Saturday, June 28, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ STORY of Chebacco Parish, Ipswich, Massachusetts (now Essex, Massachusetts)

The Essex (Chebacco) River

William Story was the son of Robert Story in England.  His indenture record reads “Norwich England: An index of Indentures of Norwich Apprentices Enrolled with the Norwich Assembly: Henry VII – George II, page 157: Story, William, son of Robert, dec.; apprenticed to John Coats of Norwich, carpenter, 1634 for 7 years."   Somehow he broke this contract and arrived in Boston on 8 June 1637 from Yarmouth.  In the passenger list there was a Samuel Dix listed with two servants, and one was William Story, b. 1614, from Norwich.  Dix was a joiner (woodworker).  In the New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 14 (1860), page 325 there is a transcription of an old record from England “Aprill the 8th 1637.  The examinaction of Samuell Dix of Norwich in Norff. Joynar aged 43 yeares and Ioane his wife aged 38 yeares with 2 children, Presella and Abegell, and 2 Sauantes William Storey and Daniell Linsey, the one aged 23 and the other 18 years;  ar desirous to goe to Bostone in New England there to Inhabitt.”

William Story settled in the part of Ipswich known as the Chebacco Parish, and married Sarah Foster, the daughter of Judge Reginald Foster.  He built a sawmill on the Chebacco River in 1671.  One 31 March 1693 he deeded to his son, Seth “all my housing, lands, fences, orchards, &c belonging to my lands in Chebacco, in Ipswich, adjoining to Chebacco Falls River, having the latter on the E. and S.E. and land of Thos. Low on E. & N.E., and land of Renold [Reginald, his father-in-law] on S. &S.W., and Ipswich common on W. &N.W.”   It also states in the book  History of Essex, by Crowell, page 27, “William’s son, Seth, was married and lived with him, and on condition of his maintaining him the rest of his days, he conveyed to him by deed of gift the farm, which he ‘occupied’ ”.  Administration of his estate was granted to the son, Seth, my 8th great grandfather, on 20 January 1702/3, meaning he was about 89 years old when he died.

During King Philip’s War Seth Story served under Major Samuel Appleton as a sergeant.  He was also a deacon of the second church in Chebacco (now the town of Essex, Massachusetts).  He died at the age of 86.  This was a long lived family of Storys!  Seth had five children, and I descend from two of them: Zachariah and Elizabeth.

Notable descendants:  US President Millard Fillmore

For more information:

Descendants of William Story and Sarah Foster of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, by Betty Andrews Storey,2004 (also available to read online at )

Descendants of William Story Who Came to Ipswich in 1637: the first eight generations, by Robert Lee Pratt,  Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 2000

Story Family Papers, 1893 – 1905, by Emma Story White (1846 – 1909) a manuscript collection at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library in Boston, call number SG STO 3 107 includes a page handwritten genealogy of the descendants of William Story, with material on the Burnham and Foster families. She cites the sources in the margins.


My STORY genealogy:

Generation 1:  William Story, son of Robert Story, born about 1614 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, died before 20 January 1702/3 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married about 1638 to Sarah Foster, daughter of Reginald Foster and Judith Wignall, born 15 October 1620 in Exeter, Devonshire, England, died 1681 in Ipswich. Eight children.

Generation 2: Seth Story, born 1646 in the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich, died 9 October 1732 in Chebacco Parish; married about 1682 to Elizabeth Cross, born about 1649, died 13 February 1736.  Five children, I descend from two of them.

Lineage A:

Generation 3: Zachariah Story, born 14 March 1684 in Chebacco Parish, died 16 February 1774 in Windsor, Vermont; married Rachel Andrews, daughter of William Andrews and Margaret Woodward, born about 1695, died 6 August 1777 in Windsor. Ten children.

Generation 4: Deborah Story, born 1723, died 24 November 1821 in Essex, Massachusetts; married 10 November 1743 to Westley Burnham, son of David Burnham and Elizabeth Perkins, born October 1719, died 28 June 1797. Nine children, and I descend from two of them.

Lineage A1: 

Generation 5: Westley Burnham m. Molly Woodbury

Lineage A1a:

Generation 6: Asa Burnham m. Polly Bray
Generation 7: Lydia W. Burnham m. Samuel Mears
Generation 8: Samuel Mears m. Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 9: Sarah Burnham Mears m. Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage A1b:

Generation 6: Henry Burnham m. Sally Poland
Generation 7: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears (first cousins, see above)

Lineage B:

Generation 3: Sarah Burnham m. Abner Poland
Generation 4:  Sally Poland m. Henry Burnham
Generation 5: Sarah Ann Burnham m. Samuel Mears (second cousins, see above)

The URL for this post is

Copyright 2014 ©, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I'm descended from their daughter Susannah, who married John Clarke. Another connection!

  2. Thank you for your post. I am descended from William and Sarah's daughter, Hannah Story, and coincidentally, my daughter's boyfriend is descended from their son, Samuel Story. It took some explaining to convince her that a separation of eight or nine generations was nothing to worry about! As an additional coincidence, her boyfriend's surname is Choate and he is descended from Thomas Choate's (b. 1671) son, Francis, so your May 31st post about John Choate was also very helpful and appreciated.

  3. Great post! I am descended from William, Seth,Zechariah, Jeremiah,Zachariah,Asa,Paschal, William Baxter, William B Jr, Harold P., Harold W.
    It's great to read this family history.
    Virginia Storey