John Barker Sr.
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John Barker Sr. (1610 - 1652)

John Barker Sr.
Born in Englandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Brother of
Husband of — married 1632 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 42 in Marshfield, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Sep 2009
This page has been accessed 8,252 times.
There are disproven, disputed, or competing theories about this person's parents. See the text for details.
The Puritan Great Migration.
John Barker Sr. migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640).
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According to The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 (2015) the parents and origins of John Barker are not known.[1] See Research Notes

He married Anne Williams between 1632 & 1638 in Scituate, Massachusetts.

He died in the town of Jones in Plymouth Colony.

He was memorialized on a ceneotaph of First Settlers of Marshfield at Old Winslow Cemetery.


Anna Williams Barker (____ - 1657)


Deborah Barker Barden (1639 - 1721)

He drowned at his ferry over the Jones River.

He arrived with his brother Robert to the Plymouth colony in about 1628-30. According to Barker, he and his brother "set out from Plymouth colony to make homes for themselves, going by boat along the coast until they came to the North River (near Cape Cod) sailing down this, they reached what is now part of Pembroke, Mass. known as Herringbrook.

Here they camped for the winter and the following spring ground was broken and the house built.

John lived in that part of Plymouth which was set off in 1637 as Duxbury. He was a brickmason and agreed to teach Wm. Barden the trade of a bricklayer, as the end of his time giving him (Wm) ‘20 bushels of corn, 2 suits of apparel and an ewe goat's lamb.'

In 1628 he moved to Marshfield, Mass. and bought a ferry at the Jones River, where he covenanted to keep it ‘at two pence a person until a bridge is built.' In 1643 he was a member of the Marshfield Military Co. under Lt. Nathaniel Thomas; in 1648, he had some disagreement with a neighbor about a buildary line. The court requested John Alden and Miles Standish to ‘set at rights such differences as are betwixt them'" (231).

According to Deane, "He was drowned, 1652. [He had purchased the ferry (now [1850] Little's Bridge] of John Brewster, son of Elder Brewster, 1641, and was there drowned]." [1, 3]

His inventory was taken on 17 December 1652 and exhibited at the court in Plymouth on 1 June 1653 on the oath of Anna Barker, Widow.[2]

DNA Evidence

Male paternal-line descendants of John Barker and his alleged father, Sir Robert Barker, are reported to share the same Y-DNA haplogroup.[3]

Research Notes

Disputed Parents/Origins

Earlier treatments of John Barker stated his was son of Sir Robert Baker and Catherine Ackworth, giving him descendency from Magna Carta Surety barons Saher de Quincy and Richard de Clare..[4] However, no evidence has been found to support this and th Sir Robert Baker/Barker referred to lived in Suffolk and not Shropshire.

Apparently, though, there is DNA evidence to suggest some sort of relationship. See DNA Evidence

We do know he was brother of Robert Barker who came to Plymouth in 1632.[5]

There is a John Barker (UK) created that shows his parents as Catherine (Acworth) Barker and Robert Barker. It is possible that John Barker (US) and John Barker (UK) are the same person but the relationship is not proven. John Barker (UK) was the brother-in-law of Narias Hawkins who sailed the Speedwell to Richmond's Island in 1635. This note has been added to acknowledge the uncertainty and to prevent further confusion. If it turns out in the future that these two can be merged, so be it!

Great Migration Directory sources: (for further development of this profile) See Records of the colony of New Plymouth, in New England', Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, eds., 12 volumes in 10 (Boston 1855-1861) 1:101, 3:28-37; Note-Book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., Lawyer, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638, to July 29, 1641, Edward Everett Hale, Jr., ed. (Cambridge 1885; rpt. Camden, Maine, 1988) 194; Mayflower Descendants 11:156-57, 17:109, 111; NEHGR 53:426-7[6];


  1. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 (Boston, Massachusetts. New England Historic and Genealogical Society. 2015)
  2. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch ( : 5 March 2023), Wills 1633-1686 vol 1-4 > image 129 of 616; State Archives, Boston. Page 119
  3. Barker DNA Archived webpage, captured 23 May 2018
  4. Elizabeth Frye Barker, Barker Genealogy (New York 1927) 231
  5. Please see Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, Vols. I-III p 92-97
  6. NEHGR 53:426-7

See also:

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Comments: 8

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Hi All,

Please can you check out new data on Catherine Acworth (Acworth-322) and Robert Barker (Barker-11). Catherine married Robert Barker - not Robert Baker. Catherine's origins are now fairly well established. Maybe we can sort out this long standing poblem. It seems that Catherine and Robert had had nine children viz: John, Robert, William, Thomas, George, Mathew, Marye, Bridgett and Johanne. It has now been established that Catherine's daughter Marye married Narias Hawkins - The Master of the Speedwell arriving in New England in 1633.

posted by Ian Acworth
edited by Ian Acworth
Robert barker and Catherine Ackworth had sons Robert and John, but there is no reason to think they are the same as the immigrants. So, this identification is not accepted. Is there any new data?
posted by Joe Cochoit
I would say that there is no reason to Not think they are related to the immigrants either. Surely this is a strong possibility, if not actually proven.

What data would be considered acceptible to prove the relationship? They probably lost their boarding passes! Seriously though, how do we make the link back through 400 years? Or is this simply not possible?

You ask about new data - the detailed biography of Catherine's father George is new to this discussion. So a better appreciation of the Shropshire Visitation entry of 1623 is now possible.

I would agree that the early versions that suggested Catherine was some sort of Lady with Royal origins is patently untrue. I have seen a "Lady Catherine Acworth of Southwell Kent" in some profiles. Southwell is not in Kent and Catherine was not a Lady. But it seems that Catherine may have been born in Kent and her father was a prebendary at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire for a small period. Out of such scraps - mythologies grow!

posted by Ian Acworth
I don't know a lot about DNA either but. They didn't do a DNA test on Sir Robert Barker. So what I see is a person who tested his DNA, and then submitted his faulty pedigree. I think, once again we should disconnect. His brother Robert is disconnected. Even the Geni profile notes that they have disconnected from the alleged parents.
posted by Anne B
Absolutely right about the DNA evidence. It should be removed from the profile!
posted by Ian Acworth
But there is now a claim of dna connection. The link provided though is iffy. And I don’t know enough about dna to judge.
posted by Jillaine Smith
No objection to detaching parents since Bio text shows reasoning.
posted by Sandy Culver
Objections to disconnecting these unproven parents?
posted by Anne B

Rejected matches › John Parker (1609-)

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Categories: Puritan Great Migration