An American Family History

John Batcheller


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."
A Puritan was a member of the religious group in the 16th and 17th centuries that advocated "purity" of worship and doctrine who believed in personal and group piety. Puritans were persecuted in England and came to America so they would be free to practice their religion.

John Batcheller was baptized in the First Church at Salem on January 20, 1638. His parents were Joseph Batcheller and Elizabeth Warner. He was a yeoman.

He married Mary Dennis on July 12 1661 Mary was born July 3, 1642 in Wenham. Her parents were Edward and Sarah Dennis.

John and Mary's son was Joseph Bachelder. He was born in 1662.

Mary died on June 26, 1665 in Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts. 

His second wife was Sarah Goodale. She was the daughter of Robert Goodale and Catherine Kilham of Salem. They married on May 4, 1666. Sarah's sister, Hannah Goodale, married Lot Kilham.

John and Sarah's children included:
Joseph Batcheller (1662),
John Batcheller (1665/66, married Hannah Tarbox),
Mark Batcheller (1668-678),
Ebenezer Batcheller (1670, married Sarah Tarbox),
David Batcheller (1673, married Sarah Whipple),
Elizabeth Batcheller Millett (1675, married Thomas Millett),
Hannah Batcheller,
Mary Batcheller, and
Sarah Batcheller.

John was one of the jury during the witchcraft cases in Salem.  In 1662 he signed a statement asking forgiveness for the error of their judgement. 

In 1679 he was the administrator of Henry Batcheller's estate.

He died on November 17, 1698. His will provided for his wife and children. His son, Ebenezer, was the executor.

Sarah died on March 22, 1729. 

Children of Elizabeth and Joseph Batcheller
  • Mark Batcheller
  • John Batcheller
  • Elizabeth Batcheller Davis
  • Hannah Batcheller Warner
  • 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.

    The First Church in Salem, Massachusetts was founded by English Puritan settlers in August, 1629. Both accusers and accused were members of First Church during the witchcraft hysteria.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.






    History of Littleton, New Hampshire by James Robert Jackson, George Clarence Furber, University Press, 1905

    John Batcheller, son of Joseph, b. in Wenham, Mass.

    m. first, July 12, 1661.Marah Dennis, d. June 26, 1665.

    m. second. May 4, 1666, Sarah Goodale,

    d. March 22, 1729. He d. Dec. 17, 1698.

    Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
    was captured by Native Americans
    during King Philip's War (1675-1676).

    The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record by Richard Henry Greene, et.al. published by New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1915

    John Batcheller, the son, bap. in the First Church in Salem, Jan. 20, 1638;
    m. (1) July 12, 1661, Mary Dennis, d. June 26, 1665;
    m. (2) May 4, 1666, Sarah Goodale, dau. of Robert of Salem; d. March 22, 1729.

    He was one of the jury that tried the famous witchcraft cases in Salem. His will dated Dec. 16, 1698, is of record in Old Series Book 6, April, 1667, to Dec., 1699, Volume 306, p. 141, Essex Co., Mass.

    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.

    Wenham was first settled by English Puritans. The church was formed in 1644 with John Fiske as pastor.
    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.
    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
    Coverlets (Coverlid) are woven bedcovers, used as the topmost covering on a bed.
    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 Batcheller (Joseph), bap. First Church in Salem, Jan. 20, 1638; m. July 12, 1661, Mary Dennis; d. June 26, 1665; m. 2d, May 4, 1666, Sarah Goodale, dau. of Robert, of Salem; d. March 22, 1729.

    John Batcheller was one of the jury that tried the famous witchcraft cases in Salem. . . .

    Will-Essex Co. Prob. Rec, Old Series Book 6, April 1667 to Dec. 1699, Vol. 306 Page 141.

    In ye Name of God Amen I John Batchelder Senr. of Wenham . . .doe make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and Forme following:

    Imp. I committ my Soul into ye hands of Almighty God. . .

    And for that little Worldly Estate. . .

