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Immigrant Ancestors

With all the talk about immigration, immigrants, building a wall, or having to pass a test to come to the United States, I started thinking about my immigrant ancestors. They came for a variety of reasons, including to escape poverty, religious freedom, to avoid prosecution, and the promise of cheap land and a fresh start.

My earliest immigrant ancestors that I have found is probably one of the following:

  • Macuth Pratt who was born about 1595 and married in 1619 in  England, immigrated about 1637.
  • John Pearson who was born 18 Jun 1615 in North Yorkshire, England who immigrated in  1637.
  • Jeremie Swayne. No information is known about him other than he married a woman by the name of Mary and their son, Maj. Jeremiah Swayne was born on 1 March 1642/43 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, placing immigration before 1 March 1642.
  • Thomas Starr who was born in 1565 in New Romney, Kent, England and died before 2 March 1640/41 in Dorchester, Norfolk, Massachusetts (no immigration record found), placing immigration before 2 March 1640.

My most recent immigrant ancestor was Barnabas Lowell who was born about 1800 in England and was reported to be a pirate. He married twice in the United States with his first child born in 1832.

During this approximately 200-year span, dozens of my ancestors came to America. Here are a few more of my immigrant ancestors:
  1. George Merriam, born about 1603 in England and his wife Susan (married 16 October 1627 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England) immigrated before 21 Jul 1643, when their son Samuel was born in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  2. Thomas Axtell, born 26 January 1618/19 in England, and his wife Mary Starr immigrated as early as 1643, for, in October of that year, Thomas purchased five acres of land in Sudbury, Massachusetts of Edmond Rice, who himself had come from Berkhamstead five years earlier. 
  3. William Thornton was born in 1620 in England. His son William was born 27 Mar 1649 in Gloucester, Virginia. Immigration between 1620-1649.
  4. Abraham Wellman, who was born in January 1642/43 in England, married Elizabeth Cogswell in 1668 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, placing immigration between 1642-1668.
  5. Capt. John Smith, born in 1621 in England. He married Catherine Elizabeth Morrill on 1 August 1647 in Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay, British Colonial America. This would place immigration between 1621-1647.
  6. Isaac Morrill, the father of Catherine Elizabeth Morrill, was born in 1588 in England and died on 30 December 1661 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America. He immigrated between 1630 (birth of Catherine in England) and 1661 (his death).
  7. Capt. John Kittredge was born on 22 May 1623 in England, and residing in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 25 September 1660, where he received a five-acre grant of land in Billerica. John Parker is called "his master." Immigration between 1623 and 1660.
  8. John French was born in 1635 in England. He married Hannah Burrage on 3 July 1663 in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Immigration between 1635-1663.
  9. John Scarborough, II, emigrated to Bucks, Pennsylvania in October 1682. In 1684 he returned to England to bring the rest of the family to America and never came returned to America, remaining in London until his death on 11 April 1706.
  10. George E. Haworth was born before 1680 in England. About 1699 he came to America to be free from religious prosecution, traveling with his sister Isabella and her husband. In 1699 he wrote a letter to his mother telling her about the journey, the death of his sister, her husband and baby, and about his sister already in America.
  11. George Ludwig Zeh was born in 1680 in Germany. He married Margaret Tschudi in 1720 in New York. A George Zeh was listed in Rupps, page 448, as a number of males 21 in 1710-11 in Livingston Manor, New York. Also on page 465 of his book, it says 33 families of Germans who came to New York in 1710 settled in Schoharie and George Zeh's name was on the list, as well as listed on the membership in Tulpehocken Church in 1743-46. Immigration between 1680-1720, probably 1710-11.
  12. Margaret Tschudi was born in 1684 in Frankendorf, Basel, Switzerland. She married George Ludwig Zeh in 1720 in New York. Immigration between 1684-1720.
  13. Thomas Cook, born 29 August 1704 in England. Son Isaac was born 1742 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Died about 1752 in York County, Pennsylvania. Immigration between 1742-1752.
  14. Francis Brandon, born 1738 in England, married Mary Elizabeth Asher in 1765 in Culpeper, Virginia. Immigration between 1738-1765.
  15. William Loughry, born about 1743 in Ireland, and his wife Nancy Purdy, born 1 September 1748 in Ireland. This couple immigrated before 1772. I do not believe they were married at the time of their immigration.
  16. Philip Roush was born in 1800 in Germany. Daughter Sarah Ann Rous was born 22 November 1844 in Ohio, placing his immigration between 1800-1844.
Special thanks to Olive Tree Genealogy and Lorine McGinnis Schulze for the idea of blogging about my immigrant ancestors.


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