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THE ENGLISH ANCESTRY OF JOHN PUTNAM
OF SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
By G. ANDREWS MORIARTY JR., A.M., LL.B., F.S.A.
In 1892 the late Major Eben Putnam of Wellesley, Mass., issued his Putnam Genealogy, in which he traced the ancestry of John Putnam who settled in 1640 in that part of Salem now Danvers, Mass., to a certain Simon de Puttenham of Puttenham, co. Herts, in 1199.
John Putnam the emigrant to Salem was a Buckinghamshire yeoman, who came from Aston Abbots in Bucks, a parish lying in the eastern part of the county near the Hertfordshire border and only a short distance from Puttenham, the original home of the family. The evidence produced by Major Putnam clearly showed that John Putnam of Aston Abbots was the son of Nicholas Putnam of Wingrave and Stewkley, Co. Bucks, both near-by parishes, and Nicholas by his will, dated 1 Jan. 1597/8, proved 27 Sept. 1598, gave his son John his lands in Aston Abbots (Arch. Bucks, Filed Will).
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This Nicholas, who married Margaret, daughter of John Goodspeed at Wingrave on 30 Jan. 1577/8, was, in turn, the son of John Putnam of Rowsham and Wingrave, who in his will dated 19 Sept. 1573, proved 14 Nov. 1573, names his sons Nicholas, Richard and Thomas. To his son Richard he left his house in Wingrave with eight yards of meadow lands and a close called "Smythes Green" (Arch. Bucks, Filed Will). The Wingrave Court Roll for 1573-4 shows that at his death John Putnam held a house there of the Honor of Berkhampstead by knight's service, which house was "sometime the town house, with a close called Smythes Green and 8 yards of meado in franchise and 3 acres of arable land. Richard Putnam is his heir, of full age, whereby 4d is due the Queen for his relief." (Court Rolls and Ministers' Accounts, Berkhampstead, Portfolio 155, no. 38.) It must here be noted that Richard was not the eldest son, but is described as heir because he was devisee of this land by his father's will.
The eldest son of John Putnam of Rowsham and Wingrave was a John Putnam. He is not mentioned in his father's will, but there is ample evidence upon this point. Thomas Putnam of Rowsham, son of the testator of 1573, in his will dated 26 June 1576, proved 7 July 1576 (Arch. Bucks, Filed Will), mentions his brother Nicholas Putnam, his brother John Putnam, and the latter's son Thomas. He also names as supervisors of the will, Master Traimor Smith of Edlesborough and Master John Blackenoll of Wing.
Richard Putnam of Rowsham, another son of John, the testator of 1573, in his will dated 21 June 1576, proved 27 Oct. 1576 (Arch. Bucks, Filed Will), names his brother Nicholas Putnam, his brother John Putnam, and the latter's son Thomas. He, leaves to Nicholas "my house at Wingrave and all the freehold land which I now have in possession, given me by the will of my father John Putnam," etc.
This brother John Putnam was the eldest son of John, the 1573 testator, and he was not named in his father's will because he was already provided for as will presently appear. This John Putnam was of Slapton, and as John Putnam of Slapton he made his will on 5 March 1594/5, proved 28 Feb. 1595/6. He left to his youngest son Bernard "all my lands and house in Edlesborough and Northall," but if he had no issue then they were to revert to the testator's son John. He also names his son Thomas and his daughters Margaret, Joan and Ann. The executors were the testator's wife Margaret and his son Thomas who are to have his lands in Slapton and Horton. He names "my brother Nicholas Putnam" as an overseer. (Arch. Bucks. Filed Will.)
We now see that John of Rowsham, who died in 1573, had in addition to his sons Nicholas, Richard and Thomas, named in
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his will, a son John, who was of Slapton but who had lands also in Edlesborough.
Richard Putnam of Woughton on the Green by his will, dated 12 Dec. 1556, proved 26 Feb. 1556/7, devised his house in Slapton ''to Joan my wife for life, with remainder to John my son.'' He also leaves a legacy to his son John and the latter's wife and their children. He further names his son Harry and his daughter Joan. The executor and residuary legatee was his son Harry Putnam (i.e. the Harry Putnam of Woughton on the Green, whose will dated 13 July 1579 was proved 3 Oct. 1579, Arch. Bucks, Filed Will), and the overseers were "John Putnam my son" and Richard Brinclow (Arch. Bucks, Bk. 1556-7, fo. 35). There can be no doubt but that John, son of Richard of Woughton, is identical with John Putnam of Rowsham the testator of 1573. That the estate in Slapton was settled by the latter, before his death, on his eldest son, John, who died testate as of Slapton in 1595. This evidence enables us to state that Richard Putnam of Woughton on the Green who died in 1556-7 was the father of John Putnam of Rowsham, who died in 1573, and who in turn was the father of Nicholas Putnam of Wingrave and Stewkley, whose son John of Aston Abbots emigrated to Salem, Mass., in 1640.
So far Major Putnam's pedigree is proved and correct, although he was obscure in his statement of the evidence which shows John of Rowsham to have been the son of Richard of Woughton. Had he stopped here, no criticism of Major Putnam's pedigree would have been possible; but he proceeded to make Richard of Woughton the son of Henry Puttenam, who was a younger son of Nicholas Putenham of Penn, Co. Bucks, who was in turn a second son of William Putenham of Putenham, Esquire, the head of the ancient and knightly house of Putenham of Putenham. Major Putnam more than thirty years ago admitted to the writer of this article that he had no scrap of evidence to prove that Richard was son of Henry beyond the occurrence of the common names of Nicholas and Henry in both the Penn and Woughton families. Here the matter rested until last year, when A. Vere Woodman, Esq., of Wing, co. Bucks, a descendant of the Buckinghamshire Putenhams, and a keen local genealogist, and Frederick G.. Gurney, Esq., a distinguished Bucks antiquary, became interested in the problem. Thanks to their efforts, we are now able to show the probable descent of Richard Putnam of Woughton from the ancient lords of Putenham.
Major Putnam stated that Richard Putnam of Woughton, who died in 1556-7 was identical with the Richard Puttynham who was assessed at Edlesborough on tenements valued at 20/, 12d, in the Subsidy of 8 Jan. 15 Henry VIII (1523/4). In this state-
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ment he was clearly wrong as this earlier Richard is identical with the Richard Puttnam of Toternhoo, co. Beds, whose will was dated 20 May 1530 (Arch. Beds, no probate date given). By this will Richard bequeaths to his wife Elizabeth, provided she does "not vex John Puttnam my unkill from the house of myne being in Edisborow wich I solde unto him with all the landes and profitis longing to it." He also bequeaths to "Alis Nevull" his sister, and makes his uncle John Puttnam his residuary legatee. This uncle John Puttnam is evidently the John Pottman who was assessed at Slapton on £8 in goods in the Subsidy of 15 Henry VIII (1523-4),* and he is the John Putnam assessed, on £12 in goods, for 12d, in the Relief of 20 April 3 Edward VI (1549) (L.S. 79/163).
This John is also clearly the father of Thomas Putnam of Edlesborough, whose will dated 31 Aug. 1575 was proved 16 Sept. 1575 (Arch. Bucks, Filed Will). In this will he makes his son Anthony Putnam his executor and residuary legatee, and he is to support the testator's wife for life. Among the witnesses to this will was Treymor Smythe. Both Mr. Gurney and Mr. Woodman from their knowledge of local conditions are of the opinion that the logical place of origin for Richard Putnam of Woughton was in Edlesborough, which is hard by Woughton. Slapton, where Richard owned lands, adjoins Edlesborough. John Putnam of Slapton, the testator of 1594/5, son of John Putnam of Rowsham and grandson of Richard of Woughton, owned land in Edlesborough at Northall. It should also be noted that Traymor Smyth of Edlesborough was the. supervisor of the will of Thomas Putnam of Rowsham (son of John of Rowsham) in 1576, and one of the witnesses of the will of Thomas Putnam of Edlesborough in 1575.
Richard Putnam of Woughton, who died in 1556-7, was a mature man at the time of his death, as he mentions his son John and the latter's wife and children in his will, and his grandson Nicholas married Margaret Goodspeed (bapt. 16 Aug. 1556 at Wingrave) on 30 Jan. 1577/8. So we may conclude that Richard of Woughton, who died in 1556-7, was born about 1490, and that John, uncle to Richard Puttenam of Toternhoo, was born about 1485. This Richard's father was evidently older than his brother John and must have been born about 1480, while Richard, who was a young man at his death in 1530 was born about 1503-1505. Uncle John is evidently the John of Slapton in 1523-4; he later bought his nephew Richard's house in Edlesborough and was living there in 1549. There can be small doubt that Richard of Slapton and Woughton, the testator of 1556, was a younger brother of the father of Richard of Toternhoo and of John Putnam of Slapton and Edlesborough and that he
*Information furnished by Frederick G. Gurney, Esq.
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belonged to the Edlesborough Putnams, who were a cadet branch of the Putenhams of Putenham. At this point it may be well to point out that John of Rowsham, son of Richard of Woughton, was assessed at "Wingrave with Rowsham" on 18 Feb. 37 Henry VIII (1545/6) on £7 in goods, for 4/8 (L. S. 78/148) and again on 20 April 3 Edward VI (1549) for relief on £12 goods, 12/ (L. S. 79/163), which proves that he was born as early as about 1515-1520.
We now leave the Putnams of Woughton, Slapton and Rowsham (Wingrave) to consider the descent of the Edlesborough Putnams. In 1390 "Robert Putenham of county Buckingham" was surety for Richard Puttenham of Edlesborough (Coram Rege R. 518, K. B. 27, 518, Rex Roll at end of 518). There can be little doubt but that the Robert Puttenham here named was Robert, the lord of Puttenham, co. Herts, who died holding Puttenham in 1414 (I. P. M., 2 Henry V), and that he is described as "of Buckinghamshire" by a slip of the clerk because Puttenham lay close to the Bucks border, and Robert held lands in Bucks as well as in Herts. Mr. Gurney is of the opinion that he is identical with Robert, the lord of Puttenham, for the following reasons:
1. He was not of Edlesborough, or he would not have been styled "de com:Buk."
2. At this date, 1390-1, he would hardly be described as "armiger."
3. The description was a quite natural mistake with respect to a man whose lordships of Putenham and Long Marston adjoined Bucks, and who was moreover a Bucks landowner.
4. So far as is known, the only Robert Putenham living at this date was Robert the lord of Putenham and Long Marston.
It seems most likely that Robert Putenham must have been a very close relative of Richard. Putenham of Edlesborough to have gone surety for him,-quite probably a brother. Richard of Edlesborough also occurs in Ancient Indictments, K. B. 7/5, 11 Richard II (1387-8) and in Add. Charters, B. M. 2803, 2 Henry IV (1400-1401).
On 1 Oct. 1 Henry VI (1422) John Putnaham appears as a witness to a charter of John Scalon of Northall in Edlesborough (Moulton's Cat. of Deeds, 1930, p. 88, H. 116).
In 1464 another John Putnam witnessed a deed concerning a gift of books to Edlesborough (Photograph of Deed formerly owned by the Rev. W. G. Crufts, formerly vicar of Edlesborough). In 12 Edward IV (1471-2) John Putenham of Edlesborough was one of the jurors on the I. P. M. of Robert. Rufford. In 1482 a John Putneham of Edlesborough witnessed a charter of land there (Moulton's Cat. of Deeds, 1930, H. 117).
These items enable us to construct a tentative, but probable, pedigree of the ancestors of Richard of Woughton and Slapton,
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TENTATIVE PUTNAM PEDIGREE
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*Thomas Puttnam of Edlesborough, who died testate in 1575 leaving a son Anthony Putnam, was clearly son of John. Anthony acquired the Manor of Northell in Edlesborough and conveyed it to his son Thomas Putnam in 1615. The I. P. M. of Thomas taken 11 Sept. 14 Charles I shows that he died seized of this manor.
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and one which in any event cannot be far out of the way. Richard Putynham of Edlesborough in 1387/8, 1390 and 1400-1401 was probably brother of Robert Putenhain of Putenham and a younger son of Sir Roger de Putenham of Putenham, chivaler, M. P. for Bucks 1355, 1363, 1366, 1367, 1370 and 1374, by his wife Margery. Richard was in turn probably the father of John Putenham of Edlesborough in 1422, and the latter was evidently the father of the John Putenham of Edlesborough who was apparently a mature man in 1464 and 1472. This last John appears to have been the father of John Putenham who witnessed the charter at Edlesborough in 1482, and this last John evidently had three sons: 1.----------, eldest son, father of Richard the testator of 1530; 2. John Putenham of Slapton 1524 and of Edlesborough in 1549, uncle of the last-named Richard; 3. Richard Putnam of Slapton and Woughton, who died in 1556/7, the ancestor of the New England family.