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Edward Sprague

Birthdate:
Birthplace: probably , Upwey, Dorset, England
Death: Died in Weymouth, Dorset, England
Place of Burial: Saint Lawrence Church, Upwey, Dorsetshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Tristram Sprague and Elizabeth Sprague
Husband of Christian Sprague and Christiana Corbin
Father of William Sprague, of Hingham; Alice Eames; Lt. Ralph Sprague; Edward Sprague, II; Richard Sprague and 4 others
Brother of Richard Sprague; William Sprague; Anne or Hannah Sprague; Rebecca Sprague; Elizabeth Sprague and 4 others

Occupation: Fuller
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edward Sprague

Alternate death date 6/16/1614.

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Please see this article about his origins:

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"The Sprague Family From Dorset, To Massachusetts & Gibraltar.", by Joan Watkins, 1992, correspondent.

Turbulent politics and religious strife were widespread in England as the reign of King Henry VIII came to an end in 1547. The subsequent decade did not improve as contenders for the throne vied for supremacy until Elizabeth I became queen. During this era, Tristram Sprague was baptized in 1550 in Fordington St. George Church, Dorchester, part of the Hundreds of Uggescomb which belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall.

At that time the county of Dorset with its rolling green landscape of meadows and tillage was lush. Agriculture especially sheep and cattle thrived. It is believed that the Sprague family were by trade Fullers, so that the plentiful supply of fleece and local weaving enabled their business to flourish. Fulling is a craft going back to ancient times that is an essential part of finishing newly woven cloth. According to records there was a Mill situated on the banks of a stream drawn from the River Frome that ran through Dorchester in the vicinity of Fordington. It could be that this mill was used by the Sprague family for the purposes of Fulling. Also it is thought they lived nearby in a house on Mill Street (written about by Hardy as Mixen Lane.) According to a Census of 1641 a William Sprague lived in Mill Street.

In 1575, Tristram married Elizabeth Colt of Puddletown. A son Edward was born in 1576. He grew to manhood in this prosperous atmosphere, and in 1595 Edward married Christian Holland and moved from Dorchester to live in Upway, near Weymouth. Their home was the "Mill House" situated near the River Wey, a small stream that worked the Mill for Fulling. (Note: The Mill House is still in existence and the village boasts the "Sprague Wishing Well", and a set of Bells given to the church nearby).

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Resided in Upway, County Dorset, England. -------------------- "Edward Sprague was a fuller. Left quite a property. His three sons came to this country in 1628. Ralph, Richard, and William, the latter our ancestor."

From "Gerry Remembers: A history of the Howe Family of Port Orchard, Washington" by Gerry Howe Sprague Bruckart with Esther Bretthauer Sicks, 1997. According to a note, the information was sent to Wendell Phillip Sprague by his cousin Olive, in a letter in 1916. -------------------- "The Sprague Family From Dorset, To Massachusetts & Gibraltar.", by Joan Watkins, 1992, correspondent.

Turbulent politics and religious strife were widespread in England as the reign of King Henry VIII came to an end in 1547. The subsequent decade did not improve as contenders for the throne vied for supremacy until Elizabeth I became queen. During this era, Tristram Sprague was baptized in 1550 in Fordington St. George Church, Dorchester, part of the Hundreds of Uggescomb which belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall.

At that time the county of Dorset with its rolling green landscape of meadows and tillage was lush. Agriculture especially sheep and cattle thrived. It is believed that the Sprague family were by trade Fullers, so that the plentiful supply of fleece and local weaving enabled their business to flourish. Fulling is a craft going back to ancient times that is an essential part of finishing newly woven cloth. According to records there was a Mill situated on the banks of a stream drawn from the River Frome that ran through Dorchester in the vicinity of Fordington. It could be that this mill was used by the Sprague family for the purposes of Fulling. Also it is thought they lived nearby in a house on Mill Street (written about by Hardy as Mixen Lane.) According to a Census of 1641 a William Sprague lived in Mill Street.

In 1575, Tristram married Elizabeth Colt of Puddletown. A son Edward was born in 1576. He grew to manhood in this prosperous atmosphere, and in 1595 Edward married Christian Holland and moved from Dorchester to live in Upway, near Weymouth. Their home was the "Mill House" situated near the River Wey, a small stream that worked the Mill for Fulling. (Note: The Mill House is still in existence and the village boasts the "Sprague Wishing Well", and a set of Bells given to the church nearby).

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Joan Watkins, 1997

Since writing the foregoing saga base on the researches, etc. made by Mr. R. Macdonald circa 1965-72, and letters held by my mother, I have had further information and documentation from Richard E. Weber of USA on the Spragues.

On the basis of Mr. Weber's documents and of my recent visits to the Dorchester Records office where I was able to examine micro-films and other details, I am now of the opinion that Tristram and Elizabeth were NOT the parents of Edward of Upway. Their lineage seems to be well defined in the Puddletown Records, with a succession of recorded baptisms each stating 'son or daughter of Tristram', but no mention of an "Edward". Very little is available for Fordington for that period. The only anomaly is the entry in both Fordington and Puddletown for the marriage of Tristram and Elizabeth, differing in dates (January - June 1575). It would seem to me that a John Spragg(ue) might have been the father, as that name features in so many future elder sons.

A lot of the Dorchester records of that era no longer exist or are with the Ducy of Cornwall. Being unable myself to visit that office in London they cannot help me as at present they have no "personal name index". I have however made contact with the new owners of the Mill House in Upway (previously it was empty). They have recently bought the Freehold to the property and I am told that the documents go back to the sixteenth century. I hope one day to get to see them, but they are deposited with the Owners' Bank. I understand from them that there were two mills on the site, one for cloth and one for grain and the freehold was held by Merchants in London. The language and writing is in most cases rather obscure but perhaps further examination may give a clue as to when Edward became a lessee, etc.

The claim put forward that Simon Sprague of Winsham, Chard was Edward of Upwey's father differs from the extensive personal searches made by R. Macdonald. The only reference he records is from the "Somerset & Dorset Notes and Queries", Vol. 2, Page 54: "Simon Sprake, Clothier of Winsham, Chard was a Creditor of Sergeaunt Leonard of the Parish of Fordington 1575." There is no mention of administering the estate or that he had a son Edward in Upwey. It seems strange that Ralph and his brothers went to Fordington after their father Edward's death rather than contact the Chard family, and nothing further appears to have been mentioned of that area during that time.

I have enclosed a copy of a map of Dorchester where R. Macdonald has annotated that a William Sprague was living in Mill Street in the Census of 1641. Also an overall map of Dorset and Somerset where the many variations of Sprake - Spragg were recorded as living in the sixteenth Century. I believe R. Macdonald visited as many of the sites as possible to check on any information.

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Continuing with Joan Watkins' history, dated 1992.

In 1597 a daughter Alice was born followed in 1599/1600 by Ralph (Ralfe) and subsequently four more sons, namely, Edward, Richard, Christopher and William in 1610.

As the 16th Century gave way to the 17th, so the County of Dorset's farming community enjoyed years of prosperity. The main elements being dairy products and the raising of sheep for their wool. It was recorded then that the County produced the largest number of shorn wool packs in England. Most of it was spun and woven in the rural areas, giving employment to the outlying farms. The products were also exported through Weymouth to the Continent particularly Brittany and Normandy.

Edward did not enjoy robust health and in 1614 he died at an untimely age of 38/40, leaving his wife Christian to look after the 6 children all under the age of 21. A copy of Edward's Will, translated from Latin was found, in which after commending his soul to the Almighty God, he bequeathed "to the Poor of Upwey 10s, to the Church of Upway 19s. Unto Ralph my eldest son, one of the oldest pair of sheares in my shop and one lesser pair called the quarell..." To each of his sons and daughter he left 20 (pounds) and all the rest of his chatttels to his widow Christian. In a memorandum he added that "if the Living dothe fall unto Ralph, then upon his father's request, he (Ralph) promises that his mother Christian shall enjoy the Living until he be 21 years."

The Will also included a complete inventory of chattels, which included four score sheep, forty-two lambs, one horse, seven kyne, 3 yearlings and one pig and 4 1/2 acres of corn.

(NOTE: this story is continued in the notes for son, Ralph Sprague.)

From Richard Fricke.

Edward of Upway, Dorset Co., England was a fuller by trade. He married Christian of Alice. "Ancestral File - Ver 4.11" Edward Sprague (AFN:8TGW-FD)

"History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater", by Nahum Mitchell.

Ralph, Richard and William Sprague, were among the first comers and settlers in Massachusetts Colony in 1628. They were brothers, and settled at Charlestown, from whence William, the youngest, removed to Hingham.

"The Brothers Ralph and William Sprague and Some of Their Descendants", from the April 1909 NEHGS Register, page 147.

We know that Ralph and William Sprague were the sons of Edward Sprague, fuller, and his wife Christian, of Upwey, county Dorset, England, as they are mentioned in his will, dated 16 June 1614. He had altogether six children, three of whom came to America. Of these three, only Ralph and William concern us.

"The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical", American Historical Society, Inc., 1920, pages 400-402.

William Sprague, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was a son of Edward Sprague, of Upway, Dorsetshire, England. Edward Sprague lived at Fordington, Dorsetshire, in early life, and was a fuller by trade. He married Christina, and died in 1614. His will was proved June 6, 1614, in the prerogative court at Canterbury, and copies of the document made at this time are still in possession of the family. Three of his sons, Ralph, Richard, and William came to America. In Prince's "Chronology" we find the following mention of the brothers:

Among those who arrived at Naumkeag are Ralph Sprague, with his brothers Richard and William, who, with three or four more, were employed by Governor Endicott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They traveled through the woods to Charlestown, on a neck of land called Michawum, between Mystic and Charles rivers, full of Indians named Aborginians, with whom they made Peace." Ralph Sprague was about twenty-five years of age when he came to New England in 1631. Captain Richard Sprague commanded a company of the train band. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it. Richard Sprague left no posterity. His sword which is named in his brother William's will, was extant in 1828.

"American Families--Genealogies and Biographical Information from Most Authentic Sources Including Much Valuable Material Drawn from Hitherto Unpublished Family Records with Accurate Reproduction--and Descriptions of Ancient Emblazonry Compiled by Masters of Genealogic and Heraldic Science", published by The American Historical Society, Inc., New York, 1921, pages 30-40.

Edward Sprague lived in Upway (Upwey), Dorsetshire, England, a small hamlet situated midway between Dorchester and Weymouth, the seaport, four miles from either town, and at the foot of the Ridgway Hill, where the River Way takes its rise. He was a fuller by trade, and it is claimed that his fulling mill of three hundred years ago has been but recently demolished. He possessed considerable property for his time, as his will and inventory show. That he was a man of quality, the preamble of his will bears testimony. Upway town records have been destroyed by fire since his time, so that many things of primary interest are unobtainable. The original will of Edward, probated Oct. 13, 1614, a few days after his death, requesting Ralph to "promise that his mother Christiana shall quietly enjoy the said living until he shall be one and twenty years of age," has been handed down, in fine preservation with writing distinct, to the present generation. The widow Christiana married John Corbin, of Upway.

(NOTE: The above text is virtually identical to that found in the "Ralph Sprague Genealogy, by E. G. Sprague, page 23.)

From Rick Ingersoll, correspondent.

The Descendants of Joel Jones, Page 233

THE SPRAGUES 223 EDWARD SPRAGUE, of Upway, County Dorset, England, born (???); died (???), 1614; married about 1597 to Christiana (???), who survived him. Their children, named in his will, were: I Alice, b. (???); m. June 5, 1615, at Fordington, St. George, to Richard Eames (Dorset Parish Registers, IV, 138). II Ralph, b. 1603. III Edward, b. (???). IV Richard, b. 1605. V Christopher, b. (???).

  • VI WILLIAM, b. 1609. He was about 19 years of age when he came to Salem in 1628, with his brothers Ralph and Richard.

Edward Sprague of Upway was a fuller by trade, and his fulling mill was standing until recently The church in which he worshipped is shown in the illustration facing page 119, in the "Sprague Family in America," and was built in 1470. He died in Upway in 1614, and it was his request that his body be buried in the village church yard. His will was proven, Oct. 13, 1614, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. It was discovered among the papers of Captain William6 Sprague (Joseph5 William4, Edward3, John2, Ralph1), of Leicester, Mass., who died in 1832, and was published in the second edition of Hosea Sprague's "Genealogy of the Sprague Family in Hingham."

Edward was a man of consequence and property, and his will disposes of what was then considered a very large estate. The family tradition then was that the family originally came from Holland about the year 1400.

The three brothers, Ralph, Richard and William Sprague came to Salem, Mass., in 1628. They came in the interests of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and paid their own transportation. Henry H. Sprague, in his book entitled, "Founding of Charleston by the Spragues" thinks that the three brothers came on the Abigail, with Governor Endicott, and landed Sept. 6, 1628.

Soon after their arrival, they, with three or four others, were commissioned by Governor Endicott to explore the country about Mishawum. The Spragues wintered there probably in tents or small huts, and in the spring of 1629, with others who came, laid out the town of Charleston.

Edward Everett, in his oration commemorative of the arrival of Winthrop at Charleston, speaking of the Spragues said, "They are the founders of the settlement in this place, and were persons of character, substance and enterprise; excellent citizens, generous public benefactors, and the heads of a very large and respectable family of descendants."

William, the youngest brother, fell in love with and married Millicent Eames, who lived in Hingham, about 18 miles distant, and in 1636 removed to Hingham, where he lived the rest of his life.

From the History of Hingham, Vol. I, part 1, page 217, "From Lieutenant Eames, through his three daughters, Millicent who married William Sprague, Elizabeth who married Edward Wilder, and Marjory who married Captain John Jacobs, many of the people of Hingham are descended."

From Budd L. Sprague, correspondent.

Early English Ancestry

The only reference to an early English pedigree for William Sprague of Upway, Dorsetshire England and Hingham, Mass. which I have been able to find in any genealogical material published in this country, is found in The Spragues of Malden, Mass. (William Sprague was the first ancestor of Charles LeRoy Sprague to immigrate to America.) This book was written by George Walter Chamberlain and published in 1923 for private circulation. In his introduction Chamberlain states:

The Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, M.A., Vicar of Fordington St. George, Dorchester, and editor of Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset, has furnished a pedigree of the Spragues of Fordington St. George.

