John Carey, Sr. (c.1612 - 1681) MP

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Nicknames: "John /Cary/carey/", ""The Plymouth Pilgrim""
Birthplace: Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Death: Died in Bridgewater, Plymouth Colony
Occupation: Latin teacher, Records Keeper for West Bridgewater, Mass.
Managed by: Christopher
Last Updated:

About John Carey, Sr.

"The parents of John Cary, the Plymouth Pilgrim, have yet to be positively identified. Most theories have been disproven.

He was not the son of John Cary and Elizabeth Hereford. Their son John was married in 1613 (when the Pilgrim was about 3 years old) and died in Hackney , Middlesex, England, before 1665. Proof is found in the pedigree submitted by their grandson John Cary, the famous London and Virginia merchant, to the Earl Marshall of England which resulted in confirmation of his right to bear the arms of the noble Carys of Devon (ref. College of Arms, Book of Grants IV) Copies of those documents are filed in the British Library (Stowe MS 670, folio 229) and in the Society of Genealogists Library, London.

John the Pilgrim was not the son of Elizabeth and William Cary who was mayor of Bristol in 1621. That theory was proposed by Henry Grosvenor Cary in his The Cary Family in America and is disproved by the Heralds College pedigree of the Bristol Carys. The son of Elizabeth and William Cary was the John Cary who married Elizabeth Hereford (see above).

The theory that John the Pilgrim was the son of Walter Cary and Grace Browne has not been disproved or proved positively. Walter died in 1633, about the time the Pilgrim came to Plymouth after a dispute over his father's will. Grace left a will in 1668 naming her son John "if living", which indicates that he was estranged from her as the Pilgrim was from his family. ------David Carey" ------http://www.advsolutions.com/carey/john1583.htm

------

Came to Plymouth Colony in 1634.

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

John Cary was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England, educated in France, and came to America about 1634. He is said to have been the first Latin School teacher in the Plymouth Colony. He removed to Duxbury and in 1644 married Elizabeth Godfrey; they had six sons and six daughters. He was at Braintree in 1652. John was one of the proprietors of Bridgewater and one of the first settlers when the town was incorporated in 1656. He was the Bridgewater Town Clerk from 1657 until his death in 1681. John Cary was among the most respectable of the first settlers and his family one of the most influential in the town.

There is a monument in West Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts dedicated to John and erected on the site of his homestead.

   [James Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England]
   JOHN, Bridgewater, said to have come from neighb. of Bristol, Eng. at the age of 25, and set down first, 1637, at Duxbury, then hav. gr. of ld. m. June 1644, Eliz. d. of Francis Godfrey, had Joh, b. 1645; Francis, 1647; Eliz. 1649; and, at Braintree, James, 1652; at Bridgewater, Mary, 1654; Jonathan, 1656; David, 1658; Hannah, 1661; Joseph, 1663; Rebecca, 1665; Sarah, 1667; and Mehitable, 1670. He was the first town clk. and early his name was writ. Carew; but as the Eng. pronounce that name Cary, spell. soon foll. sound. Of his d. 2 Nov. 1681 is the date in report, against wh. suspicion of course aris. that for this the identity of James and John has been confound. Eliz. m. William Brett the sec.and Rebecca m. 1685, Samuel Allen the third.
   [History of the early settlement of Bridgewater, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts]
   1667 A jury was empannelled to lay out all the ways requisite in the town of Bridgewater, (list of names incl) John Cary
   1676 Deacon Willis and John Cary were chosen to take in the charges of the late war since June last, and the expenses of the scouts that were sent out before and since June. 

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

John Cary was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England, about 1610; came to America about 1634, joined th ePlymouth Colony, and made his home at Duxbury, where he had a farm. In 1644, he married Elizabeth.

