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Notes for Anthony Colby

Research Notes:

The Great Migration reports [1]:

Anthony Colby
Origin: Horbling, Lincolnshire
Migration: 1630
First Residence: Boston
Removes: Cambridge 1632, Ipswich 1637, Salisbury 1640, Amesbury, Salisbury

Occupation: Sawmill owner.
Church membership: "Anthony Chaulby" admitted to Boston church as member #93, which would be in the winter of 1630/1 [BChR 14]. On 2 August 1646 "Anthony Colby according to his desire had letters of dismission" from Boston church "unto the Church at Salsbury" [BChR 47].
Freeman: 14 May 1634 [MBCR 1:369].
Education: Could sign his name [GMC50 125].

Offices: Essex grand jury, 9 April 1650, 1 October 1650 [EQC 1:189, 201]. Petit jury, 26 September 1648, 12 April 1653, 3 October 1654 [EQC 1:149, 279, 369].

Estate: Granted three acres in Cambridge behind the Pine Swamp, 5 January 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; received a proportional share of one in the undivided meadow ground, 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; in the list of those with "houses" in Cambridge (number of "houses" torn, but in the West End), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 19].
In the Cambridge land inventory on 10 October 1635 "Anthony Couldby" held five parcels of land: one house with backside, about three acres, in the West End; one house with planting ground, about three acres, in West End Field; three acres by the Pine Swamp; four acres in the Neck of Land; and four acres in the Great Marsh [CaBOP 32]; at least one of these lots, and perhaps more, purchased by Simon Crosby [CaBOP 67].
The inventory of the intestate estate of "Anthony Collby, late of Salisbury" was taken 9 March 1660 by Samuel Hall, Thomas Bradbury and Thomas Barnett. It totalled £349 19s. 4d. of which £185 10s. was real estate: "a dwelling house & barn & fourteen acres of upland in tillage," £70; "a pasture of about thirty acres," £20; "2 lots at ... Mr. Hall's Farm," £5 10s.; "about eighteen acres of fresh meadow," £40; the "accommodation" bought of Mr. Groome, £6; "two lots of sweepage & one higgledee piggildee lot," £4; "sixty acres of upland towards Pentucett bounds with meadow to be laid out," £10; and the "eighth part of the old saw mill," £30. Among the interesting items inventoried were numerous sawmill blades and accoutrements, and "old swords and two old muskets, £1" [EPR 1:407-10].
Near the end of her life, Susannah Whittredge was described by the selectmen of Amesbury as
an ancient and helpless widow belonging to the town of Amesbury ... notwithstanding a comfortable and competent maintenance being allowed unto her out of the estate of her former deceased husband Anthony Coleby ... yet she being a woman attended with many infirmities both of body and mind, is utterly incapable of doing anything that may contribute to her livelihood or comfortable subsistence ... she living alone, wanting such help and attendance as may be convenient, continually laboring under such infirmities of body as usually attend old age often times sick and many times destitute of divers necessaries and always of the conveniences of life, any otherwise than she is supplied by one or two of her children, whose families in the meantime want the same at home, and very much defective and decayed in her understanding ..., September Term 1682 [EQC 8:388].
The court ordered that her sons, Samuel, Isaac and Thomas Colby, provide for her and sell what land was necessary to maintain her from the Colby estate [EQC 8:388].
The inventory of the estate of "the widow Susannah Whitridge who deceased July the 8th or thereabouts in the year of Grace 1689" was taken 9 September 1691 and totalled £151 15s. including real estate valued at £143: "5 acres of tillage"; "half the ferry meadow"; "a lot in the division called the great farms"; "a lot of upland in a division called [illegible]"; "a lot in the ox pasture division"; "a lot near the north meadow"; "a lot in Bugsmore division"; and "a lot in the great swamp" [EPR 304:400].
The final division of the estate of Susannah Whitridge on 5 August 1700 allowed a double portion to "Samll Coleby Eldest [surviving] Son" £1. 12s. 6d., and equal shares of 16s. 3d. to: "the children of John Colby..."; "the children of Isaac Colby..."; "the children of Thomas Colby..."; "the children of Sarah Colby..."; "the children of Rebeckah Colby..."; and "the children of Mary Colby..." [EPR 307:176-77].

Birth: Baptized Horbling, Lincolnshire, 8 September 1605 [GMC50 123].
Death: Salisbury 11 February 1660[/1].
Marriage: By 1633 Susanna (_____) Waterman, widow of _____ Waterman of Boston (land "at first was granted to [blank] Waterman who deceased. Anthony Colbye married his widow & they two sold the said land unto James Pennyman..." [SLR 11:176-77]); she married (3) by 1663 William Whitridge (petitions as Susanna "Whittredge formerly Colbie" to sell real estate 28 March 1682 [EPR 1:409]); she died 8 July 1689.

i John, bp. Boston 8 September 1633 [BChR 278]; m. Salisbury 14 January 1655 Frances Hoyt.
ii Sarah, born say 1635; m. Salisbury 6 March 1653 Orlando Bagley.
iii Samuel, born say 1639; m. by about 1668 Elizabeth Sargent (first recorded child born Haverhill 1 June 1670), daughter of William Sargent. (William Sargent names "my daughter Elizabeth the wife of Samuel Colby" and two of her Colby children in his will written 24 March 1670/1 [EPR 2:438-39].)
iv Isaac, born Salisbury 6 July 1640; m. by 1669 Martha Parratt (eldest child born Haverhill 24 January 1669/70) [Rowley Fam 266].
v Rebecca, born Salisbury 11 March 1643; m. Haverhill 9 September 1661 John William Jr.
vi Mary, born Salisbury 19 September 1647; m. Amesbury 23 September 1668 William Sargent, son of William Sargent. (Ordered to be whipped or pay a fine for fornication, 12 April 1670 [EQC 4:237].)
vii Thomas, born Salisbury 8 March 1650; m. Amesbury 16 September 1674 Hannah Rowell.
Associations: His association with John Bosworth, Garrett Haddon and Joseph Redding implies that he may have been a servant of Simon Bradstreet. This strongly supports the suggestion of John B. Threlfall that the Anthony Colby baptized at Horbling, Lincolnshire, was the immigrant [GMC50 123].

Comments: Earlier writers erroneously placed Anthony Colby's origin in Beccles, Suffolkshire, but in 1975 Glade Ian Nelson showed that the Beccles Anthony was still in England long after the immigrant was settled in the Massachusetts Bay [TAG 51:65-71]. More recently John B. Threlfall made what appears to be the correct identification in Horbling, Lincolnshire [GMC50 123]. Anthony Colby was not at that time and in that area as rare a name as one might think, so the simple appearance of a baptism at about the right time is in itself not sufficient evidence. But the occurrence of a baptism in Horbling, the home of Simon Bradstreet, who seems to be indirectly connected with Colby, makes this very likely the correct solution to the problem.
The identity of Susannah _____ is one of the perennial mysteries of the period. Several authors have suggested that Susannah's maiden name was Haddon, given that Colby and Garrett Haddon were neighbors and associates. Others have suggested that she was the daughter of William Sargent, and others that she was a Nutting, all without support. Her identity is currently unknown. Among other defects to be found in the literature regarding Colby and his family, there is no obvious reason why Savage said there were four children earlier than Isaac and no support has been found for Sarah's birthdate given by Waterman.
Anthony Colby was ordered to build four rods of fence around the common lands in Cambridge in a list dated 2 January 1632/3 (but probably from a year or two later) [CaTR 5].
At court on 3 October 1637 "Anthony Colebie" of Ipswich sued John Hall of Saugus [EQC 1:6].
William Osgood and the other part-owners of the old mill at Salisbury were brought to task for failing to pay the town its share of lumber agreed upon in return for allowing the mill to be built on Salisbury land. Osgood had to sue the heirs of the other owners, including "Susan Whitrige, administratrix of Anthony Colbye," to recover boards for Salisbury, which he did at court September Term, 1682. Among the depositions establishing the number of boards due were several describing immigration into Essex County, such as that of John Pressy "aged about forty-four years, testified that the first summer he came into this country, in 1651 ... I do well remember that the saw mill at Salisbury was one thing that was accounted a rare thing and I did go to see it and I did see it going and sawing boards that very summer" [EQC 8:250, 373-75].


[1] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 413, [AmericanAncestors].