« AnteriorContinuar »
chamber used for an apple chamber, and the shop, paying therefore to my said son Thomas forty shillings yearly at Michaelmas and our Lady by even portions.
Item I give unto my said son Thomas all that my messuage or tenement I now dwell in situate in Mulsham aforesaid, with all and singular their appurtenances, to him and his heirs for ever, except those the rooms formerly willed to my said wife, upon condition that he pay or cause to be paid unto his brother John thirty pounds of lawful money of England, so soon as he shall come to the age of twenty and two years. The residue to my son Thomas. The executors to be my loving brother John Rogers of Dedham, clerk, and my said son Thomas, to which said brother, for his pains herein, I will and devise by this my last will that my son shall bear his charges in proving of my will and other charges of his expences herein, aud give unto him for a remembrance of me one piece of gold of ten shillings towards the making of him a gold ring.
Wit: Petter de Court, Tho. Sherlock Scr.
Commissary Court, Essex and Herts, 1624-5.
Here at last we strike a broad trail, and it becomes evident that this family were at the end of the sixteenth century settled in Chelmsford.
This town, as we learn from Morant, gives name both to the Deanery and Hundred, and is a pretty large and populous place, twenty-nine miles from London. It is seated at the confluence of two rivers, the Can, which flows from the south-south-west, and the Chelmer from the north. From the latter it probably derived its name, which in Domesday-book is written Celmeresfort and Celmeresforda, and in other records Chelmeresford, Chelmerford and Chelmesford; there having been undoubtedly a ford here across the river on the great road from London to Colchester, Harwich and Suffolk County. Close adjoining, on the north-east, is the little village of Springfield, which was the English home of another of our New England families, the Pynchons. A stone bridge over the Can leads directly into Moulsham or Mulsham, a manor and hamlet which before the Conquest was holden by the Abbot and convent of St. Peters, Westminister, and remained in their possession until the suppression of monasteries, when, falling to the Crown, it was granted 23 July, 1540, to Thomas Myldmay, Esq., who built a magnificent manor house, commonly called Mulsham Hall. This hamlet is really a part of the town of Chelmsford, and is but a continuation of its main street. The oldest and most noticeable house on the right, but a short distance from the Bridge, was, I learned, a freehold that had belonged from time immemorial to the Rogers family, and was still owned and occupied by one of that name. I could not but think that this might be the homestead passed down in the preceding wills from father to son, the birth place of John Rogers of Dedham.
The Church Registers of Chelmsford go back to A.D. 1538 (when parish registers were first ordered to be kept in England). I spent
the latter half of a long summer day in the examination of their contents, while day light lasted, or until nearly nine, P. M. Too late I discovered from internal evidence that the volume which had been handed me was a copy of the original record and made by some rector or curate, who was evidently something of an antiquary, about two hundred years ago. So I offer my notes of baptism with a great deal of diffidence. I found at last the missing volume, but had no time to examine it thoroughly. The parish clerk had fancied it lost.
I found that this family were evidently settled here in Chelmsford as early as the first year noted in the Register, so that it seems needless to visit the Lees or Leighs, with the hope of carrying our history of the family further back by the aid of Church Registers.
There was a John Rogers the elder, carpenter, whose wife Jone was buried in 1540, and a John Rogers the younger, who had a son Richard baptized 29 June, 1551. This I have no doubt was Richard Rogers of Wethersfield (see the inscription on his tomb-stone). Taking this for granted, the problem was to find the baptism of John, the father of John of Dedham and brother of this Richard.
The following were all the baptisms I gathered from 1538 to 1558 inclusive:
John, of John Rogers the younger, 21 Nov. 1538.
Thomas, of John Rogers the younger and Ann, 25 Nov. 1540.
John, of John Rogers and Jone, 19 Oct. 1545.
John, of John Rogers and Agnes, 10 Sept. 1548.
Richard, of John Rogers the younger, 29 June, 1551.
Ellyn, of John Rogers, 1 Nov. 1558.
