The first resident of Massachusetts by the name of Francis that can be found on the records of that state is Richard, who was born in 1606, in England; and who located at first in Medford, afterwards in Dorchester, and, in 1636, settled in Cambridge, where he was made freeman in 1640. He married Alice Wilcox, 1644. They had five children.
There seem to have been several other parties by the name of Francis in the Massachusetts Colony. Savage in his history states that Francis Francis, of Reading, had a son John, born Feb. 4, 1657. Savage also refers to a John Francis, living at Braintree in 1650, with his wife Rose, who died 1659. He had two daughters: Elizabeth, b. 1657; and Susanna, b. 1659. Reference is also made to a Richard Francis, living at Northampton in 1675, "who came from the East" and was "clerk" of Turner's Company in King Philip's war, and "wrote a very good hand." So far, nothing further has been brought to light concerning these parties, nor has their relationship to Richard of Cambridge been established, yet probably a relationship did exist.
Note.— I have a somewhat elaborate and very interesting record of the descendants of Richard Francis of Cambridge, which I will gladly present to any reliable party who will bring the work nearer completion and publish it. C. E. F.
Richard Francis was born about 1606. He died on 24 Mar 1687, age 80, in Cambridge. He married Alice [Ref], who was possibly Alice Wilcox.
In his will of 28 Nov 1653, William Wilcockes of Cambridge mentions his sick wife; his cousin John Woodes; his sister the Widow Hall; his "honest bro: Richard Frances"; his brother John Taylor; his sister Christian Boyden's children in Old England. [Ref] William Wilcox died on 28 Nov 1653.
He was a freeman in 1636. He was a freeman on 13 May 1640.
Savage says that Richard was in Dorchester before moving to Cambridge. Dall [Ref] appears to find this curious. She points out that there was a Richard Francis who signed a petition for the continuance of religious liberties in 1661 in Dorchester and that in 1669 a Richard Francis heads the list of young men who could not prove that they had an "orderly living" in Dorchester.
Richard and Alice had the following children:
On 22 Mar 1687 Samuel Sewell wrote in his diary, "Now about, Goodman Francis, an ancient and goodman indeed, of Cambridge dies."
Richard Francis died 24 mar 1686/7 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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