Category Archives: Peasley

Henry Sayward & Mary Peasley of NH, ME & MA, 1600s

Lately, I have been spending time reviewing many of my early New England lines, but lines in which I lose the immigrant surname fairly soon because my descent continues through a female line.

Henry Sayward’s birth year is unknown, but likely by 1620,as he appears in the Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire records by 1641, considering building a mill there:

The Sayward Family by Charles A. Sayward
Source: Internet Archive Digital Books

I’ve seen online statements of his ancestral town in England. However, I haven’t been able to verify that information in any scholarly work, so I am not going to repeat it here.

However, his wife, Mary Peasley, was born c1633, probably in England, but her father’s origins are also unknown. If Henry Sayward had a wife previous to Mary, no record of her has ever been found, so he seems to have married a little later in life than typical for his times.

Henry Sayward and Mary Peasley, who was of Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, married by 1655, when their first child was born.

Henry lived at Hampton – Strawberry Banke – until 1658, when he begins to appear in the records of York County, Maine. Part of the reason that Henry moved a couple of times might be because he was a carpenter and millwright and found the opportunity for making money greater in newly settled areas.

Edmund Sayward, who had land in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts by 1635 was Henry’s brother. His origins have not been identified, either, but he was born c1614 or earlier, given that he owned real estate in 1635. Edmund had only one known child, Samuel, who settled in York, Maine. No further record of Edmund Sayward is found after 1639 in Ipswich.

A 1675 letter from John Knowlton to Samuel included a request to give his respects to Samuel’s uncle and aunt. Samuel was one of the appraisers of Henry Sayward’s estate on 28 June 1680. Henry likely died in the winter of 1679 in York County, Maine, where he had lived for a number of years. Mary died before 26 December 1689 at York County, Maine.

The Sayward Family by Charles A. Sayward
Source: Internet Archive Digital Books


1. Joseph, born 16 November 1655, Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire; no further record.
2. John, born c1657; died before 26 December 1689, probably York County, Maine; married Mary Rishworth, c1681, probably in York County, Maine
3. Jonathan, born c1659; died c1685, probably York County, Maine; married Mary Austin, c1684. She married (2) Lewis Bane/Bean, May 1686, York County, Maine.
4. Hannah, born c1661; married Captain Abraham Preble, 13 May 1685, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts. Abraham Preble was born in 1642, so Hannah may be an earlier born child of Henry.
5. Mary, born c1663, probably York County, Maine; married (2) Robert Young, c1684 and (2) Mr. Bray, probably Nathaniel Bray.
6. James, born c1667, probably York County, Maine; died 11 February 1736/37, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Deborah Stover, c1691, probably York County, Maine
7. Sarah, died by 14 July 1694, when probate of her estate began with her brother James as administrator. She was “of Haverhill” and appears not to have married.

The Sayward Family by Charles A. Sayward
Source: Internet Archive Digital Books

My line of descent from Henry Sayward and Mary Peasley continues through their youngest child, James, who married Mary Stover.