The ancestors on this page show three distinct paths coming together: the Jordan/Ramsey line is primarily Scots-Irish and the Schmidlapp/Leland line is an equal mix of German and English ancestry. The Leland family has many interconnections within the Freeman/McKay family and also between the McKay and Stevens families.

See all links in Jordan Family Tree

The Jordan Family

The Jordan family journey took them over five generations from County Mayo, Ireland first to Virginia, then to early settlement in Kentucky and finally to Indiana. Two of the Jordans married offspring of German immigrants.

How We're Related

Lucy "Mamie" Jordan married William Barron.


Robert Jordan married Sophia Schmidlapp on March 5, 1865 in Indiana. He was a private in Monroe's Independent Co. 9, Indiana Legion, Union Army, in the Civil War. At 17 years old Robert is helping out in the saw mill but ten years later, after the war he is living with his wife and three children as a farmer next to his parents and younger siblings. In 1880 he is running a general store. In 1900 his occupation is listed as a huckster, i.e., a person who sells small items, either door-to-door or from a stall or small store. His obituary in 1913 listed him as an owner and driver of transfer wagon.


Peter Jordan married Mary Jane Ramsey on May 5, 1840 in Jefferson County, Indiana. In 1850 Peter is listed in the census as a merchant; in 1860 he is in sawmilling. In 1864 he is assessed taxes for "license as a lawyer."


Garrett Jordan married Mary McCoun on October 31, 1804 in Franklin County, Kentucky. Just before his death in 1834, Garrett received a grant of 200 acres of land west of Lexington in Anderson County.


Patrick Peter Jordan married Margaret Irvine in Virginia in 1763. There is a story that Patrick and his brother Garrett were among a group of frontier explorers were camped at a natural spring in 1775 when word came from nearby Fort Boonesborough that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of the battle, the group named their site Lexington — and the name stuck. So Patrick and Garrett's exploits in this area predates the more famous Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark who followed them to this region. Garrett later died in September 1777 at the Battle of Princeton.

Patrick brought his family to Kentucky and settled in Harrodsburg, southwest of Lexington.

Patrick's wife, Margaret's parentage is uncertain but she is likely the daughter of John Irvine and Mary Boyd from Ulster, Ireland.


An Irish image

Irish connection

Peter Patrick Jordan married Mary Shull in 1748 in Virginia. He had immigrated to Virginia from County Mayo, Ireland, as an indentured servant in 1743. It is said that he met his German-born wife on the ship and they married soon after arriving. Peter Jordan is said to have been among the old men and boys to guard British General Burgoyne's defeated army after their surrender in the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777 (Peter would have been about 52 years old). He received a land grant in what is now Shenandoah County Virginia on Cedar Creek in 1777.

Mary was born in Germany and came to America with her father Henrich in 1743.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Ramsey

The Ramsey Family

The Ramsey family line can be traced back to William Ramsey who fought for Robert the Bruce and was one of the nobles who subscribed to the celebrated memorial addressed to the Pope in 1320, wherein was set forth the rights and liberties of Scotland.

The American Ramseys started with William who gravitated to the Scots-Irish community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His great grandson, John moved his family to Kentucky and his daughter relocated to Indiana.

How We're Related

Mary Jane Ramsey married Peter Jordan on May 5, 1840 in Jefferson County, Indiana.


John Ramsey married Margaret Huston on January 16, 1815 in Mason, Kentucky. John was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania but married in Kentucky. A year later he and his family were in Jefferson County, Indiana where he lived the remainder of his life as a farmer. He was possibly held in jail in Camp Irvine, Delaware during the War of 1812 for desertion.

Margaret was born in Kentucky and died in Indiana. Her ancestry is speculative but she is very likely the grand daughter of Christopher Huston through one of his six sons making her a cousin to General Samuel Houston.


Thomas Ramsey married Hannah Lockhart in 1771. He enlisted in 1775 and served in Capt. Thomas Craig's company, 3rd Pennsylvania regiment. Thomas and his family migrated sometime between 1790 and 1793 from Bucks County (near Philadelphia) to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, 100 miles northwest. It is likely that this was a short stopover on the way farther west. They had children in Kentucky before finally moving on to Indiana.


Thomas Ramsey married Mary Darrah Johnston in 1731. He was probably born in Ireland and came to America with his parents. He had settled in Nockamixon, Bucks County, Pennsylvania about 1725 and was an extensive landowner there.

Mary died in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania. Her father, James Johnston married Mary Darrah about 1710 in Pennsylvania. He was a pioneer settler in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

An Irish image

Northern Irish connection

James' wife, Mary, had five brothers who were soldiers in the Revolution. Her father, Thomas Darrah, emigrated from Londonderry, Northern Ireland about 1725. He and his wife, Mary, settled first in what is now Montgomery County, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia in 1739 and then moved to Bedminster Township in Bucks County. He owned 600 acres of land there and led in the organization of the first Presbyterian church in the area. Thomas was a private in the Bedminster militia.


A Scottish image

Scottish connection

William Ramsey married Peshoshia Tidings in Huntingdon, Lothian, Scotland in 1690. They came with their children to Bucks County soon after the year 1700 when there was a large Scotch-Irish emigration to Pennsylvania.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Ramsey/Lockhart

The Lockhart Family

The Lockhart family emigrated from Northern Ireland.

How We're Related

Hannah Lockhart married Thomas Ramsey in 1771. In about 1790 the family moved west, eventually settling for a few years near Lexington, Kentucky.


Patrick Lockhart married Jane Irwin on October 27, 1733 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I haven't been able to discover definitive proof that Patrick is Hannah's father but there is some indication that this is true. He was a yeoman (farmer) near Philadelphia.


James Lockhart married Alice. The Lockharts were farmers for several generations and at one time owned most of the land for a mile and one-half on both sides of the turn-pike in East Brandywine township, Chester county, Pennsylvania. It is assumed that James and Patrick emigrated from Northern Ireland.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /McCoun

The McCoun Family

It is asserted, with no real evidence, that the McCouns are descendants of Danes who established themselves in Scotland in the tenth century.

The McCoun family can be traced back with certainty to James McCoun I, who married Margaret Hamilton in Scotland in about the year 1624. James McCoun II, married Elizabeth Montgomery of Lainshire ca. 1658. This James was born ca. 1637 at Linlithgow, Scotland. He lost his life at the Battle of the Boyne. Even by Scotch-Irish standards, James III was an itinerant peddler and owner of a small shop who married late in life to his cousin, Mary Campbell, at 50 yrs. of age.

The American McCouns began with James IV who emigrated from northern Ireland and settled early in Kentucky.

How We're Related

Mary McCoun married Garrett Jordan on October 31, 1804 in Franklin County, Kentucky.


John McCoun married Elizabeth Tilford on May 14, 1774 in Botetourt County, Virginia. John was one of the early pioneers of Kentucky. In 1773 John left his home in Virginia with his brother James and they crossed the mountains to a place near present day Charleston, WV.

In the Fall of 1775 John joined another group crossing into Kentucky. John and some others stayed the winter and cleared land that was planted with corn in the Spring. They later returned to Virginia. By 1776 they had settled in what is now Mercer County, Kentucky.

Elizabeth was the sister of John's brother, James. She was also John's cousin. Her father, James Tilford, married Elizabeth McCoun (she might have been a distant cousin of the other McCouns) in April 1744 in Virginia. He was from County Tyrone, Ireland.

An Irish image

Northern Irish connection

James McCoun IV married Margaret Walker in 1744 "on Roanoke" possibly Roanoke Island, North Carolina. James emigrated from northern Ireland in 1742 at 25 years of age. James was the senior member of the McAfee Company in 1773 who surveyed the area of central Kentucky, and established Fort McAfee in what is now Mercer County. In 1779 the family moved to Kentucky where they settled on the Salt River.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap

The Schmidlapp Family

The Schmidlapp family had lived in the Diefenbach, Wuerttemberg, Germany area near Stuttgart for at least 150 years before emigrating.

How We're Related

Sophia Schmidlapp married Robert Jordan on March 5, 1865 in Indiana. Sophia was Grace (Barron) Freeman's grandmother. But Sophia's brother Caleb had a son William who married Grace's sister Ruth. That makes Ruth's husband both Grace's brother-in-law and her second cousin. That also makes Ruth and William 1st cousins once removed.


Jakob Schmidlapp married Lucy Leland in Jefferson County, Indiana on October 24, 1843. He was a farmer who must have been very anxious to Americanize since he named two of his sons Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Schmidlapp.


Johann (John David) Schmidlapp married Sophia Baer on April 3, 1821 in Wurttemberg, Germany. He was a farmer. The couple immigrated to America in 1828. The family, including Jakob, came directly from Germany to Jefferson County on the Ohio River. By the 1860 census he is described as "unable to labor" on his farm. He died eight years later.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland

The Leland family

The Leland family was closely associated with the town of Sherborn, Massachusetts, 18 miles southwest of Boston, from the first Leland in America, Henry, who settled there about 1650 until Simeon Leland relocated to Gardner, about 50 miles northwest, about 1790. They were almost all farmers and from their Puritan origins on down seemed to be heavily involved in their churches. This line of the Lelands keep to their Massachusetts roots until Elbridge moved to the Midwest in the early 1800s.

How We're Related

Lucy Leland married Jakob Schmidlapp in Jefferson County, Indiana on October 24, 1843.


Elbridge Leland married Betsey Priest on May 15, 1817 in Gardner, Massachusetts. Elbridge had been a soldier in the War of 1812 and a farmer afterwards. They moved to the Cincinnati area and had one daughter before Betsey died in 1824.


Simeon Leland married Rhoda Hill 27 September 27, 1781 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Simeon served in the same Massachusetts army company as his brother Samuel for a short duration in 1780. In about 1790 he had moved to Gardner, Massachusetts, 50 miles northwest.


Simon Leland married Martha Bullard December 9, 1756 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.


William Leland married Mehetabel Breck on March 16, 1715 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. He spent his life as a farmer in Sherborn. Like his father, he was a church deacon. William and Mehetabel are 2nd cousins once removed sharing the same ancestors, James and Mary (Lawton) Babcock.


Hopestill Leland married Patience Holbrook On February 2, 1691 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. They married soon after the death of Hopestill's first wife, Abigail Hill. Hopestill was born soon after the family's arrival in America. He described himself as a yeoman of Sherborn.


An English image

English connection

Henry Leland married Margaret (last name uncertain, possibly Badcock) in 1652 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.[3] It was the same year as his arrival in New England. After remaining a short time in Dorchester, he moved to what would become Sherborn, Massachusetts where he lived for the remainder of his life. The births of his children are entered in the town records of Medfield. They were born before the existence of Sherborn as a town. Henry paid 3 shillings as part of Medfield's contribution to Harvard College in 1678. Henry is described as the Puritan progenitor of the American Leland family.


There is a tradition that says that Henry's father was Hopestill Leland but there is no evidence of him.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Hill

The Hill family

The Hill family were early English settlers in Massachusetts and spent six generations in the region southwest of Boston.

How We're Related

Rhoda Hill married Simeon Leland on September 27, 1781 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Rhoda's mother Hannah died soon after Rhoda's birth. Her father remarried.


Caleb Hill married Hannah Adams in Uxbridge, Massachusetts on December 22, 1740. Caleb was Hannah's half cousin once removed.

He was a prominent citizen in Douglas, Massachusetts where he was a deacon in the church, a tavern keeper and in the local militia. He and his company were part of the relief effort against the siege of Fort William Henry on Lake George in August 1757 by French General Montcalm during the French and Indian War. Major Caleb Hill was a representative to the Provisional Congress 1775-76 from Douglas, Massachusetts.


Ephraim Hill married Hannah Sheffield on June 15, 1715. He was the first settler of Douglas, Massachusetts. He was a husbandman and became a captain of the local militia.


Samuel Hill married Hannah Twitchell in Medfield, Massachusetts on November 4 1679. Like his father and grandfather, he was a farmer near Medfield. He was also a deacon in the church.

Hannah's father was Benjamin Twitchell who married Mary Riggs on September 1, 1652 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He arrived in Massachusetts in 1632 and lived in Medfield, Massachusetts. Benjamin was killed by Indians at the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675.

Mary Riggs arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in the summer of 1632 with her parents Edward Riggs and Elizabeth (Holmes) and her four siblings. Conditions were difficult in this unsettled area and three of Edward's five children as well as his wife all died within 30 months of their arriving. Mary was only 3 when her mother died and Edward quickly remarried.


John Hill married Hannah Johnson in 1653 in Medfield, Massachusetts. In addition to son, Samuel, John and Hannah had a daughter, Abigail, who married Hopestill Leland who also shows up in our family tree. John was among a group that purchased a large tract of land outside of Medfield from the local Indians which later became Sherborn. He farmed there until his death.

Hannah was possibly the daughter of English immigrants, Samuel Johnson and Mary Foxe. Samuel was a mariner who bought a house and orchard in Boston in 1654 for £25.

John married a second time to Elizabeth Thorpe, the widow of Benjamin Bullard, in about 1693. They had a daughter, Abigail (that is the second daughter with the same name), who married James Adams (see below).

An English image

English connection

John Hill married Frances Tilden in Tenterden, Kent, England in about 1629. They arrived in America about 1632. John is first mentioned in the Dorchester, Massachusetts records in January of 1633. He was a farmer as well as a blacksmith. He most likely did not hold the Puritan beliefs of most of his neighbors.

McKay-Stevens Connection

John Hill and Frances Tilden, are also the parents of Mary Hill, a Petersen ancestor as well as a double Leland ancestor.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Hill /Adams

The Adams family

Henry Adams is the progenitor of one of the most well-known of all colonial families.

How We're Related

Hannah Adams married Caleb Hill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts on December 22, 1740.


James Adams married Abigail Hill on January 1, 1713 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. They had six children.

Abigail is the daughter of John Hill and his second wife, Elizabeth Thorpe. Elizabeth is the daughter of immigrant Henry Thorpe of Watertown, Massachusetts and Ann Martin, widow of Robert Bullard. So to unravel the connections here: Elizabeth, the widow of Benjamin Bullard is the daughter of Ann, the widow of Benjamin's father, Robert.

Moses Adams married Lydia Whitney on April 15, 1684 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Lydia's parents, Jonathan Whitney and Lydia Jones were married in Watertown, Massachusetts on Oct 30, 1656. Jonathan was found on a passenger list in 1635 at Elizabeth & Ann with his parents, John and Elinor Whitney, and four brothers. They are considered among the founders of Watertown Massachusetts. John is the 4th Great-grandfather to Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin.

Lewis Jones was Lydia Whitney's grandfather. It is possible that he is the same Lewis Jones who embarked at London 13 Oct 1635, on the ship Amitie bound for St. Christopher in the West Indies. Many immigrants took this route to America at that time. He could be the same Lewis Jones that was in Roxbury in 1640. After living at Roxbury for ten or twelve years, Lewis and his wife Ann moved to Watertown, Massachusetts.


Henry Adams married Elizabeth Paine on October 17, 1643 in Braintree, Massachusetts. He immigrated with his parents to Braintree, Massachusetts in 1632. He served as Lieutenant of the Medfield militia and was killed, at the door of his house, in 1675, during an Indian attack on Medfield.

Henry's wife, Elizabeth was the daughter of Moses Paine and Elizabeth Sheaffe. She came to Cambridge in 1638 on the ship The Castle with her father and brothers. She was the mother of eleven children.

Elizabeth died shortly Henry was killed when she was confined to her house by sickness and was in a bed in the upstairs. When the gun, in the hands of Capt. John Jacob of Hingham, who was in charge of a company of about 80 men stationed at Medfield, accidentally discharged in the room below her, the ball passed through her bed, killing her.


Henry Adams married Edith Squire in England. He emigrated from Braintree, Essex in England to what soon became Braintree, Massachusetts in about 1632–1633 with his wife, eight sons and a daughter. He was a malster and a yeoman.

An English image

English connection

President John Adams

Henry may have been in the company of Thomas Hooker, who arrived in September 1633. The Hooker company was mostly made up from immigrants of Chelmsford, perhaps from Braintree and other neighboring villages of Essex county, who had arrived just to the new colony the year before.

Henry Adams was known popularly as The Founder of New England, probably because of the extraordinary number (89) of his grandchildren. His descendants include President John Adams, his son John Quincy Adams, and patriot Samuel Adams. He had many other famous descendants including John Steinback and Emily Dickinson.

Henry Adams' biographers do not associate him with the more radical and religious Puritans, nor with the liberal and outlawed Pilgrims, but rather see him and other followers of Rev. John White as adventurers, seeking a new world where the boundaries of a class society could be overcome.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Hill /Sheffield

The Sheffield family

The Sheffield family has strong early Sherborn, Massachusetts connections.

How We're Related

Hannah Sheffield married Ephraim Hill on June 15, 1715.


William Sheffield married Hannah Bullard on May 30, 1692 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Hannah is the daughter of Benjamin and the sister of Samuel making her and Samuel both Freeman ancestors in slightly different lines.

William Sheffield married Mary Webb in 1658 in Braintree, Massachusetts. They would have 15 children together. William arrived in New England about 1639, probably with his parents, Edmund and Thomazine. He was living with his younger brother, Icabod, in Dover, New Hampshire, north of Massachusetts, in 1658, which was outside of the main Puritan colonies. Dover had been settled in 1623 by fishermen, and had been owned by Lord Saye and Sele's, whose group lost interest in their settlements, both here and at Saybrook, Connecticut, when their intention to establish a hereditary aristocracy in the colonies met with disfavor in New England. The plantation had been sold to Massachusetts in 1641, and re-named Dover, possibly in honor of Robert Dover, an English lawyer who resisted Puritanism.

In 1659, William married Mary and moved to Braintree with his brother Edmund. William and Mary had 12 children. Before 1672 he and his family moved 30 miles inland to “Boggestow”, which became the town of Sherbor” in 1674, and became a large land holder there, on land next to Lt. Henry Adams Jr. Although only 5 miles from Medfield, Massachusetts, Sherborn appears to have avoided destruction during King Philip's war in 1675 and 1676, though Medfield was devastated and Lt. Adams killed. William moved his family to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (on the coast and more settled) or Hingham Massachusetts (near Braintree), probably due to the war, and then moved back to Sherborn when it was safe.

He and his brother had purchased some land in Sherborn but apparently misplaced the deed for it. In 1688: "Wm. Sheffield, of Sherborn, the aged, your humble petitioner, doe humbly intreat you to show your love to me, to give, grant or confirm my land which I bought of Lt. Fisher, of Dedham, to confirm to me and mine, I shall be very thankful to you forever; for I am like a man having myself halfe in the mire, and want to be holpen, help I pray you and damnifie no man with it." He apparently obtained his deed, but the Indian title to this tract had extinguished in 1675.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Hill /Sheffield/Webb

The Webb family

The Webb family arrived in about 1635 in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

How We're Related

Mary Webb married William Sheffield in 1658 in Braintree, Massachusetts.


Christopher Webb married Humility Wheaton Cooper in Crediton, Devon, England in 1629. They arrived in about 1635 in Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father, Alexander, and 2 elder brothers, Richard and William, and immigrated to Massachusetts that year, his father dying soon after his arrival. Their youngest child, Mary, was born in either Boston or Braintree, Massachusetts in 1636.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Bullard

The Bullard family

The Bullard family is closely connected with the founding and early history of Sherborn, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Martha Bullard married Simon Leland December 9, 1756 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.


Benjamin Bullard married Meriam Morse on December 20, 1721 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. There is a very nice collection of documents found here related to transactions during Benjamin's life.


Samuel Bullard married Deborah Atherton in June 1691 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Deborah is the daughter of the immigrant James Atherton whose family goes back at least to William Atherton (1225-1280) in Lancashire, England. James arrived in New England with his mother in 1635 and lived in Milton, Massachusetts where he became a tanner.

An English image

English connection

Benjamin Bullard married Martha Pidge in Dedham, Massachusetts on April 5, 1659. Benjamin came to America when he was quite young and he was about five years old when his father died and was taken by one of his uncles at Dedham, Massachusetts. He was admitted a townsman at Dedham in 1655-56, implying previous residence on probation and the age of twenty-one. When he struck out for himself it was to settle in the wilderness at Boggestow, later Sherborn, some twenty miles from Dedham. They built a fort there for protection during King Philip's War. When he died in 1689, he left a significant personal estate including stock and lands.

Benjamin's wife, Martha, is identified as George Fairbank's sister. George founded Sherborn with Benjamin. How Martha came to be identified with the Fairbanks family is an interesting story. Martha's father, Thomas, like Benjamin's father died soon after arriving in America. Martha had no local relatives so she seems to have been taken in by the Fairbanks family and raised as George Fairbanks' sister.


Robert Bullard married Anne Martyn about 1624 at Barnham, Suffolk, England. He was married in England and settled in Watertown before 1639. Three of Robert’s brothers and one of Anne’s sister also emigrated. His death was accidental, the result of “the overthrow of a cart,” according to the early records of Medfield.

McKay-Stevens Connection

Robert is the brother of John Bullard who is a Stevens/Petersen ancestor. The two brothers married two sisters Anne and Magdalene Martin, daughters of John Martyn

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Bullard /Morse

The Morse family

Samuel Morse was an important Puritan founder of Dedham, Massachusetts but an important head of family that branched off into many McKay and Stevens ancestors.

How We're Related

Meriam Morse married Benjamin Bullard on December 20, 1721 in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Benjamin Bullard made his will 12 February 1762. In it he made provisions for his widow Miriam during her widowhood and should she marry again and be widowed a second time, the provisions still would stand. This may have been due to the fact that Miriam was blind.


Samuel Morse married Deborah Herring in 1689. Samuel settled on the homestead left him by his father, where was the garrison house, to which the neighbors often repaired during the attacks of the Indians. In 1699 a deed of 1400 acres of land was granted to Samuel Morse on the southeast side of Sherborn.

It has been suggested that Deborah's father, Thomas Herring, is from Denmark but that has not been proven. What we do know is that Thomas was in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1643 and that he married Mary Pierce, daughter of Robert Pierce of Dorchester on February 15, 1650. She emigrated with her parents to New England sometime around 1636 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Robert Pierce House Dorchester, MA

Family legend weaves a tale of a shipboard romance between Mary's parents, Robert Pierce and Ann Greenway on the Mary and John, a vessel in John Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay Colony fleet, but the passenger list for that 1630 voyage does not include a Robert. The first appearance of his name in Dorchester town records is in Oct 1639: "It is ordered ye Robert pierce shall be a Commoner." He apparently held no town offices nor was he granted any lands and his name does not appear on the Dorchester petitions of 1641 and 1664. He settled on what was called "Pine Neck" and built a house in 1640. Pierce built their home on six acres belonging to his father-in-law. Like other seventeenth-century fathers, John Greenaway arranged for the distribution of property among his male heirs at his death, but the Grenways had six daughters and no sons, so he divided his land during his lifetime among his daughters and sons-in-law. The Pierce House is today one of the last surviving examples of seventeenth-century architecture in the city of Boston.

John Greenaway, a millwright, his wife Mary, and their daughters Ann and Katherine, however, were passengers on the Mary and John and the Grenways became active residents of Dorchester.

Stevens-McKay Connection

Anne Greenway is the sister of Katherine who is a Petersen ancestor.

Deborah Herring is a sister of Mary who is a Petersen ancestor as well.


Daniel Morse married Lydia Fisher in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1637. Daniel came to America separately from his parents but was in Dedham, Massachusetts by 1636. Daniel and Lydia had nine children. In about 1656 he purchased 800 acres of choice land, since called 'the Farms,' situated in the eastern part of what is now Sherborn.

Lydia parents were Anthony and Alice Fisher who arrived in New England in 1637 and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts. She joined the Dedham church in 1642 but he was not "comfortably received into ye church" "because "on account of his proud and haughty spirit" until 1645.



Samuel Morse married Elizabeth Jasper in Redgrave, Suffolk, England on June 29, 1602. They are the parents of Daniel and also to many Stevens and McKay ancestors. Click here to see the connections.

An English image

English connection

Samuel arrived on the ship Increase in 1635 with his wife and seven children and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts where he was one of the original 19 settlers. He was a husbandman. On his arrival in New England Samuel Morse went first to Watertown, Mass., where he was admitted to the church and where his son Daniel, who had crossed the Atlantic before his father, had already settled. Samuel Morse remained only a short time in Watertown. In 1636 he was a proprietor of Dedham, where he was prominent in the early settlement of the town, a member of the First Church there at its organization, a freeman 8 Oct. 1640, and a town officer. His last days were spent at Medfield, Mass., which had been set off from Dedham in 1651.

John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman

Samuel and his sons, John, Daniel and Joseph all signed the Dedham Covenant which governed the early settlement of Dedham, Massachusetts. It mandated that only those with similar, Puritan, community values could live in the town and set about a method for mediating disputes. It also required each resident to pay their fair share of taxes for the common good. The covenant stipulated that only those "may be probably of one heart with us," in essence those who held the same Puritan Christian beliefs, could be admitted to the community. They swore they would "in the fear and reverence of our Almighty God, mutually and severally promise amongst ourselves and each to profess and practice one truth according to that most perfect rule, the foundation whereof is ever lasting love."

Samuel has many well-known kin. For example, Samuel Morse is the 5 x great grandfather of John 'Johnny Appleseed' Chapman (who, by the way, is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana).

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Breck

The Breck family

The Breck family is strongly associated with the founding of Sherborn, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mehetabel Breck married William Leland on March 16, 1715 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.


John Breck married Mehitable Morse in Sherborn, Massachusetts on March 9, 1697. John was a farmer who spent the whole of his long life on the farm where he was born.

Morse House Sherborn, MA

Mehitable's parents were Joseph Morse and Hannah Babcock who were married on April 11, 1683 in Milton, Massachusetts. Joseph, Jr. was only five years old when his father, Joseph Sr., died in 1654. Joseph married sixteen year old Mehitable Wood of Sherborn in 1671. Mehitable’s father, Nicholas Wood, was the first white settler of Sherborn. Their home, built around 1670, is still standing and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Mehitable died at only 26 year of age and Joseph married Hannah Babcock.

Joseph served a total of 16 years as a selectman from Sherborn. He also represented Sherborn in the Massachusetts General Court (Legislature) and served in the Sherborn Militia as a Captain.

Hannah's parents were Robert and Joanna Babcock. He was first in Dorchester, Massachusetts and later bought land in Sherborn.

McKay-Stevens Connection

Joseph is the brother of Elizabeth Morse who is a direct Stevens ancestor on the Petersen side of the family.


Thomas Breck married Mary Hill on February 12, 1656 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1656 he came with his father to the southern part of what later became the town of Sherborn. At the time of his relocation, the region was known by its Indian name of Boggistow -- a name still borne by a pond and a brook tributary to the Charles River -- and was very much of a wilderness. Only three or four families, the Woods, Holbrooks and Lelands, all from Dorchester, had preceded them. The nearest village was Medfield, four miles away.

Mary Hill is twice connected to the Leland family, directly and through her brother, John.

McKay-Stevens Connection

Thomas and Mary (Hill) Breck are also the parents of Bethia Breck a Petersen ancestor. Mary is a direct ancestor of both the Petersens and the Freemans.


John Breck was an early settler of Boggistow (Sherborn), Massachusetts with his two sons, John and Thomas. He died in 1660. Little is known about him and nothing about his wife.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Holbrook

The Holbrook family

The Holbrook family seems to be associated with the early colonial settlers who were not strict Puritans.

How We're Related

Patience Holbrook married Hopestill Leland on February 2, 1691 in Sherborn, Massachusetts.


Thomas Holbrook married Mary Margaret Potter on January 26, 1668 in Medfield, Massachusetts. Margaret was his second (or possibly third) wife. He lived at Dorchester until about 1652, when he became one of the pioneers at Boggestow (afterwards Sherborn). On May 8, 1652, Richard Parker transferred 538 acres of lands that would later become the towns of Medfield and Sherborn, to Nicholas Wood, Thomas Holbrook and Andrew Pitcher of Dorchester.

Margaret was sometimes referred to as "Widow Bowker" because her first husband was Edmund Bowker who died in 1666. It is very likely that Margaret is the daughter of the immigrants John Potter and Elizabeth Wood. John married Elizabeth in 1630 in Chesham, England. John and his family arrived in New England in June 1638 along with John's mother, Ann (Langford) Potter, and John was admitted as a freeman in New Haven in 1639. He died at just 35 years old.

John Holbrook married Sarah (last name unknown) in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. They may have traveled in one of the two ships of settlers that founded Dorchester in 1632 or Weymouth in 1634. John first appears in Dorchester, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635. In 1640 he appears in Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony records and in the town records of Weymouth, where he settled in the Old Spain sector. The original settlers were forced to leave the area due to stealing from the Indians and making threats to the Plymouth Colony.

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Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest

The Priest family

The Priests in the Freeman line are all from Massachusetts and undoubtedly of English origin.

How We're Related

Betsey Priest married Elbridge Leland on May 15, 1817 in Gardner, Massachusetts.


Joseph Priest married Patience Stiles in Lunenburg, Massachusetts on November 28, 1782.

Joseph's background is unknown. He is known to history as the blacksmith Joseph Priest of Winchendon, a town in Massachusetts where he and his brothers were early settlers. There is still a Priest's Brook a few miles west of Winchendon where Joseph Priest had a Halfway House to benefit travelers.[4]


The origins of the Priest family in America has been heavily studied but the first Priest is still debated. Joseph's ancestry may run back to John Priest born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1648 but this is yet to be determined.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles

The Stiles family

The Stiles family arrived in Massachusetts and lived first in Rowley, then in Boxford for two generations before moving west to Lunenburg in central Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Patience Stiles married Joseph Priest in Lunenburg, Massachusetts on November 28, 1782.


Levi Stiles married Patience Smith December 16, 1755 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. They had twelve children. He served as First Lieutenant Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War.


Jacob Stiles married Sarah Hartwell on May 14, 1728 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Jacob was one of the early settlers of Lunenburg.


Timothy Stiles married Hannah Foster on March 5, 1701 in Boxford, Massachusetts. Timothy was a yeoman and was elected selectman of Boxford multiple times. He and Hannah became members of the Boxford church in 1703 and they had nine children.

An English image

English connection

Robert Stiles married Elizabeth Frye on October 4, 1660 in Andover, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Robert was born in Yorkshire, England and was one of the original settlers of Boxford Massachusetts and its first constable. In 1659 he owned a farm of 250 acres in Rowley (that part later becoming Boxford).

Elizabeth's parents were John and Ann Frye who came to Boston in August, 1638 aboard the Bevis. John was a wheelwright, and settled first in Newbury, Massachusetts, then moved to Andover. He was one of two men in the county licensed to sell strong drink to the Indians. This was sold only as medicine and no more than one pint could be sold to one person at a time.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith

The Smith family

The first Smith in this line is associated with Martha's Vineyard where he went to convert the Indians.

How We're Related

Patience Smith married Levi Stiles December 16, 1755 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.


Jonathan Smith married Susanna Stearns on November 8, 1736. Jonathan and Susanna settled in Lunenburg on 100 acres of land there, given him by his father. Jonathan died before his father.


Elisha Smith married Patience Brown on March 25, 1713 in Weston, Massachusetts. He was a major landowner across the Bay Colony having land in Watertown, and farms in Watertown Farms, now Weston, Lancaster, and Worcester. After Patience's death, Elisha remarried Sarah Hartwell, granddaughter of another Leland ancestor, John Hartwell.


Jonathan Smith married Jane Peabody on March 16, 1682 in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was admitted as a freeman April 18, 1690 and served in the Militia as a Lieutenant during King Philip's War.

Jane's parents were John Peabody and Dorothy Tooley. He bought land in Newport, Rhode Island in 1649. His will shows that he was a slave owner. Both John and Dorothy's parents may have immigrants but none are well documented.

Thomas Smith married Mary Knapp in Watertown, Massachusetts by 1637. Thomas came to America in the summer of 1635 and settled in Watertown. Or he may have come five years earlier with his parents (see below). In 1658 he collected one pound for killing a "woulfe." He was a carpenter and had a sawmill in Watertown; John Winthrop wrote of one of his young sons being passed through the water wheel of the mill and not drowning.

Mary's parents, William and Judith (True/Tru/Tue)) Knapp, arrived in Boston about 1630 apparently with the aid of a loan from Richard Saltonstall. William settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was a carpenter, sexton, pound keeper, and farmer and also a land owner by 1636. Note: a pound keeper was a local government official responsible for the feeding and care of stray livestock such as domestic pigs, cattle, horses, sheep, and geese.

McKay/Stevens Connection

Mary Knapp is the daughter of William Knapp and James Knapp is William's son. James is a direct ancestor of the Francis family.


Thomas is the probable son of John Bland Smith. If that is true, then the family name should be Bland since John is the son of Anthony and Adrian Bland. After Anthony died, Adrian married second to a James Smith which John took on the name.

John married Isabella Drake in England. When they came to America is unknown but in the history of Martha’s Vineyard it says he was found at Watertown in 1630 with wife Isabel. He was proprietor of Watertown, Massachusetts, 1636 and a freeman there December 6, 1636. Adrian, John’s mother and her husband Jeremy Norcross, did not come to America until around 1639.

In 1642, John Bland (the first time we know he is going by the name of Bland) goes with Thomas Mayhew Jr to Martha’s Vineyard to convert the Indians. John acquired property near Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard before 1646.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Stearns

The Stearns family

The Stearns family were early settlers in Watertown, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Susanna Stearns married Jonathan Smith on November 8, 1736.


Isaac Stearns married Mary Bemis. They settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. His real estate holding at his death must have been small with one third going to his wife but the judge ruled "the other two thirds settled on mr Isaac Stearns the Eldest Son of the s'd Deceas being judged too small to split".


Samuel Stearns married Hannah Manning in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Feb 1, 1663. They settled om a farm outside of Cambridge in Waltham. Hannah's brother married Samuel's sister. Samuel held many offices in Watertown including: surveyor of highways, surveyor of cattle, fences, and hogs, constable, selectman, and town appraiser.

Samuel died at 45 years old. A decade after Samuel's death in 1694, Phillip Shattuck was ordered to "take care of the Widdow Relict of Samll Sternes with her Children and provide for them from this Day for one month (they being Represented Poor and in necessity of Reliefe)."


Isaac Stearns married Mary Barker in Stoke By Nayland, Suffolk, England on May 20, 1622. They sailed to New England aboard the Arabella in 1630. He settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he was selectman for several years. He was among the earliest of freeman in 1631 and a tailor by occupation.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Stearns /Bemis

The Bemis family

The Bemis family has its New World roots in Watertown, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mary Bemis married Isaac Stearns.


John Bemis married Mary Harrington in 1680 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John was a farmer and a corporal in the militia.

Mary's parents were Robert Harrington and Susanna George, married in Waltham, Massachusetts on Oct 1, 1649. They had 13 children. He may have arrived in 1634 and became a mill owner and miller. He left Mary 40 pounds as an inheritance; to put that in perspective that was an average freeman's annual income in 1752.

Robert Harrington's family line can be traced back directly to Lord Oswulf de Haverington who lived in the time of Richard I (born about 1150).


Joseph Bemis married Sarah Capron in 1640 in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was a blacksmith and a farmer and he served Watertown as a "haward" or "hedge warden", in charge of fences and enclosures. He was law-abiding but was once fined for having "one disorderly hog."

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Stearns /Manning

The Manning family

The Manning family can be traced back to Rannulf De Manning (De Mannheim) and the family may have its origins in what is today Mannheim, Germany.

How We're Related

Hannah Manning married Samuel Stearns in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Feb 1, 1663.


William Manning married Dorothy (last name possibly Adams) in 1641 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He purchased lands and engaged in business as a merchant. He also owned a warehouse, a boathouse, on a canal to which boats had free access, and constructed with his own hands a wharf by his boathouse. In 1668 he was sent to England to procure another minister, and in 1671 Rev. Urian Oakes was received and ordained through their visit abroad. Oakes remained pastor until his death, and was also president of Harvard College. The most important act of his life was in connection with Harvard College, he having been selected, with Deacon John Cooper, to replace the old college building with a new one, and to receive and disburse funds for that purpose. This was in 1672, and his work extended until 1684. The bodies of William and Dorothy Manning were buried in the cemetery of Harvard Square


William Manning married Hannah Doe. He came to Massachusetts in 1634 with his family and settled in Roxbury and then Cambridge, where, in 1638, he purchased an estate. His first wife probably died on the voyage from England. He may have come following Rev. Thomas Hooker. William was made a freeman in 1640 in Cambridge. He lived a short distance south of Harvard Square.

Old World Connections

William is the great grandson of Erasmus Kirkener who came to England in 1519 from Germany to be armourer for the King's body (King Henry VIII), with an annual salary of £10.

For an extended discussion of Erasmus Kirkener click here.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Brown

The Brown family

The Brown family represents the first three generations of Watertown, Massachusetts settlers.

How We're Related

Patience Brown married Elisha Smith on March 25, 1713 in Weston, Massachusetts.


Abraham Brown House ca. 1695

Abraham Brown married Mary Hyde on June 21, 1693 in Watertown, Massachusetts. He had his grandfather's homestead in Watertown and he became a very prominent citizen there. He was guardian of Ephraim Williams, the father of the founder of Williams College. The Abraham Brown House built between 1694 and 1701 still stands today in Watertown.


Jonathan Browne married Mary Shattuck on February 11, 1662 in Watertown, Massachusetts.


Abraham Browne married Lydia Brown. Abraham was a very early settler at Watertown, Massachusetts, perhaps one of the very first. He was admitted freeman March 6, 1631

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Brown /Hyde

The Hyde family

The first Hyde in this line is considered one of the founders of Newton, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mary Hyde married Abraham Brown on June 21, 1693 in Watertown, Massachusetts. Mary's parents died when she was young so she was raised by her maternal grandparents (Fuller).


Job Hyde married Elizabeth Fuller in 1662 in Watertown, Massachusetts. Job and Elizabeth both died in November, 1685 while their children were still young. It's not known how their deaths occurred. Both their fathers, John Fuller and Samuel Hyde, provided for their 8 surviving children.


Samuel Hyde married Temperance Crompton before 1639 in England. They likely traveled together from London in the ship Jonathan in April 1639. He is considered one of the founders of Newton, Massachusetts. He and his brother Jonathan acquired a significant amount of land in the area and held it jointly.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Brown /Hyde/Fuller

The Fuller family

The Fuller family's American roots are in Ipswich, Newton, and Watertown, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Fuller married Job Hyde in 1662 in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

John Fuller married Elizabeth Emerson on April 15, 1638 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. John came to Massachusetts Bay in 1635 when he was 15 with his older brother, William, on the Abigail and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. John was one of the founders of Newton, Massachusetts and was a farmer and a malter. His 1000 acre farm covered parts of Newtonville, West Newton and Waltham and remnants of an early stone wall can still be seen.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Emerson and Elizabeth Brewster. Tradition says that they came from England in the ship Elizabeth Ann in 1635. He was at Ipswich, Massachusetts as early as 1638, when 80 acres of land was granted to him. The records of England show that the family was "non-conformist." It's interesting to note that Thomas' direct descendant, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist."

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Smith/Shattuck

The Shattuck family

The Shattuck family is also among the early Watertown settlers.

How We're Related

Mary Shattuck married Jonathan Browne on February 11, 1662 in Watertown, Massachusetts.


William Shattuck married Susanna (last name unknown, possibly Hayden) in 1643 in Watertown, Massachusetts. It has been conjectured that his father might have died on his passage over or shortly thereafter, and also that he might have been the son of widow Damaris Shattuck, who was admitted to the church in Salem in 1641. William was a weaver and a farmer.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Hartwell

The Hartwell family

The early Hartwell family is associated with the settlement of Concord, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Sarah Hartwell married Jacob Stiles on May 14, 1728 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Long after Jacob's death, Sarah married Stephen Boynton.


Edward Hartwell married Sara Wilder. He was a soldier in 1707-8; sergeant of the militia in 1722, and a major in 1745. He removed to Lunenburg in 1724. He served as the justice of the peace, judge of the court of common pleas, and representative to the committee of safety and correspondence and was called "the most conspicuous man of his day in Concord."


John Hartwell married Priscilla Wright on June 1, 1664. She died March 3, 1680. He later married his first wife’s sister, Elizabeth on August 23, 1683 in Concord, Massachusetts. John served in King Phillip's War in the company of Capt. Thomas Wheeler. He participated in The Brookfield Seige. Brookfield, a frontier settlement deep in the land of the Nipmucks was one of the first towns they attacked in King Philips War. The siege of Brookfield would turn out to be one of the most dramatic incidents of the entire war. The natives first laid an ambush for soldiers led by Captains Hutchinson and Wheeler. Eight soldiers were killed in the trap. The rest of the company barely made it back to the garrison at Brookfield. The native warriors pursued them and burned every building in the town. They surrounded the wooden garrison where surviving soldiers and settlers huddled, then pushed a flaming cart to the side of the building and watched as the flames began licking their way up the wall. Using the last of their drinking water the settlers succeeded in slowing the blaze.

The settlers now faced an awful choice -- to stay inside meant death by fire, to flee meant being killed by enraged Nipmucks. But luck was with the settlers. The clouds opened and a seemingly miraculous heavy rain shower fell and doused the flames. Soldiers soon arrived from eastern settlements and the survivors were rescued. The town of Brookfield, however, was abandoned and lay in ashes for eleven years, until 1686.

John was made a freeman Mar 21, 1689/90. He owned several small tracts of land scattered over the town of Concord. He died of smallpox on January 12, 1702.


William Hartwell married Jazan (last name unknown, possibly Fletcher) in Concord, Massachusetts in 1637. William was among the earliest settlers of Concord, Massachusetts, quite possibly a member of the original pioneer party in September 1635. In 1666 he was one of the largest real estate holders in the town, owning nineteen separate tracts, the whole comprising some two hundred and forty-seven acres.

His descendants have remarked upon the prevalence among them of a "Hartwell nose." The Hartwell Homestead (c. 1636) burned to the ground in 1968. However, the gigantic brick hearth still stands, and is maintained by the National Park Service. It is located just to the east of Hartwell Tavern on the Battle Road, Minuteman National Historical Park, Lincoln.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Hartwell/Wilder

The Wilder family

The Wilder family's history is tied up with the conflict with Native Americans in the town of Lancaster, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Sara Wilder married Edward Hartwell.


Thomas Wilder Jr. married Mary Wheeler on June 25, 1668 or Mary Houghton on Jun 17, 1678. He came with his father to Lancaster in 1659. The town of Lancaster had many troubles with the local Indians. Lancaster was the site of an Indian attack in 1675 when 8 people were killed, and a much larger attack in February, 1676 when upwards of 55 people were slain or captured. The city was abandoned, burned to the ground, and uninhabited for about 3 years. It was resettled about 1680 and Thomas and his family were among the resettlers.

He was Captain in the King Phillips war. He became a militia garrison commander in 1704. He served in King William's War (1689-98) and in Queen Anne's War (1701-13). In 1706 he gave to the town of Lancaster the graveyard on which his own farm surrounding the grave of his father who was the first one buried there.

Mary Wheeler was the daughter of Richard Wheeler and Elizabeth Turner who were married in Dedham, Massachusetts on May 4, 1643. He moved between 1661 and 1663 to Lancaster, Massachusetts. He died there on February 9, 1675, killed by Indians who had climbed on top of a barn and shot down over the palisades. King Philips War was devastating for the family. In addition to Richard, his sons Joseph and Abraham were also killed.

Thomas Wilder Sr. married Anna Johnson. He was in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1639 and relocated to Lancaster in 1659.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Hartwell/Wright

The Wright family

The Wright family came from landed gentry in England.

How We're Related

Priscilla Wright married John Hartwell on June 1, 1664.


Edward Wright married Elizabeth Mellows in Sudbury, Massachusetts on June 18, 1659. He came to Concord about 1650. According to Barry (Savage's Gen. Dict.), Edward was entitled "to houses, lds. &c. in the manor of Castle Bromwich." In a deed dated March 4, 1671/72, in which he styles himself "only and sole heir" of Francis and Mary (Wiggin) Wright, he conveyed to John Hoar all his rights in Castle Bromwick, County Warwick, England.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Hartwell/Wright /Mellows

The Mellows family

The Mellows family were involved with early religious dissent in the colonies.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Mellows married Edward Wright in Sudbury, Massachusetts on June 18, 1659.


Oliver Mellows married Mary James in Boston, Lincolnshire, England on August 3, 1620. He was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and was among a group that consisted of individuals who signed the petition supporting Rev. John Wheelwright and were thus disarmed, but who were not willing to leave the Massachusetts Colony. Oliver died at only 35 years of age and his wife five years later.

Mary was the daughter of the Cambridge-educated preacher, Rev. John James.

Abraham Mellowes and Martha Bulkeley were married about 1596 in Odell, Bedfordshire. He invested fifty pounds in the stock of the Massachusetts Bay Company before he came to New England. He owned an interest in property in Cambridge, England, which he sold shortly before 1607. He and his family came to New England in 1633 and settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Martha was the daughter of Reverend Edward Bulkeley and sister of Reverend Peter Bulkeley. Edward has a long list of famous ancestors and descendants including Patrick Henry and Theodore Roosevelt.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Foster

The Foster family

The Foster (Forester) family may be able to be traced back to Richard Forester who was knighted by William the Conqueror. A very good history of the Foster family can be found here. However, it must be noted that this history may be a fabrication. One genealogist called the Foster genealogy "nothing short of ridiculous."[3]

How We're Related

Hannah Foster married Timothy Stiles on March 5, 1701 in Boxford, Massachusetts.


Ephraim Foster married Hannah Eames in 1677. He was a blacksmith. It seems that his biographer was hard pressed to find characteristics of praise so he settled on his handwriting: "He have been versed in the art of punctuation, then little known to the majority of our town officials. His favorite point was the colon, with which his papers are plentifully besprinkled, without regard to the grammatical or rhetorical construction."

During the Salem witch trials on August 29, 1692 Ephraim Foster, Constable of Andover brought these charges against Samuel Wardwell:

"The deposetion of Ephraim Foster of Andovr: aged about thirty four years this deponant testifyeth and sayeth: that he heard: Samuell Wordwell: the prisoner now at the barr [tell] my wife: that she should have five gurls: before: she should: have: a son: which thing is come to pase: and I heard him tell dority Eames hur forten: [which he did] and I have heard: said dority: say after that she belived wardwall was a witch or els he Cold never tell what he did: and I took knotes: that: said wardwall: would look in their hand: and then would Cast his Eyes down upon the ground allways before he told Eny thing this I have both seen and heard severall times: and about severall persons & that he Could make Cattle come to him when he pleased"

Ironically Ephraim was the Town Constable during the Salem Witch Trials that his Mother In Law, Rebecca (Blake) Eames was one of the accused, as well as his brother-in-law, and a nephew.


Abraham Foster married Lydia Burbank in Ipswich, Suffolk, England in 1656. He came with his father to New England, when he was sixteen years old. He lived at Ipswich and joined the church there in 1674. He was called yeoman on the records.

Lydia was only 13 years old when her first child was born. She had nine children. Her parents John Burbank and his first wife, Joane "Ann" Jorden, were servants of George Hadborne, a glover of Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England. They came to America in the ship, Abigail, in 1635, living with the Hadborne family briefly in Charlestown Massachusetts and probably later in Hampton, New Hampshire until their indebtedness for the ship's passage was satisfied. They later moved to Rowley, Massachusetts.

Reginald Foster married Judith Wignol in Theydon Garnon, Essex, England in 1619. He came to New England with his wife, five sons and two daughters in 1638. They were among the first settlers of Ipswich, Massachusetts. To his credit, one bio says that he took a prominent part against the witchcraft delusion. He was frequently addressed as Goodman Foster and lived to be almost 90 years old. He had many other famous descendants including Millard Filmore and Brigham Young.

Freeman-McKay Connection

Reginald is also related to the McKay family through his son Isaac.

Freeman/Barron/Jordan /Schmidlap/Leland/Priest /Stiles/Foster/Eames

The Eames family

The Eames family (also spelled Ames, Aimes, Eams, Emes, Emms and Ems) became caught up in colonial witch hysteria.

How We're Related

Hannah Eames married Ephraim Foster in 1677.


Robert Eames married Rebecca Blake in 1661. They settled in Boxford, Massachusetts. Rebekah was accused of being a witch during the Salem witch hysteria in 1693. Her story can be found here.

Rebekah's parents were George and Dorothy Blake. They married in 1640 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. George was from Pitminster, Somerset, England and came to New England during the 1630’s. He lived in Gloucester Massachusetts before moving to Boxford where he was a freeman in 1675. He was deemed poor by the town in 1675 and 1691 and not taxed. "George Blake a very aged man" was listed in Boxford Town tax list of Oct 3, 1687; only property listed was three cows and one "young cattle," five sheep, three swine, 0£ 1 s 3 d.

Robert Eames (Ames) married Elizabeth (last name unknown, possibly Hayward) emigrated during the Great Migration but very little is known about them.

Why are so many families connected?

There are many interconnections among ancestors in the Stevens/McKay/Petersen/Freeman family trees. The families on this page offer an explanation. The Hill, Adams, Leland, and Bullard families all arrived in New England during the Puritan Great Migration, 1630-1640. They all settled on or around Sherborn, Massachusetts at one time.

  • James Adams married Abigail Hill, daughter of John Hill and Elizabeth Thorpe
  • Hopestill Leland married Abigail Hill, step sister of Abigail (above) and daughter of John Hill and Hannah Johnson
  • Elizabeth Thorpe married John Hill and Benjamin Bullard
  • Hannah Adams, daughter of James Adams, married Caleb Hill
  • Rhoda Hill, daughter of Caleb Hill and Hannah Adams, married Simeon Leland, son of Simon Leland
  • Martha Bullard, daughter of Benjamin Bullard, married Simon Leland

Keep in mind that the whole white population of New England in 1700 was about the same as today's population of Waco, Texas (about 140,000). The town of Sherborn today only has a population of 4,500. In its earliest days there were only a few hundred people from a very small number of families. It is not at all surprising that many are inter-related.

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General History

Relations with Native Americans







The Pequot War

King Philip's War


Scots-Irish immigration

Dutch immigration

The Headright System

German Immigration

Great Migration

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Plymouth Colony


General Layout


[1]The Leland Magazine: Or, A Genealogical Record of Henry Leland, and His Descendants ... Embracing Nearly Every Person of the Name of Leland in America, from 1653 to 1850 by Sherman Leland

[2]History of the Town of Winchendon, From the Grant of the Township by the Legislature of Massachusetts in 1735, to the Present Time by Ezra Hyde