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An American Family History

Church Family

 

 

 
     
 

 
     
 

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Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was settled and incorporated in 1655

from Garrett Church of Watertown, Mass. by Robert M. and Helen C. Search

Comparatively little is known concerning the first two generations of the family of Garrett Church of Watertown, Mass. . . . Savage and Bond both list the children of Garrett, "by wife Sarah" as follows:
John, b. 10 Mar. 1637/8
Samuel, b. 12 June 1640
Sarah, b. 10 Mar. 1642/3
Mary b. 15 May 16 44
Jonathan b. 13 Dec 1646
David b. 1 Sept. 1657
Since Garrett is believed to have been in Watertown by 1636 it is presumed the births were in that town. There is a "gap" of a decade between he births of Jonathan and David.

Sarah's maiden name has not been found nor has any indication of the date or place of death of either Garrett or Sarah. It is not known when Garrett came to this country or, positively, from what part of England. From an affidavit it has been determined that he was born about 1611. . . .

Bond shows the birth of Samuel Church and his marriage 7 Feb. 1671 to Rebecca Shattuck as well as the birth of their daughter, Rebecca, 31 Dec. 1672. Lemuel Shattuck repeats these records and goes on the say that no further information concerning this family has been found and suggests that Rebecca and the heirs of her brother John, who was known to have died, signed the release to their stepfather, Richard Norcross, concerning the estate of their father William Shattuck.

Savage's Classic is still available.
 
 
New London County, Connecticut was one of four original Connecticut counties and was established on May 10, 1666, by an act of the Connecticut General Court.

Genealogies of Connecticut Familes, "Garrett Church of Watertown, Mass." by Robert M. and Helen C. Search

Bond shows the birth of Samuel Church and his marriage 7 Feb 1671/2 to Rebecca Shattuck as well as the birth of their daughter, Rebecca, 31 Dec. 1672. Lemuel Shattuck repeats these records and goes on the say that no further information concerning this family has been found and suggests that Rebecca and her heirs had died by 29 March 1687 when neither Rebecca nor the heirs of her brother, John, who was known to have died, signed the release to ther stepfather, Richard Norcross, concerning the estate of their father William Shattuck. . .

In view of the preponderance of Watertown men in this venture [buying a tract of land] and the fact no other man of this name is know to have been in New England at this time it seems that the Samuel Church of Groton was undoubtedly Samuel Church (Garrett).

The Vital Records of Groton, Mass., 1926, vol 1, p. 54 shows the birth of Jonathan Church son of Samuel and Elizabeth, 12 Feb. 1686. From this it appears that Samuel's first wife, Rebecca Shattuck had died prior to 1686 thus accounting for her failure to sign the release to Richard Norcross which now, obviously, was signed only by the living heirs of William Shattuck.

Samuel Davis (Barnabas) of Charleston devised to his daughter "Elizabeth Church." Since no son, or grandson, of Richard Church of Plymouth is known to have married a woman named Elizabeth it would appear that Samuel Church (Garrett) had married as his second wife Elizabeth Davis (Samuel, Barnabas), b. Charlestown in 1658. It is interesting that the three sisters of Elizabeth (Davis) Church married men named Pratt, Green and Cady, names tht were common in Groton and Killingly, Conn., where Samuel Church's grandson, Daniel, married Eunice Winter of another Watertown family.

Samuel Church is listed in the garrison at Groton in 1692. His name does not again appear on the vital records of the town and further reference to him has not been found again in Middlesex County. He is believed to be the Samuel Church, Sr., who had died in Voluntown, Conn., 27 Nov. 1724 "about the nintyeth year of his age" . . .

In the article "Samuel Church of Stonington, Conn." (The Register, Vol. 118, p. 263, Oct. 1964) it was pointed out that Samuel of Stonington was believed to be a grandson of Garrett of Watertown. The various deeds of Samuel Church found in the Stonington and Voluntown records were all attributed to the younger man; none seemed to belong to his presumed father, Samuel Church (Garrett) who is believed to be the Samuel Church Sr. . . .

Presumed Family of Samuel Church (Garrett)

1. Rebecca, b. Watertown, Mass, 31 Dec. 1672; perhaps identical Church who mar. Edward Cleveland, Sr., in Canterbury, Conn. 1 Jan. 1722

2. Samuel, d. Voluntown, Conn, between 17 July 1728 and 17 Sept. 1729; mar. in Stonington, Conn. 27 Nov. 1700, Mary Edwards (Thomas).

3. Jonathan, b. Groton, Mass, 12 Feb. 1686.

4. Sarah, perhaps the Sarah admitted to the church in Stonington,, 27 July 1712.

5. Abigail, -she who mar. Jo Palmer of Stonington in Providence, 1706

6. Elizabeth, "daughter of Samuel," who mar. in Plainfield, Conn., 11 Feb. 1713/14, Thomas Harris (Ebenezer, Thomas, Thomas); he d. s.p before 1750

7. David, Grantee in deed from Isreal Fullsham in Windham when he is referrred to has a brother of Samuel church and perhaps the David Church who was grantee in a deed from James Curtice (both of Stonington) to land in Stonington 4 Feb. 1734. (Stonington Land Records, vol. 4, p. 485). If so then he was probably the David Church whose daughter Annie, was baptized in the First Church Stonington, 10 Nov. 1734 (Richard A Wheeler, History of the First Congregatioal Church of Stonington, Conn., 1875, p. 222).

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

Elizabeth Fones (1610) was a Puritan woman in New England. She married her cousin, Henry Winthrop, son of John Winthrop. After he died, she married Robert Feake and lived in Watertown and Greenwich, Massachusetts. Robert apparently suffered from mental illness and abandoned his family. She then lived with William Hallett in Long Island.

 
 
Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.

from Garrett Church of Watertown, Mass. by Robert M. and Helen C. Search

John Church of Dover, N. H., an account of whom is given in John Scales, History of Dover, N. H., 1923, p. 493-9 married in Salisbury, Essex County, Mass., 29 Nov. 1664, Abigail Severence (John). He was killed by the Indians in Dover 7 May 1696 having lived there thirty years. According to his age as given in an affidavit he was born in 1640 or 1641. Mr. Scales says that family tradition called him a nephew of Capt. Benjamin Church but the famous Indian fighter was the third child of Richard and Elizabeth (Warren) church of Plymouth, Mass., born in 1639. It would therefore have been impossible for John Church of Dover to have been a nephew of Benjamin. If he did belong to the Plymouth family he would have to be a brother of Benjamin; there does not seem to be room for him in the already large family attributed to Richard by John A. Church.

John Church's name has not been found on any of the early ship's passenger lists. If he was an immigrant no indication has been found of his entry into this country. It is possible that his age was misstated in the affidavit, that he was actually two years older, in which case he may have been the eldest child of Garret Church of Watertown. Three of his children were named Jonathan, Sarah, and Mary.

It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.