The Weld Family
This is a transcription of a four-page, unsigned document describing the first three generations of the Weld family in America. The transcription has been edited to correct typing errors and other faults found in the original. The author is unknown. However, the original document is found in “Catherine Faucon and the Faucon Family Collection,” in the Milton Historical Society’s Archives at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA 02186.
Edward Horatio Faucon lived in Milton, Massachusetts, and was the “good” captain in Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast. The two met while they were harvesting hides on the California coast. Faucon later married Martha Weld and enjoyed a long and prosperous career at sea, initially in the opium trade 1845-50, and later, as captain of the ship Frolic bringing Chinese goods to the lively market created by the California gold rush. On July 25, 1850, Frolic was wrecked on the California coast and Captain Faucon returned to Boston and a career in the marine salvage business for Boston insurance interests. During the Civil War he commanded steamships, earning substantial ‘prize’ money for capturing rebel vessels.
Two of Faucon’s contemporaries in the China trade were the Dixwell brothers, John and George. John later became a prominent Boston banker and owned a large mansion in Jamaica Plain. E. H. Faucon’s maritime career and personal life are fully described in The Voyage of the Frolic by Thomas N. Layton.
Several documents in the slim Faucon family archive relate to genealogical research carried out by Edward and/or other Faucon family members. It has been reported that in the 1940s, Edward Faucon’s daughter burned his papers to hide the source of the family’s wealth and preserve her father’s reputation.
(1) Box 27, “Catherine Faucon and the Faucon Family Collection” Milton Historical Society Archives at Milton Public Library
(2) Thomas N. Layton, The Voyage of the Frolic, Stanford, California, Stanford University Press, 1997, pp 62-66, 136-143, 147-152.
Captain Joseph Weld came to Roxbury, New England, undoubtedly in 1632, bringing with him his daughters, Elizabeth, Mary and Hannah. Tradition says that his son, John, remained in England and came over in 1638. His eldest son certainly died in England, and perhaps other children. His wife, Elizabeth, came with him. He was a brother of Reverend Thomas Weld, the first Pastor of Roxbury. Admitted a Freeman March 3, 1636, (he) represented the town of Roxbury from 1637 to 1645. In 1643, John Winthrop Jr., Joseph Weld and several others had granted (to) them 3000 acres of land at Braintree, forever, (to encourage) Iron Works to be set up there. In 1641 the Colony appointed him one of the Commissioners to settle the boundary between Roxbury and Boston. He was chosen a Captain in the service of the Colony about that date. In 1643 he was one of the Commissioners, with Gov. Winthrop, who made a treaty with the Pequot Indians. In 1645, Joseph Weld, being in England on business, Alderman Barclay attached a ship of the Colony, his own ship having been seized for an infraction of the law. But being persuaded to release the ship, he arrested Mr. Stephen Winthrop, the recorder of the Court, and Captain Joseph Weld, who was one of the jury when the case was tried, so that they were forced to find sureties in a bond of 4000. But it pleased God to stir up such a friend as Sir Henry Vane, who was their bondsman. Messrs. Winthrop and Weld petitioned the General Court for indemnity for their expenses when they returned to the Colony, but (it was) in vain. Captain Weld lived on Roxbury St. and was undoubtedly the wealthiest merchant in the Colony at this time. He owned the estate of several acres, granted him by the Colony, now known as the Bussey farm, and belonging to Harvard College, and upon which his son, John, lived. He made frequent voyages to England on business, and in 1646 returned for the last time, probably from Ipswich, England, a place at that time of considerable importance, and being dangerously ill, made his will there. The Apostle Elliot, his particular friend, states in his journal that he died of cancer of the throat and jaws. In 1646, the Colony records state that Captain Weld, of Roxbury, a merchant, not long returned from England, died, and Mr. Pritchard, a Godly man, was chosen Captain in his place. In 1636 his first child was born in New England on the 14th of July, being the sixth and last child of his wife, Elizabeth. He married for his second wife, on April 20, 1639, Barbara Clapp, of Dorchester, daughter of Edward Clapp, by whom he had four children, Sarah, Daniel, Joseph and, just previous to his death, Marah, that name signifying “bitter,” was given her. Captain Joseph Weld died on Oct. 7, 1646, and was undoubtedly buried in the ancient burying ground at the corner of Eustis Street in Roxbury in the Minister’s tomb. He was one of the earliest friends and patrons of Harvard College, (a) donor in 1642 and the very first legacy in his will is given to that institution. His will is about the earliest on record in the Colony and it is exceedingly interesting on account of its minuteness in family matters and showing the pleasant relations that existed between himself and his best friends, and (his) Pastor, the Apostle Elliot.
About the year 1649, his widow, Barbara, married Anthony Stoddard, a man of considerable importance in the Colony, whose first wife was a niece of Governor Winthrop. And we find a bond in Latin in relation to this marriage given by the Apostle Elliot and other Overseers of Captain Weld’s will among the Colony records, dated August 24, 1647. She bore him four children and died in 1654. Captain Joseph Weld was born 1598 in Sudbury, the County of Suffolk, England. His father, Edmund Weld, was a cloth manufacturer, and left a considerable landed estate.
Children of Captain Joseph Weld
I. John, born in England, Oct. 28, 1625. Died in Roxbury, Sept. 20, 1691. He married Margaret Bowen of Roxbury, Dec. 24, 1647.
II. Elizabeth, born in England 1625, married Capt. Dennison, a famous man of Roxbury, March 20, 1641. Had children, Dennison, John, Jeremiah, Mary, Hannah, Sarah, Deborah, William, Deborah. Elizabeth Weld Dennison lived to the age of 91, and died Feb. 15, 1716. The headstone can be seen in the ancient burying ground in Eustis Street, Roxbury.
III. Mary, born in England, about 1627. Married Daniel Harris of Middleboro, about 1648. She died in Middleboro, Sept. 5, 1711.
IV. Hannah, born in England about 1629. By her father’s will of 1646 we find she was engaged to a son of Reverend Dr. Hooker of Cambridge. Neither a record of her marriage or death can be found.
V. Thomas, born in England about 1632. Died in Roxbury, Sept. 9, 1649.
VI. Edmund, born in Roxbury, New England, July 14, 1636. Undoubtedly graduated at Harvard University in the class of 1650, and by its records died in 1668.
The first wife, Elizabeth, mother of the above children, died Oct. 1638. He married second, in 1639, Barbara Clapp, by whom he had the following children:
VII. Sarah, born Sept. 18, 1640. Married July 23, 1663, John Franks of Boston.
VIII. Daniel, born Sept. 18, 1642. Graduated at Harvard University, 1661. A physician in Salem. Married Bethial ______. Died in May 1690, leaving children, Edward, also a physician in Salem, Bethia, Barbara and Elizabeth.
IX. Joseph, born Feb. 6, 1644. Died Dec. 7, 1645 (at) Roxbury.
X. Marah, born Aug. 2, 1646. Married Comfort Starr, 1665.
Children of John Weld, born in Roxbury
John Weld, the father, was born in England, Oct. 28, 1623. Family tradition states that he did not emigrate with his family being but a boy in 1633, but came afterwards to Roxbury, Mass. in 1638. He was made a Freeman in 1650. Married Margaret Bowen of Roxbury, Dec. 24, 1647, and lived on the large farm granted by the Colony to his father, Captain Joseph Weld, now known as the Bussey farm, belonging to Harvard College, in West Roxbury, having purchased all the shares of his brothers and sisters in the same. On June 19, 1676, the Indian war known as King Philip’s war, having just broken out, and he being an officer in the service of the Colony, taking his life in his hand as was the custom in those days, left his wife and family and went forth, making his will before leaving. He returned in safety and did not die until 1691, when his children finding this, the only will he had left, made an agreement, to be found a few pages further on, which is chiefly valuable as giving the autographs of all his children and showing the affection existing between them. His children were:
I. Joseph, born in Roxbury, June 6, 1649. Died Oct. 3, 1649
II. Joseph, born Sept. 3, 1650, baptized the same day. Married first Elizabeth Devotion, 1674. For his second wife, Sarah Faxon 1679. Died in Roxbury, Feb. 14, 1711, aged 62.
III. John, born May 25, 1653. Married Hannah Portia June 22, 1678. She died Dec. 10, 1721. John Weld died Feb. 1, 1737, aged 84. His children were, Hannah, John,Joanna, Abigail, Margaret, Elizabeth, Sarah, Dorothy, and Samuel.
IV. Elizabeth, born Nov. 12, 1665. Married Samuel Gore Aug. 28, 1672. Died ——-.
V. Margaret, born Sept. 29, 1657. Died June 26, 1675, aged 17 years.
VI. Mary, born Apr. 3, 1660. Married Joshua Gardner 1680.
VII. Abigail, born Aug. 21, 1663. Must have died previous to 1676, not being mentioned in her father’s will of that date.
VIII. Esther, born Dec. 28, 1664. Died Jan. 8, 1665.
IX. Hannah, born Sept. 5, 1666. Married William Heath, Nov. 11, 1685.
Margaret Bowen Weld, the mother, was born Apr. 2, 1629. She died Sept. 13, 1692, aged 68.
The Children of Joseph Weld
Joseph Weld, the father, inherited the homestead in West Roxbury and was a Lieutenant in the service of the Colony. He married first, Elizabeth Devotion, Sept. 2, 1674. He married second, Sarah Faxon, in 1679. He died at Roxbury, Feb. 14, 1711, aged 62. His children were:
I. Margaret, born Nov. 5, 1675. Died Feb. 12, 1677.
II. Elizabeth, born Jan.1, 1678. Married Ebenezer Craft, Nov. 14, 1700
Elizabeth Devotion, wife of Joseph Weld, died Feb. 15, 1678. He married second, Sarah Faxon, Nov. 27, 1679. She had the following children:
III. Margaret, born Feb. 17, 1681. Married Benjamin White, July 16, 1701.
IV. Joseph, born July 12, 1683. Married Elizabeth Chamberlain of Roxbury, May 19, 1711.
V. Sarah, born Oct. 25, 1685. She died Dec. 30, 1685.
VI. Sarah, born June 16, 1687. Married John Williams, June 1, 1709.
VII. John, born Aug. 19, 1689. Married Sarah Tucker, Dec. 30, 1719. Died Feb. 1, 1737.
VIII. Thomas, born Jan. 10, 1692. Died Apr. 25, 1692.
IX. Deborah, born Feb. 22, 1693. Married Joshua Child, Apr. 18, 1715.
X. Mary, born Apr. 10, 1695. Married Samuel Davis of Oxford, Oct. 13, 1731.
XI. Daniel, born Aug. 14, 1697. Married Elizabeth Tucker, June 22, 1720. He died Jan. 20, 1761. His wife, Elizabeth Weld, died Jan. 6, 1734. Their children were Daniel, Stephen, Noah, Elizabeth, Job, Edward, David Josiah, Anne.
Aaron Davis Weld married Betsy Williams in 1804. Their son is Aaron Davis Weld of Boston. David was born about 1814, and married Sarah [illegible].
XII. Ebenezer, born Oct. 19, 1702. Married Mary Craft of Roxbury, Feb. 18, 1725.
The widow of Joseph Weld afterwards married Jacob Chamberlain of Brookline, by whom she had no children. She died Oct. 17, 1745, aged 84. Her headstone* can now be seen in the old burying ground in West Roxbury on Walter Street. Her will is to be found a few pages further on.
* Destroyed by boys in 1920. All fragments preserved by C. F. White of Brookline, her descendant through Margaret Weld, above [and] restored by Mrs. Gertrude Hooper.
Transcribed by Peter O’Brien
Production assistance provided by Kathy Griffin.