The Babcock Family Story
Based on the Babcock Genealogy by Stephen Babcock
James Badcock was born about 1612 in England, probably in Wivenhoe, Essex. By 1642, he was living in Portsmouth, RI, with his wife Sarah and son James. Sarah's last name may have been Brown. Sarah died about 1665, and James remarried Elizabeth about four years later. James died June 12, 1679. Elizabeth remarried William Johnson and moved to Stonington, CT.
Children of James and Sarah:
James, b. 1641, m. Jane Brown.
John, b. 1644, Portsmouth, RI, married Mary Lawton.
Job, b. 1646, married Jane Crandall. Job and Jane's daughter Sarah married James Hall, and had a daughter Elizabeth who married Daniel McCoon. Their great great granddaughter Phebe Coon married Samuel Clark Bassett.
Mary, b. 1648, married William Champlin. Their daughter Mary married her cousin John Babcock; they were the parents of Ichabod Babcock; his son Ichabod Jr., was the father of Lucy Babcock who married Peleg Hoxie. Lucy and Peleg were the parents of Dorcas Hoxie who married Lewis Bassett.
Children of James and Elizabeth:
Joseph, b. abt 1670, m. first Dorothy Key, second Hannah.
John Badcock and his father James were two of the eighteen settlers of Misquamicut, now called Westerly, in 1662. Shortly before the move to Westerly, John married Mary Lawton, the daughter of George Lawton and Elizabeth Hazard. She was living in Portsmouth at the time, and there is a story that John and Mary eloped to Westerly where they lived alone in the wilderness. Unfortunately, this great story is not supported by the records, which show that John and Mary were among eighteen other male settlers and their families. Possibly there was an elopement, if Mary's parents were unwilling to have her move out to the frontier.
When war broke out in 1675, John remained in Westerly after the other settlers left, and fought in the Stonington militia. John received bounty land in Connecticut for his service in the war. In 1676, he was admitted a freeman of Connecticut, although by 1678, he apparently was considered a citizen of Rhode Island, as he was appointed Conservator of the Peace for Westerly. John died in May or June 1685. The inventory of his personal property came to 790 pounds, 3 shillings, "the largest recorded in the town for many years." He left no will, and by English law all the lands passed to the oldest son, James. James signed an agreement, stating that he would take only half of the farm on which they were living, the rest to be left to his mother "provided she shall dispose of it unto my father's male children". James was apparently unconcerned that his sisters Ann or Mary have any part in the inheritance - not uncommon in England, but many New Englanders made at least small bequests to their daughters. Possibly they were given their share at the time of their marriages.
When Mary remarried Erasmus Babbitt, the four remaining children Robert, Elihu, Joseph, and Oliver chose to have their brother James become their guardian. There is no stated reason for this change. Maybe the children disliked their stepfather, or if they had been living with their mother and brother, did not want to move into Erasmus Babbitt's home. Mary died in 1711 in Westerly.
John and Mary had ten children:
James, b. 1663 in Westerly, m. first Elizabeth Saunders, second Content Maxson.
Ann, b. abt 1665, probably m. Moses Barber in 1679 and moved to Kingstown. She died about 1688, leaving three children.
Mary, b. abt 1667, probably m. John Macomber in January of 1684/1685.
John, b. abt 1669, m. his cousin Mary Champlin, daughter of William Champlin and Mary Babcock.
Job, b. abt 1671, m. Deborah, probably Deborah Reynolds.
George, b. abt 1673, m. Elizabeth Hall.
Elihu, b. 19 Dec 1675, while his father was fighting in the Great Swamp Fight. According to an agreement between his six brothers, "we have taken it into Our Mature Consideration ye Great Necessity of Maintaining Our Brother Elihu Babcock he not having Understanding Sufficient to Maintain himself by reason that God hath not given him that Reason Judgment Understanding that God hath Commonly blessed other mankind withal." He was still living in 1745, as were four of the six brothers who agreed to care for him: John, Job, George and Oliver.
Robert, b. abt 1678, m. Lydia Crandall, daughter of Joseph Crandall and Deborah Burdick.
Joseph, b. abt 1681, m. Rebecca Stanton.
Oliver, b. abt 1683, m. first Susanna Clark, second Deborah Knowles.
James Babcock was born in Westerly, RI in 1663, and believed to be the first white male child born there. In 1686, he was made a freeman of Westerly. He probably married Elizabeth Saunders, daughter of Tobias Saunders and Mary Peckham, around this time - their first child was born in 1688. In 1692, James became a member of the Seventh Day Baptist church of Newport and Westerly. He was a captain of the militia in Westerly, RI. He was a town councilman and represented Westerly in the legislature of the colony of Rhode Island in 1701, 1706-1709, and 1716. Elizabeth died March 3, 1730/1731, and James remarried twenty two year old Content Maxson a few months later. Before the marriage, James signed a " covenant with sd. Content that on condition shee doth take me as her husband and doth outlive me I do oblige my heirs to pay her within 3 years after my decease 100 pounds currant Money in lieu of her right to her thirds. On these terms Content is willing and satisfied to be married." James was forty five years older than his new wife, so it is not surprising that she was concerned about her rights if widowed. In his will, James, perhaps remembering the problems created by his mother's second marriage to Erasmus Babbitt, specified that if Content remarried, her children should be given to his half brother Joshua to bring up. Content's second marriage in 1742, therefore, probably resulted in her losing custody of her children, Ann, ten, James, eight, and Jonathan, six. James died January 17, 1736/1737.
Children of James and Elizabeth:
James, b. December 23, 1688, Westerly, m. Sarah Vose.
Elizabeth, b. February 8, 1691, Westerly, m. Thomas Clarke.
Samuel, b. February 15, 1697, Westerly, m. Ann Pendleton.
Sarah, b. December 13, 1704, d. November 13, 1705.
Joshua, b. May 17, 1707, m. first Hannah Stanton, second Ann Maxson.
Anna , b. November 29, 1701, m. Joseph Clarke. Joseph died in 1719. Anna remarried Silas Greenman in March 1731, and died a few months later.
Children of James and Content:
Ann, probably named for her half sister who died the year before, b. March 30, 1732, Westerly, m. Simon Rhodes.
James, b. November 1, 1734, Westerly, m. first Sarah Stanton, second Joanna McDowell.
Jonathan, b. October 11, 1736, Westerly, m. Esther Hazard.
Samuel was born in Westerly, February 15, 1697, the third child and second son of James and Elizabeth. He was admitted a freeman of Westerly in October of 1721, at the age of twenty-four. On May 15, 1723, he married Ann Pendleton, daughter of Caleb Pendleton and Elizabeth (probably Elizabeth Cottrell). Samuel probably died in 1772 in Westerly. It is not known when Ann died, but she was still living March 13, 1768, when her husband wrote his will.
Children of Samuel and Anne:
Nathan, b. November 25, 1726, Westerly, m. four times: Deborah Stafford, Elizabeth Brown, Anne Lewis, and Dorcas Babcock. He had six children with his first wife, Deborah; she died when the youngest was four years old, and Nathan married Elizabeth, with whom he had five more children. After Elizabeth's death, he married Anne Lewis, with whom he had one daughter; and with his last wife, Dorcas (twenty years younger than her husband), he had four children.
Elizabeth, b. May 6, 1729, Westerly, m. John Burdick, son of Hubbard Burdick and Hannah Maxson.
Samuel, b. May 16, 1731, Westerly, m. Mary Smith.
Andrew, b. April 12, 1733, Westerly, may have married Thankful Simmons.
Silas, b. December 31, 1735, Westerly, may have married Phebe Wood and moved to Rensselaer Co., NY.
Thankful, b. 1736, Westerly, m. Caleb Barber.
Samuel was born in Westerly, May 16, 1731. At the age of twenty four, he married his cousin, twenty one year old Mary Smith, daughter of Benoni Smith and Ruth Pendleton. They lived in Westerly, RI. Samuel died there, March 23, 1813, and Mary survived him by nine years, dying May 1, 1822.
Samuel and Mary had twelve children:
William, b. December 22, 1755, d. October 2, 1777.
Nathan, b. March 5, 1758, d. October 2, 1777. Stephen Babcock writes:
"On Oct. 2, 1777, three boats, each containing seven men, were fitted out in Westerly to join Sullivan's expedition on the island of Rhode Island. In passing Point Judith in the night, when the sea was very rough, two of the boats were capsized, and of the fourteen men thrown into the sea, eight were drowned. So far as known, their names were William Babcock, Nathan Babcock, Nathan Babcock, Joseph Hall, Zebulon Pendleton, Isaac Pendleton, and ----- Bigelow. The first two, William and Nathan, were the eldest sons of Samuel Jr. and Mary Smith Babcock. Their third son, Paul, was among the number thrown into the sea but was rescued. The second Nathan drowned was the son of Col. Nathan. Westerly and Its Witnesses by Dennison contains an interesting account of the accident."
Paul, b. March 30, 1760, m. Charlotte Crandall.
Fanny, b. January 25, 1762, died unmarried in 1825, buried in Brookfield, NY.
Silas, b. April 10, 1764, m. Mercy Kenyon.
Jared, b. February 11, 1766, m. first Martha Lewis, second Amy Lewis.
Thankful, b. February 15, 1768, m. James Crandall (brother of Charlotte).
Zebulon, b. March 2, 1770.
Ruth, b. December 14, 1771.
Mary, b. May 20, 1773.
Anna, b. November 20, 1776, m. Peleg Babcock, a descendant of James Babcock and Elizabeth Saunders.
Hannah, b. February 11, 1779.
Paul Babcock was born March 30, 1760 in Westerly, RI. In 1777, he and his two older brothers, William and Nathan, were in boats heading to join the Revolutionary Army. Two of the boats overturned and his brothers were drowned, but Paul escaped.
He married November 30, 1780, sixteen year old Charlotte Crandall, daughter of James W. Crandall and Demaris Kenyon. They had five children, four daughters and one son. Paul is on the 1840 list of Revolutionary War pensioners, living in Westerly, in the household of his son Paul Jr. Charlotte died at age 79 in Westerly, June 20, 1843. Paul died two years later, April 21, 1845.
Children of Paul and Charlotte, born in Westerly:
Charlotte, b. September 15, 1781, married her cousin Augustus Crandall.
Demaris, b. October 18, 1783, married Nathan Burch.
Mary, b. May 2, 1787, married her cousin Kenyon P. Crandall.
Paul, b. January 3, 1791, married Amy Clark.
Hannah, b. January 11, 1800, died March 31, 1848, unmarried.
See the Crandall family story.