Monday, July 31, 2017


Continuing on with the sncestors of Zerviah (Abbott)Ellingwood, we come to my immigrant ancestor and 9x great grandfather Nicholas Holt. I found quite a bit about him in a Holt family genealogy so this will be two posts. Here's what author Daniel Steele Durrie wrote about Nicholas:

Nicholas Holt was one of the first settlers of Newbury and Andover in the county of Essex, state of Massachusetts. Neither the exact time nor the place of his birth is known. From the record of his death it appears he was born in the year 1602.

The first definite information we have respecting: him, is as a passenger in the ship James of London, William Cooper, master, which sailed from the port of Southampton, Eng., in and about the sixth day of April, 1635, and of his arrival at Boston, in Massachusetts, on the third of June following, after a voyage of fifty-eight days. The names of fifty-three male persons are found as passengers on the ship roll, "besides the wives and children of dyvers of them." Among the former occurs the name of Nicholas Holt of  Romsey, tanner. He was undoubtedly accompanied by his family, which consisted of a wife, and at least one child. He proceeded the same year to Newbury, and resided there for the period of ten years.

In the volume of the Proprietors' Records of that town as one of the grantees, his allotment's of lands are thus desecibed: "A house lot of four acres be it more or less, bounded by High street on the South, Mr. [Edward] Rawson on the North, Archelaus Woodman on the West, and James Brown on the East. Also, a field lott forty acres, be it more' or less, over the little river, bounded by Nicholas Noyes on the South, the little river on the North and East, and Abraham Tappan on the West. Another field lot of thirty acres, be it more or less of upland and meadow, bounded by a great creek on the South, Henry Rolf on the North, the little river on the West, and the way, on the East." The present location of the first two grants of land, and the exact date when they were granted, can not now be ascertained. The last lot of meadow and upland was granted in 1641, and afterwards became the property of William Trotter, and from him deeded to Nicholas Wallington, and from him to John Woloott, and is now owned by Tristram Little, and is called Holt's Neck.

The first book of church records of Newbury, prior to 1674, is lost, and consequently his name is not found; though there is no possible doubt of his being a member of the church at that place.

In 1637, his name appears, as one of ten persons who in order to vote to prevent the re-election of Sir Henry Vane as governor, and to strengthen the friends of Gov. Winthrop, went from Newbury to Cambridge on foot (40 miles),qualified themselves to vote by taking the freeman's oath on the 17th of May, 1637- Winthrop was chosen governor, and Sir Henry Vane and his friends were in a minority.

His name further appears on the Newbury records: Feb. 24,1038, when it was voted that Nicholas Holt and five others should be fined two shillings and six pence a piece for being absent from town meeting, having "due and fitt warning." And on the 21st of April following, he was fined the same amount for the same cause.

While residing at Newbury his children, Elizabeth, -Mary, and Samuel were born.

In 1644, Nicholas Holt removed with his family to Andover, and was one of the original settlers of that place. On a leaf in the town records, containing the list of householders in order as they came, his name is the sixth. He was one of the ten male members including the pastor elect that composed the church, at the ordination of Mr. John Woodbridge, Oct. 24, 1645.

As the early records of the town were destroyed by the Indians, with the exception of a few fragments, it is difficult at this date to ascertain definitely the allotments of lands to him, by the proprietors. In 1656, there is a memorandum " to enter grants of land in a new book, y old being rent and in many places defective and some grants lost." In 1714, the proprietors made their report separate from those of the town, and in them is to be found many records of land sales to the Holts in small lots.

As near as can be ascertained, he had a house lot of 15 acres, 100 acres of meadow land, and 300 acres, on what was known as the Stony Plain. A portion of this laud still remains in the family. The exact spot where his homesead was situated is not definitely known. The following notices of him, are taken from the Records of Massachusetts.'

"May 26, 1647, he was appointed in connection with Sergeant Marshall to lay out the way from Reading to Andover, and with Lieut. Sprague and Sergeant Marshall to view the river, and make return to the court of the necessity and charge of a bridge, and make return to the next session of this court." !! At a general Court held May 27, 1652, he was appointed with Capt. Johnson of Woburu, and Thomas Hanforth of Cambridge, to lay out the bounds of Andover." And May 18, 1653, he was appointed with Capt. Richard Walker, and Lieut. Thomas Marshall, to lay out the highway betwixt Andover aud Reading, and at the next term of court, Sept. 10, 1653, the committee made a report of said Survey.

A Genealogical History of the Holt Family in the United States: More Particularly the Descendants of Nicholas Holt of Newbury and Andover, Mass., 1634-1644, and of William Holt of New Haven, Conn, J.Munsell, Pub., Albany, NY, 1864 

To be continued.

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