Friday, November 6, 2015

Holbrook line: John Polley 1618-1689

This is going to be a short post, because I'm unable to locate much information about John Polley.  He was born in about 1618, possibly in St Leonard, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His parents may have been John Polley and Hannah, at least I'm finding that information on line.  Unfortunately, it's not documented, so it's a maybe at this point.. 

We know that he was in Roxbury, Massachusetts by 1650 when he had two daughters christened there on June 2.  This would mean he was married in 1649 or earlier.  He had four wives, the first of whom was Susannah Bacon, the daughter of George Bacon and Margaret.  Susannah came to America with her parents and two brothers in 1635, when she was ten years old.  John and Susannah had 7 children, all girls between the approximate date of 1650 and 1664, when Susanna died.  With seven daughters to care for, John needed a wife and this time he married Mary Ives, probably early in 1665. A child was born, but Mary died of smallpox about a year later, and once again John needed a wife.  This time, he married Hannah Cowdrey, in September of 1667.  John and Hannah had 6 children, five girls and a son named John. Their youngest daughter was named for her second oldest sister, Sarah, who had recently died as a married mother of four children.  Hannah died in 1684 and if the article I read is correct, John immediately (the same month) married Jane Metcalf Walker. 

John and Jane were married for not quite five years when John died in April of 1689.  He is a somewhat unusual ancestor not just for the number of his wives, but also because once he got to Roxbury, he stayed there, forty years or more in the same town.  Many of our ancestors left their original town to move onward, but not John.  Perhaps he wanted to stay near his older children, or perhaps the voyage across the ocean was enough for him.  Maybe his wives didn't wish to leave the area.  It's hard to say why men leave, and it's hard to say why they stay. 

It's also hard to say why there isn't more information available about John Polley.  Perhaps he was so busy supporting and raising his family that he made little mark in the town, but I'm not ready to settle for that explanation yet.  I will put this name on my "to do" list and work on finding out more about him. 

The line of descent is:

John Polley-Susannah Bacon
Mary Polley-John Perrin
Samuel Perrin-Mehitable Child
John Perrin-Abigail Morris
Benjamin Perrin-Mary
Mary or Mercy Perrin-David Fay
Luceba (Euzebia) Fay-Libbeus Stannard Jr
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants