An Inheritance of Ghosts

Beverly Earl Mattocks and Gladys “Opal” Deema Danner

Beverly Earl Mattocks [4]

Father: Walter Andrew Mattocks [8]

Mother: Rachel Idella Crane [9]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Gladys “Opal” Deema Danner [5]

Father: Elisha Michael Danner [10]

Mother: Martha Minary Hough [11]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Beverly Earl Mattocks [4] was born in 25 July 1891 at Earl Park, Benton County, Indiana.  In June 1900, Beverly, aged 9, was attending school and living with his parents at Lake Township, Newton County, Indiana.  In April 1910, Beverly, a farm laborer aged 18, was living with his parents at Pleasant Township, Porter County, Indiana.

On 25 September 1913, Beverly, of Kankakee, Kankakee County, Illinois, was issued a barber’s license by the Barbers State Board of Examiners of Illinois.  Beverly apparently spent time with his sister Hattie Leverenz and her daughter Lola (born in 1913), perhaps at Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, before the Leverenz family moved to Montana (where they lived until 1917).

By about 1916, Beverly and three of his brothers (including Carl and Jimmy) had moved to Bates County, Missouri, where the young men worked constructing levees on the Marais des Cygnes River.  Beverly married, as her second husband, 20 December 1917, at Bates County, Gladys “Opal” Deema (Danner) Vickers [5].  Beverly and Gladys had met in Bates County.

Gladys was born 28 December 1897 at Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, the daughter of Elisha Michael and Martha Minary (Hough) Danner.  In June 1900, Gladys, aged 2, was living with her parents at Liberty Township, Clay County, Missouri.  In April 1910, Gladus D., aged 12, was living with her widowed mother on South[?] Hickory[?] Street in the third ward of Butler, Mount Pleasant Township, Bates County.  At that time, Gladys was working as a servant and attending school.  The census of 1910 recorded that Gladys had not worked during 36 weeks of the previous year.

Gladys married first, probably 18 September 1914, James Vickers.  If, as seems possible, he was the same person as the James Vickers in the 1920 census of Butler, he was born about 1893 in Missouri.

Daughter Helen Allene was born to James and Gladys in September 1916 at Rich Hill, Bates County.  The couple divorced soon thereafter.

In January 1920, a James Vickers, a farm laborer, aged 27, was living in the household of his widowed sister Anna Wilson at Butler.  Though of the right age and place to have been Gladys’s first husband, the census of 1920 did not record that James was divorced, but merely “single”.  The whereabouts at this time of Helen Allene Vickers, the daughter of James and Gladys, is not known, but she did not seem to be living with either parent.

James Vickers married second, by about 1929, —— ——.  By this wife, James had son Leroy Paul Vickers, born 10 April 1929 at Independence, Missouri, died 23 October 2002 at Independence, married Beverly A. ——.

Beverly served in World War I.  Later in life, he was a member of the American Legion.

Son Carl recalled that “[w]e lived a nomadic existence between Bates County, MO and Jasper County, IN.” At least for one period of time, the Mattocks family lived in the area of Wheatfield, Jasper County, Indiana.

Beverly and Gladys were living at Rich Hill, Bates County, when son Beverly Earl was born prematurely in May 1918 (the infant died the same day).  Beverly and Gladys’s son Carl was born in November 1919 at Parr, Jasper County, Indiana.

In 1920, Beverly, an excavator[?], aged 27, Gladys, aged 22, and Carl were living with Beverly’s parents at or near Parr in South Union Township.  Son Earl was born in April 1921 at Parr.  Son Donald was born in October 1923 in Indiana.

Beverly and Gladys were apparently back at Rich Hill by about October 1925, when their deceased infant daughter Norma was buried there.  Norma had been born in May 1925, presumably at Bates County.

Daughter Mary was born in 1926 in Missouri.  Son Walter was born in September 1928 at Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.  In December 1928, when little Walter died, Beverly and Gladys were living at 39 Raytown Road at Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.  Walter was buried at Rich Hill.  Dorothy McCullough remembered when one of the Mattocks infants died in Kansas City, “& my mother held it in a casket on her lap from K.C. to R.H. for the funeral.”

Dorothy also recalled that Beverly worked on a dredge boat in Bates County, changing the river channel.  Dorothy wrote: “My parents brought my brother & I down weekends & we camped out & visited.  We really enjoyed it.”

Son Glenn (Pat) was born in October 1929 in Missouri.

In April 1930, “Beverly Mattox,” an excavating engineer, aged 38, was living with his wife Gladys, aged 33, Gladys’s daughter Helen, and five children of Beverly and Gladys, on Nebraska Street in Rock Port, Clay Township, Atchison County, Missouri.  It would appear from the census that Beverly had been unemployed for a time in the period before April 1930.

In April 1932, the family settled on the Wabash River in Illinois or Indiana.  Apparently the family was at Roselawn, Newton County, Indiana, when a young son died there in the winter of 1932.  Niece Lola Leverenz recalled spending time with Beverly and Gladys “& kiddies.”  She recalled that “Uncle Bev [was] good to me — a big tease!”  Lola wrote of her time with her sisters living with Beverly’s parents:

Every summer before school was out, Grandpa would go out along the Kankakee River scouting for a campsite.  It would not be a fancy cottage.  Sometimes it would be just one room downstairs and up a ladder to one room upstairs, or often no cottage at all, just an area for tents.  There would be a large one for sleeping and another for storage.

Grandpa would clear the land by the riverbank, making stacks and stacks of firewood, and then spade the soil to plant a big garden.  When he had erected our table and benches under a canopy and had a big grate ready for cooking, he would get his boat ready for fishing.

After the end of the school year, the uncles [possibly including Beverly] would load up Grandma and us girls along with the grocery staples, dishes, pots and pans, bedding, and clothes.  Then off we’d go to join Grandpa on the banks of the river.

Son Chauncey was born in April 1934 at Flat Rock, Crawford County, Illinois.  The Mattocks family was recorded at Heathsville, Crawford County, Illinois, when son Paul was born and died there in the spring of 1935.  Heathsville is few miles east of Flat Rock.  Son Carl described the family home’s location as “South of Palestine and East of Flat Rock, IL, a few miles East of a small crossroads known as Heathsville.”  During this time, Beverly worked as “a buyer of clamshells which were then used in the manufacturing of Mother-of-Pearl buttons.”  The family “eked out a bare living.”  About this time, son Carl went off to work for his uncle Jimmy Mattocks.

Beverly was issued social security number 358-12-0658 at Illinois.

In September 1941, the Mattocks family was at Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana, where Beverly operated a drag-line for his brother O.K.  From the fall of 1943 through the spring of 1944, the family were at Vermilion County, Illinois, where son Glenn (Pat) was attending school.  Beverly and Gladys’s son Donald died in September 1944 while serving in World War II in Belgium.

Early in June 1945, son Carl, who was serving in the military, visited his parents at Flat Rock.  Carl returned to his home to Ellettsville, Monroe County, Indiana, with a load of fish the family had given to him.  Carl planned on making another road trip shortly thereafter, when he intended to pick up his brother Pat and take him along with him.  Carl wrote, “Have Pat at the junction of highways 180 & 50 around 11 o’clock the morning of the 16th (Saturday).”

In 1946, the Mattocks family was at Heathsville.  A family photograph from that year showed a clam boat on the Wabash, River, a few miles north of Russellville, Lawrence County, Illinois, presumably belonging to Beverly.  In addition to an outboard motor, the boat had two poles on grooved posts running the length of each side, and supporting what seem to be nets.  A large “flap” behind the motor “was used to pull & steer boat thru clam beds.”

An undated and unidentified newspaper clipping reported that:

Pat [Glenn] Mattocks of Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky spent the weekend with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Beverly Mattocks and family.  He was taken back to camp Sunday by Roscoe Gaddis, Mary Mae and Leon Mattocks, Marie Gaddis and Betty Norton.

Sometime in 1949 the family moved to Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona, in hopes of the weather improving Beverly’s health.  They didn’t stay long and, late in the year, the Mattocks family moved once again, this time to the vicinity of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri.  Dorothy McCullough, who loved her Mattocks
relatives, wrote: “When they moved to Osceola we were so glad.”

When Beverly’s mother died in June 1952, Beverly was a resident of Lowry City, St. Clair County.

There is a photograph of Gladys with her brother Gene and sister Mary Ellen.  In this picture, Gladys had long, dark hair, and was wearing a white, over-the-knee buttoned dress with short sleeves and a narrow belt, along with a long necklace.

At Osceola, Gladys addressed a letter to her son Leon on Sunday, 13 October 1957:

My dear boy:

Sunday night is just about to close, so guess I better get your letter going.  I have five squirrels in the tenderizer on the stove.  Pat [son Glenn] & Dad went out to the Snyder farm early this morning — I got up at 20 til 4 — & they awaited daylight at the old Snyder house.  Pat sure tickles me, he says he didn’t know whether it was the leaves falling or squirrels flying they were so thick.  He got your car home Fri-nite Oct-11th.  Sure has a swell job of painting, and that bent place is invisible, all the chrome beautifully polished, you know I always loved that car and just to look out & see it really does me lots of good.  Gene’s didn’t get here this week end, first they have missed in a long time.  Jerry left his new 410 gun for Pat to murder squirrels and Gene left his rifle, altho Dad prefers the old 16 ga.  Dad took some things out to the sale barn for Gene this last week & has some more for this week — Thurs/ comming.  I went along & got almost a bushel of pears for 25¢ and some good eating apples.  I wrapped each pear individual in paper & have them put away for future use as you know they were green.  Have lots of them canned.  Sure seems nice when Pat can be home with us — he has a nice little car and keeps it as clean & neat. Dad sold an gas heater — when Gene brot it down it was for natural gas & dad converted it into Butane, I think what we paid Gene & was out repair on it cost us $8.00 and he sold it for $25.00 but we are going to get another fuel oil stove as we realize the gas out of those bottles are much to expensive — We already have a small one he bought and it will care for part of the house.  Well I may write more later but right now I must put supper on the table, Pat goes back to-morrow — guess he wont be back before pay day but says he is going after those squirrels if the snow is on.  Hope the weather is good there.  We surely have been blessed with sunshine.  Mr & Mrs Wingate were here to see us, you know they use to run the Brown Ford-Camp — Saw Mr & Mrs Beatty, they are building a room he got his soldier pay or social security I don’t know which since Aug — & are they tickled.  Saw Mr. Donabrook & their two boys they sure have grown, run their Dad’s tractors and I would of never known them.  Well I hear the men stirring around so I guess I’d better stop — Be a good boy & your car is safe at home.

Bye & God Careth for you—



Gladys died 24 November 1957 at Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri.  She was buried 29 November following at Brooking Cemetery in Raytown, Jackson County, Missouri.  The Mattocks children attended their mother’s funeral.  Gladys’s daughter Allene also attended the ceremony.  Gladys had owned a Bible, in which she recorded some genealogical information, which came into the possession of her son Carl.

Beverly’s son Pat, who had moved to Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, often came to visit his father in Osceola and, with his friend Robert M. Finley, would hunt in the area.  Finley left a 22-caliber rifle at Beverly’s home.

Some time in or shortly after October 1958, Beverly moved to Galveston, Galveston County, Texas.  Beverly was living at Galveston when his son Glenn (Pat) committed suicide in May 1959.

From 1959 to 1964, Beverly was at Galveston and a patient of Dr. E. Sinks McLarty, Jr.  During that time, Beverly was diagnosed with benign prostatic hypertrophy, left inguinal hernia, advanced arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and marked emphysema.

On 4 August 1964, Beverly attached a note to the certificate he had received from President John F. Kennedy honoring the memory of Beverly’s son Glenn.  At that time, Beverly wrote of the certificate:

Aug-4-1964  AT-MY-DEATH  Please mail — To My son LEON MATTOCKS — If he can be located As I do not know his whereabouts at this writting.  Last known residence — Kansas City-Mo. 2840-Raytown Rd.

On 8 June 1965, Forrest B. Goodrich, of the Goodrich Funeral Home in Osceola, wrote a letter of recommendation for Beverly:

To Whom This May Concern:

This is to certify that I have known B.E Mattocks since 1949 and have found him to be honest, truthful, industrious and reliable in every sense.

During his stay here from 1949 to 1957 he made a multitude of friends who would endorse this statement,


Forrest B. Goodrich

For a time, Beverly lived with his son Leon and Leon’s family (which included the author of this skecth).  I remember that Beverly lived in a room in the basement which had been set up as a small apartment, with a bed, chair, table, refrigerator, and stove.  While he was living with us, my grandfather was in charge of cutting the hair of my brothers and me.  He also taught us all the art of weaving fish nets using a shuttle made from a wooden ruler.

Beverly next moved to Apartment 11 at 1928 Grant Street in Denver, Colorado.  A neighbor and friend was Irma Bachir, who lived with her pet fish and birds in Apartment 22.  The apartment building was apparently somewhat rundown, infested with insects and in need of carpet and paint.  According to Irma, several residents of the building had financial, drinking, and health problems.  Irma thought that Beverly “was the best neighbor.”

In late summer of 1970, Beverly returned to Galveston, though not in the best of health.  He wrote to Irma upon his arrival, and she wrote back on 25 September 1970, “hope you are ok at this writing still think the trip was to [sic] much for you.”  Irma also wrote that it would take time for Beverly to find an apartment, “but rest for wk. or two maybe you feel better.”  Irma hoped that he would find an apartment soon as “its not good eat out these Café put much salt in food[.]  You have tell not put Salt by orders Dr.”  Apparently Beverly had expected to find an old friend in Galveston, but had discovered on his arrival that he had died.

From 18 January to 3 February 1971, Beverly was an impatient at St. Mary’s Hospital at 404 Eighth Street, Galveston.  Medicare covered most of his expenses.  About September 1971, Beverly’s niece Polly Norton wrote to her uncle from Douglas, Arizona.

Dear Uncle Beverly,

I’m glad you are out of the hospital but so sorry you aren’t feeling too good.  I know how tiring it is to write a lot of letters.  So I had an idea.  If you write to Vera she will keep me advised about you.  She is so good to write every week or ten days.  But I will still write you because I know when I was sick I still liked to get letters even if it was a job to answer.  Besides, I think of you so often and think so much of you I want to write.

When you get stronger again maybe you will feel like writing more.  In the meantime just write Vera….

Lots of love


About the same time, Beverly’s niece Lola Jordan wrote back to Beverly from Calumet City, Cook County, Illinois.

It was real nice to get your letter, I’m happy you’re well enough to be out of the hospital, suppose you have to take it pretty easy now.  Yes, its my hope and prayer that you, Dad, and all I love can live your life out without suffering and sorrow.  Perhaps you’ll both live several years yet and I wish them to be as happy as possible.

It was really great Uncle Elwyn & family stopped to see you….

Hope you’re improving daily — What does the Dr. say about you?

Beverly, aged 80, died 20 October 1971 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston County.  A letter of Dr. E. Sinks McLarty, Sr., of the McLarty Clinic in Galveston, dated 23 December 1971, to Beverly’s daughter-in-law Betty Mattocks, a nurse, spoke of Beverly’s last days.

Dear Mrs. Mattocks:

Sister Gertrude of St. Mary’s Hospital requested that I write you concerning your father-in-law, Mr. Beverly Mattocks.

He came to my office on 10-8-71 in great discomfort, stating that his urine had “blocked” and he was forced to go to the emergency room at John Sealy Hospital for catherization the previous day.  I admitted him to St. Mary’s Hospital immediately and called Dr. E. I. Klein, Urologist, to take care of him.

Mr. Mattocks had been a patient of my son from 1959 through 1964.  Diagnosis at that time was:  Benign prostatic hypertrophy.  Left inguinal hernia, reducible; advanced arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease and marked emphysema.

After being hospitalized general blood work was done; heart tracing and xrays of his chest.  The anesthetic department deemed it safe to do a spinal block and Dr. Klein then did a trans-urethral resection.  His convalescence postoperatively was excellent.  About eight or ten days later I found that he was having anginal pains which he had not told us about.  On the morning of the 19th of October I found that he had nitroglycerin tablets with him and in order not to bother the nurses he told me that he had taken about 20 tablets off and on during the night.  One of the hospital aides told me this also.  At that time I took all medicine from him and kept a close watch on him but he suffered an acute coronary and died 24 hours later.

I was indeed sorry that I did not get to see any of the family and I sincerely hope this will explain his illness to you.

Sincerely yours,

Sinks McLarty

E. S. McLarty, M.D.

Beverly’s funeral services were handled by the Todd Funeral Home of De Motte, Jasper County, Indiana.  Presiding at the funeral at 2:00 p.m. on the Saturday after Beverly’s death, was the Reverend Emmitt L. Wallace.  Beverly was buried at the Wheatfield Cemetery in Wheatfield, Jasper County, Indiana.  At his death, he was described as a retired drainage contractor.

In April 2001, Dorothy McCullough wrote to me that “Gladys and Beverly Mattocks were my beloved aunt and uncle.”  Apparently Dorothy and her siblings considered Beverly and Gladys as their “favorite relation.”  “Aunt Gladys and my sister were very close as sisters and we all enjoyed many happy times to gether.”  Dorothy also wrote: “When they [Beverly and Gladys] lived in Illinois, we used every excuse to visit with them, and after Gil & I married [in 1940] we did the same.”

Children of Beverly Earl and Gladys Deema (Danner) Mattocks:

+    4.1.  Beverly Earl, born 25 May 1918.
+    4.2.  Carl Kenneth, born 29 November 1919.
+    4.3.  Earl Edward, born 16 April 1921.
+    4.4.  Donald Elwyn, born 27 October 1923.
+    4.5.  Norma Eloise, born 3 May 1925.
+    4.6.  Mary Mae, born in 1926.
+    4.7.  Walter Lee, born 16 September 1928.
+    4.8.  Glenn Oliver, born 29 October 1929.
+    4.9.  ——, male.
+    4.10.  Chauncey Leon [2], born 19 April 1934.
+    4.11.  Paul Eugene, born in the spring of 1935.

Daughter of James and Gladys Deema (Danner) Vickers:

+    5.a.  Helen Allene, born 24 September 1916.


  • 1900 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, page 127B (T623-849).
  • 1900 United States Census, Newton County, Indiana, pages 316B-317A (T623-394).
  • 1910 United States Census, Bates County, Missouri, page 148 (T624-768).
  • 1910 United States Census, Porter County, Indiana, page 155 (T624-374).
  • 1920 United States Census, Bates County, Missouri, page 144 (T625-905).
  • 1920 United States Census, Jasper County, Indiana, page 138 (T625-440).
  • 1930 United States Census, Atchison County, Missouri, page 34 (T626-1175).
  • —, “The Examiner: Obituaries 10/25/02,” at, from The [Independence, Missouri] Examiner, transcribed 17 February 2003.
  • —, “Find Couple Slain in a Locked Room,” unidentified Kansas City, Missouri, newspaper clipping (17 May 1959), page 3A, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, “Former Wheatfield Area Resident Dies,” Rensselaer [Indiana] Republican (22 October 1971).
  • —, “Identifies Death Rifle,” Kansas City Star (18 May 1959), page 5.
  • —, “Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society: Master Cemetery Index,” at, created 13 March 2000.
  • —, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Beverly Maddocks],” at, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • —, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Lena Petersdorf Mattocks],” at, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • —, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Norma S. Mattocks],” at, accessed 17 January2007.
  • —, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Walter Lee Mattocks],” at, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • —, “[Obituary of Rachel Idella Mattocks],” copy of unidentified newspaper clipping circa June 1952, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, certificate honoring the memory of Glenn O. Mattocks, signed by John F. Kennedy, with notation on back by Beverly Earl Mattocks, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, Certificate of Registration, Barbers, State Board of Examiners of Illinois, Number 18143, for B.E. Mattocks, 25 September 1913, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, The [Lowry City High School] Echo 1951 (Kansas City, Missouri: Inter-Collegiate Press, 1951).
  • —, The [Lowry City High School] Echo 1950 (1950).
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • —, Medicare Hospital Insurance Benefits Record, Form SSA-1533 (10-69), for Beverly E. Mattocks, 26 March 1971, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, memorial card for Beverly Earl Mattocks (died 20 October 1971), from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, Six Weeks Report, Vermilion County [Illinois] Public Schools, for Glen Mattocks, 1943-1944, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, unidentified and undated newspaper clipping from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Irma Bachar to B.E. Mattocks, letter, 25 September 1970, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “FamilySearch Internet – Search,” at, accessed 18 May 2004, Social Security Death Index, SSN 358-12-0658.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Glenn R. Fackler to Carl K. Mattocks, letter, 18 December 1971, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Ma Fisk (Lola Jordan), “Memories of Grandpa’s Fish Camp,” Illinois Sports Outdoors (February 1997), page 22.
  • Forrest B. Goodrich to “Whom This May Concern,” letter, 8 June 1965, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Lola (Leverenz) Jordan to Chauncey Leon and Carol Lee “Suzi” Mattocks, letter, 1 January 1997.
  • Lola (Leverenz) Jordan to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 13 April 1997.
  • Lola (Leverenz) Jordan to Bev E. Mattocks, letter, postmarked 2 September 1971, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Linda Lohrum, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Ashford and Danner Family Tree,” at, created 5 February 2006.
  • Carl K. Mattocks to Pat Mattocks, letter, postmarked 14 June 1945, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 3 June 1999.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks to Mark Raymond Mattocks, letter, 15 October 1996.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks to Mark Raymond Mattocks, letter and accompanying photograph, 20 February 2002.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks, photograph collection.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 12 April 2005.
  • Gladys Deema Mattocks to Chauncey Leon Mattocks, letter, 13 October 1957, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Leon Mattocks, The Outstanding Points of my Life (unpublished school paper, 1949), from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Dorothy F. McCullough to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, postmarked 21 May 2001.
  • Dorothy McCullough to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 22 April 2001.
  • Dorothy McCullough, “Bates Co. Mo Query Forum,” at, posted 28 January 2000.
  • Dorothy McCullough, “RootsWeb Message Boards – Message [ Bates ]” at, posted 28 January 2000.
  • E. Sinks McLarty to Betty Mattocks, letter, 23 December 1971, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Polly Norton to Beverly Mattocks, letter, postmarked 2 September 1971, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • Porter County Public Library System, “Obituary Index,” at, an index to obituaries published in The Vidette-Messenger (to 1994) and The Vidette-Times (1995-present) of Valparaiso, Indiana, accessed 7 April 2005.

Walter Andrew Mattocks and Rachel Idella Crane

Posted in Rachel Idella (Crane) Mattocks, Rachel Idella Crane, Walter Andrew Mattocks by Gregg Mattocks on 25 April 2009

Walter Andrew Mattocks [8]

Father: Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks [16]

Mother: Hester Ann Hess [17]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Rachel Idella Crane [9]

Father: Peter M. Crane [18]

Mother: Sarah Emily Blackburn [19]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Walter Andrew Mattocks [8] reportedly was born 25 August 1858 in Illinois or Indiana.  His gravestone gives his year of birth as 1854.  However, Walter does not appear in his parents’ household in the 1860 census, and therefore may actually have been born shortly after this census was taken. Genealogist Carl Kenneth Mattocks wrote that the divorce papers of Walter’s parents recorded that Walter was born in August of 1862.

I believe Walter may have been named after his grandfather Andrew Hess and his grandfather’s brother, Walter B. Hess.  Alternatively, he may have been named after his uncle Walter Allen Mattocks.

Walter has not been located in the 1870 census, though it does not appear he was living with either of his parents (who had divorced by this time).  Indeed, Walter’s mother Hester had probably died by this time.

1880 Census, Newton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

1880 Census, Newton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

In June 1880, Walter, a laborer, aged 19[?], was living in the household of Peter M. and Emily Crane at Iroquois Township, Newton County, Indiana.  Also in the home was the daughter of Peter and Emily, Ida Crane, aged 13, who would, a year later, marry Walter.

Walter Mattocks married, 5 August 1881, at Niles, Berrien County, Michigan, Rachel Idella “Ida” Crane [9].  She reportedly was born 5 June 1867 or 1868 (though her gravestone gives her year of birth as 1865) at Goodland, Newton County, Indiana, the daughter of Peter M. and Sarah Emily (Blackburn) Crane.  The 1930 census recorded that Idella was 16 at the time of her marriage, but it seems likely that she was even younger.  Amy Tanner wrote that Walter’s father presented his son with a milk cow at the time of his marriage.

1870 Census, Benton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

1870 Census, Benton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

In August 1870, Rachel, aged 3, was living with her parents at Parish Grove Township, Benton County, Indiana.

According to census records, Walter and Idella were able to read and write.  Amy Tanner wrote that Walter’s father Rumsey sometimes lived with Walter and Idella in the last years before Rumsey’s death.  Their son Carl was born in December 1885 in Indiana.  Daughter Maud was born in November 1886 in Indiana.  Son James was born in November 1888 in Indiana.  Son Beverly was born in July 1891 in Indiana.  Daughter Hattie was born in December 1893 in Indiana.  Son Elwyn was born in September 1896.  Son Orville was born in February 1899 in Indiana.

1900 Census, Newton County, Indiana, part 1 (click to enlarge)

1900 Census, Newton County, Indiana, part 2 (click to enlarge)

1900 Census, Newton County, Indiana, part 2 (click to enlarge)

In June 1900, Walter, a farmer, aged 41, was living with his wife Idella, aged 31, and seven children, on a rented farm at Lake Township, Newton County, Indiana.  At that time, it was recorded that Idella had given birth to eight children, seven of whom were living.

Son Glenn was born about 1903 in Indiana.

1910 Census, Porter County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

1910 Census, Porter County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

In April 1910, Walter, a farm laborer, aged 54, was living with his wife Ida, aged 44, and four children in a rented home at Pleasant Township, Porter County, Indiana.  At this time, Ida had given birth to ten children, of which nine were still living.

1920 Census, Jasper County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

1920 Census, Jasper County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

Walter Andrew and Rachel Idella (Crane) Mattocks

Walter Andrew and Rachel Idella (Crane) Mattocks

In 1920, Walter, a farmer, aged 62, and his wife Idella, aged 52, were renting a home at or near Parr in South Union Township, Jasper County, Indiana.  Also in the household were sons Elwyn, Glen, Oliver, and Beverly, Beverly’s wife Gladys, and Beverly’s infant son Carl.  Walter and Idella were joined at Parr, Indiana, by their Leverenz grandchildren where they lived until 1929.  Granddaughter Lola (Leverenz) Jordan remembered that, with their grandparents, she and her sisters would “go camping every summer when school was out.”  Therefore, Lola wrote, she considered herself an “old time country river rat.”  In 1997, Lola published an eloquent memoir in the Illinois Sports Outdoors magazine:

[Note: The images that appear below are not of any of the individuals mentioned in Lola’s story. The photos are instead scenes of the Kankakee River area, of approximately the same time period that Lola wrote about.]

At age 84, there are many fond memories of family and times long gone.  My lifetime of outdoor memories began on a homestead on the prairies of Montana and have paddled along with me on the lakes and rivers of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

But what I am writing about now are my precious days of camping on the Kankakee River in the 1920’s with Grandpa, Grandma, and my three sisters.  We granddaughters ranged in age from three to ten.  I was the ten year old.

When the cruel disease took our mother away, Grandpa and Grandma Mattocks took us in and our father traveled to the big city to find work.  We would only see our dad on weekends, but our grandparents had lots of love to spare.

I think most of Grandpa’s life was spent outside.  He was thin, wiry, and strong.  Every summer before school was out, Grandpa would go out along the Kankakee River scouting for a campsite.  It would not be a fancy cottage.  Sometimes it would be just one room downstairs and up a ladder to one room upstairs, or often no cottage at all, just an area for tents.  There would be a large one for sleeping and another for storage.

Grandpa would clear the land by the riverbank, making stacks and stacks of firewood, and then spade the soil to plant a big garden.  When he had erected our table and benches under a canopy and had a big grate ready for cooking, he would get his boat ready for fishing.

After the end of the school year, the uncles would load up Grandma and us girls along with the grocery staples, dishes, pots and pans, bedding, and clothes.  Then off we’d go to join Grandpa on the banks of the river.

In western Indiana near Roselawn, Shelby and Thayer, the Kankakee River had been dredged and straightened so there were huge sand hills and extra oxbow sloughs of water from the old channels … an ideal place for adventurous children.  It seems we played and swam all day!  Bathing suits were the usual attire.  Up and on the go in the daytime, in bed at dark.

Grandpa was a great outdoorsman, mostly a fisherman.  He seemed to know where to fish, when to fish, and what bait to use.  He would put our lines out or sit along the bank.  Sometimes he might travel little up river.  There was no motor, just oars or his hand made a paddle.

Occasionally, a relative stopped by with an order of extra groceries.  We also would get eggs and milk from a local farmer and vegetables from our garden, but we mostly ate fish … lots of fish!  Since I was the oldest child, I had to help Grandpa with the garden and fishing.  I remember once we went to a slough and there were as many mud turtles as fish.  How I hated those mud turtles!  They’d swallow your hook so you would have to stretch out their neck and stomp on their back to retrieve your hook.  Grandpa put the fish in his wire net basket and the turtle carcasses were thrown aside for the wild creatures of the night to clean up.  We sure didn’t want them to come alive and bite again.  Grandpa teased that I was fishing for turtles and accidentally caught fish.

Another time Grandpa took his spear along some shallow back water.  The water was very clear and we had to be very quiet.  “Don’t move, don’t move.”  Then all at once Grandpa’s spear went sailing out!  I couldn’t believe he could throw it so far and impale a big buffalo or carp.  I can close my eyes right now and see him pulling up his boots to wade out after that flopping handle with a big fish attached to the prongs of the spear!  Holding the fish to the bottom, he would ease his way to the shoreline.  Then the water would explode as he would swing the thrashing carp out onto solid ground!  I can keenly remember being very proud of Grandpa!

I have always loved the outdoors and the times that were shared there.  In those carefree years of childhood, my sisters and I were happy and healthy.  Thank you, Grandpa and Grandma!  I believe you knew how to care of us four little girls after having raised two girls and seven boys of your own.

It’s hard to believe that 70 years have past since those sweet days of summer-long vacations spent with Grandpa and Grandma along the Kankakee River.  I close my eyes and we are all there together, Grandpa and Grandma Mattocks and us four granddaughters.  The Kankakee blesses two states with clean, cool waters and emerald hardwood bottomlands.  In Indiana, the main channel of the river was dredged and straightened, stirring the mud and tempers of those of those downstream in Illinois for years.  Indiana’s monumental task resulted in deep sloughs and drainage canals for fish and waterfowl and a river with a unique character.  In the 1920’s, it all seemed like a paradise to us.

Grandpa always picked a new campsite for us each summer.  One particular time we had a small one-room cottage located on a narrow strip of land between the river and the fenced-in farmland beyond.  There was no real road to the cabin, neither was there a gate for the fence.  The farm field beyond the fence was off-limits, forbidden territory, despite the fact that the farmer had built a stile across the fence directly in front of our cabin.  The bright galvanized wire and rugged steps of the stiles were always tempting us to cross them.

“You must not go over the stile or beyond the fence!” Grandma told us.  She didn’t really tell us why, but we could feel that somehow this area concealed dangers just as real as the swift waters of the river.  Grandma would let us play on the steps, but to cross them into the cornfield beyond was forbidden.  To four adventurous girls, this was hard to understand.  Before the summer was over, we would see things more clearly.  But as far as we could see right then, our little corner of the world was a safe and perfect place.

Although our cabin was plain and unpainted, not fancy, it served our needs.  I’ve often wondered about the origin of these cottages that sometimes became our summer home.  I suspect these simple shelters were built to accommodate workers dredging and cleaning the river.

Outside we always had awnings of canvas to shelter our table and benches, as well as a covered workplace and other necessary conveniences.  No indoor plumbing, of course, but if there was no well, Grandpa would simply drive a shallow well for an outdoor pump.

Once our garden was planted, Grandpa’s main job was fishing, but he also was quite a cook!  At least the fish thought he was!  Grandpa had a big iron kettle hanging over the cooking fire grates.  Grandma always did the real cooking, so we girls thought it was pretty amusing when Grandpa would mix and cook the doughballs he used as bait for his trotlines.  He told us he had a secret recipe, “tough and tasty!”  He must have been right, because it seemed we always had plenty of fish.  Too bad he didn’t give us the secret to pass along!

As the oldest, I had to help Grandpa run the lines.  The river was swift so handling the boat was difficult.  This was the most exciting part of my day.  It was nice to feel that my little help with a paddle was needed.  And I really liked working with the fishing lines, grasping them and feeling then [sic] shake.  You knew right away you had at least one fish.

Our catch was tossed in a tub of water in the boat—no live wells back then.  When we returned to camp, all the live fish went into a live-box.  The one’s [sic] that were not so lively were quickly cleaned and became our next big meal.

We didn’t need newspapers or radio weather reports to tell what was going on in our little world.  Living under the sky each day kept us in touch with all we needed to know.  But there was one frightening afternoon when a fast-moving thunderstorm came bursting in to shake up our peaceful existence.  And the danger touched us in an unexpected way!

“Hurry!  Hurry, get inside!  Inside, everyone!” Grandpa called!  As we all scrambled into the tiny cabin, Grandma remembered she had left dishtowels hanging to dry on the wire fence by the stile.  Out the door she rushed to gather then [sic] up before they were blown far out into the cornfield beyond.  Just as she grabbed them, a huge bolt of lightning struck, knocking her to the ground!  It felt as if the lightning bolt had pierced all our hearts and souls as we watched through the open cabin door.

But even before Grandpa could fly to her side, magically Grandma scrambled to her feet, clutching the dishtowels.  Grandpa gathered her in his arms and helped her inside, with all of us girls still screaming and crying, but now bursting with joy.  All that our dear Grandmother had to show for her close encounter was singed hair on the front of her head.  We were lucky that day and thankful that Grandma survived to supervise many more years of camping.  And when Grandma warned us of danger, we never again questioned her judgement [sic].

In April 1930, Walter A., not working, aged 75, was living with his wife Rachel I., aged 64, and their four Leverenz granddaughters, on a rented farm at Rives Road east of Kankakee, Aroma Township, Kankakee County, Illinois.  At that time, Walter was paying $10 per month in rent.  The census of that year recorded that Walter and Idella owned a radio set.

Apparently, about 1932, Walter, Idella, and the Leverenz girls moved to Roselawn, Newton County, Indiana.  They may all have returned to Momence somewhat later.

Walter died 10 December 1943 at Thayer, Newton County, Indiana.  He was buried at Hobart Cemetery, Hobart, Lake County, Indiana.

Idella, of Walkerton (in St. Joseph County, Indiana), and Hobart, died 10 June 1952 at La Porte, La Porte County, Indiana, allegedly aged 87 years and 5 days.  She was survived by 39 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Mattocks was a Christian.  All her life she was a member of the Methodist Church.  She was a member of the Earl Park Methodist Church at her death.  Her faith in Christ as her Savior sustained her on the long journey thru life, and at last opened the Gates of the Celestial City.  There she has met her Christ and loved ones who have waited long for her coming.

Funeral services were conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, 13 June 1952, by the Reverend H.L. Adams of the First Methodist Church at Pflughoeft Chapel in Hobart.  Idella was buried at the Hobart Cemetery.

Children of Walter and Rachel Idella (Crane) Mattocks:

+    8.1.  Carl Peter, born 18 December 1885.
+    8.2.  Maude Anna, born 20 November 1886.
+    8.3.  James “Jimmy” Park, born 18 November 1888.
+    8.4.  Beverly Earl [4], born 25 July 1891.
+    8.5.  Hattie Mae, born 18 December 1893.
+    8.6.  ——, female.
+    8.7.  Walter Elwyn, born 18 September 1896.
+    8.8.  Orval Benoni, born 16 February 1899.
+    8.9.  Glenn Howard, born 16 May 1901.
+    8.10.  Oliver Kenneth “O.K.”, born 28 August 1904.


  • 1860 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 130, (M653-192).
  • 1870 United States Census, Benton County, Indiana, page 332 (M593-332).
  • 1880 United States Census, Newton County, Indiana, page 258 (T9-301).
  • 1900 United States Census, Newton County, Indiana, pages 316B-317A (T623-394).
  • 1910 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 212 (T624-298).
  • 1910 United States Census, Porter County, Indiana, page 155 (T624-374).
  • 1920 United States Census, Jasper County, Indiana, pages 137-38 (T625-440).
  • 1920 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 3, (T625-377).
  • 1920 United States Census, Wayne County, Michigan, page 240 (T625-806).
  • 1930 United States Census, Atchison County, Missouri, page 34 (T626-1175).
  • 1930 United States Census, Jasper County, Indiana, page 124 (T626-594).
  • 1930 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, pages 2, 8, 12 (T626-526).
  • —, “[Obituary of Rachel Idella Mattocks],” copy of unidentified newspaper clipping circa June 1952, from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain page numbers and the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Ma Fisk (Lola Jordan), “Memories of Grandpa’s Fish Camp,” Illinois Sports Outdoors (February 1997), page 22.
  • Ma Fisk [Lola Jordan], “Grandpa’s Fishcamp: Part 2,” Illinois Sports Outdoors (March 1997), page 16.
  • Lola Jordan to Chauncey Leon and Carol Lee “Suzi” Mattocks, letter, 1 January 1997.
  • Lola Jordan to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 13 April 1997.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 20 May 1999.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 30 August 1992.
  • Porter County Public Library System, “Obituary Index,” at, an index to obituaries published in The Vidette-Messenger (to 1994) and The Vidette-Times (1995-present) of Valparaiso, Indiana, accessed 7 April 2005.
  • Amy Tanner, family history, undated. [LINK]
  • Amy Tanner to Louise Schmidt, letter, 1 May 1979. [LINK]

Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks and Hester Ann Hess

Posted in Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks, Hester Ann (Hess) Mattocks, Hester Ann Hess by Gregg Mattocks on 22 April 2009

Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks [16]

Father: Ichabod Mattocks [32]

Mother: Malinda Jones [33]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Hester Ann Hess [17]

Father: Andrew Hess [34]

Mother: —– —– [35]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks [16] was, I believe, born 17 April 1827 at Bennington, New York, in that part of Genesee County which would later become part of Wyoming County.  All census records give Rumsey’s birthplace as New York State, but the one mention of his nativity made in his Civil War pension record relates that he was instead born at Bennington, Vermont.  Rumsey’s granddaughter Amy Tanner also believed that Rumsey was born at Bennington, Vermont.  But we know that Rumsey’s parents were living at Genesee County, New York, in 1820, and the family was at Bennington Township in New York in 1830, just three years after Rumsey’s birth.  I cannot help but believe that there was some confusion between the New York town and its more famous counterpart in Vermont.  Indeed, if Amy Tanner had access to the pension record, her belief that her grandfather was born in Vermont may well have stemmed from that source.

Rumsey was perhaps named after Doctor Cyrus Rumsey, who practiced from about 1822 to 1828 at Warsaw, Genesee County, and therefore may have been the doctor who was in attendance at Rumsey Mattocks’ birth.  On the other hand, Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks’ first name may instead have been in honor of his uncle Cyrus Jones.

In 1830, Rumsey was almost certainly living with his parents at Bennington Township, Genesee County.  In 1840, Rumsey was living with his parents at Orangeville, Genesee County.

Sometime between 1840 and 1850, the family migrated to Illinois.  Amy Tanner believed that the Mattocks family made the trip in a covered wagon.

1850 Census, Iroquois County, Illinois (click to enlarge)

In September 1850, “Rumsey Mattox,” a farmer, aged 23, was living in his mother’s household in Census District 21, Iroquois County, Illinois.  Rumsey was considered the male head of household, but he owned no real estate and apparently farmed on rented or borrowed land.  I speculate that the land may have belonged to Rumsey’s uncle Edward M. Jones, who is known to have lived close by.

Reuben Dayton claimed to have met Rumsey about 1852.  Dayton claimed that he “[u]sed to live near neighbor to him Mattocks, and frequently work with said Mattocks, at farm work. Saw him on an average as often as once a week.”  According to Dayton, who was about twenty at the time, “Mattocks was a stout healthy young man and could do a good fair days work at any kind of farm labor.”  Cyrus L. Chase, a 21-year-old resident of Momence Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, also became friends with Rumsey about this time.  Chase “[w]orked with Mattocks at breaking prairie and other kinds of work, and during this period lived within about 3 quarters of a mile from said Mattocks.”  Rumsey also made the acquaintance of 27-year-0ld Caleb J. Wells about this time.

Rumsey married first, as her first husband, about 1858, the young Hester Ann Hess [17].  Hester was born about 1844 or 1845 at Morocco, Newton County, Indiana, the daughter of Andrew Hess.  Hester’s mother, whose identity is unknown, probably died between 1846 and 1850.  In 1850, Hester was living with her father and her sister at Jackson Township, Jasper County, Indiana.

Hester may well have been pregnant at the time of her marriage as son Walter was born in August 1858.


1860 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois (click to enlarge)

1860 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois (click to enlarge)

In June 1860, Rumsey, a farmer, aged 31, was living with his wife Esther A., aged 16, and Rumsey’s mother Malinda at Momence Township.  At that time, Rumsey’s personal property was valued at $200.  He apparently owned no real estate at this time, and therefore was farming on rented or borrowed land, perhaps on land owned by his uncle John A. Jones.


Momence Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, 1883 (click to enlarge)

Momence Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, 1883 (click to enlarge)

By studying the 1860 Census, we can find out who Rumsey’s neighbors were at that time.  The households listed on the same page as the Mattocks household were those of Caleb Wells, Reuben Dayton, Nancy Sanford, Phelix Haines, Phebe Line, Christopher Ainsworth, John A. Jones, [Rumsey Mattocks], and Welden Staunton.  Comparing these names with those in an 1883 land ownership map of Momence Township, we find that most of these neighbors can be found in Section 19 of Township 31-N, Range 15-E, just south of the Kankakee River before it enters Indiana.  John A. Jones was located in Section 30 in 1883, the section just south of Section 19. It would seem a good guess that the Mattocks family was living very nearby in either Section 30 or 19.

The Civil War

By July 1862, things were not going well for the Union cause. Early in July, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for three hundred thousand volunteers. The quota for Illinois — the president’s home state — would be 26,148.  Initially recruitment went slowly.

In Chicago, for example, the six recruiters averaged fewer than one recruit each week. City men were reluctant to forego high wages for low army pay. In rural areas, married men were unwilling to enlist unless they were assured their families would be cared for while they were gone. In August, Illinoisans faced the additional obstacle of the fall harvest. Unless farmers could be persuaded to enter the army, either from a spirit of patriotism or fear of the draft, the state’s quota would not be met. The threat of a draft now enticed men to arms, however, because of the stigma attached to being conscripted. Despite some hesitancy, by mid-August patriotic fervor had attracted so many to the national colors that the state was unable to provide adequately for the assembled multitudes.

On 14 August 1862, Rumsey, aged about 35, enlisted as a private in Company K of the 113th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He was enrolled at Chicago, Illinois, by the company’s captain, Silas J. Garrett, to serve three years or until the end of the war.  Also joining this company was Rumsey’s brother Walter.  Charles, Jacob, and James Hess all served in Company K, and were probably all near relatives of Rumsey’s wife Hester.  At the time of his enlistment, Rumsey was described as being six feet tall, of fair complexion, with blue eyes and dark hair.

The 113th Illinois Infantry was also known as the Third Chicago Board of Trade Regiment. The regiment was organized in Chicago and brought into service on 1 October 1862. Rumsey and Walter were amongst those mustered into service on that day. The 113th trained at Camp Hancock, near Camp Douglas and Chicago. The regiment served under Colonel George B. Hoge of Chicago. The Lieutenant Colonel, John W. Paddock, was from Kankakee County. Of the regiment’s ten companies, three were recruited from Kankakee County. Of the 172 soldiers in Company K whose place of residence is known, 44 were from Momence. Many others came from nearby towns. The regiment did not have a band.

Ultimately, in response to Lincoln’s call for troops, Illinois furnished 58,689 men, in fifty-nine infantry regiments and six artillery batteries. Only New York and Pennsylvania furnished more. The organization of volunteers in Illinois had been entrusted to General John Alexander McClernand as assistant to Governor Richard Yates.

McClernand assumed his new duties with enthusiasm and a well organized plan for fulfilling his responsibilities. As Yates was the commander of the Illinois militia, as well as the senior politician in the state, McClernand informed him of the steps he was taking to organize and muster units. He directed his staff to address the myriad details involved in raising and outfitting large numbers of troops—establishing encampments; organizing the units; procuring ordnance; training artillerymen; providing medical support as well as clothing, blankets, and camp equipment; and, of course, obtaining the blank forms, stationery, and instruction books so essential to modern warfare. He recommended that troops be concentrated at no more than four locations, in order to maximize efficiency. He asked about barracks, transportation, and weapons….

McClernand recognized the necessity for adequate training. His aide at Camp Duncan, Illinois, reported that he had established a training schedule for the 101st Illinois Regiment consisting of early-morning instruction for officers followed by squad and company drill. Officer instruction was held again after lunch, followed by battalion drill and a dress parade….

… McClernand showed remarkable organizational talents and an understanding of the myriad details involved in such undertakings. He asked for numbers of soldiers, about weapons available and sources for those required, about deficiencies, whether money was available for disbursing bounties and advance pay for soldiers departing, about uniform requirements, and for the names of officers in charge of the mustering sites. Those regiments reported as ready to move he ordered to do so immediately. On 29 October he was spurred to even greater zeal by two telegrams from Stanton that requested that he “get the troops forward as fast as possible…. The importance of the expedition on the Mississippi is every day becoming more manifest.”

Memphis, Tennessee

On 6 November 1862, the 113th was ordered to report to Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman at Memphis, Tennessee. Sherman had arrived at Memphis on 21 July 1862, and “found the place dead.” Most of the population was in sympathy with the South, but Sherman was determined to make Memphis a safe place for his troops, and to revive it from its depressed state. With steamboats traveling down the Mississippi from the North, full of passengers and freight, Memphis was soon bustling once again. Sherman busied himself strengthening fortifications and administering the city. His duties included curbing smuggling across the River, dealing with drunken and unruly soldiers after pay-day, enforcing laws against pillaging, pursuing rebel guerillas operating in the vicinity, and publicly condemning those who spoke of his soldiers as “Northern barbarians” and “Lincoln’s hirelings.”

Arriving at Memphis in November, the 113th Infantry was attached to the First Brigade, District of Memphis, Right Wing Thirteenth Army Corps (Old), Department of the Tennessee. This Brigade was commanded by Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith. Sherman shortly thereafter re-organized his divisions, and the 113th was attached to the First Brigade, Second Division, District of Memphis, Thirteenth Army Corps.

Most of Sherman’s troops were kept in camps “back of the city.” Battalion and brigade drills were strictly enforced, so that Sherman’s 18,252 men were “in the best possible order” as “the season approached for active operations farther south.”

Sherman went to Columbus, Kentucky, to confer with Major-General Ulysses S. Grant.  Grant, as part of his ultimate object of capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi, and opening up the Mississippi River to navigation, “proposed to move against [General John C.] Pemberton, then intrenched on a line behind the Tallahatchie River below Holly Springs, [Mississippi].”  It was Grant’s plan to “move on Holly Springs and Abberville [Abbeville, Mississippi], from Grand Junction, [Tennessee]; that [General James B.] McPherson, with the troops at Corinth, [Mississippi], would aim to make junction with him at Holly Springs.” Sherman was to leave a garrison behind at Memphis and, with his remaining troops, advance on the Tallahatchie, so as to come up on Grant’s right. On 24 November 1862, Sherman marched out of Memphis with three divisions, among which was the 113th Illinois Regiment.

The divisions took different roads in a south-south-easterly direction, traveling about forty miles until they approached the Tallahatchie. The divisions converged at Wyatte, Mississippi, on 2 December 1862, “to cross the river, there a bold, deep stream, with a newly-constructed fort behind.” They had met no opposition on their march. It was learned that Pemberton’s army had fallen back for safety to the Yalabusha River, near Grenada, Mississippi.

It was during this expedition, in late November or early December, that Rumsey Mattocks contracted “camp diarrhea” caused “by exposure and drinking bad water.” Rumsey continued to suffer from diarrhea as long as he remained with the regiment and off and on for many years thereafter.

At Wyatte, the troops had to build a bridge, “which consumed a couple of days,” but by 5 December, Sherman’s entire command was at College Hill, ten miles from Oxford, Mississippi. Sherman met with Grant at Oxford to discuss options now that Pemberton had removed to Grenada. It was decided that the time was right for a move on Vicksburg.

After the fall of Memphis and New Orleans in 1862, Vicksburg was the principal remaining Confederate strongpoint on the Mississippi River. The city was perched on steep bluffs overlooking a sharp bend in the river. As long as the city remained in Confederate hands, trade from the Great Plains and the Ohio Valley down the Mississippi River was cut off. In addition, the possession of the city kept open the flow of supplies from the trans-mississippi region of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The loss of the city would cut the Confederacy in two.

The first attempt on the city was made by the Navy. Ironclad gunboats from Memphis joined the downriver gunboats from New Orleans in a rather ineffective bombardment of the city. Unable to force the surrender of the city, both squadrons returned to their starting points with little to show for their efforts. It became clear that the Navy alone could not capture Vicksburg. 

The pressure on Sherman and Grant to capture Vicksburg and open up the Mississippi was tremendous. Their mission, they knew, was risky and perhaps ill-timed, but they felt they had to act. It is even possible that Grant may have determined to make the move on Vicksburg in order to beat General McClernand to the punch. McClernand, an ambitious political officer and former law-partner of Abraham Lincoln, was determined to make a name for himself in the war, and was jealous of the success of both Sherman and Grant.

[McClernand] had secretly proposed an expedition against Vicksburg to “show what a volunteer officer could do.” Grant and General-in-Chief [Henry W.] Halleck back in Washington were not informed of McClearnand’s [sic] orders or intentions, although his troops began arriving in Memphis. Grant had been planning an overland push towards Vicksburg and was concerned that his effort would draw all the Confederate defenders to his front, giving McClernand an easy job in taking Vicksburg. Determined to avoid all the work with none of the glory, Grant basically hijacked McClernand[’]s troops in Memphis (with Halleck[’]s approval) and began a two-pronged effort to capture the city.

Sherman’s instructions were to return with a division to Memphis to take command of all troops gathered there, then embark down the Mississippi to the Yazoo River with a force of thirty thousand men, and from the Yazoo, capture the small garrison at Vicksburg from the rear. Naval gunboats had already secured the Yazoo up for 23 miles to a fort at Haine’s Bluff. Grant wrote that Sherman was to land above Vicksburg, “cut the Mississippi Central road and the road running east from Vicksburg, where they cross the Black River.” From there, Sherman was to use his own judgment “to secure the end desired.” In the meantime, Grant would engage Pemberton’s troops, pursue them if they retreated south toward Vicksburg, and attempt to join up with Sherman on the Yazoo.

Sherman selected the division of Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith to return with him to Memphis. So it was, on 8 December 1862, that the Illinois 113th Regiment was part of the command that departed with Sherman from Oxford, traveling “by the most direct route.” Morgan L. Smith’s Second Division, comprising 7,000 men in ten regiments, reached Memphis on the morning of 13 December 1862.  On that day Sherman issued orders that made it clear that the campaign against Vicksburg was about to begin.  Divisdion commanders were warned to have their commands ready for active service, givingclose and assiduous attention to all the details necessary to make them efficient by land or water” and having “all things ready to embark by water or take the field by or before the 18th.”  Sherman assigned embarkation points for his three divisions, assigning “the Second Division the levee from the packet landing to the mouth of Wolf River.”  Commanders and quartermasters were to “familiarize themselves with these localities and routes leading to them, being careful not to cross the route of any other division, and they may select and have the exclusive use of some one or more buildings and warehouses contiguous, in which to assemble their material of war not in the hands of the men.”  And finally, Sherman ordered that:

Each soldier must carry his musket, 60 rounds of ammunition, knapsack, haversack, and canteen, and nothing else; officers, their side-arms and a small trunk or valise, carefully marked; companies, not to exceed tents per company and one for the officers, with five days’ rations and cooking utensils, compact and handy; regiments, one ambulance, four good six mule or horse wagons, and one wagon loaded with extra cartridges; brigades, a small special train to carry ammunition to complete a quantity of 200 cartridges per man, inclusive of those in cartridge-boxes and regimental wagons; and divisions, a small train to repair losses, tools for all sorts of repairs, building bridges, repairing roads, and making redoubts, obstructions, and rifle-pits.

The Vicksburg Campaign

Sherman acted with great haste, knowing that surprise was the essence of the whole plan. He once again re-organized his command, but Morgan L. Smith’s division kept it’s designation as the First Brigade, Second Division. A large fleet of steamboats from St. Louis and Cairo was assembled on the River to transport the troops. Admiral David Dixon Porter also arrived with his entire gunboat fleet.  These transports and the brigades they were to carry were given strict orders governing their advance on Vicksburg.

Captains, pilots, and engineers of transports must hold their boats to their places in column, must not fall behind or push ahead, keeping on the quarter, following their brigade leader. Each brigade will keep together and each division in one group, whether on the river or lying to the shore. Boats will not land singly on any account, but will, if need be, get wood or coal of some consort. If necessary to get wood the division commander will give the necessary orders. In case of grounding, striking a snag, or accident that disables a boat, she will make the alarm-signal, and the nearest boats will go to the relief and the nearest brigade commander give the necessary orders. Boats carrying a division commander will carry the United States flag at the fore-jack staff and another at the stern. Brigade commanders will carry the United States flag on the fore-jack staff and a regimental color near the pilot-house. All other boats will simply carry their regimental colors near the pilot-house, without any other signal. In making landings for rendezvous, or for the night, or to lay by, divisions will keep well apart, occupying opposite shores, but near enough to hear a gun or boat-whistle; if lying to, a signal gun from the head of column will be the signal to make steam and for a start. Each division will move in succession, in this order, first, second, third, and fourth, unless one or other is detailed by special orders, of which notice will previously be given. In case a boat is fired into from the shore by rifles or musketry the nearest boat will at once make a landing and clear out all opposition. If fired on by cannon the nearest brigade will effect a landing and attack, sending prompt notice to the division commander and he to the general in command of the whole. In case of any attack the property or stores useful to the United States will be taken possession of and the neighboring houses, barns, &c., burned. First rendezvous is Helena; the second, Gaines’ Landing[, Arkansas]; last, Milliken’s Bend[, Louisiana]. On arrival of each, full morning and other reports will be made of regiments, brigades, and divisions. At the last rendezvous division commanders, after disposing of their commands at the shore, will report in person to the general-in-chief, on board the flag-boat Forest Queen. All officers in command are charged specially with the police and cleanliness of their boats, and good condition of arms, cartridges, and accouterments. All facilities must be adopted for cooking, and the commanders must see in person that their men and officers have all the conveniences of their boats. All firing of guns, pistols, yelling or hallooing, or improper noises must be prevented. These are all false signals and mislead the commanders. 

Further orders made it clear that the expedition was of a purely military character.

No citizen, male or female, will be allowed to accompany it, unless employed as part of a crew, or as a servant to the transports; female chambermaids to boats and nurses to sick alone will be allowed, unless the wives of captains or pilots actually belonging to boats. No laundress, officers’ or soldiers’ wives must pass below Helena.

… No persons whatever, citizens, officers, or sutlers, will, on any consideration, buy or deal in cotton or other produce of the country. Should any cotton be brought on board of a transport, going or returning, the brigade quartermaster of which the boat forms a part will take possession of it and invoice it to Capt. A.R. Eddy, chief quartermaster at Memphis, Tenn….

 The Memphis troops, numbering 20,523, were embarked on 19 December.  Rumsey’s 113th Regiment was on board the steamer Edward Walsh. Morgan L. Smith’s division numbered 5,582 in ten regiments making up two brigades. This division arrived at Friar’s Point, Mississippi, by the morning of the 21st. There, on the 22nd, the division of Brigadier-General Frederick Steele joined them with about 12,510 men, bringing the aggregate force to 33,033. The troops were divided among at least 59 transports. On the following day, Sherman issued detailed orders and maps to his division commanders.

In the present instance our object is to secure the navigation of the Mississippi River and its main branches, and to hold them as military channels of communication and for commercial purposes. The river above Vicksburg has been gained by conquering the country to its rear, of great value to us; but the enemy still holds the river from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge, navigating it with its boats, and the possession of it enables him to connect his communications and routes of supply east and west.

To deprive him of this will be a severe blow, and if done effectually of great value to us and probably the most decisive act of this war. To accomplish this important result we are to act our part, an important one, of the great whole.

General [Nathaniel] Banks with a large force has re-enforced General [Benjamin F.] Butler in Louisiana, and from that quarter an expedition by water and land is coming northward. General Grant, with the Thirteenth Army Corps, of which we compose the right wing, is moving southward. The naval squadron, Admiral Porter, is operating with his fleet by water, each in perfect harmony with the other.

General Grant’s left and center were at last accounts approaching the Yalabusha (near Grenada), and the railroad to his rear, by which he drew his supplies, was reported to be seriously damaged. This may disconcert him somewhat, but only makes more important our line of operations.

At the Yalabusha General Grant may encounter the army of General Pemberton, the same which refused him battle on the line of the Tallahatchie, which was strongly fortified; but as he will not have time to fortify the Yalabusha he will hardly stand there, and in that event General Grant will immediately advance down the high ridge lying between the Big Black and Yazoo, and will expect to meet us on the Yazoo and receive from us the supplies which he needs and which he knows we carry along. Parts of this general plan are to co-operate with the naval squadron in the reduction of Vicksburg, to secure possession of the land lying between the Yazoo and the Black, and to act in concert with General Grant against Pemberton’s forces, supposed to have Jackson, Miss., as a point of concentration.

Vicksburg is doubtless very strongly fortified both against the river and land approaches. Already the gunboats have secured the Yazoo up for 23 miles to a fort on the Yazoo at Haines’ Bluff, giving us a choice for a landing place at some point up the Yazoo below this fort, or on the island which lies between Vicksburg and present mouth of the Yazoo….

But before any actual collision with the enemy I purpose, after assembling our whole land force at Gaines’ Landing, Ark., to proceed in order to Milliken’s Bend … and there dispatch a brigade without wagons or any incumbrances whatever to the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad … to destroy that effectually and cut off that fruitful avenue of supply; then to proceed to the mouth of the Yazoo, and after possessing ourselves of the latest and most authentic information from naval officers now there, to land our whole force on the Mississippi side and then reach the point where the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad crosses the Big Black …, after which to attack Vicksburg by land while the gunboats assail it by water.

It may be necessary (looking to Grant’s approach) before attacking Vicksburg to reduce the battery at Haines’ Bluff first, so as to enable some of the lighter gunboats and transports to ascend the Yazoo and communicate with General Grant.

The detailed manner of accomplishing these results will be communicated in due season, and these general points are only made known at this time that commanders may study the maps, and also that, in the event of non-receipt of orders, all may act in perfect concert by following the general movement, unless specially detached.

You all now have the same map, so that no mistakes or confusion need result from different names of localities. All possible preparations as to wagons, provisions, axes, and intrenching tools should be made in advance, so that when we do land there will be no want of them. When we begin to act on the shore we must do the work quickly and effectually.

The gunboats under Admiral Porter will do their full share, and I feel assured that the army will not fall short in its work. Division commanders may read this to regimental commanders and furnish brigade commanders a copy. They should also cause as many copies of the map to be made on the same scale as possible, being very careful in copying the names.

At Grenada, Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, commanding the Confederate troops in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, became aware on 21 December that the enemy had a “large fleet of gunboats and transports was moving down the Mississippi River for the supposed purpose of attacking Vicksburg.”  Pemberton ordered Brigadier General [J.C.] Vaughn’s brigade was at once ordered forward.  By the 24th, it became clear to the Southern forces “that the enemy’s gunboats had arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo River, 6 miles above Vicksburg, and that his transports were not far in their rear.”  Brigadier General [John] Gregg with his brigade was sent to meet Sherman’s advancing forces.

Sherman’s next stop was Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas. The general described succeeding events with great clarity:

The Mississippi boats were admirably calculated for handling troops, horses, guns, stores, etc., easy of embarkation and disembarkation, and supplies of all kinds were abundant, except fuel. For this we had to rely on wood, but most of the wood-yards, so common on the river before the war, had been exhausted, so that we had to use fence-rails, old dead timber, the logs of houses, etc. Having abundance of men and plenty of axes, each boat could daily procure a supply.

In proceeding down the river, one or more of Admiral Porter’s gunboats took the lead; others were distributed throughout the column, and some brought up the rear. We manœuvred by divisions and brigades when in motion, and it was a magnificent sight as we thus steamed down the river. What few inhabitants remained at the plantations on the river-bank were unfriendly, except the slaves; some few guerilla-parties infested the banks, but did not dare molest so strong a force as I then commanded.

We reached Milliken’s Bend on Christmas-day, when I detached one brigade ([Stephen G.] Burbridge’s), of [Brigadier-General] A[ndrew] J. Smith’s division, to the southwest, to break up the railroad leading from Vicksburg toward Shreveport, Louisiana. Leaving A.J. Smith’s division there to await the return of Burbridge, the remaining three divisions proceeded, on the 26th, to the mouth of the Yazoo.

 [Report of Brigadier-General Andrew J. Smith, U.S. Army.]

On the morning of the 22d ultimo we continued down the river and arrived at Milliken’s Bend on the night of the 24th.

[Maj. Gen. Matin L. Smith, C.S. Army:]

Certain information regarding the proximity of the enemy’s fleet was first received on the morning of December 23, and by 10 o’clock that night seventy-four transports were known to be in the vicinity of the mouth of the Yazoo, together with some twelve gunboats that had previously arrived. This number was increased during the succeeding two or three days to about one hundred and twenty.

On the west bank of the Mississippi, opposite the Yazoo, Sherman dispatched a brigade under General Morgan L. Smith, to destroy another section of the railroad from Vicksburg to Shreveport, which was “accomplished fully, so that the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad, by which vast amounts of supplies reach Vicksburg, is, and must remain for months, useless to our enemy.”

Arkansas Post 

Battle of Arkansas Post

Battle of Arkansas Post

According to Rumsey and others, while in the line of battle at Arkansas Post, Arkansas, about one o’clock in the afternoon on 11 January 1863, Rumsey was shot in the leg.  John Sherwood stated that Rumsey “was in the act of loading his gun during the battle when he was struck by a minnie ball in the left leg Just below the knee.”  According to Rumsey, “after striking him [the ball] droped down inside of his close & he picked it up & brought it home with him.” Reportedly Rumsey’s “liver & lungs began troubling him at the same time.”

Soldier Amos Merrill recalled that — when he joined the regiment at Memphis, Tennessee — Rumsey was suffering from diarrhea, and that “on the trip down the Mississippi River on the Vicksburgh Expedition and at Arkansas Post Ark. said Mattocks had the Diarrhoea.”  Merrill reported that Rumsey continued to suffer from this affliction “until he was taken off of the boat near St Louis, Mo. to be placed, as it was reported, in a Hospital.”

Fellow soldier Charles Hess — who had been a neighbor of Rumsey’s before the war — confirmed that “Mattocks had said Diarrhoea on board of the Steamer[?], while guarding prisoners, enroute from Arkansas Post to Springfield Illinois, that when the boat arrived at St Louis Mo said Mattocks was taken off of the boat, and it was reported he was taken to Hospital.”

St. Louis, Missouri, 1860

St. Louis, Missouri, 1860

Toward the end of January or in early February 1863, Rumsey entered the hospital — known as the New House of Refuge — at St. Louis, Missouri, to be treated for chronic diarrhea.  On 11 April 1863, Rumsey was examined by Dr. A Hammer, who made the following finding:

I CERTIFY that I have examined the said Rumsey Mattocks of Captain Garretts Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier be cause of Chronic Diarrhoea and infiltration in superior lobe of right lung. Also enlargement of spleen and liver. Great emaciation and debility. Off duty about 3 months.

Nursing the sick during the Civil War

Nursing the sick during the Civil War

Rumsey remained at the hospital until he was discharged from the service, according to Rumsey “on or about July 1863.” Official records indicate that Rumsey was discharged on 14 April 1863 by Col. Henry Almstedt, commander of Rumsey’s regiment.  Discharge papers indicated that Rumsey “was born in Bennington in the State of Vermont, is 28 years of age, 6 feet — inches high, Fair complexion, Blue eyes, Dark hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer. During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 60 days.”

Rumsey’s friend Reuben Dayton saw the soldier “immediately after he was discharged from the Military service in the fall or latter part of the summer of 1863.”  Reuben noted that Rumsey “was suffering from Chronic diarrhea, was very much reduced, and was unable to do any work or even leave his room or bed.”

Cyrus B. Scott became acquainted with Rumsey shortly after his discharge “in the latter part of the summer of 1863” near Lake Village, Indiana.  The two would remain friends for many years thereafter.  Scott declared that, “at the time of his first acquaintance … Mattocks looked to be in very poor health, hardly able to walk looked pale ematiated and sickly.”  About a month after their first meeting, Rumsey went to Scott’s “father’s home, and at that time Mattocks complained of having diarrhea.”

Caleb J. Wells, who had known Rumsey since at least 1856, saw the veteran “a week or two after his discharge from the service.”  Rumsey “was in poor health at that time, not hardly able to get around, unable to do any work.”

In the following years, both Scott and Wells “lived neighbors to [Rumsey] off and on, a good part of this period near neighbors, and have seen him often, and know that he has Always had poor health since his discharge, always complained of Army disease (Chronic Diarrhea) and [Scott and Wells] both say that it is their opinion that said Mattocks since the date of his discharge has not been able to perform no more than one fourth of an ordinary able bodied mans labor, owing as [they] believe, to the existanse of his army disease.”


Rumsey and Hester’s son William was born in August 1863 in Indiana.  Rumsey and Hester divorced by about August 1870, presumably in that year, at Newton County.


1870 Census, Newton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

1870 Census, Newton County, Indiana (click to enlarge)

In August 1870, Hester A. Mattocks, keeping house and aged 25, was living with her son William, at Lake Township, Newton County.  Living next door were Rumsey’s uncle and aunt, Edward and Catherine Jones.

Hester married second, between 1870 and 1873, Lucian Jones.  Lucian was born in June sometime between 1840 and 1842 in Indiana, the son of John A. and Mary (——) Jones.  It might be of interest to note that Lucian was also the nephew of Hester’s neighbors in 1870, Edward and Catherine Jones.

One wonders what kind of strain Hester’s divorce and re-marriage may have put on family members.  Lucian’s parents were, after all, Rumsey’s uncle and aunt.  In June 1860, Lucian, aged 19, was living with his parents at Momence.  At this time, Lucian was living right next door to the household of Rumsey and Hester Mattocks.

Certainly the situation after Hester’s re-marriage must have been awkward.  And yet Rumsey long remained friends with Charles Hess, who I believe to have been Hester’s cousin.  Rumsey also was a good friend of Cyrus B. Scott who one day, many years later, would marry Lucian and Hester’s daughter Cora Jones.

In June 1870, Lucien, a farmer, aged 27, was living with his brother Ralph at Momence.  Lucien’s parents lived next door.  The census of 1870 recorded that Lucian owned $200 in personal property.

According to Amy Tanner, Hester died when her son William was about 5 or 6 years old, that is about 1868 or 1869.  But census records show that Hester was alive in 1870, and Lucian and Hester had a daughter, Cora Ellen, born about 1873.  Perhaps Hester died in childbirth or shortly thereafter.  Young William ended up living in various households as he grew up, and occasionally with his father Rumsey.  Little Cora was living with her Jones grandparents in 1880.

Lucian, of Momence, married second, as her second husband, 19 July 1877, Ellen [or Ella] J. (——) Scrambling, of Aroma, Kankakee County.  Ellen was born in March 1843 in Ohio.  Ellen had married first, by about 1859, Mr. Scrambling, who was born in Canada.  By her first husband, Ellen had children William S. and Anna Scrambling.

In 1880, Lucien, a farmer, aged 38, was living with his wife Ella, aged 37, and two of Ella’s children by her first husband, at Watseka, Iroquois County.

In June 1900, a Lucian B. Jones, a day laborer, aged 59, was living with his wife Ellen J., aged 57, and Lucian’s widowed father on Allen Street in Farmer City, Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County, Illinois.  The census of 1900 reported that Ellen had given birth to three children, two of whom were living.

In January 1920, a Lucien Jones, widowed, aged 78, and not working, was living alone on Chestnut Street in Momence, Momence Township, Kankakee County.  According to this census record, which I take to be in error, Lucian’s parents were born in Ohio.  Also, this Lucien was listed as a grandfather, though our Lucian apparently had no children of his own.

Rumsey is said to have presented each of his sons with a milk cow at the times of their marriages.


1870 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, part 1 (click to enlarge)

1870 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, part 1 (click to enlarge)


1870 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, part 2 (click to enlarge)

1870 Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, part 2 (click to enlarge)

In June 1870, “Rumsey Madosc,” a laborer, aged 42, was living in the household of his sister Josephine Martin at Ganeer Township, Kankakee County, Illinois.  Also in the household was John Headen, a farmer, aged 43.  It might very well have been that the property actually belonged to John Headen, as he was the only member of the household who owned real estate.  Though Josephine’s husband John Martin was also listed in the household, I think it possible he may no longer have been living with his wife by this time, for the 1870 Census also records John Martin living with his parents at Jasper County, Indiana.  John and Josephine Martin divorced soon after the Census was taken.

Rumsey married second, 13 November 1871, at Kankakee County, Wealthy Priscilla Perry.  Wealthy was born 17 August 1843 at Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan, the daughter of John Hutchinson and Abigail (Tower) Perry.  In September 1850, Wealthy P., aged 7, was attending school and living with her mother Abigail Perry in Census District 21 of Iroquois County.  In June 1860, Pricilla, aged 16, was living with her mother at Aroma.  In July 1870, Wealthy P., aged 26, was still living with her mother at Aroma.

Rumsey and Wealthy’s daughter Abigail was born in February 1873 at Aroma.  Wealthy, aged 36 years, 1 month, and 28 days, died 15 October 1873, possibly at Aroma.  She was buried at Leggtown Cemetery at Sun River Terrace in Kankakee County.  Wealthy’s young daughter was adopted by Wealthy’s sister Phianna and Phianna’s husband Charles Boswell.

Gravestone of Wealthy Priscilla (Perry) Mattocks

Gravestone of Wealthy Priscilla (Perry) Mattocks


War Pension

From 1876 to 1878, Rumsey worked for his friend Cyrus B. Scott with Rumsey reportedly still suffering from the chronic diarrhea he had contracted during the War.  On 6 July 1877, Rumsey, a resident of Lake Village,  Newton County, Indiana, made his initial application for an invalid pension for his Civil War service:

(1) I claim a pension on a wound in my left leg, caused from a gunshot wound while in the service, and it disables me very much, and it is with great difficulty that I am able to travel around at all.

(2) Was treated in the hospital at St. Louis Mo.” and there discharged.

and has not been in the military, naval, marine or civil service of the United States since the _____ day of July 1863.

Since leaving the service he has resided ________ in the County of Kankakee & Newton in the State of Ills” & Ind. and his occupation has
been farming.

Rumsey’s application was witnessed by Enos J. Cotton of Lake Village and James T. Dickey of Kentland, Newton County, both of whom claimed to have known Rumsey for the past fifteen years.

On 29 April 1878, Rumsey’s friend Charles Hess, of Momence, made the following declaration:

I, Charles Hess late a Corperal, of the 113th Regiment of Ills. Vols certify on honor that Cyrus R. Mattocks was a private Co K in my regiment, and is, as I am informed, an applicant for an Invalid Pension; that on or about the 11th day of January 1863 at or near a place called Arkansas Post in the State of Arkansas the said Cyrus R. Mattocks while in the line and discharge of his duty as a soldier, received a gun shot wound in the left leg, under the following circumstances.

At Arkansas Post Battle while fighting in line of Battle in the afternoon about one Oclock. The Ball struck my his leg just below the left Knee while I He was loading my his gun.

It is interesting to note that, in the above affidavit, the last sentence seems to have initially been quoting Rumsey himself and written in the first person singular.  “My” has been changed to “his” and “I” to “He” to reflect the fact that this was instead the declaration of Charles Hess.  We are rather led to believe that Rumsey must have been present when this declaration was made, and that he may well have “coached” Charles in his statement.  Is this a clue that maybe all was not aboveboard in this pension claim?  I will let the reader judge.

On 11 June 1878, John H. Sherwood of Momence made a similar affidavit:

I, John H. Sherwood late a private, of the 113 Regiment of Ills. Vols certify on honor that Cyrus L. Mattocks was a private in Co K in my regiment, and is, as I am informed, an applicant for an Invalid Pension; that on or about the 11th day of January 1863 at or near a place called Arkansas Post in the State of Arkansas the said Cyrus L. Mattocks while in the line and discharge of his duty as a soldier, received a gun shot wound in his left leg. He was in the act of loading his gun during the battle when he was struck by a minnie ball in the left leg Just below the knee.

On 25 June 1878, Rumsey, a resident of Lake Village, swore to the following:

He [Rumsey] is unable to furnish the affidavit of a commissioned officer of his Company or Regiment as to time and place and circumstace of his receiving his wound at the Battle of Arkansas Post (said wound being the ground upon which he bases his application for pension, from the following reasons to wit: One of said officers having moved to Colorado, and the other to the State of Iowa. and this affiant has made dilligent search and inquiry but is unable to acertain the where abouts of either of said Commissioned Offices, and this Affiant further states that he knows of no other officer or officers by whom he can make such proof.

The Adjutant General’s report on Rumsey’s case could find no “record of Wound alleged.”  At the same time, the Pension Office was confirming the military service of Charles Hess and John H. Sherwood, to prove that they were indeed present at Arkansas Post when the alleged gunshot wound occurred.

On 19 March 1879, Surgeon Milton L. Mumsfort made an examination of Rumsey at Morocco, Newton County, Indiana.  Mumsfort made the following observations:

Height, 6 ft.; weight, 150; complexion, Dark; age, 45; pulse, 100; respiration, 24 per min[?]

I find that the above named Cyrus R Mattocks has a small protuberance on the anterior portion of the Fibial bone of the left Leg about line of the uper third it is only a slightly elevated say half an inch in diameter of which is about 3/4 of an inch a small scar no signs of any ball having passed through or in the leg = He in forms me that it was a spent ball and after striking him it it droped down inside of his close & he picked it up & brought it home with him he also informs me he cannot walk on his leg long at a time as it produces pain = his habits are good general health fair weight two and 6/72 of apound to the inch I woud further state he is entitled to half [Lotte?] ($400) per month.


1880 Census, Jefferson County, Kansas (click to enlarge)

1880 Census, Jefferson County, Kansas (click to enlarge)

After this, Rumsey traveled to Nortonville, Jefferson County, Kansas, where, as will be seen, in June 1880, he was residing with in the household of his brother Edwin Mattocks.  Also in Nortonville about this time were Rumsey’s brother Walter and his sister Josephine.  According to the 1880 Census, living in Edwin Mattocks’ household in 1880 was a man described as his “brother,” but bearing the name of Ramsey Ross.  The difference in surnames might at first lead one to believe that Ramsey was actually Edwin’s stepbrother or brother-in-law.  In view of known facts, it seems almost impossible that Ramsey was Edwin’s stepbrother.  It also seems unlikely that Ramsey was Florilla’s brother.  First, Florilla had apparently married, as her first husband, a man with the surname Ross, and had a daughter Annie by him.  While certainly not impossible, it stretches credibility to believe that Florilla married a man with the same last name as her maiden name, which would have been the case if Ramsey Ross were Florilla’s brother.  It is just possible, but unlikely, that Annie was an illegitimate daughter who took on her mother’s maiden name, in which case Ramsey and Florilla might indeed be brother and sister.  But several other facts would need to be explained away as well.  In this scenario, Ramsey and Florilla would not merely have to be siblings, but twin siblings, for they are both recorded in the census as being 52 years of age.


Nortonville, Jefferson County, Kansas

Nortonville, Jefferson County, Kansas

A simpler explanation presents itself.  The data in the census for Ramsey Ross corresponds very well with what is known of Edwin’s full brother, Rumsey Mattocks.  First and most obvious is the given name itself.  Rumsey’s name, when written, would be easy for a transcriber to mistake for Ramsey, and may even have even mistakenly been recorded as Ramsey by the census taker.  Ramsey was listed in the census as a widower.  Rumsey’s second wife Wealthie died in 1873 and Rumsey did not remarry.  Ramsey’s age in 1880, given as 52 years, corresponds with the age of Rumsey as given in the 1870 census, 42 years.  Ramsey’s birthplace, and the birthplace of his parents, are identical with those of Rumsey.  That Ramsey was unemployed harmonizes with the information found in Rumsey Mattocks’ pension file.  After diligent search, I have been unable to locate any other individual in the 1880 census who might be Rumsey Mattocks.  On the basis of this analysis, the error in the above census record transcription seems to be in assigning the last name Ross to Ramsey/Rumsey.  This man was instead Rumsey Mattocks.

It does not appear that Rumsey remained long in Kansas.  On 5 August 1882, three friends of Rumsey made affidavits on his behalf.  First, Charles Hess, of Momence, made the following declaration:

In the matter of the claim for Invalid Pension of Cyrus R. Mattocks late a private Co. “K” 113th Regiment Ills Vol Infty Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for the County and State, aforesaid, Charles Hess, aged 37 Years, a resident of Momence Kankakee County State of Illinois ever since his birth a person of lawful age, who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid claim, as follows:

That he (Hess) was late a member of Co. “K” 113 th Regiment Ills Vol Infty in the war of the late Rebellion, that he is well acquainted with said Mattocks, who was a private of said Co “K” and Regiment aforesaid. That affiant Knows of his own personal Knowledge that said Mattocks on or about the last of November or first of December 1862, while on the “Tallahatchie Expedition” in the State of Miss. contracted diarrhea caused by exposure and drinking bad water. That said Mattocks was troubled with said disease so long as he (Mattocks) remained with the Regiment. That said Mattocks was sick with said diarrhea when he left the Regiment January 1863. Affiant further states that he has been intimately acquainted with said Mattocks ever since July 1865, and has worked on adjoining farm to said Mattocks two years. That he has seen said Mattocks frequently, probably on an average as often as once in two weeks since 1865. That during this whole period, Mattocks has had poor health, always complained of diarrhea. And affiant states that he knows that said Mattocks since 1865, has not been able to do no more than one half of an ordinary mans labor, owing as affiant believes to his said disability of Chronic diarrhea. That affiant knows these facts from being with said Mattocks & working with him, and talking with said Mattocks, and observing his actions and general appearance

On the same date, Cyrus L. Chase of Momence made a similar affidavit:

In the matter of the claim for Invalid Pension of Cyrus R. Mattocks late private Co. “K” 113th Regiment Ills Vol. Infty Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for the County and State, aforesaid, Cyrus L. Chase aged 46, a resident of the Township of Momence in the County of Kankakee & State of Illinois for the past 26 years, a person of lawful age, who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid claim, as follows:

That he has been acquainted with said Mattocks for the past 25 years, Knew him intimately befor said Mattocks enlisted in 1862. That for five years before said soldier enlisted, affiant saw said Mattocks frequently. Worked with Mattocks at breaking prairie and other kinds of work, and during this period lived within about 3 quarters of a mile from said Mattocks, and affiant states of his own personal Knowledge that before he enlisted, said Mattocks was a stout healthy young man, could do a fair days work at any kind of farm labor. Never was during that period, sick to affiants Knowledge. Affiant further states that he saw said soldier immediately after his dis charge from the Military service in 1863. That said soldier came home sick with what was called Chronic diarrhea, and was bad sick, was for a long time confined to his bed, & was treated by a physician and had to be waited upon constanly, Affiant states further that he has lived within 3 miles of said soldier ever since his discharge and has seen him as often as once in each week, and affiant states that said soldier has been continualy afflicted with said disease, not constanty, but at frequent periods, and affiant has seen said soldier labor many times, and knows that said Mattocks cannot perform no where near a full days work, but can do not more than one half of an ordinary Mans work, owing to the effect, as affiant believes, of said diarrhea.

On the same day, Reuben Dayton of Momence added his statement to the evidence:

In the matter of the claim for Cyrus R. Mattocks, for an invalid Pension, late private of Co. “K” 113th Regiment Illinois Vol Infty Personally came before me, a Notary Public in and for the County and State, aforesaid, Reuben Dayton, a resident of the Town of Momence County of Kankakee and State of Ills. and has so resided for the past 40 years, aged 49 years, a person of lawful age, who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to the aforesaid claim, as follows:

That he was well acquainted with said Mattocks for ten years prior to 1862, when said Mattocks enlisted. Used to live near neighbor to him Mattocks, and frequently work with said Mattocks, at farm work. Saw him on an average as often as once a week, and knows of his own personal knowledge that before enlistment said Mattocks was a stout healthy youn man and could do a good fair days work at any kind of farm labor. Affiant further states that he saw said Mattocks immediately after he was discharged from the Military service in the fall or latter part of the summer of 1863. That at that time said soldier was suffering from Chronic diarrhea. was very much reduced, and was unable to do any work or even leave his room or bed, owing as affiant believes from the effects of said disease. That affiant has been intimately acquanited with said soldier ever since his dis charge and has seen him as often as once a week ever since date discharge, has waited upon said Mattocks when he had bad spells of his diarrhea, has employed said soldier to work for affiant and affiant states that said soldier since the date of his discharge has not been able to do no more than one half of and ordinary mans labor owing to his disability of diarrhea. That when he would attempt to work his diarrhea would come on and he would be confined to the house and bed for long spaces of time and during some of these periods affiant has taken care of said Mattocks and knows he was suffering from diarrhea. That during these periods said soldier was wholly unable to perform any manual labor whatever, but had to be waited upon constantly.


Pension Building, Washington, D.C.

Pension Building, Washington, D.C.

On 18 October 1883, the commissioner of the Pension Board wrote to Charles Hess, asking whether he had “personal knowledge that claimant received a gun shot wound of left leg while in the line of duty at the battle of Arkansas Post, Ark.”

Several days later, Hess wrote back:

In regard to the wounding of Cyrus R. Mattocks. I will say, I was at the Battle of Arkansas Post. Mattocks was also there, and was reported wounded in the left leg. I did not see him wounded, but always supposed he was wounded. right away after the Battle he was sent to the Hospital on account of his wound and it was generally reported he was wounded and I think during the summer of 1863 he was discharged, whether on a/c of said wound or not I am not able to say. I did not see him wounded, but always supposed such was the fact. This is all I know about the matter.

Was Charles Hess being completely honest in the above statement or was he instead trying to carefully distance himself from Rumsey’s claim that he had been wounded at Arkansas Post?

Another application for a Civil War pension was made on 29 January 1886 at Benton County, Indiana, and was filed 15 February 1886.  At this time, Rumsey was living at Earl Park in Benton County.  He was very probably living with his son Walter at the time, as Walter was one of the witnesses to his father’s application.  Rumsey listed the following reasons for requesting a pension:

During the Tallahatchie Campaign under Genl. Sherman from the exposure and the hardships he contracted Chronic Diarrhoea which yet greatly disables him.

Also at Arkansas Post, Ark, in or about Jan. 11, 1863, during an engagement he received a gun shot wound in [blank] leg.

The Diarrhoea has now resulted in Disease of Lungs & Liver.

The application included the affidavit of J.H. Sherwood and Harvey Force:

Also personally appeared J.H. Sherwood P. O. Fowler County of Benton State of Indiana and Harvy Force P. O. Fowler County of Benton and State of Indiana persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw Sirus R. Mattocks the claimant, sign his name (make his mark) to the foregoing declaration and power of attorney; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with him, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and that they have known him for 26 years last past; that his habits have been uniformly good, and his occupation has been that of a farmer and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

A medical examination was made of Rumsey (who was living at Earl Park) on 14 April 1886, apparently at Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  The following data was recorded:

Pulse rate per minute, 96; respiration, 28; temperature 98½; height, 6 feet ____ inches; weight, 140½ pounds; age 57 years.

Rumsey claimed he was suffering from numerous afflictions:

The left leg is painful & weak. Cannot walk a plough for the pain. Has diarrhea about one half the time, discharges light & thin. Has shortness of breath & palpitation of the heart, has a cough Expectorates [matter?] & blood at times. Has pain in right side in region of liver

The examiner’s found the following conditions:

Thin not anemic. Tongue liver & spleen normal, stomach tender. Lungs normal, Hearts action labored area[?] increased epigastric pulsation, impuls[?] near median line Abdomen dull walls normal. Sphincter ani relaxed, two intestinal piles congested & tender on each lateral wall large as filberts each mucous membrane congested & deeply ulcerated on anterior wall. Skin & conjunctiva normal On left leg 1 inch below insertion of ligamentium patella is a cicatrix 3/4 inch in diameter. There is a callus beneath cicatrix larg as one half a hickory nut—tender, the left leg around wound is ½ inch larger than right one. Disability equal to an anchylosis of wrist or ankle. Motion of left knee impaired

He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 1/4 rating for the disability caused by G S wd left leg, 1/2 for that caused by Chr Diarrhea & piles, and 1/4 caused by Dis of Heart

On 11 June 1886, in an attempt to help Rumsey get approval for his Civil War pension application, several acquaintances made affidavits on his behalf.  His friend Charles Hess made another declaration:

STATE OF Illinois
COUNTY OF Kankakee SS:

In the claim of Cyrus R Mattocks personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the County and State aforesaid, Charles Hess a resident of Momence P.O., in the County of Kankakee and State of Illinois, who, being duly sworn according to law, on oath declares as follows: That he was late a member of Company “K” 113th Re’gt Illinois Vol’s and ranked as a member of said organization, and who, while in the service and line of duty as a soldier, at or near a place called the Tallahatchie Expedition States of Tennessee & Mississippi on or about the _______ day of Nov or Dec 1862. said Mattocks was taken sick with Camp Diarrhoea which continued to afflict said Mattocks until it became Chronic. That said affiant recollects very well that said Mattocks had said Diarrhoea on board of the Steamer[?], while guarding prisoners, enroute from Arkansas Post to Springfield Illinois, that when the boat arrived at St Louis Mo said Mattocks was taken off of the boat, and it was reported he was taken to Hospital. That said Mattocks never to affiants recollection joined said Co or Regiment again.  Affiant further states, that he was acquainted with said Mattocks before said Claimant Enlisted, lived near neighbor to Mattocks, and knows that Claimant always went by the name of “Rumsey” Mattocks, but that said Claimants full name is Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks and he further says that his knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz: being a member of said Co “K” and present with said Co at the time said disease was contracted and that he has no interest nor concern in this matter. that his age is 41 years.

Amos Merrill made the following affidavit:

STATE OF Illinois
COUNTY OF Kankakee SS:

In the claim of Cyrus R Mattocks personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the County and State aforesaid, Amos A Merrill, aged 49 Years a resident of Momence P.O., in the County of Kankakee and State of Illinois, who, being duly sworn according to law, on oath declares as follows: That he was late a member of Company “K” 113th Re’gt Illinois Vol’s and ranked as a member of said organization, and who, while in the service and line of duty as a soldier, at or near a place called Memphis Tennessee State of ____________ on or about the __________ day of _________ 18___. and on the trip down the Mississippi River on the Vicksburgh Expedition and at Arkansas Post Ark. said Mattocks had the Diarrhoea. That affiant joined said Regiment (having previously enlisted August 11 1862) at Memphis about Dec 24th 1862 just as the Regiment was embarking to go down the River. That at the time affiant rejoined said Regiment said Mattocks had said Diarrhoea and continued to have said disease until he was taken off of the boat near St Louis, Mo. to be placed, as it was reported, in a Hospital, that said Mattocks, never to affiants Knowledge joined said Regiment again after going to Hospital. Affiant further states that he was acquainted with said Mattocks before said soldier Enlisted, that he went by the name of Rumsey, and that he is the identical person who now goes by the name of Cyrus R Mattocks and he further says that his knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz: that he was present with the Regiment when said soldier was sick with said disease and that he has no interest nor concern in this matter. that his age is 41 years.

Cyrus B. Scott and Caleb J. Wells made a joint declaration:

STATE OF Illinois
COUNTY OF Kankakee ss:

Personally appeared Cyrus B. Scott, aged 37 years and Caleb J. Wells, aged 57 years, Wells, of Wem P. O., County of Kankakee State of Illinois, and Scott of Lake Village P.O. Newton Co State of Indiana who, being duly sworn upon their oaths declare_ as follows: Affiant Scott says that he became acquainted with one Cyrus R. Mattocks, applicant for pension as private of Co “K” 113th Regt Ills No 238981, in the latter part of the summer of 1863, and affiant says that he has been acquainted with said Mattocks ever since. That at the time of his first acquaintance with said soldier, Mattocks looked to be in very poor health, hardly able to walk looked pale ematiated and sickly. At that time affiant did not learn the disease of which said Mattocks was suffering from. That affiant first met Mattocks near Lake Village Ind. This was soon after said Mattocks was discharged. That in about one month afterwards Mattocks came to affiant’s father’s home, and at that time Mattocks complained of having diarrhea, and affiant says that he has every reason to believe said Mattocks had said diarrhea. That affiant has been acquainted with Mattocks ever since. Mattocks has worked for affiant two years since to wit, from 1876 to 1878, during this period affiant had personal knowledge of the existence of said Diarrhea. Affiant Wells says that he has been acquainted with said Mattocks for 30 years. Knew him well before said soldier enlisted. Saw him in a week or two after his discharge from the service. Mattocks was in poor health at that time, not hardly able to get around, unable to do any work. Mattocks then complained of Chronic Diarrhea. That affiants Scott and Wells have both been personally acquainted with said Mattocks ever since his discharge lived neighbors to him off and on, a good part of this period near neighbors, and have seen him often, and know that he has Always had poor health since his discharge, always complained of Army disease (Chronic Diarrhea) and affiants both say that it is their opinion that said Mattocks since the date of his discharge has not been able to perform no more than one fourth of an ordinary able bodied mans labor, owing as affiants believe, to the existanse of his army disease. and they further say_ that their knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following sources, viz: from personal knowledge, as they have been personally and intimately acquainted with said soldier, and that they have no interest or concern in this matter.

Rumsey himself made the following declaration on 11 June 1886:

State of Illinois }
Kankakee County } SS

Cyrus R. Mattocks, being duly sworn deposes and says that he is the identical person who enlisted in Co. “K” 113th Regt Ills Vols. on or about August 14th 1862, under the name of Rumsey Mattocks, and was honerably discharged at the Hospital known as the “New House of Refuge” at St. Louis Missouri, on or about July 1863, on account of disability contracted while in the service of the U.S. as a soldier in said organization. That in his pension papers, his name by some means appears as Cyrus W. Mattocks, that he is not aware, or has he any means of knowing, how said mistake in his name occurred, that he is an applicant for invalid pension on account of wound in left leg just below the Knee, and Chronic Diarrhoea, that as his wound is slight and he is unable to prove its origin in the service, he hereby withdraws his claim for pension on that account, that he is unable to procure the testimony of a commissioned officer of his Company, or of his orderly Sergeant, as to the time – place and circumstances of his contracting Chronic Diarrhoea while in the service aforesaid, owing to the fact that said officers say that it has been so long that they cannot recollect, he therefore prays that the affidavit of Comrads may be received and considered in lieu of the testimony of said officers, affiant further says that he went to Hospital “New House of Refuge” at St. Louis, Mo. on or about the last of January or poss. of February 1863, and remained in said Hospital until he was discharged, that he was placed in Hospital on account of Chronic Diarrhoea and discharged on account of said disease.

Cyrus R. Mattocks

On 15 July 1886, Rumsey, now living at Lake Village, Newton County, Indiana, filed an affidavit, in response to a concern expressed by those adjudicating his pension application:

STATE OF Illinois
COUNTY OF Kankakee ss:

Personally appeared Cyrus R. Mattocks and ________ of Lake Village P. O., County of Newton State of Indiana who, being duly sworn upon his oath declares as follows: That he is an applicant for pension as a private of Co. “K” 113th Regt Ills Vols. on account of Chronic Diarrhaea Contracted while in the Army. That to some of the proofs which he has filed in support, affiant has signed his name and to others he has made his mark and Clamiant hereby expleanies said discrepancy as follows, first that it is with great dificulty that affiant can write his name at at any time, but owing to the shattered condition of his nerves it is entirely impossible for him to write at all during a portion of the time, and therefore at such times he is obliged to sign by mark, that he always signs his name if possible, further affiant saith not.

The explanation was accepted and Rumsey’s application was finally allowed.  However, he was only granted a pension for his chronic diarrhea and resulting disease of the rectum.  It was decided that there was insufficient evidence of the origin of the gunshot wound, and Rumsey had withdrawn his prosecution of this particular claim in his affidavit of 11 June 1886.  The disease of the liver and lungs was disallowed under “Order 92”.  Rumsey was pensioned from 15 February 1886 at the rate of $4 per month.

In March 1890, Rumsey contracted “La Grippe” and pneumonia.  While living at Wem in Momence Township, Rumsey began to seek an increase in his pension payment:

State of Illinois, County of Kankakaee ss.

On this 8th day of June A.D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty ninety one personally appeared before me, a Notary Public within and for the County and State aforesaid Cyrus R. Mattocks aged 62 years, a resident of Wem County of Kankakee State of Illinois who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is a pensioner of the United States, enrolled at the Indianopolis Ind Pension Agency at the rate of Four dollars per month, Certificate No. 336547 by reason of disability from Chronic Diarhea and resulting disease of rectum incurred in the Military service of the United States, while serving as a Private Co. K 113th Regiment Illinois Volunteers

That he believes himself entitled to an increase of pension on account of an increased degree of disability, since last examination, from above named cause and results. As to the results of above, he declares he is not a medical man, and is unable to be specific and requests a Special Medical Examination for such, and that he be allowed an additional rating for any and all disabilities that may appear at the time of said examination, if the same can reasonably be accepted by the Medical Referee of the Pension Office, as a result or sequence of the disability for which he is now pensioned. Notwithstanding said results or sequences are not specified herein, because his inability to do so. He requests a careful review of his case and all errors of rating found to exist be corrected by a re-issue from the beginning according to law.

On 23 September 1891, Rumsey, a resident of Wem, was examined by a medical board of examiners at Kankakee, Kankakee County, Illinois.  At the time Rumsey was seeking an increase for chronic diarrhea, “resuilting disease of rectum, liver and lungs,” and a gun shot wound to the left leg.  The board made the following findings:

Pulse rate, 80; respiration, 21; temperature, nor.; height, 6 feet X inches; weight, 133~ pounds; age, 63 years. Is poorly nourished and body somewhat emaciated and the muscles soft and flabby. Is considerably debilitated. Tongue coated heavily and the breath very fetid. Digestive organs in bad condition. Liver is torpid but not enlarged or tender over liver. Is very tender over region of stomach and is tympanitic and tender over whole of abdomen. Is aphysic[?] aphonic since last March when he had the “La Grippe” complicated with pneumonia. Is now in an advanced stage of tuberculosis of the lungs, the capios[?] of both being flattened and percussion dull and the respiratory murmur very feeble. Coughs a great deal and expectorates very freely[?], a matter muco-purulent in character. Measurmence[?] of chest at rest 33 in at full suspiration 34 1/4 in & full expiration 32 1/8 in Heart sound & healthy and in normal position.

Allege to have an attack of diarrhoea as often as every 2 months lasting six to ten days. he is surely very much emaciated and debilitated from the effects of diarrhoea and the lung affection. He is not troubled with sore throat but there is paralysis of vocal chords causing aphonia. No piles or disease of the rectum or anus in any way. Kidney & urinary organs healthy. Evidence of a g.s.w. on anterior surface of leg 4 inches below knee. Scar 3/4 in long by 1/4 in wide. Is not tender thickened nor adherent. Does not disable knee in the least. All other organs healthy.

He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 6/18 rating for the disability caused by Chr. diarrhoea, for that caused by __________, and 12/18 for that caused by tuberculosis of lungs & larynx & loss of voice

Commencing 23 September 1891, Rumsey, of Wem, was approved for an increase in his pension to $6 per month.

Amy Tanner, daughter of Rumsey’s son William Mattocks, wrote that Rumsey, “[i]n his late years … lived with his sons, his last year with our parents” in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks died 5 March 1892, aged 64, at the home of his son William at 6334 South Halsted Street in Chicago.  He was buried at Shrontz Cemetery in Momence Township, Kankakee County.  According to Amy Tanner, Rumsey’s grave was located by some evergreen trees in the southwest corner of the cemetery, near the graves of his parents.

Children of Cyrus Rumsey and Hester Ann (Hess) Mattocks:

+    16.1.  Walter Andrew [8], born 25 August 1858.
+    16.2.  Very doubtfully, I think, Rumsey.
+    16.3.  Possibly Catherine, born about 1863.
+    16.4.  William Eugene, born 17 August 1863.

Child of Cyrus Rumsey and Wealthie Priscilla (Perry) Mattocks:

+    16.5.  Abigail “Abbie” Lorraine, born 27 February 1873.

Child of Lucien and Hester Ann (Hess) Jones:

+    17.a.  Cora Ellen, born about 1873.


  • 1840 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, page 160 (M704-285/86/87).
  • 1850 United States Census, Iroquois County, Illinois, pages 143, 145 (M432-110).
  • 1860 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, pages 119, 130 (M653-192).
  • 1870 United States Census, Jasper County, Indiana, page 576 (M593-326).
  • 1870 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, pages 10, 56-57, 178 (M593-238).
  • 1870 United States Census, Newton County, Indiana, page 73 (M593-347).
  • 1880 United States Census, Iroquois County, Illinois, page 254 (T9-0214).
  • 1880 United States Census, Jefferson County, Kansas, pages 143, 144 (T9-0383).
  • 1880 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 169 (T9-0219).
  • 1880 United States Census, Newton County, Indiana, pages 257-58 (T9-301).
  • 1900 United States Census, DeWitt County, Illinois, page 136 (T623-297).
  • 1900 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 9 (T623-312).
  • 1910 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 9 (T624-298).
  • 1910 United States Census, Porter County, Indiana, page 155 (T624-374).
  • 1920 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, pages 3, 74 (T625-377).
  • 1930 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 8 (T626-526).
  • —, Civil War Pension File for Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks, No. 336547.
  • —, “Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900,” at
  • —, “Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society: Master Cemetery Index,” at, created 13 March 2000.
  • —, Momence Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, land ownership map, 1883. [IMAGE]
  • —, “[Theakiki, Volume 16, Number 4],” at, PDF version of Theakii 16[November 1986], accessed 25 February 2007.
  • —, “[Theakiki, Volume 17, Number 1],” at, PDF version of Theakii 17[February 1987], accessed 25 February 2007.
  • —, “[Theakiki, Volume 19, Number 4],” at, PDF version of Theakii 19[November 1989], accessed 25 February 2007.
  • —, History of Wyoming County, N.Y. (New York: F.W. Beers and Company, 1880), page 277.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • —, Wealthy P. Mattocks gravestone, Leggtown Cemetery, Sun River Terrace, Kankakee County, Illinois. [IMAGE]
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • David A. and Janice Hess, “Shrontz Cemetery, Momence Twp., Kankakee Co., IL.,” at, created January 2000.
  • Ronald Vern Jackson, editor, New York 1830 Census Index (North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1990), page 436.
  • D.G. Jones, “Descendants of Captain David Perry (1741-1826),” The Captain David Perry Web Site (1999), at, accessed 10 May 2004.
  • [Leona A. Mathis], “Wealthy P. Mattocks ( – 1873) – Find A Grave Memorial,” at, created 4 June 2003.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 20 May 1999.
  • Mike Sweeney, “[Jefferson County, KS 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll],” at, accessed 30 May 2009. [LINK]
  • Amy Tanner, family history, undated. [LINK]
  • Amy Tanner to Louise Schmidt, letter, 1 May 1979. [LINK]

Ichabod Mattocks and Malinda Jones

Posted in Ichabod Mattocks, Malinda (Jones) Mattocks, Malinda Jones by Gregg Mattocks on 30 March 2009

Ichabod Mattocks [32]

Father: Ichabod Mattocks [64]

Mother: Eunice Lorraine Burlingame [65]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Malinda Jones [33]

Father: Asa Jones [66]

Mother: Hannah Dryer [67]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Ichabod Mattocks [32] was born 11 October 1803 in New York, presumably at Washington or Essex County, New York.  About 1807, or shortly thereafter, Ichabod and his parents removed to Genesee [now Wyoming] County, New York.  In 1810, Ichabod was living with his parents at Sheldon Township, Genesee County.  In 1820, Ichabod evidently was living with his parents at Alexander Township in Genesee County (where he was mistakenly enumerated as one of the males aged 10 to 15 in the household).

Ichabod married, 25 September 1826, Malinda Jones [33].  Malinda was born 20 June 1803 in New York, perhaps at Sheldon, Genesee County, the daughter of Asa and Hannah (Dryer) Jones.  She was said to have been from the Attica area (which was formed in 1811 from the Town of Sheldon).   Malinda does not appear to have been living with her parents (at Genesee County) in 1820 (when she would have been about 17).  Perhaps she was living and working in another household.

In 1830, Ichabod Mattocks, Jr., was living at Bennington Township, Genesee County.  Bennington had been formed from the town of Sheldon on 6 March 1818.

On May 2, 1836 the heirs of Ichabod Mattocks [the elder] (Francis Moore and Polly, his wife; Sally Mattock; Ichabod Mattock and Malinda, his wife; James Mattock and Betsy, his wife; and Truman Mattock) quitclaimed to John Mattock their interest in the estate of Ichabod Mattocks, Senior.  Ichabod and Malinda signed the document on Sept. 14, 1836 in Genesee County….

In 1840, the household of Ichabod Mattocks was located at Orangeville, Genesee County.  Orangeville had been formed from the town of Attica on 14 February 1816.  The household in this year consisted of 1 white male aged 30 to 40 [Ichabod himself], 2 white males aged 10 to 15 [sons Rumsey and Edwin], 2 white males aged under 5 [sons Monroe and Jesse], 1 white female aged 20 to 30 [probably wife Malinda, though she was closer to 37 years of age], and two white females aged 5 to 10 [daughters Abigail and Adaline].

Daughter Josephine was born in February 1842 in New York State.  Son Walter was born in August 1844 in New York State or Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Mattocks family is said to have migrated to the Momence, Iroquois [now Kankakee] County, Illinois, area just prior to 1850.  According to Amy Tanner, the family traveled west in a covered wagon.  Malinda already had family living in the area, and this undoubtedly influenced the family’s decision to move there.

Ichabod is said to have died 11 November 1851, but it seems he had probably died by September 1850.  At that time, “Malinda Mattox,” aged 47, was living with her seven children in Census District 21, Iroquois County.  Ichabod was reportedly buried at Shrontz Cemetery, in Momence Township, one mile east of Momence, in that part of Iroquois County that would become Kankakee County.  Amy Tanner reported that his grave was located in the southwest corner of the cemetery.

In adjoining 1850 census entries were three Jones families.  One family consisted of Edward M. Jones, aged 33 and born [about 1817] in New York, living with his wife Katharine, aged 30 and born in Ohio, and their children.  Another family living near Malinda Mattocks in 1850 was that of Cyrus Jones, aged 44 and born [about 1806] in New York, who was living with his wife Luny, aged 44 and born in New York, and their children.  Another Jones household near located near Malinda Jones in 1850 was that of Selden Jones, aged 30 and born [about 1820] in New York, who was living with his wife Nancy, aged 23 and born in Illinois, and their son.

Also in the vicinity of Malinda Mattocks in 1850 was Walter B. Hess and his family.  Walter was the uncle of Hester Ann Hess who would later marry Malinda’s son Rumsey.  Also nearby lived Jeremiah S. Force, aged 25 and born in Canada, his wife Caroline, aged 22 and born in Canada, and their son.

In June 1860, Malinda, a domestic, aged 57, was living in her son Rumsey’s household at Momence.

Malinda was almost certainly the sister of John A. Jones, whose family, in 1860, was living next door to Malinda at Momence.  John A. Jones’ son Lucian reportedly married Hester Ann (Hess) Mattocks, the former wife of Malinda’s son Rumsey.

Malinda, aged 66, died 11 February 1870, probably at Momence.  She was reportedly buried at Shrontz Cemetery alongside her husband.

Children of Ichabod and Malinda (Jones) Mattocks:

+    32.1.  Cyrus Rumsey [16], born 17 April 1827.
+    32.2.  Edwin W., born in August 1829.
+    32.3.  Abigail “Abbie”, born about 1832 or 1833.
+    32.4.  Martha Adaline, born about 1834.
+    32.5.  Monroe, born about 1836 or 1837.
+    32.6.  Jesse, born by 1840.
+    32.7.  Josephine Corintha, born 25 February 1842.
+    32.8.  Walter A[llen?], born 10 August 1844.


  • 1810 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, page 74 (M252-27).
  • 1820 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, pages 13, 124 (M33-72).
  • 1840 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, page 160 (M704-285/86/87).
  • 1850 United States Census, Iroquois County, Illinois, page 145 (M432-110).
  • 1860 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 130 (M653-192).
  • 1880 United States Census, Jefferson County, Kansas, page 143 (T9-0383).
  • 1880 United States Census, Kankakee County, Illinois, page 62 (T9-0219).
  • 1880 United States Census, Osborne County, Kansas, page 262 (T9-0392).
  • 1880 United States Census, Yamhill County, Oregon, page 405 (T9-1084).
  • 1900 United States Census, Custer County, Oklahoma Territory, page 296 (T623-1336).
  • 1900 United States Census, Jefferson County, Kansas, page 280 (T623-483).
  • 1910 United States Census, Jefferson County, Kansas, page 88 (T624-442).
  • 1910 United States Census, Wright County, Missouri, page 223 (T624-828).
  • 1920 United States Census, Wright County, Missouri, page 200 (T625-966).
  • —, “Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society: Master Cemetery Index,” at, created 13 March 2000.
  • —, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Walter A. Mattocks],” at, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Ronald Vern Jackson, editor, New York 1830 Census Index (North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1990), page 436.
  • John Kelley, “Rootweb’s WorldConnect Project: Kelley, Stookey, Cook, Strubbe, Andert, Stoppleman, Partridge, Sturgill, Fisher,” at, created 22 October 2004.
  • Alfred W. Little, Records of the Emigrant James Mattocks Who Settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1600s and Some of His Descendants Who Migrated to Chautauqua County, New York (Silver Springs, Maryland: manuscript, 1996), pages 11-12.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • Amy Tanner, family history, undated. [LINK]
  • Amy Tanner to Louise Schmidt, letter, 1 May 1979. [LINK]
  • Betty Thomas, “Wyoming County, NY GenWeb,” at, created 7 February 2004.

Ichabod Mattocks and Eunice Lorraine Burlingame

Ichabod Mattocks [64]

Father: James Mattocks [128]

Mother: Sarah —– [129]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Eunice Lorraine Burlingame [65]

Father: Clark Burlingame [130]

Mother: Patience Soper [131]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Ichabod Mattocks [64] was born 23 December 1773 at Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  He was probably living with his father at Litchfield in 1790.  According to the Mattocks Memorial Package (1989), in 1792 (but I think perhaps a year or so later), Ichabod, along with his father and brothers John and James, migrated to Washington County, New York, near Lake George.

[F]or the U.S. Census of 1800, Town of Queensbury, three Mattocks families are enumerated: the James Matticks household; two males under ten, two males 26-45; 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-26 living side-by-side with the John Matticks household with two males under 10, one male 26-45, and one male over 45; one female under 10, one female 16-26.  Nearby is the John Mattox household with three males under 10, one 26-45 and one over 45 and two females under 10, one 16-26, living next door to the Clark Burlingim family.  Possibly one of the over-45 males living in the John Matticks or the John Mattox household is James (5), the father of John, James, and Ichabod.  Ichabod himself may well be the second adult male, age 26-45 living in the James Matticks household, not far from the Burlingame family where [Ichabod’s future wife] Eunice [Burlingame] resided.

Ichabod married, 24 January 1802, probably at Queensbury, Washington County, as her first husband, Eunice Lorraine  Burlingame [65].  Family historian Glen Allen reported that his grandmother claimed that Ichabod and Eunice were married at Utica, New York, but it is likely she meant Attica, New York, where Ichabod and Eunice later lived (although it is doubtful they were married there).  Eunice was born 14 or 15 January 1781 in Vermont, reportedly at Fairfield, Chittenden (later Franklin) County, the daughter of Clark and Patience (Soper) Burlingame.  However, it is difficult to believe that the Burlingame family was at Fairfield at this early date.  In 1800, Eunice was living with her parents at Queensbury.

Son James was born to Ichabod and Eunice in December 1806, reportedly at Essex County, New York.  Essex County is located just north of Washington County.

Apparently in 1807, or shortly thereafter, Ichabod and Eunice removed to that part of Genesee County, New York, which would become in 1841 Wyoming County.  Eunice’s parents, Clark and Patience Burlingame, had previously migrated to Genesee County.

In 1810, Ichobod Mattock was living with at Sheldon Township, Genesee County, in a household consisting of 1 male aged 26 to 44 [Ichabod himself], 2 males aged under 10 [sons Ichabod and James], 1 female aged 26 to 44 [wife Eunice], and 1 female aged under 10 [daughter Polly].

“Sheldon Town at that time included present-day Sheldon, Arcade, Java, Attica, Bennington, Orangeville, and Wethersfield Townships.”  Sheldon had been formed from the town of Batavia on 19 March 1808.  On 4 April 1811, the town of Attica was formed from Sheldon.

The records of the Holland Land Company show that, on 11 May 1811, Ichabod purchased from the Company (probably with an eight-year time limit for payment) land in Lot 6 of Section 7, Township 10, Range 2 [in the Town of Attica].

Originally part of Genesee County, Town 10 (Attica) is now part of Wyoming County.  Lot 6 is located in the east-central area of the town near Attica Center (Land ownership map of Wyoming Co., N.Y.; Philadelphia: Newel S. Brown, 1853).

Military records for the War of 1812 show a Private Ichabod Mattocks in Capt. Cheney Munger’s Company, Major Parmenio Adam’s Regiment, New York State Volunteers.  The name appears on the company muster roll and the pay roll for the same period: Dec. 20, 1813 to Jan. 5, 1814.  Term of service-17 days.  Pay per month, 8 dollars; amount of pay received: 4 dollars 38 cents (U.S. Archives, Military Records, War of 1812).  New York State records confirm that Chauncey Munger was appointed as Ensign in 1809, Genesee County and as Cheney Munger as Captain in Genesee County in 1811 (Military Minutes of the Council of Appointments, 1783-1821, Volume II. Albany: State Printer, 1901, p. 1100, 1275).

On 12 May 1819, Ichabod renewed with the Holland Land Company the articles of agreement he had made for the land purchased in May 1811.

In 1820, Ichabod Mattocks was living at Alexander Township, Genesee County, in a household consisting of 1 male aged 26 to 44 [Ichabod himself, who was actually aged 47 in 1820], 2 males aged 10 to 15 [sons Ichabod, actually aged 17, and James], 4 males aged under 10 [sons John, Truman, Samuel, and Abel], 1 female aged 26 to 44 [wife Eunice], and 2 females aged under 10 [daughters Polly, actually aged 12, and Sally].  Apparently, at this time two members of the household were engaged in agriculture and one was engaged in manufactures.

A Holland Land Company table of 22 September 1823 recorded the payments received from Ichabod on the parcel of land in Lot 6 that he purchased in May 1811.

On 22 March 1825, two actions were recorded by the Holland Land Company on nearby Lot 4 involving “Mattocks & Washburn.”  One action was a reversion of the property, a reversion being:

[l]and that for one reason or another had reverted back to the company and would again be available to article.  Sometimes the settler never came back to the land or there was no activity on the account within the time period allotted by the article of application and the Company could put it back on the market again.

The other recorded action was a renewal of the original articles, perhaps at a higher price.  When renewed, “additional purchasers may show up for the same land as was previously articled.”  It would seem to me then that Mattocks and Washburn had “renewed” articles on Lot 4 which had previously reverted back to the Holland Land Company after the original purchaser defaulted.

Further payment on Ichabod’s Lot 6 was received on 3 May 1825.  Ichabod and Eunice sold part of the parcel on 6 May 1825 for $160.  Land records for Genesee County show that, on 13 May 1825, Ichabod received by deed from the Holland Land Company 58 acres, almost certainly the property purchased in May 1811, being the north part of Lot 6, Section 7, Township 10.  The total amount paid for the property was $366.94.

Ichabod Mattocks joined the Presbyterian Church of Attica in 1829. (Church records of births, membership, marriage, 1823-1939).

By 1830 Ichabod and his family were in Attica, now Wyoming Co. (p. 115).  (Two males 10-15 [sons Samuel and Abel], two 15-20 [sons John and Truman], one 50-60 [Ichabod himself]; one female 20-30 [daughter Polly], one 50-60 [Eunice was actually aged 49 in 1830][daughter Sally, aged 15 to 18, was apparently not living with her parents in 1830]).

Ichabod died, apparently after falling, on 4 March 1833, at the home of Nathaniel Coville in Independence, Allegany County, New York.  Family historian Alfred Little suggested that Ichabod may have been in Allegany County “during a journey to visit his brother, James, in Springfield, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.”

On Sept. 23, 1833, James Mattocks [presumably Ichabod’s son], deposed that Ichabod Mattocks died on or about the 4th day of March last in the home of Nathaniel Coville in the Town of Independence when he was there with an inflammation of the lungs while on a journey and died after about a week’s sickness.  The deposition names Eunice as the widow and eight surviving children…, all of the Town of Attica. (File 18, Genessee [sic] Co. Surrogate’s Office, Batavia, N.Y.).  Probate Records (1:217) indicate that he died intestate.  On Sept. 25, 1833 his son, James, was appointed administrator of the estate after Eunice Mattocks renounced the responsibility.  An inventory of personal property of an agricultural nature was totaled at a value of $442. (1:442, file 18).

Though his name does not appear on published lists of burials at Attica Center Cemetery in Attica, Genesee [later Wyoming] County, Ichabod has been reported to have been buried there, alongside his infant son Edwin.

Located in the hamlet of Attica Center, Town of Attica, a cemetery association was organized June 13, 1817.  There are extant inscriptions showing deaths as early as June 1813, and there is reason to believe burials were made prior to that date.  [In August 1948] the grounds were somewhat overgrown, many stones had fallen, and others were piled against the stone wall which surrounds the plot.  Burials have been made for which we have no record.  It was noted that “other stones were laying about the grounds, some entirely weathered, others broken and separated from original sites.”

By August 1838, Eunice had married second, Stephen Thayer.

On May 2, 1836 the heirs of Ichabod Mattocks (Francis Moore and Polly, his wife; Sally Mattock; Ichabod Mattock and Malinda, his wife; James Mattock and Betsy, his wife; and Truman Mattock) quitclaimed to John Mattock their interest in the estate of Ichabod Mattocks, Senior.  Ichabod and Malinda signed the document on Sept. 14, 1836 in Genesee County; the remaining six, Francis, Polly, James, Betsy, Truman, and Sally signing in Chautauqua County, New York on July 4, 1836. (44:260).  Steven Thayer and Eunice, his wife, of the town of Orangeville, Genesee County, Eunice “being the widow and relict of Ichabod Mattock of the Town of Attica” quitclaimed for $200.00 their interest in the estate of Ichabod Mattock (Aug. 13, 1838; 51:82).  Samuel Mattock of the Town of Gerry, County of Chautauqua, sold his interest in 1839 (49-497), as did John Mattock and Mary, his wife, of Attica, on Aug. 10, 1838. (49:495).

The 1840 United States Census recorded a Stephen Thayer living at Gerry, perhaps with wife Eunice.

Gerry was formed from Pomfret, June 1, 1812….  It was named from Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a Vice-President.  It lies southeast of the center of the county, is bounded on the north by Charlotte, east by Ellington, south by Ellicott, west by Ellery and Stockton, and comprises township three, range eleven, and contains thirty-six square miles.  The highest hills are in the northeastern and southwestern sections, their summits being 400 feet above the Cassadaga Valley and 1,700 feet above the ocean.  The wide and fertile Cassadaga Valley extends from the northwest part southeasterly to its southern boundary, and averages two miles wide…. Cassadaga Creek, a large, slow, crooked stream, flowing southerly through the valley is the principal water course…. The town is well adapted to grazing and dairying, and the valley is adapted to the raising of corn and other grains.  The soil of the uplands is clay loam, that of the valleys sand loam.

In 1850, Eunice, aged 69, was living in the household of her son John Mattocks at Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York.  Her last name in this census was given as Mattocks, suggesting that she was no longer with her second husband, Stephen Thayer.

Eunice died 8 October 1857 at Chautauqua County, probably in Gerry, aged 76 years, 8 months, and 24 days.  She was buried at Maple Grove (Chrowe’s Corner) Cemetery in Gerry.  Her gravestone apparently gave her last name as “Mattocks,” which suggests that she was buried by her children from her first marriage, who may not have approved of the second marriage.

Children of Ichabod and Eunice Lorraine (Burlingame) Mattocks:

+    64.1.  Ichabod [32], born 11 October 1803.
+    64.2.  Laura, born 2 July 1805.
+    64.3.  James, born 16 December 1806.
+    64.4.  Polly, born 8 February 1808.
+    64.5.  John, born 29 May 1811.
+    64.6.  Truman, born 11 July 1813.
+    64.7.  Sally, born either 6 May 1812 or, perhaps more likely, 14 April 1815.
+    64.8.  Samuel, born 10 February 1817.
+    64.9.  Abel Burlingame, born 12 March 1819.
+    64.10.  Edwin, born 18 July 1821.


  • 1800 United States Census, Washington County, New York, pages 398, 401 (M32-26).
  • 1810 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, page 74 (M252-27).
  • 1820 United States Census, Genesee County, New York, page 13 (M33-72).
  • 1850 United States Census, Chautauqua County, New York, page 198 (M432-484).
  • —, “Genealogy Page: Queries,” Hartford Times [on microfilm] (17 November 1945).
  • —, “Town of Attica – 1830 Census,” Historical Wyoming (October 1967), page 81.
  • —, History of Chautauqua County, New York, and its People (Boston: American Historical Society, 1921), page 187.
  • —, History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont … (Syracuse, New York: D. Mason and Company, 1891), pages 502-03.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • Glen Allen, “[Query],” Connecticut Nutmegger [?]:165.
  • Robert Burlingame, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Robert Burlingame,” at, created 22 July 2005.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “1880 United States Census Household Record,” at, transcribed 5 February 2003, citing 1880 United States Census, Cattaraugus County, New York, page 364C (T9-0812).
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “1880 United States Census Household Record,” at, transcribed 5 February 2003, citing 1880 United States Census, Chautauqua County, New York, page 249B (T9-0815).
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Dolores Davidson, “Maple Grove Cemetery,” at, accessed 30 May 2001.
  • Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Connecticut (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908), page 65.
  • Becky Harbaugh, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Dearixon/Burlingame,” at, created 20 July 2002.
  • David V. Hughey, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Dave’s Bohemian, Canadian, and Southern Kin,” at, created 2 October 2005.
  • Ronald Vern Jackson and Gary Ronald Teeples, editors, New York 1840 Census Index (Salt Lake City: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1978), page 897.
  • Ronald Vern Jackson, editor, New York 1830 Census Index (North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1990), page 436.
  • F. Phelps Leach, Additions and Corrections for Thomas Hungerford of Hartford and New London, Conn. (East Highgate, Vermont: F.P. Leach, 1932), page 27.
  • Alfred W. Little, The Ancestry of Eunice Burlingame who Married Ichabod Mattocks and Migrated to Western New York ( (Silver Spring, Maryland: unpublished manuscript, 1997), page 5.
  • Alfred W. Little, Records of the Emigrant James Mattocks Who Settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1600s and Some of His Descendants Who Migrated to Chautauqua County, New York (Silver Springs, Maryland: manuscript, 1996), pages 9-13.
  • Karen E. Livsey, Western New York Land Transactions, 1804-1824, Extracted from the Archives of the Holland Land Company (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1991), pages 66, 226-27, 308.
  • Karen E. Livsey, Western New York Land Transactions, 1825-1835, Extracted from the Archives of the Holland Land Company (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996), pages xviii, 8, 12, 73.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • Leilani Spring, “[Attica Center Cemetery, Attica, Wyoming, New York],” at, accessed 17 October 2005.
  • Betty Thomas, “Wyoming County, NY GenWeb,” at, created 7 February 2004.
  • M. Wozniak, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Coit-Wozniak-Wojciechowski – Buffalo NY,” at, created 22 August 2005.

James Mattocks and Sarah —–

Posted in James Mattocks, Sarah (-----) Mattocks, Sarah ----- by Gregg Mattocks on 8 March 2009

James Mattocks [128]

Father: James Mattocks [256]

Mother: Sarah Peirce [257]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Sarah —– [129]

Father: unknown [258]

Mother: unknown [259]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


James Mattocks [128] was born perhaps in 1737, and certainly between about 1734 and 1739.  It seems probable that he was born before his parents removed from Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut.  The baptism record of James’ younger brother Samuel stated that father James was still a member of the North Church in Boston when Samuel was born at Middletown, suggesting that the family had but recently arrived in Connecticut.

James married first, about 1756, Sarah —— [129].  It has been speculated that Sarah was born about 1741 at Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut, though I have found nothing to support the assertion of this birthplace, and it seems fairly clear that James and Sarah were married at Middletown.  Nothing is known of Sarah’s ancestry.

James served with Connecticut regiments in three successive campaigns (1756-1758) during the French and Indian War.

The colony [of Connecticut], of course, much preferred recruitment of volunteers to impressment, and to encourage men to come forward the General Assembly offered bounties.  At the start of the French and Indian War thirty shillings lawful money went to each soldier who enlisted, besides allowances for weapons and blankets that the militiaman furnished himself.  In 1757, the bounty was raised to forty-two shillings, and in 1758, 1759, and 1760 to four pounds, with greater sums going to those who had had previous service.  In 1761 and 1762 the bounty went up again, to seven pounds for a soldier without previous experience.  Other inducements were proffered as well ── exemption from poll taxes in 1758, for example, and occasionally releases from prison for those criminals willing to serve in the campaigns.  Private persons of some means also offered sums to enlistees, fearful lest too few volunteers might result in their having to go off to war themselves.

During the Campaign of 1756 James served from 2 April to 4 November in the Third Company of the Second Regiment und Major and Captain Jehosaphat Starr of Middletown.  A muster roll of the Third Company was dated 13 October 1756, and found the soldiers at the Camp at Fort William Henry.  Major Starr’s unit, including James, was also one of ten companies that served under Massachusetts Colonel Joseph Thatcher in 1756.

In the Campaign of 1756 some New England recruits were sent to Oswego to reinforce that fort on Lake Ontario.  Thousands of provincial troops massed at Fort Edward and Fort William Henry in Washington County, N.Y. in preparation for an attack on Ticonderoga ── an attack which did not occur.  The militia record above places James Mattocks at Fort William Henry in October, 1756.  One can only conjecture where he served during the spring and summer.

Under the Earl of Loudoun in 1756 and again in 1757, Connecticut men formed over a third of the colonial armies collected to attack the French fort at Crown Point.  In July 1756, when Loudoun arrived, the season was too far advanced for a campaign, and news of the French capture of Oswego only added to the gloom; but Connecticut responded to Loudoun’s call for reinforcements by promising to send an additional 800 men.  No serious campaigning in that sector took place in 1756, however.  The following year Connecticut raised even more troops than it had promised to Loudoun.

In the Campaign of 1757, James served from 28 March to 1 December under Captain Eliphalet Whittlesey in the Tenth Company in Colonel Phineas Lyman’s Regiment.  It is worth noting that two of the officers in Whittlesey’s Company, First-Lieutenant Timothy Hierlihy and Ensign John Sumner, had both been officers in James Mattocks’ company the preceding year under Major Starr.  Hierlihy, like James, was from Middletown and it may be to him that James owed his true allegiance.

Published records of the General Orders of Phineas Lyman in 1757 give us some idea, not only of James’ whereabouts during this campaign, but also of some of the activities he may have witnessed or been involved in.  These Orders show Lyman’s Regiment to have been at Claverack, New York, in early May 1757.


By Phinehas Lyman Esqr., Majr. Genll. and Colonel of the Troops Raised by ye Colony of Connecticut To act in Conjunction with His Majesty’s Regular Troops, Under the command of His Excelency ye Earl of Loudoun, ye Next Campaign.


That the Two Companys Quartered By ye River Mount a Guard to consist of one Subaltern Two Sergeants 2 Corporals 1 Drumr. & Forty Private men To Keep out ten Sentinels To be Relieved Every Two Hours.

That the Two Companys Quartered at or near Hogaboom̓s Do ye Same.

That Capt. Putnam’s Company Mount a Guard To Consist of one Serjt. one Corpl. & Twenty Men To Keep out Five Senterys to Be Relieved as Above.

All ye guards to Be Relieved at ye Beat of the Troop at 9 o’Clock in ye Morning.

That ye Drums all Beat ye Reveille at Half After Four oclock in ye Morning & Every Company Turn out immediately & Parade on ye Places of Rendezvous where ye officers are to Meet and Call them over & See that ye Men are all clean & well Dress’d & to Note Every Defect, & that Every man Dress Neat & Clean when on Duty.

That ye Commanding officers of Each company See that their Men are Exercised from ten to twelve oClock A.M. and from Four to Six P:M:, that the Places of Parad are Kept clean and Neat.

That the Drums Beat ye Tattoo at Seven oClock at Night & Every Company to turn out on ye Paraid.  The officers to Meet em and call em over & as soon as Dismised Every man to Return to His Quarters & Not to Be Absent without Leave & to Keep still & Behave Orderly.

That No officer or Souldier Goes out of Town without leave from ye Commanding officer.

That ye officers Take care to Be Punctual to the Exact time of Performing Every order, & to see That ye Souldiers Do ye Same, & By No Means To Get into a Loose way of Doing Duty.

That a Return Be Made this Day of Each Company Arrived at Claverack.

That for Every Breach of order ye Offender Be Confined & a Report thereof to Be Made By ye officer of ye Guard as Soon as Relieved.

Given Under My Hand at Fondie̓s in Claverack ye 2nd Day of May 1757

P. Lyman

Fondies in Claverack May 3rd 1757

A Regimental Court Martial to set Tomorrow morning at Hogabooms at 8 oClock Consisting of ye following Officers (viz) Capt: Whitteley President.

A couple of weeks later, on 16 May 1757, Lyman’s Regiment was at Vanantwerp, New York.  From 23 to 25 May 1757, the regiment was at Saratoga, New York.  From 28 May to 18 November 1757, James Mattocks and his Tenth Company were with Lyman’s troops at Fort Edward, New York.

During the eighteenth century wars, Fort Edward was one of the most important military posts between Albany and Canada.  The general area of the fort was called the First, Long, or Great Carrying Place.  It was the first and nearest point on the Hudson River where troops and military stores were landed for portage to and from the southern end of Lake Champlain (today’s Whitehall)….

[William] Johnson renamed it Fort Edward “in Honour to Our Young Prince,” the Duke of York and Albany, eldest son of George II and brother of the future George III.  The fourth and last [fort at this site], in 1757, came as a result of an accidental fire that destroyed the barracks in 1756.

During the French and Indian War, Fort Edward was a base for Robert Roger’s Rangers and British troops marching to Canada.  The fort was also intended to guard nearly adjacent Rogers Island in the river that contained barracks, at least one redoubt, and other military structures.  Constructed of timber and earth, the fort’s walls were 16 feet high and 22 inches thick, with a 1,569-foot perimeter.  It was defended by 8 brass and iron cannon emplaced on its ramparts, in addition to about 20 mortars.  Its barracks, both on the mainland and the island, could garrison 500 troops.

Fort Edward was evacuated in 1766 and ordered razed on July 15, 1775, by the Albany Committee of Safety to prevent its use by the British.  It was the site of Major General Philip Schuyler’s headquarters in 1777 during the attempt to block General John Burgoyne’s advance southward from Ticonderoga.  Today, due to changes in the Hudson’s course, most of the camp and fort sites are located on Rogers Island, linked to the mainland by S.R. 197.  The actual site of 40-acre Fort Edward, privately owned, is located approximately in the center of the island.

Fort Edward was located about 16 miles from Fort William Henry which was home at this time to about 2140 troops.

The month of August, 1757 saw the fall of Fort William Henry, situated at the southern end of Lake George.  Occupied by British and Colonial troops and family members, the fort was ill-prepared to withstand a siege by superior French and Indian forces under Montcalm.  After the surrender, Montcalm’s Indian allies attacked the disarmed troops and their families.  This event, known in colonial history as the Fort William Henry Massacre, is described in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and in Francis Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe (1884), Ch. XV in France and England in North America, Vol. II. New York: The Library of America, 1893.

According to the journal of [Colonel James Montressor], the British knew of the French buildup as early as 1 July.  Captain Israel Putnam, the pugnacious Ranger, was in an ambush position at South Bay, Lake Champlain on that date.  a party of Hurons estimated at 200-300 in strength came within range.  The Rangers fired, wounding and killing several.  The Hurons landed, attempted to surround the Rangers and walked into a second volley after which Captain Putnam made a tactical withdrawal.

General Webb, upon receipt of Major Putnam’s message about the ambush, dispatched General Lyman and Ensign Brown with 36 members of the Otways [35th] and 300 others as a screening party.  Major Putnam came into Fort Edward the night of 1 July having left 15 men to protect three wounded.  It was never noted if the 18 made it to Fort Edward.

On 3 July, four German deserters came into Fort Edward from Fort Carillon.  Interrogation developed that Montcalm was in Montreal planning a march to Carillon with the battalions of Languedoc, LaSarre, Bearn and Rousillon (all regular army), 150 marines and 500 Indians and 500 Canadians (coureurs de bois).  He was bringing cannon and mortar from Canada and Crown Point, and would have some 80 cannon and an unknown number of mortars for his attack.  There was no mention of the locus of the attack.

General Lyman returned to Fort Edward on 4 July not having seen any Huron.  He did find the scalped and badly mutilated body of one of Major Putnam’s men.

During the late evening hours of 6 July a Rhode Island militiaman on his way back from the latrine was accosted by a French officer within the picket lines of Fort Edward.  The officer asked about the number of personnel and artillery at Fort Edward.  He first offered money and then threatened him.  The trooper pointed out that all he had to do was yell and help was at hand.  The officer left.  From the description of the officer’s uniform, this was in all likelihood Lieutenant Marin, Robert Rogers’ French counterpart.

On Sunday 10 July, General Johnson’s Mohawks brought in a French prisoner from Crown Point.  Interrogation developed that Montcalm was moving south with six battalions, 300 vessels and all the cannon taken on the Ohio and at Oswego.

A dispatch arrived at Fort Edward from Fort William Henry on 11 July advising that a party from the fort had been ambushed by an estimated 200 enemy and retreated to the fort with the loss of several personnel and a lieutenant killed.

It was quiet until 21 July when a Ranger from a party of 40 Rangers and one lieutenant came into Fort Edward.  He reported an ambush near South Bay.  The lieutenant and three others were killed.  The balance of the party returned before the day was over.

A message from Fort William Henry was received that day advising that Captain McGinnis and two of his party wounded and had killed four of the enemy.  He was still on patrol.

Fort Edward received the attention of the French and Indians on 23 July.  A party of woodcutters and their protective screen were attacked.  The result was several wounded, plus several killed and scalped, including a sergeant, a corporal and ten others.  Captain Putnam went in pursuit and reported back the next day and there was a large encampment near the remains of old Fort Anne consisting of an estimated 500-600 men.

A message from Fort William Henry on the 24th of July advised that New Jersey Militia Colonel Parker had gone on a waterborne patrol toward Fort Carillon with some 300 men.  They had been attacked by French and Indians from both water and land.  They lost several officers and 250 of the 300 men in the patrol as well as 24 whaleboats.

On the morning of 25 July, General Webb and his staff and Colonel Montressor left Fort Edward with an escort at 0600 hours proceeding to Fort William Henry, arriving at 1530 hours.

This was a planned staff visit.  A routine inspection was done on the 26th.

A council of war was called on the 27th of July, predicated on the fact that the enemy had been seen in small groups on the west side of the lake, although the major activity had been on the east side of the lake, the French and Indians using Wood Creek as their line of travel.  It was known Montcalm had scouts down both sides of the lake.  What was not known at the time was that Lévis and his troops were using the old Indian trail on the west side of the lake to move down to Sabbath Day Point to make junction with Montcalm’s waterborne force.

Those at the meeting were Major General Webb, Militia Colonel-Brevet General Lyman, Major Fletcher, Militia Colonel Glazier, Militia Colonel Angel, Captain Ord, Engineer Colonel Montressor, and Engineer Harry Gordon.  [Reportedly] missing was Lieutenant Colonel Monro, Commander of Fort William Henry….

The council decided there were not enough boats to prevent a landing by the French.  It was determined it would take 2,000 men to defend the fort, along with an artillery train of two 12-pounders, two 6-pounders, and two 8-pounders.  This appears to have been in addition to the artillery in place at the fort….

[The following memo concerning Lieutenant Colonel Monro’s queries of General Webb] was contained within the papers of Colonel Monro to Lord Loudon, but gives no indication as to the writer.  The language and phrasing is strongly indicative that the writer was the colonel, after the fact.

Query:          In case Fort Edward should be attack’d by the enemy, the signals given & understood of it’s being invested, what part am I to act.

Answer:       To be sure to march to it’s relief, leaving 300 men in the fort as soon as we hear you ingage’d, with the enemy, upon the road, we will sent out a strong detachment, to your assistance.

Query:          Whether, of the two forts, is most likely to be attack’d by the enemy?  (referring to Fort Edward)

Answer:       That was out of the question, for there was no probability, and hardly a possibility, of their attacking Fort Edward with cannon.

Answer:       If so, I think Ft. Wm. Henry ought to have as great a number of men, as can possibly be spar’d, because if they are repuls’d in their attempt, upon Fort Wm. Henry, the affair will be over; but if they take it; I won’t say the taking of Fort Edward will be the consequence, but I think, it will be a great step towards it, as they will then have, a road, to bring their cannon.  The General said as to the number of men to reinforce Fort Wm. Henry, the most he could spare, was one thousand, one hundred, of them, to be of the RA, before this reinforcement arrived, we had, at Fort Wm. Henry, about 1100 men, fit for duty.  The reinforcement of the 1000 men from Fort Edward, were to have been with us, that Saturday to have help’d us, to finish our breastwork but they did not come till it was dark Tuesday night, the next morning being the 3th of August, the enemy attack’d us, and our breast-work, not near finished….

General Webb and his party departed Fort William Henry for Fort Edward on 29 July….

Montressor is not specific in his journal, but sometime between 30 July and 1 August, General Webb dispatched 1,000 men and some artillery to Fort William Henry under command of Colonel Young.

Nothing appears in the journal until 4 August when Montressor notes a messenger arrived from Fort William Henry appraising General Webb of the attack.  Colonel Monro clearly and politely stated the situation and asked for help.  Montressor’s journal reflects only that the note appraised of the attack.  Webb sat on his hands and finally sent the response which resulted in the eventual surrender of the fort.

General Webb definitely knew of the attack and siege by 3 August.  Two Rangers brought in a French deserter on that date.  The deserter advised that the French had some 300 boats, a large artillery train, 4,000 militia, 4,500 Indians, 4,000 Canadians (coureurs de bois) and 3,500 regulars and had invested the fort.

This confirmed a report by other Rangers that at 0500 hours that morning they counted some 300 boats on Lake George.  That number of boats would have been unusual enough, but the boats were planked together by twos and carrying cannon.  They were firing on the fort with no apparent effect as the range was too great.

Two men from Fort William Henry came in on 3 August.  They had been out on patrol.  They reported a large encampment on the west side of Lake George about six miles from Fort William Henry, or approximately in the vicinity of what is now Bolton’s Landing, although the area was never named.  They had also seen the Otways (35th) pull back into the fort.

The report of the camp is at odds to what is known.  The French were camped almost on top of Fort William Henry, within a mile.  As to the second report, it was confirmed later at the Board of Inquiry into the loss of the fort that Colonel Monro put out a skirmish line to penetrate the French positions on two occasions and failed both times.

General Webb called a staff meeting at Fort Edward on 5 August.  Attending were Colonel Lyman, Major Fletcher, Colonel Glazier, Colonel Angel, Captain Ord, Engineer Montressor and Engineer Gordon.  Three questions were raised by the general.

1.  In view of the information received from a captured French lieutenant and the patrols; was it practicable to go to the assistance of Fort William Henry?  There was no question but what Colonel Monro’s message of the 4th added emphasis to the situation.

ANSWER: Not practicable.

2.  That given the enemys’ estimated strength and Fort Edward’s present situation (having additional construction done); was it proper to remain at Fort Edward?

ANSWER: That it was proper to retreat and meet up with militia known to be on the way in response to Webb’s messages and make a stand as soon as possible.

3.  In case of a retreat from Fort Edward was it proper to leave a holding force?

No answer was ever given for his question.

As the meeting broke up, General Webb directed his staff to keep themselves ready to march at a minute’s warning and that if there was any carriage it should be divided as equally as possible.

Militia from Albany and Schenectady estimated at 1,500 strong arrived at Fort Edward on 6 August along with Sir William Johnson and his Mohawks.  Montressor noted that the individual cannon shots from both sides engaging each other at Fort William Henry could be heard and counted.

On 7 August, Montressor asked for any changes to orders as issued by Webb on the 5th and there were none.

At approximately 2000 hours on the 9th of August, a man who had escaped from Fort William Henry came into Fort Edward and advised that Fort William Henry had capitulated at 0700 hours that morning.

Sometime during the day of 10 August, two French officers who had deserted Montcalm at Fort William Henry came into Fort Edward.  They advised some of the fort personnel did get escort, but they were at the head of the column.  A detachment was sent out from Fort Edward to escort them.  The personnel from Fort William Henry consisted of three officers and the color bearers.  General Webb ordered out a relief force under Major Putnam.  Indications are that it was an all Ranger force.  It would arrive at Fort William Henry on the 11th.

On 11 August, smoke from the burning Fort William Henry could be seen at Fort Edward.  More French deserters arrived at Fort Edward.  They indicated that Montcalm had the fort burned and the Hurons were not happy.  Colonel Frye of the Massachusetts militia and Captain MacLeod came into Fort Edward.

Montressor notes that on 16 August, the last of the survivors arrived at Fort Edward.  The day also saw a general court martial for a lieutenant of the Massachusetts militia for inciting desertion.  The results were not noted….

Fort Edward was now the frontier post on the northern border.  The French held undisputed possession of the lakes and portages; and their savage allies swept the forest trails and border hamlets, resistless and merciless; capturing prisoners at the very gate of the palisades and block-houses; carrying dismay to the scattering settlements along the New England boundary, and making the military highway through the town of Queensbury, [New York,] a continuous scene of carnage, in which the fearful stories of Indian cruelty, the legends of Blind rock, and numerous tales of hair breadth escapes, mingle in a confused horror, a night-mare of history, whose facts are not wholly susceptible of proof, whose traditions cannot be denied as improbable.

The capture of the posts at Lake George, and the strength of Montcalm’s army, threw the northern provinces into consternation, and the loss of Fort Edward was expected to follow; and Montcalm would penetrate to Albany, if not to other points in the interior.  On the first landing of the French army at Fort William Henry, General Webb called on the governments of New York and Massachusetts, for reinforcements of militia, and those of New York were soon in motion. Ruggles’s and Chandler’s regiments, in the county of Worcester, and Williams’s and Worthington’s in the county of Hampshire in Massachusetts, commenced their march for Fort Edward; but previous to their arrival, Montcalm had returned down Lake George, to his strong post at Ticonderoga.

Early in October 1757, the Tenth Company’s Timothy Hierlihy, acting as adjutant, recorded the following orders to the troops:

Fort Edward Oct. 3rd 1757.

Parole Malden.

G.O. Field Offr for tomorrow Majr Prevo.

Adjt. for ye Regulars ye Inniskilling Regt. Adjt. for ye Provensials ye Connecticutt Regt.

Field Offr for ye Provensials Majr Pason.

A Detachment of two Capts Six Subs 7 Searjts 8 Corpls & 192 men to Peraid tomorrow morning at Gun firing with Arms.  Mr. Lesley A.D.Q.M. Genll will give them their directions.  they are to be Relieved by ye like number of Offrs & men at 12 oClock who are to Remain upon yt work till Evening & ye Offrs are to be allowed only a Piqt Duty in ye Genll Roster. — The Provensial Troops are Likewise to Peraid tomorrow morning on ye Island at ye Same time one Sub: 2 Searjts. 2 Corpls & 50 men with arms who are to be provided with falling Axes.  yt Party is likewise to receive their Directions from Mr. Lesley.

As Soon as ye Adjts have got ye Detail of ye Number yt Each Each of their Corps are to furnish, they are to Acquaint their Quarter Master Searjts who are to apply this afternoon to Mr. Lesley for Tools which are to be DD out to them upon their Regimental Peraid tomorrow morning.

Genll Lymans orders.  That all ye Falling Axes in Each of ye Provensial Regrs be Emediately Returned to ye Comdg Offrs of Regts who are to appoint some person as they Shall think Sutable to se yt they are all Ground up & prepaired for Service & to Detach a Sutable number of men for that porpose & all Persons yt have any Axes in their possession & Do not Return them as above are to be Punished as Embaslers of ye Kings stors.  P. Lyman

R.O.  The Commdg Offr of Each Compy in ye Connecticutt Regt are forthwith to give in a Muster Roll of their Companys Specifying in Diferent Colems those yt are Dead by Sickness, Kild by ye Enimy, Captivated, Deserted, Never joind, with ye Day of ye Month.

By ye Genlls order Timothy Hierlihy Adjutant.

In 1758 James Mattocks served from March 28 to December 6 in the First Regiment, Sixth Company under Captain Samuel Gaylord of Middletown under the command of Major General James Abercrombie, Commander-in-Chief of the King’s Forces in North America.

In 1758 and 1759 Connecticut responded to general calls for colonial troops issuing from William Pitt, who sacked Loudoun in favor first of General James Abercromby and then of General Jeffrey Amherst.  In the first of these years Connecticut agreed to raise 5,000 men, who were supposed to be part of a total provincial force of 20,000, but the actual force amounted to only 9,000.  These, joined with 6,000 regulars, mounted a frontal assault on Fort Ticonderoga in July only to fail miserably and to suffer 2,000 casualties.  Abercromby showed himself to be wholly inept.

In the Campaign of 1758, British and provincial forces took the fortress at Louisbourg in July.  The same month another British and provincial force with General James Ambercrombie at its head attempted and failed to take Ticonderoga in a poorly-executed and disastrous effort.  In August, Fort Frontenac at the head of the St. Lawrence River was wrested from the French, as was Fort Duquesne in November, 1758.  Undoubtedly James Mattocks was part of the failed attempt under Ambercrombie in the attempt to take Ticonderoga.

Probably after his war service, James and Sarah removed to Litchfield, Connecticut.  They were certainly there by 1762 when daughter Lucy was born.  The town of Litchfield had been established in 1719.

In August 1766 Nathaniel Woodruff conveyed to James Mattocks two and one-half acres adjoining the highway running from the Court House to the Church in Litchfield (Deeds 6:174). Then on Oct. 7, 1767 James sold for 13 pounds the same property, two and one-half acres with a dwelling house, to his brother Samuel Mattocks of Hartford County (8:24).    Samuel Mattocks later deeded back the property to James, who sold it for eighty pounds on March 1, 1784. (10:191, 11:426).

The property sold on 1 March 1784 contained a house, shop, and barn.  James’ wife Sarah died about this time.

James married second, as her second husband, perhaps in 1787, the widow Mehitabel (Smith) Smith.  Mehitabel was born 16 January 1741/42 at Litchfield County, Connecticut, the daughter of Abiel and Joanna (Goodwin) Smith.  Mehitabel had married first, about 1761, John Smith.  John was born 1 November 1735 at Litchfield County, Connecticut, the son of Josiah and Abigail (Stoddard) Smith.  John was a lieutenant.  He owned a sawmill.  John died in early 1786, probably at Litchfield, where his will was admitted to the court on 9 May 1786.  His estate was valued in pounds at 125-7-0, including 57 acres of land.  One-third of the estate was to go to Mehitabel and, upon her death, was to be divided between the four sons of the marriage, “namely, Wait, Freind, Anson and John.”  In addition, Friend was left 12-1/2 acres of land.  Daughter Matilda, wife of Lambert Johnson, received seven acres of land.  Two unidentified daughters were bequeathed personal effects from a personal property inventory valued at 23 pounds, 15 shillings, 2 pence, less debts of 4 shillings 11 pence.  Alleged son Warren was not mentioned in John’s will.

On May 17, 1790 James and Mehitabel Mattocks and [Mehitabel’s son] Wait Smith quitclaimed their interest in three-fourths acre in Litchfield to David Kilborn, the property belonging to Mehitabel, being part of the estate of Mehitabel’s late husband, John Smith (13-363).

James’ sister Sarah had married Jesse Kilbourne, probably a relative of the David Kilborn who was deeded this Litchfield property.

On 28 July 1793, James and Mehitabel signed separation papers, “effectively ending their marriage,” an agreement which involved Mehitabel’s son Friend:

This indenture made the 28th day of July in the year of our Lord 1793 between James Mattock of Litchfield in the County of Litchfield and the State of Connecticut of the one part; Mehitabel, his wife of the second part, and Freind (sic) Smith of Bethlem in the County and State aforesaid of the third part.

Witnesseth that it is hereby covenanted and agreed by and between the [said] James and Mehitabel that from this day and henceforth they will and do separate and will continued during their lives to live separate to all intents and purposes and will no more live together and cohabit as man and wife in any way whatsoever, and the said James doth hereby absolutely renounce all rights, privileges and authorities over in and unto government services of the said Mehitabel by law vested in him as her husband.  The said Friend on his part in consideration of a grant hereafter made by the said James to him doth covenant for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators to and with the said James, his executors and administrators that the said Friend will save him, the said James harmless of and indemnifying him from all debts, dues and demands due and owing from any contracts by the said Mehitabel before her intermarriage with the said James for which the said James is by law liable and also of and from all debts and which the said Mehitabel may hereinafter contract and from all costs, claims and changes for which the said James may by law hereinafter become liable for or on her account.  And the said James for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators and assigns doth hereby in consideration of the covenant aforesaid gives, grants, bargains, sells, assigns, conveys and quit claims to the said Friend and his executors, administrators and assigns all his rights, titles and interest in and unto all of the land, tenements, hereto and assets in trust and estate which the said James had, hath and holds in right of his said wife, Mehitabel and also in and unto all the Articles of Personal Estate which came or may come to him, the said James in virtue and consequence of the intermarriage aforesaid to have and to hold to him, the said Friend, his heirs and to thereafter and trusts and subject to the provisions and conditions herreinafter mentioned.  That is to say the said Friend shall and may take into his possession and keeping all of the said Personal Estate to be his own for the purposes of satisfying the said debt, the whole or in part and account therefore with the said Mehitabel and he may and shall also take the said land and tenaments into his indicated use and possession and the same hold and occupy until out of the rent, profits and improvements he hath received and obtained wherewith shall to satisfy and pay all of the said debts and demands now due and owing on account of contracts by the said Mehitabel made before her said intermarriage.  No longer after which the said Friend his heirs and assigns shall hold the said land and tenaments in trust for and to the use and benefit of her the said Mehitabel during the joint lives of said James and Mehitabel.  Provided nevertheless and it is understood by all parties hereto that so soon as the said James shall be legally, compelled and obliged to pay and discharge any debts, charge or claims on account of the said Mehitabel as aforesaid or shall be so compelled to contribute to her support maintenance that then this aforesaid grant and conveyance to the said Friend and every part or part thereof shall cease and become utterly void and of no effect.  And it is also covenanted and understood and provided that if after the satisfaction of said debts and claims now due and owing aforesaid, the said Friend shall in virtue of the foregoing covenants become liable or become compelled to pay and satisfy any debts or charges on account of the Mehitabel that then the said Friend shall and may take the said land and tenaments into his own immediate use or improvements until out of the rent and profits thereof he shall beneficially reimburse the same the foregoing trust and declaration of the wife thereof notwithstanding.  The foregoing notwithstanding it is understood that the said Friend will not dispose and sell any of said Articles of Personal Estate that are or may be necessary for use of the said Mehitabel for the remainder of her life. In witness whereof we herewith set our hands the day and date aforesaid.

Signed James Mattocks, Mehitabel Mattocks, Friend Smith

Witnesses to the subscription of said James and Friend: John Allen, El Nathan Holly

Witnesses to the said Mehitabel: Lambert Johnson and Warren Smith (son-in-law and son of Mehitabel) County of Litchfield July 28, 1793.  Litchfield, CT

Personally appeared James Mattocks the signer above written and acknowledged this to be his full act and deed before me.  Signed Abraham Bradley, Justice of the Peace.  Recorded March 27, 1793 by Moses Seymour, Registrar of Deeds.

Of the witnesses to the agreement, Elnathan Holley was James’ son-in-law, Lambert Johnson was Mehitabel’s son-in-law, and Warren Smith was reportedly Mehitabel’s son.

On 20 January 1796, Mehitabel’s sons Friend and Anson, both of Litchfield, made the following indenture:

That it is agreed that in consideration of the covenant and conveyances hereinafter by the said Friend made the said Anson will and doth hereby covenant to and with the said Friend his heirs, executors and administrators he will in all aspects support, maintain and uphold his mother, Mrs. Mehitabel Mattock of said Litchfield and will pay all debts by her necessarily contracted hereafter and will save the said Friend harmless of and from all claims and demands and damages arising from her contracting of any debts as aforesaid and from his support and maintenance and will also save all other the heirs of our father of and from the support of mother said Mehitabel and in consideration of the promises the said Friend doth hereby for. . . .

According to family historian Alfred Little, Mehitabel remained in Litchfield where she was residing in 1807 and 1809 when she quitclaimed her interest in property from the estate of her first husband, John Smith.  However, family historians Glen Allen and Maxine Hobble found that court records showed that Mehitabel was at Suffield, Hartford County, Connecticut, during this period.  Glen or Maxine wrote that “[t]here are 2 transactions between Benjamin Owens of Suffield and Mehitable.”  Benjamin was almost certainly Benajah Owen, husband of Mehitabel’s daughter Anna.

Mehitabel died about 1813 at Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

In 1790, Litchfield’s population had swelled to 20,342, with 3,361 heads of families.  In that year, James was living at Litchfield in a household containing three males of 16 years of age or more, and two females.  Apparently, James’ unmarried children, James, Ichabod, Edna, and Theodosia, were living with their father at this time.

Of James’ children, family historians John and Walter Mattocks wrote that most of them “removed west, and have descendants scattered … throughout Western New York and Pa. and Ohio and Illinois.”  In 1792, according to the Mattocks Memorial Package (1989), (but I think perhaps after July 1793), James, with his sons John, James, and Ichabod, migrated to Washington County, New York, near Lake George.

The New Englanders had no Moses to lead them through the wilderness, they didn’t need him.  They were level-headed Yankees who knew how to take care of themselves.  At the close of the Revolutionary War, the western-most counties in Massachusetts and Connecticut served as a great funnel through which hoards of land-seeking young families passed on their ways north and west.  A better life beckoned beyond.  Much of the land in New England is sterile and their newly cleared farms on the hillsides of Southern Vermont or New Hampshire were not productive, so a generation or so later, many of these families were again on the move to the great western areas in New York or Ohio.

From the Connecticut shore … the Housatonic River forms a remarkable valley route running northward parallel with the Hudson River, through the Berkshires as far as Pittsfield.  From Pittsfield there is but a short land pass to the Hoosic River which can be followed northward to above Bennington, Vermont.  From this point a short land passage leads directly to the Batten Kill which can be followed northward past Arlington and Manchester to Otter Creek. This completes the linkage of streams and valleys that must have provided an important direct northward migration route to and between the valleys of the Hudson and Connecticut Rivers in the colonial period.  From this migration route, families often settled in the immediately adjoining westward areas of New York and the Hudson Valley.

The choice of Washington County as a new residence after a failed marriage appears to have been a logical one.  James Mattocks was no stranger to Washington Co.; as a young man he had served there for three campaigns during the French and Indian War.  Also, James’ brother, Samuel, had settled in Rutland Co., Vt., which adjoins Washington County to the east.

The area of New York James Mattocks chose to settle in was in the midst of wilderness, and the early settlers were ravaged by wolves, rattlesnakes, and panthers.  For nearly fifty years after the settlement of the area, a bounty of five to twenty dollars was offered for each wolf killed.  “The rattlesnakes were slowly but surely exterminated by the hogs that ran half wild among the unfenced commons on the borders of the settlement.”  James was certainly a resident of Washington County by 4 May 1796 when he visited his former home of Litchfield “to execute for 37 pounds a quitclaim of his interest in one-quarter acre of land in Litchfield.”  The property in question was deeded to James’ son-in-law, Elnathan Holley, husband of James’ daughter Anne.

The name of James Mattocks, farmer, appeared on a Washington County list of “Proper Persons to Serve as Jurors for the Town of Kingsbury Pursuant to a Law Passed April 3, 1798.”  Kingsbury had received its patent 18 May 1762, and was recognized as a town 23 March 1786.  “Meetings were held by Protestant Episcopal and Baptist Churches as early as 1795.”  Though little is known of James’ new hometown at this time, a description of nearby Argyle for this era probably holds true for Kingsbury as well:

Soon after the close of the Revolution, new settlers flocked into Argyle and the neighboring towns, although the development of Argyle was comparatively slow because of the difficulty in obtaining good titles to the lands, largely abandoned by the original grantees.  Squatters settled upon much of the acreage.  Their doubtful title tended to a slack and wasteful development of the land.  Many of the newcomers were also Scotch or Scotch-Irish, but there was a sprinkling of colonial Dutch, of Palatinate Germans, and a larger number of New England Methodists.  But the Scotch Covenanter was predominant and it was his culture and his rigid brand of Protestantism which gave the town that distinctive character which, though modified, has endured to this day.

In 1794, a town ordinance provided severe penalties for Sabbath breaking.  It had the support of all the prominent citizens of the town.  Salem and Cambridge had similar ordinances, and out of the serious effort to strictly enforce these ordinances grew much trouble, for into the towns had drifted, or had grown up in them, a considerable minority much given to drinking and other ribald ways.

By 1800, about one-quarter of the land had been cleared.  Wheat, oats and rye were the principal crops.  Cattle were guarded from the wolves which were not wholly exterminated in the county until 1812.  The surplus grain and the pot and pearl ashes, recovered from the burned timber, were marketed in Montreal.  The transportation was tedious, being largely in winter on sleighs through Whitehall and Lake Champlain.  There were but few wheeled vehicles and, such as there were, were lumber wagons or ox carts, the latter being the favorite means of transporting the family to church.  Log houses and barns still prevailed.

A 1799 land sale by James Mattocks of Kingsbury, Washington County, deeding one acre of land in the Village of Sandy Hill, part of Lot 25, for the sum of 200 pounds was recorded on April 25, 1800. (D:386).  [Sandy Hill is the former name of the present Village of Hudson Falls, probably only five miles from Fort Edward.  The identity of the seller of the land, whether father or son, remains uncertain, although the considerable sum involved suggests James Mattocks, senior].

This appears to be the same tract mentioned in Fred Q. Bowman’s Landholders of Northeastern New York 1739-1802, where James Mattocks, of Kingsbury, by contract signed 10 August 1799, granted land at Kingsbury.  Apparently, James then moved to the nearby town of Queensbury in Washington County.  Queensbury, located in present-day Warren County, New York, was patented 20 May 1762, and was recognized as a town 13 March 1786.  Its population in 1800 was 1435.

[F]or the U.S. Census of 1800, Town of Queensbury, three Mattocks families are enumerated: the James Matticks household; two males under ten, two males 26-45; 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-26 living side-by-side with the John Matticks household with two males under 10, one male 26-45, and one male over 45; one female under 10, one female 16-26.  Nearby is the John Mattox household with three males under 10, one 26-45 and one over 45 and two females under 10, one 16-26, living next door to the Clark Burlingim family.  Possibly one of the over-45 males living in the John Matticks or the John Mattox household is James (5), the father of John, James, and Ichabod.  Ichabod himself may well be the second adult male, age 26-45 living in the James Matticks household, not far from the Burlingame family where [Ichabod’s future wife] Eunice [Burlingame] resided.

On 31 May 1806, the town clerk of Queensbury, Washington County, compiled a “List of persons … either Removed out of this town or otherwise not competent to serve as jurors.”  James Mattocks was listed as having “Removed.”

According to the Mattocks Memorial Package, about 1804 James moved with his son John to Monroe County, New York.  James is said to have been recorded as living there in the 1810 census.  I think this assertion must be in error, and I have not found the Mattocks family in Monroe County at this time.

James reportedly died about 1804 or 1810.  According to family historian M. Wozniak and the Mattocks Memorial Package, James was buried at Monroe County, New York, but again, I do not think this was likely.

Children of James and Sarah (——) Mattocks:

+    128.1.  James, born in 1758.
+    128.2.  John, born perhaps in 1760.
+    128.3.  Lucy, born 30 January 1762.
+    128.4..  Anne, born 5 December 1763.
+    128.5.  Sarah “Sally”, born 29 June 1765.
+    128.6.  Edna [A.?], born 16 September 1767.
+    128.7.  James, born 27 July 1770.
+    128.8.  John, allegedly born in 1771.
+    128.9.  Ichabod [64], born 23 December 1773.
+    128.10.  Theodosia.


  • 1800 United States Census, Washington County, New York, pages 398, 401 (M32-26).
  • —, “Connecticut Towns and Their Establishment,” Connecticut Nutmegger 18[?]:30-33.
  • —, “Genealogy Page: Queries,” Hartford Times [17 August 1940, microfilm].
  • —, “Genealogy Page: Queries,” Hartford Times [13 June 1942, microfilm].
  • —, “Kilbourne Genealogy,” at, accessed 30 May 2001.
  • —, “Queries,” Connecticut Nutmegger 22[1990]:678.
  • —, “Some Interesting Facts About the Origin of Washington County and its Towns,” New England Exodus (July 1965), page 90.
  • —, “To Daniel Shepherd, Clerk of the County of Washington. . . ,” The Patents 18[1999]:100.
  • —, “To the Cleark [sic]of the County of Washington . . .,” The Patents 18[1999]:78-79.
  • —, “[Untitled],” New England Exodus (July 1964), page 27.
  • —, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Volume 9, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French and Indian War 1755-1762, Volume 1, 1755-1757 (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1903), pages 114-16, 185, 187.
  • —, Litchfield, Connecticut, Land Records, Volume 15, pages 701-02, transcribed, with notes, by Maxine Hobble and Glen Allen.  The document ends abruptly, as page 703 was not transcribed.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • Glen Allen, “[Query],” Connecticut Nutmegger [?]:165.
  • Fred Q. Bowman, Landholders of Northeastern New York 1739-1802 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1987), pages 123, 211-12.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Connecticut (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908), pages 9, 65.
  • Edward J. Dodge, Relief is Greatly Wanted: The Battle of Fort William Henry (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1998), pages 57-58, 80-85.
  • Islay V.H. Gill, History of Washington County, N.Y., A History of the Argyle Patent (Washington County Historical Society, 1956), pages 52-53.
  • Donald R. Harrington, “Abiel Smith – Joanna Goodwin,” at, created 6 July 2003.
  • Donald R. Harrington, “John Smith – Mehitable Smith,” at, created 6 July 2003.
  • A.W. Holden, A History of the Town of Queensbury, in the State of New York . . . (Albany: Joel Munsell, 1874), pages 312-13, 501-02.
  • Paul E. Huey and Ralph D. Phillips, “The Migration of a Connecticut Family to Eastern New York in the Eighteenth Century,” Connecticut Nutmegger 13[1980]:390.
  • Donald Kilburn, “RootsWeb Message Boards – Message [Cattaraugus],” at; posted 5 January 2000.
  • Alfred W. Little, Records of the Emigrant James Mattocks Who Settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1600s and Some of His Descendants Who Migrated to Chautauqua County, New York (Silver Springs, Maryland: manuscript, 1996), pages 6-10.
  • Phineas Lyman, John Campbell (Earl of Loudoun), and Worthington Chauncey Ford, General Orders of 1757 Issued by the Earl of Loudoun and Phineas Lyman in the Campaign Against the French (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1899) [from a photocopy provided by Alfred W. Little], pages 1-3, 100-02.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • John and Walter Mattocks, Mattocks (Chicago: unpublished manuscript, 1885), page 2.
  • Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988), pages 549-50.
  • Robert J. Taylor, Colonial Connecticut: A History (Millwood, New York: KTO Press, 1979), pages 216-17.
  • Debra F. Wilmes, compiler, Lorraine Cook White, editor, The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Volume 23, Litchfield, 1719-1854 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000[?]), page 158.
  • George C. Woodruff, A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants of the Town of Litchfield, Conn. (Hartford: Hartford Press, The Case Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1900 [originally published in 1845]), pages 148, 201.
  • M. Wozniak, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Coit-Wozniak-Wojciechowski – Buffalo NY,” at, created 22 August 2005.

James Mattocks and Sarah Peirce

Posted in James Mattocks, Sarah (Peirce) Mattocks, Sarah Peirce by Gregg Mattocks on 28 February 2009

James Mattocks [256]

Father: Samuel Mattocks [512]

Mother: Ann March [513]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Sarah Peirce [257]

Father: Isaac Peirce [514]

Mother: Grace Tucker [515]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


James Mattocks [256] reportedly was born 4 September 1694 at Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  Town records record the birth of “James of Samuel and Ann Mattock” on that day but also record the death of “James of Samuel Mattox” on 3 September 1694.  It has been speculated that the recorded death was an error, but perhaps there was an earlier James who died the day before his eponymous brother was born.  The James Mattocks of this study was baptized 9 September 1694 at the First Church in Boston.

James served in the company of Captain John Penhallow, where he appears in the muster roll of “June 8th to Novem. 15th 1725.”  James was one of nineteen sentinels in Penhallow’s company.  Penhallow was from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and, during the time of James’ service, served under Colonel Thomas Westbrook in actions against Native American uprisings in the Maine area, in what has come to be known as Governor Dummer’s War.

The quarrel was between the two provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the Eastern Indians, especially those of Norridgewock.

The French openly had no part in it for the two Crowns were at peace, but when in 1724 the Norridgewocks asked for help Louis XIV wrote that while it is not expedient that France appear in this war, yet it is proper that [Governor of Canada] Sr. [Marquis ] de Vaudreuil “do secretly encourage the other nations to assist the Abenakis” by telling them that the English intend to become masters of the whole continent and to enslave all the Indian nations.  In revenge for the attempt to capture Father [Sebastian] Rale the Indians burned the village of Brunswick, and then Massachusetts declared war.  People were killed and prisoners taken from the eastern settlements and from far-away Northfield.  Norridgewock was burned and Father Rale killed, although orders had been given to spare his life.  Three of the four officers in command of the little troop had been captives in earlier wars….

There were fewer atrocities in this war.  The priest’s intervention may have prevented some, but the chief reason was [Massachusetts] Governor [Samuel] Shute’s order that non-combatants be removed from exposed places.

When M. de Vaudreuil was consulted about a peace he answered that it did not concern the French, and the Mission Indians of his country refused the belts of peace because they “wished to continue to harass the English.”  Nevertheless, in the Council Chamber at Boston in December, 1725, Dummer’s treaty — now in the State House — was signed by four eastern sagamores and Lieutenant-Governor [William] Dummer, who had been acting since 1723, when Shute ran away to England….

Family historian Alfred Little had the following to say about James’ service with Penhallow:

That this was dangerous duty is exemplified by Colonel Westbrook’s account of the experience of one of James’ fellow troopers, Sentinel Morgan Miles: “Morgan Miles from May 12th 1724 to Augt 18th 1725 put in p’ Approba[tion] of His Honr the Lt Govr; the sd Miles be taken at Arrowsick and Carrd away p’ ye Indians to Canada, who made his Escape from them and Return’d to His Post….”  [Morgan Miles served in the same company alongside James Mattocks.  Capt. John Penhallow figured prominently in the efforts of Massachusetts to protect the settlers along the Maine coast from attacks by the Eastern Indians].  Two additional excerpts from Colonel Westbrook’s letters to Governor Dummer of Massachusetts will suggest the hazards faced by troopers such as James Mattocks under the command of Captain Penhallow.  “… [I] now wait for a fair wind to send Cap Penhallow with twenty men on board the Sloop to proceed to Arrowsick & St Georges, to see whether the Indians have not attckt those garrisons …  There was sixty Indians at Blackpoint when they burnt the houses and kill’d the Cattle there, on the 29th of last April … [Falmouth, June 23d 1725].”  “… The wind came fair for Capt Penhallow to go East, which he Embract, and the Sloop had not been out of sight more than an hour before I rec’d a verbal acct from Lt Dominicus Jordan (who was out with his Scout) that the Indians had kill’d a man at Spurwick garrison, and that he heard the Guns, and was on ye spott in less than two hours … [Falmouth, June 24th 1725]….[”]  In giving instructions to the commanders of the two troops drawn out of the County of Essex to defend the towns in the County of York [Maine], Lieutenant Governor William Dummer wrote from Boston, June 21, 1721 [1725?], “The Troopers must be assured, for their Encouragement, That the Governmt will allow them 100 lb. for each Scalp, besides their Wages, for such Indians as they shall kill in their Marchings & Scoutings.”

James Mattocks was married, 24 February 1726, at Boston, Massachusetts, by the Presbyterian minister Dr.  Cotton Mather, to Sarah Peirce [257].  Sarah was born 22 May 1710, the daughter of Isaac and Grace (Tucker) Peirce.  While in Boston, James was a member of the recently opened North Church.  He may very well have worked in a trade involving woodworking, as the inventory of his estate at his death included numerous woodworking tools including a turning lathe.  James’ brother Samuel was a chairmaker, as was James’ grandson John Mattocks, so James may have worked in this profession as well.

James and Sarah removed from Boston, Massachusetts, to Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, sometime between 1731 — when daughter Ann was born in Boston — and 1739 — when son Samuel was born at Middletown.  It seems likely that the migration occurred closer to 1739, as the baptism record of Samuel stated that at that time father James was still a member of the North Church in Boston.

The town now known as Middletown was settled in 1650 from parts of Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut.  In 1651, the General Court ordered that “Mattabeseck shall be a town.”  By 1653, the town became known as Middletown, due to “its location halfway between Saybrook and the up-river towns.”  At that time, Middletown was a rectangle bisected by the Connecticut River.

The land records of Middletown, Connecticut, establish several land transactions involving James Mattocks.  On July 26, 1745 Abijah Moore conveyed one acre of land bounded by Mill Brook to James Mattocks for 30 pounds  (11:416).  A one acre parcel bounded on one side by Mill Brook was conveyed by James to Matthew Talcott on Nov. 22, 1748 for 100 pounds  (12:178).  On March 20, 1749/50 James Mattock conveyed to Matthew Talcott one acre in the town plot together with a dwelling partly finished for 190 pounds  (13:43).  Finally, on May 14, 1754 Giles Hall deeded to James Mattocks a parcel on the west side of the river in Middletown for “Forty Pounds Money of the old Tenor”  (15:234).

Matthew Talcott, a ship-owner at Middletown, was the son of Connecticut Governor Joseph Talcott.

James died 8 May 1766 at Middletown.

James Mattocks evidently died intestate; no will is recorded nor are survivors named although one court record dated Mar. 30, 1768 refers to the “widdow’s dower” (Probate Record II B:137).  Over date of July 22, 1767, the commission appointed to settle the estate of James Mattocks found it insolvent with debts of twenty pounds and inventoried assets of eleven pounds.  The inventory, presented to the court on Mar. 30, 1768, consisted of one-half acre of land, a large quantity of woodworking tools including a turning lathe valued at 2 shillings; also a “New trundel bed sted” valued at 4 shillings, a “meet tub” at 1s, 6p, and 1 small Bible, as well as household furniture and clothing (II:419-20).

James was reportedly buried in the town’s first burial ground, Riverside Cemetery, also known as the Old North Burying Ground, located in the northern part of Middletown on the banks of the Connecticut River.  In 1848, it was written of the cemetery that:

It is terraced down towards the stream, leaving just room, outside the high wall which protects it from the freshets of the spring, for an unfrequented road.  The river here is broad, and turning abruptly about half a mile below, sweeps away to the east in a graceful and majestic curve.  Its current above is divided by an island that bends in a verdant crescent towards the further shore, while just beyond on the left a large tributary enters, spanned at its mouth by a picturesque bridge.  On the opposite shore of the river rise gently the green slopes and long pleasant village of Portland, enriched by extensive quarries, whose distant echoes ring and resound, mellowed to the ear. . . .

There are but few modern graves in this yard; the space is mostly occupied by those who were laid here before the Revolution, and on every side long rows of sombre sandstones treasure the memories of good wives and dear children and exemplary deacons.  As one wanders among them, he smiles reverentially to see the platoons of amorphous angels that grin and stare from the headstones carved in every variety of ugliness.  And at every corner strange, uncouth epitaphs excite mirth that he cannot suppress.  And yet, amid the inconsistency of merriment in such a place, he does not forget the reverence due to the stern and virtuous race whose tributes of grief have thus become jests in these modern times.

Sarah is said to have died in 1768.

Children of James and Sarah (Peirce) Mattocks:

+    256.1.  Sarah, born 15 January 1726/7.
+    256.2.  Ann [or Anna], born 12 October 1731.
+    256.3.  James [128], born perhaps in 1737.
+    256.4.  Samuel, born 30 December 1739.
+    256.5.  Mary, born 22 June 1742.
+    256.6.  Sarah, born 10 July 1744.
+    256.7.  John, born 2 August 1746.
+    256.8.  Joseph, born 21 August 1751.


Samuel Mattocks and Ann March

Posted in Ann (March) Mattocks, Ann March, Samuel Mattocks by Gregg Mattocks on 22 February 2009

Samuel Mattocks [512]

Father: Samuel Mattocks [1024]

Mother: Constance Fairbanks [1025]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Ann March [513]

Father: Nicholas March [1026]

Mother: Martha —– [1027]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Samuel Mattocks [512] was born 15 October 1659 at Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

On 11 November 1678, “Samll Mattock junr” took the oath of allegiance at Boston, the oath being administered by Massachusetts Governor John Leverett.

In the will of his grandmother Mary Mattocks, dated 8 January 1680/1 and proved 11 April 1682, Samuel was to receive £30 from his brother James when Samuel attained the age of 21.  Records indicate that Samuel was born before James, so it seems strange to me that Mary would have entrusted the distribution of her estate to the younger grandson rather than the elder.

Samuel appeared on a list of inhabitants of Boston compiled in 1687, apparently living next door to his father.

Samuel, of Boston, was married, 2 mo. 12 d. 1688 [12 April 1688], by Ch: Morton, at Charlestown, Massachusetts, to Ann March [513].  “Their publicacon Testifyed by Robert Williams.”

Ann was born about 1663, the “Daughter of ye Widdow Dadey of Charles Town.”  Her parents were Nicholas and Martha (——) March.

Samuel Mattock was appointed as one of four hogreeves at the Town Meeting of 11 March 1694/5.

Samuel was apparently the “Samuel Mattocks, tailor,” who along with “John Nichols, joiner, both of Boston,” were sureties to Robert Gould when, on 20 December 1710, Robert was granted administration at Suffolk County, Massachusetts, of the estate of his son Samuel Gould, late of Hull.  Samuel Gould died at sea about July 1707 while bound at sea from New England for Barbados.

According to the Mattocks Memorial Package (1989), members of the Mattocks family migrated to the Connecticut River Valley sometime after 1700, settling in Middletown, Connecticut.  Other family members were reported by the Memorial to have removed to Maine at this time.  The Mattocks Memorial Package speculated that Samuel was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut.  However, I have found no evidence that Samuel ever moved from Massachusetts, nor do I find other members of his family in Middletown until about 1739, and I therefore assume that Samuel died at Boston and was buried there.  In addition, I have found no records of any family members in Maine at this time.

Family historian Alfred Little reported the existence of guardianship records on file with Suffolk County for Elizabeth and Ann Mattocks.  If Elizabeth and Ann were the daughters of Samuel and Ann, the existence of these guardianship papers would lead me to believe that Samuel and Ann had died while the girls were still young and unmarried.  Elizabeth is known to have married in September 1710 so that, if the guardianship papers were hers, the records must pre-date that marriage and I would therefore assume that her parents had died by that time.

However, other records indicate that the Samuel Mattocks of this sketch may have still been living after 1710, perhaps as late as 1727.  In October 1715, “Samuel Mattocks, Jr.,” of Boston filed a complaint with the Suffolk County Court.  In 1720 at Boston, “Samuel Mattocks, Jr.,”  provided surety for John Harristy during his probationary period after Harristy’s conviction for assault.  Further, “Samll. Mattock Junior” married, in February 1722, at Boston, Sarah Cross.  It would seem that Samuel Mattocks, Jr., in these records was the son of the Samuel Mattocks of this sketch, and the fact that the younger was referred to as “Junior” suggests that the “Senior” Samuel Mattocks was still living.

There were two men named Samuel Mattocks working as chairmakers in Boston at least as late as 1724.

During the first half of the eighteenth century, Boston chairmakers continually developed faster and more efficient ways to construct seating furniture. The use of patterns, structural shortcuts, and piecework purchased from turners, carvers, and other specialists gave the city’s merchants, upholsterers, and entrepreneurs a financial edge over their competitors in other ports. Early in his career, [Thomas] Fitch’s apprentice Samuel Grant (1705–1784, fl. 1728) purchased chair frames from John Leach, James Johnson, and Edmund Perkins (1683–1781), the latter of whom bought parts from Samuel Mattocks, Jr. and Sr. These frames were upholstered either in Grant’s shop or by contractors such as Thomas Baxter. Grant’s trade network, which probably developed from the one established by his master, subsequently expanded to include chairmakers Thomas Dillaway, Samuel Ridgway, Clement Vincent, Henry and William Perkins (Edmund’s sons); joiner Daniel Ballard; and carvers Benjamin Luckie and John Welch (1711–1789)….

In 1724, Samuel Mattocks, Sr. and Jr., sued chairmaker Edmund Perkins for debt, which suggests that they had furnished him with turned components or other piecework. The Mattocks, in turn, commissioned John Lincoln for carving. Such interdependence makes it difficult to determine if the chairs in this group were assembled in one shop that offered a number of stylistic variations or in several shops. The columnar side stretchers on several of these examples are similar to those on a small group of Boston easy chairs that appear to date between 1710 and 1720.

Finally, in January 1727, “Saml. Mattock Junr.” was married to Mary Spooner, the last known reference to a “Junior” Samuel.

If the  Samuel Mattocks of this sketch did indeed die after 1710, as seems likely, he may be the man of that name who, in 1712, advertised a brig for sale at his wharf near the Sign of the Sloop in Ann Street.

But why do guardianship records exist for Elizabeth and Ann Mattocks?  It may be that their mother had died before the girls came of age.  And perhaps their father was considered unqualified to raise the girls on his own.  I should attempt to obtain copies of the guardianship records in order to resolve this mystery.

Through their daughter Elizabeth, Samuel and Ann were the great-grandparents of Samuel Maverick who was shot in the Boston Massacre on 5 March 1770 and died the following day, aged 17.

Children of Samuel and Ann (March) Mattocks:

+    512.1.  Samuel, born 17 December 1688.
+    512.2.  Elizabeth, born 20 September 1691.
+    512.3.  Perhaps James.
+    512.4.  James [256], born 4 September 1694.
+    512.5.  Mary.
+    512.6.  Ann, born 21 July 1702.


Samuel Mattocks and Constance Fairbanks

Posted in Constance (Fairbanks) Mattocks, Constance Fairbanks, Samuel Mattocks by Gregg Mattocks on 31 January 2009

Samuel Mattocks [1024]

Father: James Mattocks [2048]

Mother: Mary [Spoore?] [2049]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Constance Fairbanks [1025]

Father: Richard Fairbanks [2050]

Mother: Elizabeth [Daulton?] [2051]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


Samuel Mattocks [1024], according to the Mattocks Memorial Package (1989), was born about 1625 to 1630 in England.  John and Walter Mattocks (1885) erroneously reported that he was born at Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  Samuel was married, 30: 1: 53 [30 March 1653], at Boston, by Wm Hibbins, to Constance Fairbanks [1025].  Constance was baptized “10th day, 11th month, 1635” [10 January 1636], the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth ([Daulton?]) Fairbanks.

A confusing series of land transactions was recorded about the time of Samuel’s marriage.  On 25 April 1653, Samuel’s father James Mattocks is said to have purchased a house and land from Samuel Barnes, a solicitor who was returning to England.  James deeded this property over to his son Samuel Mattocks on 27 April 1653.  The property was allegedly deeded back to James on the same date.  “The reason for doing this is not certain but it is believed the former owner had specified a business restriction until the property had changed hands three times.”  Alfred W. Little, in his study on the Mattocks family, stated that, on 27 July 1653, James “was deeded from the Samuel Barnes estate a house, buildings, land, and a wharf facing the sea.”  The same day James deeded to son Samuel and his wife Constance “a house, buildings, land and wharf in Boston, with shop lately built, adjoining to the west land of said James Mattock; facing the sea.”  I have not had the opportunity to peruse the Suffolk County Deed Book where these transactions are said to have been recorded.  The similarity of transactions and of dates leads me to believe that the transactions have been confused.  It seems likely that Samuel’s father would have provided Samuel and his new bride with a home.  Constance’s parents may have even insisted upon the gift as a condition of the marriage.  Charles Henry Pope claimed that James gave this property to his son.  The description of the property sold by Samuel and Constance Mattocks in 1678 matches exactly with the tract described by Little as having been deeded to them in 1653.

An inventory of the estate of Mr. Elkanah Gladman of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, taken 23 November 1664, recorded from Elkanah’s “Book” that Samuel Mattox owed a debt to Elkanah.

Samuel was bequeathed 20 shillings in the will of his father James Mattocks, dated 21 January 1666 (with codicil of 28 January 1666) and proved 1 August 1667.  In his will, James stipulated that “Inasmuch as my Children respectively have had portions of my estate, if any or either of my Children Do make any Sute, Demand, to the trouble & vexation of my wife, for any part of my estate in land, goods or debts otherwise then according to this my Will, That then either of them so Doing shall clearly loose such legacy by me given, & that my bequeath to him or her shall be clearly void as if the same had never been to him or her given or made.”

Samuel followed his father in the occupation of cooper.  Appeals for regulation were made by the coopers of Massachusetts Bay colony on 27 May 1668.

In answer to the petition of seuerall coopers, inhabitants of Boston & Charls Toune, the Court, hauing considered this petition, & also pervsed the lawe about caske & coopers, and finding the lawes haue prouided for rectifying many of the evills here mentioned, see not reason to determine any thing further at present, but doe order & appoint Capt Wm Dauis, Capt Thomas Lake, Mr Jno Richards, Mr Laurenc Hammond, & Mr James Russell to be a comittee for the ends desired, or any three of them, whereof Capt Dauis to be one, & to appoint time & place, & call for any of the coopers to advise wth them, presenting their apphencons wt they judg meet to be donn to the next sessions of this Court.

In 1669, a Town Meeting appointed Samuel as one of two Culler of Staves.

On 19 May 1669, the Colony enacted further laws regulating the production of cooper’s pipestaves.

Whereas the law, title Pipe Staues, page 64, prouides only for pipe staues for tite cask, & that hogshead staues & barrell staues, both of white & red oake, as well as pipe staues, are frequently transported & traffiqued in payments, it is ordered by this Court & the authority thereof, that all hogshead staues shall bee in length three foote two ynches or vpwards, not exceeding three foote fowre ynches, & all barrell staues shall bee in length thirty one ynches, all well & euen hewed or dressed, sufficiently for vse, as for pipe staues is expressed, whether of white or red oake; and all headings for pipe staues, of any sort, to bee in length twenty eight ynches, & for hogsheads & barrells sutable to the cask to bee made thereof, & that it bee inserted in the oath appointed for uiewers of pipe staues, page 88, any thing in the aforesajd law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Know all men by these prsents that I John Andrews of Boston Cooper haue for the Consideracon of Six thousand Merchantable barrell timber sold Vnto thomas Summers of the Same place Marriner a certayne boat Now Lieing in the Mill Creeke in Boston with all the appurtenances to the Said boate in any wise appertayning which Said boat the Said Thomas Summers formerly Sould Vnto the Said John Andrews In Witness whereof I haue heerevnto Set to my hand & seale this Second Day of December 1670

Sealed & deliuered in the

presence of John Starr John  A  Andrews
His Marke
& a seale

Indorsed:  Know all whome these may Conserne that I Thomas Summers Sometymes resident in Boston marriner doe assigne make ouer & deliuer the boat heerein Mentioned to samuell Mattock of boston aforesaid for hee the Said Mattock to Vse possesse & Injoy the same for the propper vse & beehoofe of him & his heirs & Assignes as Wittnese my hand this fourth Day of January 1670

Wittnese Tho: Summers
Edw. Richmond Sworne before mee Richard
Samuell Browne Parker Comissionr 26. 6. 1671
Edward Richmond &
Samuell Browne
testifie to the truth of this.

Recorded & compared 1st: 7br: 7i p ffreeGrace Bendall Cler.

At a meeting of the Selectmen, Samuel was again appointed as a Culler of Staves for the years 1671/2 to 1691/2.  In 1672/3, a Town Meeting concurred in appointing Samuel as a Culler of Staves.

On 28 January 1672/3, the Suffolk County Court presented “Samuell Mattock . . . for Idleness & neglecting his Family of which hee was convict in Court.  The Court Sentenceth him to bee sent to the house of correction for an idle person & to pay Fees of Court.”

In 1675, Samuel’s name appeared as one of ninety petitioners to the General Court of Massachusetts asking for the removal of the Narragansett Indians from the Colony.

To the Right Honoble the Governor Depty Govr Magistrates & Deputyes now assembled in the Generall Court February ye 22 1675.

Honoured Srs we are not Ignorant of yor Ernest and Solicitous Endeavours to have prevented the sad providences that have befalne us by this present Warr: the great Loss that this poore Country have sustained both in the Lives and Estates of many worthy persons, but also in those that are in Captivity under the Heathen, which Doubtless doth Lye Heavy upon yor Spirits as well as ours: And will without the imediate hand of God worke for us: and some Speedy meanes be used by yorselves prove the ruine of us all: And therefore we (as part) freemen and other inhabitants being in the same Danger and Hazard doe presume now to propound to yor Honors these Consideracons following Leaveing you to ye guidance and direction of the All wise God begging of him that you may have supplyes of Wisdome from above: to conclude matters so as may be for the greatest peace & safety of this poore people in this day of our Callamity.

First. Whether it may not be convenient in this Juncture of time to nominate and appoint three or foure meet persons to give Commissions to all partyes that are or shall be sent out with power to give Comissions or Coppyes to such as the Councell of Warr in the field shall thinke meet: with power to act and doe in all things relateing to this present Warr according as the Emergency of the occasion shall require; without farther order.

2. That our Frontiere townes be sufficiently Garrisoned to defend them from the rage of the Enimie.

3. That there be a sufficient army speedyly sent forth and divided into two or three partyes with order to follow the Indians wheresoevr they can heare of them and be able to reach them.

4. That Due incouragemt be given to all such persons as shall be willing to adventure their Lives for the suppressing of the Enimye. And that this be accomplished with all Expedition: For if seed time and planting time be prevented or obstructed we shall be in great Hazard of a Famin.

5. That some Effectual and Speedy Course may be taken for the preventing of the Narragansets possessing their country or returning thither, in regard it is Judged they may have store of Corne there hidd in secret places which the English have not yet found: But if they had no corne there, that is such a place for shell fish and other as is not the like in all these parts: And if God by his providence doe not bring them Low before planting time, many of our men will unavoideably be destroyed & their Habitations Laid in Ashes:

6. That some speedy Course be taken for the removall of those Indians that dwell in and amongst our Plantations to some place farther remote from us.

7. That plowing and sowing be furthered by mutual agreemt of People in Each towneship togather and that they helpe Each other: and have a guard about them untill Each Lott be improved.

8. That unimproved Lands in perticular proprietyes that Lye freer from the danger of the Enimy be planted and sowne by those that are driven from their habitations for the supplye of them selves and Comon Benefitt.

We desire our Loveing friends to present these Consideracons to the Honoble Generall Court.

From 1676 to 1679, Constance Mattocks was recorded as an innkeeper and liquor-seller at Boston.  It appears that she had previously worked in this occupation, as a 1676 Suffolk County Court recorded that “Constance Mattox . . . had her licence renewed to keepe a Cookes Shop & sell beere & Sider by retaile . . . & her husband Samll Mattox gave in bond Sureties for her observance of the laws . . . & that Shee should not sell Sider for more than two pence a quart.”

In a 1678 suit against Samuel Mattock, the Suffolk County Court found that Samuel should pay the plaintiff “three pounds Sixteen Shillings & six pence to be paid in money and Six thite barrells.”

On 20 December 1678, Samuel and Constance deeded their Boston shop land and wharf to Edward Budd.

This Indenture made the twentieth day of December Anno. Domi. One thousand Six hundred Seventy and Eight And in the thyrtieth yeare of the Reign of King Charles the Second over England &c. Between Samuel Mattox of Boston in the Colony of the Massachusetts in New England Cooper & Constant his wife on the one part: And Edward Budd of Boston aforesđ. Carver on the other part Witnesseth that the sd. Samuel Mattox and Constant his wife for and in consideration of a valuable Sume of lawfull money of New England to them in hand pd. at & before the Ensealing hereof, wherewith they do hereby acknowledge themselves to bee fully Satisfied and paid Have demised granted Set and to ffarme lett, and by these presents doe demise grant Set and to ffarme lett unto the sd. Edward Budd his heires Execrs. Admrs. and Assignes all that theire Shop Land and wharfe scituate lying and being in Boston aforesd. neare unto the draw bridge, being butted and bounded Northerly by the Streete that Leads to the sd. draw Bridge, Easterly by the land of the Widdow Mattox, Southerly by the Sea, Westerly by the land now in the tenure and occupation of Katharin Naylor or her Assignes measuring in breadth at the front Eighteen foote and an halfe with the flatts that adjoin to and lye next before the sd. demised premisses to the Seaward or Low water marke, together with all profits priviledges rights & Appurtenances whatsoever to the sd. demised premisses belonging or in any wise Appertaining To Have and to hold the sd. Shop Land & wharfe and fflats with all other the abovedemised premisses and theire Appurtenances and every part and parcell unto the sd. Edward Budd his heires Execrs. Admrs. and Assignes from the Eight day of ffebruary next insuing the day of the date hereof for and during the full term of the naturall lives of the sd. Samuel Mattox and Constant his wife and the life of the Survivor. of them. And the sd. Samuel Mattox & Constant his wife do hereby Covenant promiss and grant to & with the sd. Edward Budd his Execrs. Admrs. and assignes in manner following (that is to Say) That the sd. Edward Budd his heires Execrs. Admrs. and assignes shall and may by virtue of these presents lawfully peaceably and quietly have hold use occupy possess and enjoy the above demised premisses with theire Appurtenances during the full term of the naturall lives of the sd. Samuel Mattox and Constant his wife and the life of the Survivor. of them without any manner of Lett Sute trouble molestation or disturbance of the sd. Samuel Mattox and Constant his wife or either of them or of any other person or persons whatsoever claiming by from or under them or by theire or either of theire meanes consent title or procurement. And also that what Wharfeing or houseing soever the sd. Edwd. Budd his heires Execrs. admrs. or assignes shall make erect Set down or build upon the sd. wharfe Land and fflatts (besides what is already buil’t) within the sd. term, that hee the sd. Edward Budd his heires Execrs. Admrs. and Assignes shall have liberty and hereby hath liberty to remove float and carry away the same for his and theire own proper use at the end and expiration of the aforesd. term. In Witness whereof the sd. Samuel Mattox and Constant his wife have hereunto Set theire hands and Seales the day and yeare first abovewritten.

Samuel Mattocke Constant Mattocke
& a Seale Appendt. & a Seale Appendt.
Signed Sealed & Deliud. in Samuel Mattock and Constant his wife
the presence of us. acknowledged this Instrumt. to bee
Isaac Cousens. theire act and deed: Januro. 22:
John Hayward Scr. 1678. Before me
Edward Tyng Asst.
Entred 24o: Januro. 1678. p. Isa: Addington Cler

In the will of his mother Mary Mattocks, dated 8 January 1680/1 and proved 11 April 1682, Samuel was bequeathed land for his life.  He was also named in the will as executor of his mother’s estate.

Samuel was mentioned in a County Court case held 27 June 1682.

Richard Knott, plt:, agst: Job Tookey, deft:, in an action etc. acco: to atachmt: dated 24 March 168½: withdrawne. The writ was issued by Moses Mavericke Esq. per curiam for the town of Marblehead and directed to the constable of Marblehead. The return on the back of the writ was made by Elias Henly, constable of Marblehead, who declared that for want of security he had delivered the body of Job Tookie to Benjamin Felton, Goale keeper of Salem. It seems that an agreement had been made between Knott and Tookey (the latter then of Boston) 21 February 1681, under which the defendant was bound to go in the service of the said Knott on a fishing account for seven months, in consideration of which time and service was to be paid the sum of forty shillings per month in fish as money and was to be found in meat, drink, washing and other necessaries for a fishing voyage, as lines, hooks, lead &c. And the said Knot agreed to pay Samuel Mattocks of Boston the sum of thirty-seven shillings and Mr. Wintworth of Great Island in Pascataqua river seven pounds per order and agreement with said Tookey.

From the evidence of Nicholas Puckett it would appear that when Tookie and he took some ballast aboard Dr. Knott’s Ketch the hatches being open “Tookie” ran to a hogshead of rum that stood in the Hold and tooke out the bounge, took the steme of an Indian tobaco pipe which was like a read and drank out of the bounge of the Hoggh soe terrible that in a short tyme hee was uncapeable for to doe any bisiness.

June the 23th: 82 Doctor Knott came to Goodm:Feltons house for a Coppy of ye Attachment I hearing his Tongue (may it please ye honored Court) callid unto him & desired him to send me my shirt & Drawers Whereupon he came to Goodm:ffeltons back Door rayling and reuiling at me most sadly calling of Rogue and Sirrah telling of me he had better at home to wipe his shoes then euer my father was for he said he was an Annybaptisticall Quakeing Rogue that for his maintainence went up & down England to delude soules for ye Diuell wch is no small Greife to me, to Thinke that he has not Onilye abused me in keeping of me in clos Prison almost this fourteen weekes but abuse him whom he neuer knew but was well knowne to be a religuous Godly man by seuerall good Godly people here in New England; likewise his Library wch I brought ouer to This Country Proues him (may it please ye honourd Court) not to be neither Quaker nor Anny baptist. Wch ye Reuerend Mr Madder of Boston & ye Worshipf Mr Danford of Cambridge are Sensible of besides a great many Scollers of Cambridge wch bought seuerall of ye Bookes pertaining to my fathers Library. . .

More about the mishaps of Job Tookie, and his relation to Dr.  Richard Knott, can be found in a petition made by Tookie to the Essex County, Massachusetts, Court.

May it please The Honourd Court

I beseech your honours To take this sad miserable and deplorable Condition I am now in; into your honours considerations: in considering in the first place of my Education & bringing up wch was to learning (my great grand father was a Doctor of Divinitye in London in Queen Elizabeths Tyme & Deceased there; my Grandfather was Minester of St Iues (well known by ye honoured Gouernr Broadstreet as his honour told me himselfe)  And likewise by Major Pembleton of Winter hauen* now Deceased)  My father (may it please ye honoured Court) and Mr William Bridge Preached Twelve yeares together in ye new Church of Great Yarmouth  I being his Eldest son he did Intend I should have been a minister  And in my Thirteenth yeare of Age sent me to Emanuel Collidge in Cambridge it being ye same Colledge he himselfe was brought up in:  But ye prouidence of God ordered it so The Tymes altering; I had been there but a fortnight before my father sent for me home and asked me if I was willing to goe to London to be an Apprentice;  My answer was That I was willing to Submitt to his pleasure whereupon he sent me to London & I was Bound an Apprentice to a Whole Sale Grocer in Cheapside; But I had nott been an Apprentice much aboue a yeare before ye Chiefest part of ye Citty was Burnt; my Master sustaining therby so great a Losse as he did by reason his Owne house he liued in & all his Goods and likewise seuerall other houses he had rented out in ye Citty Broke; and was not able to sett up his Trade againe; Wherupon I being uery young desired my father if he pleased That he would giue his Consent that I might goe to Sea; Which request of myne (may it please ye honourd Court) he Consented unto; And bound me an Apprentice for Three yeares to Capt Samll Scarlett of Boston to serue to ye Sea; Which Tyme I truly served as is well knowne by seuerall of Boston; now ye Debt (may it please ye honoured Court) wch Doctor Knott sayes he has Engaged to pay in my behalfe I did not owe it through any Extrauegance but Through ye Prouidence of God having been taken twice and cast away Once since I came out of England; And now lately I accidentally cutt all ye Sinews of my right hand: through wch means I was forced to lye lame upwards of six months not being able to use one of my fingers in six months Tyme; That what ye Doctor had for ye Cure of my hand ye Charges I was att for Washing Lodging & Diet it being in so deere a place as it was in Piscataqua River besides the Losse of my Tyme; brought me thus behinde hand; And Therfore I humbly desire your honours to Commiserate my pour & Distressed Condition I am now in; being a Stranger to your honours and likewise to this Towne hauing layn here almost fourteen Weekes in Close prison; The Lord knowing that there is no one knowes what here I haue suffered since I came in here hauing not now halfe ye strength I had when I came first in here; The Lord knows when I shall recouer my strength againe (but my trust I hope is still in him) besides ye Losse of my most pretious Tyme wch can neuer be recalled againe  In wch Tyme (may it please ye honoured Court) I might haue paid Mr Wentworth of Piscataqua his Debt but haue maliciousley been Debarred from it; & kept here by a Writched malicious man falsely wch I question not but your Honours plainlye sees it.

Your honours Poor and humble Declarant and Petionr Who prayes for yor honours health happinesse and Prosperitye in this Lyfe and in ye World to come lyfe Euerlasting

So prays Your honours humble Petitioner & Seruant


A list of inhabitants of Boston was made in a valuation compiled in 1687.  The list may well have been ordered from neighbor to neighbor, as it was originally written down.  Thus, we find:

  • Mary Lake, widow
  • Thomas Child (2)
  • Ralph Carter (2)
  • Robert Johnson
  • Samuel Nanney
  • Samuel Mattocks, Sen’r
  • Samuel Mattocks, Jun’r
  • Thomas Bishop
  • Ann Checkley, widow
  • Capt. William Wright (2)
  • John Coney, Sen’r (2)
  • Matthew Gross

It would seem from the above list that Samuel was living near his son Samuel and his brother-in-law Thomas Bishop.

Samuel was apparently living in 1691/2, as family historian Alfred Little reported that Samuel was a Culler of Staves in that year.  According to the Mattocks Memorial Package, Samuel died in 1695, probably at Boston.  Family historian Carl Mattocks wrote that Samuel died after 1695.  The Memorial Package speculated that Samuel was buried at Copps Ancient Burial Grounds in Boston, but published records do not support this assertion.

Constance did not appear on a 1714 list of “Inholders or Taverners and of the Retailers without Doors in Boston.”  A Thomas Webber was listed as an innholder, and he may have been the son-in-law of Samuel and Constance, and come into possession of their inn.

A will for a Constance Mattocks apparently is on file with Suffolk County.

Children of Samuel and Constance (Fairbanks) Mattocks:

+    1024.1.  Samuel [512], born 15 October 1659.

+    1024.2.  Elizabeth, born in 1661.

+    1024.3.  James, born 26 November [or perhaps 27 October] 1662.

+    1024.4.  Constance, born 17 September 1665.

+    1024.5.  Zaccheus, born in 1668.

+    1024.6.  John, born 24 September 1669.

+    1024.7.  Elizabeth, born 21 August 1670.

+    1024.8.  Mehitabel, born 7 or 17 November 1672.

+    1024.9.  Mary, born 13 November 1673.

+    1024.10.  Fairbanke, born 11 February 1675/6.


James Mattocks and Mary [Spoore?]

Posted in James Mattocks, Mary ([Spoore?]) Mattocks, Mary [Spoore?] by Gregg Mattocks on 25 January 2009

James Mattocks [2048]

Father: unknown [4096]

Mother: unknown [4097]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Mary [Spoore?] [2049]

Father: unknown [4098]

Mother: unknown [4099]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


James Mattocks [2048], immigrant, while in Boston, Massachusetts, had a life that, while not auspicious, was not altogether obscure, and many records there give indications of his activities and his character.  Unfortunately, it is only after his arrival in Boston that he can be confidently traced.  One can assume that he and his family came from England.  Nearly all of the early settlers in Boston were from there.  The name “Mattocks” is of Welsh derivation and was common throughout England.  But since James’ Old World origins have not been determined, there is no convincing record of his parentage, birth, childhood, marriage, or of the births of his children.

James’ birth date can only be approximated from the little information that exists.  Since James had arrived in Boston by at least 1638, and since it is probable that his three children were born by then (there is no record of their births in Boston), James was very likely at least 25 years old in that year, having  been born by 1613 at the latest.  The age of his wife, Mary [Spoore?] [2049], would be calculated similarly.  In her will, written in 1681, she described herself as “aged,” and she would have probably been at least 67 years old.  Indeed, her characterization of herself as “aged” and her death in 1682 suggest that she may have been nearer to 80 years old in 1681, placing her birth (as well as her husband’s) nearer 1600.

There is reason to believe that James and Mary’s daughter Alice was widowed of her first husband, Mr. Bishop, before the family’s arrival in 1638.  No records have been located chronicling either their marriage or his death.  If it were true that Alice was widowed by 1638, her parents would probably have been born by 1600.

There is the further evidence of James’ reputed brother-in-law, John Spoore, who was in Boston by 20° (1°)1637 [20 March 1638] when his daughter Mary was born.  John Spoore and his wife, Elizabeth, had children through 1650, suggesting that John and Elizabeth were born around 1610.  This would place them in the same generation as James and Mary Mattocks.

Finally, there is statistical evidence.  The median age of death for male emigrants to New England was 71 years which — since we know James died in 1667 — would place his birth about 1596.  Female emigrants died at a median age of 67 years which, with Mary’s death in 1682, would put her birth at about 1615.  By these calculations, about nineteen years would have separated the ages of James and Mary.  It is likely then that James may have been born somewhat later and Mary somewhat earlier than these figures suggest.  The average age of husbands at the time of emigration was 37 years, which would place James’ birth at about 1600.

The evidence suggests that James and Mary were most likely born some time between 1600 and 1610.  James’ profession provides some reason for placing his birth earlier rather than later.  As a cooper, James probably endured a period of apprenticeship, during which time he likely was forbidden to marry.  Apprenticeships commonly began at the age of fourteen and lasted for seven years, implying that James would not have married until the age of 21 at the earliest.

Genealogist James Savage claimed that James came to Boston from Bristol.  I have found no records to explain from where this assertion came, but it is interesting that John Farmer and Samuel G. Drake mentioned a James Maddox who came from Bristol and settled at Newbury, Massachusetts.

James Maddox of Newbury was said to have been the brother of John Maddox of Lynn, Salem, and Newbury, Massachusetts.  In 1634, John, a sawyer, came to America aboard the ship Planter, sailing from Stepney Parish, county Middlesex.  The incongruity that John was from Stepney while his brother James came from Bristol, Farmer and Drake did not explain.  I have been unable, in my research, to verify the existence of James Maddox of Newbury.  His brother John, however, may have a link with the Mattocks family of Boston.  On the first day of the 4th mo 1641 [4 June 1641], at a quarter court of the Assistants of Massachusetts, “Rob’t Lewis & John Madox were discharged the p’sentmt being mistaken, their answer being judged reasonable.”  In Salem, John worked with Robert Lewis on the ship Sara for Richard Hollingsworth, shipbuilder, “who gave them an order for the money” 19 August 1641.  Robert Lewis may have been related to John Lewis, a one-time Salem resident, who married James Mattocks’ daughter, Alice, in 1659.  John Maddox, born about 1591, died 22 April 1643.  His estate was inventoried 6 (5) 1644 [6 July 1644].

John and Walter Mattocks in their 1885 ancestral study maintained that James came from Totnes, county Devon.  As eighth-generation descendants of James Mattocks, they may have had reason to know of the English roots of their family.  John and Walter did not provide documentation for their work however, so their assertion remains only an assertion.  Nevertheless, a James Maddicke was born in the area of Totnes in 1603, and a few church records speak of that family.

On 20 February 1603, at Brixham, county Devon, James, son of Lewis Maddicke, was baptized.  A Lewis Maddicke had married, 26 May 1589, at Brixham, Joan Cole.  On 24 June 1597, a Lewis Maddicke, son of Lewis, was baptized at Brixham.  After the birth of this James, the setting changes from Brixham to nearby Churston Ferrers, county Devon, where several church records mention a Madicke family.   A John Madicke married there, 29 September 1593, Edythe Gill.  This John may have been Lewis’ brother, as he apparently had a son named after his brother.  Apparently James’ mother died and Lewis married next, 3 February 1611, Jone Emmyte.  Marrye, daughter of Lewis, was baptized 15 August 1613.  William, son of Lewis, was baptized 24 August 1616.  Lewis died, and was buried at Churston Ferrers, 1 March 1618.  Edythe Maddocke, probably the wife of John, was buried there 17 November 1624.  Mary Maddocke, presumably James’ half-sister, married, 1 February 1639, James Lame.

So here is a family for our James: a father Lewis, a mother Joan, an uncle John, an aunt Edith, a stepmother Jone, a half-sister Mary, a half-brother William, and a brother-in-law James Lame.  Lewis, father of James, died when the boy was only fifteen.  James’ marriage to Mary is not recorded at Churston Ferrers.  Nor is there mention of a sister Elizabeth, who could have provided John Spoore with a wife, and explained the reference to Spoore as James Mattocks’ “brother.”  But a Maria Spoore, daughter of “Roberti,” was baptized 16 April 1601 at Ugborough, county Devon.  The name of Robert Spoore appears early in Massachusetts; that Robert was probably a son of John Spoore, perhaps named after his grandfather.

Interestingly, Totnes, Brixham, Churston Ferrers, Clapton, and Bristol are all located in the Western Country of England, conveniently near Wales where the surname “Mattocks” originated.  It is conceivable that James lived in more than one of these West Country locations, being born in Brixham or Churston Ferrers for instance.  The county of Devon would have had little to entice young James to stay.

On its miles and miles of waste lands and vast moors, the peasants had become a pastoral people; even though the flocks were not as large as those in other counties, John Hooker thought Devon contained more sheep.  Elsewhere the landscape was divided into small, irregular fields, often no more than one acre, enclosed by hedgerows, and between the rows, traversing the countryside, ran a network of country lanes.  As early as 1599, a fine apple cider produced from the fruit of the many orchards was preferred to beer for long voyages into southern waters: it kept better and was cheaper than wine.  In general, however, farming did not prove remunerative.

In Devon’s cider industry, James could have found usefulness as a cooper.  Instead, he may have removed to Clapton as a youth, perhaps shortly after the death of his father Lewis.  The county of Somerset, where Clapton is located, was a land of grazing sheep and fields of grain.  It is there that James might have encountered husbandman John Spoore, and more important, he might have met and wooed Mary Spoore.  No proof has been found that Spoore had a sister Mary, but if he did, and if she and James were married, then Spoore’s mystery reference to his “brother” James Mattocks would be resolved.  The reference to John Spoore as the “brother” of James Mattocks, I have sought to explain by assuming the term meant “brother-in-law.”  Other possible interpretations can be imagined.  John and James might have been stepbrothers or half-brothers, or the designation might simply have referred to their “fraternity” in the Church.

If James did live in Clapton, it seems likely that he would have embarked on his journey to America from the nearby seaport of Bristol.  Most of the emigrants to America during this period lived within forty miles of their port of departure.  If James lived in Devon just before his departure for New England, it seems likely that he would have sailed from Plymouth or Torquay.

James might have lived in Bristol for a time.  In the early seventeenth century, economic upheavals motivated many young Englishmen to migrate from the countryside to nearby urban areas, seeking positions as servants or apprentices.  If James’ father died when the boy was fifteen, relatives might have decided the best thing to do with the lad would be to send him to town to learn a trade.  Opportunities for a cooper would have been good in the bustling harbor at Bristol in an era of expanding world trade.  With a population of 10,549 in 1607, Bristol was attracting workers from the adjacent counties and even further away to serve apprenticeships.  In 1639, Peter Mundy reported that “Bristoll is even a little London for Merchants, shipping, and great and well furnished Marketts, etts., and I think second to it in the kingdom of England for these perticulars and others.”  A Boston friend of James, Samuel Bitfield, who was born in Somerset, served as a cooper’s apprentice in Bristol from 1616 to 1622. Perhaps James came to Bristol with Samuel, and worked with Samuel as an apprentice.

Around the age of fourteen, many youths would be bound as apprentices to learn a trade or craft.

During the apprenticeship, the apprentice received food, clothing, lodging and education, in particular an education in the “mystery” of the master’s trade.  During these years the apprentice was forbidden to contract a marriage (or fornicate), frequent alehouses or taverns, or engage in games of chance with cards and dice.  At the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentice received two suits of clothing, a sum of money, and/or a set of tools.

The uniform of an apprentice typically was of russet cloth.  In the summer a blue cloak was worn, in the winter a blue gown, with breeches and stockings of white broadcloth, and a flat cap.  The youth’s life was strictly regulated.  In addition to the restrictions mentioned above, an apprentice was expected to be at his master’s service night and day including holidays, to provide two days service for each day missed, to report to his master anything “to the prejudice of his master’s goods or good name,” and was not allowed to swear, stay out late, or to carry any weapon except a knife.  “If he ran away he was cried and forcibly brought back, often ill if not brutally treated as an indoor servant, with a poor diet and obliged to sleep in the workshop.”  James’ master may have seen to his education, giving James the literacy required to make his own signature as well as serve as an “attorney” in later years.  After seven years of training, during most of which time the apprentice was exploited as cheap labor, a youth would be tested by a guild to determine his worthiness to become a journeyman.

Undoubtedly after his apprenticeship, James married Mary.  She probably gave birth to their three children in England.  Daughter Alice evidently was the oldest child, since she likely had married her first husband by 1638, and certainly had been widowed of that husband by 1659 when she remarried.  That Alice was mentioned prior to her sister Mary in the wills of their parents suggests that Alice was the older sister.  Son Samuel was likely the second-born child, as he married before his sister Mary.  Daughter Mary then was the last born, and may have been quite young when the family sailed to the New World.  Of course, other children may have been born and either died in childhood or remained in England.

Presumably James worked as a cooper, and likely made an adequate living.  The children grew and Alice, it would seem, married a Mr. Bishop.  At some point, the family resolved to emigrate to Massachusetts.  Undoubtedly some explanation for this decision existed.  Was the family, like so many others, being persecuted for its religious beliefs?  Was someone in the family in “trouble” with the law?  Did James sense that better economic opportunities beckoned overseas?  Had his services as a cooper been solicited from the new colony so hungry for skilled labor?  Or was a combination of factors at work?  It has been said that no one ever moves unless they are unhappy with their present home.  Whatever the answer, the motivation to leave must have been strong.  A perilous journey into an uncertain future lay ahead.

Genealogist James Savage was apparently responsible for the oft-repeated claim that James Mattocks came to Massachusetts before 1635.  Savage’s statement was based on the assumption that Alice was the wife of Nathaniel Bishop, who had come to New England by 1635.  Evidence shows that Alice Mattocks could not have been the wife of Nathaniel Bishop, and therefore the family probably arrived later.

In 1637 or 1638, it would seem, the Mattocks family sold off whatever real estate they owned and packed a few belongings, including coopers’ tools.  If not already there, the family, doubtless accompanied by John and Elizabeth Spoore, journeyed to the port of Bristol.  Perhaps Alice’s husband, Mr. Bishop, was still alive, and boarded the ship with them.  If so, he may have died on the voyage, a not uncommon fate for many would-be immigrants.  James would have already arranged for payment for their passage and freight.  A family of four could have expected to pay £25, about one-fourth of the value of the personal property owned by many urban artisans.  Emigrants were encouraged to bring enough provisions to see them through their first year in the New World.  Ships bound for the New England typically embarked in March or April.

The Mattocks and Spoore families typified the average travelers to New England.  Nearly nine-tenths of the immigrants traveled in family groups.  Adult brothers and sisters frequently sailed together.  Most married couples were in their thirties, had been married for about a decade, and had three or more children.

Passengers were generally required to deliver their baggage to the ship ten days prior to the scheduled departure date, at which time they paid off their freight costs.  Before leaving, the king’s searchers administered the oath of allegiance to the adult emigrants and examined the certificates, which the passengers had obtained from their parish ministers, attesting to the prospective traveler’s religious conformity.  Once approved, the searchers issued “Licenses under their handes and seales, to passe the seas.”  The anxious members of the Mattocks party, crowding onto a small ship which they could expect to occupy for two or three months, or even longer, set sail on an unforgiving ocean, bound for the New World where they would begin a new chapter in their lives.

When James Mattocks made his “small step” onto the anonymous ship bound across the Atlantic, presumably around 1638, he was taking a “giant leap” of faith which would alter forever the fate of his descendants.  Whether New England, in subsequent years, fulfilled the hopes and promises that had motivated him to bring his small family hither, is unknown.  That he stayed in Boston for the rest of his years suggests that to some degree he was satisfied with his family’s momentous decision to emigrate, for he was undoubtedly affluent enough to return to the homeland if he had been compelled to do so.

The long, dull journey across the ocean, which usually averaged eight to ten weeks, must have been a time of worry, fear, and regret, as well as a time of hope and anticipation.  James, his wife Mary, his daughters Alice and Mary, and his son Samuel, probably shared in frequent and fervent prayers for a safe passage, and security and prosperity in the new land.  Seasickness, smallpox, scurvy, and other maladies, along with inclement weather, icebergs, cramped quarters, lack of privacy, and sheer boredom, would have made the voyage tedious if not dangerous, but periods of joy and tranquility would not have been uncommon.  The ship provided a new community, strangers drawn together by the same irresistible force.  Together they shared the daily chores of making meals, cleaning, tending children and livestock, fishing, and comforting the ill.  Undoubtedly they worshiped, fasted, and feasted together.  They viewed, in huddled groups, the unfamiliar wonders of the vast ocean, and shared with each other their life stories and their aspirations for the future.  And, while of deep and lasting significance to the passengers, “[t]he ocean passage, above all else, identified New England’s founding generation, distinguishing its members from ancestors and descendants alike.”

In 1638, Boston was still a young town.  John Winthrop’s fleet of eleven ships holding “some seven hundred passengers” had sailed into Boston Harbor in 1630.  Like the “Pilgrims” who had settled in nearby Plymouth in 1620, Winthrop and his followers were attempting to escape the religious woes of England.  These “Puritans” had received permission, through the commercial charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, to settle in the territory, and Winthrop had been appointed as their governor.  The first years of the colony were difficult, not only with disease and danger, but with the necessity of establishing a viable community with government, commerce, and religion.

But by 1634 the difficulties of the first years — exaggerated reports of which had served to dissuade persons from emigrating — had been largely overcome, while the Laudian attempt to reform the English churches was well underway, driving non-conforming ministers and their most faithful followers to seek a haven overseas.

During the decade of the 1630’s, more than 13,000 people made the journey to Massachusetts.  In 1637 some fifteen hundred immigrants arrived in Massachusetts, and the following year a record three thousand newcomers brought the population of the Bay to more than eleven thousand.  In that year, the town of Boston achieved a population of more than one thousand.

Boston was situated on a small peninsula, at that time only two miles long and one mile wide, comprising 783 acres.  The town was joined to the mainland by a long, low-lying neck.  Three hills dominated the town, Windmill (Copp’s) Hill, Fort Hill, and Tramount (Beacon Hill).  On the eastern side of the peninsula were “South Cove between Fort Hill and the mainland, and ‘the great cove’ between Fort Hill and Windmill Hill, with Town Cove at its head.”  Boston’s central position in the Bay put it in an ideal position to be the nucleus of travel and trade for the surrounding area.  As the capital of the Massachusetts commonwealth, it had “a vitality and excitement, a wealth and prosperity which other towns lacked.”  On the peninsula, a few unpaved roads and lanes meandered.  Most of the homes were modest, built close together, with “unpainted weather-beaten clapboard and fence,” but efforts were made to keep the town clean and orderly.  An open Common had been set aside for the grazing of cattle and sheep, and various “fields” were available for the inhabitants to cultivate.  A windmill creaked away on Windmill Hill and, after 1642, another was located atop Fort Hill.  A beacon dominated Tramount.  Most of the inhabitants lived near Town Cove where market, meeting house, school, and dock were near at hand, and where the church bell was frequently heard.  Tanners, wheelwrights, carpenters, shipwrights, ropemakers, and blacksmiths were at work in the town.

The first order of business for James, upon arriving in Boston, was to secure shelter for his family, even if only on a temporary basis.  At first, the family may have stayed at an inn.  A romanticist might be inclined to believe that the family found accommodations at the establishment of Richard Fairbanks, and that there the young Samuel Mattocks might have first laid eyes on Constance, the innkeeper’s infant daughter, who would grow up to marry Samuel.  At the inn, the newcomers would have been likely to hear gossip about the recent Pequot War, which had required the colony to send an army to Connecticut to put down an Indian uprising.  Another subject of careful conversation would have been the controversy surrounding Anne Hutchinson, leader of a heretical religious faction.

The original policy of the Massachusetts Bay Company was to provide house lots, gardens, and farm land to all new settlers.  Unfortunately, as the immigrants poured in and as available property on the peninsula became scarce, the government was unable to keep up with the demand.  Many of the newcomers found it easier and more desirable to purchase property from the townspeople.  A town ordinance of 1635 required “the approval of the town’s authorities for any sale of land from an established settler to a ‘stranger.’”  Accordingly we find in Boston’s Town Record on 18 (4) 1638 [18 June 1638], that the Boston selectmen allowed “John Spoor late of Clapton, in Somersetshire, to buy Mr. [William] Wilke’s house and ground, and that his brother, James Mattocke, a cooper, shall have liberty to live with him or in some other place in this town.”  William Wilkes, who came to Boston in 1633, had removed to New Haven, Connecticut, by 1639.

The ambiguity of this record allows us to speculate that John Spoore, who was in Boston by March 1638, had preceded his “brother” to Boston, and that James was to arrive later.  But it is more probable — especially considering the suspicious atmosphere following the Hutchinsonian debacle — that the selectmen would have personally screened James prior to consenting to his settlement in the town, and that James had arrived in Boston at the same time as John.  The selectmen carefully observed and regulated the private affairs of the populace, from designating appropriate dress to prohibiting profanity and excessive drinking.  In an effort to promote a harmonious and godly community, undesirables were discouraged, even banned, from settling in Boston.  Like all newcomers, James would have been scrutinized by the authorities.  Since he had been granted permission to live in the town, the selectmen must have been reasonably satisfied with his decency and devotion.

Why did James not purchase his own home?  Several possible explanations suggest themselves.  Perhaps James had not yet made up his mind to permanently settle in Boston.  He might have been too poor to afford his own home and therefore needed to live with his “brother.”  Perhaps John Spoore had better connections in Boston which allowed him to more easily acquire property.  John might have been the “leader” of the little group, taking their care on his shoulders.  This would suggest that John possessed qualities which made him more fit to provide for the two families.  Despite contrary  evidence, John may have been older than James.  If James were temporarily disabled or ill, perhaps from the recent voyage, he might have been unable to pursue his own accommodations.  Perhaps it was just sheer luck that John found a home first.  Interestingly, the record states that James had permission to live, if not with John, “in some other place in this town,” so that the two families may not have shared a home at all.  If the eight did live together, it must have been regarded as a short term situation until James could find a home for his immediate family.  The eight members of the household would have been James Mattocks, wife Mary, daughters Alice and Mary, son Samuel, John Spoore, his wife Elizabeth, and their daughter Mary.  John and Elizabeth Spoore may also have had a son Robert, for a Robert Spoore was in Dorchester, Massachusetts, by 1658.  The crowded home may have been the same as the house and garden owned by John Spoore about 1644.  This property was located on the north side of Fort (later Milk) Street, just west of where it crossed Shelter Creek.

While America later gained fame for its revolutionary concept of separation of religion and government, seventeenth-century Boston’s government to all intents and purposes was the property of the church.  Only one church existed, the Congregational Church, and it ruled the colony with severity and sobriety.  Disdaining the “popish” extravagances of the official religion of England, the founders of Boston created their own “Puritan” ways of worship, and their own moral code.  The Congregationalists chose to limit their church to those who visibly demonstrated their piety and publicly professed their faith and willingness to abide by the church’s covenant.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in Obedience to His holy will, and Divine Ordinaunce

Wee whose names are hereunder written, being by His most wise, and good Providence brought together into this part of America in the Bay of Massachusetts, and desirous to unite our selves into one Congreagation, or Church, under the Lord Jesus Christ our Head, in such sort as becometh all whom He hath Redeemed, and Sanctifyed to Himselfe, doe hereby solemnly, and religiously (as in His most holy Proesence) Promisse, and bind our selves, to walke in all our ways according to the Rule of the Gospell, and in all sincere Conformity to His holy Ordinaunces, and in mutuall love, and respect each to other, so neere as God shall give us grace.

The members of the congregation vested themselves with the power to determine their own affairs.  They elected the church’s officers and together made decisions affecting the church and its members.  This was quite different from the power structure of the Anglican church, which dictated most matters to its parishioners.  Yet, for all its democracy, the Congregational church was strict and unforgiving.  Glorifying God meant being humble and obedient.  Colorful clothes were forbidden, idleness and sports were punished, and on the Sabbath one was expected to be quiet and reflective.

Despite its asceticism, there were some who thought that even the Congregational Church was too “popish” and lax.  Anne Hutchinson, initially a devoted follower of Boston’s Reverend John Cotton, came to question many of the church’s practices.  In her religious zeal, she gathered together a few of the women of the town to discuss church issues.  In time, her meetings came to be attended by both men and women.  Soon, a movement was afoot which disrupted and threatened the Congregational Church.  “Finally, the more vocal Hutchinsonians were brought to trial before the General Court.”  Anne herself was convicted and exiled.  Stunned by the whole incident, the Boston church was reluctant to admit new members who might espouse equally disturbing views.  From 9 January 1637 until 29 December 1638, no communicants were added.  Through the end of 1639, only 76 new members were admitted, during a period “when more than 1,000 people poured into the town.”

Today, it might seem surprising that anyone would have wanted to join the strict Congregationalist church.  But to people of early Boston, “religious and moral teaching was an indispensable part of life and a necessary preparation for death.”  The church was the center of social life as well as the doorway to political and economic influence.  Even if one did not wholly embrace the church, it was certainly disadvantageous to remain entirely out of it.

On the evening of the 24th day of the 12th month 1638 [24 February 1639], James came to the First Church in Boston, where, after the services, he publicly confessed his faith.  He was offered and he accepted the “right hand of friendship,” and agreed to abide by the covenant of the church, thereby gaining admittance to the congregation.  Were it not for the Hutchinsonian controversy, he might have been admitted to the church even earlier.  There is no record that James’ wife, Mary, was ever admitted.  Perhaps she had somehow been tainted by the controversy surrounding Anne Hutchinson.  Or perhaps she and James thought it immodest for a woman to so publicly confess her faith.  Nevertheless, it seems incongruous that she did not join the church while her husband, and John and Elizabeth Spoore, were all admitted.  Of course, Mary presumably attended the congregation’s meetings, for non-members were not excluded from being present.

Morning and afternoon on a Sabbath (at nine and two) the people gathered in the meetinghouse to the tolling of the town bell.  Pastor [John] Wilson standing “above all people in a pulpit of wood, and the Elders on both sides,” opened the morning service with a “solemn prayer” of a quarter-hour or more, followed by Teacher [John] Cotton reading and expounding upon a chapter of Scripture, then a psalm, the congregation singing unaccompanied ….  In the stillness following the last phrases of the tune, the pastor rose again to begin the sermon.  Sometimes Wilson would add an exhortation based on recent happenings in the town; sometimes he would call on a visiting minister to speak.  A final prayer by the teacher, a blessing, and the congregation filed out.  Once a month, however, the morning session was extended as the Lord’s Supper was celebrated.  The non-members having withdrawn, a table was brought to the center of the meeting and the ministers and ruling elders took seats around it; the bread was broken and laid on a “charger” and the wine poured into a chalice, Cotton and Wilson alternating the service.  As the people watched — standing on their seats and crowding the aisle — first the bread, then the wine were consecrated and passed around the table to the seated elders.  Later they were circulated by the deacons to the people as one of the ministers droned on in prayer.  A psalm  …  and a blessing ended the service.

In the afternoon, the meetinghouse was filled again.  The worship was shorter, an opening prayer, a psalm, and Cotton’s sermon.  But the meeting ran on into the evening, for the business of the church had to be taken care of.  Baptisms followed the sermon ….  As the minister finished, one of the three deacons rose: “Brethren of the congregation, now there is time left for contribution, wherefore as God hath prospered you, so freely offer….”  [The people] filed down the aisle to bring their offerings to the deacon’s seat, putting money into a wooden box set out for the purpose, or, if they brought goods, laying them down before the deacons.  The admission of new members and the disciplining of those who had slid from righteousness, together with the resolution of various church problems followed and continued on until dusk ….  If time allowed … the congregation joined in a final psalm, Pastor Wilson prayed, and the meeting broke up with a final blessing on all.

It is tempting to view the Church of Boston as prudish and repressed.  Yet, a record  exists, relating that, among other marital offenses, James Mattock “denyed Coniugall fellowship unto his wife for the space of 2 years together upon pretence of taking Revenge upon himself for his abusing of her before marryage.”  The matter was taken up by the members of his congregation at the First Church of Boston.  After an open discussion of the subject, James was excommunicated.  I have been unable to determine the particulars of this story, and since the versions I have encountered are undated, it is possible that this incident occurred later in the colonial era, to another James Mattocks.  The matter suggests a view of the immigrant ancestor that is not as heroic as one might hope.  One is left with the impression that this was not a particularly happy marriage, neither at its beginning, nor at the time of this Boston scandal.  It is unclear what the exact nature of the abuse was.  Was Mary physically or verbally assaulted, or the victim of an unfaithful suitor?  And was James truly repentant, or had he a less noble motivation for neglecting his wife?  We have no record of James being active in church affairs after 1639, so his permanent expulsion from the church seems plausible.

To Massachusetts’ freemen was given the power to “make, ordeine, and establishe all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, lawes, statutes, and ordinances, directions, and instructions” for the commonwealth.  One did not automatically become a freeman, but rather was admitted as a full citizen by the existing freemen after making an oath of allegiance to the government.  Only free male church members, with property or wealth amounting to at least two hundred pounds, were to be admitted.  At the Easter meeting of the Commonwealth’s General Court, the freemen elected a governor, a deputy governor, and a court of eighteen assistants.  On this day, Boston had the spirit of a circus, with freemen from all parts of the Bay arriving to cast their votes.  Responsibility for town government was also vested in Boston’s freemen.  While the entire body of Boston’s freemen met only sporadically, most of the town’s concerns were addressed by an executive committee elected by the freemen.  The position of the freeman was one of both privilege and duty.

On 13 March 1638/9, James made the oath of allegiance and became a freeman:

I … [James Mattocks] … being by Gods providence, an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the Jurisdiction of this Commonwealth; do freely acknowledge my self to be subject to the Government thereof: And therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful Name of the Ever-living God, that I will be true and faithfull to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance & support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and priviledges thereof, submitting my self to the wholesome Lawes & Orders made and established by the same.  And further, that I will not plot or practice any evill against it, or consent to any that shall do so; but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawfull Authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof.

Moreover, I doe solemnly bind my self in the sight of God, that when I shal be called to give my voyce touching any such matter of this State, in which Freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the publike weal of the body, So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because land on the peninsula was so limited, Bostonians were allotted additional property for agriculture in outlying areas.  Approximately 64 per cent of the population owned outlying land in 1639.  After 1636, most of the newcomers received their lots at Mount Wollaston on the south shore of the Bay.  An attempt had been made to set up a separate church at Mount Wollaston, with the Reverend John Wheelwright serving as pastor.  This plan was foiled when Wheelwright became embroiled in the Hutchinsonian debate, leading to his expulsion from the Commonwealth.  It was not until November 1639 that a church was finally established at the Mount.  It is precisely at this time, on 24 (9) 1639 (24 November 1639), that James was dismissed to the church at Mt. Wollaston for “ye winter season.”  His affiliation with this church was to be only temporary, and his sojourn there during the winter months of 1639-40 begs explanation.

Wood was a scarce commodity in the town.  Indeed, Winthrop wrote during the winter of 1637-38 that “we at Boston were almoste readye to breake up for want of wood.”  In the winter, many of the inhabitants would take a boat to their property in Mount Wollaston and camp out there in temporary shelters for a week or two.  Those who came for timber would “cut wood, sometimes piling it up to be brought into town during the slack summer months, sometimes sledding it in over the snow or, in those winters when the river and occasionally the inner harbor itself froze over, across the ice.”  Perhaps this was James’ purpose in removing to the church at the Mount.  James would need wood not only for heating his home, but also for constructing the barrels and other items of his trade.  James may have had better accommodations than most while at Mount Wollaston, for his friend Samuel Bitfield was residing in Mount Wollaston in the winter of 1639-40.  Indeed, Bitfield’s presence may be the real explanation behind James’ time at the Mount.  It should be noted that I have found no records which indicate that James was granted or sold land at Mount Wollaston.  He did not bequeath such property in his will.  Nonetheless, James apparently removed there for at least one winter.  Since he does not appear in Boston records again until December 1644, he and his family may have lived at the Mount for some time.

While becoming a freeman was usually contingent upon property ownership, there is no record that James bought any property of his own until he purchased the northerly half of Anthony Stoddard’s houselot on 28 (10) 1644 (28 December 1644).

Anthonie Stoddard of Boston granted vnto James Mattock of the same a house lott being seventy foote in front, scituat betwe[    ] Anthony Stoddard on the South mr John Wilson on the west & Wm Francklin on the north & this was by an absolute deed of sale dat[    ] the 28°. (10°) 1644

Acknowledged                      A hand & seale:

before mr Winthropp deput Governr.

[         ] 1644.

Stoddard’s property was located on the northwest corner of Great Street (now State Street) and the “new street” (Exchange Street), adjoining the home of the Reverend John Wilson.  The portion purchased by James fronted on the new street, which ran a short distance from Great Street to the shore line adjoining the Town Dock.  In 1644, Stoddard, a linendraper, had been “suffered to open his ‘shop window board’ two feet into the street” at this location.  It does not seem that James lived on, or otherwise used, this property, for James immediately sold the lot to John Synderland.

James Mattock of Boston granted vnto John Synderland of Boston one house & house lott in the new streete scituat betweene the howse of Anthonie Stoddard on the South mr John Wilson on the west & William Francklin on the North being seventy foote in front.  And this was by an absolute deed of sale dated the 30th of decembr 1644

Acknowledged before                A hand & seale.

mr Winthropp deput: Governor:

the 28° (10) 1644.

In 1641, Valentine Hill, Edward Bendall, and a group of associates received from the town the use of a large tract of “wast ground” extending from the wharf built earlier on Town Cove northeastward to the marshes dividing the bulk of the peninsula from the North End.  In the succeeding five years they expended 818li 13s 4d improving the harborside, turning the cove into “Town Dock,” obscuring the shoreline with pilings and planks.  Their profit — until the property reverted to the town in 1649 — came from wharfage and tonnage charged to all who used the facilities, and from the sale of lots carved out of the grant.

In 1646, James purchased a portion of this land.  James’ lot was one of at least twelve that Hill had sold.  It was here, on what is now North Street, between the old Mill Creek and Cross Street, that the Mattocks family apparently made their home.  Whether a house pre-existed on the lot, or was constructed after the purchase is unknown.  In the neighborhood lived John Mylom, John Phillips, John Turrell, David Phippen, Arthur Perry, Robert Nanny, John Peirce, John Oliver, John Knight, Thomas Marshall, and Joshua Scottow.  Next-door neighbor Barnabas Fawer was responsible for maintaining “a cart-way by the wharf before his door.”  Mill Creek had recently been widened and deepened, and the adjacent marshy land had been drained.  A grist mill, powered by the flowing of the tide, was located on the creek near James’ home.  At the mouth of the creek was a drawbridge leading to the nearby Town Dock, and this bridge “was designated as the only place from which butchers might case ‘their beasts entralls and garbidg’ without penalty of a fine.”  In spite of the entrails, James must have been pleased with the location of his home.  What better place for a cooper to transact his business?  And the rest of the family must also have welcomed the proximity of the market, Church, school, and dock, the protection of the nearby fort, and the view of the harbor which greeted them each day.

“The appearance of the houses as they grew up on the line of the Town Cove was very agreeable from the water.”  The Mattocks home was probably, like most homes then, an unpainted frame house, possibly of two stories, without a porch, and covered with clapboard.  Small leaded windows would have had shutters to keep out the cold.  It seems likely that a wall divided the east and west ends of the house, as Mary, in her will, bequeathed the west end to her daughter Alice and the east end to daughter Mary.  A brick fireplace and chimney probably dominated each end of the home.  A picturesque garden patch might have adjoined the house, possibly with a small orchard.  James likely set up his cooper shop at his home, and a painted sign would have swung in front announcing his trade.  He had his own private wharf, and the house itself may have been built on pilings.

Colonial New England was only too eager to welcome to its shores the skilled craftsmen who could provide the fledgling society with the products it most needed.  The artisan “who, with apparent ease, skillfully synchronized mind, eye, and hand,” molded the necessities of life was a man respected and valued.  He was an artist, but he was also one who labored long and hard to earn his livelihood.  As such, the craftsman enjoyed a superior position in the class structure of colonial America, comparable to that of the yeoman farmer.  “He was independent, self-sufficient, respected; and, in New England, he enjoyed the local franchise, participated in town meetings, and was elected to such town offices as sealer of leather, inspector of casks, or culler of staves.”

Although some craftsmen managed to consort with the upper class, the overwhelming majority of master artisans took their station with the “middling sort,” who embraced most of the population in colonial cities.  Where a tradesman was ranged in this large group depended somewhat upon the particular trade he practiced — whether it stood high or low in the accepted ranking of crafts; but principally it hinged upon the master’s worldly success.  Well-established tradesmen who owned their shops, the land upon which these stood, other tangible property, and who possessed an education beyond the mere capacity to read and write were known as “respectable” or “reputable tradesmen” and, in northern communities, were looked upon from above with aristocratic approval.

Character also helped determine an artisan’s status, as noted by Benjamin Franklin, who began his adult life in the printing trade:

In order to secure my credit and character as a tradesman, I took care not only to be in reality industrious and frugal, but to avoid all appearances to the contrary.  I dressed plainly; I was seen at no places of idle diversion.  I never went out a-fishing or shooting.

A large percentage — perhaps most — of the early settlers of Massachusetts had been craftsmen in the Old World.

The settlers had left a land where labor was plentiful and cheap, whereas land was both scarce (relative to population) and dear, only to arrive in a place where that traditional economic relationship was inverted.  Colonial land supplies seemed limitless — towns actually gave it away free to their inhabitants — whereas the scarcity of laborers pushed wages to disconcertingly high levels.  Easy access to land created an overwhelmingly agricultural economy, more so than that of England itself.  Although wage rates were high and certain kinds of skilled labor were in considerable demand, circumstances peculiar to the colonial setting dictated that few craftsmen would be able to take advantage of these conditions to grow wealthy at the practice of their trades.  Outside of Boston, perhaps, no community was populous enough to employ its artisans full-time.  Moreover, the chronic scarcity of currency in early New England hampered the development of a vigorous market economy.

While other factors, such as the preference for a local minister or a reluctance to settle in the wilderness, may have influenced the decision of some to remain in large, established towns, the craftsmen who wished to practice their trade full-time would have “found the relatively more populous port towns, with their constant incoming streams of emigrants through the 1630s, the most congenial setting for the practice of their trades.”  Most artisans worked at farming as well as manufacturing.

[E]ven in Boston, early New England’s largest — indeed only — “urban” area, the occupational structure was highly idiosyncratic, with craftsmen concentrated in trades concerned with processing agricultural produce (e.g., as butchers, millers, brewers), with servicing the emerging shipping industry (e.g., as coopers and shipbuilders), and with construction.

When James Mattocks arrived in Boston (about 1638), he was but a small part of a massive migration.  “These immigrants made business brisk in Boston; they brought articles that the colonists needed, and they made a market for all that the colonists produced.”

As long as hundreds of emigrant families disembarked at New England ports each year, the region’s economic survival seemed assured.  The newcomers’ stores of goods, reserves of cash, and lines of credit with English merchants added wealth to a colonial economy that could not depend upon the lucrative staple crops that supported British settlements in other parts of North America.  Thus New England’s early prosperity was intimately tied to the annual appearance of emigrant ships; inhabitants regularly flocked to port towns in order to exchange their small agricultural surpluses for whatever scarce manufactured goods and even scarcer currency newcomers willingly relinquished.  Once emigration ceased with the coming of the English Civil War, however, the precariousness of such economic arrangements was fully revealed and New England suffered its first economic depression.  The flow of specie dried up, and prices for all sorts of local commodities — particularly land, cattle, and corn — plummeted.

However, Boston soon found a solution to its economic problems.  Although the demand for New England products in the home country was disappointingly low, merchants in Boston soon discovered markets for the region’s products, “first to the Azores, Canaries, the Iberian coast, and subsequently to the islands of the Caribbean.”  The profits from this trade allowed the importation of English manufactured goods, and thus an elaborate network emerged.

Boston wheat, for example, might be exchanged in Barbados for sugar delivered in London and credited against an earlier purchase of cloth and metal goods made on the promise of delivering the wheat in Barbados.  The same ties involved the Bostonians as factors for English houses in the carrying trade of fish from the settlements northward from Cape Ann to southern Europe.

Boston, with its central position in the commonwealth, and located on a deep bay that could accommodate the largest of sea vessels, “yet shallow enough along the shoreline of the Great Cove to allow easy construction of wharves and piers,” was an ideal place for a commercial center. “It hath pleased God so to dispose that o[u]r Towne chiefly consists of Trade, … a mart to the Countrie through the resort of Artificers of all sorts, and the accesse of shipping.”  Ships arriving in port “made repairs, provisioned themselves, and fitted out for their journeys, creating more work for Boston’s artisans and sales for her shopkeepers.”  The Congregational Church noticed with alarm that the economic opportunities “were bringing men to think less of heaven” and more of  “material gain.”  By 1687, a Frenchman was able to say of Boston that:

The trade was great with the American islands and with Spain.  To the islands the ships carried salted beef, pork, codfish, salmon, oysters, and mackerel, and brought back sugar, molasses, indigo, and sago; while with Spain dried fish was exchanged for oils, wine and brandy, all of which, however, was taken by way of London, where the duty demanded by the navigation laws was paid.

Such a busy commercial world could have only been a boon to the cooper, whose barrels were needed for the transportation of virtually all products.  From the beginning, the mystery of cooperage was one of the crafts indispensable to the settlers of New England.  The organizers of the Mayflower expedition packed coopers’ tools on board and employed the services of cooper John Alden.  Indeed, “New England conditions particularly favored those artisans who worked in wood….  [T]he raw materials used in their work were readily available.”

One of the most important forest products was the lowly barrel stave, which could be split from red or white oak and smoothed and shaped with a minimum of skill.  Making barrel or pipe staves, as they were generally called (from the word “pipe” meaning a wine cask), provided employment for countless men and boys throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Wooden barrels had many uses, and without them commerce would have come to a standstill.  Ships had to have barrels to hold supplies of water and beer.  Barrels were needed in the wine-making countries, for without barrels they could not store and ship their wines.  Barrels were needed in the West Indies for the sugar and molasses trade.  Indeed, practically all foodstuffs and many other products were stored and shipped in barrels…. Thus the makings for barrels were extremely important, and colonial traders developed a profitable market for them in the West Indies and the “Wine Islands” of Madeira and the Canaries.

The 1881 Book of Trades drew a thorough picture of the cooperage trade:

A cooper manufactures casks, tubs of all sizes, pails, and sundry other articles useful in domestic concerns.  These are made with oak timber, a great part of which comes from America, cut up into narrow pieces called staves; they are sometimes bent, and for other sorts of work they are straight.  For tubs, pails, &c. the bottoms of which are less than the tops, the staves are wider at top than they are at the bottom.  After the staves are dressed and ready to be arranged, the cooper without attempting any great nicety in sloping or bevilling them, so that the whole surface of the edge may touch in every point, brings them into contact only at the inner surface, and then by drawing the hoops hard (tight) he can make a closer joint than could be done by sloping the stave from the outer to the inner side.  These staves are kept together by means of hoops, which are made of hazel and ash; but some articles require iron hoops.  To make them hold water or other liquids, the cooper places between each stave from top to bottom split flags, which swell with moisture, and effectually prevent the vessel from leaking….

The tools required by the cooper are numerous, some of which are peculiar to his art; but most of them are common both to him and the carpenter.

In making a hogshead, the cooper holds, in his left hand, a flat piece of wood, which he lays on the edge of the hoop, while he strikes it with the hammer in his right hand.  To make the hoops stick, he takes the precaution to chalk the staves before he begins this part of the operation.  The tops and bottoms he puts together by means of wooden pegs.

The cooper uses various tools such as saws, axes, spoke-shaves, stocks and bits, adzes, augers &c.  The structure and uses of the saw and the axe are too well known to stand in need of description.

Spoke-shaves are of different kinds; they are intended for uses similar to those for which the carpenter adapts his planes.

The stock-and-bit make but one instrument.  The stock is the handle, and the bit is a sort of piercer that fits into the bottom of the stock: bits of various sorts are adapted to the same stock; of course, the bit is always moveable, and may instantly be replaced by one of a different bore.

An adze is a cutting tool of the axe kind, having its blade made very thin and arching: it is used chiefly for taking off thin chips, and for cutting the hollow side of boards, &c.

Augers, or, as they are sometimes spelt, awgres, are used for boring large holes: they are a kind of large gimlet, consisting of a wooden handle, and an iron blade which is terminated with a steel-bit.

The trade of the cooper was formerly among the cries of London: “Any work for the cooper?” is now heard in many parts of the country.  A travelling cooper carries with him a few hoops of different sizes, some iron rivets, and wooden pegs, his hammer, adze, and stock-and-bit.  With these few instruments he can repair all washing and brewing utensils, besides the churns and wooden vessels made use of in dairies.  An ingenious working cooper will in his peregrinations readily perform sundry jobs that belong to the carpenter, in villages which are too small to support a person in that trade.  A journeyman cooper, who works for a master, will earn from three to five shillings per day.

Every custom-house and excise-office has an officer called the king’s cooper; and every large ship has a cooper on board, whose business is to look after all the casks intended for water, beer, and spirits.

This trade has to boast of a considerable antiquity; the operations of the cooper are referred to, 2000 years ago by the Roman writers on rural economy.

In 1630, 748 barrels of oil “of New England fishing” were shipped from Boston to Amsterdam.  Shortly thereafter two shipments to London of 144 barrels and 152 barrels of whale oil were recorded.  Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop noted the departure in the fall of 1642 of six ships “laden with pipe staves and other commodities of this country.”  A ship bound for the West Indies included in its manifest “1,900 staves, … 11 barrels of fish, 7 barrels of apples, [and] 1,700 pounds of cheese.”  In 1650, the ship John put into Boston harbor to prepare for a journey from the West Indies to Africa for slaves, and paid “9s 6d ‘to goodman Barlow for caske.’”  In 1653, a cargo of staves was valued at £265.  The manifest for another shipment from New England included, “80 hogsheads, 6 barrels and 3 tierces of rum, containing 8,220 gallons; 19 barrels of flour; 4 tierces of rice; 2 barrels of snuff; 20 barrels of tar; 3 barrels of loaf sugar; 4 barrels of brown sugar; 7 quarter-casks of wine; 1 barrel of coffee; 1 barrel of vinegar; 20 firkins of tallow; 10 barrels of pork; 15 half-barrels of pork; 4 kegs of pickles; 2 barrels of fish; 1 barrel of hams; 12 casks of bread; 4 casks of tobacco; as well as 3,000 staves, hoops and heading boards.”  It has been noted that “[c]oopers were especially numerous in Boston where their services were greatly in demand for making barrels and casks for fish and salt pork.”  Coopers were frequently employed on board the ships, “making the bungs, heads, etc., on the outward trip, to be set up, together with Taunton staves and Narragansett hoops, into barrels and hogsheads when port was reached.”

The list of products that were stored and shipped in barrels was practically limitless: beef, mutton, pork, fish, grain, flour, bread, wine, brandy, rum, beer, cider, water, vinegar, sugar, molasses, syrups, apples, pickles, cheese, butter, soap, candles, whale oil, tar, turpentine, furs, crockery, nails, gunpowder, paint, seeds, and even shoes and money.  Barrels were referred to as casks, kegs, tuns, pipes, and hogsheads, depending on their size and use.

While the overseas trade provided ample employment for the average cooper, a domestic market also existed for many of his products.  He was engaged in the construction of “Bathing-Tubs, Coolers, Casks, and Kegs of all Sizes, Butter Churns, Pails, Piggins [small, scooplike buckets with one longer stave as a handle], Ships Buckets, Nun Buoys, Mess Cans, Etc.”  “Every household, for example, had its ‘caggs for butter,’ and several barrels for storing away salted fish and meats, wine casks, beer and rain-water barrels.”  Laundry tubs, powder buckets, and handbarrows were also made and sold.  Of course, the making of “tight” containers for liquids required more precision than “slack” containers for solids.  Old “tight” barrels were often used as “slack” barrels.  “[T]he repair of household containers … was a not unimportant part of his [the cooper’s] business.”

The forests of New England provided the cooper with the materials of his trade.  White oak was best for wine casks because of the flavor it imparted to the beverage.  Red oak was preferred for sugar and molasses barrels.  Pliable willow branches provided the material for the hoops which bound the barrel staves together.  Hoops could also be made of iron or brass.  No more than two or three barrels would be completed in a day.  Making barrels remained a hand operation until the nineteenth century.

To make a barrel, the wood was first split into billets of approximately the correct size.  These were shaved down using first an ax, then a draw knife and shaving bench or draw bench, and finally tapered with an ax and jointer plane.  The inside was hollowed with curved draw knives.  The entire process was done by eye.  All the staves were assembled in hoops up to half height, then a fire was built inside the cask to soften the resin and allow the other half to be drawn in to shape.  A retaining hoop was placed on, then final hoops.  The top and bottom were grooved with a router and the lids installed.  The barrel was finished.

The construction of the wooden barrel is worked out, not by accidental methods, but along scientific lines and embodying engineering principles.  The principal [sic] of the arch, formed by the stave accurately listed or shaped to conform to a given circle, is the first fundamental in barrel construction.  As each stave rests in a set position and all are bound by external hoop pressure, the entire assembly of staves and heads becomes a compact and single unit.  The staves are so listed that the lines of the joints, when projected toward the center, meet and form a series of acute angles.  Due to this construction, any external impact or shock is automatically transmitted throughout every unit of material, and the resiliency thus afforded the barrel modifies the force of such impact.

A master cooper frequently employed one or more journeymen and apprentices.  No record exists of James Mattocks having any “employees,” although it is very probable that his son Samuel, who became a cooper himself, assisted his father in his shop.  The shop itself probably adjoined the house, and may have been little more than a shed, perhaps with a hanging sign in front, with a picture advertising the business.  In addition to producing his goods, James had to market them.  “Most articles that artisans made were what were known as ‘spoken’ or ‘bespoke goods’; that is, made to order for a customer…. [I]n the cities and larger towns where the market was greater many artisans made up and kept on display various modes and styles .”  A modest but respectable living was made in the cooper’s trade.  In 1670, a cooper’s daily earnings were calculated to be about 2s.8d. (the price for a 32-gallon barrel).  In 1639, pipe staves were valued at the “extraordinary price” of £18 per thousand.  As supplies increased, the price lowered and, in 1659, one thousand barrel staves were valued at £2 in the inventory of Henry Dow’s estate.  In 1694, staves brought £1 10s. per thousand.  Since money was scarce in the New World, “goods or services usually took the place of cash payments.”

Some settlers, such as Henry Dow of Hampton, fashioned wood into barrel staves, which would either be bundled and shipped to West Indian sugar producers or sold to coopers and made into hogsheads to hold other New England goods for export.

In 1647, James Mattocks, along with his “brother” John Spoore, and neighbor, Barnabas Fawer, entered into a contract with the Bristol merchants Joseph Jackson and Hugh Browne.  The three Bostonians agreed to supply sixty thousand oak pipe staves, to be delivered to the waterfront for shipping by the first of September, in exchange “for so much linnen cloth & woollen cloth as shall amount to one hundd threescore & eight pounds & fifteene shillings.”  Mattocks, Spoore, and Fawer probably intended to sell the cloth, a manufactured item in short supply in the New World.

26. (2) 1651           rabam ffawer de Boston in Nova Anglia Tailor.   [Original probably mutilated.]  —tock de Boston pr dict Cowp et Johanne Spoore de Boston pred     man teneri et firmiter obligari Joseph Jackson et Hugoni Browne de Civit Bristoll mercatoribs in trecent libr bene et legalis monete Angl solvend eidem Joseph Jackson et Hugoni Browne aut eoru alteri sen eox vol alterius eop certo Atturnat execut vol Administrat eox sine alterius eox Ad quam quidem solutionem bene et fideliter faciend obligamus nos et quem libet urum p se p toto et in solido, heredes execut uros firmiter prsentes.  Sigillis nris Sigillat Dat primo die Martij: Ano regni Dni nri Carol nunc regis Angl &c. vicesimo secundo Annoq Dni 1646.

The Condition of this obligacon is such that if the above bounden Barnabas ffower James Mattock & John Spoore or either of them theire Executors or Assignes or any of them doe & shall at or before the first day of Septembr next ensueing the Date hereof well & truly Deliver or cause to be dd unto the above named Joseph Jackson & hugh Browne theire factors or Assignes cleare of all charges the full number of three score thousand of good & merchantable white oake pipestaves at or neere the waterside at Boston aforesaid in such place & places there where the same may be conveniently laden & taken aboard such shipp or shipps or other vessells as shalbe sent by the sd Joseph Jackson & Hugh Browne for the receiving thereof: & if the sd shipp or shipps or other vessells wch shalbe first sent by the sd Joseph Jackson & Hugh Browne for the receiving of the sd pipestaves shall happen to miscarry before the sd pipestaves shalbe laden aboard her: then if the sd Barnabas fflower James Mattocks & John Spoore or either of them theire Execut. or Assignes or any of them doe or shall deliver or cause to be dd unto the sd Joseph Jackson & Hugh Browne theire ffactors or Assignes (cleare of all charges) all the sd number of three score thousand pipestaves in good & merchantable condition at the place or places aforesd immediately uppon demand thereof made by the ffactors or Assignes of the sd Joseph Jackson & Hugh Browne that then this obligation to be void or els to stand in full force and vertue

Sigillat et Delibed in pntia        Barnabas ffawer

Johannis Hartwell.             James Mattocke

Rich: Orchard servi            John Spoore.

Georg. Hartwell No pubco:

Copia vera concodans cum originali examinat sexto die Januarij 1647.

p me ffra: Yeamans Notrij publ

matth. Wolfe   servi

de Notdrio. publ.

Indorsed thus

md   It is the true intent & meaning of the pties wthin named & of the obligacon & condicon wthin written & it is agreed betweene the sd pties before then sealeing hereof that the threescore thousand of pipestaves wthin mentioned to be dd shall & are to be in liew & satisfaction of & for so much linnen cloth & woollen cloth as shall amount to one hundd threescore & eight pounds & fifteene shillings wch the wthin named Joseph Jackson & Hugh Browne are bound by bond to Deliver in Boston to the wthin bounden Barnabas ffawer James Mattock & John Spoore.     Witness hereunto.

John Hartwell & Richard Orchard.

Examinat eliam p

ffran: Yeamans notrij publ

et matth: Wolfe.

This was a Copie of the bond so attested whereon was indorsed as followeth.

The 6th of June 1648.

I Wm Stratton of the Citty of Bristol Mariner do acknowledg to have received of Barnabas ffawer James Mattock & John Spoore the quantity of sixty thousand of merchantable white oake pipe staves according to the wthin mentioned covenant by vertue of a tre of Attur: given to mee beareing Date the 7th of January 1647.. Under theire bands & seales; & by this receipte the above sd Barnabas ffawer & Compa: are discharged of all obligcons whatsoever that are belonging to this ingagement, as witnes my hand the above sd Date of the 6th of June 1648.

Witnes us                P me William Stratton.

Rich: Russell

Nathaniel Sowther.

Yet another indication of James’ involvement in the Atlantic trade, was the sealing of a bond on 29 (2) 1650 [29 April 1650] “of James Mattock & John Synderland of 40li for paymt of 20li Nicholas Meredith 31 (3). [31 May] next in Bristoll or 25li to Rich. Russell 31(3) 1651. [31 May 1651] in mercht. dry cod fish price current.”  This is the second mention of James and Synderland having engaged in a business transaction together, and a friendship between the two is suggested.

The fishing industry of New England outstripped in importance all other commercial activities in the first century of settlement.  And of the fish taken, the codfish was by far the most valuable because it could be cured and dried with salt and then sold at a good price in southern Europe.  Protestant New England supplied much of the fish that Catholic Italy, Spain, and Portugal consumed on fish days.

As James settled into the Boston community, he made the acquaintance of the town’s other coopers.  There was John Mylam, who had arrived in Boston by 1635.  By combining his cooperage business with land speculation and trade, Mylam rose from being “one of the poorer sort” to one of the area’s wealthier citizens.  There was Thomas Venner, “a wine cooper,” who was in New England by 1638.  Venner, after causing some trouble in Massachusetts, returned to England, and engaged in a notorious and murderous career as one of the leaders of the Fifth-Monarchy movement.  There was also Samuel Bitfield, whom James may have known in England.

“Among the master craftsmen who worked in close proximity with their fellows daily, there emerged an incipient professional spirit that fused with the age-old desire for exclusiveness (or monopoly), impelling them to form various organizations for mutual benefit.”  The professional coopers looked askance at the abuses they saw perpetrated by the “amateurs” in their trade.  Like the carpenters, the coopers might have noticed that their craft was “so profitable that many youths … did not even wait to finish their training before embarking on their careers.”  “Casks of false sizes, made of green staves, were often worked off on unsuspecting purchasers.”  Remembering the guilds which had protected their trade in England, the professional coopers of the colony, led by Thomas Venner, soon were petitioning the commonwealth “about being a company.”

On 14 May 1645, it was ordered “yt ye coopers of othr townes be sent to, yt such as desire to ioyne wth ye coops of Boston, about being a company, & invested wth powr to regulate things in yir trade, may come into ye next session of ys Cort, & give their advice, or signify their thoughts hereabouts.”

Two separate entries in the Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England speak of the formation of a corporation of coopers on 18 October 1648:

At a Session of the Generall Court of Election, held at Boston, the 18th of the 8th Moth: [October] 1648.

Vppon the petition of the shoomakers of Boston, & in consideration of of the complaynts which haue bin made of the damag which the country sustaynes by occasion of bad ware made by some of that trade, for redresse hereof, its ordred, & the Court doth hereby graunt libtie & powre vnto Richard Webb, James Euerill, Robt Turner, Edmund Jackson, & the rest of the shoomakers inhabiting & howskeepers in Boston, or the greatest number of them, vppo due notice giuen to the rest, to assemble & meete together in Boston, at such time & times as they shall appoynt, who beinge so assembled, they, or the greater number of them, shall haue powre to chuse a master, & two wardens, with fowre or six associats, a clarke, a sealer, a searcher, & a beadle, with such other officers as they shall find nessessarie; & these officers & ministers, as afforesd, every yeare or oftener, in case of death or departure out of this jurisdiction, or remoueall for default, &c, which officers & ministers shall each of them take an oath sutable to theire places before the Goûnor or some of the magists, the same beinge pscribed or allowed by this Court; & the sd shoomakers beinge so assembled as before, or at any other meettinge or assembly to be appoynted from time to time by the master & wardens, or master or wardens with two of the associats, shall haue power to make orders for the well gouerninge of theire company, in the mannaginge of theire trade & all the affayres therevnto belonging, & to change & reforme the same as occasion shall require, & to añex reasonable pennalties for the breach of the same; provided, that none of theire sd orders, nor any alteration therein, shalbe of force before they shalbe pvsed & allowed of by the Court of that county, or by the Court of Assistants.  And for the better executing such orders, the sd master & wardens, or any two of them with 4 or 6 associats, or any three of them, shall haue power to heare & determine all offences agaynst any of theire sd orders, & may inflict the pennalties pscribed as aforesd, & assesse fines to the vallew of forty shillings or vnder for one offence, & the clarke shall giue warrent in writinge to the beadle to leuie the same, who shall haue power therevppon to leuie the same by distresse, as is vsed in other cases; & all the sd fines & forfeitures shalbe imployd to the benefit of the sd company of shoomakers in generall, & to no other vse.  And vppon the complaynt of the sd master & wardens, or theire atturny or advocate, in the County Court, of any pson or psons who shall vse the art or trade of a shoomaker, or any pt thereof, not beinge approued of by the officers of ye sd shomakers to be a sufficient workman, the sd Court shall haue power to send for such psons, & suppresse them; provided also, that the prioritie of theire graunt shall not giue them precedency of other companies that may be graunted; but that poynt to be determined by this Court when there shalbe occasiô therof; provided also, that no vnlawfull combination be made at any time by the sd company of shoomakers for inhancinge the prices of shooes, bootes, or wages, whereby either or owne people may suffer; provided also, that in cases of dificultie, the sd officers & associats doe not pceede to determine the cause but by the advice of the judges of that county; provided, that no shoomaker shall refuse to make shooes for any inhabitant, at reasonable rates, of theire owne leather, for the vse of themselues & families, only if they be required therevnto; provided, lastly, that if any pson shall find himselfe greiued by such excessiue fines or other illegall pceedinges of the sd officers, he may complayne thereof at the next Court of that county, who may heare & determine the cause.  This commission to continue & be of force for three yeares, & no longer, vnles the Court shall see cause to continue the same.

The same comission, verbatim, with the same libtie & power for the same ends, vpon the like grounds, is giuen vnto Thomas Venner, John Millum, Samuel Bidfeild, James Mattocks, Wm Cutter, Bartholomew Barlow, & the rest of the coops of Boston & Charlstowne, for the pventing abuses in theire trade.  To continue only for three yars, as the former, mutatis mutandis.

Upon the petition of the cowpers, inhabiting in Boston & Charlstowne, & upon consideration of many complaintes made of the great damage the country hath sustained by occasion of defective & insufficient caske, for redresse hereof,—

It is ordered, & the Corte doth hereby graunt liberty & power to Thomas Venner, John Mileham, Samuell Bidfeild, James Mattuck, Willi: Cutter, Bartholo: Barlow, & the rest of the cowpers of Boston & Charlestowne, or the greater number of them, (upon due notice given to the rest,) to meete together, & to appoint a certeine time & place, to wch they shall call together all the cowpers, being housekeepers, & inhabiting wthin this iurisdiction, who being so assembled, they, or the greater number of them, shall have power to choose a mr & two wardens, foure or six ass[istants], a clarke, a gager, a sealer, a packer, a searcher, & a beadle, wth such other officers as they shall find necessary, & these officers & ministers shalbe chosen, as aforesaid, every yeare, or oftner, in case of death, or departure out of the iurisdiction, or removeall for default, &c; wch officers & ministers shall, each of them, take an oath, suitable to his place, before the Governor, or some of the magistrats, the same being pscribed, or alowed, by this Corte; & the said cowpers, so assembled, as before, or at any other meeting or assembly, to be appointed from time to time, by the mr and wardens, or the mr or wardens, wth two of the associats, shall have power to make orders for the well ordering of their company, in the managing of their trade, & all the affaires thereunto belonging, & to change & reforme the same, as occasion shall require, & to annex reasonable poenantyes for breach of the same:

Provided, that none of their said orders, nor any alteration therein, shalbe in force before they shall have bene pused & alowed by the Corte of that county where they shall be made, or by the Corte of Assistants.

And for the better executing of such orders, the said mr, wardens, or any two of them, wth four or six associats, or any three of them, shall have power to heare & determine all offences against any of their said orders, & may inflict the poenalties pscribed as aforesaid, & assease fines to the value of forty shillings or under for one offence; & the clarke shall give warrant in writing to the beadle to levy the same by distresse, as is used in other cases; and all the said fines & forfeitures shall be implied to the benefit of the said company of cowpers, & to no other use; and upon complaint of the said mr & wardens, or their atturny or advocate, in the County Corte, of any pson or psons who shall use the arte or trade of cowper, or any pt thereof, not being appved by the officers of the said cowpers to be a sufficient workman, the said Corte shall have power to send for such psons, & suppresse them.  Provided, alwayes, that no unlawfull combination be made at any time by the said company of cowpers for inhancing the prices of caske or wages, whereby either our owne people or strangers may suffer.  Pvided, also, that in cases of difficulty the said officers and associats do not pceed to determine the cause but wth the advice of the iudges of that county, where the said cause doth first arise.

Provided, that the priority of their grant shall not give them precedency of other companies that may hereafter be granted, but that point to be determined by this Corte when the[re] shalbe occasion thereof.

Provided, lastly, that if any pson shall find himselfe greived [by] excessive fines or other illegall pceedings of the said officers, he may complaine thereof at the next Corte of the county, who may heare & determine the cause.

This comission to continue & be of force for the space of three yeares, & no longer, except this Courte shall see cause to continue the same.

The shoemakers and coopers thus formed the first labor unions in America.  Though often accused of merely being greedy, and resented by the country artisans who felt Boston’s craftsmen unfairly dominated the market, the members of the coopers’ organization professed that they wished to improve their craft by discouraging such part-time coopers as Joseph Coleman, who also worked as a farmer and shoemaker, and Anthony Thacher, who, in addition to barrel-making, was employed as a farmer, tailor, Indian trader, and surgeon.

The commonwealth was aware of the abuses practiced by many craftsmen.  “The high demand for their services conferred economic advantages on these workmen that worried colonial officials.”  Wage and price controls were instigated to keep “the earnings of New Englanders within familiar bounds.”  The commonwealth also regulated trade and apprenticeships, and placed “upon the towns the responsibility of providing themselves with ‘common measures and waights’ calibrated to sealed instruments kept by the governor.”  Town officers were appointed, such as the gauger of casks in 1642, “who measured all containers used for ‘liquor, fish, or other commodities to bee put to sale’ to see that they were of the required ‘London assize.’”  Approved vessels were marked with the gauger’s mark.  Also commissioned were “sealers and viewers of fish, lumber, [and] pipestaves.”

One of the first actions of the new guild was to complain of the fishermen and merchants dealing in fish.  “‘It is the order in England,’ they wrote, that ‘no  fisherman was to pake his fish for the marcht: they pakt them at sea to save them, but when they come to be pakt for the Marcht or for a market, ther were coopers sworne for that service: and non but accounted merchantable but such as they pak; and her[e] both marchants and seamen compley much of abus in this kind amongst us.’”  Apparently, Boston was responsive to this complaint, for at a town meeting of 12 March 1654/5, James Mattock, Sr., and William Dinsdale were appointed “Packers of Flesh and Fish.”  While his experience as a barrel-maker certainly helped qualify him for this position, the appointment also suggests that James was a respected citizen who could be entrusted with such a responsibility.

It is not clear why James was referred to as “James Mattock, Sr.” in the above record, as it suggests the existence of a younger James Mattocks in Boston.  This may be one of several instances where James’ son Samuel was mistaken for “James Mattocks.”  Some of the old records referred to James as the husband of Constance, and it seems clear that “Samuel” was intended.

Legislation governing the packing of meat was passed on 7 May 1651.

For preventing the deceipt of any person in the packing of fish, beife, and porke, to be putt to sajle in this and other jurisdictions, itt is therefore ordered by this Courte and the authoitje thereof, that in euery towne wthin this jurisdiccon where any such goods are packt vp for sale, the gager of that toune, or of the toune wherein it is putt to sale, or shipt, shall see that it be well and orderly perfourmed; that is to say, beife and porke, the whole halfe or quarter together, and so proportionably, that the best be not left out; and for fish, that they be packt all of one kinde, and that all caske so packt be full, and sound, and well seasoned, setting his seale on all caskes so packt, for which he shall receive of the owners, for so packing and sealing, fower shillings p tunne; but if the gager doe only vejw them, and find them good and sufficjent, he shall sett his seale vppon them, and have one shilling p tunne for so doing; and if such goods so packt shall be putt to sale packt vp in caske without the gagers marke, he shall forfeite the sajd goods so put to sale, the one halfe to the informer, the other halfe to the countrje treasury.  And whereas notwthstanding the former lawe provided, tit Caske and Coopers, page the sixth, much damage is still sustajned by marchants and men of trade through the insufficjencje and vndue assize of caske, itt is therefore further ordered by the authoritje of this Courte, that wheresoeuer any new caske are found putt to sale, being defective either in workmanship, timber, or assize, as in that lawe is provided, vppon due proofe made before any one magistrate, the sajd caske shallbe forfeited to the informer, and the workeman for his default shall pay tenn shillings a tunn forthwith, to the use of the countrje, and so proportionable for all greater or lesser caske; and becawse there maybe no neglect in the chojce of a gager to prevent the abuses exprest in this or any other lawe, itt is further ordered by the authorjtje aforesajd, that euery towne within this jurisdiccon wherein any caske are made shall yeerely make chojce of one fitt man for that worke and implojment, who, being presented by the counstable within one weeke after the chojce made, before any one magistrate, shall there take the oath belonging to his place, which if he shall refuse, he shall pay the some of forty shillings, and another to be chosen in his roome; as also the toune or counstable shall either of them suffer the like pœnaltje for the neglect of this order, any other lawe, custome, or order to the contrary notwithstanding.

The commonwealth provided additional legislation on 19 October 1652.

Vppon information of soundry abuses which may arise, and thereby reproach redound to the countrje, by packeing vp beife, porke, and other things in caske that is not full gage, although the packer doe carefully fill the same, as the lawe provides, it is therefore ordered by this Court, that henceforth euery packer shall see that all caske he packs any beife, porke, mackerill, fish, or any other goods in, comitted to his care, be of true and full assize and gage, and that he packes the same in no other caske whatsoeuer, on pœnaltje of tenn shillings for euery caske by him packed that is or shallbe defective in that respect, one halfe to the informer, and the other halfe to the countrje.  This order to be the next day published, and posted vp in Boston and Charles Toune, and, by the first opportunitje, in Salem and Ipswich.

The oath for packers of beife, &c.

Whereas you, A B, are chosen a packer of beife, porke, and other things for the toune of B:, yow doe heere sweare, by the living God, that yow will well and truely packe all beife, porke, and other things, when yow shallbe thereunto required; yow shall packe no kinde of goods but such as are good and sound, nor any goods in any caske that is not of a just and full gage; yow shall also sett your particular marke vppon all caske packed by yow; and in all things propper to the place of a packer yow shall faithfully discharge the same, from tjme to tjme, according to your best judgment & consjence.  So helpe yow God.

It is unknown how long the cooper’s union flourished, though its initial license was for only three years.  Colonial conditions, which kept labor at a premium, worked against guilds, and eventually made it impossible for the medieval system to survive.

By the time of the arrival of James and Mary, Boston was evolving from a smattering of “wigwams, huts, and hovels” on the fringe of a hostile world, to a busy seaport presaging “some sumptuous city” yet to come.

It was “the Center Towne and Metropolis of this Wildernesse worke,” a “City-like Towne” “crowded on the Sea-bankes and wharfed out with great industry and cost.”  Its major buildings were “beautifull and large, some fairely set forth with Brick, Tile, Stone and Slate,” its streets lined with “good shopps well furnished with all kind of  Merchandize,” noisy, busy, “full of Girles and Boys sporting up and downe, with a continued concourse of people.”

Indeed, by 1649, about 315 houses, more than 350 buildings in all, lined the busy lanes of Boston.

In contrast to farmers, the everyday lives of townspeople differed little from what they had known in England.  They walked to and from work, for every port town clung close to the waterfront.  The church bell resounded in their ears throughout the week.  Market day occurred regularly as it had in England, and fairs, too, became fixtures on the calendar.  Houses were jammed close together and no one who desired it wanted for companionship.  The hogs that ran wild in the streets evoked no comment, nor did the stench from accumulated garbage, nor in summer the tormenting mosquitoes or the clouds of flies that blackened uncovered food.  Townspeople lived their days amid the noise of clanging hammers, the rumblings of carts and wagons, the squalling of children — all of which sounded like music after a trip to the country, where only twittering birds relieved the silence.  At night, raucous sailors rolling through town on shore leave, heading toward local brothels — even puritanical Boston had its share — were minor irritants to a daily life filled with tension, perhaps, but also with endless variety.

A French refugee, describing Boston in 1687, found good and bad inhabitants, “though the good preponderated; and there were all kinds of life and manners.”  Tradition and habit would undoubtedly have guided the lives of all good citizens.  Religion and law would have dictated men’s actions.  So would the need to cooperate in a society whose very existence was threatened by the untamed world just beyond the peninsula.  Though that early epoch of exploration and settlement was a time for heroes and geniuses, it was also a time for the common man.  It was for him and by him that this new “paradise” was created.

The founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were careful to create an orderly culture in which the public interest was paramount.  They required citizens, in various ways, to contribute and conform.  “[T]hose who challenged the status quo in any way were branded as sinners against God, doomed to the fires of hell.”  A prison and gallows were erected in Boston to punish the wayward.  Long hair was forbidden as “a thing uncivil and unmanly; fit only for Russians and barbarous Indians.”  Regulations governed the wearing of veils, gold and silver lace, girdles, hatbands, embroidered caps, and large sleeves.  Laws against tobacco use were enacted.  The minutest details of the daily life of the populace were overseen.  “They were wakened from sleep in the morning at half-past four o’clock by the sounding of the public bell, and the curfew bid them to cover their coals and retire at nine in the evening.”

Admonitions against excess apparel did not mean that settlers were expected to dress somberly.  The “best clothes” donned for Sunday and formal occasions might be of dark material, but daily garb ran the spectrum of colors.  Russet was favored, at least in New England, but reds, yellows, blues, and greens were also common.  For daily wear men wore a doublet, or close-fitting jacket, over a linen shirt, breeches that came down below the knees, long heavy stockings and, depending on the season and weather, either moccasins or laced leather boots.  A woman’s daily gown consisted, as John Demos describes it, “of three separate parts: a skirt, a bodice, and a pair of sleeves which were tied into the bodice armholes and covered by shoulder pieces called ‘wings.’”  Undergarments could number up to five, again depending on the weather and season.  Children were dressed as “miniature adults” from about the time they could walk.

Inhabitants were expected to provide both taxes and services.  Taxes were paid to commonwealth, town, and church.  The taxes funded streets, fences, forts, militia, poor relief, and schools.

In 1641 the town gathered to undertake street maintenance, “the Richer sort” being required to supply “three dayes’ worke of one man,” the “men of middle estate, two dayes,” the “poorer sort, one day.”  The richer sort and those of middle estate undoubtedly sent their servants to do the work, but as before the poorer inhabitants went themselves.

Perhaps these were the Bostonians who, in 1641, were pressed into service to form six work companies to build a road from Winnisimmet to Lynn.

Wood construction and thatched roofs made fires both an “omnipresent fear” and a common reality.  Town ordinances required citizens to maintain buckets and ladders outside the meeting house, and householders were to have a ladder “that shall rech to the ridge of the house” and “a pole of about 12 foot long, with a good large swab at the end of it, to rech the rofe of his house to quench fire.”  The whole town would turn out when they heard the cry of “fire.”  A 1679 Boston conflagration destroyed some 150 buildings.

Land had to be carefully regulated on the tiny peninsula upon which Boston was located.

[T]he inhabitants had established their right to harvest fodder and thatch from the marshes rimming the peninsula, to cut wood on town lands and in those areas on the mainland and harbor islands assigned them by the commonwealth for the purpose, and finally, to run livestock on the uncultivated lands of the peninsula.

Despite the authoritarian nature of the government and church, Bostonians enjoyed the privilege of playing a part in their society.  Voting, town meetings, and courts were all institutions used to empower citizens.

The only restrictions were that those admitted to town suffrage must have taken the “oath of fidelity to this government,” must have reached the age of … twenty-one … , and that they must not be under sentence “for any evil carriage against the government, or commonwealth, or churches.”

Bostonians voted to elect the town committee and deputies to the General Court, and to ratify important actions.  These privileges had existed since the inception of the Massachusetts Bay Company.

The freemen, or stockholders, of the company were to meet together four times a year as “one greate, generall, and solemne Assemblie” to admit additional freemen and to “make, ordeine, and establishe all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, lawes, statutes, and ordinances, directions, and instructions” for the colony to be established.

[By September 1, 1634], the town records indicate that a standing committee, “the 10 to manage the affaires of the towne,” was operating as an executive body for the community, while the assembling of the town for business in “a general meetinge upon public notice” was a regular procedure.

The meetinghouse also served originally as the community church since “[t]hings civic were identical with things spiritual.”  The typical meetinghouse of the Colony was a plain square structure lacking a “popish” steeple.  Inside the unheated building — initially on the present State Street near the corner of Devonshire — attendees sat in backless wooden benches.  On the meetinghouse door, the town constable posted the new laws for the citizens’ perusal.  In 1640 a new structure, which stood on Washington Street, replaced the original meetinghouse.  The new building boasted a balcony to hold the town’s youngsters.

In 1646, it was agreed that a general town meeting would convene annually on the second of March, coinciding with the spring session of the General Court.  At this time, the freemen elected governor, deputy governor, and a court of eighteen assistants “to take care for the best disposeing and ordering of the general buysines and affaires of … the said landes and premisses … and the government of the people there.”  This annual event was as much a social event as a political affair, a time when all citizens gathered.  It was at this “Easter Court” that the crowds witnessed the election sermon, “a high point of the year’s oratory.”

Despite the sermons of the preachers, the day quickly took on a distinctly unreligious tone.  One minister complained that it had become an occasion when men gathered “to smoke, carouse, and swagger, and dishonor God with greater bravery.”  In some communities a special beer was brewed for the occasion.  In others, it was the custom for housewives to bake a particular kind of election cake.

Perhaps some of the visitors and townsmen were already drifting away as the day’s last act was played, the new governor rising to deliver a short speech, and the successful candidates who were present being solemnly inaugurated into their offices….  The spring dusk would be settling as the last oaths were administered, for the voting, beginning about noon, was a lengthy process; quickly what was left of the crowd would disperse, some to their homes, others to the taverns, the leaders to a traditional supper at the old governor’s.

Boston was the site of the General Court, the legislative and judicial body of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  The General Court, first called the “Court of Assistants” then becoming known as the “Great Quarter Court,” met in March, June, September, and December, sometimes more frequently.  This Court had “jurisdiction in cases in which justice could not be obtained ‘in any other Court.’”  While the General Court was in session, the town was filled with “members, petitioners, litigants, and witnesses.”  Jurymen, who were compensated for their expenditures, were drawn from all the towns to sit in judgment on cases before the Court.  As counties emerged in the 1640’s, the “Boston” or “County” or “Quarter Court” served Suffolk County.  Grand juries convened twice a year at Boston.

On 4-10 mo, 1654 (4 December 1654), James was called to serve on a jury of inquest for Suffolk County.  Many friends and neighbors were also jurists, including Samuel Bitfield, Barnabas Fawer (who died 19th of the 10th moth 1654 [19 December 1654]), John Phillips, James Everill, and Daniel Turrell.  The case involved the alleged murder of Matthew Cannedge at “rugged” Monhegan Island in Maine.  “Monhegan Island lies about ten miles out to sea from Port Clyde and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, surrounded by some of the East Coast’s finest fishing and lobstering grounds….  On the eastern side of Monhegan, ruggedly beautiful headlands rise more than 150 feet.  On the westward side, the island slopes gently to the harbor, flanked by the companion island of Manana.”  Maine, to the chagrin of its inhabitants, had been annexed to the Bay Colony in 1652.  In 1654, Massachusetts was still attempting to assert its power over Maine.  “From Puritanical Boston, Maine’s salty settlements were indeed far removed in religious philosophy, of which they proudly had little, and in political thinking.  Here each man did as he would, or that was the idea.”  The settlers “were almost as fearful of the heavy-handed nabobs” of Boston “and of their repressive theological controls as they were terrified by the native attacks.”  The case of Matthew Cannedge illustrates Massachusetts’ attempt at authority in the newly acquired territory.

[I]t appears that Matthew Cannedge had a house and was master of a fishing boat at Monhegan, and his boat’s crew consisted of Gregory Cassell, John Short and John Barker, the latter called shoreman or headsman.  In the middle of October 1654 Cassell’s alleged assault on Cannedge occurred at Monhegan.  The island had no constable until nineteen years later (1673), when John Dollen, fisherman and dealer in liquors, was appointed.  Cannedge’s death on the 4th of 10th month (December) 1654 occurred seven weeks after the assault.  Whether or not Dr. Comfort Starr and Dr. John Clarke meanwhile went to Monhegan to attend Cannedge and dress his wounds before he finally came to Boston is not known.

The following return of the jury of inquest in No. 270 is on file in Suffolk Court House:

“4-10 mo, 1654

“We whose names ar vnder ritten; being Called to veue the Body of Mathew Kehnige and to make inQiuery of the suddinnes of his Deth and the cause ther of —- by serching of his body we finde on his heade on the left side, a wounde wich wounde we sawe oppenned and ther was corupt blude: and towe small holes out of wich Blude Eissude forth and by what we sawe and by the witnesses Brought in on oth we finde that that wounde on his head as neare as we can Judge was a cause of his Deth

James Euerill

Samuell Bidfield         danil Turell

Nathaneel Wales                       his

Barnabas Ffawer        Samuell S Sendall

John Phillips                          marke

James Mattocke                         his

hugh Drury                  Godfrey A Armitage [of Lynn]

his                                       marke

Peter P Pl[ace]           Henry Blague”.


Of the several witnesses to the assault by Gregory Cassell on Matthew Cannedge (Cenig, Cannege, etc.) only one, John Barker, actually saw the assault.  Another witness, named John Short, who saw it, did not testify.  The assault occurred on or about 15 Oct. 1654, and Cannedge’s death occurred about seven weeks later, on 4 Dec. 1654.

In the “Chamberlain Collection” is the deposition of “John Barker, aged 27 yrs or thereabout”, who testifies that “Gregory Cassell and John Short were the boates crewe and this deponent was Headman to the boate”, and that he was witness of the attack on Matthew Cannege “about the middle of october last [1654] (John Short also being present)” did strike said Cannege with the butt end of a “Hamer” a strong blow, and that the “old man bled about tow quarts”.  The deposition was sworn to 6 Dec. 1654 before Richard Bellingham, Governor.  Barker and Short, by this deposition, saw the assault.

In Boston, annual events provided diversions and marked the passage of the seasons.  Commencement Day at Harvard College became one of the most important holidays of the year, a Friday filled with sermons, matriculating exercises, feasting, and frolicking.  Even more festive was the annual Training or Muster Day.

A frontier society had to maintain a militia ready to repel attacks from Indians or marauders from the sea.  At intervals, the militia, composed of all able-bodied citizens of a certain age, had to be called together for drills.  The amount of training was negligible.  After going through the manual of arms, marching up and down the town common or the village green, and firing their muskets a time or two, the formal muster was over, but the celebrating had just begun.  Contests of marksmanship were usual on these occasions, and prizes were offered for the best shots.  The targets might be live turkeys or ducks, for our ancestors were not squeamish.  Before the day was over the participants had consumed vast quantities of beer and rum and engaged in more than one impromptu wrestling match and fist fight.

In Boston, the militia rehearsed on a tract of  “common” pasture, a tract of land between Tramount and Colborne’s End that the town had purchased for thirty pounds sterling.

All adult males, including servants but excluding certain officeholders, were members of the Boston company or, after 1639, of the Artillery Company, an elite group of prominent townsmen from the various harbor communities organized independently of the general militia structure in emulation of London’s famed Artillery Company and largely self-regulated.  The command structure of the militia stretched from the town company upward to the regiment — organized in 1636 when Boston’s company under Captain John Underhill was joined with those of Roxbury, Dorchester, Weymouth, and Hingham as the South Regiment, commanded by “colonel” John Winthrop — and to the various agencies of commonwealth defense.  But the average militiaman’s gaze did not extend farther than the company.  Periodically the Bostonians trudged out to the Common to drill with matchlock and pike under the watchful eyes of their officers and the approving smiles of their wives and children.  Into a company treasury, they paid fines for non-attendance, tardiness, or failure to have the requisite weapons, the money to be expended for company drums, banners, and other impedimenta.  After 1637 they had the right to nominate their own officers from among the town’s freemen, the General Court almost without exception appointing their choices.  Their town government was itself involved in the militia organization, being required to maintain a watch house for the militiamen, to build facilities for the production of saltpeter, and to maintain a store of powder and extra weapons, the meetinghouse serving as the town “armoury.”

The Bostonians were not always good soldiers.  On the training field they wounded each other … ; they stumbled over each other … ; they argued….  They missed training days and failed to keep up either their weapons or their discipline.  But they guarded the town, maintaining posts on Beacon Hill and at Town Gate with militiamen from other towns.  They kept watch and ward on the village streets.

Originally an annual event, but after 1648 occurring twice a year, fairs were gatherings where citizens bartered and sold goods.  Boston’s second fair was exclusively “for Cattle to make provisions both for our selves and shipping.”  Like Election Day and Muster Day, fairs were occasions of mirth and excess.  By the end of the century, Benjamin Franklin claimed that fairs were gatherings that “corrupt the morals and destroy the innocence of our youth.”

Holidays were not as common or as festive as they are now.  The Puritan elite particularly discouraged the observation of Christmas as “a relic of ‘popish superstition’ and it was a wicked waste of time better spent in doing something useful.”  The feast days of the Anglican Church were generally not observed, although frequently colonists privately noted these days in their journals.  Lady’s Day, March 25, Midsummer, June 24, and Michaelmas, September 29, were remarked upon.  Candlemas, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Whitsunweek were also recorded.   Children were observed wasting time playing jokes on April Fool’s Day.  Valentine’s Day was observed, and the Reverend John Cotton ruled that “valentines themselves were not wicked, but that for girls to draw the names of young men, written on valentines, out of a hat was a lottery or game of chance, and this was equivalent to asking God to engage in a piece of frivolity.”

Shrove Tuesday, which had a long tradition of boisterous celebration in England, was observed in some localities with similar outbursts on the part of apprentices and other unruly youths.  Judge Sewall of Boston complained in his Diary for February 15, 1687, about the ancient custom of “cock-skailing” on Shrove Tuesday: “Jos. Maylem carries a cock at his back, with a bell in his hand, in the Main Street; several follow him blindfold, and under pretence of striking him or his cock, with great cart-whips strike passengers, and make great disturbance.”

Another holiday that lent itself to boisterous misbehavior was November 5, Guy Fawkes Day.  Guy Fawkes was the leader of a Catholic conspiracy that, in the reign of King James I, had plotted to blow up the English Houses of Parliament.  The discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in the nick of time has been commemorated in England ever since.  In the colonies the anniversary provided an opportunity for young people to organize parades with an effigy of Guy Fawkes, or of the Pope, which they carried through the streets and then burned on a great bonfire.  In some Puritan communities Guy Fawkes Day was called Pope’s Day.

Thanksgiving Day was not a regularly fixed day until modern times, though various colonies proclaimed a day of thanksgiving whenever it suited them.  Sometimes more than one day of thanksgiving was observed with feasting and good cheer; occasionally the day of feasting was followed by a day of fasting — a not unwise provision.

Attempts by the population to engage in merriment were frequently met with resistance.  Card play was condemned.  Dancing was not altogether discouraged, as “pious folk had danced before the Lord,” but the church forbade “lascivious dancing to wanton ditties, and in amorous gestures and wanton dalliances, especially after great feasts.”  Despite the asceticism of his culture, a Puritan might occasionally be found playing football, stoolball (a kind of croquet), billiards, shuffleboard and bowling.

The General Court of Massachusetts Bay in 1646 heard a complaint, for instance, about “the use of games of shuffleboard and bowling, in and about houses of common entertainment, whereby much precious time is spent unprofitably, and much waste of wine and beer occasioned.”  In consideration of this waste, the General Court forbade both shuffleboard and bowling.

Frivolity was always frowned upon, but on the weekly observance of the Sabbath life assumed an especially serious tone.  The Scriptures were interpreted to mean that the Sabbath began Saturday night and lasted through Sunday.  Work and waste were forbidden.  There were to be no games, no frivolous behavior, no loud or raucous laughter, no fast walking or driving, no loitering outside the Church.  “There was to be no unreasonable walking in the streets or the fields, no digging of graves or making of coffins, no funerals; two or three persons who might meet on the street by accident were not permitted to stop to talk; they might not walk down to the water-side on hot summer days, nor take air on the Common; nor could they be entertained in taverns except in emergencies.”  After March 1635, church attendance was made mandatory upon pain of fine or imprisonment.  However, it seems unlikely that all Bostonians regularly attended church.  The four to five hundred communicants of the 1640’s could not have been accommodated in the Boston meetinghouse, although the building was large for the time.  Tithingmen were responsible for walking about enforcing the Sabbath observance and reporting violations.  A contemporary visitor wrote that on “Saturday evening the constable goes round into all the taverns of the city for the purpose of stopping all noise and debauchery, which frequently causes him to stop his search before his search causes the debauchery to stop.”

Twice each Sunday the drum-call summoned the townspeople to the meeting-house, where the men took their places on one side, and the women on the other, the boys being relegated to the supervision of a special officer charged with the by no means unimportant duty of keeping them in order through the long sermon.  Below the high pulpit, and just in front of it, sat the elders, and still nearer the body of the people were the deacons, both groups looking over the demure assembly.  The men of the congregation were armed, as if in fear of interruption by the Indians.

Churchgoers would not only engage in pious devotions, but would also discuss the common problems of the community.

If Sunday were the day of the week when Bostonians’ features were at their sternest, then Thursday was the day when smiles were most likely to be encountered on the townspeople’s rugged faces.  Thursday was Lecture Day, when the public gathered in the forenoon to hear the Reverend John Cotton expound upon the Bible.  In 1634, the Court of Assistants approved a weekly market to be held in conjunction with Lecture Day.  The open air market on Great Street attracted “farmers, sailors, townspeople and visiting Indians.”

Marketplaces were also created anytime a ship full of goods arrived in port.

During the summer months there were often as many as a dozen ships in the harbor…. Whenever a ship was seen to be coming in, the town crier, beating his drum, went all over town announcing the news.  Then people — men, women and children — hurried to the waterside and stood there talking, laughing and running around in high spirits while the boats from the ships rowed ashore.

Each sail entering the harbor was a signal, and would-be purchasers crammed into dories and lighters, racing to be among the first aboard to enter a bid for needed items from the ship’s inventory.  Periodically the government tried to curb the chaos of the scene, aghast at the “loss of time, and drunkeness … people’s running to the ships, and the excessive price of commodities” resulting from the open bidding.

The ships were loaded with fabrics, ironware, furniture, household implements and tools, nails, plows, glass windowpanes, paint, carpets, curtains, blankets, looking glasses, writing paper, pewter dishes, pots and pans, liquor, oranges, nutmeg and ginger, “but they also carried newspapers, journals, books, and travelers bursting with gossip.”  The resulting imbalance of trade caused a chronic shortage of money in New England.  The inhabitants therefore resorted to bartering and the use of various commodities as currency.  Beginning in 1652, the minting of the Pine Tree Shilling by a Boston silversmith helped relieve the problem.

Though they purchased some exotic foods from trading ships, the townspeople produced most of their comestibles locally.  Each householder kept a garden and sometimes a small orchard.  Many families raised cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and chickens, cultivated corn, beans, peas, pumpkins, parsnips, turnips, onions, cabbage, carrots, apples, peaches, strawberries, grapes, chestnuts, hazelnuts, barley, oats, wheat, rye, flour, parsley, thyme, marjoram, beef, mutton, pork, chicken, milk, cheese, codfish, salmon, oysters, and mackerel, and imported sugar, salt, pepper, molasses, oils, wine, and brandy.  Despite the variety of foods available to the colonists, most settlers ate a “dull and tasteless” diet.  Many of them found vegetables distasteful.

Events other than those of a cyclic nature infiltrated the lives of James and Mary Mattocks.  Twice James was engaged to serve as another’s attorney.  This suggests not so much that James had a deep knowledge of the law, but simply that he was literate.  The literacy level in New England in 1660 has been estimated at 60 percent among adult white males.  James signed his will with his signature, not with the ubiquitous “X” of many.  The responsibilities asked of James by those who appointed him as their attorney were specific and simple, but probably required an individual who could read and write.  The first document was dated 12 (10) 1646 [12 December 1646].

Edward Hall of Linne Carpenter constituted James Mattock of Boston his Atturney to Receive certaine Legacies given him by the last will and testamts of Edward Hall of Amsbury in Glocestrshire, his ffather, Ellenor Hall of Hill in the same shire & John Moore of Stapleton in the same shire, & of the Receipt to give acquitt: &c: wth power to substitute wm or Jane Palmer wth like or limited power.

Since Edward Hall lived in distant Lynn, Massachusetts, he may have needed a Boston agent to pursue his legacies.  It is unknown if James and Edward Hall were further acquainted.  Perhaps James’ services were wanted because he was familiar with Gloucestershire, maybe even known to the English people mentioned in the contract.  It is possible that James made a trip to England at this time, and Hall may have assigned his rights so that James could act for him in the old country.  Limited research has not revealed a William and Jane Palmer residing in Massachusetts.  Perhaps they were residents of the Gloucester area whom James would encounter there.  If James did go to England, he either made a very quick trip, or left after the contract he made to provide pipe staves in 1647.

Interestingly, no record has been found of James’ wife and children before the date of this power of attorney.  Is it possible that James made a transatlantic journey at this time to retrieve his family from England?  Had he been separated from them for the preceding eight years?  James apparently alluded to “harming” his wife in some way.  Had he abandoned her and the children, fleeing to New England in 1638?  Had he at last repented and determined to bring his family to join him in Boston?  Or had he hesitated to retrieve them until he had at last established a sound footing in the New World?  These questions are mere speculation.  The absence of wives and children from early colonial records is not unusual.  I think that noting that other possibilities exist is important.  This new scenario, despite its unwieldiness, does simplify a problem that otherwise begs explanation.  James’ daughter, Alice, had married a Mr. Bishop, and he had died by November 1659.  No Massachusetts record has been found to suggest who this Mr. Bishop was, when he married Alice, or when he died.  One could conjecture that Alice had married before her departure from England, and that Mr. Bishop had died before Alice’s arrival in America.  This would explain his absence from Boston records.  If Alice had married before 1638 (when her father arrived in Boston), she would have married much earlier than either her brother or sister.  If, however, Alice did not journey across the Atlantic until some eight years later, her first marriage in England would have more closely approximated the dates of marriage of her siblings (Samuel in 1653, and Mary in 1661).

James was in Boston on 2 (8) 1649 [2 October 1649] when he was again assigned power of attorney.

Robt Willington did constitute James Mattock of Boston Coop his true & lawfull Attr. to take & receive all share or shares due to him or that may hereafter grow due out of the Sugar priz or any other & to receive all debts dues & accounts from any pson or psons what soevr wth power to compound sue implead arrest acquitt, & power to substitute one Attr or more.

We can guess that the “Sugar priz” was a merchant boat, perhaps named after the valuable commodity that was a source of so much trade with the West Indies.  That Willington was owner and captain of the Sugar seems probable.  Apparently he was based in Boston and needed someone to handle his affairs in his absence.  Willington’s shares may have come from a trading company, which offered them to him in exchange for his services.

On 18 January 1652 (perhaps 1653), Captain William Tyng died, leaving a larger estate “than any in the country of that day.”  An inventory of his estate made 25. 3. 1653 [25 May 1653] included “houses, warehouses, etc. cattle at the Farme at Brantree called Salter’s Farme, at Goodman Mattocks, at George Speres Farme,” etc.  Tyng possessed substantial acreage at Braintree, the village at Mount Wollaston.  John Read had rented his property at Salter’s Farm.  While it is possible that Tyng had “houses, warehouses, etc. cattle” on property belonging to James Mattocks, it seems more likely that the “Goodman Mattocks” referred to was David Mattocks, a resident of Braintree, who may have rented land from Tyng, or raised Tyng’s cattle on his property.  I have established no relationship between David and James Mattocks.

On 30: 1: 53 [30 March 1653], James’ son Samuel married Constance Fairbanks.  A confusing series of land transactions was recorded at this time.  On 25 April 1653, James is said to have purchased a house and land from Samuel Barnes, a solicitor who was returning to England.

To all people to whom theis pnts shall Come Samuell Barnes of London in the Comon wealth of England Marchant Tayler sendeth greeting Whereas Arthur Perry of Boston Newe England Taylor deceased by his deede beareing date the Second day of May which was in the yere of our Lord One Thousand six hundred fforty and Eight for & in Consideracon. Of the some of Three score pounds and Tenne shillings sterling by him the said Samuell Barnes paid vnto the said Arthur Perry hee the said Arthur did thereby graunt bargaine sell alliene enfeoffe and Confirme vnto the said Samuell Barnes his heires and assignes All that messuage or Tent with the apprtenncs scittuate & being in Boston aforesaid and then in the tenure or occupacon of the said Arthur Perry or his assignes withall yards gardens backsides void ground and wharfes therevnto belonging with the Reuersion and Reuersions remainder & Remainders yerely Rents & all other profitts of all and singuler the prmisses and euery or any part thereoff.  To haue and to hold the said Messuage or Tent and all and singuler other the prmisses vnto the said Samuell Barnes his heires & assignes for euer To the onely Vse and behoofe of him the said Samuell Barnes his heires and assignes for euer vnder a Prouisoe for the Repaymt of the said Threescore pounds and Tenne shillings at certaine dayes and tymes lymitted & expressed in the said Indenture which dayes & tymes are long since expired and the said paymts nor any pte thereof are not paid  And the said Arthure Perry hath therefore by his deede beareing date the Tenth day of December in the yere of our Lord One thousand six hundred ffifty and Two remised released and dischardged vnto the said Samuell Barnes his heires and assignes all his right title & interrest clayme & demand of & into the said bargained prmisses with their apprtenncs as in and by the said deede or deedes it doth or may more plainely appeare./  And whereas the said Samuell Barnes by his Warrant of Attorney vnder his hand & seale beareing date in the month of Aprill in the yere of our Lord One thousand six hundred ffifty and Two Ordained and Authorized Mr Edward Tinge of Boston his very true and lawfull Attorney for him and in his name to sett & lett bargaine sell conclude enfeoffe and Confirme the said house & premisses vnto any pson or psons for such valluable Consideracon as they are worth to be paid to the said Attorney for the vse of the said Samuell Barnes his heires executors administrators or assignes./  Nowe Knowe yee that the said Edward Tinge by vertue of the said Warrant of Attorney and for & on the part and behalf of the said Samuell Barnes and for and in Consideracon of satisfaccon for the some of Three score pounds sterl in hand recd of James Mattocke of Boston Cowper for the vse of the said Samuell Barnes and there of and of euery part and pcell thereof doth exonerate acquit and discharge the said James Mattocke his heires executors & aministrators for euer by theis pnts Hath graunted bargained sold enfeoffed and confirmed and by theis pnts doth graunt bargaine sell enfeoffe and confirme vnto the said James Mattocks his heires and assignes for euer the aboue said Messuage or dwelling house Wth the buildings Orchards gardens lands and Wharfe therevnto adjoyning scittuate in Boston aforesaid and lying betwixt the lands of the said James Mattocke on the Easterly side and the lands of Robt Nanney on the westerly side and the lands nowe or late in the disposall or occupacon of Robt Wright Northerly a short Lane or high way of six foote broade lying bewixt and faceing vpon the Sea Southerly withall & singuler the apprtenncs to the said premisses belonging and appertayning and nowe or late in the tenure and occupacon of John ffrancklin of Boston Cooper with whome the said James mattock hath Compounded and agreed for a Cowpers shopp he built vpon the said prmisses And all the right title & interrest claime and demand of the said Samuell Barnes of and into the siad premisses with their apprtenncs./  To haue and to hold the said Messuage or dwelling house buildings Orchards gardens lands and Wharfe therevnto belonging vnto the said James Mattocke his heires and assignes for euer and to the onely proper vse and behoofe of the said James Mattocke his heires and assignes for euer to be holden in free and Comon Soccage and not in Capitie nor by Knights seruice And the said Edward Tinge for and on the part and behalf of the said Samuell Barnes his heires & assignes doth Covennt pmise and graunt to and wth the said James Mattocke his heires & assignes That hee the said Samuel Barnes is the proper owner of the said bargained prmisses at the tyme of the bargaine & sale thereof and that the said bargained premisses are free and cleare and freely and clearely acquitted exonerated & dischardged of for and from all & all maner of former bargaines sales guifts graunts titles Mortgages Accons suits Judgmts dowers & incumbrances whatsoeuer from the worlds begining vntill the date hereof and shall & will deliu or Cause to be dliued vnto the said James Mattocke his heires & assignes all deeds wrightings Euidences Escripts and Muniments concerning the prmisses faire and Vncancelled./  And the said Edward Tinge for & on the pte and behalf of the said Samuell Barnes his heires and assignes doth Covennt promise and graunt to & wth the said James Mattocke his heires and assignes all & singuler the said bargained prmisses wth their apprtenncs to warrant acquit and defend vnot the said James Mattocke his heires & assignes against all psons from by or vnder him the said Samu[    ] Barnes claymeing any right title of and into the same or any part thereof for euer by theis pnts  And that it shall and may be lawfull to & for the said James Mattocke his heires or assignes to record & enrole or cause to be recorded and enrolled the title & tenor of theis pnts according to the true intent & meaneing and purport thereof and according to the vscuall Order and maner of recording & enroleing deeds and euidences in such Case made & provided./  In Witnes whereof the said Edward Tinge as Attorney vnto the said Samuell Barnes hath for and on the part and behalf of the said Samuell Barnes hath put to his hand & Seale the Twentith day of Aprill in the yere  of our Lord One thousand six hundred ffifty & Three./        Edward Tinge & a seale.

Sealed & deliued in the pnce of vs./

John ffrankling,   Joseph Arnall

Nathaniel Sowther  Not publ./

Memorand the twenty fifth day of Aprill 1653 that full & peaceable possession and seizin was giuen by Edward Tinge Attorney of the said Samuell Barnes vnto the said James Mattocke in their owne proper psons of all the prenisses wthin menconed in the pnce of John ffrankling Joseph Arnall Joshua ffoote:/

Nathaniel Sowther  Not. publ./

This deede of Sale made by Mr Edward Tinge to the vse of James Mattock was acknowledged by the said Mr Tinge this 18th of the 5th mo 1653 before mee./

William Hibbins.

Entred & Recorded the 27th of July 1653.

P Edward Rawson Recordr

James reportedly deeded this property over to his son Samuel on 27 April 1653.

To all people to Whome theis pnts shall Come James Mattock of Boston Newe England Cooper sendeth greeting Knowe yee that I the said James Mattocke for and in consideracon of the fatherly Loue & affeccon that I bare vnto my naturall sonne Samuell Mattocke and for & in Consideracon of a Marriage solempnized betwixt the said Samuell and Constance the daughter of Richard ffairebancks of Boston Haue giuen graunted enfeoffed & confirmed and by theis pnts doe freely and absolutely giue graunt enfeoffe & confirme vnto the said Samuell Mattocke & Constance his wife All that messuage or dwelling house with the buildings Orchards gardens lands & wharfe there vnto adioyning with the Shopp lately built vpon the said lands by John ffranckling scittuate in Boston aforesaid and standing lying and being betwixt the lands of the said James Mattocke on the Easterly side and the lands of Robt Nanney on the westerly side and the lands nowe or late in the tenure or occupacon of Robt Wright of Boston Husbandman and faceth towards the Sea Southerly, late purchased of Mr Samuell Barnes of London mrchant Taylor by Mr Edward Tinge his Attorney wth all and singuler the Apprtenncs therevnto belonging and all my right title & interrest of and into the said prmisses and euery part & pcell thereof To haue & to hold the said dwelling house or Messuage wth all the buildings Orchards gardens lands and wharfe adioyning wth the Shopp built vpon the said wharfe And all and singuler the apprtenncs therevnto belonging vnto the said Samuell mattocke and Constance his wife and the heires of their bodies lawfully begotten for euer  And to the onely proper vse and behoofe of the said Samuell Mattocke and Constance his wife the heires of their bodies lawfully begotten for euer as it is nowe in the possession and occupacon of the said Samuell Mattocke or his assignes free and cleare and freely & clearely exonerated acquitted & dischardged of for & from all other former bargaines sales guifts graunts titles Mortgages actions suits executions Judgemts dowers and incumbrances whatsoeuer from the begining of the world vntill the day of the date hereof.  And the said James Mattocke doth covennt pmise and graunt by theis pnts all & singuler the said premisses with their appurtenncs and euy pt & pcell thereof to Warrant acquitt and defend against all psons whatsoeuer cclaymeing any right title dower or interrest whatsoeuer vnto the said Samuell mattocke and Constance his wife & their heires & assignes for euer by theis prsents  In witnes whereof I the said James Mattocke haue herevnto sett my hand & Seale the Twenty fift day of Aprill in the yere of our Lord One thousand Six hundred ffifty and Three

James Mattocke & a Seale

Sealed and deliued in the pnce of vs./

Edward Tinge :  John ffranckling

Joseph Arnall

Nathaniell Sowther Not public

Memorand that vpon the twenty fift day of April 1653 full and peaceable possession & seizen of the within written prmisses were deliued by the wthin named James Mattocke vnto the wthin named Samuell Mattocke and Constance his wife in their owne pper psons in the pnce of vs:  John ffranckling: Joseph Arnall Joshua ffoote Nathaniell Sowther Not publ:

This pnt wrighting graunt of ffeoffemt made by James Mattocke vn[    ] Samuell Mattocke his sonne & constance his sonns wife was acknowledged to be his Act & deede to their vise aboue said this 18th of the 5th mo 1653 before mee

Willm Hibbins./

Entred & Recorded the 27th of July 1653

P Edward Rawson Re[       ]

Family historian Carl Mattocks wrote that this property was allegedly deeded back to James on the same date.  “The reason for doing this is not certain but it is believed the former owner had specified a business restriction until the property had changed hands three times.”  Alfred W. Little, in his study on the Mattocks family, stated that, on 27 July 1653, James “was deeded from the Samuel Barnes estate a house, buildings, land, and a wharf facing the sea.”  The same day James deeded to son Samuel and his wife Constance “a house, buildings, land and wharf in Boston, with shop lately built, adjoining to the west land of said James Mattock; facing the sea.”  I have not had the opportunity to peruse the Suffolk County Deed Book where these transactions are said to have been recorded.  The similarity of  transactions and of dates leads me to believe that the transactions have been confused.  It seems likely that James would have provided Samuel and his new bride with a home.  Constance’s parents may have even insisted upon the gift as a condition of the marriage.  Charles Henry Pope claimed that James gave this property to his son.  The description of the property sold by Samuel and Constance Mattocks in 1678 matches exactly with the tract described by Little as having been deeded to them in 1653.

Parental wisdom was to be trusted in the business of choosing a mate, as in that of discerning a calling.  Of course parents did not undertake to win a sweetheart for their son — but they frequently determined what lady he should address, and they almost always determined what young man should be given the chance to court their daughter.

[I]n most first marriages the parents fought out the sordid pecuniary details while the children were left to the business of knitting their affections to each other.  The latter process, however, was usually supposed to follow rather than precede the financial agreement.  Parental consent was legally required for a first marriage, and parental consent usually depended upon the attainment of a satisfactory bargain with the parents of the other party, each side endeavoring to persuade the other to give a larger portion to the young couple.

In the inventory of the estate of Captain Bozone Allen, taken 22 September 1652, a “Mr. Maddocks” was enumerated as one who had “Debts to pd out of the estate.”  In colonial times, the title “Mr.” was reserved for gentlemen of the highest social standing, so that this reference may not be to James but to another of the handful of Boston men with the last name of Mattocks or Maddocks.  On 25 October 1653, James was listed as a creditor in the inventory of James Astwood’s estate.  Also named as a creditor was Ed Mattux, believed not to be related to James Mattocks.  On 1 Feb 1653 [1 February 1654], “all persons clayming ought from sd [Astwood’s] estate are to appeare before Mr Anthony Stoddard & Mr Edward Ting at ye Anchor Tauerne, ye 10th Feb. & make due proof of their debts.”  Evidently, payments were made to Edward Maduck and James Madocke on 2. Feb. 1654 [2 February 1655].

Edward Tyng appears in another record concerning James Mattocks.  This record was transcribed by the author from an entry on James from the Internet website  Apparently, some of the data was inadvertently erased from this site.

… of Boston gave Power of Attorney to Edward Tying to sell [Arthur?] Perry Building deeds to James Mattocks: orchards, gardens, wharf and building betweenland of Mattocks on the east and Robert Nanney on the west, Robert Wright to the north and six foot lane separating it from the sea.

Other fragments at the website were even more indecipherable.  One says only “… to Edward Tying, brewer.”  One complete statement is that “John Franklin had a cooper’s ship on the premises built by James Mattocks.”

On 22 August 1663, James witnessed the will of his neighbor Robert Nanny.

By early 1667, James may have had some foreshadowing that his end was near.  Though “of perfect memory,” he may have suffered from ill health.  Dr. Comfort Starr’s book of accounts, which principally enumerated doctor’s bills, showed that James owed Starr 00.15.00.  This author did not note the date of this entry, though we know that Starr died in 1659.  “The tortures of the medical and surgical practice of those days were fearful for endurance.”  James may have met Starr while serving on the inquest of Matthew Cannedge.  He may also have known Starr through his son-in-law, John Lewis.  Both Lewis and Starr had come to Massachusetts from Kent, England, and had traveled to the New World together aboard the Hercules.  On 21 January 1666/7, James Mattocks composed his last will and testament, adding a codicil on 28 January 1666/7.

I, James Mattock, of Boston, Cooper, being of perfect memory, do make this my last will.  Debts to be paid.  I Giue to my Sone, Samuel Mattock, 20s; to my dau. Alice, now the wife of John Lewes, 20s; to my dau. Mary, now the wife of Samuell Browne, 20s.  I ordain my wife, Mary Mattock, to be my executrix.  Inasmuch as my Children respectively have had portions of my estate, if any or either of my Children Do make any Sute, Demand, to the trouble & vexation of my wife, for any part of my estate in land, goods or debts otherwise then according to this my Will, That then either of them so Doing shall clearly loose such legacy by me given, & that my bequeath to him or her shall be clearly void as if the same had never been to him or her given or made.  Jan 28, in the yeare above written.

In the presence of                                                                James Mattocke.

Richard Collacott, William Pearse scr.

It is unknown what “portions” of the estate James had already granted to Alice and Mary, but Samuel had probably received his home as a gift from his father.  His appended warning to his children not to give “trouble & vexation” to their mother implies that he might have anticipated that such a disturbance might occur.

The early New England funeral, more than the wedding, was a public, even a social, event, an occasion for the gathering of the neighborhood and clan.  A minister provided over a brief, stark ceremony.  After the burial, however, the mourners returned to the house where they shared a meal and spiced drinks in a more convivial atmosphere.  The grave of the deceased was more often than not located on family land and marked by an unadorned stone slab.  All this changed as the century progressed.  Cemeteries, though often overgrown with weeds, materialized somewhere near the meetinghouse.  Elaborately carved stones marked the graves.  The funeral itself became an even more social event, one of the few formal rituals that New England accepted.  The once modest meal after the service became a feast.  The well-to-do and even those who could not afford it passed out costly gifts to those who attended — scarves, gloves, even gold rings.

James had died by 1 August 1667, when his will was proved by William Pearse.  It has been suggested that James was buried at Copps Ancient Burial Grounds, which had been established in 1660 and serving the North End of Boston.  The Granary Burying Ground, also established in 1660 and serving the central area and South End, seems another possible quarter for the final rest of James Mattocks.  Thomas Lake and Joseph How took the inventory on James’ estate on 12: 4: 1667 [12 June 1667].  The estate was valued at £277.15.05.  It would be interesting to know what items were in James’ estate.  “The numerous inventories left to us of household goods, of farm implements, and of apparel, are often amusing illustrations of simple thrift, and of the frugality, paucity, and rudeness of their furnishings, which still were of such relative value as to be carefully appraised.”  Mary Mattocks, now a widow, deposed to her husband’s will on 15 August 1667.  Her feelings at the death of her longtime husband are not recorded, but her mourning was likely subdued.

When a widow or widower showed immoderate grief, he showed that he had not kept his love within bounds.  He showed that he had valued a creature too highly.  Therefore, although the minister urged married couples to love each other above everything and everybody else in the world, he always warned them to “let this caution be minded, that they dont love inordinately, because death will soon part them.”

Mary had probably passed the preceding years like most wives of the time.  Women were expected to support and obey their husbands.  Although allowed a muted church membership, women were excluded from the business of the town.  Their lives were filled with cooking, washing, sewing, spinning, and tending to children and animals.

In seventeenth-century New England no respectable person questioned that woman’s place was in the home.  By the laws of Massachusetts as by those of England a married woman could hold no property of her own.  When she became a wife, she gave up everything to her husband and devoted herself exclusively to managing his household.  Henceforth her duty was to “keep at home, educating of her children, keeping and improving what is got by the industry of the man.”  She was “to see that nothing be wasted, or prodigally spent; that all have what is suitable in due season.”  What the husband provided she distributed and transformed to supply the everyday necessities of the family.  She turned flour into bread and wool into cloth and stretched the pennies to purchase what she could not make.  Sometimes she even took care of the family finances.

Elizabeth Bitfield, widow of Samuel Bitfield, died by 20 7m 1669 [20 September 1669].  Her will had been written nearly six years earlier, on “the 13th of the 11th month, 1663” [13 January 1664].  In her will, Elizabeth had left £3 to James Mattock.  Of course, James did not receive the bequest because he had predeceased Elizabeth.

On 20 December 1678 Samuel and Constance Mattocks sold their “Shop Land” and a wharf, adjoining the “land of the Widow Mattocks,” to Edward Budd.

Widow Mary composed her will on 8 January 1680/1.  In it, she bequeathed land for life to her son Samuel.  Daughter Alice How was left the west end of the house for life, while daughter Mary Bishop was to receive the east end for life.  The two daughters also inherited the “movables.”  To grandson James Mattocks, Mary left the wharf and other property, and entrusted him to pay to his brother Samuel when he should turn twenty-one, £30.  Mary instructed her grandson John Mattocks to pay £5 each to his sisters, Constance, Mehitable, Elizabeth, and Mary Mattocks, and to his cousin Samuel Lewis.  Mary directed  her grandson Zacheus Mattocks to give £5 each to grandchildren Joseph Lewis, James, Mary, and Samuel Browne, and Hannah Bishop.  Mary Mattocks named her son Samuel executor.  She had died by 11 April 1682 when her will was proved at Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

Mary’s death marked the passing of the first generation of the Mattocks family in America.  Her children, Alice, Samuel, and Mary, were now to grapple with the challenges of this forbidding yet promising country.  The adversities faced by Boston’s second generation were of a less heroic and momentous nature than those of the Founding Fathers.  Still, they were no less real or difficult.

Children of James and Mary ([Spoore?]) Mattocks:

+    2048.1.  Alice, reportedly born about 1616.

+    2048.2.  Samuel [1024], born about 1625 to 1630.

+    2048.3.  Mary, born perhaps about 1627.


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