Ambrose Gale - Mary Ward Family Group

Parents   Parents
Edmund Gale Constance Ireland Samuel Ward Mary Hilliard
  b. 2 Dec 1602 in Bedfordshire, England b. in England   b. 1593 in Hingham, Norfolk, England b. ? in England
  29 Jul 1642 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts d. in Massachusetts   d. 30 Aug 1682 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts d. 28 Nov 1638 Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Ambrose Gale Mary Ward
b. Essex, abt. 1631 in England b. abt. 1632 in Hingham, Suffolk, Massachusetts
d. Aug 1708 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. 5 Feb 1695 in Salem, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage Abt. 1657 Ambrose Gale to Mary Ward in Massachusetts
Marriage 19 Aug 1695 Deborah, widow of Francis Girdler in Marblehead
Known Children (All locations were in Marblehead unless otherwise stated)
Benjamin Gale bp. 17 May 1663 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; m. abt. 1675 Deliverance Codner (b. abt 1648; d. Apr 1723; seven children: Mary, John, Ambrose, Elizabeth, Deliverance, Benjamin, and Samuel Gale; d. 3 Apr 1714
  Elizabeth Gale bp. 17 Mar 1663 in Salem, m. abt. 1680 Thomas Roots (bp. 16 Feb 1651 in Salem, probate 31 Jan 1684 in Boston); one child: Mary; d. bef. 1708
  Charity Gale bp. 17 Nov 1663 in Salem. m 1) 5 May 1681 John Pittman (b. 1660; d. Jul 1694 in Barbados, West Indies); four children: Joseph, John, Mary and Abiel Pitman; 2) 7 Jan 1692 Mark Haskell (b. 8 Apr 1655 in Beverley, Essex, Massachusetts, d. May 1734); six children: Ambrose, Mark, Hannah, Elizabeth, William, and Benjamin Haskell; d. Dec 1739
  Ambrose Gale, Jr. bp. 20 Jun 1665 in Salem; m. abt. 1690 Sarah (Surname Unknown); five children: Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Deborah, and Ambrose Gale; d. 1 Apr 1717
  Deliverance Gale bp. 8 Aug 1672; m. 24 Nov 1692 Benjamin James (14 Apr 1673 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, d. 4 May 1747 in Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire); seven children: Erasmus, Benjamin, Deliverance, Tabitha, Richard, Johanna and Ambrose James; d. 21 Apr 1717

What We Know About This Family

An Overview of Their Lives

Ambrose Gale arrived from England with his parents and several brothers. His father, Edmund Sr., died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1642. The brothers were mobile and settled in various places in New England. His brother Edmund, Jr. settled the closest to Ambrose in Salem, and his Edmund's son Azor later married Mary Roots, the daughter of Ambrose's daughter Elizabeth.

Mary Ward was born soon after her parents arrived from England. The family lived in Hingham, where Mary was born. Her mother died in Hingham when Mary was still a young child. They lived also in Hull before her father settled in Charlestown, where he died in 1682. I have not been able to discover whether Ambrose and Mary met and married in Essex County or Suffolk County, but they settled first in Salem after their marriage before moving permanently to Marblehead.

For the biography of this couple, I look first to the genealogical records and the vital statistics. The children of Ambrose and Mary Ward Gale were baptized in Salem. I'm not sure at what point the family moved to Marblehead. There are two records there a decade after the birth of Deliverance for a John Gale and Ambrose Gale, "son of A." One genealogical record included John as a child of these Gales, but I see no John or his heirs in the will of Ambrose. The birth of the later Ambrose would indicate the earlier one died before the birth of the second. I believe Ambrose and Mary had only one Ambrose and that John and Ambrose were relatives of the extended family.

In the period of 1683 and 1684, Ambrose took on financial responsibility for his daughter Elizabeth's mother-in-law, Susannah Roots, and Elizabeth's very young daughter, Mary Roots. Thomas and Elizabeth Roots had been married about 1680. In the earlier part of 1683, Susannah Roots was widowed. Claiming to be too frail, she opted to have administration of her husband's probate taken over by a third party. Ambrose was ceded her assets in exchange for his agreement to care for her the rest of her life. In September that year, Thomas, being in ill health but preparing for a voyage, wrote his will naming his wife, Elizabeth, his executrix. Two different references say 1) that she died before his probate could be closed in early January, or 2) she herself died before she could complete administration. Ambrose was appointed to administer his son-in-law's will and was also appointed guardian to the toddler, the very same granddaughter who married his nephew Azor in 1695.

Mary's brother, Samuel Ward II, had married Abigail Maverick, the daughter of Moses, and settled in Marblehead. Moses Maverick was revered in Marblehead as one of its very first settlers and as husband of Remember Allerton, who was one of the Mayflower passengers. She had arrived with her parents at age 5. Moses described Ambrose as "my loving friend" in his will, in which he also named Ambrose as co-overseer of his estate in 1685. Whether they were friends before their progeny were wed is unknown, but it appears they developed a close and trusting relationship at some point. Samuel Ward II served in the militia, and became a vintner. His second wife was the widowed daughter of Governor Simon Bradstreet and his wife, the poet, Ann Dudley. The Gales were possessed of a relatively more far-reaching social circle than most of the Marbleheaders I've researched by virtue of their in-laws and friends.

In 1692, Ambrose and his family brushed against the Salem witchcraft trials. Ambrose and his daughter, Charity Gale Pitman, testified in the witchcraft trial of Marblehead's Wilmott Redd, who was taken to Salem for trial and executed on 22 Sep 1692. Charity's testimony: "This deponent aged twenty nine years affirms, that about five years ago, Mrs Syms of the Towne having lost some linnen which she suspected Martha Laurence the girle which then lived with Wilmott Redd had taken up, desired the deponent to goe with her to Wilmott Redds, and demanding the same, having many words about the same, mrs Syms told her, that if she would not deliver them she would go to Salem to mr Hathorne and gett a speciall warrant for her servant girle; upon which the s'd Redd told her in my hearing, that she wished that she might never mingere, nor cacare, if she did not goe, and some short time after the deponent observed. that the s'd Mrs Syms was taken with the distemper of the dry Belly-ake, and so continued many moneths during her stay in the Towne, and was not cured whilst she tarryed in the Countrey, --" Ambrose testified as to the accuracy of the accounts of illness. Did the Gales believe their neighbor was a witch? We have no way of knowing whether their testimony was rendered from sincere belief or civic duty.

Susannah Roots, meanwhile, approaching 70 years of age was summoned from Beverly to Boston to stand trial for witchcraft. It seems that some two decades earlier, her husband had accused a neighbor of stealing, and Susannah had testified on her husband's behalf. It's possible in that time of hysteria that the neighbor saw a way to take revenge and accused her. She was imprisoned in terrible conditions deposed about by a visiting grandson. She was released for lack of sufficient evidence, but died a month later.

According to Marblehead Magazine, Ambrose Gale was a selectman in Marblehead in 1648, 1666, 1667, and 1674. Being elected a Selectman indicates the community held him in high enough esteem to fairly represent them.

Ambrose and Mary built their house in 1663 on what is now 17 Franklin Street in Marblehead. Today, it is the oldest house still standing in Marblehead and is a tourist attraction on the Walking Tour.

After Mary Ward Gale died in 1695, Ambrose married Deborah Girdler, whose husband Francis had died three years earlier. Francis and Deborah Girdler were also our direct ancestors (their son, John, married Margaret Greenfield). Ambrose and Mary's granddaughter, Elizabeth, (Benjamin's daughter) married in 1709 Robert Girdler, Deborah's son. Deborah and Ambrose were together about 13 years until his death in 1708. Deborah died in 1716.

The probate administration for Ambrose Gale was finally closed until 1724, at which point only his daughter, Charity, still survived. The probate papers dividing the property mentioned the following:

  1. The heirs of Ambrose Gale, Jr., represented by Nicholas Edgecomb, husband of Ambrose Jr.'s daughter, Mary
  2. His daughter Deliverance represented by her husband, Benjamin James
  3. Benjamin Gale (who survived his father but died before the probate was completed) represented by John Smith
  4. The heirs of his daughter. Elizabeth Gale Roots, represented by Capt. Azor Gale (nephew of Ambrose, Sr. and husband of Elizabeth's daughter, Mary)
  5. His daughter Charity as represented by her second husband, Mark Haskall

About the Children

  • Benjamin Gale and his wife had seven surviving children before he died intestate His estate when he died was insolvent and took a while to close due to a number of creditors. Benjamin had two marriage records, one for "Lidia" and one for "Deliverance Codner." I believe he had only one marriage -- to Deliverance who may have been known by both names. Their marriage date was estimated, but I place it about a year before the birth of their first child. Fortunately, since they are our direct ancestors, proof of Deliverance's marriage is established in her husband's probate, and her father's will identifies her by her married name and her relationship as daughter to himself. It also named all her Gale children. Deliverance inherited a large portion of land from her father, John Codner, and that appears to have enabled the closure of her late husband's probate. Benjamin and Deliverance have their own family group page.

  • Elizabeth married Thomas Roots (Rootes), a man who inherited property in Beverly. He removed to Boston where he had purchased a house in 1676, and it's possible they were married there about 1680. It's not clear where the family lived the brief time before he died. The will he wrote in September 1683 was probated four months later. Elizabeth either died or declined to administer the will, and her father was designated in her place. He also assumed guardianship of the Roots' only child Mary, who married her cousin, Azor Gale in Marblehead in 1698. Whether or not Elizabeth died about 1684, she had for certain died by the time her father died in 1708.

  • Charity Gale married twice to two coaster/fishermen. During her first marriage to John Pitman, she and her father testified against a neighbor, Wilmot Redd, who was hanged as a witch not long after. Charity had four children with John Pitman before he died while on a voyage in Barbados, West Indies. She and her second husband, Mark Haskell, had six more. Charity had three of her four siblings still surviving when their father died in 1708. By 1717 when Ambrose and Deliverance died, she was the only one remaining. She died in 1739.

  • Ambrose Gale, Jr., a mariner, received a house, a store, and the land they sat on as a gift from his father in 1695. When he died in 1717, only three of his children survived him: Elizabeth Gale Blackler, wife of John; Mary Gale Edgecomb wife of Nicholas; and Deborah Stadden, wife of John.

  • Deliverance Gale was the second wife of Captain (probably a militia title) Benjamin James who outlived her by thirty years. She was his second wife, having married his first at only 16, and he brought to the marriage his infant daughter, Sarah, who became the oldest sibling to the seven children born to Deliverance.

Proof of Relationship

The baptism and marriage records and the wills 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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