George Abbott 10th Great Grandfather


 

Mayflower PassangersGEORGE1 ABBOTT was  born in England, and died in Rowley, Essex Co., Mass., 1647, where he had lived about five years after coming from England with his family, about 1642, being one of the first settlers. The early records of Rowley, including 1647 the year of his death, which covered the entire period of his residence there, are missing, and not much is known of him except what is given in the published accounts of the settlement of the place, which is very little.

The sufferings of the first settlers of the town were probably far greater than its history indicates. They were literally in the wilds of a new continent, surrounded by want, suffering, sickness, wild beasts, hostile Indians, and with none of the comforts of life which they had been used to in England, nor could these be obtained. Probably few who read the brief history of George Abbott’s family will better understand the situation than the writer, whose business for a score of years after the Civil war was to protect frontier settlers from the many dangers that surrounded them. But in George Abbott’s day there was no disciplined government force to guard those helpless people; they were literally alone, and so differently reared from most of the pioneers of the nineteenth century, that their privations were more keenly felt. It is no wonder, then, that George Abbott, and possibly his wife, soon sickened and died from want and exposure, in the early days of Rowley

In accordance with custom Mr. Abbott probably deeded most of his estate before his death to his eldest son, Thomas Abbott, Sr. His inventory of effects amounted to ú95: 2s.: 8d.(*) The estates of his sons, however, indicate that he owned much more land than there is any record of in his day. Of course at his death all land, excepting his house lot, was held by Rogers’ company, but was probably afterwards divided among the settlers, each receiving his share according to the amount contributed to the company on its organization, and his heirs would no doubt receive his portio

The particulars of the settlement are given in the History of Rowley, by Thomas Gage, and in the History of Essex Co., Mass., by D. H. Hurd. The latter says:–

“The town of Rowley, Mass., was founded in 1639, by the Reverend Ezekiel Rogers and his company. The original grant was from Ipswich on the south to Newbury on the north, and from the Ocean on the east to the Merrimack River on the west. Mr. Ezekiel Rogers was the son of the Rev. Richard Rogers, a distinguished Puritan, of Weathersfield, Essex Co., England, and bred at Cambridge; in 1604, he was of Corpus Christi, when he graduated as a Bachelor of Arts, and of Christ College, in 1608, when graduated as Master of Arts. After leaving the university he became Chaplain in the family of Sir Francis Barrington, of Essex, exercising himself in ministerial duties for about a dozen years.

“He was then called to a public charge, at Rowley, in Yorkshire, where he continued with great favor for about seventeen years, when he was compelled to relinquish his charge–as he tells his story in his will–‘For refusing to read that accursed book that allowed sports on God’s holy Sabbath, the Lord’s day, I was suspended, and, by it and other sad signes of the times, driven with many of my hearers into New England.’ The landing was made at Salem, Mass., in the autumn of 1638, and the new town founded in April, 1639–the act of incorporation reading as follows: ‘The 4th Day of the 7th Month [September] 1639….’ Mr. Rogers was a man of great note in England for his piety and ability, while the members of the company he brought with him to Rowley were called by Gov. Winthrop, ‘Godly men, and most of them of good estate.’

“In the tract set off to Rogers’ company several farms had been laid out; these were purchased by the company for ú800. The purchase money was contributed by such as were able to pay, and in the laying out of house lots, all who paid nothing were given one acre and one-half, while those who paid were given lots in proportion to the amount they contributed.”

The distinction becomes more apparent when the rules of the assignment of rights, called “gates,”(+) in the commons which extended five miles from the town “every way” where the company owned property, are known. The rates were as follows:–

“A one and one-half acre house-lot was entitled to one and one-half gates; a two acre lot to four and one-half gates; a three acre lot to thirteen and one-half gates; and a four acre lot to twenty-two and one-half gates…. The time of laying out the several house-lots is unknown. On the 10th of the Eleventh Month, 1643, Mr. Thomas Nelson, Mr. Edward Carlton, Humphrey Reyner, and Francis Parrat, appointed by the town for that purpose, made a survey of the town and registered the lots to all the inhabitants as granted and laid out.”

The names of the fifty-nine to whom house-lots were registered in this survey, together with a brief account of each, are then given, the list being headed by George Abbott, who received two acres. In subsequent divisions, according to a book containing a record of the laying out of lands and divisions of fences from 1643 to 1647, he received, including the foregoing house-lot, 21 1/4 acres, variously located; but this was evidently only a fraction of the land owned by him. A recapitulation shows that lots were distributed to the settlers as follows: One received a one acre lot; twenty-eight received one and one-half acre lots; twenty-two received two acre lots; three received three acre lots; three received four acre lots; and two received six acre lots, making in all fifty-nine. Only thirty of this number, of whom George Abbott was one, contributed anything towards buying the land belonging to the company.

Gage says, in effect, that when Mr. Rogers’ party first arrived in Salem, in the fall of 1638, it consisted of about twenty families: that they spent the winter in Salem, improving the time looking out a place for a “plantation,” during which they were increased to about sixty families. The place where they located was first called Mr. Rogers’ plantation, afterwards Rowley,–from Rowley in Yorkshire, Eng., where he and some of his people had lived. For nearly five years they labored together in common to clear up the land on each side of the brook that ran through the central part of what is now the first parish, the members of the company not owning land in severalty. They were very industrious every way, soon built themselves houses, a fulling mill, put their children to work spinning “cotton wool,” many of them having been clothiers in England, and were the first to manufacture cloth in the western world. (Johnson’s Wonder Working Providence.)

Mrs. Abbott’s death, in case she came to America, was doubtless given in a book used for recording the general affairs of the town from 1639 to 1672, but much before 1647 is illegible, and several leaves, etc., are lost; therefore the dates of early deaths, etc., in the family cannot be given. The supposition is that one or the other of the two children named Thomas in George Abbott’s family was an adopted son. The elder was known as Thomas, Sr., and the younger as Thomas, Jr. The following from the Ipswich, Mass., court records indicates that the latter was not a son of George Abbott whose death occurred in Rowley, 1647, the day and month of which is not known except approximately, as indicated below:–

“30–1mo. 1647 [Mar. 30, 1647]. The court sitting at Ipswich ordered a warrant issued for George Abbott, Thomas Abbott, Sr., Thomas Abbott, Jr., and Nehemiah Abbott about putting out by the town of Rowley of one of the sons of George Abbott. Permission given to the town to set forth Thomas Abbott, Jr., son of George Abbott of Rowley, to be an apprentice to John Boynton for seven years. Boynton to pay Thomas Abbott ú5, at end of term, provided that it be not fully concluded until next court so his father may have an opportunity to object.”

The warrant for the four so-called sons of George Abbott, was issued, without doubt, after his death, as probably no such action would have been taken in regard to this particular child before that event; in case he was a son, it is singular that similar action was not taken with the other minors. The Ipswich court records show that after the division of George Abbott’s estate, the guardians of the children receipted to the court “30. 1mo. 1648” [Mar. 30, 1648], for ú16 as George’s, ú21 as Nehemiah’s, and ú16 as Thomas, Jr.’s, portion of the estate. An “overplus” of “about 50sh, of George Abbott’s children’s estate,” was left in the hands of Mark Simons, “executor to George Abbott, 28–1mo. 1648.” Later on it also appears(*) that the guardians, Humphrey Reynor and Thomas Mighill, were discharged from their trust March, 1654, on acknowledgment by the sons at Ipswich court that they had received satisfaction. According to the Mass. Colonial Records (ii: p. 215), Abbott made a will, for it was referred by the General Court to the Salem Court, Nov. 11, 1647; but, though search has been made for it repeatedly in all the several court and county records, deeds, wills, etc., of an early day, and in every other conceivable place, no trace of it has been found, nor any complete record of the settlement of his estate. Like most of the early records pertaining to him, it seems to have been lost or destroyed.

The following inventory of his effects is taken from the Ipswich court records (i: p. 61):–

“The Inventory of all the goods and Chattels of George Abott late of Rowley deceased praisd [by] Sebastan Brigham. Tho: Barker Mathew Boyes and James Barker the 30. of August 1647.

 

“GEORGE ABOTT his Inventory Imprimis all his aparell 01 10 00
It: in silver 01 03 00
It: one Gold Ringe 00 10 00
It: two greene Coverings 00 16 00
It: one feather bed two pillows & one Bolster 01 09 00
It: three flock bolsters one Coverlett & one Blankett 00 11 00
It: two Flock beds 00 06 00
It: seaven Sheets two table cloths seaven pillow bers nine napkins two Aprons 4 handkerchiefs with other small linen 04 06 00
It: fower Course Sheetes 00 07 00
It: one Trunke 00 05 00
It: two hogsheads & one Barrell 00 05 00
It: one boiler 00 01 00
It: one kilne haire 00 04 00
It: one whip saw & one cross cutt saw 00 08 00
It: two black Gownes 00 12 00
It: one Satten Capp & white thred 00 04 00
It: one pillow beere & other lininge 00 05 00
It: one Steele mill 01 10 00
It: one Steele Trape 00 10 00
It: three brand Irons fower wedges one fire shovell & other iron 01 00 00
It: two tramels one bar of iron & one gridiron 00 08 00
It: thirty eight pound of pewter 01 12 00
It: one silver ringe & spoone 00 05 00
It: two friing pans 00 04 00
It: one brasse pott & one iron pott 00 15 00
It: three Kettles 01 02 00
It: one Skillet & two Chafing dishes 00 03 00
It: one warming pan 00 03 00
It: three paire of Scales & weights 00 09 00
It: one brasse morter & pestle 00 05 00
It: one Skimer 00 01 00
It: one paire of horse bitts with buckles and furrells 00 03 06
It: one nest of boxes with things in them 00 05 00
It: one little Gun wth bandelers 00 05 00
It: one Spitt & one brush bill 00 03 00
It: one head peice & one axe with some other things 00 05 00
It: one bushell & half of oatemeale and one Tub 00 07 00
It: one Chest & one Churne 00 03 06
It: one bowle fowre trayes & one tunnell 00 04 00
It: one flockbed two Curtains & one pillow 00 10 00
It: one drinking pott & one jugg 00 03 00
It: three Leather bottles 00 05 00
It: thirty bookes 01 10 00
It: the dwelling house and land with the Apurtenances 30 00 00
It: two black Steeres 09 00 00
It: two younger Steeres 06 00 00
It: one yearling Steere 02 00 00
It: one Calfe 01 00 00
It: two Cowes 09 00 00
It: all the Corne and hay 08 00 00
It: one Sowe & three piggs 08 10 00
It: Some land at Newbery 02 00 00
It: one yoake & chaine 00 04 00
It: one brasse ladle 00 00 08
It: all the fowle about the house ??s 00 01 00

 

It: all the hops & flaxe 00 07 06
It: one Chaire & two Cushions 00 03 00
It: one Short Sithe & old Iron 00 02 00

Sume totall(*) 95 02 08

“SEBASTIAN BRIGHAM
THOMAS BARKER
JAMES ?? BARKER
his mark

 

“Debt owing to the disceased of Stephen Kent of Newbury 00 07 00

 

“Essex Registry Deeds, So. Dist., Salem, Mar. 23, 1894. The foregoi
is a true copy of record in this offic
“Attest: CHAS. S. OSGOOD, Reg.”

 

From the foregoing inventory Abbott seemingly invested all he had with the company at Rowley; and the fact that his son Thomas, Sr., was one of the overseers and leading men of the settlement in 1656, and that in 1650, barely three years after his father’s death, only seven settlers owned more land each than Thomas, Sr., indicate that his father at the time of his death (when the land he probably gave his other heirs is taken into consideration), was one of the leading proprietors, but at this late day little can be found pertaining to his affairs, or to any of his early descendants. His sons, for the time, were all well off.

As his progeny are becoming legion, there can be no doubt that a desire to know as much as possible about his early history exists on the part of every thoughtful living descendant. On this account great pains have been taken to make his record complete, both here and in England, for from him have descended some of the most eminent of their day in the arts and sciences, including scholars, divines, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, educators authors, philanthropists, pioneers, specialists, business men, diplomats, politicians and trusted leaders and representative persons in almost every useful occupation in life, some of whose records are almost as brilliant as those of the chil. of Maurice Abbot, of Guildford, Eng.; and no pioneer bearing the name in America has a more distinguished descent than George Abbott, of Rowley, the most prominent of whom, like the celebrated Guildford family, from poor boys have risen to eminence. One notable fact is that not a saloon-keeper has been found among any of his descendants, covering a period of over two and a half centuries. The Compiler has copies of several scores of Yorkshire and London, Eng., wills,–all obtainable covering the period in which documentary evidence would develop his lineage, and including the Featherstone parish, where it is suggested in the Lawrence family register Abbott came from, but the desired information cannot be found.

George Abbott had 3 children

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s