Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ George of Charlestown, Massachusetts


First Baptist Church
Boston, Massachusetts
In A Sketch of the Munro Clan by James Phinney Munroe you can read:
…John George, a man of Watertown descent, who created a great scandal in Charlestown by his Baptist leanings. Indeed he was one of the founders of what is now the First Baptist Church in Boston, and for this and other heterodox behavior was driven out of Charlestown..."  

John George lived in Charlestown.  His neighbor was Thomas Gould, who in 1665 refused to bring his child to meeting for infant baptism.  Gould was excommunicated and a Baptist church was organized in Charlestown on 28 May 1665.  The first to be baptized were adults Thomas Gould, Thomas Osborne, Edward Drinker and John George, soon followed by more Charlestown adults Richard Goodall, William Turner, Robert Lambert, Mary Goodall and Mary Newel.  Gould had services at first in his home in Charlestown, and then removed to Noddles Island, in Boston harbor, where he could conduct Baptist services in secret.  

On 17 April 1666 Gould, Osborne and John George were sent to Cambridge to be presented to a grand jury on the charges of being absent from the established Puritan meeting for an entire year.  They were found guilty, fined and then thrown into jail for not paying the fines. They were finally released after the judge concluded that the ongoing fines and imprisonments did not change “error of their way, and their return to the Lord”.  This was the beginnings of what would become the First Baptist Church of Boston.

To read more about John George and the early Boston Baptist church, please see From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629 – 1692 by Roger Thompson, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012 and also see A history of the Baptists: traced by their vital principles and practices from the time of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the year 1886 by Thomas Armitage, Harvard University, 1887. No genealogical articles have been published on John George of Charlestown.


My George lineage:

Generation 1:  John George, born about 1615 in England, died 12 September 1666 in Charlestown, Massachusetts; married to Elizabeth Unknown.  Two daughters.

Generation 2: Martha George, born about 1636 in Charlestown, died about 1672 in Lexington, Massachusetts; married about 1665 to William Munroe as his first wife (he was married three times).   Four children.

Generation 3: George Munroe, born about 1672 in Lexington, died 17 January 1747; married to Sarah Mooer, daughter of Jonathan Mooers and Constance Langthorne.  She was born about 1677 in Newbury, died 4 December 1752 in Lexington. Nine children.

Generation 4:  Andrew Munroe m. Lucy Mixer
Generation 5: Andrew Munroe m. Ruth Simonds
Generation 6: Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 8: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts

The website of the First Baptist Church of Boston, link to their history page: 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Just to put some of the geography in perspective, Noddles Island is now known as East Boston and parts of it are Logan Airport. At one time, some of the finest ships in the world were being made at the Donald MacKay shipyards located there. Samuel Maverick appears to be the first person to live there, long before the Winthrop Expedition arrived in Boston. Bette Pye Wing