Mary Lamb (d. 1735), wife of David Low of Ipswich: Was she Mary Lamb (b. 1680) of Braintree?

+3 votes

The identity of Mary Lamb who married David Low of Ipswich, Province of Massachusetts Bay, in 1699 has presented something of a mystery.  Lamb is not an "Ipswich name" and, when I first encountered Mary's profile here, her records were mixed with those of a Mary Lamb of Roxbury who married, in Roxbury, Atherton Mather in 1705. She was also attached to the Roxbury Mary's parents.  I've now detached her profile from the Roxbury family and I think, maybe, I've identified who her parents actually were.  I would, however, appreciate another opinion (or four) before I proceed. 

What we know of Mary (Lamb) Low is that she married David Low at the Chebacco Parish Church in Ipswich on 28 Dec 1699. [Ipswich VR, v. 2, p. 269]  She died in Ipswich on 3 Mar 1735. [Ipswich VR, v. 2, p. 624]  We know the names of those of their children who survived until their father's death in 1746, from their father's Will. [Essex County Probate No. 17185 - subscription required]

We know that the Mary Lamb who was born in Braintree on 15 Oct 1780, was one of a set of twins, daughters of John Lamb and Mary French. [Braintree VR (Bates), p. 663]  She was baptized there on 15 Sep 1685, together with her brother John and her three sisters: Margaret, Grace (her twin), and Hannah. [''Quincy, MA: Vital and Church Records, 1672-1870'' - database entry - subscription required]  That her mother was born Mary French (and was the widow of a man named Poole at the time of her marriage to John Lamb) is based on an undated memorandum from the administrators of her father's estate, written after her death (probably ca. 1687) and attached to her father's marriage contract (dated in 1683). [NEHGR 12: 353]  After Mary French's death, John Lamb relocated to Stonington, Connecticut Colony, remarried and fathered a new family, leaving his elder daughters to be raised by his wife's brothers but apparently taking at least his eldest son, John, with him.  At the time John Lamb dictated his Will, in 1703, his son John was living elsewhere, with his return uncertain.  The Will stated that John Lamb's four eldest daughters had been living with their uncles, although it mentioned only Margaret by name. [New London County Probate No. 2986 - subscription required]

The son, John Lamb, who was missing from Stonington in 1703, may be the John Lamb who appeared in the Chebacco Parish Church records in Ipswich, publishing an intention to marry Rebeckah Tilton on 6 Apr 1717. [Ipswich VR, v. 2, p. 269]  Since Lamb was not at all a common name in Ipswich, this might support the theory that the Mary Lamb who married David Low was Mary Lamb of Braintree, daughter of John Lamb and Mary French.

Further citations and references, together with additional details and quotations from the sources, can be found in the Research Notes and Sources sections of the profile.

Is this sufficient evidence to attach Mary (Lamb) Low to John Lamb and Mary French of Braintree?

10 Nov 2020: Edited to add links to profiles for John Lamb and Mary French, parents of Mary Lamb of Braintree.  Then re-edited to make the links links - apologies.

WikiTree profile: Mary Low
in Genealogy Help by Susan Anderson G2G6 Mach 7 (74.7k points)
edited by Susan Anderson
Have you been able to find records indicating anything about marriages or children for the sisters of Mary Lamb of Braintree (i.e, Margaret, Grace, and Hannah)? The names of their husbands and the geography of their husbands could be clues...
I took the time to double check my search results but, no:  I can't find any records for the children of John Lamb and Mary French after their baptisms, apart from the mentions in the probate papers of their grandfather, John French, and in their father's Will, where he indicated no particular knowledge of their whereabouts or marital status.  It's as though they vanish.  Then, Mary Lamb appears in Ipswich with no discernible past in 1699.

I'm considering creating a profile for John Lamb, the father, so I can attach it to the existing profile for Mary French and copy the relevant research over to it.

Yes! There is credible evidence for the existence or John Lamb, so he deserves a profile (and does not have one yet). There is a profile for his presumptive father Edward Lamb, who is a PGM immigrant covered in Great Migration Begins at

I've created the profile for John Lamb and will now edit the Research Note to fit him:

Ellen, do you think there is sufficient evidence to link him to Edward Lamb's profile?  Neither of his parents' profiles are yet officially part of the PGM Project.
I think there is a decent basis for connecting John Lamb to Edward Lamb and wife. The profile should explain the evidence for the connection, as discussed in the GM book -- it is not sufficient to cite the book, since many WikiTreers do not have access.
Thank you, Ellen.

4 Answers

+1 vote
Mary Lamb, Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001

Marriage to David Low 28 Dec 1699 Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts

Spouses name: Mary Lamb
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Thank you, Frank, but that was one of the few pieces of documentation I did have for Mary (Lamb) Low.

Do you think I have enough evidence to connect her with the Mary Lamb who was born in Braintree in 1680?
I think it's worth considering as a possibility, but it would be better if there was some proof. NEHGR might have more information on the subject.

I don't know why the answer above was given a -1.

One of the places I searched for information was, where the NEHGR is available in database form.  I'm hoping that someone here might weigh in with additional information, pro or con, if what I have isn't enough to make the link.  A marriage record for Mary Lamb of Braintree would be welcome, since it would at least resolve the current issue.

Frank, I have no idea where that negative vote for your answer came from.  You're more experienced here than I:  Is there a way to track it?  My guess would be that someone hit the wrong button.  I just gave you a positive vote, which seems to have negated the negative one, at least.  Happy Monday - Murphy's Law may be in force.laugh

+2 votes
Not new information, but Jones' Tilton book confirms the marriage of John Lamb and Rebecca Tilton on that date. He was her first husband.  No issue listed in this source.
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
Does the Tilton book identify John's parents, Lois?  If he was indeed the son of John and Mary French of Braintree, it would help a bit.
Alas it does not. It only names the spouses, and you already have the marriage date, so it just serves to confirm the information. (Your question just set off my Tilton alarm.)

Your Tilton alarm is most impressive, Lois.  I see now that there is a profile for a John Lamb [Lamb-3272], husband of Rebecca Tilton [Tilton-127], identifying him as a son of Caleb and Mary Wise Lamb of Roxbury.  I have to wonder whether that is another mis-attachment to those parents.

+3 votes

Below is some content I found in Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, by Waldo Sprague. I believe you already have the factual information, but you may get something from the notations by Sprague:

[1761R]  JOHN1 FRENCH was born in England near 1612 or 1615.

He is first of record in America at Boston, but resided in Dorchester evidently as he was admitted to the church there Jan. 27, 1642 (3) and two children were baptized there. He was made freeman of the Colony May 29, 1644.

On Feb. 24, 1639 (40) he was granted forty acres of land at Braintree for 5 persons in the family. This land became the homestead and remained in the family for several generations; it was located in present Braintree at the easterly end of Elm St. where the old road used to join Commercial St. a little north of the present road.

His wife was Grace ____, who died Feb. 28, 1680 a. 59, says her gravestone, Hancock Cem., Quincy.

He then married a second wife and a marriage covenant was drawn up, a curious document, dated July 8, 1683 in which "the said John French doth pre-engage unto the said Eleanor Veazie not to meddle with, or take into his hand, any part of her estate, wherein she is invested by her former husband William Veazie, or any otherwise, nor any wise weakening her right or claim to the same. The said John French doth hereby covenant and engage to pay the said Eleanor Veazie after my decease four pounds per annum annually to be paid each year immediately ensuing after the said John French's decease, by his lawful administrators, executors, or assigns at her dwelling house; the specie of which payment shall be paid in cord wood, porke, beefe, malt or corn proportionally of each at prices current. And that she the said Eleanor Veazie shall have, hold, possess and enjoy [1762R] the new end of the dwelling house in which the said French now dwelleth with the cellar appertaining, during the time of her widowhood. But the four pound annuity to bee and continue to her and her heirs or assigns during the term of her natural life. To the true performance whereof the said John French doth hereto set hand this eighth day of July Anno Domini one thousand six hundred eighty three ---- and she shall have apples what she please for spending, and a place for a garden plot." Sign'd John French, witness Samuel Tompson, Benj. Tompson. (Reg. 12:353).

Eleanor Veazie was widow of William Veazie and daughter of Rev. William & Abigail (Collins) (Bedle) Tompson, born about 1626 in England, died April 23, 1711 a. 85, GS., Hancock Cem. She was also called Ellen or Helen or Elinor.

[1761]  S. P. 1:292  N. S.  Widow Helen French declines to serve as administrator of John French Oct. 12, 1692.  John & Dependence French were bonded with John Baxter and Joseph Crosby as administrators Octr. 13, 1692.

S. P. 13:66: John & Dependence Franch made administrators of John French yeoman  Oct. 17, 1692.

[1763]  A petition to the court to divide the estate of John French was made by the heirs, and although undated must have been made not too long after his death on Aug. 6, 1692, a. about 80yrs.(Town Rec.).

"The persons concerned in said estate are John French, the oldest son, Dependence French, Thomas French, Samuel French, William French, the orphan of William French deceased, two daughters viz: Temperance Bowditch wife of John Bowditch, Elizabeth Wheelock of Mendon, children of Mary Lamb deceased are Mary Poole [alias] Thayer by her first husband Poole, and John Lamb, Samuel Lamb, Margaret Lamb, Mary Lamb, Grace Lamb, Hannah Lamb, which, if your honor shall please to grant will greatly oblige your humble servants." (Reg. 12:253).

John French according to town records died 1692 aged "about 80 years" which places his birth near 1612; but on July 26, 1659 he made a deposition aged "44 years or there abouts" (Mass. Archives 39:66) which places his birth about 1615, this latter probably being more nearly correct.

[1764]  It seems strange that John French had a land grant in Braintree in 1640, yet his first two children were born and baptized at Dorchester in 1641, and 1643. Perhaps his wife was a member of Dorchester Church before him. He was of Braintree in 1644 when he made freeman, and in 1645 when he was one of the petitioners to the General Court for land for a new plantation.

Children of John & Grace born at Braintree, except first two:

+ i.              John, Feb. 28, 1640 (1) at Dorchester, bapt there Feb. 12, 1642 (3). "Went to Weymouth", says the Church Rec.

   ii.             Thomas, Jul. 10, 1643 at Dorchester, bapt. there Jul. 2, 1643 (sic), died Oct. 28, 1656 at Braintree.

  iii.            Mary or Mercy, near 1646, m. 1st about 1667-8, Samuel Poole of Weymouth. m. 2nd about 1677, John Lamb of Braintree.

+ iv.           Dependence, Mar. 7, 1648/9

   v.            Temperance, Mar. 30, 1651, m. about 1682, John Bowditch.

+  vi.           William, Mar. 31, 1653

    vii.          Elizabeth, Sep. 29, 1655, m. 1st Jul. 13, 1680 at Medfield, Jonathan Thayer of Mendon. m. 2nd about 1692, Benjamin Wheelock Sr. of Medfield as 2nd wife.

+  viii.         Thomas, (Mar. 10, 1657/8) date from Thayer Memorial, not on present town records, probably town off.

+  ix.           Samuel, Feb. 22, 1659/60

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)

And also this:

[2970]  JOHN LAMB, probably son of Edward Lamb of Watertown - whose wife Margaret married secondly about 1649 Samuel Allen of Braintree, born 164_, died Jan. 10, 1703/4 at Stonington, Conn.

Married 1st Mary (or Mercy) (French) Poole, widow of Samuel Poole of Weymouth, born 164-, died ____., dau. of John & Grace (____) French.

Married 2nd about 1688, Lydia ____, who as wife of John Lamb was admitted to the Braintree Church Nov. 18, 1688 from the Church in Marshfield. She survived him.

John Lamb owned the covenant at Braintree Church Dec. 24, 1688 or earlier.

Corp. John Lamb was elected fenceviewer in 1693 "for Manaticutt."

Sarah Lamb, probably his sister Married Jul. 27, 1664 Stephen Scott.

John Lamb took the oath of allegiance about 1678, was in the Army 1676 from Braintree (Reg. 43:271).

New London Probate #2986 – Am. Genealogist 12:152:  Will of John Lamb of Stonington May 12, 1703 – June 7, 1704:  To wife Lidiah all moveables until son Joseph comes of age, then the whole farm to him till son David comes of age, then equally to Joseph & David.  Wife sole executrix.  To son John land on east ide of brook, but if he never return again, then to Joseph & David.  To my 7 daughters £3 apiece, the 4 eldest when Joseph comes of age of whom Margaret has already had 3 shillings.  When David comes of age to 3 youngest daughters.  Have given 4 eldest no more, their mother "diing" while they were young they were brought up by their uncles & have also received all that was their mothers.

Inventory of John Lamb of "Stoningtown" who deceased 10 of Genivevary 1703/4, taked Jan. 26, 1703/4  £41/10/0.

[2971]  Children of John & Mary born at Braintree, first five all bapt. Nov. 15, 1685:

i.              John, Nov. 5, 1677

ii.             Margaret, Feb. 26, 1678 (9)

iii.            Mary, Oct. 15, 1680 (Twin)

iv.           Grace, Oct. 15, 1680 (Twin)

v.            Hannah, Oct. 19, 1683

vi.           Samuel, Feb. 17, 1686 (7) (bapt. Apr. 17, 1687) died before May 1703.

Children of John & Lydia born at Braintree:

vii.          Joseph, Jun. 25, 1690 (Bapt. Aug. 24)

viii.         Jemima, bapt. Apr. 24, 1692, died ____.

ix.           Jemima, Jun. 14, 1693 (bapt. Jul. 23, 1693)

x.            Sarah, bapt. Oct. 18, 1696

xi.           David

xii.          daughter, perhaps Abigail, m. Peter Yarrington of Stonington.

Thank you, Ellen!  I found the book in digital form on AmericanAncestors, so I'm figuring out how to use it now.  

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to provide any additional way to link (or disprove a link) for Mary (Lamb) Low. [razzelfratz!]
I have the Sprague book in the form of a Word file that I extracted from my copy of the CD-ROM version (which was in a format that can no longer be read on any computer I have access to). I am glad to know that it is on AmericanAncestors. I believe what was published was the content of a large collection of index cards. I need to look at the version on AmericanAncestors to see if the citations to the index cards are done differently from my version...
Thanks. The formatted appearance of that version is more attractive than the uniform plain-jane font I have in my Word file, and the online version has pages with numbers, but otherwise it is the same. (And with my Word file I can copy text...)

Since I am using a copy that lacks page numbers, I typically cite the card numbers (such as 1762 and 1761R).
I found searching a problem with this version, unless I searched for the card numbers you provided - which worked great!  So, including the card numbers in the citations looks to be a Good Thing.
+3 votes
Hi! I am the profile manager for Mary Lamb, having adopted her profile when Wikitree gave me the opportunity to adopt any profiles that showed as ancestors to mine (I'm a descendant on the Wheelock line). I'm delighted to get help in improving this profile, and I trust the conclusion that Susan Anderson and Ellen Smith reached. Thanks so much!
by Lynn Gazis G2G3 (3.3k points)

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