Saturday, January 24, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ BULKELEY of Concord, Massachusetts


Here in the house of the
Reverend Peter Bulkeley
First Minister and one of the
founders of this town
a bargain was made with the
squaw sachem and the sagamore Tahattawan
and other Indians
who then sold their righrts in 
the six miles square called Concord
to the English Planters
and gave them peaceful possession
of the land
A.D. 1636

The Bulkeley family is full of ministers, and clergymen leave terrific paper trails, so it is a lot of fun to research the Bulkeley family.  My 10th great grandfather, Reverend Peter Bulkeley (1583 – 1659) graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge, England in 1604/5.  His father before him, the Reverend Doctor Edward Bulkeley, was also a St. John’s graduate and curate of St. Mary’s church in Shrewsbury, England and the rector at Odell, Bedfordshire.  Peter succeeded his father as rector at Odell from 1610 to 1635, and then came to New England with his family aboard the ship Susan and Ellen in 1635.  He was ordained in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then bought six acres at Concord, Massachusetts where he established his church and was pastor there for the rest of his life.

My 9th great grandfather, Edward Bulkeley, came to New England before the rest of his family.  He was a young man, in his early 20s and he joined the church in Boston on 22 March 1635.  The rest of the family arrived later that summer.  Edward had attended St. Catharine’s College at Cambridge.  He was ordained at Marshfield in 1642/3, and when his father died he was installed at Concord as the pastor.  He died at Chelmsford and was buried at Concord.   His daughter, Elizabeth, my 8th great grandmother, was married to Reverend Joseph Emerson, who preached at Ipswich, Massachusetts; York, Maine; Wells, Maine; Mendon, Massachusetts and retired to Concord where he died in 1679/80.

There was a long line of Bulkeley and Emerson ministers from this family, including the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord, Massachusetts, who also studied to be a pastor.

UPDATE 25 January 2015

From reader John McEwen "Hi Heather, I have seen your info on this Rev.Peter Bulkeley 1582/83 d-1658/59. Peter wasn`t  the first minister of Concord it was his son Thomas`s father-in- law  Rev. John Jones who went to Fairfield,Conn in 1644. Rev.Jones is my 10th great grandfather.  John"   Well, John was absolutely correct.  Read the list of ministers at the website for the First Parish Church in Concord, Massachusetts.  This page even states "Many of us think of Rev. Peter Bulkeley as our first parish minister, but this was not the case.  "   

For more information:

The Bulkeley Genealogy compiled by Donald Lines Jacobus, New Haven, Connecticut 1933  (available to read online at and the Hathi Trust website)

“Reverend Edward Bulkeley’s Two Wives: Edward Bulkeley’s three betrothals and two marriages: a Correction to Jacobus’s The Bulkeley Genealogy” by Robert M. Gerrity, 2006 

My BULKELEY genealogy:

Generation 1: Reverend Peter Bulkeley, son of Reverend Doctor Edward Bulkely and Olyff Irby, born 31 January 1583 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England and died 9 March 1659 in Concord, Massachusetts; married first on 12 August 1613 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England to Jane Allen, daughter of Thomas Allen and Mary Fairclough.  She was baptized on 13 January 1588 in Goldington and died about 8 December 1626 in Odell.  She was the mother of nine children.  Peter married second about 1634 to Grace Chetwood, daughter of Richard Chetwood and Dorothy Needham.  She was born about 1605 and died 21 April 1669 in New London, Connecticut and was the mother of four more children.

Generation 2:  Reverend Edward Bulkeley, eldest son of Peter Bulkely and Jane Allen,  born June 1614 in Odell, England and died 4 January 1696 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts; married about 1638 to Lucyann Coy. Five children.

Generation 3: Elizabeth Bulkely, born 1638 and died 4 September 1693 in Reading, Massachusetts; married on 7 December 1665 in Concord, Massachusetts to Reverend Joseph Emerson, son of Thomas Emerson and Elizabeth Brewster.  He was born about 1620 in England and died 3 January 1680 in Concord.  Seven children.

Generation 4: Peter Emerson m. Mary Brown
Generation 5: Brown Emerson m. Sarah Townsend
Generation 6: John Emerson m. Katherine Eaton
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)

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Rev. Peter Bulkeley was probably the first teacher in Concord, Massachusetts. One of his descendants was Morgan G. Bulkeley, third president of Aetna Life Insurance. Morgan G. Bulkeley also served as the first National League Baseball President. Keneshaw Mountain Landis served as the first baseball commissioner. Kenneshaw brother was Ind. Rep. Frederick Landis, who was succeeded in office by Rep. Charles A. Halleck, a two-term Republican majority leader and a three time Republican minority leader. Rep. Halleck served in the US Congress from 1935 to 1969. He was succeed by Rep. Gerald Ford of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rep.Halleck was a grand nephew of ex Michigan Governor Cyrus Gray Luce. Michigan Sen. William Alden Smith was a prodigy and campaign manager of Gov. Luce. Sen Smith was the owner of the Grand Rapids Herald, which was managed by Arthur Vandenberg Sr. Vandenberg became US Senate Pro Tempore in the 60th US Senate. Gov Luce married Julia Ann Dickinson a descendant of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Deming Foote. Elizabeth was remarried to Gov. Thomas Welles. Gov Welles' was an ancestor of Sarah Welles Livingston, wife of Major Henry Beekman Livingston, who wrote the Night Before Christmas. See Mary S.Van Duesen's genealogical research on the Livingston family.

  2. Can you please tell me where you got the source for the surname of Lucy Ann Coy married to Edward Bulkeley. All sources I have so far found, indicate her daughter Lucy married John Lake who married first Mary Coy, but do not give this name to Lucy other than speculation without proof.

    Please reply. Thanks

  3. I have since learned that three sisters of Rev. Peter Bulkeley shared a kinship with my Parker bloodline. They were Martha, Sarah and Frances Bulkeley. Martha was married to Abraham Mellows. Francis was married to Richard Welby. Sarah was married to Oliver St. John. Sarah was a mother in law of Elizabeth St.John Whiting, an ancestor of Lydia Parker, daughter of Rev. Thomas Parker (b.1700). Invariably, Rev. Bulkeley's son was Rev. Gershom Bulkeley, who married Sarah Chauncey, daughter of Rev. Charles Chauncey, second president of Harvard. Rev. Chauncey was my 8x great grandfather. Rev. Joseph Emerson succeeded, Rev. Charles Chauncey (b. 1705). great grandson of Rev. Charles Chauncey (1st). (Research by John Gibson Parker lll, Forensic Genealogist/Historian in Key West, Florida. At Rev.Peter Bulkeley and Major Simon Willard were founded Concord, Massachusetts. The commander at Concord, during the American Revolution War was Major John Buttrick, a descendant of William Buttrick, a passenger on the Susan and Ellen, along with Dea. Thomas Parker and Sir Richard Saltonstall. Sir Richard Saltonstall's grandson was Nathaniel Saltonstall. My ancestor Edward Coburn, a pioneer of Dracut, Massachusetts, was employed by Nathaniel Saltonstall. Rev. Thomas Parker was the first minister of Dracut. His ministerial home was purchased by Col. Lewis Ansart, a tutor of Paul Revere.