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

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