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John Eells (abt. 1600 - aft. 1641)

John Eells aka Eales, Eeles
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Father of
Died after after about age 41 in Englandmap
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The Puritan Great Migration.
John Eells migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640). (See Great Migration Begins, by R. C. Anderson, Vol. 1, p. 618)
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Puritan Great Migration
John Eells immigrated to New England between 1621 and 1640 and later departed for Barnstaple, Devonshire, England

John Eeles (Eells, Eales) was born about 1600, a year estimated upon the birth year of his elder son. John's origin is unknown but some have speculated with no sources that he was from the vicinity of Chichester, Sussex. Anderson, however, in "Great Migration Begins" indicates a strong possibility that he was from Barnstable, Devonshire or somewhere in that area. The basis is his residences in Dorchester and Windsor and his transactions with Thomas Allen, just before his return to England.[1]

He migrated to New England in 1633 with possibly his wife and eldest son with him. He settled at Dorchester, moved to Windsor then again lived in Dorchester. John was a planter.[1]

He married, but the name of his wife is not known and is not found in any record in New England.[1]

He was admitted to the Dorchester church before May 14, 1634, since he had become a freeman;[2]he was obviously a member of the Windsor church before May 3, 1640 at the baptism of his son Samuel.[1]

He acted as constable and had sufficient education to keep the accounts needed in that position.[1]

John Eeles estate consisted of a great lot of twenty acres at Dorchester, two acres of meadow plus additional land about Rocky Hill, some property at the neck, some cow pasture, a small parcel of upland, and another meadow. On February 22, 1638 John Eells sold his land in Dorchester Neck to Mr. Mather. Later on October 28, 1640 he sold his house, out buildings, and lands to Nathaniel Patten.[1]

On July 8, 1641 he purchased "one house & garden with the appurtenances in Barnstable in the County of Devon lying on Bowport Street" from Thomas Allen of Barnstable in New England. A provisio to the agreement was "that if the said John Eells die at sea without heirs then the premsises shall be & remain to the said Thomas Allen. Allen further gave John Eells power of attorney to collect debts for Allen in England,[1][3] which suggests that John Eeles was about to set sail for England.[4]

He returned to England permanently in 1641[1]and went to Devon. In the 1660s his son Samuel returned to New England.[4]

  1. (possibly) John Eeles who was born about 1624. "John Eales Junior" appointed Dorchester cowkeeper on June 8, 1640. No additional records.
  2. Samuel was baptized at Dorchester on May 3, 1640, "his father being member of the church of Windsor was by communon of churches baptized." He married (1) at Lynn on August 4 or 5, 1663 to Anna Lenthal (groom's name read as "Samuel Salls"). Anna was the daughter of Rev. Robert Lenthal. Samuel married (2nd) at Milford on August 22, 1689 to Sarah (Bateman) North, daughter of John Bateman and widow of Edward North.[1] He returned to live in New England in the 1660s.

"John, who, it is said, resided in Hingham for a short time, was from Dorchester, where he sold his dwelling-house, land, etc., "the 28th of the 8th mo. 1640." I have been unable, however, to find anything relating to him on Hingham's records. He may have been " John the bee-hive maker " who finally settled at Newbury, as has been suggested by various historical writers."[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995). Sketch of John Eeles. p. 618 - 620.subscription$
  2. Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff. "Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New Egland. Printed by Order of the Legislature" Vol. 1, p. 369.see at
  3. "Letchford's Manuscript Note-book" pub. J. Wilson & son, Cambridge (1885) p. 421 - 425.see at
  4. 4.0 4.1 Susan Hardman Moore. "Abandoning America, Life-Stories From Early New England" Boydell Press (2013) p. 102.
  5. History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts (The Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1893): Vol II, p.209-210
  • "Full text of "The Eells family of Dorchester, Massachusetts : in the line of Nathaniel Eells of Middleton, Connecticut, 1633-1821 : with notes on the Lenthall family"." Full text of "The Eells family of Dorchester, Massachusetts : in the line of Nathaniel Eells of Middleton, Connecticut, 1633-1821 : with notes on the Lenthall family". N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.

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Allen, "John Eeles" has a sketch in Robert Charles Anderson's "Great Migration Begins. p. 218.


It is a subscription site, but allows guests to browse, so maybe you can see the article.

On that basis, I'm going to add sources & a more complete biography.