Lt. James Converse

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James Converse

Also Known As: "Lieutenant James Convers", "Ensign James Converse", "James Converse Lt."
Birthplace: South Weald, Essex, England
Death: May 10, 1715 (94)
Woburn, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Deacon Edward Converse and Sarah Converse
Husband of Ann Converse and Anna Converse
Father of Anna Convers; Maj. James Converse, Esq.; Deborah Pierce; Sarah Elizabeth Pengry; Rebecca More and 6 others
Brother of Edward Converse; Deacon Josiah Convers; Mary Thompson; Sgt. Samuel Converse; Sarah Converse and 1 other

Occupation: Leit. King Phillip's War, Deputy of Courts, Leader in the Church
Managed by: Jeroen Latour
Last Updated:

About Lt. James Converse

XIX) Lieutenant James Converse, son of Deacon Edward (18), was born in England, 1620, died May 10, 1715. He was a deputy to the general court in 1679-83-84-85-86-89. He was an officer in King Philip's war. He had a long and honorable military record. He was appointed sergeant in 1658, promoted to ensign 1672, to lieutenant in 1688, serving until his death, May 10, 1715, a period altogether of about sixty years.

He married

  1. October 24, 1643, Anna Long, born 1625, daughter of Robert Long and Sarah Taylor. She died August 16, 1691.
  2. 1692, Anna (Sparhawk) Cooper, widow of Deacon Nathaniel Sparhawk, of Cambridge, widow of Deacon John Cooper.

His children were:

  • Anna, born July 15, 1644, died January 30, 1645;
  • Jane, November 16, 1645, died July 8, 1706;
  • Deborah, July 25, 1647, married, July 1, 1663 John Pierce;
  • Sarah, April 21, 1649;
  • Rebecca May 1, 1651, married Enoch More;
  • Lydia, March 8, 1653, died May 20, 1655;
  • Edward, February 27, 1655, married Sarah Stone;
  • Mary, December 29, 1656, married Nathaniel Davis;
  • Abigail, October 13, 1658, married Jonathan Ketell;
  • Ruth, February 12, 1661, married Philemon Dean.

Here lyes the body of Lt. James Convers, who departed this life, May the 10th, 1715, in the 95th year of his age. "The Memory of the Just is Blessed" - Lt. James Converse, familiarly known as Ensign or Lieutenant, and father of famous Major James Converse, was born in England, came to this country with his father, Deacon Edward Convers, in 1630; settled first in Charlestown, and in Woburn in 1641; married Ann Long, was honored by the town with its principal offices, a valuable, esteemed and public-spirited citzen. Last survivor of the signers of the original town order of 1640.

James Converse was 10 years old when he came to New England with his father and Mother. From the time he arrived at Woburn, until his death at age 95, he remained here, living longer than some of his children.

During the year 1658, James became the first in a long line of his descendants to be militaristically inclined. He began this year serving a s a Sergeant in the Woburn Trainband-repeating this obligation until 16 72. From May 15, 1672, until 1688, he served the Woburn ÂœFoot Company as an Ensign, under Captain John Carter, and advanced in r ank to Lieutenant from 1688 to 1715. While a Lieutenant, he served with the Woburn Company while in garrison duty during the King Ph ilip's War.

From 1683 until 1689, James served the General Court as a deputy. Besides being a leading member of the Woburn church, James was at various times chosen as a Selectman for the town. A passage found in the His tory of Woburn, by Mr. Sewall, says of him: Through a long life he w as a valuable and esteemed citizen, and repeatedly honored by the town w ith principal offices it had to confer

The will of James Converse was dated August 28, 1712, providing for h is family and giving twenty shillings to the Rev. John Fox and another twenty shillings to the church of Woburn. Here I will quote further what Mr. Sewell had to say of him in his diary after they talked Aug . 13 1702 Met Mr. Converse, the Father, and discours'd him under a Shady Tree. Won't give his Grandchildren till after his death, for fear of giving offense

He and his wife Anna are buried at Woburn. Their gravestones carry the following epitaphs:

here lyes the body of here lyes the body of

lieut. James conuers ann conuers

who departed this life wife of

may the 10th 1715 James convers

in ye 95th year aged 69 years

of his age died

the memory of the just is blessed Aug. 10, 1691


Lieutenant JAMES CONVERS,2 (Deacon Edward 1), born in England in 1620; came to this country with his father in 1630, sat down first at Charlestown, and thence removed to Woburn, Mass., in 1641, where he died 10 May 1715, aged 95, surviving his son Major James Convers.3 He was Sergeant 1658 to 1672, Ensign 1672 to 1688, and Lieutenant 1688 to 1715. As Lieutenant he served with the Woburn company in garrison there during King Philip's War. He was one of the Selectmen of Woburn, a Commissioner of the Rate, and one of the leading members of the Woburn Church. He was Deputy to the General Court, 1679, 83, 84, 85, 86 and 89. Sewall's History of Woburn says of him-" Through a long life he was a very valuable and highly esteemed citizen; was repeatedly honored by the town with the principal offices it had to confer, and . . . in his will, dated Aug. 28, 1712, he bequeathed as follows:-

To my Reverend Pastor, Mr. John Fox, twenty shillings; and to the church of Christ in Woburn twenty shillings to purchase a large flagon withall.' The

Page 8 - The Converse Family

last twenty years of his life were spent in retirement. But he was not one who under any circumstance; could live without care or concern for the good of others. As indicative of this, the following anecdote respecting him seems worth preserving. As Hon. Judge Sewall was once journeying homeward from Newbury to Boston he took the road through Andover and Woburn, then adjoining towns. His passage through Wooburn he notices in his diary thus:" 1702, August 12.- Right [Wright] conducts me to Wooburn through the Land of Nod [in which he was largely interested]. This is ye first time I have seen it. Got late to Fowl's at Wooburn. Sick there, which made me uneasy. Aug. 13. Visit Mr. Fox. View ye Hop-Yards. Come home. Very hot. Met Mr. Converse, the Father, and discours'd him under a Shady Tree. Won't give his Grandchildren till after his death, for fear of giving offence. Expressed his Grief that Gov Dudley put men in place that were not good."

He married, 24 October 1643, Anna Long, daughter of Robert Long of Charlestown, by whom he had ten children. She died 10 August 1691. He married, second, Anna, widow of Dea. John Cooper of Cambridge. She is mentioned in Major Convers' will, together with her children Samuel Cooper and Anna Cooper. Anna Cooper was the daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawke.

More About James Convers I:

Fact 1: 1630, From England to Massachusetts with his father

Fact 2: 1630, In Charlestown, Massachusetts

Fact 3: 1641, Moved to Woburn, Massachusetts

Fact 4: 1679-1689, Deputy to the General Court

view all 20

Lt. James Converse's Timeline

November 29, 1620
South Weald, Essex, England
July 15, 1644
Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
November 16, 1645
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
July 25, 1647
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
April 21, 1649
Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts
May 15, 1651
Woburn, Middlesex, Mass
March 3, 1653
Woburn, Middlesex, Mass
February 27, 1655
Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
December 29, 1656
Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States