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Descendants of Nathaniel Potter I

Generation No. 1

1. NATHANIEL4 POTTER I (ROBERT3, THOMAS2, THOMAS1)1 was born October 7, 1622 in London, St. Bride, FleetSt., Middlesex, England, and died Abt. 1643 in Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island1. He married (2) DOROTHY WILBORE WFT Est. 1630-1643 in Possibly England2. She was born Abt. 1620 in England, and died February 19, 1675/76 in Portsmouth, Newport, RI.\\

Notes for N

In 1638 he was admitted as an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck, Rhode Island.
On 30 April 1639 he signed a compact in what is now Portsmouth, Rhode Island, with a bold "N". The document was laso signed by Robert Potter and George Potter. Robert and Nathaniel lived next to each other.Note: The robert potter referred to below appears to have
been the brother of Nathaniel Potter who immigrated to Massachusetts
rather than the father of Nathanial Potter. So may not be in the direct line to
Jason K. Potter.

Local and Family Histories: New England, 1600-1900s

Among the folks tracing this family, we do
not all agree on who were the parents of
Ichabod Potter Sr. This is mentioned, not
because of the disagreement, but because if
the writer is proven wrong it can be corrected.
Below will be the reasons for the ancestry
as I believe it to be. Some think the
original of the family in America may be
George Potter. Another has sent the original
as being Nathaniel. There is plenty of reasons
for the confusions, as there were several
Ichabods. Also in the 1790 census of Rhode
Island, there were 142 Potter families.

It seems in the Ten Part book - "History and
Genealogies of The Potter Families of America."
by Charles Edward Potter - 1888, printed by A.
Mudge & Son, Boston, in part 8, Nathaniel
Potter of Portsmouth, it mentions Ichabod
Potter of Dartmouth, Mass. "Will made March
15, 1754, PROVED Nov. 4, 1755." While he had
a son Ichabod, yet date his will was PROVEN
takes him out of the possibility of being in
the Census of 1774.

We all seem to agree that both Ichabod, Jr.
and Ichabod Sr. were listed in that Census of
Coventry, R.I. 1774.

It seems we have accounts of immigrant
Potters John & William, mentioned in above
book, and also in the Dawes-Gates Genealogies,
BUT they do not record Ichabod among descendants.
The three - Robert, Nathaniel, and
George (probably brothers, who came on same
ship with Rev. Ward in April 1634.) were
"admitted as inhabitants of the Island called
Aqueeneck July 2, 1640." From R.I. Records
Vol. 1., page 90. In the same volume, page 70
the same ones mentioned under date of Feb. 6,

With above as explanation, we will record
here the Generations in America, with our
reasons for record.

Page 149


From -"History & Genealogies of Potter Families
in America" by Chas. E. Potter, Published 1888.

ROBERT POTTER1 came from Coventry, in England, in
1634, and was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Plantation,
Sept. 3, 1634. He is mentioned first as being a
farmer at Lynn, Mass., and as removing, probably to Roxbury,
soon after being made a freeman of the Colony. The
records mention his first trouble with his church at Roxbury,
which finally resulted in the necessity of his leaving the Colony,
which he did, and settled in Portsmouth, R. I. "General
court of Newton, Mass., 12th day July, 1637. Robert
Potter appearing, liberty granted till next court in the
beginning of the third month called May, being bound in
20 to appear then, and refered the meane time to the
church of Roxbury, 2d day of 3d mo., 1638, Robert Potter
appearing was enjoyned to appear at the next session of the
court, unless hee bee with his family removed out of the
Plantation before."

At this time Robert Potter had become a follower and
friend of Samuel Gorton, the great religious disturber, and
they, together with their associates, purchased the tract of
land called the Shawomett Purchase, in Rhode Island, but
afterwards named by them "Warwick," in honor of the Earl
of Warwick, who had so much befriended them in their
troubles with the Plantation of Massachusetts.

(Gorton's ancestors originally came from the English township of Gorton which is now a district in Manchester. In l636 Samuel Gorton came to the Plymouth Colony seeking the realization of ideals he couldn't experience in his native England. The Massachusetts Colony, however, was also intolerant of his unorthodox beliefs. This problem brought him close to Roger Williams, with whom he moved to Rhode Island. When he finally got control of some land there Samuel Gorton, whose followers were known as Gortonites, preached to the colonists and the Indians. In time the Gorton family drifted to North Brookfield. The Gorton family would be and is of historic renown because of Samuel Gorton's work toward tolerance. )

In 1638, Robert Potter appeared again before the court,
was also admitted an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck,
R. I., the same year. In 1639, April 30, he and twenty-eight
others signed the following compact: "We whose
names are underwritten do acknowledge ourselves the legal
subjects of his Majesty King Charles, and in his name do
hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politicke, unto his
laws according to matters of justice."

Gorton, Potter, and their associates seem to have been religious
agitators. They agreed with the sect of Quakers in the
Page 150
rejection of church ordinances and in some few other points;
they, however, differed from them in many points deemed
the most essential. From the records it appears that they
did not get on peaceably at Portsmouth. In the following
proceedings of the Colony of Rhode Island, March 16, 1642,
"It is ordered that Robert Potter, Richard Carden, Randall
Houlden, and Sampson Shotton be disfranchised of the privileges
and prerogatives belonging to the body of this State,
and their names cancelled from the records." On the day
following this it was ordered by the colony of Rhode Island,
"That if Robert Potter, John Wickes, Randall Houlden,
Richard Carden, or Sampson Shotton shall come upon this
island armed, they shall be, by the constable, calling to
himself sufficient aid, disarmed and carried before the magistrate,
and there find sureties for their good behavior; and
further be it established, and if that course shall not regulate
them or any of them, then a further due and lawful course
of law already begun with John Wickes."

The records do not mention the charges against these persons;
it is inferred that they were of a religious nature.

In 1642, Robert Potter sold his house and land in Portsmouth
to his brother-in-law, John Anthony.

" The origin of the Potter Family is lost in the twilight
of Mediaeval England. You can trace by "Coat-of-Arms",
its common descent with the Earls of Leicester.

From the Potter who sat on the Commission of English
Commons, that condemmed Charles 1, in 1648 to the Potter
who vindicated the honor of the Supreme Bench at the
bar of the New York Legislature in 1870, the same lofty
invincible spirit has animated those who bear the name".

"If there be nobility of descent, all the more
indispensible is it that there should be
nobility of ascent." - Bishop, Henry Potter.

"People will never look forward to posterity,
Who never look backwards to their ancestry."
- Edmund Burke.

Page 151


Deed from the Sachem Myantonomy to Samuel Gorton,
Robert Potter, and others of Shawomett (now Warwick),
Jan. 12, 1642:--

"Know all men; that I Myantonomy, chiefe sachem of
the Nanheygansett, have sould unto the persons here named,
one parsell of lands with all the rights and privileges thereoff
whatever, lyinge uppon the west syde of that part of the sea
called Sowhomes Bay, from Copassanatuxet, over against a
little Island in the sayd Bay, being the north bounds, and
the outmost point of that neck of land called Shawomett;
beinge the south bounds from the sea shoare of each boundary
uppon a straight lyne westward twentie miles. I say I
have truly sould this parsell of lands above sayde, the proportion
whereof is according to the mapp under written or
drawne, being the forme of it to Randall Holden, John
Greene, John Wickes, Francis Weston, Samuel Gorton,
Richard Waterman, John Warner, Richard Carder, Sampson
Shotton, Robert Potter, and William Waddall for one hundred
and fortie-foure ffathom of Wampumpeage, I say I
I have sould it, and possession of it given unto the men
above sayed, with the ffree and joynt concent of the present
inhabitants, being natives, as it appears by their hands hereunto

"Dated ye twelfth day of January, 1642.

"Beinge enacted uppon the above sayed parsell of land in
the presence off"


Sachem of Shawhomett.

His Marke.

In its original form, this page included an image.
Page 152
"In 1643, Robert Potter, with others of the Shawhomett
purchasers, was notified to appear at the General Court, at
Boston, to hear complaint of Pomham and Socconocco, as to
'some unjust and injurious dealing toward them by yourselves.'
This summons they declined to obey, declaring
that they were legal subjects of the king of England, and
beyond the limits of Massachusetts territory, to whom they
would acknowledge no subjection. Captain Cook, with a
company of soldiers, was sent from Boston, who besieged
the settlers in a fortified house. In a parley it was now said
'that they held blasphemous errors which they must repent
of,' or go to Boston for trial. They were soon all carried to
Boston, excepting Shotton. Seven of them were sentenced to
be confined to different towns, viz., Gorton, Wickes, Holden,
Potter, Carder, Weston, and Warner. At the time of their
capture, their wives and children were forced to betake
themselves to the woods, and suffered hardships that resulted
in the death of three women at least, one of these being the
wife of Robert Potter."

The sentence passed upon the settlers at their trial, taken
from the records, was as follows: --

"It is ordered that Samuel Gorton shall be confined to
Charlestown, there to be set on work, and to wear such bolts
or irons, as may hinder his escape; and to continue during
the pleasure of the court; provided that if he shall break
his said confinement, or shall in the meane time, either by
speech or writing, publish or declare, or maintain, any of
the blasphemous or abominable heresies, whereunto he hath
been charged by the General Court, contained in either of
the two books sent unto us by him, or Randall Houlden, or
shall reproach or reprove the churches of our Lord Jesus
Christ, in these United Colonies; or the civil government,
or the public ordinances of God therein; (unless it be by
answer to some question propounded to him, or conference
with any elder, or with any other, licensed to speak with
him privately, under the hand of one of the assistants;) that
Page 153
immediately upon accusation of any such writing or speech,
he shall by such assistant to whom such accusation shall be
brought, be committed to prison, till the next court of assistants,
then and there to be tried by a jury, whether he hath
so spoken or written, and upon his conviction thereof, shall
be condemned to death and executed, dated 3 day of 9th Mo.

"Robert Potter, John Wickes, Randall Houlden, Richard
Carder, Francis Weston, and John Warner are confined on
the same conditions, Robert Potter to Rowley, John Wickes
to Ipswich, Randall Houlden to Salem, Richard Carder to
Roxbury, Francis Weston to Dorchester, and John Warner
to Boston, all these on the same conditions that Samuel Gaston
above named is, etc."

"In these hostile aggressions by the government of Massachusetts
it was not without hesitation that even their lives
were spared. This cruell punishment created much sympathy
for them and occasioned a good deal of murmering
among the inhabitants in whom the love of liberty was
deeply seated until they were again banished or released in

Samuel Gorton and some of his associates then went
to England and presented to the Commissioners of Foreign
Plantations, appointed by Parliament, a memorial
against the Colony of Massachusetts for their violent and
unjust expulsion of themselves and their companions from
"Shawomett," and in 1646 an order was promulgated, reinstating
them in their possession of Shawomett, and forbidding
the Massachusetts Colony from molesting them in their
peaceful possession. This seems to have secured peace to
the settlement, and absolute possession of the lands mentioned
as purchase from the Sachem Myantomony, excepting
that the Sachem Punnham in 1665 received a payment,
as appears in the following, taken from the colonial record:--

"This is to testify that upon the 3d day of January, 1665,
Mr. Samuel Gorton, Jr., Capt. John Green, Mr. Walter
Page 154
Todd and Mr. John Potter (son of Robert Potter) of the
town of Warwick, did deliver to Punnham the summe of
ten pounds in peag at eight a penny, in behalfe of themselves
and the rest of the purchasers, according to the
terme of that which is within written.

"Witnessed by us. EDWARD MARSHALL & OTHERS."

In 1643, the same year that he was arrested and tried in
Boston, he was also excommunicated from his church, as
appears in the records of the First Church of Roxbury.

There is no record of the exact date of Robert Potter's
coming to this country, or the ship in which he was a passenger,
excepting that he was a passenger with the Rev.
Nathaniel Ward, afterwards a minister of Ipswich, Mass.,
who left a writing of his visiting Robert Potter in prison,
which is to be found in Edward Winslow's "Hypocrasie
Unmasked," pages 76, 77. Rev. Nathaniel Ward is supposed
to have sailed from England in April, 1634. "This I remember
that one Robert Potter who went in the same ship
with mee into New England, and expressing by the way so
much honesty and godlinesse as gained my good opinion
and affection towards him; I hearing that hee was affected
with Samuel Gorton's blasphemous conceits and carriages,
and therefore now imprisoned with him. [Note. -- Robert
Potter was ordered to be confined in Rowley (Massachusetts
Colony Records, Vol. Il., page 52); but this conversation
seems to have been held while the prisoners were at Boston.]
I went to visit him, and having free speech with him in the
open prison yard, who shedding many tears might happily
move me to express my affection to him which Samuel Gorton
calls passion. After some debate about his new opinions,
I remember I used a speech to him to this effect; that
hee should doe well and wisely to make such acknowledgement
of his errors as his conscience would permit; telling
him that Mr. Cotton whom he had so much reverenced in
Old England an New had given him a godly example in
that kinde by a publique acknowledgement.

"I intreat him to read Titus, 1-13 with an humble heart,
and that is the greatest harm I wish him.

N. W."

Page 155
The notes herewith appended respecting Robert Potter
are from "Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode
Island": --

"1649. He was licensed to keep an inn.

"1651. Commissioner.

"May 25, 1655. He was appointed by the Court of Commissioners
to keep a house of entertainment. A convenient
sign was to be set out at the most perspicuous place of said
house to give notice to strangers.

"May 14, 1656. Inventory, 42 10s., in cattle and movable
goods, besides housing and land. It was ordered that
John Potter, son of Robert Potter, late deceased, be maintained
in apparel four years. Estate indebted 29 12s., and
other uncertain debts not yet brought in.

"Jun. 11, 1656. The town council found not enough
estate to discharge debts without sale of land, and ordered
Mr. Holden and Mr. Holliman to sell the house and land
and give a just account. The council gives to Sarah Potter,
wife of late deceased Robert, the household goods, cattle,
and hogs to dispose of.

"Aug. 26, 1658. The council met concerning debts of
Mr. Robert Potter's estate. Mr. Throckmorton was allowed
to hold remainder of his goods provided he send for it, being
evident they were not sold, but left to be sold by him.
Ordered that James Green, for what moneys he hath or
may disburse upon John Potter for clothing of him, shall
either have so much time in the house and land, or so much
rent as it shall be let for. He was also allowed to sell a
parcel of land belonging to house of Mr. Robert Potter,
deceased, situated on other side of the street.

"Mar. 16, 1686. Will, proved May 4, 1686. Widow
Sarah Sanford, of Boston. Executors, William and John
Mason, Jr. To daughters of brother Robert Sanford and
sister Mary Turner, 10, divided equally. To the children
of John Potter, Elizabeth Potter, and Deliverance Potter,
10 equally divided. To executors rest of estate."

Page 156
JOHN POTTER6 was enrolled a freeman 1660. He married
first Ruth Fisher, and after her death he married in
1684 the Widow Sarah Collins. He was married by Mayor
John Greene, who was afterwards the deputy governor.

"Feb. 6, 1660. He testified that in his conscience he did
believe his father sold a certain house. etc., in Portsmouth,
to my uncle John Anthony, and engages that when he comes
to full age of twenty-one years he will confirm said sale.

"1667-71-72-80-83. Deputy.

"Aug. 24, 1676. He was a member of the court martial
held at Newport, for the trial of certain Indians charged
with being engaged in King Philip's designs.

"May 7, 1679. On his petition he was granted by Assembly
36s., due him for service some years since, being
constable, in securing and sending Indians to Newport.

"1685-86. Assistant.

"Jun. 15, 1687. The petition of Sarah Potter, of Warwick,
to court, was referred to justices of the peace, of
Providence, Warwick, and Rochester (i. e., King's Town).

"Oct. 10, 1687. He deeded to eldest son Robert, 200
acres for love, etc.

"Apr. 28, 1688. He and his son Robert sold John
Anthony, of Portsmouth, buildings, orchard, and 28 acres
in Portsmouth, for 60.

"Oct. 6, 1692. He deeded to sons Fisher and John 100
acres each.

"Feb. 14, 1693. He deeded to son Samuel 80 acres.

"Apr. 10, 1694. His son Robert, after premising that
his father John, lately died intestate, now deems it incumbent
as eldest son to dispose of estate left undisposed of by
father. To two youngest brothers, Edward and Content,
he deeds a third of certain land, the other two thirds having
already been deeded to brother Samuel.

"May, 1700. Sarah Potter gave 2s. 6d. toward building
Quaker meeting-house at Mashapaug."-- Austin's Genealogical
Dictionary of Rhode Island.

Above -"History & Genealogies of Potter Families in America" by Chas.
E. Potter, Pub. 1888. Also R.I.V.R. Vol. 1, pg.93, "ROBERT POTTER,s of
JOHN & RUTH, b-3-5-1665-6." Lineage Proof, First 3 Generations. (4th)
Generation-R. I. Records, Vol. 1, pg. 413-" ICHABOD POTTER, s of
Robert (b-1665-6) b-1692." Also R.I.V.R. Vol. 4, pg.87, "Ichabod
Potter of Portsmouth, R.I., b-Sept. 23, 1692". Also "Ichabod Potter,
son of Robert, admitted Freeman, Oct. 1728". (5th.) Generation -
pg.188," ICHABOD POTTER,s of Ichabod, b-Feb. 9, 1722-3.". Also
R.I.V.R. Vol. 1. pg.43,"Ichabod Potter Jr., m-Dec. 1770, Phebe Casey".
(6th.) Generation, R.I.V.R. Vol.1, Coventry pg.86." CHARLES POTTER, of
Ichabod Jr. &. Phebe, b-Oct. 8, 1771, m-Anna Wilbur, May 9, 1793".
(7th.) Generation - JOSEPH POTTER, b-5-19-1797 in Coventry, R.I.
Walked to Ohio. m-Sarah Cunningham, of Parkersurg, W.Va., 4-19-1819.
Among their children - JOHN POTTER -(8th.)Generation in America.

Notes for D

After Nathaniel died she married John ALBRO.[v24t2075.FTW]

Dorothy was also married to John Albro. The name Wilbur is mentioned frequently as her last name, but no one has ever shown definite documentation that this is her name.
Child of N
2. i.   NATHANIEL5 POTTER, b. September 1637, Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island; d. October 20, 1704, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts.
3. ii.   ICHABOD5 POTTER, b. 1640; d. 1676.
  iii.   ABEL POTTER3.
  iv.   ROBERT POTTER3, b. 16413.

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