||Henry Beck migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
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Henry Beck was the first of his name in America. He was from Dover, Hertfordshire, England; he came to America in July of 1635, age 17, onboard the Blessing and settled on Sagamore Creek near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. An eighteenth century written record from his grandson Henry Beck (son of Thomas & father of Mary) of Greenland, Rockingham Co., NH claimed that "My grandfather Henry Beck was born In the Paresh of geywareck in warickshear In old england."[sic]  This means that this Henry was born in Guy Warwick, Warwickshire, England. According to Stearns, Beck is an ancient name in the East of England.
In Hotten's Immigrants to America, page 108, is written: "Theis under written names are to be transported to New England imbarqued in the Blessing, John Lester Ms, the parties have brought Cert. from minist, and justices of their conformitie in Religion and that they are no Subsidy Men". Henry Beck was one of these men.
In the Portsmouth Church Records of 1693, it states: "Henry Beck occupied a seat under the pulpit." He married Anne Frost of Piscataqua, and had the following children:
"Beck's Slip", otherwise known as "Harford's Ferry" is at Beck's Point on the Fore River in Dover, Strafford co., NH. It is indeed named for this Henry Beck. The point was part of his land grant and he had and ran the ferry rights from this point in Dover to Kittery (now Eliot), York co., ME. He also used it as a shipping & receiving point for goods and trade. He may have begun his business there as early as 1636.
Beck signed the "Combination Document" at Dover, Strafford co., NH in 1640. Dover was settled from Hilton's Point in 1623 on back through Dover Neck in 1633 and the Back River District in 1642. Scales describes this as "...one of the best farmland sections of the town & the dwellers therein have always been among the best citizens of the town..." Land grants of 20 acre lots were made in 1642 and Henry received lot #21. He appeared on the tax list during the 1640s. The "town rate of 4d. on a £ was made" with Henry Beck being assessed at £40 16s. 0d. and taxed at £0 13s. 7d.
Around 1645 when Henry was 28, he first married Ann FROST, in Dover, Strafford co., NH[4,8,9,10,11,12]. Ann was born in Piscataqua, NH and died before 1675/1680[4,5]
On 16 June 1648, Henry received a land grant in Cocheco Marsh (now mostly Rollinsford), Strafford co., NH of Lot #9... "Henry Becke, 6 yeackers"
Henry received a 10 acre land grant of one of the "out lots" in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH -- a.k.a. Strawbery Banke -- on 13 January 1652. He lived there until he moved to New Castle (also known as Great Island and Goat Island), Rockingham co., NH by 11 August 1685 (when he deeded house and land there to Richard Welcome, of Star Island).
Around 1660, he moved to the Sagamore Creek area of Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH and was definitely there by 28 June 1659, when he sold land in Dover and listed Sagamore Creek as his current residence[8,16]. In the Court Records of Portsmouth in 1668, "Henry Beck of Sagamore Creek in ye town of Portsmouth, planter" & his wife Ann are mentioned.
Stearns records several real estate transactions of Henry's: "...On June 28, 1657, 'henrie beck' of Sagamore Creek (Portsmouth), sold to Thomas Laiton, of Dover, land in Dover. Henry and Ann Beck sold land in Portsmouth to Joseph Walker, September 1 1668. They deeded to Thomas Beck (their son) land, buildings and personal property January 6, 1679, all then being of Portsmouth.." CHURCH MEMBERSHIP On 14 December 1658, Henry first subscribed 5 shillings for the support of the Portsmouth ministry (church unknown) and continued this for many years.
About 1675/1680 when Henry was 58, he married his second wife Elizabeth [surname not known], in Great Island (New Castle), Rockingham Co., NH[4,5,12,13,14].
Henry died at his home in New Castle, Rockingham co., NH in 1686; he was 70. Henry's estate was administered on 26 April 1686, with his widow Elizabeth as administratrix.
Henry was born about 1617. Henry Beck ... He passed away about 1686.
CONT OCCUPATION: Planter. CONT CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Subscribed for the support of the Portsmouth minister on 14 February 1658/9 and again on 17 March 1670/1 (NHGR 1:10, 13]. He had a seat allotted to him in the Portsmouth meetinghouse on 13 March 1693/4 (NHGR 3:172]. CONT FREEMAN: Henry Beck is found in the Portsmouth section of the Province Voting List, dated 16 February 1679/80, for electing deputies to the General Assembly (with the annotation "not appeared") (NHPP 19:659]. CONT EDUCATION: Henry Beck sometimes made his mark to deeds, and sometimes made a signature: his wife Ann Beck made her mark CONT OFFICES: Grand jury, 8 October 1652, 30 June 1657, 28 June 1659 [NHPP 40:97, 125, 135]. Petit jury, 25 June 1656, 26 June 1660, 25 June 1667 [NHPP 40:118, 144, 220]. CONT ESTATE: In 1642 the town of Dover laid out Lot 21 to Henry Beck, it being a twenty-acre lot, forty by eighty rods, on the west side of Back River [GDMNH 49 (list 352)]. On 19 December 1648, Henry Beck's estate at Dover was assessed at £40 16s., on which he was to pay tax of 13s. 7d. (NHGR 1:179, citing Dover Town Records]. CONT On 13 January 1652[/3], "Henry Becke" was assigned ten acres in the "out lots" in Portsmouth (NHGR 1:9, citing Portsmouth TR 1:11]. His name appeared in the distribution of common lands in Portsmouth on 22 January 1660/1 (as of the year 1657) (GDMNH 46 (list 330b)]. On 31 January 1664/5 granted 60 acres of "dividend lands" at Sagamore Creek by the town of Portsmouth (GDMNH 45 (list 330a)]. He was named a taxpayer of Great Island and Sandy Beach in 1671, of Great Island for support of the Portsmouth minister on 28 November 1677, and of Greenland and Sandy Beach on 25 August 1684 [GDMNH 40 (list 312c); NHPP 18:920; GDMNH 11, citing "London Transcripts iv 89-113" at New Hampshire Historical Society]. CONT On 28 June 1657, "Hener[y] Becke of Sagamore Creek of Piscataway River sold to Thomas Laiton of Dover "twenty acres of land, upland and marsh being on the western side of the Black River in Dover" ; signed by mark [NHPLR 5:127]. On 1 September 1668, "Henry Beck of Sagamore Creek in the Town of Portsmo[uth] on the River of Piscattaqua, planter," sold to Joseph Walker of the same town "one parcel of marsh or meadow ground being about an acre more or less lying in the said creek"; Henry Beck and Ann Beck signed by mark [NHPLR 3:55]. CONT On 6 January 1679[/80?], "Henry Beck Senior of Sagamore Crek belonging to the Town of Portsmo[uth] & in the County of Dover & Portsmo[uth] & Ann his wife" deeded to "Thomas Beck the supposed son of Henry Beck aforesaid" for the maintenance of "his father Henry Beck Senior & his mother Ann Beck ... the farm or tenement which the said Henry Beck Senior as aforesaid is now possessed of", including housing, household goods and cattle; Henry Beck made his signature and Ann Beck made her mark [NHPlR 3:168]; CONT BIRTH: About 1617 (aged 18 in 1635 [Hotten 278]). CONT DEATH: Last seen on 13 March 1693/4 [NHCR 3:1721. (Noyes, Libby and Davis say that he was "last mentioned in list of church members 1699" [GDMNH 86]. However, the name in this 1699 record is "Mr. Beck" [NHGR 3:55], and Henry does not otherwise have the honorific title. Furthermore, an earlier list includes "Mr. Beck," "H. Beck" and "H. Beck Senior" [NHGR 3:50-51], so there was apparently another man of this surname, but higher social rank, in Portsmouth by the end of the seventeenth century. Coffin claimed that the immigrant "lived to be 110" [NEHGR 11:256], which would require that Henry Beck died about 1727, for which there is no evidence whatsoever.) CONT MARRIAGE. By about 1640 Anna ____. (There is evidence for only one wife; the apparent large gap between the birth of the first child and the second suggests, however, that Henry Beck may have been married more than once.) CONT CHILDREN: CONT i CALEB, b. by about 1640 ("Caleb Becke" was included in a 1661 land distribution list of "all sons as are of the age of 21 years" or "are married, although under the age of 21" [Rambles 1:27.28; GDMNH 46, citing Portsmouth TR 1:69]); m. by an unknown date (but probably about 1670) Hannah Bolles (b. Wells 25 November 1649 [GDMNH 101]). dau. of Joseph Bolles (in his 18 September 1678 will "Joseph Boolls of Wells" included a bequest to "my daughter Beck" [Maine Wills 83 GDMNH 101]). CONT ii HENRY, b. about 1654 (aged about 19 in 1673 [GDMNH 86, citing an unknown source)): m. by 1686 Elizabeth ____ (administration on estate of Henry Beck granted 26 April 1686 to widow Elizabeth [NHPP 31:302]). CONT iii THOMAS, b. say 1658. m. by about 1683 Mary ____ (eldest known child d. 1 January 1774, aged 91 [GDMNH 86]). (Various sources give her surname as Frost, but no evidence has been found to support this, and there is no apparent place for her in any of the early Frost families [GDMNH 246-48].) CONT COMMENTS: On 13 July 1635, "Henry Beck," aged 18, was enrolled at London as a passenger for New England on the Blessing [Hotten 108[. CONT Henry Beck was said by a grandson of the same name to have been born in the parish of "geywareck" in Warwickshire [NEHGR 60:299]. Unfortunately, no parish of this or a similar name in Warwickshire has been located. One Henry Beck son of Thomas Beck, was baptized at Alcester, Warwickshire, on 12 October 1615, and is worthy of further investigation. CONT Joshua Coffin's claim that Beck came from Hertfordshire on the Angel Gabriel can be dismissed, as we now have the record of the vessel on which Beck did sail, information not available to Coffin [NEHGR 11:256]. Other statements made by Coffin about the early generations of this family are unsupported, and should be treated with distrust; the ascription to Henry Beck of a son Joshua and a daughter Mary who married Deacon White is apparently a typical case of generation slippage, for Thomas Beck, son of the immigrant, did have such children; there is no evidence that the surname of the wife of the immigrant was Frost [NEHGR 11:2561. CONT On 22 October 1640, Henry Beck signed the Dover Combination [NHPP 10:700-1], and on 4 March 1640[/1], he took part in the petition of settlers at Northam [Dover] against coming under the government of Massachusetts before the patentees should be heard from [NHPP 1:178].
CONT (I) Henry Beck came to America in 1635, in one or the other of the ships mentioned, and was progenitor of the Beck families of New Hampshire, whose representatives are numerous in the state. In allusion to his origin on the other side of the Atlantic, Henry Beck, of Greenland, said in a written record of date about a century and one-half ago, "My grandfather Henry Beck was born In the Paresh of geywareck in warickshear In old england." Henry Beck, the immigrant, married Ann Frost, of Piscataqua, New Hampshire, and had four sons : Joshua, Thomas, Caleb and Henry ; and one daughter, Mary, who married Deacon White. It is said by Coffin that Henry, the immigrant, lived to be one hundred and ten years old, but it evident that the death record of some later member of the family was mistaken for his. He settled at Strawberry Bank (Portsmouth), where he had a grant of ten acres of land, January 13, 1652, and probably spent his last days in New Castle. December 14, 1658, he subscribed five shillings for the support of the ministry, in Portsmouth, and this rate was in force many years. Numerous records show that he was a prominent citizen, active in public affairs. In August, 1652, he was a grand juror at Strawberry Bank, and served in like capacity at court in Dover, June 30, 1657, and April 28, 1659. He was a petit juror at Portsmouth, June 25, 1656, and June 26, 1660, and at Dover, June 25, 1667. On June 28, 1657, "henrie beck" of Sagamore Creek (Portsmouth), sold to Thomas Laiton, of Dover, land in Dover. Henry and Ann Beck sold land in Portsmouth to Joseph Walker, September 1, 1668. They deeded to Thomas Beck (their son) land, buildings and personal property January 6, 1679, all then being of Portsmouth. It would seem that he then removed to Great Island (Newcastle), for he is credited with residence there August 11, 1655, when he deeded house and land there to Richard VVelcome, of Star Island. At the time of his arrival in 1635 he was eighteen years of age, and it is probable that he retired from active life at the time of the last noted sale. Administration on his estate was taken April 26, 1686, his widow Elizabeth being administratrix, which indicates that he had a second wife.
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