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
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