John Whitcombe, Jr.

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John Whitcombe (Whitcomb), Jr.

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Of Taunton,Somerset,England.
Death: September 24, 1662 (70-78)
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Place of Burial: Lancaster, Middlesex, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of John Whitcomb, Sr.; John Whitcomb; Anne Smythe Whitcomb and Anne Harper
Husband of Frances Whitcomb and Frances Whitcomb
Father of Jonathan Whitcomb; Catherine Elmes; John Whitcomb, Jr.; Robert Whitcomb; Joana Whitcombe and 6 others
Brother of Edward Whitcomb; Thomas Whitcomb; Robert Whitcomb; Francis Pigott Whitcomb; Anna Whitcomb and 5 others

Occupation: Landowner, constable, Immigrated 1633 to Dorcester w son Robert; freeman 1643
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About John Whitcombe, Jr.

John was the first of the Whitcomb family to settle permanently in America. He also spelled the name "Whetcombe." According to William F. Whitcomb's research in his Memorial to the Whitcomb and Pierce Families, he was probably the son of Symon Whitcomb who was "one of 6 knights and gentlemen" to whom was granted on 3/19/1627 that part of New England lying between the Merrimack and Charles rivers" [this conflicts with other records that list his father as John - see database for references].

Records of him in Dorchester, MA appear as early as 1633. He joined the church there in 1635.

He removed to Scituate in 1644 with his son, John, where he already owned land. He was made constable and was on the 1643 list of those able to bear arms. He was admitted a freeman 6/3/1652.

He moved to Lancaster, MA in 1654. He had previously invested money when the town was being laid out in 1652. He, along with his son, John, were among the founders of Lancaster. He lived there for some 30 years.

The Annals of Lancaster MA 1643 - 1725 by Henry Nourse state the following on p. 63 :

1658 - John Whettcombe for and in consideratino of 3 swine killed and spoiled by his three sonnes, doth hereby promise to pay unto Steven Gates the sum of forty five shill in wheate within a week after michael tyde next 1658 to be paid at his house in Sudbury the said Steven allowinge for the carriage of the wheate tenn shill 6d.

Dated 4/2/1658 John Whetcom

28,,10,58 John Whetcombe owned this bill in Court to be his act.

The Middlesex Court Records contain the following response :

"To the honored County Court at Charlestown :

The humble Petison of Jno. Whetcombe humbly sheweth. That whereas your Petitioner hath set his hand to a note to pay fortie and five shillings to Stephen Gates of Sudbury. It was through my age and weakness that I did not consider of it that I had no right to pay anything to him, before he did duly make it appeare that I had damnified him, he did complaine before the deputie Governor his worship, that I or my Sonnes had killed and spoyled three of his swine in the woods, And made as if we stole them and with many threats which did somewhat amaze your petitioner so that I could not declare my case which is such as I have now gotten to be drawne upp fairly in wrighting, by which it may appeare to this honored Court that I had not wronged Stephen Gates nor was indebted to him anything for which I should agree to pay him anything. Wherefore your petitioner being aged and weak and mean in estate hath wronged himselfe and family in loss of so much, besides by this means of giving satisfaction there is an imputation of theft cast upon me and the family of your petitioner ( to my great Greef bing inoscent in that respect ) and we are much defamed in our names and creditt, and therefore do humbly request this honored Court that our case may be considered, and my bill may be suspended untill the next County Court and that then the case may be fully heard on both sides and determined accordinge to evidence and your petitioner shalbe redy and willing freely to yeald unto what is right and shall thankfully remain

Your worships humble servant

John Whetcombe

[The court decided that his bill must be paid....]

John, the third generation, seems to have been the first to build in this area of Lancaster which was to be added to the town of Bolton. His name is on the list of garrisons in 1711, but not on the 1704 list. This would place the building of his homestead between those dates. As he was married in 1711, that would seem a likely date for the building of his home, which was on the site of John Stephenson's house. Whether the lime quarry had been opened before John Whitcomb lived on the Great Road, or some time later it is not possible to say. John died in 1720, at the age of 36, leaving four small children["Whitcomb Farm History," Bolton Conservation Trust, (].

Limestone was first discovered in Massachusetts in Newbury in 1697; however the history of the discovery of limestone in Bolton is extremely vague. We know that the land where lime was discovered was a part of the large acreage owned by John Whitcomb, one of the early settlers of Lancaster. On his death, it passed to his son Jonathan. Neither of them ever lived on this land or even in Bolton territory ["Whitcomb Farm History," Bolton Conservation Trust (].

This portion of Lancaster was eventually added to the town of Bolton when it was created.

Detailed descriptions on the boundaries of his lands can be found in the Annals of Lancaster, MA 1643 - 1725, pp. 204-205.

The following is from the Bolton Historical Commision's report on Historic Homes

( ) :



The Whitcomb Garrison site was excavated in 1988-90 in a volunteer archaeology project of the Bolton Conservation Trust in observance of Bolton's 250th anniversary. The .15-acre parcel on which it is located was donated to the town by William and Vicki Toth in 1990. Here a modern split-rail fence surrounds three sides of the exposed fieldstones of the excavation, and a bronze plaque on a boulder at its northeast corner reads "Site of the Josiah Whitcomb Garrison, Built 1680. Marker erected by Whitcomb descendants and friends, 1990." A metal interpretive sign on a stone post explains the significance of the site, and displays a conjectural sketch of the house as a two-story, south-facing "half-house" with a west wall chimney and a two-part leanto addition across the rear. Some clumps of daylilies and other low-growing plants are interspersed among the stones, but the lines of the foundation of the building described in the sketch are still discernable.

The structure that is visible here consists of the top of the fieldstone foundation of the basement under the "great room" of the original house, along with the stone bases of the other parts of the building that had no cellar beneath them. A large cluster of stones in the west portion of the site remains from the main chimney base; behind it to the north is a smaller cluster, remaining from a west-wall chimney built for the later leanto. A circle of stones outside the southeast front corner of the foundation indicates the position of the well. The dimensions of the original one-room with lobby-entrance building are approximately twenty by twelve feet; the leanto extensions expanded the building by about ten more feet to the rear.


Among the artifacts recovered from the site were fragments of various eating utensils, wrought nails, cut nails, clay pipes, and a 1770s Spanish coin. No whole ceramic vessels were recovered, but many sherds were found. They included examples of domestic Redware (1600s-1850s), and other pre-1800 English earthenware. Nearly all the ceramic material was of English origin, and the types identified ranged in date from eighteenth-century white salt-glaze stoneware to the type of porcelain still being produced today. Examples of English Creamware (1780-1815), Pearlware of the 1780s through 1820s, and eighteenth-century brown Staffordshire were also found. No Native American finds were recovered.


This foundation is the earliest known part of any building in Bolton. It was also apparently in this house that the first baby whose birth is recorded in Bolton was born. The structure remains from the house built in 1680-81 by original Bolton settler Josiah Whitcomb (spelled Whetcomb at the time). He was the youngest son of John and Frances Whitcomb, who immigrated from England to Dorchester in about 1635, and the only one of their children to have been born on this side of the Atlantic. The family relocated first to Scituate, and later to Lancaster, where, in addition to his proprietor's thirty-acre house lot near the center of the settlement, John Whitcomb rapidly acquired land in the outlying part of the town. Much of it was located in the part of Lancaster that eventually became the town of Bolton; in fact, he soon owned about a quarter of the land presently within Bolton's borders. Included in his vast holdings was all of the northeast section of town, from Main Street to the present Harvard and Stow borders. Over the next 250 years that area was populated largely by John Whitcomb's descendants.

John died intestate. Anne, his wife, and the children mutually agreed to a division of his estate which was approved by the court. The chief products of his farm in 1661 were corn, tobacco and flax. The present post office and bank building ( this is as of abt 1884 ) are probably built on Whitcomb lands. The current Post Office and bank building lie on Whitcomb lands.

John's home lot was assigned to his son John and Jonathan jointly and the house lot which had been John's was allotted to the younger sons , Job and Josiah.

Previous research into his ancestry has supposed that John was the son of Symon Whitcomb

(Whetcomb), one of the original patentees of the old Massachusetts Bay Colony, but this is not borne out by the will of Symon's father. He may have been Symon's brother.

John Whitcomb was born in 1588 in England.

John married Frances Coggin on November 26, 1623 at St. Mary's Parish in Somerset, England.

John and Mary were the parents of









Abigail and


John died on September 24, 1662 in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

Birth: 1588 Keynsham, England

Immigration in 1635 on ship Hopewell

Death: Sep. 24, 1662 Lancaster Worcester County Massachusetts, USA

According to Rev. Frederick Lewis Weis (b. 1895- d.1966), 12th minister (1926-1951) of First Church (the Bulfinch Church) in Lancaster, and an ardent genealogist, he noted that, "John and Frances Whitcomb were buried in the Old Settlers Burial Ground, but their gravestones have not survived."

Family links:

 Frances Coggan Whitcomb (1605 - 1671)

 Catherine Whitcomb Elmes (1624 - 1671)*
 Robert Whitcomb (1629 - ____)*
 Josiah Whitcomb (1638 - 1718)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Old Settlers Burial Yard Lancaster Worcester County Massachusetts, USA

Created by: S.B. Manuel Record added: May 16, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 37149249

The family name was sometimes spelled Whetcombe. John, his wife Frances (Coggan) Whitcomb and children sailed from England to America on an unknown date to escape religious persecution. He may have arrived in Massachusetts as early as 1630 but first official mention of him comes from Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1633 showing him joining the Puritan Church. In 1640 he moved to a town called Scituate where he acquired a parcel of land and there he was made town constable or sheriff. Then in 1654 he moved on to Lancaster. He became "freeman" at some unknown point in time and to acquire that status one had to be a Christian. His signature appears as one of the pioneer settlers of the Nashaway Plantation which ultimately became Lancaster. He was a landowner and a farmer and known to buy and trade land frequently and some of the products he produced were corn, tobacco, flax, edible roots, garden herbs and vegetables. In addition he had an orchard and he probably harvested maple syrup. He died September 24, 1662 at the age of 74. He was laid to rest with several other forefathers of the hamlet in the "old burying ground" of Lancaster. (wab)

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John Whitcombe, Jr.'s Timeline

April 6, 1588
Of Taunton,Somerset,England.
Age 35
August 6, 1626
Age 38
Taunton, Somerset , England
September 14, 1628
Age 40
December 20, 1629
Age 41
Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
May 18, 1632
Age 44
Taunton, Somerset
May 18, 1634
Age 46
Age 47
Age 47
Massachusetts Bay Colony