Tuesday, June 30, 2009


After a blogging marathon of 14 or so posts last week I found myself sort of
vegging out at the keyboard tonight. I'm a little bit tired and stiff from my
first day back on the sales floor after vacation and I had no enthusiasm
for one of my usual googlebook searches So I think I'll give it a rest on
the research for a few days.

But I'll still be blogging this week. I need to come up with a post for the
CoG and then I'll be editing the links for the "Just Make Up the Geneaology
Lyrics " for when I post the results on the 4th Of July.

I'll still be busy, but tonight, I'm dead tired, so I'm heading off to bed.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


Captain William Gerrish seems to have taken a lesser role in Newbury after the
"figures changing" incident. I've found no further mention of him commanding
the Newbury militia, either mounted or infantry after 1677 and believe he was
replaced. It mildly surprised me that he didn't argue or lodge an appeal. I've
come to think of him as "Wild Bill" Gerrish because of all the arguments and
lawsuits he was involved in. It seemed, at first, out of character for him to
give up without a fight.

By now William was around 60 years of age and perhaps it didn't seem worth
it to him to continue on as he had in Newbury. After his wife Joanna died in 1677
he seems to have concentrated his business pursuits in Boston where he was the
owner of Number 3 Long Wharf. He was such a prominent citizen there by 1686
that when the city celebrated its 50th birthday that year he gave the opening and
closing prayer at the commemorative ceremonies. He fell ill the following year
and visited his son Benjamin in Salem, where he died 9Aug 1687.

Another possible reason might have been family ties. William's daughter Elizabeth
married Stephen Greenleaf Junior on 23Oct 1676. William was now related by
marriage to the Greenleafs and the Coffins, families who'd been on the opposite
side in the decades long Newbury church fight. Did William Gerrish put aside
his long-running differences with the members of the Woodman faction for the
sake of his daughter's happiness?

That church dispute between the supporters of Rev. Parker and those of Edward
Woodman is fascinating because of how it seems to have affected the daily life
in Newbury. In the suits and counter-suits between William Gerrish and Thomas
Woodbridge, many of the witness were people who were also involved in the
church infighting. I could probably go on for several more posts just on that
alone. Perhaps some time in the future I will, but now it's time to move on to
new subjects.

This concludes my series of posts on Capt. William Gerrish of Newbury, Ma., my
9x great grandfather.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Even though Randy Seaver is out at the SCGS genealogy jamboree, he still
managed to issue us a Saturday Night GenealogyFun challenge:

"1) Identify one genealogist that you would like to meet. The person could
be living or deceased.

2) Why do you want to meet with this person?

3) What would you talk about? What questions would you ask this person?

4) Write about your choice on your blog or in Comments to this post."

Now this is a tough one, but not because I couldn't think of anyone. On the
contrary, it's because there's just so many folks out there I'd like to meet.
But I finally managed to settle on just one.

1) I'd like to meet Chris Dunham.

2) As to why, I've always enjoyed his The Genealogue blog, but besides that,
we are distant cousins through my descent from my great great grandmother
Florilla Dunham.

2)Along with talking about that Dunham line, I'd hope we'd talk about Maine
genealogy. Chris has several other blogs dealing with Maine records and sources
such as Maine Genealogy , and Oxford County Genealogy Notebook as well as
contributing to Strange Maine so we might talk about those, and about genealogy
and geneablogging in general.

4) And now I've blogged about it.


This is a special "Wish I was at the Jamboree Edition."

These are my attempts to come up with definitions for the strange words
that we type for word verification for comments on geneablogs:

alimmory- What that phone call from your ex-wife is about.

quater- .25 cents in Boston

and lastly,

messe-what my deske lookes like at the moment.


I haven't as yet found any online information as to the results of the Court ruling in 1658
that William Gerrish could command the Newbury cavalry troops or its foot troops but he
couldn't command both. I suspect that if it were up to him, he would have chosen the
cavalry because it was more befitting his status as a leading citizen of the new colony.
Gentlemen (and before them, nobles) rode into battle, after all! Quite possibly the
question remained a bone of contention for quite some time. Given what I've seen from
the court records of his feud with Thomas Woodbridge, it's not hard to believe that the
matter might have rankled at William Gerrish. It might even have been the reason why
he found himself in an embarrassing situation in 1678.

William Gerrish indulged in a little creative bookkeeping when he submitted his expenses
for the recent campaign in King Philip's War. The case was laid out in court, beginning
with copies of his orders and some official correspondence, and then proceeding with
testimony of witnesses, the most damaging of these being Constable Joseph Pike. The first
paragraph gives a brief summary of the case and the verdict:

"Court having heard the presentment against Capt. Gerrish for altering figures in an
of the militia of Newbury, and further complaint being made by Joseph Pike, constable of Newbury, for some alteration made by said Captain in said account
without the knowledge
of the rest of the committee, and also that he had made
somewhat unjust demands for
disbursements made by himself and attempted more
than once to have made up said
accounts in general without citing the particulars,
to the great trouble of the said constable, whose fidelity and care court acknowledged,
it was declared by the court that Capt. Gerrish
had wittingly or carelessly defrauded
the country and occasioned much trouble and charge.
They found him culpable and
fined him.

Presented for making the figures three into six and ten into twenty."

Next came his orders and some correspondence:

"Capt: Gerrish the present feares & distress of Norfolke calling for present assistance
admitting no delay putts me on doing that wch for divers reasons I should haue chosen
to haue auoyded. But Necessity hath no law

You are therefore upon sight hereof imediately required to march ouer to Salisbury wth
of your best able marching men wel armed & furnished wth amunition & victuals so as
they attend the seruice of the country for one weeke & till other succors can be sent if
your self cannot goe, send them by a sufficient leader & tender them to Major Pike and
attend his further order for the security of the county (the enemy being on this side
Puscataquay) by scouring the woods about Haueril &Exeter who will doubtles affoord
you gardes, heereof faile not. "
Apr 15, 77 at 2
Daniel Denison"

Right away I wondered about that phrases about "putts me on doing that wch for divers
reasons I should haue chosen to haue auoyded." Was there some personal reason that
Daniel Dennison was reluctant to send William Gerrish in particular out with his troops,
or was it the sending of the troops in general that he'd hoped to avoid? I also noticed the
word "marched" which would certainly seem to indicate that Gerrish was commanding infantry.

Next is a statement by Willian Gerrish about the length of his service at this period and
correspondence concerning the money due him for that service:

"15 Aprill to the 30th This may informe the Committee that acording to warrant I
sarued the Cuntry fourteen dayes. Wm. Gerrish Capt.

"This aboue writen is a true Coppye of the originall Certifecat which was on file at
boston about desem 6th 1677 to which we are redy to giue oth if Called tharto.
Joseph Pike."

"Capt John Hull Sr
Capt Wm Gerrish had in May 22d last a dibenter for four pounds for fourteen dayes
wch it seemes was a mistake he being allowed as a Capt of hors, should have
been as Capt
of Foot: pray let Twenty shillings be deducted and there will remaine
due to him on that
dibenter but three pounds.
"Janu: 1st 1677:
John Richards
John Hayward."

And finally, the evidence and terstimony in the case:

"To ye honored Court Now sitting att Ipswich aprill ye 30th 1678 theas are to signefie vnto
this honoured Court that whearas I am presented as a witnes in ye behalfe of the Cuntry
against Capt. Gerish Confirming the altering of figars this may also inform you that there
are seuerall things besides yt in his account whereby I Conseaue that ye Cuntry or sum
others are wronged: as Confirming bread which hath bene wronge Charged and is not yet
Isued to sattisfaction also Consirning a returne giuen to ye Comitty for the war by Capt.
Gerish which I humbly Conseaue is not acording to truth: and soe to the dameg of the
Cuntry & seuerall other things the which I thinke as I am the Cuntryes ofisser I am in
duty bound to declare unto this honoured Court: that soe truth may appeer the which
I humbly Craue and soe remaine
Your oblidged seruant
Joseph Pike, Constable of Newbery."

Dudley Bradstreet certified that Joseph Pike, constable of Newberry desired him to testify
concerning a writing he showed him which he said Capt. Gerrish wrote, and which was as
follows: "Joseph Pike demands for disbursments for wages, armes & amunition, for John
Hobs: fiue pounds. Wm. Gerrish." This was in Capt. Gerrish's handwriting.

Joseph Pike, aged about thirty-nine years, deposed that after much trouble about the
accounts of disbursements to the war, the accounts being rejected to his great damage
and loss of time and expense, "The Committee of Mallittea in Newbery being mett together
on the 19th daye of September 1677 as may appear by the date of the sd acount I then told
them yt they must now draw a particullar acount notion euery particullar they Charged on
the Cuntry or els the Treasurer would not acsept of the acount I told them yt I would now
haue an acount that should pass or els I would have none and they semed to be throughly sensable of my former truble: and drawed up the acount with as great Care as might well
be for I red out of my booke to Capt. Gerish who entered the perticullars and the prise:
the Ensigne greenleif and Sargent moody writt downe the perticullar sums and soe all
three Cast up the sums & when all three agreed: the Capt. enterd the gros sum to eury
mans acount & when we Came to ye Captins acount I told him that he must saye how
many times posting and whether: the Capt. Gerish saide he Could say three times to
Ipswich I sd to him then enter three times which was done and his a count setled to his
Content as I did aprehend: for what we Could not Charge on ye Cuntry the Comety
Consented to paye him out of the fines soe yt he had his whole demand one waye or ye
other: he had entered ye time in which the figars are in the manar as followeth
(my man posting 3 times to Ipswich 10') afterwards when we met the 2d time to finish the
acount I understanding that Ipswich Charged thayr guns twenty shillings mony I informed
our Comittee of it: then they agreed to Charg only 26s in rate paye soe those guns that
enterd before that day the sum was alttered as doth apear in ye sd acount the day
ended I Caried whom the acount wth me: and Carfully vewed it puer at my own
house and
Could not see any alteration in it: and to my best remembrans I did then see the figer of 3 as it was entered: and being prety well sattisfie with the acount I Caried it to ye Comitee on a trayninge day to signe it: ye liftenant being gon ye Capt. brought in to me
after the acount
was drawne att sargt moodyes which they entered and signed the acount and then I Carried it to the lift: and sargant moody and shewed them what was aded:
they Consented
to it and signed the acount and then I toke it and Caried it to the
treasurer: whoe would not acsept it becaus the sum was not entered in words at teng absollute soe I brought it whome againe and being taking out a Coppye of the acount I
found the figar of thre was altered in
this maner) the 10 made 20 the gros sum of three
pounds 4 shill: was made 3" 14" 0: the
one part with the white Inke the other blake:
when I informed the Comittee of it Capt.
gerish saide he would owne it for he did it
with the Consent of the Comitee which they did
deny to his fase he then gaue this acount:
I went three times to Ipswich my selfe I told
him that was not his man: besides he was
payed for those three Jornies before: which I
can prove: he then bed me strike out the
ten shillings againe which I did in the gros sume:
and soe he seemed to be sillent and
made noe demand of any other thing as euer
I heard in the preasons of the Comitee
untill the Church meeting soe that I thinke I may
rashonally Conclude that Capt.
gerish knew nothing of these postings to roully when he
altered the sd figers."
Sworn in court by Joseph Pike to the whole and Lift. Woodman
and Sergt. Caleb
Moodye to that part concerning the militia which they were together.

James (his mark) Ordway, sr., and John Webster, sr., deposed that on Apr. 15, 1677, they
went out with Capt. Gerish to the Eastward and on Apr. 24, a warrant came from said
Gerish to release all Newburey soldiers, except deponents who were ordered to go to the
said Captain at Portsmouth. Accordingly they went to Portsmouth, and after the sun was
set, the Captain ordered them to go to Greenland where they were to stay until the
Captain came to them. They endeavored to obey his order but lost their way in the night
and went at Greenland early the next morning. They reached home on Apr. 26, the
Captain having arrived before them. John Webster further testified that "the constable
hauing Goten a ticket in on paper for all our lay and that James ordway and my selfe wear
not alowed more then the Rest & also yt Jonathan woodman that was put in ye place; &
Ded ye worke and had the title of a Leutenant; yet was not so reterned by Captin Gerish:
I being in the Roome of a clarke went to ye captin & moued him to do on day more to
each of us ordway & my self No said ye captin I canot Do it: for the comity will say why
should theas two haue more then the Rest: said Hee ye Answer will bee thes two stayd
for to Guard the captin Home said Captin Gerish the comitey will say why Did ye captin
stay after His souldiers; No said ye captin I will not Do it to cheat the countrey; I further
testify that I went out the second time with captin Gerish in Mr Friers vesell we went by
sea in on day & the Next day I came with Him to salsburey & went back the same day to Portsmouth this 2d Going out was about the 3 or 4 day of may as I remember.
Sworn in court.

Moses Gerrish, aged about twenty-two years, testified that since the Indian war began
went post upon the country's account three times to Ipswich, three times to Rowley
once from Andover to Newbury. Sworn, Apr. 28, 1678, before Jo. Woodbridge,

Richard Dole certified, Apr. 29, 1678, that about the beginning of the wars with the
Capt. Gerish was at his house with a company of soldiers intending to go to
Salem. Capt.
Geerish wanted money to lay out for the soldiers, and he lent him 20s. and charged him for it. When they came to an accounting, said Gerish told him that he must charge the country for it which he did, but the constable refused to pay it and the
Captain paid it.

Thomas Hale, jr., deposed that sometime in the winter of 1676, being in the room where the
militia of Newbury were met at Goodman Doel's, there was a great contest between Capt.
Gerish and Joseph Pick, constable, the Captain pressing very hard to have the total sums entered without mentioning the particulars. The constable strongly opposed him, saying
that those who were ashamed to enter the particulars should have no money of him, but
the Captain was so enraged that he was afraid the constable would be run down by him
and yield, in which case the Captain would establish a precedent whereby he would have opportunity to cheat the country. Deponent called out the constable and advised him to
mind what he did and not to dothat which he might afterward repent of. Sworn in court.

Account, signed by Wm. Gerrish, Hechelaus Woodman, Stephen Grenlefe and Samuell
Plumer: To Capt. White post 3 times Ipswich — And 1 bowshell of wheate prest, 10s.;
Jonathan Woodman 16 Weakes horce hier, 24s., a bridle, 5s., Gun, 2s., 2li. 9s.; John Jones
post to Ipswich, 2s. 6d.; James Jackman, a sadle, 16s., a bridle, 2s. 6d., 1li. 1-2 powder,
1li. 9d.; Daniell Mussilloway, a rapier & belt, 18s., a weake's pvisions, 3s. 6d., 1li. powder,
horne & 20 bulletts & 1 snapsaicke, 5s. 6d., 1li. 6s.; Benjamine Coker post to Sallisbury,
1s. 6d.; Peter Godfry, sword & belt & powder, 17s.; Mathew Pettingell, 2li. powder, 3s., 2 poutches, 2 : 6 bulletts, worme & scourer 18d, a mare hier 4s., 11s.; Wm. Sayre, 1li. 1-2
powder, snapsaicke, bandileres, bullet mould, 6 dayes pvisions 2s., a sadle 13s., Hi. powder
& Powderhorne, 6s.; Wm. Danford, Cheace, 5s.; Wm. Fanning, a snapsaicke, 2 : 6, 1li.
powder 18d, poutch 1s., 1 p of bandileres, 2 : 6, bullets 1s., 8s. 6d.; John Swett, 1 Gun
Lost, 1li.; Joseph Bayly, a bridle lost, 3s ...."

The account runs on for several pages.

Finally, Gerrish makes a statement in defense of his actions:

"Wm. Gerrish, senior testified that at a meeting of the committee of militia of Newbury at Caleb Moody's house Joseph Pike, constable, informed the committee that there were
new demands
from several, desiring such accounts to be added to the country account.
I then said so have
I for posting, so wee proceded, And I did alter many figures and
sums; And doe owne I did
then alter figures for myselfe; at the time same on ye same
table before the same persons, without
any purpose to wrong the Cuntry, it being my
due; The Constable being bound for Boston &
not a season to cleare up my demand
rather than interrupt was perswaded to yeild to have it put
forth againe & have it
afterwards on new demand; therefore no wrong donn to the Cuntry by
me if it had
stood on ye accot, but the wrong is to my selfe not as yet beeing payd my due."

His testimony wasn't enough in the face of the evidence against him. William Gerrish was
found guilty and fined and soon lost his militia command.

I'll have some final thoughts in the next post which will conclude this series on William Gerrish.

Friday, June 26, 2009


As the previous posts about Willam Gerrish have shown, he appears to have been a
man who cut a wide swath through life and not the type to back down in an argument.
He even found himself embroiled in a long running dispute in the Newbury church
during which some of my ancestors were on opposing sides: Captain Gerrish and
Tristram Coffin were supporters of the Reverend Parker while Stephen Greenleaf and
John Emery were part of a faction headed by Edward Woodman. I won't go into
details here because the controversy raged for twenty-six years from 1646 until
1672, but I mention it as another example of William Gerrish's pugnacity.

But such a combative nature was bound to create some enmity against Gerrish and the
first example of this might very well not be his clashes with Thomas Woodbridge,
but rather a petition from the townsfolk of Newbury. Now Gerrish had been elected
to a post of leadership in the militia in 1649, but problems soon arose:

"Mr. William Gerrish, having been elected " lieutenant of the Troop of horse for Essex,"
was confirmed in that office by the county court held at Ipswich, March 27, 1649. Some
question having arisen in regard to the validity of the election, the subject was brought to
the attention of the General Court May 26, 1658."

`In ansr to the petition of the inhabitants of Newbury &c humbly craving that they might
haue the bennefitt of the law that no man should haue comand of the horse & ffoote both,
that Capt Gerrish may be required to desert the horse & wholly attend the ffoote, or
attend the horse & medle no more wth the ffoote, that so they may be excer by him vpon
whom they must depend in time of neede, i.e. theire leftnnt allowed & approved of by the
Court. The Courte Judgeth it meete to graunt their request.'

On the same day, John Emery, John Webster, and several other inhabitants of Newbury
were ordered "to appeare before the General Court in October next, to answer wt is laid
them"; and Henry Short, Richard Kent, Richard Knight, Nicholas Noyes, and Anthony
Somerby were ordered to attend as witnesses.

`October 19, 1658 the Court having heard the case relating to the military company
of Newbury. preferred by Jno Emory, Senr who, wth his sonnes, John Emery,
Junr & Jno
Webster & Solomon Keyes, haue binn so busy & forward to disturbe the peace
of the place
by their actings in seuerall respects & occationed much trouble to this court
in refference
thereto, Judg it meete to order that the said John Emory, Senr, Jno Emery,
Junr, Jno Webster
& Solomon Keyes be seuerally admonished to beware of the like
sinfull practizes for time
to come, wch this court will not beare: and that they pay the
seuerall chardges of theire
neighbors at the last Court and this, in coming for releife
from such under courses. Costs
allowed in all, was fower pounds, eight shillings & ffees '-

Currier, John J., History of Newbury, Mass. 1635-1902 Damrell & Upham, Boston, Ma
1905 (pp495-496)

Both the Emerys and John Webster were supporters of Edward Woodman, and Mr.
Currier points to the incident as evidence of the far-reaching divisive effects of
the Newbury church argument.

But did it play a part in the events of 1675-1676. when Captain Gerrish found himself
once more in the center of controversy?

To be continued....

Thursday, June 25, 2009


A whole bunch of genea-bloggers are among those attending the Jamboree
out in California this weekend and while he's there, Thomas MacEntee
is gong to be spreading the word about the Genea-Bloggers group to
those who haven't heard of us as yet. As part of that he's asked us to
write or post an introduction to our blogs for those visiting us for the
first time.

I'm not sure I'm going to get many visitors. There are a lot more better
written and more interesting blogs in our group, and anyway, my
blog's name is down at the end of the list alphabetically, the curse of
having a name beginning with W. There's 587 Genea-Bloggers now and
I think my blog is 574 on the list. I think it'll take awhile for folks to
work their way through the 573 ahead of me . *Grin*

Anyway, I put together an introduction last year for the Genea-Blogger
Games and being a thrifty New Englander, I decided to recycle that
for this occasion:

"Part of the Genea-Blogger Games category called "Write,
Write, Write!" is a summary of what my blog is about. I'm
not too sure I can do a coherent job of it but I'll give it a shot.

The heading below the blog title includes the line:

"A blog about genealogy and thoughts about the various
roots and branches of my family tree as well as the times
in which my ancestors lived."

I wrote that the day I began "West in New England" and while
it's a fairly succinct description of what this blog was intended
to be, it's become a bit more since then. My goal was to
preserve and share what I know or discover my family's
genealogy but that now has expanded to include my memories
of my immediate family, of growing up and living, and of some
of the things that I like or dislike.(Such as the previous "Tunes"
post inspired by Tim Abbott's meme.) Now as I grow older,
I want to leave stories that my niece and nephews can have
about myself and my parents, because I have come to realize
how little I know about my mother's parents and their side of
the family and wish that I knew more.

When I share what I find out about my ancestors, I try to put
it in the context of the times they lived in, and to put into
words my thoughts on how events might have affected them,
such as when I posted about my grandfather's service at
Camp Devens during the Great Spanish Influenza Outbreak of
1918, or about the diptheria outbreak in Maine in 1861 which
claimed the lives of six West children and of Orpha Reynolds
West, first wife of my ancestor Jonathan Phelps West. I try to
blend genealogy with family history because my ancestors were
not just names and dates but living, breathing people with
hopes and dreams and stories to tell and I want to pass some
of that on to others.

This blog has also become a way to reach out to those who
might share some of my ancestry and exchange information
with them. I've made contacts with distant cousins I didn't
know I had, some of whom are numbered among my fellow
genealogy bloggers.

And finally, it's become a way to socialize with an expanding
community of genealogy bloggers and learn more about their
research and their families, as well as to have fun with them
in the various carnivals or challenges. I'd never have had to
come up with all those genealogically related (sorta) uses for
flutaphones, for example, if I hadn't met Janice Brown (one
of those cousins I mentioned) via her blog!

So that's what this blog has become in the year and a half and
the 360 posts since I've been at it. It's been a lot of fun and
I hope my readers have had fun reading it!"

Well, it's now nearly two and a half years and 532 posts (counting this one)
later. I'm still having fun, and I hope you have or will too reading my blog.


Just sitting and chilling literally and figuratively. Where's the heat?? I'm
ready for a warm, sunny day!

I might yet get out on some genealogy expedition before vacation is
over but I was a bit taken aback looking at the fees for copies at the
Boston Archdiocese Archives and the Massachusetts State Archives.
I couldn't find any indication that either allowed a researcher to
download anything to a USB pocket drive. Can you do that at the

I should know enough by now to remember to bookmark sites with
family information on them so I can get back to them later, but somehow
I forgot to do it with three sites during my Captain William Gerrish
research. I've found one, but the other two are still eluding me. I'm
not sure now if the incidents they discussed were about him, or whether
it was about Stephen Greenleaf or Thomas Chandler. I was running
Google searches on different family names with the added search terms of
"Essex" and "court" to see if I could find more court cases. Ah well, I'll
keep hunting them.

And in the category of "What the HECK is that? " see if you can spot
the word that had me doing a double take in this list of goods that belonged
to Captain Gerrish:

"14 pecs serges, 35li.; 1 pece of hollond, 5li. 10s.; 69 els of Ossinb., 5li. 15s.; 60 yds. flaning, 6li.; 30 1-2, 37 1-2 of duffills, 15li. 6s.; 42 yds. penistone, 5li. 15s. 6d.; 25 yds. Carsy....."

It was rather late at night when I read that list and I rubbed my eyes a few
times because I thought I was misreading that. I wasn't, but as it turned out,
the word refers to a very rare type of wool that comes from a breed of sheep
raised near the Pennines in England.

Coffee's almost gone. Now I need to decide, more writing, or go see the "Star Trek"


The citizenry of Essex County must have had a lot of interesting conversations
about the goings on between Thomas Woodbridge and my 9x great grandfather
Captain William Gerrish in that spring of 1676. They were launching legal missiles
at each other as before the ink was even dry on the writs issued by the court. And
things seem to have come to a head in June of that year.

First, on June 15th, a writ that references the items that had been attached from
Captain Gerrish in the previous case. I must say that Joseph Pike, the constable,
seems to have taken a bit of relish in that duty and I'll ask you, reader, to keep
that thought for later. I also find the list of good interesting because of the
unfamiliar terms and names:

"Capt. Wm. Geerish v. Mr. Tho. Woodbridge. Review. Verdict for plaintiff. Appealed
to the next Court of Assistants. Said Woodbridge bound, with Mr. Dudly Bradstreet
and Ensign Tho. Chandler as sureties.

Writ, dated June 15, 1676, signed by Anthony Somerby, for the court, and served by
Joseph Pike, constable of Newbery, by attachment of the dwelling house, warehouse
and land, all the furniture in the house, which consists of five beds, several pewter dishes,
divers sorts of linens in trunks in the house, several parcels of English goods in the shop,
one bale of goods in the warehouse, salt, lines, cork, feathers, etc., belonging to defendant.

Execution, dated Mar. 30, 1676, against Capt. Will. Gerish to satisfy judgment granted
Mr. Thomas Woodbridge at Ipswich court, signed by Robert Lord, cleric, and served by
Robert Lord, marshal of Ipswich. Copy made by Robert Lord, cleric.

Bought of Mr. Jacob Jesson, Nov. 19, 1675, to pay in pork in two months at money price
at Boston: 28 M. 1-2 6d nailes at 5s., 7li. 2s. 6d.; 50 M. 4d nailes, at 2s. 8d., 6li. 13s. 4d.;
14 M. 10d nailes, 3s., 5li. 12s.; total, 19li. 5s. 10d. Owned by Mr. Woodbridg, 27 : 4 : 1676,
before Hilliard Veren cleric.

Goods delivered the Marshal by execution, 60li. 10s.: 14 pecs serges, 35li.; 1 pece of
5li. 10s.; 69 els of Ossinb., 5li. 15s.; 60 yds. flaning, 6li.; 30 1-2, 37 1-2 of duffills,
15li. 6s.;
42 yds. penistone, 5li. 15s. 6d.; 25 yds. Carsy, 10li 12s.; 2 pecs 1-2 thicke carsy,
11li. 12s. 6d.;
1 pece of carsy, 3li. 10s.; 1 peece of sad carsy, 4li.; 2 pecs of mild serge,
11li. 10s.; 1 pece of
prest serge, 3li. 18s.; 1 pece of serge, 3li.; 1 pec. serge, 3li. 10s.; 1
pece serge, 3li. 18s.;
2 pecs of prewnello, 15li. 10s.; 1 pece of farindine, 6li.; 3 pecs of
stuffe, 8li. 5s.; 1 pece of
serge, 3li. 18s.; silver lace, 3li. 7s. 6d.; 6 pecs of callico, 6li. 2s.;
2 pecs of Lawne, 3li. 12s.;
1 pece of gimpe lace, 11s. 3d.; blew lining, 5li. 14s.; 1 peece
of stuffe, 3li. 10s.; nayls, 27li. 9s.

Capt. Gerrish's bill of cost, to witnesses John Dole, John Atkinson, Henry Tewxsbury,
Thomas Noys, Nico. Noys, Stephen Greinleife, Daniell Lunt, John Kent, Hugh March and
Joseph Gerrish, etc., 9li. 1s. 6d.

Caleb Moody deposed. Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Elizabeth Gerrish, aged twenty-two years, testified concerning the attachments served by
constable Joseph Pike, she standing at the porch door. He said "I doe attach this Cubbard
this Chaire this table & this dogg," and then went outside and attached three oxen, seven
cows, two yokes, a chain and a dungpot. Then the constable went away with Tristram
Coffin. Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

John Cornelius, aged twenty-five years, deposed. Sworn, June 26, 1676, before Daniel

Ric. Dole, aged about fifty-two years, testified. Sworn in court.

John Knight, sr., testified. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin, aged forty-four years, deposed. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin and Jno. Dole testified. Sworn in court.

John Wells, aged about thirty-six years, deposed on June 23, 1676. Sworn, June 26, 1676,
before William Stoughton. Copy made by Hilliard Veren, cleric.

John Knight testified that Mr. Woodbridge told him that he had paid Gerrish a part of his
debt and the remainder he would pay at the next coming in of the boat, etc. Sworn in

John Knight, sr., deposed. Sworn in court.

Elizabeth Gerrish, aged about twenty-two years, deposed concerning the goods for
Woodbridge sued her father. Sworn, 26 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Moses Gerrish, aged about twenty-years, deposed concerning what Mr. Woodbridge
told his
wife about the goods, etc. Sworn, 27 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant."

Now, one would think that having won his case and seen all of Thomas Woodbridge's
belongings attached would have been enough satisfaction for William Gerrish and the
two of them would have moved on with their lives. But only two days later, the pair
were once more back in court over something that had occurred weeks earlier.

This time, it was William Gerrish who was the defendant:

"Mr. Tho. Woodbridg v. Capt. Wm. Gerrish. Unjust molestation. Verdict for plaintif
Writ, dated June 17, 1676, signed by Dudley Bradstreet, for the court and served by J
oseph Pike, constable of Newbury.

Thomas Woodbridge's bill of cost, 17s. 8d.

Theophilus Willson, aged about seventy-five years, testified that about eight days before
the last Ipswich court Capt Gerrish arrested Mr. Woodbridge for slander in an action of
l,000li., and not giving security said Woodbridge was brought to deponent who was
keeper of the prison, and was kept imprisoned eight days. Sworn, June 26, 1676, before
Daniel Denison.

John Knight, aged fifty-one years, deposed that the last spring the constable of Neubery
attached a parcel of iron of Mr. Woodbridge's which the latter shipped aboard Daniell
Lunt's boat. Immediately after the iron was attached, Capt. Gerrish sent deponent to
Woodbridge to tell him what iron he had present use for about his vessel he should have,
weighing it. Sworn in court.

Joseph Pike, aged about thirty-seven years, testified concerning serving the attachments,
the first time on two tons which proved to be Mr. Page's etc. Sworn in court.

Joseph Pike, aged about thirty-seven years, deposed that he weighed out for Ensign
Greenleif 300li. of the iron which he delivered to Woodbridge's men who were employed
on the vessel now called Mr. Dumer's, etc. Sworn in court.

Stephen Grenlef, aged about forty-seven years, deposed that the constable brought the
iron which was attached to deponent's shop, etc. Sworn in court.

Major Denison and Marshal Lord affirmed in court that Woodbridge was put in prison."

And then....well, I don't know. I haven't found anymore records of court preceedings
between Capt. Gerrish and Thomas Woodbridge. And I wish I knew what the
witnesses said in testifying.

