Ancestors of John GATCHELL
(Abt 1611-1694)


Family Links

Wiberough WIBERA


  • Born: Abt 1611, England
  • Marriage: Wiberough WIBERA
  • Died: 1694, Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusettes, United States about age 83

bullet  General Notes:

From the 1909 Family of Samuel Getchell by
Everett Lamont Getchell:
John and Samuel Getchell came to Salem, Massachusetts,
in 1636. John settled
in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he had numerous family, and where many
descendants lived for several generations.
n July 1879, Henry F. Waters wrote in the New England
Historical and
Genealogical Review (spelling recorded as presented): The Gatchell family were
evidently not of puritan strain, as is shown ... by the following extract from the
Salem Records: At a Towne meeting this 21th of the 6th month 1637John
Gatshell is fyend tenn shillings for building vpon the Towne ground wth out
leaue, and in case he shall cutt of his lonng har of his head in to seuill frame in
the mean time, shall haue abated fiue shillings, his fien to be paid in to the
Towne meeting wth in too monthes from this time and haue leave to go on in his
belding in the meane time.
As for the locality of John Gatchell's birth, it appears
implied by the
Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-
1650 by Charles Edward Banks (1967). It appears clear that their ship came
from the West Monkton area, and there is also other evidence of a significant
Gatchell family presence in West Monkton at the correct time. However,
apparently there are no definitive birth records proving the locality or parentage
of the birth for John Gatchell or his brother Samuel Gatchell. Consequently, the
presumed birth of John Gatchell and his brother in the West Monkton locality is
based largely on circumstantial evidence.
David A. Getchell's 1991 Getchell Genealogy also concludes
the brothers John
and Samuel were probably born in West Monkton, as they came from this
locality in 1636. This work cites records in England of a large Gatchell farm in
this area divided into two areas of 500 acres each and known as Upper and
Lower Clavelsleigh. This work also indicates that this farm was in the hands of a
Henry Gatchell, the sheriff of the county, during the 17th century, and it mentions
that Henry Gatchell had a brother Thomas, that neither Henry nor Thomas had
male descendants, so consequently this farm property was passed to daughters
who had married men by the names of Popham, Sanford and Fytch. Perhaps,
however, Henry or Thomas did have sons, but maybe they left the local area for
Other Gatchell/Getchell researchers have claimed that
Henry's brother Thomas
married a Susan Peach and that they are the parents of both John and Samuel
Gatchell. But apparently there is no direct evidence to support this conclusion.
According to the History of Salem, Vol. III
(1671-1716), on pages 184-188,
John Gatchell's family was directly involved in the March 6, 1683/1684 great
Corwin burglary, in which the wealthy Captain George Corwin was robbed of a
sizable sum of money.
In all, a total equal to 500 of English, New England
and Spanish money was
stolen during the night from the house of Captain George Corwin. The History
of Salem claims that the 24-year-old Elizabeth (Lord) Godsoe conceived the
plan to enter Captain Corwin's house and steal his money. Mrs. Godsoe had
worked as a servant for Captain Corwin, and consequently she knew where he
kep his money. She then convinced her husband William Godsoe and his
associates to sneak into the house at night and escape with the money. Godsoe,
the 28-year-old John Collier, Nathaniel Pickman and David, a negro belonging
to John Pilgrim joined together in the attempt.
On the night of March 6th, the group went to Captain
Corwin's house with a
ladder. John Collier entered through a closet window and found a parcel of New
England money and five bags, which he handed to his partners through the
casement window, and then they escaped back to Godsoe's house. The History
of Salem does not mention any of the Gatchell family as participating in the
actual theft, but does mention a Gatchell as carrying away English and
Spanish money to Stage Point
At any rate, the Gatchell family involvement must have
been significant. When
the perpetrators were caught and brought before the Salem court later in June,
John Gatchell, his wife Wibera and his son Thomas were among the group of
people charged in connection with the burglary. A Bethiah Gatchell was also
charged, and she could have been the wife of John's son Samuel. A Joseph
Gatchell was named during the subsequent trial's questioning of the accused,
and this Joseph was likely another of John's sons. Others charged in the crime
included Nathaniel Pickman, John Collier, William Lord, Sr., Reuben Guppy,
Jane Lord, Abigail Guppy, Deborah Winter, Richard Harris, Thomas Russell,
William Godsoe and David (Mr. Pilgrim's negro).
The History of Salem account, which was written by Sidney
Perley in the 1920s,
indicates that many of these individuals were convicted for their part in this
crime. The stiffest punishment was meted out to William Godsoe and his wife
Elizabeth, who originally conceived the crime. They were each branded with the
letter 'B' on their forehead, whipped 39 lashes and fined 10. Among the others,
both John Gatchell and his son Thomas Gatchell were convicted for their part as
accessories to the burglary. They were each ordered to pay treble damages, be
whipped severely 39 lashes or pay 10.


John married Wiberough WIBERA. (Wiberough WIBERA was born about 1611 in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusettes, United States.)


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