April 2011 James G. Ferris
(Geoffrey) tradition has it was
born in LEICESTERSHIRE,
The First Three Hundred Years^ For some eight years previous to 1664,
The name of Jeffrey’s first wife and mother of his known children remains unknown. Much research has been done and speculation abounds, but the actual documentation, such as the page of the Stamford Town Records, which contains her death record, is worn away. What is legible is her death date of May 31, 1658. On the tombstone her name has weathered away leaving only ‘Mary -----ne’. There are some that think her maiden name was Browne, Thorne, or Bowne; a case can be made for each because of connections with those families and Jeffrey, but no proof exists. Several sources, to include Family Tree Maker, list Judy Burns and/or Ann Milton or Anne Howard (see information later on in this paper re Anne Howard) - as best as I can determine, there is no documentation for these names. In this compilation, she remains unknown.
From Savage-Collins Origins
& Descendants 1630-1960 by R. Thomas Collins, Jr. – Jeffrey married
He married second, at
Jeffrey, married 3d, in 1662 at
Jeffrey's will found on the probate records at
Tradition invests the immigration of this family to this country with the lines of romantic adventure. The ancestress, who was also high born, followed her lover out into this western world to share with him here the fortunes, which English aristocracy would not allow. (Genealogical and Family History of Western New York by W.R. Cutter (Vol.III, page 1096) states "Tradition tells us that his first wife was of noble birth, marrying against the wishes of her family.") [Jim - there is no documentation to back this up.]
The name Ferris is from LEICESTERSHIRE, House
of Feriers, Farers, Fereis, Ferrerr, Ferreis, Ferrers or Ferris, the first
member of which (in England) was from Henry de Feriers (Ferrers) (see separate
paper on Henry de Ferrers), son of
Guelchelme (Guillaume) (William) de Feriers, Master of the Horse (Jim ‑
thus the horse shoes on the coat of arms) (most sources say Master of the
House, though) of the Duke of Normandy, to whom William the Conqueror gave
large grants of land in the three shires of Stafford, Derby, and Leicester. It
is said that Guelchelme de Feriers took an active part in the Battle of
Hastings (1066), having invaded
2002, Alice Wexler, went to
Born to Jeffrey Ferris and his first wife were:
(1)JOHN (2)PETER (3)JOSEPH (4)MARY *(5)JAMES
This sequence, by birth, is from Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich. A Ferris Genealogy by Chaplain James S. Ferris shows a different birth sequence. I have elected to stay with the original sequence because of the amount of renumbering I would have to do. I do consider the work done by Chaplain Ferris to be valid and will annotate where there is a difference.
See ( ) on following pages for more information.
*The compiler's branch (
Recommended reading: ^The First Three Hundred Years The History of the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut edited by Elizabeth W. Clarke 1967
In spite of the important part
that Daniel Patrick played in the founding of
Along with a great number of
restless, energetic Englishmen who left their homes for various reasons,
Jeffrey Ferris came to American in 1634. Born in
From a number of small clues, it
may be assumed that Jeffrey Ferris was not a rigid Puritan. He may have come to
At this time
Men like Jeffrey Ferris who had
broken home ties and sailed across the ocean to a wilderness for the sake of
freedom were not likely to submit to such a situation. At the same time glowing
statements were coming to
So far Jeffrey Ferris had made
two moves toward freedom, but from the point of view of freedom
July 18, 1640, is the commonly
accepted date for the founding of
As an addition to the purchase of Daniel Patrick and Robert Feaks, it is noted that "Keofram hath soulde all his Right in ye above sd necks unto Jeffre Ferris." This notation suggests that Goodman Ferris was here transacting a deal with the Indian Chief Keofferam before the coming of Daniel Patrick and Robert Feaks. When signing his mark, Sachem Keofferam made the picture of a blockhouse with a projection or lookout box. In front and behind the house he drew lines, which may have been an indication of plowed ground.
Indian signatures were really picture writing, and the marks usually depicted something significant in relation to the document, which was signed. Such being the case, it is quite likely that there actually was a blockhouse on this land bought by Jeffrey, and of course this house was his home. If so, it must have been built before July 1640.
If we assume that Jeffrey was one
of the first landowners, it is possible to go a step further and attribute the
The favorite summer residence of
Queen Elizabeth was at
Jeffrey Ferris was married three
times. His second wife was Susannah
Lockwood, widow of Robert Lockwood, so from the very beginning of
Angell Husted is another founder
It would be impossible to name
all the families who came to
The Indians ‑ Undoubtedly the dangerous situation due to the Indians was
another reason why Jeffrey Ferris left
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have some different dates on Jeffrey above. They show he married 1st Susannah Lockwood, who died in 1660; and then married Mathais St. John who died in 1669. The DAR also state that Jeffrey was a representative of the General Court, 1667, an original proprietor; yet above, it states he died in 1666; so there is conflicting information, but I guess that is to be expected.
When on the morning of the
..... Jeffrey Ferris said nothing, because he never spoke idly and was in a hurry to finish these negotiations and get back to his patch of corn, which was ready for picking.
HISTORY OF GREENWICH POINT
From Monakewego to Greenwich Point
Siwanoy Indians used it as a fishing camp and called
it Monakewego – shining sands. Purchased by Daniel
Patrick and Robert and Elizabeth Feake in 1640 (along
with the rest of what is now Old Greenwich), it became known as
From Volume 1, A Ferris Genealogy, by James S. Ferris
WILL OF Mr. JEFFERY FERRIS June 6, 1664
I, Jeffery Ferris, being now at this time through the mercy of God in indifferent health and good memory thanks be to the Lord that giveth it to me, do make this as my last will and testimony in brief considering age; I knowing not whether the Lord may take me away with sudden death...
ITEM I give unto my wife that now is; all the estate that she can make appear that she brought with her; also;
ITEM I give also to her four children that is to say, those four boys, which I brought up
and kept forty pounds, that is to say ten pounds apiece; that if they stay and live with any of my children until they be of the age of eighteen years; then it shall be put out for them and for their use until they are twenty years of age; and then to receive it into their possession; further in case that my wife that now is shall see cause to remain a widow after my decease; for so long as she so remaineth I give for her use five acres of land that is now in till the one half in my home lot and the other half at the marsh or neck; also I give her free for her and hers one of my allotments that is on Mihernoes Neck that is now fenced in; also that she sees cause I will that she shall live in one part of my now dwelling house so long as she shall remain a widow; also I give her two of my Pewter Platters one great and one small.
ITEM I give unto my son James Ferris twenty pounds, that is to say besides his cattle that
now is; also beside the quarter part of those which I gave between my son Juda and James and Jonathan Lockwood that is to say Juda’s running remote in the woods; also I give unto my son James my great copper kettle and also my bed that standeth in the low room of my house, that is to say that bed with all the furniture which my wife and myself commonly lodged on, also I give unto my son James that bed with the furniture that commonly James lay on in the other fore room of my now dwelling house; I give also unto my son James Ferris all my carts and plows and all materials thereunto belonging; also I give unto James my Iron Pot and three Pewter platters...
ITEM Also I give unto my daughter Mary Lockwood that now is twenty pounds besides the quarter part of my before mentioned Juda’s I gave to her husband Jonathah Lockwood; also
ITEM I give unto my son Peter Ferris his three children one mare colt that shall run in stock, to be equal proportion between the three children; also
ITEM I give unto my son Joseph’s two children one mare colt to run for stock for them and for their use and portion;
ITEM Farther my will is that what more of my estate shall be found after those above-mentioned legacies paid, shall be equally divided amongst all my children;
ITEM Further it is my will that in case God should choose to give my wife a child born of her body whilst she remains my wife, that is to say whilst I live or that I leave her with child when I die, that then I give unto that child male or female the other half of my farm that I now possess -- with the right and privileges thereunto belonging; further it is my will that this child shall have a young mare also; which I give it by, this, my will; but in case this child should die before it hath any issue, then this my gift to return to the rest of the estate as before mentioned; Further it is my will and I do depute my loving friend John Holly now in Stanford and my son Peter Ferris as my overseers to see this my will performed according to this just expression and intent of this my writing: In witness that this is my free will and act I set to my hand
This is the mark of
WITNESS Phillip Minthorn
March 9th 1667 I Juda Bowers lately Widow Ferris sometimes wife to Jeffery Ferris do
hereby acknowledge I have received in full satisfaction what was given me by my husbands will, and I do hereby fully acquit and discharge for me and mine forever
WITNESS Rich; Lane or Lorn
Juda Bowers Mark
March 9th 1667 This will on the other side written was presented to be approved by the parties concerned in the distribution of the order of the will and in witness hereunto we do mutually agree to subscribe our names with our own hands.
March 13th 1667 We whose names are underwritten do own and approve this will within written to be the will of Jeffery Ferris deceased.
Witness our hands Juda Bowers
The mark of lately wife of Jeffery Ferris
In presence of Joseph Ferris
Joshuah Knapp James Ferris
Joseph Gurnsee or
Inventory of the estate of Jeffery Ferris dec: taken and approved by
John Holly appointed thereunto (and under oath) by Mr. Lanes
present on the 24th 25th 26th and 27th Nov: 1666
Note: This was not copied from the original but rather from a copy that is in loose material in a vertical file on Ferris Genealogy in the Genealogy Room of the N.Y. Public Library.
Freeman’s Oath – taken by Jeffrey Ferris, May 6, 1635.
I, ________, being, by the Almighty's most wise disposition, become a member of this body, consisting of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants and a commonalty of the Massachusetts in New England, do freely and sincerely acknowledge that I am justly and lawfully subject to the government of the same, and do accordingly submit my person and estate to be protected, ordered, and governed by the laws and constitutions thereof, and do faithfully promise to be from time to time obedient and conformable thereunto, and to the authority of the said Governor and Assistants and their successors, and to all such laws, orders, sentences, and decrees as shall be lawfully made and published by them or their successors; and I will always endeavor (as in duty I am bound) to advance the peace and welfare of this body or commonwealth to my utmost skill and ability; and I will, to my best power and means, seek to divert and prevent whatsoever may tend to the ruin or damage thereof, or of any the said Governor, Deputy Governor, or Assistants, or any of them or their successors, and will give speedy notice to them, or some of them, of any sedition, violence, treachery, or other hurt or evil which I shall know, hear, or vehemently suspect to be plotted or intended against the said commonwealth, or the said government established; and I will not at any time suffer or give consent to any counsel or attempt that shall be done, given, or attempted for the impeachment of the said government, or making any change alteration of the same, contrary to the laws and ordinances thereof, but shall do my utmost endeavor to discover, oppose, and hinder all and every such counsel and attempt. So help me God.
The First Congregational
Courtesy of Jeffrey Ferris (2006)
Mary Elizabeth (Ferris) (Litton) Gray has provided a theory on Jeffrey’s father. Since there is no documentation for such, I have included here as such, a theory. I asked Mary for her references and her response is provided below.
JEFFREY, RICHARD FERRERS, HUMPHREY, THE EARLS OF
Why do I Think Richard is Jeffrey Ferris'
father, I have lots of circumstantial evidence websites. I also have put
together a scenario that makes some sense to me. Jeffrey, Jeffery or Geoffrey
Ferris or Ferrer(s) the spelling is a big
hurdle. I have not yet found his name
listed on the passenger list of any of the pre-1635 ships. This leads me to side with the assumption
that he just eased in with friends under either a no name registration as the
last minute or no last name. The name is a big deal - I think this was his way
to break away from his staunch catholic past and work into a puritan plan. In 1629, a puritan preacher came to
So, this was not a nice time to be hanging
around that area. If I was Jeff I'd
change, my name, ask dad for a 20, and get on the next boat out of town
too. Notice that once he got here, he
was always looking for new land opportunities (which he did not have in
From Professor Conrad Plaut (2005):
am a descendent of Ruth Ferris and Samuel Peck (Peck is my middle name),
grandson of William Peck, one of the founders of
I haven't checked for a direct link myself, I did find the statement that John
Neville is an ancestor of all sovereigns of
the end my wife drew up the tree on paper (how old-fashioned!) and so I can't
e-mail it (my daughter is doing a family history project for school). At any
rate it is fun (for me at least) to wander around in some of these sites to
trace parentage. Whether or not you have the goal of tying yourself to royalty,
you actually are tied--being a direct descendent of at least 10 kings (8
English, including William the Conquerer) and three
emperors of the
person has Anne Howard (1614-1658), wife of Jeffrey, daughter of Sir Thomas
Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel.
Jim for getting back to me as soon as you did. Here is the twist in the
Jeffrey Ferris Deal. I will give you my back ground, My grand Mother is
Jessie Ferris, who's father was William Ferris who's father was Frank Ferris
then who's father was "somebody" or it was the actual "Jeffery Ferris" at that point.
Now here is the Kicker! We have Siwanoy Indian
in our blood line due to Jeffery Ferris. I’m told he either had an affair with
an Indian Woman or he married an Indian woman. That's the unclear part in
our family. But at the end of the day, there is an Indian blood line
connected to the Ferris name. The Ferris Family that I’m related to has
been here in
Another theory, from firstname.lastname@example.org – documentation?
Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, 4th Earl of Surrey and 1st Earl of
(7 July 1585–4 October 1646)
was a prominent English courtier during the reigns of King James I
and King Charles I,
but he made his name as an art collector rather than as a politician. When he
died he possessed 700 paintings, along with large collections of sculpture,
books, prints, drawings, and antique jewellery. His
collection of marble carvings, known as the Arundelian Marbles, was left to the University of
Oxford. He is sometimes referred as the 2nd Earl of Arundel; it
depends on whether one views the earldom obtained by his father as a new
creation or not. He was also 2nd or 4th Earl of Surrey, and later, he was
created 1st Earl of Norfolk. Arundel was born in relative penury, his aristocratic family having fallen into
disgrace towards the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
He was the son of Philip
Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel and Anne Dacre,
daughter and co-heiress of Thomas
Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre of Gilsland. He never knew his father, who was
imprisoned before Arundel was born. Arundel's great-uncles returned the family
to favour after James I ascended the throne, and
Arundel was restored to his titles and some of his estates in 1604. Other parts
of the family lands ended up with his great-uncles. The next year he married Lady
Alatheia (or Alethea)
Talbot, a daughter of Gilbert
Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, and a granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick. She would inherit a vast
estate in Nottinghamshire,
Yorkshire, and Derbyshire, including Sheffield, which has been the principal
part of the family fortune ever since. Even with this large income, Arundel's
collecting and building activities would lead him heavily into debt. During the
reign of Charles I, Arundel served several times as special envoy to some of
the great courts of
As a Collector and Art Patron
commissioned portraits of himself or his family by contemporary masters such as
Daniel Mytens, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Lievens, and Anthony Van Dyck.
He acquired other paintings by Hans Holbein, Adam Elsheimer, Mytens, Rubens, and Honthorst. He
collected drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, the two Holbeins, Raphael, Parmigiano, Wenceslaus Hollar,
Many of these are now at the Royal Library
at Windsor Castle or at Chatsworth. He had a large collection of
antique sculpture, the Arundel Marbles
mostly Roman, but including some he had excavated in the Greek world, which was
then the most important in
Another theory: email@example.com
I'm an Underhill descendant of Jeffrey Ferris, through his granddaughter, Mary Ferris (daughter of John Ferris) who married
Here goes nothing...
Through researching the prosecution of the Protestants (Puritans) in England, the growing tension between them and the English Catholics which eventually led to the feuds throughout the English countryside and which such a cause sparked the English Civil Wars, I do believed that the first wife of Jeffrey Ferris may have been Mary Anne Howard, the daughter of a powerful Catholic family, the Howards - namely her father being the 21st Earl of Arundel, Thomas Howard, a wealthy art collector who was married to a daughter of a more powerfully family, the Talbots (the Earl of Shrewsbury Gilbert Talbot), also Catholic.
The key parts of the Earl of Shrewsbury Talbot are the counties (the shires) he was responsible for: Nottinghamshire,
Jeffrey Ferris was supposedly born in the area of Leicestershire or in the proximity of the shire. His father, Richard, came from Warwickshire. Understand that some gentry commoners often moved from place to place wherever there were opportunities or better living conditions (money, job, avoiding conflict or kick out of a shire).
It may be likely that Mary Anne may have opposed the Catholics' treatments of the Puritans. Her family was from Arundel, near
It may be likely that Mary Anne (or Mary or Anne) met Jeffrey Ferris and could have a relationship with him. It may have gotten her father upset because he would prefers his Catholic daughter would marry a Catholic. In those days, a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant was frowned on or unacceptable, depending on which family in
Maybe that's why her gravestone doesn't show her full original name and simply named as "Mary ....ne" as in Mary Anne?
Who know? What do you think?
The only way we could find out is DNA sample test to see if the DNA match with that of the English Howard family.
The "documentation" came from the sources from Ancestry.com. Last year, when I started doing research on my family history with Ancestry.com, the name of Richard Ferris popped up "automatically" while adding the names of parents to Jeffrey Ferris. At first, I didn't really pay attention to it and didn't get back to the Ferris ancestors for awhile. Only for the past few months, I've been delving into the roots of the Ferris leading up to the de Ferrers, through careful analysis, logical but presumptive deductions and educated guesses (by looking at the corresponding timelines and relations between ancestors) with genealogical sources from other websites.
I'm not completely solid with Richard being Jeffrey's father but would not rule that out until more proven evidences are hopefully forthcoming in the near future. At this point, I'm sticking with Richard being his father for the time being. I have no idea who was Jeffrey's actual mother. Previously, it was Ann St. John.
Families do moved about from place to place and settled in those times for a variety of reasons: job opportunities, farming and living conditions, religious, political or family persecution, economic hardship, debt or other reasons we don't fully know.
To understand families' histories and
roots, we must understand the history of the region and the country of which
the families came or settled from, especially in the light of known political,
religious, economic and social circumstances of history. These factors can
drive or influence the movement of families or individuals coming from that families. Such in case with
Looking at the history and description of Jeffrey Ferris, being a tall man with red hair and blue eyes. Jim, that is a great description, an important clue to a possible nobility and royal ancestry. Most known royal and noble male figures were described as tall men, with red or blond-reddish hair, with blue, green or blue-green eyes (in some cases, brown or hazel eyes). For example, Henry VIII, King of England, as a young man, was tall and had auburn-red hair, with a stylish reddish beard. In those times, young women of all kind usually fall for men who were like Jeffrey Ferris, a tall man with red hair and blue eyes, especially this particular type of men were appealing to women, which they usually associated, under presumption or by knowledge, with these men being of "blue-blooded" ancestry.
Here's the PDF of the ancestors of Jeffrey Ferris. In this case, Richard Ferris is, as it would seem to me, descended from William de Ferrers, the 5th Baron of Groby (1373 to 1445).