Elizabeth M. Leach (Elizabeth May Leach) Rixford.

Three hundred colonial ancestors and war service, their part in making American history from 495 to 1934 online

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some parish near Dartmouth, and that, either because Dartmouth
was the nearest large town or because he may have sailed from that
port, the tradition that he was born in Dartmouth arose. Lack of
funds prevented at that time a search of the registers of the parishes
near Dartmouth.

It seems probable that the Chapins of the two parishes of Paignton and Berry
Pomeroy, which were in the hundred of Haytor, Co. Devon, were descended from,
or at least related to, the Chapin family of the neighboring hundred of Coleridge.
In 1524, Robert Chopyn and Christopher Chopyn were at Cornworthy in the
hundred of Coleridge, and in 1525, Henry Chopyn and Thomas Chopyn were
at Harberton in the same hundred. At Totnes, also in the himdred of Coleridge,
the parish in which Roger Chapyn, who was probably the grandfather of Dea.
Samuel Chapin lived, there was a Stephen Chapin as early as 1489, a fact which
seems to indicate that the ancestors of Samuel Chapin were living at Totnes as
early as the fifteenth century; and the appearance of the Christian name Stephen
in the family at that date seems to point to a connection between the Chapin
families of Totnes and Cornworthy, for a Stephen Chapin was born at Cornworthy
in 1570 and moved to Dartmouth. Thomas and Christian also were names that
were common in both families. The Chapin family is found in Coleridge as
early as 1333, when Petro Chapyn was taxed 8d., and six years earlier, in 1327, a
Nicholas Chopyn was taxed at the manor of Sheftbeare in the hundred of Haytor —
the first appearance (so far as is known) of the surname in Devonshire.

There are many records, relating to Devon that have not yet been searched
for Chapin items, and further search among them would probably bring to light
much more information about the early Chapins. Indeed, it is reasonable to
believe that by such a search the ancestry of Dea. Samuel Chapin might be traced
back for several more generations.

Soon after this an American genealogist accidentally found, in the registers
of Paignton, a parish in Devonshire, on the shore of Tor Bay, about seven miles
north from Dartmouth, the record of the marriage of Samuel Chapin and Cicely
Peny (Penny), 9 Feb. 1623 (1623/4); and the same registers were foimd to con-
tain several other Chapin and Penny records, including the baptism of David,
son of Samuel Chapin, 4 Jan. 1624 (1624/5), that of Samuel himself, son of John
Chapin, 8 Oct. 1598, that of Cicely, daughter of Henry Penny, 21 Feb. 1601 (1601
/2), and the marriage, 14 Sept. 1590, of John Chapin (Samuel's father) and Phillipe
Easton. Henry Penny of Paignton, baker, in his wiU dated 6 Apr. 1630, made
bequests to his daughter, Cicelly Chapin, his nephew (i. e., grandson), David
Chapin, and to Katherine Chapin and Sarah Chapin; and thus the identity of
the Samuel Chapin and wife Cicely of Paignton with the Samuel Chapin and wife
Cicely of Springfield, Mass., was established.

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 35

Mr. Roy D. Chapin, of Detroit, Mich., then employed the English genealo-
gist, Richard Holworthy, Esq., of London, to continue the researches in Devon
by examiaing the registers of the parishes near Paignton and also any other Devon
records that might throw light on the English connections of Dea. Samuel Chapin ;
and it is the purpose of the writer of this article to present a summary of the results
of Mr. Hoi worthy's researches, which, by the courtesy of Mr. Roy D. Chapin,
he is permitted to contribute to the Register.

In the registers of Berry Pomeroy, Co. Devon, a parish a short distance
west from Tor Bay, Mr. Holworthy found the baptismal records of six of Samuel
Chapin's children, namely, two sons, Henry and Josias, two daughters, Sara and
Honor, a son, whose name was illegible in the registers, and a daughter, whose
name was illegible except for the last two letters, in, probably the ending of the
name Katherin. As Samuel Chapin of Springfield had children named Henry,
Josiah, Sarah and Katherine, the identity of Samuel of Springfield with Samuel
of Paignton and Berry Pomeroy was established beyond any doubt. The daughter,
Honor, and the son, whose name was illegible, though doubtless Samuel, prob-
ably died in England.

No earher generations of Chapins were found either in Paignton or in Berry
Pomeroy, but in another neighboring parish, Totnes, Mr. Holworthy found a
most important item. On 16 Jan. 1632/3, John Chapin, son of Samuel, was
baptized at Totnes. This one record is the only Chapin entry in the Totnes
registers after Jan. 1619/20, although there are many early Chapin records, some
of which antedate those of the Paignton and Berry Pomeroy registers. The ques-
tion arises as to why Samuel Chapin had one of his children baptized in Totnes,
and the thought occurs that Totnes may have been the home of his father. This
possibihty is stiU further strengthened by the fact that in 1566, John Chapin, son
of Roger, was baptized at Totnes. While there is no actual evidence that John
Chapin of Totnes, son of Roger, was identical with John Chapin of Paignton,
father of Samuel, the fact that John of Totnes was baptized in 1566, about the
probable time of the birth of John of Paignton, and the fact that John of Totnes
disappears from the Totnes records before John of Paignton appears in the Paign-
ton records, make the identity of John of Totnes with John of Paignton very poss-
ible. The additional fact of the connection of Samuel Chapin with both parishes
increases the possibility into a most interesting probability, for, if John of Paign-
ton came from Totnes, he was the son of Roger, and thus the ancestry of Dea.
Samuel Chapin of New England would be carried back another generation.

It is highly probable that further research in Devonshire records wiU throw
more light on this subject, and it is not imreasonable to hope that this suggested
probability may be proved a fact. It is truly remarkable that the baptismal
records of Samuel Chapin and Cicely, his wife, their marriage record, and the
baptismal records of all five of the children that they brought with them to New
England should have been discovered. Such important finds encourage further

There were other Chapins contemporary with Roger in Totnes: Katherine,
Joan, Christian, Walter, who had a wife Agnes, and several children, and Emlen,
who was the mother of John Chapin of Lawhitton, Co. Cornwall. They were
probably relatives of Roger, and their names may serve as useful clues for the

The following pedigree gives in genealogical form all that is at present known
in regard to the English history and connections of Dea. Samuel Chapin.

Roger Chapyn, of Totnes, Co. Devon, was born probably before
1540, as he had a daughter baptized at Totnes in 1560. The name
of his wife is unknown, but she survived him and was hving 9 Sept.
1590 as "widdo Chapinne."

Children, recorded at Totnes:

1. JoHAN (a daughter), bapt. 30 June, 1560.

2. John, bapt. 25 Sept., 1566.

3. Margery, bur. 31 Oct. 1569.

4. xMargett, bapt. 10 Feb., 1570/1.

36 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

5. Luke, bapt. 8 May 1576; bur. 9 Sept. 1590, "in the pleague."
Perhaps other children.

John Chapin (? Roger), of Paignton, Co. Devon, probably
identical with the John, son of Roger Chapyn, who was baptized
at Totnes, 25 Sept. 1566 (cf. 1,2), was buried at Paignton, 3 June
1600. He married at Paignton, 14 Sept. 1590, Phillipe Easton,
who married again, at Paignton, 26 Jan. 1600/1, George Stone of
Paignton, who died between 20 Jan. 1614/15 when his will was dated,
and 1 (?) Jan. 1616/17, when it was proved. George Stone's wife,
Phillipe, probably survived him, for he made her executrix of his
will and residuary legatee, and bequeathed to her and her son,
Samuell Chapin, his "furnace and all the furniture thereunto be-
longing" and his "brassen crocke," and to Thomas Chapine, his
wife's eldest son, the bedstead over the hall and the tableboard in
the hall and the rest of his other "crockes."

Children, baptized at Paignton:

1. JoANE, bapt. 26 June 1591; m. at Paignton, 9 July 1611, James Nakracot.

Her stepfather, George Stone of Paignton, in his will, dated 20 Jan.
1614/15, bequeathed to Johan Norracott 49s and to John Norracott,
"my godsone," 2s. 6d.

2. Thomas, bapt. 8 Mar. 1596/7; bur. at Paignton, 27 May 1628; m. there,

7 Aug. 1620, Bridgett Hannaf(o)rd, presumably the Bridgett Chapin
who m. at Berry Pomeroy, Co. Devon, 7 Nov. 1641, John Duport.
Children, bapt. at Paignton:

1. Phillip (probably a daughter), bapt. 6 July 1621.

2. John, bapt. 1 June 1623.

3. Samuell, bapt. 4 July 1624; bur. at Paignton 15 June 1628.

4. Thomas, bapt. 14 July 1626; perhaps the "Thomas Chaplyn" who

was bur. at Paignton 30 Nov. 1685.

3. Samuel, bapt. 8 Oct. 1598.

4. Margaret (posthumous), bapt. 16 Nov. 1600, bur. at Paignton, 11 Dec.

1600. (The record of her baptism reads: "Margaret daughter of Phillip
Chapin, vid.," the i being evidently a slip of the pen.)

Dea. Samuel Chapin (John, ? Roger), of Paignton, Co. Devon
and of Roxbuiy and Springfield, Mass., baptized at Paignton,
8 Oct. 1598, died at Springfield, 11 Nov. 1675. He married at
Paignton, 9 Feb. 1623/4, Cicely Peny (Penny), baptized at
Paignton, 21 Feb. 1601/2, died at Springfield, 8 Feb. 1682/3, daugh-
ter of Henry Penny of Paignton, baker. Dea. Samuel Chapin came
with his family to reside in Springfield in 1642. It would rather
appear that he resided in this country considerable time, perhaps
eight or ten years before he came to Springfield, and perhaps the
greater part of his children were born in this country, but record has
been found of the birth of but one — the youngest, and we do not
find any record of but one of his sons taking the freeman's oath.
David, his son, was made a freeman in Springfield, 5th day 2nd
month, 1649. He is supposed to be the progenitor of all who bear
the name in this country, and I have not found one of the name who
could trace their lineage to any other source. In 1652, 10th of
October, Samuel Chapin was appointed one of the magistrates of
Springfield, and in 1654 his commission was extended indefinitely.
He was also much employed in other public business — a useful and

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 37

highly esteemed man. In the records of the Colony of Massachu-
setts Bay in New England, the name of John Chapin is mentioned
in connection with the building of a movable fort, March 4, 1633/4,
and in July 1634, mention is made of a meadow a part of which
"John Chapin hath mov/n." That is all the information I have
found respecting him. Whether he is a brother of Samuel or not
is a matter of mere conjecture.

(Copied from Chapin Family Genealogy by Orange Chapin,
1862), The opinion of Rev. Samuel ChapiUj'^D.B., of Rockyhill, Ct.
as to the native place of Dea. Samuel Chapin:

"Samuel Chapin is believed to be the progenitor of all who bear
the name in this country. Respecting the history of the family
previous to his landing here, or the precise time of his arrival,
nothing is definitely known. It has not been found that one of the
name could trace their lineage to any other source.

Samuel Chapin was a legatee in the will of his stepfather, George
Stone of Paignton, dated 20 Jan. 1614/15, and was one of the four
persons who took the inventory of the estate of Henry Penny, 18
May 1630. In his will Henry Penny bequeathed to "Cicelly Chapin
my daughter, my second great pan," and mentioned three of Samuel
Chapin's children, as appears below. Since Samuel Clia,pin's son
Josias was baptized at Berry Pomeroy, Co. Devon, 29 Oct. 1637,
the migration of Samuel Chapin and his family to New England
must have taken place after Oct. 1637 but not later than 1639, when
he is known to have been in Roxbury, Mass. The summer of 1638,
the year given by Savage, seems to be the most probable time for the
voyage, and Savage doubtless based the date of arrival in New Eng-
land on the fact that the earliest New England record relating to
Samuel Chapin is dated 1639.

"The Puritan" St. Gaudens' statue, in figure and costume is
intended as an ideal of Dea. Samuel Chapin as given by tradition
current among his descendants for there is of his face and features
no oral or written records in existence. A striking physiognomy
typifying that grand race who "feared God and kept their powder
dry." This statue at Springfield, Mass. was unveiled Nov. 24, 1887.

"Memorial to Samuel Chapin," Chapin Book, Vol. I:

"Lives of great men, all remind us
We can make our lives sublime ;
And departing, leave behind us,
Foot prints on the sands of time."


(See Orange Chapin Genealogy of 1862), "The beginning of the
Chapin family is altogether creditable. We may well be satisfied
that it should start with this genuine old Puritan (Deacon Samuel
Chapin) and what he did, with his fellow pioneers, to open the Amer-
ican Continent and on it to found a city and to establish a model
Christian Republic."

38 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

The Rolls of Heraldry, even if they could show the name linked
with royal or princely blood, would add nothing to the true nobility
of its origin. It belongs pecularly to this country, and the sphere
of its highest dignity and honor was no doubt ordained to be here.
Our chief anxiety should be to maintain and advance its true nobility
by lives and deeds worthy of such a father." By Pres. Aaron I. Chapin.

(Hist, of Hadley, Mass., by Judd, 1863, p. 955), Samuel Chapin
Governor of Plymouth and Mass. Bay Colony for 15 years.

(Soc. of Col. Wars, 1922, p. 95), Deacon Samuel Chapin, 1598-
1675, Springfield, appointed Governor of Mass. Bay Colony, was
a participant in repelling an attack from fortified houses in King
Philip's War.

(Com. of Am. Gen. Vol. Ill), Deacon Samuel Chapin appointed
by General Court Governor of Mass. Bay Colony, 1598-1675.

Samuel^ Chapin, oath at Boston, 1641; Springfield, 1642; wife
Cisily; he d. 11 Nov. 1675; she d. 8 Feb. 1683.

Children :

1} David, bapt. at Paignton, 4 Jan. 1624/.5; m. Lydia Crump of Boston, June
29, 1654. He d. at Boston, Aug., 1672. In the will of his grandfather,
Henry Penny, dated 6 Apr. 1630, is this bequest: "To David Chapin
my nephew (grandson), 20/ yearly for 7 years to be paid by (my)
Executrix (the testator's wife, Jane) towards his bringing up in learn-
ing." He came to New England.

2. Catherin, doubtless the daughter whose name is illegible except for the
last two letters, (in), who was bapt. at Berry Pomeroy in 1626. Her
grandfather, Henry Penny, in his will of 1630, bequeathed to her 12d.
She came to New England; d. Feb. 4, 1712, Springfield, Mass.

2. Catharine^, b. ; m. Nathaniel Bliss, 20 Nov. 1646; he d. 18 Nov. 1654,

and she m. 2d, Thomas Gilbert, 30 June, 1655; he d. 5 June, 1662, and
she m. 3d, Samuel Marshfield, 1664. By Nathaniel Bliss she had:
1. Samuel b. 7 Nov., 1647, of Longmeadow; d. at the age of 102; 2.
Margaret, b. 12 Nov., 1649; m. Nathaniel Foote; 1. Mary, b. 23 Sept.
1651 ; 2. Nathaniel, b. 27 Mar., 1653. (See Gilbert Ancestry.)

3. Sarah, bapt. at Berry Pomeroy in Oct. 1628. Her grandfather, Henry

Penny, in his will of 1630, bequeathed to her 12d. She came to New
England; d. Aug. 5, 1684, Springfield, Mass.

3. Sarah2, b_ ■ d. 5 Aug. 1684; m. 14 April 1647, Rowland Thomas. She

had Joseph, b. 1647; Samuel, 1649; Mary, 1650; Joseph, 1651; Ben-
jamin, 1653; Josiah, 1655; Josiah, 1657.

4. A son (probably twin), whose name (probably Samuel) is illegible in the

registers, bapt. at Berry Pomeroy in Jan. 1630/1; bur. at Berry Pom-
eroy, 10 July 1634.

5. Henry (probably twin), bapt. at Berry Pomeroy in Jan. 1630/1; d. Aug.

15, 1718. He came to New England; m. Bethiah, dau. of Benj.
Cooley; she d. Dec. 9, 1711.

6. John, bapt. at Totnes, Co. Devon, 16 Jan. 1632/3; probably d. in Eng.

7. Honor (a daughter), bapt. at Berry Pomeroy, 8 May 1636; probably d. in


8. JosiAS (Josiah), bapt. at Berry Pomeroy, 29 Oct. 1637. He came to New

England; d. Sept. 10, 1726, Mendon, Mass. One of Original Grantees.

9. Japhet, bapt. at Roxbury, Mass., 15 Oct. 1642; d. Feb. 20, 1710, Springfield,

Mass.; m. 22 July 1664, Abilenah Cooley, m. (2) 31 May 1711,
Dorothy Root. She d. 20 Feb. 1712.
10. Hannah, b. at Springfield, Mass., 2 Dec. 1644; m. 1666, Deacon John
Above children may not be in order of birth.

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 39

(New England Historical & Genealogical Register 15, 1861,
Chapin Family, p. 356)

Children of Japet and Abilenah :

1. Samuel', b. 4 July 1665; d. 19 Oct. 1729; m. Hannah Sheldon, 1690.

2. SARAH^ b. 16 March 1668; m. Nathaniel Munn.

3. Thomas', b. 10 May 1671; d. 27 Aug. 1755; m. Sarah Wright.

4. John', b. 14 May 1674; d. 1 Jvme 1759; m. Sarah Brigman of Northampton.

5. Ebenezer', b. 26 June 1677; d. 13 Dec. 1772; m. Ruth Janes, and s. at

Enfield, Ct.

6. Hannah', b. 21 June 1679; d. 7 July 1679.

7. HaNxNah', b. 18 July 1680; m. John Shelden of Deerfield.

8. David', b. 16 Nov. 1682; d. 7 July 1772; m. Sarah Stebbins.

9. Jonathan', b. 20 Feb. 1685; d. 1 March 1686; m. Elizabeth Burt.
10. Jonathan', b. 23 Sept. 1688; d. 23 Feb. 1761.

Henry (5) and Bethia had children:

1. Henry', b. 1 June, 1666; d. 29 April, 1669; m. Mary Gumsey of Milford,


2. Sarah', b. 3 March, 1670.

3. Bethia', b. 19 Feb. 1672.

4. Henry', b. 19 March, 1679; d. 15 Sept. 1754.

5. Benjamin', b. 2 Feb. 1682; d. 27 March, 1756; m. Hannah Colton.

David (1) and Lydia had children:

1. Lydia', b. 19 4, 1685.

2. Caleb', b, 2 2, 1657; m. and s. in Boston.

3. Sarah', b. 3 March, 1658.

4. Hannah', b. 23 Oct. 1662.

5. Ebenezer', b. 6 April, 1664; m. and s. in Boston.

6. Jonathan', b. 12 Feb. 1665.

7. Union', b. 23 Dec. 1669.

References: "The English Ancestry of Dea. Samuel Chapin of Springfield,"
by Howard Miller Chapin, A.B., of Providence, R. I.
"The New England Historical & Genealogical Register,"
Vol. 83-84, 1929/30.

Summary of Ancestry :

1. Roger Chapyn, of Totnes, Co. Devon, England, b. prob. bef. 1540, Liv-

ing Sept. 9, 1590.

2. John Chapin (? Roger), of Paignton, Co. Devon, bapt. at Totnes, Sept.

25, 1566, bur. at Paignton, June 3, 1600; m. at Paignton, Sept. 14, 1590,
PhiUipe Easton, b. ; d. prob. after 1600.

3. Dea. Samuel Chapin, b. Oct. 8, 1598, Paignton, Eng.; d. Nov. 11, 1675,

Springfield, Mass.; m. Feb. 9, 1623/4, Paignton, Eng., Cecelly Penny,
b. Feb. 21, 1601/2, Paignton, Eng.; d. Feb. 8, 1682/3, Springfield,

4. Catherine (Chapin) Bliss, b. April, 1626, England; d. Feb. 4, 1712,

Sprmgfield, Mass.; m. July 13, 1655, Springfield, Mass., Thomas Gil-
bert, b. about 1624, England; d. June 5, 1662, Springfield, Mass.

5. Sarah Gilbert, b. Feb. 19, 1655/6, Springfield, Mass.; d. Feb. 4, 1712,

prob. at Boston, Mass.; m. Aug. 9, 1679, Hatfield, Mass., Samuel
Field, b. abt. 1651, Hartford, Conn.; d. June 24, 1697, Hartford,


6. Ebenezer Field, b. March 17, 1687/8, Hatfield, Mass.; d. Sept. 12, 1723,

Deerfield,Mass., m. 1714, Elizabeth Arms, b. abt. 1695; d. Oct. 1,
1772/77, prob. at Northfield, Mass.

7. Aaron Field, b. March 17, 1721/22, Deerfield, Mass.; d. March 17, 1800,

Bernardston, Mass.; m. May 26, 1743, Deerfield, Mass., Eunice Frary,
b. Nov. 30, 1721, Deerfield, Mass.; d. Oct. 28, 1813, Bernardston, Mass.


Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

8. Celoe Field, b. Dec. 29, 1743, Deerfield, Mass. ; d. April 10, 1781, Greenfield,

Mass.; m. Nov., 1764, Greenfield, Mass., Samuel Shattuck, b. Sept.
18, 1741, Deerfield. Mass.; d. Sept. 1, 1827, Portland, N. Y.

9. Chloe Shattuck, b. Nov. 22, 1766, Greenfield, Mass.; d. Jan. 22, 1845,

Enosburg, Vt.; m. Nov. 17, 1785, prob. Greenfield, Mass., Ephraim
Leach, b. Dec, 1761; d. Feb. 28, 1840, Enosburg, Vt.

10. Tertius Leach, b. Nov. 21, 1786, prob. Greenfield, Mass.; d. Feb. 4, 1864,

Waterville, Vt.; m. Jan. 1, 1812, Sheldon, Vt., Sophia Hawley, b. Aug,
17, 1795, Sheldon, Vt.; d. Jan. 7, 1879, Waterville, Vt.

11. Tertius Hawley Leach, b. March 19, 1813, Enosburg, Vt.; d. Sept. 19,

1881, Chilton, Iowa; m. Feb. 28, 1835, Sheldon, Vt., Orissa Fanton,
b. May 1, 1812, Sheldon, Vt.; d. June 24, 1890, Fairfield, Vt.

From here same as Summary of Arms Ancestry, 8th to 10th Generations;
and Daughters of the American Colonists, 1931, pp. 26-36, No. 2089; ancestry
traced by the author of this book.

Descendants of William Cheney

"Cheney Family — Pope" — "The orig-
inal Coat of Cheney," says Burke, "was, erm.
on a bend sa. three martlets, or. Crest — A
bull's scalp ar." Lord Toddington, Sir Henry
Cheney, used this Shield with modifications,
and had for his motto: "Le mieux que je

William Cheney was a very early resident of Roxbury, in the
colony of Massachusetts Bay, in New England (now included in
the city of Boston). The oldest records of that town which have
been brought down to modern times are contained in a volume
whose opening sentence says that "The Book Was bought in 1639
for the purpose of recording various matters relating to the
inhabitants . . ." These records demonstrate the fact that "William
Cheney was a land-holder and resident in Roxbury before 1640,"
and they do no more.

The settlement at Roxbury was begun in 1630, a little later than
those at Dorchester and Boston; but there was no church organi-
zation for a year (p. 18) and no pastor till 1632. In the records of
the Church of Roxbury, written by the first pastor, who was that
remarkable "Apostle to the Indians," Rev. John Elhot, there is a

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 41

very interesting list of the members, giving many personal sketches.

(p. 20) "And an acre of land commonly called the wolf trapp
bought of Humphrey Johnson lying on the north of the land of
John Gorton, and west upon the highway. And halfe of sixteene
accres of woodland lately the land of Richard Sutton, but bought
by him of John Johnson."

The deed of this "Wolf Trapp" is not on record, though there are
deeds recorded whereby lands adjoining this piece were conveyed
and called "Wolf Trap," showing that the name apphed to quite a
large tract, perhaps a valley where many wolves had been taken.
We find two deeds of WilHam Cheney's, one of land he bought, the
other of some he sold, and we give them here.

"29.3.1648. Humphrey Johnson of Roxbury granted unto William Chenie
of Roxbury twenty Acres of land in Roxbury bounded Wth the highway that
leads to the fresh meddow on the East, the land of the heires of John Levens
south, the Schoole lands & Richard Peacocks north west, & Giles Pason & the
highway northerly & This was by an absolute deed of sale 2(1)1647. Wth all
priviledgs there to belonging.

Humphrey Johnson and a seale"
Sealed & dd in P'sence
of William Aspinwall
Nicholas Butler.

Wilham Cheney of Roxbury and Margaret his wife sell to John
Peirpoint "One entire quarter or fourth part of a Water Mill in
Roxbury, and one quarter part of a piece of Parish ground es-
teemed to be one Acre more or less being all that is his, or that
belongeth to his said part of the said Mill."

(p. 22) One of the offices that called for promptness and energy
and for good faculty of dealing with men was the position of con-
stable. He was the policeman on disagreeable occasions; the mes-
senger of the selectmen sometimes; but his chief care was collecting
taxes. He had a "rate" committed to him; with a sum to be ob-
tained from each adult male inhabitant; and he had authority to
pay out sums of money on selectmen's orders. At the end of the
year he made a detailed report. If he did not possess a good edu-
cation he must have a sharp faculty of reckoning and a strong
memory of names and numbers. William Cheney was one of the
two constables in 1654/5 and his final account was approved
Feb. 13, 1655/6.

But the citizens were not content to have him simply perform
the toilsome work of a constable. Jan. 19, 1656/7 he was elected a
member of the board of selectmen, associated with men of edu-
cation and rank.

Jan. 18, 166.3, he was made one of a committee to inspect Peter
Gardner's "leanetoo" and "the fence that doth range from it" to
see that they did "not intrench upon the highway."

We have already seen that he was chosen one of the feofees of
the Free School in 1664; and on the town record we find him written
down "as Feoffee" in an agreement touching some money belong-
ing to the school fund, and affixing (his W mark) to the page along
with half a dozen regular signatures, Jan. 25, 1666/7.

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