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Friday, April 13, 2018

Early American Immigrant, Benedictus Pulsifer

Remembering ancestors:

Benedictus Pulsifer, 1635–1710

Birth 1635  Whitehall, England

Death 1710  Ipswich, Essex, Mass (Ipswich was incorporated as a town in 1634.)

Ship to designate an immigrant to America

(Note by BR, editor) I quote a published source below (with slightly different dates of birth and death, and some other facts are a bit 'flexible' perhaps. 

abt. 1630 – 1695

"Benedict Pulsipher had settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, according to his own statement, by 1659. He was probably married a year or two before coming to this country. He very likely brought his wife and infant son, Benedict II or Junior. We have no record of the birth of the son or of another son, John, but Elizabeth’s birth in 1669 is recorded in the town records of Ipswich. His first wife, of whose maiden name we are ignorant, died at Ipswich 16 July 1673. His son, Mr. William Henry Pulsipher says, "We’re of little help or comfort to his family." Evidently John moved to Gloucester, where he became a respected member of the family. There he probably supplemented his income as a farmer by occasionally building or helping to build houses for his neighbors. He is styled in one document "Yeoman" and in another "mason". In the History of Gloucester", J. J. Babson – 1860, page 130, appears the following:

"John Pulsipher, settled about 1680, according to tradition near a spot still occupied by one if his descendants on the old road leading to Coffin’s Beach (Gloucester). In 1688 he had a piece of land "given to the house where he then lived." Benedict Jr., proved to be a "roving blade", according to Mr. William Henry Pulsipher. "We hear," says Mr. Pulsipher, "of a Benedict Pulsipher engaged in an Indian fight in Maine in 1688. This was probably Benedict Jr. Cotton Mather refers to the incident in his ‘Magnalia Christi Americana’ London 1702. VII, page 63. Benedict, Jr., probably never married. In 1690 he engaged in Sir William Philip’s expedition to Quebec as a member of Captain Abraham Titton’s Company, and it is quite possible that he was killed or taken prisoner in the unfortunate attempt to capture the Canadian stronghold.

"A Compendious History of New England" by Morse and Parrish, page 146, makes a confirmatory reference to this episode. 

After the death of his first wife on 16 July 1673, Benedict, Sr. married in the succeeding February, Susan A. Waters of Salem, Massachusetts, who was the fifth daughter of Richard and Joyce Waters. She was born at Salem, Massachusetts 01 Feb 1649. "Benedict Pulsipher, Sr. brought his young wife to Ipswich immediately after his marriage and entered upon what might be termed the second period of his career." The records show that his young wife was rather vain. She liked to adorn herself. "She,  among others, braved the laws in 1675 by appearing in the meeting house with a silk hood and scarf. She and the others were arrested, tried, and fined ten shillings each for yielding to their vanity."

Benedict Pulsipher was a man of some means. He was also "a man of considerable education" in a period when educated Englishmen were rare.

Late in 1663 or early 1664 he bought a dwelling house with outhouse, orchard, gardens, etc. of Moses Pingry of Ipswich, Massachusetts, which property Pingry had acquired in 1652 of Richard Scofield who came to New England in 1635. This estate was situated on the north of the "Tom River". Its site is now occupied by a factory. The original deed to this property was either lost or "casually" burned, and on 7 Feb 1667, Pingry made a supplementary deed of the property which he gave Benedict Pulsipher. Benedict was then styled a "planter."

He added to his estate in 1664. In the same year, 1664, the town of Ipswich granted him a share (No. 55) in the town lands on Plumb Island, Castle Neck, and Hogg Island. He continued to reside at Ipswich, pursuing his occupation as planter or farmer for many years.
Ipswich MA area

I'm including this as a Sepia Saturday post this week...go over to this site to see more interesting posts. 

(editors note) I think it's interesting to find that this ancestor is also an ancestor of Joseph Smith of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons.) We're all related, aren't we?

He's my 8th great grandfather on my grandmother Ada Phillips Swasey Rogers' tree.

Ipswich river front 1909

Thanks for the entry quoted above from Ancestry by Carol Easterbrook Wolf, but still without knowing if she was the author...

This post is a repost from Nov 2017 Three Family


Linda Starr said...

I love the boats with the big sails, folks years ago were so brave

Kathy Morales said...

A roving blade and a young wife arrested for vanity makes for a great story!

Mike Brubaker said...

Actually a very interesting post! Benedict Pulsipher is a wonderfully mellifluous name. I've read several books on the first European settlers in Massachusetts, and they were a resilient bunch. Sadly they arrived after the native American people had perished from a calamitous epidemic. Colonial America might have turned out very different had they been around to defend their land.

La Nightingail said...

The silk scarf and hood episode sounds funny at first until one stops to consider such ideas, rules, and harsher are still in effect in places around the world - including the U.S.

ScotSue said...

Two powerful images to illustrate the fascinating story of Benedict - I do like unusual names.