For the purposes of genealogical research among the descendants of the FamilyTreeDNA WEST Surname Project Group #5. All posts will be published by the Admin. Comments will be moderated and posted as soon as they are approved. This site is open for viewing to anyone in the public and comments and contributions may be made by anyone, subject to approval. All contributions for blogs may be sent to the blog's administrator, John G. West, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Wests in Essex County, Massachusetts
in Essex County, Massachusetts:
Compiled by Joy Ikelman, 2014.
Disclaimers apply. Note: The use of double dating, such as 1630/1631, reflects the
difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
Background: Judah West (b.
11 Sep 1765; d. 9 Apr 1825) was added to West DNA Family Group #5 in 2007. 
He is a descendant of Thomas West (b. 1630/1631; d. 23 Dec 1720). Thomas West
had a brother, Henry West (b. 1629; d. Sep 1703). Therefore Henry West is also
part of FG#5. These two men lived in Essex County, Massachusetts in the 1600s. This
is the first in a series of articles about this line of the FG#5 West families.
(February 2014) Henry West and Thomas West are the earliest documented members
of Family Group #5.
County, Massachusetts in the 1600s
The Massachusetts Bay Colony included “much
of present-day central New England, including portions of Massachusetts, Maine,
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.”  In the 1630s, more than
20,000 people migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This is sometimes
called New England’s Great Migration. Only about a third of these people are
documented by ship manifests or other lists.
In 1643, Essex County was created by the
General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the county of
Essex in England, and included the towns of Salem, Lynn, Wenham, Ipswich,
Rowley, Newbury, Gloucester, and Andover. 
West researchers have worked diligently
over the last 100 years (not kidding) hoping to prove that the Essex County Wests
of the 1600s were related to each other. These researchers used old paper
archives, and later, microfilm, to do this work. Today, most of the early court
records of Essex County, MA, are in the public domain, free, and on-line. 
There are many opportunities for research. The possibilities of West family DNA
matches are also exciting.
Abundance of Wests
Three “Thomas Wests” lived in Essex County
in the late 1600s. Three “John Wests” were also alive at that time.  In
order to follow the FG#5 Thomas West (b. 1630/1631), data needed to be sorted
out. Past errors have occurred because of one publication. In 1908, Genealogical
and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern
Massachusetts was published.  The information about Thomas West has
generally been accepted without question. This is a mistake. William Richard
Thomas West, immigrant ancestor,
was born in England about 1600 and came to Massachusetts Bay colony in the ship
Mary and John, sailing March 24,
1633-34. He settled at Salem where he had a grant of land in 1640. His
descendants are numerous in Beverly, Massachusetts. He is the progenitor of the
Chester, New Hampshire family. His sons Henry and Thomas, and Henry’s wife
Elizabeth were admitted to the Salem church, January 4, 1665-66.
Cutter (1908) has mixed up three
separate West families within his opening paragraph. Here is some
West (b. ca 1600) lived in Ipswich
and Salem, MA. He came to the Massachusetts Colony on the ship Mary and John . He received a land
grant in 1640 as part of the Phillips Company.  I found no known wife or
children. This Thomas West is not known to be DNA related (as of February 2014).
West (b. ca 1615) lived in Ipswich
and Beverly, MA. His son, Thomas West (b. ca 1640 to 1642) of Beverly was the
first of many descendants in Beverly, MA and Chester, NH.  This John West is not known to be DNA-related (as of February 2014).
West (b. 1629) of Salem, and Thomas West (b. 1630/1631) of Salem and
Bradford, MA, were brothers. We do not
know their parents or their place of origin, although there has been some
research about this. The brothers and
their wives were members of First Church, Salem, and baptized their first
children on 25:1:1665 (Julian calendar). Henry West’s descendants stayed in
Salem for at least six generations.  Thomas West’s descendants moved to
Connecticut and New York.  These two
men are FG#5 DNA-related.
In sorting through the court records, I
found a great deal of information about Thomas West (b. ca 1600) and John West
(b. ca 1615). I will be sharing a bit about their histories. They are currently not known to be a part of FG#5.
Why should I include the stories of
non-DNA Wests of Essex County, MA? Won’t this confuse West Family researchers?
I hope not! I believe that it is important to review the history of these men
in order to add to the record of the West name. The related Wests and the
non-related Wests are often mixed up because they lived in Essex County at the
same time. DNA project participation may eventually link some of these Wests
West Record in the Salem Area
Salem town records and quarterly court
records begin in 1636. The “West record” in Salem and surrounding areas begins in
1640. NOTE: Thomas West (b. ca.1600), John West, Mathew West, Lanclet West and Twiford West do not have any documented evidence or DNA results connecting them to FG#5 as of February 2014.
or Lanclet West, is the first West in the court records (1640). He testified
“in the matter of hogs in the corn” and spoke about suspicious turnips and
cabbages.  This is all we know about this West.
West* (b. ca 1600) was granted 20
acres of land in 1639/1640.  The story of how he ended up with this land reflects
the history of early Salem.
West* had his cow appraised in 1641.
 This was his first recorded interaction with the bureaucracy. Through the
years, John West was very active in his community. The land boundaries and
geographic names changed during his lifetime. Part of his land in Beverly, MA,
became “West Beach”—a recreational area that is still in use. He has descendants
living today. *I will present John West’s and Thomas West's stories, even though their y-DNA has not been connected to Family Group #5 as of February 2014.
West was recorded as a juror in 1643.
 He lived in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts from about 1636 to 1646. He
moved to Newport, Rhode Island where he was a freeman in 1655. His oldest son
was Nathaniel West, and his grandson was also Nathaniel West.  He has
descendants living today. He is not DNA-related (as of February 2014).
(Twyford) West (1616-1684) has a very
visible presence in Essex County, MA, court records and local histories. He arrived
at Plymouth Colony on the ship Hopewell
in 1635, at the age of 19.  He was an indentured servant in Plymouth. 
He married Mary Cross in about 1651, and lived in Ipswich and Rowley, MA. Their
children were possibly Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, John, and Nathaniel. He was a land
owner and a cordwainer —he created fine leather shoes and other luxury
items. His son John West (b. 1661) married (1) Sarah Tenney in 1687 and (2)
Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Atwood. Sarah
Tenney was the sister of Mary Tenney, the second wife of “our” FG#5 Thomas West
(b. 1630/1631).  This is an interesting coincidence but does not mean this
line of Wests is related to FG#5. There are descendants living today. Twiford
West is not DNA-related (as of February 2014).
West was the first West cited in an
estate settlement. The inventory of her estate was examined in 1644. It appears
from the list of items that she was a widow. She lived in North Field, Salem.
 We do not know her husband’s name. Other women appear in very early Salem
records—they were usually in court for misdemeanors.
It is likely that many of the Wests knew
each other from church, meetings, or business. As an example, the final record
verified for the oldest Thomas West of the time (b. ca 1600) is a petition
dated 30 Jun 1668.  The petition requests attention to the property of
Reverend John Higginson, pastor of First Church, Salem. The petitioners ask the
court to take care of repairs, as “any
sad in convenyencies may follow to the dishonor of God, the discouragement of
the ministry & dishonor of ye people heare.”
The petition was signed in this order:
Lord, Sr., Hillyard Veren, Benjamin Felton, Thomas (his mark) West, Henry West,
John Rucke, Henery Skerry, Sr., John Massey, Samuell Williams, John Williames,
John (his mark) Neal, and Francis Skerry.
The elder Thomas West (b. ca 1600)
signed his mark, and then Henry West (b. 1629, the DNA FG#5 ancestor) signed
his name. The two men may not be related, but they knew each other. Thomas West
was a long-time friend to John Higginson, and Henry West was a member of First
Next: Wests in Essex County,
Massachusetts: Henry West and Thomas West of West DNA Family Group #5
and Additional Notes
1. West Family Group #5 results at http://web.utk.edu/~corn/westdna/west5.htm#FG5
2. Wikipedia, Massachusetts Bay
Colony. Accessed 3 February 2014.
3. Wikipedia, Essex County,
Massachusetts. Accessed 4 February 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_County,_Massachusetts
4. University of Virginia: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/home.html
5. The three Thomas Wests were: (1) Thomas West, b. circa 1600; (2)
Thomas West, b. 1630/1631; and, (3) Thomas West, b. about 1740, son of John
West. The three John Wests were: (1) John West, b. ca 1615; (2) John West, b.
1661, son of Twiford West; and (3) John West, b. 1667, son of Thomas West (b.
6. William Richard Cutter, 1908: Genealogical
and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts,
Volume I. Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, p. 559.
7. Anne Stevens, 2012: Pilgrim Ship Lists
Early 1600's; Over 7100 Families and 250 Ships. http://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm.
It is very likely that Thomas West (b. ca 1600) is the person listed on the
ship Mary and John. My theory is in the
article about Thomas West (b. ca 1600). This West is not DNA-related to FG#5
(as of February 2014).
8. Essex Institute, 1868: Town
Records of Salem, Massachusetts, Volume I, 1634-1659, Salem, Massachusetts,
p. 98. Referenced as “Salem Town Records, Vol. 1.” The original members of the
Reverend John Phillips Company (sometimes called the Phillips-Yonges Company)
were a group of travelers from Wrentham, England. They may have organized in
their parish to come to New England and invested money in the venture. My
research shows that Thomas West was not a part of the original Wrentham
company. He arrived in New England several years prior to the others. He signed
on with the project after the group arrived. Several others did this as well. I
do not believe that Thomas West came from Wrentham, England. My analysis is in the
article about Thomas West (b. ca 1600). This West is not DNA-related to FG#5
(as of February 2014).
9. Topsfield Historical Society, 1906: Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the End of the Year, 1849,
Topsfield, Massachusetts, p. 598 and various other pages.
10. Harry Irwin West, Jr., 1997: Descendants
of Henry West (1629-1703) of Salem, Massachusetts with Some Collateral Lines of
Interest. Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, Iowa, p. 2A, 15A.
11. Benjamin West and Joseph West, sons of Thomas West (b. 1630/1631), were the first of this line to
have land in Connecticut.
12. George Francis Dow, editor,
1911: Records and Files of the Quarterly
Courts of Essex County, Volume 1. Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, p.
24. This is also referenced as EIQC:1:24. “Lanclet West” is not found in
records after this.
13. Salem Town Records, Vol. 1, p. 98.
16. W.F. Donnelly, 1997: The
Wests of Duck Creek. Gateway Press, Baltimore, MD., p. 262-263.
17. John Camden Hotten, 1874: The
Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political
Rebels; Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen;
Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went from Great Britain to the American
Plantations, 1600-1700. First edition, London. Reprinted by Empire State
Book Co., New York, p. 130.
18. Alison Games, 1999: Migration
and the Origins of the English Atlantic World, Harvard University Press,
Massachusetts, p. 91. She writes: “Particularly brave or dissatisfied servants
could eschew legal action by negotiating directly with their masters. Twiford
West traveled from London in 1635 and first appeared in the New England records
as a servant in 1636. He was apprenticed to Edward Winslow for six years, but
Winslow assigned West to Nicholas Snow. West “(after some trial) disliking to
be with ye said Nicolas Snow,” implored Winslow to let him serve Winslow
himself. In order to acquire this new position, however, West had to agree to
serve one extra year in his indenture.”
19. Robert Charles Anderson, 1995: The
Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635. New England Historic Genealogical
Society, Boston, Massachusetts, p. 156, 466.
20. M.J. Tenney, 1891: The Tenney
Family, or the Descendants of Thomas Tenney, of Rowley, Massachusetts,
1638-1890, American Printing and Engraving Company, Boston, p. 337-338.
Deacon William Tenney and his wife Katherine provided 67 acres of land to Mary
Tenney (b. 1646) and Thomas West (b. 1630/1631) in 1677. Sarah Tenney (b. 1656)
and John West (b. 1661; son of Twiford West) received land in 1688.
22. EIQC:4:44-45. Thomas West (b. ca 1600) could not sign his name.
Thomas West (b. 1630/1631), Henry’s brother, could sign his name. The third
Thomas West (b. about 1640) could also sign his name. This information helps to
identify the various Thomas Wests in Essex County, MA, during the 1600s.