John Black, England to Massachusetts on the Talbot, 1629

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.

John Black, an early immigrant to Massachusetts, being documented there by 1629, is a man of some mystery. He is also one of my 9X great grandparents.

John was born c1591, most likely in England and died intestate by 16 March 1674/75, when an inventory of his estate was taken. No clues have yet been uncovered as to his origins.

Absolutely nothing is known about his wife, except for the fact that he left four surviving children. The “wife of Mr. Black” was mentioned in a 1629 lawsuit in Essex County, Massachusetts. That is the only crumb that she has left telling us of her existence.

John was a farmer by occupation, first living in Salem and then moving on to Beverly, also in Essex County, Massachusetts.

Interestingly, while his wife has remained anonymous to time, it is noted that a child of his died at sea on the Talbot on 24 June 1629. There is no indication as to whether his wife gave birth during the voyage and neither the name nor sex of the child was recorded.

That leads me to think that Mrs. Black gave birth, particularly since their other children were born in Massachusetts.


  1. Child, died 24 June 1629, at sea aboard the Talbot
  2. Elizabeth, born c1631, probably Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; died between 1686 – 29 March 1693; married (1) Humphrey Gilbert, c1655 (2) William Raynor, 24 September 1658, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts (3) Henry Kimball, before 1675 (4) Daniel Kilham, before 1679
  3. Persis, born c1634, probably Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; died probably before her husband, perhaps c1702; married Richard Follett, 29 November 1655, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
  4. Lydia, baptized 25 December 1636, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; died soon.
  5. Lydia, baptized 3 June 1638, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; married Isaac Davis, 28 September 1659, Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts.
  6. Daughter, baptized 27 November 1640, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; no further record.
  7. John, born c1642, probably Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; married (1) Freeborn Woolfe, 29 July 1664, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts (2) Deborah (MNU), before 1686.

Elizabeth was the second wife of Humphrey Gilbert, who left a 1657 will. He had four daughters – Abigail Eborne, wife of Moses, Martha Comer, wife of Richard, Hannah, wife of Peter Harvey and Mary, wife of Richard Palmer – by his first wife. Elizabeth was the mother of Humphrey’s son, John, born c1656.

Lydia, wife of Isaac Davis, married in 1659, but only 3 children are found in the vital records – Ebenezer, born 1671, Isaac, born 1674 and Israel, born 1674. They may have had other children whose births weren’t recorded between 1660 and 1670.

John Black had at least 4 children with Freeborne – Martha, born 1668, Peter, born 1669, Susanna, born 1672 and Nathaniel, born 1677 and one child, Deborah, with second wife Deborah (MNU).

I lose the Black surname in the second generation, as I am descended from daughter Persis who married Richard Follet.

My line of descent:

  1. John Black & Unknown
  2. Persis Black & Richard Follett
  3. John Follett & Martha Callam
  4. Joseph Follett & Anna Tongue
  5. Rebecca Follett & Benjamin Burt
  6. Sarah Burt & Philip Crouse
  7. Peter Crouse & Rebecca Jones
  8. Sarah Moriah Crouse & William Coleman
  9. Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
  10. Hazel Ethel Coleman & Vernon Tarbox Adams
  11. Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
  12. Linda Anne (Sabo) Stufflebean – me!

One thought on “John Black, England to Massachusetts on the Talbot, 1629”

  1. John,

    We believe that our ancestor may have also been aboard the Talbot. Is there a passenger manifest anywhere to be found?

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