||Robert Harrington migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
The following persons are closely identified either in fact or in error, and a quick cross reference to their respective biographies will assist the reader.
Robert Harrington, who lived his adult life in Watertown, Massachusetts, was born in 1616, a date that can be calculated from his tombstone, which indicated he died in 1707 at the age of 91.
Beyond his calculated 1616 birth year, nothing else is known of Robert Harrington of Watertown until 1644, when he is listed as a proprietor of Watertown in 1644.
Various parents have been named for Robert Harrington but there’s not yet enough evidence to determine if any of them are correct. Y-DNA testing can be used to narrow down the possibilities. So far, that’s shown that Robert Harrington of Watertown, MA, and Benjamin Harrington of Providence, RI, are not of the same line of Harringtons in England. 
Robert Harrington of Watertown is often shown to be the son of Robert Harrington (1578-1622) of Southwold, Sussex, England, and his wife Joan Jentilman (1595-1630). This relationship is unproven -- see below for discussion.
Frederick Lewis Weis, in his book on Robert Harrington's family, gives the best summary of this account:
The best clue to the parentage of Robert Harrington of Watertown, Massachusetts, is that he came from Southwold, co. Suffolk, England. His father, if our surmise is correct, died before 1622 and his mother died in 1630, but he probably lived with his mother and step-father, the Reverend John Younges, between 1622 and 1630, and perhaps with his step-father until 1634. By 1634, he would be 18 years of age (he died at Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1707, aged 91 years, thus he would have been born in the year 16I6) and in those days at 18 he would have been considered able to support himself.
Applications to lineage societies have reflected this understanding.
Frederick Lewis Weis in his book on Robert Harrington's family asserted this view, but acknowledged it was not proved:
While we have not seen positive: proof that Robert Harrington Watertown, Masssachusetts, is identical with the Robert Herrington. who was baptised at Southwold, co, Suffolk, England, it is highly probable that he was.
These arguments support the view:
These arguments oppose the view:
There is "no evidence proving that the Robert HERRINGTON of Suffolk is the Robert HARRINGTON of Watertown. You can't "cross the pond" based solely on the name and birth year.
The lack of proof of the other supporting accounts throws the relationship into greater doubt than if the supporting accounts had not existed.
Eugene Harrington's "Harrington Family in America" gives Robert some brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, doing this required giving Robert a different set of parents, as well!
John Harrington, with his wife, Ann (Clinton) Harrington, and two young sons, and evidently a daughter, Rebecca, later of husband, John Watson, sailed from England for America, arriving in Boston Harbor about 1630. John, the head of the family, was drowned in Boston Harbor soon after their arrival, and before 1640, the year in which the Massachusetts Colony law was passed requiring registration of vital statistics under penalty of twenty shillings. His death seems not to be of record. The younger son, Abraham, of wife, Rebecca Cutter, and the daughter, Rebecca of husband, John Watson, both settled in Charleston, Mass., where there is record of both marriages and their deaths, together with the death of the mother, and these deaths show the relationship between the mother and the two children. The date of the birth of Abraham is indicated in his desposition under date of April 15, 1673. He was ten years old at the time fo the arrival of the family at Boston in 1630 and about 12 years was then the age of his brother, Benjamin, who went into Rhode Island with Roger Williams and was among the first settlers in that Colony. He settled in Providence, R.I., where he took the oath of allegiance on Nov. 19, 1645. He married Elizabeth White, daughter of William and Elizabeth White of Boston. They reared a family of nine children whose names, together with those of both parents, appear on many pages of the public records of Providence. When John Harrington arrived in Boston Harbor in about 1630, with his wife and two young sons, Abraham, then aged 10 years, and Benjamin, then aged about 12 years, there was another Harrington boy, Robert, still in England, and who came to America some four years later in 1634, on the ship "Elizabeth," when he was 18 years old, probably at the expiration of a contract of apprenticeship. He disembarked at the same harbor in Boston, and settled in Watertown, Mass., a neighboring town to Charleston, and we find his name there on a list of land proprietors as early as 1642, and where, in 1649, he married Susannah George. It is thought that this Robert Harrington, was a brother of Abraham of Charleston, Mass., and Benjamin of Providence, R.I.
Robert Harrington (in some early Watertown records it is spelled Herrington) of Watertown, is not related to Abraham Errington of Cambridge Robert was from southeastern England, while Abraham was from northern England. There is no conclusive evidence, as yet, that Robert was related to Benjamin of Providence
Robert Harrington of Watertown did not have this set of brothers and sisters.
Weis did believe that Robert Harrington crossed the Atlantic on the ship "Elizabeth" out of Ipswich, Suffolk, England, embarking on 10 April 1634.  He was preceded by Frederick Adam Virkus in the belief that Robert arrived on the "Elizabeth" in 1634.
However, Diana Mathiesen writes,
I have consulted three different transcriptions of the passenger manifest for this voyage, and none list Robert Harrington as a passenger. It's of profound importance whether he is or is not on this voyage because it's the foundation of Weis's claim that Robert's origin is in Suffolk.
In Weis' 1958 account:
Deacon Thomas Hastings, perhaps a kinsman, at all events a friend, appears to have paid his passage to America, on condition that Robert would be his helper for six vears. We know that Robert and the family of Deacon Hastings embarked in the ship ~Elizabeth," William Andrews, Master, at Ipswich, co. Suffolk, on 10 April 1634, with many other Suffolk county families. Also we know that Watertown was settled by pioneers nearly all of whom came from Suffolk and Essex counties in England. Bond's History of Watertown names more than forty prominent Watertown families who came from Suffolk county alone. Furthermore, when Robert's time was up in 1640, Mr. Hastings gave him a homestall in Watertown.
Diana Gale Matthiesen notes that:
whether or not Robert Harringtron of Watertown came to America with Deacon Hastings on the "Elizabeth" is of considerable genealogical significance (with regard to his origins), so I decided to document the fact, rather than just accept secondary sources.
Matthiesen notes that:
Peter Wilson Coldham, in his "Complete Book of Emigrants," gives the passenger list of the "Elizabeth," which embarked from Ipswich for New England -- William Andrews , Master -- on 30 Apr 1634. We do find Thomas Hastings and his wife, Susan Hastings, on the list. What we do not find is Robert Harrington.
It is not the case that Robert was too young to be listed (he was 18). But even if he were, this ship's list includes, not just adult males (as is the case with many ship's lists), but women and children, including infants (with ages for all). I wondered if Coldham had erred, so I checked several other transcriptions of the same passenger list. None included Robert, or any other Harrington.
Matthiesen concludes that:
we should: (1) stop making the totally false statement that Robert HARRINGTON came to New England on the "Elizabeth" in 1634 with Thomas HASTINGS; and (2) stop asserting that Robert HARRINGTON of Watertown is even remotely proven to be the Robert HARRINGTON who was baptized 1 Oct 1616 in Southwold, co. Suffolk, England, son of Robert & Jane (JENTILMEN) HARRINGTON.These *may* be the same individual, but it never was proven, and now it's a good deal further from being proven.
If Robert Harrington did not accompany Deacon Hastings on the "Elizabeth", perhaps he crossed the Atlantic in some other fashion. In fact, since he was born before the crossing of the Mayflower, it is a certainty that he was not born in Massachusetts.
An alternate theory is that he crossed the Atlantic with his step-family.
Robert's widow Joan married John Younges the same year, July 24, 1622. She had at least one more child by Younges and died young in England.
If Robert Harrington, the child, was born 1616, he was aged 6 at the time his mother remarried, and would have grown up in the Yonges household.
Reverend John Younges emigrated to America and was an original founder of Southold, Long Island, New York. He founded the First Church (then Congregational, later Presbyterian) in Southold, Long Island, New York, where he was the minister until his death there on February 24, 1671/2, aged 74 years.
Rev. Younges came to America very shortly afterward and landed in Salem but soon moved to New Haven and then Long Island, New York and helped found Southold, Suffolk County, Long Island. He became the minister of the first church of Southold. Naturally it was Congregational.
This alternate theory requires that one believe Robert Harrington stayed with his step family long enough to cross the Atlantic, but stayed in Massachusetts while the rest of the family went on to Long Island, New York.
Diana Matthiesen noticed this and observed:
Families usually stick together when they immigrate, so geography argues against a connection. I discuss the HARRINGTON/HERRINGTON/ERRINGTON immigrants to New England on this page: http://dgmweb.net/FGS/H/Harrington_immigrants_to_New_England...I descend from Robert HARRINGTON of Watertown, so I would love to have "crossed the pond" and discovered his origin, but I don't believe we have.
Further, the passenger list of the ship “Mary Anne” out of Yarmouth, England bound for New England, May 1637 lists John Yonges, his wife Joan and six children. Robert Harrington, age 21 in 1637, is not listed.....I cannot find any record of which ship Younges actually sailed on. I checked all published passenger lists between 1637 and 1639. Robert Harrington II may have come over sooner, of course. He was 21 years old in 1637. However I cannot find him on any passenger list between 1630 and 1640. Many passenger ship lists have never been published.
Robert Harrington's name is the last on the list of proprietors made out 1642-44. He then owned a homestall, “given him by Thomas Hastings.” This gift renders it probable that he was a kinsman of Dea. Hastings. He was adm. freeman, May 27, 1663. ... Robert Harrington took the oath of fidelity, 1652. He was selectman 15 years, 1679-1700. 
Robert Harrington is last on the list of proprietors in Watertown (1642-44). He then owned a homestall given to him by Thomas Hastings. The gift renders it probable that he was a kinsman of Thomas Hastings."
I’ve studied the genealogy of the Hastings family and find no Robert Harrington listed. At this time in Watertown, there was a huge influx of new immigrants and it was ruled by the town that no land or homestall in the original town lots was to be sold to the newcomers. This resulted in a lot of hanky-panky. Original settlers were “giving” land and homestalls to the newcomers. Quiet deals were made. This may be how Robert Harrington came by his “gift” from Hastings.
However the land was acquired, there is an unanswered question -- how did Robert Harrington, now aged 26, and with no prior documented history of family or work, come by the resources to acquire property?
Maybe this is part of the answer. Robert C. Anderson, in the Great Migration series, reports that on 4 March 1656/7, "Thomas Hastings of Watertowne ... yeoman" confirmed the approximately 1643 verbal sale to "Robert Harrington of the same place, servant," of six acres of Township Land [MLR 2:13-14]. If Thomas Hastings paid the passage for Robert Harrington in exchange for indentured servitude, maybe he also sold him the six acres at the end of the term.
Robert Harrington of Watertown married October 1, 1648, Susanna, daughter of John George. They had 13 children.
Robert HARRINGTON, married 1 Oct 1648, Susanna, dau. of John George. 
On 10 Oct 1648 Susanna married Robert Harrington in Watertown, MA. He was born abt 1616 in England and died on 17 May 1707 in Watertown, MA., with burial at Arlington St. Cemetery, Watertown. Occupation: Miller.
She married Robert Harrington on 1 October 1649 in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Susanna George was born ca 1631 in Wrentham, Suffolk. Susanna was baptized in Wrentham, Suffolk, on 4 Dec 1631. 
Harrington took the oath of fidelity in 1652, was a freeman May 27, 1663. And also became a town officer as well as mill-owner. He was a selectman selectman, 1697, 1681-83, 85, and from 1691 until his death. 
His wife died July 6, 1694.
Provisions of the Will of Robert Harrington of Watertown. 
- Item 1: To my eldest son John: 1/2 part of the Jeremiah Dummer purchase, 1/3 part of the Samuel Saltonstall meadow purchase.
- Item2: To son Daniel: A farm of 105 acres purchased from Lawrence Waters; also 10 acres of the Saltonstall meadow.
- Item 3. To son Benjamin: The 55 acre farm where his dwelling now stands; also 8 acres in Sudbury purchased from Roger and Benjamin Wellington; also 4 acres of the Lawrence Waters purchase.
- Item 4: To son Samuel: 125 acres of farmland where his dwelling now standeth, being part of the Jeremiah Dummer purchaase, also the meadow therein, being known as Brown's meadow.
- Item 5: To son Thomas: The 58 acre farm purchased of David Church; 1/3 of the Saltonstall meadow; 20 acres of the Lawrence Waters meadow.
- Item 6: To son Edward: My homestead of six acres with one mansion house, 2 barns, mill house, and cyder works, and orchard lands; also one plowland on Watertown Little Plain, 18 acres; also 12 acres of upland meadow purchased of Nathaniel Treadway; also 5 acres purchased of Richard Norcross; also 8 acres purchased of Captain John .Sherman; also "all moveable estate within and without."
- Item 7: To my eldest daughter Susanna Beers, £40.
- Item 8: To Mary Bemis, ;£40.
- Item 9: To Sarah Winship, £40.
- Item 10. To my grandcnild Joseph, son of my son Joseph, deceased; about six acres of meadow purchased of Phebe Barnard, which with what I have given him by deed of gift is his full share
- Item11: To my daughter-in-iaw, Joanna Ward, late wife of my son Joseph, 5 shillings
- Item12: To Benjamin, 5 acres of the Phebe Barnard meadow; also 12 acres of the Samuel Hide purchase
- Executors: sons Daniel Harrington and Edward Harrington.
- /s/ Robert Harrington.
He died May 11, 1707  in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He is buried in Plot 98 of the Old Burying Place, Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  You can see a picture of his gravestone at FindAGrave.
Here Lyes Buried ye Body of Robert HARRINGTON Aged 91 Years Died May ye 11th 1707
Here Lyeth Buried ye Body of Susanna HERRINGTON ye Wife of Robert HERRINGTON, Aged 63 Years Dec'd July ye 6 1694"
Robert Harrington’s inventory (in will) mentions 16 lots of land (642.5 acres) appraised at 717 lbs. He had purchased the Oldham Farm for 90 lbs (250 acres.) Some of his descendants still lived there at the time of Bond’s book writing, ca. 1859.
Buried in The Old Burying Ground (Arlington Street Cemetery) Watertown MA:
Their issue were thirteen in number
See Sources - RWK ( http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Sources_-_RWK) for other sources.
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.
On 20 Jun 2016 at 13:14 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:
It's been almost two years since someone suggested merging this profile into Harrington-100. I see there are no details about your Harrington-- all empty data fields, nothing in the narrative. Shall we go ahead and merge him away or do you have other plans for him?
On 12 Jun 2016 at 03:45 GMT Marie Chantigny wrote:
On 21 Mar 2015 at 03:29 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:
Yes, I think the parents should be disconnected (and their linked IDs retained in the biography with explanation, under "Uncertain Origin" heading)
On 20 Mar 2015 at 19:47 GMT Jack Day wrote:
http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/134980/should-robert-harrington-be-de-linked. I hope the Profile Managers will weigh in on this!
On 20 Mar 2015 at 14:30 GMT Jack Day wrote:
On 17 Mar 2015 at 22:56 GMT Jack Day wrote:
On 17 Mar 2015 at 21:43 GMT Jack Day wrote:
On 11 Nov 2014 at 14:08 GMT Gregory Harington wrote:
Thank you for adding me to the trusted list. Here is the link to Harrington DNA Project: http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/harrington/pats which includes Robert Harrington and Susanna George.
On 11 Nov 2014 at 07:55 GMT Gregory Harington wrote:
I have created an unmerged match with Harrington-100. Descendants of Harrington-100 have submitted DNA samples and are participating in the Harrington DNA Project.
On 19 Oct 2013 at 17:26 GMT Bob Keniston Jr. wrote:
Robert is 14 degrees from Abby Glann, 18 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 23 degrees from Martin Luther King and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.