Concerning John Cary, Moses Cary has this: "Mr. Cary was one of the Proprietors (of Bridgewater), and one of the first sttlers, and very useful among them. The town was incorporated in 1656. Mr. Cary was the first town clerk and continued in that office a great number of years. At first they settled near together and around where the Town House now stands in West Bridgewater. Mr. Cary's lot was about 1/4 of a mile east fo the Town House and on the farm where Dr. Reed lived; and there he spent the remainder of his days, and brought up a great family of children. He had six sons and six daughters. They all lived to grow up and have families, and all took to good courses so that it was the saying of some "that there were 12 of 'em and never a Judas among them."

Judge Mitchell, in his description fo Bridgewater, speaking of th efirst sttlers says: "Mr. Cary was among the most respectable of the, and his family one of th emost influential in town. His wife died in 1680 and he died in 1681.

John Cary, when a youth, was sent by his father to France to perfect his education, and that while absent his father died. On returnign to Somersetshire he differed with is brothers about the settlement of his frather's estate. He compromised by receiving one hundred pounds and immediately sailed for America. Tradition says that he was the first Latin School teacher in Plymouth Colony, and that he taught Elder Brewster the Hebrew.

The family is English, and they appear in the Domesday Book, and are traced back to Adam De Kari, who was Lord of the Castle Cary in 1198.

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

John was the first Cary (Carey) to come to the New World. Another early spelling of the name was "Carew."

He was quite educated for the time, graduating from a French college. Tradition says that he was the first teacher of Latin in Plymouth colony. The coat of arms he used was the same as Adam de McArey's [Argent abend; Sable; three roses of the field; the crest is a swan proper; the motto is "Virtute Excerptae."].

He immigrated to America about 1634 at about age 25 and joined the Plymouth Colony. In Cary Memorials, Samuel F. Cary writes that he had access to a manuscript more than 100 years old, written by a grandson of John. In it it relates that John, when a youth, was sent to France by his father to "perfect" his education. While he was abroad, his father died. On returning to Somersetshire, he differed with his brothers about the settlement of their father's estate. He compromised and accepted 100 pounds for his portion and immediately sailed for America.

In 1630 & 1631, Duxbury (which was probably named for Duxbury Hall, the old Standish family seat in England), had few settlers. These few returned to Plymouth in the winters to be nearer to houses of worship and because their houses were much more winter hardy. The serious settling of Duxbury began in 1632 with the town being incorporated on 6/7/1637 : "It is enacted by the Court that Ducksborrow shall become a township and unite together for their better securitie and to have the p'veledges of a towne, onley their bounds and limmits shall be sett and appoynted by the next Court."

He had a farm in Duxbury, MA. around 1637 where he had a grant of 10 acres. At a Court of Assistants, held 10/2/1637, "a proporcon of land is granted to John Carew, about the lands graunted to Robte Mendall, contayning X acrees." And a Court of Assistants held 1/7/1639, "____ are appoynted to lay forth Robte Mendloues and John Carews land ____."

In 1639, John and several others obtained a deed from Chief Onsamequin, Sachem of the Pokonocket Indians, for a tract of land 14 miles square for which they paid the Indians 7 coats ( 1 1/2 yards in each coat), 9 hatchets, 8 hoes, 20 knives, 4 moose skins, and 10 1/2 yards of cotton cloth. The company that purchased this land included Miles Standish, Samuel Nash, and Constant Southworth who acted as trustees on behalf of William Bradford, John Carey and 52 others. Chief Onsamequin was later called "Massasoit" from whom Massachusetts gets its name!

On 10/23/1648, he sold all the land, including upland and meadow, granted to him by the town to James Lindell. At the same time, he "testified and affirmed" that his father-in-law, Francis Godfrey, "did acknowledge and confess that he had sold his present right and interest of his said land lying upon Green River harbor," to James Lindell.

On 3/23/1649, Duxbury New Plantation, which was 14 miles square, was deeded to trustees for the benefit of the people of Duxbury. John was one of the 56 who had shares; few ever settled on them however.

On 1/16/1650, he sold 2 acres of meadow land to Steven Briant.

John was made Clerk of the Plantation, which was a sort of land company, and this year it began to be settled.

