Arthur Horton Locke.

A history and genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627-1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, N.H., and his descendants; also of Nathaniel Locke of Portsmouth, and a short account of the history of the Lockes in England online

. (page 1 of 70)
Online LibraryArthur Horton LockeA history and genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627-1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, N.H., and his descendants; also of Nathaniel Locke of Portsmouth, and a short account of the history of the Lockes in England → online text (page 1 of 70)
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Member of New Hampshire Historical Society





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The Locke Genealogy, like most family histories, was first
started out of a curiosity, which finally led to duty ; curiosity to
learn who and what was our family; duty to preserve that which
was going so rapidly by the deaths of those older ones whose
early days, sitting in the home circle, were filled with local and
family events, which became memorized, and so were handed
down to us. It was and is this class which has made genealogies
possible, supplying us with facts not contained in the early
meager town records, and happening before the present careless
town statistics were inaugurated.

Thus the work was started in college days, and continued
during a busy life, yet a hfe which gave me access to all the large
libraries of the country, and its only drawback was lack of oppor-
tunity to travel and thus be able to solve some problems which no
correspondence could accomplish. I could boast a few years ago
that every genealogy or local history published up to that time
and contained in the larger libraries had been carefully scruti-
nized, and this review of several thousand books has given me
data concerning unknown Lockes which with index would fill
fifty pages of this work; rather too much to, incorporate here,
though a few New Hampshire items are inserted in hopes that
some may be recognized and properly connected before for-

The Locke Family Association, even if in its twenty-five years
of life has not realized its intention of greatly helping the writer,
yet has been of the utmost importance in getting the Lockes
together from all over the country, has advertised the fact that
a genealogy was being prepared, and this alone puts the blame
for any omissions or manifest errors on the Lockes themselves.
Thousands of letters have gone out seeking information, and
every effort has been made to keep the data as correct as con-
flicting town records, tombstone inscriptions, and imperfect
memory would allow. In looking back I can see where other
duties with consequent interruptions have marred the work
somewhat, and fear of too bulky a volume caused me to sacri-


fice smoothness to brevity, but I have ikj apologies to offer un-
der the circumstances. Much thought has been given to a
permanent rag paper with the result of doubling the usual cost
of the one item.

I am under great obligation to many people for their help in
the work and trust the completion of it in their lifetime may be
some recompense to them. "The Book of Lockes," by John
G. Locke of Boston, 1853, has been of great assistance to me.
Although almost wholly confined to the Massachusetts family,
yet he collected and preserved much of interest to our family
and in the later pages of this book I have copied iv toto what he
collected of our common Locke history in England.

All unknown items in my possession and all additions and
corrections, which I trust may be sent to me, will in time be
indexed and deposited with the New Hampshire Historical
Society, Concord, N. H., for preservation and inspection.

Some of the oldest Lockes in my memory, now long departed,
have been quite insistent that we were related to the famous
John Locke, a ver>' laudable ambition and tradition, but the
English records are so very incomplete, that while some American
families ha\e tried to prove this idea, not much foundation exists
at present for such pretence. A statement made a few years
ago in England was: "It would take a regiment ten \ears to copy
the church and town records."

I have made no distinction as to spelling Lock or Locke, and
have used the latter entirely. I have no doubt those who spell
their name Loch were originalh- of English descent, as those
whom I ha^•e interviewed seem to think, l)ut the line is far re-
moved from any of the New England Lockes.

About the year 1726, the present town of R>e was set off from
New Castle, Portsmouth and Hampton, nine tenths being from
the first town. This will explain the apparent confusion of

I find Lockes among the earliest Dutch settlers of New York
city, a family settled in New Jersey, one in X'irginia, another in
North Carolina, all (|uile as old in time of settlement as William
of Massachusetts or Joim of New Hampshire. Some of our
own missing branches li\ed in Chenango and Orleans Counties,
New \'ork, and Branch Count\-, Michigan, ^hln^• other Lockes
have settled in the countrx- since 1800.


