An American Family History

John Saunders 1640

The Massachusetts Bay Company was a trading company chartered in 1629 to settle an English colony in New England. Puritan leaders saw it as a religious and political refuge. About  900 colonists arrived in 1630.

John Saunders was born abut 1640 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were John Saunders and Elizabeth Grafton.

On April 8, 1661,

John Kitchen, shoemaker, and John Saunders, seaman, son in law [step-son] to ye said John Kitchen,

sold land to John Williams of Salem in the North Fields.

John was a Quaker. He went to England to procure a royal order to prohibit the persecution of Friends in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

He died in 1694. 

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.



Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, Volume 1  edited by William Richard Cutter

John [Saunders], born about 1640. was the famous Quaker who went to England and procured a royal order to prohibit the persecution of Friends in Massachusetts Bay; died 1694. 

ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

from Founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Sarah Saunders Smith

Third Generation
John Saunders, (John, Capt. John,) baptized 1-9-1640, First church, Salem, Mass; was married by Major Hathorne Nov. 5, 1661, to Hannah Pickman, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Pickman and Tabitha.

Fourth Generation
Children of John Saunders and Hannah Pickman, married Nov. 5, 1661.
1. Daughter, Hannah, b. 15-11, 1662.
2. Benjamin, b. 1663-4 ; d. before 1700.
3. Son. John, b. 22-10, 1665.
4. Son, James, b. 23-7-1667; m. Elizabeth Whittier June 22, 1699 ; d. Dec. 9, 1721.
5. Son, William, b. 1668; m. Bridget, daughter of John and Abagail Smith ; bap. Aug., 1672.
6. Nathaniel, b. 2-7-1670 ; ra. Abigail, 1703 ; settled in Gloucester, Mass.
7. Joseph, b. 21-6-1673; d. 7-6-1674.
8. Elizabeth, b. 28-7-1678 ; d. 1708, aged 30.

The First Church in Salem, Massachusetts was founded by English Puritan settlers in August, 1629. Both accusers and accused were members of First Church during the witchcraft hysteria.


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 2019
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