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Mordecai enters recorded history, as far as anyone has found, on 25 September 1655, when he was ordered to pay 25 shillings to Richard Jacob, to whom he was indentured.1 It can only be speculated why he wasn't free when he was married with children - his son Cornelius was probably born about 1653, but the servitude may have been concluded at that point since the Larcoms had a servant of their own several years later. Jacobs was a prominent man in Ipswich, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was in the colony as early as February 1641.2 The month is missing in the original record, or unreadable. The compiler of the "Records and Files" though this was December because the previous session was in the 12th month and the next in the 1st, but he confused the Julian and Gregorian calendars On 25 March 1656, Mordecai and his wife, widow of William Clark, brought suit against Cornelius Waldo for occupying a house Clark had built.3 William had an agreement with John Cogswell that if he rented the house he would get rent for it, so the suit reverted to the Cogswell estate, John having died. At the April 1656 court session, Mordecai was a witness in a case in which a man was accused of hitting another at church.4 The early records of the Ipswich church are gone, but he was apparently a member.
     Mordecai was fined for lying on 9 Apr 1657.5 On 25 June 1661, William Cressy sued Mordecai and Elizabeth for slander.6 There was a dispute about one of their servant boys being temporarily loaned to John West in which Elizabeth inferred some sort of abherrant behavior against West. He then "fell down dead" after she left. In depositions about her character, which were all positive, we find that the Larcoms were neighbors of Thomas Bishop for several years and of Thomas Burnham (Bishop lived in or near what is the village of Ipswich, Burnham in Chebacco Parish, now the town of Essex, which borders on Manchester). Cressy apologized and asked Mordecai to not prosecute him for what he said about Elizabeth, which is odd because the case was brought to court after this and the jury found for Cressy.
     Mordecai was among the Ipswich commoners required to pay the town's cowkeeper.7 He was given rights to use a canoe in Ipswich provided he pay the canoekeeper 12 shillings.8 The only vital record for a birth of any of his children was for Mordecai in Ipswich in 1658.9
     After a gap and change of towns, Elizabeth Larcom and others in Manchester, Massachusetts Bay, petitioned in support of the children of Thomas Wright on 18 Feb 1664/65. When he was hired as the town's cowkeeper, he was threatened by John West. Wright then left town.10 The several references to West are interesting because the one in 1657 infers he was living in Ipswich and in 1665, in Manchester. He apparently was living in neither. He settled early on in the far east of Salem near Manchester, which became a part of Beverly in 1668 and later called Beverly Farms. In that year, when the Beverly church was organized, West was dismissed from the Ipswich church to Beverly. Manchester was a small town and the church at this time wasn't strongly established. Salem church was closer than Ipswich, but maybe since he was already a member there, he continued at Ipswich. There he would have had contact with the Larcoms before they moved. Since Thomas Burnham lived in Chebacco Parish, the Larcoms were there as well, and maybe moved from Chebacco directly to Manchester. It's a mystery why West was abusive to Wright presumably about his position in Manchester when West wasn't a townsman there.
     The Larcoms weren't long in Manchester. Mordecai was among the Salem petitioners against imposts in October 1668.11 His stepson John Clark was charged with attempted murder in 1670, the summons for his arrest being issued in "Bass River."12 "Bass River" was by then an obsolete term for Beverly, which had been incorporated in 1668 and set apart from Salem, the parent town. The 1668 reference to his being in Salem was just before the incorporation, so he very likely was in what would become Beverly as early as 1668.
     He was one of three men appointed to oversee the proper use of trees taken out of the Beverly town common land in 1670.13 On 24 June 1673, Elizabeth deposed at the Quarterly Court and was said to have been 40 years old.14 This case was about another woman sitting in Elizabeth's lap in Beverly church, apparently annoyed to find someone sitting in her usual place. As with many of these ages given in Essex County Quarterly Court records, this one is probably off and not given by Elizabeth herself. If her son Cornelius was born in about 1653, as his death record indicates, and she was already a widow and mother of older children, it's very unlikely she was only about 20 when she married Mordecai. We also find Mordecai's age given as about 55 when he deposed on 55 June 168415 This was a court case involving Richard Thistle and Peter Renno, both of Beverly, in which he witnessed the transport of goods. This puts his birth about 1629. With nothing else to go by, we can only say this year is plausible.
     On 6 September 1675 Mordecai was convicted and fined for "taking a canoe," no further details given.16 He took the Oath of Fidelity in Beverly on 3 December 1677.17
He was elected a suveyor of highways for Beverly on 24 March 1681, his responsibility to be between the Manchester town line and "the west side of the new bridge near Ceder Stand."18 Cedar Stand was at the junction of what are now Hale and Ober Streets. The bridge was over Sallows Brook, which can barely be seen now as a tiny waterway under Hale just before it meets Ober.19
     The only deed recorded involving Mordecai was when he sold to his son Daniel all his real estate in Beverly including his homestead in return for his maintenance for the rest of his life. Elizabeth wasn't involved and must have died by then. The deed was signed on 6 May 1708, acknowledged on 19 January 1709/10 and recorded 15 April 1713.20 The recording of the deed may have had a connection to the death of a "Mr. Larcum" in Beverly on 4 January 1712/13.21 Process of elimination leaves little doubt this was Mordecai, Sr. Deeds in Massachusetts were sometimes recorded many years after they were made. I don't know the reason(s) for the delay. Some were never recorded, which must be the case for the deeds Mordecai must have made in Ipswich, Manchester and Beverly. In this case, Daniel may have requested it as a safeguard against disputes, real or potential, with other heirs. The bounds described in the deed are vague. North by Samuel Corning, east by the town commons, south by Isaac Woodberry and west by Robert Morgan. Sidney Perley's maps of Beverly in 1700 don't show an obvious spot for this land. It doesn't show on the map, probably because there was no recorded deed selling it to Mordecai. Daniel willed the property to his sons Benjamin and Joseph. Joseph sold his share to Benjamin and given there are no deeds showing he sold it, it may have been the homestead his widow Margery willed to John Dodge, son of Ambrose and Martha (Stone) Dodge. From there I find no trace of it being willed or sold, and the previous wills don't describe where it was.

children of Mordecai Larcom and Elizabeth (order unclear):

Cornelius, b. abt. 1653 (death record Bev 487)
Mordecai, 16 September 1658
Daniel, b. abt 1663, d. 15 Feb 1750, age 87 (Hale calls him David, bracketed by other Davids), widow of Daniel d 1756, age 85, Phebe Stone, m. 29 May 1693, Ips, had ch. b. 1712, son Joseph sold his rights to brother Benjamin of Beverly 26 March 1753, 99:201
Elizabeth, m. Isaac Whittier (of Manchester?)
Thomas, m. Hannah Kettle and Abigail Lovett (by 1700)
Rebecca, b. abt. 1673, m. John Standley, int? Beverly 25 Aug 1695, he b. abt 1672, d. 1758, age 86

vital records sources: his death is in Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield, MA: Topsfield Historical Society, 1907), 487.

1. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts [hereafter ECQC], vol. 1 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1911), 404
2. Ibid, 37. The month is missing in the original record, or unreadable. The compiler of the "Records and Files" though this was December because the previous session was in the 12th month and the next in the 1st, but he confused the Julian and Gregorian calendars
3. Ibid, 460.
4. 24 April 1656, Ibid, 423.
5. ECQC, vol. 2 (1912), 40.
6. Ibid, 200.
7. 28 Dec 1657, Ipswich ? 109.
8. 24 November 1657 image 212 Ipswich Grants Town Meeting 1634-1660.
9. Vital records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, vol. 2, (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1910), 235.
10. ECQC, vol. 3 (1913), 227-8.
11. The New England Hlistorical and Genealogical Register, vol. 9 (Boston, MA:New England Historic Genealogical Society, ), 85.
12. 1 June, ECQC, vol. 5 (1916), 374.
13. Ibid, 399.
14. Ibid, 217.
15. ECQC, vol. 9 (1975), 248.
16. Ibid, vol. 6 (1913), 19.
17. Ibid, 400.
18. Municipal Documents of the City of Beverly, Massachusetts, (Beverly: 1897), 390.
19. Ibid, 390-91.
20. Essex Co., MA, deeds, 25:179.
21. Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield, MA: Topsfield Historical Society, 1907), 487.

all text and photographs © 1998-2022 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted