Early Massachusetts Settlers

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Puritan Heritage § Great Migration § Massachusetts Settlers § Greenaway § Hager § Shattuck § Mixer § Kenrick & Jackson § Colonial Whitneys § Noyes § Billings

Puritan Heritage

While the 20th-century Billick ancestors are of Polish heritage, some of the oldest known the Jackson European antecedents hailed from merry ole England, as descendants of Puritan emigrants.

The “Great Migration”

The Puritans who fled their native land sought to escape the persistent religious strife of the period. The Puritans were disquieted with the Anglican Church led by British monarchs and still tinged with remnants of the Catholic Church. They sought to establish their own “pure” version of the faith. First, they fled to Holland. Then in the Fall of 1620, the Mayflower sailed for the New World initiating the American odyssey toward religious independence, with the intent to establish communities in keeping with their ideals of worship and family

The period between the Mayflower’s first sailing and 1640 is referred to as “The Great Migration.” Following the initial, famous voyage of the Mayflower, the next major group of Puritan settlers, led by John Winthrop, arrived in New England in 1630 and formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Between 1629 and 1643, more than 200 ships transported over 9,000 immigrants to the new Colony.[1] Several ancestors in the Jackson family tree were among “The Great Migration” travelers.

Unlike so many later immigrant waves, The Great Migration-era Pilgrims were generally well-off economically and well-educated. They were rigorous in their planning and strict and diligent in how they went about occupying and developing the New World lands. They carefully managed land ownership and limited the size of towns to ensure sufficient property rights were available for future generations.

An additional note here may help explain the apparently archaic given names of so many of these colonial period ancestors. The Puritans relied heavily on the Old Testament for religious guidance, so many place names were derived from that Hebrew-inspired text. One finds numerous Mt. Carmels, Mt. Sinais, etc. Likewise, among personal names there is a proliferation of Scriptural appellations like Ebenezer, Josiah, Rebecca, Isaac, Jedediah, Hannah, and so forth.

Beyond personal names, the Puritan culture has other implications for genealogists. Family life was extremely important to the Puritans. Steady companionship and procreation were a vital part of familial life. Thus, large, by modern standards very large, families were the norm. Most marriages produced seven or more children. Widows and widowers very frequently remarried, often within months of a spouse’s passing. Divorce was allowed although relatively rare. The Puritans were remarkably healthy and long-lived, especially compared to their contemporaries elsewhere in America and Europe. Many Great Migration colonists lived into their seventies and not a few reached their eightieth birthday. Infant and childhood mortality rates were low. The early 17th-century colonists lived in smallish clusters and marriage to in-laws was not uncommon. There was also a proliferation of common English surnames like Haynes, Howe, Jones, Leach, Billings, etc., and many variant spellings. All these factors make the work of accurately identifying individuals and tracing their lineage difficult.

I’m not forgetting the Germanic branch of the Jackson ancestry. Those migrants followed the Puritans about one hundred years: see, “German and Pennsylvania Ancestors – circa 1700-1830.”

Early Massachusetts Settlers

Watertown and Newton, Massachusetts, merit special note in the long-ago transit of the Billick-Jackson ancestors. While the early migrants settled in and passed through numerous New England hamlets —Cambridge, Northborough, Marlborough, Concord— a significant portion of the earliest arrivees resided, at least for a time, in Watertown and Newton, an area some six miles west of modern-day central Boston, on the north and south bank, respectively, of the Charles River.

Three ancestors mentioned below are included on the Watertown Founders Monument that commemorates the hamlet’s 116 original settlers: William Hagar II, William Sibley Shattuck and Isaac Mixer; they are three of Bonnie’s 1,024 8th great-grandfathers.[2]


Greenaway (and its many spelling variants[3]) is a quite common English surname derived from the Anglo-Saxon words grene (“green”) and weg (“way” or “road”) signaling one who lived by the grassy path. It appears in over 200,000 Ancestry.com historical documents. Confidently sorting out the earliest possible familial relationship is impossible.

Probably the earliest certain Jackson ancestor is Essex, England native John Greenaway (1515-1559), Bonnie’s 11th great-grandfather. It was his grandson the Puritan emigrant, Jonathan Greenaway (ca. 1563-1659), who brought the family to North America. He, his wife Mary, and four or five of their daughters were among the 140 passengers on the ship Mary and John[4] when it departed Plymouth on March 20, 1630. The voyage is described as an uneventful, albeit lengthy one, arriving at Nantasket on May 30.[5] One modern historian/genealogist characterizes the journey thus:

“… we might imagine that the ship, carrying 45 crew members and 140 passengers, plus some cows, goats, pigs, and chickens was somewhat cramped! Chests of clothing, dishes, bedding, furniture, building supplies, tools, seeds for planting, food for the voyage, and water had to be brought along. People were packed into little family quarters separated by cloth partitions. It might be very cold and wet or very hot. Many people would be seasick and vomiting. Animals and people would have to do their daily “business” and diarrhea was probably common.”[6]

Jonathan was a Millwright from Mildenhall, Wiltshire, and became one of the Pioneer Settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts. “Millwright” at this time meant a skilled mechanic who probably erected and maintained water-driven mills. He was prosperous and literate. Two of his daughters were not on the 1630 voyage but joined the family within a few years.


Jonathan’s fourth daughter, Katherine Greenaway (1622-1680), wed William Daniel (1625-1678) (see “Daniels,” on the Inland Migration), terminating the Greenaway name in the Jackson line.[7]


Little is known of the early Hager/Hagar patriarchs, save that they hailed from the hamlet of Great Chishill about eleven miles south of Cambridge. One reason I include the Hagers here is that their immediate ancestors illustrate the many intermarriages between the early Colonial settler families.[8] It’s worth noting that by around 1680, the city of Watertown, Massachusetts consisted of only a few hundred families and the total population of the Colony is estimated at around 39,000.

The first of the Hagar clan to settle in North America was Bonnie Jackson’s 8th great-grandfather, William Hager, Sr. (1594-1675) who arrived in the Massachusetts Colony in 1645 with his son, William Hager, II (1625-1684). William, Jr., married recent Watertown immigrant, Mary Bemis (1624-1695).[9] The Hagers appear to have been a prosperous family: William’s will enumerates eight separate properties totaling over 100 acres.

The couple had ten children, including two sets of twins. Their third daughter, Sarah Hagar (1651-1722), married Nathaniel Whitney (1646-1732); they are Bonnie’s 7th great-grandparents. And Sarah and Nathaniel’s daughter, Hannah Whitney (1687-1768), married into the Billings family. This lineage is resumed with “The Billings,” below. The Noyes and Haynes lines merged with the marriage of John Haynes and Dorothy Noyes, whose descendants are chronicled shortly (Noyes, just below, on this page).

Another of William and Mary’s children, Samuel Hagar (1647-1705), married Sarah Mixer (1657-1745) (see The Mixers page); they are Bonnie’s 7th great-aunt and uncle.

William Shattuck

A good deal is known about the Shattuck settlers in America from a lengthy 1855 treatise about the family.[10]

William Sibley Shattuck (ca. 1622-1672), Bonnie’s 8th great-grandfather, was probably born in Somerset, England in the early 1620s and migrated to America in 1642. Some genealogists conjecture that his father, Samuel, may have perished during the passage to America or shortly after their arrival. Early Watertown estate inventories show William as the owner of some four acres of property.   Around 1642, he married Susanna (1620-1686) whose parentage and surname are unknown.[11] The couple had nine (perhaps ten) children. William was a weaver and farmer and held several town offices.[12] Three separate times he was the surveyor of highways, an important and prestigious post in Colonial times. William Shattuck died in 1672 and is buried in the old Mount Auburn Cemetery, a famous early internment spot located about four miles west of Boston and now a National Historic Landmark.

Their son, William Shattuck, Jr. (1652-1732), married Susanna Randall (1662-1723), the daughter of immigrant parents, Stephen Randall (ca. 1629-1708) and Susanna Barron (ca. 1632-1673), who had arrived in the Colony in 1634 and 1640, respectively.

William Jr. and Susanna’s daughter, Joanna Shattuck (1678-1770), has a bit of enigmatic biography with some ambiguous, incomplete and occasionally erroneous relationships. I think the best analysis shows she wed, first, Isaac Holden (1675-1711), a Watertown neighbor, around 1702. With Isaac, she had three children. Then, I suspect she divorced him around 1710-1711. By 1713 she remarried to John Kenrick (1675-1753), by whom she bore another five children. I have found no primary documents proving the dissolution between Joanna and Isaac Holden but given the birth dates of the various children and the fact that Isaac seems to have lived many years beyond the date of Joanna’s marriage to Mr. Kenrick, divorce seems a likely scenario.[13] Joanna and John Kenrick are Bonnie Jackson’s 6th great-grandparents. The Kenrick lineage is outlined below: Kenrick & Jackson, below.

Joanna and John Kenrick’s eldest daughter, Joanna Kenrick (1715-1759), wed Jedediah Tucker (1712-1811) in November of 1737, ending the Shattuck surname in the Jackson family tree. The story of the Tucker family begins on The Tuckers of Massachusetts page.

Divorce among the Puritans

Divorce was not uncommon among Puritan settlers. It was, in fact, one of their main areas of dispute with the Catholic Church and the Church of England. The Puritans saw marriage as a civil contract, not as a religious tie.

“The Puritans recognized many grounds for divorce that were consistent with their conception of marriage. The statutes of Connecticut allowed divorce for adultery, fraudulent contract, willful desertion and total neglect for three years, and “providential absence” for seven years. Massachusetts granted divorces in the seventeenth century for adultery, desertion, cruelty, and “failure to provide.” Physical violence was also recognized as a ground for divorce. Husbands and wives were forbidden to strike one another in Massachusetts; there was no such thing as “moderate correction” in the laws of this colony. The courts often intervened in cases of wife-beating, and sometimes of husband-beating too.”[14]

A remote Jackson relative,[15] Elizabeth Luxford (1617-1668), is sometimes cited as one of the very earliest examples of the Puritan colonists’ liberal view of divorce. I won’s recount the whole story here, but her husband James was found guilty of several transgressions and Elizabeth was granted a divorce as well as possession of all the Luxford property. In addition he paid a fine, sat in the stock for an hour, and was banished from the Massachusetts Colony. Mr. Luxford was apparently quite a scoundrel. He was later found guilty of “forgery, lying, and other foul offences and other crimes,” and was sentenced to whipping and had his ears cut off! [16]

Isaac Mixer, Sr.

Another of the Watertown founders was Isaac Mixer, Sr. (1579-1642). The few known biographical notes about the senior Mixer are included below in the section about the Mixers.

Kenrick & Jackson

The Jackson family tree may have ancestors in an ancient line of Welsh nobles, beginning with one Cynwrig ap Rhiwallon (995-1075), with roots in Denbighshire, Wales. One 14th-century relative is said to have been a knight in service of The Black Prince (Edward Woodstock, son of King Edward III of England) in two key battles of the Hundred Years War with France, Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356).

The “Cynwrig” name morphed over time into variations of Kenrick and Kendrick with most descendants residing in the village of Woore, in Shropshire, and occupying Woore Manor into the 1600s.

Although primary documentation is scant and inconclusive, most family trees suggest that the Kenrick Colonial ancestors begin with John Kendrick (1604-1686)[17], Bonnie’s 8th great-grandfather, who was born in England and arrived in Boston in the mid-1630s.[18] For a time, he owned a wharf on the town dock (later called Tyng’s Wharf). He sold this property in 1652 and acquired 250 acres to the southwest that eventually became part of Newton. The area where present-day Nahanton Street and Kendrick Street join to cross the Charles River, adjacent to Kendrick Pond, is part of that original Kenrick homestead. John Kenrick passed away on August 29, 1686. His name appears on the Newton First Settlers Monument in the East Parish Burying Ground, a cemetery dating from about 1660 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John married Anna Smith (1604-1656) in about 1635.[19] Their son, Elijah Kendrick (1645-1680), married Hannah Jackson (1646-1737) in 1668.

Hannah was the daughter of English immigrant, John Jackson (1602-1675), who had come to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1635. John himself was the son of a prosperous Londoner, Christopher Jackson (1575-1633). Not long his arrival in the Colony, John became one of the founders of Cambridge, served as the first deacon of the church, and in 1660 donated land upon which the first church and cemetery set up.[20]

The last of the Kenricks in the Jackson line was Joanna Kenrick (1715-1759), Bonnie’s 5th great-grandmother, who wed Jedediah Tucker in November of 1737 (see Kenrick & Jackson, below).

The Colonial Whitneys

As noted earlier (see “Whitney,” on the European and English Roots page), the Whitney’s had a long history in Europe before John Whitney Jr. joined the Puritan migration to America in 1635. The Colonial Whitneys were a prominent family with significant land holdings and scores of descendants throughout Massachusetts and the surrounding area. This common surname presents challenges for genealogists and lineages prior to the individuals noted just below are uncertain. These are the early forbearers, by the way, of the famous inventor, Eli Whitney (1765-1825).

Little is known of Thomas Whitney (1550-1637), save that he was a “Gentleman,” and long-time resident of London. In May of 1583 he wed Mary Beth Bray (1563-1629), the daughter of London tailor, John Bray (1525-1615). It was their son, John Whitney (see just below) who became one of the first of many of the various Whitneys to settle in the New World.

Infant and Child Deaths

Unlike so many of the families chronicled here, the Whitney’s suffered an unusual number of early deaths. Over three generations, these families endured the loss of fourteen children at tragically young ages.

John Bray (1525-1615) and Margaret Haslonde (1536-1588) (John Whitney’s maternal grandparents) saw six of their offspring perish at early ages:

  • John, born1554, died at age four months
  • Margaret, born 1556/57, died just two weeks afterbirth
  • Laurence, born 1558, died at about age 12
  • Joan, born 1560, died in infancy (probably stillborn)
  • Thomas, born 1562, died at about age 8
  • Henry, born 1566, died in infancy

Thomas Whitney and Mary Beth Bray (John’s mother and father) suffered similar calamities with six of ten children passing in infancy or childhood:

  • Thomas, born 25 Jul 1587, died 19 Aug 1587, age three weeks
  • Henry, born 11 Nov 1588, died 4 Jan 1589, age about eight weeks
  • Arnwaye, born 2 Feb 1590, died 11 Aug 1591, age 19 months[21]
  • Nowell, born 30 Oct 1594, died 28 Feb 1597, at about age eighteen months
  • Mary, born 2 Aug 1600, died 8 Aug 1600, at six days
  • Robert, born 10 Nov 1605, died before 1610, age four years.

There is no known explanation for these very early deaths. There were several outbreaks of The Plague in London in 1582, 1592-93, and 1603; perhaps some of these children succumbed to remnants of these epidemics.

Sadly, two of John Whitney and Elinor’s nine children also died in infancy or very young:

  • Mary (born 1619) at age 6 and
  • Caleb (born 1640), who died the same day he was born

At the other extreme, however, his third son, Richard Whitney (1624-1790), lived to be 94, another son, Joshua to 84, and two others into their 70s.

John Whitney, Sr. (1588-1673) and his wife, Elinor (1615-1659) (Bonnie’s 9th great-grandparents),[22] lived first in Isleworth, England then later in London proper.[23] They departed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony on April 13, 1635 on the ship Elizabeth & Ann, accompanied by their six children. They landed in June, probably in Boston or Charlestown. He was a tailor by trade. John acquired a 16-acre tract a bit north of modern-day Belmont and Common Streets in Watertown. Their seventh child, Joshua Whitney (1636-1719), was the first Whitney to be born in America. He was one of the founders of Groton, Massachusetts (burned down by the Indians in 1676 during King Philip’s War) and later Deacon of the church in Watertown. Elinor died in 1659 and John married Judith Clement (1638-1673)[24] in the fall of that year.

John and Elinor’s eldest son, John Whitney, Jr. (1620-1692), was nearly fifteen years old when he arrived in America. He married another English émigré, Ruth Reynolds (1643-1662).[25] In adulthood, he was a soldier in King Philip’s War and became a major land holder: his will references some 200 acres of property in Watertown. Ruth passed away at age 38, in May of 1662. John died in Watertown in October of 1692, at age 72.

Nathaniel Whitney (1646-1732), son of John and Ruth, was born in Watertown on February 1, 1646. He was twice married; first to Sarah Hagar (1651-1722) whose father, William, arrived in the Colony in 1645. They are Bonnie Jackson’s 7th great-grandparents. The couple had eight children over twenty-five years; the last, Grace Whitney (1700-ca. 1720), was born when Mrs. Whitney was 48 years old. This would be twenty-five years after the birth of the couple’s first child, Nathaniel, in 1675.[26] Strangely, Sarah outlived her youngest child who passed away in around 1720/21. Grace’s death may have been related to an outbreak of smallpox that occurred in the Colony at this time. The “Fever” as it was called is estimated to have infected over 50% of the population of Boston proper.[27]

Following Sarah’s death in 1722, Nathaniel married Sarah Shepard Goble (1658-1746). He was a successful farmer and at the time of his death he possessed some 50 acres of land, a mansion, a barn, and substantial cash. He died without a will and the administration of his estate amongst his heirs took nearly a year to sort out.

Nathaniel’s daughter, Hannah Whitney (1688-1768) was born March 17, 1687. She married Nathaniel Billings (1688-1750), a native of Concord, on October 11, 1708. The Billings chronicle continues just below (Billings).

The Noyes’s

As seen earlier (“The Noyes Clan,” on the Middle Ages and Renaissance Heritage page), the Noyes family of Weyhill, England, can be traced at least to the 14th-century.  Perhaps the first of that stock to travel to North America was Peter Noyes (1590-1667),[28] Bonnie Jackson’s 9th great-grandfather. Born in Andover, Hampshire County, England in August of 1590, he married Elizabeth ? (1594-1636) in 1621 and fathered six children. Elizabeth died around 1636 and Peter decided to emigrate to New England.

He made an initial Atlantic crossing, departing Southampton aboard the Confidence on April 24, 1638, accompanied by his two oldest children, Thomas, age 15 and Elizabeth 13; and three servants. Members of the afore-mentioned Haynes family (in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Heritage page) were on the same ship. He explored the area around Watertown and was granted some seventy acres of land. Having decided to relocate permanently to the New World, he sailed back to England and returned to America in 1639 aboard the ship Jonathan, with his children Nicholas, Dorothy, Abigail, and Peter, several friends and servants. It must have been a difficult sailing as the wife and infant daughter of one of the servants died during the passage as did the grandmother of one of the friends, a Richard Barnes. Peter is considered one of the founders of Sudbury, Massachusetts, where he eventually settled. He occupied numerous civic posts including surveyor, constable, deputy to the General Court and judge. Two of his daughters and one son married children of Walter Haynes (see “The Haynes’s in America on the Inland Migration page). Peter died on September 23, 1657.[29]

Of the six offspring of Thomas and Elizabeth, eldest son Thomas Noyes (1623-1666) was the most prominent. One historical account describes him thus:

“[he] was a prominent man in the colony, one of the principle surveyors, and often called on to lay out farms in Sudbury and adjacent towns. He was a selectman for twelve years, and was authorized to marry in Sudbury; was called Ensign as early as 1658, and Lieutenant in 1665; he was second in command under Capt. Hugh Mason, whose company was ordered to march against the Dutch at the ‘Monhatoes.’ In pay for his service in this campaign he was granted 250 acres of land in what is now Worcester. He also owned land in Newbury…”[30]

The Noyes and Haynes lines merged with the marriage of John Haynes and Dorothy Noyes, whose descendants are chronicled shortly (see “The Haynes’s in America”on the Inland Migration page).

The Billings’s

The Billings family presents an especially vexing problem for family historians. The surname is terribly common: an important index to New England family names records nearly 2,000 individuals with the Billings surname.[31] Worse, still, errors regarding birth place, dates of birth and familial relationship for the European and Colonial Billings were accepted as fact and repeated in centuries of genealogies.[32]

Given the uncertainties of earlier ancestors, I’ll begin the Billings ancestry with the first member of the family who can reliably be placed in the Jackson line: Nathaniel Billings (1600-1673).[33] He was Bonnie Jackson’s 8th great-grandfather. Nathaniel arrived first in New Hampshire in 1639 then moved on to Massachusetts. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Concord, Massachusetts. Some records indicate he married Jane Hastings (1604-17??) in 1640; others suggest they were married prior to their arrival in America. He eventually came to own some fifty acres of property. The couple had two sons, John Billings (1640-1704) and Nathaniel, Jr.

Nathaniel Billings, Jr. (1640-1714) married Jane Goodenow Banister (1658-1708)[34] in 1679. They had five children between 1680 and 1690. Following Jane’s death, he married Lydia Luxford (1647- ?) (her second marriage, as well) in March of 1709. Nathaniel drowned on August 27, 1714 while fetching drinking water from a spring. He was 74 years old. The Billings’ property at this time is the same area where some 150 years later Henry David Thoreau settled while authoring Walden; or, Life in the Woods.

Nathaniel Jr. and Jane’s fourth son, Nathaniel Billings III (1688-1750), was born May 29, 1688 in Concord, Massachusetts. He married Hannah Whitney (1687-1768), a Watertown, native, in October of 1708. Hannah was a descendent of above-mentioned Ruth Reynolds (1623-1662) and John Whitney (1621-1692), who had sailed for Massachusetts in the Spring of 1635 on the ship Elizabeth and Ann and were among the first settlers in Watertown.

The second son of Nathaniel and Hannah, Thomas Billings (1712-1790) (Bonnie’s 5th great-grandfather), was born in Concord on May 9, 1712. He married Sarah Fay (1710-1800) in 1731. Sarah’s great-grandfather, David Henry Fay (1620-1655) had brought the family from England to the Boston area in 1655 or 1656. Thomas and Sarah’s fifth child, Silvanus, was born in Westborough in 1745; his history will be discussed below in the Union of the Tucker and Billings Lines page.

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[1] Some sources put this figure at over 20,000. Another destination for this diaspora was Barbados, in the West Indies.
[2] A very complete and informative list of these founders is found at: http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/Watertown_Founders_Monument. If the multiple 8th great-grandparents is confusing, keep in mind that the number of grandparents doubles in each generation. See the generations table in the Introduction.
[3] E.g., Greenway, Greenoway, Greenawaye, Greenough, etc.
[4] Much is known about this famous ship. For a quick overview see the Wikipedia article, “Mary and John,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_and_John; and the Mary & John Clearinghouse, https://maryandjohn1630.com/clearinghouse.html.
[5] This just a couple of weeks prior to the first of the so-called Winthrop Fleet of eleven vessels arriving in the summer of 1630. The average crossing time was something like two months.
[6] Gregg Millett, “Gaining a Foothold on the New Land,” at the Web site The Millett Family in America. Accessed 26 December 2019. http://www.greggmillett.com/Millett_John%20_and_Mary_Greenoway_1630.htm.
[7] Note Re this family tree-let. I have been unable to connect Elizabeth Haynes (ca. 1542-1579), wife of John Greenaway (1540-1609), to any of the Haynes’s described herein.
[8] The relationships for the parents of Mary Bemis and William Hager II are speculative. There a several conflicting versions and I have been unable to find any primary sources that definitively clarify if Anne Spray and Anna Spray are, indeed, two different people; or that determine their date(s) of death. All the other relationships here are rather well settled.
[9] William and Mary are 7th great-grandparents of President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933).
[10] Shattuck, 1855.
[11] There is much uncertainty regarding Mrs. Shattuck’s maiden name. Various sources say it was: Norcross, Hayden, and Bernard. Norcross seems to have been the surname of Susanna’s second husband whom she married after William’s passing. Some records suggest William may have married multiple times, but this seems incorrect.
[12] One source calls him a “shoemaker.” See Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts, A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns, and Churches, and Other Contemporaneous Documents (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900), p. 409; but this seems to be an error.
[13] Desertion or spousal neglect for three years was grounds for divorce. Note that the Joanna’s second marriage occurred about four years after the birth of the couple’s last child.
[14] See “Massachusetts Marriage Ways: The Puritan Idea of Marriage as a Contract,” Erenow Web site https://erenow.net/common/fourbritishfolkwaysinamerica1989/15.php. Accessed 4 January 2020.
[15] Ancestry.com calculates she is “wife of paternal grandfather of wife of 7th great-grandfather.”
[16] Elizabeth Luxford’s tale is recounted at “The Puritan Divorce Allows Escape From the Chain of Matrimony,” New England Historical Society web site. At: http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/puritan-divorce-allows-escape-from-the-chain-of-matrimony/ Accessed 4 January 2020.
[17] Kenrick versus Kendrick was a common spelling variation over several generations. John’s gravestone was the most contemporaneous and early use of “Kenrick”; with the “Kendrick” version prevailing later.
[18] Jackson 1854 in the “Sources,” provides much information on the Kenrick/Kendrick settlers of Newton, Massachusetts.
[19] Anna died in November of 1656. John remarried, to Judith Stephens (1595-1687); she outlived him by about one year, passing away in August of 1687.
[20] In many histories and genealogies, he is referred to as “Deacon John Jackson.”
[21] Some suggest this unusual given name is a tribute to one Thomas Armwaye, a contemporary of the Whitneys, famous for his support of the poor classes. There is a monument to Thomas and his wife, Margaret, in St. Mary’s church in Westminster where Armwaye Whitney was baptized and buried.
[22] Some sources cite her maiden name as “Bray” or “Braye,” but this has not been documented. Neither Wikitree nor Find-A-Grave provide a surname. Her first name is sometimes given as “Eleanor.”
[23] There have been decades of debate and genealogical research about the true forbearers of the Watertown Whitneys. The Pierce 1830 book (see the Sources page) was long considered an authoritative source on the subject but had been found to contain many errors. For purposes of this treatise, it is sufficient to say that this John Whitney is NOT an heir of the noble British Whitneys who were direct descendants of the 11th-century Norman invaders and their knighted successors. See Paul C. Reed, “Whitney Origins Revisited: John Whitney of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Henry Whitney of Long Island and Norwalk, Connecticut,” The American Genealogist, vol. 69 (1994): pp. 9-14.
[24] Sometimes given as “Judah” but this is not commonly a female name and was probably a transcription error.
[25] The ancestry of Ruth Reynolds is much disputed. Her father, Robert Reynolds (ca. 1580-1659), was born in Kent, England, arrived in America between 1630 and 1635, and died in Boston, Massachusetts. Other than that, experts agree on little.
[26] Birth and death dates for the daughters of Nathaniel and Sarah seem uncertain but all sources agree that Sarah had three children after age forty.
[27] Wikipedia has a good summary of this outbreak and its role in medical history. See “1721 Boston smallpox outbreak.” At https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1721_Boston_smallpox_outbreak
[28] Sometimes spelled “Noyce.”
[29] Peter Noyes may have remarried however records are not clear about this. Some suggest a second wife named Abigail but this may be confusion with his daughter, Abigail.
[30] A Colonial “selectman” was a kind of city councilperson, a member of an executive committee to run the town. “Manhatoes” refers to skirmishes on the island of Manhattan as part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War between March of 1665 and July of 1667.
[31] Steve Condacure, New England Genealogy Index. At www.genealogyofnewengland.com/sjc.htm. Accessed March 5, 2019.
[32] The Billingses were just one of many fraudulent genealogies perpetrated by Horatio Gates Somerby in the late 19th century. The most important corrections are made by: 1) Paul C. Reed, “The Fraudulent Ancestry of Roger and William Billing(s) of Dorchester, Massachusetts,” The American Genealogist, 74 (1999):28–30; and, 2) Rachelle Child and Helen Schatvet Ullmann: “English Origin of Roger, Ann, and William Billings of Dorchester, Massachusetts,” in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 171 (Spring 2017), 129-132. To add more confusion, Ancestry.com’s “Millenium File” database seems to have confused the wife of Nathaniel Billings, Jr. (1640-1714).
[33] Genealogical records are unclear about Nathaniel’s parents.
[34] It’s tempting to trace Jane Goodenow’s lineage but the plethora of potential English ancestors and Colonial era descendants make it too daunting a task.

[last update: 17-Nov-2021]