4 Hall Cousins... reflecting on the past

Last Will and Testament of Samuel Hall

by C Hall ~ January 9th, 2010

Note: The original will consists of one long paragraph, so I have broken it up for ease of reading. As it is difficult deciphering the old handwriting, I have a few blank spots; I have transcribed the spelling as close to original as possible.

Bristol County Massachusetts Probate, Book 1, 1687-1745

In the name of God Amen, I Samuel Hall of Tauton in the County of Bristoll in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, being of sound memory through the mercy of God, capable to dispose of my worldly estate, though at this time labouring under some bodily illness, do make this to be my last will and testament: In primis I comit my soul into ye hands of Christ and desire my body may be decently buryed by my Executors hereafter named, and after funeral expenses and just debts are payed my will is as followeth:

First the lands which I have already ___? on my eldest son Jonathan Hall by Deed, I do hereby confirme the same unto him and his heyrs and assigns forever.

Secondly, what money, moveables, bedding, cow hath been received already by my daughter Esther Blake shall be all that she shall have of my Estate as long as her mother lives, only that one cow now at sd Blakes house which he took of me to the halves, shall not be taken from my daughter if I dy, ___? I give it to her.

Thirdly, whereas I have an whole purchase right to undivided lands in Tauton and one third part of a purchase right to undivided lands in Tauton, I give my sd purchase rights to my two sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall, to be equally between them, to them and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever, to be theyrs immediately after my decease.

Fourthly, to my beloved wife Abigail Hall I give my dwelling house and homested and all the rest of my lands ___? estate during the time of her natural life if she continue my widow so long or otherwise during her widowhood and bearing my name (excepting all ways that I ___? for her use and improvement in case she should marry again, the north end of my dwelling house and the land on the north side of ye road between my dwelling house and my son Jonathan’s land) but after my wives decease or marriage my lands shall pass to my sons in manner as followeth,

To my youngest son Samuel Hall, I give the house I now dwell in in Tauton and my homelands to have and to hold the same to sd Samuel Hall his heyrs and assigns forever; the bounds between him and his brother Jonathan Halls land shall be that place which we call the cross (crop?)fence namely that cross (crop?)fence which my son Jonathan ___? ___? of a part of. Also to my sd son Samuel Hall and his heyrs and assigns forever, I give a piece of land called Misery, ____? thirty five acres or more; Excepting four acres of sd tract at ye northeast end of it I give to my eldest son Jonathan Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever.

My Lott called Shaws Lott and an eight acre lott adjoining to it I give to my sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever, to be equally divided between them. My eight acre lott at the old Coaling (so called) I give to my son Jonathan Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever; my three(?) acre lott at the old Coaling I give to my son Samuel Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever. My land at Tareall(?) (so called) be it seven five acres more or less, I give to my two sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever to be equally divided between them; Excepting only that the Lad who now lives with me namely Ebenezer Pratt shall have twenty acres of it at that end next to Crossmans, to him and to his heyrs and assigns forever, that is to say if he lives with my wife until he be twenty one years of age or in case of my wives decease to live with my son Jonathan until he arrives unto that age.

My land at Kehtehtiqut* [see note below], namely the Neck and the Little Lott (so called) I give to my two sons Jonathan and Samuel to be equally divided between them; And I order my sd two sons that at ye end of four years after sd ____? lands comes into ye possession (namely after my wives decease) is to pay each of them the sum of ten pounds to theyr two sisters Esther Blake and Hannah Hall which sd sum of twenty pounds is to be equally divided between sd Esther and Hannah.

Fifthly, as to my stock of living Creatures(?) and money (if I leave any) and moveables, I give them all to my beloved wife, to her disposal(?) and for her comfort; Excepting one yoak of steers I give to my son Samuel Hall and to the girl who lives with me called Elizabeth Prat I give one cow if she live to be seventeen years of age, with liberty to my wife to give her more if she feels cause; also it is my will that my younger daughter Hannah Hall shall have thirty pounds payd her out of my moveables when she arrives to be eighteen years of age; also my wife hath liberty to bestow(?) more on any of her children if she can spare it and see cause and what is left of my sd stock or moveables unspent and not disposed of by my wife shall after my wives decease go to and among all my children, only one shall have power to appoint how much or what part each of my children take thereof.

Lastly, I constitute my beloved wife Abigail Hall and my eldest son Jonathan Hall to be joint Executors of this my last will and testament testimony hereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this twenty first August Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixteen In ye ___? of ye reign of our Soveraign Lord George of Great Brittain the King.

Signed, sealed and delivered by Samuel Hall ye Subscriber to be his last will and testament.

Samuel H Hall (his mark)

In Presence of
Abraham Jones
Samuel White
Jabez Prat

Editors Note: Samuel Hall’s son, Samuel, died Intestate about 1736-37. A record of the payment of his debts was entered November 18, 1741 in the Tenth Book of Wills, 108:109. One entry is extremely important in helping to identify Samuel Sr.’s two daughters, Esther and Hannah:

“To said Blake [Samuel] and wife and to Barnabas Crossman and wife of Middleborough (by ye last will of said deceased’s father, a Legacy – one of them from the share of the deceased. Paid Ten Pounds.”

In addition, the division of the lands of Samuel Hall, son of Samuel who died intestate about 1736/37 might hold clues as to the location of the homestead. Mercy, wife of Samuel was given the home and 2 acres of land…beginning at the old forge pond; from said pond by land of Judas Chase and mentions as a bound, the highway that leads through Raynham to Bridgewater.

*”Tetiquet or Titicut, which passes for the Indian name of Taunton, and of a fishing place on Taunton River in the north-west part of Middleborough, Mass., shows how effectually such names may be disguised by phonetic corruption and mutilation. Kehte-tuk-ut (or as Eliot wrote it in Genesis xv. 18, Kehteihtukqut) means ‘on the great river.’ In the Plymouth Colony Records we find the forms ‘Cauteeticutt’ and ‘Coteticutt,’ and elsewhere, Kehtehticut,—the latter, in 1698, as the name of a place on the great river, “between Taunton and Bridgewater.” Hence, ‘Teghtacutt,’ ‘Teightaquid,’ ‘Tetiquet,’ &c.”

taken from p. 12, The Composition of Indian Geographical Names, J. Hammond Trumbull, 1870, available at The Project Gutenberg EBook.

On a modern day map, the Raynham Center area is located on both Route 104, between Bridgewater and Taunton, MA (Pleasant Street intersects with Route 104), as well as on Route 44 (the Cape Highway) between Taunton and Middleboro, MA. From Raynham Center, it is approximately 3 miles to Taunton; 7 miles to Bridgewater, and 9 miles to Middleboro.

Samuel Hall, 1656-1716, son of Edward Hall

by C Hall ~ January 3rd, 2010

Edward1 Hall of Rehoboth, Massachusetts
Samuel2 Hall

Samuel2 Hall’s birth was recorded in the Vital Records of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, p. 630, and written as:  Hall, Samuel, of Edward, born October 24, 1656.  It is uncertain when he removed to Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, however his marriage to Abigail Pratt of Plymouth, daughter of Jonathan Pratt, is recorded in the Vital Records of Taunton, vol. 2, p. 218 where it is written as follows: Samuel Hall, Jr. and Abigail Pratt of Plymouth, January 3, 1683.  Samuel would have been 26 years old when he married Abigail.

Samuel Hall, Sr. appeared on the June 1689 list of freeman for Taunton (PCR, Miscellaneous Records, 1633-1689, p. 206).

It may be worthwhile to note here that at one time there were 3 Samuel Halls in Taunton:  Samuel Hall b. 1644, Samuel Hall b. 1656, Samuel Hall b. 1664.  This has led to much confusion, however, in the 17th century men of the same town of the same name were designated Sr. and Jr., not by relationship, but by age.  While Samuel Hall, b. 1644 was alive, our Samuel Hall, b. 1656 was generally designated Jr., and Samuel Hall, b. 1664, the son of Samuel Hall, b. 1644 was generally referred to as Samuel, son of Samuel or Samuel2d. Thus, when our Samuel married Abigail Pratt in 1683, he was called Samuel Jr.  However, Samuel b. 1644 was deceased by June 1689 so our Samuel was called Samuel Sr. on the list of freeman, since he was then the eldest of that name in Taunton.

The topic of the multiple Samuel Halls in Taunton has previously been dealt with on the Halls of Bristol County blog. This is a well written post and well worth reading for additional information regarding the confusion surrounding the two younger Samuels. While this blog is about Edward Hall of Rehoboth and his descendants through his son Samuel2, Kathryn Hall’s blog, Halls of Bristol County, is about George Hall of Taunton and his descendants, and in particular her descent from George –> Samuel –> Samuel, etc. Thus, we share a mutual interest in unraveling the confusion, through documentation, of the Samuel Halls in early Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, that have been previously published and carried over into numerous genealogies.

Samuel2 and Abigail Pratt Hall had 4 known children:

  • Jonathan3 Hall, born August 22, 1686 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts; married first Sarah Ockington; second Sarah Smith; he died April 19, 1750 in Raynham, Bristol, Massachusetts; buried in the Town Cemetery at Raynham Center (now known as the Pleasant Street Cemetery).
  • Samuel3 Hall, born abt. 1688; married Mercy Willis; he died abt. 1736.
  • Esther3 Hall, birth date unknown; married Samuel Blake.
  • Hannah3 Hall, born abt. 1700; married Barnabas Crossman; she died December 14, 1754 in Raynham, Bristol, Massachusetts

Samuel2 and Abigail lived in that part of Taunton that became Raynham in 1731, and more specifically, Raynham Center.  The Hall homestead as well as much of the Hall lands was on the road leading to Taunton.  This has been documented through deeds.  In fact, the cemetery where Samuel is buried, the Town Cemetery at Raynham Center, also known today as Pleasant Street Cemetery, was once a part of that Hall land.  Samuel’s son, Jonathan3 Hall Sr., deeded one acre, 8 rods of land to the Town of Raynham for a burying ground on July 4, 1737.  This is the original land comprising the Town Cemetery at Raynham Center, located on Pleasant Street in Raynham Center.  It would seem obvious that since Samuel Hall died in 1716 and is buried in this cemetery, and since Jonathan did not deed it over to the town of Raynham until 1737, that the land that Jonathan Hall deeded to the town for a burying ground also contained this Hall family’s burial grounds.

Samuel2 Hall wrote his will on August 21, 1716.  He died on August 30, 1716 and his will was recorded on November 26, 1716, naming his wife, Abigail; sons Jonathan3 (eldest) and Samuel3 (youngest) and daughters Esther3 Blake and Hannah3 Hall (youngest).  His will also named two children that were living with him:  Ebenezer Pratt (under 21 years) and Elizabeth Pratt (under 17 years), who are believed to have been the nephew and niece of Abigail, children of her brother, Jabez Pratt.

Samuel2 is buried in the Town Cemetery at Raynham Center (Pleasant Street Cemetery) and his headstone is inscribed:

Here lies the body
of Samuel
Hall who dyed
in y[e] 60 year of
his age August
30 1716

To view this headstone, please see the earlier post Samuel Hall Headstone Revealed.

Next post will be the transcription of Samuel2 Hall’s will.

Samuel Hall Headstone Revealed

by C Hall ~ June 19th, 2009

I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I had to make a trip to Raynham, Massachusetts to view the Hall headstones in the Pleasant Street Cemetery, originally the Town Cemetery at Raynham Center, myself.  I’d been wanting to go over there for the last two years, ever since we had learned through DNA testing that we were descendants of Edward Hall of Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  Our Samuel Hall, son of Edward Hall, the immigrant ancestor, had lived in that part of Taunton, Massachusetts that became Raynham in 1731.  He is buried in the town cemetery in Raynham Center, along with many of his descendants.  It was his headstone that I was driven to see before any more time went by.  But would I be able to read any of the 1700 headstones, particularly the headstone of Samuel Hall?  His son, Jonathan Hall, Sr., in 1737, deeded 1 acre, 8 rods of land to the town of Raynham for a burying place for the inhabitants of Raynham.  That 1 acre, 8 rods of land made up the original part of the current Pleasant Street Cemetery and without question, included the Hall family burying ground.

I had two days to learn as much as I could about the Hall burials in Pleasant Street Cemetery.  The first day, it rained.  I walked through the cemetery in the rain reading and recording as many headstones as I could.  I found Samuel’s headstone but reading a headstone that was dirty from 292 years of being exposed to the elements, and wet on top of that, proved to be impossible.  The following day was to be sunny and warm; perhaps it would be easier to read!

The following day I was back to the cemetery fairly early.  As I am standing there getting my bearings on what to do first, I noticed a man walking toward me.  He comes up to me and asks who I am looking for.  I told him the Hall burials in the old section but in particular I am trying to read the inscription on the Samuel Hall headstone.  He says give me a minute to get my kit and we’ll find out what is on it.  I couldn’t believe it!  Mr. Bousquin spent nearly 3 hours working on Sam’s headstone cleaning it and chalking it so that we could read the inscription.  I will be forever grateful to Mr. Bousquin for his kind assistance so that I can now put this one to rest.

I can now say, without a doubt, that the Samuel Hall headstone is inscribed:

(Click on the photo to view larger image)

Here Lyes the body
of Samuel
Hall who Dyed
In Y[e] 60 Year of
his age August
30 1716

(Click on the photo to view larger image)

I am also grateful to my friend, Johnna Armstrong, for quickly thinking to invert the image, so that there are two different ways to look at the photo. The inverted image helps to bring out some letters (or placement) that are faint in the original image.

Esther Hall, wife of Edward Hall

by C Hall ~ June 19th, 2009

Esther Hall will most likely forever remain a mystery.  We have not been able to discover any documentation that gives her maiden name, birth or death dates, where she was born or where she died and is buried; nor the names of her parents.  No marriage records exists in those early records that are available.

I recently read a small book on early Duxbury.  The author made the comment that the search for love did not seem to travel far as most men in the Plymouth Colony married the daughters of their neighbors.  Is it possible that Esther’s family was of Plymouth Colony and a near neighbor of Edward Hall?  But then we have the fact that Edward, for no apparent reason that can be found, leaves Plymouth Colony for Braintree and remains there for about 5 years, where his first two children are born and recorded in the Braintree Vital Records.  I suspect that Esther was considerably younger than Edward and base this only on the fact that their last child, Benjamin, was born in 1668 when Edward was about 57 years of age.  Could it be possible that Esther’s family was of Braintree and that Edward and Esther lived with them the first few years of their marriage so that a very young wife might have the assistance of her mother as she bore her first two children?  We’ll probably never know the answers to these questions.

The only documentation on Esther Hall or the Widow Hall in Rehoboth follows.  There is no way to know for sure if the first entry from PCR pertains to Esther.

  • October 7, 1651, Grand Enquest presented Samuel Eaton and Goodwife Halle, of the towne of Duxborrow, for mixed dansing. Released with admonition (PCR 2:174).
  • Widow Hall appears on the earliest extant tax list in the town of Rehoboth, 1671 (Early Rehoboth, Vol. 1, by Bowen, p. 39).
  • Ester Hall is shown with one share of the Rehoboth North Purchase on 28 May 1672, Rehoboth town records (Early Rehoboth, p. 41).
  • Widow Hall appears on the Rehoboth 1674 tax list (Early Rehoboth, p. 16).

There are no further entries in the Rehoboth town records for either the Widow Hall or Esther Hall.

The Rehoboth Vital records contain the marriage of an Esther Hall to Thomas Jordan in Rehoboth on 24 December 1674.  There has been much speculation in published genealogies and histories that it was the Widow Esther Hall who married Thomas Jordan.  Other published genealogies and histories claim that it was Edward and Esther’s daughter, Esther, who married Thomas Jordan.  The only thing that is for certain is that there is absolutely no proof for either speculation.

The last document that mentions Esther Hall is a 1715 Quit Claim deed in which the siblings, Samuel, Thomas, Andrew, and Benjamin convey land in favor of their brothers, John and Preserved, described as:

…the lands which our father Edward Hall and our mother Esther Hall had in said Rehoboth in the Town of Attleborough in said county of Bristol….

The deed was recorded May 21, 1715 (Bristol Co. Deeds, 9:81-82).

Edward Hall, 1611-1670: Family and Later Years

by C Hall ~ April 24th, 2009

We know that Edward was named a Supervisor of the Highways in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, in June 1647.  There are no further records to be found until the birth of his son, John, in 1650, as written in the Braintree vital records.

Edward met and married Esther or Hester (herein after referred to as Esther) probably by 1649, but where?  Who was Esther Hall?  Braintree was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and from what little written information there is on old Braintree, once settled it was a closed settlement. Because of this I assume that Edward had to have been invited into the town.  There are no records of him owning land there so he likely lived with a family already established in the settlement.  Was this Esther’s family?  Edward and Esther’s first two children were born in Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony; the remaining known 6 children were born in Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony, as recorded in the Rehoboth vital records.  Edward would have been 39 years old when his first child was born in 1650.

  • John, born November 23, 1650, Braintree; married Mary Newell, died September 1721 in Rehoboth.
  • Hester (Esther), born August 23, 1654, Braintree, *may have* married Thomas Jordan in Rehoboth in 1674.
  • Samuel, born October 24, 1656, Rehoboth; married Abigail Pratt, died August 30, 1716 in Taunton.
  • Jeremiah, born July 28, 1658, Rehoboth; died before May 1715.
  • Thomas, born March 31, 1661, Rehoboth; married Abigail Martin, died April 29, 1717 in Dedham.
  • Preserved, born March 20, 1663, Rehoboth; married widows Lydia (Jackson) Leavitt and Hannah (Damon) May; died August 5, 1740, in Hingham.
  • Andrew, born May 10, 1665, Rehoboth; married first, Susanna Capen; second, Mary Bennett, died December 1756 in Newton.
  • Benjamin, born August 7, 1668, Rehoboth; married Sarah Fisher, died August 25, 1726, in Wrentham.

We need to wrap up some unfinished business for Edward Hall as noted in the Plymouth Colony Records before moving on to records for Braintree and Rehoboth:

  • March 2, 1651, at the General Court at New Plymouth, Steven and Abigail Bryant complained against John Haward, Edward Hall, and Susanna Haward of Duxborrow in an action of slander and defamation to the damage of 500 pounds. The jury found for the plaintiffs damage of 5 pounds equally and jointly (PCR 7:57).
  • Circa 1651 there is a subsequent entry to the description of the land of Mr. John Alden describing the boundary:  The bounds of a parcel of marsh meadow, bought of Edward Hall in the year 1651, which meadow was primarily Mr. William Collyiars (sic), and by him given to Mr. Constant Southworth, and by him sold to Edward Hall, aforsaid, and bought by me, John Alden and is as followeth: viz: layed out at the first for five acres, and bounded with a creek, commonly called and known by the name Indian Creek; and from thence to run to the meadow land of Philip Delano, deceased; and so it runs on the northerly side as the river runs to the Mill Creek (PCR 1:71).
  • October 7, 1651, Edward Hall(e) was presented by the General Enquest for felling of timber and selling of it out of the colony, which timber is on the town commons; Released and aquite (PCR 2:174.

The only record found in Braintree mentioning Edward Hall is published in the Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. 3, pages 309-310 and vol. 4, part 1, page 145.  These entries have to do with the law case of Wilson v. Faxon in which the widow Wilson brought suit against Thomas Faxon concerning her son, Joseph Wilson.  In these records, No. 188, 8th paper, states that Edward Hall was deposed in this case, dated March 10, 1652 (NEHGR 62:93-94).

Edward and Esther spent a brief time in Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony, approximately 5 years, 1650-1655.  By October 1656, when their son, Samuel, was born, Edward and Esther are back in the Plymouth Colony at Rehoboth, where Edward remained for the rest of his life.

  • 1658, Edward Hall appears on the list of those who took the Oath of Fidelity at Rehoboth (PCR 8:178)
  • June 22, 1658, Edward Hall was No. 41 out of 49 persons who drew in order of the settlers estates for meadow lands which lie on the north side of the town, at town meeting of Rehoboth (Rehoboth Vital Records).
  • August 3, 1665, Edward Hall conveys 10 acres of land lying at Namassakeesit, given to him by the town, to Robert Barker who hath now peaceably enjoyed the same space for 17 years, with all the appurtenances (Old Records, town of Duxbury, p. 19).
  • May 26, 1668, Lots drawn for meadow lands in the North Purchase, now Attleboro, Cumberland, R.I., and parts of Norton and Mansfield (Rehoboth Vital Records).

It’s likely that the above lot drawn in 1668 was for 50 acres, as Edward gave to his son, John, by will, 40 acres in the North Purchase, with the remainder to his wife, Esther.  A Sketch of the History of Attleborough, p. 99, called it 50 acres at “the Falls” Attleborough, as given to his son, John, by will.

Edward Hall’s will was written November 23, 1670.

Will of Edward Hall of Rehoboth

Be it knowne to all men of these presents that I Edward Hall of Rehoboth in the colonie of Plymouth in New England: being in my fresh memory, do ordaine and make this my last Will and Testament.

Item. I give to my son John forty acres as upon my share of land on the North Purchase; which is to be his full Share of land:

Item. I give my house orchyard Garden Barne homlott and all my other lands and meddowes in the Town of Rehoboth or on the North Purchase or elsewhere as alsoe my household Goods Cattle or Chattles whatsoever I have or did enjoy or posess; unto my beloved wife Ester; whom I ordaine and make my sole exequitrix: That is to pay all my debts; To Improve for to bring up my Children; and to dispose of it unto them according to her wisdome; but if my wife should Marry then she shall have the third of my land; and the other two thirds shall be divided as above said. This is my last will and Testament; With my hand

Edward Hall (his mark)

In the presence of John Meller Senior, John Peck

John Meller Senior hath attested the truth of this will upon oath before me Henery Smith July 4th 1671.

(Plymouth Colony Records, Wills, Volume 3, Part 1, Page 36)

Edward Hall died on November 27, 1670 (Rehoboth Vital Records).  He would have been 59 years of age.  The inventory of his estate was made March 6, 1671 and presented to the Court held at Plymouth on October 29, 1671, valued at £ 84.   It is said that he is buried in an unmarked grave in the Newman Cemetery, Rumford, Providence, Rhode Island (once a part of Rehoboth).

At the time of Edward’s death, his first born child, John, would have been 20 years old.  The remaining 7 children would have ranged in ages from 16 years down to 2 years old.  Quite a responsibility for a presumably young widow and for her oldest son, John, who had not yet himself reached legal age.

Did Edward Hall leave the Colony a debtor in 1652?

by C Hall ~ March 30th, 2009

Before moving on to Edward Hall’s family and later years, I’d like to take a look at the statement that Edward Hall left the Colony a debtor in 1652, as written in Winsor’s History of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, published in 1849.  This has carried over into other publications about Edward Hall.

The entry appears in the genealogical section of Winsor’s book (full view on Google Books) on page 263, as follows:

“1. Edward, Dux., 1638, permitted to build in Dux.; 1637, 10 acres at G.H. path; 1638, sold his house to Wm. Wetherill; 1641, he appears of Taunton; 1642, had a house at Hounds Ditch; 1645, prop. of Bridgew.; 1652, left the colony a debtor.”

Clearly, this entry seems to indicate that these events are from the life of one individual and not just random findings in the records on various Edward Halls of the time.  There are no source citations for these entries, although all of the above can be found in the Plymouth Colony Records except for Edward Hall being of Taunton in 1641.  I have not yet found where that information came from.

Considered the primary source for seventeenth century research in the Colony, the Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England (volume 3), edited by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, shed some light on where this statement likely originated.

The first entry of interest is dated  7 December 1652 wherein the Court speaks of a “beast tendered from the estate” (my emphasis) of Edward Hall and attached until the next Court session (in March).  Constant Southworth was ordered by the court to winter the beast and it was ordered that any charge for loss or wintering would be payable from the estate of said Hall (PCR 3:21).  The next page contains another entry regarding the estate of Edward Hall, this being at a Court session the first of March 1652/53 and begins:  “Whereas Edward Hall is departed the government endebted unto divers men much more than his estate (again, my emphasis) will amount unto and satisfy….”  It goes on to say that all creditors should show full proof of what is owing them by the first of May next (PCR 3:22).  The last entry is dated 7 June 1653 wherein the Court found that a debt was due a Captain Willett and a Mr. Paddy, from Edward Hall, in the amount of 4 pound and 4s and the Court ordered that it be paid out of the estate (PCR 3:34).

According to the above this was another Edward Hall who had lived in the Colony and had died sometime previous to the first Court Order dated 7 December 1652.  All entries mention the estate of Edward Hall, thereby confirming that this Edward Hall was deceased.  This particular Edward Hall appeared to not have a large enough estate to pay off his indebtedness. The language in the entry dated March 1, 1652/53, describing the deceased Edward Hall as departed the government and indebted for much more than his estate is worth, is what I believe was picked up and published in Winsor’s History of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts as well as in other subsequent publications and carried over into a few genealogies.

The problem as I see it is that it was quickly assumed that this was Edward Hall of Duxbury, late of Henbury, and that he left the Colony a debtor in 1652.  However, the keyword here is estate.  Clearly that should have been a clue to Mr. Winsor that those particular Plymouth Colony Records entries pertained to a different, and a deceased, Edward Hall.

Edward Hall, 1611-1670: Arrival and Early Years

by C Hall ~ February 9th, 2009

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.


by C Hall ~ December 26th, 2008

Welcome to Four Hall Cousins.  This blog has been created to present the history of Edward Hall of Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, formerly of Henbury, Gloucestershire, England, who arrived in Massachusetts Bay about 1636, settling first in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, and his descendants.  Although information may be presented on some of his children and their descendants from time to time, the main focus will be on his son, Samuel Hall, who married Abigail Pratt; his son, Jonathan Hall, Sr. who married Sarah Ockington; and his son, Jonathan Hall, Jr., who married Lydia Leonard, all known to have lived in that part of Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, that became Raynham in 1731.

From Jonathan Hall, Jr. and his wife, Lydia Leonard, we will show how we tie in Silas Leonard Hall, first documented in 1774 when he married Eunice Titus in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Silas Leonard Hall is the mutually elusive ancestor who brought  four Hall cousins together many years ago.  Since that time we have combined our efforts in an attempt to learn as much as possible about our mutual ancestors.

We are very interested in the children of Jonathan and Lydia Leonard Hall.  Seth Hall married Diadamia Leach and removed from Raynham, Massachusetts to Westmoreland, New Hampshire.  Linus Hall married Celia Shaw and left for Bartlett, Carroll County, New Hampshire where his two older brothers, the Honorable Obed Hall and Ebenezer Hall had already relocated.  Silas, we are certain, removed first to Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut and then to Danby, Tompkins County (then Tioga Co.), New York about 1808/09.  Nothing is known about Jonathan Hall who, according to Raynham census, must have married and remained in Raynham, Massachusetts until his death.  Hezekiah married Sarah Carver and lived in Raynham and Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  We would enjoy hearing from descendants to learn more about the children.

We hope that this blog will provide additional information to those of you who are researching the above families and that it will also stimulate productive discussions about them.  We welcome new cousins to help us add to our information base.