Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33

The Great Migration Begins


ORIGIN: Sutton, Bedfordshire, England

OCCUPATION: Ferryman. ("Ric[har]d Inkersoll" was allowed one penny for every person he ferried over the north river, 16 January 1636/7 [STR 1:31].)

EDUCATION: Signed his will with a mark. The will also has the annotation, made by John Endicott, that "I read this will to Richard Ingersoll & he acknowledged it to be his will."

OFFICES: On 7 July 1644, ordered to "walk forth in the time of God's worship, to take notice of such as either lie about the meeting house without attending to the word or ordinances, or that lie at home or in the fields..." (apparently on the sixth Sunday following, paired with Robert Moulton, Jr.) [STR 1:131].

ESTATE: In 1636 received eighty acres in Salem, but not in the freeman's land [STR 1:20]. Granted one acre of marsh in Salem on 25 December 1637, with a household of nine [STR 1:103].

He received two acres for a houselot 6 April 1635 and was reminded to allow room for a highway on his land [STR 1:9]. With Edward Giles and Pasco Foot, Ingersoll was considered for land by the "frost fish brook" next to Goodman Barney, 10 April 1637 [STR 1:44]. On 20 November 1639 Richard Ingersoll received ten acres of meadow in the great meadow at Salem, having already received twenty acres on 23 December 1638 [STR 1:92, 94].

In his will, dated 21 July 1644 and proved 2 January 1644/5, Richard Ingersoll of Salem gave all to "Ann my wife," except to "George Ingersoll my son six acres lying in the great meadow," to "Nathaniel Ingersoll my youngest son a parcel of ground with a little frame thereon" (unless Nathaniel dies without issue, in which case the land should be divided equally among "John Ingersoll my son and Richard Pettingell and William Haines my sons-in-law"), to "Bathsheba my youngest daughter two cows", and to "my daughter Alice Walcott my house at town with 10 acres of upland & meadow after my wife's decease"; witnessed by Townsend Bishop [NEHGR 9:157] (What appears to be a different version of this will refers to both Bathsheba and Alice as youngest daughter, which is clearly impossible [EPR 1:43; EQC 1:76]. Without examining the originals of these documents we cannot tell whether the error was made by the seventeenth-century or the nineteenth-century copyist.)

The inventory, taken 4 October 1644 by Townsend Bishop and Jeffrey Massey, totalled 213 19s., of which 47 10s. 10d. was real estate: a farm, 80 acres, meadow, 20 acres, 14 3s. 4d.; another farm, 75 acres, 7; and 26 acres, 2 houses, 2 acres [and] a quarter of salt marsh, 26 7s. 6d. [EPR 1:458; EQC 1:76].

On 10 April 1668 Anne Knight deeded eighty acres at Royalside, bequeathed to her by her late husband "Richard Ingerson," to their sons "John and Nathaniel Ingerson" with the consent of her now husband John Knight Sr. of Newbury [EQC 4:109].

BIRTH: Baptized 10 March 1587 at Sandy, Bedfordshire, son of George "Inkerstall" [Abel Lunt Anc 63].

DEATH: Salem between 24 July 1644 (date of will) and 4 October 1644 (date of inventory).

MARRIAGE: Sandy, Bedfordshire, 10 October 1611 Agnes Langlye [Abel Lunt Anc 63]. Anne Ingersoll is included in the list of those admitted to Salem church before the end of 1636, with the annotation "removed" [SChR 6]. She married (2) by 1652 John Knight of Newbury and was living at the time he made his will, 5 May 1670, in which he bequeathed to "my wife's grandchild Thomas Hains, 10 to be paid after his time is out" [EPR 2:191].

CHILDREN (baptisms for i-vi from Abel Lunt Anc 65-67):

i ALICE, bp. Sandy, Bedfordshire, 21 December 1612; m. by about 1634 William Walcott (in the Salem land grant of 25 December 1637 "Will[iam] Walcot" was credited with a household of four, which indicates a wife and perhaps two children by that date [STR 1:103]), who seems to have become incompetent within a decade. (In December 1643 "Willia[m] Walcott's wife, children and estate" were entrusted to "Richard Inkersell, his father-in-law, to be disposed of `according to God; and the said William Wolcott to be and remain as his servant'" [EQC 1:57]. This arrangement lasted less than a year, terminated at the death of Richard Ingersoll.)

ii JOHN, bp. Edworth, Bedfordshire, 1 October 1615 and bur. there 17 November 1615.

iii GEORGE, bp. Sutton, Bedfordshire, 2 July 1618; m. by 1646 Elizabeth _____ (eldest child b. Gloucester 16 October 1646).

iv JOHN, bp. Sutton, 11 March 1620[/1?]; m. by 1644 Judith Felton (eldest child b. Salem 12 September 1644; in his will of 20 November 1683 John Ingersoll names as an overseer "brother-in-law Nathaniel Felton" [Abel Lunt Anc 67, citing EPR 302:57]).

v JOAN, bp. Sutton 3 March 1624[/5?]; m. by 1644 Richard Pettingill.

vi SARAH, bp. Sutton 1 July 1627; m. (1) by 1644 William Haynes; m. (2) Newbury 13 November 1651 Joseph Holton.

vii BATHSHEBA, b. Salem say 1629; m. Newbury [--] 16[--] John Knight (apparently by 1648, as eldest known child, son John, was b. Newbury 16 August 1648).

viii NATHANIEL, b. Salem about 1633 (deposed aged 40 years 30 June 1674 [SJC #1503], deposed aged "45 years or thereabouts" 25 June 1678 [EQC 49:15], deposed aged 60 years 25 December 1694 [SJC #3212]); m. Salem 25 March 16__ (which must be 1669 or earlier [TAG 27:130, citing ELR 7:57]) Hannah Collins.

COMMENTS: 28 May 1629 letter of instruction from Massachusetts Bay Company to John Endicott: "There is also one Richard Haward and Richard Inkersall, both Bedfordshire men, hired for the Company with their families, who we pray you may be well accommodated, not doubting but they will well and orderly demean themselves" [MBCR 1:401; SLR 1:xvi].

In the 1636 Salem land grant, Richard Ingersoll appears in that portion of the list which included "non-freemen," which in Salem tells us clearly that he was not a member of the church. In the 1637 Salem land grant, Richard Ingersoll is shown with a family of nine. Seven of his children were living at that date, but his eldest daughter Alice was already married to William Walcott and would have been included in her husband's household. Thus, there may have been an additional child otherwise unrecorded, but this child in turn must have died before 1644; alternatively there may have been a more distant relative or a servant living with the Ingersolls that year.

Ingersoll had the usual problems with fences and encroachment on land, but the land grant next to Jacob Barney was a problem. Ingersoll sued Jacob Barney at the September Term, 1639, probably regarding land [EQC 1:13]. Barney sued him back over feeding cattle in his marsh, September Term, 1640, and won a verdict of "[t]wo loads of hay at water side as convenient as his own was" [EQC 1:21]. Joshua Verrin sued Ingersoll at the same term over maintenance of a fence and was countersued immediately [EQC 1:22, 29].

For some of the larger and more expensive farm implements noted in Ingersoll's inventory, it is stated that he owned one third of each item. This would indicate that he shared ownership with one or two other husbandmen in the neighborhood, or, as seems more likely, with two of his sons. In depositions at the June 1678 Essex Quarterly Court, the brothers George, John and Nathaniel "Ingerson" gave evidence regarding events in the 1640s. George deposed that "living apartner with his father Richard Ingerson upon the farm that the said Rich[ar]d Ingerson hired of Mr. Chickering which the said Chickering had bought of Mr. Townsend Bishop," demonstrating that the Ingersolls were in a cooperative family enterprise and placing them on Mr. Chickering's farm.

Richard Ingersoll found the Salem miller lacking and in September 1640 took grandjuryman Lawrence Leech with him to the mill to prove that the grists were "much short of weight" [EQC 1:20]. His neighbors found his cattle and the cattle of a dozen other men offensive in the common cornfields and Ingersoll paid the court's fine [EQC 1:49, 56].

There is an excellent treatment of Richard Ingersoll in "The Ancestry of Abel Lunt" ... by Walter Goodwin Davis (pp. 63-68), and details may be found there of the marriages and later lives of Richard's children.
Mrs. William C. Clark, "The Parents of Jonathan Haynes of Newbury and Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants" [TAG 27:129-34], provides extensive documentation on the fate of some of Richard Ingersoll's children and property.
John B. Threlfall also published an account of this family in 1993 [GMC26 141-48].

Rick D. Ingersoll

Copyright 1995 | Revised: 02 May 2007