William Trask, Capt. (1585 - 1666)

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Birthplace: East Coker, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Managed by: Randy Rubel
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Immediate Family

About William Trask, Capt.

Captain William Trask is one of the a group known as the "Old Planters" of Dorchester, MA.

According to the Essex Institute, the list of old planters, in 1626, who were in Cape Ann before the move were as follows: Roger Conant - Governor, John Lyford - Minister (went to Virginia, instead of Naumkeag), John Woodbury, Humphrey Woodbury, John Balch, Peter Palfray, Walter Knight, William Allen,[4] Thomas Gray, John Tylly, Thomas Gardner, Richard Norman (and his son), William Jeffrey, and Capt. William Trask.

•ID: I04152 •Name: William Trask •Sex: M •Birth: 14 DEC 1585 in East Coker, Somersetshire, England •Death: 15 MAY 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts •Note: Captain William Traske (also spelled Trask) was born 14 December 1585 in East Coker, Somerset England.

According to a book "Passages of the Planters", there is a record of a Captain William Traske as a passanger upon the ship "The Sea Lion" which departed Delft, Holland during June of 1624 to New England. According to the historians Will and Ariel Durant, in "The Age of Exploration", Captain Traske and Woodbury, Connaut, Balch, and Palfrey (The Old Planters) were confronted by Miles Standish and company while they were operating a fishing station, at Cape Ann, Massachusetts, during the year 1624. This paved the way for the Salem settlement. It is very likely that William Traske made several trans-Atlantic journies during the 1620's. His arrival at Naumkeag in 1628 on the "Abigail" with Governor Endicott was probably his last arrival to Massachusetts.

Captain Traske was pivotal in the formation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was named one of the five "Old Planters" of the colony. The others being Peter Palfry, John Balch, John Woodberry and Roger Conant. These men were all settlers before Endicott's arrival, and hence were called "Old Planters".

The Bay Colony's original company organizations are slightly vague, since the men of the colony trained and carried out guard duty from the day the ships anchored. Salem dates from 17 April 1629 under Captain John Endecott. This date is based on the letter of general instructions. By 1634 Endecott had been succeeded as company commander by Captain William Trask. (Ref. Records Mass., 1:386-98, 85, 93, 95, 120; Johnson, Wonder - Working, 19-22; Shelley, Underhill, 133-4.)

The companies in the Bay proper, covering the 1630 settlements, are all 8 ruled to have an organization date of 12 April 1631, based on the law requiring training passed by the General Court. These companies were: Captain John Underhill's (Boston and Roxbury); Daniel Patrick's (Watertown, Medford and Newtown); Richard Southcot's (Dorchester); and John Endecott's (Salem). Note that Underhill and Patrick had dual status as both company commanders and as hired "technicians." By 1635 the force had grown to 800 or so men in at least five companies: Underhill's (Boston); Patrick's (Newtown); CPT John Mason's (Dorchester); CPT William Trask's (Salem) and CPT Nathanial Turner's (Saugus).

In December 1636, with the colony facing war with the Pequots, a regimental organization was adopted for the colony's approximately 1,500 men. Under the overall command of the Governor as "chiefe general!" three geographically-based permanent regiments were set up, each commanded by a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, and each with a paid training officer (mustermaster). All regiments and companies were directed by the General Court to hold elections of officers prior to the next Court session and to report the results. Note that these units predate by six years the regiments of England. The act to execute this organization was passed on 13 December 1636 (ref. Records Mass. 1:186-187). The organization of 13 December 1636 with the results of commissions issued on 9 March 1636/7 (ref. Records Mass. 1:186-187). Captain William Trask was part of the East Regiment which is detailed as:

EAST REGIMENT (101st Egr Bn) COL John Endecott; LTC John Winthrop, Jr. Mustermaster CPT William Trask Salem: CPT William Trask Saugus (renamed 1637 as Lynn): CPT Daniel Patrick Ipswich: CPT Daniel Dennison Newbury: CPT John Spencer (NOTE: Missing is Marblehead which had town status 1633)

On 25 January 1635 Captain William Trask (as well as Peter Palfry, John Balch, John Woodberry and Roger Conant) was granted 200 acres of land (the whole being 124 rods by about 1,290) as a gift for defeating the Pequot Indians. This land was situated at the head of the North River near Peabody Square. Trask was also given two grants in the South Peabody area including a l00-acre farm near Spring Pond. However, it was the grant that was near what is now Peabody Square that was the most important. Trask and his descendants built dwelling houses and at least four mills in this area by ca. 1660. In addition, Salem granted several houselots in the same area. These grants represented the start of the village of Brooksby, now Peabody. Peabody's first mill, a grist mill, was built in 1634 by Captain William Trask near the old mill pond at Peabody Square. The pond, in MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report: Peabody 8, is now filled but originally existed in the vicinity of where Walks Street crosses the railroad tracks today. Some researchers say this is the oldest mill in America. By 1640 Trask built a second mill about 1/2 mile downstream from the first near present Grove Street. This mill may have been a tidal mill. In ca. 1656 a samp mortar mill replaced the original Trask grist mill on the pond near Peabody Square.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Planters_(Massachusetts) Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=riverbirch&id=I04152

History of the Dorchester Church, New England: http://archive.org/stream/recordsoffirstch00firs/recordsoffirstch00firs_djvu.txt

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William Trask, Capt.'s Timeline

1585
December 14, 1585
East Coker, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
1625
1625
Age 39
(poss) E. Coker, Somerset, England
1666
May 15, 1666
Age 80
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States