Ermina Newton Leonard.

Newton genealogy, genealogical, biographical, historical, being a record of the descendants of Richard Newton of Sudbury and Marlborough, Massachusetts 1638, with genealogies of families descended from the immigrants Rev. Roger Newton of Milford, Connecticut, Thomas Newton of Fairfield, Connecticut, online

. (page 2 of 131)
Online LibraryErmina Newton LeonardNewton genealogy, genealogical, biographical, historical, being a record of the descendants of Richard Newton of Sudbury and Marlborough, Massachusetts 1638, with genealogies of families descended from the immigrants Rev. Roger Newton of Milford, Connecticut, Thomas Newton of Fairfield, Connecticut, → online text (page 2 of 131)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

certificate :

"June 9th 1677. + Mr. John Holyoke of Springfield a member of ye church there
in full comnnion : a householder & and above 24. yeares of age desires to be
admitted to ye freedome of this Collony attested John Pynchon."

The "Freeman's Oath" was the first paper printed in New England. It was printed at
Cambridge, by Stephen Daye, in 1639, upon a single sheet, in the manner of a hand bill, and
without date. It was in these words, as established in 1634 :

"I (A. B.) being by Gods providence, an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within 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 Ever-living God, that I
will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance & support thereunto,
with my person and Estate, as in equity I am bound ; and will also truly endeavor to maintain
and preserve all the liberties and priviledges thereof, submitting myself to the wholesome Laws
& Orders made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot or practice
any evill against it. or consent to any that shall do so : but will timely discover and reveal the
same to lawfull Authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof.

Moreover. I doe solemnly bind myself in the sight of God. that when I shal be called to give
my voyce touching any such matter of this state, in which 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
publicke weal of the body. So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ."

[Copied from that given in New Eng. Hist. Gen. Reg., vol. 3. p. 41.]


many of us, growne unto yeares : so as y' wee should be glad to see them settled before
ye Lord take us away from hence, as also God having given us some considerable quantity
of Cattle; so yt wee are so straightened j rt wee cannott so comfortably subsist, as could
be desired : & some of us having taken some paines to view the Country ;
Wee have found A place w eh lyeth west wd about eight miles from Sudbury, w ch wee
conceive might bee comfortable for our Subsistance : It is therefore the humble request
of yo 1- Petition rs to this hono 1 * 1 Court, yo u would be pleased to Grant unto us — eight miles
Square: or so much land as may containe to eight miles Square for to make A Plantation :
If it shall please this Hono r d Court to graunt o r Petition, It is faith 1 ' then the request
of yo 1 ' Petition 1-8 to this hono rd Court that yo u will bee pleased to appoint M r Thomas
Danforth or Lieftent ffisher to lay out the bounds of y e Plantation and wee shall satisfy
those whome this hono r <i Court shall please to employ in it : So apprehending yo r weighty
occasio[n] wee shall not farther trouble this hono rd Court but sha[ u ] ever pray for yo r

Edmund Rice Thomas King John Ruddocke

William Ward John How Peter Bent

John Bent sen 1- John Maynard Thomas Goodenow

John Woods Edward Rice Richard Newton

Henry Rice.
That this is a true Coppy of an originall Petition presented to y e General! Court May
1656 : Lef te on file & thereto compared is Attest d

P r Edward Rawson Secreta*

These men were not the least in ability in the town of Sudbury, and became
prominent in the affairs of the newly granted town.

At a General Court held in Boston, May 14, 1656, the petition for more land
was granted — "a proportion of land six miles," "that there be a town settled
with twenty or more families within three years, so as an able ministry may bee
there maintained." May 31, 1660 (O. S.), on petition of the proprietors the
town was incorporated, "and it was ordered that the name of the plantation
shall be called 'Marlborrow.' " The Proprietors were to pay for settling the
plantation at or before the 10th of November, 1661, or lose their interest. The
rates were : "four-pence an acre for each acre of their house-lotts to the Minister"
and nine pence an acre of their house-lots to town charges, and later "three
pence per Pound iipon cattle" for the minister.

November 26, 1660, at a meeting the proprietors proportioned and confirmed
the land granted to each individual respectively "& to their Heires and Assigne es

I will copy these names, and the acres of land given to each. They are those
people among whom Eichard Newton lived and died, and whose posterity his
posterity have married and intermarried.

