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View Tree for Lt. John EllisLt. John Ellis (b. September 14, 1623, d. Bef. March 23, 1676/77)

John Ellis was born September 14, 1623 in England1003, and died Bef. March 23, 1676/77 in Sandwich, Barnstable co., MA1004. He married Elizabeth Freeman on June 16441005, daughter of Edmond Freeman and Bennet Hodsoll.

 Includes NotesNotes for John Ellis:
JOHN ELLIS: The list of Sandwich settlers dated 643 (ibid., p. 44) John Ellis' name is among those between the ages of 16 and 60 and able to bear arms. Therefore, we know that he was born not later than 1627 and it seems safe to assume that the date of his birth was not far from the year 1620.

The next mention of his name shows that he was in trouble. At the court held on 20 Aug. 1644 he was accused of fornication, and the record shows that "A warrant was set forth to bring in the bodies of Jonathan ffish & Mary his wife; Nathaniell ffish; Jane the wife of William Wood; Rose the wife of Joseph Holly; the wife of Richard Kerby; the wife of Michael Turner & Joanna Swift, widdow, to give evidence in John Ellis and his wife's case" (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff ed., Records'of the Colony of New Plymouth,* vol. 2, p. 75. 4 June 1645 "John Ellis of Sandwich ... and his now wife. . censured to be whipt at publicke post and Elizabeth his wife to stand by whilst execucon of the sentence is pformed; which was accordingly done. And the said John Ellis for his long and tedious delayes occasioning much trouble and charge to the countrey, for that he would not confess the truth untill the present, is fyned 5 li" (ibid., p. 85).

It has often been observed that neither the colony nor the ecclesiastical courts of the period were apt to view with favor the possibility of a premature birth. In this instance the stubborn refusal-of Ellis to admit guilt may have been based on some other argument. The prominence of the Freeman family may have played a part in the case. It would be interesting to read a transcript of the- testimony presented by the young couple and their neighbors.

Whatever may have been the merits of the case, it is clearly of interest genealogically speaking that the marriage almost certainly took place before 20 August 1644 and that the first child by EIizabeth Freeman was born about that date. Yet the first recorded birth, that of "Benet Elles" (no parents listed), took place in 1648-1649.

The next recorded birth is that ' of "Mordecai Ellis son of John, 24 March 1650" (Sandwich vital records in Mayflower Descendant vol. 14, p. 168). The births of two other sons: "Joel Ellis, son of John," born 20 March 1654 (ibid., p. 166) and "Matthyas Ellis s. of John, b.2 June 1657" (ibid., p. 168) are of recorded, but none of the other children's births are recorded. 'The identity of Elizabeth, wife of John Ellis, is proved by her father's will (see below), in which he names his daughter Elizabeth Ellis and his grandson Matthyas Ellis.

John Ellis served 5 June 1651 on the Grand Enquest (Plym. Col. Recs., vol. 2, p. 168). With others he was appointed by the Court "to lay out the convenientest Way from Sandwich unto Plymouth, 24 Feb. 1652" (1652-3) (ibid., p. 361-2). ".John Ellis [was] approved by the Court to bee leif tenant of the military companie att Sandwidge," 9 June 1653 (ibid., p. 61). An agreement, dated 13 Dec. 1653, orders "that Richard Chadwell, Thomas Dexter, John Ellis, these three men are to have ye whales yt come up within ye limits & bounds of Sandwige.and for ye sd whales they are to pay to ye town l6 pounds apiese... provided any of them have notis given them by any mant that hath seen ye whale and this on oeth is to be taken for the truth and certainty of ye thing, to make these three persons above mentioned liable to pay... in case one of them doe not goe along with him that brings the word there is a whale cast but if any of them returns with him that gives them notis, then the person yt gives them notis, hee shall help to seize the whale & ye person whoever hee be yt will doe accordingly to give notice in ye towne's behalf shall have paid him for his paines and care herein twenty shillings, . . ." Signed by James Skeff, William Swift and the mark of John Ellis. On 21 Feb. 1654 (e.g. probably 1654-5) George Allen's accounting,. dated 21st 12 mo. 1654, "of tole to John Ellis for four barrills [of oil]

"The 1st of March 1654 (e.g. 1654-5) John Ellis, WilliamSwift, William Allen & James Skeff : these four men doe hereby ingage ourselves equally in the building of a mill, to defray and discharge, all disbursements about the building of the same & for the present ingage ourselves to pay twenty pounds apiece in whete befe to be ready to make paiment of the same by the last of November next issuing." Signed James Skeff, William Swift and the mark of John Ellis (Sandwich andBourne Colony Records (1912), Library of Cape Cod Series No. 104).

On 29 May 1655 a list was drawn up of men who engaged themselves to contribute toward "the building of a place for publick meetings" in Sandwich. Mr. [Edmond] Freeman, Senr. and George Bluitt gave one pound each, "Leftenant Ellis" and William Swift 15s. and thirty others pledged lesser amounts (ibid.). The "accompt of Leiftenant Ellis for oyle, "dated 23 Feb. 1657, includes two small items of 6s. 9d. and 4d., "To John Ellis the Town's debt." A rate for oil, 4 April 1657, shows: "Due Leiftenant Ellis" by William Swift 3s.; and from Ezra Perry 4s., etc.(ibid.). On 17 July 1657 amounts pledged for the minister's salary were listed for twelve men including "Leftenant Ellis."

In February 1657-8 Leftenant Ellis was indebted to the town 14s. 8d. and he was appointed "to build and carry on work for the Meeting House, the which he the said Ellis accepted of" (Sandwich Proprietors's Records). On 2 March following Peter Gaunt, Daniel Winge, Ralph Allen, Jr., and William Allen were summoned before the Court "to Answer for a tumultuous carriage att a meeting of the Quakers at Sandwich." They were admonished and fined 20s. each, but upon examination at the same time "Leift. Ellis, Steven Wing and Thomas Butler ... found not soe faulty as was supposed" were admonished and cleared (Plymouth Colony Court Records, vol. 3, .130.

But to continue with the record: 3 May 1659 John Ellis is allowed by the Court to keep an ordinary att Sandwich for the entertainment of strangers and trauellers and he is to provide conveniencyes for that end, and may sell strong waters and wine for such encyes, but is prohibited to permitt towne dwellers to staye drinking unnecessaryly att his house" (Plym. Col. Recs., vol. 3, p. 61). 13 Dec. 1659 Richard Bourn, Richard Chadwell, Thomas Tobey and John Ellis were appointed to meet with "Barnstable men att their time appointed to run the line between Barnstable and Sandwidgc" (Sandwich Proprietors' Records). At the same meeting "John Ellis & Thomas Burge agreed with the town to contribute 17 pounds of oyle." 6 June 1660-"left. Ellis hath engaged to train the military company of Sandwich" and on 18 June it was agreed that "James Skeft should deliver to every musquetere of ye military company that went out to ye general muster at Yarmouth" an agreed weight of powder. Most of the men were to have 2 pounds, but "Leiftenant Ellis-nine pounds" and also "John Ellis 2 pounds."

16 July 1662-The town made choice of Goodman Skef, Goodman Tupper, William Bassett & William Swift to treat with "Leftenant Ellis" about finishing the town dock..... if in case he will promise to finish his work by the first of September." 7 June 1665 John Ellis was ordered to pay 20 shillings for part of a whale he had (.Plym. Col. Recs., vol. 4, p: 99). On 11 Aug. 1670 an Indian called William complained "that the oxen of Lieuft. Ellis" had broken into his corn at Break Heart Hill. Elisha Hedge confirmed the damage (ibid.). Leftenant John Ellis and others were chosen raters for Sandwich 13 July 1671. At a town meeting 26 Aug. 1674 there were given "unto Lieftenant John Ellis twenty akers of land beginning at his cow yard at the Western side of his fence going down to the beach, the hie way excepted, or another hie way as convenient as the old ... is, and Job Bourn and Thomas Tupper are chosen to lay out the land" (Sandwich Proprietors' Records). At the same meeting "John Ellis Senr." was chosen, with others, to lay out new land for Ebenezer Nye. On 28 Feb. 1675 a town meeting was held to consider what steps should be taken to protect the people against Indian attacks in connection with King Philip's war. It was ordered that Lt. John Ellis should make provision for the inhabitants to come to safety into the garrison on Town Neck in times of danger.

May 10, 1676 "Forasmuch as it is judged meet for the safety of the seven towns to keep a careful watch between Wayquansett and the sea" it was ordered that "Lieftenant John Ellis, Thomas Tobey Senr., Steven Skiffe, being fully impoered, are agents for the town of Sandwich to hire as many men upon the Scout for the town of behalfe for the payment of the Scouts that are on our sarvice" (ibid.).

Upon the outbreak of this war casualties, of course, soon began to occur. We have not been able to find any documentary evidence that Lt. John Ellis. and/or John Ellis, Jr., were among these casualties. Nevertheless the records are incomplete and we believe it is certain that not all the names of those who were killed or who died as a result of wounds or illness contracted during this war have survived to us. The Yarmouth records, for example, show the death of young Thomas Tobey 2 Feb. 1676-7, and we submit as a distinct possibility the hypothesis that he and Lt. John Ellis and his son John may have been among them. To support the suggestion we point to the fact that the widow Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis, as we shall see, left the comparative safety and cornfort of Sandwich at the age of nearly sixty, to pioneer in the settlement of Sepican. This land was a part of the grant made by the general court to veterans of King Philip's war.

At any rate Lt. John" Ellis was dead before 23 March 1676-7, when his widow presented to the probate court the and inventory of his estate.
John Ellis, born September 14, 1623 in England, son of John Ellis and '?' Masterson, came to America with his Uncle, Richard Masterson, who was b. about 1600 and was the brother of John's mother '?' Masterson. They traveled on the Mayflower in 1629.

On November 10, 1641 John Ellis married Susan 'Susanna' Lombard. She was born about 1627 in Dedham Ma. She died April 4, 1654 in Medfield Ma. They had at least one child, John Jr. who was born on February 26, 1642 in Dedham/Sandwich Ma.

On August 20 1645 John Ellis married Elizabeth Freeman. She was born on April 11, 1624 in Billinghurst/Suffolk England. Elizabeth was 12 years old when she cam to America with her family on the 'Abigail in 1635. She died June 24, 1692 probably in Rochester NY. They had at least 13 children:

'John Ellis' of Sandwich and his now wife is censored to be whit at public post and Elizabeth, his wife, to stand by whilst execution of the sentence is performed', which was accordingly done. ' And the said John Ellis, for his long and tedious delays occasioning much trouble and char to the country, for that he would not confess the truth until present, is fined 5 lashes.' Served June 5, 1651 on the Grand Inquest.

John was on a list of those between 16 and 60 able to bear arms in Sandwich in 1643. He was on a committee to lay out a road from Sandwich to Plymouth February 24, 1652 and was made a Lt. on January 1653. On March 1, 1654 he agreed to build a mill with William Swift, William Allen and James Skeff. The court in Sandwich allowed him to maintain an Inn and Liquor store, but the purchasers were not to drink on the site.

John and Elizabeth were charged with fornication before marriage. In the excerpt taken at that time:1651

On June 18 1660 Lt. John Ellis was instructed to deliver powder to the musketeers. He built a town dock in 1662-1665. He was chosen, with others, as 'ratters' for Sandwich July 13, 1671. Given 20 acres of land on August 26 1674, 'beginning at his cow yard at the Western side of his fence, going down to the beach', to be laid out by Job Bourn and Thomas Tupper. Chosen with others to lay out the new land for Ebenezer Nye. Ellis was ordered, by the town meeting, on February 28, 1675 to make provision for a garrison at Town Neck for people during King Philips War. He may have perished, with his son, John, by a previous marriage, and Thomas Toby in February 1676/1677 in conflict with the Native Americans. His wife Elizabeth received a grant of land made to Veterans of King Philips War. His inventory included; clothes, beds, brass kettles, pots and pans, a rapier and belt, gun powder, bullets, tubs, barrels, pails, books, 4 cows, calves, bull, (another lost bull) in the woods, a horse, ten sheep with lambs, five hogs with piglets, chairs, iron pieces, 18 bushels of corn, iron molds for lead. In addition, his son John also left a saddle, pistols, another horse with colt, lost horses, two augers, saw and a small tool, a boat, an old skiff, and 1 yards of red cotton.

More About John Ellis and Elizabeth Freeman:
Marriage: June 16441005

Children of John Ellis and Elizabeth Freeman are:
  1. +Mordecai Ellis, b. March 24, 1650/51, Sandwich, Barnstable co., MA1006, d. February 05, 1708/09, Sandwich, MA1007.
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