Saturday, June 13, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ NORCROSS of England and Braintree, Massachusetts

The Haberdashers' Company Coat of Arms
"Serve and Obey"


My Norcross ancestors start out with several generations of members of the Haberdashers’ Company in England.  They dealt in men’s furnishings and clothing.  Thomas Norcross, my 11th great grandfather, was born at Dilworth, Ribchester, Lancashire, England.   He had three sons: John, Jeremiah and Thomas, and they lived in St. Dunstan’s parish in London, and all were members of the Haberdashers' Company.  Thomas died in 1617 and is buried at St. Dunstans.  

Two sons went to Massachusetts – Jeremiah and John.  John was the eldest, and was my 10th great grandfather.  He bought 22 acres of land in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but then sold it and returned to England in 1642.  He died in London in 1657.  He had two children, Anna, my 9th great grandmother, stayed in Massachusetts with her husband, Samuel Davis.   Her brother Thomas died in England in 1662 and was buried at Ribchester, Lanashire, he was a linen manufacturer, as well as a member of the Haberdashers' Company. 

My 10th great grand uncle, Jeremiah Norcross, came to Massachusetts and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.  His second wife was Adrian (Unknown) (Smith) (Bland) Norcross.  Adrian is my 11th great grandmother with her Smith marriage.  Her son, John Smith alias Bland, grew up with the Smith surname and was named in his stepfather’s will  as John Smith.   He left Watertown and went to the island of Martha’s Vineyard where he was known by the name Bland.   His son, Francis Smith, my 9th great grandfather, passed on the Smith name, but his sister, Anabel, went by the name Bland when she married William Barsham about 1635 in the Watertown records.  This is something to remember when tracing this family!

My NORCROSS genealogy:

Generation 1:  Thomas Norcross, died 1617 at St. Dunstan’s, London, England; married Mary Chappell.

Generation 2:  John Norcross, born 1583 in London, died after 1642 in England

Generation 3: Anna Norcross,  born about 1615 in England; married on 30 November 1631 at Allhallows on Bread Street in London to Samuel Davis.  He was born about 1615 and died between 2 May and 4 July 1672 in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts

Generation 4:  Mary Davis married Thomas Townsend
Generation 5: Susannah Townsend married Daniel Hitchings
Generation 6:  Daniel Hitchings married Hannah Ingalls
Generation 7:  Abijah Hitchings married Mary Gardner
Generation 8:  Abijah Hitchings married Mary Cloutman
Generation 9:  Abijah Hitchings married Eliza Ann Treadwell
Generation 10: Abijah Franklin Hitchings married Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 11:  Arthur Treadwell Hitchings married Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 12:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings married Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

* My lineage from Adrian (Bland) (Smith) Norcross (also my ancestress in this lineage, as well as a step ancestress!):

Generation 1:  Adrian Unknown married first to Unknown Smith.  Adrian also married second to Unknown Bland, and third to Jeremiah Norcross (brother of John Norcross above).

Generation 2:  John Smith, born about 1572 in England, died about 6 January 1668 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  He went by the alias John BLAND.  He married Isabella Drake about 1604.  She was the daughter of William Drake and Joan Merrills.

UPDATE - 6 October 2015 - Francis Smith is not a son of John Smith and Isabella Drake [See Great Migration, Volume VI, pages 391 - 394]

Generation 3:  Francis Smith, born about 1604 in Colchester, Essex, England, died 20 March 1650 in Reading, Massachusetts; married Alice Unknown

Generation 4:  Hannah Smith, born about 1638 in Watertown, Massachusetts, died 6 May 1666 in Reading; married on 15 November 1659 in Reading to George Lillie.  Four children.
Generation 5: John Lillie married Hannah Bassett

Generation 6: Phebe Lilley married Noah Eaton
Generation 7: Katherine Eaton married John Emerson
Generation 8: Romanus Emerson married Jemima Burnham
Generation 9:  George Emerson married Mary Esther Younger
Generation 10: Mary Katherine Emerson married George E. Batchelder
Generation 11: Carrie Maude Batchelder married Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 12: Stanley Elmer Allen married Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

The Haberdashers Company guild is still around!  See this link:  

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ NORCROSS of England and Braintree, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted June  13, 2015 : accessed [access date]). 


  1. Do you know why John Smith went by an alias?

  2. Do you know why John Smith went by an alias?

    1. No, I don't know the reason why he changed his name when he went to the island of Martha's Vineyard. There must be a story! One nice thing about having a blog is that someone might see this and tell us the story. Fingers crossed!

  3. Hello

    I am the 4th great grandson of Smith Holman and Hannah Norcross.

  4. A great many people had aliases to distinguish them from another person with the same name especially with such a common name as John Smith. The alias could be as simple as Elder and Junior, or John Smith alias Farrier (that being his occupation), or John Smith alias Jones (that being his mother's maiden name). Hope this helps.