Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Mary Coffin

Female 1645 - 1717  (72 years)


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  • Name Mary Coffin  [1, 2, 3
    Born 20 Feb 1645  Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7
    Gender Female 
    Died 13 Nov 1717  Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7
    Buried Friends burying ground, Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Person ID I13182  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2019 

    Father Tristram Coffin,   b. Bef 11 Mar 1610, Brixton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 1681, Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 70 years) 
    Mother Dionis Stevens,   b. Bef 4 Mar 1610, Brixton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 29 Nov 1681  (Age > 71 years) 
    Married Abt 1629  Brixton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    Family ID F6298  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Nathaniel Starbuck,   b. 1635,   d. 2 Apr 1719  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 1662  [4, 6
    Children 
     1. Jethro Starbuck,   b. 14 Dec 1671,   d. 12 Aug 1770, Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years)
     2. Mary Starbuck,   b. 30 Mar 1663, Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1696  (Age 32 years)
    Last Modified 2 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F8221  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Alison M. Gavin, "A Tale of Two Women: Seventeenth-Century Coffin and Starbuck Matriarchs", citation details below:

      Tristram and Dionis's daughter Mary Coffin Starbuck undertook first alone, and later with her eldest son Nathaniel, a number of commercial ventures, including a country store, extensive land trading, and investment in the nascent Nantucket whaling industry. Mary not only knew how to read and write; she also mastered Latin and Greek, and was "well read in the Scriptures." Despite the fact that children growing up in the Bay Colony were required to attend school, Mary's level of education would have been unusual. The ability to read and write classical languages was usually a skill possessed only by young men studying for the ministry at Harvard College. All sources point to Mary being precocious and charismatic.

      From Noyes-Gilman Ancestry, citation details below:

      She was a remarkable woman, and in the language of a preacher of the day, "The Islanders esteemed her as a judge among them, for little of moment was done without her." She attended town meetings and took part in the debates, usually beginning "my husband thinks" so-and-so, or "my husband and I, having considered the matter, think" so-and-so; in 1701 she became a Quaker, and was distinguished as a teacher.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2272] Vital records of Nantucket, Massachusetts to the year 1850. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1925-1928. Also online here and here.

    2. [S3420] Thomas Gardner, Planter, and Some of His Descendants by Frank A. Gardner. Salem, Massachusetts: Essex Institute, 1907.

    3. [S3449] New Englanders in Nova Scotia, manuscript and collection of articles and research material, including articles written by Fred E. Crowell in the 1920s and 30s for the Yarmouth Herald, and also Crowell's research notes. R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society. Searchable at americanancestors.org.

    4. [S1562] The History of Nantucket, County, Island, and Town, Including Genealogies of First Settlers, by Alexander Starbuck. Boston: C. E. Goodspeed & Co., 1924.

    5. [S1568] Alison M. Gavin, "A Tale of Two Women: Seventeenth-Century Coffin and Starbuck Matriarchs." New England Ancestors 9.4, Fall 2008, p. 21.

    6. [S630] Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury, by Mary Lovering Holman. Concord, New Hampshire: The Rumford Press, 1938.

    7. [S544] Noyes-Gilman Ancestry: Being a Series of Sketches, with a Chart of the Ancestors of Charles Phelps Noyes and Emily H. (Gilman) Noyes, His Wife, by Charles Phelps Noyes. St. Paul, Minnesota, 1907.