Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Uncle John WATSON - The Great Migration Begins

[Brother of Robert WATSON]

ORIGIN: Unknown
MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon
OCCUPATION: Inventory indicates agricultural activities only, with evidence of an apple orchard ("for apples sold not yet received 55s.," and "One barrel cider and other barrels" etc., £1 10s.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admitted to Roxbury church as member #32, late in 1632 [RChR 75].
FREEMAN: 5 November 1633 [MBCR 1:368].
EDUCATION: Signed will by mark. Inventory includes "Books 20s."
ESTATE: Granted the usual sequence of lots in Roxbury: Houselot of eleven acres; fourteen acre lot, of which John Prentice [John Watson's stepson] is to have six acres after death of John Watson; four acres meadow in Great Mead; four acres salt marsh; third lot in third allotment of last division, twenty-six acres and a fraction; and thirty-three acres in the thousand acres near Dedham. Purchased six acres from Robert Pepper [RBOP 29-30].
In his will, dated 4 March 1670/1 and proved 5 February 1671/2, John Watson Senior of Roxbury "being old yet having perfect understanding" bequeathed his land "I having four children now alive namely John mine eldest son ... shall have a double portion of my lands ... my meadow in Roxbury"; "my wife Alice Watson shall enjoy my whole estate as long as she liveth both land and moveables without being accountable to any of my children"; "my wife my sole executrix"; "my son Caleb a single portion"; "my daughter Darkell [Dorcas] a single portion"; "my daughter Mary a single portion ... but they shall not enjoy any part of it until after their mother's decease"; £5 to "my son [i.e. stepson] John Prentise"; overseers "my four sons namely my son John, my son Caleb, my son-in-law Timothy Dwite and my son-in-law Thomas Stedman" [SPR 7:194].
The inventory of John Watson was taken 15 January 1671/2 and totalled £397 7s., of which £334 was real estate: house and 12 acres adjoining, £130; 14 acres arable at Pond Plain, £60; "about 6 acres near John's house in his possession," £20; 6 acres of salt meadow, £36; 4 acres of fresh meadow, £22; "land lately bought of Samuel Finch quantity not known to us," £30; 16 acres near John Holdredge's, £18; and 42 acres in the thousand acres near Dedham, £18 [SPR 7:195].
BIRTH: Probably about 1605 to 1610, based on date of marriage, although note tombstone record below.
DEATH: Roxbury 5 January 1671/2 [RChR 180]. (A tombstone in the old burial ground in Roxbury reads "John Watson Aged 77 years, died December the 2d 1671" [NEHGR 14:55]; the date of death may be correct, although the church record is closer to the date the inventory was taken; the age at death is probably exaggerated ten years.)
MARRIAGE: Roxbury 3 April 1634 Alice Prentice, widow of VALENTINE PRENTICE [RChR 76].
CHILDREN (all born Roxbury):

i JOHN, b. [blank] January 1634/5 [RVR MS 1]; m. by an unknown date Mary Eccles, daughter of Richard Eccles (in his will of 27 July 1693 "John Watson of Roxbury" bequeathed to "Mary my beloved wife ... what may be left in reversion of her father Eckles his estate" [SPR 13:219-22]).

ii JOSHUA, b. [blank] August 1637 [RVR MS 1]; "Joshua Watson of 11 years old, suddenly died of the belly ache" 30 April 1649 [RChR 174].

iii DORCAS, b. 20 September 1639 [RVR MS 2]; dismissed by her maiden name to Medfield, 10 May 1670 [RChR 88]; m. (1) Medfield 8 July 1669 Timothy Dwight; m. (2) Medfield 8 May 1677 John Adams (of Ipswich).

iv CALEB, b. 29 July 1641 [RVR MS 3]; Harvard 1661 [Sibley 2:95-98]; m. Roxbury 15 December 1665 Mary Hide.

v MARY, b. 2 May 1644 [RVR MS 4], bp. 5 May 1644 [RChR 115]; m. by 1669 Thomas Stedman (eldest known child bp. Roxbury 18 July 1669, the father being called "Thomas Stedman of Cambridge Village" [RChR 128]).

ASSOCIATIONS: John Watson was not a brother of ROBERT WATSON of Plymouth and Windsor, who did not exist.
COMMENTS: Savage claims that John Watson had a son Edmund born 12 July 1636; no such child appears in the town record, but Joseph Weld did have a son Edmund born in Roxbury 14 July 1636, which is probably the record that Savage somehow misconstrued.
The Great Migration Begins

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