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Extracts of Duxbury, Mass Histories
Re: George Partridge, Ralph Partridge,
Seabury, and Tracy Families

"Settlement and Growth of Duxbury" - Wentworth
"History of the Town of Duxbury", Winsor

From its inception until early 1627, the Plymouth colony was financed by merchants in London. In the winter of 1626-1627, thanks to the efforts of Isaac Allerton, the Plymouth colonists obtained title to the land from the merchants. Until this time, each man/family had only a single acre of his own. The rest was farmed for the Colony as a whole and paying the merchant owners. As a result, each man was awarded twenty acres for himself and twenty acres for each member of his household in the Second Land Grant. These grants were to be as close to the beachfront as possible and to extend on each side of Plymouth. Later, in June, 1627, there was division of cattle, which had previously been owned by the Colony as a whole.

Each twenty acre lot was five acres wide facing the shore, and four acres deep. I haven't been able to decipher myself from what I've read exactly how this worked where families got multiple twenty acre lots because of more than one person in a family, ie whether a family of five got 2 lots described above, then 2 lots inland from the one and 1 lot inland from the other for a total of 5 lots, or if he were to get a narrow strip of 5 lots facing the shore, one lot deep. There apparently were some "inland" lots, but thre inland areas primarily stayed in possession of the Colony as a whole for common areas, distribution to later immigrants, or later sale to second generation kids of the early settlers or others. Thus, the earlier settlers were closest to the ocean, with prime oceanfront lots. Since private ownership was a new concept, rules were adopted for giving rights, or limitations, regarding rights of way, hunting, and so on.

The following are only verbatim transcriptions if the text is enclosed in quotes. I have paraphrased some references to our ancestors in the book because a straight transcription out of context might not convey the true meaning of the phrase.

Excerpts from "Settlement and Growth of Duxbury" - Wentworth

The third lot granted of this granting process was to Stephen Tracy. His was part of three farms that was purchased many years later by Thomas Loring and became the Bay Farm. "When the boundary between Kingston and Duxbury was later established, all the Rogers and Wadsworth lands and part of the Tracy farm fell on the Kingston side."  [1, Pg 9].

Near the parcels originally granted to, or owned by, Samuel Wadsworth, Thurston Clark, John Rogers, and a pond known by such names as Little Island Creek Pond and Mill Pond was the land later owned by George Partridge (arrival approximately 1636), who married the daughter of Stephen Tracy. [1, Pg 11]

"Constant Starr bought the Brewster farm in Island Creek, coming from Newtown (Cambridge, perhaps to be near George Partridge, since both grew up in the same town in England." [1, Pg 11]

"Down in the Nook, Miles Standish drew by lot a hundred and twenty acre grant - he had a wife and three children. Also in the Nook, Francis Eaton, carpenter, had a grant which he so soon sold to Elder William Brewster that it carries only the Brewster name..... John Alden had the well known farm by Blue Fish River." [1, Pg 12]

".... any resident of Duxbury can, with considerable accuracy, trace his land back to some early settler. Gaps in records can be filled with reasonable guesses and every acre has a history." [1, Pg 13]

"In the old Burying Ground by the first two Meeting Houses lie most of the early settlers. The oldest grave stone is dated 1697, marking Jonathan Alden's grave, but there are many earlier unmarked graves; in fact, the whole yard is crowded with marked and unmarked graves..... The Reverend Vaughan Huiggin spent two years.... to determine the location of the Burying Ground. He published the whole story in "The Graves of Myles Standish and Other Pilgrims", a most interesting account of his work, involving much of the area that was Duxburough Town." [1, Pg 23]

"George Partridge had a court grant in 1638, thirty acres at Island Creek at the head of the Hicks grant. This put him on the east side of the creek and about where Tremont Street crosses today. He wasted neither time nor shoe leather, for in three months he married Sarah, eldest daughter of his neighbor, Stephen Tracy. Later he bought more land nearer Island Creek Pond, considerably extending his homestead into what became Tinkertown, but his house was near Little Island Creek Pond and a mile from the shore. The house, or part of it, may still be in existence in the gambrel roof house that was the Will Brown house until it was moved in recent years to Partridge Road and renamed Partridge Cottage." [1, Pg 43]

"Just above the George Partridge homestead was the eighty-acre grant of Jonathan Brewster, eldest son of Elder William Brewster. The site of his house was pointed out for some years, not far from the Partridge house. His lands did not extend to the shore but went up around the pond. He sold the this farm to Dr. Comfort Starr, who served the settlement and then returned to Newtown, now Cambridge. Next on the farm was Samuel Seabury, who, like Partridge, bought a large tract farther inland, around Island Creek Pond, in the Tinkertown location." [1, Pg 44].

(Note: Samuel Seabury is also the ancestor of us Partridges descended from George's son, John; as he married Hannah Seabury, his daughter.)

".. Just as the Governor Prence farm was a well bounded eighty acres, it is also well documented as to owners. This is perhaps due to the fact that except for a few Partridge and Seabury owners, it passed from one owner to another with well recorded deeds, and has a long succession of substantial occupants." [ 1, Pg 44]

".... "Waterways and ponds played a big part of in the development of the Island Creek settlement, every grant having at least one waterway boundary. Tussock and Mile Brooks to the west were waterways for the settlers, with an early shipyard on Tussock. Several farms had a pier or wharf for family or neighborhood use whee coastwise craft tied up. The tide extended farther up over the marshes in early days, and some of the wharves were farther upstream than the present coastline." [1, Pg 45.)]

"In 1666, George Partridge had a grant of forty acres west of Island Creek Pond and before 1710, Samuel Seabury had a strip north of the Partridge grant." [1, Pg 45]

North Duxbury Chapter: "The same pattern of settlement went on here as in other parts of the town. Sons and grandsons of first settlers moved from the paternal shore acres to lands and streams far inland. John Partridge, son of George (** and grandfather of Hannah Partridge, who married Daniel Baldwin I **), who settled in Island Creek, and David Alden, son of John and Priscilla, settled near the intersection of Congress and Lincoln Streets. Their grandsons fought side by side in the Revolutionary War. There is no trace now of the Partridge homestead, but the Alden cellar hole lies nears the expressway, close by the foundation of a very large barn that, judging by the quarried stone in the foundation, was a very substantial building, dwarfing the old Cape Cod style house." [1, Pg 66]

"Isaac Partridge, Nathaniel Loring, and others built a saw mill on Pine Brook, the southwest boundary of between Duxbury and Pembroke..." [1, Pg 101]

Excerpts from "History of the Town of Duxbury", Winsor

Chapter on Boundaries: "1640. The bounds between Duxbury and Plymouth are 'from a little brook, running from Stephen Tracy's, to another little brooke, falling into Blackwater from the commons left to Duxburrow and the neighborhood thereabouts.'" [2, Pg 13]

Chapter on Paths, Highways, and Bridges: "1634, Oct 1. The Colony Court appointed Capt. Standish, William Collier, Jonathon Brewster, William Palmer, and Stephen Tracy to lay out highways in Duxburrow, before Nov 15 of the same year. [2, Pg 17.]

Chapter on Paths, Highways, and Bridges: "1637... The road to Duxbury began at the ferry at Jones River, and thence by Stephen Tracy's to the bridge at John Rogers', thence by Jonathon Brewser's cowyard, through a valley near the house of Mr. Prence, thence by Christopher Wadsworth's......" [2, Pg 17.]

Chapter on Town Officers: "Representatives... (in a chronological list)... 1676... Last part of the year, Samuel Seabury. [2, Pg 77]

Chapter on Town Officers: "(Note, I didn't get what this was a list of.) 1812: G. Partridge; 1814-5: G. Partridge; 1816: G. Partridge. (Note, this is most likely a descendant of George Partridge, as we aren't aware of any male descendants of Ralph Partridge that continued the name.) [2, Pg 79]

Chapter on Town Officers: "Selectmen: 1669-71: Samuel Seabury; 1672: Wm. Pabodie, Samuel Seabury; 1673-5: Wm. Pabodie, Samuel Seabury; 1677: Samuel Seabury, John Tracy." Then, John Tracy is listed for most, if not all years through 1694. The John Tracy would, at first blush, to be the son of Stephen Tracy. We are showing a John, son of Stephen born before 1632, so would fit into the time frame ok. [2, Pg 79]

Chapter on Town Defense: " This year (sorry, didn't get the year), Jonathon Alden was elected captain; John Tracy lieutenant; and Francis Barker ensign of the Duxbury company; and this choice was approved by the court. (This John likely the son of Stephen Tracy.) [2, Pg 111]


[1] Settlement and Growth of Duxbury, 1628-1870, Dororthy Wentworth.
[2] History of Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, by Justin Winsor, 1849.

 Related Links:
Return to index of  George Partridge | Ralph Partridge | Stephen Tracy | Samuel Seabury.

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