The Winthrop Society: Descendants of the Great Migration

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Anne C. Henninger, President:     William Baulston, 1630, Boston


William Baulston came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet. An educated man, he was an innkeeper and held a variety of civil positions both in Boston and, later, Aquidneck, whence he removed sometime after November 1637. He settled in Portsmouth and was one of the men instrumental in forming the joint government of Portsmouth and Newport. William Baulston died shortly after making his will on 11 Mar 1677/78.  His only surviving daughter, Elizabeth, caused a great scandal when, in 1655, she divorced her husband, MAJ John Coggeshall. 


Jane R. Power, Vice President     John Taylor, 1630, Lynn


Massachusetts Bay Colony (MBC) was a strong economic hub in New England, but another group of wealthy Londoners founded a town in Connecticut called New Haven.  It sold its products to England but used MBC ships to get goods to England.  To save time and money, they decided to build their own ship to transport goods.  In the winter of 1645/6 the ship was chartered carrying peas, wheat, hides, beaver pelts and manuscript writings for sale.  Also, 70 persons boarded the ship (there is no passenger list).  According to family lore John Taylor was a passenger on the ship.

Because it was a very cold winter, the ship was iced into the port and every able man and boy had to help hand-chop a 3-mile channel out to sea. It was a choppy ocean with an experienced mariner in command, but the ship never reached England and was never heard of again. The ship was immortalized more than 200 years later by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, “The Phantom Ship.” You can find it at:


Marie A. Seelye, Registrar:         Samuel Packard, 1638, Hingham


Samuel Packard (c 1608-1684) & wife Elizabeth came from Windham, near Hingham, England in 1638 on the Diligent to settle in Hingham/Weymouth, MBC. They later moved to West Bridgewater where Samuel was appointed Constable in 1664 and licensed to keep an ordinary (tavern) in 1670/1. Marie’s 3g-grandfather, Malcolm Packard, is the g-grandfather of David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, Inc. Marie’s mother remembers visiting David and family in Pueblo, Colorado when she was a young child.


Walter C. Seelye, Treasurer:       Robert Seely, 1630, Watertown


Robert Seely came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet, and as as surveyor laid lots in Watertown, where he first settled. He moved to Wethersfield, CT in 1636, and he “walked the woods” as surveyor for establishing New Haven, and moved there in 1639. He was a cordwainer (shoemaker), and was assigned to be leather sealer, who inspected leather and finished goods for quality. Robert was second in command in the Pequot War, and later Captain in the Artillery Company. His only son Nathaniel was killed in the Great Swamp Fight of 1675, leaving Nathaniel’s widow with 11 children.


Gayle M. Coan, Secretary      William Chase, 1630, Roxbury


William Chase I was born in 1595 in Chesam, Buckingham, England. He came over with the Winthrop Fleet with his wife and eldest son under indenture to Governor Winthrop at Roxbury for 8 years from 1630-38. He was made a freeman in 1634. He served as surveyor of Highways in 1637 probably in Roxbury. In 1638 he moved to Yarmouth on the cape where in 1639 he formed the town of Yarmouth. He became a carpenter, building a home for Andrew Hallett, appointed constable of Yarmouth by the General Court of Plymouth Colony in1638/1639, and bore arms for Yarmouth in 1645 against the Narraganists. He died 4 May1659 in Yarmouth, MA.


Carol L. Taylor, Fleet News Editor:    James Penniman, 1631


Katherine C. King, Archivist:        Jacob Barney, 1633, Salem


Jacob Barney's parentage is in dispute, so his his place of birth is not known.   He might have come over in 1630 on the ship Lyon  to Massachusetts, the same ship as Roger Williams.  Jacob Barney was made a freeman in 1634, and represented Salem in General Court in 1635, 1638, 1647, and 1655.  He was obviously an intelligent, confident, loyal, and educated man as he served as selectman, deputy to General Court, was a member of the first Grand Jury Grand Jury, set tax rates, surveyed, and enforced the rules of Salem town and Church.  He differed with the General Court in the case of Roger Williams, and, in 1647 was on the side of those led by Dr. Robert Child, who had petitioned the General Court for the right of non-freeman to vote [only freemen could vote].  The Court sentenced the Doctor and his associates to fines.  Under the Court record appears;  "Jacob Barney contradicena to Ye sentence of Ye Courte."   He died at Salem on 28 April 1673.  He was a courageous man.


George J. Hill, Chaplain: John Johnson, 1630, Roxbury


My tenth-great grandfather, Captain John Johnson, arrived in America in about 1630, when he first appeared in the records as Member #9 of the Roxbury Church in Massachusetts.  He was elected Deputy to the General Court in 1634 and was re-elected for twenty-five years. In 1638 he became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.  He was later clerk of the Ancients and Surveyor General of arms and ammunition for the colony.  For his service as Surveyor General, he was granted 300 acres in 1657 “in any place where he can find it.”  He died two years later, leaving an estate valued at 623 pounds.  His ten children were baptized at Ware, England.  His second son, my ancestor, Captain Isaac Johnson, was killed at the Great Swamp Fight in Rhode Island, on December 19, 1675.  He was leading his company of the Ancients up the wall of the Narragansett Indians’ great fort.  He left six children, all of whom were by then adults; one was my eighth great-grandmother Elizabeth Johnson.


Charlotte H. Lindgren, Historian: Thomas Whittier, 1638, Boston


Thomas Whittier (c.1620-1696) at the age of 18, came in 1638 on the ship Confidence. He is listed as the servant of John Rolfe, but as John was his uncle, he probably received passage money in return for agreeing to a period of service in helping to set up the Rolfe family household. The new township was named Salisbury for the parish they had left in England. He married Ruth Green, had a child, and settled in Salisbury. Later they moved to Haverhill, first building a log cabin, but eventually they had nine more children and established a substantial farm where the family continued to live for five generations. Thomas’s marked grave is on his land back of the farm used as a family burial spot. Because the poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, used the farm as the setting for his famous poem “Snowbound,” it is now run by Trustees and open to the public.


David J. Stringfellow, Parliamentarian:    Richard Lyman, 1631, Roxbury

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