Saturday, September 7, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Gore of Roxbury, Massachusetts


After several Surname Saturdays with brick wall ancestors, or ancestors with little information to tell, the Gore family has too much information to fit into a blog post!  I’ll try to summarize this lineage as best as I can…

The immigrant ancestor in this line was John Gore, born about 1606 in England, educated at Queen’s College in Oxford, and graduated on 24 January 1627/8.  He has English origins going back generations, and was from a wealthy family.  When John came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1638 he brought his entire family with him.  In 1644 he sent letters back to England to act as executor of his father’s will and estate.   He had 188 acres of land in Roxbury by 1643, and was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1638.  He was town clerk for many years, and so was his son, John Gore, junior.  When I look at the early records of Roxbury, Massachusetts, I am reading my ancestor’s handwriting.

John Gore had ten children, and I descend from his son, Samuel.   He was a carpenter and selectman in Roxbury, and married Elizabeth Weld, the granddaughter of Captain Joseph Weld (1599 – 1646), one of the founders of Roxbury.  Joseph Weld was supposed to be the richest men in Massachusetts, and one of the first donors to Harvard College.  The Welds were financially well off for many, many generations in Massachusetts.

John Gore’s inventory of his estate showed over 812 pounds of real estate and buildings.  His will names all his living children.   The widow Rhoda Gore, was left 188 acres, out of the 4,000 acres left to the children.  During the second and third of her four marriages, she was still negotiating for some of that land, and there were several letters of administration filed as late as 1693, after her death.

There are many sources for information on the Gore family.  I would suggest that the first place to read up on this family is the book Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634 -1635, Volume III, pages 114 – 120, by Richard Charles Anderson, NEHGS, 2009 for a sketch of the first generation.   The article “The Gore Family of Roxbury: New Evidence and Suspected Connections” in the NEHGS Register 1994, Volume 148, pages 61 – 65 show some of the English origins of the Gore family.

There are many compiled genealogies of various lineages descended of John Gore.  I have used The John Gore Family by Mary Walton Ferris, 1943, and A Brief Genealogy of the Gore Family: especially in the line of Gov. Christopher Gore by William H. Whitmore, Boston, 1875. 

Despite what many New England Gore descendants believe, Vice President Al Gore is NOT a descendant of John Gore of Roxbury, Massachusetts.

My Gore genealogy:

Generation 1: John Gore, son of Richard Gore and Elizabeth, born about 1606 in England, died 2 June 1657 in Roxbury, Massachusetts; married before 1632 in England to Rhoda Unknown.  Ten children.

Generation 2: Samuel Gore:  born about 1647 in Roxbury, died 26 July 1692 in Roxbury; married on 28 August 1672 in Roxbury to Elizabeth Weld, the daughter of John Weld and Margaret Bowen.  She was born 14 November 1655 in Roxbury, and died in 1725. Seven children.

Generation 3: Samuel Gore, born 20 October 1681 in Roxbury, died 27 May 1756 in Norwich, Connecticut; married before 1704 to Hannah Draper, daughter of Moses Draper and Hannah Chandler.  She was born 8 April 1686 in Roxbury, died 11 July 1741 in Norwich. Nine children.

Generation 4: Moses Gore, born 23 September 1709 in Roxbury, died in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia;  married on 27 May 1740 in Preston Connecticut to Desire Burris, daughter of John Burrows and Lydia Hubbard. Eight children.

Generation 5: Desire Gore, born 20 September 1740 Groton, Connecticut and died 11 April 1813 in Horton, Kings County, Nova Scotia; married on 1 December 1760 in Groton to Thomas Ratchford.  He ws born 19 June 1741 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, died 27 December 1813 in Horton.

Generation 6: Elizabeth Ratchford m. David Lyons
Generation 7: Thomas Ratchford Lyons m. Ann Skinner
Generation 8: Isabella Lyons m. Rev. Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 9: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 10: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 11: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Hello again cousin :-)

    John Gore is my 8th great grandfather through his son John. Thank you for the reference to the Register article (as well as the other books). (I have seen the Great Migration article.) I haven't looked at this line in awhile and these sources will have likely information I haven't found before.

  2. I am new to genealogy research. How can I find the sources you cite above?

    1. may have the books, or a good genealogy library such as NEHGS in Boston, or the Allen County library in Indiana, or perhaps try a Google book search to see if they are online. Most large public libraries will the "The Great Migration", but it will be harder to find the Gore genealogies in a regular public library unless it has a good genealogy section.

  3. I too am a descendant of John Gore, at generation 5 from Mercy Gore Newcomb. Also from Philip Bill, via both his son John and daughter Elizabeth. Karen

  4. Elizabeth Gore Witter, Daughter of Captain Samuel and Hannah (Draper) Gore was my 6th great aunt.