John Northey - Dorothy Family Group

Parents   Parents
John Northey Dorothy (Surname Unknown)
b. 28 Feb 1604 in Holborn, London, England b. abt. 1625
d. 1691 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. Bef. 1688 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage Abt. 1645 John Northey to Dorothy (unknown surname)
Known Children (All locations were in Marblehead unless otherwise stated)
  John Northey, Jr. b. abt. 1645; m. Sarah Ewell; six children: John, David, Samuel, Bethiah, Samuel, and James Northey; d. 31 Mar 1732 in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts
  Dorothy Northey b. abt. 1650; m. in Jul 1670 Nicholas Pickett; four children: Henry, Nicholas, John, and Dorothy Pickett; d. 1687
Sarah Northey b. abt. 1655; m. abt. 1674 John Martin; five children: John, Peter, Robert, Samuel, and Thomas Martin; d. 1717 or later

What We Know About This Family


The beloved poem "The Old Oaken Bucket" by Samuel Woodworth has roots on land owned by descendants of John Northey, Jr., whose family also escaped a harrowing Indian attack. (See the Documents section for details).

An Overview of Their Lives

John Northey like most Marbleheaders of his time was a fisherman. A gift he left for his far-off descendants was a will that named his surviving children and grandchildren. The only information we have about his wife is her name, and even that is a question between Dorothy and Demaris.

Later in his life, the records indicate he was a conformist in the community serving on juries, but early records indicate a more rowdy life. In 1641 he was sued for slander in the first record for him in Marblehead. In 1652, he paid a fine for striking a man, then drawing a knife and threatening to stab him. In 1670 he was served a writ for debt.

As early as 1645, he purchased 12-1/2 acres of land for 50 pounds. He was literate as proven by the fact he signed his name rather than leave a mark. In his will written in 1688, he named his surviving children John Northey, Sarah Marin, and Dorothy Picket; his son-in-law John Martin; and his grandchildren John Picket, John Martin, Peter Martin, Samuel Martin, Robert Martin, and Thomas Martin. His wife was not mentioned, so we assume she predeceased him. The three children named each gave him grandchildren who formed a solid base of descendants.

About the Children

  • John Northey, Jr. and his wife Sarah Ewell were living in Scituate with her parents when Indians attacked the homestead. In her panic, infant John Northey III was left in his cradle, but the Indians who entered the house overlooked the cradle. The family was able to return to get him and escape before the house was burned down. They rebuilt and returned to live out their lives. John and his family were Quakers, and he is listed as a soldier in King Philip's War. A few generations later, a Northey stepson named Samuel Woodworth lived there and wrote the beautiful poem "The Old Oaken Bucket" that was turned into a song for schoolchildren. The house is long gone, but the well remains and is an historic landmark. Some of the many descendants of John and Sarah can be found in the Documents section.

  • Dorothy Northey married Nicholas Pickett, a Marblehead mariner. A list of some of their descendants can be found in the documents section.

  • Sarah Northey and her husband John had five sons named in her father's will. their son Thomas married Eleanor Knott, whose mother was a neighbor of the Northeys. The Martins produced generations of sea captains and mariners and are our direct ancestors who have their own family group page.

Proof of Relationship

The genealogical records are our best proof of relationship for our direct ancestors in this family.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is basically complete.


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