Additional genealogical information regarding the Higgins.
TRAVELS OF THE HIGGINS 1600 TO 1800
Richard Higgins, son of Robert Higgins of Leominster in the County of
Hereford, mercer, places himself as an apprentice with Philip Ruddock
of St. Clements Land, London, for the term of seven years from the date
given herein, for the term aforesaid, on said day and year, April 23,
Richard went to Plymouth, MA about 1633. On 7 Oct. 1633 he purchased from "Thomas Little his now dwelling howse and misted, for and in consideration of twenty-one bushels of merchantable corne, whereof twelve bushels to be pd in hand, & the remainder at harvest next ensuing."(2)
On 1 Mar. 1633/4 Richard was taxed 9/ and on 27 Mar. 1634 he was taxed another 12/ in corn (two bushels). Sometime in 1633 or 1634 he was admitted a freeman.
On 1 Apr. 1634 Samuel Godberson, son of Godbert Godberson of New Plymouth, deceased, was apprenticed to Richard Higgins, tailor, for the term of seven years. Samuel was a ward of the Colony and Bradford agreed to pay Richard "six bushels of corne and a cowe calfe this present year of the next." Richard was to teach Samuel his trade and to give him the calf and half her offspring at the end of the seven year term.(3) Richard sold this apprenticeship to John Smaley 31 Aug. 1639. On 13 Jan. 1633/4 Richard purchased from John Barnes "one dwelling house and twenty acres of land, being lately in the possession of Edward Holman, with all the fence, boards, timber (squared and unsquared) (belonging to the same) in consideration of ten pownd starling to be paid in currant English money or beaver at the rate it shall passe at the day of payment which is the 20th of March in the year of our Lord
1634. And also that the said Richard shall possesse the said John and his heirs of 20 acres of land in Scituate in some convenient place."(4) On 14 Mar. 1635/6 Mr. Hicks, George Watson and Richard were granted the rest of the Island Creek for haying. They were granted more land for haying on 20 Mar. 1636/7.
On 2 May 1637 Richard was one of the committee to lay out highways in Plymouth, Duxbury and Ele River.
On 7 Aug. 1638 Richard was one of the jury in the case of John Weeks vs. George Russell for slander. On 3 Dec. 1639 Richard posted a bond of 20/6 for Samuel Chandler who was accused of slander against the governor and the government. The bond was released. Richard was on the jury several times while living in Plymouth and was a member of the "Grand Inquest" in June of 1644.
In Mar. 1638/9 Richard was granted 40 acres of land on the southeast of Great South Pond and two pieces of marshland southwest of the other grant. Richard swaped land with John Smaley in June 1640. On 2 Nov. 1640 Richard was granted 6 acres in South Meadows. His property on Manomet Pond was confirmed to him on 30 Nov.
In Feb. 1643 Richard was one of the people who was appointed to make traps to kill the wolves in the area.
"The Names of the Freemen of eich Towne. Plymouth (1643)... Richard Higgins." "August, 1643. The Names of all the Males that are able to beare Armes from xvj. Yeares old to 60 Yeares, wthin the sevrall Towneshipps. Plymouth... Richard Higgins." (5) In 1644 several families moved to Nauset (Eastham): "The Court doth grant unto the church of New Plymouth, or those that go dwell at Nausett all the tract of land lying between sea and sea, from the purchaser's bounds at Namskaket to the herring Brook at Billingsgate". 5 Mar. 1644/5.(6)
On 3 Mar. 1643/4 Richard sold a half acre of marsh at Hobb's Hole to Gyles Rickett for 40/. In Aug. 1645 he sold his house, garden and orchard near Brownes Rock to John Churchwell for £12 provided that "it shall be lawful for the said Richard to take away the boards that line the inward room and the bedstead and board overhead, and some fruit trees in the orchard so that he leaves the said John Churchwell 30 trees."(7) Richard moved to that part of Eastham called Pochet which was next to Nauset Beach in what is now East Orleans. He is listed as an inhabitant of Eastham in 1658.(8)
Richard was one of the representatives to the General Court at Plymouth beginning in 1647. He was also one of the surveyors of highways. In 1657 he was one of four men chosen to settle the boundary between Barnstable and Yarmouth. He was a selectman in 1664 and in 1668. Between 1659 and 1669 Richard bought and sold numerous parcels of land and obtained many land grants.
"June 1, 1659. Whereas it is and order of court that every town in this colony is to choose two or three men for the oversight and disposal of poor children, this town hath chosen Edward Bangs, Nicholas Snow and Richard Higgins according to order."(9)
"1659. Richard Higgins has one little black mare which was Job Cole's with a blaze down the face and a little white hair above her hoofs before, burn marked with an E on the right shoulder. Dec. 23, 1659."(10) "May 15, 1660. Mr. John Doane, Richard Higgins and Thomas Paine with the surveyors are to appoint what particular highways are to be mended and those that are most concerned in the ways are to mend them by the appointment of the abovesaid for the present year."(11) "Court of June 13, 1660. Richard Higgins one of a committee to dispose of the trade at Kennebeck."(12)
"Dec 13, 1660. Richard Higgins undertook to provide a company for to cut up the third fish" (whale).(13)
"The mark of Richard Higgins (for his cattle) is a piece cut off the hind side of the left ear, to the top of the ear, and a slit cut in the side of the ear slanting downwards. Jan. 22, 1660/1."(14) "24 10th mo. 1667. Richard Higgins and Benjamin Higgins were on a jury of inquest as to the deaths of Robert Chapell, James Nichols, and William Pidell, cast ashore upon Cape Cod."(15) "To all people to whome these presents shall come. Know ye that I Richard Higens of Eastham in the Government of New Plimoth in New England in America, Taylor... grant unto my son Benjamine Higens of the Towne of Eastham abovesaid, Husbandman, a parcell of upland and meadowing the upland containing twentie acres be it more or less lying at a place commonly called Poche, the which upland lieth next to the lot of Job Cole and was bought and exchanged by the said Richard Hignes of Jonathan Sparrow as appears by a deed... And two acres of marsh or meadowing, be it more or less, which was formerly Mr. William Bradfords deceased, that Richard Higens hath and lieth at the harbor's mouth... 4th day of the 5th mounth 1669 in the presence of us. Nath: Bacon John Scudder
In 1669 a group of people moved from the Cape to New Jersey because of religious and political differences with the establishment at Plymouth or because of the fact that land was more available in New Jersey. Richard seems to have moved to New Piscataway because of the last reason.
"Know all men by these presents that I Richard higgens of New Piscataway in the province of New Jersey, yeoman, for the sum of nine pounds sterling to him paid... to Benjamin Higgens of Eastham in the jurisdiction of New Plimouth... land at a place called little Billingsgate." Dated 20 Nov. 1672.(17)
On 8 Mar. 1677/8 Mary had her deceased husband's claims to land laid out to her in the western part of old Piscataway township near the Raritan River consisting of 254 acres.
Samuel Moore Sr. of Woodbridge, NJ obtained a license to marry Mary, but for some reason the marriage never took place and she married Isaac Whitehead. In her son Thomas' will in Dec. 1702 she recieved "the Parlor or Rooms where she now lives and also one-third part of the orchard during her natural life."
Preceding is mostly from the book b Katherine Chapin Higgins,
Richard Higgins came to the settlement founded by the people from the good ship Mayflower in 1620 The native Indians had attacked and killed most of the earlier English settlers in North America and how was it that the Plymouth settlement did not suffer a similar fate? A recent book, 1491 by Charles C. Mann explains the fact that Plymouth survived as follows:
By CHARLES C. MANN
Published: October 9, 2005 in New York Times Book Review section.
"On March 22, 1621, an official Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to negotiate with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of what is now southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had reluctantly brought along as an interpreter.
Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated-indeed, the foreigners ahead now occupied one of the empty sites. It was all he could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag's longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag's weakness and overrun them.
Desperate threats require desperate countermeasures. In a gamble, Massasoit intended to abandon, even reverse, a long-standing policy. Europeans had been visiting New England for at least a century. Shorter than the natives, oddly dressed, and often unbearably dirty, the pallid foreigners had peculiar blue eyes that peeped out of the masks of bristly, animal-like hair that encased their faces. They were irritatingly garrulous, prone to fits of chicanery, and often surprisingly incompetent at what seemed to Indians like basic tasks. But they also made useful and beautiful goods-copper kettles, glittering colored glass, and steel knives and hatchets-unlike anything else in New England. Moreover, they would exchange these valuable items for cheap furs of the sort used by Indians as blankets. It was like happening upon a dingy kiosk that would swap fancy electronic goods for customers' used socks-almost anyone would be willing to overlook the shopkeeper's peculiarities.
Over time, the Wampanoag, like other native societies in coastal New England, had learned how to manage the European presence. They encouraged the exchange of goods, but would only allow their visitors to stay ashore for brief, carefully controlled excursions. Those who overstayed their welcome were forcefully reminded of the limited duration of Indian hospitality. At the same time, the Wampanoag fended off Indians from the interior, preventing them from trading directly with the foreigners. In this way the shoreline groups put themselves in the position of classic middlemen, overseeing both European access to Indian products and Indian access to European products. Now Massasoit was visiting a group of British with the intent of changing the rules. He would permit the newcomers to stay for an unlimited time-provided that they formally allied with the Wampanoag against the Narragansett.
Tisquantum, the interpreter, had shown up alone at Massasoit's home a year and a half before. He spoke fluent English, because he had lived for several years in Britain. But Massasoit didn't trust him. He seems to have been in Massasoit's eyes a man without anchor, out for himself. In a conflict, Tisquantum might even side with the foreigners. Massasoit had kept Tisquantum in a kind of captivity since his arrival, monitoring his actions closely. And he refused to use him to negotiate with the colonists until he had another, independent means of communication with them.
That March Samoset-the third member of the triumvirate-appeared, having hitched a ride from his home in Maine on an English ship that was plying the coast. Not known is whether his arrival was due to chance or if Massasoit had asked him to come down because he had picked up a few English phrases by trading with the British. In any case, Massasoit first had sent Samoset, rather than Tisquantum, to the foreigners."
Samoset had walked unaccompanied and unarmed into the circle of rude huts in which the British were living on March 17, 1621. The colonists saw a robust, erect-postured man wearing only a loincloth; his straight black hair was shaved in front but flowed down his shoulders behind. To their further amazement, this almost naked man greeted them in broken but understandable English. He left the next morning with a few presents.
A day later he came back, accompanied by five "tall proper men"-the phrase is the colonist Edward Winslow's-with three-inch black stripes painted down the middle of their faces. The two sides talked inconclusively, each warily checking out the other, for a few hours. Five days later, on the 22nd, Samoset showed up again at the foreigners' ramshackle base, this time with Tisquantum. Meanwhile Massasoit and the rest of the Indian company waited out of sight.
Samoset and Tisquantum spoke with the colonists for about an hour. Perhaps they then gave a signal. Or perhaps Massasoit was simply following a schedule. In any case, he and the rest of the Indian party appeared without warning at the crest of a hill on the south bank of the creek that ran through Patuxet. Alarmed by Massasoit's sudden entrance, the settlers withdrew to the hill on the opposite bank, where they had emplaced their few cannons behind a half-finished stockade. A standoff ensued.
Finally Winslow exhibited the decisiveness that later led to his selection as colony governor. Wearing a full suit of armor and carrying a sword, he waded through the stream and offered himself as a hostage. Tisquantum, who walked with him, served as interpreter. Massasoit's brother took charge of Winslow and then Massasoit crossed the water himself followed by Tisquantum and twenty of Massasoit's men, all ostentatiously unarmed. The colonists took the sachem to an unfinished house and gave him some cushions to recline on. Both sides shared some of the foreigners' homemade moonshine, then settled down to talk, Tisquantum translating.
To the colonists, Massasoit could be distinguished from his subjects more by manner than by dress or ornament. He wore the same deerskin shawls and leggings and like his fellows had covered his face with bug-repelling oil and reddish-purple dye. Around his neck hung a pouch of tobacco, a long knife, and a thick chain of the prized white shell beads called wampum. In appearance, Winslow wrote afterward, he was "a very lusty man, in his best years, an able body, grave of countenance, and spare of speech." The Europeans, who had barely survived the previous winter, were in much worse shape. Half of the original colony now lay underground beneath wooden markers painted with death's heads; most of the survivors were malnourished.
Their meeting was a critical moment in American history. The foreigners called their colony Plymouth; they themselves were the famous Pilgrims. As schoolchildren learn, at that meeting the Pilgrims obtained the services of Tisquantum, usually known as "Squanto." In the 1970s, when I attended high school, a popular history text was America: Its People and Values, by Leonard C. Wood, Ralph H. Gabriel, and Edward L. Biller. Nestled among colorful illustrations of colonial life was a succinct explanation of Tisquantum's role:
A friendly Indian named Squanto helped the colonists. He showed them how to plant corn and how to live on the edge of the wilderness. A soldier, Captain Miles Standish, taught the Pilgrims how to defend themselves against unfriendly Indians.
My teacher explained that maize was unfamiliar to the Pilgrims and that Tisquantum had demonstrated the proper maize-planting technique-sticking the seed in little heaps of dirt, accompanied by beans and squash that would later twine themselves up the tall stalks. And he told the Pilgrims to fertilize the soil by burying fish alongside the maize seeds, a traditional native technique for producing a bountiful harvest. Following this advice, my teacher said, the colonists grew so much maize that it became the centerpiece of the first Thanksgiving. In our slipshod fashion, we students took notes.
The story in America: Its People and Values isn't wrong, so far as it goes. But the impression it gives is entirely misleading.
Tisquantum was critical to the colony's survival, contemporary scholars agree. He moved to Plymouth after the meeting and spent the rest of his life there. Just as my teacher said, Tisquantum told the colonists to bury several small fish in each maize hill, a procedure followed by European settlers for the next two centuries. Squanto's teachings, Winslow concluded, led to "a good increase of Indian corn"-the difference between
success and starvation.
Winslow didn't know that fish fertilizer may not have been an age-old Indian custom, but a recent invention-if it was an Indian practice at all. So little evidence has emerged of Indians fertilizing with fish that some archaeologists believe that Tisquantum actually picked up the idea from European farmers. The notion is not as ridiculous as it may seem. Tisquantum had learned English because British sailors had kidnapped him seven years before. To return to the Americas, he in effect had to escape twice-once from Spain, where his captors initially sold him into slavery, and once from England, to which he was smuggled from Spain, and where he served as a kind of living conversation piece at a rich man's house. In his travels, Tisquantum stayed in places where Europeans used fish as fertilizer, a practice on the Continent since medieval times.
Skipping over the complex course of Tisquantum's life is understandable in a textbook with limited space. But the omission is symptomatic of the complete failure to consider Indian motives, or even that Indians might have motives. The alliance Massasoit negotiated with Plymouth was successful from the Wampanoag perspective, for it helped to hold off the Narragansett. But it was a disaster from the point of view of New England Indian society as a whole, for the alliance ensured the survival of Plymouth colony, which spearheaded the great wave of British immigration to New England. All of this was absent not only from my high school textbooks, but from the academic accounts they were based on.
This variant of Holmberg's Mistake dates back to the Pilgrims themselves, who ascribed the lack of effective native resistance to the will of God. "Divine providence," the colonist Daniel Gookin wrote, favored "the quiet and peaceable settlement of the English." Later writers tended to attribute European success not to European deities but to European technology. In a contest where only one side had rifles and cannons, historians said, the other side's motives were irrelevant. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Indians of the Northeast were thought of as rapidly fading background details in the saga of the rise of the United States-"marginal people who were losers in the end," as James Axtell of the College of William and Mary dryly put it in an interview. Vietnam War-era denunciations of the Pilgrims as imperialist or racist simply replicated the error in a new form. Whether the cause was the Pilgrim God, Pilgrim guns, or Pilgrim greed, native losses were foreordained; Indians could not have stopped colonization, in this view, and they hardly tried.
Beginning in the 1970s, Axtell, Neal Salisbury, Francis Jennings, and other historians grew dissatisfied with this view. "Indians were seen as trivial, ineffectual patsies," Salisbury, a historian at Smith College, told me. "But that assumption-a whole continent of Patsies-simply didn't make sense." These researchers tried to peer through the colonial records to the Indian lives beneath. Their work fed a tsunami of inquiry into the interactions between natives and newcomers in the era when they faced each other as relative equals. "No other field in American history has grown as fast," marveled Joyce Chaplin, a Harvard historian, in 2003.
The fall of Indian societies had everything to do with the natives themselves, researchers argue, rather than being religiously or technologically determined. (Here the claim is not that indigenous cultures should be blamed for their own demise but that they helped to determine their own fates.) "When you look at the historical record, it's clear that Indians were trying to control their own destinies," Salisbury said. "And often enough they succeeded"-only to learn, as all peoples do, that the consequences were not what they expected.
This chapter and the next will explore how two different Indian societies, the Wampanoag and the Inka, reacted to the incursions from across the sea. It may seem odd that a book about Indian life before contact should devote space to the period after contact, but there are reasons for it. First, colonial descriptions of Native Americans are among the few glimpses we have of Indians whose lives were not shaped by the presence of Europe. The accounts of the initial encounters between Indians and Europeans are windows into the past, even if the glass is smeared and distorted by the chroniclers' prejudices and misapprehensions.
Second, although the stories of early contact-the Wampanoag with the British, the Inka with the Spanish-are as dissimilar as their protagonists, many archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians have recently come to believe that they have deep commonalities. And the tales of other Indians' encounters with the strangers were alike in the same way. From these shared features, researchers have constructed what might be thought of as a master narrative of the meeting of Europe and America. Although it remains surprisingly little known outside specialist circles, this master narrative illuminates the origins of every nation in the Americas today. More than that, the effort to understand events after Columbus shed unexpected light on critical aspects of life before Columbus. Indeed, the master narrative led to such surprising conclusions about Native American societies before the arrival of Europeans that it stirred up an intellectual firestorm.
Coming of Age in the Dawnland
Consider Tisquantum, the "friendly Indian" of the textbook. More than likely Tisquantum was not the name he was given at birth. In that part of the Northeast, tisquantum referred to rage, especially the rage of manitou, the world-suffusing spiritual power at the heart of coastal Indians' religious beliefs. When Tisquantum approached the Pilgrims and identified himself by that sobriquet, it was as if he had stuck out his hand and said, Hello, I'm the Wrath of God. No one would lightly adopt such a name in contemporary Western society. Neither would anyone in seventeenth-century indigenous society. Tisquantum was trying to project something.
Tisquantum was not an Indian. True, he belonged to that category of people whose ancestors had inhabited the Western Hemisphere for thousands of years. And it is true that I refer to him as an Indian, because the label is useful shorthand; so would his descendants, and for much the same reason. But "Indian" was not a category that Tisquantum himself would have recognized, any more than the inhabitants of the same area today would call themselves "Western Hemisphereans." Still less would Tisquantum have claimed to belong to "Norumbega," the label by which most Europeans then referred to New England. ("New England" was coined only in 1616.) As Tisquantum's later history made clear, he regarded himself first and foremost as a citizen of Patuxet, a shoreline settlement halfway between what is now Boston and the beginning of Cape Cod.
Patuxet was one of the dozen or so settlements in what is now eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island that comprised the Wampanoag confederation. In turn, the Wampanoag were part of a tripartite alliance with two other confederations: the Nauset, which comprised some thirty groups on Cape Cod; and the Massachusett, several dozen villages clustered around Massachusetts Bay. All of these people spoke variants of Massachusett, a member of the Algonquian language family, the biggest in eastern North America at the time. (Massachusett was the name both of a language and of one of the groups that spoke it.) In Massachusett, the name for the New England shore was the Dawnland, the place where the sun rose. The inhabitants of the Dawnland were the People of the First Light. . . ".
B. Benjamin Higgins, Son of Richard Higgins, moved to Eastham, Ma. before 1666. Benjamin, Samuel and Israel Sr. lived in Eastham for a total of about 100 years. Israel (2) was born in Eastham but he died about 1770 in Middle Haddam, Ct.
C. Both George W. Higgins and his Son Ransom were born in Middle Haddam, Ct.
D. George W. and Ransom moved to Middleton, CT.. before moving to the vicinity of Olean, Ny. and the Allegheny River before 1790.
FOR A SUMMARY OF RICHARD HIGGINS LIFE SEE: