John Whitcomb

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John Whitcomb, son of Thomas Whetcombe and Johanna Pope, was born at Taunton, Somerset, England, about 1588.1 He died at Lancaster, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 24 September 1662, at age 74.1,2,3

John married Frances Cogan, daughter of Henry Cogan and Joane Boridge, at St. Mary Magdalene, Taunton, Somerset, England, 26 November 1623.2,1,4

On 16 September 1630, John Whitcomb was fined for one tenement in the tithing of Exta Portam, formerly of Thomas Pope and late of Thomas Whetcombe, by grant of Johanna Whetcombe, widow, his mother, on condition that the said Johanna hold "the three fore chambers" of the tenement with free entry and exit, and that the said John shall pay Johanna an annuity of £5 4s. for life and pay the legacies in her will dated 31 Jan. last, fine 40s.

A memorandum was made 3 February 1634/5 that John paid Edmund £6 as specified in the last will of the said Johana Whetcombe in the presence of John West and Henry West Jr.5

"John Whettcombe & family" shipped on the Hopewell, 8 May 1635, out of Weymouth, bound for Massachusetts Bay, John Driver, master.6

A planter, John Whitcomb first resided at Dorchester, removed to Scituate in 1639, and on to Lancaster by 1654.

He took the oath of fidelity at Scituate, 15 Jan 1644/5, was proposed for Plymouth Colony freemanship, 6 June 1651, and admitted 3 June1652. Upon freemanship, he was immediately put to work, being a member of a Plymouth petit jury, 4 June 1652, and selected constable for Scituate, 3 June 1652. He was in the Scituate portion of the 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms.

3 Mar 1639/40, the court gave him custody of Roger Glasse, a nephew of John's wife, Frances:
"Foreasmuch as John Crocker, of Scituate, is proved to have corrected his servant boy, Roger Glasse, in a most extreme & barbarous manner, the court upon due consideration hath taken the said Roger Glasse from the said John Crocker, and placed him with John Whetcombe, of Scituate, to serve out his time with the said John Whetcombe, which is six years from the fourteenth of June next, the said John Whetcombe paying the said John Crocker three pounds, deducting five shillings for his charges, & the said Crocker to deliver up his clothes to the said Whetcombe."

John complained against John Stow, "in an action of trespass upon the case, to the damage of £30. The jury find for the plaintiff £5 damages & charges of the suit. Execution made for 14s. 6d, 3 Mar 1639/40.

4 Oct 1653, "Ephraim Kemton complaineth against John Whetcome, in an action of the case, to the damage of thirty shillings, for nonpayment of money, as appears upon the bill. The jury find for the plaintiff the bill and the charges of the court."7

On 5 July 1636, John Whitcomb was granted 12 acres "at Squantum Neck" in Dorchester. 28 March 1637/8, he was granted four acres, three roods and ten rods in the Neck and the same amount in the Cows' Pasture.

"Richard Leids hath half an acre commons on each division of commons of that which was John Whetcome which he purchased," 31 October 1639.

He purchased from Christopher Winter of Scituate, planter,
"all that his house & ground thereunto belonging which were formerly bought by George Bower of John Stowe of Rocksberry, or had by division allotted by the freemen of Scituate which house & lands are lying and being in Scituate aforesaid & containing by estimation four acres of upland & three acres of marsh ground . . . and one lot of upland lying in the Third Cliff in Scituate aforesaid containing by estimation twenty acres . . . and a parcel of marsh ground lying at the southwest end thereof containing by estimation nine acres," 13 April 1640.

"Jno. Whetcome, planter," was one of twenty-six inhabitants of Scituate who purchased from Timothy Haterly most of his interest in the lands at Conihassett; Hather held three-quarters of the tract, and sold to John one-thirtieth of that share, and John thereby received several parcles at Conihassett, 1 December 1646.

He sold to Thomas Hicke of Scituate, planter, "all that parcel of upland lying and being in Sittuate aforesaid on the south side of the river commonly called and known per the name of the North River . . . being per computation one hundred acres . . . together with eight acres . . . of marsh meadow . . . all which said upland and marsh was given unto me the said John Whetcome per the freemen of Sittuae," 4 July 1649.

An undated inventory of the first division of land at Lancaster shows as "The Lands of John Whitcomb Senior":
his house lot give and granted by the town lyeth on the west side [of the] neck being twenty acres

his intervale lot part of it lying on the east side of the North Rover there being by estimation about fifteen acres and a half

nine acres of intervale at Quasaponikin between his son John Whitcomb and him either of them having an equal proportion that is either four acres and half but it was not divided between them when it was laid out . . . this four acres and half makes up the other fifteen and half his full lot of twenty acres according tot he town grant but according to liberty granted by a town order the fifteen acres and half exactly measured it was found to be but fourteen acres and half and so it is an acre wanting which is laid out together with his second division of intervale.

25 March 1654, he sold to John Williams Jr. of Scituate, husbandman:
"all my right title and interest in half a share of upland of Cohasset land excepting ten acres of the aforesaid half share of upland formerly sold per me to Mr. Timothy Hatherly,
also half a share of meadow land of Cohasset land aforesaid containing by estimation six acres and half . . .  which half share of meadow lyeth in two parts of parcels, the one part or parcel of it containeth three acres & a quarter . . . lyeth in the Great Marsh . . . , the other part or parcel of meadow containing three acres & quarter . . . lyeth within the Glaide Islands being the half of the fifth lot of marsh."8

At Lancaster, John lived for a time next to Stephen Gates, apparently a quarrelsome man. Gates had held a town office, "of which he was dispossessed." He left town but later sued John Whitcomb, who made the following note:
John Whitcombe for . . . three swine killed and spoiled by his three sonnes doth hereby promise to pay unto Steven Gates the sum of forty-five shill. in wheate within a week after michael tyde next 1658 to be payed at his house in Sudbury the sd Steven allowing for the carriage of the wheate ten shill 6d.
Date Apr 2, 1658     John Whitcomb

John later tried to petition the court about the matter, claiming he had been given no proof that he or his sons had injured Gates, but he had predjudiced his own case by the note.9

He died intestate, and his inventory was taken 2 October 1662. It was untotaled, but included real estate of £112:
house, orchard and broke upland, £26
land within fence unbroke up 24 acres, £24
intervale land without fence 11 acres, £8 10s.
house lots unbroke up 36 acres, £18
in meadow 12 acres, £24
in lands of second division 300 acres, £7 10s.
in the common right in the town, £4

On the same date, the widow and children agreed to a division of the estate:
"Francis Wetcomb widow and late wife of the deceased shall have the now dwelling house and one half of the orchard that now is and that is to be of that which is nearest to the said dwelling house and so much broke up upland ground as will make up that in her part of the orchard two acres of the nearest broke up land thereunto, and also two acres of broke up intervale land lying betweixt the said dwelling house and the river, also one third part of that we call the pasture and also one third part of the meadow and likewise a third part in all commonage . . . during the time of her natural life," and some moveables;

"John Wecomb and Jonathan Wecomb, two of the sons of the said deceased John Wecomb shall have the house lot which is next unto Goodman Breck's lot and also nineteen acres of intervale next adjoining thereto" and some moveables;

"Job Wetcomb and Josiah Wetcomb the two younger sons of the said deceased John Wetcomb shall have the upland or house lot which formerly was their brother John's lot it being twenty acres and also twenty-one acres of intervale part of it adjoining to the before mentioned intervale lot and part of it lying at Qussaponakin and part of it where it shall fall to be laid out";

"Abigall Wecomb daughter to the deceased John Wecomb shall have one cow";

"when Mary Wetcomb daughter to the said deceased John Wetcomb is sixteen years of age we will give to her one cow."10


Frances Cogan b. 24 Feb 1605/6, d. 17 May 1671
  • Katharine Whitcomb1,2 b. 1624, d. 26 May 1668
  • John Whitcomb1,2 b. 6 Aug 1626, d. 6 Apr 1683
  • Jonathan Whitcomb1,2 b. 14 Sep 1628, d. Oct 1628
  • Robert Whitcomb1,2 b. 20 Dec 1629, d. 1671
  • Elizabeth Whitcomb11 b. say 1632, d. bef. 10 Jan 1634/35
  • Joane Whitcomb1,2 b. 18 May 1634
  • Jonathan Whitcomb12 b. say 1636, d. Feb 1690
  • Job Whitcomb1,2 b. abt. 1636, d. 8 Nov 1683
  • Josiah Whitcomb+1,2 b. abt. 1638, d. 21 Mar 1718
  • Abigail Whitcomb1,2 b. abt. 1642
  • Mary Whitcomb1,2 b. abt. 1647
This person was last edited on12 Jul 2015


  1. [S16] Mary L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife Francis Helen Miller (Concord, New Hampshire: Rumsford Press, 1948), 86-93, further cited as Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy.
  2. [S778] George E. McCracken, "Early Cogans English and American; Part D. The Cogan Family of Taunton and Wellington, co. Somerset," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 111 (Jul 1957): 168-187, further cited as McCracken, "Cogan Family of Taunton and Wellington."
  3. [S907] Henry Stedman Nourse, The Birth, Marriage, and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850, two vols. (Clinton, Massachusetts: W. J. Cooper, Printer, 1890), 1:12, further cited as Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster.
  4. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1646, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  5. [S776] Burton W. Spear, "John Whitcomb," Search for the Passengers of the Mary & John, 1630, 26 (1997):62, further cited as Spear, Mary & John.
  6. [S1492] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 143-144, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660.
  7. [S2053] Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants To New England, 1634-1635 (7 vols., Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2011), 7:326-331, further cited as Anderson, et al., The Great Migration.
  8. [S2053] Anderson, et al., The Great Migration, 7:327-328.
  9. [S16] Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy, 87.
  10. [S2053] Anderson, et al., The Great Migration, 7:328-329.
  11. [S776] Spear, "John Whitcomb," Mary & John, 26 (1997):70.
  12. [S2053] Anderson, et al., The Great Migration, 7:330.