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Nathaniel shouldn't be confused with Nathaniel Masterson of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and York, Maine. He is, however, referred to several times as Nathaniel Masterson in various Salem/Manchester records. John Pickworth, Nathaniel's father-in-law, was of Salem but apparently went to Plymouth to marry in 1631, according to a letter of Gov. Bradford dated February of 1632. He was back in Salem when he and his wife Ann joined the church there.
     Ruth Pickworth was pregnant with her first child before she married Nathaniel. In colonial New England this was illegal, and Nathaniel was called to court for it on 29 June 1654. It was revealed that they "fornicated" at Pequot Harbor, now New London, Connecticut. (Essex Antiquarian, vol. 8, p. 85) . Why was Ruth there and not Salem? John Pickworth had been given land in New London in 1651 which he eventually forfeited from lack of settlement on it. Cary Latham, son-in-law of John Masters of Cambridge was there at the same time.
Latham was chosen selectmen of Pequot Harbor 22 Feb 1648/9 HNL, 58 John Lockwood was with the Lathams in NL, lived on "Foxens Hill" and estate settled there 1683. Brother Edmund of Stamford named Latham prob got his land bef Oct 1647, considered to have been among the first six on a list of proprietors, the first was John Winthrop, Jr., first people to arrive and settle the town prob there in 1645. First town record surviving from July 1646 HNL 56 Latham sold Cambridge prop in 1645, inherited from John Masters Nathaniel's first appearance in New England is in John Master's will in December 1639. His and John's grandson John Lockwood's bequests of £10 were to be invested, undoubtedly showing he was a minor. John was seven. Nathaniel was a tailor by 1654, so he would have apprenticed when he was about 13. He may have either lived with his master or with Cary and Elizabeth (Masters) Lockwood Latham, who inhereted her parents's house in Cambridge. The Lathams sold that property in 1645 and moved to Pequot, Connecticut Colony, by October 1647. Nathaniel had a land grant there on 16 February 1649/50. History of New London, Connecticut (Philadelphia: 1884). He would have been 21. He was fined at Pequot court for being drunk in public on 25 April 1651. He's among the men on a list of those who helped built the mill dam in Pequot in July 1651, "Masters" HNL, 74 We know he was still in Pequot in 1654. In June of that year, the Essex County Quarterly Court charged him with getting his wife pregnant there before marriage. There isn't a record of him in a town after Pequot until 1659, 7 Nov 1659, when he's on a list of people who paid the Salem constable for unidentified reasons, 2 sh. EIHC 9-10, 229-30 Had a house in what is now downtown Beverly on land on what is now Cabot Street roughly between Abbott Street and City Hall. There isn't a record of when he was granted or bough it, but he sold it in 1667 to John Lambert. 3:42 He may have had something of a flexible residency up to that point. He had land grants in Wells, Maine, in 1666 and 1669. On 7 July 1670 he took the freeman's oath in Wells. He is mentioned as the father of John Maisters in a Wells apprenticeship agreement in 1674. He was fined for cursing at a militia man in Wells who confiscated his gun in November 1676. Nathaniel testified in a York County court case on 2 July 1678 p. 344. 4 February 1677/78, he deposed in a case involving two Salem seaman and aged about 47. vol. 7, 106. This may suggest the family had moved back to Essex County, but his sons John and Abraham, who were very young men, had land grants in Wells in 1681. He was of Wells when Moses Littlefield sold him land there in 1685. An agreement with the town of Manchester to allow him wood from the common land to build a house infers he had or intended to move there. 23 June 1690 However, his daughter Lydia married a Wells man in 1698, and her sister Ruth another Wells man about the same time. The youngest daughter, Rebecca, married in Manchester in 1692. Abraham married a Wenham? woman in 1691. The evidence shows the family likely mainted residences in Wells and Manchester. Nathaniel kept his Wells property to his death, but his estate probate was in Manchester in 1708. Assessment for covering the costs of the new meeting house in tax and labor, Nathaniel assessed 10 shillings. 26 July 1696 73 his house mentioned in a description of Joseph Pickworth's land in the 400 acres. 4 acres were Nathaniel's house stood, west on the way, north on Mrs. Carter, East on the meadow, south on Samuel Stone 126 Ruth Masters sold a tenement farm to Samuel Lee on 19 December 1715, 29:253 House and 5 acres, s on Aaron Bennett, w by the hughway to Chebacco, n by Carter, e by the fresh meadow at the Saw Mill Pond. Lee sold it sa a four-acre plot to Nathaniel Lee in 1724. 72:54 Littlefield/Winn lawsuit vol. 5, 21-26 July 1714      His grandson Nathaniel Masters/Marsters was granted permission by the York County Superior Court on 24 August 1715 to sell his grandfather's real estate in the town of Wells, Maine, including a 100 acre farm and orchard "on Ogunquit side."1 The farm was given to Nathaniel, Sr., by the town of Wells in 1666. Other parcels sold were a piece of salt marsh and an island of thatch, all at or near Wells harbor, and a "fresh meadow," probably referring to a fresh water marsh, known as "Masters Meadow." There was a Nathaniel Masters whose estate was probated on 5 July 1708 in Manchester, file #17833.

An inventory of the estat of Nathaniell Mastus late of Manchester who deceased on the 18th of March 1707/8

To reall estate housing land and meddow in Manchester 4 acres upland, 1/2 meadow 30 [lbs]

as also a persell of land and meddow at Wels

to parsonall estate two cowes and a calfe 5 [lbs]

and to swine 1 [lb] 10 [shillings]

and to bed and beding 3 [lbs] 10 [shillings]

and to wareing cloathes 3 [lbs] 16 [shillings]

and to peuter and brass 1 [lb] 2 [shillings] 6 [pence]

and to iron ware 1 [lb] 8 [shillings] 6 [pence]

and to wooden ware 1 [lb] 8 [shillings] 6 [pence]

and to earthen ware and glases 2 [shillings]

and to two guns and a saddle 2 [lbs] 10 [shillings]

John Siblee

John Ley

John Alllin


Sworn pr admrx July 5 1708

Ipswich Novr 6 1715

Acco of admo on ye estate of Nathll Masters

the estate credr

by reall estate as pr invo 30
by prsonall as pr ditto 20 7

The said estate dr [debtor - is in debt to]

to funerall charges 2 3 to John Knight 8 Mattw Annable 3 11 to Abigaill Masters 1 pd to Samll Lee 2 9 to John Lee 0 1 6 to Samll Lee for board from ye year 1708 to year 1715 20 4 to mony lent by my sd son 8 19 6 to bond & letter of admo & inventory & journey to obtain power & expenes [expence or expenses] 0 15 to praseing and record ye acco 0 3 to allowing ye account 0 5 to petition & certificate to ye Superior Court & copyes 0 6 to a quietus [surely a settlement of a debt] 0 4 allowd admrx for time & trouble 2 allowed ye favour of law widow bed & bedding as inventoryd 3 10 42 15 the above sd allowd John Appleton J Prob July 3 1789 [1708/9] This my a counts which is as followeth to funerrrall charges 2 3 to expen to administrasion 0 15 to Capt John Knight 0 8 to Matthew Anable 0 3 to Abigall Marstus pade for tend dance of my self & husban in his lif tim 1 pade to my son Samll Lee for work at sundry tim 2 9 to John Lee 0 1 6 and what I have run in det to my son Samll Lee in my widdowhod is yet to pay I wold crue your honnours ad vise to be a sested to pay the debts Ruth Masters [with her mark] witnesses John Ley Senr Samll lee Juner Nathaniel Mastus and wife to John Butland, Jr., sale of land in York Co., recorded? 18 May 1702 Robert Isbell of Manchester sold his land there in 1651 and moved to New London.

children of Nathaniel Masters and Ruth Pickworth:

Ruth m. Jeremiah Storer
Lydia m. Josiah Littlefield of Wells, 1698
Samuel m. Ann Kilham, 1698
Rebecca m. Samuel Lee

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all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted