From the files of Stephen M. Lawson

Rossiter Ancestry in England

Edward Rossiter and Miss Combe     Alsop Ancestry in England

       Bray Rossiter and Elizabeth Alsop

       Josiah Rossiter and Sarah Sherman

       Patience Rossiter and John Belden

       John Belden and Sarah Kellogg

       Hannah Belden and Nathaniel Merrill

       Allen Merrill and Tamma Smith

       Elizabeth Merrill and Elijah Mason Morey

       William Clemeth Morey and Melvina E. Andrews

       Minnie Elsie Morey and Aretus Erastus Freeman

       Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson

       Stephen Martin Lawson

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The Rossiter Family in England

See the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 138 (1984), pages 4-16, and Search For The Passengers of the Mary & John 1630, Vol. 17 (1992), pages 133-135 for details of English ancestry.

William? ROSSITER married by 1462 Joan (d. May 2, 1513). Son: Richard.

Richard ROSSITER (b. about 1463; d. Sep. 3, 1529) married about 1490 Elizabeth (d. by 1558). Resided at Combe St. Nicholas, Somersetshire, holding 543 acres of land in 1524. Children: Joan married William HARTGILL; Philip; and George married Ann WILLIAMS.

Philip ROSSITER (b. about 1499 or before; d. about 1583) married first about 1538, and second at North Curry, Somersetshire, Apr. 30, 1554 Katherine LYTE, daughter of William and Dorothea. Children of first marriage: Nicholas; William married; and Richard. Children of Philip and Katherine: Philip, musician to King James I, married Elizabeth; John married; Elizabeth; and Hugh.

Nicholas ROSSITER (b. about 1539; bur. Apr. 1, 1608, Comb St. Nicholas, Somerset) married about 1570 at Comb St. Nicholas, Somerset, Elizabeth (bur. Apr. 26, 1608). Only known child: Edward ROSSITER.

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The Alsop Family in England

See the Search For The Passengers of the Mary & John 1630, Vol. 17 (1992), pages 12-16 for further details of the Alsop family ancestry. Current speculation is that Rev. John ALSOP may have been grandson of Humphrey ALSOP, and son of William ALSOP of Alsop, Derby, and Isabel WARNER, daughter of John WARNER of Markfield, Leicester. The sons of William and Isabel ALSOP were Humphrey, John, Charles, William and George.

Rev. John ALSOP - b. about 1565. Vicar of Chilton-upon-Polden, Somersetshire, 1600-1605, and as preacher in the parish of Crewkerne, Somersetshire, 1607-1614.

  1. Rev. John - b. about 1600; d. early 1647/8, Cambridge, Essex. Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, 1623-1639; Proctor, 1634; Dean of Christ's College, and Mildmay Preacher, 1636-1639; rector of Fordham Essex, 1633-1643; and rector of Great Wigborough, Essex, 1639. Having been chaplain to Archbishop Laud, he was banished and fled to France, living with Charles II in his exile. While in France, John was personally acquainted with Descartes. His will, dated Sep. 6, 1647 and probated Feb. 5, 1647/8, names his brothers Samuel, Timothy and Josias, and sister Elizabeth.
  2. Rev. Samuel - b. about 1605; bur. Jun. 6, 1657, St. James, Clerkenwell, London. Preacher at Fordham, Essex, 1634; vicar of Acton All Saints, Suffolk, 1634-43; rector at Caerwent, Monmouth to 1649; rector of Sudwell, Whiltshire to death.
  3. Timothy - bap. Nov. 17, 1607, Crewkerne, Somersetshire; d. August 1664, St. Mary Somerset, London. A merchant, Timothy was associated with the Brewers' Company of London. He is mentioned in 1663 and 1664 entries in the Diary of Samuel PEPYS. His will, dated Jul. 25, 1664 and probated Aug. 19, 1664, names his sister Elizabeth. Married second Nov. 15, 1659 in St. Peter Cornhill, London to Martha SEDGEWICK. Children: Betty; Prudence; Mary; Timothy; and Rev. Josias.
  4. Rev. Josias - bap. Dec. 2, 1610, Crewkerne, Somersetshire; d. by Oct. 1666, St. Clements Eastcheap, London. Rector of Houghton Gildable, Bedford, 1637; rector of Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, 1638; minister and rector at St. Clements Eastcheap, London 1649-1666. Mentioned in the Diary of Samuel PEPYS under the date Nov. 24, 1661. His will, dated Aug. 12, 1666 and probated Oct. 9, 1666, names his brother Timothy, and "Mrs. Elizabeth Rossiter, my sister in New England."
  5. Elizabeth - bap. Feb. 15, 1613/4, Crewkerne, Somersetshire; d. Aug. 29, 1669, Guilford, CT. Married Dr. Bray ROSSITER.

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The Rossiter Family in America

For information on the immigrant family, refer to The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Vols. I-III, by Robert Charles Anderson (Boston, 1995).

Edward and _____ (Combe) Rossiter

Edward ROSSITER - b. about 1575, Combe St. Nicholas, Somersetshire, England; d. Oct. 23, 1630, Dorchester, MA. Son of Nicholas ROSSITER and Elizabeth. His name is found in English records as early as 1597 as paying taxes on his father's property. He was last taxed in 1628/9. He and his household left Plymouth Mar. 20, 1630 on the 'Mary and John' as a settler and stockholder in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Edward was to receive 50 acres of land for each person he brought with him. The total of 13 persons included 5 children (all except Dorothy), the wife of Bryan, and possibly the wife and children of Nicholas. Edward died within a month of arriving in MA, his death being reported by Thomas DUDLEY (future governor) thus: "Within a month after, died Mr. Rossiter, another of the associates, a godly man and of good estate."

_____ COMBE - Little is known of the wife of Edward, except that she was the daughter of John COMBE of Combe St. Nicholas and sister of Joseph COMBE. Extensive information is available for the COMBE family in England, although the link or links to the ROSSITER family have not been located.

Children of Edward Rossiter

  1. Nicholas - b. about 1599, Combe St. Nicholas, England; d. there Jun. 8, 1650. He arrived in MA with his father, but returned to England by Apr. 16, 1635 and inherited his father's lands there. Married Anne. Children of Nicholas and Anne ROSSITER: Edward married first Sarah POWELL, second Joan ROCKET, third Elizabeth LISSANT, and fourth Elizabeth LEG; Anne; Jane; Mary; Martha; Dorothy.
  2. Dorothy - b. about 1608, Combe St. Nicholas, England. Married there Feb. 12, 1629/0 Martin GROUT.
  3. Bray - b. about 1610, Combe St. Nicholas, England; d. Sep. 30, 1672, Guilford, CT.
  4. Jane - b. about 1614, Combe St. Nicholas; d. Jun. 1, 1691, Taunton, MA. Married at Taunton, MA on Mar. 23, 1639/40 Thomas GILBERT (b. about 1612; d. 1676/7, England), son of John GILBERT of Combe St. Nicholas and Taunton, MA.
  5. Hugh - about 1615, Combe St. Nicholas, England; bur. there 1680. Married by 1641 Dorothy COMBE (b. 1620; bur. at Combe St. Nicholas in 1697), daughter of Joseph and Winifred COMBE, and widow of William NORRIS of Salem, MA. Children of Hugh and Dorothy ROSSITER: Matthias married Jane HERRING; Edward; Benajiah maried Dorcas SOPER.
  6. Joane - b about 1616, Combe St. Nicholas, England; d. Jun. 9, 1691, Plymouth Colony, MA. Married in 1642 Nicholas HART, of Taunton, MA, and later of Portsmouth, RI (1651). One son.

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Dr. Bray and Elizabeth (Alsop) Rossiter

Bray ROSSITER - b. about 1610, England; d. Sep. 30, 1672, Guilford, CT. Bray arrived at Dorchester with father Edward ROSSITER in the 'Mary and John' 1630. His brother Hugh settled at Taunton, MA. Dr. ROSSITER, also known as Bryan, became freeman in 1631, and performed the first post-mortem in CT. He settled at Windsor, where he was a physician, landed proprietor and the first town clerk and registrar, and moved to Guilford, CT about 1652. Bray married Elizabeth about 1635, probably at Dorcester.

Elizabeth ALSOP - bap. Feb. 15, 1613/4, Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England; d. Aug. 29, 1669, Guilford, CT. She is identified in the will of Rev. Josias ALSOP (1610-1666) as "Mrs. Elizabeth Rossiter, my sister in New England." Perhaps arrived in America as a servant of her future father-in-law Edward ROSSITER. Daughter of Rev. John ALSOP of Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England.

Children of Bray and Elizabeth Rossiter

  1. Samuel - d. Jun. 10, 1640.
  2. John - d. 1670. Resided at Guilford and Killingworth, CT. Freeman 1659. Married 1669 Mary GILBERT, daughter of Jonathan. Mary married second 1673 Samuel HOTTEN of Northampton. Son of John and Mary: John was lost at sea.
  3. Elizabeth - d. Sep. 1651.
  4. Timothy - d. 1647.
  5. Joanna (or Jane) - b. Jun. 1642; d. Oct. 12, 1702. Married Nov. 7, 1660, Plymouth, MA Rev. John COTTON (1640-1699). Rev. John was son of Rev. John COTTON, brother of Rev. Seaborn, and brother in law and step brother of Rev. Increase MATHER. Children: Rev. Roland married Elizabeth SALTONSTALL, widow of Rev. John DENNISON (4 sons and 2 sons in law became ministers); Rev. Theophilus; Rev. John married Sarah HUBBARD; and Elizabeth married first Rev. James ALLING (or ALLEN), and second Rev. Cale CUSHING.
  6. Peter - d. 1651.
  7. Abigail - d. 1648.
  8. Josiah - b. 1646, Windsor, CT; d. Jan. 30, 1716.
  9. Susanna - b. Nov. 22, 1652, Guilford, CT; d. Apr. 21, 1710. Married Rev. Zachariah WALKER (b. 1637, Boston; d. Jan. 20, 1699/1700), son of Robert. Minister at Jamaica, NY 1663-8, Stratford, CT 1669, and Woodbury, CT 1670.
  10. Sarah - d. Aug. 10, 1669.

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Josiah and Sarah (Sherman) Rossiter

Josiah ROSSITER - b. 1646, Windsor, CT; d. Jan. 30, 1716, Guilford, CT. Son of Bray ROSSITER and Elizabeth ALSOP. He was a member of the Council of Connecticut. Described as follows by nephew Rev. John COTTON: "My uncle Josiah was a plain, honest country gentleman and who had so much learning and respect in that Government, as that he was chosen to the Upper House, being one of the Assistants." Represented Guilford nine times in the General Court (1683-1707), and was assistant 1708-1711. Judge of New Haven County Court 1703; Clerk of Guilford 1685-1706, and 1707-1716; first naval officer of Guilford 1702; ensign of train band 1676. Married by 1677.

Sarah SHERMAN - b. Apr. 8, 1654, Stratford, CT; d. Mar. 30, 1712/3, Guilford, CT. Daughter of Samuel SHERMAN and Sarah MITCHELL.

Children of Josiah and Sarah Rossiter

  1. Sarah - b. Nov. 26, 1677; bap. Mar. 17, 1678, Woodbury, CT; d. May 18, 1679.
  2. Elizabeth - b. Apr. 1679; d. Sep. 17, 1698.
  3. Josiah - b. Mar. 31, 1680; d. Sep. 23, 1751. Resided at Killingworth. Married Mary HILL (d. Jun. 2, 1730), daughter of John. Children of Josiah and Mary ROSSITER: John married first Jemima BRISTOL, second widow Mary GRAY, and third widow Submit WRIGHT; Elizabeth married Mr. DUDLEY; Josiah married Elizabeth WELLMAN; and Thankful married John KELSEY.
  4. Samuel - b. Jan. 28, 1681/2; d. Aug. 23, 1682.
  5. Timothy - b. Jun. 5, 1683; d. Feb. 7, 1724/5. Resided at Guilford and Durham. Married Feb. 14, 1712 Abigail PENFIELD (d. 1785), daughter of Samuel. Abigail married second Sep. 6, 1727 Gideon LEETE. Children of Timothy and Abigail ROSSITER: Bryan married Catharine STRONG; Rev. Asher married first Abigail, and second Keziah; Rebecca married Samuel SEWARD; Roland married Mary STRONG; and Timothy did not marry.
  6. John - b. Oct. 13, 1684; d. Jan. 8, 1686.
  7. Samuel - b. Feb. 28, 1685/6; d. Jan. 16, 1711. Resided at Guilford. Married Anna WARD (d. Jan. 1, 1764), daughter of Capt. Andrew. Anna married second Apr. 26, 1716 David PARMELEE. Children of Samuel and Anna ROSSITER: Samuel did not marry; and twins Josiah and Beriah died in infancy.
  8. David - b. Apr. 17, 1687; d. Apr. 29, 1688.
  9. Jonathan - b. Apr. 3, 1688. Resided at Guilford. Married Oct. 31, 1720 Ann PIERSON of Bridgehampton, Long Island. Children of Jonathan and Ann ROSSITER: Stephen married first Ann GOULD, and second Mary (LAWRENCE) JOHNSON; Anne; Theodore died in infancy; Patience; Keturah; Susannah married Jonathan MASON; Lucy; and Jonathan.
  10. Nathaniel - b. Nov. 10, 1689; d. Oct. 4, 1751. A joiner of Guilford. Married Anna STONE (d. Apr. 20, 1776), daughter of Lt. Nathaniel. Children of Nathaniel and Anna ROSSITER: Nathaniel married Deborah FOWLER; Benjamin married first Abigail BALDWIN, and second Sarah (MORSE) BALDWIN; Sarah married Aaron EVARTS; Noah; and Nathan married Sarah BALDWIN.
  11. Sarah - b. Feb. 25, 1691. Married May 9, 1716 Rev. Abraham PIERSON (b. 1680; d. May 8, 1752), son of Abraham PIERSON and Abigail CLARK, and minister at Killingworth, CT. Son of Sarah and Abraham PIERSON: Samuel married Lydia STEVENS.
  12. Patience - b. Apr. 6, 1692, Guilford, CT; d. Mar. 9, 1715/6, Wethersfield, CT. Married John BELDEN.
  13. Joanna - b. Apr. 23, 1693; d. Jun. 16, 1703.
  14. Mary - b. Dec. 3, 1694. Married Apr. 17, 1725 Ebenezer CHESEBRO' of Stonington.
  15. Theophilus - b. Feb. 12, 1696; d. Apr. 9, 1771. Resided at North Guilford, where he was deacon of the Congregational Church. Married Abigail PIERSON (d. Jan. 25, 1790), daughter of Henry of Bridgehampton, Long Island. Children of Theophilus and Abigail ROSSITER: Mary married William PARMELEE; Abigail; Prudence married Abel COE; Eunice married Simon PARSONS, Jr.; Jerusha; Theophilus died in infancy; Gen. David married Bezaleel (or Eunice?) BRISTOL; Hannah married Samuel FITCH; William married Submit CHITTENDEN; Samuel William married Lois BYINGTON; Eleanor married Mr. LYMAN; and Ebenezer died young.
  16. Susannah - b. Jun. 13, 1697. Married Oct. 16, 1728 Jeremiah CHESEBRO' of Stongington.
  17. Eleazer - b. Feb. 4, 1698/9; d. Oct. 11, 1762. Minister at Stonington, CT; graduate of Yale 1718; ordained Dec. 19, 1722. Married Oct. 7, 1723 Hannah WHITE, daughter of Ebenezer of Bridgehampton, Long Island. Children of Eleazer and Hannah ROSSITER: Ebenezer died in infancy; Ebenezer; Mehitable; Hannah; Sarah; Mary; Elnathan married Mercy COLEMAN; and Rev. John Cotton married Phebe PALMER, and was father of Rev. Dudley ROSSITER.

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