INDEX to the FIFTH GENERATION
via Third Generation WILLIAM:
INDEX to the FIFTH GENERATION
via Third Generation TIMOTHY:
INDEX to the FIFTH GENERATION
via Third Generation THOMAS:
 ZECHARIAH SYMMES
, eldest son of Zechariah and Judith (Eames) Symmes of Woburn; born there, in the part now Winchester, 1 October 1744; married Rebecca Tuttle.
His father left him, in 1793, a handsome estate. He kept the "Black Horse Tavern", a noted place of resort for travellers and teamsters in those days. It was the last house in Woburn as you approach from Boston, on the east side of the Boston road, now Main Street in Winchester. It is now owned and occupied as a private dwelling by Josiah Francis Stone, Esq.
He served as a soldier during a part of the Revolutionary war, previous to 1777.
His wife Rebecca died 10 August 1805 aged 63. His children were:
-  Rebecca, married Francis Wait; published 16 April 1794. They lived in Medford and had a large family.
-  ZECHARIAH [detailed under Sixth Generation], married Hanna Richardson.
-  John, unmarried; a blacksmith. Went to Newburypoint.
-  Mehitable, unmarried. She was ready to be married but became insane and drowned herself in Mystic River.
-  BENJAMIN [detailed under Sixth Generation]; born about 1780; married Rizpah Saunders.
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 SAMUEL SYMMES
, brother of the preceding and second son of Zechariah and Judith (Eames) Symmes; born in the extreme south part of Woburn, now in the town of Winchester, 20 October 1746; married 4 June 1771 Susanna Richardson born in Woburn 118 August 1749, daughter of Zechariah and Phebe (Wyman) Richardson of that part of Woburn which is now Winchester.
They lived in South Woburn but a few rods from Medford line, on the west side of the great road to Boston. Their house stood on the spot now occupied by the house of his son Horatio and was nearly opposite the "Black Horse Tavern" already mentioned. He carried on the tailor's business in addition to the care of a large farm extending from the Main street across the river to the now forsaken Middlesex Canal. He served as a soldier during some part of the Revolutionary war, before 1777.
He died 11 September 1816, aged 70. The children of Samuel and Susanna Symmes were:
-  Susanna, born 1 April 1772; married Jesse Johnson 19 December 1792.
-  SAMUEL*, born 28 October 1776; married Mary Richardson.
-  Mary, born 30 March 1779; died at the age of 16.
- [161a] Zechariah, born 1 January 1780; died in infancy.
-  ZECHARIAH RICHARDSON*, born 2 January 1781; married Nancy Richardson.
-  JOSEPH BROWN*, born 2 February 1783; married Lydia Wyman.
- [163a] A child ....; died 21 February 1785.
- [164 JOHN*, born 19 May 1786; married first Abigail Green; married second Sophia Spaulding.
-  NANCY*, born 19 April 1788; married James Hill.
-  STEPHEN*, borne 18 May 1790; married Priscilla Reed.
-  HORATIO*, born 8 November 1795; married Charlotte Johnson.
[Note *: Detailed under Sixth Generation].
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 WILLIAM SYMMES
, brother of the preceding and youngest son of Zechariah and Judith (Eames) Symmes; born in Woburn 1 September 1757; married Mary Mallet of Charlestown. He father was of French descent, and her grandfather - or perhaps a remote ancestor - fled from persecution to this country. Her mother was a Gardner, of Scotch descent, from Glasgow.
He lived in the last house in Woburn as you go south, on the west side of the road to Boston, where his father dwelt before him. It is now in the town of Winchester, a few rods from the spot where I am now writing.
He enlisted in the Continental Army in 1777 and probably served three years. He had an only child:  Mary, born 1785; married Rev. Jacob Coggin.
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 TIMOTHY SYMMES
, son of Timothy and Elizabeth (Bodge) Symmes; born about 1770; married Martha Wyman daughter of Seth Wyman of the west side of Woburn, now in the town of Winchester.
He kept a store, first in Boston, afterwards in Medford, and for some time seemed to prosper. At length he became heavily involved in debt and failed in business.
On 1 December 1797 he conveyed by deed, for three hundred dollars, to his cousin Josiah Symmes "one half of a certain Mill right in Medford, with half the Mill Stones and Irons that belonged to said Mill, also one half of the land said mill flows, bounded on lands formerly belonging unto William Symmes, deceased, together with one half of the mill stream". [Midd. Deeds, vol. cxxvii. p. 101].
He had many creditors and was indebted to a large amount. The estate was represented insolvent
. The whole amount of claims exhibited was $10,531.40. The estate paid only thirty-three and one-third cents on a dollar. He died suddenly and intestate in 1810. Four of five years elapsed before the estate was settled. Mrs. Martha Symmes, the widow, afterwards married Samuel Russell, and died at the age of 93.
The children of Timothy and Martha Symmes were:
-  William, born about 1798; died in infancy.
-  Timothy, born 23 December 1800; died while young.
-  William Wyman, born 24 August 1803; died unmarried at sea while young.
- , . Two other sons, died in infancy.
-  MARTHA, [detailed under Sixth Generation] born 30 December 1806; married William Wyman.
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 DANIEL SYMMES
, brother of the preceding; born in North Medford about 1778; married Sophia Emerson of South Reading. When under seven years of age he was deprived of his father, and Captain Joseph Brown, a near neighbor though living in Woburn, was appointed his guardian. In after life he lived in Medford, I believe near Medford bridge, and was a blacksmith. His children were:
-  Sophia, born 10 October 1801; married .... Eastman; she lived in Derry, N.H.; died 1871.
-  Sarah Walton, born 8 May 1803; died 9 October 1804.
-  Sarah Walton, born 11 February 1805; married .... Bryant; she died 13 December 1834.
-  Hephzibah W., born 21 November 1806; died young.
-  Daniel, born 27 September 1808; died 15 December 1831. [A Daniel Symmes, formerly of Medford, Mass., died in Auburn, N.H. 16 June 1867 aged 57, according to Boston Weekly Journal of June 27, 1867].
-  George Washington, born 23 September 1810; died 9 June 1814.
-  Hephzibah, born 27 December 1812; unmarried.
-  GEORGE WASHINGTON [detailed under Sixth Generation], born 16 October 1815; married ....
-  Alfred, born 4 April 1818; lives in Westfield, Mass.
-  Edward, born 2 February 1821; died 17 June 1825.
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 Captain JOHN SYMMES
, eldest son of John and Abigail (Dix) Symmes; born in the north part of Medford, now the south part of Winchester, in August 1755; married 31 October 1780 Elizabeth Wright, born 1757. Her father lived on "the west side" of what is now Winchester, among the Lockes, and had a brother Philemon and a brother John who settled on the Ottawa River
in Canada, opposite to where the city of Ottawa now is. They owned the land on which the city now stands.
Captain Symmes was a soldier of the Revolution. He was one of the Medford company commanded by Captain Isaac Hall, which marched to Charlestown on the memorable 17th of June, 1775. They did not arrive on the ground till near the close of the action, when our forces were falling back from want of ammunition. It is well known that while a firm, undaunted front was presented by the men who were with Prescott in the redoubt on Breed's Hill, and with Putnam, Knowlton, Stark and Reed at the rail-fence, great numbers of the American troops refused to advance any nearer the scene of conflict than Charlestown Neck. The fire of the Glasgow
frigate across the isthmus, of the Cerberus
and several floating batteries a little further off, the flame and smoke arising from hundreds of burning houses, and the incessant roar of the battle only a mile distant, may furnish a partial excuse. It is said that the Medford company paused at the Neck, Captain Hall not daring to proceed. [I have carefully examined many accounts of the battle. In none of them does Captain Hall's name appear.]
It is also said that Sergeant Thomas Pritchard, unappalled by the danger, exclaimed "Let those who are not afraid, follow me" and with a few followers rushed to the scene of combat. This brave man was soon raised to the rank of captain and did good service in the field near New York and elsewhere.
The enlistments in 1775 were for the term of only eight months. At the reorganization of the army in March 1777, Mr. Symmes enlisted for three years. He was one winter in Ticonderoga. At the close of the three years he came home ragged and emaciated. He was paid in a depreciated currency, with which he bought a yoke of oxen. The oxen he sold and took his pay in the same currency, which he kept for a short time and then paid it all for a bag of Indian meal. Soon after he left the army in 1780 the old "continental money" - of which three hundred millions had been issued - became absolutely worthless.
After leaving the army he built a wheelwright's shop at the intersection of two roads, now known as Main and Grove Streets in the present town of Winchester.. It was at the locality which has since been well known as "Symmes's Corner". He also built there a blacksmith's shop. He built carts and wagons for the army in these two shops, that being the only way in which he could obtain good money. He had previously lived with his father on the river's bank, in the house where now stands the house of John Bacon. But a few years after, we suppose in 1783, he built a house for himself on what is now Grove Street, where he afterwards lived and died, as did his son Edmund after him. This house was burned on 17 August 1864.
In 1793 a plan was formed by some enterprising citizens of Medford and other towns in the vicinity, for a canal to connect the waters of the Merrimack at Chelmsford with the tide water of Mystick River, near Boston. A company formed for this purpose was incorporated by the legislature on 22 June 1793 by the name of "The Proprietors of Middlesex Canal". Some years were spent in surveying and in other necessary preparations, so that it was not navigable till 1803.*
* This canal was at the time regarded with much favor and as promising to be of great public utility. But it cost a great deal of money. One hundred assessments were made between 1 January 1794 and 1 September 1817 - the whole amount being $1,164,200, or $1,455.25 on each share. The first dividend was not declared till 1 February 1819. From that time it yielded an income of less than one and a half per cent. per annum. The construction of the Boston & Lowell Railroad, in 1835, utterly ruined its business; and in 1852 its charter was surrendered and the canal sold by auction.
On the 17th of October 1801 Captain Symmes conveyed by deed a certain portion of land to the Proprietors of the Middlesex Canal, the canal passing very near it. He afterwards sold to them another portion. A bill of his, now before me, is for business done for the canal in 1818-20, especially in carting materials and machines to and from Boston. Among these were steam engines to be used on the canal, as early as 1819. Mr. John L. Sullivan, of Boston, was agent for the canal, though a part of the business transacted by him was on his own private account. In 1800 or 1801, Mr. Sullivan purchased of Josiah Symmes, brother of Captain Symmes, his share of the mill and mill-privilege, being three-fourths of the same, which had come to him from his grandfather William Symmes. Soon after this Mr. Sullivan and Captain Symmes built a new mill-dam which considerably increased the water fall, raising it to six feet. It flowed the land above and interfered with the operations of the grist-mill higher up the stream, then owned by Abel Richardson. Several lawsuits with Richardson and others followed, continuing ten years or more, which were not finally settled till 1820 or later. These suits were decided against Sullivan and Symmes.
Mr. Sullivan was an enterprising man; he now owned three-fourths of the mill privilege, and at length, on 6 January 1823, the other fourth part hitherto owned by Captain Symmes was conveyed by him (Symmes) for one thousand dollars to William Sullivan of Boston and Richard Sullivan of Brookline, to whom their kinsman John L. Sullivan had conveyed his part of the premises in February 1820.*
* Captain Symmes, in 1801 or soon after, built a grist-mill at the eastern extremity of the milldam. The premises now conveyed by him were "my grist-mill, and all the rights, privileges and appurtenances thereof; and all the right, title and interest which I have in the land, buildings, dam, privilege of flowing and using water on Symmes River in Medford, my right and interest in the property being estimated as one-fourth part thereof".
The mill and mill-privilege had never passed out of the possession of the Symmes family till 1823, since the country was settled, one hundred and eighty years.
From an endorsement on the original deed it appears that the property now conveyed consisted of two acres of land and a dwelling-house seventy feet long and two stories high, one factory dwelling-house, one workshop, one grist-mill and some other buildings.
In another document of the same date, the property now conveyed is called "one fourth part of the Medford factory estate". It appears also that a trip-hammer and a turning lathe for making hubs for wheels were reserved by Mr. Symmes, as owned by his sons John and Marshall.
Mr. Sullivan was somewhat given to scheming. The Middlesex Canal was under his superintendence, and he on his own account made steam engines
at the factory on "Symmes's River" to be used for propelling boats on the canal. The manufacture of wood screws by a newly-invented machine was also prosecuted. Mr. Sullivan became involved, the whole enterprise failed, and at last he sold the whole establishment for four thousand dollars to Abel Stowell, a son-in-law of Captain Symmes, who disposed of it to Robert Bacon, hatter, of Boston. Mr Bacon carried it on for several years, and left it at his death to his children who now possess it. For a time it was known as "Baconville".
Captain Symmes had a large farm and a large family. When his son John came of mature age he gave up to him the care of the wheelwright shop, and to his son Marshall the care of the blacksmith shop. The father and sons carried on a flourishing business nearly fifty years.
He was captain of a company of Light Dragoons. He received his commission, still preserved in the family, from Governor Sumner. He held various other offices of trust.
Twice he went to Canada to visit his youngest son Charles, who had settled on the Ottawa River near the present city of Ottawa. Such a journey was then a formidable affair.
He died 24 June 1834 aged 79. His wife Elizabeth died 18 July 1848, aged 91.
Their children [all of them except  William are detailed under Sixth Generation]
-  JOHN, born 27 January 1781; married Pamelia Richardson.
-  THOMAS, born 30 March 1783; married Sarah L. Wait.
-  ABIGAIL, born 11 February 1785; married Elias Tufts.
-  ELIZABETH, born 10 April 1787; married Abel Stowell.
-  MARSHALL, born 30 July 1789; married Lephe Stowell.
-  William, born 14 August 1791. When of competent age, his father put him in charge of the mill. He afterwards went to Vermont, married, and died leaving offspring of whom little is known.
-  EBENEZER, born 17 August 1793; married first Hannah Davis; married second Lanissa ....
-  EDMUND, born 14 August 1795; married Elizabeth A. Smith.
-  CHARLES, born 4 April 1798; married Hannah Ricker.
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 JOSIAH SYMMES
, brother of the preceding and second son of John and Abigail (Dix) Symmes; baptized 3 September 1758; married Elizabeth Johnson. Who her father was we have not learned, but her brothers were Ezekiel, Levi and Reuel, and she had a sister Lucy.
He lived a bachelor till he was over fifty, then married a young girl who had been his housekeeper, and had by her six children. He never had the measles till he was about seventy, then took the disorder and died of it.
He lived in what was then the northern part of Medford, now in Winchester. It was near the stream known as Symmes's River
. On 1 December 1797 he bought from his cousin Timothy Symmes one half of the mill privilege on that river. About 1800 he sold to John L. Sullivan, agent for the Proprietors of the Middlesex Canal, his interest in the mill and mill stream, it being three-fourths of the same. (See the notice of his brother Captain John Symmes, above
). It would appear that he still retained some connection with the mill stream at least, for I find a document dated Boston, 3 November 1821, containing an agreement between John Symmes, Josiah Symmes, and John L. Sullivan respecting expenses incurred in defending suits against them by Abel Richardson and others.
His children [none of them further mentioned in the Memorial]
-  Josiah, borne 180...; married Sarah Butters. He was killed by the caving in of a well upon him.
-  Johnson, married, and said to be still living in Vermont.
-  Jesse, married; no issue.
-  Gardner, never married; of unsound mind; supposed to be still living in Tewksbury.
-  Elizabeth, married.
- [199 Lucy Ann, married.
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 ABIGAIL SYMMES
, sister of the preceding and only daughter of John and Abigail (Dix) Symmes; baptized 16 March 1760; married Joseph Cutter of Woburn, afterwards of Cincinnati. She died soon after the birth of their only child:
*  Abigail (Cutter), born 1786 or 1787; married William Woodward. This child, with her father and some of his near relatives, removed to the "Territory North-west of the Ohio River", now the State of Ohio. They went in 1789, about the time that John Cleves Symmes went, perhaps in the colony that accompanied him in that year. They settled at Hamilton on the Great Miami River. Her father was killed by the Indians previous to 1801. William Woodward, Esq., a noted lawyer of Hamilton County, was appointed guardian of the child in August 1801 and afterwards married her. They had no children. He was a man of wealth, and endowed the Woodward School in Cincinnati. In 1850 he was an inmate of an insane asylum in that city. An adopted son inherited most of his property. In the decree of the Orphan's Court, August 1801, Abigail Cutter is said to be a minor and an orphan between the ages of fourteen and fifteen years.
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 WILLIAM SYMMES, Esq
, eldest son of Rev. Dr. William and Anna (Gee) Symmes; born at North Andover, Mass., 26 May 1760; never married.
He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy in Andover under the tuition of that highly distinguished scholar, Rev. Eliphalet Pearson. This eminent teacher was accustomed to say that John Lowell, John Thornton Kirkland and William Symmes were the three brightest boys ever under his instruction.
He graduated at Harvard College in 1780, after which he spent some time in Virginia as a private tutor. While in this employment he kept up a correspondence with his class-mates and friends. His letters at this time are said to have been instructive and even beautiful. After pursuing a regular course of legal study in the office of that unrivalled jurist, Theophilus Parsons of Newburyport, he was admitted to practise at the Essex bar, then including such men as Theophilus and Moses Parsons, Rufus King, Nathan Dane, Prescott, Wetmore and Bradbury. He immediately opened an office in the North Parish of Andover.
On the 3rd of December 1787 he was, while under twenty-eight years of age, chosen by the citizens of Andover as a delegate to represent the town in the Convention to be held at Boston in January following, to act on the question of the adoption of the constitution of the United States. The aspect of public affairs was dark and portentous. The people were suffering from the pressure of debt, heavy taxation and a depreciated currency. Many intelligent and upright men thought that the proposed constitution conferred on the federal government too much power, power that might and doubtless would be used for purposes of oppression. Even Samuel Adams and John Hancock had doubts whether it were best to adopt and ratify it. Patrick Henry of Virginia, and Luther Martin of Maryland, exerted their utmost energies against it.
Mr. Symmes at the first took a decided stand in opposition and made far the ablest argument in the convention against it. But on hearing the arguments of Theophilus Parsons and others in its favor, he changed his views and made a speech recalling his opposition and giving his unreserved assent to the constitution. In so doing he acted in opposition to the wishes of his constituents, expressed in a very full meeting. The course he now pursued subjected him to the popular ill will of his native parish, and even to bitter personal enmity, ultimately leading to his removal. But there is much reason to believe that it secured the adoption of the constitution not only in this State but throughout the country. Had this brilliant young man persisted in his opposition he might have led a very numerous party, even of the most ardent friends of liberty, such men as had faced the British music on Bunker Hill; and had Massachusetts, under his leading, refused to ratify the instrument, New Hampshire, New York and other States would probably have done the same. His conduct, therefore, merits the highest praise. It was an instance of the highest moral heroism
Mr. Symmes went to Portland in 1790, entered at once upon a successful practice and took high rank at the bar.*
* Mr. Symmes, as a member of the Cumberland bar, had such associates as Isaac Parker, afterwards Chief Justice of Massachusetts, Prentiss Mellen and Ezekiel Whitman, who both became Chief Justices in Maine; Stephen Longfellow, Salmon Chase, Samuel Cooper Johonnot, John Frothingham and other eminent lawyers.
He was a good classical scholar, a sound lawyer and an able advocate. His manner was formal and stately, but graceful. A letter from one of his students says:
"His personal appearance was stately and dignified. He was in all respects a gentleman in his manners, and emphatically one of the old school. He was affable and polite and commanded affection as well as respect. He may truly be said to have been one of the most imposing and influential men of that time  in Portland. As a lawyer and advocate he was unsurpassed. In his efforts as a speaker there was perhaps more of the fortiter in re than of the suaviter in modo. He always touched the right string. He had great discriminating powers; no one brought out the root and truth of the case so effectually as he did, whether at the bar or at any public meeting. Great confidence was felt in his opinions on all occasions, and especially on legal questions. He was unquestionably the best and most reliable lawyer of his time in the State".
The writer of the above letter, William Freeman of Portland and Cherryfield, then speaks of the cloud which hung over his latter days through the use of intoxicating drinks, and adds:
"Often, when mellow with brandy - his favorite drink - he was brilliant and threw more light on a subject under discussion that any other speaker".
It was probably under the influence of his favorite beverage that a scene took place between him and Judge Thacher. [Hon. George Thacher of Biddeford, of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Maine was still a part of that State.]
Mr. Symmes had made a motion to the court, which he was zealously arguing notwithstanding frequent interruptions by the Judge. Thacher at last became impatient - as he was apt to be - and said: "Mr. Symmes, you need not persist in arguing the point for I am not a Court of Errors and cannot give a final judgment". "I know", replied Symmes, "that you can't give a final judgment, but as to your not being a court of error
I will not say".
Mr. James Dean Hopkins, a lawyer of Portland and contemporary of Mr. Symmes, thus speaks of him:
"Mr. Symmes was a well-read lawyer and an able and eloquent advocate. He ranked among the first of his contemporaries. He was also a fine classical scholar, of cultivated literary taste, and uncommonly learned as a historian. His productions in the newspapers of the time bore honorable testimony to his literary character - particularly a series of numbers entitled 'Communications', about the year 1795, in defence of the common law. These numbers were copied into the principal newspapers throughout the Union. Mr. Symmes, with Judge Thacher and two or three others, rendered the newspapers of that period very interesting by their valuable contributions".
Mr. Symmes died on 7 January 1807, aged 47.
The preceding sketch has been compiled in part from Hon. William Willis's "History of the Law, the Courts, and the Lawyers of Maine", Portland 1863, 8vo, pp. 148-151; and in part from "A Memorial Discourse of William Symmes, Esq., delivered at Andover and North Andover in the winter of 1859-60", by Nathan W. Hazen.
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 Hon. JOHN CLEVES SYMMES,
eldest son of Rev. Timothy and Mary (Cleves) Symmes; born at Riverhead, Long Island, 10 July 1742 Old Style or 21 July, New Style; married first, about 1761, Anna Tuthill daughter of Daniel Tuthill of Southold, Long Island.*
* John Tuthill is mentioned in Thompson's History of Long Island as one of the principal members of the Congregational Church at Southold, at its organization by Rev. John Youngs in 1640. Southold was settled that year by a company from Norfolk in England. Until 1674, this and two other towns at the eastern end of Long Island belonged first to the Colony of New Haven, afterwards to that of Connecticut. John Tuthill, of Suffolk County, Long Island, probably son of the former, was a member of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 1695 to 1698.
She died in 1776. He married second, perhaps about 1794, Mrs. Mary (Henry) Halsey, a sister of Colonel James Henry of Somerset County, New Jersey. He married third, at Vincennes in 1804, Susan Livingston, daughter of William Livingston, Governor of New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, and sister of Brockholst Livingston.*
* William Livingston was the first governor of New Jersey chosen by the popular vote. This was in 1776. He was born in 1723 and died in 1790. His son Brockholst, scarcely less distinguished, was born in 1757 and died in 1823. Both were ardent friends of liberty.
In early life Mr. Symmes was employed in teaching school and in surveying. About 1770 he removed to Flatbrook, Sussex County, New Jersey. He had a farm and a house there which continued to be his nearly - or quite - to the close of his life. The house and farm were called by him "Solitude", for what reason does not appear. He early took part in the great struggle of the Revolution. He was chairman of the Committee of Safety for Sussex County in 1774, and was a colonel in 1775 of one of the Sussex militia regiments. In March 1776 he was ordered with his regiment to New York and was employed in erecting forts and batteries there and on Long Island. Early in the summer he was elected a delegate from Sussex County to the State Convention of New Jersey which met at Burlington on 10 June 1776, and was a member of the committee which was appointed to draft a constitution for the State. Towards the close of that year he was sent by the legislature to Ticonderoga with the delicate task of making a new arrangement of the officers of the New Jersey troops there employed. On his return he was ordered with his command to Morris County, and in December assisted in covering the retreat of Washington to the Delaware. While thus engaged, Colonel Symmes attacked a detachment of eight hundred British troops under General Leslie at Springfield, December 14. This, it is said, was the first check to the progress of the enemy towards Philadelphia.
He was with General Dickinson when he surprised the British on Staten Island. He was at Red Bank when the hostile ships came up the Delaware and attacked the fort there and Fort Mifflin. He was in the battle of Monmouth on Sunday 28 June 1778. He conducted five expeditions to Long Island when it was in the hands of the British. In one of the battles of the war he had three horses shot under him.
In civil life Colonel Symmes rendered himself equally conspicuous. He was lieutenant-governor of New Jersey one year; six years a member of the council. In 1777 he was appointed one of the associate judges of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He served in this capacity for twelve years. In 1786 he was a member of Congress from that State and served two years.
After the war, a strong impulse was felt through the northern and eastern States towards the settlement of the Great West. This impulse was specially strong among those who had toiled and suffered and made sacrifices for the liberties of America. The "Ohio Company" was organized in Boston on 1 March 1786. It was originated by the disbanded officers of the late army. That year and the next were chiefly occupied in making surveys and other necessary preparations. The ordinance of Congress establishing the "Territory North-West of the Ohio" was passed 13 July 1787. On the 23rd of the following October, Judge Symmes together with General James Mitchell Varnum and General Samuel Holden Parsons were appointed judges of the Supreme Court of the new Territory.*
* General Varnum was born in Dracut, Mass., in 1749, but in 1787 was a resident in East Greenwich, R.I. He was a brother of Joseph Bradley Varnum. General Parsons, born at Lyme, Connecticut 14 May 1737, was a major-general in the continental army, and in 1787 a lawyer in Middletown, Connecticut.
The settlement of Ohio commenced at Marietta in April 1788 under General Rufus Putnam, distinguished as an able engineer and military commander in the continental army. In the summer of that year Judge Symmes passed down the Ohio River with a few families, but they were obliged to spend the ensuing winter in Kentucky, the settlement of which had commenced in 1770 under Daniel Boone. Judge Symmes in 1787 contracted with Congress, in behalf of himself and his associates, for one million acres
of what were called "military lands" in the south-western part of the present State of Ohio, between the Great and Little Miami Rivers. The price stipulated was sixty-six and two-third cents per acre. It is designated on the early maps as "Symmes's Purchase". In the spring of 1789 he took possession of it with his little colony. The purchase included the land on which the cities of Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton now stand. By his public spirit and generous conduct he encouraged the settlement of the whole region.
The embarrassments arising from the Indian war which followed in 1791 hindered the settlement of the new purchase and made it impossible for Judge Symmes to fulfil the contract, although several payments had been made on it. In 1794, after Wayne's victory, a new contract was made for 248,000 acres, which are all that are properly included in the "Symmes Purchase".
Judge Symmes selected a site for a settlement at North Bend, so called because it is the most northerly point in the course of the Ohio after it has passed the mouth of the Great Kanawha. It was his intention to found here a city which should become the emporium of the West. But Cincinnati and Columbia were settled about the same time; and the protection afforded to settlers against Indian hostility by the construction of Fort Washington and the presence of a military force, decided the question in favor of Cincinnati, which accordingly became the "Queen City of the West".
Judge Symmes was on the staff of General St. Clair during the campaign which ended in disaster and defeat. He did not, however, neglect his judicial duties at Vincennes and other places.
During his residence at North Bend he had frequent intercourse with the Indians, and by his kindness and uprightness was enabled to exert a great influence over them. After the treaty of Greenville, several Indians declared that during the war they had often raised their rifles to shoot him but, recognizing him, had desisted.
He gave, either in whole or in part, a section of land to each of eight children of his brother Timothy.
Mr. Symmes did not become rich - at least not as the word is commonly used - in consequence of his purchase. Many lawsuits arose against him [this is common in newly settled regions]
, causing no small embarrassment. Much of his land was taken from him to satisfy these demands, and sold under the sheriff's hammer as low as ten cents the acre, although some of it cost as high as twenty shillings, or $3.33 the acre. He applied to Congress for relief but could not obtain it. In one of his letters, dated Cincinnati 8 October 1803, he speaks of being "grievously straitened and oppressed". In another he says "I fear I shall be ruined altogether".
I have been favored with the perusal of a series of letters from him to his brother-in-law, Colonel James Henry of Lamberton, Somerset County, New Jersey, bearing date from May 1791 to May 1813. They mostly relate to business transactions but contain much information on family affairs. They breathe a spirit of kindness and affection for his relatives, many of whom are mentioned by name. He is careful to send his kind regards to "Mamma Henry", the mother of his second wife. It appears that he often suffered from the carelessness or injustice of others; but he maintains a cheerful, hopeful spirit through the whole.
On the 1st of March 1811, during an absence from home of several days, his house in Cincinnati was set on fire by some malicious person who had a spite against him, and utterly consumed with all its contents. All his papers (several barrels full), all his clothing save what he had on, "everything that could burn", were destroyed; $30,000, he says, would not repair his loss. The house alone cost him $8,000. He had nothing left but his lands, the income from which he estimated at $1,700.
The last two or three years of his life passed in much suffering from a cancer which, commencing in the upper lip, spread into his mouth and ears and finally his throat. This dreadful malady caused his death 26 February 1814, aged 72.
The latter part of his life was spent in the family of his son-in-law, General Harrison, at Cincinnati. I have before me a letter from General Harrison to Colonel Henry, before mentioned, dated 4 March 1814, relating to the sad event. The writer, after a visit to New Jersey, arrived at home 9 January and continued with him to the last.
Mr. Symmes "died with great serenity, preserving his senses till about ten minutes before his exit. On the following day I [General Harrison] took his body to North Bend, where he [had] earnestly requested to be buried. His funeral was attended by a large concourse of people, and ample justice is now done to his character, even by many who were most inveterate against him. He has appointed his grandson and myself his executors, and has given us whatever we may be able to save out of his estate. This will be nothing unless we can 'fauset' the iniquitous rules which were made under color of law, of an immense and valuable estate, which in most instances was sold for one-twentieth part of its then value".
He was buried with military honors. The procession moved from the dwelling-house of General Harrison, on Front Street in Cincinnati, and the body was interred at North Bend in a spot selected by himself for the purpose. The following is the inscription on his tomb:
"Here rest the remains of JOHN CLEVES SYMMES, who at the foot of these hills made the first settlement between the Miami Rivers. Born on Long Island, State of New York, July 21, 1742. Died at Cincinnati, Feb. 26, 1814".
His children, all by first wife, were:
-  MARIA, born about 1762; married Peyton Short.
- ,  Two sons, died in infancy.
-  ANNA, born 25 July 1775; married William Henry Harrison [President of the U.S.A., see  under Sixth Generation]
[Up to the Index]
 TIMOTHY SYMMES,
brother of the preceding and second son of Rev. Timothy and Mary (Cleves) Symmes; born at Aquabogue, Long Island, 10 April 1744; married first, in 1765, Abigail Tuthill, daughter of Daniel Tuthill of Southold, Long Island, and sister of Anna who married the preceding John Cleves Symmes. She died in New England in 1776. He married second, in 1778, Mercy Harker daughter of Rev. Samuel Harker.
He resided in Sussex County, New Jersey, during the greater part of his life, and there all his children were born. He owned a farm, but lived mainly by his trade which was that of a silversmith. He was active in the cause of liberty in the Revolutionary War, and was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Sussex County.
He died 20 February 1797, in his 54th year.
His children, by first wife Abigail, were:
-  CELADON, born 30 May 1770; married Phebe Randolph.
-  DANIEL, born 1772; married Elizabeth Oliver.
-  WILLIAM, born 1774; married Rebecca Randolph.
By second wife, Mercy:
-  JOHN CLEVES, born 5 November 1779; married Marianne Lockwood.
-  Timothy, born 178...; died in childhood.
-  MARY, born 1785; married Hugh Moore.
-  JULIANA, born 1791; married Jeremiah Reeder.
-  PEYTON SHORT, born 1793; married Hannah B. Close.
-  TIMOTHY, born 1795; married Ruth Spurrier
[All the above, except little Timothy, have entries under Sixth Generation].
[Up to the Index]
 EBENEZER SYMMES,
half-brother of the preceding and son of Rev. Timothy and Eunice (Cogswell) Symmes; born in Ipswich, Mass., 1754; married, and had a family.
I have no certain information respecting this person, further than is given above. A letter from Newfield, Me., says:
"During the war of the Revolution two brothers, Ebenezer and William Symmes, came to this town, settled on farms and married".
Nothing more is stated concerning Ebenezer, except that before going to Newfield he was a sea captain.
[Up to the Index]
 WILLIAM SYMMES,
brother of the preceding; born in Ipswich 1756; married 12 December 1782 Mehitable Moulton of Newfield, Me. Her father removed from Hampton, N.H. to Newfield about 1780.
William Symmes came to Newfield about 1780, or in the latter part of the Revolutionary War, and settled on a farm in that town. He was a deacon in the church there, and died 20 December 1825, aged 70.
His children were  Mehitable, [215 Anstice],  TIMOTHY, born 1788; married Hill;  James and [218 William. [Only TIMOTHY is mentioned further under Sixth Generation].
[Up to the Index]
 Captain CALEB SYMMES,
son of Deacon Thomas and Martha (Call) Symmes; born in Charlestown 10 October 1732; married 21 September 1756 Elizabeth Hall, born 24 October 1732, daughter of Rev. Willard and Abigail (Cotton) Hall of Westford, Mass.
He lived in Charlestown in a house on or near the spot where now stands the dry-goods store of John Skilton.
He was a Master, successively, of several vessels engaged in the West-India trade. Among the vessels in which he sailed were schooner Catharine
, schooner Greyhound
, schooner Neptune
and brig Catharine
. It appears that he was in the employ of John Hancock of Boston in 1764. During the "old French war", or about 1755, he was taken prisoner by the French, carried to France
and detained there till he had acquired a pretty good knowledge of the French language. He was at home in 1756. At the time of his death he owned his house and one half of the brig in which he sailed.
He died at St. Lucia, one of the West-India islands, 4 February 1771, aged 38 years 3 months. He was a faithful husband, an affectionate father, a Christian gentleman.
His will is dated 3 March 1757; proved 2 May 1771. He was then "bound on a voyage". He gives all his estate to his wife Elizabeth.
His widow Elizabeth, a woman of courage and energy, returned from Charlestown to he native Westford in 1774 with her two little boys, Caleb and Thomas. She supported herself and them five years by shop-keeping; the Lord prospered her in so doing. She married, as her second husband, Captain Benjamin Fletcher on 9 February 1779. It is due to him to say that he faithfully performed his duty towards her two fatherless children. He gave a deed of his farm on 6 December 1788 to his step-son Thomas Symmes, and to Levi Parker, the son of his only daughter. Captain Fletcher died 25 January 1789, in his 72nd year. His widow Elizabeth died at the house of her son Caleb Symmes in Groton on 31 January 1813, in her 82nd year. She was interred at Littleton.
The children of Captain Caleb and Elizabeth (Hall) Symmes, all born in Charlestown, were:
-  Martha, born 20 September 1757; died 30 September 1767.
-  Abigail, born 9 April 1759; died 15 July 1759.
-  Caleb, born 16 September 1760; died 14 October 1761.
-  CALEB, born 7 March 1762; married first Lydia Trowbridge; married second Mary (Chittenden) Lane.
-  Elizabeth, born 31 August 1763; died 9 November 1773.
-  THOMAS, born 19 September; married Rebecca Carver.
-  Willard Hall, born 24 January 1770; died 7 October 1772.
[Of these, only the surviving CALEB and THOMAS are mentioned further under Sixth Generation].
[Up to the Index]
 HANNAH SYMMES,
eldest daughter of Andrew and Hannah Symmes; born in Boston 15 June 1733; married Colonel David Mason of Boston 5 September 1750. He was born 1727. She was his second wife. The first wife, married 9 June 1748, was Sarah Goldthwait.
He was a prominent man in Boston. In 1763 he founded an artillery company known as the "Train of Artillery", the only artillery company at that time existing in Boston. This company became a celebrated military school and furnished many excellent officers for the Revolutionary army. General Knox was one of its commanders. In the year 1768 there came from London, for the use of this company, two beautiful brass field pieces, three pounders, with the Province arms thereon. These two pieces constituted just one half of the field artillery with which the war of the Revolution commenced.*
* This statement is made in the Genealogical Register, in a note on page 365, of the volume for 1852; but it cannot be true. There were at Cambridge, in April 1775, six three-pounders and one six-pounder. At Watertown there were sixteen pieces of artillery, of different sizes, not all, however, fit for immediate use. The Americans, under Ethan Allen, took in May more than a hundred pieces of cannon at Ticonderoga.
They were constantly in service during the war; were in many engagements; were taken and retaken many times; and finally, in 1788, the names of Hancock and Adams, "sacred to liberty", were engraved on them by order of Congress. They are now in the Bunker Hill Monument.
Colonel Mason was a distinguished officer of the Revolution and the founder of that great national institution, the Springfield Armory. He had also a nice perception of ęsthetic beauty. In his earlier years he learned painting and gilding, and studied portrait painting with that eminent artist John Greenwood of London, who was born in Boston 7 December 1727. He gave lectures on electricity in several towns. Franklin was a fried of his father. [Vide
Allen's American Biography]. Colonel Mason died in Boston 17 September 1794, aged 67.
The children of Colonel David and Hannah (Symmes) Mason were:
-  Davis (Mason), born 7 August 1752.
-  Andrew (Mason), born 19 August 1754.
-  Hannah (Mason), born 21 December 1756.
-  Arthur (Mason), born 2 September 1758.
-  Samuel (Mason), born 20 April 1761.
-  Susanna (Mason), born 1763; married 1785, Rev. John Smith D.D.
[Up to the Index]
 Colonel ANDREW SYMMES,
eldest son of Andrew and Hannah Symmes; born in Boston 19 March 1735; married first 20 October 1763 Lydia Gale, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Alden) Gale. He married second Mary Holmes of Boston. She died previous to August 1774. He married third, at Christ Church in Boston 21 September 1779, Mary Ann (Stevens) Symmes, widow of his brother  Captain Ebenezer Symmes.
Colonel Symmes resided in Boston and was an eminent member of the community. He was distinguished by his air, manner and entire personal appearance. He was remarkably intelligent, of great probity of character, a warm-hearted patriot and Christian gentleman, and much beloved for his kindly traits of character. He was admitted in 1760 a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, an organization of which Benjamin Lincoln, after having served in the armies of his country as major-general many years, said he deemed it an honor to be a private member.
He was one of that famous fraternity, the "Sons of Liberty", which originated in 1765 to oppose the execution of the Stamp Act and other arbitrary measures of the British Parliament. He was present at their memorable celebration and great dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Dorchester on 14 August 1769, held in a canvas tent, "in the open air near the barn", the rain pouring down in torrents. This was the anniversary of the hanging in effigy of Andrew Oliver, the odious distributor of stamps, on the Liberty Tree at the intersection of Washington and Essex Streets, 14 August 1765. The day was held in honor somewhat as the 17th of June now is, as the time of a mighty outbreak against arbitrary power. Samuel Adams and John Adams were there. The procession, a mile and a half in length, on leaving the place was headed by John Hancock in his splendid chariot. Gentlemen of distinction from other colonies were also there, among whom were Joseph Reed of Philadelphia and Mr. Dickinson of New Jersey. About three hundred and fifty persons were present; the "Liberty Song" was sung, the whole company joining in the chorus; forty-five toasts were drunk, yet no one was seen intoxicated. The company broke up between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, entered Boston before dark, marched round the State House (at the head of State Street), and then dispersed. The whole affair was conducted with perfect order, and the enthusiasm was intense. [For a list of the persons present on this occasion, see "Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1869-1870"]
In proof of the estimation in which he was held, we may mention that Colonel Symmes was an intimate and confidential friend of John Hancock, before and after the Revolution. After that event he was his aide-de-camp, and the warm friendship between them continued till death.
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, April 1775, on the prospect of a siege by the American troops General Gage gave permission for all who desired to leave Boston. In a few days this permission was suddenly revoked and many respected and patriotic citizens were compelled to remain. Of this number was Colonel Andrew Symmes. It so happened, therefore, that he was in Boston on the day of the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17th. On the return of the British from that sanguinary encounter, a captain of the royal army - finding himself mortally wounded - requested his bearers to take him to the house of his friend Colonel Symmes. In that house he died that evening, his young son holding his hand. Just previous to his death, Colonel Symmes came in and the dying officer said to him: "Ah! Colonel, I little thought that the bullet was cast by my American friends here to send me to the grave".
During the visit of Lafayette to this country in 1824, while making inquiries in Boston for his old friends, he learned that Mrs. Snelling, a daughter of Colonel Symmes, was alive. On her presentation to him in the evening he said to her, in his inimitably graceful way: "Well do I remember your father, Colonel Symmes. He was the first man who took me by the hand on my return to this country from France in 1780".
Colonel Andrew Symmes was appointed, 5 August 1774, guardian of his daughter Polly Holmes Symmes, a minor under fourteen years of age, with Ebenezer Symmes, mariner, and Benjamin M. Holmes, distiller, both of Boston, as bondmen. [Suff. Prob. lxxiv. 17]. Benjamin M. Holmes was probably brother of the second wife.
After the death of his brother Ebenezer, Colonel Symmes gave bond, dated 16 April 1779, as guardian of the same child, with John Osborne, painter, and William Symmes, tailor, both of Boston, as sureties. [Ibid, lxxviii. 624]. John Osborne probably married his sister.
Colonel Andrew Symmes died 9 April 1797, aged 61. His third wife, Mary Ann, was living as late as August 1796.
His children by first wife Lydia were:
-  Mary, born 6 August 1764.
-  LYDIA, born 18 December 1768; married Jonathan Snelling.
By second wife, Mary:
-  Mary Ann, born between 1770 and 1774.
By his third wife, Mary Ann:
-  ANDREW ELIOT, married Eliza Coffin.
[Up to the Index]
 Captain EBENEZER SYMMES,
brother of the preceding; born in Boston 6 January 1737; married first 21 March 1763 Hannah Greenwood, born 1740, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Charnock) Greenwood of Boston. She was a sister of the artist John Greenwood already mentioned. They were married by Rev. Samuel Mather. He married second, Mary Ann Stevens of Turnham Green, near London.
He lived in Boston, was a man of great courage and energy, a man of decided public spirit and patriotism. He was one of the "Sons of Liberty" and was present with his brother on the great occasion mentioned in the notice of Colonel Andrew Symmes [above]. He was a mariner and commanded for years what was called a "king's ship" (not a man-of-war) running between Boston and London.
He died some time in 1776, in his 40th year. His widow Mrs. Mary Ann Symmes married his brother, Colonel Andrew Symmes, 21 September 1779.
He left no will. Of his estate, the widow Mary Ann Symmes was appointed administratrix and as such presented an inventory on 10 January 1777 - the assets consisting of a dwelling-house on Middle Street, goods in the town of Littleton, &c. Her bondsmen were John Scollay, Esq., and Andrew Symmes Jr, Gent., both of Boston. [Middle Street was the northern half of what is now Hanover Street]
In a subsequent account presented 2 December 1782 she charges for carting goods to and from Littleton, and from Littleton to Billerica; likewise, money "paid to his five sisters agreeably to the request of the intestate before his death"; and money "paid to his sister Mason and sister Thompson". [Suff. Prob. lxxv. 109, 194-6].
After paying out these various charges there was found to be a balance of personal estate amounting to £1622 6s 1d. As "continental money" ceased to circulate in 1780, this balance was doubtless reckoned in a sound currency and the amount may be stated as about $5,400. It was distributed one-third to the widow, then become a wife; two-thirds to the only daughter, Mary Ann Symmes.
The only child of Captain Ebenezer Symmes was by his second wife:  Mary Ann, born 15 August 1775; married John Greenwood.
[Up to the Index]
 JOHN SYMMES,
brother of the preceding and fourth son of Andrew and Hannah Symmes; born in Boston 5 February 1741; married Hephzibah Barrett 1 June 1766. They were married by Rev. Andrew Eliot, of New North Church from 1742 to 1778.
He was one of the "Sons of Liberty" and was present at the great celebration in Dorchester on 14 August 1769, described under  Colonel Andrew Symmes. He afterwards, it is said, lived in Lynn.
His children [may have been]:
-  William, had a son William whose daughter Susan married a Barnes and was living in Boston in 1867.
-  Elizabeth, married ... Colman and had ten daughters.
-  Abiah, married ... Shepard and had Susan (Shepard) and John (Shepard).
I am in doubt whether these were not the children of another John Symmes.
[Up to the Index]
 WILLIAM SYMMES,
brother of the preceding; born in Boston 1753; married first Prudence Urann, a native of Boston said to be a descendant of Rev. Pierre Daillé, the minister of the French Protestant Congregation in Boston from 1696 to 1715; married second, Elizabeth Russell, sister of the well-known Benjamin Russell, printer and publisher of the Columbian Centinel
of Boston.* She died at Ludlow, Vt., 25 January 1856, in her 91st year.
* According to Mr. Samuel G. Drake in his "History of Boston", p. 733, there were issued in Boston, previous to December 1767, only four weekly papers - the News Letter, commenced 1704; the Evening Post, 1739; the Advertiser, 1753; the Gazette, 1755. In December 1676 two enterprising men, John Mein and John Fleming, commenced the Boston Chronicle. It was a high Tory paper and from the force of public opinion suspended in June 1770. All the other papers but the the last continued till the Revolution War, 1775-6, when they were discontinued. The Independent Chronicle was commenced 2 January 1777, and after the division of the country into parties was the accredited and leading organ of the democratic party in New England. The Massachusetts Centinel was first issued in 1784, the name changed on 16 June 1790 to Columbian Centinel. This paper was owned and conducted (I think from the beginning) by Benjamin Russell, a man of rare ability and possessing in a high degree the confidence and support of the federal party. It was continued by him till about 1820, when it was merged in the Boston Daily Advertiser.
He resided in Boston and was by trade a tailor. He was also a ship-master, sailing from Boston and Philadelphia. He was one of the sureties of his brother Colonel Andrew Symmes when the latter was appointed guardian of his child Mary by his second wife, Mary Holmes.
He was for a time a deputy-sheriff of the county of Suffolk, and near the close of life removed to Cambridge where he died of consumption in 1810, aged 57. His wife's brother, Mr. Russell, was guardian to his son, then only eight years old, and took him into his family.
His children by first wife were:
-  Mary, unmarried.
-  Elizabeth, married John Bayley. They had a numerous family, one of whom was Dudley H. Bayley now residing in Boston. Previous to the "Great Fire", November 9 and 10, 1872, he had a "Horse Bazaar" on Federal Street where he kept horses and carriages for sale.
By second wife:
-  An infant.
-  WILLIAM, born 1802; married first Elizabeth Ridgeley; married second Eliza A. Mayland.
[Up to the Index]
 ISAAC SYMMES,
son of Zechariah and Grace (Parker) Symmes; born in Charlestown 10 April 1743; married first, 20 March 1765, Hannah Davis born 27 February 1743 - supposed to be a descendant of Dolor Davis of Barnstaple, 1680-1704. She died 1 October 1773. He married second, 15 December 1774, Hannah ...., born 5 February 1749, died 13 December 1783. He married third, 24 October 1784, Joanna ...., born 30 August 1754.
He was a baker and one of the selectmen of the town. He lived in Plymouth, Mass. He died in consequence of a fall from a horse on Saturday 27 August 1791 at 11 o'clock, A.M.
His children by first wife were:
-  Hannah, born 30 January 1766. She was beautiful and attractive in parson; was engaged to be married but was disappointed and died in consequence while yet young.
-  Isaac, born 5 June 1767; died November 1767.
-  Grace, born 24 August 1768.
-  Martha, born 6 May 1770; died 23 January 1859.
-  ISAAC, born 16 November 1771; married Mary Whitman.
-  Elizabeth, born 16 September 1773; died 2 May 1803.
By second wife:
-  Lucy, born 14 September 1773; died 4 October 1775.
-  MARGARET, born 15 November 1777; married James Spooner.
-  Sarah, born 24 April 1779; married Pelham Brewster of Kingston, Mass. They have five children, names unknown.
-  LAZARUS, born 18 February 1781; married Mary Weston.
- [259 Lucy, born 24 October 1782; died 2 May 1783.
By third wife:
-  Joanna, born 14 October 1785; died 27 December 1789.
-  Nancy Holland, born 2 November 1786.
-  ZECHARIAH PARKER, born 8 May 1791; married first Elizabeth D. Berry; married second Elizabeth Young; married third Caroline F. Esty.
[Up to the Index]
 SARAH SYMMES, half-sister of the preceding and daughter of Zechariah and Elizabeth (Locke) Symmes; born in Charlestown 29 December 1757; married 1777 James Locke born in the west end of the present town of Winchester, then part of Woburn, 7 April 1752. He was son of Jonathan and Phebe (Pierce) Locke of the same place.
James Locke was a soldier of the Revolution. He dwelt successively in Winchester, Lexington and Arlington, the last place then known as West Cambridge. He died at the place last named on 6 July 1831, in his 80th year. His wife Sarah died 22 February 1839, aged 81.
[None of their nine children - all surnamed Locke - are mentioned under Sixth Generation in the Memorial].