by: Patricia Abbott
Four of our immigrant ancestors traveled together as a family to Salem, perhaps as early as 1631, but definitely by 1636. The were from Southwold, Suffolk which is on the coast northeast of London.
Our ancestors in this family were Thomas Moore (1588-1636) and his wife Ann Moore (1588-1688) and their daughter Mary Moore (1608-1674) and her husband Joseph Grafton (1596-1682).
Thomas and Ann are our 11th great grandparents.
The Moore and Grafton families settled in Salem. Salem was first settled by Europeans in 1626 and was originally called Naumkeag. Soon after, the name was changed to Salem a derivation of the Hebrew word for peace.
Thomas and Ann Moore, already well into middle age, and at least two of their grown children made the trip. Very little is known about Thomas Moore, Sr. There is very little record evidence of him. It is known that he was deceased by 1636 when the Widow Moore and her son Thomas, Jr. were admitted to membership in Salem.
Ann Moore was a midwife in Salem for many years. She is known to have still been living in 1668 when she signed a deed for the transfer of a property. At that time, she was about 80 years old.
Midwifery was present in the colonies beginning with the Mayflower. This was likely a very difficult role with an infant mortality rate estimated as high as 50% in some locations. Between 1% and 1.5% of births ended with the mother's death.
Mary Moore, the daughter of Thomas and Ann is our ancestor.
Mary Moore and Joseph Grafton were married in England and two of their children were born in England. They had three more children after arriving in Salem including our ancestor Joseph who was born in Salem in 1636.
Joseph was born about 1596 in Southwold, Suffolk. He worked as a merchant sea captain and was quite successful. At the time of his
death, he owned shares in several vessels including a 40-ton ketch.
In 1645, his ship was captured during the Acadian Civil War. This dispute was between two competing
governors of the French province of Acadia.
John Winthrop had taken sides in this dispute which is how the ship of
Joseph Grafton came to be captured; the ship and crew were released.
Trade was an important industry in New England and included the trade of furs, timber, and whale and fish products. One of the common routes was to Barbados which was also an English colony.
Two of the sons of Joseph Grafton, Joseph (our ancestor) and Nathaniel, were also mariners traveling trade routes to Barbados. Both sons died in a shipping accident in Barbados in 1671.
Here are links for the details on the births, deaths, and marriages for these families.
Thomas and Ann Moore: http://sites.rootsmagic.com/colonialgenealogy/family.php?f=913
Joseph and Mary Moore Grafton: http://sites.rootsmagic.com/colonialgenealogy/family.php?f=912