James Sawyer, of Gloucester

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James Sawyer

Birthplace: Perhaps, Lincolnshire , England
Death: Died in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Sawyer, of Rowley and Mary Sawyer
Husband of Sarah Sawyer
Father of Thomas Sawyer; Mary Ring; John Sawyer; Nathaniel Sawyer; Abraham Sawyer and 4 others
Brother of Mary Savory; Samuel Sawyer; Sarah Sawyer; John Sawyer, of Rowley and Henry Sawyer

Occupation: Weaver
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Sawyer, of Gloucester

Quoted directly from Sawyer Families of New England 1636-1900 by Eleanor Grace Sawyer, published by Penobscot Press of Camden, ME 1995:


1. JAMES1 SAWER (later Sawyer) of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is the ancestor of many Sawyers living in northern New England today. There are several theories concerning his lineage, none of them proven. One suggestion is that James1 was one of these three children who are said to have come to the New World with Edward1. It is true that the latter's will, recorded on 31 March 1674, mentions only his sons John and Ezekiel, (Part I) and his "wife," but it was not unusual at that time for a father to give some of his children money or land during his lifetime, and then to limit their inheritance or even omit them from his will altogether on the basis of their having already received their due share of his estate. William1 seems to have done this. Furthermore, although James1 did not name a son Edward, he had a grandson of that name who called one of his own sons Ezekiel [see 16]. It is also true that James's first child, a daughter, was named Mary, as were the wife and daughter of Edward1. Would it not have been natural for James1 to name his first daughter after his own mother and sister? Finally, in 1669, before moving to Gloucester. James1 bought a home in Ipswich, where both Edward1 and Thomas1 lived before they moved to Rowley. Taking all this into consideration, I feel it possible that Edward1 and James1 may have been father and son, even though there is no provable link between them. What is certain, is that James first married a Martha, of whom little is known except that she and he "acknowledged" a mortgage in April 1670 for the house he bought in Ipswich. There is also record of a life-support agreement with Thomas and Joannah Smith of Ipswich, entered into by James1 though later unfulfilled; since such agreements usually involved family members, it is conceivable that the Smiths were Martha's family.

By the time James1 moved to Gloucester, he was married to Sarah Bray, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Wilson) Bray of Gloucester, who was born in 1651 and died on 24 April 1727. In 1688 he received a grant of six acres of land on the west side of the Annasquam River and lived there. He was a weaver, a selectman in 1696, and died on 31 May 1703, six days after signing his will. His widow was living with their son, Abraham, in the family home in 1726.

1. JAMES1 SAWER had the following children;

  1. Mary b. 1672, d. 17 Dec 1717, m. 5 Dec 1699 William Ring.
  2. Thomas 1674-1711.
  3. John Ca. 1676-1760.
  4. Nathaniel 1677-1741.
  5. Abraham b. 5 Nov 1680, d. 1751, unm.
  6. Sarah, b. 19 Jun 1683, d. 26 Aug 1724, in. 1 Apr 1708 John Mariner.
  7. Isaac 1684-1772.
  8. Jacob 1687-1767.
  9. James 1691-1776.


  1. Sources: VR Gloucester MA. C65, W13, Essex deeds, P82b, Essex Co. Qtrly Court rec, E20, C97, Early Settlers of Essex, L30, Bl, B2.
  2. ©Copyright Eleanor Grace Sawyer 1995


Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Genealogical Publishing Comp.  Page 619

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James Sawyer, of Gloucester's Timeline

Lincolnshire , England

James Sawyer
in the Family Data Collection - Births
Name: James Sawyer
Father: Edward Sawyer
Mother: Mary Peaslee
Birth Date: 1640
City: Ipswich
County: Essex
State: MA
Country: USA
Source Information
Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
The Family Data Collection - Births database was created while gathering genealogical data for use in the study of human genetics and disease. Learn more...
© 2016, Ancestry.com



Age 34
Age 36
Age 40
Ipswich, Esses, Massachusetts, United States
December 29, 1677
Age 41
Gloucester, Essex, MA
November 5, 1680
Age 44
June 19, 1683
Age 47
Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts
February 14, 1684
Age 48
February 24, 1687
Age 51