NameElder John Strong
Birth1605, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Death14 Apr 1699, Northampton, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts
Misc. Notes
John Strong was born in Taunton, England, in 1605, whence he removed to London and afterwards to Plymouth. Having strong Puritan sympathies he sailed from Plymouth for the new world, March 20, 1630, in company with 140 persons, and among them Rev. Messrs. John Warham and John Maverick and Messrs. John Mason and Roger Clapp, in the ship Mary and John (Capt. Squeb) and arrived at Nantasket, Mass. (Hull), about twelve miles southeast from Boston, after a passage of more than seventy days in length, on Sunday, May 30, 1630.

The original destination of the vessel was Charles River; but an unfortunate misunderstanding which arose between the captain and the passengers, resulted in their being put summarily ashore by him at Nantasket. After searching for a few days, for a good place in which to settle and make homes for themselves, they decided upon the spot, which they called Dorchester, in memory of the endeared home in England which many of them had left, and especially of its revered pastor, Rev. John White, "the great patron of New England emigration," who had especially encouraged them to come hither. 3

Though John has been said to have come on the 1630 voyage of the Mary and John, there is no proof of it, all passenger lists for that voyage being hypothetical.

Robert Charles Anderson in NEHGR, April 1993, addressed the many different lists of passengers on the Mary and John. He went about objectively establishing specific criteria for determining the likelihood that a specific individual was on the ship. By the criteria he established, which seem reasonable, Mr. Anderson concluded that Elder John Strong is not likely to have come on the Mary and John in 1630. Those that Mr. Anderson concluded had a solid basis for being considered passengers were: Roger Clap, George Ludlow, Roger Ludlow, John Maverick, Richard Southcott, Thomas Southcott, and John Warham. Additional passengers, based on other criteria were: Aaron Cooke, George Dyer, Thomas Ford, William Gaylord, John Holman, Thomas Lombard, Richard Louge, William Phelps, William Rockwell, Henry Smith, Thomas Stoughton, Stephen Terry, Nicholas Upsall, and Henry Wolcott. Another group of families, with less reliable connection to the Mary and John were John Benham, Bygod Eggleston, Christopher Gibson, Matthew Grant, John Greenway, John Hoskins, William Hulbird, Davy Johnson, George Phillips, John Phillips, John Pierce, and Roger Williams. Mr. Anderson assigns five other families that do not meet his criteria, but may, for other reasons, have been on the Mary and John: John Drake, John Gallop, Johathan Gillet, Nathan Gillet, and Henry Way. Mr. Anderson does not mention Elder John Strong anywhere in his discussion. However, he does leave room for three or four families that would be unaccounted for if the total number of passengers was 140. The information here, whether it describes John's voyage specifically or not, does describe the similar circumstances which brought him to Dorchester.

In 1635, after having assisted in founding and developing the town of Dorchester, John Strong removed to Hingham, Mass., and on March 9, 1636, took the freeman's oath at Boston. His stay at Hingham was short, as on Dec 4, 1638, he is found to have been an inhabitant and proprietor of Taunton, Mass., and to have been made in that year a freeman of Plymouth Colony. He remained at Taunton, as late at any rate as 1645, as he was a deputy thence to the General court in Plymouth, in 1641, 1643, and 1644. From Taunton he removed to Windsor, CT, where he was appointed with four others, Capt. John Mason, Roger Ludlow, Israel Stoughton, and Henry Wolcott, all very leading men in the infant colony, "to superintend and bring forward the settlement of that place," which had been settled a few years before (1636) by a portion of the same colony that with him had founded Dorchester. Windsor was in fact called at first, and for several years (1636-1650), Dorchester. 3

In 1659 he removed from Windsor to Northampton, Mass., of which he was one of the first and most active founders, as he had been previously of Dorchester, Hingham, Taunton, and Windsor. In Northampton he lived for forty years, and was a leading man in the affairs of the town and of the church. He was a tanner and very prosperous in his business. His tannery was located on what is now the southwest corner of Market and Main streets near the rail road depot. He owned at different times, as appears by records in the county clerk's office, some two hundred acres of land in and around Northampton. 3
ChildrenJohn (1626-1697)
Last Modified 8 Jun 2005Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh