Robert Barker
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Robert Barker (abt. 1616 - 1691)

Robert Barker
Born about in Englandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Brother of
Husband of — married about 1645 (to 18 Feb 1689) [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 75 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Sep 2009
This page has been accessed 5,090 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Robert Barker migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640). (See Great Migration Begins, by R. C. Anderson, Vol. 1, p. 92)
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Disputed Origin

According to The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 the parents and origins of this person are not known.[1] He arrived by 1638. Please see Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, Vols. I-III p 92-97. It states that he was brother of John Barker of Marshfield. Robert gave to "my brother and his heirs forever the one half of my three acres of marsh that lyeth in the marsh between his upland ..." on 22 June 1648. See also NEHGR 53:426+[2] and L Vernon Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family 1254-1937, 3 Vol (Boston 1938) p p 278-83, 297-304.[3]

Earlier treatment of John Barker stated he was son of Sir Robert Baker see: Elizabeth Frye Barker, Barker Genealogy (New York 1927) 231. However, no evidence has been found to support this. Barker is a very common name.

Brother John Barker


"Robert Barker in 1643 was a member, with his brother John Barker, of the Marshfield military company under Lieutenant Nathaniel Thomas. He was a surveyor of Marshfield in 1645, 1648, and of Duxbury in 1654, 1672, 1677, 1679; constable of Marshfield 1645, 1648; grandjuryman of Marshfield, 1669, and of Duxbury 1684-85; and was admitted a freeman in 1654. Robert Barker was licensed 7 July, 1646, to keep an inn in Marshfield to retail wine, which was cancelled 5 June 1666. The course at Plymouth on 5 March, 1667-68, granted him nine and one-half acres of meadow at Robinson's Creek, North River, Duxbury. He married Lucy Williams and died between 18 Feb., 1689, when his will, which mentions his children was, made and 15 March, 1691-2, when the inventory of his estate was taken. His estate was valued at 142£. His wife died between 7 Mar. 1681-2, when she was fined for selling cider to the Indians, and 18 Feb. 1689. They lived in the old Barker house at Duxbury (in that part which was set off as Pembroke in 1712) which was made a garrison house about 1679; the room and the firstplace at the right of the front door as you entered was said to have been built about 1630." [7] [4]
Barker gives a further history of the family back to England; I only include his father's generation, because his brother John also immigrated at about the same date Robert did, in 1628-30. Both were early settlers at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • b abt 1616 based on terms of apprenticeship
  • d Duxbury btw 18 Feb 1689 (date of will) and 14 Mar 1691/2 9date of division of lands to the sons of his son Isaac)[5]
  • m by 1663 (and by 1642 if she was mother of all his children) Luce (or Lucy) _____; no other record her name, but she was still living 7 Mar 1681/2 when "Lieut. Robert Barker, in behalf os his mother, the wife of Robert Barker, Senior, is fined L2 10s. for that his said mother sold cider to the Indians, contrary to the law of this government." [PCR 6:82]
    • Most secondary sources identify her as dau of John and Anna Williams of Scituate, but she is not named in the will of john Williams; the confusion may arise because Mary Williams, dau of John, did marry John Barker, brother of Robert... ][6]


The first mention of Robert Barker is found in the Colonial Records under the date Jan. 20, 1632: "Robert Barker, servt. of John Thorp, complayned of his Mr. for want of clothes. The complaint being found just, it was ordered that Thorp should either foorthwith apparell him. or else make over his time to some other that was aide to provide for him." He was later bound to William Palmer as a carpenter's apprentice, and his time was out Apr. 1. 1637. This date probably marks the attainment of his majority, so that we may suppose him to have been born in 1616. In 1641 he with others, bought from Jonathan, son of Elder Brewster, a ferry and one hundred acres of land at Marshfield, and in 1643 he was a member of the military company in that town under Lieut. Nathaniel Thomas. He held the office of surveyor in Marshfield in 1645 and 1648, constable in 1646, and was admitted freeman in 1654. In 1648 he bought a house and land for 45 shillings, having been licensed in 1646 to keep an inn to retail wine. Although he did not entirely give up his interests in Marshfield, where he kept his liquor license until 1666 and was grandjuryman in 1669, he seems to have removed to Duxbury about 1650-1655, for Aug. 2, 1653, he desired the laying out of lands at Namasskeeset (v. p. 7). There is a tradition that he came with Dolor Davis and a negro, and stayed the first winter in a dug-out. He appears as surveyor of Duxbury from 1654 to 1656, in 1672, 1677, 1679. and grandjuryman 1684-5. The court at Plymouth. Mar. 5, 1667-8. granted him 9 1-2 acres of land at Robinson's Creek, North River, Duxbury, which was perhaps the nucleus of his estate. He prospered in his new home, and left at his deadi. in [691, ±142, is. [id. He married Lucy Williams, who died between Mar. 7. 1681-2, when she was fined for selling cider to the Indian-, and Feb. 18. 1689, the date of her husband's will. The inventory of his estate was taken Mar. 15, 1 691/2.


  1. Isaac, b say 1642; m Plymouth 28 Dec 1665 Judith Prence, dau of Thomas. 1710 (inv. June 5).[7]
  2. Francis, b abt 1646; m Duxbury 5 Jan 1674 Mary Lincoln, dau of Thomas of Hingham. d. 1720-1 (adm. Feb. 9) [7]
  3. Rebecca, b abt 1650; m1 by 1670 JosiahSnow (eldest born 6 Dec 1670; her name given incorrectly in some sources as Baker; m2 Marshfield 23 ___ 1694 John Sawyer. d. 1697[7]
  4. Robert b abt 1651 (d Duxbury 25 Sep 1729 a. 78); m1 by 1682 Alice Snow, dau of Anthony and Abigail (Warren) Snow, and g'dau of Richard Warren; m2 Jamestown 7 Oct 17005 Phebe Marsh, who was Phebe (Cook) (Arnold) Marsh, dau of Thos and Thomasin (___) Cook, widow of Oliver Arnold and Jonathan Marsh. Born Feb. 27, 1650-1, d. Sept. 25. 1729 [P. F.] [7]
  5. Abigail, b abt 1657; m by 1677 Joseph Rogers, son of John Rogers of Marshfield. "... Robert Barker, whose children were Francis, Isaac, Robert, Rebecca and Abigail, in his will d. Feb'y 18, 1689, mentions his daughter, Abigail Rogers...." [8] d. May, 1718.[7]

Research Notes

There is a Robert Barker (UK) created that shows his parents as Catherine (Acworth) Barker and Robert Barker. It is possible that Robert Barker (US) and Robert Barker (UK) are the same person but the relationship is not proven and the estimates of birth date differ by approximatley 15 years. 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, sobeit!


  1. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 (Boston, Massachusetts. New England Historic and Genealogical Society. 2015)
  2. NEHGR 53:426+
  3. L Vernon Briggs, History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family 1254-1937, 3 Vol (Boston 1938) p 278-83, 297-304
  4. Elizabeth Frye Barker, Barker Genealogy, Frye Publishing: NY 1927; pp 163-65
  5. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch ( : 17 March 2023), Probate records 1686-1702 and 1849-1867 vol 1-1F > image 68-70 of 490; State Archives, Boston.
  6. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols. (Boson: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 92-97 (Robert Barker); digital images by subscription, AmericanAncestors
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Newhall, Barker. The Barker family of Plymouth Colony and County Cleveland : F.W. Roberts. 1900 starts p 12
  8. Drummond, Josiah Hayden. John Rogers of Marshfield and Some of His Descendants. R. B. Ellis, 1898 p. 12
  • History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts (The Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1893) Vol II, p.20-21
  • A History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, Justin Windsor, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849), 223.
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register, James Atkins Noyes.
  • New England Families: Genealogical and Memorial, William Richard Cutter, (New York: Lewis), 512.
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register, James Atkins Noyes, 3-4.
  • Boston Evening Transcript: Genealogy Series

Also see:

  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 27 June 2019), memorial page for Robert Barker (1616–1690), Find A Grave: Memorial #34697547; Maintained by Linda Mac (contributor 47062703) Unknown. (No gravestone photo, no sources.)

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Comments: 15

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Have added Unknown Barker (abt.1580-) so that we may associate this Robert with his known brother, John Barker Sr. (1610-1652).

Given errors in print and various unproven notions of the brother's father/parents, should we PGM-Adjunct and PPP the profile of this unnamed father Barker? --Gene

posted by GeneJ X
His wife's LNAB is also questionable, and should probably be Unknown vs Williams. MF 5 Gen, Warren Vol. 1 says Williams is unlikely. (I've added the info to Lucy's profile.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Profile has an inline citation pointing to "Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins, vols I-III." Might anyone know the sketch/article to which this citation should point? --Gene

Edited to add: suspect this is the Robert Barker sketch. Updating that reference now. If in error, please correct.

posted by GeneJ X
edited by GeneJ X
Hello. I’m not part of this project, but I know Robert’s parents.

You’ll find them in this link.

posted by Luke O’Riordan
The most recent scholarly research that I'm aware of, Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration Begins, Vol 1, A-F, pp. 92-94, (and cited above) says that his origins are unknown.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Hi Bobbie,

We can surely now link this Robert to his brother John (Barker-10). The parents have been removed from both profiles but there is ample documentation in the US that proves that they were brothers.

There is now much more information in England on Catherine Acworth (Acworth-322) and Robert Barker's family (Barker-11) in the UK. I do not think that the Robert Barker who married Catherine in Plymouth, Devon was a Knight by the way. The knighthood was conferred to a Robert Barker in Suffolk - not Shropshire. There is also much greater detail, now well sourced, for Catherine's father George Acworth (Acworth-317). He was a highly educated man who was a leading figure in Protestant matters in the time of Queen Elizabeth.

The Family Search link provided by Luke has much that is correct.

Also, Catherine's cousin John (Acworth-63) had many links to the Naval Set in both Plymouth and London and would have been able to introduce John and Robert Barker to Captains of ships to sail for the US.

So while Robert Charles Anderson's work does not give parentage for Robert or John - maybe that evidence is missing. There does not appear to be any trace in Shropshire of Robert and John after their birth. They came from a family of nine.

posted by Ian Acworth
I'll add an unknown parent profile so that we can associate the two known brothers.

Would appreciate any assistance you or Bobbie can provide to add sources to that new profile.

If anyone thinks this action is premature, please post so that we may collaborate further.--Gene

posted by GeneJ X
Thanks very much, Gene, I have no additional sources, everything I have is already on this profile. I agree that they are known brothers, but their origins aren't yet known for sure.

Cheers, Bobbie

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Hi All,

Seems that John and Robert were sons of Catherine Acworth (Acworth-322) and Robert Barker - son of George Barker.

Note this is Barker and not Baker and that the Barkers are all from Shropshire, England.

There is much more information available on Catherine Acworth than previously

posted by Ian Acworth
Barker-10937 and Barker-12 appear to represent the same person because: created new Robert Barker Profile by mistake.

Merge to show Barker brothers John and Robert

posted by Sandy Culver
Note that the geni profile editor admits to lack of solid sources for this identification. We need better evidence.
posted by Jillaine Smith

Seems someone has found parents for John & Robert, a Robert Barker of Kent.

posted by R Power
The problem with adding his brother (at the moment) is that John still has unproven parents attached. Attaching him will attach them also. I've left a note on John's profile. There is also the fact that the only way to attach him is to create an Unknown Barker, father of them both, which it is ok to do.
posted by Anne B
Makes sense to add his brother John Barker Barker-10
posted by Sandy Culver
Barker-6406 and Barker-12 appear to represent the same person because: Same vitals
posted by Jillaine Smith

This week's featured connections are from the War of the Roses: Robert is 16 degrees from Margaret England, 14 degrees from Edmund Beaufort, 13 degrees from Margaret Stanley, 15 degrees from John Butler, 15 degrees from Henry VI of England, 16 degrees from Louis XI de France, 14 degrees from Isabel of Clarence, 14 degrees from Edward IV of York, 15 degrees from Thomas Fitzgerald, 15 degrees from Richard III of England, 14 degrees from Henry Stafford and 13 degrees from Perkin Warbeck on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.

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