Many of the early Rowley settlers originated from the East Riding of Yorkshire, including the Boynton families. Brothers John and William Boynton were from Knapton, Wintringham Parish, near East Heslerton. Sir Matthew Boynton, their cousin, helped finance the Rowley expedition, but he decided to stay in England rather than emigrating to the Colonies. He built his home at Burton Agnes, near the ancient village of Boynton west of Bridlington.
Our Boynton family ancestors were among the first who came to America from Yorkshire, England in 1638/1643, settling in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts.
John Boynton, a tailor, had an acre and a half house lot on Bradford Street in Rowley, next to his brother William's lot in 1643. He married Ellen (Ellenor) Pell (there are several other spellings of her first name) of Boston.
According to Blodgett and Jewett, Ellen Pell was a maid-servant of Atherton Haulgh (Hough), who was admitted to the Boston church, April 5, 1641, and "dismissed 1:8: 1643 to Rowley; letter granted 21: 2: 1644, when she was wife to John Boynton, member of Rowley Ch."
First born son, Joseph Boynton, born about 1645, married Sarah Swan, daughter of Richard Swan, May 13, 1669. Joseph Boynton was a captain in Col. Francis Wainwright's First Regiment - Red - serving from 1706-1707, on the Port Royal Expedition. In addition, he served as town clerk and as a town representative for many years. He and his family moved to Groton, Mass., in 1715, several years before the death of his wife, Sarah, Feb. 27, 1718-19. After Sarah's death he returned to Rowley sometime before 1719-20, according to church records, and married Elizabeth Wood. Joseph Boynton died Dec. 16, 1730 in Rowley.
A son, Richard, born, Nov. 11, 1675, was a sergeant in the milita. On Dec. 24, 1701, he married Sarah Dresser, daughter of Lieut. John Dresser. There is little else known of Richard Boynton beyond his marriage, the births of his children and his death, Dec. 24, 1732.
Nathan Boynton, born Sept. 27, 1704, in Rowley, a son of Richard and Sarah Dresser Boynton, was a lieutenant in the militia. He married Hannah Todd, daughter of James Todd, on Aug. 10, 1738. Their eldest son, James, born Aug. 5, 1739, was a Revolutionary War soldier who was killed at the Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill.
James' youngest brother, Moses, was born Nov. 27, 1752, in Rowley, Mass. A carpenter, he too was a Revolutionary War soldier like his eldest brother, both of whom fought at Bunker (Breed's) Hill. After his marriage to Lucy Appleton Howe, Moses Boynton made his home in the Second Parish of Rowley, now Georgetown, Mass.
Here is a photograph of the home of Nathan Boynton in what is now Georgetown, Mass., taken before 1945 when the building was razed.
A daughter of the marriage of Moses and Lucy Boynton, also named Lucy, born Aug. 6, 1794, married Joseph Wilson of Charlestown, Mass., on Nov. 6, 1814. An embroidery sampler dated Aug. 24, 1803, is among our family possessions.
Because the early Rowley settlers maintained fairly complete family records, a family tree has been traced back from John Boynton, brother of William. William Boynton is #22 on a list in Douglas Boynton Quine's website. Quine has the Boynton family traced back to 1067, using information from the genealogy by John Farnham Boynton and other sources.
The decendency from John Boynton can be found here.
More information about Rowley can be obtained at the Rowley, MA GenWeb site, Essex County, MA GenWeb site, and by subscribing to the Essex-Roots email list discussion.
Thanks to Katherine Cochrane for some of the references, map links and initial information on the Boynton family as well as the impetus to keep working on this project.
Web site questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org