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Full text of "Brief account of the family of Homer or de Homere of Ettingshall, County Stafford, Eng. and Boston, Mass"

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BRIEF ACCOUNT 

OF THE 

FAMILY 

OF 

Homer - de Homere 

OF 

ETTINGSHALL, CO. STAFFORD, ENG. 

AND 

BOSTON, MASS. 
fL\ XON^ 3EN JAtAlN H0ME"R] 




ALBANY, N. Y. : 

JOEL MUNSELL S SONS, PUBLISHER S 

1889 



U?1 



Fort Orange Press : 
Brandow Printing Company, Albany, N. Y. 



dor «-■»» 



HOMER FAMILY. 




fOMER is an old Saxon name derived in all 
probability from the manor of Homere, 
:) now called Hummer, County Somerset, Eng- 
land. 

As "'boh " signifies high, and " mere " a pool or lake 
it may mean high lake. Mere, however, also means a 
boundary, a ridge of land. There is a fish-pond at 
Hummer, but no lake. 

It is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but it occurs 
no less than eight times in the Inquisitiones Post 
Mortem from 5 Richard II., (1381-2) to 2 Henry V., 
(1414-15), as "Homere mess' 'tterr'" i. e., Homere, 
messuage or manor and lands, and strange to say 
always spelt in the same way, for the old clerks were 
exceedingly careless in that respect, and in ancient 
documents surnames are often spelt two or more dif" 
ferent ways even in the same deed. 

There are no remains of the manor house which is 
not surprising as it was probably built of wood as was 
then customary. 

The first of the surname on record is Thomas de 
Homere, Lord of the manor of Homer, to whom lands in 
the neighboring county of Dorset were granted A. D., 
1338, by Lord Maltravers.* His name appears in two 

* Collectanea Topographica et Genealogical ol. 6, p. 349, London, 1840 



4 HOMER FAMILY. 

deeds, both of the same year, as Thome de Homere 
and Thomam de Homere. 

In the fourteenth century according to a tradition in 
the family of the Staffordshire Homers, their ancestor 
left his native county on account of having fought a 
duel, and settled in the county of Stafford, where he 
or one of his descendants built the house of Ettingshall, 
near Bilston, parish of Sedgley, and as the name of 
Thomas de Homere does not occur again in connection 
with the manor, which in the latter part of this same 
century (viz. A. D. 1381) was held by John Wydeford, 
to whom or to whose predecessor he may have sold it, 
it is exceedingly probable that this Homere was the 
founder of the Ettingshall family, especially as this 
tradition was received in 1855 from Mr. Benjamin 
Homer of Bilston, an old gentleman of seventy, whose 
name occurs in Pigott's Directory under "Gentry'' and 
in White's (1851) as " Homer. Benj., gent.," and who 
had never heard of Thomas de Homere, besides which 
the name is a very uncommon one and only found in 
Staffordshire, f 

Surnames with few exceptions, were assumed about 
the year 1000. It soon became customary to be named 
after one's landed possessions, and the territorial de was 
introduced into England by the Normans in 1066. 

Thomas of Homere's family had probably held the 
manor for so long a period that they considered the 
name hereditary and it was therefore retained by him 
when he parted with the lands to John Wydeford, 

f Homerton in Middlesex has no connection with this surname, having 
been originally a hammer or forge town. 



HOMER FAMILY. 5 

who it is evident did not assume the name of Homer 
but retained his own, derived either from some other 
manor, or from the place he came from ; it is impos- 
sible to say which as he had already dropped the prefix, 
which in the latter case would have been the Saxon 
" atte," John at the Wide-ford. 

There was a family of Homers residing at Solihull, 
Co. Warwick, but one of them informed me about forty 
years ago that they were a branch of the Ettingshalls 
although they did not bear the same Arms as the latter 
who carry argent, a cross-bow, sable between four cocks 
gules, and I have a painting of these Arms which 
belonged to my great-grandfather Benjamin Homer 
who died in 1776. 

Ettingshall was an old half-timbered structure of the 
so-called Elizabethean type. It was in such a state of 
decay that it was taken down about the year 1868. Its 
being of wood shows it was probably older than the 
time of Elizabeth as they were then beginning to build 
of stone. Harrison, who wrote during her reign says : 
" The ancient manoursof our gentlemen are yet and for 
the most part of strong timber, in framing whereof our 
carpenters have been and are worthilie preferred before 
those of like science among all other nations. Howbeit, 
such as be latelie builded are commonlie of either bricke 
or hard stone, or both " 

Many timber houses still remain. Bramhall House, 
Co. Chester, is a good specimen and is believed to date 
from the fourteenth century. The great hall measures 
thirty-six feet long by twenty-six broad. The old house 
of the French Ambassadors in Butcher's Eow, London, 



6 HOMER FAMILY. 

demolished about 1803, was built of timber and was 
covered with roses, fleurs-de-lis and dragons, and the 
famous Nonsuch House on old London Bridge was con- 
structed entirely of timber carved and gilt. It was 
four stories high and was built in Holland. 

Before the Reformation one of the Homers built a 
mortuary chapel beside and forming part of the chancel 
of the old church of Sedgley, and the family vault 
was under it, the entrance being from the inside of the 
chancel. On account of its age and dilapidated state 
the church was taken down and rebuilt by Earl Dudley 
in 1829, when the vault which was also rebuilt, was 
left outside, as may be seen by the plans still preserved 
showing where the old mortuary chapel stood, and 
which was not rebuilt, probably not being considered a 
proper annexe to the chancel of a Protestant church. 

Edward Homer erected a pew in this church in 1626, 
which was occupied by his descendants until the de- 
molition of the church when the oaken seat was given 
to Earl Dudley, who to preserve it as a relic, had it 
built in the wainscot of one of his houses, The Park, 
Wren's Nest Hill, near Dudley. In 1887, I requested 
F. A. Homer, Esq., J. P., of Sedgley to ask the present 
EaiTs permission to have it photographed, but his 
Lordship very kindly made him a present of it and it 
is now in Mr. Homer's possession. 

It bears the following inscription : 

This : sete : setvp : at : the : proper : cost : and 
charis : of : Edward Homer : anno : domni : 1626. 

Although *' pews " are mentioned as early as 1546 

still they were for a long time confined to the family 



HOMER FAMILY. 7 

of the patron or of the leading families, and were ex- 
ceptional rather than otherwise, until ahout 1600, and 
even thirty years later Weever, writing in 1631, com- 
plains of pews as a novelty . 

The surname first occurs in the Parish Register of 
Sedgley in 1560, written Holmer, but prior to that date 
some of the family had removed to the adjoining 
county of Worcester, and the first entry of the name 
there, A. D. 1552, is an abbreviation of Holmer ; the 
second in 1559, an abbreviation of Homer. It then 
appears in Sedgley as Holmer, and the year following, 
1561. in Worcester as Homer. 

Humf. Holm. m. Elizabeth Thorne, at Hartlebury, 
Co. Worcester, Nov. 13, 1552. 

Anthony Horn. gent. to. Dorothy dau. of John Rowse, 
Esq., of Rous Lench, Co. Worcester, June 12, 1559. 

Richard Vidian m. Joan Homer at Hartlebury, July 
15, 1561. 

As is generally the case with parish registers, not 
only are the Sedgley entries very imperfect, no parents 
names being given in the sixteenth century, but there 
are also sundry gaps ; no baptisms having been record- 
ed for sixty-one years, from 1573 to 1634 ; no marriages 
for sixty-three years, from 1565 to 1628, and no deaths 
for fifty-four years, from 1606 to 1660. 

The first entry is, "Baptized was William Holmer, 
January, 1560 ;" the next, "Buryed was Eliz. Holmer, 
June, 1560," followed by " Elizabeth Holmer married 
Friday, September 1561,"— not even giving the name 
of her husband ! 

Besides the above William a second of the name, was 
baptized in 1563, a John in June, 1565, and an Ellen six 



8 HOMER FAMILY. 

months later ; a Margaret in June, 1570, and an Eliza- 
beth next month, a Richard in August, 1571, and a 
second John in November of the same year, showing 
that there was at least two families of the name in the 
parish, and in the following century there were two or 
more designed " of Ettingshall," at the same time- 

Richard Holmer m. Oct. 1565, Margaret Wright, and 
after this marriage occurs the birth of Philip, 1567, 
{pb. 1569); Margaret in June and Elizabeth in Jul}, 
1570 ; Richard* in August and John in November, 1571 ; 
Joane in January and Anne in October, 1573, — some of 
whom may have been the issue of this marriage. 
Richard Homer of Ettingshall was buried September, 
1606. Although only called "of Ettingshall, 1 ' in the 
record of his death it does not follow that he had only 
shortly come into possession. It may have been previ- 
ously omitted by neglect. 

Edward Holmer (I.) who may have been grandson 
of above Richard Homer of Ettingshall, m. July 8, 
1628, Elizabeth Wilkes, and had issue : 

1. Edward, bapt. Nov 5, 1634. 

2. Thomas, bapt. June 15. Buried July 2, 1637. 

3. Simon, bapt. Mar. 10, 1639. 
■4. Richard, bapt. Jan. 23, 1642. 

He was buried Dec. 19, 1681, when he is called " Old 
Edward Homer of Ettingshall," and his wife Elizabeth 
Homer of Ettingshall was buried Feb. 22, 1685. His 
eldest son 

Edward Homer (II.) of Ettingshall, m. July 16, 1656, 
Anne Gibbins. Although written Holmer at birth, he 
is then styled "Edward Homer son of Edward Homer," 

*He probably went to London where a Richard Horner, gent., died in 
1615. 



HOMER FAMILY. 9 

and at the death of his son Joseph is called "Jr. of 
Ettingshall." He had issue : 

1. Joseph, buried Feb. 9, 1660. 

2. Anne, fca.pt. Jan. 7, 1661. 

3. Edward, bapt. Nov. 9, 1664, and probably died 
young, as a second of the name was bapt. in 
1668. 

4. John (Captain), bapt. Mar. 20, 1665. Ancestor of 
the American branch, of whom hereafter. 

5. Edward, bapt. Feb. 9, 1668. of whom next. 

6. Mary, bur. July 25, 1672. 

7. Francis, bapt. Sept. 11, 1673. 

8. Rebecca. 

Mrs. Anne Homer was buried May 12, 1675, and he 
married again, as Benjamin, son of Edward and Jane 
Homer of Ettingshall was bapt. Nov. 23, 1682, and 
this Benjamim, m. Feb. 1, 1703, Mary Palmer. 

Edward Homer (II.) was succeeded by his son 

Edward Homer (III.) of Ettingshall, who had issue 
by Mary his wife, a son Benjamin, bap. Sept. 16, 1710. 

Edward Homer of Ettingshall was buried July 10, 
1731, ae. 63, and his line is not carried further in the 
Register. 

We now take up another branch, not knowing which 
of the two is oldest, but even if it was that of Edward 
the succession merged into the following : 

Henry Homer of Ettingshall, m. May 16, 1661, Eliz- 
abeth Kurton, and is then styled "son of the widow 
Homer of Ettingshall," but it is difficult to say whose 
widow she was. Perhaps she may have been the relict 
of a younger son living at home ; for instance of 



10 HOMER FAMILY. 

Simon, born 1639, who may have married and died 
soon after. 

Henry Homer is called " of Ettingshall " in 16o7, and 
also at his death in 1719. He had issue : 

1. Mary, bapt. April 2, 1662. 

2. Thomas, bapt. Aug. 10, 1664. 

3. Anne, bapt. Dec. 21, 1667. 

4. Elizabeth, bapt. Dec. 21, 1667 and buried Nov. 5, 
1673. 

Mrs. Homer was buried Nov. 13, 1668. He was buried 
May 16, 1719. His eldest son 

Thomas Homer of Ettingshall had issue by Elizabeth 
his wife : 

1. Thomas, bapt. Apr. 16, 1702. 

2. Anne, bapt. Dec. 10, 1703. 

Mrs. Horner was bur. Oct. 20, 1704. Thomas Homer 
of Ettingshall, gent., was bur. June 4, 1730, ae. 66, 
and was succeeded by his son 

Thomas Homer (II.) of Ettingshall who m. Patience 
dau- of Richard Keelinge. He d. 1767, ae. 65, and was 
sue. by his son 

John Homer of Ettingshall, who m. Martha Cox. 
On account of the encroachment of the colleries which 
made the place no longer desirable for a gentleman's 
residence he sold the greater part of the Ettingshall 
estate and went to reside at another family property, 
Bromley Hall, in the same county, where he d. in 1788, 
and was sue. by his son 

Richard Homer, who m. firstly Mary Weaver and 
secondly Elizabeth Kemp. He sold the remainder of 
the Ettingshall property, and d. at Pedmore Hall, Co. 
Worcester in 1847. His son 



H OMER FA MIL Y. 1 1 

Charles Kemp Homer, m. Anne Mary Leake. He 
d. at his house in Seclgley in 1857, having had issue, 
with two sons who d. s. p. in., and a dau., two sur- 
viving sons 

(1.) Thomas Keelinge Homer, and 

(2.) Frederick Augustus Homer, a Magistrate for the 
Co. of Stafford. Both of Sedgley. 

We now return to 

Captain John Homer, eldest son of Edward Homer 
(II.) of Ettingshall, who was baptized March 20, 1665, 
and who appears to have resigned his right of succes- 
sion to his younger brother, probably however for an 
equivalent, as he was owner or part owner of the 
vessel he commanded. 

The term "Captain" by which he was called, is used 
throughout to distinguish this John as the founder of 
the American branch. 

Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary, considers it 
doubtful that he was a son of Edward, but although 
the Ettingshall family were very careless about their 
records still they had preserved some memory of their 
ancestors, and about the year 1855, Mr. Benjamin 
Homer of Bilston, already referred to, said there was a 
Captain John Homer who emigrated to Boston and a 
few years afterward returned home and paid a long 
visit to his family, and that he was a son of Edward 
Homer of Ettingshall. He said moreover that his own 
father and gTandfather, and if my memory serves me, 
his great-grandfather also, were all named Benjamin, 
and that his only son, likewise a Benjamin, died a mid- 
shipman in the Eoyal Navy, and it will be noticed that 
commencing with the Benjamin born in 1682, and his 
American nephew born in 1698. there were five Benja- 



12 HOMER FA MIL Y. 

mins in the Boston branch, showing this was a favorite 
name in the family. 

At this time the Parish Register had not been exam- 
ined and I was not aware of the existence of Benjamin, 
step brother of Captain John, nor of his (Benjamin's) 
son Benjamin, who were undoubtedly the one's referred 
to by old Mr. Homer. There were then five of that 
Christian name in direct succession in his line. 

The Hon. James Savage quotes Somerby, the Gene- 
alogist, as his authority, but the latter made the inqui- 
ries for me. He had not time to go to Bilston but 
wrote to Mr. Homer and some days after, that gentle- 
man who had come up to London to consult an occulist 
called on him to apologize for his neglect in not re- 
plying, and Mr. Somerby wrote me a fnll account of 
the interview. 

Until then I did not know who was the father of 
Captain John, and several years after desiring to con- 
firm the statement wrote to the Parish Clerk who sent 
me a very few names, but there was neither a John nor 
a Benjamin among them. He professed to have exam- 
ined the Register carefully, but either he could not 
decipher the crabbed writing or was too careless to do so. 

Lately however Mr. F. A. Homer had the Parish 
Register brought to his own house and carefully exam- 
ined, with the result not only of discovering the one 
important entry, but also a great many more which the 
parish clerk had overlooked. 

I may add that Mr. B. Homer of Bilston, was bom 
about seventy years after Captain John's death, which 
is not long for a tradition, besides which the connexion - 
ship between the English and American lines had not 



HOMER FAMILY. 13 

been entirely lost until recently as about the year 1818 
two Boston gentlemen connected on the mother's side 
with our family, Mr. Joseph Joy, of Beacon St., and 
Mr. Samuel Cobb, paid a visit to their Staffordshire 
cousins by whom they were very hospitably received. 
Mr. B. P. Homer of Boston, who died in 1838, knew all 
about this, but his three surviving children had forgot- 
ten the particulars. 

Captain John Homer emigrated to Boston, circa 1690, 
and m. July 13, 1693, Margery Stevens. They had 
issue six sons and two daus. viz : 

1. John, b. Aug. 8, 1694. According to a Mss. of the 
Rev. Jonathan Homer, he died young. Savage 
however, says administration of a John Homer 
was given to Mary Homer, Dec. 19, 1738. 

2. Mary, 6.1696, cl. young. 

3. Benjamin, b. May 8, 1698. Of whom next. 

4. William, b. June 29, 1701. 

5. Michael, b. Sep. 26, 1703, m. and had fo:.r sons, of 
whom the eldest, William Homer, b. 1727, was 
father of Joseph Warren Homer, father of the 
late Peter Thacher Homer of Boston. The second 
son, Michael Homer, was father of the Eev. Jon- 
athan Homer of Newton, Mass., S. T. D., S. H. S., 
who cl. s. p. in 1843. 

6 Robert, b. May 29, 1706. Merchant at Honduras, 
Central America. He sent his sons to Boston for 
their education and afterwards converted his prop- 
erty into Spanish doubloons and he and his wife, 
dividing the gold, embarked in two different ships, 
both of which were supposed to have been cap- 
tured by buccaneers. One of his sons was ances- 



14 HOMER FAMIL Y. 

tor of Charles Homer of Boston, who m. a dau. 
of Horatio Sprague, U. S. Consul at Gibraltar, 
and had issue : 

7. Thomas, b. 1707. 

8. Mary, b. 1708. 

There was a Michael Homer residing in Boston in 
J 676, when he petitioned for release from impressment 
for the war, saying he had had one servant killed. He 
was probably a relation of Captain John, as he was 
married on the same day with him, July 13, 1693, to 
Mary Burrows. 

In 1679, a Roger Homer commanded the ship Malla- 
goe Merchant, bound from Barbadoes to New York. 

Captain John Homer d. Nov. 1, 1717, ae. 52. His 
widow d. in Yarmouth, Mass., in 1762, ae. circa 96 or 
98. His second sou 

Benjamin Homer (I.) was b. in Boston, May 8, 1698. 
He removed to Yarmouth, Mass., where he bought a 
house and farm, which house was standing about the 
year 1850, and was still a good one. It was two stories 
high and at the time it was built must have been one 
of the best houses in the town. He m. there, Elizabeth 
Crowe or Crowell, dau. of John Crowe and Bethia 
Sears, his wife, and granddaughter of John Crowe, one 
of the three original grantees of Yarmouth, Repre- 
sentative to the General Court and Magistrate. 



SEARS FAMILY. 



John Sayer, Alderman of Colchester, County Essex, 
England, d. in 1509, and his widow d. 1530. They were 
buried in St. Peter's church, and the following brass 
memorial is still in existence : 



HOMER FAMILY. 15 

"In this yle and neare unto this place areburyed the 
bodyes of John Sayer sometyme Alderman of this 
Towne of Colchester and of Elizabeth his wyfe which 
said John dyed the xiiij day of February in the year of 
our Lord God MCCCCCIX." and which said Elizabeth 
dved the xxvij day of April in the yere of our Lorde 
God MCCCCCXXX." 

His son John Sayers d. 1562, and was buried near 

his father, with the following memorial, also in brass : 

" John Sayres bodye lyeth enclosed here in grave 
Whose ghost the heavens do possess, whose fame on 

earth we have 
His life and eke his death with good report he past 
And now (doubtless) doth enjoy the life that aye 

shall last. 
When fiftene hundreth - yeares and sixty three were 

spent 
From Chryst his Byrth accounted just from payne 

to joyes he went. 

He dyed Ano Dni 1563/ 1 

His eldest son Richard Sayers, b. 1508, m. Anne 
Kny vet, dau. of John Kny vet of Ashwelthorpe, County 
Norfolk, by his wife Jane, dau. and sole heiress of John 
Bourchier, second Lord Berners, by his wife Catherine, 
dau. of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Her mother, 
Anne Plantagenet was dau of Thomas of Woodstock, 
Duke of Gloucester, son of King Edward III. 

