Archive for March, 2009

Oath of a Freeman – Elias Parkman & William Trask – Ancestors

March 23, 2009




Elias Parkman sailed from Sidmouth (Sydmouth), Devonshire, England in 1630 on the ship Mary & John. Then in 1635 he became a FREEMAN and took the following Oath of a Freeman. That same year he was one of the original 48 cofounders of Windsor CT, the oldest town in the state.

Freemen made at the General Court, May 6th, 1635.

Philemon Portmorte
Henry Elkines
Christopher Martiall
Edmond Bulckley
Edward Browne
Jarrett Bourne
William Pell
Benjamin Gillom
Thomas Alcocke
Edmonde Jacklinge
John Sebley
Thomas Peirce
Mr. Sachariah Syms
Barnaby Wynes
Jeffery Ferris
Thomas Gunn
Robert Dibell
Henry Fowkes
Elias Parkeman


The Freemen of Massachusetts Bay
1630 – 1636

Redacted and introduced by Marcia Stewart.

A primary goal of The Winthrop Society is to determine the identities of the first settlers of Massachusetts Bay Commonwealth. There are no firmer grounds for establishing an early settler among the founders of the Commonwealth than the lists of the first Freemen — those who applied for that estate in Boston in October, 1630, and those so sworn thereafter. The Freemen were the only colonists who were franchised to vote, and the franchise was not offered to all. One generally had to be a mature male church-member, and must have experienced a transforming spiritual experience by God’s grace, as attested by himself and confirmed by church leaders. Therefore, the list of names below represents just a small percentage of the population. And apparently, a number of qualifying church-members would not take the oath because they had problems with the wording. An oath in those times was taken very seriously, as though it were a promise made directly to the Almighty with ones soul forfeit in the breach. Numerous persons who are on church and court records of 1630-1632 did not take the oath until 1634, when the oath was shortened and modified to replace the persons of the Governor etc. to whom obedience was due with the impersonal “common weale.” Others, such as those who later became Quakers, objected strongly to oaths in general. One can understand all their reservations when one reads this “mother of all American loyalty oaths,” below.
The Oath of a Freeman, or of a Man to be made free.

I, A B, etc., being, by the Almighty’s most wise disposition, become a member of this body, consisting of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants and a commonalty of the Mattachusets in New England, do freely and sincerely acknowledge that I am justly and lawfully subject to the government of the same, and do accordingly submit my person and estate to be protected, ordered, and governed by the laws and constitutions thereof, and do faithfully promise to be from time to time obedient and conformable thereunto, and to the authority of the said Governor and Assistants and their successors, and to all such laws, orders, sentences, and decrees as shall be lawfully made and published by them or their successors; and I will always endeavor (as in duty I am bound) to advance the peace and welfare of this body or commonwealth to my utmost skill and ability; and I will, to my best power and means, seek to divert and prevent whatsoever may tend to the ruin or damage thereof, or of any the said Governor, Deputy Governor, or Assistants, or any of them or their successors, and will give speedy notice to them, or some of them, of any sedition, violence, treachery, or other hurt or evil which I shall know, hear, or vehemently suspect to be plotted or intended against the said commonwealth, or the said government established; and I will not at any time suffer or give consent to any counsel or attempt that shall be done, given, or attempted for the impeachment of the said government, or making any change alteration of the same, contrary to the laws and ordinances thereof, but shall do my utmost endeavor to discover, oppose, and hinder all and every such counsel and attempt. So help me God.
Applied for Freeman Status, October 19th, 1630

What follows is the entire record of the Court of the session of October 19, 1630. This occasion was nothing less than the birth of democracy on the American continent. The men that applied for freemen status were mostly arrived in 1630 with the Winthrop fleet and the Mary & John. However, the earlier arrivals are also represented here, and this list contains many of the surviving settlers from the the Abigail and the Higginson fleet, as well as a few who came before 1628.

All names were inscribed by the Court clerk, and give an indication of the pronunciation, if not the oath-taker’s prefered spelling of his name. The spelling of surnames and most prenames is given here as originally written down, but we have replaced abbreviated prenames by the common full spelling. Where prenames were omitted, they are inserted here in italics. The order of the names as written down originally can be seen here. There is no apparent indication of their social status in the order of the names, but some of the earliest settlers appear first, and study has revealed groupings according to the MBC township of origin.
At General Court, holden at Boston the 19th of October, 1630

The Governor (John Winthrop)
The deputy Governor (Thomas Dudley)
Sir Richard Saltonstall
Mr. (Roger) Ludlowe
Capt. (John) Endicott
Mr. (Increase) Nowell
Mr. (William) Pinchon
Mr. (Simon) Bradstreete

For establishing the government, it was propounded if it were not the best course that the Freemen should have the power of choosing Assistants when there are to be chosen, and the Assistants from among themselves to choose a Governor and a Deputy Governor, who with the Assistants should have the power of making laws and choosing officers to execute the same. This was fully assented unto by the general vote of the people and erection of hands.

Ralfe Sprage is chosen constable of Charlton, John Johnson of Rocksbury, and John Page for Waterton, for the space of one whole year, and after till new be chosen.

It is ordered that the sawyers shall not take above 12d a score for sawing oak boards, and 10d a score for pine boards if they have their wood felled and scored for them.

Walter Palmer made his personal appearance this day, and stands bound, he and his sureties, till the next Court.

The names of such as desire to be made Freeman

Mr. Samuell Mavracke
Mr. Edward Johnson
Mr. Edward Gibbins
Mr. William Jeffries
Mr. John Burslin
Mr. Samuel Sharpe
Mr. Thomas Graves
Mr. Roger Conant
John Woodbury
Peter Palfrey
Mr. Nathaniel Turner
Mr. Samuel Freeman
Eprahim Childe
Mr. William Clerke
Mr. Abraham Palmer
John Page
Nicholas Upsall
Stephen Terree
Henry Smyth
Roger Williams (Roger Williams of Dorchester, not the Minister and later founder of Rhode Island.)
John Woolridge
Thomas Lumberd
Bigatt Egglestone
John Grinoway
Christopher Gibson
John Benham
Thomas Williams alias Harris
Richard Garrett
John Howman
John Crabb
Capt. Walter Norton
Mr. Alexander Wignall
Mr. William Jennison
Mr. Thomas Southcoate
Mr. Richard Southcoate
James Pemberton
Mr. John Dillingham
John Johnson
Mr. Robert Coles
Jehu Burr
Thomas Rawlins
Richard Bugby
Richards Hutchins
Ralfe Mushell
Thomas Lambe
William Throdingham
William Chase
(Richard) Foxewell
Mr. Charles Gott
Henry Harwood
Mr. George Phillips
Mr. John Wilson
Mr. John Mavracke
Mr. Robert Feake
Mr. William Pelham
Mr. Benjamin Brand
Mr. William Blackstone
Mr. Edmond Lockwood
Mr. Richard Browne
John Strickland
Ralfe Sprage
Mr. George Ludlowe
James Penn
Henry Woolcott
Thomas Stoughton
William Phelpes
George Dyar
John Hoskins
Thomas Ford
Mr. John Warham
Mr. Samuell Skelton
Mr. William Colbron
Mr. William Aspinwall
Edward Converse
Mr. Richard Palgrave
John Taylour
Richard Church
Richard Silvester
William Balstone
Robert Abell
Mr. Giles Sexton
Robert Seely
John Mills
John Cranwell
Mr. Ralfe Glover
William Hulbird
Edmond James
John Pillips
Nathaniell Bowman
John Doggett
Laurence Leach
Charles Chadwicke
William Drakenbury
John Drake
John Balshe
Mr. Samuell Coole
Mr. William Traske

Two separate groups were sworn on May 14th, 1634, and this redactor is uncertain of the reason. One might speculate that, after the first group, above, was sworn by the Oath of 1631, the New Oath was proposed by the larger second group containing many worthies and first settlers, including the notable ministers Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone, and was then adopted by the Court. At that same session, we note also that Thomas Dudley replaced the more conservative John Winthrop as Governor, and the powerful and persuasive Rev. John Cotton (among the second group of Freemen, below) was heard to speak on constitutional issues.

As was noted above, the Oath of 1631 was considered unreasonably demanding to many of the first settlers, and the Oath in 1634 was reworded to make allegiance binding to the Commonwealth, but not to the persons of the present government, and also allowed the oath-taker’s conscience to bear in its interpretation.

A significant portion of the first settlers of the Colony refused the first oath, but are found on the following lists of 1634 and 1635, among more recently arrived settlers. Below is the New Oath, and a list of all who took the New Oath in this and the subsequent court sessions up to the end of the Julian year 1635/36.
The Oath of Freeman agreed upon at the General Court, May 14, 1634.

I, A&B, being by God’s providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdiction of this common weale, do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do hereby 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 and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound, and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the privileges and liberties thereunto, submitting myself to the wholesome laws made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot nor practise any evil against it, nor consent to any that shall be so done, but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawful authority now here established for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself in the sight of God that when I shall be called to give my voice touching any such matter of this State, wherein Freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall in my own conscience judge best to produce and tend to the public weale of the body, without respect of persons or respect of any man. So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Freemen made at the General Court, May 6th, 1635.

Philemon Portmorte
Henry Elkines
Christopher Martiall
Edmond Bulckley
Edward Browne
Jarrett Bourne
William Pell
Benjamin Gillom
Thomas Alcocke
Edmonde Jacklinge
John Sebley
Thomas Peirce
Mr. Sachariah Syms
Barnaby Wynes
Jeffery Ferris
Thomas Gunn
Robert Dibell
Henry Fowkes
Elias Parkeman

Salem MA founder Roger Conant

Captain William Trask

trask family desk sothebys auction N08710-225-lr-1

Captain William Trask was a fisherman who came with the Dorchester Company to Cape Ann in 1624. He came on the Zouch Phenix from Weymouth, England. When the Dorchester Company folded they offered the fisherman the opportunity to return to England. He, along with others moved down the Massachusetts coastline to a place the Indians called “Maumkeg.” It later became a charter for the settlement. It became known as “The Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.” In 1629, he was a member of the First Church in Salem. On October 19, 1630, he petitioned the court to be a freeman. On November 7, 1632, he appointed, along with seven others, to set boundaries between Roxbury and Dorchester. In 1634 he was made a Captain in the Militia.

winthrop society

The Winthrop Society

winthrop society 3

Winthrop Society 2 WinthropSocietyMiniature.png

See page 239:;view=1up;seq=253

Mark Hoffman Oath of a Freeman Mormon Murders trackingp121_oathofafreeman

Mark Hoffman’s “Oath of a Freeman” forgery:


Coffin Family Tree & Coat of Arms

March 16, 2009

Tristram Coffin was 1 of 8 original owners of Nantucket Island in 1659 for 2 beaver hats and 30 pounds sterling (coins). The 8 had purchased Nantucket from The Mayhews. William Parkman, father of Reverend Ebenezer Parkman, married Elizabeth Adams who’s parents were Alexander Adams and Mary Coffin of Nantucket, sister of Tristram Coffin, Sr. co-founder of Nantucket.


Generation Thirteen
Dec 1 1627, Peter Coffin – Brixton England, will proved Mar 13 1628, To Joan, land during her life, and at her decease to go to his son and heir Tristam, ‘who is to be provided for according to his degree and calling’. To son John certain property when 20 years of age. mentions daughters, Joan, Deborah, Eunice, Mary. He refers to tenement in Butlers parish called Silverhay. *May 1661- His widow Joan died in Boston Mass. The Rev. Mr. Wilson who preached the funeral sermon spoke of her as a woman of remarkable character. One Hundred Sixty Allied Families by John 0. Austin ** was born in 1584 at Brixton, Devon, England. He married Joan Kember, daughter of Robert Kember and Anne (  ?  ), in 1604 at Brixton, Devon, England. He died in 1628.

Children of Peter Coffin and Joan Kember were as follows:
(1605-1688) Christian; married Thomas Davis.
(1609-1681)Tristam, born at Plymouth, Devonshire, England; married Dionis Stevens. (see bellow)
(1611-1681) Joan; married Joseph Hull; born at Brixton, Devonshire England.
(1616) Deborah; born at Brixton, Devonshire, England; married William Stevens, son of Robert Stevens and Dionis (  ?  ), 25 Jun 1640 at England.
(1617-1648) Eunice; born at Brixton, Devonshire, England; married William Butler after 1642.
(1619) Mary, born at Brixton, Devonshire, England; married Alexander Adams.
(1625)John; born at England; died 1642 at Plymouth Fort.


coffin coat of arms

Coffin Coat of Arms

This Coat of Arms is considered the correct Armorial Bearings for the Coffins in America. Adopted by Tristram Coffyn (1609-1681), and featured on the front cover of “The Coffin Saga” by Will Gardner. Although the edition I have is a light silvery blue, and the Coat of Arms is blue.

There are any number of versions of Armorial Bearings for the Coffins, but according to the actual rules, the proper awarded version is technically the only one that can be “used” by the appropriate Coffin line. For example, Sir Isaac Coffin, Baronet was awarded a very specific Coat of Arms for his use as well as any of his dependents.

1686   Oldest House and Mary Gardner Coffin
This portrait, attributed to the Pollard Limner, depicts Mary Gardner Coffin (1670-1767). Mary Gardner was born on Nantucket and married Jethro Coffin, grandson of Tristram, in 1686. Their home, built later that year, is still standing on Nantucket. Now known as the Oldest House, it is owned and operated by the Nantucket Historical Association. The Coffin/Gardner marriage symbolized the end of an early conflict in Nantucket society involving their families that was known as the “half-share revolt.” John Gardner and Tristram Coffin were key figures in Nantucket’s early governance. Coffin represented the “full-share” men, or original founders of Nantucket, while Gardner was one of a group of tradesmen who came to work on the island but received only half-shares. Bitter debates between the full-share and half-share parties raged on Nantucket about land rights, who could hold public office, and the future directions for the island. A tentative compromise between the two factions was reached in 1678, but it was not until Coffin’s death in 1681 and the eventual marriage of his grandson into the Gardner family that a full resolution of this conflict occurred.



Nantucket marker for Tristram Coffin’s Homestead

Tristram Coffin spoon likeness 1642

Tristram Coffin Medallion – 1642

Tristram Coffin (or Coffyn)[fn 1] (ca. 1609 – 2 October 1681) was an immigrant to Massachusetts from England. In 1659 he led a group of investors that bought Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew for thirty pounds and two beaver hats.[2]He became a prominent citizen of the settlement. A great number of his descendants became prominent in North American society, and many were involved in the later history of Nantucket during and after its heyday as a whaling center.[3] Almost all notable Americans with roots in Nantucket are descended from Tristram Coffin, although Benjamin Franklin was an exception.[4]

England, 1605–1642[edit]

Tristram Coffin was born to Peter and Joanna (Kember) Coffin and baptized in the parish of Brixton near Plymouth, England, on 11 March 1609/10.[1] He belonged to the landed gentry.[5] He married Dionis Stevens in 1630 and they were to have nine children, the first five born in England. Coffin was a Brixton church warden from 1639 to 1640, and was a constable in 1641.[6]

Charles I inherited the throne of England in 1625 and initiated a long struggle with his parliament, which wanted to abolish bishops from the House of Lords and limit the king’s powers. Things came to a head when Charles raised his royal standard at Nottingham in August 1642, and England soon descended into Civil War(1642–1651).[5] Tristram Coffin’s only brother John received a mortal wound at Plymouth fort, although it is not known exactly when or even which side he was fighting on.[7] Perhaps for reasons associated with these political upheavals, Tristram Coffin decided to leave his estates in England and emigrate to the new world.[8]

Massachusetts, 1642–1659[edit]

Tristram Coffin sailed to Boston in 1642 with his wife and children, his two sisters and his mother. For a short time he ran an inn in Salisbury, Massachusetts.[1] He then moved to the new settlement of Pentucket, now Haverhill, Massachusetts. His name appears on a deed dated 15 November 1642 recording the sale of the land for the settlement by the local American Indian people. He is said to have used a plow that he had made himself to cultivate the land.[9] It was here that his last four children were born.[6]

In 1648 he left the farm and moved to Newbury, Massachusetts. Here he operated a ferry across the Merrimack River and he and his wife ran a tavern. In 1653 his wife was “presented” for selling beer above the legal price of two pennies per quart. However, she was acquitted when it was found that her beer was much stronger than the ordinary.[10] Coffin sold the inn and ferry in 1654 or 1655 and moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts, where he signed himself “Tristram Coffyn, Commissioner of Salisbury”.[11]

Nantucket, 1659–1681[edit]

Tristram Coffin Jr. House, built in Newburycirca 1678

Jethro Coffin House, built in 1686 for Jethro Coffin, Tristam Coffin’s grandson, and now the oldest house on Nantucket

Tristram Coffin and other Salisbury investors bought Nantucket island from Thomas Mayhew on 2 July 1659.[12] The purchase price was 30 pounds plus two beaver hats made by his son, also called Tristram. Coffin was the prime mover of the enterprise and was given first choice of land. In 1659 he settled near the western end of the island near Capaum pond.[6] His sons Peter Coffin, Tristram Coffin Junior and James Coffin also received land on the island.[13] Soon after settling, Tristram Coffin purchased the thousand-acre Tuckernuck Island at the western end of Nantucket. On 10 May 1660 the sachems conveyed title to a large part of the island to Coffin and his associates for eighty pounds.[14] He built a corn mill in which he employed many of the local Native Americans, and he employed others on his farm.[15]

In 1671 Coffin and Thomas Macy were selected as spokesmen for the settlers, going to New York in 1671 to meet withGovernor Francis Lovelace and secure their claim to Nantucket.[6] As the most wealthy and respected of the settlers, Coffin was appointed chief magistrate of Nantucket on 29 June 1671.[16] In 1677 he was again appointed chief magistrate for a term of four years.[17]


Tristram Coffin died on 2 October 1681 at the age of 76.[1] During the years before his death, he had bestowed much of his property on his children and grandchildren.[18] He was buried on his property on Nantucket Island.[6] At his death he left seven children, 60 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. One of his grandchildren calculated that by the year 1728, the number of his descendants was 1582, of whom 1128 were still alive.[19]

Several of his descendants achieved prominence. His daughter Mary Coffyn Starbuck became a leader in introducing Quaker practices into Nantucket.[20] A grandson, James Coffin, was the first of the Coffins to enter into the whaling business.[21] A poem by Thomas Worth written in 1763 says six Captains named Coffin were sailing out of Nantucket.[3]Sir Isaac Coffin (1759–1839) served during the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars and became an admiral in the British Royal Navy.[22] He founded a school on the island in 1827 to educate descendants of Tristram Coffin – which included almost all the children on the island – with emphasis on nautical skills.[23]

Some branches of the Coffin family were prominent in New England, grouped among the so-called Boston Brahmins.[24]For example, Elizabeth Coffin, daughter of a wealthy merchant from Nantucket, was mother of the prominent Massachusetts industrialists Henry Coffin Nevins andDavid Nevins, Jr..[25] Charles A. Coffin (1844–1926) born in Somerset, Massachusetts, became cofounder and first President of General Electric corporation.[26]Some retained the family links to Nantucket after the whaling industry had collapsed and many people had left the island. In the eighth generation, Elizabeth Coffin(1850–1930), an artist, educator and Quaker philanthropist, was known for her paintings of Nantucket and for helping revive Sir Isaac Coffin’s school with a new emphasis on crafts.[27] Among the ninth generation, Robert P. T. Coffin (1892-1955) was an American Poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1936 for his book of collected poems called “Strange Holiness”.

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Tristam always spelled his name “Coffyn” but his descendants used “Coffin” as do most sources on his life[1]

Tristram Coffin signature

Tristram Coffin signature

nantucket-monument early settlers

Nantucket Early Settlers Monument – Tristram Coffin 1609 – 1681

Nantucket wives mothers children monument 2009 350th anniversary settlement.jpg


Tristram Coffin & Dionis Stevens: Nantucket settlers

(Coastal families/Coffin branch)

* Tristram COFFIN was born in 1609 in Brixton Parish, Devon, England; christened on 11 Mar 1609 in Brixton Parish, Devonshire, England; died on 2 Oct 1681 in Nantucket, MA; buried in Maxey Pond Burying Ground, Nantucket, MA.

Tristram COFFIN married Dionis STEVENS in ABT 1630 in Brixton Parish, Devon, England. They had the following children: Peter COFFIN (b. 1631), Tristram COFFIN Jr. (b. 1632), Elizabeth COFFIN, James COFFIN (b. 12 Aug 1640), Mary COFFIN (b. 20 Feb 1645), ♥ John COFFIN Lieut. (b. 13 Oct 1647), Stephen COFFIN (b. 11 May 1652).

BIRTH: Tristram was the 1st of 6 children born to his parents.

EVENT: Tristram inherited real-estate, rents, lodging, food, a personal income and personal property upon the death of his father, Peter Coffin. In his Will, dated 21 Dec 1627 and proved 13 Mar 1627/8 Peter leaves Tristram the following; “…Item I give and bequeth unto Tristram Coffyn my Sonne one feather bedd pformed my best brasen panne and my best brasen crocke. Item I give and bequeth unto Johan Coffyn my wife y issues pfitts and comodities of all my lands tenements & hereditaments wth y sayd Parish of Brixton dureing her widdowhood she yeelding & paying therefor yearly unto the said Tristram my sonne his heirs and assignes the summe of Fifty shillings of lawful English money at y four usual feasts of the year and also sufficient meate drinke & clothes and convenient lodgings unto y sayd Tristram according to his degree and calling dureing her Widowhood…Item I doe give unto Sonne Tristram All my lands rents reversions services & hereditamts with the appurtenances whatsoever sett lying & being wth in the sayd Parish of Brixton or elsewhere wthin y sayd County of Devon…Item All y rest of my goods chattels and cattells nor before given nor bequethed I doe give and bequethe unto Johan Coffyn my wife…”{D5}

IMMIGRATION: Fourteen years after his father’s death: Tristram Coffin came to New World in 1642 with wife, Dionis; their 5 small children; his widowed mother, Joan Thember; and 2 unmarried sisters.{D2}

The family first settled in Haverhill, then removed to Newbury in 1648, then to Salisbury, before moving to Nantucket in 1659.
“He soon bought land up the Merrimac River. The Indians had rights, but were willing to sell; their chief, Passaconaway gave his consent and there was a deed passed between which involved 14 miles along the river for 3 Pounds and 10 Shillings. That area became Haverhill, MA. He later went back to Newberry, MA, bought land, put in a ferry with an inn. Then he later got a good buy on a big grant near Dover. It was woodland on the Cochecho River. With his sons he established a lumber mill as he never wanted to hold land alone. Tristram had lost faith in England in the quarrels between king and parliament. His land holdings in England dried up. In a talk with Thomas Mayhew he found Nantucket was available; so he approached Edward Starbuck, Thomas Macy and Isaac Coleman as the core of a company which bought Nantucket for 30 pounds and 2 beaver hats. With the lumber mill, they started a small ship building project. That was very convenient to ship materials to Nantucket…”{D2} Also consult, History of Nantucket by Alexander Starbuck and The Coffin Saga by Will Gardner.
The early settler’s lots on Nantucket were about 1,000 feet on a side, while some were quite irregular in shape. Tristram’s house lot was a tract bounded on the north by Cappam Harbor. He called this region Northam or Cappamet. The spot where his house was placed is marked by a stone monument. {D4}

LIVELIHOOD: Tristram was an entrepreneurial businessman involved with land trading, a lumber mill, ship building, shipping, salvaging wrecked ships and commercial fishing. In general, the early families on Nantucket gained a livelihood through a combination farming and fishing related enterprises.

ORGANIZATIONS: Tristram was Chief Magistrate of Nantucket ca 1671-1673. He held a second term as Chief Magistrate in 1777.{D1}

A feud broke out amongst the early settlers of Nantucket. On one side, the Coffin’s and their friends, on the other side, the brothers Richard and John Gardner and their friends. The feud is thought to have developed from the divergent temperaments of Tristram and Capt. John Gardner. Tristram was a natural leader, but had tendencies to be irritable and despotic. Capt. John Gardner was a man of physical courage, rugged honesty and democratic in his dealings, traits that gained him public confidence. {D4}
The estrangement between the Coffin and the Gardner families ended soon after Tristram’s death in 1681. Tristram’s eldest grandson Jethro and Jethro’s brother, Edward, married Mary and Anna Gardner. After 1681, James, another grandson of Tristram, married Love Gardner and later married, Ruth Gardner. Six other children of Richard Gardner married grandchildren of Tristram Coffin, among these, Tristram’s grandson, Samuel Coffin, married Richard Gardner’s daughter, Miriam and became my direct ancestors.{D1)

[Image above: Tristram & Dionis Coffin’s house ( ? Tristram Coffin, Jr. see link below) , originally built by Tristram as a simple structure in about 1654, at 15 High Road in Newbury Massachusetts. The house is well-preserved and is a New England historic site owned by the Historic New England museum. The house is often featured in books about Colonial American architecture. This public domain photograph was taken circa 1907.Added by: Cindy K. Coffin 6/06/2009]

[Image at left: Hearth in Tristram Coffin house, Newbury, MA.]

