Frank Kidder Upham.

Upham genealogy; the descendants of John Upham, of Massachusetts, who came from England in 1635, and lived in Weymouth and Malden.. online

. (page 1 of 49)
Online LibraryFrank Kidder UphamUpham genealogy; the descendants of John Upham, of Massachusetts, who came from England in 1635, and lived in Weymouth and Malden.. → online text (page 1 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook





3 1833 01434 8574

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

"SXp^Txam O5^ti^al00B»












-^ >« .■r^ r> .<-» r^ r-

- L X .^v .:;■ O <^ O

This genealogy has as its foundation the little book published
in 1845 by Dr. Albert G. Upham, entitled " Notices of John
Upham and his Descendants ; " and an incomplete, but very im-
portant Upham genealogy, showing many of the earlier genera-
tions in New England, collected by the well-known genealogist
Thomas B. Wyman, a portion of which was printed in the JVeia
England Genealogical and Historic Register, vol. 25, to which he
had added notes as matter came to his knowledge, prior to his
death some years ago. No attempt has been made to give
particular credit to either of these pioneers in Upham genealogy
for the reason that the entire work of each — omitting errors
which have since been discovered — has been transferred to the
pages of this book. Without the foundation afforded by the
pains-taking labors of Dr. Upham and Mr. Wyman, this genealogy
could not have been prepared.

I wish also to acknowledge that without the continued assist-
ance and encouragement given me in collecting material, by Mr.
Henry P. Upham of St. Paul, Minn., and the Rev. Dr. James Upham
of Chelsea, Mass., my labor would have ceased, and the present
end would not have been accomplished. So valuable has been
the aid received from these gentlemen, I feel that while my name
alone appears on the title page, they should share in any credit
that may be thought to be due on account of its preparation.
The numerous others who have so kindly furnished records of
particular branches, it is hoped, may find compensation with the
re-appearance of their work in the pages which follow, and which
are the result of a more or less connected effort, extending over
the past seventeen years.

4 Upham Genealogy.

While care has been taken with a view to accuracy, the work
goes to the publisher with a fore-knowledge that numerous errors
must be discovered with the appearance of the book. My hope
is, that among the Uphams who will follow so rapidly in the
march of the generations, there may be some one who will be
sufficiently interested to revise and correct it, and that a more
complete genealogy of the posterity may be thus finally obtained.

It may seem remarkable that so many, apparently unimportant
and almost trivial facts, matters and incidents have been re-
corded with the personal notices of individuals. It is believed,
however, that these are of more significance than they will, at first
thought, seem, inasmuch as the actions, habits of life, movements
and expressions of individuals disclose indications of character,
and from the knowledge of the character of an ancestor much
that influences one^s heredity may be deduced. Probably from a
mistaken sense of the fitness of things, and modesty, many are
prone to withhold information of this nature concerning them-
selves or their immediate ancestors — possibly with some feeling
that they are too obscure to be of interest ; and this kind of in-
formation has been exceedingly hard to obtain. They do not
consider the possible interest with which every thing pertaining
to their own lives and times may be regarded by their descend-
ants. More of this information would leave less ground for the
frequent comment that genealogy is " only a string of names and

The Uphams have not as a rule been conspicuous people in the
generations which have gone, yet some have risen to eminence,
and all seem to have been respectable members of the communi-
ties in which they lived. The life and conditions of the genera-
tions before the Revolution were identical with that of nearly all
New England families of that period in the history of this country.

" Let not Ambition mock their useful toil.
Their homely joys and destiny obscure."

It was the preparation of a sturdy race for better (?) things,
and the indications are that those who now represent it, and are

Upham Genealogy. 5

coming, have not been, and will not be found unprepared to meet
the new conditions.

Our common ancestor, John Upham, was evidently a strong
man in his day and generation, and we have reason to believe
that the qualities which he transmitted were good. It is now
more than two hundred and ten years since he died, and the
simple stone erected at that time still marks the spot where he
was buried, the letters worn with age and the weather of over
two centuries. His descendants are numerous, and generally
prosperous. Will not some of these initiate a movement toward
the erection of a suitable monument to his memory, and secure
the ground before it is yet too late ?

%J ^ fc .

October, 1891.


These verses, speculating on the origin of the name of Upham,
were composed, and set to music, by Judge Nathaniel G. Upham,
of Concord, New Hampshire (No. 287):

U p high, on an oak-crowned hill

P repared with sedulous care,

H is home, in the olden time,

A n old man erected there.

M any a )''ear have I known his name,

E ach passer-by calls it Up-hame, Up-hame!

Up-hame, Up-ham! Up-hame, Up-home!

However you call it, wherever you roam.

The sons of the old man, remember it still.

The name, how it came, from the home on the hill,

Up-hame, Up-ham! Up-hame, Up-home!

They'll never forget it, wherever they roam.

*Upham is composed of the Anglo-Saxon words, " Up " and " ham," signifying a home,
dwelling, or village. — BoszvortJi s Dictionary of the A nglo-Saxon Langitage^ Ray'' s Prov-
erbs atid Obsolete Words. In the age of Elizabeth the name was written with a final e,
soon afterward this letter was dropped, and the name assumed its original form. — (N. G. U.)


Very little of value has yet been learned concerning this in-
teresting matter, though it is believed there is considerable which
might be. Dr. Upham — in the " Notices " — said :

" During a brief sojourn in England, in 1844, I became satisfied
that, with sufficient leisure for the purpose, much information
might be obtained in relation to this point, especially by examining
the documents deposited in the Prerogative Office. But an ab-
sence of nearly two years on the continent rendered it necessary
for me to curtail my visit to that country, and thus prevented me
from instituting the requisite inquiries."

The following notes in this connection are, however, contained
in the pages of this book: "There is a period, comparatively late
in history, previous to which it would be futile to seek for the
origin of the surnames of Saxon or Norman families. Du Chesne
observes, that ' surnames were unknown in France before 987, when
the lords began to assume the names of their demesnes.' Camden
relates, ' that they were first taken up in England a little before the
Norman conquest, under King Edward the Confessor' (1060);
but, he adds, ' they were never fully established among the com-
mon people till the time of Edward II.' (1307 to 1377).

" The first mention of Upham as a surname, which I have found,
occurs early in this period. It is met with in a deed of lands to the
church of Saint Maria de Bradenstock, which, according to Cam-
den, was a small monastery in Wilts, founded by Walter, son of
Edmond of Salisbury; and we are informed by the Index, that
Bradenstock is in the hundred of Kinwarston, lat. 51° 23' ; lono-.
I ° 39' W. It is recorded in the Rotuli Chartarum, in Turr. Lond.,
vol. I, part I, fol. 170, An. 9, John, 1208. 'The Charter Rolls

8 Upham Genealogy.

are the contemporaneous registers of royal grants of lands, honors,
dignities, hereditary offices, liberties, and other estates of inherit-
ance to the nobility and commonalty, and of lands, liberties, privi-
leges, immunities, and other estates in mortmain to ecclesiastical,
eleemosynary and lay corporations.' This reads as follows: ' ex d.
Hug/ de Upha ij acr' tre' i campis de Upha/ (The mark —
when used by the abbreviators of these chronicles, always indicates
the omission of an m or ;?.) This document bears the date of
1208. The perusal of the sentence, by gift of Hugo de Upham ij
acres of land in the campis de Upham (the Upham fields, or
estate), impresses us with a distinct idea that the name and family
of the grantor were of some antiquity, and justify the supposition
that Hugo, or his father, might have held the lands Upham, and
have borne the surname de Upham, for at least sixty or seventy
years — the common life-time of man. In this case the surname
is shown to have existed within about eighty years of the extreme
date assigned by Camden as the period when the English nobles
began gradually to assume family names, from their estates; at the
same time it is shown to exist on record near two hundred years
before the time these names became common. The conclusions,
from these facts, in relation to Hugo de Upham and his family,
are too evident to be noticed.

" Forty or fifty years subsequent to the date of this entry on the
charter rolls, we find from the Hundred Rolls, Temp. Henry HI.
and Edward I., vol. 2, p. 240 (these rolls contain inquisitions
taken in pursuance to a special commission, issued under the
Great Seal. This inquisition was taken by jurors chosen from
each hundred, and consisted of returns made under oath of all
the demesne lands of the crown, manors of the same, wardships,
marriages, escheats, etc.), that another person, holding the office
of juror in Selkley Hundred, bore this surname : ' Hundr' de
Selkel' Nich' de Upham jur' Com' Wyltes, Ano. 39, Hen. IH.,'
[1255]. Soon afterward we find in the Fine Rolls (in Turr.
Londenensis asservatis Henrico Tertio Rege., vol. 2, pp. 375-1246-
1272. Memb. 9. Henry HI., A. D. 1262, commenced in the sixth
year of King John, 1204, and finished under Edward IV., 1483.

Upham Genealogy. 9

The rolls comprise a great variety of matter relating to deaths,
succession of heirs, descent, division of property, custody of lands,
and heirs during minority, liveries, marriages of heiresses and
widows, assignments of dower, for forfeitures and pardons, aids
and tallages, affairs of Jews, etc.), notice of several persons who
bore the same name: 'Wilts. Hugo de Doveral, t, Letitia ux. ej.
Alic. de. Upham. Joh'a, t, Agnes fil. Hug. de Upham dat dimid.
marc. p. una as. Cap. coram, m. de Littlebir,' (that is, Hugo de
Doveral — et Letitia uxor ejus, Alicia de Upham, Johanna, et
Agnesia, filice Hugonis de Upham, dant dimidum marc, por una
assisa. capta coram. M. de Littlebir Wilts). The date this entry
bears is 1262. Before leaving this part of our subject, we may
remark that as Hugo de Upham, of Kinwarston Hundred, Hugo,
the father of Joanna and Alice, and Nicholas, the juror of Selkley,
were all of the same county (Wilts); and that Kinwarston and
Selkley Hundreds were contiguous, it is highly probable that all
these persons were nearly related. The name still exists in Selk-
ley Hundred as a local name (viz. the tithings of Upper and
Lower Upham), in the parish of Aldbourne.

"' We have shown, then, by the evidence of the records, that
Upham was a surname already in 1208; and we have expressed
the opinion that the same record would, by implication, refer this
use of the word to a period prior at least to 1140. The latter
date brings us very near to the time when the surname, if of
Saxon origin, must have been first assumed. Arrived at this
point, the mind naturally seeks for the reasons that induced the
bearer to take this particular name as a family designation. In
general, at the period when family names first began to be used,
they were derived either from the profession, or some personal
peculiarities of the individuals bearing them, or from his place of
residence, or landed estates. In the latter case it was invariably
indicated by the use of either the Latin or English particles de, or
of, as Philip de Bourbon, John of Lancaster, etc. We shall en-
deavor to show that the latter was the fact with regard to the sur-
name Upham ; that it was first given to the family of that name,
because they were possessors of land, so called.

lo Upham Genealogy.

" Hugo, the first of this name of vrhom I have found an}^ notice,
is designated Hugo de Upham, Hugo of Upham. Now the ' de '
not only indicates that he derived his name from his estate, but
the lands belonging to him are expressly referred to in the same
document, as bearing the name Upham : ' Campis de Upham '
(Upham fields). We conclude, then, that Hugo, and his ances-
tors holding possession of and residing on the lands known by the
name Upham, received the names of Hugo, etc., de Upham.
This is also confirmed by the fact, that Upham, as the name of a
place, occurs in records previous to the introduction of surnames.

"We have then, in a more or less satisfactory manner, indicated
the time and cause of the assumption of this surname. We shall
now merely allude to the fact that the ' de ' was omitted at an
early period, and the name received its present form. This
change took place previous to 1445, as appears from its form in
the following extract from the inquisitions, 'ad quod Damnum.'
(Calendarum Rotularum Chartarum et inquisitionum ad quod
Damnum, A. 19-23, Henry VI., No. 93, p. 385. The inquisitions
ad quod Damnum were commenced in the first year of the reign
of Edward II., 1307, and ended in the 38th of Henry VI.. 1460.
They were taken by virtue of writs directed to the escheator of
each county, when any grant of a market, fair, or other privileges,
or license of alienation of lands was solicited, to inquire by a jury
whether such grant of alienation was prejudicial to the king or
others, in case same should be made.) ' Inquisitio capta apud
Watlington in com' Oxen tertio die Aprilis anno, etc., vicesimo
tertio coram magro Rico' Lowe, at aliis commissionaris dui.
Regis, ad enquirend, de omnibus illus bonis at catalis Elizabethae
que fuit uxor Reginald Barantyn quam Joh'es Upham nuper duxit
in ux'em et ad manus Joh'es Tycheborn ut diceter devenerunt,' etc.
In this case the name is written simply, John Upham."

" John Upham " — of New England — " and Lieut. Phineas, his
son added without doubt the final e to their names, in accordance
with the custom of the age of Elizabeth, of giving this termination
to many words. This letter was subsequently dropped and the
name assumed the original form."

Upham Genealogy.


'*We now turn to consider the origin of the name Upham as a
local designation. We find it used to indicate a place as early
as the time of King Edward the Confessor (1041 to 1061),
in the following passage from Doomsday Book (vol. 2, p. 36):
' Vpham tenvit Edeva queda femina t'. r', p. dim. hid. 7. XXX.
acr. mo. terr. Will, de Warrenna in dnio. val. X. sol.' This we
suppose to mean that a certain woman Edeva, in the reign of King
Edward the Confessor (t'. r'. e', tempora regis Edwardi), held ' in
d'nio' the place called Vpham, it being seven half hides and thirty
acres in extent, and lying in the manor of Will, de Warrenna. Val.
X. sol.

"This passage is thus referred to in the index to the same:

'Locus Noia.

Possession Genera.
Terr, in d'nio.





Possessor Nola.


Will de Warrenna.

" This tract of land held by Edeva, under the Confessor, bore,
undoubtedly at that time, as well as at the period when the Dooms-
day Book was made, the name Upham. This places the origin
of the name previous to the battle of Hastings, thereby precluding
the probability of a Norman origin, and compelling us to confine
our investigations to the Anglo-Saxon.

" In deciding upon the antiquity of this word, we must first as-
certain if it be a compound or a primitive word. It might be
formed by uniting the Anglo-Saxon words. ' Up, an adjective,
signifying exalted, high, elatus,' and ' Ham in the names of places

12 Upham Genealogy.

denoting a home, dwelling, village. ' — BoswortJis Dictionary of the
Anglo-Saxon Lang.; Ray's Proverbs and Obsolete Words. Lond.
1768, p. 125. Analogy favors this theory of the origin of the
word Upham, for many names of towns, having such a termination,
are evidently compounds in 'ham.'

" Our own opinion, however, founded on reasons now to be ad-
duced, is, that the word Upham is primitive, as old as the language
itself, and perhaps of Celtic, or even earlier origin, i. Because it is
used in the earliest records, to designate an extensive tract of land ;
a word the type of which existed in the langug become dissatisfied
with his position, or, inspired with a desire to see the new world
just now dawning upon the eyes of Europe, and toward which so
many of his friends and neighbors were flocking, resigned, in 1632,
the rectorship of Northleigh, in Devon^ which he had held for
eleven years, and gathering a company of devoted followers who
were willing to share with him the dangers, difficulties and pleas-
ures of this new and unknown country, set sail on the 20th of
March, 1635, from Weymouth, in Old Dorset, for the lands of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony.

" The company consisted of twenty-one families — about one
hundred and five individuals — with probably no more definite
destination than that so generally indicated above, preferring to
leave the precise spot of their location to the direction of Provi-
dence. After a passage of forty-six days, a fair one for that
period, with such vessels as they could command, and of which
we have no further record, they passed in among the verdant
islands of that beautiful bay, leaving on their left the bustling
settlement of Hull, then a harbor for the inner plantations, and
after a pleasant sail of about ten miles cast anchor before Gover-
nor Winthrop's infant village of Boston. This was on the 6th of
May, and it was not until July 2, that, with the permission of the
General Court, they at length settled upon Wessaguscus as their

20 Upham Genealogy.

future home, the name of which, in pleasant memory of the port
in Dorset they had so recently left, was changed to Weymouth, —
a name it has honorably borne to the present time, with its orig-
inal territory unchanged by addition or diminution.

"This selection was a serious business for the new colonists,
whose eyes were familiar only with the highly cultivated fields of
old England, who knew little of the capacities of the soil upon
which they now trod for the first time, of whose history they knew
nothing, and whose outlines, even, they could hardly discern, so
thickly were they wooded.

" There was no lack in quantity of land, and but little dispute
with respect to titles, owing to war and pestilence, which had
nearly depopulated that section ; but there was a choice in quality
and location, and even that must be left mainly, as they had from
the first proposed, to the direction of Providence. So they sailed
down the harbor, passing the many islands that dot so thickly its
fair surface, and entering the estuary now called Fore River, came
to anchor in a small cove about four miles from its mouth, after-
ward known as Mill Creek, and not far from the spot where
Weston's colony found a landing some thirteen years before.

" Weymouth, even at so early a date, was not wholly a wilder-
ness, for with the Weston settlement of 1622, that of the Gorges
in the following year, scattered remnants of whose people yet re-
mained upon the ground, and others who had since come in, quite
a population had gathered within the limits of Wessaguscus, while
the land had been so generally taken up, and the plantations were
so closely connected that the new comers were obliged to make
their settlement upon territory further to the southward.

" The tract selected was situated southerly from Burying Hill
(beyond which, to the north, were the larger portion of the older
farms), with King Oak Hill for a central point, from whose sum-
mit, seaward and landward extended a magnificent prospect of
hill and stream, of forest and bay, not surpassed in natural beauty
by the most favored landscapes of the old world. The temporary
habitations of the Weymouth colonists of 1635 were located in the
valley lying along its western base, reaching to Burying Hill.

Upham Genealogy. 21

Upon the latter were the meeting-house and watch-house, as well
as the burying-place, while the farms were scattered for a distance
to the west, south and east. The rude shelters first erected were
replaced from time to time by more substantial and commodious
structures built upon the farms themselves, when the lands had
become better improved, and the danger from Indians less im-

In a later paper, prepared by Mr. Nash, and read at the Nov.,
1882, meeting of the Weymouth Historical Society, and also at the
Dec. — same year — meeting of the New England Historic-Gene-
alogical Society in Boston, and published in the Weymouth Ga-
zette, of February 23, 1883: he makes frequent mention of the
Hull Colony, from which the following extracts have been made,
the paper itself having a special reference to the history of the
first church at Weymouth.

"The Massachusetts Colonial Records (I. 149) state, under
date of July 8, 1635, that 'there is a leave granted to twenty-one
ffamilyes to sitt down at Wessaguscus.' Gov. Winthrop in his
journal (I. 194) says, ^ at the court (5 mo. 8) Wessaguscus was
made a plantation, a Mr. Hull, a minister in England, and twenty-
one families with him, allowed to sit down there — after called

" The very general assumption that there was no permanent
settlement in Weymouth (using the name by which the town has
since been known), previous to the arrival of the Hull company,
in 1635, can hardly be sustained in the face of the very strong
evidence to the contrary. C F. Adams, Jr., Esq., in his address
delivered 4th July, 1874, at the celebration of the two hundred and
fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town, and in his paper
on the ' Old planters about Boston harbor,' read before the Massa-
chusetts Historical Society, and published in its collections, proves
conclusively that the Gorges company, which settled upon the
deserted plantations of Thomas Weston's people, in September,
1623, and which, it has usually been thought, was wholly broken
up in the following spring, left a number of its emigrants there,
who remained and become permanent settlers. These were joined

22 ■ Upham Genealogy.

from time to time by single families or small companies, until,
upon the arrival of Mr. Hull's company, the settlement had attained
quite respectable proportions.

*' A careful analysis of the court and town records will show
that, instead of the company from Weymouth, England, in 1635,
being the first settlers, there were, at the date of its arrival, cer-
tainly not less than fifty families, and perhaps seventy or eighty,
already residing there; and it is more than possible that this was
an important reason why this place was selected by this company
for its settlement. A flourishing colony already established was
sufficient evidence of good soil, a good location, a favorable posi-
tion for trade with the Indians, and for communication with other
plantations about the bay; besides, and this was no insignificant
matter in those days, the protection thus afforded from the sav-
ages. More than this, probably many of the previous settlers
were relatives or friends of the later arrivals.

" The similarity of name, and of the localities of some whose
former residences are known, give color to this probability; and
the name Weymouth, given at this time, 1635, to the plantation,
may not be wholly owing to the influx of new people sailing from
Weymouth, in Dorset, but to the calling up of old memories in
the minds of the previous settlers, who, years before, sailed from
the same port and perhaps lived there.

"An examination of the public records will afford evidence,
surprising in value and volume, of this early and continued settle-
ment. Although the earliest record in the archives of the town

Online LibraryFrank Kidder UphamUpham genealogy; the descendants of John Upham, of Massachusetts, who came from England in 1635, and lived in Weymouth and Malden.. → online text (page 1 of 49)