GENERATION 12

GENERATION 11

GREGORY BELCHER
bapt:03-30-1606Ward End, ENG
marr:12-11-1627Manchester, ENG
died:11-25-1674Braintree, MA
buried:Hancock Cemetery, Quincy, MA
father:THOMAS BELCHER
mother:DEBORAH HUNT
 
CATHERINE ALLCOCK
born:about-1610                        
marr:12-11-1627Manchester, ENG
died:07-20-1680Braintree, MA
buried: 
father: 
mother: 



Biography

GREGORY BELCHER was baptized in Aston Parish, town of Ward End, County Warwick, on Mar. 30, 1606. He emigrated to New England about 1636. On Dec. 30, 1639, he was granted a lot of 52 acres at Mount Wollaston (Braintree), Norfolk, MA, for 13 heads, paying 3 shillings per acre. When GREGORY lived there Mount Wollaston was part of Boston. In 1640, it became Braintree, and in 1792 was part of Quincy, Norfolk, MA.

He was a cattle raiser and appears to have been a tenant farmer, although he also acquired extensive land holdings of his own. He lived at the Salter Farm area north of present Quincy Square. In 1639, he was one of eight signers (founders) of the Covenant of the first church in Braintree, which preceded the establishment of the Town.

He was a freeman May 13, 1640, a selectman in 1646, and was part owner of the first iron works in America.

The original iron works was the first to be established in the colony. In 1643, three thousand acres of land near "Brantry" was provided by the General Court, and financing was contributed by wealthy proprietors, including John Winthrop, Jr. It was hoped that the enterprise would produce all the pots and kettles needed by the colony and create an excess for export. Additional forges were built in Lynn and Saugus. However, it turned out that goods could be imported at far less cost. Scottish prisoners were used in 1650, as a source of cheap labor. But, by 1653, the iron works was bankrupt and operations ceased.

On Jan. 6, 1657/58, GREGORY obtained a lease on the Salter Farm in Braintree, from the estate of William Tyng of Boston. Then, on Jan. 15, 1666, he and others bought the Salter Farm for 1900, GREGORY's interest being one-eighth (Suffolk County Deeds, v. 5, p. 229).

On Jul. 14, 1664, he purchased from John Smith 9 acres of land which he gave to JOSEPH as a wedding gift (Suffolk County Deeds, vol. 4, p. 204). He deposed in June 1665, "age about 60 years."

On Mar. 26, 1670, GREGORY and his son-in-law, Lt. Alexander Marsh, bought the old iron works, with 200 acres of land. Lt. Marsh was one of the three wealthiest men in Braintree. With hopes of success the works was reopened. But, nothing is known of the financial outcome of the new venture. On May 18, 1671, he and Lt. Marsh bought 40 acres of land in Braintree plain, from Henry Crane (Suffolk County Deeds, vol 7, p. 172).

He is buried in Hancock Cemetery at Quincy, Norfolk, MA. This was the original burial place of both Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The bodies of both presidents were later removed and are now interred in a crypt in the basement of the United First Parish Church, across the street from the cemetery.

The inventory of his estate, showing a total value of 629-5-0, was presented by his widow, Jan. 29, 1674/75. (Suffolk County Probate)

CATHERINE's will, dated Sep. 3, 1679 and proved Jul. 20, 1680, bequeaths to her son Josiah, "a cow; to her son John "a cow and a horse"; to daughter Mary "some household effects"; to daughter Elizabeth Gilbert, "two of my pewter dishes and some of my apparrell"; and to son Moses "the great bible and the whole house and land." Moses received a larger inheritance, because he had cared for his parents during their last years.

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Five Sons of GREGORY BELCHER

Joshia, the oldest son, lived in Boston, on the corner of what is now Essex Street and Harrison Avenue. He was one of the founders of the Old South Church, and is buried at the Granary Burying Ground.

John served during King Philip's War, in 1676, in the garrisons of Northampton, Milton and Medfield. He left a small estate valued at 27-7-0 (Suffolk County Probate). He resided in Braintree.

Moses, next oldest, lived on the west side of Quincy Square on part of his father's land, as did his mother, CATHERINE, until her death in 1680. A son of Moses, also named Moses, lived on the old Wilson Farm in present Wollaston.

Samuel, was given 52 acres of land in the Captain's Plain area of present South Quincy, which was a grant that GREGORY received in 1639, but did not occupy. After his marriage to Mary Billings in 1663, he built the oldest part of the house now famous as the Birthplace of John Quincy Adams.

JOSEPH, the youngest, lived in Milton, Norfolk, MA, which is just west of Braintree.
 


Children

  born marr died
Joshia
  wife Ranis Rainsford
about-1631
06-04-1638
                 
03-03-1654/55
04-03-1683     
10-02-1691     
Elizabeth
  husband Josiah Gilbert
         -1632
11-27-1625
 
10-04-1651     
10-17-1682     
08-22-1688     
John
  wife Sarah _______
about-1633
about-1633
 
         -1655     
         -1693     
                 
Moses
  wife Mary Nash
about-1635
about-1646
 
05-23-1666     
07-05-1691     
 
Samuel
  wife Mary Billings
08-24-1637
12-15-1643
 
12-15-1663     
06-17-1679     
 
Mary
  husband Alexander Marsh
07-06-1639
         -1628
 
01-19-1655/56
02-17-1678     
03-07-1698     
JOSEPH BELCHER
  wife REBECCA GILL
12-25-1641
07-07-1650
 
05-    -1664     
01-29-1678/79
 


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