The Tuckers of Massachusetts

On this page…
European Origins § Robert Tucker & Elizabeth Allen § James Tucker & Rebecca Tolman § Ebenezer Tucker & Jemima Daniel § Jedediah Tucker & Joanna Kenrick § Robert Fosgate & Sarah Howe

Tucker European Origins

The ancestors of Adelaide “Addie” Tucker (1858-1922) of Ohio (Bonita Jackson’s great grandmother) had seven generations of history in North America before her marriage into the Clink family. Their English roots might be traced to the 11th century and one Willielmus Tucker of Thornley, on the east coast of Britain a bit south of Newcastle upon Tyne, although that linkage has been called into question.[1]

It is also possible, even likely, that the New World Tuckers are descended from the French Le Toukere family dating back to Roger Le Toukere (ca. 1273-ca. 1320), who would be Bonnie’s 19th great-grandfather.

Robert Tucker & Elizabeth Allen

Bonnie Jackson’s 8th great-grandparents.

Whatever their most distant and obscure antecedents, it is probable that the Tucker’s first American ancestor was Robert Tucker (1604-1681), native of Kent, England, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1639. He afterward moved to Gloucester, then to Milton, about the time the town was incorporated in 1662, and purchased several adjoining lots containing in all about 117 acres. With his wife, Elizabeth Allen (1614-1682),[2] he fathered six children. Robert died on March 11, 1682, at age 77; his wife, Elizabeth, passed away the following month. He was a prosperous farmer, a prominent citizen active in town affairs, and bequeathed substantial possessions to his sons upon his passing. His house, built around 1680, was relocated in 1895 and still stands today on the Joseph Cutler Whitney Estate, at 678 Brush Hill Road, in Milton, Massachusetts.


Explorer Tuckers

Robert Tucker (1604-1682) and his brothers, John, and Henry were much taken with the exploits of their uncle, Daniel Tucker (1575-1625), who is credited with “discovering” Cape Cod in 1602 and later became a governor of Bermuda.

John Tucker (1600-1677) was one of the earliest settlers of Newbury, MA, while youngest brother Henry (1612-1687) had extensive properties in Virginia and Bermuda.

Robert and his descendants are the first generations of North American Tuckers. They resided in the Milton, Massachusetts area, south of Boston and the Neponset River. The 1887 History of Milton characterizes Robert thus:[3]

“Robert Tucker occupied an important and highly useful position in the Town and the church during the earliest years of the settlement, and his numerous descendants have been among the most active and influential of our citizens through the entire history of the town.

Members of this family have graced the pulpit, the Army, and the Representative halls of the country. From the beginning, they have filled important offices of trust in the town and in the church.”

Hurd’s History of Norfolk Co. Mass. adds: “He was held in much esteem by his neighbors, and his character and education exercised an important influence here. His handwriting indicates a gentleman familiar with the pen.”[4]

James Tucker & Rebecca Tolman

Parents of Ebenezer Tucker; 7th great-grandparents of Bonnie Jackson.

Few details survive concerning the life of James Tucker (1640-1718), the eldest son of Robert and Elizabeth. He was born in 1640 in Weymouth, Massachusetts and married Rebecca Tolman (1647-1717), a Dorchester native, in 1673 in Milton. Her father, Thomas Tolman, had arrived in America from England aboard the ship Mary and John on May 30, 1630, after a 71-day voyage.

The couple had five (perhaps six) children. James Tucker died on March 15, 1718, in Milton, Massachusetts, at age 78, and was buried there. Rebecca died in Dorchester, at age 69.[5]

Ebenezer Tucker & Jemima Daniel

Parents of Jedediah Tucker, their third child; Bonnie Jackson’s 6th great-grandparents.

Ebenezer Tucker (1682-ca. 1722) was born on May 20, 1682, in Milton. He married Jemima Daniel (1683-1762) on December 12, 1706, in his hometown. They had six children in 11 years. Ebenezer had one of the briefest lives of all the Jackson Colonial ancestors; he died about March of 1722, at age 39.[6] He outlived his parents by a scant five years and his youngest daughter, Rebecca, wasn’t yet two when her father passed away.

Ebenezer’s wife, Jemima, was born in 1683 in Milton, Massachusetts. They had six children. After Ebenezer’s death, she married Henry Vose (1663-1752), a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Jemima’s daughter, Experience Tucker (1710-1760), married Henry’s son by his first wife, Thomas Vose (1708-1760). Jemima outlived her first husband, Ebenezer, by some 40 years, passing away in 1762 at the age of 79.

The couple both bear Bible-based names. Jemima refers to the eldest of the three daughters of Job; and Ebenezer originates in the Book of Samuel, referring to a rock Samuel set up to commemorate the Israelite victory over the Philistines.

Jedediah Tucker & Joanna Kenrick

These are Bonnie Jackson’s 5th great-grandparents; and the parents of Jedediah Tucker, Jr. (see the Union of the Tucker and Billings Lines page).

Jedediah Tucker (1712-1811) was born Sept 14, 1712, in Milton, Massachusetts. He died April 4, 1811, Boylston. He married Joanna Kenrick (1715-1759) in 1737 whose parents (John Kenrick and Johanna Shattuck) hailed from Cambridge and Newton. Jedediah served in the Revolutionary War in the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, with his name appearing on service records from 1777 through 1781. They had ten children. Joanna died December 14, 1759, in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Jedediah married thrice more: to Elizabeth Mower Lynde (?-1770) in 1761; then to Hannah Rice Smith (1714-1796) in 1790; and, lastly, to Elizabeth Coolidge (ca. 1741-1823) in 1796 at age 84.[7] He died in April 1811, at the age of 98, having outlived all his siblings, six of his children and three wives.

Why New York?

These are transitional years for the Tuckers. How is it that after five generations located in the Milton-Shrewsbury area of Massachusetts, the family ventured well north-west to New York and then on to Ohio?

During the Revolutionary War, both Jedediah, Sr. (1712-1811) and Jedediah, Jr. (1744-1827) served in the Massachusetts 2nd Regiment, seeing action in the New York Campaign of 1776-77. Those battles took place just east of present-day Johnstown. Perhaps that is how Caleb Tucker (1774-1853) became familiar with this rural area of New York and relocated his family there around 1798 (the first Tucker child born there was daughter, Malinda, in 1799; the city was officially established only in 1760).

As will be seen below, the pioneer “bug” bit Caleb’s son as well, who moved from New York to Ohio just 40 years later.

Robert Fosgate and Sarah Howe

The parents of Keturah Fosgate Billings, and Bonita Jackson’s 5th great grandparents, Robert and Sarah Howe were contemporaries of Jedediah and Joanna Tucker, above, but resided some miles to the northeast in Marlborough and Bolton.

Robert Fosgate’s ancestral line begins with his great grandparents, John Foskett (1602-1688) and Elizabeth Tufts (1605-1683), both born in England. Their son, John Fosgate (1636-1689) arrived in Massachusetts in 1658. He married twice. First, Elizabeth Powell (1642-1683), with whom he had two sons, Thomas Foskett (1660-1694) and Robert Foskett (1672-1741).

Not in doubt is the fact that Sarah and Robert were the parents of a daughter, Keturah Fosgate (see “Silvanus Billings & Keturah Fosgate” on the Union of the Tucker and Billings Lines page), Bonnie’s 4th great-grandmother.

Sarah Howe (1714-1780)[8] was born on December 24, 1714, in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the daughter of Josiah Howe and his second wife, Mary Marble (the New World Howe settlers are described earlier, see The Colonial Howes). She married Robert Fosgate[9] (1704-1741) on December 1, 1730, in Newbury, Massachusetts. Sarah and Robert are two of the most scantily-documented individuals in the Billick/Jackson genealogical record. They seemed to have had at least four children (maybe more). Robert’s death date is often cited as 1741 but this is likely incorrect. Sarah passed away between 1780 and 1784 in Bolton, Massachusetts. Their link in the genealogical chain is picked up with their daughter, Keturah: see  Silvanus Billings & Keturah Fosgate.

[BACK to CONTENTS]  [← PREVIOUS Section]   [↑ TOP of page]   [→ NEXT Section]
[1] Not all historians agree with this lineage: see The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1922, vol., LXXVI, pp. 234-35, for a contrarian view. However, with so many Tucker families in the New World, it is difficult to sort out accurate ancestries.
[2] There is much uncertainty about the biography of Elizabeth; including where she was born, number of children, and when she died.
[3] Teele 1887, p. 578.
[4] Hurd 1884, p. 736.
[5] The death dates for both James and Rebecca are uncertain. Some sources suggest they died on the same day but this is probably an error. March 5, 1718 seems like the correct date for James’s passing.
[6] Ebenezer had a cousin also named Ebenezer Tucker (1683-1724); the common names and overlapping life spans have led some genealogies to conflate the two.
[7] Few genealogies report all four of these marriages. My source is Ephraim Tucker’s 1895 Genealogy of the Tucker Family. Almost nothing is known of the latter three wives.
[8] This Sarah Howe is one of the most enigmatic of the personages recorded here. Details about her are few; fewer still are very reliable. Thus her ancestry is very tenuous. Her relationship to Robert Fosgate and daughter, Keturah, however, seem well enough established.
[9] There are numerous variations on this surname; the most frequent being Foskett and Foskit.
{last update: 13-Nov-2021}