Ingersoll #4006

John Ingersoll (of Westfield) (1626-1684)

Born in England.  Arrived in Connecticut between 1644-1651 and

Dorothy Lord (1629-1657)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 and later settled in Connecticut.

Ingersoll #4006

Thomas married Margaret “Margery” Eaton on 15 Dec 1620 at Saint Dunstan’s, Stepney, Middlesex, England.  Thomas was 27 years old, and Margery was only 16 at the time of her marriage.

Thomas married Margaret “Margery” Eaton on 15 Dec 1620 at Saint Dunstan’s, Stepney, Middlesex, England. Thomas was 27 years old, and Margery was only 16 at the time of her marriage.

John Ingersoll was born 1626 in Derby, Derbyshire, England (his birth was recorded in St. Werburghs parish) 
and died on 3 Sep 1684 in Westfield, Massachusetts.  He was the son of Thomas Inkersall[1] and Margery Eaton, both of whom remained in England until their deaths.  Margery is thought to be the daughter of a John Eaton, “ropemaker” of Stepney.

Note that some resources indicate (in error) that John Ingersoll was the brother of Richard Ingersoll, an immigrant to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1629.  Richard Ingersoll, accompanied by his wife Ann Langley and their family, arrived in the Massachusetts Bay colony from England with the “Higginson[2] Fleet”, consisting of six ships: Four Sisters, George Bonaventure, Talbot, Lion’s Whelp (which carried only provisions), Mayflower (not the same as the famous ship of 1620 which carried the “Pilgrims”) and Pilgrim.  This theory was published by Lothrop Withington[3] in 1900.  However, the theory is not supported by the available evidence.  After Withington’s publication, Walter Goodwin Davis[4] discovered that Richard is a son of George Inkerstall of Edworth, Bedfordshire, England and that he had no brother named John.   In addition, the disparity in ages between Richard and John make it unlikely that they were brothers.  The confusion is compounded further by the fact that Richard had a son, John, whose dates (about 1615-1620 to 1684) are very similar to those of John Ingersoll, our 9th g-grandfather.  However, Richard Ingersoll’s son, John, lived in Salem, Massachusetts until his death in 1684.

It is believed that John Ingersoll (of Westfield) was a nephew a different John Ingersoll (of Huntington) (1640-1695) who settled in Huntington, Long Island, New York, my 8th g-grandfather (discussed under his own heading).

It is likely that John Ingersoll of Westfield left England and arrived in Connecticut some time between about 1644 and 1651, when he married his first wife, Dorothy Lord, in Hartford, Connecticut.  John had been apprenticed on 25 Jan 1641/2 to Thomas Dawes of the Tylers and Bricklayers Company of London, England.  His apprenticeship may have been interrupted by the English Civil War.  He was still in England about 1644, according to a document he left behind, which contains an account of his spiritual journey and conversion.  A requirement for church membership in Massachusetts Bay Colony after 1636 was a public “relation” of religious experience.   Not many of these relations survive[5], but some the records of public relations for the church members at Westfield, Massachusetts, including the public relation of John Ingersoll, were preserved in the unpublished writings of the great Puritan poet Edward Taylor[6] (they were subsequently published in the 20th century after their discovery[7]).  In John’s public relation, he mentions the influence of a preacher in Derby, England, whom he heard when he was about 18 years of age.

After the relation was published, scholars noticed a clue to John’s English origins in the passage that reads in part:

…[t]he first time, to my rememberance, that God met with me was by a Sermon I heard at Darby in old England…when I was about 18 years old, whereby I was Convinct that as yet I was none that should inherit the holy Hill of Zion, but I thought I would labour to be one that Should…

The Parish Church of St. Werburgh, Derbyshire. The present church dates back to around 1390, when it was completed to replace an earlier church destroyed by fire, along with almost the entire village in 1340. There is also a newer St. Werburgh's Church in the Derby city centre which at present is semi-redundant.

The Parish Church of St. Werburgh, Derbyshire. The present church dates back to around 1390, when it was completed to replace an earlier church destroyed by fire, along with almost the entire village in 1340. There is also a newer St. Werburgh’s Church in the Derby city centre which at present is semi-redundant.

This led to the parish registers of the borough of Darby in Derbyshire and to the probate records of the Consistory

Court of Lichfield.  Derby has five ancient parishes: All Saints, St. Alkmunds, St. Michaels, St. Peters and St. Werburghs.  An examination of the registers lead to the discovery of the record of John’s baptism in 1626 in St. Werburghs parish:

John the soon [sic] of Thomas Inkersall bapt the [blot] of Sep.

