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The last name of this family has been spelled phonetically since John's appearance in Massachusetts Bay Colony. He apparenty was illiterate, having signed a will and codicil with a mark, leaving others to interpret it in writing such as Macoone, Macoun, Maccoun, etc. I've chosen "Maccoon" as a default. The most obvious interpretation is that it was Scotttish. Given a Scottish accent, it may have been MacEwen. Donald Whyte, in his A Dictionary Of Scottish Emigrants To The U.S.A.1 says he was John Mackholme, an Aberdeenshire soldier brought to Massachusetts in 1651 in indentured servitude as a captive from Cromwell's army. It's plausible he was a Scottish transplant during a general immigration of Scots after the war, but the name Mackholme was far more likely a phonetic version of a name like MacCullom. Unlike the Great Migration period, ship passenger records are rare from the mid 17th through the early 19th centuries. Many people crossed the Atlantic leaving no record of their passage. In my opinion, thinking John of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the soldier is grasping at a straw without evidence and reason to support it.
     John Maccoon was in Cambridge by 1656, when he married Deborah Bush. He's on lists of the grantees of town land in Cambridge perhaps compiled on 27 February 1664 and 27 March 1665,2 He was given 5 acres. Another list says he owned 16 acres in 1683.3 On 18 May 1668 he is probably on a list of "the names of such as inhabit Misquamacott [Westerly], who have formerly presented their names to be made free of the Colony, doe now again present them to this present Assembly, sitting this 28th of October, 1668."4 This isn't when they took the oath - they did so at an unkown earlier date. There is a "John" there with a last name that is apparently unreadable. The names on this list are very similar to those on a list of the "free inhabitants" of Westerly in 1669, on which John certainly appears.5 He took an oath of allegiance to the King Charles II on 18 May 1671 and again in 1679, all as a resident of Westerly.6 He was a juryman at Newport on 29 March 1681.7 The births of his children up to 1673 are recorded at Cambridge. His deceased wife Sarah's mother Sarah Woods and her brother Thomas sold him property formerly owned by his father-in-law Richard Wood in April of 1676.8 He evidently lived in Westerly but continued to own land in Cambridge for many years, but he said he was living in Cambridge when he wrote his will on 1 December 1697 and a codicil on 4 May 1705. His daughter Mercy marred in Cambridge in 1703. His daughter Isabel married in Kings Town (adjacent to Westerly at the time and now South Kingstown) in 1691, and on 8 March of that year or 1692 he bought 100 acres of land in Westerly.9 so he may have moved back to Cambridge between 1691 and 1697. His probate account says he died on 8 October 1705.

John's will:10

transcription to come      

children of John Maccoon and Deborah Bush: (all records in Cambridge)11

i. Hannah b. 31 October1659
ii. Rebecca b. 31 December 1660/61
iii. Elizabeth b. 31 January 1662/63
iv. Sarah b. 15 February 1663/64 (her mother died soon after, on 20 February 1663/64)1

children of John Maccoon and Sarah Wood: (records in Cambridge)12

v. John b. 14 June 1666
vi. Daniel b. 18 February 1667/68

children of John Maccoon and Mary: (birth records in Cambridge, children after Peter b. perhaps in Westerly)13

vii. Elizabeth b. 17 January 16(68/?)69
viii. Margaret b. 20 February 1670/71
ix. Peter b. 21 December 1672/73
x. Isabel b. abt. 1674
xi. William b. abt. 1676
xii. Mercy b. abt 1682

vital records sources: John's marriages to Deborah Bush and Sarah Wood are in the Cambridge town records,, LDS film #007009825, images of vol. 1, "Records of Cambridge 1632-1703," (transcription of original records), p. 514. His death is noted in his probate record (see note 10 below).

1. comp. & ed. Donald Whyte, A Dictionary Of Scottish Emigrants To The U.S.A. (Baltimore:1972), 285.
2. The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the "New Towne" and the Town of Cambridge (Cambridge:1896), 149.
3. Ibid, 163.
4. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, vol. 2 (Providence:1856), 238.
5. transcribed on the internet, original source not noted.
6. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, vol. 3 (Providence:1858), 68.
7. comp. Janet Fletcher Fiske, 8. Middlesex Co., MA, land record 6:210.
9. Westerly, RI, land record 1:76.
10. Middlesex Co., MA probate file 14446.
11. Cambridge town records,, LDS film #007009825, images of vol. 1, "Records of Cambridge 1632-1703," (transcription of original records), p. 513.
12. Ibid, erroneously listed among the children of Deborah.
13. Ibid, 515, 520.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted