John Poore

John Poore, the patriarch of one stock of his name, came, according to Mr. Coffin in his history of Newbury, from Wiltshire, England, in 1635, which was the next year after several families -- who that year also settled in Newbury -- came to Ipswich.

According to depositions on file in the Office of the Essex County Court, he was born about 1615, consequently he was about twenty years old when he came to this country.

After a careful examination of the records of the State, Counties, Towns and Churches in Massachusetts, we conclude that he was the earliest of his family name who came to America.

He settled upon the southerly side of Parker River in Newbury, Massachusetts, that part of the town being called the "Neck". The street leading over Parker River to Rowley was laid out as far as his house through the north part of his land, then it turned westward.

The lot east of John Poore's was, from generation to generation, occupied by the Thurston family. Next east of Thurston's lot, and on the end of the Neck, was the homestead of the Plummer family. Through these estates is a street extending by the south side of Mr. Poore's house and the Thurston and Plummer houses, to the end of the Neck. The lot west of Poore's was owned by the Hale family; all of these lots extend across the Neck from Parker River to the Marshes, which lie between this upland and Plumb Island River. He had laid out to him by Rowley, in 1661, about thirty acres of upland, at a place in that town called "The Island beyond the Cow Bridge Meadow".
The house which he built, together with additions, was torn down in 1890 and has been owned by the family, from father to son, until that time, eight generations having been born in it, the eighth and ninth generations now residing there.

At times the old mansion had been used as an Inn. It was on the ancient highway leading to Rowley, and about four miles southward from Market Square, and Stations on the Boston & Maine and Eastern Railroads in Newburyport.
By the records of the county we find that he was on the jury in the years 1654, 1658, 1661, 1664, 1665, 1670, 1674, 1678. He was attorney for Daniel Poore, of Andover, who, it is supposed, was his brother when said Daniel had a cause against Jo. Godfrey, March 26, 1667, and Walter Wright, March 1681.

In the Registry of Deeds, at Salem, may be found sundry lists of those who took the oath of fidelity. The age of each Newbury man was given in a list for 1678. On this latter, appears the name of John Poore, aged 63. He was chosen by the town to occupy various places of trust; for instance, in 1666 and 1669, he was on the board "to act the prudentially of the Town". When the seats in the meeting-house were assigned in 1668, it is recorded that "John Poor, sen to sit in the fore seat."

He had land given by the town from time to time, and bought other land; so, he owned in Newbury and Rowley probably over a hundred acres; but, the supposition is that it was conveyed to his sons before his decease, as we find the deeds of some of it on record, viz.: to his sons John and Henry, dated not longer before his decease.
By an inventory of his personal estate we find the date of his decease to be "about" November 21, 1684. Tradition says that he was out hunting, and losing his way, perished by cold and hunger in the woods near Andover. On file in the office of Clerk of the Courts in Essex County, Volume XLIII, page 73, in the report of the jury of inquest, summoned to inquire into the cause of his death, dated November 24th, in the year of our Lord 1684, we find the following verdict: -- "We judge that being in the woods and following his game, he was bewildered, and lost himself, and in his pursuit plucked off his clothes, and scattered them some good distance, one part from another till he had left nothing on save his waistcoat and drawers and breeches and hose and shoes."

We find no Will on record; but it seems had had made a verbal disposition of some of his estate. Among the papers on file in the Probate Office it is stated that before the balance of his estate was divided among the heirs, 30 pounds was "to be abated for debts & legacyes."

We discover on the back of an account of the Administrators, rendered November 26, 1697, that his heirs among whom his estate was divided were the widow and seven children, viz.: John Poor, the eldest son, Henry, Joseph, Hannah Ilsly, Sarah, Mary Clark, Lydia Titcum and Abigail Ilsly.

The name of his wife, by whom he had his children, was Sarah; and that appears as the name of his widow, after his decease; and widow Sarah Poore died December 3, 1702. But we are unable to give the maternal ancestry of his children.

From: A Memoir and Genealogy of John Poore, Ten Generations: 1615-1880 by Alfred Poore published in 1881. pp. 5 - 7

Submitted by: Faith Poore

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Last Updated February 26, 2005