Monday, April 27, 2015


I'm running a week behind on the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge so this is for
Week 16. I've been exploring my Dad's maternal ancestors for the challenge and at the
moment I'm working on the families of the women who married the men in the Upton line.
This will be the first post concerning the ancestors of Sarah Bancroft, the wife of 4x great
grandfather Amos Upton.

Sarah Bancroft's immigrant ancestor was my 10x great grandfather John Bancroft who
arrived in Boston on the ship James in 1632. Apparently there was some scandal about
how his wife Jane was caught in the ship captain's cabin and the couple being fined. So
far I haven't been able to find out anything more about it. Nor have I found much else
about John Bancroft. But thanks to Ellery Bicknell Crane, I found quite a bit about
John's son, my 9x great grandfather Thomas Bancroft:

Lieutenant Thomas Bancroft (1), son of John and Jane Bancroft, was born in England in 1622. He was the immigrant ancestor of Andrew J. Bancroft, of Lancaster. Massachusetts. His father also came over but died in Lynn in 1637. His mother, Jane Bancroft, had land assigned to her in Lynn where the family first settled in New England. She was living in Lynn in 1638.

Thomas Bancroft was living in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1647, and was admitted to townsman in 1648. He removed in 1652 or 1653, when his name first appears on the church records of Reading, Massachusetts, but there is no proof that he ever lived within the limits of that town, but he certainly lived in that vicinity the remainder of his days. He hired a five hundred acre farm of Samuel Bennett in what is now Saugus, an adjacent town, and the Reading church was the nearest to his home, so he belonged to that parish. The town lines in that neighborhood seem to have been indefinite. He was not a proprietor of the town of Reading, but his son Thomas lived in Reading and became a very prominent citizen there.

The home of Lieutenant Thomas Bancroft was just south of the Straits, a narrow roadway through the rocky hills leading from Reading to Saugus. It is still known as the Bancroft place. The survey of the line between Lynn and Charlestown made about 1670 mentions the "house that was Ensign Bancroft's." About that time he bought seventy acres of land at Lynnfield, three miles from Reading church, which was still the nearest to his home. In 1678 the deed of the adjoining Holyoke farm recites "that it had been for some time in possession and improvement of Thomas Bancroft and a half acre with building thereon was reserved and deeded to Bancroft."

Lieutenant Bancroft died in Lynn, August 19, 1691. The inventory of his estate was filed November 24, 1691, by his son Ebenezer. It shows that he owned land at Reading and Lynn, etc. An agreement for a division of the property was made by the widow, Elizabeth, sons Thomas, John and Ebenezer; Joseph Brown, husband of the daughter Elizabeth, and Sarah Bancroft, the youngest daughter. The widow died May 1, 1711.

He married (first) Alice Bacon, daughter of Michael Bacon, of Dedham, Massachusetts, March 31, 1647-8. She died March 29, 1648. He married (second) Elizabeth Metcalf, daughter of Michale and Sarah Metcalf. She was admitted to the church December 14, 1651, at Dedham, and November 22, 1669, at Reading, by letter from Dedham. The only child of Lieutenant Thomas and Alice was: Thomas, born 1648, of whom later. The children of Thomas and Elizabeth were: Elizabeth, born and died 1650; John, born February 3, 1651-2, married Elizabeth Bacon; Elizabeth, born at Reading, December 7, 1653, married Joseph Brown; Sarah, born 1660, died 1661; Raham. born 1662, died 1683; Sarah, born 1665, married John Woodward; Ebenezer, born 1667, married Abigail Eaton and resided at Lynnfield; Mary, born 1670.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 1 (Google eBook) Lewis Publishing Company,  New York, New York 1907

It gives no reason for the title of Lieutenant but Thomas was probably an officer in the Lynn
town militia.

I'm descended from Thomas and Elizabeth's son John Bancroft.

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