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Some Descendants of
Nicholas Rockwood
of Braintree, Massachusetts

Introductory Comments

My most recent ancestor of this line was **Joanna/Johannah Rockwood/Rocket, daughter of Josiah Rockwood, b. 1693, d. ?  The record of her family below the divider is quoted from History of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886, edited by William S. Tilden, published 1886 by Geo. H. Ellis Publisher, Boston, pp. 471-474.

For more information on this line, see also Richard Rockwood or Rockett/Agnes or Anna Lovell.

Also, some contributors to the defunct GenCircles web site attributed the first wife of Nicholas Rockwood, whose full maiden name was Jane Adams, as being a daughter of Henry Adams, the ancestor of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, but others do not place her with that Adams family.  Due to this ambiguity it appears that there is no record that definitely shows her to have been a daughter of Henry and Edith Rosamund (Squires) Adams, so it appears to me that those who have attributed her to this family, did so only because she lived in Braintree, where the famous Adams family also lived.  Also it is known that the names of 2 of the 7 sons of Henry Adams were not mentioned in his will, so it probably seemed likely that one of his daughters was over­looked, or perhaps they reasoned that she had received her portion of her father’s estate when she married.  Lastly, she seems to have died around the age of 30 years, which would have given her an approximate date of birth of 1624, which date falls in among those of the births of the children of Henry Adams.  The only records I, personally, found of her were in the book, Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, published 1903, Boston, Mass. by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, where her name is recorded as “Jone Rockwood.”  Her name is recorded as “Jone” in the birth records of her 3 children, Samuel, Benjamin and Josiah, as well.  See also, Richard Rockwood or Rockett/Agnes or Anna Lovell

See also, A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692, Volume 3, Robinson—Rodman By James Savage.

Updated:  June 9, 2016.


NICOLAS ROCKWOOD was the son of Richard of Braintree. His house lot was on Bridge Street, a little westward of where Charles Russell now lives. His first wife, Jane, died in 1654, [exact date:  15 Dec 1654] and he married in 1656 [exact date:  16 Jul 1656] Margaret Holbrook. She died in 1670; and in 1675 he married Silence Duntling, who died in 1677. He was burned out by the Indians in 1676 [probably during King Philip’s War]. The house was rebuilt, and it was deeded to his son-in-law, John Partridge. Nicolas, in 1678, exchanged land on this side for a grant west of the river; and it is probable that after the death of his third wife he lived with one of his sons on the west side.

The estate of Nicolas included no houses. He died in 1680 [exact date:  26 Jan 1680/1681, Medfield, Mass.].  The name is often spelled Rocket in the old records.  Children:

  1. SAMUEL.
  2. JOSIAH.
  3. BENJAMIN, 1651.
  4. ELIZABETH 1657-1688; m. in 1678 John Partridge 46.
  5. JOSEPH, 1659; m. in 1679 Hannah Partridge 47, who had one child, Hannah, in 1680, and died the same year. Joseph died in Swansea in 1693.
  6. JOHN, 1662.
  7. NATHANIEL, 1665-1726; m. in 1698 Joanna Ellis60; settled in Wrentham.
  8. ISAAC, 1677-1677.


SAMUEL2 (Nicolas1) was a tanner by trade. In 1667, his father secured a grant of “four acres bounded east by the brook, taking in the brook at the north-east corner, being granted for the encourage­ment of his son Samuel to set up the business of tanning, a cartway to lie through the end next to the brook.” This tanyard was near the crossing on Rail­road Street. He married in 1671 Hannah Ellis415. Children:

  1. HANNAH, 1673-1730; m. John Hill4.
  2. SUSANNA, 1675-1712; m. Samuel Hinsdale14; second Ebenezer Thompson.
  3. SAMUEL, 1677-1684.
  4. ABIGAIL, 1679-1696; m. in 1696 Joshua Wight13.
  5. ELEAZAR, 1681-1683.
  6. PATIENCE, 1682-1683.
  7. JOSEPH, 1686; probably died young.
  8. DELIVERANCE, 1689-1692.


JOSIAH2 (Nicolas1) settled on the west side of the river. He married in 1677 Mary Twichell3, who died in 1699; second, in 1703, Sarah, widow of Samuel Wheelock5. He died in 1728. Children:—

  1. ISRAEL, 1677-1704; was a soldier.
  2. JOHN, 1679.
  3. MARY, 1681-1762; m. in 1711 Samuel Turner18.
  4. BETHIA, 1683; m. in 1712, William Burgess.
  5. MEHITABLE, 1686-1763; m. in 1709, John Allen12; second, in 1755, Samuel Clark38.
  6. HANNAH, 1691; died young.
  7. **JOANNA, 1693;   [Vital Records of Medfield has the date of birth for “Johannah Rockett” as “2_-Dec-1693 (page torn).”  She m. Gershom WAIT of Sutton, in Sutton, Mass. on 4 Oct 1723, per Vital Records of Sutton to End of the Year 1849.  I have not found a record of her death, but according to the Waite Genealogy web site, Gershom died in Nov., 1784, probably in Massa­chu­setts. They had 3 known children in Sutton:  (1) “William Wait, b. 4 Sep 1725”; (2) “Elizabeth Wait, bap. 30 May 1731. C.R. ‘Mahitabel’ in pencil. [Probably same as Mehetabel below.]”; Mehetable Wait, b. 27 Mar 1731”; and (3) “Josiah Waite, b. 14 Jan 1728.” William Wait, their eldest child, m. Ruth Lovell, of Sutton on 24 Oct 1744, and among their children was a daughter Bethia (Waite) Burnap, wife of Timothy Burnap, who were the grandpar­ents of my g.g.grandfather Leonard Cole (1819-1885) of Leominster, Mass.]
  8. HANNAH, 1696; m. Joshua Whitney of Uxbridge.


BENJAMIN2 (Nicolas1) went as a soldier to the eastward in Philip’s War. July 4, 1677, ‘Ben: Rockett of Medfield’ is reported wounded at Salem, — ‘two shots in thigh.’

In 1742, being then ninety-one years of age, he sent a petition for aid to the General Court—

‘Benjamin Rockwood, Sen. of Wrentham, on account of being twice wounded in the eastward about the time of Philip’s war, and having taken a sudden cold, he was sent to Salem for the cure of his wounds, and his recovery. He was there a quarter of a year before he could be removed home, and had never fully recovered, but was left in habitual ill state of health, and was dependent on others.’ He had received no pay, and was supported by his eldest son-in-law, William Mann, Sen., and asks a grant of unappropriated land for William Man. The said Mann testifies ‘that his father Rockwood is a man of verity and truth, and that his statement can be confirmed by his aged Medfield acquaintance where he was born.’ His neighbors in Wrentham also send a state­ment that they ‘verily believe that his ill state of health was occasioned by the hard service that hap­pened to him at Blackpoint under command of Capt. Swet.’ The court granted him 4 [pounds] a year during life. He married in 1678 Judith Ellis53, having settled in Wrentham somewhat earlier. He is said to have been the man who discovered the trail leading to Indian Rock. He was one of the constituent members of the Wrentham church. He died in 1747. Children: —

  1. BETHIA, 1679; m. William Mann of Wrentham.
  2. JUDITH, 1680.
  3. MARY, 1683-1763; m. in 1708 Samuel Fisher11.
  4. PATIENCE, 1686.
  5. HEZEKIAH, 1688-1689.


JOHN2 (Nicolas1) settled on the west side. He married in 1688 Bethia Twichell. He was constable in 1709, and sealer of weights and measures the next year. He was also the first town clerk of Medway. His children are recorded there. He married, second, in 1710 Sarah Adams129. He died in 1746. Children:—

  1. BETHIA, 1689; m. in 1711 Daniel Lawrence.
  2. JOHN, 1690-1706.
  3. JOSEPH, 1692-1774; settled at Oxford.
  4. SAMUEL, 1695-1754; m. Mary White of Mendon; lived in West Medway.
  5. BENJAMIN, 1697; m. Rachel Morse; went to Grafton.
  6. DEBORAH, 1700.
  7. HEZEKIAH, 1702-1757; settled in Medway on the homestead.
  8. JOHN, 1706; m. in 1733 Hannah Fisher of Dedham; settled in Hopkinton.