John Corser

John CORSER (1642 – 1713) was Alex’s 9th Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Shaw line.

John Corser (Courser) was born 6 Mar 1642 in Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. His parents were William COURSER and Joanna [__?__] He married Margaret [__?__] before 1668.  John died about 1713 in Massachusetts.

John was a Cordwainer as was his father William

Margaret [__?__] was born in 1640. Margaret died 3 Apr 1713 in Massachusetts.

Children of John and Margaret:

Name Born Married Departed
1. William Corser Apr 1668
2. Mary Corser 27 Aug 1670
3. Samuel Corser 5 Nov 1672
4 Joanna Corser 8 Sep 1674
5. Sarah Corser 13 Apr 1677 Alexander Trotter
30 Nov 1710 – Boston, Suffolk, Mass
6. Jonathan Corser 29 Sep 1679
7. John Corser 29 Aug 1681 Plymouth, Mass Sarah Wakefield
20 May 1703 (Benjamin Wadsworth officiating clergyman)
Sarah Smith (Mrs. Winslow)
2 Oct 1740 or 22 Jun 1742
Boston, Mass
Boston, Mass
8. Fear CORSER 16 Jul 1687
Plymouth, Mass
8 Dec 1709 Plympton, Mass.
2 Dec 1767 Attleborough, Mass.

John was a cordwainer as was his father.   A cordwainer is somebody who makes shoes and other articles from fine soft leather. The word is derived from “cordwain”, or “cordovan”, the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain. The term cordwainer was used as early as 1100 in England. Historically, there was a distinction between a cordwainer, who made luxury shoes and boots out of the finest leathers, and a cobbler, who repaired them. This distinction gradually weakened, particularly during the twentieth century, when there was a predominance of shoe retailers who neither made nor repaired shoes.

In London, the occupation of cordwainers was historically controlled by the guild of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. There is a Cordwainer ward of the City of London, which is historically where most cordwainers lived and worked.

From the Records of Buxton, Me., it appears that John Corser, as one of the ” Narragansett Grantees,” i. e., soldiers who served in the Narragansett war, drew, Nov. 17, 1735, a lot of land in said town, “on the right of Samuel Hill.” Among others who received grants at the same time were several well-known citizens of Newbury ; as Nathaniel Clark, Col. Joseph Gerrish (on the right of Moses Little, his father-in-law), Joseph Coffin and Christopher Bartlett. From the circumstance last-mentioned, as also from the spelling of the name, it was at first supposed that the above had reference to John Corser, of Newbury. But this is probably a mistake. The Narragansett war occurred in 1675-6. We find in a late volume of the Hist, and Gen. Register, that John Corser (who could have been no other than John of Boston) was one of the soldiers.

The lots were drawn nearly 60 years later, presumably after the death of John through whom, whatever relation Samuel Hill may have sustained to the case, John Jr. as the legal representative of his father, it is natural to suppose, may have become connected with the affair,


5. Sarah Corser

Sarah’s husband  Alexander Trotter was a Boston tailor, who sold for £100, paid by James Bowdoin (founder of Bowdoin College), his ” new, brick-built dwelling-house on Union St., Jan. 15, 1714.” A Sarah Courser is also found on record as marrying, Nov. 13, 1693, Anthony Thoring.

7. John Corser

John’s wife Sarah Wakefield was born 1 Mar 1674 in Boston, Middlesex, Mass.  Her parents were John Wakefield and Deliverance [__?__].  Sarah died 1736 in Newbury, Essex, Mass.

John was a ship-joiner in Boston

John married second Mrs. Sarah Winslow, daughter of Joseph Smith, of Boston, 1742, who survived him several years. Between him and one Erastus Stevens a marriage settlement, of date May 11, 1742, is found, by which all her personal property is settled upon her for life, and her real estate consisting of two messuages, or tenements, at the north end of Boston, is to be to the joint use of herself and her intended husband, John Courser,during their lives, and one moiety of her whole property to the use of his last will.

It would seem that the second wife of John of Boston, Mrs. Sarah Winslow, lived to a great age, being, as is supposed at least 78 years old when she became his consort. A somewhat curious coincidence is the tradition, that John Corser, of Boscawen, “had a daughter,” so writes Bliss Corser, ” married in Sandown [till 1756 a part of Kingston] to a man by the name of Winslow,” and that “she lived to a great age.”

Supposing, however, a marriage of the kind to have taken place — contemporaneously, or nearly so, as must have been the case, with that of John, of Boston — it suggests, at least, a possible family relationship between the venerable bride and the said groom, her namesake ; and if such connection existed, a probable acquaintance, most naturally accounted for by a presumable relationship, between the families of the two Johns.

Several business transactions by John Courser, joiner, on the one part, chiefly conveyances of real estate, are on record between 1713 and 1734. In one, dated May 1, 1713, there is a discharge of certain claims to his sister, Sarah Trotter. As their mother died April 3d of the same year, these are presumably claims upon her estate. It does not appear that any others held similar claims. Shall we infer from this that there were no other surviving children ? that those who had deceased probably left no issue — the fact being thus accounted for of the apparent extinction of the name except in the line of John? (in which  it appears to have become extinct with the succeeding generation).

John died intestate about 1756. His estate, consisting of house and land on Bennett and Love Streets, appraised £240, and negro Peter, appraised £6 i3s 4d., was divided between his three surviving daughters and Timothy Cutler, sole heir of Anna, deceased. Date of warrant for division of property, Aug. 12, 1757 ; Nathaniel Breed  administrator. Mr. Breed purchased the shares of Mary and Timothy Cutler.

From the fact that the sons do not appear as heirs we infer that they had probably deceased, the name thus apparently becoming extinct in the line of John with this (the 4th) generation.

Children of John and Sarah:

i. Deliverance Corser, b. 14 Oct 1704; m. Nathaniel Breed, of Boston, baker

ii. Sarah Corser, b. 25 Jul 1707 ; d. 29 Mar 1771, aged 63 ; m. 20 Nov 1729 to Clement Collins, ( d. 24 Apr 1787)

Their son, Capt. Clement Collins, was the father of the late Mrs. Anna Colesworthy, of Portland, Maine, mother of Mr. D. C. Colesworthy, of Boston, the well known writer, author of the poem (published about 1878), ” School is Out,” and bookseller on Cornhill. ”

iii. John Corser b. 29 Oct 1709.

iv. Mary Corser, b. 1 Oct 1711 ; single in 1757.

v. Anna Corser, b. 15 Apr 1713 ; m. 21 Nov 1734 to Robert Cutler; d. before 1757. Her sole heir was Timothy Cutler.

vi. Jonathan Corser, b. 30 Jun 1716 — after which the name (with the exception of that of a Jonathan Courser, whether the same with the preceding is not known, who m., June 28, 1738, Elizabeth Tyler, and that of Deborah Courser, who m. Nathaniel Breed, Sept. 14, 1741) disappears,

The question arises — What became of William’s posterity in the male line ? Here are three grandsons and two great-grandsons, of whom (with the possible exception of the above-mentioned Jonathan) we have no further account. Did they die young, or leave no children, or remove from the country?


Genealogy of the Corser family in America : embracing many of the descendants of the early settlers of the name in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with some reminiscences of their trans-Atlantic cousins (1902)

New England marriages prior to 1700 By Clarence Almon Torrey

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Line - Shaw, Missing Parents, Veteran and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to John Corser

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  6. Jacque Wedler says:

    I’m getting very confused how do we know for sure if William of Boston is related to John of Newbury. Do you have any documents to confirm this? I really would like to settle this as I am looking to become a Colonial Dame and need some type of proof can you help me by explaining the Corser line.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Jacque,

      Do you mean the John Courser who married Tabitha Kenney and removed to Boscawen, New Hampshire? There is some circumstantial evidence he was related to the earlier William and John Corser covered here, but nothing solid.

      Rgds, Mark

      • Jacque Wedler says:

        Yes that is what I am trying to prove who were the parents of John Corser and also do you know if John and Tabitha had any property in New Hampshire and or Mass. Are you directly related to William Courser of Boston if so how does your family line go.
        Thanks for replying back to me

    • markeminer says:

      I’m descended from John’s daughter Fear Corser who married Samuel Cushman.

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