Saturday, December 8, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ PICKWORTH of Plymouth and Manchester, Massachusetts


My 10th great grandfather, John Pickworth (about 1606 – 1663) arrived in New England about 1631, and lived briefly in Plymouth before settling in Salem, Massachusetts.  He eventually lived in that part of Salem known as “Jeffrie’s Creek” which is now the town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.  On 6 February 1631/2 [Winthrop Papers, 1498 – 1654, Volume 3, page 65] the Governor of Plymouth, William Bradford, wrote to John Winthrop, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, that  “John Pickworth, he came but as a sojourner to work for a few weeks, in which time he got a wife, and so is long since returned double, and hath no cause to complain, except he hath got a bad wife”.  There is no description of why the Governor thought Pickworth’s wife was “bad”.  She is known in records as Anne, but her maiden name is a mystery.

John Pickworth was a very active citizen of Manchester.  He was elected to several town positions, including selectman and constable.  He owned many parcels of land, and a share of the town sawmill.  He was also in court a few times, and the records show him being fined for drunkenness, and for fighting with John Norman (also my 9th great grandfather from Manchester, Massachusetts).  He was a member of the church in Salem, and had eight of his nine children baptized there.

John Pickworth died in 1663, and he left a will which names his wife, sons, and daughters.  The inventory of his estate included his land, house, meadows, and his share of the sawmill.  His wife died in 1682, named as “the widow Ane Pickworth Of Manchester” who left items to her daughters and to granddaughters “Ane Pickworth” (daughter of son Joseph), “Ane Killem” (daughter of John Kilham), and “Ane Sibblie” (daughter of her daughter Rachel Sibley).  All three granddaughters who were listed in the will were all named Anne. 

I descend from John and Anne’s daughter, Ruth Pickworth (1633 – 1716) who married Nathaniel Masters about 1653 and had seven children.  Her husband was presented at court in Salem for “his wife being with child by him before they were married, the act having been committed in Pequott Harbor.”  The case was sent to Connecticut for trial (Pequot Harbor is the mouth of the Pequot River (now the Thames River and the city of Groton, Connecticut).  I have not seen a record of the trial in Connecticut.

Some PICKWORTH resources:

For this blog post I used the sketch about John Pickworth in The Great Migration Begins, Volume III, pages 1462 – 1464.  I also researched in the Essex Quarterly Court records, the Winthrop Papers (see above), the Salem Town Records, and the book History of Manchester, Essex County, Massachusetts, 1645 – 1895 by Rev. Darius Francis Lamson, 1895.  See Alicia Crane Williams’ blog post “Human Nature Writ Large” at the Vita Brevis blog of NEHGS 2 January 2014 for another account of John Pickworth’s brawl with John Norman   

My PICKWORTH genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Pickworth, born about 1606 probably in England, and died between 27 June 1663 and 25 August 1663 in Manchester, Massachusetts; married about 1631 to Anne Unknown.  Nine children.

Generation 2:  Ruth Pickworth, baptized in Salem, Massachusetts on 14 October 1638, died on 5 April 1716; married about 1653 to Nathaniel Masters, son of John Masters and Joan Unknown.  He was born about 1613 and died 1 July 1708 in Manchester.  Seven children.

Generation 3: Lydia Masters m. Josiah Littlefield
Generation 4: Anna Littlefield m. Jacob Perkins
Generation 5: Stephen Perkins m. Comfort Chesley
Generation 6: Mary Perkins m. Nathaniel Batchelder
Generation 7: Jonathan Batchelder m. Nancy Thompson
Generation 8: George E. Batchelder m. Abigail M. Locke
Generation 9: George E. Batchelder m. Mary Katharine Emerson
Generation 10: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 11: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ PICKWORTH of Plymouth and Manchester, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 8, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

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