Capt. Jonathan Sparrow

Capt. Jonathan SPARROW (1633 -1707) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Capt. Jonathan Sparrow was born 26 Oct 1633 in Kent, England.  Hia parents were Richard SPARROW and Pandora [__?__]. He maried Rebecca BANGS 26 Oct 1654 in Eastham MA.  Our ancestor, Rebbeca Sparrow was his first daughter.  After Rebecca died, Jonathan  married Hannah Prence Mayo (widow of Nathaniel Mayo) on 5 Jul 1667 at Eastham MA. He married a third time to  Sarah Lewis Cobb (widow of James Cobb) on 23 Nov 1698.  Jonathan  died on 21 Mar 1706/07 at Eastham MA at age 73.


Jonathan Sparrow Headstone 2

Eastham Cove Burying Ground, Eastham, Barnstable Co, Massachusetts
This gravestone along with that of Thomas Mulford is the oldest on the Outer Cape from Orleans to Provincetown. The side borders are deeply carved with fruits and gourds. It is carved in the style of William Mumford or Nathaniel Emmes.

Jonathan Sparrow Reverse Grave

Jonathan Sparrow Headstone Detail

Rebecca Bangs was born 1632 in Plymouth MA. She was the daughter of Edward BANGS and Rebecca HOBBART. Rebecca  died before 1678.

Hannah Prence  was  born 1628 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.  Her parents were  our ancestors  Gov.Thomas PRENCE and  Patience  BREWSTER.   Hannah first married 13 Feb 1650 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass to Nathaniel Mayo (b. 1627 in England d. 1662 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.)  After Nathaniel died, she married 5 Jun 1667 in Mass. to Jonathan Sparrow. Hannah died 23 Nov 1698.

Children of Hannah Prence and Nathaniel Mayo:

i. Thomas Mayo b: 7 Dec 1650 Eastham

ii. Nathaniel Mayo b: 13 Nov 1652 Eastham; m. Elizabeth Wixam (1660 – ).

iii. Samuel Mayo b: 12 Oct 1655 Eastham;  d. 29 Oct 1738 in Eastham; m. 26 May 1681 to Ruth Hopkins (b: Jun 1653 in Eastham –  d. dates given online vary from 1693 to 1738, in Eastham or Harwich) Ruth’s parents were Gyles Hopkins and Katherine Wheldon  All four of her grandparents were our ancestors:  Gabriel WHELDONJane [__?__] and Stephen HOPKINSMary [__?__] Samuel and Ruth had seven children born between 1682 and 1696. Later, Samuel married 31 Aug 1728 in Eastham to Mary Sweat (b: 1701 in Eastham).

iv. Hannah Mayo b: 17 Oct 1657 Eastham

v. Theophilus Mayo b: 17 Dec 1659 Eastham

vi. Bathsheba Mayo b: 1661 Eastham

Sarah Lewis was born 2 Feb 1644 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass. Her parents were George Lewis and Sarah Jenkins. She first married 26 Dec 1663 in Barnstable  to James Cobb (b. 14 Jan 1634 in Plymouth, Mass – d. 1695 in Barnstable)  After James died, she married 23 Nov 1698 in Barnstable  to Jonathan Sparrow.  Sarah died 11 Feb 1735 in Barnstable.

Children of Jonathan and Rebecca

Name Born Married Departed
1. Rebecca SPARROW 30 Oct 1655
Eastham MA
Deacon Thomas FREEMAN 15 Feb 1739/40 in Harwich MA
2. John Sparrow 2 Nov 1656
Eastham, MA
Apphia Tracy
5 Dec 1683
Eastham, MA
23 Feb 1734/35 Eastham, MA
3. Priscilla Sparrow 13 Feb 1657/58
Eastham, MA
Edward Gray
ca. 1679
Eastham, Mass.
29 Mar 1682
4. Jonathan Sparrow Jul 9 1665 Rebecca Merrick
Sarah Snow (Daughter of our ancestor Jabez SNOW)
9 Mar 1639
West Brewster, MA
5. Mary Sparrow 10 Mar 1658/59
Eastham, MA
6. Lydia Sparrow 19 Nov 1660 Eastham, MA William Freeman
(son of our ancestor John FREEMAN)
1685 Eastham, MA
Jonathan Higgins
31 May 1687 Eastham, MA
16 Mar 1707/08
Eastham, MA
7. Elizabeth Sparrow ca. 1661 Eastham, Mass. Samuel Freeman
5 Feb 1683/84
31 Aug 1688
Eastham, Mass.

Children of Jonathan and Hannah Prence:

Name Born Married Departed
8. Richard Sparrow 17 Mar 1669/70
Eastham, MA
Mercy Cobb
4 Feb 1700/01
East Hampton, CT
13 Apr 1728 – Eastham, MA
9. Patience Sparrow 25 Oct 1675
Eastham, Barnstable, Mass
John Paine
27 May 1691 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass
John Jenkins
23 Nov 1715 Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass
25 Oct 1745
Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass.
10. Abigail Sparrow 1677 Samuel Mayo
8 Jun 1713

Jonathan Sparrow, Esq.  was a very active citizen, being a school-master, constable, deacon of the church and justice of the peace; he was elected deputy nineteen times and selectman ten times. In King Phillip’s war he began as an ensign, then lieutenant, receiving his captaincy in 1689.

Cape Code Library of Local History and Genealogy, Vol I

Chatham, Barnstable, Mass

Chatham, Barnstable, Mass

Chatham, Barnstable, Mass

In 1665, to settle the difficulty at Monomoy, now Chatham between William Nickerson and the Colonial government respecting the illegal purchase of land of the Indian sachem there, Nickerson was allowed one hundred acres of the purchased land, and Major John FREEMAN, with Thomas Hinckley, William Sargeant, Anthony Thacher, Nathaniel Bacon, Edmund HAWES,  Thomas HOWES, Sr,  Thomas FOLLAND, Sr and Lt. Joseph Rogers was allowed a grantee of the remaining portion with the privilege with the above named to purchase adjacent land.

In 1672,  Major Freeman disposed of his right to William Nickerson; and in 1674 Major Freeman and  Capt. Jonathan SPARROW were appointed to lay out Nickerson’s land with instructions, but for some cause the work was not accomplished by the committee until 1692.

Native American tribes who lived in the Chatham before European colonization include the Nauset, specifically the Manomoy or Monomoy people. “Manamoyik” was a Nauset village located near present-day Chatham. Explorer Samuel de Champlain landed here in 1606, contacting (and skirmishing with) the Nauset. English settlers first settled in Chatham in 1665, and the town was incorporated in 1712, naming it after Chatham, Kent, England. Located at the “elbow” of Cape Cod, the community became a shipping, fishing, and whaling center. Chatham’s early prosperity would leave it with a considerable number of 18th century buildings, whose charm helped it develop into a popular summer resort.

10 Jun 1673 – John FREEMAN, Jonathan SPARROW, John Tracy, Mark Snow, Jeremiah Howes, Arthur HOWLAND and Isaac Barker receipted to “our mother-in-law Mrs. Mary Prence late wife and executrix to our father Thomas Prence Esquire deceased” for their shares of the estate of Thomas Prence.

1675 – Jonathan was Lietenant in the 2nd Barnstable Company, Plymouth Regiment in the war with King Phillip.  Our ancestor Captain John GORHAM was Jonathan’s Captain in the same company.  While they are both related to us, they are five generations removed from each other.  John led his troops in the Great Swamp Fight (or Massacre) of December 19, 1675, was wounded and died two months later..

10 Jun 1676 – Josiah Winslow, Esquire, “attorney for … Susanna Prence at Catheren Gate near the Tower in London …, singlewoman”; and John Freeman in the right of Mary his wife and as attorney for “Mary Prence, relict and executrix of the last will and testament of the honored Thomas Prence, late Governor … deceased,” and of Jonathan Sparrow and Hannah his wife, Marke Snow and Jane his wife, and Jeremiah HOWES and Sarah his wife, daughters of the said Thomas Prence; and John Tracye and Mary his wife, Arthur Howland and Elizabeth his wife, and Isacke Barker and Judith his wife, daughters also of the said Thomas Prence, sold to Constant Southworth, treasurer and agent of Plymouth Colony, “all that our dwelling house, messuage or tenement” in Plymouth “at a place commonly called Plain Dealing”; signed by Josiah Winslow, John Freeman, John Trasye, Arthur Howland and Isack Barker.

1679  – “Select Courts” “being establishe by law, Capt. Jonathan Sparow , Mr Mark Snow and Mr. John Doane were commissioned to hold them in this town.” Eastham, MA.


1. Rebecca SPARROW (See Deacon Thomas FREEMAN‘s page)

2. John Sparrow

John’s wife Apphia Tracy was born 1663 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass. Her parents were John Tracy and Mercy Prence. Apphia died 15 Dec 1739 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.

John Sparrow Gravestone — Orleans Cemetery, East Orleans, Barnstable County, Mass

78y 7m 20d

3. Priscilla Sparrow

Priscilla’s husband Edward Gray was born 1656 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass. Her parents were John Gray and Hannah Lumpkin. After Priscilla died, he married 16 Jul 1684 in Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Mass to Melatiah Lewis (b. 13 Jan 1664 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass. – d. 1729 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass.) Edward died 7 Jun 1726 in Tiverton, Bristol, Mass

4. Jonathan Sparrow

Jonathan’s first wife Rebecca Merrick was born 28 Nov 1668 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. Her parents were William Merrick (1643 – 1732) and Abigail Hopkins (1644 – ). Rebecca died before 5 May 1723 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.

Jonathan’s second wife Sarah Snow was born 16 Feb 1672/73 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. Her parents were our ancestors Jabez SNOW and Elizabeth SMITH. She first married Henry Young (b. 17 Mar 1671/72 in Eastham – d. 26 Apr 1706 in Eastham) His parents were John Young (b. 1624) and Abigail Howland (1629 – 1692). His maternal grandparents were Quakers Henry Howland and Mary Newland and his great grandparents were our ancestors Henry HOWLAND Sr and Margaret AIRES.

There is an inconsistency between Rebecca Merrick’s reported death before 5 May 1723 and Sarah’s and Jonathan’s reported 1712 marriage.

Many genealogies say that Sarah and Jonathan had a son Jabez Sparrow born in 1712.  I can find no further information on Jabez nor Rebecca’s death (the “before” note indicates a probate record existed) or Sarah and Jonathan’s marriage.

Some genealogies say that Jonathan and Sarah had a daughter Sarah Sparrow (b. ~ 1705 in Eastham – d. ~ 1784 in Eastham) who married Enos Knowles (30 Apr 1712 in Eastham – d. ~1784 in Eastham) Enos’ parents were Samuel Knowles (1682 – 1750) and Bethiah Brown (1685 – ). Enos and Sarah had six children betwen 1736 and 1744.

Other genealogies say Enos’ wife Sarah’s parents were Jonathan’s brother Richard Sparrow and Mercy Cobb. However, Richard and Mercy’s daughter Sarah Sparrow (b. 1708 in Eastham – d. 1790 in Eastham) married Edmund Freeman (b. 1703 in Barnstable, Mass. – d. 22 Jul 1782 in Orleans, Barnstable, Mass.) and had at least two children Jonathan (b. 1730) and Edmund Jr. (b. 1731). Edmund, married first, April 22, 1725 to Lois Paine, and second Sep 25, 1729 to Sarah Sparrow.

Some thoughts:

  •  It’s a little unusual that Rebecca had six children between ages 22 and 34 and then none after.
  • The seventeen years between Henry’s death in 1706 and Rebecca’s death in 1723 is a long time to be a widow and then remarry.
  • Divorce was unusual in 18th C Massachusetts  and court records plentiful.
  • It seems likely that their were two cousins named Sarah Sparrow, one who married Enos Knowles and another who married Edmund Freeman.
  • Sarah Sparrow and Sarah Snow share the same first name.
  • Jabez was Sarah’s father’s name.

Therefore, my conclusion in that Sarah and Jonathan married shortly after Henry Young’s 26 Apr 1706 death and Rebecca Merrick died WELL before 5 May 1723.   If any knows more, please post a reply, thanks.,

Jonathan Sparrow Jr Gravestone —  Orleans Cemetery, East Orleans, Barnstable County, Mass Find A Grave Memorial# 47232439

Children of Jonathan and Rebecca:

i. Hannah Sparrow b. 1690 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

ii. Abigail Sparrow b. 1691 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

iii. Jonathan Sparrow b. 1695 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

iv. Joseph Sparrow b. 1699 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

v. John Sparrow b. 1700 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

vi. Rebecca Sparrow b. 15 Sep 1702 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.;

6. Lydia Sparrow

Lydia’s first husband William Freeman was born Oct 1662 Eastham, Mass.  His parents were John FREEMAN and Mercy PRENCE.  William died 31 MAY 1687 Eastham, Mass.

Lydia’s second husband Jonathan Higgins was born Aug 1664 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. His parents were Jonathan Higgins and Elizabeth Rogers. Lydia died 2 Nov 1754 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass

7. Elizabeth Sparrow

Elizabeth’s husband Samuel Freeman Capt Samuel Freeman was born 26 Mar 1662 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.  His parents were Samuel Freeman and Mercy Southworth.  After Elizabeth died 31 Aug 1688 Eastham, Mass during the birth of their second child, he married 1693 to Eastham, Mass to Bathsheba Lathrop, daughter of Barnabas LATHROP and  Susanna CLARK.  Samuel died 30 Jan 1743 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.

8. Richard Sparrow

Richard’s wife Mercy Cobb was born 9 Apr 1685 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass. Her parents were James Cobb (1634 – 1694) and Sarah Lewis (1644 – 1735). After Richard died in 1728, she married 19 Apr 1729 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass to Israel Doane (b. 1672 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass/ – d. 5 Jun 1740 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.) Mercy died 1732 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass

Richard Sparrow Headstone — Orleans Cemetery, East Orleans, Barnstable County, Mass


The gravestone has sunk and part of the inscription is below ground.

9. Patience Sparrow

Patience’s first husband John Paine was born 14 Mar 1661. His parents were Thomas Paine and Mary Snow. John died 1 Oct 1712 in Orleans, Barnstable, Mass.

Patience’s second husband John Jenkins was born 13 Nov 1659 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass. His parents were John Jenkins and Mary Ewer. John died 8 Jul 1736 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Mass

10. Abigail Sparrow

Abigail’s husband Samuel Mayo was born about 1682 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. His parents were Samuel Mayo and Ruth Hopkins. Samuel died 07 Oct 1761 in Harwich, Barnstable, Mass


This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Public Office, Veteran and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Capt. Jonathan Sparrow

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  25. Keonte Kendrick says:

    Hello. My name is Keonte. My cousin(who’s a historian) and I have been working on our family tree, and have recently discovered we are also descendents of Jonathan Sparrow thru his daughter Rebecca Sparrow.

  26. Susan B Schumaker says:

    I’m trying to ascertain the parents of my 4th great grandfather, Thomas Sparrow (1748-1825). My cousin believes that a Joseph Sparrow (1711-1775) , who would be the son of a John Sparrow & Dolly Hungerford would be Thomas’s great grandparents.

    Following that line, then John Sparrow (1656-1734) & Apphia Tracy would be Thomas’s 2 x ggps. And, John Sparrow’s parents would be the well documented Jonathan Sparrow & Rebecca Bangs.

    However, the link between my 4th ggf, Thomas Sparrow and would might be his possible 3 x gggps is not well document.

    Could my family be a previously unknown Sparrow line of descendants of Jonathan Sparrow and Rebecca Bangs?

  27. this is really good info on well the family I’m also related to the family

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