Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33
~ brother of Lydia Eliot Penniman ~
Arrived 2 November 1631 on Lyon [WJ 1:76]
Admitted to Boston church as member #110, which would be early in 1632 [BChR 14]. "Mr. John Eliot" was admitted to Roxbury church as member #49: "He came to N.E. in the 9th month, 1631. He left his intended wife in England, to come the next year; he adjoined to the Church at Boston, & there exercised in the absence of Mr. Wilson the pastor of that church, who was gone back to England for his wife & family. The next summer Mr. Wilson returned, & by that time the church at Boston was intended to call him to office; his friends were come & settled at Rocksbrough, to whom he was fore engaged, that if he were not called to office before they came, he was to join with them, whereupon the church at Rocksbrough called him to be teacher in the end of the summer & soon after he was ordained to that office in the church. Also his wife came along with the rest of his friends the same time, & soon after their coming they were married, viz: in the 8th month, 1632" [RChR 76].
6 March 1631/2 [MBCR 1:367].
Matriculated at Cambridge 20 March 1618/9 from Jesus College, B.A. [Venn 2:94; Morison 378].
In the Roxbury land inventory of about 1652 "Mr. John Eliot" held nine parcels, the first seven of which had been granted to him: dwelling house, orchard and barn, and the houselot, two acres and a half at the west end of the training field; Great Lot, twenty-one acres; nineteen acres of land; six acres of fresh meadow; nine acres of salt marsh; fifty-five and a quarter acres, the twelfth lot in the second allotment of the last division; thirty-nine acres in the thousand acres at Dedham; thirteen acres and twenty poles, the tenth lot in the Nooks next Dorchester, bought of Phillip Meadowes; and seven acres of woodland, lately the land of Robert Pepper [RBOP 13].
On 26 January 1685/6 "Mr. John Eliot, teacher of the church of Christ at Roxbury," exchanged land with Edward Morris Sr. of Roxbury, Eliot receiving "the moiety or one-half of a lot containing fourteen acres" and Morris receiving "the like quantity of fourteen acres of land ... being within the northermost part of a lot of the said Mr. Eliot being and lying in the second allotment of the last division of lands in Roxbury" [SLR 13:466-67].
Eliot did not leave a will, nor was his estate administered.
Baptized Widford, Hertfordshire, 5 August 1604, son of Bennett and Lettice (Agar) Eliot [Eliot Gen 3].
Roxbury 21 May 1690 [Sewall 259]
Roxbury 4 September 1632 Ann Mountford [RVR MS 128]. (As Savage notes this date cannot be correct, as it predated the arrival of the bride in New England; Eliot himself places the marriage in October.) "Anne the wife of John Eliott" admitted to Boston church as member #148, just before the dismissal in early October 1632 of those forming the Charlestown church [BChR 15]; "Mris Ann Eliot, the wife of Mr. John Eliot," admitted to Roxbury church as member #50 [RChR 76]. She died at Roxbury 22 March 1686/7 [Sewall 135].
i HANNAH, b. 17 September 1633 [RVR MS 1; RChR 76]; m. Boston 4 May 1653 Habakkuk Glover [BVR 43].
ii JOHN, b. 31 August 1636 [RVR MS 1; RChR 76]; Harvard 1656 [Sibley 1:476-80]; m. (1) by 1662 Sarah Willet (only child bp. Roxbury 21 September 1662 [RChR 124]), daughter of THOMAS WILLET; m. (2) Cambridge 23 May 1666 Elizabeth Gookin, daughter of Daniel Gookin.
iii JOSEPH, b. 20 December 1638 [RVR MS 2; RChR 76]; Harvard 1658 [Sibley 1:530-33, 2:533]; m. (1) by 1676 Sarah Brenton (eldest child b. Guilford 6 October 1676), daughter of WILLIAM BRENTON; m. (2) by 1685 Mary Willis (eldest child b. Guilford 7 November 1685), daughter of Samuel Willis.
iv SAMUEL, b. 22 or 27 June 1641 [RVR MS 3; RChR 76]; Harvard 1660 [Sibley 2:60-61]; did not marry.
v AARON, b. 19 February 1643[/4] [RVR MS 4; RChR 76]; bp. 3 March 1643/4 [RChR 115]; d. Roxbury 19 November 1655 [RChR 176].
vi BENJAMIN, b. 29 January 1646[/7] [RVR MS 5; RChR 76]; Harvard 1665 [Sibley 2:164-66]; did not marry.
Brother of JACOB ELIOT of Boston, Philip Eliot, Lydia (Eliot) Penniman, wife of JAMES PENNIMAN of Boston [Eliot Gen 3-8].
John Eliot's many activities in New England, among which the most distinctive are his proselytizing work among the Indians, are detailed in the various items listed below. We emphasize here only his importance in promoting migration to New England in the 1630s. In the late 1620s he had been junior partner with THOMAS HOOKER in keeping a school at Little Baddow, Essex. In this capacity, and merely by his connections in the nearby Nazeing area, he became the focal point around which many other families gathered, coming in from a number of parishes in southwest Essex and in neighboring parts of Hertfordshire. As a result, when John Eliot decided to migrate to New England, he was accompanied by many of these families, and followed by many more.
John Eliot's career is well-illustrated in a wide variety of publications. He is one of that limited group of persons who merit an entry in both the DNB and the DAB (the former being three times the length of the latter).
The first biography of John Eliot was that published by Cotton Mather as part of his Magnalia Christi Americana [pp. 526-83].
The Eliot family has received sound treatment in two different places. In 1901 a committee of the Eliot family association published a full-length genealogy, with a revised edition in 1905 [Genealogy of the Descendants of John Eliot, "Apostle to the Indians," 1598-1905 (n.p. 1905), cited herein as Eliot Gen]. Pages three through twelve contain information on the parents and siblings of John Eliot, with evidence from English records. The genealogy also includes an exhaustive chronology of the life of John Eliot [pp. 214-50].
A briefer presentation of John Eliot and his family was also published in 1905 ["Eliot of Roxbury and Boston," The Genealogical Magazine 1:37-44].