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This surname is part the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, Ina Elnora Lydell through two lines of descent.
Roger CONANT bapt: 9 Apr 1592 East Budleigh, Devon, England; married: 11 Nov 1618 Sarah HORTON (Dau of Thomas HORTON and Catherine SATCHFIELD b. in East Budleigh, Devon, England d. 30 Oct 1720 in Beverly MA); died: 19 Nov 1679 in Salem MA; Son of Richard CONANT and Agnes CLARK
1. Sarah d. (England) - 2. Caleb returned to England, possibly as heir to some part of his grandfather, Richard Conant's estate- 3. Lot b. 1625 in Nantasket MA m. 1649 Elizabeth WALTON in Beverly MA d. 29 Sep 1674 in Beverly MA - 4. Roger b. 1626 (1st white ch born Salem MA) m. Elizabeth d. 15 Jun 1672 in Marblehead MA- 5. Sarah b. 1624 - 1628 (Salem MA) m. John LEACH d. aft 1678- 6. Joshua m. Seeth GARDNER - 7. Mary m. John BALCH - 8. Exercise b. 1637; bpt 24 Dec 1638 in Salem MA m. 28 Apr 1663 , Sarah in Salem MA d. 28 Apr 1722 in Windham CT
Roger was the youngest of eight children born to Richard and Agnes (CLARK) CONANT. He and his family came to New England probably on the "Ann", arriving in Plymouth Massachusetts in Jul 1623. As a Puritan, he was nonconformist in ideology and as such did not get along too well with the Pilgrims at Plymouth who were Separatists in their views. March of 1624 brought the ship Charity to the new colony; on board were supplies for Plymouth and the Puritan minister, Rev. John Lyford. Trouble ensured and most of the nonconformists were expelled from Plymouth in July, 1664. Though not personally discharged from the colonly, Roger soon joined the others at Nantasket and later governed at the new plantation on Cape Ann and eventually founded Salem MA.
The Chronological History of Massachusetts relates the role that Roger played in early New England:
"1623 - Myles Standish successfully conducted the first organized war against the Indians who had been stirred to form a conspiracy against the English by the behavior of Andrew Weston's men in June of 1621 and other troublemakers among the colonists. It was another lean year but boats came over from England every season. Some 200 or more Separatists would join the group on four different ships. .. Meanwhile, in England, a group of wealthy English merchants formed the Dorchester Company of Adventurers, of whom the less-radical Puritan conformist clergyman John White was prominent. Another member was Mistress Elizabeth Poole of Taunton, Somerset, who later founded Taunton, Massachusetts. With a patent from the council of New England, a group of fishermen and planters took the Fellowship to Cape Ann where they constructed a house and fishing stage at Stage Fort Point...Sometime during the year, non-Separatist Roger Conant and his wife arrived in Plymouth.
As noted above, the early Cape Ann settlement was funded by John White's Dorcester Company of Adventurers. In 1622/3 fourteen hardy souls were sent by the Company to winter there. The company sent supplies including some cattle and more settlers in 1623/4. They specified that John Tilley was to oversee the planting, and Thomas Gardiner had charge of the fishing operations.
"1624 - Plymouth colonists, tired of their 'common course and condition,' convinced Bradford to end the annual practice of drawing for plots of land and, instead, to grant permanent allotments. Later expanded, the new practice spurred colonists to work harder and produce more as they were assured of enjoying the fruits of their own labors. In July, when a fierce drought threatened to destroy the crops, the colonists were driven to "seek the Lord in humble and fervent prayer," according to Bradford, "and He was pleased to give them a gracious and speedy answer, both to their own and the Indians' admiration that lived among them." The gentle rains came and stayed so that, as Bradford wrote, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty ... so as any general want or famine has not been among them since to this day (1644)." Excluded by the Separatist Pilgrims, a disgruntled Roger Conant drew a number of non-Separatists to himself and removed up the coast to found Nantasket.
"1625 - In England, Charles I succeeded the wildly extravagant and scandalous James I whose reign had encouraged a rampage of the rich and opportunistic, unsettling the balance of the economy. Now Charles gave ear to the highly ritualistic, anti-Puritan, Anglican Bishop William Laud. Those Puritans who had wished to reform England and its Church from within began to lose hope. Bradford wrote friends in his homeland that the colonists had 'never felt the sweetness of the country till this year.' Roger Conant was summoned from Nantasket to Cape Ann to manage the floundering outpost, followed by his loyal group of non-separatist Puritans. Having unknowingly acquired a scurrilous title to a part of Cape Ann, the Plymouth residents commenced building in the area a fishing stage of their own which was seized by the Cape Ann interests. Captain Myles Standish almost fought the group but Conant cooled the soldier's temper by offering to build a new fishing stage for the Pilgrims. Hostilities continued to build between the Separatists and non-Separatists. The same year, Captain Wollaston founded a colony at Passonagessit. Among the colonists was Anglican Thomas Morton who would change Mount Wollaston to Merrymount and cause grave concern among settlements from Maine to Nantasket.
As noted by the history, the Dorecestor Company was less than thrilled with the leadership supplied by Tilly and Gardiner at the Cape Ann site and sent our Roger to govern there also specifying Lyford as their minister and Oldham as their Indian trader. "The information they (the Dorcestor Company) had of him was from one Mr. Conant, a brother of his, and well known to Mr. White. And he was so well satisfied therein that he engaged Mr. Humphrey, the Treasurer of the joint adventurers, to write to him in their names and to signify that they had chosen him to be their Governor in that place, and would commit unto him all their affirs as well fishing as planting.". Roger took charge of the Cape Ann settlement in the fall of 1624/5, living near what is now Clocester MA. A fort was constructed at what is now Stagehead and was originally named Fort Conant. He lived in "the great frame house" which had been brought over from England. That he was a statesman, of sorts is evident in his role in settling the argument that ensued concerning the fishing stage at Cape Ann: "The magnanimity as is justice of Conant, in this emergency, is worthy of notice. Though he had been obliged to leave Plymouth for an ecclesiastical diversity of views, he had no wish to encourage hostility against them, or any unrighteous application of their property. He knew the rights of individual judgment in others, and however different it was from his own, he had no heart to treat them as enemies." [NEHGS II p236]
"1626 - ...In the autumn, Roger Conant led the remnant of the Cape Ann expedition, some 20 to 30 persons, down the coast to a place the Indians called Naumkeag, where a number of rivers formed a safe harbor and good farmland was close by. Soon to be known as the Old Planters, these were the hardy souls who declined the dissolved Dorchester Company's offer of return passage to England. Meanwhile in England, the undaunted clergymen John White and John Conant looked for new settlers and capital."
The history cited above indicates that only a remnant of the original number of settlers made the move with Roger to Salem. While this is true, it was not because of a dwindling number in Cape Ann; by the end of the year there were about 200 people there. Apparently Roger didn't much like the Cape Ann location and the Company didn't much care for the lack of profits that the settlement generated, having lost over £ 3000 on the venture. Many of the settlers returned to England; a handful went with Roger to Naumkeag (now Salem). Lyford shortly removed to Virginia and would have taken the settlers with him, except that Conant refused to go, having "pledged his faith conditionally" to the Dorcester Company; in this the "Old Planters" followed his lead.
Conant wrote about this time of uncertainty in a petition to the General Court: "when in the infancy thereof, it was in great hassard of being deserted, I was a means through grace assisting me, to stop the flight of those few that there then were heere with me, and that by my utter deniall to goe away with them, who would have gone either for England or mostly for Virginia, but hereupon stayed to the hassard of our lives." In 1627, the "Old Planters" received what they thought was a patent for ownership of the land, only to discover that John Endicott and a group of 50 men had embarked for the same area under the auspices of their separate grant to the land. When Enidicott and his group arrived, he replaced Conant as agent, much to the consternation of the "older" group.
In April, 1628/9, the Company in England proposed a new corporation to be formed by a consortium of the old and new settlers. The "Old Planters" were to retain the land they currently possessed and were to be granted further allotments equal to those allotted to £ 50 contributors in the Company. In addition, they were given a discount on the cost of Company transport, were granted the right to grow tobacco and two of their members were to be appointed to the general council.
The settlement, called Naumkeag by the Indians and founded by Roger Conant and his group of "Old Planters" was renamed Salem in 1628 by the consortium. The "further allotments" to the "Old Planters" were granted in what is now Beverly Massachusetts. Salem erected a statue of Roger, a picture of which can be seen on Welcome to Salem His home in Salem was "the great frame house" which he had moved from Cape Ann.
Biographical information, undoubtedly penned by a descendant and submitted to the 1903 Biographical tome for Tolland and Windham Counties, Conn reads as follows:
"His reputation was that of a pious, sober and prudent gentleman and as he was more strongly Puritan than the people around him he was chosen to head the settlement at Cape Ann, near Stage Head, on the north side of what is now Gloucester Harbor. Though not recognized as the first governor of Massachusetts, it seems he should be, as the colony over whose destinies he so ably provided made the first real advance toward a permanent settlement within the limits of what is now the State. Roger Conant was a man of intelligence, and historians pay glowing tributes to his ability, integrity and honor. He was a member of the second representative assembly ever held in America, very shortly following a similar gathering in Virginia.(Apparently refers to the October, 1630 meeting of the General Court of Boston. Though in violation of their charter, leaders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided that the governor and deputy governor would be elected by the freemen of the Colony, including the "Old Planters", by demand of those in attendance, granted May 1631) The record of his active labor in forming that system of government which has made the U.S. great and mighty in every field of labor, or department of thought, was the noblest heritage he could leave his children. Many important offices were held by him in Salem, and for many years his services were continually in demand by the people. He and his wife were among the members who assisted in forming the 1st Church at Salem in 1637, and both signed the Covenant.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Main Street, Salem" portrays our Roger, at least as seen in Hawthorne's imagination:
"You perceive, at a glance, that this is the ancient and primitive wood, the ever-youthful and venerably old, - verdant with new twigs, yet hoary, as it were, with the snowfall of innumerable years, that have accumulated upon its intermingled branches. ... In more than one spot, among the trees, an upheaved axe is glittering in the sunshine. Roger Conant, the first settler in Naumkeag, has built his dwelling, months ago, on the border of the forest-path; and at this moment he comes eastward, through the vista of woods, with his gun over his shoulder, bringing home the choice portions of a deer. His stalwart figure, clad in leather jerkin and breeches of the same, strides sturdily onward, with such an air of physical force and energy that we might almost expect the very trees to stand aside, and give him room to pass. And so, indeed, they must; for, humble as is his name in history, Roger Conant still is of that class of men who do not merely find, but make, their place in the system of human affairs; a man of thoughtful strength, he has planted the germ of a city. There stands his habitation, showing in its rough architecture some features of the Indian wigwam, and some of the log cabin, and somewhat too, of the straw-thatched cottage in Old England, where this good yeoman had his birth and breeding.
The dwelling is surrounded by a cleared space of a few acres, where Indian corn grows thrivingly among the stumps of the trees; while the dark forest hems it in, and seems to gaze silently and solemnly, as if wondering at the breadth of sunshine which the white man spreads around him. An Indian, half hidden in the dusky shade, is gazing and wondering too. Within the door of the cottage you discern the wife with her ruddy English cheek. She is singing doubtless a psalm tune, at her house hold work; or, perhaps she sighs at the remembrance of the cheerful gossip, and all the merry social life, of her native village beyond the vast and melancholy sea. Yet the next moment she laughs, with sym0pathetic glee, at the sports of her little tribe of children; and soon turns round, with the home-look on her face, as her husband's foot is heard approaching the rough-hewn threshold. How sweet must it be for those who have an Eden in their hearts, like Roger Conant and his wife, to find a new world to project it into, as they have, instead of dwelling among old haunts of men, where so many household fires have been kindled and burnt out, that the very glow of happiness has something dreary in it."
Last Will and Testament of Roger Conant
"At Salem Court, 25:9:1679. The Last will and testament of Roger Conant, dated the 1st of the 1 mo. [March] 1677. I roger Conant aged about eightie fiue yeares, being of perfect vnderstandin though weak and feeble in body, doe hereby declare my will and minde wherein in the first place I doe bequeath my soule vnto God that gaue it & my body to the graue, in hope of a blessed resurection: & for my outward estate and goods, I giue vnto my Sonne Exercise one hundred and fortie acres of Land lyeing neer adjoining vnto the new towne of Dunstable a part of two hundred acres granted me by the General court: also I giue & bequeath vnto him ten acres of Land next adjoining vnto his p'sont home lott and land Lying by the side of william Dodgeses his land, and butts on the land of thomas Herrick: also I give him two acres of marsh at the south end of the grat pond by whenham, or if my daughter Elizageth Conant will exchange to have soe much at the great marsh neer wenham: also I give him my swamp at the head of the railes which is yet undivided betwixt me and Benjamin Balch adjoining vnto william Dodgeses swamp: also I giue him my portion of land Lying by Henry Haggats on wenham side: toward the discharge of such Legassis as I have given & bequeathed: accordin as is hereafter sett down.
more I giue vnto my grandchild John Conant sonne of Roger Conant ten acres of Land adjoing to his twenty acres by the great pond side he paying twenty pounds for the same towards the payment of gegassis as after mentioned.
more I giue vnto my grandchild Joshua Conant seaventeen acres of Land Lying by the south side of the great marsh neer wenham and bounding unto the land of peeter woodbery: and the rest to return to my Executor.
also I giue vnto my Daughter Sarah two acres of Land lying between the gead of the railes and Isaac Hull his ground as part of six acres betwixt me and Benjamin Balch: this to her and her children.
also sixtie acres oif Land out of my farm granted me by the General Court neer the new town of Dunstable I giue and bequeath unto the hands of Capt Roger Clap of the castle neer Dorchester for the use of a daughter of one mrs. pitts deceased whose daughter now Liueth in culleton a towne in Devon in old England and is in lue for certaine goods sold for the said mrs. pitts in London and was there to be paid many years since but it is alleaged was neuer paid and the aforesaid capt clap to giue a discharge as theire atturney according as he is impowered and intrusted in theire behalfe:
furthermore as lagacies I doe giue vnto my sonne lott his ten children twenty pounds to be equally divided: to my daughter Sarahs Children to John five pounds to the foure daughters fiue pounds betwixt ym: to my daughter Mary Dodge to herself fiue pounds and fiue pounds to her fiue children equally divided: to Exercise his children foure pounds betwixt them: to Adoniron Veren three pounds to his sister Hannah twenty shillings and her two children each ten shillings: to my cozen Mary Veren wife to Hillier veren three pounds as also three pounds unto the daughters of My Cozen Jane Mason deceased to be divided amongst them including Loue steevens her children a share:
my wearing apparell I giue and household implements not otherwise disposed of and my Gray horse and cattle to my sonn Exercise and sheepe I giue to Rebacka Connant my grandchild and one sheep to Mary Leach:
and whereas there remains in my hands a certain portion of cattle belonging vnto one Mr. Dudeney in England and by him assigned vnto his nephew Richard Conant valued at twenty five pounds and now left in the hands of my sonne exercise Conant that there be a rendering vp of such cattle or theire valuation mentioned unto the said Richard Conant upon seasonable demand he giuing a full discharge for the same.
and further my will is that my sonn Exercise be my executor to my will and Testament and for further help in seeing these things forementioned my sonne william Dodge and my grandchild John Conant Senior to be overseears of the same. In witness whereof I haue haere vnto sett my hand the day and yeare aboure written. The blotting our of part of a line and a whole line under the part was before signing hereof.
The mark X of Roger CONANT his seale
Sealed int he presence of the aforesaid witnesses and delivered
25-9-mo 1679 Benjamin Balch and John Bennett gave oath in Court at Salem that they signed as witnesses to the within written that then the said Roger Conant declared the same to be his last will and testament and there is no later will of his that they know of
Attest Hilliard Veren Cler:
The estate of Roger Conant deceased a true Inventory there of appraised by John Rayment and William Rayment this 24th 9 mo 1679
200 acres land lying at Dunstable not improved 60-00-0
more land sold to Elizabeth Conant not paid for40-00-0
more land 10 acres and more 10 acres 2040-00-0
more land 23 acres59-00-0
more two acres of meddow10-00-0
swampy land 20s 2 acres of land 5 pounds6-00-0
2 cows and a horse 10 pounds cattell 15 pounds 4 sheep 1 pound26-10-0
a bed and furniture 5 pounds wearing cloathes and linen 9 pounds14-00-0
a chest trunk and box 20s and other things 20s2-00-0
Sources: "Chronological History of Massachusetts", Flying the Colors: Massachusetts Facts: John Clements, 1987; Tolland and Windham Counties, Connecticut Biographies - 1903; Mayflower Gedcom; LDS Ancestral File; Research of John F. Chandler and Betty I. Ralph; Conant Family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant, M.A. - 1877; NEHGS; Pioneers of Massachusetts by Charles Henry Pope - 1900; Mainstreet Salem by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Essex Co MA Probate Records
First Line of Roger CONANT and Sarah HORTON
Lot CONANT born: 1625 in Nantasket MA or Cape Ann; married: 1649 Elizabeth WALTON (dau of William WALTON and Elizabeth COOKE; b. 27 Oct 1629 in Seaton, Devonshire England; m. (2) 10 January 1681/2 Andrew MANSFIELD "of Lynn";) in Beverly MA; died: 29 Sep 1674 in Beverly MA; Son of Roger CONANT and Sarah HORTON
1. Nathaniel b. 28 Jul 1650 in Beverly MA m. 1675 Hannah MANSFIELD in MA d. Jan 1680 in Bridgewater MA - 2. John b. 15 Dec 1652 (Salem MA) chr. 26 May 1662 (1st Church Salem) m. 7 May 1678 Bethiah MANSFIELD d. 30 Sep 1724 - 3. Lot b. 16 Feb 1658 (Beverly MA) chr. 26 May 1662 (1st Church Salem) d. aft 1717 - 4. Elizabeth b. 13 May 1660 (Beverly MA) chr. 26 May 1662 (1st Church Salem) - 5. Mary b. 14 Jul 1662 (Beverly MA) d. 23 Nov 1743 (Ipswich MA) - 6. Martha b. 15 Aug 1664 (Beverly MA) chr. 12 Oct 1664 (1st Church Salem) d. 2 Jan 1754 (Plympton MA) - 7. Sarah b. 19 Feb 1667 (Beverly MA) chr. 5 May 1667 (1st Church Salem) d. 1 Nov 1750 - 8. William b. 19 Feb 1667 (Beverly MA) chr. 5 May 1667 1st Church Salem - 9. Roger b. 10 Mar 1669 (Beverly MA) chr 23 May 1669 d. 1746 - 10. Rebecca b. 31 Jan 1671 (Beverly MA) chr: 28 May 1671 (1st Church Salem) m. Nathaniel d. 2 Dec 1760 (Beverly MA)
Lot owned property in Marblehead MA by 1657 where he served as selectman in 1662 and was granted "commanage" for one cow in 1667. He is on the May 1674 list of Marblehead householders. His permanent home was apparently in Beverly and he sold his Marblehead holdings (10 Mar 1669/70 - "land bounding that of John Trebye and Richard Thisle - to Vinson Stilson; 20 Mar 1671 - land and house to John Treby). He is described in the land deeds as "Lott Conant of Beverly, yeoman". This Marblehead connection was undoubtedly a result of his marriage to Elizabeth Walton who's father William had settled in Marblehead as early as 1639 and was the pastor there until his death in 1668.
In 1666, his father gave him the Beverly homestead with 32 acres and 72 acres in town, though Lot leased the homestead back to his parents for "on indian corn per annum". In Jul 1667 his church membership was transferred from First Church at Salem to the new church at Bass River (Beverly).
Lot was fined 4 shillings in Mar 1672 for "attacting Matthew ffairfield"
In addition to his occupation as a farmer (yeoman), he also apparently worked at a trade (possibly a shoemaker as that was son Nathaniel's occupation) as evidenced by his special bequest of "the shop and tools" as noted in his will.
Lot Conant's Last Will and Testament I, Lot Conant aged about fiftie yeers being sicke and weak, yet of p'fit understanding doe hereby declare my last will and testament wherein in the first place I doe bequeath my soule unto god that gave it, and my body to the grave in hope of a blessed reserrection: and for my outward estate and goods I doe bequeath and give unto my five sonns to each of them fiftie pounds and unto my son nathaniel the shop and tools over & above the rest, and unto my five daughters twenty pounds to each of them and this estate I leave to be whole and unbroken till they come to full age or to marriage estate and in the meane time the whole to rest in the hands of my wife, and for the bringing up of the children and further more my will is that my wife be executrix and that the land be not at all disposed off from the children and that my wife have the dwelling house and orchard for her life time. and also that my kins woman mari Leach have a cow or heifer at her beig married or going from my wife. And for help unto my wife in this matter I doe instruct and designe mr. John Hale, Captaine Lathrop and my brother Exercise Conant to be assisting. Hereunto I have subscribed my hand this 24 of the 7 month 1674. Witness Roger Conant Signed Lot Conant Exercise Conant Sworn 26:9 mo:1674 Inventory totalled 782.04.00 including "a shop where Nathan Conant works 5.00.0"
Elizabeth WALTON CONANT's second husband, Andrew MANSFIELD was the father-in-law of her two oldest sons.
Sources: LDS Ancestral File; Research of John F. Chandler; Conant Family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant M.A. - 1887; Essex Probate Records; Salem Town Records
Nathaniel CONANT, Sr born: 28 Jul 1650 in Beverly MA chr. 26 May 1662 in 1st Church Salem; married: 1675 Hannah MANSFIELD(dau of Andrew MANSFIELD and Bethiah GEDNEY or TOWNSEND; b. 1654 in Hingham, Plymouth MA; d. aft 1732 in MA) in MA; died: Jan 1680 In Bridgewater MA; Son of Lot CONANT and Elizabeth WALTON
1. Bethiah b. 8 Nov 1677(Beverly MA) bapt. 17 Mar 1677/8 (Beverly MA) m. 14 Dec 1696 Nathaniel ALLEN - 2. Nathaniel, Jr b. 3 Jan 1679 in Beverly, Essex MA bapt. 7 Mar 1679/80 (Beverly MA) m. (1) 5 Jun 1701 Margaret LAUGHTON in MA (2) 17 Dec 1716 Elizabeth HAINS or HINDS (3) Mary d. 8 Sep 1745 in Bridgewater MA - 3. Josiah b. 27 Nov 1680 - 4. Hannah b. 25 Jan 1683/4 bap. 14 Sep 1684 (Beverly MA) - 5. Martha b. 24 Feb 1686/7 bap 3 Jul 1687 (Beverly MA) m. 10 Mar 1711 Thomas KNOWLTON (of Ipswich) - 6. Lot b. 27 Mar 1689 bapt. 20 Oct 1689 (Bridgewater MA) - 7. Lydia b. 8 Nov 1692 (Bridgewater MA) - 8. Rebecca b. 4 Oct 1694 (Bridgewater MA) m. 15 Jun 1714 Shubael EWER (Barnstable MA)
Nathaniel's occupation has been recorded as a Cordwainer (shoemaker) and he may have inherited the tools of his trade from his father. He made his home in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA where he is found by 1687. In May 1888 "Goodman Conant to see to the repairs of the road leading from South Brook to Comfort Willis'". He sold his land in Beverly to his brother John in Jan 1691/2 and served on the "Jury of Trials" 14 Mar 1693 and 6 Dec 1694 and on the Grand Jury on 8 Mar 1698.
