John Safford Jr.

John SAFFORD Jr. (1662 -1736) was Alex’s 9th Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Shaw line.

John Safford Jr. was born in 1662 at Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, England. His parents were John STAFFORD Sr. and Sarah LOW(E). He married Hannah  NEWMAN 15 Sep 1685 in Ipswich, Mass.   Many researchers say after Hannah died, John married Abigail Martin on 28 Jun 1702.   However, it was John’s first cousin with the same name John Safford who married Abigail Martin. (See the discussion below)  Our John was married to a Deborah when he died, as evidenced by naming her in his will, but she is not buried in the Preston Cemetery.  John died on 29 Mar 1736 at Preston, Connecticut.

John Safford – Gravestone – Guiles Safford Cemetery, Preston, CT  – “Here lies the Body of Mr. John Safrford who Died March 29, 1736 Aged 73 Years” “You are but dust and die you must”

There has been a lot of confusion about whether John’s mother Sarah Lowe was married to Joseph Safford or John Safford. All Low family genealogy research says she was married to Joseph, but Safford research says Joseph was married to Mary Baker.

Hannah Newman was born on 16 Feb 1666 at Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Her parents were Thomas NEWMAN Jr. and Hannah MORSE. If Hannah really died in 1702 in Preston, CT. like most genealogies say, then Dorothy [__?__] is probably the mother of Margaret, Joseph and Gideon. However, I can’t find any evidence of Hannah’s date of death or Dorothy’s marriage.

Abigail Martin was born in 1675 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Martin and Abigail Norton. Abigail died in 20 Mar 1768 in Norwich, CT.

We are not descended after all to the Abigail Martin that testified that she was afflicted by 13 different people in the Salem Witch Trials when she was a teenager.  John’s first cousin John Safford married Abigail in 1702, 10 years after the witch trials were over.

Children of John and Hannah:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Safford Jr. 28 Feb 1687/88 Dorothy Larrabee
18 Aug 1710
Preston, New London, CT
12 Sep 1725
Preston City, CT
2. Hannah SAFFORD 24 Sep 1691 Preston,New London,CT Ebenezer PERKINS
14 Aug 1710 in Preston, CT
Bef. 1736 will of her father
3. Sarah Safford 25 Dec 1694 Roger Haskell
1 Dec 1720
Norwich, New London, CT
4 Apr 1729
Preston, CT
4. Mary (Marcy) Safford 5 Mar 1697
Preston, CT
Ezekiel Parke
1716 – Preston City, CT
Jedediah Tracy
15 Apr 1728
Preston, CT
24 May 1775
Preston, CT
5. Elizabeth Safford 24 Jan 1700 James Braman?
of North Kingstown, RI
Timonthy Whipple (Whipyrill)
1736 or
04 Jul 1744 Norwich, New London, Connecticut
6. Margaret Stafford 24 Apr 1703 Nathaniel Bingham
by 1725
7. Deacon Joseph Stafford 18 Jan 1705
Norwich, CT
Patience Yeomans
20 Dec 1727 – Preston City, New London, CT
Martha Cotes
11 Jan 1749
North Stonington, CT
buried in the Preston Cemetery
8. Gideon Safford 24 Mar 1709 Elizabeth Hill
13 Jan 1731/32 in Ipswich, Mass.
 20 Mar 1780
Preston, CT

John was administrator of the estate of his father-in-law, Thomas Newman, March 5, 1691. He resided at Ipswich; d. 1780.

John and Hannah settled in Preston, Connecticut with other Essex County families.  In 1686, Thomas Parke, Thomas Tracy, and several others petitioned for and were granted by the Connecticut General Court authority to establish a plantation seven miles square to the east of Norwich and north of New London and Stonington.  Owaneco, son of the Mohegan sachem Uncas, gave a confirmatory deed for the land in 1687. In October of that same year, the town was formally incorporated as Preston.  John’s daughter Mary later married a Parke and then married a Tracy.

The first settler of Voluntown, Connecticut was Samuel Fish, soon followed by John Gallup, John and Francis Smith, Robert Parke, Thomas Reynolds, Thomas Coles, John Campbell, John SAFFORD Jr, Obadiah Rhodes and Samuel Whaley.

Most of the land which makes up the present town of Voluntown was granted in 1700 by the Court to the Volunteers of the Narragansett War in 1700, thus the name “Voluntown.” Preston is 10 miles from Voluntown was maybe John Safford’s homestead was halfway between the two modern villages.

In 1705 the town was surveyed and boundaries were established. The plot was drawn up into lots, with each eligible volunteer receiving a lot. The land was rough terrain, although fertile soil, and was in a remote location.

According to a portion of the will provided by another Safford researcher John’s son Joseph and Gideon were executors. He leaves to his wife Deborah all movable estate. To three living daughters, Mary Tracy, Elizabeth Whipyrill and Margaret Bingham.  Charity Perkins Rathbone, eldest daughter of daughter Hannah, and Zipporah Haskell, eldest daughter of daughter Sarah, the granddaughter to share equally with their aunts.

John’s will dated 5 Feb 1735/36, proved 2 Apr 1736 is unusual in its frank expresion of his sense of being the founder of a landed family in the English tradition.  He orders a “moniment upon my graufe … bultit with ston or brick and a tombston over it Ingrafein on it my death and age that my Children mit know how they cum by their land that theay had a granfather that left it for them and left his boons In possession for them ever bein the fist that ever did anything upon it and setled it.”

To wife Deborah £10 etc. expressed in two bonds under the hands and seals of sons Joseph and Gideon, the goods she brought with her, her choice of two good cows, a good horse to ride on, etc.

All movable estate to three living daughters Marcy Tracy, Elizabeth Whipyrill and Margaret Bingham, Charity Rasebonne [Rathbone] eldest daughter of daughter Hannah, and Zipporah Haskell, eldest daughter of daughter Sarah, the granddaughters to share equally with their aunts £100 in money, bills and bonds to children of the five daughters.

To grandsons, Zebulon Parks, John Bingham, Ezekiel Parks, Daniel Tracy, Gideon Haskell, Oliver PERKINS. 

Overseerwes:y two cousins Thomas Tracy and Samuel Morgan
Witnesses” John Ames, John Ames Jr., John Ames the third

No mention is here made of son John, born 1687. No mention is made of him as being buried in the Safford Cemetery, either. Marcy is probably daughter Mary, b 1697, Elizabeth, b 1700, Margaret, b 1703. Daughter Hannah had evidently died by this time as evidenced by the will, same with Sarah, b 1694. With Gideon and Joseph as executors, that makes 7 listed. Only John is not listed.

The John that married Abigail Martin moved to Norwich Ct., fairly close to Preston. He is buried in the Ames Cemetery in Lisbon, Ct. He died 12 Aug 1739, age 66, thus born circa 1673.   The tombstones of both Abigail and John are still existing in the Ames Cemetery.

John’s cousin John Safford (1673 – 1739) Ames Cemetery  Lisbon New London County Connecticut

Information about the Safford family is confusing and conflicted.  It’s difficult to say for sure just who was married to whom.

There were two first cousin John Saffords, both from Ipswich, Mass and they both moved to Connecticut. One John was born in 1663, the other in 1673.  The John that married Hannah Newman was the son of Joseph. They moved to Preston, New London, Ct. He died there March 29, 1736 at age 73, thus was born in 1663.    He is buried in the Safford Cemetery. He evidently married twice, the second time to a Deborah, as evidenced by a will he wrote naming her.

John’s cousin that married Abigail Martin moved to Norwich Ct., fairly close to Preston. He is buried in the Ames Cemetery in Lisbon, Ct. He died 12 Aug 1739, age 66, thus born circa 1673.

As to John having 2 or 3 wives, Abigail being second or third, notice THIS. She was born circa 1676. She is buried next to the John at the Ames Cemetery. She died age 92, on 20 March 1768.  The two other Johns died in 1736 and 1739. She outlived both of them by many years.


1. John Safford Jr.

John’s wife Dorothy Larrabee was born 25 Mar 1686 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut. Her parents were Greenfield Larrabee and Alice Parke. Dorothy died in 1723 in Connecticut.

2. Hannah SAFFORD (see Ebenezer PERKINS‘s page)

3. Sarah Safford

Sarah’s husband Roger Haskell was born 16 Oct 1697 in Beverly, Essex, Mass. His parents were Roger Haskell and Hannah Woodbury. Roger died 20 May 1759 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut

4. Mary (Marcy) Safford

Marcy’s first husband Ezekiel Parke was born 20 May 1683 in Preston, New London, Connecticut. His parents were Nathaniel Parke and Sarah Geer. Ezekiel died in 1726 in Preston, New London, Connecticut

Marcy’s second husband Jedediah Tracy was born 24 Sep 1692 in Preston, New London, Connecticut.  His parents were Thomas Tracy and Sarah [__?__]. He first married 27 Jan 1714 in Preston, Connecticut to Margaret Rix b. 1693 in Wenham, Mass; d. 1 Aug 1727 in Preston, Connecticut.  Jerediah died 8 Jun 1779 in Preston, Connecticut,

5. Elizabeth Safford

Elizabeth  might have married a James Braman of North Kingstown, RI who purchased property in Voluntown, New London, CT in 1729. He and wife Elizabeth had seven children between 1730 and 1740; he died by Nov. 1739 when his probate was started.

Elizabeth’s second husband Timothy Whipple (Whipyrill) was born 28 OCT 1723 in Groton, New London, Connecticut. His parents were Samuel Whipple and Ruth Card. Timothy died 04 Nov 1796 in Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont.

The first property James Braman purchased in Voluntown was from Ebenezer PERKINS. Ebenezer Perkins married Hannah SAFFORD, an older sister of Elizabeth Safford, another clue Elizabeth may have married James Braman.

6. Margaret Stafford

Margaret’s husband Nathaniel Bingham was born 30 Jun 1704 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut. His parents were Thomas Bingham and Hannah Backus. Nathaniel died 1756 in Mansfield, Tolland, Connecticut.

7. Deacon Joseph Stafford

Joseph’s first wife Patience Yeomans was born 26 Jan 1702 Preston City, New London, CT.  Her parents were Samuel Yeomans and Mary Ellis.  Patience died 8 Mar 1748.

Joseph’s second wife Martha Cotes was born

8. Gideon Safford

Gideon’s wife Elizabeth Hull (Hill?) was born 5 Feb 1715 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. Her parents were John Hill and Elizabeth Yarrington. Elizabethe died 6 Jun 1805 in Preston, Connecticut.

Gideon’s son Thomas b. 1738 was a soldier in the French and Indian war and was in Captain Jonathan Brown’s company at Lake George in 1758. During the revolution he was living at or near Watertown, and he enlisted July 2, 1778, with others to serve as guards over the powder magazine for six months. He continued to serve on this duty until August 2, 1779. He was called “corporal” in some of the records. He married at Watertown, July 31, 1764, Sarah Kettell, of Medford, his residence being given as Dedham. His wife joined the Dedham church, March 23, 1766. The only record of birth of children born to Thomas and Sarah is found in Dedham records: Thomas, baptized at Dedham, August 24, 1766, by Rev. Mr. Townsend.


From Phoebe Tilton, 1947 by Walter Goodwin Davis

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal …, Volume 1 edited by Ellery Bicknell Crane

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Line - Shaw, Pioneer, Witch Trials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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