Following the death of John and other inhabitants of Quaboag MA, in 1675, in the battle with the Indians as part of King Phillips War, everyone left Quaboag, Massachusetts (See below for more details of the battle)
|Quaboag or Brookfield battle in 1675|
Captain John Ayres, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and settled as early as 1648 at Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was accompanied by two brothers-in-law, William Lamson and William Fellows, who married his sisters. Ayres married Susanna, daughter of Mark Symonds, of Ipswich. Mark Symonds was born in 1584 in England and died April 28, 1659, leaving wife Joanna and daughters, Susanna Ayres, Abigail, wife of Robert Pierce; Priscilla, wife of John Warner and had Mary, wife of Edward Chapman, who died before her fatherYet another sentence reminds us that Mark Symonds was his father-in-law.
John Ayres removed to Brookfield, Mass, when the settlement of that place was commenced, and in Nov. 1672, sold all his rights at Ipswich, including those "belonging to my father-in-law Mark Symonds,"
He was also listed as an inhabitant of Ipswich in 1648, and married Susanna, daughter of Mark Symonds of who’s (Mark Symonds) estate he was appointed administrator. In such capacity, on November 24, 1659, he sold a house and a three acre lot to another son-in-law of the deceased, Edward Chapman (Ipswich Deed 3:351)
Quaboag PlantationWhen the survivors of the battle who had fled Quaboag, and their descendants wanted to come back, the ownership of the property seemed to be in question.
A petition was sent to the Governing House of Representatives of Massachusetts...
"A petition of Thomas Ayres, Joseph Ayres, Mark Ayres, Natt'll Ayres and Edward Ayres, Sons & Heirs heretofore of Quaboag alias Brookfield, Dec'd Intestate, Shewing that in or about the Year 1660, the Petitioners Father with others bought & purchased of the Indian Natives a Tract of Land of about Eight Miles square then known & called by the name of Quaboag, After which, Viz. in the year 1673, the General Court erected the said Land into a Township by the Name of Brookfield, That in the Year 1675, A War broke out with the Indians, who kill'd Petitioners Father & several other Inhabitants, And the Rest being drawn off by Order of the Government, the whole Town was left desolate, and all the Houses burnt Down by the Enemy, After Which, about, 1690, the said Town of Brookfield was in a likely Way to be settled.
There's a lot more to the petition, which tells how one court set up a committee, which then didn't act at all to settle the issue.
The result of this petition...
Read in the House of Representatives October 26, 1717 and ordered that the Committee of Brookfield be served with a copy of this and the petitioners former petition, and that they appear before this Court on the second Thursday of the next May session, to show reason why they declared the petitioners land to be forfeited.
Sent up for concurrence. Read and concurred.
Consented to: Samuel ShuteSource: 33. Whitmore (A Record of Descendants...), pp. 10-12.
At the time of the petition in 1717, Susanna Ayers, wife of John, had already died in 1683. Since the Ayers family had come from Ipswich to Quaboag, that is probably where they had fled to. The original petition from Susanna had stated she had 7 sons and one daughter.
- Edward, born February 12, 1658, at Ipswich;
- Mark, December 14, 1661;
- Nathaniel, July 6, 1664;
It is also interesting to me that Susanna is noted as having received a small compensation from a fund from Rebecca Symonds, an unknown relation of Mark Symonds.
In 1682, a former resident of Massachusetts Bay Colony, named Samuel Hall, left a bequest of 100 Li to be distributed among the victims of the great fire in Boston and of the Indian wars in the Colony. Suzannah received 33s of this, but died soon after on February 2, 1682-3 Source: Felt, Joseph B. History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton. Cambridge, Mass, 1834, p. 62. and Ipswich Vital Records, Vol. II., p. 485.John had built a tavern in Quaboag, and it was the most secure building from which to fight the Indians, until it was burned down, with the rest of the town.
John Ayres was owner of much land within the Plantation. The amount which he paid John Pynchon for his original grant was 5 Li 12s 6p, or four and a half times the value of a single house lot with its usual allowance of meadow and planting ground (9). In addition to this, he leased a large meadow (Matchuk-19 acres) from John Pynchon from June 28, 1671, until the time of his death. Record of this appears in his account on: June 28, 1671; November 28, 1672; October 23, 1673; and, August 18, 1674 (10). This large acquisition and usage of land indicates that he had grown sons, that he was relatively wealthy, and that he was capable of maintaining such an amount of this most precious commodity. He can certainly be classified as a substantial husbandman.
Although his first actual license for maintaining a tavern was not granted until the Fall of 1671, the following entry leads us to believe that he offered food and shelter prior to that time. On June 28, 1671, the following: “By my expense at his house last summer and once this Spring 00 12 00”. That Ayres was a respected planter is confirmed by the following found in the Record of Hampshire County Court for September 26, 1671: “Goodman Ayres of Quabaug licensed to sell wine, etc.”. This permit was renewed on September 24, 1672: “Goodman Ely of Springfield hath his license continued for the year ensuing to keep ordinary and to sell wines and strong liquors, providing he keep good rule in his house. Also Goodman Ayres of Quaboag hath his license continued on the same terms”. And for the last time on September 29, 1674: “John Ayres of Brookfield hath his license renewed for the year ensuing”. As we know, this tavern was still in operation at the time of the Indian assault on August 2, 1675, and being the strongest building at the Plantation, was converted into a fortified house to provide protection during the siege which followed.
