Discovering My Ancestors


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An Incomplete History of the Descendants of John Perry of London


Compiled by Bertram Abrams

Member of New England Historic Genealogical Society

Assisted by Numerous Members of the Family

Printed in USA by UTAH PRINTING CO. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1955

The ffollowing are excerpts from Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1


During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there were many of the name living in England. A Robert Peny, a resident of Ralse, Somersets hire, and his wife Alice had a son named John who married Joane, daughter of Richard James; they had Robert, Joane, Grace and Elizabeth. This second Robert married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Warren and had: Joane, Elizabeth and probably others. In Blackwall, Essex, there was a Phillip Perry in the seventeenth century; he and his wtfe Elizabeth Manly had: Thomas, Phillip; Elizabeth, Susannah, Fleming, Sarah, and John. This John first married AIin, daughter of Samuel Watlington, and had Phillip, John (d. young), Thomas, John, Samuel, and Elizabeth; by 'his second wife, Mary Gibson there were no children..The second John married Elizabeth Broome and from them sprang the Hertfordshire line of Perrys.

Of the earliest known ancestor of the family whose record follows, little iscertainly known. One reference in the public documents of early Seventeenth century England is of the highest authenticity; it is the Probate Registry of Winchester statement that letters of administration on the "estate of John Perrie of Farnborough, clarke" were granted by me Consistory Court of Winchester, 3 May 1622, to Judith Perry, his widow. The accompanying inventory of the items of his property is dated 23 August 1621, which probably shows that the intestate proprietor must have died prior to that date, though undoubtedly in that year.

Further corroborative evidence isfound in the notice of indenture of apprenticeship of his son John found in the rolls of the Cloth workers' Company of London drawn 26 November 1621, which is quoted verbatim in chapter two of this record; and which states that John Perry was a clergyman (clerk) of Farnborough, Southampton, who died in 1621.

Arthur Latham Perry-7 (6903) (Chap. 17) in the chapter entitled "'An Ancestral Research" contained in his book "Miscellanies" which was published in 1902, stated that it was his belief that there was no town named Farnborough in Hampshire (or Hants as it is locally known) which isan alternate title for the County of Southampton (officially), that he believed the village of Fareham in the same county was the one


meant in the above references. This writer wishes to take exception to these statements which were understandably made in view of the fact that the village of Farnborough was of little importance in 1902 that its name did not appear on any published map.

To quote from the Official Guide and Handbook of Farnborough (Hampshire) for 1954-55; "Farnborough is situated in Hampshire near the borders of Surrey and Berkshire, and is thirty-three miles from London. Its history may be said to date even further back than 1086, for it is probable that Farnborough was included in King Alfred's will as part of the land left by him to his nephew Ethelm, in 901. In 951 this heritage passed into the possession of Bishop Aelsige, then Bishop of Winchester.

"At that time Farnborough was a small village set in a vast expanse of heathland. In 1811 the population numbered 360, and in 1851 it was 477. In 1921 it had grown to 12,636, and at the 1931 census was returned as 16,359." "The town is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 under the name of Ferneberga (i.e. Fern Hill). The records of the Priory of St. Swithin for 1244 and 1284 mentioned a knight's fee as being payable to the Bishoprick of Winchester' respect of the manor variously referred to as Farnburge or Farneburewe." The reason for the sudden growth of the town about 1900 was the fact of the permanent installation of the headquarters of England's aeronautical research and development at this place.

"The Parish Church is dedicated to St. Peter, although a reference in a will made in 1537 to "the Church of our Blessed Lady of Farnbrowe" indicates that the original dedication of this Church was to St. Mary. Its registers go back to the year 1584, but the unbroken record of its successive rectors since 1290 show that it was in existence in the thirteenth century." The location of this church is found on Church Street between the Crescent and Rectory streets. It is still in use and in a fine state of repair, although considerably changed and enlarged since the days of the Rev. John Perry.

The sons of Judith and Rev. John Perry:

2-R John, b. Nov. 1604. d. 1674. m. Johanna Holland Chap. 2)

3-R William, b. 1606. d. 1683. m. Anna ______ (Chap. 23) Possibly others.

Chapter 2


Prior to the publication of his book entitled "Miscellanies" in 1902, Arthur Latham Perry-7 (6903) (Chapter 17) discovered an old record in London, England, which established the identity of the man who became the immigrant ancestor of the large family whose records are herewith published, none other than John Perry of London. Although comparatively few facts are known about this man, yet there are enough to set him apart from the many others who bore the same name and who were residents of London and contiguous areas in the seventeenth century.

Sir Owen Roberts, F.S.A., the then nominal clerk of the ancient and nnnorable "Clothworkers' Company" of London, allowed Professor Perry to search the records of that company; the search was rewarded when the following entry in abbreviated Latin. was found:

"Lawson: - Johes Perrie filius Jonis de ffarneborough in Com. Southt. Clice Def.Appr. Johi Lawson a die Dat Septem Dat XXVI Novemberr 1621."

Rendered in complete Latin text, this entry would probably read:

"Johannes Perrie filius Johannis de Farneborough in Comitatu Southampton Clerici Defuncti; Apprenticius Johnni Lawson a die Dato Septem (annos). Datum vicesimo sexto Die Novembris


Translated into English these phrases will read:

“John Perry, son of John of Farneborough of the county of Southampton, a cleryman deceased, is put apprenticed to John Lawson for seven years from this date, namely, November 26, 1621."


