Thursday, February 23, 2012

Volumes of Descendants – John Strong

B. about 1610 in Chard, England
M. (1) in England
Wife: Margery Deane
M. (2) about 1636 in Massachusetts
Wife: Abigail Ford
D. 14 Apr 1699 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Emigrated: 1635 on the ship Hopewell

There are several large volumes devoted to the descendants of John Strong and this is the legacy of a man who had 18 children. John was born in Chard, England, a town in Somerset, in about 1610. His father was named John Strong, but his mother's name is unknown. John married Margery Deane and they had two children, one of whom died as an infant.

Some researchers believe that John may have traveled to America on the voyage of the Mary and John in 1630, but this is not proven. He was probably one of the many young men recruited in Dorset, Somerset and Devon around that time to populate the new Puritan colony; if he did sail on the Mary and John, he returned to England on the same ship. It is certain that he did travel on the ship Hopewell in 1635 along with his wife and child. She is believed to have died soon after arriving, and John married a second wife, Abigail Ford of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Abigail was just 16 years-old at the time of marriage, and between about 1636 and 1665, she had 16 children.

John was said to be illiterate and worked as a tanner in the colony. He settled first in Taunton, Massachusetts where he was admitted as a freeman of the Plymouth colony on December 4, 1638. He was also a constable in 1638 and 1639, and a representative to the General Court in 1641, 1643 and 1644.

In 1646, John moved to Windsor, Connecticut where he was admitted as a freeman on May 15, 1654. He was assigned the job of supervising the breeding of cows. In 1659, John was recruited as a skilled worker to join the settlement of Northampton, up the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. Two of his sons stayed in Windsor to continue the tanning business, while he set up another tannery in Northampton. He was granted 40 acres by the town officials and set up his business on a quarter acre. He had a reputation for honesty in his work. The property where his home was located stayed in the family for 103 years. John owned at different times some two hundred acres of land in and around Northampton.

John took an active role in the church, and from its earliest years, he was the ruling elder of the First Church of Northampton, a position he held for nearly 40 years. The Elder position involved church government, watching over member conduct and substituting for the Pastor when he was sick or absent.

John's wife Abigail died in Northampton on July 16, 1688. John lived another ten years and died on April 14, 1699. He was buried at Bridge Street Cemetery. It was said at the time of his death he had 150 living descendants.

Famous descendants of John Strong include Nathan Hale, 19th century fur trader Jedediah Strong Smith, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Lady Lucy Hayes, Bess Truman, Patricia Arquette, Cliff Arquette, Glenn Close, Dorothy Gish, Lillian Gish, Lee Meriwether, Brooke Shields and Princess Diana.

Children by Margery Dean:
1.  John Strong – B. about 1632, Chard, England; D. about 1690, Windsor, Connecticut; M. (1) Mary Clark (~1638-1663), 16 Nov 1656, Windsor, Connecticut; (2) Elizabeth Warriner (?-1684), 1664; (3) Hannah Smith (1647-1719), 2 Nov 1686

2. Baby Strong – B. 1635, Hingham, Massachusetts; D. 1635, Hingham, Massachusetts

Children by Abigail Ford:
1. Thomas Strong – B. about 1636, Hingham, Massachusetts; D. 3 Oct 1689, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. (1) Mary Hewitt (?-1670), 5 Dec 1660; (2) Rachel Holton (~1652-?), 10 Oct 1671, Northampton, Massachusetts

2. Jedediah Strong – B. 7 May 1637, Hingham, Massachusetts; D. 22 May 1733, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. (1) Freedom Woodward (~1642-1681), 18 Nov 1662, Northampton, Massachusetts; (2) Abigail Bartlett (1636-1689), 19 Dec 1681, Northampton, Massachusetts; (3) Mary Hart (1640-1710), 5 Jan 1692, Northampton, Massachusetts

3. Josiah Strong – B. between 1637 and 1641; D. young

4. Return Strong – B. about 1641, Taunton, Massachusetts; D. 9 Apr 1726; M. (1) Sarah Warham (1642-1678), 11 Nov 1664; (2) name unknown

5. Ebenezer Strong – B. about 1643, Taunton, Massachusetts; D. 11 Feb 1729; M. Hannah Clapp (1646-?), 4 Oct 1668

6. Abigail Strong – B. about 1645, Taunton, Massachusetts; D. 15 Apr 1704; M. (1) Nathaniel Chauncey (1639-1685), 12 Nov 1673; (2) Medad Pomeroy (1638-1716), 14 Sep 1686, Northampton, Massachusetts

7. Elizabeth Strong – B. 24 Feb 1647, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 12 May 1736; M. Joseph Parsons (1647-1729), 17 Mar 1669

8. Experience Strong – B. about 1650, Windsor, Connecticut; M. Zarubbabel Filer (1644-1715), 27 May 1669

9. Samuel Strong – B. 5 Aug 1652, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 29 Oct 1732, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. (1) Esther Clapp (1656-1698), 19 Jun 1684; (2) Ruth Sheldon (1663-?), 28 Oct 1698

10. Joseph Strong – B. 5 Aug 1652, Windsor, Connecticut; D. young

11. Mary Strong – B. 26 Oct 1654, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 8 Dec 1738; M. John Clark (1651-1704), 20 Mar 1679

12. Sarah Strong – B. 1655, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 10 Feb 1733; M. Joseph Barnard (1641-1695), 19 Dec 1675

13. Hannah Strong – B. 20 May 1657, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 31 Jan 1694; M. William Clark (1656-1725), 15 Jul 1680

14. Hester Strong – B. 1 Jun 1661, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 4 Mar 1727; M. Thomas Bissel (1656-1738), 15 Oct 1678

15. Thankful Strong – B. 25 Jun 1663, Northampton, Massachusetts

16. Jerijah Strong – B. 13 Dec 1665, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 24 Apr 1754; M. Thankful Stebbins (1678-1744), 18 Jul 1700

Sources:
The history of the descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass., Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, 1871
The Strong Family Association of America, Inc. [website]
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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