John Cogswell
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John Cogswell (bef. 1592 - 1669)

John Cogswell aka Coggswell
Born before in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 10 Sep 1615 in Westbury Parish, Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 77 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Jun 2011 | Last significant change: 24 May 2023
21:12: S (Hill) Willson edited the Biography and Locked Status for John Cogswell (bef.1592-1669). (locked profile, added GM2 parameters to project box) [Thank S for this]
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The Puritan Great Migration.
John Cogswell migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640). (See The Great Migration (Series 2), by R. C. Anderson, vol. 2, p. 137)
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U.S. President Direct Ancestor
John Cogswell is an ancestor of a US President/Vice President
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Notables Project
John Cogswell is Notable.

"John Cogswell" was the 3rd great grandfather of President John Adams And was the 4th Great Grandfather of President John Quincy Adams

Birth and Early Life

John Cogswell was born before his baptism date of 2 April 1592[1] 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.[2]

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.
  1. Margaret Cogswell born c. 1580. She married Thomas Merchante in 1599.
  2. Elizabeth Cogswell, 1st of this name in this family, born January 1581. She died early and was buried on 20 January 1582 in Westbury, Wiltshire, England.
  3. Robert 1 Cogswell who was baptized 28 May 1588 and probably died in infancy.
  4. Andrew Cogswell baptized 30 November 1590. Twin brother of Robert.
  5. Robert Cogswell baptized 30 November 1590. Twin brother of Andrew.
  6. John Cogswell born before 11 April 1592, when he was buried at All Saints Churchyard, Westbury, Wiltshire, England.
  7. Margery Cogswell married 3 September 1610 to John Wilkins.
  8. Anthony Cogswell, first of this name in the family, baptized 30 August 1595. Died before 28 June 1597 when he was buried at All Saints Churchyard, Westbury, Wiltshire, England.
  9. Anthony Cogswell baptized 19 January 1597. Married Margaret Unknown.
  10. Geoffrey Cogswell baptized 10 December 1598.
  11. Elenor Cogswell married Stephen Smythe.
  12. Walter Cogswell was born c. 1602.
  13. 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.[3][4]His parents died soon after John married Elizabeth and he inherited: "The Mylls called Ripond, situate within the Parish of Frome Selwood". [5] 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Mary Cogswell was baptized on 24 July 1618. She married Godfrey Armitage (c. 1617-1675) in about 1649. They lived in Boston, Massachusetts.
  3. William Cogswell baptized March 1620. He married Susanna Hawkes (1633-before 1696) in 1650. William died on 15 December 1700. 10 children.
  4. John Cogswell, Jr. was baptized on 25 July 1622. He married by about 1647 name unknown. He died on 27 September 1653 on the sea traveling between America and England.
  5. Phyllis Cogswell was baptized 2 July 1624. She is the mysterious unnamed daughter who stayed behind. She married John Broadhurst on 23 January 1645 in Chirton, Whitshire, England.
  6. Hannah Cogswell was baptized on 6 April 1626. She married before 2 January 1652 to Deacon Cornelius Waldo. Hannah died on 25 December 1704 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  7. Esther Cogswell was baptized on 2 May 1628 in Westbury Leigh. She died on 7 June 1655 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts at the home of brother-in-law Godfrey Armitage.
  8. Edward Cogswell was baptized on 16 April 1630. No other information at this time except that he was not mentioned in his father's will.
  9. Alice Cogswell was baptized on 24 September 1631. No further record. (Not included with Jameson)
  10. Ruth Cogswell was baptized on 28 November 1633. No further record. (Not included with Jameson)
  11. Abigail Cogswell was born before 1635. Abigail married Thomas Clark by 1666.
  12. 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.[6]

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[7][8] 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.[9] 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.

Later Life

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[10], at the age of 77. He died intestate and the administration of his estate was granted to his wife Elizabeth on 29 March 1670.[11] 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.)

Notable of Ipswich


  1. 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.
  2. Jameson, EO: p. xii
  3. Jameson, EO: p. xii
  4. Jameson, EO: p. xv
  5. Jameson, EO: p. 1
  6. Paine, SC, p. 128.
  7. Jameson, EO: p. xvi
  8. Paine, SC, p. 129.
  9. 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."
  10. The Essex Institute, Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Volume II. - Marriages and Deaths (Salem, Mass. 1910)(Free e-book)(Records are also available at p. 527
  11. 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.

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Comments: 20

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Cogswell-543 and Cogswell-72 appear to represent the same person because: They appear to be the same with the significant difference being birth and death dates.
posted by Charlie Richmond
The following was received through the private messaging system but really belongs here, so profile managers can view it, and respond if they wish:

"John, John, Jr., Samuel, Samuel, Hezekiah, Mason, his daughter, Ann Cogswell. Ann is my second or third great-grandmother. Hezekiah moved to an area called Cornwallis Township (near Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada), in 1760 along with his son, Mason, who was about ten years old at the time. They were part of the New England Planter migration to Nova Scotia. Mason's daughter, Ann, married the Honorable John Elkanah Morton, also of Cornwallis Township, and member of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. Mason's son (Ann's brother), Henry Hezekiah Cogswell, was a lawyer and member of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia, and one of the richest men in Nova Scotia at that time--circa 1850.

Just came across your website and thought it was so interesting that I decided to let you know about one of John Cogswell's descendants.

Congratulations on all your good work.


Please put in Bio that he is the 10th Great Grandfather of Princess Diana. It may be the closest that some people ever get to be a cousin of Royalty and as such this should be a protected Profile and put in a Royalty Project as the Kin of the Princess and future King of England, Prince William. He is my direct 11th Great Grandfather so I want to ensure this profile is protected and treated with the utmost care. Here is another link:

Here is a another description:

Cogswell Grant is the original Land that was owned and is now set up as a museum in the families name with an additional lovely history of the passage of the land to his sons:

posted by [Living Bostick]
edited by [Living Bostick]
There are already two projects co-managing this profile.
posted by Jillaine Smith
It could be noted that "Chebacco" is now called Essex (Essex County, Mass). They petitioned to have their own meeting house and split from Ipswich, the reply was along the lines of "Let no man build a meeting house", so the women built it. In John's time, "Chebacco Parish" was part of Ipswich. There are 41 Cogswells buried in the old Graveyard there. Essex was quite a shipbuilding town in it's day.

And no, I have not found his grave in either Ipswich or Essex.

posted by Jack Parker
Oh, and the PGM template.
posted by Dana Burns
I was expecting to see Wikitree-30 on the trusted list.
posted by Dana Burns
Dana, it already is PGM designated.
posted by Darlene (Scott) Kerr
Shouldn't this (and all Angel Gabriel profiles) be a PGM profile?
posted by Dana Burns
Cogswell is the 11th Great Grandfather of Prince William and Prince Henry (Windsor) and my 8th Great Grandfather, via daughter Sarah TUTTLE. So, does this make him a Gateway Ancestor?
posted by Renee Malloy Esq

Correct, and I believe that should also be in his Bio, the fact he is related to Princess Diana. He is NOT a Magna Carta gateway ancestor as he himself doesn't have any known direct Magna Carta Ancestry, however, he is the Grandfather of Princess Diana making anyone related to him a "cousin" to Royalty through Princess Diana's Aristocratic/Royal lineage.

posted by [Living Bostick]
edited by [Living Bostick]
This was never answered, but has come up again. Wikitree identifies a gateway ancestor as an American colonist with Magna Carta *ancestry*. See
posted by Jillaine Smith
A connection to a Magna Carta Surety is a narrow definition of a gateway ancestor used by WikiTree. A more general definition is that key individual which open one population group up to a much larger and new population group. For those of us in the US, it is generally that immigrant ancestor which connects to English nobility. In no definition is a gateway ancestor related by a cousin relationship to any specific individual. So no, John Cogswell is not a gateway ancestor, though many will find his connection to the current royal family interesting.
posted by Joe Cochoit
Major John Francis Cogswell, Born 2 Apr 1592 in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England
posted by Kelly (Evans) Yee
Coggswell-14 and Cogswell-72 appear to represent the same person because: Similar name, similar details
posted by Bob Tonsmeire
No, John Quincy Adams is through a direct line, the 3rd great grandfather of President John Quincy Adams.
posted by Darlene (Scott) Kerr

Rejected matches › John Cogswell (1585-bef.1592)