“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Watertown was settled in 1630 by English Puritans in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
Bond's genealogy of Watertown is available on Kindle.
Colonial legislatures granted land to a group of settlers (proprietors) who chose how to divide the land. They had some rights of governance.
Nathan Fiske, Sr. was born about 1615 in Suffolk, England.
Nathan married Susannah. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Nathan and Susannah Fiske.
He was a resident of Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts as early as 1642 and was admitted as a freeman on May 10, 1643. He bought land there on October 7, 1643. In the third inventory of estates taken in Watertown about 1644, Nathan Fiske was the proprietor of a lot of nine acres of upland bounded east by Edward Howe, west by Robert Harrington, north by Richard Gale, and south with the highway.
He was chosen surveyor of the highways on January 9, 1659/60. He was made constable for 1662.
According to Watertown Town Records
At ameting of the feleckt men at the meting houfe the 23 of the 9th munth 1672...it was ordered that nathan fisk and Simon Stone should warn willyeam whitbarn to depart out of ye towne of waturtown
At ameting of the Seleckt men at Simon Stones the 20th of the 10th munth 1672
allfoo that nathan fisk John whitny and Ifack mickftur should goo about the town to fee that chilldren wear taught to Read the inglish tunge and to be cattycyfed
He was made selectman of the town in 1673.
His sister, Martha Fiske Underwood, wife of Martin Underwood, testified that he "was very crazy in his memory" before he died. His will (witnessed by Joseph Taynter and William) was dated June 19 and he died on June 21, 1676 in Watertown.
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.
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.
In early New England towns policy was set by a board of 3 to 5 selectmen. They oversaw public responsibilities such as the policing, roads, and fences.
from Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: Genealogical, Volume 3
Nathan Fiske, the New England immigrant, son of Nathaniel and Dorothy (Symonds) Fiske, of county Suffolk, England, was born in Sufiolk about 1615. He was a resident of Watertown, Massachusetts, as early as 1642, was admitted a freeman there May 10, 1643, made selectman of the town, in 1673, and died there June 21, 1676. His wife’s name was Susanna.