John Hamilton, #40 on ‘The Dunbar Prisoners’ List

Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published: 02 Jul 2014
Updated: 27 Oct 2016

Find his descendants and researchers here.

Surname variations:  Hamblton, Hamelton

DNA Studies:
Scottish POW: Group 1-B, Haplogroup R-L21
Hamilton Surname: Group R1b-5; Judy and Teresa’s male line has been tested by Robert Hughes and found to be L-1335, “commonly known as STR47-Scots or the ‘Scots Cluster’.” “found particularly in western Scotland, but also as far north as the Orkney Islands and Sutherland.  There is also a cluster emerging in Wales.”

Additional Information:
John Hamilton of Charlestown, Mass. on Facebook
Ancestry.com Online Tree: Descendants of John Hamilton of Charlestown
Yahoo Email Group: John Hamilton of Charlestown, Mass. (c 1634-c 1681)
Immigrant Ancestor: Individual Report for John Hamilton

First Generation in the New World

1. JOHN¹ HAMILTON, born probably in Scotland about 1634 and died at Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts before 5 Oct 1680.[1] He married at Concord before 1668, CHRISTIAN (PROBABLY EDWARDS).[2]

Biographical Notes:
SEE: Timeline and Documents on this page below.

Children of John and Christian (probably Edwards) Hamilton:
2.  i.  JOHN² HAMILTON+, born at Concord  in  Mar 1667/8 [3]
2. ii.  JOSEPH² HAMILTON+, born at Concord on 9 Jan 1671 [4]

Second Generation

2. JOHN² HAMILTON (John¹) was born at Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 1 Mar 1667[5] and died at Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts on 9 Dec 1747.[6]  He married at Concord, in 1697, HANNAH (POSSIBLY HAYWARD – not proven).[7]

Children of John and Hannah (possibly Hayward – not proven) Hamilton:
3.   i. JOSEPH³ HAMILTON, b. Concord 5 Sep 1697 [8] d. Brookfield 4 May 1746
3.  ii. JOHN³ HAMILTON, b. Concord 26 Aug 1699 d. Brookfield 15 Feb 1746 [9]
3. iii. HANNAH³ HAMILTON, b. Brookfield 1704 d. Brookfield 8 Dec 1748 [10]
3.  iv. DOROTHY³ HAMILTON, b. Brookfield 1706 d. Brookfield 1777
3.   v. NATHAN³ HAMILTON, b. Brookfield 1707 d. New Braintree 14 Feb 1795
3.  vi. JONAH³ HAMILTON, b. Brookfield 1709 d. New York 1 Apr 1771
3. vii. AMOS³ HAMILTON, b. Brookfield 1712 d. Brookfield 1772

2. JOSEPH² HAMILTON (John¹) was born at Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 9 Jan 1671.[4]

First Generation SOURCES:
1. Hamilton, Charles William, Genealogy of The Hamilton Family In America, (Salem, Mass.: Higginson Book Company, reprint 1998), 8-9. “In the Middlesex Probate Records, Vol. 5, p. 312, there is recorded, “An inventory of the estate of John Hamilton, lately deceased.”  No place or date is given but the dwelling house mentioned in this inventory, was at “Elm Brook Meadow [Concord, Mass.].” This inventory occupies the lower half of a page and the preceding entry is dated 1681.” “Therefore we can say it was entered after 1681, possibly, several years after that date.”
*Charlestown court records of October 5, 1680, showing the assignment of the John Hamilton inventory to Henry Woodis. 
Dobson, David. Scots in New England, 1623-1873., (Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.), 92.

2. Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.), 338. “HAMILTON, John & Christian _____: b [before] 1668; Concord”

3. Tolman, George. Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Mass.: T. Todd, printer, 1895), 14. (free Google eBook) “John, son of John hamelton & Christian his wife born 1. march 67. [16]68.²” “² County record says 68-69”

4. Tolman, Concord, Massachusetts Births, 16. “Joseph son of John hamelton & Christian his wife borne, 9th. Jen’ 1671”

Second Generation SOURCES:
5. Tolman, Concord, Massachusetts Births, 14.

6. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.)

7.  Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.), 338. “HAMILTON, John (1668-1747) & Hannah  _____ (perhaps had 1/wf Sarah); b 1697; Concord” [On the birth record for Joseph³ Hamilton in 1697, the TRANSCRIBED record says John and “Sarah” rather than “Hannah.” I believe I’ve seen a handwritten copy of the marriage record and Hannah is spelled “Hanah,” one could see how “Hanah” could be misread (from the original) as “Sarah,” and since we have NO record of John having a prior marriage with a “Sarah” I am not including her as a wife. I have added Joseph to the family of John and Hannah.

8. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Massachusetts, Town Birth Records, 1620-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. “Joseph Hamilton ye son of John Hamilton and Sarah his wife was born September ye 5th 1697.” [I believe the wife’s name should be Hanah rather than Sarah.]

9. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Massachusetts, Town Birth Records, 1620-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

10. Ancestry.com. Web: Massachusetts, Find A Grave Index, 1620-2013 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Hannah married William Ayres.

To continue to the third generation, go to, THIRD GENERATION

TIMELINE:
Compiled by Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust:

The following records and discoveries were made over a period of many years and generations by many descendants of John Hamilton. I have to thank Marsha Hamilton, Dan Hamilton, Judy Clark, Martha (Hamilton) Hauber, and Oscar Myron Hamilton for working together with me to refine our understanding of our immigrant grandfather. Any mistakes are all mine!

In recent years, it has been concluded, that the yDNA carried by my paternal ancestors and those of my distant Hamilton cousins is very Scottish. The DNA results indicate that our mid 17th Century Massachusetts-dwelling ancestor was most likely not an English Puritan but instead hailed from Scotland. According to David Dobson there were a limited amount of Scots in New England and Massachusetts in the early and mid 17th century. So the question arises, where was John Hamilton born, if not in England, and why and how did he end up in Massachusetts?

