Source: Chaffee, William H., The Chaffee Genealogy (embracing the Chafe, Chafy, Chafie, Chafey, Chafee, Chaphe, Chaffy, Chaffie, Chaffey, Chaffe, Chaffee Descendants of Thomas Chaffe, of Hingham, Hull, Rehoboth and Swansea, Massachusetts also certain Lineages from Families in the United States, Canada and England, not descended from Thomas Chaffe), 1635-1909 (New York: The Grafton Press, 1909). Repository: NEHGS.
Thomas Chaffe, the emigrant ancestor of nearly all who to-day bear this surname under its varied forms of orthography, from Chafe to Chaffee, now residing in the United States and parts of Canada, came to New England, where in 1635 he owned land and was living in Hingham, Mass. The place and date of his birth, his parentage, the time and place of his arrival and the name of the ship which bore him from the Old World to the New, are at present unknown.
The first mention of him in the records is found in the Town Clerk's office in Hingham, under the date 1635:
"Given unto John Tucker by the towne of Hingham for a planting lott of six acres of land lying upon the Worlds End Hill bounded with the land of Thomas Chaffe and the land of John Prince, Southward and with the land of Ralph Woodward, Northward, butting upon the Sea Eastward and Westward"
This is not only the earliest mention of Thomas Chaffe, but also of the name of Chaffe. How long Thomas Chaffe had owned this land when John Tucker received his land, we do not know. Hingham was one of the oldest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There were settlers there as early as 1633, at which time it bore the name of "Bare Cove." The General Court, on September 2, 1635, changed the name to Hingham in deference to requests, no doubt made by those early settlers, several of whom came from Hingham in the County of Norfolk, England. Whether Thomas Chaffe was one of the earliest settlers of Hingham, we do not know; the list of those who in 1635 owned land there does not give his name, but the above extract from the records proves conclusively that at that time he was a property owner, though the entry of his grant was not made until 1637, when we find, under the heading "The severall parsells of land and meadow legally given unto Thomas Chaffe by the towne of Hingham," the following:
"Given unto Thomas Chaffe by the Towne for a planting lott seven acres of land upon the worlds end hill bounded with the sea eastward and southward and with the land of John Prince westward and with the land of John Tucker northward."
Under the same date we find another entry:
"Given unto Thomas Chaffe all the salt marsh on the south side of straitts pond for two acres and he is to have alI the sd parsells of land to him and his heirs for ever be they more or less as they were measured."
"July 17th 1637 . . . Given unto Thomas Chaffe by the towne for a house lott two acres of land Butting upon Batchellor street eastward bounded with the land of William Ludkin southward."
The small amount of land granted to Thomas Chaffe for his house or home lot, proves that at this time he was unmarried, as it was the custom of those days to grant small parcels of land to bachelors, as being sufficient for their needs. Bachelor Street is now known as Main Street, and the original Chaffe home lot is about opposite the old meeting-house.
One more piece of property was given in that year to Thomas Chaffe by the town:
"Oetobr 1637 . . . Given unto Thomas Chaffe by the Towne for a greatt lott tenn acres of land lying upon the great playne on the second furlong to the westward of the centre, bounded with the land of Ralph Smith southward and with the Land of Thomas Turner northward. Butting upon the high wayes east-ward and westward.)"
Between the above date and April 9, 1642, nothing is found in the records regarding Thomas Chaffe and then his name appears in the records of Nantasket, later called Hull, a town adjoining Hingham and situated on the point of a peninsula jutting out into Massachusetts Bay. Nantasket was an older town than Hingham. The first building there was erected by the people of Plymouth on or before 1624 and used as a store house "to accomodate their trade with the Massachusetts." In 1628 it bore about one-eighth part of the expenses of the Colonies. The records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony state:
"By virtue of an order of Geunerall Court, wee whose names are under written, comissioners for the laying out of a plantation at Nantasket, doe order and dispose the same in manner following: first, Jerrimiah Bellamy, John Colljer, Nathanj: Baker, Edmond Bosworth, John Prince, Nathanj: Bosworth, Edward Bunn, Thomas Colljer, Richard Stubbs, Thomas Chaffey, William Kerly and John Stodder shallbe admitted as planters, and to take their house lotts for building of houses in the valley betwixt the two hills next Pedocks Island, to the value of two acres for each house, so that there may lie thirty-two lotts at least betwixt the said two hills, the psons aboue to take all their lotts on one side of the said valley, to begin at either end of that side, as they all shall thinke fitt by agreement, or else p. lott, the said lots to be and to lye onely fiue rodds broade up against the hill, wch they chuse, these persons to haue each two acers of medowe as they shallbee hereafter signed, & also each of them to have four acres of planting land at Peddock's Iland, to bee laid out when the plantation shall be fuller; in the meanetime, if have any need to plant, they may plant where they think fit: and when it shalbe allotted and layd out in ppriety, those that have planted, if in casting lotts they bee put from such lands as they haue planted, they are to bee allowed for their labour they haue been at by those wch shall possesse their lotts afterwards. The beaches and places on Nantaskott or any of the isleands that may bee fitt for setting up of stages for fishing to be left free for such purpose for these or any other persons that shall set on such a work, and the plantation to be possessed & enjoyed by the persons aforesajd according to the order of Cor above specifjed. Dated the 9th of ye 2d mo, 1642.
On May 29, 1644, the name of the town was changed to that of Hull and in July of that year a church was formed there. Governor Winthrop says, under the date of July 15th, 1644:
"Nantascott being formerly made a town, and having now twenty houses and a minister, was by the last general court named Hull."
In both Hingham and Hull Thomas Chaffe was a fisherman and farmer.
The name of his wife and the date and place of his marriage are unknown. He was probably married in Hull, as the copious notes and manuscripts left by the Reverend Peter Hobart, pastor of the church at Hingham from September, 1635, until the date of his death in 1678, make no mention in any way of Thomas Chaffe, his wife or children. The town records of Hull prior to 1657 have been lost; if extant they would doubtless give us the desired information. It is probable that the wife's Christian name was Dorothy, as her sons both had daughters by that name, which was not a name found in the families of their wives; in that day it was the custom to name children for their grandparents, the cases where this was not done being very exceptional.
A brief description of that part of Massachusetts where Thomas Chaffe first made his home in the New World may be of interest. In 1627 Mr. Grus of Salem wrote:
"The country is very beautiful. Open lands, mixed in goodly woods, and ag open plains, in some places five hundred acres, some more and some less. . . Not much trouble to clear for the plough The grass and weeds grow up to a man's face. In the low lands and by fresh rivers, there are large meadows without a tree or bush."
Morton, in speaking of the Indian custom of burning the grass and leaves, wrote in 1632:
"The savages burn over the country, that it may not be overgrown with underwood . . . It scorches the older trees and hinders their growth. The trees grow here and there, as in English parks, and make the country very beautiful.
Two years later Wood wrote:
" In many places divers acres are cleared, so that one may ride a hunting most places of the land. There is no underwood, - save in the swamps and low grounds, - it being the custom of the Indians to burn the woods in November, when the grass is withered and leaves dried . . . There is good fodder in the woods where the trees are thin; and in the spring grass grows rapidly on the burnt land. "
It would seem that Thomas Chaffe and his fellow settlers did not have to cut down the forest to clear the land before planting their crops, as did many of the early New England settlers; they were fortunate in settling in a part of the country where the ground was ready to receive the seed for their crops and where pasture and mowing lands were plentiful.
The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was anxious to encourage the fishing trade and Hull was especially enjoined to "endeavor the advancement of fishing" as we see from the following entry in the records under the date of May 26, 1647:
" There being now divers freemen and men of good ability in Hull, who may comfortably carry on the affairs of the town, by the authority of this Court, to order the prudential affairs of their town according to the course of other plantations, provided that, according to the former orders of this Court, they endeavor the advancement of fishing, and that such fishermen as are there already, and others which shall come thither, may have all such reasonable priviledges and incouragements as the place will afford and that such places as are fit for fishermen may be reserved for that purpose, and with this caution also, that William Parks, Mr. Glover, and Mr. Duncan, or any two of them be appointed to see the order of Court for advance of fishing duly observed.
The next mention of Thomas Chaffe in the records of Hull is the following deed:
"The fourth day of February one thousand six hundred and fifty, Thomas Chaffe of Hull doth acknowledge that he hath sould unto Thomas Gill, of Hingham, to him and his heirs for ever his planting lott lying for eight acres upon pleasant hill next unto Mr. Peter Hubberd on the west and Thomas Gill on the east and it butts from sea to sea. Also four acres upon Squirill Hill, two acres of it was formerly Thomas Lorings, the other two was Mr. William Waltons and it lyeth next to Mr. Hubberd's on the north and Joseph Andrews on the south.
"Also half the meadow lying in Broad cove meadow which was formerly Mr. William Walton's it lyeth for four-acres and it is next to the highway on the north and Thomas Chubbuck on the south.
"Also a greate lott of tenn acres which was given to him by the Towne, an the above, sayd parsells of land and meadow the sayd Thomas Gill is to have and to hold, to him and his, heirs for ever from the 4 of February 1650.
"In witness whereof I the aforesayd Thomas Chaffe have set to my hand this 31st day of October 1670.
"Signed in Presence of us Thomas Chaffe
of us his + marke.
" Towne Clarke."
(On record in Hingham, Mass.]
This deed though dated 1650, was not signed until 1670, and then in Hingham, as it was witnessed by the town clerk of that place, so Thomas and his son Joseph must have made a trip from Swansea, where they were then living, to Hingham at this time.
The last mention of Thomas in Hull is as follows:
"The Lands and tenements of Thomas Chaffe.
" First two home lotts containing fower Acres more or less as the were measured lying north east and south west, John Loring one the south east. William Chamberlyne one the north west, the towne street on the south west and Duckelane on the north est.
"More - one Lott of Meadow by Straights river Containing two acers more or less as it was measured Lying north and south, the Straights river on the south, the great Rockey necke on the north, the falls Creeke and Nicolas Bakers meadow on the East, John Stones on the West.
" More-two small Lotts at Sagemore hill, Containing one acer and half more or less as it was measured. Lying north west and south east. Henry Chamberlyne on the South West, Nicholas Baker on the North East, Samuel Ward & Thomas Jones on the South East, and the high way on the north west.
"More-two small lotts at Strawberry hill, Containing one acer and half more or lesse as it was measured, lying north & south Richard Stubbes, on the East, Benjamine Bosworth on the West, the steep banke on the south, and John Lobdell and Benjamine Bosworth on the North."
Between this date (1657) and May 30, 1660, Thomas Chaffe had moved from Hull and had probably settled in Rehoboth, then in Plymouth Colony, as we find by the following deed:
"Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Chaffy some time of Hull in the County of Suffolke for a Certajne Valuable Consideration to me in hand well & truly pajd by Thomas Loring Senr of the Towne of Hull in New England aforesajd in the County of Suffolke wth wch I doe acknowledge myself fully Contented & Sattisfied & doe hereby acquitt & dischardge the sajd Thomas Loring of Hull aforesajd. Haue Given Graunted bargained Sold Aljened Enfeoffed & Confirmed and by these presents Doe Giue Graunt bargaine Sell aljene enfeoffe and Confirme vnto the sajd Thomas Loring of the Towne of Hull his heires and Assignes for euer all that my house houseing orchard & two home lotts lying in the Towne of Hull aforesajd Conteigning fower acres more or lesse as they were measured lying North East & South west. John Loring on the South East willjam chamberlajne on the North west the Towne streete on the South west & Ducke Lane on the North east wth my lott of meadow by Streights Riuer & my two lotts at Sagamore hill and my two lotts at Strawbery hill as they stand recorded to be butted & bounded in the Towne booke of Hull aforesajd except one Cowes Comon formerly Sold to willjam Chamberlajne wth all my right Interest & priviledges in all the Islands belonging to the Towne of Hull aforesajd except one the Island Called Peddocks Island To Haue & to Hold the sajd houses lands meadow & Comons so butting & bounded as aforesajd wth all & singular the appurtenances priveledges thereto belonging vnto him the sajd Thomas Loring his heires & Assignes for euer and to the only propper vse & behoofe of him the sajd Thomas Loring of Hull his heires & Assignes for euer wth out the lett Suite trouble molestation Denjall or Contradiction of the sajd Thomas Chaffie my heires or Assignes for euer & Doe by these presents Couenant & promise to warrant & defend the same against all persons and persons whomsoeuer lawfully hauing Clajming or Pretending to haue any estate right title Dowry or Interest of in or to the same or any part or Parcell thereof in wittnes whereof the sajd Thomas Chaffy haue herevnto Sett my hand and Seale this 30th of may in the yeare 1660.
"Signed Sealed and Deliuered his mrke
the sajd Tho. Loring being in THOMAS J CHAFFYE
possession of the aboue
Graunted premisses In
the presence of
Boston may 30th 1660. Thomas Chaffey acknowledged this Instrument to be his act & deed before me. Thomas Danforth.
"Entred & Recorded 30th may
p Edw Rawson Recordr."
In the foregoing deed Thomas "Chaffye" designates himself as "some time of Hull in the County of Suffolke but does not say where he was then living. But in the Proprietors' Records of Rehoboth, Mass., we find that "Thomas Chafey was one of the Proprietors at least as early as December 25, 1660:
"An agreement under ye hands of ten of the Proprietors in order to the settlement of the Lands aforesaid.
" Dated December 25: 1660.
"Wee whose names are here under written the proprietors of those Lands called and known by the name of Sawomes Lands doe unanimously and Joyntly binde our selves and covenant to perform these peticulr.
"1. That none of us shall at anytime Let or sell any of the said Lands to any stranger that is not allready a proprietor with us without the Joynt Consent of us all, subscribed under our hands vidt, neither upland nor meadow.
" 2. That Henry Smith of Rehoboth be the man to measure all Lands yt is to be measured out and Appertaining unto any of us and that some two - or thre of our selves are to be preasant with him to see it done.
" 3. That Thomas Willett by way of exchange is to have thirty Acres of upland measured out adjoyning unto the land of his formerly measured out by Willam Carpenter having the Towne fence on the North side and the Land of John Brown on the South Side and Mr. Willett doth Leave the home Lot formerly Lay'd out for Elder Cushman in consideration of the same, being of the quantity of thirty acres to Lye common Amongst us.
"JOHN BROWN, PETER HUNT,
"THOMAS WILLET, HENRY SMITH,
"STEPHEN PAINE, PHILLIP WALKER,
"JOHN PECK, THOMAS CHAFFY,
"JOHN ALLEN, SAMUEL NEWMAN."
These records also contain a description of the boundaries of the land belonging to various proprietors, that of "Thomas Chafey" being referred to thus:
"10. One devition Layd out in the aforesaid home Lotts number Nine & Ten to Thomas Chafey, being ten Acres or thereabouts. Called Rice's Neck, bounded North by said Chafey's home Lott, East the Meadow, South by Mr. Allen's Meadow, and West by Mr. Allens Land. "Thomas's land is again referred to as bounding the land of Nathaniell and Israell Peck on the North. This item is signed by Joseph Chafey and seven others. [Ibid.]
The town of Rehoboth was originally called by the Indians and after them by the English, "Seecunk" or "Seekonk." In July, 1621, some of the Pilgrims from the Plymouth settlement made a visit to the Indian Chief Massasoit, whose domain was known as the Sowams country, of which Wannamoisett, where Thomas Chaffe settled, formed a part. This was the first attempt made by the English to explore the interior, and the spirit of westward emigration, so early shown by them, has been dominant in their descendants ever since. As early as 1632, the Plymouth settlers had a trading post at Sowams.
About 1635, William Blackstone, a nonconformist minister of England, who had settled in Boston about 1625, left the home on Shawmut peninsula, Boston, which he had reclaimed from the wilderness, and came to Seekonk five years after the arrival in 1630 of Governor Winthrop and his colony in Boston. Blackstone is said to have made the following characteristic speech:
"I came from England because I did not like the Lord-Bishops, but I cannot join with you because I would not be under the Lord-Brethren."
He settled in what is now Cumberland, R.I., on the banks of the stream which bears his name, and about three miles above Pawtucket, R.I. Another early settler was Roger Williams, who being banished by the Court in Boston, left his home in Salem about the middle of January, 1635-6, and settled for a few months in Seekonk, thinking himself to be outside the jurisdiction of both the Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colonies. Governor Winslow of the Plymouth Colony soon informed him that he had strayed into the edge of their bounds, and not wishing to displease the Bay (the Court at Boston) advised him to move to the other side of the river, which he did with five others, and upon landing called the place Providence. The purchase of the land on which Rehoboth stands was made of Massasoit in 1641 by John Brown and Edward Winslow of the Plymouth Colony, authorized by the Court of that place to act for the early settlers, who were from Thomas Chaffe's old home, Hingham, and from Weymouth, Mass. The purchase was according to the measurement of those times, "a tract eight miles square," and embraced what is now the towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk and Pawtucket. December 29, 1645, a second purchase was made of the land called by Indians and English alike " Wannamoisett, " which forms a part of what is now Swansea, Mass., and Barrington, R. I., and was the place where Thomas Chaffe afterward settled. The third and last purchase was made after Thomas Chaffe had become an inhabitant and proprietor there, April 8, 1661, and was called "The North Purchase," including the present towns of Attleboro, Mass., and Cumberland, R.I. Ancient Seekonk, later called Rehoboth, was afterwards subdivided as follows: In 1668 the southeast part of it was set off and called Swansea, which in turn lost a portion of its land in 1717, when the town of Barrington, Mass., was formed, and in 1790 another part, when Somerset was formed as a town. In 1747 Barrington, a part of Swansea, now Warren, and Bristol were set off from Massachusetts to Rhode Island; Barrington was united with the territory taken from Swansea and called Warren, and the two towns formed Bristol County, R. I, with Bristol the shire town. In 1770, Barrington, R.I., was set off from Warren, with boundary line substantially as at the present time. In 1694, Rehoboth North Purchase was formed into the town of Attleboro, and this, in turn, in 1746, lost what was then known as the "Gore," the town of Cumberland, R.I., being formed. Ancient Rehoboth now remained intact until 1812, when its western part became a separate town, taking the old Indian name of Seekonk. In 1828, the northwest comer of Seekonk was formed into the town of Pawtucket, Mass., and in 1861 the western portion became East Providence; at the time, the newly formed town and Pawtucket were ceded to the state of Rhode Island, in exchange for Fall River, R.I., which was annexed to Fall River, Mass.
The settlers from Hingham and Weymouth located in Seekonk in 1643, the latter including in their number Reverend Samuel Newman, and in 1645 the name was changed at his request to Rehoboth, a scripture name; this first minister of Rehoboth compiled the third Bible Concordance, which far surpassed the other two. Three editions of it were published, the second having been revised from the first, while the author was living in Rehoboth, where he died July 5, 1663. His church was about five miles north of Thomas Chaffe's house, and our worthy ancestor doubtless profited by his sermons and sorrowed with his neighbors over his death.
A few months after the sale of his property in Hull, having in the meantime received land in the division of Rehoboth lands, Thomas Chaffe made his first recorded purchase of land there of Stephen Paine, Sr., February 9, 1660:
" Prence Gour
"This 9th of the Eleaventh month, 1660. To All people to whom this prsent writing shall come. Know 'Yea, that I, Stephen Paine sen'r of Rehobeth, for mee, my heires execquitors and assigns for and inconsideration of fifty and three pounds, to me in hand payed, have given, granted bargained and sold unto Thomas Chaffey late of Nantasket allies Hull, All my lands, meddows, comons, and comonages, which I bought of Resolved White of Scituate lying and being in aplace called Sewaens except one parcel of Meddow which I exchanged with Obadiah Bowine, the which parcel of meddow which I had of the aforesaid Obadiah. I have bargained and sold unto the aforesaid Thomas Chaffey, within lien of that which I exchanged for that that was Resolved White's bearing date the third of the second Month 1665 [?], All of which prsells, of lands and meddows comons and comonages, I have sold and set over unto Thomas Chaffey and his heirs forever; without any molestation or claim or claimes, from mee my heires, execquitors and assigns, or any other by my meanes. ' In witness heerof I have hereunto set my hand the day and year above written.
"Signed, sealed and. delivered in the presence of Stephen Paine, and a seale
"This deed was owned before me, this 4th day of January 1661.
"Witness my hand. Thom Willett.
[Plymouth Colony Record of Deeds, Vol. III, p. 81.]
April 11, 1664, "Thomas Chaffe of Wanamoisett planter" . . . planter," sold to Captain Thomas Willett and James Brown one of the two lots he received in the division of the home lots as before mentioned. This Captain Willett was an early settler of Plymouth and one of the most eminent citizens of Rehoboth. He was also the first Mayor of New York City, being elected to that office twice. The deed in full is as follows:
"A deed appointed to be recorded.
"To all Christian people to whom these prsents shall come. Thomas Chaffe of Wanamoisett in the Gourment of New Plymouth, in New England, in America, planter, sendeth Greeting
Know Ye, that I the aforesaid Thomas Chaffe, have for a good and valuable consideration to me in hand received and payed by Captain Thomas Willett and James Brown of Rehobeth, in the Gourment of said wherewith I the said Thomas Chaffe doe acknowlidge myself sufficiently satisfyied, contented and fully payed, and thereof and every pte and pcell thereof do exonnarate acquit and discharge the aforesaid Captaine Thomas Willett and James Brownie they theire heires, execquitors and assigns forever by these prsents have freely and absolutely bargained and sold enfeoffed and confirmed and by these prsents doe bargain, sell, enfeoffe, and confirm from mee the said Thomas Chaffe and my heires to them the said Capt. Thomas Willett and James Browne, they, theire heires and assignes forever, a pcell of upland, containing twenty and five acres, be it more or lesse being the Ninth lot, which said land I had of the Towne of Rehobeth upon agreement in reference to the five Railed ffence being my whole pte of that land, which said land being adjoyning to the land of Waunamoisett, being bounded to the south the land of the aforesaid James Brown, to the North the Town Comon to the West the land that was layed out to Mr. Stepen Paine; to the East the land of henery Smith and Phillip Walte; and the said Capt. Thomas Willett and James Browne, do engage to take of and free from the said Thomas Chaffe, and his heires forever; all ingagements or covenants in Reference to any fence or ffences that doth or may belong unto the aforesaid land. To have and to hold the aforesaid five and twenty acres of land, be it more or lesse, as theire owne proper right to them and their heirs and assignes, forever, thereby due and of right accustomed, and warranting the sale thereof against what people soever from, by or under mee the aforesaid Thomas Chaffe, or by my rigght or title claiming any right or title of or in the aforesaid prmises. And I the said Thomas Chaffe, doe alsoe covenant promise and grant to, and with the afor said Capt. Thomas Willett and James Browne that it shall be lawful for them or either of them to record or enrowle these prsents or cause them to bee recorded or enrowled in the Court att New Plymouth, or in any other place of Record provided according to the usual maner of recording or enrowling deeds and evidences made and proved. In witness whereof the said Thomas Chaffe have heerunto, set my hand and seale this Eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred sixty and foure.
"The Marke of + Thomas Chaffe and a seale
"Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us viz.
[Plymouth Colony Records of Deeds, Vol. III, p. 15.]
When in 1668 Swansea was set off from Rehoboth, Thomas Chaffe's home in Wannamoisett became part of the new town, and he a citizen of it, though it is probable that he also owned land which remained within the boundaries of the old town, as in a deed dated 1675, which will be given later, he calls himself " of Rehoboth." In 1669, he sold to Joseph Carpenter property on New Meadow Neck.
