THE SYMMES MEMORIAL

FOURTH GENERATION

(Click on any UPPER CASE name within these Trees to view the known details)

The great-grandchildren of Rev. Zechariah via [17] William:
[1] Rev Zechariah
[4] Captain William
[17] William
[54] ZECHARIAH[55] JOSIAH[56] TIMOTHY[58] JOHN[60] WILLIAM


The great-grandchildren of Rev. Zechariah via [18] Timothy:
[1] Rev Zechariah
[4] Captain William
[18] Timothy
[62] TIMOTHY


The great-grandchildren of Rev. Zechariah via [20] Zechariah:
[1] Rev Zechariah
[11] Zechariah
[20] Zechariah
[71] ZECHARIAH


The great-grandchildren of Rev. Zechariah via [21] Thomas:
[1] Rev Zechariah
[11] Zechariah
[31] Thomas
[80] THOMAS[81] ANDREW[82] JOHN[84] ELIZABETH[85] ZECHARIAH




[54] ZECHARIAH SYMMES, son of [17] William and Ruth (Convers) Symmes; born in what was then Charlestown, now the southern part of Winchester, 1 September 1707; married, 1741, Judith Eames born in Woburn 22 March 1718, eldest child of Dea. Samuel and Judith (Simonds) Eames of Woburn. The name is of late spelled Ames, as pronounced. Dea. Eamos, born in 1692, was son of Samuel born in 1664, who was a son of Robert Eames who was of Charlestown in 1651 but removed to Woburn before 1666.

He was a farmer and dwelt in the last house in what was then Woburn on the road to Boston. It was opposite the Black Horse Tavern, which is still standing. The house stood on the spot where now stands the dwelling-house of Mrs. Hutchinson. It was a part of the farm of his father, Mr William Symmes, and his grandfather Captain William Symmes. [The line between Woburn and Medford ran between his house and barn, his house being in Woburn, the barn in Medford]. He died there on 19 April 1793 aged 84.

His will is dated 24 January 1791; proved June 1793. He and his wife Judith, who joins in the will [I have examined perhaps hundreds of wills. In no other instance have I found a wife joining her husband in a will] bequeath to their sons Zechariah, Samuel and William, land in Tewksbury, Woburn (the Wood-Hill lot), Medford and elsewhere, "which we had by her father Ames" [This expression can refer only to a part of what the testator left, for a part came from his ancestors the Symmeses]. They also leave a legacy to their daughter Ruth Prentice and her children. A pew in Woburn meeting-house is also bequeathed; also cattle, hogs and farming utensils.

Judith, his wife, died 24 July 1795, aged 84 according to gravestone. The church record makes her but 76.

[Their children were [89] Judith (died young), [90] ZECHARIAH, [91] SAMUEL, [92] Judith], [93] Ruth (died young), [94] Ruth and [95] WILLIAM, detailed under "Fifth Generation"].

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[55] JOSIAH SYMMES, brother of the preceding and second son of William and Ruth (Convers) Symmes; born in the north part of Charlestown, north of Mystic Pond, 7 April 1710; never married. He was doubtless named for his maternal grandfather, Captain Josiah Convers.

His father's large farm was divided in 1765 and about a fourth part was assigned to him. His part included the mill, the mill-pond, the house and barn. It bordered, I think, on the great road to Boston, now Main Street in Winchester. It consisted of several detached portions; one of the portions bordered on the west on the Gardiner farm (formerly Increase Nowell's) in Charlestown.

He lived, therefore, in the extreme northerly part of Medford in the house standing on the bank of the Aberjona River, on the spot now occupied by John Bacon which since 1850 has been in Winchester. He died previous to 1780, as we learn from a quit-claim signed by his four brothers in July of that year. He must have lived to near the age of 70.

His father, William Symmes, in 1761 conveyed to him by deed thirty acres of land near Wedge Pond, bounded N.E. on Ebenezer Convers's land in Woburn, and S.E. on the river called Symmes's River [the Aberjona].

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[56] TIMOTHY SYMMES, brother of the preceding and third son of William and Ruth (Convers) Symmes; born about 1714; married Elizabeth (or Betsey) Bodge.

He inherited a portion of his father's estate, including a portion of the mill. His land was: In other words, it was on both sides of the road to Boston. It was formerly in Medford, now in Winchester.

He died in 1784, intestate. The inventory of his estate was exhibited in Court 2 September 1784 by his widow Elizabeth Symmes, administratrix. Real estate 412; Personal estate 72 10s.

He left three children, all minors, which induces the belief that he was not married till more than 50 years of age. Of his children, Captain Joseph Brown of South Woburn, a near neighbor of Timothy Symmes, was appointed guardian. Elizabeth, widow of Timothy Symmes, was living in 1814.

[His children were [96] TIMOTHY, [97] DANIEL, [98] Elizabeth and [99] William, details under "Fifth Generation"]

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[58] JOHN SYMMES, brother of the preceding, born about 1720; married 7 November 1754 Abigail Dix of Waltham. Mr. Dix, her father, was selectman of Waltham for several years. She was admitted to the church in West Cambridge, now Arlington, 16 March 1760.

Mr. Symmes was a farmer and lived in Charlestown until 1754, when he and his father's farm were annexed to Medford. After his marriage he continued to live in the same house with his father on the spot where now stands the house of John Bacon, in the present town of Winchester, near where the railroad bridge spans the Aberjona River and not far from the Mystic Station. He owned part of the mill and mill privilege; his brother Josiah the other part. Josiah's part, after his death, was divided between John and Timothy.

It was more convenient for him to attend church at West Cambridge than at Woburn, and he was admitted to that church 3 September 1758, at which time his children John and Josiah were baptized. On June 19, 1761, his father William Symmes conveyed to John Symmes a considerable portion of his farm in Medford. His land extended to Symmes's Corner in the south part of what is now Winchester, but was none of it on the south side of the road leading to West Medford. Forty acres, and probably more of his land, are now owned by his descendants.

His wife Abigail died 28 March 1761 aged 28. He did not marry again. He was living on 21 July 1780, when he signed a quit-claim deed together with his brothers Zechariah and William in favor of their brother Timothy.

[His children [100] JOHN, [101] JOSIAH and [102] ABIGAIL are detailed under "Fifth Generation"].

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[60] Rev. WILLIAM SYMMES, D.D., brother of the preceding and youngest son of William and Ruth (Convers) Symmes, born in the north part of Charlestown, afterwards included in Medford and since 1850 in Winchester; married 1759 Anna Gee, daughter of Rev. Joshua Gee, pastor of the Second or Old North Church in Boston. She died 18 June 1772 aged 38. He married, second, 26 July 1774 Susanna Powell of Boston, born 1729, a native of England. She died 26 July 1807, aged 79.

He graduated Harvard College 1750; was tutor there 1755 to 1758; received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from that college in 1803; was ordained pastor of the North Church and Parish in Andover, now the town of North Andover, 1 November 1758 and continued pastor there more than forty-eight years till his death on May 3, 1807 at the age of 77 years 6 months. Rev. Dr. Cummings of Billerica preached the funeral sermon from 2 Corinthians 1:" For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle," &c.

He succeeded Rev. John Barnard at North Andover, who is well remembered as a decided opposer of Whitefield and of the "Great Awakening" of 1741. Dr. Symmes is supposed to have entertained similar views and to have been an Arminian, and very nearly if not quite a Unitarian. Rev. Bailey Loring, his successor, was an acknowledged Unitarian.

"He was", says Abbott, the historian of Andover, "distinguished for his prudence, his sound moral principle, his unshaken integrity, and his irreproachable conduct."

[His son [103] WILLIAM is detailed under "Fifth Generation"]. His other children, all by his first wife Anna, were:

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[62] Rev. TIMOTHY SYMMES, son of Timothy and Elizabeth Symmes of Scituate, Mass.; born 27 May 1714; married first, in 1740, Mary Cleves daughter of Captain John Cleves, a wealthy farmer of Aquabogue, Long Island. She died in 1746 or 1747. He married second, in 1752, Eunice Cogswell daughter of Francis and Hanna Cogswell of Ipswich, Mass.

He graduated Harvard College 1733. He was ordained pastor of Millington, a parish in the town of East Haddam, Ct., 2 December 1736, on which occasion Rev. Stephen Hosmer of the First Church in that town preached from 1 Timothy vi. 20: "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust". He was a zealous promoter of evangelical religion and a warm friend of the Great Revival of 1741-2. His great activity and fervor in this cause led to his dismission shortly after. He then took charge of the church at Southold, Long Island. In 1744 the Presbytery of New Brunswick sent him to supply vacancies in West New Jersey. He was pastor of the churches in Springfield and New Providence in that state from 1746 to 1750, during which time he twice sat as a member of the Synod of New York. In 1752 he removed to Ipswich, Mass., having been recommended to the people there by Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of that place as a man who had been "driven from his Society in Connecticut ten years before for being so active on the side of religion". In Ipswich he was an assistant of Mr. Rogers, but it does not appear that he was formally installed as colleague. He continued at Ipswich till his death, 6 April 1756, aged 41. He had been in the ministry twenty years.

After the death of his first wife, her father, Captain Cleves, took her two little children and kept them till his death in 1760.

After the death of Mr. Symmes, his widow Eunice married Richard Potter. The children of Mr. Symmes by his first wife Mary were: By his second wife Eunice, born in Ipswich:

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[71] ZECHARIAH SYMMES, , eldest son of Zechariah and Dorcas (Brackenbury) Symmes; born Charlestown 13 March 1701-2; married Elizabeth ....

He lived in Boston and appears to have died before 1725. He had by his wife Elizabeth: [123] Zechariah, born 28 February 1722-3.

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[80] Deacon THOMAS SYMMES, eldest son of Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth (Blowers) Symmes; born in Boxford 11 January 1702-3; married first, 11 November 1725, Martha Call, daughter of Lieutenant Caleb and Ann Call of Charlestown. She died 19 June 1733 aged 28. Caleb Call was admitted to the First Church in Charlestown 6 April 1718, and his wife on 1 January 1720-1.

He married second, 11 December 1735, Ruth (Hall) Webber, sister of Rev. Willard Hall of Westford; born 1708, daughter of Stephen and Grace (Willis) Hall of Medford and widow of John Webber. She was admitted to the church 9 October 1726 and died 17 January 1743 aged 45.

He married third, Mary Frothingham 24 July 1753. She was admitted to the church in Charlestown 10 February 1740.

Mr. Symmes early submitted to the claims of the gospel and was admitted to the First Church in Charlestown 27 March 1720. His first wife, Martha, was admitted 9 October 1726, and his second wife the same day. He was chosen deacon of said church 5 February 1752.

He passed his life, after the age of childhood, in Charlestown. He was by trade a potter, as we learn from Middlesex Deeds, vol. xxvii. fol. 57. He also kept a store. He died 7 July 1754 aged 51 1/2 years, greatly respected.

His will is dated 10 December 1753; proved 25 July 1754. He gives to his wife Mary, besides her dower or third part of his real estate, one third part of his personal estate. The residue he gives to his four children, Thomas, Caleb, Elizabeth, Ruth, in equal portions except that Thomas, the eldest son, "by reason of his grievous lameness" is to have two shares, or a double portion. He speaks of his late wife Ruth. Appoints as executors his wife Mary and his two sons, Thomas and Caleb. [Midd. Prob, xlvii. 150].

Among the assets in the inventory was "Symbo, negro woman", appraised at 200; and a silver watch, 40. Whole amount of inventory, all of it personal estate, 1972 8s 6d.

His children by his first wife, Martha, were: By his second wife, Ruth:

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[81] ANDREW SYMMES, brother of the preceding and second son of Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth Symmes; born in Boxford 20 May 1704; married Hannah .... He was named Andrew out of respect to Hon. Andrew Belcher, his grandmother's brother.

He lived in Boston, was a man of much respectability and was admitted a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1734. He was living in 1764, when he was a witness of the will of his brother John Symmes of Boston. He must also have been living in April 1778 when in a legal instrument his son Andrew has the suffix "Junior".

His children, all born in Boston, were:

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[82] JOHN SYMMES, Esq., brother of the preceding and third son of Rev. Thomas Symmes, born in Boxford 14 February 1705-6; married first Martha Kneeland 19 December 1728; married second, Philadelphia ....

He resided in Boston, on the west side of the land of Colonel Wendell. He was a man of high repute there, as will appear from the following obituary notice in the Boston Gazette and News of 1 March 1764:

"Monday evening last, died here, after a few days illness, of a violent fever, John Symmes, Esq., in the 58th year of his age, Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment of militia of this Town. He was a gentleman of a very courteous and affable disposition, industrious in his business, honest in his dealings with mankind, and pious towards God."
He died in Boston 27 February 1764. His will is dated on the day of his death; it was proved 23 March 1764 and is on record in the Suffolk Registry, vol. 63, fol. 50.He gives to his wife the use of his real estate during her life, and to his only son Thomas Symmes, &c. The witnesses were Richard Dana,Esq., Andrew Symmes, Zechariah Symmes.

His wife's name - certainly uncommon for a lady - does not occur in the will. We obtain it from the Boston town record of births, &c.

His children by his first wife Martha, all born in Boston, were: By second wife, Philadelphia ...: [No further mention is made of these children in the Symmes Memorial].

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[84] ELIZABETH SYMMES, sister of the preceding and daughter of Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth Symmes; born in Bradford 3 March 1709-10; married Hon. Samuel Danforth of Cambridge. After her father's death in 1725 she was taken into the family of Rev. Benjamin Wadsworth, president of Harvard College.

Her husband was baptized 15 November 1696 in Dorchester, being son of Rev. John Danworth of that place. Rev. John was son of Rev. Samuel Danforth of Roxbury, who was born in England in September 1626, and was son of Nicholas Danforth who came to New England in 1634. Rev. Samuel was brother of Hon. Thomas Danworth, who was Deputy Governor of Massachusetts under Bradstreet from 1679 to 1686.

Hon. Samuel Danforth graduated Harvard College 1715; was Judge of Probate, and of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Middlesex; and was for several years President of the Executive Council. He was named Mandamus Councillor * - which means an instrument of arbitrary power under the royal government - in 1774.
* The Mandamus Councillors were appointed by the king, in pursuance of the "Regulating Act" passed in May 1774, which took away the chartered rights of Massachusetts. The people every where compelled these Mandamus Councillors to resign. - [Bancroft's Hist. U.S., vii. 58,95,103,115.]
This last honor, although he had taken the oath for the performance of its duties, the popular clamor obliged him publicly to relinquish. Four thousand people assembled in the open air before the steps of the old Court House in Cambridge on 1 September 1774 determined to resist, at all hazards, the encroachments of the British ministry. They were aroused even to fury, and yet such order prevailed that the low voice of Judge Danforth, now a feeble old man of seventy-eight years, was heard by the whole multitude. He addressed them at some length and closed by giving a written promise, never "to be in any way concerned as a member of the council". His townsman Judge Lee confirmed his former resignation. Another townsman, Thomas Oliver, resigned the next day.

Judge Danforth occupied a prominent position in his day. He sat on the bench till the Revolution, a period of thirty-four years, and died at his residence in Cambridge on 27 October 1777, aged 81. Elizabeth (Symmes) Danforth, his wife, died there 13 January 1775, aged 65.

Their children were: [No further mention is made of these children in the Symmes Memorial].

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[85] ZECHARIAH SYMMES, brother of the preceding and youngest son of the Rev. Thomas Symmes; born in Bradford 15 July 1712; married first on 10 July 1735 Grace Parker, born 21 June 1716, eldest daughter of Isaac and Grace (Hall) Parker of Charlestown and niece of the second wife of his brother Thomas Symmes. She died 9 March 1747.

He married second, 16 June 1748, Elizabeth Locke born in Medford 17 June 1716, eldest daughter of Francis and Elizabeth (Winship) Locke, first of Medford, where this daughter was born, then of Woburn in 1718, and afterwards of West Cambridge, now Arlington. Francis was son of Deacon William Locke of Woburn, the part now Lexington, and grandson of Deacon William Locke of Woburn who was born in London 13 December 1628 and came to New England in 1634 when only six years old.

Mr. Symmes came to Charlestown when a youth and was admitted to the First Church in that town on 31 October 1731 at the age of nineteen. His wife Grace was admitted to that church 6 December 1735.

During many years he kept the "Cape Breton Tavern" in Charlestown, which stood near the present "Bunker Hill Tavern". It was a noted place in those days. The British troops had possession of it after the battle of Bunker Hill and occupied it for barracks. A granddaughter of Mr. Symmes stated that the British built a large oven near the house, the floor consisting of grave-stones found in the neighboring cemetery.

Mr. Symmes in the latter part of his life removed to Plymouth and died 12 July 1772, aged 60.

A letter is on file in the Probate office, East Cambridge, written by him to his brother-in-law the Hon. Samuel Danforth of Cambridge, dated Plymouth 2 December 1770, asking to be excused from coming to attend to the distribution of his father Locke's estate among the heirs, on account of ill health and the cold weather; his son Thomas will come in about a month.
23 September 1755. Zachariah Symmes, innholder, of Charlestown, with James Osborne, miller, as surety, gives bond in the sum of 300 (equivalent to one thousand dollars) for the faithful discharge of his duties as guardian of his children by his late wife Grace, viz.: Zachary, William, John and Isaac, all under the age of fourteen. [Midd. Prob., xlvii. 150]
This does not correspond with the record below.

The widow of Mr. Symmes married (published 15 November 1776) Ebenezer Brooks, son of Jabez of Woburn whose first wife was her cousin Jemima Locke born 4 July 1718, daughter of William Locke, elder brother of Francis, already mentioned. The widow Elizabeth outlived this her second husband and died March 1803 aged nearly 87 years.
"It is related of this family that the children of three different marriages resided under one roof in perfect harmony, viz.: the children of Ebenezer Brooks by his first wife, and the children of Zechariah Symmes by both wives".
The children of Zechariah Symmes by his first wife were: By second wife, Elizabeth:

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