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John Cary, The Plymouth Pilgrim



Monument to John Cary erected on/near his homestead in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1905 by a group of his descendants.
Thanks to Lisa Carey L'Archevesque for the photo

Name John CARY56
Birth abt 1610, Somersetshire, England56,100
Death 31 Oct 1681, Bridgewater, Plymouth Co. MA101
Father Walter CARY (probably--see remarks below)
Mother Grace BROWNE (probably--see remarks below)
Spouses:
1 Elizabeth GODFREY100
Father Francis GODFREY
Mother Elizabeth
Marriage Jun 1644, Bridgewater, Plymouth Co. MA102
Children: John (1645-1721)
Francis (1647-1718)
Elizabeth (1649-)
James (1652-1706)
Mary (1654-)
Jonathan (1656-1695)
David (1658-1718)
Hannah (1661-)
Joseph (1663-1722)
Rebecca (1665-1697)
Sarah (1667-)
Mehitable (1670-)
Notes for John CARY
"John Cary was born near Bristol, Somersetshire, England, about 1610; came to America about 1634, joined the Plymouth Colony, and made his home at Duxbury, where he had a farm. In 1644 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Francis (who was a carpenter and bridge builder) and Elizabeth Godfrey; in August 1643, we find his name on the muster-roll of the Duxbury Company commanded by Capt. Myles Standish; he removed to Bridgewater where he died in 1681. It is thought that the name Godfrey comes from the Duke of Bouillon, the Crusader)." 56

"John, as a youth, was sent to France to expand his education. While there his father died. Upon returning to Somerset, England, a dispute arose with his brothers concerning the settlement of the estate. John accepted 100 pounds and soon after booked passage to America."56

"Concerning John Cary, Moses Cary has this: 'Mr. Cary was one of the Proprietors (of Bridgewater), and one of the first settlers, and was very useful among them. The town was incorporated in 1656. Mr. Cary was the first Town Clerk and continued in that office a great number of years. At first they settled near and around where the Town House now stands in West Bridgewater. Mr. Cary's lot was about 1/4 of a mile east of the Town House and on the farm where Dr. Reed lived; and there he spent the remainder of his days, and brought up a great family of children. He had six sons and six daughters. They all lived to grow up and have families, and all took to good courses so that it was the saying of some that there were 12 of 'em and never a Judas among them' ". 56

"Judge Mitchell, in his description of Bridgewater, speaking of the first settlers, says: "Mr. Cary was among the most respectable of them and his family one of the most influential in the town." 56

"Educated in France; From England to Plymouth, 1634: Settled in Duxbury, 1637; Braintree, 1611; Constable of Bridgewater, MA, 1656; Town Clerk, 1657; Selectman, 1667-79." (Compendium of American Genealogy, Frederick Virkus, Vol III.)

"The Cary Family---The first of this name in this country was John Cary who came from Somersetshire, England, and settled in Duxbury, MA in 1639, Married Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Godfrey, in 1644, and had 12 children. He was one of the first to emigrate from Duxbury to Bridgewater. His house was a quarter of a mile east of the meeting house in West Bridgewater. He was the 1st Town Clerk of Bridgewater." 226

"The parents of John Cary, the Plymouth Pilgrim, have yet to be positively identified. Most theories have been disproved. He was not the son of John Cary and Elizabeth Hereford. Their son John was married in 1613 (when the Pilgrim was about 3 years old) and died in Hackney , Middlesex, England before 1665. Proof is found in the pedigree submitted by their grandson John Cary, the famous London and Virginia merchant, to the Earl Marshall of England which resulted in confirmation of his right to bear the arms of the noble Carys of Devon (ref. College of Arms, Book of Grants IV) Copies of those documents are filed in the British Library (Stowe MS 670, folio 229) and in the Society of Genealogists Library, London. John the Pilgrim was not the son of Elizabeth and William Cary who was Mayor of Bristol in 1621. That theory was proposed by Henry Grosvenor Cary in his ' The Cary Family in America' and is disproved by the Heralds College pedigree of the Bristol Carys. The son of Elizabeth and William Cary was the John Cary who married Elizabeth Hereford. The theory that John the Pilgrim was the son of Walter Cary and Grace Browne has not been disproved or proved positively. Walter died in 1633, about the time the Pilgrim came to Plymouth after a dispute over his father's will. Grace left a will in 1668 naming her son John "if living", which indicates that he was estranged from her as the Pilgrim was from his family."
(Above paragraph is from a message to the CARY-List by David Carey of Albuquerque, 28 Nov 2000, Subject: (Cary) John of Plymouth. )

In another message to the CARY-List (25 Nov 2000), David further discussed the wills of Walter and Grace Cary:
Grace Cary's will refers to her as "of the Citty of Bristoll, Widow" and names her children as John Cary, Mary Dunner the wife of William Dunner, Elizabeth Croome the wife of William Croome; and her grandchildren as Mary Rumfey, Charles Rufey, Henry Rumfey, William Rumfey, Elizabeth Croome, Benjamin Croome; her brother Thomas Browne, his wife Mary, and his children Grace Browne; her cousin Anne Browne wife of Robert Browne; and her cousin Anne Moore. Walter Cary, her husband, also died in Bristol. His will left everything to Grace, saying " And the cause wherefore I do leave my children wholly to my wife's disposing and that I do not five (leave?) them portions myself is because I would thereby tie and bind them the more to be loving and dutiful to there tender and loving mother." If their son John were of age then, he might have resented such dependency and left home as John the Pilgrim is said to have done in a dispute over his father's will. She left her son "John Cary if living att the tyme of my decease the summe of five shillings as a small remembrance of my love to him." In effect, John was given the usual token pittance in her will so he couldn't legally make claim on the estate. There would have been no attempt to find him for five shillings.
Notes for Elizabeth
In his will dated 26 Feb 1666, Francis Godfrey mentions his daughter, Elizabeth Carey and his grandchild, John Cary. 227
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