Freeman Family Line

Freeman

Name origin: One who enjoys liberty, or is entitled to a franchise, or peculiar privilege. The family is believed to be descendants of natives of Firesea or Firesland, a Teutonic race occupying the country around Zuyder Zee. In the fifth century a band of Frisir, the Latin name, joined the Saxons and Angles in their invasion of England.

In early New England, a "freeman" was a member of the body politic who had been admitted as such by the General Court [the legislative body of the Massachusetts Bay Colony] after taking an oath to the established government. In effect, they became "free" by taking the oath. Here is the original oath of a Freeman:

"I (state your name) being by the Almighty;s most wise disposition become a member of this body, consisting of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants and Commonalty of the Massachusetts in New England, do freely and sincerely acknowledge that I am justly and lawfully subject to the Government of the same, and do accordingly submit my person and estate to be protected, ordered and governed by the laws and constitutions thereof, and do faithfully promise to be from time to time obedient and conformable thereunto, and to the authority of the said Governor and Assistants, and their successors, and to all such laws, orders, sentences and decrees as shall be lawfully made and published by them or their successors. And I will always endeavor (as in duty I am bound) to advance the peace and welfare of this body or commonwealth, to my utmost skill and ability. And I will, to my best power and means, seek to divert and prevent whatsoever may tend to the ruin or damage thereof, or of any the said Governor, Deputy Governor, or Assistants, or any of them, or their successors, and will give speedy notice to them, or some of them, of any sedition, violence, treachery, or other hurt or evil, which I shall know, hear, or vehemently suspect, to be plotted or intended against the said commonwealth, or the Government established. And I will not, at any time, suffer or give consent to any counsel or attempt, that shall be offered, given, or attempted, for the impeachment of the Government, or making any change or alteration of the same, contrary to the laws and ordinances thereof; but shall do my utmost endeavor to discover, oppose and hinder all and every such counsel and attempt. So help me God." Col. Rec. Vol. 1, reproduced in NEHGR, Volume 3, pp. 89-90.

  • Henry Freeman (1515- )
  • John Freeman (1541- )
  • Edmund Freeman (1572-1623)
  • Edmund Freeman (1596-1682)
  • John Freeman (1626-1719)
  • Ralph Freeman (1630-1718)
  • Nathaniel Freeman (1673- ? )

    Henry Freeman

    b.1515 Wallengrove, England; parents ukn
    m.abt.1539 Mary Wintershall
    b.1519 Bentley, England

    CHILD:

    1. John Freeman

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    John Freeman

    b.1541 Pulborough, Sussex, England; s/o Henry and Mary (Wintershall) Freeman
    d.at Pulborough
    m.__________ Isham
    b.1545 at Pulborough, England

    CHILDREN included:

    1. Edmund Freeman

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    Edmund Freeman

    b.abt.1572 at Pulborough, Sussex, England; s/o John Freeman and Ms.Isham
    d.bur.June 6, 1623 at Pulborough
    m.Jan. 1, 1591 Pulborough; Alice Coles b.abt.1576 England, d/o George Coles

    CHILDREN (all born Pulborough, England and bapt. St. Mary's Church)included:

    1. William Freeman b.Oct. 10, 1590
    2. Ellen Freeman b.July 30, 1592
    3. Edmund Freeman b.July 25, 1596 d.June 21, 1682
    4. John Freeman b.abt.1600/1605 d.abt.1648 Sudbury, MA
    5. Alice Freeman b.Apr. 15, 1601 d.Dec. 27, 1615 m.John Beauchamp
    6. William Freeman b.Aug. 25, 1603 d.Sept. 15, 1666 m.(1)Christian Hodsoll d/o John and Faith Hodsoll
    7. Elinor (Eleanor) Freeman b.Aug. 25, 1603 d.Apr. 7, 1618 England
    8. Elizabeth Freeman bapt.Aug. 27, 1609 m.John Coddington
    9. Thomas Freeman

    NOTES: He made a will dated May 20, 1623, proved June 8, 1623, disposing of about 800 pounds.

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    Edmund Freeman

    b.July 25, 1596 Pulborough, Sussex, England; s/o Edmund and Alice (Coles) Freeman
    d.June 21, 1682 prob.Sandwich, MA
    m.(1)June 16, 1617 at Cowfold, Sussex, England; Bennett Hodsoll
    b.1596
    d.April 12, 1630 at Pulborough, Sussex, England [This date must be an error: see note re Freeman Ancestry in England]
    m.(2)Oct. 13, 1617; Elizabeth Greavely
    b.Herts, England
    d.Feb. 14, 1676

    CHILDREN included:

    1. Alice Freeman bapt.April 4, 1619 d.April 24, 1651 m.Nov. 24, 1639 William Paddy
    2. Edmund Freeman III chr.Nov. 26, 1620 d.bet.March 29, 1673 and 1704; bur. Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony. Will on 21 Jun 1682 in Sandwich, inventory of estate in Sandwich taken on 4 Oct. 1682. Probated 2 Nov. 1682. m.(1)April 22, 1646 Rebecca Prence d/o Gov. Thomas Prence and Patience Brewster d/o William Brewster m.(2)July 28, 1651 Margaret Perry
        CHILDREN of Edmund III [1st wife had one child, another record says twins] included:
      • Rebecca Freeman [dau. of 1st wife] m.Ezra Perry
      • Margaret Freeman b.Oct. 2, 1652
      • Edmund Freeman b.Oct. 5, 1655 m.Sarah [possible maiden name: Skeefe]
      • Alice Freeman b.March 29, 1658
      • Rachel Freeman b.Sept. 4, 1659 m.John Landers
      • Sarah Freeman b.Feb. 6, 1662 m.Richard Landers
      • Deborah Freeman b.Aug. 9, 1665 m.Thomas Landers
    3. Bennett Freeman bapt. Jan. 20, 1621 d.1633/4
    4. John Freeman bapt.Jan. 28, 1626/7
    5. Elizabeth Freeman bapt.April 11, 1624 Billingshurst, Sussex, England d.June 24, 1692 Rochester, MA m.Aug. 20, 1645 Sandwich, MA; John Ellis
    6. Nathaniel Freeman bapt.Sept. 2, 1629 d.1629
    7. Mary Freeman m.Edward Perry
    8. Thomas Freeman m.1645 Hannah Annable, d/o Anthony Annable

    NOTES: On the roster of the ship Abigail which sailed from Plymouth, England to Boston arriving c.Oct. 8, 1635 with smallpox aboard. Richard Hackwell, Master:
    Edmund Freeman, 34, gentleman, Pulborough, Lynn Co., Sussex; Mrs. Elizabeth Freeman; Alice Freeman; Edward Freeman 15; Elizabeth Freeman 12; John Freeman 8.

    From Directory of Ancestral Heads of New England Families 1620-1700 by Holmes: EDMUND b.Eng., 1590, settled at Lynn, Mass., 1673, later resided at Duxbury, Mass.

    From Freeman Ancestry in England Edmund Freeman m.(2)Oct. 13, 1617 to Elizabeth Graveley Hodswell who was b.Herts, England and d.Feb. 14, 1676. He arrived in New England in 1635 and took up abode at Saugus [Lynn], Mass. He was there but a short time, moving to Plymouth where he was made a freeman Jan. 2, 1637.

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    John Freeman

    b.Jan. 28, 1626 Pulborough, Sussex, England; s/o Edmund and Elizabeth (Greaveley) Freeman
    d.Oct. 28, 1719 Eastham or Rochester, MA
    m.Feb. 14, 1649 at Eastham, MA; Mercy Prence [Prince]
    b.Jan. 4, 1631 Duxbury, MA
    d.Sept. 28, 1711 Eastham, MA

    CHILDREN included:

    1. Edmund Freeman b.June 1657 d.Dec. 10, 1719 m.Sarah Mayo, d/o Thomas Mayo and Elizabeth Higgins
    2. Thomas Freeman b.Sept.1653 d.Harwick, MA m.Dec. 31, 1673 Rebecca Sparrow
    3. Hannah Freeman b.abt.1656 Eastham, MA d.Feb. 15, 1743/44 m.Apr. 14, 1681 at Hingham, MA John Mayo
        CHILD of Hannah and John:
      • Mary Mayo b.Oct. 29, 1694 Hingham, MA d.Jan. 15, 1771 Harwich, MA m.Apr. 17, 1712 Joseph Hopkins

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    Ralph Freeman

    b.ca. 1630 England parents unk
    d.May 25, 1718 Attleborough, MA
    m.Katherine Lions

    CHILDREN included:

    1. David Freeman
    2. Jonathan Freeman b.Jan. 1653
    3. Mary Freeman b.Oct. 5, 1654
    4. Ralph Freeman b.Apr. 2, 1662
    5. Martha Freeman
    6. Nathaniel Freeman b.ca.1673

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    Nathaniel Freeman

    b.ca.1673, presumed son of Ralph Freeman and Katherine Lions
    m.Jan. 18, 1699 Alice Peniwell

    CHILD of Nathaniel and Alice:

    1. Sarah Freeman m.Joseph Stover

    Nathaniel was a bookkeeper, then schoolmaster. Lived in Portsmouth, N.H. and York, ME. Banks' History of York, concludes that Nathaniel "was probably the son of Ralph Freeman of Dedham..."

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    This page last updated on January 21, 2013