Edmund Rice 50 A Blacksmith 30 John Bellows 20

William Ward 50 John Bent 30 Thomas Goodenowe, Jr. 20

John Ruddocke 50 John Rutter 30 Henry Kerley 19 M>

Thomas King 39% Abraham Howe 25 Joseph Holmes 18

Thomas Rice 35 Benjamin Rice 24 John Barrett 18

Edward Rice 35 John Maynard 23 Richard Ward 18

Thomas Goodenowe ... 32 Solomon Johnson 23 Christopher Banister . . 16

William Kerley 30 John Radiat 22 ^ John Howe, Jr 16

John Johnson 30 Peter King 22 Richard Barnes 16

Richard Newton 30 Joseph Rice 22 Samuel Howe 16

John Howe, sen 30 Obediah Ward 21 John Newton 16

John Woods, sen 30 Samuel Rice 21 Henry Axtell 15

A Minister 30 Andrew Belcher 20

The amount granted to the thirty-eight parties mentioned for house-lots
amounted to 993£ acres of their valuable uplands — lands that could be plowed
and cultivated.

This distribution of land for house-lots shows who the proprietors were at
the time the town was incorporated, and the quantity of land granted to each
proves their relative interest in the township; and it exhibits another important
fact, that every settlement at that day was regarded as incomplete until they


had a settled minister among them. The setting apart of an equal number of
acres for a blacksmith, also shows a just appreciation of a mechanic in a new
settlement. And when that mechanic could work in iron, "he was held in greater
honor than one who worked in wood, — "for," said they, "anyone can saw off a
board and drive a nail, but not every one has the genius to fashion useful
implements of iron."

At a meeting of ye Inhabitants and Proprietors f this Plantation the 12 of ye second
Month, 1G60, It is ordered that Richard Newton have halfe an Acre of upland given
and granted unto him to sett his house on (provided he hinder not another Lott) adjoining
to y e west & South sides of part of his second division of upland, both w ch being bounded
or surrounded by the Highway is his, & his heires & assigns forever.

Later is entered on the record the following explanation :

Richard Newton bathe halfe an Acre added to his House-Lott ; but hee hath noe right
to any land or other privileges for the said halfe Acre.

A recapitulation and final arrangement of each man's possessions in the town
on April 6, 1665, shows that Kichard Newton had at that date, House-lot, 30 h
acres; of the 2d division of upland, 7£ acres; of the 1st division of meadows,
15 acres ; of the 2d division of meadows, 12 acres ; of the 1st division of Cedar
Swamp, 15 rods. As it will be interesting to the descendants of Kichard Newton
to know more in detail about these lands of their ancestor, and for the benefit
of those of us who have not access to the public records of them, I will set down
here more at length:

Marlborough ("This is v* 5 same hill w ch is by y e Indians called Whipsuppenicke
& by the english called Whipfufferage") is one of the best agricultural towns
in the country. Very little of what is called good land lies level, but is inter-
sected in various directions by hills, declivities and valleys. The high lands
are moist, and less exposed to drought, than the intervals below them, and often
retain their verdure in dry seasons when the valleys are parched. The southern
part of the town, in which lay the lands of Richard Newton, and which in 1727
became Southborough, is moderately uneven and the soil productive. It is
watered by numerous small streams and brooks.

Marlborough did not, in its central part, contain any large tract of meadow
land; but by extending its borders so as to take in the valley of the Assabet
river, a portion of the meadows on the Sudbury river and a large number of
smaller meadows and swamps, the needs of the people in these respects were well
supplied. The value the people placed upon these low lands appears by the fact
that immediately after assigning the house-lots, they proceeded to divide the
meadows, and set off a large portion of land to be held in common for a "Cow
Commons" — thus they had their own hay, and the right of each to his portion
of pasture for cattle.

The following from the town record is not out of place here, and shows how
methodically all their proceedings were recorded, as well as gives the names of
some of the meadows in which Richard Newton had a right.

In the division of the meadows "Every mans proportion for his first division
of meadows is to bee halfe y e number of Acres granted to each mans House Lott."

At A meeting of the Inhabit 11 ** 3 & Proprietors of this Town the 2nd & 3d
daies of ye X month 1GG0
It is Agreed, conclude & ord'd that ye Meadows of this Town shall bee divided into
Squadrons, & so laid out as may lye most convenient to every mans Habitation Inn
Mano r folio

ffirst Devision
Unto these 7 men — are granted — these 11 Meadows to bee devided amongst them



Angular Meadow — 20

Hawke Meadow — 6

Thomas King I White Meadow — 6

Solomon Johnson J \ Richards Meadow — ■ 7 .

Peter King / ) Castle Meadow — G ( ^ on | ai

William Kerley ) _ / Long Meadow — 8 ) { est

Richard Newton f \ Ueand Meadow —12 [ ? cr . es

John Woods j 1 Reck Hand Meadow— 7 l

John Maynard / ( Dows ffoote Meadow — 10

Handerchief Meadow — 14

Stony brooke Meadow — 5

The second division of meadows was. laid out by Ensign Thomas Noyes "the
27: of the V: month 1665" and lists made. Richard Newton got lot No. 7, in
Cold Harbor Meadow, 4 acres ; lot No. 10 in Middle Meadow, 4 acres ; lot No. 31
in Chauncey Meadows, 4 acres. = 12 Acres.

In laying out Cedar Swamp the final agreement was "that each man should
have halfe the number of Rodds heere in the length of the Swamp that A man
hath of Acres in his house lott, w ch should runne to each man quite through the
breadth of the Swamp," etc. This gave to Richard Newton "15 Rodds."

As early as April 5, 1661, the proprietors contracted to build frame for the
minister's house. "On the 7 th day of y e iij month 1663" the town apportioned
what each man was to pay. The rate of Richard Newton for the minister was
12s. 6d.

The minister was Rev. William Brimstead — a faithful and able pastor — and
the people seemed happy under his ministry. But difficulties arose which grew
out of the policy of the proprietors in regard to the forfeiture of the title to
their lands and their grants, for taxes, which extended to -their ecclesiastical
affairs as well. They could not agree, and Mr. Brimstead left the place, going
for a time to Plymouth. Thus the town was without a minister and church
privileges for ahout two years, the people going to the Sudbury church on the

In 1664, Richard Newton and eight others petitioned the magistrates of the
town for permission to establish a church and call a minister, setting forth their
distance from Sudbury, of which church they were members, rendered it incon-
venient to go there, and that many of the elder and more feeble could not go
at all. The petition was granted, but they seem to have progressed not much
beyond, for they could not agree upon anything. In the same year (1664)
seventeen of the inhabitants of the town asked the General Court to appoint a
committee with full power to settle their difficulties. This application drew
forth a remonstrance signed by eighteen of the inhabitants, who deny that there
is any considerable difficulty and declare they "Never went about to destroy the
Town Book, but only to rectify what was amis in it." They declare they never
went about to "root out their Minister." They allege that in point of "gravity,"
they are "able to balance or over-balance' ' the petitioners; that they pay
nearly twice as much as the petitioners toward civil and ecclesiastical institu-
tions and conclude by saying, "We are willing, with our persons and estates, to
uphold the Authority of the Country; and do therefore desire the liberty of the
law which gives towns power to transact their own affairs."* Among those
opposed to the appointment of the committee, and using this vigorous language,
were Richard Newton and his son John Newton.

* The controversy was not settled for about ten years. On May 27, 1674, a New Town Book
was finished wherein their orders and grants were recorded, and was accepted by all concerned.
Meanwhile Mr. Brimstead returned to Marlborough, where he was settled October 3, 1666, with
a salary of £40 and remained with them until he died, July 3, 1701.


Kichard Newton's rate to pay the minister in the "7th day of iii month 1663"
was 12s. 6d.

In the business of the town the name of Kichard Newton, with others, we find
signed to various papers. One paper is a bond securing Mr. John Alcocke against
loss through change of lands, etc. This would indicate that he was a man of
substance, and dependable. The bondsmen for towns are something more than
more names on a paper.

Marlborough, being a frontier town and' situated on the road leading from
Boston to the Connecticut river settlements, was regarded as an important point
during King Philip's War. and was made a base line of operations. Thirty-seven
soldiers of the colony were stationed there. October 1, 1675, at a meeting of
the inhabitants, led by the minister, in order to care for the safety of the
town it was agreed upon that in case of an attack by the Indians they would
arrange for certain garrisons which should be established and maintained, to
which the people might flee. At this meeting were twenty-five men, among whom
were Richard Newton, his sons Moses and Joseph, and his son-in-law, James
Taylor. The order for these garrisons and the apportioning of the ammunition
of the town was signed by them and many others.

These garrison houses were eight in number. I do not know to which of them
the Newton families were assigned.

The Indians attacked and destroyed property in many towns in this vicinity —
in Lancaster, Groton, Medfield — and on March 26, 1676, it being a Sunday,
they attacked Marlborough while the people were at church, and destroyed thir-
teen dwellings and eleven barns, besides fruit trees and fences.

The loss of the meeting house and the minister's house caused special distress.
This was the time when Moses Newton was the hero of the day, as narrated under
his heading.

On July 15, 1684, many citizens of Marlborough obtained, without the consent
of the General Court, a deed of sale from the Indians of "5800 acres of land-
lying Whipenfferage" : — that is, in what was known as "the Indian Plantation"
just north of the town and finally to become a part of Marlborough — which the
Court declared to be "null and void." Among these fifty or more men were
Isaac, Moses and Joseph Newton, sons of Richard, and Jonathan Johnson and
James Taylor, sons-in-law of Richard Newton. [By this time Richard Newton
was upward of 84 years old, or I suppose he would have grabbed some of that
fair Indian land too.] They all held on to the land — divided and improved it,
trying all ways to have the Court legalize their purchase. As no one brought
suit, the Court did not act in behalf of the Indians; but did not legalize the
purchase. This legalizing did not occur until 1719, when the Court annexed the
territory to the town of Marlborough, and at the same time confirmed the titles
by prescription.

"The Indian Purchase" will be referred to from time to time as we go on
with the story of the Newtons. Thus it seemed well to give so extended a
mention of it.

Meanwhile, Richard Newton was advancing in years far beyond the "three-
score and ten" allotted to man. He had given of his property to settle his sons
as they grew to manhood, and given portions to his daughters as they married
and went from under his rooftree. While his needs and his estate grew less as
he drew near the sunset of life, those of his children grew greater — which was just
as it should be. So we find in a list of names headed :- — "Taxes under Gov.
Andros" — "Marlborough's Invoice in the year 1688," the following names: —


Richard Newton 00 00 06 Jonathan Johnson, sen.

John Newton senr for for person and estat 00 04 02

persons and estate 00 11 05 Janres Taylor for

Moses Newton for person and estate 00 04 02

persons and Estate 00 06 04 Nathaniel Joslin sen,

Joseph Newton for for person and estate 00 05 05

persons and estate 00 05 01 John Woods sen. for

Daniel Newton for persons and Estate 00 06 10 4

person and estate 00 03 03

The whole number of males then taxed in Marlborough was 105, and the
amount raised was £19. 3s. 3d. 4f.

Richard Newton was not taxed for more than his estate — he had passed the
age for a poll tax.

The American Revolution is one of the most important events in the history
of our country. As we have seen, the people of the Colonies had become
accustomed to fighting their own battles, and they kept themselves prepared for
the crisis, and when it came — the history of the world does not present a more
grand and imposing spectacle than that of the rising of the people on the 19th of
April, 1775 !

Marlborough had four companies organized and ready. They all marched to
Cambridge on that date as soon as hearing of the outrage committed on the
Green at Lexington. In the Company of Captain Cyprian Howe, Ensign Uriah
Eager, Sergeant Ebenezer Hager, was Adonijah Newton (son of Gershom, Jr.) ;
absent from home 16 days.

In Captain William Brigham's Company was Robert Horn, and Jonas Newton
(son of Uriah, Sr.) ; in service 10 to 30 days.

In Captain Daniel Barnes' Company was Paul Newton (son of Nathan),
Nahum Neivton (son of Micah) ; some of them in service 40 days.

Early in the season an army of eight months' men was organized; Lieutenant-
Colonel Edward Barnes, Captain Paul Brigham, Captain Daniel Barnes, Captain
Amasa Cranston, Captain Silas Gates. Among these men was Paul Newton
(son of Nathan).

On the Worcester rolls, among the Marlborough men was Joseph Newton (son
of Joseph).

On later rolls, the names of Josiah Newton (son of Josiah), 1777, Lieutenant
Jonathan Wells, 1778, Dana Newton.

The most important list, because they were in the service the longest, were the
"First Three Years' Men" and the "Last Three Years' Men." Some of them
were enrolled during the whole war and fought upon almost every battlefield.
They generally received a small bounty on enlistment. Among the first three
years' men were Dana Newton, Jonah, also Jonas (son of Uriah), Joseph (son
of Joseph), Jonathan (son of Uriah, Jr.), John (son of John).

Among the last three years' men were Ephraim (son of Ephraim), John (son
of John).

The town was called upon to supply its quota of three years' men. The state
of the currency was such the soldiers would not take it, and the town must find
men. As a last resort they voted to give a bounty to each man of twenty steers,
three years old, or in lieu of each steer, fourteen hard dollars, to be paid, etc.;
later the steers were to be valued at fifteen dollars each. Thus it was that
steers became legal tender.



1. RICHARD NEWTON 1 , in his will, calls John his "eldest son," and from
the amount he bequeaths to him one would infer that John was getting the
eldest son's double portion, as was the English custom. The other sons he names,
as I suppose, in the order of their births, Moses, Joseph and Daniel. The order
in which he names the daughters would indicate that Mary was the eldest
daughter, then Elizabeth, then Sarah. We will leave it that way. The order
of their births given below is my conclusion from all the evidence I now have.
The births of four, and the death of one, are given in the Sudbury records,
where the family lived, approximately, from 1638 to 1656. The birth of Moses
is given as occurring October 20, 1645, and also on March 26, 1646. There
could not have been two children born at those dates. It might be the first
date is for the birth and the second the baptism. As the Middlesex Records do
not give the first date at all, and do give all the other dates we have of the
children's births, I follow that record.

Inasmuch as the birth of the son Isaac does not appear anywhere, I suppose
he was born about the time of the removal from Sudbury to Marlborough. In
the deed of 1684, Richard Newton mentions his son Isaac as "caring for my wife,
his mother," signifying that his "wife Anna" was living in 1666 and 1684.
The following deeds are interesting for many reasons. I had abstracts of them
principally for any vital statistics they might contain, and not for the descrip-
tions of the lands. That I here indicate where they may be found, may incite
some one to a further search. I was told there was no paper with the auto-
graph of Richard Newton. "His mark" on the will and on the deeds seems
to be four perpendicular strokes of the pen, slightly curved at the top, bound
together by one horizontal stroke at the top : ~n 1"| . I n two of the deeds the
down strokes are three only.

I do not know how much land, in acres, Richard Newton possessed. By these
deeds and by will he disposes of somewhere near 130 acres, more or less. But
the will was written in 1693, and the deeds were all passed before that date.

Notice that Isaac Amsden, "my loving friend," is one of the executors of the
will, and his son Joseph the other, while the son John, Sr., receives about all
there is left. I suppose that was following the English fashion that yet prevails
there, of giving the eldest son either a double portion or the whole estate.

I have not found that he was designated by any occupation other than
"husbandman." All of the colonists were that to a greater or less extent. One
writer styles him "Dea. Newton," but I find no church record of his holding
the office. His son Joseph did hold the office. Richard and his son Moses may
have, I do not know.


Middlesex County Deeds, vol. 8, page 542 :

I, Richard Newton of Marlborough, in Middlesex, in Consideration of £33 sterling.
New England currency to John Allen of Sudbury, taylor,
11 A. of Upland ) , ., , , , , ,

9% A. of Meadow \ described and bounded

in six pieces, all in Sudbury, six A. of Upland having been bought of John Parmenter of
Sudbury, Junior ; five A. of Upland being "my first addition of Upland in Sudbury" ;
to have and to hold.


Witnesses : "Richard Newton his mark & Seal"

Thomas Noyse "Hannah Newton" March 2, 1662.

Thomas Plimpton Acknowledged, 14. 8. 1663.

Received, Cambridge July 2, 1664.
warrantee deed

Indorsed and signed by "Hannah Newton" Cambridge July 2, 1664.

Witnesses : Received, 1. 2. 1684.

Edmond Angier

Thomas Danforth

Middlesex County Deeds, vol. 3, page 231 :

We, Richard and Ann Newton of Marlborough [in Massachusetts Bay], "for a
♦valuable consideration" to Peter Noyes of Sudbury
4% A. of Upland in Sudbury, bounded (etc.)

being one half of the third division of land granted to the said Richard Newton by the
Count of Sudbury, to have and to hold.

Witnesses : "Richard Newton his mark & a Seal"

Samuel Hinsdale "Anna Newton, & a Seal" October 1, 1666.

John How Sen r Acknoivledged, 4. 8. 1666.

Received March 12. 1666.
warrantee deed

Middlesex County Deeds, vol. 10, page 45 :

I, Richard Newton senior of Marlborough, in the Massachusetts colony, in Considera-
tion of a fatherly affection for my son, Isaac Newton, of the same town, do give unto said
Isaac Newton, 3 A. of Upland out of the homelot, bounded, (etc.)

"delivering unto him at the ensealing hereof one small piece of- silver, comonly called
three pence in the name of y e premses," to have and to hold.

"The mark of
Witnesses : Richard IIII Newton & a seale"

Jamme Amsden Feb. 22, 1682.

Isaac Amsden Acknoivledged May 4, 1683.

Entered, May 4, 1687.
to arrant ee deed

Middlesex County Deeds, vol. 10, page 45:

I, Richard Newton Senr f Marlborough, in the Massachusetts Colony, in Consideration
of a fatherly affection for my son, Isaac Newton, of the same town, provided that he

Online LibraryErmina Newton LeonardNewton genealogy, genealogical, biographical, historical, being a record of the descendants of Richard Newton of Sudbury and Marlborough, Massachusetts 1638, with genealogies of families descended from the immigrants Rev. Roger Newton of Milford, Connecticut, Thomas Newton of Fairfield, Connecticut, → online text (page 2 of 131)