But I have found one last case that involves Constable Pike and the Captain, and we'll
discuss that next.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As I said in a previous post, my ancestor Captain William Gerrish had more
than one court battle with Thomas Woodbridge. Gerrish had already sued
Woodbridge for slander but the case had been withdrawn for some reason or
another that I've yet to discover. Apparently something happened to make the
Captain refile his suit, and at first it appears he won:

"Capt. Wm. Gerish v. Mr. Thomas Woodbridge. Defamation or slander.
Verdict for plaintiff. To pay a fine unless he acknowledge his offence
before the court in saying that the Capt. had cheated him and lied, and also
make a like acknowledgment at Newbery on a lecture day within five weeks,
openly in the meeting house before the congregation. Appealed to the next
Court of Assistants. Mr. Thomas Woodbridge bound, with Mr. Dudly Bradstreet
and Thomas Chandler as sureties.*

*Writ, dated 19 : 4 : 1676, signed by Hilliard Veren, for the court, and served
by Joseph Webb, marshal of Boston. Bond of Tho. Woodbridge.

Bill of cost, 3li. 13s. 4d.

Daniell Luntt, aged about thirty-four years, deposed concerning what Woodbridge
said about Gerrish, etc. Sworn, 24 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant

Robert Lord, sr., aged about seventy-five years, deposed concerning a bill which
Capt. Gerrish acknowledged and then denied, etc. Sworn, June 23, 1676, before
Daniel Denison.

Henry Jaques, aged about fifty-six years, testified that he was one of the jury in the
action of defamation brought by Capt. William Gerrish against Mr. Thos. Woodbridge,

and their verdict against Gerrish was given on account of the contradictory and untrue statements of said Gerrish. Wit: John Wells and Dudley Bradstreet. Abraham Perkins
testified to the same. Sworn, June 26, 1676, before Daniel Denison."

But Thomas Woodbridge would not give up so easily, and did appeal the

"Mr. Thomas Woodbridge v. Capt. Wm. Gerrish. Review of a case tried at
the last Ipswich court. Verdict for defendant. Appealed to the next Court of
Assistants. Said Woodbridge bound, with Mr. Dudly Bradstreet and Ensign Tho. Chandler
as sureties.*

*Writ, dated June 17, 1676, signed by Dudley Bradstreet,for the court, and served
by Joseph Pike, constable of Newbery, by attachment of a dwelling house, land,
shed, ten acres of upland between Mr. Jno. Woodbridg's and Mr. Perses land,
belonging to defendant, also his part of the bark of which Daniell Lunt is commander,
sixteen or twenty acres of marsh and meadow, eastward of and near Newbery mill at
the little river, six or eight acres between Ant. Morse's house and Richard Brown's
pasture, also seven cows, a dung-fork, two yokes and a chain at Capt. Gerrish's usual
dwelling place, a cupboard, a great chair, table and a dog.

Bill of cost, 4s.

John Knight and Thomas Knight deposed that there were many particulars behind for
which Woodbridge had not given the Captain credit, and upon Woodbridge demanding
what they were, John Knight replied that cousin Thomas Noyce's 11li. 10s. was one
and the old bark of Badger's which he sold for 10li., was another and the third
was an interest in Sterling's vessel, all of which Woodbridge owned.
Thomas Noyce testified that the 11li. 10s. was to be paid in barley at his father
Peirce's, etc. Sworn, 26 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Tristram Coffine, aged forty-four years, testified concerning the accounts. Sworn in

Richard Dole, aged fifty-two years, deposed concerning the ossenbrige purchased,
etc. Sworn in court.

Daniel Lunt, aged about thirty-five years, testified concerning taking on his boat to Boston ninety-eight bushels of malt worth 3s. 6d. per bushel which he delivered to
Mr. Thomas Woodbridg. Sworn, 24 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Ricd. Dole, aged fifty-two years, testified concerning discussion of the account at
Hugh Marches house. Sworn in court.

Nicholas Noyes deposed. Sworn in court.

Henery Tuckexbury, aged about fifty years, deposed that he being indebted to Capt.
Gerrish for 5li., Woodbridge desired him to work about a "wessel" which he had
building, he agreed to pay the 5li. to Gerrish, etc. Sworn, 26 : 4 : 1676, before
Simon Bradstreet.

Jno. Dole, aged about twenty-seven years, deposed concerning witnessing the
payment of goods by Mr. Woodbridge to Capt. Gerrish. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin, aged forty-four years, deposed. Sworn in court.

Caleb Moody deposed that by order of Capt. Gerish he paid malt to Goodman Cbease
of Hamton, boatman, to the value of 20s. or 30s. for freight of a parcel of goods,
which Gerish told him were Woodbridge's goods. This was two years ago the last
spring. Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Richard Dole, aged about fifty-two years, deposed. Sworn m court.

Hugh March, aged about fifty-four years, deposed. Sworn, 26 : 4 : 1676, before
Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

John Atkisson, aged about forty years, deposed that the malt delivered at Boston
was sold by Mr. Woodbridge to Mr. John Viall. Sworn in court.

Richard Dole, aged fifty-two years, deposed. Mr. Deane and Mr. Dudley Bradstreet
mentioned. Sworn in court.

Joseph Gerrish testified that his father paid him 36s. in money for Mr. Thomas
Woodbridge which he said Woodbridge owed deponent on account of a horse.
Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Moses Gerrish, aged twenty years, deposed that Woodbridge had 3li. of powder
of his father, etc. Sworn, 26 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne,f assistant.

Tho. Woodbridge's order to Capt. Gerrish, May 4, 1674, to let Goodman Sawer
have eight thousand shingle nails and two thousand board nails, and Will. Sayear's
receipt. Sworn in court.

Tho. Woodbridge'sf order to Capt. Gerrish, May 2, 1674, to let Joshua Boynton
have 1 M. shingle nails and 1 M. board nails. Sworn in court.

Nails delivered by Wm. Gerrish,f on order of Woodbridge, Mar. 1673-4, to Samuell Mody, Goodman Somersby, Joseph Bointon, Wm. Sayre, Mr. Pearce, Thomas
Rogers, Ensign Greinleife, Mr. Dumer, John Indian. Sworn in court.

Tho. Woodbridge's order to Capt. Gerrish to let Goodman Somerbee have 3 M
shingle nails and 1 M board nails, with Anthony Somerby's receipt.
Sworn in court."

The list of attached items was particularly interesting to me. They certainly were efficient,
even including a "dung-fork" and a dog!

So it seems Captain Gerrish had won out over his adversary. Thomas Woodbridge would
have to make a public apology, and that would be an end to it.

Or would it?

To be continued....


The deadline for my "Just Make Up some Genealogy Lyrics" Challenge
is coming up on June 30th, but there's still time for you to play...and sing...

These are the rules:

1. Set the names of your ancestors to the music of any song. It can be
any number of names, any song. Just remember to mention what song
you are using so we can all sing along as we read!

2. Publish your efforts on your blog and send me the link. If you don't have
a blog( and you really should, you know, they're easy and fun to do) then send
me your song in a comment to this blog.

2. Dead line is June 30th. I'll publish the final list here on the 4th of July!

Now I've had some entries that don't list family names but hey, I'm easy.
I'll take any genealogy themed song !

I know some folks that are going to Jamboree may not have had the time
to come up with a song, but maybe they can brainstorm with their
fellow geneabloggers out there.

Who knows? Maybe they'll come up with an official Geneabloggers' Anthem!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Both Stephen Greenleaf and Stephen Greenleaf Jr. had made good marriages with
women from prominent colonial families. Stephen the elder had married Elizabeth
Coffin, daughter of Tristram Coffin; Stephen Junior married Elizabeth Gerrish,
whose father was Captain William Gerrish.

The Greenleaf, Coffin and Gerrish families ran profitable mercantile and ship
construction businesses in the towns of Newbury and Amesbury as well in Boston.
And despite the religious beliefs of the founding Puritan fathers, the business
world back then was just as competitive as it is today. Take the case of William Gerrish
and Thomas Woodbridge.

Actually, make that cases. They faced each other in court in Essex County at least
three times, twice over debts, and the third time my ancestor William Gerrish took
Thomas Woodbridge to court for slander:

"Capt. Wm. Gerrish v. Thomas Woodbridge. Slander. Withdrawn.:

Caleb Moody testified that he heard Woodbridge say that Captain Gerish was a cheating knave, that he had cheated him out of 180li., and that he had told a damnable or devilish
Sworn in court.

Jno. Joanes and Steven Swet testified. Sworn in court.

Joseph Hills, aged about seventy years, deposed that in the presence of Mr. Henry Sewall
heard Woodbridge say that there were fifty men in Newbury who would say that
Capt. Gerrish
had cheated them and that he would be cast out of the church. Deponent
asked Rev. Mr. Jno.
Woodbridg to give him a meeting at his son's house, which he did,
and said Hills then declared
that the meeting was to prevent contention between Capt.
Gerrish and Woodbridge. Mr. Jno.
Woodbridg said he was very much troubled at his
son's speeches many times and he had
counselled him to moderation, and asked
deponent to advise him how to act. "I answered yt
he was more able to advise himselfe
also ye sd Tho. Woodbridg then said yt what he had spoken
to mee about Cheating he
had spoken to som others and bid them goe tell Capt Gerrish."
Sworn in court.

Anthony Somerby, aged sixty-six years, deposed that Woodbridge said Gerrish had
question cheated the town of Newbury of many a pound, and that he doubted
not that he had
taken away the boards from Mr. Richardsun's house. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin, aged forty-four years, deposed that Woodbridge called Capt. Gerrish a cheating knave and that he made a profession of religion to cover his knavery,
deponent advised Woodbridge to be more moderate in his words, for Capt.
Gerrish was a
rational man and would do what was right. Also at said Woodbridge's
house, the latter asked
deponent why he told Gerrish he was drunk. Deponent said he
did not tell him so but he did
say that he believed "that he wass six and twenty."
Woodbridge said that he was as well then
as at this present time, and also that there
were only five men in town who would not say that
Gerrish had cheated them, to
which deponent replied that he had traded with Capt. Gerrish
for many score pounds
and he had never cheated him. Daniell Lunt said the same. Woodbridge
replied that Lunt, deponent and Rich. Doell were three of the five, that he would make Capt. Gerish's house
a dung hill and would make Capt. Gerish "fly the town" or else he should make
him fly
the town, and within eight months he would make it appear what Capt. Gerish was, etc.
Sworn in court."

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol.VI 1675-
Essex Institute, Salem, Ma. 1917 pp125-126

I think "180li" must be 180 pounds. I'm also not sure what the reference about being "six
and twenty" means in reference to drunkeness unless it was the 17th century equivalent of
"three flags to the wind" or something? I feel some sympathy for poor John Woodbridge
asking for advice in how to deal with his verbose son Thomas!

You can read the particulars of the other two cases in the same book on Googlebooks
which includes very long lists of trade goods with fascinating names!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Some four years after the last documented evidence I have of Stephen Greenleaf Jr.'s
military presence in Maine, he was involved in Massachusetts and much closer to

Although many of the defeated Indian warriors of the King Philip's War had moved
north into Maine and Canada, there were still occasional raids back into Massachusetts.
It was during one of them that Captain Greenleaf received a serious wound. I found
the sequence of events at Googlebooks in "A Sketch of the History of Newbury,
and West Newbury":


October 7th. On the afternoon of this day, five Indians attacked and plundered the house of
John Brown, who lived on the westerly side of Turkey hill, and captivated nine persons;
only of the family escaped to tell the tale. On the same day, colonel Daniel Pierce sent
following letter to colonel Appleton and colonel Wade, of Ipswich.

' Sir, this afternoon there came the enemy to a house in our town and went in and took and
carried away nine persons and plundered the house, and as near as we can gather, they
went southwestwardly between Boxford and Bradford. We can not gather that there
were above five
of the enemy, but night came on So that we could not pursue them, but
we have lined Merrimac
river with about fourscore men to watch lest they should carry
the captives over the river, and
do design in the morning to pursue them and range the
woods with all the force we can make,
and think it advisable that you range the woods towards Andover, and that Rowley towards Bradford, for if they escape us it will be an encouragement to them. Sir, I do think the case requires our utmost industry who am
your friend and servant,

D. Pierce.
October 7th, 1695.'

To this letter was appended the following.
' Colonel Gedney,
Honored sir, it is thought advisable on the consideration abovesaid yt it may be beneficial
the several companies in the several townes to range ye woods with all possible speed towards Bradford and Andover and so towards Merrimack river, so that if it might be ye enemy may be found and destroyed, which spoyle our people.
Ipswich, October eighth, at five in the morning.
Your servant,
Samuel Appleton.'

Three hours after this, colonel Thomas Wade thus writes from Ipswich.

'Honored sir,
Just now captain Wicom brings information that the last night captain Greenleaf with a
of men met with the enemy by the river side, have redeemed all the captives but one, which they doubt is killed. Three of the Indians got into a canoe and made escape, and the other two ran into the woods. Captain Greenleaf is wounded in the side and arm, how
much we
know not, which is all at present from your servant,
Thomas Wade.'

Judge Sewall, in his journal, says, ' all the captives were brought back, save one boy,
was killed. The Indians knocked the rest on the head, save one infant.'

Reverend John Pike, in his journal, states, that' the captives were all retaken but some
of their wounds.'

On the fifth of March, 1696, captain Greenleaf addressed the following petition to the

' The petition of captain Stephen Greenleaf of Newbury, ' Humbly sheweth,
' That upon the seventh of October last about three o'clock in the afternoon a party of
surprised a family at Turkey hill in said town captivated nine persons, women and children, rifled the house, carrying away bedding and other goods. Only one person
escaped and gave notice
to the next family and they, the town. Upon the alarm your
petitioner with a party of men pursued
after the enemy, endeavouring to line the river Merrimack to prevent their passage, by which means the captives were recovered and brought back.

' The enemy lay in a gully hard by the highway and about nine at night made a shot at
petitioner and shot him through the wrist between the bones, and also made a large wound in his side, which wounds have been very painful and costly to your petitioner in
the cure of them and
have in a great measure utterly taken away the use of his left hand
and wholly taken him off from
his employment this winter.

' Your petitioner therefore humbly prays this honored court that they would make him
compensation as shall seem fit, which he shall thankfully acknowledge and doubts
not but will be
an encouragement to others speedily to relieve their neighbours when assaulted by so barbarous an enemy, And your petitioner shall ever pray,
Stephen Greenleaf.

'March 6th. Read and voted that there be paid out of the province treasury to the
petitioner the
sum of forty pounds.'

From one of John Brown's descendants, William G. White, I learn the following particulars
as a
family tradition. The Indians had secreted themselves for some time near the house, waiting for the absence of the male members of the family, who, about three o'clock,
departed with a load
of turnips. The Indians then rushed from their concealment, tomahawked a girl, who was standing at the front door. Another girl, who had concealed herself as long as the Indians remained, immediately after their departure gave the alarm, which resulted as before related. The coat, which captain Greenleaf wore in his pursuit of
the Indians, is still preserved by his descendants, together
with the bullet, which was extracted from his wound. This, I believe, is the only instance, in which the Indians either attacked, captivated, or killed, any of the inhabitants of Newbury."

Joshua Coffin and Joseph Barlett. "A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport and
West Newbury" Samuel Drake, Publisher, Boston, Ma. 1845 (pp161-163)

From the description of the incident and the fact that there was only one bullet recovered,
I'm guessing that Greenleaf was shot through the left wrist and the bullet continued on into
his side. Maybe it was the hand holding his horse's reins, if he was mounted?

Despite his wounds, Stephen Greenleaf Jr went on to a successful career as a merchant and
shipbuilder, and among his many descendants are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and John
Greenleaf Whittier.


The next set of documents concern the campaign of 1689-1690 in Maine
during which Stephen Greenleaf Junior is supposed to have taken a major role
at a battle near Wells, Maine. But still, as these instructions show, he was seems to
have been in the ranks of junior officers in command. Once more, these
are from "A History of the State of Maine" from the Maine Historical Society.

"Instructions for Capt. Stephen Greenleaf.
Boston May 27° 1690./.
Captn Stephen Greenlefe,

You are Ordered forthwith to Advance with the Souldiers now put under yor Comand,
into the Eastern parts in and about Piscataqua or where else you may be advised when
you come upon the place, that you may do most Service for the defence of their Majties
Subjects and destruction of the Comon Enemy, untill you receive farther Orders.
Keep good order and Government over yor Souldiers, take the advice of the Comission
Military Officers and other Gentlemen of the place where you may come as to yor
proceeding, and all Opportunitys to advise the Governor and Council of yor motions,
Major Frost and Major Vaughan wilbe necessarily consulted by you And when the Forces
sent from this Colony are together Captn Edward Wyllys is to be owned as the first in

The One hundred Soldiers to be detached by their respective proportions.
"Ordered that ye Major Generall forthwith grant out his warrants to the Majors of the
severall Regiments of Militia hereafter mentioned for detaching their respective
proportions of Souldiers well appointed with armes and ammunition for their Majties
Service, as followeth to make up One hundred men Ordered for the strengthning of the
Forees Eastward (that is to say) Midd1 lower Regiment Seventeen, Upper Regiment
Twelve, Boston Regiment Sixteen, Suf- folke South Regiment Twenty, Essex South
Regiment ffifteen Middle Regiment ffiftcen, North Regiment ffive, to Randezvouz upon
Tuesday next the two and twentyeth of this instant where Each Major shall appoint who
is forthwith to send away his number under some suitable person unto Newbury and
deliver them to Captn Stephen Greenlefe junr to be by him conducted or sent unto
Piscataqua to be disposed of by Major Pike Comander in Chiefs for the filling up the
severall Companys there under his Comand not to be posted in Garrisons.

Voted & Consented to by ye deputies
Past in the affirmative by the Govr and Magistrates 17 : July, 1690. Isc Addington Secry"

Letter from Capt Greenleaf & Capt Wicom to Major Gen. Winthrop
"To the Worshipfull major Generall Waitt Winthop esqire.
These are to inform you that whereas by order from your selfe we prest severall of our
troopers to gard the commissioners that went to Wels to treate with the Indians the first
of may instant, that order may be given that those troopers may be paid for said servis
which will oblige your most humble servants
Stephen Greenlef Capt
May : 21 : 1691: Daniell Wicom Capt"

One of the things I find most fascinating about this group is the number of regiments
listed. Remember, the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies were barely 70 years
in the New World and there were now enough men to form the 7 regiments listed and

As for Stephen Greenleaf Jr, while I've found no account as yet of his action at Wells,
Maine, I have found a record of his bravery in action closer to home in Massachusetts,
and I'll discuss it in my next post.


Once again, definitions for the strange words that we type for
word verification for comments on blogs:

A fan of the new browser. Of course, I use Google.
So I'm a googler.

iness- A degree of coolness possessed by a certain object or pursuit:
"Mary was impressed by the iness of the geneabloggers.

vacestle- er...a medieval cup as in "The vacestle with the vapestle is
the brew that is true."

ablet- A very small abs muscle? "Jack had just started working
out and only had an ablet to show for it so far.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The 74th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is up over at Jasia's Creative
Gene blog. This was the 2nd Swimsuit Edition and 32 geneabloggers
responded with great stories and photos of family fun at the beach!

(I sat this one out. We didn't take many beach pictures when I was a kid
and I'd already written about Houghs Neck where most of the beach trips
took place.)

The next CoG will be the 78th (!) and here is the call for submissions:

"Time for a change of pace. Call for Submissions! The COG topic for July 1
is “Justice and Independence ”. Since our beginnings as a nation, the United
States of America has seen changes with every year, every decade, and every
century. Each generation adds growth to our lives, our communities, and our
nation. One thing that has never changed, however, is our desire for Justice
for those who wrong us and Independence from those who try to oppress us.
This month’s COG asks you to relate to these concepts of Justice and Independence
in one or all of three ways: 1). Tell a story of an ancestor(s) who fought for freedom.
2). Tell a story about how Independence Day was celebrated by your ancestors. Did
any of their celebratory traditions get passed down for your own family to continue?
Or 3). Post the lyrics of a song that exemplifies how Justice and Independence have
worked in the lives of your ancestors and/or family. Include photos! This edition
of the COG will be hosted by Colleen at OMcHodoy (thanks Colleen!). Deadline for
submissions is July 1.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the
carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles
you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea
of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page."

I'll definitely be participating in the next CoG. If you haven't done so yet, you
should! It's a great way to become part of the geneablogger community!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Stephen Greenleaf, Sr. had come to the Bay Colony with his father Edmund Greenleaf
and settled in Newbury, Essex Co. Ma. On 13Nov 1651 he married Elizabeth Coffin,
daughter of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens and his first son, Stephen Greenleaf,
Jr. was born 15Aug 1652.

Stephen Jr. is most often referred to as Captain Greenleaf in the family genealogy and
is termed a "great Indian fighter." I've found several references to his having had a
prominent role in a battle in 1690 in Wells, Maine but as yet I haven't found any
account of the event anywhere else online. However, I have found several documents
dealing with his military career.

The first of these seems to be a report of a conversation he had or overheard with a man
named William Sargeant(Sargent) of Amesbury. This took place during the campaign in
Maine of 1689:

"Testimony of S. Greenleafe Junr
The testimony of Stephen Greenleaf Jun. That on the 8th of Aprill he heard Wm Sargeant
of Ames bury who came lately from the Indians (among whom he had bin a season) to
affirme these things to be told by the Indians.

That the Gouernour had agreed with three nations of Indians besides the Mowhakes to
come downe vpon the English & on the agree mt had given them some money & some coats,

That the Penicook Indians had no designe for warre, but they being in combination with the mowhakes he thought they would be ruled by them, & do as they did.

That he thought that euery day that it was neglected it was too long, & he was affraid that
there would be bloud shed.

That he had done no hurt agt the English, & he was glad he went no farther then Mr Hinks
his house with the post letters, & mr Hinks stopt him,

Divers other words were spoken, but this as farre as he remembers was the substance of
what was spoken
Taken on oath Aprill 9th 1689. before me Jon Woodbridge J. P".

James Phinney Baxter, History of the State of Maine Maine Historical Society
Portland, Me. 1890 pp472-473

I think the "Gouernor" refers to the French Governor of Quebec.

Now what struck me about this testimony was the name of the person that it concerns:
William Sargeant of Amesbury. One of my ancestors is William Sargent of Amesbury and
now I'm wondering if this is him. And if it is, what was he doing spending a season among
the Indians? Noting the April 8th date, then Sargeant had spent the winter, perhaps
trapping or trading for fur with the tribes .

I've found no answers to this as yet. So now I have a new family mystery to solve!


The NEHGS just got a very nice gift!

Read about it here, And boy, I can't wait to see that new website
because I think the present one is already excellent!

Monday, June 15, 2009


In 1676, a man named William Curtis brought suit against his indentured servant
Jacob Preston for failure to serve out the full term of his indenture. While I am
not related in anyway to Curtis, there is a connection because Jacob Preston was
originally servant to my ancestor Thomas Chandler. That original document was
submitted as evidence in the case and read as follows:

"This Indenture made and concluded this twenty day of May in the yeare of ye Lord God
thousand six hundred seventy and one & in the three & twentieth year of the reign of
soveraigne Lord Charles the Second by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France
Ireland, king, Defender of the Faith &c, Between Ensigne Thomas Chandler of the
towne of
Merrimack in the County of Essex in New England Blacksmith on ye one part
and Jacob Preston
of Andover with the full and free consent of Nicolas Holt of Andover aforesaid, his Father-in-law by the marriage of his Mother and also with the full consent
of his said Naturall mother hath and
doth by these presents bind himselfe an apprentice
to ye said Thomas seven years to be compleated
and ended accounting from the twenty-
sixth day of March last past untill the said seven years next
& immediately ensuing the
said 26th of March 1671 shall be fully expired. During which time of
seven yeares the said Jacob shall behave & demeane himself during his sd apprenticeship as an apprentice or servant ought for to doe according to the usuall & lawdable customs of England in the like cases. During wh time also of seven yeares, the above named Thomas, Master unto ye sd
Jacob, is hereby obliged & stands bound at his owne costs & charges to provide & procure
for his
said servant, meat, drink, cloathing, washing, and lodging with all other things convenient, necessary & sufficient for an apprentice as is usuall in England. And the said Chandler is also to learne or cause his sd Apprentice to be learnt to read ye English tongue perfectly to write & cypher or cast & keepe accounts sufficiently for his owne employment
of a Blacksmith, if his capacities will attaine thereunto.
And the sd Thomas is also hereby obliged according to his owne best skill & abilitie to learne and instruct the sd Jacob in the trade & art of a Blacksmith, if the sd Jacob be capable of learning the same, and he shall
keepe his said servant Jacob at worke upon the sd trade as much as may be without
damage to other necessary occasions that may fall out unavoidably to be done in a family; that so for
want of time & use & instruction, ye said Jacob may have no just ground to complaine of his owne want of experience or profitting under his sd Master in ye sd Trade
of a Blacksmith. Alsoe ye sd
Thomas when the sd seaven yeares are expired shall give the
sd Jacob two suits of Apparell from
head to foot, suitable for a person of his degree, one
good & hansom and suitable to weare on ye
Sabbath dayes, & the other convenient for ye week days. The said Thomas doth bind himselfe, heires, executors, & administrators to the
sd Jacob his heires, & assignes to fulfill the articles herein conteined belonging to him to
doe for the sd servant. In witnesse whereunto ye sd parties Thomas & Jacob as
they are severally concerned in this instrument & the articles of the same have hereunto interchangeably sett their hands & scales.

Signed sealed & interchangeably delivered before
George Abbot Jr
Alexander Sessions.

Thomas Chandler
The Mark of
Jacob + Preston "

Sara Loring Bailey "Historical Sketches of Andover" Houghton Mifflin Co , Boston 1880
pp 49-50

Now, besides being one of the earliest known examples of an indenture agreement in the Colonies (along with the earlier one between Thomas Chandler and Hopestill Tyler), this document is of interest to me for two of the names on it. The first is that of Nicholas Holt,
Jacob's "Father-in-law by the marriage of his Mother" or in other words, his step-father.
Martha Holt was Nicholas' third wife. I am descended from Nicholas and his first wife,
Elizabeth Short and both their children Henry and Elizabeth Holt.

George Abbot Jr. is also a relative, another 9x great-grandfather who was married to
Hannah Chandler, sister of Thomas Chandler. This might be why there was a copy of the
original indentureship contract available to the court.

And George's son Benjamin Abbot married Nicholas' granddaughter Sarah Farnum and
their descendants, besides myself, include Tim Abbott of "Walking the Berkshires" and
Janice Brown of "Cow Hampshire"!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Here's one of those "eggs" I've found recently. Thomas Chandler of Andover (1628-1703)
is another of my 9x great grandfathers and was a blacksmith by trade.(Another blacksmith!
One of these days I need to make a list of all my blacksmith ancestors...). In 1658 he took
on Hopestill Tyler as an apprentice, and it was apparently not a good match. The result
was a story that made me laugh when I read Sara Loring Bailey's account of it here on
Google Books:

"One of the earliest apprentices found on record was Hopestill Tyler. There is a tradition
that his father, Job Tyler, was living at Andover when the settlers came here, as Blackstone
lived at Boston, " monarch of all he surveyed," until the advent of the "lords brethren," as
he said, put him to flight, as the rule of the " lords bishops " had driven him from the old
country. Job Tyler had apprenticed his son Hopestill to Thomas Chandler, the blacksmith,
1658. But after the papers were drawn up, he broke the bargain, got possession of the instrument of indenture, entering the house of Nathan Parker, (who wrote the paper, and
had it hid in, as he supposed, a safe place,) and stealing it in the absence of the owner of the house. The matter was a cause of long controversy and several trials, — "Chandler vs.
Tyler" and "Tyler vs. Chandler," extending over a period of more than ten years, and
carried from court to court. One paper of interest, in connection with this, is a deposition
of a witness in
regard to the terms of the indenture, which it was said "Mr. Bradstreet"
saw, had perused,
and judged " to be good and firme." In this the mutual obligations of
master and apprentice
are set forth : —

`That the sd apprentice Hope Tiler should serve the said Thomas Chandler faithfully for
years and a half after the manner of an apprentice, that the master, the said Chandler should teach him the trade of a blacksmith so farr as he was capable to learne, and to
teach him to
read the Bible & to write so as to be able to keepe a book, so as to serve his
turne for his trade
and to allow unto the sd apprentice convenient meat & drinke, washing, lodging and clothes.'

Job Tyler paid dear for his hard words against a man of so great influence as Thomas Chandler, who afterward became one of the town's deputies to the General Court, and
who was one of the
principal citizens in point of wealth, in the little community of
husbandmen and artisans : —

`1665 A case in difference between Thomas Chandler of Andevour & Job Tiler having
been entered in Salem Court, in an action of defamation being withdrawne & reference made as appears by their bond to that purpose to Colonel Browne, Edward
Denison & Captain Johnson
of Roxbury .... they not agreeing, wee the aforesaid Captain Johnson & Edward Denison doe give in our award as followeth : [Job Tyler, being poor,
they judge he should not be fined above
six pounds.] ' We doe order that Job Tiler shall
nayle up or fasten upon the posts of Andevour &
Roxbury meeting-houses in a plaine
leadgable hand, the acknowledgment to remain so fastened
to the posts aforementioned
for the space of fourteen days, it to be fastened within the fourteen
days at Andevour & tomorrow being the twenty-seventh of January '65 at Roxbury The Confession and acknowledgment ordered by us for Job Tiler to make & poste as is above expressed is as
followeth: Whereas it doth apeare by sufficient testimony that I Job Tiler have shamefullv reproached Thomas Chandler of Andevour by saying he is a base lying, cozening, cheating knave & that he hath got his estate by cozening in a base reviling manner & that he was recorded for a lyer & that he was a
cheating, lying whoring knave fit for all manner of bawdery, wishing the
devill had him, Therefore I Job Tiler doe acknowledge that I have in these expressions most wickedly slandered the said Thomas Chandler & that
without any just ground, being noe way able to make good these or any of
these my slanderous accusations of him & therefore can doe noe lesse but expresse my selfe to be sorry for them & for my cursing of him desiring God
& the said Thomas to forgive me & that noe person would think the worse of
the said Thomas Chandler for
any of these my sinfull expressions And
engaging myself for the future to be more carefull of my expressions

both concerning him & otherwise desiring the lord to help me so to doe,

Isaac Johnson.
Edward Denison."

Sara Loring Bailey "Historical Sketches of Andover" Houghton Mifflin Co , Boston 1880
pp 47-48

Now maybe it's me, but it struck me as funny that in making his apology Job Tyler was
required to list in full all his slanderous statements about Thomas Chandler. I would have thought a simple "I apologize for all my slanderous statements about Thomas Chandler."
would have sufficed. Instead, there nailed up outside the meetinghouses of Andover and Roxbury were signs with the "base lying, cozening, cheating knave" on them.

Was this some statement by his peers about Thomas Chandler's behavior? As a later case
will show, another apprentice left him for a new master. Was Thomas an overly strict
master? Or was the ruling an example of a Puritan mindset where every little detail of a
case was set into evidence and writing?

Did Thomas Chandler stare angrily at those words or did he simply steer clear of the meetinghouses for two weeks?

And did Job Tyler perhaps laugh in private at his punishment?