Saturday, June 27, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ FRIEND of Salem and Manchester, Massachusetts

John Friend was in New England around 1637 and became a church member in Salem, Massachusetts in 1640.  He resided in the part of Salem that became Manchester, and he was a farmer, grist mill operator and a builder.    On 16 March 1640 several landowners, including John Friend, petitioned the General Court to establish Manchester as a separate village from Salem. This was granted in 1645, as you can see above on the town seal. 

In 1649 John also petitioned to build a grist mill on the Bass River. He built a dam and a grist mill near what is now the Cummings Center (the old United States Shoe Corporation), and near where my ancestor John Balch was living at the time (the Balch house is still standing and is owned by the Beverly Historical Society).  Around 1650 he sold the mill and land to Lawrence Leach, another one of my ancestors.   This is only a few blocks from 7 Dearborn Avenue in Beverly, Massachusetts, where I grew up, and where four generations of my family lived and walked to work at “The Shoe”.

There were several other John Friends in New England at this time period.  In the Essex Genealogist, Volume 16 (1996), page 139 a letter is quoted from John Winthrop to his son, John, dated 10 June 1636 “… I pray deliver this letter inclosed to Jo: Friend…”  This may have been a different John Friend.  Also, there is a John Friend in Boston at this time, a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, who is probably a third John Friend.

It is unknown when John Friend died, but his will was dated 4 November 1655 and it was probated on 27 January 1655/56 in Salem. 

from The Essex Antiquarian, Volume VI (1902), page 157

The will of John Friend was proven in the court at Ipswich 27:1:1656.  The following copy is from the original on file in the office of the clerk of courts at Salem, Volume III, leaf 47.
The last will & Testament of John ffreind made ye 4: of ye ii mo: 1655
I John ffriend being weake & sick of Bodie by of pfect Memory doe ordaine this as my Last will & testament
Imp.  I giue & bequeath unto my Sonn Samuell ffriends a double portion out of my whole estate personall & Reall:
Item  I giue unto my duaghter Elizabeth pecker: befides that tenn pownds I haue in my hands wch her granfather gaue her, twente shillings
Item I giue & bequeath unto my other thre children Bethiah Hester & James, Equall portions one as much as ye other: & for ye better pformance of this my will I appoynt my Sonn Samuell to be my Executor, & defire & appoynt my Louing ffiends william Dodg & william King to be my ouerfeers in witnefs whereof I haue herunto fet my hand ye day & yeer firft above written:
witnes George Emery
             Edmond grouer  [no signature]
             Henery Hericke"

Some FRIEND resources:

The History and Genealogy of John Friend of Salem, Massachusetts and his descendants, by Peter Pindar Stearns, Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1997.

Also see the following articles, “John Friend of Salem and His Descendants”, Part 1  and Part 2, by Peter Pindar Stearns, The Essex Genealogist,  Volume 16 (1996), page 138 – 145, and Volume 16 (1996), pages 212 – 220.

My FRIEND genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Friend, born about 1605 in England, died between 4 November 1655 and 27 January 1656 in Manchester, Essex County, Massachusetts; married Unknown.  Five children

Generation 2: Bethiah Friend, born about 1637 and died before 1680; married about 1657 to John Poland, son of Thomas Poland and Hannah Unknown.  He was born about 1631 in England and died 3 August 1713 in Hamilton, Essex County, Massachusetts. Seven children.  John Poland married second to Margery Unknown, widow of Anthony Dike, about 1680.

Generation 3:  James Poland married Rebecca Kimball
Generation 4: John Poland married Abigail Davis
Generation 5:  Daniel Poland married Sarah Bishop
Generation 6:  Martha Poland married Alexander Mears
Generation 7:  Samuel Mears married Lydia W. Burnham
Generation 8: Samuel Mears married Sarah Ann Burnham
Generation 9: Sarah Burnham Mears married Joseph Gilman Allen
Generation 10: Joseph Elmer Allen married Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen married Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Family Reunions, 2015", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 27, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).  

1 comment:

  1. So I did some research about John Friend. There was only one John Friend in New England at that time. I found multiple sources that say he was a founder of the Saybrook Colony in Connecticut as well as Hartford. There is a monument in Hartford with his name on it. Court documents say he came from Salem, MA then lived in Connecticut for a short period of time. Then had to request permission to move back to Salem. From there the family moved slowly up Cape Ann to Gloucester. They lived in Wenham, Essex, Manchster as well. My Grandpa and his brothers inherited property and a house that was in our family since the early 1700s in Gloucester. They sold it in the late 1980s. Most of the family is buried in 3 cemeteries Gloucester as well as a few other cemeteries in Essex County. I have a file with all my ancestors and there is a straight line going back to John Friend.

    -Matt Friend