Edward STARBUCK (1604 -1690) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.
Edward Starbuck was born about 1604 in Draycot, Derbyshire, England. His father was also Edward STARBUCK. He married Katherine REYNOLDS about 1630 in Derbyshire, England. He migrated to America about 1635, settling at Dover NH. Edward died 4 Dec 1690, at Nantucket Island, MA age 86.
Katherine Reynolds was born about 1609 in Wales. Her parents may have been William REYNOLDS and Esther RUTH. After Edward died, she may have married Joseph Austin. Some sources state that Katherine died 4 Feb 1690/91, Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire. There is no record of Katherine’s death. Some sources assume that she died in Dover prior to the move to Nantucket, however, Noyes, Libbey and Davis state that she was living 19 June 1678 (without citing a source for this date). It is probable that she had died by 1685 when Edward alone deeded to son Nathaniel.
Katherine Starbuck is known through her signing with her husband on two deeds. She signed with him in May or July 1653 when they sold land to their son-in-law Peter Coffin. Later in 1659, Edward and Katherine deeded land to Mr. Broughton, which excepted the house and land on the Newichawannock River which belonged to “Goodwife Starbuck” as “being formerly given her…in wife’s right…”
Children of Edward and Katherine:
|1.||Sarah STARBUCK||c. 1630
|6 Jun 1719
|2.||Nathaniel Starbuck||20 FEB 1633/34
|6 JUN 1719
|William Gayer 17 OCT 1672 Nantucket, Mass||OCT 1696 Nantucket, Mass.|
15 Aug 1682 Dover, Norfolk, Mass
|20 Oct 1657
|5.||Shuah Starbuck||1648 Nantucket, Mass||Ensign James Heard
Kittery, York, ME
|bef. 3 JUL 1729
Kittery, York, Maine
Portsmouth, Rockingham, NH.
|bef. AUG 1694 Dover, NH|
|7.||Jethro Starbuck||27 MAY 1651
|Run over by a cart
27 MAY 1663
The name Starbuck is Scandinavian and signifies a person of imposing appearance, great or grand bearing…..bokki meaning “vis grandis corpore et animo. Ferguson gives it Starbocki, from Star, great “vir imperiosus.” It is not improbable that the family was of Danish origin and settled in England in the days of what is historically known as the Danish Invasion. Patronymica Brittannica says in “O. Norse bokki; means “vir grandis, corpose et animo.” Hence Starbocki from Stor, great.
The name Starbuck is evocative of swashbuckling adventure with a contemplative, intellectual side. I wonder which sides were in the original Edward Starbuck.
- In Moby Dick, Starbuck is the young chief mate of the Pequod, is a thoughtful and intellectual Quaker from Nantucket.
- Kara Thrace (call sign “Starbuck“) is a fictional character in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica franchise. Played by Katee Sackhoff, she is a revised version of Lieutenant Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series.
- Dana Scully, a character in the TV series The X-Files, given the nickname “Starbuck” by her father, after the Moby Dick character.
- The multinational coffee chain Starbucks was named after Starbuck, not due to any affinity for coffee, but because the name “Pequod” was first rejected by one of the co-founders.
Starbuck was an important Quaker family name on Nantucket Island, and there were several actual whalemen of this period named “Starbuck,” as evidenced by the name of Starbuck Island in the South Pacific whaling grounds.
Valentine Starbuck was born on May, 22 1791 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He commanded various whalers in the Pacific. In 1823, while captaining the British whaleship Aigle, he was chartered by Hawaiian King Kamehameha II for a trip to Britain on a state visit. The passengers included Queen Kamāmalu and a few other nobles. The Hawaiian King and Queen died of measles while at London, and Valentine was sued by his employers for not completing his whaling voyage.
Prior to his journey to London, Valentine had sighted an island in the Pacific, known as Starbuck or Volunteer Island. When Royal Navy captain George Anson Byron came across this island when returning the bodies of the Hawaiian king and Queen to their homeland on the HMS Blonde (1819), he named the island “Starbuck” in Valentine’s honour. However, his cousin Obed Starbuck had sighted the island previously.
Obed Starbuck (1797 -1882) whaled in the Pacific for many years, Obed made a number of significant voyages. Sailing on the Hero 1822-1824, which returned to Nantucket with 2173 barrels of sperm oil, he discovered an island on 5 Sep 1823, located at 5°32′ S, 155°5′ W, since known as Starbuck Island (also called “Hero Island”). From 1824-1826, Obed captained the Loper, in which vessel he was the first European to visit an outlying island in the Phoenix groupwhich he named “New Nantucket” which, when re-discovered in 1835 by Michael Baker, was renamed Baker Island. Obed named “Loper Island” (Niutao) which was sighted by Francisco Antonio Mourelle on May 5, 1781. who named Niutao, El Gran Cocal (‘The Great Coconut Plantation’). Obed also named “Tracy Island” (Vaitupu), and various other now-unidentified islands. Based on reported locations, these might include Birnie Island and Sydney Island, previously discovered by Capt. Emmett in 1820, although it is hard to be precise due to the bearings given. On this journey, Obed also completed the mapping of Tuvalu, which had been begun by Captain George Barrett of the Nantucket whaler Independence II..
Our ancestors and their close relatives participated in half of the original 10 partnerships of Nantucket Island. Many were Quakers, Baptists and other dissents looking to escape harsh Puritan rule in New England. See my story Nantucket Founders for details.
The First Purchasers of Nantucket included ten men. The ten needed to raise additional capital, and in 1659 at a meeting at Salisbury, Massachusetts it was agreed that each of the ten could invite in a partner. It was agreed at the meeting that Major Pike would keep the Salisbury records of the First Purchasers and that Thomas Macy would keep the Nantucket records.
Edward Starbuck was the partner of Thomas Macy who deeded his Amesbury house to Anthony COLBY when he fled to Nantucket.
In the ” Macy Genealogy” it is related that ” in 1659 Thomas Macy embarked at Salisburv in a small boat with his wife and children and such household goods as he could conveniently carry, and in company with Thomas COLEMAN‘s son Isaac Coleman age 12 and Edward STARBUCK age 55 set sail for Nantucket. Isaac later drowned when he was 22 on 6 Jun 1669 with John Barnard and Bethiah (Folger) Barnard out of a large freight canoe between Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket while returning from a supply trip. Bethia’a older brother Eleazer Folger survived by clinging to the drifting canoe. It is assumed that the Nantucket Indians who were crewing the large canoe also drowned. Bethiah was Benjamin Franklin’s aunt.
Edward Starbuck and his wife Katherine came to New England about 1635, and settled in Dover, NH. Although there is no documented evidence to date, Edward’s wife is traditionally known as Katherine Reynolds. As early as 1862, James Savage, in A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, wrote that Edward Starbuck “m. Eunice or Catherine Reynolds, said to be from Wales.” Early Settlers of Nantucket, compiled by Lydia S. Hinchman and published is 1901, states that Edward’s wife was “Katharine (Reynolds), of Wales.” A footnote states “Some authorities give Eunice.”
George Edward McConnell and David Ross McConnell, in Our Family’s Starbuck Ancestry, published 1963, state “his wife, Katherine Reynolds, daughter of Robert, is thought to have been Welch.”
This Reynolds connection was also acknowledged in the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libbey and Walter Goodwin Davis in 1939. They stated that “his wife Katherine is repeatedly called Katherine Reynolds, but no documented evidence of the ‘Reynolds’ has been seen.” Such long-standing tradition should not be taken lightly, despite the current lack of extant evidence, and until research proves otherwise, we will consider that Katherine and her descendants constitute a branch of the Reynolds family in America.
It has been written in the above stated sources that Edward was from Derbyshire, England. The Starbuck genealogy adds that he was from Derbyshire or from Attenborough, Nottinghamshire. Noyes, Libbey and Davis state that Edward was of Draycut, Co. Derby and Attenboro, Co. Notts. There has apparently been no success to date with research in English records for the ancestry of either Edward or Katherine, though further study has been started by the RFA.
Here is a link to a Google Maps Satellite View of the present day location of Edward Starbuck’s Nantucket homestead. It’s a couple miles west of the town of Nantucket near Madaket Road.
Edward was representative in the General Court in 1643 and 1646, was an Elder in the church and in other ways enjoyed the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens. His influence over the Indians was so great that if at any time a suspicion or alarm arose among the early settlers, he was always in requisition to explain the apparent cause thereof, and to suggest a palliation for their rude and inexplicable action, which served to allay the fears of the more timid. There is a tradition that at one time an uprising among the Indians seemed imminent. They appeared to be gathering in hostile groups and as they greatly outnumbered the whites, it was a very serious affair. In this juncture, Edward Starbuck went unhesitatingly among them and soon succeeded in quieting them. The deed of Coatue to him by the Sachems as a “free and voluntary” gift shows their esteem for him. Tradition says that Edward Starbuck was a man of commanding presence.
In the 20th, 2 mo. 1644 it was ordered that Mr. Edward Starbuck, Richard Walderne & Wm. Furber be wearesmen for Cotcheco fall & river during their lives or so long as inhabitants. Various other grants were made to him, two of those being one of the Mill privilege at Cutchechoe 2nd Falls and one of timber to ‘accomodate’ in 1650. In “Landmarks in Ancient Dover” mention is made of Starbuck’s Brook in 1701 as a boundary of property which Peter Coffin (Edward’s son-in-law) conveyed to John Ham.
Starbuck’s Marsh was granted to Edward August 30, 1643, and Starbuck’s Point and Marsh, now called Fabyan’s Point, were granted to Edward in 1643. He is recorded several times as called on to be one of the “lot-layers.” He was Representative in the General Court in 1643 and 1646, was an Elder in the church and in other ways enjoyed the respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens. In 1640, Edward was an agent for Mr. Valentine Hill and Partner with Richard Waldron in lumbering on the Me. side in 1648. In 1653 he sold 1/2 his sawmill gr. To Peter Coffin, in 1657 sold to Thomas Broughton 1/4 the mill above Capt. Waldron’s mill at Cochecho.
In 1644 an act was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay banishing from the Colony all who should either openly or privately oppose the baptism of infants. While the punishment meted out to some of the offenders was severe, banishment was not always inflicted. Edward Starbuck was one of those who subscribed to the proscribed doctrine and the record of the General Court, under the date of 18 October 1648, says:
“This Court, being informed of great misdemener committed by Edward Starbucke, of Douer, with p’fession of Anabaptisme, for which he is to be p’ceeded agaynst at the next Court of Assistants, if evidence can be p’pared by that time, & it beinge very farre for wittnesses to travill to Boston at that season of the yeare, it is therefore ordered by this Court that the secritary shall give commission to Capt. Thomas Wiggan & Mr. Edw. Smith to send for such p’rsons as they shall haue notice of which are able to testifie in the s’d cause & to take theire testimonie uppon oath & certifie the same to the secritary so soone as may be, that further p’ceedings may be therein if the cause shall so require.”
There seems to be no indication from the record that the complaint was prosecuted, notwithstanding the severe penalty contemplated by the law. The action of the Court did not seem to affect his standing in his community for he continued to be called upon to lay out land.
Some time during his stay in Dover, Edward came under the influence of the Anabaptists. On 18 Oct 1648, he was charged with refusing to join with the established church in the rite of baptism. There is some question if these religious differences played a part over the next few years in Edward’s decision to move his family from Dover. Whatever the reason, Edward gave all his property in Dover to his son-in-law, Peter Coffin on 9 Mar 1659/60, and moved himself and his family, except for Abigail and Sarah who had already married, to Nantucket.
He accompanied Tristram Coffin on his voyage of discovery and Thomas Macy on his voyage of settlement. He deeded his Cochecho house, goods, cattle, etc. to his son-in-law Coffin on 9 Mar. 1659/60 and moved to Nantucket where he died. Dover lost a good citizen and Nantucket gained a much respected one; He was a leading man on the Island and at one time a Magistrate. He is described as courageous and persevering. When he came to the Island he occupied a house which he built at Madeket. His house lot as laid out was about 1000 feet square, extending northward from the head of Hummock Pond to Macy’s Pond.
His name appears there on the earliest Indian deed in 1660, and on many other deeds and documents in the succeeding years. He served as a selectman in 1673. On 18 March 1685, Edward deeded all his property and good to his son Nathaniel..
1. Sarah STARBUCK (See William STORY‘s page)
2. Nathaniel Starbuck
Nathaniel’s wife Mary Coffin was born 20 Feb 1645. Her parents were Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens.
At the time of his death, Nathaniel was doubtless one of the wealthiest, if not individually the wealthiest men on the island. He owned three full shares of land, having purchased a share of Stephen Greenleaf.
His wife, Mary Coffin, was one of the ablest women who ever lived on Nantucket, and her advice and influence were noteworthy factors in the conduct of affairs. She was the leading spirit in the organization of the Society of Friends on the Island. Mary was known on the island as “The Great Mary”, she converted practically everyone there to Quakers. The first Quaker meeting was held in her home in 1702.
Nathaniel was a man of marked ability and his wife was a woman of such excellent judgment that as Thomas Story noted in his Journal, she was “a wise and discreet woman, well read in Scripture and not attached to any sect, but in great reputation throughout the Island for her knowledge in matters of religion and an Oracle among them on that account, insomuch that they would not do anything without her advice and consent therein.” ,
4. Abigail Starbuck
Abigail’s husband Captain Peter Coffin was born in 1631 in Brixton, Devon, England. His parents were Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens. His grandparents were Peter COFFIN and Joane KEMBER. James died 21 March 1714/15, Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, but most of his life was passed at Dover.
Peter was one of the original purchasers of Nantucket, and tradition says the wealthiest of them, owning large mill property. He was a merchant at Dover before the purchase, and subsequently lived at Nantucket, but only for a short time to be considered as domiciled there. He was made freeman in 1666, at Dover; a Lieutenant in 1675, on service in King Philip’s Indian war; a Representative in the Legislative branch in 1672/73 and again in 1679. In 1690 he removed to Exeter, N.H. From 1692 to 1714 he was at different times associate justice and chief justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, and a member of the Governon’s Council.
He was elected as one of the magistrates of Nantucket. The early records of Nantucket are frequently devoted to transactions of Peter Coffin, in the purchase and sale of land, and of gifts and grants to his children The lumber for his son, Jethro’s house, now (1881) the oldest house standing on Nantucket, was the product of one of his mills.
The Half-Share Revolt
The first settlers had bought their rights to Nantucket with the intent of using the land for their own benefit. But, as more and more people came to Nantucket to live and work in the late seventeenth century, the newcomers began to resent their limited power and representation in the island’s government.
Led by ambitious newcomer John Gardner, many of the “half-share men” staged a peaceful revolt against the proprietary government led by Tristram Coffin. Through several appeals to the provincial government in New York, the half-share men eventually succeeded in having the original proprietary transformed in favor of a more democratic, town-meeting-based government, where all men who held property had equal voting rights.
At first Tristram Coffin was the leading spirit politically and little was done without his approval and sanction. And he also had the backing of the Mayhews who still retain their interest. After John Gardner arrived in 1672, who was also of strong and forceful personality, there was trouble. He soon became prominent in the affairs of the Island and was appointed Captain of the Fort Company by Governor Lovelace. Tristnam and John Gardner soon locked horns. Here are the two sides:
|Full Share Men||Half Share Men|
|Tristram COFFIN||John Gardiner|
|Thomas Mayhew||Peter Folger|
|John Swain||Thomas Macy|
|Christopher Hussey||William Worth|
|Meyers and Others|
In 1673 the freeholders were required to name two men for Chief Magistrate and Edward Starbuck and Richard Gardner were submitted The governor chose the latter and named his brother Jim for Captain of the military company. This did not please the Coffins as it made their rivals hold two of the principal offices and so began the long fight whenever there was a meeting held.
It was noted on the records, Mr. Tristram Coffin enters his dissent whereupon all the other members of his party followed suit but Tristram has been well called the great dissenter. The Coffins believed that the whole share men should have two votes and the half -share men one vote while the Gardners stood firm for equal power.
Each faction were soon appealing to the authorities in New York and the first round was won by the Coffins. In 1674 the Gardner faction still being in control fined Stephen Hussey for contempt for telling Captain John to “meddle with his own business”.
In 1676 Thomas Macy, then Chief Magistrate and William Worth sided with the Coffins and they regained control of affairs. William Worth was chosen clerk and Gardner and Folger were arbitrarily disfranchised and refused any participation in the affairs of the town.
On Feb 10, 1677, Peter Folger was arrested for contempt of His Majesty’s authority. He was bound over for 20 pounds to appear in Court and in default was committed to jail where he remained in “durance vile coery vile” according to Peter for the greater part of a year. Tobias COLEMAN,and Eleazer Folger and his wife Sarah..(Richard Gardner’s daughter) were arrested and fined for criticizing the Court.
Peter Folger refused to deliver up the Courts books. So things went on till August 1677 when Governor Andros took a hand and ordered a suspension of all further proceedings and later decided that Gardner and Folger’s disfranchisement was null and void.
Mayhew and Coffin were furious but Captain Gardner had won and the hatchet was soon after buried.
Finally, in June of 1678, everyone gets tired of the in-fighting and a settlement is reached. The Full-Share men will allow other parts of the island to be bought from the Natives and developed while the half-share men agree that it will all involve the town. Coffin and Gardner still hate each other, but everyone else is willing to live and let live.
Then, in September of that year, Tristram Coffin finds himself in very hot water. A French ship wrecked itself on the shoals and Coffin had supervised the salvage operation. After all the gear was grabbed from the boat, it needed to be stored and guarded. Coffin botched the job and was brought before the Admiralty Court. Faced with possible jail time and a steep fine, Coffin appealed to John Gardner to help him. Gardner weighed in on the Coffin side and Tristram was set free. One year later, Tristram died.
Without Coffin, the compromise began in earnest. The half-share and full-share men began talking and working again. Moreover, the Natives were granted grazing rights for their own horses and all three parties were at peace.
The final symbolic closure came in 1686 when Peter Coffin’s son Jethro married John Gardner’s daughter, Mary. John Gardner gave the new couple land for a new house and Peter Coffin supplied the lumber. They built, atop Sunset Hill, a house now known as the oldest house on Nantucket.
Jethro Coffin House, also know as the Oldest House, is the oldest house on Nantucket in its original location and is the only surviving structure from the island’s 17th Century English settlement. It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Because of the brick design on its chimney, it is also called the Horseshoe Housd
7. Shuah Starbuck
Shuah is named only by Noyes, Libbey and Davis; other sources do not name her as a child of Edward.