Saturday, May 21, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ LOCKE of Rye, New Hampshire

The Locke Burial Ground at Locke's Neck, on Locke Road in Rye, New Hampshire


John Locke is a famous figure on the seacoast of New Hampshire.  His land and the family burial ground are marked with historical plaques from both the state of New Hampshire and the Locke Family Association.  His sword and scythe are on display at the New Hampshire Historical Society museum.  The history of Rye, New Hampshire has pages of information on his life, his infamous death, and his progeny. There are so many descendants that a compiled genealogy takes up two volumes, and additions and supplemental information are discussed at length every year at the annual Locke Family Reunion. This year will be the 126th annual Locke Family Reunion, “traditionally held on the third Saturday of August to commemorate the death of our progenitor, Captain John Locke” (LFA website, )

Outside of New Hampshire, and outside of the family, John Locke is an unknown figure in American History.  So I will tell his story here in an abridged version…

John Locke is probably the son of Thomas Locke and Christina French, baptized in London at Whitechapel in 1627.  He immigrated to New Hampshire about 1644 and went to Dover, New Castle, Sagamore Creek and then in 1665 he went to Hampton (now the part that is the town of Rye).  It is thought that he framed the first meetinghouse in Portsmouth about 1645. 

The Hampton records state “John Locke Senior was killed by the Heathen in his lott at work upon 26 August 1696.  An 1801 sermon by Rev. Porter of Rye said “In 1694 John Locke being at Locke’s Neck was ambushed and killed by the Indians as he was reaping grain in his field”.  Rev. John Pike’s journal has “Lieutenant Locke was slain by the Indians at Sandy Beach, 25 August 1696”. 

In the book History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627 – 1696), 1916, there is a long description of how Locke was despised by the native people for foiling several attempts to attack Hampton.  In 1696 eight native men came upon him reaping salt hay with his scythe. They mortally wounded him, but not before he cut off the nose of one of the attackers.  One of the sons witnessed the murder, and spent years searching for the Indian without a nose.  Several grandsons are credited with avenging the death of Captain Locke by murdering an Indian (with or without a nose)

I descend from the oldest son, John Locke, Jr. (1654 – 1733), my 8th great grandfather, who inherited his father’s land at Locke’s Neck.  He sold all his land to his son, John, my 7th great grandfather.  Locke’s Neck is now a very expensive neighborhood in Rye, with beautiful waterfront properties, and it’s entrance is graced by the two memorial plaques to Captain John Locke.  This last John Locke had a wife, Sarah, and seven children.  Sarah and four of the children all died in 1736 in the throat distemper epidemic (diphtheria).  The maiden names of the Elizabeth (my 8th great grandmother) and Sarah (my 7th great grandmother) are both unknown. 

More LOCKE resources:

The Locke Family Association:  

A previous blog post "He Cut Off an Indian's Nose with his Scythe!"  posted on July 6, 2012 -   

History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke (1627 – 1696) of Portsmouth and Rye, New Hampshire and His Descendants, by Arthur H. Locke, 1916, Heritage Books reprint 2003, 2 Volumes.

The History of Hampton, N.H., by Joseph Dow, 2 Volumes

A previous blog post about the Locke Burial Ground, Rye, New Hampshire  

My LOCKE lineage:

Generation 1:  John Locke, born about 1627 in England, died 26 August 1696 in Rye, New Hampshire; married about 1652 to Elizabeth Berry, daughter of William Berry and Jane Unknown.  She was born about 1636 and died after 1708.  Eleven children.

Generation 2:  John Locke, born 1654 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, died after 1733; married about 1677 to Elizabeth Unknown.  She died 12 November 1734 in Rye, New Hampshire.  Seven children.

Generation 3:  John Locke, born 1683, died about 1774; married Sarah Unknown.  She died 1736.  Seven children (four died with their mother in 1736- of diptheria).

Generation 4: Richard Locke, born 28 July 1720 in Rye, died 15 May 1804; married about 1745 to Elizabeth Garland, the daughter of John Garland and Elizabeth Dearborn.  She was born 13 March 1724 in Rye, and died 1818.  Eleven children.

Generation 5: Simon Locke, born September 1770 in Rye, died 31 July 1863 in Rye; married first on 14 February 1792 in Greenland, New Hampshire to Abigail Mace, daughter of Ithamar Mace and Rachel Berry.  She was born 1 February 1767 in Rye, and died 18 February 1803.  Seven children.  He married second on 10 November 1803 in Rye to Elizabeth Locke Allen, the daughter of Jude Allen and Dorcas Marden. Eight more children!

Generation 6: Captain Richard Locke, born 1794 in Rye, died 23 March 1864 in Chichester, New Hampshire; married first on 21 October 1823 in Chichester to Margaret Welch.  She was born about 1796 in Kittery, Maine, and died 1 March 1860 in Chichester.  Four children. 

Generation 7: Abigail M. Locke, born 10 September 1825 in South Boston, Massachusetts, died 15 January 1888 in Chichester; married on 7 September 1845 in South Boston to George E. Batchelder, son of Jonathan Batchelder and Nancy Thompson.  He was born 13 August 1822 in Chichester, and died 3 April 1848 in Chichester.  Two children.

Generation 8: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 9: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ LOCKE of Rye, New Hampshire",  Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 21, 2016,  ( accessed [access date]). 

1 comment:

  1. John Locke and Elizabeth Berry are my 7th great grandparents!