John  Dwight I

John Dwight I

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John Dwight I
Born about in Woolverstone, Suffolk, Englandmap
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Husband of — married in Englandmap
Husband of — married about in Massachusettsmap
Died in Dedham, Norfolk, MAmap
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The Puritan Great Migration.
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John Dwight came to New England in 1634-5 with his wife Hannah and 2 sons, from Dedham England. Born in England where he was a wool comber. Came from Dedham Engalnd in 1634/5 with other followers of Rev. John Rogers of Dedham.

They first settled in Watertown Massachusetts where John was a proprietor. He early removed to Dedham, where he was a farmer of means and an eminently useful citizen and a Christian. He was a selectman for 16 years, and one of the founders of the First Church of Christ at Dedham in 1638.

Anderson on his Origins[1]

Possibility #1: William Dwight married in 1590 in Freston, Alice Hunter. Two children baptized there: Judith and William. They then moved to Woolverstone, where they baptized three sons: John (6 Feb 1598/9?), Nicholas, then another John (25 Sep 1603). Anderson suggests both Johns might have survived (saying that a 1628/9 baptism of a daughter calls him "John Dwight Jr."), and that it was the elder who emigrated to Massachusetts. William and his wife died at Woolverstone and were buried there-- she on 16 Apr 1629, he on 23 Apr 1629. William left no will in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk.


Anderson suggests he might have been the elder of two Johns, both sons of William Dwight and Alice Vunter, and therefore he baptized 6 Feb 1598[/9?].


"John Dwight, deceased ye 24:11" 24 Nov. 1660/61 in Dedham, Massachusetts[2][3],


24 FEB 1661
3 FEB 1660/61 Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Will: 16 JUN 1658 Created (Full text in Notes) Will: 5 MAR 1660/61 Proved Residence: BEF 1635 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Event: Event ABT 1635 Moved to Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Event: Event 13 MAR 1638/39 Freeman at Dedham

From The History of the Descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Massachusetts

:by Benjamin W. Dwight, Vol. I, New York, 1874, pp. 91-101. Local History - Dedham, MA

JOHN DWIGHT, the common ancestor, it is believed, of all who now legitimately bear his family name upon this continent, came, in the latter part of 1634 or beginning of 1635, from Dedham, England, to this country. In "The History of Dedham, MA, from the beginning of its settlement in September, 1635 to May 1827," by Erastus Worthington, Boston, 1827, occurs (p. 31) the following statement: "The celebrated John Rogers of Dedham in England, had been forbidden to preach, before our first settlers came to this country. Many of his people emigrated to this country, and several to this town. John Dwight, and John Rogers and John Page, were of this number. From this circumstance we may suppose, that the General Court gave to this place the name of Dedham."
How John Rogers of Dedham, England, was related to the celebrated martyr of the same name, the author pretends not to say. The John Rogers who came hither with our ancestor was, as he supposes, his son. Rev. John Rogers was open of those lecturers, chiefly Puritans, "who" as Neal says (History of the Puritans, Vol. II, p. 226) "not being satisfied with a full conformity, so as to take upon them the care of souls, only preached in the afternoons, being chosen and maintained by the people. The were strict Calvinists, warm and affectionate preachers, and distinguished themselves by a religious observance of the Lord's day, by a bold opposition to popery and the new ceremonies, and by an uncommon severity of life. The lecturers had very popular talents, and drew great numbers of people after them. Bishop Laud would often say" "They were the most dangerous enemies of the State, because by their prayers and sermons they awakened the people's disaffection, and therefore must be suppressed." Many lecturers were put down, "among whom were the Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, Daniel Rogers of Wethersfield, Hooker of Chelmsford, and many others." Says Neal, of Rogers (again Vol. II, p. 303), "Great numbers of the most useful and laborious preachers in all parts of the country were buried in silence, and forced to abscond from the fury of the High Commission, among whom were the famous Mr. John Dod and Mr. John Rogers of Dedham, one of the most awakening preachers of his age, of whom Bishop Brownrigg used to say, that he did more good with his wild notes, than we (the bishops) with our set music." For many interesting particulars in the history of John Rogers and his time, see Neal.
Such were the events transpiring in England, from out of which John Dwight came to this country, and such was the man, from under whose preaching he set forth as a pilgrim for the wild new world before him here. It was but fourteen years before (December 22, 1620) that the first pilgrims had landed on Plymouth Rock. He came not like many in long after years, to better his fortunes, but like the first originators of American ideas and institutions, to found a church without a bishop, and a government with a king. He and his companions from Dedham settled first at Watertown, Massachusetts, where except John Page, they staid but a short time. On the 7th of September, 1630, names were formally given to Watertown, Dorchester and Boston, which then began their history as towns, under the sanction of law. The newcomers crowded on their arrival, for the first few years especially, into Boston, Watertown, Roxbury. In Winthrop's Journal it is stated under date of April, 1635, that those of Roxbury and Watertown had leave to remove whither they pleased in this jurisdiction. "The occasion of their desire to remove was, that, all the towns of the Bay began to be much straitened by their own nearness to one another, and their cattle being much increased." (History of Dedham, p. 4). Even at that early day, the Massachusetts colony had taken the found that none but immediate representative of the people might dispose of lands or raise money.
John Eliot, "the Apostle to the Indians," Roger Williams, "the apostle of modern toleration." Gov. Winthrop, "the father of New England," the subtle and devout Cotton, and Hooker of great intellect and energy, had come to this new land just before this time, and were all then resident in Boston. In the very year of the founding of Dedham, Massachusetts, the people of that colony demanded a written constitution; and a Commission was appointed "to frame a body of grounds of laws, in resemblance to a Magna Charta," to serve as a bill of rights.

As every true man both helps to shape his times, and is himself greatly shaped by them, he can be viewed rightly, only as he is looked at, amid his proper historical and local surroundings. Few as the records now are of the 25 years (1635-60), that he spent in the toils and trials of pioneer-life, they are sufficient to show that they were all spent in honorable, pious industry by him, as one of the conscientious, resolute, self-forgetful founders of our great American republic. The Dedham Records, which begin September 1, 1635, on the day when the first town meeting was held, are remarkable for their unbroken continuation of the present hour. Of the twelve persons assembled together at that time, John Dwight was one. The record of the settlement is as follows in brief: In the year 1635, the General Court, then sitting at Newtown, granted a tract of land south of the Charles River to twelve men. The next year, 19 persons including the first 12 petitioned the General Court then at Boston, for an additional great of all the lands south of Charles River and above the falls, not before granted, and for a tract five miles square, on the north side of Charles River, for the purpose of making a settlement. The petition was granted, and included the present towns of Dedham, Medfield, Wrentham, Needham, Billingham, Walpole, Franklin, Dover, Natick and a part of Sherburne. The original 19 grantees, of whom John Dwight was one, were the sole owners of these large tracts of land, until they admitted new associates, which they did, at first without demanding any compensation. Any one could have lots in town, at the outset, who was formally admitted as an inhabitant and signed the covenant, which obliged him to pay all sums imposed on him ratably, and subjected him to "all orders and constitutions necessary for the public peace and a loving society." In 1656, resolving not to make any more free grants of their common lands to strangers, they agreed that each man's share if what was yet undivided should be proportioned to the valuation of his property, as it had been assessed the previous year. (Worthington's Dedham, pp. 1-27.) As we thus go back 240 years to the historic point, where our first American ancestor then stood, we behold him mingling actively in the primitive beginnings of that pure representative Christian democracy, of which all subsequent American growth and greatness have been the legitimate development. It is delightful to think of him, as one of the favored few who breathed his own spirit, prayerfully and praisefully, into the plastic elements of the new order of things in church and state, here set up them, in the name of God, for all coming times. Says Hutchinson, who was himself a strict and strong loyalist (History Massachusetts, Vol. I, p. 45): "Some of the nobility and principal commoners of that day had what appears, at this day, to be very strange apprehensions of the relation they should stand in to Great Britain, after their removal to America. Many of their proposals were such as imply, that they thought themselves at full liberty, without any charter from the crown, to establish such sort of government as they thought proper, and to form a new state as fully to all intents and purposes, as if they had been in a state of nature, and were making their first entrance into civil society." Says Worthington accordingly (History Dedham, pp. 32-3): John Dwight therefore came not hither, to enjoy institutions already formed, or quietness already secured, but to plant with others the first germs of our national prosperity and renown."

1. JOHN DWIGHT born say about 1600-5 in England; died at Dedham, MA 24 Feb 16659/60. John brought with him from England his wife HANNAH (whose family name is unknown), his daughter, Hannah and his two sons, John and Timothy. Hannah, by whom he had all his children, died 5 September, 1656; and he married 20 January 1657-8, for a second wife Mrs. ELIZABETH Ripley, widow of William Ripley and previously of Thomas Thaxter. From such a triple marriage, it is natural to suppose, that she must have been an attractive and accomplished woman. She died without issue 17 July, 1660. It is a tradition in some branches of the family, that he was, when in England, a wool-comber, or at least the son of a wool-comber. He brought with him, it is said, a valuable estate, and was a wealthy farmer in Dedham, and eminently useful as a citizen and Christian in that town. In Winthrop's Journal it is stated that "John Dwight and others conveyed the first water mill to Dedham, in September, 1635." He is described in the Town Records of Dedham as "having been publicly useful," and "a great peace-making." He was one of the founders of the Church of Christ, which was gathered there in 1638, for the first time. That he was the second man of wealth in Dedham, is evident from his being second on the assessment-roll for taxes. He was select man for 16 years (1639-55). He died 24 January, 1559/60, O. S.; or 3 February, 1660, N.S. That Mrs. Hannah Dwight was a woman of superior intelligence and character, and both faithful and successful in the right training of her household, is manifest from the ability and thoroughness with which her son Timothy executed the many public trusts committed to him, throughout his long life. The children were quite young when the arrived with their parents. As yet no schools had been established. "In 1664 the inhabitants declared their intention, to devote some portion of their lands to the support of schools (Worthington's Dedham, p. 26); and, not being willing to wait for their lands to become productive, they raised £20 in various ways to hire a schoolmaster; which was considering their numbers, by far a greater effort than has been made by any of their successors." This free school supported by a town tax, was the first so established in America. (Register, Vol. 13, 1868, by Rev. C. Slafter of Dedham.) Three of the 41 persons that were assembled on 1 February, 1644/5 in Dedham in the town meeting, and voted such a measure, which was so far in advance of their day, were Ralph Wheelock, John Dwight and Richard Everett, ancestors respectively of three subsequent college Presidents: Dr. Wheelock of Dartmouth, President Dwight of Yale, and Edward Everett of Harvard. A committee of five was formed to conduct the management of the new school, two of these trustee were John Dwight and Michael Powell. Add to these facts the statement made by Worthington (p. 31), and verified by the records of the town themselves, that "the second generation in Dedham had hardly sufficient education, even with the help of good precedents that the first generation set them, either to transact the public business, or to make a proper records thereof." "In 1680 Dr. William Avery then of Boston, but formerly of the Dedham Church, out of his entire love to that church and town freely gave into their hands £60 for a Latin school, to be ordered by the selectmen and elders." As Timothy would have been 19 years of age by the time the first school was built it is presumed that whatever education Timothy Dwight enjoyed must have been home-education, and that furnished wholly or chiefly by his mother. In reference to John Dwight's first residence at Watertown, Massachusetts, we find in Bond's History of Watertown (Vol. II, p. 754) the following record: "John Dwight, besides his homestead owned 30 acres of dividend land in Watertown;" and again "John Dwight, freeman in 1638, was a grantee in the great dividends, and in the Beaver Brook Plowlands, both of which he sold to David Fiske" (Vol. II, p. 1008). On another page (1016), we read: " The following is a list of the freemen of Watertown, admitted previous to the union of the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, with the date of their admission. In order to such admission, it was necessary to be a church member." Among many others at various dates, John Dwight's name is recorded March, 1639 (which should be plainly 1637, as compared with statement above made of his being freeman in 1638), with Henry Phillips of same date under it. In "the first grant dividend" of land "bounded on the south by the Beaver Brook Plowlands, his lot was No. 21 (among 31) and his number of acres 30. With these statements are connected several inaccurate dates respecting John Dwight and family. Under his own name occurs the following record: "John Dwight settled first in Watertown of which he was a proprietor, then inhabiting, in February 1636-7. He was admitted freeman 2 May, 1638. In 1636 he signed the constitution or covenant of Dedham.


John made a Will dated 16 June, 1658, proven 5 March, 1660/1, herein after abstracted: I, John Dwight, of Dedham, yeomn, being in perfect health, this day . . . To wife, Elizabeth, £50 sterling, to be paid within 3 months of my death, according to covenant before marriage . . . , also all her wearing apparel, and use of the house in Dedham for 3 months until she finds comfortable habitation in some other place. To each of his sons-in-law 20 shillings, to which he refers to as "my son", Nathaniell Whiting, Henrie Phillips, and Nathaniel Reinolds. Dwelling house, land and moveable, in the town of Dedham and elsewhere shall be equally divvied into five parts; two parts to son Timothy and one part to children of Nathaniel Whiting and of Hannah his wife, or so many of them as shall be surviving at my decease, to be paid by my executor. I give my Grand child, Eliazar Phillips, son of Henry and his wife Mary, one part of ye five; should he die before then his part to be divided between the other children of Henry Phillips. The fifth part to my daughter Sarah Reynolds, or to her child or children, as my executor shall see cause to dispose of it. Son Timothy shall enjoy all the house and land which I gave him, at his first marriage with Sarah Sibley. Also son Nathaniel Whiting shall enjoy all that 6 acres of land which I previously gave to him. Son Timothy named executor. Witnesses: Peter Woodard Signed by John Dwight William Averey Inventory taken 18 March, 1661 by Eliazar Dusher, Timothy Dwight, Sen., & Peter Woodard at £506.1.10.


John and Hannah had two sons and three daughters:

  1. HANNAH DWIGHT, b 1625, England; d 4 Nov 1714, age 89; m Nathaniel Whiting
  2. (Capt) TIMOTHY DWIGHT, b 1929, Eng; d 31 Jan 1717/8, age 88; m Sarah d/o Michael POWELL
  3. JOHN DWIGHT, b 1632, Eng' d 24 Mar 1638, lost in the wood betw Dedham & Boston
  4. MARY DWIGHT, b 25 Jul 1635; mc 1652 HENRY PHILLIPS, as his 3rd wife; had 12 children
  5. SARAH DWIGHT, b 17 Jun 1838; d 24 Jan 1664, age 27; m Nathaniel Reynolds

General Sources:

1-2. Benjamin W. Dwight, The History of the Descendants of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass., 2 vols. (1874) (an attempt to trace the entire progeny through the 1860s of Timothy2 Dwight and Anna Flint) ? to Timothy Dwight IV and V, Theodore Dwight Woolsey and Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey (Mrs. Daniel Coit Gilman); Lloyd Wheaton Bowers [p. 281]; Rachel Kent [p. 405]; W.M. and R.M. Hunt [p. 408]; Abraham Burbank, Jr. [p. 429, forebear of Mrs. Kipling and J.M.G. Low]; Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Mrs. C.E. Norton and Arthur George, Henry Dwight, Jr. and Henrietta Ellery Sedgwick [pp. 735-38, 745-46, 748-50]; J.D. Dana [pp. 796-99]; J.D. Whitney, Jr. and W.D. Whitney [pp. 834-36]; C.S. Day [p. 914]; Mrs. M.Y. Beach [p. 911]; C.A. Bowles [p. 875]; Mrs. George Bancroft [p. 885]; Ella and Anna Dwight Baker [Mrs. J.A. Weir, p. 882]; Mrs. Alexander Bliss [p. 825, forebear of Mrs. (Thomas) Woodrow Wilson and Mrs. W.G. McAdoo]; S.B. Ward [p. 769]; Frederick Augustus Francis [p. 443, great-grandfather of First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan]; J.D. Archbold [p. 662]). See also H.M. Sedgwick, A Sedgwick Genealogy (1961), pp. 167-263 (#s 5-9 above).
3-6. T.S. Lazell, Whiting Genealogy: Nathaniel Whiting of Dedham, Mass., 1641, and Five Generations of His Descendants (1902), esp. pp. 5-17, 28; Dorothy Farrington Parker, The Farringtons, Colonists and Patriots (1976, rev. 1981), pp. 10, 12, 17, 27-28; T.W.-M. Draper, The Drapers in America (1892), pp. 20-23, 129-32; The Dedham Historical Register 4 (1893), 140-46, 5 (1894): 7-11 (Lewis).
7-11. A.M. Phillips, Phillips Genealogies (1885), pp. 188-90; T.B. Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown (1879, repr. 1982), pp. 742-46 (Phillips); Register 67 (1913): 209-15, 309-16, 320-27, Register 68 (1914): 22-23 (Savage, to James Savage, Mrs. W.B. Rogers, Mrs. Lemuel Shaw, Mrs. Thomas Heyward, Mrs. Mehitable Crocker Porter, and Mrs. Sarah Bass Bancroft); Susan Augusta Smith, Ancestors of Moses Belcher Bass [forebear of Mrs. R.E. and E.H. Childers] (1896) (also for Henry Bass, forebear of Hugh Bancroft).
Additional Sources for Figures 1-30:
1. NCAB, vols. 22 (1932), p. 148 (L.W. Bowers), 47 (1965), pp. 16-17 (R.A. Taft).
2. Harrison Ellery and E.P. Bowditch, The Pickering Genealogy, vol. 2 (1897), pp. 713-14 and chart 328 (8/312) of the accompanying Ancestor Tables, Volume 4 (table for Mrs. I.S. Gardner), partly confirmed by F.B. Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, vol. 5, 1792-1805 (1911), pp. 170-72 and Suffield VRs (1778 birth of Isabella, daughter of David and Rachel Todd).
3-13, 16. See the Dwight and Sedgwick genealogies, plus the Savage article cited above in General Sources.
14, 15, 17. NCAB, vol. 28 (1940), pp. 411-12 (Clarence S. Day, Jr.), Current Volume G, 1943-46 (1946), pp. 348-49 (Chester B. Bowles), and vol. 22 (1932), pp. 296-97 (J.A. Weir).
18. Register 55 (1901): 421-23 (Cunningham) and A.F. Howland, The Descendants of John Bass Dabney and Roxa Lewis Dabney (1966), pp. 1-2, 18-19 (to Mrs. Lawrence).
19. See the Dwight and Sedgwick genealogies, plus the Savage article cited above in General Sources.
20. H.P. Andrews, The Descendants of John Porter of Windsor, Conn., 1635-9, 2 vols. (1893), pp. 457-58, 652-53 (Olcott, Porter) and Sibley?s Harvard Graduates, vol. 15, 1761-1763 (1970), pp. 387-90 (Asa Porter).
21. Who?s Who entries for Julie Harris (1974, 76, 78), TAG 45 (1969): 90-92 (AT of her father, William Pickett Harris, Jr. ? to John Hart, Jr. & Polly Smith); Alfred Andrews, Genealogical Dictionary of Deacon Stephen Hart and His Descendants (1875), pp. 177, 204 and Horace Wilbur Palmer, ?Palmer Families of America,? Mss 297 at NEHGS, vol. 2, pt. 9, pp. 5817-18.
22. Notable American Women [vol. 4], The Modern Period (1980), pp. 618-19 (Kay Linn Sage), NCAB, vol. 25 (1936), p. 260 (H.M. Sage), vol. 1 (1898), pp. 245-6 (S.B. Ward).
23. See the Dwight and Sedgwick genealogies, plus the Savage article cited above in General Sources.
24. Register 95 (1941): 364-65, 97 (1943): 67-68 (Bancroft).
25-26. Temple Prime, Some Account of the Bowdoin Family with a Notice of the Erving Family, third ed. (1900), pp. 6-7, 15-16, and Danny D. Smith, Preliminary Study of the Descendants of Governor James Bowdoin (1996), pp. 4-7, 11-12, 18-19; Boston Transcript genealogical column of 26 Feb. 1923, #382 (citing Suffolk Co. probate, vol. 34, pp. 125, 156, 465), which misspells Erving as Ewing (children of John Phillips and Mary Gross) and Register 73 (1919): 239 (Gross[e]).
27. Waldo Lincoln, Genealogy of the Waldo Family, 2 vols. (1902), pp. 183-86, 309-11.
28. Revista del Instituto de Estudios Genealógicos del Uruguay, #7 (1988) (Hernán Carlos Lux-Wurm, ?La genealogía de los Stewart uruguayos?): 23, 40-41.
29-30. Column #42 in this series, Mass. VRs for cited dates, Edmund Dana Barbour, ?Descendants of George Barbour,? 1907 typescript at NEHGS, vol. 4, p. 1132, 1134, 1137 (Fisher, Winslow, Grant to T.F. Grant).

  • Ancestral File (R) Title: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R) (Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998)
  • George Abbott Mason


  1. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume II, C-F, p. 377
  2. Hill, Don Gleason (editor). The Record of Births, Marriages and Deaths, and Intentions of Marriage In the Town of Dedham, Volumes 1 & 2, 1635-1845. Dedham, Mass.: 1886.
  3. This record could easily be misinterpreted to be 1659/60.

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John Dwight Image 1

Will of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass.
Will of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass.


On December 13, 2013 at 11:43GMT Nae X wrote:


Is Dwight the last name of this profile and related? PGM-1 as well? Or does PGM stand for something else? If it's something else, you will need to edit the last name for both to reflect the correct last name at birth. If you need help, let me know. I am also a mentor and here to assist. Thanks! Nae

On October 29, 2013 at 15:55GMT Nae X wrote:

John Dwight is the ancestor of one of the founders of Church and Dwight, Co. Inc., two New Englanders first prepared a product that would become a household name: bicarbonate of soda — that is, baking soda. See:

Kevin Bacon - genealogy connections John is 11 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 17 from AJ Jacobs and 28 from Nikola Tesla on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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