The Ancestry of Hattie E. J. Bruce - the Electious Reynolds Family


ELECTIOUS REYNOLDS [#238], b. abt. 1653, d. Middleborough, MA 19 Jun 1738,[3/67] aged 85, m. MARY PEASE (dau. of Robert Pease and Sarah).

Electious Reynolds was an early resident of Middleborough in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, being there by 1693 as evidenced by the birth of his son Benjamin. On October 12, 1725 the church in Middleborough was formed. Electious Reynolds and Richard Waste were among the first members.[5/460] On September 22, 1738 Electious Reynolds (obviously the son), Isaac Reynolds, and Ephraim Reynolds were among ten signers of a document that indicated they lived in the westerly precinct of Middleboro and that they were of the Baptist faith[5/573] and so we can surmise the same about Electious the ancestor. Isaac was, no doubt, the man who had children born in Middleboro with wife Dorothy between the years 1708 and 1725. This means he probably married just a few years before 1708 and was thus probably too young to be a son of Electious unless it was from a previous marriage. He may have been a brother to Electious however. There was another Reynolds man in Middleboro named Charles. With wife Sarah he had children born there between 1715 and 1726, and he was of the right age to be an unrecorded son of Electious. "Electious Reynolds Senr Deceased June the 19th: 1738 In the eighty fifth year of his age".[4/15:24]

It is not known who Electious' parents were, nor whether he was born in this country or England, but it seems highly likely that he came from Salem, MA prior to living in Middleboro. There was a man there whose name was similar and who disappeared from the Salem records several years before Electious appeared in the Middleboro records. He is found in the Essex County records in three lists of country rate, i.e. tax, payers as Electious Ranalls;[10:3/380] Alextius Renholds;[10:3/386] and Allextius Rennolds.[10:3/389] He also testified as Eleckieas Ronalls in a case against Thomas Maule sworn April 18, 1682 in which he was called "about twenty-five years".[10:8/341] On March 24, 1682-3 he gave testimony as Alexius Reinolds, age 25.[10:9/55] This man married in Salem (as Allexander Renalds) to Mary Pease on 16 July 1686.[8:4/249] She was likely the daughter of Robert and Sarah Pease, b. 15 : 12m :1666[8:2/149] but may have been a daughter of John and Mary Pease. Both of these records originated in the Essex County Quarterly Court Records. The couple appears to have had a son James born in nearby Manchester, MA 15 Jan 1687, the father being one Eleksha Renals.[9/107]

Could this be our ancestor? Both men had a wife named Mary. Electious Reynolds of Middleboro was born about 1653-54 according to his death record whereas the man from Salem was born about 1656-58. It was not uncommon for the age to be incorrect at the time of death, especially since old people were given respect in those days so some were given to exaggerating their age. Electious of Middleboro does not seem to have had a son James, but he may have died young or moved away at an early age. Assuming that Electious was the man in Salem, then the task is to determine the correct parents for wife Mary. The Pease Family[11:Chapter4/17] from 1869 indicates Mary was the daughter of Robert and Sarah, as above. The 1924 History of Salem[12:1/371] and the 1982 Pease Family[13/24] both have Mary as the daughter of Robert's brother John. The 1982 work goes so far as to indicate that Robert's daughter married Hugh Pasco. Probate and Land records need to be examined to help throw more light on the people involved - there may be another Mary, of course, the daughter of yet another Pease man. The good news is that John's line is fairly well filled in but dull, whereas Robert's line is not filled in, but he and his wife were jailed as witches but latter aquitted.

There was a Henry Renalls in Salem by 1642 who was the right age to be Electious' father, especially given that he was the only other Reynolds in town for some time. However it seems like he and his wife Sarah were childless. Another possibility for his parents, if Electious was from the Plymouth area, would be William Reynolds who was a resident of Plymouth by the 1630's. He married there Aug. 30, 1638 Alice Kitson. He was in Duxbury in February 1636 and had a grant of land there. Soon after, the government allowed him to build. In 1637-8 William was presented in court for being "drunk at Mr. Hopkins his house, that he lay under the table vomiting in a beastly manner and was taken up between two". He was one of John Howland's crew on shipboard in the Kennebeck River which was attacked and two of the crew were killed after a dispute with contending traders.[1] He is probably the William Reynolds whose children had land laid out to them in Saconett after his decease.[6/6:44] If Electious can be shown to have had land in this area, it would be grounds for connecting him with William.

An Ellexander Reynolds appears on a 1734 list of grantees of Narragansett Township No. 4, which later became Greenwich, MA. This town no longer exists, having been flooded as part of the Quabbin Resevoir project. He was listed as living in Middleboro at the time (1734) and received the grant for services during King Phillip's War.[7/429] Since no one of this name can be found in town at any time and Bodge had difficulty reading the record, it would thus seem likely that the actual name of the grantee was Electious Reynolds. This grant was for land promised in 1676 to the soldiers assembled on Dedham Plain as they prepared to attack King Phillip's fort. If they took the fort, they were promised land in addition to their wages.

One source claims that Electious was granted land in Middleboro for his part in the war and that this is what caused him to move from Salem. I have not found this to be the case. An inspection of the Essex and Bristol county land and probate records needs to be made in order to find more information about these men and their immediate families.

REF: [1] The Reynolds Family Association - 30th Annual Report,
         1921 (pg.75)
     [2] Manchester, MA Vital Records
     [3] Middleborough, MA Vital Records, Volume One, Births to 1838,
         Deaths to 1800, Marriages to 1772 - Barbara Lambert Merrick and
         Alicia Crane Williams, 1986
     [4] The Mayflower Descendant, 1:224, 2:42,104-105, 9:46, 15:24
         (Middleboro Vital Records)
     [5] The History of the Town of Middleboro - Thomas Weston, 1906
     [6] Plymouth Colony Records, 1855
     [7] Soldiers in King Phillip's War - George Madison Bodge, 1906
     [8] Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts to the End of the
         Year 1849 (1924)
     [9] Vital Records of Manchester, Massachusetts to the End of
         the Year 1849 (1903)
     [10] Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County
          Massachusetts, 1975
     [11] A Genealogical and Historical Record of the Descendants
          of John Pease, Senr., Last of Enfield, Conn. - Rev. David Pease,
     [12] The History of Salem, Massachusetts - Sidney Perley, 1924
     [13] A Genealogical and Historical Record of the Descendants
          of John and Robert Pease - Phillip J, Rice, 1982
     [14] Descendants of Electious Reynolds - Susan Rogers Clement,
          privately  published newsletter (e-mail:


1. James, b. Manchester, MA 15 Jan 1687
2. Benjamin, b. Middleborough, MA 4 Aug 1693,[3/4] m. Middleborough
   10 Mar 1737[3/62] Sarah Smith
3. Mary, b. Middleborough 12 Sep 1699,[3/4] m. Middleborough 18
   Jun 1728[3/31] Ambrose Braley
4. Hannah, b. Middleborough, MA 13 Oct 1702,[3/6] m. Middleborough
   29 Oct 1723[3/27] Thomas Wescott
5. Ephraim, b. Middleborough 14 Feb 1704-5,[3/8] d. prob. Middleboro
   abt. 1775, m. Middleborough 16 Aug 1739[3/63] Alice Braley (prob. dau.
   of Roger Braley, Jr. and Hannah Booth), b. Middleborough 29 Jul 1722
   Chil. (first two recorded in Middleboro, others presumed b. there)
   1) Joel, b. 20 Oct 1741, d. aft. 11 Mar 1775, m. Middleboro
   16 Jan 1766 Hannah Frye; 2) Hannah, b. 9 Sep 1743, nothing further
   known; 3) Ephraim, b. prob. 1745-1750, d. Gainsesville, Wyoming
   Co., NY bef. 1823, m. Middleboro 17 Mar 1776 Elizabeth Douglas
   (dau. of John Douglas and Mary Braley), b. abt. 1760; 4) Roger,
   b. prob. 1747-1752, d. prob. Burnham, ME 1810-1820, m. Freetown
   MA 7 Apr 1777 Sarah Braley (prob. dau. of Ambrose Braley and Mary
   Reynolds); 5) Daniel, b. abt. 1755, d. Burnham, Waldo Co., ME
   13 May 1832, m. Grafton, Grafton Co., NH (Dec 1779 or Apr 1784)
   Thankful Haskell (dau. of Zuriel Haskell and Thankful Westcoat);
   6) Robert, b. abt. 1760, d. Fairfield, Franklin Co., VT 24 May 1833,
   m. Augusta, ME 15 Sep 1788 Sarah Braley (prob. dau. of Samuel
   Braley and Sarah Taylor); 7) Baruck, b. abt. 1766, m(1) Winslow,
   ME 25 Sep 1794 Betsey Dodge, maybe d. abt. 1801
6. Electious, b. Middleborough 21 Feb 1706-7,[3/8] d. bef. 19 Sep
   1782, m(1) Middleboro 1 Apr 1731[3/47] Charity Caswell (maybe dau.
   of William Caswell adn Mary Lincoln), d. aft. 1742, m(2) Catherine
   (Carlisle) Evans (widow of John Evans), b. abt. 1730, d. aft.
   Chil. (all recorded births in Middleboro):[14/22:2-3]
   By Charity: 1) Jemima, b. 1 Oct 1731, d. aft. 1790; 2) Charity,
   b. 6 Dec 1732, m. (int.) Freetown, MA 11 Jan 1766 Jotham Caswell
   (son of Jotham Caswell and Mary Reynolds); 3) Electious, b. 2 Apr
   1734, d. aft. 1798, m (int.) Freetown 12 Mar 1762 Mary Chase,
   res. Shutesbury, MA; 4) Ezekiel, b. 31 Dec 1735; 5) Judah, b.
   1 Apr 1737, m. Middleboro 20 Dec 1759 Stephen Smith (maybe moved
   to Shutesbury, MA); 6) Enos, b. 19 Apr 1739, d. New Salem, MA
   aft. Mar 1803, m. Freetown 22 Jan 1761 Sarah Smith; 7) Joshua,
   b. 31 Dec 1740, d. Wells, VT 1820, m. New Salem, MA 31 May 1768
   Mary Newhall; 8) Sarah, b. 21 Sep 1742, d. Freetown 10 Apr 1819,
   m. (int.) Freetown 1 Jan 1761 Nathaniel Braley (son of Ambrose
   Braley and Mary Reynolds); 9) John, b. bef. 1755, d. prob. Wells,
   VT, m. (int.) Middleboro 10 Apr 1773 Phebe Reynolds (dau. of
   Jacob Reynolds and Martha Padelford); by Catherine: 10) Catherine,
   b. abt. 1763, m. Middleboro 7 Oct 1779 Zebedee Booth; 11) Eunice,
   b. abt. 1765, d. Broome Co., NY 1850-1855, m. (int.) Middleboro
   4 Nov 1785 Nehemiah Randall Jr.; 12) Lois, b. abt. 1769, d.
   Rochester, MA 5 Oct 1848, m(1) Rochester 3 Sep 1794 Ebenezer
   Mendell, m(2) Rochester May 1832 Moses Westgate

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