Saturday, May 10, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ Eaton of England, and of Reading and Haverhill, Massachusetts

UPDATE – 16 May 2014 Eaton information

Thanks to a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, there is was additional information on the Eaton family available in the journal The American Genealogist, Volume 68, page 48.  This article “The English Origin of John1 Eaton (1590 – 1668) of Salisbury and Haverhill, Massachusetts” by Douglas Richardson describes how John Eaton was not brother, nor close kin, to William Eaton.  See below for the updated information. 


William Eaton and Jane Hussey, his wife, lived in Dover, England at the close of the sixteenth century.  They had six children, including a son, John who went to the Massachusetts colony and settled in Haverhill on the Merrimack River.  A few years later, two grandsons, sons of John’s brother Peter, joined him in Massachusetts and settled in the town of Reading.

John, my 9th great grandfather, was first recorded in Colchester, now the town of Salisbury, Massachusetts on “ye 26th of ye 6th mo., 1640” when he was granted “2 acres, more or less, for his house lott, lying between the house lotts of Mr. Samuel Hall and Ralfe Blesdale [Blaisdell].” He next bought land in Haverhill on 25 November 1646 from Rev. Nathaniel Ward of Ipswich.  John Eaton was a cooper, and farmed much land and accumulated many acres in Haverhill.  He spent the rest of his life in Haverhill, and left a will dated 6 August 1660 and probated 13 2m 1669 [April] which mentions “present wife” [not by name], sons Thomas and John, daughters Browne, Davis and Ingalls.  My 8th great grandmother was Ruth Eaton who married Samuel Ingalls in 1656.

Estate of John Eaton of Haverhill
Essex Probate Docket # 8520 and 8499

In the name of God, Amen. The sixth day of August in yeyeare of Lord God oone thousand six hundred sixty & eight I John Eaton of Haverhill in the County of Norfolk in New England, being of whole minde, & in good & pfect remembrance, doc make & ordaine this to be my last wil and testament concerneing my outward estate n manner & forme following;

that is to say First I will that all such debts & dutyes as I owe of right or of conscience to any pson or psons, & my funerall expences be paid by my Executors hereafter named without any contradiction or delay.

I give unto my present wife the use of my now dwelling house &orchard dureing her naturall life, & such other things according as is exprest in a writeing committed to the keepeing of Henry Palmer & whereas ye deed writeing mentions a Cow which shee is to have after my decease in case that I have not a cow at my death, I will my son Thomas Eaton shall pay unter her five pounds or procure her a good Cow. I give her also six bushells of corne & one of my best swine. I giver herr also the remainder of what is due to me from John Todd being about eighteen shillings

I bequeath unto my son John Eaton my biggest silver spoone, a brasse candlestick, & my bible. I give my son John also all my liveing in Salisbury provided that he ever claime any thing for what he paid for me to any person or persons upon the aacct. whatsoever. I give him also my second division of Upland & all my share of meadow in the west meadow wh meadow & upland lyeth in the Towne of Haverhill in Norfolk I give my now dwelling house & orchard after the decease of my present wife.I give him also my shop tooles, with beetle & wedges, long Saw & grindestone, & my part of the plow & cart wth their present furniture.

I give to my son Thomas the use of my tillage land yt is now up in my ox-common Lott during ye life of my wife paying to my wife the sum of twelve shillings p annum. I give him also the use of ye sd commmon Lott for the sowing & gathering in of two cropps after the death of my wife. whereas ther is mention of a Cow to be given to my wife at my death, my will is, that in case I have no Cow then my son Thomas upon consideration of what I give to him shall make good said Cow or five pounds as aforesaid otherwise he shall pay as foloweth.

To my Daughter Browne forty shillings, To my daughter Davis forty shillings & to my daughter Ingalls forty shilling which assumes shall be paid with n two years after my death.
I give my son Thomas also my other silver spoone and my spitt.

I give and bequeath to Thomas Eaton the son of my son John Eaton all the land that is in my possesion in ye great plaine & four acres lying without the said plaine fence & my East meadow; & I give him also my Ox- common Lott which he shall have delivered up to him by my son Thomas two yeares after the death of my wife: & he ye gd Thomas my granchild shall in consideration of my plaine Lott pay six shillings yearly to my wife so long as shee live.

I leave unto my grandchildren John Davis & John Ingalls all my third division of upland to be equally divided betwixt them.

I give to the sd John Davis my grandchild all my share of meadow lying upon my son James Davis" meadow being my third division of meadow I give to ye sd John Ingalls my grandchild my second division of meadow lying upon a branch of spiggott meadow joyneing to mead of my son Thomas. I give to my grandchild Thomas Eaton" son Thomas my little gunn. I give to my son John Eaton the priveledge & rights of one cow-common; I give to my grandchild Thomas Eaton the son of John Eaton ye priviledge & right of two cow-commons; I give to my grandchild John Davis ye rights of one cow-common. I give that calfe that my son James Davis hath of mine to keepe to Hester Davis.

I will that the five pounds worth in corne that is in the hands of my son Browne be disposed of as followeth, Viz. twenty shillings; & to my daughter Browne three pounds to my daughter Davis twenty shillings; and to my daughter Ingalls twenty shillings. I give to my son Thomas that halfe of an ox that is between him & me.

I give my brasse, peuter, bedding & household stuff ye is not formerly disposed of to my three daughters Ann, Elizabeth and Ruth to be equally devided among them;

I will that my executors will pay twenty shillings to my daughter Ruth Ingalls more than what is above mentioned.

I give to my son John Eaton my fourth division of upland when it shall be layed out in consideration of what charge so ever he hath bene at upon any occasion of mine.

I constitute & appoint my son Thomas Eaton and George Browne to be Executors of this my last Will & Testament.

In Witnesse to this writeing as my last will & testament I here unto sett my hand & scale the day, month & yeare first mentioned.

John (his E mark) Eaton (seal)
Witness: Nathll Saltonstall
James his (mark) Davis, Sr.
Henry Palmer

Proved in Salisbury court, 13:2m:1669 by Mr. Natl. Saltonstall, and Tho. Eaton accepted the executorship.

Henry Palmer attested in Salisbury court, Apr. 12, 1669. that he with Capt. Saltonstall and James Davis, Sr. were witness to this will and that it was committed to his care until John Eaton's death.

John’s brother Peter had two sons, William and Jonas, who came to Reading, Massachusetts.  Jonas is my 8th great grandfather, and he arrived as William’s servant.  He lived in the part of Reading, known as Cowdrey’s Hill, but now the town of Wakefield, Massachusetts.  He bought land in 1643, and he and his wife, Grace, were admitted to the church in Reading on 29 September 1648.  Jonas died in 1674 and his widow remarried to Henry Silsbee of Lynn. 

Jonas’s son, Jonathan, is my 7th great grandfather.  He was granted land in 1677 on the condition that he stay as a resident in Reading as a shoemaker.  He served in the militia as a lieutenant and was a selectman for Reading.  His son, Noah, my 6th great grandfather, inherited the homestead on Cowdrey’s Hill, where he lived until he died in 1770.  His daughter, Katherine, my 5th great grandmother, married John Emerson in Reading and they left and settled in Ashby, Townsend and finally in Hancock, New Hampshire where they are buried.  That was four generations of Eatons in my lineage living in Reading, Massachusetts.

My uncle Robert Munroe Wilkinson (1927 – 2005) married Shirley Marion Eaton, the 5th great granddaughter of Noah Eaton (1704 – 1770) mentioned above.  She is not only my aunt, but she is also my 6th cousin twice removed.  Auntie Shirley was born in Wakefield, where the Eatons have always lived since coming to the Massachusetts colony in the 1630s or 40s.

My EATON genealogy:

Generation 1:  William Eaton, born about 1540 in Rowington, Warwick, England, died before 1584; married about 1569 in Dover, Kent, England to Jane Hussey, daughter of Thomas Hussey and Bridget Bowes.  She was born about 1547 and died on 29 December 1584 in Dover, Kent, England.  Six children, and I descend from two sons, Peter and John. [correction, I descend from son Peter]

Generation 2: Peter Eaton, born about 1572 in Staple, Kent, England; died before 1631 in England; married on 28 Jan 1603 in Dover to Elizabeth Patterson. 

Generation 3: Jonas Eaton, born 23 October 1617 in Staple, Kent, died about 25 February 1673 in Reading, Massachusetts; married about 1642 to Grace Unknown. 

Generation 4: Jonathan Eaton, born 8 December 1655 in Reading, died 8 July 1743 in Reading; married on 2 April 1691 in Reading to Mary, possibly Mary Cowdry.

Generation 5: Noah Eaton, born 26 January 1704 in Reading, died in 1770 in Reading; married on 21 December 1726 to Phebe Lilley, daughter of John Lilley and Hannah Bassett.  She was born 21 February 1706 in Woburn, Massachusetts, died 1786 in Reading.

Generation 6: Katherine Eaton, born 19 December 1744 in Reading, died 21 January 1809 in Hancock, New Hampshire; married 20 December 1764 in Reading to John Emerson, son of Brown Emerson and Sarah Townsend.  He was baptized 5 April 1739 in South Reading, Massachusetts and died 14 November 1809 in Hancock, New Hampshire. 

Generation 7:  Romanus Emerson m. Jemima Burnham
Generation 8: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 9: Mary Katherine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

From a separate Eaton family  [UPDATED]:

Generation 1: John Eaton, baptized 26 December 1590 at Hatton, Warwickshire, England, died 29 October 1668 in Haverhill, Massachusetts; married about 1620 in England to Ann Unkown.  She was born about 1599 and died 5 February 1660 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He married second on 20 November 1661 in Haverhill to Phebe Unknown, widow of Thomas Dow. Eleven children

Generation 2: Ruth Eaton, born about 12 Feb 1637 in Hatton, Warwickshire, England and died before 1716 in Massachusetts; married 9 December 1656 in Ipswich, Massachusetts to Samuel Ingalls, son of Samuel Ingalls and Ann Tripp.  He was born about 1632 in England and died 30 August 1717 in Ipswich.

Generation 3: Joseph Ingalls m. Sarah Thompson
Generation 4: Mary Ingalls m. William Allen
Generation 5: Isaac Allen m. Abigail Burnham
Generation 6: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 8: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 9: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. More cousinship! Peter Eaton was one of my paternal eleventh great-grandfathers. HIs 3x great-grandson, Elijah Eaton, is my sixth great-grandfather three different ways (the Harts and Eatons were very clannish for a while)! I am also distantly connected by marriage to the Emersons and Blaisdells.

  2. Another connection. I descend both from John Eaton and William Eaton.