Edward was baptized at Ansley, Warwickshire, May 22, 1645. He was bequeathed _13/13/4 by his father "when he shall reach the age of four and twenty years." Edward's marriage to Mary was not recorded at Ansley or any nearby parish, however their marriage license and bond have now been unearthed among the unindexed Episcopal records for the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. By license and bond dated April 11, 1668, Edward Farmer of Ansley, husbandman, "aged 21 years or more," contracted to marry Mary Moore, aged "27 at least," of "Yarnesford," which is surely Ernesford, a non-parochial hamlet lying then just outside Coventry and now part of the city. The marriage was to be solemnized within the month at Ansley. While the Ansley parish register does not record the marriage, we may assume that Edward Farmer's known wife Mary is the same as his intended bride in the license. On July 16, 1669, Edward Farmer deposed concerning payment of their father's bequest to his sister, Mary (Farmer) Pollard, before a Coventry magistrate.
Edward and Mary Farmer and daughter Sarah came to New England in or about 1671. They settled at Billerica, MA where the birth of their next child was recorded. Perhaps Edward's mother, brother Thomas, and sister Isabel arrived in Billerica at the same time, but there is no record of them until later. Edward was admitted to town rights and privileges in Billerica 24 Mar 1672/3, and granted five acres there for payment of twenty shillings. In Billerica he was chosen to several of the most important town offices, and was employed in public service, until he was quite advanced in life. He had 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters. To his youngest son, Oliver, he gave the farm on which he resided. On this farm resided 6 successive generations in the space of 154 years.
After living over fifty years in Billerica (with brief sojourns in Woburn and elsewhere), Edward died at Billerica on 27 May 1726, "aged 87" (which is a five years' exaggeration, if his baptism was as an infant). He was buried in the Old Corner Burying Ground at Billerica.
The registers of the Church of the Holy Trinity at Coventry show the baptism on May 12, 1640 of Mary, daughter of "Mister Doctor Joseph Moore," a physician. She would have been 27 in April 1668, matching the stated ages of Mary Moore in the marriage bond and Mrs. Mary Farmer at her death in Massachusetts. Mary predeceased her husband, dying in Billerica on March 26, 1719, age 77.
The house of Edward Farmer (which stood until after 1728) was fortified as a garrison for a number of years. While occupied as such, the following incident occurred, which has been handed down by tradition in the family.
During King William's War, and probably about the year 1692, when the first depredations were committed in the town of Billerica, the Indians mediated an attack on this garrison. For some days they had been lurking in the neighborhood of it without being discovered. Early before noon on a summer's day, Mary Farmer and her daughter went into the field to gather peas or beans for dinner. Several of her sons, who were young boys, went along as a guard to protect them. They had been out but a short time before Mary Farmer discovered that a number of Indians were concealed behind the fences, so near that she could almost reach them.
Had she given any alarm, they would probably have rushed from their lurking-places, seized the party and fled; although their object was to get possession of the garrison, which offered more plunder and a greater number of captives. But with admirable presence of mind, and without making known the discovery she had made to her sons_who might, with more foolhardiness than prudence, have attacked the Indians_she said in a loud tone of voice, "Boys, guard us well to the garrison, and then you may come back and hunt Indians." The Indians, supposing they were not discovered, remained in their hiding places while the other party soon left the field for the garrison, which they reached in safety. Then the alarm was given, the people collected, and the Indians fled with recklessness. After the return of peace, the Indians declared that had it not been for that "one white squaw" they should have been able to carry out their mission.
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See lineage of Farmer Family
Read the Biography of Edwards's great grandfather, John Farmer
Read the Biography of Edward's grandfather, John Farmer
Read the Biography of Edward's father, John Farmer
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