Elder John Hunting

Elder John HUNTING (1602 – 1689) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather two ways; through his daughter Margaret and through his daughter Elizabeth.  He was two of 4,096 in this generation of the Shaw line.

John Hunting was baptized on 24 Jan 1601/02 in Thrandeston, Suffolk, England.   Alternatively, he was born in 1597 in Hoxne, a village in Suffolk County, England.    His parents were  William HUNTING and Margaret RANDOLFE.  He married Esther SEABORN on 28 Jun 1624  at Wramplingham, Norfolk, England. He is the first of the Hunting family name of whom there is record in America and came to New England in the spring of 1638 with his wife and five children and settled at Dedham, Mass.  He was elected the first ruling elder of the Dedham Church in 1639.  John died 12 Apr 1689 in Dedham, Mass.

Esther Seaborn was born about 1597 in Hingham, Norfolk, England. Her parents were William SABURNE and Mary [__?__]. She was the second cousin of the martyr, John Rogers.  Esther died 4 May 1676 in Dedham, Mass.

Children of John and Esther:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary Hunting 26 Feb 1626
Hoxne, Suffolk, England
William Jay
Charles Buckner
25 Aug 1684
2. Margaret HUNTING 21 Sep 1628 Hoxne, England Capt. Robert WARE
24 Mar 1644/45
26 Aug 1670 Dedham, Mass.
3. Esther Hunting 26 Dec 1629 Oakley, Suffolk, England Nathaniel Fisher
26 Dec 1649
Timothy Dwight
31 Jul 1690
30 Jan 1689/90 Dedham
4. Elizabeth HUNTING 4 May 1634
Oakley, England
Rehoboth, Mass
9 Dec 1667
Rehoboth, Mass.
5 John Hunting 9 Oct 1636
Oakley, England
Elizabeth Paine
18 APR 1671
19 SEP 1718
6. Samuel Hunting 22 Jul 1640 Dedham Hannah Hackborne
24 Dec 1662
19 Aug 1701
7. Nathaniel Hunting 15 Dec 1643 Dedham 1 Jan 1643/44 Dedham
8 Matthew Hunting 6 Mar 1647/48 Dedham, Mass.

John was one of the founders of the church at Dedham, and its first ruling elder. The first authentic record of him is on the Dedham Register dated 28 Aug 1638 where he ‘entertayned to purchase John Boledge’s lot.’ After this date, by the church records, he takes an active part in religious affairs.   Elder John Hunting left a will on 15 Dec 1684 at Dedham, Massachusetts. He died on 12 April 1689 at Dedham, Massachusetts at age 87.   His estate was inventoried on 11 Jun 1689 at Dedham, Massachusetts.

Previous to coming to this country he was a ‘ruling elder’, and was living in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, England.

According to Robert Brand Hanson’s history, Dedham, Massachusetts 1635-1890, John Hunting had been a wandering evangelist in England.  He spent most of his time in his saddle, visiting the people of like faith, encouraging them in their work and holding meetings wherever a few could be assembled, be it either in house or barn, or under the trees, teaching them of a higher life as he understood it.

After some political-religious skirmishes in the formation of the first church in Dedham and the selection of the first pastor (John Allin), Hunting became the first Ruling Elder of the Dedham church.

13 Mar 1639 – John  was admitted a freeman  in Dedham.  He was one of the founders of the church at Dedham and was its first ruling elder as we see in the following extract of those churches earliest years written by the first Minister John Allin:

Toward the end of the summer (1638) we are having some experience of John Hunting who came to us from England and some of us knowing him before and having very good testimony of him from many others, we agreed to make trial whether he might not be found meet for this work and willing thereto; in both we found encouragement that he also came amongst us into society.

28 Aug 1638 – The first authentic record of him is on the Dedham Register when he “entertayned to purchase John Boledges lot.” From the church records he seems to have taken an active part in religious affairs. He died April 12, 1689. buried at Dedham.

13 Mar 1639 – Admitted a freeman in Dedham

While it was of the utmost importance, “founding a church was more difficult than founding a town. Meetings were held late in 1637 and were open to “all the inhabitants who affected church communion… lovingly to discourse and consult together [on] such questions as might further tend to establish a peaceable and comfortable civil society ad prepare for spiritual communion.” On the fifth day of every week they would meet in a different home and would discuss any issues “as he felt the need, all ‘humbly and with a teachable heart not with any mind of cavilling or contradicting.'”

After they became acquainted with one another, they asked if “they, as a collection of Christian strangers in the wilderness, have any right to assemble with the intention of establishing a church? Their understanding of the Bible lead them to believe that they did, and so they continued to establish a church based on Christian love, but also one that had requirements for membership. In order to achieve a “further union” the determined the church must “convey unto us all the ordinances of Christ’s instituted worship, both because it is the command of God… and because the spiritual condition of every Christian is such as stand in need of all instituted ordinances for the repair of the spirit.”  Only ‘visible saints’ were pure enough to become members. A public confession of faith was required, as was a life of holiness. All others would be required to attend the sermons at the meeting house, but could not join the church, nor receive communion, be baptized or become an officer of the church.

Finally, on November 8, 1638, two years after the incorporation of the town and one year after the first church meetings were held, the covenant was signed and the church was gathered. Guests from other towns were invited for the event as they sought the “advice and counsel of the churches” and the “countenance and encouragement of the magistrates.”A “tender” search for a minister took an additional several months, and finally John Allin was ordained as pastor and John Hunting as Ruling Elder. Both men had been among the 8 found worthy enough to be the first members of the church and to first sign the covenant. As in England, Puritan ministers in the American colonies were usually appointed to the pulpits for life and Allin served for 32 years.

Abstract of Will of Hester Hunting.

Will of Hester Hunting wife of John Hunting of Dedbam dated January 4, 1675 proved Feb. 12, 1684/85.

After payment of debts, ” unto my well beloved son John Hunting the whole & full sume of twenty pounds as his part of that Estate, Legacie or portion that was given to me by my loveing Brother Francis Seaborne in Old England, which Legacy is yet due to me to be paid as by my loveing Brother Francis Seaborn’s will appeares in Old England amounting to the sume of fourty and five pounds,” “to my beloved son Samuel Hunting liveing in Charlstowne, the whole & full sume of ten pounds as his part & portion of the afores d fourty & five pounds” — “to Hannah wife of my son Samuel afores d one pair of new sheets & my best table cloth & to my grandchild Samuel Hunting (oldest son of my son Samuel afores’ 1 ) six napkins.” The fifteen pounds of the said forty-five yet remaining to be disposed of as follows. ” one fourth of s’d fifteen pounds remaining to my loving daughter Mary Bnckner of Boston and also my best tamy coat”

” unto the children of my daughter Ware deceased one fourth of s’d fifteen pounds to be equally divided between them all.” “to my loving daughter Hester Fisher of Dedham one fourth part of s’d fifteen pounds & my best goune.” “to Hester Pecke the daughter of my Son in law John Peck of Rehoboth one fourth part of s’d fifteen pounds & also my hat & my Stuff coat.” “to Mary Wood my maid servant my old red undercoate & my searge unde^coate & my cloth wescoat. And what remains undisposed of all my wearing apparel Linning & wooling I give to Elizabeth Hunting wife of rn} r oldest son John Hunting of Dedham.”

” Furthermore my mind & will is that my dear & wel beloved husband aforesaid should have the full use and improvement of all the premises as long as he doth live excepting what things of my wearing Apparell he do see causs to give away to bee sooner disposed of to the person aforesaid . Legacies in money to be paid within six months after the Decease of my dear husband if it be sent hither from Old England before, otherwise to be delivered presantly after it be sent over whenever it do come after my said Husbands decease, and if the whole sume afores’ 1 of fourty & five pounds cannot be attained then so much thereof as can be attained shall be divided to the persons afores d according to their severall proportions afores d by abateing in each pound what the afores’ 1 Sume shall fall short of fourty &. five pounds.”

The sons John Hunting and Samuel Hunting appointed Executors.
Husband gives his consent to the will and signs.
Thomas Battle.
Thomas Fisher.

JOHN HUNTING AND HIS DESCENDANTS.  By T. D. Huntting, of Brooklyn, N. Y.

Elder John Hunting, one of the early settlers of Dedham, was born in Hoxne, a village in Suffolk County, England, about the year 1597. He was a man of decided opinions, and early in life took a firm stand in religious matters. Upon reaching his majority he took an active part in the questions of the day.  England was then under the rule of Charles I, who was intent upon introducing the Catholic worship into his Kingdom, but there were many who had the force of their convictions, and refused to acknowledge what they did not believe. Among the dissenters of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, none were more prominent than John Hunting.

He was made Ruling Elder of that district, and we read of his spending most of his time in his saddle, visiting the people of like faith, encouraging them in their work and holding meetings wherever a few could be assembled, be it either in house or barn, or under the trees, teaching them of a higher life as he understood it. Disseminating his ideas upon religion, and exhorting new converts to his belief was his life’s work, and he entered into it in no half hearted way. This manner of religious teaching caused him to be absent from his family a greater part of the time.

In Hester Seaborn, his wife — a cousin of the Martyr John Rogers — he found a willing helpmate. Herself a religious enthusiast, we can well understand how he was encouraged in his labors. We must also consider that her sacrifices must have been many, for, besides the absence of her husband so much of the time, the care of the family fell upon her. Is it to be wondered, that with the promise of a free home where he could worship as he chose, and a prospect of a better field for improving his worldly condition, this hard working christian man, should, at the first opportunity, emigrate with his family to theNew World ?

During the year 1638 a number of vessels arrived at Boston bringing, it is said, about three thousand people in search of homes, among whom were John Hunting, his wife and five children. We have no record of the vessel’s name on which they took passage, therefore have no means of telling who their companions were. It was in the spring of that year when he first settled at Dedham, going there immediately after landing at Boston, and soon made himself felt in the welfare of the church and town.  Admitted a Freeman in 1639, and made Ruling Elder the same year, we see he at once identified himself with the affairs of his new home.

Most of his children were born in England, and land having been apportioned off to him, it is supposed they, like others of that time, were soon contributing to the family’s support. Through John, the eldest son, we find the name has been spread to all parts of America. The daughters all married and their descendants are to be found among the Wares, Fishers, Pecks and Buckners of the present day.

Nathaniel was born Nov. 15, 1675, graduated from Harvard College in 1693, and married Mary Green, a daughter of John and Ruth Green and granddaughter of Percival and Ellen Green, in 1701. He was the second pastor of the Presbytarian Church at East Hampton, which position he filled until failing health compelled him to resign in 1746, and retire to his farm, where he remained until his death Sept. 21, 1753. When he first moved to East Hampton he  began to spell his name with two T’s, and hoped his descendants would follow suit.


1. Mary Hunting

Mary’s first husband William Jay was born about 1630. William died in 1658.

Mary’s second husband Charles Buckner was born 1631 in Suffolk, England. Charles died 25 Aug 1684 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

2. Margaret HUNTING (See Capt. Robert WARE‘s page)

Margaret, the oldest daughter, married, March 24, 1645, Robert Ware or Wares, of whom Miss Emma F. Ware, the compiler of ” The Descendants of Robert Ware,” is a descendant.

3. Esther Hunting

Esther’s first husband Nathaniel Fisher was born 1620 in Syleham, Suffolk, England. His parents were Anthony Fisher and Mary Buckingham. Nathaniel died 23 May 1676 in Dedham, Norfolk, Mass

Esther’s second husband Timothy Dwight was born 1629 in Dedham, Essex, England. His parents were John Dwight (1604 – 1661) and Hannah Close (1604 – 1656). He married six times, a record in our family, especially for the 17th Century where your spouse had to expire before you could marry again. Timothy died 31 Jan 1718 in Dedham, Mass.

  1. 11 Nov 1651 in Dedham Age: 22 to Sarah Sibley ( -1652)
  2. 3 May 1653 Dedham Age: 24 to Sarah Powell (1634 – 1664)
  3. 9 Nov 1664 Dedham, Mass Age: 35 to Anna Flynt (1643 – 1686)
  4. 7 Jan 1686 Dedham, Mass Age: 57 to Mary Poole (1637 – 1688)
  5. 31 Jul 1690 Dedham, Mass Age: 61 to Esther Hunting (1629 – 1691)
  6. 1 Feb 1692 Dedham, Mass Age: 63 to Bethiah Moss (1651 – 1718)

4. Elizabeth HUNTING (See John PECK‘s page)

5 John Hunting

John’s wife Elizabeth Paine was born 6 Mar 1648 in Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. Her parents were William Payne and Mary Edwards. Elizabeth died 19 Sep 1718 in Dedham, Norfolk, Mass.

John, the son, born about 1628, married Elizabeth Paine, and had ten children, of whom the third, Nathaniel, moved to East Hampton, N. Y., in 1696.

6. Samuel Hunting

Samuel’s wife Hannah Hackborne was born 5 Jan 1642 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Hackborne and Katharine Deighton. Hannah died in 1686 in Mass.










Ware genealogy : Robert Ware of Dedham, Massachusetts, 1642-1699, and his lineal descendants (1901) By Ware, Emma Forbes, 1838-1898


This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Dissenter, Double Ancestors, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Pioneer and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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