John Edminster
(Abt 1633-1714)


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John Edminster

  • Born: Abt 1633, Scotland 628
  • Marriage: Unknown
  • Died: 1714, Freetown, Bristol, Massachusetts about age 81 628

bullet  Noted events in his life were:

• Background Information. 628
Taken from The Edminster Family in American, by Frank Custer Edminster, Jr., 1965, pp. 1 - 3, with sources cited:

A boat named the John and Sara sailed from London on or about 8 Nov 1651. Aboard were some 200 Scottish prisoners of the English cosigned to a Mr. Charles Kemble of Charlestown. The John and Sara reached Boston early in 1652, Among the prisoners was a John Edmisteire. (2, 3, 4)

The prioners where shipped by the freighters John Beex, Robert Rich and William Greene of London by authortiy of an ". . .ordnance of Parliament dat 20th of October 1651." The rest of the record shows that these men were sent to the colony as "slaves . . . as a sort of banishment for their rebellion." They had been taken prisoners at the Battle of Dunbar, near Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 Sep 1650, when Crowell defeated the Scots and took 10,000 prisoners. Accounts of this battle agree that it was a horrible one. ". . .the dead bodies of three thousand Scots strewed their native soil; and ten thousand prisoners . . . became the reward of the conquerors. Of the prisoners, 5100 . . .being wounded, were dismissed to their homes, the other half were driven'like turkeys' into England. Of these, 1600 died of pestilential disease. . ." (5) Immediately after the battle, the prisoners were thrown into dungeons in a castle of Bass Island, just off the coast.

An exerpt from a letter to Lord General Crowell from Rev. John Cotton speaks about these Scottish slaves: "The Scots, whom God delivered into your hands at Dunbarre, and whereof sundry were sent hither, we habe been desirous (as we could) to make their yoke easy. Such as were sick of Scury or other diseases have not wanted physick and chyurgery. They have not been sold for slave to perpetual servitude, but for 6 or 7 or 8 years, as we do our owne; and he that bought the most of them (I heare) buildeth houses for them, for every four an house, layeth some acres of ground thereto, which he giveth them as their owne, requiring three dayes in the weeke to work for him (by turnes) and 4 days for themselves, and promiseth, as soon as they can repay him the money that he laid out for them, he will set them at liberty."

John Edminsteire
must have become free of his obligation sometime around 1664 because there is a record of a John and Hannah Edminster at Durham, New Hampshire. (7) The author points out the problem anyone working in genealogy knows to well, the many differences in which names were spelled. The name that was written in the ship manifest, Edminsteire is now Edmister. In the records found in Durham, NH, John is written as "Edminster, John & Hannah" while another record records "Edmaster, John and Hannah."

The next Edminster record is also of John (8) It states: "Edminster John 1. 'Edmaster,' Edmester." Age 40, 1673; m. (1) Hannah ____ (2) Sarah Thompson, 17 Jun 1679 (ae. 43, 1682) who was adm. church 24 Apr 1681, by dismission from Reading Church; d. 20 Jul 1714. Issue - 1. Hannah, b. 1 Feb 1662.63. ii. John, 12 Mar 1665/66. iii. Prudence, 15 Jan 1667/68; bap. ae. a . 18, 27 (12) 1686-7; m. Joseph Pike, 1689. iv. Mary, 23 Nov 1670; charged with burglary, 1689 [per files Inferior cour]. v. James." All these children were mothered by Hannah.

Another citation of Sarah's admission to the church spells the last name, Edmister" (11) and is a list of "Persons admitted to full communion . . ." in the First Church in Charlestown, on pg. 21. On pg. 275 of this record book it cites the baptism on 27 Dec 1686 of ". . .prudence D. John (aged about 18) Edmister." (12)

The author points out that from these records, John is shown to be 40 in 1673, which would mean he was born in 1633, 19 in 1652 and 31 in 1664. This makes his age at the time of the arrival of the John and Sara in Boston more reasonable for a war prisoner. Considering the ages that young men were fighting during the Civil War in the U.S., he would not find the first age given, 14, to be just as reasonable. The author also points out that the previous records place John Edminster in Charlestown in the 1670's and 1680's. Accodring to a letter from George Tolman, Secretary, Concord Antiquqrian Society, to Samuel B. Morre, 4 Apr 1903, Concord, Mass.

John is listed in the Charlestown records when his daughter Prudence was baptized on 26 Feb 1687, at the age of 18. (14) Another record of John is from 1688 (15) under the title of "Taxes Under Gov. Andros, Town Rate of Charlestown, A list of the names with the Rates of Ye Inhabitants of Charlestown . . . 21 Aug 1688 that reads "Jno Edmister."

There is a record of a real estate transaction of John Edminster in 1717. (8) "Extate - Tax abated 1689. Buys of John Drinker, garden near fort, 1665. J.D. and w. Sarah, mort. to town house, on above lot 1713." From this we gather that John's middle name began with a "D," that he acquired property in 1665, build a house on it, and morgaged it in 1713. Following this it gives a short account of James. "James 2. Son of John 1; Freetown; m. Anne . . . .Estate - James D. and w. Anne, only son of John E., sells Nicholas Moorey of F., fee-simple of house mort. by father, 1719/20. Ref. S. Austin, S. Baker, J. Breed, S. Dowse, W. Grubb." The Freetown referred to is about 45 miles south of Boston, in Bristol County, Massachusetts, and was a long-time location of the Edmister family. John died in 1714.

Children of John Edminster & Hannah:

Hannah, b. 1662
James E, b. 1664; m. Anne Makepeace
John, b. 1665
Prudence, b. 1667
Mary, b. 1670

Sources, using the same numbers of original book:
(2) NEHGR, Vol. 1, p.378
(3) The Founders of New England, Samuel G. Drake, pgs. 72-76
(4)Suffolk County, Massachusetts Deeds; Vol. i, Item No. 5.
(5) The History of England, John Lingard and Belloc, Hilaire, 1912, Vol VIII, p. 298
(7)Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire; S. Noyes, C.T. Libby, and W. G. Davis, 1928-39, pgs. 50, 216
(8) Genalogies of Estates of Charlestown, 1629-1818, T.B. Wyman, 1879, pg. 330.
(11) NEHGR, Vol 23, pg. 438
(12) NEHGR, Vol 26, p. 27 & 27
(14) A Genealogical Dictionary of New England, showing three generations of those who came before May 1692, on the basis of Farmer's Register; James Savage, 1860, Vol II., pg. 101


© Nancy Lucía López

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