Through further research we have found multiple sources from which we can build a circumstantial case to give credence to the idea that he was a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar, arriving late December 1650 in Charlestown, Massachusetts on the ship Unity.

3 Sep 1650 to Early 1651:
There is a “John Hamilton” listed on the “The Dunbar Prisoners- taken 3 Sept. 1650” list which was compiled by George S. Stewart in the early 20th Century. This document is in the Bartlett Collection at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.

If John was indeed a Dunbar prisoner then he would have been captured on the battlefield on 3 Sep 1650, deported from England on November 1650, and arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in late December 1650 aboard the ship Unity.

The years 1651 to 1658:
We have no records of John during this time which is consistent with being indentured, since most indentures lasted seven years. During this time he was most likely busy working for his master and not doing anything on his own and therefore not creating any records. He stayed out of the courts as well. 🙂

1 Mar 1658:
This land record is the FIRST RECORD of John that we have found, so far. This would be the perfect time for him to start making records, AFTER SEVEN YEARS INDENTURE. We don’t know who his master was but we do still find him in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1658 in land records. He may have been one of the prisoners to have stayed in or been sent back to“Boston” to work at the iron mills factory and shipping yard there.

According to the Charlestown Land Records on page 81:
John Hamblton on 1 March 1658, drew Lott #194, which included, “four acres of woodland and three of commons.” On the same page, next to John, are FOUR other presumed  Scottish prisoners of war: Edward Wyer, Alexander Bow, James Grant and Hercules Corser. All four of these men are on George S. Stewart’s Prisoners of Dunbar list.

16 Nov 1658:
John is not on the Charlestown Tax List – indicating that he has most likely left the area.

1666:
John Hamilton, about 30, 1666, John Hamilton in Middlesex County, Massachusetts Deponents
1666 1m 28. Test: John Hamelton Ae abt thirty yrs taken before Commisioners of Concord, signed Timothy Wheeler, Thos. Brooks, mark & Robert Meriam

Before 1667-1670:
He removed to Concord before 1667.

There is a marriage record for John Hamilton and Christian BEFORE 1668 Concord from: Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004)

Marriage Record for John and Christian.

Their first child, John, was born in March 1667/8 in Concord.
1 March 1667/8, John, son of John Hamelton and Christian his wife, born.

John Hamilton was here a few years, before 1670, but removed to Marlborough.”
~Shattuck, Lemuel, A History of the Town of Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: From Its Earliest Settlement to 1832 : and of the Adjoining Towns, Bedford, Acton, Lincoln, and Carlisle, Containing Various Notices of County and State History Not Before Published, (Boston: Russell, Odiorne, and Company, 1835), 373. (Available for free as a Google eBook.)

1671:
9 Jan 1671 – Joseph Hamilton is born to John and Christian in Concord. [CoVR]

In 1671 is said to have removed to Marlborough, but King Philip’s War in 1675 caused the settlers there to abandon their homes and he probably removed to some town near Boston. Indeed, his son Joseph seems to have been an innkeeper in Boston later.

END OF TIMELINE

Miscellaneous:

QUESTIONS:
#1.  What is the maiden name of John’s wife, Christian? (“The Great Migration, page 412. “CHRISTIAN, b. Concord 15 March 1645/6 [CoVR 3]; no further record. (She may, however, have married James Hamilton and had with him son John, born at Concord 1 March 1667/8, and son Joseph, born there 9 January 1671/2 [CoVR 14, 16]. The chronology is right, and no other woman named Christian is found at Concord this early.“)
Christian the daughter of Robert & Christian Edwards bourne 15 (1) 1645. Recorded at Boston page 3.

#2. Who was John¹ Hamilton’s master/owner?

We also have a reference of John Hamilton as a prisoner from Dunbar in a VT gazeteer, John is identified in a biography of the Stafford family as a prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar as well.  It states:  “[Abbie Mather Hamilton, wife of Joseph Gilbert Stafford ] is a lineal descendant of John Hamilton (1) who was one of the Scotch prisoners of war taken by Cromwell at the battle of Dunbar, September 3, 1650, and sent to this country.  He was given a grant of land in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1658; in 1669 he was in Concord, where he died in 1680.  He married Christian (name unknown) and their children born in Concord, were John, born, March 1, 1668, and Joseph, born January 9, 1671.”
Carleton, Hiram, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont:  A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of the Commonwealth and the Founding of the Nation, Volume II, (New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1903) 203-204.  (Available for free as a Google eBook.)

Working Notes:
Clark, Frank M., article written. (current location unknown, possibly from the NEHGR, Vol. 3, 241-242). (1897) says, “An inventory of the estate of John Hamilton, lately deceased.” No place or date is given but the dwelling house mentioned in this inventory, was at “Elm Brook Meadow [Concord, Mass.].” This inventory occupies the lower half of a page and the preceding entry is dated 1681.” “Therefore we can say it was entered after 1681, possibly, several years after that date.”

Dobson, David. Scots in New England, 1623-1873., (Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.), 92.

Silas Hamilton birth and marriage Hannah Hoit name Citation: The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, V.1-8 (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2013), (Orig. Pub. by Frank J. Doherty, Pleasant Valley, NY. Frank J. Doherty, The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York: An Historical and Genealogical Study of All the 18th Century Settlers in the Patent, ten volumes. 1990–2003), 131. (http://www.americanancestors.org/databases/beekman-patent-the-settlers-of-vols-1-8-dutchess-co-ny/image/?volumeId=12176&pageName=131&rId=137663115)

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