Edward Garfield, Sr., "The Immigrant"

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Edward Garfield, Sr., "The Immigrant"

Also Known As: "Gearfield"
Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Hilmorton, Warwickshire, England
Death: June 14, 1672 (88)
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Watertown, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Garfield and Agnes Garfield
Husband of NN Garfield, first wife; Rebecca Garfield and Johanna Buckmaster
Father of Jonathan Garfield, died in infancy; Samuel Garfield, Sr.; Sarah Garfield; Joseph Garfield; Rebecca Mixer and 2 others
Brother of Thomas Garfield; William Garfield; Margaret Garfield; Sara Garfield; Henry Garfield and 1 other

Occupation: Proprietor, selectman 1638, 1655, 1662
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edward Garfield, Sr., "The Immigrant"

The Garfield family descends from Edward Garfield (1583-1672), the first of the Garfield family to leave England for the New World, and the forefather for most, if not all, of the people bearing or connected to the Garfield name in the American colonies.


Edward Garfield was born July 28, 1583 in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England and baptized there in 1583. He emigrated to the Puritan colony of Massachusetts probably in the Winthrop Fleet of 1630. (3) He died on June 14, 1672 at an advanced age and his will was probated on July 11, 1672. (1) He was also known as Edward Gearfield.

Parents: Thomas Garfield and Agnes.


  1. in England before 1611 to a woman whose name is unknown and who died before 1630. (3 children)
  2. 2nd, in America in 1632 to Rebecca Johnson (?) born about 1606 in Kendal, Westmoreland, England. Rebecca died 16 Apr 16, 1661 in Watertown, Massachusetts. (4 children)
  3. 3rd. on 1 September 1661 to Mrs. Johanna (Robinson) Buckmaster widow of Thomas Buckmaster, of Muddy River (Brookline), Massachusetts. She died 17 August 1676 both died in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Children of unknown and Edward Garfield, all baptized at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry, Warwickshire:

  1. Jonathan who died shortly after his birth in 1611
  2. Samuel who was born in 1613
  3. Sarah born in 1616, possibly named for her mother.

Children of Rebecca Johnson and Edward Garfield:

  1. Joseph born in 1637
  2. Rebecca born in 1640 / Mar. 10, 1636 - d. Mar. 16, 1684 Watertown, MA married Isaac Mixer.
  3. Benjamin born in 1643
  4. Abigail born in 1646


  • Edward was a widower when he immigrated to the Puritan colony of Massachusetts, perhaps in the Winthrop fleet of 1630 since he is mentioned in the family records of Isaac Sterns as one of his fellow passengers, along with Gov. Winthrop and Sir Richard Saltonstall. The first official evidence of Edward Garfield in Massachusetts is shown in Watertown records when he was granted the rights of a freeman on May 6, 1635, (voting rights for property owners.) Resided in Watertown with four children born there. He received 30 acres of land in 1636, and a total of 12 acres in 1637. In addition, he purchased another 100 acres as recorded between 1651 and 1662. During the years when Watertown struggled for existence, he performed many services, appearing often in the town records, which included serving as selectman in 1638, 1655 and 1661 and "Ould Garfield" was chosen as Constable in 1661.
  • Setled in Watertown, MA by 1635. He was one of eleven freemen chosen in December of 1637 "to order the civil affaires of ye town".
  • Apparently, Edward sent for his children soon after his arrival in Massachusetts because both Edward and his son Samuel are shown in the land inventories of 1637 and 1647. In 1630, when Edward departed for the "New World," Samuel would have been 17 and Sarah 14. Robert C.Anderson makes a case for Sarah Garfield being the second wife of George Parkhurst and the mother of Sarah Parkhurst, the grandchild who is mentioned in Edward's will but the exact identity of Sarah Parkhurst's mother has not yet been definitely established.


  • Bond created much confusion in the accounts of this family, by splitting the immigrant into two men, and then doing the same with his eldest son. He first presents "SAMUEL GARFIELD ... a proprietor 1642, and had a son SAMUEL, who was apprenticed to John Flemming, Nov. 1, 1653. He was probably a son of the first Edward Garfield, but there is no further record of him." This is followed by "EDWARD GARFIELD died in Watertown, June 14, 1672, aged 97. He was probably the father of Samuel, above mentioned, and of Edward, next following." And what follows is an account of Edward Garfield, who had a son Samuel, the latter being credited with fifteen children, the eldest of whom was a son John, born on 8 February 1645/6. Savage was unable to untangle this presentation, and so went along with Bond, although with obvious reservations ("if Bond be correct," and "It seems to me, that Dr. Bond has confused the father and son making each die on the same day, and the age of the elder forbidding the likelihood of his being the father of the children").
  • Savage had, in fact, put his finger accurately on the problem. The date of death of the supposed elder Edward (14 June 1672) is bracketed by the dates of making and proving of the will of the supposed younger Edward (30 December 1668 and 16 July 1672). (Findagrave)



  1. Edward Garfield's probable birth record is found in the Parish Registers of Hillmorton, Warwickshire, 1524-1876, Register 49 (1895): 194,3003). (GIA site)
  2. According to new information published by Robert C. Anderson in October 2002 in the NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER, (pg 327 - vol 156) Edward Garfield was baptized in Hillmorton, Warwickshire in 1583 and his parents were listed as Thomas Garfield and Agnes. His three children were all baptized at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry, Warwickshire and were recorded in the Parish Registers there but nothing is known about his wife who must have died early. (GIA site)
  3. mentioned in the family records of Isaac Sterns as one of his fellow passengers, along with Gov. Winthrop and Sir Richard Saltonstall.
  • Isaac Stearns and Mary, his wife, with two daughters, Mary & Ann, embarked in the ship "Arabella" from Nayland, England on the 12th of April 1630, for America. Among their fellow passengers were Gov. Winthrop, Sir Richard Saltonstall and Edward Garfield, ancestor of President Garfield. Edward Garfield settled in Watertown, MA. near Mt. Auburn. (GIA site)
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Edward Garfield, Sr., "The Immigrant"'s Timeline

July 28, 1583
Hilmorton, Warwickshire, England
July 28, 1583
Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England
Age 27
Age 29
Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Age 32
Age 49
September 11, 1637
Age 54
March 10, 1640
Age 56
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts