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Descendants of Richard (1608-1684) and Mary (d. 1692) SISSON of Rhode Island

First Generation


1. Richard SISSON was born about 1608 in England. He died before 26 Feb 1683/1684 in Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island.

Notes compiled by David Arne Sisson, summer 2011:

Richard's arrival in New England has puzzled researchers for many years. Once he and his wife Mary can be seen as they are documented in America, matters are less confusing. The facts are clearer, and speculation can be laid aside. What do we need to consider? It seems helpful to look at three questions:

What do we know of Richard and Mary from records in New England?

What hints have been found in English records that may pertain to "our" Richard and Mary?

When did Richard and Mary migrate to America?

What motivated the migration to New England?

Let us consider these questions one by one:

What do we know of Richard and Mary from records in New England.

Quakers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were the target of discrimination by the Puritans, resulting in imprisonment, punishment, and even death. In 1655 even Plymouth Colony began to persecute Quakers, but more mildly than in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around Boston. The Massachusetts legislature in 1656 fined anyone 40 shillings who was known to be helping Quakers. However, Richard was fairly distant from the center of resistance to Quakerism when he lived in Westport, Plymouth Colony. That was probably one of the chief reasons he chose to live there beginning in 1671 (according to Westport.com). His other home, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, was even safer since that colony was actually friendly to dissenters.

It is not certain, of course, that Richard or Mary were Quakers. And even if they were, their immigration to New England may have been motivated by the prospect of economic opportunity. "They would have a chance to own real land and make a fresh beginning," says David Martin. "There were also political motivations for some people, too, who didn't like Cromwell's regime" which began in 1649.

Richard's 1651 arrival in Portsmouth is on record: "At a town meeting held in Portsmouth June 16, 1651 'Richard Sisson is received inhabitant amongst us'. ... He was enrolled a freeman on May 17th, 1653, and in the same year 'Goodman Sisson' was chosen Constable, an office in which he must have been efficient, since he was repeatedly re-elected." (John Locke Martin,/The Sisson Family in 4 Parts/; All quotations come from this book unless otherwise noted.)

Richard served as a juror in Portsmouth in August 1653.

At some time in the later decades of the 17th century, Richard and Mary's son George built a house in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, on land originally owned by Richard, or possibly it was George's son Richard who built the house. The younger Richard inherited Richard's land from his father George. A house may originally have been built there in the 1650s, and some people think that the cellar of that original house was incorporated into the house now there -- at 1236 East Main Road, Portsmouth.

On 30 November 1657 at a "meeting of the Inhabitants [of Portsmouth, Rhode Island]" it was ordered that the following ten men should be given planting land on Hog Island (in Mount Hope Bay between Portsmouth and Bristol) for seven years: "Edward ffisher, Richard Sison [sic], John Tripp [whose son married Richard and Mary's daughter], John Anthony, ffrancis Brayton, Thomas Ginings, Ralph Earll junr:, John Archar, Samuell Wilson, & John Baslie."

On 6 July 1658, Richard bought 1/300th of Quonaquett Island (now called Conanicut Island) and 1/300th of Dutch Island. In 1660 he sold both shares, plus an additional 1/300th to Peleg Sanford.

On 5 June 1667 "[Richard] moved to Dartmouth, Mass. [then part of Plymouth Colony] as in that year he was chosen on the Grand Jury, and thereafter his name appears occasionally on the Dartmouth records, although he held no office."

On 27 May 1668, Richard Sisson, being 60 or thereabouts gave the following testimony, a clue to Richard's birth year:

John Archer, being at my house did speak as followeth, and said the deed of gift made by Namumpan to John Sanford and himself was a cheat, and the intent thereof was to deceive Namumpan, squaw Sachem of her land: and they were to have both corn and peague to secure her land from Wamsutta or Peter Tallman, and was to resign up the deed at her demand.' Mary also spoke: 'And I, Mary Sisson, do testify that I heard the same words at the same time, and further, when my husband was gone out of the house, I heard them both say they were troubled in conscience they had concealed it so long, and did refuse to take part of the gratification.'

The above was attested upon oath before John Cooke. On June 3rd, 1668 Richard Sisson was sworn to this testimony before John Alden. The event probably occurred in Portsmouth, before he moved from that place to Dartmouth. John Archer and John Sanford were both residents of Portsmouth.

During the 1660s Richard and Mary lived with or near their son James, in Westport, Plymouth Colony, now in Bristol County, Massachusetts. James owned a large piece of land there. Richard and Mary seem to have lived alternately there and in Portsmouth. Richard died in Portsmouth, but Mary later returned to Dartmouth and died there.

At a town meeting on 5 June 1671, Richard Sisson was elected town surveyor of highways [for Portsmouth, Rhode Island], and no further records of him are found, till his death in 1684. We have never found any indication of a formal occupation. Some have called Richard a surveyor, but he held that title as an appointee of the town of Dartmouth, and it is unlikely that he did much actual surveying as a profession.

Dartmouth is a town in Bristol County , Massachusetts , established in 1664. Dartmouth was first settled in 1652 and was officially incorporated in 1664. It was named for the town of Dartmouth , Devon , England. ... The land was purchased from trading goods from the Wampanoag chiefs Massasoit and Wamsutta by elders of the Plymouth Colony . ... It was sold to the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, who wished to live outside the stringent religious laws of the Puritans in Plymouth. ... Its borders were originally named in the charter (and set by King Philip ) as the lands of "Acushnea, Ponagansett , and Coaksett. [Copied from Wikipedia, 2 July 2011]

One of the defining events of early American history was King Philip's War, in 1675--1676, "an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies" (Wikipedia, copied 11 June 2011).

Before the King Philip War it would have been venturesome to think of settling eight miles from the seashore [as Westport was], and so far as is known only one made the attempt. If the information furnished by the records is complete, the first man to locate at the head of the Noquochoke River was Richard Sisson, and he was bold and hardy enough to locate his home as early as 1671 on the west side of the river and on the south side of the highway, for in that year he was elected surveyor of the Town Roads." (Henry B. Worth. An address at Westport's "Old Home Week," 24 August 1908. Quoted in John L. Martin's /The Sisson Family/.)

"Because of concerns about conflict with Native groups, early English settlement was clustered at the highly defensible locations of Horseneck Beach and Westport Point (Worth 1908) and, before King Philip's War (1675), included only an estimated 30 homes (MHC 1981a:3). ... Richard Sisson is documented as one of the first residents, with a pre-1676 homestead located on Drift Road at the Head of Westport (Maiocco 1995; WHC 1987). Sisson's original home was reportedly burned during King Philip's War and was rebuilt in the general location of the Town Landing (WHC 1987).(Retrieved 11 June 2011 from http://www.westporthistory.com/news/archives/000467.html and verified by Westport.com.)

David Martin has found more details:

"[W]ith one exception, no settlements were made away from the coast until after King Philip's War. This notable exception , Richard Sisson, . . . came from Portsmouth, RI in 1671, and settled at Head of Westport at a spot just west of the present landing." (History of Old Dartmouth from 1602 to 1676, by Gladys Gifford, no date, Higginson Book Company,p. 5.)

"The earliest Proprietor that I am able to learn of in this vicinity was a Mr. Richard Sisson who owned the South West corner of the 'Head of the River'....It was burned by the Indians during King Philip's war in 1676. A friendly Indian informed Mr. Sisson's family of the Indians' intentions to murder them and burn the house, and they immediately put their valuables into a copper kettle and buried them in the water at the edge of the pond opposite the house. The Indians meanwhile had been holding a war dance in the woods under a Honey Locust tree (East of the House).  When the family returned from the river, the house was on fire and some of the Indians had a feather bed up on the burial hill which they had opened and were throwing the contents to the wind, and laughing at the sport. Mr. Sisson's family escaped through the woods, and took shelter with their friends. Another statement is that they were taken to the blockhouse at Newport for protection--this was probably done." (From "The Growth of Westport," by Curtis Pierce, book in the collection of Westport Free Public Library, Unpublished manuscript, 1893, p. 3.)

David Martin explains that "Pierce was a local historian for Westport, Mass., who did his work in the 1890's, based largely on oral histories taken over the years from Westport residents. I suspect that it has good credibility because he got the information from people who lived there and who had had it passed down. That's what I have been able to find out from talking with the Westport Historical Society about him."

It will come as no surprise that the Westport house was easy for King Philip's warriors to reach. If they had tried to reach the Portsmouth house on its island (usually called Aquidneck Island, but officially Rhode Island, giving its name to the entire colony) they would have been easy targets for the colonists.

Richard's will is held by the library of the University of Illinois. It is listed online under the name /Sison/ [sic] at http://www.histarch.uiuc.edu/plymouth/willsindex00.html), but the will itself does not actually appear. The will is dated 18 October 1683, and it was probated in Dartmouth on 26 February 1684. The executor was his son James.

To wife Mary, my dwelling house and movables during her life, and twelve pounds sterling yearly rent; with firewood, orchard fruit, land for garden, liberty to keep poultry for her use, and also a horse to be maintained and kept at her command to ride on, also 2 oxen and two cows that I bought with my money; all debts due me I give to my wife. She shall have a milch cow maintained for her use, with winter shelter and summer pasture during live and two parts of all my swine. Also she shall have her corn carried to the mill and the meal brought home again sufficient for use during life, and 10 bushels of Indian corn, 3 of Rye and half of my wheat and barley.

To son James, all my housing and land in Dartmouth, excepting land near Pongansett Pond and reservations to wife as aforesaid.

To daughter Ann Tripp and her husband Peleg, tract of land near Pongansett Pond, and to daughter Tripp and her husband Peleg Tripp's children, all those sheep he is keeping.

To son John, all my house and land in Portsmouth.

To son George, five pounds in money.[He had probably been given land somewhere by this time. As eldest son, he may have been given or at least had possession of his father's tools and gear.]

To daughter Elizabeth Allen, wife of Caleb Allen, five pounds.

To Indian servant Samuel, a two-year-old mare.

To grandchild Mary Sisson, daughter of George, three cows and one bed, etc., on the day of her marriage, and one pewter flagon and brass kettle which were her Aunt Mary's."

The inventory of Richard's estate was dated Nov. 15, 1683, and showed a total value of –600/19s,

House & lands in Dartmouth –40

[ditto] Rhode Island –60

Cattle and horse kind –113/15s

Swine –30

Sheep –14/10s

Beds, etc. –50

New cloth, wool yarn, hemp & flax –13

One Negro servant –28

One Indian [ditto] –10

Money –12

What hints have been found in English records that may pertain to "our" Richard and Mary?

People with the name Sisson appear originally to have been concentrated in a crescent-shaped area in the middle of England -- in south Yorkshire, in Nottingham and in Lincolnshire. In 2006 a professional genealogical researcher thought it likely that the English Sissons had originated in the area southeast of Leeds and that from there, members of the family migrated to Cumberland and Westmoreland, Rutland, and Cambridgeshire, and eventually as far as London. Of course Sisson families are found now in nearly every corner of the British Isles, not to mention in North America and in several countries of the modern British Commonwealth. One or two Sissons are known in France.

In 1998 David and Joan Sisson obtained an affidavit from the Vicar of Snaith, Yorkshire, citing the parish register of the Priory Church of Snaith. The affidavit states that the marriage of a Richard Sissons(note the final S) and a Mary Atkinson took place there on 14 February 1632. Mary was of nearby Hecke, Yorkshire, probably modern Great Heck or Little Heck.

The Snaith, Yorkshire /Registers of Baptisms 1559-1657/, show baptisms of children of Richard Sisson/s "ofHecke":

Richard, May 15, 1634 (burial October 15, 1637, parish register of Crofton, Yorkshire)

George, July 17, 1636

Marie, June 24, 1639

Thomas Aug 22, 1641 (buried November 26, 1641, Crofton register)

Alice, March 23, 1642 [only seven months after the birth of Thomas]

None of them came to America, unless this is the George documented in New England and reported born in England in 1644. "Our" George Sisson of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is a known son of Richard and Mary. If the George born in England in 1636 is to be identified with the George who came to New England, the arrival of Richard and Mary was probably considerably earlier than 1650. Why do no records document their presence in New England at any time between 1644 and 1651?

Larry Sisson has researched a microfilm (#1912295) from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It contains burial records from 1634 to 1751:

Richard, son of Richard Sissons of Heck, 15 Oct 1637

Thomas, son of Richard Sisson of Heck, 26 Nov 1641

Ellin, wife of Richard Sissons of Heck, 5 Jan 1681

Larry points out that no records in the Snaith registers pertain to burials for Richard, Mary, or George. That seems to indicate that all three (assuming this George was still alive and is the George who came to America) had removed to some other location. But Larry also points out that many of the records are illegible or missing altogether, and Richard's and Mary's may be among them.

Carol (Sisson) Regehr was given a set of index cards on Sisson research by a man in England. Two of the cards refer to records in the Borthwick Institute:

"Sisson(s) wills, York (including P.C.Y.) [1389-1810]. [/Ex inf/: Borthwick Institute, York -- Yorkshire Archeological Society Record Series, + Xerox copy indexes of York Wills, Calendars + L.D.S., compilation (for PCY 1688-1731]

6 Feb 1682 -- Sisson, Richard, Long Hecke, par. Snaith (Womersley in Act Book) yeo. 1 Apr 1681Vol. 59 Fol. 441

Carol says that this is the only mention of Snaith in the set of cards.

In 2006 an English genealogist found a baptism record for Mary Atkinson in Snaith, Yorkshire dated 16 May 1615. The genealogist discovered also that this Richard was the son of Ralph Sisson (born before 1561, died in or after 1616) and his wife Anne Burdsall. Ralph and Anne were married in April 1615 in Saxton, Yorkshire. Ralph was the son of John Sisson (died after 1561). John was the son of Robert Sisson who died in 1541 in Shadwell, Yorkshire. Robert was the son of another John Sisson (died before 1541) and his wife Isabel (died between 1548 and 1553, in Shadwell).

David Martin found a new record on Ancestry.com in July 2011 concerning the baptism of Ralph's son Richard on 24 May 1615 in Saxton in Elmet. The son's name was recorded as Rychard Ralphe Sisson. If this is our Richard, born about 1608, it is surprising to find his baptism so many years after his birth. The Church of England urged parents to have their children baptized on the Sunday or holy day following birth.

We might have expected one or more of Richard and Mary's children born in England to have been named for Richard's father Ralph or Ralph's father John or grandfather Robert. Joan and David Sisson point out that none of them were so named, in an era when naming customs traditionally honored members of the family, though daughter Anne, born in England not long before the emigration to New England, might have been named for the grandmother Anne Burdsall Sisson. Once arrived in America they gave their third son and sixth child John his (possible) great-grandfather's name.

David Martin comments that "researchers with whom I spoke at the Society of Genealogy in London surmise that the few names that don't match were possibly older children left in England or who died prior to emigration and that others were born in the colony."

We can speculate about an identification of Richard and Mary of Snaith with Richard and Mary of New England, but we cannot treat it as fact. We can probably agree that a Yorkshire origin is the most promising line of inquiry, but we cannot state it absolutely. Many researchers have tried to find Richard and Mary's English origin. Older research favored origins in northern English counties, but other research or speculation suggested eastern or southern counties, or even Scottish counties near England. One theory even posits Welsh roots. In the introduction to their /Descendants of Richard and Mary Sisson/ (page x) Joan and David Sisson say that "records of a Richard Sisson in the town of Greystoke, Cumbria, England, were found in the early 17th century, among other Sissons in the Penrith area."

Some sources have claimed that Richard's wife was a Mary Freeman, born in 1619. Joan and David Sisson have said that her supposed surname could have arisen from confusion over something like "Richard, a freeman," i.e., a person eligible to vote in town meetings. Confusion it is, and there is no warrant for stating that Mary's family name is known.

We hope someday to find confirmation in a record that ties "our" New England Richard with one documented in England. In fact a small team of American Sisson researchers will be consulting records in in and near Leeds and York in September 2011.

When did Richard and Mary migrate to America?

Richard and Mary, and their first two children George and Anne were almost certainly came to New England by 1650. Six children are documented in Rhode Island and Plymouth Colony records.

David Martin found the birthplace of Elizabeth Sisson, the third of their children, in the archives of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. So we can say that Richard and Mary were certainly in New England by 1650 when Elizabeth was born.

Their second child Anne (or Anna), later wife of Peleg Tripp, was born in England, according to Arthur Dean's /Genealogy of the Tripp Family Descended from Isaac Tripp/ but he doesn't give a date for her birth. David Martin commented:

According to records compiled by my grandfather [John Locke Martin] in his research, both [Elizabeth and James] were born in the New World -- Elizabeth on 8 April 1650, 'probably' in Rhode Island; and James on 26 Nov 1656, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. In checking the New England Historic Genealogical Society records for England, I found no Elizabeth or James matching those dates for births in England. If this finding is supported, that rather hurts our hypothesis that these children were born in England and emigrated with Richard and Mary.

Later Martin found that the Mormon databases at Familysearch.org presents, under "Historical Records," the ability to search for the names of parents to see what children come up. "I put in Richard Sisson and wife Mary (deliberately avoiding a last name), and I got two children:

Richard, b. 15 May 1634 in Snaith

Thomas, b. Aug. 1641 in Snaith

"There were others, but the locations were in York city itself and in a place called Allerton Mauleverer, Yorkshire, where another rather large Sisson family lived, which our English genealogist [had already] found. It is believed that this Sisson group from Allerton Mauleverer is an entirely different one from the Snaith group."

Larry Sisson has seen early records in Allerton, including a male Sisson baptized May 1595;Ellenora Sissons daughter of Roberti Sifson [/fs/ is 16^th -century orthography for /ss/] of Hopperton, baptized; and a Ricardus Sifson baptized May 1598, son of Roberti."

Larry also found the following births and christenings records in Burton Latimer at Familysearch.org

Mary Sisson- 1578 -- 25 Oct., Father : William Sisson- Mother : Agnes

George Sisson  1586 -- 16 July., Father : William Sisson- Mother : Agnes

Alice Sisson 1616 -- 8 Sep., Father : Georg Sisson- Mother : Margrett

John Sisson  1618 -- 11 Oct., Father : George Sisson- Mother : Margaret

[A?]nne Sisson 1626 -- 7 May, Father : George Sisson- Mother : Margaret

And a marriage in Burton Latimer:

George Sisson - Margaret Watkin, 10 Oct., 1615

What motivated the migration to New England?

Susan Blake wrote:

I suspect that people emigrated for a variety of reasons -- and, in most cases, for a combination of reasons: religious, economic and political:

1630-40 was a period of a great wave of emigration from Britain[commonly called the Great Migration]; some 20,000 people sailed to Massachusetts Bay during the period (only part of a much large number that went to the West Indies and Ireland).

The Massachusetts Bay Company was established by Royal Charter - so these people weren't refugees in the modern sense of the word!

Emigration was mostly of family groups of the skilled artisan and tenant classes (which of course makes sense, as they would need to be in a position to save enough money to actually emigrate).

During the first half of the 17th century England was suffering from a chronic trade depression and her greatest export, woolen cloth, was hardest hit of all. The main wool production area was East Anglia and Yorkshire.

Tenant farmers were very much subject to the owners of their land.

Puritan elements in the church were strong in East Anglia and the Midlands.

King Charles I was regarded as unsympathetic to Puritanism, and Archbishop Laud (appointed in 1633) was a High Church man opposed to the Puritans.

The 17th century was part of the "Little Ice Age."

There were periodic outbreaks of the plague - though not more frequently than in the earlier three centuries.

With the advent of the English Civil War (1642) large-scale emigration virtually stopped.

In June 2011 David Martin took notes at a lecture by Robert Charles Anderson of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and Melinde Lutz Byrne, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. They suggested these reasons for migration.

Following ministers

Following employers

Following family members

Avoiding perceived stagnation, such as the restrictive effects of primogeniture in the old country

Escaping from ministers

Escaping from employers

Escaping from the law

Escaping from family members

Perhaps Richard and Mary were not free to worship as they chose. They were certainly "Non-Conforming" Protestants, holding with neither the Church of England nor its Puritan wing. If they were ever Quakers, they were not "convinced" until after the late 1650s, when Quakerism became notable in New England.

It was not legal to be a Quaker. A few Quakers were hanged both in England and in Massachusetts Bay Colony. That probably explains why Richard and Mary came to Rhode Island where the Baptist church under Roger Williams, remembering its own persecution in Massachusetts, was prepared to welcome Quakers.

David Martin points out that it would have been relatively easy for the Richard and Mary who married in Snaith and who may have lived in Hecke, to travel the 25 miles from Hecke to Hull where they could have boarded a ship bound for New England. David imagines them waiting interminably "while the ship gradually filled with people and animals, and the captain finished the complicated process of dealing with the local authorities and government representatives for approval to depart from England that was in considerable turmoil" -- the turmoil that was to erupt in the 1640s as the English Civil War.

In his introduction to /Quaker Writings: An Anthology, 1650-1920/, Thomas D. Hamm says:

The early Quaker world was one of conflict. In 1641, Great Britain was plunged into a civil war that pitted King Charles I against Parliament. Although the power of king versus Lords and Commons was central, so was religion. Charles was a staunch supporter of a state-sponsored, ritualistic Protestant church ruled by bishops with him at their head. Parliament was dominated by Puritans, champions of a purer, Reformed church in which bishops would be abolished and ritual would be minimal. By 1650, the king was dead and the old Church of England no longer existed. ...

Coming of age amidst this uncertainty was a young man from a Puritan family in Leicestershire, George Fox. ... [H]e embarked on a kind of spiritual pilgrimage, seeking out both clergy and laypeople with reputations for piety, yet, as he put it, "none spoke to my condition." By 1646, his journey took him on to the moors of Yorkshire and Lancashire (page ix).

Between 1647 and 1652, Fox appealed to small groups of religious radicals in the north of England, many of whom described themselves as "seekers" (page xii).

If Richard and Mary heard him in those early days, before Fox's Quaker movement came into full flower, but after its seeds had been planted, it seems possible they were Quakers in the making even before they came to New England.

David Martin wrote:

I've done some further research on the specific history of Quakers in early New England. /The History of New Bedford--a History of the Old township of Dartmouth and the present townships of Westport, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven/ (Ricketson, 1858) says:

Many of the early settlers of Dartmouth (where Richard went after living in Portsmouth RI for several years) were  Quakers, who probably sought this then-sequestered region as an asylum for the enjoyment of their peculiar religious faith.

(New Bedford and Westport became separated from Dartmouth only in 1787.)

 ...the year 1671 found a court order in reference to Quakers or Friends, in the town of Dartmouth...

 ...although the devoted founder of the sect, George Fox, was in New England and at Newport (RI) in the year 1672, it does not appear that he reached Dartmouth or other meetings during this quarter. But Thomas Story and Samuel Bownas, who were among the original Friends, were here, the former as early as 1699.

Martin's comment: "So Richard (and Mary) could have become Quakers while still in Portsmouth RI, which is very near to Newport RI, and then would have continued their Quakerism by the time they moved to Dartmouth (the section which later became Westport). So I offer this to further the point that Richard and Mary were probably not Quakers at first, but became so after they had been settled for a time."

According to a letter from Dorothy Dey reprinted in the /Sisson Newsletter/, v.2, no.2, Charles Edward Banks, in his /Topical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620 to 1650/, says that "George Sisson [eldest known son of Richard and Mary] came from Burton, Latimer parish, in Northamptonshire, England, clear up on the Scottish border...." So it seems doubtful but possible that George was born either in England, perhaps in Northamptonshire, or in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, or in Dartmouth, Plymouth Colony. Susan Ashley Blake wrote, "I assume that Burton Latimer has already been checked out & discarded? ... [But I] did look up the place online and it is on the side of the county that is nearest to Lincolnshire, so I have e-mailed the Northamptonshire Record Office to check if they hold the parish registers just in case.")

Richard married Mary about 1644 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Mary was born about 1615. She died 22 Sep 1692 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts.

"The wife of Richard Sisson was Mary . . . . .  The date of her birth and marriage are not known, but she died in 1692. Her will dated April 15th, 1690 was proved in Dartmouth on December 1st, 1692, her son James being executor, and the witnesses were Joseph Tripp, George Cadman, and John Anthony." [John L. Martin. "The Sisson Family" part 1, page 3]

The text of Maryís will as given in ďAbstracts from the first book of Bristol County [Massachusetts] RecordsĒ:

Mary Sison of Dartmouth widow, made her will "the fifteenth day of the second month Caled aprill" 1690, "being uery ill in body.Ē

[U=V in early writing. Sometimes f = s. – = the symbol for pounds sterling.]

- To my loving son Georg Sison –35 in money and a Bible.

- To my two grandchildren John and Mary Sison, children of my son John Sison –35 in money to be divided equally between them, to be paid to my son George Sison for the use of said two grandchildren.

- All my brass, pewter, iron, linen and woolen, milk vessels and pails shall be divided into three equal parts.

     + One part I give to my daughter Elizabeth wife of Caleb Allin, also –5/10 [Five pounds/ten shillings] in money, one chest and a wheel.

     + Another part I give to my daughter Ann wife of Peleg Tripp, also –5..10 in money, a chest and a wheel.

     + The other part I give to my granddaughter Mary Sison daughter of my son George Sison, also –5 in money.

- I hereby acknowledge that I have received of my son James Sison in full for all estate left me by my husband Richard Sison in his will, and acquit him of the same. Said son James to be sole executor.

Witnessed by Joseph Tripp, George Cadman, and Jno Anthony, of whom the first two made oath at Bristol Dec. 1, 1692 before John Saffin.

     Attest

     Stephen Burton Registr.

     Entered Sept: 1693 by John Cary Registr.


This transcript was made from the New England Historic and Genealogical Register, vol. 62 (1908), p 182.)


The receipts for the bequests were signed and witnessed:

    Georg Sison [sic] "of Road Island in the Collony of Road Island and prouidence plantations" [U=V in early writing] received of my brother James Sison of Dartmuth the money and goods given me by my mother Mary Sison by her will. Dated ďthe feuenteenth of ye 10th mth Cald December 1692" and witnessed by Valentine Hudelstun and Richard Allen. Entered Oct. 10, 1693 by John Cary Registr.

ďGeorge Sisson of Road Island gave receipt to my brother James Sisson of Dartmouth for L35 in money that my mother Mary Sisson gave by will my brother John Sisson's two children. Dated Dec. 17, 1692, and witnessed by Valentine Hudelstun and Richard Allen. Entered Oct. 10, 1693 by John Cary Registr.

ďElizabeth Allen wife of Caleb Allen of Sandwich, Barnstable Co., has received of my brother James Sisson of Dartmouth the money and goods given me by my mother Mary Sisson in her will. Dated Dec. 17, 1692, and witnessed by Vallentine Hudlestun and Deliverance Smith. Entered
Oct.10, 1693 by John Cary Registr.

ďAnn Tripp wife of Peleg Tripp of the Colleny of Road Island and prouidence plantations" has received of my brother James Sisson of Dartmouth, the money and goods given me by my mother Mary Sisson in her will. Dated Dec. 17, 1692 and witnessed by Vallentine Hudlestun and Richard Allen.

ďMary Sisson daughter of George Sisson ďof Road Island Colleny & providence plantations" has received of my uncle James Sisson of Dartmouth all the money and goods given me by my grandmother Mary Sisson her will. Dated Dec. 17, 1692 and witnessed by Valentine Hudlestun and Deliverance Smith.

The house Mary lived in had probably been transferred to James. Mary's inventory was: "–120 in silver money, plus 29 cheeses, etc."

They had the following children:

+ 2 M i George SISSON was born about 1645 and died 7 Sep 1718.
+ 3 F ii Anne SISSON was born about 1647/1648 and died after 1718.
+ 4 F iii Elizabeth SISSON was born 8 Apr 1650 and died 1740.
+ 5 M iv James SISSON was born 2 Nov 1652 and died Dec 1734.
  6 F v
Mary SISSON was born about 1653/1654 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. She died 1674 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts.

Mary is reported, probably unreliably, to have been born in 1652, but since that is the year her brother James was born, she may have been born in 1654. Mary and Isaac Lawton have been reported as the parents of Mary Lawton and even more doubtfully of Isabel Lawton. According to John Osborne Austin's "Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island" p 123, Isaac Lawton's first and third wives had no issue. If correct, Mary Sisson Lawton had no issue and Mary Lawton and Isabel Lawton are the daughters of Elizabeth Tallman Lawton, if they existed at all. Most sources say that Mary died in childbirth "of her first child."
       
Mary married Isaac LAWTON, son of Thomas LAWTON and Elizabeth SALISBURY, on 3 Mar 1674 in Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island. Isaac was born 11 Dec 1650 in Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island. He died 25 Jan 1732 in Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island.
+ 7 M vi John SISSON was born about 1658 and died 24 Jun 1687.

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