Saturday, November 22, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ COGSWELL of Ipswich and Essex, Massachusetts

Cogswell's Grant, Essex, Massachusetts
John Cogswell arrived in New England with his family aboard the Angel Gabriel in 1635.  This is the famous ship, part of the Winthrop Fleet, that shipwrecked at Pemaquid Point in Maine on its way to Massachusetts from England.  You can read more about the Angel Gabriel HERE .  John Cogswell, and most of the passengers on the Angel Gabriel, made their way to Ipswich, Massachusetts where he was granted 300 acres of land in the part of Ipswich known as Chebacco.

In the 1650s John Cogswell, Jr. went to England and his visit was recorded by relatives in Wiltshire and in a letter from London dated 30 March 1653 [NEHGR 15: 177].   He died on the return voyage in September 1653.  I have seen references of his dying of injuries from a snake bite, but no solid proof.  Why would there be a snake on the ship?  

Cogswell Grant was originally 300 acres in what is now Essex, Massachusetts. It is now a historic house museum on 165 acres along the Essex River. The house was purchased by Bertram and Nina Little in 1937, and donated to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now known as Historic New England.  Bertram Little was the president of the Society for many years.  The home standing on this property was built in 1728 by Jonathan Cogswell, Jr.

Among the more famous COGSWELL descendants are Lady Diana Spencer, mother of Princes William and Henry of England (so they are all Cogswell descendants!); Presidents John Adams,  John Quincy Adams and Calvin Coolidge; Margaret Mead, Tennessee Williams, Oliver Wendall Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Julia Ward Howe.

What is amazing is that this lineage begins and ends in Essex, Massachusetts.  John Cogswell was one of the first settlers in the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich in the 1630s, which became the town of Essex, Massachusetts.  All the generations below lived in Ipswich and Essex, including my own mother, who was born in Ipswich.  John Cogswell's mother-in-law was named Phyllis, and he named one of his daughters Phyllis, and this name was passed on for several generations.  My mother's name is Phyllis, too. 

My COGSWELL genealogy:

Generation 1: John Cogswell, son of Edward Cogswell and Alice Unknown, born about 1592 in Westbury, Leigh, Wiltshire, England, died 29 December 1669 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; married on 10 September 1615 in Westbury Leigh to Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Reverend William Thompson and Phillis Unknown.  She was born about 1598, and died 2 June 1676 in Ipswich.  Twelve children.

Lineage A:

Generation 2: John Cogswell, born about 1622 and died 27 September 1653 on a ship returning to America from England; married to Unknown.  Three children.

Generation 3: John Cogswell, born 1650 in the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich, died 1724; married on 22 July 1674 in Ipswich to Margaret Gifford, daughter of John Gifford and Margaret Temple.  Six children.

Generation 4: John Cogswell, born 6 September 1683 in the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich, died 3 May 1719 in Ipswich; married in 1708 to Sarah Brown, daughter of John Brown.  She died on 15 July 1752.  Four children.

Generation 5: Martha Cogswell,  born on 1 January 1719 in the Chebacco Parish, and died 23 December 1809 in Ipswich; married on 1 March 1747/48 in Ipswich to John Andrews, son of John Andrews and Elizabeth Wallis.  He was born in 1717 in Ipswich and died 3 May 1779 in Ipswich.

Generation 6: James Andrews, born 13 November 1763 in the Chebacco Parish, died 19 October 1857 in Essex (the former Chebacco Parish), Massachusetts;  married on 15 July 1788 in Ipswich to Lucy Presson, daughter of William Presson and Abigail Sargent.  She was born in May 1763 in Gloucester and died 5 September 1852 in Essex.  Ten children.

Generation 7:  Orpha Andrews, born 3 Feb 1804 in the Chebacco Parish, died 20 April 1869 in Peabody, Massachusetts; married on 28 October 1824 in Essex to Joseph Allen, son of Joseph Allen and Judith Burnham.  He was born 31 July 1801 in the Chebacco Parish and died 2 August 1894 in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Six children.

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)

Linage B:

Generation 2:  Sarah Cogswell, born about 1645 in Ipswich, died 24 January 1733 in Ipswich; married about 1663 to Simon Tuthill/Tuttle, son of John Tuthill and Joan Antrobus.  He was born about 1637 in Ipswich and died 11 January 1691 in Lynn, Massachusetts.  Twelve children.

Generation 3:  John Tuthill m. Martha Ward
Generation 4: Martha Tuthill m. Mark Haskell
Generation 5: Lucy Haskell m. Jabez Treadwell
Generation 6: Nathaniel Treadwell m. Mary Hovey
Generation 7: Jabez Treadwell m. Betsey Jillings Homan
Generation 8: Eliza Ann Treadwell m. Abijah Hitchings
Generation 9: Abijah Franklin Hitchings m.  Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 10: Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 11: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (see above)

For the truly curious:

Cogswell’s Grant website

There is a sketch of John Cogswell and his children at the Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume II, C- F, pages 137 – 140.

The Cogswells in America, by E. O. Jameson, 1884

Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, by Mary Walton Ferris, 1943, Volume 1, pages 188 – 189
Cogswell Family Association

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I have numerous Cogswell ancestors from that area of Mass.

  2. Thank you for posting this for others. Reaserch takes years as we well know! Snail mail to today computers, it has been over a forty year journey.