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Chadwicks of Early Massachusetts Bay Colony

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Surname/tag: Chadwick
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A Summary of the Research on the Chadwick Surname in the 17th Century Massachusetts Bay Colony

There were numerous people with the surname Chadwick in the early Massachusetts Bay colony. This is an attempt to summarize the research of various genealogists who have written about this name.

The sources I have used so far include:

  • Edith Clark Chadwick[1]
  • Austin D. Kilham[2]
  • Janice Boyd and George McCracken[3]
  • Robert Charles Anderson[6]
  • Roger Thompson[7]

as well as others listed in the Sources section.

Charles Chadwick (1596-1682)

Charles Chadwick was the first Chadwick to arrive in Massachusetts. He was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England in 1586.[1] His father is named in his baptismal record as "Alexander."[5]. He is listed, along with his wife Elizabeth Norcross Chadwick, as a passenger in the fleet of John Winthrop, establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. He lived in Watertown, acquired a considerable amount of land and served in several town offices, including Selectman.[6]He is listed by Thompson [7] as a "long term, first generation" resident.[8] He apparently had no children. Charles died on April 10, 1682. His gravestone, in the Watertown Cemetery, reads:

Memento Mori-
Fugit Hori-
Here lyes ye body of
Charles Chadwick
aged 86 years
lived here in Watertown
about 51 or 52 years
deceased April ye 10th

In his will Charles leaves his estate, in part, two his "kinsmen Thomas and John Chadwick". These are believed to be Thomas Chadwick and John Chadwick , both of Watertown. The exact relationship of these two men, who are believed to be brothers[4], to Charles is unknown, but they may be his nephews.

John Chadwick of Malden (1601-1680)

John Chadwick was also born in Rochdale. His father is named in the Rochdale records as Richard.[5] His arrival date in Massachusetts is unknown, but is presumably about 1635. He settled in Malden and later married Joan Shepard. John and Joan had seven children who survived childhood, one of whom was John, born in 1651. Joan died in 1674 and John in 1680.[2] They are said to be buried in Bell Rock Cemetery in Malden, but no gravestones have been found.[9]

John Chadwick of Watertown (abt. 1647-1710)

Facts about the birth of John Chadwick are not known. The date of 1647 is an estimate and he is thought to have been born in England, probably Rochdale. He is known to have lived in Watertown and married Sarah Manning. Thompson relates a story about Susannah Woodward, a servant in the house of Thomas Hastings, and her illegitimate child. There was a dispute about whether the father was Thomas Hastings, Jr., the son of her master, or John Chadwick. The girl insisted that the father was Hastings, but the Hastings family blamed Chadwick. Neither man was convicted of fornication, due to lack of evidence, but John Chadwick was warned to leave town.[7] Since this John Chadwick was the only one living in Watertown at the time, he is probably the one involved. John and Sarah had ten children[4]. John is thought to be one of the two "kinsmen" named by Charles in his will. He and Thomas (below) are listed by Thompson[7] in the category of "Incomers, Second Generation." [10] He is buried in Watertown Cemetery. The inscription on his gravestone reads:[1]

Here lyes ye
Body of John Chadwick
who died Feb. ye 5th 1710
in ye 63rd yr of his age

Thomas Chadwick of Watertown (abt. 1655-1731)

Thomas Chadwick is often thought to be the brother of John Chadwick, but this is not certain.[3] He is also thought to have been born in England and he may have come over at the same time as John.

He must have been at Newbury, Mass., in the early summer of 1672, if not before, for he contracted a liaison with Sarah Wolcott, born at Newbury on 23 Aug. 1657, daughter of John and Mary (Tharly) Wolcott, as the result of which Sarah, child of Sarah Wolcott, was born at Newbury on 16 Mar. 1673/4, out of wedlock, though the fact is not so specifically stated in the Vital Records of Newbury. The marriage of Thomas Chadwick to Sarah Wolcott took place within a month at Newbury on 6 Apr. 1674.[3]

Thomas is thought to be the second kinsman named in Charles' will, but he apparently disposed of his inheritance in Watertown and moved to Lyme, Connecticut sometime after 1695, when his daughter Elizabeth was born in Watertown.[11] Thomas started the line of chadwicks in Lyme, CT.

John Chadwick of Bradford (1651-1707)

This John Chadwick was the son of John Chadwick of Malden. He was born in Malden on March 17, 1651.

[He] moved from Malden to Boxford in 1686 where he was first chosen a selectman in 1688; hence to Bradford in 1701 where they joined the church, Apr. 29, 1701 by letter from Malden. After 1692 he was styled "Sargeant". They lived in the West Parish of Boxford.[2]

John married Mary Barlow on October 30, 1674 in Malden. They had nine children.

John died on September 2, 1707. He is buried in the Ancient Burial Ground in Bradford with the epitaph:[12]

Ye 2 1707 & IN

Elizabeth Chadwick

The sources indicate that there were four Elizabeth Chadwicks who lived in 17th Century Massachusetts. Three of them survived to adulthood.

The first was Elizabeth Chadwick born on April 1, 1648, the daughter of John Chadwick of Malden and Joan Shepard[2]. She married Gershom Hills and died August 12, 1712 in Malden (there seem to be no records of her death, so this fact is questionable.)

The second Elizabeth was Elizabeth Chadwick was born on May 8, 1673, the daughter of John Chadwick of Watertown and Sarah Manning.[4] She married Thomas Woolson in 1694.[13] She is said to have died on July 21, 1723, but i can find no records to substantiate this.

The third Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Chadwick and Sarah Wolcott she was born October 31, 1682 and died on September 13, 1694, almost 12 years old.[4]

Thomas and Sarah replaced her with the fourth Elizabeth, who was born on October 14, 1695. She married Thomas Kimball and is said to have died in 1765 and be buried in Lunenbug, MA.

More John Chadwicks

There are other John Chadwicks who lived in Massachusetts during the 17th Century.

John Chadwick was the son of Thomas Chadwick and Sarah Wolcott. He was born in Watertown in 1680, married Mary Verin and died in Newport, Rhode Island on December 17, 1727.[3]

John Chadwick was the son of John Chadwick of Watertown and Sarah Manning. He was born in Watertown on April 9, 1681 and married Hannah Barstow. He died in Worcester, Massachusetts in September, 1768.[4]

John Chadwick was the son of John Chadwick of Bradford and Mary Barlow. He was born in 1676 in Malden and married Mehitable Haseltine about 1703 in Bradford. He died February 16, 1755 in West Boxford (Bradford).[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chadwick Genealogy Album, Edith Clark Chadwick, unpublished, in possession of Henry Chadwick see Chadwick Genealogy Album
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Notes on the Descendants of John and Joan Chadwick and Related Families, Austin D. Kilham, Bailey Printing, Charlottesville, VA, December 31, 1966
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Brothers Thomas and John Chadwick of Watertown, The American Genealogist, Vol. 31, No. 2, April, 1955, p. 59
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Thomas and John Chadwick, The Immigrants of Newbury and Watertown, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants, unpublished, copyright Brent Chadwick, 2014,
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Charles and John Chadwick of Malden and Watertown, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants,unpublished, copyright Brent Chadwick, 2014,
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1633, Robert Charles Anderson, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA, 1996
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Divided We Stand, Watertown, Massachusetts,1630-1680", University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA, 2001, ISBN 1-55849-304-2.
  8. Criteria for inclusion are: Arrival by 1640; residence for seven-year minimum, usually grantee of town land (proprietor), adult on arrival, usually male head of household.
  10. Born after 1620, arrived from elsewhere in Watertown after 1640.
  13. New England Marriages Prior to 1700 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2012.


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