An American Family History

John Kitchen and Elizabeth Grafton

Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
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."
ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

John Kitchen and Elizabeth Grafton married in Salem about 1655. They were Quakers who were precuted for their beliefs. He was a cordwainer.

Both John and Elizabeth had been married before.

Elizabeth had been married to John Saunders.

John had children with his first wife who was also named Elizabeth.

John and his first wife's children probably included:
Elizabeth Kitchen (about 1643),
Hannah Kitchen (about 1643),
Joseph Kitchen (about 1645),
John Kitchen (about 1646), and
Mary Kitchen Robinson Hanson (about 1648).

Joseph and John probably died young.

On December 26, 1642 John Kitchen and his wife were admitted to the first church of Salem.

Robert Kitchen was baptized on February 15, 1655. Benjamin Kitchen was born June 26, 1660 and died July 15, 1660. Abigail Kitchen Guppy and Priscilla Kitchen Hunn may also be their daughters.

John died in 1676 and Elizabeth died in 1678.

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.

The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

A cordwainer (or cordwinder) made shoes from fine, soft leather. There was a distinction between a cordwainer, who made shoes, and a cobbler who repaired them.



Early Quakers were persecuted. In the Massachusetts Bay colony, Friends were banished on pain of death.

Priscilla Kitchen, Quakeress of Salem, Mass., and Kent County, Del., and Her Family by George Valentine Massey II, New England Historical and Genealogical Register Volume CVI January 1952, pp. 38-50

. . . Priscilla Kitchen's family was among those who make Salem famous. John and Elizabeth (Grafton) Kitchen, her parents, were Quaker non-conformists. Her brother, Robert, and his son, Edward, eminent shipping merchants

second to none among the early mercantile families which built up Salem's trade long before the Derbys and Crowninshields had begun to figure as merchant princes.

The Kitchen family, long extinct in the male line, through daughters is represented in Salem by such names as Turner, Sargent, Bowditch, and Moriarty. . .

The first real trouble in Salem was in June, 1658, when the Court sat at the Ship Tavern on the main street, and complaints were heard of disorderly meetings at Nicholas Phelps' and Lawrence Southwick's. Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick were among those sent to the House of correction who appealed to the Salem magistrates:

From ye house of bondage in Boston whar in we are made Captives by ye will of men although in measure made free by ye Son.

All had been whipped once, Cassandra, twice. The controversy grew more bitter, others were troubled with the new doctrine, Elizabeth Kitchen (Priscilla's mother) was presented for absence from the Puritan Church. . .

But the laws to suppress Quakers had the opposite effect; their biased trials and severe punishment aroused great sympathy, increased their following. Individualist John Kitchen, Elizabeth's husband, had eagerly embraced this non-creed shackled doctrine of Inner Light.

Understand the Puritans better:

. . .For their religious opinions the persecution of John and Elizabeth Kitchen was severe, in fines alone John paid upward of 40 pounds sterling for being a Quaker. He, nevertheless, prospered as cordwainer, and at his death, by will proved 30:4:1676, bequeathed a good estate, including considerable realty, to his wife, and son, Robert, mentioned "ye rest of my children."

An early American tavern (or ordinary) was an important meeting place and they were strictly supervised. Innkeepers were respectable members of the community. Taverns offered food and drink. An inn also offered accommodation.

Essex Institute Historical Collection by Essex Institute, Peabody Essex Museum, 1915

Kitchen appears to have had two wives, each named Elizabeth, for upon 26: 12 : 1642, John Kitchen and wife were admitted to the First Church. After the word "wife" in the record is written the word "dead." . . .

The will of Joseph Grafton being defective, was not allowed, but the heirs, on 26 June, 1681, agreed to divide the property according to the will, and in the division we find a bequest to Robert Kitchen of £5, and to his three sisters of 20 shillings each.

On 1 November, 1675, Elizabeth Kitchen, aged 50 years, testified thus, showing she was born in or about 1625. From the above it will appear that she was undoubtedly the child of Capt. Joseph Grafton, although somewhat older than most of his children, and was probably the child of a first wife in England. Elizabeth Kitchen, who should be venerated for her sufferings at the hands of the Bay authorities because of her Quaker principles, was alive as late as 3 March, 1678-9.

Children by first wife Elizabeth:
2. Elizabeth, bapt. 12 : 1: 1643, First Church, Salem.
3. Hannah, bapt. 12:1: 1643, First Church, Salem. He also had probably by this first wife:
4. Joseph, bapt. 20: 2: 1645; probably d. young.
5. John, bapt. 12: 4: 1646; probably d. young.
6. Mary, bapt. 23: 2: 1648; m. 20 Feb., 1665, Timothy Robinson.

John and Elizabeth Sanders (Grafton) Kitchen had:
7. Robert, bapt. 15: 2: 1655.
8. Benjamin, b. 26: 6: 1660; d. 15: 7: 1660.
9. Abigail, m., 3:4: 1669, John Guppy.
10. Priscilla, m., Oct., 1672, Nathaniel Hunn of Boston.

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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