The baptismal records for some of John’s siblings make reference to his mother, Margery, who we know to be Margery Eaton (1604-1664).  The will of Thomas Ingersoll, from the records of the Consistory Court of Lichfield, confirms the presence of a son in new England[8].

John Ingersoll’s first appearance in New England records was inauspicious: on 28 Nov 1654, he was fined 10s by the Connecticut Particular Court  for the breach of the law against lyinge.  The details of this case are not known to us.  It is known that John had earlier married Dorothy Lord about 1651.  Dorothy was born 1 Jul 1629.  She was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird (discussed under their own heading).  Dorothy had arrived in the Massachusetts Bay colony with her parents and joined them when they settled in Hartford, Connecticut.  In 1655, John and Dorothy moved their family to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Dorothy died giving birth to her third daughter, Margery Ingersoll, on 3 Jan 1656/57.

In 1666 John moved with his family to Woronoco, which was the Indian name by which Westfield, Massachusetts, was then known.

John married (2nd) Abigail Bascom (my 9th g-grand aunt on our father’s side) on 2 Dec 1657 in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Abigail was born about 1640, the daughter of Thomas Bascom (1606-1682), an early settler of Windsor, Connecticut and Avie Jessie (1616-1676), my 10th g-grandparents on our father’s side, discussed under their own heading.  In 1666 John moved with his family to Woronoco, which was the Indian name by which Westfield, Massachusetts, was then known.  In April of the same year and soon after his arrival at Woronoco, his wife Abigail died, leaving four more daughters for John to care for.

During the following year John married (3rd) Mary Hunt (my 9th g-grand aunt on my father’s side), a daughter of John Hunt (1611-1661) and Mary Webster (1623-1687), my  10th g-grandparents on our father’s side, discussed under their own heading).   Mary Webster’s father, John Webster[9] (1590-1661), my 11th g-grandfather (discussed under his own heading), was one of the first settlers of Hartford and the fifth governor of the Colony of Connecticut, chosen in 1656.  He settled in Hartford with his wife Agnes Smith and several children in 1636.  In 1659, John Webster removed from Hartford to Hadley, Massachusetts and resided there until his death.

The 1st Congregational Church of Westfield, located on Broad Street across from Westfield Green, is an impressive Italianate edifice. It is the church’s fourth meeting house. The first was built around 1673 and the second around 1720. The latter building burned in 1803 and was replaced in 1805 by a new meeting house. The present church building was erected in 1860, with L. F. Thayer as architect and George Green as builder. The original steeple was damaged in a windstorm on 27 Feb 1886. It was replaced by an extremely elaborate second steeple, which was in turn replaced by the current steeple, erected in 1962.

The 1st Congregational Church of Westfield, located on Broad Street across from Westfield Green, is an impressive Italianate edifice. It is the church’s fourth meeting house. The first was built around 1673 and the second around 1720. The latter building burned in 1803 and was replaced in 1805 by a new meeting house. The present church building was erected in 1860, with L. F. Thayer as architect and George Green as builder. The original steeple was damaged in a windstorm on 27 Feb 1886. It was replaced by an extremely elaborate second steeple, which was in turn replaced by the current steeple, erected in 1962.

It is recorded in the town book of Westfield, Massachusetts that in the year 1666 land was granted to John Ingersoll and others, and that he settled there in that year.  In 1669 an additional grant of 20 acres is recorded. In 1679, John Ingersoll became one of the “Seven Pillars” or “Foundation Men” who founded the Westfield Church, lead by Rev. Samuel Stone of Hartford.  John Ingersoll died at Westfield on 3 Sep 1684, and his grave may be found in the old Westfield Cemetery.  His widow, Mary Hunt, died 18 Aug 1690.

The children of John Ingersoll are listed below.

By his first wife, Dorothy Lord:

  1. Hannah, born 1652, probably at Hartford.  She married Stephen Kelsey[10].
  2. Dorothy, born 1654, probably at Hartford.  She married Jacob Phelps[11] in 1672, then secondly a Mr. Root.
  3. Margery Ingersoll, see below.

By his second wife, Abigail Bascom (the first three born at Northampton, Massachusetts):

  1. Abigail, born 11 Jan 1659.  She married Thomas Rix and (2nd) Joshua Wells.
  2. Sarah, born 30 Oct 1660.  She married a Mr. Barnes.
  3. Abiah, born 24 Aug 1663.  She married Jedediah Strong.
  4. Hester, born 9 Sep 1665 at Westfield, Massachusetts.

By his third wife. Mary Hunt (all born at Westfield, Massachusetts):

  1. Thomas, born 28 Mar 1668.
  2. John, born 19 Oct 1669 and died 18 May 1750.
  3. Abel, born 11 Nov 1671.  He was a single man and dwelt many years at Northampton.
  4. Ebenezer, born 15 Oct 1673 and died 4 Mar 1682.
  5. Joseph, born 16 Oct 1675, in Westfield.  He was slain at Deerfield[12], Massachusetts, when that town was destroyed by the French and Indians on 29 February, 1704[13].  Unmarried.
  6. Mary, born 17 Nov 1677 and died 18 Aug 1690.
  7. Benjamin, born 15 Nov 1679 and died about 1704.
  8. Jonathan, born 10 May 1681 and died 28 Nov 1760 at Milford, Connecticut.

The daughter of John Ingersoll and Dorothy Lord is Margery Ingersoll.  She was born was born in 1656 and died in 1697.  On 5 Dec 1679 in Hartford, Connecticut she married Jacob Goffe, born 16 Aug 1649 and died 21 Oct 1697 both in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  Jacob held the minor office of Fence Viewer in that town, and he appears to have been a well-to-do farmer based on his possessions at the time of his death (inventory taken 12 Nov 1697).  He owned upward of 100 acres of land and had a house, horse, mare, colt, steers, calves, sheep, bees and books, etc. valued at £136 3s 6p.   After Jacob’s death, Margery Ingersoll married  (2nd) Jonathan Buck, and they had no children together.

The lineage of Margery Ingersoll  and Jacob Goff is continued under the heading of Philip Goffe (1627-1674).



[1] His occupations were listed as shoemaker and ropemaker.

[2] Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in colonial New England and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.  Higginson led a group of 300 settlers on five ships from England to New England. These were the first of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the main body who would come the next year on the Winthrop Fleet. The Higginson Fleet set sail on 1 May 1629, arriving in Salem harbor on about 1 July.  Higginson’s fleet was greeted in Salem by a small group of settlers led by John Endecott. There were five houses besides Endecott’s.  They had no trained minister, however, so Higginson and Samuel Skelton began those duties immediately.  Higginson drew up a confession of faith, which was assented to on 6 August by thirty persons.  In the following winter, in the general sickness that ravaged the colony, he was attacked by a fever, which disabled him and finally caused his death at the age of 43, leaving behind him a widow and eight children.

[3] Lothrop Withington, Abstracts of English Wills, 1900.

[4] Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Abel Lunt, 1769-1806, of Newbury,Massachusetts (Portland, Maine: Anthoensen Press) 1963.

[5] The best known examples of such records are those kept by the Rev. Thomas Shepard of Cambridge.

[6] The son of a non-Conformist yeoman farmer, Edward Taylor was born in 1642 at Sketchley, Leicestershire, England. Following restoration of the monarchy and the Act of Uniformity under Charles II, which cost Taylor his teaching position, he emigrated in 1668 to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America. He chronicled his Atlantic crossing and early years in America (1668-1671) in his now-published Diary. He was admitted to Harvard College as a second year student soon after arriving in America and upon graduation in 1671 became pastor and physician at Westfield, on the remote western frontier of Massachusetts, where he remained until his death. Taylor’s poems, in leather bindings of his own manufacture, survived him, but he had left instructions that his heirs should “never publish any of his writings,” and the poems remained all but forgotten for more than 200 years. In 1937 Thomas H. Johnson discovered a 7000-page quarto manuscript of Taylor’s poetry in the library of Yale University and published a selection from it in The New England Quarterly. The appearance of these poems, wrote Taylor’s biographer Norman S. Grabo, “established [Taylor] almost at once and without quibble as not only America’s finest colonial poet, but as one of the most striking writers in the whole range of American literature.” His most important poems, the first sections of Preparatory Meditations (1682-1725) and God’s Determinations Touching His Elect and the Elects Combat in Their Conversation and Coming up to God in Christ: Together with the Comfortable Effects Thereof (c. 1680), were published shortly after their discovery. His complete poems, however, were not published until 1960. He is the only major American poet to have written in the metaphysical style. Taylor’s poems were an expression of his deeply held religious views, acquired during a strict upbringing and shaped in adulthood by New England Congregationalist Puritans, who developed during the 1630s and 1640s rules far more demanding than those of their co-religionists in England. Alarmed by a perceived lapse in piety, they concluded that professing belief and leading a scandal free life were insufficient for full participation in the local assembly. To become communing participants, “halfway members” were required to relate by testimony some personal experience of God’s saving grace leading to conversion, thus affirming that they were, in their own opinion and that of the church, assured of salvation. This requirement, expressed in the famous Half-way Covenant of 1662, was defended by such prominent churchmen as Increase and Cotton Mather and was readily embraced by Taylor, who became one of its most vocal advocates. “To modern eyes,” noted Donald E. Stanford, the editor of Taylor’s major writings, “Calvinism is a grim theology, and partly because of its grimness, partly because of its internal inconsistencies (man cannot save himself yet should exert every effort to lead a good life and achieve saving faith), the kind of Calvinism in which Taylor believed gradually broke down.” Though not for the most part identifiably sectarian, Taylor’s poems nonetheless are marked by a robust spiritual content, characteristically conveyed by means of homely and vivid imagery derived from everyday Puritan surroundings. “Taylor transcended his frontier circumstances,” biographer Grabo observed, “not by leaving them behind, but by transforming them into intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual universals.”

[7] The Unpublished Writings of Edward Taylor in three volumes, edited by Thomas M. and Virginia L. Davis (Boston: Teayne) 1981.

[8] …to my sonne Samuell Inkersall all my houshold goodes And the rest & residue of my p[er]sonall estate my debtes legacies & funerall discharged and such Charges as my executor shall be put to being defraied the said residue I say to be devided the one halfe I bequeath to my sonne John Inkersall living in new England if hee be yet living if not to his Chilldren… [Proved 13 July 1681].

[9] John Webster’s most famous descendant is his 3rd great grandson Noah Webster (1758-1843), the American lexicographer, grammarian, textbook author, spelling reformer, political writer, word enthusiast and editor of “Webster’s” dictionary.  For details, refer to article under “Notable Kin”.

[10] Stephen Kelsey is the brother of my 8th g-grandfather, Mark Kelsey (1624-1720), discussed under the heading of William Kelsey (1600-1676).

[11] Jacob Phelps is the grandson of my 12th g-grandparents William Phelps (1560-1611) and Dorothy James (1562-1615). Their son, William Phelps (1593-1672), is discussed under his own heading.

Monument to the victims of the Deerfield (Massachusetts) massacre of 29 Feb 1704

Monument to the victims of the Deerfield (Massachusetts) massacre of 29 Feb 1704

[12] Deerfield was the northwesternmost outpost of New England settlement for several decades during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It occupies a fertile portion of the Connecticut River Valley and was vulnerable to attack because of its position near the Berkshire Mountains. For these reasons it became the site of several Anglo-French and Indian skirmishes during its early history, as well as intertribal warfare. The most famous incident occurred on 29 Feb 1704, during Queen Anne’s War, when joint French and Indian forces attacked the town in what has become known as the 1704 Raid on Deerfield. They struck at dawn, razing Deerfield and killing 56 colonists, including 22 men, 9 women, and 25 children. They took as captives 109 survivors, including women and children, and “carried” them away on a months-long trek to Quebec. Many died along the way or were killed when they could not keep up. Most of the Deerfield captives eventually returned to New England. Other captives remained by choice in French and Native communities.

[13] Benjamin Waite, a son of my 10th great grandfather, Thomas Waite (1601-1665), discussed under his own heading, was killed in the same attack.

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One comment

  • Greetings. I’m a descendant of Richard Ingersoll (via Bowditches and Joneses), not John, but have been working on John’s lineage because a friend is descended from him… so I appreciate this site. I did want to note that there’s a range of dates offered online for the death of Abigail (Bascom) Ingersoll — you have 1666, others have April of 1667 or 1668 — and thus, a difference of opinion about whether she or Mary (Hunt) Ingersoll was the mother of Thomas. I’m in search of some authoritative source for her death date and will be glad to share anything I find; if you have anything, of course I’d be grateful to know of it.

    Yours is the first site I’ve seen that mentions a link between John and an uncle, also John, of Huntington, Long Island. That got my attention, because my friend’s Ingersoll branch was in Huntington going back at least three generations; it’s easy to assume they had some connection to the earlier Ingersolls there, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I get a chance, I’ll check.

    Thanks for your work and especially for adding the lovely church photos — they give a dimension to the site that is missing from most others.

    Best regards, Christopher Childs (9th great-grandson of Richard Ingersoll & Ann (Langley) Ingersoll)

Your comments are welcome. Keep in mind, however, all comments are moderated, and please no off-topic links.