 m Ann Bethia Young. 7 Ebenezer 1771 m Ann Goldsmith. 8 John 1794 m Rachel Hornibrook .9 Simeon 1819 m Tamzin Perry .10 Charles Hadden 1868 m Mary Jane Thorne . 11 Walter L.m Etta May Corey. 12 My husband born 1950 now deceased. Will try to find his web page and include in my next post, he has dates and sources there. Any chance any of the Godfrey line moved to Canada there are Godfrey`s here on the Miramichi in New Brunswick.

    3. "My Family Histories" rydergenealogy.com is Dana`a web site. Thanks for your time CONNIE BLACK RYDER.

    4. Thanks for the link, Connie. I'm not sure about Godfreys moving to Canada but it wasn't unusual for Cape families to do so. Chris

  3. Hi Chris, My 5th great grandmother was Susannah Rider 1753-1838, married to Capt. John Gray. She was born in Southeast, New York and died in Dorset, VT. I am trying to connect her with her parents. I found in a book "The Grays of Yarmouth" that John Gray married Susannah, daughter of John, Jr. I know through the Silver Books that one of the Johns was married to Mary Paine daughter of Ebenezer Paine and Rebecca Mayo. I can find a list of John and Mary's children but Susannah is not on the list, but there is an opening in the children's birthdates where hers could fit in. Any tips you would share would be greatly helpful. Thanks, Karen Lewis, Ascutney, VT kklew527@myfairpoint.net

    1. Hi Karen, I'm sorry but I don't know of Susannah Rider who married John Gray. Maybe someone else who reads this will be able to help! Chris

  4. ok I am confused john ryder had son ebenezer who married expeiernce hall whoes parents were john hall and Pricilla bearse so how can his father john be nmarried to the daughter of john and Pricilla named hester did Ebenezer marry his aunt /////////////

    1. I'm sorry, I'm not clear about your question. Ebenezer was a brother to this John Ryder, not a son. I don't believe that John and Ebenezer's mother's name is known. Chris

  5. Hi Chris, I have joined the Elder William Brewster Society through my maternal Gray Family Line. My 5th great grandfather was Capt. John Gray and his wife was a Susannah Rider (1753-1838) Found her death certificate from Dorset, VT. I found some information on this line in the book Edward Gray III and his wife, Mary Paddock. My mother and I have taken the Ancestry.com DNA tests. One of us got a DNA hint to John Rider and Mehitable Crowell. I will do further research on this. I know the Hopkins Silver Book says that Mary Paine was born to Ebenezer Paine and Rebecca Mayo. I found another source that says she was married to John Rider. Now I need to find that Susannah was their daughter. I found they moved to the Oblong (Southeast, NY) in 1747 from MA. If you have any other info that might help me, I sure would appreciate it. Regards, Karen

    1. Hi Karen,
      Unfortunately I don't have any info on Mary Paine, daughter of Ebenezer and his wife Rebecca Mayo. Best of luck in your search, Chris

  6. I too descend from Capt. John Gray and Susannah Rider. As far as I'm aware her parentage cannot be proven. Some records indicate either John Rider or his brother Simeon as her father, but no proof has been found to confirm.

  7. FYI - In New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635, Ancestry.com, Pg. 842 it mentions that “in 1900 Edith G. L. Pecker stated that Priscilla “was probably Priscilla Bearse, daughter of Augustine Bearse of Barnstable, and born March 10, 1643/4”, and this SUGGESTION has been picked up by others. This is an attractive HYPOTHESIS, but the full evidence is not seen”.

    1. Thank you for indicating where this information originated. Chris

  8. Hi there, I'm just stretching my wings into an as yet unexplored branch of the family tree. Going back, my Richmond family line becomes Paddock and the Hall. I think I'm on the Pricilla Hall line, but I just met someone on Hester Hall's line, and I couldn't help but think about all the distance put between subsequent generations. First two sisters close in age, respectively marry. Their children are first cousins, and probably know each other well. The second cousins, less so. By the time we get to Lurana Tinkham and John Nickerson I think it'd be unlikely he went to her funeral. And so on. And here I am chatting it up with 10th cousins. Thanks so much, I love your site and best of luck to you.

  9. Thank you! So true about how family members were so close. My grandmother was born on the Cape and she said they considered so many people aunts, uncles and cousins. She thought it was just a small town, friendly thing, but I now know so many were genetically linked!


I'm now moderating comments on this blog. My apologies for any ensuing delays, but the large number of "spam" comments have made this necessary. ~Chris