Saturday, April 19, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ LEACH of Salem, Beverly, and Manchester, Massachusetts

Lawrence Leach was born in England in 1589 and died in Salem, Massachusetts in 1662.  He was one of the “Old Planters”, who came to Cape Ann before Roger Conant and Endicott settled Salem. His farm and land are located in what is now the city of Beverly.  Governor Craddock wrote a letter  to John Endicott in 1629: “We desire you to take notice of one Lawrence Leech who we haue found a painfull & carefull, man, and we doubt not butt hee will continue his diligence; let him haue deserving respect.”

Lawrence’s son, Robert, my 9th great grandfather, settled in Manchester, Massachusetts.  He was given land by his father in 1639, and he died intestate with a wife, Alice, and two sons before June 1674 according to Essex Quartly Court records.  According to Robert Charles Anderson in his sketch of Robert Leach in The Great Migration Begins: “In 1924 F. Phelps Leach published a genealogy of this family which claimed ten children for the immigrant [Lawrence Leach].  This author inserted in to the family of Lawrence Leach many persons of the same name from all parts of New England (and even some from old England) who could not have been his children.  The Robert each presented in this volume as son of Lawrence is a chimaera, created by mixing records for Robert Leach of Charlestown and Robert Leach of Manchester, the later of who was the son of the immigrant.”

Estate of Robert Leach of Manchester

This writing is to inform the Court, that though Robert Leach late of Manchester died without perfecting his will, yet sometime beofre he died he declared in the presence of some neighbors as witness that his mind was "that after some legacies as follows were paid to his daughters, that is to say to his maried daughters: Sara and Elizabeth, fiue pounds apeece, to his daughter mary ten pounds & to his two youngest daughters: Bethia and Abigaile eight pounds apeece, that then his whole remaining estate should be left with his beloved wife, Alce Leach, & his two sons Samuell & Robert Leach to be equally proportioned amongst them.

"This is farther to certifie, that although this was the last will and testament of the aforesaid Robert Leach, yett upon farther consideration, Alce Leach the widdow & her two sones Samuell & Robert Leach have agreed within ourselves freely & Joyntly together, tomake an adition to these legacies out of our owne estates, as to the two eldest daughters, Sara & Elizabeth what they received from theire father, as theire portions, with the lagacies given them by theire father, in his last will & testamt: as aboue written, & the adition made there vunto by their mothr Alce Leach the widdow, & their brothers Samuell & Robt Leach is to amount to fifteene pounds appeece, to each of them they being married haveing received som portion alreddy with that then receiued & the legacies due by theire fathers last will & testament, with the adition made by theire mother, & brethren doth make up fifteen pounds apeece to Sara & Elizabeth, for the rest of the daughters, Mary, Bethiah, & Abigaile what theire father left hem as legacies in his last will & testament & the adition made by the widdow Alce Leach there mother, & Samuel & Robt: there brothers, comes to fifteene pounds apeece, to each of them: Mary, Bethiah & Abigiale.

            "This farther to informe the Honrd Court wt is agreed upon within ourselves, alce Leach the widdow & her two sons Saml & Robt Leach, that Samuel and Robert Leach taking into consideration theire mothers condition, shee being left a widdow, wee haue consulted together for her comfortable subsisting, for som way to continue her maintenance in this her condition, And that ye widdow Alce Leach with her free consent hauing resigned her interest in said estate as left by her husband Robert Leach, in his last will & testament, the which her interest shee hath, resigned up to her sons Samuell & Robert Leach, upon condition as followeth, That Samll:& Robt Leach haue taken that whole estate, as left by our father Robt Leach late deceased in Manchester, upon the resignement of the widdow alce Leach our mother, haueing resigned up her interet in that estate soe left by our father into our hands in consideration wheareof wee the aforsd Samuell & Robert Leach, haue engaged to pay to our mother, the widdow Alce Leach, ten pounds by the yeare in such pay may be for her use & shee stands in need of, & the house left by our father where shee now lives with the stuff now belonging thereto is to remaine to her out of this esat: soe that the yearly pay ingaged by her sons to be pd her with the house & household stuff, is to maine to her if shee continue in a widdowes condition, but if shee marry then all the whole estate fals into the hands of her sons: Samuell & Robert Leach they to continue or ramaine ingage to paye, but fiue pounds by the yeare to there mother Alce Leach duering her lifetime.

            "It is further to certifie that Samuell & Robert Leach doe freely consent that theire mother Alce leach the widdow shall reserve to herself out of the estate afore mentioned, shee to reserve to herselfe twenty pounds, without any exception made of condtions, only that when she dyes, shee to bequeath it to her children according as ashe please, vnto whome to bestow it vupon as legacies from herselfe.

            "To that is heare agreed upon as afore mentined wee the pties aforesaid doe sett our hands."

Alce (her U mark) Leach, Samll (his S mark) Leach, Robt. Leach
Witness: Sam: Friend, John Elathorpe, this 29 June 1674
Allowed by the court 1: 5m: 1674 and the saide Alce, widow and the two sons Samuell and Robert Leach appointed administrators.

Essex County Probate Records, vol. 301, pp. 51 - 53

My Leach genealogy:

Generation 1: Lawrence Leach, born about 1593 in England, died before 24 June 1662 in Beverly or Salem, Massachusetts; married to Elizabeth Unknown.  She died about 1674 in Beverly. 

Generation 2: Robert Leach, born about 1615, died before June 1674 in Manchester; married Alice Unknown. Four children.

Generation 3: Samuel Leach, born about 1653 in Manchester, died 14 October 1696; married first about 1672 to Arabella Norman, daughter of John Norman and Arabella Baldwin. She died 8 May 1681 in Manchester.  Three children. He married second Hannah Norman, her sister.

Generation 4: Catherine Leach, born 1 October 1680 in Manchester, died 1711; married 28 October 1696 to Joseph Allen, son of Samuel Allen and Sarah Tuck.  He was born 26 June 1672 in Manchester, died 17 August 1727 in Manchester.  Seven children.

Generation 5: William Allen m. Mary Ingalls
Generation 6: Isaac Allen m. Abigail Burnham
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 8: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 9: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Some additional information about Lawrence: 2008, NEHGR, pg 98.

  2. I too am an ancestor of Lawrence Leach. In fact my maiden name is Leach! My ancestry is as follows on the paternal line:

    Lawrence Leach & Elizabeth Mileham
    James Leach & Jane Turpin
    James Leach & Mary Martin
    Amos Leach & ?
    John Leach & Martha Wanzer
    Amos Leach & Helen Pepper
    Joseph Leach & Olive Burton
    William H Leach & Lorinda Taylor
    Alden C Leach & Sarah V. Wells
    George M Leach & Ethel Burdick
    Robert E Leach & Della Darlene Sandoval (my grandparents)
    Robert E Leach Jr. & Christine Leach (my parents)

    I just love learning about family history!