The Coldham Connection

THE COLDHAM CONNECTION

Babson's History of Gloucester, p. 72:

"Clement Coldam is supposed to have come from Lynn, where the family name is found among the early settlers. He was in Gloucester the last of the last month (end of February) 1649/50 when his daughter Judith died. In 1651 he bought a house and land on the neck of house lots of Andrew Lister; but his own place of residence was on the easterly side of Mill River, towards Goose Cove. If he continued to reside there from that time, he led an entirely obscure life; as his name is hardly mentioned for about a half a century before his death. He died December 18, 1703 about 80 years old. His daughter Elizabeth married Francis Norwood. A Mary Coldam died Jan 26, 1704." Obviously, Babson did not know of the events in the 1660s, 70s, and 90s, involving Clement Coldam. Although Clement Coldam had land in Gloucester, he had returned to Lynn at his step-mother's request in September, 1675 to take care of her, on agreement that upon her death he should receive the half of his father's estate which had been settled on his nephew Samuel Simonds, who had died in August of that year. Clement's step-mother, Joanna, died in June of 1687, so Clement spent about twelve years in Lynn after having lived for perhaps twenty-five years in Gloucester. Clement's grandson Thomas Norwood accompanied him back to Lynn, or joined him within a year, and was settled on lands Clement had there. In 1691, Clement was chosen to be cannoneer for Lynn (see below: with Joseph Hart), and in 1692/3, he was appointed to watch for cutters of young trees in that town. Life did go on, even during the witchcraft hysteria. In the final ten years of his life, we don't know his precise movements, but he evidently returned to Gloucester (perhaps to the home of Francis and Elizabeth Norwood) where he died on the 18th of December, 1703.

Sources: Gloucester History 72
Lynn History 143
Watertown 393
Fellowes: Davis Ancestry 82
Blake-Glidden Farr Ancestry 223
Clement Coldham (1623-1703) m. Mary Pierce (1647*-1704/5)

*It must be 1627 or there abouts. This date is much too late.

3 June 1678: Essex Registry of Deeds.

This I, Clement Coldam, aged about 55 years, doe testifie, that the grant of the old mill was in July ye 12, 1633, to Edward Tomlins, which was the second mill in this colony,...

Lands given to inhabitants of Lynn AD 1638:

Thomas Coldam 60 acres

p. 175: Clement Coldam gives testimony concerning the Longly/Langly land grant question, 1649

p. 292: 14 April 1691: Clement Coldam and Joseph Hart chosen cannoners "to order and look after the great guns."

1692: Clement Coldam among others voted that he and they should be seated in the pulpit.

*From some source I have, Mary Pierce, wife of Clement Coldham, was born in 1647 and died in 1705. If this is so, then in 1663, when Francis and Elizabeth Coldom married, Mary would have been merely 16 years old and only of an age to begin having children and certainly not Elizabeth Coldom's mother, who would have to have been born by 1627 at the latest. The Puritans did not marry that young, however, so it is unlikely that she married then. This date may simply be in error. Even so, Elizabeth Coldom must have been born around 1640-45. If Clement was born in 1622/3, then Elizabeth is more likely to have been born between 1643 and 1645 at the earliest. Men at this time did not marry before twenty and usually later. Women did not generally marry before eighteen. The Pierce genealogy by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Worcester, 1880) indicates that Mary Pierce was born in England, the third child of John and Elizabeth Pers of Watertown, Mass. According to the birth order in this genealogy, Mary should have been born between 1616 and about 1620. All the children seem to have been born between 1609 and 1626 sometime in England. Mary's omission from the list of names given in the register of emigrants at the English Exchequer, April 8, 1637 led F.C. Pierce to the conclusion that she was one of the older children, who might have come to Mass. earlier. Her older sister Esther married in 1636, and should therefore have been born between 1616 and 1618. Pierce says her younger brother Robert was born about 1620, but why might the birth order not be switched? It is possible that Mary was born ca 1617 (not 47). She could have been five or six years older than her husband.


Now, click here for a chronology of the Coldams' public life.


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