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John Lyford (abt. 1590 - abt. 1628)

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John Lyford
Born about in Levalleglish, Loughgall Parish, Armagh, Irelandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Virginiamap
Lyford-7 created 13 Sep 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 1,115 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration | US President Direct Ancestor.

The Puritan Great Migration.
John Lyford migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm

This person is an ancestor of President Abraham Lincoln. [1]



Rev. John Lyford was born by about 1590, based on his estimated date of marriage. He was married in or before 1617 to Sarah, whose maiden name may be Oakley. She was born about 1586, stating in a deposition on 1 August 1639 that she was aged "about fifty-three years" [WP 4:137].

Sarah reported to Plymouth Deacons that she'd married him despite rumors that he'd had a bastard child before their marriage. Afterwards, the rumor was proved true and the child came to live with them [Bradford 167].

Rev. Lyford emigrated in 1624, perhaps on the Charity," and settled initially in Plymouth, then Nantasket, Salem, and finally Virginia by 1627.

Bradford's historical account for late 1624/early 1625 was dominated by the challenges related to Rev. John Lyford's preaching in Plymouth. Lyford, initially welcomed, set about with John Oldham to establish a separate church; he was put under house arrest for letters he'd tried to send back to England; he and Oldham were expelled.

Rev. Lyford died in Virginia about 1628 (having gone from Salem "to Virginia, where he shortly after died" [Bradford 169]). The will of "John Liford" of "Sherby [Shirley] Hundred in Virginia, clerk" was probated in Ireland in 1632.

His widow married Edmund Hobart on 10 October 1634 in Charlestown, and he became guardian of her Lyford children. She died in Hingham on 23 June 1649. [NEHGR 121:22] Her Lyford children -- Ruth and Mordecai -- acquitted "Edmund Hubbert senior" their "stepfather" for a legacy of 200 pounds of tobacco given them by their "father John Leyford by his last will and testament" (22 Oct 1641 and 3 Jun 1642) [SLR 1:27].


  1. Obadiah Lyford, b. ca. 1617 (he was a scholar at Trinity College, Dublin in 1635; evidently died without surviving issue by 1639, when his brother Mordecai was called his "brother and next heir" [WP 4:137].
  2. Ruth, b. ca. 1619 (adult in 1641); m. 19 Apr 1643 James Bates [NEHGR 121:15; Hingham History 38-39].
  3. Mordecai, b. ca. 1621; adult in 1642; no further record.
  4. (probably) Martha, b. ca. 1628; m. by 1650 Samuel Lincoln [NYGBR 60:115-17 (for this hypothesis to work, Martha would have to be born at about the time her father died, since her last child was born in 1674).


  • Page 109: "In March, 1623/4, one John Lyford, a minister, came into the country, being sent by some of the adventurers... The church improved him in preaching for some time... But discovering himself to be a vile man, and an enemy to the plantation... he was discarded and banished hence... went to Virginia, where he soon dies miserably." (written by John Cotton, Esq. in 1760)


  1. Roberts, Gary Boyd; Ancestors of American Presidents
  2. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins..., Boston, MA: NEHGS (1995), pp 1214-

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No known carriers of John's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 25 Mar 2012 at 22:30 GMT Hal Wolverton Jr. wrote:

See Lyford/Oldham Scandal in Plymouth.

John is 16 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 28 degrees from Jacob Bernoulli, 18 degrees from Susie MacLeod and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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