Due to the extensive amount of information contained in the Sawyer line I have decided to break it down into 3 parts. They are Edward 1608 , William 1613 , and Thomas 1616 . click on the name you want to go to and that is the family you will view.

Descendants of Edmund Sawyer

Compiled by George E. Sawyer

All Rights Reserved

October 20, 2000

Descendants of Edmund Sawyer

1. Edmund Sawyer born Abt. 1530, Norfolk, England, married 1554, in England, Unknown Spouse Name, born 1534, England.


2. i Thomas Sawyer born 1556.

Second Generation

2. Thomas Sawyer (1.Edmund1) born 1556, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, married Abt. 1580, Unknown Spouses Name ______, born 1560. Thomas died Norfolk, England.


3. i John Sawyer born Abt. 1582.

Third Generation

3. John Sawyer (2.Thomas2, 1.Edmund1) born Abt. 1582, Lincolnshire, England, married Abt. 1605, in England, Agnes Sharpe, born Abt. 1583, Leverton, L.,England., died 2-Jan-1635, Holton Cum,,, England. John died 15-Jul-1660, Gainsborough, Lincoln, England, Buried: 26-Jul-1660. The three sons of John Sawyer; Edward, William and Thomas came from Lincolnshire, England in 1643, and "were an exceptionally prolific race. They probably outnumbered any other family race throughout New England, unless it be the Wilders; and no one family could equal that of SAWYER." They were well named--they were in fact "sawyers." `If the Sawyers were not born with saws in their hands, the saws came very readily to their hands.....Every town, village, road and lane throughout New England bears witness of their skill and industry.' They were millwrights, wheelrights, blacksmiths, coopersmiths, carpenters, coopers, and they were pioneers in the use of water power. To this day their mills and lumber yards are to be found in the hands of their descendants, and they have made their mark in the academic, political and military worlds.


i Edward Sawyer born 1608, Lincolnshire, England, Occupation: Farmer, married Abt. 1627, in England, Mary Peasley, born Abt. 1610. Edward died 9-Mar-1672, Rowley, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Edward was a farmer of Lincolnshire, England, came to New England in 1636 and settled at Ipswich, Mass., and later removed to Rowley, Massachusetts.

ii William Sawyer born Abt. 1613, Lincolnshire, England, married (1) Abt. 1638, Sarah Thomas, born Abt. 1614, England, married (2) 1644, in Newbury, Essex Co., MA, Ruth Bitfield, born 1623, Newbury, Essex Co., MA, (daughter of William Bitfield and Elizabeth _____). William died 1702, Newbury, Essex Co., MA. William came from England and is fist found in Salem, Mass. in 1640; afterwards in Wenham, Mass. in1643 and the next year in Newbury, Mass. where he settled and raised his family. William was one of the founders of the Baptist Church at Newbury in 1682. He lived in or near what is now West Newbury, Massachusetts.

iii Thomas Sawyer born ---Aug-1616, Lincolnshire, England, Baptized: 24-Mar-1629/30, Lincolnshire, England, Occupation: Yeoman/Blacksmith, married 2-Jul-1648, in Rowley, Essex Co., Massachusetts, Mary (Marie) Prescott, born 24-Feb-1629/30, Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England, Baptized: 24-Feb-1630/31, Halifax Parish, Yorkshire, England, (daughter of John Prescott and Mary Gawkroger Platts) died 12-Apr-1720, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA. Thomas died 12-Sep-1706, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA, Buried: 12-Sep-1706, Old Settlers Burial Field, Lancaster, MA. Tradition says that three emigrant brothers came over from Lincolnshire, England together as passengers in a ship commanded by Capt. Parker in 1636. They were Edward, William & Thomas. Rowley records show that a piece of land was set off to Thomas Sawyer, and another to Edward Sawyer in 1643, one of the boundries of each lot being upon the Ocean. Thomas soon removed to Lancaster, Mass. where he is on the list of proprietors of Lancaster in 1648. He took the Oath of Allegiance in 1647. He was one of the first six settlers and was one of the Prudential managers of the town in 1647. In 1654 he was admitted a freeman. His house was on the East Side of what is now the Main Street at South Lancaster, and next South of the home of his father-in-law, John Prescott. He was one of the leading men of the town all his life. There were only five full-fledged freeman in Lancaster in 1654 -- Edward Breck, Richard Smith, William Kerley, John Whitcomb and Thomas Sawyer. He was a prominent member of the church, and held many town offices. The settlement increased and they lived in peace with the Indians for about twenty years, the Indians being useful in preparing and establishing homes. There appeared a warcloud in the distance. The Indians became unfriendly. The old Indian Chief, Massasoit had died and his mantle rightfully fell upon Wamsutta, his eldest grandson. The government had made a treaty with Massasoit which was faithfully maintained for fifty years. The government, before the death of Massasoit, sought to obligate Wamsutta and Mettacomet, his grandsons, to become citizens of that government, and had wrought upon their pride by giving them great names. Wamsutta was given the name of the Macedonian Emperor, Alexander, and Mettacomet was called Phillip, or King Phillip. These names were intended to work upon their vanity, thus inducing them to become citizens, they not knowing what a trap they were being caught in. After the death of Massasoit, Alexander was required to submit to the government as a citizen. He knew he was the rightfull ruler of the land which his grandfather ruled. He did not obey the government, but went to visit the Narragansett Indians. He afterwards retuned to his home. The government sent a posse to bring him before the magistrates. He was taken prisoner and brought before the magistrates which put him under such obligations as they choose. Wamsutta, alas Alexander, being now a prisoner, his feelings were much wrought upon, and he fell sick, and they sent him home to his own house, but kept him under guard until he died. The rightfull authority of Massasoit now fell upon his second grandson, Mettacomet. He considered that his brother's death was caused by the ill-treatment of the whites. The government now summoned Mettacomet, alias King Phillip, to appear before the magistrates. He refused and instead fled to the interior where the white men could not catch him. King Philip enlisted the help of other Indian tribes and on February 10, 1675 he entered Lancaster with a band of 1500 warriors. Thomas Sawyer, whose house was in the most central part of the Indian raid, seems to have escaped with all his numerous family, with the exception of his son Ephraim, who was killed at the house of his grandfather, John Prescot. Lancaster was abandoned for some three years. After the re-building of Lancaster Thomas Sawyer took a conspicuous part in the growth and prosperity of the town during the next 30 years. In 1705 a war broke out between England and France. The French enlisted a band of 700 French half-breeds to raid the Brithish colonies. The Colonists had anticipated trouble and procured a company of Government troops called the "Flower of Essex" for their protection, and were building a stockade for their defense, intending to winter there. They had grain in Deerfield which they wished to procure, and sent teams for the purpose, and also sent the company of soldiers to protect the teams. The grain was loaded and started for home, with the soldiers protecting them. Going through a swamp near a brook they fell into an ambush by the Indians. The soldiers and teamsters were all killed, except one soldier and one teamster, who escaped to Hadley and carried the news. The brook where the massacre took place has always been known since as "Bloody Brook." After the massacre at Bloody Brook, 500 French & Indians went to Lancaster and after their arrival, Lancaster again became the scene of a bloody massacre. Thomas Sawyer's house again proved a safe defense against the Indians. Many of the French and Indians died in Lancaster, including a high ranking officer. His gravestone in the old settlers' buring ground at Lancaster read: "Thomas Sawyer died Sept. 12, 1706, about the 90th year of his age." Mary: John Prescott, the father of Mary, was the founder of Lancaster, Mass. He was born in Standish, England in 1604. He married Mary Platts at Wygan, Lancashire, January 21, 1629; he died in America in 1683. He left England to avoid persecution. In 1638 he landed at Barbadoes, where he bought land. In 1640 he came to New England and settled in Watertown. In 1643, with Thomas King and others, he purchased "Nashaway" (a part of which is now Lancaster), and became one of the earliest settlers. Nourse, in his "Annals of Lancaster" says the town would have been named "Prescott" had its founder been a freeman; but he had never given public adhesion to the established church covenant, and was therefore incapable of voting or holding office. In 1669, however, he was admitted freeman. He was a farmer, blacksmith and millwright. John Prescott was a heroic figure in the early history of Lancaster and Groton. He brought with him a metallic coat of mail, which he sometimes wore when dealing with the savages; this served to impress them, as his force, capacity and judgment did his white neighbors. Nourse calls him an "ideal pioneer" a "true builder of the nation." He distinquished himself for bravery and leadership in the Indian Wars. He served in the garrison at Lancaster and in the defense of the town against the Indians on August 21, 1675 and February 10, 1676. He had a numerous family of descendants, many of whom have been persons of great ability and distinction. His great-grandson, Colonel William Prescott, was chief in command at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Another descendant was William H. Prescott, the famous historian of the "Conquest of Mexico," "Conquest of Peru." At the time of his death, in 1683, his family had become one of the wealthiest and most influential in Massachusetts. John and Mary (Platt) Prescott had eight children. Mary Prescott was born in England. At the age of eighteen she married Thomas Sawyer of Lancaster, and by him became the mother of eleven children. She survived her husband, who died on September 12, 1706. By the marriage of Mary Prescott in 1648, the name of Prescott was merged in that of Sawyer; and in 1812 the name of Sawyer was merged in that of Munsey.


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