1. FRANCIS1 WEST, b. 1605 or 1606, probably in England
(see death record) and died at Duxbury, Mass., in the Plymouth Colony, 1
Jan. 1692, at the age of 86 (see the settlement of his estate in The Genealocal
Advertiser, 3:91) He married, presumably at Duxbury, 27 Feb. 1639 MARGERY
REEVES (PCR&SHY;CO 1:222) In this marriage record he was called Francis
Weston; a discussion of the problem of West/Weston will be found on following
Until now all attempts to identify Margery Reeves and to determine her
parentage have failed. No Reeves family, including the possible variants
of Reaves and Rives, has been found in the area of southeastern Massachusetts.
Since it is somewhat unthinkable that an unattached female could have been
living in the Plymouth Colony, it may be that she had come as a servant
to some family whose name is not known. According to a letter of W. H. Way
to a member of the Maglathlin (McLauthlen) family of Kingston, Mass., Margery
Reeves was born on the Isle of Wight ca. 1608 and died in 1694 at the age
of 86. No source for these assertions was supplied, and it has not been
Francis left no will, so his son Peter was appointed administrator of
the estate on 4 Apr. 1693. The inventory was taken 4 Feb. 1692 [sic. 1692/1693?],
revealing a total value of only £16/15/10. At one time he had a house
and lands at Duxbury, but it is possible that he may have sold much of the
property or given it to his children. However this may have been, the value
of the estate was so small that there was no division among the children;
it was all given to Peter, in view of the fact he had cared for his father
for about three years. (The Genealogical Advertiser, 3:91). Since
Margery was not mentioned, the statement of W. H. Way, given above, that
she died in 1694 and so survived Francis is open to further question.
It is not certain how long Francis had been the Plymouth Colony before
his marriage. Again the question of West/Weston is involved. Francis may
have been the man named in a tax list of March 1633. (PCR-CO 1:9) Justin
Winsor in his History of Duxbury (p. 70) showed that he was uncertain
about whether the name in the list was Weston or West, when he wrote "Francis
Weston (West?)". Possibly, then, Francis West may have been in the
Colony before 1633 and had acquired property by that time.
By trade Francis believed to have been a house carpenter, which may have
been inferred from the fact that he was required in 1640 to build a pair
of stocks for the Town of Duxbury, which was delinquent in providing this
facility for punishment (PCR&SHY;CO 1:164). As will be described later,
the need for stocks was pointed up at this time since Francis himself had
been sentenced to sit in them. He appears to have lived at Marshfield for
two or three years after his marriage. At least he was appointed to the
grand jury for that town 1 Mar. 1641/1642 and constable for the same place
7 June 1642 (PCR&SHY;CO 2:34, 41). He later had lands on which he lived
in the Millbrook section of Duxbury (Duxbury Records, 55). He bought meadow
land from William Ford 27 May 1661 (Duxbury Records, 7). At one time he
had a right in meadow land at the Gurnet (Duxbury Records, 61&SHY;62). He
was granted 30 acres by the Town of Duxbury 10 Oct. 1670 (Duxbury Records,
24). Some of his land was sold to Josiah Kein (Duxbury Records, 69). What
his original acreage may have been or the largest number of acres he may
have owned at any one time are not known.
Francis was admitted a freeman. perhaps a little belatedly, on 8 June
1655 (PCR&SHY;CO 3:77). His subsequent public appointments were principally
on grand juries: for 1662, 1669, 1674, 1678, 1680, and 1682 (PCR&SHY;CO
4:14; 5:18, 145, 196; 6:36, 85). Occasionally there were other appointments:
for 1658 he was Surveyor of Highways (PCR&SHY;CO 3:136)1 for 1660 he was
Constable for Duxbury (PCR&SHY;CO 3:136); and in 1671 he was one of two
men appointed to inspect ordinaries in Duxbury to see if regulations were
being observed (PCE&SHY;CO 5:60).
Twice Francis found himself in court. On 2 Nov. 1640 he and his wife
Margery were sentenced to sit in the stocks for incontinency before marriage.
Since Duxbury had no stocks, Francis was required by the Court to build
a pair (PCR&SHY;CO 1:164). Again, he was indicted 29 Oct. 1668 for stealing
a gun and a hog from an Indian (PCR&SHY;CO 4:6). He was sentenced 1 June
1669 to pay a sum of thirty shillings to the Indian and return the gun (PCR&SHY;CO
There are several theories about the background of Francis West: (1)
that he came from Salisbury in England; (2) that he was the son of Francis,
Governor of Virginia and brother of Thomas, Lord de la Warr; (3) that he
was not a West but a Weston. In turn each of these proposals will be examined.
It may be well, for the sake of clarity, to state in the beginning that
no proof from any primary source has been found to support any of them.
That Francis came from Salisbury has been quite generally accepted because
it is based on the statement of Judge Zebulon West, a great&SHY;grandson
of Francis (CW 1). While he might have been living there at the time of
emigration, no record of his birth has been found there. Margaret Adelia
Ells, preparing West Lines, arranged a search of Salisbury parish
records, where no Francis was found. Possibly Salisbury was confused with
Soulsbury, where there were Wests. However, according to records published
in REG, there was no Francis among them. There is also no evidence for the
statement of Zebulon West that Francis was "invited to emigrate by
a Mr. Thomas of Marshfield. He may have confused Francis with Twyford West,
who was indentured to Edward Winslow of Marshfield.
The supposition that Francis was the son of Francis of Virginia and the
nephew of Lord de la Warr seems to rest on the following considerations.
Banks wrote, in his History of Martha's Vineyard that such a tradition
was believed by Wests on the island. Thomas2 West named a son
Sackfield, suggestive of the Sackvilles, who were associated with the Virginia
Wests. The gravestone of Samuel West at Acushnet, Mass. shows a line of
descent from Francis of Virginia, but, curiously enough, does not name Francis
of Duxbury, blanking his generation. This genealogical inscription reflects
the Vineyard tradition. Francis of Virginia did have some first&SHY;hand
knowledge of Plymouth, since he made a visit in June 1623 to investigate
disputes over fisheries. A chart of the West family in the Virginia Historical
Society at Richmond shows the marriage of Francis and Margery Reeves. Finally.
it has been considered suggestive that little is known about Francis of
Virginia and that a Francis of approximately the same age should appear
in the Plymouth Colony.
No proof from any primary source has been found to establish a connection
between the two men. However, it would seem that Banks went too far in writing
that there was absolutely no connection; there is also no proof that a connection
The Vineyard tradition, by itself, may be dismissed simply as a tradition
without supporting evidence. The use of the name Sackfield is no more than
suggestive, since nothing has been uncovered which otherwise relates to
it. The gravestone at Acushnet presents the ideas of Samuel or his relatives
about a line of descent, but of course includes no proof. There is also
no evidence that the visit of Francis1 of Virginia to New England
in 1623 led to any other association. The chart in the Virginia Historical
Society, which gives no specific references, represents only the belief
of the compiler. It is possible, although not certain, that the two Francises
may have been of approximately the same age. No birth record for either
has been found. As noted above, Francis of Duxbury was probably born in
1605 or 1606. Since Francis2 of Virginia was called a minor in
his father's will of 1629, he could not have been born before ca. 1608.
Furthermore, Francis senior requested in the will that his surviving third
wife Jane take care of the son Francis. The general tone of this request
suggests that Francis was either a young boy or in some way physically or
mentally defective. It is unlikely that a healthy male in his late teens
would have been in need of any special care. He might therefore have been
born several years after 1608.
There are at least two considerations which argue against the identification
of the supposed two men as the same. The first is that it seems somewhat
unreasonable that Francis junior of Virginia should have learned the trade
of a carpenter, growing up, as he must have, in a prominent family in a
landed society. It would rather be expected that he would have learned no
trade at all. The second involves the question of what he received, or should
have received, as inheritance from his father's estate. There are few suggestions
that Francis Of Duxbury was affluent. His land holdings seem to have been
modest, and the size of his estate at the time of his death was notably
There have been other attempts to show that the two Francises were the
same, but they will be dismissed with little attention because they are
almost purely conjectural. One suggests that Francis of Virginia brought
his young son with him when he came to Plymouth in 1623, at which time the
son found the colony attractive, and, in maturity, decided to return. Another
proposal is that the father bought property in the colony and that the son,
having been in England, came to Duxbury to oversee and manage this property.
The contention that Francis of Duxbury was actually a Weston who changed
his name first appeared in print in Dorothy Wentworth's Settlement and
Growth of Duxbury (p.96). Through the author the point was traced to
a manuscript genealogy in the public library at Duxbury, with the title
"The Weston Families of Duxbury", by Samuel K. Weston. In this
work the compiler stated that Francis Weston changed his name after the
court sentence of 1640, perhaps from shame and wishing to disassociate himself
from the Westons, This genealogy also suggested that Francis might have
been a brother of Edmund Weston.
The problem of WEST?Weston is first encountered in connection with the
tax list of 25 Mar. 1633 (PCR&SHY;CO 1:8), on which a name appears to be
Francis Weston. Justin Winsor, in examining the Duxbury records while preparing
his History of
Duxbury, also transcribed the name as Weston
but with misgivings, so he printed it as "Weston (West?)''. He evidently
later decided that references to Francis Weston meant Francis West, because,
in his treatment of the Weston family (pp. 334&SHY;336) he made no reference
to any Francis Weston of the period, even in his note of unidentified Westons.
The confusion seems to have arisen with a difficulty in interpreting the
records. The name was sometimes written with a slight twist of the pen after
the "t" which may have been only a casual stroke or flourish or
a sign for the suffix "on", Nathaniel Shurtleff, in editing the
Colony records read the name as Weston in the tax list of 1633, in the list
of freemen of the same year (although the name was later canceled), and
in the record of the marriage to Margery Reeves. The Francis on the list
of freemen must actually have been that of a Weston because Francis West
was not made a freeman until 1655. Elsewhere in the printed records the
name appears as West.
There are few references in either the Colony or the Duxbury records
to any Francis Weston. In fact, aside from the references mentioned above,
there is only one other, the mention of a Francis who in 1679 was described
as deceased (PCR&SHY;CO 6:22). Whoever he was, he could not have been Francis
West, who died in 1692.
In general, it has been accepted that Francis was West and not a Weston.
Neither Judge Zebulon West Samuel West, both of whom were great&SHY;grandsons
of Francis, made any mention of the Weston name. Furthermore, it is evident
that on occasion the two names were simply confused. A clear case of such
a situation may be found in connection with the settlement of the estate
of Thomas Howell. Letters of administration were granted to Edmund Weston
7 June 1648 (PCR&SHY;CO 2:127), but it was later recorded that a claim against
the estate was paid by Edmund West (PCR&SHY;CO 2:141). No other reference
to any Edmund West has been found. No direct evidence has been uncovered
to support the claim that Francis changed his name. Such a claim seems to
have been based principally on the fact that Nathsmiel Shurtleff, as he
edited the Colony records, read the name as Weston in entries before 1640
and as West thereafter. The implied decision of Justin Winsor has been discussed
Children, probably born at Duxbury. No record of births has been found.
The only child of whom there is any primary record is Peter, mentioned in
the settlement of his father's estate, Judge Zebulon West stated that there
were five: Samuel, Thomas, Peter, Mary, and Ruth (CW 3). There is a note
in CW 3 that two others, Richard and Peletiah, have been ascribed to Francis
"although it would seem without good reason". In the case of Peletiah
Cornwall was probably right; the Pelatiah at Duxbury was a grandson of Francis
(DVR 187). In the case of Richard the situation is somewhat different. He
was married to Mary Samson 26 Oct. 1693 (DVR 327) and so might have been
born during Margery's child&SHY;bearing years. Much depends, of course,
on Richard's age at the time of his marriage. That he was called "Waste"
is probably of no significance. At times a question has been raised about
whether Francis had a son Francis who married Susanna Soule, the dau. of
Recent and more exhaustive research, which was undertaken during the
preparation of Volume 3 of Mayflower Families failed to establish
the identity of Susanna's husband. It was concluded that his name was probably
something other than West, although the volume assigns the name West to
all of his descendants.
Marriages of four of the five children mentioned by Judge Zebulon West
have been found, although nothing is known of Mary. These four, at least,
must have been children of Francis. Except for Twyford West, there was no
other Wests in the colony who could their parents. The following information
about Twyford was found in Mary Lovering Holman's Ancestry of Charles
Stinson Pillsbury... (p. 847). Late in 1650 Twyford moved to Rowley,
Mass. and later to Ipswich. He married and had at least five children, some
at Rowley and some at Ipswich. He made his will 5 Dec. 1683, and it was
probated 1 Jan. 1683 [i.e. 1684?]. He mentioned four children and it should
be noted that none of them bore the names of any of those ascribed to Francis
2. i. SAMUEL, b. ca. 1643 [see death record].
3. ii. THOMAS, b. ca. 1646 [see death record].
4. iii. PETER, b. 1648 (SW 284; source of this date unknown).
iv. MARY (CW 3).
5. v. RUTH, possibly b. ca. 1651 [see notes on her death].
vi. RICHARD [possibly]
2. SAMUEL2 WEST (Francis1), b. ca. 1643,
probably at Duxbury [see death record] and died May 1689 at Duxbury in his
47th year (DVR 435). He m. at Duxbury 16/26 Dec. 1668 TRYPHOSA PARTRIDGE
(DVR 328), dau. of George and Sarah (Tracy) Partridge. She is said to have
been born in Kent, England (WFW 5), but since the marriage of her parents
was recorded at Plymouth as of Nov. 1638 (Plymouth VR in MD 13:84), it seems
unlikely that she was born in England unless her parents were there at the
time. She d. at Duxbury 5 Nov 1701 (DVR 435).
The inventory of his estate was taken 15 May 1689 and presented to the
court 18 Mar. 1689/90 by Tryphosa, his widow. Since Samuel apparently died
intestate, Tryphosa was appointed administratrix (Genealogical Advertiser,
1:113). John Partridge was surety, giving a bond of £100, repressing
£50 for each (Pilgrim Notres and Queries 5:110). No record
of the division of properties has been found in any published source.
Children, b. at Duxbury, and recorded in DVR 186&SHY;187.
6. FRANCIS, b. 14 Nov. 1669.
ii. STEVEN, b. 8 Sept. 1671; d. 29 Dec. 1671 (DVR 435).
7. SAMUEL, b. 23 Dec. 1672
iv. PELATIAH, b. 8 Mar. 1674 and d. 7 Dec. 1756 at Duxbury (DVR 435). He m. 12 July 1722, also at Duxbury, ELIZABETH (ALDEN) CHANDLER as her second husband (DVR 328) who was b. after 1673 (MD 14:67) the dau. of Jonathan and Abigail (Hallett) Alden (MD 14:151). She d. between 21 Feb. 1738 and 2 May 1757 (Shaw A,13). She m. (1) before 2 July 1711 Edmund Chandler (Shaw A,13), son of Joseph Chandler. Edmund d. after 4 Apr. 1717 and before 28 Sept. 1717 (MD 14:66). It has been pointed out that Pelatiah mentioned no children in his will. If there were any, they must not have survived him.
8. EBENEZER, b. 22 July 1676.
9. JOHN, b. 6 Mar. 1678/9.
10. ABIGAIL, b. 16 Sept. 1682.
viii. BATHSHEBA (CW 3, but not recorded at Duxbury).
3. THOMAS2 WEST (Francis1),
b. either in Plymouth or Duxbury ca. 1646 [see death record] and died at
Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, 6 Sept. 1706 in his 60th year (TVR 242). He
m. ELIZABETH _____ who was born ca. 1653 [see death record] and who d. at
Tisbury 16 Feb. 1728 in her 75th year (TVR 241). Cornwall (CW 4) wrote this
account of Thomas: "He was at Plymouth in 1667 and 1671, and after
1673 resided in Martha' Vineyard. He was a practicing physician, and perhaps
also a lawyer, for he was called 'The King's Attorney' in 1681 and 'Their
Majesties' Attorney' in 1690. He joined the Sabbatarian Baptist Church in
Newport in 1692 from which he was dismissed in 1702. His will dated 5 Jan.
1697/8, mentioned his sons but not his daughters who, however, were mentioned
in a division of his estate in 1722. He also mentioned 'my brother [brother&SHY;in&SHY;law]
Nathaniel Skiffe'" The will was probated 11 Oct. 1706.
The account of Thomas by Banks, which is found in BMV
2, "Annals' of Tisbury", pp. 25&SHY;26,, adds further local
details as follows: "Few traces of Thomas are found in the Massachusetts
[i.e. Plymouth] records prior to his migration to the Vineyard. He witnessed
a deed in 1667 (Plymouth Deeds, 3:101) and is mentioned in the county [colony]
Treasurer's Accounts of June 1671 (PCR&SHY;Miscellaneous Records, 133).
Between this date and Sept. 30, 1673 he came to this island, probably through
his connection with the Skiffes, because his sister Ruth had become the
wife of Nathaniel in later years. It is possible that West lived in Newport,
R.I. prior to his removal hither. In Sept. 39, 1673 he entered suit against
the townsmen of Tisbury respecting his proper rights, and his lot, mentioned
the following year, was situated on the west side of Old Mill River to the
north of the old cemetery, next to that of James Skiffe, Sr. (Tisbury Records,
8). West was evidently a man of education and superior ability and the first
known practitioner of medicine and surgery on the Vineyard... He prosecuted
the first trials for murder on the island (Dukes County Court Records) [see
above for his legal titles]. Thomas West also has some further distinction
in his religious affiliations. With his wife he became a member of the Third
Sabbatarian (Seventh Day) Church of Newport, R.I. some time prior to 1692,
and various West descendants were attached to that communion for many years
after. (Footnote: Records First Sabbatarian Baptist Church. At the same
time Peter and Ruth West are found in the list of members 1692, and it is
probable that they were his brother and sister...). [This conclusion may
be open to question Perhaps Ruth (Skiffe) might have been a member, but
it is unlikely that Peter, who seems to have been living at Duxbury, would
have been in communion with a church in Newport. It may be asked whether
this Peter could have been the son of Francis and Susanna (Soule). Since
he is thought to have been born ca. 1668/9, he might have been old enough
to have been a member in 1692. However, in Mayflower Families (3:10)
it is stated that no further record of him could be found. The only other
Ruth of the period was the dau. of Thomas, who would have been only about
seven years old in 1692.] ... in 1702, however, he [Thomas] was excommunicated
for disobeying the tenets of the communion, but his wife and other members
of the family continued in good standing.
"In the spring of 1682 he sold his lot in West Tisbury and made
the first of a series of land purchases at Holmes Hole which from that time
to his death became his residence. (Footnote: He bought land at Holmes Hole
Feb. 8, 1681/2, and sold he land on Old Mill River Apr. 10, 1682 (Dukes
County Deeds, I, 31, 373). The property, by continued acquisition, expanded
from the Lagoon on the north to the Cottle property (head of Lagoon) on
the south, and his house was situated on the site of the U.S. Marine Hospital.
After his death it descended to his sons in shares and 'set&SHY;offs' but
in time his eldest son, Abner, acquired most of it by purchase from the
"During his life he had the usual experiences observed among his
neighbors as respects his business and social relations. He was indicted
and fined in 1678 for 'unsavorie speeches' and sued for defamation in 1687
by Simon Athearn (Dukes County Records, 12, 13). He was elected 'townsman'
of Tisbury in 1678, and in 1679 he was on a committee to 'make rates' (Tisbury
Records, 12,13). Beyond these references other mention of him in the records
is incidental. He made his will on Jan. 15, 1698, and died Sept. 6, 1706
in the sixtieth year of his age. In this document he bequeaths to his 'eldest
son' Abner the estate as far south as 'Chunckes' swamp. To son Thomas certain
land next southerly and to son Peter a tract adjoining the previous bequest;
to son William 'all that creek stuff or meadow land which I bought from
Mr. Sam (Indian). Nextly', it continues, 'I will and bequeath all my books
and surgery instruments to my son Thomas, a gun to my son Sackfield and
a sword to my son Judah.' His movable estate was left to the widow Elizabeth
for bringing up the children' and he mentions his four daughters in this
connection [but did not name them]. 'My will is', he directs in conclusion,
'that none of my children be disposed of without the advice of Brother Nathaniel
Skiffe and my son Abner whom I do make overseers to this my will'.
"...Diligent search failed to disclose the maiden name of his wife
Elizabeth, who was born in 1653 or'4 and survived her husband many years.
She died Feb. 16, 1728 in the 75th year of her age and the gravestones of
both the Doctor and his wife are in good preservation at West Tisbury. At
least six of their descendants were graduates of Harvard College before
1800 and were men distinguished in the annals of the New England pulpit."
Children, named in father's will and other estate documents but with
few clues to sequence. Abner was called the eldest son but this does not
necessarily mean that he was the first child. Except for him, no birth records
have been found. Other dates as given below are those suggested by Banks
i. ELIZABETH, b. 1678; m. (1) JOHN MILLARD, or WILLARD (CC) (2) 15 Mar. 1718 JONATHAN SABIN (BMV 3:500).
11. ii. ABIGAIL, b. 1680.
12. iii. ABNER, b. 9 July 1683 (TVR 90).
13. iv. RUTH, b. 1685.
14. v. THOMAS, b. 1687.
15. vi. PETER, b. 1689.
vii. WILLIAM, b. 1691; d. after 1706.
16. viii. MARY, b. 1692.
17. ix. SACKFIELD, b. 1694.
18. ix. JUDAH, b. 1696.
[See The Descendants of Dr. Thomas West for more information about this family.]
4. PETER2 WEST (Francis1) b. 1648 (according
to SW 5, which gives no source) and died 20 Feb. 1720/1 at Plympton, Mass.
(PnVR 530). He m. Pateince _____ who died 8 May 1725, also at Plympton (PnVR
530). Peter lived at Duxbury and inherited his father's estate. However,
the estate was exceptionally small, and no division was made, all bring
given to Peter because he had cared for his father for several years. In
JK 32, 70 there are notes on a Peter who must have been this Peter, since
the only other known Peter of this period was the son of Francis and Susanna
(Soule), who is dismissed in Mayflower Families (3:10) as being without
further record. It is noted in JK that Peter owned land on both sides of
the Plympton&SHY;Kingston line, in what is now Kingston and near Jones River
Pond [now Silver Lake] where West Street comes out at its western end. It
is also recalled that Peter was involved in the assignment of pews in the
First Church in 1720, when he was given a third of a pew in the gallery
"behind the women". The pew was later to go to William Coomer
in case Peter should leave.
Children, all except as otherwise shown recorded in DVR 186&SHY;187.
i. MARY, b. 3 Oct. 1675 ; d. perhaps before 7 Dec. 1685 (see Mary below).
19. MARGERY, b. 12 Mar. 1677/8.
20. ESTHER, b. 20 Sept. 1680
iv. AIME (or ANNE), b. 16 Feb. 1682; m. at Duxbury 27 May 1705 ELISHA CURTIS (DVR 328), b. at Plymouth Mar 1683 (MD 21:111). According to Savage (1:485) he was son of Francis and Hannah (Smith) Curtis.
v. LYDIA, b. 11 Feb. 168&SHY;. This dau. is listed in WFW 7 but is not found in CW or DVR.vi. WILLIAM, b. 4 May 1683 (CW 4; WFW 7). There is a problem, about William, and for that matter, about the second Mary and Benjamin as well. These were not recorded at Duxbury, although they may be found, with birth dates, in CW 4. The source of the information is not stated, and it may be supposed that Cornwall was in error. And such may be the case, but they fill an extraordinary gap between 1682 and 1693 in the record at Duxbury. It was long thought that this was the William who m. 24 Dec. 1709 Abiah Sprague of Hingham (see George M. West, William West of Scituate, R.I. St. Andrews, Fla., 1919.) More recent research for Mayflower Families has led to the conclusion that the William who m. Abiah Sprague was b. 3 May 1681, the son of Francis and Susanna (Soule) (MF 3:10, 29).
21. MARY, b. 7 Dec. 1685 (CW 5; not recorded at Duxbury).
viii. BENJAMIN, B. & July 1688 (CW 4; not recorded at Duxbury).
22. EKISHA, b. 2 Mar. 1693/4.
23. SAMUEL, b. 4 Apr. 1697.
5. RUTH2 WEST (Francis1), b. ca. 1651 (see death record) and d. 31 Dec. 1741 in her 91st year, probably at Windham , Conn., where she was buried (Conn. Cemetery Inscriptions in REG 71:207). She m., according to BMV 3:334, as his second wife, NATHANIEL SKIFFE, b. 20 Mar. 1645 at Sandwich, Mass., son of James (Sandwich VR in MD 14:167. He died at Windham 24 July 1723 (Windham Cemetery Inscriptions in REG 71:206). He is said to have married (1) Mary of whom nothing has been found. (BMV 3:434). That he married a sister of Thomas2 West is known from the fact that Thomas named his "Brother" Nathaniel Skiffe as one of the overseers of his will. No dates have been found for either of Nathaniel's marriages. Although b. at Sandwich, Nathaniel moved to Falmouth in 1677, later to Tisbury and Chilmark, and finally to Windham, Conn (BMV 3:434).
Children, as proposed by Banks (BMV 3:434), named Skiffe. Little information seems to be available about the family of Nathaniel and Ruth. The list of children given below was developed by Banks, as he explains, by a process of elimination , which is to say that they were Skiffe children who could not be placed elsewhere. The situation is further complicated by the lack of marriage dates for either of Nathaniel's two wives, hence it is not known which wife might have been the mother of which of the supposed children. Because the list is so nebulous, no attempt will be made to trace descendants of these children. Except for an unnamed son who was b. and d. at Falmouth in 1681, nothing is certainly known about the children.
i. ABIGAIL, b. 1679.
ii. unnamed son, b. 5 Oct. 1681; d. 8 Oct. 2681 (FVR 116, 251).
iii. SARAH, b. 1683.
iv. JOHN, b. 1686.
v. HANNAH, b 6 June 1688.
vi. BEULAH, b. 1689.
vii. NATHAN, b. 1691.
viii. NATHANIAL, b. 1693.
ix. STEPHEN, b. 1695.
WEST (Samuel2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
13 Nov. 1669 (DVR 187) and d. at Tolland, Conn. 12 May 1731 (Tolland Cemetery
Inscriptions in REG 72:123). He m. 20 Dec. 1696 MERCY MINOR of Stonington,
Conn., dau. of Captain Joseph and Mary (Avery) Minor (CW 5). She d. 6 Sept.
1751 in her 79th year (BCVR-Tolland, 148; original I,80). Francis joined
the church at Stonington after having been dismissed by letter from the
church at Preston. About 1720 he moved to Tolland, as one of the first settlers
there, serving as a deacon of the church and as a selectman (CW 5).
Children, born at Preston and Stonington, Conn., the first recorded at Preston (BCVR-Preston, 210: original 1:223) and the next two at Stonington (BCVR-Stonington, 265: original I:293). Except as noted, the names of the others are supplied in CW 5.
24. MERCY, b. 30 Oct. 1697.
25. SAMUEL, b. 10 Apr. 1700.
26. JOSEPH, b. 1 Oct. 1701.
27. AMASA, bp. 27 Mar. 1704.
28. ZEBULON, bp. 16 Mar. 1707.
29. CHRISTOPHER, bp. 19 June 1709.
30. PELATIAH, bp. 30 Sept. 1711.
viii. CALEB (added by SW 287 but not found in CW 5 or BCVR).
WEST (Samuel2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
23 Dec. 1672 (DVR 187) and d. probably ca. 1763 (CW 5). He m. at Duxbury
20 June 1709 MARTHA (SIMMONS) DELANO (DVR 328), who was b. at Duxbury 27
Nov. 1677 (DVR 157), the dau. of John and Mercy (Pabodie) Simmons (DVR 157,
309). Martha m. (1) at Duxbury 20 Dec. 1699 Ebrnrzer Delano (FVR 307). She
d. at Lebanon, Conn. 10 Dec. 1754 in her 79th year (BCVR-Lebanon, 178: original
I:326). According to CW 5, Samuel lived at Duxbury until he moved to Lebanon
some time after 1723. There he became one of the organizers ad the Goshen
Church in 1730.
Children, b. at Duxbury and recorded in DVR 186-187.
31. AMOS, b. 29 Mar. 1710.
32. NATHAN, b. 18 Aug. 1711.
iii. SARAH, b. 8 Nov. 1712.
33. MOSES, b. 4 Mar. 1715.
WEST (Samuel2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
22 July 1676 (DVR 186) and died at Lebanon, Conn. 31 Oct. 1758 (BCVR-Lebanon,
177: original I: 327). He m. 14 Jan. 1712/13 SUSANNA WALES of Windham, Conn.
(BCVR-Lebanon, 177: original I:327), said to have been the dau. of Nathaniel
(EW 33). She d. at Lebanon 14 Oct. 1723 (BCVR-Lebanon, 178: original I:327).
The account of Ebenezer in CW 5 is as follows: "He was an early settler in Lebanon, Conn. He was constable in 1713 and one of the first organizers of the Goshen Church in Lebanon, in 1730, and its first deacon. He was a Representative in the Legislature for 46 sessions, Selectman, Justice of the Peace, and Judge of the County Court."
Children, b. at Lebanon, and recorded in BCVR-Lebanon, 177-178: original 1:327, 335.
i. SARAH, b. 25 Jan. 1714/15; said to have been unmarried (CW 5).
34. JOSHUA, b. 20 July 1715. [Obviously either this date or the birth date above is in error. However, these dates appear in both CW and BCVR.]
iii. BATHSHEBA, b 8 Mar. 1717; said to have d. young (CW 5).
iv. SUSANNAH, b. 7 Jan. 1719; said to have m. a Delano (CW 5).
v. EBENEZER, b. 11 Par. 1721; d. 21 Oct. 1726.
vi. JONATHAN, b. 2 Oct. 1723; d. 12 Oct. 1723.
vii. DAVID, b. 2 Oct. 1723, twin of Jonathan; thought to have d. young (EW 33).
WEST (Samuel2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
6 Mar. 1678/9 (DVR 187) and d. at Lebanon, Conn. 17 Nov. 1741 (BCVR-Lebanon,
177: original I:388). He m. SARAH , who m. (2) John Lane of Killingsworth,
Conn. (CW 6). John West moved to Lebanon before 1714 and was another of
the founders of the Goshen Church in 1730 (CW 5).
Children, b. at Lebanon, and all except the last recorded in BCVR-Lebanon, 177-178: original 1:338.
i. JOSHUA, b. 17 Dec. 1708; d. at Lebanon 3 or 5 Mar. 1708/9.
35. HANNAH, b. 13 July 1710.
36. NATHAN, b. 10 Nov. 1712.
37. JOHN, b. 12 Mar. 1715.
v. PRISCILLA, b. 17 July 1717; d. 6 Feb. 1729.
vi. DOROTHY, b. 10 Sept. 1719; d. 21 Feb. 1729/30.
38. SOLOMON, b. 15 Mar. 1723.
39. CALEB, b. 3 July 1726 (added in CW 6; not found in BCVR).
WEST (Samuel2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
16 Sept. 1682 (DVR 186) and m. at Duxbury 4 Aug. 1714 NATHANIEL COLE (DVR
328), who was b. at Duxbury 11 Oct. 1685, the son of Nathaniel and Sarah
_____ Cole (DVR 51). Nathaniel, Jr. d. at Plymouth 9 Jene 1774 (PChR 1:402).
Children, no record has been found, but it is possible that there was a son Jabez. This conclusion is based on the names which Jabez gave to two of his children: West Cole and Nathanirl Cole (PkVR 62). However, it is also possible that Jabez might have been the son of Ephraim and Susanna (West/Waste) Cole. Jabez m. Grace Keen (DVR 236) and d. after 1741.
WEST (Thomas2, Francisl), b. perhaps
1680 (as suggested by Banks in BMV 3:500). She m. JOSHUA WEEKS before 10
June 1710, according to BMV 3:500, but 1722, according to CC and CW 4. Although
Banks gives a birth date for Joshua as ca. 1675, he notes that he could
not determine his parentage (BMV 3;497), Joshua first appeared in Vineyard
records as the purchaser of the Martin homestead in Edgartown, but it is
not clear that he ever lived there. Records also show that he was later
baptized and admitted to the Sabbatarian Church at Newport, R.I., but by
1726 he was living at Chickemmoo, on the Vineyard, and was called a miller.
At the time he was last mentioned in 1741 he was a resident of Tisbury (BMV
Children, named WEEKS, and as given in BMV 3:497.
40. SAMUEL, b. 1712.
41. ELIZABETH, b. perhaps 1714.
12. ABNER3 WEST (Thomas2,
Francis1), b. at Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, 9 June 1683 and probably d.
early in 1756, because his will was probated 13 Mar. of that year at Tisbury
(BMV 3:500). He m. at Tisbury 17 Nov. 1707 JEAN (LOOK) COTTLE (TVR 188),
who was b. 24 Dec. 1680, the dau. of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bunker) Look
and died at the home of a son at Rochester, Mass. ca. 1765 (BMV 3:500).
She m. (1) John Cottle, who was b. 7 Dept. 1675 and d. 30 Oct. 1705. He
was the son of James and Elizabeth (Look) Cottle (BMV 3:108).
Children, b. at Tisbury, and recorded in TVR 90-93, except as noted.
42. THOMAS, b. 26 Aug. 1708.
43. SILAS, b. 1 Aug. 1810.
iii. SAMUEL, b. 11 July 1712; said to have d. young (BMV 3:500).
44. ELISHA, b. 21 flay 1714.
v. JEAN, b. 25 Aug. 1716; m. at Tisbury 23 Dec. 1734 WILLIAM WEST (TVR 189). [For other information and children, see William West.]
45. PETER, b. 21 June 1718.
46. ELIZABETH, b. 30 July 1720.
viii. ABIGAIL, b. 10 June 1722; d. at Tisbury 6 July 1741, aged 19y. 21d. (241) and evidently unmarried.
47. STEPHEN, b. 1724 (date suggested by BMV 3;501).
WEST (Thomas2, Francis1), b. probably
1685 (date suggested by BMV 3:500) and is said to have died in 1747 (WF
5 from an unknown spouse; according to BMV 3:66 her death date has not been
found). She m. ca. 1704 EDWARD CARTWRIGHT of Nantucket, son of Edward and
Elizabeth (Trott) Cartwright, He was b. 5 May 1683 on Nantucket (NVR 1:178)
and probably died in 1752, since his will was probated 14 Nov. 1752 (BMV
3:66). A death date of 10 Nov. 1752 has been offered by WF 5 but without
supporting evidence. According to BMV 3:66, Edward m. (2) Jane Magee, while
NVR 3:178, from the Folger collection, states that the Edward who m. Jane
Magee was the son of Edward and Ruth (West) above.
Children, named CARTWRIGHT, and as listed in BMV 3:66, unless otherwise noted.
i. ABNER, b. probably 1705.
48. BRYANT, b. probably 1706, but the date 30 Sept. 1711 may be found in WF 5.
iii. SARAH, b. probably 1707.
49. SAMUEL, b. probably 1708, although NVR 1:181, from the Folger collection, gives 1716.
v. GIDEON, b. probably 1710.
vi. EDWARD, b. probably 1713 and was perhaps the Edward who m. 1 June 1749 Jane Magee (ChVR 44) [see a discussion under his father's name.] Edward d. before 10 Apr. 1762 and probably before his father (1752) because he was not mentioned in his father's will (BMV 3:67).
50. RUTH, b. probably 1716.
viii. JUDAH, b. probably 1720.
ix. SILAS (added by Folger and found in NVR 1:181).
14. THOMAS3 WEST (Thomas2,
Francis1), thought to have been b. ca. 1687 and d. in Rhode Island as the
result of exposure and disease contracted in the West Indies (BMV 3:501).
From the diary of William Homes [Holmes] comes the following passage, "I
have heard that Thomas West died lately at Rhode Island. He had some time
ago undertaken to pilot a vessel to Boston and was forced off the coast
by a storm and driven to Matinico [this has been assumed to be Martinique,
although it is not clear from what port the vessel had sailed] and either
the fatigue of the voyage or some distemper contracted on that island he
was brought so low befre he arrived at Rhode Island and not long after he
came on shore he died. His friends concluded that he had been lost in the
storm (BEG 50:262).
On 29 Jan. 1712/13 he m. MARY PRESBURY (recorded in TVR 190 as Mary and in Edgartown (EVR 191) as Hannah). She was b. 28 Aug. 1694, the dau. of Stephen and Deborah (Skiffe) Presbury. (BMV 3:501). Mary d. between 1728 and 1730. As the administrator of his will Thomas designated his father-in-law, Stephen Presbury, 7 May 2728, and the will was brought to final probate 3 Oct. 1732 (BMV 3:501).
Children, b. at Tisbury, except as noted, and recorded in TVR 92-93.
52. WILLIAM, b. 4 Apr. 1714.
ii. NATHAN, b. 17 Aug. 1715; d. before 1732 (BMV 3:501).
53. THOMAS, b. 22 Feb. 1716/17.
iv. LYDIA, b. 6 June 1718; m. 21 June 1739 DAVID MELVILLE (BMV 3:501), perhaps the son of David and Mary, b. 17 Oct. 1704 at Eastham (Eastham VR in MD 8:93).
v. JOHN, b. 21 Oct. 1719; said to have d. young (NMV 3:501).
vi. MARY, b. 2 June 1721; m. 25 May 1746 TIMOTHY INGRAHAM (BMV 3:501).
WEST (Thomas2, Francis1), thought to
have been b. 1689 and probably d. in North Carolina in 1751. It has been
said that he moved to Bertie County, N.C., which then was much larger than
it is now (BMV 3:500) and SW 289). This conclusion was evidently based on
the fact that the will of a Peter West was probated in Bertie County in
May 1751 and dated 21 July 1749 (Grimes, Abstracts of North Carolina Wills,
398). Whatever evidence there may be to support the identification of Peter
of Tisbury and Peter of North Carolina has not been found. Although some
Bertie County records have been examined, it has not been possible to identify
and trace the descendants of this Peter. While there are frequent references
to Wests in lists of marriage bonds and land transactions, attempts to separate
possible descendants from the Wests who migrated from Virginia have, so
far, been unsuccessful.
Children, sequence unknown. This Peter of North Carolina is known to have had three children and a grandson, all of whom he mentioned in his will. Stone (SW 289) lists four children, but it seems clear that she has mistaken the grandson William for a son of Peter. The will does not indicate the parentage of the grandson.
ii. ELIZABETH, must have m. a Cotton, since she was called Elizabeth Cotton in her father's will.
WEST (Thomas2, Francis1), b. ca. 1692
(see death record) and d. 11 May 1774 in her 83d year (TVR 205). She m.
3 Dec. 1717 JOHN COTTLE, who was born ca. 1701 (see death record), the son
of James and Elizabeth (Look) Cottle (BMV 3:500). He d. at Tisbury, Martha's
Vineyard, 21 Aug. 1798 in his 97th year (TVR 205). He m. (2) after 1774
Nary , who was b. 1731 and d. 20 or 23 Feb. 1817 in her 86th or 88th year.
[Church and gravestone records differ as to her age at death, therefore
her birth date might have been ca. 1729 or 1731. See TVR 205.] John's will
was made 6 Jan. 1785 and probated 30 Oct. 1793. He was a ferryman at Woods
Hole in 1741 (BMV 3:108).
Children, named COTTLE, as listed in BMV 3:108.
i. RELIANCE, b. 3 Apr. 1719.
54. SHUBAEL, b. 4 Apr. 1723.
iii. ELIZABETH, bp. 8 June 1726.m. SAMUEL MERRY as his second wife (BMV 3:108). He was b. 18 Dec. 1702, son of Samuel and Remembrance (Luce) Merry (BMV 3:331). He m. (1) Elizabeth Stewart, b. perhaps 1716, dau. of John and Margaret (_____) Stewart (BMV 3:460). Banks (BMV 3:331, 332) assigns the following children to Samuel, but states that there is no proof that he was the father. Instead, they are children of the period for whom no other parents could be found. Possibly by first wife Mary: 1. Timothy, b. perhaps 1732; 2. Jonathan, b. perhaps 1735; 3. Margaret, b. perhaps 1738; 4. David, b. perhaps 1741; 5. Bathsheba, b. perhaps 1744. Possibly by second wife Elizabeth: 6. Miriam, b. August 1748; 7. John, b. 1750; 8. William, b. 14 Oct. 1751; 9. Peter; b. perhaps 1753; 10. Zachariah, b. perhaps 1755.
WEST (Thomas2, Francis1), b. probably
1692 and d. 12 Sept. 1778 (BMV 3:500). He m. three times: (1) at Yarmouth,
Mass. 7 Apr. 1715 MARY HOWES (YVR 1:139) who was probably the Mary who was
b. at Yarmouth 10 Feb. 1698, the dau. of Prince and Dorcas (Joyce) Howes
(YVR 1:23). However, there was another Mary, b. Sept. 1690, dau. of Joseph
and Mary (YVR 1:28). Although the first Mary may be considered the more
likely wife, because she was younger than her husband, it is not entirely
certain that it was not the second Mary. Mary d. at Yarmouth 15 Nov. 1728
(YVR 1: 154). (2) 7 May 1729 RUTH JENKINS (BMV 2:500; intention 21 Mar.
1728/9 in YVR 1:171), (3) HANNAH BACON (BMV 3:500).
Children, b. at Yarmouth, and recorded in YVR 1:19.
By first wife Mary.
i. PELEG, b. 19 Apr. 1717.
By second wife Ruth.
55. SAMUEL, b. 3 Mar. 1729/30.
By an unspecified wife.
iii. BENJAMIN (added by SW 90 but not found elsewhere).
WEST (Thomas2, Francis1), b. probably
1696 (BMV 3:500) and m. at Pembroke, Mass. 3 Sept. 1718 BETHIAH KEEN (PkVR
372), dau. of Josiah and Lydia (Baker) Keen (MD 19:128). Bethiah d. at Plymouth
16 Dec. 1745 (MD 16:86).
Children, b. at Plymouth, and recorded in Plymouth VR in MD 13:112-113.
i. CHARLES, b. 10 Apr. 1719; d. 18 July 1719. ;
ii. CHARLES, b, 3 Apr. 1720; d. about 8 Aug. 1741 "as supposed" in a hurricane in the West Indies (Plymouth VR in MD 13 113). Donald Lines Jacobus showed (REG 9:371) that he could not have been the Charles of Middleboro who m. Deborah Williamson 17 Nov. 1730 because he would not have been old enough. and Charles of Middleboro signed a deed later than the death of Charles, son of Judah.
56. JUDAH, b. 4 June 1721.
iv. DAVID, b. 10 Aug. 1722; d. at Plymouth 5 Aug. 1745.
v. BETHIA, b. Oct. 1723: d. 24 May 1729.
57. LYDIA, b. 15 June 1725
vii. WILLIAM, b. 31 May 1726; d. 2 Aug. 1726.
viii. ELIZABETH, b. 25 May 1727; d. 2 Aug. 1727.
ix. BETHIA, b. 4 July 1729.
x. WILLIAM, b. 16 June 1730; d. 15 Oct. 1730.
58. SAMUEL, b. 4 Aug. 1731.
xii. JOSHUA, b. 27 Dec. 1732; d. 27 Sept. 1733. viii. JOSIAH, 10 May 1734; 15 or 16 Feb. 1803 at Kingston in his 69th year (KVR 392). He filed an intention on 1 Nov. 1754 to marry ELIZABETH GRIFFIN of Plympton, who was b. at Kingston 16 Feb. 1734 (KVR 157) and d. 29 Apr. 1801 at the age of 68 (KVR 392). The marriage inten was presented at Plymouth (Plymouth VR in MD 25:53).
19. MARGERY (or MARGARET)3 WEST (Peter2, Francis1),
b. 17 Mar 1677/8 at Duxbury (DVR 187) and d. 23 June 1725 in her 48th year
at Kingston (KVR 326). She married at Plymouth 27 Feb. 1700 JONATHAN BRYANT
(MD 14:35), who was b. at Plymouth 23 Mar. 1677, son Lieut. John and Abigail
(_____) Bryant (MD 1:210). Davis (ALGR 47) made the statement , which must
be in error, that Margery n. Timothy Bryant and had exactly the same children
as listed below. Since the last two children were recorded at Plympton,
he may have moved from Plymouth between 1705 and 1707. However, he may not
have moved at all, since this was the time[l707] when Plympton was set off
Children, named BRYANT, the first three recorded in MD 3:121 and the last two in PnVR 41.
59. REBECCA, b. 6 Dec. 1702.
60. PRISCILLA, b. 3 Sept. 1705. There is, at this point, an error either in the original record or in the transcription, since a 1705 date is given for her sister Marcy. Should Priscilla's date have been 1703, as Davis (ALGR 46) read it? However, this reading would place the birth dates of the two sisters, Priscilla and Rebecca, improbably close.
61. MARCY, 19 Aug. 1705.
62. MARY, b. 4 Nov. 1707.
v. JONATHAN, b. 11 May 1711.
WEST (Peter2, Francis1), b. at Duxbury
30 Sept. 1680 (DVR 186) and d. after 7 July 1726 (MF 2:179). She m. 19 Sept.
1706 JOSEPH FINNEY, as his second wife (MF 2:179) who was b. at Barnstable,
Mass. 28 Jan. 1667/8, son of John and Mary (Rogers) Finney (Barnstable VR
in MD 11:131 and MF 2:179). He d. at Plympton 29 June 1726(MF 2:179) but
not in PnVR). He m. (1) at Plymouth 15 June 1693 Mercy Bryant, who d. before
Sept. 1706 (MF 2:179). Joseph Bryant made his will 27 June 1726, and it
was presented 15 July 1726. In it he named his wife Esther and children
John, Joseph, Peletiah, Alice Hamblin, Mary Hamblin, Mercy Phinney, and
Patience Phinney (MF 2:179).
Children, b. at Plympton, and those by the second wife recorded in PnVr 154-155, named PHINNEY.
By first wife Mercy:
1. Alice, b. 1 Apr. 1694; 2. John, b. 17 Dec. 1696; 3. Mary, b. 5 May 1700 (see MF 2:179).
42. THOMAS4 WEST (Abner3,
Thomas2, Francis1), at Tisbury 26 Aug. 1708 (TVR 93) and d. 4 July 1790
at the age of 82 at Rochester, Mass. (RVR 2:443). Thomas m. (1) DRUSILLA
PRESBURY (BMV 3:502). dau. of Stephen and Deborah (Skiffe) Presbury (BMV
3:411), who was b. ca. 1707 (see death record) and who d. at Rochester 12
Mar. 1763 in her 56th year (RVR 2:443); (2) 30 Nov. 1763 PRISCILLA HAMMOND
(RVR 2:314), who was Priscilla (Sprague) Hammond, widow of Benjamin Hammond,
whom she had m. 12 Nov. 1730 (RVR 2:290) and who fled at Rochester 19 July
1758 (RVR 2:385). Priscilla d. 23 Oct. 1779 at the age of 70 (RVR 2:443).
According to Banks (BMV 3:502) Thomas m. (3) DEBORAH
and who may therefore have been the Thomas who filed an intention to marry Mrs. Deborah Freeman 29 Apr. 1780 (RVR 2:314).
The will of Thomas may be found in Plymouth County Probate Docket 2232. It was signed 9 Dec. 1788 and witnessed by Noah Hammond, Moses Hammond and Obed Barlow. Bequests were made to eight of his children, although son John was called deceased. The children mentioned were: Thomas, Samuel, Benjamin, Timothy, Keturah, Priscilla, Sarah, and John. No mention was made of any children by wives other than Drusilla. His son Thomas and his "son" Enoch Hammond were named executors. The inventory of the estate was taken at Rochester 20 Aug. 1790.
Several sketches of Thomas are available. Banks (BMV 3:501) wrote, "He was first a resident of Tisbury and was graduated from Harvard, earning a master's degree in 1750. He preached to the Indians and probably was a minister to the English at Homes Hole [Martha's Vineyard] until he went in 1753 to North Rochester. He remained there as minister until 1781, when he was 73 years of age."
A description of Thomas and his ministry may also be found in Mary Hall Leonard's Mattapoisett and Old Rochester (N.Y., Grafton Press, 1901). pp.79-81). It begins with a quotation from Abraham Holmes in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 2nd ser., v.10. as follows: "Mr. West remained their minister [at North Rochester] until about the year 1781, although before this some of the leading members of the church and parish grew dissatisfied with his doctrine and some of them went off and joined the Baptist communion. and at that time his advanced age & the infirmities incident thereto induced him to ask for a dismission, it was granted."
The sketch continues, "The church in North Rochester was organized in 1753, the first pastor being Rev. Thomas West who was born at the Vineyard in 1708. He was a graduate of Harvard and served for some years at the Vineyard as a colleague Missionary before coming to Rochester. He was a good classical scholar, and fitted several young men for the ministry. He is also described as having 'apostolic simplicity of manner' and being 'devoted to the prophecies'. Two of the sons of Minister West attained distinction in the ministry, one of them, Rev. Samuel West, having been the pastor of the Hollis Street Church, Boston. Rev. Thomas West died in 1790, and was buried in one of the old graveyards of North Rochester."
Again, on p.134, is the following anecdote. "On one occasion when he was preaching Isaac Snow spoke out and called Mr. West 'an old Tory'".
Children, b. at Tisbury; all by first wife Drusilla, and, unless otherwise noted, recorded in TVR 90-93.
i. DEBORAH, b. 18 Sept.1729.; d. 25 Jan. 1733 or 34 (TVR 241, noting that the gravestone gives 1733 at the age of 4y. 4m. 7d.).
ii. ABNER, b. 13 June 1731. It is thought that he probably died before 1790 because he was not mentioned in his father's will and was probably deceased, because there was no mention of widow or children.
132. KETURAH, b. 14 Mar. 1733.
133. JOHN, b. 10 Apr. 1735.
134. THOMAS, b. 28 Feb. 1736/7.
135. SAMUEL, b. 18 Nov. 1738.
vii. DEBORAH, 19 Oct. 1740; d. 29 Nov. 1747 (TVR 241).
136. DRUSILLA, b. 22 Aug. 1742.
ix. BENJAMIN, b. 30 June 1744; d. 13 July 1745.
x. BENJAMIN, b. 28 Mar. 1746 and d. 29 July 1817. aged 71. at Charlestown, N.H. (Goss, Colonial Cemetery Inscriptions in the state of New Hampshire, 35). Benjamin m. twice: (1) 18 June 1781 MARY MacCARTY of Worcester (BMV 3:502, but Sanderson, History of Charlestown [N.H.] gives 8 June) She d. 23 Aug. 1803, aged 52, at Charlestown (Colonial Cemetery Inscriptions of the State of New Hampshire, 35). Sanderson, cited above, states that she had suffered paralysis during the last eight years of her life p.606); (2) 3 Sept. 1806 MARY FRANCES (ATHERTON) GORDON of Amherst, N.H. (REG 61:378. also Sanderson, History of Charlestown [N.H.] 606, which states that she was the dau. of the Hon. Joshua Atherton of Amherst and the widow of William Gordon). It is likely that she was the Frances West who d. at Charlestown 11 Nov. 1838 at the age of 72, although, if her age was correct, she would have been born ca. 1766 and so would have been about twenty years younger than her husband (Goss, Colonial Cemetery Inscriptions in the State of New Hampshire, 35).
On p. 596 ff. of Sanderson's History there is a biographical sketch covering several pages. The sources are not too clearly identified but it appears that the author obtained considerable information from Benjamin's nephew, Enoch Hammond West and from a sketch written by George S. Knapp of Boston.
The following is an abstract of Sanderson's sketch omitting the more romantic characterizations which are usually presented in the "prominent citizens" section of local histories. "Benjamin West was the son of Thomas West of Rochester, Mass. [Margaret Ells, in her West Lines gives substantially the same information about a Benjamin, son of Sackfield West. However, it is known that Thomas had a son Benjamin because he mentioned him in his will, but no record has been found of the birth of a Benjamin, son of Sackfield. In fact, no other reference to such a Benjamin has been found except in SW 90, a source which is obviously sketchy and undependable for the New England Wests.] He is said to have been rather different than most children in being more serious and contained than is usual. In spite of adverse circumstances, Benjamin was able to enter college. His father was not affluent, had a large family to support and had incurred a considerable debt in supporting his son Samuel at Harvard. Because Samuel paid off this debt soon after he entered the ministry at Needham, Mass. Benjamin was able to enter Princeton [Nassau Hall] apparently, or at least in part, because students with inadequate preparation were admitted there, being allowed to make up deficiencies as they puraued their college work. But he was most satisfied there and so transferred to Harvard, where he did well and was graduated in the class of 1768. At that time he seems to have assumed that he, like his brother Samuel, would enter the ministry, so he went to live with Samuel and study theology with him. This was after he had taught for two years in a school he had established in Worcester. After becoming a licensed preacher he took a charge at Wrentham. Although he seemed quite acceptable to the congregation there, he was not satisfied with the profession and gave up the charge after about two months. After a period of indecision about what he should do next he concluded that he might go to sea.
