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GILES LEACH of Bridgewater, MA - Parents?
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Joined: 2/17/2012
Posts: 2


Created By:Joanne A. Smith Mello

There seems to be much confusion as to parentage of Giles Leach who died in Bridgewater, MA in 1699.  Some genealogies say his father was Lawence Leach & mother Eliz. Mileman.  Some genealogists say he's definitely not son of Lawrence.   Great Migration bio of Lawrence Leach does not include a son named Miles.  Apparently a son Miles is not mentioned in Lawrence's will.   A child not mentioned in a will doesn't necessarily mean that child didn't exist. 

 

I'd appreciate knowing if there has has been further study on this Giles andLawrence Leach relationship; and if so, what is the final conclusion.  Thanks.


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Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 36


Created By:Dale H. Cook

This is presumably the Giles Leach whose wife was Anna Nokes. Chamberlain's well-researched family registers in the History of Weymouth say that he was "supposed to be the son of Lawrence Leach who came to Salem in 1629." That shows that said supposition was in circulation before the 1920s, and the lack of any more information from Chamberlain shows that one of the most eminent and careful researchers of that time was unable to find any support for that supposition, as was apparently also the case for the Great Migration researchers. It is possible that the supposition was first seen in Samuel Chessman, Leach Family Record: Descendants of Lawrence Leach of Salem, Mass., 1629, Through His Son Giles, of Bridgewater, Mass., 1665 (Albany, NY: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1899) - I have not found any earlier mention.

  

Note that works such as Fayette Phelps Leach, Lawrence Leach of Salem, Massachusetts, And Some of His Descendants, 3 Volumes (St. Albans, VT: The Messenger Press, 1924-1926) do not contribute to the discussion as they are undocumented and seem to rely upon earlier authors such as Mitchell and Chessman.

  

The supposition is not found in Mitchell's 1840 History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater..., the source of many errors concerning 17th century Bridgewater families. Mitchell said that Giles "settled in W.B. before 1665" so I think it likely that the first mention of him in town records or in West Parish church records is from that year.

  

A search of my files reveals no articles in major genealogical journals that might help. It would seem that Giles' origin must remain a mystery.

  

One additional note - the 1699 death year for Giles may be unsupportable. The last record that I have found concerning him is as a taker of the inventory of the estate of Solomon Leonard/Lenerson of Bridgewater on 21-May-1686 [Pilgrim Notes and Queries 4:2]. He is possibly the Giles Leach who served on a jury at Plymouth in Sep-1697 [Pilgrim Notes and Queries 3:118] as I know of no other Plymouth County man of that name who would have been of age in that year. I find no town or church record of his death, or any surviving gravestone, in any of the four Bridgewaters. I find no probate record in Plymouth County for any Giles Leach prior to 1749. Fayette Phelps Leach asserted that Giles was alive in 1705, but offered no proof and I have found none.

  

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net


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Joined: 9/23/2011
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Created By:Gregory Childs

Hello Dale, just a remark about the probate records: I recently saw on an extensively resourced Washburn website a specific mention of Benjamin Leach being a son of Giles Leach; the compiler writes "On 31 Dec. 1702 Giles Leach deeded land to his "youngest son Benjamin Leach." and references "Plymouth Co. Land Records, Vol. 5, p. 6". I haven't checked into this more thoroughly but I wanted to throw it into the conversation. This would also put into doubt the 1699 death year. Any thoughts? Thanks.

 


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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Dale H. Cook
Which site is that? I do not find it on John Maltby's Washburn site, and it is not on my Washburn site as I have not reached that generation.

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 9/23/2011
Posts: 2


Created By:Gregory Childs

Actually yes, I believe it's John Maltby's site, the URL is:

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~washburnmaltby/washburn_plymouth_6.htm

 

Second person down #129. Hepzibah Washburn. He also repeats the supposition of Giles's parentage, but it's his mention of the 1702 land deed that I found interesting. Thanks for your input, and an even bigger thanks for your Washburn and Packard sites, which have been a huge help to me over the past few days...


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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Dale H. Cook
Gregory Childs wrote:

Actually yes, I believe it's John Maltby's site, the URL is:

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~washburnmaltby/washburn_plymouth_6.htm

There should be an "l" on the end of that URL.

   

Note that if you want to see vol. 5 p. 6 of the deed books at the Plymouth Co. Registry site you need to double the page number and go forward page by page until you find the image for 5:6. Retrieving images by volume and page number is sometimes problematical. Of course, the Registry site is not optimized for genealogists, it is optimized for title searches, and even viewing deed book pages without a commercial account is a bit of a nuisance because of the "unofficial" overlay. It is, however, more convenient than renting LDS film. In this case the deed in question can be found by using the book search and viewing 5:14. It confirms Mitchell's listing of Benjamin as the youngest son of Giles, and does indeed show Giles as alive on 31-Dec-1702.

   

Finding definitive information about the early Leaches of Bridgewater is daunting. I will have to add them to my "to do" list for sessions with the Bridgewater town books in the Holbrook Collection on Ancestry. Since I am not an Ancestry subscriber and access it only at the library it may be a while before I get to it. I am avoiding the library computers at the moment because they are in high demand by those looking at the 1940 census (I guess those folks either have no home access to NARA or need hand-holding).
  
Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net


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Created By:Harold_37

Dale --

Any further information on this?  In Samuel Chessman's book, it says: 

Mr. J[osiah]. G[ranville]. Leach says, as a matter of further interest: " Let me state that some years ago my cousin, William Sanford Leach, son of Elbridge Gerry Leach, of Boston, made the English ancestry of our family a matter of research, and it is said he traced the family back to John Leach, surgeon to King Edward the Third. My cousin died in the Union army, and the data he made has been lost." 

Josiah was an esteemed member of NEHGS in the late 1800s/early 1900s.  This may have been some of the source for the Lawrence/Giles connection, but I can't find anything to substantiate it.

-Harold Leach
Trustee, NEHGS


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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Dale Cook
Harold -

About the only thing that I have done recently is to look at the image of the deed noted above. The images of the Massachusetts land records (taken from LDS microfilm) are available at:

https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/2106411/waypoints

I have only recently begun using those images in earnest, as I have generally been concentrating on the New Plymouth Colony and Plymouth County probate images also available at FamilySearch.org. The land records images at FamilySearch are much easier to work with than the versions freely available at some of the Massachusetts Registry of Deeds sites.The record referred to upstream (the 1702 deed in Ply. Co. LR 5:6) can be seen at:

https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-36174-7788-90?cc=2106411&wc=MCBR-RMS:361612701,362503001

on image 518.

Special note to future readers of this thread - links to specific images sets at FamilySearch.org have been known to change from time to time, so if the link above goes dead you should be able to use the next link above it to access the land records at a higher level, go to the Plymouth Co. records, choose the image set "Deeds 1686-1699 vol 5-6," and select page 518.

That deed does indeed show that Giles was alive 31-Dec-1702.

I have not come across anything to illuminate Giles' ancestry.

You wrote "Josiah was an esteemed member of NEHGS in the late 1800s/early 1900s." He was, but then, so was Judge Nahum Mitchell, whose magnum opus abounds with errors concerning early generations of some Bridgewater families, errors which live on in countless places online. Unless the manuscript of William Sanford Leach's work surfaces, which does not seem likely, it does not help us much. On general priciples I am inclined to be skeptical of any nineteenth century American genealogical account that traces ancestry to British nobility.

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net

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