Tripp #11222

John Tripp (1610-1678)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts about 1635 and subsequently settled in Rhode Island about 1638 and

Mary Paine (1611-1687)

Born in England.  Settled in Rhode Island about 1638, possibly arriving in Massachusetts at an earlier date.

Tripp #11222

The following borrows heavily from an account of the life of John Tripp summarized by Carolyn Fields-Collins and Mark L. Fields (2006).

St. Maurice Church, Horkstow, North Lincolnshire, England

John Tripp was born about 1610 and baptized at Horkstow Parish, Lincolnshire, England according to a deposition (loose folder dated 1670; New Bedford Library) concerning his personal history.  He states Horkstow as his birthplace. George Randall, an early biographer (1950s) of the Tripp family of Rhode Island, cites his birthplace as Northumberland, England, and this fact is often cited.  Randall’s source is likely the same deposition (not the Horkstow deposition) cited by Sumner wherein John Tripp gives a deposition 6 Feb 1660/1661 regarding his Uncle Potter (who was in fact uncle to Mary Paine).  This deposition reads I , John Tripp, born in Northumberland County, England, the son of John and Isabel Moses of Lincolnshire, born in 1610, was apprenticed to the house carpentry trade and with my master, Randall Holden, came to Newport or Portsmouth in 1630…  The deposition of 1660/1661 has not been located.  At present, there appears to be no way to reconcile these two conflicting depositions.  The baptismal record for John Tripp at Horkstow Parish has been located, and thus until further evidence surfaces, I am recording the birthplace of John Tripp as Lincolnshire, England.

The following details are gleaned from the 1670 deposition in the New Bedford Library, which appears to be a copy of John Tripp’s own words:

Lincolnshire, on the map of England

John was one of about twelve children of John Tripp (1575-1678) and Isabel Moses (1580-1678), so he evidently did not have much to start with.  He was apprenticed to John Baats of Thorsby, Lincolnshire to learn ship carpentry and served seven years and more.  Thereafter, he bound himself (in 1634) to Frances East for four years.  After about one and one half years of service (about 1636), East sold the contract to Robert Jafra of Boston.  Jafra fled Boston, with John Tripp in tow, to Rhode Island to avoid religious persecution.  Thereafter, Jafra sold the contract to Randall Holden of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  After some time, John Tripp paid off (probably about 1638) the remaining time on the contract.

It is likely that John Tripp was first apprenticed at about the age of fifteen, thus serving his first apprenticeship until about 1633.  It is also probable that he was yet in Lincolnshire for his next one and one half years of service until about 1635, when he immigrated to Boston on the same ship as William Hall[1].    This likely sequence agrees with the immigration date of 1635 cited by Carolyn Syron Valentine in Tripp wills, deeds and ways, with key to Tripp descents, via New England, and also New York (Washington, D.C.: Valentine Research Studio) 1932.  The Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (page 296) has the immigration place of Rhode Island in 1638, this not being a conflict with immigration date of 1635 to the colonies.  In the Registry of Freemen of Portsmouth, Colony of Rhode Island (Aquidneck Island), John Tripp is listed as: John Tripp, Gentleman.  Since the term “Freeman” refers to landholding, voting rights, and the privilege to serve in public office, then it is likely that he was admitted Freeman about 1641.  The deposition (wherein he discusses his origins and life history) of John Tripp is housed in the New Bedford Public Library, Genealogy Deptartment and Archives, was entered about 1670.  According to one researcher, records found in the house of a descendant of John Tripp in Scranton, Pennsylvania indicate that John Tripp set sail on 10 Jun 1635, on the ship named Truelove, to come to this country.

On 1 Mar 1641, John Tripp purchased land next to Thomas Groton and then later resided next to Ralph Earle[2].  In 1651, John Tripp and Ralph Earle settled a boundary dispute, and this document was witnessed by Benedict Arnold (not of the American Revolution) and others.  In 1657, he had planting land on Hogg Island[3] for a period of seven years.  On or before 1658, John operated a ferry, because he was paid for transporting members of the General Assembly that year.  This was no doubt the beginnings of the famous Tripp Ferry.  In 1662, he purchased a quarter share of the Dartmouth Purchase from John Alden and then divided and conveyed this interest to his sons in 1665.

Active in public affairs, John served in a number of public offices over the years, as  follows:

  • 1651: Clerk of Weights and Measures
  • 1655: Commissioner of The Colony
  • 1661: Served at Court of Commissioners at Portsmouth
  • 1666: Served on Grand Jury; also Ratemaker, Surveyor of Cattle and Deputy of the General Assembly
  • 1667: Deputy of General Court
  • 1668: Deputy of General Court
  • 1669: General Assembly at Newport
  • 1672-75: Moderator of Portsmouth Meeting
  • 1675: Prover and Sealer of Weights and Measures
  • 1676-1678: Numerous Offices
  • 1678: Last Appearance in Records

An industrious man, John Tripp was, amongst other enterprises, a husbandman. His brand (livestock mark) was entered into the Portsmouth town records:

The Eare (ear) marke of John Tripp Senyor (Senior) is a Crop on ye Left Eare (and) a hapeny (half-penny) one (on) (th)e side of ye same Eare (u)nder Crope of Nere(.) (U)pon 30 res standinge (residents attending?) and re(a)d (u)pon Record the nd day of december by me Richard towne Clarke (Clerk)

John Tripp made his last will and testament on 16 Dec 1677 (proved 28 Oct 1678).  He left in his will various lands, buildings plus orchards and fencing.  He left five male descendants, some of whom would remain in Rhode Island and become prominent in many areas including the whaling industry, and some of whom would begin a restless migration first to New York continuing west.  His daughters, of whom less is known, married into some of the prominent families of Rhode Island.  In 1679 Tripp’s widow Mary received:

…a License for one year to Sell Victuals and drink to Travelers and to afford them entertainment as may bee needful and Conveient, they first giveing bond according to law for the keeping of good order and do also pay into the Treasury ten Shillings for each License.

In about 1639 John Tripp married Mary Paine, the daughter of Anthony Paine.  Her mother is not known with certainty, but she is reported by some researchers to be Alice Potter (first wife of Anthony Paine).  Mary was born about 1611 in England and died 12 Feb 1687 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island.  Upon his marriage, he incurred a three-acre tract of land in Portsmouth.  Mary had bought the land for one pint of wine from a seaman named Richard Searl.  They built their home upon this land[4] and from there operated a ferry to Bristol, Rhode Island.  The ferry was first mentioned in 1676 when “Captain Church[5] of Tiverton, the famous Indian fighter, crossed to Bristol on Tripp’s ferry.”

The children of John Tripp and Mary Paine are listed as follows: (1) John, born 1640 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 7 Sep 1665 Susanna Anthony at Portsmouth; died 20 Nov 1719 at South Kingstown, Rhode Island; (2) Peleg, born about 1642 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married Anne Sisson; died 13 Jan 1714; (3) Joseph, born 1644 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 6 Aug 1667 Mehitable Fish; died 27 Nov 1718 at Portsmouth; (4) Mary Tripp, born about 1646 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married (1st) Gershom Wodell and married (2nd) 5 March 1683 Jonathan Gatchell; died 1716; (5) Elizabeth, born 1645 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married Zuriel Hall; died 1701 at Portsmouth; (6) Alice, born 1650 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 26 Jan 1671 William Hall at Portsmouth; died 1698; (7) Isabel, born 1651 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 4 Mar 1675 Samson Sherman at Portsmouth; died 1716; (8) Abiel, born 1653 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 30 Jan 1679 Deliverance Hall at Portsmouth; died 10 Sep 1684 at Portsmouth; (9) James, born 1656 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married (1st) 19 Jan 1682 Mercy Lawton at Portsmouth; married (2nd) Lydia Lawton at Portsmouth[6]; (10) Martha, born 1658 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married 23 Feb 1681 Samuel Sherman at Portsmouth and (11) Sylvanus, born about 1660 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island; married Margaret Diamond.

The lineage of Mary Tripp (1646-1716) and Gershom Wodell (1642-1662) is continued under the heading of William Wodell (1614-1693). Their children were:

  1. William, born 1663
  2. Mary Wodell, born 4 Mar 1665, probably in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and died 14 Jan 1732 in Portsmouth. On 16 Feb 1681 in Portsmouth, she married Robert Lawton who was born about 1649 in Portsmouth, Newport Rhode Island and died 25 Jan 1706 in the same location.  Not much is known of this couple, aside from the vital details.  Four children are known to have been born between 1682-1696: Mary, George, Elizabeth and Robert Lawton.
  3. Elizabeth, born 1667
  4. Richard, born 1669
  5. Gershom, born in 1673
  6. Sarah, born 1675
  7. Innocent

The lineage of Mary Wodell and Robert Lawton is continued under the heading of George Lawton (1607-1693).



[1] Abiel Tripp, son of John Tripp, married Deliverance Hall, daughter of William Hall.

[2]  My 10th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[3] Hog Island got its name from the fact, that all of the hogs that were not controlled by their owners by fences or buildings were hauled over and turned loose on Hog Island.

[4] The homestead is now the Pocassett Country Club.

[5] Col. Benjamin Church (1639- 1718) soldier, was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Warren) Church. Church is credited with having been the first white settler in the town of Little Compton (1674), which was then in Massachusetts, but is now in Rhode Island, and with building the first house there.

[6] Both Mercy and Lydia are my 8th g-grand aunts. They are daughters of George Lawton and Elizabeth Hazard, discussed under their own heading.

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