Monday, July 6, 2015

John Balch - 52 Ancestors #26

John Balch arrived in Massachusetts around 1624. He lived first at Cape Ann before moving to Salem in 1626. His home was in the part of town that later became Beverly. Based on his close associations, it is likely that he came as part of the Dorchester Company. He was granted the status of freeman on May 18, 1631.  When he took his oath, Roger Conant, Henry Herrick, and John Woodbury were with him. Balch, Conant, and Herrick are my 10th great-grandfathers and John Woodbury is my 11th great-grandfather. John Balch signed his will and owned several books so he could read and write. He served on a number of juries and town committees from the Salem selectmen to the supervisor of highway repairs and the committee on bridge repairs. In the records, two different wives are listed, Margery and Annis. However, there are no marriage records so it is unclear whether the first wife in the records is the mother of his children. Look for much more about the Balch House coming soon. 

The Balch House was home to John and later his son, Benjamin and their families.

Children of John Balch and his first wife: 
  1. Benjamin was born about 1629 and married three times. His first wife was Sarah Gardner who died in Beverly on April 5, 1686. His second wife was Abigail Clarke. They married on February 5, 1689 in Marblehead and she died on January 2, 1690. He married his third wife, Grace Mallet on March 15, 1692 in Beverly. 
  2. John was born about 1631 and married Mary Conant, daughter of another of my immigrant ancestors, Roger Conant. John was drowned in a storm while ferrying between Salem and Beverly. After his death, she married Capt. William Dodge, son of immigrant William Dodge - yet another immigrant ancestor. 
  3. Freeborn was born about 1634 and seems to have been missing and presumed dead on January 20, 1658 when Walter Price of Salem was acting as the executor and administrator of his estate. Walter sold the land that Freeborn inherited from his father, John to his brother, Benjamin, unless "the abovesaid Freeborn Balch appear to be alive." 
Benjamin made up for his brothers' relatively short lives by having eleven children with his first wife and two more with his third wife! 

John Balch
Benjamin Balch
Mary (Balch) Stone
Ruth (Stone) Morgan
Luke Morgan
Samuel Morgan
Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses Yates
Gilbert W. Yates
Estes G. Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

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