From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
The origins of Hugh PARSONS of RI are not presently known. A
thorough review of available documents leads to the conclusion that
there were three separate men named Hugh PARSONS living in Springfield,
MA, Watertown, MA and Portsmouth, RI in the mid-1600s. A brief
narrative on the family is found in Ancestral Lines, Third Edition,
(Santa Clarita, CA 1998), pp. 459-60.
Hugh PARSONS - b. probably in Wales or England; d. early
1684, Portsmouth, RI. His will
was dated Jan. 11, 1684 and proved Mar. 14, 1684, naming his wife,
grandson Hugh BAILEY, daughter Hannah MATTESON, granddaughter
Hannah MATTESON, and his wife's two daughters living on Long Island
(Susannah CARPENTER and Elizabeth DOTY). Hugh is first found at
Portsmouth, RI in 1658, when he was appointed a juror. A deed
dated on Jul. 3, 1662 names his wife as Elizabeth. Hugh was a
freeman in 1663, a member of a troop of horse in 1667, and deputy
in 1678. One researcher states that Hugh Parsons married Elizabeth,
widow of John WOOD of Portsmouth, RI, and that Elizabeth was the
mother of Hugh PARSONS' two daughters. However, Clarence Almon
Torrey gives 1655 as the death year of John WOOD, which would
place the suggested marriage of his widow to Hugh PARSONS afte
the estimated birth years of Hugh's two daughters.
Several earlier publications identify his wife as Elizabeth
(b. 1613; d. after 1684), widow of William ENGLAND. William and
Elizabeth ENGLAND had children: William (b. 1641); Josiah; Eleanor
married Jul 27, 1665 Jeremiah WESTCOTT; Susannah married Ephraim
CARPENTER; and Elizabeth married Isaac DOTY of Oyster Bay. The
family of Elizabeth ENGLAND suggests that she married Hugh no
earlier than 1650, but certainly by 1662. Since Hugh's daughter
Grace was born by about 1645, and daughter Hannah, whose first
child was born in 1670, was probably born by 1650, it appears
that they were children of a first marriage by Hugh. The provision
in his will that the residue of his estate go to Elizabeth's daughters
suggests that the estate included property brought to the marriage
by the widow Elizabeth ENGLAND. This conjecture is supported by
the sale of 18 acres of land in 1662 by Hugh and his wife Elizabeth,
and by Hugh referring to Elizabeth as his "present wife"
in the 1672 bond addendum.
Daughters of Hugh Parsons
- Grace - d. after 1677, RI. The birth of her fifth child in 1665
suggests that she was born by about 1645. Grace married first William
BAILEY (d. by 1670), supposedly the son of William BAILEY and grandson
of Palmer BAILEY. Grace married second 1674 Thomas LAWTON (b. Jun. 26,
1655, Portsmouth, Newport Co., RI), who had four children by his first
wife Elizabeth SALSBURIE. Children of Grace and William BAILEY: John
married Sutton; Joseph married Sarah DUNN; Edward married Frances; Hugh
married first Anna, and second Abigail WILLIAMS; Stephen married
Susanna; and Samuel.
- Hannah - b. probably at Portsmouth, RI;
d. after 1693, RI. Married Henry MATTESON.
Henry and Hannah (Parsons) Matteson
Henry MATTESON - b. about 1646, Ireland; d. 1690, East
Greenwich, RI. Arrived in Rhode Island about 1666, living on Prudence
Island in Narrgansett Bay until after King Philip's War. Settled
at East Greenwich, obtaining 100 acres of land Jun. 12, 1678 and
selling it on Mar. 17, 1682 to David SHIPPEE. Deputy in 1685.
Married in 1670.
Hannah PARSONS - b. probably at Portsmouth, RI; d. after
1693, possibly in RI. She married second on Aug. 9, 1693 Charles
HAZELTON, Sr. at East Greenwich, RI. Daughter of Hugh
Children of Henry and Hannah Matteson
- Henry - b. 1670, East Greenwich, RI; d.
Apr. 13, 1752, West Greenwich, RI.
- Thomas - b. 1672, East Greenwich, RI; d. Jan. 19, 1740. Will
proved Jan. 28, 1740, with estate inventoried at £452.07.1 1/2.
He was married Nov. 14, 1695, at E. Greenwich, by John HEATH, Justice,
to Mary (or Martha) SHIPPEE (b. 1667, MA), daughter of David SHIPPEE
and Margaret SCRANTON. Children of Thomas and Mary MATTESON:
Deliverance married Ezekiel BAKER; Elizabeth married Henry JOSLIN
(their son John married Joanna ANDREW); Thomas married first Susanna
BRIGGS, and second Elizabeth MATTESON; Joseph married Martha GREENE;
Henry; Mercy married Francis BRIGGS; and Mary married Mr. GORTON.
- Joseph - b. 1678, East Greenwich, RI; d. 1758. Married Rachel
WEAVER, daughter of Capt. Clement WEAVER and Rachel ANDREW, and
half-sister of Judith, who married Henry MATTESON. Their four sons
received land at East Greenwich from Joseph. Children of Joseph and
Rachel MATTESON: Joseph married Lydia MILLARD; Jonathan married Phoebe
GREENE; David married Sarah COREY (daughter of William COREY and
Elizabeth); and Josiah married Mercy NICHOLS.
- Francis - b. Mar. 15, 1680, East Greenwich, RI; d. 1750. Will
proved Apr. 28, 1750, with estate inventoried at £2,530.03.09,
including a saw mill and land bequeathed to each son. He married May
22, 1700, East Greenwich, RI Sarah NICHOLS, daughter of Richard and
Phoebe. Children of Francis and Sarah MATTESON: Sarah married William
COREY (son of William COREY and Elizabeth); John married Mary ARNOLD;
Hannah married Pasco WHITFORD; Francis married Dinah TIBBETTS; Henry
married first Rachel GREENE, and second Comfort PEARCE; Thomas married
first Sarah JOHNSON, and second Susannah MATTESON, possibly daughter of
Thomas and Susanna (BRIGGS) MATTESON; Job married first Elizabeth
GREENE; Elizabeth did not marry; Phoebe married Increase GREENE; and
Jane did not marry.
- Hannah - b. RI. No further records found.
- Hezekiah - b. 1684, RI; d. 1752, West Greenwich, RI. Will dated
Apr. 8, 1752 and proved Apr. 25, 1752, with estate inventoried at
£782.04.08. Married Margaret WESTCOTT (b. Mar. 8, 1702; d. Apr.
12, 1753, West Greenwich, RI), daughter of Zerobabel WESTCOTT and Mary
PARSONS. Children of Hezekiah and Margaret MATTESON: Abraham married
Freelove PHILLIPS; Hezekiah; Amos married first Fear SWEET, and second
Susannah; Samuel married Clarissa; Zerobabel married first Mehitable
DWINNELL, and second Abigail; Lojea married Timothy CARPENTER;
Catherine; and Ann.
- Josiah - b. 1685, RI; d. 1754. Married Rosannah WESTCOTT,
daughter of Zerobabel WESTCOTT and Mary PARSONS. Children of Josiah and
Rosannah MATTESON: John married Elizabeth; Josiah married Mary NICHOLS;
Lorany married Ephraim PEARCE; Nathan died young; James; Nathan married
Elizabeth DICKINSON; David married Rebecca ANDREW TARBOX; and William
married Sarah LEE.
Mr. Andrews and Rachel
Rachel - b. probably at Newport, RI; d. after Nov. 2,
1697, probably at East Greenwich, RI. Married first Mr. ANDREWS,
and 1677. By her first marriage,
she was the mother of Judith (ANDREWS) MATTESON. Rachel
was chosen as a juror on Feb. 24, 1684, and was named executrix
of the estate of Clement WEAVER in 1691. She married second, May
6, 1678 in RI, Clement WEAVER. She married third, probably in
1692, William BENNETT.
Clement WEAVER - b. 1647, probably Newport, RI; d. Sep. 8,
1691 (inv.), East Greenwich, RI. Step-father of Judith (ANDREWS)
MATTESON. Son of Clement WEAVER and Mary FREEBORN, and grandson
of Clement and Rebecca (HOLBROOK) WEAVER, and of William and Mary
FREEBORN. Freeman at Newport on May 4, 1675, and at East Greenwich
on Oct. 31, 1677. Clement's will, made by the Town Council on
Nov. 23, 1691, provided for each of his children and for "Juda
Androes, £5 ... at or before the 24th of June next."
Estate inventoried on Sep. 8, 1691 at £151.02.06, clearly
indicating his occupation of farmer: 2 oxen, 5 cows, 9 heifers,
2 yearlings, 3 calves, 38 sheep, 8 lambs, 2 horses, 3 mares, 2
colts, 10 lean swine, 6 pigs, 3 shoats, 59 cheeses, pair of stillyards,
2 spinning wheels, loom, 2 ploughs, 6 hives of bees, carpenter's
tools, pewter, etc. Perhaps the Capt. WEAVER serving in the 1690
expedition of Phips against Quebec. The name of his first wife,
whom he married about 1668, is not known. On Oct. 24, 1677 Clement
was indicted for having on Sep. 26, 1677 declared himself married
to Rachel ANDREWS at the house of Joseph CLARKE; they then
married May 6, 1678 at Newport, RI.
Children of Clement Weaver and his first
- Clement - b. Feb. 19, 1669, Newport, RI; d. Feb. 19, 1738, East
Greenwich, RI. Freeman 1690. A receipt dated Nov. 2, 1697 identifies
his step mother Rachel ANDREWS WEAVER BENNETT. Married Jan. 1, 1691
Hannah LONG (d. 1759, East Greenwich, RI), daughter of Philip LONG and
Hannah. Clement's will was dated Oct. 16, 1736 and proved Mar. 25,
1738. Hannah's will was dated Dec. 5, 1757 and proved Mar. 31, 1759.
Children of Clement and Hannah WEAVER: Clement died young; Alice
probably died young; Jonathan married; Clement; Mary married her cousin
John, son of William WEAVER; and Gideon.
- William - b. 1671, RI; d. May 22, 1718, East Greenwich, RI.
Estate inventoried Jul. 14, 1718 at £127.17.08: cider mill,
pewter, pair of oxen, 4 steers, 4 cows, 2 two years, 3 calves, horse,
mare, colt, 12 sheep, 10 hogs. Married Dec. 17, 1693 Elizabeth HARRIS
(b. 1673; d. 1748, RI). Her will was dated Apr. 8, 1745 and proved Sep.
24, 1748. Children of William and Elizabeth WEAVER: William; Clement
married; Joseph married Mary MATTESON, daughter of Henry and Judith
(ADNREWS-WEAVER) MATTESON; Thomas died young; John married his cousin
Mary, daughter of Clement WEAVER; Alice married Samuel BASSETT; Thomas;
Benjamin; and Harris.
Child of Rachel Andrews
- Judith ANDREWS - b. Jun. 24, 1674,
Newport, RI; d. after 1751, RI. Married Henry
Children of Clement and Rachel Weaver
- Joseph - b. Dec. 4, 1679, East Greenwich, RI; d. Jul. 11, 1751,
East Greenwich, RI. Freeman 1702; deputy 1716-20. Estate inventoried
Jul. 23, 1751 at £1,125.16.06, including £655 in bonds, a
court book, and 2 bibles. Married Feb. 21, 1706 Elizabeth SWEET,
daughter of Daniel and Eleanor. Children of Joseph and Elizabeth
WEAVER: Benjamin; Mary; Elizabeth; and Rachel.
- Benjamin - b. say 1680/1. Married Mercy. Named as step-son of
William BENNETT in proceedings in Mar. 1702.
- Alice - b. say 1682. Reportedly the oldest of the three girls.
- Rachel - b. Dec. 24, 1684, East Greenwich, RI. Married Joseph
MATTESON (b. 1678, East Greenwich, RI; d. 1758), son of Henry and
Hannah (PARSONS) MATTESON, and brother of Henry, who married Judith
ANDREWS-WEAVER. Children of Rachel and Joseph MATTESON: Joseph married
Lydia MILLARD; Jonathan married Phoebe GREENE; David married Sarah
COREY; and Josiah married Mercy NICHOLS.
- Rebecca - b. about 1686, East Greenwich, RI; d. about 1715/6,
Newport, RI. Married about 1714 at East Greenwich, RI, Capt. Daniel
VAUGHAN (b. Mar. 17, 1685; d. Dec. 25, 1717, at sea off NC coast), son
of Daniel VAUGHAN and Susanna GRIMES. Child of Rebecca and Daniel
VAUGHAN: Rebecca married Gideon CORNELL.
Capt. Henry and Judith (Andrews-Weaver)
Henry MATTESON - b. 1670, East Greenwich, RI; d. Apr.
13, 1752, West Greenwich, RI. Deputy 1701. Son of Henry
PARSONS. His will
was dated Jun. 18, 1751 and
proved Apr. 25, 1752, with estate inventoried at £407.11.06,
£129.16.00 being in bonds and money. His will mentions wife
Judith, sons Henry and Jonathan (and four other sons unamed),
daughters Mary WEAVER and Judith ANDREWS (deceased), and heirs
of Judith ANDREWS. Married Apr. 19, 1693, East Greenwich, RI,
by John HEATH, Justice.
Judith ANDREWS-WEAVER - b. Jun. 24, 1674, Newport, RI;
d. after 1751, RI. Daughter of Mr. Andrews
and Rachel and step-daughter of Capt. Clement WEAVER.
Children of Henry and Judith Matteson
- Judith - b. Oct. 16, 1694,
East Greenwich, RI; d. by Jun. 1751, RI. Married Charles ANDREW.
- Henry - b. Apr. 22, 1696, East Greenwich, RI; d. Mar. 2, 1754,
West Greenwich, RI. He was married Dec. 15, 1720, at East Greenwich,
RI, by John SPENCER, Justice, to Ruth SWEET (b. Jul. 10, 1700, East
Greenwich, RI; d. Apr. 1, 1789), daughter of Henry SWEET and Mary
ANDREW. Children of Henry and Ruth MATTESON: Henry married Margaret
GREENE; Ruth married John GREENE IV; Fear married Thomas ANDREW; John
married Comfort WEAVER; Caleb died young; James; Dinah married Jonathan
MATTESON, son of Jonathan and Alice (SWEET) MATTESON; Nathan married
Freelove BOWEN; and Thankful married William WAITE.
- Jonathan - b. Jun. 6, 1701, East Greenwich, RI; d. 1784. Will
dated Dec. 7, 1780. He was married Jan. 31, 1722/3, at East Greenwich,
RI, by Thomas SPENCER, Justice, to Alice SWEET (b. Jul. 10, 1700),
daughter of Henry SWEET and Mary ANDREW. Children of Jonathan and Alice
MATTESON: Alice married Joseph WEAVER, son of Joseph and Mary
(MATTESON) WEAVER; Mary married Benjamin WEAVER, son of Joseph and Mary
(MATTESON) WEAVER; Hannah married John HALL; Jonathan married Dinah
MATTESON, daughter of Henry and Ruth (SWEET) MATTESON; and David
married Massey SWEET.
- Mary - b. Feb. 13, 1703/4, East Greenwich, RI; d. 1753, Coventry,
RI. Married Nov. 21, 1723, East Greenwich, RI Joseph WEAVER (b. Apr. 2,
1698, East Greenwich, RI), son of William WEAVER and Elizabeth HARRIS.
Children of Mary and Joseph WEAVER: Joseph married Alice MATTESON,
daughter of Jonathan and Alice (SWEET) MATTESON; Mary married Isaac
GREENE; Katherine married Mansir COOPER; Benjamin married Mary
MATTESON, daughter of Jonathan and Alice (SWEET) MATTESON; Andras;
William married Mary MATTESON, daughter of Jonathan and Alice (SWEET)
MATTESON; Judith died in infancy; John married Susannah CARR; Thomas;
Rufus married Hannah WILLIAMS; and Elizabeth.
- John - b. Oct. 27, 1706, East Greenwich, RI; d. Jan. 23, 1754,
East Greenwich, RI. He was married Mar. 30, 1732, at East Greenwich,
RI, by John SPENCER, Justice, to Elizabeth HUNT (b. Feb. 25, 1703/4,
East Greenwich, RI; d. Mar. 26, 1798, West Greenwich, RI). Children of
John and Elizabeth MATTESON: Sarah married Robert HALL; John married
Martha PHILLIPS; Thomas died young; Henry married Dinah SPINK; Job
married Deliverance COMSTOCK; Joshua died young; Abel married Almy
HALL, daughter of Christopher and Roxanna (MATTESON-SWEET) HALL; and
Thomas died young.
- Sarah - b. Apr. 18, 1709, East Greenwich, RI. Her first child was
born out of wedlock. Married Dec. 22, 1734, East Greenwich, RI. She was
married Dec. 22, 1733, at East Greenwich, RI to Timothy SWEET (b. May
27, 1713; d. 1757, East Greenwich, RI), probably the son of Richard and
Fear (JONES) SWEET. Daughter of Sarah MATTESON: Roxana MATTESON alias
SWEET married Christopher HALL. Children of Sarah and Timothy SWEET:
Levinia married William BRIGGS; Peleg; Benjamin married Martha; Timothy
married Eunice WOODWORTH; and Oliver.
- James - b. Mar. 20, 1712, East Greenwich, RI; d. Feb. 16, 1754,
East Greenwich, RI. He was married Mar. 2, 1738, at East Greenwich, RI,
by John SPENCER, Justice, to Enfield GREENE (b. Mar. 31, 1716, East
Greenwich, Kent Co., RI; d. Aug. 13, 1748), daughter of John GREENE
III. James married second on Feb. 25, 1749 Hannah SWEET (b. Feb. 8,
1711/2, East Greenwich, Kent Co., RI), daughter of Henry SWEET and Mary
ANDREW. Children of James and Enfield MATTESON: Uriah married Waite
SWEET-ANDREWS; Silas married Patience HALL, daughter of Christopher and
Roxanna (MATTESON-SWEET) HALL; Anna married Mr. MANCHESTER; Josiah;
Sarah died young; and James. Children of James and Hannah MATTESON:
John married Sarah KETCHAM; Thomas died young; and Rufus married Rhoda
- Elizabeth - b. Dec. 15, 1714, East Greenwich, RI. This child is
also reportedly named Hezekiah.
- Ebenezer - b. Mar. 15, 1718, East Greenwich, RI. He was married
Sep. 23, 1739, at East Greenwich, RI, by Thomas SPENCER, Justice, to
Susannah COMSTOCK, daughter of Thomas. Children of Ebenezer and
Susannah MATTESON: William died in infancy; Martha married Thomas
COMSTOCK; Edmund married first Virtue GREENE, and second Susannah;
William died as child; Susanna Elizabeth; and Ebenezer.
- Hezekiah - b. 1720. He was married Oct. 18, 1739, at East
Greenwich, RI, by John SPENCER, Justice, to Mary SWEET, daughter of
Richard and Fear (JONES) SWEET. Children of Hezekiah and Mary MATTESON:
Judith married Ishmael SPINK; George married Esther POTTER; Jeremiah
married Ruth SWEET; Fear; Peleg married first Barbara BOWEN, and second
Susannah ANDREWS; Freelove married Abel AYLSWORTH; Mary married Thomas
MANCHESTER; Sarah married David MATTESON, son of John and Mary (ARNOLD)
MATTESON; Zilpha married John BRIGGS; Elizabeth; and Thomas married