James Emery, Sr.

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James Emery, Sr.

Birthplace: Romsey, Hampshire, England
Death: Died in Berwick, York, ME
Immediate Family:

Son of Anthony Emery, Sr. and Frances Emery
Husband of Elizabeth Pidge; Elizabeth and Elizabeth Emery
Father of Zachariah Emery; Elizabeth Nock; James Emery, Jr.; Noah Emery; Daniel Emery, Sr. (8) and 2 others
Half brother of Anthony Emery, Jr. and Rebecca Weymouth

Managed by: Matt Goodwin
Last Updated:

About James Emery, Sr.

2 JAMES' EMERY, SEN. (Anthony), son of Anthony and Frances Emery ; came to America with his fattier in the ship "James ;" married, first, Elizabeth . She (died after 1687. He married, second. Dec. 28, 1695, Mrs. Elizabeth Pidge (nee Newcomb), widow and second wife of John Pidge of Dedham, Mass. Administration was granted in 1691 to Elizabeth, widow of John Pidge, who died intestate. Inventory of the estate was filed June 19, 1691. "The account of Elizabeth Emery late Relict or widow and admin. of the Estate of John Pigg deceased in Dedham," and on June 10, 1709, James Emery presents the division of the estate. May 10, 1700, "James Emery of Dedham in New England, the only surviving son of Anthony Emery- late of Portsmouth on Rhode Island and Providence Plantations deceased, quitclaims to his sister Rebecca Sadler alias Eaton, lands, estate Goods and Chattels of said Anthony Emery late deceased." In 1713, James Emery gives a deed in which lie describes himself as of Berwick. It would seem that James Emery, after his election as representative to the General Court, resided in Dedham, and after the settlement of the estate of John Pidge or Pigg removed to Berwick. He had grants of land in Kittery, 1653, 1656,1669, 1671 ; was selectman of Kittery, 1674, 1676, 1677, 1684, 1685, 1692, 1693, 1695; elected representative to the General Court, 1693, 1695 ; grand juror and constable, 1670. It is related of him that when he went to Boston his carriage was a chair placed in an ox cart drawn by a yoke of steers. This mode of conveyance was necessary as there was not in Kittery a carriage large or strong enough to carry him safely. He was a large man weighing over three hundred and fifty pounds. The date of his death is unknown, but from a deed given in 1714 in which his son James called himself James senior, it is evident it was before 1714. Children, born in Kittery :

  • 5 i JAMES b. ab. 1658.
  • 6 ii b. ab. 1660.
  • 7 iii Noin, b. Ab. 1663.
  • 8 i V DANIEL, b. Sept. 13, 1667.
  • 9 V JOB, b. in 1670.
  • 10 vi ELIZABETH.
  • 11 vii SARAH.

Genealogical Records of Descendants of John & Anthony Emery of Newbury, Ma. 1890 Rufus Emery pg 311


Below is from the Emery Family Research Transcript on John and Anthony Emery - and is contributions of many researchers and to expand further on the 1890 biography all is online on a private site:

9 JAMES EMERY m. ELIZABETH [-?-] [one source has m. 1655 ELIZABETH KNOCK] she d. after 1687; m 2nd 28 Dec. 1695 [1685] Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. [Kittery, York, Maine.] ELIZABETH (NEWCOMB) PIDGE, widow and 2nd wife of John Pidge of Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

Administration was granted in 1691 to Elizabeth, widow of John Pidge, who died in testate. Inventory of the estate was filed 19 Jun. 1691 The account of Elizabeth Emery late relic or widow and administrator of the estate of John Pidge deceased in Denham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. She was b. 26 Aug. 1658 d/o Francis and Rachel Newcomb. James came to America as a very young child with his parents. By the time he was 16 or 17 he was apparently living in the household of Richard Walderne in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire, perhaps as a servant or apprentice.

A deposition made when he was an old man recalled his relationship with Walderne, who we may safely assume, made quite an impression on all who came in contact with him. As follows:

    James Emery, aged about 73 years who lived formerly in the Towne of Dover in the Province of New Hampshire, but now of Dedham in the Province of Mathathusetts Bay in New England Testifyeth & sayeth the he did formerly live north the late Major Waldron at Cochecha in aforesaid town of Dover, and that he did certainly know the said Waldron to have possession of the land on boath sides of the River at Cochecha, where some years after the said Waldron built a saw mill & a grist mill on one side of the river, and a saw mill on the other side of the River and that the 2d Waldron had the possession of the aforesaid Lands in his own right for sixty years past and upwards, and built and lived there upon.
    The deponent lived with his father about three of more miles distant from the said Richard Waldrons settlement as aforsaid and was frequently there, and about 58 years last past the deponet lived for some time in Said Waldron's house and wrought for him, and severall years befor the deponent came to live with him he had 30 acres or more of Land, lying on the north side of Cocheco River within a fence improved for Planting & sowing, besides what he had on the south side of the River.   James Emery Boston 5th Feby 1704-5
    He probably went with his parents to Kittery around 1649.  In 1652, when he was twenty-one, and possibly already married, the town granted him fifty acres at the "fouling marsh" north of Birch Brook, which empties into the Newichawannock River near South Berwick, York, Me.  The next year he got six acres more on Eliot Neck, and over the following two decades he acquired a total of 410 acres from grants, gifts and purchases from his father, and other purchases.  

A 1679 survey totals his holdings at that time at 315 acres. The location of his home probably changed through the years. On 24 April 1654 he bought of John Lamb a twenty-acre tract northeast of Salmon Falls Brook in Berwick, which included a house. He may have lived there on occasion before selling it to Peter Grant on 21 Oct. 1659. There is good recorded evidence that he lived on the six acres at Eliot Neck, and he probably also occupied the "fowling marsh" grant for some years. It also seems likely that he occupied his father's homestead at Cold Harbor after buying it in 1660. He also had grants of land in Kittery 1656, 1669 and 1691.

    While his father was running afoul of the authorities in the late 1650's, James became a successful farmer and prominent citizen in Kittery.  He was definitely married by 21 October 1659, when Elizabeth's name appears in a deed.  Civic activities can be dated from 1652, when he signed the town's statement of submission to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as well as other related statements in ensuing years.  He frequently served on juried or as a witness against fellow citizens accused of not going to church or, like Thomas Crawley on 1 July 1661, presented "for a comman liar".  In 1669 four of his fellow citizens had to pay him damages for cutting and carrying away thatch grass from the lower end of his house lot, the flats constituting the "fowling marsh".  Similar controversy erupted in 1685.  Although he was not immune to such charges himself, he showed rather remarkable ability to avoid the defendants chair. 
    The list of public offices he occupied is fairly impressive.  He was lot layer for the town in 1665; grand juror and constable in 1670; assessor in 1680 and 1684-5; and a selectman in 1674, 1676-7, 1684-6, 1692-4 and 1695.   Getting to Boston for General Court sessions represented a major problem, according to an unverified tradition of uncertain origin.  Supposedly he weighed over 350 pounds, and to  transport him a carriage had to be fashioned from an oxcart with a stout chair attached, drawn by a yoke of steer.
    Mean while, life through the 1660's-80's was fairly quite.  Around 1673, James mortgaged the Cold Harbor land to his father, apparently as collateral for a loan.  Anthony discharged the mortgage on 24 September 1673 in return for payment ofL-  35 sterling.  Two days later Anthony granted his nephew John Emery Jr. power of attorney to collect "all and every such debts & sums of mony or other thing or things as are now due unto me or which at any day or day to come shall in any way be due.."  Daniel Denison notarized the document a bit indirectly, thus: "I not being at home a person that called himself Anthony Emery came to my house as my wife informed me and left this writing which he said he came to acknowledge to be his act and John Emery Sen. did upon oath attest the same to be his act and deed before me Oct. 2, 1673.
    Kittery was beset from the 1670's-90's by the ravages of Indian Wars, starting with King Philip's War, but the Emery family seems to have escaped injury or serious loss of property.  In the spring of 1690, hostilities known to history as King William's war devastated homes in the northern part of Berwick; the Emery family probably took refuge at Daniel Stone's garrison house on the next farm above theirs, but their neighborhood was left alone.  James Emery was a member of the 1680 General Court which petitioned King Charles II to protect the Maine towns better in order to encourage the inhabitants to rebuild "their waste and desolate towns"  He presented a petition to the General Court of 14 August 1695, stating that Kittery, York and Wells were in a deplorable condition "by resaon of the present wasting warr" and asking for a remission of taxes, requesting at the same time assistance in settling a minister in the upper section of Kittery "commonly called Newitchawannock" now Berwick, "that so they may not turn heathen but that the Poor may have the Gospel preached among them".  The court voted a ten pounds allowance if a minister could be secured.  In 1697 another abatement of taxes was requested by the selectmen, including Emery, but the Court decided that "the small proportion levied on them they ought to pay."  In September 1697, Emery was asked to go to Boston by the  northern parish -- later Berwick -- to plead their case to the governor and General Court and ask twenty pounds a year thereafter and ten for the preceding year to maintain a minister who was still lacking, permitting the district to have regular public worship.  Another petition was sent on 20 May 1698, which finally resulted in a fifteen-pound grant.  Berwick did not become a separate town until 1713; later it was reduced by setting of South Berwick in 1813 and North Berwick in 1831.  The First Church of Berwick was organized on  4 June 1702 -- although a meeting house had been built many years earlier -- and the Emery's were apparently members.
    Not unlike his father, James came into some conflict with the authorities in the 1690's, notably with Major Francis Hooke, a justice of the Court of Quarterly Sessions.  The records of that court, held at York, on 3 July 1694, recorded that: 
    "James Emery Senr bound by recognisabce to this court is fined...twenty shillings for his abuse of Major Hooke and stopping the highway and to give ten pounds bond for the Good behavior till the next sessions for his abusive carriage before the court this Day and to stand comitted till payd."
    James' sons Daniel and Job were fined three shillings fourpence and twenty-five shillings plus five shillings fees, respectively, for aiding and abetting their father.  James Warren, constable of Kittery, was to receive ten shillings from the collected fines as compensation for his efforts in the case.  At the next session, on 2 October 1694, James failed to appear to answer his bond for good behavior, and the matter was held over to the next session.  However, Major Hooke died the following January and nothing ever came of the case.
    By now, James was starting to sell off his Kittery land at an increasing rate.  The Cold Harbor tract, or part of it, was sold to Philip Benmore, who soon afterward sold it to John Morrell, Sr.  In 1714 James gave Morrell's son Jon Jr. a quit claim deed to give clear title, and the land stayed in the Morrell family for more the two centuries.  In 1674 James deeded his son James Jr. a hlf-acre house lot on the county road east of the river, part of James Sr.'s Berwick homestead where the son was already living.  At the same time he deeded to his sons Daniel and Job and his son-in-law Sylvanus Knock.  On 19 December 1687 he sold Richard Davis of Kittery ten acres of fifty-acre town grant of "about four years agoe".  On 25 January 1696/7, he sold the bulk of the Berwick homestead, forty acres, to Philip Hubbard, second husband of his daughter-in-law Elizabeth (Goodwin) Emery, for L-120.  The "halfe an Acres of land which I formerly gave to my Son James Emery where his house now stands Joyning to high way" was not included, nor was a burial ground four rods square.  On 1 March 1696/7, he deeded to his sons James, Daniel and Job a sixty-acre plot for which they shared the L-35 cost.  One acre was reserved for two years "and the timber upon that Acre to my disposing".  He also reserved the right to reclaim the land in seven years should he return to Berwick, a right he did not exercise.
    From the last statement it is obvious that James was about to move out of town, although he remained a landowner there and probably  stayed closely in touch with the affairs of the place. 

But in 1695, presumably while attending the General Court session in Boston , he had married Elizabeth Pidge, a widow some twenty-seven years his junior and the mother of six children. They returned to Berwick at that time, but some time between mid-1697 and early 1699 they moved to Denham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, where She was the administratrix of John Pidge's estate, and on 31 January 1699, acting for her in the case for the first time, James Emery presented a petition in behalf of the heirs of John Pidge asking for the restoration of seven acres of land purchased some years before. The matter was taken under advisement by the proprietors of the town: 10 May 1700 - "James Emery of Dedham in New England, the only surviving son of Anthony Emery late of Portsmouth, RI. and Providence Plantations deceased quit claims to his sister Rebecca Saddler alias Eaton Lands estates, Goods, and Chattels of said Anthony Emery late deceased."

    Each year from 1699 to 1702 inclusive, Emery paid a school tax in Dedham, Norfolk, Ma.  On 26 January 1704, the selectmen of Dedham voted that "Joseph Faierbank is desiered to give notis to James Emmory that the selectmen do disalow him keeping and entertaining the negro or malato child in this Town of Dedham which is bny him brought into twon," perhaps from Maine.  Fairbanks promptly gave the notice, but Emery retained his servant or slave boy some monthsmore.  On 10 November following, the selectmen ordered the boy out of town, and the order seems to have been more effective. 
    James and Elizabeth sold thirty-five acres of land at Stoney Brook on 6 May 1709.  On 10 June of that year, Emery at last presented the court the division of the Pidge estate.
    Elizabeth probably died within the next few years, and the aged James returned to Berwick.  Numerous Maine deeds during this period involving James and Elizabeth Emery create considerable confusion because both James Jr. and his son James were then married 1758/60 Kittery, York, Me. to women named Elizabeth [-?-][-?-].  

James. Who had lived many years in Kittery married a widow in Dedham and removed there.

10 May 1700 James Emery of Dedham, Mass. “only surviving son of Anthony Emery late of Portsmouth on Rhoad Island” quit claimed to his sister Rebecca Eaton, alias Sadler, all his rights to his father’s estate at Portsmouth.

However, probably the elder James' last deed was the one on 20 June 1707, when he was still living in Dedham and sold ten acres of the Cold Harbor land once owned by his father. His son Daniel was his attorney.

    His last six or seven years were probably spent at the home of one or another of his children or grandchildren, and he had probably disposed of his property fully and felt no need to write a will.  He died not long after 15 October 1717, having reached quite an advance age in spite of his alleged massive obesity.  He was probably buried in the plot on his Berwick property mentioned in one of his deeds.

Children Kittery, York, Me.:

  • 67 JAMES EMERY b. c. 1658/60
  • 68 ZACHARIAH EMERY b. c. 1660/2 [1661]
  • 69 NOAH EMERY b. c. 1663 [1665]
  • 70 DANIEL EMERY b. 13 Sep. 1667
  • 71 JOB EMERY b. 1670
  • 72 ELIZABETH EMERY b. c. 1656
view all 18

James Emery, Sr.'s Timeline

September 8, 1631
Romsey, Hampshire, England
September 18, 1631
Romsey, Hampshire, England
September 18, 1631
Romsey, Hans Cnty, England
September 18, 1631
St.mary&ethelfri, Romsey, Hampshire, England
June 3, 1635
Age 3
Age 25
Kittery, York Co, Maine
December 18, 1658
Age 27
Kittery, York, ME, USA
Age 30
Kittery, York, Me
Age 31
Kittery, York, Me
Age 31
Kittery, York, Me