Edward Hall, the immigrant ancestor was born in England, a son of Francis Hall of Henborough (Henbury), Gloucestershire. He was baptized in Henbury on September 29, 1611. Edward was about 25 years of age when he immigrated. Burke’s American Families with British Ancestry says that he left Great Britain in 1636 and settled in Massachusetts Bay, however the first deed we find for him is dated October 2, 1637 when 10 acres of land were granted to Edward Hall in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony. Additional land transactions are found for Edward Hall in Duxbury for another 10-12 years.
Although it is likely that he gained passage to the Colony on a ship in the Governor Winthrop fleet, his name does not appear on any of the passenger lists that have survived. A ship of interest to me is the Mary Rose that was destroyed when its own powder ignited while at anchor in the Boston Harbor at “Charles Towne” on July 27, 1640. This ship interests me because of entries found in Thomas Lechford’s Note-Book: July 15, 1640 an entry is made certifying the health of “Edward Hall, late of the parish of Henborough in the County of Gloucester carpenter and now of Duxbury in New England sonne of Francis Hall”, given by his [Edward's] own oath and that of James Smith, Mariner. A subsequent entry dated July 27, 1640 tells of the Mary Rose blowing up in the harbor and mentions that, among others, James Smith, Mariner, fell victim to the explosion. This, of course, is merely an “I wonder” if it might be possible that Edward arrived on the Mary Rose? It does pose the possibility since James Smith must have known Edward well enough to have attested to his good health. Could that acquaintance have been made while Edward traveled from England to the Colony aboard this vessel? But then, of course, we have the problem of the passage of time between Edward’s arrived in 1636/37 and 1640 when the Certificate of his health was made. Unfortunately, we will probably never know what ship he arrived on.
Tidbits of information appear in many sources regarding Edward Hall; that he was at Duxboro (also written as Duxborough, Duxborrow or Duxbury) 1636-7-8; at Braintree 1640; Taunton 1640 or1641; another states that he sold his house in Taunton in 1642; back to Duxboro in 1643-44; removed to Bridgewater in 1644-45, left the jurisdiction in 1652 (Winsor’s History of Duxbury, Massachusetts says he left the Colony in 1652 a debtor, but I do not agree with that statement and that will be addressed in a later post); that he had a family in Braintree from 1650-1655 and that he removed to Rehoboth in 1655. Some but not all of the above has been documented; some is possibly misinformation or just misleading. Some statements could be valid but if there is documentation I have not found it. Here is what I have found regarding land deeds and other entries, 1637-1642:
- October 2, 1637, Duxborrow, ten acres of land were granted to Edward Hall “lying crosse to Greenes Harbr Payth.” Ten acres granted to John Tisdall, the lands of George Hall lying on the south side and the lands of Edward Hall lying on the north side. (PCR 1:66). Note: George Hall and Edward Hall were not related.
- January 1638, Edward Hall sold to William Wetherell his dwelling house and garden place containing about 2 acres in Duxborrow; described as being between the lands of Mr. Ralph Partrich (sic) and Nicholas Robins (sic) (PCR Deeds, p. 57).
- February 4, 1638/39, License was granted to Edward Hall of Duxborrow to build upon his lot (PCR 1:112).
- November 30, 1640, Duxborrow, Edward Hall is granted 25 acres of land at Manassacuset (PCR 1:168).
- March 2, 1640/41, Edward Hall, servant to Francis Doughty, for swearing profanely is censured to sit in the stocks which was done accordingly (PCR 2:9).
- March 2, 1640/41, Edward Hall of Taunton presented for swearing. Censured. (PCR 2:12).
- January 1642, Edward Hall sold to Thomas Gannett his dwelling house and 10 acres of land in Duxborrow (PCR, Deeds, p. 88).
The above deed describes the land location and the conditions of payment when Edward Hall sold to Thomas Gannett. I think the old Plymouth Colony deeds are neat to read and decided to add this one here because of its complexity and because it is also interesting to read that Edward’s land bordered on land owned by John Alden.
Some sources of a more general nature that identify Edward Hall:
- Edward Hall was in Duxbury in 1636…a proprietor at the settlement of Bridgewater in 1645…made his will 23 November 1670. (Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Savage, James: vol. 2, p. 332).
- Edward Hall son of Francis Hall of Henbury (Henborough), England. (Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families, 1620-1700, p. 105).
- Edward Hall of Duxbury in New England was son of Francis Hall of Henborough, Gloucestershire, England. (The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: v. 40, p. 271).
- Edward Hall of Henbury, Gloucester left Great Britain in 1636 and settled in Massachusetts Bay becoming the founder of this family in America. (Burke’s American Families with British Ancestry: Burke, Bernard, Sir, p. 272).
What has been established so far is that Edward was first documented in Duxbury when land was granted to him and recorded in the Plymouth Colony Records on October 2, 1637. There is another land transaction January 1638; in February 1638/39 he was granted a license to build upon his lot in Duxbury, November 30, 1640 he was granted additional land and January 1642 he sold to Thomas Gannett. This tells me that Edward Hall was consistently a land owner in Duxbury from late 1637 through the first month of 1642. Additional records lead me to believe that Edward was of Duxbury up and until the time that he is recorded as having a family in Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and that he continued to own land in Duxbury during that time. He may have been in Taunton briefly in 1640 in the employ of Francis Doughty; I find no evidence so far that he was in Braintree as early as 1640.
On March 2, 1640/41 an Edward Hall was presented and censured for swearing. In the one entry, he was called the servant of Francis Doughty, who was of Taunton, Massachusetts. I have not been able to find any deeds where Edward Hall either purchased or sold land or a dwelling house in Taunton, Massachusetts. It has been established that his trade was that of a carpenter and so I have to wonder if he was temporarily in the employ of Francis Doughty in Taunton, because of his trade, and possibly living with his employer or another family during this time. It’s fairly certain that he was still a single man at that time and so it would have been easy for him to take up temporary quarters away from Duxbury. From other records that follow, I would put the time that he was in Taunton as March 1640 rather than 1641. I’ve read that Francis Doughty left Taunton in 1641, making 1640 even more plausible as the time that Edward Hall could have been in Taunton.
Additional records identifying Edward Hall being of Duxbury, Massachusetts:
- January 2, 1637/38, the last will and testament of John Cole was proved this Court, upon the oaths of John Maynard and Edward Hall (PCR 1:75).
- July 15, 1640, a certificate of health was issued by the Governor of Massachusetts Bay for Edward Hall of Duxbury, carpenter, late of Henborough, son of Francis Hall, deceased (Lechford’s Note-Book, p. 263).
- July 15, 1640, additional entries found in Lechford’s Note-Book, p. 264 identifying Edward Hall of Duxbury.
The entries in the Lechford Note-Book are of particular interest. The certificate of health identifies where Edward Hall was from, the name of his deceased father, his occupation, and where he was residing Below is page 263 from that Note-Book:
The following page, 264 below gives us the name of Edward’s brother who was supposed to have come to the Colony with him, as well as a request for payment to be made to James Smith, Mariner; below that is the entry telling of the accident involving the ship Mary Rose:
Both entries give us quite a bit of information about Edward Hall.
Additional records found:
- March 21, 1641, bond issued to James Pollard by Edward Hall of Duxbury, carpenter and late of Henborough, County of Gloucs., payable October 9, 1641 at the Tolsey in Bristoll (Lechford’s Note-Book, p. 396).
- August 1643, Edward Hall appears on the Duxborrow list of males 16-60 years of age able to bear arms (PCR 8:190).
- March 28, 1645, Edward Hall appears on the list of original proprietors of Bridgewater (PCR).
- August 1645 Edward Hall is listed as one of six men from Duxborrow who served against the Narragansetts (PCR 2:90).
- January 5, 1646/47, Edward Hall complained against Capt. Standish and Jonathan Bruster and others for payment due him for building in Duxbury. The Court ordered that they satisfy and pay him according to their agreement (PCR 2:110).
- June 1, 1647, Edward Hall and John Browne named as Supervisors of the Highways for Duxborough (PCR 2:115).
- 1647, Goodman Hall of Duxbury is mentioned in the will of John Gove of Charlestown (NEHGR 7:170).
The above entries 1641 through 1647 consistently place Edward Hall in Duxbury. Edward Hall, being a proprietor of Duxbury, was granted land in Bridgewater in 1645, but there is no evidence that he ever moved from Duxbury to Bridgewater. It would seem to me that Edward Hall lived in Duxbury, Massachusetts for a period of at least 10 years, 1637-1647, and probably remained there until for whatever reason he removed to Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony, where his first known child was born in 1650.
There are no further entries in the Plymouth Colony Records, or any other records that I can find for Edward Hall until 1650 when his first child is born, as noted in the Braintree, Massachusetts Vital Records; he sells land to John Alden in 1651, and proceeds to get into a bit more trouble with the Court.
Edward Hall, from about 1650 until his death in 1670, as well as his family, will be discussed in a future post.