Born in May 1638, John B. Snow (Sr.) was born in the town of Plymouth, in the British colony of Plymouth Plantations, New England. A different, unrelated, "John Snow" was born on September 16, 1638 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., British colony of Massachusetts Bay. That both were born in 1638 in territory that has become the state of Massachusetts has led to some genealogical confusion between the two men.
The John Snow who was born in May 1638 in Plymouth was the fourth son (of five plus six sisters) of HMS "Anne" passenger, Nicholas Snow and his wife, "Mayflower" passenger, Constance (Hopkins) Snow. John was born in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, before the family became one of the first settlers of Eastham (Barnstable County), in April 1644, across Plymouth Bay on the Cape Cod peninsula. The large Snow family, descended from Nicholas & Constance, was prominent on Cape Cod in the 17th Century and beyond. Many genealogies add a middle initial "B." to John Snow's name.
John B. Snow, Sr. married Mary Smalley on September 19, 1667, in Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts. They had 6 daughters:
and 3 sons:
John's two younger sons, Isaac and Elisha, eventually emigrated from Massachusetts, settling what is now Kent County, Delaware, in June 1711. They were joined by their older brother, John B. Snow, Jr. in 1728 after a personal scandal in Massachusetts led him to leave Cape Cod.
In about 1670, John B. and Mary Snow left Eastham, moving to Little Compton, Rhode Island, with her parents (John & Ann Smalley) and the Smalley family. The next year they joined Richard Higgins and a New England settler party, moving south to Piscataway, Middlesex County, New Jersey. John Smalley was among the earliest pioneer freeholders in that colony, newly reorganized after the defeat of the Dutch and transfer of New Netherlands (including that part of New Jersey) to English rule. Although the Smalley family remained in New Jersey, John B. and Mary (Smalley) Snow returned to Eastham, Massachusetts, before the birth of their daughter Abigail in 1673. They settled between Eastham and Truro, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.
Nicholas Snow's Will dated Nov. 14, 1676, was proven on March 5, 1677. In it, he left his son John all his lands at "Paomett" (later re-named Truro) with "all my Right and title of privilege there". Nicholas was buried on the North-west edge of the Cove Burying Ground at Eastham without a gravestone.
John B. Snow took the freeman's oath at Eastham on 5 June 1684.
John B. Snow Sr. died in late March or early April 1692 in Eastham MA, leaving his widow with several minor-age children to raise. Although no will was cited, an Inventory of his Estate was made by John Freeman and William Walker on April 4, 1692. The settlement of the estate was held at the County Court in Barnstable MA, April 19, 1692, as follows;
John B. Snow Sr. was buried in the Cove Burying Ground, Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, near his parents' graves. His widow, Mary (Smalley) Snow, re-married shortly after John's death to Ephraim Doane, a family friend and neighbor. He was a recent widower. Mary was listed in Ephraim Doane's will of 7 December 1699 and she died in October or November 1703, in Eastham, Massachusetts.
Regarding the birth date of 9 May 1628 given for John B. Snow Sr. in the Nelson GEDCOM import... My research shows 10 Family Trees that list this date for John Snow's birth-date, all in Plymouth colony, Massachusetts. Alas, these 10 Trees have apparently either made the same mistake or copied it from earlier faulty research. May 9, 1628, was the birth-date for MARK SNOW, John's older brother and eldest son of Nicholas Snow & Mayflower passenger, Constance Hopkins. Over 800 Family Trees have Mark Snow's birth-date as May 9, 1628, as do other Mayflower family sources. 
John B. Snow, Sr., son of Nicholas & Constance, was born in 1638 by nearly all accounts. However, as another John Snow, son of Richard Snow & Annis/Avis Barat Snow, was also born in 1638, in Woburn, Middlesex Massachusetts (not in Plymouth colony but in "Massachusetts Bay" colony), there has been a lot of confusion about the exact birth-date. All the evidence I have found points to September 16, 1638, as the birth-date for the "other" John Snow (son of Richard & Annis/Avis SNOW) born in Woburn, Middlesex, Mass. Bay colony. "Out" Plymouth-born John Snow's exact birth-date seems less evident. May 28, 1638, is mentioned a few times, using this citation:  But most genealogies just give "1638" as John's birth date or they mistakenly cite the September 16, 1638, birth-date of Richard Snow's son. May 28, 1638, is thus the most-likely birth-date but it is not proven.
There has been some discussion among contemporary (21st Century) genealogists as to what could have been the Middle Name for "John B. Snow," Sr.. This initial "B" was continued by two of his sons, "John B. Snow, Jr." and "Isaac B. Snow" plus Isaac's son, "William B. Snow" and William's grandson, "Solomon B. Snow," without it ever being explained, so far as has been recorded.
There are two major possibilities for the name "behind the B". One is that there was no name. Few people, other than aristocrats, had two first or Christian names in 17th Century England or America. It's possible that John "added" an initial "B." to his name to make distinguish it from other men named John and it became a tradition, handed-down father-to-son without any name attached. The second possibility is that the name was "Benjamin" - from the Old Testament. This was often the name given to the youngest (or younger) son as Benjamin was Isaac's youngest son listed in the Bible. Nicholas Snow's family used Biblical first names extensively and since John was the 4th son (and youngest until Jabez was born several years later), his parents may have named him "John Benjamin" but then after Jabez was born they dropped the Benjamin. John passed that initial "B." for "Benjamin" along to his son Isaac and so on.
A final possibility (although unlikely) is that John B. Snow Sr.'s Christian name was originally "John Baptist" Snow. Later generations of Snows, especially those that moved to the Southern USA, became Baptists; however, the Cape Cod, Mass., Snow family were generally Puritan and later Congregationalists, not Baptists. As no official birth record has survived for John B. Snow, Sr., no one will probably ever know the truth of this small genealogical mystery.
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On 8 Aug 2014 at 17:27 GMT Vic Watt wrote:
John is 13 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 21 degrees from Lucy Lavelle, 37 degrees from J. R. R. Tolkien and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.