Saturday, July 23, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ FISKE of Salem, Wenham and Chelmsford, Massachusetts


John Fiske, my 9th great grandfather, was born in South Elmham, Suffolk, England and attended King’s College in Cambridge where he studied medicine and received a diploma in 1625.  He married Ann Gipps and removed to Massachusetts in 1637 on board the Mary Ann, with his wife, two sisters, mother (who died at sea) and younger brother, William.  

John Fiske first taught grammar school in Cambridge, and then in Salem where one of his students was the young Sir George Downing (my 9th great grand uncle, sister to my ancestress Lucy Downing (1625 – 1697) wife of William Norton).   George Downing became minister for Cromwell and Charles II,  and he owned the house at which is now the  famous #10 Downing Street, residence of the Prime Minister.

His first three children were born in Salem, and then he removed to Enon (now the town of Wenham) where he was ordained there as the first minister in 1644.  His daughter Ann, my 8th great grandmother, was the first child to be baptized there in 1646.  He later removed to Chelmsford to be the first minister there in 1655.  His wife, Ann, died before him in 1672 and he remarried to Elizabeth, the widow of Edmund Henchman. 

Ann, his daughter, in 1677 married Capt. John Brown of Reading as his first (of three) wives. His third wife was Elizabeth (Bulkley) Emerson, who was also my 8th great grandmother, wife of Reverend Joseph Emerson (1620 – 1680), a minister at Ipswich, York, and Wells, Maine.   Ann and John Brown had a daughter, Mary (1678 – 1740), who married Peter Emerson (1673 – 1751), the son of Elizabeth and Joseph Emerson.   Peter had been raised by John Brown as an orphan, and married his stepsister.

More FISKE resources:

“Genealogical Research in England: The Fiske Family”, by G. Andrews Moriarty, New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 86 (1932), pages 406 -35 and Volume 87 (1933), pages 141 – 46, pages 217 – 224,  and pages 367 – 374 and Volume 88 (1934) pages 142 – 146, pages 265 – 273, pages    (The English origins of the ancestors of Rev. John Fiske)

Genealogical Dictionary of New England, by James Savage,  Volume 2

The Notebook of Reverend John Fiske:  1644 – 1675, edited by Robert G. Pope, 1974

Fiske and Fisk Family, Being the record of the descendants of Symond Fiske, lord of the manor of Stadhaugh, Suffolk County, England, from the time of Henry IV to date, including all the American members of the family, compiled by Frederick C. Pierce, 1896,  also available online at

My FISKE genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Fiske, son of John Fiske and Anne Lawter, baptized 20 March 1608 at St. James, South Elmham, Suffolk, England, and died 14 January 1677 at Chelmsford, Massachusetts;  married first to Ann Gipps; married second on 1 August 1673 in Chelmsford to Elizabeth Unknown, widow of Edmund Henchman. Six children with Ann.

Generation 2: Anna Fiske, born 15 January 1646 in Wenham, died 30 May 1681 in Reading, Massachusetts; married on 30 May 1677 in Chelmsford to John Brown, so of Nicholas Brown and Elizabeth Unknown.  He was born about 1634 in Malford, Worcestershire, England and died 12 March 1717 in Reading. Two children.

Generation 3:  Mary Brown m. Peter Emerson
Generation 4:  Brown Emerson m. Sarah Townsend
Generation 5: John Emerson m. Katherine Eaton
Generation 6: Romanus Emerson m. Jemima Burnham
Generation 7: George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 8: Mary Katharine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 9: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ FISKE of Salem, Wenham and Chelmsford, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 23, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to "Fiske and Fisk Families...". Found my husband's Elizabeth Fiske, b. 19 Jan 1667, who married James Ball on 16 Jan 1693. Now I can follow up on confirmations. I only had her name before today.