While he was in Boston to investigate the possibility of such employment, he met a former roommate at Harvard, Andrew Henshaw, who, with Lois father, persuaded Benjamin to abandon the idea of going to sea and suggested the study of the law instead. The result was that he entered the office of Abel Willard of Lancaster, Mass. In July 1773 he established himself at Charlestown, N.H., having heard that circumstances were favorable there. He became an attorney in the Court of Common Pleas.
With the outbreak of the Revolution his legal career was interrupted by the closing of courts, so, after hearing of an opportunity for employment in Charleston, S.C., he decided to go there. This he did in the fall [year not specified by Sanderson: was it 1775 or 1776?] leaving in October by horseback and arriving in December to become a tutor for the children of a Mr. Gibbs, a planter. It proved to be an unfortunate move because the climate did not suit him and he became ill [perhaps from malaria], so in 1779 he started back to New England, arriving in Charlestown, N.H. 31 Aug. 1779. At some point he visited his brother Samuel, who was overjoyed to see him, having heard a report that Benjamin was dead. From this time Benjamin continued to live and practice law at Charlestown, N.H. According to Sanderson Benjamin was not interested in public office, although he was very much concerned with public and political questions. He never sought elective offices and declined important appointments, as a member of the Continental Congress, as a member of the Constitutional Convention, as a member of the state ratification convention , as Attorney General [state], and as Judge of Probate. Apparently he did, however, Participate in the Hartford Convention as an informal representative because the New Hampshire Legislature did not meet in a special session to name a formal delegate.
Benjamin was widely respected, both personally and professionally. He was well grounded in his understanding of the law, and, although he was a man of very few words, he argued clearly and forcibly. He was careful in his dress, wearing knee breeches and silver buckles. He did not accumulate notable wealth and seemed not to care especially about it.
It is suggested that Benjamin left no children. Although Sanderson does not state that there were none, he does not, on the other hand, mention any. Furthermore, he notes that there were only two bequests in Benjamin's will: (1) to his widow for her support, and (2) to the South Parish of Charlestown (later the Unitarian Society).
xi. SARAH, b. 12 May 1748 and d. after 1788 because mentioned in her father's will. There is little doubt that she married a Freeman, since in the above-mentioned will she was called "Sarah Freeman, widow". Possibly she was the Sarah who was presented in an intention of marriage by Isaac Freeman 14 Dec. 1763. Isaac was b. 11 Feb 1741/2 at Sandwich, son of Isaac and Deborah (Foster) Freeman (Willis Freeman ms. in library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston). Of course he d. before 9 Dec. 1788, when Sarah was call ed a widow. No children have been found.
137. TIMOTHY, b. probably 1750 (as suggested in BMV 3:502; no record in TVE but mentioned in his father's will).
43. SILAS4 WEST (Abner3,
Thomas2, Francis1), b. 1 Aug. 1710 at Tisbury (TVR 93). He is said to have
died at Halifax Nova Scotia 25 June 1759 (CC). This date may be questionable,
since CC notes that he arrived at Halifax in May 1759. Did he live only
a little more than a month after he reached Nova Scotia and did he not take
up residence at Liverpool? His death record has not been found in the Liverpool
records published in REG.
Silas m. 16 Sept. 1730 at Plymouth MARY COBB (In 18:121). She was the dau. of Ebenezer and Mary (Holmes) Cobb and a cousin of Sylvanus and Jabez Cobb, grantees at Liverpool (CC). Mary d. at Liverpool, N.S. 25 June 1762 (Liverpool VR in REG 126:97).
Silas was b. at Tisbury and moved to Plymouth in 1737. (BMV 3:502). It may be doubted that Silas came to Plymouth in 1737, since the intention of 16 Sept (which should not have been given above as the marriage date) calls them both of Plymouth. While he was at Plymouth he was one of those who, in 1743, left the first church and built a third church on Middle Street. The controversy in the first church was caused by the liberal and radical preaching of the current preacher, Andrew Crowell (William T. Davis, History of the Town of Plymouth. 122, 165). Silas moved to Nova Scotia as one of Col. Thatcher's company, Col. John Thomas' regiment, which landed in Halifax 11 May 1759 (CC).
Children, b. at Plymouth, and recorded in the Plymouth VR in MD 15:40.
i. SARAH, b. 31 Jan. 1732/3; d. at Plymouth Mar. 1732/3 (MD 15:40).
138. JEAN, b. 6 June 1734.
139. MARY, b. 18 Apr. 1736.
iv. SILAS, b. 3 Feb. 1737/8; m. REBECCA WETHERELL (BMV 3:502), dau. of John and Rebecca (Bates) Wetherell (CC).
140. JOHN, b. 18 Nov. 1739.
141. CHARLES, b. 20 Oct. 1742.
vii. BETHIAH, b. 20 July 1744. According to CC she m. in 1770 BENJAMIN LUCE, son of Henry and Abiah (Chambers) Luce. There is, however, in the Liverpool VR a record of the marriage of a Bethiah to Obed Carleton on 10 Feb. 1763 (REG 126:100).
142. WILLIAM, b. 20 July 1744; twin of Bethiah.
143. RUTH, b. 1747 (BMV 3:502 but not found in Plymouth VR).
44. ELISHA4 WEST (Abner3,
Thomas2, Francis1), b. at Tisbury 31 May 1714 (TVR 91) and d. at Rochester
8 June 1790 in his 76th year (RVR 2:443). He m. twice: (1) at Edgartown
23 June 1736 ABIGAIL GIBBS of that place (EVR 83) who was b. 4 Apr. 1717
(REG 123:29) the dau. of Barnabas and Abigail (Smith) Gibbs of Sandwich
(BMV 3:503). Obviously she d. before 24 Apr. 1779. (2) 24 Apr. 1779 Mrs.
MARY SMITH. probably of Rochester (RVR 2:314). She is identified by Banks
(BMV 3:503) as Mary (Vincent) Smith and the widow of John Smith. She was
b. ca. 1722 , the dau. of Thomas and Sarah (Martain) Vinvent (BMV3:486).
She m. (1) 21 Jan. 1746 John Smith, 1722, the son of John and Hannah (Pease)
Smith (BMV 3: 442).
With some interruptions Elisha was a resident of Tisbury. In 1738 he moved to Boston but returned to Tisbury five years later, in 1742; then in 1747 moved to Newport, R.I. but in 1749 again returned to Tisbury, where he remained until he finally settled at Rochester in 1777. At one time (1774) he was called a "trader" but earlier (1756) he had been in charge of a ferry between Homes Hole and the mainland (BMV 3:502, 503).
From an unidentified source comes the following quotation concerning a matter related to his activities as a ferryman: "Elisha West, ferryman, from Martha's Vineyard to the Mainland, himbly sheweth yhat in the month of April, A.D. 1760 transported 33 solders in the province service under the command of Lieut John Magee over to the Mainland without any pay; also in May following five more under Capt. Barachiah Bassett, and in June 1761 I transported 14 more under John Magee. The lawful ferrage is seven pounds ten shillings and I am not paid any more than two pounds 8 shillings and sixpence." In 1758 his license was enlarged in scope so as to permit him to operate as far east as Hyannis and as far west as Dartmouth and thereabouts on Monument Bay (BMV 2:502,503).
Children, b. at Tisbury, except possibly the first; all by first wife Abigail; recorded in TVR 90-93.
i. ELIZABETH, b. 9 June 1738; d. 7 Aug. 1739 (TVR 241). It is stated in TVR 91 that she was b. at Boston, but no record has been found in the Report of the Commissioners of the City of Boston: Births, 1700-1800.
ii. FRANCIS, b. 13 Mar, 1739 . Said also to have been born at Boston, but see note for Elizabeth.
144. ABIGAIL, b. 22 June 1742.
145. ELIZABETH, b. 24 Apr. 1744.
146. SUSANNA, b. 3 Nov. l746.
147. LYDIA, b. 23 Aug. 1747 at Newport, R.I.
148. ELISHA, b. 27 July 1749.
viii. GIBBS, b. 25 June 1751; said to have died young (BMV 3:503).
ix. JANE, or JEAN, b. 18 Mar. 1754; d. 18 Nov. 1806. aged 52 (EVR 220). She m. at Tisbury 16 Oct. 1770 SHUBAEL DAVIS (TVR 189), who was b. perhaps in 1748, the son of Melatiah and Jemima (Dunham) Davis. He d. at Tolland, Conn. before 1806 (BMV 3:146). Available infor mation about children is unsatisfactory. According to BMV 3:146 there were four, although it is also stated that in the cemetery at Eastville there are headstones for six. BMV does not name them, and no birth records have been found. The only records are those of the deaths of two unnamed children, one of whom d. in 1772 at the age of one and the other who d. 20 June 1786 at the age of 7 (EVE 221).
x. MARY, b. 13 Mar. 1757. An intention to marry Mary West, as his second wife, was filed by LEVI YOUNG of Tisbury 27 Sept. 1788 (RVR 2:324). Banks (REV 3:519) notes that the first known record of Levi is found in a Tisbury tax list of 1770, on which his name appeared. He may have moved to Maine after 1790 He m. (1) 12 Nov. 1762 Susannah Raymond (BMV 3:519). In giving the date of this marriage Banks somewhat contradicts the above statement that Levi was first found at Tisbury in 1770. Two children are shown, for whom he suggests birth dates: (1) Susanna, b. perhaps 1763, and (2) Philip, b. perhaps 1765. Even if these proposed birth dates were approximately correct, the children would have belonged to the first wife and not to Mary West.
xi. ABNER, b. 14 Apr. 1759; said to have moved to North Carolina (BMV 3:503).
xii. FRANCIS, b. 25 July 1761; filed an intention to marry KETURAH FREEMAN 9 Oct. 1784 at Dartmouth (DVR 2:314). Said to have moved in 1783 to Calais, Vt.
45. PETER4 WEST (Abner3, Thomas2, Francis1), b. at Tisbury 21 July 1718 (TVR 92) and d. of smallpox at Fort Edward, N.Y. 30 Oct. 1757 (BMV 3:503). He m. 16 Dec. 1740 ELIZABETH CHASE (TVR 189) who was Elizabeth (Athearn) Chase, b. 13 Apr. 1715, dau. of Jabez and Katherine (Belcher) Athearn, and the widow of Thomas Chase (BMV 3:503). Elizabeth d. 2 Sept. 1789 in her 75th year (TVR 241). Peter made his will 2 Apr. 1756 and it was probated 6 Jan, 1758 (BMV 3:503).
Peter lived at Tisbury and is said to have been
a farmer (BMV 3: 503) or a shipwright (CC). [His claim to distinction rests
on his military service, especially during the French and Indian War. Banks
(BMV 3:503) wrote, "he rendered distinguished service in the Crown
Point Expedition of 1756 as captain of a company in Col. Thatcher' s Regiment
and later in the regiment of Col. Zacheus Mayhew. In the campaign of the
following year he was garrisoned at Fort Edward, N.Y., taking part in the
hostilities and d. there. . . " Elsewhere Banks made further comment
(BMV 1:315), although repeating some of the above information, "Perhaps
the finest figure during this long series of campaigns was Captain Peter
West of Tisbury . Hr is described as possessed of a splendid physique and
became an ideal officer of dauntless courage. It is probable that he was
a soldier in the Louisburg Campaign of 1745, but we first know of his military
service of a certainty in 1755, when he was attached to a regiment raised
in the mainland for the early campaigns in the long struggle. His services
were mostly in the New York expeditions, Crown Point and Ticonderoga, but
his fortune was to die in battle, where his military valor would have led
him". More detailed supporting information may be found in BMV 1, especially
on pp. 303-316.
Children, b. at Tisbury and recorded in TVR 91-93.
149. ABIGAIL, b. 10 June 1741,
150. GEORGE, b. 17 Mar. 1743/4. 1
151. PETER, b. 6 Aug. 1746.
152. THOMAS, b. 12 Jan. 1748.
153. ELIZABETH, b. 20 Sept. 1751.
154. JERUEL, b. 12 Oct. 1753.
vii. LOVE, b. 5 Oct. 1756; m. teive: (1) 22 Dec. 1774 NATHANIEL SKIFFE (TVR 189), who was b. at Chilmark 16 July 1747 son of Stephen and Bathsheba (Tilton) Skiffe (TVR 28); BMV 3:436), (2) 16 Jan. 1785, as his second wife, ZEPHANIAH CHASE (TVR 190), b. at Edgartown 14 Mar. 1748, son of Abel and Mercy (Mayhew) Chase (EVR 18; ChVR 44). He m. (1) 10 Oct. 1773 Abigail Skiffe (ChVR 44). No children of these marriages have been found.
WEST (Abner3, Thomas2, Francis1), b.
20 July 1720 (BMV 3:500) and d. 18 May 1807 at the age of 84 (TVR 209).
She m. at Tisbury 23 Dec. 1734 SETH DAGGETT
(TVR 189), who was b. 5 Feb. 1713, son of Samuel and Mary (Pease) Daggett
(BMV 3:129) and d. at Tisbury 4 Apr. 1779 at the age of 66y. 2m. 1l d. (TVR
209). His will was dated 6 Apr. 1779 and probated 2 July 1780 (BMV 3:131).
Children, named DAGGETT, the first two recorded in TVR 36 and the remainder as listed in BMV 3:131.
155. PETER, b. 4 May 1738.
156. SAMUEL, b. 9 May 1745. It is surprising to find so long an interval between the first and second child. If there were others during this period, none have been found.
157. WILLIAM, b. 1747.
158. NATHAN, b. probably 1750 (date suggested by Banks).
v. SETH, b. 1755.
159. SILAS, b. 23 May 1757.
vii. MARY, bp. 2 Nov. 1760.; m. 13 May 1779 PELEG HILLMAN, who was b. 1757, son of Thomas and Judith (Luce) Hillman. He d. Feb. 1798 and was buried in the Copp's Hill Burying Ground . Boston. Mary divorced him Aug. 1789 and did not remarry. Peleg presented an intention 14 June 1790 to marry Mehitable Haggar, as his second wife. She was the dau. of William Haggar of Boston. Peleg served in the Coast Defense in 1775 and was quartermaster of the privateer "Oliver Cromwell" in 1777. He moved to Boston, then to Washington, D. C., and then to Lynn, Class. There seems to be no record of children by Mary, but there were at least two by the second wife (BMV 3:131, 197, 202, 203).
viii. WEST, b. 17 June 1764; d. in 1779 at sea. (BMV 3:131).
ix. JANE, bp 8 Sept. 1765.
47. STEPHEN4 WEST (Abner3,
Thomas2, Francis1), perhaps b. 1724 (as suggested in BMV 3: 501). There
is a problem about the date of his death. According to BMV 3:504 it was
8 Jan. 1771, while the Cornwallis [Nova Scotia] Town Book on p. 91 gives
the same date for the death of his wife. Should it be understood, therefore,
that both died on the same day or that one of the sources is in error? Stephen
m. 1746 MARGERY _____ (BMV 3:504).
Stephen was a farmer at Tisbury, then moved to Rochester in 1752, and in 1760 west to Cornwallis, N.S. He served in the French and Indian War as an ensign and lieutenant (BMV 3:504). Stephen went to Nova Scotia with his cousin William in a fleet of 75 vessels convoyed by a brig of war. They arrived 14 June 1760 at Town Plot (Starr's Point). Stephen was shortly given a grant of Lot 5 in the Twelfth Division of Cornwallis Township, next to the grant of Eliakim Tupper at no. 6. Stephen's grant was in Upper Canard, about half a mile from the First Cornwallis Baptist Church and was the first property west of the county fire pond. It consisted of 1½ shares, or 1,000 acres, 66 acres of farmland and the rest in dyke and woodland. The grant was made 21 July 1761 (EK 75).
He was a representative in the Assembly in the Third Session of 1761-1765. How long he actually served is not clear, because the Governor dismissed him, along with others, for not attending the fall session of 1761. However, there was no mention of the appointment of a replacement. (EK 410, 414, 442). He was one of those who signed a covenant 15 July 1778 to establish a New Light [Henry Allne's] Church at Cornwallis (EK 286).
Children. The available information is scanty and somewhat vague. Although Stephen is said to have lived at Tisbury, Rochester, and Cornwallis, N.S., no birth records have been found at any of these locations. The gap between 1750 and 1764 in the list of supposed children has not been explained satisfactorily. It may be that Banks was not correct in suggesting the dates 1747 and 1750 as birth dates for the first two children. The long interval between the second and third child would indicate the possibility of a second marriage for Stephen, but, as noted above, the Cornwallis records give the date of Margery's death as in the year 1771.
160. ELIJAH, b. perhaps before 1747 (as suggested in BMV 3:504).
161. ABNER b. perhaps 1750 (date suggested by BMV 3:504).
iii. MARY, b. Feb. 1764 (BMV 3:504; EK 864); was a member of the New Light Church at Cornwallis before 1799 (EK 291).
iv. JANE, b. 25 Dec. 1766 (BMV 3:504; EK 864).
162. STEPHEN, b. 1769 (BMV 3:504).
vi. REBECCA. EK does not list a Rebecca, but on p. 178 there is a statement that David Pineo m. Rebecca, "dau. of Capt. Stephen and Margery West". If indeed this was the Rebecca who m. David Pinro in 1767, she would probably have been b. ca. 1751, which would place her as possibly the third child of Stephen and his wife. Because of the lack of accurate information, the children of David Pineo and Rebecca, whoever she may have been, will simply be listed here, as given in EK 778: 1. Sarah, b. 3 Sept. 1768; 2. David Sampson, b. 13 Oct. 1770; 3. Gibbs, b. 12 May 1173; 4. Esther, b. 12 Sept. 1775; 5. Lavinia, b. 2 June 1777; 6. Elizabeth, b. 17 Oct. 1779 and died young; 7. Jonathan, b. 4 May 1782; 8. Ruby, b. 19 July 1784; 9. Elijah, b. 19 July 1788.