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vital records sources

Circumstantial evidence makes it very likely Enoch was baptized in 1629 at Holy Trinty Church, or "Hull Minster," in Hull, Yorkshire, son of Thomas (this is discussed at Thomas' page). He most likely came to New England with his parents during the Great Migration on one of the many ships for which no passenger lists exist. I've found only vague references to heresay to support the claim that he came over under the guardianship of Major Humphrey Atherton or that it was in 1642. His likely brother Peter Place came over in 1635 when he was 20. There also isn't anything to support the claim that his wife's last name was Mumford, nor does this idea fit into what is known of the Mumford family in early New England.
     In Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Thomas Place was a resident and Dinah Place died there. The first record of Enoch in New England was in Dorchester, when he married in 1657. Enoch was married by Major Atherton, but his wife's maiden name isn't given.1 Other researchers have looked for an explanation for this lack as though it was unique. It was the norm in other New England towns to give full names in marriage records, but not in Dorchester. It's simply an annoying quirk of place and time. Enoch signed a petition (with a mark) dated 2 July 1663 to have "The Narragansett," (what is now Washington and Kent Counties in Rhode Island) fall under the jurisdiction of Connecticut Colony rather than Massachusetts.2 He apparently bought land in and moved to this area by then.
     Enoch was involved in a court case on 5 May 1664: "Upon consideration which of the prisonors shall be called first: ordered, That Thomas Mumford shall be first heard. Upon consideration and debate about Thomas Mumford and Enock Playce concearning ther release or continuance in bonds: it is ordered, That they shall be bound in the sume of one hundred pounds apiece, to be lyable to come forth upon all occationes when duely called for, to speake farther to the matter concearning Timothy Mather, whome they accuse for speaking words of a very dishonerable natuer against his Majestye; and the court see cause to enlarge them from prison in consideration of the voluntary, though somewhat late information consearning the sayd Timothy Mather's expressiones, concieving that want of knowledge what to doe (as they aleadge), was the true cause of ther neglect in the premises."3 The origin of the case and any further action isn't recorded, but Timothy Mather was a prominent man and was able to have both men imprisoned for slander without first having a hearing.
     His children born after 1660 aren't recorded in Dorchester. As with many New England towns, those that were recorded were likely done so as a batch. Town clerks often didn't gather birth records as they happened, but periodically accounted for them. If a family moved before the clerk caught up, the "in between" children weren't recorded. In this case, the clerk may have gathered records in 1660-61 and didn't do so again until after about 1662-63, when the family moved. Once in "The Narragansett," no births were recorded this early since there was no established local government, or a concensus on what colony it was in. So we're missing birth records for Thomas, Joseph and Sarah.
     Enoch attempted to move back to Dorchester. On 8 February 1667/68, a letter was presented to the selectmen there "for his reseption into the Towne as an inhabetant againe," but they "saw noe reason to grant it."2 This isn't suprising given that Timothy Mather was one of the selectmen.
     On 19 May 1671, "The inhabitants [of Pettaquamscutt, later Kings Town] being present, the court was called; after which the commission from the Generall Assembly for holding this Court, his Majesties most gracious Charter and letters; as also the Commissioners orders were publickly read, after which the inhabitants, viz: Mr. Jireh Bull, Mr. Samuell Wilson, Mr. John Porter, Tho. Mumford, John Tift, William Hefernan, Rouse Holmes, James Eldridge, Samuell Albro, Ben. Gardiner, Henry Gardiner, George Gardiner, Nicholas Gardiner, George Palmer, Stephen Northup, Wm. Aires, George Crofts, Enoch Plaice, and Christopher Holmes, did give their engagements for their allegiance to his Majestie, and fidelity to this Colony."4
     Enoch Place Sr. and Jr. appear on a list of "Assessments of ye estates of ye Towne of Rochestr in ye Kings Province Sepr 6th 1687."5 Rochester was a short-lived name for Kings Town when colony allegiance changed, and then changed back. He was assessed at 1 lb. "pole money," and 9 shillings and 4 pence. He was one of the assessors and signed the document as "Enoch Plas." He served as a grand juryman at the General Quarter Sessions & Inferior Court of Common Pleas at Rochester on 6 March 1687/88, and served again at Newport on 11 December 1688.6

Enoch wrote his will at Kingstown, RI, on 30 May 1694.7 An abstract says:

To wife Sarah, whole estate, real and personal, for life, for support in old age. To youngest son Joseph, at decease of wife, my dwelling house and 100 acres, about half a mile west of Sugar House [sic, should be Loaf] Hill, and he then to be executor. If Joseph die without issue, the said house and land to go to the eldest of the male heirs of the Places of my issue. All movables in wife's possession at her death to go equally to sons and daughters, viz: Enoch, Peter, Thomas and Joseph Place and Sarah Cook. Inventory, £17, 19s, viz: cow, heifer, 2 yearlings, calf, 4 sheep, 2 or 3 lambs, pewter, iron, etc.8

     Sugar Loaf Hill is just west of what is now the village of Wakefield in South Kingstown. This property is discussed again later. The will was probated on 11 September 1695. He is said to give his age as 64.9 This reference says the will was written in 1695, not 1694. The original in the Rhode Island Archives would have to be seen to clarify this. For this reason, his birth date is usually given as 1631, although he could have turned 65 before the end of the year, potentially putting his birth in 1630. If 1694 is correct, the years would be 1629-1630. Given how unusual the name "Enoch Place" was, including its spelling variants, this significantly adds to the credibility that he was the Enoch baptized in Drypool in 1629.
     On 17 March 1716/17, Joseph Place and wife Joanna deeded to Daniel M'Coon 100 acres with their dwelling house, reserving 3 rods square "where father Enoch Place is buried." Given that Joseph was to inherit his father's 100 acre homestead after his mother's death and that Daniel lived in the vicinity of Sugar Loaf Hill, the burial plot was surely on the property described in Enoch's will. Without a detailed map of this area from the 17th and early 18th centuries, it can only be guessed that the homestead was roughly near and to the east of what are now Post, Old Post and South Roads. Sugar Loaf Hill is on the north side of the junction of Main Street and Old Post Road in Wakefield. I've found no mention of a burial plot of any kind in this area, so it may have been forgotten over time or his remains were eventually moved.


children of Enoch Place and Sarah:10

Enoch b. 18 September 1658 (Gregorian calendar mode, originally written as the 18th of the 7th month, which was in the Julian calendar mode)
Peter b. 16 February 1660/61 (16th of 12th month 1660)
Thomas b. abt 1662
Joseph b. abt. 1664
Sarah b. abt. 1667





vital records sources: For his marriage, see note 1 below.

1. A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston [vol. 21], containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths to the end of 1825 (Boston:1891), 20.
2. J. R. Cole, History of Washington and Kent Counties, etc., vol. 1 (New York:1889), 51-2.
3. "Dorchester Town Records," in Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 1880 (Boston:1883), 156.
4. vol. 2 41-2.
5. Ibid, 390.
6. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 35 (Boston:New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1881), 125, 127.
7. vol. 3 238, 245.
8. State of Rhode Island notarial records, 2:23-4, from an index and abstract table of contents published in Rhode Island Roots, vol. 13 (1987), 27.
9. John Osborn Austin, The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (Boston:Joel Munsell, 1887), 154.
10. A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston[vol. 21], containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths to the end of 1825 (Boston:1891), 6.
11. Ibid, 7.

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