John Prescott Birth: 1605 Death: Dec., 1681, Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. John Prescott, founder of Lancaster, MA. John Prescott, Sr. was born about 1605 in England and died in Lancaster, MA in 1683. He married Mary Gawkroger (alias Platt) (1607-1718) on April 11, 1629 in Sowerby, Yorkshire, England. The first 5 of their children were born in England except for the fifth child Hannah who was probably born in Barbados, West Indies in 1639. Their children included: Mary (Thomas Sawyer), Martha (John Rugg), John, Jr. (Sarah), Sarah (1 Richard Wheeler, 2 Joseph Rice), Hannah (John Rugg widower of Martha), Lydia (1 Jonas Fairbanks, 2 Elias Barron, Jr.), Capt. Jonathan (1 Dorothy Heald, 2 Elizabeth Hoar, 3 Rebecca Wheeler, 4 Ruth Brown), Joseph (probable that there was no son Joseph and that his existence at all is due to a clerks error in an early history of Concord, MA), Capt. Jonas, Sr. (Mary Loker). John and Mary were in Watertown, MA in 1640 and moved from there to the Nashaway Plantation in 1643 which was later to become Lancaster. Jonas was born here before Lancaster was incorporated so his birth was registered in Groton. There may have been two other children who died in infancy in England. Mary's alias "Platts" appears to come from English lands by that name that passed down through the Gawkroger family. The main source of this information is William Prescott's 1870 "Prescott Memorial." Bio Submitted by: Bob Speckman Salem, OR August 2008 Family links: Children: John Prescott* Mary Prescott Sawyer (1629 - ____)* Sarah Prescott Wheeler (1637 - 1727)* Lydia Prescott Fairbanks Barron (1641 - ____)* Jonas Prescott (1648 - 1723)* Spouse: Mary Platts-Gawkroger Prescott (1612 - 1688) Inscription: Original grave marker: JOHN PRESCOTT DECASED A memorial stone erected a long time after John Prescott's death: HERE WITH HIS CHILDREN ABOUT HIM LIES JOHN PRESCOTT FOUNDER OF LANCASTER AND FIRST SETTLER OF WORCESTER COUNTY BORN AT STANDISH, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND DIED AT LANCASTER, MASSACHUSETTS, DEC. 1681. INSPIRED BY THE LOVE OF LIBERTY AND THE FEAR OF GOD, THIS STOUT-HEARTED PIONEER FORSAKING THE PLEASANT VALES OF ENGLAND TOOK UP HIS ABODE IN THE UNBROKEN FOREST AND ENCOUNTERED WILD BEAST AND SAVAGE TO SECURE FREEDOM FOR HIMSELF AND HIS POSTERITY HIS FAITH AND VIRTUES HAVE BEEN INHERITED BY MANY DESCENDANTS WHO IN EVERY GENERATION HAVE WELL SERVED THE STATE IN WAR, IN LITERATURE, AT THE BAR, IN THE PULPIT, IN PUBLIC LIFE AND IN CHRISTIAN HOMES Note: Age: Approx 76. Founder of Lancaster. Burial: Old Settlers Burial Yard, Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Plot: Created by: Jim Sanders Record added: Mar 06, 2002 Find A Grave Memorial# 6238510
There are alot of stories, information, and misinformation about Mary and the Gawkroger Platts family. In colonial Massachusetts there were two Mary Gawkrogers. One married Richard Eccles and was the daughter of James and Martha (Ainsworth) Gawkroger. My Mary was the daughter of Abraham and Martha (Riley) Gawkroger.
Now what is with the odd name? The family was originally just Gawkroger. They were from the village of Gawkroger, and like most families, they took the name of where they were from as a surname. Abraham's great, great, great-grandfather was John Gawkroger. In 1487 he gave his grandson John the land called "Platts". The grandson became known as John Gawkroger of Platts. This went on for a few generations until they got tired of spelling the whole name. It was eventually shortened to Platts and then just Platt. So if your name is Platt and you have ever wondered were you come from, there you are. Your ancestors got lazy. Otherwise you would be Gawkroger. I can't imagine how school kids would have been able to come up with insults to rhyme with it.
found on ancestry.com
Many Alternate Dates for Mary Gawkroger Platts Prescott
Mary Gawkroger Platt (OR) Platts Gawkroger.)Birth: 15 May 1607, in Angleterr, Halifax, Sowerby, Yorkshire, England. (OR birth 1604/1605, Shevington, Standish Parish, Lancashire, England. OR About 1596, in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. OR 12 Feb 1612, England.) Christened: 15 Mar 1607/1608, in Angleterre, Halifax, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. (OR Christning 1604/1605 Standish Parish, Shevington, Lancashire, England.)Death: 1674-1678 Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. (OR Death Dec 1681, Lancaster, Massachusetts. OR 20 Oct 1688, in Lancaster, Worcester/Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was reportedly 92 years old. Burial: 1674, Lancaster, Massachusetts. (67 years old). Old Settlers Burial Yard, Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts.
Parents of Mary Gawkroger Platts:Father: Abraham Platts-Gawkroger (Gawkroger-Platts), of Sowerby, Yorkshire, England.Birth:Death:Mother: Martha Riley Platts-Gawkroger; (Gawkroger-Platts), Sowerby, Yorkshire, England.Birth: 1579.Death: 1632.
Some sources and records give the following information concerning Mary's parents: However, this couple may have been Mary's uncle and aunt.Father: James Gawkroger (OR James Gawkroger Platt, b. 7 Sep 1578, Halifax, Sowerby, Yorkshire, England. )Birth: 1540-1541, Halifax, Yorks, England. Christening: 10 Feb 1549, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorks, England. Married: 28 Dec 1571, Halifax, Yorks, England. Death: Mar 1592, England. Buried: 22 Mar 1591, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Mother: Martha Ainsworth Some records state that Martha Ainsworth Birth: About 1580, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.
Married: John Prescott: Mary was 21 years of age.Father: Ralph Prescott. Mother: Helen Shevington.) John Prescott's Birth: 1604/1605, Shevington, Standish Parish, Lancashire, England.John Prescott's Death: 20 Dec 1681, Lancaster, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.Marriage: 24 Jan 1629, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. (Other sources gives the marriage information as 11 Apr 1629, in Wegan, Lancashire, England; (OR) 24 Jan 1629, Wygan, Lancashire, England; (OR) 11 Mar 1629, in Wygan, Lancashire, England.)
Known/Believed Children of Mary Gawkroger Platt Prescott and John Prescott:
Mary Gawkroger Platts Prescott gave birth to children both in England and in America, losing two babies in England. In 1640 the family appeared in Watertown, Massachusetts where they lived for about three years and where their youngest daughter Lydia was born. In this transition period before Lydia was born, Mary may have had a daughter, Hannah, but we have no proof or disproof of this.
1. Mary PrescottBirth and Baptized: 24 Feb 1629/1630, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Marriage: Mary Prescott married Thomas Sawyer in 1648.Death: 12 Apr 1720, Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
2. Infant Prescott, Birth: Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.Death: 7 Mar 1630/1631, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.
3. Martha PrescottBirth and Baptized: 11 Mar 1631/1632, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorksshire, England. Death: 24 Nov 1655, in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. (OR death 11 Jan 1656, Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.)
4. Infant PrescottBirth: 1633, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.Death; 3 Jan 1633, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.
5. Infant PrescottBirth: Jan 1634, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.Death: 1634, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.Buried: 3 Jan 1634/1635, in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.
6. John PrescottBirth and Baptized: 1 Apr 1635, in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Death: 1748, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
7. Sarah PrescottBirth and Baptized: 1637, in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Married Richard Wheeler. (OR Wheelter.)Death: 20 Nov 1727, in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. (OR death: 25 Aug 1714, Stowe, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.)
8. Hannah PrescottBirth: 1638/1639, Barbados, West Indies (OR born in 1639 in Sowerby, Yorkshire, England. Death: 11 Sep 1696/1697, in Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
9. Lydia PrescottMarried: Jonas Fairbanks (OR married Fairbanks Baron.)Birth: 15 Aug 1641, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Death: Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony. (OR death: 1712, Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony. )
Mary had scarcely settled into a household routine in Watertown when John's deal for acquiring land further west uprooted the family again. In 1643 they moved to the Nashaway Plantation (later called Lancaster), where she probably gave birth to their son Jonathan. Her youngest son Jonas was born in 1648, and since the town of Lancaster had not yet been incorporated, the birth was recorded in nearby Groton.
10. Capt. Jonathan PrescottBirth: About 1643/1646, in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony. (OR born between 1645 and 1647 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts.) Married 1: Dorothy Heald on 9 Aug 1670, in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. Married 2: Elizabeth Hoar. Married 3: Rebecca (Wheeler) Bulkeley. Married 4: Ruth Brown, after the massacre*, he removed to Concord. Ruth Brown Prescott outlived himDeath: 5 Dec 1721, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
*He was driven from Lancaster by the Indians. He was captain, freeman 1690, and representative 1692 at first Court under the new charter. Dr. Jonathan Prescott; blacksmith, gentleman, Captain and physician.Death: 6 Dec 1721, in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
11. Joseph PrescottBirth: 1645, Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Death: 31 Dec 1732.
12. Capt. Jonas PrescottBirth: 30 Jun 1648, Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. (OR) Watertown, Middlesex County , Massachutetts Bay Colony.Death: 21 Dec 1723. (OR death 31 Dec 1723, Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.)
" A reflection of Mary Gawroger Platts Prescott's life interests are to be found in the subsequent lives of her husband and children. She endured the destruction of the settlement in February, 1676, during which she lost two sons-in-law, Jonas Fairbanks, husband of her daughter Lydia, and Richard Wheeler, husband of her daughter, Sarah.
In addition, she lost grandchildren and many friends. All the settlers were evacuated to towns further east for safety, and it appears that the Prescotts went back to Watertown where they had friends from their earlier residence there.
We know that Mary survived the massacre, because she made a legal deposition in 1678 which established her age as 66 that year, and also verified the connection of the Prescotts with many families which had connections both in Sowerby and in Lancashire, England.
It was recorded as follows: "Deposition of Mary Prescott, dated 1678. The Testimoney of Mary Prescott aged 66 years or thereabout Sayth that the first wife of Jacob Farror Senr. Late of Lancaster deceased lived with her uncle and she marrying Contrary to his mind and So he would not give her a portion but Said he would give to her first child (which was Jacob Farror late deceased) the Sume of forth pounds in money: and the sd deponent hath often heard that sd Jacob Farror Senr recieved the same for the use of his Sone Jacob: when he came to New England: that I can testifie upon oath Mary Prescot M p her marke. Witness John Tott Mary Lacey."
****************************************************************** Some References: "History of the Wheeler Family in America", 1914, Albert Gallatin Wheeler, Jr., p 498."Ancestrial Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England between 1623 and1650", 1969, Frederick Lewis Weis, p 34.
found on ancestry.com
During her infancy Mary Platts Gawkroger lived with her parents on the Ile d'Platt, Seychelles. According to ships logs and journals of the Ascension, her parents relocated to Massachusetts shortly before or after the birth of her brother Samuel (who may perhaps have been born aboard ship).
found on ancestry.com
Re Gawkroger/Platts name
Post on genforum Gawkroger family boards by Linda (Noland) Layman:
I found it in the book "Genealogy of the Gordon-Macy, Hiddleston-Curtis and Allied Families" by Jessie Gordon Flack and Maybelle Gordon Carman. I am a descendant of many people in this book, but not these particular families:" John Gawkroger b. Sowerby, Yorkshire, England, d. 1505 Sowerby, Halifax Parish. He gave land called 'Platts' to his grandson John in 1487 and then the family was called Gawkroger of Platts; this eventually came to be called just Platts."" Richard Gawkroger b. and d. Halifax Parish, Sowerby, Yorks, England."" John Gawkroger of Platts, an adult in 1487, Halifax Parish, Sowerby, Yorks, England."" An unknown generation but with the same land in the family inherited from father to son."" James Gawkroger of Platts b. c. 1558 Halifax Parish, Sowerby, Yorks, England. m. 2 Dec. 1751 Sowerby Jannet Fairbank b. c. 1558 Sowerby, Yorks, England, dau. of George Fairbank, clothier, whose will was dated and proved in 1650, d. Sowerby, England."" Abraham Gawkroger of Platts bp. 7 Sept. 1578 Halifax Parish, Sowerby, Yorks, England d. will proved 1627 Sowerby, m. 5 Sept. 1601 Sowerby, Yorks, England, Martha Riley b. c. 1580 Sowerby, Yorks, England, d. after 1627 as named in will of her husband."" Mary Platts alias Gawkroger bp. 15 March 1611 Halifax Parish, Sowerby, West Riding, Yorks, England d. 1674 Lancaster, Mass., buried in 'Old Cemetery' there, m. 11 March 1629 Sowerby, Yorks, England John Prescott b. 1604 Standish Parish, Lancashire, England, d. 1681, will proved 20 Dec. Lancaster, Mass., bur. 'Old Cemetery' there, called on his gravestone 'the founder of Lancaster.'"Mary had at least three siblings - James, Sarah, and Abraham who are mentioned in this article.
found on ancestry.com