The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

Entries: 46457    Updated: 2015-06-11 05:23:07 UTC (Thu)    Owner: Jim Weber

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  • ID: I22360
  • Name: William GAGER , Dr
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BEF 15 JUN 1592 in Little Waldingfield, Sudbury, Suffolk, England
  • Death: BEF 29 NOV 1630 in Boston, Suffolk, MA
  • Event: Bullet 1630 IMMIGRANT "Winthrop Fleet"
  • Note:
    Copied from Holly Forrest Tamer, World Connect db=tamer,
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    Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33


    ORIGIN: Little Waldingfield, Suffolk
    MIGRATION: 1630
    FIRST RESIDENCE: Charlestown
    REMOVES: Boston 1630
    OCCUPATION: Surgeon.
    CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admitted to Boston church as member #8, which would be no later than 27 August 1630, as he was made deacon of the church on that day; the entry is followed by the annotation "dead since" [BChR 13; WJ 1:38].
    EDUCATION: Sufficient to be a surgeon.

    OFFICES: 23 August 1630: "It was propounded what should be Mr. Gager's maintenance. Ordered, that he should have a house builded him against the next spring; is to have a cow given him, & 20 in money for this year, to begin the 20th of June, 1630, & after 30 per annum. All this to be at the common charge" [MBCR 1:74].

    BIRTH: Baptized Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, 15 June 1592, son of "John Gagar."
    DEATH: 20 September 1630 [WJ 1:40].
    MARRIAGE: By 1618 _____ _____; d. Boston by 29 November 1630 [WP 2:320].
    CHILDREN (all baptized and buried Little Waldingfield, Suffolk):

    i SARAH, bp. 6 August 1618; bur. 27 April 1627.

    ii JOHN, bp. 25 May 1620 (deposed 25 April 1653 aged "about thirty years" [WP 6:281]); m. by 1647 Elizabeth Gore [Granberry 224].

    iii WILLIAM, bp. 31 March 1622; bur. 26(?) April 1622.

    iv WILLIAM, bp. 11 May 1623; bur. 12 April 1626.

    v REBECCA, bp. 11 May 1625; bur. [late May or early June] 1625.

    vi WILLIAM, bp. 27 April 1626; bur. 5 May 1626.

    vii THOMAS, bp. 13 July 1627; bur. 6 October 1627.

    viii SARAH, bp. 29 June 1628; d. Boston by 29 November 1630 [WP 2:320].

    ix REBECCA, bp. 25 April 1630; d. Boston by 29 November 1630 [WP 2:320].

    In a letter directed to "our loving friend Mr. Gager at Litle Waldingfield in Suffolk" about 1629/30, John Winthrop wrote:

    Sir, Being informed of your good inclination to the furtherance of this work which (through the Lord's good providence) we are in hand with for the establishing of a church in N.E., and having sufficient assurance of your godliness and abilities in the art of surgery to be of much use to us in this work, being informed also, that the place where you live doth not afford you such sufficient and comfortable employment as your gifts do require, we have thought good to offer you a call to join with us, and become a member of our society: your entertainment shall be to your good content; if you like to accept this motion, we desire you would prepare to go with us this spring. If you come up to London we shall be ready to treat further with you [WP 2:199].

    It was a fateful call. In a letter to his wife dated 29 November 1630, John Winthrop enumerated the twelve members of "my family" who had died by that date, and included among them "Mr. Gager and his man: Smith of Buxall and his wife and 2 children" [WP 2:320].

    In his letter to the Countess of Lincoln Thomas Dudley reported that "about the beginning of September died Mr. Gager, a right godly man, a skillful chirugeon, and one of the deacons of our congregation ..." [Dudley 72].

    When the last of the Gager children was baptized in Little Waldingfield, the main body of the Winthrop Fleet had already departed for New England. There were, however, several ships which sailed in May [Young's First Planters 311] and the Gager family (or at least the mother and newborn child) must have come across at that time.

    William Gager and his family, given their close connection with John Winthrop, very likely made the move from Charlestown to Boston in early September, and so that is given as the place of death of William, his wife and two daughters.

    The order of the Court to provide maintenance for Gager does not state the service that he was to provide, but it may have been as a surgeon to the whole colony. The starting date for his term of service, 20 June 1630, was a Sunday shortly after the Winthrop Fleet had arrived in New England, and was the day of their return from scouting out Charlestown as the place they would settle.

    On 29 October 1639 John Winthrop made out a will which was later revoked, in which was the following bequest: "I will that Jo[hn] Gager shall have a cow one of the best I shall have, in recompense of a heifer his father bought of me, and an 2 ewe goats and 10 bushels of Indian corn" [WP 4:147]. In about August 1646 William Morton of New London passed on to John Winthrop Jr. the desire of John Gager to "buy him a shirt cloth" [WP 5:94].

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    Copied from J J Shafer, World Connect db=:ah5465,
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    In the early spring of 1630, Dr. William Gager, along with his son John, began preparations to leave his ancestral home and medical practice to go to New England with the Massachusetts Bay Company . The voyage was to be under the leadership of his friend and neighbor, John Winthrop. They were to sail on the flagship ARBELLA, captained by one Peter Milborne and manned by fifty-two crewmen. The names of the other'ships in the Winthrop Fleet were: the JEWEL, the TALBOT, the CHARLES, the MAYFLOWER, the WILLIAM AND FRANCIS, the HOPEWELL, the WHALE, the SUCCESS, the TRAIL, and the AMBROSE. The ships were ready in the harbor and loaded with hogsheads of beer, water, "syder," vinegar, dried meat (16 hogsheads), and beef tongues. Some of the ships carried furniture, farm implements and livestock. These were the ships that were to carry the seven hundred or so immigrants to the New World, to a new dream, and to the religious freedom that these Puritans had not experienced in their homeland. Also, there was the promise of one hundred acres of free land to every man that signed on with the Massachusetts Bay Company.

    Their departure was scheduled for Easter Monday, March 29, 1630, on the morning tide...[something about some repair work, perhaps causing a delay]. On Tuesday, April 6th, Matthew Cradock, the late Governor of Massachusetts Bay Company, arrived from London to take his official leave of the party. When this formality was over, he was duly saluted as he went over the side. Then the ships, led by the ARBELLA, weighed anchor and leisurely sailed down the Solent (a strait of the English Channel), and came to anchorage before the castle at Yarmouth, on the west end of the Isle of Wight. It was here that the Reverend John Cotton, Vicar of Boston in Lincolnshire, came down to give his blessing and approval of the undertaking. He preached to them from the book of II Samuel, verse 7:10: Shortly after this farewell sermon, the flotilla was finally under way.

    Winthrop writes in his journal that the weather was calm for the first few days, and the passengers seemed to delight in what was a first for most of those on board. But the sea was soon to change, and with this many took to their bunks. So sick were many that they nearly died, and some did. Dr. Gager was obviously a busy man during this ordeal, but he too suffered from the malady for which the only cure is land.

    Land was sighted on Friday, June 11, 1630, after eighty-four days of turbulent seas. They dropped anchor the following day near Salem. The passengers were all dressed in their finest for the occasion. The ARBELLA fired two shots to alert those on shore of their arrival. The Reverend George Phillips gave thanks unto the Lord for their safe journey. Many of these passengers were sick from scurvy, caused by their unwholesome diet while at sea. Dr. Gager was among those so afflicted. But along with the warm winds of summer, many were soon to have their full strength restored.

    Two years prior to this voyage, the Massachusetts Bay Company had sent John Endecott and a small company to prepare a lace for the main arrival. Mr. Endecott said that several of his people were ill, and tired of eating mussels, berries and Indian corn. He also made it clear that many were anxious to return to England when the fleet departed.

    After careful observation, Winthrop and his company decided not to settle at Salem. They went down the coast a few miles to a place that the Court of Assistants soon named Boston, after a place of the same name in Lincolnshire, England. The leaders of the colony soon erected a church, and on August 27, 1630, Dr. Gager and others signed the first Church Covenant of Boston.

    Dr. Gager and his son settled in Charlestown, a section of the newly found Boston. While there, he was "Keeper of the Powder."

    Dr. William Gager never fully recovered from the ill-effects of the voyage from England, and died of a fever on September 20, 1630.

    I have been told that the name of William Gager's wife was Hannah Mayhew, but I have never been able to prove this information. It is my assumption that she died in England, as did six of his other children. The deaths of these children are recorded in the Parish Records in Groton, England. Perhaps this great loss that he suffered was another reason for his departure from England. I can only assume that he thought that things would be better in the New World.

    According to records, William Gager's son, John Gager, seems to be the only other survivor of the Gager family that made the 1630 voyage. The following is from Dr. Snow's History of Boston, printed in 1828: In the midst of these afflictions, Dr. Gager died. He was their principal, if not their only, physician and surgeon. He is represented as a man of skill in his profession, and we have seen that the soundness of his faith and the purity of his life had promoted him to the office of a deacon in the infant church. He was considered a public servant; and the same court which provided for the salaries of the ministers ordered that a house should be built for him against the coming spring, and that he should be furnished with a cow and be paid twenty pounds for his first year, and afterward have thirty pounds per annum at the common charge. Dr. Gager is buried at Town Hill, Charlestown, Massachusetts.

    Father: John (William) GAGER b: ABT 1567 in Little Waldingfield, Sudbury, Suffolk, England

    Marriage 1 Hannah MAYHEW b: ABT 1595 in England
      1. Has Children Sarah GAGER b: ABT 1620 in Little Waldingfield, Sudbury, Suffolk, England
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