Saturday, May 31, 2014

52 Ancestors #22 - Edward Riggs: Early Massachusetts Puritans

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Amy Crow has posted a challenge on her blog "No Story Too Small".

Edward Riggs is my paternal 9th great grandfather.

Edward, son of Richard and Elizabeth Chamberlyn Riggs, was baptized March 30, 1589 in Roydon, Essex, England. (A copy of his baptism record can be found near the bottom of the page here.) He married Elizabeth Holmes. Their children are Edward Jr. (I descended from him), Lydia, Elizabeth, John, and Mary. Their children were all born and baptized at the Nazeing Parish in England. The family left England in 1633 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Wikipeadia, Creative Commons license
Boston was located on an isthmus. Today it has been land-filled. Roxbury was at the bottom of Boston in what is known as Boston Neck (bottom of map).

It was originally called Rocksberry because the rocks in the area were a challenge to farmers.

Edward was admitted as a Freeman (free from bondage). Only "free" men were allowed to own land, vote, and hold public office.The family attended the First Church of Roxbury. The church also served as a meeting place for government.

The mortality rate was high. Edward and Elizabeth lost three of their children within thirty months of arrival.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988; (
                                                            Lydia 1622-1633    Elizabeth 1627-1634    John 1630-1634

                                      Death held a firm grip on the family. Edward's wife, Elizabeth, died in August 1635.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988; (

Edward lived to be eighty-three years old which was very rare for his lifetime. He made his Will on September 2, 1670. He died March 5, 1672 at Roxbury.

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