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Home: Surnames: Palfrey Family Genealogy Forum

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Richard Palfrey of Gloucester
Posted by: Austin W. Spencer (ID *****6496) Date: May 09, 2003 at 12:57:08
In Reply to: Re: Abigail Palfrey, Boston, 1703 or 1727 by Andy Ringgold of 121

Evidently, the Richard Palfrey who was born in 1712 died in childhood. William and Abigail (Briscoe) Palfrey had another son Richard on 9 June 1724.[1] I see no specific statement that this is the Richard Palfrey who married Sarah Robinson, but I suspect that it is so.

The Gloucester marriage record expressly stated that the groom was of Boston,[2] and his intention to marry was recorded there as well as in Gloucester.[3] Events in the immediate wake of the marriage confirm his Boston residency: his first two children were baptized in Boston's New South Church.[4] All of his children received their mother's name or a Palfrey name: Sarah, Sarah, William, Richard, Susanna, Abigail.[5]

Boston only produces one other candidate for the husband of Sarah Robinson: a first cousin, the son of Richard and Hannah (____) Palfrey, born 23 Apr 1709.[6] This family was associated with the Second Church in Boston, and Hannah had four children baptized there. Their names are Hannah, Richard, Lydia, and Walter.[7] Comparing that family against the one in Gloucester, one is struck by how little onomastic continuity there is, compared with the family of the Richard born in 1724.

A serious drawback to a reconstruction based on Richard being son of William, however, is that William died testate in 1766, and his will does not appear to name a son Richard. Nor do any deeds executed by William concerning land in Boston.[8] What might for another family offer promising avenues for further research are of little assistance with Richard Palfrey.


[1] _A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Containing Boston Births from A.D. 1700 to A.D. 1800_, 24th Report of the Record Commissioners (Boston: Rockwell & Churchill, City Printers, 1894), 166.

[2] _Vital Records of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1850_, 3 vols. (Topsfield, Mass.: Topsfield Historical Society, 1917-24), 2:398.

[3] _A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Containing Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751_, 28th Report of the Record Commissioners (Boston: Municipal Printing Office, 1898), 281 (intention, 5 Sep 1745).

[4] Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, _The Records of the Churches of Boston and the First Church, the Second Parish, and the Third Parish of Roxbury, Including Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, Admissions and Dismissals_, CD-ROM (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001), records 80,716 (Richard Palfrey owned covenant, 21 Sep 1746), 76,274 (Sarah, daughter of Richard and Sarah Palfrey, baptized 21 Sep 1746), 76,478 (William, son of Richard and Sarah Palfrey, baptized 2 June 1751).

[5] See also _Gloucester VRs,_ 1:502.

[6] _Boston Births, 1700-1800_, 63.

[7] Dunkle and Lainhart, _Churches of Boston_, records 21,242-5.

[8] Thwing, _Boston Inhabitants and Estates_, refcode 3649.

Austin W. Spencer

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