Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beeks and Holbrook lines: John Pers 1588-1661 Immigrant

John Pers is another in a long line of early immigrants to New England in the Beeks family, and also the Holbrook family.  He follows something of the typical mold, if there is such a thing, of coming to New England before the English Civil War, with a family and in his middle age.  John was born April 8, 1588 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, the son of Richard Pers or Pierce and Marguerite Coney.  We don't know much about his early life, except that his occupation in New England was a weaver.  It is probable that he learned this trade at home in Norwich, where the main industry was wool.  Wool made Norwich a wealthy city, and the Wikipedia article is quite interesting as it explains how Norwich welcomed religious refugees in the decades just before John was born.  What we don't know is John's religion, except that his children were baptized in the Anglican church.

John married Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker on April 22, 1610, in Norwich.  (I have seen her name listed as Trulle Stoker and as Stoker Trulle, but as of now I haven't found documentation for either name.  The couple had seven children from 1610 to 1622.  Four of them are documented as having traveled with their parents to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637.  There was also a servant, John Gednay, in their party.  However, this may not have been John's first trip to the New World.  The older children of John were already here, and John was given land in Watertown in 1634.  It is likely that he was here as early as 1633 and then returned to New England for his wife and the rest of his family, to bring them over in 1637. 

The family settled in Watertown where John taught the weaving trade to at least some of his children, and where they were given land as settlers of the town.  John was made a freeman in March of 1638 and took the "oath of fidelity" in 1652.  His name appears as a drummer in the train band (militia) of that year but it's not clear whether this was John the immigrant or John the son.  John the immigrant would have been 64 years old and likely had been excused from the militia by this time, unless he was in exceptionally good health. 

John made his will in 1658 and died September 2, 1661.  His will was proven September 30,1661, and his inventory was valued at just over 217 pounds.  Elizabeth made her will on March 15, 1667 and died within just a few days, as it was proved April 2, 1667.  Her estate was valued at just over 124 pounds, so she must have used her assets wisely. 

Of course I'd like to know more about this couple, but I'm grateful to have located this much information about them.  Here are the lines of descent.

Beeks:

John Pers-Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker
Anthony Pers-Ann
Daniel Pierce-Elizabeth Shedd
Elizabeth Pierce-Samuel Smith
Shubael Smith-Prudence Fitzrandolph
Mary Smith-Jonathan Dunham
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Holbrook:

John Pers-Elizabeth Trulle or Stoker
Hester Pierce-Joseph Morse
Joseph Morse-Susanna Shattuck
Esther Morse-Nathaniel Joslin
Israel Joslin-Sarah Cleveland
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mary or Mercy Perrin
Euzebia (Luceba) Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants