An American Family History

John Batcheller

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Various Spellings of Batcheller:
Bachelder, Bacheldor, Bacheler, Bacheller, Bachelor, Bachelour, Bachildor, Bachiler, Bachilor, Batcheldor, Batcheldour, Batcheler, Batcheller, Batchellor, Batchellour, Batchelor, Batchclour, Batchiler and Batchilor.

Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

John Batcheller was born about 1610 in England. His brothers were Joseph Batcheller and Henry Batcheller. He was a tailor.

His first wife was named Mary. He came to America in 1636 and settled in Salem. John and Mary's children included:

John Batcheller (1638-1645/6),
Mary Batcheller (1640, married Mighill Cressey).
Abigail Batcheller Woodbury (1642/3, married Sgt. Peter Woodbury),
Hannah Batcheller (1644, died in infancy),
Hannah Batcheller Corning (1645, married Samuel Corning),
John Batcheller (1650, married Mary Herrick), and
Joseph Batcheller (1653, married Miriam Moulton).

He was admitted to the church June 23, 1639.

John was made freeman November 13, 1640.

His second wife was Elizabeth Herrick.

He made his will in November, 1673. John died September 13, 1675.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.


American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
King Charles II ruled England from 1660 to 1685.
ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
Salt marshes which are between the ocean mud flats and grassy uplands, were desired by colonial farmers because salt marsh hay is more nutritious for cattle.

from Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, 1898 by Frederick Pierce

John Bachelor (brother of Joseph), b. in England, 1610; m. Mary ; m. 2d, Elizabeth Herrick; d. Sept 10, 1675.

He was born in England, came to America in 1636, settled in Salem, and was made a Freeman Nov. 13. 1640. He went from Canterbury, County of Kent, England. Soon after he was admitted an inhabitant at Salem he was granted 20 acres of land, to which was subesquently added 60 acres more. He was admitted to the church June 23, 1639. According to Joseph B. Wyman, of Charlestown, he was born in Cognesmouth, in Wales.

Will - Essex Co. Prob. Rec, Old Series, Book 1 June, 1671. to Sept. 1681, Vol. 301, p. 69. John Bachelor. 9 mo: 1675.
John Bachelor aged 63 being in perfect memory do make this my last will & testament in the year of our Lord 1673. & in the 25 year of the Reign of ye Sovereign & Lord, Charles the Second, King of England, etc. Imprs.

I Bequeath my soule to the Lord Jesus my redeemer & my body to my freinds by them only to be interred, & what estate the Lord hath given me I dispose of as followeth:

It. I give unto my Loving wife Elizabeth my dwelling house during her naturall life, and then to be my Son John Bachelors, also I give her all my movable estate wheresoever it is (she paying fifteen pounds in legacies as hereafter is willed) & Six pounds per annum so long as she remains unmarried) & the keeping of two cows & firewood for her necessary use to be pd. for, at the charge of my two sons, as it is hereafter expressed, also I appoint her to be my executrix.

I give my son, John Bachelor my house I dwell in after my wives decease and 20 acres of land, which I bought of John Scudder except 6 acres more or less, as it is now bounded, which I give to John Cressy, as is hereafter expressed and take it beginning at Abraham Warren's well, so down to the brook, to the comon, the brook being bound between his land, and his brother Joseph's and also a piece of land that lyes at the upper end of the sd 20 acres without the fence, with the hither end of my Salt-marsh unto a place commonly called the Rocks, where they cart down wood.

It. I give my son Joseph Bachelor all my land in the field together with the orchard, & barn, and the Salt-marsh lying beyond the sd Rocks, commonly called Duck Cove, and half an acre of marsh, that I bought of Joseph Rooks, and half an acre of Jeifrey Massey,

my will is that my two sons aforesaid shall pay their mother the yearly int. of six pounds y annum, during her widdowhood & keep two cows & provide firewood for her necessary use and the charges thereof to be equally borne by each and the sd six pounds to be yearly paid in Such specie as she shall desire.

Also I give my daughter Hana Corning ten pound to be pd. by my loving wife before her decease.

It. I give my Grandchild John Cressy Six Acres of land lying within my son John's land as aforesaid along Royalls neck, & five pounds to be paid by my loving wife before her decease.

I entreat Mr. Henry Bartholomew & Deacon [Richard] Prince to see this will truly performed
In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand & seal the year above written.
May the 17:
John Bachelor, Sen. his seal affixed.
Witness John Swinerton. Bethia Nochard.

John Swinerton & Bethia Nochard gave oath in Court at Salem 22: 10 mo. 75 that the within written was owned, & I declared to bi the last will and testament of the deceased: viz: John Bachelor and John and Joseph Bachelor, the sons of the deceased have power of administration granted of the estate of the decease and is to fulfil the above said will.
Attest Milliard Veren - Cleric. Vol. 301, p. 70.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

King Charles II ruled England from 1660 to 1685.
Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.

Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

Horse Terms
Foal: less than 1 year old
Yearling: between 1 & 2
Colt: male under 4
Filly: female under 4
Mare: female over 4
Gelding: castrated male
: non-castrated male over 4

An inv. of the estate, both of housing & land movable and immovable of John Bachelor of Salem, who dyed on the 12 mo 1675. Impr.
45 acres of upland or thereabout valued at £90:00:00
2 acres of Salt marsh or thereabout valued at 10:00:00
one dwelling house & one barn valued at 30:00:00
all his wearing cloathes one & another valued at 08:00:00
all his beding with the appliances valued at 16:00:00
home mad cloath, woolen & linen 30 yds. valued at 04:00:00
twenty pound of wool & yarn valued at 01:10 :00
3 bibles valued at 00:08:00
other household stuff, brass & Iron, valued at 02 : 10:00
1 copper with other iron ware 00:05 :00
2 pewter platters & other small things 00:20:00
one chest & traye with other wooden ware 00:15:00
irons for husbandry for wheels & plows 02:00:00
in pease & Indian corne 4 Bush, of Barley 168 11 :16:00
one qrtr. Beef, 16s 3d: a yoake of oxen £10:2 18:06:08
5 cows & one heifer 18c: 1 yearling 20:10:00
1 horse: £2 e ten in Swine: £ 7: 17 sheep £4: 5:
1 lining wheel 5d. .13:10:00
the estate is £12:00:00.
Sum total is £230:00:06
given in legacies 15:00:00.

The above estate valued and estimated upon 4:10 mo. 1675 by me John Ray mchrt. Andrew Elliott.

John and Joseph Bachelor gave oath in Ct. at Salem 22:10 mo. 75 to the truth of the inven.

He d. Sept. 13, 1675; res. Salem, Mass.

[children incorrectly numbered in the book]
13. i. John, b. Jan., 1639; d. in 1645.
14. vii. Joseph, b. May 8, 1653; m. Miriam Moulton.
15. iii. Hannah, b. June 23, 1644; d. young.
16. iv. Mary, b. Sept. 19, 1640; m. 1658, Mighill Cressey of Salem...
17. iii. Abigail, b. Feb. 12, 1643; m. Sept. 1665, Sergt. Peter Woodbury. She d. before 1667.
18 v. Hannah, b. May 25, 1645; m. before 1670, Samuel Corning.
19. vi. John, b. June 23, 1650; m. Mary Herrick.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.

Indian Corn (or flint corn) is the type of maize that Native Americans taught colonists to cultivate. The kernels come in a range of colors and are less prone to spoiling.

It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

from Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, 1898 by Frederick Pierce

Joseph Bachelor (John), b. Salem, Mass., May 8, 1653; m. there Oct 8, 1677, Miriam Moulton. She was b. January, 1657; was dau. of Robert Jr. and his wife Abigail Good, of Salem, whose father was a shipbuilder in Charlestown, was one of the first selectmen and representative to the General Court; was a friend of Wheelwright's. Miriam probably died in 1688.

Her grandfather, Robert, came from England in 1629 with six ship builders, of whom be was chief. The first trading boats built in Salem were built by him.

She m. 2d about 1683, Freeborn Balch. He was a mariner and was probably lost at sea.

The inventory of the estate of Joseph Batchelder was taken Nov. 30, 1683, and amounted to £128. It was returned by Miriam Balch, late the wife of Joseph .Batchelder. He d. in the year 1683. Res. Salem. Mass.


The New Haven Colony was an English colony in what is now the state of Connecticut. The colony was from 1637 to 1664.

from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 31

Mighill Cressey landed at Salem, with his brother William,probably in the year 1649. He was 30 years old in 1658 (Register, vol. vi. p. 249). He lived for a time in the family of Lieut. Thomas Lathrop, afterward Capt. Lathrop, who with sixty of his soldiers fell in the massacre by the Indians at Bloody Brook, in Deerfield, Sept. 18, 1675. They were styled "the flower of Essex."

From June, 1652, to May, 1656. be lived in the family of Joshua Ray, at "Royal Side," Salem, now Beverly (annexed Sept. 12, 1753). His brother William settled in Connecticut.

Mighill married, 1658, Mary, dau. of John and Elizabeth Bachelder, of "Royal Side." She was bapt. at Salem, Sept. 19, 1640, and died in childbed, August, 1659. The child survived.

He then moved to Ipswich, and married, April 6, 1660, Mary, dau. of Mark Quilter of Ipswich. She was born in Ipswich, May 2, 1641.

Mighill Cressey died in Ipswich, April, 1670. The record of the court concerning the settlement of his estate is as follows:

May 3 1670—Mighill Cresie dyeing intestate The Court grants Administration unto Mary Cresie the widdow. A[nd] there being an Inventory presented of fiftytwo pounds, and foure children The Court order the eldest sonn to have 81 in the land at Salem if it be worth it or elce made up 81 and the other 3 children 41 a peece all when they come to age. The widdow to enjoy the rest of the Estate.

His children were:
1. i. John b. August, 1659, in Salem.
2. ii. Mighill, b. April 1, 1661, in Ipswich.
3. iii. William,2 b. 1663, in Ipswich.
iv. Mary b. 1667, in Ipswich; m. April 20, 1698, Samuel Hidden of Rowley.

Mary his widow, with her three children, moved to Rowley, Mass., April, 1671. The oldest son, John, lived at Salem with his grandfather Bachelder. She died in Rowley, May 7, 1707. This christian name is sometimes spelled "Michael" on old records, but Mighill Cressey, the emigrant, spelled his own name "Mighel Cressy.
On the various records I find this surname (Cressey) spelled in twenty three different ways.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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