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Notes for Stephen Tracy and Tryphosa Lee

1633 Stephen Tracy was among "The Names of the Freemen of the Incorporacon of Plymouth in New England, An: 1633" listed at the beginning of of the first volume of Court Orders of the Colony of New Plymouth. [1]

Research Notes:

It is possible that [Stephen] was following the lady of his choice, for in Great Yarmouth there was then a Lee Family and in a "Betrothal book" of the Leyden Archives is found the full record concerning the marriage of Stephen Tracy to Tryphosa Lee. This includes the entry of their appearance before the officials on 18 Dec 1620, the publishing of the Banns on 19 and 24 Dec 1620 and on 1 Jan, and finally the marriage itself on 2 Jan 1620/21. The record calls Stephen a "say-worker, bachelor from England" and adds that Anthony Clements a friend came with him, while Tryphosa Lee is called "spinster, also from England" and an acquaintance Rose Jennings accompanied her. [2]

"The marriage of Rose Lijsle, Jermuyen, Engeland, to Jan Giellesz Jennings, widower of Elysabeth Pettinger, Essigs, Engeland, koopman, on 23 Mar 1617 is also recorded in Leiden." [3]

The Great Migration [4] reports:

Stephen Tracy
Origin: Leiden, Holland
Migration: 1623 in Anne
First Residence: Plymouth
Removes: Duxbury
Return Trips: Returned to England permanently, perhaps as early as 1643, and certainly by 1654
Occupation: Sayworker (in Leiden).
Freeman: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, before those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [ PCR 1:3]; in list of freemen of 7 March 1636/7 [ PCR 1:52]. In Duxbury section of 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freemen (with his name lined through) [ PCR 8:174].

Offices: Duxbury representative on committee to lay out highways, 1 October 1634 [ PCR 1:31]; Plymouth colony committee to assess taxes, 3 March 1634/5, 1 March 1635/6 [ PCR 1:33, 38]; coroner's jury, 2 March 1635/6 [ PCR 1:39]; Duxbury representative to committee on the "nearer uniting of Plymouth & those on Duxburrough side," 14 March 1635/6 [ PCR 1:41]; grand jury, 7 March 1636/7, 2 June 1640, 7 June 1642 [ PCR 1:54, 155, 2:41]; committee to apportion hay grounds, 20 March 1636/7 [ PCR 1:55]; Duxbury constable, 5 March 1638/9, 4 June 1639 [ PCR 1:116, 125]. Arbiter, 7 September 1642 [ PCR 2:44].
Estate: In 1623 Plymouth land division, granted three acres as passenger on Anne [ PCR 12:6]; in 1627 Plymouth cattle division, "Stephen Tracie, Triphosa Tracie, Sarah Tracie, Rebecka Tracie" were the fifth through eighth names in the tenth company [ PCR 12:12].
Assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 [ PCR 1:10, 27]. He appears on the list of purchasers [ PCR 2:177].
Permitted to mow "within his own ground," 1 July 1633 [ PCR 1:14]; assigned mowing ground, 14 March 1635/6, 20 March 1636/7 [ PCR 1:40, 56]; granted eighty acres with some meadow additional, at the North River [ PCR 1:165].
On 20 March 1654/5, while in London, Stephen Tracy "at present of Great Yarmouth in old England" made his will, in the form of a power of attorney to John Winslow, disposing to son John "what land and houses I have there in Duxburrow" (along with some cattle), to "my daughter Ruth Tracy one cow and one two year old mare," and "what cattle I have more (Marye's two cows being cast in amongst them) to be equally divided among my five children living in New England," noting that some of his children are married with children, and others are unmarried [PLR 2:179, transcribed in full in MD 10:143-44].

Birth: Probably the "Stephen Trace" baptized 28 December 1596 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, son of Stephen and Agnes/Anne (Erdley) Tracy [TAG 51:73; Tracy Gen 19-20].
Death: After 20 March 1654/5, the date of his will.
Marriage: Leiden, Holland, 3 January 1621 [NS] Tryphosa Lee [ Dawes-Gates 799]; she was born about 1597 (aged 27 on 1 May 1624 [TAG 51:242]) and presumably predeceased her husband.

i Sarah, born Leiden about January 1623 [TAG 51:242]; m. Plymouth [blank] November 1638 George Partridge [PCR 1:103].
ii Rebecca, born Plymouth say 1625; m. say 1645 William Merrick [ Dawes-Gates 2:801-02].
iii Ruth, born say 1628; living unm. 1655.
iv Mary, born say 1630; living perhaps unm. 1655.
v John, born say 1632; m. by about 1661 Mary Prence, daughter of Thomas Prence [ Tracy Gen 26].

Associations: William Palmer the elder of Duxbury, nayler, left a legacy to Stephen Tracy in his will of 4 December 1637 [ Dawes-Gates 2:801]. How he might have been associated or related to Tracy is unknown.
Comments: Robert S. Wakefield discusses some important records relating to the Tracy family at Leiden, and to the date of arrival of Stephen's wife Tryphosa, and eldest daughter Sarah, and concludes that they came in 1625 on the Jacob [TAG 51:71-73, 242].
On 7 July 1638 the Plymouth court noted that Tracy "had hired John Price for four months; his time was to begin the first week in June" [PCR 1:92].
Stephen Tracy is not included in the 1643 list of men able to bear arms, and is not seen in any later Plymouth Colony record, so he may have returned to England late in 1642 or early in 1643.

Bibliographic Note: In 1936 Sherman Weld Tracy published a genealogy of some of the descendants of Stephen Tracy [Sherman Weld Tracy, comp., The Tracy Genealogy, Being Some of the Descendants of Stephen Tracy of Plymouth Colony, 1623 (Rutland 1936)]. Mary Walton Ferris treated Stephen Tracy in 1931 Mary Walton Ferris, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, 2 vols. (n.p., 1943, 1931) 2:799-802], and Donald Lines Jacobus twice prepared accounts of this immigrant [E.F. Waterman, The Waterman Family, Donald Lines Jacobus, ed., 3 volumes (New Haven 1939-1954) 1:688-90; Nathan Grier Parke II, The Ancestry of Lorenzo Ackley, 37-38].


[1] Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England, Vol. 1, Court Orders. 1633-1640 (Boston: William White, 1855), 3, [InternetArchive], [HathiTrust].

[2] Sherman Weld Tracy, The Tracy Genealogy, Vermont, The Tuttle Publishing Co., 1936 (CS71.T76 1936), p. 22.

[3] Regional Archives Leiden, http://www.leidenarchief.nl/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,8/.

[4] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 1832, [AmericanAncestors].