John Crow, of Yarmouth

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John Crow, of Yarmouth

Also Known As: "John Crowell 1590-1673"
Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: perhaps of, Carleton Rode, Norfolk, England
Death: January 14, 1673 (81)
Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Plymouth Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Crow and unknown Crow
Husband of Elishua Crowell; 1st wife of John Crow and Elishua Crow
Father of John Crow, Sr.; Yelverton Crowe, Sr.; Elizabeth Wardwell and Moses Crow

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Crow, of Yarmouth


From Anderson's The Great Migration Begins link

  • ORIGIN: Unknown
  • MIGRATION: 1634
  • FIRST RESIDENCE: Charlestown
  • REMOVES: Yarmouth 1638
  • CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: "Elishua Crowe" was admitted to Charlestown church on 4 January 1634/5 [ChChR 8].
  • FREEMAN: On 18 December 1638, "Mr. John Crow ... of Mattacheese, alias Yarmouth," took the oath of allegiance and fidelity and he appears in the appropriate list for 1639 [PCR 1:107, 8:185]. On 7 January 1638/9, he was propounded for freemanship, and on 2 June 1640, he was admitted [PCR 1:108, 155]. "Mr. John Crowe" is in the Yarmouth section of the 1639, 1658 and 20 May 1670 Plymouth Colony lists of freemen [PCR 5:276, 8:176, 200].
  • OFFICES: On 7 January 1638/9, "Mr. John Crow" was one of the three men "to whom the grant of the lands at Mattacheeset, now called Yarmouth, is made" [PCR 1:108]. Committee to divide land at Yarmouth, 5 March 1638/9 through 7 March 1647/8 [PCR 1:117, 142, 2:128-30]. Committee to hear small causes at Barnstable, Yarmouth and Sandwich, 2 June 1640, 5 June 1644 [PCR 1:155, 2:73]. Deputy for Yarmouth to Plymouth General Court, 1 June 1641, 7 June 1642, 6 June 1643 (as "Mr. Crowe, Sr.") [PCR 2:16, 40, 57] In the Yarmouth section of the 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:194].
  • ESTATE: In the list of those admitted inhabitants of Charlestown in 1634 was "Mrs. Crowe who bought Mr. William Jennings [Jennison] his house at her arrival whose husband Mr. John Crowe arrived here the year following" [ChTR 11, 15]. In the 1635 accounting of hayground in Charlestown, "Mr. Crow" held 5 shares, soon increased to six [ChTR 19, 20]. In 1637 "Mr. John Crowe" held four cow commons [ChTR 33]. On 6 April 1638, the town of Charlestown "agreed to have Mr. Crow's bull for the town's use for this year, allowing him in consideration three cow commons for this year & liberty to work his bull two days in a week" [ChTR 36]. In the Mystic Side allotments on 23 April 1638, "Mr. [blank] Crow" had parcels of 25, 50 and zero acres [ChTR 36]. On 16 June 1638, "Mr. John Crow of Charlton" sold to "Mathew Averie" his holdings in Charlestown: "his dwelling house ..., with eight acres of land thereto belonging, lying in Gibbines Field"; four milch cow commons; five acres of meadow in Mystic Field marshes; twenty-five acres of woodland in Mystic Field; fifty-five acres in Water Field; and "one acre of meadow ... situate and lying before the house" [ChBOP 91-92]. (This sale was made just before the compilation of the Charlestown Book of Possessions, and all these parcels appear in the entry for Mathew Avery in that book [ChBOP 44-45].)
  • Sometime before June 1641, Thomas Makepeace of Dorchester "bought a certain house & farm of 200 acres of land whereof some is enclosed lying on the east part of Mr. Haynes his farm near Dedham of Mr. Crowe sometime of Charlestowne" [Lechford 412-13].
  • On 14 May 1648, Mr. Thatcher, Mr. Howes and Mr. Crow came to an agreement with the town of Yarmouth regarding their lands, resulting in an allowance to "Mr. Crow [of] 4 score acres of upland and twenty acres of meadow, whereof some part is taken up already, and the rest to be taken up by him where he shall find it convenient, and twenty acres he remits to the town" [PCR 2:128-29].
  • On 22 March 1704/5, "Seth Perry of Boston ... brewer and Deborah Man of the same town, widow," sold to "James Converse Junior of Woburn ... Esq. ... a lot of upland and swamp situate in the township of Woburn aforesaid that did belong to our honored grandfather Mr. John Crow formerly of Charlestown ... gentleman deceased," which parcel of land "contains by estimation fifty-three acres" and "hath been for many years in the actual possession" of James Converse Jr., "the said Seth Perry & Deborah Man being the only surviving heirs of Mrs. Elisabeth Perry, whose maiden name was Elisabeth Crow, the daughter of Mr. John Crow aforesaid, now also deceased" [MLR 14:167-68].
  • BIRTH: About 1590 based on estimated date of marriage.
  • DEATH: Probably soon after 2 March 1651/2 (see COMMENTS below).
  • MARRIAGE: By about 1615 Elishua _____ (assuming she was the mother of all his children; the apparent gap between the first two children and the last two, however, suggests that there may have been two wives).


  • i YELVERTON, b. say 1615 (possessed one cow common at Charlestown in 1637 [ChTR 33]); m. by about 1642 Elizabeth _____ (estimated birth of eldest known child [NEHGR 125:236]).
  • ii ELIZABETH, b. say 1617; m. (1) by 1637 Arthur Perry (eldest known child b. Boston 20 December 1637 [BVR 5]); m. (2) by 1654 John Gillet (only known child b. Boston 12 October 1654 [BVR 46]); m. (3) Boston (contract) 4 December 1657 WILLIAM WARDWELL {1633, Boston} [SPR 4:176; NEHGR 12:275, 96:323; Annis Spear Anc 88; GMB 3:1923].
  • iii JOHN, b. say 1635; m. by about 1656 Mehitable _____ (eldest known grandchild, son of daughter Mehitable, b. Yarmouth 2 February 1676[/7?] [MD 2:208, 10:101 (citing BarnPR 1:26)]). (John's wife is stated in several sources to be Mehitable Miller, daughter of Rev. John Miller, but the evidence for this has not been seen.)
  • iv MOSES, bp. Charlestown 24 June 1637 [ChChR 47]; no further record.
  • COMMENTS: On 7 September 1641, Plymouth court ordered that "Mr. Edmond Freeman ... inflict such punishment upon Mr. Crowe's maid servant, for pilfering goods in his house, as according to her fault shall be just & equal" [PCR 2:24]. On 6 March 1648/9, "Mr. Crow, Senior," was presented for receiving stolen goods, and was cleared [PCR 2:137].


  • On 2 October 1650, eighteen men sued "Mr. John Crow, Will[i]am Nickerson, and Lieutenant Will[i]am Palmer, in an action of trespass upon the case, to the damage of sixty pound" [PCR 7:50]. On 2 March 1651/2, Mr. John Crow successfully sued John Wing and Wing's partners [PCR 7:57].
  • Records for the name John Crow after 1652 do not include the honorific "Mr.," and it may be that the immigrant died about this time. The next records for a John Crow are for service on a grand jury on 1 June 1658 and on a coroner's jury on 6 October 1659 [PCR 3:135, 172], duties that could have been performed by the son of the immigrant, who had presumably attained his majority by this date.
  • On 6 March 1665/6, "John Crow, son of Yelverton Crow," appears in the records, and he is presumably the "John Crow Jr." who is seen on 3 June 1668 [PCR 4:117, 183].
  • The "John Crow Senior" who had daughter Hannah born at Yarmouth on 1 April 1677, and who, with wife Mehitable, made a deed on 1 January 1678 [PCLR 4:279], would then be the son of the immigrant.
  • BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1971 Stephen Gifford Jr. made a thoughtful examination of the relative ages of John and Yelverton Crowe, and concluded that they were father and son, and not brothers, as had earlier been thought; we agree with this assessment [NEHGR 125:231-36].
  • In 1959 John G. Hunt speculated on the English origin of the Crowe and Crowell families, and explored the possibilities that they were from East Bilney, Carlton Rode and New Buckenham, Norfolk [TAG 35:173].

