|Birth: ||Oct. 16, 1699|
|Death: ||May 26, 1785|
1994 research by Randall Dixon:
A search of the probate records of Freegrace and his wife, Sarah, reveal no clue to her ancestry, but the tombstone of Sarah in Suffield gives her age as 96 years at her death on 26 March 1785 (Headstone Inscriptions Town of Suffiled, Hale Collection, Conn. State Library). The vital records of Ipswich, Massachusetts were searched for a match but none was found. A search of the records of neighboring communities did, however, reveal a possible candidate.
The records of Andover list the birth of Sarah Martin, daughter of “Samuel and Abigail” at Ipswich, October 16, 1689 (Vitqal Records of Andover, Massachusetts[Topsfield 1912] 1:267).
The parents can be identified as Samuel Martin (1645-1696) son of Solomon Martin and Mary Pindar of Gloucester and Andover (James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of ... New England, 1860-1862; reprint 1981 p. 163) and Abigail Norton (1651-1739) daughter of George 1 Norton (d. 1659) and his wife Mary of Salem (Herbert F. Seversmith “George Norton of Salem, Massachusetts...”, The American Genealogist 15 : 196). This Sarah Martin, therefore, would be a first cousin of Freegrace Norton, as he mother, Abigail, and his father, George, were brother and sister. Marriages between cousins were not infrequent and this would explain how the couple came together, though being from fairly distant places. Evidence that the branches ofthe family kept in contact, comes from a deed of land from George Norton of “Southfield” to Samuel Martin of Andover June 7, 1681, recorded August 8, 1716 (Essex County Deeds, 31:62-63). A search for probate records of Samuel Martin and his wife Abigail turned up nothing.
As noted above, the marriage record in Suffield described Sarah Martin as being “of Ipswich”. The Andover Sarah Martin was born in Ipswich, perhaps atthe home of her grandmother, Mary Norton. In 1713, when Sarah Martin was to be married, two of her married sisters were living in Ipswich–Abigail, the wife of John Safford, and Mary, the wife of John Bolles (Ipswich Vrs). Possibly she lived with one ofthem before her marriage.
One other piece of evidence as a clue to the parentage of Sarah Martin can, perhpas be found in the names of her children (Suffield Vrs, Barbour Collection). Her first surviving son was named Freegrace after her husband, while the next son was named Samuel, possibly after her father. In addition, one of her daughters was named Abigail, possibly after her mother.
Freegrace Norton (1688 - 1785)*
John Norton (1720 - 1792)*
Abigail Norton Harmon (1728 - 1782)*
Elizabeth Norton Harmon (1729 - 1808)*
97th year of her age
"She was Mother to 11 children,
Grand Mother to 66,
Great Grand Mother to 8 in all".
West Suffield Cemetery
Created by: Cheryl Bills
Record added: Sep 18, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11777393