Monday, July 18, 2016


This week's subject is my 10x great grandfather Nathan Aldis of Dedham, Ma. He is sometimes erroneously referred to as Nathaniel Aldis. I found this article written by Frederick H. Whitin, The Aldis Family in America, 1640-1800 in Google Books:

Of the English ancestry of the American family nothing is known. The earliest American record of Nathan Aldis, the Emigrant, is his admission to the Dedham Church on February 11, 1639-40 (II. 22).1 Mary, wife of "brother Alldys," was admitted March 11,1640-41 (II. 24.) He was chosen one of the first deacons of the Church on June 23, 1650 (II. 35). He became a freeman on May 13, 1640 (Mass. Col. Rec. I. 377).

Nathan Aldis first appears in town affairs as a "viewer of fences," April 17, 1640 (III. 67). He was selectman for the years 1641, 1642 and 1644 (III. 75-100). This proves incorrect the statement 

of Paige (History of Cambridge, Authority, unless otherwise stated, Hill's Dedham Records. 
p. 479) that in 1642, Nathan Aldus occupied land near what is now Harvard Square and Dunster Street.

As a Dedham proprietor, Nathan Aldis signed the Dedham Covenant, as did also his only son, John. As such, he received various grants of land, but always in small quantities (III. 95, 108, i11, 211). This is explained by the small number of cow-commons, the unit of proprietorship, which he held. The number varied, being seventeen in 1666 (IV. 126), decreasing to eleven in 1669 (IV. 174), out of a total of 335 at that time. John Aldis, the son, had the last number in 1685 (V. 170), while seven appear, in the inventory of the estate of Daniel3 Aldis (No. 7). .

In August, 1642, Nathan Aldis acquired a sixth interest in the water mill on East Brook. Seven years later he, with John Allin (the pastor) and John Dwight, sold his interest to Nathaniel Whiting, the fourth partner (Suffolk Deeds, IV. 285).

Nathan Aldis acted as appraiser in a number of probate cases, and in two of these the original papers are preserved. His signature of the date of 1642 has been reproduced (III. 89) from certain town papers. All show a similarity of writing, but not of spelling; it being "Alldis" in town affairs, "Aldous" in Suffolk Probate case, No. 33, (1642) and "Aldis " in case No. 531 of the year 1670. This later indicates greater familiarity with a pen, if firmer characters are any criterion.

The Emigrant did not prosper greatly in this world's goods in the later years, judging from the proportion of taxes he paid, and the comparative assessed valuation of his house. This latter was £20 (III. 183) in 1651, ranging afterwards from £15 (IV. 178) to  £30 (IV. 77).

His public acts were chiefly in connection with the meeting-house and pastor's salary, he being a committee on both. His last appearance on the town records was on November 29,1675 (V. 36),when he was assessed is. 3d. for the general tax.

1. Nathan Aldis, emigrant, was born in England about 1596 (Suffolk Court Files, No. 966, a deposition), and died at Dedham, Mass., March 15, 1675-6 (I. 15). Mary, his wife, died at Dedham on January 1,1676-7 (1.15). Administration on his estate was granted on April 25, 1676 "to Mary Aldis, his relict and John Aldis, their sonne." The inventory amounted to £112, including the house lot valued at £40. (Suffolk Prob. V. 338). Issue, born in England:—

2. i. Mary2.

3. ii. John2.

Dedham Historical Register, Volume 14 Dedham Historical Society, 1903 - Dedham (Mass.)

Nathan's daughter Mary married my 9x great grandfather Joshua Fisher Jr.

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