Tag Archives: Francis Dane

Family & Will of Rev. Francis Dane, Essex County, MA 1697

This post was delayed for several days. The post about John Dane on 5 May 2018 noted that the will of Rev. Francis Dane would post the following day, but I got sidetracked!

Reverend Francis Dane is my 9X great grandfather. He was born c1615 in England and married three times. The first marriage was to Elizabeth Ingalls, c1639. She died 9 June 1676, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts. His second wife was Mary (MNU) Thomas, who he married 22 November 1677 in Andover. Mary died 18 February 1688/89.  He was survived by third wife, Hannah Chandler, who he married c1690. Hannah died 2 June 1711, also in Andover.

All of Francis Dane’s children were born to his first wife, Elizabeth Ingalls. Six are known to have survived to adulthood, but there might have been several more, as none of the children’s births are registered in town records.


  1. Elizabeth, born c1640; died 15 April 1722, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Stephen Johnson, 5 November 1661, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts.
  2. Nathaniel, born c1644; died 14 April 1725, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Deliverance Hazeltine, 12 December 1672, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
  3. Hannah, born c1646; died after 1685; married William Goodhue, 14 November 1666, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts. William Goodhue died in 1712 in Ipswich, but Hannah’s date of death is unknown.
  4. Abigail, born c1648; died 5 February 1729/30, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Francis Faulkner, 12 October 1675, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
  5. Phebe, born c1650; died 18 December 1726, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Joseph Robinson, 30 May 1671, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
  6. Francis, born c1656; died 8 November 1738, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Hannah Poor, 16 November 1681, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts

Will of Francis Dane, 1693, Page 1
Source: NEHGS

April the 25th: One Thousand Six hundred and ninty three

I Francis Dane Senr of Andover in the County of Essex, being through the goodness of God of Sound mind & memorie, yet through age & infirmities of body, being put in mind of my mortality, I make this my last will, & Testament in manner following.

First I comit my Spirit into the hands of God, imploring his mercy through Christ the Sonne of his love in whom he is well pleased And my body to decent burial. And for the disposal of my outward Estate which God hath beene pleased graciously to give me, my mind & will is Set Downe.

First, that all my just debts be payd truely, & Satisfied by my Executors hereafter named.

To my Deare wife, Hannah Dane, I give twenty pounds to be payd as followeth. whereof Four pounds & Eleaven shillings is allready payd for the two cowes, the mony being in her owne hands to do with what she please.

The remainder of the pay (?) rest to be payd in Corne, Cattle, & Swine in differently prized as comon pay, at price currant in ye Towne what chests or goods my wife brought to my house I leave them to Dispose to (?) (?) will; onely what Tobacco, (?) or Candles
were then brought excepted & then spent

It: I order my Sonne Nathaniel to pay to her Annually Foure pounds, during her widowhood, In wheate or Ry, or In dian? or cattle at price currant, as it goes in the Towne.

It: I order my Sonne Francis to pay Three pounds yearly During her widowhood in wheate, Ry, Indians and The cutting of foure Load of Hay in Little Hope at Eighteene pence the Load, wh is to be Set off as part of the three pounds yearly.

To my Beloved sonne Nathaniel, I give my now dwelling House & lands about it with ye Buildings, Horsyard, plough lands & Pastures
It: The land & meadow that he hath in  his hands made (over?) by Deed.

It. I give to my Sonne Nathaniel Two acres of meadow at little Hope strictly measured (/) the two Course one above the other, the two trees joyning to ye cove? of John Fry Senr from the upland to the (?) sland
It. I give to my Sonne Nathaniel, my silver cup & the Cupbored in the parlour, & a great pewter platter marked with D:

To my Sonne Francis I give ye house & all the Lands lying at Little hope The Lands I give to my Sonne Francis are as follows. Eight fenced Acres layd out for my great Division. and Thirty Acrres layd out for my thir division, to my Six Acre Lot & the Meadow of my first devision, lying at little Hope as appears Excepting what is above mentioned, given to my Sonne Nathaniel.

It: I give go my Sonne Francis, two Acres of land bought of Josh? Lovejoy Senr laid to my Line at little hope as appeares by Deed.
It: the plough, chaines, musket, the chest in ye Parlour marked with F.T and a pewter platter marked with F. F. D.

It: to my two Sonns I give my wearing cloths

To my daughter Elizabeth Johnson, I give six Acres of land, layd out on Each side of their (?) dwelling house & So over the hill. And after ye death of my Daughter Elizabeth Johnson, I give it to my nephew Francis Johnson, the eldest Sonne of Stephen Johnson Senr:

To my Daughter hannah Goodhue, I give the Feather bed that is in my parlour, & (?) & Hangings about the bed.

To my Grand Sonne Francis Goodhue, I give all my bookes, Hebrew Greek, & Latinne, & English, excepting as I have given to my Sonns & Daughters, & Grandchildren which they have in present posession.

To my Daughter Phebe Robinson, I give a parcel of land, now (Laying?) out behind the great pond.

It. I give to my Neece Phebe Robinson my Feather bed lying in the great chamber & the B(?), & the wrought Cushion, & one of the new Blankets in ye parlour.

To my Daughter Abigail Faulkner I give my Fether bed in the little parlour. It: A parcel of swamp land, partly purchased; Six Acres purchased for Fourty Shillings payd to Joseph Parker Senr.

All my moveables not already disposed of (my debts being payed) I leave Equally to be divided among my foure daughters, Elizabeth. Hannah, Phebe, Abigail. It: Six pairs of Sheets, I leave to be divided among my foure daughters.

Lastly my will is, & I hereby Constitute & appoint my beloved Sonns Nathaniel, & Francis Cane, my Executors of this my last will & Testament.

In wittness where oof I hereunto set my hand & Seale this Twenty-Fifth of April On thousand, Six hundred & ninty three 1693.
Francis Dane Senr

Signed, Sealed and declared to be my last will; in presence of witnesses
Thomas Barnard
Thomas Johnson
Thomas osgood

Jur? Tho Barnard & Tho Johnson mrch 8 6 9/7 & ye Thos Osgood did (?) Saml (?)

Digital images found at: Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)

John Dane & Rev. Francis Dane, His Son, of Andover, MA

John Dane and his son, Rev. Francis Dane, were early residents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, having settled there by the late 1630s.

Not a lot is known about John Dane. Assuming John Dane was at least 21 when he married, he was born no later than c1584, as he married Frances (possibly Bowyer) c1605. The Danes were likely from Hertfordshire, possibly Bishops Stortford or a nearby village, as daughter Elizabeth married there in 1628 and John’s second wife, Agnes Bayford, was also from Bishops Stortford, although they married in the colonies after emigrating.

Some say Frances (Bowyer) Dane died in England before the family emigrated to the colonies. Others say she died c1642. John married (2) Agnes/Annis Bayford, 2 July 1643, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She was the widow of William Chandler. Agnes/Annis married (3) John Parmenter, 9 August 1660, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

John Dane was not only literate, but his will is “on file in his own handwriting” in the Boston court records.

I’m not going to even pretend that I could read the handwriting, but a partial transcript was published in the New England Historical Genealogical Register IX:37 in January 1855:

John Dane and wife Frances had only three surviving children:

  1. Elizabeth, born c1607, England, if she was 21 years old when she married; died 21 January 1693/94, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts; married James Howe, 27 June 1628, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He was born c1603; died 17 May 1702, reportedly at the age of 104 years old.
  2. John, born c1612, England; reportedly died November 1673; married Eleanor Clarke, by 1638
  3. Francis, born c1615, England; died 17 February 1696/97, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married (1) Elizabeth Ingalls, c1640 She was born c1618, England; died 9 June 1676, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts (2) Mary (MNU) Thomas, 22 November 1677, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts (3) Hannah Chandler Abbott, c1690.

Reverend Francis Dane had quite an interesting life. He graduated from Kings College, Cambridge in 1633. A few short years later, the family sailed for Massachusetts, settling in Roxbury. Francis was an ordained minister, who was well respected and highly influential in the town of Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, where Francis made his home and raised his family.

He was appointed as the second pastor of the North Parish of Andover in 1649. He spoke up against witchcraft by 1658, when John Godfrey of Salem, Massachusetts was charged for the first of three times. (He was acquitted all three times.)

About 1680, Reverend Francis was getting up there in years, being about 65, and his parishioners decided they wanted a younger, more vibrant minister. The lives of the Dane family began to change quite dramatically at that point.

The Andover church hired Thomas Barnard to replace Francis Dane, but the court ruled that the church had to pay both men, who were to share £80. Barnard was paid £50, while Dane received only £30.

Neither man was likely happy with this outcome; tension between the two was inevitable, but further strain was put on their relationship when Thomas Barnard not only invited two of the Salem witchcraft accusers to visit an Andover prayer meeting, he went one step further.

A “touch test” was instituted by Barnard and it was unique to the Andover community. Basically, if an afflicted person was having an hysterical episode and the person who was accused of causing it touched him/her with the fit then ending, the accused was considered guilty of being a witch.

Rev. Dane not only spoke out against the witchcraft hysteria, he petitioned the governor and General Court to step in and end the witch trials. As a result, the Dane family had more of its members accused of witchcraft than any other family.

The reverend himself was accused (although not arrested) as were two of his daughters, various in-laws and grandchildren: Elizabeth Dane Johnson, Abigail Johnson, Dr. John Dane, Deliverance Dane, Hannah Dane, Phebe Dane, Nathaniel Dane, Stephen Johnson and Abigail Faulkner.

Daughter Abigail Dane Faulkner was examined twice, on 11 August and 30 August, 1692, convicted and sentenced to death. The governor reprieved her sentence because of insufficient evidence and the fact that she was pregnant. (Aside: Does that mean if she hadn’t been pregnant, he might not have issued the reprieve???)

Thus, the last few years of Reverend Francis Dane’s life were fraught with stress and worry. His will was written during this period. Rev. Dane died on 17 February 1696/97 in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts.