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vital records sources

Jacob's signature from Joseph Metcalf's will, 1665. His brother's is above. While differing styles of writing aren't uncommon within families,
it's interesting that they both used letters that were both old and newly in fashion, but different from each other's.

Jacob was six when his his family travelled from Warwickshire, England, to the port of Bristol about November of 1630. From there they got on the ship Lyon on 1 December and sailed to Salem in Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving in Boston Harbor in February 1631.1
     A house at 80 East Street, at the beginning of Jeffrey's Neck Road, is said to have been built in 1700 on the foundation of Jacob's house. I doubt this can be proved, but the location is plausible. Jacob inherited his father's house and homestead, which included this area, but I haven't found any specific evidence of where the house was.
     George A. Perkins is mistaken now and then in his book on this family.2 One error is that Jacob's house burned down due to the carelessness of a servant, Mehitabel Brabrook. It was the house of his nephew Jacob in the Chebacco neighborhood of Ipswich that is now the town of Essex. The court record describing the incident refers to Abraham Perkins as an adjacent neighbor. This was Jacob's brother "Quartermaster" John's property and his sons Jacob and Abraham settled on it.
     Jacob and his father deposed about the loss of a boat at the Essex County Quarterly court on 28 September 1647.3 1:124. Jacob was a witness when Robert Beacham hit Joseph Fowler in the chest with his elbow during church and called him a "saucy rascal." He had to answer for this in court on 30 September 1651.4 Ibid, 232 He was on the jury of trials at the 25 March 1656 session of the court,5 1:414, also on 30 March 1658,6 2:61 25 March 1662,7 2:347 28 March 1665,82:228, 29 March 1670,9 4:214 26 September 1671104:419 and 30 September 1673115:224 He was on the grand jury on 27 September 1659.12 2:168 He was made a freeman of Ipswich at the 27 March 1660 session132:196
Jacob had a servant named James Sanders, who deposed that his master had summered a calf, the subject of an ownership dispute. 142:350
      At the 18 May 1664 session of the General Court, "the ffoote company of Ipswich having chosen Thomas French, ensigne, Thomas Burnam, Jacob Perkins, Thomas Wayt, sergants, as also Thomas Hart & Francis Wainwright corporalls, this Court judgeth it meete to allow & confirme the sayd choyce respectively."15 He is usually referred to with the sergeant prefix thereafter.
     The Ipswich town records aside from vital records have only been transcribed up to 1650.16 Jacob doesn't appear in aside from a list of those with common rights. The original records after this for several decades at least are available on microfilm, but the quality of the filming and handwriting and the lack of chronology commonly found throughout make a full review of them difficult.17 From them I've at least gleaned that on 18 June 1658, Jacob and John "Perkings" were chosen selectmen, and on 5 April 1660 he was on a committee to settle land disputes, harkening back to his father's service in land matters for the town.
     There isn't a marriage record for Jacob and his first wife Elizabeth. It's been speculated that she was a daughter of Thomas Lovell, one of Jacob's neighbors, but he was about the same generation as this couple. Evidence for him and his family make this implausible. More reasonable is the thought that she was the daughter Elizabeth Perkins named in the will of Matthew Whipple of Ipswich. There are evidently no other woman with that name and of that generation who could be an alternative. Also, Jacob and Elizabeth named a son Matthew, which wasn't a relatively common name.
     There also is no record of his marrying the widow Damaris Robinson. She was given letters of administration for her husband Nathaniel Robinson's Boston, Massachusetts, estate on 7 June 1683.18 As Damaris Perkins, she made a will in Boston on 20 June 1713.19 In it she mentions her Robinson children, all of whom are in the Boston town birth records with Nathaniel and Damaris named as their parents. Damaris, Sr., widow, died on 13 January 1716/17 in Boston, age 80.20 I haven't found her birth family.

About two weeks after Jacob died an inventory was made of his estate:21

Feb 9: 1699:1700

This is a tru invintory of the estate of Jacob Perkins sen. of Ipswich lat dsesed are as folloith

It by his waring cloths £5
It by 27 boshils & half & half a pack of indgin corn
[total] £2, 15 shillings, 3 pence
It by one bushil of pease 3 shillings
It by 60 wait of porke at 10
[prob. "f" for farthings] per pound 12 shillings, 6 pence
It by 60 wait of befe at 2 pence per pound 10 shillings
It by 23 bushils and half of barly at 2
[shillings?] per bushil £2, 7 shillings
It by one kow at £2, 15 shillings
It by one swine at 3 shillings and too barels of sider at 18 shillings at £1, 8 shillings
It by old caske at 6 shillings 6 shillings
£15, 16 shillings, 9 pence

the prisers are

William Baker
Tho Newmarch


The acompt of the funarl charge £11, 7 shillings, 10 pence
It by the docter and nurs £1, 1 shilling, 6 pence
It by Cornl Wainwright £4, 8 shillings, 10 pence
It by Nathanel Treadwel 14 shillings
It by Thomas Treadwel
[iv?] 10 shillings
It by Silvanus Tripe 6 shillings Nicols Polad
[Poland] 4 shillings, 6 pence al at 10 shillings 6 pence
It by Henry Spiler 4 shillings william stevens 3 shillings, 6 pence al at 7 shillings, 6 pence
It by William Backer 1 shilling, 10 pence

The inventory was brought to court on 10 June 1700 by the executors, Jacob Perkins, Jr., and Matthew Perkins.

children of Jacob Perkins and Elizabeth (prob. Whipple):22

Elizabeth, b. 1 April 1649
John, b. 3 July 1652
Judith, b. 11 July 1655
Mary, b. 14 May 1658
Jacob, b. 3 August 1662
Matthew, b. 23 June 1665
Hannah, b. 11 October or November 1670 (see note )
Joseph, b. 21 June 1674
Jabez, b. 15 May 1677

vital records sources: His baptism is recorded in the Hillmorton parish records of St. John the Baptist church, images of the original mss accessed at His death is recorded in a family Bible. See note 22.

2. George Augustus Perkins, The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts, (Salem:1884).
3. Records and Files of the Essex County Quarterly Court, vol. 1 (Essex Institute:Salem, 1911), 124.
4. Ibid, 232.
5. Ibid, 414.
6. Ibid, vol. 2 (1912), 61.
7. Ibid, 237.
8. Ibid, 228.
9. Ibid, vol. 4 (1914), 214.
10. Ibid, 419.
11. Ibid, vol. 5 (1916), 244.
12. Ibid, vol. 2, 168.
13. Ibid, 196.
14. Ibid, 350.
15. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, vol. 4, part 2 (Boston,1854), 106.
16. The Ancient Records of the Town of Ipswich, vol. 1 (Ipswich, 1899), not consistently paginated, digitized at
17. digital images at, original mss not paginated.
18. Suffolk Co., MA, probate case 1283.
19. Suffolk Co., MA, probate case 3714.
20.Ibid, "Boston, Deaths, 1689-1720," images of original mss page 80, image 42. This mss is one of many transcriptions of the Boston vital records, but agrees with all others available online.
21. Essex Co., MA, probate case 21321.
22. The births of Jacob and Elizabeth's children come from two preferred sources. The first is a family Bible referenced in an article in Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, vol. 19 (Essex Institute:Salem, 1882), 264. At the time of publication, the Bible was "in the possission of H. N. Perkins, Esq., of Melrose," who is credited with providing manuscript information for the article. Evidently he was Horatio Nelson Perkins (1807-1883), member of the NEHGS. In Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, vol. 8 (The New England Historic Genealogical Society:Boston, 1907), 145, it says "he contributed a valuable article to the REGISTER on the genealogy of the Perkins Family." Some birth records are also found in the Essex County Quarterly Court records, transcribed and viewable at database "Essex County, Massachusetts, births, marriages, and deaths, 1636-1795." Mary through Matthew: "1654-1795 [Essex County, Massachusetts]," film #007009706, pp 67, 77, 82. Hannah through Jabez are in "Births, baptisms, marriages, publishments, deaths, 1635-1871 [Ipswich, Massachusetts]," film #7010724, pp 19, 25, 29 ("Javis"). I don't find town or county records for Elizabeth, John and Judith. There is one contradiction between these sources. The Bible, as translated, says Hannah was born in October, the court record says November. Also, the transcription of the court record page that includes Jacob's birth shows it must be damaged and only the year 1662 can be inferred based on context.

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