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View Tree for John HardingJohn Harding (b. 1567, d. January 14, 1636/37)

John Harding (son of Fitz Harding)592, 593 was born 1567 in Boreham, Essex County, England594, 595, and died January 14, 1636/37 in Northampton, England596, 597.

 Includes NotesNotes for John Harding:


"In seeking to uncover the identity of those early pioneers who may be classed as the "First Hardings on American Soil," the historian must go back to the work, "A Briefe Narration of the Original Undertakings of the Advancement of Plantations into the Parts of Amerika, especially Showing the Beginnings, Progress and Continuance of that of New England," written by Sir Fernando Gorges in 1658.
According to this, which must be considered, authentic history of these undertakings, Capt. Sir Robert Gorges, as son of Fernando, for his valiant services to the crown during the "Venetian Wars" was in 1623 appointed by the Council of New England, "Governor of the Plymouth Country," - and for himself was given a grant to a tract of land four miles wide on Massachusetts Bay and extending 30 miles into the interior.
A few years previous to his appointment Captain Gorges had taken for a wife Mary Harding, described in the work as "the daughter and heir of William Harding, Gent."
Immediately after the appointment an expedition was fitted out at the port of Harwick, County of Essex, to take the new official and his party to his estate in the new world. And from the account mentioned we find that Governor. Gorges was accompanied by Lady Gorges, his wife, a clergyman of the Church of England, and "sundrie passengers and their families." The exact date of their departure from Harwick is not known, but it is recorded that the party reached the shores of America in August, 1623.
In the list of passengers with the Governor we find the names of John Harding, wife and young sons, Joseph Harding and Richard Harding and wife and infant son.
On arriving in America Governor. Gorges and party pitched upon Wessagusset, which had already been abandoned by Weston's people, later Weymouth Landing, partly in Braintree, "intending there to begin a plantation," that being the "place he had resolved to make a residence." And here we find seated the most ancient Hardings in New England when the records begin ten years later, and here for a century or more was the geographical center of the family.
Early in the records of the Puritan settlement at Wessagusset are found the names and records of a number of Hardings, Hardens, and Harradens--all believed to be more or less united by the ties of kinship,-- who either with the original party with Governor. Gorges or shortly thereafter, and omitting from this record all who have been proven to have no direct connection with the line we are tracing there remains:
1. Richard
2. Joseph
3. John
4. Abraham
5. Stephen
in the list of passengers accompanying Mary (Harding) Gorges and her influential husband to the New World we find the first three mentioned, and all indications point to the presumption that they were three brothers, cousins of Lady Gorges.
From Burke's "Landed Gentry" we learn that the early seat of the Harding in England was at Upcott near Barnstable, and that their descent was derived from Fitz Harding, and circumstances further point to the presumption that from this family came William Harding, Father of Mary, who as Lady Gorges, was probably the first of the name to reach American soil. From the very earliest times there has been a tradition in the family of "three immigrant brothers who came to America at about the time of the Pilgrim Fathers," and this tradition has been borne out by later investigations and has been generally accepted as a matter of history and fact.
The fact that Mary Harding Gorges has been described as the "daughter and heir" of William Harding places her, according to an authorative writer on the subject of early family histories, as "a woman without brothers," consequently the three other Hardings named could not have been brothers of Mary. An examination of the early "shire records" of Northampton discloses the copy of the will of one John Harding, dated 1636, in which was granted certain real estate to his brother William and the money and personal property to his sons Amos, Richard, Joseph, John and Oliver. If, as is generally supposed, the brother William was the father of Mary, the three immigrant brothers, all of those names were mentioned in the will, were cousins of Lady Gorges. A notation on the records made at the time the will was recorded states that the testator died 14 Jan. 1637, and the will, at the time made, states that the testator was then in his 70th year, fixing the date of his birth at approximately 1567.
Of the sons mentioned in the will we find three:
1. Richard
2. Joseph
3. John
had migrated to America with Gorges party, and this being confirmed by early records also confirms the theory advanced by Morse of "three immigrant brothers of whom neither Stephen nor Abraham were numbered."

Wilbur J. Harding, 1925

The following account of John Harding was given by Wilbur J. Harding in 1925

"Of John Harding, the head of the line so far as can be traced by public records, little is known aside from the information given in the public records of Northampton, England, which contains a copy of his will, dated 1636, in which was granted certain real and personal property to his brother, William and to his sons, Richard, Amos, John, Lemuel and Oliver. This will was filed March 3, 1637 and contains a notation that the testator died January 14, 1637. No children other than those mentioned are named, but it is possible, that as was often the case, other children might have been previously provided for. The will mentions that the testator was then in his 70th year, thus fixing the date of his birth as 1567. He was undoubtedly a husbandman and a direct descendant of Fits Harding. It also appears that he was an elder brother of William Harding, the father of Mary, afterwards Lady Gorges."


More About John Harding:
Residence: Dunburo Devonshire and Northampton, England.

More About John Harding and <Unnamed>:
Marriage: WFT Est. 1580-1614598, 599

Children of John Harding are:
  1. +Richard Harding, b. 1583, Dunburo (Denbury) Devonshire, England, d. Aft. December 18, 1657, Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts600.
  2. Amos Harding, b. Aft. 1587601, d. WFT Est. 1594-1696602, 603.
  3. Lemuel Harding, b. Aft. 1587604, 605, d. WFT Est. 1594-1696606, 607.
  4. Oliver Harding, b. WFT Est. 1588-1617608, 609, 610, d. WFT Est. 1594-1696611, 612.
  5. +John Harding, Jr, b. 1590, Northampton, Northampton County, England613, d. Abt. 1650, Weymouth, Massachusetts614, 615.
  6. Joseph Harding, b. 1624616, 617, d. WFT Est. 1625-1714617.
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