Obviously this report was prepared for Chamberlain by Bartelot in 1923 for a footnote states that this material was received after his manuscript had gone to the printer. Then, claiming Bartelot as his source, Chamberlain reports that the father of Edward Sprague of Upway and grandfather of William Sprague of Upway and Hingham, Mass., was:

Tristram Sprague, a fuller, of Fordington St. George who married in the parish of Puddletown (adjoining Fordington St. George) 26 June, 1575, Elizabeth Colt,... that of this union there were two sons, Edward, who removed to Upway, and William. (The ancestors of LeRoy Sprague will be indicated in each listing of children by underlining. )

However, the reliability of "Bartelot's pedigree" for Edward of Upway as reported here by Chamberlain has been called into question by Mrs. Ruth Sprague Dowry of Long Beach, California who, while visiting in England some years back had checked into this matter. In personal correspondence she wrote:

But even before I went, I had begun to think that Tristram Sprague lineage was slightly fishy, to say the least. Now after reading a complete transcript of the parish register of Puddletown, Dorset, where the Tristram Sprague (actually Sprage) and Elizabeth Colt (or Cole, as one transcriber has it) were married, I feel so even more firmly. The wife of the Puddletown (St. Mary's ) rector was ill when I tried to see him... so I didn't get a re-check using original parish entries, still in his possession. But since a number of baptisms for Tristram's children appear on the transcripts, it seems evident he lived in the parish and was not "of Fordington" as Chamberlain had it. And the Puddletown transcripts (I've seen them prepared by two different people, including Fordington's own Bartelot!) does not show the birth of an Edward or a William in Puddletown or Fordington. And you'll note Chamberlain's so-called pedigree does not give a birth date for Edward. Ergo; what says he was born when and where, sired by whom? (There were earlier Sprages than Tristram, no known connection, in Puddletown.) In short, until I can find corroboration for Chamberlain's "pedigree" which he attributes to the Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, I'll put no faith in it and would advise my cousins to seek proof before accepting it.

She further indicated that she was following a lead which seemed to suggest "that the Spragues came to Upway from Flanders in about 1333 (or near date) where they taught the people about Upway the weaving of fine woolens." However, she reports that she "was not able to document the report, statement of which I have made to Sprague cousins in writing." So she concluded, "It may well be true, but I haven't found proof."

The search for our English ancestry had been of special interest to me for several years and I was quite surprised to find that not more material had been published in this area. There is, to my knowledge, very little material available even of unsuccessful attempts to uncover reliable information related to this search. I imagine this is so partly because no one wishes to publish the results of unsuccessful research. However, the main reason would seem to be that most of the interest in years past in this country has centered around establishing a connection with those who fought in the Revolutionary War or with those who came from England on the Mayflower or other early vessel. But whatever the cause, very little interest has been shown until recently in pressing further into the English pedigrees of those who settled New England unless they were known descendants of the English Noblemen of the 16th or 17th centuries. However, in most instances those who emigrated during this period were commoners - yeomen and tradesmen - who were seeking relief from the stark realities of their lot in a depressed English economy. Thus, the tracing of records in primary sources for such persons is usually very slow going, costly, and not very productive, especially if the hope is to establish some connection with the English Gentry.

As a result of the lack of information available to us related to our English ancestry and the disappointing results of the search which was done for me by the Richmond Herald reported above, my own interest in this subject had begun to decline. However, this correspondence from Cousin Ruth served to revive this interest once again. Even though she did not supply me with any answers, she certainly did raise many of the right questions which would encourage further investigation into this subject by anyone who would have the opportunity to pursue it.

Thus, when my wife and I had the privilege of spending three weeks in England in the summer of 1973, we were anxious to spend several days in the Dorset area researching this matter. These questions raised by Ruth along with some further suggestions related to this inquiry and a listing of several areas which she felt might be of special interest to us, helped greatly in making our stay there very productive as well as enjoyable. And even though I have not been able to establish a definite ancestry for Edward of Upway, I do feel we have been able to contribute positively to this investigation. Therefore we gladly present here what information we have uncovered in the hope it will assist others who may share this same interest and may wish to carry on with this search.

Our Personal Search

When we arrived in Dorchester, Dorset County England, we wanted to begin our search for the ancestor of Edward in the parish of Puddletown about four miles east of this County town. (This village was originally called Piddletown taking its name from the Piddle River as do many of the other villages in the area such as Piddletrenthide, Piddlehinton, Turner's Piddle etc. However the city fathers had this name changed several years ago for obvious reasons). Cousin Ruth had informed us that she had seen several transcripts of these parish records which listed several children for Tristram Sprage in this parish and we wanted to check the original records for ourselves.

When we called the Vicar for an appointment, he was unable to see us for several days. So we began our search in the records office in Dorchester where most of the old parish records for the county are now kept. However, some Vicars still prefer to keep them in their own parish for they usually receive a fee for any search into these records.

One day as we were investigating many of the records for the neighboring parishes around Puddletown which are kept here, we came across a notebook which had belonged to the Rev. Mr. Bartelot. In it Bartelot had entered many notations from several of the parish registers in this area. These entries seem to have been made entirely in a random manner and have not, for the most part been indexed. Thus, the chance of any reference being found here which would relate directly to our particular search seemed very remote to us at that time. Our only real interest in leafing through this material was that this notebook had been used by the renown Bartelot to jot down what appeared to be items of purely personal interest.

However, much to our surprise, as my wife was thumbing through these notes she came across the following reference for "Puddleton" which has proven to be the single most important discovery of all our research. We had a photo-copy made of this page for our records and it reads:

Tristram Sprague & Elizabeth Colt 26 June 1575; *Ric S Tristram Sprage bp. 5 Dec. 1575; Ann do bp I Sept. 83; Rebecca do 7 Feb. 85; Martha do 1 Mar. 93; 1622 1 May Dorothy d of Tristram Sprague bp.; 1624/25 16 Mar. Mary d Tristram Sprague bp.

The * by the entry of Ric refers to the following statement found in the margin:

I feel sure this was Edward, but in the original only "___ard" was left, so he called it Richard. If it was Edward, he came to Fordington and emigrated to New England, ancestor of the Spragues of U.S.A.

This would appear to be the notes from which Bartelot could have prepared his pedigree for Edward Sprague which was used by Chamberlain in his book referred to above. However, the reliability of these notes as well as Bartelot's possible use of them for a report to Chamberlain and in turn Chamberlain's publication of a pedigree based on that report, raises more questions than it solves. Thus, we were even more determined than ever to examine the original Puddletown records for ourselves. Only now we had an additional concern raised by Bartelot's notes: was there an older original record still extant which would leave the record unclear?

When we arrived at St. Mary's Church in Puddletown, the Vicar met us and was extremely cooperative in assisting us with the entire search. We carefully looked through every volume in his possession and double checked every entry we could find for the name Sprage. The information we secured directly from these records for the Tristram Sprage family was:

Marriage: 26 June 1575 Tristram Sprage and Elizabeth Colt Baptisms:5 Dec. 1575 Richard Sprage son of Tristram 1 Sept 1583 Anne Sprage dau. of Tristram 7 Feb. 1585 Rebecca Sprage dau. of Tristram 8 Maie 1589 Elizabeth Sprage dau. of Tristram 30 Oct 1591 Grace Sprage dau. of Tristram 1 Maie 1593 Martha Sprage dau. of Tristram 6 Oct. 1599 Dorothie Sprage dau. of Tristram 1 Feb. 1610 Ann dau. of Rebecca Sprage 11 Maie 1622 Dorothy dau. of Tristram 16 Mar. 1624 Mary dau. of Tristram Deaths: 4 Feb. 1650 Tristram Sprage 19 Mar. 1630 Elizabeth Sprage 30 Oct. 1632 Elizabeth Sprage

There are several observations which I would like to make about this material before discussing further Bartelot's notes and Chamberlain' s claims.

1. I asked the Vicar about the possible existence of an "original" record and was told by him that to the best of his knowledge the present records were 17th Century copies of 16th Century originals. He stated further that he knew of no other records for the parish and that those we saw have been regarded as the official records from that time.

I saw these records personally and though they had been rebound more recently, the pages appeared to be quite old with the entries made in ancient script using old spellings for the names etc. However, they were obviously copies of an earlier record for the first two volumes had duplicate entries for much of this material.

Upon returning home and compiling this material for writing, I came across another reference to the possible existence of an "Original Register... bound in thin parchment from which the two first folios were evidently copied" in the Phillimore abstract of "Marriages at Puddletown." I must confess I do not know what to make of these references for I saw no such volume and the Vicar did not seem to know of one either. I have since written to the Vicar inquiring about these references in an effort to double check this matter but to date I have received no reply.

2. Elizabeth's maiden name was definitely Colt and not Cole as some references show.

3. Tristram and Elizabeth obviously lived in Puddletown and were not "of Fordington" as stated by Chamberlain. They were married here, had children baptized in this parish over many years and their deaths are recorded here.

4. Tristram and Elizabeth had at least 1 boy and 6 girls from 1575 to 1599; and it is obvious that Richard was their first child, and possibly their only boy, for he was born 5 Dec. 1575 just 6 months after his parents were married.

5. After the baptism of Ann dau. of Rebecca Sprage (apparently born out of wedlock), there appear entries for Dorothy and Mary, daus. of Tristram Sprage baptized in 1622 and 1624 respectively. It seems certain that these were not the children of Elizabeth for she would have been at least 65 years of age by 1622; and although they might have been the daughters of this Tristram, this also seems rather unlikely. It would appear to be more reasonable to assume that there was a younger Tristram Sprage, whether a son of Tristram and Elizabeth, whose baptism was never recorded, or a son of Richard and grandson of Tristram who may have been baptized in a nearby parish. However, he may have been of a different line of Sprages since there were others of that name in the area. The truth is, we simply cannot determine the answer to this question by the evidence we have found to date. And although this is of some interest in its own right, it is highly unlikely that finding the answer to this question will be of any vital concern to the tracing of our own line.

6, In checking the entry for Richard Sprage very carefully, it is without question Richard and not Edward as indicated by Chamberlain. The question of the "Bartelot pedigree" which Chamberlain used as his authority will be considered in detail later.

7. The Chamberlain reference to a brother of Edward and son of Tristram named William remains a mystery to me. The Puddletown records show no such entry and the notes prepared by Bartelot which we located show no reference to a child of Tristram named William. However, it should be noted that there was a William son of John Sprag baptized 17 March, 1565 in this parish; but it would seem quite unlikely that either Bartelot or Chamberlain would have made such a gross error as to suppose that this was a brother to the "Edward" reported to be the son of Tristram and Elizabeth!

Now that we have looked at the results of a search of the Puddletown Parish records, I would like to discuss the Bartelot notes as they relate both to these records and the Chamberlain book.

1. Bartelot's notes clearly indicate that he is only speculating as to the correct transcription for the name of the first son of Tristram which he claims appeared only as "___ard" in the original. He states: I feel sure this was Edward, but there is a great difference between what one may feel and what can be supported as proof for a pedigree. At best he is only arguing from silence, in this instance a blank, and certainly this proves nothing.

2. It is not known for sure who the original transcriber may have been or when he performed his service. Bartelot refers to him only as "he." But the question that comes immediately to mind is, if at the time this copy was made only an "___ard" appeared on the page, why would "he" simply have "called it Richard?" Does it not stand to reason that there may have been other factors which swayed the decision of this copier such as: a more clear reading of the original many decades earlier, or even the memory of those then living who may have known Tristram or his family? In any case, the present record is unquestionably clear and no notation is found there to indicate that there was any possible uncertainty.

3. I wonder if Bartelot would even have raised the question or come to the place where he felt sure this was Edward had he not been looking for an ancestor for Edward Sprague of Upway? Often we tend to find "evidence" to support what we are looking for or hope is there.

4. Even if these speculations by Bartelot were true, the reference to Bartelot's pedigree made by Chamberlain does not reflect an accurate handling of this marginal note in Bartelot's personal notebook. In those notes Bartelot clearly wrote, "If it was Edward," a very important qualification which either he failed to relate to Chamberlain or which Chamberlain chose not to relate to his readers. But in fact, I found no solid evidence either from Parish records or from Bartelot's notes to substantiate the pedigree presented by Chamberlain's book.

5. Further, we found no material in these notes to support the claim that this "___ard," Richard or Edward, had a brother by the name of William whose son, named Tristram, may later have lived in Puddletown.

6. Finally, even if the speculation found in this notebook was used by Bartelot as the basis for a report to Chamberlain supplying a pedigree for Edward Sprague of Upway Mill, our problems would only be multiplied by this fact for it is obvious that the further conclusions drawn by Bartelot here only reveal that he had no reliable knowledge about Edward or his children at the time these notes were written. The glaring errors are: A) Edward did not move to Fordington as these notes state but to Upway, and B) he did not emigrate to New England, but died at Upway Mill as his will and estate inventory clearly show.

It would appear that Bartelot must have done more research on the Sprague family sometime following his writing of the notation referred to above, for there is an article on the Edward Sprague family of Upway which appeared in the March 1914 issue of the "Fordington Monthly Messenger." This article sets forth quite a different account of this family than that reflected in the "earlier" notes and one which fits more comfortably with what we know to be true about Edward of Upway and his children. The text of this article reads as follows:

As early as 1575 Simon Sprague Clothier, of Winsham, near Chard, was administrator of the estate of Leonard Seargeauant, of Fordington. Forty years later his son Edward Sprague died at Upway Mill leaving by his will dated 6th June, 1614, a considerable sum of money by his widow Christian and their five sons and one daughter. Ralph Sprague was the eldest, who on his marriage 15 August, 1623 with Joan, daughter of Richard Warren, of this parish, settled at Fordington where he came under the influence of John Endicott, afterwards Governor of Massachusetts, Ralph and his two brothers Richard and William set sail from Weymouth on June 26th 1628 with John Endicott, John Meech, John Stickland, and other Fordingtonians for New England, where they settled at Charleston. Thither they were then followed three years later by Anthony Eames, Church warden of Fordington who brought out his daughter Millicent the betrothed wife of William Sprague. Our Fordington Register records the baptisms of John, son of Ralph Sprague, 23rd May, 1624 and Jonathan, son of the same, 27th November, 1625, as well as the marriage of Alice Sprague to Richard Eames, 5th June, 1615. From Ralph and William Sprague are descended the numerous and influential family of that name in America, whose history was written by Hosea Sprague in 1828. Christopher, the brother of Ralph, married Ann, daughter of Walter Grey, of Bridport, a son of Squire Grey, of Kingston Park in Stinsford and lived at Turners Piddle. A Christopher Sprague was buried at Fordington 31st March, 1625.

Edward Sprague, the second brother of Ralph, spent his life in Fordington. His children, Elizabeth (1st May, 1627), Edward (1st August, 1630), and William (28th July, 1633) were baptized in St George's Church, and Elizabeth was buried here 24th Sept., 1631. From this Edward descended the Sprakes of Fordington who altered their name to Sprake and later to Sparks who flourished here in the 18th. Century and who are now represented by the eminent legal family of Sparks, of Crewkern and of Langton Herring.

The existence of this article was discovered through a distant "cousin?" Lt. Col. Martin Sprague of Charminster whose father had quoted it in a paper prepared on their own family. However, no direct connection between his family and Edward of Upway has yet been established. I did not rely on his paper for this material but went to the Rev. Mr. William Pugh, Vicar of Ferdington St. George Church who kindly loaned me the parish copy to be photo-copied.

This material must have been published as one in a series of similar articles about former families of this parish. Whether it was personally researched and written by Bartelot and what reference material was used for the making of these assertions was unknown by The Rev. Mr. Pugh. However, it would seem safe to assume from the manner in which the article is written, and knowing Bartelot's keen interest in such matters, that he was personally responsible for writing as well as publishing it.

The discovery of this article along with the personal notebook of Bartelot, only complicates this whole matter of "Bartelot's pedigree" referred to by Chamberlain. Though it would be understandable to think that Bartelot could have written the marginal note with regard to "Ric son of Tristram" before he had the information in this "Messenger" article, it is hard to believe that he could have supplied Chamberlain with a pedigree for Edward of Upway Mill citing Tristram as his father some nine years after the publication of so detailed an article on the Edward Sprague family in 1914 in which it states that one "Simon Sprague clothier, of Winsham" was his father! These unsolved inconsistencies in Bartelot's own material plus the material which Chamberlain states Bartelot supplied in 1923 raises serious questions as to the reliability of this material.

As a result, since most of the assertions found in the "Messenger" article cannot be supported at this time by additional evidence, we must move very slowly in making too many claims on the strength of this article alone. Whether Simon Sprage of Winsham was in fact Edward's father; whether Richard and William set sail from Weymouth on June 26th, 1628 with Endicott; whether Anthony Ames followed 3 years later with his daughter Millicent because she had already been betrothed to William; whether the sons of Edward who remained in England were in fact those whose names are referred to by the information compiled by Bartelot; all have yet to be demonstrated. (Several of these assertions will be discussed later)

By this time it seems likely that Fordington's own Bartelot may have occasionally included a measure of speculation in the compiling of his genealogical data. This is especially true when one compares what Chamberlain claims was supplied to him by Bartelot with this "Messenger" article and his own notebook. For me, the glaring inconsistencies found in this material serves to open the way for a new inquiry into the ancestry of Edward of Upway Mill, for there are just too many problems here for us to conclude with Chamberlain that Tristram of Puddletown was in fact the father of Edward. Thus, we were free to direct our attentions and energies into new areas of research and investigation into our English ancestry.

Simon of Winsham

We began our search for Simon Sprage by going to Winsham near Chard, Somerset County. Here we found a small village which had its beginnings in Saxon times. According to the history and guide for St. Stephen, the parish church:

By the fifteenth century the population and prosperity of Winsham had probably greatly increased because of the cloth manufacture which was introduced into the west of England in the previous century and with which Winsham certainly became at some time connected. It is tempting to see this prosperity reflected in what almost amounted to a rebuilding of the church... The 17th and 18th centuries must have witnessed the growth of Winsham as a prosperous little clothing town...

We were unable to talk with the Vicar who was not home the day we were there. However, in talking with some of the townsfolk, they directed us to the location of the old clothing mill which stood as a landmark until recent years when it was raised due to dis-repair. But it was still remembered well by many in the area.

It is assumed that this was the location of the Sprage's "holdings" in the town for they were cloth makers here as well. And further, it is tempting to see this family connected with the movement of the manufacture of cloth all across England and the increased prosperity this brought. This apparently was true here as well as in Puddletown and Upway.

We also discovered that the old parish records were kept in the Somerset County Records Office in Taunton, so we had to keep on the move in order to examine these records while we were in the area. When we arrived in Taunton, we found a fine new building for preserving all the records which have been turned over to them in recent years.

When we examined the Winsham Parish records, we discovered that they began with 1559 and contained the following entries for Sprage (actually Sprake).

1. A Simon Sprake and his wife were listed on the church seating chart along with a William Sprake and his wife. So there was a Simon Sprake (Sprage) who lived in Winsham during this time.

2. Simon was assigned one length (4 feet) of hedge to care for while William was given two lengths (8 feet) to keep up. This may have reflected relative wealth or, more likely, the physical ability to work. In either case, William may have been a younger brother of Edward if Simon was in fact the father of Edward.

3. This question may never be answered for when we examined the records more closely we found no entries for Simon's family. However, we did find baptisms for children of William, Edmund, Jo:, and Richard. It may be that Simon's children were all baptized before 1559 and the others listed were younger brothers, sons, or grandsons. If this were true, and if Edward of Upway were the son of Simon, then Edward could possibly have been older than we had originally thought. However, this is all just speculation for no evidence was found to indicate the relationships here or to connect Edward of Upway with this family. Yet, it is hard not to believe that all the "Sprakes" here were interrelated and even to conjecture that all the Sprakes or Sprages who were fullers in other villages were also related in some way.

4. The following entries for Sprake were found in the Winsham Parish records beginning in 1559:

Baptisms: 26 Dec. 1563 Thomas son of Wm. Sprake 3 Feb. 1566 Margarita Dau. " " 24 Nov. 1567Joanes son of " " 15 Sept. 1568 Juliana dau. " " 27 Dec. 1576Joannes son of Edmund Sprage 23 Aug. 1588 Nicholas Sprage son of Jo: Sprage 22 Dec. 1588Julina dau. of Richard Sprake 1 Feb. 1589 Elizabeth dau. of Richard Sprake 19 Feb. 1591 Joana dau. of Richard Sprake 28 Feb. 1591 Gasper son of Wm. Sprake 21 Nov. 1593 Wm. son of Richard Sprake 24 Mar. 1597 Joanns son of Richard Sprake 14 Dec. 1599Maria dau. of Richard Sprake

Marriages: 19 Jan. 1567 Robert -------& Margarita Sprake 10 May 1569Richardus Sprake & Margeria Browne 9 Feb. 1576Joannas Sprake & Margarita Bagge 15 April 1588Joanes Sprake & Jane Serrie 21 April 1588Richardus Sprake & Joane Baylie 31 May 1597 Edmund Sprake & Maria Bagges 13 July 1600Joannes Sprake & Isabella Cronche

Deaths: 6 April 1566 Juliana Sprake 29 Aug. 1585 Wm. Sprake 12 Aug. 1593Gasperna dau. of Desmund Sprake 21 May 1595 Margeria wife Edmund Sprake

Thus, as of this writing, there is no evidence which I have found to support the assertion made in the "Messenger" article that of Winsham was the father of Edward of Upway. Neither could I find any record in Taunton or Dorchester of the will which Simon was reportedly to have administered. I even attempted to find entries in other registers for those parishes neighboring Winsham and found the following entries for Sprake: Boadwindsor, Dorset 4 Sept? 1578 Andrew Sprake m. Marjorie__________ 2? Feb. 1583/84 Joan dau. Andrew Sprake bp.

Thorncombe, Dorset Baptisms 1 Sept. 1567 John Sprake (no ref. of father) 4 Mar. 1568 Ann Sprake " " " " 30 Jan. 1569/70 Johane Sprake " " " " 11 Feb. 1585/86 Mary dau. John Sprake Marriages 29 Aug. 1565 James Tremon & Helene Sprake 15 Jan 1569/70 Wylliam Hamork & Johane Sprake 9 Nov. 1578 Wylliam Soper & Elisabeth Sprake 2 Sept. 1584 George Sprake Esq. & Phillippe Rosewell 19 April 1585 John Sprake & Tamesine Rowe 20 Dec. 1597 William Sprake & Agnas Lyngman 13 June 1600 John Bowdich & Elinanor Sprake

Chardstock, Devon (was originally Dorset)

17 July1601 John & Joan s & d of Edward Sprake bp. 23 May 1602 Robert son of Edward Sprake bp. 16 Nov. 1603 Rebecca dau. Nicholas Sprake bp. 29 Jan. 1603/04 Roger son Edward Sprake bp. 20 Feb. 1607 Dorcas b. b. d. Francis Harth begotten by Michael Sprake (the younger) 7 Nov. 1608 Thomas S. Micholis & Frideswell Sprake

These records do not seem to add much to our quest except to indicate that there were more Sprakes (Sprages) in this general area than we found in any other region of Dorset or Somerset Counties. And even though we are unable to contribute more in this search for an ancestor of Edward of Upway at this time, I hope that by calling the claims of Chamberlain into question, I have at least cleared the way for others to pursue this matter further and that their search may prove fruitful.

During my conversation with Lt. Col. Martin Sprague, he related a similar story to the one contained in Ruth Dowty's letter which suggests that the Spragues of Upway came from a family of fullers who first entered England in the early 1300s from Flanders. This tradition states that the Spragues came first into Devon and then migrated eastward to Dorset and that they taught the English in the west country the art of cloth making. However, Martin and his wife were unable to locate a copy of this story while we were there.

I would enjoy seeing this material, but it is only of general interest to us at this time since we would be unable to document its accuracy and then connect our ancestor Edward to that tradition. Never-the-less, such a story has a real interest to us for it seems to fit the general facts of our research. First, wherever those of this name (Sprake, Sprage, or Sprague) appear in the 15th and 16th centuries, they are usually described as fullers or cloth workers. And second, our research thus far seems to be leading us from Upway, in Dorset, to the north and west into Somerset and Deven.

However, any attempts to prove this tradition and to connect our line with this very intriguing story are greatly complicated by the fact that we have moved back to that period when this surname first appeared in its present form and thus its form varied from place to place and from year to year. Furthermore, the Spragues or Sprakes were not wealthy or landed people thus, the only records which are likely to be found for them at this late date would be parish records. And since there are few parish records which still exist from earlier than 1600, we may be about as far back as we can expect to go in tracing the Sprague family with any real accuracy. Therefore, until further evidence can be discovered and presented, we must begin our story of the ancestors of Charles LeRoy Sprague with Edward Sprague of Upway, England.

"Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York", page 477-481

The Sprague family is of ancient English origin. In Prince's Chronology we read: "Among those who arrived at Naumkeag are Ralph Sprague, with his brothers, Richard and William, who with three or four were by Governor Endicott employed to explore and take possession of the country westward. They traveled through the woods to Charlestown, on a neck of land called Mishawum, between the Mystic and Charles rivers, full of Indians called Aberginians, with whom they made peace." Hon. Edward Everett, in his address commemorative of the bi-centennial of the arrival of Winthrop at Charlestown, said: "Ralph, Richard and William Sprague are the founders of the settlement in this place, and were persons of substance and enterprise, excellent citizens, generous benefactors and the head of a very large and respectable family of descendants."

(I) Edward Sprague, father of the American pioneers, lived at Upway, Dorsetshire, England, where he died in 1614. He was a fuller by trade. Earlier in life he lived at Fordington, Dorsetshire. He married Christiana ______. His will was proved June 6, 1614 in the prerogative court at Canterbury. Copies of the will made at that time are still in possession of the family in America. Children: Ralph, mentioned below; Alice; Edward; Richard, came to New England, captain of the train band, left no children; Christopher; William, lived in Charlestown and Hingham, Massachusetts, held various offices of trust and had many descendants in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The following note was added January 15, 2013 to explain why I have not connected Edward Sprague to Tristram and Elizabeth (Colt) Sprague as is documented in many sources. The following is a composition I created many years ago based on then recent research:

Tristram, Simon or ????

To many, adding a generation to ones known ancestry is a joy. Dropping a generation is torture. To the thousands of descendants of Ralph, Richard and William Sprague, the three sons of Edward Sprague, this it an issue to be discussed. It was commonly accepted (and published) for years that Edward was the son of Tristram but research in more recent years seems to dispute the fact. The rest of this paper is a compilation of published works that are pertinent to this debate. After reading this text, the reader must then conclude who, if anyone, he/she wants to claim as the father of Edward.

"The Spragues of Malden Massachusetts", by George Walter Chamberlain, M.S., Boston, Mass., 1923.

"Tristram Sprague. Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, M.A., vicar of Fordington St. George, Dorchester, and editor of Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset, has furnished a pedigree of the Spragues of Fordington St. George. According to this pedigree, Edward Sprague of Upway was the son of Tristram Sprague, a fuller, of Fordington St. George who married in the parish of Puddletown (adjoining Fordington St. George) 26 June, 1575, Elizabeth Colt. The pedigree shows that of this union there were two sons, Edward who removed to Upway and William. "William Sprague (Tristram) married at Owermoigne, Dorsetshire, 15 June, 1607, Margaret Jaggard. To them was born, 1614, Tristram Sprague. This last named Tristram was also a fuller and called himself 74 on 12 Apr., 1688. (Chancery record.) He resided in the parish of Osmington, Dorsetshire, and was buried 15 Apr., 1694."

"Search for the Passengers of the Mary & John - 1630", Volume 17. West Country Ancestries, 1620-1643, Part 1, page 141.

"Edward Sprague of Upwey, Dorset. His parents have not been identified. Claims that he was the son of Tristram Sprague and Elizabeth Colt of Fordington St. George, Dorset were discounted by NER 132:51-53 (1978) and 134:194-198 (1980). He married Christiana __________ who survived him."

"The Great Migration Begins" Immigrants to New England", Volume III, by Robert Charles Anderson Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society Boston, 1995, page 1731.

"Additional information on the English ancestry of the Sprague brothers, along with some corrections, were published in 1978 by D. L. Kent and in 1980 by Ruth Sprague Dowty [NEHGR 132:51-53, 134:194-198]. Kent shows that Edward Sprague, father of the immigrants, was not son of a Tristram Sprague: Dowty reinforces this conclusion, and adds other documents which help to narrow down the year of birth of Ralph Sprague."

This then boils the argument on whether to accept Tristram as father of Edward down to accepting or rejecting the premises of Kent and Dowty. Thus, the articles identified above are included below in their entirety with only minor editing of format and footnotes.

"The Sprague Family of Charlestown, Massachusetts", by D. L. Kent English Origins of New England Families, Volume III, 2nd Series

"George W. Chamberlain, in his generally reliable "The Spragues of Malden, Mass" (Boston, 1923), published a pedigree of the Sprague family in Dorset, England provided him by the Reverend Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, who was vicar of Fordington St. George, Dorchester, and editor of "Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset". Unfortunately, this pedigree is erroneous in the main and misleading in many details. Still more unfortunately, it has been accepted and republished in subsequent genealogical histories. [ See Arthur Orison Dillon, "The Ancestors of Arthur Orison Dillon and his Poems" (Pomona, Ca., 1927), 61, for an example of the unqualified statement that Tristram Sprague is the father of Edward Sprague.] This brief note is intended to correct this attachment to the history of the founding family of Charlestown, Massachusetts. "In the lifetime of Richard and William Sprague, the following was recorded concerning the settlement of Charlestown: "Amongst others yt Arrived at Salem at their owne cost, were Ralph Sprague with his Brethren Richard & William....The inhabitants yt: first settled in this place [Charlestown] & bought it unto the denomination of An English Towne was in Anno 1628 as follos, vizt: Ralph Sprague, Richd Sprague, William Sprague... [Refer to Minutes of the Selectmen of Charlestown, entry of 18 April 1664, where it is stated that this information was taken from "known honest men that lived & were Actors in these times" 9Charlestown Town Recores, 17 vols., Charlestown, 1873 [microfilm ed.], vol. 2). Many, including Chamberlain, have held that the Spragues arrived at Naumkeag in 1629; however, the arguments adduced by H. H. Sprague in support of the 1628 arrival have not been met. The Sprague brothers likely sailed in the Abigail. Henry Gauden master, departing Weymouth 20 June 1628 (Thomas Prince's "Chronological History) and arriving at Naumkeag 6 Sept. 1628.] "That Ralph, Richard and William Sprague were the sons of Edward Sprague, fuller, of Upway, Dorset, England, is evident from the latter's will dated 6 June 1614 and proved 13 October 1614 (Prerogative Court of Canterbury), in which the following are mentioned: Ralphe Sprague my eldest sonne," "my eldest daughter Alice Sprague," "Edward Sprague my second sonne," "Richard Sprague my third sonne," "Crofer (Christopher) Sprague my fowrth sonne," "William Sprague my youngest sonne," and "Christian Sprague my wife." [Prerogative Court of Canterbury (Lawe 104), Principal Probate Registry, E. G. Sprague incorrectly states that Christopher, son of Edward Sprague, married Ann, daughter of Walter Grey of Bridport, England. MS Harlejan 1166, fol. 58b, records "Anne (Grey) ux Christop. Sprage de Turners Spiddle in com. Dorset." However, Christopher Sprague of Turners Puddle on the river Piddle married in the parish of Tincleton 14 Nov. 1605 "Mistress Anne Graye," and had children baptized there through 1621. Since Christopher son of Edward Sprague was under 21 in 1614 according to the will, he cannot have been the man who married Anne Grey in 1605. An error made in the translating of his will's probate record in 1902 led A. B. R. Sprague and others to perpetuate the name of Edward's wife as Christiana, though she is twice called Christian in the will (see A. B. R. Sprague, "Genealogy (In Part) of the Sprague Families in America..." [Worcester, Mass., 1905], 7). Christian's name as found in Latin record may be seen as merely a clerk's attempt to render a dative ending for the female yet non-feminine given name Christian. Christian is of course a name given in this period to both male and female children, as for example in this entry from the register of Owermoigne: "Christian daughter of Richard Holmer (baptized) October 30 1575."] "Chamberlain relates the generation preceding this, relying on Bartelot, as follows: "Edward Sprague of Upway was the son of Tristram Sprague, a fuller, of Fordington St. George who married in the parish of Puddletown 26 June 1575, Elizabeth Colt. The pedigree shows that of this union there were two sons, Edward who removed to Upway and William. [Chamberlain, "The Spragues, 21. Bartelot speculates further that Christian was a sister to John Holland of Tincleton. Since Edward Sprague III married John Holland's daughter Elizabeth in Tincleton 31 Jan. 1651, this would lead to the awkward conclusion that Christian's grandson married her niece.] "Bartelot has little basis for making this connection between Edward Sprague and Tristram Sprague. It is highly unlikely that a man who in 1614 has two sons over 21 will prove to be the son of a man who married in 1575. Yet "Tristram and Elizabeth Sprague" appear as the parents of Edward Sprague in a number of genealogies published since 1923. "Examination of the actual parish registers of Puddletown and Fordington St. George sheds much light on the relationships among Spragues in the Dorchester area in this period. The six folios of the Puddletown registers, church of St. Mary's, record baptisms from 1546 to 1641; 1650 to 1812; marriages from 1538 to 1615; 1654 to 1812; and burials from 1538 to 1614; 1623 to 1642; 1653 to 1812. Folios I and II contain the following entries: "Baptisms:17 March 1565 William son of John Sprag 5 December 1575 Richard son of Tristram Sprage 12 September 1583 Anne daughter of Tristram Sprague 7 February 1585 Rebecca daughter of Tristram Sprague 8 May 1589 Elizabeth daughter of Tristram Sprague 30 October 1591 Grace daughter of Tristram Sprage 1 May 1593 Martha daughter of Tristram Sprage 6 October 1599 Dorithie Sprauge daughter of Tristram Sprage 17 March 1610 Ann Daughter of Rebecka Sprage Marriages:26 June 1575 Trustram Sprague and Elyzabeth Cole 8 June 1606 Andere_____ and An Sprage Burials:1566 William Sprake son of John 25 December 1611 Ann Sprage Folio III: Baptisms:1 May 1622 Dorothy Sprague daughter of William 16 March 1624 Mary Sprague daughter of Tristram Burials:4 February 1630 Tristram Sprague 19 March 1630 Elizabeth Sprague 30 October 1632 Elizabeth Sprague daughter of Tristram 1 May 1639 Thomazin Sprague daughter of Tristram Folio IV: Burials:30 October 1657 Tristram Sprage February 1663 Dorothy Sprague

"The registers of Fordington St. George record baptisms 1577-1812, marriages 1575-1776, and burials 1564-1812. Baptisms:23 May 1624 John Sprague son of Rafe 27 November 1625 Johnathan Sprague son of Rafe 1 May 1627 Elizth daughter of Edward Sprague 1 August 1630 Edward Sprague son of Edward 28 July 1632 William Sprague son of Edward 11 November 1683 John Spragge son of John 12 April 1685 Margt Sprake Marriages:28 January 1575 Tristram Sprague and Elizth Cole 15 June 1615 Richard Eames and Alice Sprage 15 August 1623 Ralphe Sprage and Johane Warren 11 September 1679 Tristram Sprague and Jane Haines (at Wyke Regis) Burials:31 March 1625 Christopher Sprague 24 September 1631 Elizabeth Sprake daughter of Edward 13 November 1681 Margt Sprague ux William 24 December 1692 William Sprague "That Tristram Sprague and Elizabeth Cole married, lived and died in Puddletown, having no sons William or Edward, should be apparent from these entries. Bartelot connects a Tristram Sprague (bur. 1694 in Osmington) as a son to a William Sprague of Owermoigne on no grounds except proximity; then discovers that William is the son of Tristram Sprague of Puddletown, since William's "son" has the same name! Yet the above entries reveal three contemporaneous Tristram Spragues living within a five-mile radius of Dorchester, indicating how common that given name was in this area at that time. The parentage of Edward Sprague of Upway remains to be established. [As for geographical proximity, we have better grounds for connecting Edward, who had a son Christopher, with Christopher Sprague of Tincleton than with Tristram. It is possible that Tristram, Edward and Christopher were brothers and were the sons of John Sprag of Puddletown (Ralph's eldest son, born in Fordington, is named John). That they were cousins, Tristram the son of John Sprag, is possible. Thorough examination of parish records from within a ten-mile radius of Dorchester should clear up many early New England genealogical questions. Mr. John G. Hunt, noting the Bartlett-Warren-Sprague intermarriages, has indicated Robert Bartlett's origins from Puddletown records ("Possible Origins of Robert Bartlett of Plymouth", The American Genealogist, 35 [1958]: 214). The heavy concentration of Warrens in this area offer an alternative approach to discovering the long-sought origins of the family of that elusive "merchant of London", Richard Warren.]" D. L. Kent is a resident of Arlington, Virginia

"Some Sprague Records in Weymouth, Tincleton, and Dorchester, Dorset" Ruth Sprague Dowty

"In a recent Register article it was correctly concluded that the parentage of Edward Sprague of Upway, County of Dorset, England, remains to be established. No relevant documentation has been presented to link Tristram Sprage of Puddletown with Edward, whose sons Ralph, Richard and William were founders of Charlestown, Massachusetts. However, the article included some information on primary records in Dorset which needs analysis. Additionally, these notes will cite three previously unpublished documents essential to further Sprague research, because the remove some stumbling blocks of long standing. "Dorset, home county of many early immigrants to New England, presents a challenge to genealogists because the majority of its sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century parish registers have not survived. Of all its ancient parishes, less than half now have registers dating before 1650. [Arthur Meredith Burke, "Key to the Ancient Parish Registers" (London, 1908).] And searching for the Bishop's Transcripts, supposedly submitted yearly, can be fruitless, for the main group was destroyed in the Blandford fire of 1731. That left transcripts, usually incomplete, of only thirty-seven parishes which were Peculiars under the jurisdiction of the Dean at Salisbury, Wiltshire, where they were preserved at the Diocesan Record Office. [Enumerated in "Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset" (1890): 192: David E. Gardner and Frank Smith, "Genealogical Research in England and Wales (Salt Lake City, 1956), 2:235.] Fordington, pre-emigration home of Ralph Sprague of Charlestown and Malden, Massachusetts, is in this class, with no original records form the 1500s and 1600s. "According to the Reverend Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, M.A., Vicar of Fordington from 1906 to 1936 and Fellow of the Antiquarian Society, parish records are all missing previous to the year 1705, and the Dean's Registry transcripts which are extant for Fordington from the year 1577 are lost for many intervening years. It is impossible to supply as full details of family pedigrees as are found in those parishes which possess complete books of registers. [Richard Grosvenor Bartelot, M.A., Vicar "The History of Fordington (Dorchester, Dorset, 1915), 230.] "Happily for American researchers, the vicar's personal notebook of records has survived and was deposited in 1947 with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts. It contains this preface: "Fordington Register Transcripts at Sarum/ [Salisbury] in the Dean's Peculiar Registry 1577-1703/ copied in Index form 1906 by Richard/ Grosvenor Bartelot, M.A., Vicar of / Fordington aforesaid/." Added at the top of the page: "& also the originals, 1705-1812." "Though no doubt intended only for transcripts, parenthetical notes are sprinkled throughout, a few of non-Fordington origin. Beside reading crabbed and often minuscule script a transcriber must ignore such notes as those of an out-of-parish Wyke Regis and a Puddletown marriage each for a Tristram Sprague. [Kent, "The Sprague Family," 53, includes these entries, which are not in the Dan's Transcripts at Salisbury. The Boston notebook therefore seems the source.] "Puddletown, though not a source of information for the Spragues of Upway and Fordington, is typical of a minority of Dorset parishes with early registers and transcripts in public domain. The records begin in 1538, with some gaps. Some years ago H. G. Chick deposited a transcript with the Society of Genealogists, London, where it is available in its open-shelf reading room, and excerpts can be had by mail. [Kent, 52. Some errors and spelling peculiarities found only in the Chick transcript are repeated here for Puddletown, showing that the actual registers were not seen.] "Upway parish registers do not begin until 1654, but fortunately for Edward Sprague's descendants his oft-published will of 6 June 1614 is recorded in London. [Prerogative Court of Canterbury (104 Lawe), Public Records Officer, Chancery Lane.] A facsimile of the register copy shows that he named "Ralphe Sprague my eldest sonne .. my eldest daughter Alice Sprague ...Edward Sprague my second sonne...Richard Sprague my third sonne...Xpofer (abbreviation then for Christopher) Sprague my fowrth sonne...and William Sprague my youngest sonne..." "The testator concludes with his codicil-like "Memorandum" overlooked by some researchers, which proves that in 1614 eldest son Ralph was not yet of legal age: "That whereas the liveinge of the above said Edward Sprague doth faul unto his sonne Ralph Sprague after his decease the said Ralph Sprague doth upon his fathers request promise that his mother Christian shall quietly enjoy the said liveinge until he shall be one and twentye yeares of age." "Ralph's date of birth can be closely approximated, however, from two Dorset court records of December, 1617. [See H. J. Moule, "Minutes of Borough Courts", "Descriptive Catalogue of the Charters, Minutes, Books and Other Documents in the Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, A.D. 1252 to 1800" (Published by direction of the Mayor and Corporation, Weymouth, Dorset, 1883, 56.] The first entry is dated 5 December: "Ralph Sprage doe appeare att the nexte gerall [general] sessions at the peace to be holden in and for the Burrough and Towne of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the County of Dorset then and there to answere unto the suspition of fellony wherewith he is charged that then this psent Recognizance to be void. "One week later the Weymouth Minute Book shows: "The exon [examination] of Ralph Sprague of ffordington in the county of Dorset ffuler taken before Mr. John Pitt maier of the Borrough & Town of Waymouth and Melcombe Regis one of his Mats [Majesty's] justices of the peace within the same Borrough & towne the 13th day of December 1617... "Then follows a summary of the long testimony of Sprague and a friend. It was twice mentioned that Ralph had borrowed a "great booke" about the wars in the low countries from James Bounde. But testimony pertained chiefly to Bounde and to the small group's drinking and gambling at Weymouth and at Dorchester, eight miles distant. Mention is made of several day's stay at the home of Bryan Gates of Weymouth. (The latter is shown by other court records to be a vintner frequently before the court for "suffering on the Sabath day to drink sundry psons dwellers in the aforesaid town". He also allowed people to "play tables" in his house.) "Though the "Recognizance" indicates the posting go a bond to guarantee court appearance, the Minute Book contains no details of charges and no verdicts in the matter. However, the case in important not as recounting possible infractions of law but for Ralph.s testimony that he was a fuller, a finisher of cloth, in 1617. He had complied with the provisions of the 1563 Elizabethan Statute of Artificers then rigidly enforced throughout the realm fo [4, 5]

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Edward Sprague's Timeline

1576
1576
Upwey, Dorset, England
1580
1580
Age 4
Owermoigne, Dorsetshire, England
1592
1592
Age 16
Upway, Dorsetshire, England
1599
June 20, 1599
Age 23
Weymouth, Dorset, England
1600
1600
Age 24
London, United Kingdom
1601
December 15, 1601
Age 25
Fordington, Dorset, England
1603
1603
Age 27
1604
June 20, 1604
Age 28
Upwey, Dorset, England
1607
1607
Age 31
Of,Upway,Dorset,England
1607
Age 31
Upway, Dorset, England