John Cogswell was born before his baptism date of 2 April 1592 in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England. He was the son of Edward Cogswell and Alice maiden name unknown. It is known that his grandfather, Robert Cogswell (d. 1581), was a manufacturer of woolen cloth.
Baptism: 2 April 1592 in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England (11 is an erroneous reading of the register which says John Cogswell fillies Edward[ard]i Cogeswell baptized: fit ijth Aprilis 1592. ij should be read as 2 and not as 11.)
All children born in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England.
Elizabeth Cogswell born on 23 June 1615. She married Richard Erneley on 28 March 1609. Elizabeth died in April 1661 in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England. She was buried on 1 April 1661 according to the Parish Records, but FAG has date of 9 April 1661 as death date. No sourcing on FAG.
Marriage and Family
John married Elizabeth Thompson (1594-1676) daughter of Rev. William Thompson, the Vicar of Westbury Parish, Wiltshire for 20 years (1603-1623) and Phyllis Unknown on 10 September 1615, according to the parish records.His parents died soon after John married Elizabeth and he inherited: "The Mylls called Ripond, situate within the Parish of Frome Selwood".  His occupation was manufacturing woolen fabric, broadcloths and kerseymeres. He had a very good reputation for a fine product. He is sometimes called a London merchant but that is because he probably had a commission house there, as it would have been the largest market for his product.
Children of the Cogswell-Thompson Marriage
All children except Sarah were born and baptized in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England.
Elizabeth Cogswell was baptized on 15 September 1616. She married Nathaniel Masterson on 31 July 1657. Elizabeth died on 24 January 1692 at York, York, Maine as victims of King William's War Candlemas Massacre.
Sarah Cogswell was born about 1645 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. She married Simon Tuttle (1631-1692) in 1664 in Massachusetts.
The Public Record Office in London has a conveyance deed for the sale of his Westbury Leigh property in 1635 to Anthony Selfe and Henry Allyn.
John and Elizabeth and 8 of their living children, William, John, Jr., Edward, and 5 daughters (Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Esther, Abigail; leaving behind the one daughter, who is now known as Phyllis) sailed on the Angel Gabriel which was commanded by Capt. Andrews. It was the ship built for Sir Walter Raleigh and he probably made his last voyage on her to Guiana, South America in 1618 before he was executed. They boarded the ship on 23 May 1635, sailed on 4 June because it was becalmed. They landed finally on 15 August 1635 under the worst possible circumstances as a terrible storm wrecked the ship. On the same day, the "James" sailed with more emigrants fleeing religious intolerance. Among those passengers was the Rev. Richard Mather. The passengers on the Angel Gabriel, including John, lost a lot of valuable property and some lost their lives. After they made it ashore at a place called Pemaquid in Maine, John left his family there with the tent he had brought along and went to Boston, Massachusetts. He arranged to have his wife, three sons and five daughters transported on about the last of August to Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was by 1636 granted 300 acres of land at Chebacco, part of Ipswich that was constituted on 5 May 1679, as Chebacco Parish. He also was granted a parcel of 8 acres to build a house and 5 more acres by the river. He built a log house in 1636 and lived in Chebacco for the rest of his life. He is said to have been the third original settler in those parts. He was always addressed as "Mr." which was a mark of distinction in that time.
John was made freeman on 3 March 1636 by an act of the Court, which meant that he could hold public office and vote, amongst other things. As soon as he was able, he built a frame house. Many of their original possessions, which were salvaged from the shipwreck, are still treasured by family members. One of those is an embroidered coat of arms. It was granted to Lord Humphrey Cogswell of England in 1447. On 25 September 1649, he was part of the Essex Grand Jury. As he and his wife grew older, they deeded land to their children, who settled very near and all around them, on farms of their own. On 2 January 1652, they deeded to their son-in-law Cornelius Waldo 49 acres and the dwelling house at Chebacco Falls. On 16 April 1657, they confirmed a grant to sons John and William which was the 300 acres called "Westbury Lee".
Death and Burial
He died on November 29, 1669, in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, at the age of 77. He died intestate and the administration of his estate was granted to his wife Elizabeth on 29 March 1670. He was honored with a five mile long funeral procession and buried in the Old North Graveyard, also known as Highland, Cowles-Highland, Cowles Memorial, Highland-Cowles, Old Burying Hill, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. His wife is there beside him, but the graves are now unmarked. Find A Grave: Memorial #21536932 created by Cynthia on 13 September 2007. (Some information here in error including the middle name that has been added.)
↑ Anderson, RC says 2 April 1592 and that E.O. Jameson made an error in reading the parish entry. He also mentions that both the Mary Walton Ferris and the Donald Lines Jacobus book use E.O. Jameson as a source.
↑ Jameson, EO: p. 2, This was called the worst storm known by white man or Indian for many years. There's a poem by Whittier about it "There was wailing in the shallop; woman's wail and man's despair; A crash of breaking timbers on the rocks so sharp and bare; And through it all the murmur of Father Avery's prayer. The ear of God was open to his servant's last request. As the strong wave swept him downward the sweet hymn upward pressed, And the soul of Father Avery went singing to its rest."
↑ Anderson, RC: On 12 April 1670 the inventory came to court and Simon Tuttle and Thomas Clark, Jr. swore that "our father Cogswell did promise upon marriage that he would give all he had and what he should more get unto his daughters Abigail and Sarah, and they should have it when he and his wife died'; Thomas Clarke Sr. supported their claim.
Jameson, Ephraim Orcutt. The Cogswells in America, Boston: A. Mudge & Sons, 1884, x-xv for parents of John Cogswell and history before immigration of the family to the new world. John the immigrant pages 1-7. Family follows.The
Norton, James E.b.. Norton-Lathrop-Tolles-Doty American ancestry of Ralph Tolles Norton, James Edward Norton, Arden Lathrop Norton, Frank Porter Norton; their children; & the Wright-Briggs-Cogswell-Dudley American ancestry of Ellen Cogswell-Wright-Norton & Frances Cogswell-Wright-Norton. Warsaw, NY: Unknown, 1935. Page 146-147.
Cogswell Family Association web site www.cogswell.org
Cogswell, Donald J. Descendants of John Cogswell. Unknown, Unknown, 1998.
Anderson, Robert Charles. New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635. Vol. 2, C-F, record for John Cogswell, page 137.
England and Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 about Johannes Cogswell.