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View Tree for Stephen GatesStephen Gates (b. Abt. 1600, d. September 1662)

Stephen Gates (son of Thomas Gates and Elizabeth Rose) was born Abt. 1600 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and died September 1662 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He married Anne Veare on May 05, 1628 in Hingham, England.

 Includes NotesNotes for Stephen Gates:

Stephen Gates, our immigrant ancestor, was born probably in or near Norwich, County Norfolk, England, about 1600. He was the second son of Thomas Gates and his wife, Elizabeth. According to the parish register of Higham, England, Stephen1 married on 5 May 1628, Ann Veare, who was born in or about 1605. The Chute Genealogy, by William Edward Chute, gives her surname as Hill but this is erroneous. There is no clue in the Hingham register as to the identity of Ann Veare. No other person bearing that family name is mentioned and it is assumed that her parents resided elsewhere. It is theorized from the Hingham register that Stephen1 had at least two brothers, named Thomas and William.

Stephen and Ann were parents of at least three children born in England: Elizabeth, Stephen and Mary. There is nothing in the Hingham register relating to Stephen Gates between his marriage in 1628 and the baptism of his daughter Marie, or Mary, in 1636. Possibly he lived in some other town for a few years after his marriage, but returned to Hingham by 1636.

According to Daniel Cushing's records, in June 1638 Stephen, his wife and "two" children were listed as passengers on the ship "Diligent" of Ipswich with John Martin, master. They came from Hingham, England to Hingham, Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving on 10 August 1638. It would appear that Cushing's record as to the number of children is in error as Stephen's children; Elizabeth, Stephen and Mary were all born before 1638. It is unlikely that one of these young children should have been left in England and come at a later date. Four more children were born to Stephen and Ann in this country: Thomas, Simon, Isaac and Rebecca, who were all baptized in Hingham, Mass. on 3 May 1646.

Stephen settled in Hingham, Mass. where he received a grant of three acres for a house lot, twelve acres for a "greate Lott," and a three-acre planting lot. His house lot was on Town (now North) Street and was bounded on the north by the street, on the east by William Buckland's land and on the west by the town swamp. In 1647 he received a grant of half an acre of salt marsh. He was engaged in land speculation as a occupation.

In 1648 Stephen sold his house lot, etc. to William Hersey but remained in town for some time. He and his wife probably did not become members of the Hingham church until about 1646, when their four youngest children were baptized. Birth dates of the children are not found in the Hingham town records.

In 1653 Stephen and his family moved to Lancaster (then called Nashaway), Mass. where he became one of the largest proprietors of the town and was one of the petitioners for its incorporation in 1654. He had a grant of land at Kequassagansett, near Hog Swamp, and also had rights in Groton, on which his grandson, Simon, administered in 1716.

The Early Records of Lancaster from 1643 - 1725, written by H. S. Nourse, describe the lands of Stephen Gates in Lancaster as the West side of Penicook River and westward adjacent to North River, being 20 acres for each pound paid. "Steven" Gates is listed at 314 pounds! (Perhaps this should be 314 acres.) These early records also describe the structure of the homes and buildings during this period and state: "Windows were square holes in the walls protected by a board shutter, succeeded later by small leaden sash with little diamond-shaped panes of greenish glass. There are those living who remember such sash; notably one in the Gates Tavern." I do not know what Gates was connected with the tavern referred to but the source I am quoting had visited the site of the tavern and talked with the present owners of the land, they pointed out the probable location as between their present house and the road. The tavern served as an overnight inn for travelers between Boston and points westward.

The Early Records of Lancaster quoted several pages of documents from the Middlesex County Court Records and Files to "afford brief glimpses of men and manners in Lancaster during the third years of its experience in managing its own affairs."

Several of the documents quoted deal with the incident in 1656 of Mary Gates, daughter of Stephen Gates, speaking out at a church meeting in defense of her mother who disagreed with the minister about whether an offense her mother had committed had been "satisfied." The nature of the "offence" committed by Mary's mother, Ann Gates, was not disclosed but it was considered improper for a woman to speak in public so Mary's behavior in so doing was considered quite offensive. As late as the early 1900's, this was still true and literary papers prepared by women for their clubs were read at the meetings by men.

The reader should bear in mind that there were no typewriters at this early date and the court records quoted herein were written in longhand. The letters "u" and "v" were used interchangeably and spelling was often inaccurate since there were no public schools. The record reads in part:

"Marie gats stod vp vncalled uerie boldly in the publique asembly contradicting our minister, when he denyed that goodwife gats had giuen him satisfaction, the said marie gats said yes and shee would take her oath of it."

Depositions of witnesses were taken and entered in the record, along with Mary's acknowledgment in public that she had spoken something that was a matter of just offense and very sinful, "for which she is 'hertely sory and doe desire the Congregation to pas it by, and I shall endever by the helpe of god not to alowe myself in any such practes.' This was acknoledged in publick in our hearing." She was ordered to appear at the next court session to answer the complaint for "her sinfull Cariage in the assembly on ye Lords Day."

Mary appeared in Court on the complaint of "bold and unbecoming speeches," and "freely acknowledged her great evil therein." The Court admonished her and ordered that she should pay the witnesses their charges and costs of court.

While living in Lancaster, Stephen was admitted freeman 14 May 1656. He was elected constable, at that time a responsible and honorable position. In 1657 he failed to notify the voters about a town meeting. In consequence, he was fined ten pounds, but the fine was remitted when he informed the court that his failure was due to sickness.

In 1658 there was trouble between the Gates and Whitcomb families due to the fact that three sons of John Whitcomb had killed three swine belonging to Stephen Gates. Whitcomb agreed to pay for the swine, but afterward sought to be released from paying, claiming that he was "aged & weak and mean in estate." The court decided that he must pay for the swine.

It is stated in the records that Stephen Gates was deprived of his constable's staff. This may have occurred after his failure to notify the voters about the meeting referred to above. At the time of the Gates-Whitcomb trouble, Stephen1 was living in Sudbury, Mass. Sometime after 1656, he moved back to Cambridge, where he had lived for a short time between his Hingham and Lancaster residencies, and where he "hired a farm." He made his Will there in June 1662 and died before 29 Sept. 1662, when the inventory of his estate was taken. His will, which was made out heavily in favor of his son Stephen2 was contested by the other children. They failed to break the will. A plot plan of Lancaster, Massachusetts, shows the location of Stephen's property. (See figure X)

He bequeathed to Stephen, his eldest son, the house and lot at Lancaster. His wife and son, Simon, received the place at Cambridge and his son, Thomas, was to remain with them "at his pleasure." His Will, witnessed by Esther Sparhawke, was proved 7 Oct. 1662, and read as follows:

"Cambr. ye 9th of ye 4th; 1662. I, Steven Gates being sick upon my bed, but of perfect memorie Desire to Comit my Soul to God that gaue it in a hope of a Joyfull resurrection and my body to be comely buried. And for my other Estate my will is that my wife and my son Simon continue in ye place where God haue now set me During the time I haue in it, and to keep the stock in theire hands till the term is out and to pay the Rent according to my agreement; and that my son Thomas to continue with them as long as he please. I give to my wife a Third of the Lands, and all the rest of my Estate during her life. I give to my Son Stephen my house and my house lott of Twenty acres at Nashaway and Twenty acres of Intervale Lands and all my Lands at Hemp Swamp and all my Medow at Postepolekin. The third of these Lands being excepted as aboue to my wife during her life. Item. I give Three hundred and fourteen acres of Land within the bounds of Nashaway, and a parcell of Medow at Still River To be Divided Equally between Simon & Thomas. Item my mind is that my wife Shall give a Colt of a year old unto my Daughter Elizabeth when ye Lease of ye farm is out. Item my will is that my wife giue to my Daughter, Mary Maynar a heifer of Two years old when ye Lease of the farm is out. Item. I give power to my wife to dispose of all the Stock and my moveables when she die amongst my Children according to her discretion. Item my will is that Elizabeth Bradshaw abide with my wife her Service Ship and that when her time is out my wife shall put her in a double suit of apparell and giue her a heifer a year old. I appoint my wife and my son Simon to be Executors."

In the report of the Cambridge committee for seating the meeting house, 19 Jan. 1662/3, it was provided that "Goodie Gates" should be seated "at ye end of ye Deacons seats." This record refers to Stephen's widow. She married secondly, in April 1663, as his second wife, Richars Woodward of Watertown, Mass. He died 16 Feb. 1665, and she resumed the name Gates. She died at Stow, Mass. 5 Feb. 1682/3. (Able Gates 1793-1870 reports she died 12 June 1673)

Captain George Gates, immigrant ancestor of U. S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, has been reported by some of his descendants as a brother of Stephen Gates of Hingham but I have so far been unable to substantiate this claim. However, it is possible that he was a younger brother of Stephen of Hingham. George, a Puritan, was born about 1634 in England and came to America in about 1651. He settled at Hartford, Conn., where he married Sarah Olmstead in 1660. In 1661 he removed to Haddam, Conn., of which he was one of the twenty-eight proprietors, and died 12 Nov. 1724, at East Haddam. The children of George and Sarah (Olmstead) Gates, all born at Haddam or East Haddam, were Joseph, Thomas, John, Sarah, Mary, George, Daniel and Samuel. George1 lived to welcome the advent of sixty grandchildren, and four more were born after his death.

