Elias Parkman Cofounder of Dorchester, MA circa 1632

Elias Parkman was also a cofounder of Windsor,CT in 1635.

6942-fields-corner-tablet 9-18-05

Savin Hill Park Monument
The stone was erected by the City of Boston on June 5, 1909. The original plaque was larger, filling the space on the stone. The wording: Rock Hill, Now Savin Hill. At the foot of this hill the first settlers of Dorchester landed from the Ship Mary and John in June 1630. They built their homes and church near by. The hill was fortified in 1634 by mounting cannon on it’s summit.



7801-monument-savin-hill 10-16-05

Revolutionary War Monument in Dorchester Old North Burial Ground
In memory of the soldiers of the Revolution who died during the Siege of Boston and were buried in this lot 1775-1776. Erected by the Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution 1903.

To see 12 American Revolution Veteran Ancestors:


9896 revolutionary monument old dorchester north cemetery
Town Meeting Square
The intersection of Pleasant, Pond and Cottage Streets was the location of the first English meeting house in the 1630s and therefore was the seat of town government. The wording: Town Meeting Square. Near this site the first settlers of Dorchester who came on the Ship Mary and John in June 1630 erected the first meeting house. Here they held the first town meeting and established the first free school in America by a vote of the town in 1639. It became the firest free public school supported by a direct tax upon the citizens. Erected by the city of Boston, June 5, 1909.

Dorchester is a historic neighborhood comprising over 6 square miles (16 km2) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally, Dorchester was a separate town, founded by Puritans who emigrated in 1630 from Dorchester, Dorset, England. This dissolved municipality, Boston’s largest neighborhood by far,[3] is often divided by city planners in order to create two planning areas roughly equivalent in size and population to other Boston neighborhoods.


Neighborhood of Boston
Neponset River at Lower Mills (2009). Dorchester on the left, Milton on the right (south) side of the river.
Neponset River at Lower Mills (2009). Dorchester on the left, Milton on the right (south) side of the river.

Official seal of Dorchester
Nickname(s): Dot
Motto: Pietate, Literis, Industria (Latin)
“Piety, Learning, [and] Industry”

The neighborhood is named after the town of Dorchester in the English county of Dorset, from which Puritans emigrated on the ship Mary and John, among others[4] and is today sometimes nicknamed “Dot” by its residents.[5]

Founded in 1630, just a few months before the founding of the city of Boston, Dorchester now covers a geographic area approximately equivalent to nearby Cambridge.[6] It was still a primarily rural town and had a population of 12,000 when it was annexed to Boston in 1870. Railroad and streetcar lines brought rapid growth, increasing the population to 150,000 by 1920. In the 2010 United States Census, the population was 92,115. Dorchester as a separate municipality would rank among the top five Massachusetts cities.

It has a very diverse population, which includes a large concentration of African Americans and a foreign-born population made up of European Americans, Irish-American immigration, Caribbean Americans, Latinos, and East and Southeast Asian Americans. Dorchester also has a significant LGBT population, with active political groups and the largest concentration of same-sex couples in Boston after the South End and Jamaica Plain.[7] Most of the people over the age of 25 have completed high school or obtained a GED.[8]

History Edit

17th century: Settlement and incorporation Edit


Old Blake House in c. 1905
May 30, 1630, Captain Squib of the ship Mary and John entered Boston Harbor and on June 17, 1630, landed a boat with eight men on the Dorchester shore, at what was then a narrow peninsula known as Mattapan or Mattaponnock, and today is known as Columbia Point (more popularly since 1984 as Harbor Point).[9] Those aboard the ship who founded the town included William Phelps, Roger Ludlowe, John Mason, John Maverick, Nicholas Upsall, Capt. Roger Fyler, Henry Wolcott and other men who would become prominent in the founding of a new nation. The original settlement founded in 1630 was at what is now the intersection of Columbia Road and Massachusetts Avenue. (Even though Dorchester was annexed over 100 years ago into the city of Boston, this founding is still celebrated every year on Dorchester Day, which includes festivities and a parade down Dorchester Avenue).

Most of the early Dorchester settlers came from the West Country of England, and some from Dorchester, Dorset, where the Rev. John White was chief proponent of a Puritan settlement in the New World.[10] (Rev. John White has been referred to as the unheralded champion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, because despite his heroic efforts on its behalf, he remained in England and never emigrated to the Colony he championed.) The town that was founded was centered on the First Parish Church of Dorchester, which still exists as the Unitarian-Universalist church on Meeting House Hill and is the oldest religious organization in present-day Boston.

On October 8, 1633, the first Town Meeting in America was held in Dorchester. Today, each October 8 is celebrated as Town Meeting Day in Massachusetts. Dorchester is the birthplace of the first public elementary school in America, the Mather School, established in 1639.[11] The school still stands as the oldest elementary school in America.[12]

The oldest surviving home in the city of Boston, the James Blake House, is located at Edward Everett Square, which is the historic intersection of Columbia Road, Boston Street, and Massachusetts Avenue, a few blocks from the Dorchester Historical Society. The Blake House was constructed in 1661, as was confirmed by dendrochronology in 2007.[13]

In 1695, a party was dispatched to found the town of Dorchester, South Carolina, which lasted barely a half-century before being abandoned.



Immigrant logo

Elias Parkman history:

  1. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33
    Captain William Traske, Thomas Gardiner, Elias Parkman, Roger Conant, John Endicott, John Balch and John Woodbury.Title: Cyberancestors.com
  2. Text: OCCUPATION: Mariner. (About October of 1638 Richard Saltonstall Jr. wrote to John Winthrop about debts owed to Saltonstall and his partners by Elias Parkman, who had been master of a vessel which they owned on several voyages between Massachusetts Bay and the Connecticut River . On 4 June 1650 Thomas Turner of Hingham discharged Elias Parkman of Boston of all debts and obligations, and stated that the said Elias had made all payments for three-quarters of the bark Supply before Turner had assigned a covenant for the same to Joseph Armitage . On 23 May 1655 the court awarded damages to Elias Parkman from Daniel Gookin who failed to pay him properly for transporting five persons and a large amount of bread to Virginia .)
    CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 6 May 1635 implied by freemanship. (Parkman maintained membership in this church upon the remove to Windsor, and when he appeared in Boston in 1648 he was said to be of the Windsor church. When he is called “our brother” in the baptism of son Deliverance, this could still refer to membership in Windsor church, and we need not assume that he was admitted to membership in Boston church.)
  3. Title: Cyberancestors.com
    Text: ESTATE: Granted four acres at Naponset Neck in Dorchester, 5 August 1633 ; received Lot #84, four acres, in the meadow beyond Naponset ; granted Great Lot at Squantum Neck, 18 January 1635/6 ; granted “the marsh before his door,” 27 July 1636 ; granted a share in “ground about Rocky Hill” .
    In the Windsor land inventory on 5 February 1640 “Elias Parkeman” had seven parcels: “a homelot with the additions, fifteen acres”; “in the little meadow with swamp adjoining eight acres”; “in the second meadow five acres and half”; “over the Great River in breadth twenty-five rods, in length three miles”; “on the south of the rivulet, sixteen acres”; “in the pallisado half an acre”; and “in the great meadow for a garden plot in breadth four rod, in length six rod” .
    On 28 May 1646 “Elias Parkeman of Seabrooke lately inhabitant of Winsor” mortgaged eleven acres of land and a barn, and a parcel of land on the east side of the great river, to William Wadsworth of Hartford .
    On 2 August 1652 “Elias Parkeman” mortgaged to “Mr. Robert Peteshall” one house with the land belonging to it, now “in the tenure of Thomas Tyler of Boston” . On 3 August 1652 “Elias Parkman of Boston, mariner & master of the good pinace called the Supplye of Boston” sold to Mr. John Holland of Dorchester “my now dwelling house situated in Boston, together with my home lot, being in measure one acre” .
    On 7 August 1657 George Palmer of Boston, wine cooper, sold to Elias Parkman of Boston, mariner, a parcel of land in Boston together with the “house, shop & cellar thereon” formerly in the occupation of Hermon Garret, gunsmith, also a garden plot and a way into the garden, and use of the well . This plot was given to Deliverance and Nathaniel Parkman after their father’s death by Silvester Eveleth and his wife Bridget, the widow of Elias Parkman, 24 November 1674 .
  4. Title: Cyberancestors.com
    Text: On 20 August 1662 administration on the estate of Elias Parkman was granted at the request of Bridget Parkman, “relict of Ellias Parkeman of Boston, Senior,” and her eldest son, to Thomas Rawlings in behalf of the children and creditors “allowing the widow her thirds in house & lands & the flock bed, rug, to the value of £2” .
    The inventory of the estate of “Elias Parkman supposed to be deceased” was taken 20 July 1662 and totalled £34 5s., including £19 10s. in real estate: “the dwelling house being very much decayed and ready to fall,” £12; “corner of ground in the orchard,” £7; and “a piece of ground without the house,” £2 10s. . Also in his inventory were “three old swords almost spoiled with rust, 3s.”
    BIRTH: By about 1611 based on estimated date of marriage.
    DEATH: When his inventory was taken on 20 July 1662, Elias Parkman was “supposed to be deceased,” suggesting that he had not returned from a sea voyage, and had probably died some time before that date.
    MARRIAGE: By about 1636 Bridget _____ (she is first seen as his wife at the baptism of son Deliverance in 1651,
    She married (2) Gloucester 6 September 1672 Sylvester Eveleth as his second wife and died after 5 February 1682 .
  5. Title: Cyberancestors.com
    Text: COMMENTS: A private record of the Parkman family was published in 1901 as a footnote to a genealogy of WILLIAM TRASK ; it was “furnished by Mrs. Lucy P. Trowbridge of New Haven, Connecticut, from a genealogical statement left by her father, Samuel Breck Parkman of Savannah, Georgia, who was lost, with most of his family, on board the steamer Pulaski in 1838.” This record reflects a number of exact dates that are not to be found anywhere else (including a precise date and place for the birth of Elias Parkman, son of the immigrant), and claims that the immigrant was son of Thomas Parkman of Sidmouth, England.
    In 1932 Arthur Winfred Hodgman published an article which claimed that the wife of the immigrant was “Bridget Connaught (or Conner?),” but no evidence is supplied and no credence should be given to this identification without further information; this article also discusses a number of manuscript sources which have useful information on the early generations of the Parkman family (beyond the first generation or two) .
  6. Title: Cyberancestors.com
    Text: The passenger list of the Recovery of London, sailing from Weymouth for New England on 31 March 1634, includes “Elizabeth Parkman” . Although this record need not have anything to do with Elias Parkman and his family, it could conceivably be an error for Elias himself returning from one of his voyages to England.
    In his list of those “being gone yet had children born here” Matthew Grant credited “Elias Partman” with having two children born in Windsor . If one of these was the son George who died in 1645, then the second was probably his next-elder sibling Abigail. Daughter Rebecca may also have been born in Windsor, if Grant’s accounting at a much later date includes only surviving children.
  7. Note: Came to America aboard the Elizabeth BoniventureHistory of Ancient Windsor, Vol II
    Elias Parkman, grantee of lands at Dorchester, 1633; the inhabitant of Windsor.; again at Dorchester, 1637; removed to Saybrook by 1646. In 1648 was partner with Jonathan Brewster (Colonial Record , i, 166); when Rev. Mr. Huit’s inventory was taken, 1644, he had 2,000 board feet of plank at Elias Parkman’s (sawed by hand); Mar 8 1637 a committee of the court was appointed to charter Elias Parkman’s boat to go to Narragansetts to trade for corn; land at Windsor (page 163, Vol I). Ch.: 2b at Windsor (O.C.R.) one oif whom was Samuel, b. 12 Aug 1644.




Clapp pear statue, Dorchester, MA

The Memoir of Capt. Roger Clapp of Dorchester 
ca. 1640

Redacted to modern English by John Beardsley.

The brief Memoir of Roger Clapp is a first-hand account of the settling of Dorchester, 1630, and goes on to cover events in the Colony up to the time when he set down to write it, about 1680. It is our best surviving example of the voice of an “average” settler. What follows are excerpts containing all that pertains to the period up to about 1640. About half of our members are descended from Dorchester’s first-settlers, and we hope they will find this of special interest. Names have been parenthetically inserted in italics where omitted in the original.

The Memoir

I thought good, my children, to leave you with some account of God’s remarkable providences to me, in bringing me to this land, and placing me here among his dear servants, and in his house, who am most unworthy of the least of his mercies. The Scripture requireth us to tell God’s wondrous works to our children, that they may tell them to their children, that God may have glory throughout all ages. Amen.

I was born in England, in Sallcom (Salcombe Regis), in Devonshire, in the year of our lord 1609. My father was a man who feared God, and in good esteem among God’s faithful servants. His outward estate was not great, I think not above £ 80 per annum. We were five brethren, of which I was the youngest, and two sisters. God was graciously pleased to breathe by his holy spirit (I hope) in all our hearts, if in mine; which I am not altogether without hopes of. Four of us brethren lived at home. I did desire my dear father (my mother being dead) that I might live abroad, which he consented to. So I first went for trial to live with a worthy gentleman, Mr. William Southcot, who lived about three miles from the city of Exeter. He was careful to keep a godly family. There being but a very mean preacher in that place, he went every Lord’s day into the city, where were many famous preachers of the word of God. I then took such a liking to the Rev. Mr. John Warham, that I did desire to live near him. So I removed (with my father’s consent) into the city, and lived with a Mr. Mossiour, as famous a family for religion as I ever knew. He kept seven or eight men and diverse maid-servants, and he had a conference upon a question propounded once a week in his own family. With him I covenanted.

I never so much heard of New England until I heard of many godly persons that were going there, and that Mr. Warham was to go also. My master asked me if I would go. I told him, were I not engaged to him, I would willingly go. He answered me, that should be no hindrance — I might go for him, or for myself, which I would. I then wrote to my father, who lived about twelve miles off, to entreat his leave to go to New England; who was so much displeased at first that he wrote me no answer, but told my brethren that I should not go. Having no answer, I went and made my request to him, and God so inclined his heart, that he never said me nay. For now, God sent the Rev. Mr. (John) Maverick, who lived 40 miles off, a man I never saw before. He having heard of me, came to my father’s house; and my father agreed that I should be with him and come under his care, which I did accordingly. So God brought me out of Plymouth the 20th of March, in the year 1629-30, and landed me in health at Nantasket on the 30th of May, 1630, I being then about the age of 21 years.

There came many godly families in that ship (the Mary & John). We were of passengers many in number (besides seamen) of good rank. Two of our magistrates came with us, viz. Mr. (Edward) Rossiter and Mr. (Roger) Ludlow. These godly people resolved to live together. Therefore, as they had made choice of those two reverend servants of God, Mr. John Warham and Mr. John Maverick, to be their ministers, so they kept a solemn day of fasting in the New Hospital at Plymouth, in England, spending it in preaching and praying; where that worthy man of God, Mr. John White of Dorchester, in Dorset, was present, and preached unto us the word of God in the fore part of the day and in the latter part of the day, as the people did solemnly make choice of and call those godly ministers to be their officers, so also the reverend Mr. Warham and Mr. Maverick did accept thereof, and expressed the same. So we came, by the good hand of the Lord, through the deeps comfortably, having preaching or expounding of the word of God every day for ten weeks by our ministers.

When we came to Nantasket, Capt. Squeb, who was captain of that great ship of 400 tons, would not bring us into Charles River as he was bound to do, but left us to shift for ourselves in a forlorn place in this wilderness. But, as it pleased God, we got a boat of some old planters, and laded her with goods and some able men, well armed, and went in her unto Charlestown, where we found some wigwams and one house. And in the house there was a man (likely Thomas Walford) that had a boiled bass, but no bread, that we could see. But we did eat of his bass, and then went up the Charles River, until the river grew narrow and shallow, and there we landed our goods with much labor and toil, the bank being steep. And night coming on, we were informed that there were hard by us 300 Indians. One Englishman that could speak the Indian language (an old planter) went to them, and advised them not to come near us that night; and they harkened unto his counsel and came not. I myself was one of the sentinels that first night. Our captain was a Low Country soldier, Mr. (Richard) Southcot, a brave soldier. In the morning, some of the Indians came and stood at a distance off looking at us, but came not near. But when they had been a while in view, some of them came and held out a great bass toward us; so we sent a man with a biscuit, and changed the cake for the bass. Afterwards, they supplied us with bass, exchanging a bass for a biscuit cake, and were very friendly unto us.

Oh, dear children! Forget not what care God had over his dear servants, to watch over us and protect us in our weak beginnings. Capt. Squeb turned ashore us and our goods, like a merciless man. But God, even our merciful God, took pity on us, so that we were supplied first with a boat, and then caused many Indians (some hundreds) to be ruled by the advice of one man not to come near us. Alas, had they come upon us, how soon they might have destroyed us! I think we were not above ten in number. But God caused the Indians to help us with fish at very cheap rates. We had not been there many days (although by our diligence we had got up a kind of shelter to save our goods in) but we had order to come away from that place, which was about (the later site of) Watertown, unto a place called Mattapan, now Dorchester, because there was a neck of land to keep our cattle on. So we removed, and came to Mattapan. The Indians there also were kind unto us.

Not long after came our renowned and blessed Governor, and diverse of his Assistants with him. Their ships came into Charles River, and many passengers landed at Charlestown, many of whom died the winter following. Gov. Winthrop purposed to set down his station about Cambridge, or somewhere on the river, but viewing the place, liked that plain neck that was called then Blackstone’s Neck, now Boston. But in the mean time, before they could build at Boston, they lived many of them in tents and wigwams at Charlestown, their meeting place being abroad under a tree, where I have heard Mr. (John) Wilson and Mr. (George)Phillips preach many a good sermon.

Now coming into this country, I found it a vacant wilderness, with respect to the English. There were indeed some English at Plymouth and Salem, and some few at Charlestown, who were very destitute when we came ashore. And planting time being past, shortly after provision was not to be had for money. I wrote wrote to my friends, namely to my dear father, to send me some provision, which accordingly he did, and also gave order to one of his neighbors to supply me with what I needed (he being a seaman); who, coming hither, supplied me with diverse things. But before this supply came, yea, and after it too (that being spent, and the then unsubdued wilderness yielding little food) many a time if I could have filled my belly, though with mean victuals, it would have been sweet to me. Fish was a good help to me and others. Bread was so very scarce, that sometimes I thought the very crusts of my father’s table would have been very sweet unto me. And when I could have meal and water and salt boiled together, it was so good, who could wish better?

In our beginning, many were in great straits for want of provision for themselves and their little ones. Oh, the hunger that many suffered, and saw no hope in an eye of reason to be supplied, only by clams and mussels and fish. We did quickly build boats, and many went a fishing. But bread was with many a very scarce thing, and flesh of all kinds as scarce. And in those days, in our straits, though I cannot say God sent a raven to feed us, as he did the prophet Elijah, yet this I can say, to the praise of God’s glory, that he sent not only poor ravenous Indians, which came with their baskets of corn on their backs to trade with us (which was a good supply unto many), but also sent ships from Holland and from Ireland with provisions, and Indian corn from Virginia, to supply the wants of his dear servants in the wilderness, both for food and raiment. And when people’s wants were great, not only in one town, but in diverse towns, such was the godly wisdom, care, and prudence (not selfishness, but self-denial) of our Governor Winthrop and his Assistants, that when a ship came laden with provisions, they did order that the whole cargo should be bought for a general stock; and so accordingly it was, and distribution was made to every town, and to every person in each town, as every man had need. Thus God was pleased to care for his people in times of straits, and to fill his servants with good and gladness. Then did all the servants of God bless his holy name, and love one another with pure hearts fervently.

In those days God did cause his people to trust in him, and to be contented with mean things. It was not accounted a strange thing in those days to drink water, and to eat samp or hominy without butter or milk. Indeed, it would have been a strange thing to see a piece of roast beef, mutton or veal; though it was not long before there was roast goat. After the first winter, we were very health, though some of us had no great store of corn. The Indians did sometimes bring corn, and truck with us for clothing and knives; and once I had a peck of corn, or thereabouts, for a little puppy-dog. Frost-fish, mussels and clams were a relief to many. If our provision be better now than it was then, let us not, and do you, dear children, take heed that you do not, forget the Lord our God. You have better food and raiment than was in former times; but have you better hearts than your forefathers had? If so, rejoice in that mercy, and let New England then shout for joy. Sure, all the people of God in other parts of the world that shall hear that the children and grandchildren of the first planters of New England have better hearts and are more heavenly than their predecessors, they will doubtless greatly rejoice, and will say, “This is the generation whom the Lord hath blessed.”

I took notice of it as a great favor of God unto me, not only to preserve my life, but to give me contentedness in all these straits; insomuch that I do not remember that I ever did wish in my heart that I had not come into this country, or wish myself back again at my father’s house. Yea, I was so far from that, that I wished and advised some of my dear brethren to come hither also; and accordingly, one of my brothers(Edward Clapp), and those two (cousin Nicholas Clapp and George Weeks) that married my two sisters, sold their means and came hither. The Lord Jesus Christ was so plainly held out in the preaching of the Gospel unto poor lost sinners, and the absolute necessity of the new birth, and God’s holy spirit in those days was pleased to accompany the word with such efficacy upon the hearts of many, that our hearts were taken off from Old England and set upon heaven. The discourse not only of the aged, but of the youth also was not, “How shall we go to England,” (though some few did not only so discourse, but also went back again) but “How shall I go to heaven? Have I true grace wrought in my heart? Have I Christ or no?” Oh how did men and women, young and old, pray for grace, beg for Christ in those days. And it was not in vain. Many were converted, and others established in believing. Many joined unto the several churches where they lived, confessing their faith publicly, and showing before all the assembly their experiences of the workings of God’s spirit in their hearts to bring them to Christ; which many hearers found much good by, to help them to try their own hearts and to consider how it was with them, whether any work of God’s spirit were wrought in their own hearts or no. Oh the many tears that have been shed in Dorchester meeting house at such times, both by those that had declared God’s work on their souls, and also by those that heard them. In those days God, even our own God, did bless New England!

After God had brought me into this country, he was pleased to give me room in the hearts of his servants; so that I was admitted into the church fellowship at our first beginning in Dorchester, in the year 1630.

I now return to declare unto you some of the wonderful works of God in bringing so many of his faithful servants hither into this wilderness, and preserving us and ours unto this day, notwithstanding our great unworthiness, and notwithstanding the many assaults and strategems of Satan and his instruments againsts God’s people here. I say wondrous works. For was it not a wondrous work of God, to put it into the hearts of so many worthies to agree together, when times were so bad in England that they could not worship God after the due manner prescribed in his most holy word, but they must be imprisoned, excommunicated, etc., I say that so many should agree to make unto our sovereign lord the King to grant them and such as they should approve of, a Patent of a tract of land in this remote wilderness, a place not inhabited but by the barbarous nations? And was it not a wondrous good hand of God to incline the heart of our King freely to grant it, with all the privileges which the Patent expresseth? And what a wondrous work of God was it, to stir up such worthies to undertake such a difficult work, as to remove themselves and their wives and children from their native country, and to leave their gallant situations there, to come into this wilderness to set up the pure worship of God here — men fit for government in the magistracy and in families, and sound, learned, godly men for the ministry, and others that were very precious men and women, who came in the year 1630.

Those that came then were magistrates — men of renown were Mr. (John) Winthrop, Governor, Mr. (Thomas) Dudley, Deputy Governor, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Mr. (Isaac) Johnson, Mr. (Edward) Rossiter, Mr. (Roger)Ludlow, Mr. (Increase) Nowel, and Mr. (Simon) Bradstreet. Mr. (John)Endicott came before, and others came then, besides those named. And there came famous ministers in that year, and afterward, as, to name some: Mr. (John) Wilson, Mr. (John) Warham, Mr. (John)Maverick, and Mr. (George)Phillips. In our low estate, God did cheer our hearts in sending good and holy men and women, and also famous preachers of the word of God, as Mr. (John) Eliot, Mr. (Thomas) Weld, Mr. (John) Cotton, Mr. (Thomas) Hooker, Mr. (Peter)Bulkeley, Mr. (Samuel) Stone, Mr. Nathaniel Rogers, and Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, Mr. (Thomas) Shepard, Mr. (Richard) Mather, Mr. (Hugh)Peters, Mr. (John) Davenport, Mr. (Samuel) Whiting, Mr. (Thomas)Cobbett, Mr. (Peter Hobart or)Hubbard, Mr. (Edmund) Brown, Mr. (Henry) Flint, Mr. (William)Thomson, Mr. (Samuel) Newman, Mr. (Peter) Prudden, Mr. (Edward)Norris, Mr, (Ephraim) Huit, Mr. (Nicholas) Street, and many others. Thus did God work wonderfully for his poor people here.

Before I proceed any further, I will inform you that God stirred up his poor servants to use means in their beginning for their preservation; though a low and weak people, yet a willing people to lay out their estates for the defence of themselves and others. They having friends in diverse places who thought it best for our safety to build a fort upon the island now called Castle Island, at first they built a castle with mud walls, which stood diverse years. First Capt. (Nicholas) Simpkins was commander thereof, and after him Lieut. Monish for a little space. When the mud walls failed, it was built again with pine trees and earth, and Capt. (Richard)Davenport was commander…

Now as Satan has been a lying spirit to deceive and ensnare the mind, to draw us from God by error, so hath he stirred up evil men to seek the hurt of this country. But God hath delivered his poor people here from time to time; sometimes by putting courage into our magistrates to punish those that did rebel, and sometimes God hath wrought for us by his providence in other ways. Here was one (Philip) Ratcliff spoke boldly and wickedly against the government and Governors here, using some words as some judged deserving death. He was for his wickedness whipped, and had both his ears cut off in Boston, AD 1631. I saw it done. There was one (Thomas) Morton that was a pestilent fellow, a troubler of the country, who did not only seek our hurt here, but went to England and did his utmost there, by false reports against our Governor. But God wrought for us and saved us, and caused all his designs to be of no effect. There arose up against us one (Dixy) Bull, who went to the eastward a trading and turned pirate, and took a vessel or two and plundered some planters thereabouts, and intended to return into the Bay and do some mischief to our magistrates here in Dorchester and other places. But, as they were weighing anchor, one of Mr. (Abraham) Short’s men shot from the shore, and struck the principal actor dead, and the rest were filled with fear and horror. They having taken one Anthony Dicks, a master of a vessel, did endeavor to persuade him to pilot them to Virginia, but he would not. They told him that they were filled with such fear and horror, that they were afraid of the very rattling of the ropes. This Mr. Dicks told me with his own mouth. These men fled eastward, and Bull himself got into England. But God destroyed this wretched man. There was also one Capt. (John)Stone, about the year 1633 or 1634, who carried himself very proudly and spoke contemptuously of our magistrates, and carried it lewdly in his conversation. For his misdemeanor, his ship was stayed, but he fled and would not obey authority. And there came warrants to Dorchester to take him dead or alive. So all our soldiers were in arms, and sentinels were set in divers places, and at length he was found in a great cornfield where we took him and carried him to Boston. But for want of one witness when he came to his trial, he escaped with his life. He was said to be a man of great relation, and had great favor in England, and he gave out threatening speeches. Though he escaped with his life, not being hanged for adultery, there being but one witness, yet for other crimes he was fined, and paid it. And being dismissed, he went toward Virginia. But by the way putting into the Pequot country to trade with them, the Pequots cut off both him and his men, took his goods, and burnt his ship. Some of the Indians reported that they roasted him alive. Thus did God destroy him that so proudly threatened to ruin us by complaining against us when he came to England. Thus God destroyed him, and delivered us at that time also.

About that time, or not long after, God permitted Satan to stir up the Pequot Indians to kill diverse Englishmen, as Mr. (John) Oldham and (John) Tilly and others. And when the murderers were demanded, instead of delivering them, they proceeded to destroy more of our English about Connecticut. Which put us upon sending out soldiers, once and again, whom God prospered in their enterprises until the Pequot people were destroyed…



Mary and John ship of 1630 on the cofounders monument at Windsor, CT

Information about families of Dorchester Settlers, ca. 1630-1650

Below is a list of names and dates–they are family names, and dates associated with them–believed to be years when members of those families emigrated to Dorchester from England (and a few from Ireland), between 1630 – 1650.
You might notice that we do not have ship of passage associated with these names. Some of those ships’ passenger lists can be found here.
The list includes common spelling, dates, and variant spellings. See footnote references at bottom.
Aderton 1637
*Alderman 1634
Aldrich 1631 1634
Aldridge 1631 1636
+*Allen 1634
*Andrews 1634
Aspinwall 1630
Astwood 1639
Atherton 1639 1637
Baker 1639
Barbour 1635 Barber
*Bascom 1634 Bascomb Bascon Bascun Bascomb
*Bate 1635
*Beamon 1635
*Bigge 1635 Bigg
Blake 1636
Branker 1632
Breck 1635 1636
Broomsmead 1638
*Buckland 1634
Buel 1630
Burr 1638
Butler 1638 1639
Cade 1635
Calecatt 1632 Callicutt Collicott Collacott
+Capen 1630 1633 1634
^+*Clap 1630 1633 1639 Clapp
Carter 1633
Chard 1630
Clark 1630 1633 1635
*Clement 1636
+*Cogan 1633 Coggin Coggan
^+Cooke 1630
Cornell 1630
Crab 1630 Crabb
Davenport 1635
Deevil 1635
Demick 1635
+Denslow 1630 1632 1635
+Dewey 1633
*Dibble 1637
Dicherman 1635
Dimmock 1635 Dymoke
Doughty 1639
Duel 1633
+Duncan 1630 1633 1635
Dybell 1635
^+Dyer 1630
Eales 1635 Eeles 1633
+Eggleston 1630 Egleston
Earing 1639
Eldridge 1631
Felps 1630
*Fenner Vener
+Filer 1633 1634
^+Ford 1630 Foard Foord
*Foster 1635
Francis 1636
+French 1630 1639
Frye 1650
^Gaylord 1630
*Glover 1635
Hewes 1630
+Hill 1630
Hilliard 1635
Hoakam 1633
+Holcomb 1630 1633
*Holland 1637 Hollard and earlier
^+Holman 1630
+Horsford 1633 Hosford
+Hoskins 1630 Hoskeins
+Hulberd 1630 Hulbert Hurlbard Hulbird
+Hull 1632 1633
Humphrey 1639
Jeffries 1633
+Jeffrey 1633
Jellet 1633
+Jenkins 1632
+Johnson 1630
*Jones 1638
Jourdain 1635
Kendall 1635
Kingsley 1636
+*Knight 1632 1633
*Leavitt 1640 and earlier
Lewis 1636
Leape 1640
Lippincott 1639
^+Lombard 1630 Lumberd Lumbard
Loring 1634 1633
^Louge 1630
+Lovell 1633
^+Ludlow(e) 1630
+Mason 1630 1632 Masen
*Mather 1635
*Maudsley 1638
^+Maverick 1630
Mead 1638
+*Miller 1632 1638
*Millett 1635 1637
+Minot 1633 1634 1630
+Moore 1630 1631 Moor
Mosely 1638
*Newberry 1630
Newman 1632
+Newton 1636
+Parkman 1632 1633 1635
Patten 1640 Pattin
+Pearce 1630 Pears Pierce
^+*Phelps 1630 1635
+Phillips 1630 1632 Philips Phillipps
+Pine 1633 Pinney
+Pomeroy 1631 1632
*Pope 1630
*Procter 1637 Proctor
+Purchase 1633
+Randall 1633 Rendell
*Read 1636
Reed 1635
+Richards 1633
Robinson 1636
Roby 1639
+Rocket 1633
^+Rockwell 1630
^+Rossiter 1630 Roseter
Russell 1633
Saint John 1631 1632
Seald 1636
Selleck 1633
*Sention 1631 Sension
Sheldon 1634
^+*Smith 1630 1636 1631
^Southcote 1630
^+Stoughton 1632 1633 1630
Strong 1635
Summer 1636
*Swift 1635
Syckes 1639
Taylor 1639
^+Terry 1630 Tery Terre Terrey
+Thorneton 1633
Thompkins 1638
Trowbridge 1634
+Twitchell 1633
^+Upsall 1630
Vose 1635
^+Warham 1630
Waterhouse 1630
+Way 1630
Weekes 1635 1639
+Whipple 1632 1635
White 1636
Whitefield 1634
Whitman 1635 Whitman
Wicks 1639
+Wilkins 1633
+Williams 1640 1633 1630
Willyes 1638
Wilson 1638
+Wilton 1632 1633
Wiswall 1632
Withington 1636
^+Wolcott 1630 Wolcot Woolcott
Wood 1640
Woodward 1648
Woolridge 1630
Wright 1635

^ Robert Charles Anderson. “The Mary and John: Developing Objective Criteria for a Synthetic Passenger List.” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 147 (1993), 148-61.
+Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.
*Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn. The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-




The ship that brought the first European settlers to Dorchester in June of 1630 was named the Mary and John. The same vessel or another of the same name was one of two that had carried a group of settlers from the West Country of England to the Maine coast in 1607 under the leadership of Captain George Popham. The colony constructed a fort for permanent protection, but the settlers were unprepared for the harsh winter and abandoned the site a year later.

“Contemporaneously with the sailing of the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, a party of emigrants embarked at Plymouth, Devon, in the ship Mary and John, on March 20th, bound for the same destination in Massachusetts Bay within the bounds of the territory of the Company headed by Winthrop. While not having any defined connection with the Winthrop Fleet, yet their destination presupposes a cooperative agreement and a common purpose. In his last letter to his wife, before leaving Southampton, Winthrop notes the departure of this vessel and her passengers, indicating his knowledge of their destination in the limits of the Massachusetts Bay Patent and by inference an approval of them as fellow emigrants under his jurisdiction.

The Mary and John was owned by Roger Ludlow, one of the assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who sailed in her, as did Edward Rossiter, another Assistant, as leaders of this Company, and thus further confirmation is given to it as an integral, though separated, part of the Great Emigration. …

The Reverend John White, Vicar of Dorchester, England, who has been generally and rightfully acclaimed as the sponsor of the earliest Massachusetts settlement (Plymouth excepted), was the inspiration of a movement which culminated in the gathering of nearly one hundred and fifty persons in the counties of Dorset, Somerset, and Devon and their agreement to emigrate in a body to Massachusetts whither he had sent other groups in the previous six years. … In describing this Company he said that scarce a half-dozen of them were personally known to each other prior to their assembling at the place of embarkation in Plymouth. It may be assumed that these people, from many parishes scattered over three counties, were moved by the same urge to emigrate which animated those of the Winthrop Fleet, but it is safe to say that the tales of ‘religious persecution’ of these people was not a factor in their pilgrimage. The West Country was free from it. …

The Mary and John made a good passage and arrived at Nantasket May 30th without casualty. These one hundred and forty passengers are generally known as the Dorchester Company, from the place chosen for their settlement, and as they remained a distinct body of colonists, and there are contemporary records to identify most of them, it has been possible to compile a tentative list of those who came on this pioneer ship. …”

Banks, Charles Edward. The Winthrop Fleet of 1630. Boston, 1930.Photoreproduced by The Higginson Book Company. Appendix B: Passengers of the Mary and John in 1630.

See also:
Hansen, Ann Natalie. English origins of the “Mary & John” passengers.Columbus, OH: At the Sign of the Cock, 1985.

Kuhns, Maude Pinney. Mary and John. A story of the founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1971.




The first organized group of English settlers in Dorchester, Massachusetts, landed on a narrow peninsula jutting into Massachusetts Bay. It was called “Mattapan” or “Mattapanock” by the people who lived there in May 1630. Various translations of this name are given, including “a good place to be”, “a good place to sit”, or “an evil, spread about place”. Today it is known as Harbor Point in Boston.

Captain John Smith, husband of Pocahontas, stopped there briefly in 1614 and bought some furs, and he said that the French had been there on the same sort of shopping expedition before him. In fact, Europeans had been fishing off the Maine and Massachusetts coasts, and trading with the people who lived there, for many decades before large-group organized settlement began. Some of these traders and fishermen set up housekeeping locally. The first permanent European settler recorded by name in the area was David Thompson, who set up on the island that bears his name, about a half-mile off the point. The names of the others have not come down to us. But by the 1620s, Massachusetts Bay was well-known in the West of England, where, along with the religious fervor, something of a “gold rush” mentality had been developing.

Then, on May 30, 1630, the Mary and John, out of Plymouth, England with some 140 Puritan passengers, hove into view off the point and dropped anchor.

Their voyage was organized and partially funded by John White, the rector of the Holy Trinity church in Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England. White, who never left England, was considered a “conforming Puritan”, that is, a Calvinist who was willing to work within the hierarchy of the Church of England. Although he was a moderate reformer, he encouraged people to emigrate to New England for religious reasons. He obtained the patent from King Charles I that established the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and it was his followers who sailed to what became Dorchester, MA, on the Mary and John, one of the ships of the Winthrop Fleet. Settlers from the fleet established not only Dorchester, but Boston, Roxbury, Weymouth, and other towns around the bay. It is likely that not everybody in the fleet was emigrating for religious reasons though; some people clearly were looking to strike it rich in the fishing or fur businesses.

Apparently it took these people some time to figure out what to do next, because it wasn’t until June 17 that they landed in Mattapan and established the town of Dorchester.The settlement was supposed to be temporary. They were planning to live on the banks of the Charles River, so they didn’t plant any crops in the area. But many of the immigrants became sick, and some began to starve, and an emergency relief ship was sent to Ireland for supplies. It wasn’t long before the Charles River idea was dropped.

The group’s spiritual leaders were preachers named John Maverick and John Warham. Their civil government arrived on one of the other ships, in the person of John Winthrop, first Governor of Massachusetts Bay. However, the local government remained largely in the hands of the preachers and two Magistrates, because the rest of the population were not eligible to participate.

In order to vote, own land, or take part in town meetings in New England in those days, one had to be an adult male “freeman”. This doesn’t just refer to the fact that many settlers came over as indentured servants.

In the United States, schoolchildren have often been taught that the early settlers of New England came primarily to obtain “religious freedom”. In later grades it is sometimes revealed that the settlers were only looking for freedom to practice their own beliefs; they were not interested in extending “religious freedom” to people who did not think exactly like they did, and they enthusiastically persecuted those people as unpleasantly as the English authorities had persecuted them.

But the history is more complicated than that. Even the very strict and peculiar religious group known as “The Pilgrims” were required by the terms of their contract with their financiers to bring people who weren’t members of their sect to the Plymouth colony. And although religion motivated many of those who came in the great wave of settlement beginning in 1630, including most of the organizers of those settlements, it was not everybody’s reason for coming.

However, in those days, the notion of the separation of church and state didn’t exist. The dissenters only had the idea that if you wanted to have a different kind of church, you needed to set up your own state. Within that state, the top officials may not have had formal clerical credentials, but they operated according to semi-religious doctrine. And at lower levels, while a parish priest didn’t necessarily have civil authority, his parish did. It was the local unit of government (sometimes called “civil-ecclesiastical” parishes by historians), and it was responsible for keeping records. Conventions of religious morality penetrated deeply into civil and criminal law and procedure, and this was considered normal even by people who were by no means religious zealots or even serious believers. Separation of religion and state only arose as other people arrived who wanted to practice different beliefs and nestled cheek-by-jowl with the intolerant earlier settlers. It remains the only effective means by which different religiously intolerant groups can live together.

So the concept of a “freeman” had both civil and religious elements. Every male who came to settle in the colonies, as well as male children when they reached the age of adulthood, were watched closely by the leadership and if their attitudes and behavior were judged appropriate, they would then be made freemen, an event that was usually recorded in the church records. Beginning May 18, 1631, being a member of a church became a requirement for freeman status throughout the Massachusetts Bay colony.

The first two pages of the Dorchester records are missing, but it seems that some months prior to that date there may have only been seven or eight freemen in the town. However, there were enough in May 1631 to begin regular meetings of “the plantation” to manage the community’s affairs. In October 1633 the town government was formally organized, with twelve “selectmen” appointed to meet weekly, a majority of whom would constitute a quorum to conduct business. But all of the freemen were encouraged to attend these meetings, where they all would have equal votes.

Here is how a man named Wood described the town in 1633:

“Dorchester is the greatest town in New England, but I am informed that others equal it since I came away; well wooded and watered, very good arable grounds and hay ground; fair corn-fields and pleasant gardens, with kitchen gardens. In this plantation is a great many cattle, as kine, goats, and swine. This plantation hath a reasonable harbour for ships. Here is no alewife river, which is a great inconvenience. The inhabitants of this town were the first that set upon fishing in the bay, who received so much fruit of their labours, that they encouraged others to the same undertakings.”

This is the town Robert Deeble found when he stepped off the Recovery in May or June of 1633/4.

Wanderlust and the “westward, ho!” spirit seem to have gripped some of the early settlers almost immediately. Just about the time when Robert arrived, some intrepid people from the neighboring colony of Plymouth, founded in 1620 by a religious sect known in the United States as “The Pilgrims”, were setting up a trading post over 150 miles southwest of Dorchester, on the “Great River” (now called the Connecticut River), at a place that came to be the town of Windsor, CT.




George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Boston Museum of fine Arts

Washington at Dorchester Heights


Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to paint a full length, approximately ten feet by seven feet, oil portrait of U.S. President George Washington, which Samuel later gifted to the Town of Boston on the 30th anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1806. The painting hung in the Faneuil Hall, now a copy and the original is viewed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for safe keeping . The painting by Gilbert Stuart is of George Washington in Dorchester Heights, full-length in uniform, standing by a white horse, holding his bridle in his left hand and his chapeau in his right. 


Architect Bullfinch had expanded Faneuil Hall and desired to have a portrait of General Washington on display. A European artist had copied the Lansdowne Washington  original. The patriots found this unacceptable and created an electrifying stir in Boston. Samuel Parkman, heard about the matter and approached Gilbert Stuart to create a new original of President Washington. Stuart agreed  and used the famous unfinished head portrait, also known as the Anatheaum and had several friends stand in for various body parts. Stuart finished the painting in 10 days and it was on view for the 4th of July 1806 festivities at Faneuil Hall.   The painting is known as “Washington at Dorchester Heights” as the Colonial Army had taken Dorchester Heights causing the British to leave Boston. In the background you see navy ships and islands. The complete story appears along with a photo of this portrait on pages 128 – 131 of the book published in 1986 (see photos of this story below): Gilbert Stuart, Father of American Portraiture, The Library of American Art, by Richard McLanathan.






This oil painting is approximately 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, DMP,SR 2007.

The full-length Washington, on the other side of the great painting, is a Gilbert Stuart. It, also, was presented to the town by Samuel Parkman, in 1806. :


Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to create this life sized oil painting than hung at Faneuil Hall (see above the bottom right side painting) that now is on display at The Boston Museum of Fine Art.

samuel parkman

Samuel Parkman portrait painting by Gilbert Stuart.

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA 1

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC168397

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC240634

Washington at Dorchester Heights

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828)


274.95 x 180.34 cm (108 1/4 x 71 in.)


L-R 30.76a


Oil on panel


Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Gallery 133)






The artist; commissioned for the town of Boston by Samuel Parkman, 1806; deposited by the City of Boston, 1876.

Credit Line

Deposited by the City of Boston


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