Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Josiah Closson

Male 1655 - Abt 1689  (34 years)


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  • Name Josiah Closson  [1
    Born 1655  of Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 1689  Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Alternate death 13 Feb 1699  Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Person ID I10829  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 4 Dec 2017 

    Family Mary Williamson,   b. 7 Jul 1654, Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1720 and 1726, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 10 Mar 1679  Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 5
    Children 
    +1. Caleb Closson,   b. 16 Apr 1688, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F5823  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "He was a soldier in King Philip's War from Woburn, Mass. In 1681 he removed from Marshfield to [Little Compton] where he was a constable by 1685." [Little Compton Families]

      Notes posted to familysearch.org, no author given:

      Josiah Closson - Mary Williamson

      Josiah Closson was born about 1655 probably in New England. Various family traditions indicate another generation in America before Josiah. The names of Alfred and Eleazeer and another brother who came from England have been mentioned. It has been supposed that his parents were Daniel Closson, who died, 2 July 1702, and his wife Elizabeth Closson, who died, 6 Dec. 1705. However, according to the Tiverton, Rhode Island records, the name, Daniel, does not appear again in the early generations of the family. {Note: Surname is a variant of Close, a topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosure of some sort, such as a courtyard in town or a farmyard in the country, originally from Late Latin clausum, past participle of claudere (to close, shut).}

      The first record of Josiah Closson is found in the records of the town of Woburn, Massachusetts, 24 Jun 1676, and the journal of John Hull, Treasurer of War for the colony. (The name was spelled Clarson, Clopson, or Cloyson). He was a soldier in King Philip's war from the town of Woburn serving under Capt. Joseph Syll and garrisoned at Chelmsford, however he was not a citizen of the town when was enlisted. This means that he was probably a servant or hired laborer at the time.

      It was the custom of the times for the towns to assess the payment of their own soldiers to the families left at home. Josiah was about 21 years old at the time and not married, so the question arises: In whose interest did Josiah "Clarson" assign his wages to in the town of Woburn?

      There were 140 male citizens in Woburn when the war began. In Dec. 1675, 13 soldiers were impressed from Woburn and three more on 22 Mar. 1676. Later Woburn furnished 45 others. Of the 61 persons enlisted from Worburn 14 (Peter and John Bateman, Chamberlain, Clopson, Coddington, Crisp, Fletcher, Hood, the 2 Parkers, Roberts, Simpson, Wallis and Wilkinson) were probably not citizens of Woburn when the War began but were servants or hired laborers who were persuaded to enlist for the town. Of these, Clopson, Roberts, Wallis and Wilkinson returned and were taxed in Woburn after the War had ended.

      Josiah did not stay in Woburn long as the Marshfield, Massachusetts records show that he married Mary Williamson there on 10 Mar 1678/1679. She was born 7 Jul 1654, the daughter of Timothy Williamson and Mary Howland. We do not know why Josiah went to Marshfield unless he met Capt. Timothy Williamson during the war. A daughter was born to Josiah and Mary, 1 Dec 1679 and their son, Timothy, 5 Jan 1680/1.

      Col. Benjamin Church, the leader of the Plymouth forces in King Philip's War, owned land and had started to build a home in Little Compton before the War broke out. After the War Col. Church returned to Little Compton and continued the settlement. His associates were residents of Marshfield and Duxbury and it was natural that Josiah should follow his famous leader there. Thus, we find that

      Josiah had moved to Little Compton about 1682 when the town was incorporated and opened for settlers. His second son, Nehemiah, was born there, 1 Feb. 1682/3. The "Grate Lots" or the main part of the town were given to the incorporators so he purchased several of the "15 acre lots" of which each of the proprietors drew one. He lived in the Quicksand Ponds area in the southeast part of Little Compton.

      In 1682 a decree was issued to the elders of the colony churches to take turns and visit Seaconett (Little Compton) for the preaching of the word of God. The next year the Plymouth Court directed the town to raise £15. For the support of the Minister. The people held a town meeting and sent word to the Court that they would not raise the money. In Oct. 1685 the Court issued a peremptory order, thus: "To the Constable of Little Compton. Whereas the Town of Little Compton has – manifest their refusal of obedience not only in neglect but contempt – You are then in his Majesty's name required to summon the inhabitants of your town personally to appear at his Majesty's Court at Plymouth March next then and there to appear to answer the Contempt aforesaid." Josiah Closson was serving as constable at this time. The town was fined £20. for neglect and contempt. The fine was paid.

      Deeds recorded at Taunton, Bristol Co. Mass.:

      23 Nov 1694 – Matthew Howard of Little Compton for £6. New England money sells to Josiah Clauson of Little Compton land there east of Cole Brook Line, 1/2 part of a share formerly belonging to Josiah Cooke of Eastham.

      31 Dec 1694 – Peter Taylor of Newport, Rhode Island, Cordwainer, for £7. 6s sells to Josiah Clauson of Little Compton, husbandman, 1/4 of a whole part or share in Little Compton lying east to the Cole Brook Line.

      23 Dec. 1695 – William Southworth of Little Compton, Yeoman, for £23. New England money, sells to Josiah Clauson lot No. 19 (10A) among the Ten Acre Lots at Coxet River and 1/2 meadow lot at Coxet River in Little Compton.

      All of the above deeds recorded 10 Jan. 1699/1700.

      Josiah died intestate, 13 Feb. 1698/9, at 44 years of age. The Court appointed his widow Mary Clawson Administrix.

      Inventory of the Estate dated 6 Mar. 1698/9 – £77. 15s 00d.

      Debts owed by the deceased exibited 10 July 1700. – £10. 01s 05d.

      Land as follows:

      1 whole meadow lot on Barkere Neck No. 16 2 1/2 acres

      1 whole 10 acre lot No. 1910 acres

      1/2 of 15 acre lot No. 32 7 1/2 acres

      1/2 of 10 acre lot No. 34 5 acres

      1/2 of 20 acre lot No. 14 10acres

      1/2 of 4 acre lot No. 13 2 acres

      Total 37acres

      Under the law of inheritance all children are in one degree but the eldest son has an acknowledgment for his seniority of birth, which generally amounted to a double portion. The homestead appears to have remained intact for the widowed mother's use until after her death between 1721 and 1726 when distribution was made. Josiah Closson had 8 children, all were miners at the time of his death. As there is no further record of the first daughter or of his youngest son, Josiah Jr., it is believed they died before Josiah's death or at least before the distribution was made after their mother's death. As his estate seems to have been divided into seven parts, two for Timothy and one each for the other five children.

      Children of Josiah Closson and Mary Williamson:

      (a daughter) Closson, born 1679, at Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Died young

      Timothy Closson, born 5 Jan 1680/1, at Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married about 1704, Martha Wilbore, daughter of Joseph Wilbore and Ann Brownell.

      Nehemiah Closson, born 1 Feb 1683/4, at Little Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married about 1709, Elizabeth Banks.

      Mary Closson, born 5 Jan 1687, at Litttle Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married about 1707, John Bull.

      Caleb Closson, born 16 Apr 1688, at Little Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married about 1712 at Freeman, Bristol, Massachusetts, Anna ______; he died after 1746 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island.

      Hannah Closson, born 31 Aug 1690, at Little Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

      Nathan Closson, born 3 Feb 1693/1694, at Little Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married Alice Hart;

      Josiah Closson, born 16 Jan 1696/1697, at Little Compton, Plymouth, Massachusetts, probably died young.

      Reference: William G. Closson, "The Josiah Closson Family of New England," 1952, pp. 1-157.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1515] Grace Williamson Edes, "Timothy Williamson of Marshfield, Mass., and His Descendants." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 81:72, January 1927., calls him "Josiah Slawson.".

    2. [S479] Little Compton Families, from records compiled by Benjamin Franklin Wilbour. Little Compton, Rhode Island: Little Compton Historical Society, 1967. Little Compton Families, from records compiled by Benjamin Franklin Wilbour. Little Compton, Rhode Island: Little Compton Historical Society, 1967. Fifth edition, Baltimore: Clearfield, 1997.

    3. [S399] The Settlers of the Beekman Patent by Frank J. Doherty. Ongoing multivolume series, 1990-2003.

    4. [S989] Kimball G. Everingham's Genealogical Database.

    5. [S1515] Grace Williamson Edes, "Timothy Williamson of Marshfield, Mass., and His Descendants." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 81:72, January 1927., says "9 Mar. 1678/9".