An American Family History

Lawrence Waters, Sr.

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

Lancaster was first settled as "Nashaway" in 1643. It was officially incorporated as "Lancaster on the Nashua" in 1653. It originally included many current towns in central Massachusetts. It was the home of Mary Rowlandson. During King Philip's War the town suffered several massacres. It was abandoned in 1680 and resettled several years later.

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

Lawrence Waters was born in 1602 in England. His parents were James Waters who was born in 1572 in St. Botolph, Aldersgate, London, England, and Phebe Manning who was born in 1571/72 in London, England.

Lawrence Waters may have come to Massachusetts in 1630 in the Pelham. There were 42 persons in this company, including the John Waters family of five.

He married, Ann Linton, in 1635. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Lawrence and Ann Linton.

He was a carpenter. He was a proprietor of Watertown in 1636-1637. He received additional grants of land in Watertown on July 25, 1635, Feb. 28, 1636, June 26, 1637, and May 10, 1642.

He was one of  three men sent to make purchase sure for settlement of Lancaster (Nashaway Plantation) in 1643. In 1647 there were at least three permanent settlers on the  plantation of Lancaster, Richard Linton, Lawrence Waters and John Prescott, all from Watertown.

In 1651 he testified before the Court in Cambridge in the slander case of Elizabeth Hall and George Whaley.

On March 15, 1653 Lawrence signed the first laws and orders of Lancaster. On September 20th the same year, he was one of the signers of the agreement with John Prescott, blacksmith, regarding the building of a corn mill in Lancaster.

On March 9, 1654, he was one of the 25 townsmen present at a town meeting. On May 10, 1654 he was one of the signers of the petition to the General Court for the setting up of a township at Lancaster.

He was a soldier in King Philip's War, but in October, 1662 he was released from ordinary training by paying five shillings a year to the military company.

He became a freeman in 1663.

He became blind before his death. He died on December 9, 1687 when he was 85 years old during the resettlement of the town of Lancaste

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.

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.

Children of Lawrence Waters
and Anna Linton
  • Lawrence Waters
  • Sarah Waters Skeath
  • Mary Waters Davis
  • Rebecca Waters
  • Daniel Waters
  • Stephen Waters
  • Rebecca Waters Whitcomb
  • Adam Waters
  • Joseph Waters
  • Jacob Waters
  • Rachel Waters
  • Samuel Waters
  • Joanna Waters
  • Ephraim Waters
  • 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.
    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.



    Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.

    from The Early Records of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1725 by Henry Stedman Nourse

    The Testimony of Richard Smith & Lawrence Waters concerning the speeches of George Whaley against hall.

    Cominge to Mr Whaley in the next morninge after the relation of Steven day at goodwife halls the said Smith & Waters desired to speake with Mr Whaley,

    he bade them take heed how they did speake any thing for the woman, yet promised to speake with her after breakefast at wch time, Steven day beinge allsoe present goodwife hall demanded of Mr Whaley what he had against her,

    to wch Mr Whaley made this answer that Sr Phillips in the buttery at the College in Cambridge cominge into the buttery answered to him as followeth.

    Mr Whaley demanded first how did all freinds at Nashaway. Sr Phillips answered they are well.

    Whaley further demanded how he liked the place, he answered very well, it was a desirable place as any was in the country, as be conceived.

    Mr Whaley further demanded how he liked the people, he answered he liked them well only there was some that held this opinion that all thinges were common, Mr Whaley demanded who they were, he answered John Hall’s wife.

    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.

    5th 8th mo 1652. Hermon Garret vs John Hall. . .

    A bill of Charges given in to the Court by the Auturny of Jno Hall of Nashaway defendant in the case of Harmon Garret & John Shawe. Aturney & Witnesses. . .

    Richard Smith & Lawrence Waters from Nashaway foure dayes 1£ apeece at 2s 64 p daye
    Goodman Lenton 4 daies from Nashaway at 2s 6d per day


    Colonial legislatures granted land to a group of settlers (proprietors) who chose how to divide the land. They had some rights of governance.

    from Genealogy of the Ancestors and Descendants of John White, Volume 1
    by Almira Larkin White

    Lawrence Waters was sent as a carpenter from Watertown in 1645 by the grantees of then Nashaway plantation, with two others to make suitable preparation for their own coming. He is said to have been the first permanent settler of Lancaster.

    His father-in-law, Richard Linton, was also of Watertown, where he deeded his house and lot, Sept., 1645, to Robert Sanderson, and is said to have begun life about that time with his son-in-law upon the Nashaway plantation. He d. Mar. 30, 1665, and by his will it would seem that his wife Elizabeth outlived him.

    After the massacre of 1676, Mr. Waters with his family sought shelter in Charlestown, where his son Stephen seems then to have had a home, as he became responsible to the authorities for them. Lawrence Waters was then blind. He d. in Charlestown, Dec. 9, l687, aged about 85 years.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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