An American Family History

The Whitcomb Family

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.

John Whitcomb was born in 1588 in England.

He married Frances Coggan.

Catherine Whitcomb (1624 married, Rodolphus Ellmes),
John Whitcomb, Jr. (1626)
Jonathan Whitcomb (1628)
Robert Whitcomb (1629),
James Whitcomb (1632),
Joan Whitcomb (1634)
Job Whitcomb ( 1636)
Josiah Whitcomb (1638, married Rebecca Waters),
Abigail Whitcomb (1642)
Mary Whitcomb (1647)

The family emmigrated to New England.

By 1636 he was a proprietor of Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

About 1640 they moved to Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts

In 1652 John admitted as freeman.

They moved to Lancaster, Massachusetts. The Lancaster inhabitants adopted a covenant on November 28, 1653. Among the signers were John Whitcomb.

John died on September 24, 1662.

Frances died on May 17, 1671.

John Whitcomb was drowned on April 7, 1683 in Lancaster.

Upon y 7th of April 1683 Lancaster A Jury of Inquest was Caled to give in their virdict concerning ye untimely death of John Whitcomb, we whose names are underwriten doe by what we understand by ye brother of ye deceased by name Jonathan Whitcomb and one more by name George huse who was standing on ye shore and saw how ye said John Whitcomb felle into ye water, do here unanimously give in our virdict thus, that ye sd John Whitcomb and Jonathan Whitcomb being bringing some hay over ye river upon two canooes indeavoring to pull them over by a rope which was fastned to a bough at ye river side, but ye cannooes sinking ye said John Whitcomh falling into ye river was by a providence of god drownded in pennecuk river this instant Aprill.

Suffolk County, Massachusetts was created by the Massachusetts General Court on May 10, 1643. It initially contained Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Dedham, Braintree, Weymouth.

Jonathan Whitcomb was born in 1628 in England. He was the son of John Whitcomb.

His wife was named Hannah.

Hannah Whitcomb (1668, died as an infant),
Jonathan Whitcomb (1669, married Mary Blood),
Hannah Whitcomb (1671, married Joseph Blood),
Abigail Whitcomb (1674, married William Kelsey),
Elizabeth Whitcomb (1676, married Daniel Powers),
Katherine Whitcomb (1678),
Ruth Whitcomb (1680),
Mary Whitcomb (1682),
John Whitcomb (1684),

Jonathan died in February, 1690

On July 18, 1692 Hannah, was killed in Lancaster.

... a small band of Indians surprised the family of Peter Joslin, on the west side of the Neck, while he was absent in the field, killed Mrs. Sarah Joslin, Mrs. Hannah Whitcomb and three young children, and took away as prisoners Elizabeth Hows, the sister of' Mrs. Joslin, and Peter Joslin, aged about six years. The boy was butchered in the wilderness. Elizabeth, a girl of sixteen years, when the Indians approached the house, was singing at the spinning-wheel, and tradition says escaped the fate of her sister because of her captors’ admiration for her song. She was ransomed from Canada after four years of captivity. (from History of Worcester County, Massachusettsby Duane Hamilton Hurd)



Jonathan Whitcomb was born on February 26, 1669 in Lancaster, Massachusetts. he was the son of Jonathan Whitcomb.

He married Mary Blood.

Jonathan Whitcomb (1699, married Deliverance Nutting),
Joseph Whitcomb
Nathaniel Whitcomb
Hannah Whitcomb (married Joseph Powers),
Martha Whitcomb (1701)
Ephraim Whitcomb (1702)
Mary Whitcomb (1704, married John Cobleigh, Jr.)

He married Deborah Scripture on September 4, 1710.

Benjamin Whitcomb (1711)
Lydia Whitcomb

He died on April 10, 1715.



from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

From The Registers Of St. Mart's Parish, Taunton, Co. Somerset 
1623 John Whetcomb and Frances Coggan married 26 November.

From The Registers Of St. James's Parish, Taunton, co. Somerset 
Baptisms, 1686-1637
1626 John son of John Whetcombe 6 August.
1628 Jonathan son of John Whetcombe 14 September.
1629 Robert son of John Whitcombe 20 December.
1634 Joane daughter of John and Frances Whetcomb 18 May.


Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts was settled in 1627 by Puritan colonists from Plymouth.

from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

John Whitcomb was an early settler of Dorchester, Mass., where he was a proprietor as early as 1636. About 1640 he removed to Scituate, and was admitted freeman of Plymouth Colony 3 June 1652.

Two years later he removed to Lancaster, Mass., where he died 24 Sept. 1662, leaving a widow Frances, who died 17 May 1671.

He left no will; and on 7 Oct. 1662 his widow Frances and "soe many of the children of the deceased as therin is concerned" petitioned the court to sanction a division of his estate upon which they had agreed. The petitioners were Frances Whitcomb, the widow, and the following children: John, Jonathan, Job, Josiah, Mary, and Abigail Whitcomb; but the wording of the petition indicates that the deceased left other children, who had doubtless received their portions in his lifetime. (Middlesex Probate Records, vol. 2, pp. 67-70.)

i. Catherine, b. abt. 1624; m. at Scituate, 25 Dec. 1644, Rodolphus Ellmes, and had issue. She is not named in the division of her father's estate in 1662.
ii. John, bapt. at Taunton, co. Somerset, 6 Aug. 1626.
iii. Jonathan [Whitcomb], bapt. at Taunton, co. Somerset, 14 Sept. 1628.
iv. Robert, bapt. at Taunton, co. Somerset, 20 Dec. 1629; living at Scituate in 1670; not named in the division of his father's estate in 1662.
v. James, b. probably in 1632; d. 23 Nov. 1686; was of Boston; m. abt. 1661 Rebecca. Ten children. He is not named in the division of his father's estate in 1662.
vi. Joane, bapt. at Taunton, co. Somerset, 18 May 1634.
vii. Job, b. probably at Dorchester, Mass., abt. 1636.
viii. Josiah [Whitcomb], b. at Dorchester in 1638.
ix. Abigail, b. probably at Scituate abt. 1642.
x. Mary, b. probably at Scituate abt. 1647

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

from Historic Homes and Institutions by Ellery Bicknell Crane

Jonathan Whitcomb, son of John Whitcomb (1), was born about 1630, in England, and died in February, 1690. He removed to Lancaster in 1655, and except during the war period lived there the remainder of his life. He shared the home lot there with his brother John until the death of John in 1683.

He married, November 25, 1667, Hannah, who was killed by Indians at Lancaster, July 18, 1692.

Their children were:
Hannah, born September 17, 1668, died December 9, 1668;
Jonathan, Jr.,
Hannah, born August 29, 1671, married Joseph Blood, of Groton;
Abigail, born May 5, 1674. married William Kelsey, of Windsor, 1694:
Elizabeth, born 1676;
Katherine, born 1678;
Ruth, born 1680;
Mary, born 1682;
John, born May 12, 1684.


from Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts by Ellery Bicknell Crane

Jonathan Whitcomb, son of Jonathan Whitcomb, was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, February 26, 1669.

He married Mary, daughter of Abraham and Mary Blood, of Lancaster.

He married (second) Deborah Scripture, of Groton, September 4, 1710, at Concord. He died April 10, 1715, and she died shortly before that.

His children:
Hannah, married Joseph Powers;
Martha, born March 18, 1701;
Ephraim, born April, 1702;
Mary, born 1704, married John Cobleigh, Jr.;
Benjamin, born December 11, 1711, at Groton;

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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