Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Nickerson

Male Abt 1707 - 1794  (~ 87 years)


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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  John Nickerson was born about 1707 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts (son of William Nickerson and Lydia Maker); died on 30 Jan 1794 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Abt 1705, Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts

    John married Dorcas Bassett on 14 May 1728 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Dorcas (daughter of Nathan Bassett and Mary Crowell) was born in in Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died in 1770. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    Children:
    1. John Nickerson was born on 12 Jun 1730 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died in in Nova Scotia.
    2. Abner Nickerson was born on 28 Apr 1732 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died before 4 Feb 1798 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  William Nickerson was born about 1678 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts (son of Joseph Nickerson and Ruhamah Jones); died between 15 Sep 1760 and 12 Mar 1765 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Abt 1678, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts
    • Alternate birth: Abt 1680, Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts

    Notes:

    Drowned while canoeing.

    William married Lydia Maker on 4 Nov 1703 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Lydia (daughter of James Maker and Rachel) was born about 1683 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died after 1765 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]


  2. 3.  Lydia Maker was born about 1683 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts (daughter of James Maker and Rachel); died after 1765 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Abt 1684, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts

    Children:
    1. Lydia Nickerson was born in in of Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.
    2. 1. John Nickerson was born about 1707 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died on 30 Jan 1794 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.


Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Joseph Nickerson was born before 16 Dec 1647 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts (son of William Nickerson and Anne Busby); died between 1725 and 1731 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Baptised: 16 Dec 1647, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts
    • Alternate death: Between 1726 and 1731

    Joseph married Ruhamah Jones before 1677. Ruhamah (daughter of Teague Jones) was born about 1650 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died after 1735 in Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]


  2. 5.  Ruhamah Jones was born about 1650 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts (daughter of Teague Jones); died after 1735 in Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Notes:

    "Ruhamah was evidently a great beauty, but 'of a disagreeable nature' and delighted in harassing others, so much so that her neighbors tried not to offend her. It was said that if provoked she would play havoc with their washing, their choice plants and the fruits of their harvest. She was ready for an argument at any time. She was even suspected when Edward Banks' barn was burned after they had quarrelled. Ruhamah said she was sick at the time of the trial and Joseph petitioned the court for an abatement. Joseph had given surety for Ruhamah to the sum of £50 and the court wanted to know whether or not to levy this fine. Joseph had failed to attend court and pleaded ignorance of the law of releases and stated that any adverse action at that time would cause him to lose his estate and render himself and his wife destitute in their old age. Col. Otis ruled tentatively in favor of Joseph 7 Mar. 1710/1. Joseph also petitioned the court to have his farm restored to him 27 June 1711. Ruhamah lived to a great age and on 21 Oct. 1735 the town of Harwich was ordered to pay £8/1/3 for her care, 'an aged impotent woman', in the home of John Eldredge. Evidently she had remained sitting for so many years that upon her death it was thought best to bury her in 'the same crooked position'." [Jeff Martin]

    Children:
    1. 2. William Nickerson was born about 1678 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died between 15 Sep 1760 and 12 Mar 1765 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

  3. 6.  James Maker was born about 1650; died on 8 Jul 1731 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 8 Jul 1732, Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts
    • Alternate death: 8 Jul 1732, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts

    Notes:

    Abstracted by PNH from Judith Brister, "The Maker/Macors and Hopkins", citation details below:

    James Maker first appears in Plymouth colony records 29 Oct 1668 when he and Edward Crowell, probably still minors, were accused by Samuel Worden of Yarmouth of breaking into Worden's home in his absence and "attempting the chastity of his wife and sister, by many laciuous carriages, and affrighting of his children." Maker and Crowell were sentenced to be "severally whipt" or, alternately, to pay fines of ten pounds and to cover Worden's legal costs. They chose the latter. Not long after, on 2 Mar 1669 James Maker, Richard Berry, and the brothers Benjamin and Jedediah Lumbert, were charged for smoking tobacco at the Yarmouth meeting house on the Sabbath, for which they were fined five shillings.

    By 1673 James Maker was a landowner in Yarmouth; subsequent records show him as holding small patches of property up and down the lower Cape. He fought in the "Great Swamp Fight" in King Philip's War, 19 Dec 1675. By the end of his life he was respectable enough to have served as constable of Harwich for a year, from March 1720 to March 1721.

    In 1970, Clinton Elwood Nickerson and Vernon Roscoe Nickerson published From Pilgrims and Indians to Kings and Indentured Servants: An Ancestry of the Brothers Clinton Elwood Nickerson and Vernon Roscoe Nickerson, and their Cousins, the Brothers James Elwin Nickerson and Leighton Ainsworth Nickerson, which made a case, more strenuous than convincing, that James Maker was himself a Native American and that this accounted for the distinctly Native American-ish facial features of various Nickerson descendants of James Maker and his wife Rachel, in particular Capt. Hezekiah Eldridge Nickerson (1816-1871) and his wife Mehitable Crosby (presumably herself a Nickerson descendant?) (1816-1892). In 2000, Nickerson Family Association member, historian, and genealogist Burton N. Derick published a counter-argument, "James Maker, Non-Indian," (Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, Volume XXVI, Number 2, Issue No. 88, Summer 2000), pointing out that James Maker's life was replete with events that would have turned out differently had he been a Native American. As a minor, he certainly would not have been let off with a mere fine for "attempting the chastity" of the wife and daughter of Edward Crowell. And it is impossible to believe that Harwich would have appointed him a constable in 1720 if there had been the slightest sense that he was of native ancestry. As Derick explains, these are things that simply didn't happen.

    But the fact remains that James Maker and his wife Rachel were entangled all their lives with the Nickerson family and the Hopkins family, chancers all. The Nickerson family in particular were constantly in trouble with the law for doing expansive against-the-rules real-estate deals with natives. They and their closely-allied families, absolutely including the Makers and various Hopkins kin, were deeply comfortable with native people, and quite prepared to fight their fellow white people who wanted to put a halt to that sort of thing. The same Burton N. Derick who demolished the claim that James Maker was himself a Native American also maintained that James's wife Rachel most probably was a native -- citing, among other evidences, the fact that James and Rachel lived "on or bordering" the Indian reserve in Monomoit/Chatham, and then on the Potonumecot reserve in East Brewster.

    In a different but eye-opening bit of collateral evidence, John Maker, born about 1692, son of James and Rachel Maker, married, on 5 Nov 1714, a Mary Hopkins of Harwich, Massachusetts. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants' "Silver Book" on Stephen Hopkins carefully notes that no direct proof has been found that the Mary Hopkins who married John Maker was the same Mary Hopkins who was a daughter of Stephen Hopkins and Mary Merrick, granddaughter of Giles Hopkins and Catherine Whelden, great-granddaughter of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower. But with equal prudence, they note that no other Mary Hopkins, single or widowed, has been found in that region in 1714; and secondly, that Bursel Maker, a son of Mary Hopkins and John Maker, witnessed the 20 Jan 1747 will of Judah Hopkins, a proven descendant of the Mayflower passenger.

    Mary (Hopkins) Maker and her husband John Maker had a daughter named Elizabeth (b. 22 Jun 1722). The Hopkins "Silver Book" states that she was "undoubtably not the Elizabeth Maker who m. Harwich 16 Apr 1759 Downing Cahoon." The "Silver Book" gives no proof for this assertion, although it's notable that Downing Cahoon, b. 1738, was sixteen years younger than Elizabeth Maker. What is noteworthy, though, about the Elizabeth Maker who married Downing Cahoon -- whether or not she was a daughter of Mary Hopkins and John Maker -- is that historian Josiah Paine, in his personal genealogical notes archived at the Boston headquarters of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, states that Downing Cahoon, presumably with wife Elizabeth and children, lived in East Harwich...in a wigwam.

    From 1491 by Charles C. Mann:

    In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, the aging John Adams recalled the Massachusetts of his youth as a multiracial society. "Aaron Pomham the Priest and Moses Pomham the King of the Punkapaug and Neponsit Tribes were frequent Visitors at my Father's House," he wrote nostalgically. "There was a numerous Family in this Town [Quincy, Mass., where Adams grew up], whose Wigwam was within a Mile of this House." They frequently visited Adams, "and I in my boyish Rambles used to call at their Wigwam, where I never failed to be treated with Whortle Berries, Blackberries, Strawberries or Apples, Plumbs, Peaches, etc." Colonist Susanna Johnson described eighteenth-century New Hampshire as "such a mix—of savages and settlers, without established laws to govern them, that the state of society cannot easily be described." In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was equally familiar with Native American life. As a diplomat, he negotiated with the confederacy of Five Nations in 1744; in those days, knowledge of Indian ways was an essential part of the statesman's toolkit. Among his closest friends was Conrad Weiser, an adopted Mohawk, and the Indians' unofficial host at the talks. And one of the mainstays of Franklin's printing business was the publication of Indian treaties, viewed then as critical state documents. [...]

    In the most direct way, Indian liberty made indigenous villages into competitors for colonists' allegiance. Colonial societies could not become too oppressive, because their members—surrounded by examples of free life—always had the option to vote with their feet. It is likely that the first British villages in North America, thousands of miles from the House of Lords, would have lost some of the brutally graded social hierarchy that characterized European life. But it is also clear that they were infused by the democratic, informal brashness of Native American culture. That spirit alarmed and discomfited many Europeans, toff and peasant alike. But many others found it a deeply attractive vision of human possibility.

    James married Rachel. Rachel was born about 1664; died before 1703. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]


  4. 7.  Rachel was born about 1664; died before 1703.

    Notes:

    She may well have been a Native American; see the entry for her husband, James Maker.

    Children:
    1. 3. Lydia Maker was born about 1683 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died after 1765 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.


Generation: 4

  1. 8.  William NickersonWilliam Nickerson was born between 1607 and 1609 in Norwich, Norfolk, England (son of William Nickerson); died between 30 Aug 1689 and 8 Sep 1690 in Monomoit, Barnstable, Massachusetts; was buried in Burial Hill, Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Notes:

    "William Nickerson was a man of intelligence and of great energy and strength of will, which degenerated into obstinancy. He could not brook opposition nor readily accomodate himself to his neighbors. He was litigious, insisting upon the letter of what he thought his rights. He was no doubt a religious man, and at Monomoy acted as a religious teacher to the infant settlement, but he could not agree with his Yarmouth brethren and had at least one of his children baptized in Barnstable. His purchase of land at Monomoy was doubtless in part dictated by a desire of independence and his intention to found a settlement of which he should be the head. After his removal to Monomoy he resisted the authority both of Yarmouth and Eastham, which the colony court successively extended over the place. His purchase at Monomoy was contrary to a salutary law of the colony of which he could not have been unaware, although when confronted with its penalty, he claimed ignorance. He more than once expressed regret that he had violated the law but at no time did he alter his course. His persistence in the end, it is true, brought him substantial victory, but his unaccommodating spirit made many years of his life a series of conflicts with the colonial authorities and others, in which he was almost uniformly worsted. As has been seen, he disposed of all his property before his death and therefore his name does not appear on the probate records. This action on his part was perhaps due to distrust of the public authorities, produced by his years of conflict with them." [James W. Hawes, "William Nickerson", in Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy (vol 1-105). Yarmouthport, Mass.: C. W. Swift, 1912-23.]

    William married Anne Busby in 1627. Anne (daughter of Nicholas Busby and Bridget Cocke) was born before 2 Feb 1608 in Norwich, Norfolk, England; died after 18 May 1686 in Monomoit, Barnstable, Massachusetts; was buried in Burial Hill, Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]


  2. 9.  Anne BusbyAnne Busby was born before 2 Feb 1608 in Norwich, Norfolk, England (daughter of Nicholas Busby and Bridget Cocke); died after 18 May 1686 in Monomoit, Barnstable, Massachusetts; was buried in Burial Hill, Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Baptised: 2 Feb 1608, St. Mary Coslany, Norwich, Norfolk, England

    Children:
    1. Elizabeth Nickerson was born before 1 Jan 1630; died before 3 May 1706 in Monomoit, Barnstable, Massachusetts.
    2. Nicholas Nickerson was born about 1630; died before 26 Mar 1682.
    3. Samuel Nickerson was born in 1638; died before 17 Aug 1719.
    4. Sarah Nickerson was born about 1644 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died after 1715.
    5. William Nickerson was born before 1 Jun 1646 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died before 7 Apr 1719.
    6. 4. Joseph Nickerson was born before 16 Dec 1647 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died between 1725 and 1731 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

  3. 10.  Teague Jones died between 1691 and 1702.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Between 21 Jul 1683 and 12 Oct 1702

    Notes:

    He first appears in Yarmouth records, 28 Oct 1645, as one of five soldiers from Yarmouth who were on an expedition against the "Narrohiggansets." As Jeff Martin points out, he was not on a 1643 list of Yarmouth men able to bear arms, so either he was somewhere else in 1643 or was under age 16.

    The story of his alternating enmity and friendship with Richard Berry, is told at our entry for Berry.

    His death date is unknown, but bracketed by his last two appearances in the record: a mention in the inventory of James Claghorn on 21 Jul 1683, and a reference to him as "deceased" in a deed by Michael Stewart on 12 Oct 1702.

    Children:
    1. 5. Ruhamah Jones was born about 1650 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts; died after 1735 in Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts.