Robert Hicks

Robert Hicks (abt. 1578 - 1647)

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Robert Hicks aka Hix
Born about in Southwark, Surrey, Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about 1602 in Surrey, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified 1 Nov 2019 | Created 1 Apr 2010
This page has been accessed 8,612 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Robert Hicks migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640). (See Great Migration Begins, by R. C. Anderson, Vol. II, p. 927)
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm
NOTICE: The merges of duplicates and the post-merge clean-up follow Robert Charles Anderson's profile of Robert Hicks in Great Migration Begins, Boston, MA: 1995, starting on page 927. IF there is more recent, peer-reviewed and published research that changes Anderson's findings, please bring it to our attention. Thank you.
NOTICE: Wikitree volunteers have drafted an extensive review of the "history" of the sources concerning Robert Hicks' ancestry and marriage(s). Please familiarize yourself with it before offering up sources concerning his origins.


Disputed Origins

A birth record for Robert Hicks has not been found. GMB (p 928) and The American Genealogist (54:31-34) suggest London. [1] His parents have not been identified.

There is no original evidence to support his parents being James Hicks and Phebe Allyne.[2][3][4] They've been detached.

Claims that he was descended of some supposed Sir Ellis Hicks, are unfounded; one researcher goes as far as to say "Ellis Hicks was evidently an imaginary character."[5] More recent research conducted by wikitree members revealed that Sir Ellis (aka Elias) Hicks was a 17th (not 14th) century knight with a very interesting history but no progeny. See above profile and associated g2g discussion for details.

Furthermore, claims that he was descended of one Baptist Hicks are also unfounded. Baptist Hicks died leaving only two daughters.[6]

there may have been a second Baptist Hicks attached to this family. There is no solid documentation that supports this man's existence, much less his place in the pedigree of this Robert Hicks. Smith-32867 15:05, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

Disputed Wife / Wives

Torrey, in his New England Marriages Prior to 1700, (Vol 2, p 749), cites several sources giving Robert Hicks two wives: Elizabeth Morgan and Margaret Winslow, supposed daughter of Edward. A review of all these sources identifies no concrete record for any marriage for Robert Hicks, some include maiden names of "both" wives, others do not; some suggest two spouses; others say only Margaret. The earliest of these sources (1849) cites two wives-- Elizabeth and Margaret -- without surnames.[7] That the first wife was a specific Elizabeth Morgan, daughter of John, appears first in print in 1915.[8] This is the same source that introduced "Winslow" as a maiden name for Margaret. In 1933, Margaret's connection to the Winslow brothers of the Mayflower is suggested.[9] and in 1939, a father is proposed: "perhaps daughter of Edward Winslow and his first wife."[10]

While a 1978 article discusses the likelihood that Robert Hicks may have known the Winslows-- at least in New England and possibly even in London-- there remains no proof of a last name for his only known wife, Margaret:[11]

" extensive search into the church records of various London and Worcester-area parishes has failed to produce the ultimate proof hoped for."

Bottom line is that his only known wife was Margaret. Anderson (1995) says that the argument that Margaret was a Winslow has little basis." [12] See also:

"Although some writers credit Robert Hicks with two wives, no burial of a first wife was found in Bermondsey and I do not know of any evidence that would prove he had any wife other than Margaret.[13]

In addition, Robert's will calls Samuel his oldest son; Margaret's later will also refers to Samuel as her son.

Disputed Death Date

"Savage and Pope both give this [death] date as 24 March, apparently based on the abstract of the inventory published in 1850 [NEHGR 4:282]. On the original the month of death is in the upper right corner of the page, and is worn, so that only 'Ma" can now be read on microfilm. Bowman saw this as May and his reading is followed here.[14]


First known record of Robert are the baptisms of his first eight children at St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey.[13]

Robert Hicks arrived in New England in 1621 on the Fortune.

"In the 1623 Plymouth division of land "Robart Hickes" was granted one acre as a passenger on the Fortune, and his wife and children were granted four acres as passengers on the Anne." [15] [1] [16]

A 1638 deposition given by Clement Briggs in Massachusetts indicates that Robert was a fellmonger who lived on Bermondsey Street in Southwark around 1616 and had a Thomas Harlow residing with him. It also relates that Robert sold hides to one Arnold Allard.[17] Allard was listed as a resident alien in the 1624 lay subsidy for St Olaves, Southwark.

In 1639, the executors of Thomas Heath, a Citizen and Cooper of London sued Robert Hicks of Plymouth for a debt he had undertaken in 1618 under the name of Robert Hicks citizen and leatherseller of London. Hicks proved that the debt had been discharged 20 years earlier and was acquitted of it.[18] This shows, importantly, that Robert was a free citizen of London.

That he was literate is suggested by the three books listed in his inventory; his widow signed her will.

As a passenger on the Fortune (and hence one of the earliest settlers), he received one acre of land in Plymouth in 1623. He continued to acquire acreage in following years, then started selling it off in the late 1630s and early 1640s.

Last Will & Testament (excerpts)

In his will, dated 28 May 1645 and proved 15 May 1648, "Robert Hicks of Plymouth ... being full of infirmities of body" bequeathed:

  • to "my son Ephraim all that my dwelling house barn and buildings with the gardens ... in Plymouth," also "all those three fields one lying on the north side of the said town of Plymouth ..., the second which I lately purchased of Mr. John Aldin and the third called the south field";
  • "but my mind and will is that my executrix hereafter named shall have and enjoy three rooms in the said house during her life she keeping herself unmarried, viz. the hall and chamber over and cellar underneath, and also that my said son Ephraim shall pay her the thirds of the said lands during her life and widowhood";
  • to "my said son Ephraim all my lands lying at Iland Creek on Duxbery side except two lots of upland of twenty acres apiece lying next unto Mr. Kemp's lands, which I hereby give and bequeath unto John Banges my grandchild";
  • to "my executrix ... the rents of the said land not set and let forth for six years yet to come if she shall so long live, but all the rest of my lands ... I give unto my said son Ephraim";
  • "I give unto John Reyner the son of Mr. John Reyner our teacher fifty acres of the purchased lands accruing ... to me as a purchaser of my share of lands lying at Seawams or Secunck if the said Mr. John Reyner his father do remain at Plymouth";
  • to "Samuell my eldest son" fifty acres;
  • to "my said son Ephraim" fifty acres;
  • to "John Watson" fifty acres;
  • to "John Bangs" fifty acres;
  • to "the younger of Mr. Charls Chancy's sons which his wife had at one birth when he dwelt at Plymouth" fifty acres;
  • to "my said son Ephraim" household goods;
  • to the Town of Plymouth one cow calf;
  • to "William Pontus" 20s.; to "John Faunce" 20s.; to "Nathaneell Morton" 20s.; to "Thomas Cushman" 20s.;
  • "Margaret my loving wife" sole executrix and residue;
  • Mr. John Howland, Mannasses Kempton and Thomas Cushman overseers;
  • to John Howland and Mannasses Kemton 10s. each for a remembrance; to Joshua Prat "a suit of my wearing clothes with a pair of shoes and stockings"; to Samuell Eddy a pair of wearing stockings;
  • to "my said son Ephraim ... my four oxen, paying my loving wife ... the thirds of the profits of the lands as is before mentioned ... and to draw her twenty loads of wood yearly to her house in Plymouth during her life" [19]


First eight baptized at St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey.[20]

  1. Thomas, bp 19 Feb 1603/4; bur. 23 Apr 1604
  2. John, bp 12 Oct 1605; no further record, but clearly dead before 1645 when a) not named in father's will, and b) when father's will named a younger son Samuel as "eldest son". Therefore, we have detached him from John Hicks who settled in Long Island.
  3. Sara, bp 25 Oct 1607; bur 24 Feb 1617/8
  4. Richard, bp 18 Aug 1611; no further record
  5. Samuel, bp 18 Aug 1611; m Plymouth 11 Sep 1645 Lydia Doane [PCR 2:88], dau of John Doane.[21]
  6. Lydia, bp 6 Sept 1612; m by abt 1633 Edward Bangs[22]
  7. Phoebe, bp 15 Mar 1614/5; m by abt 1636 George Watson
  8. Mary, bp 11 May 1617; bur 14 Sept 1619
  9. Ephraim, b Plymouth abt 1625; m Plymouth 13 Sep 1649 Elizabeth Howland [PCR 8:8], dau of John Howland; Ephraim Hicks d 12 Dec 1649 "a violent death" [PCR 3:202] and his widow m2 in Plymouth 10 Jul 1651 John Dickenson [PCR 8:13][23][24]

"The Great Migration..." gives a "Bibliographic Note" at the end of the account of Robert Hicks which says:

"In 1938 Louis Effingham de Forest compiled a comprehensive summary of all that was known about Robert Hicks at that date [Moore Anc 295-308]. (This summary includes children Elizabeth and Daniel, for whom there is no evidence.)"

It is surprising that Anderson did not include the excellent 1939 analysis by Seversmith.

Last Will & Testament (transcription)

[fol. 70] Mr Robert hicks will:[25][26]

: In the name of God Amen I Robert hicks of Plymouth this xxviiith day of may Anno dm 1645 being full of Infermities of body and conssidering the brevity of this mortall life but of very good and perfecte memory doe ordaine and make this my last will and Testament in maner and forme foloing

first I give and bequeath my soule to Almighty god in certaine hope and assurance of a Joyfull Reseurection and my body to bee buried indecent maner

And as concerning all my worldly goods and estate my mind and will is as foloweth first I give and bequath unto my soon Ephraim all ye my dwelling house barn and buldings with the gardins therunto belonging sittuate in plymouth aforsaid:

and allso all those three feilds one lying on the north side of the sd towne of plymouth betwext the ffirst and second brook the second wh I latly purchased of Mr John Aldin and the third called the south feud lying on the south side of the sd towne of plymouth both all and singuler the appurtenances to the said house and lands belonging to have and to hould unto him the sd Ephraim his heaires and Asigns for ever:

but my mind and will is yt my executrix heerafter named shall have and Enjoy three Romes in the sd house during her life shee keeping her selfe unmaried viz the hall and chamber over and seller underneath: and allso yt my sd soon Ephraim shall pay her the thirds of the sd lands during her life and widdowhood: and lickwise shee shall Enjoy the garden next 'unto the watter side with the sd Romes as aforsaid

allso I give and bequeath unto my sd soon Ephraim all my lands lying at iland creek on Duxbery side except two lots of upland of twenty acars of peece lyeng next unto Mr Kemps lands which I heerby give and bequeath unto John Banzes my Grandchild to have and to hould to him and his heires for ever and

allso my mind and will is Ye my executrix heerafter named shall have and Enjoy the Rents of the sd land now set and let forth for six years yet to com if shee shall so long live:

but all the Rest of my lands both upland and. medow there I give unto my sd soon Ephraim to have and to hould to him and his heires forever

allso I give unto John Reyner the soon of Mr John Reyner our Teacher fifty acares of the purchased lands acruing and coming unto mee as a purchaser: of my share of lands Lyeng at Seawams or Secunck if the said Mr John Reyner his father doe Remayn at plymouth:
and fifty acares there also I give unto Samuell my eldest soon and fifty acars to my said soon Ephraim:

and fifty to John watson there allso and fifty acares to John bangs lyeng there and fifty acares to the yonger of Mr Charls Chancys sonns which his wife had at one beyrth when he dwelt at plymouth:
allso I give unto my said soon Ephraim the bedsted in the hall and the Table with the feather bed and flockbed two bolsters two pillows the greenRug and two blankits and my cloth gowne faced with Conny flir and the great kittle;

Item I give unto the Town of plymouth one cow calfe

Item to William pontus I give twenty shillings to bee payed him in the cuntry pay within six months after my dessease

Item I give unto pheneas prat xxs to be payed in lick maner

Item I give unto John ffaunce xxs to bee payed in maner as aforsald
Item I give unto Nathaneell Morton xxs and to Thomas Cushman xxs to bee payed them in licke maner as is before sd:

allso I doe ordayne and make Margerett my loveing wife the sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament giveing and bequeathing unto her all the Rest of my goods Cattells and debts deu unto mee whatsoever not heerby given and bequeathed my funerall charges and other my debts being discharged A

And I doe Entreat Mr John howland Mannasses Kemton and Thomas Cushman to bee my overseers to see this my last will and Testemnt performed giveing and bequeathing unto the sd John howiand and Mannasses Kemton xs apeece to buy them somthing to keepe in Remembrance of mee lastly I give and bequeath unto Joshua prat a suit of my wearing clothes with a payer of shoos and stockings to bee delivered him by my executrix within one month next after my dessease and to Samuell Eddy a payer of my wearing stockings:and it is allso my mind and will yt my said soon Ephraim shall have my foure oxen payeng my loveing wife my executrix the thirds of the pfitts of the lands as is before mensioned and expressed: and to draw her twenty loads of wood yearly to her house in plymouth during her life

in wittnes wherof I have published and declared this to bee my last will and Testament Revoking all other wills legacies and bequests not heerin and heer with expressed and have heerunto sett my hand and Seall the day and year above writen

Read sealid and published as my last will and Testament in the psence of Nathaneel Sowther Robert hicks

Nathaneell Sowther Testifyeth uppon Oath that himselfe writt this will for Robert hicks and yt Robert hicks did in his presence sett his hand to it as above:

and did then declare it to bee his last will andTestament: taken upon Oath this l5th of May 1648 before mee John Winthrop'

Descendants of Note


  1. 1.0 1.1 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). Robert Hicks pp 924-928
  2. Nora Emma Snow, ‘’The Snow-Estes Ancestry’’, (1939), 1:168; but without citing sources for this specific claim.
  3. Descendants of Robert Hicks (Rootsweb User-contributed family tree) claims the source is recorded in Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, Little Compton Families (Clearfield Publishing Company), Page 338.
  4. 1939: Herbert F. Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, New York, and New England, 3(c1939): 368-383 ably disproves the lineage claims between Robert the immigrant and John Hickes of 1487. See pp 1356-1373; he points out that no marriage record is found for either James Hicks and Phebe [he doesn’t name “Allyn” as her maiden name] or of Baptist Hicks and Mary Everard. He criticizes claims that John Hicks of Flushing was son of Robert (no presence in wills).
  5. Louis E. DeForest, Moore & Allied families (1938), p 295-6 footnote. Check-out-able here. This derides the earlier claims— not only to [a 14th century Sir] Ellis Hicks, but also the supposed parents of the immigrant Robert as James Hicks and Phebe Allen. Extracts from this work are included near the end of this document.
  6. Nora Emma Snow, The Snow-Estes Ancestry, (1939), 1:168; see footnote
  7. Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, (1849), p 266
  8. C.B. Williams, Ancestry of Lawrence Williams, (1915), p 97
  9. Grace Calbot Toler, Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Richard Blood, (1933), p 67
  10. Nora Emma Snow, The Snow-Estes Ancestry, (1939) 1:168
  11. R.G. Rider, "More on the Robert Hicks Ancestry: Clues to the Identity of his Spouse," in The American Genealogist, Volume 54 (1978), pp 31-34. Examines the possibility that Margaret, wife of Robert Hicks, might have been a Winslow, but concludes that while the Hicks and Winslow families likely knew and possibly even had business dealings with each other prior to migration, it is still just a theory that Margaret was a Winslow.
  12. Anderson (1995), p 928, citing The American Genealogist, 54:31-34
  13. 13.0 13.1 Robert S. Wakefield, “The Children of Robert Hicks,” in The American Genealogist 51(1975):57–58.
  14. Anderson, p 927, citing NEHGR 4:282
  15. Plymouth Colony Records 12:5,6
  16. Wikipedia passengers of the Anne and Little James
  17. Robert Hicks of Plymouth Colonny, New England Family History: A Magazine Devoted to the History of Families of Maine and Massachusetts, Volume 3, Henry Cole Quinby, 1910, p. 471 Google Books
  18. Plymouth Colony Records 12:43, Google Books
  19. Mayflower Descendant, 8:144-46, citing PCPR 1:1:703
  20. Anderson, citing The American Genealogist, 51:58
  21. For more, see Author?, "First Settlers of Eastham, MA," in New England Historical And Genealogical Register, Volume 6 (1852), Page 168. Profiles Samuel Hicks.
  22. Belle Preston, Bassett - Preston Ancestors, Call number (LDS?) 929.273 B294p., Page 19
  23. See also: Helen Ester Adams, et al, The Wayland George Adams Family, (1972), Page 59
  24. See also: Charles Roscoe Howland, A brief genealogical and biographical record of Charles Roscoe Howland..., Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing Co Inc. (Year?), Call # (LDS?) 929.273 H843h., Page 30
  25. Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories 144-146; Printed from Mayflower Descendant Legacy CD-ROM - All rights reserved.Copyright ~ 1996 - 1998 by Search & ReSearch Publishing Corp., WheatRidge, CO 80033
  26. This will might also be found at:, Mayflower Deeds and Probates, 1600-1850; Operations, Inc.; Provo, UT, USA; 2013.

See also:

Unreliable Sources

The following have been cited as supporting various theories about Robert's origins and marriages. They are not reliable; we list them here to demonstrate that they've been reviewed; a deeper analysis of sources can be read here.

  • This LDS Ancestral File perpetuates, without sources, the claim of his parents.
  • (No author), Biographical History of Westchester Co., NY, Chicago, IL: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1899. Vol II: 485-487. Hathi Trust digital copy. Repeats the disputed claims about Robert being son of James and the impossible lineal descent from Sir Ellis Hicks.
  • Algernon Aspinwall, "Grandchildren of the Mayflower Passengers," in National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 5 (1916), Page 7. Includes Hopkins and Howland-- nothing about Hicks.
  • "Obituary for Benjamin Doughty Hicks" in New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 38 (1907), Page 73. Repeats unsourced claims of John Hicks of Long Island being son of Robert Hicks of Massachusetts, and also of Robert's unproven origins.
  • FamilySearch profile that perpetuates both the Winslow and James Hicks/Phebe Allyn parents.
  • Haxtun, A.A: Signers of the Mayflower Compact, part 3, p. 18, New York : Reprinted from the Mail and express, 1896, citing Barton Genealogy, p. 189. (Not found yet). One of many genealogies from this era that repeat unsubstantiated claims concerning Robert Hicks' ancestry. Use with caution.
  • [ James Hicks]. Appears to be a partial transcription of a section of a family history compiled by Herbert Armstrong Poole between 1905 & 1960, transcribed by AAA Maitland 1998.
  • LDS Pedigree of Robert Hicks

Sources that need checking

  • Gladys Redfield McPherson, Ancestry of Addie Clark Harding : daughter of Abner Clark Harding, Jr., and Maud McCain, Chicago: unknown, 196-?. Call number (LDS?) 929.273 H219mc., Page 36. Digital version available to subscribers. This source was included in a previous version of this profile. It's not clear what page 36 includes related to Robert Hicks. Seeking a subscriber who will check this source. Thank you. Smith-32867 13:46, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Author?, "Title?," in Mayflower Quarterly, Volume 45, Aug 1979, Page 150. Available digitally to Mayflower Society members, or via back issue ordering here.
  • Author?, "The Hicks Family," The American Genealogical Research Institute, Arlington, VA.

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On 1 Nov 2019 at 03:46 GMT Beryl Meehan wrote:

Third Supplement to Torrey's no longer gives LNAB for Margaret. Torrey now cites GMB 2:927

On 11 Feb 2019 at 16:17 GMT Michael Stills wrote:

Source Checked: McPherson, p.36. One sentence regarding Edward Bangs. "He married a daughter of Robert Hicks." [apparently Lydia, however her name is not given but children are listed]

On 22 Jan 2019 at 13:48 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Okay, I've cleaned up the non-cited sources, and grouped them. Could someone please take on reviewing those that are under "Sources that need checking" and see what if anything they have to say about Robert's origins? Thanks!

On 22 Jan 2019 at 11:38 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

The See Also section of this profile needs cleanup. If we're going to list unreliable sources, we should group / identify them as such.

On 22 Jan 2019 at 10:57 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Findagrave is not an acceptable source.

On 22 Jan 2019 at 10:56 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Teresa, any publication is only as good as the sources it cites. Haxtun cites only another genealogy-- one that we have been unable to locate yet. The claims made have already been analyzed. Once again, i encourage you to read the compilation of the sources that we have analyzed seeking to understand the origins of the theories that abound about this man.

On 21 Jan 2019 at 23:03 GMT Teresa Davis wrote:

About the second Baptist Hicks"Not Sir Baptist Hicks",.....

Thomas Hicks :Born 1487.And Margaret Atwood . Daughter of James Atwood and Joan Damer.Their son was Baptist Hicks:Born 1528,Fortesset, Glocestshire,England.Wife was Mary Everard.Daughter of James and Elizabeth Everard.Their children were James,Robert and Mary. Nancy Everard Allyne was Mary's sister. She was wife of Rev. Ephriam Allyne.Mother of Pheobe Allyne that married James Hicks. Father of Robert Hicks. (Now do you see the connection.)?Also see

On 21 Jan 2019 at 22:46 GMT Teresa Davis wrote:

Signers of the Mayflower Compact

By Annie Arnoux Haxtun

Is this not a reliable source? You have it on here. I also found it in Google books.

On 20 Sep 2018 at 06:57 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

In these early registers spelling often varied considerably. Transcription is often also very difficult.

Margaret Winsloe of Hitchin is probably the daughter of a man whose name is transcribed as Edmunnd Wynslowe who married Allice Butler in 1592. A Margaret Winsleye married John Aire in 1616. Edward Wynsleye was buried in 1636 and Alice Winsley in 1639.(burials on Find My Past only)

On 17 Sep 2018 at 10:12 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Droitwich, where Edward Winslow married in Nov 1594 and is baptizing children starting in 1595, is over 100 miles from Harwich where a Margaret, dau of (another) Edward Winslow was christened in Aug 1594.

more comments

Robert is 11 degrees from T S Eliot, 12 degrees from Walter Howe and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Fortune, sailed 1621 | Puritan Great Migration