May 1, 2000
THE COLLIERS OF MASSACHUSETS, descended from Thomas and Susannah, who came to Hingham, Massachusetts in 1635.
With the help of many Collier family members, I am working on a genealogy of the Thomas and Susannah ____ Collier family.To my knowledge, there has been no full scale study of our family.(The first 3 generations in Hingham and Hull have been briefly covered in the NEHGR, Vol. 142.)To date, my files contain the names of about 1100 descendants, with about 330 of these being of the Collier/Collyer surname.I have a substantial file on related families as well, especially those of the early period in Plymouth Colony, Boston, and the South Shore.I continue my research on a daily basis, and I am steadily adding individuals to our database.
I anticipate having a genealogy ready for publication in about two years time.Although I am satisfied that I have a good understanding of the overall dispersion patterns of the various lines, there remains a lot of research and re-checking of facts to be done. Particularly in Boston for the period 1760 - 1800, the printed material is very sparse, so research will have to done using Probate Records and microfilm.Even in smaller towns, I need to visit or re-visit libraries, cemeteries and Historical Societies.
I invite comments, corrections, and particularly contributions from those who may recognize they are part of the family.
218 Leominster Road
Generation 1 --Thomas (1)(ca 1576 - April 6, 1647) and Susannah____(ca 1591 ?? - Dec. 10, 1667) came from England (location unknown) to Hingham, Mass, 1635.Remained in Hingham until their deaths.
Generation 2--Son Thomas (2)(ca 1622 - 1691)moved to neighboring Hull.
Son Moses (2) (ca 1625 - 1684) lived variously in Hingham and Boston, and moved to Middlesex County, New Jersey about 1680, with most of his family.Several generations remained in that general area until at least the mid-19Th. Century, when some moved to Northern California.The later generations changed the spelling to Collyer.I am in touch with a descendant, Tim Kelley.The information on this line is incomplete, particularly for the generations in New Jersey from about 1750 - 1850, butwe have names of about 50 individuals of the Collier/Collyer surname and about 85 total descendants.
Thomas and Susannah had a daughter, Susannah/Susanna (2) (dates unknown), who was alive in April, 1647, at the time of her father's death in Hingham. Nothing further known.
There was possibly a son named John, as well.A John Collier had land in Hull in 1642, but disappears, and nothing further is known.
Generation 3 –
Thomas (2) and wife Jane Curtis had7 children, 5 reaching adulthood (Elizabeth, b. ca 1648, and James, b. ca 1651, have no later record).
Thomas (3) (ca 1654 - d. 1719, Hull) may not have married, and presumably had no heirs at his death, leaving "all to brother Gresham."
John (3) (ca 1662 - d. 1713, Hull) married Mary/Marcy _____.This couple had three daughters, all of whom married into the Loring family, another early Hingham/Hull family.
Through town Vital Records, I have traced some of this line down to about 1800, on the South Shore.There is a Loring Family genealogy which will undoubtedly go further.
Experience (3) (ca 1662 - d. 1695, Hull) married Nicholas Baker, of another family which came to Hingham in 1635.The one daughter of this couple married a Loring, so tracing the various Loring-Collier connections gets tricky.At least 3 descendants moved to coastal Maine before 1750.
Benjamin (3) (ca 1665 - d. 1730, Hull) probably had no children.His father's will describes him as "weak in intellect."
Gershom(3) (ca1674 - d 1753, Hull) married Elizabeth Poole, in Hull, January 25, 1697, had a large family, and it is from this couple that the majority of the Colliers we have traced descend.
Generations 4 and later –Descendants of Gershom and Elizabeth Poole Collier
(I will be as brief as possible from this point on, just giving the main dispersions we have traced.I am constantly updating my files from library research and correspondence, and I anticipate more information will be located on many individuals and lines before I publish the family history.)
Children of Lt. Gershom and Elizabeth Collier, all born in Hull, Mass.:
Judith (4) 1697 - d. probably 1740, in Hull) married Cromwell Lobdell. Had 3 children in Hull, but no further record located yet.
Susannah (4) (1700 - after 1749) married twice-- (1) Samuel Jones, in 1719, who died 1721; (2) Thomas Copeland, after 1721.She had one son, Samuel, by Jones and 9 children by Thomas Copeland. The Copeland family was from Weymouth - Braintree, and Thomas and Susannah probably lived in one of those towns.I have traced a few more generations, and will no doubt find more in a larger library.
Mary (4) (1703 - d. possibly before 1748, in Maine ??) had 8 children by her first husband, Joseph Spear, who died in 1737, and then married Richard Stubbs and moved to the area of Falmouth, Maine.There were 8 children, named Spear, by her first husband, at least some of whom were mariners.This family scattered quite a bit, and I see deaths recorded in Boston, where some were merchants of some note,and several other towns in coastal and inland Mass.There is a Spear/Speare genealogy which should yield some additional generations.I have traced a few names down to about 1800.I have no record of children by the second marriage, but there may be some in Maine records.
Thomas (4) (1706 - d. 1784, Chesterfield, Hampshire County, Mass.) married Bridget Southworth, in Hull, 1734. (Bridget died in Chesterfield, 1798.) This is "my" branch.I have done more investigation on this line than on most of the others, and most of the living family members I have corresponded with are also of this line.I have a great amount of documentation collected, although a few points are known only by indirect evidence.
Bridget Southworth counted among her ancestors Mary Chilton (of the Mayflower), Mary's husband, John Winslow (brother of Governor Edward), William Collier (a leader of Plymouth Colony), William's daughter, Elizabeth, who married Constant Southworth, and other early Plymouth figures.
Of the children of Thomas and Bridget, all but one born in Scituate, Gershom Collier (1738 - d. 1822, Northport, Maine) was almost certainly the individual of that name at the Boston Tea Party.There are probably still individuals of this line in Maine, but most of the later generations known are ones which moved to Montana and California in the mid-to-late 19Th. Century.Several descendants have contributed family records.
Bridget Collier (1740 - d. 1795, Cohasset, Mass.) married Aaron Pratt in 1758.This couple had 16 children, several of whose descendants still live in the Cohasset area.The generations down to the present day have been contributed by Joel Pratt.The "pedigree" on this line is unbroken all the way back to Thomas (1) of Hingham.
Jane Collier (1744 -d. 1820, in Chesterfield) married John House, of Hanover, and moved from Hanover to Chesterfield sometime between 1781 and 1785.I suspect that Thomas and Bridget, Jane's parents, went with them at this time, but have no proof.Some of the House descendants are listed in Chesterfield records as late as the early 20Th. Century.Others moved to northeastern Ohio.
Ephraim Bosworth Collier (1748 - d. before January, 1788, Boston), called Bosworth, married Ann House, sister of John.They had at least 2 daughters -Anna and Rebecca - who moved to Chesterfield after the death of Bosworth to live with an unidentified cousin (??), Susanna Collier, and her husband, Thomas James.Bosworth was a "housewright," as was "my" ancestor, another Gershom Collier (ca 1771 - 1819) who moved from Boston to Chesterfield about 1805.I am 99% certain that Gershom was Bosworth's son, but the Boston Vital Records are nearly non-existent for the period. I keep searching for definitive proof of the connection.
4 sets of family records (including my own Ohio branch), added to a Chesterfield history and genealogy, continue this branch's history down to the present, although several individuals are unaccounted for.My line went to Ohio ca 1820—1840, another went to upstate New York about 1850 - 1860, while others stayed in western Massachusetts.
To return to the children of Lt. Gershom and Elizabeth Poole--
Gershom Collier (1708 - died young - no further record). The 5Th. child.
Jane Collier (1710 - d. after 1755, probably in Boston) married 3 times: (1) Paul Baxter, 1730, in Hull.Paul died within a few months, but Jane had one son by him, also Paul; (2) John Doane, Esq., 1732 in Hull, lived in Boston.John died about 1755, having had 5 children by Jane, the last when he was 80 (!! This is given in several standard sources).Jane married (3) Captain Atherton Haugh/Hough, sometime after 1755.At the time of the Great Fire of March 20, 1760, the homes of Capt. Atherton Haugh and John Doane [Jr.], and "Paul Baxter's shop," all in Mackrel Lane - near the current Quincy Market, were lost.John Doane was variously described as a goldsmith and a clockmaker, and living in Boston, Scituate, and Cohasset.An Internet site, which I have not yet contacted, has a line of descent from John Doane, Jr. down to Rev. Calvin Wright, now retired in Concord, NH.I have nothing certain on any of Jane Collier's other descendants. All 3 of her husbands were from early Plymouth or Mass. Bay families.
Gershom Collier (1713 - d. probably before 1749) was in the Harvard College class of 1734, but nothing further is known.
John Collier (1716 - after 1749 ??).No later record.
Jonathan Collier (1719 - before Feb. 15, 1779, possibly Groton, Mass.) married 3 times: (1) Judith Gould, m. 1742, had 3 children with Jonathan, died 1761; (2) Ruth Briggs, m. 1761, one child with Jonathan, died 1763; (3) Tabitha Pratt Porter, m. 1764, had 4 children with Jonathan, died after 1790, possibly in Groton, Mass.One child of the 3d marriage, Ruth, married into the Lawrence family of Groton, and I have traced another 2 generations.A son, another Gershom Collier, (1765 - d. after 1820) moved to the area of Farmington and Avon, Maine in 1790, was married possibly 3 times and may have had 8 children.We have the names of 4 children, and are hoping to get further details on this line.
William Collier (1721 - 1794, d. in Scituate) married Judith Briggs of Scituate in 1749, had 5 children.Her family was an early arrival in Scituate, and the Briggs-Collier home was still owned by a Collier as late as the mid 20Th. Century.This line had many individuals who moved to Cohasset. (It also had at least one member, Susanna Briggs (1781 - 1822), who married Charles Cudworth, of Scituate,and moved to Chesterfield about 1802.) Several were noted mariners and sea captains in the early and mid-19Th. Century, and from the late 19Th. century to the present there have been several noted writers in the family:Edmund Pomeroy Collier, Sargent F. Collier, Edmund Collier, and currently the brothers James Lincoln and Christopher Collier. Later generations married Lincolns, Sewalls, and Osgoods, among other well known South Shore families.Like the family of Aaron Pratt and Bridget Collier (above), this branch has a firm and unbroken record from the present day back to Thomas (1) Collier.
Isaac Collier (1726 - before 1749).No record after his birth.
Moses Collier (1729 - d. about 1762 in Boston) married Susannah Foster, in Hull, 1752, lived in Boston.Moses and Susannah had 5 children in Boston between 1753 and 1760, including a Susanna Collier (1758 - 1820) whom I suspect was the individual in Chesterfield who became the guardian ofAnna and Rebecca Collier, children of Bosworth.Moses probably died about 1762, but I need to confirm this in Suffolk County Probate Records.I have records on descendants of the "Chesterfield" Susanna Collier James until about 1915, but nothing on the other 4 children.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register,Vol. 142, pages 356 - 359, Oct. 1988.Collier section of the article "Seventeenth Century Hull, Massachusetts and Her People."
South Shore area Vital Records through 1850--Hingham, Hull, Scituate, Cohasset, Weymouth, etc.
Old Scituate, Chief Justice Cushing Chapter, DAR, 1921 (section on Briggs-Collier House by Edmund Pomeroy Collier)
History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts 1762 - 1962, Town of Chesterfield, 1962
The Genealogies of the Families of Cohasset, Mass…, Davenport and Davenport, 1909, including article on "Cohasset's Deep Sea Captains, "by E. Pomeroy Collier.
And, Family Records contributed by Mike Collier, Linda Peacock, Paul Watson, Linda Ayukawa, Tammy Stevens, Joel Pratt, James L. Collier, and many members of my Ohio family.