Monday, November 04, 2013


Back in August I mentioned here that I had won a copy of a book from Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Common. It was Roger Thompson's excellent From Deference to Defiance Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629-1692 and in it I found several chapters concerning several ancestors who had lived in Charlestown in that period. I had't done much research on most of them yet beyond names and dates because I've been busy working on more recent relatives. So it was exciting to read the stories in Professor Thompson's work.

One of the early chapters in the book is on my 11x great grandfather Stephen Fosdick who was one of the earliest settlers of Charlestown. I'm descended from his daughter Martha who married Richard Holden through my 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames) West. Reading the Professor's chapter about him inspired me to see what else I could find online about Stephen Fosdick online.  I found this by author Charles Lyman Newhall:

STEPHEN FOSDICK was born in England, and was first mentioned in Charlestown, New England, in 1635. He was a carpenter. He married 2d, Sarah,* dau. of William Wetherell, who came from Maidstone, Co. Kent, England, to Boston in 1635, and was a schoolmaster. Charlestown records say that Stephen Fosdick was fined twenty pounds for reading anabaptist books, and was also excommunicated May 7, 1643. In the division of lands in Charlestown in 1658 he received twenty-five acres of wood and four and one-half acres of common. In his will, made Feb. 23, 1663-4, and proved 21-4-1664, he devised "to wife 4 rooms we now make use of, one over another; half the upper garden, next Mr. Shapley and Michael Long; moveables; after decease, house and lands to return to ex'r. To Hannah Barrett, £10. To Martha Holden, £10, and 40 acres at Woburn. To Mary Webb, £15; if she die, to chn. of John and Thomas Fosdick. To grandchild Stephen, £20. To Samuel, son of John, at father's decease, house, barn, &c, by Mr. Shapley's; hay-lot, wood-lot; 2 cow-commons; to him and his heirs, male or female, and so to run in the generation of Fosdicks forever. 7thly, to grandchild John, son of John, house and land in Malden, i/2 cow-lot in Malden, cow-lot on Mr. Wilson's side, wood-lot bo't of Mr. Roswell. To 2 grandchildren of son Thomas, £20. John, sole ex'r. Inventory, Farm at Mystic side, with the land, £50; 2 commons; 2:/2 hay-lots; 2 wood-lots; 40 acres at Woburn; total, £500." 

Stephen Fosdick resided on the west side of the highway to Mistick Weare, now the present line of Medford street. He died in Malden May 21, 1664. 

The children of Stephen Fosdick were: 
2 Thomas, b. in England; in. Damans ;d. 21-4-1650. 

3 John, b. July, 1626, in England; in. 1648, Anne3, widow ot H. Branson and dau. Nicholas Shapleigh; d. Sept. 17, 1716. 

4 Hannah, m. James Barrett. 

5 Martha, m. Richard Holden. 

6 Mary, b. 1632; m. Thomas Webb. 

7 Samuel, b. May 22, 1649. 

* "John Wetherell motioned court concerning his sister, the widow Fosdick, aged 75 yrs. old; lame-—going with crutches; near 40 years the wife of Stephen Fosdick; and upon her marriage had six of his children to take care of."—Court Files, 1664. 
-The record of my ancestry (Google eBook), Herald Power Print, 1899 pp60-61

A further ironic note: I spent the first eight years of my life in Malden, Ma., and never knew that one of my ancestors had lived there three hundred years before.

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