Category Archives: Goddard

A Massachusetts Mystery: Hannah (Pratt) Goddard (c1700-1759+) & Son Giles Goddard (1721-1759+

Hannah Pratt is one of my 7X great grandmothers. However, I know very little about her in spite of the fact that she was born in and probably died in Massachusetts in the 1700s. Yes, in the same Massachusetts that began keeping vital records from the time of the Mayflower landing!

Hannah Pratt was the daughter of John and Mary (MNU) Pratt of Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, according to the Pratt Handbook, published 1984, which I found at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.

She was reportedly the tenth of eleven children born to the couple, but annoyingly little is known about this family.


  1. Thomas, born c1680
  2. Ebenezer, born c1684
  3. John, born 14 June 1686; died 10 October 1704, both in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  4. Joseph, born c1688
  5. Elizabeth, born January 1689, based on her age at death; died 22 November 1704, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  6. William, born c1690
  7. Caleb, born c1692
  8. Joshua, born c1694
  9. Mary, born 6 March 1695/96, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  10. Hannah, born c1699; married Giles Goddard, 223 December 1720, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
  11. Abigail, born c1700

John Pratt, father of these children, died in Malden on 3 June 1708. His wife, Mary, outlived him by only two years, passing away on 17 July 1710, also in Malden.

At that time, the five, and possibly six, youngest children would still have been minors, assuming they hadn’t died young.

However, I can find no probate or land records for John or Mary that would shed any light on what happened to this family after they both died.

Given that Hannah married in Boston, it is possible that some relative/s who lived there took in the children and raised them until they married.

There are some Boston marriage records that MAY pertain to Hannah’s siblings. One Thomas Pratt married Elizabeth Edmonds on An Ebenezer Pratt married Rachel Floyd on 29 March 1711. Further, there is a Joseph Pratt who married Sarah Roberts on 19 July 1716, a William Pratt married Mehitable Gill on 12 May 1715, a Caleb Pratt married Mary Lash on 3 May 1715, a Joshua Pratt married Zebia Collins on 1 January 1721, a Mary Pratt married Isaac Green on 2 May 1717 (Malden, not Boston) and, lastly, an Abigail Pratt married Phineas Sargent on 31 December 1724.

Whether any or all of these records pertain to Hannah’s siblings would take much more research.

Hannah (Pratt) Goddard most definitely had a difficult life. She not only lost her parents before she reached her teens, but married life wasn’t terribly easy either.

Giles Goddard was born 28 December 1698 in Lynn, Essex, Masschusetts, the son of John Goddard and Sarah Farrington.

Births have been found for only three children of Giles and Hannah, all born in Boston:

1. Giles, born 22 December 1721; married Elizabeth Williamson, 2 December 1747 at Trinity Church, Boston
2. John, born 10 December 1725; no further record and likely died young
3. Mary, born 15 November 1728; married James Bucknam

Given the gaps between the births of these three children, it is likely that Giles and Hannah lost at least two children, one about 1723 and another about 1727.

Giles Goddard left few records detailing his life. A land deed filed in 1752 indicated that Giles and wife Hannah sold about 4 acres of land to James Bucknam on 30 April 1747. The land included a double house and a barn. Probably not coincidentally, James Bucknam married Mary Goddard of Roxbury four months later on 17 September 1747.

Hannah Goddard was appointed administratrix of the estate of her husband, Giles Goddard, deceased, of Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Probate records call Giles an innholder, which was the term used for an innkeeper.

There were but two heirs named for Giles Goddard, his widow Hannah and son Giles. Mary (Goddard) Bucknam lived a long life, passing away on 8 December 1790 in Malden so she likely received her share of her father’s estate as dowry when she married.

The fact that John is not mentioned confirms the suspicion that he predeceased his parents.

Hannah and Giles Jr. are last mentioned in a court document on 20 January 1759 (Suffolk County, MA Deed Book 92:195-196), where it is stated that the Massachusetts Superior Court in Boston gave Hannah permission in February 1754 to sell a piece of real estate to cover debts owed by Giles Goddard’s estate. The property, sold to Thomas Stoddard, gentleman, of Boston, contained 11 acres. Originally, the court had distributed 4 acres of that land to Hannah as her 1/3 dower and the other 7 acres to Giles Jr. This sale further mentions that the court set off a small portion of the acreage, which was where Giles Jr. was living, so he apparently was able to continue to live there.

After 20 January 1759, both Hannah and her son, Giles Goddard Jr. drop out of sight. There are no further deeds filed in Hannah’s name or for Giles Jr., so I have no idea what happened to his small lot.

Further, there are no death or probate records for either one of them.

What happened to this family? Hannah may have finished her life living with daughter Mary’s family or possibly with Giles, but he appears to have left the area.

Giles Jr. and Elizabeth may be the parents of Giles Goddard who married Catherine Brown on 11 April 1771. There is some evidence that this Giles Goddard was a Loyalist who removed to Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada after the Revolutionary War.

Did his parents, Giles Jr. and Elizabeth (Williamson) Goddard go with them? It’s possible as Giles Jr. would only have been about 62 years old.

There are several unanswered questions about Hannah (Pratt) Goddard and her descendants and I’m not sure I’ll ever have any answers to them.


James Bucknam & Mary Goddard of Malden, MA, 1700s

James Bucknam and Mary Goddard were the parents of one of my Revolutionary War ancestors, Joses Bucknam. He is the patriot under which I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is also with Joses that the Bucknam surname is lost in my tree, as I descend from one of his daughters.

James Bucknam was born 3 January 1724/25 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, the son of Joses Bucknam and Phebe Tuttle.

Mary Goddard was the daughter of Giles Goddard and Hannah Pratt, born 15 November 1728 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

James Bucknam and Mary Goddard married on 17 September 1747 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts. They were likely already engaged when on 29 April 1747 James Bucknam purchased from one Giles Goddard 24 acres of land and a double house in Malden for £1250, quite a bit of money for the time.

The handwriting isn’t the easiest to read, but there also isn’t much of interest in the sale either that makes it worth transcribing. What is most important to me is not the land sale itself, but the fact that Mary’s mother, Hannah, consented to the sale.

No death record has been located for Hannah and the latest record I had for her before this time was the birth record for Mary (Goddard) Bucknam’s birth in 1728. This record proves she lived at least 19 more years. However, I digress, so it is back to the story of James and Mary.

Mary Goddard Bucknam predeceased James by almost nine years, passing away on 8 December 1790 in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

James died on 10 October 1799, also in Malden. He not only left no will, I have not found any probate administration and the last date I find him in the land records is 1762.

I imagine by the end of his life, he was living with the family of one of his children.

James and Mary were the parents of eleven children, but at least two did not survive to adulthood.


1. Mary, born 16 July 1748, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts: married William Turner, 10 November 1767, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts. No further information.
2. James, born 27 March 1751; died 5 February 1753, both at Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
3. Phebe, born 17 April 1753, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died ?February 1817, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; ?married John Bucknam, 19 May 1776, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts. I don’t know if this Phebe married this John Bucknam or if the record belongs to her aunt. The death entry just gives her name with no parents of husband, so, again, I am unsure to whom the record belongs.
4. James, born 8 February 1755, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died about 17 March 1787, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; married Margaret Sables, 12 February 1778, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts. James was a mariner.
5. Sarah, born 11 June 1757, Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts; no further record.
6. William, born 30 April 1759, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 4 April 1823, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; said to have married the widow of his brother, James, Margaret Sables.
7. Joses, born 6 March 1761, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 18 April 1835, Mason, Hillsborough, New Hempshire; married Abigail Hay, 19 September 1786, Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
8. Ebenezer, born 9 November 1762, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts; reportedly died after 1821 in New Ipswich, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; married Hannah Varder, 29 May 1785, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
9. Elizabeth, born 3 October 1765, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; buried 7 March 1838, Cambridge, Suffolk, Massachusetts;  married Leonard Parks, 15 March 1785, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
10. Caleb, (twin) born 27 September 1767, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 7 October 1767, Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
11. Joshua, (twin) born 27 September 1767, Medford, Middlesex, Massahcustts; died 2 July 1849, Charlestown, Sullivan, New Hampshire; married Anna Parks, 11 June 1789, Lincoln, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

The Bucknam history will conclude on 18 April 2020 with Revolutionary War soldier Joses Bucknam and his wife, Abigail Hay. It will be the 185th anniversary of his death.