Category Archives: Ipswich MA

The Ancestry of George Giddings of Ipswich, MA – 1635

In a post a couple of months ago, I wrote about some of the ancestors from whom I have at least a double descent. One of the comments left on the post about George Giddings was from Susan, whose husband is also descended from George Giddings, who left England about April in 1635 for Massachusetts. Susan mentioned that she had information about George’s wife’s family, who has been well documented and published, but requested that I write about George’s origins.

First, although I had read accounts published long, long ago about George Giddings, I have had the fortune of having several of my early colonial lines treated in the New England Historical and  Genealogical Register. David L. Greene published a thorough account about George’s origins in an article titled, appropriately enough, “The English Origin of George Giddings of Ipswich, Massachusetts.” (NEHGR 135: 274-286.)

This post will only contain the bare bones data about George’s parents and grandparents. For an in-depth look at the family, I refer you to Mr. Greene’s article.

George Gidding (found without the “s” in earlier generations) was baptized on 24 September 1609 in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England. Mention is made in the NEHGR article about another George Giddings born in 1607 (cousin to this George), but evidence indicates that it was George of Ipswich who married Jane Lawrence and emigrated to the colonies. Jane was baptized on 18 December 1614 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. If George and Jane had a child or children born in England between their 20 February 1633 marriage at St. Albans and their departure in April 1635, he/she/they did not survive long enough to make the voyage. All of their eight known children were born in Massachusetts, probably in Ipswich.

Their children were:

1. Thomas, born about 1638; died 19 June 1681
2. Lt. John, born bout 1639; died before 3 March 1690; married Sarah Alcock
3. James, born about 1641; married Elizabeth Andrews
4. Samuel, born about 1645; married Hannah Martin
5. Joseph, born about 1647; married Susannah Rindge
6. Rebecca, born about 1648;
7. Abigail, born about 1650; married Samuel Dutch
8. Mary, born about 1652; married Samuel Pierce

Much information about George, Jane and their children has been published through the years. Not until the 1981 NEHGR article, though, were George’s parents and paternal grandparents identified.

George Giddings’ parents were John Gidding and Joan Purrier, daughter of Thomas and Isabel (MNU) Purrier, also of Clapham. Thomas Purrier died there before 28 April 1629, the date his will was proved. Isabel was the widow of John Tilbrooke when she married Thomas Purrier on 16 January 1586 at Oakley; she was buried at Clapham on 13 December 1621.

John and Joan married on 20 January 1607/08, also in the Clapham village church. Mr. Greene noted in his article that nothing has been proven on Joan Purrier Gidding’s ancestry beyond the names of her parents.

George’s father, John, was born about 1584 and was buried at Clapham on 19 February 1619/20, dying at the young age, even for that time, of roughly 35 years. George’s mother married (2) Robert Phage on 3 September 1620, again at Clapham. She had two more children with Robert: Thomas, baptized on 18 October 1621 and William, baptized on 30 October 1625, but buried only one day later. Thomas Phage was mentioned in the 1630 will of his aunt, Elizabeth Gidding.

Four children are recorded at Clapham for John and Joan (Purrier) Gidding:

1. George, the Ipswich settler, baptized 24 September 1609
2. Mary, baptized 2 February 1611/12; buried 19 October 1625, both recorded at Clapham
3. Martha, baptized 14 August 1614
4. Rebecca, baptized 10 October 1619

Both Martha and Rebecca are mentioned in the will of their Aunt Elizabeth, whose estate was probated on 30 December 1630.

George Gidding’s grandfather was Michael Gidding, born about 1550-1560. He was buried at Oakley Church on 2 April 1615, although the record was recorded at Clapham. Oakley is nearby to Clapham and Clapham had no burying ground of its own. Michael’s wife was Catherine, who was buried on 14 February 1625/26. Like her husband, her burial was recorded in Clapham, but she was actually buried in Oakley.

Michael and Catherine Gidding had the following children:

1. Henry, born about 1580. He was buried on 18 March 1616/17 at Oakley. He married Elizabeth Russell on 15 October 1604 in Oakley, Bedfordshire.
2. Joan, who married who married William Savage on 21 May 1604 at Clapham.
2. John, born about 1584 and father of immigrant George Giddings.
3. Robert, dates unknown, but his father left two pence to the two children of his son Robert.
4. William, mentioned in his father’s will and William’s daughter was mentioned in the 1630 will of his sister, Elizabeth.
5. James, mentioned in his father’s will, but not that of sister Elizabeth.
6. Elizabeth, who was buried on 30 December 1630. She was unmarried.
7. Richard, born about 1595. He married Mary Whitman on 22 June 1620. He might be the Richard Gidding buried on 29 April 1657, recorded in Clapham records. A Widow Gidding is found in the same records buried on 21 April 1660.

Michael Gidding and wife Catherine and their son, John Gidding, plus Isabel’s first husband, John Tilbrooke and Thomas Purrier all left wills. All of these documents have been transcribed and are included in the NEHGR article, which goes into great detail about this family.

If you have New England ancestors,, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, is a subscription site well worth considering.



Two Old Homesteads

I am headed in two different directions with this post. One of my colonial New England ancestors, Rev. John Wise of Ipswich, Massachusetts (1652-1725), lived in a saltbox house on Route 133 between Essex and Ipswich, which is still standing today, over 300 years later. Part of Route 133 has been renamed “John Wise Avenue” and his house sits at 85 John Wise Avenue. However, as I began to research for information on the house, I discovered that a recently new-to-me blog, Stories From Ipswich, had, in January 2014,  written in some depth about the reverend and included a photo of the house.

I also discovered that this historic house was on the market in 2011 and sold for $435,000 (asking price was $479,000). Here is the realtor’s description posted on Old House Dreams, which includes a few interior photos.

7 minutes to Crane Beach. Rev. John Wise House. Many improvements without disturbing the best qualities of this wonderful 1701 antique saltbox. The roof, heating, septic, new chimney, updates to electric all within last 7 yrs. Set back from the road this property enjoys views to a 60 acre farm & has rose & perennial gardens & a private back yard. The wide pine floors(many 18″ wide) through out & 5 fireplaces add to the charm. 3 bedrm septic & town lists as 3 bedrm Walk up attic can be finished.

Between those two sources, there wasn’t much left to write about so, as I mentioned, I went in totally the opposite direction for choice number 2: the Homestead Act of 1862 and the papers issued to my husband’s scoundrel black sheep 2x great grandfather, Isaac Sturgell.

Isaac is the only family member discovered so far who received land under the Homestead Act. However, he took his time getting around to purchasing land. His application #3255 showed he paid the remaining $2.00 balance needed to record his land on 30 November 1876, well after the 1862 date when the act went into effect.

IsaacSturgellHomesteadAct Pg1
Final Payment

Isaac’s land was in Barry County, Missouri, Township 21, Section 23, Range 25.

Original Filing in 1870

The pages in the packet are not numbered, nor are they in chronological order. As I delved through the contents, I came across the original filing date of 7 January 1870. Isaac’s land was further identified as the NE1/4 of the NE 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 and contained a total of eighty acres.

To understand the PLSS (Public Land Survey System), pictorial grids come in very handy. Each piece of property was mapped into townships, ranges and sections. A township (each sized at 6 square miles) grid (numbered before it became a town and then given a name) marked off an area into 36 squares of equal size:

Kansas Society of Land Surveyors Diagram

Isaac’s land was in a township almost in the dead center of the original plat diagram.

Townships were further divided into ranges and sections:

Kansas Geological Survey Public Information Circular

In the “olden days,” I would be getting out a piece of paper, drawing all these boxes and plotting out where Isaac’s land actually was. Today, it is so much easier. Go to the Bureau of Land Management website, enter your ancestor’s name and state and let the website do the map plotting for you.

ScreenHunter_02 Jun. 16 12.17
BLM Website

Above is a screen shot of Isaac’s land plotted out near the town of Golden, located in the southwest corner of Missouri, very near the Arkansas state line.

While locating the actual site of his land was interesting, I found a few of the details in his homestead packet even more interesting.

Isaac was in the midst of his scoundrel ways. In 1870, he was married to wife #2, Susannah Douthit Alberty, who accused him of squandering the small inheritance she had received from her first husband. I have to wonder if the $7.00 that Isaac initially put down for the land purchase was actually’s Susannah’s money.

Second, I long suspected that Isaac was unable to read or write. This belief was confirmed by the fact that he signed the original 1870 papers with an X.

The third surprise that I found was that Isaac and his sons, George W. and Andrew J., more than stretched the truth – okay, they outright lied – on the final declaration needed to enter the property into the deed books. Like their father, Andrew and George were unable to write as they also signed their declarations with an X. In order to claim ownership of homestead land, the owner had to swear that he had lived on and improved the land between the time of the first application and final payment/filing.

Remember, Isaac first applied for land in January 1870; final payment was made on 30 November 1876. Take a look at the next two pages:

IsaacSturgellHomesteadPg3and4_Page_1 IsaacSturgellHomesteadPg3and4_Page_2
Declarations of Isaac, Andrew and George Sturgell

While Isaac was claiming to have lived on his land between 1870 and 1876, he was wandering through the Ozarks living in, and appearing on the tax rolls of several Arkansas counties! Andrew and George were well aware of this, as they were wandering in the same areas as their father.

As my readers know, I have written about Isaac and family multiple times in the past. While no photos exist of Isaac and he left no self-written records, a strong profile of this man has been created by the legal documents that do survive. A grandchild remembered him as a mean, old man. That is probably the nicest thing that anyone had to say about him.

George Giddings & Jane Lawrence, Another Double Descent

George Giddings & Jane Lawrence are my 10 times great grandparents and their lines have been researched back into England, connecting to both nobility and royalty.

George Giddings was born on 24 September 1609 in Clapham, Bedfordshire, England, the son of John Gidding and Joan Purrier. Jane Lawrence was born on 18 December 1614 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, the daughter of Thomas Lawrence an Joan Antrobus. George and Jane married on 20 february 1633 in St. Albans.

The Giddings and Lawrence families were well off economically compared to many who immigrated to the colonies. They are found on the passenger list of The Planter, which sailed to New England in 1635. They family soon settled into their new life in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

My double descent from this couple happens through two of their grandchildren, siblings George and Elizabeth Giddings, children of Lt. John Giddings and Sarah Alcock. Lt. John was the son of George and Jane.

Here is a diagram to follow the descent, but notice that William Tarbox is one generation closer to George and Jane Giddings than is Judith Haskell, his wife:

Descendants of George Giddings & Jane Lawrence

Since William Tarbox is Generation #5 and Judith is Generation #6, I will omit the generation numbers from the rest of the line down to me:

William Tarbox = Judith Haskell
1779-1860           1780-1861

George Rogers Tarbox = Mary Elizabeth Scripture
1818-1895                                1827-1866

Calvin Segee Adams = Nellie F. Tarbox
1843-1921                  1856-1927

Charles Edward Adams = Annie Maude Stuart
1877-1922                              1874-1940

Vernon Tarbox Adams = Hazel Ethel Coleman
1899-1968                              1901-1995

George Michael Sabo = Doris Priscilla Adams
1926-1985                        1923-2008

Linda Anne Sabo – me!

If you have been reading my multiple descent posts and some of the names are starting to look familiar, that is because they are all part of my grandfather Vernon Adams’ line.