"1670 Prence Gour
This Indenture made the second day of the Second Month, commonly called April in the year of our Lord according to our English account, one thousand sixty and nine, between Thomas Chaffe of the township of Swansey, in the Colonie of New Plymouth in New England, yeoman, of the one party, and Joseph Carpenter of the township of Rehobeth in the Colonie aforesaid, yeoman, of the other p'ty, Witnesseth: That the said Thomas Chaffe, for and in consideration of the full sum of Twenty pounds sterling to him in hand payed by the said Joseph Carpenter at or before the Ensealing of these presents, whereof and wherewith hee acknowlidgeth himself fully satisfyed and payed, And thereof and of every pte and psell, doth clearly acquit, exonnorate, and discharge the said Joseph Carpenter, hee and Every of his heirs, execquitors and administrators and Every of them forever, hath given, granted, allianed, sold and confirmed, and by these presents doth fully, clearly and absolutely give, grant, allien, sell and confirm unto the said Joseph Carpenter. his heirs and assigns forever, all that his seavententeenth pte or share of a neck of land situate lying and being within the Township of Swansey aforesaid, commonly known and taken by the name of New Meddow Necke with all and singular the Meddowes feedings, woods and underwoods, wayes, Easements, profits, comodities, comon of pasture, and all appurtenances whatsoever to the same seaventeenth p'te or share of New Meaddow necke, or to any p'te or prcel of the prmises in any wise appertaining, and also all the Estate, right, title, interest, use, possession, property, claim and demand whatsoever of him the said Thomas Chafy, of, in or to the same or to any p'te or p'sell thereof.
"To have and to hold the said seaventeenth p'te or share of New Meddow with all and singular the prmises heerby gr anted bargained and sold with theire and every of theire rights, members app urtenances whatsoever unto the said Joseph Carpenter his heirs and assigns. To the only proper use, and behoof of, the said Joseph Carpenter, his heirs and assigns forever; and the said Thomas Chafy for himself his heirs, execquitors and administrators, doe covenant, promise, grant and agree to and with the said Joseph Carpenter his and every of his heirs and assignes and every of them by these presents in manner and form following. (that is to say.) that he the said Thomas Chafy the said seaventeenth p'te or share of New Meddow Necke, and all and singular the prmises before given granted bargained and sold with every of their rights. members and appurtenances whatsoever, unto the said Joseph Carpenter and his heirs or assigns. To the only proper use of the said Joseph Carpenter his heirs and assignes forever, against him the said Thomas Chafy, his heirs and every person from by or under him them or either or any of them. shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents, and that he the said Thomas Chafy, at the time of the ensealing and delivery of these prsents hath full power, good right and lawful authoritie to give, grant bargain and sell and convey the prmises with all and every of their appurtenances to his own proper use and behoof forever; of the said Joseph Carpenter, his heirs, assignes, and the said Joseph Carpenter his heires and assigns and every of them shall and may by force and virtue of these prsents from time to time and at all times hereafter, lawfully, quietly and p eaceably have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy the seaventeenth p'te or stare of New Meddow Necke, and all singular the before granted prmises. with all theire appurtenances to his own proper use and behoof forever without any lett, suite, trouble, denial interruption or disturbance of the said Thomas Chafy his heires or assigns or any other person or prson whatsoever they lawfully claiming by from or under him, them or any of them or by his or their means aske, consent, interest privity, or procurement, and that free and clear and freely and clearly acquitted, and discharged, or other use from time to time, well and sufficiently sold and kept harmlessby the said Thomas Chafy, his heirs or execquitors or administrators of and from all and all manor of former and other gifts, grants, bargaines and sales, leases, mortgages, uses intails, titles, troubles, charg es demands and incumbrances whatsoever, had, made, committed, suffered and don, by the said Thomas Chafy, his heirs or assigns or by any other prson or prsons whatsoever lawfully claiming from by or under him, them or any of them or, from by or under his or any of theire meanes acts, consent, title or interest privity or procurement, the late purchase money payed to Uncomponen the Indian. by the approbation of Phillip, sachem, for the said premises onely excepted. In witness whereof I the said Thomas Chafy have put to my hand and seal the day and yeare first above written.
'signed sealed and delivered " The marke T of Thomas Chafy and a seale with levey and seizen duly Executed in the presence of viz:
" This deed was acknowledged by Nicholas Tanner of Swansey, being the lawful attorney of the aforesaid Thomas Chafy, as appeared by a letter of Attorney soe acknowledged the Eight day of June 1670. before me William Bradford
[Plymouth Colony Deeds, Vol. III, p. 174.]
During King Philip's War Thomas Chaffe and his family as well as near neighbors doubtless lived in "Chaffe's Garrison," a stone building which stood near his house. During this time he bought of Francis Stevens of Rehoboth, his house, orchard and house lot, containing about six acres of land and lying in Rehoboth; what disposal he made of this property is not known, as no deed of sale is on record and no mention of this property is made in his will.
" Winslow Gour
"This Indenture made the fifteenth day of September in the year of our Lord, according to the English Account one thousand six hundred seventy five between Francis Stevens of the township of Rehobeth in the Colonie of New Plymouth, in New England, on the one part, and Thomas Chaffe, of Rehobeth aforesaid, witnesseth that the said Francis Stevens for and in consideration of the full sum of twenty pounds, to him in hand payed by the said Thomas Chaffe, at or before the insealing of these presents, wherewith he acknowledgeth himself fully satisfied contented and fully payed, and thereof and every pte and psell thereof doe fully and clearly acquit, exonnarate and discharge the said Thomas Chaffe, his heirs, executors, administrators, have given g ranted, alienated, sold and confirmed, and do by these presents fully clearly and absolutely give grant alien sell enfeoffe and confirm unto the said Thomas Chaffe, his heirs and assigns forever, all that my house, orchard and house lot, containing six acres, be it more or less situate in the town of Rehobeth afore said, being bounded southerly with the house lot of William Brown, Northerly and Westerly with the highway, Easterly with the river, with all and singular privileges and the appurtenances thereunto appertaining and belonging. To have and to hold the aforesaid dwelling house, orchard and house lot, containing six acres, be it more or less, as before bounded with all and singular the privileges therunto belonging unto the said Thomas Chaffey his heirs and assigns forever. To the only proper use and behoof of the said Thomas Chaffey, his heirs and assigns forever and that the said Thomas Chaffey' his heirs and assigns, and every of t em, shall and may by force and vertue of these presents from time to time and at all times hereafter, lawfully peaceably and quietly hold, use , occupy, enjoy and possess the aforesaid premises without any lett suite, trouble denyal or interruption of the said Francis Stevens his heirs or assigns or any other prson or prsons what soever lawfully claiming from by or under him, or by his meanes, act or consent, privitie or procurement otherwise from time to time well and sufficiently kept harmless by the said Francis Stevens, his heirs, Executors and administrators from all manor of former gifts, grants, bargains, sales, leases, mortgages, intailes, titles, troubles, charges and demands whatsoever had, made committed or suffered to be don by the said Francis Stevens or by his privity or procurement. In witness whereof the said Francis Stevens hath set to his hand and seale the day and year above written.
"The mark is of Francis Stevens and a seal
" signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us.
" William Carpenter.
" John Carpenter.
" This deed was acknowledged before mee. James Brown, Assistant the twentyeth day of September in the year 1675."
[Plymouth Colony Records of Deeds, Vol. IV, p. 367.]
The following items are from the Proprietors' Records of Ancient Swansea:
"Under the date 'Desember 28, 1676' there is record of an agreement in regard to 'Lands purchased of Asamequin and Warnsitto his sonne.'
" ' Imprimus.' In regard to a record being kept,
"2nd. In regard to lands deserted by the Indians.
"3rd. The necessity of choosing an attorney.
" 4th. Possession.
" 5th. Laying out and drawing lots for shares.
" 6th. Rules governing division between meadows and upland ' that there be no controversy.'
"7th. Convenience of division.
"8th. Lands to be divided with all convenient speed.
"This was signed by James Brown, John Saffin, John Brown, Nathaniel Pain, Thomas Chafey, Stephen Pain, John Allen, Peter Hunt, Stephen Pain, Jr. and Israeli Peck."
Soon after, at a meeting, legally warned, of the Proprietors, a committee, consisting of Mr. Stephen Pain or his son Nathaniel, Mr. John Allen, Captain John Brown and John Saffin, was chosen to lay out lands, to mark out individual lines, to lay out home lots on Swansey River, to lay out highways "both publique and privet," to mark out bounds of meadows and uplands, to take a view of the lands, consider the way "most beneficiall for the good of the whole and to bring in their opinion and report to the company " and to examine the book of records and see that the lands are properly entered. The names signed are those of James Brown, John Saffin, John Brown, Stephen Pain, Nathaniel Pain, John Allen, Thomas Chafey, Peter Hunt, Stephen Pain, Jr., and Israel Peck.
"At a Generall meting of the proprietors on ye 11 of April 1679 it is mutually concluded to draw lots for the devition of the great lots at popanomscut (Peebee's or Phebe's Neck, afterwards Barrington) which accordingly was forthwith done, beginning as aforesaid at the highway at the head of the home lots to be the first in number which is.
" 1. Leut. Peter Hunts
" 2. Thomas Chafey
" 3. John Allen
" 4. Natha: Peck
" 5. Samll Newman
" 6. Stephen Pain
" 7. John Safin & Est.
" 8. James Brown & John Brown
"August 28, 1679, The Committee in the behalfe of the Proprietors met about the L aying out of the house Lots at Poppanomscut and cast lotts for the said Lands drawn by William Carpenter of Rehoboth whow was with Capt. John Brown, Surveighor at which time it was agreed that Mr. John Allen should have his house Lots at the head of his Marsh beyond the south line of the House Lots whence the lots began and were numbered as folloeth.
"Mr. Samuel Newman
" and partners.
"Leu. Peter Hunt. Mr. James Brown.
"Mr. Stephen Pain and John Brown.
"Mr. John Saffin. Capt. Willets heirs.
"Thomas Chafey. Israel Peck's & partners."
The above document was drawn after the death of Captain Thomas Willett who died August 4, 1674, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
At a meeting held March 16, 1679-80, an agreement was made in regard to Paine lots, the repair of the " generall fence, " the laying out of the " longe lots " and also that no proprietor should sell or let to any person "not now a proprietor," without offering the same to the major part of the committee of proprietors at the same price. Matters in regard to "pasturing neck " and selling certain lands were also taken up, the names signed being " James Brown, John Saffin, John Peck, Thomas Chafey, Stephen Pain, John Allen, John Brown, Jonathan Bosworth, Sam: Newman, Natha. Pain, Samuell Walker."
This is the last mention in the records of Thomas Chaffe during his life. Soon after, July 25, 1680, he made his will which was exhibited "Sixt of March Anno, Domini 1683. [1682-3]."
WILL OF THOMAS CHAFFE
"In the name of God Amen,
" I Thomas Chaffee of Swansie in ye Colony of New Plymouth, in New England, being of great age, yet in my perfect memory and good understanding, make this my last Will and Testament. First I commit my soul to God in Jesus Christ my Redeemer and my body unto ye grave.
" Item, I give unto my Eldest son Nathaniel my homelott, being twenty-five acres the which I purchased of Capt. Thomas Willett and James Brown sen'r. gentt. as also my right in ye comimonlott, it being ye twelfth lot, - ten acres of meadow lying and being at a place commonly called the long beach, and four acres of meadow lying and being at ye mouth of ye River on ye great Neck commonly called Mount Hope Neck.