To quote from "The Book of Lockes": "I do not offer you a
history of high dignitaries in Church or State, or valiant warriors
who have won renown at the head of armies. Mine is the history
of the yeomanry and artisan; of those who have earned their
bread on their farms and in their workshops by the sweat of their
brow; and if they performed well their part in their station —
however humble it may have been, — they are not to be despised,
— but honored.

"I have labored to rescue from oblivion the names of those
who have gone before us, to record their virtues, and to place
landmarks where they resided ; that those of us who are now on the
stage, and those that come after us, may answer the question —
Who was your father?"


When no state is mentioned. New Hampshire is understood-
The usual abbreviations: b., bapt., m., unm., d., signifying born,
baptized, married, unmarried, died, are used throughout the book.
The sign ? is used where doubt exists. Parenthesis ( ) are used
where necessary also to distinguish maiden names.


Every descendant has an individual number beginning with
Captain John, those having children have F before the number
and this number, in heavy type in consecutive order, forms the
heads for the succeeding generation.

Reversing the process, to find ancestors: having found the
name in the index, take the heavy type number at head of that
family and go back to that number, and so follow heads back to
Captain John, who is F. 1.

Arthur H. Locke.

Portsmouth, N. H.







AUG. 26, 1696 AT THE AGE OF 70 YRS.




On the Occasion of the Dedication Aug. 27, 1902, of the
Monument Illustrated on the Opposite Page.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Locke Family Association:
More than two centuries ago, our common ancestor was
snatched from life near this spot, by the hands of members of
that race which before the march of civihzation was slowly
disappearing. The vigor and force with which he had been
wont to protect his family and home, had called down upon him
the antagonism of his enemies, and his bravery was now over-
come by the cunning of the savage, and overwhelming numbers,
and after a most gallant fight with the only instrument at hand,
that not even a weapon of war but an emblem of peace, he
yielded to the inevitable. If we are to credit the records, both
written and traditional, we may believe that he had lived a life
of energetic action and forcible achievement! Of toil and labor,
of hardship, exposure and discomforts inseparable' from the life
of a first settler in a wild and savage country he had his share;
but we may also believe that he had been, as a man, a leader
among men, and left a name, that within the small circle in
which he moved was not without honor. His life was a long and
eventful one; he had reached his three score years and ten and
had unquestionably seen the results of his labors commencing to
turn the wilderness to a land of families and settled, in
place of the wandering tribes of Red Men. His death was one
of the many sacrifices which is continuously being demanded by
the advance of races and the change of conditions, the advance
of civilization and the establishment of new nations.

The contest waged with the original occupants of the soil was
on each side but a strife for self preservation in which the weaker
had to succumb and the stronger to succeed. But what the final
result of these individual sacrifices has been in the great aggre-
gate, the present condition of our nation clearly shows.

Little could Capt. John Locke perceive, think or even dream,
two hundred and six years ago j^esterday of the final result that


was to flow from the efforts of himself and those like him in their
efforts to make for themselves homes in the new world. How
little could he conceive with even the dimmest imagining to what
a grand result the little seed that he was planting was to grow.
Yet it is to be believed that in everything he did his present duty
to the best of his understanding and knowledge.

Let us imagine if we can the circumstances of that time; the,
to him, eventful day, the surroundings of that tragic ending of
the life of the old man upon whose head the snows of seventy
winters then rested. Undoubtedly the sun shone with a splendor
equal to that of to-day; the blue of the old ocean was as vivid,
and the ripplings of its waves upon the pebbly beach as musical
as at the present. But the shades of the primeval forests sur-
rounded the little clearing where the small house and outbuildings
were standing as sentries, and as an advanced guard to the coming

Vigorously the sickle was plied in the waving corn until the
large boulder against which leaned the faithful musket was left
at a distance, and in the joy and satisfaction of a well earned
harvest the brightness of nature was only thought of and danger
forgotten. But unnoticed and slowly and softly with the stealthy
step of the beast of pre^-, dark forms came slowly gliding out from
the forest shades and concealed behind the stumps and dead,
although standing trees, got between him and his only weapon of
defense, when, with a war-whoop, which even then soundea of
victory^ they rushed upon their victim.

