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Elizabeth (Godfrey) Cary (abt. 1626 - 1680)

Elizabeth Cary formerly Godfrey aka Carey
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married Jun 1644 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 54 in Bridgewater, Plymouth Colonymap
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Profile last modified | Created 22 Dec 2009
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Contents

Biography

Elizabeth (Godfrey) Cary immigrated to New England as a child during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640).

Parentage

Elizabeth, the wife of John Cary of Duxbury, Braintree and Bridgewater in 1667, was the daughter of Francis Godfrey. His parentage of her is established by his February 1666/7 will, which refers to "my daughter Elizabeth Cary" and "my son-in-law John Carye Senior."[1] Elizabeth's mother was probably Elizabeth (Unknown) Godfrey, who was Francis Godfrey's wife at the time of his death.[1] That probability is based on (1) the fact that there is no evidence that Francis had a prior wife and (2) the fact both his wife's name and his daughter's name were Elizabeth.

Was She John Cary's Only Wife?

Secondary sources consistently show that John Cary married Elizabeth Godfrey in June 1644 and indicate that she was his only wife.[2][3] However, the almost 27-year gap between John's marriage in June 1644 and the birth of his last child in February 1670/1[4] means that, if John only had one wife, she would have to have been only about 18 when she had gotten married and about 45 when her last child was born (or about 17 and about 44, etc.). This suggests that it should be suspected that he had multiple wives. Apart form the 27-year date span, however, the evidence is consistent with the proposition that John Cary had only one wife: Elizabeth Godfrey. A Plymouth Colony Court record establishes that John Cary married a woman named Elizabeth in June 1644.[5] From Francis Godfrey's November 1666/7 will, it is established that John was married to Elizabeth Godfrey at that time. Francis Godfrey's will also included bequests to John Cary's two oldest children of John Cary (John and Elizabeth), which he called his grandchildren.[1] These bequests strongly suggest that Elizabeth Godfrey was the mother of John Cary's oldest children, which supports the proposition that Elizabeth Godfrey was the Elizabeth that John married in June 1644. In addition, the record of the death of John Cary's wife in 1680 states that her first name was Elizabeth,[6] which is consistent with the proposition that she was Elizabeth Godfrey. Therefore, while the 27-year gap between his marriage in June 1644 and the February 1670/1 date of birth of his last child suggests the possibility (if not the probability) that he had multiple wives, the other available evidence is consistent with the proposition Elizabeth Godfrey was his only wife.

Date and Place of Birth

Assuming that Elizabeth Godfrey was John Cary's only wife and married him in June 1644 and had her last child in February 1670/1, she was probably born about 1626, which would have made her 18 when she got married and 45 when she had her last child.

Elizabeth's place of birth is unknown. Since, as discussed in the profile for her father Francis Godfrey, he probably immigrated about 1638, Elizabeth was not born in New England and was very probably born somewhere in England. However, since her father's residency before her immigrated to New England is unknown, it is unknown where in England she was born.

Marriage

Assuming John Cary did not have two wives named Elizabeth, Elizabeth Godfrey married John Cary in June 1644, as established by a Plymouth Colony court record that states that "John Carew and Elizabeth _____ marryed the ____ June, 1644."[5]

Torrey suggests that Elizabeth Godfrey and John Cary were probably married at either Duxbury or Braintree.[3] Of the two, Duxbury seems much more likely, since Francis Godfrey and John Cary both probably lived in Duxbury at the time and John Cary's first child was born there.

Children

John Cary and (presumably) Elizabeth had the following children:

  1. John, b. November 4, 1645 at Duxbury, m. 1st December 7, 1670 Abigail Penniman at Bridgewater, d. 1721 at Bristol (see sources in John Jr's profile)
  2. Francis, b. January 19, 1646/7 or January 19, 1647/8 probably at Duxbury, m. about 1676 Lydia Brett at Bridgewater, d. September 6, 1727 at Bridgewater (see sources in Francis's profile)
  3. Elizabeth, b. December 20, 1649,[7] m. William Britt[8]
  4. James, b. March 28,1652 at Braintree,[7] m. January 4, 1681 Mary Shaw at Bridgewater,[9][8] d. 1706 at Bristol[8]
  5. Mary, b. July 8, 1654 at Duxbury New Plantation (incorporated as the town of Bridgewater in June 1656)[10]
  6. Jonathan, b. September 24, 1656 at Bridgewater, m. about 1687 Sarah Allen at Bridgewater, d. 1695 at Bridgewater (see sources in Jonathan's profile)
  7. David, b. January 27, 1658/9 at Bridgewater,[7] m. Elizabeth ______,[8] d. 1718 at Bristol[8]
  8. Hannah, b. April 30, 1661 at Bridgewater[7]
  9. Joseph, b. April 18, 1663 at Bridgewater,[7] m. 1st Hannah ______,[11] m. 2d Mercy Rudd,[11] d. January 10, 1722[11]
  10. Rebecca, b. March 30, 1665, at Bridgewater,[7] m. 1685 Samuel Allen[12]
  11. Sarah, b. August 2, 1667 at Bridgewater[13]
  12. Mehitable, b. February 24, 1670/1 ("the twenty-fourth of the last month, 1670") at Bridgewater,[13] m.1st December 18, 1689 Elisha Adams at Bristol,[12] m. 2d Miles Standish at Bristol[12]

Death

The first Bridgewater town record book contains an entry for the death of John Carey senior, followed by an entry that states "And his wife whose name is Elizabeth Deceased the 1 of November 1680.[6] Thus, assuming that John Cary did not marry a second wife named Elizabeth, Elizabeth (Godfrey) Cary died on November 1, 1680.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 See the profile for Francis Godfrey.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cary, Seth , John Cary the Plymouth Pilgrim, 1911, p 62
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Torrey, Clarence Almon, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Vol I, A-G, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 2011, p 276. Link to page at americanancestors.org.
  4. 4.0 4.1 See the profile for John Cary.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Court Orders, Vol. II, 1641-1651, 1855, p 79. Link to page at archive.org.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Puffer, Loring W., Records of John Cary, the First Town Clerk of Bridgewater, Mass., from 1656 to 1681, Wm. L. Puffer, Brockton, 1889, p 4. Link to page at archive.org. For an image of the applicable page of the original record book, see "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch, Plymouth > Bridgewater > Town records 1656-1702 vol 1 > image 11 of 92; town clerk offices, Massachusetts.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Puffer, Loring W., Records of John Cary, the First Town Clerk of Bridgewater, Mass., from 1656 to 1681, Wm. L. Puffer, Brockton, 1889, p 3. Link to page at archive.org. For an image of the applicable page of the original record book, see "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch, Plymouth > Bridgewater > Town records 1656-1702 vol 1 > image 9 of 92; town clerk offices, Massachusetts.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Cary, Seth, John Cary the Plymouth Pilgrim, 1911, p 65. Link to page at archive.org
  9. 9.0 9.1 Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Volume II - Marriages and Deaths, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1916, p 75. Link to page at archive.org.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, Court Orders: Vol. III 1651-1661, 1855, p 101 Link to page at hathitrust.org.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Cary, Seth, John Cary the Plymouth Pilgrim, 1911, p 65. Link to page at archive.org.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Cary, Seth, John Cary the Plymouth Pilgrim, 1911, p 67. Link to page at archive.org.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Puffer, Loring W., Records of John Cary, the First Town Clerk of Bridgewater, Mass., from 1656 to 1681, Wm. L. Puffer, Brockton,1889, p 1. Link to page at archive.org. For an image of the applicable page from the original record book, see "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch, Plymouth > Bridgewater > Town records 1656-1702 vol 1 > image 6 of 92; town clerk offices, Massachusetts.




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Comments: 10

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This person immigrated to New England between 1621-1640 as a Minor Child (under age 21 at time of immigration) of a Puritan Great Migration immigrant who is profiled in Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration Directory (or is otherwise accepted by the Puritan Great Migration (PGM) Project).

Please feel free to improve the profile(s) by providing additional information and reliable sources. PGM encourages the Profile Managers to monitor these profiles for changes; if any problems arise, please contact the PGM Project via G2G for assistance. Please note that PGM continues to manage the parent's profile, but is happy to assist on the children when needed.

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Francis Godfrey in New England Marriages prior to 1700 (2015); 1:626; database and digital images by subscription, AmericanAncestors.

Godfrey-_____ ca 1626 or ca 1629 marriage, at England; he is Francis Godfrey ((-1669), she is Elizabeth _____; residences as Duxbury/Bridgewater. Works consulted as "Bridgewater 168; Seeley-Vail 106; Hull 271; Fulton Anc. 449; Cary Anc. 82; Bangs 314 Chart; Brett 52; Reg. 7:179; Agar Anc. 5; MD 17:155."

posted on Godfrey-1739 (merged) by GeneJ X
I agree with Kenneth. Her DOB must be about 1626. Otherwise, John Cary must have had a second wife (which no one seems to have suggested) because Elizabeth would have been too old to have had his younger children.
posted by Chase Ashley
There seems to be something very wrong here. Elizabeth Godfrey (daughter of Francis) was baptized at Litlington, Cambridgeshire, in 1613. That would make her 57 years old when she supposedly had daughter Mehitable in 1670. Even the 1620 date (for which I couldn't find a reliable source) would make her 50 years old.

If Mehitable was her daughter, Elizabeth would more likely be born about 1626, which would make her 18 years old at marriage and 44 years old when daughter Mehitable was born. I suppose Elizabeth Godfrey could have died well before 1670, and John Cary married another Elizabeth. But if not, I would say Elizabeth Godfrey was born about 1626 (perhaps not to Francis Godfrey).

posted by Kenneth Kinman

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