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John Rounds

Also Known As: "Round"
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: England
Death: October 7, 1716 (67-75)
Swansea, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Round and Debirorah Round (Beauvais)
Husband of Elizabeth Rounds
Father of Elizabeth Bowen; John Rounds; Richard Round; Sarah Bosworth; Ruth Mason and 4 others

Occupation: Immigrant
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Rounds


see The John Round Family of Swansea and Rehobeth, MA (1983) by H.L. Peter Rounds

(pg 11) below is an excerpt;


JOHN1 ROUND, b. possibly ca. 1645, d. 7 Oct. 1716 at Swansea, MA (date of death stated on his Inventory, below).

He m., probably ca. 1665/8, possibly in England, ELIZABETH , d. after 7 Oct. 1716 (she appeared shortly after that in Court with son John2 to present her husband's Will and Inventory) . Elizabeth was apparently mother of all the children, since John's1 Will named her and son John2, "with his mother," as Executors; and John2 was probably at least the second child, if not the first.

One tradition has is that John1 Round came from the Isle of Wight, on the English Channel off the southern coast of England. Another tradition states that he originated in Wales. Extensive research has been unable to verify which tradition, if either, is correct. We are thus compelled to say that we know no more about his origin than that he probably came from some place in the British Isles.

The very first record there is of John1 Round in America was when his name appeared on the quit claim Deed given by Major William Bradford, son of Gov. William Bradford, to the inhabitants of the Town of Swansea, M A, dated 23 July 1689. This quit claim Deed was printed by Richard LeBaron Bowen in his monumental 4 volume work on Rehoboth [Richard LeBaron Bowen, Early Rehoboth, 4 Vols. (Rehoboth, MA, 1945) Vol. I, pp. 60-63; hereinafter referred to as "Bowen"] . The Deed contains about 100 names , arranged in six columns. The fifth column, entitled "The names of such as are Inhabitants or possess estate by gift or Purchase," is a list of twenty-seven names, the fifteenth of which is "John Round." Evidence indicates that only owners of property were listed on the quit claim Deed.

Swansea, Massachusetts came into existence in the early spring of 1668, a result of a squabble between the Baptists and Congregationalists in the Church of Christ at Rehoboth. The Plymouth Colony Court, on 30 Oct. 1667, set off Wannamoisett, a part of Rehoboth, with other lands, as the new Township of Swansea. It was here that various Rehobothites resumed their Baptist form of worship after they had been prevented for some months from such practices in Rehoboth. Early Swansea often was given the a pt title: " The Baptist Township of Swansea." It contained the first Baptist Church in Massachusetts, the fourth in all of the early American colonies (three already existed in Rhode Island). The name "Swansea" was reputedly selected because its first Baptist Pastor, the Rev. John Myles, had served a congregation in Swansea, Wales, prior to immigrating to New England. Some of the members of that congregation in Wales came with him to New England (Bowen, Vol. 2, Ch. II).

The very appearance of John1 Round in early Swansea suggests he was of Baptist persuasion. The Baptist Church was to play an important part in the lives of many of his descendants.

John1 Round's name does not appear on the original list of those admitted to be "Inhabitants of Swansea,it or on subsequent lists of purchasers or on tax rolls. Extensive research has not uncovered a single mention of his name anyplace in the American Colonies prior to the 1689 quit claim Deed. This is said, notwithstanding the fact that in 1935 Ramon Meyers Tingley presented reputed parents of this John1 Round, as well as a list of the reputed children of that earlier John Round [Ramon Meyers Tingley, Some Ancestral Lines, (1935), P. 314]. Tingley claimed that John and Ruth Round, parents of the John1 Round who is the subject of this present work, were first in Yarmouth, MA prior to moving to Rehoboth and then to Swansea.

However, very extensive research has not been able to locate a single record to validate Tingley's claims. Robert S. Wakefield, F.A.S.G., an expert on the early Plymouth Colony, has dealt with Tingley's statements and essentially concluded they are undocumented fiction (Robert S. Wakefield, "Round Family - Fact or Fiction," TAG, (1978),

p. 37). This compiler concurs with Wakefield's conclusions.

In addition, a long-standing tradition has been perpetuated by Theron Woodward [Theron Woodward, "Rounds Genealogy," unpub. 6-page typescript M s (1905) on deposit with Newberry Library , Chicago; hereinafter referred to as "Woodward"]; by the Rev. Nathan Round Nichols (P. 10) ; and by F. A. Virkus (F. A. Virkus, A Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol. I II, P. 266) to the effect that: "John Round and all of his family, except one son, were killed by the Indians in the Massacre of Swansea during King Philip's War in 1675." This tradition infers that the parents and siblings of Johnl Round were thus all slaughtered by King Philip's warriors.

The compiler has devoted lengthy research to this tradition, has discovered the actual names of those who were massacred in Swansea that 24th day of June in 1675 (the first day King Philip's War broke out), and there is not one Round on the list of victims. There was only that one massacre in Swansea during the entire King Philip's War. The results of this research have been published by the compiler in an article to which the reader is referred.

see below;

  • ********************************************************************* * *********************

H. L. Peter Rounds, "Round Family - Fact or Fiction II," TAG, 57 (198 1), P. 179

During King Philip's War "the Massacre of Swansea" has led to an interesting tradition among Round family descendants. My first introduction to genealogy was triggered in 1979 by a letter from Mr. J. Roy Dodge, Town Clerk and Town Historian of La Fayette, New York, who wrote in part: "John Round and all of his family, except one son (John), were killed in the Massacre of Swansea in 1675 In King Philip's War." Mr. Dodge stated that this item had been imparted to him some years earlier by a now deceased descendant of the branch of the Swansea/Rehobeth Round or Rounds family which first settled in LaFayette in 1792.

I was intrigued by this bit of ancient lore and commenced a historical search to document the date, circumstances and persons involved. One of the first resources discovered was a statement by the late F. A. Virkus, (The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy 3: 266): "John Round (d. 1716) of Swansea, Mass; son of emigrant who with all others of the family was killed in Massacre of Swansea, 1675". Subsequent searching revealed a published genealogy (Nathan Round Nichols, "Round-Rounds Genealogy" 1928). In it (p. 10) Nichols included a quotation under the first generation, an follows; "Tradition says this family came from the Isle of Wight and descended from one who escaped the Swansea Massacre 1675". In his Introduction he stated that this tradition had been put in an unpublished man uscript on the Round family by Theron R Woodward, deposited in the Newberry Library in Chicago.

These sources seemed to confirm the validity of Mr. Dodge's information, but I was not satisfied until it could be documented from early sources. Extensive research into numerous ancient historical accounts of Swansea during King Philip's War revealed that this war had its very beginning in Swansea. Thursday, 24 June 1675 was the opening day of the bloodshed which came to be known as King Philip's War. On that day a group of six to nine persons (depending on the account) from Swansea were massacred, mutilated and decapitated by King Philip's warriors.

Personal correspondence with the foremost living expert on King Philip's War, Dr. Douglas E . Leach (author of, Flintlock and Tomahawk), was conducted. Dr. Leach confirmed what the ancient histories had all indicated, that on only one day during that entire war was any group of Swansea residents massacred.However, the names of the victims were nowhere listed in any of the sources. Yet the tradition would suggest that the unnamed victims included the entire Round family, except one.

Additional research provided the answer in footnotes in Richard LeBaron Bowen's "Early Rehoboth", Vol. 3. This meticulous Swansea/Rehoboth historian noted: "On 24 June 1675, the following nine burials are recorded at Swansea: Gershom Cobb, Joseph Lewis, John Salisbury, John Jones, John Fall, Nehemiah Allen, Robert Jones, William Lohun and William Salisbury" (p. 48) , "These eight heads on poles were probably those of Gershom Cobb, Joseph Lewis, John Salisbury, William Salisbury, John Jones, John Fall, Nehemiah Allen and Robert Jones, who were killed at Swansea on 24 June and their decapitated and mutilated bodies buried there that day (Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. VIII, p. 64).

By these words, a long-perpetuated "tradition"' was demonstrated to be pure myth. There is not one Round family member among those buried the day of the Massacre of Swansea. Therefore, the statements in Virkus, Nichols and Woodward should be labelled for what they are: Fiction.

  • ********************************************************************* * *********************

Other than the 1689 quit claim Deed mentioned, there is one other reference to John1 Round in early Swansea records. In noting "The Bounds of a Highway Laid Out March ye 13:1703," the description in Swansea records commences: "Beginning at John Rounds Southwest Corner of his home lot.. ." (Swansea Proprietors' Records, Book for 1667-1730. p. 214: on LDS #9 03, 396) . The only recorded evidence there is about John's1 wife, Elizabeth, and the names of their children, comes from His Will and Inventory, found in Bristol Co., Mass. Probate Records ( hereinafter referred to as BMPR). There were no recorded Deeds for John1 in Bristol Co. L and Records (hereinafter referred to as BMD), though we know that in his Will, Johnl left "a homsted housen Lands," valued at 100 Pounds (see Inventory below)


In summary, John1 Round was a yeoman of reasonably average means; a Baptist by religious preference and a resident of the Town of Swansea at least as early as 1689 until his death on 7 Oct. 1716.

WILL (Exec. 16 Oct. 1710, Prob. Oct. 1716 - BMPR 3:299):

In the Name of God amen

"The Sixteenth Day of october in the yeare of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ten : I John Round of the town of Swanzey in the County of bristol in the province of masachusets bay in New England yeoman: being weak of body but of perfect mind and memory praised be the almighty god for the same: Thearefore Calling into mind the motallity of my body: and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Dye: Doe make and ordaine this my last Will and testament (that is to say) principally and first of all I give and Recomend my soule into the hands of god that gave it; and for my body I commend it to the earth to be buried-in a Christian like and Decent manner: at the Discretion of my executrix & others heare after named nothing Doubting but at the Generall Resurrection I Shall receive the Same againe by the mighty power of god: and as touching such worldly Estate wheare with it hath pleased god to bless me in this Life: I give Devise and Dispose of the same in manner and form following (viz) " Impris

I give and bequeath all that my homsted housen Lands scittuate Lying and being within the township of Swanzey afore Sd: unto my beloved wife Elizabeth with all my movables to her During her naturall Life, or her remaining my widow and after her Decease or removal by marrig : I give to my son John Round and to his heirs and assigns for Ever all the afore Sd homested housen Lands orchards fences and as it is theare bounded both improved and unimproved Lands: after my Sd wifes Decease or removall as afore Sd: and Doe will that my Son John Round his heirs and assignes shall pay or cause to be paid unto my son Richard Round and George Round the Sum of five

pounds to each of them: after my wifes Decease or removal as afore Sd." Imprim

I give to my five Daughters Elizabeth bowen wife of Joseph bowen: Ruth Mason wife of benjamin mason: Sarah bozworth wife of Jonathan bozworth: Judeth Round: Susanah Reed wife of John Reed: all my movable estate after my wifes Decease: to be equally Devided amongst them and Likwise I constitute and make and ordaine my beloved wife Elizabeth to be my executrix and my son John Round to be my executor with his mother: of this my Last Will and testament and all and singular my mesuage Lands or Tenements by them freely to be possessed as afore Sd: and I Doe hearby utterly Disallow revoake and Disannul all and every other and former testaments wills and Leggeces requests and executors by me in any Wayes before t his time named: willed and bequeathed: Ratifiing and Confirming this and no othere to be my Last will and Testament In Witness whearof I the Sd John Round hath heare unto sett my hand and seale: the day and yeare a bove written & c

SIGNUM John ( X ) Round

Signed sealed published pronounced

and Declared by the Sd John Round

to be his Last Will and testament

in the presents of us the subscribers

John West Henry West

William West

It is unfortunate that Nichols' book, in presenting this Will, mistakenly omitted the last sentence of the second paragraph, referring to sons Richard2 and George2 (p. 194). Ever since , ancestor-searchers have been uncertain about the parentage of these two sons. Some people have even assumed Nichols "invented" them.


"The Inventory of the estate of John Round Late of Swansey who Deceased the seventh Day of october 1716 (is as followeth)

- (viz)

To money and Debts----------------------------- 03-17-06

To waring apparril-------------------------------- 08-18-00

To the best bead and furniture-------------------12-00-00

To a small bead and furniture-------------------- 06-00-00

to 2 pr of sheet 3 pillow casses------------------ 02-05-00

To Table lining--------------------------------------00-12-00

To Pewter platter basons poringers spoons-----03-00-00

To 1 bras Kittle skillet and warming pans-------03-00-00

To 1 tongs boll and old Iron----------------------- 01-10-00

To 1 box Iron and 2 heaters 1 candlestick--------00-06-00

To earthen warr and wooden warr----------------00-10-00

To 2 chests and one box----------------------------01-00-00

To 1 Looking glass---------------------------------- 00-05-00

To 2 Tables------------------------------------------ 00-09-00

To 4 Cheires and two sieves-----------------------00-11-00

To 1 Jugg 1 bottle 1 sugar pott and turriol-------00-05-00

To 1 gunn---------------------------------------------00-15-00

To 1 ladle--------------------------------------------- 00-08-00

To 2 spinning wheels and 1 Churn----------------00-12-00

To 3 barrills of flour and 1 empty barril----------01-06-00

To 8 geese---------------------------------------------00-12-00

To 2 pr of wool cards------------------------------- 00-03-00

To 1 pott of butter---------------------------------- 00-11-00

To sundry small Cheeses--------------------------- 01-00-00

To wooll and yearne-------------------------------- 00-06-00

To the house and homsted------------------------ 100-00-00

To 2 cows 1 heaffer I Calfe-------------------------11-05-00

------------------------------------------------Total - 163-06-06


Samuell Bullock

John West

Richard Hardinge

Bristol SS

before the Honble Nathanl Byfield Esqr Judge of the probate of will & c appeared Elizabeth Round & John Round & made oath that the above written inventory contains the whole of ye Estate that the Sd John Round Dyed seized of & that when more Comes to their knoledge they will reveal it that it may be of Record therewith.



Birth: ABT 1645

Death: 7 OCT 1716 in Swansea, Bristol, MA

view all 16

John Rounds's Timeline

Age 20
Swansea, Bristol, Ma
Age 27
Swansea, Plymouth Colony
May 21, 1678
Age 33
Swansea, Bristol, MA
Age 35
Swansea, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
Age 35
Of, Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts
November 19, 1686
Age 41
Rehoboth, Bristol County, Dominion of New England (Present Massachusetts)
Age 43
Swansea, Bristol County, Dominion of New England
Age 43
Swansea, Bristol County, New Plymouth Colony