Note: THE BABCOCK GENEALOGY, by Stephen Babcock, page 8. Tradition says that John and his wife, Mary, eloped from Newport, settled upon the east bank of the Pawcatuck River, on Massatuxet Cove (now what is now Avondale, town of Westerly RI) with no neighbors but the friendly Indians and that they were not discovered by their parents for several years. Much poetry and romance have been written upon this tradition, but as no history has been found to establish it as a fact, and as authentic records seem clearly to disprove the statement, we must class the elopement story as fiction. John was propounded a freeman of the Colony of Connecticut May 14, 1676, and later was admitted a freemen. John Badcock and his father were members of the Misquamicut Company and went there with the first permanent settlers. At that time John was about eighteen years of age. He received an apportionment of land and the same as other settlers. He settled in Westerly on the banks of the Pawcatuck River, near what is now Avondale, RI, and his oldest son, James, inherited and occupied the homestead. Some of the homestead land was still occupied by descendants of John in 1903.l In 1675 King Philip's War broke out, and most of the pioneers of Westerly were obliged to flee from their homes and take refuge on the island of Rhode Island. By Sept. and Oct. 1676 they had begun to return to their abandoned lands and to rebuild their ruined houses and barns. The indications are that John Babcock and his family remained in their home in Westerly, which was aross the river from Connecticut, and as he could have no protection from Rhode Island sought the protection of Connecticut. From the time of its settlement, Westerly was claimed by both Rhode Island and Connecticut, and Connecticut did not relinquish her claim to the town until 1728. Traditions says that John Volunteered with the Connecticut Militia, which was organized for protection against the Indians; that in King Philip's War he was with the Connecticut Militia in the "Great Swamp Fight", Dec. 19, 1675,m and that his son Elihu was born at that time. After King Philip's War was over, and the white settlers of Westerly had returned to their homes, John Badcock was elected Conservator of the Peace for Westerly, June 12, 1678. He was Deputy from Westerly to the Colonial Legislature in 1682 and 1684. He died intestate (1685) and a will disposing of his estate was made by the Town Council. The inventory of the personal property amounted to 790 pounds and was the largest recorded in the town for many years. By law the oldest son, James, received all the real estate, one half of which he conveyed by deed to his mother. The widow received one third of the personal property, the remaining two thirds being divided equally among the nine younger children.
THE ANCESTRY OF THE BABCOCK FAMILY, by Gwendolyn Garland Babcock, San Marino, California, November 1992, page 95. John was a prominent mamber of the Westerly community. In 1669 he was granted the twenty seventh lot in the town, on the banks of the Pawcatuck River in what is now the town of Avondale. When the Babcock Genealogy was written in 1903 there were still Babcock descendants living on the same piece of property where John and Mary's house had stood. Evidently John and his family were among the few inhabitants who stayed in their home in Westerly, and sought protection from the neighboring towns across the river in CT. In the History of Stonington, he is listed as being a member of the CT volunteers in King Philip's War who received bounty land from the Colony. John died intestate and a will disposing of his estate was made by the Town Council, June 25, 1685. The inventory of his property dated June 4, 1685 totaled 790 pounds and was the largest recorded in the town for many years. The number of livestock, forty three steers, thirty three cows, fifty two houses, one hundred sheep and fifty lambs are unusually large for this time in New England. The most unusual entry appears near the end of the inventory, one negger boy valued at 20 pounds, and two injin men and Indian garls valued at 30 pounds.
Researching this line is Jean Reid, 106 Beal's Court, Tama, Iowa 52339 Researching this line is Nancyann Norman at exis.net
Sources: Babcock and Allied Families by Louis E. de Forest; NEHGR, Vol. 14; C. Merton Babcock; Hazard Family of RI; Immigrants to America Before 1750; The Albro Family History; Ancestral Lines Revised; R.I. Genealogical Register, v4, #4, p354; A Witter Family History; NEHGR, v.153, p131. De Forest: John Babcock, born 1644 in Portsmouth, RI;. died 1685 Westerly. He went with this father to settle Westerly when he was about 18 years old. He was made a freeman there 28 Oct. 1668. When King Philip's War broke out in 1675, Rhode Island took little part in it, principally because of Quaker influence in the colony. John, therefore, enlisted in the milita in nearby Stonington, CT, and he participated in the Great Swamp Fight. He was made a freeman in the Connecticut Colony in 1676. After the war he returned to Rhode Island and served as a deputy to the General Assembly from Westerly in 1682 and 1684. He died intestate in 1685, and the Town Council made his will on 26 June 1685. The oldest son, James, received half of the estate. "The movable estate, which amounted to 790 pounds, 3 shillings in current silver of New England, and was the largest estate recorded in the town for many years, included a `negger boy, 2 Injin men & Indian garls,' the Indians being captives sold into slavery. The estate also included 329 oxen, horses, cows, sheep, etc., 141 pounds, 15 shillings in current money of New England, seven bedsteads with beds and sheets, pewter flagons, porringers, earthenware, etc. Of this movable estate, the widow received 263 pounds, 7 shillings, 8 pence and each of the nine children were to have 57 pounds, 2 shillings, 4 pence as they came of age...On this will the name was first officially given as Babcock, which form has been used by the family since." "Ethan and Caroline Rowley Babcock, Their Ancestors and Descendants" agrees James Babcock's first wife was Sarah ________ and says John Babcock died in May or June 1685. NEHGR: John Babcock. "His will dates 1685; mentions eldest son James, `and nine more,' viz.: Ann, Mary, John, Job, George, Elihu, Robert, Joseph and Oliver." C.M. Babcock: John Babcock, married Mary Lawton. Served with the Stonington militia during King Philip's War and participated in the Great Swamp Fight and received land in Voluntown, CT, for his service. On 2 May 1682 he was named a deputy from Westerly to the Colonial Legislature, holding the position until 1684. He died in 1685 and his personal property was inventoried at 814 pounds, 3 shillings. Hazard Family: John Babcock, son of James and Sarah Babcock. Immigrants: John Babcock, born 1644, died in Westerly, RI, in 1685, probably in May or June. Family tradition says he and Mary Lawton eloped, but authentic records seem to clearly disprove the tradition. Married Mary Lawton and had eight sons and two daughters. Ancestral Lines: John Babcock, born probably in Portsmouth, RI, about 1644; died intestate in Westerly, RI, in 1685, probably in May. He married Mary Lawton. Admitted freeman from Misquamicut (Westerly) 28 Oct. 1668 with his brothers James and Job. John Badcock and his family were the only settlers to stay in Westerly during King Philip's War, seeking protection from Connecticut. He joined the Stonington militia, and, according to tradition, was engaged in the "Great Swamp Fight" on 19 Dec. 1675, the very day his son Elihu was born. While Westerly was controlled by Connecticut, he was a freeman of the colony. But upon conclusion of the war, the town passed back to the jurisdiction of Rhode Island, even though Connecticut did not give up her claim to the area until 1728. On 12 June 1678 he was elected by the General Assembly of Rhode Island as Conservator of the Peace for Westerly. He served terms as Deputy from Westerly to the General Assembly in 1682 and 1684. Upon his death in 1685 the town council disposed of his estate according to primogeniture. [Apparently the town made his will.] RIGR: Westerly Town Records. John Babcock, late of Westerly, deceased intestate. Will made for him by the Town Council, dated 26 June 1685, pages 124-125. Mentions widow Mary Babcock; eldest son, James Babcock, and nine other children, Ann Barber, Mary Babcock, John Babcock, Job Babcock, George Babcock, Elihu Babcock, Robert Babcock, Joseph Babcock and Oliver Babcock. Witter Family: John Babcock, born 1644, Portsmouth, R.I. Died May/June 1685 at Westerly, R.I. He participated in the "Great Swamp Fight" during King Philip's War and received bounty land for his service. He was Conservator of Peace at Westerly, 1678; representative to the General Court, 1678, and legislator, 1682-84. NEHGR: The first settlement of Westerly, RI, then called Misquamicut, was made by John Babcock Jr. and Mary (Lawton) Babcock of Newport, RI, in the spring of 1658, along the east side of the Pawcatuck River two miles up from its mouth. Others settlers in a new company joined them beginning in September 1661. All attempts at settlement failed except for those of Tobias Saunders, Robert Burdick and Joseph Clarke Jr.
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