Born in England. Arrived in Massachusetts before about 1638 and
Born in England.
The most extensive published material on this family line is found in two volumes written by Elizabeth Starr Versailles: The Hathaways of America (1970) and Hathaways 1200-1980 (1980). Most of the information presented on the family is contained in this source. The book is a wonderful resource for researching the Hathaway branch of the family tree. The author does an outstanding job in presenting the history of his family with an abundance of who’s who names & dates, family portraits, plus pages and pages of an alphabetical surname index. These works are the culmination of many years of research and the care taken to compile these books is evident. A good summary is also presented on the website of The Hathaway Family Association (HFA). A summary narrative of the family is also found in Ancestral Lines (3rd edition) by Carl Boyer (Santa Clarita, California: 1998), pp. 289-290.
Nicholas Hathway, my immigrant ancestor:
The progenitor of my Hathaway family line is Nicholas Hathway. Early records of him in England spell Hathaway without the “a” between Hath- and -way. I have used the Hathaway spelling for American-born generations after Nicholas, who is the progenitor of the largest branch of the Hathaways (Hathways, Hatheways, etc.) in America, and was the probable son of Thomas Hathway and Margaret of Kingscote, Gloucestershire, England. He was probably born about 1595, perhaps at what is known today as Binley Farm in Kingscote, England. His death record has never been found either in New England or Old England, where some descendants believe he returned.
There is proof that Nicholas arrived in New England before 24 Feb 1638/9 and lived at Braintree, Massachusetts (Suffolk Deeds 1/28: 14.5). In 1642, adjoining lands were described as between the lands of Hattaways and Daniel Lovell. He was not on the list of men of Plymouth Colony able to bear arms in 1643, by which time he would have been nearly 50 years of age. He may have had several children (including Elizabeth, baptized 25 Nov 1621 at Kingscote, Gloucester; Deborah, baptized 29 Feb 1623/4 at St. Saviour’s parish, Southwark, London; Jacob, born about 1631; Joseph; a daughter born about 1633; others) but certainly had a son John Hathway (see below), born in England, who accompanied him to New England as a young boy.
Though unproved, Nicholas is probably a son of Thomas (died 1609) and Margaret Hathway (died 1631). On a more speculative note, he may be the grandson of Thomas Hathway (died 1588) and great grandson of Robert (died 1545) and Catherine Hathway. In her will proved 8 Jan 1630/1 at Gloucester (England), Margaret Hathaway names son Nicholas of London, believed to be the brewer of Southwark in 1623 and the Plymouth immigrant. The website of The Hathaway Family Association issues the following caution:
“The HFA is aware of a Thomas Hathaway website, which takes the ancestry of Nicholas back several more generations. Our books speculate about such an ancestry, but to our knowledge, there is no proof of the previous generations.”
Nicholas Hathway became one of the first settlers of Taunton, arriving there from Braintree about 1640. He and his son John Hathway became owners of a considerable amount of land in Taunton, including 400 acres in the part subsequently incorporated as Berkeley.
Much of the next 100 years for the Hathaway’s in America were centered in southeastern Massachusetts, in the towns of Taunton, Dighton, Berkley and Freetown. These towns are between New Bedford and Providence, just west of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The first generation born in America:
I am descended from Nicholas Hathway and his unknown wife through his son, John Hathway. John was probably born in England in about 1629 and died before 1705, probably in Taunton, Massachusetts. He lived in what was called “The Farms”, then part of Taunton, now part of Berkley, Massachusetts. His children were all by his first wife, probably Martha. He married (1st) in about 1649, Martha [family surname unknown]. Martha died between 1683-1692. On 25 Dec 1692, he married (2nd) Ruth, widow of Christopher Dyer, in Braintree, Massachusetts. She died, at age 62, on 10 Sep 1705 in Taunton, Massachusetts.
There is an iron marker that was erected in 1889 by the Old Colony Historical Society at the site of the Homestead of John Hathway on Berkley Street in Berkley, Massachusetts, a short distance from the Berkley Bridge which spans the Taunton River. The photograph below was taken in the year 2000.
In 1695, John Hathway, who settled in nearby Freetown, in company with other citizens, set up a bloomery known as Chartley Iron Works on Stony Brook. A bloomery is a furnace in which iron ore is smelted and from which metallic iron is produced. The iron works passed down through his son John Jr. to his grandson Jacob and perhaps beyond.
John Hathway’s children were all by his first wife, probably Martha. He married (1st) in about 1649, Martha [family surname unknown]. Martha died between 1683-1692. On 25 Dec 1692, he married (2nd) Ruth, widow of Christopher Dyer, in Braintree, Massachusetts. She died, at age 62, on 10 Sep 1705 at Taunton, Massachusetts. The inventory of widow Ruth Hathaway’s estate was taken 23 Jan 1705/6.
Some references to John Hathway:
- Deeds to three of the sons of John Hathway appear in Bristol County Deeds, Vol. 11 pp. 402, 433 and 492: to Isaac 7 Feb 1701/2; to Abraham, 24 Feb. 1701/2; to John 5 Feb 1704/5.
- He is mentioned in An Historical Memoir of the Colony of New Plymouth, Vol. II, pts. ii-iv, by Francis Baylies (Boston, Massachusetts: Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1830),
- II, pt. ii:, p. 270: regarding division of land, 28 Dec 1659, payment of 0.10.7 for 7 heads, 37 acres; p. 274: list includes Hathaway (Proprietors of the town of Taunton); p. 279: “John Hathaway” on division of lands (“the rights that was his father’s”)
- II. pt. iv: p. 8: in 1680 “John Hathaway and Thomas Leonard” were elected assistants [to Governor Winslow] in Taunton (In 1680 he was elected a deputy to Plymouth General Court and served for 5 successive years; in 1681 he was chosen one of the ‘selectmen to order town affairs,’ in which capacity he served 4 years.); p. 80: 10 acres given to Rev. Samuel Danforth (1666-1727), “John Hathaway Sr.” (In 1687 he was recorded as giving 10 acres of land in part payment for the support of the minister, Rev. Samuel Dansforth); p. 141: “John Hall, John Hathaway” deputies from the town of Taunton, 1691.
The children of John Hathway and Martha are listed as follows:
- John, born 16 Aug 1650 and died June 1730 in Massachusetts. He married Hannah Burt (also called Anna). She was still alive 28 June 1705 (Taunton Deeds, 4-474), when she and son Jacob were mentioned in James Burt’s will (Plymouth 4-76). He married (2nd) Christian, probably Maxfield. History of Dighton states that as early as 1693, Thomas Coram and John Hathaway chose a spot on the west side of the Taunton River, where there was a sizeable basin of water, for a ship yard. Thomas Coram had been apprenticed to a shipwright. At the shipyard, Coram and John Hathaway built houses side by side (still standing in 1962, “staunch and sturdy, unconquered by winds and waves. They face the yacht club”). In 1698 the first ship was finished—the first to be built on the Taunton River. For ten years, backed by a company of English merchants, Coram continued ship building successfully, but he returned to England, leaving John Hathaway to carry on the business. His property was involved in a lawsuit involving two completed ships, one fully rigged and ready for sea. All of this property he afterward recovered, and other ship builders carried on what he started. John also owned shares in the Taunton iron works, which he bequeathed to his sons: half to Jacob and half to Isaac.
- Abraham Hathaway, see below.
- Isaac, born about 1655 and died 17 Dec 1722, age 67: gravestone Fox Cemetery. He married Mary Pitts, daughter Peter and Mary Andrews Hodges Pitts on 17 Mar 1686/7 in Taunton. She died on 14 Nov 1727, age 59 1/2.
- Ephraim, born 8 Dec 1661 in Taunton (now Berkley), Massachusetts and died 20 Dec 1716. In 1690, he married Elizabeth Talbot, daughter Jared and Sarah (Andrews) Talbot, born 14 Dec 1671. He resided in the current Broad Cove section of Dighton; was town officer; supported establishment of first school; was among those who established first church in 1708; and operated first ferry across river.
- Abigail, born 1667 and died 1690. On 9 Feb 1685/6, she married James Phillips, son of James Phillips, born in 1661.
- Rebecca, born 1669 and died 31 Dec. 1742. On 4 May 1687 at Taunton, she married Jared Talbot, son of Jared Talbot (his second wife). Her husband Jared was born 20 Mar 1666/7 and died 21 Jan 1733/4.
Some sources report that he may also be the father of Joseph and Jacob, but evidence and details are lacking.
Abraham Hathaway, born 11 Sep 1652 and died 23 Aug 1725. His will was proved 19 Apr 1726. On 28 Aug 1684 at Taunton, he married Rebecca Wilbore, daughter of Shadrach Wilbore and Mary Deane. Rebecca was born 13 Jan 1664 and died 23 Aug 1725.
Abraham was an active and important citizen of Taunton and (later) Dighton, Massachusetts. He was one of the citizens of Dighton that signed a petition in 1708 to turn Dighton into an independent township, breaking off from Taunton. In 1712, he was elected as one of two “Surveyors for Ways” for the new town of Dighton. In 1715 Deacon Abraham Hathaway was given a charter to run the ferry across the Taunton River. He held a number of other jobs and positions in the community, included being a blacksmith, Deacon of the South Congregational Church [now Unitarian Church Dighton] and Town Clerk of Taunton for 35 years (it was noted that he was “One of the finest penmen of colonial New England”).
Abraham also served in the Taunton Militia and as a soldier in King Phillip’s War in Capt. Daniel Henchman’s company in the attack on Mt. Hope in July 1675. The following year he served under Capt. Sam Wadsworth. In 1691 he served in King William’s War, under Capt. Thomas Leonard, 1st Military Co. of Taunton, 4th Sq.
Abraham died 23 Aug 1725, in Dighton, Massachusetts and was buried next to his wife Rebecca in the Fox Cemetery in what was then Dighton (east side of the Great Taunton River), but what is now Berkely, Massachusetts. His tombstone names him as Deacon Abraham Hathaway.
The children of Abraham Hathaway and Rebecca Wilbore are listed as follows:
- Rebecca, married John Clark on 26 Mar 1726 in Dighton, Massachusetts.
- Abraham (Captain), born 11 Sep 1685 at Taunton, Massachusetts. He died before 1754. He married Sarah Chase in 1709.
- Thomas, born 26 Jan 1686/7 at Taunton, Massachusetts. He died 20 Sep 1738 at Dighton, Massachusetts.
- Shadrach, born in 1688 at Taunton, Massachusetts. He died 25 Mar 1721 at Suffield, Connecticut.
- Ebenezer, born 25 May 25 1689 and died 16 Feb 1768.
- Samuel, born in 1690 and died 14 Apr 1765.
- John, born in 1695 and died 15 Sep 1733 at Dighton, Massachusetts.
- Benjamin Hathaway, see below.
Benjamin Hathaway, born in 1699 at Dighton, Massachusetts. He married (1st possibly) [unknown] Clemons. He married (2nd) Mrs. Elizabeth (Mehurin) Crossman on 14 Mar 17434 at Morristown, New Jersey. She was born in 1708 and died 16 Dec 1776 at Morristown, New Jersey.
In some of the historical records, Benjamin Hathaway (1699-1762) is referred to as “Capt.” Benjamin Hathaway. His son, Benjamin Hathaway (born about 1721) is referred to as “Lt.” Benjamin Hathaway.
Capt. Benjamin Hathaway was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Morristown from the time of its founding charter dated 8 Sep 1756, and he was surely active in the informal Presbyterian meeting at Morristown for some time prior to that. A movement to split the Morristown congregation from the congregation at Whippany, which had been established in the early 18th century and whose territory encompassed what is now Whippany, Chatham, Madison, Parsippany and Morristown, began as early as the 1720s. By the time of the 1756 charter, Presbyterians had already been meeting in Morristown under the leadership of Pastor Timothy Johnes since 1742, when he settled there. Johnes was pastor at Morristown for more than half a century, until his death on 17 Sep 1794.
According to Sherman’s Historic Morristown, NJ,
“The first house of worship in what is now Morristown, was erected probably during the year 1740, or about two years after the organization of the church. It is said to have stood on the site, or nearly so, of the present substantial stone manse of the First Presbyterian Church, upon a piece of land given to the church by two of its well-to-do members – Benjamin Hathaway and Jonathan Lindsley for a parsonage and burial-ground. It is understood to have faced what is now Morris street. (p. 45)
At the time of the installation of Rev. Mr. Johnes, the Presbyterian church of Morristown had a membership of somewhat over 100. The complete list is included in Sherman’s history on p. 49 and contains the name of “Sarah wife of Abraham Hathaway”. Benjamin is not on the list, and he may still have been a communicant in the Whippany congregation.
In 1740, just prior to the calling of Timothy Johnes as pastor of the Morristown church, the town of Morristown itself was also formed. The minutes of 26 Mar 1740 for the Morris County Court indicate the following among the town officers: Abraham Hathaway (Benjamin’s brother) and Joseph Coe, Jr., Freeholders; Benjamin Hathaway and Jonathan Osborn, Overseers of the Poor.
Capt. Benjamin Hathaway is regarded as the donor of the land on which the original parsonage land for the Presbyterian Church in Morristown. In A Brief History of The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, the details of the land acquisition is explained as follows:
“At a meeting of the Trustees January 18, 1758, it was announced that certain lands had been conveyed to the Trustees which were distinguished by separate and distinct descriptions: part of the land was called the Parsonage Land extending from the easterly edge of Morristown Green to as far as the present Pine Street, and bounded north by Morris Street and south by South Street. Present at the meeting were Benjamin Hatheway, president; Benjamin Bayles, Thomas Kent, Benjamin Coe, Charles Howell, Sam’l Robarts and Henry Primrose; and then quoting, it was agreed that as the President had heretofore given a Deed for the Parsonage to Messrs. Mathew Lum, Thomas Cleverly and Timothy Mills that it might now fall under the Priviledges of the Charter, and it was agreed that said Parsonage Land by a Quit Claim be Conveyed to the President that said Lands by the President might be Directly Conveyed to the Trustees. The other portion of the land was called the Meeting House Land and included the Morristown Green or Common, and the burying ground as far as Spring Street. It was also agreed to take a Quit Claim Deed for the Meeting House Land which is now in the hands of Joseph Prudden & the Heirs of John Lindsley Deceased. Both of the town of Morris. The earliest headstone now remaining bears the inscription: Here Lyes ye Body of Martha, Wife of Abraham Parson Aged about 23 years, died Jan. 2nd, 1731… It was on the Meeting House Land that the first meeting house had been built in 1729, a few feet easterly of where the present church edifice now stands, before any title whatsoever for it had been acquired, and actually before, the parish had asked for a separate Charter from the Synod.” 
The Parsonage land donated by Benjamin Hathaway is identified by #9 in an old map of Morristown, New Jersey that was commissioned by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, and is near the intersection of Morris & Spring Streets in present-day Morristown.
Benjamin Hathaway died 21 Apr 1762 at Morristown, New Jersey, and he was buried in the churchyard of the Presbyterian Church at Morristown, New Jersey. Benjamin’s headstone epitaph reads as follows:
In Memory of Benjamen / Harthaway Esqr. Aged / 63 years Dead Apr 21 1762 / Here sey Remains of him that was a Esq. / may Rest with Kings & Princesley Dust / Until ye World Desolves In Flameing Fire / At ye Last Resurrection of ye Just / When ye arch Angels trumpets Sound / Arise ye Dead appear before ye Lord / when christ will meet ye Righsous In Cload / & Crowns of Glory will be their Reward
In addition to Benjamin Hathaway, there are several other Hathaways buried in the grave yard of the Presbyterian Church. (the complete list is — > HERE.
The children of Benjamin Hathaway and [unknown] Clemons are listed as follows:
- John, died about 1802 in New Jersey. He married Jemima Axtell on 6 Nov 1763 at Morristown, New Jersey.
- Gershom, born about 1720 and died 24 Jan 1777.
- Benjamin Hathaway, see below. Benjamin married (2nd) Hannah Hopkins on 2 Oct 1752 at First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, New Jersey.
- Joseph, born about 1728 and died 7 Aug 1776 at Morristown, New Jersey. He married Sarah Lyon on 15 Nov 1753. She was born about 1735 and died 5 Feb 1793 at Morristown, New Jersey.
- Eleazer, born about 1731 and died 20 Feb 1777 at Morristown, New Jersey. He married Abigail Cooper.
- Thankful, born 14 Nov 1735 and died 9 May 1808. She married Ralph Tucker on 2 Mar 1758 at Morristown, New Jersey. He was born 1732 and died Dec 1797 at Newark, New Jersey.
- Jonathan, born 19 Jan 1737/38 and died 26 Aug 1814, both at Morristown, New Jersey. He married (1st) Lydia Peck (1736-1802) on 20 Dec 1759 and (2nd) Sarah Keen on 26 Mar 1803.
- Benoni (1743-1823). He was a Colonel and commended a regiment of militia at the time of the Revolution, as well as being involved in the production of cartridges from the output of a power will in the vicinity of Morristown. And from the minutes of the New Jersey Council of Safety of 21 Aug 1777: “Agreed, that the Governor direct Major Benoni Hathaway to deliver the field-pieces and appurtenances, and also the powder you are to receive for the public use, to the commanding officer of the militia stationed along the frontiers near Staten Island…”. Benoni Hathaway later saw action at the Battle of Connecticut Farms (where he received a severe wound to the neck) and Springfield in 1780.
The children of Benjamin Hathaway and Elizabeth (Mehurin) Crossman are listed as follows:
Lt. Benjamin Hathaway, born about 1721 in Hanover Township, New Jersey and died after 1784. He married (1st) Mary Fairchild on 12 Nov 1746 at First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, New Jersey. Mary was born about 1726 and died 18 Mar 1751. She was the daughter of Zachariah Fairchild (who was the First Leading Elder of The Presbyterian Church In Morristown after it split off from the Hanover Presbyterian Church in 1737) and Deborah Fairchild (both 1st cousins 1x removed and 1st cousins 2x removed to each other). Mary was buried at First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, New Jersey. In addition to Mary (Fairchild) Hathaway, there are several other Fairchilds buried in the graveyard of the Presbyterian Church (the complete list is — > HERE [http://wp.me/P2HCbU-4mu]).
Benjamin is sometimes referred to as “Lieutenant” in the records. Unlike his brother Benoni, I have not been able determine the specific of his military services. Reference to a “Benjamin Hatheway” who served as a private in Morris County Militia, must be a different (younger) man.
The children of Benjamin Hathaway and Mary Fairchild are listed as follows
- Rebecca Hathaway (1747–1827), see below
- Abraham (1748–1785)
- Sarah (1751-1805)
Benjamin married (2nd) Hannah Hopkins on 2 Oct 1752 at First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, New Jersey.
Rebecca Hathaway was born 6 Nov 1747 at Morristown, New Jersey and died in about 1827, probably at Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio. On 11 May 1768 she married Isaac Morris, who was born at Morristown, New Jersey in about 1743. Isaac died 28 Apr 1828 at Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, and he is thought to be buried at Lewis Farm Cemetery, Red Lion, Warren County, Ohio.
Isaac Morris (1741-1828) was a veteran of the American War of Independence. According to the biographical sketch of Issac Morris in
History of Greene County, Ohio by George F. Robinson, at the close of the Revolutionary War the family removed to the Northwest Territory, as Ohio was then called. The route chosen was by way of Pennsylvania, and several weeks were required in making the overland journey through the wilderness and over the mountains to Redstone, near Pittsburg. After tarrying there for a few months they embarked on a flatboat with all their possessions and floated down the Ohio river, landing at Columbia, near Cincinnati, in the year 1790. This site was afterward abandoned because of the frequent overflow of the river, and they went north ten or twelve miles to a place called Round Bottom, on the Little Miami river, where a fort was constructed to protect the settlers from attacks of Indians.
Isaac was one of eight charter members of First Presbyterian Church Cincinnati in 1790, he had moved with his family to Warren County (near Lebanon), Ohio before 1800, where he was a founder of Turtle Creek Church and when it disbanded a founder of Lebanon Presbyterian Church.
The lineage of Rebecca Hathaway and Isaac Morris is continued under the heading of John Morris ( -1677) and Elizabeth Harrison (1626-1669).
 Lane, Helen Holmes. History of the town of Dighton, Massachusetts: the South purchase, May 30, 1712 (Published by the Town of Dighton) 1962, p. 148-9.
 This must be Sarah Chase, the wife of Capt. Benjamin Hathaway’s brother, Abraham and not Abraham Hathaway, their father (my ancestor).
 Cobbett, Frederick B. (revised by Barbara R. King). A Brief History of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown [New Jersey] (Morristown, New Jersey: Published and distributed under the direction of the Historical Society of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown) Originally printed in January 1951, Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. David Mutchler; Updated in 2008 by Barbara King. (under the heading “ACQUISITION OF LAND”– pages are not numbered)
 Sherman, p. 127, 156-7.
 “Age 24”, according to the church records of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown.
 Stryker, William S. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War (compiled under orders of His Excellency Theodore F. Randolph, Governor (Trenton, New Jersey: Wm. T. Nicholson & Co, printers – by authority of the Legislature) 1872, p. 622.
 Robinson, George F. History of Greene County, Ohio (Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clark Publishing Company) 1902, pp. 846-8.