Morris Somes was baptized 21 September 1607 in Hardmead, Buckinghamshire, England, the son of William Somes and an unidentified mother.
Morris, the immigrant ancestor to Massachusetts c1640, has many descendants today, given his two marriages and eleven children, eight of whom married and had children.
Morris Somes married (1) Marjorie Johnson, 4 June 1635, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England, where he apparently settled for several years.
Cranfield is about 35 miles from Hardmead, so not an unlikely destination, but distant enough where Morris wasn’t going to be commuting back and forth!
Marjorie Johnson was born c1614, likely in or near Cranfield, but neither a birth/baptismal record has been located nor are the names of her parents proven.
Morris Somes and Marjorie Johnson were the parents of (probably) four children, one born in England and three in Massachusetts.
1. Mary, baptized 1 May 1636 ; died before 1642, both in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England
2. Mary, baptized 1 March 1642, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England; married John Hammond, 17 October 1660. Little is known about the Hammonds. They have no children born in Gloucester, Massachusetts and no death record is found for Mary. John died before 21 October 1723, Essex County, Massachusetts when John Hammond administered his estate.
3. Sarah, born 15 June 1643, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died 11 May 1689, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Henry Witham, 15 June 1665, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
4. ?Timothy – Timothy is assigned as a son of Morris Somes. His mother is said to be Elizabeth Kendall. However, his is more likely the son of Marjorie Johnson and she possibly died giving birth to him. Timothy married Jane Stanewood, 2 April 1672, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. He was likely at least 21 when married, so born no later than 1651. His father married Elizabeth, second wife, on 26 June 1647. She then gave birth to documented children in 1648, 1649, 1651, 1654, 1656 and 1658, leaving no space for Timothy.
Marjorie (Johnson) Somes died 22 January 1656/47 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.
With three small children, Morris married (2) Elizabeth Kendall, daughter of John, on 27 June 1647, in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts or possibly Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
They were the parents of seven children.
- John, born 22 April 1648, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Hannah Shattuck, c1671
- Lydia, born 3 October 1649. Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died 23 January 1711, probably Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married Joseph Williams, before 14 February 1669/70
- Nathaniel, born 27 July 1651; died before 30 September 1690 when an inventory (since lost) was taken of his estate; unmarried
- Patience, born 10 March 1653 (Gloucester Vital Records Tan Books say 10 March 1652, but given the birth date of Nathaniel, 1653 is more likely); married Samuel Topliff, 5 October 1671, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
- Joseph, born 3 December 1654, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; died 19 December 1675 in the Great Swamp fight, Fort Narragansett, Rhode Island during King Philip’s War; unmarried. (Gloucester Tan Books
- Abigail, born 6 May 1656, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Anthony Bennett, c1674. (Gloucester Tan Books say 6 May 1655, but unlikely given that Joseph was born in December 1654, just five months previous.)
- Hannah, born 3 September 1658, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. Online trees give Hannah a husband, but with a marriage date of 1669, when she would have only been 11 years old. Not likely, so nothing further has been found.
I’ve actually found a digital image of the page that records the births of Patience and Abigail.
The years are clearly 1653 and 1655. However, these births may have been entered a lengthy time after they happened because this is the bottom half of a page of a family grouping for Morris Somes, not a chronological entry of town births.
The years 1653 and 1655 don’t fit given the birth dates of the other children and I believe somewhere in the clerk’s records a mistake was made. It’s possible that whoever gave the birth information to the town clerk made the mistake and it was recorded for posterity.
Morris Somes died 13 January 1688/89 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.
One thought on “Morris Somes, Buckinghamshire, England to Gloucester, MA, 1600s”
I know Cranfield! Eleven children – that’s a lot of mouths to feed!