John Lowell

John LOWELL (1595 – 1647)  and his father were original proprietors of Newbury, Mass when it was formally organized in March 1642.  He was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Percival Lowell - Coat of Arms

The Lowells were exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration

John Lowell was born in 16 Feb 1605 in Kinston, Seymour, Somerset, England.  His parents were Percival LOWELL and Rebecca [__?__].   On 17 Feb 1619, after being given a good education, he was apprenticed to Richard Baugh, glover of Bristol, England, and his wife Ann. If, as is usually the case, he was fourteen when he entered his service, he was born in 1605.  The apprentice papers read: “John, son of Percival Lowle, genersus.” Later he joined his father’s firm, which was a large import-export mercantile business.  He married Mary Gooch about 1628. In 1629, John became a burgress of Bristol. On 7 Sep 1637, he took as as an apprentice of his own, Richard Dole, for a period of seven years.

John was a Glover.  Pair of English Gloves c.1600

When Percival Lowell decided to come to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1639, his entire family accompanied him: his wife, Rebecca; their three children, John, Richard, and Joanna; spouses of their children; their grandchildren; and several others associated with the Lowell business. Among those coming was Richard Dole, as he had five more years of his apprenticeship to serve with John.  After Mary died, he married Elizabeth GOODALE in 1640 in Newbury, Mass.   John died 10 Jul 1647 in Newbury, Mass.

Alternatively, John was born in 1595 in Bristol, Somerset or in Portbury, Somerset

Mary Gooch was born 1615 in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England. Mary died 21 Nov 1639 in Newbury, Mass soon after the birth of their fifth child in Newbury, Mass.

Elizabeth Goodale was baptized 05 June 1614, probably in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, England.  Her parents were John GOODALE and Elizabeth PARLETT. She, along with her widowed mother, siblings and step-siblings  came to Newbury about 1637. After John Lowell’s death,  Elizabeth, made her home with her half-sister, Susan (Goodale) Toppan in Newbury, where she died 23 April 1651. Her will is dated 17 March 1650 and was proved 30 September 1651. She remembered her half-sister, Susan, and her stepsons John, James, and Joseph; but the bulk of her estate went to her daughter Elizabeth, then five, and her son Benjamin, then nine. Her third child, Thomas, was not mentioned, no doubt he was already deceased.

Children of John and Mary Gooch:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Lowell 1629 England Hannah Proctor
3 MAR 1652/53
Naomi Torrey
ABT 1665
7 JAN 1693/94 Boston
2. Mary Lowell 1633 England John Figg
Thomas Wyborne
3. Peter Lowell 1635
Mentioned in his step-mother’s will in 1651
4. James Lowell 1637
mentioned in his step-mother’s will in 1651
5. Joseph Lowell 28 NOV 1639 Newbury, Mass. Abigail Proctor
8 MAR 1657/58
19 Aug 1705

Children of John and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
6. Benjamin LOWELL 12 Sep 1642 Newbury Ruth WOODMAN
17 Oct 1666 in Newbury
22 Oct 1714 Cambridge, Mass
7. Thomas Lowell 4 Jun 1644 Ann Lovell 19 Aug 1705
Ipswich, Essex, Mass
8. Elizabeth Lowell 16 FEB 1645/46 Capt. Philip Nelson
1 NOV 1666 Rowley,
14 Dec 1731 Rowley, Mass.

From History of Ipswich: “Dame Elizabeth Lowle of Newbury had her riding suit and muff, silver bodkins & gold rings.”

John, as an active head of a family, was allotted four acres on the western side of High Street (#28).

1619 – While yet in England he apprenticed himself in  when24 years of age, to Richard Baugh of Bristol, England, who was a”Glover.”

1629 – He was admitted as a citizen of Bristol, England

7  Sep 1637 -He had Richard Dole apprenticed to him for seven years. Dole came with the Lowells to America and became a merchant of wealth and prominence in Newbury, where he settled.

2 Feb 1640 – John was made Freeman of Newbury

10 Dec 1641 – Constable of Newbury

17 Mar 1742 – With his father, was a freeholder.

1642 – One of John’s largest public responsibilities was as a member of the commission of eight appointed  to consider the desirability of moving the village to a new location. Four years later, these plans were carried out and the village was relocated about two miles north of the old site

7 Mar 1644 – Deputy in the General Court

14 May 1645 – One of three Commissioners of Newbury to settle small disputes involving less than 20 shillings and reappointed,  holding the position until his death; he held the office of town clerk at his death.

29 Jun 1647 – John Lowell made his will.  He died 10 July 1647. His will was proved 27 July 1647 in the General Court, Essex Co., MA. He left his widow, Elizabeth, one half of his estate, whether it be goods or land; and she was to choose property worth twenty pounds which came to her through her mother. The rest of his estate was to be divided equally among his living children. John’s brother, Richard Lowell, was named guardian of the minor children in May 1648, and later William Gerrish, husband of Joanna Lowell, served as guardian.

The inventory gives evidence of a great quantity of clothing and furnishings which the Lowells brought with them from England.  His house must have been small for with 4 acres of land, it was appraised at only £26, but it must have been filled to overflowing.  It would be interesting to see the black water grosgain suit, the five night caps and eleven day caps, the curtains with wrought valences, the wrought cushions, the fair cupboard cloth, the rugs and carpets, the quantities of table linen (including six drinking napkins), the flaring waistcoat, the coiffs and ruff, the two Somerset mantles.  According to Davis these are only a few of the curious items.


1. John Lowell

John’s first wife Hannah Proctor was born in 1630. Her parents were George Proctor and Edith Tuttle. Hannah died in 1658 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

John’s second wife Naomi Torrey was born 13 Dec 1640 in Weymouth, Norfolk, Mass. Her parents were William Torrey and Elizabeth Fry. Naomi died in 1666 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Mass

In addition to this John Lowle, cooper of Boston, there was another John Lovwell, a tanner, who married Elizabeth Sylvester 24 Jan 1658 in Scituate, Mass.  Naomi Torrey, daughter of William Torrey of Weymouth was our John’s second, not third wife.

2. Mary Lowell

Mary’s first husband John Figg was born

Mary’s second husband Thomas Wyborne was born

Aged 17, Mary petitioned the court 15 Oct 1653 that her uncle Richard Lowle, her guardian, be directed to pay her £10 of her legacy from her father as she was about to return to England to the friends with whom she had been brought up, presumably her mother’s family.  She married John Figg who in Suffolk County court of July 27, 1675 sued on her behalf the executors and overseers of her father’s estate for her portion, losing the case.

5. Joseph Lowell

Joseph’s wife Abigail Proctor was born

6. Benjamin LOWELL (See his page)

7. John Lowell

John’s wife Ann Lovell was born 1644 in Newburyport, Essex, Mass.

8. Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth’s husband Capt. Philip Nelson was born 1633 in England. His parents were Thomas Nelson and Dorothy Stapleton. He first married 24 Jun 1657 in Rowley, Essex, Mass to Sarah Jewett (b. 3 Jan 1635 in Rowley – d. 14 Feb 1665 in Rowley). Philip died 19 Aug 1691 in Rowley, Essex, Mass–Turner/GENE9-0001.html

(D. R. Lowell. 1899. The Historic Genealogy of the L owells of America from 1639-1899)

This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Immigrant Coat of Arms, Line - Miller, Pioneer, Public Office and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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