Richard Sayer or Sayres, a political refugee, settled 
in Amsterdam in 1537, and d. 1540, leaving a son John 
Bourchier Sayer, b. 1535, m. Elizabeth, dau. of Admiral 
Sir John Hawkins, and d. in Holland. His son John 
Bourchier Sayer (II), b. in Amsterdam, 1561, m. 1585, 
Maria Lamoraal van Egmond, dau. of Philippe Lam- 
oraal van Egmond, (believed to have been a relation of 
the famous Count Lamoraal van Egmond, who was 



16 HOMER FAMILY. 

murdered by the bloody Duke of Alva), and acquired 
with her a large fortune. He d. 1629. His eldest son 
Richard Sayer or Sears, b. in Holland in 1590, attached 
himself to the congregation of the Rev. Mr. Robinson, 
and sailed for America, landing in Plymouth in 1630. 
He to. there Dorothy, sister of the Rev. Anthony 
Thacher. He was a representative to the Colony Court 
and d. 1646, ae. 86. His second son, Paul Sears, to- 
Deborah Willard, and was father of Bethia, wife of 
John Crowell, whose dau. Elizabeth, m. Benjamin 
Homer to whom we now return. 



Benjamin Homer (I.) had issue, six sons and three 
daughters, viz., 

1. Bethia, b. March 18, 1722, m. Benjamin Cobb, of 

Boston. 

2. John, b. Sept. 28, 1724, to. Sept. 28, 1749, Abigail 

Osborn of Nantucket, of whom next. 

3. Margery, b. June 13, 1727, m. Jan. 3, 1765, William 

Sears of Harwich. 

4. William, b. July 14, 1729. A Loyalist. Removed 

to Barrington, N. S., and d. a bachelor on voyage 
from Barbadoes to Boston. 

5. Benjamin, b. Aug. 5, 1731. Removed to Boston. 

Of whom hereafter. 

6. Stephen, b. April 15, 1734, to. Elizabeth Chapman 

of Yarmouth. 

7. Thomas, b. March 21, 1736, to. Nov. 21, 1765, Eliz- 

abeth Sears and removed to Vermont. 

8. Elizabeth, b. Nov. 18, 1738, m. David Knowles of 

East ham. 

9. Robert, b. Jan. 28, 1742, to. first, Jerusha Sears, 

and secondly the widow of John Thacher. 



HOMER FAMILY. 17 

Mr. Homer d. in Yarmouth, Oct. 24, 1776, ae. 78. 
His eldest son John Homer, removed to Boston and was 
a merchant and ship owner. He was also one of the 
"Sons of Liberty,'' an association of fifteen gentlemen 
formed about 1 76S. who were in the habit (for there 
were no clubs in those days), of meeting at the old Green 
Dragon tavern, in Hanover street. 

During the year 1768, the Massachusetts Assembly 
voted to raise a Committee of Correspondence with her 
sister colonies, upon their mutual grievances, which 
alarmed the British Ministry who gave instructions to 
Governor Bernard to express to the House their disap- 
probation of the Act and to demand its repeal. This 
led to a warm debate which resulted in a vote " Not to 
Rescind " 

The Sons of Liberty, in order to commemorate this 
event had a massive silver punch bowl made, on which 
was engraved, together with several emblematical de- 
vices, the following inscription : 

" ' To the memory of the glorious ninety-two Members 
of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts 
Bay, who, undaunted by the insolent menaces of vil- 
lains in power — from a strict regard to conscience and 
the liberties of their constituents — on the 30th of June 
1768 voted ' Not to rescind.' " 

On the reverse side are " 45" " Wilkes and Liberty"* 
and along the edge are the names of the " Sons " in the 
following order : 

*This refers to that shamefully traduced man, John Wilkes, who con- 
quered for us the freedom of the press, and the number (45) of his paper, 
the North Briton, which caused his prosecution by Government. He is 
too often judged from his portrait by Hogarth which may be styled a 
political caricature. The "villains in power" were the. British Ministry, 
and they were not unaptly so styled. 



18 HOMER FAMILY. 

John Homer, William Bowers, Peter Boyer, Benja- 
min Cobb, William Mackay, John Marston, Caleb 
Hopkins, Nathaniel Barber, John White, Daniel Mal- 
colm, Benjamin Goodwin, John Welsh, Fortesque 
Vernon, Daniel Parker, Ichabod Jones, — all of whom 
belonged to Boston. The fourth, Benjamin Cobb, was 
brother-in-law to John Homer, having married his 
sister Bethia. 

Although a " Son of Liberty " in 1768, John Homer 
was a loyalist a few years later and accompanied the 
Royal army to Nova Scotia in 1776, and thereby lost a 
great deal of shipping and also landed property which 
was confiscated. He settled at Barrington, N. S., and 
was father of Joseph Homer, J. P., Collector of Customs, 
who had issue (I.) John, member of Provincial Assem- 
bly, d. 1846, and was sue. as member by his son John 
W. ; and (II.) Joseph, father of J. A. R. Homer, M. P. 
of New Westminster, B. C., who was member of the 
first Legislative Assembly in British Columbia, and 
member Dominion Parliament, d. 1816. The family in 
Nova Scotia still treasure up some silver plate and 
choice old furniture which John the loyalist brought 
from Boston. 

The second surviving son of B. Homer (I.), 

Benjamin Homer (II.) b. Yarmouth, Aug. 5, 1731, 
removed to Boston and m. Oct. 23, 1759, Mary Perrott, 
dau. of Bryant Perrott and Ruth Wadsworth his wife. 



PERROTT FAMILY. 



Bryant Perrott of County Somerset, England, and 
Hannah his wife, had a son Bryant, b. 1690. He was 
a merchant and resided in Water street, Boston. His 



HOMER FAMILY. 19 

brick mansion house and stable were consumed in the 
great fire in 1 760. 

He m. Ruth, dau, of Deacon John Wadsworth of 
Milton, Mass., representative to the General Court, and 
niece of Rev. B. Wadsworth, President of Harvard 
University, and of the Hon. Joseph Wadsworth, one of 
H. M. judges — three sons of Capt. Samuel Wadsworth, 
who with his Lieutenant and twenty-six men, were 
killed by the Indians in 1676, at Sudbury, Mass., where 
there is a monument to his memory. 



Benjamin Homer (II) was a merchant and ship owner 
in partnership with his brother John, and the firm 
owned several vessels. Unfortunately however, he was 
accidentally killed in 1776, and his brother, as already 
stated, left the country, and all their vessels were seized 
and confiscated during the Revolutionary War. He re- 
sided in Cross street, Norih End, then the best part of 
town, and owned negro slaves (house servants), for 
slavery was not then abolished in Massachusetts, and 
to give some idea of the times, his son Mr. Benj. Perrott 
Homer, told me when I was a boy tbat he,when of the 
same age, had a negro boy to attend to himself alone ; 
that he then wore breeches- with little gold knee and 
shoe buckles, carried a little gold headed cane, and his 
negro attended him to school and followed him every- 
where. He had one son and four daughters, viz., 

1. Benjamin Parrott, of whom next. 

2. Ruth, m. Mons. Pierre Remi Arsonneau, a French 

gentleman, and d. a widow, s. p. 

3. Elizabeth, m. Judge Amasa Paine, of Troy, N. Y., 

*Boys, when he said this, wore pantaloons, for knickerbockers were 
not introduced, or rather re-introduced until some years later 



20 HOMER FAMILY. 

brother of Judge Elijah Paine, father of Hon. 
Charles Paine, Governor of Vermont, t 

4. Mary, m. Hon. Lot. Hall, of Westminster, Vt., 

Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont. 

5. Bethia Cobb, m. Col. Oliver Gallup, A. D. C. of 

Governor Chittenden. 

Mr. Homer was killed at Farmington, Conn., while 
returning home from Montreal on horseback, the only 
way of travelling then, by a slide of earth falling upon 
him, March 30, 1776. He was buried there and his ep- 
itaph says he was " A Kind Husband, a Tender Father, 
a Faithful Master, a Pleasant Friend and a Zealous 
Patriot." 

His widow survived him but a few years, dying of a 
broken heart, March 4, 1779, ae. 39. His only son, 

Benjamin Perrott Homer, b. in Boston, June 30,1761, 
was baptized Benjamin, but, afterwards assumed the 
additional name of his mothers family which was then 
become extinct by the decease in 1784, of the only son 
(Bryant Perrott) of his mother's only brother. He m. 
in Gloucester, Mass., April 1, 1790, Abigail, dau. of 
David Pearce of Gloucester, and Bethia Ingersoll, his 
wife. She d. Jan. 11, 1811, ae. 37. 



PEARCE FAMILY. 

David Pearce was fifth in descent from Abraham 
Pearce who was in Plymouth, Mass., with two servants 
about the year 1623. 

He was one of the first merchants in the country and 
is said to have owned a fleet of about fifty vessels, forty 

fThe Duchess of Marlborough is of this ••family, her mother's name 
being Elizabeth Homer Paine. 



HOMER FAMILY. 21 

of which were square rigged, but lost most of them 
about A. D., 1800, they being all seized and confiscated 
by the .French. 

I have a painting of the ship Sukey, built in 1793. She 
measured 390 tons and was considered a first class ship. 
He soM her in London in 1797, to Admiral Sir Home 
Popham. 

During the Revolutionary war he rendered important 
services to the American Government, for the Navy of 
the Revolution consisted almost entirely of private 
armed vessels, as the Government had no squadrons 
upon the seas and this Navy did their duty so well that 
the rates of insurance rose in England to forty and 
even sixty per cent, and was a principal reason that a 
feeling in favor of peace at last took place there. 

The following is a " List of Guns " of his afloat dur- 
ing the -war : 

Ships. — Betsey, 24 ; General Stark, 24; Providence, 
20 ; Polly, 20 ; Harriet, 16 ; Wilkes, 16 ; Glo'ster 
Packet, 16. 

Brigs. —Gloucester, 16; Success, 16. 

Schooners. — Speed, 10 ; Speedwell, 10 ; Laugdon, 8 ; 
Banger, 8. Total, 204 guns. 

The General Stark was captured by the British 
frigate Chatham (50 guns). The Wilkes, Harriet and 
Betsey were also captured at that time. Others were 
taken by the French prior to July 1801. He would 
never insure, considering it a mistrusting of Providence. 
He had very large " French spoliation" claims, but his 
papers which were sent to Washington, in 1806, were 
burnt when the British destroyed the Capitol in 1812. 
He died March 16, ae. 81. 



22 HOMER FAMILY. 

Benj. P. Homer was an East India merchant and 
private underwriter, but retired from business about 
1815, when he built the house No. 38 Beacon street 
corner of Walnut street where he resided until his death 
in 1837, when it fell to his only son as part of his share, 
and was sold at his decease (without the stable which 
was sold separately) for seventy thousand dollars. 

Mr. Homer met with some heavy losses in the 
financial crisis of 1836-37. By one bank alone he lost 
exactly ninety-five thousand dollars, equal to twice or 
thrice that sum now, and his iron chest was robbed of 
over that sum in bonds payable to bearer, which were 
never recovered. Gentlemen then had so called strong 
boxes with locks that a modern burglar would laugh at. 

He d. April 4, 1838, ae. 76, having had issue nine 
children, six of whom predeceased him without issue, 
viz : 

1. Benjamin Perrott, d. an infant. 

2. Benjamin Pearce, d. young. 

3 Mary Bethia, b. June 7, 1702, m. 1818, Thomas 
Dixon, Knight of the Order of the Netherlands 
Lion and of the Order of the Lily," and had issue 
with one son who d. unm. 

(1.) Benjamin Homer Dixon, K. N. L., Consul 
General of the Netherlands in Canada, of Toron- 
to, who m. first Kate McGill, dau. of the Hon. 
Chief Justice Sir James B. Macaulay, C. B., and 
secondly Frances Caroline, dau. of William B. 
Heward, Esq. (2.) Fitz Eugene Dixon, who m. 
Catherine Chew, dau. of the Hon. George M. 

* Vide The Border Clan Dickson, in preparation. 



HOMER FAMILY. 23 

Dallas, Vice President of the U. S. A., son of the 
Hon. Alexander James Dallas, Secretary of the 
Treasury of the U. S. A , and d. 1880. (3). Har- 
riet E. M , m. first William Henry Boulton, Esq., 
of Toronto, M. P. P., of the Boultons of Moulton, 
County Lincoln, Eng., and secondly Professor 
Goldwin Smith, D. C. L., of Oxford and Toronto. 
Of the Smiths of Hough, Co. Chester, and in 
the fourteenth century of Peel House, Co. Lan- 
caster, one branch of which was baroneted. 

4. Eliza, d. unm. 

5. Fitzhenry, of whom next. 

6. Harriet Paine, d. unm. 

7. Samuel Cobb, d. young. 

8. Georgiana Albertina, b. 1809, m. Philo Strong 

Shelton, Esq-, of Boston, fourth in descent from 
Daniel Shelton of Deptford, Co., York, Eng. 
who settled at Stratford, Conn., where he m. in 
1692, Elizabeth, dau. of Hon. Samuel Welles, 
son of Hon. Thomas Welles, Governor of Connec- 
ticut, and has surviving issue as follows: (1). 
Philo Strong ; (2.) Charles Parkman ; (3.) Ben- 
jamin Homer ; (4.) Albertina, in. Frederick E. 
Sears, son of the Hon. David Sears, a descendant 
of Eichard Sears, the pilgrim, heretofore referred 
to. (5.) Helen Eugenia, m. Capt. Eichard G. 
Cary, son of the Hon. Thomas G. Cary. He was 
shot during the last war on the very day his 
commission as Lieut -Colon el was signed. (6.) 
Harriet Homer, m. Charles J. Eandall, son of 
the Hon. Judge Eandall and brother of the Eight 
Eev. Bishop Eandall. 



24 HOMER FAMILY. 

The only son 

Fitzhenry Homer, b. in Boston in 1799, m. Nancy 
Bradford, dan. of the Hon. James D'Wolf, of Bris- 
tol, R. I., U. S. Senator, by his wife Nancy, dan. of 
the Hon. William Bradford, Lieut. -Governor of Rhode 
Island, who was fourth in descent from Governor 
William Bradford who came over in the Mayflower in 
1620, and had issue : 

1. Josephine Maria, 6. 1830, m. Henry Bedlow, Sec- 

retary of the Legation of the U. S. A., to 
Naples, and afterwards mayor of Newport, K. I. 

2. Isabel, b. 1813, m. John Combe Pegram, Midship- 

man, U. S. Navy, and now Barrister at-Law, 
Bristol, R. I. 
By the death of Fitzhenry Homer, in Boston, in 1856, 
without male issue, this branch of the family became 
extinct. 



A short account of the family may be found in 
" Bridgman's King's Chapel Epitaphs, 8vo, Boston, 
1853," in some editions of which, however, the family is 
erroneously derived from a Richard de Hehmor. 



INDEX- 



INDEX OF HOMERS. 



Albertina, 23. 
Aune, 9, 10. 

Benjamin, 4, 5. 9, 1 1, 13, 14, IS, 19. 
Benjamin Pearce, 22. 
Benjamin Perrott, 19, '20. 
BetLia, 16. 

Charles, 14. 

Edward, 6, 8, 9, 1 1 ■ 

Eliza, 23. 

Elizabeth, 7, 8, 10, 19. 

Ellen, 7. 

Fitzhenry, 23, 24. 

Francis. 9. 

Frederick Augustus, 6. 11. 

Georgiana Albertina, 2:!. 

Harriet Paine, 23. 
Henry, 9, 10. 
Humfrey, 7. 

James, 9. 
J. A. R., 18. 
Jonathan, 13. 



John, 7, 10,13. 16. IT, 18. 
John (Captain), 9, 11, 12, 13. 
Joseph, 9, 18. 
Joseph Warren, 13. 

Margery, 8, 16. 
Mary, 9, 10, 13. 
Mary Bethia, 22. 
Michael, 13, 14. 

Peter Thacher. 13. 

Rebecca, 9. 
Richard, S. 
Robert, 13. 
Roger, 14- 
Ruth, 19. 

Samuel Cobb, 23. 
Simon. 8, 10. 
Stephen, 16. 

Thomas, 8, 10, 14. 
Thomas de, 3, 4. 
Thomas Keelinge, 1 1 . 

William, 7, 13, 16. 



26 HOMER FA MIL Y. 

INDEX OF ALLIANCES, ETC. 



Arsonneau, Pierre R., 19. 

Bedlow, Henry, 24. 
Berners, Lord, 15. 
Boulton, William H., 23. 
Bourchier, Jane, 15. 
Bourchier, John, 15. 
Bradford, Nancy, 24. 
Bradford, William, 24. 
Burrows, Mary, 14. 

Cary, Richard G., 23. 
Cary, Thomas G., 23. 
Chapman, Elizabeth, 16. 
Cobb, Benjamin, 16, 18. 
Cobb, Samuel, 13. 
Cox, Martha, 10. 
Crowell, Elizabeth, 16. 
Crowell, John, 14, 16. 
Dallas, Alexander J., 23. 
Dallas, Catherine C, 22. 
Dallas, George M., 22. 
Dixon, Benj. Homer, 22. 
Dixon, Fitz Eugene, 22. 
Dixon, Harriette E. M.,22. 
Dixon, Thomas. 22. 
D'Wolf. James, 24. 
D'Wolf, Nancy, 24. 

Egmond van, Maria L., 15. 
Egmond van, Phillipe L., 15. 
Egmond van, Count, 15. 

Gallup, Oliver, 20. 
Gibbins, Anne, 8. 
Gloucester, Duke of, 15. 

Hall, Lot, 20. 
Hawkins, Elizabeth, 15. 
Hawkins, Sir John, 15. 



Heward, Frances C, 22 
Heward, William B., 22 
Howard, Catherine, 15. 

Ingersoll, Bethia, 20. 

Reelings, Richard, 10. 
Kemp, Elizabeth, 10. 
Knowles, David, 16. 
Knyvet, Anne, 15. 
Knyvet, Johu, 15. 
Kurton, Elizabeth, 0. 

Leake, Anne Mary, 11. 

Macaulay, Sir James B., 22. 
Macaulay, Kate McG., 22. 

Norfolk, Duke of, 15. 

Osborne, Abigail, 16. 

Paine, Amasa, 19. 
Paine, Charles, 20. 
Paine, Elijah, 20. 
Paine, Elizabeth, 19. 
Palmer, Mary, 9. 
Pearce, Abigail, 20. 
Pearce, Abraham, 20. 
Pearce, David, 20. 
Pegram, John C, 24. 
Perrott, Bryant, 18, 20. 
Perrott, Mary, 18. 
Plantagenet, Anne,. 15. 

Randall, Charles J., 23. 
Rowse, Dorothy, 7. 
Rowse. John, 7. 

Sayer or Sears, Bethia, 14, 16. 
Sayer or Sears, David, 23. 
Sayer or Sears, Elizabeth, 15, 16- 
Sayer or Sears, Frederick R., 23. 



HOMER FAMILY. 



27 



Saver or Sears, Jerusha, 16. 
Sayer or Sears, John, 14, 15. 
Sayer or Sears, John B., 15. 
Sayer or Sears, Paul, 10. 
Sayer or Sears, Richard, 16, 23. 
Sayer or Sears, William, 16. 
Shelton, Albertina, 23. 
Shelton, Benjamin H., 23. 
Shelton, Charles P., 23. 
Shelton, Harriet H., 23. 
Shelton, Helen E., 23. 
Shelton, Isabel, 24. 
Shelton, Josephine M., 24. 
Shelton Philo S., 23. 
Smith, Goldwin, 23. 



Thacher, Anthony, 16. 
Thacher, Dorothy, 16. 
Thacher, John, 16. 
Thorne, Elizabeth. 7. 

Vidian, Richard, 7. 

Wadsworth, Benjamin, 19. 
Wadsworth, John, 19. 
Wadsworth, Joseph, 19. 
Wadsworth, Samuel, 19. 
Weaver, Mary, 10. 
We'les, Samuel, 33. 
Welles, Thomas, 23. 
Wilkes, Elizabeth, 8. 
Willard, Deborah, 16. 



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