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Early and Notable Families of Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629-1818

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  • Bennett Call (1597 - 1644)
    ===Biography From (Geanett) Harrison was born 21 May 1597 in Hernhill, Kent, England. Her parents were Arnold Harrison and Alice Preston or Bennett. Bennett died in 1644 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massac...
  • Elizabeth Welch (1632 - 1706)
    ELIZABETH, daughter of John & Elizabeth (Slade) Upham, was born about 1632. She married by about 1653 Thomas Welch. She died at Charlestown, 12 Jan 1705/6.===Family From Thomas Welch BIRTH 1622 England...
  • Sarah Jameson (1653 - 1691)
    Parents Matthew Price and Elizabeth ---- . Born 1653. Died 24 Mar 1691, apparently as a result of complications of childbirth since her last child was born March 1691. She married William Jameson on 18...
  • Abraham Hill, III (1643 - 1713)
    Admitted to the church 6 Sep 1702. For more information about his land and estate, see source: THE GENEALOGIES AND ESTATES OF CHARLESTOWN, IN THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX AND Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ...
  • William Johnson of Charlestown (c.1605 - 1677)
    Evidence needed to support as child of Abraham Johnson & Anna Johnson . His wife was Elizabeth Bunker, not Storey. 1/5/2020 upload - William Johnson Great Migration Profile with the sections referen...

Early History of Charlestown

Thomas Walford and his wife Jane Walford (Guy) were the original English settlers of Mishawaum (later Charlestown); they settled there in 1624. They were given a grant by Sir Robert Gorges, with whom they had settled at Wessagusset (Weymouth) in September 1623. John Endicott, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, had sent William, Richard and Ralph Sprague to Mishawaum to lay out a settlement. Thomas Walford, acting as an interpreter with the Massachusetts Indians, negotiated with the local sachem Wonohaquaham for Endicott and his people to settle there. Although Walford had a virtual monopoly on the region's available furs, he welcomed the newcomers and helped them in any way he could, unaware that his Episcopalian religious beliefs would cause him to be banished from Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire within three years.
Originally a Puritan English city during the Colonial era (a time to which many of the neighborhood's structures date), Charlestown was founded in 1628, and settled July 4, 1629, by Thomas Graves, Increase Nowell, Simon Hoyt, Rev. Francis Bright, Ralph, Richard and William Sprague and about 100 others who preceded the Great Migration. John Winthrop's company stopped here for some time in 1630, before deciding to settle across the Charles River at Boston.

The territory of Charlestown originally included what is now Melrose and Malden (both until 1649), Stoneham (until 1725), Somerville (until 1842), Medford, Everett, Woburn, Burlington, and parts of Arlington and Cambridge. On June 17, 1775 the Charlestown Peninsula was the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Much of the battle took place on Breed's Hill, which overlooked the harbor and the town and was only about 400 yards from the southern end of the peninsula; Bunker Hill is near the northwest end of the peninsula, close to Charlestown Neck and about a mile from the Charles River. The town, including its wharves and dockyards, was destroyed by fire during the battle.


First Covenanters of Charlestown

Notable persons of Charlestown