The World of Grandpa Don

The Rockwood Family Line
 Also families of
Lovell, Dunckley, Ford,
Brown, Eames, and Pierce.


We owe thanks to Sandi Rockwood  Ruscetta for the information she provided and for helping me sort it all out. Without her help the story would have been impossible to tell. Sandi is a descendant of Nicholas Rockwood (1628-1681) and we are descended from his brother John.

Some of the information we have comes from Ancestry,com member family trees. We have made every effort to eliminate errors but please notify us if any are found.

This is their story, as I know it.

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In England

 

Generation A

Robert Rockwood (1572-1672)

There is much conflicting information about the apparent patriarch of the Rockwood family. There are two different sets of parents found for him and so we will just list them as "Unknown". He is believed to have been born in 1572 at Weymouth, Dorset, England. His first wife, Anne Robuck, was born in 1576. There is a report of her Christening on 04 Nov 1576 but no place, other than "England" is given. She is probably the mother of Richard Rockwood who was born in 1602 at Weymouth, Dorset, England. We know of no other children of Anne and she died in England after which he remarried a woman named Elizabeth. It is apparent that Robert Rockwood had gone to America around 1625 along with his wife Elizabeth.

 

Generation B

Richard Rockwood (1602-1660)

Richard was born in 1602 at Weymouth, Dorset, England. The name of his first wife is unknown. They had a son, Joseph born in 1624 and another Nicholas Rockwood born in 1628 at Weymouth, Dorsetshire,  England. and a daughter, Lydia, born in 1630. The fate of the son Joseph is unknown. Richard (age 34) and his wife, along with his son Nicholas (age 5) and infant daughter left England for the Massachusetts Colony in 1633.

 

 

In America

 

Generation 1

Robert Rockwood (1572-1672)

Robert and his wife Elizabeth arrived in Massachusetts sometime before 1628. A son, Nicholas was born to them that year at Braintree. Many family trees list a daughter with the name Lydia Penniman born on 22 Feb 1634 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. One wonders if Penniman may be a middle name given to honor Elizibeth's maiden name or if she is actually their daughter at all. There is also another daughter attributed to them, Phebe born in 1639 at Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts, However, Elizabeth is listed as dyeing in 1636 at Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts which indicates an error of some sort for these individuals.

Robert himself is listed with a date of death of 25 Jul 1672 at Norfolk, Mass Bay, Massachusetts. If true and if his birth date is correct, he lived to the ripe old age of 100. This would be our second ancestor to attain that age in Massachusetts. (The other being Lawrence Copeland (1599-1699))

 

Generation 2

Richard Rockwood (1602-1660)

Richard Rockwood and his wife, with their three year old son Nicholas and infant daughter Lydia about one and a half. arrived in Boston July 24, 1633 after a voyage of twelve weeks.  They came from Weymouth, Dorsetshire, England and settled down at Dorchester. Can you imagine a voyage like that in a small sailing ship with two small children?

Historical note:
Two years after the Rockwood family's voyage, In 1635, on board the ship Charity, around 100 emigrants from Weymouth crossed the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts. More townspeople emigrated to the Americas to bolster the population of Weymouth, Nova Scotia and Salem, Massachusetts; then called Naumking,

 From 1633-45. Nicholas resided with his parents at Dorchester, spent a lot of time in Braintree Mass, Bay Colony. Richard's first wife died soon after their arrival. and in 1636 he married Agnes Anna Lovell. She had been born in 1598 at Weymouth, Dorset, England, the daughter of Robert Lovell and Elizabeth Dunckley. Agnes' mother died in 1629 at Weymouth, Dorset, England and Agnes came to the American colony with her father. It is quite possible that the families knew each other in Weymouth and may even have been passengers on the same ship to America or, Agnes and her father may have arrived on the Charity in 1635.

Spring of  1650-51  Nicholas, who married Margaret Holbrook on 16 Jul 1656 and his family joined a group of 16 from Braintree and formerly from Weymouth, moved to Medfield, Mass. Nicholas drew the house lot  on Bridge St, east of Chartles River. Nicholas built a home and became a husbandman a worthy respected citizen. 

Phebe Rockwood was born to Richard and Agnes in 1639 at Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts and on 01 Dec 1641 we have the birth of John Rockwood in the same place. There apparently was another daughter, Hannah but we have neither date nor place of birth for her.

We have no information regarding Richard's occupation but he must have been a man of means since he received a land grant when he arrived in Massachusits.

Agnes died 09 Jul 1643 at Braintree at the age of 45. Richard died 06 Jul 1660 at Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts at age 58. They were my 8th great grandparents.

 

3rd Generation 

John Rockwood (1641-1680)

John was born 01 Dec 1641 at Braintree, MA. On 15 Jul 1662, John married Joanna Ford. She was born 08 Jul 1643 at Braintree, the daughter of William Ford and Anna Eames who arrived at Plymouth in 1622. John and Joanna were the parents of ten children; John, Priscilla, Richard, Mercy, Joanna, Anne, Joseph, Trial, Deliverance, and Mary.

John fought in the start of King Phillips War. He was a lieutenant. His young son John, Jr. at the age of 12, was one of the first settlers to die at the hands of the Indians.

Joanna died 28 Sep 1676 at Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 33. John died 28 Sep 1676 at the same place at the age of 38. They were my 7th great grandparents.

 

4th Generation

Mercy Rockwood (1667-1700)

Mercy was born in 1667 at Mendon, Worcester, Massachusetts. On 01 Feb 1693 she married Isaac Thayer. The couple had 4 children. For a continuation of this line see The Thayer Family.

 

See Pedigree Chart for
 Mercy Rockwood

 

 

Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
10/29/2013
Rev 10/30/13

 

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