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Indexes of parish records in England show that the name Michael Sallows, with various spellings, was extremely rare there, and none of them offer anything to suggest where this family came from, if it was in England. This includes baptisms, marriages and the father in baptism records.The name Sallows is evident in various parts of England in the 17th century, making it likely the family was English. Some people using the indexes have come across a marriage of Michael Sallows in 1618 in Westleton, Suffolk, and have assumed it was the right man. This wasn't his marriage to Ann. While it's possible this was an earlier marriage, there's no further evidence to connect him to the immigrant Michael. His older children were likely born in England, but if there are existing baptisms for them, they aren't in any indexed records.
     I6 April 1635, the town Salem, Massachusetts Bay, gave Michael a lot on a list of others who got 2 acres, but no amount is given for him.1 Between 26 Dec 1636 and 12 July 1637, he was given 20 acres.2 In an account households in Salem headed by those eligible for land grants, Michael's had seven people.3 His last land grant was on 8 January 1643/44, which was a ten acre lot "in the same place formerly John Abys."4
     Among Essex County, Massachusetts Bay, Quarterly Court records, Michael appears as a plaintiff in a trespass case on 27 September 16365 On 26 June 1638, Michael sued the same man for defamation6 This man was James Smith, who was a neighbor.7 He sued Jeffry Easty for a debt on 29 June 16418 On 9 July 1645, Reuben Guppy was brought to court "for saying that if his wife had been ruled by him, Michaell Sallwos should have come to his house to his wife, and he would have hid himself in some secret place, and come in and taken Sallows there, and gotten his share of corn."9 At the same session, Michael was "presented for wanton dalliance with Ruben Guppie's wife" and was discharged. Guppy's wife was a witness. Guppy appears often at court for his relatively wild behavior. On 18 Feb 1645, Michael (last name spelled "Sollis" and "Sallow" in the same minutes) accused Robert Goodell of stealing four goats. He had "lost one old and three young goats and finding such with his mark on them in custody of Goodall, the latter promised to return them. When Sollis went for them, Goodall said that he had killed one and the rest were lost. Quit for lack of testimony."10 Michael wrote a will on 14 April 164611

I, Michael Sallowes, sicke in bodie, but in perfect memorie doe make this my last will and testament in manner & form following:

viz. my debts paid and my funerall expences discharged, doe out of these goods which God hath gyven unto
[?], dispose of them after this manner)

First, I give unto Mycha Sallowes my youngest sonne the sume of eight pounds for & towards the education of the said Mycha & doe desire that George Emerie, John Jacksonne & jeffereie Massey, they will dispose of the said Micha & of the sume aforesaid for the welfare of the aforesaid Micha Sallowes

Item. I give & bequeath unto Martha Sallowes my daughter the sume of six pounds, two pillow beeres, a morter & a jug pott wth my earnest desyre that the said John Jacksonne shall bring up the said Martha & improve the said six pounds for my said daughters best advangtage

Item. For the remainder of my estate my will is it be equally divided amongst the rest of my children viz. Thomas Sallowes, Robert Sallowes & John Sallowes & Samuel Sallowes my sonnes & to Edward Wilson my sonne in law by equal portions. And for the better performance of this my will & testamt I doe apoint for my executors Edward Wilson my said sonne in law & Robert Sallowes my sonne & for overseers of this my will I doe desyre the above said Georg Emerie, John Jackson & Jefferie Massey. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand the day & year above written

Michael his x mark Sallowes

in presence of

George his x mark Williams
Jhn Tucker
Jefferie Massey
George Emery

     The will was proved 31 December 1646. Robert and Edward resigned as executors in favor of the overseers. The Quarterly Court approved George Emery's and Jeffrey Massey's request to be released as executors in December 1647.12 John Jackson continued alone and had two of the Sallows children living with him. They aren't named, but one was Martha, given Michael's will, and the other probably was Michael, Jr. Samuel at some point was put into indentured servitude with George Emery, a Salem doctor. This is known only from another court reference to his being freed from the indenture at the session of Nov 1651, witnesses declaring he was 21.13 There's nothing here to suggest this was an apprenticeship. Being about 16 when his father died, he may have been deemed too old to need a parental-type guardian, but he still needed to be in an adult's household. John's death record says he was "80 & upwards" in March 1708. His father's will doesn't suggest he was underage, but it doesn't for Samuel either, who certainly was. If John was about 18-20, he was old enough to be a seaman (which he was) in the company of adults. On land he may have boarded with one of his brothers. If he was 21 when the will was written, he was born before April 1625, pushing the ages of Thomas and Robert back further and leaving a 5 year gap between him and Samuel. Martha may have been born in that gap, which would still have left her underage in 1646.
     Robert Sallows would seem to have been the oldest son, given that he an appointed executor, but the prevalence of heirs being named in order of birth in probate cases I think takes precedence, and Thomas is listed first. The rest of the order is plausible, with Samuel and Michael being the last two. Thomas was a seaman of record less that ten years later,14 so he may not have been in Salem when Michael wrote the will. Knowing he was sick, he might have thought the executors would have to act soon. Edward Wilson must have been a stepson of Michael's. He's described as a "young man" in 1641 court case.15 Michael's wife is thought to have been Ann. This is based on Ann Sallowes being called to court to be a witness in 1643.16 Connecting her with Michael is plausible, but if they were married, there's no further evidence to say she was his first wife and mother of his children, a second wife and mother of some of his children or a second wife he married after his children were born. She was likely the mother of Edward Wilson, and given that she isn't mentioned in Michael's will, died by then. I speculate that Ann married a Mr. Wilson, had Edward about 1618-19, and as a widow, married Michael about 1621.

children of Michael Sallows, mother not proved (see above), prob. Ann:

Thomas, b. abt. 1623-25
Robert, b. abt. 1623-2517
John b. abt. 162718
Samuel, b. abt. 1630, certainly underage in 1646, no further record
Michael, b. abt. 1632, certainly underage in 1646, no further record
Martha, b. aft. 1626, certainly underage in 1646, no further record

1. Town Records of Salem [hereafter TRS], vol. 1 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1868), 9.
2. Ibid, 24.
3. Ibid, 102.
4. Ibid, 123.
5. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts [hereafter ECQC], vol. 1 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1911), 3.
6. Ibid, 8.
7. TRS, 11.
8. ECQC, 1:29.
9. Ibid, 82, witness Christopher Waler.
10. Ibid, 91.
11. The Essex County, MA, probate books with transcriptions (1:67) differ from the Essex County Quarterly Court files. (1:105) Since the latter aren't complete, I've used the book translation, which only differs in spelling and capitalizations.
12. ECQC, 1:131.
13. Ibid, 246.
14. 1:38 (old pagination) or 94 (new pagination).
15. ECQC, 32.
16. Ibid, 53.
17. testified with Edward Wilson, not necessarily an adult, in 1643, ECQC, 1:58. Wilson was, and based on the 17th century Quarterly Court records, it's unlikely Robert would have been asked to testify if he weren't in his later teens at least. If he was in his very early 20s, it may explain why there were two executors appointed and three overseers. This was unusually young for an executor.
18. see discussion in the text.

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