An American Family History

Metcalf Family of Medway

  click here for the Metcalf Family of Ipswich  

The American Flag was adopted in 1777.

Benjamin Metcalf was born on March 12, 1704/5 in Norwich. Connecticut. He was the son of Ebenezer Metcalf and Hannah Abell.

Benjamin married Sarah Abell on October 26, 1726 in Lebanon, Connecticut. Sarah was born on Mar 2, 1704/5. She was the daughter of Captain John Abell and Rebecca Sluman.

Benjamin and Sarah's children probably included:

Benjamin Metcalf, Jr (1727, married Mary Matoon),
Zebulon Metcalf (1729, married Lydia Bourne),
Abel Metcalf (1731/2, married Abigail Thorpe),
Lydia Metcal (1734, Stephen Lee),
Andrew Metcal (1736, married Zerviah Hyde),
Sarah Metcalf (1738, married Nathan Lee),
Ebenezer Metcalf (1741, died young),
Rebecca Metcalf (1744, married William Alden), and
Ann Metcalf (1747/8).

Benjamin died on Oct. 10, 1777 in what is now Bozrah. Connecticut. Sarah died on Apr 27, 1781 also in Bozrah.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.


Michael Metcalf was born on August 12, 1706. He was the son of Michael Metcalf and Lydia White.

He married Meletiah Hamant on July 2,1728 in Medway, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

Oliver Metcalf (1729),
Michael Metcalf, Jr. (1730),
Melatiah Metcalf (1732),
Amity Metcalf (1733),
Abijah Metcalf (1735, married Mercy Ellis),
Sarah Metcalf (1737, married Amos Davis, Jr.),
Burgess Metcalf (1741),
Silas Metcalf (1745).

Michael, Sr. died in 1771.


Jonathan Metcalf was born on January 16, 1714/15 in Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Michael Metcalf and Lydia White.

He married Mary Adams. Mary was born on October 7, 1722 in Medway. She was the daughter of Eleazer and Margaret Adams.

Jotham Metcalf (1747),
Meriam Metcalf (1750 ),
Luke Metcalf (1751/2),
John Metcalf
Comfort Metcalf (1755),
Solomon Metcalf (1757 ), and
Simeon Metcalf.

During the American Revolution, Jonathan was a sergeant in Ashley's Regiment.


Abijah Metcalf was born on July 2, 1735 in Medway, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Michael Metcalf and Meletiah Hamant

He married Mercy Ellis.

Abijah and Mercy's children included:

Amity Metcalf (1763),
Nahum Ellis Metcalf (1765),
Frederick Metcalf (1767, died young),
Frederick Metcalf (768, married Esther Dwinnell),
Zenas Metcalf (1771),
Jason Metcalf (1773),
Priscilla Metcalf (1775),
Jason Metcalf (1777),
Priscilla Metcalf (1779),
Hannah Metcalf (1781),
Mercy Metcalf (1783),
Cynthia Metcalf (1786).

Abijah died on September 3, 1815 in Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.



It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.
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.
A sawmill was an important developmental step in a community. Before sawmills, boards could only be sawn by two men with a whipsaw. In a sawmill, the circular motion of a water wheel was changed to the back-and-forth motion of the saw blade with a pitman arm.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register

Michael Metcalf, the emigrant ancestor of this family, was born in Tatterford, county of Norfolk, Eng., 1586. He followed the occupation of a Dornix weaver, [dornix is a coarse wool and linen fabric] in the city of Norwich, in the same county, where he was made freeman, June 21,1618.

His wife, Sarah, was born in the adjoining town of Waynham, (?) June 17, 1593, where they were married Oct 13, 1616. Their seven eldest children were born in St.Benedict's, Norwich, and four, afterward, at St. Edmondsbury. [He wrote]

I was persecuted,in the land of my father's sepulchres, for not bowing at the name of Jesus, and observing other ceremonies in religion, forced upon me, at the instance of Bishop Wren of Norwich and his chancellor Dr. Corbet, whose violent measures troubled me in the Bishop's Court, and returned me into the High Commissioners' Court.

Suffering many times for the cause of religion, I was forced, for the sake of the liberty of my conscience, to flee from my wife and children, to go into New England; taking ship for the voyage at London the 17th of Sep' 1636; being by tempests tossed up and down the seas till the Christmas following; then veering about to Plymouth in Old England; in which time I met with many sore afflictions.

Leaving the ship, I went down to Yarmouth, in Norfolk county, whence I shipped myself and family, to come to New England; sailed 15th April, 1637, and arrived three days before midsummer, with my wife, nine children, and a servant.

The name of this servant, appears to have been Thomas Comberbach, aged 16. (Manuscript of Hon. James Savage.)

The above extracts, we take from a copy of his letter, written in Plymouth, Eng., Jan. 13, 1636, on his voyage hither; directed, "To all the true professors of Christ's Gospel within the city of Norwich." In the postscript, he remarks,

my enemies conspired against me to take away my life, and, sometimes, to avoid their hands, my wife did hide me in the roof of the house, covering me over with straw....

Michael Metcalf was admitted a townsman at Dedham, July 14,1637; joined the church in 1639; and was Selectman in 1641. His name stands first, on the Committee, chosen to "contrive the fabricke of a meetinghouse."

His wife, Sarah, died Nov. 30, 1644; m. 2d widow Mary Pidge, of Roxbury, Aug 13, 1645...

Michael Metcalf, died, Dec. 27, 1664. Will proved, and an Inventory of his Estate taken, Feb. 1, 1664-5. £364. 18. 05...

The following is an Abstract of the Will of Michael Metcalfe. 15.9. 1664.

Michael Metcalfe senior, of Dedham, being aged, Doe make this my Last will.

Wheras, there is a Covenant Between my selfe and Mary my Wife, made before our marriage, bearing Date the 13th of August 1645, wherein it may appear that she reserved to her selfe, and to her dispose, her Lands, and Estate, so that I received no Estate with her; yet, neverthelesse,

I give unto her ffor the terme of her widowhood, in household stuffe, and other goods, as shee thinkes meete to Chuse, for her use, not exceeding the value of sixteene pounds, and being not such as I shall particularly otherwise Dispose of, in this my Last will; which household stuffe, so Chosen by her, shall Bee to ffurnishe the Roome, which my Executor shall prepare for her, at his house, to Receive her into, after my Decease.

All which household stuffe and goods, I give to my Executor [son Thomas], to have, after the Decease of my wife.

Unto my wife, six pounds, to be paid to her, within one moneth after my Decease, in Currant pay.

Unto Sonne John Metcalfe, of Medfeild

  • one ffeather bed & Bolster,
  • my second Book of Martyrs,
  • Mr [William] Perkins second Book,
  • [Martin] Luther on the gala [Commentary On The Epistle To The Galatians];
  • one silver spoone,
  • one pair of sheets,
  • one Long Chest, in the upper Chamber,
  • one Diaper Boardcloth [a woven wool cloth with a repeated pattern]

Unto my Executor [son Thomas] &; his Heires,

  • all that my Land in Naponset plaine [Neponset plain in Massachusetts], 
  • and three Acres Laying in ye Low plaine, next Peter Woodwards. 
  • Also, halfe my Divident in ye Cedar swampe, neer the Saw mill,
  • & 3 Commons & ye odde.

Unto my Grandchild, Michael Metcalfe, the Elder,

  • all that my Land and Improvements within the Lott I Dwell in,
  • my three acres in ye wigwaom plaine,
  • my swompe next my house, provided he give my Executor that Litle parcell of his swampe west end of his house, otherwise my gifte to be voyd.
  • Also I give him my Naticke Dividend of twenty three acres, more or Lesse;
  • four Cow Commons;
  • halfe my Cedar swampe,
  • at the Saw mill;
  • my wood Land, at the West end of the Towne;
  • all the particulars I have belonging to husbandry, in one Kind or another;
  • all the Remainer of my Household stuffe not Disposed of in this my Will.
  • Also my first Book of Martyrs,
  • Mr Perkins ffirst Booke,
  • one silver spoone.

To my Daughter [Mary] Wilson, ffortye shillings.

To my Daughter Elizabeth Bancrafte, ffive pounds.

To my Daughter, Martha Stow, twenty shillings.

To my Daughter, Joane Waker, forty shillings.

To my Daughter Rebecca Mackentosh, ffive pounds.

To my wife's Daughter, Martha Bullerd, twenty shillings.

To my Daughter, Sarah Onion, three pounds.

All which six Legacyes, Last named, shall bee paid at, in, or Before, the second March next after my Decease, in Current payment.

To my Daughter Stowes Eldest sonne, which she had by her first husband, Wm Brignall, ffour pounds, to bee paid him, when he shall attayne to Lawful age.

To my Grandchild, abovesaid, Jno. Mackintosh & Robert Onyon, all my wearing apparell, to bee equally divided by my Executr, in order as their names bee heer set Downe; my Granchild to choose ffirst:

To my Granchild, abovesaid, all the Lumber in my House.

Moreover, if any of ye p sons that are Legatees in ye my present will, shall by themselues, or by any others, make, or Cause to bee made, any Disturbance, or Contortion, in word or Deed, in Reference to any thing given, in this my will; then, all that Legacye, to that p son, shall be utterly voyde. 

Thomas Metcalfe, of Dedham, my sonne, to be my executor, to whom I give all the Rest of my Lands and Goods, not formerly Disposed of. 

Michael Metcalfe. 

Before the witnessing hereof, I give to my Grandchild abovesaid,

  • my single acre of Meddow,
  • also my Largest gray Horsmans Coate [long loose overcoat],
  • also two oxen,
  • one Cow, to bee Delivered to him at Lawfull age.

All the Books, aforesaid, given to my sonne John, after his Death, I give them to his sonne Michael, my Grand childe.

Signed and sealed in the presence of us,

Peter X Woodward His Marke.
Jonathan ffairbanke
Edward Rawson, Recorder.

Children of Michael, and Sarah Metcalf, all born in England, were,

I. Michael, b. Nov. 13, 1617, died young, in England.
II. Mary, b. Feb. 14, 1618, m. Henry Wilson, Nov. 24, 1642.
III. Michael, b. Aug. 29, 1620, m. Mary, dau. of John Fairbanks, sen. April 2' 1644, d. in Dedham, Dec. 24, 1654.
IV. John, b. Sep. 5, 1622, m. Mary, dau. of Francis Chickering, March 22, 1647, d. Nov. 27,1675.
V. Sarah, b. Sep. 10. 1624, m. Robert Onion, of Dedham.
VI. Elizabeth, b. Oct. 4, 1626, m. Thomas Bancroft, of Reading, Sep. 15, 1648.
VII. Martha, b. March 27, 1628, m. 1st Wm. Brignall, 2nd. Christopher Smith, Aug. 2, 1654, Stow.
VIII. Thomas, b. Dec. 27, 1629, m. 1st Sarah Paige, Sep. 12, 1655 or 6, 2nd Anne Paine, Dec. 2, 1679. He was Deac. at Dedham; d. Nov. 16, 1702.
IX. Ann, b. March, 1, 1631, died young, in England.
X Jane, b. March 24, 1632, m. Samuel Walker, of Rehoboth.
XI. Rebeka, b. April 5, 1635, m. John Mackintosh, of Dedham, April 5, 1659. 


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.

A Puritan was a member of the religious group in the 16th and 17th centuries that advocated "purity" of worship and doctrine who believed in personal and group piety. Puritans were persecuted in England and came to America so they would be free to practice their religion.
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.
William Perkins

MICHAEL, and MARY, had,

I. Michael, b. Jan. 21, 1645, m. Elizabeth, dau. of John Kingsbury, Sep. 17, 1672, d. Sep. 1st or 2nd, 1693. She d. Oct. 24, 1732.
II. Mary b. Aug. 15, 1646, m. John Ware; Dec. 10, 1668 had 9 sons and 2 daughters. III. Sarah b. Dec. 7, 1648, m. Robert Ware of Wrentham, June 4, 1677.
IV. Jonathan, (35.) b. Sep. 21, 1650, m. Hannah, dau. of John Kenric, April 10, 1674, d. May 27, 1727. She d. Dec. 23, 1731. (17.)
V. Eleazer, b. March 20, 1653; was Deac. at Wrentham, m. April 9, 1684.





from The Driver Family

Hon. John George Metcalf, in an article on the Metcalf Family in the New Eng. Geneal. Register, Vol. XVI. p. 181, states that Michael Metcalfe, of Dedham, Mass., was undoubtedly the progenitor of the Metcalf families in New England, born in Tatterford, Co. of Norfolk, Eng., in 1586; resided for some years in the city of Norwich, Eng., where he was a linen weaver.

At first he did not start with his family, and after being " tossed up and down," from the 17th of Sept., 1636, till the followiug Christimas, came to Plymonth, Old England, — having sailed from London.

The second attempt he sailed from Yarmouth; arrived in Boston three days before midsummer, 1637, with his wife, nine children, and a servant. He immediately removed to Dedham, Mass.; made a freeman of the town July 16, 1637; died Dec. 24, 1664. He was a Nonconformist, and emigrated to escape the persecutions of Matthew Wren, then Bishop of Norwich, and his Chancellor, Dr. Corbit (New Eng. Geneal. Register, Vol. XVI. p. 181)....

Holten in his "List of Emigrants to New England," mentions only " Michill Metcalfe, April 8,1637 — of Norwch Dornix, Weauear aged 45 years, and Sarrah, his wife aged 39 years with 8 children, Michill; Thomas; Marey; Sarrah; Elizabeth; Martha; Joane; and Rebeca; and his sarvant Thomas Comberbach aged 16 years ar desirous to passe to boston in New England to inhabitt."

Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts was settled in 1635 by English Puritans.

Metcalf, Abijah and Mercy. Children:
Amity, b. Nov. 10, 1763;
Nahum Ellis, b. Mar. 14, 1765;
Frederick, b. May 13, 1767, d. Sept. 11, 1767;
Frederick, b. June 11, 1768;
Zenas, b. Jan. 19, 1771;
Jason, b. Apr. 29, 1773;
Priscilla, b. Mar. 15, 1775;
Jason, b. July 27, 1777;
Priscilla, b. June 8, 1779;
Hannah, b. Apr. 27, 1781;
Mercy, b. Mar. 9, 1783;
Cynthia, b. Jan. 20, 1786.

Colonial Maryland
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Quakers & Mennonites
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Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
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Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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