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, September 20, 2015

John Cole (ca 1662-1724) and Susanna Gray (1668-1727) of Plymouth and Plympton, Mass.

John Cole was born about 1662, based on his age at death.  I have not found his parents with any certainty.  I have seen them as Hugh Cole and Abigail Davenport or Mary Foxwell or James Cole and Mary Tilson. Hugh Cole of Swansea had a son John born 16 May 1660. If anyone has any information on his parents, I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you!

At any rate, John is my 8th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

I haven’t found the record of Susanna (also spelled Susannah) and John Cole’s marriage but a court record confirms they married. On 1 April 1688 Susannah Cole ("who was Grey") was called before the church for fornication with John Cole before her marriage to him. At the June 1688 court session, John Cole and wife Susanna of Plymouth were found guilty of pre-marital fornication and fined five pounds. Susanna was a daughter of Edward Gray and his second wife Dorothy (Lettice). Her 15 October 1668 birth is recorded in Plymouth.I wrote about Edward Gray here.

Susanna was a minor at time of her father Edward’s death, who died intestate. She received land during a "Cast of Draw.” Edward Gray was one of the richest men in Plymouth, so it surprise me he didn’t have a will.


The births of three of John Cole Sr. and Susanna his wife’s children are recorded in Plympton VR:
Joseph Cole was born 14 February 1705/6
Benjamin Cole was born 15 February 1707/8
Elizabeth Cole was born 4 June 1710

I would guess the above were their younger children born in Plympton. Perhaps their older children were born in Plymouth, unrecorded. They had a son Samuel who died 22 March 1723/4 in the 23rd year of his age (Plympton VR), a son John who was deeded land from his father and a daughter Mary who is mentioned in her father’s probate record. Since they married about 1668, it is likely they had even more children.

I descend from Mary who married Isaac Wright. The probate of the estate of John Cole, which includes a quitclaim, dated 15 March 1727, in which "we Isaac Wright of Plimpton ...& Mary Wright his wife which said Mary was daughter to Mr. John Cole & his wife Mrs. Susannah Cole both late of Plimpton aforesd deceased..." I haven’t seen the probate file myself, which I hope will give more information on names of children.

Torrey gives John Cole a wife Patience Barber, but I believe that is his son John.

On 7 July 1688 James Cole deeded land in Plymouth to his son John Cole (Plymouth Co. Land Records 15:211-12). On 26 March 1689, John Cole of Plymouth, fisherman, sold this land to William Shirtliff; it was acknowledged by John Cole and wife Susanna on the same day (PLR 1:183).

Mr John Cole, died March 14, 1723/4. in the 63d year of his age (Plympton VR).
John's stone at Lakenham Cemetery Source: Findagrave.com
Susanna’s death was recorded in Plympton Vital Records: Susanah Cole wife to John Cole Senr deceased Augst 26th 1727 (in her 59th .yr.).

Susanna's stone at Lakenham Source: Findagrave.com

Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Mass., by Charles M. Thatcher:
North Carver Cemetery (now called Lakenham)
John Cole died Mar. 14th, 1724, in his 63rd year.
Susanna, wife of John, Aug. 31, 1727, in her 59th year.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Ralph V. Wood, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Francis Cooke, 1996
Robert S. Wakefield and Alice H. Dreger. The Wives and Children of James2 Cole (circa 1625–1709) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, The American Genealogist, vol. 67 (1982): 243–45.


  1. You might find this documented resource helpful re: John Cole's parents: http://www.drweed.net/ColesHistory.pdf

    1. Thank you, Marianne, for that link. It looks like John Cole, son of Hugh, is a different man than I wrote about here just from their death dates alone. Thanks again, 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