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Thursday, February 27, 2014

William Nickerson (1604-1689) Chatham, Cape Cod, MA

William Nickerson was born Oct. 16 1604 in Norwich, England, the son of William and Alice (nee?) Nickerson. About 1627 he married Anne Busby, born Feb 7 1607 in Norwich, England. She was the daughter of Nicholas and Bridget Cocke, both of Norwich, England. William was a weaver by trade.

In 1637, due to the persecutions of Bishop Wren, (Bishop of Norwich), whose zealous efforts against non-conformists (Puritans) drove over 3000 small craftsmen out of the country, William decided to go to the colonies with his family, and their examination just before their departure from England reads thus: "The examination of William Nickerson of Norwich, in Norfolk, weaver, aged 33, and Anne, his wife, aged 28, with four children, Nicho, Robart, Elizabeth, Anne are desirous to go to Boston in New England there to inhabit. April 8, 1637."  (Hottens History of Immigrants).

They sailed from Yarmouth, England, April 15, 1637, on the Ship John and Dorothy, Capt. William Andrews, Master, accompanied by the consort Rose, commanded by the Captain's son. With them sailed his wife's parents, and all the Nickerson children. In the same party was 18 year old Samuel Lincoln, the ancestor of Abraham Lincoln, and also of Joseph Lincoln, the famous author of Cape Cod stories. They arrived in Salem, MA, in New England on Jun 20 1637. 

The Nickerson’s stayed in the Boston area and Yarmouth for the next 20 years adding another five children to their family: Samuel, John, Sarah, William, and Joseph.  In 1656, Nickerson pulled a cart down an ancient Indian path onto land occupied by Mattaquason, the Mononmoyick Sachem. They struck a deal and Nickerson acquired 4 square miles of land. For this he paid: a shallop, 10 coats, 6 kettles, 12 axes, 12 hoes, 12 knives, 40 shillings in wampum, a hat, and 12 shillings in coin.  However, all this took place without the approval of the authorities in the Plymouth Colony.  It would be 16 years until his disputed purchase was settled by the courts with Nickerson paying a 90 pound fine and obtaining deeds from Mattaquason and his son John.

Chatham was known as Monomoit until 1712, when Rev. Adams became a resident minister. Its status was changed from a constablewick to a town and it’s name became Chatham, taken from an English seaport.

William and Anne had 10 children, 7 of whom lived to receive allotments of land when William died in 1689.  Other families had begun to move into the area and, for the most part, they were farmers. But it was William Nickerson who was considered the founder of Monomoit.

Their children were:
Nicholas (1628 Norwich, Eng - 1683 Yarmouth, MA, m. Mary Darby – 1 child
i. Elizabeth (1629 Norwich, Eng – 1706 Monomoit, MA m. Robert Eldredge – 9                       children 
Robert (1631 Norwich, Eng – 1710) m. Rebecca Cole
Thomas (1633-1633 Norwich, Eng)
Anne (1631 Norwich, Eng – 1681) m. Tristram Hedges
Samuel (1638 Yarmouth, MA – c. 1719 Harwich, MA) m. Mary Bell
John (1640 Yarmouth, MA – 1714) m. Sarah Williams
ii. Sarah (1644 Yarmouth, MA – c. 1716 Yarmouth MA m. Nathaniel Covel – 6                        children
iii. William (1646 Yarmouth, MA – 1719 Chatham, MA) m. Mercy Williams -7                         children
Joseph (1647- Yarmouth, MA – c. 1730 Harwich, MA) m. Ruhumah Jones – 2                         children

The original settler, William Nickerson is my 9th great grandfather in three different ways. The first one is Elizabeth, who married Robert Eldred/Eldredge in 1649, Yarmouth MA. The other two lines to William Nickerson, Senior, will be dealt with separately.

i. Elizabeth Nickerson married Robert Eldredge, although this name appears as Eldred at first. They had:

ia. Nicholas (1650-1702) m. Elizabeth Unknown in 1679 - 3 children

          Smith, William Christopher. A history of Chatham, Massachusetts: formerly the constablewick or village of Monomoit : with maps and illustrations and numerous genealogical notes. (Hyannis, Mass.: F.B. & F.P. Goss, 1989), 148-9.  “On April 30, 1702, he [Jonathan Vickery] went out in an open boat with a party of villages, probably on a fishing or whaling trip. The boat in some way was overturned, it is supposed, and all in the parter (sic.) were drowned. The names of his companions are nowhere given, but it is certain that Lieut. Nicholas Eldredge, William Cahoon and Edward Small  perished with him." [The footnote says that probate records state that they each died on April 30.]

Mary (1651-?) m. John Smith
Robert (1654-1732)
Hannah (1656-aft. 1706)
William (1656-1749)
Martha (1658-aft 1706)
Joseph (1662-1735) m. Elizabeth Jones
Bridget (1664-aft. 1706) m. William Long
Samuel (1666-?) m. Elizabeth Hedges

ia. Nicholas and Elizabeth Eldredge had 3 children:
          (Also to be noted at about this time the name has another spelling change and is seen as Eldridge.)

iia. Martha (c 1700-1740) m. (in 1723) Benjamin Snow (1701-1748) Mayflower descendant of Stephen Hopkins. All descendants of this couple can claim Mayflower descendancy. She was mentioned in her father’s will of 1702.

Elizabeth (c. 1685-1735)  m. Samuel Harding (c. 1686-c. 1735). Samuel was a Mayflower descendant through his mother Bethia Cooke. Francis Cooke was a Separatist and arrived in the new world on the Mayflower.

James – no further info

iia.  Martha and Benjamin Snow had 4 children all born in Eastham, MA.

Kezia (1724-?) She and Ruth were likely twins.
Ruth (1724-?)

Martha (1726-beg. 1776) m. Simeon Higgins and is also a descendant of Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins, through his mother Elizabeth Ring.

iiia.  Nathan (1732-1814 Nova Scotia) m. (in 1758) Mary “Polly” Horn (?-1814)

Next is iiia. Nathan Snow who married Mary “Polly” Horn in 1758. In some places I have seen her listed as Mary Polly, Polly being the last name. There was a name ‘Polle’ at the time that could have been her name. However, Find a Grave has her listed as Mary Horn with Polly as a middle, or perhaps, nickname. It is also entirely possible that she was a widow when she married Nathan and her maiden name was Mary Polle (Polly) and she had been married to a man named Horn. Unless further information comes to light, it’s unlikely that we will ever know the true identity of Nathan Snow’s wife.  Nathan and Mary were married in Eastham and at some time after that, departed New England for Barrington, Nova Scotia.

iiia. Nathan and Mary Snow had 12 children:

iva. Susannah (c 1757-1814) m. (in 1776) John Spinney (1755-1842)                                     – 8 children
Nathan (1761-1821) m. Mercy Smith
Benjamin (1763-1814) m. Sarah Smith
James (1763-?)
William (1765-1843)
Stephen (1767-?) m. Elizabeth Smith
Seth (1769-?) m. Rebecca Smith
John (1771-1824) m. (in 1794) Hannah Smith -1 child
Elizabeth (1773-?) m. (in 1794) Jonathan Smith
Hezekiah (1774 – 1818) m. Lydia Covell
Josiah (1778-?) m. Nancy Hipson
Howes Stewart (1783-1868) m. (in 1802) Sophia Smith

In the next generation, iva. Susannah Snow married John Spinney. There is some question about his birth. He was born aboard ship but it isn’t known if his parents were coming from England to settle in New England or if they had settled in Canada and were returning to New England for some purpose. Whatever the case may be, John Spinney was born on a ship headed for Marblehead MA and that is where his birth seems to have been recorded. Susannah and John were married in Barrington, Nova Scotia and had 8 children:

iva. Susannah and John Spinney had 8 children:

Thomas (1776-?) m. (in 1803) Sarah Dexter
Sarah (1779-?) m1. (in 1805) John Lyle; m2. (in 1794) Isaac Huskins
John (1784-1879) m. Mercy Atwood  - 5 children
Mary (1786-?) m. (in 1807) Theophilus Crowell
Susannah (1787-?) m. (in 1807) Nathaniel Smith
va. Elizabeth (1789-1874) m. (in 1809) Stephen Smith - 9 children
Deborah (1793-?) m. Joseph Atwood – 6 children
William Doherty (1799-?) m. (in 1822) Mary Unknown

va. Elizabeth Spinney married Stephen Smith in 1809 and had 9 children. From this point on the descendancy has already been described in my blog on the Ralph Smith Family.

The rest of the descent from va. Elizabeth and Stephen is:

Rachel Smith m. Samuel Scarr
Mary Ellen Scarr m. Henry Gordon Carmichael
Nora Carmichael m. Jesse Pye  -  my grandparents

This is the descent from ia. Elizabeth Nickerson and Robert Eldered/Eldredge/Eldridge.

Mayflower Families #6 Hopkins, by John D. Austin

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