Parents
 
?
?
   
Parents
 
?
?
   
HUSBAND
1000 John Devereux
b. 1614 - 1621
Suffolk, England
d. Between 24 Dec 1694 and 20 May 1695
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
WIFE
Ann Unknown (Perhaps Humphrey)
b. About 1621
?
d. About 26 Apr 1708
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Relationship Events:
1645 -1657 Marriage Massachusetts Bay Colony
     
     
     
CHILDREN:
Ancestor Leaf 800 and 901 Hannah Devereux b. circa 1645
m.
1. Peter Greenfield; 2. Richard Knott; 3. Joseph Swett Eight Children: Hannah, Anna, and Margaret Greenfield; Elizabeth, Richard, Hannah (or Mary), and Elinor Knott; and Joseph Swett, Jr.
  Ann Devereux b. circa 1647
m.
1. By 1668 Walter Boasun; 2. between 1674 and 1683 Robert Nichols One Known Child: John Boasun
  Bethiah Devereux b. circa 1650
m.
John Bartlett Three Children: Bethiah, Faithful, and William Bartlett
Ancestor Leaf 900 John Devereux, Jr. b. circa 1653 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. before 1693 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
m.
Susannah Hartshorn Four Children: John, Sarah, Susannah, and Ann Devereux
  Robert Devereux b. circa 1652 d. Before 1740 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
m.
Hannah Blaney Eight Children: Joseph, John, Robert, Humphrey, Ralph, Sarah, Emme, and Hannah Devereux
  Humphrey Devereux b. circa 1655 d. Before 1693 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
m.
Elizabeth ? Five Children: John, Humphrey, Ralph, Elizabeth, and Ann Devereux
Ancestor Leaf 925 Emme Devereux b. 3 Mar 1865 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. ?
m.
William Peach Four Children: John, Thomas, WIlliam, and Hannah Peach
What We Know

 

John and his wife Ann Devereux were the parents of three of our direct ancestors. They were also among the original settlers in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and immigrants to the "New Country."

John Devereux, immigrant from England to the Massachusetts, Bay Colony, has a history which is entwined with the other earliest settlers of Marblehead, Massachusetts. His parentage is attributed (without certainty) to Walter Devereux, the Viscount Hereford, or perhaps he ascended (again without certainty) from Robert Devereux, son of the Earl of Essex, who was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth I. Many members at Ancestry.com have traced his lineage to the noble Devereuxs, and thus directly to the royal Plantagenet family. However, I have seen no authenticated evidence of this ancestry. Walter Devereux had a child named John, but he was born a few years later than our John, and would have been too young to make the journey on his own to the new colony. I was in e-mail contact with Stephen Shafer, MD of Saugerties, New York whose wife is also a direct descendent of John Devereux . He consumed considerable time and energy in attempting to trace John's parentage, but ended without success, and his suggestion to me was that I list no known parentage for John in our family tree until his parentage has been genealogically (and authentically) established.

What we know of John Devereux's life has been established through the records of that time and from his will. Learning about John Devereux is learning about life in the early Massachusetts colony and in Marblehead, a community which broke away from the staunch religionists of Salem.

The First Board of Selectmen 1648
by Bill Purdin in Marblehead Magazine

The records are sketchy. For those early settlers, it wasn't about history; it was just the hard work of scratching out a living every day, day by day. Theirs was the business of building a community that could survive on its own. They succeeded, but in the beginning, it was a struggle.

It is hard for us to truly visualize the situation confronting that first Board of Selectmen in 1648, but remember that it wasn't until 36 years later, in 1684, that the last descendants of Nanepashemet, chief of the Naumkeags, would sign a final deed for their land over to the Town. So, in the beginning, those first Marbleheaders were strangers in a strange land that had long been loosely controlled by Native Americans whose culture and appearance was as different from the newcomers as travelers from another planet might seem to us today.

The first European settlers came to Marblehead by sea and by land. The famous fishing station at Little Harbor, clearly the center of activity, and perhaps the area along the West Shore, were the first destinations. There were few homes or streets, obviously. It was overgrown, rough, rocky and probably even more beautiful and inviting then, than it is today. Fresh, virgin, untouched, open, in places richly forested, and thoroughly alluring; it must have been an exciting time, an exciting place.

That was around 1628 to 1630. The quiet land and shallow rocky seacoast just southeast of Salem had been Nanepashemet's retreat and fortification, and perhaps his final resting place. The Naumkeags were peaceful and unafraid, and they were ultimately overrun by the warlike Tarrantines, seizing on their weakness, destroying their pastoral existence, after devastating years of war and disease.

Beginning at Barnegat and "John Peach's Neck," along the Salem Harbor side, then expanding, in time, all the way to Forest River and across the "Neck" towards what is now Swampscott and Lynn, the settlement ultimately encompassed all our current area including one of the most beautiful and useful harbors on the East Coast, and the small island across the harbor connected by a narrow tombolo of sand and rocks at low tide.

The first settlers were British subjects, born in England, and in the early 1600's, living in the shadows of the intensely religious Puritans of Salem, who strongly advocated strict religious discipline and pressed their "simplified" ceremonies and creeds of the Church of England. "God's elect" were to be members of the church, period. It was still to be decades before the then gathering force of religious intolerance took its toll, led by, among others, Increase Mather and inspired by his Illustrious Providences in which he outlined God's special concern for New England and called for vigilance against "Witchcrafts, Diabolical Possessions, Remarkable Judgements upon noted sinners." The infamous Salem Witch Trials, which have come to symbolize the widespread hysteria, culminated in damning accusations against hundreds of local people, many sentenced to death, 19 actually killed, before the trials were finally stopped in 1692. But all of this was still the distant future in those early days as Marblehead began its own unique historic journey.

Considering the risks they took, and the life they chose, the earliest inhabitants of these 4000 acres were courageously out of step with the Puritans, and motivated by freedom and independence. The first mention of the name "Marblehead" in Colonial records occurs on July 2, 1633, when James White and John Bennet were fined for public drunkenness. But to be fair, the residency of these two is not precisely established by the records, although a John Bennet was listed in the first 24 taxpayers, so we can surmise the truth. But, those same early records do clearly bear out that Marbleheaders, from the beginning, were feisty pioneers, if somewhat reluctantly, in their independent spirits, their innovative commerce, and their efforts to establish and sustain a new community.

In September, 1631, the addition of Isaac Allerton, from the Plymouth Colony, and more importantly four years later, his son-in-law, Moses Maverick, to the mix of settlers in this area ushered in the dawn of the Town of Marblehead. Preserved over the next 350 years by its patriotic, hardworking and forward-thinking inhabitants, and then, by its amazingly congruous Board of Selectmen, our Town has played a prominent and honored role in the history of the United States, and it can be said, in the real time emergence of democracy as a world-wide phenomenon in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. First, as the determined revolutionaries credited for crucial victories, and, ultimately, as a continuing symbol of American independence and freedom, Marblehead's noble ancestry and incredibly consistent form of government of, for and by her people themselves, are truly unique. The history of the Marblehead Board of Selectmen is the history of democracy in America. The debates, the compromises, the lines that were not crossed, the men and women, the changing community, the conflict of preservation and progress, the politics, the leadership, and the ultimate history and traditions that emerged, all make for a story that is not over yet, and one that gets better each time we bring it up to date.

The establishment of "town lande," the parcelling out of the land to inhabitants, raising a sum for a "meeting house," arranging an amenable separation from Salem, taxing "strangers fishing or employed about fishing," and generally conducting business as an "orderly and law-abiding township," occupied the first Board's time. Records indicate that the first meeting of this group of then "seven men or selectmen" was held on Friday, December 22, 1648. That first board was the only Board in history, that is known, on which all members were brand new. Moses Maverick went on to serve a total of 14 years as a Selectman. Samuel Doliber served only one, that one. Francis Johnson served three years. Nicholas Merritt served five years. John Peach, Sr. served for ten years. John Devereux served for four years. And, John Bartoll served for eight years. But, while that first year was probably not considered to be all that significant to the men who served, it determined much about the way the Board would conduct itself and how the Town would be governed for the next 350 years.

According to some historians, there were two factions at the time : fishermen, and the more educated "agents and owners," or what we might call developers today. The latter were men like John Humphrey who had received land grants and, along with the enterprising fishermen, added to the Town's emerging stability, offering opportunities for new inhabitants to productively join in Marblehead's growth.

But remember, rather than a municipality at this point, Marblehead was more accurately a commercial venture, and a fairly successful one. For the owners, it was a foregone conclusion that they would serve in some capacity of leadership. The herding of cows back and forth from Barnegat to grazing land further inland, the raising of funds for a meeting house, the protection of the Town's wood resources from outsiders, and continuing to lay out the land and determining how it would be parcelled up, these were the items of the Selectmen's agenda, but mundane. The real agenda was always, to the founders, the founding of a new community. In the end, that was the key. The establishment of the Town of Marblehead was accomplished on an "as needed" basis to protect the commercial interests that were driving the developing community. Issues came up and were dealt with on that basis. The first Selectmen were businessmen, not politicians. Their interests were in maintaining order, building necessary facilities, and protecting what they had achieved.

[Mr. Purdin gives biographies of the first selectmen of Marblehead: Moses Marverick, Samuel Doliber, Francis Johnson, Nicholas Merritt, Sr. John Peach, Sr. and John Bartoll. The biography for John Devereux appears below.]

John Devereux. (Various spellings Deverox, Devorux, Devereaux, Devorix) Served for four years: 1648, 1666, 1667, and 1674. He was the only member of the first Board who lived outside of the harbor settlement, now the historic district, or "downtown." He was born in 1615 in Suffolk, England and died in 1695 in Marblehead. Some historians believe that he came from "noble stock," the fifth son of Walter Devereux, Viscount Hereford, or perhaps he was a descendant of "Robert Devereux, son of the Earl of Essex, beloved and beheaded by Queen Elizabeth." He first came to New England, probably with John Winthrop, and then to Marblehead in 1636. He was a mariner, a farmer and a fisherman. He was literate, married and had 7 children. He bought a tract of land of 350 acres, known later as Devereux's farm for 100 pounds in 1659. He was the owner of the windmill on top of Training Field Hill (where Abbot Hall is today), and he became a Freeman in 1683. He also served as constable, juryman for trials, petty and grand juries. He was a boundary runner and fence-viewer. Much has been made of the famous Devereux Farm, but no better description of what it was like at its height is found than in Lord and Gamage's book:

"The land on the eastern side along 'ye sea' was his preference, for its soil was rich and brooks and ponds sparkled in many places above the beach. The fishing and clamming were excellent, the small animals and birds plentiful, and the apple trees found the soil and moisture to their liking." His will reflected this love for the land by specifying that it, "remain in the family and the name of Devereux from generation to generation... forever and ever."

It might be stretching it to call John Devereux the first conservationist Selectman, but clearly his love of the land and of Marblehead's natural resource cannot be overlooked. Late in his seventies, Devereux still served his community. Places named for him and his family: Devereux Beach, Devereux Street, Devereux Terrace. Burrill Devereux served on the Board of Selectmen in the years 1779, 1780, 1789, and, 1790.

 

From The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620 - 1633:

ORIGIN: Unknown
MIGRATION: 1630
FIRST RESIDENCE: Salem
REMOVES: Marblehead 1637

OCCUPATION: Fisherman and fish processor.

Devereux was sued on two counts by William Keene of Marblehead at the January Term 1641/2 regarding the mackerel to be divided between Devereux and Edward Clark [ EQC 1:31]. At the March Term, 1651, John Devereux sued Mr. Valentine Hill for expenses amounting to more than £178 incurred on a fishing voyage to Munhegan in Maine [ EQC 1:214]. A long and difficult case, the depositions of many men were entered in the file, providing a rich and varied description of fishing practices in this early period, from paying for the bread Goody Knight baked for the fishermen to the meeting at Mr. Hill's house in Boston where Hill "importuned him [Devereux] to go to Munhigon with his men" [ EQC 1:214-17; 221; 232; 325; 2:338]. The case was appealed to the Court of Assistants [ EQC 1:233]. We learn more about his fishing business from a June Term, 1661, case in which the Nicholsons sued John over fish delivered in 1660 [ EQC 2:290-1]. Wife Ann delivered receipts "with her own hands" and deposed to that effect [ EQC 2:291]. When John Bartol of Marblehead died, he owed John Devereux £2 9s. in fish [ EQC 3:257, June Term, 1665]. Major William Hathorn left a fish rack in the hands of John Devereux in the fall of 1666 [ EQC 3:378]. At the November Term, 1672, John Devereux, aged about fifty-five, deposed that he had built John Codner's stage about twenty years ago [ EQC 5:110].

EDUCATION: Supposedly signed his name to several court documents, but made his mark to documents after June 1680 and to his will.

OFFICES:

Essex grand jury, 27 September 1660, 25 June 1661 (apparently failed to show up and was fined), 26 November 1678, 24 June 1679 [ EQC 2:250, 281, 300, 7:106, 195].

Petit jury, 24 November 1663, June 1672, 26 November 1672 [ EQC 3:102, 5:76, 107, 126]. Coroner's jury, November Term 1665, that met at his house to view the bodies of two men shipwrecked from the ketch Phenix, and March Term 1669, on the body of Marie the little daughter of Mr. Christopher Lattimore who drowned in a well [ EQC 3:296, 4:211].

Selectman of Marblehead in 1667, 1668, 1671 [ EQC 4:251; 276, 378].

Sworn constable of Marblehead, November 1657 [ EQC 2:59].

ESTATE: He was granted half an acre for a Salem house lot 8 November 1637 [ STR 1:59] and received ten acres there [ STR 1:25], but was rated as an inhabitant at Marblehead that same year [ STR 1:63]. He was granted half an acre of marsh on 25 December 1637, with a household of two [ STR 1:102].
On 1 July 1659 John Devereux of Marblehead, "fisherman," purchased from Charles Gott of Wenham, attorney for Mr. Hugh Peters, sometime pastor of the church at Salem, three hundred and fifty acres of neck or meadow in Marblehead [ ELR 1:63].

 

 

He was stinted two cows in his access to the commons, 10 April 1671 [ EQC 5:279]. On 22 July 1678, John "Deverix of Marblehead Senr. with the free consent of Ann his wife" sold to Vinson Stilson Jr. a quarter acre in Marblehead [ ELR 6:10]. On 5 November 1692, John and Ann Devereux sold one and a quarter acre of land and "rock" in Marblehead to John Waldron Sr. of Marblehead, anchorsmith [ ELR 9:105].

John had one-eighth part of a windmill at Marblehead that was in controversy at the June Term, 1680 [ EQC 7:384-5]

In his will, dated 4 September 1693 and proved 20 May 1695, John Devereux of Marblehead, yeoman, bequeathed to son Robert Devereux 300 acres with my now dwelling house and barn; to "my son Robert's son Joseph" when he is 21 twenty acres out of my son Robert's land lying next to Marblehead common, entailed; to the "three sons of my son Humphry Deverix deceased," John, Humphrey and Ralph Devereux, one-third part of my land when they are 21, entailed; Elizabeth Devereux "mother of these three sons John Humphry and Ralph" shall have nothing to do with the house or land or ever live on them at any time; to "my son Humphry's two daughters Elizabeth and Ann," £5 each; to "my son John deceased his three daughters Sarah, Susanah and Ann" £40 or 12 acres each when they are of age; to "my daughter Hannah Swett" £20 to her and her children that "she had by Knott"; to "my daughter Ann Nichols" and her children £20; to "my grandchild John Boason the house his mother now lives in", with appurtenances, his mother to hold it during her life, entailed; to "my daughter Bethia Bartlet" and her children £20 and the land her house stands on, entailed; to "my daughter Em Peach" and her children £60 or 20 acres of land; to my "dear and loving wife Ann Devereux," executrix with life estate in lands and household goods at her dispose; land in Dunstable to be sold to pay debts [ EPR Case #7614].

The inventory of "John Deverix Senr." of Marblehead was brought to court 25 March 1712 and consisted of only "a thirty acre grant" valued at £25 [ EPR 310:419-20].

A just claim by Elizabeth Barker of Deptford, England, daughter of Rev. Hugh Peters of Salem, prevented the passing of most of the estate as expressed in John's will, and his "only surviving son Robert" attempted to settle things as best he could as administrator cum testamento annexo [ EPR Case #7614]. In the light of Barker's successful claim, Robert Devereux called together his brothers-in-law, sisters and their heirs to consider what was to be done to support their mother "in her old age." In March 1703/4 at the Marblehead house of Dr. Jackson, Robert Devereux met with "Joseph and Hannah Swett his wife, Anne Nichols, Bethia Bartlet, the said Hanah, Anna & Bethiah being three of the daughters of John Devouraux of Marblehead deceased, William Peach who married with Emm Devouraux one of the daughters as aforesaid and Joseph Abbet who married with Sarah Devouraux, granddaughter to said John Devouraux deceased," and discussed the tragedy of their loss [ ELR 18:174].

BIRTH: Between 1614 and 1621 (deposed aged fifty years March 1669 [ EQC 4:114]; but still aged fifty years November 1670 [ EQC 4:313]; aged about fifty-five years November 1672 [ EQC 5:110]; aged about sixty years 29 March 1675 [ EQC 6:19]; aged about sixty-four years probably in June 1679 [undated, EQC 7:200]; aged about sixty on 19 September 1681 [ EQC 8:180]; aged about seventy years June 1684 [ EQC 9:241]).

DEATH: Marblehead between 24 December 1694 (deposition [ ELR 11:131]) and 20 May 1695 (probate of will).

MARRIAGE: Almost certainly by 1645, and certainly by 3 September 1657 [ EQC 2:74], Ann _____; born about 1621 (deposed aged about forty-three for June 1664 court [ EQC3:158]; deposed aged forty-six in June 1667 [ EQC 3:414]; aged fifty-four on 29 March 1675 [ EQC 6:19]; aged about sixty years June, 1684 [ EQC 9:241]); died on or shortly after 26 April 1708 (she is described as "not being dead above three months" on 26 July 1708 [ EPR Case #7614]). (Mary Walton Ferris collected nine different clues that indicate that Ann was closely related, perhaps sister, to Margaret, wife of John Bennett [ Dawes-Gates 2:293-94].)

ASSOCIATIONS: In depositions at the March Term, 1675, John and Ann described lodging Christopher Codner and his master, Joseph Emmons, cordwainer, at their house [EQC 6:19]. They were well enough acquainted that Ann could depose at the June Term, 1679, that Christopher was "twenty-one years old the latter end of September last past" [EQC 7:225]. Her knowledge of Christopher's age probably came from the fact that John Devereux and Christopher Lattimore were feoffees in trust for Christopher and Joane, children of the late Christopher Codner of Marblehead [ ELR 2:31]. Young Christopher acknowledged that he had received full possession of his house and land in Marblehead from John "Deverix Sr." and Richard Knott, at his majority 15 August 1679 [ ELR 6:127].


The Devereuxs were well acquainted with John Bennett, and testified in June 1684 that "Bennett built the house and lived in it and died there and was buried from there. Mary, mother of Jone Boobeer, had enjoyed the house twenty-seven years. Also that Jone, wife of Joseph Boobeer is the reputed daughter of Christopher Codner which he had by Mary, daughter of John Bennett" [ EQC 9:241]. John and Ann deposed that Mary, wife of Christopher Codner, lived many years with Richard Downing as his wife and had many children by him...[ EQC 9:265, June Term, 1685].

COMMENTS: John Devereux "undertook to pay" the fines of Marmaduke Barton and Robert Allen who, at that same term of court, were convicted of receiving stolen silver and sentenced to be whipped on lecture day and Allen was ordered to serve his master, Mr. Williams, for an extra month. The connection that the two young offenders had to John Devereux is not immediately apparent [ EQC 1:35].

Throughout his life, John Devereux was in and out of court regarding suits for debts related to his business [ EQC 1:42, 45, 320, 348, 409, 2:306, 4:414, 7:419]. In the estate inventories of many of his customers and suppliers, he appeared with debts or credits [EQC 1:106-7, 5:211, 6:308].

He was a debtor to the estate of George Pollard in September 1646 and the estate was, in turn, indebted to him for "diet for two years and a quarter," £17 12s. [ EQC 1:106; 107]. At November Term 1655 John sued Samuel Yew "For killing his cow by the falling of a tree in the commons" [ EQC 1:409]. Capt. James Smith had a writ served on John Devereux for slander, 29 September 1670 [ EQC 4:324].

Devereux took the stand in many cases over the years, often giving his age. John Devereux and Sarah Allen were witnesses when John Peach Sr. was fined 20s. for "giving Trustrum Dolliver opprobrious provoking words urging to a breach of the peace" [ EQC1:49].

At July Term, 1645, John was a witness in the case against his neighbors Walter Price, William Browne and Samuel Archer for selling wine without a license [ EQC 1:83].

 He was again a witness at the February Term, 1645/6, when John Bartall was charged with working on the Sabbath [ EQC 1:93].

John, aged fifty, deposed regarding the will of Susannah Pitts of Marblehead, November Term, 1670 [ EQC 4:313].

John Devereux testified to the death of Mary Downing "last winter" at the June Term, 1684 [ EQC 9:241].

He appraised the estates of several of his neighbors [ EQC 2:259, 5:56] and once served as an administrator [ EQC 3:136].

John was appointed and discharged as one of two feofees in trust for the Codner children [ EQC 3:295, November Term, 1665].

Devereux contributed to the effort to build the new prison at Salem in late 1669 and was paid £4 5s. for felling 17 trees and dragging them to the water's edge [ EQC 4:213].

In March 1669 John, aged fifty years, deposed that he was asked to witness an offer of bedding by Richard Rowland to Mr. Moses Maverick in April 1667, and that Maverick refused it [ EQC4:114].

Despite his good works, he was a boisterous and sometimes violent neighbor. At the December Term, 1643, Devereux was fined a modest 40s. for striking Henry Stacy "in his own house" [ EQC 1:58].

John Devereux and nine other men, including the contentious William Keene, were fined for drinking wine, "etc." at the January Term, 1644/5 [ EQC1:77].

John Devereux was sued for debt by Thomas Gray of Marblehead over merchantable and refuse fish at the July Term, 1647 [ EQC 1:116]. The resolution of the case must not have been acceptable, for at the March Term, 1647/8, John Devereux of Marblehead was fined for fighting with Thomas Gray, "Also for breaking his face," as described by the witnesses, "Walsingum" Chilson and John Spark [ EQC 1:135].

 At the November Term, 1651, John sued Peter Pitford of Marblehead for defamation, claiming that Pitford often threatened him "whereby he went in fear of him" [ EQC 1:243]. Perhaps he had reason to worry, for Pitford lived contentiously and was presented for striking Joseph Rogers "several blows with his fist" some years later [ EQC 1:324].

John Devereux's wife Ann was a good match in many ways. At the July Term, 1644, we presume it was Ann Devereux who was called "Goody," indicating her husband's modest social standing. In this case, both John and Ann deposed regarding Alice Peach, wife of John Peach, Jr., defaming John Bartoll and his wife Alice, and Ann called John Peach a "wittall" [ EQC 1:62].

She witnessed the 3 September 1657 agreement between Mr. William Paine of Ipswich, merchant, and William Beale of Marblehead, miller. When the arrangement went sour, "Anne Devorex" was called to depose about it at the June Term, 1658 [ EQC 2:74]. Ann, aged about forty-three years, deposed that she weighed the pork for Andrew Rowland [ EQC 3:158, June Term, 1664].

Trespassing through the Downings' lot on their way to John Devereux's house, William Beale's wife, Frances Gilligan and Mary Parnel came to blows with Margaret Bennet over using the land as a highway. Devereux's servant, Robert Newman, aged about 17, deposed in this case and Bethiah and Ann Devereux witnessed Margaret Bennett's letter of attorney [ EQC 3:414; 443].

Devereux had many servants over the years, but not all stayed out of the courts. Devereux "his man Thomas" was a witness in the December 1642 case against William Keene, Devereux's old nemesis, but the charges were dropped since the house that was "suffering disorder" was not Keene's [ EQC 1:48].

John Slade and John Ford deposed as workers for Mr. Devereux's farm [ EQC 4:285, September Term, 1670].

Devereux servants John Hobbs and "one Francis" stole turkeys from Richard Downing in 1683 [ EQC 9:146].

Sons John and Humphrey were not above reproach, and were sentenced to be fined or whipped for being part of a group of boys that met at night and committed petty theft [EQC 4:274 June Term, 1670].

In another extensive case, Christopher Nicholson is charged with pulling down the fence that John Devereux had erected near some rocks by the water. With the fence gone, a great deal of petty thievery went on, and some of Devereux's servants and hired hands were obliged to watch constantly, much to their inconvenience. While John was gone, Ann went to the selectmen for permission to erect another fence. This almost accomplished by servant Robert Paty, Christopher Nicholson came and pulled it down again. The outcome of this June Term 1662 case was in Devereux's favor [ EQC 2:407-9, 431].

John prevailed in a suit against Mr. Moses Maverick, John Peach, Sr. and Jr., and Richard Rowland for failing to set up a fence as agreed, but it was repeatedly appealed and he ultimately lost. This troublesome boundary cost him a lost horse and a bull mired and killed, as well as his corn threatened by animals so that he had to keep watch even at night [ EQC 4:190, 251, 285, 289]. John's trouble with fences lasted for decades [ EQC7:5-6, June Term, 1678; EQC 7:324, November Term, 1679]. John sued John Codner "for removing a landmark" and won in the May Term, 1670 [ EQC 4:251].

At the June Term, 1679, John Devereux Sr., aged about sixty-four years, testified that about thirty-four years ago he cut hay in Kittell Cove marsh and was forbidden by Rev. Blinman of Cape Ann, but they afterwards agreed [ EQC 7:201].

John Devereux, aged about sixty years, deposed that having been many years inhabitant of Marblehead, and still resident there, and having no interest in the property then under controversy, that the land had been owned by Marblehead men for the past thirty-four years [ EQC 8:180].


"The Testimony of John Devereux of Marblehead aged about eighty years, testifieth & saith that about the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred & thirty I came over from old England to New England & the place of my abode and residence has been at Salem & Marblehead ever since & when I came hither here was an old Squaw called old Squaw Sachem the Squaw of the deceased sachem which had three reputed sons, viz: John, James and George, who were the reputed sachems & owners of all the lands in these parts as Salem, Marblehead, Lynn and as far as Mystic & in those days the land where Salem town now stands & the lands adjacent were called Nahumkege by the Indians & English then inhabiting in these parts," 24 December 1694 [ ELR 11:131].

[End of Quotation]

About John's wife we know very little. It's possible her surname was Humphrey (or Humphries). One of their children was given that name, which then flowed through subsequent generations, and a family by that name was located in Marblehead at the time.

John and Ann Devereux had three children who were our direct ancestors: 1) Hannah Devereux's daughter Margaret Greenfield and a second daughter Elinor Knott (who had two children who were our direct ancestors; 2) John Devereux, Jr.'s daughter Susannah; and 3) Emme Devereux's son Thomas Peach.

 

 

 

 

 

The journal of Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow written on the day he stopped at Devereux Farm in 1846.

 

THE FIRE OF DRIFT-WOOD

WE sat within the farm-house old,
     Whose windows, looking o'er the bay, 
Gave to the sea-breeze, damp and cold,
     An easy entrance, night and day. 

Not far away we saw the port, – 
     The strange, old-fashioned, silent town, – 
The lighthouse – the dismantled fort, – 
     The wooden houses, quaint and brown. 

We sat and talked until the night,
     Descending, filled the little room; 
Our faces faded from the sight, – 
     Our voices only broke the gloom. 

We spake of many a vanished scene,
     Of what we once had thought and said,
Of what had been, and might have been,
     And who was changed, and who was dead; 

And all that fills the hearts of friends,
     When first they feel, with secret pain, 
Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
     And never can be one again 

The first slight swerving of the heart,
     That words are powerless to express,
And leave it still unsaid in part,
     Or say it in too great excess. 

The very tones in which we spake
     Had something strange, I could but mark;
The leaves of memory seemed to make
     A mournful rustling in the dark. 

Oft died the words upon our lips,
     As suddenly, from out the fire
Built of the wreck of stranded ships,
     The flames would leap and then expire. 

And, as their splendor flashed and failed,
     We thought of wrecks upon the main, – 
Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
     And sent no answer back again. 

 

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