NameJohn Freeman
Birth28 Jan 1627, Billinghurst, County Sussex, England
Death28 Oct 1719, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts
FatherEdmund Freeman (1590-1682)
MotherBennett Hodsoll (1596-1675)
Misc. Notes

JOHN FREEMAN Sr., son of Edmund Freeman and Bennett Hodsollwas baptized January 28, 1626/7, at Billinghurst, County Sussex,England; died October 28, 1719 [his gravestone says in his 98th year, but it wasreally his 93rd year], at Eastham, Massachusetts, and married, at Eastham, onFebruary 13, 1649 to MERCY PRENCE, daughter of Governor Thomas and Patience(Brewster) Prence and granddaughter of Elder William Brewster (1566-1643), aspiritual leader of the Puritans and Mary Wentworth (1568-1626).

He came to New England with his father in 1635, being thenlisted as eight years old on the Custom House rolls. His home during hisyouth was with his father at Lynn and at Sandwich; he left the latter placefor Eastham probably by or before 1649, the date of his marriage, and certainlybefore June, 1651, when he served on the grand jury from there. His name waspropounded for freemanship in June,1651, and he was admitted as such inJune, 1652. His life was filled with official duties, even more than hisfather's had been; he served as a grand juror on various occasions, assurveyor of highways at Eastham in 1653, as a selectman there from 1663 for tenyears, as a Deputy from that town from 1654 to 1666 inclusive and as anAssistant to the
Governor from 1666 to 1686 and from 1689 to 1691, allinclusive. The break in his term of service from 1686 to 1689 was caused by theusurpation of Gov. Andros and the cessation of all colonial offices for thatperiod. His duties in the latter capacity were quiteincessant and much morevaried than those of a Judge of our present-day courts. He was appointed aslate as 1692 to the bench of the first Court of Common Pleas which wasestablished after the Union of the Colonies, and his military service was ahelpful as his civic activities.

In August, 1643, he was a member of the military company ofSandwich; on
March 6, 1654/5, he was made ensign bearer of the EasthamCompany, and in
October, 1658, as such he became, by order of the Councilof War, a member of
the Council or Staff of Maj. Josias Winslow. Havingapparently become a
lieutenant before October 6, 1659, he was then made anofficer of that grade
in the cavalry. In April, 1667, as a result of a menace tothe colonies by
the French and the "Duch," there was appointed a council ineach town to
assist the regular officers and Lt. John was so named forEastham. On
September 15, 1673, the Court, with him present as anAssistant, "haueg
considered the information giuen concerning the Duchtheireactings att New
York and places adjacent" ordered that the "troopof horseallowed by the
Court shalbe sixty, whoe shall haaue horse pistolls, andeach of them a
carbine, with other cculterments fitt for service;" thatvolunteers should be
encouraged to bring the membership to that number and thatin case of attack
at any given town, the portion of the personnel of thistroop which was
resident in a near-by town might, by direction of theirlocal council, hasten
to their relief and might even "presse horses for theirbetter expedition if
they shall see cause."

At a meeting of the Council of War held at Plymouth, July8, 1671, relative
to the menace to the colony of King Philip and hisfollowers, it was decided
to impress a body of one hundred men and "forty of ourtrustiest Indians" for
a campaign against them during the following month and Lt.John was to be
second in command under Maj. Josias Winslow. This actionwas followed on
August 23rd by a decision to send letters to theneighboring colonies asking
their advice and cooperation and the letter toMassachusetts Bay was sent by
the hand of Lt. John. Before October 4, 1675, he had beenmade a Captain, for
as such, on that date, he was one of a committee to take anaccount of the
charges "arising by this spent war" meaning King Philip'sWar. He also served
actively in that campaign and as a result his estatereceived a grant of land
in Narragansett Township No. 7, at what is now Gorham,Maine. This section
was not assigned to the heirs of the participants until1733, or fifty eight
years after the battle occurred, but it finally assured lotNo. 34 to the
estate of John. It developed that in June, 1678, Tauntonstill owed the
colony certain sums "for billetting Captaine Freeman andhis men and theire
horses""in the late warr with the Indians," "likewise topay for beef which
was disposed off when Capt. Freeman was att youer towne,either by Capt.
Freeman or any of youer celect men for the releiffe of someof youer poor,
whoe were in extreamyty. On June 2, 1685, the militarycompanies of
Barnstable, Sandwich, Yarmouth and Eastham were made the3rd Regiment and
John Freeman was commissioned Major Commandant thereof,with other companies
added later. John was called upon to assist in auditing thebooks of the
Treasurer of the Colony in 1662, 1664, 1673 and 1674. In1663 he and two
other were appointed for a year to hold certain wampumbelonging to the
colony and to pay from it fifteen shillings bounty to eachIndian who would
bring in a wolf's head. Of nine Indians who had stolen acask of liquor in
1667, three were sentenced to be whipped and the other sixwere ordered to
pay £10 to John as agent for the colony, in "Indian corne,or porke, or
feathers." In June, 1670, he and Jonathan Sparrow were aCommittee for
Eastham to "looke after the Minnesters Rate." By or beforethat year the
Court had ordered that no tar which was made within thecolony should be sold
outside of it, and that its price for a two-year termshould be eight
shillings in money for a small barrel containing not lessthan sixteen
gallons, beer measure, or twelve shillings for a "greatbarrell" and that
John should handle all that was made in Eastham. John wasappointed to the
bench of the Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 7, 1692. Formany years, John was
a Deacon of the Eastham Church.

"There were few men in the colony in his day who bore abetter reputation
than Major John Freeman. He was upright and impartial inall his acts while a
public servant and correct in his religious walk." Thegravestones of John
and Mercy may be seen in a small burial place called "CoveBurying Ground",
on the east side of the road leading north from Orleans tothe present
Eastham, which is but a portion of the ancient town. Theyare of slate and
very small. The inscription on Mercy's stone is surroundedby a line forming
a heart. Mercy Prence Freeman died on Sept. 28, 1711 andJohn died on Oct.
28, 1719; in the Mass. Bay Colony.

They had eleven children together and they are listed asfollows:

John Freeman- b. 02-Feb-1650. d. 1650 (as an infant)

John Freeman JR.- b. Dec. 1651 in Eastham, MA. d.27-Jul-1721 in Harwich, MA.
m. Sarah Merrick on 18-Dec-1672. m. Mercy Hedge Watson in1701. (My next

Deacon Thomas Freeman- b. Sept. 1653 in Eastham, MA. d.09-Feb-1715/16 in
North Harwich, MA. m. Rebecca Sparrow on 31-Dec-1673 inEastham, MA.

Patience Freeman- b. 1654 in Eastham, MA. d. 15-Feb-1744/45in Eastham, MA.
m. Lieutenant Samuel Payne on 31-Jan-1682 in Eastham, MA.

Hannah Freeman- b. 1656. d. 15-Feb-1743. m. John Mayo on14-May-1681 in
Eastham, MA.

Lt. Edmond Freeman- b. July 1657. d. 10-Dec-1717. m. RuthMerrick. m. Sarah
Mayo on 10 Dec 1717.

Mercy Freeman- b. Dec. 1659. d. 19-Jun-1737. m. SamuelKnowles in 16-Dec-1679
in Eastham, MA.

William Freeman- b. 1660. d. 1687. m. Lydia Sparrow in 1684.

Prince Freeman- b. 03-Feb-1665. d. young?

Nathaniel Freeman- b. 20-Mar-1669. d. 04-Jan-1760. m. Mary? in 1690.

Bennett Freeman- b. 14-Mar-1670. d. 30-May-1716. m. DeaconJohn Payne of
Eastham, 14-Mar-1689.

This is another reference I found that may be of help toyou:

The Freeman Surname

The Freeman surname refers to status under English law inwhich a person had
attained full righs of citizenship, including the rights toown land, vote
and participate in civil affairs.

Plymouth Plantation

The first Freeman in America was Edmund who arrived inPlymouth in 1635
aboard the "Abigail." He was the son of Edmond and AliceColes Freeman who
lived at Reigate in County Surrey, England.

He was admitted freeman at Plymouth, January 2, 1637.Edmund was prominent,
active and influential in affairs of the colony. Edmund ofone of the
original nine men who founded the town of Sandwich on CapeCod.

Edmund's first wife was Bennett Hodsoll, but she apparentlydied in England.
Edmund married Elizabeth Gurney who came to America withhim. Four children
also came American with the family.

Edmund and Bennett's son John was active in civic affairsand is frequently
mentioned in public records. He served as a soldier, firstas Lieutenant,
then as Captain, and later as Major and took an active partin the Indian
Wars. He was a major in the expedition against Indians atSaconet in 1677. He
served as a member Council of War from 1667-76. He servedas captain in the
fight against Indians at Taunton in 1675. He was a major ofBarnstable Troop
in 1685 and Deputy at Eastham for eight years. He served asa selectman for
ten years starting in 1663. John was assistant in theGovernment in 1666. On
7th Dec. 1692, he was appointed to the Bench of the Courtof Common Pleas.
For many years he was a Deacon of the Eastham Curuch.

John married Mercy Mary Prence, daughter of Governor ThomasPrence and
Patience Brewster. Patience was the daughter of ElderWilliam Brewster, the
spiritual leader of the Mayflower.

John and Mercy's son Thomas Freeman married RebeccaSparrow, daughter of
Capt. Jonathan Sparrow and Rebecca Bangs Sparrow. Thomasserved as a Deacon
in the Church.

Thomas and Rebecca's son Thomas, Jr. married Mary Smith andresided at
Harwich in Barnstable County.

I thought that I ad an article that refered directly to the"Battle of
Freeman's Farm. If I find it, I will forward it on to you.Please let me know
if this is of any help or if you desire other articles if Ihave them.

The Mayflower Planters at Plymouth, Mass, 1620 shows: John Freeman, born England 1625 (?); ba pt. Jan. 28, 1626-7; died Eastham, Oct 28, 1719; married Mercy Prence Feb. 14, 1649, daughter of Gov. Prence. He came to New England with his father in 1635, when about 3 years old. He was prominent in the affairs of Eastham, being one of the planters of the town, and a deacon in the church for many years. He was a major of militia and saw service in the Indian wars, and was a member of the Bench of the Court of Commom Pleas. His estate, consisting of land holdings, became extensive.
Birth1631, plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Death28 Sep 1711, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts
FatherGov. Thomas Prence (1600-1673)
MotherPatience Brewster (~1600-<1634)
Marriage13 Feb 1649, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts
ChildrenHannah (1664-1743)
Last Modified 20 Jul 2007Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh