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Descendants of Robert Abell

Generation One

264. Robert1 Abell; born 1589 at Bristol England ?; married Joanna ___ 1638 at Rehoboth MA; died 20 Jun 1663 at Rehoboth, MA.

He "But our story digresses from the English lines in 1630 when Robert, second son of George Abell of Leicestershire, set sail in the fleet under Governor Winthrop for Massachusetts Bay. His father's will made in September the same year "cut him off" with a "twenty shilling piece," in view of having set him up in business in London of which he had made no use and more recently of having outfitted him for New England with the hope of his safe arrival. No doubt George Abell had passed on before such a message could have been received in those days. The first American record finds Robert Abell settled at Weymouth, Mass., where on October 19, 1630, his name appears on a petition, with others, to be made a "Freeman." He took the oath as Freeman on May 18, 1631. This act endowed him with full privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in the new colony, including ownership of lands, in the exercise of which he continued to acquire holdings, especially after his removal in 1643 to Rehoboth, a new settlement on the south side of the peninsula begun in 1642 by a party of colonists under the Reverend Samuel Newman, a minister at Weymouth for five years preceding. Robert Abell purchased the allotment first sold to Job Lane. His name appears frequently in public records up to the time of his death in 1663, including two appointments as keeper of the "Ordinary," from all of which it is reasonably to be assumed that he attained a position of considerable importance and was held in high esteem by his associates in the colony. In connection with the Inventory of his estate, administered by his widow Joanna, is mentioned his "eldest son," to whom was bequeathed the homestead, his "daughter Mary and five other children." His widow Joanna married William Hyde in 1667, and with her second husband moved to Norwich, Conn. Robert's eldest son, Preserved Abell, remained in Rehoboth, and his three other sons went to Norwich with their mother.

"Probably all of the present day Abells of New England stock are descendants of Robert's three sons, Preserved, Caleb and Benjamin Abell. His fourth son, Joshua, did not leave any male descendants ...

"Robert Abell, born in England; died June 20, 1663 at Rehoboth,

Mass., son of George and Frances Abell of Hemington,

Leicestershire, England; married Joanna ((???)),

probably in England.

"Joanna died in America, after 1682, buried probably in Norwich First Burying Ground.

"Robert was mentioned in his father's will 1630 as then living in New England. He came to America probably in the fleet with Gov. Winthrop, which arrived at Charlestown, Mass., June 1630 (Savage).

"The first record of Robert in America is at Weymouth, Mass., included in a list as desirous to be made a Freeman, October 19, 1630 and he took the Oath of Freeman May 18, 1631. He is mentioned at the Quarterly Court, held at Boston December 4, 1638 and June 2, 1640 at Weymouth he is mentioned in regards to land owned by John Ffussell, John Stable and James Snooke, October 26, 1642 to May 21, 1644.

Robert removed from Weymouth in 1643, probably following Rev. Samuel Newman, the real founder of Rehoboth. Rev. Newman was minister at Weymouth for four and a half or five years, then with a majority of his congregation, in 1642 removed to a place called by the Indians Seekonk, to which he gave the name of Rehoboth.

"The first meeting of the original planters of Rehoboth, to be found on record, is dated at "Weimoth" the 24th of the 8th month (October) 1643; the next meeting of the proprietors was held at Weymouth, the 10th day of the 10th month (December) 1643. About the year 1643 a joint agreement was made by the inhabitants of Sea-conk alias Rehoboth, for the bringing in of their estates; that so men's allotments might be taken up according to person and estate, also for carrying on of all public charges both for present and future; furthermore the means and interest of what is here expressed is that by which lands now granted by the Court of Plymouth to the town, are to be divided according to person and estate, as is expressed in a list of 58 names. The 28th name on the list is Job Lane (underneath written) "now Robert Abell's," oe50; it is evident that Robert Abell was written in after he had bought of Job Lane.

"At a meeting of the town February 18, 1646 it was agreed to draw lots for the new meadow, and to be divided according to person and estate, only those that were under oe150, estate to be made up 150. Robert is the 41st name on a list of 46 who drew for lots.

"The 26th of the 12th month, 1651 it was agreed that Robert Abell and Richard Bullock should burn the commons round about, from the Indian fence, all on the neck, to the new meadow near, and so far about the fresh meadows as may be convenient; and they are to have 20s, for their pains, and to begin the 15th of March next, and to be paid out of the first rate.

"The 28th of March, 1653 it was concluded and agreed upon, that Robert Abell should have three acres of meadow on the north side of the line, next the town, next the line that parteth the land of the purchasers and the town of Rehoboth. This meadow was given them by Mr. Prince, Captain Standish and Mr. Winslow.

" Mention is made of Robert in Court Orders, June 29, 1653, June 10, 1661 and April 22, 1662.

"On February 1, 1654 at a town meeting, Robert was ordered to keep the Ordinary, and on July 3, 1656, Plymouth, Mass., he is allowed by the Court to keep an Ordinary at Rehoboth. (An Ordinary is a place where meals are provided.)

"Robert was at the Court of Elections at Plymouth, June 3, 1657 and on Jury at the General Court at Plymouth, June 4, 1657 and took the oath of fidelity in 1657.

"On June 22, 1658 at a town meeting, lawfully warned, lots were drawn for the meadows that lie on the north side of the town in order as followeth, according to person and estate. Of the 49 names on the list, Robert was the third on the list who drew for lots. It appears that this division was for land afterwards included in the North Purchase, near Attleborough and Cumberland.

"At a town meeting on May 26, 1668 lots were drawn for the meadow lands in the North Purchase and there were 79 names on the list who drew for lots. Samuel Luther is the 2nd on the list, Goody Hide the 5th, Children's Lands the 6th and Preserved Abell the 8th. Samuel Luther married Mary, daughter of Robert Abell. Goody Hide was Robert Abell's widow (Joanna) who married William Hyde in 1667. Preserved was the eldest son of Robert Abell. "Children's Lands" next to Goody Hide on the list were probably Robert Abell's other children, Caleb, Joshua, Benjamin and Experience.


(Mass.) and Cumberland, R. I. It was bounded on the West by the

Pawtucket River, now Blackstone; North by the Massachusetts

Colony on the bay line (so called); East by territory which was

afterwards the Taunton North Purchase, now Mansfield, Norton

and Easton; and south by the ancient Rehoboth, now Rehoboth,

Seekonk and Pawtucket. This purchase included Attleborough,

Cumberland, R. I., and a tract of a mile and a half in width extending

east and west (which was annexed to Rehoboth as an

enlargement), and a part of Mansfield and Norton. This purchase

was afterwards, viz., Apr. 10, 1666, granted and confirmed by the

Plymouth government to the inhabitants of Rehoboth.

" This land was a Massachusetts Bay Colony possessions and placed

under Dedham for local jurisdiction. This probably accounts for

the mentioning of Caleb Abell (Robert's son) in the Colonial Records

at Dedham in 1665, indicating that this is as near as Caleb ever got

to living in Dedham.

"An Inventory of (???) estate of Robert Abell of Rehoboth

Deceased taken the 9th of Aug. 1663." The only real estate was

"an house and land" oe130. "The sum totall is oe354, 17s, 9d." "The

house and land taken out as the oldest sonnes" oe130; "A bed and

furniture to the widdow" oe7; "To Mary Abell given by her father

as her full pte in a Cow and feather bed" oe8; "Rests Due to the

widdow as her thirds" oe66, 19s, 6d; "and to the other five Children

each of them" oe26, 16s.

" The appraisers, Stephen Paine, Thomas Cooper and Peter Hunt,

were deposed to this Inventory the 18th of Feb. 1663 before Thomas

Willett. This division of the estate was approved of and established

by the Court held at Plymouth the 3rd of Mar. 1663-4, "attested

by me Nathaniel Morton Clarke of the said Court." The above

held at Plymouth the 3rd of Mar. 1663-4, and deposed unto by

Joanna Abell, widow.

" Administration granted unto the widow, Joanna Abell, to administer

on the estate of Robert Abell deceased Feb. 29, 1663-4.

" Captain Willett is requested to administer an oath to Widow

Abell of Rehoboth for the tenth of the inventory of the estate of

Robert Abell deceased Oct. 5, 1663-4.

"In connection with the inventory of the estate of Robert Abell

are specifically mentioned his "eldest son, widow, daughter Mary

and five other children," bequeathing the homestead to his "eldest

son." Therefore, inasmuch as Lieut. Preserved Abell was the only

child to remain on and in possession of the homestead at Rehoboth,

it appears reasonable to suppose that he was in fact the eldest son.


ABRAHAM, b. prob. in England; bur. Nov. 14, 1639 at Weymouth,


5. MARY, b. Apr. 11, 1642 at Weymouth.

6. LIEUT. PRESERVED, b. 1644, at Rehoboth.

7. SERGT. CALEB, b. 1646, prob. at Rehoboth.

8. JOSHUA, b. 1649, prob. at Rehoboth.

9. BENJAMIN, at Norwich, Conn., 1670.

10. EXPERIENCE, m. 1680, Dea. John Baldwin.

CHILD. Some records mentioned a James Abell, marrying Sarah

Bowen, Dec. 27, 1686 but this appears to be incorrect. The

original vital records of Rehoboth state that Sarah Bowen

married Preserved Abell, Dec. 27, 1686. The vital and probate

records and register of deeds do not list any individual by the

name of James Abell. No record has been found that shows

the name of this child. It is quite probable that a connection with

the Maryland-Virginia-Kentucky families may be established

through this unnamed child."


Children of Robert1 Abell and Joanna ___ were:

Generation Two

265. Preserved2 Abell (Robert1); born 1644 at Rehoboth, MA; married Martha Redaway, daughter of James Redway, 27 Sep 1667; died 18 Aug 1724 at Rehoboth, MA.

He "Lieut. Preserved Abell, born in 1644 at Rehoboth, Mass.

(G.S.ins.); died there August 18, 1724 in the 80th year of

his age; buried in the old Newman Cemetery in what is

now East Providence, R. I. He married 1st, Martha Redaway,

September 27, 1667, born March 15, 1648 at Rehoboth,

buried March 1, 1685-6, daughter of James Redaway.

He married 2nd, Sarah Bowen, December 27, 1686 at

Rehoboth. She was born February 7, 1656 at Rehoboth,

died there May 14, 1704 (G.S.ins.), daughter of Richard and

Ester (Sutton) Bowen. He married 3rd, Mrs. Anne West

of Boston, intentions at Rehoboth, December 30, 1706,

died December 11, 1723 at Rehoboth.

In May 1668 he was eighth on a list of those who drew lots for land in the North Purchase. In 1670 he is listed as a freeman of Rehoboth, and the same year John Butterworth and he are listed as surveyors of highways in Rchoboth. He was constable of Rehoboth in 1671. In 1684 Samuel Peck and Preserved Abell are listed as Grand Jurymen from Rehoboth.

In the Rehoboth census of February 7, 1689 he is listed as a Sergeant. Ensign in 1690, and Lieutenant in Capt. Samuel Gallup's Company in the romantic expedition of Sir William Phillips against Quebec, Canada, in 1690.

He served in King Philip's War under Major Bradford and advanced oe7:15:01 towards the expenses of carrying on the war. His father-in-law James Redaway advanced oe5:14:04 towards carrying on the war; his brother-in-law John Redaway served in the Narragansett Expedition. His home was burned in the destruction of the town by King Philip's ally and leader, Agawan, who sat in the same chair which he often occupied as a guest at the Abell homestead before the war.

His home was replaced by another now owned by Frank Allen Hill, which was the second one built. It seems to the writer (without a careful examination on his part) that the type of this house is not old enough to have been the second house, and perhaps is the third, although the second house may have been altered over to its present style which is of a later date.

The above is from a speech delivered by Rev. L. S. Woodworth, pastor of the Newman Congregational Church, at the dedication of Goff Memorial Hall, at Rehoboth, May 10, 1886. "

" Children by Martha Redaway:

MEHETABLE, b. Aug. 28, 1672 at Rehoboth; d. Sept. 19, 1672.

11. DOROTHY, b. Nov. 18, 1677.

JOANNA, b. Jan. 11, 1681 at Rehoboth; d. there Feb. 20, 1702-3,

bur. in the Newman Cemetery near her father.

Children by Sarah Bowen:

MARTHA, b. Nov. 20, 1687; d. Aug. 30, 1709 at Rehoboth.

ROBERT, b. Apr. 25, 1689; d. May 1, 1715 at Rehoboth.

LEVI, b. Jan. 10, 1690-1.

SARAH, d. Feb. 14, 1702-3 at Rehoboth.

12. EXPERIENCE, b. Mar. 10, 1692-3.

13. JOSHUA, b. June 8, 1695.

MARY, b. May 18, 1697 at Rehoboth; d. there July 22, 1747; m.

Ephraim Walker, May 9, 1717 at Rehoboth, b. there Sept. 4,

1692, d. there Mar. 2, 1732, son of Samuel and Martha (Ide)

Walker. "


A rare and interesting piece of furniture of the very earliest days of the New England colonies has recently been brought to light. This is a turned or Carver chair, dating about 1625 and possessing the name of "King Philip's Chair." Aside from being the rarest of early American pieces, it is priceless from an historical view point.

The chair was originally the property of one Preserved Abell of Seekonk, son of Robert Abell, theimmigrant, and remained in the family for succeeding generations until purchased by a Dr. Mason of Providence, who kept it until his death, when it was bought at auction by the Rev. L. S. Woodworth, whose family held it until June 9th, 1921, when it was purchased from them by Duncan A. Hazard of Newport, R. I.

The story about how and why the cognomen "King Philip's Chair" was earned was told to its present owner, and is proved by old papers which he later discovered in the seat of the chair. The gist of these papers is as follows:

During King Philip's War and two days after Pierce's fight, on March 28th, 1676, a party of Indians crossed the river and laid the town of Seekonk in ashes, which meant the burning of forty houses and thirty barns. These houses were around the "King of the Town," now called "Seekonk Common." Only two houses were left standing, one of them being the house of Preserved Abell. Not willing to leave even these, the torch was applied to the dwelling of Abell. As the flames mounted, the Indians seated themselves contentedly around the fire to enjoy the conflagration, and one of the warriors brought out this chair, which is a large heavy armed chair, for their chieftain, Philip. When the blaze died down, and before leaving, an Indian threw a fire-brand into the chair, which consumed the bottom, but left the high frame, only scorching the parts to which the bottom was attached. These bear evident marks of having been burned, as in some places the wood is burned away as much as half an inch.

It is said that while on good terms with the English, Philip was in the habit of visiting the Abell family, and that they always brought out this chair, the big armed chair of the house, as a mark of distinction and honor, for the use of "King Philip," as he styled himself.

At this period is mention of a cushion being in the seat of the chair with the king's signature on it, but this has been lost through the centuries. Otherwise, the chair is as the famous Indian used it for his temporary throne, and the scars made by the fire bear mute witness to the fact "

in 1676.186 He left a will on 18 Aug 1724; " Will of Preserved Abell:

Know all Men by These Presents that I Preserved Abel of the Town of Rehoboth in the County of Bristoll In the Province of the Massachussetts Bay In New England (yeaman) being weake of Body But of Perfectt mind and memmory Thanks be given to God therefore Caling to mind my owne mortality I do make and ordaine this my Last will and Testament and first it is my will that all my debts and Funerall Charges be discharged by my Excecutor.

Impr: I Give unto my Son Joshua Abell and to his heirs and assigns for Ever Whom I make and ordaine my Sole Excecutor of this my Last will and Testament: my Dwelling house and Barn and other Small housing together with my home Lot or home Steed Lyeing and being on the southwesterly Side of the Town Comon Lyeing on Both Sides of the Mill River Likewise the one half of my Tractt of Land Lyeing Near Doct: Richard Bowens home Lot the other half of it being Given to him by deed Likewise the one half of my Lot in the Second division which I purchased of Stephen Paine the other half given to him by deed Likewise the one half of my wood Lot at the Swamp by millerds Bridge the other half of sd tract given to him by Deed Likewise the one half of my Salt medow at the hundrd acre medow the other half Likewise Given to him by deed Likewise the one half of my Lot in watchamoket Neck Lyeing Near Samll. Hills Likewise one quarter Part of my Salt medow at the medow Caled New medows Likewise the one third Part of my Rights of Comonage In the township of Attellborough Likewise fifty Pounds Estate of Comanage Rights In the Town of Rehoboth Likewise I Give unto my sd son Joshua Abell my Cart plows Chains and all other Husbandry utentials and tools. Likewise one yoake of oxen one Cow and half my Sheepe

It I Give unto my Three Grand sons to them their heirs and asigns for Ever (viz) Robert Abell Son of my sd Son Joshua Abell & Ebinezer Walker Son of my Eldest daughter Doratha Walker and Abiah Carpenter Son of my Second Daughter Experience Carpenter all my Tract of Land or farme Lyeing on the western Brainch of Palmers River as it is bounded of Record to be Eaqually divided Between them

It I Give unto my Three Daughters (viz) Doratha Walker Experience Carpenter and Mary Walker to them their heirs and asigns for Ever all my Lands in the Town of Rehoboth and Attellborough and Rights In Comanage both In Rehoboth and Attellborough and my Salt medow Lyeing In the Township of Barington Excepting what I have Given to my son Joshua Abell afforsd and my three Grandsons above Named And I allso Give unto my sd Daughter All my Stock of Cattell and Sheepe and house-hold Stuff and other moveable Effects Excepting what I have Before Given to my Son Joshua Abell the sd Tracts of Land and moveables to be Eaqualy devided Betwen my sd daughters And I do hereby utterly disalow Revoake and disannull all and Every other Testaments wills Legacies and Bequests and Excecutors By me In any waies Before Named willed and Bequeathed Rattifieing and Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament In wittness Whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seall this Eightenth day of August Anno Domini one Thousand Seven hundred and Twenty Four,

Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and declared By the sd Preserved Abell as his Last Will and Testament In the Presence of us the Subscribers

Preserved Abel (Seal)

John Hunt

Thomas Bowen

Danll Carpenter. "


Children of Preserved2 Abell and Martha Redaway were:

Generation Three

266. Dorothy3 Abell (Preserved2, Robert1); born 18 Nov 1677 at Rehoboth, MA;186 married Ebenezer Walker, son of Philip Walker and Jane Metcalf, 11 Oct 1703 at ?; married John Reed 13 Jun 1724;186 died 1 Aug 1741 at ? at age 63.

She was (an unknown value) 11 children. She "Dorothy Abell, born November 18, 1677 at Rehoboth, Mass.;

died there August 1, 1741; married as his second wife

Ebenezer Walker of Rehoboth, October 11, 1703. He died

March 13, 1717-8 at Rehoboth. She married 2nd, John

Reed of Rehoboth, June 13, 1724.

Children by Ebenezer Walker:

CALEB, b. Oct. 30, 1706.

MARY, b. Jan. 11, 1708-9.

DOROTHY, b. Jan. 11, 1708-9.

JOHN, b. Feb. 18, 1710-11.

SARAH, b. Feb. 18, 1710-1

ELIZABETH, b. Mar. 24, 1711-12.

MARTHA, b. July 20, 1714.

EBENEZER, b. Dec. 9, 1716."


Children of Dorothy3 Abell and Ebenezer Walker were as follows:

There were no children of Dorothy3 Abell and John Reed.

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