Whether John Rogers the younger was the father of all these children it is impossible, without further evidence, to say. Assuming that he had two wives, Ann and Agnes, then all but one are accounted for; and in that case John the father of John of Dedham and of Thomas the shoemaker was born in 1548. A John Rogers married Agnes Carter in 1541. Coming down to the next generation I found the baptisms of the following children of a John Rogers :—
Thomas, 30 January, 1574.
Mary, 28 April, 1576.
Richard, 15 April, 1579.
Katherine, 29 May, 1581.
The baptism of John, who must have been born about 1569 to 1571, I did not get, though I have note of the baptism of a Johan,
son of John Rogers, 9 August, 1579 (the very same year as the baptism of Richard, son of John). If this be our man, then his baptism was postponed nearly ten years after his birth. In New England I have noticed several instances of the postponement of this rite until the individual had even reached the age of manhood. Very likely such cases may be found in English records. At any rate the names of Thomas, Nathaniel and Susan show that we have here the family of John, the shoemaker, while it must have been their sister Mary who was married in 1596 to William Griffyn (mentioned in will of John, the father, in 1601). This John Rogers's first wife was probably Mary, buried in 1579: and the children born after that year (viz. Katherine, Nathaniel, Ezechias and Susan) were his children by his second wife Joan, who in her will, made 1612, left the bulk of her property to two of them, Nathaniel and Susan. The others both died young, Katherine in 1585 and Ezechias in 1587.
Later on I found the baptisms of the children of Thomas, Nathaniel and Richard, all of Moulsham. Thomas was called a shoemaker, and was, without question, the one who was buried in 1625, and by his mention of his brother John as "of Dedham, clerk," has enabled us to place this family. He seems to have had two wives, Sarah, buried 1607, by whom a son Thomas baptized 11 December, 1605, and Mary who outlived him, by whom he had the following children :—
John, bapt. 18 October, 1612; perhaps died in Billerica, Mass., 25 Jan. 1685-86, æt. 74.
Nathaniel, bapt. 13 February, 1615; d. in Moulsham, 1616.
Nathaniel Rogers, of Moulsham, brother of the preceding and of John of Dedham, was called schoolmaster, and, very likely, was master of the Free School in Moulsham, founded by King Edward VI. A.D. 1552. He probably died in 1619, having had by his wife Elizabeth Terret (m. 1607) the following children :
John, bapt. 5 January, 1611; probably referred to in his uncle John's will as "the sadler."
Elizabeth, bapt. 25 April, 1614; d. in Moulsham 1617.
Elizabeth, bapt. 6 April, 1618; adopted, I think, by her uncle John who mentioned her in his will, and mentioned also by the latter's widow, who speaks of her as "my maid Elizabeth Rogers."
Richard Rogers, of Moulsham, called a "Poulter," married Anne Cooke 1613, and had the following children :
Jeane, bapt. 27 February, 1613.
Besides all these there was a Thomas Rogers (buried, probably,
1598) who was having children from 1575 to 1580 inclusive. There is no reason to doubt that he belonged to this Chelmsford family.
And there was a William Rogers, who was buried in Chelmsford, 1587, having buried his wife Margaret the year before, who must have belonged to a family of Rogers seated at Stanford le Hope and the neighboring parishes of Fobbinge and Curringham, near the Thames. I have a few abstracts of wills relating to them. One of these, John Roger of Fobbinge, refers to the above, in 1584, as cousin William Roger of Chelmsford, and his wife, and in a nuncupative codicil, made 21 October, 1584, he willed that John Roger his (own) son should remain at Chelmsford, where he then was, until our Lady day next.
There are other references to the name of Rogers on the calendars of Wills and Admons. in Essex County, not yet examined. When they are, we may get more light on the relationship of all these parties. Some of these are as follows:
John Rogers, 1592.
Rose Rogers (widow), 1599-1600 (prob. wid. of Robt. R., of Buttis-
William Rogers, of Colchester, 1618.
