Friday, February 07, 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.  I'm about a
week behind do I'm publishing a second post this week to catch up. This post is on
my 10x great grandfather Percival Lowell.

Percival Lowell is another of my ancestors so far back on my family tree that I haven't
done much work on him as yet. I know that through him I am somehow related to the
poet James Russell Lowell, and supposedly there's a Plantagenet connection through
him as well.  Here's what Ellery Bicknell Crane had to say about Percival in Historic
Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 2 (Google

"(X) Percival Lowell, son of Richard Lowle (9), was born in England, 1571, and died in Newbury, Massachusetts, January 8, 1664. He was sixtyeight years of age when he immigrated to America and ninety-three years old when he died. In England he resided at Kingston, Seymour, England. He and his family had a large mercantile establishment at Bristol, England, under the firm name of Percival Lowe and Co. This firm was composed of Percival, his son John, perhaps son Richard, and possibly son-in-law, William Gerrish, who came over with the Lowells and subsequently married Percival Lowell's daughter, Mrs. Joanna Oliver, widow of John Oliver. The Lowell and Percival families were both wealthy. Percival Lowell came to Newbury, Massachusetts, where his sons John and Richard had already settled, in 1638-39 from Bristol on the ship "Jonathan," possibly not his first trip, as he was a proprietor of Newbury in 1638. He was a freeholder when the town was incorporated March 17, 1742. Percival wrote a poem on the death of Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, which was printed on a "broadside" and generally circulated.

Children of Percival and Rebecca Lowell were:

John, born in England,1595, died at Newbury, Massachusetts, July 10, 1647; married (first) Margaret; married (second), 1639, Elizabeth Goodale. Richard, see forward. Joan, born in England, 1609, died in Newbury, June 14, 1677; married (first), 1639. John Oliver; married (second), in Newbury, April 17, 1644, Captain William Gerrish."


What impresses me the most about Percival Lowell is this: at age 68 he left a comfortable
life and prosperous business to come to the New World and start all over again, and was
just as successful here as he had been back in England!


Elizabeth Handler said...

Hello cousin! Percival Lowell is my 10th great-grandfather. I, too, was always amazed at his immigrating to the colonies at an older age. And, yes, he has royal ancestry, but I don't have that detail in my tree.

Anthony Hopper said...

(On a non-genealogical note) It takes a lot of courage for someone to immigrate to a new country (with all of its inherent dangers). It takes even more courage for someone to take that step, when he or she is almost 70 years old. That is amazing...

Janice Harshbarger said...

I've found some of my own ancestors who came to America at an advanced age, too. I wonder if being a doting grandparent would be an additional reason for crossing the seas?