    Item. My will is that Sarah my beloved wife shall be Taken Care of by my Exectr. and that she be Decently and honourably Kept and maintained by him out of my estate left in ye hands of my Exectr. So long as she lives and Remains my widow and also my Will that she my said wife shall have ye use of ye Little Room or Westwardly end of my now Dwelling house to live in if she shall see cause to accept of itt free to her self and that she have good bed and bed Clothes to itt with Curtains and Vallance to itt and a bedstead & an Iron Pott that will hold about two Gallons to be free to her to dispose of after her decease if she shall see meett.

    Item. My will is that Joseph Batchelder my Eldest son shall have and Enjoy to him and his heirs Exectr., Admin, and assigns forever all that land which he is now in possession of being about fifty five acres &r on part of the land his dwelling house standeth in full of his Share or portion in my Estate and any right or interest that he might have to ye estate left by my brother Marke Batchelder Deed.

    Item. I give and bequeath to my Son John Batchelder and his heirs and Exec, and Assigns forever ye dwelling house in which he now liveth and all ye land both upland and meadow belonging to me which he is now in possession of, he paying out of ye same Ten pounds money to my Exectr. within two years after my decease. Viz. five pounds one year, & ye other five pounds ye next year following

    Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth ye Wife of Thomas Millett Thirty Shillings money to be paid to her within twelve months after my decease by my Exectr. which with what I have already bestowed upon her I do account it her Full Share or part of my Estate,

    Item. I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Hannah, Mary and Sarah to each of them Twenty Seven pounds apiece . . .beside what I have already Given them which is a cow to Each of them I also now give to my daughter Hannah a yearling calf and a pair of Weaver's Looms all which legacies to bee free to their Disposal respectively.

    Item. I give and bequeath to my Son David Batchildor and his heirs, Exectrs., and Assigns forever when he shall Come to ye age of Twenty One Year Eighteen Acre of upland and Meadow ground to be laid out and Delivered to him and a legall Conveyance Given him by my Exectr. to be laid out of that parcell of land which my brother Mark Batchelder formerly lived on and dyed possessed of if there be Soe much remaining in sd parcell of land & to leave an acre of land to ye dwelling house which my son Ebenezer hath built and Sett up on said land and also sd David and his heir and Assigns to have liberty of a convenient way to pass to and from Said land from time and at all times as occasion shall desire without lawful lett, hindrance or Interruption of my Exectr., his heirs or assigns.

    Item. I give and bequeath Unto my Son: Ebenezer Batchelder all ye reservation and Remainder of my estate Either in housing or land, goods or chattels whatsoever not before disposed of to be free to him, his heirs Exectrs., Adminrs., or Assigns forever and all Debt belonging unto me from any person or persons

    and I do hereby Nominate, ordain, Constitute and Appoint my Said Son Ebenezer to be Sole Executor of this my last will and testament

    and I desire my Loving Friend Ltt. William Fisk and Mr. John Newman to be overseers of this my last will and testament and in Witness whereof I shall hereunto Sett my hand and Seal
    this sixteenth day of Dec. Anno Dom. Sixteen hundred & Ninety Eight, 1698.

    Signed, Sealed, Published.
    John Batchelder & a Seal.
    Declared in ye presence of Wm. Fisk, John Newman and the mark of Bethia H. Herrick. Essex, ss.. . .

    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.

    A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

    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.

    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.

    Essex Co. Probate Records, Old Series Book 6, April, 1667 to 1699, Vol. 306, Page 198.
    An inventory of the Estate of John Batcheler Late of Wenham decd as it was apprised by us whose names are hereunto subjoined this 20 March 1698-9. Impe.
    The dwelling house & Barn and homestead being about 40 acres upland and meadow £180.00.00
    A parcell of land wch Joseph Batcheler cont. about 55 acres of upland & meadow and Given him by his father's will 110.00.
    About 35 Acres of upland and meadow on which John Batcheler dwells 070. 00. 00
    A parcell of land cont. about 9 acres with a small orchyard on it and being the land which was formerly Mark Batcheler's deed 040.00.00
    6 ¼ acres of Salt marsh lying in Ipswich bought of Jacob Pirkins 31.05.0
    4 young Cows 50 prs. Js a three year old steer 4 of 2 year old & att 30 ps. Js and two horse kynd one at 301 the other at 241 5. 14.00
    14 sheep att 87 ps. p £5. 12.0 his wearing apparel £4 and armes res. 10. 12.00
    bed, bedding, Curtains & Vallanees, Coverlids and sheets 8.00.00
    Bedsted, & bed Covs. 1 vs Val. a Cupbord, table chests boxes and chairs 44 2.16.00
    Pewter, Brass, and Iron Ke. 14.0 & Sauce Spider at 10s pc. Beef and Pork 40 & 54 Bush. Barley, £8.2.0 9. 4.
    Indien Corn & Meal; £5 15. 2.
    Oats 15s flax wool, yarn & wool meal sacks 45s a saddle and bridle 12s 3.12.
    1 Cart, Sled, plow, plow-irons, axes, chains, and other utensils of husbandry £3 7s 3. 5.
    In all sorts of wooden ware of Earthen ware Tin & Glass bottles 5s 15.
    Syder [cider] mill and press £4, a grindstone CI. old bbl. and tubbs. . 5.10.
    [Subtotal] £507,15

    We find in debts owning to the Estate Viz. from John Batcheler Junr. £10 and other small debts from Several persons thirty shillings in all 11.10.
    [Total] £507.15

    Wee find in debts due from the estate to Several mercht. Docters, tradsemen etc. £30 and the funeral charges £10, is. . 40.00.
    Rests.... 479.05
    Wm. Fisk
    John Newman. Essex, ss.

    . . .Book 80, folio 16. Sarah Batchelder relict John Batchelder of Wenham & John B. Jr of Wenham deed David Batchelder land in which John Jr & wife Ann give up right of dower.

    He d. Nov. 17, 1698; res. Wenham, Mass.

    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.


    Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

    Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers of America by Henry Whittemore

    Edward Dennis of Boston, 1636, b wife Sarah, had
    Sarah, baptized August 9, 1640, and
    Mary, at six days old, July 3, 1642;
    Martha, born 1, baptized May 5, 1644;
    John baptized Feburary 22, 1646; and
    Joseph June 13, 1648.

    He came in the employment of William Hutchinson.

    His widow married August 15, 1656, Abner Ordway, of Watertown.

    The Salem witch trials were between February, 1692 and May, 1693.

    We whose names are under-written, being in the year 1692 called to serve as jurors in court at Salem, on trial of many who were by some suspected guilty of doing acts of witchcraft upon the bodies of sundry persons,

    we confess that we ourselves were not capable to understand, nor able to withstand, the mysterious delusions of the powers of darkness and Prince of the air, but were, for want of knowledge in ourselves and better information from others,

    prevailed with to take with such evidence against the accused, as, on further consideration and better information, we justly fear was insufficient for the touching the lives of any (Deut. xvii)

    whereby we fear we have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon ourselves and this people of the Lord the guilt of innocent blood; which sin the Lord saith in Scripture he would not pardon (2 Kings xxiv. 4)--that is, we suppose, in regard to his temporal judgments.

    We do therefore hereby signify to all in general, and to the surviving sufferers in special, our deep sense of, and sorrow for, our errors in acting on such evidence to the condemning of any person; and do hereby declare,

    that we justly fear that we were sadly deluded and mistaken--for which we are much disquieted and distressed in our minds,

    and do therefore humbly beg forgiveness, first of God, for Christ's sake, for this our error, and pray that God would impute the guilt of it to ourselves nor others, and we also pray that we may be considered candidly and aright by the living sufferers, as being then under a strong and general delusion, utterly unacquainted with, and not experienced in, matters of that nature.
    "We do hereby ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended, and do declare, according to our present minds, we would none of us do such things again, on such grounds, for the whole world--praying you to accept of this in way of satisfacton for our offense, and that you would bless the inheritance of the Lord, that he may be entreated for the land.
    John Bacheler

    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."
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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