Monday, January 13, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem.  This week's
subject is my 8x great grandfather John Upton.

Most of what I know about John comes from The Upton Memorial, a family genealogy
and this from the (exceedingly long titled) Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 4 (Google eBook) by  Ellery Bicknell Crane:

"(I) John Upton, who came to New England about 1652, was the pioneer ancestor in this country. He is the progenitor of the late John Upton, Colonel Edwin Upton and Joseph Upton, of Fitchburg. Massachusetts. He settled in Salem village, in what is now Danvers. Massachusetts. There is a tradition that he came from Scotland. He may have been one of the Scotch prisoners taken by Cromwell at Dunbarton, September 3, 1650, or at Worcester, 1651. The last named battle was fought near the town of Upton, England, the seat of the ancient family. Cromwell took seventeen thousand Englishmen and Scotchmen prisoners in these two battles and many of them were sent to the American colonies. There is a tradition that the name of his wife was Eleanor Stuart and that she too was Scotch. He seems to have refused to join the Puritan Church and that may indicate that he was Scotch and a Presbyterian. He did not take the freeman oath until it had been modified. He was admitted April 18, 169t. a freeman. The first record is of date December 26, 1658, when he bought land of Henry Bullock, some time of Hammersmith (the Lynn Iron Works at Saugus). He paid four pounds for fortv acres in Salem. He bought land of Daniel Rumboll. of Salem. April 6, 1662, adjoining his farm. His homestead was near the line of the present town of Danvers. half a mile from the present line of Lynnfield, one mile south of the Ipswich river and two miles west of the Newburyport turnpike. It is two miles and a half from the site of his later residence in North Reading. His neighbors were the Popes. Gardners. Flints. Walcotts and Smiths. He bought and sold considerable land in the vicinity. Active, energetic and successful, he began with no capital and accumulated a handsome estate. He died July 11. 1699. aged about seventy-seven. The will was dated November 16. 1697, and proved July 31, 160Q. He used a fleur de lis for a seal and in his will tried to entail his estate, but the laws of the colony effectually prevented him.

The children of John and Eleanor Upton were: John, born 1654: Eleanor. 1656: William. 1658: James. September, 1660; Mary, 1661, died 1663; Samuel, October, 1664: Ann: Isabel, January 3, 1666-7, died 1680: Ezekiel. September, 1668: Joseph, April 0, 1670: Francis July 1. 1671; Mary."

Now in The Upton Memorial there is a discussion about the tradition that John Upton
was one of the Scottish prisoners of war sent to  Massachusetts. The problem is, there
is no John Upton on the list of prisoners. I suspect that perhaps John's family name was something else and he took the name Upton to conceal his last name for some reason.
His wife Eleanor's name was indeed Stuart, although I've also seen it spelled Stewart.

I'm a double descendant of John and Eleanor (Stuart) Upton through their sons William and Samuel who lived together with their families in the same house. William had
married Mary Maber and Samuel's wife was Abigail Frost. In his will, John Upton
left them  his "Negro", who was named Thomas and who served them for eighteen
years before he was freed. I wrote about Thomas in a post nearly two years ago in
January 2012.

My descent from John Upton:
John Upton & Eleanor Stuart
William Upton & Mary Maber       Samuel Upton & Abigail Frost
Francis Upton & Edith Herrick       Amos Upton & Sarah Bickford
Edith Upton & Amos Upton Jr.
Francis Uptn & Sarah Bancroft
Cyrus Moore & Hanna Upton
Betsey Jane Moore &  Amos Hastings Barker
Charlotte Lovenia Barker & Frank Wesley Barker (cousins)
Cora Bertha Barker & Floyd Earl West Sr.(my grandparents)


Unknown said...

This site lists a John Rupton as a prisoner. I am thinking that may be our John, but his name was misspelled.

Syl MA said...

I am currently trying to confirm-document Eleanor Stuart (my 8th Great Grandmother, wife of John Upton). I am trying to decipher my connection to the Stuart line, specifically. Looking for info on Eleanor Stuart's parents, their connection to theirs and so-on; as it gets dubious above her. Would like to help document her place in the line and ancestry.

This post is helpful at pointing me in the direction of confirming her as wife of John Upton, parents of Mary (who eventually married Shubael Sterns).

I am preparing for a trip to UK in Sept and would like to have some prelim. plans in place as to helpful research I will be able to do while there. So I started digging and found this is the link I need to pursue.

Janet said...

Hello Bill!
I am also a descendant of John Upton and Eleanor Stuart, 11th grandfather

10 Samuel Upton & Abigail Frost
9 Samuel Upton & Ruth Whipple
8 Samuel Upton & Rebecca Spinney
7 John Upton & Rebecca Smith
6 Samuel Upton & Mary Dwyer
5 George Upton & Mary Helen Day
4 Jeremiah Upton & Mary O'Neill
3 George Upton & Lillian Maud King
2 Matilda Upton & ? husband, father to Marie
name is unknown
1 Marie Upton & Malcolm Stuart Grover Sr
Malcolm Stuart Grover & Sandra Bell
Janet Grover & Jeffrey Greer

I would love to connect with any relatives Janet Grover Greer on facebook and

Courtney said...

I am curious if you ever found information on Eleanor Stuart? I'm hoping she's not a dead end in my family tree because I feel like she has an amazing story.