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My 10th great-grandfather came to America from Bath, England in 1632 and founded many towns in New England. We know a lot about him because he went to court often, and the records remain in tact. If he had not been so contentious with his dealings we might know little about his life.
William Sargent was born 28 Mar 1609 in Bath, Somerset, England. His parents were Richard SARGENT and Katherine STEVENS. He migrated to America in 1632 and was often referred to as a “seaman”, “mariner” or sometimes “yeoman” in legal documents. He married Elizabeth PERKINS in 1633 in Amesbury, Essex, Mass. He was made Freeman on 22 May 1639. After Elizabeth died, he married Joanna Pinder Rowell. William died sometime between 24 Feb 1673/74, when his name appeared on a Norfolk Land Deed, and 8 April 1675, when inventory was taken on his estate in Amesbury, Essex, Mass.
William helped found more towns than any of our other ancestors: Agawam – now Ipswich Mass, Wessacucoh – now Newbury Mass, Winnacunnet – now Hampton NH, South Merrimac – now Salisbury – Mass, and Salisbury New Town -now Amesbury Mass.
Elizabeth Perkins was born 31 Mar 1611 in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England. Her parents were John PERKINS and Judith GATER. Elizabeth died 18 Sep 1670 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.
Joanna Pinder was born in 1621. She was the daughter of Henry and Mary Pinder. She married Valentine Rowell on 14 Nov1643 in Salisbury, Mass. She married as her second husband William Sargent on 18 Sep 1670 in Amesbury, Mass. Joanna Pinder married Richard Currier as her third husband on 26 Oct 1676 in Amesbury, Mass. She died in October 1690 in Amesbury.
Children of William and Elizabeth:
27 Sep 1634 Amesbury, Essex, Mass
27 Sep 1716
11 Jun 1643 Salisbury, Essex, Mass
Rachel Barnes (daughter of William BARNES)
2 Mar 1668 Salisbury
27 Feb 1706
2 Jan 1645 Salisbury
Mary Colby (daughter of Anthony COLBY)
23 Sep 1668 Amesbury
31 May 1712
17 Jun 1647 Salisbury
22 Nov 1648 Salisbury
Samuel Colby (Son of Anthony COLBY)
5 Feb 1736
29 Feb 1652 Salisbury
Orlando BAGLEY Jr.
22 Dec 1681 Amesbury
3 Oct 1701 Salisbury
The earliest record seeming to bear on the origin of this Sargent family appears in the Abbey church at Bath, England, under date of Nov 22, 1602, where the record of the marriage of Richard Sargent and Katherine Stevens is set out, and it states further “Ano Dom. 1630, Jenning Walters and Joane Sargent were married April 15,” and under “Baptism,” “Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard Sargent, 28 day, 1603, October; 1606, June, William the Sonne of Richard Sargent the 28th; March, 1609, Joane the daughter of Richard Sargent was baptised the 26th.” No further record of father or son is found there, and it is inferred that they may have gone to London and William shipped from there.
One historian of the Sargent family says: “At first I was not inclined to believe this William was our ancestor, or from this part of England. But since learning that the father of William’s first wife, ‘Quarter Master John Perkins,’ was at Agawam in August, 1631, a short time after arriving in America, and that he came from near Bath, England, it seems quite probable that if William was from there and with Captain Smith in 1614, when the latter landed at Agawam and wrote up its beauties and advantages, William may have returned and induced John Perkins and others to emigrate.”
The first record found of William is in the general court records of Masschusetts Colony in April, 1633, where a copy of an act appears to protect him and other grantees of land at Agawam, now Ipswich. Massachusetts, in their rights. The next record is that of his oath of allegiance and fidelity in 1639. It is shown by records and deeds that he was one of the first settlers at Wessacucoh, now Newbury, in 1635; at Winnacunnet, now Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1638.
Oct 1638 – The reverend Stephen BACHILER and his company, who had received permission from the general court when united together by church covenant, commenced a settlement at Winicowett. He was at this time residing in Newbury. On Mr. Rawson’s request, the place was called Hampton. The following persons, residents of Newbury, went with Mr. Bachiler. John Berry, Thomas COLEMAN, Thomas Cromwell [Giles CROMWELL‘s brother], James DAVIS, William Easton, William Fifield, Maurice Hobbs, Mr. Christopher Hussey [BACHILER’s son-in-law], Thomas Jones, Thomas Marston, William Marston, Robert Marston, John Moulton, Thomas Moulton, William Palmer, William SARGENT, and Thomas Smith. Smith, however, soon returned to Newbury. A few went to Salisbury.
