Some of The Descendants of
Robert Stetson
and his wife Honour Tucker
of Scituate, Plymouth Colony by 1642

First Four Generations


The Stetson genealogy has been well researched and documented. The principal secondary sources are:


  1. JOHNA STETSON was buried at Modbury, Devon, England, on 1 November 1614. He married AGNES _______, who was buried at Modbury on 24 September 1622.[1]

    John and Agnes had at least six children. They lived at Modbury, a village about twelve miles east of Plymouth, on the English Channel.

  2. THOMASB STETSON (John A), a son of John and Agnes Stetson died before his wife. He married at Modbury on 3 March 1605 ARGENTINE LUKESMORE. She was buried at Plymouth, Devon, on 1643.[2]

    Thomas and Argentine had six children baptized at Modbury from 1606 to 1618. About 1632 the whole family moved to the port city of Plymouth.


  1. ROBERT1 STETSON (ThomasB, JohnA) was baptized at Modbury, on 18 June 1615, a son of Thomas Stetson and his wife Argentine Lukesmore, and died at Scituate, Plymouth Colony, on 1 February 1702/3. He married first at Plymouth, Devon, on 2 May 1635 HONOUR TUCKER. She was baptized at Plymouth on 28 February 1612/3, a daughter of John and Urith Tucker. She died on 1684. Robert married second after 1684 MARY (HILAND) BRYANT, the daughter of Thomas and Deborah Hiland, baptized at Tenterden, Kent, England, on 27 March 1631. She was the third wife and widow of JOHN BRYANT, whom she married at Scituate in April 1664, and who died there on 20 November 1684.[3]

    The Robert Stetson family came to New England sometime after the baptism of their first child in Plymouth, Devon, 28 April 1636, and before Robert was elected constable of Scituate on 7 March 1642/3. Jeremy Bangs in his 1997 article, "Cornet Robert Stetson's Arrival in Scituate and the Birth of His Son Joseph," explains in detail his theory for the birth dates of the remainder of the children of Joseph and Honour. As no baptismal record can be found in England for any of Robert's children after the first, and Joseph and his next two brothers were all baptized at Scituate on 5 October 1645, after a period in controvery in the church, Bangs theorizes that the second child, Joseph, was born in June of 1640. This would place their arrival in New England before that date.

    The Stetsons were probably motivated to come to New England for religious reasons. It is fortunate that they came when they did. Civil War soon broke out in England, and the parliamentarian city of Plymouth was surrounded and seiged by Royalist forces from 1642 to 1646

    Robert Stetson is consistently called Cornet Stetson in contemporary records. The title indicates that he was second in command of the cavalry of Plymouth Colony. Cornet Stetson served on Plymouth Colony's Council of War from 1651 to 1681. He was part of a delegation that went to Mount Hope interview Metacom ("King Philip") before the outbreak of hostilities. He served Plymouth Colony militarially during King Philip's War, and with Isaac Chittenden, led the defense of Scituate on 21 April and 20 May 1676.[4]

    In addition to his military service, Cornet Stetson served his town of Scituate as constable, 1643, representative to the General Court [Plymouth Colony legislature] frequently from 1654 to 1678, and a Selectman of the Town from 1666 to 1671.[5]

    In addition to being a farmer like everyone else, Cornet Stetson was a sawyer. He built a saw mill in Scituate in February 1656/7.[6]

    After the death of Honour (Tucker) Stetson, widower Robert Stetson, age sixty-nine, married fifty-three year old widow Mary (Hiland) Bryant. Mary was a sister of son Joseph's first wife, Ruth. Robert's ten children had all grown up or died, but of Ruth's eleven children, several were still living at home.

