Rachel (Martin) Bigg, Widow, England to Massachusetts, 1635

This is part of a series about my New England colonial ancestors who arrived by during the Great Migration. If you have early Massachusetts ancestry, be sure to check out AmericanAncestors, as the Great Migration Study Project can be viewed there with a membership to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Rachel (Martin) Bigg was the mother of tomorrow’s subject, Patience (Bigg) Foster. She was baptized on 17 June 1565, in Lydd, Kent, England, the daughter of James Martin and Joan Adam.

Rachel married John Bigg on 14 September 1583 in Tenterden, Kent, England.

John was born c1560 and was buried in Cranbrook, Kent, England on 13 August 1605. In spite of online family tree data, as far as I know, his parentage hasn’t been established as English probate records name several John Biggs born in this time frame.

John was a well-to-do man, a clothier by occupation, who was buried in Cranbrook, Kent, England on 13 August 1605.

John and Rachel were the parents of eleven known children, although several died young.

Children, all baptized at Cranbrook:

  1. Anna, baptized 16 August 1584; buried 27 August 1584, also at Cranbrook.
  2. Smallhope, baptized 29 August 1585; died after 3 May 1638, probably in Cranbrook; married Ellen (MNU).
  3. Patience, baptized 5 May 1588; died between 18 March 1638, when she was granted some land in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts and 16 November 1646, the day her mother wrote her will; married Richard Foster, date unknown.
  4. Elizabeth, baptized 1 November 1590; died before 21 August 1638, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married John Stowe, 13 September 1608, Biddenden, Kent, England.
  5. James, baptized 28 January 1592/93; buried 12 January 1593/94.
  6. Rachel, baptized 20 October 1594; married (1) Moregift Starr, 4 March 1616/17, Biddenden, Kent, England (2) Peter Masters, 9 November 1619, Cranbrook, Kent, England.
  7. Anna, baptized 30 January 1596/97; buried 16 May 1597, Cranbrook, Kent, England.
  8. John, baptized June 1598; buried 18 December 1598, Cranbrook, Kent, England.
  9. Mary, baptized 18 May 1600; buried 24 April 1610, Cranbrook, Kent, England.
  10. John, baptized 19 December 1602; married (1) Mary Maplisden, 12 May 1626 (2) Sibylla Beacon, 16 September 1634, both in Cranbrook.
  11. Thankful, baptized 17 February 1604/05; buried 14 August 1605, Cranbrook, Kent, England.

Rachel is unique in my family tree. She was obviously a brave woman, setting sail for a new life in New England when she was almost 70 years old. Many who emigrated died on the voyage across the ocean.

The second reason for her uniqueness is a sad one. Although she gave birth to eleven children, six were buried as young children and the other five, although grown and married, died before her. Therefore, she buried ALL of her eleven children in her lifetime.

I can’t think of another of my ancestors who could claim that unfortunate distinction.

My line of descent:

  1. John Bigg & Rachel Martin
  2. Richard Foster & Patience Bigg
  3. Hopestill Foster & Mary Bate
  4. James Foster & Anna Lane
  5. Robert Spur & Jemima Foster
  6. John Spur & Rebecca Blackman
  7. Joseph Coleman & Ruth Spur
  8. Thomas Coleman & Mary Elizabeth Astle
  9. William Coleman & Sarah Moriah Crouse
  10. Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
  11. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  12. George Michael Sabo & Doris Priscilla Adams
  13. Linda Anne (Sabo) Stufflebean – Me!

 

One thought on “Rachel (Martin) Bigg, Widow, England to Massachusetts, 1635”

  1. Wow – I can’t imagine sailing the ocean at that age…I assume she was going to be with one of her two daughters who were also in Mass?

    Love some of those names. Were they Puritans?

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