Early in 1659 Tristram went to Martha’s Vineyard where he took Peter Folger the Grandfather of Benjamin Franklin as an interpreter of the Indian language and went to Nantucket to ascertain the temper of the Indians and the capabilities of the island so that he could report to the citizens of Salisbury. At Martha’s Vineyard he entered into preliminary negotiations with Thomas Mayhew for the purchase of the island before visiting it. After his  visit to the island he made additional arrangements for its purchase and returned to Salisbury where his report upon the condition of the island, the character of the Indians and the advantages of a change of residence, was laid before his friends and associates. A company was organized for the immediate purchase of the whole island allowing Thomas Mayhew to retain a one-tenth portion with some other reservations. Several meetings of the
purchasers were held at Salisbury and general rules for the government of the island were adopted.

[Photos above: Marker locating the previous site of Tristram Coffin’s home by Capaum Harbor, by 1989 a land locked pond near the ocean, on Nantucket Island.]
Among the eight original owners of Nantucket island, he became the most prominent. He was granted first choice of land and in 1659, he settled on the eastern slope of what is now called Trott’s Hills, near Capaum Pond, toward the western end if the island. He was a leader among the first settlers and was
often asked by other inhabitants to transact important public business. He and Thomas Macy were the spokesmen for the settlement and were selected by the settlers go to New York and meet with Governor Lovelace and secure their claim to the Island in 1671. His letters to the Colonial Government of New York are preserved in the Archives of the Department of State at Albany. He built a corn mill and employed many Native Americans who were the aboriginal inhabitants of the island.

BURIAL: Tristram Coffin, Richard Gardner, Edward Starbuck and presumably their wives and others are buried at the old Maxey Pond Burying Ground. A 6+ foot high “Early Settlers Monument” stands at the site with the inscription: “Erected AD 1881 By A Descendant of the First Settlers of Nantucket in Memory of Those Whose Remains Are Buried on this Hallowed Spot Where stood the First Church Gathered Here 1711 Since Removed to where it Now Stands as the vestry of the First Congregational Society…”. The monument also is inscribed with the names of ten early settlers, including those mentioned above. The settlement and church /burial ground at Maxey Pond/Capum Harbor was, in the early days of the settlement, called “Sherburne”. Sherburne was located about two miles west of the present town of Nantucket.

1. The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA., p. 81.
2.”The Anderson Story”, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968.
3. Tristram Coffin’s vital statistics are verified by a 6+ foot tall grave yard monument at Maxey Pond Burying Ground, Nantucket,MA.
4. Nantucket Lands and Land Owners Vol. 2., Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.
5. Early Settlers of Nantucket by Lydia Swain Mitchell Hinchman. The original may be found in the District Registry attached to the Probate Division of the Court of Justice of Exeter (in the Arcdeaconry Court of Totnes), England.
Individual source: The Anderson Story, by Mrs. C. J. Davis, Mrs. Cora May Boots and others, printed in 1968. A 67 page genealogical record of the Anderson family from John & Elizabeth Horney Anderson, ca 1800 to 1968.

* Dionis STEVENS was born in 1613; died on 6 Nov 1684 in Nantucket, MA.

Dionis Stevens was daughter of Robert, Esquire of Brixton, England.

EVENT: The records indicate that the Coffin, Starbuck and Macy families found their environment in Massachusetts Bay, far from congenial. Each had their own peculiar problem. Macy had been arrested and charged with violating town regulations see below) , and so had Coffin’s wife, Dionis. It is likely that the family was ready to move to a more liberal neighborhood when the opportunity to settle on Nantucket Island arose.{D1}
In 1683 his wife Dionis was presented at Court for selling beer for 3 cents a quart. The law provided that inn keepers should always be provided with good wholesome beer of four bushels of malt to the hhd., to be sold at not above two cents a quart under a penalty of 40 shilings. It was proved on the testimony of
Samuel Mooers however that she had put six bushels of malt to the hhd. and was accordingly discharged because she had kept the proportion good, After this, Tristram returned to Salisbury and became a County Magistrate.

DEATH: Dionis survived her husband and died on Nantucket Island; however, accounts of her death place the date variably at 16 Oct 1676 and 6 Nov 1684.

1. Nantucket Lands and Land Owners, Vol. 2., Bulletin No.1., by Henry Barnard Worth, Published by the Nantucket Historical Assn., 1901.
Individual source: The Coffin Family by Louis Coffin, 1962, Nantucket Historical Society, Nantucket, MA.

portledge manor coffin manor england.jpg

Portledge Manor, The house sits on the edge of Bideford Bay, looking out over the Bristol Channel. The parish of Alwington, Devon, England and the surrounding area was given to the family by William the Conqueror, as part of a reward for loyalty and service during the Norman Conquest. Most of the current house dates from the 17th century, but parts of it have stood since the reign of King Henry III, circa 1234 .

Nantucket whalebone 2007

Nantucket whalebone 2007



Tristram Coffin was the American progenitor of the Coffin Family who was also a co-owner/founder of Nantucket.

Tristram Coffin, Sr. was 1 of 8 original owners of Nantucket Island in 1659 for 2 beaver hats and 30 pounds sterling (coins). The 8 had purchased Nantucket from The Mayhews.

Trystram Coffin Sr.’s sister, Mary Coffin married Alexander Adams, who’s daughter Elizabeth Adams married William Parkman, parents of Reverend Ebenezer Parkman.

William Parkman (Elizabeth Adams & William Parkman, Mary Coffin & Alexander Adams,  are all 4 buried @ Copp’s Hill Cemetery in Boston).

Immigrant logo

Tristram Coffin, Sr., Mary Coffin Adams and Alexander Adams were both Immigrants from England:

1686   Oldest House and Mary Gardner Coffin
This portrait, attributed to the Pollard Limner, depicts Mary Gardner Coffin (1670-1767). Mary Gardner was born on Nantucket and married Jethro Coffin, grandson of Tristram, in 1686. Their home, built later that year, is still standing on Nantucket. Now known as the Oldest House, it is owned and operated by the Nantucket Historical Association. The Coffin/Gardner marriage symbolized the end of an early conflict in Nantucket society involving their families that was known as the “half-share revolt.” John Gardner and Tristram Coffin were key figures in Nantucket’s early governance. Coffin represented the “full-share” men, or original founders of Nantucket, while Gardner was one of a group of tradesmen who came to work on the island but received only half-shares. Bitter debates between the full-share and half-share parties raged on Nantucket about land rights, who could hold public office, and the future directions for the island. A tentative compromise between the two factions was reached in 1678, but it was not until Coffin’s death in 1681 and the eventual marriage of his grandson into the Gardner family that a full resolution of this conflict occurred.





Sir Richard Coffin / Coffyn and Pedigree Charts from the years 1066 – 1101 :


Coffin of Devon 1291 1579 Knights of the Crown

A Coffin incident

Sir William Coffin (1495-1538) was a Devonshire courtier under King Henry VIII having joined the royal household in 1515 as a gentleman of the Privy Chamber.

Sir William Coffyn

That which Coffin became known for was an incident that occurred while he was traveling northwards to Derbyshire, and came by Bideford church and cemetery. In the cemetery there was a group of people standing around, not part of a ceremony of any kind so William Coffin stopped to find out what was happening. The situation was that a corpse had been brought to the church to be buried, along with the people who had come to gather for the ceremony, however the priest was refusing to perform the funeral. In payment for the priest to perform the burial rites they required payment from the deceased’s estate, and in this case it was the cow that belonged to the deceased man as he was poor, but the dead man’s friends would not give the cow up. After being told this William found the priest and ordered him to perform the funeral service as it was his job, but the priest still refused to do it without payment. At this, William ordered the people who were gathered there to grab the priest and put him into the hole that had been dug for the corpse and that dirt be thrown in on top of him. The priest continued in his refusal until the man was nearly fully buried in the earth when at last he conceded.

Such treatment of priests was not acceptable, even during the period of the Dissolution, and William would have expected to receive punishment for this incident, and even perhaps have been executed for such a crime against a man of God. King Henry VIII was informed of the incident and as a result William was summoned before Parliament. For anyone else this would not have ended well, anyone else would have ended up in the Tower or executed. However, Sir William had a number of friends in the House as well as at court and they were loyal to him and he avoided punishment. In fact, he turned it around and brought to Parliament’s attention the negative consequences of priests demanding payment (mortuaries) for church services. He drew the attention of the matter away from his personal actions onto the wider situation of the bad behaviour of clergymen. As a result of this, an Act was passed soon after which stopped practices including mortuaries.

Margaret Coffin Tomb 1539

Tomb of Margaret Coffin – 1539 +

His presence at court is first recorded when William attended the King in Guisnes in 1519 and took part in the tournament, and later at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520.

In 1529 he became a Member of Parliament for Derbyshire, despite him being born in Devonshire, due to his wife Margaret Dymoke, daughter of the Hereditary Royal Champion Sir Robert Dymoke, having connections to that county; her first husband was Derbyshire man Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon Hall.
In 1533 William Coffin was the Master of the Horse at the coronation of Anne Boleyn and throughout her reign as queen, as well as that of Jane Seymour. He also became the steward of Queen Jane’s manors of Standon and Hitchin in Hertfordshire. In this office, on the 17th October 1357 William received the official surrender to the Crown of the Hitchin Priory from the Prior, as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
On the 18th October 1357 William Coffin was knighted, however he did not get to enjoy this position for long as on the 8th December 1538 Sir William had died of the plague.
William and his wife had no surviving children, therefore his heirs were his wife Margaret and his nephews William Coffin the elder, William Coffin the younger and Richard Coffin. Margaret remarried again shortly after to Richard Manners in 1539.

Sir William Coffyn
St Mary’s Church, Standon

Sir William is buried in the church in Standon, commemorated by this inscription;

"Here lies William Coffin, Knight, sometime of the privy chamber with his sovereign Lord King Henry the eighth, Master of the Horse unto queen Jane the most lawful wife unto the aforesaid King Henry the eighth, and high steward of all the liberty [and] manor of Standon in the county of Hertford, which William deceased the eighth day of december Anno domini 1538, [in] the thirtieth year of the reign of King Henry the eighth"






Sir Richard Coffin 1456 RichardCoffinArms_HeantonPunchardonChurch

Sir Richard Coffin 1456 – 1523

Details from Easter Sepulchre monument to Richard Coffin: left: arms of Coffin; right: entwined initials “RC”, two sets in spandrels of canopy

Sir Richard Coffin 1456 RichardCoffinEasterSepulchreHeantonPunchardon1

Easter Sepulchre monument to Richard Coffin (1456-1523) of Heanton Punchardon and Portledge, Alwington. North wall of chancel, Heanton Punchardon Church


RC initials for Sir Richard Coffin

Sir Richard Coffin 1456 – 1523


Knight James Coffin 1551 800px-JamesCoffinBrassDetailMonkleighDevon

Sir James Coffin 1551 –  Detail of James Coffin monumental brass,[6] Monkleigh Church.

Knight James Coffin 1551 JamesCoffinMonumentMonkleighDevon

16th century mural monument to a kneeling knight, featuring heraldry of the Coffin family. Monkleigh Church, high up on north wall of chancel. Monumental brass depicting a bearded knight, said to represent James Coffin (d.1566)[6] kneeling in prayer, surrounded by heraldic escutcheons depicting the arms of Coffin: Azure, three bezants between eight crosses crosslet or

Knight James Coffin 1551 Coat of Arms CoffinArmsMonkleighChurchDevon

Arms of Coffin family, lords of the manor of Monkleigh: Azure, three bezants between eightcrosses crosslet or, and right as seen on 16th century Coffin mural monument in Monkleigh Church, with a crest of a bird of some variety

Jane Coffin 1646 JaneCoffyn1646_MonkleighChurchDevon

Inscribed slate mural monument to Jane Coffyn (d.1646), Monkleigh Church, west wall of north transept. Inscription: “Resurgimus” (we will rise again) “Jane the eldest childe of John Coffyn Esqr wife of Hugh Prust, gent, 13 Mons” “who w(i)th her chrisome son(n)e was buried nere this place the first of July 1646”.
“A mayde a wife in wife and right accord,
She liv’d she di’d true servant of the Lord.
Aetatis suae 27” (of her age 27). At the top is a heraldicescutcheon showing the arms of Prust impaling the arms of Coffyn.[nb 1]

Knight James Coffin 1551

The Manor of Monkleigh was a mediaeval manor centred on the village of Monkleigh in North Devon, England, situated 2 1/2 miles north-west of Great Torrington and 3 1/2 miles south-east of Bideford.

Descent of the manor

The Domesday Book of 1086 records Monkleigh as Lege, the ninth of the 79 holdings in Devon as tenant-in-chief, of Robert, Count of Mortain(c. 1031–1090) the half-brother of William the Conqueror. His tenant at Monkleigh was a certain Alured, modernised to Alfred. Before theNorman Conquest of 1066 it was held by the Saxon Ordulf, thought to represent the Anglo-Saxon name “Ordwulf”.[1]

During the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154) the manor of Monkleigh was granted by its then holder “Alfred the Butler”, together with his other estates of Frizenham (in the parish of Little Torrington.[2]) and Densham (in the parish of Woolfardisworthy[3]), to Montacute Priory.[4][5]


 Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, a lease of the manor of Monkleigh was granted by the crown gratis on 26 August 1540 for the term of their lives to James Coffyn of Alwington and Anne his wife[7] It was valued at £21 11s 6d per annum, but unusually no charge was made for the grant. As is recorded in the text of the royal grant Anne was the widow of Sir George St Leger of Annery,[8] the chief estate within the manor of Monkleigh.

James Coffin was the second son of John Coffin of Portledge, in the parish of Alwington. He was still living in 1551 when he was mentioned in the will of his eldest brother Richard Coffin (d.1555) of Portledge. The Coffin family is one of the most ancient of Devon families. Tristram Risdon (d.1640) stated: “Alwington…the manor whereof hath been in the name of Coffin even from The Conquest“.[9]

On 11 June 1544 the crown granted the manor of Monkleigh, subject to the life interest of James Coffin and his wife, to Sir John Fulford of Dunsford and Humphrey Colles of Barton, Somerset, along with other grants of property. For Monkleigh manor they were charged £194 3s 4d, representing 10 years’ purchase of its annual value. They were also granted Monkleigh Woods for £29 13s 6d, representing 20 years’ purchase[10] Fulford and Coles paid the purchase price in full on 2 June 1544 and just one week later obtained royal licence to alienate to James Coffin of Alwington, the life tenant.[11]

A small monumental brass of a kneeling knight exists in Monkleigh Church high up on the north wall of the chancel, affixed to a stone tablet on which are sculpted several heraldic escutcheons of the arms of Coffin (Azure, three bezants between eight crosses crosslet or)[12] impaling arms of their heiresses. Pevsner suggests a date for the brass of 16th. century and that the stone tablet on which it is now affixed was originally part of a now lost 16th. century monument.[13]

The next member of the Coffin family recorded by the heraldic visitations of Devon to have a connection with Monkleigh Church is John Coffin (1593-1622) of Portledge. John was Richard Coffin’s great-grandson.[14] Three of John’s daughters were married in Monkleigh Church, between 1645 and 1657.[15] A mural monument exists in Monkleigh Church, in the north transept, to his eldest daughter Jane Coffin (1593-1646),[16] who in 1645, aged 26, married in Monkleigh Church to Hugh Prust[17] (1614-1650)[18] of Annery,[citation needed] within the parish of Monkleigh. She died the next year, as her mural monument records,[citation needed] and her husband died five years later without progeny,[19] when his heir to Annery became his younger brother Lt-Col.Joseph Prust (1620-1677) of Annery.”[20]

John Coffin’s son and heir was Richard Coffin (d.1700) of Portledge, Sheriff of Devon in 1683, who in 1648 married his third wife Dorothy Rowe in Monkleigh Church.[15] His son and heir by this third wife was John Coffin (1649-1704) of Portledge, who was baptised at Monkleigh. He left no progeny and eventually his heir became his heir became his great-nephew Rev. John Pine-Coffin (1735-1824), the grandson of his eldest sister Dorothy Coffin (b.1651) and her husband Edward Pyne of Eastdowne.[21][nb 2] Later in about 1823 his son and heir Richard Pine-Coffin (1770-1833)[23] sold some land in his manor of Monkleigh to John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle (d.1842) for part of the course of the Rolle Canal between about the Ridd limekilns to the Beam Aqueduct, following the left-bank of the River Torridge.[24] Colonel Richard Geoffrey Pine-Coffin (1908-1974) DSO & Bar, MC, born at Portledge, was a parachute officer of the British Army during World War II. The Pine-Coffin family until recently still possessed the advowson of Alwington Church, making it one of the most ancient lineages in Devon, albeit more recently via a female line, although the mansion of Portledge was converted into a hotel some time before 1959[25]and the estate of Portledge was sold in 1998, due to a dispute with the Inland Revenue.[26]

Historic estates


Within the manor and parish of Monkleigh is located the former historic estate ofAnnery. The post-Dissolution lords of the manor of Monkleigh had their main residence elsewhere outside the parish at Portledge, Alwington,[27] and thus Annery was the most important seat within the manor and the successive holders of it had their own chapel within the parish church, at the east end of the south aisle, known as the “Annery Chapel”.[13]


ellis island give me your huddled masses e plurubus unum


There are 2,079 COFFIN immigrants through Ellis island search:





Peter Coffin

Levi Coffin House – Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad

March 16, 2009

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – 3,000 Slaves passed through this house know as The Underground Railroad’s Grand Central Station

Levi Coffin House

A part of the legendary Underground Railroad for fleeing slaves of pre-Civil War days, this registered National Historic Landmark is a Federal style brick home built in 1839.

Hidden Room

Escaping slaves could be hidden in this small upstairs room and the beds moved in front of the door to hide its existence.

Levi and Catharine Coffin were legendary in helping many former slaves escape to freedom in the North. Levi is often referred to as the President of the Underground Railroad.

Life for a runaway slave was full of hazards. The journey to freedom meant traveling only a few miles at night, using the North Star as a map and trying to avoid search parties. Often, escaped slaves would hide in homes or on the property of antislavery supporters. These stops to freedom were called Underground Railroad stations because they resembled stops a train would make between destinations. “Underground” refers the the secret nature of the system.

To the thousand of escaped slaves, an eight-room Federal style brick home in Newport (Fountain City), Indiana, became a safe haven on their journey to Canada. Undergound Railroad RoutesThis was the home of

Wagon with hiding place.

Escaping slaves were well hidden for their travels in this wagon when grain bags were piled around the hiding area.
Levi and Catharine Coffin, North Carolina Quakers who opposed slavery. During the 20 years they lived in Newport, the Coffins helped more than 2,000 slaves reach safety.

In their flight, slaves used three main routes to cross into freedom: Madison and Jeffersonville, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio. From these points, the fugitives were taken to Newport. African-American Rag Doll – Click for larger view.Once in the house, the presence of the runaway slaves could be concealed for up to several weeks, until they gained enough strength to continue their journey.

So successful was the Coffin sanctuary that, while in Newport, not a single slave failed to reach freedom. One of the many slaves who hid in the Coffin home was “Eliza”, whose story is told in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In 1847, the Coffins moved to Cincinnati so that Levi could operate a wholesale warehouse which supplied goods to free labor stores.

The Coffin house was purchased in 1967 by the State of Indiana. The house was restored and then opened to the public in 1970. The site is a registered National Historic Landmark and is operated by the Levi Coffin House Association.

Levi Coffin

Catharine Coffin


uncle toms cabin harriet beecher stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Tubman 1820-1913.jpg

Harriet Tubman 1920-1913


Francis Parkman @ Hall of Fame for Great Americans

March 12, 2009


92. Francis Parkman

 Francis Parkman
Francis Parkman
1823-1893. Elected 1915.Historian. Wrote narrative history of the frontier rich in description. Best known for The Oregon Trail and Montcalm and Wolfe the letter dealing with French and Indian War.

Sculptor: Hermon A. MacNeil, 1929.


$_57 (1)

Commemorative coin minted 1971



The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is an outdoor sculpture gallery, located on the grounds of Bronx Community College in the BronxNew York City. Completed in 1900 as part of the University Heights campus of New York University,[2] the 630-foot (192 m) stone colonnade half-encircles the university library and houses 98 bronze portrait busts.[3] Designed by architect Stanford White (who also designed the library), the Beaux Arts structure was donated by Helen Gould, and was formally dedicated on May 30, 1901.[4]

The library and hall stand on the heights occupied by the British army in the autumn of 1776 during its successful attack upon Fort Washington. Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, Chancellor of New York University and originator of The Hall of Fame, once said:

“Lost to the invaders of 1776, this summit is now retaken by the goodly troop of ‘Great Americans’, General Washington their leader. They enter into possession of these Heights and are destined to hold them, we trust, forever.”[citation needed]

It was the first hall of fame in the United States.[7] “Fame” here means “renown” (rather than today’s more common meaning of “celebrity“).[8]Chancellor MacCracken, acknowledged inspiration from the Ruhmeshalle(Hall of Fame) in Munich, Germany.[9]

Other monuments of a similar purpose had been built earlier. King Ludwig I of Bavaria actually built two: a Walhalla Ruhmes- und Ehrenhalle near Regensburg, Germany, completed in 1842, and a Ruhmeshalle auf der Anhöhe (Bavarian Hall of Fame), in Munich, completed in 1853.[10][11]Chancellor McCracken described the evolution of the idea for the Hall of Fame:[9]

The Hall of Fame… owes its inception in large part to hard facts of physical geography. After the three buildings which were to form the west side of the quadrangle of the New York University College of Arts and Science at University Heights had been planned, it was decided, in order to enlarge the quadrangle, to push them as near as possible to the avenue above the Harlem River. But since the campus level is 170 feet above high tide, and from 40 to 60 feet above the avenue, it was seen at once that the basement stories would stand out towards the avenue bare and unsightly. In order to conceal their walls, a terrace was suggested by the architect, to be bounded at its outer edge by a parapet or colonnade.

But while aesthetics compelled the architect to invent the terrace with its parapet of colonnade, the university’s necessity compelled the discovery of an educational use for the architect’s structure. Like most persons who have visited Germany, the chairman was acquainted with the “Ruhmes Halle,” built near Munich by the King of Bavaria. Like all Americans, he admired the use made of Westminster Abbey, and of the Pantheon in Paris. But the American claims liberty to adopt new and broad rules to govern him, even when following on the track of his Old-World ancestors. Hence it was agreed that admission to this Hall of Fame should be controlled by a national body of electors, who might, as nearly as possible, represent the wisdom of the American people.


North wing of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans showing Alexander Graham Bell and Eli Whitney

The memorial structure is an open-air colonnade, 630 feet in length with space for 102 bronze sculptures, designed in the neoclassical style by architect Stanford White. The library is similar to Low Library at Columbia, designed by White’s partner Charles Follen McKim.[6] The colonnade also runs behind (west of) the Hall of Languages to the south, and the Hall of Philosophy to the north.[12]

Carved in stone on pediments of The Hall of Fame are the words “By wealth of thought, or else by mighty deed, They served mankind in noble character. In worldwide good they live forever more.”

The base to each sculpture holds a bronze tablet bearing the name of the person commemorated, significant dates, achievements and quotations. Each bronze bust must have been made specifically for The Hall of Fame and must not be duplicated within 50 years of its execution.

Recent yearsEdit

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is largely forgotten. For two decades before 1997, in fact, it lacked the funds to hold new elections or to commission busts of the people it elected, including Louis Brandeis, Clara Barton, Luther Burbank, and Andrew Carnegie. It took nineteen years to raise the $25,000 needed to commission the bust of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the late 1970s the state spent $3 million restoring the colonnade’s crumbling foundation; more recently, it spent another $200,000 to restore the 98 bronze busts, many of which had deteriorated badly. By that time private gifts, which were always the Hall of Fame’s primary source of support, had effectively ceased.

In 2001, Bronx Community College organized a US$1 million fund-raising effort to rebuild and expand the Hall of Fame.[13]


To be eligible for nomination, a person must have been a native born or naturalized (since 1914) citizen of the United States, must have been dead for 25 years (since 1922; from 1900 through 1920, a nominee had to be dead only 10 years) and must have made a major contribution to the economic, political, or cultural life of the nation. Nominees were elected by a simple majority vote, except from 1925 through 1940, when a 3/5 majority was required. In 1976 a point system replaced the majority vote. Two nominees, Constance Woolson(nominated in 1900) and Orville Wright (elected in 1965), were considered, although being dead only 6 and 17 years respectively.

“MacCracken wanted to make sure that the people enshrined in his Hall of Fame were truly famous, not just memorable. So he established a board of electors, composed of men and women who were themselves possessed of some measure of renown, ostensibly people of great character and sound judgment. Over the years that body would include the most respected writers, historians, and educators of their day, along with scores of congressmen, a dozen Supreme Court justices, and six Presidents; seven former electors have themselves been elected to the Hall of Fame. To ensure that nominees would be evaluated with adequate sobriety and perspective, it was decided that no one could be elected who had not been dead for at least twenty-five years. Everyone thought that was just fine; after all, as the old maxim holds, ‘Fame is a food that dead men eat’.”[14]

The Hall of Fame soon became a focal point for US national pride:

“It was a truly democratic institution — anyone could nominate a candidate, admission would be free, and although NYU served as a steward, raising funds and running the elections, the whole thing was technically the property of the American people.”
“…and people took it very, very seriously. Newspaper publishers used their editorial pages to lobby for or against nominees, and groups like the American Bar Association and the United Daughters of the Confederacy(helped elect “Stonewall” Jackson in 1955 and, without success, Jefferson Davis) waged extensive, expensive campaigns to get “their” candidates elected. Installation ceremonies were elaborate events. For a while the term “Hall of Famer” carried greater cachet than “Nobel laureate”, and a hilltop in the Bronx seemed, to many, the highest spot in the country, if not the world.”[15]

Classification of honoreesEdit

A floor tile at the Hall of Fame denoting the section set aside for busts of Teachers

The first 50 names were required to include representatives of a majority of 15 classes:

  • authors and editors
  • business men
  • inventors
  • missionaries and explorers
  • philanthropists and reformers
  • clergymen and theologians;
  • scientists
  • engineers and architects
  • lawyers and judges
  • musicians, painters, and sculptors
  • physicians and surgeons
  • politicians and statesmen
  • soldiers and sailors
  • teachers
  • distinguished men and women outside of these classes


Honoree Image Classification Year inducted Sculptor Notes
John Adams politicians and statesmen 1900 John Francis Paramino
John Quincy Adams politicians and statesmen 1905 Edmond Thomas Quinn
Jane Addams authors and editors 1965 Granville Carter
Louis Agassiz scientists 1915 Anna Hyatt Huntington
Susan B. Anthony philanthropists and reformers 1950 Brenda Putnam
John James Audubon musicians, painters and sculptors 1900 A. Stirling Calder
George Bancroft authors and editors 1910 Rudulph Evans
Clara Barton nurse, founder of the
American Red Cross
1976 bust unexecuted
Henry Ward Beecher clergymen and theologians 1900 J. Massey Rhind
Alexander Graham Bell inventors 1950 Stanley Martineau
Daniel Boone missionaries and explorers 1915 Albin Polasek
Edwin Booth Edwin Booth HoF jeh.jpg actor 1925 Edmond Thomas Quinn
Louis D. Brandeis lawyers and judges 1973 bust unexecuted
Phillips Brooks clergymen and theologians 1910 Daniel Chester French
William Cullen Bryant authors and editors 1910 Herbert Adams
Luther Burbank scientists 1976 bust unexecuted
Andrew Carnegie philanthropists and reformers 1976 bust unexecuted
George Washington Carver inventors 1973 Richmond Barthe
William Ellery Channing clergymen and theologians 1900 Herbert Adams
Rufus Choate teachers 1915 Hermon MacNeil
Henry Clay politicians and statesmen 1900 Robert Ingersoll Aitken
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) authors and editors 1920 Albert Humphreys
Grover Cleveland politicians and statesmen 1935 Rudulph Evans
James Fenimore Cooper authors and editors 1910 Victor Salvatore
Peter Cooper Peter Cooper HoF jeh.jpg inventors 1900 Chester Beach
Charlotte Cushman CharlotteCushmanHoF.jpg actress 1915 Frances Grimes
James Buchanan Eads engineers and architects 1920 Charles Grafly
Thomas Alva Edison inventors 1960 Bryant Baker
Jonathan Edwards clergymen and theologians 1900 Charles Grafly
Ralph Waldo Emerson RW Emerson HoF jeh.jpg authors and editors 1900 Daniel Chester French
David G. Farragut soldiers and sailors 1900 Charles Grafly
Stephen Foster musicians, painters and sculptors 1940 Walker Hancock
Benjamin Franklin politicians and statesmen 1900 Robert Ingersoll Aitken
Robert Fulton inventors 1900 Jean-Antoine Houdon
Josiah Willard Gibbs scientists 1950 Stanley Martineau
William C. Gorgas physicians and surgeons 1950 Bryant Baker
Ulysses S. Grant soldiers and sailors
rulers and statesmen
1900 James Earle Fraser &
Thomas Hudson Jones
Asa Gray scientists 1900 Chester Beach
Alexander Hamilton politicians and statesmen 1915 Giuseppe Ceracchi
Nathaniel Hawthorne N Hawthorne Hof jeh.jpg authors and editors 1900 Daniel Chester French
Joseph Henry scientists 1915 John Flanagan
Patrick Henry politicians and statesmen 1920 Charles Keck
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. lawyers and judges 1910 Edmond Thomas Quinn
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. lawyers and judges 1965 Joseph Kiselewski
Mark Hopkins Mark Hopkins HoF jeh.jpg teachers 1915 Hans Hoerbst
Elias Howe inventors 1915 Charles Keck
Washington Irving Washington Irving HoF jeh.jpg authors and editors 1900 Edward McCartan
Andrew Jackson politicians and statesmen 1910 Belle Kinney
Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson soldiers and sailors 1955 Bryant Baker bust removed 2017[16]
Thomas Jefferson politicians and statesmen 1900 Robert Ingersoll Aitken
John Paul Jones soldiers and sailors 1925 Charles Grafly
James Kent lawyers and judges 1900 Edmond Thomas Quinn
Sidney Lanier authors and editors 1945 Hans Schuler
Robert E. Lee soldiers and sailors 1900 George T. Brewster bust removed 2017[16]
Abraham Lincoln politicians and statesmen 1900 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Longfellow HoF jeh.jpg authors and editors 1900 Rudulph Evans
James Russell Lowell James R Lowell HoF jeh.jpg authors and editors 1905 Allan Clark
Mary Lyon teachers 1905 Laura Gardin Fraser first female inductees
Edward A. Macdowell musicians, painters and sculptors 1960 C. Paul Jennewein
James Madison politicians and statesmen 1905 Charles Keck
Horace Mann Horace Mann HoF jeh.jpg teachers 1900 Adolph Alexander Weinman
John Marshall lawyers and judges 1900 Herbert Adams
Matthew Fontaine Maury Mfmauryhofjeh.JPG scientists 1930 Frederick William Sievers
Albert A. Michelson scientists 1970 Elisabeth Gordon Chandler
Maria Mitchell scientists 1905 Emma F. Brigham first female inductees
James Monroe politicians and statesmen 1930 Hermon MacNeil
Samuel F. B. Morse inventors 1900 Chester Beach
William Thomas Morton physicians and surgeons 1920 Helen Farnsworth Mears
John Lothrop Motley authors and editors 1910 Frederick MacMonnies
Simon Newcomb scientists 1935 Frederick MacMonnies
Thomas Paine authors and editors 1945 Malvina Hoffman
Alice Freeman Palmer AliceFreemanPalmerHoF.jpg teachers 1920 Evelyn Beatrice Longman
Francis Parkman  092 authors and editors 1915 Hermon MacNeil
George Peabody George Peabody HoF jeh.jpg philanthropists and reformers 1900 Hans Schuler
William Penn Wmpennhofjeh.JPG politicians and statesmen 1935 A. Stirling Calder
Edgar Allan Poe authors and editors 1910 Daniel Chester French
Walter Reed physicians and surgeons 1945 Cecil Howard
Jackie Robinson athlete 1970 Chase Coomer first African-American inductee
Franklin D. Roosevelt politicians and statesmen 1973 Jo Davidson
Theodore Roosevelt politicians and statesmen 1950 Georg J. Lober
Augustus Saint-Gaudens musicians, painters and sculptors 1920 James Earle Fraser
William Tecumseh Sherman soldiers and sailors 1905 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
John Philip Sousa musicians, painters and sculptors 1973 Karl H. Gruppe
Joseph Story Joseph Story HoF jeh.jpg lawyers and judges 1900 Herbert Adams
Harriet Beecher Stowe HarrietBeecherStoweHoF.jpg authors and editors 1910 Brenda Putnam
Gilbert Stuart musicians, painters and sculptors 1900 Laura Gardin Fraser
Sylvanus Thayer soldiers and sailors 1965 Joseph Kiselewski
Henry David Thoreau ThoreauBust.jpg authors and editors 1960 Malvina Hoffman
Lillian Wald Lillian Wald HoF jeh.jpg nurse and author 1970 Eleanor Platt
Booker T. Washington teachers 1945 Richmond Barthe
George Washington politicians and statesmen 1900 Jean-Antoine Houdon only unanimous inductee
Daniel Webster politicians and statesmen 1900 Robert Ingersoll Aitken
George Westinghouse inventors 1955 Edmondo Quattrocchio
James McNeill Whistler musicians, painters and sculptors 1930 Frederick MacMonnies
Walt Whitman authors and editors 1930 Chester Beach
Eli Whitney inventors 1900 Chester Beach
John Greenleaf Whittier authors and editors 1905 Rudulph Evans
Roger Williams clergymen and theologians 1920 Hermon MacNeil
Emma Willard teachers 1905 Frances Grimes first female inductees
Frances E. Willard teachers 1910 Lorado Taft
Woodrow Wilson politicians and statesmen 1950 Walker Kirtland Hancock
Orville Wright Wright Bros Hall of Fame.jpg inventors 1965 Paul Fjelde
Wilbur Wright Wright Bros Hall of Fame.jpg inventors 1955 Vincent Glinsky

The busts for honorees inducted in 1976 (and Louis Brandeis) have not yet been executed.

South entrance

Nominees not electedEdit

In addition to Constance Woolson and Jefferson Davis the following people were among those nominated at least once but not elected:

Samuel AdamsLouisa May AlcottJohnny AppleseedChester A. ArthurSarah Franklin BacheHenry BarnardWilliam BeaumontJohn Shaw BillingsGeorge Caleb BinghamElizabeth BlackwellElena Petrovna BlavatskyBorden Parker BowneWilliam BrewsterWilliam Austin BurtHorace BushnellJohn C. CalhounAlice CaryFrederick Edwin ChurchGeorge Rogers ClarkGeorge M. CohanCalvin CoolidgeJohn Singleton CopleyDorothea DixPaul DunbarAmelia EarhartWyatt EarpJohn EliotHenry FordJames A. GarfieldWilliam Lloyd GarrisonLou GehrigHenry GeorgeHorace GreeleySarah Josepha Buell HaleWarren G. HardingBenjamin HarrisonWilliam Henry HarrisonCharles Evans HughesRichard M. HoeJohn IrelandHelen Hunt JacksonWilliam JamesJohn JayAndrew JohnsonAl JolsonChief JosephAdoniram JudsonJoyce KilmerFiorello La GuardiaKarl LandsteinerGilbert N. LewisCrawford LongHuey LongCyrus McCormickRobert McCormickEphraim McDowellCharles Follen McKimWilliam McKinleyOttmar MergenthalerS. Weir MitchellLucretia MottBenjamin PeirceWendell PhillipsHiram PowersWill RogersBabe RuthSacagaweaJacob SchiffElizabeth SetonLydia Huntley SigourneyMatthew SimpsonJohn StevensRobert L. StevensNikola TeslaBenjamin ThompsonJudah TouroPaul M. WarburgMartha WashingtonMary Ball WashingtonFrancis WaylandNoah WebsterWilliam Henry WelchHenry Wheaton, and Theodore Dwight Woolsey.[17]


Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were removed from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in August 2017 by order of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.[16]

Parkman Cattle Co., Montgomery, AL

March 12, 2009



Dean & Brenda Parkman, founders

14134 Troy Hwy, Montgomery, AL 36052
PHONE NUMBER: (334) 281-3522


Brenda Parkman of The Parkman Cattle Company, Montgomery, AL & I at the Parkman Reunion, Rocky Point Farm, Salem, AL.



The Parkman Line & Parkman Reunion at Robert Parkman’s Rocky Point Farm, Salem, AL 2006 (Daniel & Theresa Parkman are front row @ right side with light blue and black shirts).


Francis Parkman Library – Detroit, MI

March 12, 2009

Detroit Public Library, Parkman Branch A.jpg

Francis Parkman historian

Francis Parkman Branch Library
Detroit Public Library

1766 Oakman Boulevard

This attractive Tudor-style library building was opened on April 16, 1931.  The Detroit Public Library located it here to serve the rapidly growing upper middle class neighborhoods that lined Oakman Boulevard near Linwood.  It was designed during Detroit’s decade of most substantial population growth.  The interior is timbered consistent with its Tudor exterior. A great deal of attention was paid to locating this building on its site and to landscaping its campus. It was the eighteenth branch library opened by the Detroit Public Library system.

This library honors the accomplishments of Francis Parkman who was, arguably, the nation’s most prominent Nineteenth Century historian studying the contest between the English and the French to dominant North America.  Since the Detroit area was a major theater for that conflict, it is appropriate to recognize his achievements in the Motor City.

Parkman’s great grandfather graduated from Harvard in 1821.  His grandfather became a highly successful merchant and that was the source, I believe, of the family’s fortune.  Francis Parkman’s father, also a Harvard graduate, was a prominent Boston Unitarian minister. Born in Boston in 1823, Parkman graduated from Harvard in 1844 with a very strong interest in history.  He immediately traveled to the West Coast and wrote a book about the overland trails that then connected California and Oregon to the rest of the United States.  Then he took up the endeavor that occupied much of the rest of his long life—the study of how the English were able to eventually expel the French from North America.  He wrote at least seven volumes on this topic, but I believe that the individual volumes are often seen as distinct books addressing specific issues such as the French exploration of the Great Lakes. Parkman spent time in and around Detroit interviewing people whose ancestors had first-hand information about the contest between the European powers.  He also recognized that Indians could contribute to his understanding since various tribes were recruited as allies by both the French and English.  He interviewed Indians in Michigan and in western states to augment his knowledge of what had happened a century or more earlier.  In 1851, he published A History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac, describing the briefly successful efforts of Pontiac and his warriors in the early 1760s.  Parkman also published a volume describing LaSalle’s expeditions in the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley.

Parkman had an interesting career.  He published at least one novel but it was not acclaimed.  He became interested in roses and published about them.  Indeed, he amassed so much knowledge that he was appointed to teach horticulture at Harvard for several years in the 1870s.  He also had an interest in photography.  In the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, there was much agreement that American Indians would quite soon disappear.  Their death rates appeared to be very high and those who observed them saw their population steadily decrease in size.  Quite a number of photographers, including Francis Parkman, sought out Indians to photograph in their native dress and habitat.  I believe that many of his photographs have been preserved.  Although Parkman was seriously ill at several points in his life, he reached age 70.

Twentieth-century historians who specialize in the history of the colonies write extensively about Parkman’s work.  Almost every decade, a large new book is published reviewing Parkman’s endeavors.  It is not that his work is seen as inaccurate.  More recent scholarship may lead to different interpretations of some of the events and people that Francis Parkman described.  Some critics, writing from the perspective of the Civil Rights era, presume that Parkman was too strongly influenced by the cultural values of the Nineteen Century that deprecated the abilities and contributions of Roman Catholics and American Indians.

The Parkman Library was shuttered on March 31, 2010 for a renovation.

Architect: Marcus Burrowes and Frank Eurich
Date of construction 1930 and 1931
Architectural style:  Tudor
Use in 2010: This branch of the Detroit Public Library is temporarily closed for remodeling.
City of Detroit Designated Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places: Not listed
Photograph: Ren Farley; July 22, 2010
Description prepared: August, 2010,%20Parkman%20Branch.html



The Parkman Branch opened at its present location on April 16, 1931. It is named in honor of the American historian, Francis Parkman. This branch was the eighteenth in the Detroit Library system and the second to be designed according to a regional plan. The building is situated on a triangular site and the interior features the half-timbered early Tudor style.

Some of the special services and programs this branch offers include a computer lab, a substantial African-American collection for children and adults, popular fiction and non-fiction books, and the Friends of Parkman Branch, which has been active for several decades.


Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Parsonage of 1750 in Historic District Westborough, MA

March 11, 2009


Parkman parsonage history:



Parkman parsonage photo 2015

Parkman Parsonage Historic District

Westborough’s Historic District, known as the Parkman Parsonage Historic District, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

It was officially the third of three boundary extensions to the original West Main Street Historic District which was listed in 1987. This significant and interesting area extends the district to include the cohesive collection of well-preserved historic homes important to the community development of the historic center of Westborough. This particular area is significant for its association with the development of Westborough Center from a rural agricultural village to the commercial, industrial, and civic focus for the town. As the community developed and experienced a large economic change from farming to manufacturing, there was dense development around the town center. The area of the Parkman Parsonage Historic District was definitely part of that aspect of Westborough’s history.

The Parkman Parsonage Historic District includes portions of East Main Street, High Street, Lincoln Street, Milk Street, Prospect and Spring Streets. A plaque at the corner of East Main Street and High Street marks a southeastern boundary of the area. Within its boundaries, there are 75 properties, and all but one of the principal buildings are currently residences. In addition to the historic houses, there are also many historic barns and garages in the area.

The large majority (80 percent) of the buildings were built in the second half of the 19th century, reflecting the rapid development around the bustling town center. The houses in the area were primarily for the business owners, merchants, factory workers, tradesmen, and others in the emerging industrial and manufacturing businesses of Westborough. By the end of the century, most of the lots had been developed and construction slowed.

Based on the architecture, the significance of the area spans the period from 1750 to 1959. There are examples of a wide range of architectural types, from Colonial to Bungalow/Craftsman.

The oldest building, a colonial era dwelling, is the Rev. Ebenezer Parkman Parsonage, for which this district is named. It is the only 18th century structure in the area. Built for Rev. Parkman after the new meetinghouse was erected in 1749, it was located near the meetinghouse on the corner of High Street and East Main Street. The parsonage was built in 1750. Dr. William Curtis moved it to its current location, up the hill to 11 High St., in 1867. The photo shows the Parkman Parsonage today at its present location. Rev. Parkman was the first ordained minister for Westborough, and ministered from 1724 until his death in 1789. He is noted for two published works in his lifetime and a short account of the town. It is recognized that the community prospered under his guidance, and he was truly a significant figure in the history of Westborough.

The Parkman parsonage at 11 High St, Westborough, MA is a single family home that contains 3,313 sq ft and was built in 1750. It contains 8 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. This home last sold for $252,000 in August 1995. The Zestimate for this house is $594,284 in 2017.


Parkman Pedigree, Family Groups & 55,599 Ancestors

March 9, 2009

my heritage logo.jpg

Ancestry Logo.jpg

pedigree charts

family tree pedigree

Direct link to Parkman Genealogy with 55,599 Ancestors on my GEDCOM / PAF searchable database:

Parkman Progenitors totaling 55,599 ancestors in GEDCOM format with Pedigree Charts and Family Groups click on the ParkmanPAF.paf GEDCOM file uploaded:
Parkman Family Bible:*,0,0

Tristram Coffin House (1678) Newbury MA

March 9, 2009


Tristram Coffin house early photo date unknown

tristram coffin house


tristram coffin house newbury 3

Tristram Coffin House 14 High Road Newbury MA built 1678

Tristram Coffin, Jr. House, 14 High Street, Newbury (Newburyport), MA

Coffin House – now a MUSEUM

1678-1712: Tristram and Judith: First Generation

The significance of the Coffin House lies partly in the age of the original building but more importantly in the way in which it reveals how a home, built in 1678, grew and changed over the years to accommodate the needs of six generations of one family. The earliest part of the house, the southwest ell, is an example of what is known in New England as First Period or Post-Medieval style.

When Tristram Coffin Jr. came to Newbury with his parents, siblings, aunts, and grandmother in 1643, it was a frontier settlement with Indian tribes nearby, wild animals, few roads, and most travel by water. In 1642 there were only 455 people living in Newbury. The town’s economy was primarily a combination of agriculture and husbandry. There was a limited number of artisans and manufacturers. Some of the earliest were weavers, tanners, and shoemakers.

The Coffin family was originally from Devonshire, England, and was somewhat prominent there. Tristram Coffin Sr. was a royalist during the English Civil War. He chose to leave England when the king was deposed and Oliver Cromwell installed. In 1646, the family, with the exception of the two older sons, Peter and Tristram, emigrated, eventually settling on Nantucket. Peter, the eldest son, left for New Hampshire, leaving fourteen-year-old Tristram Jr. the only remaining Coffin in Newbury. It is possible that Tristram was indentured to a local tradesman, as was common. It is also possible that his master was Henry Somerby, whose twenty-eight-year-old widow Judith married the twenty-one-year-old Tristram in 1654.

It was long believed that Tristram brought his young bride to the Coffin House in 1654. However, conclusive dendrochronology has since proven this house to date from 1678. Because we know that Judith inherited a substantial house and many possessions from her first husband, it is assumed that the Coffins set up housekeeping in another house on the lower green near the Parker River. It was in the other house that Judith and Tristram raised their ten children and her three Somerby children as well.

Thus the question remains – why would forty-six-year-old Tristram and fifty-three-year-old Judith move house to the upper green? We know that she still owned the Somerby house in 1705, the year she died. The clue may lie in the death of three of her sons, all in adolescence or early adulthood, in the years preceding the 1678 building of this house. Enoch and Joseph Coffin died in 1675 and 1677 respectively, and her only surviving male Somerby child, Daniel, was killed by Narragansett Indians during King Phillip’s War in 1676. Because Daniel stood to inherit a substantial portion of his late father’s estate, his death made a great deal of land available to the Coffins. With only four children still at home, devastated by the loss of three of their sons, the Coffins left the house in which they had begun their married life, and moved to a small house on the upper green, to land that was most likely slated to pass to Daniel Somerby. We also know that two of the Coffin daughters began married life on October 31, 1677, further reducing the household.

The upper green in Newbury grew rapidly in the 1660s and 1670s as the sons and daughters of the first settlers built homesteads on what had been their parents’ pasture land. Stephen Swett built the house at 4 High Road in 1670, and the Atkinson house on the upper green was built in 1664. The carpenters who built all of these houses adapted the Post-Medieval building style and methods of England to the growing population of Newbury and the more severe climate of New England.

The original Coffin House, or part of it, survives today as the back section, except for the small addition on the southwest corner, which was added in the nineteenth century. Typical of early New England buildings, the main facade faced south to take maximum advantage of the sun’s warmth in winter. There may have been a porch with a chamber above off the south side of the house originally.

1712-1785: Nathaniel, Joseph, and Joshua: Growth and Change

Tristram Jr. and Judith lived in the house until they died in 1704 and 1705 respectively. The house and land were inherited by their youngest son, Nathaniel, who had remained at home with his aging parents. In 1693 he had brought his bride, Sarah, to live in the house. Nathaniel and Sarah had eight children (all but one lived to adulthood), five of whom were born before the deaths of Tristram and Judith. In 1712, the Coffins added the front range to the house. This large and imposing addition faced the High Road and also demonstrates important changes in Newbury in the eighteenth century. The road out front was so developed by this time that houses were reoriented to face it, clearly not the case when the older part of the house was built in 1678. It included refinements such as plaster between the ceiling joists in the southeast chamber and a chamfered roof frame. The house may well have also had a plaster cove cornice along the High Road facade. This elegant feature, introduced in the 1690s, was found in several other substantial Newbury houses built in the period, including the Benaiah Titcomb house and the Pillsbury house. At the time the addition was created, the chimney bay in the ell was made wider and the chimney rebuilt to include fireplaces facing both ways.