The contest was too unequal; the strife determined from the
beginning by a force too great to be overcome; and he who had
fought his last fight and won his last battle, struggling to the
last with his sickle's blade, yielded at length to the deadly arrow
and tomahawk. But he had already done his work. He had
acted well his part in planting the seed for a magnificent nation.
If it is true that

"To the hero when his sword has won the battle for the free
Death'.s voice comes Hke a prophet's word
And in its hollow tones are heard,
The voice of millions \et to be:"

may we not believe in his last moments he felt that his life had
not been in vain? and from his duties well done there might in


the providence of an All-wise Ruler be fruits and rewards to the
coming generations?

Could it be that there might have been with a prophetic
glimpse a flash of coming events; of the heights of Bunker Hill
and Ticonderoga, the sufferings of Valley Forge, the glories of
Saratoga and Yorktown, of Gettysburg, of Vicksburg, of Look-
out Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and later the swamps and
mountains of the Philippines, in all of which his descendants
would take up the life of the pioneer in carrying civilization into
the new places of the earth, as they might have, might not his
last moments have been like the glory of a setting sun after a day
of clouds and darkness?

Here, therefore, come we to-day to dedicate to the memory of
Capt. John Locke a humble token of our consideration and
relationship. We attempt no grand or expensive column, no
beautiful or ornate mausoleum, but a simple block as evidence
of our appreciation of the fair record of a life of duty well per-
formed and honorably ended ; of a name which has been handed
down to us unsullied by him who firs'; bore it in this land. We
are well aware that this simple tribute can add nothing to the
memory of the departed or the value of his example.

The lives of his descendants have and will determine whether
they have been true or recreant to the principles of right living,
of honest, energetic action which made him favorably known
among his neighbors and associates.

But may it, firmly fixed on its foundations as it is, be to us a
suggestion that our lives and actions, examples and influences,
do not cease with our parting breath but will live for the encour-
agement or regret of coming generations even as is now the
memories of the life of our common ancestor an inspiration to
higher living and nobler achievements!




In writing the history of John Locke, the progenitor of the
Lockes in New Hampshire, and some of the oldest famihes of
that name in Rhode Island, New York, and Nova Scotia, we have
some records, more tradition, and much circumstantial evidence,
A most careful search of published English records gives us
nothing more than that found in Savage's Genealogical Diction-
ary (an American work of inestimable value), and the London
White Chapel Register. See History of English Lockes on later
pages. This register shows us that Thomas Locke of London,
married Christena French, July 26, 1624, and they had sons, John,
baptized Sept. 16, 1627, and Nathaniel, baptized Nov. 11, 1629.
Assuming that John and Nathaniel Locke of Portsmouth, N. H.,
were brothers, and taking into account their ages, we have no
other recourse at present than to accept it as very probable
that these were the sons of Thomas of London, recorded above.
Possibly time will bring to light further proof or give us welcome
facts on other lines.

In 1620, during the reign of James I, the religious and political
persecutions drove the Puritans from England and forced them
to find a home on foreign shores, and this emigration continued
for a long period and in constantly increasing numbers. To stop
this drain on his kingdom, Charles I ordered every person emi-
grating to take the oath of supremacy and allegiance, and this
had two effects. One was, that all who took the oath were thus
privileged in having their names, time of sailing, and, in many
cases, their place of birth, age, and occupation, recorded in the
office. On the other hand, hundreds refusing to sign away their
independence were forced to sail surreptitiously leaving no trace
behind, and so their first movement was recorded on American
shores. Our own John Locke was undoubtedly one of the latter,
and perhaps came to these shores in one of those hundred ships,
which we are told touched the New England coast between
Salem and Portland, in the years 1 630-1 640 and of which we
have no record.

The family tradition from the very earliest times is that John


Locke came from Yorkshire, England, and settled in New Hamp-
shire about the years 1638-1644; that "at first he settled in
Dover where he owned a right of land"; that from thence he
moved to Fort Point, New Castle, and about the year 1652
married Elizabeth the daughter of William Berry, who was
probably the first settler in Hampton at a place called Sandy
Beach, now in Rye. From New Castle Mr. Locke moved to
Sagamore Creek where he liv^ed until 1665, when he went to
Hampton, now Rye, N. H. The early records of Dover have
nothing to corroborate the above first statement. The Select-
men of Portsmouth, in 1652, started a new town record,
copying only a few items from an older book covering the
years 1 623-1 651, the oldest book of the colony, which is now
lost, and so any possible clue that might interest us is forever

The Portsmouth records do, however, mention him as follows:
"And likewise John Locke is to have a house lott between John
Jacksons and William Cotton's rails, the lott eight acres.
At a town meeting held this first day of Januarie, 1656." At a
meeting Jan. 22, 1660, "John Locke having eight acres, to have
eight more" ; and the same year there was laid out to him "eight
acres from Stony Brooke towards John Jones, 24 pole wide and
40 pole back into the woods, upon a south west line." Tradi-
tion tells us that John Locke framed the first meeting house in
Portsmouth, and probably the first in New Hampshire about
1645. Tne specifications read: "The meeting house to be made
40 fTeet square with 12 windowes well fitted, 3 substanciall doers
and a complete pulpit." It was ordered built, Aug. 27, 1657,
as given in "Historic Portsmouth." The date must be wrong
as the seats were ordered in 1654. This church stood south of
Pickering's Dam (now South Mill Bridge), at the junction of
South and Marcy Streets, and was removed about 1750. It is
barely possible that the town took the above means to pay this
young man for his work by granting him the eight acres in the
southern part of Portsmouth.

The first grant of eight acres in 1656 bears out the tradition
of his living at Sagamore Creek, since it was very close to that
locality, being in reality on the present Little Harbor road, on
the side of hill just east of the new brick Memorial Church, and
overlooking the city of Portsmouth, of which it is a part. See


enclosed plan. Evidently he did not live here long, as shown by
the following sale,

" Be it known unto all men by these presents that I, John Lock
of Portsmouth, on Piscataqs river, Carpenter & Elizabeth my
wife for and in consideration of the sum of Thirty two pounds
10 s. to us in hand before the engaging hereof, by James Drew
of the same place marrynor, do . . . sell unto the said
James Drew my new dwelling house . . . therewith eight
acres of uplands on which the said house stands and is situate,
and being between ye lands of John Jones on the West northly
& ye lands of John Jackson on the East Southerly. Said lands
of eight acres be it more or less was given & granted me the said
Lock by the Town of Portsmouth, as may appear by the sd
Towns grant & record of the bounds when it was laid out. All
the said premises with the appurtenances of same which belong-
ing to ye sd Locke & Elizabeth my wife . . . unto the sd
Drew & his heirs etc. . . . furthermore whereas there is a
piece of marsh in disspute between me the sd Jno Lock &. Wm.
Cotton; I ye sd Jno. Lock & Elizabeth my wife do include in the
sd forementioned bargain, if either ye sd Lock or ye sd Drew
can recourus of ye hand of the sd Cotton, & ye sd Lock do hereby
promise to do all in my power for the attainment of the same
etc. . . . , in witness thereof his hand & seal 8z deliver the
23 day of March 1660-61."

•Jno X Lock
Elizabeth X Lock

I am convinced also that the grant of 1660 was near the first
grant if not adjacent, and this he sold long after he went to
Locke's Neck, Hampton, as shown by the sale to his late neighbor
Cotton with v/hom he had the dispute over the marsh land.

"John Lock of Portsmouth, carpenter & wife Elizabeth, sold
to William Cotton eight acres land to be layd out in Portsmouth,
as appears in town book Sept. 8, 1674." John acknowledged the
sale, March 26, 1675.

I should judge that this dispute over marsh land was not settled
since it appears in John's estate in 1707, and again later accord-
ing to these transfers. "Shadrack Walton of New Castle sold
John Dennett of Portsmouth, 3 acres of salt marsh in Little
Harbor bounded by Mark Hunking's marsh on the south side


and Jno. Locke's on the north side, and by the main brook on
the east side, dated; Dec. 12, 1693." This marsh was later
transferred in August and November 1709; Jno. Lock's marsh
being mentioned on the north side.

"Jno. Lock & Daniel Thomas having Edward Colcord com-
mitted to them for keeping & Letting him go in the night, are
fined 2-6 apiece & are enjoyned to do their utmost to gott him
again; if they do, are to be released from their fines otherwise
to pay as above. 1662." Could it be possible that Edward
bribed his jailors? At any rate there is no mention that they
^'gott" him.

At a town meeting in Portsmouth March 8, 1665-6, John
Locke subscribed 5 shillings for the support of the minister,
Mr. Moody. The town record also has in the same \-ear:

"Capt. Locke was fined 5," whether shillings or pounds, or for
what is not stated. Note the ofificial record calls him Captain.

"The names of such who took the oath of fidelity ye 2nd. of
Oct., 1666, upon ye Election of Military officers; Jno Lock."
"A noate drawne on Hen. Dering, Constable, to pay Jno Lock
12 s: dated Oct. 26, 1671."

These items all go to show that while he was living at Joselyn's
or Locke's Neck at this time, having moved there before 1665,
he considered, and Portsmouth considered that he was within
the latter 's jurisdiction. Hampton took a different view of the
matter and the town records show they acted accordingly.

"He sat down (squatted hence the word 'Squatter') on the
public lands at Josselyn's Neck" and began clearing a farm with-
out saying "by your leave," and as the inhabitants claimed the
right of saying who should be citizens of the town, they chose a
committee May 24, 1666, to pull up his fence and March 12,
1667, to warn him to desist from improving the town land and
to notify him "that the town is displeased with his building
there." Complaint was made against him as a "Trespasser"
and he was warned to appear at the next meeting and give an
account of himself. On the 8th of March 1667 the town voted:
"Upon the motion of John Lock who desireth to yield himself
to the town of Hampton as an inhabitant here amongst us, being
already settled upon Josselyn's Neck in Hampton bounds, the
town hath accepted of the said John Lock for an inhabitant
accordingly." So John Locke from being the first squatter


became an inhabitant of Hampton, now Rye, N. H., and here
he continued to live until his death.

Joselyn's Neck became Locke's Neck and so continued for
two hundred years, in fact today it is equally as well known as
by the newer name Straw's Point, a name given because Governor
Straw bought much of the land and erected many houses upon it.

These depositions of his neighbors are interesting as fixing
his residence, and landmarks.

"The Deposition of George Hunt aged 35 years testifiethe and
Saith that Living with John Lock of Hampton and that I being
then a Servant with him, that I Did help fence the neck of Land
called Joselyn's neck thirteen year agoe (1667), and did help
fence the marsh belonging to the neck twelve year agoe and
further saith not. Taken upon Oath Sept. ist. 1680."

"Nathaniel Drake aged 68, and John Goss aged 46, and John
Berry aged 43, "Testfiieth and saith that John Lock hath en-
joyed ye neck of Land commonly called Josliens neck fifteen years
or thereabouts peacably and had it in fence moste part if not all
the time above said, and further we testify that the marsh in
Contreversy between Francis Jinins and Said Lock is within
said Lock's fence as above said which he made near fifteen years
ago (1665). Taken under oath Sept. 8, 1680."

"John Brackett aged 39 years testifieth that fourteen or fifteen
years ago (1665) I helped John Lock fence a corn field at a place
called Joslien's neck and since I have seen a fence at the head of
the neck where the cattle used to come over. Sworn to Sept. 7,

"John Lock aged about 75, and John Foss aged about 69, tes-
tifieth that they have known the great Pond in Rye known by
name as Sandy Beach Pond to have been fenced and in posses-
sion of John Lock formerly of Hampton deceased and William
Berry of Portsmouth, disceased, for 60 years (1668), and fence
enclosed meadows all around on back side and ends running
down to the sea, and has been possessed by their descendants
since. Sworn to, Feb. 5, 1728-9."

In 1672 John Lock was a witness to a land claim of Nathaniel
Wallis of Casco, Me. He served on the jury in Portsmouth,
Nov. 6, 1683, in the trial, "Proprietor Mason versus Vaughan."
(He perhaps heard there why the early colonial record was de-


Online LibraryArthur Horton LockeA history and genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627-1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, N.H., and his descendants; also of Nathaniel Locke of Portsmouth, and a short account of the history of the Lockes in England → online text (page 1 of 70)