Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914 (Chapter 12)

By Frederick Greenwood, East Templeton, MA — 1914


First Generation

1. THOMAS GREENWOOD(1), a weaver, aged 22, came from England to Boston, 1665, and two years later settled in the Southeast part of Cambridge, now Newton, Mass. He m. first, June 8, 1670 (Wednesday), Hannah Ward, aged about 19, d. before 1687; second, about 1687, Abigail (Spring)?

Mr. Greenwood, d. interstate, at Weymouth, Mass., Sept. 1, 1693, aged 50 and was interred in the old burying ground in Newton, leaving an estate of about £480. He was made freeman Feb. 2, 1681, a member of the church, a justice of the peace, constable, selectman, of Newton, 1686-71; 1690 and 1693, the first town clerk, which office he held many years. He was one of the first signers of the petition to the general court, May 8, 1678, asking that their village be set off from Cambridge and incorporated as a new town. There were 64 freemen in the village and 52 signed the petition which represented that they were crippled in person and estate by the late Phillip's war; that they were at great expense in building and enlarging their meeting house and in building a new house for their minister; that having so many families now the law required them to support a school of their own; that the townsmen had imposed a tax of "three county rates" without their knowledge or consent which they considered harsh proceedings. The petition through actively opposed, was granted and Cambridge Village became New Town, Dec. 8, 1688, which has since become Newton.

On a tax assessment, Sept. 5, 1688, for "2 persons and estate 6s. 8d." appears the name of Thomas Greenwood as tax Commissioner. His name as one of the Commissioners also appears on the tax list for Stowe, Medford, Charlestown and Marlborough in the summer of 1688, the Commissioners serving under Governor Andros.

Thomas Greenwood was born at Heptonstall, Eng. The record of his baptism appears on the register of the old parish church at Heptonstall June 4, 1643, son of Thomas Greenwood of Heptonstall. Thomas, the father, was baptized at Heptonstall, Feb. 26, 1610, son of Abel (born 1585) who was son of Rev. John Greenwood, the Congregational martyr, executed at Tyburn, Eng., Apr. 6, 1593.

Thomas Greenwood learned his trade as a weaver in his native town of Heptonstall, where the establishment of woolen manufacture took place at a very early period. Members of the Sutcliffe family were manufacturers of cloth in the vicinity of Heptonstall as early as 1311. The old Heptonstall Cloth Hall, which stood on the North side of the church yard at Heptonstall, was long a market place for the sale of the product of the clothiers of the vicinity.

The line of ancestry of Thomas Greenwood back to Wyomarus runs through John the priest given in the ancient English pedigree of this volume.

A true inventory of ye estate of Thomas Greenwood of Newton in ye county of Middx., who deceased interstate September ye 1st, 1693, taken by us ye subscribers hereof as followeth --


In wearing apparel 13-17-00
In books 01-00-00
In plate 02-10-00
In cash and bills of credit 110-00-00
A bed and furniture in ye parlour 10-00-00
A bed and furniture in ye parlour chamber 06-05-00
A bed and furniture in another chamber 05-00-00
Two beds and furniture in ye Dwelling Room 06-00-00
More bedding as Blankets Ruggs pillow beers 14-15-00
In linnen napkins Towels Table cloaths 18-02-00
In Pewter 04-17-00
In Brass 06-04-00
In Iron and wooden vessels 02-07-06
A chest and cupboard in ye parlour 03-12-00
Tables, chairs, boxes, chests, tongs
fire shovels cobirons in other Rooms 07-04-00
In armour 03-03-00
An house, barn, home Lott 110-00-00
Woodland, meadow, pasture, 23 acres 45-00-00
7 acres of fresh meadow 14-10-00
4 acres salt marsh 24-00-00
Husbandry utensils and belonging to ye trade 12-01-00
One horse 05-00-00
Seven cows 16-00-00
Twenty sheep 05-00-00
Six swine 03-16-00
In provisions 07-00-00
Book debts 25-00-00
Total: 481-13-06
Debts from ye estate 10-00-00

Signed: John Spring, James Trowbridge, John Staples

October 23, 1693: By ye Honorable James Russell, Esqr., Thomas Greenwood and John Greenwood two of ye admitted administors, then appearing personally, and on ye 1st of November in said 1693 Abigail Greenwood, personally appearing, they all being ye admitted administrators made oath, that this contains a true inventory of ye estate of Thomas Greenwood, late of New Towne, Deced., intestate, as far as comes to their knowledge; and yt when more appears they will cause it to be added. Samll. Phipps, Regr., Ja: Russell, J.P.

The autograph of Thomas Greenwood as shown in his signature as witness to an affidavit Oct. 3, 1682, in the legal suit of Trowbridge vs. Moore, Middlesex (Mass.) county records:

Thomas Greenwood used three "e's" instead of two in spelling his last name. His father, Thomas, his grandfather, Abel, and his great grandfather, John, the priest, used the same method of spelling Greenwood, but the four sons of Thomas spelled the name with two "e's" as the name is universally spelled today. Thomas Greenwood's method of spelling his name is but one of the numerous ways used by the earliest members of the Greenwood family before any set form was established and it has been an aid in tracing his ancestry. Previous to the year 1600 the Greenwood name was variously written: Grenwod, Grenwode, Grenewod and Grenewode. A John Grenewodde was living at Grenewodde Lee in 1439 and a John Grenewodde was a curate, in Heptonstall, 1520 to 1541. The name William Grenehude appears in a will proved at York, Jan. 30, 1430. The name Thomas Grenewoodde appears in a will dated Nov. 11, 1543. A Luvecock Grenehod was before the court at Wakefield in the year 1274. A will of Joan Grenehude, widow, was proved at York, May 14, 1491; also a will of John Grenehode, of Bramham, proved at York, Apr. 24, 1484.


2+ Thomas (2) b. in Weymouth, Jan. 22, 1671; m. Elizabeth Wiswall.

3+ John (2) b. in Newton, July 15, 1673; m. 1st, Hannah Trowbridge; 2d, Alice Lyon.

4+ James (2) b. Dec. 19, 1687; m. 1st, Thankful Wilson; 2d, Abigail --

5+ William b. Oct. 14, 1689; m. Abigail Woodward.

William Ward came from England and settled in Sudbury, Mass., where he had lands granted to him in 1640. His eldest son John Ward, b. in Eng. 1626, m. ab. 1650 Hannah Jackson, b. in London, Eng., 1631, bap. May 1, 1634. John Ward was a turner by trade, settled in the east part of Cambridge Village , now Newton. His father-in-law conveyed to him and his wife, 45 acres of land, upon which he built his dwelling house and also a garrison that was used in Phillip's war and remained about 170 years, till 1821, having sheltered 7 generations. At the organization of the town of Newton, Aug. 27, 1679, he was chosen one of the first selectmen and continued 8 years. He was the first rep. to the general court from Newton, and was returned 9 years. He had 13 children, Hannah, the eldest, m. Thomas Greenwood.

John Spring of Newton, one of the administrators of the estate of Thomas Greenwood, had a da. Abigail, b. Feb. 2, 1666, and she is supposed to be this 2d wife of Thomas Greenwood. She m. 2d, Feb. 15, 1697, Josiah Fisher, b. in Sherborn, Sept. 15, 1655, son of Anthony of Dedham. Josiah was rep. to the general court from Dedham 1699, selectman 1697-1701; she d. Sept. 6, 1708. He had 2 wives before Abigail and 1 after, d. Apr. 12, 1736. Children by Abigail were: Abigail (Fisher) b. June 3, 1698, d. before 1736; m. Oct. 21, 1723. Joseph Guild; Experience (Fisher) b. Apr. 14, 1700, d. Jan 18, 1777; m. 1st, Dec . 2, 1730 Ebenezer Woodward; 2d, AP. 16, 1747 Rev. Samuel Dunbar of Stoughton, Mass.


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