Descendants of Richard Sears

First Generation

1. Richard Sears was born 1 about 1590. He died 26 Aug 1676 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Plymouth Colony.

SP May, p 23, [handnotes from the author's personal copy of the original book], and revised and corrected typescript, 1913, p 4
The parentage, place and date of birth of Richard Sears are alike unknown. [Hand notes] It is possible that he was the Richard Sevier, son of Richard and Eve (Taylort) Serrys who was baptised at Crosscombe co, SOmet, Eng'd Mar 30 1605. Crosscombe adjoins Finder, the birthplace of Dorothy Jones wife of Richard Sares.

The name of Richard Seer is first found upon the records of Plymouth Colony, in the tax-list of March 25, 1633, when he was one of fourty-four, in a list of eighty-six persons, who were assessed nine shillings in corn, at six shillings per bushel, upon one poll. [Hand notes] His name is not in tax list of 1634 or in list of freemen 1633.

He soon after crossed over to Marblehead, in Massachusetts Colony, where Richard Seers was taxed as a resident in the Salem rate-list for January 1, 1637-8, and on October 14, 1638, was granted four acres of land "where he had formerly planted." [This would seem to indicate that he had then some family.]

What his reasons were for removing can now only be conjectured. It has been suggested that he sympathized with Roger Williams and followed him in his removal, but this is improbable.

It may be that he wished to be near friends, former townsmen, or perhaps relatives.

Antony Thacher, and his wife who was sister to Richard Sares wife, was then living in Marblehead, and this fact probably influenced his removal to that place [changed to reflect hand notes]

The early settlers of Marblehead were many of them from the channel islands, Guernsey and Jersey, and in these places the family of Sarres has been established for several centuries, and is still represented in Guernsey under the names of Sarres and Serres.

[The next supposition was struck from the original book by May]

Early in the year 1639, a party under the leadership of Antony Thacher crossed the Bay to Cape Cod, and settled upon a tract of land called by the Indians, "Mattakeese," to which they gave the name of Yarmouth.

With them went Richard Sares and family, accompanied probably by his wife and infant sons, Paul and Silas. [handnotes] He took up residence on Quivet Neck between Quivet and Sesuit creeks [in what became East precinct of Yarmouth
now Dennis], where in September of the same year their daughter Deborah was born, perhaps the second white child, and the first girl born in Yarmouth; Zachary Rider being supposed to have been the first boy.

In 1643, the name of Richard Seeres is in the list of those between the age of 16 and 60 able to bear arms. (In Williamsburg we learned that the requirements were, male, able bodied and with at least two teeth, one top and one bottom to pull the cap off the powder horn)

Oct 26, 1647, the commissioners on Indian affairs were appointed to meet at the house of Richard Sares at Yarmouth, when he entered a complaint against Nepoytam Sachumus, and Felix, Indians.

Oct 2, 1650, he with sixteen others, complained of William Nickerson for Slander, damage 100 pounds; and at the same term of court, we find his name with seventeen others, against Mr John Crow, William Nickerson and Lt William Palmer for trespass, damage 60 pounds.

Jun 3, 1652, Richard Seeres was propounded to take up Freedom.

Jun 7, 1652, Richard Sares was chosen to serve on the Grand Inquest.

Jun 7, 1653, Richard Sares took the Oath of Fidellyte at Plimouth, and was admitted a Freeman.

Mar 1, 1658, Richard Seares was chose on the committee to levy the church tax.

Jun 6, 1660, Richard Sares was chosen Constable.

Jun 3, 1662, Richard Saeres was chosen Deputy to the General Court at Plymouth.

Nov 23, 1664, Richard Sares, husbandman, purchased of Allis Bradford widow of Gov William Bradford, (who signed the deed with her mark,) a tract of land at Sesuit, for 20 pounds.

10(3)1667, Richard Sares made his Will, to which Feb 3, 1676, he added a codicil. Both documents are signed with his mark, (RS) and in witnessing carious deeds at previous dates, he always made his mark, a by no means unusual thing to do in those days.

Mr H G Somerby in his manuscript collection in the library of the Mass Hist So, Boston, mentions a tradition that he held a commission in the militia, and lost his right arm by a gun-shot wound in a fight with Indians in 1650, but neither fact is recorded, nor is any such tradition known to the Cape antiquarians.

