Ephraim Kempton Sr.

Ephraim KEMPTON Sr. (1591 – 1645) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Ephraim Kempton – Coat of Arms

Ephraim Kempton was born 26 Oct 1591 in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England.  His parents were George KEMPTON and Mary JERSEY.  His brother Manasseh Kempton was also one of the “old-comer” immigrants.  He married Elizabeth WILSON 12 April 1617 in Holy Trinity the Less, London. He came to the Plymouth colony in the winter 1639/40.  His son Ephraim Jr. came with him and was in partnership with him from the time of coming to this country until his death. Ephraim died 5 May 1645 in Scituate, Mass.

The Merchant Taylors’ Hall, London, c.1810 – Ephraim was apprenticed to the Merchant Taylor’s Company from 1606-1615

Elizabeth Wilson was born about 1596 in Holy Trinity, London, England.  Her father was of the Scottish Wilson sept of the clan Gunn.    Elizabeth died about 1635 in London England and did not emigrate.

Children of Ephraim and Elizabeth The names of the other children are not known. They were probably daughters

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Kempton baptized
22 Nov 1618,
Holy Trinity The Less, London
Did not emigrate
2. Ephraim KEMPTON Jr. 18 Mar 1621, London, England
baptized 24 Jun 1623 at St. John The Baptist, London.
28 Jan 1646 at Scituate, Plymouth Colony
Did NOT marry
Sarah Maddox
2 May 1656
2 Jul 1655
5 Mar 1660 Plymouth

The direct male lineage as Ephraim Sr. – George – William – Robert – George Kempton/FitzAlan – Thomas FitzAlan Earl of Arundel

Ephraim was a tailor by trade.  Sometime after the death of his father, Ephriam apprenticed himself to Daniel Elsmore of St Sitches Lane in London. He served Elsmore from 1606-1615, when he became free of the Merchant Taylors’ Company.

The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St John the Baptist in the City of London, was first incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1327; the charter was confirmed by later charters in 1408, 1503 and 1719. Its seat is the Merchant Taylors’ Hall between Threadneedle Street and Cornhill, a site it has occupied since 1347.

The 108 livery companies are nominally trade associations based in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the “Worshipful Company of” the relevant trade or profession. The medieval livery companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling, for instance, wages and labour conditions. Until the Reformation, they were closely associated with religious activities, notably in support of chantry chapels and churches and the observance of ceremonies, notably the mystery plays.

Under an order issued by Mayor Robert Billesden in 1484, the Merchant Taylor Company ranks in sixth or seventh place (making it one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies) in the order of precedence of the Livery Companies, alternating with the Skinners’ Company.

In Ephraim’s time, the association of tailors. By the end of the 17th century, its connection with the tailoring trade had virtually ceased and it became what it is today, a philanthropic and social association. As a result it owns, supports or is associated with several schools, almhouses and other charitable institutions.  It owns Merchant Taylors’ School, Sandy Lodge & St. John’s Preparatory School, Northwood, and is associated with Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby, Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, Crosby, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Foyle and Londonderry College, Wallingford School, and The King’s School, Macclesfield. It is also associated with St John’s College, Oxford, founded by Sir Thomas White (a Master of the Company) in 1555, and with Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Ephraim’s brother Manasseh Kempton came in 1623, probably in the ship “Ann,” is called one of the “old-comers.” sharing in the division of cattle in 1627, was taxed in Plymouth in 1632, admitted freeman in 1633, deputy to the general court in 1639 and for nine years following. He was one of the purchasers of the town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He died 14 Jan 1662/63; his widow 19 Feb 1665, in her eightyfirst year. They left no children.

Ephriam Kempton and his son of the same name immigrated to the colonies between 1638 and late 1640, when they settled on a farm of twelve acres in Scituate, which had been purchased by his brother Manassas Kempton from Elder Henry Cobb.

The names of both  Ephraim and Ephraim Jr. appear on the list of 1643 of those able to bear arms, but that of Ephraim Sr. was crossed off afterward, his age doubtless exempting him from service.

7 March 1643, he was brought before the court charged with misdemeanor and use of opprobrious (disgraceful) language to Mr. Hatherly, a magistrate, for which he was fined twenty shillings and placed in the stocks for a few hours.

The inventory of his estate was filed and administration granted October 28, 1645, to his brother Manasseh and son Ephraim. The estate was divided June 4, 1645. Manasseh Kempton, of Scituate, and Thomas RAWLINS. Sr.. of Boston, father-in-law of Ephraim Jr., arranged for the apportionment of the estate to Ephraim and the three other children June 8. 1658.


Ephraim Kempton Sr. never had a child 3, Manasseh; a child 4, Lettice; or a child 5, Annis. For an accurate reference, see the late Dean Crawford Smith’s excellent book, “The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton,” Part 1, page 71, about the children of Ephraim Kempton Sr. who were only John and Ephraim Jr. Manasseh and Annis were children of George Kempton and Mary Jersey (Ephraim Kempton Sr. parents) – see Smith.   Lettice never existed – this is an old myth.

1. John Kempton

John enrolled in the Merchant taylor’s School 1630-1634,  in the City of London where the brothers appear as ‘john Kempton ma’ and ‘Ephriam kempton minor,” the time honored way in which English private schools distinguish between two brothers attending the same school, major indicating the elder of the two; not seen thereafter.

The school is celebrating its 450th anniversary in 2011.  It was founded in 1561 by members of the Merchant Taylors’ Company. It was originally located in a manor house called the Manor of the Rose, in the parish of St. Lawrence Pountney in the City of London, where it remained until 1875.

2. Ephraim KEMPTON Jr.  (See his page)

4. Lettice Kempton

There were two woman named Lettice [joy in Latin] in early Plymouth.   Lettice Hanford and Lettice Kempton  are often mixed up with four marriages between them.  There is only one recorded death:  22 Feb 1691.  Here’s my crack at unsorting the tangle.

Lettice Kempton’s first husband John Morton was born in 1616 in Leyden, Holland.  His parents were George MORTON and Juliana CARPENTERJohn died 3 Oct 1673 in Plymouth, Mass.

Lettice Kempton’s second husband Andrew Ring was born in 1618 in Pettistree, Suffolk, England. His parents were William RING and Mary DURRANT.  He first married Deborah Hopkins (1625 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony – Bef. 1674 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony).  Deborah’s  father was Stephen HOPKINS.   Andrew and Deborah had seven children born between 1649 and 1661.  Andrew died 22 Feb 1693 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Lettice Hanford was baptized  8 June 1617,at Alverdiscott, Devonshire.  Her parents were Jeffrey Hanford and Eglin Hatherley.   Lettice Hanford clearly preceded her mother & younger sisters to New England.  On 10 Apr 1635, Eglin Hanford,” aged 46, & “2 daughters, Margaret Manford,” aged 16, & “Eliz[abeth] Hanford,” aged 14, along with “Rodolphus Elmes,” aged 15. & “Tho[mas] Stanley,” aged 16, were enrolled at London as passengers for New England on the Defence.)

Lettice Hanford first married  8 Apr 1635 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass. to Edward Foster (b. 24 Jan 1590 in Frittendon, Kent, England – d. 25 Nov 1643 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass.)  at Mr. Cudworth’s [Scituate] by Captain Standish. She was admitted to Scituate church (as “Goody Foster”) 25 December 1636. They had 3 children: Timothy, Timothy again, & Elizabeth Hewett Ray.

After Edward died, she married Edward Jenkins (1618  Kent, England – d. 1699 Scituate, Plymouth, Mass)  On 4 March 1634/5, “Edw[ar]d Jeakins,” one of seven servants of Nathaniel Tilden of Tenterden, Kent, was included in the list of passengers of the Hercules of Sandwich.  Lettice and Edward had 3-4 children: Samuel (b. 1645), (probably) Sarah Bacon, Mary Atkinson Cocke, & Thomas.  In the late 1660s and early 1670s Edward Jenkins had to come to the aid of two of his children who experienced a number of problems. On 5 Mar 1666/67, “Dinah Silvester, Sarah Smith, and the daughter of Edward Jenkens, [are] summoned to the next court.




Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of …, Volume 2 By William Richard Cutter



This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Ephraim Kempton Sr.

  1. Pingback: Ephraim Kempton Jr | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Origins | Miner Descent

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  4. Pingback: George Morton (Pilgrim Father) | Miner Descent

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  6. Bill Kempton says:

    Thank you for the great research you did on your family tree. I am a descendant of Ephraim Kempton and my previous search only took me back to Ephraim Kempton III, Thank you for taking my ancestry back to England. I will be in London in September and plan to visit some of the locations you mentioned in your narrative.

    • please read page 58 of f c cass’s book the parish of monken hadley which has kympton family the same as this one also has anthony wingfield which family via the de la pole’s and ray stephens rootsweb site will get you back to adam and eve 90 +generations if you want to go that far back

    • r c kempton says:

      see fc cass page 58 kympton pedigree se particularly anthony wingfied he is a GATEWAY ANCESTOR which on some databases go back to adam and eve

  7. Pingback: Stephen Hopkins | Miner Descent

  8. Pingback: William Ring | Miner Descent

  9. r c kempton says:

    the arundel fitzalan generation is wrong as the f c cass lists earliest known kympton as WILLIAM KYMPTON born 1505 died 1568 but another web site lists his father as WILLIAM KYMPTON he has no father listed some people say that kympton family were wool traders of some kind that could go back to 1300’s the brocket archive lists a richard de kympton in 1387 and a law suit of richard de kympton circa 1367

  10. William Kempton says:

    Nice article about Ephraim Kempton Sr. but there are some errors.

    Ephraim Kempton Sr. never had a child 3, Manasseh; a child 4, Lettice; or a child 5, Annis. For an accurate reference, see the late Dean Crawford Smith’s excellent book, “The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton,” Part 1, page 71, about the children of Ephraim Kempton Sr. who were only John and Ephraim Jr. Your child 3 Manasseh and child 5 Annis were children of George Kempton and Mary Jersey (Ephraim Kempton Sr. parents) – see Smith. Your child 4 Lettice never existed – this is an old myth. The maiden name of John Morton’s wife Lettice has never been established and there is no evidence it was Kempton. For John Morton marriage, reference Robert Charles Anderson, “The Great Migration Begins”, Vol. 3, page 1297, George Morton’s son John married Lettice with no maiden name given; or Clarence Almon Torrey, “New England Marriages Prior to 1700, page 522, John Morton and Lettice ? (no married name given).

    The statement was made that Ephraim Kempton Sr. and his son settled on a 12 acre farm in Scituate which had been purchased by his brother Manasseh Kempton from Elder Henry Cobb. This is only partially correct. In 1640, Manasseh Kempton purchased two separate properties in the Town of Old Scituate from Henry Cobb. One was a 12 acre “farm” with a dwelling house on it in the then future village of Scituate. The other purchased property was an undeveloped 80 acre upland lot adjacent to the North River with an attached 12 acre marsh. It was the 80 acre North River property where the Kempton family first settled and is now located in the Town of Norwell not far from the village of Norwell. Ephraim Kempton 3rd of Boston and later of Salem sold a minor portion of this lot in 1672 to John Bryant and then sold the major portion of this property in 1675 to John James of Scituate (NEHGS Register, Vol. 153, page 437-8). Manasseh Kempton probably sold his 12 acre Henry Cobb Scituate village lot to Thomas Rawlins Sr., father-in-law of Ephraim Kempton Jr. Thomas Rawlins sold the Cobb village lot to Stephen Vinal of Scituate in 1752 (The Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 35, page 143).

  11. William Kempton says:

    I agree with your assessment that Mrs. Lettice Morton surname was not Hanford as some erroneously state. Lettice Morton’s surname as Hanford which was originally suggested as a possibility by Josiah Leach in his 1894 book “Memorandum Relating to the Ancestry and Family of Levi Parsons Morton.” The proof that Lettice Morton was not a Hanford is the will of Lettice Hanford’s uncle Timothy Hatherly of Scituate written in 1664 [for a scholarly on-line review about Timothy Hatherly go to http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/great_migration/H.asp ]. In his will, Timothy listed his heirs as Lettice Jenkins (Lettice Hanford’s second husband was Edward Jenkins whom she married sometime between 1644 and 1650 – note husband Edward didn’t die until 1699) and her children Timothy and Elizabeth Foster (Lettice Hanford’s first husband was Edward Foster who she married in 1635 and he died in 1644). If Lettice Hanford Foster Jenkins had married John Morton, then her uncle Timothy Hatherly in his 1664 will would have listed her as Lettice Morton since she was still married to John Morton in 1664 and still having his children. But uncle Timothy listed her as Lettice Jenkins and hence Lettice Morton’s maiden name was most certainly not Hanford.

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