James Avery
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James Avery (bef. 1621 - 1700)

Capt. James Avery
Born before in Wolborough, Devon, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married 10 Nov 1643 in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusettsmap
Husband of — married 4 Jul 1698 in Connecticut Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 78 in Groton, New London, Connecticut Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 7 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 12,483 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
James Avery migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Corrections & Additions

For important corrections and additions to the ancestry of James and Joanna (Greenslade) Avery, please see The Avery Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery (2004) by Maureen A. Taylor.[1]


This profile is part of the Avery Name Study.


Two birth locations have been proposed
Birth 1 July 1620 Cornwall, Devonshire, England
James Avery's place of birth is also given as Newton Abbott, Devon, England


Two different places of Christening have been proposed.
Christening 22 APR 1621 Newton Abbot, Devon, England
Christening 22 Apr 1621 Wolborough, Devon, England


James came to America with his father, Christopher, about 1630.

First Settlement at Cape Ann / Glocester, Ma

Christopher Avery and his son James first settled in Cape Ann renamed Glocester.


James Avery married Joanna Greenslade at Gloucester, Mass. in 10 Nov 1643.

Joanna was found in Boston in 2 sources: The first volume of admissions of the First Church of Boston contains on page 63 “The 18th day of ye 4th Moneth 1643 Joan Greenslade, a single woman.”

Page 66 shows her dismissal to the church of Gloucester: The 17th day of ye 1st Moneth 1644 our sister Joan Greenslade now ye wife of one James Averill of Gloster had granted hir by ye Churches silence Ires of Recommend to ye Church at Gloster.”

She must have retained a connection to the First Church at Boston for on page 97 of the book of admissions is: “oe Sister Joan Avery wth ye consent of ye whole church was dismist unto ye church of Christ at Pekot on ye 31 of ye 6th mo 1651.”

New London Connecticut

A Mr. Blyman came to Gloucester and after residing a few years, decided with others to remove to New London, Ct. James Avery came with this group, when he moved his family with 3 children to the Pequot settlement on the mouth of the Thames in 1650, with what was called the Cape Anne colony. James was granted land on 19 Oct 1650, had the 5th lot of 6 acres on Cape Ann Lane. He received grants of land in South Groton. He lived on land allotted to him on the West side of the river until 1656 purchasing other lands. Discovering superior land on the East side of the river, he desired to move there. He resided there 40 years till his death in 1694. This homestead, built on the Poquonnock Plain became known as the Hive of the Averies.

At New London he took an important part in the affairs of the plantation.

Political Offices held:

He was chosen townsmen in 1660 and held the office twenty-three years, ending with 1680.
He was twelve times deputy to the General Court, between 1658 and 1680, was in the commission of the peace, and sat as assistant judge in the county court.

Military Service:

He was successively, ensign, lieutenant and captain of the only company of train-bands in the town, and was in active service through Philip's War.

James led 40 Indians from Stonington, New London and Lyme in the great swamp fight.

1676, captain of one of four companies that protected the frontier;

Homestead/ The Hive

He removed to Pequonuck, east of the river, between 1660 and 1670, where both he and his wife were living in 1693. Deeds of lands to his sons, including the homestead farm, in Feb., 1693-4, probably indicate the near approach of death. Groton is the principal hive of the family.


The births of three children are recorded at Gloucester; these are repeated at New London, and the others registered from time to time. The whole list is as follows.[2]
  1. Hannah, born Oct. 12th, 1644.[2]
  2. James, born Dec. 16th, 1646.[2]
  3. Mary, born Feb. 19th, 1648.[2]
  4. Thomas, born May 6th, 1651.[2]
  5. John, born Feb. 10th, 1053-4.[2]
  6. Rebecca, born Oct. 6th, 1656.[2]
  7. Jonathan, born Jan. 5th, 1658-9.[2]
  8. Christopher,born Ap. 30th, 1661.[2]
  9. Samuel, born Aug. 14th, 1664.[2]
  10. Joanna, born 1669.[2]
His sons Jonathan and Christopher died young, and probably without issue. The descendants of James Jr., Thomas, John, and Samuel are very numerous, and may be regarded as four distinct streams of life.

Research Notes

Text/information to be reviewed and incorporated into main narrative:

Note: JAMES AVERY was born about 1620 in England, son of Christopher Avery (died 12 Mar 1679 [TM diary]). On 10 Nov 1643 in Gloucester, MA, he married Joanna GREENSLADE (c1622 - 1693+) of Boston. He was granted land in New London, CT in Oct 1650. About 1656 he built at the head of Poquonnock Plain which is in Groton, CT. There remains here a small park with a monument to "The Hive of the Averies." On 4 Jul 1698, he married second with Abigail INGRAHAM, widow of Samuel Chesebrough and Joshua Holmes.He died on 18 Apr 1700, and she died after 1714. From: https://web.archive.org/web/20160325134619/http://alum.wpi.edu/~p_miner/MinerSpouses.html
Event: Colonial Wars: Capt. James Avery, born 1620 in England, died 18 April 1700 in New London. Married Joanna Greenslade 10 Nov. 1643 in Boston or Gloucester, Mass. and had 10 children. 23 years a town officer and 12 times deputy to the General Court, 1656-1680.

Mistaken Photo A previously attached image, claimed to be a photo (or possibly a painting) of this James Avery, as labeled in The Averys of Groton, Genealogical and Biographical (1894) by Homer DeLois Sweet, p15. Given the style of dress, this image appears to be from the 19th century. View on Internet Archive.


  1. Maureen A. Taylor, The Avery Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery (Boston, Mass: Newbury Street Press, 2004). Find in a library
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Caulkins, Frances Manwaring, History of New London, Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1852. New London January 1852 Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, Hartford, CT. A Google E-Book googlebooks Pages: 331-2
  • Caulkins, Frances Manwaring. History of New London, Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1852. New London January 1852 Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, Hartford, CT. A Google E-Book googlebooks
  • Wheeler, Richard Anson. History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut, From Its First Settlement in 1649 to 1900. New London, CT: Press of the Day Publishing Co., Jan. 1900. A Google e-book googlebooks
  • Wildey, Anna Chesebrough. 'Genealogy of the Descendants of William Chesebrough 'New York: Press of T. A. Wright 1903 At Archive.org. archive.org

See Also:

  • FamilySearch Tree
  • Sporny, Judy. Sporny Family Records (1998)
  • Copies from book given to Zoyla Gomez Wupperman by her mother Josephine Wright Hancox in 1930. No dates or publishing information is in the book.
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10863656/james-avery: accessed 27 March 2023), memorial page for Capt James Avery (1620–18 Apr 1700), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10863656, citing Avery-Morgan Burial Ground, Groton, New London County, Connecticut, USA; Maintained by Kevin Avery (contributor 47024642).
  • THE AVERY MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION of Groton, CT. https://averymemorialassociation.com/index.html

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with James by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with James:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 7

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You have him buried on the 15th before he died on the 18th.
posted by Jody (Krokstrom) Nave
Thanks, Jody. That has been fixed.

There seems to be a consensus that he died 18 Apr 1700 in Groton, CT, but I wasn't able to find a death/burial record or probate. Can someone recommend a reliable source for this information for James Avery?? (The family is not in the Great Migration Directory)

posted by M Cole
edited by M Cole
Hi PMs, Just to make you aware that I am bringing this profile into the Puritan Great Migration project.
Wolborough and Newton Abbot are not different places. Wolborough is a hamlet in Newtown Abbot. Wolborough, Newtown Abbot, Devonshire is only 3 miles from Ipplepen, which is where The Groton Avery Clan says his father Christopher Avery was born.
posted by Chase Ashley
edited by Chase Ashley
Thank you for this resource. My mother was a member of Colonial Dames and enjoyed it very much. Good info! <}}}>< Karen aka Rantz-7
posted by Karen (Rantz) Munro
*The Granberry Family & Allied Families (1945), p. 355 qualifying ancestor for Society of Colonial Dames of America
posted by Lydia Vierson
For important corrections and additions to the ancestry of James and Joanna (Greenslade) Avery, please see:

Maureen A. Taylor, “The Avery Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery,” (Boston, Mass: Newbury Street Press, 2004).


posted by Perry Streeter

Rejected matches › James Avery Jr. (1646-1728)