An Inheritance of Ghosts

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.