Further points of information concerning John Perry of London may be learned from the indenture of apprenticeship, in view of the customs of the "Company" and the customs of the city of London at that time. London then did not admit any man to full civic rights of citizenship until he reached the age of twenty-four years; the craft guilds were such prominent factors in the municipal life of the city that admission to full freeman ship in any of these guilds was also simultaneously and consequently an admission to the freedom of the city. Therefore an indenture of apprenticeship was almost always so drawn that the day of the boy's craft-freedom would fall on the opening day of his twenty fifth year. Thus it may be infered that the date of birth of young John. Perry fell in November 1604 and that he became clothworker and citizen of London in November 1628 (third year of Charles 1)

The date of John Perry’s marriage to Johanna Holland is not presently known; she was a daughter of Joseph Holland, also a member of the Clothworkers' Company and a citizen of London. A full abstract of the last will and testament of Joseph Holland was published among others as a part of an article entitled "Genealogical Gleanings" sent from England by Henry F. Waters and published in N. E. Historical And Genealogical Register. Johanna's father died in 1658 and was buried on the south side of the christening pew in the parish church of St. Sepulchre, as his will, probated in 1659, directed, "between my former two wives."

The ancient church of St. Sepulchre, which dates from the time of the Crusades, is one of the most interesting of London's churches. Sir Christopher Wren superintended its reconstruction following the great fire of 1666. Captain John Smith is buried in its crypt. John Rogers the martyr was burned at the stake at Smithfield, the still open space between St. Bartholomew's and St. Sepulchre's.

The will of Joseph Holland made bequests to "my son-in-law, John Perry, and Johanna, his wife, my daughter, and their sons John Perry and' Josias Perry, and daughter Elizabeth Perry.” Later on in the will are left certain needlework to my said daughter Johanna, wrought by my first wife, her mother ." Further bequest in the same instrument "to my son Nathaniel Holland of Watertown in New England £20 in goods." . This was Watertown on the Charles River in Massachusetts, where Nathaniel was a "freeman" in 1663, while in the neighboring Charlestown he had by his wife Mary a son Joseph, named for the grandfather, born 24 October 1659.

Eight years after Joseph Honand made his will and his body was interred in St. Sepulchre's the great Fire of London occurred. In the night of 2 September 1666, a fire broke out in the heart of London, which raged for four days and reduced the city to ashes from the Tower


to the Temple. Thirteen hundred houses and ninety churches were destroyed. The loss of merchandise and property was beyon calcu-lation. (Green III, 382) There is every probability that John Perry, then sixty-two years of age, lost his property and business in the Fire of London.

It is certain that late in the autumn, or early the next spring, he emigrated from London to Watertown on the Charles River, bringing his family with him. The oldest family Bible says, "In or about 1666 came from London John Perry;' and so on. In the new world he built a home and the Charles became his Thames. Watertown was also the home of his brother-in-law Nathaniel Holland, who was still a resident in 1709, as well as of William Perry (3) (see Chapter 23) believed to have been his brother. Bond's "History of Watertown" records his death in that town in 1674 "aged sixty-one." This age was incorrect; it is now known he was approaching the age of seventy. Johanna, his wife, had died in 1667.

Children of Johanna and John Perry:

4·R John, b. 1644-5, d . 13 Dec., 1724, m. Sarah Clary

5 Elizabeth, b. about 1646

6 Josiah. b. about 1648

possibly others.


John Perry-2 b. 1644-5 in St. Sepulchre's parish, London, son of Johanna Holland and John Perry-1 (# 2) (John-O). Whether he served an apprenticeship in the Clothworkers' Company is not known, but he followed his father in the trade of weaver and cloth merchant. He left London with his parents in or shortly after 1666 and settled at Watertown, Mass. He mar. Sarah Clary 13 Dec. 1667 in Watertown. Sarah b. 4 Oct. 1647 in Watertown, or nearby Cambridge, dau. of John Clary and Mary Cassell, * (m. 2-5-1643/4; John d. 2-10-1690/1; Mary d. 10-23-1681). The name may have been originally O'Cleary or O'Clary. Sarah's grandfather John Clary d. Northfield, Mass., 16 Aug. 1688. John Perry d. in Watertown 13 Dec. 1724 and Sarah d. 11 Oct. 1730, also in Watertown.

Children of Sarah and John Perry (all b. Watertown, Mass.)

7 John, b . 1 Oct. 1663, d. 8 Nov 1668

8-R John, b. 3 Mar 1670, m. Sarah Price, m. 2 Mercy Swan, (Chap. 3)

9 Johanna, b. 8 Nov. 1672, d. as child

10 Sarah, b. 11 Jul. 1675, d. as child

11 Josiah, b. 7 Dec. 1677, d. 13 Nov. 1680

12 Elizabeth. b. 2 Nov. 1681, m. Thomas Grover

13-R Josiah, b. 28 Nov. 1684, d. 17 Sep. 1767, m. Bethia Cutter (Chap. 15). m. 2 Elizabeth ____

14-R Joseph. b. 17 Jan. 1690/1, m. Mary_____(Chap. 21)

15 Sarah. b. 30 Apr. 1694

* Some sources raise a question as to the identity Mary Cassell, saying she may have been Sarah. a widow whose first husband had been a Cassell, or Caddett, or Fassett, that maiden name was Cady and that she had a daughter Mary who mar. a Mr. Whitney.

Linked toSarah Clary; Bethia Perry; Dcn. Nathan Perry; John Perry, II; John Perry, III; Mary Perry; Moses Perry; Rev. John Perry, I

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