Anthony came to America in the Spring of 1630 on the ship "Arbella" with the "Winthrop Fleet". His first home was in the disputed territory between Cambridge and Watertown which was given to Cambridge in 1632, and was on the road to Mount Auburn close by the river. His close friend was Jarred Haddon. Anthony's wife might have been Jarred's sister. In 1633, on the second Sabbath that Rev. John Cotton preached, he baptized his own son Seaborn Cotton and John Colby, son of Anthony.
Anthony built a second house near the Washington Elm and a third one near the Fresh Pond. He was admitted freeman in Cambridge in 1634. Three years later, he appeared in Ipswich, and three years after that in Salisbury. He was among the first settlers of the latter town. Together, the men (Jarred Haddon) joined the church in Charlestown and took the freeman's oath in Cambridge on 14 May 1634. Together lay their houselots at East Salisbury and when Jarred sold his homestead in 1644 and built in what is now Amesbury, Anthony bought the lot adjoining and came with his family. On this land he at last settled down to make a permanent home. He received additional lots of land from the divisions in 1643, 1654, and 1658.
In 1640, he was appointed an appraiser for the government and in 1651 was elected a selectman.
Anthony Colby seems to have been always at odds with the leaders in town affairs and was often in controversy , legal or personal, with the authorities. Once he was fined for making a speech in town meeting on the ground that he had created a disturbance. He worked incessantly to have the new settlement at Amesbury set off from Salisbury as a town. The fight was carried on after his death by his sons, and the separation was finally accomplished in 1666.
He was an industrious man, and in spite of moving every few years and in spite of many children, he became one of the largest property holders in Amesbury. His lots included: Back River, Fox Island, Lion's Mouth, Great Swamp, Hampton, River, Whiskers Hill, and lots from the third and fourth divisions. His inventory set a value of 359 pounds sterling upon his property.
The house that he bought from Thomas Macy is still standing and can be seen today. Colbys have been living in the house (no electricity, water, or heat other than the fireplaces) until recently. The old house was on the southwest side of Main St. which leads from Amesbury Center to the Merrimac and was the seventh from Bartlett's Corner. Thomas Macy was a friendly man. A family of Quakers was passing his home in a big rain storm. They asked if they could shelter in his shed until the rain had passed. He said that they could not shelter in his shed, but should come in by the fire. Harboring Quakers was against the law. He got caught. Anthony was his friend and bought the house from him and gave him enough to go to Nantucket to become the founding father of the Macy's stores. Whittier's poem "The Exiles" is based on this story. Bartlett's Corner is the location of the well described in Whittier's poem, "The Captain's Well". The well was dug by a grandson of Anthony's daughter Mary.
Colby's have been living in and around Amesbury ever since. Amesbury is a very pretty, quiet, little town with some interesting features.
Anthony Colby - Planter, purchased the house and land from Thomas Macy west of the Powwow River in 1654
Widow Susannah Colby Whitridge lived in the house during the term of her widowhood.
Samuel established the Colby Tavern in Amesbury in 1678, in 1682 he purchased the house and land where his mother lived to provide for her.
Samuel, Yeoman, inherited it from his father in 1716.
Obadiah, Blacksmith returned from Boston and purchased it from his father.
Obadiah, Blacksmith inherited it from his father when he came of age.
Obadiah, Blacksmith, rebuilt the house
Hezekiah, Schoolmaster, lived there until his death in 1844.
William, Mariner, received it from his brother's estate and sold it to his son.
Obadiah, Trader, left it to his son.
William, Trimmer, inherited it. He sold the land to the Bartlett Cemetery and the house to his Uncle Moses.
Moses lived with his brother and nephew and then deeded it to the Bartlett Cemetary as a memorial.
Please browse through the pictures, and enjoy your virtual trip to the home site of all of us Colby Cousins! Let me know what you think of the site and pictures. Alice Colby Volkert
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