Saturday, July 28, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Platts / Gawkroger of Massachusetts


The Platts - Bradstreet House in Rowley
The Platts family can be difficult to trace due to the fact that the name was originally not Platts but Gawkroger!   The “Gawkrogers of Platts” lived in Sowerby, Yorkshire, England had several family members come to New England.  Some descendants were known as just Platts when they arrived here.  I’m descended of two of the family members who came to Massachusetts.

Samuel Platts arrived in Rowley, north of Boston, about 1653 with his first wife, Sarah and several children.  More children were born in Rowley, and he remarried in 1681 to Phillippa Andrews, widow of George Felt of Salem.   She married third to Thomas Nelson.   His house is still standing in Rowley, and is owned by the Historical Society.   It was previously owned by Joseph Jewett.  

Mary Gawkroger was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and married John Prescott in 1629 in Sowerby.  They came with their first children to Watertown, Massachusetts and eventually settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts.  They had eight children in all, and endured many Indian raids in Lancaster.  Mary was the cousin of Samuel Platts, their fathers were the brothers Abram and James Gawkroger. 


My Gawkroger lineage:

Generation 1: James Gawkroger, born 1546 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, died in March 1592; married on 2 December 1571 in Halifax to Joan Fairbanks, daughter of George Fairbanks and Sybil Wade.  Two sons, Abram and James.

A. Generation 2:  Abram Gawkroger, baptized 21 November 1574 in Halifax, died 1625 in Warley, Yorkshire; married on 16 May 1604 in Halifax to Martha Riley, daughter of Thomas Riley. 

Generation 3:  Mary Gawkroger, born 15 May 1607 in Halifax, died after 1678 in Lancaster, Massachusetts;  married on 11 April 1629 in Sowerby, Halifax to John Prescott, son of Ralph Prescott and Helen Unknown.  He was born about 1604 in Standish, Lancastershire, England, and died 20 December 1681 in Lancaster, Massachusetts.  Eight children.

Generation 4:   Mary Prescott m. Thomas Sawyer
Generation 5:  Joshua Sawyer m. Sarah Wright
Generation 6: Mary Sawyer m. Robert Convers
Generation 7: Susanna Converse m. Caleb Simonds
Generation 8: Ruth Simonds m. Andrew Munroe
Generation 9:  Luther Simonds Munroe m. Olive Flint
Generation 10: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generation 11:  Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 12:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Generation 4: Lydia Prescott (sister to Mary above) m. Jonas Fairbanks
Generation 5: Grace Fairbanks m. Ephraim Bullen
Generation 6: John Bullen m. Sarah Underwood
Generation 7: Grace Bullen m. Ebenezer Healey
Generation 8: Comfort Haley m. Abigail Allen
Generation 9: Comfort Haley m. Rebecca Crosby
Generation 10:  Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 11: Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 12: Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 13. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

B. Generation 2: James Gawkroger, baptized 7 September 1578 in Sowerby, died 6 October 1628 in Sowerby; married on 5 September 1601 in Sowerby to Margaret Ainsworth.  Eleven children.

Generation 3: Samuel Platts, born 10 January 1617 in Sowerby, died before 1690 in Rowley, Massachusetts; married in 1647 to Sarah. She died on 10 April 1671 in Rowley, and he remarried on 19 December 1681 in Rowley to Phillipa Andrews, widow of George Felt.  She remarried, after Samuel Platts’s death, to Thomas Nelson on 9 April 1690 in Rowley.  Thomas Nelson was previously married to Ann Lambert and Mary Lunt.  Samuel Platts and Sarah had six children.

Generation 4: Abel Platts, born about 1650, died in 1690 on an expedition to Cape Breton, Canada; married on 8 May 1672 in Rowley to Lydia Bailey, daughter of James Bailey and Lydia Emery.  She was born in September 1644 in Rowley, and died 24 November 1722 in Rowley.

Generation 5: Moses Platts, born 4 February 1673 in Rowley, died 30 March 1739 in Rowley; married on 22 November 1693 to Hannah Platts, daughter of Jonathan Platts and Elizabeth Johnson.  [I suspect that Jonathan Platts is a member of the same Platts family but I have not determined how he is related]  Nine children.

Generation 6: Moses Platts, born 9 April 1707 in Rowley, died before 1753 on an expedition to Louisburg, Nova Scotia, like his grandfather, Abel Platts.   Moses married Ruth William on 2 December 1731 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, daughter of Daniel Williams and Alice Allen, born on 13 June 1710 in Manchester, Massachusetts.  Seven children.

Generation 7. Sarah Platts, born 26 August 1735 in Gloucester, died after 1803; married on 18 December 1760 in Danvers, Massachusetts to George Southwick, son of John Southwick and Mary Trask, born about 1726 and died before 1808 in Danvers.  Seven children.

Generation 8: Mary Southwick m. Robert Wilson
Generation 9: Mercy F. Wilson m. Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 10: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 11: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 12: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Your third generation grandfather, Samuel Platts is my relative. However, while your fourth generation becomes Abel Platts, mine is James Platts. James then married Lydia Hale and they had a fifth child, Sarah, who married Leonard Cooper. My mother is a Cooper. What I found out about her ancestry is that her first generation grandfather, Samuel Cooper was also in Rowley with the Platts. Samuel Cooper at one time, also lived in Salem with her other grandfather John Humphrey, who was part of the Mass Bay Colony.

    Such a small group of people who arrived at the beginning and how their small world has made our world seem very small because we are finding out how many are still connected to this former New Americans. What I found interesting on your information was that the Platts were originally known as Gawhrogers of Platts! It was also very helpful to find more information on Samuel Platts ancestry going back to England. Thank you!