    Samuel Deane, in History of Scituate, summarized his life:

    Cornet Robert Stetson, received a grant of a considerable tract of land 1634, from the Colony Court, on the North River, which constituted his farm. His house was on a beautiful plain by the river. An unfailing and valuable spring, out of which eight generations of the family have been supplied, marks the spot. "Cornet Rocks," in the river east of his farm, are well known to those who navigate the river. He was possessed of considerable wealth, an enterprising and valuable man in the plantation, a deputy to Court, a Cornet of the first light horse corps raised in the Colony, a member of the Council of War, a Colony Commissioner for setting the patent line -- in short, he lived long and left a good name at last. [7]


  2. JOSEPH2 STETSON (Robert 1) was born probably at Scituate, perhaps on June 1640 a son of Robert Stetson and his first wife Honor Tucker, and died at Scituate between 4 April 1722 (will) and 8 May 1724 (probate). He married first before 1667 RUTH HILAND. A daughter of Thomas and Deborah Hiland, she died about 1667. Joseph married second before 1670 PRUDENCE ________.[8]

    We do not know when Ruth Hiland was born, married, or died. The facts that we have are that Joseph and Ruth had a child, Joseph, baptized at Scituate Second Church on 16 June 1667, and that Joseph and Prudence had a child, Robert, born at Scituate on 9 December 1670. On this basis we say that Joseph and Ruth were married before 1667, that she died after June 1667 but well before 1670, and that Joseph and Prudence were married on or before 1670.

    Joseph had one child by his first wife, and seven by his second wife. All eight children lived to adulthood and seven married. Joseph lived in Scituate all his life.


  3. ROBERT3 STETSON (Joseph2, Robert1) was born at Scituate, on 9 December 1670 a son of Joseph Stetson and his second wife Prudence, and died at Hanover, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, on1760. He married at Scituate on 12 January 1692/3 MARY COLLAMORE. She was born at Scituate on 10 November 1667, a daughter of Anthony Collamore and his wife Sarah Chittenden.[9]

    Robert Stetson lived in Scituate most of his life, purchasing the home of his father and grandfather in 1719. He later sold this farm to his son William, and moved to Hanover.[10] The town of Hanover had been created from the western-most portion of Scituate in 1727.

    Robert was a currier. He served the town of Scituate as constable in 1722.[11]

    Robert and Mary had eight children, all of whom lived to adulthood and seven of whom married.


  4. ANTHONY4 STETSON (Robert3, Joseph2, Robert1 ) was born at Scituate on 12 September 1693 a son of Robert Stetson and his wife Mary Collamore, and died there on 1747. He married at Scituate on 28 March 1717 ANNA SMITH. She was born at Swansea, Bristol County, Massachusetts, about 1695, a daughter of Joseph Smith and his wife Anna Hatch. She died on 16 May 1792. Anna married second at Scituate on 26 September 1751, as his fourth wife. JAMES BRIGGS. He was born at Scituate on 2 March 1683/4, and died between 21 February and 14 March 1754. James had married first at Scituate on 7 May 1713 ELIZABETH GANNET, who was born at Scituate on 14 August 1686, and died there on 28 December 1715. James had married second at Scituate on 4 October 1716 HANNAH STOWELL, who was born about 1685/6, and died at Scituate on 21 February 1717. James had married third at Scituate on 22 November 1739 MARGARET STETSON, who died there on 30 March 1751.[12]

    Anthony Stetson lived at Scituate and worked as a cordwainer. He and Anna had eleven children, all of whom lived to adulthood and married. When Anthony died at the age of fifty-four, eight of the eleven children were still unmarried, ages about 28, 20, 18, 16, 13, 11, 9 and 6. About four years after Anthony's death, his widow remarried; but her second husband only lived thrtee and a half years after this marriage. Anna lived another thirty-eight years as a widow.

    Seven of the eleven children of Anthony and Anna left Scituate to settle in other Massachusetts communities, two to Kingston, Plymouth County, one to Rochester, Plymouth County, one to Hardwick, Worcester County, one to Barnstable, Barnstable County, and two to Chesterfield, Hampshire County.


  5. CHARLES5 STETSON (Anthony4, Robert3, Joseph2, Robert1) was born at Scituate on 17 October 1726, a child of Anthony Stetson and his wife Anna Smith


NOTES

1L. Vernon Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family: 1254-1937 (Boston, Massachusetts: Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., 1938), v. 3, p. 859.
2Ibid.
3Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, v. 3, p. 859-60. Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts: to the Year 1850 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1909), v. 2, pp. 38,356,444. Jeremy D. Bangs, "Cornet Robert Stetson's Arrival in Scituate and the Birth of His Son Joseph," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 151 (1997): p. 438. Oscar Frank Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson: of Scituate, Massachusetts, sixteen hundred and thirty-four (N.p.: Stetson Kindred of America, Inc., 193356), v. 1, p. 9. Elizabeth French, "Genealogical Research in England: Hyland," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 66 (1912): p. 67.
4Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson, v. 1, p. 12-18. Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, v. 3, p. 860.
5Bangs, "Cornet Robert Stetson's Arrival in Scituate and the Birth of His Son Joseph," p. 438. Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, v. 3, p. 861. Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson, v. 1, p. 12-13.
6George Ernest Bowman, "Plymouth Colony Deeds," Mayflower Descendant, 1-18 (18991916): 13:45.
7Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts: from its first settlement to 1831. (Boston, Massachusetts: James Loring, 1831), pp. 340-41.
8Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, v. 1, p. 333. Bangs, "Cornet Robert Stetson's Arrival in Scituate and the Birth of His Son Joseph," p. 439. John Stetson Barry, A Genealogical and Biographical Sketch of the Name and Family of Stetson (Boston, Massachusetts: William A. Hall & Co., 1847), p. 16. Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson, v. 1, p. 22.
9Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, v. 1, pp. 91,335; v. 2, p. 270 (Plymouth County record). Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson, v. 1, p. 33.
10Stetson, The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson, v. 1, p. 33.
11Ibid.
12Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, v. 1, pp. 46,330; v. 2, pp. 40,266,356-58; v. 2, p. 281 (church record, First Parish church); v. 2, p. 282 (church record, Second Church of Scituate). Barry, A Genealogical and Biographical Sketch of the Name and Family of Stetson, p. 18. Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, v. 1, p. 221.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bangs, Jeremy D. "Cornet Robert Stetson's Arrival in Scituate and the Birth of His Son Joseph." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 151 (1997): 438-41.

Barry, John Stetson. A Genealogical and Biographical Sketch of the Name and Family of Stetson. Boston, Massachusetts: William A. Hall & Co., 1847.

Bowman, George Ernest. "Plymouth Colony Deeds." Mayflower Descendant 1-18 (18991916): 1:91-99,131-39,213-19; 2:27-32,93-96,166-69,245-48; 3:39-41,78-83,138-42,225-28; 4:35-37,82-86; 5:90-95; 6:99-103,245-47; 7:107-10; 8:72-75,130-34,200-04; 9:44-46,104-07,163-66,232-35; 10:16-19,71-73,140-44,213-17; 11:15-18,165-68,209-10; 12:6-10,80-84,132-35,212-15; 13:39-45,87-90,141-47,228-34; 14:12-17,89-92,142-46,234-39; 15:29-34,178-86,243-47; 16:76-84,178-85,205-11; 17:38-45,100-08,166-73; 18:33-40,86-94,171-77.

Briggs, L. Vernon. History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family: 1254-1937. Boston, Massachusetts: Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., 1938.

Deane, Samuel. History of Scituate, Massachusetts: from its first settlement to 1831.. Boston, Massachusetts: James Loring, 1831.

French, Elizabeth. "Genealogical Research in England: Hyland." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 66 (1912): 61-67.

Stetson, Oscar Frank. The Descendants of Cornet Robert Stetson: of Scituate, Massachusetts, sixteen hundred and thirty-four. N.p.: Stetson Kindred of America, Inc., 193356.

Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts: to the Year 1850. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1909.


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