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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Nathan Nye ca 1691 to 1747, and his Wife Dorothy Bryant of Sandwich, Massachusetts

Nathan Nye was born ca 1691 at Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. His birth isn’t recorded there, but he is named as a son in John Nye’s will. His mother was Esther, whose maiden name is often given as Shed but I have not seen a source for this. This line may always be a work in progress as my Nye ancestors are consistently challenging to research! If I have my Nye family correctly sorted, Nathan Nye is my 7th great grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Nathan married Dorothy Bryant on 12 April 1715 at Sandwich (Sandwich Vital Records, p. 100). I believe she is the Dorothy Bryant born 5 March 1692/93 at Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, the daughter of Daniel Bryant and Dorothy whose maiden name is unknown.

Nathan and Dorothy raised their family on Grove Street in Sandwich, a beautiful road still dotted with stately antique homes. 

Aerial view showing Grove Street front right Source: Compass Real Estate

The births of their children are recorded in Sandwich Vital Records, pg. 106-7:

Rebecca born 26 Nov 1715

Mary born 26 Apr 1718

Stephen born 06 Jun 1720

Nathan born 13 Oct 1722

Deborah born 05 Oct 1726

William born 01 Sep 1733

I descend from William who married Abigail Pope. I wrote about that couple here. 

Nathan Nye Senior, cordwainer [aka shoemaker] of Sandwich, wrote his will 14 November 1747. It was proved 20 January 1748. His bequests and inventory indicate he was a large land holder and quite well off. 

  • His well-beloved wife Dorothy to have the use of all of his Sandwich real estate as long as she remains his widow. If she were to marry, she’d receive the bed and all its furnishings in the lower room as well as 100 pounds. She was also to receive a mourning cape and gown.
  • Daughter Rebecca Foster to receive 100 pounds within a year of his decease. 
  • Daughter Mary Bourne to receive 100 pounds within a year of his decease. 
  • Daughter Deborah Nye the furniture in the northerly bed chamber and 300 pounds to be given to her within two years of his death or her marriage, whichever comes first. 
  • At his wife’s marriage or death his three daughters shall have all of the household stuff that remains.
  • Son Nathan Nye to receive the lot of land in the so called town neck that he bought from Edward Dillingham, upland and salt meadows in the so called Pikle being in partnership with John Freeman, salt meadow at Bass Creek being in partnership with Zacheus Wing, tract of woodland he bought from Matthias Ellis and William Bassett, a wood lot bought from John Handy, and 40 pounds in bills of credit he loaned him.
  • Sons Stephen and William to equally divide carts, cart wheels, plow, plow irons, ox yokes & chains, horse gears, and all other husbandry tools.
  • Sons Stephen and William the remainder of his land, meadow, and buildings in Sandwich or elsewhere.
  • Son Stephen the use of the land, meadow, and buildings at the lease from Caleb Blackwell on condition he pay 60 pounds to his brother Nathan within one year of his decease. Salt meadow in Barnstable he bought of Nathan Nye of Rochester. 
  • Son William the bed and furniture in the southerly bedroom and two year vantage heifer who is brown sparkled color. 
  • Anything remaining in the estate should be equally divided between his three sons Stephen, Nathan, and William.
  • Stephen and Nathan appointed administrators.

Nathan Nye’s 28 Jan 1747/48 inventory is quite extensive. 

It includes:

  • Luxury items such as: a coat valued at 11 pounds, silver spoons, and a looking glass
  • A Bible and six books
  • A variety of livestock valued at 315 pounds 
  • Real estate valued at 2,900 pounds

Nathan Nye Sr. died 27 November 1747 (Sandwich VR p 150). 

Dorothy Bryant Nye’s death as 1762 or 4 Nov 1761 is frequently seen online in Ancestry trees and WikiTree, but I have not found the source for either.  

Main Street, Sandwich, Grove Street off on the right Photo in Writer's Collection


R.A. Lovell, Sandwich A Cape Cod Town, third edition published by the Sandwich Archives and Historical Center, 1996, first printing 1984

George Hyatt and Frank Best, Benjamin Nye of Sandwich, His Ancestors and Descendants, A Genealogy of the Nye Family, Nye Family Association, 1907

Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, revised by CF Swift, Volume 1 and 2, Barnstable, MA, The Patriot Press, 1888

Percy Bryant, The Register, “Descendants of John Briant, Sen., of Scituate, Mass.,” Vol. 48, 1894 

Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts From Its First Settlement to 1831, 1831

Will and inventory: Massachusetts Probate Records, 1686-1894; Probate Court (Barnstable County) in Barnstable, Massachusetts,  Vol 8, 1745-1753, p 232-236. Available on ancestry.com.

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