Thursday, April 18, 2019


 My 7x great grandfather moved around a bit. He was a blacksmith and farmer, and he had the
great good sense to marry the daughter of Roger Conant, one of the founding fathers of Salem, Ma.
Here's a brief biographical sketch from Volume 3 of Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts :

(III) Luke Perkins (2), son of Luke, was born March 18, 1667. He married May 31, 1688, Martha, born Aug. 16, 1664, daughter of Lot and Elizabeth (Walton) Conant. Mr. Perkins lived in Marbleh£ad, Beverly, Wenham, Ipswich and Plympton. The family went to Plympton, Mass., about 1714. Mr. Perkias was a blacksmith, and it is said that a lot of eighteen acres of land was deeded him at Rock Run in Plympton as an inducement to settle there as a blacksmith. He received from his uncle David Perkins, of Bridgewater, the latter's lands in Abington—one third of the Solomon Leonard purchase and two thirds of the John Robbin purchase. Mr. Perkins died in Plympton Dec. 27, 1748, in his eightysecond year. His widow died Jan. 2, 1754, in her ninetieth year. Their children were: John, born April 5, 1689, at Marblehead; Martha, born Sept. 19, 1691; Hannah, born March 12, 1693; Luke, born Sept. 17, 1695; Mark, baptized April 30, 1699, in Beverly, Mass., and Josiah, born in 1700. pp1721'1722

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts Vol III
J.H. Beers & Company, Chicago, Il,, 1912

I was surprised to learn Luke had owned land here in the town of Abington.

Luke Perkins Jr.'s son Mark Perkins was my 6x great grandfather.

Monday, April 15, 2019


I wanted to post a poem on my geneablog for National Poetry Month, one that I could use for the Genealogy Poetry Challenge later this year. So I looked and found one by cousin John Greenleaf Whittier again, this one about a legendary witch and a shipwreck at Hampton NH where my ancestor Abraham Perkins had lived. I found it on the website:

New England: Hampton, N. H.
The Wreck of Rivermouth
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)

RIVERMOUTH Rocks are fair to see,   
  By dawn or sunset shone across,   
When the ebb of the sea has left them free,   
  To dry their fringes of gold-green moss:   
For there the river comes winding down           
From salt sea-meadows and uplands brown,   
And waves on the outer rocks afoam   
Shout to its waters, “Welcome home!”   

And fair are the sunny isles in view   
  East of the grisly Head of the Boar,           
And Agamenticus lifts its blue   
  Disk of a cloud the woodlands o’er;   
And southerly, when the tide is down,   
’Twixt white sea-waves and sand-hills brown,   
The beach-birds dance and the gray gulls wheel           
Over a floor of burnished steel.   

Once, in the old Colonial days,   
  Two hundred years ago and more,   
A boat sailed down through the winding ways   
  Of Hampton River to that low shore,           
Full of a goodly company   
Sailing out on the summer sea,   
Veering to catch the land-breeze light,   
With the Boar to left and the Rocks to right.   

In Hampton meadows, where mowers laid           
  Their scythes to the swaths of salted grass,   
“Ah, well-a-day! our hay must be made!”   
  A young man sighed, who saw them pass.   
Loud laughed his fellows to see him stand   
Whetting his scythe with a listless hand,            3
Hearing a voice in a far-off song,   
Watching a white hand beckoning long.   

“Fie on the witch!” cried a merry girl,   
  As they rounded the point where Goody Cole   
Sat by her door with her wheel atwirl,           
  A bent and blear-eyed poor old soul.   
“Oho!” she muttered, “ye ’re brave to-day!   
But I hear the little waves laugh and say,   
‘The broth will be cold that waits at home;   
For it ’s one to go, but another to come!’”           

“She ’s cursed,” said the skipper; “speak her fair:   
  I ’m scary always to see her shake   
Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair,   
  And nose like a hawk, and eyes like a snake.”   
But merrily still, with laugh and shout,           
From Hampton River the boat sailed out,   
Till the huts and the flakes on Star seemed nigh,   
And they lost the scent of the pines of Rye.   

They dropped their lines in the lazy tide,   
  Drawing up haddock and mottled cod;           
They saw not the Shadow that walked beside,   
  They heard not the feet with silence shod.   
But thicker and thicker a hot mist grew,   
Shot by the lightnings through and through;   
And muffled growls, like the growl of a beast,           
Ran along the sky from west to east.   

Then the skipper looked from the darkening sea   
  Up to the dimmed and wading sun;   
But he spake like a brave man cheerily,   
  “Yet there is time for our homeward run.”           
Veering and tacking, they backward wore;   
And just as a breath from the woods ashore   
Blew out to whisper of danger past,   
The wrath of the storm came down at last!   

The skipper hauled at the heavy sail:           
  “God be our help!” he only cried,   
As the roaring gale, like the stroke of a flail,   
  Smote the boat on its starboard side.   
The Shoalsmen looked, but saw alone   
Dark films of rain-cloud slantwise blown,           
Wild rocks lit up by the lightning’s glare,   
The strife and torment of sea and air.   

Goody Cole looked out from her door:   
  The Isles of Shoals were drowned and gone,   
Scarcely she saw the Head of the Boar           
  Toss the foam from tusks of stone.   
She clasped her hands with a grip of pain,   
The tear on her cheek was not of rain:   
“They are lost,” she muttered, “boat and crew!   
Lord, forgive me! my words were true!”           

Suddenly seaward swept the squall;   
  The low sun smote through cloudy rack;   
The Shoals stood clear in the light, and all   
  The trend of the coast lay hard and black.   
But far and wide as eye could reach,           
No life was seen upon wave or beach;   
The boat that went out at morning never   
Sailed back again into Hampton River.   

O mower, lean on thy bended snath,   
  Look from the meadows green and low:           
The wind of the sea is a waft of death,   
  The waves are singing a song of woe!   
By silent river, by moaning sea,   
Long and vain shall thy watching be:   
Never again shall the sweet voice call,           
Never the white hand rise and fall!   

O Rivermouth Rocks, how sad a sight   
  Ye saw in the light of breaking day!   
Dead faces looking up cold and white   
  From sand and seaweed where they lay.           
The mad old witch-wife wailed and wept,   
And cursed the tide as it backward crept:   
“Crawl back, crawl back, blue water-snake!   
Leave your dead for the hearts that break!”   

Solemn it was in that old day           
  In Hampton town and its log-built church,   
Where side by side the coffins lay   
  And the mourners stood in aisle and porch.   
In the singing-seats young eyes were dim,   
The voices faltered that raised the hymn           
And Father Dalton, grave and stern,   
Sobbed through his prayer and wept in turn.   

But his ancient colleague did not pray,   
  Because of his sin at fourscore years:   
He stood apart, with the iron-gray           
  Of his strong brows knitted to hide his tears.   
And a wretched woman, holding her breath   
In the awful presence of sin and death,   
Cowered and shrank, while her neighbors thronged   
To look on the dead her shame had wronged.           

Apart with them, like them forbid,   
  Old Goody Cole looked drearily round,   
As, two by two, with their faces hid,   
  The mourners walked to the burying-ground.   
She let the staff from her clasped hands fall:           
“Lord, forgive us! we ’re sinners all!”   
And the voice of the old man answered her:   
“Amen!” said Father Bachiler.   

So, as I sat upon Appledore   
  In the calm of a closing summer day,           
And the broken lines of Hampton shore   
  In purple mist of cloudland lay,   
The Rivermouth Rocks their story told;   
And waves aglow with sunset gold,   
Rising and breaking in steady chime,           
Beat the rhythm and kept the time.   

And the sunset paled, and warmed once more   
  With a softer, tenderer after-glow;   
In the east was moonrise, with boats off-shore   
  And sails in the distance drifting slow.           
The beacon glimmered from Portsmouth bar,   
The White Isle kindled its great red star;   
And life and death in my old-time lay   
Mingled in peace like the night and day!

 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.


Saturday, April 13, 2019


 My 8x great grandfather Luke Perkins Sr. left Hampton NH  at an early age to follow a trade:
(II) Luke Perkins, born in 1640-41, married March 9, 1663, Hannah, widow of Henry Cookery, and daughter of Robert Long, Sr. As a boy of about fourteen, in 1654, he apprenticed himself with the consent of his parents to Samuel Carter, a shoemaker of Charlestown, Mass. Mrs. Perkins was admitted to the First Church in 1668. Luke Perkins died March 20, 1709-10, and his wife died Nov. 16, 1715. Their children wtere: Henry; John, born May 10, 1664; Luke, born March 14, 1665, who died when young; Luke (2), born March 18, 1667; Elizabeth, born April 15, 1670; John, born April 15, 1670; Abraham, baptized 28th of 5th month, 1672; Hannah,born Dec. 9, 1673; and Mary, born April 5, 1676.-pp1600-1601

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families Vol III ... J.H. Beers & Company,  Chicago, IL 1912

Luke was a respected citizen of Charlestown but his most important act was his marriage to Hannah Long, the daughter of Robert Long, the owner of the Three Cranes tavern. I am descended from Luke and Hannah's son Luke Perkins, Jr.

Friday, April 12, 2019


The rest of the record of Abraham Perkins' lawsuit against John Cutt for the unauthorized sale of the ketch Dove is a bit frustrating in that while there are people listed who testified about the case, some of those testimonies are not detailed. But a few are and apparently there was enough evidence to give Abraham a victory in court:

Bond, dated July 19, 1673, of Abraham Perkins* and John Burnum* for the payment of the cost of building the ketch

Wit: Benjamin Marshall* and Edmond Marshall.* Benjamin Marshall deposed that being at the house of Abraham Perkins the evening before he intended to go out with the Dove, he heard Mr. Huberd ask said Perkins whether he would sell his part of the ketch. Perkins answered that he built her for his own use and had put himself out of his other employment to go in her, and therefore would not sell, though he could have more than she was worth for he liked her so well. Sworn, June 29, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Edmond Marshal and Benjamin Marshall, aged respectively twenty-six and twenty-four years, deposed. Sworn, June 24, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

John Burnam, aged about twenty-seven years, deposed. Sworn, June 25, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Francis Wainwright deposed that Perkins said he would sell his half for 80li., Jno. Burnum, jr., having sold his half to Hubbard for 70li. Sworn, June 29, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Daniel Hovey deposed that in his own house and in Abraham Perkins' house, he heard said Perkins say that he was not pleased  with the sale of his ketch. Sworn, June 30, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

John Rennerrik deposed that at his house, etc. Sworn, June 30, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Artor Arbit, aged about thirty-five years, deposed. Sworn, June 16, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Luk Perkins, aged about twenty-five years, deposed that he was at Porchmouth when his brother Abraham Perkins demanded the ketch of John Cutt, who said that Mr. Hubard gave him order to sell her at Barbadus, etc. Sworn, June 29, 1674, before Daniel Denison.f

John Perkins and Elizabeth, his wife, deposed that Mr. Hubbard wrote Cutt a letter, etc. Sworn, June 27, 1674, before Daniel Denison

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts:  Vol V 1672-1674 Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County) Essex Institute, 1916

So while John Cutt was ordered to pay damages to my ancestor Abraham Perkins, he was still out of a ketch. I haven't found sny record yet if he ever built another one.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


The cargo list of the Dove was entered as evidence in the lawsuit filed by Apraham Perkins against John Cutt:

Wit: Thomas Harney* and John Cutt.* Account, dated Barbados, Feb. 14, 1673-4, of freight sent to Barbados in the ketch Dove of Ipswich upon account of Mr. William Hubbard and Mr. Abraham Parkings of Ipswich, signed by John Cutt*: Dr. `to wages for myself in the Dove from Nov. 21 to Feb. 16, at 4li. per month, is 10li., in sugar at 8s. 4d. p, 2,400li.; to wages paid Jos. Sharbron from Nov. 21 to Jan. 29, at 35s. p month, 3li. 15s., in sugar 906li.; to wages paid Lewes Colle from Nov. 24 to Jan. 29 at 34s. per month, 3li. 12s., in sugar 864li.; to wages paid Christopher Cose from Nov. 21 to Jan. 29, at 35s. per month, 3li. 15s., in sugar, 906li.; to boat hire for lading the ketch, 1s. 8d., in sugar 216li.; to entering in the Secretary and Navy office, 12s. 6d., in sugar 150li.; to gunpowder, 14 pounds, at 1s. 6d. p., in sugar 252li.; to abatement of your freight for damage of fish by defect in the ketch's deck, in sugar 600li.; to my expense and charge, in sugar 500li.; to 2 hhds. sugar, 1,670li.; to the duty of your sugar at 4 1-2 per cent., 75li.; to him. for sugar, 250li.; total, 8,789li. sugar; to wages for myself from Feb. 16, 1673 to Apr. 16, at 4li. per month, 8li. Cr., by freight of 8 hhs. 34 quintals of fish in bulk being consigned to Mr. John Johnson at the rate of 600li. sugar per ton, in sugar 2,230li.; by freight of 8 hs. consigned to Mr. Tho. Stockom at 600li. sugar per ton, 1,200li.; by freight of sundry goods sent to Mr. Parret at 600li. sugar per ton, 2,700li.; by freight of 10 quintals of fish consigned to Mr. John Vaux at 600 p ton, 300li.; by freight of 30 quintals of fish in bulk con-signed to Mr. John Johnson at 600li. sugar per ton, 900li.; by freight of 30 quintals of fish in bulk consigned to Mr. Strowed, at 600li. of sugar per ton, 900li.; by freight of one bb. of oyle, 3-4 C. of hgd. staves, 55 pipe staves, 100li.; by freight of 4 him. consigned to Mr. Banster, 600li.; total, 8,930li. sugar. Due to balance, 141li. -pp340-341

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts:  Vol V 1672-1674 Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County) Essex Institute, 1916

A few thoughts:

-The contract with Mt Martin mentioned a deadline of 31 October to load his cargo of fish and leave Portsmouth. But the details in the freight list after the ketch arrived in Barbados

-It looks like payment for the goods was made in sugar and that the crew of the ship received sugar as part of their pay. Sugar was a very valuable commodity in New England amd was used in the manufcture of rum. It became part of the Triangle Trade which brought slaves to the colonies.

-A quintal is a unit of measurement equal to 100 pounds.
To be continued...

Saturday, April 06, 2019


The following document was introduced into evidence in the lawsuit of Abraham Perkins against John Cutt for unlawfully selling the ketch Dove without Abraham's permission. It's called a "charter party" but in effect it's a contract between Abraham, his partner John Burnham, and a merchant named Richard Martyn to transport cargo to Barbadoes. I've added some thoughts after it:

Charter party, dated, Portsmouth, Sept. 7, 1673, between Abraham Perkins, owner of the ketch Dove of Ipswich, 29 tons, and Richard Martyn f of Portsmouth, merchant, the said owner have "fraight letten" to the said merchant the ketch "for a voyage wth her to bee made by gods grace in manner & forme following (That is to say) The said owner Covenanteth granteth & agreeth to & wth the said merchant his factors & Assignee by these psents: That y* said ketch shall bee compleatly fitted w” all her tackell & Apparrill & wt ever is convenient for her for such A voyage w” an able master & three sufficient Seamen more for her and all such puision as shall bee needfull for her: And shall bee readie in the Riuer of Pascataque to take in such loading of fish in casque: packt casque mackrill & oyle, as the said Mercht. Shall See meet to load her with at or before the last day of October next ensuing the date hereof And that the sd ketch shall as soone as shee is loaden by sd merch* his Factors or Assignes wth the first faire wind & weather make sayle from thence towards & vnto the Island of Berbados vnto Carlisle bay where shee shall bee won all convenient speed discharged from her said service & Imploym*," and the said owner was to receive 600li. of Muscovadoe sugar for every ton carried for said merchant to be paid within ten days after she be unloaded, also he was to have liberty of two tons freight, and the owner and merchant bound themselves in 200li. to have the covenant fulfilled. John Burnum,* part owner, also agreed to the indenture. -p.340

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts:  Vol V 1672-1674 Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County) Essex Institute, 1916

 So, on 7 Sep 1673 Abraham Perkins and his partner John Burnham contracted to carry freight from Portsmouth to Barbados in the Carribean for a merchant named Richard Martyn.
-The cargo was to be kegs of mackerel packed in oil.
-The cargo was to be loaded by 31 Oct.
-The crew would consist of a master and three seamen.
-The ketch would deliver the cargo at Carlisle Bay in Barbados.
-Abraham was to be paid "600li of Moscavadoe sugar for every ton carried..." within ten days after delivery.

Some thoughts;
-The delivery was probably being made to the port of Bridgetown which is the modern capital of Barbados. It's located on the southwest corner of the island.
-I'd never heard of "Moscavadoe sugar" until now. Sugar was apparently a very valuable commodity in 17th century New England as the freight list will show.

To be continued

Friday, April 05, 2019


Whenever I start researching an early ancestor who lived in Essex County, Ma. I check online to see if they were involved in any court cases.  My 9x great grandfather Abraham Perkins lived in Hampton, NH which originally was part of Massachusetts, and indeed I found him in the court records. Once case in particular caught my attention.

At one point Abraham owned a ketch, which is a two masted sailing vessel, and Abraham sued another man who sold that ketch without permission! Besides the testimony, there are details of a contract of a trading venture and also the inventory the ship carried on its voyage. This took place in a session at the Salem Quarterly Court  of June 1674:

Abraham Perkins v. John Cutt, jr. Verdict for the plaintiff.

*Writ: Abraham Perkins v. John Cutt, jr., of Portsmouth; for, he having been shipped master of the ketch Dove, 29 tons burthen, for a voyage to the Barbadoes and return, not performing the same, but reports he has sold the ketch at Barbadoes for 250li. in silver, without any order; dated June 11, 1674; signed by Robert Lord, f for the court; and served by Obadiah Mors,f constable of Portsmoth, who delivered him to Abraham Perkins to hand over to the prison-keeper at Ipswich. 

Letter of attorney, dated June 20, 1674, given by John Cutt f of Portesmouth, Piscataqua, merchant, to Daniel Epps of Ipswich, . gentleman. 

Abraham Perkins' bill of cost, 3li. 12s. 9d.

Bond, dated June 19, 1674, given by William Hubbard,f teacher of the Ipswich church, for the appearance of John Cutt, jr. 

Bill of sale, dated Nov. 3, 1673, without signature and witnesses, given by John Burnam, jr., of Ipswich, carpenter, to . John Pumery of Salem, mariner, for one-half of the new ketch called the Dove, built at Chebacko in Ipswich, of about 30 tons burthen, also half of the masts, sails, sailyards, anchors, cables, ropes and cords, the long boat, etc. 

John Pumroy, aged about thirty-eight years, testified that the foregoing bill of sale was agreed upon but he desired to relinquish the bargain because when he came to measure the ketch, he found she would not carry above thirteen or fourteen ton in Barbados cask and he was afraid he and Abraham could not agree. He judged the whole catch to be worth not over 120li. in money. Sworn in court.

 Edmund Marshall,f aged about twenty-six years, deposed that he and his brother Benjamin built the ketch Dove for Abra ham Perkins and John Burnham, for 3li. 5s. per ton, and they stand ready to give a bill of sale of it whenever desired. Sworn, June 29, 1674, before Daniel Denison.f 

Jacob and Luke Perkins, aged twenty and twenty-five years, respectively, deposed. Sworn, June 29, 1674, before Daniel Denison.* 

Samuel Wilson, aged about twenty-four years, deposed that Abraham Perkins shipped him for the ketch Dove, and he was to live with him one whole year upon the same account. Further that deponent put himself out of the way of any other employment, waiting at least one month or six weeks, and said Perkins told him that he expected the ketch home by the latter end of March, 1674. Sworn before Daniel Denison.*

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts:  Vol V 1672-1674 Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County) Essex Institute, 1916

I'll post the contract for the voyage next.

To be contined