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            My interest in this surname line is pretty much limited to Robert Jackson and Robert's daughter Mary Jackson who married John Ferris, along with their spouses and children. I am also very interested in learning something about Robert's ancestors. I would be very grateful for any additional documented information a reader might have, or corrections to what I have posted here. Please e mail at .

approaching a brick wall

First Proved Generation


            Robert Jackson
2, may have been born in 1620, in Nottinghamshire, England.[1] Or, he may have come from Scotland. There isn't much proof for either of these, except for a rather persistent family tradition that has been passed around the internet.[2] If a reader has documentation for Robert's parents, there are a lot of Jackson descendants who would be eager to learn of it. Regardless of the identity of his parents, we do know that Robert married at least twice, and probably three times, and that he died ca. early October 1685 on Long Island. Although we are approaching a brick wall about his identity and where he came from, there are two myths that can be laid to rest.


            The first myth is that Robert's parents were Richard and Isabel (MALTBY) Jackson of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Richard is rather well documented, as an early Separatist, and eventual immigrant to Massachusetts, and then on to Southold, Long Island.[3] He was born in 1582 in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, and died 22 June 1672 in Hempstead (now Nassau County), New York. Scrooby was the town made famous as the place from which the Pilgrims left, first for the Netherlands, and then in 1620 for the new world. Richard married Isabella MALTBY, who was born in 1586 in Cambridge, the daughter of John and Elizabeth (GREAVES) Maltby. Isabella died 12 February 1661 in Long Island.[4]

            Richard Jackson was one of the group of radical Puritans who even during the reign of Elizabeth had given up on the established church, and separated themselves from its communion. This was illegal; in spite of the wide range of theological differences unleashed as the Reformation progressed, the ideal of a national church in which all citizens would be joined, still had currency. The area around Scrooby was a hotbed of extreme Puritan and Separatist sympathies, as well as (and perhaps because of) a number of folks who clung loyally to the old Roman church. A rather contentious group of Separatists met in Gainesborough, which emigrated to The Netherlands several years before the Scrooby group.[5]

            The Separatist church at Scrooby seems to have gotten itself well organized by 1607, with John ROBINSON as pastor, Richard CLIFTON as teacher, and William BREWSTER as elder. Two other inhabitants of Scrooby who were documented as members of the Separatist Church were Richard JACKSON and Robert ROCHESTER. The group decided to leave for a country where they could worship without persecution, namely Holland, where the Separatist group from Gainesborough had already gone. It was illegal to leave the country without permission, but the group bribed a ship's captain to take them from Boston in Lincolnshire. The unscrupulous captain and crew robbed them of all their possessions, and then betrayed them to the authorities who promptly arrested them. Richard JACKSON and William BREWSTER were released on bail to answer charges of "Brownism". On 15 December 1607 it was reported to the court that they could not be found. On 22 April 1608 Richard JACKSON, William BREWSTER, and Robert ROCHESTER of Scrooby, were fined £20 each by the Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical within the Province of York, for not answering a summons to appear at the Collegiate Church of Southwell. Eventually the fines were paid, although the record did not state who paid them.[6]

detail from 'The Mayflower arriving in Provincetown Harbour, Nov. 11th 1620', a commemorative plate

            In the spring of 1608 the greatly impoverished Scrooby group of Separatists tried again to emigrate, by having a ship pick them up in the Humber. This time the captain saw a raiding party approach, as well as a storm brewing; he quickly sailed off with half the group, leaving many women and children on the shore. The women and children were totally destitute, and as they were hustled from gaol to gaol, reduced to begging for food and clothing. Popular sympathy for their plight finally induced the authorities to quietly ship them across the English Channel, a few at a time. Eventually all were united in Amsterdam. To their dismay, they found a great deal of bickering and dissention among the English Separatists in Amsterdam, so the group around Robinson left for Leiden the next year. On 12 February 1609 they were officially welcomed to Leiden, and in time found work in the textile industry that enabled them to improve their economic situation.[7]

            Richard and Isabella were not part of the group that left Leiden in 1620 and sailed on the Mayflower to the new world. Somehow, though, they did manage to get to New England. A likely scenario was that Richard and Isabella migrated to Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in the early 1630s when hundreds of disillusioned Puritans left the England of Charles I and his Archbishop Laud. On 29 May 1635 a group of men (and presumably their families) were dismissed [i.e. permitted to leave] from Watertown to found a new town in Connecticut: Wethersfield (which was originally called Watertown).[8] In 1643 some grew discontented with the rigidity and strictness of the New Haven theocracy and left for "Heemstede" on Long Island, which then was part of New Amsterdam.[9] Presumably Richard and Isabella were among those who moved on, although they may have gone to Southold rather than to Hempstead. Within New Amsterdam there were English settlements at Flushing, Hempstead, Newtown, and Gravesend. Just over the border, English settled at Oyster Bay, and much further east, at Southold.

            Isabella died in Southold (now Suffolk County) Long Island 12 February 1661, before it became part of New York.[10]

            The problem with this parentage for our Robert is that there is not a shred of evidence that Richard and Isabella had a son named Robert— except in secondary sources that build more on hopes and assumptions than facts.

another brick wallanother brick wall

            So, the curious reader asks, if Richard and Isabel/Isabella were not his parents, where did Robert Jackson come from, and who were his parents? Reasonable questions, but so far without answers. The information passed around the internet is that

According to family papers, Robert and Agnes settled Hempstead in 1643 coming from "Watertown Mass. thence to Wethersfield Conn., thence to Stamford, and from thence to Hempstead". Traveling in the party was their minister, Reverend Richard Denton, a graduate of Cambridge University, who also had been previously settled at Watertown Mass.[10a]

            Unfortunately this story does not hold up. Between 1620 and 1635 there were seven men with the surname Jackson who appear in the records of what became Massachusetts. Edmund Jackson (b. ca. 1611; d. 14 July 1675) is first documented in Boston in 1635. He had three wives and eighteen children; none of them was named Robert.[11] Henry Jackson (b. ca. 1606; d. sometime between dating his will in 1682 and his estate inventory taken in 1686) is documented in Watertown in 1635. He had one wife and five children, none of whom was named Robert.[12] John Jackson, age 27, enrolled in 1635 to sail to New England on the Elizabeth and Ann, but there are no further records of him. He may have died at sea or changed his mind about emigrating.[13] Another John Jackson, age 30, enrolled 6 July 1635 to sail to New England on the Defence, but there are no further records of him. He may have died at sea or changed his mind about emigrating.[14] A third John Jackson (b. ca. 1595; d. 1655/6) is documented in Salem in 1635. He had two wives and a single son, named John.[15] A fourth John Jackson (ca. 1614-1648) is documented in Ipswich in 1635. He had one wife and six children, including five daughters and one unnamed son who was born ca. 1643, and therefore obviously too young to be our Robert.[16] Frank Holmes's Directory, 1620-1700 lists eighteen different Jackson men, not a single one named Robert.[17] There are an assortment of Jacksons, again with no Roberts at an appropriate date, in Davis's Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families.[18]

            If we can't find his parents, can we discover when and how Robert Jackson got to Hempstead? It looks like our story might begin in Wethersfield, Connecticut[19] where one faction of Puritans was unhappy with the situation in the church. In 1640 Theophilus EATON and the Rev. John DAVENPORT of New Haven wanted to enlarge their colony at the expense of the Connecticut Colony and the Dutch in New Amsterdam. They sent Captain Nathaniel TURNER to purchase land to the west from the local Native Americans. For the usual paltry supplies and an unbridged cultural chasm between two very different concepts of land ownership, the Europeans secured a large tract of land. After the Rev. John Davenport traveled to Wethersfield to mediate the dispute and found the breach irreparable, the dissenting group was offered space in the newly acquired land. In October some 29 men formed the Rippowam Company which purchased land from New Haven, but agreed to remain under the New Haven Colony's jurisdiction. (In 1643, Stamford was included in the creation of the United Colonies of New England under New Haven's jurisdiction.) By the spring of 1641, the Rev. Richard DENTON, a graduate of Cambridge, along with another 29 men, all with their wives and families, had arrived from Wethersfield. Between 1641 and 1643 another 55 settlers arrived. In April 1642 the name was changed to Stamford.[20]

            The problem with this is that Jackson does not appear on a list of Stamford families, 1641-1935, on the web.

            It didn't take long for the shine to dull. More dissension broke out and in 1643 John CARMAN and Robert FORDHAM were sent from Stamford, Connecticut, to negotiate with the local Indians on Long Island for a purchase of land for settlement. They confirmed ownership by obtaining a patent from the Dutch, extending the already generous grant from the Indians (without, apparently, feeling it necessary to inform the Indians). In 1644 the Rev. Denton and 17 families left Stamford and crossed the Long Island Sound for Hempstead.[21] Robert JACKSON and Capt. John SEAMAN became two of the largest landholders in the town. The implication is that Robert Jackson was part of that original group.[22] But if he was not in Stamford, he must have joined almost immediately after the group arrived on Long Island?

another brick wallanother brick wall

            In 1670 Daniel Denton, son of the minister, wrote a description of western Long Island:

The Island is most of it of a very good soyle, and very natural for all sorts of English Grain; which they sowe and have very good increase of, besides all other Fruits and Herbs common in England, as also Tobacco, Hemp, Flax, Pumpkins, Melons, &c. . . Yea, in May you shall see Woods and Fields so curiously bedecke with Roses, and an innumerable multitude of delightful Flowers not only pleasing to the eye, but smell, that you may behold Nature contending with Art, and striving to equal, if not excel many Gardens in England.[23]

            The first appearance of Robert Jackson in the records seems to be in the 1640s in Hempstead, Long Island. So far I have been unable to find him in any New England records. It is beginning to appear that he materialized out of thin air in Hempstead, without antecedents. This seems rather improbable, however.


Washbourne arms, from Meredith B. Colket, Jr., 'Founders of Early American Families', opp. p. 397

            The second myth is that Robert Jackson married in 1644 in Hempstead Agnes WASHBURNE, assumed to be the daughter of William and Jane (WHITEHEAD) Washburne. [24] The fun thing about having Agnes Washburne as an ancestor, is that she is said to be descended from Lady Anne Plantagenet, daughter of the sixth son of Edward III of England, and therefore a gateway into a whole world of early medieval European royalty.[25] However, Harry Macy, Jr. has done some careful research that throws this whole Agnes hypothesis pretty much out the window, although it is still possible that perhaps some of Robert's children were the grandchildren of William and Jane (WHITEHEAD) Washburne. Anyway, I am very grateful to Janie Jackson Kimble and her excellent web page for bringing this to my attention. Here is Macy's argument, as published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record and posted on the Jackson web page.

        The idea that Robert Jackson's wife was Agnes Washburn derives from two documents. Court testimony in 1659 regarding William Washburn's will establishes that Jackson was married to Washburn's daughter (without giving her name), and Jackson's own 1683 will names a wife Agnes.

        What the creators of "Agnes Washburn" failed to notice was that the court testimony clearly states that Jackson's wife was deceased. On 5 June 1659 "only Robert Jackson... protested against the said will on behalf of his deceased wife and two female children that are now living, had by the daughter of the aforesaid testator." In the will, made in September 1657, William Washburn gave "to Sara the daughter of Robert Jackson one yearling heifer," but did not mention Sara's mother, his daughter, and no record has been found that gives her first name. All we can safely say is that Robert Jackson married a Washburn.

        Based on the likely birth dates of his children, Robert Jackson's marriage to Miss Washburn probably took place about 1650-53.

        In 1661 John Winthrop, Jr., made an entry in his medical journal for "Pudington of Hempstead, 13 years old, daughter of Robert Jackson's wife of Hempstead." Robert Puddington (or Purington) was a resident of Newtown (then Middelburg), Long Island, in January 1657. Agnes' maiden name has not been found. Her marriage to Robert Jackson probably took place around 10 April 1660, when he purchased a house in Maspeth Kills, Newtown. He is last mentioned in the Newtown records 29 October 1670, when he and Agnes sold a farm at Maspeth Kills, "this same farme that was Robert Pudingtons formerly," and "Agnesse my wife" signed with her mark. Finally, in his 1683 will Robert Jackson mentioned a great deal of movable property that was to go to Agnes, some of which he described as that "which she brought with her," wording that usually means the wife had a prior marriage.[26]

            This does not end the controversy, because it appears that Robert Jackson may have had three wives, and that our line descends from the first, unknown wife. Again, the evidence for this is from Harry Macy, Jr.:

        In the 1659 Washburn will testimony... Robert Jackson protested only on behalf of "two female children that are now living, had by the daughter of the aforesaid testator," despite the fact that at this time he had at least one more daughter and two sons, all probably still minors. This strongly suggests that these other children were not born of Jackson's Washburn wife . . . .

        It is also unlikely that William Washburn had a daughter old enough to bear all these children. Thus it would appear that before he married Miss Washburn, Robert Jackson had at least one other wife, whose name is totally unknown to us, and she was the mother of at least three of his children. This previous marriage most likely took place in England prior to emigration.[27]

            So the descendants of Sara and another daughter can claim a relationship with Anne Plantagenet, but we cannot, at least not through the Washburns.

another brick wallanother brick wall

            Now, leaving aside questions of parents and wives, we are at last on firm footing. In 1647 Hempstead was divided among the 66 original owners, including Robert JACKSON, William WASHBOURNE, and Thomas WILLETT.[28] They followed the old land patterns they were familiar with in England and the Netherlands (Long Island was under the nominal control of New Amsterdam and the Dutch West India Company). These consisted of a village "mark", clustered house lots, arable "mark", or "Planter’s Lots", fields assigned for cultivation, and the common "mark" where the rights of pasturage and of cutting hay and wood were held in common. In 1712 the common was surveyed and found to have 6,213 acres. The rights to its use, and to sell or bequeath these rights, lasted until the American Revolution.[29] As in Yorkshire and the Netherlands, cattle grazing was a major occupation. The number of cattle one could pasture on the common was in direct proportion to the number of "standing gates" (fence sections) each individual built and maintained. In 1651 there were 521 "gates" owned by 61 men.[30]

            Robert, living in Hempstead, bought forty acres in Middlebury from Joseph FOWLER on 10 April 1660. Fowler had purchased it from his brother-in-law Richard BETTS.[31] This is the real estate purchase mentioned above, probably around the time that Robert married his third wife, Agnes, the widow of Robert PUDINGTON.

            The relations between the settlers and the Native Americans were not cordial. A large part of the blame can be placed on the stupidity of the Dutch governors, and on hot-headed violence on the part of some settlers. There was also traditional ongoing violence between various tribes of Native Americans. Early on the settlers imprisoned seven Indians on false and trivial charges. Three were executed and the others were taken to New Amsterdam where they were tortured.[32] There is no indication that our ancestors opposed this injustice. It wasn't long before brutal war broke out, with the Native Americans bearing the brunt of the butchery. Europeans should feel no pride for their part in what might well be termed genocide.

            New Netherland was a polyglot colony. By the early 1650s there were Waldenses from Piedmont, Huguenots from France, Scotch Presbyterians, English Independents, Moravians, Anabaptists, and Jews.[32a] It was supposed to turn a profit for the Dutch West Indies Company which controlled it. But since it did not reap great wealth, the Company resorted to the general practice of The Netherlands: tolerating dissenters as long as they caused no trouble. This set up a conflict of interest between the governors of the colony who wanted to encourage settlers (be they Brazilian Jews, Swedish Lutherans, or English who chaffed under the Puritan restrictions of Connecticut and Massachusetts) and the Dutch Reformed Church that preferred to have no dissent to its authority. The English who were attracted to the good soils and comparatively loose administration of the Dutch West Indies Company were not unused to challenging authority. They had already left the British Isles, and had moved perhaps several times in New England. The group who settled in Flushing were became particularly irritating to the Dutch after the Dutch West indies Company instructed Governor Peter STUYVESANT to restrict all offices to Dutch men. Reluctantly Stuyvesant permitted a Landdag, or popular convention to be held in Nieuw Amsterdam in December 1653. Two representatives came from each of eight towns, four Dutch and four English met for three days. The result was a petition or remonstrance addressed to Stuyvesant listing six grievances. In sum, they should not be "directed and controlled according to the pleasure and caprice of . . . Stuyvesant or one or two of his Sycophants." Instead they should choose their own government officials. The petition was flatly denied, and Stuyvesant was backed completely by the West Indies Company back in Amsterdam.[33]

            The idea of self-government was not entirely preposterous. Dame Deborah (DUNCH) MOODY was an older English widow who had left Salem because her theological views were considered heretical and dangerous (she thought infant baptism was wrong, that only consenting adults could benefit from it). She went to New Amsterdam and secured a town patent in 1645 that released it from the Dutch West Indies Company rule that forbade all but the Dutch Reformed Church. In addition the patent granted the right to create a self-governing town. Dame Deborah drew the plat and the town of Gravesend was laid out for herself and about forty families that came with her.[34]

Part of "A Map of New England and New York in 1686", from James Bowden, The History of the Society of Friends in America (London: Charles Gilpin, 1850), 1: opposite page 29.

detail from 'A Map of New England and New York in 1686' from Bowden, vol. 1, opp. p. 29

            On 1 Sixth Month [August] 1657 Robert FOWLER's brig Woodhouse landed on Long Island, with eleven Friends, also known as Quakers. For an explanation of Quaker and Old Style dating, click here. Five remained to share their experience of religious conviction with local English settlers: Robert HODGSON, Richard DOUDNEY, Sarah GIBBONS, Mary WEATHERHEAD, and Dorothy WAUGH. Robert Fowler and Robert Hodgson called upon Governor STUYVESANT, and found "he was moderate both in words and actions." Three days later Fowler and the other five sailed on to Rhode Island.[35] However, a Capt. WILLETT, "a persecuting magistrate from Plymouth" convinced the Governor to follow Massachusetts' lead and exile the dangerous and heretical Quakers. A few days later when Mary Weatherhead and Dorothy Waugh preached in the streets of New Amsterdam they were promptly arrested and banished from the colony.[36] Governor Stuyvesant is usually pictured as an unusually cruel, harsh man. In his defense, he had to find a balance between maintaining the authority of the Dutch West India Company and keeping good relations with the colonists, including the quite intolerant Dutch Reformed ministers.[37]

            Some of the English settlements (at Flushing, Newtown, Gravesend, Oyster Bay, and Southold) had no formal religious institutions, and the Quaker message was received with great interest. Robert Hodgson, Sarah Gibbons, and Richard Doudney visited the English settlements to spread the message that "Christ is come to teach his people himself." In Gravesend Dame Deborah invited them to hold a meeting in her house. When they got to Hempstead, however, an English magistrate ordered Hodgson's arrest. He was chagrined to discover, upon returning from his own worship service, that Hodgson had held a meeting in the magistrate's house, and the people who attended were very favorably impressed. The magistrate hustled Hodgson off to New Amsterdam. When Hodgson witnessed to Friends' testimony for equality by refusing to take off his hat before the Governor[38], Stuyvesant ordered him imprisoned at hard labor. Hodgson's refusal to cooperate resulted in repeated savage beatings that nearly killed him. Finally sympathetic citizens came forward to buy his release. Hodgson, knowing he had done nothing wrong, refused. He recovered, and eventually Willett changed his mind and in an effort to regain public approval, begged Stuyvesant to release Hodgson. In Seventh Month [September] 1657 he was set at liberty and proceeded to Rhode Island.[39] How Robert Jackson felt about these Quakers has not, to my knowledge, been recorded.

            Governor Stuyvesant and his council passed an anti-Quaker law under which anyone who entertained Friends would be fined £50. For the most part folks kept their beliefs to themselves and their actions quiet. But Henry TOWNSEND of Flushing tested the law by entertaining some Friends in Seventh Month [September] 1657, the same month Robert Hodgson was released. Townsend was arrested and fined. The town clerk of Flushing drew up a petition, signed by 31 residents, arguing that Flushing residents were free to worship as they pleased. This has come down in history as the Flushing Remonstrance. Joseph Fowler, from whom Robert Jackson was to buy some land in 1660, signed the Remonstrance with the other men on 12 December 1657. All but Tobias FEAKE eventually apologized to the Governor, and the situation quieted.[40] Stuyvesant did not enforce the anti-Quaker laws, and in time came to ignore the fact that many inhabitants in New Netherland and in Oyster Bay had become Friends. In 1662 the Governor's hand was forced, and John BOWNE was arrested and tried. He appealed his case to the Dutch West Indies Company which ruled that Friends and others were free to worship as long as they otherwise behaved. But it all became moot in 1664 when the English forces of James, Duke of York took New Netherlands from the Dutch. New York also took all of Long island, Shelter island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.[41]

            This did not necessarily end difficulties and persecution of Friends. For example, 26 May 1679 Richard GILDERSLEEVE wrote a letter to Gov. ANDROS complaining about Quakers meeting in Hempstead. On 4 Seventh Month 1680 Henry WILLIS and John BOWNE wrote to the Governor complaining that they had each been fined £10 for allowing an "unauthorized" (i.e. Quaker) marriage of their daughters. Friends sent a petition to the Governor and Council of New York, asking that the laws exempting them and permitting freedom of religion be upheld, which was read there 24 February 1686. It was dismissed out of hand, "that no man can bee exempted from the obligation & that such as make fayluer [sic] therein lett their pretents be what they will must submitt to ye undergoing such penaltyes as by the Said Act is provided." Friends then carefully collected and documented their sufferings which consisted of livestock or household goods seized that were often worth many times the fine or tax.[41a]

            There were three Anglo-Dutch wars between 1651 and 1688. The second one, mainly about commercial rivalry, began when the English seized Nieuw Amsterdam in 1664. With the defeat of the Dutch the area became New York, named for James, Duke of York, later James II, King of Great Britain. The new administrators called a convention in Hempstead 28 February 1665 to draw up an English code of laws. Robert Jackson and John HICKS represented Hempstead.[42] The code that was drafted stayed in effect until washed away in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. One provision of these so-called Duke's Laws stated that each community should vote for the denominational minister it wanted, and all the rest were then required to financially support him. This suited the Dutch Reformed Church quite well, but the Quakers, Lutherans, Congregationalists, and Jews were quite dissatisfied. They were somewhat soothed by the lax administration of the law by the English governors.[43]

            I have not had an opportunity to research Long Island real estate records, but Janie Kimble kindly brought to my attention that there is a deed from Robert to his son John, and the latter's two sons, John and James, dated 5 May, 1653. It conveyed all his "lands in Hempstead, etc., excepting that which I have already given my daughter, Mary Ferris, of Westchester Co."[44] My sense is that this is a misprint of the date. My guess is that it should read 1683 not 1653. This would be a few weeks before Robert signed his will, as he was obviously winding up his affairs. Also by this date his daughter Mary would have been married and his son John sired two sons. None of this could have happened by 1653.

            Robert Jackson wrote his will 25 May 1683.[45] His main heir was his son John Jackson, who was named sole Executor and Administrator. Robert added the somewhat curious advice that his estate be administered "immediately after my decease, lest it be embezzled away." He made ample provision for his "beloved wife" Agnes, allowing her to add various things to what she already brought with her—language that suggests she was either previously married or had considerable wealth of her own. A widow was normally allowed her "dower right", or one third of her late husband's estate. Robert seems to have made provision for her to have more, provided that she did not remarry or die before a specified number of years had elapsed.

I do give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Agnes, six cows two oxen, one horse, and one mare, two three year old cow kind, and four two year olds, and two yearlings. Also, I give unto her all such household goods as are left in the house which she brought with her. Likewise I give and bequeath unto my said wife, two of my lessor sort of brass kettles to add to hers, which are left in the house, which she brought with her. Also I give and bequeath unto her four of my pewter dishes, with four plates and four poringers and my lessor flagon, and one of my pewter tankards, to add to her pewter, that is left in the house, which she brought with her. Also I give and bequeath unto her one of my feather beds with a bolster and pillows, together with a pair of sheets and a pair of blankets, and a rugge, and the curtains that hangs around my bedd to add to her bedding which is left in the house, which she brought with her. Furthermore I give and bequeath unto my said wife five pounds in silver money, and fifty yards of linen cloth, some of one sort, and some of another, such as in the house is. Also to add to her clothing I give her one piece of searge.

Item. I give unto her two swine, also ten bushels of wheat to be paid yearly for the term of five years, provided that she lives unmarried, or unburied so long, but if she be either married or buried, then the said wheat shall cease to be to her, or to any on her account. Also I do allow her to live in my new dwelling house, so long as she lived unmarried or unburied, and that she have half the house lot next to George Hewlet, so long as she remains unmarried or unburied, but if she marry or is buried, then I will that half of the said house lot return to my son John. Also I give and bequeath unto her some wooden vessels, and so I cease giving to her.

            Robert included bequests for two daughters and his other son. The odd wording of the bequest to his deceased daughter Martha seemed to imply for whatever reason that Robert was not sure who all was in her family.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Samuel Jackson, five mares, and my Cloake and five pounds in silver money and to his wife a hood and scarfe, and to every one of his children a piece of eight.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah, the wife of Nathaniel Moore, two cows, and every one of her children a piece of eight.

Item. I do give and bequeath unto Nathaniel Cole, Junior, the son of my daughter Martha deceased, two cows, and if any one come to inquire for a portion for my daughter Martha deceased, I bequeath unto him five shillings.

            There is no mention of a daughter, Mary, married to John Ferris, which has raised the issue of her rightful place in this line. But obviously Robert had already made provision for Mary by giving her real estate, probably at the time of her marriage to John Ferris. Robert's will was proved 13 October 1685. He was about 65 years old.

            Children of Robert and his various wives. It is unclear to me just who was the mother of which children, although the oldest would obviously be offspring of the first wife, and the one named Sarah was the daughter of the Washburne wife. Lacking birth dates, the children's birth order is uncertain.

i. John3 Jackson, b. ca. 1647, or 1640; d. 1724-25, or 11 Nov. 1722 in Fairfield, Conn.; m Elizabeth, daughter of John SEAMON [sic]. John and Elizabeth had a daughter, Sarah, who m. Joshua BARNES of Rye, NY.[46] and a son, John (married Elizabeth HALLETT)[47] and another son, James (who was mentioned in his grandfather Robert's deed; James d. Oct. 1735 in Flushing; he m. 1694 Rebecca HALLETT, daughter of William Jr. and Sarah (WOOLSEY) Hallett in Hallett's Cove; they had 20 children; James was a Friend). John was part of the delegation sent by Hempstead to New York City in 1683 to acquire a new patent, but they were unsuccessful. He was reappointed and sent again 3 April 1685, this time succeeding in getting it two weeks later. A tax of 2 1/2d per acre was levied by Hempstead to pay for it.[48]

John's will, 26 Aug. 1724, on http://longislandgenealogy.com/jackson/ghtindex.htm]

ii. Mary Jackson, b. ca. 1640; d. 1704; m. ca. 1659 John FERRIS; not mentioned in her father's will because she had already been given real estate.[49]

iii. Martha Jackson, d. before her father wrote his will, 25 May 1683; m. Nathaniel COLE; named in her father's will, as was her son, Nathaniel Cole, Junior.[50]

iv. Samuel Jackson, b. 1647; d. 24 Oct. 1672 in Stratfield, Fairfield Co., Conn.; named in her father's will; believed to have had no surviving male heirs.[51]

v. Sarah Jackson, m. Nathaniel MOORE; in her father's will.[52]




Next Generation


            Mary Jackson
3, the daughter of Robert and his first wife, died in 1704. Mary married John FERRIS. He was the son of Jeffrey Ferris, born ca. 1640 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He died by 25 February 1715/6 in Throgmorton (now Throg's Neck), Westchester County, New York, with his body buried in the Friends burying ground there. John was an early patentee of the town of Westchester, granted under Governor Nichols on 15 February 1667. He also received that day a patent to land in Throgmorton's Neck (Throg's Neck), probably purchased from Thomas PELL. Two years later the patent was confirmed by Governor FLETCHER. John was a Trustee of the town of Westchester in 1686.[53]

            Mary was given real estate in Hempstead, Long Island, by her father. My guess is that this was at the time of her marriage, and that she either sold or rented out the land because the couple lived in Westchester. I have not had an opportunity to check New York real estate records.

            Although there were people in Hempstead who bitterly opposed Friends, a meeting was established about two miles north at Westbury in Third Month [May] 1671.[54] Whether or not Mary's parents worshipped with Friends is unclear, but doubtful; their names do not appear in Hinshaw. It is likely that Mary became a Friend. Her brother John's son James was also a Friend.[55] There may have been others in the Jackson family, as well.

            John BURNYEAT, a Friend from Ireland, came to Oyster Bay on Long Island in 1671, laboring with Friends to establish meetings for discipline/business. He faced serious opposition from many New York Friends who resisted formal organization. There was a small group of Friends who followed John Perrot's ideas that only the Spirit should guide folks, and there should be no human structure at all. Nevertheless Burnyeat seems to have established Flushing Monthly Meeting, thought by some to be the first monthly meeting in the northern colonies, and therefore the oldest still existing monthly meeting in the United States (although this claim is disputed by others, including Third Haven in Maryland and Sandwich in Massachusetts).

            George Fox arrived the next year, and the remaining opposition to settling Friends into an orderly structure, collapsed. Fox described his journey north through what would in time become Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A Friend in Jersey took the little Quaker party across in his own boat to Gravesend, where Fox happily reported, "and there were Friends."

          Next morning we set forward, though weary, . . . and got to Flushing. And the day following we reached Oyster Bay, several Friends of Gravesend and Flushing accompanying us, where there was a General Meeting of men and women Friends that held six days, and large. There we met with some of the hat spirit which was judged down and condemned. And the Truth was set over all.

          And this General Meeting began on the 17th day of the 3rd month [May], which was of very great service to Friends and to the people of the world [meaning non-Friends], and did not part until the 23rd day of the month, so it was longer than used to be. On the first and second days we had public meetings for worship; on the third day were men's and women's meetings wherein the affairs of the church were taken care of. So the men's and women's meetings being over we had a meeting with some of those discontented people, and the Lord's power brake forth gloriously to the confounding of the gainsayers. And then some of them began to fawn upon me and to cast the matter upon others, but the deceitful spirit was judged down and condemned and the glorious Truth was exalted and set over all; and they were all brought down and bowed under, which was of great service to Truth and satisfaction and comfort to Friends.

          And from thence we went to another meeting, and thence through the woods to Flushing where was a large meeting at John Bowne's house, who was banished by the Dutch into England. And many hundreds of the world were there and were much satisfied and desired to hear again and said that if I came to their town I should have their meeting place, they were so loving. And from thence we came to Oyster Bay again where we do wait for wind to go to Rhode Island. These meetings were in the Duke of York's dominions, and the governor heard of me and was loving and said that he had been in my company.[56]

            Fox went on to New England, settling more monthly meetings, and a yearly meeting that eventually became New England Yearly Meeting (which is still in existence). Initially Flushing was part of this New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM), centered in Rhode Island. The early minutes of NEYM refer to representatives coming from "Oister Bay". In 1686 representatives from Oyster Bay encouraged Friends generally not to use tobacco immoderately, and they distributed their paper on this subject to all the constituent meetings of NEYM.[57]

            John, and presumably Mary, were Friends. I have not yet discovered when or where either of them joined Friends. John's name appears in Hinshaw, indicating he was active at least between 1684 and 1700.[58] In 1684 Flushing Quarterly Meeting established a preparative meeting at Westchester, and records were kept and have been preserved from that time. Presumably John could have been active earlier.

            In 1695 New England Yearly Meeting set off Friends in New York as a separate meeting. There was only one constituent monthly meeting, Flushing, although it was about equal in numbers to Rhode Island Monthly Meeting. The reasons for the division are unclear, although there did not seem to be any rancor. The reason probably had to do with distance. Because the new New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) was small and isolated from other Friends, it was able to develop its own congenial structure. A small group of weighty Friends acted as monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting. Flushing Quarterly Meeting established a preparative meeting in Westchester in 1684, and a select meeting of ministers and elders in 1704. In the first half of the eighteenth century this comfortable club was not overly concerned about enforcing the discipline when it came to marrying non-Friends or marrying without regard to proper Friends’ procedures. Only some of these infractions were brought to the meeting for business, and usually an acknowledgment would suffice to reinstate the offender.[59] So the absence of a record of the marriage of John and Mary cannot be trusted to imply that one of the couple was not a Friend.

            Mary died in 1704. John married a second time in 1715, shortly before his own death.

            Children of John and Mary (Jackson) Ferris:

i. John4 Ferris, b. 1660; d. 1729; m. Elizabeth CLARK and had a son John (d. 1805; m. Susannah__; she d. 1803). Took oath of allegiance to English King in 1698.[60]

ii. Mary Ferris, b. 1663; m. 1685/6 Nathaniel UNDERHILL, [61] son of Capt. John Underhill of Matinecock. A Mary Underhill of Westchester d. 1704, but it is not clear that she was our woman.[62]

iii. Martha Ferris, m. ___ CLARK. Signed her sister Sarah's marriage certificate.

iv. Samuel Ferris, b. 1676 [?]; m. Sarah PINCKNEY, daughter of John Pinckney.

v. James Ferris, m. Anne SANDS.

vi. Phebe Ferris, m. at the house of John Ferris on 11 Fourth Mo. (June) 1700 Edward Carpenter BURLING, son of Edward and Grace. He d. Third Mo. [May] 1749 in New York. Their children are listed in Hinshaw.[63] Phebe signed her sister Sarah's marriage certificate.

vii. Hannah Ferris, b. 3 Fifth Month [July] 1679; d. 24/6m/1759; m. 12 Second Mo [April] William MOTT, son of Adam and Elizabeth Mott of Great Neck. William was b. 20 Jan. 1674; d. 31 Sixth Month [Aug.] 1740.[64]

viii. Jonathan Ferris, b. 16__; will pr. 31 May 1753; unmarried.

ix. Peter Ferris, b. 16__; m. Susanna FOWLER, daughter of Henry Fowler of Eastchester; res. in Westchester and Mamaroneck; had 4 sons. Signed his sister Sarah's marriage certificate.

another brick wall

x. Sarah Ferris, b. 16__; m(1) 1719 Samuel HARRISON; m(2) 1735 Solomon PALMER of Mamaroneck. In time pages will be posted for both the Ferris and Harrison families. Please don't hold your breath! The Harrison line, in particular has a large brick wall; the Ferris line has a smaller one.




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