biographical notes

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 Part One: Chronological Histories Chapter 3: The Founding of Towns (1633-1643) Yarmouth

On 7 January 1638/39, the Court of Assistants granted lands at "Mattacheeset, now called Yarmouth" to Mr. Anthony Thatcher, Mr. Thomas Howes, Mr. John Crow, and John Coite "to be enquired of." Coite might have been the man of that name of Marblehead, but apparently he did not move to Plymouth Colony. Thatcher, Howes, and Crow were proposed [p.66] as freemen of Yarmouth, along with Mr. Marmaduke Mathews, Philip Tabor, William Palmer, Samuel Rider, William Lumpkin, and Thomas Hatch. It was also specifically noted that "Old Worden (dead)," Burnell, Wright, and Wat Deville were "Psons there excepted against," probably meaning they were not eligible to be given freemen status, and showing that some form of settlement had already been in existence. In fact, on 4 September 1638 the General Court ordered the inhabitants of Sandwich and "Mattacheese or Yarmouth" to build a bridge over the Eel River (which was just a bit south of Plymouth town, and had to be crossed for travel between Plymouth and the Cape). On 5 March 1638/39 William Palmer was authorized by the General Court to be the one at Yarmouth who would exercise inhabitants in arms, and William Chase was elected constable there. It is apparent that earlier the Plymouth Court had granted land at Yarmouth to others also, for on 1 April 1639 it noted that lands at Mattacheese (another confusion of the names, for it should have been Mattacheeset) were granted to persons who should have inhabited there long ago, but did not, and the grantees "are not likely to come to inhabite there in their owne persons, and lest such as are there should receive in unto them unworthy persons, whereof the Court hath lamentable experience, the Court doth order that onely such of them wch at present are there shall remayne & make use of some lands for their present necessity, but shall not divide any portions of lands there either to themselves or any others

American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)

John's second wife, Elishua, sailed to Boston on the Elizabeth Bonaparte in late 1633 and purchased a house in Charlestown. John followed in 1635 on the Hopewell, probably with his daughter, Elizabeth, from his first marriage. Yelverton, John's son from his first marriage, followed on the Caledonia in 1638- they all moved to Yarmouth, MA that year

Although the Thachers, Howes and Crows and other early settlers were first attracted to Mattacheeset by the extensive marshes for grazing cattle and fertile fields for planting, they were soon looking seaward to enhance their livelihood.

They went handlining for cod and mackeral, and trying" blubber of stranded whales on the beaches for oil. The latter occupation became so rewarding that, impatient for cetaceans to wash ashore, they were soon putting off in small open boats to chase them. Occasional trading vessels from Europe anchored off the little harbor to exchange needles, nails, and gunpowder for hides, dries beef, salt fish and whale oil. Before long, Yarmouth folk, like other early Cape Codders, were building pinnace and shallops themselves, to get up to the burgeoning Plimouth and Boston ports. William Nickerson was disfranchised in 1656 for selling a boat, as well as land to the Indians.

Moving into the 18th century, Yarmouth folk, like the other Cape Codders, were already becoming more a maritime than an agricultural people. This included, not only north shore residents, but Bakers, Matthews, Nickersons and Crowes who settled along Bass River and the South Sea", and soon developed a fishery in Nantucket Sound.

Information courtesy of the Yarmouth Historical Society. Taken from Yarmouth's Proud Packets by Haynes Mahoney

He was a Puritan of the strictest sect. He died in January, 1673. His house which stood about an eighth of a mile north of the meeting house in Dennis, remained for nearly two centuries. It was constructed of large pieces of timber for sills and plates, with boarding each side filled in with small stones and clay. This formed the walls of the house which was plastered with shell mortar, inside and out. From his sons, John, Samuel, and Thomas and perhaps others, have sprung a numerous andnuseful progeny. The name was sometimes spelled CROWE and began to be written CROWELL in about the third generation. (p. 47. History of Old Yarmouth, by Charles Swift.)

"Mr. John Crowe came over to this country in 1635, was admitted the same year an inhabitant of Charlestown. His wife, Mrs. Elishua Crowe, it appears, came over before that date, as her name is entered as a member of the first church in Charlestown, 4th, nth mo. 1634, and she bought a house of Mr. Wm. Jennings the same year. On the i6th of the 4th mo. 1638, Mr. Crowe sold lands in Charlestown and removed to the Old Colony. On the i8th of December, 1638, he took the oath of allegiance to the king and fidelity to the government of New Plymouth."

from "John Crowe and his descendants, a genealogy"


{^Reprinted from " The Yarmouth Register.'"']

All those Cape families who now bear the name of Crowell know that the first settlers called themselves Crow or Crowe. The exact date when the transfer occurred is a little indefinite, Dixon on Surnames simply says that "the descendants of John Crow changed the name to Crowell."

The gravestone of John, grandson of John Crow, the grantee, is still well preserved in the North Dennis buryin ground, and bears the name of Crowell, the date of death being Oct. 15, 1728. From facts like this our chroniclers of Cape Cod genealogy put the change at about the third generation. While this may be true of some branches of the family, others changed the name soon after landing, as the following interesting old will will clearly show :

Noted events in John Crowe's life were:

  • Emigration, 1635 from England and was admitted the same year as an inhavitant of Charlestown. 62
  • Residence, 1635-1638, Charlestown, Massachusetts. British American Colonies. 62
  • Residence, 1638, Yarmouth, Massachusetts. 62
  • Name: John Crowe. 62

After the immigrant, John Crowe, came to New England, later generations changed the spelling to Crowell. May genealogists claim that this happened in the third generation with John Crowe's grandson, John Crowell because his grave stone in the North Dennis burying ground bears the name Crowell, and 15 Oct 1728, the death of the grandson. Amos Otis, who authored an article about the Crowells in the Yarmouth Registry, that the use of Crowell may have begun with Yelverton Crowe's will dated 8 Mar 1683. He signed his will "Yelverton Crowell, alias Crow." Whether Yelverton Crow was a brother to John, no one knows for sure.

~Athon Genealogy, pg. 44-45

Dates & Events. 62 ,109

"John's name appears as a resident of Charleston in 1635. It was sometimes spelled Crowe. In 1638 he moved to Matakeese, which very soon became known as Yarmouth. He, along with Anthony Thatcher and Thomas Howes, held the land grant in trust to apportion to those people admitted to settle in the town, and were themselves among the first settlers. John Crowe was appointed in 1640 with two other people to hear all cases coming before them up to the amount of twenty shillings in the three towns of Yarmouth, Sandwich, and Barnstable. He served as Deputy for the years 1641, '42 and '43, and on the Grand Jury in 1658."

Soure Quotes: Bonnie Hubbard based on the material in the 1986 book, Plymouth Colony - Its History & People 1620 - 1691, by Stratton

Background Information. 62

John Crowe and his wife Elisha may have come from Wales. Elisha came to the colonies before John arrived in 1635.

On 16 Apr 1638, John Crowe sold his lands in Charlestown and moved to the "Old Colony." On 18 Dec 1638, he took the oath of allegience to the king and fidelity to the government of New Plymouth. On 6 Jan 1638/39, the Old Colony Court granted lands at "Mattacheset, now called Yarmouth" to Mr. Anthony Thacher, Mr. Thomas Howes, Mr. John Crowe and John Coit. John Coit moved to Salem, but the rest moved to Yarmouth in the Autumn of 1638. They were appointed by the Old Court" as the first land committee that was "to make an equal division of the uplands now to be divided at this first division there, to each man according to his estate and quality; according to their instructions."

Governor Bradford had previously bargained with the Sagamore, Mashantumpaine Natives to see this land to the new British settlers, but the consideration had not been fully paid, and there were no defined boundaries set between the Natives and the Settlers' land. There were also problems with estimating each man's estate and the quality or value of service he had rendered. The settlers complained to the court of the inequality of the division and on 1 Mar 1638/39 the court added Mr. Nicolas, William Palmer, Philip Taber and Joshua Barnes to the committee. The next year the court approved the extended committee's formal division of the land, but this did not settle the disputes.

A court was held 17 Jun 1632, "before Edward Winslow, Miles Standish and Edmund Freeman, getleman, three of the Assistants of the government," and "it was ordered and concluded upon by the joint consent of all the inhabitants of Yarmouth that Capt. Standish shall be joined to the committees of said town of Yarmouth for the disposing of the lands there, and that not any lands hereafter be granted or laid forth without his consent, and that all lands hereafter to be laid forth shall be assigned to every person by lot except those which are already granted and assigned in particular, whereof sale and exchanged have been made."

There were still problems since the original committee had granted themselves far more land than anyone else. On 13 May 1648, Captain Standish heard and decided a large number of cases. In the end, all parties were satisfied by Captain Standish's decisions and "put an end to all difference in the town of Yarmouth."

In 1640, John Crowe was admitted a freeman of the colony of Yarmouth, selected and appointed a magistrate along with Thomas Dimmock of Barnstable and Edmund Freeman of Sandwich. In the Yarmouth Records is this notice of his death: "The late Mas Crowell was buried the 7th day of January, '72."

~Anthon Genealogy, pgs. 39-46, taken from the "Yarmouth Register," 9 May 1850, author, Amos Otis


John married Elishua before 1638 in Massachusetts. (Elishua was born about 1592 in England 128 and died in 1688 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts 128.)

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From -

John Crowell [Parents] was born in 1590 in England. He died on Jan 3 1671/1672 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He married Elishua Miller about 1615 in England.

John Crowe came to Charleston Massachusetts in 1635. John's 2nd wife, Elishua, had come earlier. John was one of the first settlers of Old Yarmouth in about 1638. That part being the north coast of Dennis MA. Yelverton's mother was John's first wife. It is believed that her surnmane was either Yelverton or Cubbock. John was also from Charelton Rode which is in Norfolkshire. He left England from Yarmouth, Norfolkshire. I am not sure what ship. I would have to look that up. However, I believe he and Yelverton came across at the same time. Yelverton married in Mass. . Yelverton settled in the lower portion of Old Yarmouth in what is now Yarmouthport. He owned extensive acres around that area. That is across from Hyannis Port.

MORE: General Notes: The writer suspects that this John Crowe is the same John Crowe that came over to this country in 1635, and was married to Elishua. I use this space to reveal facts about the Crowe/Crowell's in general. The story of John Crowe and the will of Yelverton Crowell, alias Crow, were included in the same article punished by Thomas Y. Crowell & Co in 1903. "Mas Crowell was buried the 7th of Jan, '72" (1672) Dixon on Surnames states that "the descendants of John Crowe changed the name to Crowell. The gravestone of John Crowell, grandson of John Crow. bears the name Crowell and the date of death as Oct, 15, 1728. This is about the 3rd generation of Cape Cod Crowells Mr. John Crowe came over to this country in 1635, and was admitted the same year an inhabitant of Charlestown. His wife, Mrs. Elishua Crowe, it appears, came over before that date, as her is entered as a member of the first church in Charlestown, 4th, 11th mo. 1634, and she bought a house of Mr. Wm. Jennings the same year. On the 16th of the 4th mo. 1638, Mr. Crowe sold lands in Charlestown and removed to the Old Colony. On the 18th of December, 1638, he took the oath of allegiance to the king and fidelity to the government of New Plymouth. Recent Reference: The latest book, Vol. II (C-F), of "The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635" is out but only further confuses the status of the early Crowells in Cape Cod, MA. Other Notes from Andrea Crowell 01-07-02: "We do believe that John Crowe was married previous to his marriage to Elishua. Parish registers of New Buckenham, Norfolk, England, list the burial of the wife of John Crowe on 21st day, 3d month, 1626; as well as the baptism of a daughter "Nasare" 21st day, 6th month, 1626. [TAG 35:173, "Origin of the Crowell and Crowe Families of New England, New Jersey and North Carolina" by John G. Hunt] I think it likely that the immigrant Yelverton Crowell is the child of John and this first wife". The article, "Origin of the Crowell and Crowe Families of New England, New Jersey, and North Carolina" by John G. Hunt (TAG 35:3) makes a case for a daughter born to John and an earlier wife who died 1626. Their daughter was "Nasare" was baptized in New Buckenham, Norfolk, England, 1626.

Elishua Miller was born about 1590. She died in 1688 in Yarmoth, Massachusetts. She married John Crowell about 1615 in England.

They had the following children:

John Crowell was born about 1611 in Carleton Rode, Norfolk, England. He died on Jan 14 1672/1673 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Elizabeth Crowell was born in 1615 in England. She died on Feb 22 1696/1697 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Miii Yelverton Crowell MivMos es Crowell was born in 1637 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. MvSamu el Crowell was born about 1630 in Massachusetts. MviTho mas Crowell was born in 1645 in Bass Ponds, Massachusetts.

General Notes: Will abstracts as published Mayflower Descendant 11:26, "Abstracts of the Barnstable County, Mass., Probate Records" "The Invintor of ye Estate of Thomas Crowel Snr of yarmouth deceased the 9th of march 1689" was taken 15 March, 1689, by Jeremiah Jones and Isaac Chase. It included a house and 24 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow; 12 acres of land by the Fresh Pond and 6 acres of meadow belonging to it; also livestock and household Utensils. The inventory was sworn to by "Agnes Crowel relict of ye above mentioned Thomas Crowel" on 17 April, 1690. "Be it knowen ... The wee John Crowel and Thomas Crowel Sons to ye Deceased Thomas Crowel of yarmouth has mutually and Lovingly Condesended and agreed to part and devid our sd ffathers Estate in to three parts" two-thirds to belong to John, one-third to Thomas. The division included all the real estate and the movables out of doors, except that the "house or housing" is to belong to John without any division. "Also we .... have volluntory freely and willingly Condesended to maintaine our mother Agness Crowel .... according to our abillities and if Shee see cause to Remove from us to Live any where else wee Shall according to ye verdict of two Indifferent men one of her Choosing another of ours Shall appoint her a portion to Live upon according to our abillities while Shee remains a widdow." Dated 18 April, 1690; signed by John Crowel, Thomas Crowel and Agness Crowell; all of them made their marks. The witnesses were Samuel Howes and James Stueart. The inventory and agreement were recorded 21 April, 1690, by Joseph Lothrop, recorder. This couple had two sons: John -- who seems to have been known as "John Crowell of Bass Ponds," died in 1715; married Sarah ______ Thomas -- who seems to have been known as "Thomas Crowell of Bass Ponds," died 1734/5; married Elizabeth Jones Thomas married Agnes .

John arrived in America in 1635 and joined his wife in Charlestown.

  • link to textsJohn Crowe and his descendants, a genealogy

by [Crowell, Levi] [from old catalog] Publication date 1903 Children listed: Moses, John, Thomas, Elizabeth, Elushia. NOTE: Thomas & Elushia not accepted by later genealogists, and Elizabeth thought to be by an earlier wife.

view all 11

John Crow, of Yarmouth's Timeline

Carleton Rode, Norfolk, England
Age 23
Carlton Rode, Norfolk, England
Age 25
June 24, 1637
Age 45
Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America
Age 47
Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America
January 14, 1673
Age 81
Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Plymouth Colony
of Charleston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA