An American Family History

Richard and Elizabeth Linton

Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

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

Richard Linton and his wife, Elizabeth married in England.

Their daughter, Anna Linton Waters, was born about 1613.

Rachel Linton Kibbe was born about 1615.

The family immigrated to American and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1639, the first inventory of grants and possessions showed that Richard Linton had eight acres bounded on the east by Hill Street, on the west by Thomas Smith and Ellis Barron, on the north by Thomas Boyson, and on the south by William Godfrey. In 1636, the third inventory showed that he still had eight acres.

By 1643 the Lintons were in a group of settlers who moved to Nashaway Plantation. They were to prepare the way for further settlement and to operate the trading post on George Hill. It was called a "trucking house." Trucking is an archaic word for bartering.

In September, 1645 he sold his house and land in Watertown to Robert Sanderson.

Their daughter and son-in-law, Lawrence and Anna Waters, also moved to Lancaster.

On August 5, 1647 John Cowdall deeded 50 acres in Nashaway to John Prescott

on which parcel of land Richard Linton and Lawrence Waters have planted corn.

In 1653, Richard was among those who subscribed to provide John Prescott with 40 acres on which to build a corn mill and signed the Lancaster covenant.

In 1654

Itt is ordred by the greater voat of the selectmen that noe second devisions of Land shall be Laid out to any planter within the Compass of two miles of the house of Richard Linton

In 1659 he gave his daughter Ann and her husband 15 acres in Lancaster. The deed was not filed until 1674 until Elizabeth Linton's rights were ended by her death.

Richard died in 1665. On June 14, 1665 his estate was inventoried by John Prescott and Ralph Houghton and it was proved on June 20, 1665. The estate was only £29 4s 0d, since he had already deeded his property.

Their grandson, George Bennett, was killed by the indigenous warriors in August, 1675.

Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
was captured by Native Americans
during King Philip's War (1675-1676).
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.
Watertown was settled in 1630 by English Puritans in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Lancaster was first settled as "Nashaway" in 1643. It was officially incorporated as "Lancaster on the Nashua" in 1653. It originally included many current towns in central Massachusetts. It was the home of Mary Rowlandson. During King Philip's War the town suffered several massacres. It was abandoned in 1680 and resettled several years later.

Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.



I Richard Linton of Lanchaster do bestow uto my daughter Ann Waters the wife of Lawrence Waters of the same towne tenne acres of land in the North part of my house lott . . . 

also one acker more. . . which is apart of my Orchard adjoyning unto the house lott of the abovesaid Lawrence Waters and

also all the fruit trees (reserving fruit for self and wife and use of the orchard land for their lives). . . 

I also give unto my abovesaid Daughter Anna Waters four ackers of intervale [rich, fertile bottomland]. . . at the planters (adjacent to sd Lawrence Waters & which was given him the said Richard Linton by the towne in consideration of a highway),
13 Mar. 1659,
Signed Elizabeth Linton, by mark, George Benet, Lydia Benet,
Wit: Steven Gates; Jacob Farrer


I Richard Lenton of Lancaster do make this my deed of gift in manner & form as follows:

First I give to George Bennet, & Lydia his wife (my Grand child) fourty & five Acres of land lying at ye south end of bare hill. . .  & eight acres of Enterveile [intervale] land . . . to them, their heeres or assignes. for ever.

Further I do give to ye abovesaid Lydia Bennet: six Acres of the East end of my houselot, & ten Acres of my enterveile lot at Quasaponakin, next unto ye gate as it is begun to be broken up. . .

 & also ye Meadow I call my little meadow,

like wise one halfe of ye Commons & Commanage belonging to me: these I do give her to have & to hold from ye day of ye dte hereof, for ye terme of her naturall life.

& ye remainder of my house lot & orchard (excepting one Acre of it wch formerly by deed of gift I have given to my daughter Anne, now wife of Laurence Waters) dwelling house, barne, or hout housing, with ye other ten Acres of my intervaile Lot, with ye rest of my meadow, (wch I reserve for myselfe & my wife for the terme of or naturall life)

I ye said Richard Lenton, & Elisabeth my wife, Doe give with this proviso, viz:

yt if wee Richard Lenton, & Elizabeth my wife, or either of us, so long as wee shall live, do fall into such a condition yt for or maintenance, wee Shld have need to sell or mortgage, the whole or part, the said Lydia Bennet or grandchild shll have the refusall of it, but if yr bee no such need, wee as aforesaid to give to ye said Lydia, & to enter in possession thereof after or Deaths, & to enjoy ye same till such time as John Bennet, son & heire of George Bennet abovesaid shall be of the full age of nineteen yeers, at which time hee shall enter into possession of the said remainder of my house lot, wth my orchard (but wch is excepted) dwelling house, barn or other housing, wth ye ten Acres of my intervaile lot, the rest of my meadow, wth halfe of the Commonage. belonging to me . . . & if living at ye deaths of his father and mother, George & Lydia . . . then to enter into possession . . . 

But if ye said John Bennet decease without heire lawfully begotten, ye said lands, rights, & titles shall passe in ye same manner abovesaid to ye other children of the fore named Lydia Bennet, they to be coheirs: but if ye said Lydia dye without heire, male or femaile lawfully begotten ye said lands (etc.) given by me, ye said Richard Lenton to my grandchild Lydia Bennet, & her lawfull Heires, I doe give to my daughter Anne Waters, wife to Lawrence Waters, & her heirs lawfully begotten, & so for want of heirs, alwayes to ye next lawfull heir of ye same lineage:

& for my mooveable goods, wt is reserved after my death, & ye death of my Wife, I give to George Bennet & Lydia Bennet his Wife.,

In confirmation of which deed of gift I hereunto set my hand. this 7th of 11th mo 1662.

Wit Roger Summner, Nathaniell Joccelin his mark
Richard Linton his mark.

The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.

When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.




from Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens

Testifyed uppon oath by Laurence Waters (his soone in lawe & one of the witnesses) by order from the said Linton, 6th ...

I Richard Lenton of Lancaster do make this my deed of gift in manner & form as follows: First I give to George Bennet,


Powers-Banks Ancestry by William Howard Powers 

In the account of the will of Richard Linton [Winsor, History of Duxbury, p. 415] he is said to have left part of his land to his grandson, George Bennet. Linton's name appears frequently in the index. Savage suggests that he was of Governor Cradock's company at Medford in 1630 and at Watertown in 1638. There he deeded a house to Robert Sanderson in September, 1645. He was earlier than that at Lancaster. His daughter Ann married Lawrence Waters of Lancaster. He died 30 March, 1665.


The Tucker Genealogy by Tyler Seymour Morris

Richard Linton was of Medford, Mass, in 1630, Watertown in 1638, and one of the first settlers of Lancaster in 1643, where he died March 30, 1665. Inventory filed June 20, 1665.

The Lancaster inhabitants adopted a covenant on Nov. 28, 1653. Among the signers were John Whitcomb, John Prescott, Richard Linton and Lawrence Waters.

A list containing the several estates of the planters who by covenant, according to the rules thereof, have engaged that it may thereby be known what shall be their proportion of land, which by covenant every planter may make claim unto, in a second, third or other division of land, and also of meadow, within the town of Lancaster,

dated in 1654.

John Prescott £366 15s 0d.
Thomas Sawyer £110
John Whitcomb £241
Lawrence Waters £277
Richard Linton £90
Together with 24 others....

[Total] £4,701 17s 0d.

Anne, born married Lawrence Waters.

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

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.
John Winthrop (1587/8 – 1649) was a leading figure in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He led the first migrants from England in 1630 and served as governor for twelve years. His vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England's development.

Historical Collections: Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biograpical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts, with Geographical Descriptions by John Warner Barber

The settlement of this town goes far back into the early history of Massachusetts. According to [John] Winthrop, the plantation of Nashaway was undertaken in 1643. The whole territory around was in subjection to Sholan or Shaumay, sachem of the Nashaways, and whose residence was at Waushacum, now Sterling. Sholan occasionally visited Watertown for the purpose of trading with Mr. Thomas King, who resided there. He recommended Nashawogg to King as a place well suited for a plantation, and invited the English to come and dwell near him. Accordingly King, united with a number of others, purchased the land of Sholan, and procured a deed for 10 miles in length and 8 in breadth, stipulating that the English should not molest the Indians in their hunting, fishing, or planting places. This deed was confirmed by the general court.

The precise time of the removal to Lancaster is not known. The first building was a "tracking house," erected by Symonds and King, about a mile south-west of the church. Mr. King sold all his interest in this grant to his associates, who, having given lots of land to Richard Linton, Lawrence Waters and John Ball, sent them up to make preparation for the general coming of the proprietors, and these were the first inhabitants. Others by the name of Prescott, Atherton, and Sawyer, soon followed.

For the space of seven years little was done to forward the settlement of the plantation; nevertheless, there being nine families in the place, they petitioned the general court to be incorporated as a town, which was granted on the 18th of May, 1653, (O.S.) by the name of Lancaster. The first town meeting on record was held in the summer of 1654, probably soon after the petition just mentioned was granted. At the next meeting it was voted not to take into the town above 35 families, and the names of 25 individuals are signed who are to be considered as townsmen.

Colonial legislatures granted land to a group of settlers (proprietors) who chose how to divide the land. They had some rights of governance.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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