Samuel Eddy was
baptized at Cranbrook, Kent, England 15 May 1608, the son of William and Mary
(Fosten) Eddy. His name is spelled in a variety of ways in records, including Edey
and Eddye. He migrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1630, likely with his
brother John on board the Handmaid. They
arrived at Plymouth Harbor on 29 October 1630 after a very stormy 12 weeks at
sea. He is my 11th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur
Washburn Davis side of the family.
St. Dunstan Church, Cranston, Kent
Samuel and John planned to initially settle in Boston and traveled there with Myles Standish. They were turned away because they didn’t have the correct letters of removal from Plimoth Colony. John later returned with the proper documentation, eventually settling in Watertown, but Samuel remained at Plymouth.
Samuel emigrated with means as on 9 May 1631 Experience Mitchell sold him his dwelling house, garden plot and fence for 20 pounds. In 1636 he was granted three acres next to the lands of John Dunham the elder. That he had at least one servant is also confirmed in records, as Thomas Brian ran away from service to him in January 1633, for which he was punished by a private whipping.
In his 20 August 1616 will, William Eddy bequeathed to his son Samuel 100 pounds of English money when he reach the age of 22, as well as one little silver salt when he reached age 21.
Samuel married by 1637 Elizabeth, whose maiden is not known with certainty. It is possible she was the sister of Thomas Savory, based on references made in various deeds, but this isn’t conclusive. There is also a theory that she was a daughter of Thomas Rogers who was a Mayflower passenger. Elizabeth and Samuel likely married at Plymouth where their first child was born. They were members of the Plymouth Church.
Elizabeth and Samuel had five known children:
John born 1637 at Plymouth
Zachariah born about 1639
Caleb born about 1643
Obadiah born about 1645
Hannah born 1647; no further record
I descend through Obadiah who married Bennet Ellis.
Samuel was a tailor. In 1678 the town of Plymouth paid “Goodman Edey viz: Samuell Edey” five shillings for making clothes for soldiers in time of war. Amazing that at age 70, Samuel was still making clothes.
He was admitted a
freeman at Plymouth on 1 January 1633/34 and was on the 1643 list of Plymouth
men able to bear arms.
Plaque honoring Samuel & John Eddy's 300th anniversary of their journey to America, Brewster Gardens, Plymouth
Samuel must have spent his inheritance on his passage, purchasing real estate, and supporting his family. Although he was early on referred to as a gentleman, it doesn’t appear he prospered in Plymouth, aside from his being a land holder. There wouldn’t have been much call for his tailoring skills and working the land was something he did with no training. Court documents show that Samuel and his wife Elizabeth had not the means to raise their many children, so John (at age 7), Caleb (at age 9) and Zachariah (at age 7) were put into service with other families until the age of 20 or 21.
By 1638 Samuel was rated among the “poore of the town,” receiving four shares in a black heifer as such. In 1644 he again received access to a cow that was part of the “poores stock” and again in 1648. From this point onward, there is no mention of his being on any lists of the poor, so things must have improved for him.
On 6 July 1638 Samuel Eddy sold to Richard Clough for 40 bushels of Indian corn “all that his house and garden in Plymouth wherein the said Samuel now dwelleth.” On the same day, Nicholas Snow sold to Samuel Eddy for the same amount “all that his house and garden adjoining with the fence in & about the same in Plymouth wherein the said Nicholas now dwelleth.”
In 1640 Samuel, with several of his neighbors, bought a large tract of land from the Indians and founded the town of Middleborough. His portion included several hundred acres in the northern section of town and a part of the town of Halifax. Although Samuel didn’t remove to Middleborough, his son Obadiah lived there, as did his descendants, in what became the village of Eddyville.
In 1641 Samuel Eddy was granted six acres of upland lying on the northwest side of Fresh Lake (aka Billington Sea), about the fishing place, 30 acres of upland at the Narragansett Hill (where battle between the Narrangansetts and Pochanockets occurred) and 4 acres of meadow.
On 7 March 1642(/43?) John Allen sold to Samuel Eddy, all his house, barns and buildings with the lands thereunto belonging at Willingsly and Woeberry Plain. On 3 March 1645(/46?) he sold to John Thompson his house and garden and adjoining three acres at Spring Hill, Plymouth. On 20 March 1647 (/48?) he sold one acre of marsh meadow to Experience Mitchell of Duxbury.
As early as March 1651, Samuel Eddy had interest and “proprieties” in land at Punckateesett Necke, Plymouth.
On 14 July 1667 Samuel Eddy was granted six acres of meadow at South Meadow Brook. On 5 August 1672, Samuel Eddy, along with four neighbors, was granted the swamp at Wellingsley near the brook. Samuel “Eedy” was one of five men who on 7 June 1659 were “desiring some proportions of land to accommodate them for their posterities,” which was granted by the court. He was on the 3 June 1662 list of those permitted to seek some accommodation of land as being the first borne children of this government (perhaps this is through connection of his wife Elizabeth).
On 20 February 1662, Thomas Savory of Plymouth deed to Samuel Eddy of Plymouth, tailor, land at Punckateesett in Plymouth, lying against “Road Iland” in exchange for a parcel of upland and meadow at Four Mile Brook in Plymouth, as well as six acres near Fresh Lake, Plymouth.
On 24 March 1662/63, “Samuel Eedey senir” of Plymouth, tailor, granted to his two sons Zachariah and Obadiah Eedy, land granted to him in June 1662 at Namassakett, reserving six acres for his own use and then after his death they would receive that as well. Samuel would also be permitted to winter three cows on the sons’ share of land. Son Caleb would receive a quarter of the land if he desired it.
On 7 March 1671/2, Samuel Eddy of Plymouth, tailor, sold to Steven Bryant Senior of Plymouth, land at Major’s Purchase lying near Namassekeesett Pond. This was acknowledged by Samuel and Elizabeth his wife.
On 7 October 1651, Elizabeth Eeddy was presented to court for laboring on the Lord’s Day, in time of public exercise. Her transgression was wringing and hanging out laundry. (PCR 2:173) She was fined 10 shillings, which was remitted. On 1 May 1660, Elizabeth Eedey was again summoned to court for traveling from Plymouth to Boston on the Lord’s day. Elizabeth told the court that “Mistris Saffin” was very weak and sent for her and she had an earnest desire to see her. Court admonished her and she was discharged from the Court (PCR 3:186).
Samuel Eddy died 12 November 1688 at Swansea, recorded Plymouth Church records. Elizabeth Eddy died 24 May 1689 “in her 82nd year at the end of it,” also recorded Plymouth Church records. It seems that Samuel and Eddy went to live in Swansea with their adult children in their later years, circa 1681. Their stones do not survive, but it is believed they are buried at the Eddy Family Burial Ground in Swansea. There is a plaque at son Zachariah’s burial plot which also honors his parents Samuel and Elizabeth Eddy, place there at a later date by the Eddy Family Association.
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1995 (see this sketch for land deed references)
David Jay Webber, The Mayflower Quarterly, "Was Samuel Eddy's Wife Elizabeth a Daughter of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower?: A Review and Reassessment of Some Observations of Eugene Aubrey Stratton," Summer 2021