September 1, 2011

Founding Family: John Eaton of Dedham


Are you descendant of this Founding Eaton father?

In 1898, a published report of the then Eaton Family Association written by George F. Eaton is information that may prove useful to those who trace their roots to Massachusetts and, before that, to Dover (Kent), England.
"John Eaton, who settled in Dedham, Massachusetts, came to this country from Dover, England. before leaving his native place he maried, April 5, 1630, in St. James Church, a widow, Abigail Damon or Dammant by name. From this union two children were born, -- Mary and john, who were both christened in St. James' Church. The little John lived but a few months, for we find a notice of his burial in the parish records of St. mary's church in Dover. 
In April 1635 Mistress Eaton and two children, a second son, Thomas, having been born, embarked in the ship 'Elizabeth and Ann," bound for New England. We are left in doubt whether John Eaton came on the same vessel or whether he preceded his family, as his name does not appear on the list of passengers. However, we find them reunited at Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1636, where it is recorded that John Eaton took a freemans's oath on May 25 of that year. His wife is spoken of as being a member of the church at Watertown.
In 1637 he removed to Dedham (MA(, in which he was occasionally elected to minor town offices, and where he died on November 17, 1658, having made a will in which he names his wife Abagail, son John, and daughters Mary Mason and Abigail, then unmarried, but who afterwards married Robert Mason, a brother of her sister's husband, John Mason.

In 1637 he removed to Dedham (MA(, in which he was occasionally elected to minor town offices, and where he died on November 17, 1658, having made a will in which he names his wife Abagail, son John, and daughters Mary Mason and Abigail, then unmarried, but who afterwards married Robert Mason, a brother of her sister's husband, John Mason.

The son Thomas, who was brought from England in 1635, lived but four yers, and another son, Jacob, dies at the same age in 1646.

The surviving son, John (born 1636, died perhapps 1694), lived in Dedham, as has the senior line of his descendants to the present generation. By his wife, Alice, whose family name is not known, he had seven sons and one daughter, the dates of whose births are all recorded. Only four sons lived to maturity; John, of Dedham (b.1671, m. Ann whiting, d. before 1710); Thomas, of Woodstock and Ashford (Connecticut) (b. 1671, m. Lydia Gay, d. 1748); William, of Dedham (b. 1677, m. Mary Starr, d 1718); and Jonathan, of Killingly (Connecticut) (b. 1681, m. Lydia Starr, d. 1748). The marriages of these four men were all fruitful, and their sons, twelve in number, of the fourth generation, all married and were blessed with children, so that the family was then established in the land.

The living descendants of the original John Eaton of Dedham number many thousands, and probably, nearly two thousand of these inherit the name of Eaton.

The later professor Daniel C. Eaton, who was secretary of the Eaton Family Association, was the eighth generation of this line, and it is from his recorded notes that the present account of the family was taken. In various reports which he prepared for the ...Association, he embodied the results of his genealogical research. In the report of 1884 he gave the names of the descendants of John Eaton of Dedham to the fifth generation, and in the subsequent reports of 1888 and 1890 he gave further interesting information concerning the family."

1 comment:

Barbara Fitzsenry said...

According to the College of Arms, keepers of the chronicles of heraldry in England: "The official records unambiguously identify William Eaton or Etton of Dover, Merchant, as a Salopian that is to say a Shropshireman."