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Although James King, the Founder of our Family in America,. 9 settled first at Ipswich, Mass., where he married and in which place his eldest son was born, yet very soon after this last event he moved to Suffield, where in October, 1678, he had a grant of land and where all his other children were born. In Suffield he lived for nearly forty-five years and there in 1722 he died. There, too, his wife and children and very many of their descendants lived and died. The voting list of the town for the year 1904—two and one-quarter centuries having elapsed since James King settled there—contains the names of eleven of his descendants bearing the surname King, who continue to reside in the old town. Suffield is therefore properly considered the birthplace and the original ancestral home of the family in America.
Springfield, Mass., the parent town of Suffield, was settled in 1636 by families from Roxbury and was called "Aguam" or "Agawam" until 1640. It embraced the territory which afterward became Suffield. The General Court of Massachusetts on October 12, 1670, granted a petition for the grant of a new town "six miles square on the West side of the Connecticut river toward Windsor from Springfield." This was Suffield, at first called Stoney River and also Southfield Plantation. It continued to be a part of Hampshire county, Mass., until 1749 when it passed from the jurisdiction of Massachusetts to that of Connecticut and became a part of Hartford county. Northampton, which was the county seat of Hampshire county, was on the Connecticut river about seventeen miles north of Springfield. Indian troubles and King Philip's War, which lasted from 1674 to 1675, during which time Springfield was destroyed, caused the town of Suffield to be abandoned. Its settlement was also much retarded by the heavy growth of timber which made its clearing difficult. The first town meeting was held March 9, 1682, at which there were only thirty-four qualified voters, of which James King was one.
First Ciicrch Erected In Suffield.
Extract from the Town Records, April 4, 18S5:—"That thoffowniraen shall npon ye townes" cost procure » Udder and ilsoe a red flags to hang ont for a signc that persons may know the time for assembling together."
The town books for recording marriages, births and deaths are of interest. The first of these is a small folio and its entries indicate that it was in use from the time of the town's organization in 1682 to 1740. It is sadly shattered by the wear of two centuries and more than thirty pages are lost. A second book containing similar records from 1740 to 1762 is not to be found. A third book from 1762 to 1799 is in good condition. In Dec. 1799 the town ordered the town clerk (Dr. Alexander King, grandson of James King) to "collect and transcribe all the records of marriages, births and deaths into one book." He had completed the transcription with an index in an admirable manner before his death, which occurred Oct. 12, 1802. This book is now styled "Suffield Records, Births, Marriages and Deaths, Vol. I."
William1 Kinge, born in Ugborough, Devonshire, England, 1622 (?). Though we closed our English Ancestry with his name and there is no evidence that he ever abandoned his residence at Ugborough, or acquired one in America, yet as the constant practice of the family, and those writing on the genealogy of the King Family of Suffield, has been to begin with him as the first, or immigrant, ancestor in tracing down our American line, we may be permitted, in order to avoid possible confusion of enumeration, to follow this precedent; and indeed, as he lost his life on the American coast and was at that time interested in American fisheries, he may perhaps not inappropriately be placed as the first in our American line of ancestry and thus form a connecting link between our English and American lines.
William Kinge married at Ugborough Oct. 16, 1642, Agnes Elwill, who probably belonged to the same family from whom descended John Elwill, created a Baronet at Exeter, Devonshire, in the year 1709. In our title English Ancestry (supra) we gave the record of the marriage of William Kinge and Agnes Elwill as it appears in the Parish Register of Ugborough as follows: "1642—Willimus Kinge et Agneta Elwill nupti erant 16 Octobris." She was buried at Ugborough April 7, 1662, and the following record of her burial also appears in the Ugborough Parish Register: "1662 Agneta, Uxor Gulielmi Kinge sepulta luit septimo die Aprilis."
It is probable that soon after the death of his wife William Kinge brought or sent his two children to America, though neither the date of his nor their arrival in New England can be fixed with certainty. He had, however, become interested in the fisheries on the coast, and we know that he was engaged in that business at the time of his death. Dr. Alexander5 King (Joseph* James3 James2 William1) in his genealogical notes says that "While upon his last voyage in that business he was cast away and drowned on the Banks of Newfoundland," but unfortunately he has omitted to give the date of that occurrence. Dr. Alexander King (as we have heretofore said), though born at Suffield in 1737, yet was during all his early life contemporary with four of the children of James King of Suffield, son of William Kinge, and certainly must have been well informed as to the manner and time of the death of William Kinge, for of these children of James, with whom Dr. Alexander King was very intimate, the youngest was twenty-five and the oldest fortyseven years of age when their father died and they must have frequently heard him tell about the circumstance of the drowning of his father—their grandfather. It probably occurred while James King was at Ipswich, Mass., and before he went to Suffield in 1678.
In connection with the circumstance that William Kinge was interested in fisheries on the American coast and "while on his last voyage in that business was cast away and drowned on the Banks of Newfoundland," and in view of his social standing and position shown by his right to bear a coat of arms, it is of interest to note the importance, at that time, of the Newfoundland fisheries and the fact that a great number of the gentry and even nobility of England were attracted to and were interested in that lucrative and adventurous business. Especially was this the case with those in Devonshire and the West of England.
Newfoundland was the oldest of England's colonies, having been discovered by John Cabot in 1497. In 1500 Gaspard Cortereal, a Portuguese of noble family, sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, and established the first regular fisheries in Newfoundland and in 1517 there were forty Portuguese, French and Spanish vessels engaged in these cod fisheries. Hakluyt's Chronicles inform us that in 1578 the number of vessels engaged in the Newfoundland fisheries had increased to 400, of which only 50 were English. The very great importance of the industry seemed finally to dawn upon England. Letters patent were issued by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Devonshire (half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was also interested with him in the enterprise) to found a colony in Newfoundland, and in August, 1583, he landed at St. Johns and took formal possession of the country in the Queen's name. The next month, however, he was cast away and drowned on the coast, which for a time ended the attempt at colonizing. In 1615 Capt. Richard Whitbourne of Exmouth, Devonshire, was despatched to Newfoundland by the British Admiralty to examine into the fishing industry and to report thereon. On his return to England in 1622 he wrote a "Discourse and Discovery of Newfoundland Trade" which King James by an order in Council caused to be distributed among the parishes of the kingdom "for the encouragement of Adventurers unto plantations there." Many of the gentry disposed of property in order to engage in fishing enterprises there. Sir George Calvert, afterwards Lord Baltimore, obtained a patent covering fishing rights in the surrounding waters and established a settlement near the southern end of the peninsula in Newfoundland, building a handsome mansion there, where he resided with his family for a few years. As early as 1626 more than 150 vessels were annually despatched from Devonshire alone. These left early in each summer. The fish caught were salted and dried on the Newfoundland shores and on the approach of winter those engaged in the fisheries returned to England with the products of their enterprise. (Hakluyt's Chronicles; Pedley's Hist. Newfoundland; Encyc. Brit. "Newfoundland.") Vessels engaged in the Newfoundland trade sometimes went to the Isles of Shoals and New England ports and it is possible that this was the way by which William Kinge brought or sent his son James to Ipswich, Mass.
The children of William and Agnes (Elwill) Kinge were born at Ugborough, Devonshire, England. Issue: 2* i. William2, bapt. Ugborough, Devon., Eng., Dec. 31,
16433* ii. James, bapt. Ugborough, Devon, Eng., Nov. 7, 1647; d. Suf. May 13, 1722; m (1) Ipswich, Mass., March 23, 1674, Elizabeth Fuller; (2) Westfield, Feb. 27, 1716, Hannah Loomis.
END OF FIRST GENERATION.