Note: Children by Benjamin's first wife, Sarah Gardner: 1. Samuel, b. 1651 2. Benjamin, b. 1653 3. John, b. 1654 4. Joseph, b. 1658 5. Freeborn, b. 09 Aug. 1660, m. Elizabeth Fairfield 6. Sarah, b. 1661 7. Abigail, b. 1663 Ruth, b. 1665 8. Mary, b. 1667 9. Jonathan, b. 1670 10. David, b. 1671 Children by Benjamin's second wife Abigail: None Children by Benjamin's third wife, Grace Mallet: 1. Deborah, b. 6 June 1692 2. Lydia, b. 28 Aug. 1695 Michael Edward Dobson ([email protected]) contributes: Benjamin was the first male child born in Plymouth Bay Colony. He was born in what was then known as "Naumkeg" (an Indian name) in Sagamoreship. This colony later became Salem, MA. He was a liberal, having inherited his father's spirit of tolerance and independence of thought and action. Was once arrested because he gave a night's lodging to a stranger on foot without the approbation of the selectmen. In a day when parental authority was unquestioned, he forbore to insist upon baptism of his 13 children, leaving it to their desires. He lived in the Beverly house, now an historical site owned and maintained by the Beverly Historical Association and open to visitors. In "Descendants of Horatio James Balch and Sophronia Allard" by Samuel W. Balch, 1928, we find the following: "Benjamin Balch was born at Beverly in the house built by his father and lived in it throughout his life. He married Sarah daughter of Thomas Gardener overseer of the first Cape Ann plantation. They had eleven children including four sons who have left descendants. His wife Sarah died Apr 5, 1686 and he married Abigail, widow of Matthew Clark(e) and they had two daughters." However in "The History of Salem, Massachusettes Vol I (1626-1637)" by Sidney Perley on p 84 we see daughters Deborah and Lydia born after his third marriage to Grace Mallet. He cites "Genealogy of the Balch Family" by Galusha B. Balch, 1897, and "The Essex Antiquarian", Vol VI, pp 1-14 as sources. BENJAMI N BALCH2 lived on his father's homestead; married, first, Sarah Gardner about 1 650; she died April 5; 1686; married, second, Abigail, widow of Matthew Clarke of Marblehead Feb. 5, 1689; she died Jan. 1, 1690; married, third, Grace Mallet March 15, 1691-2; living in 1706; children I. Samuel,3 born May (??), 1651; deacon; yeoman; lived in Beverly; town clerk and representative; 2. Benjamin3; Massachusetts riner; lived in Beverly; 3. John;3 born about ,1654; housewright; lived in Beverly; representative; 4. Joseph;3 killed by the Indians at Bloody Brook Sept. 18 , 1675; 5. Freeborn,3 born Aug. 9, 1660; yeoman; lived in Beverly; 6. Sarah;3 married James Patch; 7. Abigail;3 marred Cornelius Larcom; 8. Ruth;3 unmarried i n 1687; 9. Mary;3 married Nathaniel Stone; 10. Jonathan,3 baptized April 10, 16 70; 11. David,3 born July 9,1671; 12. Deborah,3 born June 6, l693; 13. Lydia,3 born Aug. 28, 1695. JOHN Balch;3 mariner; married Mary Conant; divorced June 16 , 1662; she married, secondly, William Dodge; child: I. Mary;3 died in 1662 or 1663.[THE HISTORY OF SALEM MASSACHUSETTS By SYDNEY PERLEY VOLUME I, 1626-1637, SALEM, MASS.- SIDNEY PERLEY 1924] Benjamin Balch (1628-1714) was one of the first, if not THE first, male child born in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a bit of a non-co nformist, as he refused to have his children baptized until they chose to have this done. No doubt this led to severe criticism for Ben. Later on, he gave food and a night's lodging to a lost and hungry stranger even though he was aware of a law prohibiting such acts. For this transgression, he was arrested, convicted, & fined. Perhaps this was the origin of the saying, "No good deed shall remain unpunished." Contributed by Edward Harrison at [email protected]: Edward's son, Edward Bishop Jr, and his wife, Sarah Gould, ran a tavern that competed with the äpproved" tavern next to the church that the Parris clique ran, stayed open late, and allowed young people to play board games, and Sarah even wore a colorful dress. Sarah had the misfortune to be a member of one of the families that had been on the other side of a dispute over boundary of Salem Village that was based on how much taxes the people of the village were going to pay. Many members of that family were victims in the Salem witch trials. Sarah and Edward were both charged, arrested and convicted. After Bridgette was executed, they escaped, possibly with the help of Benjamin Balch, who made it known that he kept a lantern ready and a horse saddled to help people escape form the hysteria. Benjamin Balch is also my direct ancestor, because his daughter married Paul Raymond. It becomes more important because Elizabeth Balch the wife of Benjamin Jr the brother of Paul Raymond's wife, testified against both her step grandmother Bridgette Bishop and Sarah Bishop. She was one of only two or three people who did testify against Sarah Bishop, and therefore has a large share of responsibility for the fact that she was convicted. She testified that she and her sister were riding back from a wedding in Salem town and came upon Edward and Sarah riding together, both on one horse. Sources: 1. "Genealogy of the Balch Families," by Galusha B. Balch, Salem,MA, 1897. (22,553p.):11 2. Genealogy Column of the "Boston Transcript," 1906-1941. (Greatest single source of material for genealogical data for the N. E. area and for the period 1600-1800. Completely indexed in the Index.): May 26, 1930, 1160; Dec 22, 1930, 1081; Oct 31, 1910, 1631 3. "History of the Descendants of John Whitman of Weymouth, MA," by Charles H. Farnam, New Haven, CT 1889 (15,1236 p.):559. 4. Margaret Olson ([email protected]): Will:18 Jan 1689. Residence in Salem MA; Beverly MA. Colonial Dames: MA MIL. Will dated 18 Jan 1689. 5. "Historical Background" - The New England Family: "Probably from the Wells-Bruton group, in 1623 came John Balch to Massachusets and built his home in North Beverly, which is still standing, the oldest house in New England, and held for preservation by trustees representing the family. His son Benjamin lived for 86 years in the house and raised a large family of whom there are many descendants from four sons and five daughters."
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