Robert Cushman, ancestor of all the Cushmans in America, was born in England between the years 1580 and 1585. In his religious opinions he was a Non-conformist or Puritan, and was one of the original band of pilgrims who, for the sake of religious liberty, left England and settled in Leyden, Holland. Nothing further of his history is known until the year 1617, when he was selected, together with John Carver, as agent of the pilgrims, to go to London and negotiate with the Virginia Company and the King, for leave to settle in America, and "have liberty of conscience there." The latter concession the two agents were unable to obtain, and as a result they made a second trip to London, in December of the same year, only to meet with the same disappointment. Finally, in 1619, Mr. Cushman, with William Brewster, made a third journey to London, in the same capacity, and succeeded in making an agreement, whereby they were supplied with capital with which to emigrate. The success of this enterprise is said to have been due in large measure to the skill, diplomacy and perserverance of Robert Cushman.
When the "Mayflower" and the "Speedwell" set out in 1620, Mr. Cushman, with his son Thomas, was among the passenges of the latter, and left behind in London as their leader, when the ship was disabled. He sailed for New England finally, in 1621, in the "Fortune," the second ship that carried over emigrants, but remained there only a short time, as it was the wish of Governor Bradford that he should return to London and continue as the agent of the Pilgrims there. In the course of his stay, however, he delivered a discourse to the colonists, Dec. 12, 1621, which, from its ability and the fact that it was the first sermon delivered in New England, that was published, has become quite noted. It was first published in London, in 1622, and in 1624, in Boston, but without his name. He left for England in the "Fortune," Dec. 13, 1621, leaving his son, then fourteen years old, to be brought up in the family of Governor Bradford. He continued the faithful friend and agent of the colony, and was in frequent correspondence with the governor and other prominent members of the community as to its welfare. The exact date of his death is not know, but it is supposed to have been in Jan. or Feb. 1625. He left an only son, Thomas, mentioned below.
(II) Thomas, son of Robert Cushman, was born in Englandin Feb., 1608, and came to America with his father in the ship "Fortune," which sailed from London, July, 1621, and landed at Plymouth in Nov. of the same year. He was brought up in the family of his father's particular friend, Governor Bradford; Jan. 1, 1633, he was admitted a freeman, and at this time is believed to have been twenty-five o six years old. In 1635 he first served as a juryman. In 1637, it is supposed, that he removed to Jones river, now Kingston, where he received a grant of land. In 1645 he purchaed "Prence's farm" in Kingston, by exchanging land for it, for seventy-five pounds. On this land is "the Elder's Spring" from Elder Thomas Cushman, whose house stood near it. He became ruling elder of the church at Plymouth in 1649, and continued in that office until his death.
March 29, 1653, Thomas Cushman, Thomas Prence and others, received by deed a tract of land in Rehoboth from the Indian chief Massasoit and his elder son Wamsitto, for which they paid the sum of thirty-five pounds. In 1657 he was the principal witness to the will of Governor Bradford, and also inventoried the latter's estate.
He married about the year 1635, or 36, Mary, third child of Isaac Allerton. She came over in the "Mayflower" at the age of eleven, and was the lst survivor of its passengers. She survived her husband seven or eight years, and was probably buried in the Burying Hill cemetery at Plymouth. He died Dec. 11, 1691, and was buried in the same place. His gravestone is still to be seen .
1. Thomas, born Sept. 16, 1637.
2. Sarah, married John Hawks, of Lynn.
4. Isaac, born at Plymouth, Feb. 8, 1647-48.
5. Elkanah, June 1, 1651, mentioned below.
6. Feare, June 20, 1653, died young.
7. Eleanor, Feb. 20, 1656-57.
(III) Thomas Cushman, son of Thomas Cushman, was born Sept. 16.
(III) Deacon Elkanah, son of Thomas Cushman, was born June 1, 1651. He married (first) Elizabeth, Feb. 16, 1676-77, daughter of James Cole. She died Jan. 4, 1682, and he married (second) Martha, daughter of Jacob Cocke, of Plymouth. She was born March 16, 1659-60, at Plymouth, died Sept. 27, 1772.
He was deacon of the church at Plympton for about nine years, from March 1718-19. In 1723 he was representative in the general court from Plympton, and held the office of ensign in the military company in that town. His will was dated Oct. 14, 1725; he died Sept. 4, 1727.
He was called "a pious gody man," devoted to the prosperity of the church.
Children of first wife:
1. Elkanah, born Sept. 15, 1678.
2. James, Oct. 20, 1679, died young.
3. Jabez, Dec. 28, 1681.
4. Allerton, Nov. 21, 1683, mentioned below.
5. Elizabeth, Jan. 17, 1685-96.
6. Josiah, March 21, 1687-88.
7. Martha, baptized 1691.
8. Mehitable, born Oct. 8, 1793.
(IV) Allerton, son of Deacon Elkanah Cushman, was born Nov. 21, 1683. He married (first) Mary Buck, Jan. 11, 1710-11; she died Oct. 15, 1725. He married (second) Elizabeth, daughter of George Sampson, Sept. 15, 1726. She died April 17, 1744. He and both of his wives were members of the church in Plympton. He died Jan. 9, 1730-31.
Children of first wife:
1. Allerton, born Dec. 16, 1712, mentioned below.
2. James, May 27, 1715.
3. Mary, June 5, 1718.
4. Ephraim, Oct. 5, 1720; died Nov. 17, 1725.
Children of second wife:
5. Alice, June 19, 1727, died July 18, 1727.
6. Joseph, Feb. 22, 1729-30, died July 26, 1731.
(V) Allerton (2) son of Allerton (1) Cushman, was born Dec. 16, 1712. He married (first) Alethea Soule, of Duxbury, Jan. 30, 1734-35, and (second) Deborah _____. She died Dec. 1, 1751.
His first wife, Alethea, was born Jan. 7, 1714, died March 3, 1748. He moved to Connecticut after the death of his second wife, and settled in Lebanon. He and his first wife were members of the church at Plymouth, where they were received into "full communion," Aug. 6, 1739.
Children of first wife:
1. Asenath, born Nov. 22, 1735.
2. Zilpha, Feb. 3, 1736-37.
3. Allerton, May 4, 1738, died Aug. 19, 1738.
4. Allerton, May 3, 1740, at Plympton.
5. Lydia, Oct. 2, 1741.
6. Ephraim, Feb. 14, 1742-43, at Duxbury.
7. Mary, Dec. 23, 1744.
8. Luther, Oct. 14, 1747.
Children of second wife:
9. Caleb, mentioned below.
10. Deborah, born Sept. 26, 1751.
(VI) Caleb, son of Allerton (2) Cushman, was born at Woodstock, Conn., Oct. 21, 1749. He was a farmer. He removed to Goshen, Mass., where he died Jan. 3, 1809. He married Bathsheba Spaldin, born Sept. 23, 1756, died at Goshen, Jan. 17, 1805.
1. Rufus, born April 12, 1778.
2. Wealthy, Oct., 1779.
3. Calvin, June 13, 1784, at Goshen.
4. Theodamia, Aug., 1786.
5. Minerva, Aug. 20, 1788, at Goshen.
6. Vesta, Oct. 27, 1790, mentioned below.
7. Ralph, Oct. 7, 1792, at Goshen.
8. Mary, Nov. 26, 1796.
(VII) Vesta, daughter of Caleb Cushman, was born Oct. 27, 1790. She married Moses Dresser, of Goshen, Feb. 3, 1813.
1. Caleb Cushman, Feb. 3, 1813, died March 25, 1880.
2. Levi, Feb. 28, 1816, died Sept. 4, 1890.
3. Martha, April 13, 1818, died Sept. 30, 1828.
4. George, July 20, 1820, died July 13, 1906.
5. Dorothy Chloe, June 1, 1823, died Feb. 26, 1908.
6. Wealthy, June 24, 1826, died April 27, 1906.
7. Rufus, Dec. 4, 1828.
8. Martha, Oct. 18, 1832, died Feb. 2, 1899.
(III) Rev. Isaac, second son of Thomas (q.v.) and Mary (Allerton) Cushman, was born Feb. 8, 1648, at Plymouth, and died Oct. 22, 1732, at Plympton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the church at Plymouth and in June, 1690, he was elected a deputy to the general court, being associated in the same office with John Broadforce. The same men were selected deputies to another session held in August, same year. In June following they were again elected and attended the last session previous to the union of the Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies in 1692. At the death of his father in 1691 he was chosen ruling elder. He was called to the pastorate of the church in Middleboro, and of the new church established at Plympton, the western precinct of Plymouth. He accepted the latter and continued minister there from 1695 to 1732.
His settlement there followed an extended controversy. He was more liberal in religious matters than his comtemporaries, and secured the adoption of new articles of faith, which have remained to the present day with little change as the creed of the Congregational church. At the time of his settlement in Plymouth he was in the prime of life and was evidently a very able man. Little is known of his talent as a preacher, none of his sermons having been printed, but he was among the most useful members of his profession. During his ministry of thirty-seven years two hunded and forty-seven persons became member of the church, and he solemnized one hundred and forty-four marriages. The history of the church, written by Louis Bradford, says: "He was a pious and Godly man. He had not a college education. He used to preach without notes, but studied his sermons beforehand and committed to memory. Instead of a wig he used to wear a black velvet cap. His salary in 1701 was 35 pounds, and it was increased from time to time, till in 1728 it was 85 pounds a year."
He married, about 1675, Mary Rickard, born 2654, died Sept. 27, 1727, at Plympton.
Isaac (mentoined below), Rebeckah, Mary, Sarah, Ichabod, Fear.
(IV) Isaac (2), eldest child of Rev. Isaac (1) and Mary (Rickard) Cushman, was born Nov. 15, 1676, at Plympton, and died Sept. 18, 1727. For many years he was lieutenant in the militia company of Plympton, was frequently one of the selectmen and assessors, and was quite distinguished as a land surveyor. At the time of his death he had held the office of town clerk for more than sixteen and one-half years. He was a much respected and valuable citizen, and with both his wives was affiliated with the church of which his father was pastor.
He married (first) Jan. 28, 1701, (widow) Sarah Gibbs, daughter of Nathaniel Warner. She died Oct. 10, 1717, and he married (second), Oct. 10, 1717, Mercy, widow of Jonathan Freeman, of Harwich, and daughter of Major Jonathan Bradford, of Kingston. She died at Plympton, June 27, 1728.
Phoebe, Alice, Rebeckah, Sarah, Nathaniel (mentioned below), Fear, Priscilla, Isaac, Abigail.
(V) Nathaniel, elder son of Isaac (2) and Sarah (Gibbs) Cushman, was born May 28, 1712, at Plympton, and died Oct. 1, 1793, at Montague, Massachusetts. He lived for a time at Plympton, and moved to Lebanon, Connecticut about 1740. Before 1778 he moved to Bernardston, Mass., where he lived a number of years with his son, Dr. Polycarpus Cushman, but his last years were passed at the home of his son Consider, and he was buried in the old north burying-ground at Montague.
He was a captain of the militia and was a man of importance in his day. Of his fourteen children, four were born in Plympton, and ten in "Lebanon Crank," now the town of Columbia, Connecticut. His Bible is yet preserved in the family of one of his descendants, Alfred Allen, who resided at Colchester, Vemont. On one of the leaves is written, "This Bible was bought A.D. 1738. Price 3 pounds, 16 shillings. Was printed in London in 1712."
He married (first) Nov. 22, 1733, Sarah, daughter of William Connor, of Plympton, born Feb. 28, 1713, died April 14, 1753. She was the mother of ten of his children. He married (second) Aug. 23, 1753, Temperance Sims, born March 16, 1727, at Lebanon, Conn., died Feb. 27, 1774.
Isaac, Sarah, Nathaniel, Consider, Simeon, William, Ambrose, Polycarpus, Artemas, Temperance, Rebecca, Abigail, Mercy and Joab. The first three children of his seond wife died young.
(VI) Nathaniel (2), second son of Nathaniel (1) and Sarah (Connor) Cushman, was born Sept. 2, 1738, at Plympton, and was two years old when his parents removed to Lebanon. At the age of twenty-two years, in company with his elder brother Isaac he removed to Stafford, Conn., and both purchased farms near together. His house stood about one mile from the Massachusetts state line and was destroyed by fire about 1758, during the absence of his family, except three children, the oldes of whom was but six years old. They barely escaped alive.
He married (first), Sept. 4, 1760, Phoebe Newcomb; (second) Hannah Hawkins, who died Sept. 22, 1845, aged ninety-one years. He died at Stafford, Aug. 17, 1817.
Nathaniel, Jerial, Jeduthan, Hannah, Phoebe, Charlotte, Jemima, Clarissa, Peter Newcomb, Richard English, Captain Lemuel and Sally.
(VII) Peter Newcomb, fourth son of Nathaniel (2) and Phoebe (Newcomb) Cushman, was born June 30, 1780, in Stafford and settled in Henderson, Jefferson county, New York, about 1807, remaining there thirty years. In 1837 he removed to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he died June 9, 1848. He was a man of great industry and enterprise. When he arrived at Henderson for the purpose of settling, he had a single York shilling in his pocket and a pair of horses and sleigh. He was a large farmer at Waukesha, having one hundred and sixty acres of cultivated lands in one field, and was reputed to be the best farmer in the them terriroty of Wisconsin. He was elected president of the board of trustees of Carroll College, Waukesha, which office he held up to the time of his death.
He married, Jan. 29, 1804, at Plainfield, N.Y., Sally, daughter of Levi Kellogg, born Dec. 4, 1784, at Williamsburgh, Conn., died Sept. 20, 1844, at Waukesha.
Cynthia Maria, mentioned below.
a daughter who died in infancy.
(VIII) Cynthia Maria, eldest daughter of Peter Newcomb and Sally (Kellogg) Cushman, became the first wife of Danford Newton Barney, then of Sacketts Harbor, New York (see Barney, IX).
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