Family of Richard Oates (598)
1512. Stephen Oates. Stephen died ca 1637.
From William A. Otis’s Memoir of the Otis Family:154
Practically nothing is known of this son, except that he is merely mentioned with the other children in his father’s will; he and his borther John receiveing the father’s wearing apparel. Married, his wife’s name being Elizabeth. His will was dated 1637.
Stephen married Elizabeth [Otis].
Their children include:
1513. John Otis. Born in 1581 in Glastonbury, Somerset.154 John died on 31 May 1657 in Weymouth, MA.78 Buried in First Parish Cemetery, Scituate.
From William A. Otis’s Memoir of the Otis Family:154
John was probably born in the old family home at Glastonbury, Somerset County, in 1581. The parish records of Glastonbury only commence in 1602, and there is no entry there of his baptism, although his children are later mentioned. As the earliest mention in the Glastonbury parish register of a baptism of his children was in 1604, it is reasonalbe to assume that he was married about 1603, when 22 years old. This was some twenty-five years before he left England, but beyond the fact that this wilfe’s name was Margaret, that she came with her husband and their family to America and died either April 4, 1653, April 28, 1653 or Jan. 9, 1654 (all dates being mentioned), nothing is known.
He was evidently a substantial yoeman, who, with the other Puritans of the time, left his home to escape the religious persecution of the times, ocming to the Plymouth Colony (now Massachusetts), and willingly submitted to the hardships of a pioneer for such freedom.
Tudor, in his life of James Otis, the patriot, says that John came from Hingham, in Norfolk, England; and it is a fact that most of the settlers of the New England town of this same name, to which John himself came, did originally live in that English town. Such being the case, combined with the statement of Tudor, who from his earlier date of wirting may have had sources of information now unknown or destroyed, it has been conjectured that he left his native Glastonbury and lived for a time in Hingham, previous to embarking for America. If so, he did not leave until after his son John was born in 1621, as recorded in the parish baptisms.
It is not known with certainty when he landed in America, or in whose company he came, but most probably the date was in the latter part of 1630. This was the year after the greate charter was granted the colony by Charles I, and a generally more enlightened political action inaugurated by the English government. In fact, a distinguished historian writes that ‘as soon as this liberal action was made known, emigration began on an extensive scale. In 1630, about three hundred of the best Puritan families in the kingdom came to New England; not adventurers, not vagabonds, were these brave people, but virtuous, well educated, courageous men and women, who, for the sake of conscience, left comfortable homes, with no expectation of returning.’
At one time it was supposed that John arrived with the Rev. Peter Hobart in 1635, since the early searchers of the records found his name in that company when they drew lots on the 18th of September, 1635. It is evident, however, tht he settled at Hingham at least as early as 1631, since in a division of lands in that town, a lot granted to him bears date June 1l, 1631, while the last of several grants is dated March 5, 1647 (Hingham records, Folio XII). Among the grants recorded are the following:--‘June, 1635, John Otise is to have five acres of the medow called the Home Meadow nect to the cove.’ Vol. I, pg. 10.
But to his descendants one of the most interesting of these grants was that of June 1, 1636, ‘ten acres for planting ground’ on a hill. ‘The remembrance of the original Glastonbury home of John was most curiously kept alive and perpetuated by him in the quaint hame he gave to this ground--Weary-All-Hill. Possibly its shape or location, or some other feature of his new possession, reminded him of one well-known and loved hill in his boyhood home, foits name certainly was no newly invented one, with a more local significance, as some historians would say, but assuredly goes back to England and to Glastonbury town.’
This hill, which is 129 ft. high, is now bare, and generally would not be considered interesting, except for the view from its summit, which is however, certainly delightful. In the History of Hingham (Vol. I, page 177) the writer says, “We skirt the foot of Otis Hill--very steep upon its western slope--and from this cause, known to early settlers in their quaintly expressive nomenclature as Weary-All-Hill, the view from this hill is exquisite, lie at one’s feet, and to the northeast and east is the deep blue expanse of the Ocean. Daniel Webster greatly admired Otis Hill, with its view, and often visited it on his way to Marshfield. It is said that he had a great desire to buy it, and make his home there, but feared that is was so near the city, he could not hope for the seclusion which a more distant spot would afford.’
John appears to have been prominent among the Colonists, judging from the rather frequent appearance of his name and the events mentioned in its connection. According to the Plymouth Colony records, it appears that ‘John Ottis’ took the oath and was made a freeman of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay on March 3, 1635. His place of residence at Hingham was at Otis Hill, southwest of the harbor, being a beautiful slope of land, then covered by a heavy growth of forest trees. On March 15, 1646, his house was burned to the ground, ‘being the Sabath day in the morning.’ but it was soon rebuilt, and he continued to live here until the death of his wife...
After his first wife’s death, he moved shortly to Weymouth, where he married again, his bride being Elizabeth Streame, who, according to the Genealogical Dirctionary of Rhode Island, died in 1676. He lived at Weymouth until the time of his death, May 31, 1657, which is recorded in Hobart’s journal with the statement athe he was seventy-six years old, thus corroborating the year of his birth as 1581. It appears that his wife, at the time of her marriage, was a widow with two children, Thomas and Benjamin Streame, and that she survived John at least several years; since five years later, on the death of the former son, she was appointed administratrix, as noted in the New England Gen. Reg., Vol. XI, pg. 173:--‘Thomas Streame, 1st, July, 1662, power of administration of the estate of the late Thomas Streame of Weymouh, granted to Ottis, his mother, in behalf of her self and children; she bringing an inventory of that estate to the next Countie Court.’ This iventory is then mentioned in the records of the following session of the court as ‘Inventory of the estate of Eliz. Oates. Power of administatoin to one-third part of the Inventory, as th right of Benj. Stream, is granted to Eliz. Oates, formerly Streame, his mother, in behalf of herself and the children of teh said Streame.’ It is to be notices that in these court records the name is spelled both Oates and Ottis, showing the uncertainty of the orthography of teh name at that time.
As stated above, he probably died at Weymouth, and according to Horatio N. Otis was also buried there, but he also states that while the old cemetery there (at North Weymouth or Weymouth Heights) indeed contains stones dated as far back as 1672 (although possibly erected by descendants some time after burials), yet there is, however, nothin in memory of John.
In this connection it is interesting to call attention to a modern granite monument ot this John Otis and certain of his descendants. This was erected probably about 1908, not at Weymouth, but in the Ancient Cemetery in Meeting House Lane, Scituate. The Monument stands about seven feet high.
On one side is the inscription: John Otis / Born in the year 1581 at / Barnstable, England / Founded in America a Family / Whose early members at / Hingham / Scituate / and Barnstable / Lived Lives of / Usefulness and Honor.
On the other side is the inscription: In Memory of / John Otis / Born in the year 1581 at / Barnstable, England / his son / John Otis / and their descendants / Stephen Otis / Isaac Otis / Stephen Otis / William Otis.
It will be notices that according to this monument John was born at Barnstable, but that has been clearly disproven by recent investigations. The building in the backgroound is the Colonial Inn, the other side of the stone wall.
ca 1603 John first married Margaret [Otis] in Glastonbury, Somerset, Eng. Margaret died on 28 Jun 1653 in Hingham, MA.78
Their children include:
ca 1654 John second married Elizabeth [Stream].78 Elizabeth died in 1672/1676.78
Elizabeth first married John Stream, second John Otis as his second wife.
Elizabeth’s surname is sometimes given as Whitman, and her father either Richard or John Whitman, all without reference.
1514. Thomas Oates.
Thomas was mentioned in his father’s will.154
1515. Margaret Oates. Margaret died in 1653.154
Margaret was mentioned in her father’s will.154
1516. Mary Oates.
Mary was mentioned in her father’s will.154
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