bapt:04-21-1606     Kersey, ENG
marr: -1638                       
died:03-24-1672/73Bradford, MA    
father: JOHN GAGE
born: -1614Boxford, ENG    
marr: -1638                  
died:06-    -1658Ipswich, MA


JOHN GAGE was baptised, Apr. 21, 1606, in Kersey, Suffolk, England. He died Mar 24, 1672/73 in Bradford, Essex, MA. He married twice, first to AMEE WILFORD, and second to Sarah Keys. There is no record of JOHN having a daughter as some claim. If he did indeed have a daughter, Mary, she appears nowhere in the records.

JOHN Gage was a man of Puritanic beliefs and thus joined John Winthrop's fleet of eleven ships to the coasts of New England. It has been stated in the book "The Winthrop Fleet of 1630" that JOHN GAGE's wife "Amy" came with him on the journey. This is probable but not documented as there are no known marriage records of his marriage to his first wife, whose name is also spelled as Anna, Amy, or Aimee. Winthrop's fleet consisted of ships designed to transport wine and freight. Temporary shelters were built on the decks to shelter the women and children for the three thousand mile journey across the Atlantic. There were about seven hundred passengers, two hundred cows and sixty horses. After much preparation they left from the Isle of Wight, England, on the 8th of April 1630. JOHN GAGE is thought to have been aboard the flagship Arabella. The master of the ship was Captain Peter Milburne. After a sixty-six day voyage through storms and gales they arrived in Salem harbour. The date was Saturday the 12th of June 1630.

The next day, at anchor in Salem harbour, Masconomet, Sagamore of Agawam, came aboard and welcomed the newcomers to the home of his forefathers. A settlement had been set up in Charlestown in 1629, and it was here they first settled. Of this group about two hundred would die before December due to hardship and illness. John Gage remained in Boston until March of 1633. At this time he went with John Winthrop Jr. to begin a plantation at Agawam, later called Ipswich. No more than twelve men were assigned to go, with the promise of more when other ships arrived. But, of these possible twelve, only nine are known. Among these nine was JOHN GAGE. There were no roads so the journey was undoubtedly made in a small boat along the coast and up the Ipswich River. In a Hardy genealogy it is written that all the men were married and that the wives went later to be with their husbands. On Apr. 1, 1633, it was ordered by the court that no person shall go to plant or inhabit at Agawam, without leave of the court, except those who had already gone. This was to prevent too large a settlement at first. Agawam was not a wilderness settlement. The Indians had cleared the forests, burned the brush and tilled the fields. For many years, because of the fertile fields and fishing, the Indians had a permanent camp there. This is where JOHN GAGE and the small group of settlers established their plantation.

The following year Agawam was opened to other settlers, and on Aug. 4, 1634, the name of the colony was changed to Ipswich in honor of the newcomers. JOHN was admitted a Freeman, at Ipswich, on Mar. 4, 1634. Under the first charter of the Massachusetts colony, none were admitted as Freeman, or members politic, except such as were admitted by the General Court and took the oath of allegience to the government here established. From the town, JOHN GAGE received a number of small parcels of land, the original being for six acres. He built a house on this property, (which is now at 6 Water Street, Ipswich).

He seems to have been a farmer, who varied his occupation by doing carpentry work. His most frequent employment was that of lot layer, and for the settlement of boundaries. The first public official appointed at Ipswich was the town clerk, whose records begin with November 1634. The "lot layers" also appeared at this time, a committee to which was referred the delicate task of assigning the lands. In 1635 JOHN obtained 40 acres of land in what was known as the Egypt River Grants. He also received other lands on Paradise Road where he built a house. In June 1656, he sold the rest of this land, not previously sold, including house and farm on Paradise Road to JOSEPH JEWETT of Rowley.

There are no known records pertaining to the marriage of JOHN and his first wife AMEE. And her surname is not certain. Her son Josiah, though twice married, died without any children. In his will, after remembering his brothers made a bequest to his "cousin Whittaker." This was Mary Wilford, daughter of Gilbert Wilford who was first the wife of John Corliss and second the wife of William Whittaker. Also Gilbert Whittaker may have been a nephew of AMEE, for the birth of four of his chidren 1667-1675 are recorded at Bradford. Records show JOHN and AMEE had seven children, six boys and a girl, all born at Ipswich, but this has been disputed.

On Feb. 20, 1637 the "seven men" of Ipswich were first mentioned. They had been an established feature of town policy earlier than this, but had not been recorded. They were, John Winthrop Jr, Mr. Bradstreet, Mr. Wade, Mr. Denison, Goodman Perkins, Goodman Scott and JOHN GAGE, who were chosen to order business for the next three months. As a lot layer JOHN GAGE was ordered to lay out Mr. Dudley, Mr. Saltingstall, and Mr Bradstreet's farms before May 14, 1637. On Jun. 21, 1637, he was one of the signers of a petition of remonstrance against the departure of John Wintrhop Jr. from Ipswich. The petition was sent to the governor and to the Court of Assistance. John Wintrop left however, and later became the governor of Connecticut. JOHN GAGE was first called "Corporal" in a vote in the town records of Ipswich in the year 1639. In 1641 he is recorded as a commoner.

Most of the following land records are from "Records in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England". On May 20, 1642, a report stating the bounds between Ipswich and Cape Ann was signed by JOHN GAGE and others. To establish a village at Wenham, the dividing line between Ipswich and Salem had to be determined. To do this a committee of eight men, four from each town, was chosen. JOHN GAGE was one of the men representing Ipswich, and signed the report on Jan. 27, 1643. On Sep. 10, 1643, he was dismissed from the Boston church to that of Ipswich.

According to "Pioneers in Massachuestts" by Pope, JOHN GAGE and his wife AMEE sold land in Ipswich on Dec. 21, 1653. On May 14, 1654, power was given to JOHN GAGE, Robert Lord, John Dove and Daniel Epps to lay out eight-hundred acres of land for Mr Samuel Symonds, in some free place beyond the Merrimac River. On Jun. 3, 1657, Mr Symond's land was confirmed six-hundred and forty acres between the towns of Dover and Exeter. The testimony is signed by Daniel Epps and JOHN GAGE.

In June of the year 1658 JOHN's wife AMEE died at Ipswich. She was most probably buried at the High Street Burial Ground which was started in 1634. No gravestone is present at this time, seventeenth century grave markers were usually made of wood and would long since have been destroyed by the elements. As was the custom at the time, because his children were still young and he had to work, JOHN remarried. On Nov. 7, 1658, he married Sarah, widow of Robert Keyes of Watertown, Middlesex and Newbury, Essex, MA. This is taken from the Ipswich Vital Records. JOHN GAGE with his second wife, Sarah, moved from Ispwich to that part of Rowley first called Merrimac Village, and later Bradford, before Dec. 7, 1661. The exact age of John has always been in question due to statements he made in court. In a deposition taken Sep. 27, 1659, Essex Court Papers, Dennison versus Symonds, volume 5, page 19 his age is stated to be fifty, meaning birth in 1609. In another taken March 25, Essex Court Papers, Shortwell versus Smith, Vol 7, page 89, his age is stated to be fifty eight. This gives a birth of 1604. JOHN GAGE and Henry Kingsbury were chosen in Rowley, as the overseers for Pentuckit side for fences and highways. The records for a Rowley town meeting Jun. 19, 1662, show the tax rate of Corporal JOHN GAGE as being 1 pound 9 shilling 8 pence. Also at that same town meeting Robert Haseltine and Corporal Gage were appointed overseers at Pentuckit for the highways and to take care of the fences there. In the year 1664 JOHN GAGE is recorded as having a share and a half in Plum Island. In a bill of charges to the town of Rowley for the year 1665, Corporal JOHN GAGE's bill as a jury man for four days is four shilling. On Jan. 1, 1665, JOHN GAGE purchased from John Carleton for the sum on one-hundred pounds, three hundred acres of land in the northwest corner of Rowley, at a place called the neck, in what is now called Bradford. At a town meeting held Apr. 5, 1671, in what shortly was to become Bradford, the town voted to give all its rights to an island in the Merrimac River to Sergeant JOHN GAGE. This was confirmed by the court records for Jun. 8, 1671. The title for this land had been given to the town of Bradford, then Rowley, in a verbal agreement in 1638 by Masconomet, Sagamore of Agawam along with other lands in the area. A written deed, entitled "Indians to the town of Bradford" dated Apr. 13, 1702, confirmed the title to all lands, including an "Island in the merimack, containg about six acres of land more or less." The island then known as Gage's Island presently known as Kimball's Island.

JOHN GAGE died in Bradford, Mar. 24, 1672/73. His will, undated, was proved in court in the town of Ipswich the following day. It is probable that he was buried in the Bradford Burial Ground, which is now located on Salem Street. The land for this burial ground and the town meeting house that was set up there, was given by John Haseltine at the town meeting Jan. 5, 1665. There is no grave marker for JOHN as it was probably made of wood.

JOHN's second wife, Sarah, died Jul. 7, 1681 in Newbury.


  born marr died
all children born at Ipswich, Essex, MA
children of JOHN GAGE and AMEE WILFORD
  wife Faith Stickney
  wife Sarah Kimball
  wife Mary Keyes
  wife Hester Chandler
  wife Lydia Ladd
  wife Martha Dow
children of JOHN GAGE and Sarah Keyes
  husband William Smith
  husband John French
  husband Samuel Buswell
  wife Sarah
  wife Elizabeth Mighill