The above information is included to show that Stephen of Hingham was not solely responsible for the large Gates population in New England during the colonial period. Over 100 men by name of Gates are listed in American Revolutionary War records.

Stephen, Ann, Elizabeth and Mary came over from Norwich, Norfolk England on the ship Diligent in 1638. Diligent, of Ipswich, John Martin, Master sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, in June and arrived August 10 at Boston, with about one hundred passengers, principally from Hingham, Norfolk, destination for Hingham, Massachusetts

The DILIGENT of Ipswich, John Martin, Master. She sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, in June and arrived August 10 at Boston, with about one hundred passengers, principally from Hingham, Norfolk, destined for Hingham, Massachusetts. Passengers:

Rev. Robert Peck, Mrs. Peck, Anne Peck, Joseph Peck, Joseph Peck, Mrs. ......Peck, Edward Gillman, Mrs. Mary Gilman, Edward Gilman, Moses Gilman, Lydia Gilman, Sarah Gilman, John Gilman, John Folsom, Mrs. Mary Folsom, John Folsom, Mrs. Christian Chamberlain, Henry Chamberlain, Mrs. .......Chamberlain, .... Chamberlain, ....Chamberlain, Stephen Gates, Mrs. Anne Gates, Elizabeth Gates, Mary Gates, George Knights, Mrs. ......Knights, ....Knights, Thomas Cooper, Mrs. Cooper, ....Cooper, ....Cooper, Francis James, Mrs. Elizabeth James, Matthew Hawke, Mrs. Margaret Hawke, Matthew Cushing, Mrs. Nazareth Cushing, Daniel Cushing, Jeremiah Cushing, Matthew Cushing, John Cushing, Deborah Cushing, Tohn Tufts, Robert Skoulding, Elizabeth Sayer, Mary Sayer, John Fearing, Philip James, Mrs. Jane James, ....James, ....James, ....James, ....James, Stephen Paine, Mrs. Rose Paine, ....Paine, ....Paine, ....Paine, ....Paine, John Sutton,
Mrs. Elizabeth Sutton, Hannah Sutton, John Sutton, Jr., Nathaniel Sutton, Elizabeth Sutton, Mrs. Joan Lincoln, Stephen Lincoln, Mrs. ....Lincoln, Stephen Lincoln, Jr., Samuel Packer, Mrs. Elizabeth Packer, ....Packer, Henry Smith, Mrs. Judith Smith, John Smith, Henry Smith, Daniel Smith, Judith Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Bozoun Allen, Mrs. Anne Allen, William Ripley, Mrs. ....Ripley, Mary Ripley, John Ripley, Abraham Ripley, Sarah Ripley, Thomas Sucklin, Richard Baxter, William Pitts, Edward Mitchell, James Buck, John Morfield, Thomas Lincoln, Jeremiah Moore, and about 20 servants.

Taken from PLANTERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH by C.E. Banks - originally published: Boston, 1930

Of Stephen's ancestry, the Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Vol. 2, biography of Jacob F. Gates) says the following: "Genealogically speaking the Gates family line is one of the most unique and wonderful in the Church. Jacob F. goes back in direct attested line on the Gates side to 1250 A. D., and on the last Clapdow line to William the Conqueror's time, 1066. They are a sturdy, intelligent stock; no kings and rakes are noted therein, nor paupers and rogues; just that splendid yeoman strain which has produced the leaders of the Latter-day Saints from New England, Old England, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. It is the blood of Israel."
With respect to the Gates pedigree, if not also in other respects, these assertions do not withstand scholarly scrutiny. Though Stephen was probably born in Norfolk in or near Hingham, no record of his birth has been found, and the names of his parents are not known. One source, Charles Otis Gates (Gates Genealogy, 1898) states that Stephen was son of Thomas Gates of Norwich. But this, as Donald Lines Jacobus said in 1933, "has yet to be proved." Jacobus did, however, supply us with a few leads (The American Genealogist, Vol. 10, pp. 199-200):

The parish register from Hingham does ... give some clue as to Stephen's family in Old England. Thomas Gates and Margaret Mylnye were married there June 24, 1622 and William Gates and Alice Foulesam were married Sept. 18, 1627. These men were likely brothers of Stephen. A Rose Gates, widow, was buried in Hingham July 25, 1635. She may have been Stephen's mother. The marriage of Stephen Gates and Ann Veare is recorded May 5, 1628, but there is no other person bearing the family name of Veare mentioned in the parish books. Her family must have lived elsewhere. Mary Gates is the only child of Stephen and Ann's recorded in the register, being baptised in 1636. Since there were at least two children older than Mary, it is likely the family resided in another town between the time of marriage of the parents and the record of the baptism of Mary.

The lineage to which the Biographical Encyclopedia refers relies on C. O. Gate's assertion that Stephen was grandson of Peter and Mary (Josselyn) Gates.

On this issue, we have the testimony of Frances Sage of Endicott, New York, saying (NEHGR 137:146) that the error had been perpetuated in published works because her grandfather "gave the information to C. O. Gates, who incorporated it into the preface of his book (N. Y., 1898)." Having later discovered his error, Mrs. Sage's grandfather published a "correction" in the Boston Transcript (16 September 1925):

"There is Gates genealogy, frequently quoted, and apparently generally accepted, which gives Stephen Gates, the immigrant, as son of Thomas Gates of Norwich, Norfolk, England, and grandson of Peter and Mary (Josselyn) Gates of London. Mr. Charles Otis Gates in his book ... gives this line and seems to be satisfied with the evidence, although he gives no proofs. Within the past twelve months I have seen a visitation of Suffolk made in 1612 and delivered in 1621 which includes further data, that shows that Stephen could not possibly have been a grandson of Peter and Mary Gates. Peter Gates was twenty-nine years old in 1612, and had one "son and heir, Josselyn, aged 3, and two daughters." Stephen's birth date is not known, but he was married and had five children, all born in England, when he came to America in 1634 or 1642. I have seen both dates given, but incline to the later one. Obviously, Peter could not have had a son Thomas born after 1612 who would be a grandfather in 1642. The Hon. Benjamin A. G. Fuller of Boston stated in the New England Genealogical and Historical Register [sic] in 1877: 'it seems that Stephen Gates, second son of Thomas Gates of Norwich...' There has never been any reason to question this statement, but the later claim that Thomas was the son of Peter seems now disproved."

Mrs. Sage further noted that Peter Gates married Marian Jocelyn in the parish of High Roding, Essex, 6 October 1605, and their son Jocelyn was baptised at the London church of St. Mary Woolchurch Haugh in February 1607.

At the risk of perpetuating another error, Chris Moore (soc.genealogy.medieval, 29 April 1998) hazarded a guess of his own: "Personally, I tend to believe that Stephen was either the son or grandson of Sir Thomas Gates, who was the first governor of the settlement at Jamestowne, Virginia 1611-1614. I am searching for proof of that connection now."


Since the above information only leaves clues as to the origins of "Stephen Gates of Norwich" ancestors. The rest of the line past Stephen's father Thomas concludes with methodical speculation to around 1350 A.D. However, in 'THE CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD OF ARBA GATES, 1800 to 1909' by Merrit C. Gates. He speaks about four brothers arriving in America at a very early age..

"Nothing is known of his ancestors, farther than four
brothers by the name of Gates, came from England to this
country in a very early day, and that his parentage
originated from one of these brothers. I have met in the
west many men by the name of Gates, and all with whom I have
talked, trace their origin back to one of these brothers"

...we know that Stephen had least two brothers, Thomas b. abt. 1598, and William b. abt. 1602, both born in England. Some speculate that Stephen had one other brother possibly named George although this has yet to be proven. We also know that Stephen brought his family to America in a very early day and that they were four on the ship Dilegent, although not brothers. This leads me to believe that the four brothers Merrit C. Gates wrote about were brothers of Stephen and that they possibly did not arrive together but within a short time frame of each other and I will continue to prove or disprove this idea.

More About Stephen Gates:
Christening: May 20, 1599, Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Fact 1.: Parish register of Higham, England.

More About Stephen Gates and Anne Veare:
Marriage: May 05, 1628, Hingham, England.

Children of Stephen Gates and Anne Veare are:
  1. +Stephen Gates, b. Abt. 1640, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. July 09, 1707, Acton, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  2. Elizabeth Gates, b. Abt. 1634, Norwich, Norfolk, England, d. August 03, 1704, Hingham, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  3. Mary Gates, b. October 15, 1636, Norwich, Norfolk, England, d. date unknown.
  4. Isaac Gates, b. Bef. May 03, 1646, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. September 03, 1651, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  5. Rebecca Gates, b. Bef. May 03, 1646, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. January 1649/50, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  6. Simon Gates, b. 1645, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. April 21, 1693, Brockton, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  7. Thomas Gates, b. Abt. 1642, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. August 10, 1725, Preston, New London, Connetticut.
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