An American Family History

Barnabas Davis

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Charlestown was first settled in 1628 and was the Massachusetts Bay Colony's initial seat of  government. Charlestown became part of Boston in 1874.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch.

Barnabas Davis was born about 1599 in England. He mentioned his father James D. (this may be his wife’s father) and a brother Reade (1602) in England. 

He married Patience James in 1625. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Barnabas and Patience Davis. He was a tallow chandler by trade which is a maker of and dealer of tallow candles.

He first came from England in July, 1635 on the ship Blessing.  He came with a Susan Davis, age 16, who may have been his sister. The fee for passage was five pounds. He gave his age then as thirty-six years.

He landed in Boston and then walked to Connecticut to check on  his employers, John and William Woodcock’s, business. When he arrived in Connecticut, he found that their employee, Francis Stiles, had built a house, but had had not laid out 400 acres for a farm as he should have. The Reverend Thomas Hooker advised him to return to England with letters describing their estate. So Barnabas sailed back to England, landed at Portsmouth and then rode to London to deliver the letters.

He was again sent to the colonies to check up on Francis Stiles. He landed in Boston in the “yeare of the Pequid warres." The Pequot War was in 1634–1638 and was between the Pequot tribe and the colonists along with some Native American allies. Barnabas went to Connecticut by sea. He found that Stiles had not acquired the land he should have and he was forced to become a soldier for about a year. Eventually he went back to England with more letters where he had to walk to London.

He was sent to Connecticut a third time to recover the Woodcock’s estate from Stiles. He landed in Boston in June, 1639. This time he brought his family.

The Woodcocks never paid him and he brought suit against them for wages in 1640-41. He won the suit.

He became a large landowner himself. He owned Lovells Island in Boston Harbor and considerable other real estate in Charlestown. On March 1, 1657/58 when land was divided in Charlestown, Barnabas received lot 50 of 27 acres of woodland and 4.5 acres on the side of common land. On March 20, 1665 he bought ¾ of a acre of land from John Cutler on the side of Bunker hill.

He died at Charlestown, November  28, 1685. 
Children of
Barnabas Davis
and Patience James
  • Samuel Davis
  • Patience Davis Ridland
  • Barnabus Davis
  • Nathaniel Davis
  • Hopewell Davis
  • James Davis
  • King Charles I ruled England from March 27, 1625 to 1649.

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




    from New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial by William Richard Cutter

    Barnabas Davis, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and came to this country from Tewkesbury, England, in July, 1635, in the ship Blessing. He gave his age at that time as thirty-six years. He settled in Charlestown. Massachusetts, and was in the employ of John and William Woodcock, making several journeys to Connecticut. The records show that he brought suit against his employers for wages in 1640-41. He mentioned his father James and a brother Reade in England. He deposed, April 4, 1659, that he was aged about sixty years. He was a tallow chandler by trade.

    Elizabeth Davis, perhaps his first wife, was admitted to the church in Charlestown, January 8, 1635. His wife Patience died November 15, 1690, aged eighty-two years. He owned Lovell's Island and considerable other real estate. He died at Charlestown, November 28, 1685.

    Samuel, died at Groton, December 28, 1699;
    Barnabas, aged twenty-eight in 1662;
    Nathaniel, aged forty in 1682;
    James. . .

    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.
    The Massachusetts Bay Company was a trading company chartered in 1629 to settle an English colony in New England. Puritan leaders saw it as a religious and political refuge. About  900 colonists arrived in 1630.

    from Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, Volume 4 by Henry Sweetser Burrage and Albert Roscoe Stubbs

    Barnabas Davis, immigrant ancestor of a prominent family bearing this name, was born 1599 in Tewksbury, England; with his wife Patience and son Samuel he sailed for America in the ship Blessing and arrived at Boston in 1636. He settled in Charlestown, where he owned several parcels of real estate, including a part of Bunker Hill. By trade he was a tallow chandler and probably followed that trade. He died November 27, 1685, and was survived almost five years by his wife, who died November 15, 1690.

    Their children were:
    1. Samuel,
    2. Barnabas.
    3. Patience, born 1641, married William Ridland, of Charlestown.
    4. Nathaniel, married (first) Mary Converse; (second) Mary Thomas; was a glazier in Charlestown.
    5. Hopewell, a soldier of King Philip's war, married Sarah (Boynton) Davis.
    6. James, married Elizabeth Randall and lived in Scituate.

    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.
    King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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