" Item, I give unto my son Joseph all ye rest of my lands, meadows, orchards, gardens, dwelling house, barn, out houses as also my living stock, neat cattle, sheep, horse kine, Swine, poltery and thirty five acres of land lately purchased upon. ye neck commonly called Phebes Neck, with all other my privileges that I now have or hereafter may have in ye aforesaid Town of Swansy, with my debts, now due, or hereafter may be due unto me or my Estate, whom I make my sole executor to pay my debts to see this my will performed and my body buried.
" In witness my hand and seal, this twenty five of July in ye yeer of oe Lord
One thousand six hundred and Eighty.
"Signed and Sealed in ye
presence of The mark of
"John Peck T [seal]
"John Ormsby THOMAS CHAFFE."
[Plymouth Colony Record of Wills, Vol. IV, p. 36.]
"The Inventory of Thomas Chaffe, lately deceased, taken by ye subscribers hereof ye 15 day of May 1683.
£ - s - d Imps his wearing apparel, both linen & woolen, hat shoes, stockings at 03-00-00 It A bed, bolster, pillow, blankets, rug coverlids, and bedsted at 03-10-00 a gun sword & bandeleers at 00-15-00 a great bible [See Appendix A] and two other books at 00-11-06 a looking glass at 00-01-00 Half a crosscut saw & 4 old axes at 00-10-00 a logchaine 00-10-00 a draught chaine, & peice of whiple tree chaine at 00-06-00 3 old boxiers 00-01-00 an old hand saw and drawing knife 00-01-00 an ads at 00-02-00 4 wedges at 00-04-00 a bill hook at 00-02-06 a sickel and 3 pitchforks & a prow at 00-04-06 a iron pott and 2 little old kittles at 00-10-00 a pair of bellowes and old bags at 00-01-06 a pair of stock cards at 00-05-00 Trays, dishes and an old Tubb & a pair of sheep sheers 00-04-00 For old iron and other old lumber at 00-02-00 a Horse at 30-00-00 a yew and lamb at 00-08-00 a great chaire at 00-01-06 4 iron Hoops, 2 axlepins and 2 linch pins at 00-08-00 Total sum 14-19-06
30 acres of land on ye houselott, a great lott of 60 acres of land
10 acres of land in Kites Neck
10 acres of salt meadow more or less.
"JONATHAN BoswoRTH, Senr.
"WILLIAM CARPENTER, Senr.
"On ye oath of Joseph Chaffey."
[Plymouth Colony Record of Wills, Vol. IV, p. 36.]
Just what the date of Thomas Chaffe's death was we do not know, but probably not long before the filing of his will. He was doubtless buried in the ancient Chaffe Burying Ground on his own farm, a picture of which is here given, though no stone to his memory remains. From information gathered and handed down by the older people, we learn that the house stood but a few rods from the burial ground. This property, located on the west bank of what is now the Barrington River, though in Thomas Chaffe's time it was called the Sowams River, is about two miles northwest of the present town of Barrington Centre, R. I, and is owned by Mr. L. R. Peck.
Children, probably born in Nantasket (now called Hull):
2 i Nathaniel Chaffe, probably born between 1638 and 1642; married Experience Bliss.
3 ii Joseph Chaffe probably born between 1639 and 1646; married Annis Martin.
Nathaniel Chaffe (Thomas) was probably born in Nantasket, Mass. (later called Hull), between 1638 and 1642, and died in Rehoboth, Mass., in September, 1721. He married in Swansea, Mass., August 19, 1669, Experience, daughter of Jonathan and Miriam (Harmon) Bliss of Rehoboth. She also died in September, 1721.
Nathaniel Chaffe doubtless moved from Hull to Rehoboth between 1657 and 1660 with his parents and brother Joseph. In 1667 the part of Rehoboth where he lived, known as Wannamoisett, was set off as a separate town and called Swansea. Here we find the first mention of him, his marriage, and the following Spring he is mentioned again in the town records as follows:
" At a Town meeting Lawfully warned ye 19th of May 1670 . . . Nathaniel Chafy (was chosen) Constable." [Swansea Town Records.] His duty was to
assist in keeping the peace and to make arrests of disorderly persons. About the same time it is recorded that:
"Nathaniel Chafy his ear mark for all sorts of cattell is an half ring in the top of each ear."
On page 155 of The Book of the Attleborough Records of the North Purchased Lande belonging to Rehoboth, under the date 1672, we find that
"The bounds of the Lands of Nathaniell Chaffe are Sixty acres of land purchased of Obediah Bowen, Sur., Also Twelve and a half. Ten acres More purchased of John Martin. " This land was later in the town of Attleboro.
"At a Generall Corte of Election at, Boston, the 2d of the 3d mo, 1649. . . . Upon the petition of Charles Saundrs for some iudicious & able men to be appointed by this Corte to appraise the goods of the wreck, Mathewe Chafe & Arthr Gill, of Boston, are appointed that so a certificate may be made to give satisfaction to his owners, in England or elsewhere." [Records of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay.]
May 10th following his petition was granted as follows:
"In answer to the petition of Charles Saunders ffor men to be appointed to apprize the tackling and other goods in & belonging to his, shipp, that was blowne vp, so a certifficate may be made to give satisfaccon to his, owners, in England or elsewhere, his request was graunted; and Mathew Chase (Mathew Chafe) & Arthur Gill are appointed for that service." [Ibid.]
"Matthew Chaffe doth graunt vnto Anthonie Stoddard all that his dwelling house together wth all his and Scituat in Boston, also all his fferme at Newb[u]ry with all the houses buildings fences timber trees woods &c: to haue & to hould to hi(m] & his heires & Assignes for ever, & this was by way of Mortgage, vpon condit[ion] that the sd Matthew paying one hundd & thirty pounds, to wit 301i [£30] in money merchantable corne bief or pork at prices current at or before the 24th novemb next ensuing, & 281i at or before the 24th Nov: 1651 in like pay, & 261i at or before the 24th of nov: 1652 in like pay, & 241i in like pay at or before the 24th nov. 1654. the sd grant to be void otherwise to remaine in force. dat 24th Nov. 1649. & acknowledged before mr Hibbins 26th 1649.
"MATTH CHAFFE & a seale."
[Suffolk County Deeds, Liber I, page 113.]
He also owned land in Hingham, Mass., but when is not known. The will of William Hersey of that town, dated March 9, 1657-58, gives to his son William "ye Lott I bought of Matthew Chafey at ye Capts Tent" [now Hewitt's Cove].
The records of the First Church of Boston contain the last entry regarding Matthew and Sarah Chaffe, as they did the first:
"Oe Brother Mathew Chaffe upon his desire with his wife was dismissed ye 10th of 6 mo. 1655,"
Whether Matthew and Sarah returned to England, or whether they settled in some other part of the country we do not know. We find no mention of any one else by the name of Chaffe in Boston at this early date, nor for twenty-five years after this last entry.
Whether or not Matthew and Thomas Chaffe, the Emigrant, were related we have no means of knowing. Both owned land in Hingham, but whether at the same time or not is unknown. The name Matthew does not appear in any of the earlier generations of Chaffe children, as would probably be the case were they related.
THOMAS CHAFFE'S BIBLE
Thomas Chaffe mentions in his will under date of July 25, 1680 (which will is recorded at Plymouth, Mass.), the names of two children, Nathaniel and Joseph. Nathaniel is spoken of as the eldest son. Joseph was made the executor of his father's will, and on the 15th day of May, 1683, he settled his estate. In the inventory of the household things, a mention is made of a great Bible, and two other books, valued at 11s. 6d.
On the 22d day of September, 1694, Joseph Chaffe (the younger son of Thomas), in his will says, " I leave unto my son Joseph the Great Bible that was my father's."
This grandson Joseph married for his first wife, Abigail Hills. His second wife was Jemima Chadwick. - He removed from Barrington, Mass., to Woodstock,Mass. (now Conn.), where he died in 1759.
Josiah 0haffee, the youngest son of Joseph and Jemima (Chadwick) Chaffe evidently came into possession of the Bible from his father, and from Peter Chaffee of Woodstock, one of the direct descendants of Josiah, this highly prized heirloom was received.
Upon one of the blank spaces is found written, "Thommas Chaffy his Booke 1649." Over the Christian name is written, "1664, July." To the writer the earlier date indicates when the Book was printed, the later date showing time of purchase or possession. A photograph of the entries in this Bible will be found on the opposite page.
The other family names with their various data have been found recorded upon the ancient books in the town clerk's offices at Swansea, Mass., Woodstock, Conn., and elsewhere, proving the inscriptions written in this Bible to be correct.
It was observed that the title pages of both The Old and New Testament were so badly worn, and in such a dilapidated condition, that it was impossible to decipher the date of publication, which date, however, was correctly proven by the successful search made at the Library of the American Bible Society in New York City, where a Bible of same edition, and in good state of preservation, was discovered . In March, 1886, there was forwarded as per purchase from a London book house, a Bible of like edition (but red lined). It was shipped on the Oregon, which steamer accidentally sank in New York Bay upon the day of its arrival.
The Book, badly water soaked, was recovered in July following, and tile few loose sheets, including title pages, now fastened in the fore and after part of this Bible, were taken therefrom.
EARLY SETTLERS OF HINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, by John D. Long
from History of Hingham published 1893, pages 201-209,
OCR'ed and editing by David Blackwell and Lisa Whiting 1998
HINGHAM is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts. There were settlers here as early as 1633. Its first name was Bearcove or Barecove, more likely the latter, in view of the exposure of almost its entire harbor at low tide, and as appears also in the spelling of the name in the order of the General Court referred to below. So far as it had any legislative incorporation, it was incorporated, and this has been the usual statement of writers, Sept. 2, 1635, only eleven towns having in that respect all earlier date. Perhaps, however, the term incorporation is not appropriate in this connection, the brief order which the General Court, consisting of the Governor, assistants, and deputies, adopted and entered on that day being as follows, -- a form used before, and afterwards, in the case of several other towns:-- "The name of Barecove is changed and hereafter to be called Hingham."
Who was the first settler, or at what exact date he came, it is impossible to say. Mr. Solomon Lincoln, the historian of the town in 1827, gives the following interesting facts: --
"The exact date at which any individual came here to reside cannot be ascertained. Among the papers of Mr. Cushing, there is a 'list of the names of such persons as came out of the town of Hingham, and towns adjacent, in the County of Norfolk, in the Kingdom of England, into New England, and settled in Hingham.' From this list we are led to believe there were inhabitants here as early as 1633, and among them Ralph Smith, Nicholas Jacob with his family, Thomas Lincoln, weaver, Edmund Hobart and his wife, from Hingham, and Thomas Hobart with his family, from Windham, in Norfolk, England. During the same year Theophilus Cushing, Edmund Hobart, senior, Joshua Hobart, and Henry Gibbs, all of Hingham, England, came to this country. Cushing lived some years at Mr. Haines's farm, and subsequently removed to Hingham. The others settled at Charlestown, and in 1635 removed to this place. In 1634 there were other settlers here, and among them Thomas Chubbuck; Bare Cove was assessed in that year. To 1635, at the May court, Joseph Andrews was sworn as constable of the place. There was a considerable increase of the number of Settlers, and in that year grants of land were made to upwards of fifty individuals, of which a record is preserved. It was in June of that year that Rev. Peter Hobart arrived at Charlestown, and soon after settled in this place.
"I here subjoin the names of those who settled or received grants of land here, in the respective years mentioned. Possibly there may be some names omitted, which have escaped my observation, and those of others inserted to whom lands were granted, but who never settled here. The list is as perfect, however, as long, careful, and patient examination of public and private records call make it.
"In 1635, in addition to those before-mentioned (namely: Joseph Andrews, Thomas Chubbuck, Henry Gibbs, Edmund Hobart, Sen., Edmund Hobart, Jr., Joshua Hobart, Rev. Peter Hobart, Thomas Hobart, Nicholas Jacob, Thomas Lincoln, weaver, Ralph Smith), were Jonas Austin, Nicholas Baker, Clement Bates, Richard Betscome, Benjamin Bozworth, William Buckland, James Cade, Anthony Cooper, John Cutler, John Farrow, Daniel Fop, Jarvice Gould, Wm. Hersey, Nicholas Hodsdin, Thos. Johnson, Andrew Lane, Wm. Large, Thomas Loring, George Ludkin, Jeremy Morse, William Nolton, John Otis, David Phippeny, John Palmer, John Porter, Henry Rust, John Smart, Francis Smith (or Smyth), John Strong, Henry Tuttil, William Walton, Thomas Andrews, William Arnall, George Bacon, Nathaniel Baker, Thomas Collier, George Lane, George Marsh, Abraham Martin, Nathaniel Peck, Richard Osborn, Thomas Wakely, Thomas Gill, Richard Ibrook, William Cockerum, William Cockerill, John Fearing, John Tucker.
"In 1636, John Beal, senior, Anthony Eames, Thomas Hammond, Joseph Hull, Richard Jones, Nicholas Lobdin, Richard Langer, John Leavitt, Thomas Lincoln, Jr., miller, Thomas Lincoln, cooper, Adam Mott, Thomas Minard, John Parker, George Russell, William Sprague, George Strange, Thomas Underwood, Samuel Ward, Ralph Woodward, John Winchester, William Walker.
"In 1637, Thomas Barnes, Josiah Cobbit, Thomas Chaffe, Thomas Clapp, William Carlslye (or Carsly), Thomas Dimock, Vinton Dreuce, Thomas Hett, Thomas Joshlin, Aaron Ludkin, John Morrick, Thomas Nichols, Thomas Paynter, Edmund Pitts, Joseph Phippeny, Thomas Shave, Ralph Smith, Thomas Turner, John Tower, Joseph Underwood, William Ludkin, Jonathan Bozworth.
"In 1638 there was a considerable increase of the number of settlers. Among them were, Mr. Robert Peck, Joseph Peck, Edward Gilman, John Foulsham, Henry Chamberlain, Stephen Gates, George. Knights, Thomas Cooper. Matthew Cushing, John Beal, Jr., Francis James, Philip James, James Buck, Stephen Payne, William Pitts, Edward Michell, John Sutton, Stephen Lincoln, Samuel Parker, Thomas Lincoln, Jeremiah Moore, Mr. Henry Smith, Bozoan Allen, Matthew Hawke, William Ripley.
"All of those preceding, who came to this country in 1638, took passage in the ship 'Diligent,' of Ipswich, John Martin, master. In addition to these, the following named persons received grants of land in the year 1638, viz.: John Buck, John Benson, Thomas Jones, Thomas Lawrence, John Stephens, John Stodder, Widow Martha Wilder, Thomas Thaxter.
"In 1639 Anthony Hilliard and John Prince received grants of land. The name of Hewett (Huet) and Liford, are mentioned in Hobart's Diary, in that year, and in the Diary the following names are first found in the respective years mentioned; in 1646;, Burr, in 1647, James Whiton; in 1649, John Lazell, Samuel Stowell; in 1653, Garnett and Canterbury.
"The number of persons who came over in the ship 'Diligent,' of Ipswich, in the year 1638, and settled in Hingham, was one hundred and thirty-three. All that came before were forty-two, making in all one hundred and seventy-five. The whole number that came out of Norfolk (chiefly from Hingham, and its vicinity) from 1633 to 1639, and settled in this Hingham, was two hundred and six. This statement, on the authority of the third town clerk of Hingham, must be reconciled with the fact that there was a much larger number of settlers here in 1639 than would appear from his estimate. They undoubtedly came in from other places, and I am inclined to believe that there may be some omissions in Mr. Cushing's list. It may be remarked here, that many of the names mentioned in the previous pages are now scattered in various parts of the country. Many of the first settlers removed to other places during the militia difficulties which occurred within a few years after the settlement of the town; and a considerable number had previously obtained lands at Rehoboth.
"The earliest record to be found of the proceedings of the town in relation to the disposition of the lands is in 1635. In June of that year, grants were made to a considerable number of individuals, and on the l8th of September, as has been before stated, thirty of the inhabitants drew for house-lots, and received grants of other lands for the purposes of pasture, tillage, etc.
"It was in July, 1635, that a plantation was erected here; and on the 2d of September following that, the town wall incorporated by the name of Hingham, from which it appears that there are but eleven towns in this State, and but one in the county of Plymouth, older than Hingham. I cannot ascertain satisfactorily when the first meeting for civil purposes was held. It is stated by Mr. Flint in his century discourses, to have been on the 18th of September, 1635. There is as much evidence in our town records, and in those of Cushing's MSS. which I have examined, that the first town-meeting was held in June of that year, as in September. The statements in the same discourses, that the inhabitaints of Hingham arrived in 1635, and that they obtained deeds of land from the natives to form the town previously to holding the first town-meeting, are unquestionably erroneous, being at variance with our town records, Cushing's MSS., and the Indian deed itself.
"The house-lots drawn on the 18th of September, 1635, were situated on the 'Town street,' the same which is now called North Street. During that year the settlement was extended to 'Broad Cove Street,' recently named Lincoln Street. In the year following, house-lots were granted in the street now called South Street, and in the northerly part of 'Bachelor Street,' now Main Street.
"Some idea of the relative wealth of several towns in 1635 may be estimated from the following apportionment of the public rule for that year. Newton and Dorchester were assessed each £26 5; Boston, £25 10; Salem, £16; Hingham, £6; Weymouth, £4, etc. In 1637 the number of men furnished by this town to make up the number of one hundred and sixty to prosecute the war against the Pequods, were six; Boston furnished twenty-six; Salem, eighteen; Weymouth, five; Medford, three; Marblehead, three. The assessment upon this town at the General Court in August following, was £8 10; the least, except that of Weymouth, which was £6 16. Property and population appear to have been unequally distributed and often fluctuating. In 1637 we find the first record of the choice of a town clerk. Joseph Andrews was chosen, and in 1638 the first record of the choice of assessors."
The following is a literal copy of the deed of the township of Hingham, given by the Indians in 1665:--
"WHEREAS divers Englishmen did formerly come (into the Massachusets now called by the Englishmen New England) to inhabit in the dayes of Chickatabut our father who was the Cheife Sachem of the sayd Massachusets on the Southward side of Charles River, and by the free Consent of our sayd father did set downe upon his land and in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred thirty and four divers Englishmen did set downs and inhabit upon part of the land that was formerly our sayd fathers land, which land the Englishmen call by the name of Hingham, which sayd Englishmen they and their heires and assosiate have ever since had quiet and peaceable possession of their Towneshippe of Hingham by our likeing and Consent which we desire they may still quietly possess and injoy and because ther have not yet bin any legall conveyance in writing passed from us to them conserning their land which may in future time occasion difference between them and us all which to prevent -- Know all men by these presents that we Wompatuck called by the English Josiah now Chiefe Sachem of the Massachusets aforesayed and sone and heire to the aforesayd Chickatabut; and Squmuck all called by the English Daniel sone of the aforesayd Chickatabut and Ahabden -- Indians: for a valuable consideration to us in hand payd by Captaine Joshua Hubberd and Ensigne John Thaxter, of Hingham aforesayd wherewith wee doe acknowledge our selves fully satisfyed contented and payd and thereof and of every part and parcell thereof due exonerate acquitt and discharge the sayd Joshua Hubberd and John Thaxter their heires executors and Administrators and every of them forever by these presents have given granted bargained sold enfoffed and confirmed and by these presents doe give grant bargaine sell Enfeoffe and confirme unto the sayd Joshua Hubberd and John Thaxter on the behalfe and to the use of the inhabitants of the Towne of Hingham aforesayd that is to say all such as are the present owners and proprietors of the present house lotts as they have bin from time to time granted and layd out by the Towne; All That Tract of land which is the Towneshippe of Hingham aforesayd as it is now bounded with the sea northward and with the River called by the Englishmen Weymoth River westward which River flow from the sea; and the line that devide, betwene the sayd Hingham and Weymoth as it is now layd out and marked until it come to the line that devide betwene the colony of the Massachusetts and the colony of New Plimoth and from thence to the midle of accord pond and from the midle of accord pond to bound Brooke to the flowing of the salt water and so along by the same River that devide betwene Scittiate and the said Hingham untill it come to the sea northward; And also threescore acres of salt marsh on the other side of the River that is to say on Scittiate side according as it was agreed upon by the commissioners of the Massachusets colony and the commissioners of Plimoth colony Together with all the Harbours Rivers Creekes Coves Islands fresh water brookes and ponds and all marshes unto the sayd Towneshippe of Hingham belonging or any wayes app'taineing with all and singular thapp'tenences unto the p'misses or any part of them belonging or any wayes app'taineing: And all our right title and interest of and into the sayd p'misses with their app'tenences and every part and p'cell thereof to have and to hold All the aforesayd Tract of land which is the Towneshippe of Hingham aforesayd and is bounded as aforesayd with all the Harbours Rivers Creekes Coves Islands fresh water brookes and ponds and all marshes thereunto belonging with the threescore acres of salt marsh on the other side of the River (viz.) on Scittiate side with all and singular thapp'tenences to the sayd p'misses or any of them belonging unto the sayd Joshua Hubberd and John Thaxter on the behalfe and to the use of the sayd inhabitants who are the present owners and proprietors of the present house lotts in hingham their heires and assignes from the before-named time in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred thirty and four for ever And unto the only proper use and behoofe of the (the) sayd Joshua hubberd and John Thaxter and the inhabitants of the Towne of hingham who are the present owners and proprietors of the present house lotts in the Towne of Hingham their heires and assignes for ever. And the said Wompatuck Squmuck and Ahahdan doe hereby covenant promise and grant to and with the sayd Joshua hubberd and John Thaxter on the behalfe of the inhabitants of hingliam as aforesayd that they the sayd Wompatuck Squmuck and Ahahdan -- are the true and proper owners of the sayd bargained p'misses with their app'tenances at the time of the bargaine and sale thereof and that the said bargained p'misses are free and cleare and freely and clearely exonerated acquitted and discharged of and from all and all maner of former bargaines sales guifts grants titles mortgages suits attachments actions Judgements extents executions dowers title of dowers and all other incumberances whatsoever from the begining of the world untill the time of the bargaine and sale thereof and that the sayd Joshua hubberd and John Thaxter with the rest of the sayd inhabitants who are the present owners and proprietors of the present house lotts in hingham they their heires and Assignes the p'misses and every part and parcell thereof shall quietly have hold use occupy possese and injoy without the let suit trouble deniall or molestation of them the sayd Wompatuck : Squmuck and Ahaddun their heires and assignes : and Lastly the sayd Wompatuck: Squmuck and Ahadun for themselves their heires executors administrators and assignes doe hereby covenant promise and grant the p'misses above demised with all the libertys previledges and app'tenences thereto or in any wise belonging or appertaineing unto the sayd Joshua Hubberd John Thaxter and the rest of the sayd inhabitants of Hingham who are the present owners and proprietors of the present house lotts their heires and assignes to warrant acquitt and defend forever against all and all maner of right title and Interrest claime or demand of all and every person or persons whatsoever. And that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the sayd Joshua Hubberd and John Thaxter their heires and assignes to record and enroll or cause to be recorded and enrolled the title and tenour of these p'sents according to the usuall order and maner of recording and enrolling deeds and evedences in such case made and p'vided in witnes whereof we the aforesayd Wompatuck called by the English Josiah sachem: and Squmuck called by the English Daniell and Ahabdun Indians: have heere unto set our hands and seales the fourth day of July in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred sixty and five and in the seaventeenth yeare of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord Charles the second by the grace of God of Great Brittanie France and Ireland King defender of the faith 1665. - - -
Signed sealled and delivered
In the presence of us:
Jon Noeshteans Indian
the mark Å of (L. S.) Wompatuck
the marke of W William
called by the English Josiah chief
the mark of 8 Robert
the marke Ù of Squmuck (L. S.)
called by the English Daniell
sonne of Chickatabut.
Mattias Q Briggs
the marke IIII of Ahahden (L. S.)
the marke of Ú Job Judkins
Josiah Wompatuck Squmuck Ahahden Indians apeared p'sonally the 19th of may 1668 and acknowledged this instrum't of writing to be theyr act and deed freely and voluntary without compulsion, acknowledged before
JNO. LEVERETT, Ast.
It needs but a glance at the names of the early settlers of Hingham, as given above by Mr. Lincoln, to recognize the founders of some of the most respectable and influential families of Massachusetts. Few names are more distinguished in the annals of the Commonwealth or nation than that of Cushing. There is reason to believe that Abraham Lincoln was one of the many descendants from Hinghm stock who have made it illustrious in American history. Nearly all of the names in the foregoing lists are still familiar in this generation. These first settlers were men of character and force, of good English blood, whose enterprise and vigor were evident in the very spirit of adventure and push which prompted their outset from the fatherland and their settlement in the new country. They were of the Puritan order which followed Winthrop rather than of the Pilgrim element that settled at Plymouth a few vears earlier. The distinction between the two is now well understood. The Pilgrims were Brownists or Separatists later called Independents, opposed to the national church, insisting on separation from it, and reducing the religious system to the simplest form of independent church societies.
Indeed it was natural that the spirit that led to reform and greater simplicity in church methods and organization, which was the aim of the Puritans, should go still further and demand entire separation and independence, which was Separatism, and of which the most illustrious type is found in the Pilgrims who sailed in the "Mayflower," and settled in Plymouth in 1620. It is to be noticed that those who thus went to the extreme of ecclesiastical independence were consistent in granting the Rome liberty to others which they claimed for themselves; and it is true that the Pilgrims were more tolerant than the Puritans. Lying on the border-line between the jurisdictions of Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay, the first settlers of Hingham are not to be too closely identified with either. They were within the outer limits of the Puritan colony, but from an early day they manifested a good deal of independence of the Boston magnates; and Peter Hobart's defiant attitude towards Governor Winthrop is one of the picturesque features of that early time. There is sometimes, undoubtedly, an inclination to exaggerate the religious element in the early settlements of New England. It was a mixed purpose that animated our forefathers. There was in them the genius of adventure and enterprise which in later days has peopled our own West with their descendants; there was the search for fortune in new countries over the sea; there was the spirit of trade and mercantile investment; there was the hope of new homes, and the ardor of new scenes, all clustering around what was unquestionably the central impulse to find a larger religious freedom than the restrictions, legal or traditional, of the old country afforded. This is evident from the fact that while the population of Massachusetts grew rapidly by accessions from England till the execution of Charles the First, yet, as soon as that event happened, the republic of Cromwell and the supremacy of Puritanism during his Protectorate were accompanied by a practical suspension of immigration to New England. For the next two hundred years it had little other growth than that which sprang from its own loins.
In these first settlements the ministers were the leaders. Their influence was supreme. They gave tone to the time, and color to history; and the communities which they largely moulded seem, as we look back upon them, to be toned by the ecclesiastical atmosphere which the clergy gave to them. But with all this there was still all the time an immense deal of human nature. The picture of the early time, if it could be reproduced, would present a body of men and women engaged in the ordinary activities of life, cultivating the farms, ploughing the seas, trading with foreign lands and among themselves, engaged in near and remote fisheries, maintaining the school, the train-band, and the church, holding their town-meetings, -- a people not without humor, not altogether innocent of a modicum of quarrel and greed and heart-burning, yet warm with the kind and neighborly spirit of a common and interdependent fellowship. The Massachusetts settlers indulged in no mere dream of founding a Utopia or a Saints' Rest. They were neither visionary philosophers nor religious fanatics. Their early records deal with every-day details of farm and lot, of domestic affairs, of straying cattle and swine, of runaway apprentices and scolding wives, of barter with the Indians, of whippings and stocks and fines for all sorts of naughtinesses, of boundaries and suits, of debt and legal process and probate, of elections and petty offices civil and military, and now and then the alarm of war and the inevitable assessment of taxes. They smack very much more of the concerns, and the common concerns, of this world than of concern for the next. They are the memoranda of a hard, practical life; and if the name of Hingham now and then appears in them during the first half-dozen years of its existence, it is in connection with a fine for bad roads, or leave to make hay in Conihasset meadows, or permission to use its meeting-house for a watch-house, or the appointment of a committee to settle its difficulties with Nantasket, or something of equally homely import. There is in these records no cant nor sniffling, none of that pretentious sanctimoniousness which is so flippantly charged upon the Puritans. There is less reference to theology than to ways and means; and the practical question, for instance of restraining the liquor-traffic and evil, seems to have taxed the ingenuity and attention of their law-makers and magistrates very much as it does in the case of their descendants. There is no waste of words in the grim sentences, but a plain, wholesome dealing with the material needs of the colony. One cannot read them and not feel the sense of justice and righteousness that inspired the leaders of the settlement, and that songht, rigorously indeed but honestly, to institute and maintain a commonwealth which should be animated by virtue, thrift, education, the sanctity and sweetness of home, fear of God, and fair dealing among men. They were developing that sturdy, educating, self-reliant New England town life which till forty or fifty years ago was so unique, but which since then has gradually been disintegrated and changed by the tremendous influence of the transportations of the railroad, the wide scattering of the New England seed, the influx of foreign elements, the rapid growth of large cities, the drain on rural sources, and the general change from diffusion to consolidation, and from the simplest and most meagre to the most profuse and complex material resources.
Transcription from the Chaffee Bible
From Ed Smith
Page 1 Family Record-Marriages
Jonathan Chaffee & Sally Farnum married Nov. 26th 1789
Freeman Gates & Betsy Hyde married in Palatine Montgomery County N.Y. Oct. 13th 1793
Henry F. Chaffee & Sally E. Gates Married in farmington Trumbell Co. Ohio Augt 17th 1829
Arthur E. Fenton & Justina C. Chaffee Married Augt. 18th 1868 in Bristol, Ohio
Corydon Harrington & Alcinda E. Chaffee Married June 16th 1874 in Bristol, O.
(next entry too faded to read completely)
Raymond Leon Pike married Feb. 14th 1906 E. LaVerne Fenton
Paper glued onto page:
I Do Hereby certify that I joined together in the bands of matrimony Henry F Chaffee & Sally E Gates August 17. 1829
Ira Eddy, Preacher of the Gospel of the Methodist E. Church Farmington
Page 2 Family Record-Births
Jonathan Chaffee Born Feb. 11th. 1765
Sally Farnum " Feb. 11th. 1771
Jose Chaffee their son " May 30th 1791
Billings Chaffee " " Apl. 13th 1793
Alpheus Chaffee " " Dec. 31st 1794
Henry F. Chaffee " " Jun 11th 1802
Philo Chaffee " " Jan 4th 1800
Truman B. Chaffee " " June 19th 1804
Eunice A. Chaffee " " Nov 6th 1806
Anna T. Chaffee " " Sept. 22d 1808
Elbridge B. Chaffee " " March 13th 1811
Katharina A. Chaffee " " July 27th 1814
Sally M. Chaffee " " Jun 21st 1816
Freeman Gates Born Colchester Conn Oct 13th 1765
Betsy Hyde -- Born --"-- July 15th 1774
Betsey Gates their child Born -- Aug 26th 1795
Amos W. Gates " in Palatine Montg.y. Co. N.Y. Apl 6th 1797
Caleb. W. Gates " " " " Oct 14th 1799
Walter Gates " " " " March 22d 1802
Sally E. Gates " " " " June 17th 1804
Daniel Gates " " " " Apl 21st 1807
Silvester (or A.S.) Gates " Augt 21 1810
Mary Gates " March 28th 1813
Sally E. Chaffee, child of Hanry F., " Dec 25, 1831
Lorinda A. Chaffee " " Jan 19th 1834
Florina Chaffee " " Nov. 22d 1836
Alcinda E. Chaffee " " June 12th 1839
Henry A. Chaffee " " July 26th 1842
Justina C. Chaffee " " Augt 21st 1844
Laverne Fenton Justinas Ch. Oct 24th 1875
Page 3 Family Record-Births
Page 4 Family Record-Deaths
E.G. Chaffee died Sept 2nd 1842 aged 31Y
Sally Chaffee " Jan 11th 1848 " 76Y 11M
Jonathan Chaffee " Jun 28th 1848 " 83Y 4M
Catharine Chaffee " Apl 26th 1850 " 35Y 9M
Betsey Gates, child of Freeman " May 26th 1796 " 9M
Betsy Gates, wife of Freeman, " July 6th 1813 "38Y 11M 21D
Mary Gates child of Freeman "Aug 22nd 1813 4M 25D
Walter Gates, son of Freeman, "March 23 1831 "29Y 1D
Caleb. W. Gates " Jun 1842 " 42Y (8M lightly written in pencil)
Sally E. Chaffee, child of H.F., March 20th 1834 "2Y 2M 25D
Flozina Chaffee __"____"March 17th 1838 1Y 3M 23D
Freeman Gates " " March 6th 1845 79Y 4M 21D
Henry A. Chaffee " " June 27th 1862 19Y 11M 1D
Henry F. Chaffee " Oct 3d 1874 72Y 3M 22D
Sally E Chaffee Aug 17th 1877 73 2
D??? W Gates Aug 19th 1877 80 4 3
Al??eus Chaffee Aug 2nd 1878 83Y 7M 2D
Eunice ? Gates
Lorinda A. Finney, wife of E. Finney. Dec 30 ‘91
Arthur E. Fenton October 24th 1902
Alcinda E. Harrington January 7th 1903
Loose papers in bible: Two printed funeral notices.
Died: In Bristolville, Aug. 9, 1877 at the residence of Freeman Gates, Dr. A. W. Gates, Aged 80 Years.
Funeral Services conducted by Revs. Copeland and Wade, at the house, August 11, at 2 o’clock, p.m.
Died At Her Home In Bristol, Trumbull Co. O., August 17th, 1877, Mrs. S. E. Chaffee, Aged 75 Years.
Funeral Services conducted by Revs. Copeland and Wade, at the house, August 11, at 2 o’clock, p.m.
(The above dates are not a typo on my part. The notice does state she died on August 17th and the funeral was August 11th)
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation Records
The Chaffee Line
From the nickname 'le chauve', signifying literally the bald, came the surname Chaffee, undergoing numerous changes in form before it assumed that to which the family in England and America to-day adheres. Towards the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries the form of Chaffee was well established in England, with the result that with only slight variations the name is uniformly spelled in American registers. The family in America dates from 1635, and is traced to one Thomas Chaffe, immigrant ancestor and founder, large land owner and prominent member of the early settlements at Hingham, and Hull, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His progeny has been prominent in New England for many generations, and the family has contributed many men whose names are notable in the history of New England life and affairs.
The arms of the Chaffee family is as follows:
Arms - Azure a fesse lozengy argent.
(I) Thomas Chaffe, immigrant ancestor and founder, immigrated from England to America in 1635, in which year he settled in Hingham, Mass., where he received a grant of land. The first mention of him in the early records of Hingham occur in that year, when the town gave to John Tucker land adjoining his land. Although his name was not in the list of property owners in 1635, this record proves that he was a property owner, but the entry of it was not given until 1637. Under the same date there is another entry showing that the town gave him about two acres of salt marsh, and July 17, 1637, two acres of land on Batchellor street (now Main street) for a house. This small amount proves that he was unmarried at the time, as the amount of land for a house was given with regard to the size of the family. In October, 1637, he was given a lot of ten acres abutting on Thomas Turner's land on the north and Ralph Smith's land on the south. The next record of him is dated April 9, 1642, in Nantasket, later called Hull, where he was admitted with several others as a planter, and given two acres between the two hills next Pedcock's Island. There were to be at least thirty-two lots, and the planters were to take them in order; they were to have four acres of planting land and two acres of meadow land also. On May 29, 1644, the name was changed to Hull, and in July, a church was formed there. In both Hingham and Hull, Thomas Chaffe was a fisherman and farmer. The name of his wife is not known. He probably married in Hull, as no mention of him or his family is found in the notes of Rev. Peter Hobart, of Hingham. The town records of Hull, before 1657, have been lost. It is probable that his wife's name was Dorothy, as her sons both had daughters named Dorothy, and it was the custom to name children for their grandparents. The next mention of him in the records is a deed, February 4, 1650, in which he gives land over to Thomas Gill, of Hingham, and he and his son Joseph must have made a trip from Swansea, where they were living, in order to sign it. The last mention of him was in 1657, when a list of his lands was given. Between 1657 and on May 30, 1660, he had removed from Hull and settled in Rehoboth, then in Plymouth Colony. A deed has been found, dated May 30, 1660, in which he sells to Thomas Loring, Sr., of Hull, his house, orchard and two home lots containing four acres; a lot of meadow by 'Streights River'; two lots at Sagamore Hill, and two at Strawberry Hill; and also all his rights and privileges in all the island except Pedcock's Island. In this deed he calls himself 'some time of Hull in the colony of Suffolke', but does not say where he was living then. However, in the proprietor's records of Rehoboth, he was one of the proprietors at least as early as December 25, 1660, and the records also contain a description of the boundaries of land belonging to him. A few months after the sale of his property in Hull he made his first recorded purchase of land in Rehoboth, of Stephen Paine, Sr., February 9, 1660. On April 11, 1664, he then of Wannamoisett, sold to Captain Thomas Willett and James Brown one of the two lots he received in the division of home lots. When Swansea was set off from Rehoboth in 1668, his home in Wannamoisett became a part of the town newly created. He very likely owned land in Rehoboth, as in a deed in 1675 he calls himself of Rehoboth. In 1669 he sold to Joseph Carpenter property in New Meadow Neck. During King Philip's War he and his family, as well as near neighbors, doubtless lived in 'Chaffe's Garrison', a stone building near his house, and during that time he bought more land of Francis Stevens in Rehoboth. On December 28, 1676, there is a record of an agreement in regard to 'lands purchased of Asamequin and Wamsitto his sonne.' The last mention of him in his life is March 16, 1679-80, in an agreement concerning the Paine Lots and also 'pasturing neck.' He made his will, July 25, 1680, and in it mentions his two sons, Nathaniel and Joseph. It was proved March 6, 1683, and an inventory of his estate taken May 15, of the same year. Thomas Chaffe was prominent and highly respected in the towns in which he resided. His children were: Nathaniel, mentioned below; Joseph, probably born between 1639 and 1646 in Hull.
(II) Nathaniel Chaffee, son of Thomas Chaffe, was born between the year 1639 and 1642, probably at Nantasket or Hull, Mass., and died in Rehoboth, September, 1720. Between 1657 and 1660 he settled in that part of Rehoboth which later became Swansea. On May 19, 1670, he was chosen constable, and from that time was a large land owner, inheriting some from his father, and increasing his holding considerably by purchase. He bought sixty acres of land from Obediah Brown in Rehoboth, and later two parcels of land of twelve and a half and ten acres each from John Martin, of Attleboro. That he was highly valued as a citizen is evident from the fact that after his removal from Rehoboth he was invited to return to the town, and as an inducement was offered more land. Four months later he returned. Nathaniel Chaffee was a blacksmith, and from the nature of his work, and the dependence of early settlements on the work of the blacksmith, he held a prominent place in the life of the early settlement. The blacksmith in those days made practically all farm implements, household utensils, arms, bells, etc. Nathaniel Chaffee became a freeman in 1681, on March 26, of which year he was elected constable. On March 22, 1693, he was chosen tythingman. He received numerous grants of land. During King Philip's war he contributed L3, 16s, 6d. to the war fund. He married, in Swansea, Mass., August 19, 1669, Experience Bliss, daughter of Jonathan and Miriam (Harmon) Bliss, and they were the parents of eleven children, the first three of which were born in Swansea, the others in Rehoboth. Children: Dorothy; Thomas, born Oct. 19, 1672; Rachel; Nathaniel, Jan., 1675-76; Jonathan, mentioned below; David, Aug. 22, 1680; Experience, March 24, 1682; Mehitable, Oct. 30, 1687; Daniel, Oct. 30, 1687; Noah, Jan. 19, 1690; Noah, Dec. 17, 1792 [sic].
(III) Jonathan Chaffee, son of Nathaniel and Experience (Bliss) Chaffee, was born in the town of Rehoboth, Mass., April 7, 1678. On February 10, 1701-02, he received from his father four and a half acres of land near 'Broken Cross'. He subsequently became very prominent in the life and affairs of Rehoboth, and took active part in civic life. On March 19, 1704, he was chosen to the office of field driver. On November 21, 1715, he and one hundred and ten others agreed to pay for building a new meeting house. In 1718 he purchased one hundred acres of land from Joseph Russ for L8 in Ashford, Conn. On December 11, of that year, he was a member of a jury of trials. In 1819 he bought of Jeremiah Allen one hundred additional acres in Ashford. He was a large landowner and a considerably wealthy man, an influential citizen, and a highly respected member of the community. On March 28, 1720, he became tythingman, and from that time until his death held public office continuously. Jonathan Chaffee married in Rehoboth, Mass., November 23, 1703, Hannah Carpenter, daughter of William and Miriam (Searles) Carpenter, who was born April 10, 1684. In 1767 she was the executrix of her husband's estate. He died December 31, 1766, leaving a will dated May 5, 1754. He is buried in the old burying ground formerly in Rehoboth, but now in the village of Rumford, R. I., where his grave is marked by a stone bearing the inscription:
Departed this life
December 31, 1766,
in the 89th year of his age.'
Children of Jonathan and Hannah (Carpenter) Chaffee, born in Rehoboth: Jonathan, born June 25, 1704; Nathaniel, Oct. 20, 1705; Hannah, mentioned below; Dan, Feb. 26, 1710; Miriam, Aug. 22, 1712; Susanna, Sept. 22, 1714; Ephraim, Jan. 25, 1716; William, 1717; Susanna, June 10, 1720; Deliverance, Sept. 4, 1721; Josiah, May 2, 1723; Susanna, Aug. 28, 1728.
(IV) Hannah Chaffee, daughter of Jonathan and Hannah (Carpenter) Chaffee, was born in Rehoboth, Mass., October 3, 1707, and died there February 22, 1799. She married in Rehoboth, May 27, 1729, Joseph (2) Armington. (See Armington II).
Hannah (Carpenter) Chaffee, mother Hannah (Chaffee) Armington, wife of Joseph (2) Armington, was a daughter of William and Miriam (Searles) Carpenter, as above stated, and granddaughter of William Carpenter, the founder of this family, which is one of the most notable of early American families. Her lineage is contained in the following article.
The Peck Line
FREDERICK S. PECK. -- On May 22, 1639, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony met at Boston, electing John Winthrop governor, and other Colonial officers. The name of Mr. Joseph Peck, of Hingham, stands at the head of the list of deputies, twenty-eight in number, who met to make Puritan laws for a Puritan Colony. In that historic assembly of legislators were John Endicott, Richard Bellingham, Simon Bradstreet, Israel Stoughton and Richard Saltonstall, while Humphrey Atherton, noted in Rhode Island history, Robert Keayne, Thomas Mayhew, Simon Willard, Edward Rawson, William Hawthorne, and others, were of the legislative group that were destined to win high honors in civil life in the Bay Colony. On May 13, 1640, the Great Court met at Boston and again the name of Mr. Joseph Peck leads the deputies, now thirty-one in number. Of this number, twenty-three bear the title 'Mr.', four are captains, one lieutenant, one ensign, and two carry no title. In 1641 the General Court of Elections met at Boston, on January 2, and Mr. Joseph Peck is still a deputy from Hingham, with distinguished associates, over whom Richard Bellingham was chosen as governor. Among them are William Carpenter, Henry Smith, William Cheesbrough, Alexander Winchester, Stephen Paine, and others, who, in 1641, through the agency of Captain Myles Standish and Mr. John Browne, purchased a township of land, eight miles square, of Massassoit, and later called it Rehoboth.
(I) Mr. Joseph Peck, who, with his brother, Rev. Robert Peck, Jr., were the founders of the Peck family in America, was the son of Robert Peck, a resident of Suffolk county, England. The son Joseph was baptized in Beccles, Suffolk country, April 30, 1587. Robert Peck, Jr., received his Master's degree at Cambridge University in 1602; was a Puritan minister in Hingham, England, and with his brother, Joseph, came to New England in 1638, settling at Hingham, in the Bay Colony, where English settlers of Norfolk county had founded a new Hingham on the Bay coast. Robert and Joseph took the freeman's oath, March 13, 1638-39, and Robert was ordained teacher of the church at Hingham, Mass., 1639. On October 27, 1641, Robert, his wife and son, Joseph, embarked from Boston from his native land, having been invited, says Cotton Mather, to renew his pastoral office over the Puritan Church in Hingham, England, 'where he is greatly serviceable for the good of the Church'. He died in 1656, in the midst of a loved and beloved people. Concerning Mr. Joseph Peck and his family, Mr. David Cushing, town clerk of Hingham, Mass., has this record: 'Mr. Joseph Peck and his wife and three sons and daughter, and two men servants, and three maid servants, came from old Hingham and settled at New Hingham.'
Joseph Peck married Rebecca Clark, at Hingham, England, May 21, 1617. After being the mother of five children, she died October 24, 1637, when Mr. Peck married -------- ---------, who gave him three sons. The baptismal names and dates of the children were: Anna, March 12, 1617-18, died July, 1636; Rebecca, May 25, 1620; Joseph, Aug. 23, 1623; John, about 1626; Nicholas, April 9, 1630; Samuel, Feb. 3, 1638-39; Nathaniel, Oct. 31, 1641; Israel, March 4, 1644.
Mr. Joseph Peck was nearly fifty-two years of age when he settled, with others of his old town, as a co-founder, in New Hingham, New England. He was in the full maturity of physical and mental power, was well-to-do in worldly possessions, and belonged to the superior class of English settlers in America. Whether aware of his lineage or not, he really had the blood of an early Saxon and Norman nobility in his veins, the proof of which was manifest in his own excellent and well-ordered life, and in the long lines of good men and women who gladly trace their ancestry to Joseph Peck of Hingham and Rehoboth. The election of Mr. Peck as a deputy to the General Court of the Bay Colony from Hingham, only a few days after taking the freeman's oath, and his repeated elections to the same office, are proof of his social and political standing, while the other offices of trust and honor from town and colony confirm the record; he was a trusted man in the Bay Colony.
Mr. Peck was a pioneer as well as a founder. Reports came to him of unoccupied lands in the Narragansett Bay country. Boston had just sent a ship-load of three hundred people to found towns and a colony on Aquidneck. Miles Standish had preempted Sowams (Barrington). At Mt. Hope (Bristol) were Indian lands, the home of King Philip. Men of vision saw in the field attractive territory for new settlement, and 'in the year of our Lord 1641, Governor Bradford of Plymouth granted to Joseph Peck, Stephen Paine, Henry Smith, Alexander Winchester, Thomas Cooper, gent., and others with them, and such others as they should associate to themselves, a tract of land for a plantation or township formerly called by the natives Secunke, for which the purchasers paid Massasoit ten fathoms of beads and a coat.' Most of the settlers were from Hingham and Weymouth, and as lands were apportioned according to estates, we have in the Rehoboth Proprietors' Records, Vol I., p. 1, the estimated estates of the founders of ancient Rehoboth, in 1645. Richard Wright stands first with L834; John Browne second with L600; and Joseph Peck and Stephen Paine next with L535 each. Mr. Joseph Peck and family moved from Hingham to Rehoboth in 1645, thereby entering the new plantation as purchasers and founders. The first Peck home was in 'the Ring of the Town', and was located not far from the railroad station at Rumford, in East Providence. Here Mr. Peck lived an active, useful and honored citizen until his death December 23, 1663, in his seventy-seventh year.
(II) Joseph (2) Peck , first son of Joseph (1) Peck, baptized in 1623, settled near his father at Seekonk Plain, but, about 1660, removed to Palmer's river section of Rehoboth. He died about 1701.
(II) John Peck, second son of Joseph (1) Peck, settled near Luther's Corners, on the east side of Bowen's river. He was a representative from Rehoboth to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1700. He died in 1713.
(II) Nicholas Peck, third son of Joseph (1) Peck, settled in the southern part of Rehoboth, near Munroe's Tavern. He represented the town of Rehoboth as deputy to the General Court at Plymouth for the years 1669-78-85-98, a period of nine years. He rose to the rank of captain in the Colonial militia. He died May 27, 1720.
(II) Samuel Peck, fourth son of Joseph (1) Peck, remained at the homestead on Seekonk Plain. He was a deputy from Rehoboth to Plymouth for two years, and one of the first representatives of the town to the Massachusetts Colony, after the union with Plymouth. He was also a deacon of the Newman Congregational Church. He died in 1708.
(II) Nathaniel Peck, fifth son of Joseph (1) Peck, is the ancestor of Frederick S. Peck, the subject of this sketch. Nathaniel and his brother, Israel, settled in Barrington, then Swansea, Mass., on lands, a part of which are now owned by Frederick S. Peck, and are styled the Ousamequin Farm. This farm is a part of the ancient Sowams (Barrington), which was purchased of Massassoit (Ousamequin), in 1653, by Governor Bradford, Governor Prince, Miles Standish, and others of old settlers of Plymouth, in 1653, for L35 sterling. A prorietary was formed by the purchasers, the territory was surveyed and plotted, roads laid out, and the lands were sold to the dwellers in the towns of Rehoboth and Swansea. As early as 1655, Joseph (1) Peck had secured an interest in the Sowams proprietary by a purchase of certain lands of the original Sowams proprietors. These proprietary lands, with certain salt meadows, Mr. Joseph (1) Peck gave, by his will, to his sons Nathaniel and Israel. After their marriage these two brothers settled in Barrington, building houses and rearing families, the land remaining undivided as one farm, until after Nathaniel, of the third generation, was married. Nathaniel Peck, father of Nathaniel and Israel Peck above mentioned, died in 1676, at the age of thirty-five, and his wife, Deliverance, in 1678, leaving one son, Nathaniel, as heir to all his father's estate.
(III) Nathaniel (2) Peck, son of Nathaniel (1) Peck, born July 26, 1670, married (first) Christian Allen, of Swansea, March 8, 1695-96. Three children were born of this marriage: Ebenezer, Nathaniel and Thomas. Nathaniel Peck married (second) Judith Smith, of Rehoboth, July 18, 1705, of whom were born seven children: Daniel, David, Abigail, Bathsheba, Solomon, of further mention; John, John. Nathaniel Peck was a prominent citizen of Barrington, holding various public offices; was an officer in the Colonial militia and a deacon of the Congregational church. He died August 5, 1751, in his eighty-second year.
(IV) Solomon Peck, son of Nathaniel (2) Peck, was born November 11, 1712, married Keziah Barnes, December 29, 1737, and settled upon a part of his father's estate. Eleven children were the fruit of their marriage. Mr. Peck was a useful and respected citizen, and Mrs. Peck a devoted wife and mother. On his tombstone are the lines:
'My flesh shall rest in hope to rise Waked by His powerful Voice.'
'A faithful Wife and Mother dear, Such she was who now lies here.'
(V) Solomon (2) Peck, son of Solomon (1) Peck, was born October 29, 1738; married Mrs. Abigail Barney (born Peck), his cousin, December 8, 1763. He lived in the house which is now known as the Ousamequin farmhouse, where six children were born: Abigail, Keziah, Solomon, Darius, Ellis, of further mention; and Beebe. Solomon Peck died August 22, 1814; his widow, June 16, 1821.
(VI) Ellis Peck, son of Solomon (2) Peck, was born in Barrington, August 2, 1774, and died July 27, 1854. He married Sarah Hill, daughter of David Hill, who gave him seven children: Sarah, Abigail, Ellis (2), Hannah, Asa, of further mention; Hannah and William. No children were born by a second marriage to Lucy Bliss, in 1818. Ellis Peck and family lived at the homestead of his father, Solomon (2) Peck.
(VII) Asa Peck, son of Ellis and Sarah (Hill) Peck, was born in Barrington, April 7, 1812, and married Lucretia S. Remington, daughter of Enoch and Phebe (Short) Remington, March 4, 1839. Mr. Peck inherited a part of the ancestral acres bought of the Pilgrim proprietors of Sowams by Joseph (1) Peck, and was born and spent his life in the house occupied by his father, Ellis Peck, and his grandfather, Solomon Peck. It is probable that the house of Nathaniel (2) Peck stood on or near this site, as a stone garrison house stood in front of the Peck house, in the center of the eight-rod way that ran from the north end of the middle eight-rod highway to the Barrington river. Asa Peck was a farmer by home occupation, but an energetic body, a resolute spirit and an acquisitive nature led him into other fields, at first as a market drover and trader, and later as a dealer in wool-waste, establishing, with his son, Leander R. Peck, a successful business on Canal street, in Providence, under the name of Asa Peck & Company, into which he later introduced his son Walter A. Peck. Mr. Peck's business enterprises, honorable dealing and strict integrity won success and a comfortable fortune, which he transmitted to a family of children worthy to receive a rich family heritage and the foundation for a larger fortune. Six children were born to Asa and Lucretia S. (Remington) Peck: Adelaide E., Leander R., of further mention; George A., Juliette L., Walter A., and Ida E. Mrs. Peck was a woman of unusual mental and physical powers, with a moral and spiritual quality that constitued her a leader in Barrington society. Harmony, cordiality, generosity and hospitality characterized the Asa Peck home and family. Mr. Peck took a deep interest in town affairs, and his voice was always on the side of economy in town expenditures. Although a member of the minority party in the town, he was chosen to fill important offices, and was a member of the Committee of Twenty at the Barrington Centennial Celebration in 1870. There were two traits in the character of Asa Peck with must be emphasized, his industry and his honesty. Of this latter trait, his grandson says: 'Grandfather would go as far to pay a debt as to collect one, and while he expected a payment to the last cent in any debt due him, he was equally insistent in the payment of the last cent where he owed another.' Other characteristics were his unostenatious charity, his unfailing cheerfulness and his love of home. The virtues inherited from his Puritan ancestors were transmitted to his children, and he passed to his reward honored and respected.
(VIII) Leander Remington Peck, son of Asa and Lucretia S. (Remington) Peck, was born at Ousamequin Farm, Barrington, R. I., February 12, 1843, died in Providence, January 28, 1909, and lies at rest in Princess Hill Cemetery, Barrington. After obtaining a good education in high school and academy, and business experience through association with his uncle, Jeremiah S. Remington, a merchant of Providence, he joined with his father in organizing the firm Asa Peck & Company. The business, buying and selling wool and woolen wastes, although new to Rhode Island, possessed elements of profit which attracted Mr. Peck, and he bent every energy toward bringing the venture to a successful issue. The firm, the oldest in this line in the State, has always kept its leadership by pursuing the policy worked out and followed by Leander R. Peck, who was its inspiration and its directing head until his death. In addition to the founding and developing of a stable business house, Leander R. Peck was president of the Lawton Spinning Company; a director and vice-president of the Union Trust Company of Providence; a director in other financial corporations, and filled an important place in Providence business life. He was a business man of keen ability, but he had other enthusiasms, and regarded life as something more than a succession of business transactions. He bought the site he had previously selected for the Pomham Club grounds, and was one of the founders of the club, chairman of its executive committee, and later its president.
He added to Ousamequin Farm and rendered the grounds around the house spacious and beautiful; the landscape gardeners being freely called upon to make the old home a place of beauty. He was a great admirer of the light harness horse, and owned some very speedy ones, but these were kept for pleasure driving only. His cultured wife, too, had her enthusiasms, the greenhouses and beautiful lawns showing plainly woman's taste. But her great joy was her private collection of silver and copper lustre. This collection was begun in 1899, with one piece left her by an aunt and one owned by her husband's grandfather. In one room at Ousamequin, known as the 'Museum', there was but one piece of modern furniture, and that a tall standing lamp. The winter home of the family was in Providence, with summer home at Ousamequin Farm.
Leander R. Peck married, September 3, 1866, Sarah Gould Cannon, daughter of Charles and Mary P. (Fisher) Cannon, a descendant through female lines of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, both of whom came from Leyden in the 'Mayflower', Mrs. Peck being of the ninth American generation. Mr. and Mrs. Leander R. Peck were the parents of a son, Frederick Stanhope Peck, of further mention; and a daughter, Edith Remington, born March 14, 1874, married, November 15, 1898, Frank N. Phillips, president of the American Electrical Works, and has a daughter, Charlotte, and a son, Donald Key Phillips.
There are many memorials to the memory of Leander Remington Peck to be found in the community in which he so long resided, two of them in the town of Barrington, and very near each other, being strikingly handsome and appropriate. In Barrington stands the modern high school building newly completed, erected on grounds, which, with the newly completed building, were donated to the town by Mrs. Sarah Gould (Cannon) Peck, in honor of her husband's memory, the building to be known as the 'Leander R. Peck School'. The design is beautiful, the construction and the location perfect, but the true value of the gift is the love which inspired it, and the true philanthropic spirit which could forsee the great and increasing value of an institution which shall make men better by making them wiser.
The second movement referred to is the handsome memorial tomb erected in the cemetery at Barrington, in 1909, by Mrs. Edith Remington (Peck) Phillips, as a tribute of respect to the memory of her father. In order to make the gift doubly effective and to forever provide for its proper care and preservation, Mrs. Leander R. Peck and her son, Frederick S. Peck, have founded a $10,000 fund to provide for the perpetual care of the tomb.
The Layout of Rhode Island
The town of Rehoboth lies in the western part of Bristol County, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Attleborough and Norton, on the east by Taunton, Dighton, and Swansea, and on the south by Swansea.
The original town of Rehoboth embraced, in addition to its present territory, the present towns of Seekonk, Pawtucket, Attleborough, East Providence, Cumberland, and that part of Swansea and Barrington which was called by the Indians Wannainoiset. The first purchase of land was made of Massasoit in 1641, and embraced a tract ten miles square, comprising the present towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk, Pawtucket, and East Providence.
The second purchase was the tract called by the English Wannamoiset, forming a part of Swansea and Barrington.
The third and last purchase was a tract embracing the present towns of Attleborough, Mass., and Cumberland, R. I. This was known as the " North Purchase." The town retained its original area until 1667, when Swansea (Wannamoiset) was incorporated, including, besides the present town, that of Somerset, Mass., Cumberland, R. I., and the greater part of Warren, R. I. In 1694 it was further decreased by the incorporation of Attleborougb, and in 1812 Seekonk was set off. The first white settler within the bounds of the original town of Rehoboth. was William Blackstone, in what is now Cumberland, R. I. He was a Non-Conformist minister of England, who fled from his native land and sought an asylum in the wilds of Allrierica. He was the first white man who lived on the peninsula where the city of Boston now stands. The next white settler here was the famous Roger Williams.
April 20, 2020