The Warrens

Richard was born late in 1578 in the London Borough of Barking Degenham which lies around 9 mile east of central London. His mother was 17 year old Elisabeth Walker. As for her family name I am not sure that it matters much so I am choosing to move on. Although I have reviewed the Christening records for a Richard Warren, I would not place a large bet on the accuracy. The problems are numerous. First, the surname Warren is quite common. Second, my methodology questions anytime events occur in a geographically separated way. For example, if Richard was indeed born in Barking Degenham, it is unlikely that parents would transport a baby 9 miles for a baptism when a local parish church would do just fine. My conclusion is that much about Richard’s origins will remain clouded in history and we should move to more widely accepted facts. As for Elizabeth, I am electing to propose as their April 14, 1610 place of marriage as the parish church of Saint John the Baptist in Great Amwell located just a few miles north of Barking Degenham. Anyway, the church is cute and I would like to visit it some day.

St John the Baptist, Great Amwell, Herts - geograph.org.uk - 348894.jpg

Richard Warren sent for his family and they arrived on the Anne in 1623. The colony land began distribution in 1623. Warren received two parcels totally seven acres. The family grew with two sons in 1624 and 26. In 1626, Warren was part of a group called Undertakers who bought control of the original joint-stock company. Richard died in 1628 as the purchase was being finalized and his widow Elizabeth’s name was substituted. Although Richard held the title of Mr., he was not one of the wealthy members of the group. He is not mentioned in Bradford’s famous history of the colony. Nonetheless, he left seven healthy children. His widow will not succumb until 1673 at the age of 90. Each of the children will have large families with many descendants. Both Elizabeth and Richard are buried together on White Horse Cemetery in Plymouth. The family linen napkin is on exhibit in the Pilgrim Museum in Plymouth.

Buriel Hill Monument for the Early Warrens ( graffiti is modern)

Widow Elizabeth Warren will make history in her own way. The fact that Elizabeth completed Richard’s role as one of the Purchasers is startling enough. This was at a time before women could hold property in their own name. She may have been the first English colonist to achieve this distinction. She later deeded property to her sons-in-laws and these transfers were challenged in court. The court found that she was indeed entitled to dispose of her property as she chose. The arbitration panel included William Bradford and Miles Standish who concluded “ cease all other and further claims. suits, questions, or any other molestations or disturbance at any time hereafter concerning the premises, but that his said mother and all her children, or any other to whom she has in any way disposed any lands or shall hereafter do the same, but they may quietly and peaceably possess and enjoy the same.(1637)” Elizabeth started a family tradition of feminine stubbornness and willingness to fight for her rights.

The Warren Family Napkin

Mary Warren arrived in Plymouth with mother Elizabeth and four other sisters on July 10,1623. She was 13 at the time. A fellow passenger Robert Bartlett and she would marry in 1627. He was 24 and she 17 at the time. Robert received an acre of land in 1633 with the First Division but missed out on the Division of Cattle in 1627 because he was not married at the time. Robert’s birthplace in England is unclear but he probably apprenticed as a cooper or barrel maker as that is what he will refer to himself as in colonial documents. He was mowing land for his mother-in-law Elizabeth in 1633. His marriage to Mary Warren will result in eight children. Ancestor Mary’s birth in 1633 and led to Robert Bartlett securing a piece of the Warren farm holdings as a probable dowry. He was recognized to own a large farm that ran from the Eel River (next to present day Plimoth Plantation) to Pine Hills by the time of his death in 1676. In addition to being declared a Freeman by 1633. He will serve as surveyor of highways and a juryman. He managed to get hauled into court in 1660 to “answer for speaking contemptuously of the ordinance of singing psalms”. He evidently was successful in his farming as he was able to order a custom iron fireplace door that today resides in the Pilgrim Museum in Plymouth. 

Mary will have eight children before passing in 1686 at the age of 81. In 1673, Mary receives her inheritance of land from her mother’s estate. Upon the death of husband Robert, she will sells her estate to son Joseph.

Our ancestor, daughter Mary Bartlett finds a husband Richard Foster (not connected to our Fosters) and marries him in Plymouth in September 1651. She was 17 at the time. Richard and she will have one son Benjamin to whom her father Robert Bartlett establishes a “trust” (in 1659) for young Ben in the amount of eight pounds to be received when he turns 21. In the same agreement, Mary is to bring up young Ben who is four at the time. Husband Richard had died in 1657 and Grandpa Robert Bartlett was trying to help out. Young widow Mary is not to be in mourning very long as on the same day as Grandpa Bartlett is establishing a legacy for his grandson, Mary enters into a marriage contract with Jonathan Morey. Evidently this quick move to secure a new husband came as no surprise to the community. Jonathan had been warned by the magistrate to not frequent the house of Richard and Mary while Richard wasn’t there. Evidently he wasted no time after Richard’s untimely death. No more is heard of young Benjamin.

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