An American Family History

Ruth Bonham Barrows

Plymouth (Plimouth or Plimoth) is in Plymouth County, Massachusetts and was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Mayflower passengers.

A grist mill is a building where a miller grinds gain into flour.

Ruth Bonham Barrows was born about 1645 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Her parents were George Bonham and Sarah Morton.

She married Robert Barrows (Barrow) on November 28, 1666. Robert was born about 1640 in Salem and was the son of John Barrows and Ann Thompson.

Their children inclued:
Mehitable Barrow (1666, married Adam Wright),
John Barrow (1667, married Sarah Briggs),
Eliezer Barrow (1669, died young),
George Barrow (1670, married Patience Simmons), and
Samuel Barrow ((1672, married Mercy Coombs and Joanna Smith). 

Ruth died about 1676.

After her death, Robert married Lydia Dunham about 1684. Lydia was born about 1666 in Barnstable. She was the daughter of John Dunham.

Robert and Lydia's children included:
Elisha Barrow (1786, died young),
Robert Barrow (1689, married Bethia Ford),
Thankful Barrow (1692, married Isaac King),
Elisha Barrow (1695),
Thomas Barrow (1697), and
Lydia Barrow (1699, married Thomas Branch).

A Puritan woman's clothing consisted of underpants, stockings, linen, shift, petticoat, chemise (underblouse), bolster (a padded roll tied around the hips under the skirt), bodice, skirt, apron, coif (cap), outer gown and shoes. A woman might wear a ruff or bow and an apron. Cloaks were worn instead of coats. Women carried a small cloth draw-string bag or reticule and perhaps wore a chatelaine.

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.

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.

New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.

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


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

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, edited by Francis Bazley Lee

Robert Barrows, only son of John and Anne Barrow, was born probably in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and removed with his father to Plymouth Colony, the immigrant evidently not finding the Puritanical atmosphere of Salem to agree with churchmanship.

He married (first) November 28, 1666, Ruth, daughter of George and Sarah (Morton) Bonum, of Plymouth. His homestead in Plymouth contained two or more acres of ground on the northerly side of Mill street, then a common road leading into Plymouth, and afterwards known as the King's Highway, and now Summer street. This estate was conveyed to Robert Barrows, January 30, 1669, by George Bonum, and bounded by:

ye Great street on ye Southerly side of ye town of Plymouth, and by ye street that goeth up from ye grist mill to ye Fort Hill so called with ye dwelling house therein.

The original will of Robert Barrows is on file in the Plymouth probate office. It is dated December 9, 1707, and signed " X the mark of Robert Barrows." It mentions by name his wife Lydia, who was his second wife, to whom he was married probably 1684-85, and two only of his sons: Robert and Thomas. In a codicil he makes no mention of the children by his first wife "because they have already received their poretions of his estate" but names "Elisha and my daughters by my second wife." Lydia, daughter of John Dunham, who was his second wife, is made executrix of the will which was probated December 19, 1707, before Nathaniel Thomas, judge.

The children of Robert and Ruth (Bonum) Barrows were born at the homestead in Plymouth as follows:
1. John, born 1667, who married (first) Sarah Briggs, and (second) in 1714, Bethia King; resided in Plymouth and Plympton; he died in 1720.
2. Eliezer, September 15, 1669, died December, 1669.
3. George, 1670, married three times; died in Plympton, Massachusetts, 1758.
4. Samuel, 1672, married (first) Mercy Coombs; (second) Joanna Smith; died in Middleboro, Massachusetts, December 30, 1755.
5. Mehitable, married, June 20, 1717, Adam Wright, and were first settlers of Plympton.

The children of Robert and Lydia (Dunham) Barrows were:
6. Elisha, March 17, 1686, died 1689.
7. Robert, November 8, 1689, married Bethia Ford, lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and in Mansfield, Connecticut, where he died August 17, 1779.
8. Thankful, December 8, 1692, married, February 11, 1713-14, Isaac King.
9. Elisha, June 16, 1695, married (first) Thankful , and (second) Nellie; died in Rochester, Massachusetts.
10.Thomas, February 14, 1697
11. Lydia, March 19, 1699, married, October 11, 1720, Thomas Branch, of Plymouth, where she lived and died.

ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.
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©Roberta Tuller 2019
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