Samuel Converse (c.1637 - 1669) MP

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Birthplace: Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Cause of death: an untimely death by an accident in the corn mill which he inherited jointly w ith his brothers from his father
Occupation: Sergeant
Managed by: Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns
Last Updated:

About Samuel Converse

d. 20th Feb. 1669, from accident in corn mill belonging to himself and brothers; Sergeant in Woburn train band; m. Judith CARTER, dau. of Rev. Thomas CARTER, pastor of Woburn church.

Sergeant Samuel Convers, youngest son of Deacon Ed ward Convers, was baptized 12 March 1637-8, in the First Church, Charlestown, Mass. ; born probably but a few days or weeks earlier; died 20 February 1669. He married, 8 June 1660, Judith Carter, daughter of Rev. Thomas and Mary (Parkhurst) Carter. Rev. Thomas Carter was the first minister in Woburn, and continued in that position forty-two years. He died, in Woburn, 5 September 1684, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He matriculated at St. Johns College, Univ. Cambridge, England, 1 April 1626, at which University he took degree of A.B.. January 1629-30, and M.A., 1633. Sewall's History of Woburn says that he came to this country, while yet a student of divinity, in 1635, and may reasonably be supposed to be the Thomas Carter who embarked with forty others, at London, 2 April 1635, on board the "Planter," Capt. Nicholas Trarice, bound to New England. The passengers brought with them certificates from the minister at St. Albans in Hertfordshire, which has led to the supposition that Rev. Thomas Carter came from that place. He was first in Dedham where he took the freeman's oath 9 March 1636--7. Thence he removed to Watertown, where he was an Elder in the Church, and proprietor of a homestead of ten acres, and a farm of ninety two acres. It was probably in Watertown that he married Mary Parkhurst, who died 28 March 1687. She was the daughter of George Parkhurst, Senior, of Watertown, but was long supposed to have been born a Dalton. The late William H. Whitmore, however, in New England Historical Genealogical Register, Vol. 37, p. 364, printed a deed of Ruth wife of Rev. Timothy Dalton, of Hampton, dated 22 March 1663-4, and also her will dated 8 December 1665. Mr. John L. Blake of Orange, N. J., in a most carefully prepared monograph entitled the English Home of Timothy Dalton, makes clear the exact relationship in which the Dal tons and Carters stood. Mr. Whitmore assumed that Ruth Dalton was the sister (or possibly the sister-in-law) of George Parkhurst, Sr., of Watertown, Mass. In that case, Deborah Smith, Elizabeth Merry, Phebe Arnold, Joseph Parkhurst, George Parkhurst, and Mary Carter, who are known to have been his children, were respectively the nephews and nieces of Mrs. Dalton. These were all beneficiaries under the deed aforesaid. In Sewall's History of Woburn, page 161, the wife of Rev. Thomas Carter is described as " Mrs. Mary (Dalton) Carter. Her son in law, John Wyman, Jr., "reseved" a part of the " legeisie wch whas given to my mother-in-law Merri Carter by Mrs. Ruth Dalton of Hampton deiseised."

Little is known of George Parkhurst, whose name is sometimes spelled, Parkers, and Parkis. It is not known when he came to America, or whether he brought a wife with him, but he brought at least two children, viz:—George and Phebe who married Thomas Arnold. George Parkhurst, Senior, married, about 1645, Susanna, widow of John Simpson of Watertown, and about that time removed to Boston. In 1642 he was proprietor of a homestead of 12 acres, and five other lots of land in Watertown. Mr. Eben Putnam, genealogist, suggests that Sir Robert Parkhurst, knt., of London, who died in 1636, was connected with many of the New England families, and may have been a relative of George, but adds that there is no suggestion of this in his will printed in Waters' Gleanings.

" When Rev. Thomas Carter was first invited to preach at Woburn 3 November 1641, it is mentioned as a reason for his not being applied to earlier that it ha>l been doubted whether Watertown would be willing to part with him." He was appointed minister of the Church in Woburn in 1642, and was ordained 22 November 1642. There is an account of his ordination in "The History of New England from 1630 to 1649 by John Winthrop, Esq., First Governor of Mass.,"and also in Capt. Edward Johnson's " Wonder-Working Providence, " which describes him as a "reverend, godly man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of Christ," and one who had " much encreased with the encreasings of Christ Jesus." And in the following lines addressed by him in the same work to Mr. Carter, he is represented as a plain, but very faithful and successful minister, a pastor of distinguished humility and meekness, and in gentleness toward his flock as rather exceeding than otherwise : —

"Carter, Christ hath his wayes thec taught, and thou

Hast not withheld his Word, but unto all

With's word of power dost cause stout souls to bow,

And meek as lambs before thy Christ to fall:

The antient truths, plain paths, they fit thce best,

Thy humble heart all haughty acts puts by;

The lowly heart, Christ learns his lovely hest,

Thy meekness shows thy Christ to thcc is nigh.

Yet must thou shew, Christ makes his bold to be

As lions, that none may his truths tread down;

Pastoral power he hath invested thee

With, it maintain, leest he on thee do frown.

Thy youth thou hast in this New England spent,

Full sixteen years to water, plant, and prune

Trees taken up, ancl for that end here sent;

Thy end's with Christ; with's saints his praises tune."

From the time of his ordination he ministered thirty six years constantly without aid till Rev. Jabez Fox was invited to assist him, and from that time he ministered, in connection with Mr. Fox, about six years more, till his death.

Sewall's History of Woburn says: — "Mr. Carter appears to have lived secluded in great measure from the world; and hence he is seldom if ever named in history among the eminent clergymen of his day. Still there is abundant evidence that he was a very pious, exemplary man, an able and sound preacher of the gospel, and one whom God honored and prospered in his work. Under his ministrations the church was greatly enlarged and built up, and the town flourished, and was for the most part in peace. Mr. Ghickering in his dedication sermon thus speaks of him: — 'During his ministry, which was prolonged more than forty two years, there appears to have been the greatest harmony between him and the Society.' In 1602-3, John Maningham, a student at law of the Middle Temple, London, kept a diary that has been preserved in the British Museum, which contains this grim definition of a Puritan: — 'A Puritan is one who loves God with all his soul, and hates his neighbor with all his heart.' This appears to be disputed by the life of Rev. Mr. Carter/ who followed rather the command of his Divine Master to love his neighbor as himself, never joining in persecution of Indians, Quakers, Baptists, Churchmen, or poor old women charged with witchcraft.'"

This account of Rev. Mr. Carter is from Sewall's Woburn, and a pamphlet entitled "The Carter Family Reunion at Woburn, Mass., 11 June 1884, with Historical Address by Samuel R. Carter," Boston, Coburn Bros.& Snow, Printers, 1884. The latter book says that Mr. Favor, an English genealogist was employed to trace the pedigree of Rev. Thomas Carter but could find no further record of him in the University of Cambridge than his matriculation and graduation as above specified; nor could record of him be found in the town of St. Albans, consisting of three parishes, of which the records of the Abbey parish for the desired period had been burned, those of St. Michael did not extend as far back as Rev. Mr. Carter's time, and those of St. Peters had no record of him. Nor was any record of him found in Walford, which included the Manor of Garston. Nevertheless Mr. Pavor was of opinion that Rev. Mr. Carter was descended from Richard Carter, lord of the Manor of Garston, whose arms were argent, a chevron sable, between three Catherine wheels, vert. "A coat of arms in the possession of the venerable Charles Carter of Marlborough, Conn., was found to be identical with that of the Garston Carters, and can be traced back to the fourth and perhaps the third generation of Rev. Thomas, and in my mind fully confirms the conjecture of Mr. Pavor." So says Mr. Samuel R. Carter in the historical address above mentioned, and he also states that the Virginia Carters claim the same English ancestry as claimed for Rev. Thomas, their first ancestor in this country (John Carter) having brought the coat of arms of the Garston family. Mr. Samuel R. Carter questions whether Rev. Thomas may not have been the Thomas Carter aged 25, who, with John Carter, aged 22, embarked on the "Safety" 10 August 1635 for Virginia; yet he states that he has not examined this carefully enough to warrant a decided opinion. Mr. William G. Hill and the historian Sewall mention only the embarkation on the " Planter," as above.

Judith, wife of Samuel Convers, survived him, and married Giles Fifield, of Charlestown, 2 May 1672, and died 1677. Giles Fifield's will was proved 25 October 1676, in which he gives to his wife Judith "all she brought him." It also states, " I further give and bequeath unto Samuel Convers, and Abigail, his sister, as a Legaci of my love, to each of them ten shillings in silver, to be payed unto them by my executor." Judith Fifield's estate was appraised 3 October 1678.

Samuel Convers2 was admitted freeman, 1666, and was Sergeant in the Woburn Train Band. He came to an untimely death by an accitlent in the corn mill which he inherited jointly with his brothers from his father, Deacon Edward Convers. The records of his death, on file at East Cambridge, are as follows : —

"We, Isaac Brooks and James Thompson, being about the 21 of Feb. 69, in the Corne mill belonging to the Converses, at Wooburne, on of a suddain we heard a voice about the mill wheel saying stop the wheel, upon wh the said Thompson did run to the mill gate & looking towards the mill wheel he saw as he thought a man laid down and cried out my unkle is killed. Isaak in the mean time did run to the water wheel and found Samuel Converse with his head fastened between the water wheel and water wall.

The said Thompson in the mean time did shut the gate and came running to the sd Brooks. Now the water wheel being turned backwards did raise upwards and wee seeing his head cleared went unto him and did take him up alive who bled excessively. We did carry him into his house and soon after we brought him in his bleeding stopt & and in about half an houres time as we conceive he was quite departed.

THE VERDICT OF THE JURY OF QUEST ON THE DEATH OF SAMUEL CONVERSE.

We subscribed being by the Constable of Wooburn Summoned a jury of quest upon the suddain and untimely death of Seargt. Samuel Convars late of Wooburne, upon examination of the Witnesses that did take him up, going to the place from whence he was taken up & viewing of the Corps, doe conceive that the said Convars was cutting some ice from off the water wheele of the corne mill & so overreaching with his axe was caught by his coate with some parte of the wheele whereby his coate was rent to the Choller thereoff & that not giving way his head was drawne untill it was sucked in between the water wall & the water wheele. now as is said he did call to shutt down the wheel but in all probabillitie he received his mortall wound soone after he spake to stop the wheele. We saw much blood in the place whereabouts he was judged to stand, also there was blood upon the snow from the place to his house, as is said he was carried to his house alive and being set in a chair his blood quickly settled within him wholly preventing him from speaking & in about half an hour was dead. We found the back side of his head greatly brusied his nose grizzle as wee think was broken so that the said Convars his head lying as before expressed we judge his death to be by the water wheele of the Corn Mill. 22:12:69.

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

d. 20th Feb. 1669, from accident in corn mill belonging to himself and brothers; Sergeant in Woburn train band; m. Judith CARTER, dau. of Rev. Thomas CARTER, pastor of Woburn church.

Sergeant Samuel Convers, youngest son of Deacon Ed ward Convers, was baptized 12 March 1637-8, in the First Church, Charlestown, Mass. ; born probably but a few days or weeks earlier; died 20 February 1669. He married, 8 June 1660, Judith Carter, daughter of Rev. Thomas and Mary (Parkhurst) Carter. Rev. Thomas Carter was the first minister in Woburn, and continued in that position forty-two years. He died, in Woburn, 5 September 1684, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He matriculated at St. Johns College, Univ. Cambridge, England, 1 April 1626, at which University he took degree of A.B.. January 1629-30, and M.A., 1633. Sewall's History of Woburn says that he came to this country, while yet a student of divinity, in 1635, and may reasonably be supposed to be the Thomas Carter who embarked with forty others, at London, 2 April 1635, on board the "Planter," Capt. Nicholas Trarice, bound to New England. The passengers brought with them certificates from the minister at St. Albans in Hertfordshire, which has led to the supposition that Rev. Thomas Carter came from that place. He was first in Dedham where he took the freeman's oath 9 March 1636--7. Thence he removed to Watertown, where he was an Elder in the Church, and proprietor of a homestead of ten acres, and a farm of ninety two acres. It was probably in Watertown that he married Mary Parkhurst, who died 28 March 1687. She was the daughter of George Parkhurst, Senior, of Watertown, but was long supposed to have been born a Dalton. The late William H. Whitmore, however, in New England Historical Genealogical Register, Vol. 37, p. 364, printed a deed of Ruth wife of Rev. Timothy Dalton, of Hampton, dated 22 March 1663-4, and also her will dated 8 December 1665. Mr. John L. Blake of Orange, N. J., in a most carefully prepared monograph entitled the English Home of Timothy Dalton, makes clear the exact relationship in which the Dal tons and Carters stood. Mr. Whitmore assumed that Ruth Dalton was the sister (or possibly the sister-in-law) of George Parkhurst, Sr., of Watertown, Mass. In that case, Deborah Smith, Elizabeth Merry, Phebe Arnold, Joseph Parkhurst, George Parkhurst, and Mary Carter, who are known to have been his children, were respectively the nephews and nieces of Mrs. Dalton. These were all beneficiaries under the deed aforesaid. In Sewall's History of Woburn, page 161, the wife of Rev. Thomas Carter is described as " Mrs. Mary (Dalton) Carter. Her son in law, John Wyman, Jr., "reseved" a part of the " legeisie wch whas given to my mother-in-law Merri Carter by Mrs. Ruth Dalton of Hampton deiseised."

Little is known of George Parkhurst, whose name is sometimes spelled, Parkers, and Parkis. It is not known when he came to America, or whether he brought a wife with him, but he brought at least two children, viz:—George and Phebe who married Thomas Arnold. George Parkhurst, Senior, married, about 1645, Susanna, widow of John Simpson of Watertown, and about that time removed to Boston. In 1642 he was proprietor of a homestead of 12 acres, and five other lots of land in Watertown. Mr. Eben Putnam, genealogist, suggests that Sir Robert Parkhurst, knt., of London, who died in 1636, was connected with many of the New England families, and may have been a relative of George, but adds that there is no suggestion of this in his will printed in Waters' Gleanings.

" When Rev. Thomas Carter was first invited to preach at Woburn 3 November 1641, it is mentioned as a reason for his not being applied to earlier that it ha>l been doubted whether Watertown would be willing to part with him." He was appointed minister of the Church in Woburn in 1642, and was ordained 22 November 1642. There is an account of his ordination in "The History of New England from 1630 to 1649 by John Winthrop, Esq., First Governor of Mass.,"and also in Capt. Edward Johnson's " Wonder-Working Providence, " which describes him as a "reverend, godly man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of Christ," and one who had " much encreased with the encreasings of Christ Jesus." And in the following lines addressed by him in the same work to Mr. Carter, he is represented as a plain, but very faithful and successful minister, a pastor of distinguished humility and meekness, and in gentleness toward his flock as rather exceeding than otherwise : —

"Carter, Christ hath his wayes thec taught, and thou

Hast not withheld his Word, but unto all

With's word of power dost cause stout souls to bow,

And meek as lambs before thy Christ to fall:

The antient truths, plain paths, they fit thce best,

Thy humble heart all haughty acts puts by;

The lowly heart, Christ learns his lovely hest,

Thy meekness shows thy Christ to thcc is nigh.

Yet must thou shew, Christ makes his bold to be

As lions, that none may his truths tread down;

Pastoral power he hath invested thee

With, it maintain, leest he on thee do frown.

Thy youth thou hast in this New England spent,

Full sixteen years to water, plant, and prune

Trees taken up, ancl for that end here sent;

Thy end's with Christ; with's saints his praises tune."

From the time of his ordination he ministered thirty six years constantly without aid till Rev. Jabez Fox was invited to assist him, and from that time he ministered, in connection with Mr. Fox, about six years more, till his death.

Sewall's History of Woburn says: — "Mr. Carter appears to have lived secluded in great measure from the world; and hence he is seldom if ever named in history among the eminent clergymen of his day. Still there is abundant evidence that he was a very pious, exemplary man, an able and sound preacher of the gospel, and one whom God honored and prospered in his work. Under his ministrations the church was greatly enlarged and built up, and the town flourished, and was for the most part in peace. Mr. Ghickering in his dedication sermon thus speaks of him: — 'During his ministry, which was prolonged more than forty two years, there appears to have been the greatest harmony between him and the Society.' In 1602-3, John Maningham, a student at law of the Middle Temple, London, kept a diary that has been preserved in the British Museum, which contains this grim definition of a Puritan: — 'A Puritan is one who loves God with all his soul, and hates his neighbor with all his heart.' This appears to be disputed by the life of Rev. Mr. Carter/ who followed rather the command of his Divine Master to love his neighbor as himself, never joining in persecution of Indians, Quakers, Baptists, Churchmen, or poor old women charged with witchcraft.'"

This account of Rev. Mr. Carter is from Sewall's Woburn, and a pamphlet entitled "The Carter Family Reunion at Woburn, Mass., 11 June 1884, with Historical Address by Samuel R. Carter," Boston, Coburn Bros.& Snow, Printers, 1884. The latter book says that Mr. Favor, an English genealogist was employed to trace the pedigree of Rev. Thomas Carter but could find no further record of him in the University of Cambridge than his matriculation and graduation as above specified; nor could record of him be found in the town of St. Albans, consisting of three parishes, of which the records of the Abbey parish for the desired period had been burned, those of St. Michael did not extend as far back as Rev. Mr. Carter's time, and those of St. Peters had no record of him. Nor was any record of him found in Walford, which included the Manor of Garston. Nevertheless Mr. Pavor was of opinion that Rev. Mr. Carter was descended from Richard Carter, lord of the Manor of Garston, whose arms were argent, a chevron sable, between three Catherine wheels, vert. "A coat of arms in the possession of the venerable Charles Carter of Marlborough, Conn., was found to be identical with that of the Garston Carters, and can be traced back to the fourth and perhaps the third generation of Rev. Thomas, and in my mind fully confirms the conjecture of Mr. Pavor." So says Mr. Samuel R. Carter in the historical address above mentioned, and he also states that the Virginia Carters claim the same English ancestry as claimed for Rev. Thomas, their first ancestor in this country (John Carter) having brought the coat of arms of the Garston family. Mr. Samuel R. Carter questions whether Rev. Thomas may not have been the Thomas Carter aged 25, who, with John Carter, aged 22, embarked on the "Safety" 10 August 1635 for Virginia; yet he states that he has not examined this carefully enough to warrant a decided opinion. Mr. William G. Hill and the historian Sewall mention only the embarkation on the " Planter," as above.

Judith, wife of Samuel Convers, survived him, and married Giles Fifield, of Charlestown, 2 May 1672, and died 1677. Giles Fifield's will was proved 25 October 1676, in which he gives to his wife Judith "all she brought him." It also states, " I further give and bequeath unto Samuel Convers, and Abigail, his sister, as a Legaci of my love, to each of them ten shillings in silver, to be payed unto them by my executor." Judith Fifield's estate was appraised 3 October 1678.

Samuel Convers2 was admitted freeman, 1666, and was Sergeant in the Woburn Train Band. He came to an untimely death by an accitlent in the corn mill which he inherited jointly with his brothers from his father, Deacon Edward Convers. The records of his death, on file at East Cambridge, are as follows : —

"We, Isaac Brooks and James Thompson, being about the 21 of Feb. 69, in the Corne mill belonging to the Converses, at Wooburne, on of a suddain we heard a voice about the mill wheel saying stop the wheel, upon wh the said Thompson did run to the mill gate & looking towards the mill wheel he saw as he thought a man laid down and cried out my unkle is killed. Isaak in the mean time did run to the water wheel and found Samuel Converse with his head fastened between the water wheel and water wall.

The said Thompson in the mean time did shut the gate and came running to the sd Brooks. Now the water wheel being turned backwards did raise upwards and wee seeing his head cleared went unto him and did take him up alive who bled excessively. We did carry him into his house and soon after we brought him in his bleeding stopt & and in about half an houres time as we conceive he was quite departed.

THE VERDICT OF THE JURY OF QUEST ON THE DEATH OF SAMUEL CONVERSE.

We subscribed being by the Constable of Wooburn Summoned a jury of quest upon the suddain and untimely death of Seargt. Samuel Convars late of Wooburne, upon examination of the Witnesses that did take him up, going to the place from whence he was taken up & viewing of the Corps, doe conceive that the said Convars was cutting some ice from off the water wheele of the corne mill & so overreaching with his axe was caught by his coate with some parte of the wheele whereby his coate was rent to the Choller thereoff & that not giving way his head was drawne untill it was sucked in between the water wall & the water wheele. now as is said he did call to shutt down the wheel but in all probabillitie he received his mortall wound soone after he spake to stop the wheele. We saw much blood in the place whereabouts he was judged to stand, also there was blood upon the snow from the place to his house, as is said he was carried to his house alive and being set in a chair his blood quickly settled within him wholly preventing him from speaking & in about half an hour was dead. We found the back side of his head greatly brusied his nose grizzle as wee think was broken so that the said Convars his head lying as before expressed we judge his death to be by the water wheele of the Corn Mill. 22:12:69. -------------------- Known a Sergeant Samuel Converse.

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Sgt. Samuel Converse's Timeline

1637
March 12, 1637
Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
March 12, 1637
Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
March 12, 1637
Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
1638
March 12, 1638
Age 1
Charlestown, Middlesex Co., MA
1660
June 8, 1660
Age 23
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
June 8, 1660
Age 23

married Judith Carter June 8, 1660

1662
April 4, 1662
Age 25
Woburn, Massachusetts, United States
1665
April, 1665
Age 28
Woburn, Massachusetts, United States
1669
February 20, 1669
Age 31
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1996
June 8, 1996
Age 31