John Gurney (b. February 21, 1602/03, d. March 16, 1662/63)
John Gurney was born February 21, 1602/03 in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England, and died March 16, 1662/63 in Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts. He married Mary on Abt. 1627 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
Notes for John Gurney: Early records concerning the first Gurney immigrant to America are exceedingly obscure and offer conflicting information. Sheer lack of records, various spellings (Girney, Goray, Cheny, Gurnie, etc) and the presence of two John Gurneys add to the confusion in determining the immigrant ancestor.
There were two John Gurneys, perhaps related, in early American records.
John Gurney -A, the apprentice of John Newgate, was from Bury St. Edmunds, England, and arrived on the ship "Handmaid". In 1636 he was brought before the constable of the court of Charlestown, Massachusetts, because he had "gotten away his indentures and was ordered to serve till he were 24 yrs. of age, viz. for 3 yrs., from the 29th of Sept. next." (Banks-151, Winthrop-II:345) Thus he was born about 29 Sep 1615 and could not likely have been the father of Richard, who was born about 1630. Nothing more is known of this John Gurney.
Of the other John Gurney -B, there is no positive proof that he was the father of Richard, yet his presence in Weymouth and Braintree, Massachusetts, and his more likely age, indicate the possibility that he was the immigrant ancestor. A record of his arrival in America has not been found. John Gurney was born probably in England, about 1603, for according to his disposition made in 1653, he was "aged 50 years, or there abouts". (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 62:94) He was a tailor. He married in England, and his wife, whose name is unknown (but is perhaps Mary), died at Braintree on 20 September 1661. He married secondly at Braintree on 12 Nov 1661 to the widow Grizzell Kibbee, successively the widow of Thomas Jewell, Henry Griggs, and Henry Kibbee. After John Gurney's death she married on 3 Jul 1667 to John Burge (Burgess) of Weymouth and later of Chelmsford and Dorchester, Massachusetts. (Chelmsford Vital Records)
John Gurney may have lived first at Weymouth, for he owned land there before 1642-44. Lands were granted to him "in the East Field", "in the Mill Field", and on the "east side of Great pond". A list of land or land owners compiled between 26 Oct 1642 and 21 May 1644 notes land of Robert Randoll first granted to John Gurney, land of Nathaniel Addames first given to John Gurney, and land of Thomas Richards first given to John Gurney. (History of Weymouth) He moved from Weymouth to Braintree before 1645 and probably lived there until his death. On 25 Mar 1653 the inventory of the estate of CPT William Tyng notes that there were 48 acres of land at Braintree and marsh in the possession of John Gurney. (New England Historical and Genealogical Record 30:432). On 2 Jun 1659 he witnessed the will of Gregory Baxter of Braintree, the inventory taken 5 Jul 1659 by Gurney and Moses Paine. (NEHGR 9:136). He sold land in Braintree on 12 Feb 1661, the deed witnessed by his son, John Gurney Jr. John Gurney died about 1662/63 in Braintree and the inventory of his estate was taken 16 Mar 1663 by Gregory Belcher, Edmund Quincy and Thomas Faxon -- amount 55.14.6 Pounds Sterling. (NEHGR 12:53)
John Gurney was indentured by the Court to John Newgate, tailor, as apprentice for three years in exchange for his passage to the New World. He settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1635. He was illiterate and signed with a mark. At his death, his estate was valued at a respectable 55 pounds 14 shillings 6 pence.
His father was Jhon Gurney, born about 1578 in Surcott, Buckinghamshire, England. Jhon married Katherine Howe who was born about 1582 in Wooten-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England. His grandfather was Willia Gurney, born 16 Dec 1542 in St Peter P'gate, Norfolk, England.
More About John Gurney: Record Change: February 06, 2004
More About John Gurney and Mary: Marriage: Abt. 1627, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
Children of John Gurney and Mary are:
+Elizabeth Gurney, b. Abt. 1638, Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts, d. January 17, 1698/99, Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts.