Widow Isabel (MNU) & Son James Babson, Immigrants to MA, 1637, Part 2

Today’s post will look at the family of James Babson, with a few notes about the family of his sister, Joan Collins, who also settled in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.

First – the family of James Babson.

James Babson, one of the younger children of Thomas and Isabel (MNU) Babson, was born c7 March 1622, Wookey, Somerset, England. Given that his mother was up in years and brother Richard was 25 in 1637, it seems to me that Richard would have encouraged the family move to Massachusetts and a teen-aged James likely saw it as a great adventure.

It’s interesting that Richard Babson returned to England, perhaps unhappy with his new life. I also have to wonder if Isabel declined to return home because of her age and young James found life in Massachusetts an improvement over life in Old England.

James Babson married Eleanor Hill, 16 November 1647, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. Eleanor was born c1629, likely the daughter of Philip Hill of Bedminster, Somerset, England and an unknown wife. Even though little is known about Philip Hill, there has been enough discussion about his family that it merits its own story.

James was a cooper (barrel maker) who died in Gloucester, 21 December 1683, a couple of weeks after making his will. Eleanor survived him, dying 14 March 1713/14, also in Gloucester, aged about 84 years.

Children: (All events in Gloucester, unless noted.)

1. James, born 16 November 1648; no further record
2. Eleanor, born 15 June 1650; married Edmund Ashby, before 1682
3. Phillip, born 15 October 1654; died before 5 August 1708 when his mother executed a deed to Abigail Hill of Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts; married Hannah Baker, 22 October 1689, Beverly or Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
4. Sarah, born 15 March 1655; died 19 January 1675
5. Thomas, born 21 May 1658; no further record
6. John, born 27 November 1660; married Dorcas Elwell, 8 November 1686
7. Richard, born 1 June 1663; married Mary Dolliver, c1686
8. Elizabeth, born 8 October 1665; no further record
9. Ebenezer, born 8 February 1668; no further record
10. Abigail, born 13 May 1670; married Thomas Witham, 8 July 1691

I actually have a double descent through James Babson and Eleanor Hill, through their son Richard, who married Mary Dolliver and their youngest child, Abigail, who married Thomas Witham.

Now for the family of John & Joan (Babson) Collins:

Joan Babson married John Collins about 1640. John wrote his will in 1674 and died 25 March 1675 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. Joan survived him by many years, passing away on 25 May 1695, also in Gloucester.


1. John, born c1639; called eldest son in his father’s will; died before 5 October 1697 when his siblings petitioned the court for his son Ezekiel to close the estate of John Collins Sr.; married Unknown
2. Joan,
born c1641; died 9 November 1662 or 1663; married Robert Skamp, 25 December 1661 and had one daughter, Mary, who received a bequest from her grandfather, John Collins, “if she comes of age.”
3. James, born 16 September 1643, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Hannah (MNU), by 1674
4. Mary, born 8 March 1645/46, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married (1) Josiah Elwell, 15 June 1665 or 1666, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts (2) John Cook, c1679 (3) James Davis, by 1697
5. Anna, born 26 September 1649, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Charles James, 17 July 1673, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
6. Daughter, died 2 August 1654, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts

That covers the Babson family early generations in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.



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