Ezra Perry

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(The following was submitted by Paul Rentz)

Here’s some material I’ve come across- on Ezra, Edmund’s information is not nearly as complete from what I’ve seen.
Ezra Perry
• Born: 1625, Bideford, Devonshire, England 19,22
• Marriage: Elizabeth Burgess on 12 Feb 1651/52 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA 15,18,19,20,21,139,239,240,245
• Died: 16 Oct 1689, Sandwich, Barnstable, MA at age 64 18,19,20,139,245
Ezra was one of the earliest settlers of Sandwich, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Burgess in Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts on February 12, 1651/51. He became a minister in 1657. In 1679 he also became constable. Ezra and Elizabeth had eight children.
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General Notes:
For well over a hundred years various descendants of Ezra1 Perry of Sandwich, Mass., have gathered data regarding him and his descendants. The results of their work have largely disappeared, sometimes through destruction by fire, but more often as a result of the decease of the searcher before his or her manuscript was completed, thus necessitating much duplication of effort. The purpose of this article, then, is to combine and record as briefly and clearly as possible the results of research of its compilers over a period of years. It is hoped that it will stimulate research in England, and that others will be encouraged to contribute corrections and additions.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that this Ezra Perry was closely related to others of the name in Sandwich and probably also in Scituate, Mass. Conclusive evidence regarding the precise nature of these relationships is still to be found, as will appear. The first recorded notice of EZRA1 PERRY in America is found in the Sandwich town records, where at a Meeting 6 mo. 7, 1644 we learn that “divers persons engaged freely to pay in goods and merchantable corn” toward the repair of their Meeting House. Ezra Perry pledged an amount of nine shillings toward this project (Sandwich town records; Frederick Freeman, “Annals of Sandwich” in The History of Cape Cod, vol. II, p. 45).
After his first appearance in the records nothing more is found until his marriage: “Ezra Perry & Elizabeth Burge were maried the 12th day of ffebruarie, Anno. Dom. 1651” (May, Des., 14:109 ). Elizabeth (Burges) Perry, born probably in or near Truro, Cornwall, England, about 1629, was the only daughter of Thomas and Dorothy Burges of Sandwich (see THE REGISTER, 49:240, for her ancestry). Thomas Burges was in Sandwich in 1637, Representative to the General Court, 1642, fought in the Narragansett War, 1645., etc. Savage calls him “one of the chief men of the town.” Through the agency of Capt. Miles Standish he received a grant of land 3 March 1652/3 in Manomet, the area later called Monument, lying to the north of the Sandwich Settlement which was named Herring River Village (within the township of Sandwich). This deed shows that the land lay “to the Eastward of Thomas Burgis his sonne in lawes house” thus proving that Ezra Perry was then resident, though he probably did not yet own land, in Manomet. He does not appear on a list of Sandwich land owners in 1658 (Plymouth Colony Deeds, May. Des., vol. 2, p. 29; Sandwich town records).
The births of his first three children are recorded in Sandwich: Ezra, in 1653; Deborah, in 1654; and John, in 1657 (May. Des., 14: 171). A hiatus in the records then occurs until we find the births of his son Samuel, in 1667; Benjamin, in 1670; and Remembrance, in 1676. By his will we know that he had at least another daughter, Sarah Perry, born about 1659.
The town records show that “Lieftenant” Perry received 4 shillings pay 4 April 1657 for service in the militia. Yet he seems not to have played a prominent role in the public life of the community. The fact that he married the daughter of one of its chief men, and that his eldest son married a daughter of the powerful Governor Prence, attests to his standing, however. His multitude of descendants represent an astonishing variety of people, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the first wife of President Theodore Roosevelt, and several contemporary genealogists as well as the present compilers. Among these was Capt. Thomas Crosby Perry (1807-1885), who kept a genealogical Note Book to which the attention of all those concerned with early Sandwich history and genealogy is hereby directed.
The next item referring to Ezra Perry appears in the Plymouth Colony Court Records, vol. 3, p. 163: “June 7, 1659 – Ezra Perry is allowed by the Court to be Executor of the Estate of Sarah Perry, there being noe other (although she hath many friends in the Country), that claimeth any interest to the Estate, having put in securities into the Court to be accountable for the Estate encase it shall bee required by any that hath better title thereto. …” He presented the Inventory on the Estate of Sarah Perry, deceased, on the following day, June 8th.
All the printed accounts which we have seen appear to base their claim that Ezra Perry and his “brother Edward Perry the Quaker” were sons of the “widow Sarah Perry of Devonshire, England,”on the above statement, but the wording of the record makes it quite clear that neither Ezra nor any of the other Perrys in Sandwich were closely related by blood to the deceased widow Sarah Perry. There is, however, an implication that Ezra Perry had some claim on the estate (perhaps for himself, possibly on behalf of others also). It would be consistent if Ezra’s claim had been based on right to a dower residue of the estate of a step-mother. It could be argued that the Perry family group came to Sandwich with a widowed step-mother in order to live under the protection of some one of the pioneer Sandwich families to whom the widow’s husband and/or these minor children may have been closely related. But such a suggestion is sheer conjecture in the absence of further evidence and is useful only in furnishing an added clue for research in England.
A deed from the Sachem Quachatasett to Mr. John Alden, dated in Plymouth 27 July 1661, mentions a tract of land “on that side of Manomet River next unto Sandwich: the bounds of which is from the lands of Esra Perry, …” (Plymouth Colony Deeds, May. Des., vol. 18, p. 88). But Ezra Perry was then still resident on his father-in-law’s tract which the latter, Thomas Burges, obtained, says Thomas C. Perry, “from the Plymouth Court in consideration for his public service in 1652” (Note Book, p. 66).
On 10 July 1663 “Thomas Burge, Senr. of the Towne of Sandwich, … planter … in consideration of a valluable sume; to him already payed by his son in law Named Esra Perry of. the towne aforesaid … planter” conveys “one halfe of a certain tract … of land at Manomett in the jurisdiction aforesaid, which said tract was purchased by Captaine Standish by the appointment of the Court, of Josias of Nausett an Indian Sachem … as appears by a deed bearing the date the third of March Anno Dom 1652 … bounded to the Northwards … by a tree to the Eastward of the said Perry’s house …” (Plymouth Colony Deeds, May. Des., vol. 18, p. 86) . Thomas C. Perry says this tract lay on both sides of the Monument River, nearly the whole length of it (Note Book, p. 66). Two other deeds, bearing the same date as above, disposed of the remainder of Thomas Burge’s 1652 tract; since he sold one-quarter to son Joseph Burge and the remaining quarter to Lt. Josiah Standish of Sandwich (son of Capt. Miles Standish) (May. Des., vol. 18, p. 89). On 29 May 1665 Ezra Perry agreed to assist in building the new Sandwich Meeting House (town records). On 25 June 1666 “The Court have graunted unto Ezra Perry a smale quantity of land in the Neck” (about 30 acres) … “where Mr. Edmonde Freeman Junr. hath his land …” (Plymouth Colony Court Orders, vol 4, p. 131). On 2 July 1667 “twenty acres additional graunted to Ezra Perry … being in the purchase of Mr. Edmund Freeman, and not suitable for anyone beside, being there is no meadow on it” (ibid., p. 159).
Ezra and Edward Perry were both appointed, 5 June 1671, to represent Sandwich on a committee “to view the damage done to the Indians by the horses and hogges of the English” (Plymouth Colony Court Orders, vol. 2, p. 62). Ezra Perry served 3 June 1674 on the Grand Enquest (ibid., vol. 5, p. 145), and again 5 June 1677 (ibid., p. 230). It is a curious fact that in a 1675 list of Sandwich men who “have just right to the priviledges of the town” of Sandwich Ezra Perry’s name does not appear, though Edward Perry’s does (Freeman, History of Cape Cod, vol. 2, p. 69). But in 1677 the names of Ezra Perry, Senr., and Ezra Perry, Junr., are among those “added to a list of townsmen” (ibid., p. 73). Ezra Perry was appointed Constable 3 June 1679 (Plymouth Colony Court Orders, vol. 6, p. 11). The will of “Thomas Burges Senr. of Sandwich,” dated 4 April 1684, gives “to my son Ezra Perry … two lots I bought of Edmond Freeman Junr.,” directs that if a son, Joseph Burges, prefers not to accept certain land under testator’s conditions, then this, too, to “son Ezra Perry,” and makes “sons Ezra Perry and Joseph Burges” co-executors (Barnstable County Probate Records). The records show that Ezra Perry conveyed lands by deeds of gift to his sons, probably as each reached his majority and it is evident that each child was given also a “marriage portion” in furniture and livestock. This is made plain by the will (vide post), under which the three unmarried children received their shares of “moveables” while the absence of mention of any real property in either will or inventory proves that the lands had been disposed of by deeds poll in the testator’s lifetime. The will of Ezra Perry reads as follows:
“In the name of God Amen ye 16 day of October 1689. I, Ezra Perry Senr. of Monument and Town of Sandwich being sick of body but of good and perfit memory thanks to Allmighty God and calling to Remembrance ye uncertaine estate of this Transitory Life and that all flesh must yield unto Death when it shall please God to Call, do make constitute ordaine and declare this my Last Will and Testament in manner and forme following, revoking and annulling by these presents all and every testament, testaments, will and Wills here to fore by me made and declared either by word or writing. And this is to be taken for my Last Will and Testament and none other. And first being penitent and sorry from the bottom of my heart for my sins past, most humbly desire forgiveness for ye same. I give and comit my Soule unto Allmighty God my Saviour and Redeemer in whom and by ye merrits of Jesue Christ I trust and believe assuredly to be saved and to have full remission and forgiveness of all my sins, and that my Soule with my Body at the generall day of Resurrection shall rise again with Joy and throue ye merritts of Christ’s Death and Passion, possess, and inherit ye Kingdom of Heaven, prepared for His Elect Chosen. And my body to be.burried at ye ordinary place of burreing. And now for ye setling of my Temporal Estate and such goods and chattles and debts as it hath pleased God, far above my deserts to bestow upon me. I do order give and bestow the same in manner and forme following: That is to say; All my outward moveables without doars and within doars to my truly and well beloved wife as my true and undoubted and Lawful Executrix, to order and dispose of as she pleases and shall see cause to dispose of at her pleasure, excepting what I Leave and bequeathe to my well beloved son Samuel Perry, that is, two stiers of two and one heifer of four years and (a) mare coult; one bed and furniture belonging thereto and (a) gune and sword and bandaleers & one iron pot. To my well beloved son Benjamin Perry, two cows, two steeres above three years old, one bed and its ffurniture, one gune and sword. To my Daughter Remember two cowes and a bed and its ffurniture, one meare and all her increase. Also to my son Ezra one shilling. To John Perry, my son, one shilling. To Deborah, my daughter wife to Seth Pope one shilling. To Sarah wife of Ephraim Swift one shilling. As witness my hand and seal day year and month first above written. his EzraPerry [seal] mark Jacob Burg his mark James Steuart
Jacob Burg and James Steuart witnesses to this will made oath in Court April ye 18: 1690 that they saw ye above Ezra Perry signe seal and declare this above written to be his Last Will and Testament. Attest Joseph Lothrop: Clerk” (Barnstable County Probate Records, vol. 1, p. 33).
Ezra Perry died 16 Oct. 1689 (the same day that he made his will). His gravestone shows him to have been in “his 64th yr.” (Sandwich Cemetery inscriptions). The inventory of his estate, dated 24 Oct. 1689, was taken by Elisha Bourne and Nathaniel Wing and shows a total persons estate of £78. 8s. and no real estate. “Elizabeth Perry ye relict of above Ezra Perry” took oath to the truth of the inventory 18 April 1690. The widow Elizabeth Perry died (apparently intestate since there is no record of the settlement of her estate) 26 Sept. 1717 “in her 88th yr.” Both her gravestone and that of her husband were clearly legible in 1929. [Ezra Perry of Sandwich, Mass. (c. 1625-1689), By Lydia B. (Phinney) Brownson, of Buzzard’s Bay, Mass., and Maclean W. McLean, of Pittsburgh, Pa., NEHGS 115 (1960)]
Ezra served in the Militia, as a Lieutenant, and was a constable of Sandwich. Will: “I leave and bequeathe to my well beloved son Samuel… 2 stiers of two, and one heifer of four years and a mare coult; one bed and furniture… gune and sword and bandaleers and one iron pot.” Deborah, Ezra, and Sarah did not fare so well, receiving one shilling each. His descendents include Douglas MacArthur, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt. [PERRY.TXT]
Death date and marriage data from Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Birth date from perry.dec. Death place and date from Damvelt. Served as lieutenant in the militia and was a constable of Sandwich. Will: “I leave and bequeath to my well beloved son Samuel … two stiers of two, and one heifer of four years and a mare colt; one bed and furniture … gun and sword and bandaleers and one iron pot.” Deborah, Ezra, and Sarah each received on shilling. Descendants include Douglas MacArthur, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt. Brownson, NEHGR 115:86. The very first recorded notice of Ezra Perry in America is found in the records of Sandwich where, at a meeting 6 mo7 1644 “divers persons engaged freely to pay in goods and merchantable corn” toward the repair of their meeting house. Ezra Perry pledge 9s for the project. After this first appearance, nothing more is found until his marriage to Elizabeth Burge, 12 Feb 1651 (i.e., 23 Apr 1652). Ezra Perry did not appear in 1658 on a list of Sandwich land owners. In most printed accounts which refer to early Perry inhabitants of Sandwich, it is claimed that Ezra had the following siblings: Margaret Perry (who married 18 Jul 1651, as he second wife, Edmond Freeman); Hanna Perry (who married 24 Jun 1652 Henry Dillingham); Edward Perry (who married about 1653 Mary Freeman, daughter or step-daughter of Lt. Gov. Edmond Freeman); Deborah Perry (who married 9 May 1654 Robert Harper). However, two points are of note in this regard: (1) Edmond Freeman’s will names “my son Edward Perry” but does not mention a daughter named Mary. Ferris (Dawes-Gates Ancestry) concluded that Edward Perry was himself Freeman’s step-son and that Freeman’s wife Elizabeth had been a “widow Perry.” However, if this were so, one wonders why the other young Perrys were not named also in Freeman’s will. (2) Edward Perry was a prominent member of the Sandwich Society of Friends, as were Hannah Perry Dillingham and Deborah Perry Harper; yet neither Ezra Perry nor Margaret Perry Freeman seem to have identified themselves with the Quakers. Brownson, NEHGR 115:87> Lt. Perry received 4 shillings pay 4 Apr 1657 for service in the militia. Yet he seems not to have played a prominent role in the public life of the community. The fact that he married the daughter of one of its chief men and that his eldest son married a daughter of the powerful Governor Prence, attests to his standing, however. Brownson: NEHGR 115:88> 7 June 1659, Ezra was allowed by the Court to be executor of the estate of Sarah Perry, “there being no other (although she hath many friends in the Country) that claimeth any interest to the estate, having put in securities into the Court to be accountable for the estate in case it shall be required by any that hath better title thereto…” Most printed accounts appear to base their claim that Ezra Perry and his “brother, Edward Perry the Quaker, were sons of the widow Sarah Perry of Devonshire, England” on this statement. But the wording of the record makes it clear that neither Ezra nor any of the other Perrys in Sandwich were closely related by blood to the deceased widow Sarah. There is, however, an implication that Ezra Perry had some claim on the estate (perhaps for himself, possible on behalf of others also), perhaps based on right to a dower residue of the estate of a step-mother. It could be argued that the Perry family group came to Sandwich with a widowed step mother in order to live under the protection of some of the pioneer Sandwich families to whom the widow’s husband and/or these minor children may have been closely related. Such a suggestion is, however, sheer conjecture. Brownson, NEHGR 115:88. A deed from the Sachem Quachatasett to John Alden (27 Jul 1661) mentions a tract of land “on that side of Manomet River next unto Sandwich: the bounds of which is from the lands of Ezra Perry…” But Ezra Perry was then still resident on his father-in-law’s tract which the latter, Thomas Burgess, obtained “from Plymouth Court in consideration for this public service in 1652.” On 10 Jul 1663, Burgess conveyed half his Manomet holding to Perry; one quarter to his son, Joseph Burgess, and the remaining quarter to Lt. Josiah Standish of Sandwich. On 29 May 1665, Ezra Perrry agreed to assist in building a new Sandwich meeting house; on 25 Jun 1666, the Court granted Ezra a small quantity of land in the Neck (about 30 acres); on 3 Jul 1667 it granted him an additional 20 acres “being in the purchase of Mr. Edmond Freeman and not suitable for anyone besides, being there is not meadow on it.” On 5 Jun 1671, Ezra and Edward Perry were both appointed to represent Sandwich on a committee “to view the damage done to the Indians by the horses and hogges of the English.” Ezra Perry served 3 Jun 1674 on the Grand Enquest and again 5 Jun 1677, yet his name does not appear in a 1675 list of Sandwich men who “have just right to the privileges of the town,” though Edward’s name does. But in 1677 the names of Ezra Perry, Sr., and Ezra Perry, Jr., are among those “added to a list of townsmen.” Ezra was appointed constable 3 Jun 1679. In his will of 4 Apr 1684, Thomas Burgess gave “to my son Ezra Perry … two lots I bought of Edmond Freeman Jr;” directs that if a son, Joseph Burgess, prefers not to accept certain land under testator’s conditions, then it too was maked Ezra and Joseph co-executors. Ezra conveyed lands by deeds of his sons, probably as each reached his majority, and each child a “marriage portion” of furniture and livestock. This is made clear by terms under which the three unmarried children received their shares of moveables while the absence of mention of any real property in either will or in proves that the lands had been disposed of by deeds during the testator’s life [Transcript of will in toto: NEHGR 115:89-90]. Ezra died the day he will. Inventory of his estate shows goods worth £78.8s, no real estate. [BINGHAM.GED]
Noted events in his life were:
• Alt. Birth, Abt 1627, Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. 18
• Will, 16 Oct 1689, Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. 139
• Alt. Death, 1689, Monument, Barnstable, MA. 22
Ezra married Elizabeth Burgess, daughter of Thomas Burgess and Dorothy Waynes, on 12 Feb 1651/52 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA 15,18,19,20,21,139,239,240.,245 (Elizabeth Burgess was born about 1629 in Truro, Cornwall, England 139 and died on 26 Sep 1717 in Sandwich, Barnstable, MA 18,19,20,22,137,245.)
Noted events in their marriage were:
• Alt. Marriage, 12 Feb 1652/53, Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. 22

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One Response to Ezra Perry

  1. Creed Archibald says:

    This is wonderful information. Are there other people from that area that have been discussed? I am a descendant of several families from that area. Ellis, Freeman, Nye, and Blackwell.

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