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History of the town of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts online

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with his family, Thomas Lincoln, weaver, Edmund Ho-
bart and his wife, from Hingham, and Thomas Hobart
with his family, from Windham,* in Norfolk, England. —
During the same year, Theophilus Gushing, Edmund
Hobart, senior, Joshua Hobart, and Henry Gibbs, all of
Hingham, England, came to this country. Gushing lived,
some years at Mr. Haines's farm, and subsequently re-
moved to Hingham. t The others settled at Gharlestown,
and in 1635 removed to this place. In 1634, there were
-other settlers here, and among them Thomas Ghubbuck ;
Bare Gove was assessed in that year. J In 1635, at the
May court, Joseph Andrews was sworn as constable of
the place. There was a considerable increase of the
number of settlers, and in that year grants of lands were
made to upwards of fifty individuals, of which a record is
preserved. It was in June of that year that Rev. Peter
Hobart arrived at Gharlestown, § and soon after, settled in
this place.

I here subjoin the names of those who settled or re-
ceived grants of land here, in the respective years men-
tioned. Possibly there may be some names omitted,
which have escaped my observation, and those of others
inserted to whom lands were granted, but who never set-
tled here. The list is as perfect, however, as long, care-
ful and patient examination of public and private records
can make it. The names of those of whose families

* Now called Wymondham.

t Theophilus Gushing died here in March, 1678-9, aged about
100 years.

t The assessment was as follows : Boston, Dorchester and New-
ton each £80 ; Roxbury £70 ; Watertown £60 ; Sagus and Ipswich
each £50 ; Salem and Gharlestown each £45 ; Medford £26 •
Wessaguscus £10 ; Bare Cove £-1.

§ See page 22.

5



42 HISTORY OF HINGHAM.

there are Jineal descendants, or collateral branches in
Hingham, at the present time, are distinguished by small
capitals ; and the names of those who removed to other
places are in italics ; those whose names are extinct here,
or of whom there are no descendants in this town, are in
the common letter.

In 1635, in addition to those before mentioned, (viz. :
Joseph Andrews,* Thomas Chubbuck, Henry Gibbs,
Edmund Hobart,| sen., Edmund_Hobart, Jr., Joshua
^ HoBART, Rev. Peter Hobart, Thomas Hobart, Nicho-
las Jacob, Tho.mas Lincoln, weaver, Ralph Smith,) were
Jonas Austin^XJS'icholas ^aA^er,^ Clement Bates, Richard
Betscorne, Benjamin Bozworth, "William Buckland, James
Cac?e,|| Anthony Cooper, John Cutler,!! John Farrow,
Daniel Fop, Jarvice Gould, Wm. Hersey,** Nicholas

* The first town clerk of Hingham.

t It may be remarked that this name has been written differently ;
generally, however, either Hobart or Hubbard. Mr. Hobart the first
minister usually wrote it Hobart, although the record of his father's
death is, "father Hubbard died."

t The name of Jonas Austin afterwards appears in Taunton.

§ Nicholas Baker twice a delegate from Hingham to the General
Court, afterwards removed to Scituate, where he was settled as pas-
tor of the church. Mather speaks of him as "honest Nicholas Ba-
ker ; who, though he had but a private education, yet being a pious
and zealous man, or, as Dr. Arrowsmith expresses it, so good a logi-
cian that he could ofier up to God a reasonable service ; so good
an arithmetician that he could wisely number his days ; and so good
an orator that he persuaded himself to be a good christian ; and,
being also one of good natural parts, especially of a strong memory,
was chosen pastor of the church there ; and in the pastoral charge
of that church he contmued about eighteen years." He died August
22, 1678.

II James Cade's name appears in Yarmouth in 1640.
IT Cushing's MSS. date his arrival in 1637. He had a grant of
land m 1635.

** This name is written in various ways ; often in our early records
Hersie ; sometimes Harsie : frequently Hearsey ; but of late years
Hersey. It is, I believe, a name of French origin. Among the sur-
names of the noblemen and gentlemen who went over to England
with William the Conqueror, was that of Hersy.



HISTORY OF HIXGHAM. 43

Hodsdin, Thos. Johnson,* Andrew Lane, IVm. Largely
Thomas Loring, George Ludkin,X Jeremy Morse, Wil-
liam Nolton, John Otis%, David Phippeny, John Palm-
er, John Porter, Henry Rust, John Smart, Francis Smith,
{or Smyth,\\) John SirongM, Henry Tuttil,** William Wal-
ton,tt Thomas Andrews, William Arnall, George Bacon,
Nathaniel Baker, Thomas Collier, George Lane,
George Marsh, Abraham Martin,JJ Nathaniel Peck,
Richard Osborn, Thomas Wakely, Thomas Gill, Rich-
ard Ibrook, William Cockerum,^J^ William Cockerill, John
Fearing,1||| John Tucker.

* A person by the name of Johnson formerly kept a tavern in a
building situated on the spot where the dwelling-house of Mr. Ben-
jamin S. Williams now stands. It was known by the name of the
Pine Tree Tavern, from the circumstance that a very large pine
tree stood in its front. This family removed to Stoughton.

t WiUiam Large removed to Provincetown, C. C.

i George Ludkin died at Braintree, February 20, 1648.

§ John Otis, the common ancestor of the distinguished civilians,
patriots and orators of that name in this country. There are branches
of his family in Scituate, Barnstable, Boston and in other places.
This name in our old records is written variously : Otis, Oates,
Otties, and Oattis.

II Francis Smith removed to Taunton.

IT John Strong removed to Taunton, from thence to Northampton.
He was probably the ancestor of the families of that name in that
town and vicinity.

**Tuttil, according to Cushing's MSS. came over in 1637. His
grants of land were in 1635.

tt Walton's Cove derives its name from a person of this name.

tX Martin's Well, or as it was sometimes called, Abraham's Well,
derives its name from this person.

§§Cockerum probably returned to England. " October 3, 1642,
brother Cockram sailed for England." — HoharVs Diary.

nil John Fearing came from Cambridge, England. The arrival of
a person by this name is dated in Cushing's MSS,, 1638. It may be
observed that in a few instances, according to Cushing's MSS., the
persons to whom grants of land were made did not arrive here until
after the date of their grants. This may have been the fact, but
there were evidently many more settlers here before 1640 than are
mentioned in these manuscripts. He mentions but four families that
came over in 1635. Unquestionably a much larger number accora-



44 HISTORY OP HINGHAM.

In 1636, John Beal,* senior, Anthony Eames,t Thomas
HammOxVD, Joseph Hull,l Richard Jones, Nicholas Lob-
din, Richard Langer, John Leavitt,§ Thomas Lmcohij
Jr., millcrjll Thomas Lincoln, cooper, || Adam Mott.

panied Mr. Hobart. It is possible, however, that the trifling dis-
crepancies in the dates of the arrival of some of the settlers maybe
reconciled by the supposition that there were in some instances two
or more persons of the same name ; indeed, we kpow that four per-
sons of the same christian and surname, (Thomas Lincoln) came in-
to this town within a few years after its first settlement.

* '• 163S, John Beale, shoemaker, with his wife and five sons and
three daughters and two servants, came from Old Hingham and
settled in New Hingham." — Cicshing's MSS.

t Anthony Eames was a deputy in 1637, 1638 and 1643 ; frequent-
iV a town officer, and involved in the military difficulties in 1644.
1645, &c.

t Joseph Hull, a deputy from Hingham in September, 1638, and
jn March after. One of the commissioners to end small causes, in
the same year.

§ The family tradition concerning John Leavitt is, that he was
an indented apprejitice in England, and that he absconded from his
master and came to this country when nineteen years of age, and
settled first at Roxbury and afterwards in Hinghain. If this tradi-
tion is correct he must have arrived in this country before the year
1628, as he died November 20, 1691, aged 83. He received a grant
of land in this town in 1636. His homestead was in Leavitt-street,
(recently so named) on both sides of the river, and is now principal-
ly owned by the descendants of his sons Israel and Josiah. lie was
a deacon of the church. In his will, executed November 30, 1689,
and proved January 27, 1691-2, he mentions his sons Samuel, Israel,
Moses, Josiah, Nehemiah, and the widow of his son John ; also, his
daughters Mary, Sarah, Hannah and Abigail. Israel had a son John ;
he died July 29, 1749. John, son of this John, died April 13, 1797,
aged 86. The late Mr. Jacob Leavitt was a son of this last men-
tioned John ; he died January 7, 1826 ; he possessed good natural
abilities and a sound judgment ; he was a valuable citizen ; he filled
many public offices, and was a zealous whig of the revolution. Mr.
Joshua Leavitt who died May 12, 1825, aged 92, and who filled the
office of town treasurer for thirty years with so much acceptance,
was a descendant of Josiah Leavitt, son of the first John above
mentioned.

II For an account of the Lincolns.. see note in a subse(juent part
of this work.



HISTORY 6F HINGHAM. 4o

Thomas Minard, John Parker, George Russell, William
Sprague,* George Strange, Thomas Underwood, Sam-
uel Ward, Ralph Woodward,! John Winchester, Wil-
liam Walker.

In 1637, Thomas Barnes, Joslah Cobbit, Thomas
Chaffe,t Tliomas Clapj?,^ William Garlslye, (or Carslv,)
Thomas Dimock,\\ Vinton Dreuce, Thomas Hett, Thomas
Joshiin, Aaron Ludkin, John Morrick, Thomas Nichols,
Thomas Paynter, Edmund Pitts, ^ Joseph Phippeny,
Thomas Shave, Ralph Smith, Thomas Turner, John
Tower, Joseph Underwood, William Ludkin,** Jonathan
Bozioorth.j'f

In 1638, there was a considerable increase of the num-
ber of settlers. Among them were, Mr. Robert Peck, (see
page 23,) Joscjjh PecA-JJ, Edward Gilmany^^ John Foul-

* William Sprague, with his brothers Richard and Ralph, arrived
at Naurakeag (Salem,) in 1628 or 29; from thence ihey removed to
Mishawum (Charlestoun,) and from thence WiUiam removed to
Hincrham ; his house lot was on the south side of Pleasant-street.
He had several sons ; among them, Anthony, Wilham and John. This
William removed to Rhode Island. Anthony the eldest son had a
numerous family ; he lived and died in a house situated near that
in which Mr. Samuel Gilbert now resides, at the place called "Over
the River." Josiah Sprague was one of Anthony's sons ; Isaac
was one of Josiah's six sons ; he purchased the place now owned by
Joshua Sprague, his grandson, on which stands one of the oldest
dwelling-houses in Hingham.

t Ralph Woodward, one of the first deacons of the chmxh — sec
23d page.

t Thomas Chaffe removed to Swanzey.

§ Thomas Clapp removed to Scituate.

II Thomas Dimock removed to Barnstable.

IT Edmund Pitts, according to Cushing's MSS,, came over in
1639, with hi> brother, Leonard Pitts and Adam Foulsham. His
"rant of land was in 1637.

** William Ludkin was from Norwich, England.

tt Jonathan Bozvvorth removed to Swanzey-

tX Mr. Joseph Peck removed to Rehoboth, where he died. I>ec
22, 1663.

§§ Edward Oilman removed to New Hampshire.

5*



46



HISTORY OF HIXGHA3I.



sham, Henry Chamberlin, Stephen Gates, George
Knights, Thomas Cooper* Matthew Cushing,| John
Beal, Jr., Francis James, Philip James, James Buck,
Sfcjyhcn Pmjne,l Vrilliam Pitts, Edward Michel], John
Sidton,^ Stephex Lincoln. ||

Samuel Parker, Thomas Lincoln,?! Jeremiah Moore,
Mr. Henry Smith ** Bozoan Mlen,-\-\ Matthew Hawke,+J
WiLLiAsi Ripley. §§ All of those preceding, who came to

* Thomas Cooper removed to Rehoboth,

t A memorandum of a descendant of Matthew Gushing mentions
the date of his arrival at Boston, August 10, 1638. The name of
his wife was Nazareth Pitcher. Their children, whose names fol-
low, came with them to this country, viz. : Daniel, Jeremiah, Mat-
thew, Deborah, and John. Matthew Cushing, senior, died Septem-
ber 30, 1660, aged about 72 years. He was probably the ancestor
of all of the name in this country. His son John removed to Scit-
uate, where he was a selectman in 1676, a deputy, and afterwards,
about the year 1690, an assistant. His son and grandson were
judges of the Supreme Court of this State, and the latter, (Hon.
Wilham Cushing,) of the Supreme Court of the United States.

t Stephen Payne removed to Rehoboth, where he died in 1677,

§ One of the same name removed to Rehoboth. He came from
Attleborough, England. One of the same name was among the first
inhabitants of Conohasset, perhaps a son of the eldest John.

II See note on the Lincoln families, in the last part of this work.
TTThomas Lincoln, the husbandman.

** Mr. Henry Smith's name appears afterwards in Rehoboth.

tt Bozoan Allen, " the very' good friend" of Mr. Hobart, the first
minister, came from Lynn, England. He was often a deputy, a
military ofiicer and an influential citizen of Hingham. He was very
active in the military difliculties in 1644, 1645, &;c. He removed to
Boston, where he died September 14, 1652.

it Matthew Hawke was the second tonn clerk of Hingham. He
was from Cambridge, England.

§§ In a brief genealogy of the family of William Ripley, collect-
ed by one of his descendants, it is stated, that be " accompanied
Mr. Hobart in the new settlement." If by this it is meant that he
came to this country with Mr. Hobart, or that he was here before
1638, I am inclined to believe the statement is erroneous. The
grant of land to William Ripley is in 1638, and in the list of set-
tlers prepared by Mr. Cushing, there is the following memorandum :
" 1638, William Ripley and his wife and two sons and two daugh-
ters, came from Old Hingham and settled in New Hingham." His



HISTORY OF HINGHAM.



47



c» vV



this country in 1638, took passage in the ship Diligent of
Ipswich, John Martin, master.* In addition to these the
following named persons received grants of land in the
year 1638, viz : -John Buck, John Benson, TiioaiAs
Jones,! Thomas Lawrence, John Stephens, John Stod-
DER,t Widow Martha Wilder,§ Thomas Thaxter.|| <»'^'»^ '**'*-
In 1639, Anthony Hilliard and John Prince received

name is by him embraced, as above stated, in the list of those who
took passage in the ship Diligent of Ipswich, He was admitted a
freeman, May 18, 1642. He died in July, 1656. His two sons
were John and Abraham. John married a daughter of Rev. Peter
Hobart. John had six sons, viz. : John, Joshua, Jeremiah, Josiah,
Peter, and Hezekiah. Of these, John and Peter died in this town.
Joshua removed to Haddam, Connecticut. Jeremiah to Kingston,,
Massachusetts. Josiah to Weymouth. Hezekiah died in Connec-
ticut in 1691. Peter had three sons, Peter, Nehemiah, and Ezra.
Nehemiah removed to Plymouth. Peter remained m Hinghara.
He had two sons, Noah and Nehemiah. Noah removed to Barre.
Nehemiah remained in Hingham. His wife was a daughter of Rev.
Nehemiah Hobart, of Cohasset. Mr. Nehemiah Ripley, now living,
is one of his sons.

* Cushing's MSS.

t This name is frequently wTitten Joanes in the old records.

t This name is sometimes written as above, and frequently Stod-
dard.

§ For an account of the Wilder family, see note at the end of
the volume.

il Thomas Thaxter, the common ancestor of all of the name in
this town and vicinity. Tlie name of his wife was Elizabeth. He
died in 1654, his wife surviving him. His sons who lived to man-
hood were John and Samuel. John had twelve children. He died
March, 1686-7. His widow was married to Daniel Gushing, Esq.
Three of the daughters of John, married Cushings. One of his sons
was Col. Samuel Thaxter, a magistrate, delegate to the General
Court, an assistant and otherwise distinguished in public trusts. He
had four cliildren, Elizabeth, John, Samuel, and Sarah. Elizabeth
was married to Capt. John Norton, son of Rev. John Norton, and
afterwards to Col. Benjamin Lincoln, father of the late Gen. Lin-
coln of the revolutionary army. Samuel H. U. 1714, married Sarah
Marshall of Boston, and after her decease, Mary Hawke, daughter
of James Hawke. She survived him and was afterwards married
to Rev. John Hancock of Braintree, father of Hon. John Hancock,
president of the Continental Congress. Maj. Samuel Thaxter, the
son of Samuel and Sarah H. U. 1743, was one of the very few who



48 HISTORY OF HINGHA^r.

grants of land. The name of Hewett (Huet*) and Li-
ford, are mentioned in Hobart's Diary, in that year, and
in the Diary the following names are first found in the
respective years mentioned : in 164G, Burr,! in 1647,
James Whito.v ; in 1649, John Lazell, Samuel Stow-
ELL ; in 1653, Garnett;]: and Canterbury.^

The number of persons who came over in the ship
Diligent, of Ipswich, in the year 1638, and settled in

escaped the massacre at Fort William Henry. Maj. Thaxter had
a numerous family, among whom were the late Dr. Thomas Thax-
ter, Dr. Gridley ThaYter, of Abington, (still living,) Samuel, &c.
The late Capt. Duncan M. B. Thaxter was a son of Samuel. John,
the eldest son of Col. Samuel Thaxter, married Grace Stockbridge,
of Pembroke. His son, Col. John Thaxter, H. U. 1741, was a
delegate in 1772. John Thaxter, Esq. of Haverhill was a son of
Col. John Thaxter. Dea. Joseph Thaxter was a brother of Col.
John Thaxter, and father of the late Rev. Joseph Thaxter, minis-
ter of Edgartown, and a Chaplain of the army of the Revolution.

David Thaxter was the only son of the eldest Samuel who lived
to manhood. He married Alice Chubbuck. He had but one son,
David, who died in 1791, aged 83. Several of his children arc yet
living.

^ The following singular account of the cure of one of this name,
of a distempered imagination is extracted from the History of New
England. Mass, His. Col. New Series, vol. 6, p. 442.

" 1642. One Huei*s wife, of Hingham, having been long in a
sad, melancholy distemper, near to frenzy, and having formerly, in
the year 1637, attempted to drown her child, did now again take
her child of three years old, and stripping it of its clothes, threw
it into the creek, but it scrambling out of the water and mud, came
to the mother, who took it another time and threw it so far into
the creek that it could not possibly get out ; yet by good provi-
dence, a young man that accidentally passed by took it up. The
mother conceived she had sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost.
She was afterwards proceeded with by church council, and by that
means was brought off from those satanic delusions ; and after the
manifestations of repentance, w-as received into the church again,
being brought to a sound mind."

t Simon Burr, the first of the name of Burr in this town, came
from Dorchester, and was related to Rev. Jonathan Burr an early
minister in that town.

* Garnett now written Gardner.

t Canterbury extinct as a surname. The Barnes families are de-
scendants from Cornelius Canterbury.



HISTORY OF HINGHAM. 49

Hingham, was 133. All that came before were 42, mak-
ing in all 175. The whole number that came out of Nor-
folk (chiefly from Hingham, and its vicinity) from 1633
to 1639, and settled in this Hingham, was 206.* This
statement on the authority of the third town clerk of Hing-
ham, must be reconciled with the fact, that there was a
much larger number of settlers here in 1639, than would
appear from his estimate. They undoubtedly came in
from other places, and I am inclined to believe that there
may be some omissions in Mr. Cushing's list. It may be
remarked here, that many of the names mentioned in the
previous pages are now scattered in various parts of the
country. Many of the first settlers removed to other
places during the militia difficulties which occurred within
a few years after the settlement of the town ; and a con-
siderable number had previously obtained lands at Reho-
both.t

The earliest record to be found of the proceedings of
the town in relation to the disposition of the lands, is in
1635. In June of that year grants were made to a con-
siderable number of individuals, and on the 18th of Sep-
tember as has been before stated, thirty of the inhabitants
drew for house lots, and received grants of other lands
for the purposes of pasture, tillage, &c.

* Cushing's MSS.

t Among the towns of which a considerable number of inhabit-
ants originated in Hingham, are Rehoboth, Wareham, Cummingtonj
Dennysville and Perry, (Maine.) A few removed to Swanzey, Dux-
bury, Scituale, Barnstable, Lancaster, &c. &c. and a large number
to Boston.

The following names appear in Lancaster in 1654, viz: Stephen
Gates, senior, James Whiting or Witton, John Towers and Thomas
Joslin. Persons of the same names had previously received grants
of land in Hingliani, and actually settled here. The Pecks of Re-
hoboth, Fearings of Wareham, Clapps and Otises of Scituate, Dim-
ocks and Otises of Barnstable, Lincolns of Taunton, New Bedford,
Deimysville and Perry, (Me.) &c. &c. originated here.



50 HISTORY OP HINGHAM.

It was in July, 1635, that a plantat'on was erected
here,* and on the 2d of September following that, the
town was incorporated by the name of Hingham,t from
which it appears that there are but eleven towns in this
State and but one in the county of Plymouth, older than
Hingham. I cannot ascertain satisfactorily when the
first meeting for civil purposes was held. It is stated by
Mr. Flint in his century discourses, to have been on the
18th of September, 1635. There is as much evidence
in our town records and in those of Cushing's MSS. which
I have examined, that the first town meeting was held in
June of that year, as in September. The statements in
the same discourses, that the inhabitants of Hingham ar-
rived in 1635, and that they obtained deeds of land from
the natives to form the town previously to holding the first
town meeting, are unquestionably erroneous, being at
variance with our town records, Cushing's MSS. and the
Indian deed itself J

The house lots drawn on the 18th of September, 1635,
were situated on the " Town street,^^ the same which is
now called North street. During that year the settlement
was extended to '^ Broad Cove street,^^ recently named
Lincoln Street. In the year following, house lots were
granted in the street now called South street and in the
northerly part of " Bachelor streety''^ now Main street. §

* " By this establishment or erection of a plantation, ^ve must
not understand that settlenrients were then first made at the spot,
but that a municipal government was permitted there, or that the
place was allowed to have deputies in the General Court." — Wi7i-
throp's Journal, v. l,p 163,- notehy Mi'. Savage.

t So named on account of the origin of the pastor and most of
the people from the town of that name in Norfolk, England.

X Daniel Gushing was the third town clerk of Hingham, and not
the second as supposed by Mr. Flint.

§ *' September 18tb, 1635. — It is agreed upon that every man



HISTORY OF HINGHAM, 51

Some idea of the relative wealth of several towns in
1635, may be estimated from the following apportionment
of the public rate for that year. Newton and Dorchester
were assessed each £26 5 ; Boston £25 10 ; Salem £16 ;
Hingham £6 ; Weymouth £4 ; &c. In 1637, the num-
ber of men furnished by this town to make up the num-
ber of 160 to prosecute the war against the Pequods, was
6 ; Boston furnished 26, Salem 18, Weymouth 5, Med-
ford 3, Marblehead 3. The assessment upon this town
at the General Court in August following, was £8 10 ; the
least, except that of Weymouth, which was £6 16. Prop-
erty and population appear to have been unequally distrib-
uted and often fluctuating. In 1637, we find the first record
of the choice of a town clerk. Joseph Andrews was chos-
en, and in 1638, the first record of the choice of assessors.*

that is admitted to be a townsman, and has lots granted him, shall
bear charges both to Church and Commonwealth, proportionably
to his ability ; and in case he shall sell his lots, he shall first tender
them to the town, and in case the town shall refuse to give what
it shall be worth, or find a chapman to buy them, then it shall be
lawful for him to sell them, always provided that it be an honest
man that shall be placed into the said \ots."— Town Records.

* They were Edmund'Hobart, Anthony Eames, Thomas Ham-
mond, Nicholas Jacob, Henry Rust, Joseph Andrews.

The following curious order passed to enforce attendance at

public meetings : . .

" 14th May, 1637.— It is likewise agreed upon by a joint consent
and general vote of the freemen, that whosoever shall absent him-
self from any meeting appointed and shall have lawful warning of
it, or shall otherwise come to the knowledge of the same meeting
without special occasion approved of by the assembly or the major


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