Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nail Maker from London – Edward Jackson

B. 1602 in East End, London, England
M. (1) about 1629 in London, England
Wife: Frances (last name unknown)
M. (2) 14 Mar 1649 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Wife: Elizabeth Oliver
D. 17 Jun 1681 in Newton, Massachusetts
Emigrated: 1643

Edward Jackson was born in 1602 in the East End of London, England to Christopher Jackson and Susan Johnson. Edward was baptized February 3, 1604 at Stepney. He had at least one brother named John. It was said that Edward was a nail maker and that he made a good living from it.

Edward married a woman named Frances in about 1629 in London. In 1643, they decided to move to America and boarded a ship with their children. By the time they arrived, they had another, as Frances gave birth to a son while they were at sea. The family settled in Cambridge Village (later known as Newton), Massachusetts. In 1646, Edward purchased a 500 acre farm. Over the years, he bought so much property, he became the largest landowner in town.

On October 5, 1648, Edward's wife Frances died. He remarried on March 14th of the following year to a woman named Elizabeth Oliver, a midwife, and they had five children together. It is believed that Elizabeth was present at every local birth for fifty years, earning herself the title of "Mother of the Village." Edward himself was quite involved in community activities. He was admitted as a freeman in 1645 and for the next 20 years, he was Deputy to the Central Court, where he served on many committees, many of them focused on surveying and planning new settlements.

Edward left a lengthy will when he died on June 17, 1681. He bequeathed many tracts of land to his heirs, and even named 400 acres in Billerica to go to Harvard, although it's said that they never obtained the land. He refers to having 36 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Besides land, he offered possessions of silver cups, gold rings and several books, indicating he had both wealth and education. It was said that over 40 of his descendants served in the American Revolution.

Some of Edward's land in Newton passed down through his heirs, and his great-great grandson, Timothy Jackson (1756-1814) built the current house there in 1809. His son William (1783-1855) was an abolitionist and during the 19th century, used the house for a stop in the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves to escape to freedom. The homestead which begin when Edward bought the land in 1646 remained in the family for ten generations, into the 20th century. Today the Jackson Homestead houses a museum dedicated to the history of the town and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Famous descendants of Edward Jackson include Carlton Fisk.

Children by Frances:
1. Israel Jackson – B. about 1631, London, England; D. as an infant

2. Margaret Jackson – B. about 1632, London, England

3. Hannah Jackson – B. about 1634, London, England; D. 27 Apr 1704, Newton, Massachusetts; M. John Ward, 1650, Newton, Massachusetts

4. Rebecca Jackson – B. about 1636, London, England; M. Thomas Prentice

5. Caleb Jackson – B. about 1638, London, England

6. Joseph Jackson – B. about 1639, London, England

7. Jonathan Jackson – B. 1641, London, England; D. 28 Aug 1693, Boston, Massachusetts; M. (1) Elizabeth Baker, 1668, Newton, Massachusetts; (2) Elizabeth Morris, 6 Jun 1671

8. Sebas Jackson – B. 1643, at sea; D. 6 Dec 1690, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M. Sarah Baker (1641-1725), 19 Apr 1671, Newton, Massachusetts

Children by Elizabeth Oliver:
1. Sarah Jackson – B. 6 Jan 1650, Cambridge, Massachusetts; D. 1711; M. Nehemiah Hobart, 1678

2. Edward Jackson – B. 1652; M. (1) Grace ______; (2) Abigail Wilson

3. Lydia Jackson – B. 1656; D. 1726; M. Joseph Fuller, 1679

4. Elizabeth Jackson – B. 1658; M. (2) John Prentice, 1677; (2) Jonas Bond

5. Ruth Jackson – B. 1664; D. 1692

Sources:
Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1906
Historic homes and places and genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, William Richard Cutter, 1908
Jackson Homestead [Wikipedia article]
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]
Miller-Anderson Histories: EDWARD JACKSON 1604-1681 [website page]

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