Jun 30, 1667, the name of Richard Sares is signed with fourteen others to a complaint against Nicholas Nickerson for slander of Rev Thomas Thornton. His signature is well and plainly written, on the origianl document in the possession of Hon H C Thacher of Boston, (of which a copy much reduced may be seen in Swift's "Hist of Old Yarmouth," 1884) but it is not certain that it is his autograph, (and no other is known,) as it and several others may have been written by the same person, and probably the one who procured the signatures to it.

I have followed the spelling of Richard Sears name as found on the records, which is probably the clerk's phonetic rendering; I have been told by aged members of the family, that when they were children, early in the 19th century, the name was written Sears, but pronounced by old people, Sares [ed. this is born out by the fact that in our recent visit to the Bahamas, our surname was noticed and the comment was "Where did you get a good old Bahama name like Say'-ers?" two syllables, accent on the first]

His first house was built upon the southerly side of the bluff near the sea-shore, where the cellar, a mere hole for vegetables some ten feet square, ws pointed out to my informant early in the 19th century.

At a later date he built again a short distance north-west from the ancient house built by Capt. John Sears, circa 1704, and the site of this later residence is still recognizable.

His first house was perhaps what Mr Amos Otis calls "a palisade house; such houses were built by placing sills directly upon the ground, inthese two parallel rows of holes were bored, some six inches apart, for the insertion of poles, the space between being filled in with stones and clay, openings being left for a door and windows."

"The roof was thatched with the long sedge-grass found in the meadows and as a substitute for glass in the windows, oiled paper was used.

"The chimney was built of sticks, laid up cob-house fashion, and well daubed with clay, or mortar made from shells. A southerly slope was preferred for the house, and the back of the chimney was hollowed out of the hill-side, thus saving some labor in the building. The fire-place was of stone, some eight feet wide and four feet in depth, and the mantel laid so high that a tall person could walk under it by stooping a little.

"The oven was built upon the outside of the house with the mouth opening in one corner, on the backside of the fire-place. The fire was built in the centre, and on a cold winter evening a seat in the chimney corner was a luxury unknown in modern times. Straw or sedge-grass served for a floor and carpet. Some of the palisade houses built by the early settlers were the most comfortable and durable houses built.

"That of Mr John Crow stood for nearly two centuries, seldom needing repairs, and in fact the last owners did not know the peculiarities of its construction until it was taken down. The walls of the house were plastered inside and outside with shell-mortar, and at some later period it had been clap-boarded, thus concealing the original construction."

"Tea was unknown, and china and porcelain are not found in inventories before 1660."

An idea of household furniture may be obtained from the inventories given further on.

"The early settlers were principally engaged in agricultural pursuits, stock-raising and fishing. Many whales were cast upon the coast, and the shore was divided in sections, under the charge of whaling squads chosen by the town people. Capt Paul Sears and Lt Silas Sears belonged to one of these squads, and Capt John Sears was also engaged in whaling.

"Oil, fish and tar were exchanged with the traders visiting the coast for goods which were needed, and which they did not themselves produce.

"They traded in their own vessels with the West Indies, bringing home molasses and spirits, and built vessels which they themselves manned.

"The Cape seamen have always been famed for their skill and daring.

"At a later date John Sears invented the method of making salt fromsea-water by solar evaporation, and was the pioneer in an industry that added much to the wealth of the Cape, until superseded by the salt-springs of Syracuse, etc; and Elkanah Sears of Dennis was the first to set out and cultivate cranberries at Flax Pond in 1819.

"The Cape farms produced good crops of Indian corn, rye, barley and some wheat and all sorts of vegetables; berries were plenty, and cranberries were indigenous. Game was plenty, and with fish abundantly supplied the table; cows and goats were kept for milk, and bees for honey. [ed. At the Dennis Manse we learned that the bushes were full of small birds and with a net, one cold capture them and roast them on a "lark-spit" in front of the fireplace]

"Beer was considered a necessity, and each family brewed at regular intervals. Spirits were consumed in considerable quantities, and the names of many of the best citizens are upon record as "licensed to draw wine." The mothers of the town were expert in the use of the loom, and made most of the cloth used in their families. In the summer they wore home-spun linen, and in the winter flannel. The sails of a vessel built at Hockanum at the close of the Revolutionary war were made of cloth woven by them. Clocks were at first unknown, a sun-dial cut upon the sill of a southern window gave them the time of day, and it was long customary to face the house die south. In 1745, but one clock and one watch were taxed in the town of Harwich.

"The observance of the Lord's day was rigidly enforced, and no one was allowed to labor, engage in any game or recreation, or travel upon that day, under penalties proportioned to the offense. The tithing-men appointed by the town had with other duties, that of keeping order among the boys in church, and were armed with long rods, tipped at one end with a squirrel's tail or rabbit's foot, for the purpose of awakening sleeping women, and at the other with brass or a deer's hoof, which they brought down with emphasis on the heads of male offenders.

"The journey to and from meeting was, to many, long and tedious.

"Those who had horses were wont to "ride and tie," i.e. one would ride a specified distance, and then alight and fasten the animal, and proceed on foot, leaving the coming pedestrian to mount and ride for the next stage. The women and small children rode on the pillions behind their lords and masters, but the young people of either sex were expected to make the journey on foot, an no doubt with congenial company they found the miles short enough. In winter the only mode of keeping themselves warm in meeting was by the use of foot-stoves, or a hot brick or stone.

"In the intervals between morning and afternoon services, the men and boys assembled outside to discuss town affairs, the prospects of crops, or fishing; while the women over their luncheon inthe meeting-house, or at some convenient neighbors, had their gossip. In early colonial times a large family was considered a great blessing in a pecuniary point of view. The boys assisted the father on the farm, and at seventeen were able to do the work of a man. The girls were also brought up to more than earn their own living. They assisted their mother, spun and wove the flax and the wool, and made their own and their brothers garments and in hay-time and harvest assisted with their brothers in the fields.

"A man with a large and healthy family of children was then the most independant of men. From his farm and his household he obtained an abundance of the prime necessities of life. The surplus which he sold was more than sufficient to pay the bills of the mechanic, and to buy the few articles of foreign merchandise then required. Taxes were paid in agricultural products, at a rate fixed by law, and if land or other property was sold, unless it was expressly stipulated in the contract that payment should be made in silver money, it was a barter trade, payable in produce at "the prices current to the merchants."

"Aged people were wont to remark that their ancestors estimated that every son born to them added 100 pounds to their wealth, and every daughter 50 pounds. However heterodox this theory may now appear to parents or to political economists, it was undoubtedly true in early days."

The Searses married early in life with but few exceptions, had large families, lived comfortably, and were respected and honored members of society.

10(3)1667, Richard Sares made his will, to which he added Feb 3, 1676(sic), a codicil, which with the inventory are recorded in Plymouth Rec Book 3, Part 2, pp 53-55. Therein he names "wife Dorothy, elder" and "eldest son paule Sares, youngest son Sylas Sares," and "daughter Deborah, son-in-law Zachery Padduck," and "Ichabod Padduck," and requests "brother Thacher with his sons as friends in trust," etc.

His inventory in the original record foots up L 169 06 06, a manifest error, the real estate alone being valued at 220 pounds, and the last item is not carried out. Nor would the corrected sum represent his worldly condition fairly, as he had no doubt previously given to his children such portions of his property as he could well spare.

In the proper places I give copies of the wills and inventories of Richard Sares and his sons, by a careful examination of which , the location of the original estates may be traced in part, and some idea be formed of the relative wealth and personal belongings of each.

It is to be regretted that no plan in now known to be in existence showing the bounds of the original estates in Yarmouth and Harwich, and recent attempts to construct such have not met with much success.

No grave-stones remain to mark the burial places of Richard Sares and his wife, and they probably never had any inscribed stones; - upright grave-stones did not come in use in England until the time of Queen Elizabeth, and the early graves in Plymouth Colony were generally marked with a boulder. [ed. just such a boulder exists in the Ancient Sears Burial ground in W Brewster, and I maintain this is probably Richard's stone] Some years since a granite monument was erected in the old cemetery in Yarmouth, by the late Hon David Sears of Boston, which is popularly supposed to mark the spot of their burial, but I was told by aged members of the family that it was really placed over the grave of Paul Sears, his grave-stone being removed for that purpose, although it is possible that Paul may have been buried by the side of his parents.

There is no such stone to the memory of Deborah Sears, wife of Paul, nor to his brother Silas, whose burial place is unknown.

The stone to Paul Sears, records his death in 1707-8, and it is the oldest inscribed memorial in the cemetery, although Swift in his "Hist of Old yarmouth," accords that credit to the grave-stone of Col John Thacher, who died in 1713.

There are no reliable traditions extant of Richard Sares and his family, and our only sources of information relative to them are the public records from which I have quoted on a previous page.

In Plymouth Colony, the governor, deputy governor, magistrates and assistants, the ministers of the gospel,and elders of the church, school masters, commissioned officers of the militia, men of wealth, or connected with failies of the nobility or gentry, were alone entitled to the prefix, Mr. pronounced Master, and their wives Mrs. or Mistress.

This rule was rigidly enforced in early COlonial times, and in lists of names it was almost the invariable custom to commence with those highest in rank, and follow that order to the end. Our forefathers claimed, and were cheerfully accorded the title due to their birth and position, and it is unwise to claim for them any title which they did not themselves assume. I do not find that Richard Sares was ever given the prefix of Mr., and in the town records it was recorded that his wife, "Goody Sares was buried Mar 19, 1678-9" 22 fen 1659 Inventory Estate of John Darby of Yarmouth, indebted to "goodman Seares" L6 for 10 acres of meadow land bought by him"

He was a farmer, hard working and industrious, and affectionate husband and kind parent, a God fearing man, and respected by his neighbors.

His descendants showed good breeding, and many of them were prominent in town and church affairs, and in the militia.

Their names may be found in the records of the Indian and French wars, the Revolutionary war, and that of 1812. Many served during the war of the Rebellion, and shed their blood freely for their country.

The family has always been very religious in its tendency, some of its members have been foremost in the temperance and anti-slavery movements, but it has never given rise to any prominent politicians, and while holding many local offices, not aspiring above the State Legislature.

(Sears Monument)

1664. Prence, Gov:
A deed appointed to be recorded.
Witnesseth these presents, that I, Allis Bradford the widow of William Bradford, late of Plymouth in America, Esqre, deceased, have the day and year aforesaid, for and in consideration of the sum of twenty pounds to me the said Allis Bradford in hand payed before the ensealing and delivery of these prsents, by Richard Sares of the town of Yarmouth, in the colony of New Plymouth, aforesaid, husbandman, whereof and of every p'te and p'cell thereof, I the said Allis Bradford do fully acquit and discharge him the said Richard Sares, his heirs and assigns forever, bargained and sold, enfeoffed, assigned and confirmed, and do by these presents do bargain, sell, enfeoffe, assign and confirm unto the said Richard Sares, his heirs and assigns, two allotments of land containing forty acres, be they more, or be they less, lying and being at a place commonly called and known by the name of Sasuett, between a brook commonly called and known by the name of bound brook, and a brook called Saquahuckett brook, -- twenty acres whereof was the first lot, ( so called) of upland with a small neck of land next the said bound brook, on the Easter side the said brook, and was the lot of the aforesaid William Bradford, deceased; the other twenty acres of land lying and being the next adjoining hereunto onthe Easter side called the 2cond lott, and was late an allotment of land of Experience Michels; both which allotments of land are bounded on the Weste side with bound brook aforesaid, and on the Easter side with an allotment of the land late Nicholas Snowes, now in tenure and possession of Peter Worden, as also a certain tract of meadow to the aforesaid lots appertaining, of seven acres and one half be it more or less, lying, being and abutting, between the norther side of the said nook of upland bound brook and small creake, as from the Easter corner of the said nook, from a spring which runs through the meadows into the said bound brook; together with all the perquisites, profits, ways, easements, emoluments and appurtenances thereunto belonging; with all my right, title, claim and interest unto the said lots of upland and meadow or any part or parcell thereof. To have and to hold the said two lots of upland, nook and meadow with every p'te and p'cell thereof, together with all the perquisites, profits, emoluments, ways, easements and appurtenances thereunto or to any part or parcell thereof any ways belonging.
To him the said Richard Sares, his heirs and assigns forever, I say to the only use and behoof of him the said Richard Sares, his heirs and assigns forever.
In witness whereof the said Allis Bradford have heerto these presents set my hand and seal even the twenty third day of November, Anno dom. 1664.
Allis Bradford her A mark and a seal.()
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
Thomas Southworth
Mary Carpenter her B mark
Plymouth, ss June 2, 1885. The foregoing is a true copy from Plymouth Coony Records of Deeds, Vol 3, part 1, Page 18. Attest, Wm S Danforth, Rg of Deedsm and having charge of the Plymouth Colony Records.

June 10, 1679, Paul Seers paid Maj William Bradford, four pounds to relinquish his claim on the above land. (Ply Deeds, Vol 4, page 266)

The last Will and Testament of Richard Sares, of Yarmouth, late deceased, as followeth;---
In the name of God, Amen. I, Richard Sares of Yarmouth, in the Colony of ew Plymouth, in New England, do this 10th day of the third month, Anno Dom 1667, make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following;---
First,-- I give and surrender up my soul to God that gave it, andmy body to the earth, from whence it was, in comely and decent manner to be buried, &c; and all my lands and goods as God hath given me, I give and bequeath as followeth:
First.--I give and bequeath, and my Will is, that Silas Sares, my younger son, shall have all my land, that is, all the upland upon the neck where his house stands in which he now dwells, thus bonded and lying between the cart pathway as runs through the swamp into the said neck unto the lands of Peter Werden, unto the meadows as are betwixt the said upland and the sea, and so as it is surrounded by the meadows unto the aforesaid cartpath as runs through the swamp aforesaid, after mine and my wife's decease.
To him, the said Sylas Sares, to him and his heirs and assigns forever, (provided, and my will is, that whereas my son-in-law Zachery Padduck is possessed of, and now lives in an house taht is his own proper right within the aforesaid tract of land, that he the said Zachery shall have and enjoy two acres of the aforesaid lands about his house for and during the life of Deborah, his now wife; together with all ways, easements, and emoluments, to the same appertaining, without any molestation and eviction or denial of him the said Silas, his heirs or assigns;)
And my will is, and I do hereby give unto the said Silas Sares, all that tract of meadow land, as is, and lyeth between the aforesaid neck of upland, and the river, commonly known by the name of Sasuett harbor, river bound: as also thus from the Great Pine tree as bounds the meadows between the meadows of the aforesaid Peter Werden, and my meadows, unto a knoll of upland called the Island, towards the said Harbour's mouth, to the said Sylas and his heirs and assigns forever, after mine and my wife's decease.
Further,--I do give and bequeath to my son Sylas, after mine and my wife's decease, as aforesaid, one half moiety of all my land called Robins, as is unfenced..
I mean only one half moiety, and part of the upland.
To him the said Sylas, his heirs and assigns forever.
And my Will is, and I do give and bequeath unto my elder son Paul Sares, all the rest and remain of my lands, whatsoever, and every part and parcel of them whatsoever, after mine and my wife's decease, both upland and meadow lands, which I have not in this my last Will, disposed of. To him the said Paul Sares, his heirs and assigns forever.
And my Will is, and I do give unto Dorothy my wife, all my lands whatsoever to be at her dispose during her natural life, and I do give unto her all my other goods and cattle whatsoever during her life, and at or before her death, to give and bequeath them amongst my children, at her pleasure, who also I do make sole executrix of this my last Will and testament: and do intreat my brother Thacher, with his two sons as friends in trust, to see this last will performed.
Furthermore my Will is, that whereas I have bequeathed to my two sons Paul and Silas all that tract of upland called Robins, as is unfenced, by an equal proportion between them, my Will is, I say, that my son-in-law Zachery Padduck shall have two acres of the said upland before it be divided as aforesaid during his said wife's life: and after the decease of his said wife, my will is, and I do give unto Ichabod Padduckm the said two acres of Robins, and also the aforesaid two acres adjoining to the house of his father, Zachery Padduck during his natural life.
In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand.
In the presence of The marke of
Anthony Thacher Richard (RS) Sares
Anthony Frey

Anthony Frey testifieth to the former part of this Will that he saw Richard Sares sign it as his last Will and Testament, this second day of March, 1676.
Before me, John Freeman, Assistant
Be it known to all to whom these presents shall come, that I, Richard Sares of Yarmouth, in the Colony of New Plymouth, as in this my Will before mentioned, being now weak in body, but of perfect sense and memory, do by these presents ratify ad confirm my Will, as it has been made on the other side, bearing date the 10th of the third month 1667.
And I do add hereto as followeth, that at my wife's decease my eldest son Paul Sares shall have and enjoy to his own proper use, the house which I now live in, and my bed and the bedding thereto belonging, and my clothing, and the cattle that shall be left at my wife's decease, and also my warming pan, and the earthen pott with the cover that belongs to it, and the iron pot and table: and in witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale, this third day of February Anno Dom 1675.76.
In the presence of
John Thacher The mark of (RS) Richard Sare
Judah Thacher

I, John Thacher do testify, that myself and my brother did set our hands as Witnesses to this Will, as being his last Will and Testament, and when my Uncle signed this Appendix to the Will, he delivered the Will to me, and desired me to new draw the whole Will, and to leave out of the new draft, the legacy of land that is given to Ichabod Padduck, for saith he, I have anseized it in another way, but if I die before you have done it, then it must go as it is; and trouble took me off so that I did not redraw the Will.
I having this explained myself, do testify that this Will is the last Will and Testament of my Uncle Sares, so far as I know.
This fift of March 1676.
Mr John Thacher attested to this Will before me,
John Freeman, Assistant
October the eighth day in the year of our Lord, one thousand, six hundred and seventy six,
This being a true Inventory of the Estate of Richard Sares, lately deceased, according to our best information and judgement, taken by us whose names are underwritten, as followeth:
L s d
Imp his house and land 220 00 00
Item, five cows 10 00 00
Item, 1 bull, 1 heifer of three years and vantage 03 10 00
Item, 1 heifer of two years and vantage 01 10 00
Item, 5 year olds 05 00 00
Item, 2 calves 01 00 00
Item, his bed and the furniture thereto belonging 08 07 00
Item, more, w pairs of sheets 02 15 00
Item, 2 sheets, and 2 pairs of drawers 01 01 00
Item, 1 table cloth, 1 pillow beare, 1 napkin, 3 towels 00 08 00
Item, britches and hat 02 03 00
Item, his coat and cloak 02 00 00
Item, 1 pair of stockings and shoes 00 05 00
Item, 1 great Bible and other books 01 03 00
Item, pewter and tin 01 03 00
Item, brass 00 06 00
Item, 1 pair of stilliyards 00 15 00
Item, iron furniture for the fire 00 12 00
Item, more on rugg 00 04 00
Item, 2 chests 00 16 00
Item, 1 beer barrell & one earthen pott 00 04 00
Item, 3 chairs 00 07 00
Item, his bees 01 00 00
Item, other householdments 00 08 00
Item, more, two waistcoats 00 12 00
Item, 1 mare and colt 00 10 00
Item, debts in cash 01 19 00
Item, more 2 Indian trays
169 06 06
[ed. May noticed the foot is incorrect 269 06 06]
Thomas Boarman
Lancher Winslow
Samuel Worden
This 15th day of November 1676.
Dorothy Sares the relict of
Richard Sares, and Paul Sares
his eldest son, made their appearance
and gave oath to the truth of this
Inventory above written
before me, John Freeman, Assistant.

Plymouth, ss. Apl 24, 1883. The foregoing is a true copy from Plymouth Colony Records, Vol III of Wills, folios 53, 54, 55.
Attest, Wm S Danforth, Reg.

CHILDREN-DEATH-BIOGRAPHY: GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY of SOUTHERN NEW YORK and the HUDSON RIVER VALLEY, Vol II;1640-1913; Lewis Historical Publishing Co, 1913; pp 507-510; Brewster, NY Public Library; The several attempts of genealogists to trace the pre-American ancestry of the Sears immigrant have met with many discouraging obstacles and few satisfactory results; while it seems to be pretty well established that the family is one of great antiquity there has always existed a doubt regarding its origin, and there are those who are disposed to place it among the old Holland families and bring forth Dutch intermarriages in support of their reasoning. In these annals no attempt is made to investigate the subject of the origin of the family of the Sears immigrant, for it is not known when or where he was born, and nothing of his parentage, although there are various traditions and vague conclusions regarding his forbears. The family in America is fully strong enough in every material respect to stand forever without the warrant of distinguished pre-American lineage. But in regard to the apparent lack of earlier data the Sears family is only one in the long list of our best colonial families whose history back of the immigrant is unkown, and the absence of definite knowledge of his ancestors is not to be taken as evidence of doubtful or obscure origin, for the simple truth is that it has been found impossible to trace his lineage in the mother country.

(I) Richard Sears appears in our New England colonial history with the mention of his name in the records of the Plymouth colony tax list in 1633, when he was one of fourty-four persons there assessed nine shillings in corn at sixshillings per bushel. From Plymouth he soon crossed over to Marblehead, MA, and was taxed there, as shown by the Salem list, in 1637-38. He also had a grant of four acres of land "where he had formerly planted," from which it appears that he may have been in that plantation at some previous time. In 1639 he joined the colonists under Anthony Thacher and went to Cape Cod and founded the town of Yarmouth. His first house was built on Quivet Neck, and afterwards he built another house a short distance to the northwest of his first house there. In 1643 the name of Richard Sears appears in the list of inhabitants of Yarmouth "liable to bear arms." He was made freeman in 1652, grand juror in 1652, took the oath of allegiance and fidelity in 1653, was constable in 1660, and representative to the court in Plymouth in 1662. In 1664 Richard Sears, husbandman, purchased for twenty pounds from Allis, widow of Governor William Bradford, a tract of land at Sesuit. He died in August, 1676, and was buried March 19, 1678-79; but it is not certain that she was his only wife, or the mother of all or even any of his children. Indeed, there is a presumption that he was previously married and that his children may have been born of his former wife.

There is a Richard SEARS in the IGI AFN 4JDS-SW (1590-1676) with a daughter
listed as Mary??? Contributed by Tom Greene, 4906 Apple Tree Dr, Alexandria, VA 22310

Is John Satre his father? RIN -72

BIRTH-PARENTS: PAF GEDCOM; 1996; Benjamin F Rollins, Jr, email: "Mooncusser: ; ; ;RINs:33943-34450

Dennis, Cape Cod, p 59, 95, To add to the general depression of spirit, just as news of {Indian Chief} Philip's demise was received, an epidemic of a virulent but unnamed sickness occurred in Yarmouth which brought more personal suffering and grief than the whole {King Philip's} war had done. The record is torn and some names are illegible, but the story is clear.
26 Aug 1676 _____ Sears was buried (must be Richard, will was probated), 29 Aug 1676 D___ Marchant buried... (12 more by Dec)

The Ancestry of Thomas Brainerd by Dwight Brainerd Richard Sears born in
England, about 1612; died at Yarmouth, MA, buried 26 Aug 1676; married
Dorothy Jones. A strange pedigree, in part at least concoted by that able
genealogist but (alas!) occasional fabricator of illustrious pedigrees, the
late Horatio G Somerby, was given circulation in 1857 when Rev. E H Sears
included it in all innocence in Pictures of the Olden Time. This pedigree
was gently but effectively castigated by Samuel Pearce May in 1886 in an
article, "Some Doubts concerning the Sears Pedigree" published in The new
England Historical and Genealogical Register (Vol 40, pp.261-268) Four years
later, Mr May brought out an authoritative genealogy of the Sears family.

He was taxed at Plymouth, 25 Mar 1633, but seems to have moved soon to
Marblehead, then part of Salem, MA, where his brother-in-law, Rev Anthony
Thacher, settled in 1635. Early in 1639 he was among those who accompanied
Thacher in the settlement of Yarmouth.

Freeman, 1652; Constable, 1660; Deputy to the Plymouth General Court, 1662.

His will makes his "brother Thacher" a trustee of his estate, and Thacher's
son John calls Richard Sears "uncle." These terms led formerly to an
assumption that his wife Dorothy was a Thacher, but that has been disproved,
and it is now accepted that she was a sister of Thacher's second wife,
Elizabeth Jones. Their brother, Richard Jones of Dorchester, MA, died
intestate, and his widow in the inventory referred to her brother Thatcher,
and also made Anthony Thacher of Yarmouth a trustee of the estate. Samuel
Jones, son of Richard, in his will in 1661, made bequests to his six cousins
in Yarmouth. Thacher had three children by his second (Jones) wife, and
Richard Sears had three children, and that accounts for the six. (Savage,
Genealogical Dictionary (1862), Vol 4, p.46, was misled by the pedigree and
"family tradition" to the extent of giving Richard a mythical son, Knyvett.)
Also New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol 42, pp.77-79.

Richard married Dorothy about 1632 in Yarmouth, Mass.. Dorothy died 19 Mar 1678 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Plymouth Colony.

BIRTH-PARENTS: PAF GEDCOM; 1996; Benjamin F Rollins, Jr, email: "Mooncusser: ; ; ;RINs:33943-34450

Richard and Dorothy had the following children:

+ 2 M i Capt Paul Sears
+ 3 M ii Lieut Silas Sears
+ 4 F iii Deborah Sears

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