Information on the Family of Samuel Freeman
Samuel Freeman, Immigrant
Samuel Freeman of London, England, came to New England in 1630, arriving aboard one of the vessels of the Winthrop Fleet. His mother died in London late in 1630, and probably as a result of disputes arising over her estate, he soon returned to England. He probably sailed on the Lyon in early 1631, since he is not among those admitted to freemanship in May 1631, even though he had applied the previous fall. By 1634 he had been imprisoned in London as a result of one of the family's many lawsuits, and in 1636 he was still in England. It would appear that sometime between 1636 and 1637, he had returned to New England, as his son, Samuel, was born at Watertown on 11 March 1638. It is certain that before 22 May 1639, he had been granted freeman status, as this was the date on which he was admitted to the Watertown, Mass. church.
His landholdings were many. In an inventory of Possessions, he held seven parcels: homestall of twenty-one acres, homestall of three acres, homestall of five acres, seven acres of upland, nine acres of upland, five acres of plowland, and Great Dividend of thirty-five acres, the latter granted 10 May 1642.
In a letter of attorney, dated 22 July 1640, he describes himself as "now of Watertown in New England and late of Mawlyn in the County of Kent, gent."
Samuel Freeman and wife Apphia Quicke were divorced in 1644, and she later remarried, as the third of his four wives, Governor Thomas Prence.
The exact date of Samuel Freeman's death is not known but was sometime between his last appearance in the land records of Watertown in 1644, and the probate of his will on 15 October 1646.
While born in Eastham, Barnstable, it is presumed he removed to Rochester prior to about 1729, as all of his children were born there.
In 1760/61, Elisha Freeman and his six sons and three daughters, along with other Barnstable and Plymouth families, removed from Massachusetts and established the first english settlement in Nova Scotia. He was a widower by this time, wife Lydia Freeman having died some five years previous. He settled in Liverpool, Queens County, where, in the original book of records of the city of Liverpool, he wrote "Page 1, Liverpool, Feb. 29, 1762; these births, deaths, and marriages, hereafter to be mentioned or to be registered by me, Elisha Freeman, Proprietor's Clerk."
Nova Scotia's inland rivers as well as it's coastal waters were well known to New England fisherman. Having expelled the Acadians, the government of Nova Scotia was anxious to lure New Englanders to settle. Thus, we find that Elisha Freeman, by 1759, had already made the decision to remove to Nova Scotia, when his name appears in the opening paragraph of a warrant of survey: "Whereas John Doggett, Elisha Freeman, Samuel Doggett, and Thomas Foster, on behalf of themselves and the other persons hereinafter mentioned, have made application to me for a township within this Province, and have undertaken to make a speedy and effectual settlement of said Township, Now Know Ye, that I, Charles Lawrence, Esquire, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia, by virtue of the power and authority to me given by his present Majesty King George the Second, under the Great Seal of Great Britain, have erected, and do by these presents, by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council for the said Province, erect into a township a tract situate, lying, and being on the sea coast of Cape Sable shore....". The final grant of township, which was passed 20 November 1764, shows one hundred and forty-two proprietors; the very first name on this list was Elisha Freeman, and he was on the original committee appointed to lay out the lands under this first warrant. In 1765, Elisha Freeman was elected to represent the township of Liverpool in the government of the newly-created Queens County.
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