From the book, Charlestown Vital Records to 1850, by Roger D. Joslyn, we learn more about the makeup of these early families. Other details were gleaned from the book, Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, by John Farmer. The following is a synopsis of the twenty-three families and the information found with regards to the recorded events in their lives. Keep in mind that in some of the lists all of the children's births are listed together, which makes the birth information questionable.
This group is from the center of the town. In this area are the Three Cranes Tavern, the Market Place, the Meeting House and Windmill Hill.
Nowell/Newell is probably Increase and his wife Parnell of Middlesex, Stepney. The births of their children are recorded from 1630-1643. He preformed several marriages in 1654, probably as a town official as he was the town assistant from 1630-1655. In 1632 he was a founder of the church. From 1644-1649 he was the Secretary of the Colony. Parnell died 2 May 1683, but there is no record of his death.
Mary Newell of Bristol, the widow of a Mariner, is included in the list of immigrants.
Harvard surely refers to John and he is noted to have had a wife, but probably no children. He was a minister from Surrey, Southwark, S. Saviour and came to New England in 1636, and admitted freeman in 1637. John died 14 September 1638, leaving money for what is now Harvard College.
Allen is probably Thomas and his wife Anna. He was a minister of Charlestown. Coming to New England in 1638, admitted to the church in Boston in 1639, then moving to Charlestown. The births of their children are recorded from 1639-1646. He died 21 September 1673, age 65, in England.
Ship Captain John Allen and his wife Sarah, from Norfolk or Suffolk, were also there early. He was in Salem in 1626, came to Charlestown in 1639 and admitted freeman 1640. The births of their children are recorded from 1640-1643, but some were born in Salem from 1627. He was born in 1602 and died 27 March 1675.
Symmes is probably Zechariah and his wife Sarah from Bedfordshire, Dunstable. He was the second minister, settled in 1634, and admitted freeman 1635. The births of their children are recorded from 1635-1642, but others were probably born elsewhere. He was born 5 April 1597 in Canterbury and died 4 February 1670.
Long is probably Robert and his wife Elizabeth from Bedfordshire, Dunstable. He was the Innkeeper of the Three Cranes Tavern in the center of the town, which would have been the primary gathering place of the early settlers. The births of their children are recorded from 1673-1647 but others were probably born elsewhere. He served several times as representive of the town and admitted freeman 1635. Robert died on 9 January 1663 and Elizabeth died on 29 May 1687, both in Charlestown.
Abraham Hills and Sarah also were in Charlestown early. The births of their children are recorded from 1640-1643.
Sedgewick is probably Robert of Surrey, Southwark, who was a merchant and was admitted freeman in 1637. There is no mention of a wife, only two possible sons William and Robert. He served in the military for most of his life, both in New England and abroad. In Charlestown he was owner of a brew house and a merchant. Robert died 24 May 1656 in Jamaica.
Converse is probably Edward and his wife Joanna who died in 1677. They were of Essex, Navestock or Stenfield. He was in New England early and admitted freeman in 1630. By 1643 he was in Woburn. He operated the Charlestown ferry.
This group is just southwest of the center of the town, living along the shoreline just up from the Willoughby shipyards and ferry.
Graves or Greaves is probably Thomas and his wife Katherine. He was in Salem June 1629 and went to Charlestown that same year. The birth of their son is recorded in 1645. He died in Charlestown 31 July 1653. There is a record of a request to be made free on 19 October 1630 and a reference that he served as a rear admiral in England. He was a ship captain.
Willoughby is probably Francis and his wife Sarah of Middlesex, Stepney. The birth of their daughter is recorded in 1643. He probably married second to Mary and the births of their children are recorded in 1644 and 1647. Then there is a possible third marriage to Margaret and the births of their children recorded in 1662 and 1664. He came in 1638, admitted freeman in 1640, served as Deputy Governor and Governor, and worked as a shipwright or ship builder. Francis died 4 April 1671.
Edward Johnson and his wife Susan were of Kent, Canterbury, arrived in 1630 and admitted as freeman 18 May 1631. He worked as a joiner and a ship builder. Later he was a founder of Woburn and the church there. He was the town clerk of Woburn for about thirty years and a well-known historian. The births of their seven children are not listed in the Charlestown records.
William Johnson and his wife Judith of Bedfordshire, Dunstable,
arrived before 1643, as that is when the birth of their son James was recorded. William worked as a brickmaker. He died 9 December 1677.
This group is just northwest of the center of the town, living along Crooked Lane and continuing up the shoreline.
Trerice is probably Nicholas and his wife Rebecca of Middlesex, Stepney or Wapping. They first settled in Charlestown in 1636, and were there for the birth of their first son John in 1639. By 1643 they were in Woburn for the birth of their second son Samuel. He was a ship captain and she was a retailer.
Lynde, Lind or Line, is probably Thomas and his wife Margaret of Bedfordshire, Dunstable. He was admitted freeman in 1635 and served the town in many positions, for many years. The births of their children are listed from 1636-1647. He worked as a malster, making malt for brewing beer. Sometimes referred to as Deacon Thomas, he performed two marriages in 1656. He died 30 December 1676 and Margaret died 23 August 1662, both in Charlestown.
Tidd or Tead, is probably Joshua and his wife Sarah of Hertfordshire, Hertford. The births of their children are recorded in 1639, 1641 and 1643, but they had three other children born in England from 1631- 1636. The marriages of his two daughters are recorded: Sarah married Zachariah Long in 1656 and Elizabeth married Samuel Lords in 1667. Joshua was admitted to the church, March 10, 1639 and admitted as a freeman May 22, 1639. He worked as a carpenter and at times was a merchant/retailer transporting his goods by ship. Joshua died 15 September 1678 and Sarah, his wife, died 15 October 1677 age 71, both in Charlestown. Several stories about him are included in the book, From Deference to Defiance.
Sargeant John Tead and his wife Margaret of Norfolk, Norwich were in Charlestown by 1637 when he was listed as a proprietor and the next year owned eight lots, the sixth which was in Waterfield (now Woburn). They removed to Woburn, where he subscribed to "Town Orders," in December, 1640 and admitted as a freeman May 10, 1643. He worked as a tailor. There are no other records for this family in Charlestown. He died 24 April 1656 and Margaret died 15 October 1651, both in Woburn. Prior to his death he married Alice Teel and she is listed in his will, as well as his children.
Richard Tidd was admitted as a freeman in 1643m but there is no further information about him.
This group is just northeast of the center of the town and continuing east on Dock Wapping Road going out to Moulton's Point. There is located the Bunker and the Fort/Battery.
R. Cole is probably Rice who was from Kent, Sandwich. He was admitted as a freeman in 1633 and died 15 May 1646. Rice worked as a carpenter and was a selectman in 1634.
He may have been the father of Isaac, who with his wife Joannah were the parents of Abraham 1636, Jacob 1641, and Elizabeth 1643. Isaac was admitted as a freeman in 1638 and died 10 June 1674.
Stitson is probably William and his wife Elizabeth of Gloucestershire, Bristol, came early. He was admitted as a freeman in 1633 and served the town in many positions, over many years and the church as Reverend and Deacon. Elizabeth died 16 February 1669 age 93. William married the widow Marie Norton on 22 August 1670. He died 11 April 1691 age 91. No other records for the family are listed.
Coytmore is probably Thomas and his wife Martha of Middlesex, Stepney or Ratcliffe, came in 1636. He was a Ship Captain and died 27 December 1645 on the coast of Wales. The births of their sons are recorded, Thomas 1641 and William 1643 who died at twelve days.
Martha remarried to Governor Winthrop December 1647.
Isaac Coytmore was in Charlestown in 1639.
Katherine Coytmore was a widow in 1638 and she died in 1659.
W. Palmer is probably Walter J. and his wife Rebecca of Dorsetshire, Yetminster, was a selectman in 1634 and a constable in 1636. He was admitted as a freeman in 1638. The birth of his son Benjamin born 30 March 1642 is recorded.
William Palmer of Middlesex, Stepney or Norfolk, Ormsby, Great. He was in Newbury in 1637 and admitted as a freeman in 1638. He died August 1676.
John Palmer died a single man on 24 August 1677 in Charlestown.
Abraham of Kent, Canterbury, was admitted as a freeman in 1631. He worked as a merchant.
Walker is probably Augustine and his wife Hannah, of Northumberland, Berwick, who came in 1638. He was admitted as a freeman in 1641 and died before 1655. He worked as a shipwright and was a Ship Captain. The births of their children are recorded from 1640-1648.
Richard Walker of Hampshire, Keaton, lived in Lynn in 1630 and had four children. He was admitted as a freeman in 1634.
Robert Walker of Lancashire, Manchester, lived in Boston and was admitted as a freeman in 1634. He had six sons, all born in Boston.
William Walker of Norfolk, Norwich, was in Hingham in 1636.
So, how does all of this information help us to understand the town of Charlestown, MA. First of all it is a port town, where seafaring men and merchants met to exchange wares and arrange to transport items and people between England and the colony. Second it was made up of families, most seem to have married before coming to New England and brought children with them, while some had children born during this developing period. Some were famiies of Ship Captains who were gone for long periods of time, and yet these women carried on in the daily tasks of providing for their families. The risk of death to seafaring men was high, and at times their widows would have to carry on without them. I was pleased to identify the names of so many of the wives.
One can imagine that often more than one family would live together until more housing could be built. Compared to England they now lived in a culture where they could work hard and prosper. Every individual brought or would develop talents that would benefit the community. From the details listed above we can see that from this group and in blue those from the addendum to follow there were many types of occupations:
Leatherdresser - Woory
Seaman and Fisherman - Bell, Burrage, Hadlock, Hayden, Lawrence, Moulton, Sheppie