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DEACONS JAMES W. CONVERSE
ELISHA S. CONVERSE
Including Some of the
DE COIGNERIES, of England..............................................................1066
EDWARD CONVERS, of Charlestown, Mass...................................1630
WHEATON, of Salem Mass................................................................1636
EDMONDS, of Lynn,
COOLIDGE, of Watertown,
Compiled and Edited By
WILLIAM G. HILL
Privately Printed - 1887
One Line of the
CONVERSE FAMILY OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA
Deacon Edward Convers, England and Woburn 1590 1663
Samuel Convers, Woburn, Mass. Bapt.1637 1672
Samuel Convers, Woburn, Mass. and Thompson, Conn. 1662 1732
Edward Convers, Thompson, Conn. 1696 1784
Jonathan Convers, Thompson, Conn. 1761
Deacon Jonathan Converse, Thompson, Conn. 1760 1845
Elisha Converse, Thompson, Conn. and Stoneham, Mass. 1786 1854
Deacon James W. Converse, Boston, Mass. 1808
Hon. Elisha Slade Converse, Malden, Mass. 1820
Costello C. Converse, Boston and Malden, Mass. 1848
Harry E. Converse, Malden, Mass. 1863
DEACON EDWARD CONVERS
ENGLAND, CHARLESTOWN, AND WOBURN, MASS.
1. DEACON EDWARD (1) CONVERS, England, and Woburn, Mass.; born Jan. 30, 1790; died
Aug. 10, 1663, aged 73 years. Probably married, lst Jane Clark, who died probably before 1617;
2d. Sarah_____, in England, died Jan. 14, 1662; 3d Joanna Sprague, the widow of Ralph Sprague,
of Charlestown,Mass., Sept. 9, 1662, died Feb. 24, 1679.
We now approach a most interesting point in the record of this family: the departure of
Deacon Edward Convers with his wife Sarah, and three children, Josiah, James and Mary, from
the comforts of their old home in England, fo the privations of these then inhospitable shores.
Doubtless the motives which led to this exile were of a threefold character: the first and chief,
greater freedom to worship God in their own way; second, greater political liberty; and third,
greater opportunities of acquiring and holding property.
On leaving England, Gov. Winthrop, speaking for his company of about seven hundred
people, among whom were Deacon Convers and family, "bade an affectionate farewell to the church,
and the land of their nativity."
"Reverend Fathers and Brethren (such was their address to all from whom they parted), howsoever
your charitie may have met with discouragment through the misreport of our intentions, or the indiscretion
of some amongst us, yet we desire you will be pleased to take notice, that the principals and the body of our
company esteem it our honour to call the Church of England, from whence we rise, our deare mother, and
cannot part from our native countrie, where she specially resideth, without much sadness of heart, and many
tears in our eyes; blessing God the parentage and education, as members of the same body, and while we
have breath, we shall sycerely indeavour the continuance and abundance of her welfare. Be pleased, therefore,
Reverend Fathers and Brethern, to helpe forward the worke now in hand; which, if it prosper, you shall
bee the more glorious. It is a usual exercise of your charity to recommend to the prayers of your congregations,
the straights of your neighbors; do the like for a church springing out of your owne bowels; pray without
ceasing for us, who are a weake colony from yourselves."
After a stormy passage of about sixty-three days, they arriaved outside Salem Harbor,
about the 12th of June, 1630. Early in July following, a land and a settlement were effected at
Charlestown, "where they lay up and down in tents and booths round the hill"; several crossed the
river and settled in Boston, others planted on the Mystic, now Malden." But Deacon Edward
Convers and his family and many others remained. On the 30th of July a church was organized.
On the next Lord's day others were received, among whom were "Edward Convers and Sarah
Convers, his wife." (Rec. First Church, Boston). And the members of this church could alone
partake of the Lord's Supper, or present their children for baptism. Some two years later, this
church removed to Boston, and ever after became known as the First Church of Boston.
Immediately after this removal, another church was organized, and since has been known as the
First Church of Charlestown (viz., Nov. 2, 1632). There were nineteen male and sixteen female
members, among whom were"Edward and Sarah Convers."
The following covenant is written on the same page as the names of the founders of this
THE FORMEE OF THE COVENANT
In the name of our Lord God, and in the obedience to his holy will and divine ordinances:
Wee, whose names are heer written, Beeing by his most wise and good providence
brought together, and desirous to unite ourselues into one congregation or church under our
Lord Jesus christ, our Head: In such sort as becometh all those whom he hath redeemed
and sanctified unto himselfe, Doe heer solemnly and religeously, as in his most holy presence,
Promice and bynde ourslues to walke in all our wayes acording to the rules of the Gospell,
and in all sincer conformity to his holy ordinances: and in mutuall Love and Respect each
to other: so near as God shall give us grace.
In fine weather, they worshipped under the branches of a widely spreading tree; at other
times, some one of the few dwellings served as a "Meeting place." They were located on the side
of the hill, near where the Waverley House now stands.
We cull two items from the record of the First Church of Charlestown of interest to us:
1636: 11: mo: 8: Thomas Carter admitted. Esther Carter, wife of Thomas Carter, by
letter of dismission from ye Church of London, whereof Mr. Thomas Vincent is pastor.
1637: lst mo: day: 12: Samuel Convers, the son of Edward Convers, and Sarah, his wife, was
(It was customary to baptize infants as soon after birth as was prudent.)
That Edward Convers was a man of some wealth and considerable influence, of great
strength and energy, as well as a rigid Puritan, is evidenced on nearly every page of colonial and
town history, and continued to be so for thirty-three years after his arrival in this country. The limits
of this work admit of but brief allusion to his noble record.
The curious are referred to the early history of this country - the histories of Charlestown and
Woburn, of which latter town Mr. Convers was indeed a father.
From the colonial records we extract from the many the few following early items:
Sep. 28, 1630
A Jury was impannelled to inquire concerning the Death of Austen Bratcher.
There were fifteen men on the jury, the tenth name being Edward Convers.
Wee find that the Strookes giuen by Walter Palmer, were occationally the means of the
death of Austen Bratcher & soe to be manslaughter. He died at Cradock's plantecon.
Oct. 19, 1630, petitioned to be made freeman, Edward Converse
He was made freeman of the Colony, May 18, 1631.
Before Court, Nov. 9, 1630.
It is further ordered that Whoesoever shall first giue in his name to Mr. Gouns, that he
will vndertake to sett vpp a fferry betwixte Boston and Charlton & shall begin the same at such
tyme as Mr. Goun shall appoynt, shall haue for cury p son.......& 1d for euery 100 waight
of goods hee shall soe transport.
A COURT HOLDEN ATT BOSTON, June 14, 1631.
Edward Convers hath vundertaken to sett vpp a fferry betwixte Charlton & Boston
for which hee is to have ijd for eury single p son & 1d a piece if there be 2 or more.
Several other allusions are made on the colonial records to Mr. Convers and his ferry, but the
following must suffice:
Oct. 7, 1640
The fferry between Boston and Charlestown is granted to the (Harvard)
It is ordered that Mr. Tynge, Mr. Saml Shepherd & Goodman Edward Convers, are to set
out the bounds betweene Charlestown & Mr. Cradock's farme, on the other side of Mystick
*Mr. Cradock's house, which is still standing, is worth seeing.
It is ordered that Lieft Sprague and Edward Convers should repair the bridge at Meadfoard
over Mystick Ryver & the same to bee paid for out of the treasury.
Edward Convers was chosen selectman of Charlestown as early as 1634, and re-elected,
annually, until 1640.
In the year 1640, a "petition" was made to the General Court for two miles square of land to be
added to the head line of Charlestown, which was granted, and afterwards was increased to four
The following is an able and correct sketch of the life of Deacon Edward Convers, and was
written by Rev. Leander Thompson, of Woburn, in 1885, and published in October of that year in the
Winchester Record. (This Winchester Record is attracting wide-spread attention to its valuable
historical and genalogical articles.)
"Among the first settlers of Woburn, Edward Converse has always been regarded as a
pioneer and leader. Yet our knowledge of his history, as of nearly all his associates, must, at this
day, be fragmentary and of course imperfect....A man of more than usual enterprise, we find him,
from the very outset, ever restlessly pushing forward some new work. In less than a year after settling
in Charlestown, he established a ferry, the first between Charlestown and Boston. By order of the
Court, June 14, 1631, he was autorized, under certain rules and regulations, to manage this enterprise,
and for several years it was a leading part of his business. In Winthrop's History of New England, we
find the following account, given also in substance in Frothingham's History of Charlestown:
"The governor and treasurer, by order of the Geneal Court, did demise to Edward Converse
the ferry between Boston and Charlestown, to have the sole transporting of passengers and cattle
from one side to the other, for three years fromt he first day of the next month for the yearly rent of
forty pounds, to be paid quarterly to the treasurer: Provided that he see it be well attended and
furnished with sufficient boats, and that so soon as may be in the next spring he set up a convenient
house on Boston side, and keep a boat there, as need shall require, and he is allowed to take his
wonted fees, namely, 2d. for a single person and 1d. apiece if there be more than one, as well on
lecture days as at other times; and for every horse and cow with the the man that goeth with them,
6d., and for a goat 1 d., and for a swine 2d.; and if any shall desire to pass before light in the morning
or if it is after dark in the evening, he may take recompense answerable to the season and his pains
and hazard, so it be not excessive."
"This lease was given in 1631, and Nov. 9, 1637, it was renewed for three years, Mr.
Converse agreeing to pay each year forty pounds into the colonial treasury. This ferry, which crossed
the river where now the Charlestown bridge crosses it, was called the "Great Ferry", to distinguish it
from another which Thomas Wiliams had 'set up', a short time before its establishment, between
Charlestown and Winnisimmet.
"Meanwhile Edward Coverse was made, during the first year of engagement with the ferry
(1631), a freeman of the Colony, and subsequently served the town of Charlestown on the board of
selectmen from 1635 until his removal to his new home in the wilderness, which afterward became
Woburn. This removal appropriately introduced in connection with the enterprise of founding the new
town. It is hardly too much to say that he was on every committee, and had a part in every movement
that had this new settlement in view. He was one of the small company, who, in September, 1640,
went from Charlestown to search the unexplored land to the northward, and experienced an almost
miraculous escape from death in a terrific night storm by the fall of a large tree under which they
had laid themselves down for the night. H was one of a committee of thirteen chosen by the town
of Charlestown, Nov. 4, 1640, 'to sett the bounds betwixt Charlestown and the Village, and to appoint
the place for the village.' His name stands first in a list of seven men chosen by the chuch in
Charlestown, Nov. 5, 1640, the day after the appointment of the town committee of thirteen, as
commissioners for 'erecting a church and town' and 'for carr(y)ing on the affaires of this new Town.'
Six of these seven commissioners were on the town committe of thirteen, and to these six men, with
Edward Converse at the head, was due the success of the enterprise they had in view. At their first
meeting, held Dec. 18, 1640, thirty-two men were found ready to affix their names to the Town
Orders for Woburn, upon which they had agreed, the name of Edward Converse being second in
the list. Meanwhile the fears of the church at Charlestown had been aroused by the zeal and energies of
this handful of men, lest the town should be depopulated. But they went steadily forward, and the
church at length yielded, Converse and his associates being accorded, Dec. 22, full power to go
on with their work. As ever, Converse seems to have outstripped all others in his zeal and to have
erected a house in the territory of the proposed town previous to Jan. 4, 1641, for, under this
date, a meeting was held at his house, according to Johnson Wonder-Working Providence
which many person were admitted to 'set down their dwellings in this town, yet being shallow of brains,
fell ofe (off) afterwards.' It is possible, as some writers have suggested, that the meeting was held
at his house in Charlestown, and the words 'in this town', refer simply to what was 'this town' when
Johnson wrote. But early in the next month, Feb. 10, 1641, the same writer tells us, as others also
do, that the first bridge was laid over the "Abersonce", elsewhere and generally called the Abajona,*
River, 'over against Edward Converse's house
', and called 'Coul (or Cold) Bridge.' This
records also seems to assume that the house was there when the bridge was built, though, of course,
the reference to it may possibly, not naturally, be in anticipation of its actual erection.
*This name is written Aberjonah, Abarjona, and Abajona by differnt writers, the latter the most
frequently in modern usage.
Mr. Champney, in his contribution to the 'History of Middlesex County,' Vol. II., p 526, after saying
that the bridge was built in February, 1641, adds: 'And the first dwelling-house was erected over
, that is, the bridge. This doubtless correct, so far as the location of the house was
concerned, but it exactly reverses the statement of the former implying that the bridge was built first,
and that of the latter that the the house was built first. Whatever may have been the exact date of the
erection of the house, there seems to be no doubt that it was the first dwelling-house erected in
Woburn; that of John Mousall being built but a little later on 'Hilly Way.' In the words of the quaint
old historian and poet, Johnson, referring to these men:
"Too (two) nurses less undaunted then (than) the rest, ffirst howses ffinish.'
"The historical facts of the first house and the first bridge, and probably also the first mill, in
Woburn, so intimately associated with Edward Converse's enterprise, appropriately introduce us to
the part he acted in the organization and affairs of the new town.
"We have already noticed that his name is at the head of the seven commissioners appointed to
superintend the general business of settling the town, which issued in securing the act of incorporation
in 1642. His connection with the work of gathering the church previous to Oct. 6 of that year (the date
of the incorporation) we pass for the present, in order to notice more consecutiely his secular life and
activities. To the persistent energy of Edward Converse, more than to any other one man, the success
of the seven commisioners seems to have been due. And when 'Charlestown Village' was finally called
'Woobourne,' by the act of the General Court, and recognized as the twentieth town in the
Massachusetts Colony, we can easily imagine that the satisfaction and joy of no other man equalled
those of this ever-restless worker.
"Why the newly incorporated municipality did not immediately so far organize as to choose
the appropriate officers for administering its affairs is at present wholly a matter of conjecture. The
records mention a general meeting as early as Nov. 9, 1643, in which some minor and comparatively
unimportant matters of business were transacted, but there is no hint of a regular organization till
April 13, 1644, about eighteen months after the incorporation. On that day the freemen of the town
made a choice of the first board of selectmen, consisting of Edward Johnson, Edward Converse,
John Mousall, William Learned, Ezekiel Richardson, Samuel Richardson, and James Thompson, --
seven good and honest men. The name of Edward Converse stands second on this board, as given in
the Woburn records. From this time onward until his death, he appeared, as ever before, to have
been a foremost man in all public business. On March 3, 1649, he was one of the four of the
selectmen appointed to negotiate with the town of Charlestown the matter of the disputed boundary
between the two towns. He was also, year after year, one of a board of commissioners for the trial
of 'small causes'. In 1660 he was deputy to the General Court. And for nineteen years, from 1644
till 1663, when he died, he was annually chosen a member of the board of selectmen.
"We come now to a consideration of Edward Converse, in his religious character and life.
"In the very outset of his career as a citizen of Charlestown, we find his name in the list of
subscribers to the First Church covenant of that town (Aug. 27, 1630), the first name being that of
Gov. Winthrop. When this original First Church was removed, three months afterwards, to Boston,
though his relation to it for some time remained as before, he did not, like Winthrop and many others,
remove his family across the river. Accordingly, when the present First Church of Charlestown was
organized (Nov. 2, 1632), he and others, having obtained letters of dismission from the church
in Boston, united with those who had not been members of that church in the new organization.
As a member of that church, he was ever prominent; and one of the seven members of it who were
commissioned to effect, in the name of the mother church, as also in the presence and with the
consent of the appointed representative of the Colony, the outward organization of the church in
Woburn. This organization was effected Aug. 24, 1642, and on the second day of the following
December Thomas Carter was ordained and installed pastor. It is highly probable, though not
definitely ascertained, that, of the two men who laid their hands on the young candidates' head
and formally ordained him to the work of the ministry, instead of delegating the power to the
messenger of the churches, Edward Converse was one. It is certain that he was one of the first
two deacons of the church, and remained in office till his death.
"From all that has been ascertained respecting the religious character of Edward Converse,
we readily infer that he was a man of strongly marked idiosyncrasies. Promp, clear-headed, devout,
conscientious, outspoken, and unflinching, and yet prudent, self-contained, and uniform, are the
adjectives that best describe his whole career. A single curious incident, mentioned by Johnson in
his Wonder-Working Providence
, well illustrates a trait which often seems to manifest
itself. It occurred more than twenty years after his removal from Charlestown to Woburn, and only
about three months before his death. 'In May, 1663, Isaac Cole, constable, and Edward Converse,
one of Capt. Johnson's associates int he board of selectmen at Woburn, were arraigned; the former
for refusing to take and publish the King's letter, and the latter for having spoken of it as Popery.
The Court, having a hearing, discharged Converse, on the ground that his language did not
reflect on his Majesty's letter.' This account assumes that Converse did speak of the king's
letter as popery, but in language so carefully guarded that even papal servants of the king could
not easily make out a case against him.
"But though the good old father of the town came forth from his arrest by the officers
of the king unscathed and apparently untroubled, there was one passage in his busy life as a
citizen which seems to have seriously disturbed him, and which resulted in an arbritration between
him and one of his neighbors. The erection and operation of his mill on the Abajona River so
overflowed the adjacent meadow of Robert Hale as to be an insuperable obstacle in the way of
the latter's improvement of his own land. This naturally led to complaint and difficulty. But at length
an honorable arbitration seems to have happily ended the controversy in a very fair and Christian
The will of Edward Convers, dated August, 1659, is as follows:
In the name of God, Amen, I , Edward Convers, of Woburne, in the Coun. of Midd.
Massachusetts Collony in New England, being in p-fect memory though weake of Body, do make
this my last will and testamt, to dispose of my lands, goods and chattles, that the Lord hath leut unto
mee, dueing my naturall life, which my Will is shall be disposed of in mannr as followeth.
Imp. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Sarah Convers ten pounds pr. year, to be
payd unto Her from yeare to yeare during her naturall
life, that is to say, five pounds a yeare
out of my soune Josias Convers his house, and ye other five poungs a year out of the Mill. Also my
will is that my wife shall have such roomes to live in dureing her life int he hosue that I nowlive in, as She
shall make choyce of for Her use, and one of the gardens before the house, which she shall make
choyce of for her use, and ten of the apple trees in the old orchard dureing her life which she shall
make choyce of. Also my will is that my wife shall have a fourth part of all my mvoeable goods
and chattels when my debts and legacyes and my funail be discharged. Also I give unto my sonne,
Josias Convers, the House wherein He now liveth and the barnes and outhouses and the orchard
before the house, with the yards and other appurtenances to the same belonging, and the land that
lyeth in the great field, and all that meadow that lyeth in the west side of the brooke in bucke
meadow. My Will is that my sonne Josias shall enjoy all these houses and lands, with other the
appurtenances above specified, for Him and his heyres lawfully begotten of his body, and for want
thereof, to my sonne James Converse, his sonne Edward Convers, and to his Heyres lawfully
begotten of his body, and want there of my Will is that it shall be divided equally, or to the next Heyre
according to law, and for the field called the sheep-pasture, I give it to my sonnes Josiah and Samuel
together with my mill and mill house and the appurtenances to them belonging, to be possessed by the
longest liver and his Heyres. Also I give to my sonne Samuel Convers my house wherein I now dwell
and all the land lying behind the house to the brow of ye Hill northward, and all the land that is plowable
lyeing on the north side of the blind bridge, together with all the meadow that lyeth adjoyning to the said
land and all the p'cell of land that lyeth on the east side of the rode, next to the mill pond betweene the
aforesaid blynd Bridge, and my dwelling house. Also I give to my sonne Samuel all ye meadow ye lyeth
on ye east side of the river in Bucke meadow, and my English pasture that is fenced in on the other
side of the mill river, and my will is that for all the rest of ye land that is not plowable lying on the
north side of blind Bridge, together with all the rest of my pasture lands, shall be equally divided
between my three sonnes, Josiah, James, and Samuel, only reserveing the timber that is upon the
said pasture lands from my sonne James, who shall have no part therein, but it shall be injooyhed by
my other sonnes Josiah and Samuel and their Heyres. Also my will is that if my sonne Samuel shall
dy without Heyres lawfully begotten of his body, that the estate that I have given to Him shall be
divided between ye children of my daughter Mary Thompson. Also I give to my sonne James
Convers the sume of thirty pounds and I give to my daughter Mary Sheldon the sume of twenty
marks. And I give to my kinsman Allin convers the sume of ten pounds and I give to my kinswoman
Sarah Smith the sume of five pounds. Also I give to my kinsman John Parker the sume of forty
shillings, and for these legacyes my will is that they shall be paid within three years after my decease
as my Executors shall see meete and are able to pay the same. and for all that land that lyeth
comon between the houses my will is that it shall ly common for perpetuity, and for all my moveable
goodes and chattels that remaineth of what is give to my wife, I give to thirds of the same to my
sonne Josiah the other third to my sonne Samuel. and for the legacyes that I have given my will
is that they shall be payd in Corne and cattle, or either of them. Also my will is that my sonne Josiah
and my sonne Samuel shall be my sole executors. Alsoi my will is that my sonne James Convers
and my kinsman Allin Convers, and my kinsman John Parke shall be the overseer of this my Will.
My will also is that all my moveable goods shall be apprised distinctly.
Signed and subscribed the ____ day of August, 1659.
(Signed) Edward Converse
In the presence of us,
My Will is that my sonne Josiah shall have the meadow that is fenced in on the other side
of the mill brook, lying next unto my sonne James his meadow fo rhim and his Heyres, as the rest
of the lands within expressed.
Cambridge, 7, 8th, 1663
At the Coun Court, then sitting at Cambridge, Allin Convers and John Parker appearing
in Court, do on their oath given them say that Edward Convers deced being of a disposing mind,
they saw Him signe, seale, and publish this instrument as his last Will and testament, and that they
know of no other.
Entred and Recorded, 7, 8th, 1663
THOMAS DANFORTH, Recorder
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An Inventory of the Estate lately possessed by Edward Convars, of Woburne,
in New England, who deceased ye 10th (6), 1663
£ s. d.
Imprs. The dwelling house now posses by Samue Convars 080 00 00
In Ye Hall two tables and a foarme 001 05 00
In Chayres 000 05 00
One Cupboard 000 10 00
One payre of Cob Irons 000 16 00
One fire shovel & tongs 000 04 00
One bible 000 07 00
In Quishions 000 05 00
In the Hall Chamber a feather bed 004 00 00
A feather bolster and two pillows 001 00 00
One Rug and two blankets 002 00 00
A flocke bed, a straw bed & straw bolster 000 10 00
A payre of curtayues & vallens 001 16 00
A bedstead 001 10 00
A trundle bed with feather bed & bolster, straw bed, straw
bolster & coverlet 003 05 00
In Chayres 000 07 00
In wearing cloathes, a new serge coate 001 07 00
A cloath coate 000 13 00
A serge coate 000 12 00
A serge coate 000 05 00
a Cloath Jacket & breeches 001 10 00
Three Wast coats & pr. of drawers 001 00 00
Two Jackets & two payre of stockins 000 15 00
A piece of Kersie 001 07 00
A hat and payre of mittings 000 05 00
A payre of bootes 000 10 00
In hatts 000 18 00
In shirts 001 12 00
In caps 000 04 00
In handerkerchiefs 000 07 00
In bands 000 09 00
four payre of new sheets 004 08 00
a dussen of napkins 000 15 00
four payre of sheets more with other small linnen 002 13 00
Two Table Cloathes 000 12 00
five pillow beers, 10s., in Towels, 3s., one yd Cotton, 2s. 000 15 00
In small linnen 000 07 06
A peece of Say 000 01 00
Two yards of linsie woolsie 000 05 00
A box and gloves 000 03 00
In cotton, woolen and linnen yarne 001 06 00
In chests 001 08 00
In cheese 001 08 00
In the chamb. over ye Kitchen a flockbed, straw bed, feather
bolster 7 three pillows 001 00 00
A bed stead 000 15 00
In the Garret over it, one beare skin, a flocke bed, straw bed,
two bolsters, a blankett and Ruggs 002 08 00
One Hatchell 000 10 00
A musket, a carabine & sword 001 00 00
In nayles, 2s. 6d., a pr of pinchers and other small things 000 04 00
A scale Beame 000 06 00
In ye leanto chamb., in Indian Corn 001 06 00
A woolen and linnen wheele 000 05 00
A sadle, pillion cloath, bridle and pannel 001 05 00
IN THE KITCHEN
In Earthen weare 000 03 00
One dozen of trenchers, scales and weights 000 03 06
A great Kettle, 15s., a midle Kettle, 15s., ye Cast Kettle, 14s. 002 05 00
three skellitts & a scumer 000 06 06
A warming pan 000 10 00
an Iron pott & hookes, an Iron Kettle & skellitt 001 00 00
a mortar & pestle 000 03 06
two tin pans, 3s., a gridiron, 3s. 000 06 00
two sives, 2s. 6d., & one lanthorne, 1s. 6d. 000 04 00
a frying pan 000 03 06
three trayes, 4s., two payles, 3s. yd. 000 07 06
foure cheesefatts with their covers 000 04 06
In wooden ware, 3s., a pr. of bellowes, 1s. 000 04 00
Two trammels and a spit 000 10 00
A payre of Cob Irons, 4s. In pewter,£1, 11s. 001 15 00
In spoones, 1s. 6d., a smoothing Iron, 1s. 000 02 06
In plate, a beere bowle 002 10 00
Four spoons 001 10 00
IN YE LEANTO
In tooles 001 10 00
In wedges & beetle rings, 12s., and a sithe, 4s. 000 16 00
In old iron, 2s., one spade, fro. & Hamer, 4s. 000 04 00
two mattocks & two Howes 000 08 00
A Hay Knife & a pitchfork 000 04 00
The Barne posses by Samuel Convars 035 00 00
In Corne & Hay 020 00 00
In flax, 8s. In hemp, 14s. 001 02 00
In Indian corne in the field 004 00 00
In gardens, orchard, and arrable land joy(ning to the
dwelling house and barne possessed by Samuel Convars 015 00 00
All the arrable land on the north side of blind Bridge 060 00 00
five accrs of meddow 015 00 00
Eight accrs of meadow on ye East side of Buck meadow 026 00 00
English pasture on ye East side of ye Mill river 010 00 00
Pasture land on ye East side of Josias and Samuel their 013 00 00
Land at ye Indian Hill 020 00 00
pasture lands on both sides Horn pond river 005 00 00
the Mill & Mill pond & mill house with other ye appurtenances 130 00 00
the dwelling possessed by Josias Convars 055 00 00
the barnes & out houseing 015 00 00
the great field 100 00 00
A parcell of meadow neere ye house 003 00 00
The Orchard with all the arrable land joyneing to his houseing 020 00 00
Eight accrs of Buck meadow 024 00 00
three accrs of meadow at ye great meadow 006 00 00
The Sheep pasture 010 00 00
In carts, yakes & chaynes 005 00 00
In a grind-stone 000 12 00
In a mare,£10, Colt, £6, & swine 021 00 00
In Sheepe & Lambs, £1, 10s, a boy, £1- 011 10 00
foure cowes, £18, two steeres, £8 026 00 00
one steere, £3, 10s, two other, £4, one calf, £1 008 10 00
two oxen, £12, & two oxen, £13 025 00 00
___ __ __
the total sume is 827 05 06
The Estate is debtor to* funall charges and other accounts 028 16 00
The Estate is Cr. 003 00 00
*Funeral charges here meant, in all probability.
At a Coun' Court held at Cambridge
Octob. 7th 1663
Josiah Convers, Executor to the last Will and tesment of his father, Edward Convars, deced,
being sworn, do say that is a true Inventory of all that Estate, whereof the said Edward
Convars died seized, and yt if any more to appeare, Hee will timely and truly discover the
same & cause it to be added hereunto.
THOMAS DANFORTH, R.
Entered & Recorded Octob 7th 1663.
by Thomas Danforth, Recorder
3 Decemb. 1679
I, Joanna Converse give unto my daugher Edmands - The old Darnex Curtains &
Vallains; A green Rugg & the Iron dripper pan and my cloake and w? things is in my son
Phineas his house, being a Bedstead, a TAble & a ffoarme, with an Iron barr and Trammell
in the chimney, a pr of Iron Andirons, a chest, should remaine to him as his owne.
These prticulars with others in a paper of a former date to remayne to the prtyes
nominated, as witness our hands the day and year above written.
The mark of HANNAH EDMONDS*
RICHARD SPRAGUE, & c
Sworn in Court 15 (4)80
J. R. C.
Charlestown, Nov. 4, 1679
An Invoise of particulars given by Mother Converse to sister Mary Edmonds as
followeth: ; "Impr. A Hood & Safe guard of Serge - her best black gowne - her best red
cloath Petticoate - Her red turky mohaire peticoate - her best Hatt & best green Apron.
Her little chest - 2 pewter Dishes - Her red Searge petticoate - Several prcells of Linnen
which she putt into sister Edmonds Boxes which she gave her, and are not be be called for,
& sister Edmonds is to have her proportion of what is left. Sister Edmonds daughter to have
the scarfe she had att Eunice Sprague's buriall & ye hood & he handerchief was cut from it.
Phineas Sprague's daughter Mary to have her next best Silke hood and lutestring handkerchief.
One of Bro. John's Daughters to have one of her Scarfes. One of Bro. Samuel's Daughters
to have another Scarfe. And Bro. Phineas othe' daughter to have ye other Scarfe."
Attested by Richard Sprague
The mark of
15. 4. 80.
Sworn in Court,
J. R. C.
*Mary, daughter of Ralph Ssprague and Joanna (afterwards wife of Deacon Edward Converse),
married Daniel Edmands, of Charlestown.
An Inventory of the estate of Joanna (Convers)* decd, taken April 2,1680.
£ s. d.
In books 001 00 00
In houseing & land 180 00 00
One feather bed and furniture 005 00 00
It. 8 pair of Sheets 004 00 00
It. 4 pair of Pillowbeers 000 08 00
It. One Table Cloath & 17 Napkins & towells 001 00 00
It. Wearing Claothes, Wollen, Linnen, Silk & Hatts 025 00 00
It. Two Chests, one Trunk, one Box & Spinning wheel 001 06 00
It. Two Blankets 000 10 00
It. One Rugg 000 05 00
It. In Brass 003 10 09
It. In Pewter 001 01 00
It. In wooden & Earthen ware 000 05 00
It. In Iron ware 000 16 00
It. One Cupboard 000 05 00
It. A new piece of Cotton & Linnel Cloath & other small
linnen 001 10 00
It. One Cow 002 10 00
It. A Bedstead, Table & a Chestq 001 00 00
It. A Dripping Pan 000 03 00
It. In Money 023 16 00
15. 4. 80 Sworn to by LFT. SPRAGUE
J. R. C.
* Joanna Convers bore no children to Edward Convers - Richard Frothingham, in his History
of Charlestown, Mass., state that "she (Joanna Converse) may have been Edward Converse's
wife. See Jane Converse (note
), the first wife, as presumed, of Edward Converse, and
thus making "Sarah" a second
wife and "Joanna" a third wife
, as surmised by Frothingham. See
Children of Deacon Edward (1) and Sarah Convers:
I. Deacon Josiah (2)
, born 1617 in England; died Feb. 3, 1689, in Woburn, Mass., aged 72 years;
married, March 26, 1651, Esther, daughter of Richard Champney, of Cambridge, Mass.; intestate;
inventory, £646 8d. 6s.; had one son, Capt. Josiah (3), born_____, married, Oct. 8, 1685, Ruth
Marshall of Wohburn, and died July 15, 1717. Inventory, £1,444 9d. 1s. He mentions in his
will daughers Ruth Symmes, Rebecca Pierce, Kesiah Convers, and Mary Convers, and sons
Josiah(4), Timothy (4), born July 6, 1693, died Sept. 14, 1693; Josiah(4) was born April 25, 1704,
died 1774, at Watertown, Mass. No further traced, probably died s. p.
II. Lieut. James(2)
, born 1620 in England; died May 10, 1715, at Woburn, Mass.; married Anna,
daughter of RobertLong, of Charlestown, Oct. 24, 1643. He was a valuable and highly esteemed
citizen; was repeatedly honored by the town with the principal offices within its gift, and surviving
his son, Major James, died, aged 95. Had:
I. Hannah (3), born 1644; died 1644
II. Major James(3), Jr. born Nov. 16, 1645; married Hannah Carter, Jan. 1, 1668-9; died July 8,
1706. He had:
I. James(4), born 1670.
II. John(4), born 1673; marreid Abigail Sawyer, May 22, 1699; died Jan. 6, 1707;
had John(5), born Feb. 3, 1701, married Abigail Baldwin before 1728. John(5)
removed to Leicester, Mass., and subsequently to Brookfield, Mass., and has
many descendants in that region.
III. Deborah(3), born 1648; married 1663 John Pierce.
IV. Sarah(3), born 1649, married ____.
V. Rebecca(3), born 1651; married Enoch Moore.
VI. Lydia(3), born 1653; died 1655.
VII. Edward(3), born 1654; married Sarah Stone; died July 26, 1692.
VIII. Mary(3), born 1656; died 1690; married, 1675 Nath'l Davis.
IX. Abigail(3), born 1658; married 1676, Jona. Kettle; died 1690.
Major James (3) Convers had a great many descedants, some of whom settled in various places
in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, while many others remained in Woburn, where they have
always been honored and respected as useful citiznes, and are so honored at the present time.
, born England, 1622; died ____; married lst, Simon(2) Thompson (James(1)), Jan. 19,
1643; married, 2d John Sheldon, Feb. 1, 1659, of Billerica, Mass. Mary (Convers) and Simon
Thompson had six children:
I. John(3), born April 4, 1645; died April 12, 1645
II. Sarah (3), born Feb. 20, 1647
III. James(3), born March 29, 1649
IV. Mary(3), born Jan. 25, 1651; died 1657
V. Ann(3), born July 30, 1655
VI. Rebecca(3), born May, 1658
The Thompson family of Woburn and Winchester, Mass., are of an ancient and distinguished
race, and have left and are still leaving their "footprints on the sands of time".
, baptized March 12, 1637
2. SERGT. SAMUEL (2) CONVERS
(Deacon Edward(1), Woburn, youngest son of Deacon Edward
Convers, was baptized March 12, 1637, in the First Church, Charlestown; born probably but a few
days or weeks before March 12, 1637; died Feb. 20, 1669; married Judith, daughter of Rev. Thomas
and Mary (Dalton) Carter, June 8, 1660.
Rev. Thomas Carter was born in England about the year 1610; and educated at St. John's
College, Cambridge, England; received his degrees, 1629, 1630 and 1633; embarked from London
for America, April 2, 1635, in the "Planter", Nicholas Trerice, master.
The passengers brought with them certificates from the minister at Great St. Albans, in
Hertfordshire, which may have been Rev. Mr. Carter's early home. He was admistted to membership
to the First Church of Charlestown, Mass., "1636, 11mo., 8th day"; was settled over the church in
Woburn, 1642, where he continued as pastor until his death, Sept. 5, 1684, aged 74 years.
Judith, wife of Samuel Convers, survived him, and married Giles Fifield, of Charlestown,
May 2, 1672, and died 1678.
Samuel (2) Convers was admitted freeman, 1666, and came to an untimely death by an
accident in the corn mill which he inherited jointly with his brothers from his father, Deacon Edward
Convers. The records of his death, on file at East Cambridge, are as follows:
"We, Isaac Brooks and James Thompson, being about the 21 of Feb. 69, in the Corne mill
belonging to the Converses, at Wooburne, on of a suddain we heard a voice about the mill wheel
saying stop the wheel, upon wh the said Thompson did run to the mill gate & looking towards the
mill wheel he saw as he thought a man laid down and cried out my unkle is killed. Isaak in the mean
time did run to the water wheel and found Samuel Converse with his head fastened between the
water wheel and water wall.
The said Thompson in the mean time did shift the gate and came running to the sd Brooks.
Now the water wheel being turned backwards did raise upwards and wee seeing his head cleared
went unto him and did take him up alive who bled excessively. We did carry him into his house and
soon after we brought him in his bleeding stopt & and in about half an houres time as we conceive he
was quite departed."
THE VERDICT OF THE JURY OF QUEST ON THE DEATH OF SAMUEL CONVERSE.
We subscribed being by the Constable of Wooburn Summoned a jury of quest upon the
suddain and untimely death of Seargt. Samuel Convars late of Wooburne, upon examination of the
Witnesses that did take him up, going to the place from whence he was taken up & viewing of the
Corps, doe conceive that the said Convars was cutting some ice from off the water wheele, of the
corne mill & so overreaching with his axe was caught by his coate with some part of the wheele
whereby his coate was rent to the Choller thereoff & that not giving way his head was drawne untill
it was sucked in between the water wall & the water wheele. now as is said he did call to shutt
down the wheel but in all probabillitie lie received his mortall wound soone after he spake to stop
the wheele. We saw much blood in the place whereabouts he was judged to stand, also there was
blood upon the snow from the place to his house, as is said he was carried to his house alive and
being set in a chair his blood quickly settled within him wholly preventing him from speaking & in
about half an hour was dead. We found the back side of his head greatly brusied his nose grizzle
as wee think was broken so that the said Convars his head lying as before expressed we judge his
death to be by the water wheele of the Corn Mill.
22: 12: 69.
RICHARD GARDNER JOHN CARTER
MATTHEW JOHNSON JOHN NORRIS
JOHN WRIGHT INCREASE WINN
JOHN RUSSELL JOHN MOUSALL
EDWARD IVONS JOHN BROOKS
WILLIAM JOHNSON WILL SYMES
Samuel Convers died intestate. Among the papers relating to his estate, recorded Vol. III
page 209, Middlesex Probate Records, is:
"An Inventory of the estate presented to us, subscribed, of Sergt. Samuel Convars of
Woburne, lately deced.
£. s. d.
Imp. In land at a place called Indian Hill about 30 acc's 030 00 00
It. In arrable land vpon blind Bridge playne about 40: accrs 050 00 00
It. In pasture land neere to his barne about 30 accrs 003 00 00
It. In upland at a place called Breakenecke Hill 6 accrs. 005 00 00
It. twelve accrs & ¼ in Woburne comon upland 002 10 00
It. Interest in the said comon as to herbage and woodland 020 00 00
It In upland at the eastermost side of Aberjona river about 24 acres 020 00 00
It. In vpland & orchard about the dwelling house about 4 acres 016 00 00
It. In meddow at a place called bucke meddow about nine acres 030 00 00
It. In meddow upon Aberjona river about seven acres 035 00 00
It. In make meddow at a place called great meddow about 2 acres 001 00 00
It. In an 8th of a saw mill upon Aberjona river & pond thereof 020 00 00
It. ln upland at a place called pine meadow Playne 6 acres 003 00 00
It. In a third of a corne mill upon Aberjona river 020 00 00
with a third of the utensils belonging thereunto 020 00 00
It. In a third of a kell house & haire cloth . 000 10 00
It. In a barne and lien house 030 00 00
It. In a dwelling house 080 00 00
IN THE KITCHEN.
Imprimis In peauter 001 05 00
It. In a warming pail, pestle & morter, skillets, dishes & earthen ware 000 15 00
It. In trammell handjrons, spit, slice and tongs 000 16 00
It. In a fowling piece, woolen wheell, a cradle 5 chaires & table . 001 07 00
IN THE LEANTO.
It. In a brass Kettle 2 Iron Kettles & an iron pott . 002 00 00
It. In tubs, treyes & cheeze press 000 10 00
It. In a chearne, frying pail, sieves and other lumber . 000 05 06
It. In apparell woolen and linnen 007 02 00
It. Three chestes, a bed sted & table 001 15 00
IN THE KITCHEN CHAMBER.
Imprimis: A chaf bed, bed stead, a pillow 2 blankets a sheet
& coverlet 001 10 00
It. A sadle pillion & cloth, bridle girts, crupper & pannell 001 10 00
It. A muskett, bandeleers, 2 bellts, sword, rest & pike 001 10 00
It. 16 bushels of rye, 11 bush: of wheat, 20 bush:
Indian 3 bush: barley 009 00 00
It. 2 bush of Dates, two hogs heads & a fewe hops 000 16 00
IN THE GARRET.
It. In nailes hemp & old jron &, feathers 001 07 00
It. In tooles , 000 14 00
It. In rye vpon the ground 002 00 00
It. In chaines yoakes jrons, a plow wth share & boult 001 00 00
It. In about one hundred & half of boarde 000 07 06
It. In a long carte & dung carte wth the wheeler 002 06 00
It. In a third of grind stone, harrow teeth & timber chaine 000 3 4
It. In a third of a frame neere mistick bridge laid 005 00 00
(total?) 438 10 03
IN STOCK IN THE YARD.
Imprimis: Three working cattell 012 00 00
It. In a horse 003 00 00
It. In two cowes 006 00 00
It. In two heifers 005 00 00
It. In a young bull 001 00 00
It. In three yearlings 002 05 00
It. In nine sheep & 2 lambs 003 10 00
It. In eight swine 001 00 00
(total?) 37 05 00
It. In a man servant about a year 09 05 00
The totall sum of this Inventory is 475 00 03
The debts and credits of this estate being compared, the clere estate
at present is 446 12 03
ESTATE OF SAMUEL CONVERS, DEBTOR.
Imprimis. To Josiea Conuers 016 03 06
It. To Mr,. Norton 000 17 4
It. To Hennery Balcum 000 15 7
It. To John Wilson senr 000 15 6
It. To Mr. Cuttler Cuttler 002 16 8
It. To John Berbeen 000 7 10
It. To Allien Conners for rates 000 9 4
It. To John Mousall of Wooburne 000 2 6
It. To William Butter 000 2 3
It. To Jonathan Thompson 000 4 00
It. To goodman Peirson 000 3 00
It. To Captaine Johnson 000 4 00
It. To Mr. Carter 001 7 00
It. To Mr. Thomas Line 000 3 00
It. To John Whittimore 000 12 6
It. To Daniel Champney 001 5 00
It. To good wife Conuars 002 4 6
It. To an annual paiment to be wade to Isis mother Conuers
during her naterrall life. 001 13 4
It. To goodman Jakewith 000 2 6
It. To goodman Clarke 000 1 6
It. To the estate of Tho: Whittimore 000 8 00
It. To John Smith 000 18 00
It. To John Lowden 000 5 6
It. To John Smith 000 16 8
It. To John Ted 000 4 6
It. To Moses Cleaueland senr 000 4 06
It. To Clothe, for Nathl. Hellin* . 005 00 00
(total?) 38 09 00
By John Russell 000 3 00
By Jame's ffowle 000 8 00
By Gersham flag 000 14 00
By John Craggin 000 08 00
By Jonathan Cary 000 9 00
By Theophilus Richardson 000 2 00
By Edward Will 000 5 00
by Samuel Barnard 000 18 10
By Proctor 000 5 00
By Isaack Brooks 003 1 04
By Mr. Ballard 000 16 00
By Samuel Carter 001 9 00
By Nath Hellin 000 5 00
(total?) 09 04 08
By James Convers Junr 00 16 11
10 11 07
Children of Sergt. Samuel (2) and Judith (Carter) Converse:
I. Samuel (3), born at Woburn, Ajpril 4, 1662
II. Abigail(3), born at Woburn
As before stated, Judith, widow, married, 2d, Giles Fifield, May 2, 1672. His will was
proved Oct. 28, 1676, in which he gives to his wife Judith "all she brought him." It also states,
"I further give and bequeath unto Samuel Convers, and Abigail, his sister, as a Legaci of my love,
to each of them, ten shillings in silver, to be payed unto them by my excutor." Judith Fifield's
estate was appraised Oct. 3,1678. We have no further record of Abigail.
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