An American Family History

Patience Bonham Willis Holmes


Patience Bonham Willis Holmes was born about 1647 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Her parents were George Bonham and Sarah Morton

She married her first husband, Richard Willis, on December 28, 1670 in Plymouth. Richard was born in Plymouth in 1642 and was the son of Richard Willis and Amy Glass.

Ruhamah Willis Rogers was born in 1673 in Plymouth. She married Eleazer Rodgers.

Patience was a widow by 1678 when at a town meeting it was ordered that Edward Gray pay her "twenty shillings silver money" for her husband's lease of Clarke's Island.

John Holmes, Jr. was her second husband. He was born about 1636 at Plymouth and was the son of John Holmes and his wife Sarah. John had been previously married to Patience Faunce who was the daughter of John Faunce and Patience Morton.

He died in July, 1697.



American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, eds., 12 volumes in 10 (Boston 1855-1861)

[John Holmes, Sr.] In list of Plymouth freemen, 6 March 1636/7.

On 4 December 1638 "Mr. John Holmes is sworn messenger for the whole government"
and he served in that capacity until at least 1643.

Petit jury, 4 October 1636, 4 September 1638.

On 5 March 1638/9 "John Holmes, the messenger, [was] presented for taking five shillings for serving of a warrant," and was discharged. He was also presented at the same court for "sitting up in the night, or all the night, drinking inordinately, when he was sent about public business" and for "abusing other men's names to procure wine to drink amongst others inordinately."

On 3 January 1643/4 "Mr. John Holmes, the Messenger," submitted his accounts for the preceding three years, indicating that the colony owed him £10 9s. 8d.

The court on 7 October 1651 recorded a "note of what is due unto Mr. Holmes, the marshal, from Duxburrow, of his wages there.

In Plymouth section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms.

Assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634.

"Mr. Holmes" was allotted hay ground between Mr. Smith and James Hurst on 14 March 1635/6 and on 20 March 1636/7.

On 16 October 1632 "Mr. John Holmes" purchased a house and six acres adjoining Reed Pond from William Palmer.

On 5 February 1637/8 Mr. John Holmes "desired enlargement above his house, & the wood to be stayed from felling & carrying away."

On 7 August 1638 "Mr. John Holmes requested 10 or 12 acres of lands at his lot's end, to be viewed & laid him forth; as also a little parcel of meadow at the Reed Pond." On 1

October 1638 "Mr. John Holmes is granted ten acres of land, lying at his lot end."

On 31 December 1641 "Mr. John Holmes is granted forty acres of upland at Narrogansett Hill, lying betwixt the highway and Derby's Ponds."

At an unknown date "Mr. John Holmes of Plymouth, Messenger," sold to Experience Mitchell of Duxbury "all those his two acres of marsh meadow lying next unto the meadow of Experience Michell aforesaid."

On 1 April 1633 John Holmes "was censured for drunkenness, to sit in the stocks, & amerced in twenty shillings fine." He was several other times cited for drunkenness.

On 27 March 1637 "William Spooner of Colchester," Essex, indentured himself to "John Holmes of New Plymouth in America gent." for a term of six years.

John Holmes took Dorothy Temple into his service in 1639, relieving Stephen Hopkins of his contractual agreement to keep her as a servant.

John Holmes was defendant in civil suits on 2 January 1637/8, 3 March 1639/40, 5 October 1640 and 7 March 1642/3.

On 7 October 1651 "Mr. John Holmes" sued Joseph Warren (for battery) and Edward Doty (for trespass and assault), and prevailed in both cases.

Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.

A gentleman had no title, but descended from an aristocratic family, was of the landed gentry, and had a coat of arms.

Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
To be presented to the court meant to be charged or indited.

Sarah Morton Bonham (1618-1694) married George Bonham.

The Mayflower Descendant

Eleazer Rogers (Thomas, Joseph, Thomas) was born at Eastham, 3 November, 1673, and married Ruhamah Willis, daughter of Richard and Patience (Bonum) Willis of Plymouth; but the date and place of the marriage have not ben found. The first child was born 15 October, 1698.

Eleazer and Ruhamah Rogers had nine children:
Ruth. . .

In the deeds here printed Eleazer Rogers was called yeoman in 1683 and 1699, innholder in 1719 and 1723, and "Seafayring Man" in 1725.


from History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County ... by Nahum Mitchell

There was a Richard Willis, servant of John Barnes, transferred by consent to Thomas Prince 1634, m. Amy Glasse 1639,was at Duxbury 1638, and at Plymouth 1640. Richard, his s. probably, m. Patience Bonum at Plymouth 1670, was dead 1678. . .

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

from Records of the Town of Plymouth: 1636 to 1705

Att a Towne meeting held att the meeting house att Plymouth the 15th day of December 1678

The Towne have sett and to ffarme lett unto Edward Gray of Plymouth Clarkes Iland; for the tearme of seaven yeers; to begine att the date heerof and from thence to be Compleatly ended; for and in Consideration of the same of three pounds and nine shillings yeerly to be duely payed in current silver mony of New England to the said Towne or theire order for the said tearme of seaven yeers and

that hee alsoe pay unto Patience Willis widdow the Relict of Richard Willis of Plymouth late deceased: the sume of twenty shillings silver money for that the said Willis had an Interest from the said Towne for the tearme of seaven yeers as aforsaid...

On 26 July 1638 Mr. John Holmes [Sr.] was given six shares of a cow.



from Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England

Att the Court of his Ma held alt Plymouth, in New England, the 29 Day of October, 1669.

In reference to a horse in controversy betwixt Thomas Pope and Richard Willis, the said horse haveing bine in the costody of the said Willis, and by him left goe soe as hee can not be found and brought to tryall, the Court have ordered, that the said Richard Willis shall forthwith deposite the worth or vallue of foure pounds in the hands of John Wood, of Plymouth, whoe was then constable of Plymouth when the said horse was attached att Popes complaint, and that the said Pope and Willis shall appeer att the Court to be holden att Plymouth the next March after the date hecrof, to make the best proffe they can whose hee is; and if in the mean time the said Willis doe produce the horse, that then hee to bee freed from this engagement of the foure pounds, but if hee doe not, that then the said foure pounds to be responsible to answare those to whom the horse shalbe found to belong vpon tryall.

Att this Court, Richard Willis came before the Court and engaged his house and land unto John Wood for cccuritic for the payment of the said foure pounds.


from Plymouth Colony, Its History & People, 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton

John Holmes [Sr.], arrived at Plymouth before October 1632, when he bought a house and six acres of land from William Palmer. In 1638 he was appointed Messenger of the Court, and his duties included being summons server, jailer and exectioner. His wife was probably Sarah Holmes, and he had two sons,

John Holmes [Jr.], who married
1) Patience Faunce, daughter of John and Patience (Morton) Faunce and
(2) Patience Bonham, daughter of George and Sarah (Morton) Bonham;

and Nathaniel Holmes, who married Mercy Faunce sister of Patience Faunce.

Both sons had large familes and thus there are many descendants. . .


from National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 1 through present (1912)

Children of John Holmes, Sr.
i   John [Holmes], b. say 1636; m. (1) Plymouth 20 November 1661 Patience Faunce, daughter of John Faunce m. (2) about 1681 Patience (Bonham) Willis, widow of Richard Willis.
ii   (prob.) Nathaniel [Holmes], b. about 1643 (died 25 July 1727 in his eighty-fourth year; m. Plymouth 29 December 1667 Mercy Faunce, daughter of John Faunce



American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.