Thursday, March 15, 2012

An Interest in Practicing Medicine – John Kittredge

B. about 1630 in England
M. 2 Nov 1664 in Wells, Maine
Wife: Mary Littlefield
D. 18 Oct 1676 in Billerica, Massachusetts
Emigrated: before 1660

According to family tradition, John Kittredge had a strong interest in medicine. He was born in about 1630 in England, probably in the town of Lowestoft, which is in Suffolk. While the records of the town contain many Kittredges, John's parentage is unknown.

There is a story that John experimented by breaking animal’s limbs, then setting them to see how fast he could get them to heal. He was on a ship which carried some medical supplies and books which he studied. A man on the ship broke his arm and another broke his leg, and John used his knowledge to set the injured bones. Unfortunately word got out that he was practicing medicine without a license. In order to avoid the authorities, he moved to America.

John settled in Billerica, Massachusetts, where on September 25, 1660, he received a land grant for five acres. In December 1661, he acquired 64 acres about "a mile south-east of the village." On November 2, 1664, he married Mary Littlefield in Wells, Maine, the town where she was from. The couple lived in Billerica and between 1666 and 1674, they had four sons.

During King Phillip's War, John became a captain in the local militia. He took part in the Battle of Quaboag Swamp in August 1675. His “healing powers and knowledge of surgery” were said to have helped his fellow soldiers in the expedition.

John died on October 18, 1676 at the age of 46. He left behind a pregnant wife and his fifth son was born six months later. His will provided for her during the years that she would raise the children. She married a second husband, John French. A couple of generations after his death, in 1734, the part of Billerica where the family lived was incorporated as the town of Tewksbury. There were 46 families living there and 11 of them were named Kittredge, all descendants of John.

1. John Kittredge – B. 24 Jan 1666, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 24 Apr 1714, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Hannah French (1664-1755), 3 Apr 1685, Billerica, Massachusetts

2. James Kittredge – B. 21 Mar 1667, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 30 Apr 1739, Tewksbury, Massachusetts; M. (1) Sarah _______ (1680-~1707); (2) Mary Abbott, 19 Apr 1708

3. Daniel Kittredge – B. 22 Jul 1670, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 8 Mar 1741; M. Elizabeth Foster, 19 Dec 1694

4. Jonathan Kittredge – B. 16 Jul 1674, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 8 Mar 1696

5. Benoni Kittredge – B. 2 May 1677, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 24 Nov 1753

The Kittredge Family in America, Mabel T. Kittredge, 1936

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