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, August 4, 2013

John Nickerson 1664-1745 and Elizabeth Baker ca 1675-1765, Yarmouth (now South Dennis), Mass.

John Nickerson was born at Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts on 10 September 1664, the son of Nicholas and Mary (Darby) Nickerson. I wrote his parents here.  John’s birth is recorded in the Yarmouth Vital Records birth saying he was 10 years old the 10th of September 1674. John was born and lived his life in the area of Yarmouth that became South Dennis. He is my eighth great-grandfather through my Grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. 

John married Elizabeth Baker on 19 August 1696 at Yarmouth (Yarmouth VR). She was born about 1675, the daughter of John and Alice (Pierce) Baker.

John and Elizabeth had eight children recorded in Yarmouth Vital Records:

1. Elizabeth born 11 May 1699
2. Mary born 12 June 1701
3. John born 1 June 1703
4. Patience born 15 April 1705
5. Israel born 31 March 1709
6. Tabatha born 15 June 1713
7. Marcy born 22 November 1716
8. Eleazer born 2 April 1718

I descend from their son John who married Mary Small/Smalley.

Some sources also give them a son Gershon, probably a twin of Israel, who died in infancy in 1709.

In the 1712/13 division of land by the proprietors, John Nickerson received considerable land north of his father's land in what is now South Dennis, extending easterly, in some cases as far as the Harwich town line. It was this land on which his sons Israel and John Jr settled, moving up toward what is now Highbank in South Dennis, near the Indian Lands. John's son Eleazer inherited his father's properties.

John built his first house on his father’s land just north of where the South Dennis Congregational Church (aka the Sea Captains’ Church) stands today. He left that house to his son John. Just before his death in 1745.  he built a house directly across from the church on Main Street. His first house also still stands, which he gave to son John. He left the new house to his son Eleazer.

I need to find out if either of these houses still stands today.

John Nickerson died 23 July 1745 at Yarmouth (Yarmouth VR).  I have yet to look for his probate records.

Elizabeth Nickerson died 5 January 1765 at Yarmouth (Rev. Stone’s Diary).

I don’t believe stones survive for John and Elizabeth, but I would imagine they are buried at the Congregational Church Cemetery in South Dennis.

Sources Not Listed 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, vol. 1-3

Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Burton N. Derick, Nickerson Homesteads, CCGS Bulletin, June 2011

CW Swift, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, The Baker Family of Yarmouth, Descendants of Francis, No. 73, 1912

Burton N. Derick, Dennis Source Records, Volume 1: Church Records, 2004, Diaries of Rev. Nathan Stone

Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884


  1. Hi! I just got back from a trip to Cape Cod to visit the homes of my husband's ancestors. He is a descendant of Captain John Nickerson through his son Eleazer. Both homes you mention, the one north of the church and the one directly across the street from the church are still standing. We were able to tour the John Nickerson home, built in 1730. It is owned by a wonderful couple who have restored it to it's 1730 state. No one was home at the other home, and someone mentioned that it is rarely occupied.

    1. Sharon, I'm envious! Do you know the street address for the two Nickerson houses? I'd like to drive by next time I'm in the area. Chris

  2. We are in process of purchasing a cottage in south dennis and there is a sign in the house " J Nickerson House 1740". is this you are looking for?

    1. That sounds like one of them! I'm envious! Would you be able to give the street number? I wouldn't bother you, just would like to drive by sometime to see what it looks like. If you'd rather do privately my email is tessiecami@gmail.com. Thanks! Chris

  3. I found out that it is Captain Israel Nickerson House.

  4. I descend from John's children Elizabeth, Tabitha AND Eleazer! The home of his son Israel is next door to my parents' house, where I grew up. Are you aware of the tragic story associated with this family? Apparently Israel's son, also Israel, who had inherited the house, returned home from a sea voyage carrying a deadly fever. He and five of his children all died within two weeks. They are buried in a sad little row in that ancient (town hall) cemetery in South Dennis.

    1. Kat, How cool your parents live next to an old Nickerson house! I have read about that tragedy. How Israel’s wife survived such a tragedy is truly beyond me. Chris


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