Information on Edmund Freeman and His Descendants
Mr. Edmund Freeman
Edmund Freeman arrived in "ancient Saugus" (Lynn) Massachusetts in 1635, having sailed from the port of London on the ship Abigail. With him were his second wife, Elizabeth Raymer, and his children by his first marriage to Bennet Hodsoll. The first record of Edmund Freeman states "this year many new inhabitants appear in Lynn, and among them worthy of note Mr. Edmund Freeman, who presented to the Colony twenty corsletts, or pieces of plate armor." The title of "Mr." was one which was not accorded more than half a dozen freeman in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Subsequent to his arrival in Saugus, he went to Plymouth Colony and after a short duration in Duxbury, obtained permission from the Colonial Government to establish a town on the Cape; numerous families from Duxbury, Plymouth and Lynn, removed to this new location, which became the first successful settlement (in what is now Barnstable County) of the town of Sandwich. That he was held in high esteem and status is seen from the shares of land accorded to individuals, his portion being much the largest. He was prominent in the affairs of the Colony during his entire life there; assistant to the Governor in successive elections and in direction of colonial affairs. During the uneasy times of the Quaker problems, Edmund Freeman urged moderation in the face of an enveloping frenzy of persecution. He is described as a man of utmost integrity throughout his life, one held with much respect, and without a blemish found upon his character.
|The Will of Edmund Freeman|
Dated 21 Jun 1682, Proved 2 Nov 1682
The 21 day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and two, I Edmond Freeman, the eldest of the name in Sandwich, being in a good measure in health of body, and of capable understanding and memory, do declare this to be my last will and testament; hereby renouncing and making void all other and former wills and testaments made by me, the said Edmond Freeman, by my knowledge or privity.
Item. First, I make, constitute, and ordain my three Sons, namely, my son Edmond Freeman, and my son John Freeman, and Edward Perry, to be my executors, and my Daughter Elizabeth Ellis, executrix, of this my last will and testament.
Item. My will is that all former conveyances of lands by me given shall stand and remain in full force and virtue.
Item. For the disposing of my estate, my just debts being first paid, I do give unto my two sons, namely, my son Edmond and my son John Freeman, all my lands on the easterly side of the lands given by me to my Grandson Matthias Ellis, on the same range to run as the said Matthias his land doth, from the northeast corner-bound of said land unto the northerly end of all my land, only provided and excepted that land which is called the Rye-field and the meadow which is called Hedges-meadow, the which said Rye-field and Hedges-meadow, I do give to my Grandson Thomas Paddy.
Item. My lands which are to the westward and the northward of my grandson Matthias Ellis his land by me given to him, all my said westward and northward lands to be divided into three parts; and the two of said three parts I do give unto my son Edward Perry, and the other said third part I do give unto my daughter Elizabeth Ellis, all which aforesaid given lands I do freely give unto my aforesaid sons and daughter, to them and their heirs and assigns, to have and to hold forever. Furthermore, the one-half of my lands at Waquanchett, I give unto my grandson Thomas Paddy, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.
This is my last will and testament.
Edmond Freeman. (his Seal)
Signed, sealed and delivered
in presence of us,
John Fish, his X mark.
Nathan Nye, his X mark.
Major John Freeman
Major John Freeman removed from Sandwich to Eastham in the 1650s, being among the earliest settlers there. A large landholder, he was prominent for many years in public affairs, being Deputy, 1654-1661, Selectman, 1663-1673, and serving on the bench of the Court of Common Pleas, as well as serving as a deacon of the Eastham Church. He also played a prominent part in the Indian wars.
His will included a provision of "freedom for my Negroes", with "four acres of land, a horse, and a cow", and that "I desire my children to put them in such way that they may not want."
Nathaniel Freeman, Esquire
Nathaniel Freeman served as "one of his Majesty's justices", and on the Court of Common Pleas. He was also town clerk and selectman of Eastham. In earlier genealogical sources, before the maiden name of his wife Mary was determined, tradition among the Howland family had said of the daughter of Zoeth Howland that "this daughter Mary married a distinguished man on the Cape, named Freeman."
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