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The Gorham Family

Table of Contents
New England
Town Histories
Misc. Notes
Town Histories
Misc. Notes
Town Histories
Misc. Notes
New York
Onieda/Madison Co.
Town Histories

Misc. Notes
Early Mid. ages
500 -1050
High Mid. Ages
Late Mid. Ages
Other Info
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The history of my Gorham family in New England starts with Ralph, son of James and Agnes (Berrington or Benham) Gorham. Ralph was born at Bennefield, Northamptonshire, England, 1575, and died April 5, 1642/43. He came to New England in the Philip about 1635, with his wife and family. He was granted land in the Plymouth Colony, October 2, 1637 probably in Duxbury. His name appears in the court records, June 4, 1639, and one record states that he died in 1643, at the age of sixty-eight years, but some think he returned to England and died there.

Ralph married Margaret Stephenson, May 22, 1610, she was born in Bennefield, Eng. Abt. 1579.
They had sons, Ralph, b. 1619, d. 1643. John b. Jan. 28, 1620/21 d. Feb. 5, 1675, and Thomas, b. Jun. 29, 1626, all born in England. The assumption is he left no widow at his death and was survived by only one son, Capt. John.

Captain John Gorham, son of Ralph Gorham, was born in England, and baptized, at Bennefield, January 28, 1620/21. John Gorham's name is variously spelled in the records as Gorham, Goarame,Goarum, Gorum, Gorome, Groom, Groome. In his early years he lived at Plymouth and Duxbury. He was admitted a freeman at Plymouth, December 18, 1638, and was a partner of John Rogers at Duxbury in 1638-39. When he was sixteen he had been granted some land at Plymouth. In 1643 when 23, he inherited his father's estate. In 1650-51 with Joseph Beadle built a bridge over South river. In a deposition dated March 4, 1674-75, he gave his age as fifty-three years.

In 1646, he moved from Plymouth to Marshfield.
In 1652 he moved to Yarmouth and settled near the Barnstable line. He remained there a few years, then moved over the line into Barnstable where he owned a large property which included, a grist mill and tannery. He was one of the selectmen of Barnstable in 1674.

In 1673 he was appointed lieutenant of the Plymouth forces in the Dutch war .

A memorandum book of Captain John Gorham, written in 1645, gives a quaint account of his family, from which we quote as follows:

"Louisburg, Feb., 27, 1645-46. The rise of ye family of Gorhams taken from Capt. George Gorham. My Great Great Grandfather & family came out of Some part of England and lived at Marshfield and Had one son named after him, John Gorurn alis Gorham, which son after Having Marryed With a Howland and had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returned Soone again to his family. His Father Lived and Dyed att Marshfield and whats remarkable He Was a Joyner and Made his Coffen himself for sevrall years before be Dyed and Used to Keep apples in It as a chest Untill he dyed & used it. The son John marryed Desire Howland and went to England moved from Marshfield to Barnstable Built mills-tan vatts &c."

Captain John Gorham, is known in history as having commanded a company of Plymouth forces in King Philip's war, in the decisive Swamp Fight battle fought December 19, 1675. He spent a lot of time in military service, this was the second expedition in this war in which he took part. He died of a fever a few months after the Narragansett fight, the result of fatigue and exposure at that time. He was buried at Swansea, February 5, 1676. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow and two sons, James and John, the rights of the younger children to be guarded.

In 1677 for his good services in the war, the court confirmed to his heirs and successors the four hundred acres of land at Papasquash Neck in Swansea, he had selected in his lifetime.

On Nov. 6, 1643/44, Captain John Gorham married, Desire Howland. She was born Oct. 13, 1623 in Plymouth, Mass. and died at Barnstable, October 13, 1683.
Desire was the daug. of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly who came over in the "Mayflower," John Howland was a leading citizen of Plymouth. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of John and Bridget (Van De Velde) Tilly, also of the Mayflower.

Children of Captain John and Desire (Howland) Gorham are:
1. Desire, born in Plymouth, April 2, 1644; married, October 17, 1661, Captain John Hawes, of Yarmouth.
2. Temperance, born in Marshfield, May 5, 1646; married (first) Edward Sturgis, (second) Thomas or Theodore Baxter.
3. Elizabeth, born in Marshfield, April 2, 1648, m. Joseph Hallett.
4.James, born in Marshfield, April 28, 1650, m. Hannah Hucekins.
5. John, born in Marshfield, February 20, 1652, m. Mary Ottis
6. Joseph, born in Yarmouth, February 16, 1653, m. Sarah Sturgis.
7. Jabez, born in Barnstable, August 30, 1656, Hannah (Sturgis) Gray.
8. Mercy, born in Barnstable, January 20, 1658, married George Denison, 1678/1679
9. Lydia, born in Barnstable, November 16 , 1661 ; married as his second wife, January 11, 1683, Colonel John Thacher.
10. Hannah, born in Barnstable, November 28, 1663, m. Joseph Wheeling.
11. Shubael, born in Barnstable, October 21, 1667, m. Puella Hussey.

My line is of Mercy and George Denison.

See direct line to my NY Terrys

Information from: New England Families and Gen. & Mem., History of Stonington MA, LDS website and various other sources.