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This genealogy file comprises the descendants and ancestors of Anthony Colby (1605-1660) and his wife Susannah (1610-1689) and most related family branches. Anthony immigrated to America in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet.  He was the first Colby in America, and the Colby from whom most present day Colbys living in America originate.

There are many Colbys that have left their mark on America. As America expanded the Colby family moved with it. When America moved towards independence, no Colby refused to sign the New Hampshire Association Test of 1776. We have frontiersmen, pioneers, doctors, teachers, lawyers, statesmen, railroad barons and of course, a few black sheep. There are 92 places in the United States with the Colby name. Included are cities, lakes, schools, and hills.

The Colby family tree includes the following notable people:

Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie)
Joseph Smith, Jr. (Founder of the Mormon Church)
Chester A. Arthur (21st President of the United States)
William Egan Colby (CIA)
Anthony Colby (Governor of New Hampshire)
Gardner Colby (Colby College & President-Wisconsin Central RR)
Carlos W. Colby (Congressional Medal of Honor - Vicksburg, 1863)
Rear Admiral Harrison Gray Otis Colby (Commander-North Atlantic Fleet)
Bainbridge Colby (U. S. Secretary of State, 1920-21)
Stoddard B. Colby (Register of the U.S. Treasury)
Richard Bruce Cheney (Vice President of the United States, 2001-)

Notable people whose descendants married into the Colby family:

Susanna North Martin (Salem Witch Trials)
Mary Perkins Bradbury (Salem Witch Trials)
Hannah Emerson Dustin (Indian Captive)
Myles Standish (Mayflower Passenger)

This genealogy file presently contains more than 40,000 names and over 1,500 photos, with dates ranging from 1295 to the present.

This site pertains to the genealogy of the Colby family. Although not yet completed, this is the information I have collected so far. I am always gathering new information.

Where possible I like to include photos of people, places or things (especially headstones). If you would care to contribute any photos and/or information which would help update or complete the data in this file, all such contributions will be greatly appreciated. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has assisted me or contributed information to date.

If you see information that differs from yours please email me.

Table of Contents
Macy-Colby House


Thomas Macy, first town clerk of Amesbury, erected this house prior to 1654. Persecuted for harboring Quakers he sold the house to Anthony Colby and fled to Nantucket, becoming the first white settler there as related in Whittier’s poem “The Exiles”. -- Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission

Old Norfolk County Records

Thomas Macy sold to Anthony Colby the house in which Macy dwelleth and the barn and garden near barn of Rodger Eastman, and the well and bucket and rope belonging to it, and Colby agreed to convey to Macy a mare foal, boards, corn and pipe or hogshead staves or cattle, 23 : 11 : 1654.

John Colby deposed that Tho: Macy sold to his father Anthony Colby the house in which his mother now liveth, with a barn and orchard and an English pasture of an acre at ye Newtown on west side of Pawwaus river, in Salisbury for �38. Sworn to in court at Salisbury, 12 : 2 mo : 1664.

Tho: Barnat testified that he heard Tho: Macy acknowledge that he had sold to the above to Anthony Colby, and that he was paid for it. Sworn to in court, 12 : 2 mo : 1664.

The ancient home of the Colby family, at least in the United States, can still be found in Amesbury. Amesbury is in the northernmost part of Massachusetts, almost to the border with New Hampshire. The directions to see this wonderful home, exit 495 at the route 110 Amesbury exit, follow route 110 (Haverhill Road) east until you come to the next set of traffic lights, go right onto Main Street, the Macy Colby house is about a half mile down on the right.  There is a paved drive going to the cemetery at one side of the house along with a large marker placed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission. The house is dark brown, with a bright coral-colored door. Over the door is a sign - “1654". There is a window on either side of the door on the ground floor and three windows on the upper floor. There is a large bush at each corner.

The original house consisted of just the two front rooms on the ground floor and a loft above. Later, a keeping room was added at the rear and two rooms on a second floor. Much later still, a kitchen was added behind the keeping room. To this day, no running water, electricity, or modern heating has been added. The last Colby moved across the street in 1958. The house belongs to the Bartlett Cemetery Association, as it is on their land. It has been cared for by the local Josiah Bartlett Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Access to it can be had, sometimes, through the Amesbury Public Library.

There are treasured items of the Colby family still in the house. The items in the fireplace area of the keeping room are the ones that have always been there. In the corner of the front room, is a corner cabinet that Anthony had brought over from England as a present for Susannah. Also, in the front room in front of the fireplace is a cradle. Just as if it were ready to have a baby placed in it. This cradle belonged to a friend of the family - Susannah North Martin. She was hanged in Salem as a witch. There is a good story here, too! There are items of bric-a-brac, portraits on the wall of unnamed Colbys, and of the last Colby (with his faithful dog) who lived in the house. Upstairs is the loom-room. Who was the weaver? We don’t know, now. At the back of the loom-room is a door leading to a storage room. There are trunks, boxes, bags and stacks of books among the boards and old windows. What treasures must be there!

There is also a stairway down to the keeping room. You can see the wear of the years on the stairs. The original narrow steps & high treads stairs is at the front of the house. The floor boards are about 15" wide throughout the house. Some of the latches on the doors are handmade - by who? When?

This house is a treasure! Those who can trace their lineage back here can really feel that they have come home.-Alice Colby Volkert

(Note: Macy-Colby House, 259 Main Street, Amesbury, MA)

Research by Others
  • Bethel Eleanor Burrow -- Descendant of Abraham Colby & Phebe Coleman

    More Sources

    • "The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury Massachusetts"- by David W. Hoyt, published by the Picton Press in 1996.
    • "A Genealogy of the Descendants of Abraham Colby and Elizabeth Blaisdell"- by one of them, printed by the Republican Press Association in 1895.
    • "The Colby Family in Early America"- by Frederick L. Weis, published in 1970. (I have a list of errors available)
    • "Early Vital Records of Essex County, Massachusetts to 1850"- CD by Search & ReSearch Publishing Corp., Wheat Ridge, CO.
    • "The Descendants of Charles Harris Colby and Cortana Purington (Small) Colby" Compiled by Ruth Stowell Colby, published in 1964.
    Contact Information

    Email Send E-mail to [email protected]
    When e-mailing me please put Colby as part of your subject line so I can give your e-mail my prompt attention.

    Send mail to:
    Ronald M. Colby
    4814 South 4180 West
    Kearns, Utah 84118-4014

    Phone: 801-680-1317

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    Created 1 JAN 2000 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software
    Last Updated 3 Nov 2010