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John appears on the passenger list of the ship "Susan & Ellen," which left London on 14 April 1635 and arrived in New England on 9 May 1635. The passengers all held certificates to prove they were "conformable to ye orders and discipline of the Church of England."(1) John is called a husbandman (farmer), age 40, and travelled with his wife Martha, 28, son John, 3 and daughter Marie, 1. Church records have been found that clearly are for this family, placing them in Suffolk, England, within seven years of their immigration.(2) He settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He deposed in 1667 that he was about 75 years old.(3) In the same court case, John's "brother Giddens" also deposed. He was George Giddens. Enough is known about both families that no familial relationship is likely, unless John married as a second wife George's sister Martha. John's first wife was Martha Harper, and he names a wife Martha in his will. Nothing else suggests she wasn't his first and only wife. Martha (Harper) Proctor wasn't the Martha, wife of John, whose 1659 death appears in the Ipswich vital records. This and other death records from this time period concerning John Procter are for John Procter, Jr. Also, his daughter Sarah wasn't born in 1646, which can be widely found in internet databases. She was married in 1659 and had children to 1676, placing her birth in the mid to late 1630s. Her death record says she was 60 in early 1706. She would likely have turned 61 in that year. If the order of daughters given in John's will is chronological by age, which is customary, she wasn't born in 1635/1636, but more likely about 1639. The record of her age at death may be incorrect. A John Procter was among those whose licences were renewed for "retailing strong waters." Nov 1672 ECQC 5:119

      John's will was written on 28 August 1672 and probated the following 28 November. An inventory of his estate was taken on 11 October. Two women appeared before the court on 24 September to depose that when they had questioned John about what was to be done with his wife's clothing, he said they were to be divided between his daughters. This places his death between 28 August and 24 September 1672. It also implies that Martha had also died within this time frame. He mentions a daughter "Sara Dodge" in the will, one of four who were given £ 5.

In the name of god Amen: I John Procter Senr beinge aged & inform in body of sownd understandinge & memory (god be praised) doe make & ordaine this my last will & testament in manner & forme followinge, viz. First i give my soul into the hands of god who hath redeemed it by the most precious blood of his deare Son Jesus Christ and my body be desently buried in hope of a happy resurection at the last day. Item. I give my wife fower pownds yearly to be pd in merchantable paye at the price Currant soe long as she Liveth. Item. I give my wife martha the milk of two cows which She shall choos & every spring. Item. My will is that every year she shall have a good hog of one yeare & halfe old wel fatted & fower bushels of malt & fower bushels of wheate, also I give her the horse that was George Stevensons to be kept for her use both winter & sumer & to be attended as neede doth require, also two yews and there Fleeces & what increeses of them, also I give her the use of the bed and al belonging to it in the parler roome & al the wood she needeth ready split and cut up for her fires, also the comand of al my.......pewter & al this (except onely the fower pownds.......which she shal have dureing her life is to be ....shal have soe long as she remaineth a widow.....also my wil & meaning is she shall.....whether she will except of what I doe thus dispose or stand to her dower or thirds wch the law al.....for which she shal take one month to considr of. Also I give Martha Hadly my grand-daughter tenn pownds in to be be paid out the day of her maridg also I give to Jno grandsonn fifty shillings to be pd when his tyme....out with John Davis, also I give to my ffower daughters Martha White, Abigail Varney, Sara Dodge & Hanna Wede five pounds apeece also I do make & appoint my three Sons John Procter, Joseph Procter & Benjamin Procter executors of this my last wil & testament & they are to have my lands & my moveables equaly devided amongst them. In witness hearof I have heare unto Sett my hand this 28th of august 1672. John (his V mark) Procter Witness: Samuel Symonds, John Dane junr. Proved in Salem court 28:9:1672 by Mr. Samuel Symonds, and the court was informed there was something more added verbally to be left to the court's further consideration. Inventory......... Copy of will and inventory, Essex County Probate Records, vol. 301 pgs 6 & 7. Sarah Story and Mary Fellows testified in Ipswich court 24:7:1672 that being at Goodman Procter's house, they asked him what should be done with his wife's clothing and he answered that it should be disposed of among his daughters and Martha Hadley, both woolen and linen, also her horse & all the wool that was in the chamber, about one or two pounds. He also said that he had given his son James White one pair of oxen which were not entered in his will. Copy made Oct 3, 1672 by Robert Lord, cleric. The court at Salem 26:4:1673 ordered the above written to be annexed to the will. Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol. 20, leaf 147.

Joseph Harper m. Christian Nut in 1636, Assington, had Eliz, Joseph, Mary John m. Helen Fosdike, 1632

children of John Procter and Martha Harper:

John, bap. 9 October 1631, Assington, Suffolk
Marie (Mary), bap. 17 October 1633, same
Martha, b. abt. 1636
Abigail, b. abt. 1638 (not the one from a different family b. 24 August 1637)
Sarah, b. abt. 1639-40
Hannah, b. abt. 1643
Joseph, b. abt. 1645
Benjamin, b. abt. 1651 (Essex Co. Quarterly Court deposition that he was about 17 in 1668)


1. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, etc., ed. John C. Hotten (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore:1998).
2. New England Historical & Genealogical Register, David L. Green, "English Orgins of George Giddens," 135:285, citing research by John Dorrence Morrell. For more on the Proctors, see NEHGR 51(July):409-410.
3. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 3:396-397.

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