An American Family History

Nathaniel Grafton

Children of Joseph Grafton:
  • Elizabeth Grafton
  • Priscilla Grafton Gardner
  • Joseph Grafton
  • John Grafton
  • Nathaniel Grafton
  • Understand the Puritans better:

    Nathaniel Grafton was born on April 24, 1642 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Joseph Grafton.

    He married Elizabeth Maverick. Elizabeth was born on September 30, 1649 in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts. Elizabeth was the daughter of Moses Maverick and Remember Allerton.

    Nathaniel and Elizabeth had twin daughters who were born in 1669:
    Remember Grafton
    and Priscilla Grafton Jackson (married Thomas Jackson).

    Nathaniel died on February 11, 1670 in Salem when he was only 35 years old.

    After his death Elizabeth married Samuel Gardner.

    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.

    Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.



    from Annals of Salem

    1724. Feb. 24th. Samuel, son of George Gardner, died lately. He was born May 14, 1648. He had two wives, Elizabeth, widow of Nathaniel Grafton, whom he married 1670, and a widow Daniels. He had children, George, John, and Hannah, who deceased before he did. — Hannah was wife of Jno. Higginson 3d.

    Mr. Gardner had been frequently Selectman and Representative to General Court. He was a respectable merchant.


    John Endecott (or Endicott) was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    John endicott
    Governor John Endicott

    from History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters by Leon C. Hills

    Maverick, Moses (Rev. John), born 1610 (?); died Marblehead, Mass., Jan. 28, 1685-6; married 1st Remember Allerton before May 6, 1635; born Leyden, Holland, 1614 (?); died Salem, Mass., 1652-56; daughter of Isaac Allerton married 2nd at Boston by Gov. Endicott, Eunice (Cole Roberts, Oct. 22, 1656, widow of Thomas Roberts (John).

    He was probably a member of the first church at Dorchester, of which his father was pastor before its reconstruction. He was admitted a freeman of the Bay Colony on Sept. 3, 1634, as a citizen of Dorchester, and no one was made a freeman unless a church member.

    Moses Maverick arrived at Marblehead with Isaac Allerton in 1631 in the White Angel. They first settled at Peach Point, near Little Harbor, where Moses lived as early as 1634. He and Allerton engaged in fishing as a business, and had a number of employees. On May 6, 1635, Moses took over all houses, fish-stages and the like on a point of land called Maverick's Island. He became a member of the first church at Salem in 1638, and thereafter was active in church and town affairs for over fifty years. The last service of Moses Maverick was as town clerk, and he had probably been doing much of the clerical work even in the early settlement.

    Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    The town clerk was one of the first offices in colonial America. The clerk recorded births, marriages, and deaths.