John Wakefield

John WAKEFIELD (c. 1598 – 1689) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Wakefield Coat of Arms

John Wakefield may have been born around 1598 in Gravesend, Kent, England. His parents were Simon WAKEFIELD (1561 – 1593) and Elizabeth De VERE (1565 – 1627) He married Mary SAWKIN.   The relationship of John and his three children: John, William and Patience is not proven. Many records of early Wells were destroyed in a 1657 fire.  I’ve tried to make these possible relationships clear by organizing the possible relationships into one post. John may have died in 1689 in Gravesend, Kent, England

Mary Sawkin was born in 1585 in Gravesend, Kent, England.

Children of John and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Wakefield 1615
Pomfret, Kingston-on-Hull and Seassey, Yorkshire, England
Elizabeth Littlefield
(John Littlefield’s sister)
Saco Settlement, Maine
15 Feb 1674 in Saco, York, Maine
2. William Wakefield 1616
Hampshire, England
Anna [__?__]  After
1660 return to England
3. Patience WAKEFIELD  1630
Titchfield, Hampshire, England.
c. 1660
Wells, York, Maine
Gloucester, Mass
13 Jan 1674/75 in Wrentham, Norfolk, Mass.



1. John Wakefield

John Wakefield married John Littlefield’s sister Elizabeth , some say 1637 others 1661.   He was the progenitor of the Maine family of Wakefields and was born in England.  The first American record we have of him is dated Jan 1, 1637, when at a town meeting held at Salem he was assessed fifteen shillings as an inhabitant of Marblehead, colony of Massachusetts Bay.  He probably did not come over in winter and must have come at least as long before as the summer or fall of 1636.

26 Dec 1638 – At a town meeting held at Salem   among the several portions of land laid out at Marblehead, on the 14th of the same month, John Wakefield received his first American land grant of four acres “on the Neck,” John Endicott and others signing the grant. (Original Book of Grants of Salem, Essex County Inst., vol. ii. p 74.)

Owing to the unfortunate incompleteness of the early town records of Salem, Marblehead, Wells, Scarboro, and Saco (Biddeford), we are forever deprived of any record of the date of his birth, the marriage to his wife, Elizabeth Littlefield, the place where it was solemnized, and the same of the birth of their children.  In 1657 the house of Joseph Bowles, then town clerk of Wells, Me., was destroyed by fire, and with it the first volume of the town records.  Prior to that, as will be seen, we have practically nothing, and even after that time, while the marriages are quite complete, the births and deaths are very meager.

The Dec 1661 marriage date for John Wakefield and Elizabeth Litchfield is often shown in Watertown, Litchfield, Connecticut.  Could this be someone else?

John Wakefield moved to Wells, Maine before June of 1647 when he appears on a town list there for “appraising the swine for Mrs. Cole.”

He had a grant of land with his brother-in-law John Littlefield in 1641 from John Cleaves at the mouth of the Mousam River, where he made his home.

John and his brother-in-law, John Littlefield, were granted under the authority of the Laconia Patent, (now called) “Great Hill Farm.” This hill extended much farther into the sea in 1647 then it now does and with projecting land at eastern end.

John served as commissioner and selectman 1648, 1654, 1657. He was ‘of Wells’ 2 July, 1657, when he witnessed a grant of John Barrett

In 1652, John Wakefield purchased Drake’s Island of Stephen Batson and moved there where he lived for three years. He sold it to Samuel Austin. In 1661 he removed to Scarborough where he purchased land and resided for several years.

3 Apr 1661 – Moved to Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine. Sold to Mr. John Gooch from his estate in Wells, one track of marsh land lying on the north side of the harbor and abutting upon the sea southeast, upon the Mussell Ridge west, and joining to a tract of upland on the north side— two acres.

John Wakefield Bio

Children of John and Elizabeth:

i. Mary Wakefield (1639 – ) married to William Frost.
ii. Henry Wakefield (1641 – ) died unmarried, later than March 39, 1677.
iii. John Jr. Wakefield (1643 – 1692) married Hester Harbor, who married, secondly, William Hayward  Jan 1706/07.
iv. James Wakefield (1645 – 1707) married Rebecca Gibbons; he was drowned October 25. 1707.
v. William Wakefield (1650 – 1707) married March 13, 1698, Rebecca Littlefield; he was drowned October 25, 1707.
vi. Katherine Wakefield (1656 – )  married, between 1677 and 1694, to Robert Nanny.

James Wakefield, with his brother William, Moses and Job Littlefield, and Joseph Storer, jr., on October 25, 1707, “went out in a small sloop to fish, there was a heavy sea at the bar, and as they attempted to drive the sloop over it, she was upset and all were drowned, bodies of four were recovered. These men were all valuable citizens and their aid was greatly needed.” (Bourne’s History of Wells and Kennebunk.) .

2. William Wakefield

William Wakefield, came to American on the ship, “Bevis” in 1638. William, age 22 and his wife Anne, age 20 were servants to Stephen Drummer . He was made a Freeman on 13 March, 1638/39. In 1660, he returned to England

Partial Passenger List of the “Bevis” commanded by Capt. Townes. 1638

Mrs. Anges Littlefield…38..from ?…to Wells, Maine
John-14; Elizabeth-11; Mary-8; Thomas-5; Anne-5; Francis-2
John Knight…carpenter, servant
Hugh Durdal…servant

Richard Dummer….40 of Bishopstoke, Hants..gentleman…to Newbury
Mrs. Alice Dummer…35
Thomas-19; Joan-19; Jane-10; Dorthy-6; Richard-4; Thomas-2


Stephen Dummer…of Bishopstoke, Hants, husbandman…to Newbury
and with him came:
John HUTCHINSON…30, servant; carpenter
Francis Alcock…26..servant [coincidentally, Francis and John later married and became our ancestors]
Adam Mott…19..servant, tailor
William Wakefield.(Wackerfield)..22 servant
Anne Wakefield.(Wackerfield)..20 servant
Samuel Poor…18 servant
Daniel Poor…14..servant
Alice Poor…20 servant
Nathaniel Parker..20, servant, of London, baker
Richard Bayley..15..servant

3. Patience WAKEFIELD (See John LITTLEFIELD‘s posting)


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

14 Responses to John Wakefield

  1. Pingback: Edmund Littlefield | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: John Littlefield | Miner Descent

  3. Diane Sebastian says:

    John Wakefield is my 7th Great-Grandfather through the line of his son William. I enjoyed your entry on him. I’m working on a blog about my grandfather, Ervin Reuben Wakefield. It’s called WWI Letters: a VT Doughboy, and I’m updating his geneology when I can.

  4. Shawn says:

    John, son of Simon is my 9th great grandfather also. His son John 8th, His son James 7th then John 6th , John 5th, Ezekiel 4th, John, George, Lawrence, Wayne, Ron then myself.

  5. Dave Tracy says:

    Can anyone tell me the name of the ship that John Wakefield was on when he drowned in the shipwreck?

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Dave,

      Are you referring to John’s sons James and William?

      James Wakefield, with his brother William, Moses and Job Littlefield, and Joseph Storer, jr., on October 25, 1707, “went out in a small sloop to fish, there was a heavy sea at the bar, and as they attempted to drive the sloop over it, she was upset and all were drowned, bodies of four were recovered. These men were all valuable citizens and their aid was greatly needed.” (Bourne’s History of Wells and Kennebunk.) .

  6. Dave says:

    Wow! thanks for the fast reply. Here is the John I am referring to:
    “John Wakefield was born Abt. 1616 in England, and died February 15, 1673/74 in Saco, Maine. He married Elizabeth Littlefield on December 1661 in Wells, Maine, daughter of Edmund Littlefield and Annis Austin.”
    It was my understanding that her perished in a “shipwreck” off the coast of Saco Bay. I may be incorrect. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    • markeminer says:

      Yeah, I was online when you posted, so could reply right away. The book “Posterity of John Wakefield of Maine” just says “he died February 15, 1674 and is buried at Biddleford, Me” so a shipwreck isn’t included in traditional accounts

  7. Shawn says:

    John’s son James died in a fishing accident in 1707. John died in 1674 in Saco Maine.

  8. Nita says:

    My dad’s line includes, my 5th G~Grandfather, William Wakefield who married Susannah Witcher in Smith Co., Tn., and my mom’s line includes, 7th G~Grandparents, Abigail Minor who married John Treadwell. Abigail Minor is a grand-daughter of Thomas Minor and Grace Palmer …… I was very confused as to why my aunt and uncle’s relationships were showing on my family tree maker, as my 8th cousins …… William Wakefield is a son of Revolutionary War Soldier, Henry Wakefield. Thank you for your very informative web site ! I am sure I will be here for an extended time, as I have alot to learn ! You are greatly appreciated !!

  9. Frank Davis says:

    Wonderful………….Many Thanks, Frank Davis

  10. Beverly H Godfrey says:

    I am searching for the parents of Olive Wakefield b. abt 1766 possibly in New Hampshire and m. Samuel Hubbard in 1801 in Berwick, York, Maine, died 1849 Carroll county, NH. Any knowledge of her would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Julie macey says:

    John Wakefield is one of .my ancester he has the oldest head stone in the cemarty in main.I found out about John a .few years ago.I know one of his ancestry relations in America.I only wish there was photo of him.and his family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s