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Michael Barstow (abt. 1600 - 1674)

Michael Barstow
Born about in Englandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married 15 Feb 1625 (to about 1635) in Parish Shelf, County York, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married 1635 (to 1642) [location unknown]
Husband of — married about 1642 [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified | Created 28 Nov 2010
This page has been accessed 889 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Michael Barstow migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Disputed Origins

"Bond found the baptism at Shelf, Halifax, Yorkshire, 17 Nov 1600, of Michael Barstow, son of Matthew Barstow [Bond 677]; Matthew Wood found the baptism at Halifax, 6 Jan 1600/1, of Michael Barstow, son of Michael Barstow of Northowram [NYGBR 121:98]. Given the size of this parish and the multiplicity of Barstow families therein, further research needs to be undertaken before we can identify the parents of Michael Barstow and his brothers.)[1][2] There are also baptisms of Michaels (son of Michael) on 17 Feb 1599 and 18 Jan 1600 at St. john the Baptist in Halifax.[3]


Michael Barstow (Bairstow) was born in England about 1600[4] There is no proof that he was baptized on November 17, 1600 in Shelf, a parish of Halifax, Co. York, England.[5]

The family is found in Burke's "Encyclopedia of Heraldry" under the name Bairstow and also given are two coat of arms belonging to it. It is probable that the one most ancient that was granted to the families of this name in New England was "Bairstow. Erm. on a fesse betw. two cotisses sa. three crescents ar. Crest, out of a crescent a demi eagle displ." Barry's History of Hanover, p. 208 contains the 2nd coat of arms that was probably granted or assumed after the Barstows came to New England.[6]


He had three brothers who also came to New England. Bond believed Michael was the oldest.[7] Their names were:[8]

  1. John d. Feb. 13, 1657/8. At age 33 he drowned coming from Dedham, in the night after falling through the ice near Mr. Parker's farm. Widow: Hannah who after married ____ PRINCE. 3 sons - Michael b. 1653 at Watertown, m. Rebecca Traine, died 1698, had 1 daughter Hannah; John; Jeremiah, perhaps the one whom Deane (History of Scituate, p. 218) attributes to his brother William.
  2. William (surname spelled: Beresto) who at the age of 23 embarked with his brother George on September 20, 1635 for New England in the Truelove, (corrected from Bond p. 679) John Gibbs Master.[9] He was a single man at the time.[10] He first settled in Dedham and soon moved to Scituate. Farmer says he was admitted as freeman in 1649. He died in Dedham on January 1, 1668, leaving a widow Anna and 8 children: His daughter Deborah married Philip Shattuck on November 9, 1670; Joseph was baptized in Dedham on April 25, 1641; Mary was baptized January 2, 1642/3.
  3. George (surname spelled: Beresto) who at age 21, with his brother William,[11] embarked for New England on September 20, 1635 in the Truelove, (corrected from Bond p. 679) John Gibbs, Master[12]He married Susannah, daughter of Deacon Thomas and Susanna Marrett of Cambridge. He was a householder and a member of the 2nd Church in 1652. In 1653 he returned to Cambridge and died March 18, 1653/4. He died "from the treatment he received from Mr. (afterwards President) Chauncy. His widow, Susannah, died the following month, April 17, 1654, leaving two children: Margaret born 1650, and George born March 1652.

On February 14[13]or 15, 1624 at Halifax, Yorkshire, England, he married Grace Halstead, daughter of Abraham Halstead .[14] Michael and Grace had no children. They were early settlers of Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He and his wife, under the names of "Miles Bastow and Marcia, his wife" were admitted into the Charlestown Church on December 5, 1635. He, however, did not have two wives. "Marcia" and "Mercy" are used synonomously, and there are instances on record where the names of Mercy and Grace were used the one for the other;[15] "This is undoubtedly the case here, as appears by his marriage in England."[16] In Christianity, the terms "mercy" and "grace" are frequently used interchangeably, "In Scripture and in the Christian faith, mercy means the giving of grace to people who don't deserve it."[17]

It is not certain when Michael and Grace moved from Charlestown to Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, but it seems likely from the land grants that it was between July 1636 and 1642.[18] He is one of the early settlers of Watertown, where he was made a Freeman on March 3, 1635/6. This date and his wife's relationships makes it possible that he came on the James along with her and her family.[19]

Michael's social position as well as his respectable and important public appointments imply that he was a man of high intelligence.[20]

Michael Bairstow died probably in April or May of 1676, a short time before the the date of the Inventory of his estate.[21][22]

His will, dated June 23, 1674, was proved 20 June 1676. Bequest were made to:[23][24][1]

  • Mr. John Shearman, my dear pastor of the church in Watertown: his farm.
  • Hannah Barstow, alias Prince: one great Bible and "the debt due to me in my book which her first husband William Barstow was indebted to me:[25]
  • Church of Christ in Watertown: £16
  • Elizabeth Randall the wife of William Randall of Scittuate in Plimouth Colony:£5
  • Susan Perry, wife of William Perry in Marshfield £5
  • Michael Barstow (son of John deceased) lot of Upland and Meadow in Watertown and a lot in Barehill in Watertowne
  • John & Jeremiah, children of the aforesaid John Barstow deceased: £15 each.
  • Deacon Thomas Hastings of Watertown: £10
  • Deacon Henry Bright of Watertown: 40s
  • the residue equally divided into ten parts or shares:
    • children of brother George Barstow deceased: two shares - to each child a single share
    • children of brother William Barstow deceased: eight shares - to each child a single share

Resource Notes

NYGBR: p. 146 lists children of Abraham Halstead.

"The rarity of the name Halstead in Halifax parish records leads us to conclude that she was probably the Grace Halstead who m. at Halifax 15 Feb. 1624, Michael Bairstow. This appears to be the same Michael Bairstow who was an early settler of Watertown, Massachusetts. The will of Susanna Halstead of Watertown makes this connection seem most probable. She mentions her sister Grace, wife of Michael Bairstow. The latter was admitted a Freeman at Watertown on 3 March 1635/6. (Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown Massachusetts, 1860, p. 18). This date, and the general circumstances, make it seem possible that they came on the "James." Michael and Grace had no children; he bequeathed his estate to the children of his brothers, also of Watertown."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Anderson, Robert Charles, George F. Sanborn, Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 1, A-B begins p. 171 will p. 172 link AmericanAncestors ($)
  2. Bond 677 p. 677 of Genealogies of the families and descendants of the early settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, including Waltham and Weston : to which is appended the early history of the town. by Bond, Henry, (1860)
  3. Search at
  4. Wood, Matthew' "English Origins of the Mitchell, Wood, Lum and Halstead Families'" in NYGBR Record, p. 146; copy possessed by Cheryl Skordahl. See Resource Notes.
  5. Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Boston: N. E. Historic Genealogical Society, 1860. pp. 18, 677-679, 933, 999, 1063. See surnames Bairstow and Barstow. p.18; see at
  6. Bond p. 677
  7. Bond p. 677
  8. Unless otherwise sourced, information about the siblings is from Bond, p. 18
  9. Bond p. 18 see asterick
  10. Bond p. 678
  11. Bond p. 678
  12. Bond p. 18 see asterick
  13. Bond p. 677
  14. NYGBR p. 146.
  15. Bond p. 677 footnotes
  16. Bond p. 677, see asterick
  17. "What is Mercy" link
  18. Bond p. 677, 678
  19. NYGBR p. 146.
  20. Bond p. 677.
  21. NYGBR p. 146.
  22. Bond p. 678
  23. NYGBR p. 146.
  24. Bond p. 678
  25. His brother William's wife m. (2) John Prince

See Also:


Created through the import of BDM7-7-11.ged on Jul 8, 2011 by Brian McCullough.

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Comments: 4

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So far i've found baptisms for the following

Michael Baerstow Baptism Feb 1599 Halifax, St John the Baptist son of Michael

Michael Baerstowe Baptism 25 Sep 1597 Halifax, St John the Baptist son of Mich

Michael Baerstow Baptism Jul 1597 Halifax, St John the Baptist son of Edward

Michael Bairstow Baptism Dec 1595 Halifax, St John the Baptist son of John

Michael Bairstow Baptism 26 Jan 1605 Elland, St Mary son of Edward

Michael Baerstow Baptism Mar 1606 Halifax, St John the Baptist son of John

The Great Migration Begins had "presumed" William, George, John and Michael were siblings from Halifax, Yorkshire - suggestions to find these missing parents?

Please see G2G Question.
posted by Anne B
Hi Brian, Just wanting you to know that I'm working on Michael Barstow. He arrived in 1635, so I'm researching and will give him biography - making him PGM.


Hi Brian McCullough, I have sources for this profile, Michael Barstow from NEHGS (Anderson) and also from NYBGR. I plan to work on this profile. Any objections?


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Categories: Puritan Great Migration