Robert Crossman, Sr.

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Robert Crossman, Sr.

Birthdate: (59)
Birthplace: St. Andrews, Devon, England
Death: Died in Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Crossman and Isabell Crossman
Husband of Sarah Crossman and Martha Eaton
Father of Sarah Woodward (Crossman); John Crossman; Mary Gould (Crossman); Robert Crossman, Jr.; Joseph Crossman and 7 others
Half brother of Ann Telbe Ingalls; Isabel Potter, (Immigrant); John Tripp, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Grace Tripp; Robert Tripp and 5 others

Occupation: Famous drummaker, carpenter, mechanic, built a mill
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Crossman, Sr.

The Genealogy of the Crossman Family states that there is no absolute proof he was the son of John, but many genealogists seem to think he was. The book, "History of Taunton," clearly says he was a son of John Crossman. This man was one of the first proprietors of Dedham, Massachusetts, since he signed the covenant for the town in 1636. He may have been in America before his father, but it is possible they came together. He is on the second list of purchasers for Taunton. This list was probably made about 1643.

He was apprenticed as a young man to a Joseph Kingsbury of Dedham and later married Sarah Kingsbury, Joseph's daughter, on May 25, 1652. He paid taxes in Dedham from 1642 to 1653.

In 1653/1654, he moved to Taunton, Massachusetts, with his wife and one child. All of the subsequent children were born in Taunton. He had a large family of 12 children.

He was a skilled mechanic and carpenter. One writer says he was the drum maker of New England. He was employed in the making and repair of arms and assisted in building the ancient Taunton iron works. He was selected by the town of Dedham to build a mill which attests to his mechanical skills. In 1679 to 1682 he was a surveyor of highways.

He apparently had a hot temper which at times caused him problems. In 1675, he was convicted of cursing a selectman of Taunton and sentenced to a day in stocks.

His wife, Sarah died sometime in about 1868. He married a second time in 1687 to Mrs. Martha Easton of Bristol, Massachusetts. This woman was the widow of Samuel Easton and daughter of Francis Billington. He died in 1692 after being married to Martha for only 4 years. She died four years later in 1695.

Estate divided 25 Jul 1696. The descendancy chart from Family Archives, Descendants of Robert Crossman, Vol. 1, #1921 gives a death date of 1652 inTaunton, Massachusetts. This must be an error since it also shows children born to this man as late as 1672/1673.

[Phil McCracken, 4016 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC 27410,, 336-294-2292 as of February 8, 2000.]


  • 1.Author: Robert Owen Crossman
    • Title: "Genealogy of the Crossman Family"
    • Publication: Name: 1977;
    • Note: Robert Owen Crossman, "Genealogy of the Crossman Family" (1977), Source Medium: Book.
  • 2.Author: Samuel Hopkins Emery
    • Title: "History of Taunton, Massachusetts."
    • Publication: Name: Syracuse, New York, 1893;
    • Note: Samuel Hopkins Emery, "History of Taunton, Massachusetts." (Syracuse, New York, 1893), Source Medium: Book.
    • Page: p. 86
  • 3.Author: New England Historic Genealogical Society
    • Title: Massachusetts Town Birth Records
    • Publication: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999;
    • Repository:
    • Name:


  • New England Historic Genealogical Society, Massachusetts Town Birth Records (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 1999).
  • Page: Database online.
  • Text: Record for John Crossman

Robert Sr. was apprentice to Joseph Kingsbury, then he was a drum and gun maker. He was called "the Drum Maker of New England" of Dedham and removed to Taunton in 1654. Married Joseph's daughter, Sarah Kingsbury. Robert was largely employed in making and repairing of arms. He assisted in building the ancient iron works of Taunton. In 1690 Robert Crossman fitted out with guns and drum the soldiers in Capt. Samuel Gallop's Co. for the Canada expedition.

Robert Crossman is the inventor of the Crossman Air Rifles. He and his father came from England. His mother is unknown, although her name may have been Sarah. There is no record of her at this time, but she was not known to have come to the America on the ship with her them. She may have passed away from illness prior to their arrival.

He and his father John, also were one of the first to purchase land from the Indians, rather than steal from them.

It was said that Robert's wife Sarah had heavily drank and would find herself in jail as she would talk back to the constables (constables on patrol, hence, COPS where is was derived)

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Robert Crossman, Sr.'s Timeline

November 1, 1632
St. Andrews, Devon, England
March 2, 1653
Age 20
Taunton, Bristol, MA
March 16, 1654
Age 21
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
July 16, 1655
Age 22
Taunton, Bristol, MA, USA
August 3, 1657
Age 24
Taunton, Bristol, MA, USA
April 25, 1659
Age 26
Taunton, Bristol, MA
August 7, 1660
Age 27
Taunton, Bristol, MA, USA
March 16, 1663
Age 30
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
May 2, 1665
Age 32
Taunton, Bristol, MA, USA