Roger was born in 1614 in London, England and died January 20, 1666/7 at Lynn, Massachusetts. The only record found of him in England is the following: "Port of London, April 8, 1635. Theis parties hereunder mentioned are to be transported to New England imbarqued in the Elizabeth of London, Wm. Stagg master bound thither; they have taken oath of allegiance and supremacy, per certificate from St. Alphage, Cripplegate the minister thereof. Tanners: Wm. Holdred 25, Roger Preston 21, Daniel Bradly 29, Isaac Stedman 30. That theis 3 ptes are no subsedie men we whose names hereunto written beloning to Blackwell Hall do averr they are none. Robert Farrands, Thomas Smith." From this we learn that Roger was 21 years old and a tanner.
Nothing has been found on the records to show where Roger lived for the four years following his coming to New England, but he probably went directly to Ipswich, Massachusetts, as a records shows he owned a house and lot and a "planting lott" there in 1639. "Granted to William Holdred an house lott an half an acre of ground lying on the south side of the towne River having an house lott of Daniel Hovey's on the Northeast and a house lott of Roger Preston's on the southwest; also six acres of planting ground lying on Sagamore Hill having six acres of the lyke ground of Daniel Hovey's on the West, and a planting lott of Roger Preston's on the East to enjoy the said Landes to him his heirs and assigns forever. Entered this 9th day of Aprill 1639." The William Holdred mentioned in this record is undoubtedly the same William Holdred who came to New England in the Elizabeth of London in 1635, with Roger, and who took the oath of allegiance at the same time.
Some before 1643 (birth of his first child), Roger married Martha (____), who was born ca 1622 and died March 21, 1702/3 at Andover, Massachusetts.
There are very few references to Roger Preston on the Ipswich town records. The following appears in October, 1643: "Mr. Browne his note of such as have forfeited for not returning their Powder according to an order of the Towne. (among others) Roger Presson £1."
In 1648 is the following: "It is therefore ordered that henceforth the seaven men shall yearly in November put the said sum of 24£ 7s. into a rate pportioning it upon the Inhabitants having also respect unto the bill of subscription of the Towne from yeare to yeare to be levyed and colected by the Constables and payd unto the sayd Major Denison on the 10th of December yearly soe long as he shall continue to be leader of this companye. Voted by the Towne at the generall meeting above-mentioned. A list of the names of those that did subscribe their names to allow unto Major Denison these severall sumes yearly while he continued to be our Leader. (among others) Roger Preston 3s."
The next record is the following: "The 10th of October 1653. Reckoned with the cow-keepers for the North syde of the River and he cowes come to 3s. y head Bulls and all. Roger Preston 3s."
In 1656: "The Selectmen having considered the severall families of this Town and their employments have accordinge to the order of Court assessed them spinners as is underwritten for the year ensuing. Roger Preston, 3 quarters 671/2 li." In "Old Homes of Ipswich", published at the time of the Ipswich celebration, is this statement: "On the opposite side of the river from the Howard house is an ancient and interesting residence. It was built with another which once stood by its side by Robert Wallis, and sold by him to Roger Preston whose wife's name was Martha."
In 1658 Roger Preston sold his holdings in Ipswich and removed to Salem in 1660, as recorded in the Essex Registry of Deeds:
Be it known to all men whom it may concern that I Roger Preston of Ipswich in New England in the county of Essex planter, and Martha my wife for divers considerations me thereunto moving but especially in consideration of the full and just sum of one and fifty pounds of current country pay to be paid to me or my assigns at two several payments, viz: thirty pounds at Christide next following the date of these presents and the remainder by that time twelve months in current English corn sweet dry and merchantable by Reginald Foster of Ipswich aforsd. husbandman all that my dwelling house and house lot with the barns, cow-houses and other buildings thereunto belonging and also my other house lot, both which house lots contain two acres, more or less with the gardens orchards and fences and other privileges thereunto belonging which I purchased of Robert Wallis of Ipswich aforesaid as they be situated and inclosed on the north side of the river of Ipswich having the highway next the river toward the South and Thomas Knowlton's land and Robert Pierce's toward the North. The lane next Thomas Clark's East and another lane West and also one other planting lot of three acres be it more or less on the North side of the town hill abutting on ye land of Rose Whipple, widow, toward the West, Andrew Hodges land East, upon ye marsh of John Morse toward the North, and land of Thomas Treadwell toward the South and in the town of Ipswich aforesaid, to have and to hold and to quietly possess and enjoy the aforesaid with the commonage and all other privileges and appurtenancies thereunto belonging, unto the said Reginald Foster his heirs and assigns forever and the said Roger and Martha his wife do covenant and promise to warrant this sale of the premises and every part thereof to be free from all former sales mortgages and enagements whatsoever and that the said Reginald Foster shall from time to time and at all times henceforth use, occupy possess and enjoy the same and every part thereof to the proper use and behoof of the said Reginald Foster his heirs and assigns forever from all molestation or interruption of the said Roger and Martha, my wife, our heirs executors and assigns or any other person having any just claim thereto in by from or under us or any or either of us our heirs executors or assigns in witness whereof I the said Roger and Martha my wife have hereunto set our hand and seal dated the 11 day of March A.D. 1657/8. Subscribed sealed etc.
|In presence of||James
About a year after the sale of his property in Ipswich, Roger bought the lease of a farm in Salem. On March 14, 1658/9 an agreement was made between George Norton and Roger Preston, "For the lease of the farm the said Norton now dwelleth in. The saide Roger Preston is to enter the fiftene day March 1659 otherwise date 1660 & to pay all dewes the said Norton is to pay & to have all rights that doth belong to the saide Norton & to pay to the saide Norton what those three men that have formerly viewed it shall finde it better than it was when the saide Norton came to it, in witness hereof we have enterchangeably set our hands this 14 day of March 1658/9."
This farm was a part of the Emanuel Downing farm, which extended from the slope of Felton's Hill, or Mount Pleasant as it is now called, to and beyond Proctor's Corner in the town of Peabody, formerly a part of Danvers, and previous to that of Salem. It was granted in 1635 to Robert Cole and by him sold in 1638 to Emanuel Downing. This farm was called Groton, in remembrance of his wife's ancestral home in England. There were at least four dwellings on the farm prior to 1661, and one of his tenants in 1648 was allowed to keep an ordinary, "as Mr. Downings farm on the road between Lynn and Ipswich was a convenient place." This farm was leased to George Norton of Salem, carpenter, for a term of ten years from the first of March 1656, and here Roger Preston made his abode in 1660.
Lease to George Norton from Lucie Downing: "This indenture witnesseth that Lucie Downing of Salem in New England with ye consent of Emanuel Downing her husband hath let and farmed unto George Norton sometime of Salem aforesaid Carpenter her farme caled Groton neere unto ye farme of ye worshipfull John Endecot Esq. in Salem aforesd for & during the term of tenn yeares from ye first of March 1655/6."
Roger Preston seems to have followed the example of those who had previously occupied the Downing farm, for the Court of Salem on the 27 - 9mo 1660, granted the following license: "Roger Preston is allowed of by this court to keep an ordinary and to sell strong liquor for ye entertainment of strangers for ye year ensuing," and the following year the license was renewed.
This farm was favorably located for an inn, as in those days all the travel from Boston to Ipswich and other towns in that vicinity went over this road, and Roger Preston probably entertained many of his old Ipswich neighbors at his new home. Roger died shortly before his lease expired in 1666, after having occupied the farm only six years.
The following indicates where Roger was between the sale of his Ipswich property and his taking possession of the Downing property: "Salem 9mo 1659. Roger Preston pltf. agst. Wm. Cogswell deft. in an action of the case for not performing of agreement in paying for fence which plt. set upon his ground which he took to halves according to sumons. The jury find for plt. £7 2s. damage. Costs of Court £1-15-4." William Cogswell was an early resident of Ipswich, appearing on the records there as early as 1648.
"John Proctter, Sr. and John Choot [Choat], chosen by Rodger Presson" to appraise a parcel of four-rail fencing, Nov. 22, 1659, adjudged its value to be 14d. per rod. John Knoulton and Thomas Varney chosen to measure a parcel of fence which "Rogger Presson set up for Will. Cogswell, it being four score and sixteen rods; there were also sixteen four-hole posts." Dated November 25, 1659.
John Andrews, aged about forty years, deposed that he went with Presson when the latter asked William Cogswell to release him of his bargain to hire Cogswell's farm. The latter refused to allow Presson anything for repair of the housing but agreed to pay him for the fence he had set up, etc. and to release him at Michaelmas. Sworn 27:9:1659 before D. Denison.
John Choate deposed that when he heard that Roger Preston had given up the farm, he asked William Cogswell if the latter would let it to him, and Cogswell replied that Preston was to stay in the house to feed out his fodder, but he would let it to deponent as soon as any other man, etc. Sworn in Court, before Hillyard Veren, cleric.
On February 9 1664/6, "for valuable consideration or sum of money," Roger Preston, husbandman, sold Capt. George Corwin, merchant, "all his visable estate in salem, corn, cattle, hay and household stuffs, four oxen, four yearling
Roger died without making a will and the following is from Records of Salem: "Ipswich, March 27, 1666. Whereas Roger Preston dyed intestate, none appearing to take administration of the estate, this court orders that the estate of said Roger Preston be deposited and preserved in the hands of Thomas Preston until the next court held at Salem, there to bring in a true inventory and then the court will take order about the estate and disposing of it." "Ipswich, March 27, 1666. This Court being informed that Widow Preston hath put out two of her sons one to Thomas Johnson and one to Stephen Johnson until they be 21 years of age, this Court allows it and Mr. Bradstreet desired to see it done." The above could only refer to sons Samuel and John, the two middle sons, as Thomas was twenty-three years old at this time, Jacob eight, and Levi only four. This means that two of Roger and Martha's sons were to be farmed out or apprenticed by the two Johnsons.
Ipswich Court Records:
Roger Preston, dying intestate, and the estate being not sufficient to pay his debts, it was ordered 26:4:1666, that all the creditors bring in their accounts to the next Ipswich court, and that they should be paid proportionally as far as the estate would go. Those who failed to appear would be liable to lose their amounts due, the next court being the time limit for making division of said estate among the creditors.
Salem Quarterly Court Records:
Roger Preston, late of Salem, having died intestate almost a year since and his debts amounting to more than his estate, no one appeared to administer upon it. Several parcels of the estate were subject to loss unless care be taken about them, and the court 27:9:1666, ordered that Henry Skerry, marshall, take the estate into his possession to sell what cannot conveniently be kept, he to receive recompense out of said estate. Mr. Batter and Mr. Bartholomew of Salem were requested to examine and audit accounts between said Preston and any of the creditors and return their report at the next Ipswich court, where every creditor who expected satisfaction was to appear in person or by attorney, to receive his proportion. This order was to be published at some public town meeting at Ipswich by Robert Lord, clerk of the court there, and also posted upon the meeting house at Salem by the marshal there.
The Court of March 26, 1667, found that the estate of Roger Preston could pay to the creditors 3s. 4d. on the pound, which the marshal of Salem was to allow the creditors as they came to him either in kind as they were appraised or to the value, he having by order of the court taken the estate into his hands.
On May 21, 1666, Martha married secondly, Nicholas Holt. She undoubtedly took all the children, with the possible exception of Thomas, with her to Andover, at the time of her marriage to Nicholas.
See lineage of Preston Family
Read the Biography of Roger's son, Samuel Preston
Read the Biography of Roger's grandson, Jacob Preston
Read the Biography of Roger's great grandson, David Preston
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