He was one of the first to emigrate to Bridgewater. His house there was 1/4 mile east of the meeting house in West Bridgewater. He was one of the proprietors of Bridgewater as well as one of the first settlers. The town was incorporated in 1656. John was the first Town Clerk and continued in that office for a great many years. The Plymouth Colony records have an entry for 6/3/1656 [ vol. 3, p. 99 ]: "The Cunstables of seueral townes" "Bridgewater - John Carew" At this time there were only 10 freemen in the town.

He is mentioned as having taken " the Oath of Fidelitie at Duxborrow in the year 1657." He was elected Town Clerk this year (the aforementioned was most likely his oath of office ) and held this post until his death.

More land was granted to John and to others on 6/7/1665.

6/5/1667 - "a Jury was named and ordered to bee impaneled to lay out waies requisett to the township of Bridgewater." John was amongst the 12 to be named to this Jury.

John was also appointed with Deacon Willis to "take all the charges of the late war (King Philip's) since June last and expenses of the scouts before and since June last."

6/3/1668 - Land was laid out to John and to others. On 6/7, the Jury appointed to lay out these lands reported to the Court and John signed the document along with 11 others.

He served on the "Grand Enquest" on 6/3/1662, 6/5/1672 and 6/5/1678.

His name appears in "An Exact List of all the Names of the Freemen of the Jurisdiction of New Plymouth," transcribed....5/29/1670.

There is a monument in West Bridgewater, MA that was erected on the site of John Cary's homestead in 1905. It holds a bronze tablet on which is inscribed :

"Near this spot was the home of John Cary, born in Somersetshire, England. He became in 1651 an original proprietor and honored settler on this river. He was Clerk of the Plantation. When the town of Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656, he was elected constable, the first and only officer of that year. He was the Town Clerk until his death in 1681. Tradition says that he was the first teacher of Latin in Plymouth Colony. The tablet is erected by his descendants in memory of their historic and noble ancestor." -------------------- Laurel Logan

August 3, 2008

A good "Cary" family site with documented sources is found at

www.dartmouth.edu/~jac/cmc/at01/at01_011.htm

--Laurel Logan

Laurel Logan

August 3, 2008

website showing a lithograph of Bridgewater in 1844 and listing John Cary as an "original proprietor"

www.fourth-millennium.net/family-travels/founding-of-bridgewater-mass.html

--Laurel Logan

Laurel Logan

August 3, 2008

from http://www.sparksgenealogy.net/cary.html

John Cary II b: 1610 in Bristol, Somersetshire, England, of Hackney d: November 02, 1681 in Bridgewater Colony of Massachusetts

+Elizabeth Godfrey b: in Massachusetts d: November 01, 1680 in Bridgewater Colony of Massachusetts Father: Francis Godfrey Mother: Elizabeth

Notes for John Cary II:

1.) JOHN CARY MASSACHUSETTS  (c1610-1669) 
John CARY was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England, about 1610;  came to America about 1634, joined the Plymouth Colony, and made his  home at Duxbury, where he had a farm. In 1644 he married Elizabeth,  daughter of Francis and Elizabeth GODFREY (who was a carpenter and  bridge builder, and in August, 1643, we find his name on the muster roll  of the Duxbury Company commanded by Capt. Myles STANDISH; he removed to  Bridgewater where he died in 1669; it is thought that the name GODFREY  comes from the Duke of Bouillon, the Crusader). 
Concerning John CARY, Moses CARY has this: "Mr. Cary was one of the  Proprietors (of Bridgewater), and one of the first settlers, and was  very useful among them. The town was incorporated in 1656. Mr. CARY was  the first Town Clerk and continued in that office a great number of  years. 
At first they settled near together and around where the Town House now  stands in West Bridgewater. Mr. CARY's lot was about a 1/4 of a mile  east of the Town House and on the farm where Dr. REED lived; and there  he spent the remainder of his days, and brought up a great family of  children. He had six sons and six daughters. They all lived to grow up  and have families and all took to good courses so that it was the saying  of some "that there were 12 of 'em and never a Judas among them.' " 
Judge MITCHELL, in his description of Bridgewater, speaking of the first  settlers, says; "Mr. CARY was among the most respectable of them, and  his family one of the most influential in the town"  Elizabeth GODFREY CARY died in 1680 and John CARY died in 1681. 
From JOHN CARY the Plymouth Pilgrim by Seth C. Cary, Boston, MA 1911 
"John  , Bridgewater, said to have come from neighb. of Bristol, Eng. at the age of 25, and set  down first, 1637, at Duxbury, then hav. gr. of ld. m. June 1644, Elizabeth d. of Francis Godfrey,  had John, b. 1645; Francis, 1647; Eliz. 1649; and at Braintree, James, 1652; at Bridgewater,  Mary, 1654; Jonathan, 1656; David, 1658; Hannah, 1661; Joseph 1663; Rebecca, 1665; Sarah,  1667; and Mehitable, 1670.  He was first town clk. and early his name was written, Carew; but  as the Eng. pronounce that name Cary, spell. soon foll. sound.  Of  his death 2 Nov. 1681 is the  date in report, against wh. suspicion of course aris. that for this the identity of James Cary and  John Cary has been confound.  Eliz. m. William Brett the sec. and Rebecca m. 1685, Samuel  Allen the third. "
2.) Town Officers of Bridgewater, Incorporated June 3, 1656, Indian name NUNKETEST. 
 1656      Constable John Carey 
 1673-74-75-766-77-78-79 Selectman John Carey 
 1656-1681 Town Clerk, John Carey 
 Bridgewater Grand Juryman 1672 and 1677 
3.) John Cary was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England in 1610 (Some say 1608).   He was  one of  a family of eight sons and two daughters.  When a youth he was sent by his father to  France to be educated, and while there his  father died.  On returning home he differed with his  brothers about the settlement  of the estate.  He compromised by receiving one hundred pounds  as his portion, and immediately sailed for America. This was in 1634.
4.) He first joined the Plymouth Colony.  In 1649 he, with others, purchased of Ousamequin,  afterwards known as Massasoit, chief of the Pockanocket Indians, a tract of land about fourteen  miles square, embracing what is now the Bridgewaters.  This tract was known as Satucket.  The  deed was made out to Miles Standish and two others, as trustees in behalf of John Cary and  fifty-three others.  The original is preserved by the old Bridgewater Historical Society, West  Bridgewater, Mass. 

5.) The land was paid for with:

7 coats, a yard and a half in a coat.

9 hatchets

8 hoes20 knives

4 Moose skins

10 yards and a half of cotton

6.) The deed is signed by Miles Standish, Samuel Nash, and Constant Southwork. 
7.) The part of the land that John Cary settled was a tract  one mile wide by seven miles long.    This tract embraced what is now the city of Brockton. 
8.) The town of Bridgewater was incorporated in 1656.  That year John was chosen constable,  the first and only officer elected at that time.  The office of constable was second only to that of  governor.  The constable was the only officer in the town whose duty it was to execute the laws,  and his power was almost absolute.  He could even arrest on suspicion "without precept," a  power scarcely allowed at the  present day to the chief magistrate of a nation or state.  There  were no sheriffs in those days.
9.) John was elected town clerk the next year, 1657, and held office till he died in 1681, a period  of twenty-four years. 
10.) He was prominent among his fellows, was intelligent, well educated and public spirited.  He  taught the first class in Latin in the colony. 
11.) The original 16 settlers lived in what is now  West Bridgewater. Their lots of 6 acres each all  abutted on Town River, or as called by the Indians, Nuncketest River.  John Cary had two of  these lots.  The boundary was as follows: on the west was South Street, the old road leading  from New Bedford to Boston and laid out in 1668; on the north was Ash Street, and on the  other two sides were the river and the cemetery. On this land are two houses, one, the older,  built in 1799 on the spot where stood the dwelling of John Cary, the old well being still in use,  and the cellar practically the same as then.  This house and two acres of land have been willed to  Mr. Fred E. Howard of that town for an Old Ladies Home.
12.) The grave of John Cary can not be located. There is a John Cary Monument erected on his   homestead in West Bridgewater, Mass. 1905 

It reads:

 Near this spot was the home of 

JOHN CARY

born in Somersetshire, England

He became in 1651 an original proprietor,

And honored settler on this River.

Was clerk o f the Plantation

When the town of Bridgewater was Incorporated, in 1656.

He was elected Constable,. The first and only officer of that year.

Was town clerk until his death in 1681.

Tradition says,

He was the first teacher of latin in Plymouth colony.

This tablet erected by his descendants in memory

Of their historic and noble ancestor.

Also from same site:

In 1785, one Moses Cary wrote an interesting story of the Cary's which is worthy of preservation. He begins with John Cary, the founder of the family that came to Duxbury about 1634, and says "When he landed it gave him a dreadfull shock, for was brought up delicately and left a delightful country, and here he found himself not only in a strange land, but in a frightful wilderness and destitute of any of the comforts of life.--saw no way to get a living but to go to work, though he was not brought up to any kind of labor. He was so full of trouble that he shed tears bountifully, which so moved the captain of the vessel that he offered to carry him back again, but he said, "No, I will never go back."

--Laurel Logan --------------------

   John Cary, 1610-1681, came to American with one hundred pounds after a dispute with his brothers on the settlement of their father's estate. He was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England, educated in France, and came to America about 1634. He is said to have been the first Latin School teacher in the Plymouth Colony. He removed to Duxbury and in 1644 married Elizabeth Godfrey; they had six sons and six daughters. He was at Braintree in 1652. John was one of the proprietors of Bridgewater and one of the first settlers when the town was incorporated in 1656. He was the Bridgewater Town Clerk from 1657 until his death in 1681. John Cary was among the most respectable of the first settlers and his family one of the most influential in the town.
   There is a monument in West Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusettes dedicated to John and erected on the site of his homestead.
   [James Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England]
   JOHN, Bridgewater, said to have come from neighb. of Bristol, Eng. at the age of 25, and set down first, 1637, at Duxbury, then hav. gr. of ld. m. June 1644, Eliz. d. of Francis Godfrey, had Joh, b. 1645; Francis, 1647; Eliz. 1649; and, at Braintree, James, 1652; at Bridgewater, Mary, 1654; Jonathan, 1656; David, 1658; Hannah, 1661; Joseph, 1663; Rebecca, 1665; Sarah, 1667; and Mehitable, 1670. He was the first
   town clk. and early his name was writ. Carew; but as the Eng. pronounce that name Cary, spell. soon foll. sound. Of his d. 2 Nov. 1681 is the date in report, against wh. suspicion of course aris. that for this the identity of James and John has been confound. Eliz. m. William Brett the sec.and Rebecca m. 1685, Samuel Allen the third.
   [History of the early settlement of Bridgewater, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts]
   1667 A jury was empannelled to lay out all the ways requisite in the town of Bridgewater, (list of names incl) John Cary
   1676 Deacon Willis and John Cary were chosen to take in the charges of the late war since June last, and the expenses of the scouts that were sent out before and since June. 
view all 31

John Cary "The Plymouth Pilgrim"'s Timeline

1600
April 14, 1600
Bristol, Gloucester, England
1612
1612
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
1634
1634
Age 22
1644
June 1644
Age 32
Duxbury, MA, USA
1644
Age 32
1645
November 4, 1645
Age 33
Duxbury, Plymouth, Ma
1647
January 19, 1647
Age 35
Duxbury, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1649
December 20, 1649
Age 37
Duxbury, Plymouth Colony
1652
March 28, 1652
Age 40
Braintree,,NORFOLK,MASSACHUSETTS,USA,
1654
July 8, 1654
Age 42
Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts