Category Archives: Scarborough

John Scarborough of Roxbury, MA 1640

John Scarborough and his wife, Mary Smith, of Roxbury, Massachusetts c1640 are my 9X great grandparents. The Scarborough surname is lost in my ancestral line in just one generation, with their daughter Hannah.

John Scarborough’s age was not mentioned when he died on 9 June 1646, as recorded in the vital records of Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts. One can assume that he was a fairly young man as he and Mary married about 1641.

(An aside: I didn’t include John Scarborough on my list of shortest lived direct line ancestors because his year of birth isn’t documented. He well could be on my list.)

Very little is known about John Scarborough. He is said to have arrived in Massachusetts about 1640, as he was made a freeman on 28 February 1642. In order to attain that status, he had to be a Puritan and a member of the church in Boston.

Although his marriage record to Mary Smith has not been found, her maiden name was given in a court record whereby she was named as one of two sisters of Robert Smith, wine cooper of London, who had come to the colonies. The other sister was Anne.

John was “slain by a gun,” but the only further detail about his death was given by Peter Gardiner of Roxbury when he testified that Mary Torrey’s first husband, John Scarborough, was “killed at Boston shooting off one of the great guns.” Why he was shooting a great gun is not explained. Probate on his estate was opened in 1647:

Source: New England Historic Genealogical Society

This is old script that I have a really hard time reading. I can make out that John owned wearing apparel, 2 pillows and one old Bible. It looks like some tools are listed and maybe animals. His £91 estate would be worth about $18,000 in today’s money, per a currency and time converter, but that seems like a lot to me for a man with such a young family.

Mary Smith Scarborough married Philip Torrey on 1 October 1647 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. They had a son, Jonathan, baptized on 22 June 1651.

John Scarborough and Mary Smith were the parents of three children, although only two of them survived their father:

  1. John, born 10 July 1642, Roxbury; died of convulsions and was buried on 12 August 1642.
  2. Hannah, born 3 December 1643, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died 21 January 1721, Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts; married Joseph White, by 1670.
  3. Samuel, born 20 January 1646, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died 18 March 1714, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married (1) Deborah or Rebecca, ?Parke, c1674 who died in 1679 (2) Bethiah Wise, c1680. Bethiah was born 1657; died 1728.

Thus ends my Scarborough line. I’ve seen all kinds of wild info online about John Scarborough’s parents and ancestral home and actually have seen the same kind of misinformation about the parentage of Mary Smith. However, I haven’t found any reliable source of data (e.g. The New England Historic Genealogical Society) to feel comfortable adding those suppositions to this post.

My line of descent:

John Scarborough & Mary Smith
Hannah Scarborough & Joseph White
Rev. John White & Lucy Wise
Hannah White & Nathaniel Haskell
John Haskell & Hannah Parsons
Judith Haskell & William Tarbox
George Rogers Tarbox & Mary Elizabeth Scripture
Nellie F. Tarbox & Calvin Segee Adams
Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stewart
Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – ME!