In order to document the family of Harlakenden and Elizabeth (MNU – possibly Day) Symonds, it was necessary to piece together the family of Harlakenden’s father, Samuel, his three wives, and his children.
Samuel Symonds was baptized on 9 June 1595 at Great Yeldham, Essex, England. died after writing the last codicil to his will on 8 January 1677 in Essex County, Massachusetts.
Samuel married (1) Dorothy Harlakenden, 2 April 1617, in Great Yeldham. Dorothy was buried on 3 August 1636 at Toppesfield, Essex, England.
(2) Martha (Reade) Epps, the widow of Daniel Epps. Daniel died in London, England by 1637 and it is thought that Samuel married Martha shortly before the blended Symonds-Epps family sailed for Massachusetts. Martha died c1662, probably in Massachusetts, but possibly in York County, Maine.
(3) Rebecca (Swayme) (Byley) (Hale) Worcester, in April or May 1663. She was the widow of Henry Byley, John Hale and William Worcester. Rebecca survived Samuel by quite a few years, leaving a will that was entered into court records 19 August 1685, Essex County, Massachusetts.
Samuel was the father of many children.
Children of Samuel and Dorothy:
- Richard, baptized 15 June 1618, Toppesfield, Essex, England; no further record
- Dorothy, baptized 9 November 1619, Toppesfield, Essex, England; no further record
- Jane, baptized 29 April 1621, Toppesfield, Essex, England; no further record
- Anne, baptized 25 April 1622, Toppesfield, Essex, England; no further record
- Elizabeth, born c1624, England; married Daniel Epps
- William, born c1626, England; married Elizabeth (MNU)
- Harlakenden, born c1628, England; married Elizabeth (possibly Day)
- John, born c1630, England; John apparently returned to England by 1653 and little is known about him.
- Samuel, born c1632, England; died unmarried, apparently on a trip to England
- Mary, born c1634; married Peter Duncan
Children of Samuel and Martha:
11. Martha, born c1638; married John Denison
12. Ruth, born c1640; married John Emerson
13. Priscilla, born c1648, Massachusetts; married Thomas Baker
Samuel Symonds left a will, as did his third wife, Rebecca, so the names of Samuel’s surviving children and their spouses are certain.
Now, let’s look at Harlakenden Symonds, who married Elizabeth, whose maiden name MIGHT be Day.
The Symonds family was economically secure and of strong social status, given the Samuel Symonds served in the Massachusetts Bay government and Harlakenden was a land speculator, buying large tracts of land in York County, Maine. Those land records call him “gentleman.”
In spite of the fact that Harlakenden’s name appears as a grantor, grantee and land descriptor many, many times over throughout the second half of the 17th century, and that he is named as a resident of Wells, Maine, plus Boston, Ipswich and Gloucester, Massachusetts, the only child of his identified in all of these records is a daughter, Sarah.
Sarah Symonds was born c1668, probably in York County, Maine. She married Thomas Low, who was born c1661 and died in 1697 in Essex County, Massachusetts.
Sarah long survived her husband, and passed away after 15 May 1731, when she was called daughter of Harlakenden and grandchild of Samuel Symonds in an Essex County land deed (Volume 58:185.
Harlakenden Symonds is last found in Massachusetts records in 1694 and it is believed that he died c1695. No probate has been found for him. One 19th century researcher stated that he returned to England, but I’ve found no record to document that. However, it is unusual for such a well-to-do man to leave no probate.
If he had other children who survived to adulthood, they aren’t named in any documents I’ve found regarding Harlakenden.
Therefore, in terms of answering my research question as to whether or not Susannah (MNU) Burnham might be a Symonds, I have to conclude that it is extremely unlikely.
Next, we’ll move on to the extended family of Benjamin Davis, who married Elizabeth Low. This is the last possibility for clues to Susannah’s origins based on the York County, Maine land deed I shared in a recent post.