Robert Wixon was born in England, his birth date and exact origins unknown. Robert is my 9th great grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. He came to Plymouth Colony in 1630 as an indentured servant to William Hedge. His services were transferred on 5 November 1638 to Gov. Thomas Prence for 12 pounds, which is how he came to be familiar with Eastham as Gov. Prence lived there as well as Plymouth. I would imagine this means he was good at whatever he was doing if the governor wanted him as a servant. I am also a direct descendant of Gov. Prence. I love that in early America whether you came as a wealthy, educated man or a servant, you had a chance to become successful, the beginning of the American Dream.
Robert married a woman named Alice before the birth of their first child in 1655, likely in Eastham. Some descendants believe Alice was a Native American and others that her maiden name was Titus, but I haven’t seen any proof of either claims. Alice and Robert had four children, first three recorded Eastham/Orleans Vital Records and all four named in will:
Jemima, born 30 Aug 1655, Eastham
Titus, born 02 Dec 1657, Eastham, died Yarmouth in 1718, no marriage or children found for him in records
Elizabeth born 29 May 1660, Eastham, married Nathaniel Mayo, had a large family, died Eastham Dec 1699
Barnabas born between 1660–1663, likely in Eastham, married Sarah Remick.
I descend from Barnabas. The name Wixon is spelled in a myriad of ways in records, including Wixam, Wickson, Vixon, Wixen, Waxam.
Robert Wixon was at Plymouth by1634 and from there lived in Eastham, where he is registered as one of the legal inhabitants in 1665 but was there earlier.
He is listed in an Eastham agreement dated 16 July 1662 concerning Lieutenant’s land with meadow to be used for public use and not disposed to any one person.
He served his community in a variety of ways. He was constable at Plymouth in 1647. On 8 June 1655, he was named surveyor of highways at Eastham (Plym Col Vol III, p 79). On 5 June 1666 he was appointed constable of Eastham. He sat on a jury to hear a case against John Williams by his wife Elizabeth, who claimed abuse. They found against him and she was allowed to cease living with him (Vol IV, p. 123). On 2 July 1667 he sat on inquest jury of the death of a child of Daniel Doane's who drowned in a well (Vol IV, p 169). On 1 Jan 1667/8 Robert Wixam was on inquest jury concerning death of 5-6 year old child kept by John Smalley Jr., of Eastham; found that the child got lost in the woods and died of exposure (Vol IV, p 177). On 3 June 1674 he was again Surveyor of Highways (Vol V, p 146) and again on 1 June 1675 (Vol V, p 167). On 7 June 1676 again Surveyor of Highways (Vol V, p 197). On 1 Nov 1676 Robert Vixon appointed administrator of the estate of Nathaniel Brewster, a highly respected family (Vol V, p 212).
Robte Wickson on the August 1643 list of those able to bear arms in Plymouth, aged 16-60. On the Eastham list in 1665. On 3 March 1644/5 he posted bond for the good behavior of George Crispe.
At the June session of the Old Colony court at Plymouth, in 1651, he was made a freeman, so he had completed his term of service with Gov. Prence. On 29 May 1670 Robert was listed as a freeman of Eastham (Vol V, p 278).
Robert Wixon sat on a jury which convicted three Native Americans of the murder of John Sassamon, a Harvard educated Native American who lived among the whites. Tobias, Wampapaum and Mattushamama were found guilty of murdering him by laying violent hands on him and striking him or twisting his neck until he was dead and to cover up the murder they pushed his body through the ice of Assowamsett Pond on 29 Jan 1674. Natives and English served on the jury that found them guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging. On 8 June 1675 Tobias and Mattashamama were hanged, but Wampapaum was reprieved for one month from that date, but was then shot dead. This event angered other Native Americans who did not like being subjected to English trials and is considered one of the triggers of King Phillip's War.
One of the roads he helped to lay in 1668 was a road, referred to as an Indian Path, from Eastham through what is now Brewster. It was the same Indian path further widened and used in the 1800s as the main road in Brewster.
A 9 November 1666 deed refers to Robert Wixon as an early purchaser in Eastham.
Easthamlibrary.org has a transcription of his land transactions there, the first dated 1654. He owned considerable land at Eastham, including low meadow on Pochet Flats, meadow between the Bay and the Creek at the harbor mouth at Namskaket, 20 acres at Pochet Island, meadow at Billingsgate, marsh at Rock Harbor, meadow at Blackfish River, 40 acres at Little Namskaket, land at Little Billingsgate. The land owned by Robert Wixon described in these deeds amounts to about 110 acres. Pretty amazing for someone who came here as a servant.
Robert Wixon died Eastham in October 1686. He is most likely buried in an unmarked grave at Cove Burying Ground.
|Cemetery where Robert and Alice Wixon are possibly buried|
His will was written 1 October 1686, proved ten days later. His widow Alice Wixam appeared before the court 18 October 1686 and testified that the inventory of her husband's estate was correct, taking the oath before John Freeman, Assistant.
Will of Robert Wixam says he was very weak of body but sound and mind and "but dayly expecting his change" and includes references to God. It names his wife Alce (Alice) as executrix, with son-in-law Nathaniel Mayo to offer her assistance.
Daughter Jemimah to receive one browne cow with a star on its forehead, one hive of bees, room in the house and privileges in the orchard as long as she is unmarried.
Grandchild Nathaniel Mayo: one calf (this would be his late daughter Elizabeth’s child).
Rest of personal estate, after debts paid, to loving wife Alice for her support during her natural life, including part of house she lives in and orchard.
Son Titus Wixam: other part of dwelling house and out housing and all land on that side of highway house stands upon and all meadow adjoining it, half acre meadow in Rock Harbor, lying between the house and Thomas Williams' meadow. Other part of house after wife's decease, parcel of upland between mouth of Little Skaket and Rock Harbor and small upland above the highway of 2 acres he now improves with.
Son Barnabas Wixam: remaining 30 acres above the highway with meadow and marsh in Namescakitt by the beach and small parcel of meadow at Rock Harbor between Giles Hopkins and Daniel Cole.