In addition to his other activities, Sergeant Ayres was commander of the small detachment of militia. Although he held the rank of captain during his residence at Ipswich, he had had to accept the lower rank at Quaboag because of the small size of the military contingent. He was assisted in his duties by Second Sergeant William Prichard and Corporal Richard Coy.
John Ayres, as commander of the local detachment of militia, and his subordinate non-commissioned officers Sgt. Prichard and Corp. Coy, were the ones to accompany Captain Wheeler and Captain Hutchinson in the mission of peace to the Indians on that fateful August 2, 1675. All three of these valiant men were to die with others of the military troops sent from Marlboro to treat with the Indians. Even the death of John was not to end the contribution of this man to the welfare of the community, since it was to be his house which was to provide a haven of relative safety and to be occupied and defended by the surviving inhabitants and soldiers through those three gruesome days in August 1675. After the Indian siege of Brookfield had been relieved by the arrival of Major Willard and his troop, the inhabitants left for scattered areas, looking for security and peace. Suzannah Ayres and her children returned to the familiar surroundings of Ipswich where still remained some of her kinship. She presented to the Court at Salem an inventory of the estate of her deceased husband amounting to 195 Li 13s and 6p. In 1678, she is found as the owner of a house in Ipswich. Among those of the family listed as residents of Ipswich in 1678, in addition to Suzannah, we find John Jr., Joseph, Samuel Sr., Samuel Jr., and Thomas Ayres.
In 1703, Samuel, John and Thomas were appointed executors of the estate of John Sr. On January 14, 1716, as recorded in Worcester in 1741, the land formerly possessed at Brookfield by John Ayres Sr., was conveyed to Joseph Ayres of Ipswich by Thomas, Mark, Edward, and Nathaniel, sons of Sgt. John; and by Samuel, son of Samuel and grandson of Sgt. John; and by Robert Day, son of Suzannah (Ayres) (Day) Waite and grandson of Sgt. John.Source:West Brookfield Historical Commission: Meet the Planters - AYRES http://westbrookfield.org/historical-sites/quaboag-plantation/qp-ayres-john-12-49-37-am-2/
The Brookfield Massacre, August 2, 1675
Following the death of John Ayers, Susanna married a man named Mr. Day, and had another son, "Robert Day, (who) resided in 1716, New Roxbury," who also became part of the petition for the land belonging to John Ayers in Brookfield, MA in 1717.
Copied footnotes (The numbers that they refer to may be found throughout the text as I've quoted above.)
1. Whitmore, William Henry. A Record of the Descendants of Captain John Ayres of Brookfield, Mass. Boston: T. R. Marvin & Son, 1870, p 9.
A xerox copy of this book is in the possession of Gloria ODOM (55 pages total).
A copy of this book is in the Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg, PA and in 1984, the book was litteraly crumbling; in 1997 the book would be 127 years old.
2. Whitmore, William Henry. Article “The Ayres and Ayer Families” from New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. XVII (17), Oct. 1863, pp. 307-309. A xerox copy of this article is in the possession of Gloria ODOM (pp. 307-310).
3. Waters, Thomas Franklin. Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Two volumes, published by Ipswich Historical Society, 1905, p. 490.
4. Hammatt, Abraham. The Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Mass., 1633-1700. Printed Ipswich, MA, 1880, p. 13.
5. Waite, Henry E., Esq. Article “Early History of Brookfield, Mass.” from New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. XXXV (35), Boston, p. 337. A xerox copy of this article is in the possession of Gloria ODOM (pp. 333-339).
6. Waters, p. 365.
7. Hammatt, p. 14.
8. Pynchon, John. Account Books of 1651-1705, six volumes. Vol. III, p. 118.
9. Ibid., Vol. V, p. 324.
11. Ibid., Vo. V, p. 325.
12. Pynchon, John. Hampshire County Court Records (Wastebook). Apr. 1663 - Jan. 1672. Connecticut Valley Historical Society Library, Springfield, Mass., p. 89.
13. Ibid., p. 103.
14. Ibid., p. 120.
15. Account Books, Vol. III, p. 26.
16. Ibid., p. 27.
17. Ibid., Vol. V, p. 325.
20. Ibid., Vol. V, p. 324.
21. Pynchon, John, Magistrate Book, 1639 - 1702. Photostats courtesy
Connecticut Valley Historical Society, Springfield, Mass., p. 255.
22. Wastebook, p. 114.
24. Magistrate Book, p. 255.
25. Whitmore, p. 9.
26. Account Books, Vol. V, p. 324.
27. Magistrate Book, p. 149.
28. Ibid., p. 159.
29. Hammatt, p. 13.
30. Waters, p. 94.
31. Felt, Joseph B. History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton.
Cambridge, Mass, 1834, p. 62.
32. Ipswich Vital Records, Vol. II., p. 485.
33. Whitmore (A Record of Descendants...), pp. 10-12.
This data transcribed by Gloria ODOM 1/98. NOTICE: This information is provided freely on the Internet for personal use only. The data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit.
I appreciate the research that those who have worked on this before me have left for me to share with you...and I hope it is accurate. It seems to be well documented.
A main source of this information is an extensive quotation from:
[... Vol. III, pp. 1317-1319 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45.