Friday, July 15, 2016

Holbrook line: Simon Burr 1618-1691 Immigrant

I'd like to know more about Simon than I know now.  My folder for the Burr line deals with folks going back to Nicholas de Bures, born about 1224.  However, there was nothing in the folder for Simon.  Oops!

So, Simon is our immigrant ancestor.  He was born June 16, 1618 (at least that is his christening date, so possibly a few days or weeks earlier) in Stistead, Essex, England to Henry and Ann Fisher Bures. He had several brothers and sisters, but apparently just one younger than he was.  If my records are right (haven't found documentation yet), Henry and Ann both died in May of 1622, before Simon's fourth birthday.  I haven't found any information yet on who Simon's caregiver was, but since he lived, we can guess that it was one or another of his relatives.  I'd love to get that piece of the puzzle! 

Simon came to America as a young man.  His first wife's name is given as Rose, but we don't know whether the marriage took place in England or in New England.  At any rate, Rose died in 1647, an apparent suicide by throwing herself down a well, or so the courts said.  In 1648 Simon married Hester, also last name unknown, in Hingham, Massachusetts.  There seems to be no record of Simon anywhere other than Hingham, so perhaps he went directly to that town when he arrived in the Colony.  If so, he was unusual in that not many folks from Essex, England ended up in Hingham.  There's another piece of the puzzle I'd like to know.

We don't know when he arrived there.  I've seen dates from 1635 to 1645.  The town was founded in 1633 and his inventory included land from 1645, so he was probably there earlier than 1645.  One source says he had first been in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where his brother Jonathan lived, and that makes sense. 

Simon was a farmer and a cooper, and in 1664 was made a freeman in Hingham.  He was a town overseer and a town surveyor, but I've not found mention of specific military service.  It is likely that he was a member of a train band (militia) but I've not found those records yet.  Simon and Hester had several children, including John and Simon, apparently the only two children to survive their parents. 

Simon died in 1691 (some records say February 7, 1692, but that may be the date his will was proved) and left an inventory valued at 88 pounds, 17 shillings, 6 pence in movable estate, including more than a few farm animals.  He also had several parcels of land, and a dwelling house, which increased the inventory to a value of 326 pound, 1 shilling and 6 pence.  I haven't seen the actual will, but it seems to have not made mention of Hester, who lived for another year after Simon's death.  Maybe one of the sons was already caring for her, or there was an agreement to do so. 

I'm grateful to Dorothy Burr Tucker Harper for most of the information in this sketch.  She wrote a book, The Burr Family History ,in 1996 and I am so glad she did.  I'm sure she'd like to know the answers to the questions that we still have about the family, too.

Our line of descent is:

Simon Burr-Hester
John Burr-Mary Warren
Mary Burr-Thomas Marsh
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph R Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants