John Richard Strong

John Richard STRONG (1561 – 1613) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

John Richard Strong  was born about 1575 in Chard, Somerset, England.  Some genealogies  say his name was John, others Richard.  For clarity, I’ll include both.   His parents were George STRONG and [__?__].  He married Eleanor [DEAN?] in 1609 in Chard, Somerset, England.  John Richard died on 14 Jun 1613 in Chard, Somerset, England.

St Mary’s Church, Chard, Somerset, England – John Richard was born, married and died in Chard.

Eleanor [Dean?] was born about 1586 in South Chard, Somerset, England.  Many genealogies state her parents were Walter DEAN (1545 – 1585) and Johanna WALSELY (1547 – 1597). However, other sources say that Walter and Johanna’s Eleanor was born before 1568;  buried 6 Jul 1628, Broadwindsor, Dorset and married about 1588 Sylvester Balstone, son of John Balstone and Edith of Hawkchurch, Dorset. Children: Humphrey.  

Margery Dean married Eleanor’s son, Elder John Strong.  Walter and Joanna Dean are Margery’s grandparents.  William Dean, son of Walter Deane and Joan Walsele. – died. about 1634, South Chard, Somerset, will dated Jul. 22, 1634 names his children and his grandson Elder John STRONG. Maybe that relationship started the confusion.

After John Richard died, Eleanor married William Coggin about 1615. Eleanor died on 24 Apr 1654 in Taunton, Bristol, Mass.

William Coggin (Cogan) was born about 1584 in Hampshire, England and died 20 Apr 1654 in Chard, Somerset, England.  Some say he died in Taunton, Bristol Mass., but I doubt it.

Children of Richard and Eleanor:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John STRONG 1605 in Chard, Somerset, England. Margerie Dean
1625 Somerset, England
Abigail FORD

Dec 1635 Dorchester, Mass.
14 Apr 1699 Northampton, Mass.
2. Eleanor Strong Cogan 1612 Taunton, Somershire, England Deacon Walter Dean
Taunton, Mass.
1693 Taunton, Mass.

“Dwight’s History of the Strong Family”, Volume I, originally published in 1871 (republished in 1975 by Gateway Press, Baltimore, Maryland)

“The Strong Family of England was originally located in the county of Shropshire. One of the family married an heiress of Griffith, of the county of Caervernon, Wales, and went thither to reside in 1545. Richard Strong was of this branch of the family, and was born in the county of Caervernon in 1561. In 1590 he removed to Taunton, Somersetshire, England, where he died in 1613, leaving a son John then eight years of age, and a daughter Eleanor. The name is stated in one record, on what authority the writer knows not, to have been originally McStrachan and to have gone through the following changes, McStrachan, Strachan, Strachn, Strong.” (p 15)

According to family tradition, Elder John STRONG was born and lived at Taunton in Somersetshire, but no record of his birth nor residence there has ever been found. Nor has any record been found of a Richard Strong, said to be John’s father. About twelve mile from Taunton lies the village of Chard, and here is found the record of the burial of John Strong of Chard, July 14, 1613. In the will of this John Strong is named a son John and an unborn child. Mr. Albert Strong, author of The Strongs of Strongsville, believes this posthumous child to have been the daugther, Eleanor.

Eleanor’s mother Margerie was carrying her second child, Eleanor, when her husband died. Margerie married second, William Coggin (Cogan) , who raised his wife’s child as his own. Her name is sometimes cited as Eleanor Coggin, and sometimes Eleanor Strong.

The Coggin, Dean, and Strong families were close in both England and America. They were based in Somersetshire, in and around the town of South Chard, in the west of England. A lot of source material is available about these families and their relationships both in England and in America, which they settled in the 1600’s

Below is given a part of the will of William Cogan dated 1654:

“I give, devise and bequeath the cottage house in Southchard, aforesaid, whein I now dwell with the backside garden and close of land thereunto belongings with their appurtenances (after the death of my daughter Eleanor Deane, wife of Walter Deane in New England) unto Eleanor Cogan, my daughter and to the heires males of her body lawfully to be begotten forever. And for default of such issue then to the hires males of thesaid Eleanor Deane of her body lawfully begotten.”

“William Cogan, who died after 1654, plainly states that Eleanor Deane is in New England and yet bequeaths to his daughter Eleanor’s sons should she have any. By this time Eleanor Deane had at least one son, James born 1648. Nora E Snow explains: “Governor Strong’s tradition says that the father of John Strong died while his son was young 1613. Please note the peculiar wording of the William Cogan will and the peculiar right that the daughter Eleanor Deane seems to hold to the homestead estate; also note the fact that William Cogan had two daughters named Eleanor. It has been my belief that William Cogan had married the mother of John Strong and that Eleanor Deane was really the sister of John Strong and step-daughter of William Cogan.”

Mary Lovering Holman, Ancestry of Col. John H. Stevens…, (Concord, N.H., 1948), pp. 348-49, gives a verbatim excerpt from the will of this William Cogan, who may have been the Cogam witness of the William Deane will, above, and identifies Eleanor, the wife of Walter Deane, as a daughter of John Strong of Chard, Somerset, and sister of the John Strong of Northampton, Massachusetts. However, Mrs. Holman also shows the younger John Strong had for his first wife Margery Deane, the sister of Walter Deane, and thus the “beloved brother” relationship between Walter Deane and John Strong may be a “brother-in-law” relationship. No Eleanor appears in the will of the older John Strong. The will of William Cogan actually left his house and land “(after the death of my daughter Eleanor Deane wife of Walter Deane in New England) unto Eleanor Cogan my daughter and to the heires male of her bodie,” and for default of male issue to “Joane Cogan my daughter and to the heires males of her bodie,” and for default of male issue to Joane then to “the heires male of the said Eleanor Deane of her bodie.” This peculiar set of conditional inheritances suggests that Eleanor Deane had a lifetime interest in the house and lands, perhaps because she had been married earlier to William Cogan’s son, but without having male issue by him. If she had also been a cousin to William Cogan’s son (not a rare occurrence at the time), this could be a possible explanation as to why the sequence of inheritance would be first to her [p.280] for life, then to the male issue of two daughters of William Cogan in turn, and finally, if they had no male issue, then to the male issue of Eleanor Deane. It is significant that female issue are excluded, and the facts seem to indicate that Eleanor Deane was of the Cogan male line, but was not a blood daughter of William Cogan (even though he called her “daughter.” Since she had been a blood daughter, then the male issue of the other Eleanor Cogan and her sister Joane Cogan, would not have been intermediate in the line of succession between the lifetime possession by Eleanor Deane and the final conditional inheritance by her own male issue with any husband). It is an interesting problem that obviously requires more research.


1. John STRONG (See his page)

2. Eleanor Strong

Eleanor’s husband Deacon Walter Deane was born 13 May 1612 in Chard, Somerset, England. He was her first cousin. His parents were William Deane and [__?__]. His grandparents were Walter DEANE and Johanna WASELE. Walter died Apr 1693 in Taunton, Bristol, Mass.

Walter emmigrated on the “Speedwell” to Boston 1637 w/ brother John. Resided at Dorchester 1 yr, and took Freeman’s oath Taunton 4 Dec 1638. Tanner

“Representative Men and Old Families of Southeaster MA” pg 1487, published by J.H. Beers and Co., Chicago, IL 1912.

Walter Dean, son of William Dean, of the parish of Chard, Somersetshire, England, with his wife, his brother John and the latter’s wife Alice, came to New England, tarried perhaps for a time at Dorchester, and in 1637 went to Cohannet, now Taunton, of wich town the brothers were both original purchasers, taking up farms on the west bank of Taunton Great River. Both became men of prominence. Walter was selectman for some twenty years, representative in the General Court, and a deacon in the church.

NEHGR 139: (Oct 1985), p. 324 Threlfall, John B. of Madison, Wisc. Additions to the Deane Ancestry in England.”Walter Deane of South Chard, Somersetshire, England, is the earliest proven ancestor of John and Walter Deane who settled at Taunton, Mass., in the 1630’s. He was their grandfather. However, he was probably the grandson of John and Joan (Selwood) Deane mentioned in the will of Joan’s father Nicholas. Note the mention of William Cogan in this will. Walter Deane of Taunton, MA, married Eleanor Cogan, daughter of Wiliam of South Chard, no doubt a descendant of the William named in the will.

NEHGR Jan 1861 p. 42 “On the 28th of September, 1672, Philip and his head men ‘Nuncompahoonet, Umnathum (or Nimrod), Cheemaughton and Annawam,’ for £143, ‘sell a tract of land to William Brenton, James Walker, Wm. Harvey, Walter Deane, Richd Williams and John Richmond.’ This tract included Taunton, of which the purchasers were already in possession.” On the 1st of October of the same year another sale beins thus:–“I Phillip, alias Matacome, cheife Sachem of Pakanokit: haue engaged and morgaged four miles square of land sourthwardly of Taunton bounds to Mr. Constant Southworth, Treasurer; and having already given a deed of three miles in breadth and four in length of the sayd land vnto sum of Taunton,” know, &c., “that I Philip,” &c., sell unto the said Southworth, “the other mile in breadth and four miles in length, adjoining that” already sold to Taunton men. the consideration was £47. It was witnessed by Thomas Leonard, Hugh Cole, Nimrod, Akkpompoin and Annawon. The acknowledgment is dated the same day, and was before Constant Southworth and John Alden, and Nath. Morton’s name appears as recorder. Southworth assigned the deed to Wm. Brenton, Wm. Harvey, James Walker, Richd Williams, Walter Deane, Leif. George Macey and John Richmond, Committee and inhabiltants of the town of Taunton. To the assignment Nathhl. Morton and Benj. Church were witnesses–Original deed.

Bowen, Richard LeBaron. Early Rehoboth: Documented Historical Studies of Families and Events in This Plymouth Colony Township, Privately Printed, Rehoboth 1950, Vol. I,

Appears on the list of “The names of the heads of families in Taunton, anno domini 1675, when Philip’s war began”.  “The names of those inhabitants within the township of Taunton who are to have their division of land now agreed upon, 28 Dec 1659, whose proportion is to be according to the rate here following, together with the quantity of land, lots, and heads, at two acres to the head, two acres to the shilling, and two acres to the lot”: Walter Deane Rate 13 shillings, 1 d 8 heads, 44 acres.

9 July 1689 Maj. William Bradford’s quitclaim deed of Taunton, MA The National Genealogical Society Quarterly 71(1983): 176 gives a newly discovered ship list for a ship leving Weymouth, England, in April 1637, John Driver the master, bound for New England. On this list is Walter Deane and 6 servants.

Deane, Willaim Reed. Brief Memoirs of John and Walter Deane. Boston 1949 Cooledge and Wiley

The above discussion of the “sale” of land in 1672 by Philip to Walter Deane et al is worthy of note. Philip was the son of the great Chief, Massasoit. After the death of Massasoit in 1661, and his brother Wamsutta in 1662, Philip became chief. He had some limited success in trying to unify the numerous small tribes against the increasing encrouchment of the white men on their native lands. The long shaky peace was unravelling. While Walter’s success in dealing with this chief may have been commonplace at the time, Philip was a major figure in that era, and certainly a critical figure in Native American history. This was Philip! Better known as King Philip. Three years after Walter’s deal, “King Philip’s War” broke out!


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4 Responses to John Richard Strong

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