James Babcock

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ChartsAncestors of Jennie Luene Logan
James Babcock, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at Essex, England, in 1612.1 He died at Stonington, Connecticut, 12 June 1679.1

James married (1) Sarah (…), whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), say 1640;1,2 he married (2) Elizabeth (…), whose ancestry is also not known (or not traced here), about 1669.1,2

James Babcock first appears in the records of Portsmouth, Rhode Island 25 Jan 1641/2 when he was granted 10 acres.

He was made freeman, 10 Jul 1648 and became an active citizen: juryman 21 Nov 1649, 11 Aug 1652, 2 Mar 1657, and in October 1661. He was made assessor, 19 Feb 1650, and in 1642 and 1650 was appointed to examine the miiltary arms of the townspeople. With six others he was on a committee to meet with committees from other towns, and was a member of the General Court of Commissioners of Rhode Island, representing Portsmouth in 1657 through 1659. There were other minor appointments such as service on a coroner's jury, laying out highways, and settling land boundary disputes.

5 Oct 1643, he and another were ordered to lock up all the arms in the town, and 23 May 1650 he was one of six appointed to mend and make all arms for the townspeople. In addition to the first grant, he received a second of eight acres in 1657. He is last seen in Portsmouth, 19 Dec 1662, when he was mentioned as a member of a committee to lay out lands.

In 1660, a company had formed for establishing a new settlement at Misquamucock (now Westerly), Rhode Island. In the first allotment, James had lot 52. On 12 Nov 1661, the number of trustees was increased from eight to eighteen, and James and his son John were among those added. The first settlement was made in March 1661/2, and James and four others were "Commissionated to act for us as to the managing of our affairs at Misquamucock who are to discourse and answer to any that shall come to debate matters with them. They or any two of them to forewarn any whatsoever either to build or sow, mow or fall timber upon that tract of land."

He finally sold his Portsmouth property for £50 in 1665. About this time there were some disputes between Connecticut and Rhode Island as both claimed jurisdiction over the new settlement. 1 Mar 1664, Babcocke wrote to the Rhode Island authorities about the riotous actings" of the men of Stonington against him, and the Court requested the Governor of the Colony to send a letter of complaint to Connecticut about the matter. Indians were also involved. 18 May 1667, Babcocke and other Westerly men drove some Pequot Indians from a plantation area east of the Pawcatuck River which they claimed, and the Pequots asked Connecticut for redress against "such men that wear hats and clothes like Englishmen, but have dealt with us like wolves and bears." The dispute was still ongoing when 18 Jun 1670, the Commissioners of Connecticut ordered him to appear before them to answer for having arrested three Connecticut men. He was allowed to give bail and released on the charge.

Westerly was incorporated in 1669, and four of the twenty-four freemen were Babcockes. 18 May 1671, James renewed his allegiance to Rhode Island and the King.

Late in life, 2 Mar 1678, James was baptized by William Hiscox and united with the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Westerly and Newport.

Before his death, he "verbelly declared" his will to his sons John and Job, who appeared in court, 17 Sep 1679 to testify to it. It mentions the tools he used as a blacksmith which were to go to Job, and bequeathed housing, land, and one cow and one calf to his daughters with the remainder to the widow. His inventory was taken 5 Jul 1679 and sworn to at Westerly, 17 Sep 1679 and totaled £60 1s.3

Family 1

Sarah (…) b. abt. 1620, d. aft. 1665
  • James Babcock4 b. 1641, d. abt. Jan 1699
  • John Babcock+1 b. 1644, d. 1685
  • Job Babcock5 b. say 1646, d. 1718
  • Mary Babcock5 b. say 1648, d. 1747

Family 2

Elizabeth (…) d. aft. 1679
  • Joseph Babcock6 b. abt. 1670, d. 1762
  • Nathaniel Babcock1 b. say 1673
  • Elizabeth Babcock1 b. say 1675
This person was last edited on16 Dec 2017


  1. [S641] Stephen Babcock, Babcock Genealogy (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1903), 1-6, further cited as Babcock, Babcock Genealogy.
  2. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 60, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  3. [S1779] Louis Effingham de Forest, Babcock and Allied Families (New York: de Forest Publishing, 1928), 10-12, further cited as de Forest, Babcock.
  4. [S641] Babcock, Babcock Genealogy, 1-8.
  5. [S641] Babcock, Babcock Genealogy, 1-6, 12-13.
  6. [S641] Babcock, Babcock Genealogy, 1-6,12-13.