Our ancestos’ lots are underlined in red. William Sargent’s lot was at the corner today’s Winnacunnet Road and Park Ave. — Map of the homes of the original settlers of Hampton, NH, recreated from published maps and ancient records in 1892
Lafayette Road, and Winnacunnet Road, Hampton, NH on Google Maps
The main road going horizontally across the top of the map then, at right, angling down to the right corner, is today’s Winnacunnet Road. At the bottom right corner it leads “To The Sea”.
Today’s Lafayette Road/Route One starts in the top left and goes vertically down (south) into the thicker road, then about 2/3 of the way down angles sharply off to the left corner in the small road reading “To Salisbury”. That road today is pretty much straight as an arrow north to south.
Midway down that same road a small road angles off to the left that reads “To Drake Side”. That is today’s Drakeside Road.
The fat road leading from the point where Route One angles off “To Salisbury” to the right and its meeting with Winnacunnet Road, is today’s Park Ave.
The two roads leading off the bottom of the map both say “To the Landing”, and at the time were both ends of a single road that went in a loop. Today they are still there, called Landing Road, but are cut off in the middle by a new highway.
Lastly the small road in the top right is Mill Road.
First called the Plantation of Winnacunnet, Hampton was one of four original New Hampshire townships chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts, which then held authority over the colony. “Winnacunnet” is an Algonquian Abenaki word meaning “pleasant pines” and is the name of the town’s high school.
In March 1635, Richard Dummer and John Spencer of the Byfield section in Newbury, came round in their shallop, came ashore at the landing and were much impressed by the location. Dummer, who was a member of the General Court, got that body to lay its claim to the section and plan a plantation here. The Massachusetts General Court of March 3, 1636 ordered that Dummer and Spencer be given power to “To presse men to build there a Bound house”.
The town was settled in 1638 by a group of parishioners led by Reverend Stephen Bachiler, who had formerly preached at the settlement’s namesake:Hampton, England. Incorporated in 1639, the township once included Seabrook, Kensington, Danville, Kingston, East Kingston, Sandown, North Hampton and Hampton Falls..
William was at South Merrimac. now Salisbury, Massachusetts, in 1639, and that “William Sargent, townsman and commissioner of Salisbury,” had a tax rate December 25, 1650, of 7s. 4d.
William Sargent – Ipswich Lot
He was next located at Salisbury New Town, now Amesbury and Merrimack, in 1655, where he resided until his death in 1675. He is believed to have married Elizabeth Perkins about 1633, as she came with her parents to America in the ship “Lion,” in the spring of 1631. She died before September 18, 1670, for William married at that time Joanna Rowell, who survived him and married Richard Currier, of Amesbury. The children of William Sargent seem to have been as follows, but owing to lack and contradiction of records there is uncertainty about them: Mary, Elizabeth, died young: Thomas, William, Lydia, Elizabeth, died young; Sarah, died young; Sarah and Elizabeth.
Over half the first settlers names on this memorial are our ancestors. They are: Richard Currier, Orlando BAGLEY Sr., John Bailey, William BARNES, Thomas Barnard, Henry Blaisdell, Philip Challis, Anthony COLBY, John COLBY, Edward Cottle, Jarret Haddon, John HOYT, William Huntington, Thomas Macy, George MARTIN, Valentine Rowell, William SARGENT and John Weed.
OFFICES: Essex grand jury, 13 April 1652 Petit jury, 8 April 1662, 24 June 1662, 13 April 1669, 12 April 1670 . Sworn clerk of the train band of Salisbury on 8 April 1651
ESTATE: “It is ordered that no person whatsoever shall go to plant or inhabit at Aggawam, without leave from the court, except those that are already gone, viz. …
1634 – ” Willm Srjeant” In a grant at Ipswich,, William Sargent received twelve acres of land
6 Sep 1638 – ” Willi[am] Sergant” was in the list of petitioners, mostly Newbury men, headed by [our ancestor] Stephen BACHILER, were granted “liberty to begin a plantation at Winnacunnet [Hampton]”1:236].
The Grantees and Settlement of Hampton, N. H. By Victor Channing Sanborn — Kenelworth, Ill.Essex Institute Historical Collections, 53 – (1917), Pgs. 228-249
That little band, the first settlers of Winnicunnet (afterwards called Hampton) was composed of at least two diverging groups. Search must be made in Southern England (Hampshire and Wiltshire) and in Eastern England (Norfolk and Suffolk) to find the homes of these men. They came from Newbury, Ipswich and Watertown, under the leadership of Stephen Bachiler.
The first authentic record is found in the list of those who presented their petition to the General Court of Massachusetts at that session which began on 6 September, 1638.
“The Court grants that the petitioners, Mr. Steven BACHILER , Christopher Hussey, Mary Hussey vidua, Tho: Crumwell, Samuel Skullard, John Osgood, John Crosse, Samu: Greenfeild, John Molton, Tho: Molton, Willi: Estow, Willi: Palmer, Willi: SERGANT, Richrd Swayne, Willi: Sanders, Robrt Tucke, wthdivers others, shall have liberty to begin a plantation at Winnacunnet”.&c.
The first six grantees were all from the south or west of England. The last ten were probably from Norfolk or Suffolk. The “divers other”, being unnamed, we may not assign, but they probably included others of Bachiler’s neighbors or kinsmen, among them being his three Samborne grandchildren.
“Will[iam] Sargent” was in the section of married men in the list of first comers to Hampton
7 Nov 1644 – John Severans of Salisbury, planter, sold to William SARGENT of Salisbury, planter, twenty acres of upland in Salisbury on the west side of Powwos river
25 Mar 1647 – Anthony “Colebie” [our ancestor Anthony COLBY] of Salisbury, planter, deeded to William SARGENT of Salisbury, seaman, a dwelling house and house lot in Salisbury between Jarred Haddon and Henry Browne
16 Dec 1652 – William SARGENT of Salisbury sold to [our ancestor] John BROWNE of Hampton, the meadow and upland adjacent to Aquilla Chase and widow “Bristos”.
15 April 1659 – William SARGENT of Salisbury sold to John Woodin of Salisbury upland in Salisbury near the “Pawwaus River above the falls”
In his will of 20 June 1663 Theophilus SHATSWELL of Haverhill named “my brother Wilyam Sargent & my kinsman Lieutenant Philip Challis” his overseers; Philip Watson-Challis had married Mary, the eldest child of William Sargent. Recent research has shown that no sibling of Theophilus Shatswell married William SARGENT, and the two wives of William Sargent have been identified. The most likely remaining solution is that Theophilus Shatswell married a sister of William Sargent. Perhaps Theophilus married William’s sister Susanna SARGENT in 1639 in Ipswich, Mass. Susanna Sargent was born in 1618 in England. Susanna died in Oct 1672 in Ipswich, Mass
1 Nov 1666 – William Sargent of Salisbury, seaman, gave for “natural affection” to his son Thomas Sargent thirty acres of upland in Salisbury abutting the Merrimack River
22 Oct 1669 – William Sargent of Amesbury gave for “natural affection and other considerations” to his “beloved son Thomas Sargent” six acres of marsh granted to him by Salisbury, and a sweepage lot of salt marsh in Salisbury at a place called “ye beache” being lot number 8 containing three acres and four rods, being half the lot of marsh between two islands called “Barnss Iland” and “Ware Iland” ].
9 Oct 1669 – William Sargent of Amesbury, planter, gave for “natural affection and other considerations” to his “beloved son William Sargent” a great lot of upland containing two hundred acres in Amesbury, a lot of upland in ox common containing eight acres, a lot of upland west of the great pond containing forty acres, a lot of upland in “burchin meadow hill” containing forty-five acres “which I bought of Edward Goe”; the last division of three acres in the pond meadow (all the foregoing in Amesbury); and half his first division of the higledee pigledee lots of salt marsh in Salisbury.
4 Mar 1670/71 – William Sargent of Amesbury, seaman, sold for £2 10s. to William Sargent Jr. of Amesbury, planter, two acres of upland at the Indian ground in Amesbury; wife Johana Sargent made her mark to this deed
23 Apr 1672 – William Sargent of Amesbury, yeoman, sold to Isaac Green of Hampton 2 acres of salt marsh called Hall’s farm
1 Jul 1673 – William Sargent Sr. of Amesbury, with the consent of his wife, “Janna,” sold to Thomas Wells of Amesbury ninety-five rods of land in Amesbury, part of his houselot.
1 Oct 1673 – “William Sergent … of Almsberry in Norfolke senior and mariner” mortgaged to Nathaniel Williams of Suffolk County eight acres of upland in Amesbury that Sergeant had by exchange with Richard Currier .
24 Feb 1673/74] – William Sargent Sr. of Amesbury, seaman, sold to Caleb Moody of Newbury, maltster, for £5 1s. “my second division higledee pigledee” lot of salt marsh containing three acres in Salisbury .
18 Oct 1696 – Among parcels sold by William Sargent Jr. on to Henry Deering, was a great lot of upland given by his grandfather [unnamed] to his father William Sergeant, “containing by estimation 200 acres in Amesbury amongst the great lots”
WILL: In his will, dated 24 March 1670/1 and proved 13 April 1675, “
William Sargent of the town of Emsbery,” seaman, “being in pritty good health of body…” bequeathed to “my grandchild William Challis” £5; to “my grandchildren: Elizabeth, Lidia, Mary and Phillip Watson Challis” each of them 20s.; to “my grandchildren Dorethie, & Elizabeth Colby” each 20s; to “my grandchild William Sargent” 30s.; to “my daughter Elizabeth the wife of Samuel Colby” £5; residue to “my daughter Sarah” and if she die without children, the housing and lands to be equally divided to “my four children hereafter named i.e.: my sons Thomas & William: & my daughters: Mary and Elizabeth”; “my son Thomas Sargent and my daughter Sarah Sargent” executors; loving “brother-in-law Mr. Tho: Bradbury” and esteemed friend Major Robert Pike (son-in-law of Joseph MOYCE) , overseers .
The inventory of the estate of “Willi. Sargent, Senr.,” taken 8 April 1675 by Thomas Sergeant and John Weed, totalled £196, of which the real estate totalled £137 10s., including “housing & lands about the house & orchard on both sides [of] the country way,” £85; “half the lot in the tide meadows, £16; “a Higledee Pigledee lot in the salt marsh” £25; “a lot lying in … Lyons Mouth,” £5 10s.; “a lot in the great swamp,” £2; “a lot in … Bugmore,” £4 .
Unmarried daughter Sarah chose to have her “loving brother” Thomas act in her behalf as executor, 14 April 1675 .
Although William had married his last wife, Joanna, just a few months before he wrote his will, and she survived him, she was not mentioned, strongly implying that there was a pre-nuptial agreement (of which no record can now be found).
The Sargent family were some of the original settlers of the Agawam section of Ipswich, Essex co., MA, with William receiving 12 acres in the 1634 Ipswich Land Grant. The family later moved to Newbury, Essex co., MA; Hampton, Rockingham co., NH; Salisbury, Essex co., MA and finally Amesbury, Essex co., MA. Remember that NH & ME were all part of MA at the time. The family moved from Newbury to Hampton because “…’Willli[am] Sergant’ was amongst the list of petitioners mostly Newbury men who were headed by Stephen Bachiler, who were on 6 September 1638 granted ‘liberty to begin a plantation at Winnacunnet [what is now Hampton, Rockingham co., NH]…” And “Will[iam] Sargent” is listed as one of the married men in the list of first comers to Hampton..
The Sargents found themselves in court over disputes with their neighbors on many occasions. Given the fact that this pattern of contentiousness continued after Eliabeth’s death, I contend that William was the fractious party in the area. On 26 December 1643, William “Sargeant” sued Mr. William Hook of Salisbury for 56s. in corn. William acknowledged the court’s judgment in favor of Mr. Jonathan Wade on 26 September 1648. Michael Spencer sued him for detaining corn and other goods on 2 Jan 1650.
In 1672, William Sargent and Joanna his second wife sued Christopher Osgood for debt due part of the estate of Joanna’s late husband, Valentine Rowell . However, Joanna was curiously not mentioned in his will, although she had married him a few months earlier. To contemporary credible researchers, this strongly suggests that there was a pre-nuptial agreement between them which left Joanna nothing.
William Richard Sargent (1606 – 1675)
is my 10th great grandfather
Mary Sargent (1634 – 1716)
daughter of William Richard Sargent
John Challis (1655 – 1741)
son of Mary Sargent
Mary Challis (1699 – 1739)
daughter of John Challis
Amos Nicholls (1740 – )
son of Mary Challis
Amos Nicholls (1780 – )
son of Amos Nicholls
Amos Nicholls (1808 – 1868)
son of Amos Nicholls
Emiline P Nicholls (1837 – )
daughter of Amos Nicholls
Harriet Peterson (1856 – 1933)
daughter of Emiline P Nicholls
Sarah Helena Byrne (1878 – 1962)
daughter of Harriet Peterson
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Olga Fern Scott
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse
William is my 8th great grandfather, through his daughter Sarah who married Orlando Bagley. Harriet Bagley was my great-great grandmother, and my grandfather and great-grandfather carried the Bagley name as their middle names. I was born in Amesbury, and descend from many of the founding families of Amesbury and Newbury. It has been great fun discovering this and putting alla the pieces of the puzzle together over the years!
That is very impressive, Suzanne. I have some ancestors from Newbury also..but have not been to either town myself…someday I hope to visit.
I love reading your genealogy.. It’s so fascinating
William in my 10th ggf and I always appreciate such comprehensive reviews that inform so well.
But, if I can offer a thought, sharing the sources and citations is very helpful and furthers the effort to improve the quality of our research.
Just as I started reviewing your item, I was excited to see a birth date in Bath. But, I have not located a source for it.