Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


(For preceding generations see Edmund Greenleaf I.)

(III) John, third son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Coffin) Greenleaf, was born June 21, 1662, at Newbury, Mass., and died either May or June 24, 1734. He was admitted to the first Congregational Church in Newbury, with his first wife, Elizabeth (Hills) Greenleaf, Jan. 31, 1696. All his life was spent in Newbury, and he was sometimes called Quartermaster John to distinguish him from two other John Greenleafs, his son and nephew, all of whom were living in Newbury at the same time. He must have been a man of some standing, for both his marriaages were to women very well connected.
On Oct. 12, 1685, John Greenleaf married Elizabeth Hills, dau. of Joseph Hills and his second wife Hannah (Mellowes) Hills. Joseph HILLS, who was born in 1602, came from Malden, England, where he was a woolen draper, to Charlestown, Mass. in 1638. In 1647 he removed to the neighboring town of Malden, and afterwards to Newbury, where he died Feb. 5, 1687-88. His first wife was Rose Dunster, sister of President Dunster of Harvard College.
Ten children were born to John and Elizabeth (Hills) Greenleaf:
1. Elizabeth, b. July 30, 1686, married Edmund Titcomb, (second) Thomas Oakes.
2. Jane, b. Nov. 10, 1687.
3. Judith, b. July 15, 1689, died Sept. 30, 1690.
4. Daniel, whose sketch follows.
5. John, b. Jan. 3, 1692, married Sarah Smith.
6. Parker, b. Feb. 23, 1694, married Mary Jacques.
7. Samuel, b. April, 1697, married Elizabeth Kingsbury.
8. Martha, married a Gage and lived at Joppa, Maine.
9. Benjamin, b. Nov. 21, 1701, married Ann Hale, (second) Abigail (Moody) Greenleaf.
10. Stephen, b. Oct. 6, 1704, married Eunice Wallis.
Elizabeth (Hills) Greenleaf, the first wife of John Greenleaf, and the mother of all his children, died Aug. 5, 1712; he married (second) May 13, 1716, Lydia Pierce, widow of Benjamin Pierce, and dau. of Major Charles Frost, of Kittery, Maine. She died May 15, 1752, at the age of seventy-eight. There were no children by this marriage.

(IV) Daniel, eldest son of John and Elizabeth (Hills) Greenleaf, was born at Newbury, Mass. Dec. 24, 1690, and was drowned on Newbury bar, in Jan. or Feb., 1729. On Nov. 17, 1710, a month before he was twenty, Daniel Greenleaf married Sarah Moody.
1. Elizabeth, b. June 10, 1713.
2. Martha, b. March 18, 1715, married Isaac Johnson.
3. Jane, b. July 16, 1717, died in infancy.
4. Sarah, b. July 6, 1719, married Moses Pearson, of Byfield.
5. David, b. July 24, 1721, married Sarah Lamson.
6. Daniel, b. Sept. 20, 1722, marraied Polly Bridges.
7. Jonathan, whose sketch follows.
8. Parker, b. Feb. 21, 1725.
9. Mary, b. Sept. 8, 1729.
The last two children died in infancy.

(V) Hon. Jonathan, third son of Daniel and Sarah (Moody) Greenleaf, was born at Newbury, Mass. in July, 1723, and died there May 24, 1807. His father was drowned when Jonathan was a littl more than five years of age, and the mother was left in very destitute circumstances with a large family of children. At seven years of age the boy was apprenticed to Mr. Edward Presbury, and learned the trade of ship carpenter. In time he became a ship builder on a large scale, and ultimately acquired a handsome fortune. Mr. Greenleaf early proved himself a man of ability and character, and from 1768 to 1792, nearly a quarter of a century, he held some public office. Sept. 26, 1774, he was unanimously chosen to represent the town of Newburyport in the general court. He was a member of the continental congress at the beginning of the revolution. June 12, 1786, he was made one of the governor's council from Essex, and he was elected state senator Feb. 11, 1788. In the Mass. assembly for the ratification of the federal constitution, Jonathan and Benjamin Greenleaf were among those who voted Yea.
A description of his personal appearance has come down to us, which gives a vivid portrait of a gentleman of that day. Mr. Greenleaf was about five and a half feet in height, of spare figure, with a high forehead, a large aquiline nose, full, dark hazel eyes, and rather prominent front teeth, which he retained to the last. Certain of these physical characteristics may be called family traits, for they would apply to John Greenleaf Whittier, the poet; to Benjamin Greenleaf, preceptor of Bradford Academy from 1814 to 1836, and author of the famous arithmetic; and to several early Greenleafs, merchants, physicians and clergymen, whose portraits have come down to us. In his later years, Mr. Jonathan Greenleaf wore a suit of one color, deep blue, London brown or light drab, and shoes with oval silver buckles. His head was covered by a full white wig, after the fashion of the day, and a cocked hat; and in winter he wore a drab cloth great coat or blue coat. He was very courteous in manner, and possessed a kindly disposition.
His educational advantages were limited, but he had a large share of common sense and a knowledge of human nature, and he had improved his mind by extensive reading. He joined the church about the time of his marriage, and for many years was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church at Newburyport. Nothing but absolute necessity kept him from public worshiip on the Sabbath, and he was scarce ever known to omit regular morning and evening worship.
In 1744 Jonathan Greenleaf married Mary Presbury, daughter of Edward and Catherine (Pierce) Presbury, of Newbury. Mr. Presbury was the wealthy ship-builder from whom Mr. Greenleaf first learned his trade. He owned the land from Ship street to the rear of the lots on Federal street, and down to Water street, and the ship yard in front, afterwards the property of Mr. Greenleaf.
1 - 3. The first three died in infancy or early childhood. These were David, Jonathan and Mary, who were b. in 1747, 1749 and 1750.
4. Simon, born in 1752, married Hannah Osgood, of Andover, Mass.
5. Sarah, b. May 31, 1753, married Capt. William Pierce Johnson, of Newburyport.
6. Moses, see forward.
7. Enoch, b. Oct. 11, 1757, married Mary Stone and (second) Dorothy Ingersoll.
8. Catherine, b. Nov. 12, 1759, married Anthony Davenport, of Newburyport.
9. Richard, b. July 3, 1762, married Marcia Tappan.

(VI) Capt. Moses, fourth son of Jonathan and Mary (Presbury) Greenleaf, was born at Newbury, Mass. May 19, 1755, and died at New Gloucester, Maine, Dec. 18, 1812. He was bred a ship carpenter, but at the age of nineteen entered the American army as a lieutenant, and in 1776 was commissioned captain. In 1781 he began the business of ship-building in Newburyport in connection with his father, and from that time till the year 1790 they built twenty-two ships and brigs. In Nov., 1790, Capt. Moses Greenleaf moved with his family to New Gloucester, Maine, where he followed farming till his death.
Captain Greenleaf was a member in high standing of the order of Masonry, and was intrumental in establishing Cumberland Lodge, Maine. He received his degrees in Saint Peter's Lodge, Newburyport, where he became worthy master in 1780. In that same year, July 6, he was made worhipful master of Washington Lodge, a travelling lodge in the revolutionary army. Older brethren have often heard Capt. Greenleaf remark that he had many a time commanded the commanding general of the armies in the lodge meetings, for General Washington frequently attended, and always came as a private member without ceremony.
On Oct. 17, 1776, Capt. Moses Greenleaf married Lydia Parsons, dau. of Rev. Jonathan and Phoebe (Griswold) Parsons, of Newburyport, Mass. She was born April 3, 1755, and died March 21, 1854. Mrs. Lydia (Parsons) Greenleaf came of distinguished ancestry. Her mother, Phoebe Griswold, dau. of Judge John Griswold, was descended from the Griswolds and the Walcotts, two of the most distinguished families in Connecticut, who have given to their country no less than twelve governors of states, and thirty-six judges of the higher courts.
1. Judge Moses, born Oct. 17, 1777, died at Williamsburg, Maine March 20, 1834; he was one of the first settlers of Williamsburg, Maine, where he was for many years associate justice of the court of sessions. He was engaged for many years in land surveying, and was probably the first authority in his day on the interior lands of Maine and the best way of developing them. During this time he executed the first authentic map of the state of Maine, a reduction of which he published at Boston in 1816 in connection with a "Statistical View" of one hundred and fifty pages, describing the resources of the new country. In 1829 he published a new map much improved, accomapnied by a "Survey of Maine" in an octavo volume of nearly five hundred pages. These works were of the utmost importance in the development of the state, and they have been commemorated in a handsome memorial volume, issued at Bangor in 1902 by Moses Greenleaf's great grandnephew, Judge Edgar Crosby Smith.
2. Clarina Parsons, mentioned below.
3. Capt. Ebenezer, b. Nov. 23, 1781, died at Williamsburg, Maine, Nov. 29, 1851; he for many years commanded one of the packet ships from Portland to Liverpool. He finally left the sea and lived at Williamsburg, Maine, where he was employed in farming and land surveying. He was closely associated with his brother Moses in the work of map-making.
4. Professor Simon, born Dec. 5, 1783, died at Cambridge, Mass. Oct. 6, 1853; he was a brilliant lawyer and author of the standard work on the law of evidence in use at the present day, and also Royal and Dane professor in the Harvard Law School. He was the first reporter of the decisions of the supreme judicial court of Maine, beginning in 1820 and continuing for twelve years. About this time Judge Story, then at the head of the Law School at Cambridge, was holding court at Portland when an intersting case in admiralty came up. The judge was surprised at the erudition that Mr. Greenleaf displayed in this very peculiar sytem of law, which Judge Story wished to make prominent in the school, and he secured Mr. Greenleaf's appointment as professor. In 1833 Simon Greenleaf received the degree of LL.D. at Harvard, and the next year the same degree from Amherst. In 1835, upon the death of Judge Story, Mr. Greenleaf succeeded him as Dane professor. His connection with the Law School marked a season of great prosperity in its history. Professor Greenleaf during his residence at Cambridge occupied a house near the poet Longfellow, whose sister Mary, Greenleaf's son James married in 1839. Among Professor Greenleaf's works was "An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice; with an Account of the Trial of Jesus." This was published in Boston in 1846 and reprinted in London in 1847.
5. Rev. Jonathan, born Sept. 4, 1785, died in Brooklyn, New York, April 24, 1865; after filling various clerical positions in Maine and Mass., he organized a Presbyterian church at Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1843, and remained pastor till his death, twenty-two years later. Bowdoin and Princeton colleges gave him the degree of Doctor of Divinity; and he was the author of many historical and religious works, including a Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family.

(VII) Clarina Parsons, only daughter and second child of Capt. Moses and Lydia (Parsons) Greenleaf, was born at Newburyport, Mass. Nov. 12, 1779, and was married at the home of her father in New Gloucester, Maine, Nov. 26, 1801, to Eleazer Alley Jenks of Portland. She died at Brownville, Maine, Dec. 12, 1841. "Mrs. Jenks was one of the most charming ladies of the old school, a polished artificer in the almost lost at of letter writing, and a poetess of no mean ability," Thus wrote her great-grandson Judge Edgar Crosby Smith, sixty years after her death. Tradition would seem to indicate that she was a worthy compeer of her distinguished brothers, and not the least remarkable of the gifted family of five children of Capt. Moses and Lydia (Parsons) Greenleaf.


This name is traced traditionally from an ancient Welsh family of importance. The American branch were evidently people of enterprise and some substance and, better still, of splendid physique and fibre, fitted for the struggle of life in a new world. The descendants partake in a large measure of the same qualities and are useful and respected citizens of the several communities in which they live.

(I) Joseph Jenks, an inventor of high order, was born in 1602, either at Hammersmith, Hounslow or Colubroke, in the neighborhood of the city of London, England, and came to Massachusetts in 1643, it is suppoed with John Winthrop the younger, who brought from England in that year stock and divers workmen to begin an iron works. Joseph Jenks is thought to have been one of the workmen engaged to establish the iron works on the Saugus river, the first in New England. At least he was employed there soon after the beginning of the enterprise. He is said to have been "the first founder to work in brass and iron on the American continent," and although this is possibly an exaggerated statement it is no doubt true that he was the first highly skilled worker in metals to begin operations in the English colonies in North America.
In 1646 the Massachusetts general court granted him a patent for three important inventions, namely: a water mill, or whee; a machine for making scythes and other edged tools; and a saw mill. He then built a forge at the iron works for the manufacture of scythes. He was the first coiner, and made the first piece of coin.
He had married in England, but his wife died previous to his departure for America. He had two sons who were left in care of the mother's family. The elder is supposed to have settled in Virginia, but the younger, Joseph Jenks Jr., according to the instruction of his father, was to join him in America when he became of age. The senior Joseph married the second time in Lynn, Mass., before 1650. By this union he had five children, three sons and two daughters.

(II) John, second son of Joseph Jenks and his second wife, Elizabeth, was born at Lynn, Mass. July 27, 1660, and died in 1698. He married Sarah Merriam, and among their children was Captain John (2), mentioned below.

(III) Captain John (2), son of John (1) and Sarah (Merriam) Jenks, was born April 6, 1697, at Lynn, Mass., and died Jan. 15, 1764. He was but one year old when his father died. Nothing further is known about him except that he had a son mentioned below.

(IV) William R., son of Captain John (2) Jenks, was born at Lynn, Mass., and was the first of his line to migrate to Maine. He moved to Portland, where he made his permanent home, and where he died.

(V) Eleazer Alley, son of William R. Jenks, was born at Portland, Maine, May 18, 1776, and was drowned in Portland Harbor, July 12, 1807. He learned the printer's trade early in life, and in 1798, when only twenty-two years of age, founded the Portland Gazette, an influential paper, which he conducted up to the time of his death.
On Nov. 26, 1801, Eleazer Alley Jenks married Clarina Parsons Greenleaf, eldest daughter of Capt. Moses and Lydia (Parsons) Greenleaf, of New Gloucester, Maine. She was born at Newburyport, Mass., Nov. 12, 1779, and died at Brownville, Maine, Dec. 12, 1841.
Elizabeth, Alexander Hamilton, Eleazer Alley (2), mentioned below.

(VI) Eleazer Alley (2), younger son of Eleazer Alley (1) and Clarina P. (Greenleaf) Jenks, was born at New Gloucester, Maine, July 19, 1806, and died at Brownville, Maine, July 7, 1875.
He married Eliza Brown and among their six children was Martha Lord, mentioned below.

(VII) Martha Lord, daughter of Eleazer Alley (2) and Eliza (Brown) Jenks, was born at Brownville, Maine, July 4, 1836. She married, Jan. 8, 1860, Samuel Atwood Smith, of Brownville.

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