Friday, April 2, 2010

Romanus Emerson- Part 6, His lineage

All week I’ve blogged about Romanus Emerson, my 4x great grandfather, the infamous “Infidel” of South Boston. Many people have inquired about his family and genealogy, and so I will post his lineage below. The classic source for reviewing this line is Donald Lines Jacobus’s book “The Bulkeley Genealogy” published in 1933.

As I typed up this lineage I noticed that each generation produced a prodigious number of children who survived to marry and produce more Emersons. It is no coincidence that the Emerson name is so common in New England! Also, there are nine ministers mentioned below, and many others in the extended family.


Generation 1: Thomas Emerson, son of Robert Emerson and Susan Crabbe, born 26 July 1584 in Sedgefield Parish, Durham, England, died 1 May 1666 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married on 1 Jul 1611 at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England to Elizabeth Brewster, died on 10 August 1638 in Ipswich. Nine children, including two Puritan ministers, John and Joseph.

Generation 2: Reverend Joseph Emerson, born about 1620 in England, died 3 January 1680 in Concord, Massachusetts; married on 7 December 1665 in Concord to Elizabeth Bulkeley, daughter of Reverend Edward Bulkeley and Lucyann Coy, born in 1638 and died on 4 September 1693 in Reading, Massachusetts. Seven children. His son Edward was the grandfather to Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was previously married to an Elizabeth Woodmansey about 1646 in Boston, and had one child. Elizabeth Bulkeley Emerson married second to John Brown of Reading.

Generation 3: Peter Emerson, born 1673 in Mendon, Massachusetts, died on 19 January 1751 in Reading; married on 11 November 1696 in Reading to Mary Brown, daughter of John Brown (see above, he also married Peter’s mother) and Mary Fiske, born on 23 March 1678 in Reading and died before 1748 in Reading. Ten children including one minister, Daniel. Mary Fiske was the daughter of the Reverend John Fiske, the first Puritan minister at Wenham and at Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Generation 4: Deacon Brown Emerson, born on 16 April 1704 in Reading, died on 16 March 1774 in Reading; married on 17 June 1725 in Reading to Sarah Townsend, daughter of John Townsend and Sarah Boutwell, born on 25 March 1705 in Lynn, Massachusetts. Ten children, including one Baptist minister, Brown, Jr.

Generation 5: John Emerson, born about 5 April 1739 in South Reading, Massachusetts, died on 14 November 1809 in Hancock, New Hampshire; married on 20 December 1764 in Reading to Katherine Eaton; daughter of Noah Eaton and Phebe Lilley, born on 19 December 1744 in Reading and died on 21 January 1809 in Hancock, New Hampshire. Eleven children, including three Congregational ministers, Reuben, Brown, and Noah.

Generation 6: Romanus Emerson, born on 1 September 1782 in Townsend, Massachusetts, died on 10 October 1852 in South Boston; married on 22 November 1810 in Boston to Jemima Burnham, daughter of Colonel Joshua Burnham and Jemima Wyman, born on 9 May 1783 in Milford, New Hampshire, died on 5 August 1868 at 88 Emerson St., South Boston, Massachusetts.
1. Mary Ann, b. 1811 married Horace Ferrin, shipwright, in 1831
2. Louisa, b. 1813 married Charles Ridgeway Beers, Somerville carriage maker, in 1843
3. Emily E., b. 1814 married Melzar Stetson, shipwright, in 1847
4. George, b. 1817, Boston Police Lieutenant, married Mary Esther Younger
5. Jacob, b. 1820, house carpenter, married Elizabeth Dodge
6. Romanus, Jr., b. 1823, d. 1825
7. Joshua Burnham, b. 1823, d. 1825

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I hope I represented this series well in my FF blog. Have really enjoyed it. It sent me back to some history books. Thanks.
    Kathleen, a3Genealogy

  2. Ahhh, I wondered if there was a kinship to Ralph Waldo Emerson as well, as I have read this series.

  3. Yes, both RWE and Romanus were descended of Rev. Joseph Emerson and Elizabeth Bulkeley. That makes them (according to my Family Tree Maker) 3rd cousins. This side of the family had a plethora of religious folks (ministers, deacons, Puritan, Baptist, Congregational, missionaries) (Emersons, Bulkeleys,Lillies, Wymans) and then their cousin the atheist.

  4. Wonderful series about an utterly fascinating man. I'm so glad you pointed back to this series as one of your favorites of 2010.