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John Polley

Also Known As: "John Polly"
Birthplace: Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, America
Death: Died in Suffolk, Massachusetts, America
Immediate Family:

Son of John Polley, II and Margaret Polley
Husband of Susannah Polley; Mary Polley; Hannah Cowdrey and Jane Walker
Father of Sarah Sabin (Polley); Mary Perrin (Polley); Hannah Curtis; Abigail Lyon; Elizabeth Phillips and 11 others
Brother of George Polly (Polley)

Managed by: Michael Bishop Ebersol
Last Updated:

About John Polley

John married four times and had thirteen daughters and one son, all born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His first wife was Susanna Bacon, daughter of George Bacon and Margaret from Hingham, England. Susanna arrived in New England with her parents aboard the "Increase" in 1635. She and John were married about 1647 and had seven daughters. John would have been twenty-nine years old when he married for the first time. Susanna died in Roxbury on February 30, 1664, her gravestone is still intact at the Roxbury Cemetery.

He married for the second time in 1664 at age forty six to Mary Ives, daughter of Miles Ives and Martha from Watertown, Massachusetts. Mary had one son who died in infancy and she died the following year during a smallpox epidemic on June 30, 1666. Mary's grave marker is also at the Roxbury Cemetery.

John married for the third time at age fifty in 1668 to Hannah Cowdrey of Reading, Massachusetts. Hannah's parents were Deacon William Cowdrey from Weymouth, England and Joanna Licence. John and Hannah had six daughters and John's only son and heir. Hannah died June 8, 1684 and is also buried in the Roxbury Cemetery.

His last marriage was to Jane Metcalf the widow of Philip Walker and daughter of Michael Metcalf and Sarah Elwyn from Taterford, England on 21-Jun-1684 in Roxbury. They had no children before Jane died October 24, 1701 at age sixty-nine, surviving John by twelve years.


His four marriages are recorded in Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 By Clarence Almon Torrey, Elizabeth Petty Bentley.


  1. Susanna Bacon, married in Roxbury in 1650.
  2. Mary Ives (?), married in Roxbury in 1665.
  3. Hannah Cowdrey, married in Reading on September 18, 1667.
  4. Jane Metcalf Butterworth Walker, widow of Philip Walker; married in Roxbury on June 2, 1684.


  • POLLEY, John
  • b. 1618 England
  • d. 2 APR 1690 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
  • Family:
  • Marriage: ABT 1647 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
  • Spouse: BACON, Susanna
  • b. 1625 England
  • d. 30 APR 1664 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
  • Parents:
  • Father: BACON, George
  • Mother: Margaret,
  • Children:
    • POLLEY, Mary
    • POLLEY, Sarah
    • POLLEY, Hannah
    • POLLEY, Abigail
    • POLLEY, Bethiah
    • POLLEY, Susanna
  • Family:
  • Marriage: 18 SEP 1667 Reading, Middlesex, Mass.
  • Spouse: COWDERY, Hannah
  • d. 18 JUN 1684 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
  • Children:
    • POLLEY, Rebecca
    • POLLEY, Joanna b. 13 MAY 1669 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
    • POLLEY, Mehitable b. 18 DEC 1671 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
    • POLLEY, John
    • POLLEY, Rhoda b. 25 JAN 1673/4 Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
    • POLLEY, Patience
    • POLLEY, Sarah
  • From:


  • John Polley
  • M, #14444, b. 1618, d. 2 April 1689
  • Father John Polly
  • John Polley was born in 1618. He married Susanna Bacon, daughter of George Bacon and Margaret Woodward, circa 1649 at Roxbury, Suffolk, MA. John Polley died on 2 April 1689 at Roxbury, Suffolk, MA.
  • Family Susanna Bacon b. 1625, d. 30 Apr 1664
  • Children
    • Mary Polley+ b. 2 Apr 1650
    • Abigail Polley+ b. 4 Jun 1654, d. 15 Jan 1703
    • Elizabeth Polley+ b. 14 Apr 1657
  • From:


  • Philip Walker
  • Birth: unknown
  • Death: Aug., 1679
  • Philip Walker, son of the Widow Walker, was born in England, and is first of mention in Colonial records in Massachusetts in a deed bearing his signature, dated, Rehoboth, 1653. He was one of the grand jury there, May 17, 1655, and took the oath of fidelity, June 1, 1658. His name appears in the first division of the Rehoboth North Purchase, June 22, 1658, and again on May 26, 1668. He became a prominent figure in the local affairs of early Rehoboth, and held many positions of trust and importance. In 1657 he became surveyor, and in the following year held the office of constable. He was on the grand inquest in 1668 and 1678; selectman between 1666 and 1675; and deputy to the General Court at Plymouth, in 1669. He was also a deacon of the church, and on November 2, 1663, was one of a committee appointed to build or buy a parsonage. In King Philip's War he contributed twenty-six pounds to the war fund, the largest sum with two exceptions in the town. He was a prosperous weaver, and his estate was appraised at 681 pounds, one of the largest in Rehoboth. He was buried August 21, 1679. Philip Walker married, about 1654, Jane Metcalf, daughter of Michael Metcalf, of Dedham. She survived him, and married (second) June 2, 1684, John Polley of Roxbury. She lived in the latter place until her death in 1702. Children: Samuel, born Feb., 1655; Sarah, Feb. 16, 1657; Philip, born in March 1661; Elizabeth, twin of Philip, born in March, 1661, drowned Aug. 7, 1664; Mary, born in May, 1663; Experience, in 1664-65, buried Nov. 10, 1674; Elizbeth, April 1, 1666; Michael, March 1, 1667, buried Feb., 1677; Ebenezer, 1676; Martha.
  • (from History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical; NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920)
  • The Philip Walker House, at 432 Massasoit Avenue in East Providence, still stands and is the 2nd oldest house in Rhode Island (1679). Some of the family's furnishings can be viewed today at the Hunt House Museum in East Providence.
  • Family links:
  • Children:
    • Samuel Walker (1655 - 1712)*
    • Phillip Walker (1661 - 1740)*
    • Ebenezer Walker (1676 - 1718)*
  • Inscription:
  • (on "new" monument) Buried Aug. 21, 1679. To his Memory Aug. 21, 1879.
  • Burial: Newman Cemetery, East Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 14119758
  • From:


  • Michael Metcalf, Sr
  • Birth: 1591 Norfolk, England
  • Death: Dec. 24, 1664 Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Michael Metcalf, b. as he claimed at Tatterford parish, Norfolk, England. As the writer is a descendant of Michael, that he was the son of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford is not proved. Notwithstanding, Michael has been linked to a memorial for Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford in the hope that clearer evidence will eventually be found that proves Michael's paternity. But, that 1586 has traditionally been Michael's assumed year of birth is also not supported by the extant record.
  • In a Feb. 2, 1635/6 deposition:
  • • Michael Metcalfe of Norwich, dornick weaver, aged 45, born at Tatterford, co. Norfolk, testified regarding the practices of clergyman of St. Edmund's, Norwich [NEHGR 86:253.]
  • In this era a person's age was stated by the word "aged," shorthand in English for the Latin term Ætatis suæ (literally, the time of one's age), in which a person's age begins on the day of birth versus on a chronological year basis (i.e., at birth a person is in the first year of their age.) In the foregoing deposition Michael indicated he was then 44 years old, born within the one year period that began Feb. 3, 1590/1 in the modern Gregorian calendar. In the original Tatterford church record the month of February 1590, in the old Julian calendar, would have been included in the record for the year 1590, with February the 12th and last month of the old Julian calendar (until 1752 the English year was based on the Julian calendar, in which March 25th was the first day of the new year.) Unfortunately, the year 1590 is stated as "not to be found." Although at the time the English civil year began on March 25th, English parish records considered the entire month of March the first month of the ecclesiastic calendar. While the ecclesiastic year of 1591 is found in the Tatterford parish register, Michael's baptism does not appear in 1591.
  • Fourteen months later on Apr. 8, 1637, Michael was examined for permission to emigrate to New England:
  • • The examinacion of Michill Metcalfe of Norwich, Dornix weauer, aged 45 yeares and Sarrah his wife, aged 39 yeares, with 8 Children, Michill: Thomas: Marey: Sarrah: Elizabeth: Martha: Joane: and Rebeca: and his Saruant Thomas Comberbach, aged 16 yeares, are desirous to passe to boston in New England to inhabit [ibid, 14:325.]
  • Fourteen year old son John, apparently omitted by the scribe, also sailed with the family.
  • In the latter examination by the King's port officials, Michael indicated he was then "aged" 45 (i.e., 44 years old), born within the one year period that began April 9, 1592. The ecclesiastic year 1592 is completely missing in the Tatterford register whereas the year 1593 is fully extant but does not contain Michael's baptism.
  • On an obelisk at Center Cemetery at Lebanon, Conn. is an inscription for Michael's 3rd gr. grandson Eliphalet Metcalf (William,5 Jonathan,4 Jonathan,3 Michael,2 Michael,1) and his wife Mary West. The inscription traces Eliphalet Metcalf's paternal ancestry, the first part stating:
  • • This branch of the Metcalf family, descended from Michael who was born at Tatterford, England in 1586 and immigrated to America and settled at Dedham, Mass. in 1637 where he died Dec. 27, 1664.
  • There is no Michael, son of Rev. Leonard Metcalf, who was baptised at Tattersford in the extant 1586 or 1587 parish record. The only children of Rev. Metcalf baptized in those years begins with son Leonard, written in Latin as Leonardus, Sept. 3, 1586, who was buried at Tatterford Aug. 10, 1590. This is followed by the baptism of son Nicholas, written as Nichus, July 20, 1587. Nicholas became Rev. Nicholas Metcalf and d. testate in England July 17, 1664.
  • Based on the above, the writer has adopted the year 1591 as the likely year of Michael's birth. He was not likely to misstate his age while testifying in God's house or lie about his age to the King's officials.
  • On Oct. 13, 1616 at St. Bartholomew church at Heigham, west and outside the ancient wall of the City of Norwich, England, Michael m. Sarah Ellwyn (q.v. Elwyn), bapt. June 13, 1593 at Heigham. She d. Nov. 30, 1644 at Dedham, Mass. They had eleven acknowledged children b. at the City of Norwich, England, of which nine survived to immigrate to New England.
  • At the time, ecclesiastic law of the Church of England required children to be baptized at the parish church where the parents resided. The first seven children were purportedly b. at the small parish of St. Benedict, inside the ancient west wall of the City of Norwich. However, only four of the seven have recorded baptisms in that parish register (1617, 1619, 1626 and 1628). The other three were purportedly born in years in which the parish record is missing (all of 1620, 1621, 1622, 1623, and most of 1624). It is possible that from 1620 to 1625 Michael resided in another parish at Norwich, but the children with missing baptisms cannot be found in other extant parish registers at or near Norwich.
  • The last four children of the family were b. at the small parish of St. Edmond in the northeast section of the city bordering the north side of the River Wensum. All four have baptism entries in that parish register.
  • Michael Metcalf had no known son named Joseph as claimed by the 1898 "Metcalf Genealogy." Whereas a Joseph Metcalf was made a freeman of the Mass. Bay on Mar. 4, 1634/5, who presumably was at least 24 years of age, he was born not later than five years prior to Michael Metcalf marrying his first known wife. In May 1645 at 24 years of age, Michael Metcalf's third child and eldest surviving son, Michael Metcalf, Jr. of Dedham, Mass., was made freeman of the Mass. Bay. This was followed by Michael's fourth child and second eldest surviving son John, who at 24 years of age was made freeman of the Mass. Bay on May 26, 1647.
  • Michael Metcalf, Sr. d. testate Dec. 24, 1664 at Dedham, Mass. He and wife Sarah had eleven known children, all b. at Norwich, England.
    • • i. Michael Metcalf, b. Nov. 13 (bapt. Nov. 30 at St. Benedict), 1617, bur. in infancy Jan. 20, 1617/8 at St. Benedict's Churchyard.
    • • ii. Mary Metcalf, b. Feb. 14 (bapt. Feb. 17 at St. Benedict), 1618/9, d. May 5, 1676 at Dedham, Mass.; m. Nov. 24, 1642 at Dedham, Mass., Henry Wilson, who d. at Dedham Feb. 8, 1688/9. Five children recorded at Dedham.
    • • iii. Michael Metcalf, Jr., purportedly b. Aug. 29, 1620 at St. Benedict parish at Norwich, England (no extant baptisms for the year 1620). He d. Mar. 25, 1654 at Dedham, Mass. He m. Apr. 2, 1644 at Dedham, Mass., Mary Fairbanks, dau. of Jonathan Fairbanks, Sr. and Grace Smith, b. or bapt. Feb. 3, 1621/2 at Halifax in Yorkshire, England. They had five children. The wid. Mary m. 2) Aug. 2, 1654 at Dedham as his 2nd wife, Christopher Smith, who d. Nov. 7, 1676 at Dedham. Mary (Fairbanks)(Metcalf) Smith d. June 4, 1684 at Dedham. She had one child by her second husband, son John Smith.
    • • iv. John Metcalf, b. Sept. 5 (no bapt. rec.), 1622, d. Oct. 8, 1690 at Medfield, Mass.; m. Mar. 23, 1646/7 at Dedham, Mass., Mary Chickering, who d. Mar. 15, 1697/8 at Medfield, Mass. Eight children recorded at Dedham and Medfield.
    • • v. Sarah Metcalf, b. Sept. 10 (no bapt. rec.), 1624, d. Feb. 25, 1671/2 at Dedham, Mass.; m. by late 1648, Robert Onion, who d. Nov. 21, 1673 at Dedham. Seven children recorded at Dedham.
    • • vi. Elizabeth Metcalf, b. Oct 4 (sic, bapt. 20 Sept. at St. Benedict), 1626, d. May 1, 1711 at Lynn, Mass.; m. Sept. 15, 1648 at Dedham, Mass. as his 2nd wife, Lieut. Thomas Bancroft, who d. Aug. 19, 1691 at Lynn, Mass. Nine children.
    • • vii. Martha Metcalf, b. Mar. 27 (bapt. same day at St. Benedict), 1628, d. Dec. 26, 1717 at Concord, Mass.; m. 1) William Bignall, m. 2) Aug. 20, 1662 at Concord, Mass. as his 2nd wife, Nathaniel Stow, who d. May 30, 1684 at Concord, Mass. Three children by her 1st and three children by her 2nd marriage.
    • • viii. Dea. Thomas Metcalf, b. Dec. 27, 1629 (bapt. Jan. 1, 1629/30 at St. Edmund), d. Nov. 16, 1702 at Dedham, Mass.; m. 1) Sept. 12, 1656 at Dedham, his step-sister Sarah Pidge, who d. Jan. 20, 1678/9 at Dedham; m. 2) Dec. 2, 1679 at Rehoboth, Mass., the widow Anna (Chickering) Paine, who d. Jan. 1, 1688/9 at Dedham; purportedly m. 3) Jan. 22, 1688/9, the widow Mehitable (Hand) Savel, who purportedly m. 3) June 22, 1713 Josiah Chapin and d. Dec. 2, 1724. Eight known children of the family, all by 1st wife Sarah.
    • • ix. Anne Metcalf, b. Mar. 1 (bapt. Mar. 26 at St. Edmund), 1630/1, bur. in infancy May 31, 1632 at St. Edmund's Churchyard.
    • • x. Jane Metcalf, b. Mar. 24 (bapt. Mar. 29 at St. Edmund), 1632/3, d. Oct. 24, 1701 at Roxbury (now Boston), Mass.; m. 1) bef. 1656, Dea. Philip Walker, who was bur. Aug. 21, 1679 at Rehoboth, Mass. Ten children of record at Rehoboth. She m. 2) June 2, 1684 at Roxbury, Mass. as his 3rd wife, John Polley, who d. Apr. 2, 1689 at Roxbury.
    • • xi. Rebecca Metcalf, b. Apr. 5 (bapt. Apr. 12 at St. Edmund), 1635, d. Dec. 8, 1667 at Dedham, Mass.; m. Apr. 5, 1659 at Dedham, John MacIntosh, who d. Aug. 22, 1691 at Dedham. Two known children of the marriage.
  • Michael Metcalf m. 2) Aug. 13, 1645 at Dedham, Mary Sothey (q.v. Sothy), widow of Thomas Pidge of Roxbury, Mass. There were no children of this marriage. She d. Feb. 12, 1672/3 at Dedham. Mary m. 1) Thomas Pidge in England by whom she had nine children, six who emigrated with their parents to Roxbury by June 1633 where Thomas Pidge d. Dec. 30, 1643. In 1656 Thomas Pidge's dau. Sarah became the first wife of her step-brother, Dea. Thomas Metcalf.
  • Edited 7/9/2015
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Leonard Metcalf (1542 - 1616)
  • Spouses:
  • Sarah Ellwyn Metcalf (1593 - 1644)
  • Mary Sothy Pidge Metcalf (1589 - 1673)
  • Children:
    • Mary Metcalf Wilson (1619 - 1676)*
    • Michael Metcalf (1620 - 1654)*
    • John Metcalf (1622 - 1690)*
    • Sarah Metcalf Onion (1624 - 1672)*
    • Elizabeth Metcalf Bancroft (1626 - 1711)*
    • Martha Metcalf Stow (1628 - 1717)*
    • Thomas Metcalf (1629 - 1702)*
  • Inscription:
  • No gravestone is known to exist, or if it once existed has crumbled away with the passage of time. See note at the main page of the Old Village Cemetery of Dedham.
  • Burial: Old Village Cemetery, Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 64230860
  • From:



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John Polley's Timeline

Suffolk, Massachusetts, America
June 2, 1650
Age 32
Roxbury, Sullfolk, Massachusetts
June 2, 1650
Age 32
Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
February 15, 1651
Age 33
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts
June 4, 1654
Age 36
Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
April 14, 1657
Age 39
Woburn, Middlesex, MA
February 12, 1659
Age 41
Roxbury, Suffolk, MA, USA
October 22, 1661
Age 43
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Age 47
Roxbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts