Stephen Gates II

Stephen GATES II (1634 – 1706) was Alex’s 10th Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Stephen Gates II was born about 1634 in Norfolk, England.  His parents were Stephen GATES I and Ann VEARE.  He emigrated with his parents, sailing on the Diligent in 1638.  He married Sarah WOODWARD granddaughter of his step-father on 18 Apr 1662 in Stow, Mass.  Stephen died in 1706 in Acton, Mass.

Stephen II  and Sarah Gates are buried in the Lower Village Cemetery, Stow, Middlesex County, Mass.

Sarah Woodward was born on 6 Feb 1641/42 in Watertown, Mass.  Her parents were George WOODWARD and Mary GIBBSON.  Sarah died on 21 Oct 1706 in Stow, Mass.

Children of Stephen and Sarah:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Stephen GATES III 17 Jul 1665
Lancaster, Mass.
8 Nov 1686 Stow, Mass
4 Nov 1732
Preston, CT
2. Simon Gates 5 Jun 1667
Cambridge, Mass.
Hannah Benjamin
(Jemima’s sister)
4 May 1688 Stow, Mass
3. Ens. Thomas Gates 31 DEC 1669
Boston, Mass.
Margaret Geer
Dec 1695 Preston, CT
1752 Preston, CT
4. Ens. Isaac Gates 1673
Boston Middlesex, Mass
Mercy Benjamin
(Jemima’s sister)
2 Jul 1696 Concord, Mass.
Elizabeth Merriam (Widow of John Farrar)
c. 1710
22 Nov 1748
Stow, Mass.
5. Nathaniel Gates 1675
Marlboro, Mass.
Mary Gibson
17 Oct 1700
Concord, Mass.
6 Dec 1731
Stow, Mass.
6. Sarah Gates 27 Apr 1679
Marlboro, Mass.
Unmarried 27 Jan 1723/24 Stow, Mass.
7. Rebecca Gates 23 Jul 1682
Marlboro, Mass.
Deacon Timothy Gibson
17 Nov 1700
Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass.
21 Jan 1754
Stow, Middlesex, Mass.
8. Lt. Daniel Gates 23 Apr 1685
Marlboro, Mass.
Anna Eveleth
c. 1714
Stow, Mass.
22 Mar 1759
Stowe, Mass.

In 1662, Stephen, perhaps as the first born, was heavily favored in his father’s will.  The will was contested by his siblings,  They alleging that their father was “not of disposing mind”, but they failed to break the will.

He led a very migratory life.  As an adult he resided in Lancaster (1665), Cambridge (1667), Boston (1669), Marlborough (1670) and lived the last years of his life in Stow.

Marlborough, Middlesex, Mass

Stow, Middlesex, Mass

17 Feb 1667 – Stephen was an assistant to Edward Drinker, a Boston potter and Baptist preacher.

1673 – He was living in Cambridge when Drinker deeded him 300 acres in the wilderness between Lancaster and Concord on both sides of Elizabeth Brook.

1684 – He was living in Stow where he took an Indian title to the Elizabeth Brook property


1. Stephen GATES III (See his page)

2. Simon Gates

Simon’s wife Hannah Benjamin  was born Feb 1668 in Cambridge, Stow, Middlesex, Mass.  Her parents were Joseph BENJAMIN and Jemima LAMBERT.  Hannah died in 1703.

Simon bought out the interest in his father’s estate from his brothers Stephen and Thomas before 1711.

Simon’s will, dated in Stow 22 July 1743 with codicil added 25 May 1747, was lodged for probate by his son Amos, 9 March 1752, and proved 22 Jun 1752. He mentioned his wife Hannah, his “two eldest sons Joseph and Benjamin,” sons Elisha and Amos, all of whom had received land by deeds of gift. Hannah Heald, Mary Haines, and Susannah Fitch are mentioned as surviving daughters [Susannah died before settlement], and daughter Elizabeth Wheeler was deceased.  Mentions cash, bonds, and bills, from which it appears that he was something of a capitalist.  See Torrey, NEHGR 120:166

Simon Gates Bio

3. Ensign Thomas Gates

Thomas’ wife Margaret Geer was born 2 Feb 1669 in Preston, New London, CT. Her parents were George Geer and Sarah Allyn. Margaret died Dec 1685 in Preston, New London, CT.

4. Ensign Isaac Gates

Isaac’s first wife Mercy Benjamin was born 12 Mar 1674 Yarmouth, Mass.  Her parents were Joseph BENJAMIN and Jemima LAMBERT.  Hannah died 1709, Stow, Middlesex, Mass.

Isaac’s second wife Elizabeth Merriam was born 5 Oct 1673 in Stow, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Merriam and Elizabeth Townsend. She first married 6 Dec 1699 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, to John Farrar (1672 in Lancaster, Mass – 19 Aug 1707 Sterling, Worcester, Mass., killed by Indians) Elizabeth died 15 Mar 1755 in Harvard, Worcester, Mass.  The church record states that “the house burnt down” which might imply fire was the cause of death, but actually, the family was at the cemetery at the time of the fire.

Isaac Gates Bio

Isaac Gates – Lower Village Cemetery, Stow, Middlesex, Mass – “Here lies buried Y body of Ensign Isaac Gates. As you are, so we are, as we are so you will be who departed this life Nov 22nd AD 1748 in Ye 76th year of his age”

5. Nathaniel Gates

Nathaniel’s wife Mary Gibson was born 1673 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were John Gibson and Rebecca Errington. Mary died 1731 in Stow, Middlesex, Mass.

Administration of his estate was granted to his son Stephen, 6 December 1731. See Torrey, NEHGR 120:168

7. Rebecca Gates

Rebecca’s husband Deacon Timothy Gibson was born 1679 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass. His parents were John Gibson and Rebecca Errington. Timothy died 14 Jul 1757 in Stow, Middlesex, Mass.  (His niece, Mary, married Rebecca’s brother, Nathaniel. See NEHGR, 37:389)

Timothy Gibson Bio

The above  claim that Timothy was raised by Selectman Abraham Holman is very surprising given the bad blood between the Gibson and Holman families.

In 1659, Winifred Holman, the widow of William HOLMAN of Cambridge, was accused of witchcraft by the Gibsons, because of her charitable desire to cure the sick with mental and spiritual suggestions, and by the ” blessings of God “.

The Holmans lived on the Northeasterly corner of Garden and Linnean streets, and opposite them, on Sparks and Garden streets, resided the family of John Gibson, consisting of his wife Rebecca, son John [Deacon Timothy Gibson’s father] and daughter Rebbecca Stearnes.

Just what was the real cause of enmity, between the two families, does not appear from the records. Rebecca, the daughter of John and Rebecca Gibson, was born about the year 1635, and was the same age as Abraham [supposedly Timothy Gibson’s future guardian], the son of Winifred Holman. The evidence showed that if ” Abraham ware aboute she [Rebecca] was well “. It is quite within the realms of possibility, that an intended marriage between Abraham Holman and Rebecca Gibson, had been interrupted by their parents, and the lady induced to become the second wife of Charles Stearns on the 22 June 1654.  Before 1657, Mrs. Stearns was afflicted with hallucinations, and became violently vindictive towards the mother and sister of Abraham Holman, making charges of witchcraft against them.

One day, Mary Holman asked why whe didn’t get some help and she answered that she had “used means by physicians and could have no help.”  Mary suggested her mother could cure her “with the blessing of God.”  Gibson was upset that Winifred and her daughter Mary had practiced their magical healing skills on his daughter and filed a complaint with the Constable of Cambridge.

The Gibsons, — weighed down with the sickness and distress of their daughter Rebecca, and unable to resist her repeated assertions that Winifred and her daughter Mary Holman, were the real authors of all their misery, — entered, in the year 1659, a serious complaint against them as witches, and had Mr. Thomas Danforth issue warrants for their arrest.

(Midd. Co. Ct. Files) Taken from Page’s History of Cambridge, Mass., as the original could not be found.

To the Constable of Cambridge. You are required forthwith to apprehend the persons of Widow Holman and her daughter Mary, and immediately bring them before the County Court Now sitting in Charlestown, to be examined on several accusations presented, on suspicion of witchcraft; and for Witnesses John Gibson and his wife; you are forthwith to bring them away, and not suffer them to speak one with another after their knowledge of this warrant, and hereof you are not to fayle at your perill.

Dat. 21 June 1659. Thomas Danforth, R.

It will be convenient that you charge some meet person to bring away the mayd first, and then you may acquaint the mother also with this warrant respecting her also.

The records of the court make no further allusion to this charge of sorcery. Doubtless the grand jury were not impressed with the evidence presented, and failed to bring in an indictment. The Holmans, however, were not satisfied to rest their side of the case, and brought suit for legal damages in an action of defamation and slander against the Gibsons and Rebecca Stearnes.

At this second trial, the evidence to support the accusations of witchcraft were very slender, the testimonies demonstrate the bigoted mental attitude of those times. The quaint simplicity of the charges were in keeping with the mode of life and learning of the early settlers, yet teeming with insidious suspicions.

In defence of her character as an honest christian women, Mrs. Holman submitted two certificates, signed by two of the deacons John Bridge and Gregory Stone, and several members of the church:

We, whose names are underwritten, we do here testify that Winifret Holman, we having been acquainted with her this many years, she being near neighbor unto us, and many times have had occasion to have dealings with her, and we have not indeed in the least measure perceived, either by words or deeds, any thing whereby we could have any grounds or reason to suspect her for witchery or any thing thereunto tending. And this is evident unto us that she is diligent in her calling, and frequents public preaching, and gives diligent attention thereunto.
John Palfrey, Mathew Bridge, Richard Eccles, ffrancis Whitmor, John Greene, Nathaniell Green, William Diksone.

We, who have here subscribed our names, do testify that we have known this Winnefret Holman, widow, this many years, but never knew any thing in her life concerning witchery. But she hath always been a diligent hearer of any attender to the word of God.
Mary Patten, Mary Hall, Jane Willows, Anna Bridge, Elizabeth Bridg, Elizabeth Green, Jeane Diksonne, Elizabeth Winship, Thomas Fox, Ellin Fox, William Towne, Martha Towne, Mary Eccles, Isobell Whittmor, John Bridge, Rebekka Wieth, Gregory Stone, Lidea Stone.

Winifred Holman lost her suit on the ground that Rebecca Stearns was sick and not responsible for what she said, but Mary Holman gained her action against John Gibson Jr. [Timothy’s father] The testimonies, which follow, were contributed by members of the staff in the Middlesex County Court, at Cambridge.

To the Constable of Cambridg or his Deputy
You are hereby required to attach the goods or in want thereof the person of John Gibson Jun’ of Cambridg and take bond of him to the value of twenty pounds with sufficient surety or suretyes for his appearance att the next County Court holden att Cambridg upon the 3 day of Aprill next, then and there to answer the complaint of Mary Holeman of Cambridg in an action of Defamation and Slaunder, and so make a true return hereof under yo’ hand. Dated this 26 of March 1659 60

By the Court Samuel Green:
(Endorsed on back)
This attachment was served upon Joh Gibson Jun’ & securiety taken for his appareance at this Court to Answer there unto according to y* teano’ there of by me Franc Moore Const
26 March 1660

To the Constable of Cambridg or his deputy
You are hereby required to attach the goods and in want thereof the persons of John Gibson of Cambridg Sen’ and his wife, and take bond of them to the value of ten pounds with sufficient Surety or Suretyes for their appearance att the next County Court holden att Cambridg upon the third day of Aprill next then and there to answer the complaint of Winnifrid Holmane of Cambridg in an action of defamation and slaunder, hereof you are to make a true return under yo’ hand, dated this 28 of March 1660

By the Court Samuel Green:
(Endorsed on back)
I have served this Attachment upon John Gibson & taken bond of him to y* vallue of tenn pouns for his appearance at y° Court to be responsall to y* Attachment according to y8 tean’ thereof:
by me Franc Moore
Const 29 1 mo 1660

To the Constable of Cambridg or his Deputy
You are hereby required to attach the goods or in want thereof the person of Rebeckah the wife of Charles Sternes of Cambridg and take bond of her to the value of ten pounds with sufficient Surety or Suretyes for her appearance att the next County Court holden att Cambridg, upon the third day of Aprill next then and there to answer the complaint of Winnifrid Holeman of Cambridg, in an action of defamation and slaunder, hereof you are to make a true return under your hand
Dated this 28 of March 1660
By the Court Samuel Green:
(Endorsed on back)

This Attachment was served upon Rebecka Stearnes & securytie taken for her appearance at this Court to answer thereto according to the teano’ thereof
by me
Franc Moore Const

The testimonies of Tho Adrews 17 years of age Daniell Andrews 16 years of age and Samuell Buck aged about 17 years doe say being comeing from meeting on the Lords day that they heard John Gibson say of Mary Holman that there cometh the young wich. And Daniell Andrews saith it is more then you know And John Gibson saied I am sure of it: 15 June dated 1659
Sworne in Court 4 (2) 60
as attests Th. Danforth R.

This is the testimony of Elizabeth Bowers aged 25 yeares saith that she hearde Rebekka the wife of Charles Sternes say that widdow Holman is a wich at which time shee was in one of her rageing fits.
Sworne in Court
4 (2) 60. as attests.
Th. Danforth R.

Elisabeah Bowers being at Goode Gipsons house about tenn days sine and shee herd Goode Gipson say her dagter did call anoher woman wich and shee reproved her dagter and sayd doo you know what you say and shee answereth her moher as she sayd that it was Ms Homan she ment then Abram Holman replied to Good Gibson doth your daughter know wl she sayeth and she sayeth sometime she doth and sometime she doth not.
Sworne in Court 4 (2) 60.
as attests. Th. Danforth. R.

Elizabeth Bowers aged 25 years
Wittneseth that shee being present heard Abraham Holman ask
Goody Gibson if she did not say his mother was a witch and she sayd she would not say his mother was a witch but she had cause to suppect her for her daughter had been very grevously handled and she had sene her ask very strange things

Abraham Holman and Jerimiah Holraan wittneseth the same
4 (2) 60. Sworne in Court.
as attests. Th. Danforth R.
The testimony of Abraham Holman & Mary Holman that they heard Rebeecha Stearns say: Mrs. Holman your chest is full of impes but whether shee was in her fitts, wly at Sunday service shee rageth, & is deprived of y* use of her reason, we dar not affirme to y* contrary.
Sworne in Court Anno 1659
4 (2) 60. as attests.
Th. Danforth R.

For more of the testimony see Winifred HOLMAN’s page.

John Gibson junior. acknowledged in court that, whereas he is legally convicted of a slanderous speech concerning Mary Holman, he is heartily sorry for his evil thereby committed against God, and wrong done to the said Mary Holman and her friends, and doth crave forgiveness of the said Mary Holman of this trespass.

Rebecca Gates Gibson – Lower Village Cemetery, Stow, Middlesex, Mass- “Here lies the body of Mrs. Rebekah Gibson wife of Deac. Timothy Gibson who died Ye 2? AD 1754 in the Ye 73 year of her age”

8. Lt. Daniel Gates

Daniel’s wife Anna Eveleth 1684 in Marlborough, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Joseph Eveleth and Mary Bragg. Anna died 9 Aug 1759 in Stow, Middlesex, Mass.

Daniel lived at Sprindle Hill, Stow, which was part of the farm owned by his father.  By a deed made 25 Mar 1741 and recorded 20 May 1757 he conveyed the farm to his son Silas.

He served as a selectman in 1724, 1738, 1747, 1751 and 1752.  He also served on town committees and as tythingman and fence viewer.

Daniel Gates – Lower Village Cemetery, Stow, Middlesex, Mass – Here lies buried the body of Mr. Daniel Gates who died March 23 (?) 1753 in Ye 73 of his age


From Sarah Miller 1939 by Walter Goodwin Davis

Genealogies of Connecticut families: from the New England historical and … By Judith McGhan, Genealogical Publishing Co

The history of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Mass. and their

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6 Responses to Stephen Gates II

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