Family Trees and Family Stories
 McKay/Stevens Genealogy Pages

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep

All of the families on this page have a strong New England connection, primarily in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The Keep Family

The Keep family suffered through Indian raids in early Massachusetts settlement and later this line produced three generations of Massachusetts iron manufacturers and blacksmiths.

How We're Related

Mary Keep married James Francis on March 4, 1811 in Canaan, Connecticut.


Samuel Keep married Patty Turner on March 1, 1809 in Lee, Massachusetts. He was a blacksmith by trade. In 1850 Samuel was living with his daughter Melissa in Barrington, Massachusetts.


John Keep married Elizabeth Smith in about 1775 in Salisbury, Connecticut. John served as a private under Captain Coffin and General Richard Montgomery during the American Revolutionary War; engaged in the siege of Fort St. Jean in the British province of Quebec. The siege lasted from September 17 to November 3, 1775.

After the war he went to Salisbury, Connecticut where he remained until he moved to South Lee, Massachusetts in 1788. There he built a puddling furnace for iron manufacture.

During the tax-related Shay's Rebellion he was captured by the anti-Shay's party but escaped and hid at the forge.
Elizabeth was from Salisbury, Connecticut but her parents are unknown.

Jabez Keep married Experience Lawrence on August 3, 1740 in Littleton Massachusetts. He had been married earlier to a cousin, Sarah Leonard, who died in 1739. He was interested in iron manufacture and owned a forge. He lived in Westford, Massachusetts and relocated to Harvard in 1768.


Samuel Keep married Sarah Colton in Springfield, Massachusetts on February 27, 1695 and immediately settled on the Keep family farm in Longmeadow. But in December 1695 a great flood destroyed much of the settlement and the Keeps joined the rest of the settlers in moving the settlement to "the hill" which is the present location of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. They had twelve children together. He served in the militia.

Samuel was particularly involved in leading the building of the Longmeadow meeting house and establishing a church there. In 1700 Samuel Keep was among those who petitioned the General Court to start a new town to the east. That town was eventually a reality and Samuel Keep received 120 acres at Brimfield, Massachusetts when it was established.

After his parents were killed (see next section) Samuel was cared for by his maternal grandmother, Sarah (Heald) Leonard, and later cared for by his uncle, Samuel Bliss.


John Keep married Sarah Leonard on December 31, 1663 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. There is no record of when John immigrated from England. The first American record of John Keep is when he is admitted as a resident of Springfield, Massachusetts at the February 18, 1660 town meeting there.

He received his first land (5 acres) near Fresh Water Brook in Longmeadow (then part of Springfield, Massachusetts; now part of Enfield, Connecticut). He acquired more land in 1661, 1662, 1664, 1666, and 1672 and was by the time of his death considered to be a respectable property owner and farmer. John Keep was assigned a seat at the Meeting House in 1662 and was called a Townsman in 1664. He served as fence viewer (person responsible for the repair of cattle fences and retention of the cattle in the town common), surveyor of highways, and selectman. John Keep became a freeman at Springfield, Massachusetts in 1669 and several times served on juries there.

After marrying Sarah they settled at Longmeadow, Massachusetts and had 5 children there. Their youngest child, Jabez, was born in December of 1675. In October of 1675 Springfield had been attacked and burned (33 of 48 homes destroyed). This was during King Philip's War (near its very end) and the Indian danger had been considered so great that winter of 1675-1676 that no one had been traveling from Longmeadow to the Springfield meeting house for worship for many months.

King Philip's War, sometimes called the First Indian War, was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day New England and English colonists and their Native American allies in 1675–78. The war is named for the main leader of the Native American side, Metacomet, who had adopted the English name "King Philip" in honor of the previously-friendly relations between his father and the original Mayflower Pilgrims.

On March 26, 1676 John Keep was murdered and his wife Sarah as well as their infant son, Jabez, were kidnapped during an eight-man Indian raid. John and 16-18 other men as well as their wives and children had been heading to the meetinghouse from Long Meadow on March 26, 1676. Jabez was to be baptized.

Sarah soon died from her injuries after capture. Capt. John Whipple, of Ipswich, and his men pursued the Indians with 16 men, but when they reached them, the Indians killed both of the children they had captured.

Their daughters, Sarah and Hannah, and their son Samuel had been left behind at home.[1]

The settlement of John’s estate is held in the Probate records at Northampton. The inventory of his estate shows that he accumulated a very respectable property for the time—the total of the estate amounted to £329 11s 7d.

King Philip died in August 1676, and after that, life quieted down in the Springfield valley. The Indians left and few were seen there, even though once in a while, for several years, they continued to visit the area.

The war continued in the most northern reaches of New England until the signing of the Treaty of Casco Bay in April 1678.

There is an old family oral tradition that a member of the Northamptonshire Keep family fled to America and was murdered by Indians. John Keep (or some say his father) was, according to this, purportedly an agent of the Parliamentarians who escaped to America in 1640 just before the English Civil War started, when an arrest warrant was issued against him by the Earl of Strafford. It was also claimed that John’s death later in 1676 was the result of the British paying the Indians to kill him because of his involvement in harboring and assisting the Regicides (Major-General Whalley, and Colonel Goffe). There is another school of thought that because of his activity in England his killers were actually the English dressed up as Indians. This is all highly unlikely.

See more about the regicides here.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Lawrence

The Lawrence Family

The Lawrence family arrived early in the Great Migration and through four generations made their home in Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Experience Lawrence married Jabez Keep on August 3, 1740 in Littleton Massachusetts. Experience was rumored to be the sole heir to the Chase-Lawrence-Townley inheritance. The story was that John Lawrence and Mary Towneley, who had eloped in England and fled to Virginia because John’s family was Protestant, and Mary’s Catholic, and Mary’s father would not agree to the union. As it turned out, Mary’s father, the very wealthy Sir Richard Towneley, later regretted her departure, and left her an immense fortune when he died; but Mary, cut off from her family, had never learned of it. Now, over a century later, the estate, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, was still held in trust, waiting for Mary’s descendants to appear. This story had many variants but the common thread was each family was invited to subscribe to a fund for the prosecution of its rightful claim to the “Lawrence-Towneley Estate” being held in trust. Several Lawrence-Towneley Associations were set up. Subscribers were given impressive-looking certificates entitling them, for each $20 subscribed, to a $1000 share of the recovered estate. Every one of these stories was, of course, fraudulent, and the certificates worthless. This is because there was no fortune to be recovered.


A Lawrence image

Lawrence farm Littleton, MA

Eleazer Lawrence married Mary Scripture in 1698 in Groton, Massachusetts. They had ten children. Eleazer was prominent in Groton, serving as a selectman and constable. In 1730 he was chosen as one of a committee to "Supplye ye pulpit with a minister or ministers for two months ensuing." At a town-meeting, March 5, 1743, he was chosen "to see that ye streems be keept open acording to Law for ketching of Fich." He acquired quite a bit of land in the Littleton area: 123 acres in 1717 and 130 acres in 1728. He was variously referred to as captain, lieutenant, and major, probably reflecting his status in the local militia. His will states that he left nine children.


Peleg Lawrence married Elizabeth Morse on December 22, 1668 in Groton, Massachusetts. In 1665 Peleg's father requested his son be exempted from military training because "his Infirmitye is a losse of more than two joynts on his left Thumb which is his hand he is most active with & [he] is much disnabled fro doing any activity by it." Peleg and Nathaniel Lawrence were among the inhabitants of Groton who sought a temporary refuge in Concord when their homes were destroyed by the Indians in 1676.


John Lawrence married Elizabeth Cooke in 1635 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John emigrated between 1630 and 1635 from England. They had eleven children. John was a carpenter who became a freeman in 1637. He was granted a number of land parcels (7 lots totaling 155 acres) in and around Watertown. In 1662 he relocated to Groton, Massachusetts.

A Hayes image

Rutherford Hayes

A Cleveland image

Grover Cleveland

Elizabeth's parents are Aaron and Elizabeth (Charde) Cooke. After Aaron's death, Elizabeth married Thomas Ford, another Petersen ancestor. Elizabeth They are the 6x great grandparents of President Rutherford B Hayes and the 7x great grandparents of President Grover Cleveland.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Lawrence /Scripture

The Scripture Family

The Scripture family was greatly affected by the Indian wars around Groton, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mary Scripture married Eleazer Lawrence in 1698 in Groton, Massachusetts.


Samuel Scripture married Elizabeth Knapp on September 11, 1674 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Samuel made a deposition in 1668 that he was 19 years old and an indentured servant of Samuel Davis in Groton, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth whose family lived next door to Davis. Late in 1675, with the other inhabitants of Groton, he abandoned the town on account of Indian hostilities. He was among the first to return after the war, and his daughter Mary was born there in 1680. He served in King Philip’s war under Capt. Joseph Syll.

During King William’s War (1689–1698), the first of the European wars to spill over onto the North American continent, British settlements in New England and New York were frequently raided by French forces and their Indian allies from Canada. The inhabitants of Groton established eight garrison houses during this time in which several families lived together for protection. Samuel Scripture and his family occupied one of these garrison houses.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Lawrence /Scripture/Knapp

The Knapp Family

The Knapp family had a history of controversy in the early colonial days.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Knapp married Samuel Scripture on September 11, 1674 in Watertown, Massachusetts. When Elizabeth was a girl of sixteen living in the home of Rev. Samuel Willard of Groton she had the misfortune of being possessed by a demon. For the story on Elizabeth's trial for witchcraft click here.


James Knapp/Knopp married Elizabeth Warren. They had emigrated from Bures St. Mary on the Essex/Suffolk border in 1630. James was an outspoken carpenter who had a few brushes with the magistrates, and who moved to the new settlement of Groton soon after it was established.


William Knapp and Judith Tue, 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

James' sister, Mary, is the daughter of William Knapp and Mary is a direct ancestor of the Freeman family.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Lawrence /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

Elizabeth Morse married Peleg Lawrence on December 22, 1668 in Groton, Massachusetts.

She was a sister of his brother's wife.

McKay-Stevens Connection

Elizabeth is the sister of Joseph Morse who is a direct McKay ancestor on the Freeman side of the family.


Joseph Morse married Hannah Phillips om July 1, 1638 in Dedham, Massachusetts. Joseph went from Watertown to Dedham where he married Hannah. He died before he could move his family to Medfield where he had acquired land and built a house.


Samuel Morse married Elizabeth Jasper on June 29, 602 in Redgrave, England. His story is told here.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Colton

The Colton Family

The Colton family is closely identified with the Longmeadow, Massachusetts are, its early settlement and conflicts with Native Americans there.

How We're Related

Sarah Colton married Samuel Keep in Springfield, Massachusetts on February 27, 1695. They raised 12 children in Longmeadow.


Thomas Colton married Sarah Griswold on September 11, 1677 in Lyme, Connecticut, her hometown. George was born and raised and lived his whole life at Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Captain Thomas was a soldier in the Indian Wars and in the hyperbolic language of the day was described as "much feared by the Indians, both for his daring in attack, and from his apparent invulnerability and supernatural protection from their best-laid plans for his death or capture."

In 1693 the town of Springfield sent him to "The Bay" to procure a minister for the town. Thomas was "prominent in public, civil, and military affairs" at Longmeadow. He was a founding member of the Longmeadow Congregational Church which was established in 1716. He has been called the "Miles Standish of the colony".


George Colton married Deborah Gardner in about 1644 at Hartford, Connecticut. How or when he came to America is unknown. The suggestion has been made that he probably came in the ship Lion's Whelp on one of her many trips between the old country and the colonies, but no positive proof has been found. He reached the Springfield, Massachusetts settlement as early as 1644. Their nine children were born in the Longmeadow area. George Colton has been called the "Father of Longmeadow". He took the Oath of Allegiance there in 1665 and was on the 1671 Freeman list. In 1668 he was appointed by the General Court of Massachusetts as Quartermaster of the Hampshire Troop (militia) and he was ever after known as "Quartermaster Colton". He helped lay out the boundaries of Suffield, Massachusetts in 1672.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Colton /Griswold

The Griswold Family

The Griswold family originates from Solihull, England, where they lived for centuries as greyhound breeders.

The first members of the family to arrive in America were the brothers Edward and Matthew Griswold, landing initially at Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1639 and continuing on as part of the group of colonists settling Windsor, Connecticut. In 1646, Matthew married Anna Wolcott and moved to Old Saybrook, Connecticut and was later Deputy and Commissioner of Lyme, Connecticut, quickly amassing thousands of acres of land and become one of the richest men in the colony. Edward Griswold remained in Windsor and played pivotal roles in the early politics of the colony. A discussion of Michael can be found here under another branch of the Griswold family.

Both the Stevens and McKay families have connections that can be traced back to Michael, Matthew and Edward.

How We're Related

Sarah Griswold married Thomas Colton on September 11, 1677 in Lyme, Connecticut.

Sarah had a sister Elizabeth who married a McKay ancestor, John Rogers. Both were from rich Connecticut families, but John was influenced by the Seventh Day Baptists and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and opposed the established Puritan church. He established his own sect (Rogeren Quakers). Elizabeth eventually left him and returned to her father.


Matthew Griswold married Anna Wolcott in Windsor, Connecticut on October 16, 1644. He immigrated to America in the 1630s and was with older brother Edward at Windsor, Connecticut briefly in 1639. Edward settled at Killingworth (later Clinton), Connecticut. Matthew went in 1639 to Saybrook, Connecticut as a business agent for Governor Lord George Fenwick there. Governor Fenwick granted Matthew a large tract of land in Saybrook and that's where he settled. Fenwick was an English lawyer who helped settle the Saybrook colony in 1639 but only remained there for nine years. Matthew was a lawyer and a mason and was responsible for making the gravestones for many early American settlers.

Matthew was apparently somewhat in advance of his time in his view of the rights of women. His wife had some twelve acres of meadow land in Windsor Great Meadows which came to her as an inheritance from her brother Christopher Wolcott. In a deed dated 23 Apr 1663, Matthew made over to her this parcel, "to remain to her and to her children and her dispose forever." It was not usual for a woman with a husband living to have property in her own right.

In 1667 John Tillerson charged the wife of Matthew Griswold of Lyme with being a witch and induced others to suspect her of witchcraft, for which Matthew caused him to be arrested and arraigned before the court. This John stated the cause of his suspicions and jealousies. The court decided that she was not a witch and that he had no cause to be jealous of her, that he had greatly sinned in harboring such jealousy against so good a neighbor who had done him so many favors. To clear Mrs. Griswold all suspicion of the offense the Court ordered that its opinion should be published by the constables at Saybrook and Lyme at some public meeting. To recompense her for the wrong, and because Tillerson was poor, he was ordered to pay 7 shillings for the express warrant and 5 shilling for the constable.

Anna's parents were Henry Wolcott and Elizabeth Saunders who married on January 19, 1606 and came to New England on the Mary and John in 1630. Anna didn't come with her parents but arrived several years later. Henry and Elizabeth later settled in Windsor, Connecticut. One of Henry's descendants was Roger Wolcott, Governor of Connecticut, whose son Oliver was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Leonard

The Leonard Family

The Leonard family lost four members of their family to Indian raids in 1676 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Sarah Leonard married John Keep on December 31, 1663 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. On March 26, 1676 Sarah and her husband and her baby were killed by Indians while traveling from Longmeadow to the Springfield meeting house to have baby Jabez baptized. Grandmother Sarah Heald Leonard raised the surviving three Keep children as the estate compensated "Mother Leonard for bringing up the children".


John Leonard married Sarah Heald/Heath on November 12, 1640 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He arrived in Springfield in 1639, and remained for 37 years, until he was killed by Indians in February 1676. John received the usual land grants beginning in 1640 and in 1659 received 40 acres more.

There is some dispute about John Leonard's origins. It is most likely that he came to America in 1635, settled in Springfield, and married Sarah Heald/Heath.

Sarah's English origin is unknown; she may have been brought to Springfield by a relative or as an indentured servant. She and John had 15 children. After John's death, she married twice more.

Continued in column 2...

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Turner

The Turner Family

The Turner family is only known through the association of Edward Turner with the church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Patty Turner married Samuel Keep on March 1, 1809 in Lee, Massachusetts.


A Roxbury image

5th Meetinghouse Roxbury, MA

Edward Turner married Lucy Hyland on May 15, 1781 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Nothing is known about Edward's parents, John and Sarah Turner. In the records of the First Church in Roxbury, Edward is listed as "Sexton of this meeting house. Constable. Sheriff of Norfolk County. Part owner of Square Pew No. 9 in Gallery, Fifth Meeting House." Colonial meetinghouses were typically financed through taxation, and were usually the largest building in the town. They were used both for religious worship, and for conducting town business. Our Puritan forefathers, though bitterly denouncing all forms and ceremonies, were great respecters of persons; and in nothing was the regard for wealth and position more fully shown than in designating the seat in which each person should sit during public worship. A committee of dignified and influential men was appointed to assign irrevocably to each person his or her place, according to rank and importance.


John Turner married Sarah and they were the parents of Edward, born in Medford, Massachusetts. Other than that nothing else is known about them.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Turner /Hyland

The Hyland Family

The Hyland (also Hiland, highland, Hieland, or Hilland) family spent the first four generations in New England in Scituate, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Lucy Hyland married Edward Turner on May 15, 1781 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.


William Hyland married Mary Hooper on July 5, 1752 at the Second Church in Scituate, Massachusetts.


John Hyland married Elizabeth James on January 3, 1694 in Scituate, Massachusetts. John's brother, Thomas died in the Canadian expedition of 1690 in King William's War.

Elizabeth's father, William James, married Mehitabel (last name unknown) probably around 1672, since on 4 July 1673 they were fined "for committing carnal copullation with each other before marriage or contract." William was in Scituate in 1673. He probably came from Marshfield. He was a ship builder and had a dock or launching vessels. He may have also been involved with coastal trade and fishing. William passed away in 1722. He was a Quaker.

Thomas Hyland married Elizabeth Stockbridge in January 1661 in Scituate, Plymouth Colony. Thomas inherited his father's residence in Scituate.


Thomas Hyland married Deborah (last name uncertain, possibly Curtis) in 1628 in Tenterden, Kent, England. They arrived in Massachusetts in 1637. On 1 Feb 1638, he "tooke the oath of allegiance to the King and fidelitie to the colony" in Scituate. He died after October 28, 1681 when reference is made to "old Thomas Hieland" in court records.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Turner /Hyland/Hooper

The Hooper Family

The first Hoopers in America were weavers who settled near Boston. Later generations were associated with Scituate, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mary Hooper married William Hyland on July 5, 1752 in Scituate, Massachusetts.


William Hooper married Elizabeth Thorn on April 30, 1722 in Cohasset, Massachusetts. In about 1730 they relocated to North Yarmouth, Maine.

Joseph Thorne married Joanna Pinson on May 16, 1695 in Scituate, Massachusetts. Joseph is listed in a 1676 report to Governor Winslow as having suffered "a shot through the arme, lame for a time." Joseph's ancestry is unknown.

Joanna's parents were Thomas Pinson, Jr. and Elizabeth White who married on September 18, 1662 in Scituate, Massachusetts. Thomas' parents were Thomas Sr. and Jane Rickard who married on November 10, 1639. She was the widow of Daniel Standlake. Thomas Pincin (or Pinson) took the oath of fidelity in Scituate, 1638. On September 1, 1640 Thomas Pinson and his wife were convicted of incontinency before marriage, he to be whipped and she to sit in the stocks.


Thomas Hooper married Elizabeth Richards in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Bay, in 1701. Thomas is referred to as a weaver. It appears he is the one of William's "two younger sons" who may have inherited by Will his father's "Loomes" and "Tackling."


William Hooper married Elizabeth Marshall in Reading, Massachusetts on March 4, 1646. William came on the ship James from London in 1635. By 1644 he was residing in Reading, Massachusetts. He was a weaver and owned considerable land. William served in Capt. Daniel Henchman's company in King Philip's War.

Elizabeth's father was a shoemaker, Thomas Marshall. He came to Boston from England late in 1635. Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas' second wife, Alice, who like Thomas was widowed.

Thomas was chosen to run the ferry between Boston and Charleston across the Charles River in 1636. In 1637, Thomas was penalized and his weapons taken from him because he supported Anne Marbury Hutchinson in the Antinomian Controversy, which was a religious dispute between Puritans who held sway in Massachusetts at the time, and a more liberal group, led by Hutchinson. He was one of fifty-eight Boston men who were disarmed for their involvement in this controversy. It was at this time that he may have left Boston and gone with a group from Dorchester to establish Windsor, Connecticut. He was named as a founder of that town.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Turner /Hyland/Hooper/Richards

The Richards Family

The Richards and Gibbons families became well-to-do early residents in Dorchester and Hartford.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Richards married Thomas Hooper in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts Bay, in 1701. On her father's death she inherited "all his lands and buildings in and about New London, and £450."


James Richards married Sarah Gibbons in 1660 in Boston. He came to New England with his parents in 1633. He was a freeman of Massachusetts in 1652. In about 1662 he moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Their daughter, Jerusha, married Connecticut colonial Governor Gurdon Saltonstall.

Sarah later married Humphrey Davie and Col. Jonathan Tyng. Sarah's parents were William Gibbons and Ursula Lewis who married in Hartford in 1645. William was the chief steward to George Wyllys, one of the early governors of the Connecticut Colony. William was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. In 1636, Wyllys sent William to Hartford along with 20 domestics and indentured servants in order to buy land and oversee construction of a house. That house was the largest home of any of Hartford's early settlers and one of the largest in Connecticut.

Thomas Richards married Welthian Loring in 1615 in England. Thomas was a merchant who came to America in 1633 on the Mary and John first residing in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The passenger manifest of the ship shows that Thomas Richards was accompanied by his wife "Wealthian" and children; John, Thomas, Mary, Alice & Anna. Welthian was threatened with the charge of witchcraft, having in the heat of passion threatened terrible things would happen to those she was angered at, they later falling victim to various unpleasant fates. Her case does not seem to have been brought forward. Welthian brought her maid Edye White to John Winthrop for correction. Among the charges against the maid was that she was "discovering the secrets of the family, one thing she confessed about a maid that drank too much there." Thomas made at least three trips back to England.

Thomas and Weltian's daughter, Alice, married the son of Plymouth Governor William Bradford.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Francis/Keep/Turner /Hyland/Stockbridge

The Stockbridge Family

The Stockbridge family were early settlers in Scituate, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Stockbridge married Thomas Hyland in January 1661 in Scituate, Plymouth Colony. There was a controversy in the church when Elizabeth was newborn about baptism. She was taken to Boston for baptism in 1642, "to avoid her being immersed."


John Stockbridge married Elizabeth Hatch on October 9, 1643 in Scituate, Massachusetts. He emigrated in June 1635 from aboard the Blessing. Elizabeth probably came to America with her brother in about 1638.

A Stockbridge image

Scituate, MA

John probably did not come to New England for religious freedom, but more likely for better economic conditions. He was a wheelwright. There is no indication of his membership in the church, only the name of his first wife Ann appearing in the records in 1637. John Stockbridge spent many of his early years at Scituate letting be known his dissatisfaction with the system of government which had been adopted. On 5 June 1638 he was first presented and fined in the Plymouth Colony Court "for disgraceful speeches, tending to the contempt of the government, and for jeering speeches to them that did reprove him for it." The following September he was fined ten shillings "for contemptuous words against the government."

John and a partner built a sawmill next to an existing gristmill on First Herring Brook in Scituate. John built the "Stockbridge Mansion," a garrison house in King Philip's War (1675-1676) for the protection of the mills from Indians. The mill and pond are supposed to have been made famous by the poem "The Old Oaken Bucket" written by Samuel Woodworth in 1817.

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,

When fond recollection presents them to view!

The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild-wood,

And every loved spot which my infancy knew!

The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it,

The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell,

The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,

And e'en the rude bucket that hung in the well-

The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,

The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.

Continued in column 3...

Links to the Extended Petersen Family



The Petersen ancestors are all from Denmark or more accurately from the region on the present day German/Danish border region that (at the time of Sönke's emigration) were culturally and linguistically Danish.

The Keep family suffered through Indian raids in early Massachusetts settlement and later this line produced three generations of Massachusetts iron manufacturers and blacksmiths.

The Lawrence family arrived early in the Great Migration and through four generations made their home in Massachusetts.

The Scripture family was greatly affected by the Indian wars around Groton, Massachusetts.

The Knapp family had a history of controversy in the early colonial days.

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.

The Colton family is closely identified with the Longmeadow, Massachusetts are, its early settlement and conflicts with Native Americans there.

The Griswold family originates from Solihull, England, where they lived for centuries as greyhound breeders.

Henry Wolcott came to New England on the Mary and John in 1630. His descendants include Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Leonard family lost four members of their family to Indian raids in 1676 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

The Turner family is only known through the association of Edward Turner with the church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

The Hyland family spent the first four generations in New England in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The Thorne family settled in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The Pinson family also settled in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The first Hoopers in America were weavers who settled near Boston. Later generations were associated with Scituate, Massachusetts.

Boston settler Thomas Marshall was a follower of Anne Hutchinson who later founded Windsor, Connecticut.

William James was a shipbuilder and Quaker.

The Richards family became well-to-do early residents in Dorchester and Hartford.

The Stockbridge family were early settlers in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The Christiansen family like the Petersens came from the same Danish-German border region and similarly came from the same small farmer tradition.

The Hansen family goes back five generations in the Süderlügum Parish of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Roberts family in the United States started with Francis Roberts who emigrated from County Cork in about 1865.

The Wagner family still has a presence in Dunmanway.

The Atkins family had been merchants in the Dunmanway area.

The Francis family first were New Englanders making their homes in Massachusetts and Connecticut. They later moved West to Ohio.

The Stoddard family were long time Connecticut residents.

The Buck family is closely associated with Wethersfield, Connecticut.

The Butler family can trace their roots back to the first Chief Butler of Ireland. The Butler family put down roots in Connecticut.

James Olmstead was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

James Loomis was among the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut.

The Churchill family settled early Wethersfield, Connecticut.

The Griswold family in this branch are distant cousins of other Stevens and McKay Griswold ancestors.

Henry Hayward came first to Cambridge in 1634, then to Hartford, to Wethersfield in 1649, and finally back to Hartford in 1663.

Rev. Samuel Stone was the co-founder (along with Rev. Thomas Hooker) of Hartford, Connecticut.

The Hand family members were early Long Island, New York settlers and connect to the Petersen family twice.

John Stratton was one of the first settlers at East Hampton, Long Island and was a slave owner.

The Chittenden/Chatterton family seems to have first arrived in northern New England, in this case the Piscataqua River area on the border between Maine and New Hampshire, and over the next three generations made their way south into Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The Clark family were early New Haven, Connecticut settlers.


Robert Coe, was in involved in the settlement of a number of communities in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. His descendants settled in more permanently in Stratford and Durham, Connecticut.

The Smith family is associated with the founding of Milford, Connecticut.

The Northrup family has connections to Milford, Connecticut.

Nathaniel Briscoe was a founder of Milford, Connecticut.

Jasper Gunn settled first in Roxbury, Massachusetts and later in Milford, Connecticut.

The Norton family was among the early settlers in Connecticut.

The Robinson and Kirby families settled Middletown and Durham, Connecticut.

The Hawley family is closely associated with early Connecticut settlements in Stratford and Wethersfield.

The Birdsey/Birdseye family were settlers in New Haven.

The Mitchell family progenitor, Matthew, was an early success story in New England.

The Daniels family settled early in Massachusetts and Connecticut with nore recent generations of the Daniels family migrating west to Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee.

This branch of the Daniel's family stayed in the East.

The Partridge family stayed in Massachusetts through the first four generations in New England.

The Ellis family's early history runs through Dedham, Medford and Medfield, Massachusetts.

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

The Fairbanks family were the first settlers in Sherborn, Massachusetts

Religious issues sent the Graves family from the relatively civilized Hartford to the frontier of Hatfield, Massachusetts.

The Hoar family in America is descended from John Hoar, a man whose good relationships with the local Indians made him unusual among his peers.

The progenitor of the Smith family in New England, Samuel, had a long and interesting life and he has many connections with both sides of our family.

The Chappell family were early settlers in Wethersfield (just south of Hartford) and New London, Connecticut.

The Greenaway family is connected to both sides of the family tree.

It is said that the Larkcom family is of Huguenot descent. They lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut for five generations before going west in 1825.

The Norton family made their home in Massachusetts and Connecticut or six generations before Comfort and her husband moved to Ohio in 1825.

The Bartlett family passed on the profession in the leather trades from the first immigrant, Richard. They spent their lives along the Merrimack River in Newbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts.

The Merrill family is associated with Ipswich, Massachusetts and the founding of Newbury, Massachusetts.

The Webster family is associated with Ipswich, Massachusetts.

The Shatswell family came to Ipswich in 1633 and they later moved to Newbury, Massachusetts.

The Rust and Wardwell families arrived at and remained in Massachusetts through the first three generations.

William Wardwell was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and was banished from Massachusetts but was later reinstated.

The Younglove family originally settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts but over a couple of generations moved to Connecticut.

Robert Kinsman was an early Ipswich, Massachusetts resident.

The Hart family in America started in Ipswich, Massachusetts but soon relocated to Connecticut.

The Beaman family was greatly affected by the early colonial wars.

The Kibbe and Cook families were among the first settlers of Enfield, Connecticut.

Henry Cook was a butcher who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638.

The Phelps and Randall families settled in the Connecticut River Valley between Westfield and Windsor.

Philip Randall, a blacksmith, came to New England in 1633 and settled first in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in 1636 in Windsor, Connecticut.

The Ingersoll and Bird families have their roots in Hartford, Connecticut.

Thomas Lord was an original 1636 proprietor of Hartford.

The Solart family had their share of troubles with a suicide and a witchcraft accusation in just two generations.

The first immigrant in this branch came to America from Holland and later descendants change their name to Mills from Van der Muelen.

There is some uncertainty about the Dewey family ancestry but there is a strong likelihood that the link goes back to immigrant Thomas Dewey.

The Lyman family members were among the earliest settlers of Hartford, Connecticut.

Thomas Ford was a founder of Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630.

The Terry family is another line with uncertain links.

The Webster family includes one of the first governors of Connecticut.

The Alexander family is from Scotland.

The Bliss and Leonard families are closely associated with Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Porter family is associated with Windsor and Hartford Connecticut.

The Stanley family settled in Hartford but went to Hadley, Massachusetts due to religious differences.

The American progenitor, Lamrock Flowers, was a lawyer who settled in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Smith family traces its roots back to Stratford-on-Avon, England.

Rev. Ephraim Huit matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge in 1611, and became a preacher at Knowll, Warwickshire. He was "silenced by Archbishop Laud" in 1638. After Ephraim was "silenced," meaning he no longer had a livelihood, he came to America in 1639. He went directly to Windsor, Connecticut, to join Rev. John Warham in leading the church there.

The Buell and Griswold families are tied to stories of mishps at sea, dissenting religious beliefs, and witchcraft.

Edward Griswold was the brother of another Francis ancestor Matthew Griswold. Edward came to New England with Rev. Ephriam Huit from England; he was in Windsor by 1639.

The Mason family will be forever tied to the reputation of Major John Mason, a hero in his time, now viewed in a different light.

The Stanton family began in North America with Thomas who was a well-known Indian language interpreter and trader in Connecticut. Later generations settled in Rhode Island.

The Gallup family's first two generations are known for John senior and junior, the former a noted mariner and the latter a soldier who died in King Phillip's War.

The Prentice family settled in Boston and later in New London, Connecticut.

The Nichols family were in Watertown, Massachusetts by 1634. They went to Wethersfield, Connecticut, and finally to Stratford, Connecticut in 1639.

The Mead family arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1635 and settled in Roxbury.

The Lord family has two paths of Petersen ancestry.

The Sanford family along with their relatives, the Coddingtons and Hutchinsons, include some of the most historically significant ancestors in our family tree.

William Coddington left Boston, Massachusetts because he was a supporter of Anne Hutchinson and settled in Rhode Island.

Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson has been called "the most famous—or infamous—English woman in colonial American history" due to her outspoken dissent from the Puritan Church in Massachusetts.

The Eggleston family was very prolific leaving many descendants.

William Kelsey was one of the original followers of the Rev. Thomas Hooker and they were the first settlers of Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632. In 1636 he became one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut when Rev. Hooker's congregation relocated there.

The Robinson family includes the Revolutionary War veteran, Amos Robinson.

The Hyde family were founding settlers of Norwich, Connecticut.

The Gray family in America starts with the rags-to-riches story of Edward Gray and includes his connection to Mayflower travelers, the Chiltons.

The Church family settled in Massachusetts and later relocated to Rhode Island.

The Warren family includes the Mayflower passenger, Richard Warren.

The Calkins family is associated with the founding of New London, Connecticut.

The Lake and Goodyear families were among the original settlers of New Haven Colony with later generations moving to Topsfield, Massachusetts.

The Goodyear family members are ancestors to multiple Petersen and McKay lines.

The Cummings family had many unfortunate encounters with Native Americans during the early colonial period.

The Kinsley/Kingsley and Brackett families are associated with the Massachusetts towns of Braintree and Dunstable.

The Brackett family was among the earliest Boston settlers.

The Howlett family settled in the Ipswich/Topsfield, Massachusetts area.

Later French descendants settled in New Jersey.

Color Codes

Generations removed from Petersen ancestor


2nd Generation

3rd Generation

4th Generation

5th Generation

6th Generation

7th Generation

8th Generation

9th Generation

10th Generation

11th Generation

General History


Relations with Native Americans







The Pequot War

King Philip's War


Schleswig-Holstein immigration

Scots-Irish immigration

Dutch immigration

The Headright System

German Immigration

Great Migration

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Plymouth Colony


General Layout


[1] From Soldiers in King Philip's War, third edition, by George Madison Bodge A.B., pp. 282-283.

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