Swansea Historical Society



For the first settlers of our town, it was considered a great privilege to be granted land and citizenship. Owning a home helped the homeowners create a connection to the community they chose to live and helped them establish roots.

In 1667, home ownership in Swanzey came with rules and regulations set forth by the Church and English Government. Anyone who did not adhere to these rules and regulations lost their place in town as well as their land.

Below, we review the family history of some of the first 55 signers of Swanzey


First Signers Admitted to the Town:

Alby, Benjamin - Surveyor for the Town 1670; appointed by the court to "act in Ye Prudential Affairs of the Town" in 1671; Waywarden 1671

Aldrich, George

Allen, Gideon

Allen, John - 1640-1685; 1st son of William Allen; moved house from Prudence Island [Barrington] to Swansea in 1680; lived north of Sampson Mason; appointed by the court to "act in Ye Prudential Affairs of the Town" in 1670, Deputy 1670; Senior Selectman 1671

Allen, Nehemiah

Barnes, Thomas – youngest signer; Constable 1672

Bartram, Wm.

Bosworth, Jonathan - 1613-1688; tailor, farmer; married Elizabeth and had 9 children; witnessed No. Rehoboth purchase; Surveyor of highways 1672; “employed as teacher at £18, one-fourth in money and the rest in provisions at money prices” 1698

Bowen Jr., Obadiah - born September 1627 in Swansea, Wales; married Mary Chilton ~1649; (source: Ancestry.com, Colonial Familes of the USA 1607-1775); Baptist

Brace, Stephen

Brooks, Timothy

Brown Senr., Obadiah

Brown, James - 1619-1710; captured in King Philip's War; buried in Little Neck; appointed by the court to "act in Ye Prudential Affairs of the Town" in 1670; Senior Selectman 1671, 1672; Deputy 1671, 1672

Browne, John - 1579-1662; from Plymouth; married Dorothy; died 5 weeks after John Jr. laid out Barnstable in 1641 with Myles Standish; purchased Rehoboth in 1641 with Ed. Winslow; bought Wannimoisett {EP & Barrington]; Assistant Governor Plymouth;

Burgess, Richard

Butterworth, John - appointed by the court to "act in Ye Prudential Affairs of the Town" in 1670; “The First Baptist Church in Massachusetts was constituted at Rehoboth, Bristol County, in the year 1663, in the house of John Butterworth.”

Cahoone, Wm. - 1613-1675; from Dunbarton, Scotland; married Deliverance Peck and had 7 cildren; made bricks in 1673 in Palmer River near Myles Bridge, North Swansea; buried in Palmer River Churchyard Cemetery, Lake & Wheeler St., Rehoboth

Carpenter, Joseph - Waywarden 1671

Child, Jere.

Cole, Hugh - 1628-1699; married Mary and had 12 children; brother of John; lived at Riverby, Touissett and then in Warren; Surveyor for the Town 1670; Juryman 1671; Selectman 1671

Cole, John - 1637-1677;; married Susanna and had 6 children; from Warren; son of Hugh Cole, chosen “to look after & to prosecute any breache of ye acte made about Horses, the late act published both civil and military" 1673

Dickse, John

Eddy, Caleb - son of Samuel; sailed from London in 1630; lived in the Village in 1639-1718; the Eddys came from Plymouth, Middleboro

Eddy, Zechariah - son of Samuel; farmer; sailed from London in 1630; lived in the Village in 1643; the Eddys came from Plymouth, Middleboro; Waywarden 1671

Elliott, Thos.

Estabrooke, Thomas

Hayward, William - 1647-1717; Rehoboth; married a Butterworth

Ingraham, Gerard

Ingraham, Wm. - Town Clerk 1667

Jones, Robert

Kent, Joseph

Kingsley, Eldad - 1638-1679; died Aug. 30, 1679 in Swansea and his widow married Timothy Brooks Senior; married wife Mehitable Morey Brooks May 9, 1662; North Swansea baptist; He was kicked out of Rehoboth for starting the First Baptist Church there;
The children of Eldad and Mehitable Kingsley were born in Rehoboth:
Elizabeth b. Jan. 29, 1663. m. Jan. 12, 1680 Samuel Palmer;
John b. May 6, 1665, m. July 1, 1686 Sarah Sabin;
Samuel b. June 1, 1669.

Lewis, Joseph - born 1647, son of George Lewis III, clothier, Barnstable

Lewis, Nathan'l - born 1645, had 4 wives, died 1683 in Swansea, from Watertown

Lewis, Thomas – 1629, wife Mary, 4 children; Grand Juryman 1672; Selectman 1672

Luther, Hezekiah - Surveyor of highways 1672

Luther, Samuel - Grand juryman 1670; Selectman 1671; Chosen “minister for ye Town” Oct. 17, 1673

Manning, Thos.

Martin, John – 1635-1713, weaver, farmer, surveyor, Constable 1671; Martin House in No. Swansea; died in Swansea; buried in NE corner of Tyler Point Cemetery w/ Bowens

Mason, Sampson - 1625-1676, wide Mary, 13 children; shoemaker; from Rehoboth, Watchemocket, E. Providence; killed in Pierce's Fight; buried in Newman Cemetery

Myles Jr., John - Town Clerk 1670

Myles, John - 1621-1683; 1st Pastor of the Baptist Church; married to Anne; 1st Teacher of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, grammer, rhetoric and arithmetic; “he deserves grateful remembrance not only as the first pastor but also as the early schoolmaster and teacher of youth who laid the foundation of the public schools of Swansea. “

Paddock, John

Paine, Nathaniel – 1658-1723; “became one of the founders of Bristol, and the third Judge of Probate for Bristol County“

Sharpe, Richard

Tanner, Nicholas - senior selectman 1671

Thurber 2d, Jno.

Thurber, John

Toogood, Nathan'l - from Warren

West, John

Wheaton, Joseph - 1641-1692; not married, Baptist; brother Rev. Ephrain, 1659-1734; sons of Robert Wheaton, 1604-1696

Wheaton, Samuel - 1643-1683; Baptist

Willett, Thomas - appointed by the court to "act in Ye Prudential Affairs of the Town" in 1670; Mayor NY 1664; came from Holland; trader, shipper, linguist; married Mary Brown, 1636; Lived at head of Bullocks Cove

Winslow, Job - 1641-1720, Lt.; freetown; shipwright; born in Swansea

Woodbury, Sam'l - Captain