Tuesday, August 2, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Lura Minnie Parker (Stagge), daughter of Minnie May Elmer (Parker), daughter of Mark Alfred Elmer, son of Hannah Polina Child (Elmer), daughter of Alfred Bosworth Child, son of Mark Anthony Child, son of Increase Child, son of Ephraim Child, son of Ephraim Child, son of Benjamin Child, son of Benjamin Child.]

[Ancestral Link: Lura Minnie Parker (Stagge), daughter of Minnie May Elmer (Parker), daughter of Mark Alfred Elmer, son of William Elmer, son of Sarah Peak (Elmer), daughter of Lemuel Peake, son of Mehitable Perrin (Peake), daughter of Mehitable Child (Perrin), daughter of Benjamin Child.]

Chapter 6
Benjamin Child(e) II - 1631-1678 (47 Years Old)

Benjamin Child(e) II was born on January 15, 1631 in the parish of Cotesbach in Leicestershire, England.  Benjamin II was the second of three children born to Reverend Benjamin I and Sarah Shenton Childe, in which he received his father's name because he was the first-born son.  Benjamin II and his two other siblings were raised in a very religious home, where they were all baptized by their father while he served as the Rector of St. Mary's Church in Cotesbach Parish.

When Benjamin II was almost four years old, his father "grew sick" and died from the plague, leaving his wife Sarah to raise their three children by herself.  Although a four-year old would not have fully comprehended death, Benjamin II would have experienced the pain of missing his father and probably questioned many times why he was not coming back.  There is little doubt that Benjamin II was very attached to his father, based on the fact that most ministers value their families and would have had more time to spend with their children.  Because Benjamin's mother did not remarry until he was sixteen years old, he was raised without a father figure in the home, which ultimately changed the course of this Childe bloodline forever.  As a result, the early death of his father placed Benjamin II in an unpleasant predicament during his teenage years, which was the primary catalyst that influenced his decision to migrate to the New World with his uncle, Deacon Ephraim Childe.

Eleven years before the birth of Benjamin Child(e) II, the Puritan migration to the New World commenced when approximately 100 Pilgrims on the ship Mayflower sailed to Cape Cod Bay and landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. 

Pilgrims of the Mayflower Landing on Plymouth Rock
in Cape Cod Bay

While the declaration of the Mayflower Compact formally established the first continuous settlement in New England known as the Plymouth Colony, the majority of these Pilgrims unfortunately died or returned back to England in the subsequent years.  However, when King James I passed away in 1625, his son Charles became the next King of England, which created an ominous situation that brought about a "Puritan Exodus" to New England, otherwise known as the Great Migration.

When King Charles I came to power in 1625, he adamantly supported his father's position on the Divine Right of Kings, which would ultimately bring about his death many years later.  Nevertheless, almost all Puritans believed that King Charles I was bringing the church of England back in line with Roman Catholicism, based on the fact that he married a Catholic princess from France and allied himself with contentious religious figures who were staunchly opposed to Puritanism.  In addition, Charles' quest for absolute power and control was apparent through his obstinate political dealings, where he dissolved Parliament and ruled by himself through the High Commission Court and the Star Chamber.  Hence, the monarchy in England had created a political situation where Puritans were forced to fight or flee, with the latter being their first choice.
Map of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Settled North of Plymouth Colony

By 1629, several wealthy Puritans petitioned King Charles I for a royal charter called the Massachusetts Bay Company, which legally allowed English citizens to colonize the region north of the Plymouth Colony in New England.  When the monarchy granted this license, it was apparently under the assumption that it was similar to previous charters that promoted commercial ventures to America.  However, King Charles would have never granted this charter if he knew that its primary purpose was to establish a Puritan colony in New England.  It is interesting to note that soon after the Puritans secured their charter in early March, King Charles I had a falling out with Parliament, where he dissolved it by starting his "eleven year tyranny" of personal rule.  The timing of the Puritans acquiring their charter cannot be a coincidence, for it opened a conduit for more than 20,000 Puritans to migrate to New England during the next decade of repressive rule.  Although historical books emphasize the establishment of the Plymouth Colony as a decisive event in American history, in reality, the settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was much more significant because it dominated financially and demographically by absorbing Plymouth and other surrounding colonies.
Governor John Winthrop
Neighbor and Friend of Deacon Ephraim Child
After the Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629, they chose John Winthrop, Esq. as the first governor to lead the primary voyage to America the following year.  Winthrop's affiliation with the prominent gentlemen that founded the Massachusetts Bay Company was through a network of Puritan relationships that were interconnected through Cambridge University.  Although John Winthrop studied at Trinity College instead of Emmanuel College while attending Cambridge, he was more interested in law than theology, thus driving him to study for his Jurist degree from the prestigious Gray's Inn of London.  Nevertheless, John's son Forth Winthrop studied at Emmanuel College in the late 1620s, around the same time period of John Harvard.  During the 1630s, John Harvard migrated to New England and established America's first college known today as Harvard University.  While the Puritan connections that John Winthrop made during his time at Cambridge and in London were academic, his familial relationships were also linked to crucial Puritan leaders.  Because John's aunt had married Thomas Mildmay, the nephew of Sr. Walter Mildmay who founded Emmanuel College, the Winthrop family was well connected in the Puritan religious movement.  Hence, by the spring of 1630, John Winthrop had made all of the critical arrangements for the long voyage to America, as well as recruiting many staunch Puritans that included his neighbor and trusted friend, Deacon Ephraim Childe.
Although Ephraim's connection to Puritanism was clearly linked to his brother Reverend Benjamin Childe I, who formed many relationships in the Puritan network while attending Emmanuel College, his initial exposure stemmed from his father's associations in London.  While Wolstone Childe resided in Bishopsgate Ward during the close of the 16th century, the Childe family attended the same church as the Bonde family, who were prominent members of the Gentry class who came from Suffolk.  The eminence of the Bonde family is apparent from their monuments that were erected in St. Helen's Church, where William served as an Alderman of London, while his son Martin served as a Captain during the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Ephraim Childe's In-laws of the Bonde Family

St. Helen's Church, London

Detail of the Puritan Migration to America by Winthrop's Fleet
When Ephraim Childe married Elizabeth Bonde of Bury St. Edmunds during the 1620s, he moved to Suffolk to be near his Bonde in-laws.  Because the Bonde family was well connected in this region, Ephraim and Elizabeth received some property in Nayland, which is located a few miles from the Groton manor of John Winthrop.  It is interesting to note how the Bonde family had an interest in the Manor of Groton before the Winthrop family acquired it during the 16th century.  Hence, Ephraim became the trusted friend of John Winthrop, where he is referred to in the Winthrop journals as his "neighbor Childe" when he committed to migrate with him to America.  This trusting relationship is also evident from the Winthrop journals, which indicate that Mary Winthrop, the daughter of John Winthrop Jr., was placed in the care of Ephraim Childe for some time.
Deacon Ephraim Child's Original Land Allotments
in Watertown, Massachusetts

By March of 1630, John Winthrop had organized a fleet of eleven ships that carried 700 Puritan passengers to New England, which was the single largest crossing of the Great Migration.  The flagship was named after one of the aristocratic passengers Lady Arbella Johnson, who was related to Laurence Chaderton, the first Master of Emmanuel College.  When Winthrop's fleet embarked from Southampton, family and friends came to bid them farewell, which may have included the relatives of Ephraim Childe.  Because various Puritan leaders traveled across England to preach sermons at this momentous and historic departure, including Reverend John Cotton, it is likely that Reverend Benjamin Childe also came to bid farewell to his brother Deacon Ephraim Childe.  It is exhilarating to know that the Childe family was present when Governor John Winthrop preached his sermon, A Model of Christian Charity.  There is little doubt that this sermon was an indirect manifesto of separation from the Church of England, where they would be as a "City upon a Hill" with the eyes of all people upon them.  Although George Washington is credited as America's founding father, the earliest founding father that has clearly been overshadowed and forgotten is John Winthrop, the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Thus the departure of Winthrop's fleet was the impetuous of the Great Migration that allowed Puritans to go forth out of captivity to a land of refuge, which created a religious freedom that ultimately threw off the yoke of bondage.
The long voyage to America was a harsh and brutal trip that took several months, where approximately 200 passengers died en route.  Fortunately, the lives of Ephraim and Elizabeth Bonde Childe were preserved, thus making them the first members of the Childe family to migrate to the New World in 1630.  Upon their arrival, Ephraim and Elizabeth settled in the outskirts of Boston, in an area called Watertown.  His name is found in the original land allotments as E. Child, where the "e" was dropped in Child(e), which was a practice carried out on the majority of English surnames during the 17th century.  For the next decade, the colonies prospered while more than twenty thousand Puritans migrated to New England.  However, across the Atlantic Ocean, the situation in England was gloomy and deteriorating quickly.
After King Charles I had ruled without Parliament for eleven years, an obstinate dilemma forced him to summon them once again in 1640, based on the need to raise new taxes and an army to suppress the Presbyterian rebellion in Scotland.  Because many Puritans believed that Charles had ruled in tyranny, Parliament now had a sufficient number of supporters that gave the Puritans the moral authority to oppose the monarch.  As a result, Parliament eliminated the primary source of power in 1641, by obliterating the High Commission Court and the Star Chamber.  This audacious move by Parliament ultimately led to the English Civil War, which ensued the following decade.
Map of American Migration
Ephraim - 1630
Benjamin II - 1647
By 1642, the Puritans in Parliament were fighting the Royalist Army of King Charles I, where the majority of battles in the initial three years were won by the monarchy.  However, by 1645, Parliament had created the New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell, which decisively defeated the Royalist Army at the Battle of Naseby that summer.  After Charles had escaped to Scotland, he regrouped and persuaded many Scots, who were Royalist supporters, to invade England on his behalf.
570 Years of Migration
from Norman England to Puritan New England

It was during this period of uncertainty that Ephraim Childe returned to England in September of 1647, in order to round up the surviving descendants of his father Wolstone and bring them to New England.  After seeing the damage of the civil war for the first time, Ephraim must have been shocked to realize the changes that had occurred while he was away for the past seventeen years.  At that time, he must have thought that there was no end in sight, although there was no way for him to know that King Charles I would be defeated and beheaded within a couple of years.  Nevertheless, the situation in England must have been very grim because Ephraim persuaded the only two sons of his brother Nathaniel to migrate with him to New England, along with the only three sons of his brother Joshua.  Because the brothers of Ephraim Childe were ardent supporters of the Puritan cause, it is possible that they were killed fighting in the civil war.  Their untimely deaths may have been the impetuous for all the grandsons of Wolstone Childe to leave their families in England, never to see them again.

While the civil war created an unpromising condition for the Childe families of Nathaniel and Joshua, the family situation of their brother Benjamin I was bleak as well, whose unexpected passing in 1634 must have devastated Ephraim when he received the news in Watertown.  While Benjamin II witnessed the civil war, he had no male father figure in his life to reassure him during the calamity.  In addition, he experienced other changes when his mother started a new life by marrying John Bradshawe in 1647.  Although John was from a stout religious family and was of the highest moral character, there would have been major adjustments for Benjamin II to make as a sixteen-year old boy.  It is most likely that Benjamin would have had to overcome the feelings of sharing his mother with another adult male for the first time in his life.  As a result, the uncertain variables in the life of Benjamin II made up an equation that was the impetuous behind his decision to leave his homeland and migrate to New England with his uncle Deacon Ephraim Childe in 1647, never to see his mother again.
1633 Map of Roxbury Township
in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
When Ephraim Childe brought the six paternal grandsons of his father Wolstone to New England, his sister Elizabeth Miles Foote loaned him one hundred pounds to pay for the passage of their long voyage.  It appears that Ephraim put up part of his homestead in Watertown as collateral for the money.  The loan was eventually paid back after Ephraim's death in 1662, where the Foote family received a portion of his farm to settle the debt.  Thus, Deacon Ephraim Childe made the ultimate sacrifice for the Childe bloodline, by not only bringing the surviving descendants of his father to America, but also by paying for their crossing at his own expense.
The long journey to America must have been extremely cold because it occurred between autumn and winter, as they arrived in Boston harbor in December of 1647.  Although the migration to the New World must have been exciting for Benjamin II, it was not without its reservations,.  At sixteen years of age, Benjamin II must have realized that he was never going to see his mother again, nor the country where he was raised.  In addition, because his uncle Ephraim paid his passage to America, it is clear that Benjamin II migrated with no inheritance or financial means, which signified that he would have to start out with nothing.  Upon their arrival, Benjamin II stayed with his uncle Ephraim during the holidays, where soon after, arrangements were made for him to work in Roxbury with the Bowen family.  By January 1648, Benjamin Childe II is listed in the town minutes of Roxbury as one of its newest citizens.

Ephraim and Benjamin II

1881 Arms of Elias Child, Esq.

Although Benjamin II did not bring any money with him when he migrated to America with his uncle Ephraim, he did bring the Childe coat of arms that had been handed down from his chivalrous ancestors for centuries.  Many of his descendants continued to display the Childe coat of arms in their homes, where it was eventually registered in the American College of Heraldry in the names of Benjamin II and Deacon Ephraim Child.  In addition, various descendants of Benjamin II also bore similar coats of arms when they held the status of "Esquire" within the Gentry class of Colonial America.  One version of the Child coat of arms was published in the book by Elias Child, Esq. in 1881 entitled, Genealogy of the Child, Childs, and Childe Families.  While there are slight differences between the Child coats of arms that are registered for Wolstone's descendants in America, they all contain the essential elements of the three eagles with the ermine chevron, which is another line of evidence that his bloodline descends from the ancestors of the Childe Barony.
80-acre Estate of Benjamin Child(e) II
in relation to the Bowen Property
After Benjamin II worked for several years in Roxbury for Griffith Bowen, he courted his daughter Mary Bowen, who had migrated from Wales in 1638.  When Benjamin II was twenty-two years old and Mary was eighteen years old, the couple was joined in matrimony in 1653.  Mary's father Griffith Bowen owned a farm of 150 acres on the border between the townships of Brookline and Roxbury, which was also considered the boundary between the counties of Norfold and Suffolk.  It is in this border region that Benjamin II and Mary Bowen Child settled down, where they initially leased property from her father Griffith, until they had earned enough money to buy their own 80-acre farm.

The settlement of Benjamin's land would have followed the same pattern of other early settlers where trees were felled for planting crops, and the wood was used to build a small log cabin.  Although Benjamin II started his life in America in the humblest of circumstances, he was extremely blessed to live near his Bowen in-laws, who provided the safety net of security and stability for his new family.  It is in these modest beginnings where the first children of Benjamin II and Mary Bowen Child were born and raised.  There is no doubt that the familial influence that Benjamin's uncle Ephraim had on him was significant, based on the fact that he named his first-born son after him in 1654.  It is not until the second son of Benjamin II was born in 1656 that he gave him the name of his father, becoming Benjamin Childe III.
Although the father of Benjamin Child(e) II died when he was almost four years old, it is apparent that his religious convictions stemmed from the Puritan upbringing of his mother.  The fact that Benjamin II was raised by a mother that came from a home of Puritan ministers, where she then married his father who was also a Puritan minister, and finally remarried into a home of Puritan ministers, clearly indicates her zeal for the word of God and her support for this religious movement.  Furthermore, when Benjamin II arrived in Roxbury at the young age of sixteen, the clerical documents reveal that he was immediately admitted to the First Church of Roxbury in A.D,. 1648, where he worshipped for the next five years.
Griffith Bowen Property
with the Boston Skyline in the Background
Role of Wolstone Childe's Descendants
in the Puritan Religious Movement
After the marriage of Benjamin II and Mary Bowen around 1653, there are no clerical records that indicate that she attended church services for the first five years of their marriage.  Her absence most likely resulted from the fact that the Child homestead was located in the remote border region of Roxbury, thus making it difficult to travel with three young children. Nevertheless, as new roads were built and improved during this settlement period, the rough obstacle of traveling a long distance to church was made much easier. As a result, in 1658, the clerical records indicate that Mary Bowen Child(e) was admitted to the First Church of Roxbury, where her three sons of Ephraim, Benjamin III, and Joshua were all christened shortly thereafter.

It is evident that the role of the Childe family in the Puritan religious movement in England started with the conversion of Wolstone Childe, and then followed course with all five of his children. 

While Reverend Benjamin Childe I formed the crucial connections in the Puritan network when he studied at Emmanuel College to be a minister, his brother Ephraim provided the way for Wolstone's paternal grandsons to migrate to America in order to find religious freedom.  It is interesting to note that Benjamin's associations in the Puritan network continued to benefit the Child family long after their migration to New England.  When Benjamin II became a member of the First Church of Roxbury in 1648, the Puritan minister was Reverend John Eliot, who was influenced by Reverend Thomas Hooker as he studied under his charge.
The primary denominations that rose out of the Puritan religious movement were Presbyterianism and Congregationalism, where the latter became the predominant form of Christianity in Colonial New England by using a system of checks and balances that limited the authority of its ministers and lay officers.  As a result, each Congregational Church was independent from external sources of ecclesiastical influence, thus placing a primary responsibility on its members.  Hence, the First Church of Roxbury adhered to Congregationalism, which signifies that Benjamin II had a certain level of responsibility placed upon him when he became a member at the young age of sixteen.

John Eliot: Congregationalist Pastor of the First Church of Roxbury
Benjamin's uncle Ephraim Child also worshipped at a Congregational Church in Watertown, where he served as a Deacon for many years.  When Ephraim passed away in 1662, his possessions were bequeathed to his nephews that he brought to America, based on the fact that he and his wife were not fortunate to have any children.  Ephraim's dwelling house and 43-acre farm were conferred upon the eldest son of Benjamin II, who was only eight years of age at that time.  Because Benjamin's son was not old enough to inherit property, it was placed in the trust of his father who sold the property and invested the money in possessions that he would later inherit when he was sufficiently mature.

80-acre Estate of Benjamin Child(e) II
on 1832 Map of Roxbury, Massachusetts
When Benjamin II sold the property that his eldest son inherited from his uncle Ephraim, he used a portion of the money to buy the land that surrounded the Child homestead in Roxbury, which totaled eighty acres.  The vital records of Roxbury reveal that Benjamin's farm extended west from the boundary of Bookline from the old estate of Griffith Bowen, to the Whitney estate on the east.  The land consisted of a large farm lot with hills that slope down to a narrow meadow, where a small brook is located within a grove of forest trees.  The inheritance money was also used to rent 150 acres of farmland from the children of Griffith Bowen after he had passed away, until his estate was eventually settled and distributed in 1683.  The probate deeds of the Bowen estate indicate that 40 of the 150 acres were bequeathed to Benjamin's wife Mary Bowen Child(e), which was ultimately passed on to her third son Joshua Child.  Thus, for about thirty years, the family of Benjamin Child(e) II farmed around 230 acres of land within the borders of Brookline and Roxbury, which clearly brought in a substantial amount of income from its production.

In addition to acquiring new land, Benjamin II used the remainder of the money to build a beautiful two-story framed house on the Child property in Roxbury around 1665.  An upgrade from a log cabin to a large traditional house was definitely needed to accommodate the twelve children that Benjamin II and Mary would eventually have.  It is amazing to point out how this house is still standing after more than 340 years, where it was passed down through the Child bloodline until the 19th century when it was sold.  The early records reveal that the home passed from generation to generation (Benjamin II - Benjamin III - Edward - John I - John II - Stephen, etc.) until clear maps were made in the 18th and 19th centuries that showed its precise location, along with the name of Benjamin Child(e) II.
Benjamin Child(e) II Homestead and 80-acre Estate
in Roxbury, Massachusetts
Although Benjamin II and Mary Bowen Child(e) became very prosperous, they were not without their trials and tribulations.  In 1662, the fifth child that was born to them died in its infancy.  Although this trial was disheartening, the hardest tribulations came during the 1670s.  In 1671, their three-year old son John suddenly died, which not only affected the parents, but also the older siblings.  In 1674, their 8-month old son Joseph died as well.  And in 1675, the tragedy that clearly took its toll on the entire family was the death of Ephraim, the eldest son of Benjamin II and Mary, who was killed at the age of twenty-one by Indians in King Philip's War.  Ephraim's unexpected death is the reason that the 80-acre homestead passed to his younger brother Benjamin III.  This tragedy was clearly a major blow for Benjamin II, which may have played a role in his declining health that led to his death a few years later.

Benjamin Child(e) II Home
built around 1665 in Roxbury, Massachusetts

At the age of forty-seven, Benjamin Child(e) II died on October 14, 1678, for reasons unknown.  He left his widow to raise their eight surviving children by herself, which ranged from four to twenty-two years of age.  It is obvious that Benjamin's wife Mary had truly suffered with the loss of her husband and four children.  Perhaps our Heavenly Father knew that she could not bear anymore, for it appears that her trials were finally over.  Although Mary never remarried, she lived peacefully for the next thirty years where she did not have to experience the death of any of her remaining eight children.  She was blessed to watch each of them grow to adulthood and bring forth many grandchildren for her to enjoy.  On October 31, 1707, Mary Bowen Child(e) died peacefully in her sleep at the age of seventy-two.

Children of
Benjamin II and Mary Bowen Child(e)

Although no tombstones have survived for Benjamin II or Mary Bowen Child(e), it is likely that they were entombed in the Eliot Burying Grounds, which was owned by the First and Second Churches of Roxbury.  The clerical records of Roxbury reveal that Benjamin II was on of thirty people who gave 104 pounds to build the Second Church of Roxbury in 1674.  This selfless act clearly solidified his temporal standing within the religious community of Roxbury, which would have also provided burial spots for his family in the cemetery that was officially set apart by these congregations.  In addition, the fact that the cemetery records reveal that the infant of Benjamin Child(e) II, who died in 1662, was buried in the Eliot Burying Grounds in Roxbury Center, indicates an early link between the Child family and this cemetery.  Because the deaths of Benjamin II and Mary Bowen Child(e) occurred more than three hundred years ago, many of the tombstones from this time period have either been destroyed or have deteriorated to an eroded state where they are no longer legible.

Benjamin Child(e) II Burial at Eliot Burying Grounds
in Roxbury, Massachusetts
In conclusion, Benjamin Child(e) II stands as the head primogenitor of one of the six Child branches of America that descends from Wolstone Childe.  Although the father of Benjamin II passed away when he was almost four years old, he was raised in a very religious home that staunchly supported the Puritan religious movement in England.  When Benjamin II migrated to new England in 1647 at the young age of sixteen, he never returned back to his homeland, thus altering the course of this Child(e) bloodline forever.  Through the help of his uncle Ephraim Childe, Benjamin II was able to cross the great waters of the Atlantic Ocean and find religious freedom in the New World.  While Benjamin II started with no material possessions or financial means, it is apparent that Divine Providence shone upon him and blessed him with a very prosperous life.  Benjamin II and his wife Mary Bowen Child(e) ended up with the mansion house that remains standing today, along with over 120 acres of land that they passed down to their children.  Although the prosperity of Benjamin II is evident, it is essential to point out the exemplary life that he led.  He was the highest moral fiber and possessed the Puritan sense of piety that so many of the early settlers of New England were particularly distinguished for.  As one historian stated, "Benjamin Child was of that order of nobility bearing the stamp affixed at the departure from Eden."  Thus, Benjamin Child(e) II will forever sit as the American patriarch of one Child bloodline, where this royal blood runs through the veins of thousands of Americans that bear the Child name today.
Pages 199-219
"The Ancestry of Alfred Bosworth Child" Mark B. Child, Ph.D./Paul L. Child, D.D.S., 2008 printed by Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Emigration of Benjamin
Benjamin Child, who emigrated from Great Britain to America, and became the head of the larger number of the families of the same name on this side of the Atlantic, from strong presumptive evidence was the nephew of Ephraim Child of Watertown, with whom we commence this Genealogy. Patriarchal in the best sense, we find Mr. Child to have been earnest in character, and in the promotion of that Puritan stamp of piety for which the Massachusetts settlers were especially distinguished. Mr Benjamin Child was of that order of nobility bearing the stamp affixed at the departure from Eden. Methodical and exact in habit Mr. Child is known to have been; and legal manuscripts carefully preserved at the present time by some of his descendants, attest his familiarity with affairs, and fine standing in the community.

In the records of Roxbury, Mr. Benjamin Child is stated to have been of the thirty who contributed the joint sum of L104.05s. for the erection of the First Church of Roxbury; one of the customs peculiar to the period connected with the building of this "meeting-house," was a "raising," the bill of expenses and provisions amounting to L20 15s. 10d. and L9 5s. " to the hands for et ceteras".
found on ancestry.com

Benjamin Child, son of Benjamin, the earliest known progenitor of the Child family, emigrated from England to Roxbury, Massachusetts, about 1630.  From legal manuscripts carefully preserved at the present time by some of his descendants, attest his familiarity with affairs and his standing in the community.  In the records of Roxbury, Mr. Child is stated to have contributed, with thirty other men, money for the erection of the first church of Roxbury.  From the history of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Massachusetts, his birth is given 1620, died October 14th, 1678, also, his marriage in 1653, with Mary Bowen, daughter of Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen.  The Bowen line is traced back to Adam, and is one of the most complete lines in the Library.  In his Will, found in the Child family history, he left his wife and twelve children, eighty acres of land, stock, etc.
Page 533

Benjamin Child, who emigrated from Great Britain to America, and became the head of the larger number of the families of the name on this side of the Atlantic, from strong presumptive evidence was the nephew of Ephraim Child of Watertown.  Patriarchal in the best sense, we find Mr. Child to have been earnest in character, and in the promotion of that Puritan stamp of piety for which the Massachusetts settlers were especially distinguished.  Mr. Benjamin Child was of the order of nobility bearing the stamp affixed at the departure from Eden.  Methodical and exact in habit Mr. Child is known to have been; and legal manuscripts carefully preserved at the present time by some of his descendants, attest his familiarity with affairs, and one standing in the community.

In the records of Roxbury, Mr. Benjamin Child is stated to have been of the thirty who contributed the joint sum of 104 pounds, 95 shillings for the erection of the First Church of Roxbury; one of the customs peculiar to the period connected with the building of this "meeting-house," was a "raising," the bill of expenses and provisions amounting to 20 pounds 15 shillings 10d. and 9.5 pounds "to the hands for et ceteras."

Bearing the name of the youngest son of the Head of the Israelites, Mr. Benjamin Child, like that patriarch, "in the land wherein he was a stranger," became the father of twelve children, an example his descendants have satisfactorily emulated.  We are very glad also to say in this connection, that the probity, sterling integrity, and devout conscientiousness of their progenitor, are found to have been transmitted, in complete verification of the strong assurances of the Decalogue.

Of the time and place of Mr. Benjamin Child's marriage, we are informed, and now know that his wife bore the sweet name, Mary, who was like her scriptural predecessors a follower of the Master; "was admitted to the Church of Roxbury in 1658;" she survived her husband, though we know not for what length of time.  Mr. Benjamin Child died the fourteenth day of October, 1678, residing at that time in Roxbury, near Jamaica Pond (or the Great Pond), as it was then called; and his estate there has been the homestead of his direct descendants until a few years since.

The accompanying inventory of his estate and effects, the original of which, complete and clear, is held in choice keeping in the family, is appended, that his posterity, scattered through nearly every State in the Union, may be informed of the exact fortune left by their greatest grandfather in America:


An Inventory of the Estate of Benjamin Child, late of Roxbury, who dyed 14th October, in the year of our Lord 1678

A House and Barne....................80 pounds
80 acres of Land conveniently adjoining to ye 3d housing.................320 pounds
12 acres in the thousand acres..............3 pounds
2 cows at 50 shillings per cow, and more at 40 shillings; 2 yearling heifers at 40 shillings.......9 pounds
One horse and mare at 40 shillings for each and one sow at 16 shillings...........4 pounds 16 shillings
Money in the House and in good hands.............13 pounds
In the parlor: 3 silver spoons and one wine cup................1 pound 14 shillings
One standing bed, with curtains, valines, old rug, 2 blankets, bolster and pillow........5 pounds
One trundle bedstead with a feather bed, bolster, blankets and covering................2 pounds
One old court cupboard, 10 shillings; 3 chests, 20 shillings................1 pound 10 shillings
8 pair of sheets at 8 shillings.....................3 pounds 4 shillings
3 fine Table cloths, being worne, 10 shillings; 11 napkins, 7 shillings; 3 pair pillow bears, 10 shillings............1 pound 4 shillings
All his waring clothes, woolen and line, shoes, stockings and hats...............7 pounds
One carbine 12 shillings, one fowling piece 18 shillings, one Rapier 5 shillings........1 pound 15 shillings
Parlor chamber: one feather bed and a flock bed under it, with bolsters to them and pillows to the feather bed; 2 old blankets and an old Rug...............3 pounds
10 pounds of Flax.............10 pounds
In the Kitchin: Brass 41. 10 shillings, Pewtar 35 shillings spoons and tinners ware 3 shillings.......6 pounds 8 shillings
fire pan-tongs, 1 old spit, 2 pair tramels, an old frying pan, an old Iron pot and two pair of poot hookes........15 shillings
A kneading trough 2 shillings, and old table 2 shillings, 2 chaires and a woolen wheel 4 shillings.....8 shillings
A powdering tubb, butter churn, old pailes, wooden bottle, trenchers and other Lumber....12 shillings
Bridle and saddle 7 shillings; an axe and a bill. 3 shillings..........10 shillings
A cart with shod wheeles (3 yeares old), tackling for horses draught and a piece of an old timber chain........4 pounds
An acre and halfe of salt marsh.................10 pounds
5 1/2 acres of Land at the pond plains...................25 pounds
One Horse more..............2 pounds 10 shillings
Total...............................506 pounds 19 shillings

Inventoryed and apprized this 24 day of October, in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred seventy and eight, by John Weld Senr, John Gore, John Weld and Mary Childe, admittd Adms made Oath in Court pre May 1679, to the truth of the above Inventory, and that when more appeares they will adde it.  Attests, Isa Addington, Cler.
Vera Copia of its Original on ye file of Inventorys Anno 1679.
Attests: Isa Addington, Cler.
Page 538-540
Histories of Child, Rawson, Coffin, and Holtzclaw Families
Compiled, written, and published by Fern Roberts Morgan
Printed by M.C. Printing, Inc., Provo, Utah

1 comment:

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful post. I learned so much about this ancestor! Thanks for your thorough research.