Capt. Andrew Newcomb history


I. CAPT. ANDREW (1) NEWCOMB, born probably in England about 1618; died in Boston, Mass., Nov. 1686 (footnote) The name of his first wife and date of his marriage is unknown. He may have married first in England or Virginia. He m. second, 1663, in Boston, Grace ( ) Ricks, b. about 1620-1625, the widow of William Ricks who was the son of Robert Ricks of Kenninghall, Co. of Norfolk, Eng. John Davys in 1641 agrees to build a house in Boston, 16 x 14 ft., for this William Ricks, for the sum of 21 pounds John Bearse 8 Newcomb of Elgin, III., the author and compiler of "Genealogical Memoir of the Newcomb Family, 1874." says: "Of the early history of Capt. Andrew (1) Newcomb comparatively little is known; but from the records information has been obtained by which some idea may be formed of the man who appears to have been the progenitor of the largest branch of the Newcomb family in America. That he was born in England is quite certain; that he emigrated from the west of England, perhaps Devonshire or Wales, nearly all traditions declare. Beside tradition, however, there are other reasons that make it probable that such was the case. The date of his arrival in this country is not definitely known, but it is quite probable that he was among the earliest settlers of New England. First mention of him is made in 1663, in Boston, Mass., when and where he married his second wife, Grace; he was at that time a mariner or sea captain, and it is quite probable that this had been his occupation from youth, although there is no record to show it."

Later research inclines to the opinion that Capt. Newcomb came to America as captain of a sailing vessel, making his first landing perhaps at Barbados and from thence to Virginia. Absence of records in Virginia makes it impossible to verify this opinion.

Records indicate that Capt. Newcomb had not obtained a residence in Boston until after his second marriage, but that soon thereafter he, with his wife, occupied the former residence of William Ricks. The latter had children, born in Boston 1645-1656 --Elisha, Mary, John, Thomas and Ezekiel. Suffolk Deeds, Vol. 8, p. 64-5, contain a copy of Agreement, dated Feb. 14, 1672, in which Andrew Newcomb and wife, Grace, are to enjoy during life the old dwelling-house, "now in the tenure and occupation of the said Newcomb," formerly of William Ricks, deceased; John and Thomas Ricks, sons of William, to have the new dwelling-house adjoining the same, etc., near the water-mill in Boston, half of land to each, they to pay Newcomb £20 . July 13, 1672, he employed Samuel Bridge, carpenter, to build him a "Leantow one foote wider than now it is and the length of his house and shingle it and the back side of his house and find shingles and shingle nayles for the work"; consideration £5: 15 shillings: 0d; work to be finished by the last of July, 1672. (From Suffolk Court files No. 1157.)

Probate Files, Boston, Andrew Newcombe, boatman, signs bond of guardianship of Mary Ricks, 22 May 1680; John Ricks, guardian of said Mary Ricks. Suffolk Deeds, Vol. 10, page 358, Andrew Newcomb, mariner, for £67: 16s :3d, bought of Simon Lynde, merchant, and Sarah, wife of Joseph Goodale, the administratrix of Thomas Ricks, the right to redeem an estate in Boston mortgaged to Lynne by Thomas Ricks in 1677, date 13 Apr. 1681. Again, Vol. 12, page 46, Andrew Newcomb of Boston, and wife, Grace, for £25, sold John Ricks all right in house near Mill Bridge that belonged to Thomas Ricks, then deceased, date 14 Apr. 1681.

The old dwelling-house, where Capt. Newcomb lived 1663 to 1681, was built in 1641 and was located upon the lot now nurnbered 182 Hanover street; the new dwelling-house, where John and Thomas Ricks lived, was upon the lot which is now No. 184; and the new house, built by Capt. Newcomb upon land which he bought 13 April 1681 and where he lived from 1681 till his death, 1686, was located where is now No. 166 Hanover street, Boston. Hanover street in a very early day was known as the "Way to the New Meeting House" 2d Church), afterwards Middle street. (See map.)

Page 281 of Charlestown, Mass., Records shows shipment of cattle, etc., 28 Feb. 1666-7 by John Page, of Boston, in Ketch (name blank), Andrew Newcome, Master, for Virginia for account of John Fly and Eliakim Hutchinson -- various horses described --avouched by Mr. Page, being bought of Capt. Hutchinson and Samuel Gough.

Capt. Andrew Newcomb was defendant in a suit for damages, held in the County Court at Boston, 25 April 1676, in which he was accused of "Willifully or carelesley runinge upp on a smallboat with my Shallop." The court decided against him and he appealed the case 31 Aug. 1676.

New York Col. MSS. at Albany, Vol. 29, page 13, date 28 Aug. 1679, show "Andrew Newcombe" to have been "Master of ye Sloope Edmund and Martha," then in the port of New York and bound for "Boston in New England" --probably from Virginia, a part of his lading being tobacco.

Suffolk Court files at Boston contain depositions of Philip Foxwell in which the statement is made that Andrew Newcomb was with his (Newcomb's) vessel in Saco River from Boston, Oct. 1684.

The signature of Andrew' Newcomb may be found upon several documents on file in Boston, and, while there is considerable difference in penmanship and also in spelling, his signature is readily distinguished from that of Andrew (2). There is a family resemblance in the forming of letters in the word Andrew but a difference in spelling of Newcomb; Andrew (l) usually spelled the name Newcombe, but at other times he has dropped the final e. In one document where he witnessed a deed, 20 Sept. 1686, Matt Mayhew to John Boult, both of Martha's Vineyard, the name is written Andrew Nucombe. This signature is evidently that of Andrew (l), as it corresponds closely to his signatures upon other known documents. He was appointed administrator of the estate of his daughter, Susannah Blague, 13 Oct. 1681, and upon this document he wrote his name Andrew Newcombe, while upon a bond with his daughter Susannah, in settling the estate of her first husband, Philip Blague, he wrote Andrew Newcomb. (Both bonds are on file.)

Capt. Newcomb's will is recorded upon Suffolk Probate, Vol. 11, page 48, an exact copy of which is hereafter given. His signature to it indicates an expert writer; it is written with a worn quill pen, apparently with no hesitating or faltering movement, and the ink has continued jet black though written more than 230 years ago.

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN the thirty first day of January anno Domi One Thousand six hundred Eighty and Two 1682/3 Anno Regni Regis Caroli Secundi Tricessimo Quinto I ANDREW NEWCOMBE Of Boston in the County of Suffolk in the Massachusetts Colonie in New England marriner being in competent Bodily health and of Sound and perfect memory praised be Almighty god for ye same KNOWING the uncertainty of this Present life and being desirous to settle that outward Estate the Lord hath Lent me Doe make and Ordaine this my last will & Testament in manner and forme following (That is to say) First and principally I comend my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hopeing to Receive ffull pardon and Remission of all my Sins and Salvation through the Alone meritts of Jesus Christ my Redeemer And my Body to ye Earth to be buried in such Decent manner as to my Executor hereafter named shall be thought meet and convenient and as touching such worldly Estate the Lord hath Lent me my will and meaneing is the same shall be Imployed and bestowed as hereafter in and by this my will is Exprest

IMP I doe hereby revoake and Renounce and make void all wins by me formerly made and declare and appoint this to be my last will and Testament.

ITEM I Will that all the debts I Justly owe to any manner of person or persons whatsoever Shall be well and truely paid or Ordained to be paid in convenient Time after my decease by my Executor hereafter named

ITEM After all my Just debts are paid and funerall charges Satisfied I give and bequeath unto my Grand child Newcomb Blake all that wch is oweing to me from his ffathers Estate Either for his maintenance or otherwise and also whatever I shall disburst on him in my life Time for his maintainance and Education. Also I give unto ye said Newcombe Blake Thirty pounds in money.

ITEM I give unto my wife Grace Newcomb the use benefitt and Improvemt of my house and Land that is Scituate In Boston afforesd Betweene y" house and Land of Gaudey James and the house and Land of John Jackson neare ye Mill Bridge with the priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging Dureing the tearme of her naturall life.

ITEM I give and bequeath the afforesaid house and Land unto my Daughter Grace Buttler and to the heires of her Body Lawfully begotten or to be begotten and to their heires and assignes forever. And my will is that she shall have and Enjoy the same Immediately after my said wifes decease.

ITEM My Will is that in case she dye without Such Issue that then the sd House and Land shall be and remaine unto ye only proper use and behoofe of the sd Newcomb Blake & his heires & assignes for ever.

ITEM I give and bequeath unto Each of my wifes Grand children ffive shillings a peice in money.

ITEM I give & bequeath unto Samll' Marshall of Boston afforesaid Cooper in consideration of his care and Trouble in and about the managemt of my estate Three pounds in money

ITEM I give and bequeath the ffull Remainder of my Reall and personall Estate whatsoever it is or wheresoever it may be found whether in possession or in Reversion unto my sd Daughter Grace Butler & to ye heirs of her Body lawfully begotten but If shee dye without Issue my will is that the said Remainder of my Estate shall be and Remaine unto ye only proper use and behoofe of the said Newcomb Blake and his heirs & assignes for ever.

ITEM I do hereby nominate constitute & appoint my sd Grand Child Newcomb Blake the Executor of this my last will and Testamt:

ITEM In Regard the sd Newcomb Blake is in his nonage I doe hereby appoint and authorize ye said Samuell Marshall my Execr in Trust of this my sd Last will and Testam" untill the sd Newcombe attaine ye age of Twenty one yeares.

IN TESTIMONY whereof I the said ANDREW NEWCOMBE have hereunto sett my hand and seale ye day and yeare first within written.


SSigned Sealed & what is contained in these two pages was published by the abovesaid Andrew Newcombe as his Last Will & Testamt in the presence of us-

John Hayward Scr
Eliezer Moodey Scrv

8 Decembr 1686 This will being exhibited by the Executor the two wittnesses Mr Jno Hayward & mr Eliezer Moodey made oath that they were present & saw Andrew Newcombe Signe Seal & Publish this Instrumt as his last will & Testamt & that when he so Did he was of sound mind & memory to their best understanding.
Jurat Eoram preside Attestr

Tho. Dudley Cler
Enterd 9 Dec 1686

From the omission of either bequest or mention in his will of a son, Andrew (2) Newcomb, a doubt has been expressed of his relationship, but the fact that "Capt. Newcomb, at the time of the making of his will held peculiar relations to his grandchild Newcomb Blague, who demanded from his youth and condition as an orphan (then twelve years old, and the only living child of his parents) his most conscientious consideration, and that his child Grace (2) Newcomb, by his second wife, had in her mother a watchful guardian or friend in presenting her claims to the consideration of Capt. Newcomb; all of which easily and plainly may account for the diversion of his property from his son Lieut. Newcomb. It needs but to be added that in colonial times, where bequests were not made to children of the testator, their names were frequently omitted. This much is known, that both Capt. Andrew (l) Newcomb and Lieut. Andrew (2) Newcomb were living in America at or near Boston at the same time, and in command of sailing craft; and that at the time Capt. Newcomb made his will Lieut. Newcomb was living at Martha's Vineyard in circumstances of worldly prosperity, and in no need of pecuniary aid. Other facts are given in the following pages, all of which go to show that Lieut. Andrew Newcomb was a son of Capt. Andrew Newcomb, by his first wife, and an own brother to Susannah (2)." No inventory or settlement of his estate appears upon record or on file in Boston.

That Capt. Newcomb was a man of education is shown from the specimens of his writing-, still extant, that exhibit facility with the pen in times when it was a common occurrence for men of property and respectability to sign their wills and deeds with a cross. And, since it appears that he was a shipmaster for so many years on the Atlantic coast, it is clear he must have been possessed of nautical skill. Nor would he have become a mariner if he had not been a person of courage, for in those days, even more than at present, it was necessary for one to be brave to "go down to the sea in ships." That he was a man of vigor and enterprise, like all the New England pioneers, needs no proof, and that he was characterized by something of the same uprightness that the author trusts still belongs to those who bear the name of Newcomb seems absolutely certain. Finally, that he was a peaceable citizen, a good husband and father, occupied with the common interests of mankind, as his descendants of to-day, is no mere conjecture, but a reasonable certainty.


Inquest, dated Sept. 26, 1682, upon the body of a man found dead at Plum Island, and return made by Caleb Moody, * Jams Ordway, sr.,* Edward Ritsten, sr., John March,* Thomas Rogers,* Benjamin Coker,* Israel Webster, * Laurence Hart," The Lowle,* John Mighall,* Henry Lunt,* and Hugh March, jr.,* that "he was floating in the surfe of the sea; he was hauled up to high water mark out of the tydes way; by Joseph Knight & James Noice : one the 25th of this Instant: wee went with the Constable and there wee mett with the two men that hauled him out of ye sea as they telled us and there wee saw the man: which several of us also Indycut potter being there with us doe Conclude it was Andrew Newcomb of Boston how he came by his death: wee cannot determine whether hee was washed out of a vesell and drowned wee cannot saye wee fynding several thousand of staues Cast up on the beech with other things Cast up; we found the man Lying on his back with his Shirt and his Jacket ouer his head his Shirt Cooler teed fast about his neck his armies and his body bare to his waist his breeches & drawers & stockings & shoues tyed fast on the further searching of his body we found a place on the Left side of his head swelled up as if hee had some great blow noe other wound or bruise in his body," etc. Sworn Sept. 29, 1682, before Robt. Pike,* assistant.

* Autograph. (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts. Salem Quarterly Court, Records and Files.)

ESSEX INSTITUTE, Vol. VIII, 1680-1683. Page 442
No doubt mistaken identity.

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Source: Newcomb, Bethuel M. Newcomb "Descendants of Andrew Newcomb," Revised edition. Privately printed for the author, 1923. pp. 9-12

This page was produced by Bob Newcomb in Brea, CA
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