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Mary Talcott (White)

Also Known As: "Mary (White) Rowlandson Talcott"
Birthplace: South Petherton, Somerset, England (United Kingdom)
Death: January 05, 1711 (73-74)
Wethersfield, Hartford, CT
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John White and Joane White
Wife of Joseph Rowlandson, Sr.; Rev. Joseph Rowlandson and Capt. Samuel Talcott
Mother of Joseph Rowlandson, Jr.; Mary Rowlandson; Mary Talcott and Sarah Rowlandson
Sister of Alice White; John White; Joanna Hudson; Thomas White; Nathaniel White and 5 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Talcott



My Husband and Captain Henry Kerley had gone to Boston to request that soldiers come to our aid as an Indian attack was possible. While they were gone on February 10, the garrison house in which my family lived came under attack by Indians. Most of the family and villagers were with us but they set fire to the building and we were forced to leave. My sister Elizabeth Kerley was killed on the doorstep, her three sons, Henry 18 William 17,Joseph 7 were killed outside the house. My sister Hannah, whose husband, John Divoll, had been killed, took 4 year old William and I took my three children, Mary, Joseph and my six year old daughter, Sarah. As I stepped out the door with her I was shot, the bullet going through my child and out my side, She was severely wounded. The Indians divided us and we began our captivity.The following web site contains information and photos regarding my ordeal: Mary Rowlandson

After her capture during King Philip's War, Rowlandson wrote famous firsthand accounting of 17th-century Indian life and its Colonial/Indian conflicts.


  • At one time scholars believed that Rowlandson had died before her narrative was published,[5] but she lived for many more years. On 6 August 1679, she had married Captain Samuel Talcott and taken his surname. She eventually died on 5 January 1711, outliving her spouse by more than 18 years. (6)
  • from Mary Rowlandson Elementary School

The story of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity and restoration has endured for well over 300 years. Very few books of any age or tongue have been distinguished with more editions and are a testament to the popular interest of this modest story of personal experience. The Lancaster Collection of the Thayer Memorial Library possesses perhaps the finest collections of these editions. A large pine tree known as the Rowlandson Pine marked the site of the Rowlandson parsonage until 2002. It stood opposite the Middle Cemetery until it was toppled by high winds. The stone marker that designates this historic spot stands close to Main Street (Route 70) in Lancaster.


  • 5. Vaughn, Alden T; Clark, Edward W., eds. (1981), Puritans Among the Indians: Accounts of Captivity and Redemption 1676-1724, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Belknap. page 32
  • 6. Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle; Levernier, James Arthur (1993), The Indian Captivity Narrative, 1550-1900, New York: Twayne Publishers, ISBN 0-8057-7533-1. Page 97


Picture Source:

Mary White was born c. 1637 in Somerset, England. The family left England sometime before 1650, settled at Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and moved in 1653 to Lancaster, on the Massachusetts frontier. There, she married Reverend Joseph Rowlandson, the son of Thomas Rowlandson of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1656. Four children were born to the couple between 1658 and 1669, with their first daughter dying young.

Mary Talcott formerly White aka Rowlandson

Born 1637 in South Petherton, Somerset, England

Daughter of John White and Joane (West) White

Sister of Joanna (White) Hudson, John White, Thomas White, Joanna (White) Fiske, Elizabeth (White) Kerley, Sarah (White) Rice, Josiah White, Ruth White and Hannah (White) Lummus

Wife of Joseph Rowlandson — married 1656 (to 23 Nov 1678) in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts

Wife of Samuel Talcott I — married 6 Aug 1679 [location unknown]

Mother of Joseph Rowlandson Jr.

Died 5 Jan 1711 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut

Profile last modified 11 Jun 2019 | Created 22 Feb 2010

Mary (White) Talcott migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).


Mary (White) Rowlandson, wrote an autobiographical narrative of her capture by the Indians. “A true History of the Captivity & Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, A Minister’s Wife in New England.”

Mary White was born in England about 1637, the daughter of John and Joane (West) White. The family immigrated to New England about 1638 and were settled at Wenham, then a part of Salem for some time. By 1653, at it's incorporation the family had settled in the new town of Lancaster.

She married Joseph Rowlandson at Lancaster in 1656.[1][2] Joseph, a Harvard College graduate, was the son of Thomas Rowlandson of Ipswich. He was ordained as a Puritan minister in 1660, but had already been preaching in Lancaster for 6 years by then.

The couple settled into life on the frontier, and had four children, the first of whom died young.

"On the 10th of February, 1675, came the Indians with great numbers upon Lancaster: their first coming was about sun-rising."[3] Hearing shots the family looked out to watch their neighbors and friends, knocked on the head, shot, split open. "At length they came and beset our house, and quickly it was the dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw." After shooting at the house for about 2 hours, the Indians set it on fire, and now the inhabitants were caught between burning alive and being set upon by the "Indians gaping before us with their guns, spears, and hatchets to devour us." Upon attempting to leave, Mary's brother-in-law was shot. Then she was shot. The bullet "went through my side, and the same (as would seem) through the bowels and hand of my poor child in my arms." Mary and her children were captured and led away. Two children were separated from her. All the rest of her family, but one nephew and her husband who was not in town, were killed that day. Her daughter Sarah died after immense suffering and with little to comfort her in nine days.[3]

For nearly three months, Mary lived rough during the cold winter months, traveled by foot about 150 miles, was nearly starved, and had little comfort but her Bible and her faith in God. Her short book, "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson", is considered a seminal work in the American literary genre of captivity narratives. It is aptly described by it's subtitle: “Wherein is set forth, The Cruel and Inhumane Usage she underwent amongst the Heathens, for Eleven Weeks time: And her Deliverance from them.”[3]

Eventually, she, her two captive children and her nephew were redeemed.[3]

After her return the family lived in Boston, Massachusetts, for a short time and then went to Wethersfield, Connecticut. It was there that she wrote her account first titled "The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson."

Joseph Rowlandson died in November 1678. Church officials granted her a widow's pension of £30 per year. Mary then married Aug. 6, 1679, Captain Samuel Talcott (-1691), and lived the rest of her life in Wethersfield, as Mary Talcott. Mary died on January 5, 1710/11, at about 73 years of age.


Marie Rowlandson, born 15 Feb 1657/8 at Lancaster; died 11 Jan 1660.[2] Joseph Rowlason. born 7: 1m: 1661 (March)[2] Mary Rowlason, born 12: 6m: 1665 (August)[2] Sarah Rowlandson, born 15 Sep 1669;[2] died in captivity 18 Feb 1675/76, of wounds sustained in Lancaster raid. (White, pages 20-21)[3]

"Her book became one of the 17th and 18th century's most popular reads and earned her place in the history of American literature. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" is an example of a captivity narrative, an important American literary genre."[4]


↑ Vital Records of Lancaster, p. 20: "Marriages of Sundry Early Proprietors and Residents of Lancaster Not Found in the Preceding Lists... 1656. Joseph Rowlandson and Mary White." ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Nourse, Henry S. (editor.) "The birth, marriage, and death register, church records and epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1643-1850"Lancaster [Clinton, Printed by W. J. Coulter], 1890. Link p 20 marriage also pp 2, 11, 12. ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Rowlandson, Mary White. A narrative of the captivity, sufferings, and removes, of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. Boston: The Mass. Sabbath school society. 1856 ↑ Women in American History Blog Sarudy, Barbara Wells. "Puritan Author Mary White Rowlandson c 1637-1711." See also:

Vital Records of Lancaster, MA to the end of the year 1849 Mary Rowlandson. The soveraignty and goodness of God ... being a narrative of the captivity ... of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. Cambridge, Mass., 1682. Almira Larkin White. Genealogy of the Descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-1900, Volume 1. Chase Brothers Printers, Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1900. Pages 20-21.

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Mary Talcott's Timeline

South Petherton, Somerset, England
South Petherton,Somerset,England
January 15, 1657
Age 20
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts
March 7, 1662
Age 25
Lancaster, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay
August 12, 1665
Age 28
September 15, 1669
Age 32
Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts
January 5, 1711
Age 74
Wethersfield, Hartford, CT