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CONANT Roger

CONANT Roger

Male Abt 1591 - 1679  (~ 88 years)Deceased

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  • Name  CONANT Roger  [1, 2
    Born  Abt 1591  [3
    Christened  9 Apr 1592  All Saints Church, East Budleigh, , Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Gender  Male 
    Immigration  Jul 1623  Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    from England 
    • It is supposed that he traveled with his brother, Christopher, aboard the ship "Ann". Roger did not remain at the Pilgrims' town, owing to a difference in religious beliefs between the original proprietors and himself. They were separatists and he was a non-conformist (a Puritan). In 1624, he found it desirable to join some newly arrived immigrants at Nantasket, or Hull. It was probably while here that he made use of what is now known as Governor's Island in Boston Harbor, but which at that time and for some years after bore the name of Conant's Island. During the next winter, Rev. John White, of Dorchester, hearing of the settlement at Nantasket, and of Roger Conant, "a pious, sober and prudent gentleman," chose him to manage the affairs of the Dorchester Company at Cape Ann. It was soon found that this region was a poor place for planting, and many of the settlers returned to England. Roger Conant and a few sturdy followers decided to remain and fix their habitation at Naumkeag (now Salem, Massachusetts). His was the first house built in that now historic town.

      From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, page 234:

      He [Roger Conant] ┘Ci┘Dcame to this country from Budleigh in England.
    Occupation  1626  Nantasket, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    overseer of fishing and planting 
    • From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, pages 5-6:

      Salem was indebted for its first settlement to the failure of a planting, fishing, and trading enterprise at Cape Ann.

      It appears that this fruitless attempt was made by a number of gentlemen belonging to Dorchester, in England. Among them the Rev. John White took the principal lead. His heart was strongly set on the establishment of colonies in Massachusetts. His chief desire and exertion for them were, that they might become places of refuge from the corruptions and oppressions, which prevailed at home under the countenance of James I. He had learned, that some persons of the Plymouth Plantation were obliged with their families to leave and reside at Nantasket. The occasion of such a separation was their siding with the Rev. John Lyford, who was ordered to quit the former place, for his disagreement with most of its inhabitants, on several subjects. Of those thus seceded, Mr. White and his associates choose Roger Conant to take charge of the planting and fishing; John Oldham (afterwards murdered by the Indians of Block Island,) to superintend the trade with the natives; and Mr. Lyford to officiate as minister. -- After a year's trial their prospect of gain was closed. As a consequence they gave up the idea of continuing there. On this failure, Roger Conant, John Woodbury, John Balch, Peter Palfrey, and others, removed to Naumkeag. The most of them, however, were at first dissatisfied with their new abode. The dread of Indian hostilities and present necessities seriously affected them. Besides this, they had an invitation to accompany their last Pastor to Virginia. Being partakers of his trials, and strongly attached to him, several expressed a wish to go with him. But through reasoning and persuasion, they were induced to continue. My Lyford left them for Virginia, where he soon died. In the mean while, Mr. White wrote them, -- that he would have the settlement at Naumkeag by no means relinquished. He promised to exert his influence for the speedy supply of their wants. There were also others at home, besides this gentleman, who earnestly seconded his views.
    Moved  Abt 1627  Naumkeag, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Nantasket, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA 
    Freeman  1630  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • From Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, page 48:

      Between this date [October 19, 1630] and the 18th of the May following, a considerable number of persons proposed themselves to the Court for being acknowledged as freemen. Among them were Samuel Skelton, Samuel Sharpe, Thomas Graves, Roger Conant, Roger Williams, John Woodbury, Peter Palfrey, John Balch, and William Trask, of this town.

      From The Annals of Salem, page 234:

      Mr. Conant was an estimable man. He was at the head of the Planters, who came from Cape Ann and first settled in Salem. He was among the first church members. He became freeman.
    Land Grant  1631  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, page 234:

      He [Roger Conant] was granted 200 acres of land at the head of Bass River.
    Employment  9 May 1632  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    General Court to establish the basis for a general stock 
    • From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, pages 56-57:

      1632. May 9th, the General Court required, that each town should choose two persons to confer with them on the subject of raising a general stock. Salem elected Rober Conant and Peter Palfrey for this business. They agreed to a mode of election different in some degree from previous practice. It was that the Governor and Assistants should be annually chosen by the Geneal Courth, and that the Governor should be always from the Assitants. This Court (agreed on the year before) appears to have now commenced the operations of its political existence. It did not supersede the Courts of Assistants, which were to be continued monthly. By having it formed and carried into effect, the people made an advance in power, which appears to have been their right, and which they perseveringly sought.
    Elected  14 May 1634  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Representative of the Freemen 
    • The freemen elected twenty-four of their own number as deputies to the General Court, which met at Boston on 14 May 1634. This was the second representative assembly which met in this country, the one in Virginia being the first. Roger Conant was one of the deputies from Salem, and thus assisted in laying the foundation stones of the United States' government.

      From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, page 65:

      1634. May 14th, the General Court for elections assembled at Newton. Twenty-four of the Colonists asppeared as Representatives of the Freemen. They passed several interesting resolutions. They defined the powers of the Legislature. They enacted a law, that no trial for life should take place withouth a jury. After choosing the Magistrates, they voted that there should be four General Courts in a year; that the whole body of Freemen should be present at the Court of Elections for Magistrates; and that their deputies should act fully for them in the three other General Courts. Thus the principal Legislature of Massachusetts underewent an important alteration. The addition of Representatives to the Assistants and Governor was an imitation of the House of Commons in England; and was in accordance with the spirit of liberty then increasing there. Such a change was produced by the freemen, because they believed, that the preceding government was still clothed with too much power. The House of Representatives in this Colony, was the second in America. One had already been formed in Virginia. The Representatives chosen by this town, were Messrs. Holgrave, Roger Conant, and Francis Weston.
    Land Grant  1671  [3
    • From The Annals of Salem: from its First Settlement by Joseph Barlow Felt, page 234:

      He [Roger Conant], while an inhabitant of this town, held its principal offices and represented it at General Court. He petitioned General Court for land, "as an ancient planter," in 1671, and they granted him 200 acres.
    Membership  the Salter's Guild  [4
    • This is the ninth of the twelve great livery companies, and would have required an apprenticeship of seven years. Various circumstances indicate that he was a freeman of this Guild.
    Occupation  , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 9
    surveyor of land 
    • He was frequently called upon to survey lands, lay out boundaries and transact public business.
    Residence  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • He built the first house in Salem. It was located on what is now Essex Street.
    Will  1 Mar 1676/77 
    • At Salem Court, 25:9:1679. The Last will and testament of Roger Conant, dated the 1st of the 1 mo. [March] 1677. I Roger Conant aged about eightie fiue yeares, being of perfect vnderstandin though weak and feeble in body, doe hereby declare my will and minde wherein in the first place I doe bequeath my soule vnto God that gaue it & my body to the graue, in hope of a blessed resurection: & for my outward estate and goods, I giue vnto my Sonne Exercise one hundred and fortie acres of Land lyeing neer adjoining vnto the new towne of Dunstable a part of two hundred acres granted me by the General court: also I giue & bequeath vnto him ten acres of Land next adjoining vnto his p'sont home lott and land Lying by the side of william Dodgeses his land, and butts on the land of thomas Herrick: also I give him two acres of marsh at the south end of the grat pond by whenham, or if my daughter Elizabeth Conant will exchange to have soe much at the great marsh neer wenham: also I give him my swamp at the head of the railes which is yet undivided betwixt me and Benjamin Balch adjoining vnto william Dodgeses swamp: also I giue him my portion of land Lying by Henry Haggats on wenham side: toward the discharge of such Legassis as I have given & bequeathed: accordin as is hereafter sett down.

      more I giue vnto my grandchild John Conant sonne of Roger Conant ten acres of Land adjoing to his twenty acres by the great pond side he paying twenty pounds for the same towards the payment of gegassis as after mentioned.

      more I giue vnto my grandchild Joshua Conant seaventeen acres of Land Lying by the south side of the great marsh neer wenham and bounding unto the land of peeter woodbery: and the rest to return to my Executor.

      also I giue vnto my Daughter Sarah two acres of Land lying between the gead of the railes and Isaac Hull his ground as part of six acres betwixt me and Benjamin Balch: this to her and her children.

      also sixtie acres oif Land out of my farm granted me by the General Court neer the new town of Dunstable I giue and bequeath unto the hands of Capt Roger Clap of the castle neer Dorchester for the use of a daughter of one mrs. pitts deceased whose daughter now Liueth in culleton a towne in Devon in old England and is in lue for certaine goods sold for the said mrs. pitts in London and was there to be paid many years since but it is alleaged was neuer paid and the aforesaid capt clap to giue a discharge as theire atturney according as he is impowered and intrusted in theire behalfe:

      furthermore as lagacies I doe giue vnto my sonne lott his ten children twenty pounds to be equally divided: to my daughter Sarahs Children to John five pounds to the foure daughters fiue pounds betwixt ym: to my daughter Mary Dodge to herself fiue pounds and fiue pounds to her fiue children equally divided: to Exercise his children foure pounds betwixt them: to Adoniron Veren three pounds to his sister Hannah twenty shillings and her two children each ten shillings: to my cozen Mary Veren wife to Hillier veren three pounds as also three pounds unto the daughters of My Cozen Jane Mason deceased to be divided amongst them including Loue steevens her children a share:

      my wearing apparell I giue and household implements not otherwise disposed of and my Gray horse and cattle to my sonn Exercise and sheepe I giue to Rebacka Connant my grandchild and one sheep to Mary Leach:

      and whereas there remains in my hands a certain portion of cattle belonging vnto one Mr. Dudeney in England and by him assigned vnto his nephew Richard Conant valued at twenty five pounds and now left in the hands of my sonne exercise Conant that there be a rendering vp of such cattle or theire valuation mentioned unto the said Richard Conant upon seasonable demand he giuing a full discharge for the same.

      and further my will is that my sonn Exercise be my executor to my will and Testament and for further help in seeing these things forementioned my sonne william Dodge and my grandchild John Conant Senior to be overseears of the same. In witness whereof I haue haere vnto sett my hand the day and yeare aboure written. The blotting our of part of a line and a whole line under the part was before signing hereof.

      The mark X of Roger CONANT his seale

      JOHN BENNET
      BENJAMIN BALCH
      Sealed in the presence of the aforesaid witnesses and delivered
      JOHN BENNET
      BENJAMIN BALCH

      25-9-mo 1679 Benjamin Balch and John Bennett gave oath in Court at Salem that they signed as witnesses to the within written that then the said Roger Conant declared the same to be his last will and testament and there is no later will of his that they know of.
    Died  19 Nov 1679  Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 10
    Age  ~ 88 years 
    Buried 
    • Roger's suspected burial place is Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, but it has not been determined with any certainty.
    Person ID  I6669  One Big Family Tree
    Last Modified  24 Jul 2011 

    Father  CONANT Richard,   b. Abt 1548, East Budleigh, , Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 22 Sep 1630  Age: ~ 82 years 
    Mother  CLARKE Agnes,   b. 16 May 1548, Colyton, , Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 22 Sep 1630  Age: ~ 82 years 
    Married  4 Feb 1577 or 1578  Colyton, , Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F2404  Group Sheet

    Family  HORTON Sarah,   b. 1598,   d. Between Nov 1666 and 1 Mar 1677  Age: 68 years 
    Married  11 Nov 1618  Saint Ann's Blackfriar, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Children 
     1. CONANT Sarah,   c. 19 Sep 1619, St Lawrence Jewry, London, , Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt Oct 1620  Age: ~ 1 years
     2. CONANT Caleb,   c. 27 May 1622, St Lawrence Jewry, London, , Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 11 Nov 1633  Age: ~ 11 years
     3. CONANT Lot,   b. Abt 1624, , , Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1674  Age: ~ 50 years
     4. CONANT Roger,   b. Abt 1626, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. CONANT Sarah,   b. Abt 1628,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. CONANT Joshua,   b. Abt 1630,   d. Bef Dec 1659  Age: ~ 29 years
     7. CONANT Mary,   b. Abt 1632, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. CONANT Elizabeth,   b. Abt 1635,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. CONANT Exercise,   b. Abt 1637, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1722, Wenham, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  Age: ~ 85 years
    Last Modified  3 Jul 2011 
    Family ID  F2401  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 9 Apr 1592 - All Saints Church, East Budleigh, , Devonshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 11 Nov 1618 - Saint Ann's Blackfriar, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - from England - Jul 1623 - Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - overseer of fishing and planting - 1626 - Nantasket, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsFreeman - 1630 - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand Grant - 1631 - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmployment - General Court to establish the basis for a general stock - 9 May 1632 - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected - Representative of the Freemen - 14 May 1634 - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - surveyor of land - - , , , England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 19 Nov 1679 - Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    Statue of Roger Conant in Salem, Massachusetts
    The statue was dedicated on 17 Jun 1913 and stands outside of the present-day Salem Witch Museum, even though he died years before the Salem Witch Trials even began.
    Plaque at base of Roger Conant's Statue in Salem, Massachusetts
    Plaque at base of Roger Conant's Statue in Salem, Massachusetts
    The plaque reads:
    ROGER CONANT
    Born 1592 - Died 1679
    The First Settler of Salem 1626
    "I was a means through grace assisting me, to stop the flight of those few that then were here with me, and that by my utter denial to go away with them, who would have gone either for England, or mostly for Virginia."

  • Sources 
    1. [S311] The Annals of Salem, Joseph B. Felt, (Salem, MA: W. & S.B. Ives, 1827.), p. 6. (Reliability: 3), 4 Jan 2011.

    2. [S51] History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, Nahum Mitchell, (Boston, MA: Kidder & Wright, 1840.), p. 139. (Reliability: 3), 24 Jul 2011.

    3. [S311] The Annals of Salem, Joseph B. Felt, (Salem, MA: W. & S.B. Ives, 1827.), p. 234. (Reliability: 3), 4 Jan 2011.

    4. [S141] History of Passaic and Its Environs, William W. Scott, (New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1922.), Vol. 2: p. 9. (Reliability: 3), 26 Mar 2010.

    5. [S311] The Annals of Salem, Joseph B. Felt, (Salem, MA: W. & S.B. Ives, 1827.), p. 48. (Reliability: 3), 4 Jan 2011.

    6. [S311] The Annals of Salem, Joseph B. Felt, (Salem, MA: W. & S.B. Ives, 1827.), p. 56-57. (Reliability: 3), 4 Jan 2011.

    7. [S141] History of Passaic and Its Environs, William W. Scott, (New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1922.), Vol. 2: p. 10. (Reliability: 3), 26 Mar 2010.

    8. [S311] The Annals of Salem, Joseph B. Felt, (Salem, MA: W. & S.B. Ives, 1827.), p. 65. (Reliability: 3), 4 Jan 2011.

    9. [S141] History of Passaic and Its Environs, William W. Scott, (New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1922.), Vol. 2: p. 7. (Reliability: 3), 26 Mar 2010.

    10. [S141] History of Passaic and Its Environs, William W. Scott, (New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1922.), Vol. 2: p. 11. (Reliability: 3), 26 Mar 2010.