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.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Robert Pepper about 1618 to 1684, of England and Roxbury, Massachusetts, and his wife Elizabeth Johnson

Robert Pepper was born about 1618 in England. He is my 11th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. I have yet to find Robert’s origins. 
He was in Massachusetts by 1639 when he was admitted to the Roxbury Church. He was made a freeman on 10 May 1643 at Roxbury. On 10 May 1643, Robert Pepper was one of the original donors of the Free School in Roxbury. Robert married Elizabeth Johnson on 14 March 1642/43 at Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. She was baptized Ware End, Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, on 22 August 1619 to John and Mary (Heath) Johnson. I wrote about John and Mary here. 
Elizabeth and Robert’s original two-acre homestead was west of Stony River. I believe this is the same body of water as Stony Brook, a tributary of the Charles River that was turned into an underground river in the 19th century because of chronic flooding. In its early days, Roxbury was a rural satellite of Boston but eventually became a heavily populated industrial community. 
Robert was an inn keeper in Roxbury— in 1653 he was given a license to brew and sell "penny beare,” cakes, and white bread. I have read that only men with sterling reputations were allowed to operate inns and taverns. He is called husbandman in his will. 
Children of Robert and Elizabeth Pepper, born Roxbury (from Roxbury Church baptism records, Roxbury Vital Records, and Robert’s will): 
1. Elizabeth baptized on 3 March1643/4 and died 8 March 1643/4 
2. Elizabeth born 25 May 1645, married John Everett 
3. John born 8 April 1647, married Bethiah Fisher on 25 October 1669 at Dedham, Massachusetts, and died 18 March 1669/70 leaving no issue 
4. Joseph baptized 18 March 1648/49, killed by Indians during King Philip's War 21 April 1676; Report from NEHGS Committee, NEHGR, “Report on the Sudbury Fight April 1676” 20: 347 (1866) 
5. Mary baptized 27 April 1651, married Samuel Everett of Dedham 
6. Benjamin baptized 15 May 15 1653, buried 16 January 1669/70 
7. Robert baptized 21 April 1655, was listed as slain by Indians at Northfield, Massachusetts in the Squakheag fight on 4 September 1675, but other sources say he was taken captive and later returned to Roxbury where he died 24 May 1687 or that he died in captivity 
8. Sarah born 28 April 1657, married John Mason of Boston; she likely died before July 1684 as she is not mentioned in her father’s will 
9. Isaac born 26 April 1659, married Apphia Freeman 7 October1685 at Eastham 
10. Jacob born 28 July1661, married Elizabeth Paine on 15 February 1684 at Rehoboth 
I descend from their son Isaac who moved to Eastham on Cape Cod. 
Elizabeth Johnson Pepper was 64 years old when she died 5 January 1683/84 at Roxbury. She is called “old Sister” wife of Robert in the Roxbury Church records. 
Robert Pepper, husbandman of Roxbury, wrote his will 4 July 1684 (Suffolk Co. Probate File 1353). He mentions sons Isaac and Jacob, daughters Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah, and granddaughter Bethiah daughter of his son Joseph. Isaac is named first and received a considerable amount of land; Jacob received his father’s house with barn, orchard, plantings, pasture, and other land; daughters Elizabeth Everett and Mary Everett of Dedham each to receive 20 pounds in addition to 20 pounds already given them; daughter Sarah Mason of Boston to received 28 pounds in addition to 12 pounds already given her; granddaughter Bethiah the daughter of deceased son Joseph Pepper to receive 40 shillings. Jacob and Isaac were to continue money owed in annual payments to two schools. Jacob, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sarah were to divide the household and farm goods. Jacob was appointed executor. Will was presented for probate on 17 July 1684. 
One puzzling thing: if his son Robert is the Robert Pepper who died at Roxbury in 1687 why was he not mentioned in his father’s will? 
Robert Pepper died 7 July 1684 at Roxbury, his death being record as “an olde Xristian.” He was about 66 years old. 
NEHGR in Boston started a Robert Pepper DNA Study in 2005. It did not help in discovering his parents, but I haven’t heard anything recently. 
Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts, 1900 
Charles M. Ellis, History of RoxburyTown, 1847 
George Ellis and John Morris, King Philip’s War, 1906 
Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 
Paul Franklin Johnson, editor, Genealogy of Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Generations I to XIV, 1945

Friday, September 9, 2022

Caleb Lombard circa 1635 to 1692 of Cape Cod

Caleb Lombard was born sometime around 1635 likely in Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to Thomas Lombard, a tavern keeper, and his third wife whose name is unknown. His estimated birth year is based on his being of age when he took the Oath of Fidelity in 1657. His name is spelled in a variety of ways including Lumbart, Lumbard, and Lombart. As a child he moved with his family to Barnstable on Cape Cod. He grew up to became a mariner and perhaps a carpenter (his carpenter tools are mentioned in his father’s will). Caleb is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. 

Although Caleb married, his wife’s name is not known. Torrey has her name as possibly Mary Prout but Wakefield discounted that possibility [see sources below]. According to Susan Roser, the couple had at least one child, Deliverance, from whom I descend. Some historians have indicated he also had a son Caleb, but that lack’s proof. Deliverance married William Nickerson, the grandson of William Nickerson who was the founder of Chatham. 

In 1660 Caleb Lambert was sentenced to sit in the stocks for abominable cursing and swearing. Perhaps he learned some choice words growing up in a tavern!

Caleb received bequests in the 23 March 1662/3 will of his father Thomas Lumbert of Barnstable. He is not referred to as eldest son but is mentioned first. He was to receive the house after his mother’s death and one third of the lands, including the meadow at Mattakeeset [Duxbury], on the condition that Caleb pay his brothers Jedediah and Benjamin five pounds each. He was also to receive a shipment of mackerel that was due to his father, a yoke of oxen, a 3 year old mare that was already considered his (he was to give her first foal to his brother Barnard), saddle & bridle, arms, carpenter’s tools that were considered Caleb’s, bay mare purchased from Mr. John Freeman to split with his brothers Jedediah and Benjamin and they should pay brother Joshua 20 shillings within a year, another yoke of oxen with supplies and cart to split with same two brothers after their mother’s decease. 

On 18 June 1674, Caleb Lumbard and his brothers Jedidah and Benjamin Lumbard were involved in controversy with Barnstable neighbors including George Lewis about the boundaries of their land. The town had representatives measure the land and settle the dispute. Caleb signed the document settling the dispute, indicating he was literate, but I have only seen a transcription which did not include the original signatures. 

Caleb was of Barnstable when in 1675 he served in King Philip’s War. He would have been in Captain Gorham’s company which lost 36 men in the Great Swamp Fight against the Narragansetts.  I have read that he served as selectman (1669) and constable (1685) in Barnstable, but I need to find sources.  

Sign at West Kingston, RI that has gone missing (source: hmdb.com)

Caleb was an early settler of Chatham, (then Monomoit), Barnstable County, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, where he bought 40 acres of land shortly after 1681 and one of the first members of the church there. In Smith’s History of Chatham, he wrote Caleb had a fiery temper that at times put him at odds with neighbors. This could be what drew him to Chatham as there were others living there who bucked authority and likely relished settling a wild place far from the Plymouth government. Caleb was not the only family member who did things their own way…he illegally purchased Barnstable land from Indians on his [step?]mother’s behalf, and when authorities told her she could only keep one half of the land she refused, resulting in a legal contest.

Pioneers of Chatham Plaque

In December 1686 Caleb exchanged his Monomoit farm for a large tract at South Sea (now Harwichport) from Indians, likely another illegal purchase but no action was taken. In1687 he sold this land.

Caleb Lombard of New England was buried in Bridgetown, Barbados on 7 June 1692 [Burial Register of St. Michael’s Church]. It would be interesting to know if Caleb had relocated to Barbados, perhaps the reason he sold his Harwichport land in 1687.  It was common among men from coastal New England who traded lumber and salted fish for sugar and molasses to live at Bridgetown. Whether his wife was with him in Bridgetown also is not known.

Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Bridgetown (source: Wikipedia)

Although records about Caleb are sparse, what I have found paints an interesting picture of him as an independent, adventurous man who scoffed at laws when they did not suit his purpose!


Register, “First Settlers of Barnstable,” July 1848, page 314

Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories,” Mayflower Descendant, 16:124-6, 1914 (citing folio 24)

Robert S. Wakefield, The American Genealogist,  “The Lombard Family of Barnstable, Mass.,” 1976, 52:136-139

Henry B. Hoff, NEHGS Nexus,  “New Englanders in the West Indies,” vol. XIV, No. 5, page 154

David Hamblen (communicated by) Register, “First Settlers of Chatham, Mass.” January 1853, 7:82

William C. Smith, History of Chatham, Mass., 1905

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, It's History and People, 1986

G. Andrew Moriarty Jr.. Register, “Barbadian Notes,” 67:370, October 1913

Susan Roser, Early Descendants of Henry Cobb of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Friends of the Pilgrim Series, Volume 1, 2008

Barnstable Massachusetts Town Records, 1640-1793, Volume 1 1640-1713, www.americanancestors.org [original manuscript at NEHGS Boston]

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1995

George M. Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip’s War: being a critical account of that war, with a concise history of the Indian wars of New England from 1620-1677, 1896