Extracted From
Early Settlers Of Nantucket
their associates and descendants.
      Lydia Swain Mitchell Hinchman
Printed by J.B. Lippincott Co.

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]



      Near the town of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, England, in the Parish of Chilmark, resided (" prior to his embarkation for America, probably in 1635") Thomas Macy.
      The name of the vessel upon which he came to America is not recorded, but he arrived not later than 1639.
      Thomas Macy was among the original settlers of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and is in " The first or Original list of ye townsmen of Salisbury in ye booke of Records."
      We find also recorded that he was " a merchant, planter, one of the select-men of the town, a juryman, and, withal a preacher."
The Massachusetts laws passed in 1656 and 1657 were a great drawback to freedom of worship.
      Several persons were prosecuted for violating the law of 1657 which prohibited entertaining Quakers. Among these was Thomas Macy, who was fined thirty shillings, notwithstanding his " explanation and apology," and was ordered to be admonished by the governor.
      It is a matter of record that he sheltered Edward Wharton, William Robinson, merchant of London, and Marmaduke Stephenson, of Yorkshire, England. The two last named were hanged in Boston the 27th of October, 1659.
      The following letter from General Court files is a copy of a reply to a summons to appear at court to answer for his violation of the law in this particular:
          " This is to entreat the honored Court not to be offended because of my non-appearance. It is not from any slighting the authority of this honored Court, nor from feare to answer the case, but I have bin for some weeks past very ill, and am so at present, and notwithstanding my illness, yet I desirous to appear, have done my utmost endeavour to hire a horse but cannot procure one at present.
          " I being at present destitute have endeavoured to purchase, but at present cannot attaine it, but shall relate the truth of the case as my answer should be to ye honored Court, and more cannot be proved, nor so much.
          " On a rainy morning there came to my house Edward Wharton and three men more, the said Wharton spoke to me saying that they were travelling eastward and desired me to direct them in the way to Hampton, and asked me how far it was to Casco Bay.
          " I never saw any of ye men afore except Wharton neither did I require their names, or who they were, but by their carriage I thought they might be Quakers and told them so, and therefore desired them to passe on their way, saying to them I might possibly give offence in entertaining them, and as soone as the violence of the rain ceased (for it rained very hard) they went away and I never saw them since.
          "The time that they stayed in the house was about three quarters of an hour, but I can safely affirm that it was not an houre.
          " They spake not many words in the time, neither was I at leisure to talke with them, for I came home wet to ye skin, immediately afore they came to the house and I found my wife sick in bed. If this satisfie not the honored Court I shall subject to their sentence.
          " I have not willingly offended. I am ready. to serve and obey you in the Lord.
          "THOS. MACY."
      He was a Baptist, and on the Sabbath frequently exhorted the people; this, too, was in violation of the Massachusetts law which prohibited all but the regularly ordained from such service.
      Tradition says that immediately after his sentence Thomas Macy removed to Nantucket.
      In the "Macy Genealogy" it is related that " in 1659 he embarked at Salisbury in a small boat with his wife and children and such household goods as he could conveniently carry, and in company with Isaac Coleman and Edward Starbuck set sail for Nantucket." [James Coffin, son of Tristram, Sr., is said to have accompanied the three named.]
      The same papers say, " because he could not in justice to the dictates of his own conscious longer submit to the tyranny of the clergy and those in authority."
      It appears from the above detail that Thomas Macy satisfied the requirements of the law and paid his fine, but undoubtedly he believed he could lead a more peaceful and independent life at Nantucket, and may have preferred voluntary exile to possible banishment.
      Thomas Macy must have returned to Salisbury, as he is recorded as living there in 1664.
      Before his removal to Nantucket he was commissioner, and representative to the General Court from Salisbury, and the citizens of that town bore testimony of their sympathy with him by electing his friend and defender Robert Pike as his successor.
      That he again, at a later date, removed to Nantucket is evident from old records, Register's office, in which it will be found that October 1, 1675, he was commissioned chief magistrate of the town.
      He was the first recorder appointed on the island, and a portion at least of the first Book of Records in the office at Nantucket was written by him.
      He died April 19, 1682, aged seventy-four. His wife, Sarah (Hopcot) Macy, who came with him from Chilmark, survived him for nearly a quarter of a century.

JOHN MACY, son of Thomas and Sarah Macy, born at Salisbury July 14, 1655, married Deborah Gardner, daughter of Richard and Sarah (Shattuck) Gardner, and died at Nantucket, October 14, 1691, at the early age of thirty-six ; through him alone the name has descended to posterity.

      [Note.-In 1637-38, GEORGE MACY appears to have been prominent in the settlement of Taunton, Massachusetts. Savage (vol. iii. p. 142) says he was in 1643 lieutenant in King Philip's War, and representative in 1672 and for six years ; also among the inhabitants of Taunton in 1668 there was a Samuel Macy, who is supposed to have been a son of George and to have died single prior to the death of his father ; of this Taunton family there is no further record, nor of any others of the name excepting Thomas and his descendants.
      The only reasons for supposing George Macy was of the same family as Thomas are the name and the date of his emigration to America.
      The name Macy signifies mace or staff.


      EDWARD STARBUCK was born in 1604, and came from Derbyshire, England, to Dover, New Hampshire, with his wife, Katharine (Reynolds), of Wales, about 1635.
      " He is first mentioned as receiving 1643 a grant of forty acres of land on each side of the Fresh River at Cutchechoe . . . and also one platt of Marsh above Cutchechoe great Marsh, that the brook that runs out of the river runs through, first discovered by Richard Walderne, Edward Colcord, Edward Starbuck, and William Furber.
      " He had other grants at different times, one of Marsh in Great Bay in 1643, one of the Mill privilege at Cutchechoe 2nd Falls (with Thomas Wiggins) and one of timber to 'accommodate' in 1650 and various others.
      " Indeed Edward owned considerable land and was evidently a man of substance as to possessions as tradition says he was in body.
      " He was a representative in 1643 and 1646, was an elder in the church and enjoyed various other tokens of respect given him by his fellow citizens.
      " In fact he might have lived comfortably at Dover and died in the midst of his family, respected and contented but that he embraced Baptist sentiments." [N.E. Hist. and Gen. Reg., vol. viii, p. 68.]
      In Provincial " Papers of New Hampshire Historical Society," we find the following :
    " Oct. 18, 1648.-The Court being informed of great misdemeanor Committed by Edward Starbuck of Dover with profession of Anabatism for which he is to be proceeded against at the next Court of Assistants if evidence can be prepared by that time & it being very farre for witnesses to travill to Boston at that season of the year, It is therefore ordered by this Court that the Secretary shall give Commission to Capt. Thomas Wiggan & Mr Edw. Smyth to send for such persons as they shall have notice of which are able to testify in the sd. cause & to take their testimony uppon oath & certifie the same to the secretary so soon as may be, that further proceedings may be therein, if the cause shall so require"
      It is not to be wondered at that Edward Starbuck was quite ready to leave Dover under existing conditions. He was fifty-five years of age when he joined Thomas Macy in his voyage from Salisbury to Nantucket; he spent the winter there and in the spring returned to Dover for his family, who all accompanied him to the island excepting his daughters Sarah (Austin) and Abigail (Coffin), who had married and settled in Dover. " Dover lost a good citizen" and Nantucket gained a much respected one ; " he was a leading man on the Island and at one time a Magistrate ;" he is described as " courageous and persevering."
      In " Landmarks in Ancient Dover" mention is made of Starbuck's Brook in 1701 as a boundary of property which Peter Coffin (son-in-law of Edward Starbuck) conveyed to John Ham. Starbuck's Marsh was granted to Elder Starbuck August 30, 1643, and Starbuck's Point and Marsh, now called Fabyan's Point, was granted to Edward Starbuck in 1643, and is again mentioned in 1662, 1702, and 1716 in conveyance of property, since which time the usual desire to change ancient names has destroyed what might be valuable historical landmarks.
      One son only lived to perpetuate the name,-Nathaniel, who married Mary (daughter of Tristram Coffin); he is the ancestor of all American Starbucks.
      Edward Starbuck died in 1690.
      [Note - The name Starbuck is from the Norse, and signifies great or grand.]


So much information concerning Tristram Coffin has been developed and published in connection with the Coffin Reunion at Nantucket in 1881, that a very brief sketch is sufficient here.
      He was so important in the early history of the settlement that at the risk of repeating much that has already been written, some notice of him and his interesting family will not be out of place.
      Tristram Coffin, the founder of the family line of Coffins in America signed his name " Coffyn."
      He was born in Brixton, Devonshire, England, in 1605. He married Dionis Stevens, daughter of Robert Stevens, of Brixton.
      In 1642 he came to America with his family and his widowed mother Joan, and resided first at Newbury, later at Haverhill and Salisbury, until 1660, when he settled at Nantucket.
      The family to which he belonged is the oldest of the Nantucket families. The first of the name of whom there is any record is Sir Richard Coffin, who removed from Normandy to England in 1066 ; he entered the English army, had lands granted to him, and was knighted by the king.
      From Prince's " Worthies of Devonshire" we learn that the ancient family of the name settled at Portledge, by the sea-side, in the Parish of Alwington, five miles from Biddeford, "and flourished there from the time of King Henry the First unto the age of King Edward the Second."
For two hundred years each successive heir of this family bore the name of Richard.
      Within a short distance of Fallaise, a town of Normandy, stands the old château of Cortiton, once the home of the Norman Coffins.
      The last Miss Coffin married a Le Clerc late in the eighteenth century, since which time the Le Clerc family has occupied the Norman estates. When last visited, the château, though ancient, was in good repair.
      Members of the family are mentioned in history often associated with royalty from 1066 to the latter part of the sixteenth century, since which time the lines of descent are complete.
      Tristram lived at Northam, [Northam was the first name of Dover, New Hampshire.] near Capaum Pond, Nantucket, and died tenth month 2d, 1681, aged seventy-six years.
      He was the first chief magistrate of Nantucket. The following is a copy of his commission, taken from Mr. F. B. Hough's book, compiled from official records at Albany.
          " Commiffion Granted to Mr. Tristram Coffin, Senr., to be Chiefe Magiftrate in and over the Iflands of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett."-[Deeds III., 62, Secretary's Office, Albany, New York.

          " Francis Love]ace, Esq., &c : Whereas upon Addrefs made unto mee by Mr. Triftram Coffin and. Mr. Thomas Macy on ye behalfe of themfelves and ye reft of ye Inhabitants of Nantuckett Ifland concerning ye Mannor and Method of Governmnt to be ufed among themfelves, and having by ye Advice of my Councell pitcht upon a way for them That is to fay That they be Governed by a Person as Chiefe Magiftrate, and two Affiftants, ye former to be nominated by myfelfe, ye other to bee chofen and confirmed by ye Inhabitants as in ye Inftructions fent unto them is more particularly Sett forth. And having conceived a good Opinion of ye ffitnefs and capacity of Mr. Triftram Coffin to be ye prsent Chiefe Magiftrate to manage Affayres wth ye Ayd and good Advice of ye Affiftants in ye Islands of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett, I have thought fitt to Nominate, Constitute, and Appoint and by these Prfents doe hereby Nominate Constitute and Appoint Mr. Triftram Coffin to be Chiefe Magiftrate of ye faid Iflands of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett. In ye Managemt of weh faid Employmt, hee is to ufe his beft Skill and Endeavour to prferve his Maties Peace, and to keep ye Inhabitants in good Ordr. And all Persons are hereby required to give ye faid Mr. Triftram Coffin fuch Refpect and Obedience as belongs to a Person invefted by commiffion from Authority of his Royall Highnefs in ye Place and Employmt of a Chief Magistrate in ye Iflands aforefaid. And hee is duely to obferve the Orders and Inftructions weh are already given forth for ye well governing of ye Place, or fuch others as from Time to Time fhall hereafter bee given by mee : And for whatfoever ye faid Mr. Triftram Coffin fhall lawfully Act or Doe in Profecution of ye Premifes, This is my Commiffion WI is to bee of fforce until' ye 13th day of October, which shall bee in ye Yeare of our Lord 1672, when a new magiftrate is to enter into the Employmt f hall bee his sufficient Warrant and Difcharge.
          " Given under my Hand and Seal at fforte James in New Yorke, this 29th day of June in ye 22d Yeare of his mties Reigne, Annoq. Dni. 1671.
          66 FRAN : LOVELACE."
The following is a list of children of Tristram Coffin :

HON. PETER COFFIN was born in England in 1631; he married Abigail Starbuck, daughter of Edward and Katharine Starbuck, of Dover, New Hampshire. He was one of the original purchasers of Nantucket, but resided there for a short time only. He was made a freeman in 1666 at Dover.
      In 1675 he was a lieutenant on service in King Philip's War. In 1672-73 and again in 1679 he was a representative in the legislative branch. In 1690 he removed to Exeter, New Hampshire. From 1692 to 1714 he was at different times associate justice and chief justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, and a member of the Governor's Council. He died at Exeter, March 21, 1715.

TRISTRAM COFFIN, JR., was born in England in 1632. He married in Newbury, Massachusetts, March 2, 1652, Judith Somerby, widow of Henry Somerby and daughter of Edmund and Sarah Greenleaf. He was made freeman April 29, 1668, and died in Newbury, Febuary 4, 1704, aged seventy-two. He was a merchant tailor and filled many positions of trust. He lived in the Coffin mansion in Newbury, which still continues in the family ; whether he or his wife's former husband built it is uncertain.
      It is said that Tristram Coffin, Sr., lived in this old mansion before he removed to Nantucket.

ELIZABETH COFFIN was born in England about 1634-35 ; and married in Newbury, November 13, 1651, Captain Stephen Greenleaf, son of Edmund Greenleaf ; she died at Newbury, November 19, 1678.

JAMES COFFIN was born in England, August 12, 1640. He married, December 3, 1663, Mary, daughter of John and Abigail Severance, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and died at Nantucket, July 28, 1720, aged eighty years. He was one of the associate proprietors, and filled several important offices at Nantucket, among them judge of Probate Court, and is said to have been the first judge of probate on the island, appointed in 1680. [Massachusetts Civil List, pp. 112-114.]

JOHN and DEBORAH died in infancy.

MARY COFFIN, seventh child of Tristram Coffin, Sr., was born in Haverhill, February 20, 1645. She, was married in 1662, at the age of seventeen, to Nathaniel, son of Edward and Katharine (Reynolds) Starbuck. The first book of births, marriages, and deaths for the town of Sherburne (page 11) says " Mary Starbuck departed this Life ye 13 day a yr 9 mo. 1717 in ye 74 year of her age and was decently buried in Friends burying ground." Her husband, Nathaniel Starbuck, Sr., died in 1719.
      She was a remarkable woman, anticipating by two centuries the advanced views of women of today. She took an active part in town debates, usually opening her remarks with " My husband and I, having considered the subject, think, etc."
In 1701, at the age of fifty-six, she became interested in the religious faith of the Friends, and held meetings at her house. She was a minister in the Society, as were also several of her children, her grandsons Elihu and Nathaniel Coleman, and her grand-daughter Priscilla Bunker.
      Elihu Coleman published one of the earliest protests against slavery in New England.
      Mary Starbuck was "as distinguished in her domestic economy as she was celebrated as a preacher."
      The following copy of a letter from Mary Starbuck to her grand-daughter Eliza Gorham, who had suffered loss by fire, gives evidence of her interest in domestic matters.
    "NANTUCKET 17th of 1st mo 1714.
    " DEAR CHILD E. G.
          " These few lines may certify thee that thou art often in my remembrance, with thy dear husband and children, with breathings to the Lord for you, that you may find rest in all your visitations and trials; As also that there is a trunk filled with goods which is intended to be put on Eben Stewards vessel, in which are several small tokens from thy friends which thou may particularly see by the little invoices here enclosed, and by some other marks that are upon the things.
          "Thy Aunt Dorcas in a new pair of osnaburg sheets, thy Aunt Dinah in a pair of blankets, Thy Grandfather intends to send thee a bbl. of mutton, but it is not all his own, for Cousin James Coffin sent hither 17 pieces. Cousin James said he intended to send thee two or three bushels of corn.
          " There is likewise sent from our women's meeting £7 which thy uncle Jethro said he would give an order for, for thee to take to Boston.
          " Sister James told me she intended to send thee two bushels of corn and some wool and likewise that Justice Worth said he would send thee some corn.
          " More meat and corn will be sent which will be in greater quantities, which thy uncle Jethro Starbuck will give thee an acct. of or to thy husband.
          " I should have been glad if he had come over with Steward, but I hope we shall see him this summer, if not both of you.
          " So with my kind love to thee and thy husband, children and to all our frds. committing you to the protection of the Almighty who is the wise disposer of all things and remain thy affectionate Grandmother
          " Thy Grandfather's love to you all and Uncle Barnabas's, Susanna is well and her love to you also."
Nathaniel Starbuck was in his time considered wealthy, and was by no means a man of small ability, but his wife seems to have taken the lead in most matters.

LIEUTENANT JOHN COFFIN was born at Haverhill, October 30, 1647; he married Deborah, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Starbuck) Austin. After his father's death he removed to Martha's Vineyard, and died there September 5, 1711.
      Authority for his commission as lieutenant of militia will be found Part First of Vol. XXXIV., and on page 21 of the New York Colonial Manuscripts in the custody of the Regents of the University in the State Library at Albany, and recorded by the Secretary of the Province of New York among memoranda of several military commissions, directed by Governor Thomas Dongan to be issued, and reads thus :

" Mr. John Coffin a Commission to be Lieu. of said Company at Nantucket June 5th 1684 all the first forme."

STEPHEN COFFIN was born at Newbury, May 10, 1652.
      He married Mary, daughter of George and Jane (Godfrey) Bunker, about 1668, and died at Nantucket November 14, 1734.
      He remained upon his father's estate, and to him was given the management of his father's business, on agreement "to be helpful to his parents in their old age."
      It is not surprising that the descendants of Tristram Coffin still bearing the name are so numerous when we find that of his nine children five out of the seven who married were sons; that Peter had nine children, that Tristram, Jr., had ten children and left one hundred and seventy-seven descendants, that James had fourteen children, that Lieutenant John had eleven children, and that Stephen had ten.
      The two daughters, Mary Starbuck and Elizabeth Greenleaf, each had ten children, adding in two centuries many more descendants to the list, although not of the name.

The Nantucket Inquirer of July 22, 1826, says, " The House [probably at Newbury] in which Tristram Coffin resided is still standing, and has been the residence of seven generations of the same name.
      " The names of more than twelve thousand descendants of Tristram Coffin can be ascertained, some of whom are found in England, in all the British Dominions and in every state in the Union."
      The above was written by Joshua Coffin, Newburyport, and is signed " Jam satis."

Joshua Coffin, antiquarian and historian, was descended from Joseph, son of Nathaniel, who was youngest son of Tristram Coffin, Jr.
      Joseph married Margaret Morse, daughter of Benjamin Morse, of Newbury.
      " Joshua Coffin, Esq.," was born in the old Coffin mansion in Newbury, October 12, 1792, and died June 24, 1864. He was one of the twelve persons who, together with William Lloyd Garrison and others, formed the first anti-slavery society in New England. He was for many years a teacher, and numbered among his pupils men who attained high position in after years.
      Note.-Savage says, " Twenty-six of Tristram's descendants graduated in 1828 at New England colleges, fifteen at Harvard alone."


      The following facts have been abridged from an account published in the Boston Herald within a few years.
      On the easterly side of Harrison Avenue just above Kneeland Street, a trifle back from the Avenue (Boston), stands a gambrel roof wooden structure. This building was moved from its original site, corner of Beach Street and Oxford Place, to its present location nearly half a century ago. It was the residence of Nathaniel Coffin, one of the foremost adherents of King George, who at one time held the responsible position of collector of his Majesty's customs for the port of Boston. The house must have been built as early as 1750, and it was, on May 16, 1759, the birthplace of Isaac Coffin, who afterwards rose to be an admiral in the British navy. In the same house was born his brother John, who became major-general in the British army.
      Sir Isaac retained an affection for the place of his birth, and coming from Nantucket stock he invested in 1827 the sum of £2500 in English funds for the establishment of a school on that Island to be known as the " Coffin School."
Drake, in his " Old Landmarks of Boston," says that of this fund " the Mayor and Aldermen of Boston were made trustees for the distribution of the annual interest among five of the most deserving boys and as many girls of that school."
King George III., with whom Sir Isaac was a great favorite, gave him a grant of the Island of Magdalen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and in after years it was proposed to create him Earl of Magdalen; this proposition fell through, and the alleged reason was, that in establishing the Coffin school in Nantucket he was creating sailors who in mature age might fight against the crown.
      At the present time the old house in Boston is used for manufacturing purposes.
      Sir Isaac Coffin was the fifth generation in descent from Tristram, Sr., his father being Nathaniel, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Barnes, of Boston. Nathaniel was the son of William, who was the son of Nathaniel, who was the son of James, who was the son of Tristram Coffin, Sr.
      The following extracts from an English biographical work on the life of Admiral Coffin are abridged from manuscript of the late Mr. George Howland Folger. This manuscript is now the property of the Historical Society of Nantucket.
      Sir Isaac entered the navy in 1773, under the patronage of Admiral John Montague ; he served as midshipman on board several ships, and in 1778 obtained a lieutenancy. In July, 1781, he was promoted to the rank of commander, and was in the "splendid battle" of April 12, 1782, which resulted in the capture of the celebrated Comte de Grasse. In 1795, as commissioner, he resided in Corsica, where he remained until the evacuation of the island in 1796 ; here he twice narrowly escaped assassination. After passing through various fortunes of war, he was in 1804 made rear-admiral. Soon after this he was raised to the dignity of baronet. In 1808 he was promoted to the position of vice-admiral, and in 1814 became full admiral, and in the general election in 1818 was chosen as representative to Parliament for the borough of Ilchester.
      He married, in 1811, at the age of fifty-two, Elizabeth Brown Greenly, only daughter of T. Greenly, Esq. There were no children.
      He crossed the Atlantic not less than thirty-one times, a circumstance more remarkable in the early part of the century than at present.
      In the Nantucket Inquirer of September 2, 1826, may be found the following, copied from a Boston paper :
    " According to previous appointment, the annual visitation of the public schools was attended on Wednesday last by the parents and friends of the pupils, and by several strangers of distinction. Admiral Coffin gave as a sentiment, 'The City of Boston.'
    " He was replied to by one of the committee.
          " Our venerable and respected guest, Admiral Coffin, a native of our city and an alumnus of our ancient Latin school, who, though separated from us, in times of political dissension was generous and kind to his countrymen, who amidst the honors and plaudits of a princely court remembered with affection the land of his birth, and still bears testimony to the excellence of our civil and literary institutions.
          " May honorable fame ever attend him, and may his declining years repose in health and peace."
      September 9, 1826.-" Honorary degree of M.A. was conferred on Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin at the annual commencement of Harvard University."
In the Nantucket Inquirer of date September 16, 1826, there is a notice of a visit of Sir Isaac Coffin to Nantucket, during which he spoke with affection of his native city, and attributed " all his attainments and renown to principles of knowledge imbibed in the public schools of Boston."
      During his stay on the island he " visited principal places of resort, disregarded all court etiquette, and mingled freely with the inhabitants."
      He died at Cheltenham, England, in 1839, aged eighty years.


CHRISTOPHER HUSSEY was baptized in Dorking, Surrey, England, and was the son of John Hussey and Mary (Wood).
      When a young man he spent some time in Holland, where he solicited in marriage Theodate, daughter of Rev. Stephen Batchilder, who gave his consent to their union on condition that they would come to America with him ; this condition was complied with, and they arrived in Boston in 1632 on the ship William and Francis.
      Christopher Hussey was one of the original settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire ; in 1636 he was " chosen by papers" as one of the "seven men," as they were first called, then " townesmen," then " townesmen select," and finally " select men," as at present.
      "They were fully empowered of themselves to do what the town had power to do, the reason whereof was the town judged it inconvenient and burdensome to be called together upon every occasion."
      In 1639, Christopher Hussey was made Justice of the Peace, which office he held several years ; he was also town clerk and one of the first deacons of the church. [Savage's General Dictionary.]
      In 1659 he became one of the purchasers of Nantucket; subsequently he was a sea-captain.
      Orders were received from the king, September 18, 1679, "to erect New Hampshire into a separate government," under jurisdiction of a president and council to be appointed by himself; John Cutts was appointed president and Christopher Hussey, of Hampton, one of six councillors. [One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families, p. 146.]

      There are several theories concerning the death of Christopher Hussey. The fact that he followed the sea may have given rise to a belief that he was drowned at sea or eaten by cannibals. Joshua Coffin, however, says that he died at Hampton, New Hampshire, March 6, 1686, and Austin, in " One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families," states that "Town records of Hampton declare he was buried there March 8, 1686."
      He had three sons and three daughters :
          Stephen, married Martha Bunker.
          John, married Rebecca Perkins.
          Hulda, married John Smith and lived to be ninety-seven years old.
          His eldest son, Stephen, who was born in Lynn, and was the first child christened there by his grandfather Rev. Stephen Batchilder, came to Nantucket and married Martha Bunker, October 8, 1676. He had lived at Barbadoes, had considerable property, and was a Friend before a Society was formed upon the island.
      Note-Rev. STEPHEN BATCHILDER, or Bachiler, settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1632, and with a few others established a church ; he was its first pastor. (Savage's General Dictionary, and One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families.)
      His signature and seal appended to letters may be seen in Massachusetts Historical Collection, vol. vii., fourth series.
      His children were :
    Theodata Batchilder, married Christopher Hussey.
          Deborah Batchilder, married John Wing.
          ____ Batchilder, married - Sanborn, and had :
    John Sanborn.
          Stephen Sanborn.
          William Sanborn.
      Nathaniel Batchilder, married 1st, Deborah Smith ; 2d, Mary Wyman, of Woburn.
      Francis Batchilder.
      Stephen Batchilder.
      Some old records name a daughter Abigail Bachiler, who married Richard Austin, father of Joseph.
      Rev. Stephen Batchelder was also one of the early settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire.
      "The first churches were formed at Hampton and Exeter. Hampton claims precedence in time. . . . The first pastor of this firstborn church of the New State, and the father of the town, was Rev. Stephen Bachiler, an ancestor on the mother's side of Daniel Webster." (History of New Hampshire, by Edwin L Sanborn, LL.D., p. 53.)

      He was at one time representative to the General Court.
      He died February 2, 1718, in his eighty-eighth year, and was buried in Friends' first burial ground at Nantucket. His children were Puella, Abigail, Sylvanus, Bachiller, Daniel, George, and Theodata.


      The Greenleaf family is supposed to have been of Huguenot origin. The name was first known in England in 1590.
      Edmund, the first of the name who came to America, was born in the parish of Brixham, about 1600. He married Sarah Dole, and with several children settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1635.
      In 1639 he was made ensign, and later, lieutenant, and removed from Newbury to Boston.
      Captain Johnson styles Edmund Greenleaf an " ancient and experienced lieutenant under Captain Gerrish, in 1644."
      The following is an extract from his will : " my will is being according to God's will and revealed in his word, that wee must pay what we owe and live of the rest, unto whose rule the sons of men ought to frame their wills and actions therefore." This to show his correct principles. Another extract may be given, showing how absolute he considered his power over his wife, who evidently had a will of her own :
      ". . . . Besides when I married my wife she brought me a silver bowl, a silver porringer, a silver spoon, she lent or gave them to her son-in-law, James Hill, without my consent."
      This will is dated December 25, 1668.

STEPHEN GREENLEAF, son of Edmund, was born in 1630, and married, November 13, 1651, Elizabeth Coffin, daughter of Tristram Coffin and Dionis (Stevens) Coffin.
      He was one of the original proprietors of Nantucket, and, authority says, " a religious man."
      He was ensign, 1686, and captain in 1690, and engaged in Indian wars ; he was also representative to the General Court in 1676.
      At a court held at Newbury in 1686, March 30, "David Pierce, Captain Thomas Noyes, and Lieutenant Stephen Greenleaf are commissioned to be Magistrates by the Court."
      " In the same year Lieutenant Stephen Greenleaf and Lieutenant Tristram Coffin with others are appointed a committee on laying out and dividing woodlands."
      November 21, 1686, " deacon Nicolas Noyes, deacon Robert Long and deacon Tristram Coffin were at the request of the select men chosen standing overseers of the poore for the town of Newbury."
      December 1, " Captain Daniel Pierce and Captain Stephen Greenleaf were added to the deacons as overseers of the poore," and any three of them had power to act.
      May 6, 1689, "The Committee of Safety in Boston having desired us to send a man or men for consulting with them what may be best for the conservation of the peace of the country, Our inhabitants being met this 6th day of May, 1689, have chosen Captain Thomas Noyes and lieutenant Stephen Greenleaf sen. for the end aforesaid."
      March 5, 1696, Captain Greenleaf petitions the General Court for compensation for repulsing an Indian raid, in which he was wounded in his side and wrist.
      His petition was read and forty pounds voted to be paid him out of the treasury of the province.
      The house attacked by the Indians was John Brown's, and the following is the family tradition respecting it :
      "The Indians had secreted themselves for sometime near the house, waiting for the absence of the male members of the family, who about three o'clock departed with a load of turnips. The Indians then rushed from their concealment, tomahawked a girl who was standing at the front door ; another girl who had concealed herself as long as the Indians remained, immediately after their departure gave the alarm."
The coat which Captain Greenleaf wore in his pursuit of the Indians is still preserved by his descendants, together with the bullet which was extracted from his wound.
      With nine others, Stephen Greenleaf was wrecked and drowned off Cape Breton, December 1, 1690.
      Note.-State Street in Newbury (now Newburyport) was formerly Greenleaf's Lane.


      The blood of more than one of the pioneers of Nantucket flowed in the veins of the poet Whittier.
      The descent from Christopher Hussey, which was a tradition of the Whittier family, and was believed by the poet himself, appears upon late investigation to be uncertain. Recently, antiquarians trace his ancestry to Robert Hussey, who possibly was a son of Christopher, but this is not probable.
      His biographer, Mr. S. T. Pickard, of Portland, Maine, himself a descendant of Tristram Coffin, and a nephew of Joshua Coffin, the historian, is authority for the following statement.
      The lines of descent are complete from Tristram Coffin and Stephen Greenleaf, and are as follows :

      Edmund Greenleaf married Sarah Dole, and their son, Stephen Greenleaf, married Elizabeth, daughter of Tristram Coffin and Dionis (Stevens). The son of Stephen Greenleaf and Elizabeth (Coffin)-viz. : Tristram Greenleaf, born in 1667-married Margaret Piper in 1689 ; Tristram Greenleaf's son, Nathaniel Greenleaf, born in 1691, had a daughter Sarah, born March 5, 1721; she married Joseph Whittier, 2d, the grandfather of the poet.

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