Andrew "Gentleman" Hallett, of Yarmouth

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Andrew "Gentleman" Hallett, of Yarmouth

Also Known As: "Mr. Andrew Hollett Sr the younger"
Birthplace: Symondsbury, Dorset, England
Death: March 16, 1684
Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Hallett, of Symondsbury and Beatrix Hallett
Husband of Andrew Hallett's 1st wife and Anne Hallett
Father of Ruhamah Hersey; Abigail Alden; Dorcas Hallett; Jonathan Hallett; John Hallett and 1 other
Brother of John Hallet

Occupation: gentleman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Andrew "Gentleman" Hallett, of Yarmouth

Andrew Hallett, Jr., "Gentleman"

  • baptized: 19 May 1607 in Symondsbury, Dorset, England
  • death: estate was apprised on 19 May 1684
  • parents: probably the son of Andrew Hallett & Beatrix Knote
  • Married: 1) unknown woman 2) Ann Besse

"Andrew (2) Hallet had at least two sons, Jonathan and John and three daughters, Ruhamah who married (1) John Bourn and (2) William Hersey of Hingham as his second wife; Abigail who married Jonathan (2) Alden; and Mehitable who married John Dexter. The first four were born before 1660, and thus were the children of a first wife whose identity seems to be entirely unknown, and Mehitable seems to be the only one who was born to Ann Besse".


  • The American Genealogist, vol. 37, no. 2, pg. 84-85
  • Winsor, Justin. A History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts with Genealogical Registers. 1849. Reprint Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, Inc., 1999.



ANDREW HALLETT--Page 1 "A good reputation is more valuable than money." Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)--Maxims

Andrew Hallett Jr. was the colonial everyman. Otis characterizes him as a quiet, peaceful man who minded his own business and did not meddle in the affairs of others. He was never rich, but he had the respect of the community, and through diligence and hard work eventually owned about 300 acres of land in Yarmouth. His family was an early one on Cape Cod, with his father Andrew Sr. making his permanent home there in 1641. His colorful relatives must have made for an interesting life: He married Anne Besse of Sandwich, daughter of Anthony Besse (when she was only fourteen years old.) One of his daughters married an Alden. Two of his children married into the Dexter family. His sister Bathsheba married Richard Bourne, and his wife Anne's mother Jane married for her second husband George Barlow, the famous persecutor of the Quakers in Sandwich, MA.

The anecdotes about him are everywhere:

Eleanor Early wrote about his wife Anne. She reports that the same year she married Andrew, she gave birth to twins. She says the twins were born at daybreak, and by mid-afternoon, Anne had asked her mother to watch the babies so she could go outside and look for bird's eggs. The townspeople never stopped talking about this incident. Anne and Andrew's next child, a daughter named Dorcas, died as an infant, and the tongues in town wagged; it was of course because of Anne's folly over the eggs. Anne's mother Jane was very young at the time also, being 29 years old. Mother Jane had children after Anne did. Eleanor Early says Anne's children often had to mind their little aunts and uncles.

Elizabeth Raynard wrote a very nice 'day in the life' of a typical early Cape Cod family and used the Halletts as the main characters.  She tells a story of a father's special feelings for his youngest daughter (Mehitable) who is portrayed as a lively, spirited child prone to mischief.  The author wrote of how Andrew must have felt towards his father-in-law Barlow and his brother-in-law Bourne. The story follows a typical day in which the father rises and does his chores, meets the family for breakfast, sends the little ones off to school, resumes his chores, leads the religious observations at supper, etc.

She gives Otis as her source of Hallett information. Otis has many little details about Andrew, Jr. and other members of the family: Andrew Jr. didn't learn to write until after he was married; he also tells the birds' egg story. He says that his father Andrew Sr. could be considered 'stiff-necked' since he was involved in litigation several times as plaintiff and never won a decision, and that this stubbornness carried down a few generations. This trait he illustrates with an anecdote about "the fourth Jonathan and Joshua Hallett." The two were putting shingles on a building; one of them suggested they needed to build a platform to stand upon in order to reach higher. The other said he could go on without the aid of such a platform. Then the first Hallett stated that, well, he could go on just as long, then, and would not suggest using a platform again. The two Halletts continued nailing row after row of shingles, reaching higher and higher, until they were spotted up on their toes, hammering nails into shingles far above their heads. They drew a crowd, which derided them for their stubbornness, and so they came to their senses and put up a platform to stand on.

Otis also tells us the Andrew Hallett Jr. farm later was sold to Daniel Wing, whose descendants lived there for many generations. He says the name of Andrew Hallett Jr. does not appear in the criminal records, and this fact is noteworthy considering that even the most trivial faults were recorded.

He also goes on about Hallett's spring, which not only supplied his family with water, but also supplied many of his neighbors. Otis says it was one of the best springs in Yarmouth, and was in use until 1770, when an earthquake caused it to dry up. The locals tried to resurrect it by clearing out the spring and replacing the curb, but the water from this spring never tasted the same afterwards. [Andrew Hallett Page 2]

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Birth: May, 1607 Alderholt, England Death: unknown Yarmouth Barnstable County Massachusetts, USA

Baptized Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, 19 May 1607, son of Andrew and Beatrice (Knote) Hallett. Planter & husbandman from Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1635 on the "Marygould." (On 20 March 163[4/]5, "Andrewe Hallett," aged 28, servant of Richard Wade, was enrolled at Weymouth, Dorsetshire, as a passenger for New England on the Marygould). First settled in Dorchester (as servant of RICHARD WADE {1635, Dorchester}); moved to Sandwich in 1639, & Yarmouth in 1642. Died between 14 March 1681/2 (date of will) and 19 May 1684 (date of inventory). MARRIAGES: (1) By about 1642_____ _____. (2) By 1663 Ann Bessey, daughter of ANTHONY BESSEY {1635, Lynn} Both Savage and Pope have jumbled together records for Andrew Hallett Sr. and Andrew Hallett Jr. [Savage 2:340; Pope 209]. In sorting out these two men, we need to answer two questions: Which of these two men, if either, was the immigrant of 1635? Was the elder the father of the younger? The age and parish of origin of the Andrew Hallett who appears on the 1635 passenger list mesh exactly with the baptism of an Andrew Hallett at Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, on 19 May 1607. We conclude that this is the immigrant, and make this the starting point for our analysis. One of the men named Andrew Hallett appeared first in Yarmouth as early as 5 March 1638/9, and was always referred to as "Mr." or "Gentleman." The other Andrew Hallett appeared briefly at Sandwich, before moving on to Yarmouth. On 1 March 1643/4, by which time both men were residing in Yarmouth, a letter was sent to the General Court by "Mr. Andrew Hellot, Senior, of Yarmouth." The man with the designations of respect was, therefore, "Senior," and the man who appeared first at Sandwich was "Junior." All in all, there is no direct evidence that the two men were father and son, and some slight indication that they were not, but the relationship is still possible. Further research in English records will be required to resolve this issue.

Family links:

 Wife Hallett
 Ann Bessey Hallett (1641 - ____)


Burial: Unknown

Andrew Hallett Jr. was born in 1626 in Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, England and died mar,16,1684 in Yarmouth, Mass. Andrew Hallett Jr. married Ann Besse She married Andrew in 1645 in Barnstable, Massachusetts.. She was the daughter of Anthony Besse of either Lynn or Sandwich. She was only fourteen years old when they married, but she was said to be a strong healthy woman, and that she was the mother of twins before her fifteenth birthday. On the day following the birth of her children she requested her mother, who acted as nurse, to take care of the babies while she went out to seek birds eggs for them. The grandmother at that time could not have been over thirty, for she had children of her own fifteen years younger than her grandchild Abigail, and if Ruhama was one of the twins, not far from twenty. They lived in Sandwich until July 28, 1640, when he sold his farm to Daniel Wing and Andrew moved to Yarmouth, where he lived until his death in 1684. Following in the Hallett tradition which had been established by his father, Andrew Jr. eventually became the largest land holder in Yarmouth, owning about three hundred acres of the best lands and meadows in the town. He owned so much property on both sides of the main lane that it was eventually named "Hallett Street," which it is still called today. He also owned lands and meadows in Barnstable, 1000 acres in Windham, Conn., and approximately 500 acres more just outside Yarmouth.

Andrew Hallett Jr. did not acquire his wealth by official services. His name frequently occurs on the records, but not in connection with any office that boasted much honor . In 1642, '56 and '58 he was a surveyor of highways; in 1651 and 1679 constable. In 1659 he was appointed by the Court as a member of a committee to raise money for the support of the ministry in Yarmouth. In 1660, '67 and '75 he was on the grand jury; and Oct. 30, 1667 he was appointed by the Colony Court, at the request of the town, a member of the land committee of Yarmouth. None of these are offices of honor or profit; but they show that he was a man in whom his neighbors had confidence, that he was a man of common sense and sound judgment. As a young man he was unable to write, yet soon after he came to Yarmouth he acquired that art.  In 1659  you can find his name subscribed to the verdict of a jury of inquest.  He took the oath of fidelity while a resident in Sandwich, and his name and that of his father appears on the list of those who were able to bear arms in Yarmouth in August 1643. On the criminal calendar his name does not appear. In those times the most trifling faults were noted, and he who escaped a prosecution must necessarily have lived a blameless life. He also kept his name off of the civil docket.  He was a member of the church in Yarmouth. He often attended the meetings of Mr. Lothrop, and Mr. Walley, and some of the members of his family afterward joined the Barnstable church.  One of the major points of interest which ran through the Hallett family was the type of houses in which they lived. Andrew Hallet Jr.'s house is described thusly by Amos Otis: "The house which he bought of Gyles Hopkins in 1642, was probably the same that Mr. Stephen Hopkins built in the summer of 1638, and if so, was the first house built by the English on Cape Cod below Sandwich. it was small and poorly constructed, and was occupied as a dwelling not many years.... It probably contained at first only one room. The excavation into the hill, and the chimney, covered nearly the whole of the west side, and the other three sides were covered with hand-sawed or hew planks, and the roof with thatch. The walls were not shingled on the outside, or plastered on the end. The seams in the boarding were filled or "daubed" with clay. Oiled paper supplied the place of glass.

The second house in which Andrew Hallett Jr. resided in Yarmouth stood on the west side of the mill road. Andrew Hallett built the house himself. The new house was built on a little knoll, and fronted due south, as all ancient dwellings did because it secured two objects which was considered essential: the rays of the sun at noon, or dinnertime, as they called that hour of the day, shone parallel with the side of the house, and their great room in which they lived, was on the sunny or warm side of the house. The chimney was uniformly built on the west side, and projected outside of the frame. The exact size of Andrew Hallett's new house cannot be stated accurately: it was about 22 feet by 26 on the ground, and was only about one or one and one-half stories high. The "great room" about 17 feet square, occupied the southeast corner. The fireplace was eight feet wide and four deep, and the mantle, which was of wood, was laid about five feet and a half high, so that the family could pass to the oven, which opened on the back of the fireplace near the south corner. There was a small kitchen or work room at the northwest corner; at the northeast corner a small pantry, with a trap door leading to the cellar. Between the pantry and the great room was a bed-room, the floor of which was elevated about two feet, to give greater depth to the cellar. The bed occupied near all the space, and it was so low in the walls that a tall person could not stand upright therein. A ladder in the front entry led to the chamber, which was occupied for weaving and lodging rooms. No part of the house was ever painted or any of the rooms papered. The windows were of small diamond shaped glass set in lead. No blinds or curtains were needed, and none were ever used. The furniture of the house was for use, not for show. He had one of the lushest orchards in Massachusetts, setting goals for others to try to achieve. He had Kentish Cherry trees brought over by the Pilgrims, which rapidly multiplied by suckers and were set on the outer edge to protect the other less hardy trees. He raised apple trees from seeds, brought from England. The pignose a good winter apple was the most productive. The Foxwell was a fall apple of fair quality. He also had pear trees, raised from seeds, but they did not prove to live long. He also had French sugar pear trees, which he grafted into the poorer pear seedlings and which survived quite well. 'Goodman' Hallett, as he was called, was referred to as a husbandman. By honest industry, skillful management and economy, he accumulated a large estate. In 1676 his tax was one twentieth of the taxes of all of Yarmouth. He was a very practical man. The furniture in his house bore witness to his belief that "nothing was valuable that was not useful." "A large house makes a slave of the wife, and elegant furniture drouges of the daughters," he was quoted as saying to his neighbors. He had Indian servants who assisted him in the labors of his fields. He never expected them to do anything he was not willing to do himself. When asked why he lived in so small a house, he is said to have replied, "Comfort lives in a small house and needs no servants: care in a large one, and requires many." He was also very cautious of spending money. "Daylight," he would say, "was cheaper than candlelight" and as soon as the day broke he was up and dressed. He was a man of faith, beginning each day around the breakfast table with the odler daughter reading a passage from the Bible, singing a few stanzas from a favorite hymn and Goodman Hallett kneeling down in prayer, asking God's blessing and protection on his country, his church, his household and his dear friends in England. He loved to tell stories to his children about "home," as he called Old England. He was handy with all types of chores, from the making of andirons for the fireplace to the making of shoes for his family. He demanded the same industrious spirit from his wife and children. "The girl who did not know that the dishwater should be heating during meal time is unfit to be married," he told his daughter, Abigail, when she was in her teens. His wife was an expert weaver and seamstress, a craft which was handed down to many future generations. "Goodman" Hallett died in the spring of 1684. He was at least 70 years of age. All of his children had married and left home...." The inventory of the estate was appraised by John Miller and John Thacher on 19 May 1684 and signed by his widow, Ann Hallet 31 May 1684. Ann Hallett continued to live in the easterly part of the house; her grandson John Bourne lived with her and her son Jonathan occupied the west part of the house. She died in the spring of 1694, leaving a will dated June 23, 1684. Her wearing apparel, consisting of articles of wool, linen and silk, hose shoes, hat, etc., was appraised at L15-00-00 or 50 dollars in silver money, showing that on the Sabbath and holidays she dressed in great style.

Andrew Jr. and Anne’s children were Mehitable Hallett, Abigail Hallett, Ruhamah Hallett, Dorcas Hallett, John Hallett and Jonathan Hallett Sr.

Andrew Hallet, Jr. was one of the first settlers of Sandwich, MA.

After moving to Yarmouth, he became the largest land holder, owning about 300 acres.

HALLET, sometimes HOLLET, ANDREW, Lynn, rem. to Sandwich 1637, soon after to Yarmouth, and a. 1645 went home, but soon came again; had Dorcas, bapt. 1 June 1646, and Jonathan, 20 Nov. 1647; both bapt. by Lothrop at Barnstable; John, 11 Dec. 1650; Mehitable; Abigail, who m. 10 Dec. 1672, capt. Jonathan Alden; and Ruhamah, who m. 1664, Job Bourne; all nam. with w. Ann in his will of 4 June 1681. Winsor gives the amo. of his cst. £1180. In Lechford's Plain Dealing, p. 41, he is call. sch.master. ANDREW, Yarmouth 1643, then call. junr. was s. of the preced. b. in Eng. m. prob. Ann, d. of Anthony Bessey. GEORGE, Boston, freem. 1690, then call. sen. so that there was a jun. at the same time there

A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England,

Before 1692

Volume #2 by James Savage


page 124

HALLET, ANDREW, came to Plymouth from Lynn, 1637, and afterwards removed to Sandwich and Yarmouth. His children were Dorcas, 1646; Jonathan, 1647; John, 1650; Mehitabel; Abigail, m. Jonathan Alden; and Ruhamah, m. Job Bourne, all probably by wife Ann, and born in Yarmouth.

"The Hamlin Family" by Hon. H. Franklin Andrews, (1902) page 130:

He came over 1636, nominally as the servant of Richard Wade, for convenience of passage; was first at Lynn, Mass., and in Plymouth, 1637; was one of the first settlers of Sandwich, 1637; m. Anne, dau. of Anthony Besse, of Sandwich, but formerly of Lynn, in her fourteenth year. He sold his land in Sandwich to Daniel Wing June 28, 1640, owned in modern times by Paul Wing, at the Tack Factory village; removed to Yarmouth 1643; and lived there the remainder of his life. He bought of Gyles Hopkins in 1642, the first house built by the English in Yarmouth, erected by Stephen Hopkins, the pilgrim, on land owned in modern times by Capt. Charles Bassett. In 1655 he bought the farm of Robert Dennis; by

subsequent purchases he became the largest land owner in Yarmouth, having about 300 acres of the best land in town. Farmer, and by industry, skillful management and economy accumulated a large estate. His tax in 1676 was one twentieth of the entire assessment of the town; highway surveyor 1642, '56 and '58; constable 1651, '79; grand juror 1660, '67, '75 and other offices; member of the church,

Yarmouth. He employed Indian servants about the farm labor. He d. Yarmouth, spring 1684; will March 14, 1682; estate 1180-13-9; she d. 1694.

Children of Andrew Hallett and Ann Bessey are:

i. Abigail Hallett, born 1644.

ii. Dorcas Hallett, born 01 June 1646.

iii. Jonathan Hallett, born 20 November 1647 in Yarmouth, Barstable,

Mass.; died 14 January 1716/17 in Yarmouth, Barstable, Mass; married

Abigail Dexter 30 January 1683/84.

iv. John Hallett, born 11 December 1650.

v. Ruhama Hallett

vi. Mehitable Hallett

FTM CD113, Gen. Dict. of Early Settlers by Savage, pg 340

Family History: 217 Genealogy Books

HALLET, sometimes HOLLET, ANDREW, Lynn, rem. to Sandwich 1637, soon after to Yarmouth, and a. 1645 went home, but soon came again; had Dorcas, bapt. 1 June 1646, and Jonathan, 20 Nov. 1647; both bapt. by Lothrop at Barnstable; John, 11 Dec. 1650; Mehitable; Abigail, who m. 10 Dec. 1672, capt.

Jonathan Alden; and Ruhamah, who m. 1664, Job Bourne; all nam. with w. Ann in his will of 4 June 1681. Winsor gives the amo. of his cst. £1180. In Lechford's Plain Dealing, p. 41, he is call. sch.master.

Andrew came from England in 1637. Was in Plymouth, MA 07/26/1638.

Andrew Hallett ll was baptised May 19,1607 in Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, England, and sailed Mar 20,1635 from Weymouth, Dorsetshire, England to Massachusetts, America.

Andrew Hallett at age 28, is Listed as a servant to Richard Wade, on a list of persons bound from Weymouth to New England dated March 20, 1635. This was the fifth voyage of the May-Flower . Andrew, obviously a man of good estate, came as an indentured servant to Richard Wade. The reason he came as an indentured servant was a common practice in Dorset England. Andrew Hallett Sr. wrote to some of his relatives congratulating himself on his cleverness in outsmarting the ship line. If he came as the gentleman he was, he would have had to pay his own fare, as well as that of his wife and all six children. So he persuaded a cooper, Richard Wade, age 60, to list him as an indentured servant in exchange for paying one-half of the fare for Richard Wade. As a result, Andrew Hallett was able to transport his entire family to the colonies for only one-half one one fare, rather than the eight fares he should have paid. Further information from this letter told that when they got off the boat in the new land, Richard Wade began to give Andrew orders, to which he replied, "I am on free soil now; no one shall ever again tell me what to do." And, according to records of people who knew him in America (including Gov. William Bradford, who confirmed this story in some of his writings), 'no one ever did!

In 1639 he bought off Dr. William Starr, for ten pounds, seventeen acres of land and twelve acres of meadow, with the frame of a house to be made by William Chase, the house to be made and set with a chimney, and to be thatched, studded and latched (daubing excepted), which Mr. Chase had agreed to do for the sum of five pounds. The lot for this house was in the northwest part of Yarmouth and the northeast part of Barnstable, off of the county road; the house was probably within the limits of Yarmouth. He was one of the largest proprietors in Yarmouth in 1639 owning 200 acres, including the tidal and mill; most of his land was in what became Barnstable.

He was taxed in Bowood, Dorset England in 1640 on a subsidy. Not many of the New England immigrants are found on these subsidies, as only a few of them were freeholders. The subsidies were a special tax which Parliament permitted the king to levy on landowners who had sufficient personal property to make collection of taxes cost-effective.

At his death, Andrew left a cow to Yarmouth for the use of the poor. His siblings were better educated than he; but, notwithstanding, Andrew was the most respectable and succeeded best in life.


Taken from

"According to The American Genealogist, vol. 37, no. 2, pg. 84-85, Andrew Hallett is probably the son of Andrew and Beatrix Knote Hallett baptized 19 May 1607 in Symondsbury, Dorset, England. Older sources and published genealogies state Andrew Hallett is the son of Andrew and Mary Hallett born in England about 1615. The younger Andrew is believed to be a nephew or cousin of the elder Andrew Hallett. The elder Andrew Hallett also lived in Yarmouth and died there about 1649."


The Hallett family has descended through the lines of the ancient Anglo Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the county of Kent where they were known as the dwellers at the hall or manor.

Spelling variations include: Hallett, Hallet, Hollett, Hollet, Hollitt, Hollit, Hallette and many more.

First found in Kent where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were William Hallett Sr. of Whitchurch,Canonicorum, Dorsetshire, England, and in the thirteen colonies of early America was Andrew Hallett Who came over on one of the later voyage's of the Mayflower.

view all 19

Andrew "Gentleman" Hallett, of Yarmouth's Timeline

May 19, 1607
Symondsbury, Dorset, England
May 19, 1607
Symondsbury, Dorsetshire, England
August 1644
Age 37
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts
Age 36
Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts
June 1, 1646
Age 39
Yarmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
November 20, 1647
Age 40
Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony
December 11, 1650
Age 43
Yarmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
Age 47
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA