Gov. Roger Conant

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Roger Conant

Also Known As: "Founder of Salem"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: East Budleigh, , Devonshire, England
Death: November 19, 1679
Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Conant, of East Budleigh and Agnes Conant
Husband of Sarah Horton; Sarah Horton and Sarah Conant
Father of Joshua Conant, Sr.; Joshua Conant, Sr.; Sarah Conant; John Conant; Caleb Conant and 8 others
Brother of Joan Conant; Richard Conant, Jr; Robert Conant; Reverend John Conant; Jane Knowles and 2 others

Occupation: Salter in London, Governor of the Cape Ann Colony 1625-1628, 1st Gov Mass Bay Colony, Salter, Founder of Salem Mass., Founder of Salem, MA, Salter;deputy; governor (Salem, MA), Mass
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gov. Roger Conant

Roger Conant (c. 1592 – 1679), son of Richard and Agnes (Clarke) Conant, Sailed 1623 on ship "Ann" from to the Plymouth Colony from London early in 1623/24, (SIC: may have been "The Charity") with the profession of salter. Early in his colonial life, he became associated with those opposed to the Puritan authorities in Plymouth and led the settlement to outlying areas, particularly in the Salem area, which he is credited with founding. He was the first governor of English settlers in Salem from 1626 to 1628.

"During his very long lifetime Conant had a number of family tragedies, including the death of his wife Sarah, and of sons Caleb, Lot, Roger and Joshua. Only his son Exercise and possibly several daughters succeeded him."[1][5]

Brief Biography

From Cutter:

Roger was the immigrant ancestor of the family here in America. One of his brothers was educated at Oxford University, and he too received an excellent education. On January 20, 1619-20, Christopher Conant, grocer, and Roger Conant, salter, both of the parish of St. Lawrence, Jewry, London, signed the composition bond of their brother, John, for the "first fruits" of the rectory of Lymington. He married, November 1618, and had probably been seven years an apprentice salter in London, living there until her came to America in 1623.

Gov. Roger Conant was son of Richard and Agnes, brother it is said to be Dr. John of the great Assembly of Divines at Westminster. He was appointed in 1625, government agent, or superintend for the Dorchester project of the plantation. Roger requested to be made a freeman 19 Oct. 1630.

Roger Conant was the 1st Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, in book HISTORY OF BEVERLY, 1630 - 1842. He discharged the principal offices in Salem. For several years, and represented Salem in the General Court.

According to History of Beverly, he was "a most religious, prudent & worthy gentleman;" graces that eminently qualified him for the duties he was called to discharge, and which, in one instance at least, enabled him to adjust a difficulty between contending parties at Cape Ann that threatened bloodshed. (Quote from Hubbard's Hist. N.E., pp 106-111.)

Family

Roger Conant

  • Birth: 1591, England
  • Christened: 09 Apr 1591 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England
  • Death: Nov. 19, 1679 Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • His suspected burial place is Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, but it has never been determined with certainty.
  • Parents: Richard Conant and Agnes Clark(e)

Married

  1. (1) unknown and
  2. (2) Sarah Horton, married 11 Nov 1618 at St. Ann, Blackfriars, London, England

Father of Sarah (died young), Caleb, Lott, Sarah, Joanna, Roger, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth and Exercise (a son)


Spouse: Sarah Horton Conant (1598 - ____)


Children:

  • Sarah Conant (1619 - 1620)
  • Caleb Conant (1622 - 1633)
  • Sarah Conant Leach (1623 - ____)
  • Lot Conant (1624 - 1674)
  • Joanna Conant (1626 - ____)
  • Roger Conant (1628 - ____)
  • Joshua Conant (1630 - ____)
  • Mary Conant Dodge (1631 - 1688)
  • Elizabeth Conant (1635 - ____)
  • Exercise Conant (1636 - 1722)

notes

Roger Conant founded Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. On June 17,1913 a statue was built and dedicated to him and is still standing in Salem today. Conant built the first Salem house on what today is Essex Street.

The following Quoted from "The Encyclopedia of Colonial & Revolutionary America" by. John Mack Faraghu, 1990.

DORCHESTER COMPANY (1624-1626)

“Organized in England by the Reverend John White and the Western Merchants, the Dorchester Company's purpose was to provide and alternative for the Puritans to the Separatists in Plymouth and to end double-mannin of the merchants' fishing ships by settling fishermen on Cape Ann (Gloucester, MA). To be incorporated, the colonists had to stay three years and build schools and churches. In 1625, Roger Conant became governor, but he rejected the location and took about 40 settlers to Naumkeag (now Salem). The rest left for England, but the colony was not a total loss, as the Massachusetts Bay Company was modeled on it. He came to American with his brother Christopher on the ship "Anne", along with his wife Sarah and son, Caleb. Roger Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England in 1592, the youngest of eight children. In 1623 he emigrated to Plymouth with his wife, Sarh and son, Caleb. However, he was uncomfortable with the strict Pilgrim society in Plymouth and moved his family to Nantasket in 1624. In the late autumn of 1625, Conant was invited by the Rev. John White and other members of the Dorchester Company to move to their fishing settlement on Cape Ann as their governor. Still looking for more favorable conditions for a settlement, he let a group of people to Naumkeag, now Salem, in 1626, and continued as their governor. In 1627 a patent was solicited from Engand and it was obtained by a group led by John Endicott who arrived in Naumkeag in 1628. Endicott and the other settlers of the New England Company now owned the rights to Naumkeag. Fortunately for the peaceful continuity of the settlement, Conant remained in Salem and despite what must have been a disappointment for him, acceded to Endicot's authority as the new governor. Conant built the first Salem house on what is Essex Street today, almost apposite the Town Market. In 1639, his was one of the signatures on the building contract for enlarging the meeting house in Town House Square for the First Church in Salem. This document remains part of the town records at City Hall. He was active in the affairs of the town throughout his life. In 1679, he died at the age of 87.”

There is a dramatic, cloaked statue of Roger Conant facing the Salem Common and stand atop a huge boulder brought from the woods near the floating bridge at Lynn. Artist Henry H. Kitson designed this heroic bronze statue for the Conant Family Association and the statue was dedicated on June 17, 1913. It stands outside the Salem Witch Museum. (Roger is often mistaken as a participant in the Salem witch trials, nothing could be farther from the truth.)

From Salemweb.com:

Roger Conant 1592 to 1679--Salem's Founder

According to records, Roger Conant was baptized in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England in 1592, the youngest of eight children. In 1623 he emigrated to Plymouth with his wife, Sarah and son, Caleb. (on the ship "Ann") However, he was uncomfortable with the strict Pilgrim society in Plymouth and moved his family to Nantasket in 1624. In the late autumn of 1625, Conant was invited by the Rev. John White and other members of the Dorchester Company to move to their fishing settlement on Cape Ann as their governor.

Still looking for more favorable conditions for a settlement, he led a group of people to Naumkeag, now Salem, in 1626, and continued as their governor. In 1627 a patent was solicited from England and it was obtained by a group led by John Endicott who arrived in Naumkeag in 1628. Endicott and the other settlers of the New England Company now owned the rights to Naumkeag. Fortunately for the peaceful continuity of the settlement, Conant remained in Salem and, despite what must have been a disappointment for him, acceded to Endicott's authority as the new governor.

Conant built the first Salem house on what is Essex Street today, almost opposite the Town Market. In 1639, his was one of the signatures on the building contract for enlarging the meeting house in Town House Square for the First Church in Salem. This document remains part of the town records at City Hall. He was active in the affairs of the town throughout his life. In 1679, he died at the age of 87.

This dramatic, cloaked statue of Roger Conant faces the Salem Common and stands atop a huge boulder brought from the woods near the floating bridge at Lynn. Artist Henry H. Kitson designed this heroic bronze statue for the Conant Family Association and the statue was dedicated on June 17, 1913.

Roger Conant: Salem's Founder -

Poor Roger Conant gets no respect.

Because of Salem's reputation as the "Witch City", and because Henry Kitson's bronze statue of the city's founding father stands in front of the salem witch museum, many visitors assume that the likeness of Conant as one respected magazine erroneously called it, that of a "determined sorceress"

Conant deserves better. it was his vision and faith that sowed the seeds of the new plantation at "this place called Naumkeake" in 1626, shortly after the demise of the English fishing settlement at Cape Ann. And it was Conant's tenacity and commitment- with probable encouragement from his wife, Sarah, who had just moved for the fourth time since leaving the comforts of London in 1623-that made the colony a success despite disease, depression and the powerful lure of the warmer Virginia climate.

And it was Conant's decision to stay at Naumkeag and to cooperate with the settlers sent over by the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628, even after the company replaced him as the legal head of the plantation, that gave the settlement it's new name: Salem, "city of peace".

Roger Conant not only stayed, he devoted his life to serving the town and colony. he was admitted to the first church in 1628 and chosen a freeman, or voting stockholder, of the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1630. Conant was one of the first two Salem representatives to the colony's general court or legislature, and was repeatedly elected a selectman by the people of Salem.

When communities were granted the right to establish district courts by the legislature, Roger Conant became a fixture on the Salem quarterly juries for sixteen years. he was frequently called upon to establish boundaries for new communities as far away as Boston and Saugus. In 1636, Conant, John Woodbury, Richard Trask and John Balch, all original settlers of the town, served on the committee which created separate lots from remaining public lands in Salem. in return for their efforts, these men were each given 200 acres of valuable agricultural land in the Bass River.

In 1659, Roger Conant led the drive by Bass River residents to form their own church. By 1667 they had their church and, a year later, Bass River became the new town of Beverly. Conant was given the task of establishing the boundaries between Salem and Beverly and was the latter's most important citizen. Before giving up civic life in 1671, he served briefly as both selectman and juror and, as he had done in Salem, oversaw the laying out of Beverly land grants.

All of Roger Conant's service was rendered against a backdrop of personal tragedy. He had to endure the death of a daughter and four of his five sons. But he trudged steadily on, working for the common good right up until his own death in 1679. His perseverance in the face of adversity, even more than his status as Salem's founding father, is his true legacy.

Citations

  • 1. Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History & People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 269, 270
  • 5. "Roger Conant in Salem"

References

  1. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Family Sketch of Roger Conant
  2. Frederick Odell Conant, A history and genealogy of the Conant family in England and America, thirteen generations, 1520-1887 : containing also some genealogical notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit families (Privately printed: 1887) p. 99

Sources

  1. A Genealogy of One Branch of the Conant Family 1581-1890: Arranged for Moses Conant Warren ...Emily Wilder Leavitt, Moses Conant Warren. private circulation, 1890 - 18 pages
  2. Frederick Odell Conant, A history and genealogy of the Conant family in England and America, thirteen generations, 1520-1887 : containing also some genealogical notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit families (Privately printed: 1887)
  3. Lineage Book of Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors  (Google eBook) Robert Glenn Thurtle Genealogical Publishing Com, Jun 1, 2009 - History - 406 pages.  Page 173
  4. New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, vol I, publ 1915.  Edited by William Richard Cutter. Page 98.  "Conant"
  5. Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families ... (Google eBook) J.H. Beers & Company, 1912 - Barnstable County (Mass.).  Page 383. "Conant"

Links

(f/g) Roger Conant

  • Birth: 1592, England
  • Death: Nov. 19, 1679, Beverly, Essex County Massachusetts, USA

Roger Conant founded Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. On June 17,1913 a statue was built and dedicated to him and is still standing in Salem today. Conant built the first Salem house on what today is Essex Street.

Son of Richard Conant and Agnes Clark(e) Conant Christianed 09 Apr 1591 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England Husband of (1) unknown and (2) Sarah Horton, married 11 Nov 1618 at St. Ann, Blackfriars, London, England Father of Sarah (died young), Caleb, Lott, Sarah, Joanna, Roger, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth and Exercise (a son) Sailed 1623 on ship "Ann" from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts

His suspected burial place is Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, but it has never been determined with certainty.


Family links:

Spouse:
 Sarah Horton Conant (1598 - ____)
Children:
 Sarah Conant (1619 - 1620)*
 Caleb Conant (1622 - 1633)*
 Sarah Conant Leach (1623 - ____)*
 Lot Conant (1624 - 1674)*
 Joanna Conant (1626 - ____)*
 Roger Conant (1628 - ____)*
 Joshua Conant (1630 - ____)*
 Mary Conant Dodge (1631 - 1688)*
 Elizabeth Conant (1635 - ____)*
 Exercise Conant (1636 - 1722)

Burial: Burying Point Cemetery Salem Essex County Massachusetts, USA Created by: Mindy Alarcon Record added: Aug 29, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 5725134 -tcd


  • emigrated to Mass in 1623
  • 1627 first governor of Salem, Massachusetts
  • owned a grist mill
  • Reference: WikiTree Genealogy - SmartCopy: Jan 16 2017, 23:19:44 UTC

Governor Roger Conant (c. 1592 -1679). First resident, Governor and founder of Salem, Massachusetts, USA. Roger Conant arrived in Plymouth Colony from London, England early in 1623. Roger was a professional salter, and worked closely with the fishermen and other settlers in the new world, to help provide safe meat & fish products through his expertise as a salter. Previous to his arrival in Plymouth, Roger Conant belonged to the Guild of Salters in London. Salter is used as a reference to people employed in a salt works, or in salting fish or meat. Early in his colonial life, Roger Conant became associated with those opposed to the Puritan authorities in Plymouth and led the settlement to outlying areas, particularly in the Salem area, which he is credited with founding. He was also the first governor of English settlers in Salem from 1626 to 1628.[1]

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Transcription of the will of Roger Conant:

Estate Of Roger Conant Of Salem. "The Last will & testament of Roger Conant dated the first day of the first month 1677 I Roger Conant aged about eightie fiue yeares being of perfit understanding though weake & feeble in body doe heerby declare my will and minde wherein in the first place I doe bequeath my soule unto God that gaue it & my body to the graue in hope of a blessed Resurrection: & for my outward estate & goods I giue unto my Sonne Exercise one hundred & fortie acres of Land lyeing neere adjoyning unto the new towne of Dunstable as part of two hundred acres granted me by the Generall Court also I giue & bequeath unto him ten acres of Land next adjoyning unto his present homelot and land Lying by the side of william Dodgeses his land & butts one the land of Thomas Herrick: also I giue him two acres of marsh at the south End of the great pond by whenham or if my daughter Elizabeth Conant will Exchang to haue so much at the great marsh neere wenham: also I giue him my swamp at the head of the railes which is it undevided betwixt me and Benjamin Balch adjoyning unto william Dodgeses' swamp: also I giue him my portion of land Lying by Henry Haggats on wenham side: now out of this forementioned Land he is to paye seaven pound toward the discharge of such Legassis as I haue giuen & bequeathed according as is heere after set down More I giue unto my grand child John Conant sonne of Roger Conant ten acres of Land adjoyning to his twenty acres by the great ponds side he paying twenty pounds for the same towards the payment of legassis as after mentioned more I giue unto my grand child Joshua Conant seaventeen acres of Land Lying by the south side of the great marsh neer wenham and bounding unto the land of Peter woodbery: and the rest to returne to my Executor.

"Also I giue unto my daughter Sarah two acres of Land lying between the head of the railes & Isack Hull his ground as part of six acres twixt me and Benjamine Balch this to her and Ilher|| children also sixtie acres of Land out of my farm granted me by the generall Court neere the new town of Dunstable I giue and bequeath into the hands of Captain Roger Clap of the castle neer Dorchester for the use of a daughter of one MHi Pits deseased whose daughter now Liueth in Culli- ton a town in Devon in old England & is in lue for certaine goods sold for the said Mrii Pits in London and was there to be paid many yeares since but it is alleged was neuer paid and the foresaid Captaine Clap to giue a discharge as there atturny according as he is impowered and intrusted in theire behalfe further more as legassis I doe giue unto my sonne Lot his ten children twenty pounds to be equally devided to my daughter sarahs children to John fiue pound to the foure daughters fiue pound between them To my daughter Mary Dodge her self fiue pound and fiue pound to her fiue children equally devided To Exercise his children foure pound betwixt them To adonirum Veren three pound and to his sister Hannah twenty shillings and her two children each ten shillings. To my Cosen Mary Veren wife to Hellier Veren three pound as also three pound unto the daughters of my Cosen Jane Mason deceased to be devided amongst them including Loue Steeuens her children a share my wearing apparrill I giue and houshold impelments not otherwise disposed of and my gray horse and cattle to my sonne Exercise one sheep I giue to Rebacka Connant my grand child and one sheep to Mary Leech.

"And whereas there remains in my hands a certaine portion of cattle belonging unto on mr Dudeny in England and by him assigned unto his nephew Richard Conant valued at twenty fiue pounds and now left in the hands of my sonne Exercise Conant that there be a rendering up of such cattle or theire valuation mentioned unto the said Richard Conant upon seasonable demaund he giueing a full discharge for the same And further my will is that my sonne Exercise be my Executor to this my will and Testament and for further help in seeing these things performed I desire my sonne William Dodge and my grandchild John Conant senior to be overseears of the same. In witness whereof I haue heerunto sett my hand the day and yeare aboue written."

Roger (his R C mark) Conant (seal) Witness: John Bennet, Benjamin Balch. Proved in Salem court 25: 9m: 1679, by the witnesses. Inventory of the estate of Roger Conant, taken Nov. 24, 1679, by John Rayment and William Rayment: 200 Acors of land, 60li.; Liing at Dunstable not improved mor land sould to Elizabeth Conant & not payd for, 40li.; mor land 10 acors, 20li.; land 10 Acors, 20li.; land 23 Acors, 59li.; 2 Acors of medow, 10li.; 2 Acors of land, 5li.; swampy land, 1Li.; more land, 1Li.; 2 cows and a hors, 10li.; more cattell, 15li.; 4 sheep, 1Li. 10s.; a bed & furnytur, 5li.; wareing closse and 1inin, 91i.; a Chest, trunck and box, 1Li.; other things, 1Li.; total, 2581i . 10s. Attested in Salem court 28: 9m: 1679, by Exercise Conant, the executor. pp335-337

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1675-1681 (Google eBook) Vol.III1675-1681 Essex Institute Salem, Ma. 1920


GEDCOM Source

FamilySearch Family Tree (https://www.familysearch.org) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch Family Tree," database, FamilySearch   (https://www.familysearch.org) accessed 25 Jan 2019), entry for Roger Conant, person ID MJDN-KN2. 3

GEDCOM Source

FamilySearch Family Tree (https://www.familysearch.org) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch Family Tree," database, FamilySearch   (https://www.familysearch.org) accessed 25 Jan 2019), entry for Roger Conant, person ID MJDN-KN2. 3

GEDCOM Source

FamilySearch Family Tree (https://www.familysearch.org) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch Family Tree," database, FamilySearch   (https://www.familysearch.org) accessed 25 Jan 2019), entry for Roger Conant, person ID MJDN-KN2. 3

GEDCOM Source

FamilySearch Family Tree (https://www.familysearch.org) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch Family Tree," database, FamilySearch   (https://www.familysearch.org) accessed 25 Jan 2019), entry for Roger Conant, person ID MJDN-KN2. 3


GEDCOM Note

Roger Conant (c. 1592 - 1679), son of Richard and Agnes (Clarke) Conant, Sailed 1623 on ship "Ann" from to the Plymouth Colony from London early in 1623/24, (SIC: may have been "The Charity") with the profession of salter. Early in his colonial life, he became associated with those opposed to the Puritan authorities in Plymouth and led the settlement to outlying areas, particularly in the Salem area, which he is credited with founding. He was the first governor of English settlers in Salem from 1626 to 1628.

"During his very long lifetime Conant had a number of family tragedies, including the death of his wife Sarah, and of sons Caleb, Lot, Roger and Joshua. Only his son Exercise and possibly several daughters succeeded him."[1][5]

Brief Biography

From Cutter:

Roger was the immigrant ancestor of the family here in America. One of his brothers was educated at Oxford University, and he too received an excellent education. On January 20, 1619-20, Christopher Conant, grocer, and Roger Conant, salter, both of the parish of St. Lawrence, Jewry, London, signed the composition bond of their brother, John, for the "first fruits" of the rectory of Lymington. He married, November 1618, and had probably been seven years an apprentice salter in London, living there until her came to America in 1623.

Gov. Roger Conant was son of Richard and Agnes, brother it is said to be Dr. John of the great Assembly of Divines at Westminster. He was appointed in 1625, government agent, or superintend for the Dorchester project of the plantation. Roger requested to be made a freeman 19 Oct. 1630.

Roger Conant was the 1st Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, in book HISTORY OF BEVERLY, 1630 - 1842. He discharged the principal offices in Salem. For several years, and represented Salem in the General Court.

According to History of Beverly, he was "a most religious, prudent & worthy gentleman;" graces that eminently qualified him for the duties he was called to discharge, and which, in one instance at least, enabled him to adjust a difficulty between contending parties at Cape Ann that threatened bloodshed. (Quote from Hubbard's Hist. N.E., pp 106-111.)

Family

Roger Conant •Birth: 1591, England •Christened: 09 Apr 1591 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England •Death: Nov. 19, 1679 Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA •His suspected burial place is Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, but it has never been determined with certainty. •Parents: Richard Conant and Agnes Clark(e)

Married 1.(1) unknown and 2.(2) Sarah Horton, married 11 Nov 1618 at St. Ann, Blackfriars, London, England

Father of Sarah (died young), Caleb, Lott, Sarah, Joanna, Roger, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth and Exercise (a son)

Spouse: Sarah Horton Conant (1598 - ____)

Children: •Sarah Conant (1619 - 1620) •Caleb Conant (1622 - 1633) •Sarah Conant Leach (1623 - ____) •Lot Conant (1624 - 1674) •Joanna Conant (1626 - ____) •Roger Conant (1628 - ____) •Joshua Conant (1630 - ____) •Mary Conant Dodge (1631 - 1688) •Elizabeth Conant (1635 - ____) •Exercise Conant (1636 - 1722)

notes

Roger Conant founded Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. On June 17,1913 a statue was built and dedicated to him and is still standing in Salem today. Conant built the first Salem house on what today is Essex Street.

The following Quoted from "The Encyclopedia of Colonial & Revolutionary America" by. John Mack Faraghu, 1990.

DORCHESTER COMPANY (1624-1626)

“Organized in England by the Reverend John White and the Western Merchants, the Dorchester Company's purpose was to provide and alternative for the Puritans to the Separatists in Plymouth and to end double-mannin of the merchants' fishing ships by settling fishermen on Cape Ann (Gloucester, MA). To be incorporated, the colonists had to stay three years and build schools and churches. In 1625, Roger Conant became governor, but he rejected the location and took about 40 settlers to Naumkeag (now Salem). The rest left for England, but the colony was not a total loss, as the Massachusetts Bay Company was modeled on it. He came to American with his brother Christopher on the ship "Anne", along with his wife Sarah and son, Caleb. Roger Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England in 1592, the youngest of eight children. In 1623 he emigrated to Plymouth with his wife, Sarh and son, Caleb. However, he was uncomfortable with the strict Pilgrim society in Plymouth and moved his family to Nantasket in 1624. In the late autumn of 1625, Conant was invited by the Rev. John White and other members of the Dorchester Company to move to their fishing settlement on Cape Ann as their governor. Still looking for more favorable conditions for a settlement, he let a group of people to Naumkeag, now Salem, in 1626, and continued as their governor. In 1627 a patent was solicited from Engand and it was obtained by a group led by John Endicott who arrived in Naumkeag in 1628. Endicott and the other settlers of the New England Company now owned the rights to Naumkeag. Fortunately for the peaceful continuity of the settlement, Conant remained in Salem and despite what must have been a disappointment for him, acceded to Endicot's authority as the new governor. Conant built the first Salem house on what is Essex Street today, almost apposite the Town Market. In 1639, his was one of the signatures on the building contract for enlarging the meeting house in Town House Square for the First Church in Salem. This document remains part of the town records at City Hall. He was active in the affairs of the town throughout his life. In 1679, he died at the age of 87.”

There is a dramatic, cloaked statue of Roger Conant facing the Salem Common and stand atop a huge boulder brought from the woods near the floating bridge at Lynn. Artist Henry H. Kitson designed this heroic bronze statue for the Conant Family Association and the statue was dedicated on June 17, 1913. It stands outside the Salem Witch Museum. (Roger is often mistaken as a participant in the Salem witch trials, nothing could be farther from the truth.)

From Salemweb.com:

Roger Conant 1592 to 1679--Salem's Founder

According to records, Roger Conant was baptized in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England in 1592, the youngest of eight children. In 1623 he emigrated to Plymouth with his wife, Sarah and son, Caleb. (on the ship "Ann") However, he was uncomfortable with the strict Pilgrim society in Plymouth and moved his family to Nantasket in 1624. In the late autumn of 1625, Conant was invited by the Rev. John White and other members of the Dorchester Company to move to their fishing settlement on Cape Ann as their governor.

Still looking for more favorable conditions for a settlement, he led a group of people to Naumkeag, now Salem, in 1626, and continued as their governor. In 1627 a patent was solicited from England and it was obtained by a group led by John Endicott who arrived in Naumkeag in 1628. Endicott and the other settlers of the New England Company now owned the rights to Naumkeag. Fortunately for the peaceful continuity of the settlement, Conant remained in Salem and, despite what must have been a disappointment for him, acceded to Endicott's authority as the new governor.

Conant built the first Salem house on what is Essex Street today, almost opposite the Town Market. In 1639, his was one of the signatures on the building contract for enlarging the meeting house in Town House Square for the First Church in Salem. This document remains part of the town records at City Hall. He was active in the affairs of the town throughout his life. In 1679, he died at the age of 87.

This dramatic, cloaked statue of Roger Conant faces the Salem Common and stands atop a huge boulder brought from the woods near the floating bridge at Lynn. Artist Henry H. Kitson designed this heroic bronze statue for the Conant Family Association and the statue was dedicated on June 17, 1913.

Roger Conant: Salem's Founder -

Poor Roger Conant gets no respect.

Because of Salem's reputation as the "Witch City", and because Henry Kitson's bronze statue of the city's founding father stands in front of the salem witch museum, many visitors assume that the likeness of Conant as one respected magazine erroneously called it, that of a "determined sorceress"

Conant deserves better. it was his vision and faith that sowed the seeds of the new plantation at "this place called Naumkeake" in 1626, shortly after the demise of the English fishing settlement at Cape Ann. And it was Conant's tenacity and commitment- with probable encouragement from his wife, Sarah, who had just moved for the fourth time since leaving the comforts of London in 1623-that made the colony a success despite disease, depression and the powerful lure of the warmer Virginia climate.

And it was Conant's decision to stay at Naumkeag and to cooperate with the settlers sent over by the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628, even after the company replaced him as the legal head of the plantation, that gave the settlement it's new name: Salem, "city of peace".

Roger Conant not only stayed, he devoted his life to serving the town and colony. he was admitted to the first church in 1628 and chosen a freeman, or voting stockholder, of the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1630. Conant was one of the first two Salem representatives to the colony's general court or legislature, and was repeatedly elected a selectman by the people of Salem.

When communities were granted the right to establish district courts by the legislature, Roger Conant became a fixture on the Salem quarterly juries for sixteen years. he was frequently called upon to establish boundaries for new communities as far away as Boston and Saugus. In 1636, Conant, John Woodbury, Richard Trask and John Balch, all original settlers of the town, served on the committee which created separate lots from remaining public lands in Salem. in return for their efforts, these men were each given 200 acres of valuable agricultural land in the Bass River.

In 1659, Roger Conant led the drive by Bass River residents to form their own church. By 1667 they had their church and, a year later, Bass River became the new town of Beverly. Conant was given the task of establishing the boundaries between Salem and Beverly and was the latter's most important citizen. Before giving up civic life in 1671, he served briefly as both selectman and juror and, as he had done in Salem, oversaw the laying out of Beverly land grants.

All of Roger Conant's service was rendered against a backdrop of personal tragedy. He had to endure the death of a daughter and four of his five sons. But he trudged steadily on, working for the common good right up until his own death in 1679. His perseverance in the face of adversity, even more than his status as Salem's founding father, is his true legacy.

Citations •1. Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History & People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 269, 270 •5. "Roger Conant in Salem"

References 1.New England Historic Genealogical Society, Family Sketch of Roger Conant 2.Frederick Odell Conant, A history and genealogy of the Conant family in England and America, thirteen generations, 1520-1887 : containing also some genealogical notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit families (Privately printed: 1887) p. 99

Sources 1.A Genealogy of One Branch of the Conant Family 1581-1890: Arranged for Moses Conant Warren ...Emily Wilder Leavitt, Moses Conant Warren. private circulation, 1890 - 18 pages 2.Frederick Odell Conant, A history and genealogy of the Conant family in England and America, thirteen generations, 1520-1887 : containing also some genealogical notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit families (Privately printed: 1887) 3.Lineage Book of Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors (Google eBook) Robert Glenn Thurtle Genealogical Publishing Com, Jun 1, 2009 - History - 406 pages. Page 173 4.New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, vol I, publ 1915. Edited by William Richard Cutter. Page 98. "Conant" 5.Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families ... (Google eBook) J.H. Beers & Company, 1912 - Barnstable County (Mass.). Page 383. "Conant"

A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family in England and America, Thirteen Generations, 1520-1887: Containing Also Some Genealogical Notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit Families. Frederick Odell Conant Private print. [Press of Harris & Williams], 1887 - 640 pages pp 99-128

THE CONANT FAMILY

rst Generation 1. John1 Conant birth date unknown. John died September 4, 1559. John Conant had the following child:

  • 2 i. John2 Conant was born 1520.

Second Generation 2. John2 Conant (John1 ) was born in Gittisham, Devonshire, England 1520. His body was interred March 30, 1596 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He married Marie. John Conant and Marie had the following child:

  • 3 i. Richard3 Conant was born 1548.

Third Generation 3. Richard3 Conant (John2 , John1 ) was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England 1548. His body was interred September 22, 1630. He married Agnes Clark in Colyton, Devonshire, England, February 4, 1578. Agnes was born in Colyton, Devonshire, England May 16, 1548. Agnes was the daughter of John Clarke, Sr. and Anne Macy. Richard Conant and Agnes Clark had the following children: 4 i. Joan4 Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. She was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, January 20, 1579/80. She married Johan Richards. 5 ii. Richard Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, February 12, 1581/82. His body was interred September 3, 1625. He married Jane Slade September 18, 1609. 6 iii. Robert Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. His body was interred May 12, 1638. He married Elizabeth Morris October 14, 1607. 7 iv. Jane Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. She was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, May 9, 1584. She2 Many Branches Of A Family Tree married twice. She married Thomas Knowles September 18, 1609. She married Phillip Wotton April 19, 1626. 8 v. Reverend John Conant, D. D. was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, March 18, 1585/86. 9 vi. Thomas Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, April 30, 1587. Thomas died young. 10 vii. Christopher Conant was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, June 13, 1588. He married twice. He married Sicily Croxon in St. Annís Parish, Blackfriars, London, England, August 13, 1617. He married Mrs. Anne Wilton in Sherbrooke, Devonshire, England, September 14, 1619.

  • 11 viii. Roger Conant.

Fourth Generation 11. Roger4 Conant (Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was christened in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, April 9, 1592. Roger migrated to Plymouth Colony in 1624. Roger died November 19, 1679 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, at 87 years of age. He married Sarah Horton in St. Annís Parish, Blackfriars, London, England, November 11, 1618. Sarah was born in Devonshire, England about 1598. Sarah was the daughter of Thomas Horton and Catherine Satchfield. Roger Conant and Sarah Horton had the following children: 12 i. Sarah5 Conant was born in St. Lawrence Parish, London, England. She was christened in London, England, September 19, 1619. Her body was interred October 30, 1620. 13 ii. Caleb Conant was born in St. Lawrence Parish, London, England. He was christened in London, England, May 17, 1622. Caleb died about 1633 in England.

  • 14 iii. Lot Conant was born 1624.

15 iv. Sarah Conant was born in Essex, Massachusetts about 1624. Sarah died about 1681. She married John Leach. 16 v. Roger Conant was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts about 1628. He married Elizabeth Weston before January 22, 1661/62. 17 vi. Joshua Conant was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts about 1630. He married Seeth Gardiner by 1657. Seeth was the daughter of Thomas Gardiner. 18 vii. Mary Conant was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts about 1632. She married twice. She married John Balch 1652. She married William Dodge 1663. 19 viii. Elizabeth Conant was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts about 1634.The Conant Family 3 20 ix. Exercise Conant was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He was christened in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, December 24, 1637. Exercise died April 28, 1722 at 84 years of age. He married Sarah February 14, 1668/69. Fifth Generation 14. Lot5 Conant (Roger4 , Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in Gloucester, Cape Ann, Essex, Massachusetts 1624. Lot died September 29, 1674 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, at 50 years of age. He married Elizabeth Walton. Elizabeth was born in Devonshire, England 1629. She was christened in Seaton, Devonshire, England, October 27, 1629. Elizabeth was the daughter of Reverend William Walton. She married Andrew Mansfield January 10, 1681. Lot Conant and Elizabeth Walton had the following children: 21 i. Nathaniel6 Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts July 28, 1650. Nathaniel died 1732 at 81 years of age. He married Hannah Mansfield in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. 22 ii. John Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts December 15, 1652. He married Bethiah Mansfield in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, May 7, 1678. 23 iii. Lot Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts February 16, 1657/ 68. Lot died 1744 at 86 years of age. He married twice. He married Abigail. He married Elizabeth Pride June 14, 1698. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Pride and Mary. 24 iv. Mary Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts July 14, 1662. 25 v. Martha Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts August 15, 1664. Martha died January 2, 1754 at 89 years of age. She married Luke Perkins May 31, 1688. 26 vi. Sarah Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts February 19, 1666/67. Sarah died November 1, 1750/01 at 84 years of age. She married George Trow in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. George was born 1665. George died 1749 at 84 years of age. 27 vii. William Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts February 19, 1666/67. William died 1754 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, at 87 years of age. He married Mary Woodbury in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, before 1694.

  • 28 viii. Roger Conant was born March 10, 1668.

29 ix. Rebecca Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts January 31, 1670. She married Nathaniel Raymond.4 Many Branches Of A Family Tree Sixth Generation 28. Roger6 Conant (Lot5 , Roger4 , Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts March 10, 1668. Roger died 1745 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at 77 years of age. He married Mary Raymond in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, April 25, 1698. Mary was the daughter of Captain Thomas Raymond and Mary. Roger Conant and Mary Raymond had the following children: 30 i. Ebenezer7 Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts December 30, 1698. Ebenezer died October 24, 1784 at 85 years of age. He married Ruth Pierce 1733. Ruth was born 1712. Ruth died November 19, 1797 in Ashburnham, Worcester, Massachusetts, at 85 years of age.

  • 31 ii. Roger Conant was born December 6, 1701.

32 iii. Mary Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts June 20, 1703. She married Ebenezer Hubbard. 33 iv. Abigail Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts May 25, 1705. She married Nathaniel Wheeler 1733. Nathaniel was born September 18, 1702. Nathaniel was the son of William Wheeler and Sarah. 34 v. Israel Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts April 4, 1707. He married Martha Lamson July 11, 1732. 35 vi. Lydia Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts May 27, 1709. She married Adams. 36 vii. Josiah Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts December 12, 1711. Josiah died December 17, 1756 at 45 years of age. He married Catherine Emerson February 9, 1745. 37 viii. Sarah Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts April 25, 1714. She married Piper. 38 ix. Mehitable Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. She was christened February 5, 1715. She married Josiah Piper March 14, 1744. 39 x. Thomas Conant was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts March 29, 1718. Thomas died July 20, 1813 at 95 years of age. He married Hannah. Seventh Generation 31. Roger7 Conant (Roger6 , Lot5 , Roger4 , Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts December 6, 1701. Roger died November 22, 1731 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, at 29 years of age. He married Abigail Harris in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, April 18, 1727. Abigail was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts April 16, 1705. Abigail was the daughter of Thomas Harris and Hephzibah Crosswell. Abigail died October 7, 1761 at 56 years of age. Roger Conant and Abigail Harris had the following children:The Conant Family 5 40 i. William8 Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts February 23, 1728. William died July, 1811 at 83 years of age. He married twice. He married Anne. He married Sarah Morecock February 1, 1759. 41 ii. Samuel Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts March 8, 1729. Samuel died August 28, 1729 at less than one year of age.

  • 42 iii. Samuel Conant was born May 24, 1730.

43 iv. Abigail Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She was christened April 9, 1732. Abigail died April 6, 1781 at 48 years of age. She married Samuel Lord January 23, 1751. Eighth Generation 42. Samuel8 Conant (Roger7 , Roger6 , Lot5 , Roger4 , Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts May 24, 1730. Samuel died May 27, 1802 at 72 years of age. He married Rebecca Coffin in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, January 24, 1754. Rebecca was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts December 10, 1733. Rebecca was the daughter of Gayer Coffin and Rebecca Parker. Rebecca died August 20, 1813 in New Bedford, Birstol, Massachusetts, at 79 years of age. Samuel Conant and Rebecca Coffin had the following children:

  • 44 i. Samuel9 Conant was born February 16, 1755.

45 ii. Rebecca Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts August 6, 1756. 46 iii. Jacob Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts September 1, 1758. He graduated from Harvard in 1777. 47 iv. John Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was christened in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, August 10, 1760. John died young. 48 v. Abigail Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She was christened in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, June 20, 1762. Abigail died January 29, 1846 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, at 83 years of age. She married William Tobey. 49 vi. Rebecca Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts September 10, 1763. Rebecca died April 22, 1764 at less than one year of age. 50 vii. John Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was christened in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, January 31, 1768. 51 viii. William Harris Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was christened in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, April 8, 1770. 52 ix. Rebecca Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She was christened in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, September 10, 1773.6 Many Branches Of A Family Tree Ninth Generation 44. Samuel9 Conant (Samuel8 , Roger7 , Roger6 , Lot5 , Roger4 , Richard3 , John2 , John1 ) was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts February 16, 1755. Samuel died before 1802. He married Mary Parker in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, March 7, 1782. Mary was born in Portland, Cumberland, Maine January 25, 1759. Mary was the daughter of Daniel Parker and Margaret Jarvis. She married David Wood December 12, 1807. Mary died October 3, 1828 in Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, Massachusetts, at 69 years of age. Samuel Conant and Mary Parker had the following children: 53 i. Samuel10 Conant was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was a Mariner, lost at sea, and left a son Samuel.

  • 54 ii. Mary [Polly] Conant was born July 17, 1785.

Tenth Generation 54. Mary [Polly]10 Conant (Samuel9, Samuel8, Roger7, Roger6, Lot5, Roger4, Richard3, John2, John1) was born in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts July 17, 1785. Mary died November 4, 1854 in New York, New York, New York, at 69 years of age. She married Andrew Foster, M. D. in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, November 19, 1813. Andrew was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts September 7, 1780. Andrew was the son of Bossenger Foster and Mary Craigie. Andrew died May 17, 1831 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at 50 years of age. Mary [Polly] Conant and Andrew Foster, M. D. had the following children: 55 i. Andrew11 Foster was born in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts January 5, 1815. Andrew died September 1879 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, at 64 years of age. He married Delia Henry Montgomery September 16, 1849. Delia was the daughter of Captain J. J. Montgomery. She married James Foster in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, July 18, 1843. 56 ii. Samuel Conant Foster was born in Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, Massachusetts October 24, 1816. Samuel died April 18, 1873 in Nassau, Bahamas, British West Indies, at 56 years of age. He married Mary Benezet Bogert in New York, New York, New York, September 23, 1857. Mary was born in New York, New York, New York September 14, 1832. Mary was the daughter of Theodore Peacock Bogert and Frances Nelson Jones. She was baptized in New York, New York, New York, September 22, 1833. Mary died February 4, 1880 in New York, New York, New York, at 47 years of age. 57 iii. James Foster was born in Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, Massachusetts November 20, 1818. James died November 11, 1847 in New York, New York, New York, at 28 years of age. He married Delia Henry Montgomery in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, July 18, 1843. Delia was theThe Conant Family 7 daughter of Captain J. J. Montgomery. She married Andrew Foster September 16, 1849. 58 iv. George Foster was born in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts October 5, 1820. George died November 28, 1866 in Brooklyn, King, New York, at 46 years of age. He married Louisa Adeline Gibbons. 59 v. Mary Conant Foster was born in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts August 25, 1822. Mary died November 11, 1822 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, at less than one year of age. 60 vi. Mary Conant Foster was born in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts July 13, 1824. Mary died August 13, 1825 at 1 year of age. Please see The Childs Family, The Foster Family, The Harris Family

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Gov. Roger Conant's Timeline

1592
April 9, 1592
East Budleigh, , Devonshire, England
April 9, 1592
East Budleigh, Devon, England
April 9, 1592
All Saints Church, East Budleigh, Devon, England
April 9, 1592
All Saints Church, East Budleigh, Devon, England
1593
April 9, 1593
Age 1
East Budleigh, Devon, Eng
1619
September 19, 1619
London, Middlesex , England
1620
1620
London, London, England
1622
May 27, 1622
St Lawrence, Jewry, London, England
1623
1623
Essex , Massachusetts