Robert Carver

Robert CARVER (1594 – 1680)  was probably not Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather;  one of 8,192 in this generation of the Miner line.  See note from Bev Anderson below.   The town of Carver, Massachusetts, that is called the cranberry capitol of the world is named for Robert’s uncle John  Carver, the first governor of Plymouth Colony.

Carver, Mass Cranberry Bogs

Robert Carver was born in 1594 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England. . His parents were Isaac CARVER and Catherine [__?__]. He married Christian TURNER on 4 Aug 1617 in Lydiard District, Wiltshire, England.  He was the cousin of  John Carver, governor of the Mayflower and  the first governor of Plymouth Colony.  Robert came to the Plymouth colony later, and settled at Marshfield before 1638 having been granted 20 acres of land at Greene’s Harbor.  Robert died in Apr 1680 in Boston when he was 86 yrs old and is buried in Marshfield Mass.

Robert and Christian Carver – Founders Monument Marshfield, Mass

Christian Turner was born 1596 in England. Christian died 23 Jul 1658 in Marshfield, Plymouth Colony.

Children of   Robert and Christian:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth CARVER? c. 1632
2 Oct 1649
c. 1660
Enfield, CT
2. John Carver 23 Jun 1637
Marshfield, Plymouth Colony
Millicent Ford
4 Nov 1658
23 Jun 1679

John Carver, first governor of Plymouth Colony, was “sonne of James Carver, Lincolnshire, yeoman” and it has been the commonly accepted tradition that Robert Carver, the emigrant, was his brother, which tradition was supposed to have been established as fact by the historian of Marshfield, Mass., who received information from a Carver descendant whose grandfather had lived 21 years with his grandfather Robert, the emigrant. But it is now known that Robert was a son of Isaac, a brother of Governor Carver and consequently the Governor’s nephew.”

The Carver Family of New England, Clifford Nickels Carver, p.23:

“In Leyden the Carvers [John & Catherine] lived first on Widdleberg, and, after 1617, on Middelgracet. And here it appears that the nephew Robert Carver, joined John Carver, for in one of the Leyden records, Robert Carver is referred to as the grandson of Katharine Carver (the wife of James Carver and mother of Isaac and John).

The town of Carver, Plymouth, Mass was named for Robert’s uncle John, first Governor of Plymouth Colony.

Robert was a proprietor in Marshfield, Mass. 3 Sep 1638, and his name is on the list of those able to bear arms in 1643. He was admitted a freeman 7 Jun 1648; was a juryman and held verious town offices. He had a son John. (New England Families & Memorial:Third Series, Vol. IV)

From The Carver Family of New England, Robert Carver of Marshfield & His Descendants, p. 23:

It appears that in middle life, John Carver … in Leyden, the Carver’s lived first on Widdlebert, and after 1617 on Middlegracet. And here it appears that the nephew, Robert Carver, joined John Carver, for in one of the Leyden records, Robert Carver is referred to as the grandson of Katharine Carver (the wife of James Carver and mother of Isaac & John).

In “The Genealogical & Family History of the State of Maine, (comp. by Little) the statement is made that Isaac Carver, father of Robert and brother of John died in Leyden, which leads to believe that he too had followed his brother there.

Robert lived in Duxbury for a while, but moved back to Marshfield. He served on the grand jury in 1643. Robert made an arrangement with Millicent Ford Carver (surviving wife of son John) to live with her after John’s death, with half the estate going to John & Millicent’s oldest son, William, during Robert’s lifetime, and the other half going to William after the death of Millicent.

No good record has been found of his birth or parentage beyond the records listed above.  It is thought that he was in Leyden, Holland before the Pilgrims left there, but no proof of his residence has been found.        It is not known when Robert and Christian Carver came to America.  Their names have not been located on any ships passenger lists.  There was a large immigration in 1635 and this is when Robert might have come over.


3 Sep 1638 – Robert Carver definitely appears in the Plymouth Colony  when at a Court of Assistants held at New Plymouth “Robert Carver is granted 20 acres of land lying on the northwest side Greenes Harbor River and a garden place upon Stoney River.”  This land was in the town of Dusbury, which was founded in 1637.  Duxbury was the first town to be founded in Plymouth Colony after New Plymouth.

8 Oct 1639 – The records of the Court of Assistants show “Capt. Miles Standish, Mr. Alden, and Mr. Ed Winslow are appointed to lay forth the land and meadow granted to Job Cole and also to land granted to Francis Godfrey and Robert Carver.”

10 Sep 1641 – Robert was living in Duxbury when Edmund HAWES of Duxburrow agreed to exchange 10 acres of upland lying across Green River for 2,000 feet of sawn boards that sawyer Robert was to deliver.

“The Xth of September 1641. Memorand. That Edmond Hawes of Duxborrow doth acknowledge that for and in consideration of the sum of two thousand foote of Sawne boards to be delived and payed him by Robert Carver all those his Ten acres of upland lyinge crosse Green’s Harbor payth with all his labors in & aboute the same with all and singueler the apprtencs thereunto belonging and all his Right Title an interest of and into the said prmisss. To have and to hold the said Tenn acres of upland & wth all and singuler the apprtenences thereunto belonging unto the said Robte Carver his heirs and assignes for ever and to the onely per use and behoofe of him the said Robert Carver his heires and assignes forever.”

Soon after this Robert moved to Marshfield when on 7 Mar 1643 he was appointed grand juryman.  Marshfield was organized at Greens Harbor as a town in 1640.

1643 –  Robert’s name appears as non-commissioned officer on a list of males in Marshfield between the ages of 16-60 who were able to bear arms.

Aug 1645 – At Marshfield’s town meeting the following entry appears in the town minutes: “On motion being made for one to teach school, we, whose names are underwritten, are willing to pay yearly, besides paying for our children we shall send, viz: Edward Winslow 20 shilling, Thomas BOURNE 10 shilling, John Bourne 10 shilling, Robert Carver 10 shilling, Thomas Chillingsworth 10 shilling. This was the first recorded movement towards a public school in New England.

7 Jun 1648 – Robert Carver was made a Freeman of Plymouth Colony.  Being a Freeman gave Robert the right to vote and to hold office.

7 Jun 1651 – Robert acquired more land when he and John Russell of Marshfield, planter, bought from Thomas Chillingsworth about 40 acres of land in Marshfield for £15, 15 shilling to be paid in corn and cattle.

1653 – Robert was chosen a surveyor of highways.  He often served on juries.

27 Jun 1679 – Robert left no will, but after the death of John, his only known son, he made an agreement with John’s widow Millicent.   Robert was to live with her the remainder of his life.  In return her children were to have improvements of his whole estate until her eldest son, William, became 21.  At age 21 William received half of the estate.  At his mother’s death he was to receive the other half.  Millicent remarried a couple of years later. This land still belonged to Carvers as late as 1909.


1. Elizabeth CARVER? (See William RANDALL‘s page)

2. John Carver

John’s wife Millicent Ford was born between 1636-38, Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass. Her parents were Deacon William Ford and Anna (Hannah) Eames.  William Ford came to Plymouth in the Fortune in 1621.  After John died, she married 9 Mar 1681 in Marshfield, Mass to Thomas Drake.  Millicent died before 4 May 1696, Massachusetts.

Thomas Drake was born 13 Sep 1635 in Colyton, Devon, England. His parents were William Drake and Margaret Westover. He first married Jane Holbrook, daughter of Thomas HOLBROOK on 9 Mar 1655 Weymouth, Mass.  On 14 Dec. 1663 the town of Weymouth granted him six acres in the First Division and eighteen acres in the Second Division. (Weymouth Land Grants, 283.)    Elizabeth Drake, who married in Boston, 8 Jun 1654 to Ezekiel Hamlin, and Joane, the wife of Thomas Randall of Weymouth, were his sisters. Thomas died Weymouth MA 23 Sep 1692, estate settled in 1692.


This entry was posted in 14th Generation, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Miner, Pioneer, Public Office, Veteran and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Robert Carver

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  6. Bev Anderson says:

    Robert Carver and his wife Christian [surname unknown] had only one child: John Carver, born ca. 1637. Elizabeth Carver is NOT a daughter of Robert and Christian. See Clifford Nickels Carver’s book.

    The Elizabeth Carver you have listed has other parents, possibly Richard Carver, whose Carver surname from elsewhere in England died with him since he had daughters, no sons. IF Elizabeth Carver is your ancestor, you need to be looking for another Carver family from colonial New England, not Robert Carver, nephew of Gov. John Carver of the Mayflower. There is more than one Carver family since it’s a surname with occupation origins.

    The Robert Carver and Christian Turner marriage is for a couple in Wiltshire (source seems to be a “genealogist” who was hired by a Thomas Houck and she got the wrong Carver with the same name and she didn’t check out the math, nor, apparently, did she follow this couple to see if they left Wiltshire or not)…, and in terms of 17th century England, Wiltshire is a LONG ways from Lincolnshire or Doncaster, Yorkshire where John and Isaac were born (not all that far from where William Bradford was born and raised in Austerfield). While not impossible, it’s highly doubtful and very unlikely that there would be a twenty-year gap between the marriage date of Robert and Christian [surname unknown] and the birth of John, ONLY child of Robert and Christian.

    You’ve listed my web site as one of your sources. Please see my note under Christian’s name for further reference, and correct your records accordingly…, or remove my web site as your source. I have been doing genealogy research for 50 years, and I attempt to be as correct as possible regarding my records, including getting documents, and I do not wish to have my name associated with other information that I believe, or know, to be incorrect.

    Thank you.
    Bev Anderson

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