Nathaniel, like his father, appears to have combined a variety of activities in order to support his family. On many documents, such as land deeds, Nathaniel is listed as a merchant-tailor, as was his father. However, family account books indicate that he started the tanning business that would sustain the family into the 1800s. Like his father, he was prominent in Newbury affairs. He was a deacon of his church, he served the colony beyond the town as a representative to the General Court in 1719-1721, was Councillor to the Province in 1730, and Justice of the Peace in 1734.

In 1725, Nathaniel’s son Joseph brought home his bride Margaret to set up housekeeping, and the house saw the start of another generation. When Joseph and Margaret moved in, Joseph’s parents and three of his siblings were still living there. Margaret and Joseph had eight children (six survived to adulthood). Joseph and his son, Joshua, like the generations before them, engaged in a variety of activities to sustain the family. They continued in the tanning business, but also maintained tillage land, orchards, pasture, and livestock.

Both Nathaniel and Joseph were active in the local community. They held the office of Newbury town clerk consecutively from 1711 to 1773. The town’s population continued to grow. The first census, taken in 1765, indicates that the town’s population had reached 2,960. The town was an important agricultural community, but manufacturing enterprises were growing.

In 1755, Joseph’s son Joshua married Sarah Bartlett and brought his bride back to the house where his parents continued to live. Joshua and Sarah had twelve children (eight survived to adulthood). Joshua and Sarah also took in apprentices. Historic New England has a copy of the 1772 indenture between a Daniel Mitchell of Wells, Maine, and the Coffins. The agreement is that the Coffins will teach Daniel “the art, trade, and mastery of a tanner…during the term of 5 years, seven months, and 75 days..and also to learn him to read and write legibly…and at expiration of term give him 2 good suits of apparel for all parts of his body, one for the Lord’s day, the other for working days.”

In 1785, the house which had for so many years seen three generations living as one family was legally divided. Edmund Coffin, one of Joshua’s two sons, reached twenty-one and wanted his share of his deceased father’s estate. Consequently, a division was made first between the two sons and their widowed mother, and after her death in 1798, between the two sons. Each had exclusive use of certain rooms, stairways, and cellars with right of passage through some of the other rooms. The “families” lived separately under one roof, using different kitchens and entertaining rooms. The house remained divided this way through the last generation of Coffins to occupy the house.

1785-1893: Lucy and Joshua: Divided Spaces

Edmund and Joseph Coffin legally divided the Coffin house in 1785, and it was their children, Joshua (1792-1864) and Lucy (1811-1893), who lived in their separate spaces through most of the nineteenth century. Joshua graduated from Dartmouth College in 1817 and taught school for many years, numbering among his pupils the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who addressed to him a poem entitled “To My Old School-Master.” Coffin was ardent in the cause of emancipation, and was one of the founders of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832, serving as its first recording secretary.

He published A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury from 1635 to 1845, genealogies of the Woodman, Little, and Toppan families, and magazine articles. As an adult, Coffin lived for a time in the downstairs southwest room of the house. Meanwhile, Joshua’s first cousin Lucy lived her whole life in the front range of the house, becoming the sole resident after the marriage of her mother in 1858.

1929-Present: Becoming a Museum

After Lucy Coffin’s death in 1893, the house passed to her sister Elizabeth’s children. The family was well aware of the importance of a house that had remained so unchanged and in the same family for so many years, but was not interested in living in the house. A series of tenants and family members lived in the house for brief periods, but in 1929, Lucy’s niece, Margaret (Coleman) Merriam, who had inherited both sides of the house, made the decision to give the house to Historic New England.

Tristram Coffin Jr house 14 High Road Newbury Mass built 1678 now museum

Tristram Coffin House 14 High Road Newbury MA built 1678.png



tristram coffin house newbury mass

The Coffin House is a historic Colonial American house, currently estimated to have been constructed circa 1678. It is located at 14 High Road, Newbury, Massachusetts and operated as a non-profit museum by Historic New England. The house is open on the first and third Saturday of the month from June through October.

The house began in 1678 as a simple structure of two or possibly three rooms on land owned by Tristram Coffin, Jr. About 1713 the house was more than doubled in size, with new partitions added. In 1785, two Coffin brothers legally divided the structure into two separate dwellings, each with its own kitchen and living spaces. The property remained within the Coffin family until acquired by Historic New England in 1929.

Although the house was traditionally dated to 1654 (by Joshua Coffin, author of the 1845 history of Newbury), recent scientific studies have provided more accurate estimates. In 2002, the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory[1] analyzed wooden beams from the structure and ascertained that donor trees were felled in winter 1676–1677 and 1677–1678 for the original structure, and winter 1712–1713 for the addition. This revised dating means that the Coffin House may no longer be the earliest example of the principal rafter/common purlin roof, although even so it is certainly one of the oldest extant examples. Coffin House is owned by Historic New England.

Captain William Trask & Roger Conant in 1626 “Old Planters” Founders of Salem, MA – kinfolk

March 8, 2009

Salem MA founder Roger Conant.jpg

Roger Conant, founder of Salem, MA

My father-in-law of sister-in-law of 3rd cousin 7x removed.

Birth: 1592, England
Death: Nov. 19, 1679
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA

Roger Conant founded Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. On June 17,1913 a statue was built and dedicated to him and is still standing in Salem today. Conant built the first Salem house on what today is Essex Street.Son of Richard Conant and Agnes Clark(e)
Conant Christianed 09 Apr 1591 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England
Husband of (1) unknown and (2) Sarah Horton, married 11 Nov 1618 at St. Ann, Blackfriars, London, England
Father of Sarah (died young), Caleb, Lott, Sarah, Joanna, Roger, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth and Exercise (a son)
Sailed 1623 on ship “Ann” from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts

His suspected burial place is Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, but it has never been determined with certainty.

Family links:
Richard Conant (1548 – 1630)
Agnes Clarke Conant (1548 – 1630)

Sarah Horton Conant (1598 – 1670)*

Sarah Conant (1619 – 1620)*
Caleb Conant (1622 – 1633)*
Sarah Conant Leach (1623 – ____)*
Lot Conant (1624 – 1674)*
Joanna Conant (1626 – ____)*
Roger Conant (1628 – 1672)*
Joshua Conant (1630 – 1659)*
Mary Conant Dodge (1631 – 1688)*
Elizabeth Conant (1635 – ____)*
Exercise Conant (1636 – 1722)*

*Calculated relationship

Burying Point Cemetery
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Created by: Mindy Alarcon
Record added: Aug 29, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5725134


elizabeth montgomery bewitched statue salem witch hunt.jpg

Salem Witch Hunt Statue of Elizabeth Montgomery from tv show “Bewitched”

Salem was founded in 1626 by Roger Conant and a group of immigrants from Cape Ann. At first the settlement was named Naumkeag, but the settlers preferred to call it Salem, derived from the Hebrew word for peace. In 1628, they were joined by another group, led by John Endecott, from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Salem, located at the mouth of the Naumkeag river at the site of an ancient Native American village and trading center, was first settled by Europeans in 1626, when a company of fishermen from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant arrived. Conant’s leadership had provided the stability to survive the first two years, but he was immediately replaced by John Endecott, one of the new arrivals, by order of the Massachusetts Bay Company. These “New Planters” and the “Old Planters” agreed to cooperate, in large part due to the diplomacy of Conant and Endicott. In recognition of this peaceful transition to the new government, the name of the settlement was changed to Salem, a hellenized form of the word for “peace” in Arabic سلام (salaam) and Hebrew שלום (shalom). Samuel Skelton was the first pastor of the First Church of Salem, which is the original Puritan church in North America.

Salem included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Most of the accused in the Salem witch trials lived in nearby “Salem Village”, now known as Danvers, although a few lived on the outskirts of Salem. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of present-day Beverly. Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea were once parts of Salem.

William Hathorne was a prosperous businessman in early Salem and became one of its leading citizens of the early colonial period. He led troops to victory in King Philip’s War, served as a magistrate on the highest court, and was chosen as the first speaker of the House of Deputies. He was a zealous advocate of the personal rights of freemen against royal emissaries and agents.

1630 (Signified A Desire To Take The Oath)

Among those who arrived with Endecott on the Abigail in Salem, 1628:

Brackenbury, Brown, Davenport, Elford, Endecott, Gott, Laskin, Leach, Maurie/Morey, Puckett, Scruggs, Trask.

Immigrant logo

18. Captain William Trask immigrated from England & was Militia Captain of the Pequod War.

My 9th Great Grandfather.

Captain William Trask.jpg

Birth: 1585
East Coker
South Somerset District
Somerset, England
Death: May 16, 1666
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA

He was a fisherman who came with the Dorchester Company to Cape Ann in 1624. He came on the Zouch Phenix from Weymouth, England. When the Dorchester Company folded they offered the fisherman the opportunity to return to England. He, along with others moved down the Massachusetts coastline to a place the Indians called “Maumkeg.” It later became a charter for the settlement. It became known as “The Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.” In 1629, he was a member of the First Church in Salem. On October 19, 1630, he petitioned the court to be a freeman. On November 7, 1632, he appointed, along with seven others, to set boundaries between Roxbury and Dorchester. In 1634 he was made a Captain in the Militia.Family links:
Henry Trask (1630 – 1683)**Calculated relationship
Burying Point Cemetery
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 42.52049, -70.89235
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Jul 08, 2016
Find A Grave Memorial# 166645167

128.William Trask427,428,429,430, born 1589 in East Coker, Somerset, England431,432; died May 16, 1666 in Salem, Massachusetts433.He was the son of 256. Nicholas Traske.He married 129. Sarah ? 1636 in Salem, Massachusetts434.
129.Sarah ?434,435, born Abt. 1608436; died Abt. 1667 in Salem, MA436.

Notes for William Trask:
The descendants of Captain William Trask, of Salem, Mass. form another branch of the Harris Family Tree.Bessie Trask (1844-1919), who married Arthur Welsford Harris (1871-1941), is a direct descendant of Capt. Trask.
Captain William Trask came to North America in 1624 as a passenger on the Zouch Phenix out of Weymouth, England.This ship was commissioned by the Dorchester Company to establish a community at Cape Ann, Mass.A group of fourteen had remained one year earlier, and the Zouch Phenix left another thirty-two, including William Trask.Cape Ann was not a good site, and the following year a new settlement was established down the coast at Salem.William Trask was one of the founders of Salem, and closely identified with the growth and development of its early settlement.He was active in the civil, military and church life of his community.
Apparently, his wife Sarah was living at the time of his death in 1666, although this doesn’t seen to be consistent with reference to a second wife.
They had six children, and it is through their fourth, William Trask, that we trace our family.He seems to have married a second time, and had two other children.
The Historical Context
In the early years of the seventeenth century England was state of turmoil.Circumstances in the reign of James I (1603-1625) were such that the King and the people were in constant opposition.This antagonism rose from religious, financial and military friction.Parliament no sooner convened than it was dissolved by the King when he didn’t get his own way.Men chafed under such rule and this in part resulted in the emigration of thousands of Puritans and the eventual flight of the Pilgrim Fathers to Holland and America.Despite high hopes when Charles I (1625-1639) succeeded his father, and the prevailing optimistic view that things would improve, Charles proved to be devious indeed and things went from bad to worse for the merchants, the military and the professional men of the towns.
There were problems in New England as well.The trek of English fishermen all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and back every season became more unsatisfactory as their facilities on the New England coast became more sophisticated.It was proving to be expensive to abandon small boats, drying flakes, salting and smoking apparatus, not to mention the enormous amount of time spent on the Atlantic coming and going.Therefore a permanent year-round colony with a settled population, which in addition would give proper attention to religious and civil matters, was regarded as a desirable solution by both businessmen and the liberal element of the Puritan Party in England.
The Dorchester Company
Great emphasis was placed on religion and this was really the incentive which compelled the energetic and far-sighted Rev. John White of Dorchester, England to devote his efforts to the organizing of this new colony.His concept differed from that of the Plymouth Colony as he considered separation from the Church of England to be evil and his colony was to be a place of refuge for men of moderate views.The Dorchester Company was the result of his successful promotion of this idea among the clergy and merchants.It was founded under a grant (or patent) from the Council for New England.Cape Ann was selected for the location of the new settlement.
The Dorchester Company was a joint stock company with a capital of some three thousand pounds.It had 121 members: 50 gentry from Dorset, 6 from Devon, 30 merchants mostly from Dorchester, 20 clergy, several widows and small businessmen, all with Puritan tendencies.It was responsible for sending out the people who would grow corn, hunt for venison, fish and foul and provide a settlement for the fishing industry.Roger Conant was the first governor.No doubt the company was the talk of the whole west country due the publicity circulated on the subject by its booster John White.
Since William Trask’s home was in Somerset near the border of Dorset, he would have heard of the Dorchester Company very easily.He was in his early thirties and no doubt already established by the time he heard of the Company’s plan to take Englishmen to Massachusetts.Evidence exists that he that he may have gone to Delft in Holland in 1623, perhaps to size up the Pilgrims.He made sure that he became part of that early phase of the Dorchester Company.Had he remained in England he would have had a rough time of it in view of what we know of his subsequent activities in Salem.He emerges as an outspoken citizen, soldier, politician and petitioner for all sorts of things.Today he would probably be writing letters to the editor.
Although the fishing connection was not very successful, the nucleus of a colony was nevertheless planted in New England.Ships had left 14 men at Cape Ann in 1623, 32 men in 1624, including William Trask.He came in the spring along with 14 others on the Zouch Phenix from Weymouth, England.
After a year, however, the original company back in England (often called the Adventurers) became discouraged to the point of dissolving the Dorchester Company, thus ending their connection to the Cape Ann Colony.All wages were to be paid and anyone who desired would be brought home to England.At this point Roger Conant and several others including William Trask moved to a more congenial site located slightly down the Massachusetts coast.Fortunately this proved to more suitable for farming and for a permanent settlement.It was called Maumkeg by the Indians.We know it as Salem.
Back in England John White was determined to continue his support and wrote promising a new patent to the group if they would stay on. For awhile the new name was the Joint Adventurers for Settling of Plantation in New England. Those who remained in Massachusetts were henceforth designated ‘the Old Planters’ and eventually were granted choice farm lands.
By the summer of 1627 the new community was thriving but the promised patent had not arrived.So John Woodberry (or Woodbury) and William Trask returned to England to obtain it.This explains why William travelled to New England twice.John Woodberry brought his family on his return, but there is no evidence as to when Sarah Trask, William’s wife, came to Salem.
John Endicott was chosen as the new agent to succeed Conant who nevertheless remained in Salem.The Company’s new name evolved into “New England Company for a Plantation in Massachusetts Bay” but this did not seem to catch on so they tried “The Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England”.This list of titles may thus be recognized as really the same company in different guises and need not cause confusion.
The writings of Gwen Trask provide a chronology of events of William Trask, which are incorporated into the above notes, or as follows.
In 1629 William was member of the First Church of Salem, and on 19 October 1630 petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts to be made a freeman.He took the oath the following May.That he was literate becomes apparent as many papers written and signed by him are accessible.He seems to have been a responsible citizen and as early as 7 November 1632 he was appointed (with several others) by the general court to set boundaries between Dorchester and Roxbury.1634 found William Trask on the committee to superintend the construction of fortifications and he was made captain of the Militia this year, in charge of the military defence of Salem.He was always regarded as a military man and was called Captain.
In 1635 Roger Conant, William Trask and three others were appointed overseers of land to set the boundaries of Newbury.This was also the year, the first of four, that he was elected Deputy from Salem to the General Court of Massachusetts.Also in 1635, five farms of 200 acres each at Bass River were granted to the ‘old planters’, one of whom was William Trask.He was sent to ‘apprehend rogues’ and overtook them at Piscataqua.He figured conspicuously in the Piquod War and served in the then wilds of Connecticut with the Eastern Regiment under the command of John Endicott, Col. andJohn Winthrop, Lieut. Col.; asWilliam Trask, Muster Master.
In 1637 William Trask laid out a farm for Mr. Humphrey, Deputy Governor.
He held the position of Captain of Militia in charge of the defence of Salem for ten years when the following directive was set down: “The chief military officer of the band should inhabit in or near the harbour and considering Captain Trask who hath been many years their chief officer dwells so remote from that part of the town as he cannot be helpful upon any such suden occasion, doth hereby discharge him of that office with due acknowledgement of his faithfil and former good service to the country.”This ties in with information regarding his homestead being being in what is now Danvers and a good way inland from the harbour side of Salem.
Captain Trask had several grants of land from the town in addition to the one of 200 acres.In 1636 he erected a mill for grinding corn on the North River at a place later called Frye’s Mills.In 1640 he had permission from the town to set up a tide mill and a fulling mill near his grist mill.On 6 June 1639 William Trask was specially mentioned and received 200 acres “in regard of much service”.Then in 1658 he was granted 400 acres in Pequod County (Pequot or Pequod is now New London, Connecticut).
On 8 June 1657 seats in the Meeting House were assigned to prominent persons for the first time : “Sergeant Porter should sit in the same seat with Captain Trask.”On 22 March 1658: “The foreseat in the gallery apart for William Trask (among several others).”
In 1661 in his 74th year he sent a petition on behalf of his associates in the Pequod War for recompense.This and many other legal papers related to William’s extremely full life are preserved in the Massachusetts Archives in the State House, Boston.His handwriting and style of expression could easily defeat even his most eager descendant at first reading but once one gets the key, the archaic spelling and structure become relatively readable.
At age 77, William died on 16 May 1666 and was buried with military honours.The Trask Burying Grounds was so called because it was next to the Trask Homestead and Captain Trask was probably buried in it (attempts to locate it in recent years have been unsuccessful).
He was survived by his wife, Sarah, whether the first Sarah, mother of the first five or six children or a second Sarah who may have been the mother of the last two or three is not certain.It is sure, however, that the first Sarah was the mother of William, thus the ancestor of the Nova Scotia Trasks.
More About William Trask:
Baptised: Dec 14, 1585, East Coker, Somerset, England436
Burial: The Trask Burying Grounds
More About William Trask and Sarah ?:
Marriage: 1636, Salem, Massachusetts437

Children of William Trask and Sarah ? are:

i. Sarah Trask438, born Jan 01, 1634/35 in Salem, MA438; died Dec 26, 1696 in Boston, MA.438; married Elias Parkman Oct 13, 1656 in Salem, Mass.438; born Nov 05, 1635 in Dorchester, England; died Aug 18, 1691 in Wapping, London, England439.
More About Elias Parkman and Sarah Trask:
Marriage: Oct 13, 1656, Salem, Mass.440
ii. Mary Trask440,441, born Nov 01, 1636 in Salem, MA; married (1) John Loomis Oct 13, 1656 in Salem, Mass.441; died Abt. 1685 in Salem, MA441; married (2) Daniel Batter Bef. 1685.
More About Mary Trask:
Baptised: Jan 01, 1636/37


More About Daniel Batter and Mary Trask:
Marriage: Bef. 1685
iii. Susanna Trask442, born Jun 10, 1638 in Salem, MA; married Samuel Aborne Feb 19, 1663/64.
More About Susanna Trask:
Baptised: Oct 1638


More About Samuel Aborne and Susanna Trask:
Marriage: Feb 19, 1663/64
64 iv. William Trask, born Jul 19, 1640 in Salem, Essex, Mass.; died Jun 30, 1691 in Salem, Essex, Mass; married (1) Ann Lynn Putnam Jan 18, 1666/67 in Salem, Massachusetts; married (2) Anna ? Aft. Nov 1676.
v. John Trask442,443, born Jul 13, 1642 in Salem, MA; died Nov 29, 1729 in Salem, MA443; married Abigail Parkman Feb 19, 1661/62 in Salem, Mass.443; born Abt. 1646 in Windsor, CT; died Abt. Aug 08, 1677 in Salem, MA.
More About John Trask:
Baptised: Sep 18, 1642, Salem, Mass.


More About John Trask and Abigail Parkman:
Marriage: Feb 19, 1661/62, Salem, Mass.443
vi. Elizabeth Trask444, born Jul 21, 1645.
More About Elizabeth Trask:
Baptised: Sep 24, 1645


trask family desk sothebys auction N08710-225-lr-1.jpg

This one-drawer chest descended in the Trask family of Salem and was probably originally commissioned by John Trask (1678-1737) around the time of his marriage to Hannah Osborne (1679-1721). It descended through three generations of their family to William Blake Trask (1812-1906), who donated the piece to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in 1902. An article by William published a year earlier shows the chest in the Boston Street house in Salem of his great-great-great grandfather, William (1640-1691), one of the founders of Salem. Another one-drawer chest attributed to the Symonds shop may have originally been owned by Hannah Osborne Trask or her brother John Osborne (1671-1744) (see Willoughby, fig. 9, p. 177). A genealogical chart showing possible lines of descent for these two chests is illustrated in Willoughby, fig. 6, p. 175.

A Flag, a Cross and a Sword

by Robert F. Huber

The Shallop Elizabeth Tilley flying the flag of St. George

The Shallop Elizabeth Tilley flying the flag of St. George

When the Howland Society’s shallop sailed from Plymouth to Maine in August 2003 the tiny ship was flying the flag of St. George — the flag created a furor in the early days of New England.

It wasn’t a pretty flag — a red cross emblazoned on a field of white — but it did belong to the king of England and was used by the Royal Navy. The trouble was that it had been given to the king by the Pope as a talisman of victory.

The trouble erupted on a cold October day in 1634. Captain William Trask was drilling his train-band in the fundamentals of military operations. Onlookers in Salem saw the men carrying the flag proudly.

John Endecott who had been the first governor of the settlement at Salem saw it and was horrified.

He believed that the red cross… “was a superstitious thing and a relic of antichrist.”

Roger Williams, the outspoken Plymouth preacher, supported Endecott’s contention that the flag “savored of popery” and was “a badge of superstition.”

John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, agreed that the cross in the banner “was the image of an idol, and the greatest idol in the church of Rome.”

Many others in Salem, Plymouth, Boston and other colonies echoed these sentiments, but it took bold action by a bold man to face the issue squarely.

John Endecott cut the offending cross from the flag with his sword.

The emperor Constantine started using the flag with the cross as a military emblem and was intended to ward off hostile forces. Church leaders felt the “superstitious belief” that the emblem had power to protect troops made its use “unacceptable.”

Some more moderate leaders such as Thomas Dudley and Thomas Hooker expressed the belief that the reformation “had succeeded in weaning people from the idolatrous use of such symbols and that the cross on the flag could be accepted as a national emblem.”

The men in power were worried, fearing the London authorities would consider Endecott’s action a slap in the king’s face. An investigation was begun and the results were turned over to the General Court. Endecott was “admonished” and banned from holding public office for a year. He was then jailed. But Endecott was no dumb bunny. He was released the same day after admitting his errors.

As for Roger Williams, the General Court ordered him to “depart out” of our jurisdiction with in six weeks.

This little tempest in a teapot had a happy ending.

Endecott was elected governor of Massachusetts Bay several times and died in office. And Roger Williams fled to Rhode Island and founded Providence. He too became a governor.

And more than 400 years afterward, when the Elizabeth Tilley sailed with her crew of Howland descendants the flag of St. George was flying proudly.


The Essex colony started at Cape Ann in 1623 with a party led by Thomas Gardner and John Tylly. For this party, there were two ships with 32 people who were to settle the area commercially. About a year later, this party was joined by a group from Plymouth led by Roger Conant. These efforts, funded by the Dorchester Company, which withdrew its funding after 1625. In 1626, some of the original party, as many left to return to England or to go south, moved the settlement, in hopes of finding more success, to Naumkeag. This settlement worked out and became Salem.[3]

According to the Essex Institute, the list of old planters, in 1626, who were in Cape Ann before the move were as follows:

Roger Conant – Governor, John Lyford – Minister (went to Virginia, instead of Naumkeag), John Woodbury, Humphrey Woodbury, John Balch, Peter Palfray, Walter Knight, William Allen,[4] Thomas Gray, John Tylly, Thomas Gardner, Richard Norman (and his son), William Jeffrey, and Capt. William Trask.

William W. Trask, Sr.

Also Known As: “William Traske”
Birthdate: December 14, 1585
Birthplace: East Coker, , Somerset, , ENGLAND,
Death: Died May 16, 1666 in Salem, , Essex, Massachusetts, USA,
Place of Burial: Peabody, Trask Burial Ground, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family: Son of Nicholas Trask, Sr. and Christyan Nicholas Trask
Husband of Sarah Traske
Father of Henry Trask; Sarah Parkman; John William Trask;William Trask, Jr.; Susannah Trask; Mary Trask; Ann Trask; Eliza Traske; Elizabeth Trask and Eliza Trask « less
Brother of Agnes Traske; Johanne Traske and Joan Traske
Occupation: Soldier, miller/soldier/ capt. ma bay coloney

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