880 John Gale Miriam Stacy
1679 - 1724 1686 - ?
  885 Jonas Dennis Susannah Devereux
1688 -1751 1688 - 1751
765 John Gale
15 Mar 1704
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
d. ?
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Susannah Dennis
bp. 23 Apr 1710
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
d. ?
Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Relationship Events:
23 Oct 1727 Marriage John Gale to Susanna Dennis in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
26 Nov 1774
  Susannah Gale b. 6 Jun 1728 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Thomas Nichols (Nicholson) 20 Feb 1755 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USATwo Children: Thomas and William Nicholson
  Miriam (Meriam) Gale bp. 2 May 1731 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. 17 Apr 1809 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
John Ball 11 Oct 1753 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA Six Children: John, Jonas, Meriam, Susannah, Hannah (1), and Hannah (2) Ball
  Hannah Gale bp. 17 Jun 1733 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. 13 Nov 1778 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
John Glover 30 Oct 1754 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA Eleven Children: John, Hannah (1), Daniel, Hannah (2), Samuel, Jonas, Tabitha, Susannah, Mary, Sarah, and Jonathan Glover
Ancestor Leaf 680 Sarah Gale bp. 30 Mar 1735 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. 17 Sep 1802 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Richard Besome 31 Jul 1753 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA Twelve Children: Sarah, Jane, Mary (1), Richard (1), John (1), Mary (2), John (2), Susannah (1), John (3), Susannah (2), Richard (2), and Jonas Besome.
  John Gale bp. 17 Ap 1737 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA d. ?
  Jonas Gale (1) bp. 19 Aug 1739 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. before 19 Aug 1739 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA;
Died young.
  Jonas Gale (2) bp. 25 Aug 1765 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; d. ?
  Mary Gale bp. 19 Jun 1743 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, USA;
Possibly Andrew Barton (Intention recorded 14 Dec 1765  
What We Know


John Gale was descended from Ambrose Gale, one of Marblehead's earliest settlers. John married Susannah Dennis, a descendant through her mother of another of Marblehead's earliest settlers, John Devereux.

Unfortunately, not much more is known of them. The most information we can obtain comes by way of their son-in-law, John Glover, who married their daughter Hannah. Glover is not only a Revolutionary War Patriot, but also a hero of the War, having served directly under George Washington and rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He owned the schooner Hannah, named for his wife. The Hannah has the distinction of being known as the first vessel in the U.S. Navy. The history of General Glover and the Hannah indicates that Glover's "in-laws" originally owned the schooner. Whether this refers to Hannah's father, John, or an uncle, cannot be determined.



Baptism and marriage records can be found on most of John and Susannah's children. Death records can be found for most of their daughters, but we don't know what happened to their sons John and Jonas.

Their four eldest children, all daughters, survived long enough to marry and have families of their own. A record for a marriage intention for possibly their youngest daughter Mary to a man named Andrew Barton exists, but no further record of a marriage nor births of children can be found in Massachusetts.

No military nor estate records for John Gale (neither father nor son) could be found.




LDS Record for Sarah Gale

Below we have a genealogical source for the family of the Nicholsons. Susannah Gale married Thomas Nicholson, which is referenced in the article below:


Hannah Gale married John Glover, who became a New England Revolutionary War hero. Several articles about his life and service appear below:


General John Glover (1732-1797)
John Glover was born in Salem, Massachusetts on November 5, 1732, and moved with his family to Marblehead where he grew up. Just a few years after his marriage to Hannah Gale, Glover was appointed an ensign in the Third Military Foot Company, a Marblehead Militia Regiment of 1,000 men. He quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a Colonel upon the death of Colonel Jeremiah Lee in 1775, in command of the Marblehead Militia Regiment (which he had originally joined in 1759). In June of that year, Glover and the Regiment were ordered to join the Continental Army encamped at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recognizing Glover's leadership skills and resourcefulness, General Washington sent Glover to Beverly to protect that port against three British warships threatening attack. Soon after, Washington ordered Glover to commission and man two small naval vessels, the forerunners of Washington's Navy. 
At the start of 1776, the Marblehead Militia Regiment formally became the 14th Continental Regiment and was ordered in July to march to New York and later to Long Island. In August, Glover organized and supervised the evacuation from Long Island of 9,000 Continental troops and all of their equipment, guns, horses, and cannon, at night and under appalling weather conditions. In mid-October, Glover and 750 of his soldiers fought to a standstill a British force of more than 4,000 regulars.

On Christmas night, 1776, Glover again proved his mettle when the 14th Continental Regiment ferried Washington and 2,400 men across the Delaware River at night, again in desperate weather, marched them nine miles into Trenton, fought a 36-hour successful battle there, marched back to the Delaware with 900 Hessian captives, and crossed back over the river again.

Following additional distinguished roles in the war, including at the Battle of Saratoga and its aftermath, Glover retired from the Army in 1782. He returned to Marblehead, rebuilt his business, and went on to serve two terms in the Massachusetts Legislature and six terms on the Marblehead Board of Selectmen. He died January 30, 1797, at the age of 64. 


John Glover (Wikipedia)

John Glover (November 5, 1732 – January 30, 1797) was an American fisherman, merchant, and military leader from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who served as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

EARLY LIFE: Glover was born the son of a house carpenter. His father died when he was four years old, and shortly thereafter his family moved to the nearby town of Marblehead. As a young man, Glover became a cordwainer and rum trader and eventually a ship owner and merchant. He married Hannah Gale in October 1754.

Following the Boston Massacre in 1770, Committees of Correspondence were formed. Marblehead elected Glover along with future revolutionists Elbridge Gerry and Azore Orne to committee posts. After the First Continental Congress passed the non-importation agreements sanctioning trade with the British, Glover was elected to enforce the embargo as a member of the committee of inspection.


Glover was active in the militia for many years before the Revolution, with his earliest service dating back to 1759  In 1775 he was elected lieutenant colonel of the 21st Massachusetts Regiment from Marblehead, and became commander of the unit after the death of Colonel Jeremiah Lee in April 1775. Glover marched his regiment to join the siege of Boston in June 1775. At Boston, General George Washington chartered Glover's schooner Hannah to raid British supply vessels, the first of many privateers authorized by Washington. For this reason the Hannah has been called the first vessel of the United States Navy.

The Marblehead militia or "Glover's Regiment" became the 14th Continental Regiment. This regiment became known as the "amphibious regiment" for their vital nautical skills. After Washington lost the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, Glover's Marbleheaders evacuated the army to Manhattan in a surprise nighttime operation, saving them from being entrapped. In subsequent actions of the New York campaign the regiment fought well against the British at Kip's Bay and Pell's Point. The last action of the regiment was its most famous: ferrying Washington's army across the Delaware River for a surprise attack at Trenton in December 1776. The regiment was disbanded as enlistments expired at year's end.

Glover went home to tend to his sick wife and look to business affairs. He turned down a promotion to brigadier general in February 1777, but rejoined the war after a personal appeal from General Washington. He served in the successful Saratoga campaign in 1777 and the failed Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. He was stationed along the Hudson River  for the remainder of the war, guarding against British moves up the river from NYC.



Hannah, Glover's first wife, died in 1778. He married again in 1781 to Frances Fosdick. He retired from the army in 1782 in poor health. Failing to secure a job with the U.S. federal government, he served in various local offices in his remaining years. He died at age 64 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, after contracting hepatitis, and was buried in Old Burial Hill (Marblehead, Massachusetts).


Various things have been named in his honor. On November 20, 1783, he was awarded the charter for the town of Glover, Vermont, as its prime proprietor, in honor of his service. The frigate USS Glover  is named for him. Glover's Rock in the Bronx is a memorial to him and Glover School in Marblehead was named after him in 1916. There is a statue of General John Glover on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. The General John Glover House is located in Marblehead.

The Schooner Hannah (Wikipedia)

The schooner Hannah was the first armed American naval vessel of the American Revolution and is claimed to be the founding vessel of the United States Navy. She was owned by John Glover's in-laws of Marblehead, Massachusetts and was named for his wife, Hannah Glover. The crew was drawn largely from the town of Marblehead.

The schooner was hired into the service of the American Continental Army by General George Washington. Washington commissioned Nicholson Broughton to command the Hannah on September 2, 1775 and ordered the vessel to cruise against the enemy. Hannah set sail from the harbor of Beverly, Massachusetts on September 5, 1775, but fled to the protection of the harbor of Gloucester, Massachusetts two days later under the pursuit of  HMS Lively and a second British vessel. Leaving Gloucester Harbor, Hannah captured the British sloop Unity.

Hannah's brief naval career ended on October 10, 1775, when she was run aground under the guns of a small American fort near Beverly by the British sloop Nautilus. After an engagement between the British ship and townspeople on the shore, Hannah was saved from destruction and capture, but was soon decommissioned as General Washington found more suitable ships for his cruisers.

The City of Beverly, Massachusetts and the Town of Marblehead, Massachusetts each claim to have been the home port of the schooner. Each asserted the honor of being "the Birthplace of the American Navy" from the career of the Hannah until a plaque, currently on display in the Selectmen's room at Abbot Hall in Marblehead, was discovered in the Philadelphia Navy Yard proclaiming Marblehead to be the birthplace; Beverly has since reinvented itself as "Washington's Naval Base."




The Birthplace of the
American Navy

-- Duane Westfield and Bill Purdin

It was Wednesday, September 5, 1775 and an armed schooner of uncertain origin sailed forth upon North Shore waters under the orders of none other than General George Washington himself. The sailors and officers of the now famous Hannah were ordered to seize "such Vessels as may be found on the High seas or elsewhere, bound inward and outward to or from Boston in the Service of the ministerial Army."

The only eyewitness account we have of this momentous event is a short journal entry made that day by Ashley Bowen, a Marblehead sailmaker and chronicler of occurrences in his beloved community. The entry reads: "Sailed on an Unknown Experdishon a Schooner of Capt John Glovers Nick Broden (Broughton) Capt of Mereens (marines) and John Gail (Gale) Mastor of Schooner."

Upon being immediately sighted by HMS Lively, the Hannah sailed directly for the safety of Gloucester Harbor. This is certainly not what we have come to expect from legends of history, but this little story marked the beginning of the American Navy and the long history of the world's most powerful marine forces ever known. From small beginnings great history is often written and the saga of Marblehead and her little ship, the Hannah, are proof of that. And, it should be noted, that nuance and inference often confuse simple beginnings causing controversy where there really should be none. In the dust of history many facts are conveniently overlooked.

In the controversy concerning where exactly the American Navy began there are many contenders: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Whitehall, New York; Beverly, Massachusetts; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire have all made claims to be the "birthplace." But, in the case of the Hannah, no other claim has the two important components of Marblehead's: the direct orders of GeorgeWashington (right) to attack the British, and an owner/captain and crew so clearly from one small New England seacoast community. Beverly's claim is based on the fact that Hannah often berthed and resupplied in Beverly's safe shallow-water harbor. While without Beverly's facilities Hannah would have had a much harder time, and therefore her role in establishing a Navy is rock solid, the birthplace of the American Navy can be no other than the town where the ship called home port, where the owner/captain lived and where the vast majority, if not all, of the original crew lived as well. Out of Marblehead's maritime ways and history came the ship, crew and know-how to carry out General Washington's command. How and where they did is also part of history, but a later part than the beginning, the birth if you will.

John Glover owned the little ship. He was, at the time, a long-time prominent Marblehead merchant and a colonel in Washington's army, garrisoned in Cambridge. Nicholson Broughton was a n experienced sea captain and Marbleheader. In an exhaustive and authoritative study entitled: "In Troubled Waters: The Elusive Schooner Hannah," The Peabody Museum, 1970 by C. F. Smith and Russell W. Knight, took all of
speculation about the origins of the Hannah, where was she constructed?, when?, who was her captain?, who were the men of her crew?, was there just one Hannah or many?, and put the real story on firm historic ground once and for all.

Because records of ships' clearances from the colonies are non-existent due to the evacuation of the British from Boston and various fires affecting custom houses (including one in Salem) the authors reled on records of ships' clearances from Barabados and concluded that there were several Hannahs owned by the Glover family. One was owned by Jonathon, John Glover's brother (as confusing as that is) and was named for his daughter, Hannah. There was a second one, owned by John Glover, and named for his wife, the former Hannah Gale. The former, captained at one time by Richard James, John Glover's borther-in-law, and later by Richard Stiles, who was lost at sea in the West Indies. The authors also discovered that John Glover's Hannah, listed in Glover's "Colony Ledger" as 78 tons, was actually smaller than that; actually 45 to 50 tons. Based on Smith and Knight, the Hannah was a vessel with a keel of 43 feet, a beam of 16.5 feet, and a seven-foot depth of hold.


Pictured above: the Hannah running the Gauntlet to avoid a British patrol.

There are no documents to substantiate Beverly's claim to the "Birthplace." There is a tradition of them saying it, and it is clear from oral history that John Glover's expanding business did make use of his facilities in Beverly. While provisioning the Hannah, Glover did scoured the entire Massachusetts Bay area in search of guns, sails, and supplies. He probably did berth the vessel in Marblehead and Beverly. But Barbados records lists the Hannah, of Marblehead, as late as July 5, 1775. A second notation in Bowen's Journal dated June 6, 1775: "This afternoon Arived John Gail (John Glover's captain) from Burbados and he Run the Gantlet and Pased ye Marling (HMS Merlin) and Run in to the Worfe (wharf). C John Glover went of (off) and met her and the Marlons Barge mett her at the Same Time the Offeser of the Barge order her to Bring two (to) Glover ordered her not and the Schooner Run under the Ship Starne. All is Well that Ends Well," he concluded. All of this took place in Marblehead Harbor, emphasizing the fact that Marblehead was home port to the Hannah and undermining Beverly's faulty historical claim of inference.

In the end, of course, it is John Glover himself, the ship's owner, who is and has to be the overriding factor in establishing where the Hannah was home ported and then of course where the birthplace of Washington's Navy actually was. Commissioning the Hannah was just one of Glover's Revolutionary War actions that seal the deal. He rose from humble beginnings and circumstances to become one fo the most respected and influential merchants in the colonies. He was born in Salem in 1732 to Jonathan and Yabitha (Bacon) Glover. He grew up with brothers. His mother was widowed when John was four. Successively, John ultimately became a cordwainer, common seaman, merchants, a soldier in the American Revolution, and George Washington's right hand man in battle.

John Glover's quarrel with England was set off by myriad issues and incidents over the years and rose to revolution with the ascent of King George III (1763). The tightening of the Navigation Laaws aimed at limiting colonial trade in the West Indies was one of the first "incidents." King George replaced lacsidasical custom agents with zealots of the crown who did everything they could to restrict the freewheeling colonial traders. Writs of assistance gave these mandarians unlimited power of search and seizure or ships and warehouses. The King also vastly expanded the authority of the vice admiralty courts -- no jury -- and dispactch armed patrol vessels to monitor shipping. The Jamaica was sent to Marblehead and Salem. Glover and his men strenuously and successfully boycotted to the Stamp Act which taxed colonial business. In the end though, objections and boycotts proved impotent in the face of tryanny. The Boston Port Bill (which closed the port until the tea lost in the harbor was compensated for) and the Restraining Act (which threatened to close the Gand Banks) precipitated war and revolution. After the events at Lexington and Concord, Glover's 21st Regiment (later the 14th Regiment) joined Washington in Cambridge. Glover's Mariners were almost to a man all from Marblehead. Washington at times complained about the Marbleheaders, calling them "mutinous." That some of the crew pilfered fruits and sweetmeats for their ladies did not improve the General's opinion and might have accounted for his decision to put them to sea on the Hannah.

Her career, though legendary, was brief, not particularly successful, and full of trouble. Two days out, she captured the Unity, a large ship from Portsmouth, and a crew from the Lively. At this point Hannah's men and officers were full of anticipation of prize money and glory. Washington disallowed the capture and returned the ship to the British. 36 members of the Hannah rebelled against this decision, were arrested and led away to Cambridge to face sentencing. Undaunted, Glover drafted another crew from his Marblehead regiment and the Hannah set out again on her mission. During this period the Hannah encountered HMS Nautilis in Beverly Harbor on October 10. She was run aground while fleeing from the British ship, a 16-gun sloop. Saved from destruction by spirited resistance from local patriots, she was soon decommissioned in early November by Washington, who had meanwhile hired vessels more appropriate to the Army's needs. The Hannah had never accomplished her primary mission of attacking British troop and supply ships and seizing material for Washington's troops.

Hannah did demonstrate the ability of colonial-built and crewed vessels to maneuver in the presence of much larger British warships. And, she forced the British to spend valuable time and money to arm, escort, and convoy ships entering Massachusetts waters.

And while the trumped up controversy of where the Birthplace of the American Navy is or is not may continue ad infinitim true students of American history know that Marblehead is the only birthplace that really matters, and they know without question that John Glover was the father of the American Navy.





Family Tree Home Page