Mott #1356

Nathaniel Mott (1631-1675)

Born in England or Massachusetts and

Hannah Shooter (1637-1675)

Born in Massachusetts.

Mott #1356

I have found no convincing source to substantiate Nathaniel’s date of birth, his place of birth or the identity of his parents.  I believe it is equally likely that he was born in either England or Massachusetts.  There are a number of Mott family lines in the early history of the American colonies, and the relationships among them are not altogether clear.  Furthermore, many sources confuse these lines, basing their information on older genealogical works that may be incorrect.

Nathaniel Mott was born about 1631 at Braintree, Massachusetts, according to most sources, but this has not been proved.  According to Pope[1], he died on 23 Feb 1675 at Braintree (killed by Indians).  He is first mentioned as an inhabitant of Scituate in the list of men able to bear arms in Plymouth Colony in 1643.  In 1645 he was one of the eight Scituate men sent out in the expedition of Plymouth Colony against the Narragansett Indians, and he served thirteen days.  If the most frequently quoted sources are to be believed, this implies he was old enough to bear arms at the age of 12 and old enough to join the expedition against the Narragansett Indians at the age of 14.  Perhaps more plausibly, his date of birth is actually significantly earlier than 1631, making it more likely that he was born in England rather than Massachusetts.

Nathaniel is next found in 1656 in the neighboring town of Braintree, Massachusetts, where he married Hannah Shooter on 25 Dec of that year. The Middlesex court records mention him as living at Mr. Parker’s farm, 22 Dec 1663.  The births of his children are all recorded in the Braintree records, and the same records state that he was one of the four Braintree men killed by the Indians on 23 Feb 1675/76, when they made their incursion into that town.  He appears to have been a man of humble position, for he nowhere appears in the Suffolk land evidence and he left no will.

Hannah is the daughter of Peter Shooter, discussed under his own heading.  Not much is known of Peter Shooter, aside from the following vital details:  He is thought to have been born about 1611 in Chesthunt, Hertfordshire, England and died 15 Jul 1655 in Braintree, Massachusetts.  He married Hannah [surname and vital details unknown].  Like Peter, she may be from Chesthunt, Hertfordshire, England.  Their daughter, Hanna Shooter, was born 16 Feb 1637 in Braintree, Massachusetts.  Her date of death is unknown.

Some sources identify the father of Nathaniel Mott as either John or Adam Mott.  John’s year of birth is often cited as 1603, and he was supposedly married to a woman by the name of Sarah Lott (1604-1661).  Other sources refer to Adam Lott, founder of a family line in Rhode Island, who arrived in 1635 on the Defence, along with his (second) wife, Sarah (Jennings) Lott Mott (with the sames dates as the supposed wife of John).  Adam and Sarah were accompanied Adam’s children by his first marriage:  John, Adam, Jonathan, and Elizabeth and Sarah’s daughter by her first marriage: Mary Lott. The name of Sarah’s first husband is generally given as Englebret Lott (1596-1631).  Adam and Sarah had three sons after their arrival in New England.  This Mott family removed to Rhode Island and founded a line of Motts that later merged with a different Mott family line of Long Island, New York (see discussion below regarding a different Adam Mott).  Further confusion is casued by the fact that Mary Lott (daughter of Sarah Jennings by her first husband) married Adam Mott (1623-1693), the son of Adam Mott by his first wife, Elizabeth Creel.  Therefore, Mary and her husband, Adam, were step siblings and not blood relations.  Their daughter, Abigail, married Benjamin Haviland.  The Haviland family also originated in Rhode Island, and Benjamin and Abigail Haviland subsequently removed to Long Island, New York, where their descendants mixed with the descendants of “Adam Mott of Long Island”, resulting in individuals who are descendants of both Mott lines.  Other descendants of Adam (wife Sarah) of Rhode Island, Block Island (Rhode Island) and Connecticut have also crossed to Long Island to perplex the genalogist.

“Adam Mott of Long Island” appears to be the man, age 19, who is listed as a passenger on the Bevis in 1639.  This Adam was apparently a single man when he arrived.  He later married two wives: (1st) Jane Hewlett or Hulet and (2nd) Elizabeth Richbell or Redman.

Adam Mott, born 1623 in England who married Mary Lott, is not the same man as Adam, born 1621 in England, who is the progenitor of the Long Island Mott family line.  Although they may be related, possibly cousins, they are two different individuals.

How Nathaniel Mott may be related to any of these other Mott families, if at all, may be impossible to determine due to the almost entire absence of early public records that would shed light on the subjects.  If he was born in 1631 or earlier, as many sources indicate, he should have been listed as one of the children accompanying Adam and Sarah Mott on the Defence in 1631 (if he was the son of either).  However, based on the timing, we may assume that his father would not be Adam, but rather Sarah’s first husband (Englebret Lott? Also the father of Mary Lott?), since Adam and Sarah are not believed to have married until shortly before their voyage to New England.  If so, why is Nathaniel’s surname given as “Mott” and not “Lott”?

No investigation I have done adequately explains these mysteries.  As a result, I begin my discussion of my Mott line in America with Nathaniel, and his connection, if any, to these other Motts will remain a subject for future research.

The children of Nathaniel Mott and Hannah Shooter are listed as follows:

  1. Nathaniel (1657-1661)
  2. John[2] (1659- ), married Marcy/Mercy Tosh[3])
  3. Nathaniel Mott (1661-1717), married Sarah Tosh – see below
  4. Mary (1664- )
  5. Lydia (1666- ), married Caleb Littlefield
  6. Samuel (1669-1753), Elizabeth (1671- ), married Edmund Littlefield
  7. Experience (1672-1672)
  8. Edward (1673-1735), married Penelope Niles[4]
  9. Ebenezer (1675-1736), married Grace Vinall.

Nathaniel Mott was born 30 Aug 1661 at Braintree, Massachusetts and died December 1717 at New Shoreham, Rhode Island.  He married (1st)  Hepzibah Winsley on 29 Nov 1682 and (2nd) Sarah Tosh on 23 Jan 1694.  Sarah is the daughter of  William Tosh (William MacIntosh), who was among the Scotish prisoners shipped to New England by Cromwell in 1651, after the battles of Dunbar and Worcester, most of whom were sold into servitude to the Lynn & Braintree Iron Works.  On 7 Dec 1660 at Braintree, Massachusetts,  William Tosh married Jael Sullivan, who was evidently one of a ship-load of Irish captives sent to New England in 1654.  When the Braintree men set out to settle Block Island, William Tosh was among the first settlers, later becoming a prominent citizen.

The daughter of Nathaniel Mott and Sarah Tosh is Experience Mott.  She was born 27 Oct 1705 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island and died 31 Jul 1755 in Exeter, Rhode Island.  She married John Rathbun on 1 Jan 1727 in Exeter, Rhode Island.

The daughter of John Rathbun and Experience Mott is Patience Rathbun, born 22 Jan 1742 at New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island and died 1840.  In 1780 she married Benjamin Clarke, who was born 3 Sep 1721 in Warwick, Rhode Island and died in 1790 in Rhode Island.  The lineage of Patience Rathbun and Benjamin Clarke is continued under the heading of Joseph Clarke (1618-1694).



[1] Pope, Charles Henry.  Pioneers of Massachusetts: A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns and Churches, and other Contemporaneous Documents (Boston, Massachusetts) 1900.

[2] He removed to New Shoreham or Block Island with his brother Nathaniel about the year 1680. His name appears in the list of freemen there in 1684. He sold land at Block Island 19 Dec 1689 and again 27 Mar 1693, when he is described as fomerly of this Island, but now in Lyme, Connecticut.

[3] She is the daughter of William Tosh (1635-1685), my 8th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[4] Edward Mott is Penelope Niles’ second husband. Her first husband is William Tosh (1659-1691), the son of William Tosh (1635-1685), my 8th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

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One comment

  • Anthony mott

    I am Anthony Mott i have traced my line back to Bugher mott Born in 1785 in New york he was a Quaker he moved to Ohio in the 1830s his son Sanford came to Olivet Michigan in 1845. I still reside in Olivet Mi. I have not been able to back further in my line i do belive that i am related to one of the Adam motts either Rhode Island or New York There were cousins. Can any one help in this search? thank you

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