From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
John and Meribah (Gibbs) Folger
John FOLGER - b. about 1593, Norwich, Norfolk, England;
d. 1660, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA. Son of John FOLGER
(b. about 1569) and Elizabeth (b. about 1571). Peter immigrated
with his parents from Norwich County, Norfolk, England in 1635
when he was about 18 years old. Just when they settled in Watertown,
MA is not known, but John owned a homestead and 6 acres there
in 1642. Married about 1615, Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Meribah GIBBS - b. 1595, Frenze Hall, Diss, Norfolk,
England; d. after 1664, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA. Daughter
of John GIBBS (b. about 1572; d. 1608) and Alice ELMY
(b. about 1574). Meribah may not have been the first wife of John
FOLGER, since a tradition says that he arrived in America as a
Son of John Folger
- Peter - b. 1618, Norwich, Norfolk,
England; d. 1690, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA.
Peter and Mary (Morrill) Folger
Peter FOLGER - b. 1618, Norwich, Norfolk, England; d.
1690, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Son of John
FOLGER and Meribah GIBBS. A teacher, surveyor, missionary,
and interpreter, Peter moved to Martha's Vineyard about 1642 and
to Nantucktet about 1657. He was chosen Clerk of Courts at Nantucker
on Jul. 21, 1673, serving for a number of years. From his activity
as missionary and Baptist preacher, Peter is recognized as a qualifying
ancestor by the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy.
His poem "A Looking Glass for the Time" was published
Apr. 23, 1676, showing him as an advocate of religious liberty.
From The Nantucket Way, by Mooney and Sigourney: "Peter
Folger was called 'white chief's old-young man' by the Nantucket
Indians, meaning he was wise for his age. Peter was a surveyor,
Town clerk, Clerk for the General Court. He ground his own eyeglasses
and made the frames. He was a public servant, miller, machinist,
blacksmith, schoolmaster, author, poet, and preacher all rolled
into one." Married about 1642, Nantucket, Nantucket Co.,
The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches
of New England
by Frederick Lewis Weis (1936, Lancester, MA), page 86
Peter Folger, b. England 1617/8, son of John Folger of Martha's
Vineyard; came to New England with his father from Norwich, Eng.,
1635; was in the service of the missionary corporation as assistant
to Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr., and was left in charge of Mayhew's
mission when the latter sailed for England in 1657; missionary
to the Indians at Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, 1656-1661; sett.
Nantucket, 1663; grandfather of Benjamin Franklin; was learned
in the Indian tongue and served as an interpreter; author of
"A Looking Glass for the Times," 1675; d. Nantucket
Thus, reader, I, in love to all,
leave these few lines with thee,
Hoping that in the substance we
shall very well agree.
If that you do mistake the verse
for its uncomely dress,
I tell thee true, I never thought
that it would pass the press.
If any at the matter kick,
it's like he's galled at heart,
And that's the reason why he kicks,
because he finds it smart.
I am for peace, and not for war,
And that's the reason why,
I write more plain than some men do,
That use to daub and lie.
But I shall cease, and set my name
To what I here insert;
Because, to be a libeller,
I hate it with my heart.
From Sherbon town, where now I dwell,
My name I do put here;
Without offence, your real friend,
It is Peter Folger.
Mary MORRILL - b. 1620, Fowey, Cornwall, England; d.
1704; Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. From The Nantucket Way,
by Mooney and Sigourney: "Mary Morrill came to the New World
as a bondservant. It is said she so widened out in later years,
that she had to sit in a special chair which she carried with
her whenever she went visiting neighbors."
Children of Peter and Mary Folger
See Notable Cousins
for lines to: Henry Clay FOLGER, James Athearn FOLGER, Benjamin
FRANKLIN, Garrison Fletcher HALL, and Lucretia Coffin MOTT.
- Joanna - b. about 1642, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA;
d. Jul. 18, 1719, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. She was married
in 1666 in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA to John COLEMAN (d. before
1715), son of Thomas COLEMAN and Susanna. Children of Joanna
and John COLEMAN: John married Priscilla STARBUCK; Jeremiah married
his first cousin Sarah PRATT (daughter of Joseph PRATT and Dorcas
FOLGER); Thomas married Jane (widow of John CHALLING); Isaac
married first Ann REYNOLDS, and second Jane WATSON; Phebe married
Gershom CATHCART; Abigail married James TISDALE; Benjamin; Solomon
married first Mary MACY, and second Deliverance SWETT.
- Bethiah - b. 1643, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Jun.
6, 1669, Nantucket Co., MA. She was married on Feb. 26, 1667/8
in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA to John BARNARD (b. Mar. 2, 1642,
Salisbury, Essex Co., MA, d. Jun. 6, 1669, Nantucket, Nantucket
Co., MA), son of Robert BARNARD and Joanne HARVEY. Bethiah and
John drowned is a boat accident between Nantucket and Martha's
- Dorcas - b. 1645, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Dec.
24, 1712; Charlestown, Suffolk Co., MA. She was married on Feb.
12, 1675 in Charlestown, Suffolk Co., MA to Joseph PRATT. Children
of Dorcas and Joseph PRATT: Sarah married her first cousin Jeremiah
COLEMAN (son of John COLEMAN and Joanna FOLGER); Joseph; Bethia
married Sampson CARTWRIGHT; Benjamin; Dorcas died young; Phineas;
Joshua; and Lydia.
- Eleazer - b. 1648, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. 1716,
Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. He was married in 1671 to Sarah GARDNER
(b. 1655; d. Oct. 19, 1729, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA), daughter
of Richard GARDNER (b, 1622; d. Jan. 23, 1688) and Sarah SHATTUCK
(b. 1632; d. 1724). Children of Eleazer and Sarah FOLGER: Eleazer
married first Bethiah GARDNER, and second Mary MARSHALL; Peter
married Judith COFFIN; Sarah married Anthony ODAR; Mary married
John ARTHUR; Nathan married Sarah CHURCH; Daniel; and Elisha.
- Bethsheba. Born in 1650 in Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co.,
MA. Bethsheba died in Salem, Essex Co., MA. She was married about
1670 to John POPE, son of Joseph POPE and Gertrude. Children
of Bethsheba and John POPE: Nathaniel married; Joseph died young;
Bathsheba; Gertrude; Joseph; Enos; Eleazer; and Jerusha.
- Patience - b. about 1653, Martha's
Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Jan. 1716/7, Nantucket, Nantucket
Co., MA. Married John HARKER. Refer to
Caution Note concerning
- John - b. Dec 24, 1659, Polpis, Nantucket Co., MA; d. Oct
23, 1732, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. A Miller and farmer of
that part of Nantucket called Polpis, he was a member of the
Society of Friends. He was married about 1688 in Nantucket, Nantucket
Co., MA to Mary BARNARD (b. Feb. 24, 1667, Nantucket, Nantucket
Co., MA; d. 1737), daughter of Nathaniel BARNARD & Mary BARNARD.
Children of John and Mary FOLGER: Jethro married Mary STARBUCK;
Bethiah married Samuel BARKER; Nathaniel married Priscilla CHASE;
Jonathan married first Margaret GARDNER, second Deborah PADDOCK,
and third Susannah GORHAM; Richard married Sarah PEASE; Shubael
married Jerusha CLARK; Abigail married first her first cousin
once removed Daniel FOLGER (son of Peter FOLGER and Judith COFFIN),
and second Daniel PINKHAM; Zaccheus married Abigail COFFIN; and
- Experience - b. 1663, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d.
Aug 23, 1732, Nantucket Co., MA. She married John SWAIN (b. Sep.
1, 1664, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA; d. Jan. 29, 1739/40),
son of John SWAIN and Mary WYER. Children of Experience and John
SWAIN: William married Jemima COFFIN; Priscilla married Daniel
BUNKER; John married Mary SWETT; Ruth married first George COFFIN,
and second Jonathan UPHAM; Eliakim married Elizabeth ARTHUR;
Katherine married Robert WYER; Stephen married Eleanor ELLIS;
Hannah married Thomas GARDNER; and George married Love PADDOCK.
- Abiah - b. Jul. 15, 1667, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA; d.
May 8, 1752, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. She was married on Nov
25, 1689 as his second wife to Josiah FRANKLIN (b. Dec 23, 1652;
d. Jan 16, 1742/3), son of Thomas FRANKLIN (b. Oct 8, 1598; d.
Mar 21, 1679/80) and Jane WHITE (b. 1617; d. Oct 30, 1662). Josiah
FRANKLIN had first married Ann CHILD, and they had seven children.
Children of Abiah and Josiah FRANKLIN: John married Ms. GOOCH;
Peter married Mary; Mary married Robert HOMES; James married
Anne; Sarah married Joseph DAVENPORT; Ebenezer died young; Thomas
died young; Dr. Benjamin FRANKLIN married Deborah READ;
Lydia married Robert SCOTT; and Jane married Edward MECOM.
Anthony and Mary Harker
Anthony HARKER - b. Oct. 25, 1606, Sibsey, England;
d. Mar. 1674/5, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. In Nov. 1633, "Anthony
Harker [one of] our brother Thomas Leveritt's men servants"
was admitted to the Boston church. A freeman on May 36, 1636,
Anthony was called yeoman in a 1660 deed and corder in a 1674
deed. He deposed on Jul. 29, 1673 that he was "aged 65 years
or thereabouts." In his will dated Mar. 2, 1674/5 and proved
Apr. 8, 1675, Anthony leaves one shilling to son John, 5 pounds
in addition to "what I have already given her" to daughter
Sarah, and ten pounds each to daughters Mercy and Elizabeth. The
Apr. 2, 1675 inventory of his estate totaled £116 1s 6d,
with real estate being £112. Administration of the estate
was granted Apr. 27, 1680 to the three daughters, with their married
names given, and final settlement was made on Sep. 16, 1682. Married
Mary - Admitted to the Boston church Mar. 21, 1640/1.
Children of Anthony and Mary Harker
- John - bap. Apr. 14, 1639, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA; d. young.
- Mary - b. Oct. 12, 1641, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA; bap. there
Oct. 17, 1641.
- John - bap. Apr. 30, 1643, Boston,
Suffolk Co., MA; d. about 1710
- Sarah - b. Sep. 30, 1646, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA; bap. there
Oct. 11, 1646; d. Apr. 8, 1696. The baptism record gives her
age as 23 days. She married Robert BROWNE, combmaker.
- Mercy - bap. Aug. 12, 1649, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. The
baptism record gives her age as 10 days. She married Gilbert
- Elizabeth - bap. Mar. 7, 1651/2, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA.
She married Robert STREET (d. before Sep. 1680). Son of Elizabeth
and Robert STREET: Robert.
John and Patience (Folger) Harker
John HARKER - bap. Apr. 30, 1643, Boston, Suffolk Co.,
MA; d. about 1710. Son of Anthony HARKER and
Mary. On Apr. 29, 1673, Thomas OWEN was committed for "wounding
John Harker in the arm with a shoemaker's knife." In his
1675 will, his father wrote that "according to the law of
God ... my son should have a son's portion amongst the rest of
my children but although to my grief yet I cannot but now declare
that my son John Harker having been very disobedient & rebellious
and hirtherto notwithstanding all means I have endeavoured to
use is a very bad husband and given to drink and wastefully to
spend both his precious time and monies, I do therefore think
myself bound and hereby do disinherit my said son John Harker
from any claim in what estate I have forever only I do give unto
him one shilling." (Note that the word "husband"
in the forgoing should be read with the meaning of "steward"
of time and money.) "John Harker - seaman" appears on
a 1688 Tax List of Boston, MA. Married Dec. 14, 1680, Boston,
Suffolk Co., MA. Refer to Caution
Note concerning this marriage.
Patience FOLGER - b. about 1653, Martha's Vineyard,
Dukes Co., MA; d. Jan. 1716/7, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Patience
is said to have been married second in Mar. 1717/8 to James GARDNER,
but New England Marriages Prior to 1700 declares this to
be "wrong." Daughter of Peter FOLGER
and Mary MORRILL.
Children of John and Patience Harker
- Sarah - b. Sep. 21, 1681,
Boston, Suffolk Co., MA; d. Jun. 13, 1754, Canaan, Litchfield
Co., CT. Married Richard STEVENS.
- John - b. Jul. 21, 1684, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA.
- ? Patience - b. 1686. A daughter named Patience appears in
some compilations, unsupported by evidence.
- Ebenezer - b. Feb. 26, 1688/9, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA; d.
Jun. 1, 1765, Harkers Island, Carteret Co., NC. His will was
dated Sep. 4, 1762 and proved in June 1765 Court of Carteret
Co., NC, naming his three younger sons and two married daughters.
Inventory was recorded Sep. 1765 listing the usual estate items
and "one English Dicksonary." Ebenezer purchased Harkers
Island (then Crany Island) on Sep. 15, 1730 from the heirs of
Thomas POLLACK for £400 and a twenty foot boat. He sold
half the island (about 1200 acres) to his nephew John STEVENS
for £300, but with so many use restrictions attached that
John sold his share back for £200. Various records indicate
that he was a mariner, ship captain, whaler and ship builder.
On Jun. 8, 1750, he was appointed sheriff of Carteret County,
serving through 1758. For further details on his life and family,
refer to Ebenezer Harker, Island Namesake, by Robert G.
Lewis (1999, Carteret County Historical Society, Inc., Morehead
City, NC 28557). Ebenezer was married about 1720 to Elizabeth
(d. about May 1777, Carteret Co., NC), said to be the daughter
of either Henry BROOKS or John BROOKS. The will of Elizabeth
HARKER, dated Apr. 12, 1777 and proved Jun. 9, 1777 in Carteret
Co., NC, names sons Ebenezer, James, and Zachariah; daughter
Sarah FRESHWATER; and John BROOKS; with executors being sons
James and Zachariah and witnesses being Joseph YEOMAN, Sarah
HARKER, and Elias REES. Children of Ebenezer and Elizabeth HARKER:
John married Anne SHACKELFORD; Sarah married first William FRESHWATER,
and second Benjamin WEEKS; Ebenezer married first Sarah FULLER,
and second Clarissa FULFORD; James married Sarah TINKER; Mehipsabeth
married Nathaniel YEOMANS; and Zachariah married Ruth CHADWICK.
- Hepsibah - b. Jun. 27, 1691, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co.,
MA; d. Dec. 30, 1773. She was married on Nov. 24, 1711 in Nantucket,
Nantucket Co., MA to Jonathan COFFIN (b. Aug. 28, 1692, Nantucket,
Nantucket Co., MA; d. Feb. 5, 1773, Nantucket, Nantucket Co.,
MA), son of James COFFIN and Mary SEVERANCE. Children of Hepshiba
and James COFFIN: Joshua married Beulah GARDNER; Susanna married
Robert COFFIN; James; Henry; Daniel; Anna; Jonathan; and Mary.