Elizabeth Kerley

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Elizabeth Kerley (Ward)

Also Known As: "Howe;"
Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: April 26, 1710 (67)
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts (Indian massacre casualty )
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Deacon William Ward and Elizabeth Ward
Wife of John Howe, IV and Capt. Henry Kerley
Mother of Sarah Joslin; John Howe; David Howe; Elizabeth Keyes; Hannah Eager and 2 others
Sister of Deborah Ward; Hannah Howe; Samuel Ward; Increase Ward; Hopestill Woods (Ward) and 3 others
Half sister of John Ward, of Newton; Joanna Williams; Obadiah Ward; Richard Ward; Mary Stone and 2 others

Managed by: Alice Zoe Marie Knapp
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Kerley

Biography 1676 Lancaster Indian Raid Elizabeth Kerley, who was born in 1660 to Captain Henry Kerley and his first wife, the former Elizabeth White, both of Lancaster, Massachusetts. Elizabeth along with her father had excaped the well documented Massacre at the Lancaster settlement, which was part of the long struggle with the native people over land known as King Philip’s War.

Philip was furious and armed bands of Indians were seen moving through the countryside. In the half light before dawn on Jan 1, the Indians struck. The Indians from Philip’s base at Mount Hope burned all the houses of Swansea, slaughtering and mutilating the inhabitants. Next they took Dartmouth, then Taunton, Middleborough and Sudbury. Fifty men were massacred at Lancaster on 10 Feb 1676 and forty homes were burned at Groton.

Among those killed at Lancaster were: Elizabeth’s brothers; William and Henry; and their mother, Elizabeth (White) Kerley, who was the daughter of John and Joane (West) White; and several near relatives. Also when the Indians raided Lancaster, Elizabeth’s aunt, Mary (White) Rowlandson was taken prisoner. Mary, with her children and William were joined by 34 others in the Rowlander’s stronghouses when the attack began and which the Indians succeeded in setting on fire.

Mary relates -“I took my children and one of my sisters’ to go forth and leave the house, but as soon as we came to the door and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the bullets rattled against the house as if one had taken a handful of stones and thrown them. The fire was increasing and coming behind us and the Indians were before us with their guns, spears and hatchets to devour us. No sooner were we out of the house, but my brother-in-law fell down dead (the brother of her husband), whereat the Indians scornfully shouted and hallooed, and were presently upon him, stripping off his clothes. One bullet went through my side, and the same through the bowels and hand of my dear child in my arms. One of my elder sisters’ children, named William, had then his leg broken, which the Indians perceiving, knocked him on the head. Thus were we butchered by those merciless heathen, standing amazed with blood running down to our heels."“But God was with me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along and bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the Indians carried my poor wounded babe on a horse...I went on foot after it, with sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took it off the horse, and carried it in my arms until my strength failed, and I fell down with it. They put her and the child on a horse until they made camp.

And now I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap, calling much for water, being now through the wound fallen into a violent fever - Oh, may I see the wonderful power of God, that my spirit did not utterly sink unto my affliction. Still the Lord upheld me with His gracious and merciful Spirit, and we were both alive to see the light of the next morning.”“I was with the enemy eleven weeks and five days. They triumphed and rejoiced in their inhumane and many times devilish cruelty to the English.”

Mary was miraculously released, shortly before the cessation of hostilities. She was redeemed from the Indians by the General Court of Boston, Mr. John Hoar, of Concord, being the ambassador. Some years since Senator George F. Hoar, of Worcester, purchased the rock and had the following inscription placed upon it:“Upon this rock May 2, 1676, was made the agreement for the ransom of Mrs. Mary Rolandson, of Lancaster, between the Indians and John Hoar of Concord. King Philip was with the Indians, but refused his consent.”

Elizabeth's father, Henry Kerley, who had married Elizabeth White on 02 Nov 1654, survived the Lancaster Massacre and two months after the event, on 19 Apr 1676, married Elizabeth (Ward) How in Chalestown. She was the widow of John How, and the sister of Hannah, who was the mother of Daniel Howe. Henry, with his new wife, and his daughter, Elizabeth, moved to Marlborough, where he died on 18 Dec 1713. This marriage and move to Marlborough, no doupt lead to Elizabeth’s and Daniel’s aquantance.

As to Elizabeth and Daniel Howe, they lived in Marlborough, were Daniel became a leading citizen of that community serving also as Captain of the Militia. Here Elizabeth would give birth to all their children. http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/Elizabeth_Kerley_(1660-1735)#Biography

Elizabeth Ward is the daughter of William Ward and Elizabeth Phillips/Stoney.She married John Howe,son of John Howe and Mary Martha Jones of Marlborough.

Elizabeth (Ward) Howe married Captain Henry Kerley on 18 February 1676/77, per the published Charlestown vital records book, and page 434 of Torrey's "New England Marriages Prior to 1700."

They had both been recently widowed and both had small children.


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Elizabeth Kerley's Timeline

April 14, 1643
Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
April 14, 1643
Newton, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Age 26
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
September 9, 1671
Age 28
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
March 29, 1674
Age 30
Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts
July 16, 1675
Age 32
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
March 20, 1678
Age 34
Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
May 2, 1681
Age 38
Marlboro, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States