Mary Rogers (wid.), of Moulsham, 1626-8.
Richard Rogers, of Moulsham, 1628-31.
Thomas Rogers, of Moulsham, 1639-41.
Jeremiah Rogers, of Chelmsford (test.), 1676–77.
Daniel Rogers, of St. Nicholas, Colchester, 1679-80.
And in calendars of the Archd. of Colchester,
Timothy Rogers, of Tey Magna, 1662-3.
Rachel Rogers, of Tey Magna (Book Symons 46).
James Rogers, of St. Buttolph (Book Symons 43).
Whether this family can be traced farther remains to be proved. I find in Burke's General Armory the following:
Rogers (Chelmsford, co. Essex; Purton, eo. Gloucester; Kent; and Evesham, co. Worcester). Ar. a chev. betw. three bucks,
Crest A buck's head sa. attired or, in the mouth an acorn of the second, stalked and leaved vert.
In the Visitation of Gloucestershire, published by the Harleian Society, Vol. XXI. p. 141, may be found a pedigree of the family undoubtedly referred to. If of this stock, then, our New England family may surely claim kinship with the protomartyr, by virtue of a descent from a common ancestor. I confess that I am somewhat
inclined to think that further research may not only establish this connection, but also trace the ancestry of John Harvard's mother back to the same source.
On the other hand, it will be remembered, Candler says that this family came from the North of England, while the Jortins believed that one of their ancestors was a steward of the Earl of Warwick, without, however, stating which Earl.
Before giving extracts from any other wills, I ought to call attention to a clause in the will of John Rogers the shoemaker (1601), which, taken in connection with a similar one in the will of Thomas Rogers the shoemaker (1625), furnishes a significant bit of evidence that these two stood to each other in the relation of father
to prove and son. John, the father, gave the three tenements bought of John Sames* to his wife for life, then to daughter Susan and the heirs of her body; failing such, then to the testator's other children. Now Susan died young and unmarried, her brother Nathaniel died; whether Mary Griffyn was alive or not I cannot say, but in 1625 Thomas Rogers is found disposing by will of "three tenements lately bought of my brother John Rogers, of Dedham, clerk."
I was fortunate enough to discover the wills of John Hawes, whose widow Elizabeth became the second wife of John Rogers of Dedham, of Richard Wiseman, whose widow Dorothy became his third wife, of Dorothy Rogers herself, who by her conscientious mention of her step-children and their children, adds much to our knowledge of the family; of John Rogers of Colchester, eldest son of the famous preacher of Dedham, and of John Ray† of Stradishall, Suffolk, who calls him brother in law.
Short abstracts of these wills here follow:
JOHN HAWES the elder of St. Lawrence in the County of Essex, yeoman, 7 August 1613, proved 12 October 1613. Mentions son John and Elizabeth his daughter; kinsman John Anthony; Charles Anthony the younger, a sister's son; Martha Anthony, youngest daughter of said sister; Frances, the eldest daughter of sister Alice Anthony; John Olmsted, son of Richard Olmsted and of daughter Elizabeth, Israel their second son, Jedidiah their third son and Elizabeth their daughter; daughter Elizabeth wife of Richard Olmstead, clerk; Julian Veale of Malden, widow; wife Elizabeth. Commissary Court, Essex, Herts, 1613.
RICHARD WISEMAN, of Much Wigborowe, in the County of Essex, yeoman, 12 October 1616, proved 24 May 1617. To my son Marke Wiseman, at his age of one and twenty years, my copyhold lands and tenements called Sheereinges and Cuckoes &c in Much Wigborowe. My brother Henry Wiseman, of Elsingham, Essex, gentleman, to take charge of said estates &c until then, to collect rents, &c. after the death of Anne Lawrence, widow. My said brother to pay unto my daughter Sara one hun
There was a John Sames in New England among the early settlers.-H. F. W.
+ I have found two or three other wills of this family of Ray, which do not throw any light on the Rogers alliance.