John Strong is my 10th Great Grandfather, on my father’s side of the family. Interestingly, he emigrated from England to the Massachusetts colony on the ship Mary and John, the same ship that my 10th Great Grandfather on my mother’s side Captain Roger Clapp, arrived on. I’ve written extensively about Roger Clapp in other posts on this blog.
11 generations after those two immigrants arrived, my parents married and joined the family trees.
Life, and family history, is interesting.
John married Margery Deane in England. She apparently died on the voyage and John remarried Abigale Ford, who also traveled to the Massachusetts colony on the ship Mary and John, with her father and family. Johns sister Eleanor, who traveled with him to Massachussets, married Walter Deane . . . probably a brother of Margery, although I’ve not researched that yet.
John had 18 children, 16 of them with his second wife Abigale. When he died at age 94, he had 160 descendants. A very large family indeed.
I was fortunate today to find a book titled The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong . . . volume 1 . . . which leads one to think there’s a volume 2 . . .
If you’re so inclined, you can read the entire text here: The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong
For quick access, I’ve pasted some of the text here, which will give you a good sense of John and his history in England and Massachusetts.
John Strong was born in Taunton, Eng., in 1605, whence he removed to London and afterwards to Plymouth. Having strong Puritan sympathies he sailed from Plymouth for the new world, March 20,1630, in company with 140 persons, and among them Rev. Messrs. John Warham and John Maverick and Messrs. John Mason and Roger Clapp, in the ship Mary and John (Capt. Squeb) and arrived at Nantasket, Mass. (Hull), about twelve miles southeast from Boston, after a passage of more than seventy days in length, on Sunday, May 30,1630. The original destination of the vessel was Charles river; but an unfortunate misunderstanding which arose between the captain and the passengers, resulted in their being put summarily ashore by him at Nantasket. After searching for a few days, for a good place in which to settle and make homes for themselves, they decided upon the spot, which they called Dorchester, in memory of the endeared home in England which many of them had left, and especially of its revered pastor, Rev. John White, ” the great patron of New England emigration,” who had especially encouraged them to come hither.
Eleanor Strong came with her brother John to this country, when he was but twenty-five years of age, and she was probably several years younger, and married Walter Deane, a tanner, of Taunton, Mass., previously of Taunton, Eng., and became the mother of four sons and one daughter. He was born about 1617, and was a prominent man in the affairs of his new home. Her descendants have been numerous and highly respectable. For various accounts of some of them see N. E. Gen. Register, published at Boston in several volumes, in various places.
In 1635, after having assisted in founding and developing the town of Dorchester, John Strong removed to Hingham, Mass., and on March 9, 1636, took the freeman’s oath at Boston. His stay at Hingham was short, as on Deo. 4, 1638, he is found to have been an inhabitant and proprietor of Taunton, Mass., and to have been made in that year a freeman of Plymouth Colony. He remained at Taunton, as late at any rate as 1645, as he was a deputy thence to the General Court in Plymouth, in 1641, ‘3, and ‘4. From Taunton he removed to Windsor, Ct., where he was appointed with four others, Capt. John Mason, Roger Ludlow, Israel Stoughton, and Henry Wolcott, all very leading men in the infant colony, “to superintend and bring forward the settlement of that place,” which had been settled a few years before (1636) by a portion of the same colony that with him had founded Dorchester. Windsor was in fact called at first, and for several years (1636-50), Dorchester.
In 1659 he removed from Windsor to Northampton, Mass., of which he was one of the first and most active founders, as he had been previously of Dorchester, Hingham, Taunton, and Windsor. In Northampton he lived for forty years, and was a leading man in the affairs of the town and of the church. He was a tanner and very prosperous in his business. His tannery was located on what is now the southwest corner of Market and Main streets near the rail road depot. He owned at different times, as appears by records in the county clerk’s office, some two hundred acres of land in and around Northampton.
How he obtained his office and title as Elder John Strong will appear by the following quotation from the church records at Northampton: “After solemn and extraordinary seeking to God for his direction and blessing, the church chose John Strong ruling elder, and William Holton, deacon. They were ordained 13: 3 mo: ’63” (or, the year beginning then in March, June 13,1663, 0. S., or N. S. June 24, 1663), ” the elder by the imposition of the hands of the pastor” (Rev. Eleazar Mather) ” and Mr. Russel of Hadley — the deacon, afterwards by the imposition of the hands of the pastor and elder. Mr. Russell, Mr. Goodwin, and brother Goodman were present from Hadley; Dea. Chapin and Mr. Holyoke from Springfield, who gave the right hand of fellowship to these delegates.” How near to the minister himself, so greatly revered, the ruling elder stood in the thoughts of our Pilgrim fathers, is manifest from the functions of his office, as described in the following church record under date of Sept. 11, 1672: “Solomon Stoddard was ordained pastor of the church, in Northampton by Mr. John Strong, ruling elder, and Mr. John Whiting, pastor of the second church in Hartford.”
His first wife, whose name and family the author has not been able to ascertain, he married in England. She died on the passage or soon after landing; and in about two months afterwards her infant offspring, a second child, died also. He married in December, 1630, for a second wife, Abigail Ford of Dorchester, Mass., with whom he lived in wedlock for fiftyeight years. She died, the mother of 16 children, July 6, 1688, aged about 80; he died April 14, 1699, aged 94. he had had, up to the time of his decease, 160 descendants, viz: eighteen children, fifteen of whom had families; one hundred and fourteen grandchildren (6, John of Windsor; 16, Thomas of Northampton; 14, Jedediah; 7,Beturn; 10, Elder Ebenezer; 6, Abigail, Mrs. Chauncey; 12, Mrs. Joseph Parsons; 13, Mrs. Zeiubbabel Filer; 8, Samuel; 11, Mary, Mrs. John Clark; 7, Hannah, Mrs. William Clark; 4, Hester, Mrs. Thomas Bissell); and thirty three great grandchildren, at least.
He made over his lands in his life-time to his children, and took bills of those whom he had helped, beyond their share — as of Ebenezer, for land and rent £71 8s., of Samuel, for do. £49 12s. and of Jerijah, for do. £60. He owed at his death, £61 lis., chief to his son Ebenezer — to which add for funeral expenses 40s., probate of will and inventory 7s. Qd., and recording of same, (U., and he had a free estate of £140. He gave to seven daughters £40 each, with what they had previously received. Abigail had had £38 13.9.; Elizabeth, £36 7s.; Sarah, £28 Is.; Hannah, £28 12s.; Hestar, £23 5s.; and Thankful £16 7s. He gave to Experience £5 and to Catharine Chauncey (dau. of Abigail) £10 and to Rachel Strong (widow of Thomas) one acre in Northampton long improved by her husband. His sons, Samuel and Jerijah, were the executors of his will.