Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Enoch Lawrence - Early Colonist (52 Ancestors, week 15)

Enoch Lawrence > Daniel Lawrence > Daniel Lawrence > Esther Laurence > George Palmer Ransom > Samuel Ransom > Jameson Harvey Ransom > Charles Francis Ransom > Lillian Emma Ransom

Enoch, (also recorded as “Enosh”) was born on the 5th day of March, 1648 in Watertown, Massachusetts to John and Elizabeth Lawrence. He probably grew up in Watertown and it was there, on the 6th of March, 1676/7, he married Ruth (Whitney), widow of John Shattuck. Soon after he and Ruth were married, they moved to Groton, Massachusetts and are considered to be among the first settlers of the town. It was here their four sons were born. 

Birth Record (above) and Marriage Record (below)

Enoch served in several positions in the town including Surveyor of the Highways (duties included: laying out and maintenance of highways), Tithingman (keeping everyone awake during church), Fence Viewer (ensured proper location and condition of fences and settled disputes of escaped livestock), and Hog Constable (corralled the loose livestock and determined ownership).

On October 1, 1672, the court records of Middlesex County show Enoch as being "lame in his hand" and unable to take part in the "ordinary trainings" of the army, and he was therefore freed from his duties after paying 5 shillings to the military company.

Enoch fought in King Phillip's War (a conflict between the colonists and Native Americans) that took place in 1675-76. His family was granted £3 to assist them while Enoch was away fighting. In March of 1691/2, Enoch, along with his brothers Nathaniel, Joseph, Peleg and Jonathan, was part of a garrison in defense of the area.

In 1702, Enoch petitioned the Governor for assistance. Enoch states that he "is a very poor man and by reason of wounds in his hand received in a fight [possibly in 1694] with the Indians in the former Indian War is almost wholly disabled from following his daily labour upon which he depends for a livelihood both from himself and his family." He requests freedom from taxes as well as monetary assistance for his "maintenance." His request was granted and Enoch was "freed from public taxes" and given a pension of £3 per year.

Enoch died in Groton on September 28, 1744 at the age of 95.

Sources: books from Ancestry: Groton During the Indian Wars and Historical Sketches of Some of the Members of the Lawrence Family; Massachusetts Vital Records – Watertown records and records from Medford Historical Society

1 comment:

  1. The jobs of "Tithingman" and "Hog Constable" sound totally awesome. :-)