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  • John2 (Robert1) Rogers Of Ipswich

    Janet I. Delorey

    Published Date : December 1986
     When more than one family share not only a common surname but utilize similar given names within a community and time frame, it is often difficult to determine proper relationships.  The Rogers families who resided at Ipswich in the 17th century provide such an example.

    The lack of probate records and/or deeds hampered proper identification of John2 (Robert1) Rogers of Ipswich, until a clue surfaced in a deed of a sibling.  By working with a boundary cited in the deed of his brother, Thomas2 Rogers, of Newbury, it was possible to produce not only absolute proof of paternal relationship but to add to our knowledge of John2 Rogers.  The following information expands the material shared through the article “Robert Rogers, ‘A Cheddar Man’, of Newbury, Massachusetts” which appeared in the Register 140(1986): 203-10.

    JOHN2 ROGERS (Robert1) was born 13 March 1653-4 at Newbury, a son of Robert and Susanna (____) Rogers (Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 [Salem, Mass., 1911] 1:446).  A deed from James Jackman to Richard Jackman, in reference to John Rogers, described him as a “sadler”, an occupation also enjoyed by his brother, Thomas2 (Essex Deeds, 9:93).  He was further described as an Innholder, who kept a tavern in 1693 called “The Sign of the Black Horse” (Abraham Hammatt, The Hammatt Papers [reprint, Baltimore, 1980] pp. 315, 338).  He married at Ipswich, Massachusetts, 7 November 1679 DINAH CHISKE, who was probably the DINISHA KISKEES, born at Boston, Massachusetts 31 October 1658, a daughter of Henry and Ruth (Graves) Kiskees (Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, 1630-1699 [reprint, Baltimore, Md., 1978] 1:64; Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 [Salem, Mass., 1910], 1:315-18, 2:96, 661).

    Although no death record has been found for either John2 Rogers or his wife Dinah, it is probable that he made a second marriage.  A John Rogers “of Ipswich” married Martha Lighton [Martha (Cheney) Lighton, daughter of John and Mary (Plumer) Cheney, Jr., and widow of John Lighton, at Rowley on 26 June 1702 (Vital Records of Newbury, Mass., 1:101; Vital Records of Rowley, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 [Salem, Mass., 1928], pp. 341, 387, 490). That premise is supported by the death of Martha Rogers, wife of John, sadler, recorded at Ipswich 15 October 1721 (Vital Records of Ipswich, 2:662).

    The identity of Dinah Chiske has been elusive to those researching this branch of the Rogers family.  After viewing the county records at the library of the Essex Institute, it could only be interpreted as Dinah Chiske.

    The use of the name “Dionysius” by Robert3 Rogers, a son of John and Dinah (Chiske) Rogers and Benjamin4, the son of Benjamin3, another son, led to the belief that Dinah was a shortened form of Dionysius.  A line by line scrutiny of the published Ipswich records revealed only one born in that town with the name of Dinah, Dinah Bishop, daughter of Job (Vital Records of Ipswich, 1:39).  However, it was impossible to follow her and, more importantly, the county records could not be interpreted as Bishop.

    Inasmuch as Robert1 Rogers had resided briefly at Boston, a line by line scrutiny of Boston births was undertaken.  These revealed a daughter “Dinisha,” born to Henry and Ruth (Graves) Kiskees in 1658. There is little doubt that “Dinisha” is a phonetic corruption of Dionysius.  Further, there is little doubt that the consonant combination of “Ch” can be produced with a “K” sound.  It is also noted, in the following discussion of the children of John and Dinah Rogers, that they may have had an unrecorded son named Henry.  Therefore, it is suggested that there is a preponderance of evidence on identifying Dinah Chiske as “Dinisha” Kiskees.

    In order to prove that John Rogers of Ipswich was the son of Robert1 Rogers of Newbury, deeds were utilized.  On 18 July 1702, Thomas Rogers of Newbury conveyed land at Plum Island, Rowley Division, to Hugh March.  That deed described one of the boundaries as “marsh formerly belonging to my brother John Rogers since in the occupation of the Jackmans..” (Essex Deeds 25:56).  Although no deed was found from John Rogers to a Jackman, a deed dated 13 July 1696 between James Jackman and Richard Jackman conveyed “one half of that tract of marsh which my honored father James Jackman late of Newbury deceased bought of John Rogers of Ipswich which said marsh lyes in the Township of Rowley in Plum Island” (Essex Deeds 12:70).  Thus it could be proved beyond doubt that John Rogers of Ipswich was the son of Robert1 of Newbury.

    The late Ipswich historian, Thomas Franklin White, writing in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Ipswich, Mass., 1905, p. 333) stated: "Mr. Hammat records that John Rogers kept a tavern in 1694 with the sign of ‘The Black Horse.'"  Citing..Essex Deeds 38:215, White indicated it was [289] conveyed by John Rogers, saddler, to his son Benjamin on December 3, 1721.  An examination of that deed refers to the property as “my mansion or dwelling house” without reference to a tavern.  However, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary includes an obsolete definition of mansion as “a stopping or halting place.”

    In this same deed, John Rogers conveyed his entire property, both real and personal, with the exception of his horse, “in consideration of that parental Love & affection that I have & doe bare toward my well Beloved son, Benjamin Rogers”.  In addition to the “parental love,” Benjamin was to pay “all my Just Debts now owing & Twenty pounds in mony.”  It can be conjectured that John Rogers, age 68 in 1721, was a widower who, having lost his wife and son two months earlier, suddenly faced potential solitude as well as his own mortality.  Thus, he turned his property over to his son in exchange for perpetual care. There is little question that John Rogers who conveyed to his son, Benjamin, was John2 Rogers as he was the only one by that name in that time period known to have been described as a “saddler.”  Therefore, it appears that John and Dinah (Chiske) Rogers had more children than appear in the published records of Ipswich.

    Children born at Ipswich (Vital Records of Ipswich op cit., 1:315ff) and as noted:

                            i.              John, born 22 September 1680; died 30 October 1680.

                            ii.             ROBERT, born 20 February 1682; died intestate at Rowley 18 April 1723 (Essex Probate #24056). Although he appears to be the only child recorded under the name of his father [no mother named], it should be noted that the Ipswich records list an unnamed son of John [no mother named] born 22 September 1680; undoubtedly the same John recorded as a son of John and Dinah Rogers on that date.  If Robert was not the son of John and Dinah Rogers, he should have been the son of John and Elizabeth (Dennison) Rogers whose children were recorded in the Ipwsich records under the name of the father only.  If that were the case, there would have been a six year gap between Robert and their last child, born in 1676, and Elizabeth would have been at least 41 years of age when he was born.  Much has been written on this particular John Rogers who was a president of Harvard College, and no mention is made of Robert as one of his children.

                                                            Other evidence includes the fact the John2 and Robert3 were saddlers by occupation.  Robert married in Ipswich but removed to Rowley and it is in the Rowley records that the marriage of a John Rogers “of Ipswich” is found, as noted above.  If that is the second marriage of John2 Rogers, this second wife, Martha (Cheney) Lighton, was the aunt of Robert’s wife, Dorothy Smith [daughter of Richard and Hannah (Cheney) Smith].  After the death of Robert Rogers, two men were appointed guardians for his minor children Daniel Smith, his brother-in-law and Jonathan Prince, who married Hannah Rogers, or his presumed brother-in-law.  Finally, Robert’s birthdate fits well into this family’s pattern of births every two years.  He would have been named for his paternal grandfather, and two of his children wer named Dionysius and John.

                                                                            Robert Rogers married first, at Ipswich, February 1702-3 Dorothy Smith, an unrecorded daughter of Richard and Hannah (Cheney) Smith of Ipswich.  Her parentage is confirmed by the will of Richard Smith, in which a legacy of fifteen pounds to his daughter, “Dorithy Roggers” was acknowledged on 11 October 1716 by Robert Rogers of Rowley on behalf of his wife, Dorothy (Essex Probate #25724).  She died 17 August 1718 and he married second at Rowley 7 October 1718 Sarah Prime and third 11 March 1722-3 Lydia (Leaver) Thurston.  Children (surname ROGERS) all born of the first marriage at Rowley (Vital Records o Rowley): 1. Dorothy, born 26 February 1703-4; married 18 January 1725-6 Benjamin Jewett. 2. Dionysius, baptized 24 February 1705; probably died before 21 March 1728/9 when the estate of Robert Rogers was charged for “keeping Dionysious, daughter of ye deceased twenty weeks in her distraction” and “funeral charges on ditto” (Essex Probate #24056).  3. John, baptized 7 March 1708. 4. Daniel, baptized 22 January 1709; married Sarah, whose surname is tentatively identified as Mason in History of Durham, New Hampshire (Everett S. Stackpole, Lucien Thompson, Winthrop S. Meserve [reprint, Somersworth, N.H., 1973] 2:320).  She was probably Sarah Davis, born ca. 1701, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Burnham) Davis and the widow of Peter Mason (Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, p. 185, 466). 5. Hannah, baptized 13 April 1712. 6. Jonathan, baptized March 1714.  He filed intentions of marriage at Newbury 12 July 1735 and was married at Boston 6 August 1735 to Margery Stevens “of Boston” (Boston Marriages, 1700-1751 [reprint, Baltimore, Md., 1977], page 193). 7. Joseph, named in probate records. 8. Mary, named in probate records; married Jedediah Sanborn. Although the marriage is not found in the published vital records, it is confirmed through the probate records of Robert3 Rogers “We Jedidiah Snborn & Mary Sanborn, formerly Mary Rogers & daughter of Robt Rogers late of Rowley..” (Essex Probate #24056). 9. Jane, baptized 15 October 1721.

                            iii.            SUSANNA, born 15 December 1684; died 30 October 1726 at age 42.  She filed intentions with Daniel Ross at Ipswich 12 January 1705.  Children (surname Ross) born at Ipswich (ibid. 1:318-322; 2:665): 1. Daniel, born ca. 1707; died at Ipswich 3 June 1772 in his 65th year [although his birth or baptism was not recorded, his death record referred to him as a brother of Jonathan, as did the death record of their sister, Mary]. 2. Benjamin, baptized l:12m:1712. 3. Jonathan, baptized 1 January 1715. 4. Jeremiah, baptized 2 August 1719. 5. Henry, baptized 6 May 1722; died 20 August 1722. 6. Mary, baptized 2 August 1724; died at Exeter 29 August 1758 [refetred to as sister of Jonathan on her death record].


                            iv.            JOHN, born 23 August 168_.

                            v.             HANNAH, born 13 August 1690; filed intentions 17 December 1710 with Jonathan Prince at Ipswich.  Children (surname PRINCE) recorded at Ipswich (ibid. 1:305, 2:655): 1. Hannah, baptized 25 July 1714. 2. Jonathan, baptized 2:10m:1716. 3. Hannah, baptized 4 May 1719. 4. Joseph, baptized 17 June 1722. 5. Mary, baptized 6 June 1725; died 10 April 1735.

                            vi.            BENJAMIN; birth not recorded.  His name is included on the basis of the deed, cited earlier, from John Rogers, sadler, of Ipswich to his son, Benjamin Rogers (Essex Deeds 38:215).  He is undoubtedly the Benjamin Rogers who filed intentions of marriage at Ipswich on 30:8m:1714 with Susanna Hagget of Wenham and resided at Exeter, N.H. (Charles H. Bell, History of Exeter, N.H. [Exeter, N.H., 1888; reprint 1979] 2:40).  Children (surname ROGERS) recorded at Ipswich: 1. Elizabeth, baptized 12 April 1719. 2. Benjamin, baptized 24 June 1721; married Margaret ___. 3. Henry, baptized 17 February 1722-3; died 14 April 1723. 4. Sarah, baptized 19 July 1724. 5. Susanna, baptized 12 August 1727; died 24 August 1727.

                            vii.           HENRY; birth not recorded, born ca. 1698; died at Ipswich 22 October 1721 in his 23rd year.  His name is included on the basis that Susanna (Rogers) Ross named a son Henry as did Benjamin and Susanna (Hagget) Rogers - an unusual given name in that time frame.  Further evidence is the fact that he is buried next to Henry, son of Benjamin and Susanna (Hagget) Rogers in Section C, numbers 58 and 59 of the Old North Churchyard in Ipswich (Arthur Warren Johnson and Ralph Elbridge Ladd, Jr., Memento Mori (Ipswich Historical Society, 1935] pp. 190-91).

    The Vital Records of Ipswich also record the birth and death of an unnamed son of “Job and Dinah on 20 August [1680?]”.  The uncommon occurence of the name Dinah suggests a transcriptional error in the published records mistaking John for Job.

    By Janet I. Delorey

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