Saturday, March 10, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Southwick of Salem, Massachusetts

Shelter Island Map

Lawrence Southwick does not appear in any official records until 1639 in Salem, when he was admitted to the church and given two acres of land for his glass and “earthenware” business.  He is supposed to be one of the first glass manufacturers in the New World according to family lore, although Jamestown, Virginia had an early glass business.  Lawrence, his wife Cassandra, and son Josiah and daughter Mary were fined, whipped and finally banished for being Quakers.    Lawrence and his wife died of exposure on Shelter Island, off Long Island, New York in 1659.

Their minor children, Daniel and Provided were sold into slavery by the General Court.  This episode was made into a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier called “The Ballad of Cassandra Southwick” (he switched the name of the mother and daughter, I guess the name Cassandra was more poetic than Provided).    See my blog post for more on this story. 

Lawrence Southwick’s will, made before he was banished:
I, Lawrence Sethick, late of Salem in New England, now being at the house of Nathaniel Silvester, on Shelter Island, being weake in body but of sound mind and memory, do make and ordayne this my last will and testament, tenth day of fifth month, 1659.

I first give and bequeath unto my sonne Daniel Sethick my dwelling house at Salem, with all the houses, orchards, gardens and appurtenances; and Gyle's lot, provided that John Burnell shall have a house lott on the ground at the further end of the orchard newly fenct in.

Item. My will is that the lott which I had of Josiah Sethick shall return to him again.
Item. I give unto John Sethick the lott next to his owne.
Item. My will is that the great meadow which lyes at Ipswich River, fenct in, shall be divided Daniel Sethick and John Burnell equally.
Item. I give unto Samuel Burton forty shillings.
Item. I give unto John Burnell, if he stand faithful in the truth, two young steers and the first mare foal.
Item. I give unto Henry Traske Marshall's lott joining to his orchard, provided that Daniel may have liberty to mow a load of hay every year thereon.
Item. I give unto Mary Traske my daughter, wife of Henry Traske, ten pounds sterling.
Item. I give unto Deborah Sethwick and young Josiah, each of them fifty shillings sterling.
Item. I give unto Ann Potter forty shillings, in she thinks beneficial for her.
Item. I give unto Mary Traske, daughter to Henry Traske, one good serge suit of clothes; and unto Sarah and Hannah each of them a suit of clothes.

I give and bequeath unto Samuel and Sarah, John Sethick's children, to each of them thirty shillings sterling.

Furthermore my will is that Daniel my sonne, and Provided my daughter, shall possess and enjoy all that which remains of my estate after debts and legacies paid, and my will above mentioned fulfilled, equally to be divided between them so that Daniel may have that part which belongs to husbandry.

Lastly my will is that in case my wife survives me shee shall be my executrix and keep all possessions during her life, and after her decease my will to be performed according as above expressed; and I do ordayne William Robinson and Thomas Gardner to be overseers of this my last will and testament, signed and sealed by me the day and year above written with my hand and seal following.

In presence of
This will was allowed by the court 29, 9 mo., 1660.

The story of the Southwick family is exciting, and because there were many court records this family is fairly easy to trace.  I used the following sources:

Genealogical Dictionary of New England, by James Savage, Volume IV, pages 142 -3.

Genealogy of the Descendants of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick of Salem, Massachusetts, by James Moore Caller and Maria A. Ober, Salem, Mass: JH Choate, 1881

A Study of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, by Janet Ireland Delorey, 1997

The Genealogist, Volume XII, pages 223-31 and Volume XVI, pages 40 -41.

Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume 57, pages 177-179. (Burnap/Burnett family)

Note:  Sir Winston Churchill, President Richard Milhous Nixon and genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner were all descendants of Lawrence Southwick.

Southwick Genealogy:
Generation 1.  Lawrence Southwick, son of Edward Southwicke and Anne Shelley, born in Tetenhall, Staffordshire, England, died 10 May 1659 at Shelter Island, New York; married about 1619 in England to Cassandra Burnell, daughter of Humphrey Burnell and Margaret Unknown.  She was born about 1598 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England and died about 13 May 1659 at Shelter Island.  Five children:
1. Mary Southwick married William Nichols
2. John Southwick (see below)
3. Josiah Southwick, born about 1632 married Mary Boyce
4. Daniel Southwick, born about 1637 in Salem, married Esther Boyce
5. Provided Southwick, born 6 December 1641 in Salem, married Samuel Gaskill

Generation 2. John Southwick, born 6 March 1625 in Kingswinford, died 25 October 1672 in Salem, married 1 about 1642 to Sarah Unknown, widow of Samuel Tidd, three children; married 2 on 12 May 1658 to Hannah Flint, daughter of William Flint and Alice Williams.   Four children. He married third on 3 February 1668/9 to Sarah Burnap/Burnett/Burnell, daughter of John Burnap/Burnett.

With Sarah:
1. Mary Southwick, born 10 October 1646 married Thomas Burt
2. Samuel Southwick, born 19 February 1658, married Mary Ross
3. Sarah Southwick, born 16 June 1644, married Thomas Buffington
With Hannah Flint:
4.  John Southwick (see below)
With Sarah Burnap (named in her father’s will):
5.  Isaac Southwick, born November 1669, died February 1670
6. Sarah Southwick, born 15 August 1672
7.  Isaac Southwick, born 27 November 1671, married Ann Unknown

Generation 3.  John Southwick, born January 1667, died about 1742; married  on 23 December 1687 in Salem to Hannah Follett, daughter of Robert Follet and Persis Black.  She was born on 23 December 1664 in Salem.  Seven Children.

1. John Southwick (see below)
2. Joseph Southwick, born 1 January 1691
3. Sarah Southwick, born 9 February  1694, married Thomas Hutchins
4. Abraham Southwick, born 27 July 1696
5. Hannah Southwick, born 6 November 1698, married Ebenezer Hutchinson
6. Benjamin Southwick, born 22 January 1702, married Sarah Southwick (first cousin, daughter of Isaac Southwick and Ann Unknown)
7. Isaac Southwick, born 23 September 1704, married Esther Clark

Generation 4.  John Southwick, born 13 December 1688, died before 7 October 1771; married on 8 January 1710 in Salem to Mary Trask, daughter of William Trask and Anna Unknown.   She was born in March 1683 in Salem, died before 1767. Seven children, and I descend from two:

1. John Southwick, born 1710, married Elizabeth Wilson
2. William Southwick, born 1715,  married Sarah Elizabeth King
3. Mary Southwick, born 1717, married Ebenezer King
4. Anna Southwick, born 1719, married Zachariah King
5. Elizabeth Southwick, (see below)
6. Joseph Southwick, born about 1723, married Mary Wilson
7. George Southwick (see below)

First Lineage from Elizabeth Southwick:
Generation 5.  Elizabeth Southwick, born 1721; married about 24 May 1744 in Salem to Robert Wilson, son of Isaac Wilson and Mary Stone.  He was born about 1724, died before 20 July 1782. Four children.
Generation 6. Robert Wilson m.  Sarah Felton
Generation 7. Robert Wilson m. Mary Southwick, daughter of George Southwick and Sarah Platts
Generation 8. Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 9. Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 10. Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11. Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Second Lineage from George Southwick
Generation 5. George Southwick, born about 1726, died before 1808 in Danvers, Massachusetts; married on 18 December 1670 in Danvers to Sarah Platts, daughter of Moses Platts and Ruth Williams, and the widow of Francis Shatswell.  She was born 26 August 1735 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, died after 1803.  Seven children:
1. George Southwick, born about 1761, married Betsey Ashton
2. Francis Southwick, born about 1764,  married Hannah Mitchell
3. Sarah Southwick, born abut 1766
4. Mercy Southwick, born 19 March 1767, married Joseph Brown
5. Nathan Southwick, born about 1771, married Molly Moulton
6. Rebecca Southwick, born about 1774, married James Raddin
7. Mary Southwick, born 3 June 1777, married Robert Wilson (see above)

Click here to read a blog post about Shelter Island (where Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick died)  

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Heather I'm descended from Provided Southwick and Samuel Gaskill (then Samuel Gaskill, his son Jonathan Gaskill, and his daughter Patience Gaskill, who married into my Aldrich line - by that time, they had relocated to Mendon, Mass.) Many of my Rhode Island ancestors were driven out of Massachusetts due to their religious beliefs, but I always thought this was the saddest story. I understand there's a monument on Shelter Island to mark the place where the Southwicks died, but I've never been there. At any rate, how nice that we are both descended from these brave people.

  2. So the children didn't have to serve as slaves right? And what happened to that "religious freedom" chatter? How were they persecuted for being Quakers.I've seen other posts that mentions this persecution.

  3. Hi Kathleen! Yes, I have written about other Salem Quakers and how they were persecuted by the Salem authorities, and also I recently wrote about an incident in Dover, NH involving several Quakers who were ordered to be whipped all the way to Rhode Island. The Puritans did NOT believe in religious freedom. They loathed the idea.

  4. As a history teacher I try to instill in students that Puritans did NOT come for religious freedom. They wanted to worship their way but were persecuted in England. They then turned around and persecuted others in the New World. This is a very interesting post. I have some relatives who were punished for entertaining Quakers in their homes.