Edward Neville Emmons.

The Emmons family genealogy : a record of the emigrant Thomas Emmons of Newport, Rhode Island, with many of his descendants from 1639 to 1905 online

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Online LibraryEdward Neville EmmonsThe Emmons family genealogy : a record of the emigrant Thomas Emmons of Newport, Rhode Island, with many of his descendants from 1639 to 1905 → online text (page 1 of 19)
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Brigiiam Young University





Very Sincerely Yours,
E. N. Emmons

The Emmons Family


Thomas Emmons


From 1639 to 1905




God created man in His own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them." — Gen. 1:2'/.

Copyright, 1905, by










The order of arrangement in this work is by genera-
tions; also by famiHes in chronological order as nearly as

Full names are given to the heads of families, followed
by the christian name of their children.

Individuals are consecutively numbered, some names
appearing first as a child, and next as the head of a family.
In the latter case, the number first given is marked by a
plus "+" sign, and is repeated in a bracket, as a genealogical
number in the following and proper generation.

A star, denotes an addition to the record, which will
appear in the supplement.

To find the line of descent, look for the genealogical
(or bracket) number which precedes the name desired, and
the person thus found, if the head, or eldest of a family,
will be immediately followed by the lineal descent by
generations. If not a head, trace backwards the relation-
ship, as a brother or sister, of the preceding persons until
the head is reached.

The lineage can also be traced either forwards or
backwards, by using first an individual number, and next,
a similar number in brackets, alternating from one to the
other — or vice versa.

Abbreviations in common use, and the following
specials, are used in this work: —




















Child, Children
or Church.

















For further explanation see indexes.


To write a perfect genealogy, is beyond the power and
skill of man. As his thoughts turn toward the misty ages
of the past in search of ancestral knowledge, he soon finds
himself like a wanderer over a trackless desert, utterly lost
upon the wide domain on which he has entered, and as a
mirage fades away and disappears before his wondering
vision, so does much sought for data, elude his most faith-
ful research.

Genealogy, may be compared to a chain, the links of
which are composed of births, marriages and deaths, and as
a faulty link endangers the strength and security of a chain,
so a faulty record, impairs the reliability of this endless
chain of life and death, and although the compiler of
genealogical statistics desires to be accurate in every detail,
he is more or less a victim of circumstance, dependent as he
is upon the accuracy of numerous correspondents, who are
more or less unintentionably liable to error.

As all should be interested in the threefold phases of
human experience, we deem it advisable to embody in a
tangible form, a record of those families, who by con-
sanguinity or affinity, are more nearly allied to us than are
others. Only in this way, are we enabled to hand down to
posterity a succinct knowledge of our forefathers and fore-

With this thought in mind, was this little work com-
piled, and although it may be found very imperfect in many
respects, our only apology is, — that we have done the best
we could.

The name 'EMMONS' is undoubtedly of EngHsh
origin. Surnames having the same phonetic sound, and
the appearance of being derivatives of the same root, yet
being entirely different in their orthography, are a source of


much trouble and uncertainty to the investigator of genea-
logical records in determining which out of the numerous
catalogue thus encountered, should be classed as belonging
to a particular family. Especially is this the case in tracing
the genealogy of the Emmons' family in Old England.

A few examples taken from church records and other
sources in that country, will illustrate some of the numerous
forms under which the name appears, viz:

"Married at St. Albans' Abbey."

"Emun Nicholas & Cicilia Fitch, wid., Jan. 18, 1559."

"Baptized at Parich Church of Thorington."

" Emans Robert, sonne to George Emans & Dyonys his wife, Nov.,
24, 1594; Eihans William, sonne of George Emans & Dyonys his wife, May,
28, 1598; Emans Olyver, sonne of George Emans & Dyonys his wife, June
18, 1600."

"Emans Abraham, was enrolled as an 'Innocent under the Common-
wealth of Ireland' when Charles II. succeeded Cromwell in 1656."

" Emins John, church-warden, Fench Lane, Cornhill, London, had a
servant buried at St. Michaels Jan., 5, 1612."

" Emyn John, lost his wife Mary by the plague, Aug., 10, 1625."

" Emens Susan, servant to Mr. Eemans in French Lane, was buried
Dec, 28. 1636."

"Married at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Old Fish St., London."

"Emmons Benjamin, smith; to Rose Ives, June 8, 1620."

"At St. Peters, Cornhill, London."

"Emins Robert & Mary Conclade, Oct., 6, 1642."

"Buried at Christ Church, New Gate St., London."

"Emmings John, March 3, 1673."

"Married at St. Dunstan, Stepney."

" Emmons Joshua, of Ratcliff, mariner, to Ann Grinnell, April 17,1707."

"At St. Martins in the Field."

"Emmins WiUiam & Elizabeth House, Aug., 19, 1717."

"At St. James, Clerkenwell. "

"Emmans John, son of William & Mary Emmans, born Sept., 16, 1738."

"At St. George's Chapel, May Fair."

" Emmon Bridget, to Thomas Harris, Nov., 14, 1742."

"At St. George, Hanover Square, County Middlesex."

"Emmens James & Frances Freeland Faithful, May 27, 1816."

Some of the foregoing forms are duplicated in the
United States as a distinct family name, but in general the


difference in orthography is owing to the mistakes of those
who had the making up of records, where the name was
given orahy to be transcribed, and in so doing, they were
written in accordance with the phonetic sound rather than
by the correct orthography. This will be observed in the
making up of legal and other documents ; also in filling lists
of names for any purpose, especially so, during the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries. In the lists of soldiers
during the Revolutionary War, the name is spelled in
nearly a dozen different ways. When written by our
ancestors it was at first written EMOXS, and later EMMONS
the last form being now generally adhered to by the des-
cendants of the original family.

There are at least three separate and distinct branches
of the Emmons family in the United States, which are
supposed to be in no way related to each other.

One of these families is of Dutch origin, the first men-
tion of whom is found in the records of the "Suft'olks County
Deeds," in the person of Johannes E)mans, a Notary of
Boston from 1652, to 1656.

Another branch of the same family, are the descen-
dants of Andries Emans, who emigrated from Leiden, in
the Netherlands, in the ship St. Jean Baptist, May 9, 1661,
and settled in Gravesend, Long Island, where he with twelve
others petitioned the authorities for lands on Staten Island.

It is inferred that Andries the emigrant, although
hailing from Leiden, was among those Englishmen who
left their native land and emigrated to Holland to enjoy
religious liberty, and to avoid persecution. His four sons
were Jan, Jacobus, Andries, Jr., of Gravesend, and Hen-
drick Emans of New Jersey.

J. A. Emmans, great-grandson of Andries, Jr., was the
first to use two M's in writting his name. Their descen-
dants, many of whom now wTite their name Emmons, are
found in Greater New York, and in the States of New
Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A number of the members of this line, are mentioned


in the ' 'Early Germans" of New Jersey, and in the ' 'Official
Register" of New Jersey, in the "War of the Revolution."

Another line of the Emmons family, are descendants
of William Emmons, who came from England about 1718,
locating first in Taunton, Mass., removing thence to South
Farms, near Litchfield, Conn., in 1733, where he died in
1763. He left three sons, viz: William, Woodruff and
Arthur. William, Jr., had two sons; Woodruff had six,
and Arthur had seven.

Several of the descendants of this line were noted men ;
among whom was the Rev. Frances Whitefield Emmons,
A. M., who was born in Clarendon, Vt., February 24, 1802.
He united with the Baptist Church, at Swanton, Vt., in
1 8 16, when fourteen years of age; entered the Baptist
Literary and Theological Seminary, at Hamilton, N. Y., in
1 821; graduating in 1824; entered Columbia College,
Washington, D. C, where he remained two years; entered
Brown University, Providence, R. I., graduating in 1828;
taught school in Connecticut, Ohio and West Virginia,
was associated in 1831-33, with Alexander Campbell, in
revising the new version of the New Testament, comparing
it thoroughly with the original Greek; was ordained a
minister of the Church of Christ, (Disciples) and for many
years was widely and favorably known as a writer on
theological questions. His death occurred suddenly in
Worcester, September 26, 1881, where he was attending
the annual meeting of the Church of Christ, leaving a wife
with whom he had lived to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary
of their wedding day, and four daughters to mourn his loss, —
his only son having died in infancy.

Another noted man in this line, was Rear Admiral,
George Foster Emmons, U. S. N., a native of Vermont,
who was born in 18 11. He entered the U. S. navy as mid-
shipman in 1828; became passed midshipman in 1831; was
commissioned lieutenant in 1841; commander in 1856;
captain in 1863; commodore in 1868; rear admiral in 1872,
and was retired August 23, 1873. He was attached to


Captain Wilke's South Sea exploring expedition of 1838-42
served on the western coast of Mexico and California,
during the Mexican War; captured Cedar Keys, Fla., and
Pass Christian, Miss., with twenty prizes in 1862; was fleet
captain under Dahlgren off Charleston, in 1863; commanded
a division of blockading vessels in the Gulf of Mexico in
1864-65, and raised the American flag over Alaska in 1868.
He was the author of the "Navy of the United States"
during the war of the Revolution, from 1775 to 1853, and
other works.

With the foregoing brief notice of two of the separate
and apparently distinct Emmons' families in this country,
we will turn our attention to the third, and the one in which
we are more particularly interested, it being that of our
ancestral lineage.

When our forefathers took passage in the good ship
Mayflower from Delft, on the sixth day of September, 1620,
it was to seek a home in the wilds of America, where they
could be free from religious persecution, and could worship
God in accordance with the dictates of their own conscience.
Yet in less than two decades from the time thev landed on
Plymouth Rock, the persecuted, had in turn become the

In 1637, what might have been deemed liberal ideas,
but what were regarded by the dominant party as heretical
delusions, had so far infected the popular mind in Massa-
chusetts, and especially in Boston, as to alarm the authori-
ties and churches in that province, and caused them serious
distrust. Accordingly they convened a Synod of most of
the ministers of the colony of Newtown, — since Cambridge,
— on the 30th of August, 1637, which remained in session
until the 22nd of September. During this session, they
condemned eighty- two alarming errors, and at the Court,
on the following November, a pretext was found, whereby
three Deputies, and a number of the principal citizens,
were first deprived of their arms, and banished from the
settlement. Thus, in the name of religion, were these recreant


brethren sent forth into the wilderness, without arms, and
subjected to the mercies of the hordes of savages by whom
they were surrounded.

In March previous to this decree, WilHam Coddington,
one of the banished Deputies, through the meditation of
Roger WilHams, had purchased of the Indian Chiefs,
Canonicus and Meantonomi, the Island of Aquidneck,
situate in Naragansett Bay, R. I.

In March, 1638, followed by his associates, they re-
moved from Massachusetts, and commenced a settlement
on the north end of the island, called Pocasset, — since July
ist, 1639, called Portsmouth.

On January 2d, 1638-9, a portion of them removed and
established themselves at Newport, — the now famous
fashionable summer resort. Among these were all the
prominent officials, and although the number of settlers
which removed from Portsmouth were less than those who
remained, the removal was regarded as a removal of the
seat of government. On October 8th, of the same year,
a census was taken of such persons as were by general con-
sent of the Company, admitted to be inhabitants of the
Island called Aquidneck, ' 'and have submitted themselves
to the government that is, or shall be established according
to the Word of God therein. " The entry of this census upon
the minutes of the Assembly, consisted of sixty-two names,
written in two parallel columns headed thus:

"Samuel Hutchinson." "Thomas Emons."

This is without a doubt, the first time that the family
name of Emons — or Emmons, as now spelled — appears
upon any existing document, either public or private, in

The following pages will contain a partial record of
this branch of the Emmons family, beginning with their
first ancestor, Thomas Emons of Newport, R. I., and in-
cluding a genealogical and biographical history of many
of his descendants, covering a period of nearly three hundred
years, from 1639 to 1905.

First Generation

[1] THOMAS EMONS ^ , cordwainer,— or shoemaker-
was in all probability born in England, but in what part, or
at what date, remains a myster3\ Whether he left England
wealthy or poor ; a man of family or single ; whether he landed
first, at the port of Boston, or some other, is not known.
Yet the fact that he did not arrive in the good ship May-
flower in 1620, is well established; therefore his descen-
dants are saved from an inordinate self-esteem, and a feeling
of superiority over their fellow mortals, who may be less
fortunate in this respect than themselves.

As has been alreadv stated, we find him a resident of
Newport, Rhode Island,' in 1639. On March 12th, 1639-40,
a convention of the two towns of Portsmouth and Newport,
was held at the latter place, at which a new form of govern-
ment for the whole island was established, and officers were
elected under it.

Thomas Emons, with seven others presented them-
selves, and were admitted as "Freemen of this Body, fully
to enjoy the privileges belonging thereto." To become a
freeman, each person was legally required to be a respect-
able member of some Congregational church.

They were made freemen by the General Court of the
colony, and also by quarterly courts of the counties. None
but freemen could hold office, or vote for rulers. May 14th,
1634, the General Court ordered the following form of oath
to be administered: —

'"I, A. R. being by God's providence an inhabitant and freeman with-
in the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth, do freely acknowledge myself to
be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do here swear by the
great and dreadful name of the Everlasting God, that I will be true and faith-
ful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support thereunto,
with mv person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and I will also truly
endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges thereof,
submitting mvself to the wholesome laws and orders made and established
by the same."'

"And further, that I will not plot nor practice any evil against it, nor
consent to any that shall do so, but will truly discover and reveal the same


to lawful authority now here established for the speedy preventing thereof."
"Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself in the sight of God, that when
I shall be called to give my voice touching any such matter of the State,
wherein freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage, as I shall
judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the public weal
of the body without respect of persons or favor of any man. So help me
God in the Lord Jesus Christ."

The next knowledge we have of him is when, "Thomas
Emins, was admitted to be an inhabitant of Boston, June
29th, 1648." From this time until his decease, he remained
a resident of Boston.

The following data, concerning him and his family,
are taken from the public records of that city. In giving
them, we shall follow as far as possible their chronological
order, and shall endeavor to copy them verbatim, as regards
orthography, &c.

On a deed from John Marshall of Boston, to John
Marrion of the same place, dated February 18, 1649,
appears the names of Thomas Emons, and Martha Emons,
his wife, as subscribing witnesses.

"Thomas Emans, cordwainer, with wife Martha, were
admitted to First Church, Boston, February 18th, 1651."

" He was admitted a freeman there, May 26th, 1652."

As shown in a deed of Thomas Yoe to Phillip Wharton,
date of December 16th, 1653, Thomas Emans was a shoe-
maker, and owned a house and lot in Conduit Street, Boston.

In the bounding of some real estate March 30th, 1654,
his name is spelled Emmins. His name appears upon the
following deeds as a subscribing witness, viz: — George
Mitchell &c., Oct. 21, 1654; Edward Baker &c., April 11th,
1655; Joseph Armitage &c., Feb. 28, 1656; and on an ad-
ministrators deed of July 17, 1656.

The following is a verbatim copy of his last Will and
Testament made in February, 1661, N. S. : —

"20, llmo, 1660. I, Thomas Emons of Boston in New England, cord-
wainer, being sicke, make my last will (Debts to be paid.)

"I giue unto my sonne, Obadia, sonne Samuell, daughter Hanna Crab
& daughter Elizabeth Hincksman, 5s, pr peice, to be paid them by my Ex-
ecutrix witliin a Considerable time after my Deceas (Declaring hereby that
my Children Before named, have had of my Estate, before the Day of ye
Date hereof their parts proportioned with other of my Children hereafter

"Unto my sonne Benjamin 20 pounds, to be paid by my executrix
at or before the end of Fine yeares after my Deceas, by the ualue thereof
in good paye.


"Unto my Gran-sonne Thomas Emons, sonne of Obadiah, 40s, to be
paid him or to his use within three yeares after my Deceas.

"Unto my Gran-sonne Samuell Crab, 40s, to bee paid (as before.)

"Unto my Kinswoman, Martha Winsor, 40s, to be paid her on the Day
of her Marriage, or at her age of 21 which of them shall first happen.

"Unto my wife Martha, my two Houses in Boston, that is to say, the
House I now Dwell in & my House now in the tenure of John Andrews,
Cooper; the said Houses & Land to haue & to dispose of as shee shall think

"L'nto my wife all the mouable goods within my now Dwelling house.
My AVife Martha, I make executrix of this my last will.''

"In the presence of us
John Bateman, WilHam Pearse." "Thomas Emons."

Mr. Emons was chosen sealer of Leather, April 4th,
1662. He died May 11th. 1664. His Will was probated
June 17th, 1664. The inventory of his estate apprized by
William English and Edmund Jaclon, amounted to the sum
of 440 pounds, 5s.; debts due the deceased were 66 pounds,
6s. 4d. — "from ye deceased 45 pounds, 10s, 09d."

]\lartha Emons, widow of Thomas Emons of Boston
dictated her will, March 30th, 1666. Her will is number
433 on the Probate Index of Boston. The following copy
of her Will is of interest, showing the quaint mode of spell-
ing &c., of ye olden time.

"30, Imo, 1666. I, Martha Emons of Boston, widow,
being sicke & weake in body, but of prfect memory, make
this my last will, Debts to be paid.

"I give vnto my sonne Obadiah Emons all that my messuage tenemt.
or dwelling house, with the land thereto belonging wherein he now dwelleth,
being in Boston.

"Vnto my sone Samuel Emons, my dwelling house wherein I now live
wth the land thereto belonging, situate in Boston.

"Vnto my sone Joseph Emons 20 pounds, to be paid him by my ex-
ecutors at such times as the ourseers to this my will shal judge meet (that
is to say) when he doth take such good courses as to live orderly, & to follow
the Trade of a Cordwainer, & is clear of such debts as he now owes, by fol-
lowing the imploy he now hath taken up.

"Vnto my sone Benjamin Emons, Foure score pounds, to be paid him
by my executors as foUoweth ; 60 pounds thereof in such pay as will prduce
him lether & other things wch he may need. I will that the 20 pounds given
my sone Benjamin by his fathers will, be paid to him in the moneth of June
wch shall be in the year 1667, by my executors, & for the 60 pounds aforesaid
to be paid vnto him 40 pounds by my sone Obadiah out of the value of the
house I have hereby bequeathed him, & 20 pounds by my sone Samuel out
of the value of the house I have bequeathed him, & 20 pounds by Obadiah,
& 10 pounds by Samuel, to pay the said Benjamin in June 1668; the other
30 pounds to be paid in specie in the moneth of June thence next ensuing;
the other 20 pounds to be paid my sone Benjamin to make up the same
of Fourscore pounds to be paid vnto him by the value thereof of my goods,


viz: that Fether bed wch he best liketh with the Bolster & pillows; the new
Courled; a paire of Blankets; hangings; the bedstead I now ly on; two paire
of my best sheets; a paire of pillow beers; my Silver Beker & Silver Spoon,
& of other of my goods, as pewter, Brasse & old bedding, to make up the
value of 20 pounds, said goods to be paid him when he receives the legacie
of 20 pounds aforesaid, given him by the will of his father, or sooner if his
occasions call for it, and the plate and bedding immedyately after my Decease.

"Vnto my sone Samuel, my Cloth Gound to make him a sute, & to his
wife my best cloth petticote.

"Vnto my dau. Alice Emons, my Turkey moehaire coate & my finest
paire of new pillow-beers.

"Vnto my grandsone Thomas, 40s.

"Vnto my Grand Dau. Martha Emons, my Gold ring & my siluer bod-
kin ; to my grandsone Samuel my siluer wine cup & Dram cup.

"Vnto my Grand dau. Mary, 20 pounds to be paid to her in pewter;
to my grand dau. Elizabeth, 10 pounds to buy her a siluer spoon.

"Vnto my grandsone vSamuel Crab, 18 pounds to be paid him by my
executors when he shall be 20 years of age.

"Vnto my Kinswoman, Martha Winsor, 8 pounds to be paid vnto her
at her age of 21, or day of her marriage, wch of them shall first be, & my hire
Callimines gound, & my old Moehaire petticote, & a red taminy petticote,
& a new cloth wastcoate wch lyeth in my chest, & a sute of my linning com-
plete (except a white apron), & my bible & box. To Goodman Prat, of
Charlestown, 10s.

"Vnto my Kinswoman, Hannah Winsor, Two platters to be paid her
at her marriage.

"Vnto Good wife Cop, & good wife Goold, 10s, apeece; vnto my loving
neighbors Goodwife vStanes & Goodwife Winsor, each of them a dressing of
my best, after my dau. Alice hath take her choice. My will is, that my sone
Samuel shall have the refuse of such implements in my house wch he shall
desire, paying for it as it is prized.

"Vnto my sones Obadiah & Samuel, all my goods, Debts & estate not
hereby bequethed, to be devided between them, whom I make joint executors
of this my last will & testament. I intreat my loving friends Mr. John Wis-
well & Mr. William English to be ourseers, whom I do hereby also im power
that in case my executors be remisse in prforming this my last will, that

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Online LibraryEdward Neville EmmonsThe Emmons family genealogy : a record of the emigrant Thomas Emmons of Newport, Rhode Island, with many of his descendants from 1639 to 1905 → online text (page 1 of 19)