Plymouth Deeds reveal that he sold 25 acres in Bridgewater to William Orcutt on 7 Mar 1708 for which he received £ 14 and on 20 Mar 1711 he began to disperse of his real estate holdings, granting 53 Bridgewater acres to his son Nathaniel and, a year later on 3 Jul 1712 giving the homestead in South Parish including 50 acres to his youngest son, Lot.
In 1715 he was one of the petitioners for South Parish. On 20 May 1720 he sold 3/4 acres to Frances Woods and finally on 5 Dec 1729 he sold 11 3/4 acres to James Allen for £ 20. Nathaniel died in 1732 leaving the following will:
Last Will and Testament of Nathaniel Conant
Made: 3 Jul 1712
In the name of God Amen. July the third 1712 I Nathaniel Conant Senior of the Town of Bridgewater in ye County of Plymouth in New England, yeoman. Being of Sound Judgement and Disposing mind and memory Praised be God therefore yet calling to mind my mortality and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and Testament. That is to say Principally and first of all I do Recommend my Soul unto the hands of God yt gave it. My Body I recommend unto ye Earth to be buried in decent Christian Burial att ye Discretion of my Executors. Nothing doubtin that at ye General Resurrection I shall Receive ye same by ye mighty power of God and as for such worldly goods and Estate werewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and Bequeath unto Hannah my dearly beloved wife one third part of my home living both housing and land. Together with 2 cows one bed ad bedding necessary household goods for her use and Comfort during her widowhood. Then I have already given to my eldest son Nathaniel Conant that tract of land whereupon he now dwelleth by a conveyance under my hand and seal wh I do hereby confirm to him and his heirs forever and my will is that he therewithall rest contented.
Then to my son Josiah Conant I give about 20 pounds which he hath already received partly inhelp towards Building and fencing and my will is that he therewithall rest contented.
Then to my youngest son Lot Conant I have given by deed my homestead to be by him fully and freely possessed and enjoyed after my decease and my wifes decease and my will is that he shall enjoy two thirds thereof during my wife's life after me wherewith he is to rest contented.
Then as for my three eldest daughters Bethiah, Hannah and Martha who have been disposed of in marriage. I done for each of them respectively according to my ability about to the value of 12 pounds each and my will is that both they and their heirs do rest themselves contented therewith.
Then to my two youngest daughters Lydia and Rebecah I give all my moveable estate which shall remain after my wifes decease to be equally divided betwixt them.
Finally I nominate and appoint Hannah my well beloved wife Executrix and my eldest son Nathaniel Executor of this my last will and testament. Hereby renouncing, Revoking and Disallowing all other wills, testaments, Legacies, bequests or executers by me heretofore made, devised or named. Ratifying and establishing this and none other my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
Witnesses: Joseph Hayward, Nathaniel Brett, Seth Brett.
The estate inventoried at 711.10.0.
Sources: Conant Family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant M.A. - 1887; Plymouth Probate Records; LDS Ancestral File; History of the Mansfield Family
Nathanel CONANT, Jr born: 3 Jan 1679 in Beverly MA; married: (1) 5 Jun 1701 Margaret LAUGHTON (b. 1680 in Bridgewater MA d. bef Dec 1716 in Bridgewater MA) probably in Bridgewater MA (2) 17 Dec 1716 Elizabeth HAINS or HINDS (3) Mary; died: 8 Sep 1745 in Bridgewater MA; Son of Nathaniel CONANT and Hannah MANSFIELD
Children: (By 1st wife)
1. Thomas b. 29 Feb 1704 in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA m. (1)@1730 Martha AMES in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA (2) 29 Oct 1745 Mary WOOD d. 14 Jun 1786 in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA - 2. Nathan b. 10 May 1706 (Bridgewater MA) - 3. Bethiah b. 26 Jul 1709 (Bridgewater MA)
(By 2nd wife)
4. Jeremiah b. 5 Oct 1720 (Bridgewater MA) - 5. Margaret b. 3 Jun 1722 (Bridgewater MA) - 6. John b. 20 Apr 1725 (Bridgewater MA) - 7. Elizabeth b. 25 Dec 1727 (Bridgewater MA)
Like his father, Nathaniel was a Cordwainer by trade and lived in the house that he built on the land he received from his father in Bridgewater MA. The Plymouth records indicate that on 5 Dec 1718 he sold 9 acres to Josiah Aldrich & son for £ 10. On 1 Sep 1732 for £ 130 he sold to son Thomas 36 acres with the dwelling house. Son Jeremiah bought 16 acres with a house and barn in South Bridgewater "between the dwelling house of Jeremiah and my now dwelling house" in Nov 1741 for £ 100. On the same date, son John paid £ 100 for 40 acres with "house where I now live and the barn and malt house" and Jeremiah paid £ 25 for an additional 6 acres.
Sources: Conant Family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant M.A. - 1887; LDS Ancestral File
Thomas CONANT born: 29 Feb 1704 in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA; married: (1) @1730 Martha AMES (dau of William AMES and Mary D. HAYWARD; b. 1704 in Bridgewater MA; d. @1742 in Bridgewater MA) in Bridgewater MA (2) 29 Oct 1745 Mary WOOD; died: 14 Jun 1786 in Bridgewater, Plymouth MA; Son of Nathaniel CONANT, Jr. and Margaret LAUGHTON
Children: (By 1st marriage)
1. Thomas b. 12 Apr 1731 (Bridgewater MA) m. Hannah LAZELLE - 2. Sarah b. 2 May 1733 (Bridgewater MA) m. John HAYFORD - 3. Martha b. 8 Feb 1735 (Bridgewater MA) m. Seth LATHROP - 4. Rebecca b. 20 Jul 1737 (Bridgewater MA) m. Robert RANDALL - 5. Bethiah b. 19 Sep 1738 (Bridgewater MA) - 6. Mary b. 19 Feb 1740 (Bridgewater MA) m. 18 Sep 1767 Zebulon BRYANT (Bridgewater MA) d. 13 Dec 1808 (Ashfield MA) - 7. Zelpha b. 15 May 1742 (Bridgewater MA) m. Samuel KERTH
By 2nd marriage:
8. Abner b. 4 Oct 1746 (Bridgewater MA) - 9. Zenas b. 6 Nov 1748 (Bridgewater MA) - 10. Ezra b. 22 Jul 1750 (Bridgewater MA) - 11. Jedediah b. 22 Feb 1752 (Bridgewater MA) - 12. Abigail b. 3 Jan 1754 (Bridgewater MA) - 13. Keturah b. 13 Dec 1756 (Bridgewater MA) m. Barnabus WASHBURN
Thomas, too, was a Cordwainer and lived his life in Bridgewater. Land records there show transactions on 23 Jan 1725 (sold wife's share of the Ames estate to her brother William for £ 50); 8 Sep 1729 (divided land with coowner Joshua Forbes, receiving title to 16 1/2 acres); 1 Sep 1732 (land purchased from his father as explained above); 5 Dec 1729 (sold 4 acres to James Allen for £ 14)
Sources: Conant Family in England and America by Frederick Odell Conant M.A. - 1887; LDS Ancestral File; Vital Records of Ashfield MA; Elmer Genealogy
Second Line for Roger CONANT and Sarah Horton
Exercise CONANT born: 1637; chr. 24 Dec 1638 1st Church Salem; married: 28 Apr 1663 Sarah ANDREWS in Beverly MA; died: 28 Apr 1722 in Windham CT; Son of Roger CONANT and Sarah HORTON
1. Sarah b. 1668 (Salem MA) m. John MOULTON - 2. Abiah m. Josiah WALLIS - 3. Jane m. William MOULTON - 4. Elizabeth m. Richard HENDEE - 5. Josiah m. Joanna DIMMICK - 6. Caleb b. 29 Apr 1682 in Salem MA m. 1714 Hannah CRANE in Windham CT d. 1727 in Windham CT
Exercise was granted Freeman status in 1663 in Beverly MA. He purchased his house in Windham CT in 1694 and was admitted as an inhabitant of that town in Nov 1694. He was one of the pioneers of the Lebanon CT settlement. In 1701, he sold his holdings in Windham and returned to the Boston area where he remained until 1718. He returned to Windham where he died.
According to New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey , Exercise (1637 - 1722) married (@ 1663) Sarah possibly Andrews (1645 - 1718) daughter of John, granddaughter of Robert, niece of Thomas. Associated towns were Beverly MA, Boston MA, Mansfield CT and Windham CT.
I love these tidbits about Exercise sent to me by my "cyber cousin" Betty I. Ralph:
Here are a few misc. items from "History and Genealogy of Conant Family in England and America" published 1857, written by Frederick Odell Conant that I found interesting ..from Boston Record Commissioner's Reports "June 30, 1701, Exercise Conant his Petition for a License to Sell all Sorts of Strong drink out of door by Retaile is approved by the Select men" Sep 15, 1702 "Ordered that Exercise Conant shall be joyned with the watch he to take his turn with the eight watch men to watch one night in eight in each of their Sted and to be allowed out of their pay twelve pense p' night for each night sch he Shall watch in their Sted" June 24, 1706 "At a meeting of the Select men, Mr. Exercise Connunt is nominated and appointed to Inform against and prosecute all persons who shall thereafter Transgress the Town order relating to Regulateing of buryalls, and the Select men will take care that he shall be allowed a competent recompence for his Service therein. Ordered that the Several bell ringers within this Town at their Tolling of Bells for funeralls, Shall Turn up an Hour glass at the beginning of the Second bell for funeralls on week dayes, and at the beginning of the first bell for funeralls on Lords dayes and by their Information to assist Mr. Exercise Connunt or whom else the Select men Shall appoint of what they shall know relating to the breach of the Town order regulating buryalls"
"Massachusetts Officers and Soldiers in the 17th Century Conflicts" edited by Carole Doreski lists Lt. Exercise Conant serving from Beverly in 1690 (at the time of King Williams' War) so that must be why he was known as Lt. Conant."
Sources: Tolland and Windham Counties, Conn, Biographies - 1903; LDS Ancestral File; Research of Betty I. Ralph; Lookup in New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Clarence Almon Torrey, performed by Charisse Thompson
Caleb CONANT born: 29 Apr 1682 in Salem MA ; married: 1714 Hannah CRANE (dau of Ensign Jonathan CRANE and Deborah GRISWOLD; b. 7 Mar 1692 in Windham CT; d. 1726 in Windham CT) in Windham CT; died: 1727 in Windham CT; Son of Exercise CONANT and Sarah ANDREWS
1. Malachi b. 12 Jun 1715 in Windham CT m. 15 Feb 1738 Sarah FREEMAN in Mansfield CT d. 23 Jan 1783 in Mansfield or Gurleyville CT - 2. Benajah m. Jemima BOSWORTH - 3. Sarah d. unm - 4. Ruth m. Shabael CONANT - 5. Mary d. infant - 6. Josiah m. Ann AMES - 7. Hannah b. 1726
Caleb bought his brother, Josiah's land rights in Windham in 1703. He and Hannah were members of the 1st Church of Windham
Sources: Tolland and Windham Counties, Conn, Biographies - 1903; LDS Ancestral File
Malachi CONANT born: 12 Jun 1715 in Windham CT; married: 15 Feb 1738 Sarah FREEMAN (dau of Edmund FREEMAN and Keziah PRESBURY; b. 17 Jan 1720 in Mansfield Windham CT; d. 7 May 1791 Mansfield or Gurleyville, Windham CT) in Mansfield CT; died: 23 Jan 1783 in Mansfield or Gurleyville CT; Son of Caleb CONANT and Hannah CRANE
1. Lydia b. 25 Aug 1739 (Mansfield CT) m. 26 Aug 1762 Ebenezer FENTON d. aft 1780 (Mansfield CT) - 2. Mary b. 22 Mar 1741 (Mansfield CT) m. James PARKER - 3. Druscilla b. 1 May 1743 (Mansfield CT) m. Elisha HOPKINS - 4. Kezia b. 25 Sep 1745 (Mansfield CT) - 5. Malachi b. 11 Oct 1747 (Mansfield CT) d. 8 Dec 1747 (Mansfield CT) - 6. Seth b. 5 Dec 1748 (Mansfield CT) m. (1) Eunice ROYCE (2) Mrs. Martha WING FAY - 7. Sylvannus b. 10 Feb 1750 (Mansfield CT) m. (1) 22 Oct 1778 Anna WRIGHT (2) Elizabeth UTLEY (of Ashfield MA) d. 2 Sep 1843: lived on father's homestead - 8. Sarah b. 3 Mar 1753 (Mansfield CT) - 9. Malachi b. 25 Apr 1755 (Mansfield CT) d. 30 Aug 1775 (Cambridge MA) "in service to US" - 10. Abigail b. 20 Feb 1757 (Mansfield CT) d. 17 Feb 1777 - 11. Nathaniel b. 23 Sep 1761 (Mansfield CT) m. Lois ROYCE - 12. Hannah b. 19 Jun 1764 (Mansfield CT) m. Amasa WRIGHT
Malachi settled near Gurleyville in Windham CT He was a farmer.
Sources: Sources: Tolland and Windham Counties, Conn, Biographies - 1903; LDS Ancestral File
Roger CONANT - Sarah HORTON
Lot CONANT - Elizabeth WALTONExercise CONANT - Sara ANDREWS
Nathaniel CONANT - Hannah MANSFIELDCaleb CONANT - Hannah CRANE
Nathaniel CONANT - Margaret LAUGHTONMalachi CONANT - Sarah FREEMAN
Thomas CONANT - Martha AMESEbenezer FENTON - Lydia CONANT
Zebulon BRYANT - Mary CONANTNathaniel FENTON - Rachel FLETCHER
Jeduthan SMITH - Naomi BRYANTCyrus COE - Elsie FENTON
Obediah ELMER - Eunice SMITHWilliam LYDELL - Emily COE
William Smith ELMER - Mary TRUMBULLFrank LYDELL - Emma Elnor BROWN
William GRAY - Mary ELMERJasper LYDELL - Callie GRAY
Jasper LYDELL - Callie Electa GRAYIna Elnora LYDELL
Ina Elnora LYDELL