Elizabeth Kerley

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Elizabeth Kerley (White)

Birthdate: (40)
Birthplace: South Petherton, Somerset, England
Death: February 10, 1675 (40)
Lancaster, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony (killed by Indians)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John White and Joane White (West)
Wife of Capt. Henry Kerley
Mother of Henry Kerley, Jr.; William Kerley; Bartholomew Carley; Elizabeth Howe; Hannah Kerley and 7 others
Sister of John White, Jr.; Joanna Hudson; Thomas White; Nathaniel White; Mary Talcott and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Elizabeth Kerley

Henry Kerley came to America with his father. He and his wife Elizabeth lived in Lancaster, MA where Elizabeth was killed by the Indians, along with two of her sons, February 10, 1675/6, in the Rowlandson Garrison massacre. Their remaining children were taken captive.

There is an amusing sidelight on Henry's courtship of Elizabeth. In Sudbury, in the town square outside the tavern and near the bridge his father had built stood a large wooden post which was used as a town bulletin board. Here were posted the banns or notice of their coming marriage which had to be cried from the pulpit for three successive Sundays to make it legal. One night, after a terrific quarrel with his betrothed, Henry sought solace in the tavern. Later, upon coming out, much the worse for wear, he spied the bulletin post with its offending notice of his coming nuptials, and staggering over, with much exertion wrenched the post from the ground and threw it in the river. The following Sunday, he sat meekly in church during the final reading of their banns, and they were married shortly after.

Captain Henry Kerley was away from home in Boston when the massacre of his family occurred, along with the minister, Joseph Rowlandson, his brother-in-law, pleading with the Council for protection for their settlement from the Indians. They only returned in time to bury their dead. After fighting nearly all day, the Indians finally managed to set fire to the garrison house, to drive its inhabitants out. Captain Henry's wife, Elizabeth, was shot along with two of her sons as she came out the doorway, and fell there, so that she was burned beyond recognition. Capt. Henry didn't even know he had buried his wife until her sister, Mary Rowlandson, was ransomed from the Indians and returned to tell her tale.

"My Husband and Captain Henry Kerley had gone to Boston to request that soldiers come to our aid as an Indian attack was possible. While they were gone on February 10, the garrison house in which my family lived came under attack by Indians. Most of the family and villagers were with us but they set fire to the building and we were forced to leave. My sister Elizabeth Kerley was killed on the doorstep, her three sons, Henry 18 William 17,Joseph 7 were killed outside the house. My sister Hannah, whose husband, John Divoll, had been killed, took 4 year old William and I took my three children, Mary, Joseph and my six year old daughter, Sarah. As I stepped out the door with her I was shot, the bullet going through my child and out my side, She was severely wounded. The Indians divided us and we began our captivity."Mary Rowlandson

Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Author: Mary Rowlandson Publisher: Hard Press Copyright: 1682

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Elizabeth Kerley's Timeline

July 29, 1635
Old Church,South Pemberton,Som,Eng
July 29, 1635
South Petherton,Somerset,England
South Petherton, Somerset, England
January 21, 1657
Age 22
April 22, 1658
Age 23
Age 26
Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 26
Marlboro, Middlesex, MA
May 8, 1663
Age 28
Lancaster Worche,ster,Mass
July 8, 1663
Age 28