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Michael Metcalf (1587 - 1664)

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Michael Metcalf
Born in Tatterford, Norfolk, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half], [half], [half], [half], [half] and [half]
Husband of — married in Heigham, near Norwich, Norfolk County, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Dedham, Suffolk County, Mass. Bay Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Dedham, Norfolk County, Mass. Bay Colonymap
Metcalf-47 created 19 Oct 2010 | Last modified
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Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Rose, sailed 1637.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Michael Metcalf migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Michael Metcalf was born on 17 Jun 1587 in Tatterford Parish, Norfolk County, England, to the Rev. Leonard Metcalf and wife Amy (--?--).[1] He married first Sarah Ellwyn, daughter of Thomas Ellwyn and Elizabeth Benslye, on 13 Oct 1616 in Higham (Heigham, near Norwich), Norfolk County.[2]

Michael Metcalf followed the occupation of a weaver, in the city of Norwich, in the same county, where he was made freeman, June 21, 1618. He owned a cloth factory in Norwich where he employed more that a hundred men making material known as Damask, or Dornix. Hence he has been referred to by his descendants as "The Dornix Weaver."[3][2]

From 1617 to 1635 Michael and Sarah had 11 children born to them in Norwich, the first seven of their baptisms found in the parish records of St. Benedict's Church, the last four found in St. Edmondsbury. Two of the children died in infancy.

He wrote of his trials in England and his voyage to New England:

"To all the true professors of Christ's Gospel within the city of Norwich; ... I was persecuted in the land of my father's sepulchres, for not bowing at the name of Jesus, and observing other ceremonies in religion, forced upon me, at the instance of Bishop Wren, of Norwich, and his chancellor Dr. Corbet, whose violent measures troubled me in the Bishop's Court, and returned me into the High Commissioner's Court. Suffering many times for the cause of religion, I forced, for the sake of the liberty of my conscience, to flee from my wife and children, to go into New-England; taking ship for the voyage at London, the 17th of Sepr 1636; being by tempests tossed up and down the seas till the Christmas following, then veering about to Plymouth in Old England, in which time I met with many sore afflictions.

"Leaving the ship, I went down to Yarmouth, in Norfolk county, whence I shipped myself and family, to come to New-England; sailed 15th April, 1637, and arrived three days before midsummer, with my wife, nine children and a servant." In a postscript Michael wrote, "... my enemies conspired against me to take my life, and, sometimes, to avoid their hands, my wife did hide me in the roof of the house, covering me over with straw."[4]

Michael and his family left Ipswich in Suffolk, their last port in England, aboard the Rose on 15 April and arrived in Boston, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, on 8 June 1637.[2]

He was admitted as a Townsman at Dedham on 14 July 1637 and joined the local church on 16 January 1639. He was made a freeman of the town on 13 May 1640, was chosen a Selectman of Dedham in 1641 and headed a committee to design a new meeting house. By 1641 Michael owned one of the principal clay pits on Dedham Island, the clay being used for the new industry of brickmaking. In 1657 Michael was the schoolmaster of Dedham.[2]

The Plan of Dedham Village shows that "Michael Metcalfe [owned] 12 acres more or less as it lyeth between Mr Timothy Dalton towards the North & ffardinando Adams toward the South. And abutts upon the waest [wasteland] towards the east & the swampe towards the West the highwaye 4 Rod Broade through the west end of the same."[5]

In 1644, Michael's wife was remembered in the church records: "Sarah ye wife of our brother Micl. Mettcalfe Senr died co'fortably Nov'r 30, 1644, age 51 years 5 mo. 13 days. She was born at Wagnham near Norwich Jun 17, 1593-maried October 13, 1616."[6]

The following year he remarried. His second wife was Mary Sothy, the widow of Thomas Pidge of Safron Walden in Essex, England, and late of Roxbury in the Mass. Bay Colony. Their marriage is recorded in Dedham: "Michell Metcalfe & Mary Pidge, were married the 13 of ye 6 mo. [1645]."[7]

On 24 Dec 1664, Michael Metcalf died in Dedham, [8] and was buried in the Old Village Cemetery.[9]

His will dated 15 Sep 1664, and proved 01 Feb 1664/5:[10]

Michael Metcalfe, Senior, of Dedham, being aged, Doe make this my Last Will. Whereas, there is a Covenant Between my selfe and Mary my wife, made before our marriage, bearing Date the 13 of August 1645, wherein it may appear that she reserved to herselfe, and to her dispose, her Lands, and Estate, so that I received no Estate with her; Yet, neverthelesse, I give unto her ffor the terme of her widowhood, in household stuffe, and other goods, as shee thinkes meete to Chuse, for her use, not exceeding the value of sixteene pounds, and not being such as I shall particuarly Dispose of, in this my Last will, which household stuffe, so chosen by her, shall Bee to ffurnishe the Roome, which my Executor shall prepare for her, at his house, to Receive her into, after my Decease. All which household stuffe and goods, I give to my Executor, to have, after the Decease of my wife. Unto my wife, six punds, to be paid to her within one month after my Decease in Current pay. Unto Sonne John Metcalfe of Medfield, one ffeather and Bolster, my second book of Martyrs, Mr. Perkin's second book, Luther on the gala, one silver spoon, one pair of sheets, one Long Chest, in the Upper Chamber, one Diaper Boardcloth. Unto my Executor & his Heires, all that my land in Neponset plaine, and three Acres Laying in ye Lowplaine next to Peter Woodward's, Also halfe my Divident in ye Cedar swampe, neer the Saw Mill, & 3 Commons & ye odde. Unto my Grandchild Michael Metcalfe, the Elder, all that my Land and Improvments within the Lotte I dewll in, my three acres in ye wigwaom plaine, my swompe next to my house, provided he give my Executor that Little parcel of his swampe west end of his house, otherwise my gift to be void. Also i give him my Natick Dividend of twenty-three acres, more or lesse; four Cow Commons; halfe my Cedar swampe, at the Saw Mill; my wood Land, at the West of Toune; all the particulars I have belonging to husbandry, in one kind or another; all the Remainer of my household stuffe not Disposed of in this my Will. Also my first Book of Martyrs, mr. Perkin's first Booke, one silver spoon. To my Daughter Wilson, ffortye shillings. To my Daughter Elisabeth Bancrafte, ffive pounds. To my Daughter Martha Stowe, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Jane Walker, forty shillings. To my Daughter Rebecca Mackintosh -- ffive punds. To my wife's Daughter, Martha Bullard, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Sarah Onion, three pounds. All which six Legacyes, Last named, shall be paid at, in, or Before, the second march next after my Decease, in Current Payment.
To my Daughter Stowe's eldest sonne, which she had by her first husband, Wm. Brignall, ffour pounds, to be paid him when he shall attayne to lawful age. To my Grandchild, Jno. Mackintosh, and Robert Onion, all my wearing apparel to be equally divided by my Execuor in order as their names been here set down; my Grandchild to choose first: To my Grandchild, above said, all the Lumber in my house. Moreover, if any of ye persons that are Legattes in my present will, shall by themselves, or by any others, make or cause to make any Disturbances, or Contortion, in word or Deed in Reference to any thing given in this my Will; then all that Legacye to that person, shall be utterly voide. Thomas Metcalfe of Dedham, my sonne, to be my executor, to whom I give all the Rest of my Lands and Goods, not formerly Disposed of.
Michael Metcalf
Before witnessing hereof, I give to my Grandchild, abovesaid, my single acre of Meddow; also my Largest gray Horsemans Coate, also two oxen, one Cow, to be delivered to him at Lawful age. All the Books, aforesaid, given to my soone John, after his death I give them his sonne [Metcalf-60|Michael] my Grandchilde.
Signed and sealed in the presence of us
Peter Woodard, his mark X, Jonathan ffairbanke
Edward Ranson, Recorder
Jonathan Fairebanke[2]

Michael Metcalf

Birth ABT 1590 Norfolkshire, England
Christening 17 Jun 1587 Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England
Marriage 13 OCT 1616 England
Marriage 13 AUG 1645 Dedham, Suffolk County, Mass. Bay Colony[11]
Husband: Michael Metcalf
Wife: Mary Sothy
Occupation: Master Weaver
Death 17 DEC 1664 Dedham, Suffolk, Mass.
Also found Death Date 1664-12-24, may have been a burial date.
Burial Dedham, Suffolk, Mass. [Bay Colony]
Burial 27 Dec 1664 Dedham, Suffolk, Mass.




3 Sep 1585 Tatterford, Norfolk, England

Ancestral File Number



  • Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England, Mostly those of his son Michael the emigrant to Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1637 Author: Metcalfe, Howard Hurtig Publication: Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 2002
  • Stott, Clifford L. The Elwyn Family Revisited, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass.) Vol. 169, Page 51
  • Ancestral File (TM), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (June 1998 (c), data as of 5 JAN 1998)


Bryan Sypniewski, Richard Draper, John Putnam, Cliff Cobb, Bobbie Hall


  1. Jeremiah Richards, editor, Richards Family [Also Metcalf, Aldis, Stratton, Wiswall, Barrett, Kidder, Peck, Crane, Monfort, and Carman families, all ancestral to Jeremiah Richards, b. 1844, and his wife Susan Adrianna Monfort.] (New York, NY:, 18--?), p. 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Howard Hurtig Metcalfe, Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England, Mostly those of his son Michael the emigrant to Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1637 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 2002), p. 4, citing Banks, "Metcalf" NEHGR 80:313
  3. Dr. Luther Metcalf Harris, Metcalf Family, NEHGR 6:171 (Apr 1852)
  4. Jeremiah Richards, editor, Richards Family [Also Metcalf, Aldis, Stratton, Wiswall, Barrett, Kidder, Peck, Crane, Monfort, and Carman families, all ancestral to Jeremiah Richards, b. 1844, and his wife Susan Adrianna Monfort.] (New York, NY:, 18--?), p. 3, citing Moriarty, "Metcalf: Additional Records," NEGHR 85:256
  5. Dedham Historical Society, A Plan of Dedham Village, Mass, 1636-1876 (Dedham, MA: Dedham Hist. Soc., 1883)
  6. Don Gleason Hill, compiler, The Record of Baptisms, Marriages & Deaths ...transcribed from the Church Records in the Town of Dedham, MA, 1638-1845 (Dedham, MA: Town of Dedham, 1888), p. 39
  7. ,Don Gleason Hill, compiler, The Record of Baptisms, Marriages & Deaths ... Town of Dedham, MA, 1638-1845 (Dedham, MA: Town of Dedham, 1886) p. 126
  8. Don Gleason Hill, compiler, The Record of Baptisms, Marriages & Deaths ... Town of Dedham, MA, 1638-1845 (Dedham, MA: Town of Dedham, 1886), p. 9
  9. Find A Grave Memorial# 64230860
  10. Full probate file is in Suffolk County Probate Records, Vol. 1, p. 497, 599; Vol. 4. pp. 214-215)
  11. citing Hanson, Vital Records of Dedham, MA, p. 295

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