About John Harmon, Sr.
The Harmon Genealogy Comprising All Branches in New England By: Artemas C. Harmon - 1920
THE SPRINGFIELD, MASS., BRANCH.
The following genealogy of the Springfield, Mass., branch of Harmons, compiled by Judge George W. Harman, was copied from the original manuscript willed by the author to the town of Suffield, Conn.: (Reference to the Revolutionary Records was added.)
These Records extend only about half way through the 6th generation, but they will enable the descendants to trace their ancestry in America. A large number of the descendants spell their name, HARMAN, as it was spelled in England.
JOHN HARMON, 1st, born in England, 1617, d. Mar. 3, 1661, in Springfield, Mass., m. Elizabeth , (b. in England, 1617), in 1640. She m. again before 1664, Anthony Dorchester, who had: John and James and Mary, by his first wife. He d. Aug. 28, 1683, in Springfield. She d. May 16, 1699, in Springfield.
CHILDREN OF JOHN, 1st, and ELIZABETH HARMON:
John, b. 1641, m. Mary Dorchester, in Springfield, Jan. 7, 1668-9. She d. in Springfield, Feb. 7, 1711-2. He d. in Springfield, Feb. 1711-2. Samuel, b. 1643, d. in Springfield, Sept. 7, 1677.
Sarah, b. in Springfield, Jan. 24, 1644-5, m. Charles Ferry, in Springfield, Mar. 29, 1661. He d. in Springfield, July 3, 1699.
Joseph, b. in Springfield, Jan. 4, 1646-7, m. Hannah Philly (or Fille), (b. in Windsor, Conn., July 3, 1653), in Southfield, Mass., Jan. 22, 1673-4. She d. in Suffield, Conn., Aug., 28, 1729. He d. in Suffield, Oct. 28, 1729. They had 10 children.
Elizabeth, b. in Springfield, between 2 mon., 15 and 6 mon., 1, 1649. "Buried ye 7 of ye 4 mon., 1652," in Springfield.
Mary, in Springfield, "12th day of ye 9 mon., 1651. (Nov. 12, 1651), m. John Dorchester, (b. in Windsor, Conn., Nov. 5, 1644), in Springfield, April 20, 1671. He d. in Springfield, Oct. 5, 1705. They had children.
Nathaniel, b. in Springfield, "13 of ye 1 mon., 1654, (Mar. 13, 1653-4), m. Mary Skinner, (b. in Windsor, Conn., Sept. 22, 1667), in Suffield, Conn., Nov. 19, 1685. They had 10 children. He d. in Suffield, May 2, 1712, aged 58 yrs., 1 mo., 19 days. She m. 2d, in 1713, John Hanchett. She d. Sept. 7, 1730, aged 62 yrs., 11 mon., 26 days. He m. Sarah Taylor, and then Sarah Southwell, and d. Oct. 23, 1744.
Ebenezer, b. in Springfield, "the 12 of ye 6 mon., 1657, (Aug. 12, 1657), drowned in ye mill brook ye 7th of ye 2 mon., 1660," (Apr. 7, 1660), aged 2 yrs., 8 mos.
1609-1617 Sometime between these years, both John and Elizabeth were born--probably in England. The IGI does list one John Harmon born in this time period. John Harmon christened 28 Jan 1617 at Ticehurst, Sussex, England. (See Extracted birth/christening record: Batch No. PO13841) There are no connections that I am aware of to our John. I do, however, want to pursue this possible lead.
About 1635: It is not known for sure when John Harmon arrived in New England. If he did not come with Pynchon on the Winthrop fleet as one of his servants, then it is very likely that he came about 1635.
John settled first probably at Boston; then later at Roxbury, Massachusetts. Roxbury was an adjoining settlement near Boston. The principal founder of Roxbury was William Pynchon. It was a religious community. Pynchon was the first signer of the church covenant.
About 1636: Pynchon left Roxbury and with a company led by Rev. Thomas Hooker and Rev. Samuel Stone. Thomas Hooker was from the community of New Towne (now Cambridge), Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut where he, along with Stone, would become the leader of the settlement there. They went southward. Pynchon's group settled at the junction of the Agawam and Connecticut rivers at what is now the city of Springfield.
1640: It is unknown just when or where John Harmon and Elizabeth were married. The marriage possibly took place at Roxbury, but I have found no record. It is known that they were married and had two children before they arrived in Springfield Elizabeth's maiden name is unknown at this time.
1641: The first child, a son whom they named John, was born.
1643: The second child, a son whom they named Samuel, was born. Genealogical and Family History of New York states: "John Harmon settled in Springfield in 1643."
The land first alotted to John Harmon in Springfield is described in the town records to have been:..."a house lot by Grant of ye Plantation with the addition vizt four acres more or less Breadth 8 rod Length from the Street Fence to the Great River 80 rod bounded North by Henry Burt South by Nathaniel Pritchard." (Town Records V.3 pg. 158 & 199--- no date is affixed to this entry.) His home lot was located on the west side of the street between the present State and Mill Streets.
1644: 16 May "for raysings of 20 pounds in part payment for ye Indian Purchase of ye Plantation" John Harmon was assessed 8 shillings 10 pence. This is the first mention of John Harmon in the records; so he must have been granted land either in 1641 or 1643 with the latter date seeming more logical because of the assessment date. Spring 1644 "It is ordered that those lotts from Roger Prichards downward shall have their 2nd allotments below Aggawan River mouth--every man to have 5 acres apiece to run in length 80 rods their lottsto abutt against ye greate river."
1644: "Sarah Harman, daughter of John Harman, borne 7 mon. 24 day 1644." at Springfield.
1646: In 'a rate for ye raysinge of 30 pounds for the purchase of the lands of the Plantation 1646.' John Harmon is assessed 9s, 2d on the 33 acres of land.
1645: After ten years or so of communal living, the residents of Springfield voted in 1645 to distribute the land to individual people as farm lots. The ability of the original planting grounds to support an increased population had reached its limit, and the sons of many of the original settlers were reaching maturity and required their own farms. Thus the meadow lands were given to the residents of the southern end of the original downtown Springfield settlement.
1646: "Joseph Harman ye sone of John Harman borne 7 mon. 4 day 1646." at Springfield. At this time, the four Harmon children ranged in age from 5 or 6 years old to newborn.
1645-7: 1645-7 For two years after these grants in the "long meadow", the new owners prepared the area for agriculture. Lots were laid out and fences were begun. Despite the ideals of being a close-knit and religious-minded community, fences soon proved necessary to keep peace, as wandering swine and cattle damaged neighbor's crops. The meadows were dotted with wild cranberry bogs, ponds, and swamps and because of the low-lying nature of the land it was subject to flooding.
1647: 2 Nov. John was made surveyor of highways of the lower part of the town. A road from Springfield into the meadows was completed, including a small bridge over the Pecousic River. This road was extended to Warehouse Point to facilitate the movement of supplies and beaver pelts between Springfield and Pynchon's warehouse.
1648: 6 Feb. At Court, John signed the Oath of Fidelity promising to be true to God; to submit to the law and to endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges of the law.
1648: The Indian threat was real, but William Pynchon was known as a champion of Indian rights. The roaming Indians often presented a menace to the developments of any outlying settlements
1648: Many of the Springfield inhabitants had shown a strong preference for the long meadow and requested permits to surrender the planting ground upon the river-bank and to take lands back upon the next plantation. This request was granted in 1648. Three years after, the lands were apportioned at Pecowsic and Mill river as follows: Benj. Cooley 1st who hath 3 acres Anthony Dorchester 2nd 4 acres Widow Bliss 3rd 3 acres Roger Prichard & John Lumbard 4th 1 acres Nath Prichard 5th 4 acres John Harmon 6th 2 acres
1649: 12 Feb. John Harman was granted land; the record stating: 'It is ordered ye Geo. Colton and Thomas Cooper who is ye Towne treasures should with yr best discretion lay out the severall parcells of Meadow granted ye last yeare to Henry Burt 4 acres; Tho. Mirick 4 acres, Alex. Edwards 4 acres, Jno. Harmon 4 acres, In ye Longe meadow over ye Brooke.' Lots were laid out and fences begun to keep wandering swine and cattle from damaging neighbors crops. The first house was built in the meadows in 1649. Most lot owners already had homes in Springfield and the meadows were subject to flooding.
1649: 29/30 May. John Harmon and several other settlers were fined in court for leaving their oxen over the Great River since the first of May without a keeper. The oxen damaged Henry Burt's wheat crop and each owner of oxen left there was fined: Samuell Wright and John Herman shared a team of oxen and were fined 1 1/2 bushels.
1649: 2 mon. 15 day. "Elizabeth Harman ye daughter of John Harman borne."
1651: 22 Jan John Harman was grantee of lot 6, two and one-half acres 'on Pacowick.' (See 1648).
1651: "Mary Hermon d. of John Hermon borne ye 12 day of ye 9 mon. 1651."
1652: 31 Jul. Child number five, Elizabeth, died on "ye 7th of ye 4th month" She was three years old.
1652-57: During this time John Pynchon, son of William, shipped to England almost 9,000 beaver skins weighing 13,139 pounds. The beaver were more valuable than all other skins. They were obtained mostly by trading with the Indians. The principal Indian traders under Pynchon were Thomas Cooper of Springfield, Joseph Parsons and David Wilton of Northampton and Doct. John Westcarr of Hadley. There were others and they carried on a trade with the whites as well as the Indians. In England, these furs may have brought eight shillings sterling per pound which would equal out to about $24,537. Other skins sent to England at this time included moose skins, otter, minks, musquash, Canada sables, foxes, wolves, raccoons, wildcats, bear, etc. The traders in Springfield who brought furs to Pynchon received pay in the form of wheat.
1653: John Harmon was made a fence viewer.
1653/54: 13 Mar. Nathaniel, son of John Harmon, was born.
1654: 8 Feb. These parsells of meadow commonly called by the name of Wattchnett was granted these inhabitants as followeth, vis. John Harman 3 acres,' etc. He also received a grant of land "over ye mill river" containing 3 acres. He also received other grants of land.
1656: 4 Nov John was chosen to the office of 'presenter to present breaches of the laws of the county or of town orders and to which service he took his oath.'
1657: " Ebenezer Hermon s. of John hermon borne the 12 of the 6 mon. 1657." At this time, John and Elizabeth's oldest child was about sixteen years old. Ebenezer was the 8th child, seven of whom were living--he was about four years younger than Nathaniel, his next older sibling.
1658: 2 Nov. John Harmon was selected as Surveyor of Highways
1659: 23 December: John Harmon was one of six persons seated by the selectmen in the third seat of the church.
1660: 7 Apr. Little Ebenezer, age three, drowned in "ye brook by ye mill stream ye 7th of ye 2 mon, 1660." "This day the youngest child of John Herman, called Ebenezer, was found dead in the brook in Nathaneell Prichard's yard; concerning whose death there was a search and inquiry made by a jury of 12 men of this town of Springfield how the said child came to its end. The jurors were: Thomas Cooper, William Branch, William warrener, Thomas Stebbin, Thomas Noble, John Stewart, Samuell Marshfield, Henry Burt, Benjamin Parsons, Abell Wright, Richard Sikes, John Clarke---whose return upon oath before the Commissioners Elizur Holyoke and Mr. Samuel Chapin, was that according to the best light they could have in the case they judge the child to be drowned in the brooke through its own weakness without the hand of any other person being any occasion or cause thereof.
1661: 4 March. John Harmon prepared his will in the presence of Elizur Holyoke and John Lumbard.
1661: 7 Mar: John Harmon died at Springfield; age 43. "John Harmon of Springfield, deceased, who died the 7th day of March 1660/61."
He is reportedly buried in the old Peabody Cemetery in the center of Springfield, where in 1848 all remains of the old burying grounds in downtown Springfield were removed to the present Springfield Cemetery which is known as the Peabody Cemetery. There is a plot in the Springfield (Peabody) cemetery is the last plot in Row 1, identified in Cemetery Records as #1-111. To the right of #1-111 is ta plot approximately 20' x 20' containing the following marker: "Withing these four monuments are the remains of Unknown Dead removed from the Old Burial Places in 1848." This plot is adjacent to the only Harmon stone remaining---that of John 3rd (1678-1742) and his family.
1661: 13 May Will of John Harmon recorded in Probate Court records. An inventory of his estate was later taken by Henry Burt and Nathaniel Ely.
Film: 879,189 Massachusetts Probate Court Hampshire County Title: Probate Records, 1660-1916 Volume 11 1767-1777
The will & Testament of John Harman of Springfield deceased who died the 7th Day of March 1660/1661: Know all whom this may concern that John Harman of Springfield being sick and weak in body, but of ready memory and understanding, being requested on the 4th day of March 1660/1661 to settle his worldly affairs, did refuse to dispose of any thing perticularly, but said he would leave all that he had into his wive's hand for he said she is a tender mother, therefore she should have the disposal of all. This was spoke by the said John Harman the day above mentioned being two days before his death: Witnesses whereunto were: Elizur Holyoke and John X Lumbard (His mark) Recorded May 13th 1661. -------------------- John, Springfield, propr.; taxed in 1644; town officer. Ch. Sarah b. 24 (11) 1644, Joseph b. 4 (11) 1646, Elizabeth b. 1649, d. 7 (4) 1652, Mary b. 12 (9) 1651, Nathaniel b. 13 (1) 1654, Ebenezer b. 12 (6) 1657, d. 7 (1) 1660, Sarah b. Oct. 14, 1649, Mary b. Oct. From: Massachusetts Pioneers Ancestry Database, taken from The Pioneers of Massachusetts, by Charles Henry Pope
John Harmon, Sr.'s Timeline
Springfield, Middlesex County (Present Hampden County), Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Plymouth, Devon, England
January 24, 1644
Springfield, Hampden, MA, USA
Springfield, Fairfax, VA, USA
September 14, 1646
Plymouth, Devon, England
January 4, 1647
Springfield, Middlesex County (Present Hampden County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
April 15, 1649
November 12, 1651
Springfield, Middlesex County (Present Hampden County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
June 7, 1652
Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA