John Gorham (1621 - 1675) MP

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Nicknames: "John Gorham"
Birthplace: Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Swansea, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
Occupation: Leather Tanner, Lieutenant 1673, Captain of Barnstable (Mass.) Company, Captain in Militia - King Phillip's War, Captan, Captain, Ship Captain, Sea captain, Captain in the militia
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About John Gorham

Selectman / military service. Soldier in Great Swamp Fight. Came over from England with his father, Ralph in 1635, but Ralph returned to England. Was landowner at Yarmouth; resided at Barnstable and Plymouth, MA; capt. 2nd Barnstable company in Great Swamp fight. FH:sec 1 ch 1 pg 7383 & pg 8560

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He emigrated from Benefield, England. His passage on the is listed on page 125 of The Topo Book by Charles Banks, (John and Ralph) which lists his being from the parish of Benefield, Northamptonshire and bound for Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass. with the notes "NEGR 52/"

He resided at Plymouth Colony, Mass. between 1643and 1646. He resided at Marshfield, Barnstable Co., Mass. bet. 1646 and 1652. He Court Order Propounded to become a Freeman in 1648. He Court Order Admitted as Freeman of the Colony in 1650. He resided bet. 1652 and 1675 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Mass. He Appointment Deputy from Yarmouth to Plymouth Colony Court. on 6 Apr. 1653. He Appointment Surveyor of Highways in 1654 in Yarmouth. He Colony Court Presented for unseamly carriage on 5 Mar 1654/5 in Barnstable. He Court Order Liberty granted to look out some land on 1 June 1663. He owned 400 acres (Granted) in Jul 1669 in Papasquash Neck, Swansea. He Court Order granting permission to purchase land at Swansea from Indians in Jul 1672. He Commission in Plymouth Forces in Dutch War as a Lieutenant in 1673. He Court Order on 13 July 1673 in Papasquash Neck - Land granted to heirs. He Member bet. 1673-1674 in the town of Barnstable - Board of Selectmen. He owned lands on both the North & South side of County Road, in Barnstable. He owned a landing place and wharf on the mill pond in Barnstable. He owned in Barnstable a grist mill (Hallett's Mill). He owned in Barnstable a tannery on the mill pond. He Inventory of Estate in Feb 1674/5 in Yarmouth, Mass. He Commission on 4 Oct., 1675 in 2nd Company, Plymouth Forces (Captain). He Battle on 19 Dec., 1675 in Swamp Fort, Narraganset country. He died 5 Feb., 1676 in Swansea, Bristol Co., Mass. He was buried in 1676 in Swansea, Mass.

Records show that John was a brave soldier in the Indian Wars, who died from exposure in the campaign away from home, but on one occasion he was fined by the Court forty shillings for visiting a certain woman named Blanche Hall at "an unseemly hour, that is in the middle of the night." For receiving his visit Blanche was fined fifty shillings, probably an instance of "the double standard" and because it was considered that "the female of the species is more deadly than the male." John is recorded after his death as "an Exemplary Christian," so it seems that society forgave him for his indiscretion. Whether Blanche Hall was similarly forgiven deponent saint not, "I have me doot

In 1652, John moved to Cape Cod and settled in Yarmouth and purchased part of the Hallett farm. He had some 100 acres. most of which lay in the town of Barnstable. He operated both a grist mill and a tannery in Yarmouth. He was a deputy to the Plymouth Colony Court in 1653. In 1669 he was granted a large portion of land in Swansea, Mass. He didn't seem to go there immediately as in 1673 and 1674 he was a selectman in the town of Barnstable. In 1675 he made a Captain of the militia from Yarmouth in the war with King Phillip, an Indian chief who vowed to run the white men out of his land. He led his troops in the decisive battle of Dec. 19, 1675 that broke the will of the Indians. John developed the flu from the cold and died in Swansea and was buried on the lands he owned but never occupied. As a reward for service in the war with King Phillip, soldiers were given lands in Maine and the town was named Gorham, Maine in John's honor. He was a resident of Yarmouth at the time of his death, but soon his widow moved to live with her son in Barnstable.

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He was christened on 28 Jan 1620 in Benefield, Northamptonshire, England.(81) Bonnie Hubbard has year as 1621. He died on 5 Feb 1675 in Swansea, Bristol Co., MA. He was buried on 5 Feb 1675 in Swansea, Bristol Co., MA. IMMIGRANT - Name spelled "Gorum" in some early records. Notes from "John Howland of the Mayflower, Vol. 1: The Northamptonshire branch of the Gorhams are supposed to have descended from Sir Hugh de Gorham and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir William l'Angevin. Sir Hugh de Gorham, in 1281, possessed the manor of Churchfield in the parish of Oundle, and land in Benefield which had belonged to his wife's father. More than three hundred years later, the baptism of "John Gorram, son of Ralph Gorram" was entered in the Benefield register. [Collectanea 5:342-43]. A John Gorham, perhaps this man, was a passenger on board the Philip, bound for North America, June 20, 1635, with Richard Morgan, master [Otis, Barnstable Families 1:407]. On March 8,1648 Desire's father, John Howland, sold to his "son-in-law, John Gorum," half of the lands in Marshfield that he had bought from Governor William Bradford [Shurtleff, Plymouth Colony Records 12: Deeds. In 1672, Desire's mother, Elizabeth Howland, "wife of Mr. John Howland, deceased, came into court and acknowledged that she freely gave and surrendered rights in the lands of her late husband lying in Namasket in the township of Middleboro to Mr. John Gorum of Barnstable" [Thomas A. Weston, History of the Town of Middleboro (Boston and New York 1906), 547]. John and Desire Gorham lived in Plymouth after the birth of their first child, Desire, April 2, 1644, and then moved to Marshfield. Their great-grandson, Col. John Gorham, in his "Wast Book," recorded that "John Gorum, alias Gorham - which Son after Having Marryed With an Howland and Had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returned Soone again to his family. . . . Moved From Marshfield to Barnstable and Settled there in Ordr to begin a township Called Barnstable. Built Mills - tan fatts &c" [MD 5:177]. John Gorham's name was on a list of men able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643. He was chosen constable in Marshfield in 1648. He was made a freeman June 4, 1650 and in 1651 he became a member of the Grand Inquest of Plymouth Colony. He and his family moved to Yarmouth, Massachusetts, in 1652, and then went on to Barnstable where he owned a grist mill and a tannery. He was, together with Sergt. Ryder a deputy to meet others from the several towns "to treat and conclude on military affairs." He was a surveyor of highways in 1654. The family homestead was built in the year 1670 was still in existence in 1921, at Barnstable. As a captain in the militia in King Philip's War, he took part in the Narragansett Swamp fight in December 1675. He commanded the 2nd Company of Plymouth, Volunteers. This was the last and greatest battle between the English and the Indians in New England and resulted in virtually wiping out the Indians there. He was wounded "by having his powder horn Shot and Split against his side." He died of the resulting fever and was buried in Swansea February 5, 1676/7 [MD 5:179; see Gorham MS 1:2-9 for a long list of activities and court actions]. His widow, Desire, survived him for more than five years. John died intestate. On March 7, 1675, Mistress Desire Gorum (sic) and her sons, James Gorum and John Gorum, were named administrators of the estate. The court appointed "Mr. Hinckley, Mr. Chipman and Mr. Huckins" to take care of the estate of the youngest children until they came of age. The inventory, amounting to L710-43, was taken February 29, 1675 and sworn to March 7, 1675. It included the dwelling house, barn, upland, meadow, tan vats, a bark mill, and two houses and tools 'belonging to the taning.' In the division of Capt. John Gorham's estate, dated Plymouth March 7, 1676/7, widow Desire Gorham received her dower thirds. Son James received "the dwelling house he now lives in," with the barn and half of the upland. Son John Gorham received the tan vats, bark mill, tools, stock and the other half of the upland. Son Joseph was given forty acres of land next to Joseph Hallet's land, and some meadow. The rest of the estate was divided into five equal parts among the rest of the children, who were named as Jabez, Mercy, Lydia, Hannah and Shubael Gorum. Shubael was allotted L50 for the costs of his education, in addition to receiving his share of the estate. Three married daughters, Desire, Temperance and Elizabeth, had already received L40 each. If there should be an overplus, the married daughters were to share equally with the other children, except that James, the eldest son, was to have a double share. [MD 5:153-58: Plymouth Colony Records, Wills 3:1:162-64 (John Gorham).

(http://www.wheelerfolk.org/keithgen/d255.htm#P631)

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Captain John Gorham III (2) Photo was born on 28 Jan 1620 in Benefield, Northhamptonshire, England. He was baptized on 28 Jan 1620 in Benefield, Northamptonshire, England.. (5) He resided at Plymouth Colony, MA between 1643 and 1646. He resided at Marshfield, Barnstable, MA between 1646 and 1652. He Court Order Propounded to become a Freeman in 1648. He Court Order Admitted as Freeman of the Colony. in 1650. He resided at between 1652 and 1675 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA. He Appointment Deputy from Yarmouth to Plymouth Colony Court. on 6 Apr 1653. He Appointment Surveyor of Highways in 1654 in Yarmouth.. He Colony Court Presented for unseamly carriage on 5 Mar 1654/55 in Barnstable.. He Court Order Liberty granted to look out some land. on 1 Jun 1663. He owned 400 acres (Granted) in Jul 1669 in Papasquash Neck, Swansea.. He Court Order granting permission to purchase land at Swansea from Indians. in Jul 1672. He Commission in Plymouth Forces in Dutch War as a Lieutenant in 1673. He Court Order on 13 Jul 1673 in Papasquash Neck -Land granted to heirs.. He Inventory of Estate in Feb 1674/75 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA. He died on 5 Feb 1675/76 in Swansea, Bristol Co., MA.(3)(11) He Commission on 4 Oct 1675 in 2nd Company, Plymouth Forces (Captain).. He Battle on 19 Dec 1675 in Swamp Fort, Narraganset country.. He was buried in 1676 in Swansea, Bristol Co., MA. He Member BET. 1673 - 1674 in the town of Barnstable - Board of Selectmen,. He owned lands on both the N. & S. side of County Road, in Barnstable. He owned a landing place and wharf on the mill pond in Barnstable.. He owned in Barnstable a grist mill (Hallett's Mill),. He owned in Barnstable a tannery on the mill pond,. He emigrated from Benefield, Northamptonshire, England.(12) His passage on the is listed on page 125 of The Topo Book by Charles Banks, (John and Ralph) which lists his being from the parish of Benefield, Northamptonshire and bound for Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass with the notes "NEGR 52/

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1643 On a list of men able to bear arms.

1648 Constable

4 Jun 1650 Made a freeman

1651 Member of the Grand Inquest of Plymouth Colony

1652 Owned a grist mill and tannery

1654 Surveyor of highways

Dec 1665 Wounded in King Phillips War. He was a captain.

From John Howland of the Mayflower.

The Northamptonshire branch of the Gorhams are supposed to have descended from Sir High de Gorham and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir William l"Angevin. Sir Hugh de Gorham, in 1281, possessed the manor of Churchfield in the parish of Oundle, and land in Benefield which had belonged to his wife's father. More than 300 years later, the baptism of "John Gorram, son of Ralph Gorram" was entered in the Benefield register. "

"A John Gorham, perhaps this man, was a passenger on board the ship 'Philip', bound for North America, 20 June 1635 with Richard Morgan, master. "

"John Gorham came to this town from Marshfield in 1652, and purchased the house of Andrew Hallet, sr. He was a native of Benefield, Northamptonshire, where he was born in 1621. With Mr. Hallet's house he bought a part of his farm in Yarmouth and Barnstable, the grist mill at Stoney Cove, and carried on a tannery on the borders of the pond, below the residence of Patrick Keveney. He commanded the military company in town. In June, 1675, Captain Gorham and twenty-five men from Yarmouth 'took up their first march for Mount Hope,' and saw considerable service. In october he was appointed captain of the second company of Plymouth colony forces, was engaged in the sanguinary fight in the Swamp fort, December 19th, and died at Swansey, from fever contracted in consequence of exposure during that campaign, February 5, 1676, at the age of fifty-five years. He left a family of eleven children, from whom have descended the families in theis and the neighboring towns. The Gorhams have been prominent in public affairs in both Yarmouth and Barnstable."

"The exact date of their marriage is not known but Desire was called 'Desire Gorum' in her father's will dated 29 May 1672. Additional proof that Desire Howland married John Gorham was found in a land transaction dated 16 February 1673 in which 'John Gorum Sen of Barnstable' sold to George Dawson, 'now resident at Barnstable,' land in Middleboro formerly belonging to John Howland and Elizabeth, his wife, and given to the said John Gorum before John Howland's death. The transaction was witnessed by Joseph Laythorpe and John Thompson, and acknowledged 24 February 1673 before Thomas Hinckley, Assistant. Desire, wife of John Gorum gave her consent 30 April 1674."

"Capt. John Gorham m. Desire Howland, 1643, daughter of Mr. John Howland, the one that came over in the Mayflower, who died in Plymouth, 23 Feb., 1672, ae. 80years."

"John and Desire Gorham lived in Plymouth after the birth of their first child, Desire, 2 April 1644, and then moved to Marshfield. Their great-grandson, Col. John Gorham, in his 'Wast Book,' recorded that 'John Gorum, alias Gorham - which Son after Having Marryed With an Howland and Had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returned Soone again to his family . . . Moved From Marshfield to Barnstable and Settled there in order to begin a township Called Barnstable. Built Mills - tan fatt &c.' "

According to Mayflower records he came from Benefield, Northamptonshire, Eng. to Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA with Ralph

Reference to birth & death dates: FAMILIES OF THE PILGRIMS by John Howland, p 8: MAYFLOWER DESC. (1966) p 228

He fought in King Philip's War, with the Gage brothers (John, William, and Henry) fighting under him. He also performed the marriage of Matthew Gage and Hannah Thorp.

Ancestors service: Deputy Plymouth Colony 1653; Lt. 1673; Capt. 2nd Barnstable Co. under Maj. Wm. Bradford in the Great Swamp Fight, 1676; died as result of wounds. per NSDCW Lineage Bk, 1950-1958, p 421

"John Gorham's name was on a list of men able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643. He was chosen constable in Marshfield in 1648. He was made a freeman 4 Jun 1650 and in 1651 he became a member of the Grand Inquest of Plymouth Colony. He and his family moved to Yarmouth, Mass., in 1652, and then went on to Barnstable where he owned a grist mill and a tannery. He was a surveyor of highways in 1654. As a captain in the militia in King Philip's War, he took part in the Narragansett fight in Dec 1675, where he was wounded 'by having his powder horn Shot and Split against his side,' He died of the resulting fever and was buried in Swansea 5 February 1676/7.

Ref to MARRIAGE-SPOUSE: MD 5:175, 177. NOTE: 1st child born 2 Apr 1644.

Ref to BURIAL: Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., and David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 1620-1691, 8:44.

"In June 1675 Captain John Gorham and twenty-nine men of Yarmouth marched toward Mount Hope (headquarters of Supreme Sachem Philip). They arrived only to find that hostilities had broken out elsewhere, so after a fruitless fourteen-week march, they turned around and walked back home. Gorham was appointed to command a second expedition from Plymouth. Fifteen Yarmouth men were in that company. "

"On 8 March 1648, Desire's father,John Howland, sold to his 'son-in-law, John Gorum,' half of the lands in Marshfield that he had bought from Governor William Bradford. In 1672, Desire's mother, Elizabeth Howland, 'wife of Mr. John Howland, deceased, came into court at Plymouth and acknowledged that she freely gave and surrendered rights in the lands of her late husband lying in Namasket in the township of Middleboro to Mr. John Gorum of Barnstable' ".

He was also listed as marrying Desire Howland about 1643.

"Capt. John Gorham m. Desire _____, who d. 13 Oct., 1683."

!per Mayflower records !came from Benefield, Northamptonshire, Eng. to Yarmouth,

Barnstable, MA with Ralph !birth & death dates: FAMILIES OF THE PILGRIMS by John

Howland, p 8: MAYFLOWER DESC. (1966) p 228 !Ancestors service: Deputy Plymouth

Colony 1653; Lt. 1673; Capt. 2nd Barnstable Co. under Maj. Wm. Bradford in the Great

Swamp Fight, 1676; died as result of wounds. per NSDCW Lineage Bk, 1950-1958, p 421 !per

JOHN HOWLAND OF THE MAYFLOWER v 1, by Elizabeth P. White He was on a list of

men able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643. He was chosen constable in Marshfield in 1648.

He was made a freeman 4 Jun 1650 and in 1651 he became a member of the Grand Inquest of

Plymouth Colony. He and his family moved to Yarmouth, MA in 1652, and then went on to

Barnstable where he owned a grist mill and a tannery. He was surveyor of highways in 1654.

As a captain in the militia in King Philip's War, he took part in the Narragansett fight in

Dec 1675, where he was wounded "by having his powder horn Shot and Split against his

side," He died of the resulting fever and was buried in Swansea. (see info on estate in above

book) !BIRTH: Mayflower Descendants, 5:28. NOTE: Age 53 in 1674/75. !MARRIAGE-

SPOUSE: MD 5:175, 177. NOTE: 1st child born 2 Apr 1644. !BURIAL: Shurtleff, Nathaniel B.,

and David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 1620-1691,

8:44.

"There are conflicting accounts as to the parentage of John GORUM. Elizabeth P. White, in her above mentioned first volume, states he was the son of Ralph GORUM who was bpt. 28 Jan. 1620/1, Benefield, Northamptonshire, England. In MD 5:174-5, George E. Bowman discusses John's parentage and feels there is a stronger case for John being the son of a John GORUM, based on the writings of Col. John GORHAM, great-grandson of John & Desire. Col. John states in his 'Wast Book and Dayly Journal' that the family was from Huntingtunshear <Huntingdonshire>, England and that his 'great-great-grandfather had one son nam'd aftr him John GORUM'. (Interesting to note that Desire's father, John Howland was from Huntingdonshire.) He goes on to say that the father lived at Marshfield while the son moved to Barnstable. (The 1643 list of men able to bear arms shows a John 'Gorame' in Plymouth and a John 'Goarum' at Marshfield <Stratton:440, 446; MD 5:175>.) Col. John's writings also state that while on a voyage to London in 1737 he had a search made for the family coat of arms and since a fee of seven shillings six pence was paid, Bowman feels the search was successful which means he was well aware of his family heritage. There was a Ralph GORHAM living in Plymouth between 1637-1642 (he is not on the 1643 list) but no connection has been found between him and Capt. John. Bowman also points out that there was an unidentified John GORUM living at Lynn between 1647-1651. <See MD 17:251-254 for Capt. John GORHAM's Family Record.> "

"Estate of Capt. John GORHAM/GORUM: <MD 4:153-8; Plymouth Col. Wills 3:1:162-4> ...Division, 7 Mar. 1676/7, among wf Desire and foll. chil., viz: James GORUM, John GORUM, Joseph GORUM, Jabez GORUM, Mercye GORUM, Lydia GORUM, Hannah GORUM and Shubaall GORUM. (states 3 daus are married and have already received their portions.)"

"Capt. John Gorham died at Swansea, but the exact date of his death is not known. The date of his burial is entered on the Swansea town records as follows: 'Cap: John Goram was buryed the 5th day of february 1675' [Book A, p. 147]. This date in new style would be 15 February, 1676. The record of his inventory shows that he was a resident of Yarmouth at the time of his death."

In excerpts from the 'Wast Book' of Col. John Gorham (great-grandson of Capt. John Gorham it states: ' Augst 29, 1737 In St Johns 1737 memorandums of thing to be bought In London. Coppy of Cos Daniel Gorhams Invintary sent home' ' to Look out for ye Gorhams Coat of Armes. Came from Huntingtunshear'. . . ' London. Octobr 1737 Som Account of cash Lade out or Spent' the following entries' Herralds office 7 pounds 6 shillings', 'paid a man for Looking out the Gorhams in the Citty 1 pound 6 shillings' "The record of the fee of seven shillings and six pence paid at the Herlads College seems to indicate that the search for a coat of arms was successful. One could wish that Gorham had been more explicit in his entry and named the family with which he was connected. This omission is especially unfortunate since his notes in the 'Wast Book' and the 'Dayly Journal,' that the family came from Huntingdonshire and that Capt. john's father was also named John, contradict the claim of modern writers that Capt. John Gorham was the John (son of Ralph) who was baptized at Benefield, Northamptonshire, on 28 January, 1620/1. I will first consider the claim that Capt. John was the son of Ralph. This seems to be based solely on the fact that there was a Ralph Gorham in Plymouth between 2 October, 1637, and 5 April, 1642, and that a Ralph Gorham had a son baptized at Benefiled in 1621 as alrady stated. The statement has been made that the Plymouth Colony Records prove that Ralph of Plymouth was the father of Capt. John, but this is an error, as these records contain not the slightest evidence of any relationship between the two. Capt. John Gorham's deposition, which was printed in an earlier issue of this magazine, states his age as '53 yeares or therabouts' early in 1675. This if exact, would make him more than a year younger than the John baptized at Benefield 28 January, 1620/1, but it is not conclusive evidence either for or against his identity with the John of Benefield. Since no proof that Capt. John's father was Ralph has yet been produced by those who claim this connection, it is reasonable to suppose that Capt. George Gorham's statement was correct, and my examination of the records has resulted in the discovery of corroborative evidence which seems to have escaped the notice of earlier searchers. In August, 1643, a record was made of all the males between the ages of sixteen and sixty who were able to bear arms. In this list we find a John Gorham enrolled at Plymouth and one enrolled at Marshfield. In the absence of any evidence that this was an eror, we must accept the record as it stands. Capt. John's first child was born at Plymouth, 2 April, 1644, and the second one at Marshfield, 5 May 1646. It is probable therefore that he was enrolled at Plymouth and his father at Marshfield, in August, 1643. . . .The facsimiles and transcripts of the entries in the 'Wst Book' will be found on the following pages. The transcripts were made from the original document, not from the facsimiles. ' Louisburg Feb 27 1745/6 the Rise of ye Family of Gorhams taken from Capt George Gorham - my Great Great Grand father & Family Came out of Some part of England and Lived att Marshfield and Had one son Nam'd aftr him John Gorum, alias Gorham - which Son aftr Having Marryed With an Howland and Had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returnd Soone again to his family - His Father Lived & Dyed att Marshfield and Whats Remarkable He Was a Joyner and Made his Coffin himself for sevrallYear before he Dyed and Used to Keep apples In It as a Chest Untill He dyed and used it. the son John that maryd Desire Howland and Went to England Moved from Marshfieeld to Barnstable and Settled ther in ordr to begin a township aftrwards Called Barnstable. Built Mills - tan fatts &c. Children. Names - Sons James - John - Joseph Jabez and Shuball now Living - Daugheres - Elzebth - maryd a Hallet, att Sandwich. Temperance maryd Thomas Baxtr an old England man Lived att Yarmouth. Desire - Gorham - maryed a Capt Haws Yarmouth - having his leg Cut of Dyed with It. Lydia - Gorham Maryed. Coll John Tacher. Hanah - maryd a Wheelding boath moved to Cape-may. Capt. John Gorham Was a Captain of a Company of English & Indians and Went to the Fight of King philip - r Swamp Narraganset fight and there was Wownded by having his poudr Horn Shot and Split against his side and Wownded - and Dyed att Swansey - His Leut - His Ensigne Isaec Barker."

"John Gorham was of Plymouth, Mass. Came to New England in 1636 on the 'Phillip'. Mde Capt. Oct. 4, 1675 of the 2nd Company of Plymouth troops in King Philip's war and died as a result of exposure in the Swamp Fight. Was Constable in 1648. Freeman in 1650. Member of the Grand Inquest in 1651. Moved from Marshfield to Plymouth in 1648. To yarmouth in 1652. Deputy to Plymouth Colony in 1653. Surveyor in 1654. Selectman of barnstable in 1673 to 1675. Lieut. of Plymouth forces in the Dutch War of 1673. He was a farmer, a tanner, and owned a mill."

"Capt. John Gorham and his family moved from Marshfield to Barnstable, then on to Yarmouth in 1652. In Barnstable he owned a grist mill and tannery. He joined the militia as a captain and fought in King Philip's War, later taking part in the Great Swamp Fight against the Narragansett Indians in southern Rhode Island. He was badly injured when his powder horn exploded against his side. He also never got over the exposure to the cold weather. After the battle, he somehow made his way either by water or land to Wannamoisett, probably to the home of James Brown, son of John Brown, gentleman. The John and James Brown families shared the same home. John Gorham was racked with a high fever for some time and finally died, being buried on March 7, 1675 in what is now Little Neck Cemetery in East Providence, which lay on the Brown farm. This is also where Elizabeth Tilley Howland is buried."

"The Gorhams took a very important part in the Colonial wars. In volume 67, Massachusetts Archives, there is a letter from Capt. John Gorham, written to Governor Winslow, in 1675. Capt. Gorham's son John was in his company of soldiers during the war with king Philip and his tribe." [photocopy of letter included in article]

"The accompanying half-tone illustrations show the two sides of a leaf that without doubt at one time formed a part of a Bible belonging to Capt. John Gorham of the Plymouth Colony, whose wife was Desire Howland, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland of the Mayflower company. No mention of a Bible is found in the inventory of Capt. John Gorham's estate, taken 29 feb. 1675/6 and printed in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 4, pp. 154-156; but in the inventory of the estate of his widow, Desire (Howland) Gorham, which was exhibited to the court at Plymouth 6 Mar. 1683/4 and has been printed in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 4, pp. 217-220, appears the following:

'Item pewter 12s shillings 1 Chist 2s and old bible and Tillinhsts book 2s 00 16 00' "

"Through the courtesy of Mr. Henry E. Scott, the editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, we are allowed to reproduce, from the July, 1915, issue of that magazine, an illustration showing the family record of Capt. John Gorham, whose wife was Desire Howland, the daughter of John Howland, the Mayflower Passenger. The record was written on the reverse of the title-page of a New Testament, printed in 1637 by 'Thomas Buck, and Roger Daniel, printers to the Universitie of Cambridge.' This leaf, which is about eight and one-half inches tall, and five and five-eighths inches wide, is the only part of the book that has been preserved, and was found amongThe 'old bible' mentioned in the inventory of Desire (Howland) Gorham may refer to this book. No other reference to a bibly is found in connection with her estate, or her husband's. . . . From data obtainable it seems probable that, after the death of Capt. John Gorham, the bible of which this leaf formed a part came into the possession of his widow, Desire (Howland) Gorham, and fter her death became the property of her daughter, Desire (Gorham) Hawes, the mother of Benjamin Hawes of Edgartown. From the death of Benjamin Hawes, in 1722, until the title-page turns up among the papers of Hiram Luce in 1911, nothing is known of the history of the book, except that it was delivered to Experience Hawes, in accordance with the terms of her father's will."

"On the back of the title-page Capt. John Gorham recorded, all at one time, the births of his eleven children. The births of nine of 'ye Children of John Gorham' were entered on the Barnstable, Mass., town records, where it is recorded that Desire was born at Plymouth; Temperance, Elizabeth, James and John at Marshfield; Joseph at Yarmouth; Jabez, Mercy and Lydia at Barnstable. The dates of the Barnstable record agree exactly with the beble record,and establish beyond question that this bible record was made by Capt. John Gorham himself. The handwriting is also the same as well authenticated specimens in Capt. Gorham's hand."

"The following is what remains of a list of Grantees of seven Narraganset townships, laid out by order of the General Court; confirmed April 18, 1735. Rev. J.B. Felt in the Collections of American Statistical Association, I, pp. 28, 29, has given us a history of these grants" [to be entered] . . . Yarmouth - . . . Capt. John Goreham's heirs"

"John Gorum's 1675 inventory included '1 Negro man,' no value assigned."

"The law put the onus on a woman to cry out for help if she was being propositioned against her will. In March 1656 John Gorum was fined forty shillings 'for unseemly carriage towards Blanche Hull at an unseasonable time, being in the night.' Blanche Hull was fined fifty shillings 'for not crying out when she was assaulted by John Gorum in unseemly carriage towards her.' Both Gorum and Hull were married at this time, Gorum to Desire Howland, eldest daugher of John Howland and his wife, Elizabeth Tilley Howland, and Blanche to Tristram Hull. The court evidently considered Hull to have been a willing participant rather than a victim."

"John Gorum senir: aged 53 yeares or therabouts Testifyeth, that some time since; hee desing Desired to write a memorandum of an Agreement between Jabez Lumbert and Zachariah Ryder; concerning Lands of Abraham Darbey which is in the bounds of yarmouth; and they Comitted the writing; after it was written to my keeping, some pace of time after Abraham Darbey Coming from Verginnia; put in on the other syde of the Cape and Came to my house; and I told him that his brother Jabez Lumbert had sold all rights of Lands in the bounds of the Towne of Yarmouth; and Abraham Darbey said what hee had Done in that respect hee had Given him order soe to Doe; and it should be made Good or to that very purpose.

Dated this 4th: I 74/75

This was sworne before mee John Aldin Assistant [Court Orders, V: 109]' "

"Yarmouth men who servved in the Narragansett Expedition during King Philip's War were gtiven land in the Province of ME in 1727 as payment for their services. Seven townships were designated as Narragansett 1-7. Capt. John Gorham of Yarmouth was assigned #7; it later became the town of Gorham."

"[Court Orders, V: 131]

March the 7th 1675

In reference unto the estate of Mr Gorum Deceased The Court have appointed mr hinchley Mr Chipman and Mr huckens to take Care that such prte of the said estate which belongeth unto his youngest Children be prserved and Disposed to them as the Come to be of age; according to te agreement;

Lres of Adminnestration were Graunted by the Court unt mistris Desire Gorum, James Gorum, and John Gorum, to adminnester on the estate of Captaine John Gorum Deceased"

"Bond of the Administrators.

Know all men by these prsents that wee Desire Gorom widdow of the Towne of Barnstable in theJurisdiction of New Plymouth; and James Gorum and John Gorum planters of the Towne aforsaid in the Jurisdiction aforsaid Doe acknowlidge our selves to be bound and feirmly oblidged unto the Govr: and Court of Plymouth aforsaid in the penall sume of a eight hundred pounds, for the payment wherof well and ruely to be made wee bind our selves our heires executors and adminnestrators; Joyntly and severally feirmly sealled and Given this ninth of March Anno: Dom one thousand six hundred seaventy and five;

The Condition of the above written obligation is such that wheras the above bounen Desire Gorum; James Gorum and John Gorum; have obtained letters of Adminnestration to Adminnester of the estate of mr John Gorum Late Deceased; if therfore the above bounden Desire Gorum James Gorum and John Gorum Junir Doe pay or Cause to be payed all Due Debts and legacyes Due and owing to any from the said estate; and keep a faire and true accoumpt of their adminestration; and be reddy to give in the same unto the Court when by them required; and save and keep hamles and undamnifyed the said Govr: and Court from any Dmage that may acrew unto them; by theire said adminnestration; That then the above written obligation to be void and of non efect or otherwise to remaine in full force strength and vertue;

Signed sealed and Delivered desier gorham (Seal)

in the prsence of benimen hammond James Gorham (Seal)

Sammuell Nash John Gorham (Seal)"

"[Plym. Col. Wills, III: I: 162-164]

[p, 162] An Inventory of the estate of Capt: John Gorum of Yarmouth late Deceased taken and apprised by William Crocker Barnabas Laythorpe John Thacher and John Miller the 29th of February 1675 and exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the 7th of March 1675 on the oathes of mistris Desire Gorum widdow and James Gorum and John Gorum Junir: as followeth . . .

The sume Totall : is 710 04 03

By us Willam Crocker John Thacher

Barnabas Laythorpe John Miller"

--------------------

On Mar 8, 1648 Desire's (John's wife) father, John Howland (Mayflower passenger), sold to his "son-in-law, John Gorham," half of the lands in Marchfield that he bought from Governor William Bradford. 101


The Gorham family can be traced to the 12th century in Maine, FR. They came to England with William the Conqueror.

Captain John Gorham, son of Ralph Gorham, was born in England, and baptized, at Bennefield, January 28, 1620/21. John Gorham's name is variously spelled in the records as Gorham, Goarame,Goarum, Gorum, Gorome, Groom, Groome. In his early years he lived at Plymouth and Duxbury. He was admitted a freeman at Plymouth, December 18, 1638, and was a partner of John Rogers at Duxbury in 1638-39. When he was sixteen he had been granted some land at Plymouth. In 1643 when 23, he inherited his father's estate. In 1650-51 with Joseph Beadle built a bridge over South river. In a deposition dated March 4, 1674-75, he gave his age as fifty-three years.

In 1646, he moved from Plymouth to Marshfield. In 1652 he moved to Yarmouth and settled near the Barnstable line. He remained there a few years, then moved over the line into Barnstable where he owned a large property which included, a grist mill and tannery. He was one of the selectmen of Barnstable in 1674.

In 1673 he was appointed lieutenant of the Plymouth forces in the Dutch war .

A memorandum book of Captain John Gorham, written in 1645, gives a quaint account of his family, from which we quote as follows:

"Louisburg, Feb., 27, 1645-46. The rise of ye family of Gorhams taken from Capt. George Gorham. My Great Great Grandfather & family came out of Some part of England and lived at Marshfield and Had one son named after him, John Gorurn alis Gorham, which son after Having Marryed With a Howland and had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returned Soone again to his family. His Father Lived and Dyed att Marshfield and whats remarkable He Was a Joyner and Made his Coffen himself for sevrall years before be Dyed and Used to Keep apples in It as a chest Untill he dyed & used it. The son John marryed Desire Howland and went to England moved from Marshfield to Barnstable Built mills-tan vatts &c."

Captain John Gorham, is known in history as having commanded a company of Plymouth forces in King Philip's war, in the decisive Swamp Fight battle fought December 19, 1675. He spent a lot of time in military service, this was the second expedition in this war in which he took part. He died of a fever a few months after the Narragansett fight, the result of fatigue and exposure at that time. He was buried at Swansea, February 5, 1676. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow and two sons, James and John, the rights of the younger children to be guarded.

In 1677 for his good services in the war, the court confirmed to his heirs and successors the four hundred acres of land at Papasquash Neck in Swansea, he had selected in his lifetime.

On Nov. 6, 1643/44, Captain John Gorham married, Desire Howland. She was born Oct. 13, 1623 in Plymouth, Mass. and died at Barnstable, October 13, 1683. Desire was the daug. of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly who came over in the "Mayflower," John Howland was a leading citizen of Plymouth. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of John and Bridget (Van De Velde) Tilly, also of the Mayflower.

Children of Captain John and Desire (Howland) Gorham are:

1. Desire, born in Plymouth, April 2, 1644; married, October 17, 1661, Captain John Hawes, of Yarmouth.

2. Temperance, born in Marshfield, May 5, 1646; married (first) Edward Sturgis, (second) Thomas or Theodore Baxter.

3. Elizabeth, born in Marshfield, April 2, 1648, m. Joseph Hallett.

4.James, born in Marshfield, April 28, 1650, m. Hannah Hucekins.

5. John, born in Marshfield, February 20, 1652, m. Mary Ottis.

6. Joseph, born in Yarmouth, February 16, 1653, m. Sarah Sturgis.

7. Jabez, born in Barnstable, August 30, 1656, Hannah (Sturgis) Gray.

8. Mercy, born in Barnstable, January 20, 1658, married George Denison, 1678/1679

9. Lydia, born in Barnstable, November 16 , 1661 ; married as his second wife, January 11, 1683, Colonel John Thacher.

10. Hannah, born in Barnstable, November 28, 1663, m. Joseph Wheeling.

11. Shubael, born in Barnstable, October 21, 1667, m. Puella Hussey.

--------------------

JOHN GORMAN


John and his descendants are the only ones listed in the Plymouth colony throughout the

Seventeenth century, so even if there were other sons, only he survived.


John was baptized in Benefield, Northamptonshire in England on January 28, 1620/21. He was

probably born about 1618. He was raised in the Puritan faith and was a leather tanner by trade.


On January 8, 1643/44 he married Desire Howland in Plymouth. Desire was a daughter of John

Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. She was born in Plymouth on April 24, 1627.


It is through Desire Howland that we have two 'Mayflower Lines'. Her father, her mother and her

mother's parents all came over on the Mayflower and landed at Provincetown and finally landed

in Plymouth in 1620. For more on these families, see the upcoming section on THE

MAYFLOWER FAMILIES.


In 1646, John and Desire moved north along the coast to the new town of Marshfield. He was

chosen Constable there in 1648. He became a freeman there in 1650 and in 1651 was a member

of the Grand Inquest of the Colony.


In 1652, he moved to Cape Cod and settled in Yarmouth and purchased part of the Hallett farm.

He had some 100 acres, most of which lay in the town of Barnstable. He operated both a grist

mill and a tannery in Yarmouth. He was a deputy to the Plymouth Colony Court in 1653.


In 1669 he was granted a large portion of land in Swansea, Massachusetts. He didn't seem to go

there immediately as in 1673 and 1674 he was a selectman in the town of Barnstable.


In 1675, John was made a Captain of the militia from Yarmouth in the war with King Phillip, an

Indian chief who vowed to run the white men out of his land. He led his troops in the decisive

battle of December 19, 1675 that broke the will of the Indians.


John Gorham developed flu from the cold and died in Swansea and was buried on the lands he

owned by never occupied. He died February 5, 1675/76.


As a reward for service in the war with King Phillip, soldiers were given lands in Maine and the

town was named Gorham, Maine in John's honor.


John was a resident of Yarmouth at the time of his death, but soon his widow moved to live with

her son in Barnstable. She, Desire Gorham, died there December 13, 1683.


--------------------

Settled in Plymouth, MA with his father by October 1637.

1646- Moved to Marshfield, MA.

1648- Constable.

1652- Moved to to Yarmouth, MA adjoining Barnstable, MA. He owned a grist mill called Hallet's mill, the tannery on mill pond, and the landing place or wharf near it.

1653- Deputy.

1673- Lieutenant.

1675/6: Captian, commanded the second Barnstable, MA company under Major William Bradford in the Great Swamp fight during King Phillip's War. He died in service of fever 5 February 1675/6 at Swansea, MA.


--------------------

There is a conflict of the marriage date: Nov., 6th, 1642----Feb., 20th, 1643 with Desire Howland.

--------------------

John Gorham died of wounds received during the Narragansett Swamp fight (dec 1675) of King Phillip's War. He was captain of the Second Barnstable co. under Major William Bradford at that time. -------------------- Selectman / military service. Soldier in Great Swamp Fight. Came over from England with his father, Ralph in 1635, but Ralph returned to England. Was landowner at Yarmouth; resided at Barnstable and Plymouth, MA; capt. 2nd Barnstable company in Great Swamp fight. FH:sec 1 ch 1 pg 7383 & pg 8560

_________________________________________________________________________

He emigrated from Benefield, England. His passage on the is listed on page 125 of The Topo Book by Charles Banks, (John and Ralph) which lists his being from the parish of Benefield, Northamptonshire and bound for Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass. with the notes "NEGR 52/"

He resided at Plymouth Colony, Mass. between 1643and 1646. He resided at Marshfield, Barnstable Co., Mass. bet. 1646 and 1652. He Court Order Propounded to become a Freeman in 1648. He Court Order Admitted as Freeman of the Colony in 1650. He resided bet. 1652 and 1675 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Mass. He Appointment Deputy from Yarmouth to Plymouth Colony Court. on 6 Apr. 1653. He Appointment Surveyor of Highways in 1654 in Yarmouth. He Colony Court Presented for unseamly carriage on 5 Mar 1654/5 in Barnstable. He Court Order Liberty granted to look out some land on 1 June 1663. He owned 400 acres (Granted) in Jul 1669 in Papasquash Neck, Swansea. He Court Order granting permission to purchase land at Swansea from Indians in Jul 1672. He Commission in Plymouth Forces in Dutch War as a Lieutenant in 1673. He Court Order on 13 July 1673 in Papasquash Neck - Land granted to heirs. He Member bet. 1673-1674 in the town of Barnstable - Board of Selectmen. He owned lands on both the North & South side of County Road, in Barnstable. He owned a landing place and wharf on the mill pond in Barnstable. He owned in Barnstable a grist mill (Hallett's Mill). He owned in Barnstable a tannery on the mill pond. He Inventory of Estate in Feb 1674/5 in Yarmouth, Mass. He Commission on 4 Oct., 1675 in 2nd Company, Plymouth Forces (Captain). He Battle on 19 Dec., 1675 in Swamp Fort, Narraganset country. He died 5 Feb., 1676 in Swansea, Bristol Co., Mass. He was buried in 1676 in Swansea, Mass.

Records show that John was a brave soldier in the Indian Wars, who died from exposure in the campaign away from home, but on one occasion he was fined by the Court forty shillings for visiting a certain woman named Blanche Hall at "an unseemly hour, that is in the middle of the night." For receiving his visit Blanche was fined fifty shillings, probably an instance of "the double standard" and because it was considered that "the female of the species is more deadly than the male." John is recorded after his death as "an Exemplary Christian," so it seems that society forgave him for his indiscretion. Whether Blanche Hall was similarly forgiven deponent saint not, "I have me doot

In 1652, John moved to Cape Cod and settled in Yarmouth and purchased part of the Hallett farm. He had some 100 acres. most of which lay in the town of Barnstable. He operated both a grist mill and a tannery in Yarmouth. He was a deputy to the Plymouth Colony Court in 1653. In 1669 he was granted a large portion of land in Swansea, Mass. He didn't seem to go there immediately as in 1673 and 1674 he was a selectman in the town of Barnstable. In 1675 he made a Captain of the militia from Yarmouth in the war with King Phillip, an Indian chief who vowed to run the white men out of his land. He led his troops in the decisive battle of Dec. 19, 1675 that broke the will of the Indians. John developed the flu from the cold and died in Swansea and was buried on the lands he owned but never occupied. As a reward for service in the war with King Phillip, soldiers were given lands in Maine and the town was named Gorham, Maine in John's honor. He was a resident of Yarmouth at the time of his death, but soon his widow moved to live with her son in Barnstable.

-------------------- -------------------- John Gorham Onlline: http://www.billputman.com/Gorham.pdf

view all 29

Captain John Gorham's Timeline

1621
January 28, 1621
Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, (Present UK)
January 28, 1621
Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, (Present UK)
January 28, 1621
Benefield,Nrthampton,England
January 28, 1621
Benefield, Northamptonshire, England
1643
February 20, 1643
Age 22
Plymouth,Plymouth,Massachusetts,USA
November 6, 1643
Age 22
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
1644
May 20, 1644
Age 23
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1646
May 5, 1646
Age 25
Marshfield, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
1648
April 2, 1648
Age 27
Marshfield, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1650
April 28, 1650
Age 29
Probably Plymouth, Plymouth Colony