An American Family History

Henry Collins, Sr.

Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled by English Puritans in 1629 and was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus.
The Massachusetts Bay Company was a trading company chartered in 1629 to settle an English colony in New England. Puritan leaders saw it as a religious and political refuge. About  900 colonists arrived in 1630.

Henry Collins, Sr. was born in 1606 in Stepney Parish, London, Middlesex County, England. His parents were Henry Collins (1580) and Ann (1582).

He married Ann whose last name is not know about 1627 in Stepney Parish London, Middlesex County, England. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Henry and Ann Collins.

He was a starch maker. Starch makes laundered clothing crisp and smooth. It was needed in the 17th century to stiffen elaborate ruffs and fluted collars. It was a luxury product and probably not as much in demand in colonial America.

He brought his family to Amercia in 1635. He was made a freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony on March 9, 1637. In 1638, eighty acres of land, upland and meadow, were assigned him. He lived on Essex Street. Lynn records show that he served as selectman. In 1639 he was a member of the Salem Court. In 1657 he was selected to help lay out Nahant in planting lots.

In September, 1662 he testified that he was about 55 years old and that he knew the mill on Sangamon Hill in Lynn that had belonged to John Humfrey that that it had been very useful. After Humfrey left the country they had to take their corn to Salem to grind since the other mill in Lynn was sometimes dried up in summer and frozen in winter.

His will was dated February 10, 1686. He mentioned his wife, his son-in-law Johnson (Mary’s husband), sons Henry, Joseph, and Benjamin and daughters Margery, Hannah, and Elizabeth. It refered to his son John, deceased. 

He died on February 20, 1687 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts and was buried in Lynn.

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.

Children of Anne and
Henry Collins, Sr.

  • Anne Collins
  • Henry Collins, Jr.
  • John Collins
  • Margery Collins Williams
  • Hannah Collins Ingersoll
  • Joseph Collins
  • Mary Collins Johnson
  • Benjamin Collins
  • Children of Anne and
    Henry Collins, Sr.

  • Anne Collins
  • Henry Collins, Jr.
  • John Collins
  • Margery Collins Williams
  • Hannah Collins Ingersoll
  • Joseph Collins
  • Mary Collins Johnson
  • Benjamin Collins
  • Ruff

    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.

    Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."


    Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.

    In his will, dated 11 February 1686/7 and proved 31 March 1687, Henry Collins, Senior, of Lynn, aged 82 or thereabouts, being weak and infirm in body

    confirmed the gifts of land given to my own natural children or those that stand related to me by marriage with any of my daughters including" ''my son Johnson upon marriage with my daughter,

    my dear and loving wife, who hath ever been tender of my and industrious in her place in procuring what outward estate God hath bestowed upon us" to receive the benefit of all the housing and lands;

    my movables, chattels, cattle, etc. at her disposal to either my own children or my grandchildren as she shall see cause at her decease;

    after wife's decease, lands and meadows wheresoever divided equally among my three sons, Henry, Joseph and Benjamin,

    only my eldest son Henry have 30 pounds worth of land more;

    to my son Benjamin, ten acres of land in my planting field;

    to 'my daughter Margery,'30;

    to 'my daughters Hannah and Elizabeth, 20 a piece;

    as for my son John deceased his portion he received in his life time and so that his children do greatly and peaceably enjoy the same';

    "my children" to be dutiful and tender to 'their aged mother';

    "my loving wife and eldest son, Henry Collins," executors;

    "Mr. Oliver Purchase and Mr. Jeremiah Shepard" overseers.

    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.
    English colonists from Salem were the first settlers in Lynn.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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