January 29, 2012

John Emery of Newbury

I am lucky to have researched back to my ninth great-grandfather, John Emery, father to Ann Emery who was the wife of James Ordway, immigrant to America.  Much research has already been done on this family, so I am just going to give you the history as presented by Dorothy and Gerald Knoff in their book, Thirty-One English Emigrants Who Came to New England by 1662.  The book was published in 1989 and included both the Emerys and Ordways.

The Emery family motto, according to the Knoffs, was "Fidelis et suavis."  My high school Latin held up for "fidelis" - faithful - but I needed help for "suavis."  Translated, their motto was "Faithful and Sweet."  The family crest is very elegant and there is quite an old history with the Emery name, going back to the Domesday Book in 1086.  More information here.
p. 99+ of the Knoff book:
"John Emery was baptized at the Abbey Church of Saint Mary and Saint Ethelflaeda of Romsey, Hampshire, the 29th of November 1599.  His brother, Anthony, was baptized the 29th of August 1601.  They were sons of John Emery.
The Romsey parish registers begin in 1569 and have been searched through 1634 for entries of parishioners named Emery.  The name does not appear until 1594, so it seems that the family came to Romsey from another parish at a time somewhat earlier than that date.

John and Anthony, both carpenters, were emigrants to Massachusetts.  Leaving Southampton the 5th of April 1635 on the ship James of London, they arrived in Boston the 3rd of June.  Both had married in England and had their families with them.  They settled in Newbury, Massachusetts.  Anthony, after a few years, left Newbury and removed to Dover.  He later settled in Kittery, Maine.

We continue with John.  He was made freeman the 2nd of June 1641 (Paige, Freeman, p. 18).  He held many civic offices in the following years.  In 1644, he was on a committee of three to put a value on town lands.  He served on county trial juries for seven years; on grand juries for three years; as constable, as clerk of the market and as selectman.  He took the oath of allegiance in 1677.  During King Phillip's War, he contributed a new saddle and bridle, powder and bullets for a younger man who was able to take up arms.

His name is frequently found in Currier's History of Newbury, Mass., as he signed petitions for and against causes that he considered right or wrong.  More than once, he argued with the authorities for what he believed was right.  He had the courage of his convictions and his convictions sometimes caused him to pay a heavy price.

In 1654, with others, he and his son, John, signed a petition in favor of Lieut. Robert Pike,
'which so irritated the authorities that they appointed a commission to examine...the signers.  John Emery demanded (to see) their commission and a sight of the petition before he would answer.  He said that the commissioners had no power to demand who brought the petition to him.'
In 1657, he signed a certificate of William Titcomb's good character.  In 1658, he opposed the vote in favor of a school and a schoolmaster.
The court admonished him and his sons, John Jr. and John Webster for heading an agitation about the local military company. 

'The grand jury on the 31st of March 1663, presented John Emery for entertaining Quakers and for inviting neighbors to come to hear them.'
Again, he claimed his individual right to supply them with food and lodging.  This was a serious offense since Quakers were held in very low esteem and, indeed, were considered criminals.  They were called 'blasphemous hereticks,' 'a cursed sect,' and their books were burned.  Any person entertaining or concealing Quakers and their books was subject to a fine of forty shillings.  'The master of a vessel bringing any knoune Quaker...into any town or harbor within the limits of the colony was to pay a fine of one hundred pounds for each offense.'
The records of Ipswich, Salem and Boston do not give a verdict for this case.  On the same day, March 31, 1663, John Emery was fined four pounds for entertaining Dr. Henry Greenland, 'a stranger,' (one who did not have a legal residence in the town).  Greenland was entertained for four months in Emery's home.

John Emery was married in England and three of his children were baptized there.  His wife's name may have been Alice Grantam, as Davis writes: 'An interesting possibility is the marriage of John Emorye and Alice Grantam on June 26, 1620, at Whiteparish, Wiltshire, about eight miles from Romsey.'
...We do not know the date of death of his first wife, but he married in Newbury probably the 29th of October, 1647, Mary (Shatswell) Webster, widow of John Webster of Ipswich."

(There follows an explanation of the confusion of the marriage records and a discrepancy between the original Newbury records and the town record and different interpretations of each.)

"John Emery died the 3rd of November, 1683.  He wrote his will on the 11th of May 1680 and it was proved the 27th of November 1683.  The inventory amounted to 263 pounds.  Mary (Shatswell, Webster) Emery died the 28th of April 1694.  Her will was dated the 1st of April 1693 and proved the 11th of November 1696.
Known children of John Emery at the time his will was written:
Children by his first wife -
1. Eleanor, baptized at Romsey as Helena on 7 November 1624, married before 1641, John Bailey Jr of Newbury...
2. Alice, married John Chater. 'Either she or an unidentified child was living in 1683 when her father made his will.'
3. John, baptized at Romsey on 3 February 1628/9, his will was made 3 August 1693 and proved 26 September 1693.  His widow died 3 February 1709.
4. **Anne, baptized at Romsey 18 March 1632/33, married at Newbury 25 November 1648, James Ordway.  She died 31 March 1687, aged 56.

Children by his second wife, Mary Shatswell Webster Emery:
5. Ebenezer, daughter, born at Newbury 16 September 1648, married 21 April 1669 to John Hoag
6. Jonathan, born at Newbury 13 May 1652, married 29 November 1676 to Mary Woodman.  Both died in September of 1723, she on the 13th and he on the 29th."

A very interesting article on the Emery family and the Emery house in Newbury may be found here.  It gives differing information on dates and wives of John Emery.  All must be recorded and considered as we research.

1 comment:

  1. just came across your blog. I am researching the Emery's thru my Smith lines; Anthony was my 10th great grandfather. I whole new line for me to look into.