Capt. Benjamin Vermayes

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Benjamin Vermayes

Also Known As: "Vermais", "Fermayes", "Fearmayes"
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Death: before November 28, 1665
perhaps Surinam (Dutch Guinea) or, Guinea
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Vermayes and Alice Firmage
Husband of Mercy Vermayes
Brother of Mark Vermace; Abigail Hutchinson; Susanna Vergoose; Esther Estwick and Sarah Landgon

Occupation: Sea Captain
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. Benjamin Vermayes

Benjamin Vermayes, also known as Fermayes, a sea captain, was born before 1621 in (probably) Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. He was the son of ? Vermayes and Alice Blessing, or perhaps an earlier wife, as widow Alice Vermais did not name him in her 1656 will. Benjamin was reported dead on 28 Nov 1665 to the Essex County Court. His estate was administered by his (half?) sister, widow Hester Estwick of Salem.

Benjamin Vermayes joined the church in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1642, and was a freedman there on 18 May 1642. But he moved to Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and married Mercy Bradford, eldest daughter of William Bradford and Alice Carpenter, on 21 December 1648, at Plymouth in the Plymouth Colony. He and his wife apparently did not have any children. "She most probably died before May, 1657 [SIC: 1650, childbirth?]. Her parents and her husband survived her. "The estimated date of her death was determined by the probate settlement records of her parents and husband."

He must have returned to Salem; his death was reported in Salem records and his estate probated in Essex County.

from Perley

From link to Perley, Sidney, The History of Salem, Massachusetts (Salem, Massachusetts: S. Perley, 1924-1928.), 2:42

Mark Vermais was perhaps the son of Mrs. Alice Vermais. She was admitted to the Salem Church in 1639. He was engaged to be married to Katherine -- in 1640, but she forsook him and married Nicholas Pacy of Lowestoft, Suffolkshire, England, merchant. Mrs. Vermais had a daughter Abigail, who was admitted to the church in Salem in 1640, and married, first, Robert Bethune of Boston; second, Edward Hutchinson; and probably a son Benjamin, who belonged to the Salem church, and married Mercy, eldest daughter of Gov. William Bradford of Plymouth in 1648, and removed to Boston, and thence to Plymouth. ...



BLESSING, Alice m. abt 1615 (____) VERMAYES. Alice came to New England as a widow and d. 9 Feb 1655/6 at Boston, MA.

NOTE: The name is also shown as Fermace/ Fermaes/ Fermase/ Fermayes/ Firmage/ Formais/ Hermayes/ Veremaes and Vermais.

Children of (____) VERMAYES and Alice BLESSING all b. Norfolk Co, England:

  1. Mark, b. abt 1619; no further record [SIC: returned to England]
  2. Benjamin, b. abt 1620, m. Mercy Bradford at Boston 21 Dec 1648, dau of Gov. Wm Bradford. no children found. She d. abt 1650 poss. in childbirth. Comment: date of birth seems to be an estimate based on being made free in 1642 (age 21 or older). There is speculation that Mark & Benjamin were in fact Alice's stepchildren, as they were not named in her 1655 will.
  3. Susan m. bef 1656 at Boston, Peter Vergose, AKA: Fergoose, Vertigoose and Goose.
  4. Abigail m. 1st Robert Button of Salem, MA and 2d, Edward Hutchinson, Jr. son of William and Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson. Ann was convicted for her religious beliefs and banished from MA Bay Colony; most of her family went to Portsmouth, RI.
  5. Sarah m. John Landgon bef 1656 at Boston, MA - haven't found children yet.
  6. Esther / Hester m. abt 1650 Edward Eastwick prob. at Salem, MA.

supporting data

From page 174 of Annals of Salem, Volume 1 By Joseph Barlow Felt. "First Settlers"

1642 - Benjamin Vermayes m.f. 1642

From page 167 of Annals of Salem, Volume 1 By Joseph Barlow Felt "Abbreviations"

  • m.f. = made free
  • mr = made free subsequent to the years standing on a line with the name
  • g.l. = granted land by Salem authorities

From link to Perley, Sidney, The History of Salem, Massachusetts (Salem, Massachusetts: S. Perley, 1924-1928.), 2:403

18:3:1642, Robert Button, Benjamin Vermaes ....


On 1 9 mo. 1656, Phillip Cromwell sold land to Francis Skerry that is partly described as "one acre of it was Richard Leache Sr.'s and 1 1/2 acres that was John Leaches and 1/2 acre Robert Leaches situated between land of Robert Fuller and an acre of land of John Burrows on the West butting on the North River." [Essex County Deeds 1:81].  Later on 2 11 mo. 1664, Phillip sold more land this time to Stephen Haskett described in part as "bounded north with the highway that goes between the North river and said house and east with land of John Gedney and south with land that was one Burrows (a cooper) and later Benjamin Fermaies" [Essex County Deeds 2:289].  It seems from these two references that the cooper's land was given to Benjamin Fermayes or Vermayes who was admitted to the Salem Church on 6 March 1641/42.  He moved to Plymouth and married Mercy Bradford, the daughter of Gov. William Bradford on 20 December 1648 at Plymouth [Plymouth VRs, p. 656]. He died in the West Indies and left no children.  His probate papers mention this piece of land, but not how he acquired it.  [see Walter Goodwin Davis, Massachusetts and Maine Families of Walter Goodwin Davis I:197 under Blessing from The Ancestry of Sarah Johnson].

From Ancient landmarks of Plymouth by Davis, William T. (William Thomas), 1822-1907 Published 1899 link

... "After the death of Mr. Atwood, which occurred in 1644, his widow Ann Atwood, sold it [the former Gov. Prence property] in 1649 to Benjamin Vermayes. How long Mr. Vermayes owned it the records do not disclose ..."

From link to Perley, Sidney, The History of Salem, Massachusetts (Salem, Massachusetts: S. Perley, 1924-1928.), 2:347

In 1665, Capt. Benjamin Fermayes of Salem died on the coast of Guinea.

From link to Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts ... By Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County).

November 1665 Court

Court having been informed of the death of Benjamin Fearemayes, at Ginne, who left some land in Salem, court ordered that his estate be given into the hands of Capt. Huchesson and the widow Hester Eastwick

From link to Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts ... By Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County).

June 1666 Court

Edward Eastwick, dying intestate, administration upon the estate was granted to Hester, the widow, who brought in an inventory* amounting to 32li. 3d. She was to pay to her several children, 40s. each, at age or marriage, and if more debts appeared, such amount was to be deducted out of every one's share, etc. Hester Estwick was appointed administratrix of the estate in this country of Capt. Benjamin Fermayes, deceased, and was ordered to bring in an inventory to the next Ipswich or Salem court.

From link to to Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts ... By Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County).

November 1667 Court

Hester Eastwick, widow, presenting an inventory of the estate of Capt. Benjamin Feiremayde, deceased, that is in this country, court granted administration to said Hester and ordered that she pay herself what was her due as appeared by the testimony of Frances Nurse. The remainder of the estate was to remain in her hands until court took further order.*

  • George Gardnerf and Francis (his mark) Norss, at the request of widow Esteck, on 26 :9 :1666, appraised one acre of land in the field near the north ferry and half an acre of land lying between Mr. John Gidny and Goodman Peter at 14li. sterling. There were ten acres of land on Marblehead side, but the location was not known. Franc. Nurce, aged about forty-five years, deposed that Ester Eswicke did entrust to Benjamin Fermane one cow valued at five pounds for which he promised to pay her 20s. per annum so long as he kept the principle in his hands, which is nineteen years.

sources cited

  • Lainart, Ann Smith and Wakefield, Robert S., FASG, Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Volume 22, General Society of Mayflower Descendents, Plymouth, MA., 2004 a/k/a "The Silver Book"
  • page 255 of Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England: Miscellaneous records ... By New Plymouth Colony, Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff. " "Marriages ... Vermayes, Benjamin, and Mercy Bradford, Plymouth, 21 December, 1648, ..."
  • page 248 of Americana: (American Historical Magazine)., Volume 16. "VERMAES, VERMAYES MARK, freeman, Salem, Mass., 1639."
  1. Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes, p. 121-125.
  2. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Vols. 1-3, entry for William Bradford, pp. 207-209.
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Capt. Benjamin Vermayes's Timeline

Norfolk, England
November 28, 1665
Age 45
March 28, 1997
Age 45
June 18, 1997
Age 45