James Atherton

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ChartsAncestors of William Jerome Pierce
James Atherton, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at Wigan, England, about 1624.1 He died at Sherburn, Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, between 3 January 1708 and 19 September 1710, the date and proof of his will.1

James married Hannah (…), whose parents are unknown (or untraced), say 1653.2,3

He was a tanner, and before 1653 lived in an area called Nashaway, but soon settled in Dorchester in the area now called Milton.

15 March 1653 he signed the orders adopted by the grantees of the new town of Lancaster which was formed from the Nashaway plantation. Eight months later he witnessed an agreement of John Prescott. In 1654 the estates of the 30 planters were appraised to determine the appropriate division of new lands. James' was appraised at £69 5s 0d

He returned to Milton during the Indian troubles of 1675, and 20 Nov 1681, was admitted to the church there. In 1697 he turned over his Lancaster lands to son James and shortly after this James and Hannah removed to Sherburne.4

James left a will dated 3 January 1707/8, and proved 19 Sep 1710 naming wife Hannah executrix, sons James, Joshua, and daughters Hannah, Elizabeth, and Deborah. Son-in-law Samuel Bullard would be overseer.5


Hannah (…)
  • James Atherton4 b. 13 May 1654, d. bef. 1 Apr 1718
  • Joshua Atherton6 b. 13 May 1656
  • Hannah Atherton+6 b. 10 Jan 1658/59, d. 4 Jan 1737/38
  • Mary Atherton7 b. 17 Jan 1660/61, d. 4 Nov 1670
  • Elizabeth Atherton8 b. say 1665, d. 10 Aug 1665
  • Elizabeth Atherton7 b. 6 Oct 1666
  • Deborah Atherton9 b. 1 Jun 1669
  • Joseph Atherton10 b. 28 Apr 1672
This person was last edited on2 Aug 2015


  1. [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), 1:20, further cited as Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster.
  2. [S1330] Estimated from birth date of first child (1654).
  3. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 49, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  4. [S1313] Eben Putnam, "Notes on the Atherton Families," Putnam's Historical Magazine New Series, Vol. VII (1900), at 181-183, further cited as "Atherton Families."
  5. [S1314] Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, Probate records 1648--1924, 509, FHL microfilm 553261, further cited as Middlesex Co. Probate Papers.
  6. [S907] Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster, 1:9.
  7. [S907] Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster, 1:11.
  8. [S907] Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster, 1:12.
  9. [S907] Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster, 1:13.
  10. [S907] Nourse, Vital Records of Lancaster, 1:14.