An American Family History

John Grafton

Merchant sailors were vital to the economy of the American Colonies. They could become wealthy, but suffered very high mortality rates.

John Grafton was born about 1638. His father was Joseph Grafton. (some sources have his parents as Joshua and Mary Grafton)

He was a mariner.

He married Seeth Gardner on December 1, 1659. Seeth (Ruth) was baptized on October 25, 1636 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Thomas Gardner and the widow of Joshua Conant. Savage incorrectly (I believe) wrote that she married Joseph Grafton.

Joshua Conant, Sr. was a sea captain who died in England in 1659. Joshua and Seeth had a son, Joshua Conant.

Seeth died on April 17, 1707 in Salem.

After Seeth died, he married Judith Clark in Boston,

He died on November 24, 1716.

Children of Joseph Grafton:
  • Elizabeth Grafton
  • Priscilla Grafton Gardner
  • Joseph Grafton
  • John Grafton
  • Nathaniel Grafton
  • Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.



    It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

    Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

    From A History and Genealogy of the Conant family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant

    Joshua [Conant] (Roger), b. about 1630, in Salem. Very little can be ascertained about him except that he was a sea captain; lived in Marblehead 1657, and d. in England in 1659. It seems probable that he was the person referred to in the following extract from a letter of Rev. John Davenport to John Winthrop, junior, dated New Haven, 14th, 2nd, 1655:

    Captaine Cofiant is better, they have putt such household stuffe as they shall have use of into a vessel bound hitherward purposing to keepe house here.

    If the family removed to Connecticut their stay was short, for no record of the name remains in the New Haven Colonial Records.

    He m. Seeth [Gardner, d. of Thomas, bapt. at Salem, 25: 10: 1636. After his death she m. (2) John Grafton, as appears by the following record: "John Grafton and Seeth his wife were married 1: 10 mo: 1650.[?]

    The inventory of his estate was taken 28 May, 1659, by John Poor and Richard Prince; the amount was £180 17s.; charges due John Gardner, £35 7s. 11d. In 1659 (Nov.):

    This court doe appoynt Thomas Gardner administrator to the Estate of Joshua Conant who dyed intestate in England and is to be accountable for said Estate. (County Court Records.)

    Child of Joshua and Seeth (gardner?) Conant:
    17. Joshua, b. 15 Apr., 1657, at Salem; bap. 4 June, 1657.

    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.
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    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
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    Watauga Settlement
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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