Name: Robert Barker
Birth: ABT 1616
Reference Number: 7453
Death: ABT 1690 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony
The Great Migration Begins ... NEGHS.
FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth
REMOVES: Marshfield by 1643, Duxbury by 1653
OCCUPATION: Ferryman (copartner in purchase of ferry, 12 January 1641 [PCR 12:77]; on 28 October 1645 "Rob[er]te Barker of the North River, made it appear to the Court that there was due unto him for carrying prisoners and passengers over the North River, which the country promised to pay him iiijs. ijd." [PCR 2:89]; sold his share in ferry, 20 January 1645[/6?]). Innkeeper (licensed on 7 July 1646 "to keep an ordinary at Marshfield, and to draw wine" [PCR 2:105]; on 5 June 1666 "whereas there is a great neglect in both Will[i]am Barstow and Robert Barker in not keeping of an ordinary fit for the entertaining of strangers, the Court have ordered, that William Barstow shall make competent provision for strangers for their entertainment and refreshment this year, and that the other be required to forbear ..." [PCR 4:129]).
FREEMAN: Propounded for freeman of Plymouth 7 June 1653 (where he is listed between William Clarke and Stephen Bryant, both of Duxbury at the time), and admitted 6 June 1654 [PCR 3:31, 48]. In Duxbury section of Plymouth lists of freemen dated 1658 (apparently), 29 May 1670 and 1 [blank] 1683/4 [PCR 5:275, 12:198, 204].
EDUCATION: He signed his will and all deeds with a distinctive mark. His inventory included "a Bible and Psalm Book and spectacles" valued at 17s.
OFFICES: Plymouth Colony grand jury, 1 June 1669, 2 June 1685 [PCR 5:18, 6:165]; petit jury, 3 June 1668 [PCR 4:187]; coroner's jury, 14 December 1652 [PCR 3:28]; Marshfield surveyor highways, 4 June 1645, 7 June 1648 [PCR 2:84, 124]; Duxbury surveyor of highways, 6 June 1654, 8 June 1655, 5 June 1672, 5 June 1677, 3 June 1679 [PCR 3:49, 82; 5:93, 232; 6:11]; Marshfield constable, 2 June 1646 [PCR 2:102]. In Marshfield section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:196].
ESTATE: On 12 January 1641 Jonathan Brewster sold to Robert Barker, John Barker, Thomas Howell and Ralph Chapman "his farm lying at the North River containing one hundred acres of upland with the meadow belonging unto it ... and also the ferry and ferryboats with all the things thereunto belonging" [PCR 12:77]. On 20 January 1645 whereas "Robert Barker is bound to attend and maintain the ferry at New Harbor in Marshfield the aforesaid Ralph Chapman doth take upon him and bind himself ... to attend this ferry and wholly to discharge Rob[er]te Barker and all men else of it, and in consideration hereof the aforesaid Rob[er]te Barker doth freely give him a horseboat and a skiff and the ferry house and barn and two acres of planting ground adjoining to the house," with certain conditions appended [PLR 12:126-27].
On 22 June 1648 Robert Barker gave to "my brother John Barker & his heirs forever the one half of my three acres of marsh that lyeth in the marsh between his upland & the South River which said acre & half is in consideration of part of the meadow my brother lost by the agreement with John Phillips which said agreement beareth date the nineteenth day of June 1648"; this deed was acknowledged by Robert Barker on 6 August 1686 [PLR 1:1].
On 2 August 1653 "Robert Barker desired some course might be taken for the laying out of the meadow allowed him at Namassakeesett, and was referred unto those that were first deputed by the Court to do it ..." [PCR 3:39].
On 19 March 1663 "Robert Barker and Luce Barker wife to the said Robert Barker of Duxborough" sold to John Magoone of Hingham for "a good and valuable consideration ... fourscore acres of upland more or less with six acres & quarter of meadow adjoining to said land which said parcels of upland & meadows were formerly granted & given by the town of Scituate to Henry Merrick inhabitant of the same town"; Luce Barker did not sign or acknowledge this deed [PCLR 5:412].
On 5 March 1666/7 in "reference unto the desire of Robert Barker, that a parcel of meadow might be recorded unto him lying at the North River at Robinson's Creek, and that he hath produced several evidences to satisfy the Court about it, the Court have ordered, that if the town of Duxburrow, or any of that town, do not produce anything to the contrary betwixt this Court and the shutting up of June Court next, that then he, upon such evidence as he shall then produce, may have the said meadow recorded unto him" [PCR 4:141]. On 5 March 1667/8 Plymouth Court noted that the town of Duxbury had not come forward with any evidence against Robert Barker, and so confirmed to him "the said parcel of meadow, being nine acres and an half ..." [PCR 4:174].
On 31 January 1688/9 Robert Barker Sr. of Duxbury granted to Robert Barker of Duxbury, "in consideration of the tender love and fatherly affection that I have and bear to my natural and wellbeloved son," forty acres of upland lying "between my other lands late in the tenure & occupation of my son Isaac Barker deceased and the land of John Stetson deceased," forty acres of upland near Barstow's Bridge, three acres of meadow near Palmer's Landing Place, four acres of meadow on the southwest side of Robinson's Creek, and "all that my meadow and swamp land that lyeth up a certain brook called Pudden Brook and lies to the southeast of my son Robert his house with all that tract of land whereon my said son Robert now liveth & dwelleth, all which said granted uplands & meadows are situate within the township of Duxborough aforesaid and for sometime past hath been and now are in the tenure and occupation of my said son Robert Barker" [PLR 1:310-11].
In his will, dated 18 February 1689 and proved 16 March 1691/2, "Robert Barker sen[io]r of Duxborough" ordered that he "be decently buried as near unto my wellbeloved wife and my eldest son as conveniently may be," appointed "my wellbeloved son Francis Barker" his executor, and bequeathed to son Francis Barker £20 in silver money, to son Robert Barker £10 in silver money, to daughter Rebeckah Snow £5 in silver money, to daughter Abigail Rogers £5 in silver money, to grandson Samuel Barker the land that was bounded out to him and 40s. in money, to grandson Francis Barker the land that was bounded out to him and 40s., to grandson Robert Barker the land that was bounded out to him and 40s. when he comes to the age of twenty-one, to grandson Jabiz Barker the land that was bounded out to him and 40s. when he comes to the age of twenty-one, to grandson Isaac Barker the land that was bounded out to him and 40s. when he comes to the age of twenty-one, to "my son Isaac's six daughters Rebeckah, Mary, Lidia, Judeth, Martha and the youngest of all" £5 apiece, and to son Francis Barker the residue [MD 31:102-03, citing PPR 1:123-25].
On 14 March 1691/2 Francis Barker, James Bishop and Robert Barker drew up the division of the lands which Robert Barker had bequeathed to the five sons of his son Isaac [MD 31:103-04 (which dates the document one day late), citing PPR 1:125-26].
The inventory of the estate of Robert Barker of Duxbury, taken 15 March 1691/2, totalled £142 1s. 11d., of which "his purse and apparel" were valued at £96 1s. 8d. [PPR 1:126].
BIRTH: By about 1616 based on terms of apprenticeship.
DEATH: Duxbury between 18 February 1689 (date of will) and 14 March 1691/2 (date of division of lands to the sons of his son Isaac).
MARRIAGE: By 1663 (and by about 1642 if she was the mother of all his children) Luce (or Lucy) _____ [PCLR 5:412]; no other record gives her name, but she was still living on 7 March 1681/2 when "Leiftenant Robert Barker, in behalf of his mother, the wife of Robert Barker, Senior, is fined £2 10s. for that his said mother sold cider to the Indians, contrary to the law of this government" [PCR 6:82]. (Most secondary sources identify her as daughter of John and Anna Williams of Scituate, but she is not named in the will of John Williams; the confusion may arise because Mary Williams, daughter of John, did marry John Barker, the brother of Robert. On 6 October 1659 "Robert Barker and Deborah Barker, the daughter of John Barker," complained against Ensign John Williams for having misused her, and the court ordered that "Deborah Barker should not be returned again unto her said uncle, Ensign Williams" [PCR 3:164, 171-72]; perhaps someone misread this as calling Deborah Barker daughter of Robert rather than of John Barker. The deed of 1663 in which "Robert Barker and Luce Barker" his wife sell land originally granted to Henry Merrick of Scituate may eventually lead to her identification [PCLR 5:412]. Note that both daughters of Robert Barker named daughters "Luceanna," which would indicate that Lucy was the mother of his children.)
i ISAAC, b. say 1642; m. Plymouth 28 December 1665 Judith Prence [PCR 8:31], daughter of THOMAS PRENCE.
ii FRANCIS, b. say 1646; m. Duxbury 5 January 1674 Mary Lincoln (daughter of Thomas Lincoln, husbandman, of Hingham [Hingham Hist 3:16]).
iii REBECCA, b. say 1650; m. (1) by 1670 Josiah Snow (eldest child born 6 December 1670; her name given incorrectly in some sources as Baker [MarVR 15, 427]); m. (2) Marshfield 23 [blank] 1694 John Sawyer [MarVR 19].
iv ROBERT, b. about 1651 (Robert Barker Sr. d. Duxbury 25 September 1729, a. 78); m. (1) by 1682 Alice Snow, daughter of Anthony and Abigail (Warren) Snow, and granddaughter of RICHARD WARREN (eldest child of Robert and Alice Barker born Duxbury 24 August 1682) [MFIP Warren 31-32]; m. (2) Jamestown 7 October 1705 Phebe Marsh [RIVR 4:5:5], who was Phebe (Cook) (Arnold) Marsh, daughter of Thomas and Thomasin (_____) Cook, and widow of Oliver Arnold and Jonathan Marsh [Thomas Cooke Gen 57-61].
v ABIGAIL, b. say 1657; m. by 1677 Joseph Rogers, son of John Rogers of Marshfield [Joseph Neal Anc 45-46].
ASSOCIATIONS: Brother of John Barker of Marshfield [PLR 1:1].
COMMENTS: On 20 January 1632/3 "Rob[er]t Barker, servant of John Thorp, complained of his master for want of clothes. The complaint being found to be just, it was ordered, that Thorp should either forthwith apparel him, or else make over his time to some other that was able to provide for him" [PCR 1:7]. On 15 August 1633, whereas "Rob[er]t Barker had bound himself an apprentice to John Thorpe, in the trade of carpentry, the said Thorp being dead, Alice, his wife, hath turned over his time, which will be expired the first of April 1637, to William Palmer, nailer, of Plymouth, by the free consent of the said Robert; the said William promising to instruct & teach him his said trade of nailing, & at the end of his time to give him only two suits of apparel" [PCR 1:16]. On 4 December 1638 "Robert Barker, of Jones River, for breaking the King's peace in drawing blood upon Henry Blague," was fined 20s. [PCR 1:106].
The history of Robert Barker of Marshfield and Duxbury is clear from his appearance in the 1643 list of men able to bear arms until his death, but do the three records above apply to the same man? The Robert Barker who was apprentice first of JOHN THORPE and then of WILLIAM PALMER ended his service early in 1637, and so we would not expect to see records of him between 1633 and 1637. The record of a Robert Barker being fined for fighting occurs the year after the apprentice ended his service, and Jones River, although it was in an area that would remain part of Plymouth for some time, was on the north side of Plymouth, in the direction of Marshfield. Thus, although there may be some room for doubt that these early records apply to Robert of Marshfield and Duxbury, there are the threads of an argument in favor of there being but one Robert, and that is the position adopted here.
There is no direct evidence for the marriage of the younger Robert Barker to Alice Snow; in his will Alice's father, Anthony Snow, names his daughters without giving their married names [MD 5:1-5]. The identification is based on the following circumstances: when Anthony Snow bequeathed to his daughter Alice on 28 December 1685, the wife of the younger Robert Barker was Alice; Alice Snow's brother Josiah Snow married Robert Barker's sister Rebecca; and, most importantly, the inventory of Anthony Snow was taken on 12 November 1692 by Stephen Skeff, Michael Ford, Joseph Waterman and Robert Barker, and the first three of these men are known to have married daughters of Anthony Snow [MFIP Warren 8-9, 28-32].
In Scituate records is the marriage on 1 April 1697 of Robert Barker to Hannah [blank], and this is assigned by some sources as a second wife to the younger Robert Barker. There are two reasons that this cannot be true: the last child of Robert and Alice Barker, Lydia, was born in Duxbury on 5 September 1697, several months after the marriage of Robert and Hannah [MFIP Warren 32]; and the birth record for Isaac, first child of Robert and Hannah, as entered in the Pembroke Society of Friends records, calls the father "Robert Jr.," whereas in 1697 and later years the son of the immigrant would have been Robert Sr.
Since Robert and Hannah named their first child Isaac, it is likely that this Robert is the son of Isaac Barker, son of ROBERT BARKER. This Hannah is very likely the daughter of Edward Wanton of Scituate, who names a daughter Hannah Barker in his will. (There is a marriage in Scituate on 2 October 1710 of James Barker to Hannah Wanton, but this is Hannah (Allen) Wanton, widow of Stephen Wanton [MFIP Warren 121-22].)
In 1662 Robert Barker, his wife and his son [presumably Isaac, the eldest] were fined for trading guns with the Indians [PCR 4:11-17]. Between 1638 and 1673 Robert Barker appeared occasionally as either plaintiff or defendant in minor civil suits [PCR 7:9, 72, 102, 125-26, 177, 180].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The 1899 article on the family of Robert Barker, by James Atkins Noyes [NEHGR 53:426ff.], and the 1927 Barker Genealogy by Elizabeth Frye are not fully documented and have many errors. The treatment by L. Vernon Briggs in his Briggs genealogy [History and Genealogy of the Briggs Family, 1254-1937, 3 vol. (Boston 1938), pp. 278-83, 297-304] improved greatly on these earlier versions, reproducing full texts of wills and abstracts of many deeds. Some errors remained in this rendition of the family of Robert Barker, mostly regarding the marriages of the younger Robert; as noted above, many of these have been corrected more recently [Thomas Cooke Gen; MFIP Warren]. None of these sources adequately covers Isaac, the eldest son of the immigrant
Father: Robert BARKER
in Perhaps m by 1642 "if" she was mother to all children
- Isaac Barker b: ABT 1642
- Francis Barker b: ABT 1646
- Rebecca Barker b: ABT 1650
- Robert Barker b: ABT 1651
- Abigail Barker b: ABT 1657 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony