On the Way to the Big Woods: Part 2

This post is part 2 of a multi part story. Please read part 1 as it is jam packed with history and humor.  On the Way to the Big Woods: Part 1

In part 1, Edmund and Francis Ingalls  had left England and sailed on the Abigail for Massachusetts. Living under Endecott (Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony) was interesting or oppressive depending on how you felt about “rules”.  Walter Renton in The Ingalls Family in England and America, surmised that the brothers “felt uncomfortable under the restrictions of Endecott, who considered himself responsible not only for the safety but also for the habits of his colonists, and evidently was self willed and arbitrary, even temperamental” pg. 10.   Imagine traveling for  business purposes and finding the head of your party concerned with your personal  life. I imagine few of us would say “no thank you”. Which is exactly what Edmond and Francis did. Seeking permission to leave, yes that’s a thing, they would leave the original party and venture into a territory, Sargus, in present day Lynn. (It’s actually the records found later in Lynn that would point us to Edmond and Francis’ being on the Abigail. Manuscripts found in Lynn show the brothers being in the town early June and the next ship after the arrival of the Abigail wouldn’t have arrived until late June. Thus our story is strung together by the negative spaces versus an outright path.)

In “the first year there were settlements in eight places, Salem, Lynn, Charlestown, Watertown, Mystic, Boston, Roxbury and Dorchester.” pg. 74 The Bay Colony. Edmund and Francis made arrangements with the local tribes in Sargus (Lynn) for lands. By 1637 though Lynn had so many settlers it needed to formally create property borders and a town layout. A committee was formed and the brothers’ original borders would be recognized as well granted 120 additional acres. This could have come from a combination of connections with the Clinton family from  England. Lady Susan (Clinton) Humphrey was now living in Lynn; sister to Lady Arabella Johnson (married Isaac Johnson-largest shareholder in the Massachusetts Bay Company)  who had also emigrated. This additional acreage could also be proof that they had paid for their own way across on the Abigail which would have entitled them to acres.

From this timeline what can we distinguish about Edmund Ingalls?  That wandering foot of Charles’ would have started in the roots of the family tree. Edmund owned property in England but chose to sail across the sea.  He immediately leaves the established colony to venture still further in to the wilderness and essentially found a town. Edmund isn’t listed as a freeman though. Which in this colonial context means he didn’t join the Church and thus would not havethe right to vote.  He did build a malt house though; which in my book has his priorities correct.  Tragically, Edmund would die on a faulty bridge while traveling and leave his estate to his first son Robert. Edmunds’s younger sons John, Henry and Samuel would eventually leave  Lynn and move on to Ipswich, Massachusetts.

It’s through Edmund’s son Henry that our story with the Laura Ingalls  continues. Henry would move later from Ipswich to Andover. Two of Henry’s sisters had moved to Andover through their marriages which may have been why our bachelor boy decided to chose Andover when venturing out. He would purchase his land from local native tribes just like his father did in Lynn. He must have chosen his acreage well because as the town grew the local Church decided Henry’s lands were the most valuable and offered him 70 acres if they could take over his original homestead. On this new farm his family would create an almost pseudo Ingalls village. Their farms and lives buttressing against one another. Henry is listed as a freeman so unlike his father he chose to join the Church.  Records in Andover have him listed as a Sergeant and for a time as Commander of the Andover company in the Essex regiment. When Henry dies in 1718 he divided his holdings between all his sons. Henry’s son Samuel would live and die in Andover (1654-1733) but his son Samuel (yes, the recycling of names almost made me cross eye’d researching) would move on to New Hampshire. Our Ingalls family tree takes us from England to Massachusetts to New Hampshire for the first half of our story. This tree is going to branch into Canada before heading back into New York and slowly moving to the Midwest.

  1. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=scottow   Gov. Thomas Dudley:Letter to  the Countess of Lincoln, March 1631
  2. Northend, William Dummer. Bay Colony: A Civil, Religious and Social History of the Massachusetts Colony and Its. Place of Publication Not Identified: Nabu, 2010. Print.
  3. Zochert, Donald. Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Chicago: H. Regnery, 1976. Print.
  4. Ingalls, Walter Renton. The Ingalls Family in England and America. Boxford, MA: W.R. Ingalls, 1930. Print.
  5. Burleigh, Charles. The Genealogy and History of the Ingalls Family in America: Giving the Descendants of Edmund Ingalls Who Settled at Lynn, Mass. in 1629. Malden, MASS: Geo. E. Dunbar, 1903. Print.

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